News & Articles — Page 4 of 15 — Aqua Wealth
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News & Articles

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...

It’s not as easy as it once was to apply for an interest-only loan. Over the last couple of months lending for this type of investment loan has been tightened in an effort to slow the pace of record growth in investment home loans. Lenders are under pressure by government regulatory bodies to make it less attractive to take out interest-only loans, a strategy which is hoped will protect investors and achieve sustainable growth in the home loan market. Lenders have responded to the crack-down in different ways. Some now ask for larger deposits for investor loans or have scrapped discounts they previously offered. Others have begun to price loans with principal and interest repayments cheaper than interest only loans. Still others now offer better discounts on owner occupied loans or allow investors to borrow less than owner occupiers. Which way to turn? As these...

If you’re running a small business, now is the time to think big. The Federal Government’s focus on small business in the May budget was designed to encourage small business growth through tax cuts as well as measures to reduce red tape, promote more start-ups and hire more employees. Many business owners will be taking advantage of the opportunity to receive an immediate tax deduction on every asset they purchase valued up to $20,000. Cars, utes, tables, chairs, printers, photocopiers, tools, TVs, sound and security systems, computers, tablets and smartphones are just some of the assets that can be deducted until the end of June 2017. Short on capital? Try Leasing While these tax deductions are great news for many small businesses, what about those who don’t have the capital available to purchase assets? If you are a small business in this situation, leasing may...

Mortgage brokers are now responsible for writing over half of Australia’s home loans and are valued for their choice, expertise and convenience, according to a new survey commissioned by the Mortgage and Finance Association of Australia (MFAA). From a 49.9 per cent share of the market in the March 2014 quarter, total new home lending to mortgage brokers increased to 51.9 per cent in the March 2015 quarter. Over this time there was a $44.2 billion increase in mortgage lending across Australia and brokers were responsible for 71 per cent of this increase, Australian Bureau of Statistics data reveals. Brokers were also found to be proficient at matching the product to the customer’s needs. In fact 30.2 per cent of broker initiated home loans went to smaller lenders, demonstrating that brokers offer consumers real choice and have access to a wider range of mortgage...

Women aged over 45 are nearly twice as likely to be disabled from sickness as men, new research has shown. Produced by the Financial Services Council (FSC) and KPMG Australia, the research looked at the likelihood of disability insurance claims across a range of client demographics. In particular, the report found that 45 year old females are 94% more likely to make a claim due to sickness than their male counterparts, but 22% less likely to make a claim due to accident than males in white collar occupations. Other key findings from the research include: A person who has held a policy for 10 years or more is 50% more likely to make a claim than a person who has held a policy for less than 1 year Male white collar smokers are 50% more likely to claim due to sickness than male white...

Good housekeeping is the key to meeting financial goals. By now you will probably have made and broken quite a few New Year's resolutions. Resolutions are great idea, but often only that - an idea. For most people it's the financial housekeeping items that can make the biggest difference in the year to come - and beyond. Here are a few: Mortgage If you have a mortgage, it's probably your largest monthly outgoing. Start the year by ensuring that you are paying no more than you have to. The difference in repayments between a $400,000 25-year loan at 5.7 per cent and 4.7 per cent, is more than $200 a month. Also, ensure that your loan is right for your circumstances: offset accounts, redraw, interest-only and lines of credit are valuable features, but only if you use them. If you're confused about what's best,...

There are many ways to build wealth, but what about protecting it? I’m often struck by how strongly Australians focus on the wealth-building side of their goals: they understand mortgages, they know about starting a business and they understand that regular contributions to super is a good idea. But look closer at these wealth-building ideas: they all require that you feed them with your cash or your hard work, and sometimes both. It’s actually you and your income-generation that builds wealth. So what would happen if that capacity was taken away or reduced? The way to protect income-generation is through an insurance called ‘life products’. They insure you and your earning capacity, and every Australian with debts and children should investigate where these products could fit in their financial plans. The obvious one is life insurance which pays a nominated benefit to your next...

Cut the cost of property ownership in half by buying with a family member or friend. Save only half a deposit, pay only half the mortgage and cover only half of the bills. Sounds tempting, doesn’t it? Property co-ownership is a great way to get a foot in the door at a reduced price but when it comes to mixing money and friendship, there’s plenty that can go wrong unless you take these important steps to forge a successful partnership. 1.Agree on the big picture Talk together about your reasons for wanting to buy, your goals for owning a property and your timeframe for selling. You should both have similar mindsets and objectives. 2.Put it in writing Have a legal ‘co-ownership’ agreement prepared that outlines the rights and obligations of each person with a share in the property. It should provide a formula for either...

When an interest rate is advertised on a home loan, have you noticed there is a comparison rate beside it? Many people just focus on the interest rate and don’t notice the comparison rate or even know what it means, when in reality it is a useful tool to help compare the cost of different loans. The comparison rate is a percentage amount calculated by adding together the interest rate, plus certain fees and charges that may apply to the loan – e.g., establishment, approval, upfront or ongoing fees (does not include government charges like stamp duty or fees that can’t be calculated accurately for comparison purposes). It was introduced to ensure that banks and lenders gave consumers a way to see the total cost of a home loan at a glance without having to delve into the fine print. Because all lenders...