Hot Topics

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.

The volatility trap

April 15, 2016 | Robin Bowerman, Vanguard Investments Australia

The degree of sharemarket volatility during the first three months of the year will regrettably have thrown some investors off their long-term course.

Let's briefly recap by looking at the broad S&P/ASX 300. The index opened at 5249.10 on the first trading day of the calendar year but within three days had fallen below the much-watched 5000-point level.

Why investing for retirement isn't just about super

April 15, 2016 | Robin Bowerman, Vanguard Investments Australia

Financial advisers understand the value of setting long-term objectives.

Which is why there should be general support for the notion of setting a long-term objective for the superannuation system and enshrining it in legislation.

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