Hot Issues
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Our Advent calendar for 2017
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Where are we in the global investment cycle?
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Australia's vital statistics
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12 ways to enjoy summer without spending a fortune
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One in three Aussies travel without protection
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Digital payment options could see you spend more this Christmas
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If you’ve always thought property prices only go up…
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Will Australian house prices crash?
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Where are we in the global investment cycle and what's the risk of a 1987 style crash?
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Money steps for women
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Resources on our site to help you, your family and your friends.
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Australian Dietary Guidelines and healthy eating chart (PDF)
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How to retire, your way
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Prepare for retirement without missing out today
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Be the boss of your cash
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The Australian economy bounces back again
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Should you lend money to family?
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Money mistakes people make in their 50s and 60s
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Australian Dietary Guidelines and healthy eating chart (PDF)
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Eight steps to improved cashflow... and lifestyle
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Powerful Budgeting, cash flow and Super Tools available on our site.
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5 ways Australians will use their tax return this year
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Australia's leading causes of death - ABS
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The threat of war with North Korea
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Six traits of Australians living the dream
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The break higher in the Australian dollar is likely to be limited
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Money can buy you happiness, you’re just spending it wrong
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Key Economic Indicators, 2017 – updated
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Helping your kids buy a home
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From Goldilocks to taper tantrum 2.0
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What’s your debt age?
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Doing a budget is a good idea but ....
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Planning is the key to making it financially
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What to do when you come into money
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Managing your money when you move in together
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Reduce your bills with these household items
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It pays to contribute to your partner's super
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How to cope with losing independence
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Transition to retirement income streams
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The Australian economy hits another rough patch
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Watch out for tax scams
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The three core pillars of this year's budget
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Federal Budget - 2017-18 - Overview
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Federal Budget - 2017-18 - Budget documents
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Make the most of the current super caps
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Five, four, three… it’s not too late to get more in super
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Super changes are coming
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What’s your debt age?
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Australian cash rate on hold
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Super changes this financial year - Dr Shane Oliver - video
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The door is closing on super’s current caps
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Is Donald Trump's honeymoon with investors over?
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Estate planning and why you need a super plan
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What does a comfortable retirement look like?
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Give your career a health check
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Super changes from July 2017
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Changes to the Age Pension assets test
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Keep your money safe over the silly season
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Looking ahead at 2017
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Review of 2016, outlook for 2017 - looking better despite the political noise
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Merry Christmas for 2016, a Happy New Year and a prosperous 2017.
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54.2 million worries
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Five tips for happy healthy ageing
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Thinking about managing your own super?
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Sending more to the tax office than you should?
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Government pulls back on proposed changes to super
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Market Update - What to consider when investing in a low return world
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Stop!! Don't do a paper Budget, use our online budgeting tools instead.
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Oliver's Insight - Megatrends
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Value of Advice
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A growing family doesn't have to blow the budget
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Blinded by optimism
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Thinking about managing your own super?
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The investment outlook - it's not all that bad!
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What’s your biggest obstacle to financial success?
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Ageing Parents
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Should you own the roof over your head?
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Be a senior entrepreneur on your own terms!
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Brexit and other key developments
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Brexit wins
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Commentary on major issues - AMP
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Five money habits for a happy financial year
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Remember to factor in parental subsidies at tax time
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Are grandparents giving too much?
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2016-17 Federal Budget - AMP
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2016 Budget in detail
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How (and why) to talk to your adult children about insurance
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Procrastination: Just do it. Eventually.
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Why Australian property won't collapse
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The Lucky Country holding up pretty well
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Have we reached the bottom?
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The evolution of the Chinese consumer
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Retirement rolls around faster than you think
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Pressed for time?
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Changes to the Age Pension assets test
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Women are building financial intelligence
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Heirlooms no more
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Initial market falls precede stronger returns - Shane Oliver
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What exactly is income protection insurance and do I need it?
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A rough start to the year, which could have further to go
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Aged Care - Changes to Assessment of Rental Income
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A bump in the road, then a new start
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New year, new start – are you ready for retirement?
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Review of 2015, outlook for 2016 - Dr Shane Oliver
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We wish you a Merry Christmas for 2015 and a Happy New Year
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Go easy on the plastic over Christmas
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Resolutions for a wealthy future
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The Australian dollar doing what it normally does - overshoot. Dr Shane Oliver
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How to manage volatility in a low return world
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The Australian economy - more help will be needed. Dr Shane Oliver
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Insurance through my super
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Four tactics to build an investment portfolio
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The demand for global infrastructure
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Help achieve your investment goals with dynamic asset allocation
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The Power of Budgeting
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Jump retirement hurdles with a coach
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Preparing for the time of your life
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A Super Loan for all reasons
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Making a smooth transition
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Budget 2015 - some professional opinions
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Australian Government - Budget 2015
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Achieving a comfortable retirement
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Is off-the-plan on the money?
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Should I take my super as a lump sum or not?
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Do you have a key person in your business?
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Tips for success in a competitive job market
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All you need to know about buying at auction
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To sell or not to sell?
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Saving in a material world
Stop!! Don't do a paper Budget, use our online budgeting tools instead.

