Aqua Wealth | News & Articles
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News & Articles

If you use a family name, a pet’s name, a birthdate or numbers between 1 and 6 as your online password, you are an easy target for a hacker. The recent cyber-attacks on a spate of organisations, from EBay to Apple, has emphasised the importance of choosing strong passwords that can’t easily be discovered. An alarming 25 per cent of the top most common passwords are first names and the average password people use (and hackers know about!) is six characters and all lower case. The security risk becomes even greater if you are one of the 73 per cent of Australians who use the same password for multiple sites. Once a hacker has discovered your password for one site, they will use automated software to fire it at a whole bunch of other sites. Experts advise that not only should you have...

Did you know? Damage caused by insects like termites is usually not covered. Any damages to your home office probably won’t be covered without a separate business insurance policy. Leaving your property unoccupied for an extended period of time may void the policy. Many policies don’t cover damage done by pets. Even if your policy protects against ‘fire’, this may not include damage by burning or scorching where there have been no flames. You are not covered for any part of a building that can’t be locked. You may have to pay more to protect fridges, washing machines, pool pumps etc. against motor burn outs. ...

Taking out home insurance is a requirement of most lenders, but it pays to become familiar with the fine print before you choose a policy. If your home is burgled and your electronic gear is stolen, did you know there is probably a cap on how much you can claim. If your child accidently lobs a ball through the kitchen window, you might not be covered for broken glass. If your property is burnt down, the cost of temporary accommodation might be taken out of the amount you insured your home for. A good place to start is by understanding the difference between ‘total replacement’ cover and ‘sum insured’ cover. Total replacement cover typically has the highest premium and includes all the costs to rebuild your home to the standard it was prior to an event. ‘Sum insured’ will cover you up...

You already own one property and now you want to purchase a second. How do you get started? We have helped many clients with this scenario and this is what we tell them: 1. Choose a strategy There are various ways to approach property investment so it is important to decide which one works for you. First ask yourself what you are trying to achieve: long term financial security? A little extra cash flow? Multi-million dollar portfolio? Then decide how best to go about it: do you want to renovate and then sell for quick profit or would you prefer to buy and hold the property to achieve capital gain? Going ahead without an investment strategy not only leads to confusion during the property search, but also opens you up to all kinds of unwanted risks like buying the wrong kind of property, paying too...

Investment loans dominate the market and the majority of investors use a mortgage broker, according to new research. Investment property loans have grown by 37 per cent in the last four years, while owner occupied loans grew by 4 per cent in the same period, according to the Roy Morgan Research Consumer Single Source Survey. In another survey, conducted by Property Investment Professionals of Australia, almost 70 per cent of 800 property investors say they have sought services from a mortgage broker. So what is it that draws property investors to mortgage brokers? Undoubtedly one of the biggest selling points is that brokers can shop around to secure the best product and lender to suit the client. As a mortgage broker we invest our time in staying up to date with the latest products and we have a large panel of lenders from...

  When you’re buying a home, there are new decisions, considerations and jargon to decipher. Even interest rates can be confusing – with a ‘comparison rate’ being shown beside the advertised rate. What is a comparison rate? When home loan interest rates are displayed, a comparison rate is also shown alongside it. A comparison rate helps you compare the costs of different home loans. They take into account not only the interest you will be charged, but also known fees and charges relating to the home loan. This can help you understand the true cost of a home loan. For example, one home loan may have an interest rate of 5% p.a. and a comparison rate of 5.5% p.a. when fees and charges are included. Another loan may have a lower interest rate of 4.5% p.a., but a comparison rate of 6% p.a., because...

Here’s a round-up of interesting statistics you might want to know about: Australians are worried about not having enough money for retirement: Over half the participants of the 2014 MLC Retirement Survey expect not to have enough money to retire on. One in three people expect a sizeable financial shortfall at retirement and only 3.5 per cent think they will have more than enough money to maintain a desired lifestyle. Around 70 per cent said they did not have a fall-back plan for financial setbacks like health issues and unemployment. Borrowers should be paying less for their home loans: The official Reserve Bank of Australia cash rate has been at a historic low of 2.5 per cent since August 2013, yet some borrowers are paying up to 9 per cent for their home loans simply because they haven’t shopped around for a better deal....

Web sites and apps give us a great shortcut to buying, selling and investing in property. Check out some of these online ideas; combine them with advice from your mortgage broker and you’ll save yourself time and money. Search alerts Set up a daily or weekly alert with real estate agency websites to let you know when a property is listed that meets your criteria. Choose from options like air-conditioning, built-in wardrobes, number of bedrooms and proximity to public transport. Cost estimates There’s no end of property costs to calculate, such as stamp duty, amortization and investment returns, but thankfully there are a number of mortgage and investment property calculators that will sort out these complicated math sums for you. Make sure the calculator you choose takes into account all the necessary information and includes fees and costs you are likely to need to...

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 customer’s credit risk and ability to repay debt. Previously, only negative information such as defaults and bankruptcies was permitted to be held, whereas the new system rewards good repayment behaviour, giving consumers the chance to improve their credit score and borrowing prospects. Lenders are now able to see the full picture, including how many other accounts their customers have and what credit limits are attached to them. This more detailed information gives lenders a better understanding of whether a further loan would make the borrower even more overcommitted. It also means they can distinguish between high and low risk borrowers and potentially...

I recently received an email from a former colleague who had changed jobs.  “I haven’t worked this hard in years and have never felt so valued,” she wrote.  “What a strange combination.  I learn something new every day and am only worried my brain won’t hold any more information.  I’m exhausted by Friday and it’s just great.  Who knew?” To me, by far the most important phrase in this uplifting note was “and have never felt so valued.”   I guarantee that if this individual had just changed jobs, were working harder than ever and felt totally unappreciated, her experience of this new position and the tone of her comments would have been entirely different. “I haven’t worked this hard in years and have never felt so unappreciated,” might have been the content of an alternate (fictional) communique.  “What a combination!  I have...