In this issue:
Autumn has arrived after a flurry of economic data on the home front during February. The company reporting season for the six months to December was extremely positive overall, confirming that corporate Australia is in good shape.
CommSec’s survey of results from the ASX top 200 companies showed 94 per cent recorded a profit in the December half, with total profits up 130 per cent on the previous corresponding period (up 37 per cent excluding BHP). Earnings per share rose 19 per cent, cash levels were up 11 per cent and dividends were up 6 per cent. The strong performance was due to booming home construction and higher commodity prices, especially for iron ore, which is up 80 per cent over the past year to around US$90 a tonne.
One area of concern is the low level of business investment. The latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show new spending on buildings and equipment fell 2.1 per cent in the December quarter, down 15.5 per cent over the year. While the Aussie dollar has fallen from record highs during the mining boom, Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe told the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics “it would be better if it was lower still” to support the rebalancing of the economy. The dollar is currently trading at around US76c.
The clock is ticking for investors who want to take advantage of the more generous tax concessions available in super this financial year. As of July 1, new rules come into effect that will reduce contribution limits. Until then, individuals under 65 can make a non-concessional (after-tax) contribution of up to $540,000 under the bring-forward rule which allows you to bring forward two years’ contributions. That means that while the opportunity lasts, couples can… Read more
Life insurance is one of the most important investments you can make to protect your family’s future wellbeing. And like any investment, it needs careful consideration. Taking out too little or too much insurance can be costly. Failing to disclose all relevant information to an insurer could result in a claim being denied – possibly after years of paying premiums – just when you need help most… Read more
Feel like you could fill a book with all the weird and wonderful statements you’ve heard from your kids? Ever been on the receiving end of an ‘honest’ comment from a kid (and a rushed “sorry, no filter on this one!” from their parent)? There’s a reason kids’ quotes are popular topics everywhere from Twitter and Instagram to forums and blogs… Read more