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Turbo boost your retirement savings

Once your mortgage and other financial commitments are manageable, it is usually time to put the pedal down on your super. Those prime income years, between age 40 and 50 in particular, should be used constructively. However, the task may not always be easy.

Many couples choose to have children later and as a result, parents’ financial responsibilities can now often extend well into their 50s, even 60s. Furthermore, the earning opportunities for many people over age 50 often begin to decline.

Other factors can also disrupt retirement savings planning include time out of the workforce to raise a family, periods of unemployment or extended illness are but a few.

Is there a logical solution?

Usually, the least painful (and most disciplined) option is to use a superannuation salary sacrifice arrangement. For most employed people on high incomes this can represent a useful and straightforward method of bolstering retirement provisions.

It works like this?

You agree to forego a specified amount of future salary and in return your employer makes additional future super contributions for an equivalent amount. This means your extra long-term saving starts to accrue faster, pay by pay.

“Sacrificing” salary to super is also a tax-effective form of remuneration because if the arrangement is put together correctly, no personal income or fringe benefits tax is payable on the extra amount of contribution. You do need to keep in mind the impact of superannuation contribution limits however we can provide guidance on this issue.

Consider this case study.

Michael is 45 and he and his wife Sarah have been working away at their mortgage for some time. Now they are beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel.

Michael’s employer has been contributing 10% of his $110,000 remuneration package to superannuation ($11,000 per annum). Michael thinks that he may now be able to afford more, but he is not all that happy with the employer’s fund investment options.

He discusses the situation with Sarah and their adviser. Together they agree that Michael should set up a new super fund with a different provider and increase his contribution to 15% of salary, with the additional 5% going into the new fund. Michael’s adviser calculates that the higher returns on the new fund will more than offset any additional fees Michael pays by having two funds.

From the next fortnightly pay, Michael’s pre-tax salary is lower by $211.54 but the amount he actually receives will be lower by only $129.04 (since he will pay $82.50 less personal income tax as well). The $211.54 pre-tax amount was paid directly into Michael’s new super account. This means that his total after-tax super contributions for the next year will be $14,025 net instead of $9,350 and he has been able to select a fund that meets his needs.

Salary sacrifice to super is just one way in which you can enhance your retirement provisions. If you would like more information about the options, contact Macarthur Wealth Management on (02) 9683 2869 or [email protected] to talk you through your options.

Need help? Contact Macarthur Wealth Management for expert financial advice in Parramatta and Sydney wide. https://www.macarthurwealth.com.au

General Advice Warning

The information provided is general in nature only and does not constitute personal financial advice. The information has been prepared without taking into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on any information on this website you should consider the appropriateness of the information having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. Before making any decision, it is important for you to consider these matters and to seek appropriate legal, tax, and other professional advice.

Disclaimer

All statements made on this website are made in good faith and we believe they are accurate and reliable. Macarthur Wealth Management does not give any warranty as to the accuracy, reliability or completeness of information that is contained in this website, except in so far as any liability under statute cannot be excluded. Macarthur Wealth Management, its directors, employees and their representatives do not accept any liability for any error or omission on this website or for any resulting loss or damage suffered by the recipient or any other person. Unless otherwise specified, copyright of information provided on this website is owned by Macarthur Wealth Management. You may not alter or modify this information in any way, including the removal of this copyright notice.

Aussie inflation print gives the RBA more room

Need help? Contact us Macarthur Wealth Management for expert financial advice in Parramatta and Sydney wide. https://www.macarthurwealth.com.au
A mixed week for equity markets with the US market trending a little higher whilst other markets were flat to slightly lower. 

Of the more than half of the US’s largest 500 listed companies that have reported so far, 87% have beaten analysts’ earnings estimates, with one data provider now predicting a 45% jump in profit growth. 

In local equity markets, AMP said it will spin off and list the private markets part of AMP Capital, AMP’s funds management arm. Private markets relates to both infrastructure and property. The proposed demerger comes after a part asset sale of the business fell through. The demerger is expected to be completed in 1st half 2022. 

Health insurer NIB said they had a 3.7% increase in Australian health insurance customers since the start of the financial year and that there were fewer claims than expected. The strong result more than offset declines in travel-related insurance. 

Tabcorp has received a $3.5 billion offer for its wagering business. The improved offer from the UK based sports betting group Entain, which owns Ladbrokes, was unsolicited. 

Coles reported its first drop in quarterly sales in more than a decade as spending returned to normal after Covid panic buying and lockdowns. The company reported a 5.1% drop in 3rd quarter sales to $8.76 billion. 

Retail group Premier Investments has poached current JB Hi-Fi CEO Richard Murray to take over from Mark McInnes who had decided to step down. Murray will begin in his new role from October 4, whilst his replacement at JB Hi-Fi is Terry Smart, who was the electronics retailer boss from 2010-2014. 

Link Group has confirmed that the consortium of private equity groups has withdrawn their almost $3 billion takeover proposal. The consortium made multiple offers through 2020 with the last offer being $5.40 per share. Link is preparing to sell its 44% stake in PEXA, the online property settlement platform. 

The oil price rose this week due to optimistic expectations about demand from OPEC+ and rebalancing fuel inventories in the USA. 
Australia’s consumer price inflation rose by 0.6% in the 1st quarter, lifting the annual rate to 1.1%. Transport prices were the main driver of inflation in the quarter, with modest gains in food prices. The print came in below expectations and gives the Reserve Bank of Australia continued breathing room to maintain policy support. 

The Australian university sector remains under pressure as almost every state has written off plans for international students to return to Australia as the cost of quarantine becomes an issue. New research shows that there was a 66% spike in international student enrolments over the past decade. The number of international students in the country continues to fall, whilst there has been a more than 5% decline in enrolments and a 23% decline in new students. International education is a $38 billion economy in Australia, whilst the loss of students also accounts for a missing $21 billion in spending locally. 

Australian residential property price growth has slowed this month, but the strong momentum remains. Sydney prices rose 2.3% over the last month, followed by 1.8% in Brisbane, 1.5% in Melbourne, and 0.9% in Perth. Auction clearance rates remain high. Sydney median house prices have broken through the $1.3 million mark. New figures also show that less than 5,000 loan deferrals remain outstanding – a significant improvement, but still represents more than $1.33 billion worth of mortgages. 

