How do you create certainty in uncertain times? Much of what we do personally to grow and protect our wealth, and commercially for the businesses we manage is subject to unpredictability and change.
The answer is that there are no certainties in life – sorry about that. But, this doesn’t mean that you can’t take charge and protect against uncertainty – you just need to know where and how to look at it.
Where we are at
Government spending will continue to be a focus this year with the interest on Government debt now running at $1 billion per month according to Treasury. There are only a few ways the Government has of dealing with the increasingly ominous debt trend; initiatives to lift productivity and growth to boost tax revenues, spending cuts, and increased taxes or a reduction in tax concessions. This year, for you personally, your SMSF, and your business, you should keep this in mind when trying to manage change as Government policy is likely to provide both opportunities and risks in the short and long term.
In the last 9 months, we have seen a huge drop in the value of equity markets, especially here in Australia. The All Ordinaries Index sat at close to 5,955 points at the end of April 2015. As at 21 January 2016, the index was 4,896 points. A drop of over 1,000 points or close to 18%.
It’s a volatile market and difficult to know what to do beyond “don’t panic.” Most of the leading economists are predicting continued growth despite the market being easily spooked. It’s important to know your individual position and the likely impact of change on you – investing vs paying down the mortgage, different investment types, SMSF vs retail funds. Reacting with the crowd to change is never a good idea. If you haven’t already, talk to one of our advisers about your options.
Also bear in mind the impact of Government policy. Negative gearing currently costs more than Australia’s defence budget. It’s likely to be cut back or grandfathered out of existence at some point.
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