Media/News

 
  • End of Financial Year Bookkeeping Checklist
    As the end of the financial year approaches, there are a number of key things to remember as a small business owner when getting your books and accounts in order. Here we have provided a checklist of items for your reference.  Read more...
  • Transfer of business assets & private company shares
    The NSW Treasurer recently confirmed that transfer duty on the transfer of business assets will be abolished on 1 July 2016, along with transfer duty on the transfer of private company shares and mortgage duty. This creates opportunities for those who would like to restructure business assets.  Read more...
  • The Federal Budget has delivered good news for businesses
    The beginning of the 2016-17 income year will see companies with turnover less than $10 million taxed at a rate of 27.5%. This means around 870,000 companies will enjoy a decrease in their tax rate. The government will also continue...  Read more...
  • Valuing your Assets
    If your business has assets – such as vehicles, factory equipment, or property – it’s important to know when you might need a market valuation done and how to get one you can rely on.  Read more...
  • Thinking of selling your business? Nailing your exit plan is key
    After building your business from the ground up, putting in all your time, effort and resources, you’ve developed a strong business model and your business is thriving. Now it’s time to put your business on the market.
  • Invoice Reminders in Xero
    For Small Businesses cashflow is key. Receiving payments on time is vital to run the business and pay employees. That’s why Xero have recently launched a feature for invoice reminders.
  • NSW Small Business Grant
    If you own a small business in NSW you could be eligible for a Small Business Grant. This grant is designed to encourage small businesses in NSW that do not pay payroll tax to hire new employees and expand their...  Read more...
  • Are you a Small Business Owner? Now is the Time to Buy!
    No doubt small businesses have heard all about the hype surrounding the government's $20,000 instant asset write off. We've deceived to delve deeper into this new legislation and explore and clarify the different aspects to grant you a better insight and to ensure that you receive the maximum tax benefit from this ruling.  Read more...
  • Stopping (Ex) Employees from stealing your Business
    Restraint of trade clauses are now quite commonly used in employment contracts, but this wasn’t always the case. A covenant in restraint of trade, also sometimes referred to as a ‘non-compete’ clause, is a term in an employment contract that...  Read more...
  • How to stop your Business from going under
    Failure is not usually an option considered by any business owner. Unfortunately hundreds of Australian businesses collapse each year, resulting in millions being owed to creditors. And out of those hundreds, small businesses are more likely to crash than their...  Read more...
  • What does a business coach really do?
    I get asked this question a lot so here is what a business coach actually does, in plain and simple terms. First off, a business coach is NOT a guru who can fix everything and get you that Lamborghini in...  Read more...
  • Business benefits you are missing out on
    The rise of the online community has changed the way in which we do business forever. One of the key places that this has really made a different for business owners is in bookkeeping. Through using MYOB Online or XERO...  Read more...
  • Is your business ready to go international? Questions to ask yourself
    Have you been thinking of stepping up your business and going international? Here are some questions for you to consider before you jump in. Companies that can answer ‘yes’ to these questions have a much higher chance of going on...  Read more...
  • Protect your SME from the risks of the falling Aussie Dollar
    Since the Aussie Dollar’s peak against the US dollar in July 2011, the Aussie has lost more than 30% of its value and is now sitting at $US0.78. This sharp drop should be a warning call to businesses. The kind...  Read more...
  • How to avoid common payroll mistakes
    Staff payment issues can lead to low morale and poor productivity, so it's important to do everything in your power to avoid these issues. So here's how to avoid common mistakes when it comes to paying your employees.
  • Is your business ready to grow?
    Making the decision and commitment to give your business a big push to enter high growth phase involves analysing where your business is now and how you will cope with the increase in demand. Knowing when your business is ready...  Read more...
  • XERO Accounting Free for six months, get yours now
    XERO have rewarded our firm with a number of gift subscriptions. So we decided to give them away! We have SIX Xero gift cards* which amount to 6 months of free access. This is valued at up to $540. Get...  Read more...
  • Get your Business ready for the New Year!
    As the year slows down and comes to an end, now is the perfect time to sort your business out. Ensuring that your business remains in top form over the holiday period will leave you with a stress free break...  Read more...
  • Is it possible to claim a tax deduction for Santa?
    As Christmas nears, small business owners begin to plan celebrations, and bring the year to an end. This is also the time to begin organising, planning and budgeting for the Christmas party.
  • Building Your Brand
    There are plenty of things your business can do to build your brand identity. And there is a long list of things that only you care about, which are less important for building your brand.
  • How to Run a Good Board Meeting
    Inexperienced CEOs often make the same mistake when it comes to board meetings. They think they need to create all sorts of materials to educate the board about the business. This is where they go wrong. Spending too much time...  Read more...
  • New rules for employee share schemes: a guide for start-ups
    The treatment of employee share schemes in Australia has been a recurring problem for start-ups, particularly technology companies in the early-stage that use equity as a way to attract and retain top talent before the business can afford to pay...  Read more...
  • Digital Tech Kit for Small Businesses
    The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) has launched a new Digital Business Kit with an accompanying website as part of its Digital Ready program aimed at encouraging small businesses to embrace emerging broadband and IT infrastructure.
  • 3 start-up killers and how to avoid them
    It looks like you've found the pot of gold. The market loves your product, venture capitalists are calling you and you're into your second round of funding. You're beginning to hire more and more and your growth and future is...  Read more...
  • How to Buy the Right Business
    For many Australians, owning their own business has lead to a road of excellent financial freedom. Whilst start-ups are great and if you’ve got a fantastic, original, lucrative idea then you should try and pursue that road; however, for many...  Read more...
  • Small Business Watchdog on the Prowl
    The new small business watchdog will have unprecedented powers to name and shame entities who snub complaints from small businesses. Apparently the Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman will be given new powers to force big businesses, suppliers or state-owned...  Read more...
  • EOFY Checklist For SME’s
    The new financial year is now upon us, and it is the perfect time for business owners to be focusing on tax and accounting procedures that include:
  • What to do if you are audited
    Tax audits are like that childhood scarey, hidden monster you used to think would come out at night as soon as the lights went off. Not only does it cause a disruption to normal business proceedings; audits also tend to...  Read more...
  • Is your business ready for the new financial year?
    Traditionally, the start to a new year is a time to make resolutions to change some aspect of one’s life. The same could be said for business resolutions made at the start of the new financial year. As a business...  Read more...
  • When the employer thinks it has paid the employee but hasn’t
    The typical situation that one encounters is that the employee fills out an EFT form for the employer in which bank account details are provided to enable payments of wages to be made electronically. What happens if the employer’s Accounts Section incorrectly transposes the figures and does not enter the correct details for EFT purposes?  Read more...
  • Medical Certificates and their Rejection
    When dealing with medical absence, employees often notify their employer of the absence at the correct time. It's also common for an employer to receive a Medical Certificate from an employee a few days after the employee has been absent.