The US central bank left rates near 0% whilst upgrading its assessment of the economy and acknowledging that inflation is rising. But they reiterated their stance to keep policy settings accommodative. 
The US House of Representatives passed a Democrat proposed legislation that would make Washington D.C the 51st state in the US, with the house voting along party lines. The legislation effectively seeks to usurp the US Constitution and would make it easier for Democrats to win future elections given their historical support in D.C. The legislation has no chance of passing the Senate but sets the tone for the Biden/Democrat agenda. 

The virtual climate summit of 40 world leaders saw President Biden pledge more aggressive targets saying the US will aim to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 50-52% from 2005 levels by 2030 and encouraged other countries to get more aggressive. Problem is most countries don’t have the wealth of the US nor do they have a central bank able and willing to print money to finance the cost (which will be exorbitant) of meeting these targets. Each country will need to move at their own sensible pace. Australia has committed to a 26-28% reduction over the same period. In contrast, China will continue with greenhouse gas increases through to 2030. 

Australian exporters are bracing for more pressure and sanctions from the Chinese government after our Federal Government cancelled Victoria’s Belt and Road Initiative deal with Beijing. The total volume of exports to China has held up, thanks to a sky-high iron ore price, totalling $96 billion over the 12 months to the end of February. Outside of iron ore revenue, exports to China have fallen almost 30%. 

India reported the world’s highest daily tally of coronavirus cases this week as virus cases and deaths rose, not helped by poverty/living conditions, the inability to physically distance with a population of that size, and an underfunded hospital system. In Japan, 4 prefectures were in the spotlight, including Tokyo and Osaka, as the government considered short and strict states of emergency for each. Meanwhile, the European Union (EU) has said that American tourists that have been fully vaccinated will be able to visit Europe over the summer. The EU also announced that 1 in 4 people in the union have now received their first vaccine dose. Closer to home, we saw a snap 3-day lockdown in parts of WA following just two cases.  

General Advice Warning
The information provided on this website is general in nature only and does not constitute personal financial advice. The information has been prepared without taking into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on any information on this website you should consider the appropriateness of the information having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. Before making any decision, it is important for you to consider these matters and to seek appropriate legal, tax, and other professional advice.

Disclaimer
All statements made on this website are made in good faith and we believe they are accurate and reliable. Macarthur Wealth Management does not give any warranty as to the accuracy, reliability or completeness of information that is contained in this website, except in so far as any liability under statute cannot be excluded. Macarthur Wealth Management, its directors, employees and their representatives do not accept any liability for any error or omission on this website or for any resulting loss or damage suffered by the recipient or any other person. Unless otherwise specified, copyright of information provided on this website is owned by Macarthur Wealth Management. You may not alter or modify this information in any way, including the removal of this copyright notice.

Aussie equities rise as JobKeeper nears end

Need help? Contact us Macarthur Wealth Management for expert financial advice. https://www.macarthurwealth.com.au

The Aussie share market finished higher this week whilst global markets were trending lower on concerns regarding further lockdowns in Europe. 

In local stock news, Crown Resorts received an unsolicited and non-binding takeover offer of $11.85 per share, valuing the company at $8 billion. The bid came from US private equity group Blackstone. The bid looks cheap in light of Wynn Resorts’ offer of $10 billion in 2019, but recent regulatory issues at Crown have given opportunistic suitors a window. 

General insurance stocks came under a little pressure this week in light of the rain bomb which blanketed and drenched most of NSW and QLD causing widespread flooding and damage. IAG said it had received more than 8,000 claims. 

Premier Investments, owner of retailers, defended not repaying $15.6 million in JobKeeper assistance after reporting an 88% profit increase. The business posted a 1st half $188 million net profit, a strong result. 

The oil price weakened again this week as concerns arose regarding demand as rising Covid cases in Europe and slow vaccine distribution resulted in some countries increasing lockdown restrictions. There was a small reprieve in the oil price during the week after a quarter-mile long cargo ship ran aground in the Suez Canal, blocking the busy route, raising supply concerns. 

The Aussie dollar fell this week as the US dollar strengthened on an improving economic outlook and dovish rhetoric from the US central bank. A weaker iron ore price also didn’t help. 
Australia’s unemployment rate dropped to 5.8% in February, 0.5% lower than it was in January, and now sits at pre-Covid levels. The recovery has been faster than anyone expected, however, there are some concerns for the period ahead in light of JobKeeper coming to an end. 

The Australian Treasury has said that the withdrawal of JobKeeper at the end of March could see as many as 150,000 more Australians out of work, whilst more than 1 million workers were still being supported by JobKeeper at the start of 2021. 

Australian retail sales figures for February fell 1.1%, not helped by lockdowns in Victoria and Western Australia, but also a function of the significant amount of retail spending brought forward last year and some concerns regarding the ending of JobKeeper. 

The Australian population fell by 4,200 in the 3rd quarter of 2020, the first fall since World War 1. Net overseas migration detracted from the population whilst the natural increase added but wasn’t enough. Victoria and NSW saw falls, whilst all other states recorded an increase. More recent data shows that the number of returning Australians is still only half pre-Covid levels. Skills shortages will be one to watch. 

Credit rating agency Fitch has upgraded its global growth forecast for 2021 to 6.1%. The new estimate would make for the fastest worldwide expansion since 1980. US economic growth is expected to reach 6.2% for the year, in light of significant fiscal and monetary support, whilst China is planning for 6-6.5% economic growth this year. 

US labour market data showed a declining number of Americans claimed unemployment insurance, with claims dropping to a 1-year low

A busy period for central bankers of late with the Bank of Japan carving out more flexibility in its stimulus arsenal following a review of its policy framework. The US Fed pushed through a dovish message (ie. no changes to their stimulus program and no rate rises), the UK central bank talked up their economic outlook, whilst the Norwegian central bank also provided a hawkish assessment. The Turkish and Brazilian central banks hiked interest rates in order to protect their currencies (which subsequently resulted in the firing of the Turkish central bank president), whilst the European central bank President applied pressure to governments pushing them to roll out fiscal stimulus promptly. 

A key survey showed that private sector activity in the Euro area unexpectedly grew for the first time in 6 months. Manufacturing in Germany was particularly strong, no doubt boosted by Chinese economic growth, whilst factory activity in France was also higher than expected. Both manufacturing and services showed faster than forecast expansions in the UK. 
European countries including Germany, France, and Italy, have restarted using AstraZeneca’s vaccine after the European authorities gave the vaccine its endorsement. Europe is a long way behind on the vaccine front. There are threats to withhold vaccine exports to the UK given AstraZeneca is a British company with production facilities throughout Europe. The need for Europe to speed up its vaccination efforts was brought into focus by France announcing a new lockdown in several regions as well as Germany extending its lockdown. 

