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China’s paradigm shift and why I’m (still) cautiously bullish

China’s national bureau of statistics recently revealed that in 2015 the country’s gross domestic product grew at its slowest rate in the past 25 years, reigniting fears of a prolonged slowdown for 2016. As expected, this headline added to nervousness and even panic in global markets. Decades of exceptional double-digit growth rates and unquestioned over-reliance on China’s ability to drive growth have built some very high expectations.

The merits of reversionary versus non-reversionary pensions

Superannuation legislation is full of complexity which unfortunately disguises valuable financial planning opportunities. One example is the decision whether to commence a reversionary pension or a non-reversionary pension as part of estate planning. Both pensions can be paid from an SMSF provided the Trust Deed allows for these benefits, but it’s important to know the differences.

A lifetime of investing insights

Investing Insights – Looking back over the last quarter of a century, the main theme – despite the enormous changes during the period – has been history repeating itself. Bust follows boom, boom follows bust, and today’s investment fashion is quickly replaced by another.

World economy will be ‘slower for longer’

For some years, most analysts have been expecting stronger economic growth but it has failed to eventuate. The problem is that equity investors fail to recognise the market is over-heated because it has been propped up by ultra-low interest rates for so long. The big question is what happens when the US starts to increase interest rates?

Defaulting into a world without growth

Economic growth is the central assumption underlying our political and economic systems. It is the mechanism relied upon for improving living standards, reducing poverty to now solving the problems of over indebted individuals, businesses and nations.

Starts at 60 – things to consider

These are the things you consider in your 60s. I am 60ish and still working full time. Parents worry about the financial safety of their family. As the mother of Adam and Meg, both in their 30s, I have had first-hand experience at attempting to give my Meg some financial tips. Meg and her husband Jason pool their salaries, Jason is the details person so he does his research to make sure they have the best mortgage package.

AotY – My final AFA Adviser of the Year Diary

I head out to Cairns early in the morning for the 2015 AFA Conference. It only seems like yesterday I was packing to attend last year’s event, certainly not considering anything other than how fortunate I was to be considered as a finalist for the Adviser of the Year Award.

Don’t have retirement village regrets

The stories of people moving into a retirement community and suffering buyer regret years later when they realise what they get back have been well told. The ABC’s 7.30 programme highlighted the issue again recently with a story about children who had seemingly done the right thing and read the agreement yet were shocked at the actual cost when their mother’s unit was sold six years later and the village operator received circa $76,000.

Such stories also contribute to the other type of buyer regret – people who wish they had made the move sooner.

Why are reverse mortgages unpopular?

My friend Susan (not her real name) was the perfect candidate and recently took out a reverse mortgage. Her house was almost paid off, but over her working life, she had not accumulated much additional savings.