  • How does the budget affect your business?
    Find out what changes have occurred which may affect your business. ...  Read more...
  • Are you aware of the new franchise laws?
    The Abbott government's new franchising code seeks to adjust the power imbalance between small franchisees and their franchisor masters, and franchise companies will be fined up to $51,000 for breaches of the new franchising code.
  • How to utilise strategic planning to improve your workplace
    Whilst your business will always run smoother with happy employees, it is sometimes easier said than done. However, there are actually ways you can make your employees happy to be at work.
  • Are performance reviews worthwhile?
    As a business owner that employs workers, it’s important to understand the ever evolving world of human resource standards and observe how your business matches up. Currently, it has been noted that Australian businesses are using outdated performance management systems...  Read more...
  • 7 Causes of Business Failure (and how to avoid them)
    Over the years, at Lockwood & Ward we’ve seen many businesses come and go. Whilst we would like to profess that all of our business clients stay afloat in the long run, there are certainly a few reasons why businesses...  Read more...
  • SMEs – Don’t Miss Out On the SME instant asset write-off!
    As the end of the calendar year approaches, there’s another event that SMEs will have to watch out for besides being caught on Santa’s naughty list; this being the end of the current $6500 outright deduction for low value assets,...  Read more...
  • What every business owner should be doing
    A perennial theme between business owners is the yearning to spend more time working on, not in their business. However the stress and fractures of day-today operations usually prevents many owners from being able to step back and really analyse...  Read more...
  • Why you need to get your head into the clouds
    For a small-medium business owner, the struggle to get ahead of the big boys is a seemingly perpetual loop. However, with the rise of cloud computing systems, it seems that SMEs are finally gaining the upper hand. SMEs are able...  Read more...
  • Questions to Ask Your Accountant
    At Lockwood & Ward we act as Business Advisors for hundreds of business owners. As accountants we are involved in more than preparing financial statements and tax returns – we can provide assistance on everything from estate planning to business...  Read more...
  • Financial Statements – Are You Confused
    Many of our small business clients ask us to explain, in simple terms, what their Financial Statements really mean. Of course if you ask an accountant these sorts of questions the answer can be very very long indeed! We love...  Read more...
  • What is Job Costing and should you use it?
    Don’t let the term Job confuse you. Job Costing is a powerful way to analyse the information that you already have in your MYOB file. Whether you would like to track the profit made by separate departments, on a state...  Read more...
  • Applying Business Principles To Personal Finances
    It is surprising how successful business people are often poor managers of their personal finances. We often encounter people who have shown incredible vision and management skills in starting and running a business who then do the exact opposite in...  Read more...
  • Systemising Your Business For The Winning Edge
    Running an effective and efficient business requires systemisation. Systemisation determines the quality of the product delivered and the cost of delivering that product.  It is about the “nuts and bolts” of how you do things and enables your business strategy.
  • How To Perform A SWOT Analysis
    Lockwood & Ward have developed a very thorough SWOT System that provides exact measures for each area of the SWOT Analysis, highlights the areas that need attention, and presents results in an easy to interpret graphical format. Instead of using...  Read more...
  • Managing Risk And Insurance
    Small business owners often have most, if not all, of their personal wealth tied up in their businesses. These businesses are exposed to risk but those that manage risk well are more likely to thrive than others. Risk management should be...  Read more...
  • The Importance Of Cash Flow Forecasts
    Poor cashflow management can be bad news for small businesses. Cash shortages can lead to unnecessary tapping of expensive debt facilities. Worse still, it can impede the ongoing operations of an otherwise strong company.
  • To avoid post-Christmas cash flow crunch, SMEs must act NOW!
    The Christmas period for small businesses seems inevitably to lead to post-Christmas cash flow problems. From there, things go from bad to worse, seeing a rise in insolvencies in the New Year, namely during February. To avoid post-Christmas cash flow...  Read more...
  • 7 Ways A Professional Bookkeeper Will Save You Money!
    Many small and medium businesses (SMEs) opt to either attend to their own books, or employ a bookkeeper directly, reckoning that their experience and commitment to the business will reap its own rewards. Often it does reap rewards, but only...  Read more...
  • Measuring Employee Performance using KPI’s
    Measuring employee performance can be a challenge for many organisations. Currently we are mentoring some of our large corporate clients to implement the right measures. This article is the first in a series regarding the implementation of KPI's. To adequately advise, coach...  Read more...
  • How to keep your business healthy – Watch your Cash Flow
    Your financial report shows a big profit, yet your bank account’s running on empty, and the old jar of gherkins in the back of the cupboard is beginning to look mighty appealing. You don’t understand it, on paper everything appears...  Read more...
  • Business Fitness Review
    Would you like to know the impact of every business decision before you make it? Have you given your business a health check lately? Looking for ways to improve your cash flow or your bottom line profits? Thinking about obtaining...  Read more...
  • Owning vs renting your business property
    Acquiring your own business property is the desire of many business operators. In doing so, you achieve the perfect scenario of having ‘the best tenant and ideal landlord’. Many businesses start leasing their business premises and find issues with dealing...  Read more...
  • Taking control of debtors
    Debtors are like customers – life would be so much easier without them. Yet, just as your business probably operates (and in some cases survives) on credit, the reverse, whereby you have extended credit to your customers, also applies. This...  Read more...
 
  • Tax incentives for early stage investors
    In March 2016, the parliament introduced a bill proposing new tax incentives for innovation aiming to encourage new investment in Australian early-stage innovation companies. The new legislation can be quite confusing, so to make it easier we have summarised the changes here.  Read more...
  • End of Financial Year Tax Tips
    The end of the financial year is a common time for businesses to evaluate their year’s performance and take advantage of any tax-saving opportunities available. For your benefit, we have collated this list of core tax time tips to help your business get the most of out of tax time and reduce that tax bill!  Read more...
  • How the 2016 Budget measures affect individuals and families
    The 2016-17 Federal Budget was handed down on 3 May 2016. The main measures likely to affect you are outlined below, together with information about other measures that may be of interest to you.  Read more...
  • 10 easy ways to pay less tax
    Our accountants at Lockwood & Ward have come up with the 10 easiest ways that you can pay less tax. Here’s how you could save big dollars throughout the financial year.  Read more...
  • Top tips for keeping the taxman happy this Christmas
    As we enter the party season there is likely to be a hangover or two, if your business is forking out for Christmas festivities, is a tax hangover also on the menu? We’ve done the hard work for you and here are some things to consider in order to avoid an unwelcome festive season tax bill.  Read more...
  • Tax Debts; ATO plans to take action earlier
    Collecting outstanding taxes has become an ongoing challenge for the ATO. The amount of debt the ATO has to collect has continued to rise in recent years. With this in mind, the ATO has altered its approach and, among other...  Read more...