US-China relations appear more strained than before after officials from both countries met in Alaska for 2-days of talks that quickly descended into bickering and insults. Fair to say the Americans got embarrassed on home soil and on the global stage. Not a good look.

US President Biden also traded barbs with Russian President Putin following news that the US is considering new sanctions on Russia to block construction of the nearly completed gas pipeline from Russia to Germany. Last time I checked, Russia and Germany were consenting adults. Germany and broader Europe need the gas if they are to transition away from fossil fuels over the longer term. Fair to say the US has bigger problems closer to home like the Mexican border and re-opening their economy. 

The authors of a report on the global economic recovery have noted that whilst Australia is amongst the top spenders on Covid recovery initiatives, it has diverted very little of those funds to green projects and ranks last among the top 50 economies in its recovery. Very simply, that’s because Covid recovery efforts should have nothing to do with green projects. Covid recovery is exactly that, ie. getting households, businesses, and the economy back to where they were pre-Covid as fast as  possible. The authors also noted that we had “hitched” our economic recovery to natural gas…..considering the world can’t transition to renewables without natural gas, “hitching” ourselves to natural gas is a smart and fiscally responsible thing to do.  

General Advice Warning

The information provided on this website is general in nature only and does not constitute personal financial advice. The information has been prepared without taking into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on any information on this website you should consider the appropriateness of the information having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. Before making any decision, it is important for you to consider these matters and to seek appropriate legal, tax, and other professional advice.

Disclaimer

All statements made on this website are made in good faith and we believe they are accurate and reliable. Macarthur Wealth Management does not give any warranty as to the accuracy, reliability or completeness of information that is contained in this website, except in so far as any liability under statute cannot be excluded. Macarthur Wealth Management, its directors, employees and their representatives do not accept any liability for any error or omission on this website or for any resulting loss or damage suffered by the recipient or any other person. Unless otherwise specified, copyright of information provided on this website is owned by Macarthur Wealth Management. You may not alter or modify this information in any way, including the removal of this copyright notice.

Equities weaker as bond yields push higher

Need help? Contact us Macarthur Wealth Management for expert financial advice. https://www.macarthurwealth.com.au
Local and global equity markets fell this week, with Europe the exception, as rising US government bond yields continued to spook investors. 

In local stock news, the financial regulator APRA has closed its investigation into Westpac’s breaches of anti-money laundering and terror financing laws. The bank last year agreed to a $1.3 billion fine. 

News Corp has reached a multi-year agreement to provide Facebook Inc users access to news in Australia. Interestingly lawmakers in the US have raised concerns regarding Facebook’s and the other tech giant’s behaviour noting both Facebook and Google’s recent threats to cut off Australian news. 

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia said it will offer its own buy-now-pay-later service to customers from mid-year. Customers will be able to use debit and credit cards to access the service for purchases between $100 and $1,000 and pay in 4 fortnightly instalments. Interestingly, whilst providers like Afterpay charge retailers about 4% of the sale, CBA said businesses would pay no more than its standard fee (around 1%). 

The oil price fell this week on concerns regarding the demand outlook, particularly from Europe, as investors realised that the “re-opening” trade of the last 4-6 weeks actually needs some level of re-opening…
RBA governor Philip Lowe noted that whilst investors expected the official cash rate could be hiked next year and again in 2023, this was not an expectation the board shared

The number of Australians employed surged by 88,000 in February, which along with no change to the participation rate, saw the unemployment rate fall to 5.8%. Hours worked has now also made a full recovery to be back to pre-Covid levels. JobKeeper ending this month may have some impact, but we won’t see that in the data until at least June. 

Nearly 1 in 3 Australians say they’re in financial distress according to a University of Melbourne survey. Some 31% of respondents now report difficulty in paying for everyday essentials, 43% said they felt financially comfortable, whilst 46% of respondents say they’re satisfied with official measures to boost job security. 

The RBA is closely monitoring Australia’s booming housing market as prices rise and lending soars to new records. For now, both the government and the RBA are happy with house prices rising given positive flow-on effects for the economy, however, the major banks are now forecasting double-digit house price growth over the next 2 years. 

The US central bank will keep rates near zero and maintain their sizeable monthly asset purchase (ie. money printing). The bank expects the US economy to continue improving this year but plans to keep interest rates near zero until employment increases. Some members saw rate increases by the end of 2023, but the majority have no rate increases until 2024. 

US consumer sentiment improved in early March to its strongest level in a year, a key survey showed. However, retail sales dropped more than expected in February due to bitterly cold weather across the country. 

UK economic growth dropped by almost 3% in January which was smaller than widely expected in light of increased Covid restrictions. It was the largest drop since April 2020, with January’s reading 9% below the levels seen pre-Covid. January trade data showed a huge record fall in both exports and imports. 

Official data showed French final inflation rose largely in line with estimates in February, whilst investor sentiment in Germany increased by more than expected in March. Germany is doing well because the Chinese are doing well.

In good news for exports, Chinese industrial output beat expectations for January/February, with output up 35% from a year earlier. Other data showed a surge in factory and retail sector activity in the first 2 months of the year, beating expectations. 
Europe’s struggle on the vaccine front looks set to continue with AstraZeneca likely to deliver less than half as many doses as planned in the 2nd quarter. This comes after several European countries suspended their use of the AstraZeneca vaccine following some adverse reactions. The number of adverse reactions were small, leading many to speculate that this was revenge for lack of supply from the Brits. Johnson & Johnson said it would aim to bring its vaccine to Europe in the 2nd half of April following recent approval. 

The US stepped up their game against China tightening restrictions on selling 5G-related goods to Chinese telecom giant Huawei. The ban is effective this week and creates a more explicit prohibition on the export of semiconductors, antennas, and batteries for Huawei 5G devices. 

Recent news flow in the USA seems to indicate that President Biden is planning the first major federal tax hike since 1993 to help pay for a “long-term economic program”. Among the moves proposed are raising the corporate tax rate to 28%, increasing income tax on “high earners”, and a possible hike in capital gains tax. Rather silly giving people cash-handouts one week to then take it back via tax later. Income hard earned by households and businesses is always best left in their hands/pockets. Raising taxes will simply discourage investment and/or encourage more investment offshore. Spend less, tax less. 

The Chinese President has warned that China will go after so-called platform (tech / media / payments) companies that have amassed data and market power, a sign its crackdown on the internet sector is just beginning. The government wants Alibaba to sell media assets, concerned by the tech giant’s influence over public opinion. These moves come after they forced Alibaba to restructure their ownership of Ant Financial, which led to the pulling of the Ant IPO.

