your partner in business health and personal wealth

           

We welcome you to our October e-Bulletin

In this issue ...

  • Are your finances in snooze mode?
  • Technology to keep you financially fit
  • Snapshot of the housing market
  • What you need to know about paying your employees
  • Mobile disaster - are you prepared?
  • From the Editor

 

           

Are you in your 50s or 60s and your finances have gone into snooze mode?

Have you experienced your wake-up call?

As Financial Advisors, our experience has been that sometime in their 50s and 60s, most people experience a wake-up call and realise that they are either in, or heading into a new phase in their lives. With this new phase comes the realisation that their finances and investments might not be on track to provide the lifestyle that they want in retirement.

This wake up call can be confronting and set people in a wave of panic! Now is the time to take action to ensure that all the hard work you have put in to build your wealth in the past, provides you with the financial security you need in the future.

There are a number of strategies available to help you do just that and here are three things you can do to help alleviate that 'wake up call' panic!

  1. Review your investment portfolio

    Your priorities and financial situation today will look a lot different than they did years ago when you may have set up your investment portfolio.

    Obtaining a clear and up-to-date view on your entire wealth position will help you identify any gaps and direct your investment strategy ...

For more strategies, please click here.

 

             
              Katrina Van Gunst
                                      

Phillipsons can help

If you would like some assistance with your financial strategies, contact us to discuss how we can help you.

           

Phone Katrina Van Gunst or your personal financial advisor on
03 5144 5207.






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Technology to keep you financially fit

Monitoring fitness levels with a smart phone or tablet is the latest way to keep the body in good nick thanks to the availability of downloadable applications, known as apps. But there is also a growing number of apps to keep your personal finances in good shape.

 

While online banking has given bank customers the ability to check their balance and monitor ingoings and outgoings easily, today's finance apps go much further than this.

 

Some can aggregate information about when bills are on the way and flag how much money needs to stay in your account to ensure sufficient funds for payment on due dates.

 

Others may help you keep a tighter rein on impulse spending. One locally-developed app, Pocketbook, reveals if you have enough funds for an impulse purchase while leaving enough in the kitty for regular bills, simply by checking your smart phone.

 

The personal finance hub at the Australian Securities and Investment Commission, Moneysmart.gov.au, is also backing the trend. It has developed two simple but smart apps to help guide budgeting, TrackMyGOALS and TrackMySPEND.

 

To read about how and where to start the search for financial fitness tools; and keeping your information secure, click here.

 

 

 

For more information ...
on apps and financial software, phone our systems expert, Kurt Best.

 

Call 03 5144 4566.


   
     
                  
  
 
 
  

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Snapshot of the housing market

Our market analyst Fred Strauss provides an insight to housing market trends.

House prices

 

The price index for residential properties for the weighted average of the eight capital cities rose 10.1% through the year to the June quarter 2014.

 

Residential property prices rose 15.6% in Sydney, 9.3% in Melbourne, 6.8% in Brisbane, 5.6% in Adelaide, 4.3% in Hobart, 3.6% in Perth, 3.4% in Darwin, and 2.2% in Canberra.

 

Residential construction

 

Dwelling approvals increased sharply over the last 18 months, which in turn led to a substantial increase in residential housing construction activity.

 

Housing finance

 

The increase in residential housing construction has led to a solid increase in housing finance over the last 18 months.

 

As at the end of August 2014, 66% of all housing loans were to owner-occupiers and 34% of housing loans were to investors.

 

For tables that illustrate the above, including changes to the residential property price indexes for each of last 10 years and the annual nominal growth rates in house prices for the periods ended 30 June 2014, click here.

 

            
           

Fred Strauss is an independent and highly regarded investment expert, and is part of our investment committee.

Fred keeps a close eye on international markets, and USA in particular.

If you would like to get more of Fred's insights or to discuss your individual investment strategy, contact our financial advisors on 03 5144 5207.

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Paying employees: what you need to know

A word from David Bates, our specialist employee relations partner.

In previous articles, we've looked at your various legal obligations when it comes to paying your employees. Nevertheless, many employers still struggle when it comes to finding the right pay rates and ensuring compliance with the complex obligations imposed by the Fair Work Act 2009.

This month, we've decided to provide responses to the most commonly asked questions we receive from small business employers when it comes to paying employees.

Q1: How much do I need to pay?

This is by far the most frequently-asked question, and the answer will depend on the applicable Modern Award. Remember, most employees in Australia are covered by one of the 122 Modern Awards that replaced thousands of old state and territory awards back in 2010.

There are two types of Modern Awards: 'industry Awards' and 'occupational Awards'. The general rule of thumb is to begin by looking for an industry Award that applies to your business. If there is no applicable industry Award – or if your industry Award doesn't contain an appropriate classification for a particular employee or group of your employees – you should then look for an applicable occupational Award. If there is no applicable industry or occupational Award, the employee(s) may be 'Award free'.

For the full answer to this question - and more - including the applicable minimum wage rate, hourly pay rates, why casuals are paid more, penalty rates and what to do if you employee is not covered by an awards, click here.

 

To find out more about Workforce Guardian, jump onto their website - Workforce Guardian offers subscriptions to access expert advice and resources:

http://www.workforceguardian.com.au/
services?partner=PHILLIPSONS
 

The FAQs in this article reflect the types of questions the WFG team of HR experts answer every day for its HR Essential and HR Professional subscribers. For more information about these services, call WFG on 1300 659 563.

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Mobile disaster: are you prepared?

It is not just technology on-site that you need to think about when preparing for disaster scenarios. The uptake of relying on mobile devices in business leaves room for misplaced or stolen devices, resulting in lost business data. Look into built-in features for remotely managing your misplaced mobile devices. Lock lost or stolen devices to restrict access, reset a user's PIN or look at features that wipe data from a device that can't be located. Treat these situations with the same disaster preparation strategy as your on-site technology.

You will find more on disaster preparedness in our Summer Business Briefing (out in early December), or visit the Microsoft website.

        
             
              
                                  
 
 

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And finally, a word from the editor ...

The ATO is on the hunt for all outstanding tax lodgements more than in any other year we can remember. If you are behind, take seriously the threats coming at you from the ATO. Even if you are up to date, it is always a good idea to prepare early your records for the inevitable – tax agents have a much longer period to lodge returns than individuals who do it themselves, but the sooner you put your mind to it, the less chance there is that you will forget important details … like where you put all of the receipts!! Our checklists might help if you need a hand remembering what to bring in to keep the ATO happy.

As always, if you need any help or advice, don't hesitate to contact us. We are always here to help.

 

Until next time ...

 

 

Kurt Best
General Manager

Phillipsons.com.au






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