Entries by Zest Financial Services

Customer-centred innovation underpins high satisfaction among financial advice customers

Customer communication, marketing and financial management will dominate the financial adviser innovation agenda during 2015,… …according to research released by Zurich Financial Services Australia (Zurich) in Sydney today. In an industry first, the ‘Designing the Future’ study, conducted on behalf of Zurich by Melbourne-based research consultancy The Beddoes Institute, analyses trends of the past, reviews […]

An investor’s personal trainer

What value do you expect a financial adviser to add to your investment success? If you expect an adviser to create an investment portfolio that will consistently outperform the markets, you are likely to face disappointment. It is a reality that an adviser will almost inevitably struggle to add value for a client through market-timing […]

Two sides to the age profile of SMSF members

There are two fascinating sides to the age profile of self-managed super fund members. Both provide an insight into the future of SMSFs. On one side, the median age of members establishing funds fell below 50 for the first time in 2013, according to tax office statistics. Indeed, 36 per cent of members of new […]

Actuaries call for end to superannuation policy tinkering

Major parties should enshrine super objectives in legislation, stop short-term tinkering Policymakers need to encourage focus on retirement incomes The Actuaries Institute has called on the Federal Government to implement a number of Financial System Inquiry recommendations which will significantly improve the standard of living of millions of Australians. The submission noted that changes to […]

ATO urges caution on pensions

The ATO has said the lack of attention being paid to minimum pension payment requirements is “surprising” … … and has urged trustees and practitioners to be wary of their obligations. In 2012, the commissioner agreed to exercise his powers to allow a super income stream to be taken and a fund to continue to […]

Market Update – February 2015

A snapshot of the key points for February 2015 7.    Market Update –   February 2015 The RBA cut the overnight cash rate to 2.25% during the February board meeting. Fixed income securities fell over the month, with the 3 Month Bank Bill Swap Rate declining by -0.14%. 10 Year Australian Bond yields finished the month […]

The catch 22 of retirement savings

(The importance of budgeting and using good budgeting tools like those on this website can’t be overstated.) There is something of a catch-22 situation when it comes to personal health and personal financial health. Australia’s ever-increasing longevity is a sign of improving personal health, medical advances and the prosperity of a society. That’s the good […]

Are there reasons to help the tax man do his job?

Once an SMSF runs into problems, it seems counter-intuitive to assist the ATO in investigation or in prospectively rectifying issues. However, a Federal Court case just made public, along with recent ATO comments, suggest this can assist in mitigating the consequences. 2015 Federal Court case The recent Federal Court case of Olesen v Early Sunshine […]

Some financial terms explained

The three terms described below are Hybrid securities, Price/Earnings Ratio and Dividend imputation. Hybrid securities What does it mean? Hybrids are products that combine the characteristics of shares and fixed interest products.. Comment Hybrid securities are “higher yielding” investments, generally paying regular income to investors a couple of basis points above the bank bill rate. […]

Small business paradox

There is somewhat of a paradox when it comes to the self-employed and superannuation. Owners of small-medium businesses are among the enthusiastic supporters of self-managed super yet a large proportion of self-employed individuals running small, unincorporated enterprises have little or no super. Online small-business magazine SmartCompany recently published an article on this issue – Why […]

SMSFs in 2015 Budget’s firing line

Superannuation could potentially be a target in the upcoming 2015 federal Budget,… …with the government becoming increasingly frustrated in its attempts to reduce debt. SMSF Owners’ Alliance executive director Duncan Fairweather told SMSF Adviser with pre-Budget submissions closing at the end of this month, super could be one of the ways the government looks at […]