  • ATO on the Hunt for Investment Property Owners
    An investment property for most Australians provides a healthy income supplement and substantial tax incentives; however the Australian Tax Office (ATO) says it continues to see a number of rental property owners understating rental income and over-claiming rental deductions.
  • Increase in FBT rate
    From 1 April 2015, the Fringe Benefit Tax (FBT) rate will increase from 47% to 49%. While offering multi-faceted employment packages are a great way to attract new employees and keep your existing staff happy. With this increase, it may...  Read more...
  • Tax and Legal changes SMEs need to be aware of in 2015
    The Australian Tax Office doesn’t take kindly to “I didn’t know” and certainly won’t accept a lack of knowledge as an excuse. So here’s some key changes to the legal and tax system which you need to know this year.
  • The GST Debate
    Few taxes have been as politically fraught as the GST. The deal, brokered by the-then Prime Minister John Howard, was not only controversial for its political ramifications, but for the economic debate that ensued.
  • Contractors vs Employees – What are they?
    Despite legislation to try and stamp out the practice of employees becoming contractors, there is an ever increasing number of people being hired on a contractual basis. Beware! A common misconception of employers is to think that by hiring individuals...  Read more...
  • Capital Gains Tax and Subdivisions – It’s all about Intention
    Capital Gains Tax (CGT) can be confusing even for the best of us. However, to determine how a gain from a subdivision is taxed, it all really comes down to is: “intention.” Intention is the magical word and can more...  Read more...
  • Watch out for Division 293 Superannuation Tax
    In the past few weeks, we’ve had a number of clients consult us with regards to an unexpected shock they’ve received from the tax office. This shock came in the form of the Division 293 tax which came into effect...  Read more...
  • Does your eBay activity make you liable for GST?
    The ATO is increasing the focus of Audits to include GST. If you are selling items on Ebay and your annual sales exceed $75,000, then you will be targeted by the ATO. The ATO has the power to compel Ebay...  Read more...
  • Useful Tips for Claiming Vehicle and Travel Expenses
    Every year, our clients ask us the same questions regarding vehicle and travel deductions. We’ve decided to compile what we think are our most useful tips to help you understand what you can claim and the different types of expenses.
  • The ATO leads project to map mulinationals’ tax schemes
    The Australian Tax Office (ATO) is leading a pilot project with five other countries to map the global tax planning of multinationals in the digital economy and share intelligence on their activities.
  • Childcare tax rules are too complex
    What is holding back mothers who want to work from re-entering the workforce or working extra days after having children? Most Australians will tell you it's because of childcare. Well, to be more specific, the availability of quality, affordable and...  Read more...
  • Land tax for super funds – What do you know?
    Land tax is an expense that SMSFs which own investment property must pay annually. The tax also applies to property owned through a holding trust set up under a borrowing arrangement.  Read more...
  • Taxation Commissioner announces Project DO IT: Disclose offshore income today
    Earlier this year, the Commissioner of Taxation announced an initiative to allow eligible taxpayers to disclose the existence of offshore assets ahead of a global crackdown on people using international tax havens.
  • Tips to protect yourself from new financial year scams
    It’s Christmas in July! Well kind of. Tax time for many Australians means they have a little extra spending cash in their wallet thanks to a decent refund from the taxman. It’s also a pretty exciting time for us at...  Read more...
  • Top 10 end of financial year tax tips for SMEs
    With the end of financial year approaching fast, it's time to get things in order. Whether it's making sure you claim deductions for your home office, to taking advantage of recently announced budget measures, Lockwood and Ward have you covered....  Read more...
  • ATO reveals its hitlist
    The Australian Tax Office is changing its tax-return monitoring this year by focusing on particular claim types instead of professions in their audits of people’s tax affairs. This will put tech expenses for computers, phones and other devices, as well...  Read more...
  • What does the budget have in store for you?
    The long awaited Federal Budget has finally been revealed! We’ve had many clients’ ask us what’s in store for them, so we’ve decided to come up with a snapshot of the measures that are set to take place.
  • Year-end Tax Planning
    In the lead-up to 30 June 2014, taxpayers should take the time to focus on tax planning and what tax issues may affect them or their business. Most of our business clients will have current results to either April or...  Read more...
  • Government plans to lift GST and cut income tax
    Dr Martin Parkinson - Head of the Department of Treasury Picture: Aaron Francis. Source: The Australian The government wants to prepare Australians for major changes to the taxation system and there is a strong consensus towards raising the goods and...  Read more...
  • Tips to minimise your tax – Public Servants
    Superannuation offers various ways to add to your wealth with the most obvious being tax concessional contributions where pre-tax income seeks to benefit from the 15 per cent concessional tax rate instead of being taxed at your personal rate which...  Read more...
  • ATO Wants to Name Debtors
    The Australian Taxation Office (ATO)  is attempting to crack down on debtors and has suggested that the Abbott government could change the law to count tax debts in personal credit ratings. Second commissioner Geoff Leeper expressed his agreement, in a...  Read more...
  • Has your tax refund been delayed?
    Waiting for a tax refund can almost be akin to childhood Christmas memories. The excitement, the thrill, the sheer impalpable exhilaration of sleepless nights waiting for that day to arrive when Santa or in this case, the Tax Man processes...  Read more...
  • All’s Fair in Love and Taxes
    Discussing tax planning and finances are not usually what most people consider to be a romantic gesture of one’s love for another. However, when you feel yourself heading into a serious relationship, it’s important that you consider the practical tax...  Read more...
  • Festive Entertainment and Taxes
    The last thing on people’s mind at the end of the calendar year is superfluous things like taxes and bookkeeping. However, whilst your inhibitions may go out the window this festive season, you shouldn’t have to face a looming tax...  Read more...
  • What you need to know about Health Insurance Rebates
    The end of the 2013 financial year may have flown past us, but there are still many individuals who have not looked into their health insurance rebates. For those Australians with private health insurance, they are able to receive a...  Read more...
  • Are you being watched by the tax man?
    The newest development in the war against tax crime has seen the Australian Crime Commission enter into a $2 million two-year contract with the Australian Taxation office to supply static and mobile surveillance to catch out tax cheats.
  • What you need to know about Health Insurance Rebates
    The end of the 2013 financial year may have flown past us, but there are still many individuals who have not looked into their health insurance rebates. For those Australians with private health insurance, they are able to receive a...  Read more...
  • Proposed update for Employee Share Scheme
    A new report indicates that the federal government is set to look into the possibility of overhauling the tax treatment of employee share schemes (ESS). Start-up businesses say this is a necessity in order to promote growth. The government is...  Read more...
  • ATO’s latest warnings to Self-Managed Super Funds
    The ATO’s latest tactical approach involves clamping down on SMSF trustees who shift their assets around before selling them to sidestep capital gains tax. To do so, the ATO has stated that from July 2014, SMSF trustees will have to...  Read more...
