With a federal election due to be called as early as this week, Treasurer Scott Morrison has delivered a budget that aims to strike a balance between positive measures to stimulate economic activity and measures to wind back some superannuation tax concessions. The consistent message the government is delivering is based on ‘jobs and growth’ and ‘living within our means’
On the whole he has succeeded, but we the people will have a chance to deliver our verdict at the ballot box as early as July 2.
As we enter the 2015 calendar year, global economic growth on the whole is improving and the world’s debtor nations are getting better control of their budget deficits and national debt – albeit that the actual debt pile is still growing!
The world’s most important economy remains the US economy; whatever happens in the US economy and its financial markets directly affects not only our Australian markets but capital markets in every region of the world. <<Read more>>
You may be aware the Australian Government has implemented a process to privatise the health insurer Medibank Private Limited.
Medibank Private is Australia’s largest private health insurer and provides health insurance cover for over 1.9 million policyholders and their families across Australia. Once listed on the Australian Stock Exchange it will sit comfortably inside the top 100 companies by market capitalization.
The prospectus for the offer opens as of Tuesday October 28th 2014 & the closing date for lodging applications is Friday November 14th 2014.
Banksia Partners has written a Discussion Paper concerning the merits of the Medibank Private Share Offer which can be accessed by clicking here.
If you have already pre-registered for the Medibank Private Share offer you can access a pre-filled application on line. You will have received an email notifying you of your Application Reference Number (ARN) at the time of your pre-registration. If you have asked for a hard copy application it should have/will be mailed shortly.
Completing the online pre-filled application form is straightforward but requires payment to be made via either BPay or via Direct Debit from a nominated bank account. To complete the online application go to medibankprivateshareoffer.com.au
If you have NOT pre-registered you can still apply to receive a Prospectus or make an application through the above mentioned website prior to the 14th of November 2014.
While we don’t often highlight fund manager generated research, Black Rock Investment Management, one of the worlds largest fund managers, recently completed a global survey of what people the world over were most concerned about when considering their financial futures.
The survey covered 12 developed economies and 17,600 people in total of which 1000 were from Australia. The results from each country were then benchmarked against the collective results to identify what was different or unique to that specific country.
In Australia’s case it seems overall most people are concerned with the state of the Australian economy, followed closely by job security and then rising cost of living pressures – but the ranking of what was most concerning to Australian’s depended (not surprisingly) on the levels of income the respondents earned.
There were a number of other key findings from the Australian research results:
- Property for both residential and investment purposes is a higher priority for Australians when compared to the rest of the world, possibly reflecting the tax advantages of negative gearing & the tax exempt status of the principal residence;
- Compared to the global average, Australian’s are slightly more positive about their financial future than their global counterparts;
- When it comes to taking investment risks the less affluent were less confident & those over 64 years of age were generally the most risk averse;
- As with Americans, Australians spend roughly 50% of their income servicing mortgages & other debts, paying rent & utilities – which is significantly higher than the global average.
Overall, almost half of the Australian’s surveyed were feeling positive about their financial future. Importantly, feeling positive about finances is much higher for those Australian’s who use a financial adviser (isn’t that good to hear)!
With regard to retirement expectations, the majority of global retirees recommend people start saving for retirement as early as possible. Australian retirees were the most enthusiastic about the need to plan for retirement with 76% encouraging others to start saving as early as possible, 72% encouraging long term thinking, and 76% recommending paying off debt.
The full report makes interesting reading. To read the entire Black Rock Investor Pulse Survey 2013 click on this link
The new financial year heralds the formal start of the federal government’s Future of Financial Advice reforms and we at Banksia Partners have given further consideration to what impact these profound changes will bring to the financial advising profession (or ‘industry’ as some would continue to prefer to call it). >>> Read more …