Finance News

The business impact of the coronavirus

Posted on Thursday, February 27, 2020
Only a week ago most global share markets, including ours, hit record highs. At the time of writing the losses as a result of the coronavirus outbreak amount only to our 2020 gains so far. What's unclear, of course, is how widely the coronavirus will spread and how much damage it will do, leading to uncertainty in financial markets across the world. However, it is worth noting that last year the market volatility was hugely consumed by the trade war between the United States and China, which could have resulted in catastrophic consequences. What happens from here? In my opinion, if the outbreak is not resolved soon central banks globally will step in, so you will see countries providing stimulus in the form of interest rate cuts, tax cuts and monetary policy reform. But lower interest rates won't make a sick person well, or give public health authorities confidence that businesses can reopen. All interest rate cuts can do is lower borrowing costs and help encourage busin ... Read the rest of entry »

Coronavirus is starting to bite businesses

Posted on Wednesday, February 19, 2020
It seems the coronavirus outbreak is starting to bite Australian small businesses. I recently spoke to a landlord on the Gold Coast who says he’s had two Chinese restaurant tenants break their leases in the last fortnight. I also spoke with an international education provider here in Melbourne who told me their business has seen a 40% reduction in inquiries from China, India and Korea, and more than a dozen cancellations from on-campus residents. Real estate agents in Melbourne and Sydney are celebrating booming clearance rates but reporting a significant downturn in Chinese interest, with inquiries in Balwyn and Box Hill at the lowest rates they’d seen in a decade. There’s no doubt it’s been a tough 8-10 weeks across Australia, with devastating bushfires, damaging storms, and now the coronavirus spooking consumers into staying home and not spending money. This, of course, is causing cashflow problems for many small businesses. The key to mitigating cashflow risk is examining care ... Read the rest of entry »

The bushfire insurance loopholes you should know about

Posted on Wednesday, February 12, 2020
As we know, Australia has endured a disastrous summer, from devastating fires to damaging storms. Now those affected are left to clean up the mess, hopefully with the assistance of their insurers.   However, it’s been revealed in the last week that insurance policy holders whose properties are in “fire regions” may not have their policies automatically renewed.   This brings up all sorts of problems, including that “fire regions” is not particularly clearly defined.   Unsurprisingly there are also myriad loopholes and technicalities, including that coverage may exclude damage from heat, ash, soot or smoke in some circumstances.   It’s also likely that property and business owners in these “fire regions” will be made to pay an additional fire levy by their insurer to ensure their coverage.   The lesson here is that if you find yourself in a “fire region” you must have a very close look at your insurance, examine the ... Read the rest of entry »

Welcome to 2020!

Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2020
Hi and welcome to 2020! We hope you are well rested and refreshed to get the new decade off to a positive start. In many respects though, it has been a troubling and depressing summer with the horrendous bushfires causing devastation to communities, homes, humans and animals across the east coast. In addition, the world is now facing the rise of the coronavirus. All of these things continue to spook markets here and overseas, which up until recently had been at record highs.  Despite all this doom and gloom though, our outlook for the year ahead remains positive. As I have said on numerous occasions, when money is cheap due to low interest rates, money will continue to be invested in the share and property markets. I don’t see this changing any time soon. I also expect that we’ll see two further RBA interest rate cuts in Australia this year, taking our record low rates even lower, to 0.25%. I predict our dollar will probably fall to the mid-60s against the Greenback, Donald Trump will be ... Read the rest of entry »

2019: A year of unexpected twists and turns!

Posted on Tuesday, December 10, 2019
2019 has been a year of unexpected outcomes.   On reflection, if you’d told me 12 months ago that we were going to have three interest rate cuts, Scott Morrison was going to win the election, and the property market was going to boom, I simply wouldn’t have believed you.   And yet, here we are.   2019 has brought three interest rate cuts, leaving us at all-time lows, and I’m expecting two more cuts in 2020.   2019 brought us a Scomo election victory that dusted fears around changes to negative gearing and franking credits, and brought with it tax relief.   2019 brought us a year of change and innovation, with services like HaloGo now delivering fuel to your doorstep on-demand, and Malvern Auto Tech doubling its car servicing business due to the enormous number of ride-sharing cars now on the road.   What 2019 didn’t bring however, was cost of living relief. Sure, you might feel a little wealthier because you’re paying a bit less mortgage ... Read the rest of entry »

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