  • Who is the ATO Targeting this Year?
    This year, the tax office has a firm consensus of which target groups they will be closely scrutinizing. PAYG obligations, trusts, profit shifting, eCommerce and the construction and building industries have all been marked for extra compliance monitoring during the...  Read more...
  • Cross Border Transactions
    Our clients today are becoming increasingly global in their outlook and often present opportunities for expansion in foreign markets. Further foreign businesses are increasingly doing business in Australia and require an understanding of Australian law. Transactions in a single jurisdiction...  Read more...
  • When will you get your refund?
    Eager to gain a clearer idea of when you will receive your refund? The ATO has provided estimations on how long it will take for returns to be finalised and information on how the ATO's app can help you check...  Read more...
  • ATO Warns Australians of Scam Emails regarding Tax Returns
    As we enter the tax season, the ATO and SCAMwatch is warning Australians of a new email scam that is circulating, claiming to be from the ATO and advising that money is to be transferred into your account. Scam emails...  Read more...
  • Higher rate taxpayers prepare for extra tax bill from lower health insurance rebate
    Many customers of health insurance funds have forgotten to contact their funds since 1 July 2012 to reduce the level of private health insurance rebate claimed upfront through a lower premium so should expect a higher tax bill at tax...  Read more...
  • Top Six Bookkeeping Tips
    Understanding the basic rules of business bookkeeping is the key to sound financial management. A very high percentage of failures in small businesses are caused by poor cash flow management, which ultimately relates to the inability to manage your finances....  Read more...
  • Tax Tips For Small Business
    Are you considering starting a small business? Then a consultation with one of our accountants to identify what you really need to know, and what to look out for is essential. Our list of questions every small business owner should...  Read more...
  • SMSF Compliance Issues When Moving Overseas On A Temporary Basis
    While Self Managed Super Funds (SMSFs) must ordinarily have their central management and control (CM&C) within Australia, there are instances where the CM&C may be outside Australia for a period of time under “temporary absence” rules. These rulings declare that...  Read more...
  • Are Your Dreams Holding You Back?
    Many of us dream of financial independence. In these dreams, independence is often attained by being on the receiving end of some form of windfall gain. Such fantasies can keep our chins up when times are tough. But, they can do more...  Read more...
  • Be Aware Of Strict Time Limits When Claiming GST Credits
    Are you aware of the time limits for claiming a refund that apply in the tax law regarding GST Input Tax Credits? A recent case before the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) serves as an important reminder to all businesses, including...  Read more...
  • Motor Vehicle Expense Deduction
    A tax deduction for motor vehicles is available if you use a car to gain assessable income. Deduction for car expenses may be calculated by using one of the following methods: Cents per kilometre Log book 12% of original cost...  Read more...
  • Maximising Your Property’s Tax Depreciation Potential
    As June 30 approaches, we thought we'd send a reminder about ordering and paying for a Tax Depreciation Report before the end of financial year. If you are renting out an investment property, be it a house, unit, granny flat...  Read more...
  • CGT and Same Sex Relationship Breakdowns
    We have recently consulted to a number of Same Sex Couples involved in Relationship Breakdowns and consequent property transfers. New rules apply to this type of transaction, greatly reducing the exposure to Capital Gains Tax if handled correctly. We explain...  Read more...
  • Are you in the FBT picture
    With the end of the fringe benefits tax (FBT) year approaching, now is a good time to review your obligations and the valuation methods you use for benefits you provide.
 
  • 5 things everyone should know about leaving an inheritance
    Are you thinking of leaving an inheritance for your family? Here are some facts everyone should know about leaving something behind for their loved ones.  Read more...
  • The Great Debate: Shares vs Property
    Investors usually sit in between two camps - either you're gung ho about investing in shares or you'll rather place your eggs into the property basket. Those that love shares will highlight the liquidity, tax-friendless, diversification and lack of maintenance....  Read more...
  • Busting fixed interest myths
    With the current wave of interest rate cuts and more predicted cuts to come, many investors would be forgiven for thinking that an allocation to any type of fixed-interest product would prove to be a bad decision. However, the right...  Read more...
  • Buying US Shares? Read this first
    Last year was poor for local shares despite company profits hitting a record high $270 billion, thanks to the fastest annual growth in profits in three years. So whilst 2014 may not have been any good for local investors, for...  Read more...
  • Investments to Avoid
    As the new year rolls around, some of you might be considering investing in something new or even investing for the first time. However, before you dive in and commit to any investment product there are some hard questions you...  Read more...
  • 10 tips to manage your finances in 2015
    As the new year rolls in, we’ve had many clients approach us with their “New Year Finance Resolutions” and queries on how to achieve these resolutions; which include saving more, investing, and increasing overall wealth. We’ve decided to compile a...  Read more...
  • 2014 Market Review and Outlook for 2015
    2014 ended up being a positive year for diversified investors but with a lot of volatility in the last quarter providing opportunities for clients with cash. 2015 is expected to see fair global growth, low inflation and easy monetary conditions,...  Read more...
  • How to increase your wealth in 2015
    New Year resolutions are often made after the New Year has come and gone, with no real planning put into place. One of the most popular resolutions relate to money as intentions to save more or pay down debt run...  Read more...
  • November Market Update
    After reaching mid-month lows market indices around the world had recovered by the end of October. While we have seen some clawing back in mid-October at time of writing, for those not fully invested it may be time to top...  Read more...
  • Wills – are they enough?
    Drafting a valid Will is not just important, it can be crucial in ensuring that your estate is distributed according to your wishes. But did you know that a Will, on its own, might not allow you to achieve all...  Read more...
  • Smart strategies
    Most of us do what we can, when we can to save money, pay off debt and ensure life is as comfortable as possible for ourselves and our family. The little things do count — cost-cutting measures can add up...  Read more...
  • Market Update October 2014
    Most major indices around the world moved significantly lower during September and into early October and were close to falling 10%, the level known as a ‘correction and the Australian All Ordinaries index was certainly included amongst those.
  • Out with the bad, and in with the good
    In the last decade, household debt has decelerated quite significantly — down from an average rate of 10% each year in the early 2000s to just 2% at the end of 2013.[1] As a nation, it seems we’ve become far...  Read more...
  • Market Update September 2014
    After reaching a high in early September, at the time of writing in mid-September it appears that Australian shares have begun to revert to their typical seasonal pattern, as summarised in the diagram below. For clients not fully invested this may...  Read more...
  • Deeming of ABPs: impact and opportunities?
    Q: How do Centrelink and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) currently assess account based pensions for the purpose of the income test? An annual ‘income-free’ amount, also known as a ‘deduction amount’ applies to assets-tested account-based income streams.
  • August Market Update
    Global growth continues to show considerable resilience despite the geopolitical tensions in the Ukraine and Middle East causing recent short-term price volatility. There has been a rebound in Australian consumer confidence...  Read more...
