Appointment – Dr Steve Garth

August 20, 2020

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Dr Steve Garth as the independent member to our Investment Committee. Steve’s expertise and experience will contribute to our formulation and ongoing review of asset allocation and investment strategies and assist with the assessment of investment managers. Steve received his PhD in Applied Mathematics from the Australian

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Year-end Superannuation Performance Assessments: Ensuring Apples with Apples Comparisons

July 20, 2020

Toward the end of July, annual super fund performances will be paraded in announcements, table rankings and commentary in the media. The beauty parade – as reflected in published table rankings – can be a source of confusion for the general public – as we explain below. The returns associated with any portfolio – whether

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Maintaining Perspective

March 10, 2020

Following our last note on the 26th of February we have continued to observe and evaluate the spread of COVID19 across the globe. We are not surprised by the wild daily swings in market indices, as the market attempts to price the economic impact of the virus and the consequent valuation of asset prices. In an environment

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Five Investment questions for 2020

February 13, 2020

Clients considering their US allocation in 2020 may feel nervous about the macroeconomic and political crosswinds blowing across the investment landscape. Here are five areas where the investment professionals from the Capital Group share their perspective: 1. Will there be a recession in 2020? It’s a question that has been on investors’ minds for years now,

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Seasons Greetings 2019

December 23, 2019

2019 was an eventful year for the world; for politics, for markets, for the advice profession; and for you. Last year this time, markets had been through a material correction – which bottomed on Christmas Eve. The worst performance for the 24th since 1930. The outlook was grim, and a US recession seemed inevitable. What a difference a year

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Commissions? Fees? Shining a Light

August 12, 2019

Most commentary surrounded the ‘fee for no service’ scandal broke during the Royal Commission – with AMP and the four banks’ wealth businesses caught in the net. ASIC has been quick to pounce on these institutions with hundreds of millions of dollars spent on remediation, class actions in the process – with more to come.

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Horizon Wealth: Standing out from the Crowd

July 11, 2019

Following the Royal Commission and certainly over at least the last 5 to 10 years, the financial advice profession or industry has careered from one catastrophe to the next, culminating in the banks now exiting, and AMP and IOOF struggling to rebuild their reputations and businesses. Time will tell whether they will survive in their

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Year-End Super Fund Performance

July 11, 2019

Following the end of each tax year and toward the end of July, annual super fund performances are paraded in announcements, table rankings and commentary in the media. The beauty parade – as reflected in published table rankings – is probably the worst source of confusion for the general public – as we explain below.

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Investment Platforms – Friend or Foe

July 3, 2019

You may have seen an article, which appeared in the AFR this morning titled “Netwealth and HUB 24 smashed by rate cuts”. The article was explaining that as interest rates reduce, investors could end up with a negative return after fees. “The second successive cut in the official cash rate this year has raised the

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Final Reflections on the Royal Commission (not so) Good, Bad and Ugly

December 21, 2018

The Royal Commission (RC) into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry concluded a couple of weeks ago, and it certainly has dominated the media over the last year. Much has been written, and hours of opinion and analysis have been dedicated to the associated scandals. Our comments below are therefore intended to

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Market Volatility and Portfolio Update from Horizon Wealth – Dec 2018

December 11, 2018

Markets have been volatile, and have endured a correction since approximately 4 October 2018. Please click on the link below which has a readable summary of recent events to provide you with some context. Read more

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Happy Financial Returns

July 13, 2018

“As a new financial year gets underway in Australia, the media tends to be full of outlooks about what investors can expect for the coming 12 months. These pieces are often entertaining to read, but can be even more so a year later. Given Australians’ large exposure to the housing market, a perennial talking point

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2017 / 2018 Asset Class Performances

July 6, 2018

World Markets, despite a tumultuous 12 months from a geopolitical perspective, produced a strong performance for financial year ended 30 June 2018.               * Total Returns = Capital Growth + Income  ** Incorporates the impact of the GFC Late January, early February was a period in which markets got the sense

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9 Experts, 4 Surprises and a $1m Bet

