The Latest News and Views from Ascent Wealth Management
Here we are again with another News and Views. We're well into October and the Christmas festivities are just around the corner (at least as told by the major retailers out there!)
Our markets have experienced some increased levels of volatility around familiar themes. Trade wars, additional stimulus (debt) in China to conteract the effects of said trade war, and an ebullient Donald Trump throughout it all are key features. On the positive side, our jobs growth has been very positive as has our overall economic growth. Fundamentals are improving, but as 360 Research highlight, there are always things to watch.
On the home front, we look at the advantages to be gained by having a coordinated approach between spouses in managing the household finances. On a purely practical basis, understanding the full picture of money in and money out is crucial to managing the budget. Looking at future planning, utilising spouse contributions to super and making the most of concessional contributions where one of the couple has had time out being the primary carer is essential to maximising your outcomes in retirement.
Sometimes, current financial needs can seem insurmountable, and with super sitting there as "untouchable" unless in exceptional circumstances things can seem quite frustrating. Unfortunately there are businesses out there that offer to assist super members with early release of benefits. Naturally getting money now that has been set aside for retirement will put you behind the eight ball and should be avoided. We've helped a number of people manage their budget to better overcome short term crisis. Super early release schemes are illegal and thankfully our regulators are applying resources to stamping it out. There is an alternative !
One of the reasons some struggle managing the budget is the constant approach of charities on households. There are many great causes out there (I know I've collected over the years from many of you for MS Queensland). How do you discern where to put your money? My next article proposes a framework for optimising your choice of charitable giving. I'll be on my bike again in June 2019 for the MS bike ride, and I'll talk to you more about it closer to the time !
How many of you have been caught short at the supermarket without your own bags now they are no longer provided? I recent trip to the local takeway proved to be an exercise in juggling for me to get our families meal home without the previously provided plastic bag. So I now know from personal experience that pre planning is essential. But how do we go further to reduce plastic in the home? Our next article gives us some strategies; now we've all (myself included) got a mindset change, as plastic bags are not coming back.
Lastly, Nab have commenced calling clients of the group (this includes clients of MLC) to confirm the details held on file. This is in the light of the latest changes to Privacy Legislation. These phone calls are legitimate; but if you are unsure they will follow up with a letter (sent by post) where they can't speak to you and ask you to call in. I know it is concerning to get this type of requests by phone; I thought I'd just set people at ease.
Have a great month, as always if you need us Katrina and I are just a phone call away.