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, […]
September 27, 2017

The power of extra salary-sacrificed contributions

As the first quarter of 2017-18 draws to a close, it’s worth checking whether you are making the most of your ability to make regular salary-sacrificed super contributions. If your salary-sacrificing contributions are lagging, think about stepping up your contributions for the remaining nine months of the financial year. Your ability to step up your contributions – never overlooking the annual contributions cap – will much depend on your personal circumstances. There are, of course, two broad categories of super contributions – concessional (before-tax) contributions and non-concessional (after-tax) contributions, each with different annual contribution caps*. If you are thinking of […]