Need help? Contact us Macarthur Wealth Management for expert financial advice. https://www.macarthurwealth.com.au

We are a Parramatta based financial planning practice, specialising in retirement planning, superannuation and investment advice.

Whether you want to start preparing for retirement or have already done so we can help you implement a personalised financial roadmap.

General Advice Warning

The information provided on this website is general in nature only and does not constitute personal financial advice. The information has been prepared without taking into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on any information on this website you should consider the appropriateness of the information having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. Before making any decision, it is important for you to consider these matters and to seek appropriate legal, tax, and other professional advice.

Disclaimer

All statements made on this website are made in good faith and we believe they are accurate and reliable. Macarthur Wealth Management does not give any warranty as to the accuracy, reliability or completeness of information that is contained in this website, except in so far as any liability under statute cannot be excluded. Macarthur Wealth Management, its directors, employees and their representatives do not accept any liability for any error or omission on this website or for any resulting loss or damage suffered by the recipient or any other person. Unless otherwise specified, copyright of information provided on this website is owned by Macarthur Wealth Management. You may not alter or modify this information in any way, including the removal of this copyright notice.

Strategies to rebuild super after early access

3 STRATEGIES TO REBUILD YOUR SUPER

If you’ve accessed your super early due to COVID, there are a number of strategies that can help you get your super back on track when the time is right. There are three key strategies that could help you boost your retirement savings between now and retirement.

1. Allocate some of your pre-tax salary to super

WHO COULD THIS WORK FOR?

This may be appropriate for those who have sufficient cash flow to divert some of their pre-tax salary to super (before it hits your wallet for spending). It doesn’t need to be a large amount to start and you can further increase the amount that you contribute in the future once things are back on track.

STRATEGY AT A GLANCE

If, and when, the time is right, you may be able to arrange for your employer to contribute some of your future pre-tax salary, wages or bonus directly into your super fund— this is called a salary sacrifice contribution. By making regular additional contributions to super, you’re helping build up your account balance again. Don’t be afraid to start small if it is all you can commit—even small incremental amounts add up over time. The sooner you can start making even small contributions, the better. Salary sacrifice contributions are made from your pre-tax salary which can be a great, disciplined way to save for retirement. Super is also a long term investment, so, the younger you are when you start saving for your retirement, the more time you’ll have to benefit.

INFORMATION TO CONSIDER

Salary sacrifice contributions count towards the concessional contributions cap. Concessional contributions include employer contributions (also known as super guarantee) and personal contributions claimed as a tax deduction. Breaching the cap may lead to additional tax penalties. Also, salary sacrifice contributions are generally taxed at the concessional rate of up to 15% rather than your marginal rate, which could be up to 47% . Depending on your circumstances, this strategy could therefore reduce the tax you pay on your salary and wages by up to 32%. Get started with boosting your super.

2. Make a spouse contribution and receive a tax-offset

WHO COULD THIS WORK FOR?

Members who are in a couple, where one spouse earns less than $40,000 a year and there is capacity to make a super contribution on behalf of a spouse.

STRATEGY AT A GLANCE

If you make an after-tax contribution into your spouse’s super account and they earn less than $40,000 a year, you may be eligible for a tax offset of up to $540. To qualify for the full offset of $540 in a financial year, you need to contribute $3,000 or more into your spouse’s super account and your spouse must earn $37,000 a year or less. A lower tax offset may be available if you contribute less than $3,000 or your spouse earns more than $37,000 a year but less than $40,000. Spouse contributions can be a great way to grow your super as a couple and to be rewarded via a tax offset for saving for retirement.

INFORMATION TO CONSIDER

A spouse contribution counts towards your spouse’s non-concessional contribution cap and must be within this cap to entitle you to the tax offset.

3. Make personal contributions and claim a tax deduction

WHO COULD THIS WORK FOR?

Unlike salary sacrifice contributions, personal contributions can be made with your take home pay or savings. You can do this regularly or wait until the end of financial year which could provide greater flexibility and planning options if you have irregular income or expenses.

STRATEGY AT A GLANCE

You could make a personal contribution and claim a tax deduction for the amount (turning it into a personal deductible contribution). This could help to reduce your assessable income and manage your tax liability. The contribution will generally be taxed in the fund at the concessional rate of up to 15%, instead of your marginal tax rate which could be up to 47%.

Depending on your circumstances, this strategy could result in a tax saving of up to 32% and enable you to increase your super. You could put some or all of these savings towards making even more super contributions in the following year.

INFORMATION TO CONSIDER

These contributions are treated as concessional contributions and count towards your concessional contributions cap. Exceeding your cap may result in additional taxes and penalties.

Need help? Contact us Macarthur Wealth Management for expert financial advice. https://www.macarthurwealth.com.au

We are a Parramatta based financial planning practice, specialising in retirement planning, superannuation and investment advice.

Whether you want to start preparing for retirement or have already done so we can help you implement a personalised financial roadmap.

General Advice Warning

The information provided on this website is general in nature only and does not constitute personal financial advice. The information has been prepared without taking into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on any information on this website you should consider the appropriateness of the information having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. Before making any decision, it is important for you to consider these matters and to seek appropriate legal, tax, and other professional advice.

Disclaimer

All statements made on this website are made in good faith and we believe they are accurate and reliable. Macarthur Wealth Management does not give any warranty as to the accuracy, reliability or completeness of information that is contained in this website, except in so far as any liability under statute cannot be excluded. Macarthur Wealth Management, its directors, employees and their representatives do not accept any liability for any error or omission on this website or for any resulting loss or damage suffered by the recipient or any other person. Unless otherwise specified, copyright of information provided on this website is owned by Macarthur Wealth Management. You may not alter or modify this information in any way, including the removal of this copyright notice.

Retirees’ cash flow drought

While cuts in interest rates are greeted with glee by homebuyers and other borrowers, for the millions of retirees and others who depend on interest payments for their income, falling interest rates can be a disaster. For them, a drop in interest rates from 4% to 3% equates to a 25% drop in income. If rates fall from 2% to 1%, income falls by a massive 50%. Add in even a modest level of inflation, and many retirees are going backwards financially. And while the RBA has indicated it doesn’t want to go down the strange path of negative interest rates, this has happened in several European countries and Japan. Imagine: depositors pay banks a fee to store their money, and borrowers receive interest payments rather than make them.