  • Failing to protect your household?
    Are you so busy establishing your career and your home that you’ve failed to protect your household by not having enough insurance?  Read more...
  • The value of good advice
    There’s something to be said for expert advice in an area that affects the lives of every single one of us – our finances.  It’s natural to want to stay in control of your finances, but keeping up to date...  Read more...
  • 2014 Financial Year Review
    The end of the financial year saw another well-above average year for investment markets overall especially for investors in shares - both Global and Australian – with the median “Balanced” super fund (60% to 76% in growth assets) looking to...  Read more...
  • New financial year …new resolutions
    The new financial year provides the chance to check progress on any new year’s resolutions made at the start of the year and to perhaps set new ones with a financial focus. Why not start by completing our free online...  Read more...
  • Market Update June 2014
    Returns in May were solid – bond and share markets both performed very well. Bond yields fell in all the major bond markets. We had particularly good share price gains in the emerging markets, particularly in India, where there’s a...  Read more...
  • Year end for savers, investors and employees
    With a few weeks remaining to the end of the financial year, this is your last chance to take action to potentially improve your wealth this tax year. In addition to our separate tips for super, here are 10 tips...  Read more...
  • Market Update – May 2014
    Amidst all the budget noise, it is timely to remind ourselves of wise words written 3000 years ago to remember the age-long importance of diversifying. What was true then remains as true now, as quoted in an investment white paper...  Read more...
  • Which is better: saving for 40 years or 10?
    Surprisingly, the magic of compounding means that you will end up with a bigger savings account if you only save for the first 10 years of your working life compared to saving for the last 40 years of your working...  Read more...
  • Market Update April 2014
    The Australian dollar had its strongest month since September last year, up against a weaker pound, yen and RMB and with less of a gain against the Euro and rising to 93c against the US Dollar, after the RBA signalled...  Read more...
  • Enhance your Financial Wellbeing in 5 Easy Steps
    There are countless ebooks, blogs and videos on how to improve your financial standing. However, with all this advice floating around, it can be difficult for one to differentiate between the information that’s actually useful and the stuff that leaves...  Read more...
  • Market Update March 2014
    Despite a continuation of good returns for growth asset classes, farrelly’s consider that markets are back around normal levels, which means that most assets are still around fair value except for the US which is close to fully-priced as S&P500...  Read more...
  • $1m for retirement may be too little for comfort
    The latest Association of Super Funds of Australia (ASFA) figures suggest a couple both retiring at age 65 with their home owned debt-free off will now spend $58,000pa for a comfortable retirement, with a life expectancy around age 86, which...  Read more...
  • Money can’t buy happiness….but there are ways it can help
    Those of you already using our wealth consulting service will know we focus on helping you achieve the outcomes that are important to you, rather than simply helping you to grow your money grow as an end in itself. With...  Read more...
  • How to Avoid a Sickening Credit Card Bill
    It’s that time of year again! When our wallets get lighter and our headaches get bigger! Whilst this is season that’s meant to be full of joy and happiness, all too often we wake up in January with a massive...  Read more...
  • 2013 Market Review and Outlook for 2014
    2013 ended up being a second strong year for investors, especially for those with a good allocation to shares, as threats in place at the start of the year faded and the world continued to enjoy low inflation, improving growth...  Read more...
  • How to Become a Great Investor
    Recent studies show that Gen Y are becoming more and more active in relation to investing their hard earned, deposable income. However no matter what generational bracket you belong in, the key to building a great investment portfolio is to...  Read more...
  • When $1m isn’t enough
    The many Australians who simply rely on employer contributions to their super fund to save for their retirement in the next 20 years will not afford the retirement lifestyle they desire.
  • 5 Simple Ways to Boost Your Super
    There are simple ways to boost your tax-effective savings in super without adding large lump sums of money.
  • Six Ways to Build Wealth
      ...  Read more...
  • Free Online Health Check
    With the start of another financial year it is a good time to check how you are going with your personal finances. This year we have a free online financial health check available by clicking this link: 5-minute-health-check or from the menu...  Read more...
  • Family trusts being stimulated by lower contribution limits
    With the continuation of low limits on amounts that can be contributed to super, notwithstanding the pleasing but small increase taking effect for some clients from 1 July 2013, family trusts might be a useful alternative structure for longer term...  Read more...
  • Federal Budget summary – individuals
    The 14 May Federal budget had no nasty surprises, confirmed changes to super summarised on our 5th April summary, but announced an across the board tax increase of 0.5% on all levels of taxable  income, in the guise of a...  Read more...
  • Year End Tips – Personal Financial Strategies
    With the 30 June end of the financial year fast approaching it is a good time to check that you are taking advantage of the tax-effective opportunities available before it is too late for this tax year. Please note these...  Read more...
  • 7 Rules For Financial Success
    As reported in this month’s March Market Update, markets have continued to improve their recovery from the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) that began in mid-2007 with the American ‘sub-prime crisis’ when debt-laden American households began to default on their home...  Read more...
  • Lockwood In The News
    We are proud to share that our firm and its Wealth Consulting service line were reported in Money Management Newspaper on Tuesday 5th March about our readiness for FOFA (the new Future of Financial Advice regulations). The article featured our Partner...  Read more...
  • True value of Professional Property Management
    When considering the option of Do-It-Yourself or Professional Property Management, many may ponder the concept thinking ‘How hard could it really be?’.
  • Cost of retirement rises so start saving early
    A couple enjoying a ‘comfortable’ retirement now spend $56 339 a year while a couple living a ‘modest’ lifestyle spend around $31 555 a year according to December 2012 figures released by the Association of Super Funds of Australia (AFSA).
  • Happy New Year – time to review business or personal goals?
    After a Christmas break and the summer holiday period, in which we hopefully manage to take time to reflect on the year just gone, it can be useful to consider setting personal and professional goals for the year ahead. While...  Read more...
  • Lockwood 5 Minute Financial Health Check
    Since recommending the Money Smart online financial health check in a past newsletter we are pleased to now provide you with our own 5 minute financial health check self assessment questionnaire.  After submitting both you and we receive an email copy. 
  • Mid-Year Budget Measures – Some Good News, Some Not
    On 22nd October 2012 the federal Treasurer announced several new policy measures as part of the “Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook.
  • Free Financial Money Smart Health Check
    The Money Smart campaign by the Australian Government has some useful tools for managing your personal financial affairs. A good starting point is to complete your own online money health check, which takes around 8 minutes to complete.
  • Small Businesses Still Significantly Under-Insured
    Recent research by the Cameron Research Group* suggests that small businesses (employing less than 19 people), which make up ¼ of Australian businesses, are still worryingly under-insured against sickness or injury of their principal.
  • Is Your Will Up To Date?
