Hot Topics

Stretching retirement income

October 12, 2016 | Robin Bowerman, Vanguard Investments Australia

Retirees can face some tough decisions if they find that their retirement income is not stretching far enough, particularly in the prevailing low-interest environment.

A reduction in spending is not really an option for those retirees who are already running a tight budget.

Effective active comes with a (low) cost

October 12, 2016 | Robin Bowerman, Vanguard Investments Australia

Reading the latest report card on Australia's actively managed investment funds, you could be forgiven for thinking that the profession of 'stock-picking' has had its day.

S&P Dow Jones recently released their mid-year 2016 SPIVA Australia Scorecard and it shows that the majority of actively managed funds have had a hard time lately, with the majority failing to beat their respective benchmarks over one, three and five year periods.

Another side to personal debt

September 28, 2016 | Robin Bowerman, Vanguard Investments Australia

Certainly, rising housing prices and record-low interest rates are encouraging many families to take bigger mortgages. Yet there's another side to this headline-grabbing borrowing story.

At the same time as taking bigger mortgages, Australian households are keeping a close watch on their other personal debts. It's logical: if more is being spent on mortgages, less is left to pay credit card bills.

The path of least resistance: ETFs or managed funds?

September 28, 2016 | Robin Bowerman, Vanguard Investments Australia

Building an investment portfolio for a self-managed super fund can leave some trustees feeling like explorers, trying to find the best route to an uncertain destination - the so-called place for a 'comfortable retirement' - but without the help of some basic tools like a map and compass.

With so many paths available to SMSFs, it's no wonder trustees can sometimes feel overwhelmed when trying to choose the right investments – especially at times like these when blaring news headlines about the market returns raise anxiety levels.

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.

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