Hot Topics

The insidious side of low interest rates

June 05, 2016 | Robin Bowerman, Vanguard Investments Australia

Many investors might be worried about a low return environment - but something far worse than a sluggish economy may threaten your personal wealth.

Amid low interest rates and volatile market conditions, criminals using fake investment schemes are an increasing risk to investors hungry for higher returns, according to a major report "Targeting Scams" released this week by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

Constant reminders about critical financial turning points

June 05, 2016 | Robin Bowerman, Vanguard Investments Australia

The federal Budget's heavy focus on superannuation will no doubt convince many fund members to think about the adequacy (or inadequacy) of their retirement savings.

And this month's cut in the official cash rate to a new record low is likely to encourage us to think about the size of our mortgage and whether we should be increasing repayments while rates are low.

Homeowners take advantage of record-low rates

April 28, 2016 | Robin Bowerman, Vanguard Investments Australia

Many home owners will no doubt treat the Reserve Bank's decision this month to leave the official cash interest rate at a record low as a continuing opportunity to further break the back of their mortgages.

As the central bank's statistics show, the official rate was 4.75 per cent at the beginning of November 2011 when the bank made the first of 10 cuts to bring the rate to just 2 per cent. And it has remained at that low for almost a year.

Treating SMSF related-party dealings with caution

April 28, 2016 | Robin Bowerman, Vanguard Investments Australia

Astute SMSF trustees who are contemplating a transaction with a related party - such as member, a member's family or a member's business entity - are likely to first consider gaining professional advice, perhaps from an SMSF specialist adviser.

Related-party transactions by SMSFs can involve complex superannuation and tax law with plenty of traps for the uninformed.

Measuring the cost of being a performance chaser

April 15, 2016 | Robin Bowerman, Vanguard Investments Australia

Countless investors would be surprised to learn that their investment returns may be much lower than the managed funds holding their investments. And much of that lost performance is due to being performance chasers.

A Vanguard research paper analyses Morningstar data to show that Australian fund investors on average trailed the average return of 232 multi-sector funds by 4.13 per cent a year over the 10 years to December 2014.

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