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Outlook for 2013

With all of the issues we had to concern ourselves with in 2012 it turned our far better than we might have thought in terms of investment returns and for those brave enough to stick with a diversified investment approach they were well rewarded with some of the best returns since before the GFC. 2012 in review – what were …

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How much is enough?

The most common question I receive from those nearing retirement is “How much do I need to retire”. What do they really mean when they ask this? From years of experience I have come to learn that when asked the ‘How much do I need” question people really mean how much do I need to be able to maintain my …

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When a bank is not a bank

The collapse of Banksia Financial Group has left thousands of farmers and other Victorians in regional areas facing a nervous wait to see what, if any, of their savings will be returned. Unfortunately the collapse is not an isolated incident and follows several others in recent years including but not limited to Westpoint and Australian Capital Reserve. Like several other …

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Interest rates and your retirement plan

For those of you who planned your retirement as recently as 12 or 18 months ago it may be time to do your maths all over again. Lower interest rates mean you will need to save more to provide an adequate retirement and have made it increasingly difficult to get even a modest 5% per annum return on your money. …

Common mistakes of retirees

A retired client opted to take the advice of their family over mine.  Apart from the small dent to my ego this also got me thinking about some of the common mistake retirees make day-to-day. All too often people head into retirement basing important decisions on the opinions of those closest to them rather than the advice of an expert. …

Employee or contractor?

When hiring, employers need to understand the differences between an employee and a contractor to avoid costly consequences. Many businesses get it wrong when determining if a worker is an employee or contractor because they are not ensuring the arrangements have been set up correctly. It is essential to get the decision right because businesses will face different tax and …

Common marketing mistakes

The holidays are a vital time for small businesses to market their brand effectively, or risk being drowned out by the sea of competitors. Despite the vast range of literature and resources on how to be a successful marketer, there are some very common, avoidable mistakes that many small business owners make that may be holding back their business’ marketing …

The new Director Penalty Regime

The new Director Penalty Regime came into place in June 2012. It once and for all clears up any suggestion that a director can have a passive involvement in a company. It provides a stern warning to company directors that this position has great responsibilities. Unless directors closely monitor their company’s activity, they are placing themselves at great risk. Companies, …

Make more of the festive season

Unusually long operating hours, public holidays and demanding customers can be a recipe for disaster. The best way to avoid the holiday period chaos is to have a well thought-out operating plan. The following are a few tips that will ensure your business maximises its potential. Have all staff well prepared for the rush periods, train them extensively where possible …

FBT and Christmas – the top 10

As the festive season approaches, many businesses may be starting to plan Christmas functions and thinking about offering their staff, clients and suppliers Christmas gifts. Something that is often forgotten at this time is the tax implications these bring. Here are 10 things about providing such benefits to employees that might help make things a little clearer. The costs of …