March 5, 2018

Below is an excellent article we came across as a part of our regular reading and research into the world of investing, portfolio management and investment psychology. It is of tremendous current relevance to anyone with an investment portfolio; or those sitting in cash and considering their timing. 2018 started with a boom. Then we had a mini

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Market Volatility

February 7, 2018

The last week has seen the return of volatility. The Dow Jones Index (DJIA) is down 8.5%, the S&P 500 down 7.8%, and the Australian S&P ASX 300 index down 4.3% – all since their recent highs. The Dow Jones represents the 30 largest listed companies on the New York Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ,

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Private School Fees 2018

January 30, 2018

We continue to update our data base on the cost of educating your children or grandchildren at any one of Sydney’s top Private Schools. We have been doing this exercise across a number of the Eastern Suburbs and North Shore private schools for the past 14 years. The annual increase year on year remains approximately 6%, before taking into account

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The Year in Review – 2017

January 25, 2018

Despite anxieties early in 2017 regarding Trump’s election, “excessive” government debt, anticipated higher interest  rates, extended valuations of key assets etc., markets performed strongly over the year. The below document from Dimensional Fund Advisers provides a succinct summary for your review. We make no predictions regarding markets and expected performances for the coming year, but

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Bitcoin – A Follow Up

January 17, 2018

We note the extensive coverage of Bitcoin in today’s Australian Financial Review. Following our note last year, and the continued extreme interest in Bitcoin (and crypto currencies in general), we came across this excellent article presented by Platinum Asset Management. It’s probably the best we have come across, and hope you find it useful in relation to your

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2017: Who would have Thought?

December 20, 2017

Investors at year-end are inclined to reflect on the 12 months gone and muse on what the coming year might bring. Aware of this appetite for speculation, the media tends to feed it with forecasts. These articles can be fun to read, but are even more so a year later. In January 2017, for instance,

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To Bit or Not to Bit?

December 20, 2017

There has been significant publicity in the last few weeks on Bitcoin. Janet Yellen, The Federal Reserve Chair commented recently: “I would simply say that Bitcoin at this time plays a very small role in the payments system, Yellen said. Bitcoin is not a stable store of value, it doesn’t constitute legal tender, and it is a

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New Concessional Contribution Limits effective 1 July 2017

August 21, 2017

 With the commencement of the new Tax Year, it is important to check your likely Concessional Superannuation Contributions for the coming year.

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Changes to the amount that can be transferred from the Accumulation phase of Superannuation to Pension

December 14, 2016

The super changes advocated in the May 2016 budget and subsequently revised in September 2016 – has now been passed. 

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Superannuation changes effective 1 July 2017 – Non Concessional Contributions

December 9, 2016

In this second article, we cover the recent legislative changes impacting on superannuation and the implications associated with non-concessional contributions. 

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Superannuation changes effective 1 July 2017 – Concessional Contributions

September 12, 2016

The Super changes advocated in the May 2016 budget and subsequently revised in September 2016 have now been passed.

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Superannuation-owed Insurance

June 30, 2016

Recent Press Coverage has Raised Concerns The Sydney Morning Herald ran an article on superannuation-owned insurance cover, on Saturday 28 May. The article can be accessed here. The article raises 3 main issues: In return for lower premiums – some employer or industry suiperannuation funds “have accepted fewer services and tighter definitions”, “…super funded life

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Buffet’s Bet

March 3, 2016

We have previously commented on Warren Buffet’s bet against Protege Partners – a pre-eminent hedge fund firm based in New York.

As a reminder, Mr Buffet placed a personal $1m bet that a large index fund (Vanguard) would outperform any combination of 5 hedge funds selected by Protege over a 10 year period. The loser would donate $1m to charity.

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Beware of Hybrid Securities

March 3, 2016

Almost every other month, an Australian listed company raises new funding using hybrid securities. As a result, we provide a summary of our advice on the respective issue, to clients invested in that company’s shares and other securities.

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The Curve Ball

September 17, 2014

There’s a school of thought that the best way to manage a fixed income portfolio is to base your investment decisions on where you think interest rates are headed. But what if expectations are changing all the time?

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