Diversified Financial Planners News
 
After the calm of 2017, 2018 is proving to be anything but with shares falling in February on worries about US inflation, only to rebound and then fall again with markets back to or below their February low, notwithstanding a nice US bounce overnight. From their highs in January to their lows in the last few days, US and Eurozone shares have fallen 10%, Japanese shares are down 15% (not helped by a rise in the Yen), Chinese shares have fallen 12% and Australian shares have fallen 6%. So what’s driving the weakness and what should investors do?
 

 

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 is that some of us owe more, others less

 

If your other half is a stay-at-home parent, working part-time or out of work, adding to their super could benefit you both financially.

If your spouse (husband, wife, de facto or same-sex partner) is a low-income earner or not working at the moment, chances are they’re accumulating little or no super at all to fund their retirement.

The good news is, if you want to help them by putting money into their super, you might be eligible for a tax offset, while potentially creating additional future planning opportunities for both of you

 
Unlisted commercial property (office, retail and industrial) and infrastructure have had strong returns this decade. For commercial property, since 2010 returns have averaged nearly 11% pa
 
 
Geopolitical events like Brexit and Donald Trump’s election in the US “surprised” investors in 2016 but had no lasting negative impact on global financial markets. By last year investors were well focussed on geopolitical risks – Trump taking over as US President, Eurozone elections, the Communist Party Congress in China and rising risks around North Korea – but again they did not have much lasting negative market impact. In fact, in most cases it turned out to be a positive impact.
 
There is quite a lot of talk about volatility coming back to share markets all of a sudden, and with the talk there’s also bit of conjecture about where the volatility originates from.
 
Some say it’s because interest rates and bond yields are beginning to rise; others will point to the end of quantitative easing in the United States and elsewhere for the bumpier ride.
 

 

James Maydew, AMP Capital’s Global Head of Listed Real Estate, leverages his global view to bring a regular insight to property value trends from around the world.
 
The infrastructure industry is evolving rapidly worldwide and specialist investment firms are taking bold steps to be ahead of the changes.
 
 
Passive investment funds used to be a relatively obscure part of the market. But with their popularity soaring in recent years, many investors might now be sceptical about paying for active investment.
 
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Growth just muddling along
 
For the last few years the Australian economy has been meandering between 2-3% growth. This remained the case through last year with December quarter GDP up just 0.4%, and annual growth of 2.4% as a bounce a year ago dropped out. In the quarter growth was helped by consumer spending and public investment but soft housing and business investment and a large detraction from net exports weighed on growth.
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