    Your will is an important document. To be effective, it will probably need to be reviewed and revised several times throughout your lifetime. Changes need to be incorporated by a solicitor. You can’t do it yourself by simply penning amendments on the...  Read more...
 
 
  • Superannuation reform changes and how they affect you
    The federal budget introduced a number of superannuation reform changes. Below we have outlined when these changes become valid and how they affect you. New lifetime cap for non-concessional superannuation contributions The government announced in the Federal Budget that it...  Read more...
  • The rules and costs of investing in property with your SMSF
    Are you thinking of purchasing property through your SMSF? There are rules and restrictions that are important to understand. Here is what you need to consider before you do.  Read more...
  • Understanding the Sole Purpose Test for SMSFs
    If you are thinking of investing in property through your self managed super fund it is important to understand the Sole Purpose Test. Here's what you need to know.  Read more...
  • 3 Reasons to Invest in Property with your Super
    Investing in Australian property can seems beyond your reach, especially for those in Sydney. But did you know that you can use a self managed super fund (SMSF) to buy property through your super – whilst potentially boosting your retirement savings at the same time?  Read more...
  • Benefits of having an SMSF
    Many Aussies are beginning to switch from Retail or Industry funds, which make investment decisions on behalf of members, to Self Managed Superannuation Funds (SMSFs) where they have a wider range of investment options and additional control over their superannuation investment strategy. If you’re thinking of starting an SMSF, or are still unsure, here’s some SMSF benefits that you could be taking advantage of.  Read more...
  • How to switch Superannuation Funds
    Switching superannuation funds is easier to do than a decade ago, when it felt like you almost had to give up your right hand to make a move. Technology improvements and new rules have simplified the process and minimised the...  Read more...
  • Does Bankruptcy affect your Super?
    For many small business owners and self-employed individuals, a SMSF is an asset that can be protected against pretty much anything, including bankruptcy. Whilst it is something not many people would like to think about let alone admit, bankruptcy is...  Read more...
  • How divorce affects your SMSF
    Whilst married life may bring bliss and happiness, it’s unfortunate that many marriages do end in divorce. Divorce usually brings with it heartache and financial settlements. And the many members of Australia’s self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) are unfortunately not immune...  Read more...
  • Cash deposits on the rise
    Cash investments are usually seen as being the boring, low-risk alternative to high risk/high return ventures, but research now indicates that across the broad range of investment options within superfund’s, cash deposits now equate to 18 per cent of Australian...  Read more...
  • Tidying your paper trail – SMSF trustees take note!
    It’s that time of the year again, when trustees of SMSFs need to make sure their fund’s minutes are in order, that an investment strategy and valuations are up to date, that any pension documentation is correct and that they...  Read more...
  • Ban on Borrowings
    In the recently released Financial System Inquiry (FSI) report, the panel recommended that the "Government should restore the general prohibition on direct borrowing by superannuation funds ...", i.e. ban borrowing in super funds.
  • Get Super smart – Superannuation terms you need to know
    The jargon thrown around by the superannuation industry can be daunting for beginners. Here are 10 of the most common jargon terms used in super.
  • Borrowing inside vs borrowing outside your SMSF
    Investing in property is the great Aussie dream and thus is also a very popular wealth creation strategy for many Australians.  Read more...
  • New Super Contribution Caps
    From 1 July 2014, the superannuation contribution caps have increased, allowing an opportunity to place more money in superannuation going forward. The contribution caps control the amount you can place into superannuation each year without facing penalty tax. If you...  Read more...
  • How to grow your wealth and super
    Although you may not be thinking about your retirement yet, the reality is that every little extra you put aside now will pay off later down the track. After working hard all your life, you want to retire in comfort...  Read more...
  • The pros and cons of SMSFs
    As at March 2014, there were 528,701 SMSFs in Australia, with a total of $558,553 million worth of assets.[1] There are many compelling reasons why SMSFs are so popular — and equally persuasive reasons as to why they don’t suit everyone.
  • Why put a lump sum into super?
    If you’re thinking about investing your tax return in shares or a term deposit, you may be better off putting the money into your super instead or in addition to paying down any debt.
  • Insurance changes for SMSFs
    New regulations from 1 July 2014 require all new insurance policies issued to SMSFs to be consistent with the SIS conditions of release in respect of a member which means SMSFs can now only...  Read more...
  • SMSFs, insurance and implementing a borrowing strategy
    Borrowing to invest can provide significant benefits, but it adds quite a bit of risk. Self-managed super fund trustees in particular should consider insurance when implementing an LRBA strategy.  Read more...
  • Financial organisation while time is on your side
    Today is the day to: stop, take stock and tackle your finances head on. Is it always tomorrow, next week, next month or next year that you’re going to get your finances in order?  It’s important to get on track...  Read more...
  • New Year Penalties for SMSF breaches
    The new financial year sees the introduction of a new penalty regime for the ATO to levy on SMSF trustees if certain rules are broken. In summary there are three types of new penalties that can now be imposed on...  Read more...
  • Year end for super
    The end of the financial year always seems to crop up faster than it should. Understanding what you could do before and after 30 June 2014 can provide the icing on the cake for employees, investors and those in small...  Read more...
  • New schedule for increasing the Super Guarantee
    New Schedule for increasing the Super Guarantee | Create Infographics ...  Read more...
  • Budget Summary for super and retirement
    Refunds of excess non-concessional contributions, changes to the Super Guarantee and tighter rules on qualifying social security benefits were the main Budget announcements to impact on superannuation this year. There was no change in preservation age, when you can access...  Read more...
  • SMSFs have happiest members
    Yet another survey has found that those happiest with their super fund are those with their own self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs).  
  • SuperStream actions for SMSF clients by 31 May 2014
    The Federal Government has changed to the way employer superannuation contributions are made to all super funds from 1 July 2014 for large employers and a year later for smaller firms. However, SMSF clients employed in businesses with more than...  Read more...
  • Super Tax Update from new Government
    In early November the Treasurer announced decision plan to abandon some of the previous government’s tax and super proposals and which of the proposals would be proceeded with.
  • SMSF – Not as easy as they sound
    Self-Managed Super Funds are hardly a new trend; however they have gained some traction lately, with the government allowing SMSFs to borrow to purchase property. Everybody from property advisers to your next door neighbor seems to be raving on about...  Read more...
  • Super Fund holiday conferences not deductible
    While the matter of tax deductions for your super fund is one of the reasons clients employ us to help manage and account for their funds, we thought it useful to provide the following flyer to explain the rules in light...  Read more...
  • SMSF 2013 ATO Statistics
      ...  Read more...
  • 7 Deadly Sins for Self-Managed Super Funds
    Whilst Gordon Gekko’s perennial “greed is good” speech has proven to be an affective campaign towards this deadly sin, SMSF trustees should not be so easily blinded. Trustees need to be aware of their own common mistakes and ensure that...  Read more...
