Money Magazine August 2019

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.

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make $10k work for you

The beauty of $10,000 is in the eye of the beholder. We find out in our cover story this month, “Where to invest $10k”, that everything is so expensive these days the amount doesn’t seem like much. But we canvassed the views of eight finance experts and discovered there are ways to turn $10,000 into a princely sum. It’s not the size of the windfall but the intention to invest it wisely. Find out more on page 34. If you’ve got a sizeable property portfolio or are looking to buy one, you must be unnerved by the scandals surrounding the Opal and Mascot towers in Sydney. As we go to press, I read reports about a block of units in Zetland, another inner-city suburb in Sydney, that’s been abandoned for eight…

letter of the month

It’s time to ditch the big four banks I can’t understand why so many customers stay with the big four banks, especially after the shocking revelations from the banking royal commission last year. There are some great alternative institutions to bank with, such as credit unions and customer-owned banks. My husband and I made the change more than 20 years ago, and find the fees at our customer-owned bank are much lower. It offers much better interest rates on savings accounts and term deposits, and much more competitive home loans as well. It even rewards loyalty, such as an extra 0.2% interest on term deposits for long-term customers, which is a great help in the current low-interest environment. I would like to strongly encourage Money readers who bank with one of the big…


Jumping on the bandwagon July’s edition highlights the ASX200 breaking through the 30% barrier for women on boards (page 13). So what? Is that some sort of benchmark? Is that good enough, not enough or too much? What is the “barrier”? I would like to see solid facts on whether or not having more or fewer women and/or men is a determinant of the success of ASX200 boards? It might help to explore the impact that factors like education, experience, age, ethnic background, economic conditions, marketing and maybe even just pure luck have made a difference to board and company performance. Headline-grabbing stats such as those under your “30%” banner tend to fuel zealots pushing their own bandwagons ... and that isn’t always the best way forward. Ron Ed’s note: Thanks for your comment, Ron.…

do you still pay cash for anything?

JOANNA MCCREERY Joanna is a director of Majella Wealth Advisers. Joanna says: “I like to support my local small businesses (I’d hate for a time to come when the big grocery chains are all we have), so when I’m topping up my weekly grocery needs in the local bakery and fruit and veg shop, I pay cash. They prefer it, as it helps their margins.” SUSAN HELY Susan is a senior writer at Money magazine. Susan says: “I like to tap and pay but panic if I don’t have cash in my wallet. I pay cash at the markets when I buy fruit, veggies and plants. Parking meters prefer cash as do the sellers of The Big Issue.” DARREN SNYDER Darren is the managing editor of Money magazine. Darren says: “Nowadays cash doesn’t burn a…

in your interest

Wow. Just look at interest rates. Over my nearly four decades commenting on money, I’ve said a lot about interest rates. But I am sure I have never mentioned our “base” rate set by the Reserve Bank going below 1%. Now, though, that looks pretty much like a certainty. Like you, I read and hear many experts banging on about interest rates and what we should do with our loans and investments, but I am not too sure any of us really have a clue what is going on. My guess, a few years ago, was that our base interest rate was unlikely to drop below 3%. Wrong! My view was based on our fortunate position as an exporter of badly needed products – food, resources and high-level services such as engineering…

car insurers under fire

Regulator ASIC is warning car insurers they can do better when it comes to investigating consumer claims. An ASIC review of 1.6 million car insurance claims in the 12 months to September 2017 and interviews with more than 50 consumers suggest insurers are investigating claims in ways that are causing “significant consumer harm” and eroding trust in the process. According to consumers, car insurers are putting them through “harmful and unreasonable” processes when investigating claims. The corporate watchdog found that when insurers suspect claims are fraudulent, the investigation practices lead to poor consumer outcomes. While only a small proportion of claims are investigated, more than 70% of the investigated claims are found to be valid and then paid. This contrasts with a small number of investigated claims being declined due to fraud (4%). ASIC says…