The idea behind negative interest rates is to encourage lending for productive purposes, and to head off deflation. If prices of goods start to fall, consumers delay spending in anticipation of lower prices in the future, further weakening economic activity. However, negative interest rates carry the risk that depositors will withdraw cash and hide it under the bed or in safes. Aside from the risks of fire and theft, which could lead to a total loss of funds, withdrawal of cash on a large scale could lead to liquidity issues for the banks and less economic stimulus.

What are the alternatives?

 Aside from the term deposits favoured by many retirees, annuities are worth considering. An annuity effectively exchanges an up-front lump sum for regular income payments. They are generally considered to be low risk. However, as an interest-producing investment, returns are low when interest rates are down.

High dividend yielding shares have also been a traditional source of income for retirees, offering not just income but also the prospect of capital growth. However, shares can also fall in value, and the economic uncertainty precipitated by COVID-19 saw many companies cut or cancel their dividends as their profits fell.

Hybrids such as converting shares, preference shares and capital notes have elements of debt and equity investments. Their pricing is usually more stable than ordinary shares, and they pay either a fixed or floating rate of interest, often as a fully-franked dividend, above a particular benchmark, usually the Bank Bill Swap Rate.

For retirees with a less hands-on approach to managing their portfolios, a vast range of managed funds are available that suit all risk tolerance levels, and that can provide regular income.

With interest rates at unprecedented lows, many retirees will have no choice but to dip into their capital to meet their cash flow needs. If the portfolio contains a reasonable allocation to growth assets and depending on market conditions, then capital growth may be sufficient to cover cash withdrawals.

A long-term perspective

In abnormal economic times it’s important to keep some perspective. Economic upheavals are often short term. Retirement, on the other hand, can last for decades.

To make sure your retirement portfolio is set to help you weather a cash flow drought, talk to a financial planner at Macarthur Wealth Management on (02) 9683 2869 or [email protected].

General Advice Warning

The information provided on this website is general in nature only and does not constitute personal financial advice. The information has been prepared without taking into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on any information on this website you should consider the appropriateness of the information having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. Before making any decision, it is important for you to consider these matters and to seek appropriate legal, tax, and other professional advice.

Disclaimer

All statements made on this website are made in good faith and we believe they are accurate and reliable. Macarthur Wealth Management does not give any warranty as to the accuracy, reliability or completeness of information that is contained in this website, except in so far as any liability under statute cannot be excluded. Macarthur Wealth Management, its directors, employees and their representatives do not accept any liability for any error or omission on this website or for any resulting loss or damage suffered by the recipient or any other person. Unless otherwise specified, copyright of information provided on this website is owned by Macarthur Wealth Management. You may not alter or modify this information in any way, including the removal of this copyright notice.

Rising government bond yields cause market turbulence

Equity markets were mixed this week with the US market falling on rising inflation concerns, whilst the European market held its own and the Australian market was flat to weak. Asian markets were mixed. 

The bond market did its best to de-stabilise all other investment markets with government bond yields rising yet again on better-than-expected economic data, rising inflation concerns, and fears that central banks won’t continue their accommodative policy measures. Yes, yields should’ve moved a little higher with expected better economic outcomes, but inflation and central bank concerns are unfounded at this stage. 

Global oil prices rose after OPEC+ oil producers elected to keep production targets unchanged into April. The Saudis will extend their voluntary production cut of 1 million barrels per day. 

The Aussie dollar finished flat this week against the US dollar, but the US dollar did rise against a basket of other currencies as it found support from investors given the better growth outlook. 
The Reserve Bank of Australia left the cash rate on hold at 0.1% and maintained their other policy settings, saying they remain committed to maintaining highly supportive monetary conditions until its goals are achieved (2024 at the earliest), that is, inflation sustainably in the 2-3% band which will require significantly lower unemployment from here. Given the recent rise in bond yields, the Bank may have to increase their bond buying program (ie. money printing). 

Australian real (net of inflation) economic growth rose by 3.1% in the 4th quarter, with household consumption increasing solidly, and dwelling investment, business investment, and public spending all adding to the growth. The quarterly print came in well above expectations. Economic growth contracted by 2.4% over 2020, with the economy 1.1% below its pre-Covid peak. 

Total credit to the Australian private sector rose by a weak 0.2% January, with annual growth dipping to 1.7%. Housing credit was up 0.4% and sits 3.6% higher on the same time last year. Business credit growth contracted by 0.1% whilst personal credit fell 0.9%. 

Australian company profits fell by 8.1% in the 4th quarter as government subsidies fell away. Hardest hit were non-mining firms with profits down 14.4% whilst mining firm profits were up 11.5% assisted by stronger commodity prices. Wages and salaries rose by 1.4% in the quarter. 

Australian dwelling prices rose by 2% in February, with detached houses posting a strong 3% lift in the month. Leading indicators are pointing to further strong gains in dwelling prices. New lending for housing rose by a massive 10.4% in January, with the value of lending rising for both owner occupiers and investors. Growth in new housing lending (ex-refinancing) rose 10.5% in January, with strong growth from both owner occupiers and investors. New lending to first home buyers is up by 73.2% over the year. 

The Australian current account surplus increased to $14.5 billion in the 4th quarter. The trade surplus widened due to strong rural and hard commodity exports, with exports rising 7.9% and imports rising by a lesser 4%. It was the biggest monthly trade surplus in Australian history, coming in well ahead of economist forecasts. 

US consumer spending increased by the most in 7 months in January, but price pressures (inflation) remained muted. 

European manufacturing data produced no significant surprises with the underlying recovery on-track. UK consumer credit data was weak in January and mortgage lending was also weaker than expected, though mortgage approvals were strong. German inflation data came in on the strong side of expectations at 1.3% on the same time last year. 

A survey showed that the Eurozone economy is almost certainly in a double-dip recession as lockdowns continue to smash the services industry but hopes for a wider vaccine rollout drove optimism to a 3-year peak. 
On the virus front, concerns have risen regarding Covid-19 variants. Whilst some concern is valid (though the data to date is quite spurious), it’s fair to say the press (and some governments) are doing their best to keep us fearful. There are variants to almost every virus. We have 3 options: accept that accounting for every variant is an impossible task and move on with making our own personal risk-based assessments of how we live our lives; accept that the vaccines are broad and effective enough to cover the main strains; or repeat 2020 lockdowns each year into eternity. Some countries are still operating like we’re in the dark on Covid-19 with 10 day plus hotel quarantines (21 days in Hong Kong) for inbound travellers.  The European Union and other parts of the world are also discussing “vaccine certificates/visas” (a slippery slope) but haven’t decided on what type of “privileges” they would grant.

