December 10, 2015

What’s really happening with property?

There’s little doubt that property is an attractive investment option for many, but with the media reporting conflicting news about the Australian property sector, it’s difficult to understand what’s really going on. Many people considering an investment in property have a preference for direct property; residential, industrial or commercial. Among other reasons, this popularity may be driven by an economy that is currently living with record low interest rates. Alternatively, property trusts offer small-scale investors the opportunity to invest in properties not directly accessible to them, such as large retail developments or overseas projects. Over recent years, however, there’s been […]
December 10, 2015

A different direction for interest rates?

In a rather unusual move in October, the big banks began announcing increases to their home loan interest rates, even though there has been no change in official cash rates. Why did they do it and what does it mean? Strong banks While Australia has a strong banking system, the regulator, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA), has introduced rules to make it even stronger. One outcome is that the ‘big four’ banks (ANZ, CBA, NAB and Westpac) will need to hold more capital to help shield them from any potential increase in bad loans or other economic upheavals. Previously, […]
November 26, 2015

The interest-ing facts about credit card debt

This article shows the astounding level of credit card debt owed by ordinary Australians. It uses the MoneySmart debt clock to explain the debt and associated interest and what it costs on the average card balance if only the minimum repayments are made. It is an excellent reminder of how expensive credit cards can be if not managed properly. There is a fascinating page on ASIC’s MoneySmart website. A “Credit Card Debt Clock” ( that displays in real time how much Australians owe on their credit cards. When we started writing this article it was up to $31,591,800,000 in outstanding […]