Hot Topics

Going undercover

July 15, 2015 | Robin Bowerman, Vanguard Investments Australia

First the good news. Millions of Australians gain their life and disability insurance as well as income-protection insurance through their super funds' default cover. And the level of that default cover tends to be much more adequate than a decade ago. Now the not-so-good news. It can be a costly mistake to assume that your super fund's default insurance cover is adequate for your circumstances.

Underinsurance in Australia 2014, a 94-page report published over the past week by Rice Warner Actuaries, estimates that the median default cover provided by super funds cover meets 60 per cent of the life insurance needs for average households. However - and this is a big however - the funds' default death cover meets a much lower proportion of needs for families with children.

Astute investors are a little like astute kayakers

July 15, 2015 | Robin Bowerman, Vanguard Investments Australia

US financial planner and New York Times columnist Carl Richards remembers a valuable tip he received more than a decade ago when learning to ride a river on a kayak.

The advice was straightforward: Avoid focussing on the rocks and other obstacles. Rather, concentrate on the "space between the rocks".

Saving meets investing

July 06, 2015 | Robin Bowerman, Vanguard Investments Australia

The baby boomer generation are often enviously described as the 'lucky generation'.

Certainly that demographic cohort born after the end of World War II and before 1960 enjoyed a very different economic and social backdrop to their parents and grandparents and that went a long way to changing attitudes to housing, money and retirement.

First experience of ETFs

July 06, 2015 | Robin Bowerman, Vanguard Investments Australia

Some investors will gain their first experience of Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) through the direct investment options now offered by a number of large commercial and industry super funds.

This may encourage some super fund members to eventually go a step further and establish their own self-managed super fund, perhaps with ETFs as the core investment. Others may find that the direct investment options satisfy their desire for more control over their super investments and decide against setting-up an SMSF.

Money-smart ageing

June 04, 2015 | Robin Bowerman, Vanguard Investments Australia

All of us expect to slow down as we age, affecting many aspects of our lives. Our ability to deal with money is obviously not immune from the relentless march of ageing.

Indeed, a recent personal finance feature in The New York Times points to research over the years showing that our capability to handle our money is one of our first skills adversely affected by age.

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