On the vaccine front, the US FDA approved the Johnson & Johnson single-shot vaccine and outlined a fast-track approval process for new vaccines or booster shots to combat new strains. This is important as the technology used for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines (ie. mRNA) allows for variant vaccines to be developed rather quickly, though trials and vaccine production would still be needed. The US announced that they will likely have enough vaccine doses by the end of May to vaccinate all adults. 

The US House passed the mammoth US$1.9 trillion “Covid relief bill” and it’s now slated for Senate approval. Problem is there isn’t much Covid relief in the bill…….. The vote was largely across party lines with 2 Democrats voting against the bill. The bill will provide $1,400 stimulus cheques to households, but stricter eligibility criteria will result in less household stimulus than provided under President Trump. The $15 minimum wage proposal is unlikely to pass the Senate due to parliamentary procedure requiring a super-majority vote.  
Need help? Contact us Macarthur Wealth Management for expert financial advice. https://www.macarthurwealth.com.au
 
We are a Parramatta based financial planning practice, specialising in retirement planning, superannuation and investment advice.
Whether you want to start preparing for retirement or have already done so we can help you implement a personalised financial roadmap.
https://www.macarthurwealth.com.au/
 
General Advice Warning
The information provided on this website is general in nature only and does not constitute personal financial advice. The information has been prepared without taking into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on any information on this website you should consider the appropriateness of the information having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. Before making any decision, it is important for you to consider these matters and to seek appropriate legal, tax, and other professional advice.
 
Disclaimer
All statements made on this website are made in good faith and we believe they are accurate and reliable. Macarthur Wealth Management does not give any warranty as to the accuracy, reliability or completeness of information that is contained in this website, except in so far as any liability under statute cannot be excluded. Macarthur Wealth Management, its directors, employees and their representatives do not accept any liability for any error or omission on this website or for any resulting loss or damage suffered by the recipient or any other person. Unless otherwise specified, copyright of information provided on this website is owned by Macarthur Wealth Management. You may not alter or modify this information in any way, including the removal of this copyright notice.

Rising government bond yields spooks equity investors

Local and global equity markets fell this week on concerns that potentially higher inflation in the US may force the US central bank to be less accommodative. 

Concerns about rising US inflation and optimism regarding vaccine distribution saw government bonds get dumped (ie. prices fall, yields rise) in one of the ugliest weeks for bond markets in some time. However, higher bond yields also attract buyers, especially in a low-yield environment, in addition to central banks wanting to keep yields low to ensure lower borrowing costs. 

In local stock news, Australia’s biggest fuel seller Ampol, expects market conditions to remain challenging in 2021, with travel restrictions likely to continue denting fuel demand, particularly jet fuel demand. The company reported a loss in its refining business for 2020, with the company set to decide whether it will close its last remaining refinery in Australia. 

Property developer Lendlease posted a 1st half earnings decline of 37% as covid-19 stifled building development. The company reported net profit after tax of $196 million and a loss of $7 million from property write-downs. 

Former Commonwealth Bank boss Ian Narev will take the top job of jobs website company Seek, after leading the companies Asia-Pac and Americas operations since joining 2 years ago. Current boss Andrew Bassat will take the role of executive chairman and chief executive of Seek Investments. The company reported an 8% dip in 1st half net profit. 

The oil price rose strongly this week on re-opening optimism. Saudi Arabia and Russia remain on opposite sides of the debate about crude oil output ahead of their monthly OPEC+ meeting in March. The Saudis have been constraining supply in order to get the oil price higher, with higher oil prices also being supported by increasing demand globally and short-term supply issues in Texas. 
Australian retail trade gained 0.6% in January, an improvement on the 4.1% fall in December, but still impacted by state lockdowns and restrictions. Annual growth in retail is now running at 10.7%. 

The Australian wage price index rose by 0.6% in the 4th quarter to be up 1.4% over the year. The strong headline number partly reflects the unwinding of temporary pay reductions for some workers. Private sector wages grew by 0.7% whilst wages in the public sector grew by 0.3%. 

Construction work done in the 4th quarter was weaker than expected with a fall of 0.9%. Annual growth is now running at 1.4%. 4th quarter details included building work rising by 0.6%, residential work done up 2.7%, while non-residential work fell by 2.4% to be down 4.5% over the year. 

The volume of Australian capital expenditure rose by 3% in the 4th quarter, with mining investment falling by 1.5% and non-mining investment lifted by 4.9%. Northern Territory saw the strongest lift, following by TAS, NSW, and VIC, whilst QLD recorded a fall. 

US Fed Chair Powell was sanguine about a recent jump in long-term government bond yields downplaying concerns over inflationary pressures and reiterated continued monetary support. He went on to say that the economic recovery was uneven and far from complete, adding that investors are mostly responding to an anticipated rebound as vaccine deployment curbs the spread of the virus. 

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the US economy was still in a deep hole and President Biden’s US$1.9 trillion relief plan should not be reduced. She also said that infrastructure works were planned to boost the economy and would be paid for by higher taxes. Not good for corporates. 

Minutes of the European central bank’s January meeting showed policymakers expressing fresh concerns over the strength of the euro currency but appeared relaxed over the recent rise in government yields. 

European central bank President Lagarde said the bank was closely monitoring rising borrowing costs (ie. bond yields), which could point towards future central bank intervention in debt markets. The US central bank is likely contemplating the same move. Both are hoping that the pace at which bond yields have recently risen starts to abate (ie. less selling pressure) and/or private investors start buying government bonds given the attractively higher yields. If the private buying is not enough, the central banks will be forced to up their bond buying programs. 
With the “green” energy push in full-flight globally, the Australian National Party has called for a $10 billion clean-energy fund to invest in coal-fired power stations……the National Party wants to explore clean coal, carbon capture, and nuclear as options to assist with the transition away from fossil fuels given we can’t transition overnight. Elsewhere, a parliamentary committee has launched an inquiry after local banks and pension funds have been restricting support for coal, saying such steps could imperil key export industries and liking it to “corporate activism”. 

Australia began their vaccine rollout this week with Prime Minister Scott Morrison receiving his first jab. The vaccinations will be made available in stages based on ranking of critical areas. There are no plans to make the vaccine compulsory in Australia but the health minister said it was critical that the community had confidence in the vaccine program. Vaccine take-up continues to be strong in the US, UK, and Israel, but appears too slow elsewhere in the world. Vaccine producer AstraZeneca told the European Union that it expects to deliver less than half the vaccines it was contracted to supply in the 2nd quarter. Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose vaccine moved closer to emergency use authorisation in the US. 

