Aqua Wealth | News & Articles
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News & Articles

When it comes to personal protection, Australians are making a worrying return to a ‘she’ll be right’ approach, with fewer than one in five checking their levels of personal insurance. BT’s Australian Financial Health Index1 (AFHI) found that overall, the nation’s financial wellbeing has remained relatively stable. However after positive shifts in attitudes towards insurance in 2012-2013, the more recent 2014 AFHI found an uplift in levels of confusion and indifference in regards to personal protection. See the infographic here. We’re more likely to insure our car than ourselves As a guide to how personal insurances often play second fiddle to other types of cover, 76% of Australians claim to insure their car, yet only 33% also claim to have life cover and just one in five (20%) claim to have income protection insurance. Indeed, tangible assets are typically seen as more worthy of...

Financial fitness is not that different to physical fitness. Both take time, moderation and discipline, and both are equally rewarding in terms of improving your quality of life. Here’s a five-step plan for putting your finances in healthy working order. Know what you want When you set out to improve your fitness you usually have a goal in mind – maybe you want to look good for summer or be fit enough to keep up with the kids. Do the same with your finances: work out what you want to achieve so that you can make a financial plan for how to get there.        2.  Make a plan To include exercise into your week you have to schedule it in. Maybe you have to wake up earlier? Give up your lunch break? Take the same approach when making a plan for financial...

If you are moving house, home loan portability gives you the option to take your current home loan with you. By keeping your loan from one property to the next, you won’t have to go through the process of refinancing and you can save on establishment costs like application and valuation fees, government charges and potential exit fees (banned on loans taken out after 1 July 2011). If you have a fixed rate home loan, then loan portability could save you the significant break costs that may be charged for altering your loan before the full term. It also entitles you to retain existing facilities like your ATM card, online banking account and cheque book. Some home loans include portability and others provide it as an option. Often there are restrictions in place that determine in what circumstance portability can be used. As your mortgage...

We all set goals, either consciously or unconsciously, but most of us are content with vague easily set targets that are just as easily forgotten the next day. We sort of know where we’re going and we count upon fate, luck, providence and quick thinking to get us there. This might work sometimes, but it also makes it easy for us to become confused, find excuses or give up. Goal setting is one of the simplest and most powerful tools you have to bring about positive changes in your life. Like driving in a big city, it’s harder to find your way if you don’t know exactly where you’re going. Setting goals is like stopping to look at a map – it takes a few minutes to do it, but it makes sure you’re headed in the right direction. Here are some examples of...

Some home loan approvals can be processed in days, others take weeks. Why the delay? Don’t be tempted to blame your mortgage broker because rarely they are the ones causing the hold-up. Usually it is either a delay by the lender or incomplete client paperwork that causes the blowout. Some lenders fund loans faster than others, and an increase in the number of loans can slow down a lender's usual processing time. The time of year also has a part to play – expect delays the closer you get to Christmas, as well as around Easter and the end of the financial year. You can help move along the mortgage approval process by pulling together the necessary documents before you apply for a loan. Missing documents and inconsistent information on the paperwork are common reasons for delays. The more complex the loan, the longer...

Scientists and futurists are often asked to predict what life will be like in 2020. Now that this milestone year is not far away, let’s take a look at some of the predictions that supposedly await us just around the corner. Domestic Bliss No more cleaning, dusting or ironing, these tasks will be done by domestic robots. Androids are predicted to be the must-have item of the 2020s and people will be able to purchase them through Amazon-type vendors and customise them according to their needs. Cure for Cancer Cancer immunology is seen as a breakthrough in cancer research that will radically change the way cancer is treated. Rather than killing cancer cells directly with chemo or radiotherapy, treatments will promote the body’s natural immune control over the disease. Hands free texting Phones will provide the option of texting based solely on thought power. Eye-tracking technology...

Styling your home for sale is not a new concept but it has grown in popularity as anecdotal evidence suggests it can help your property sell faster and for a better price. Displaying a property’s full potential with property styling (also known as property staging) can be as simple as removing or adding a few decorative pieces or as extensive as refurnishing the entire home. Here’s 5 reasons why many real estate agents recommend it. Makes a great first impression It’s often said that a buyer makes a decision about whether they like a property in the first 30 seconds, so property styling can create this ‘wow’ factor. Introducing the right combination of colours and textures, furniture, art and soft furnishings can bring out the best in a property, making small rooms appear more spacious and cold spaces feel warm.       2. Brings...

The importance of a knowledgeable mortgage broker has come sharply into focus following the recent banking system changes to investment lending. Many panicked borrowers have turned to mortgage brokers like us, for guidance in the months since the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority (APRA) directed the major banks to place limits on investment lending and hold more funds in capital reserves. With each bank responding individually to the directive, the changes in policy and pricing have varied wildly from one lender to the next. There has been confusion among borrowers and concern about how current and future investment lending is affected. Do the APRA changes affect you? If you fall into any of the below categories, you may well be affected by some of the changes. First time investor who had planned on getting into the market with a high loan to value ratio using mortgage...

More Australians are looking to take out loans to purchase property, a trend that began well before the traditional influx of borrowers for the start of spring. Mortgage applications have been rising steadily for 12 months and peaked at 12.5 per cent in the June quarter, according to the latest Veda Quarterly Consumer Credit Demand Index. New South Wales and the ACT experienced the largest growth in mortgage applications at 21 per cent and 19.5 per cent respectively. This was followed by Victoria at 13.3 per cent, Queensland at 11.7 per cent and South Australia at 8.1 per cent. The two interest rate cuts by the Reserve Bank in the June quarter are believed to be behind the strong mortgage pickup. Some of the growth can also be explained by consumers switching between providers as the low interest rate environment has encouraged many...

Australians rank moving house second only to divorce and bereavement on the scale of life crises. Broken and misplaced possessions, incompetent removalists, chaos and exhaustion are a few of the negative images we have come to associate with moving house. Fortunately most of these nightmares can be avoided by anticipating problems and becoming organised well before moving day. The first step is deciding how you prefer to approach the job of packing and moving your possessions. If you decide to economise and do the move yourself, check what your home contents insurance covers you for. For bulky or fragile items your safest option is usually to hire a removalist but make sure the organisation you choose is a member of the Australian Furniture Removalists Association (AFRA). The AFRA Code of Conduct ensures members provide paperwork for quotations, insurance, contracts and inventories. The contract should clearly...