In this issue:
- Have oil prices peaked?
- Super and inheritance: making your wishes known
- A little adrenaline can be a good thing
July is here along with freezing temperatures and good snowfalls in the south and east of the country. Meanwhile, temperatures are sizzling in Russia for the football World Cup where the finals are looming, although not for the Socceroos who are headed home.
As the financial year ended, Australian investors had reason to be optimistic despite ongoing global tensions. Our economy grew 1 per cent in the March quarter, lifting the annual growth rate from 2.4 to 3.1 per cent, marking 27 consecutive years of growth. Unemployment eased from 5.6 per cent to 5.4 per cent in May while inflation is a benign 1.9 per cent. The cash rate remains at a record low of 1.5 per cent while the 10-year government bond yield finished the year little changed at around 2.6 per cent.
The Australian dollar fell below US74c, down from its January high of US81c, due largely to the stronger US dollar. This helped push Australian shares to 10-year highs in June, with annual total returns from share prices and dividends up 14 per cent. Commodity prices are also broadly higher for the year, with Brent Crude oil up 63 per cent to US$77 a barrel and iron ore firming 8 per cent to US$67 a tonne.
Despite modest annual wage growth of 2.1 per cent, rising petrol prices and falling home prices, consumers remain positive. The ANZ/Roy Morgan consumer confidence rating was up 6 per cent over the year to 121.4 in late June. The CoreLogic Home Value Index fell 1.1 per cent in the year to June, with Hobart, Adelaide and Brisbane the only capital cities posting gains in May.
Australian motorists are not the only ones hoping that global oil prices have peaked after reaching four-year highs in 2018. Not only do high oil prices flow through to the price of petrol at your local service station, but they also increase the cost of doing business for everyone from farmers to airlines and push up the cost of living for households…read more
People often think their superannuation will be treated as part of their estate when they die and distributed according to their Will, but that’s not the case. Unless you have nominated your beneficiaries, the decision as to who receives your super is in the hands of the trustees of your fund… read more
We all know what it feels like to be stressed. For most of us, it is a hallmark of our daily lives. While the word has very negative connotations, stress can actually drive us forward. That surge of adrenaline we get when tackling something out of our comfort zone helps us to achieve our goals. The challenge is managing stress so that it helps rather than hinders us… read more