Finance News

Are you caught in your own personal Squid Game?

Posted on Wednesday, October 20, 2021
Squid Game – have you heard of it? No, it’s not some weird new sport involving calamari, it’s Netflix’s newest blockbuster show, which is surpassing all records!   The series is based on a Korean children’s game, but in this adult version 456 players who are all deeply in debt compete for a massive cash prize, with a deadly penalty if they lose.   Of course, it’s a fantasy, but there are plenty of Aussies battling their own form of Squid Game right now, with the financial contagion effect of COVID-19 pushing them into a financial squeeze. Many are struggling to pay even the most basic of bills, like power, water, gas, and council rates. These people are being forced into dire situations, but instead of Squid Game tasks, they're being thrust into their very own version of these trials, like navigating high-interest penalties, accruing debt, high interest-bearing loans from predatory pay-day lenders, and ultimately being disconnected from ... Read the rest of entry »

Hot property market heat set to cool this summer

Posted on Thursday, October 14, 2021
The property markets in Australia and New Zealand are soaring beyond comprehension. It’s become harder than ever for first home buyers to get into the market, and the cost of upsizing or downsizing is expensive enough with exorbitant stamp duty costs, let alone booming property process.   Something's gotta give.   This has been recognised by the NZ central bank and the Australian regulator APRA, who both made interesting moves in the last week. New Zealand’s central bank increased their official cash interest rate from 0.25% to 0.5%, which should help to cool their property market a bit.   In Australia, APRA, which supervises and manages the financial services system, changed the rules to make it harder for investors to borrow large sums.   APRA is concerned that in a very low interest rate environment, rising house prices are getting out of control. In the June quarter, 20% of loans approved were for more than six times the borrower&rsq ... Read the rest of entry »

Hot property market heat set to cool this summer

Posted on Thursday, October 14, 2021
The property markets in Australia and New Zealand are soaring beyond comprehension. It’s become harder than ever for first home buyers to get into the market, and the cost of upsizing or downsizing is expensive enough with exorbitant stamp duty costs, let alone booming property process.   Something's gotta give.   This has been recognised by the NZ central bank and the Australian regulator APRA, who both made interesting moves in the last week. New Zealand’s central bank increased their official cash interest rate from 0.25% to 0.5%, which should help to cool their property market a bit.   In Australia, APRA, which supervises and manages the financial services system, changed the rules to make it harder for investors to borrow large sums.   APRA is concerned that in a very low interest rate environment, rising house prices are getting out of control. In the June quarter, 20% of loans approved were for more than six times the borrower&rsq ... Read the rest of entry »

The pandemic's impact on our financial views

Posted on Wednesday, October 6, 2021
This week is Financial Planning Week, a national initiative designed to raise awareness about how FPA members can help Australians to access financial advice for life. Some of the stats the industry has put together are quite interesting. In Australia, the pandemic has served as a wake-up call to many Australians about how they manage their finances and how to prepare better for a future marked by the possibility of further outbreaks and their ongoing effects. Nearly one in four people said they were somewhat stressed by their financial situation, and 17% said their situation had worsened in the past 12 months. More men indicated they would have had a financial plan in place, whereas more women have indicated not splashing as much money on takeaways and non-essential items.   When it came to goals for the next 12 months, respondents were almost evenly split between hitting a savings goal, and the desire to take a holiday after 18 months of limited freedoms. More were leaning towards hitting a ... Read the rest of entry »

COVID relief still available, and risk returns to the market

Posted on Wednesday, September 29, 2021
Despite the (admittedly shaky) roadmap to recovery from the pandemic having been recently unveiled in Victoria and NSW, there are still some relief payments available to businesses and individuals, so it’s worth checking what you might be eligible for.   In NSW and Victoria commercial tenants struggling with rent payments will benefit from rent relief, with the Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme. Depending on which state you are in, the scheme will help small and medium businesses with an annual turnover of less than $50 million that have experienced a fall in turnover of more than 30 per cent during the pandemic.    Eligibility for rent relief has been broadened, with tenants now able to choose three consecutive months between 1 April and 30 September 2021 to compare to their turnover in the same three months in 2019.  And from an individual point of view, if you have had your pay or your hours cut through no fault of you own, you can register for ... Read the rest of entry »
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