When Would I Refinance My Mortgage?

Heard about mortgage refinancing? In the past, most people who took out a mortgage doggedly continued with it until they had paid it off. These days, people refinance their mortgage much more frequently. The average duration of a home loan in Australia now is just 4-5 years. Here we look at some of the reasons people in Australia refinance their home loan. Mortgage refinancing reasons: lower rate The most common reason for people to refinance their mortgage is to get a better deal. But be...

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Why currency matters to Aussie investors

There is nothing like an overseas holiday to remind you of the power of currency movements to either help or hinder your financial position. A recent sojourn to Europe reaped a modest benefit from the strengthening Australian dollar although it did nothing to dull the pain of the transaction fees on the credit cards. Australian investors probably have more at risk in the currency stakes than most other investors in developed markets. That flows from the small size of our local sharemarket –...

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Investors acting their age

Young investors can fall into the trap of being too conservative for their own good, forfeiting compounding long-term returns from growth assets. This can lead to the question: How do we tend to invest at different ages? Of course, a higher percentage of Australians hold much of their investment savings in the default diversified portfolios of the big super funds – often with extra savings invested outside super. And the way that investments held outside the big super funds' default...

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6 steps to protect the future of the family business

To ensure continuity, a succession plan is absolutely essential for every family business. And this is regardless of whether the family runs a global empire, family farm or corner store. History shows that succession is the Achilles Heel of the family business. An international study on family-owned enterprises by PwC found that only 24% of Australian business owners were planning to pass their business onto the next generation. 38% plan to sell or float. Regardless of your intention, here are...

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What to look out for when buying or building a home

What to look out for when buying or building a home If you are considering purchasing an existing property or building new what do you need to know? Buying an existing property for investment purposes or one to live in raises some issues you may wish to consider. Big bucks, big commitment and buying the imperfections that come with the property if any. “If any”, I have never come away from any building inspection without some defect list, never in the 17 years of inspecting a building. This...

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Should you downsize?

By the time you are considering retirement, it is likely that you will have substantial equity in your home. You may even own your house outright. Selling the family home is one way to free up cash for retirement. The money you receive can be invested in shares, term deposits, managed funds or superannuation. The impact on social security when you downsize Your age pension entitlement depends on the value of your assets (the assets test) and the income you receive (the income test). Selling...

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