In this issue:

February is here and hopefully an end to January’s record-breaking heat across the country. There has also been a lot of heat on the global economic stage. The US shutdown may have ended but the trade war between the US and China continues.

There are also further signs the global economy is weakening. The World Bank predicts growth of 2.9 per cent in 2019, down from 3.0 per cent last year and 3.1 per cent in 2017. China’s economic growth slowed to 6.6 per cent in 2018, the lowest in 28 years but still a remarkably strong compared with developed economies.

In Australia, easing inflation also points to a slowing domestic economy. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) – the main inflation gauge – rose 0.5 per cent in the December quarter but eased from 1.9 per cent to 1.8 per cent on an annual basis. One of the major price falls was petrol, down 2.5 per cent over the quarter. According to the Australian Institute of Petroleum, the national average price for unleaded fuel fell 10.7 per cent in 2018, although it crept up to six-week highs of $131.8c a litre in January. Despite lower prices, consumers and business remain cautious. The Westpac/Melbourne Institute survey of consumer sentiment fell 4.7 per cent in January to 99.6 points, a 16-month low. The NAB Business Confidence index also dipped in December, from 3.4 points to a 3-year low of 2.8 points. Unemployment fell from 5.1 per cent to 5.0 per cent in December. The Aussie dollar jumped on the final day of the month to close at US72.7c, up from a January low of US68.7c.

Don’t short-change your medium-term goals

When it comes to setting financial priorities, medium-term goals often suffer from middle child syndrome, not taken as seriously as the oldest or indulged as much as the youngest. The serious long-term goal of saving for retirement gets lots of attention, and rightly so. It’s super important. And next year’s trip to Bali will be so much fun, even if it does drain all your savings…Read more


How to speak ‘real estatese’

First-home buyers (and even second- and third-home buyers) are often baffled by the jargon used by real estate industry professionals. This can result in expensive misunderstandings unless you take the time to learn the lingo. Here are some frequently misunderstood terms and concepts you should familiarise yourself with before you begin searching for your dream home…Read more


Hanging on to that holiday feeling

It’s the nearing the end of Summer and most of us are already back from our Christmas breaks. If you’re feeling like that holiday glow didn’t last as long as you wanted, you’re not alone. New research indicates that the mental health benefits of a holiday fade quicker than a tan. It takes us just 3 days to get back into our normal level of stress. So if holidays don’t have a lasting impact on your wellbeing…Read more


As always, if you would like to discuss the contents of this newsletter please give us a call 07 5559 5760.


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