Greek debit ‘crisis’ – should you be worried?

It seems as if the moment of reckoning may have arrived for Greece.  Global news outlets are airing footage of long lines outside of Greek banks over the weekend before the government announced a bank holiday and capital controls.

That it has come to this is not a surprise. The only surprise is that it has taken this long! Since the Greek Financial Crisis Mk1 there have been countless rounds of negotiations between Greece and the so called Troika made up of the European Commission, the European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).  The fate seemed to be sealed in January after the election of the Syriza party. On the announcement I tweeted (follow me on twitter @marks_thinking) ‘..the people have spoken in democratic Greece. We do not want to pay our debts when they fall due’.

President Alexis Tsipras couldn’t be seen to bow to the Troika, since his platform was to stand up to the ‘oppressive’

5 questions to ask your SMSF administrator

I recently came across a great article in AFR Smart Investor magazine by Steven Enticott entitled “Where you can’t skimp on your SMSF” which not only outlines the value of working with qualified and experienced SMSF specialist accountants and advisers, but asks five really good questions that you should ask before selecting an SMSF administration provider.

You can read the full article here: Where you can’t skimp on your SMSF.

I thought the questions were very relevant to both our clients, and others looking for a quality business that can help look after your SMSF, so I’ve taken the time to put together my answers to the questions which will give insight into how Superfund Partners operates.

1. Is the paperwork being done offshore?

No. Absolutely not.

The Directors of Superfund Partners made the decision a number of years ago not to offshore in the interest in saving on labour costs.  

Pre-30 June essentials for your SMSF

With 30 June just over two weeks away, now is the time to run through a checklist of what you need to do prior to the end of the financial year.

Although we always endeavour to personally contact every single one of our clients this time of year, we’ve found a generic reminder of these key items is a good reminder also.

Contributions – getting money into your fund

If you are intending to make contributions into your SMSF, you need to make sure the contributions are received by your SMSF on or before 30 June in order for it to be counted for the 2014/2015 financial year.  This is important if you are making contributions by electronic funds transfer (EFT) as some transactions may not be credited into your SMSF’s bank account until the following business day.

Check your timing

The 30th of June this year is a Tuesday.  Although most transfers will hit the SMSF bank account the following business day,

Budget age pension changes bad news for some retirees

The big news this month was the 2015 Federal Budget.

Small business will be happy with the news of immediate write-offs for equipment purchases up to $20,000. However that is about as far as the good news went. While the much feared changes to superannuation tax rates didn’t happen (that is a debate that will continue though) the budget was bad news for retirees with assets of more than $450,000.

While it has been phrased in many different ways, the simple explanation is that there will be a change in what is called the ‘taper rate’.

This is the rate at which your age pension entitlement reduces, once you have assets above a certain threshold. The threshold depends on whether you are single or partnered, and whether you are a homeowner or non-homeowner.

In the past, the pension entitlement phased out at $1.50 per fortnight, per $1,000 that you had above the threshold. For a homeowner couple, once their assets exceeded $286,500 the rate of pension started to reduce at $1.50 per $1,000.  

Psychology of ‘bricks and mortar’ property investment for SMSFs

Australians love property and our high level of (expensive) property ownership is one of the reasons we are ranked as one of the wealthiest countries in the world. Not only do we desire our own block of paradise, we also love to invest in property with 1.9 million individuals declaring rental income (or more likely a rental loss) in their annual tax returns.

But do we every stop and ask why? Why do we love property so much, and why is a large chunk of the population obsessed with becoming property millionaires?

In this article I will delve into some of the psychology that drives bricks and mortar investment. My goal is not to change behaviour or even judge whether the desire to invest in property is right or wrong. I simply want to hold up a mirror so we can better understand our own decisions and biases.

Read-more

Property is a physical asset

Property is a physical thing.  

BrickX versus limited recourse borrowing – which is better for SMSF property investors?

Earlier this year real estate investment start up BrickX launched their platform which enables investors – including SMSFs – to buy a piecemeal interest in individual residential properties.

Utilising a unit trust structure to provide multiple investors with ‘shares’ in an underlying property is not new.  Listed and unlisted unit trust structures have been around for many years and we’ve also recently seen a fractional property investment solution launched by DomaCom.

The real point of difference that BrickX provides investors is that they are effectively creating a market where the shares (or ‘bricks’) in the individual properties can be bought and sold openly with very little cost (2% purchase cost, $0 sale cost).  The transparency and liquidity this can provide is something residential property investors can’t currently access.

But would SMSF investors be better off buying an entire property via a limited recourse borrowing arrangement, or should you buy a number of bricks across a number of properties?

Save time using our document collaboration tool

We are pretty open when it comes to our views on chasing paper for your SMSF: We don’t like it!
 

There is always a better way for us to work together, to enable your SMSF to be looked after more efficiently so we can all focus on more important things.  In this article and video we take a look at our online document management and collaboration system and how you can use it to save time when it comes to providing us with the documents Superfund Partners and our auditors need to complete your SMSF accounts and keep your SMSF up to date.

Get the most from online SMSF reporting

Superfund Partners offers some fantastic online reporting to all our clients.  With the end of the 2015 financial year creeping up on us, we wanted to take the opportunity to give you a quick oversight of some of the information you can view online for your SMSF.

SMSF yield chase has pitfalls

SMSFs chasing income and imputation credits through high-yielding equities on the Australian Securities Exchange need to be mindful of being caught in a dividend trap and being exposed to concentration risk within their portfolios, according to the head of a boutique local fund manager.

New rules on excess non-concessional contributions

SMSF members had a win recently due to changes to the tax treatment of non-concessional contributions that exceeded the relevant contribution cap.  This means that people who breach the cap will no longer face draconian tax penalties of up to 93% – however there is still some complexity you need to be aware of.