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Federal Budget 2018 – Overview
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Tools to help you manage your financial position are available on our site.
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7 ways to boost your super
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Australians reveal their priority goals
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Australia by numbers – Update
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How to make money by turning your unwanted goods into cash
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Our website is really our digital office.
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Australia. All you need to know to be the expert.
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2018 – a list of lists regarding the macro investment outlook
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Where Australia is at. Our leading indicators.
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Add some extra cash to your New Year
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Our Advent calendar for 2017
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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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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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Key Economic Indicators, 2017 – updated
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From Goldilocks to taper tantrum 2.0
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What’s your debt age?
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What to do when you come into money
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It pays to contribute to your partner's super
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Estate planning and why you need a super plan
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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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Thinking about managing your own super?
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Saving in a material world
Doing a budget is a good idea but ....

... available time usually stops most people.  On the other hand, if you use the budget tool on our site you can develop a budget over time rather than having to get it all done in one go.  Available 24/7 as well.

To access the Budget tool simply go to our website and click on either the financial tools, secure client portal or calculators button. Use either your past login details (Hint: your e-mail address is almost always the username). If you've forgotten your password then simply request a new one. For first time users, you'll need to click on the Register button first.

 

     

 

Once logged in click on Cashflow in the left panel and then Budget. An extra bonus of using this tool is that some of the information you add is automatically fed into other tools such as Income, Super, Assets and Liabilities. The final picture you develop is of your complete financial structure and position. You can even share this data with your accountant or financial planner who can then help you better manage your financial affairs.

Getting professional assistance can be a significant help to anyone. These tools can be a great help to your children as well.

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 then there is no better way to manage how your money is used.

The following images are examples of available financial tools and also there is an informative longer article below called "Cracking the money code' about overall financial literacy.

 

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

Budget Cash Flow
 
Cash Flow Summary  

Super Super Optimiser

Making time for 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. Whatever 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