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2013: The year in review

In this Investment Insight Brian Parker, Senior Investment Consultant at MLC Investment Management, reviews Australian and international investment markets during 2013.

He discusses:

  • why markets have continued to perform very strongly this year

  • how economic growth around the world is still patchy and Australia’s economy remains slow

  • why US monetary policy unsettled markets during 2013

  • what the outlook is for investment returns, and

  • how MLC is responding to the uncertain investment environment.

Download and read the full report - 2013: The year in review

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2014 financial year in review

The last 12 months have produced excellent returns, particularly for share investors. This was despite a range of challenges and crises, both economic and geopolitical, which unsettled financial markets. Read More

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5 ways to make tax time easier

Most of us don’t look forward to tax time. But it doesn’t have to be difficult. By getting organised early, you can save time, claim all the deductions you’re entitled to — and even get your return paid faster.


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A super way to insure

An essential part of every financial plan is having personal insurance.  But it’s also important to make sure you buy it in a tax-effective way.  |READMORE|

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ALERT: UPCOMING RACQ AGM - Proposed Changes to Member Base

This is a MUST READ for anyone who is an existing member with RACQ.

Steve Kelly has provided a brief summary of the upcoming RACQ Annual General Meeting that is being held at the Sofitel Hotel in Brisbane next Thursday 20 November at 2:30pm.

Steve offers his viewpoint on what effect the proposed changes will have on current members with RACQ and what you can do now to have your say as an existing member.

NOTE: If you plan to take action you must return your Proxy Vote to RACQ by Tuesday 18 November by 2:30pm.





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Are you owed unclaimed bond money

Are you renting or have you rented in the past? Chances are you might be owed some bond money.

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Christmas Rum Balls

     Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without rum balls.

Here's a quick recipe for anyone to put together to contribute to the family festivities.


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Dealing with worst case scenarios

There’s no point in worrying about the future. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be prepared. Having a plan means you can relax and enjoy the present, knowing that whatever happens, you and your loved ones will be taken care of. |READMORE|

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Deeming of ABPs: impact and opportunities?

Legislation has passed which means that from 1 January 2015 the assessment of income from some account based pensions for social security purposes will change. For some people, there will be no change to their assessment. For others, the changes may impact the amount of benefits received now, or in the future. We examine the change in more detail to help you understand whether or not you may be impacted. |READMORE|

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Federal Budget 2014 summary

In one of the more highly anticipated Federal Budgets, the Government announced major changes that could impact your financial plans.

Key proposals include:

  • A Temporary Budget Repair Levy of 2% will be payable on taxable incomes over $180,000 pa for the next three financial years.

  • Changes to HELP debts will increase the amount payable, and payments may need to be made at lower income levels.

  • The Dependent Spouse and Mature Age Worker Tax Offsets will be abolished from 1 July 2014.

  • People who make non-concessional (after-tax) super contributions from 1 July 2013 that exceed the cap will have the option to withdraw the excess amount plus earnings on the excess.

  • The timeframe for increasing the Superannuation Guarantee contribution rate to 12% will be amended.

  • The Age Pension age will gradually increase to 70.

  • A range of changes to Family Tax Benefit – Part A and B will reduce the number of people who are eligible and, for some, lower the entitlements.

  • The Commonwealth Seniors Health Card thresholds will be indexed from 20 September 2014 and the definition of income will be expanded.

Read and view the 2014 Federal Budget summary:

 Download the full analysis 2014 Federal Budget

 Federal Budget 2014 summary, |VIDEOMORE|

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Financial health

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 as soon as possible. Here are some important things to take into consideration.


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How the latest changes to Account Based Pensions affect you

On 1 January this year, the deeming rules for Account Based Pensions changed. Here’s what it could mean for you.


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Laugh it off!

Instinctively, most of us feel a belly laugh is good for our wellbeing. And increasingly, scientists are backing this up, confirming laughter has many physiological and psychological benefits.

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Money talks - under 50s

Talking to your loved ones about money can be one of the hardest conversations of all, as well as the most important.

Here are some tips for those difficult financial conversations.


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Not-so-healthy health habits

Are the rules you live by doing you more harm than good?

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November Economic Update

Brian Parker, Head of the Portfolio Specialists Group at MLC, gives an update on markets during October.

He discusses:

  • how global share markets regained the ground they’d lost in September

  • how the actions of key central banks are reflecting the differences in economic performance of the major developed countries

  • why Australia’s economic environment remains uncertain, despite signs of recovery in the non-mining economy, and

  • which positions in MLC’s multi-asset portfolios contributed to performance this month.


To find out more:

 Download the 2 page November economic update.

November economic update - |VIDEOMORE|

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Pikelet Recipe

 When you've run out of ideas Pikelets is it, everyone has all the ingredients in their cupboards.


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Put your tax return to work

Putting your tax return into your super can give your retirement nest egg a decent boost — while taking advantage of another tax benefit. We all love getting something back from the taxman. And many of us spend it as fast as it arrives. But if you’re getting a tax return this year it’s worth considering putting it to better use — as a personal contribution to your super account. |READMORE|

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Quirky Queries

Why is it that if someone tells you that there are 1 billion stars in the universe you will believe them, but if they tell you a wall has wet paint you will have to touch it to be sure?

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Smart strategies… to get debt in order

Nicholas Lipscombe, NAB Private Wealth Private Client Executive, shares his top 4 debt strategies |READMORE|

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Sporting Fact

Given the Aussie's have just been crowned World Champions for One Day Cricket and the AFL launches it's season this weekend - it is only fitting we share a fun fact that links these two sports together.

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ThreeSixty Research Market Update - September 2013


  • RBA leaves cash rate unchanged at September meeting

  • Labour market conditions continue to weaken in Australia

  • Economic indicators continue to suggest improvements in global conditions


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ThreeSixty Research Market Update July 2014


  • Continued improvement in US economic growth following a revised down Q1 GDP of -2.9%.

  • European economic data impacted by the Iraq civil war crisis.

  • Chinese economy stabilising, with manufacturing data at a six month high.

  • Australian economic data suggests interest rates will be on hold well into 2015.


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ThreeSixty Research Market Update March


  • Global growth has improved following Central Bank monetary stimulus

  • Oil prices remain volatile, the price range has stabilised, and will provide stimulus to global growth

  • US economic data remains in recovery mode with improving consumer sentiment

  • US bond yields rally following continued improvement in the labour market

  • China continues monetary easing

  • RBA keeps rates on hold (in March) but remain on a monetary easing strategy


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Travel and Adventure

There’s no doubt that travel is one of the most highly anticipated events.  You finally have the time to follow your dreams and explore new and exciting places.  Whether it means jumping in the car and hitting the road to explore new parts of Australia or international travel, it always pays to plan ahead.


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Useless Fact

Just so you know... 

The average garden variety caterpillar has 248 muscles in its head.


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What’s the outlook for Australia’s housing market?


In the MLC Investment Insight - What’s the outlook for Australia’s housing market? Michael Karagianis, Senior Investment Strategist, MLC Investment Management discusses the outlook for Australia’s housing market.

Read the full report - What’s the outlook for Australia’s housing market?

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You Talk - Baby bonus

Christie asks: My partner and I are planning on starting a family soon and have heard the baby bonus will be abolished. How will this impact us?


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