US Democrats are pushing to quickly pass President Biden’s US$1.9 trillion stimulus bill before some key deadlines. A vote in the House could occur before the week is out which would see the Senate vote next week, testing the smaller majority the Democrats have in the House post the election and the slim control they have in the Senate.  

Need help? Contact us Macarthur Wealth Management for expert financial advice. https://www.macarthurwealth.com.au

We are a Parramatta based financial planning practice, specialising in retirement planning, superannuation and investment advice.

Whether you want to start preparing for retirement or have already done so we can help you implement a personalised financial roadmap.

General Advice Warning

The information provided on this website is general in nature only and does not constitute personal financial advice. The information has been prepared without taking into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on any information on this website you should consider the appropriateness of the information having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. Before making any decision, it is important for you to consider these matters and to seek appropriate legal, tax, and other professional advice.

Disclaimer

All statements made on this website are made in good faith and we believe they are accurate and reliable. Macarthur Wealth Management does not give any warranty as to the accuracy, reliability or completeness of information that is contained in this website, except in so far as any liability under statute cannot be excluded. Macarthur Wealth Management, its directors, employees and their representatives do not accept any liability for any error or omission on this website or for any resulting loss or damage suffered by the recipient or any other person. Unless otherwise specified, copyright of information provided on this website is owned by Macarthur Wealth Management. You may not alter or modify this information in any way, including the removal of this copyright notice.

Equity investors fret over US inflation fears

Both local and global equity markets were softer this week as investors fretted over potentially higher US inflation which could lead to missteps or reduced stimulus from the US central bank. 

FOMO (fear of missing out) is clearly back in vogue, partnering its closest cousin TINA (there is no alternative), with some of the strongest flows into equities not seen since the GFC, not to mention the rarefied air that technology stocks, IPOs, and cryptocurrency currently find themselves in. The conditions are there for this to continue for a while longer, but what can go up can also come down. 

In local stock news, BHP shares rose after the company reported its best 1st half profit in 7 years and declared a record interim dividend. The company expects strong Chinese demand to continue in 2021. 

National Australia Bank enjoyed a 47% increase in cash earnings during its 1st quarter trading, helped by improving economic and health outcomes in Australia and New Zealand. Westpac’s cash earnings for the same period rose 54% due to higher margins, lower expenses, and less bad debts than previously provisioned for. ANZ’s cash profit was up 54% with costs flat and all major divisions performing well through the quarter. 

Treasury Wine Estates will reorganise into 3 new divisions after its half-yearly profit plunged due to heavy Chinese tariffs on Australian wine imports. The world’s largest listed winemaker will operate under Penfolds, Treasury Premium Brands, and Treasury Americas divisions starting next financial year. The company remains confident it can reroute its luxury ranges to other markets. 

Coles share price fell sharply in contrast to a stunning set of results with total sales surging 8.1% to over $20 billion, same-store sales in supermarkets up 7.2%, and net profit rising 14.5%. The CEO did his best to talk down future expectations as people resume eating out more and working back in the office. He also cited the lack of immigration as a big concern for the supermarket sector. 

Energy prices rose sharply this week on concerns of a global supply shock as a deep freeze swept its way across the USA. This follows the cold snap Europe went through only a week or so ago. Texas experienced minus 18-degree temperatures, with minus 1-degree temperatures recorded inside people’s homes, as rolling blackouts to preserve the energy grid meant cities went without power for parts of the day. 
Australian employment rose by a solid 29,100 in January following a revised 50,000 increase in December. The result saw the unemployment rate dip to 6.4% and the underemployment rate move down to 8.1%. 

US inflation data came in below rising inflation expectations, with consumer prices up 0.3% in January. The result was above December’s increase. The 12-month inflation rate has now ticked up to 1.4%, remaining well below the US central bank’s target. 

US consumer confidence deteriorated for a 2nd consecutive month in February with consumer sentiment also falling and coming in below expectations. Consumers’ views of current conditions declined whilst their expectations regarding future conditions fell markedly. US federal government needs to figure out their priorities and states need to reopen. 

The US central bank chair said that the jobs market remains a long way from a full recovery and that monetary policy would remain very accommodative until there was substantial progress on employment and inflation. Jobless claims have been rising of late. 

4th quarter UK economic data showed a 1% rise on last quarter, coming in above the 0.5% expected, but still down 7.8% on the year which is the weakest in the major economies. 

The International Energy Agency has cut forecasts for world oil consumption in 2021 saying that the market for oil remains fragile as travel and economics remain limited by virus policy response. 
The US senate voted not to impeach former US President Donald Trump with only 7 Republican senators crossing the floor to vote with the Democrats. The process ended up being a waste of time and money, and simply distracted the government from more important matters like vaccine rollout and the economic recovery effort. The government could still bring civil proceedings but it’s unlikely to do so given the evidence produced during the impeachment hearing hurt both political parties. The 7 Republican senators who crossed the floor are already under pressure from their representatives. 

The state of Victoria entered a snap 5-day stage 4 lockdown (shutdown) following only a handful of cases. The Australian Open got a hall-pass. The claims made by the Andrews’ government and resultant overreaction clearly shows that authorities have no faith in their contact tracing and quarantine protocols even after Andrew’s claims of their “gold standard” and a “model that other states want to adopt”. He actually said that.

The US has secured additional vaccine supply from both Moderna and Pfizer, with both companies accelerating their deliveries. The US is inoculating at an average of 1.62 million doses per day. At that rate, more than 75% of the US population will be inoculated within 9 months. However, on a global level, it would take more than 5 years to inoculate that percentage of the world’s population. Herd immunity can’t and shouldn’t be ignored, neither should weighing up the risks for those under 50 years of age with little to no pre-existing conditions. 

Following our recent standoff with Google, it was Facebook’s turn to try and bully the Australian government into not proceeding with changes to its media laws. Facebook carried through on its threats to remove Australian “news” items from its network. A pretty silly move during a pandemic. It also looks like Facebook restricted other government and government related Facebook pages in order to test how much revenue it would lose if it continued down this path. The moves saw a firm rebuke from Prime Minister Scott Morrison who is standing firm.  

Need help? Contact us Macarthur Wealth Management for expert financial advice. https://www.macarthurwealth.com.au

We are a Parramatta based financial planning practice, specialising in retirement planning, superannuation and investment advice.

Whether you want to start preparing for retirement or have already done so we can help you implement a personalised financial roadmap.