  • SMSF Trustees Love an Expert
    A new study1 by the SMSF Professionals’ Association of Australia (SPAA) and Macquarie Bank reveals that the profile of SMSF investors is dramatically changing, with 46% of recent investors under age 30 and one in five females still living at...  Read more...
  • SMSFs and Property Investments
    Recent media commentary has focussed on the risks of investing in geared property by self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) and whether it is really the right long-term decision for a member’s retirement.  It can be the right choice for some but...  Read more...
  • Superannuation Contributions – Do you know your entitlements?
    Essential Facts about Superannuation Contributions that you need to know 1 YOUR EMPLOYER IS REQUIRED TO MAKE SUPER CONTRIBUTIONS
  • SMSFs and Related Party Transfers
    Following the pleasing change of heart by the Government in June 2013, SMSFs members are still allowed to transfer assets from related parties into their fund.  Our attached fact sheet explains why this might be of benefit and what assets...  Read more...
  • A year of very strong returns on balance
    After a financial year that ended with very volatile investment markets, early indications from Super Ratings suggest it has been a very strong year of returns with the average “balanced” super fund (between 60% and 76% allocated to growth assets)...  Read more...
  • Off market transfers to stay in place
    We’re pleased to report that in early June the government quietly shelved its plan to ban off-market transfers of listed securities between an SMSF and a related party from 1 July 2013. This means clients now have more time to...  Read more...
  • End of year tax house-keeping for SMSF trustees
    As we reach the end of another tax year it is wise for SMSF trustees to start doing some house-keeping to limit the risk of being faced with penalty tax later on.
  • SMSF – Invest in Cash or Capital Assets?
    Whether you have an industry fund, an employer fund, a retail fund or a self-managed super fund (SMSF), everyone working in Australia now has a super fund. However, those invested in an employer, industry or retail fund have far less...  Read more...
  • End of Financial Year super tax planning
    There are six strategies to consider when working out how to make more tax-effective use of your personal super before the end of the tax year.
  • Government announces reforms to super – Friday 5 April
    Today the government announced substantial proposed changes to super which we summarise below and provide more detail in the factsheet that can be downloaded here.  Pleasingly, tax free withdrawals from pensions remain in place for over 60s.
  • Employer super obligations are changing – get ready now
    From 1 July 2013: You need to increase the compulsory super payments you make on behalf of all your eligible employees (called 'super guarantee' or 'SG') to 9.25%. This is the first of several increases over the next seven years....  Read more...
  • SMSFs shifting into residential property investment
    Over the last four years funds invested in residential property by self-managed super funds (SMSFs) grew much faster than all other SMSF investments, according to figures published by the Australian Tax Office (ATO). For clients with a long time horizon...  Read more...
  • Benefits and risks of buying property with gearing through your SMSF
    There has been a lot of discussion recently about limited recourse borrowing arrangements for SMSFs, which is the means by which you can use a self-managed super fund to borrow and buy an investment property.  Many of you have also...  Read more...
  • 4 New SMSF rules take effect from 7 August 2012
    New rules arising from the Cooper Review’s Stronger Super reforms take effect from 7 August 2012 that all SMSF trustees must be aware of. The new amendments to the SIS regulations to improve the governance of self-managed super funds and...  Read more...
  • Superannuation Co-Contribution Update
    With the benefit soon to reduce, time is running out to make the most of the super co-contribution. Government superannuation co-contribution for low and middle income earners will be halved from July 2012.
  • Should Your SMSF Lend Money?
    Whether or not to loan out money is a problem that most Self Managed Super Funds (SMSFs) face at one time or another, and while the loan itself may eventually benefit members, it can also have far-reaching consequences if money...  Read more...
  • Self Managed Superannuation Funds
    WHAT IS A SELF MANAGED SUPERANNUATION FUND “Self Managed” Superannuation Fund means just that – you do the work. Before thinking about setting one up, it is crucial that you have the time to manage your own superannuation.
  • Illegal superfund payouts not worth it
    As financial hardship due to the global economic crisis increases, people are more at risk of accessing their super illegally. The ATO is concerned that some people, whether encourage by promoters or because of financial difficulties, will use self-managed super...  Read more...
  • Insurance in Super Funds
    Deciding to get insurance in a super fund can be a smart move for many reasons. To begin with, you can claim the premium on death and total permanent disability (TPD) risk cover as a deduction, and there is no...  Read more...
  • Searching for lost super
    If you have ever changed your name, address or job you may have lost some of your super and appear on the lost members’ register (LMR). The LMR is a central database that lists the members that all regulated super...  Read more...
 
  • Changes to Australia’s Foreign Investment rules
    If you are a foreign investor who has bought Australian Property, please note that in December last year, changes were made to Australia’s foreign investment framework. These changes include:  Read more...
  • Get in before the Banks tighten on lending
    In attempt to avoid mortgage risk, financial analysts believe that Australia’s big banks are looking to tighten lending through heavier restrictions. Major lenders may soon be introducing different lending criteria and stricter servicing requirements as they look to reduce the amount of risk they carry on their mortgage books.  Read more...
  • ATO Shakedown Imminent for Property Owners
    Holiday homes are a great little investment and tax minimising treat for Australians to sink their teeth into. However, the Australian Taxation Office plans to strike out on investors who are unconsciously over-claiming on deductions. So here's what you can do to reduce your chances of being questioned or audited.  Read more...
  • Seven ways to benefit from low interest rates
    Take advantage of the low interest rate environment and strategise for your financial future. Here's how you can benefit from low interest rates.  Read more...
  • Is your mortgage failing?
    Australians have enjoyed some of the lowest interest rates in history. Australia’s already record low interest rate was cut again to the historically low level in February 2015 to 2.25% and many commentators are predicting a further cut in the...  Read more...
  • Reserve Bank acts to lift economy with Interest rates cut
    At its first meeting for the year, the Reserve Bank unsurprisingly announced that the official interest rates would be cut to a new 60 year low falling by 0.25 percent from 2.50 to 2.25 percent.
  • Refinance and renovate your dream home
    Have you been thinking about renovating? Perhaps it’s time to make over your home into the one you’ve been dreaming about or maybe you need to upgrade a few things before putting your property on the market. Whatever the reason,...  Read more...
  • The benefits of refinancing
    Would you like a loan with better features? Are you looking for cash to fund your renovations? Refinancing your mortgage is a great way to save, and update your loan to match your current situation. If you’re not sure whether...  Read more...
  • 5 tips for first home buyers
    Buying your first home can be an exciting time, but it can also be stressful and overwhelming when you are unfamiliar with the process and technical know-how. So we have complied five tips that will help you feel confident –...  Read more...
  • How to control your spending this silly season
    As the festive season nears, wallets and banks begin to poor out money making summer the most expensive season of the year. The average Australian spends 30 per cent of their income on discretionary spending on normal days. However during...  Read more...
