New Staff member – Jessica White
Jess has recently moved to Victoria from Adelaide and joined our Financial Planning team in November this year. Jess will be working directly with Jamie Klason in a client relations role, having previously worked in various office roles in the mortgage broking sector, as well as mining and engineering.
As Jess had not worked in a country advisory firm before, Jess wanted to get to know more about the local dairy industry, and, showing she is a dedicated team member, recently learned how to milk cows – we thank Chris, Jan, Stuart and Belinda Griffin for allowing her to have this experience on their farm.
Asked about her time with the business so far, Jess responded "My role here at Pursuit requires me to learn about client investments and personal insurances to enable our clients the best for their futures but also how to protect their future which I think is great. The team here are enthusiastic and I have loved the daily interactions and communication between the Financial Planning, Lending and Accounting team it is great atmosphere to work in".
Welcome to the team Jess!
Right: Jess and her son
Ashton on a 4 - wheeler
Chris & Jan's dairy Farm.
Departing Staff Member – Stacey Whyte
We would like to thank Stacey Whyte for her contribution to Pursuit Advisers, as we wish her luck in the new role she is taking on outside of the business.
Stacey has been with the business since December 2014, working with our Financial Planning team in client relations and data management. During her time with Pursuit, Stacey has done fantastic work in ensuring that client data is up to date – not to mention making sure our recent change of sharebrokers has been as smooth as possible.
| Thank you Stacey!
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ASIC's Money Smart Financial Guide you can trust – Scams
Some of you may already be fully aware of the Government funded online platform known as MoneySmart, which is aimed at providing free and impartial finance guidance and tools we can trust.
It is full of useful advice, tips, tricks, tools and articles that can easily be accessed online at www.moneysmart.gov.au or via our Pursuit Advisers website at www.pursuitadvisers.com.au/resources/internet_links which contains a link to MoneySmart and many other useful Government and Industry based websites.
We must admit, in the past our government has been quite poor in providing a free, independent platform for the general public to access to help consumers become educated on money, budgeting, borrowing, insurance, superannuation, scams, retirement & investing.
However, MoneySmart has changed our opinion on this – now if only they started teaching all this stuff as a compulsory subject in all our schools and universities. We know it's not cool, but it is practical, everyday stuff that all our children should be taught before adulthood.
Let's focus on scams, as most of you over the past couple of years would have received some sort of scam in the mail, on the email, text message or even over the phone.
Some of these are blatantly obvious, however, the scammers of our world are getting more clever and cunning by the day, and there are numerous scams going around that on first look appear quite legitimate, and can easily be confused for official correspondence from a Government agency such as ASIC or the Australian Tax Office, or your Bank, Telephone or Utilities provider.
We receive calls every single week from our clients, families and friends querying if something they have received (or been contacted about) from what appears to be the ATO, ASIC or some other reputable source, and on most occasions these are instead scams.
We are happy to field your enquiries, so please when you receive something that doesn't appear 110% for real, make sure you show extreme caution, as the consequences of opening an attachment or clicking through to a link on an email, or signing up to something that doesn't just sound right, could be significant.
And remember: scams and schemes do not just come via emails and text messages originating from some country on the other side of the world, but also from perceived upstanding professionals right here in Australia. Again, if you are told by someone at a barbie, school grounds, work site or the pub about some latest craze that is making them thousands of dollars a week or day, please tread carefully, there is a great chance they have actually been conned by some rouge professional to sign up to some sort of Ponzi or related scam.
We encourage those that have not already visited this site to do so whenever they can, and checkout it out. We interact with it quite regularly, so please feel free to give us a call or email to discuss anything you find on it that you would like to clarify or go into in more detail.
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Are stay at home parents undervalued?
More often than not when people consider the need for Personal Insurance (Life, TPD, Income Protection and Trauma), little consideration is given to the need to ensure that the stay at home mum or dad is appropriately covered.
Consider what would happen if the stay at home parent was to suffer a serious injury or illness that resulted in him/her being unable to care for the children for a lengthy period of time?
Could you afford to stop work to take care of them and be there whilst they undergo the necessary treatment? Or would you have to continue working and rely on someone else to do so?
Could you afford the medical bills that may pile up?
The reality is that for most of people the world "stops" for a period of time when a loved one becomes seriously ill. Ideally you would want to be there at the time when they would you most. To take them for treatment, to be there for the kids either during the day or before and after school when their world has been turned upside down.
