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Personal Finance


Your super questions answered.

Can I give my money to kids and still get the age pension?

Questions from parents asking about gifting money to children have been quite common this year, say advisers.

  • John Wasiliev

How to check if your apartment developer is telling fibs

NSW Building Commissioner David Chandler’s ratings are so valuable that some companies are falsely saying they’ve got them when they haven’t even been tested.

  • Jimmy Thomson
The Australian Taxation Office occasionally “disqualifies” certain people,  which means they can never again be the trustee of an SMSF.

What happens if you make an illegal raid on super to ease tough times

More SMSF trustees are being caught out by the ATO illegally accessing their retirement savings – this is how they’re dealt with.

  • Meg Heffron


The portfolio in VanEck’s Australian Equal Weight ETF is rebalanced every quarter, which facilitates “contrarian trading”.

When ETF ‘equal weight’ strategy goes off balance

The past five years have shown the simplest strategy of all – investing equal amounts in companies in an index – might not suit all markets.

  • Jeremy Chunn

This Month

Based on the last 10 years, it is clear that bond yields of 5 per cent are confronting, but they are still too low compared to inflation.

Interest rate rises test markets, but remember it is a long game

Over the next 12 months at least, fixed income returns will likely match and possibly exceed those of equities.

  • John Abernethy
When you add in a dysfunctional US congress and an approaching election plus continuing problems in China, it’s clear why the bears are again on the prowl.

The big spending that could keep the US out of recession

The doomsayers were wrong with dire predictions late last year – and they could be off the mark this time, too.

  • James Weir
The government has emphasised that super is not an estate planning asset.

How to stop your super fund running out of money when you retire

‘De-risking’ your investment strategy is critical as you get older to retain your cash flow requirements and preserve the capital in your SMSF.

  • Ben Smythe
Musician Hanna Oblikov has been carpooling to gigs and renting dresses instead of buying them to deal with the rising cost of living.

‘Only buy stuff for our kids’: Families pull back on spending

Petrol prices are just one of the rising costs pushing cellist Hanna Oblikov to cut back on new clothes and eating out – and research shows she’s not alone.

  • Euan Black
In the second half of life, some things that may not have seemed important or attainable before move within reach.

Reached midlife? Time to write the retirement rules

In the second half of life, some things that may have seemed unattainable move within reach, so be curious about what might give your life a greater sense of meaning.

  • Bec Wilson
Forty per cent of retirees will struggle with the transition from full-time work to what comes next,

‘Nothing but a retiree’: why Boomers are turning to lifestyle coaches

Dramatic increases in life expectancy mean more years in retirement, but some people find themselves struggling to find worth and meaning.

  • Duncan Hughes

Michele Bullock’s anxiety is growing – with good reason

For the RBA governor, economic surprises, which might otherwise be welcome, could be the worst of all worlds for Australia right now.

  • Christopher Joye
The 350 largest family offices in Australia are estimated to manage between $515 billion and $695 billion of wealth outside their operating businesses.

You’re rich, but are you family office rich?

Financial advisers are anticipating the transfer of an estimated $3.5 trillion between generations by 2030 to spur more interest in family offices.

  • Primrose Riordan
Prepare to be persuaded, cajoled and even bullied into collectively accepting contracts for which there are no competitive quotes.

A showdown with strata shonks is coming for this columnist

At the first AGM of a new apartment block, owners are expected to approve all sorts of contracts. But what if they are being misinformed, misled and ripped off?

  • Jimmy Thomson
Cash ETFs  invest in interest-bearing instruments such as bank and term deposits or short-term money market instruments.

Investors think these ETFs are a ‘no brainer’ right now

Cash, technology and uranium exchange-traded funds (ETFs) were among the most popular and best performing of the past year, while renewable energy ETFs bombed.

  • Joanna Mather
Retirement planning is notoriously difficult.

What a $3m retirement looks like in Australia

Whether it’s lavish overseas holidays with the family, or more modest travel destinations closer to home, there are retirement plans to suit every budget.

  • Duncan Hughes
Thirteen per cent of borrowers cannot afford to make their debt repayments after living costs, up from a mere 3 per cent last year.

One in five borrowers is ‘screwed’

The Reserve Bank of Australia likes to spin that “most” borrowers are fine, but between 15 and 20 per cent are in trouble.

  • Christopher Joye
Bitcoin is often labelled “digital gold” but professionals say the two asset classes serve different purposes.

The bitcoin v gold tussle is just gearing up

Bitcoin has thumped gold’s returns over the past 14 years, but the jury is still out on which is a better inflation hedge.

  • Tom Richardson
“It will cause people to revisit the way they use family trusts and company structures for funding investments and business operations,” tax partner Michael Parker says.

‘Game changer’ tax ruling may lead to refunds for family trusts

The AAT ruling potentially questions the past 14 years of tax treatment of about 971,000 family trusts, most of which have corporate beneficiaries.

  • Duncan Hughes
Apartment owners would elect a committee at the initial AGM which would then scrutinise the contracts on the table and take advice on them.

Pet owners are winners in strata law overhaul

When NSW apartment blocks were dragged whining and yelping into the pet ownership age, some smarty-pants strata schemes came up with ways to deter fur-babies.

  • Jimmy Thomson
History shows you can’t keep a good market down for ever.

‘Don’t catch a falling knife’ and 10 other investing mistakes

Dividend traps, selling winners and buying declining stocks are just a few of the other errors to avoid.

  • Tom Richardson