General Advice Warning

The information provided on this website is general in nature only and does not constitute personal financial advice. The information has been prepared without taking into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on any information on this website you should consider the appropriateness of the information having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. Before making any decision, it is important for you to consider these matters and to seek appropriate legal, tax, and other professional advice.

Disclaimer

All statements made on this website are made in good faith and we believe they are accurate and reliable. Macarthur Wealth Management does not give any warranty as to the accuracy, reliability or completeness of information that is contained in this website, except in so far as any liability under statute cannot be excluded. Macarthur Wealth Management, its directors, employees and their representatives do not accept any liability for any error or omission on this website or for any resulting loss or damage suffered by the recipient or any other person. Unless otherwise specified, copyright of information provided on this website is owned by Macarthur Wealth Management. You may not alter or modify this information in any way, including the removal of this copyright notice.

Investors focus on vaccines as US and Europe lockdown

Need help? Contact us Macarthur Wealth Management for expert financial advice. https://www.macarthurwealth.com.au

Local and global share prices rose this week on vaccine optimism.  
In local stock news, a fresh class action has been levelled against Crown Resorts, accusing it of misleading investors over possible anti-money laundering breaches. Pressure is piling on the company. 

The Australian banking regulator said it would from January 1 remove its requirement that banks and insurers retain at least half their earnings. That means dividends can start to rise again. In other bank news, the ANZ bank CEO said that 92% of Australian home loan customers allowed deferral had resumed repayments.
 
a2 Milk shares were placed in a trading halt early Thursday morning as the company has become aware of information which may require them to revise their previously issued guidance. Speculation is that it’s another downgrade to earnings. 

The Australian dollar pushed through US76c as the US dollar continued to fall on delays to fresh fiscal stimulus and likely further stimulus from the US central bank. Putting upward pressure on the Aussie is the skyrocketing iron ore price
The Australian Bureau of Statistics showed a further strengthening in employment with more than ¾ of payroll jobs lost earlier in the year regained by the end of November. Employment rose by a very strong 90,000 in November, following revised 180,400 increase in October. The unemployment rate fell to 6.8% even with the participation rate rising to its previous record high. The strength in November largely all came from full time jobs whilst hours worked rose by a strong 2.5%. 

Whilst US labour market data appears to be weakening, a key consumer sentiment survey improved more than expected in November while a gauge of inflation rose moderately. 

European leaders approved a much-needed $2.9 trillion budget and pandemic recovery package which paves the way for the start of European recovery. A large proportion of the funding will find its way to those countries hardest hit economically by Covid, possibly helping to ease north-south European divisions. A big chunk of the money has also been earmarked for climate change initiatives. 

A key Euro area data point pointed to still contractionary conditions in the economy, but the reading came in well ahead of economist expectations, boosted by German manufacturing and French services. The data pushed the EURO to its highest level against the US dollar since 2018. 
PM Scott Morrison won’t be among the world leaders making a virtual address to the United Nations Climate Action Summit. The official line was that the PM wasn’t invited to speak because he hadn’t come up with an ambitious enough pledge to cut greenhouse gas emissions…….bah humbug. Another China bully tactic. Poor form from our allies who allowed it. Worth remembering that Australia is one of the world’s biggest suppliers of LNG, a “transition” energy source that will be in high demand as the world transitions to renewables over a much longer period than current over-ambitious targets. 

China has lifted restrictions on coal from all nations except Australia in the latest attack on our country’s exports. This would provide further grounds for a World Trade Organisation claim. It’s a clear attack from China considering a trade route proximity to them and the quality of our coal on the global stage. Countries like India, Japan, and South Korea will assist in taking some of our coal given increased demand, but they won’t be enough to match Chinese volumes. Apparently, China’s steel producers have called for a regulatory probe into skyrocketing iron ore prices, which sounds rather silly given they are responsible for the rising prices (in addition to lack of supply from Brazil). 

On the vaccine front, vaccines have continued to be rolled out across the UK and the US, with the US expecting to have 40 million doses available by the end of the month. Europe has yet to approve any vaccine. Australia’s supply, whilst high, needs to be re-evaluated following the failed University of Queensland vaccine (was never going to succeed) and higher efficacy for Pfizer and Moderna vaccines over AstraZeneca’s (which we’ve bought the most of). PM Morrison maintains that Australia hopes to distribute vaccines starting in March. Meanwhile deaths in the US continue to rise whilst the Germans have gone into full lockdown (with the Brits and Dutch not far behind) and the South Koreans have warned of potential tighter restrictions. 

The next round of much needed US fiscal stimulus looks no closer to agreement after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Republican senators won’t support US$160 billion in state and local funds as part of the potential trade-off. It’s important to note that the US$160 billion is being earmarked for rebuild / repairs in Democrat states and cities that were damaged by violent protests. Republicans want to ensure that all stimulus goes to households and businesses, and that small businesses are protected from any Covid claims. 

A no-trade deal Brexit remains a possible outcome on December 31 after UK PM Boris Johnson’s appeal to European leaders fell on deaf ears. Hardly surprising given the Brits unrealistic expectations that they could divorce themselves from the EU and still retain the benefits that come from being part of the EU. Trade negotiations will continue right up until December 31 in the hope of a deal. 

Joe Biden is now officially the President-Elect of the USA after the state electors submitted enough votes to get him passed the 270 required to become the President in January. Legal challenges remain. The only thing outstanding now is the US Senate, where control will be decided by the Georgia run-off on January 5 where 2 Senate seats are up for grabs. A Republican hold in one or both seats would see the Republicans hold the Senate, whilst a swing of both seats to the Democrats would see the Senate tied at 50-50 which would give the Vice President the tie-breaking vote when required.  

General Advice Warning

The information provided on this website is general in nature only and does not constitute personal financial advice. The information has been prepared without taking into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on any information on this website you should consider the appropriateness of the information having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. Before making any decision, it is important for you to consider these matters and to seek appropriate legal, tax, and other professional advice.

Disclaimer

All statements made on this website are made in good faith and we believe they are accurate and reliable. Macarthur Wealth Management does not give any warranty as to the accuracy, reliability or completeness of information that is contained in this website, except in so far as any liability under statute cannot be excluded. Macarthur Wealth Management, its directors, employees and their representatives do not accept any liability for any error or omission on this website or for any resulting loss or damage suffered by the recipient or any other person. Unless otherwise specified, copyright of information provided on this website is owned by Macarthur Wealth Management. You may not alter or modify this information in any way, including the removal of this copyright notice.

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