How to protect your credit rating

If you think that being only a few days late making a payment on a loan doesn’t matter, think again. Even the smallest lapse could potentially affect your credit worthiness. Most people are aware that a loan default will automatically be recorded on their credit report. However, what many people don’t realise is that under the Australian Privacy Act even late payments made to a credit provider will smudge a previously clean credit history. Specifically, payments for amounts exceeding $150...

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You’ve paid off your mortgage! Now what?

Paid off your mortgage? Woo-hoo! Break out the champagne and celebrate the freedom you must now feel! But once the dizzy excitement has passed, what will you do next? Discharge or not? The first question is should you discharge your mortgage? You can keep the loan facility open, with a zero balance, and retain the option to redraw on the loan account if you wish. This can be a handy way of meeting unforeseen expenses in the future, or opening up investment opportunities. If you decide to close...

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What can you tell your employees about super?

It’s a common question asked by employees: “what should I do about my super?” If you are an employer or manager and feel confident of your knowledge of superannuation and investment, it can be tempting to give an answer. However, just about anything helpful you have to say will likely fall within the definition of giving financial product advice, and that could land you in very hot water.   The boundaries Financial product advice is a recommendation or statement of opinion that: is...

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Waiting for the ‘perfect’ moment to invest

If you've got even the slightest interest in the world at large, you can't have missed the news about the stock market during the last few weeks and months. It was up. Quite a lot, actually. Then it fell. Then it recovered. At the moment I'm writing this, some of the world's markets happen to be rising sharply for the day, while others are dropping. If there's a pattern, I'm not seeing it. That's the nature of volatility: it's hard to see the forest whilst you're standing amongst the trees. ...

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