October 18, 2017

Self-employed? Don’t miss out on super

There are plenty of benefits from being self-employed including having a typically high degree of independence. And no doubt many employees would gladly join their ranks – if they could run a profitable and personally-satisfying business. Yet being self-employed is obviously not all beer and skittles, as the cliché goes. From a financial perspective, one of the common downsides is that most of the self-employed have little or no super, according to research over several years by the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA). This means that millions of the self-employed, working on a full or part-time basis, are […]
October 11, 2017

Lessons from the GFC 10 years on

We recently marked 10 years since a little known bank in northern England became a worldwide brand for all the wrong reasons. In 2007 we saw the unedifying – and chilling – spectacle of long queues of desperate savers lining streets outside branches across northern England. Despite assurances of solvency from the Bank of England it quickly spread to England’s first full-on bank run since 1866. Northern Rock was eventually nationalised and the savers’ deposits secured. But the global financial crisis as it became known had begun and it would unfold throughout 2008 and result in the collapse of major investment firms like […]
October 4, 2017

Investing: how to reduce concentration risk

Concentration risk. No, it’s nothing to do with thinking too hard about something. In fact, it’s more likely to be a result of not paying enough attention. Concentration risk is the increase in investment risk that comes about from not sufficiently diversifying your portfolio. In other words, too much money is concentrated in too few assets, sectors or geographical markets. This can happen: Intentionally, because you have a strong belief that a particular share or sector, such as resources, banks or property, is likely to outperform in the future. Unintentionally, through asset performance. One or two shares deliver spectacular gains, […]