Our Blog

Please check back regularly to view some of the articles we publish here. We aim to simplify as much financial jargon as possible, and share ideas of real value to you. The more we can help you, the better off you'll be and the happier we all are!

Spending money in a cashless world

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How the move to electronic payments could be making it easier to spend…and what to do about it.

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How to stop stressing about money: 5 top tips

Stop stressing about money

Having money is not enough; learning how to manage money without feelings of stress is also crucial.

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What’s your debt age?

What's your debt age

The types of debt we have largely depends on our age and stage in life.

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Resist today, relax tomorrow

Resist today and relax tomorrow

Can you recite the last line of Gone with the Wind? If not, you’ll find the answer at the end of this article.

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Australian's are practical gift-givers

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As a nation we have become conscientiousness and want to buy gifts that are more practical.

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Future minded Australia - conscientious legacy gifts

Conscientious Gift Giving

There is a growing conscientiousness in Australia’s gift-giving psyche. We want to buy gifts in a way that is convenient, but want them to be enjoyed for longer.

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Can I go back to work if I’ve accessed my super?

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When you access your super at retirement your super fund may ask you to sign a declaration stating that you intend to never be employed again.

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How to retire early

How to Retire Early

Whether you choose or need early retirement, having a plan can give your money the best chance of lasting the distance.

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Lender’s mortgage insurance (LMI) – 5 simple facts

Lenders Mortgage Insurance

Clients often ask about Lenders Mortgage Insurance and how much it costs. Here's 5 simple facts for you to consider in your calculations.

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US-China trade war escalating

Escalating US & China Trade War

and triggering (another) correction in the share markets...

Key points

  • The trade war between the US and China is escalating, posing a rising threat to global growth.
  • Although we remain of the view that a deal will be reached, the risk has increased.
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Why saving is behaving

Why saving is behaving

Did you know there are 293 ways to make change for a US dollar, but only 50 for an Australian dollar?

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Why people choose the wrong credit card

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According to recent findings, three out of five Aussie customers are not receiving any financial benefits from having a credit card.

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SFP launches it's new Mortgage Broking Service

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The introduction of mortgage broking has been a welcome addition to the services SFP provide in the changing lending market.

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The Economic Update - 1 July 2019

Economic Update July 2019

Happy end of financial year! Bill Bracey of Sydney Financial Planning provides an economic update for the new financial year (July 2019).

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What kind of money parent are you?

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Many parents approach the topic of money differently, but could your way of doing things influence your kids’ success?

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9 money mistakes to avoid in retirement

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How to keep your finances on track once you leave the workforce.

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How to save money

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Saving money doesn’t just happen, but these steps could help you to reach your saving goals sooner.

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Make the most of superannuation – tax deductible personal contributions

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For many people, super remains a highly tax-effective structure to hold investments for the accumulation of retirement savings, as well as maintaining their risk/insurance protection.

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Women & Money - Challenges and financial strategies

6 ways for women to take control of finances

Many women are still lagging behind in their longer term super savings.i There are several reasons for this that are often out of a woman's control. However, women can try certain strategies to improve their financial situation.

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How to turn $2 into $15,000 using a simple and positive money habit

Positive money habits

If you’re like me, you generally have a few coins in your pocket at the end of the day.

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What to do when you come into money

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Whether you're faced with an inheritance, redundancy package or winning lottery ticket, it's wise to consider your financial situation and future goals.

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10 money conversations to have when your relationship heats up

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It’s probably not the sexiest thing the two of you have on the to-do list but putting off talking about your financial expectations could see you butting heads.

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Australia slides into a “per capita recession”

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Key points

  • Australian growth slowed even more in the December quarter. Growth may bounce back a bit this year, but the housing downturn will likely constrain it to around 2- 2.5%.
  • As a result, unemployment is likely to drift up and wages growth and inflation remain lower for longer.
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2019 Federal Budget promises...

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2019-20 Federal Budget announces $7.1 Billion surplus next financial year.

This evening the government has stuck to its plan for building a stronger Australian economy, headlined by announcing a $7.1 Billion surplus next financial year. Below is a link to our practical summary of the pre-election budget.

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Spread your money, reduce risk

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Six out of ten Australians own investments outside of the family home and super. That’s good news.

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5 life insurance questions you've always wanted to ask

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What impact do factors like your weight, age and smoking status have on your ability to buy life insurance?

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How to adult - a quick guide to personal finances in your 20s

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Getting to grips with debt, budget and cash flow

It’s a pity there’s no handy ‘How to’ book to teach you about adult life, especially when it comes to finances. It’s something that you need to learn on the job.