  • What every investment owner needs to know about depreciation
    With the end of the year approaching and new year resolutions just around the corner, it is usually a time when buyers are on the hunt for a property and property owners think about renovating their current rental property. If...  Read more...
  • Key Tips for First Home Buyers
    Buying your first property can be an exciting, terrifying and confusing time. For most buyers, a property is arguably the most significant financial decision you’ll ever make and whilst it can be a time of celebration, first home buyers should...  Read more...
  • Unearth the value in your home!
    For many home owners, the idea of being able to turn your home into an investment property and benefit from the tax deductions is certainly appealing. However, the question of renting vs buying needs to be adequately addressed beforehand.
  • Mortgages – The Great Juggling Act
    Owning one’s home has long been a staple in the great Australian dream. Meanwhile, buying an investment property has also been seen as the next step in this ever elusive reverie; but it may not come as easily as buying...  Read more...
  • We have good news for borrowers
    The Reserve Bank has played it safe again this month and has left the official cash rate on hold for the 13th consecutive month. With the economy tracking quite nicely at the moment, the decision by the Reserve Bank to...  Read more...
  • Essential Tips for Following Interest Rate Trends
    Whether you are a first home owner or a veteran investor, it pays to understand why you are paying a certain interest rate. By looking back through the history of interest rates, you may be able to gain a better...  Read more...
  • First Home Buyer Trends
    Buying your first home can be an exciting but scary ordeal. Most potential first home buyers fear that they won’t find their ideal home at their ideal price. At the moment, there is a lot of press circling the idea...  Read more...
  • Building an investment portfolio
    Building wealth by any means is appealing to all, but building wealth through investing in property has always been a popular and accepted way of increasing one’s wealth.
  • How may we serve you?
    After all the glitz and glamour banks and lenders throw in consumers’ faces with their fancy advertisements and “low interest rates,” at the end of the day, what they are really looking for in a potential customer is their serviceability...  Read more...
  • Should you invest in a Duplex property?
    Most investment properties are either purchased as an apartment in an up-and-coming trendy suburb or as a potential family home for renters. However sometimes an investor is presented with the exciting prospect of buying a dual-income residence at below-market rates....  Read more...
  • Squeaky Clean Credit
    Paying your loans and bills on time has taken on a new level of importance thanks to reforms to Australia’s credit reporting system. On 12 March 2014 a ‘positive’ system was introduced to give lenders more detailed information about a...  Read more...
  • More homes for sale – Real estate agent activity 2014
    RP Data have released insights around the number of homes which are likely being prepared for sale and lead indicators for new listings about to enter the market.
  • Sitting on the Fence
    It has been very hard to escape the news about the Sydney property market in the last 6 weeks. Every property item in the press, television and online has referred to the coming boom in Sydney property. Those of you...  Read more...
  • Refinancing Mistakes to Avoid
    Avoid these common mistakes and refinancing your home loan should be a simple, trouble-free experience. Successfully navigating the refinancing process can enable you to take advantage of better rates and features, as well as provide finance for a renovation, construction...  Read more...
  • The Right Time
    Getting your timing perfect with almost anything in life is challenging enough – throw in the prospect of buying a property and the chances of getting it right are amplified expediently. To help you gain a further insight into buying...  Read more...
  • Rent or Buy?
    If there's one topic that's bound to cause debate, it's whether you are better off buying or renting a home. Although the debate that has been around for decades, the climate of low interest rates and rising rents has once...  Read more...
  • Tips for Buying at an Auction
    Here at Clarence Street Mortgages, we very much enjoy hearing the stories from our clients of their latest bidding war. The thrill of buying at an auction can certainly be a rollercoaster ride of emotions with unfortunate pitfalls along the...  Read more...
  • Sydney not in ‘Property Bubble’
    As low interest rates urge a jump in property prices and high clearance rates, in major cities at least, talk of a property bubble is rising. Our brokers attended the Westpac Road Show in September where RP Data's Tim Lawless...  Read more...
  • Buying an Apartment
    So you’ve already taken the plunge and made the decision to invest in an apartment. The next step is to look at what features make a great apartment that renters will love and will make you money when you sell.
  • 6 Investment Mistakes to Avoid
    Learning from the mistakes of others is a great way to become a successful property investor. Here's a list of what to avoid on your way to the top.
  • Bank or Broker?
    Clients sometimes ask us why they shouldn't just go direct to a bank. Our answer is that mortgage brokers can do a lot more than process a transaction - we provide advice, financial guidance and valuable assistance with negotiating your...  Read more...
  • The Golden Rules of Investment Properties
    Choosing an investment property that’s right for you is almost like searching for the Holy Grail. Too many factors can cloud one’s judgment and speculations are rife within the real estate sector. If you’re lucky enough to have the advantage...  Read more...
  • Maximise your odds of winning loan approval
    Applying for a home loan is often a daunting task. Not only do you have to collect the right information and paperwork, there's the anxious wait to hear whether or not your application is successful. There are a few things...  Read more...
  • Year End Tips – Property Owners
    Prepare an accurate depreciation schedule - Having a depreciation schedule prepared by a qualified quantity surveyor may help add a significant tax deduction for depreciation. The cost is also tax deductible and helps substantiate any capital allowance claim you may...  Read more...
  • Simple ways to reduce mortgage interest
    Despite falling interest rates, with the prospect of more rate cuts to come, one of the biggest expenses for many of our clients is mortgage repayments.  Whether you are buying your own home, borrowing to buy a property in your...  Read more...
  • Low Interest Rates: Buying A Property Wisely
    Record low interest rates afford those with stable incomes the opportunity to invest in both the housing market and their future. To take advantage of current interest rates, potential buyers must know exactly the type of house they can afford....  Read more...
  • Never Choose A Loan Based On Interest Rates Alone
    While the current financial climate means that many financial institutions are offering the most affordable interest rates in decades, it is vital to avoid choosing a home loan based on interest rates alone. Whether you choose a variable, offset, fixed...  Read more...
  • Should couples combine finances?
    Love and money don’t necessarily co-exist, at least not peacefully. Mingling money in joint accounts is a big decision, and not one to be undertaken lightly. For the most part, when considering blending finances, couples consider three different basic approaches;
  • Can Debt be Good?
    In this day and age, debt plays an increasing crucial role in our lives. Whilst some people struggle to meet monthly credit card payments, others use debt to build assets and prosper. So in fact, there are both good and...  Read more...
  • Property Investment
    Is your Investment Property a good Investment? We are asked this question many times by our clients. What makes a good property investment, and how can you know if the one you have is good is a vexing question. In...  Read more...
  • Break costs a problem
    Homeowners who fixed their rate back in 2007 are paying around $650 a month more on a $300,000 mortgage and probably still have another year of being locked in. These homeowners face the reality that even if they break their...  Read more...