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 …

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 …

Reverse mortgages – A solution to the asset rich, cash poor trap

Reverse mortgages – A solution to the asset rich, cash poor trap If you’re a home owner who falls into the “asset rich, cash poor” category, a reverse mortgage could hold appeal in retirement. Over the next 40 years an estimated seven million Australians are expected to start living off their super savings, but many simply won’t have enough to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle. The benefit of a reverse mortgage is that you can access money to …

How mortgage stress could impact your share portfolio

How mortgage stress could impact your share portfolio Investors in the local share market should be on high alert for signs of risks creeping into their portfolios as mortgage stresses may start mounting on younger families into next year, says Dermot Ryan, AMP Capital’s Equity Income Fund Co-Portfolio Manager. No sooner have we seen slight mortgage increases from the banks do we see a swath of profit downgrades from listed companies who sell to young …

If you’ve always thought property prices only go up…

If you’ve always thought property prices only go up… It may be time to reconsider some myths about property investment. With so much emphasis on property in the media, it can be difficult to sort fact from fiction. But before investing in any type of asset—including property—it pays to consider the pros and cons, and any commonly held misconceptions. Here we bust 3 property myths. Myth 1: Prices always go up Believing that property always …

Could our mortgage monster become the Christmas Grinch?

Could our mortgage monster become the Christmas Grinch? The disappointing retail sales figures from the last quarter could be just the tip of the iceberg for those watching the retail sector heading into Christmas, reckons Dermot Ryan, AMP Capital’s Portfolio Manager – Australian Equities. But it’s not likely to be the so called “Amazon effect” of internet shopping, nor competition from fast fashion retailers, or even unfavourable currency swings Ryan is factoring in when he’s …

Home equity – the $500 billion resource for seniors

Home equity – the $500 billion resource for seniors The latest round of figures showing rising home values in almost all our state capitals highlights how many Australian retirees could have a valuable resource at their fingertips. Older Australians, who may not have enjoyed the benefits of employer-paid super for their entire working life, can face the prospect of a lean retirement. However, one area where over-50s often have an advantage over their younger counterparts …

Can refinancing my home loan save me money?

Can refinancing my home loan save me money? By replacing your existing loan with a new one, you could take advantage of a better deal. Even if you secured a competitive package when you first took out your home loan, it’s worth reviewing each year1 to ensure the interest rates, fees and features continue to meet your needs. With interest rates also at an all-time low in Australia2, now may be an opportune time to …

Should I repay my home loan or boost my super?

Should I repay my home loan or boost my super? Both options make good financial sense—we look at some pros and cons to help you decide. Retirement may not be as far off as it used to be. With this in mind, are you finding there’s a trade-off between home loan repayments and your retirement nest egg? Adding money to super has its advantages and so does paying off your home loan. So if you’ve …