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After the dust settles, a fresh start…

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Taking stock of how your life’s travelling at the start of a new year is probably an exercise you’re likely to pursue with greater urgency if you’ve recently come to the end of a serious, long term relationship or gone through a divorce.

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Super investment options – what’s right for you?

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Choosing the right super investment options at the right time could make a difference to how much money you have when you retire.

When it comes to your superannuation, the investment options you choose today and in future may impact how much money you retire with.

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The Fed and Market Turmoil

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...the Fed turns a bit dovish but not enough (yet)

Key points

  • The Fed has raised interest rates for the ninth time since first raising rates this cycle three years ago, taking the Fed Funds rate from a range of 2-2.25% to 2.25-2.5% reflecting ongoing confidence in US growth. 
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What are the 3 biggest living expenses for households?

3 Biggest Living Expenses

We check out the three largest contributors to household spending in Australia and where people would source additional cash if living expenses rose.

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Save for something big

Saving for something Big!

Using goals to achieve your dreams...

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Money mistakes people make in their 50s and 60s

Money Mistakes to avoid in your 50s

Avoid these common money traps to make sure you have enough put aside for a comfortable retirement.

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Sports lovers enjoy better financial fitness

Better Financial Fitness

If your golf clubs have been under wraps or your tennis racquet has been tucked away for some time, it could be worth dusting them off.

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Like to work overseas?

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Here are some things to consider before making an international move.

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Managing your money when you move in together

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Living together is a big step. You may be merging your lives more closely, but should you merge your finances?

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How to Talk Money With Children Series - Part 3

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Our last in the series of helpful tips on talking money with the 3 age groups - Children 4-8, Tweens 9-12 and Teens 13-18.

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Family activities to do on a budget

Family activities to do on a budget

Spending more than what you intended on is a familiar scenario for many people entertaining kids, whether that’s at the movies (you swear you’re bringing your own Maltesers and drink next time), or sporting events (where you often fork out more on hot chips than you do on the tickets).

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Five ways to simplify your life

5 ways to simplify life

If managing life's everyday complexities only seem achievable when you're daydreaming about the chef, cleaner, personal assistant or nanny that you don't have, you're probably not alone.

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I'm young - do I need life insurance now?

I'm young, do I need life insurance?

Life insurance is usually not something people think about until they begin to accumulate assets, debts and dependants.

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How to Talk Money With Children Series - Part 2

Talk Money with Children - Part 2

Over the next few months we will be providing some helpful tips on talking money with the 3 age groups - Children 4-8, Tweens 9-12 and Teens 13-18.

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A growing family doesn't have to blow the budget

Budgeting for a growing family

If you're thinking of expanding your family, be sure to keep on top of things financially.

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Do you know where your super is invested?

Ethical Investing

Super is a long-term investment and most of us apply set and forget mentality to it.

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Why goals succeed where resolutions fail

Action is the key foundation to success

By now school, work and daily routines may be ruling your week once again. And if you made any resolutions over the holiday season, chances are you're probably slipping back into your old ways.

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Does it pay to plan ahead when you travel?

Allow a little spontaneity

You may be keen to go wherever the wind takes you, or you might be a plan-to-the-hour type of traveller. There are benefits to both styles.

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How to Talk Money With Children Series - Part 1

Taking Money with Children 4-8

Over the next few months we will be providing some helpful tips on talking money with the 3 age groups - Children 4-8, Tweens 9-12 and Teens 13-18.

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Is it better to buy an investment property or home first?

First Home choices

There's a lot to consider when buying an investment property or home, especially for the first time.

Have you been saving for a long time and feel ready to get into the property market? Maybe you're considering buying a home to live in or investing in a property you can rent out to somebody else.

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New legislation aims to benefit first home buyers and downsizers

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Changes aimed at improving housing affordability have passed through parliament. See what the new rules could mean for you.

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Divorce

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Taking the first step towards your new life.

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When to charge your kids board

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I recently came across a news story about a hapless New York couple, who have taken their 30-year old son to court in a last ditch effort to get him to move out of home. My first thought was "only in America".

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I’ll have source with that: the pros and cons of crowdfunding

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In the early 1700s, the British Admiralty had a big problem. They were losing thousands of seamen every year due to a lack of navigational tools.

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Procrastination: Just do it. Eventually.

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Move out of a rut and reach your goals with our five helpful tips. If you've been living in a procrastination comfort zone for too long, you're not alone. And evidence suggests that taking a tough approach won't help you eitheri

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Counting your blessings

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While an inheritance can sound appealing in theory, when it actually happens to you and it's the result of the loss of someone close, the emotions around that loss can make dealing with the bequest particularly challenging.