A rule of thumb when determining appropriate levels of Trauma cover is to ensure that the household income is replaced for a period of at least 2 years and that some additional funds are provided for possible expenses. Two years may sound like a lengthy period of time however having dealt with a number of claims it is quite common for someone to take a considerable amount of time to get over a Cancer diagnosis and complete their course of treatment.
For as little as $80 per month (less than the cost of a cup of coffee a day) a non-smoker up to 40 years of age can be covered for $200,000 worth of Trauma insurance cover which pays a benefit upon the diagnosis of a number of serious conditions.
To discuss your Personal Insurance needs or to have your existing polices reviewed please call our office.
Not just lending advice
Whilst the role of the Mortgage Broker is to source the deal that best suits your financial needs, we at Pursuit Advisers look beyond finance to ensure future risks are mitigated.
Here is an example:
A couple are looking to purchase a family home and wish to make the purchase in joint names. One of the parties is self-employed and potentially could be sued for various reasons associated with their work. Whilst the risk of litigation is minimal and having insurance mitigates the risk, we referred this client to our Business & Tax team.
From the discussion with the Business & Tax staff member it was agreed to have the property ownership in the name of the party that wasn't self-employed, which places the family home at arm's length should any litigation take place in the future. This helps protect the family home which is one of the biggest investments you will ever make.
Does your bank manager offer this advice? It's our role to identify these types of risks and address them from the outset to ensure our clients are looked after in every way.
Farm's take note
Here at Pursuit Advisers we know the value of quality business planning and financial management, and how critical it is to your farm business goals.
A Farm Management Deposit (FMD) is an essential tool for farmers. It is designed to manage any fluctuations that may occur within cash flow, which gives farmers more flexibility to seize opportunities as they arise. An FMD allows farmers to set aside pre-tax income (up to the value of $800,000 per farmer) and draw down on it when needed most.
A reputable lender has launched an FMD Offset Account. The purpose of this FMD offset account is to allow primary producers to offset funds held in an FMD account against the balance of an eligible variable rate Term Loan, which may assist in reducing primary production business funding costs.
If you would like to discuss this further, please contact our Finance Broker Dale Smith on (03) 5623 3778 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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The investment world post Trump
Whilst we thought that the markets might react in a negative manner after the election win by Donald Trump we have been pleasantly surprised to see the markets move upward since his win.
Although there is much ground still to cover, with Trump only recently being inaugurated, the initial reaction on the world's share markets has seen positive with all major markets around the globe trading at significantly higher prices than before the U.S election.
The main reason for the buoyancy in markets tends to be Trump's strong stance on tax cuts for the American people together with billions of spending on Infrastructure. These two key initiatives lead to the American consumer having more money to spend (stimulating the economy) and more jobs as construction ramps up through the spend on buildings, dwellings, roads, rail, etc.
Concern of course does exist around how the Infrastructure spend can be funded given that taxation cuts will result in less revenue collection. However at this early stage investors seem happy with Trump's pro-business approach.
Needless to say there are many other aspects of Trump that are causing unrest, key social aspects like immigration, healthcare and other social reform. These things are largely ignored by financial markets but the rising of people will have a sentiment based effect on the market at times.
It is really a time to watch the U.S. closely and to be in a position to be able to react when needed, it is certainly a time to focus on income based investments that provide significant levels of liquidity.
If you believe your portfolio requires review in these areas please contact our Financial Planners to discuss in more detail.
Last quarter we looked at the governments changes to non-concessional contributions, however this time around the Super Reform package has passed and now we need to look at concessional contributions.
There have been two main changes to concessional contributions as part of the Super Reform package.
The concessional contribution cap has been reduced to a flat rate of $25,000 per annum rom 1 July 2017. Previously the cap was as high as $35,000 if you were aged 49 or over.
The 10% test has been removed for claiming a personal super contribution deduction. From 1 July 2017, people with more than 10% of their income coming from salary and wages will now be able to make contributions into super and claim a deduction in their personal tax return, up to the $25,000 cap.
The second of the above changes gives the ability to make pre-tax super contributions to members who are receiving most of their income in the form of salary or wages. Previously, unless an effective salary sacrifice program was available, these members could only make after tax super contributions.
If you would like to know more about making pre-tax (concessional) super contributions into your super fund or how the reduced contribution cap will affect you please contact our office for advice.
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