 

Budgeting, cash flow and Super are all very important to better financial management and the attainment of long-term goal.

Don't ever do a Budget again on the back of an envelope or using anything hand written. Via this site's financial tools, secure client portal or calculators you and your family excellent online help AND all information is kept for re-use over and over again. Don't spend time doing the same thing again and again, do the hack work online once and you only have to adjust data from then on. Great for your kids as well.

These tools are an added service to help you, our clients, gain more from the what we provide.

 

You may think that working on a Budget or cash flow isn’t your cup of tea but when things are tight or you need to look long term there is no better way to manage how your money is used. 24/7 access and if you have a question you don't have far to go to ask.

The following images are examples of what can be done, also there is a longer article about overall financial literacy following the first few points.

Budget Cash Flow
 
Cash Flow Summary  

Super Super Optimiser

When you feel the urge then a quick trip to our website is a good thing to do, it has all the tools you need and more. Also any information you add that’s relevant to other tools is automatically transferred saving you time and effort.

Give it a go. Start with a Budget or cash flow analysis or Super scenario. It may take a bit of time but even a few minutes here and there is good and everything you add will be waiting until the next time you log in.

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Cracking the money code

Literacy is the key that unlocks a world of knowledge. In the investment world financial literacy is how investors can crack the code of our sophisticated and at times complex world of money.
The issue of financial literacy is both broad and multi-layered. At one end of the spectrum there are those people who are effectively shut out of the modern financial system because their lack of financial literacy means they cannot access even the most basic of financial products.

The National Australia Bank first commissioned research by the Centre for Social Impact back in 2011 and recently updated the work in June 2013. It defines financial exclusion where individuals lack access to appropriate and affordable financial products such as transaction accounts, general insurance and a moderate amount of credit.

The research found that about 17 per cent of the adult population in Australia are either fully or severely excluded from financial services. A big concern is that the figure is rising not falling.

Improving financial literacy is a significant challenge and there are a range of initiatives underway including getting basic money management skills embedded in the school curriculum nationally.

ASIC has responsibility for implementing a national financial literacy strategy and a strong focus of that strategy is looking at improving educational pathways and content.

That is to be applauded but clearly this is an issue that ranges from the basic - understanding mobile phone contracts, credit card debts and household budgeting - right on up to more sophisticated challenges like understanding your superannuation.

As our superannuation system continues to grow and mature it is likely to have an ever-increasing role in educating Australians around long-term savings and planning for their retirement.

Australia's superannuation system is world-class in terms of a system structured to build retirement savings. But one of its core strengths - the mandatory nature of contributions from salaries - brings with it the issue of lack of member engagement because the majority of fund members do not actively make decisions either about the fund or the investment approach.

By its design there is a paternalistic side to our super system that works in a behavioral sense against fund members being fully engaged with their super account in the same way that they are with their banking or credit card accounts.

Ask yourself - or friends/work colleagues - when was the last time you checked your super fund balance?

The other factor working against super is its long-term nature - it is not hard to put off doing something when you can't get your hands on the money for 30 years.

Financial literacy is an essential life skill if people are to function and succeed in the modern world. Education and banking services are clearly on the front line of improving financial literacy, but increasingly there must be a role for super funds because they are going to be much more integral in people's lives as the system grows and the population ages.

 

By Robin Bowerman
Smart Investing
Principal & Head of Retail, Vanguard Investments Australia