Archive for the Latest News Category

Federal Budget 2019 Paving the way to an election

While last nights’ Federal government Budget is all about playing to the Coalition’s economic strengths and setting up for the forthcoming election, it does confirm that Australia’s finances have finally turned the corner after 12 years of ongoing budget deficits.

Delivered two years earlier than originally expected back in 2017, tax receipts are now being boosted by the resources export boom – resulting from the resources investment boom that went from 2007 through to about 2017 – and has also benefited from continuing higher iron ore, LNG, coal, and other commodity export prices than was originally expected.

The increased financial flexibility as a result of returning to a budget surplus means the government can target tax relief for the lower and middle-class Australian’s impacted by slow wages growth and the rising cost of living (specifically energy bills) earlier than it otherwise might have been able to do – it just has to get re-elected to be pass the budget measures into law! <<Read More>>

Federal Budget 2018 Surge in spending ahead of Election

Last year’s message from Treasurer Scott Morrison was that the Coalition’s government is trying to strike a balance between positive measures to promote economic activity such as increased spending on infrastructure and business incentives, while offsetting this with modest cuts to previously locked in recurrent spending on welfare, universities, and elsewhere.

Last night’s Federal Budget reflects a ‘turning of the corner’ as tax receipts are now being boosted by a slowly accelerating economy, allowing for some well targeted tax relief to the mass of middle-class Australian’s impacted by slow wages growth, while also targeting a budget return to surplus a year earlier than expected (2020). <<Read more>>

Federal Budget 2017 Getting the right balance

Treasurer Scott Morrison’s message to Australian’s is that the Coalition’s government is trying to strike a balance between positive measures to promote economic activity such as increased spending on infrastructure and housing, while offsetting this with cuts to recurrent spending on welfare, universities, and elsewhere.

Apart from the ‘bank levy’ on the four major trading banks & Macquarie Bank, the government has increased the Medicare Levy from 2% to 2.5% to ensure the National Disability Insurance Scheme is fully funded. There is an admission by the government that it’s (politically unacceptable) budget ‘zombie’ savings from 2014 will never be passed by the Senate, leaving no alternative other than raising taxes.

You will be relieved to know there has been no further tinkering with the superannuation system other than to create a quasi ‘first home saver scheme’ within superannuation for first home buyers.

<<Read more>>

The pending Medibank Private Share Offer – Discussion Paper

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

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.

BlackRock: Investor Pulse Survey 2013

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