Making the most of record low interest rates

Making the most of record low interest rates The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) took the cash rate to a record low of 1% in July, bringing mortgage rates to their lowest level in more than half a century. However, the low cash rate also means your money in the bank could be earning less interest. Why did the RBA cut rates? Rate cuts are a way for the RBA to help stimulate the economy. …

The Australian economy 2019 – house prices, growth and interest rates

The Australian economy 2019 – house prices, growth and interest rates   Key points Australian growth has slowed again. The housing cycle downturn and its impact on the economy will likely see growth constrained to around 2.5-3%.   LAs a result, spare capacity is likely to remain significant, keeping wages growth and inflation low.   The RBA is likely to cut rates in 2019 and the housing downturn will likely see Australian shares continue to …

13 commonsense tips to help manage your finances

13 commonsense tips to help manage your finances   Key points Getting your personal finances right can be a challenge. Here are 13 tips that may be of use: shop around when it comes to financial services; don’t take on too much debt; allow that interest rates can go up as well as down; allow for rainy days; credit cards are great but they deserve respect; use your mortgage (if you can) for all longer …

Consumer confidence and interest rates

Consumer confidence and interest rates   Investors are looking for a sense of where interest rates are heading around the world. Consumer confidence is one of the best guides. Consumer spending is a key driver of between 50% and 70% of economic activity in developed economies like the US and Australia. How consumers feel is critically important to economic growth and the outlook for monetary policy. So what is consumer confidence telling us now? Americans …

Should the RBA raise rates to prepare households for higher global rates?

Should the RBA raise rates to prepare households for higher global rates? Key Points The RBA should avoid calls to raise interest rates prematurely just to prepare households for higher global rates. Such a move would be Iike shooting yourself in the foot in order to practice going to the hospital.. Nor should the RBA mess with the inflation target that has served Australia well. We don’t see it doing either and continue to see …

After the Australian household debt and east coast housing booms – interest rates on hold until 2020

After the Australian household debt and east coast housing booms – interest rates on hold until 2020 Will Australian interest rates ever go up? While the global economy is seeing its fastest growth in years and the US Federal Reserve has increased rates five times since December 2015 and is on track for more hikes this year, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has now left interest rates on hold for a record 21 months …

Borrowing money: When and how to do it right

Borrowing money: When and how to do it right We all know getting into debt isn’t really desirable. So are there times when borrowing is justified? And what’s the best approach to keeping repayments within reasonable limits? We spoke to CFP® Sandy Hopps  to get expert advice on smart ways to borrow money. Recent reports and statistics show we’re no strangers to debt in Australia. According to OECD data from 2015, Australia is 4th in the world …

Young and broke? There’s another way

Young and broke? There’s another way When you’re young it can seem like you’ll always be living from paycheck to paycheck with nothing left for the good things in life. According to guest contributor, James Trethewie Financial Planner AFP®, making a few changes to your money habits and attitude can make all the difference to your lifestyle, now and in the future. 1. Do away with debts If you’re not great at sticking to a …

Personal debt – maybe the mortgage isn’t so bad

Personal debt – maybe the mortgage isn’t so bad Household debt in Australia is high but more of us are taking a sensible approach to debt management. Nationally, our household debt ratio is nudging 200%. On paper it means we owe twice as much in debt as we bring home in our pay packets each year. It sounds like an alarming figure but as 74% of all households have some level of debt, the reality …