Hot Topics

Taking more than you need from your nest egg?

August 19, 2016 | Robin Bowerman, Vanguard Investments Australia

A common way to measure the sustainability of retirement income is to calculate an annual withdrawal rate - the amount of income as a proportion of a retiree's total capital.

For instance, drawing an income of $4,000 a year from savings of $100,000 is, of course, a four per cent withdrawal rate.

And a leading topic of discussion in the retirement services industry is identifying an optimal drawdown rate so that a retiree's capital lasts as long as possible.

Can you answer this fundamental personal finance question?

August 19, 2016 | Robin Bowerman, Vanguard Investments Australia

Do you know your superannuation balance - even approximately?

This must be one of the most fundamental questions in personal finance given that close to 18 million Australians hold at least one super account.

Certainly, there are numerous fund members, including many with SMSFs, who can immediately call up spreadsheets giving the latest-available values for the assets in their portfolios including directly-held assets such as property. And members of large funds can, or course, get immediate online access to their balances.

'Brexit': What's next for investors?

July 05, 2016 | Robin Bowerman, Vanguard Investments Australia

The votes have been cast and counted, and the people of the United Kingdom (UK) have chosen to exit the European Union (EU).

We expect this vote to have significant impact on the global economy, but it will take considerable time before the effects of 'Brexit' are fully felt in Australia. The most immediate ramification is likely to be political change in the UK, given the bitterness of the referendum campaigns. However, the referendum is not itself a binding decision but will need to be incorporated into an act of the British parliament. Under the terms of the Lisbon Treaty, the UK will then give formal notice to the EU, after which a two-year (extendible) negotiation will be held to decide on the actual terms and conditions of the exit.

Planning for political shocks

July 05, 2016 | Robin Bowerman, Vanguard Investments Australia

Political shocks by their nature provoke strong reactions from investment markets.

Uncertainty, courtesy of political or regulatory risk, feeds market volatility as investors - professional and individual - try to decode the meaning of the changing environment and how to value assets accordingly.

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).

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