March 2017

Autumn has arrived after a flurry of economic data on the home front during February. The company reporting season for the six months to December was extremely positive overall, confirming that corporate Australia is in good shape.

CommSec's survey of results from the ASX top 200 companies showed 94 per cent recorded a profit in the December half, with total profits up 130 per cent on the previous corresponding period (up 37 per cent excluding BHP). Earnings per share rose 19 per cent, cash levels were up 11 per cent and dividends were up 6 per cent. The strong performance was due to booming home construction and higher commodity prices, especially for iron ore, which is up 80 per cent over the past year to around US$90 a tonne.

One area of concern is the low level of business investment. The latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show new spending on buildings and equipment fell 2.1 per cent in the December quarter, down 15.5 per cent over the year. While the Aussie dollar has fallen from record highs during the mining boom, Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe told the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics "it would be better if it was lower still" to support the rebalancing of the economy. The dollar is currently trading at around US76c.

Achieving your dream of early retirement

Spending more time with your family. Picking up a brand new hobby. Exploring exotic destinations for longer than your scant weeks of annual leave would allow. However you paint it, retirement is a beautiful goal to work towards. And starting early means you've got more time and energy to enjoy it.

Early retirement has become a popular financial goal for Aussies from a wide variety of different backgrounds and circumstances. A 2016 global survey found that out of 17 countries surveyed, Australia has the one of the highest proportion of people... Read more

Learning from little ones

Feel like you could fill a book with all the weird and wonderful statements you've heard from your kids? Ever been on the receiving end of an 'honest' comment from a kid (and a rushed "sorry, no filter on this one!" from their parent)?

There's a reason kids' quotes are popular topics everywhere from Twitter and Instagram to forums and blogs. Before little ones learn manners and pick up on the subtle 'rules' of social interaction in different contexts, they're pretty happy to say whatever is on their mind.

Behind... Read more

Honesty the best policy with life insurance

Life insurance is one of the most important investments you can make to protect your family's future wellbeing. And like any investment, it needs careful consideration.

Taking out too little or too much insurance can be costly. Failing to disclose all relevant information to an insurer could result in a claim being denied possibly after years of paying premiums just when you need help most.

Negotiating in good faith

Heartbreaking stories about insurance companies failing to pay out when a policyholder suffers an illness or injury get plenty... Read more

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Steve Culpitt is a Sub Authorised Representative ( AR 270473) of Arrow Focus on Wealth.

Arrow Focus on Wealth Pty Ltd is a Corporate Authorised Representative (CAR 270472) of of GPS Wealth Ltd AFSL 254 544 Australian Credit Licence 254 544 ABN 17 005 482 726 General Advice Warning: This communication contains general advice only. The information has not been prepared to take into account your specific objectives, needs and financial situation. The information may not be appropriate to your individual needs and you should seek advice before making any decisions regarding any products or strategies mentioned in this communication.

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