Global funds prefer US, European stocks

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The latest Wren Advisers Portfolio Poll shows that global equities fund managers still have a strong preference for U.S. and European stocks. The average U.S. weighting of 50.2 per cent in the June quarter is close to a record high and around 2 percentage points above the neutral benchmark. Continental Europe is also a favoured destination with an average portfolio allocation of 19.2 per cent. Perhaps indicating that the grass is always greener, European managers are more bullish on the U.S. … [Read more...]

Company profits surprise on the upside

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The latest profit reporting season has now drawn to a close and investors have generally given the announcements a big thumbs up. For the 180 companies in our database, the headline numbers are encouraging with sales growth the strongest it has been since June 2011 and net profits up 10.1% on last year. Earnings per share, the number that stock analysts worry about, rose by 8.1% – almost keeping pace with net profits – and margins are broadly in line with twelve months ago. Resources … [Read more...]

Small business CGT concessions

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The capital gains tax concessions available to small business owners are generous but they can be complex. The small business capital gains tax (CGT) cap is a lifetime indexed amount which is available to eligible businesses which dispose of a qualifying business asset. For the 2014-15 financial year this limit is $1.355 million. The CGT cap can include any of the following: the capital proceeds from the disposal of business assets that qualify for the 15-year CGT exemption; up to … [Read more...]

Super contribution limits 2014-15

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Australia has had limits on superannuation contributions since 1 July 2007. These fall into two broad categories: concessional and non-concessional. Concessional contributions are before-tax contributions that form part of the fund’s assessable income. Examples include super guarantee (SG) contributions, salary sacrifice contributions, personal contributions which are claimed as a tax deduction, contributions made by another person (excluding spouse or child contributions), certain amounts … [Read more...]

Federal Budget slugs low and middle income earners, families with children

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The 2014-15 Federal Budget will hit low and middle income earners hard if it is passed by the Senate in its current form. Research by the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling (NATSEM) shows that families in the bottom quintile (or 20%) of income earners will see an average 5% reduction in disposable incomes while those in the top quintile will only experience a 0.3% decline. A single-income family with two kids earning between $50,000 and $100,000 per annum could lose up to … [Read more...]

Seeking advice on redundancy is critical

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As businesses continue to cut costs and close under-performing operations, the number of people being retrenched or offered voluntary redundancy is on the rise. While this can be extremely stressful for employees and their families, the good news is that there are several planning strategies which are potentially useful in this area. It is therefore worth exploring your options before you leave your job. Ten points to keep in mind Redundancy statements are not reported in a … [Read more...]