Business & Finance
Money Magazine

Money Magazine December 2015 - January 2016

Money magazine is Australia’s longest-running, highest-selling and most-read personal finance magazine. Money magazine provides credible, independent, easy-to-understand financial advice to help its readers save money and make the most of their investments.

Rainmaker Information Pty Limited
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11 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
best of the best way to start the year

’Tis the season for making forecasts. According to some experts, the S&P/ASX 200 will hit 6000 points by the end of 2016. It’s had an exciting ride to date, even dropping below 5000. I’m always amused by some of the forecasts. If you want predictions that don’t rely on crystal-ball gazing, then Money’s chief commentator, Paul Clitheroe, sums it up nicely on page 12. Our economy is better than we want to believe. This Best of the Best edition, now in its 15th year, is about opportunities: the suburbs to buy into, the investment strategies to check plus all the award-winning products to help you reach your goals. A big thank-you to our research partners – Canstar, Morningstar, Lonsec, Zenith, SQM Research, SuperRatings and WhistleOut. Quality data and transparency are what…

2 min.

Keep a clean credit file Having been a mortgage broker at the tender age of 23, I can attest that it’s not a job for the faint-hearted. However, I’ve seen many a loan declined due to credit problems – be it defaults, low scores, etc. My advice is this: always (!!!) make sure that your credit file is in order. Why? Banks will decline your application. So if you know that you have an unpaid default, pay it and make sure that your explanation is believable. Life does happen, and lenders do want your business, but if you’re too risky your loan will be declined (due to the mortgage insurer not liking the deal or whatever reason). Frank, email No cash to sacrifice Everyone talks about salary sacrificing into super in our 50s, assuming that…

1 min.
letter of the month

Poor deserve a share of wealth I appreciated Paul Clitheroe’s comment that “better lives for the poor are better for everyone” (In Your Interest, November). I truly think this is forgotten by many. While I am keen to expand my personal wealth/assets I am also reminded every day when I go to work as a social worker of a saying I once heard: a country is only as good as it treats its poor. If we want to expand our own wealth at the expense of others (unfair or inequitable government/financial policies favouring those on higher incomes) then I would rather not, due to the weight on my conscience. It’s easy to forget the barriers that people and children growing up in inter-generational poverty face both financially and personally – and harder…

5 min.
in your interest

Through the rear-vision mirror, Paul Clitheroe enjoys looking at last year’s predictions and makes his optimistic calls for 2016 CRIKEY! HERE WE are again. It seems as if I was penning my views for 2015 only recently. Even so, I always enjoy reading back over my “predictions” for the year ahead. I was right when I said property markets should slow – but not fall in any major way – and that interest rates would be stable. It is pleasing my hope that we would have “a calm and rational conversation in our society about what services we want, what they will cost and how we raise tax more fairly to pay for what we want” seems have become a reality a little faster than I had expected. This is a lot to…

2 min.
fixed loans are in focus

Home loan rates are on the move and, for those with a largish debt, these apparently small adjustments can translate to a difference of tens or even hundreds of dollars in your repayment each month. Many banks have increased their variable interest rates for owner-occupiers since mid-October (and the move upwards for investors starting several months before that) and borrowers wonder more and more whether now is a good time to fix. Canstar's analysis of more than 160,000 home loan product searches on its database in 2015 has found a definite move away from variable home loan products by potential borrowers towards one- and three-year fixed-rate loans. In March this year, more than 43% of visitors to our site were looking for a variable loan, compared with fewer than 35% recently, in October.…

1 min.
can a house owned by my smsf be renovated?

The short answer is yes. However, there many rules and traps to watch out for if you are considering such a project. In respect of the costs of renovation, payments for materials and labour generally can only be made by the fund and not by the fund member or a related party. If any of the labour is carried out by the fund member or a related party (for example, the fund member or their relative is a builder), this must be authorised by the trust deed. Furthermore, these people should have the appropriate skills to carry out the work and they would need to be paid a commercial rate for their services. Finally, the financial aspect of such a project may not be suitable for an SMSF, given that such a project…