Latest Financial Planning News
Hot Issues
Powerful Budgeting, cash flow and Super Tools available on our site.
Australia's leading causes of death - ABS
Australian Dietary Guidelines and healthy eating chart (PDF)
Government introduces first home scheme laws
Are young investors wasting their youth?
ATO granted super enforcement powers
The great Australian (retiree) dream
ATO to release further guidance on reserves
A real-world benchmark for SMSF performance
How is your super going, ready for retirement?
Our 'hardest' SMSF tasks
Lack of literacy promotes unrealistic goals
Young investors: Time is on your side
Is your SMSF retirement-ready?
Key Economic Indicators, 2017 - updated
Investors acting their age
ATO locks in details, addresses panic on real-time reporting
Government ‘undermines’ tax system in new moves on property expenses
Multiple super accounts in a 'gig' society
Why Australian retirees aren't happy and what we can do about it
Doing a budget is a good idea but ....
Technical expert flags estate planning strategies for 2017-18
Government to shut down salary sacrifice loophole
Items that heat up your depreciation deductions
‘Tens of thousands’ of SMSFs at risk with ECPI
Articles archive
Quarter 3 July - September 2017
Quarter 2 April - June 2017
Quarter 1 January - March 2017
Quarter 4 October - December 2016
Quarter 3 July - September 2016
Quarter 2 April - June 2016
Quarter 1 January - March 2016
Quarter 4 October - December 2015
Quarter 3 July - September 2015
Quarter 2 April - June 2015
Quarter 1 January - March 2015
Quarter 4 October - December 2014
Quarter 3 July - September 2014
Quarter 2 April - June 2014
Quarter 1 January - March 2014
Quarter 4 October - December 2013
Quarter 3 July - September 2013
Quarter 2 April - June 2013
Quarter 1 January - March 2013
Quarter 4 October - December 2012
Quarter 3 July - September 2012
Quarter 2 April - June 2012
Quarter 1 January - March 2012
Quarter 4 October - December 2011
Quarter 3 July - September 2011
Quarter 2 April - June 2011
Quarter 1 January - March 2011
Quarter 4 October - December 2010
Quarter 3 July - September 2010
Quarter 2 April - June 2010
Quarter 1 January - March 2010
Quarter 4 October - December 2009
Quarter 3 July - September 2009
Quarter 2 April - June 2009
Quarter 1 January - March 2009
Quarter 4 October - December 2008
Quarter 3 July - September 2008
Quarter 2 April - June 2008
Quarter 1 January - March 2008
Quarter 4 October - December 2007
Quarter 3 July - September 2007
Quarter 2 April - June 2007
Quarter 1 January - March 2007
Quarter 4 October - December 2006
Quarter 3 July - September 2006
Quarter 2 April - June 2006
Quarter 1 January - March 2006
Quarter 4 October - December 2005
Quarter 4 of 2008
Lessons from a shocker of a year
Want to know how petrol is priced? Here's the answer
Global crisis points to need for advice for everyone

Investment Markets Data - To 30th November 2008.

Lessons from retirees: plan early
Rates tipped to fall to 1960 levels
Forgotten in market turmoil
Is the commodities boom over?
Super Fund Binding Nominations - Maybe Not
Turning debt into deleverage

World leaders urge financial reforms

Out of the gloom world growth is emerging

Take note - what you need to do before you retire

Investment Markets Data – To 31st August 2008.
Lessons from a shocker of a year
By Robin Bowerman
Smart Investing
15th  December  2008
Principal & Head of Retail, Vanguard Investments Australia

What lessons have you learnt from the severe bear market over the past 12 months?
Probably plenty. But after some careful thought, most sensible investors would no doubt agree that the overriding lesson for private investors is that the basics of sound and commonsense investment practice make sense in all markets - good and bad.

In short, these are the importance of having a diversified investment portfolio, investing for the long-term, avoiding emotionally-driven investment decisions, taking a highly cautious approach to gearing, never overlooking that higher returns involve taking on a higher degree of risk, and only putting your money into investments that you can really comprehend.

On the last point, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has some simple advice about seemingly sophisticated investment products: "If you can't understand it, don't buy it." This makes much sense to me. Read ASIC's checklist  for complex investment products.

A key characteristic of investment, of course, is that new investors are continually taking their first plunge into investment markets. Many would never have had practical, hands-on experience of why the commonsense basics of good investment practice really matter.

In a recent newsletter aimed at providing an easy-to-read overview of the global financial crisis, one fund manager points out that the downturn demonstrates the investment cycle is "alive and well". The bull market had run for so long that this reality would have been overlooked by many investors.

And the manager adds: "[Investors have been reminded] yet again that periods of great returns are invariably followed by a fall back such that long-term returns are more consistent with underlying economic growth.

"If returns are too good to be true, they probably are." Too true!