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Money can buy happiness, you’re just spending it wrong

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This is the view of Dr Michael Norton from Harvard Business School. Michael's research indicates that money can indeed make you happy if you use it to buy experiences, time, or invest in others.

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Pressed for time

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If you dream of living your ideal life and achieving that elusive balance between spending time at work and being with your family, you're not alone.

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Where is the best place to put your money?

Balancing where to put your money

When it comes to deciding between super and your home loan there's a lot to consider.

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2017-18 - a good year for diversified investors

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...but there’s a few storm clouds around.

Key points

  • 2017-18 saw strong returns for diversified investors, but it was a story of two halves with strong December half returns but more volatility in the past 6 months.
  • Key lessons for investors from the last financial year include: turn down the noise around financial markets, maintain a well-diversified portfolio; be cautious of the crowd; and cash continues to provide low returns.
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Managing your money?

Managing your money

Budgeting in plain English - What is a budget?

A budget is a plan that works out how you will manage your income and expenses. Maintaining a budget is a powerful way to control your money.

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Get Your Sheep Together

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I’m a stickler for being organised, for planning ahead, for sytemising and organising. If I sound proud of this, it’s because I am.

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Starting a family

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Exciting times ahead for you. A new baby means surprise, anticipation, awe - and some major financial changes.

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Eight steps to improved cashflow...and lifestyle

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Imagine feeling on top of your finances. Knowing you're in a position to enjoy your life today, while also saving for tomorrow.

If that sounds good to you, you're not alone. In a recent survey, 54% of Australians aged 55-64 strongly agreed they'd like that too.i

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Achieving a comfortable retirement

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Many women dream of a retirement where they can kick back and relax, do whatever they like and be free from the demands of others – actually focusing on caring for themselves.

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Earn more, spend less

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Sounds easy, but in reality it’s much harder than that. In the moment, most of us would rather have that $15 lunch special than increase our super contributions by 1%. “Later” doesn’t hold up so well against “now.”

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3 ways to get a foot on the property ladder

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Creative ideas for younger Australians to invest in property

It won’t come as a huge surprise to learn that Australian homes are among the most expensive in the world. In a recent surveyi every Australian town and suburb was rated as ‘seriously’ or ‘severely’ unaffordable. And if you’re in a capital city it’s even worse, with the average Sydney home costing nine times average household income.

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How does your super balance compare?

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Below are the average super balances for different age groups in Australia so you can see how your super savings compare.

A healthy super balance can be a key ingredient in being able to live the life we want in retirement. But for many people, retirement is a long way off, and it can be hard to know if your super is on track. If you’ve been asking yourself – how much super should I have at my age? – read on to find out.

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A Practical Budget Summary

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A simple and practical summary of main changes involving majority of our clients.

Remember, at this stage these are just proposals and not yet law, which means things could change as legislation passes through parliament.

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The Australian economy – five reasons growth will continue

Economic Update

But unlikely to be enough to justify rate hikes until 2019

  • The Australian economy grew 2.4% through 2017, good but well below potential given high population growth.
  • There is good reason to expect growth to continue and pick up a bit: the drag from falling mining investment is nearly over, non-mining investment is turning up, public investment is strong, trade should add to growth and profits are rising. But growth is likely to be constrained to just below 3% this year and underlying inflation is likely to remain low.
  • We don’t expect the RBA to start raising rates until 2019 (we were looking for a hike late this year). Australian shares are likely to move higher by year end, but to continue underperforming global shares.
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Will Australian House Prices Crash? Five reasons why it’s more complicated than you think!

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Over the past 5 years, I have written annually where I thought the property market was, and what was likely to happen moving forward. So far I’ve had a 100% success rate. I guess I wouldn’t be writing this if I got it wrong.

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Hitchhiker’s guide to smart shopping

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Shopping is one of those activities we do daily, often without thinking. At the same time, it’s when our hard-earned cash leaves our wallet for good. And once it’s gone, it’s gone forever.

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From goldilocks to taper tantrum 2.0 - a bit of turbulence hits markets. 3 reasons not to be fussed

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Key points:

  • Central banks beyond the US are edging towards an exit from easy money. This is likely to cause bouts of volatility in shares and a rising trend in bond yields.
  • However, its unlikely to derail the bull market in shares as any move to tightening reflects stronger growth (and profits), low inflation pressures will keep monetary tightening very gradual (as we have seen in the US) and monetary policy is a long way from being tight
  • An RBA tightening remains a long way away.
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Spouse contributions: Win/Win!

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If your spouse is a stay-at-home parent, freelancing, studying or out of work, adding to their super could benefit you both financially.

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