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Donal Griffin

COVID-19: 'In the midst of death we are in life'

The happiest legal clients are those who dodged a bullet by either divorcing someone they did not like or surviving a near-death experience. The coronavirus is a chance to rethink a life well-lived.

Caveat auditor and feeble SMSF investment strategies

Two court cases have laid the blame for poor SMSF documentation and investments at the feet of auditors. It's not a 'tick and flick' exercise and there are lessons for SMSF trustees and professionals.

The Thorny Birds of McCullough's estate

The final act in the Colleen McCullough drama was a messy court case pitting her former husband against a Foundation, and featured unreliable witnesses the court did not trust.

How a carer inherited an estate

Carers may have a legitimate claim to an estate even if the deceased suffered from dementia when making a subsequent will. The Court seeks to establish whether testamentary capacity was disabled.

Record award in estate of John Hemmes

The success of this claim on John Hemmes' estate and the unexpected amount involved provides a reminder to ensure you have a robust estate plan in place.

10 things to check on your estate planning

Rule changes are causing modifications in expert advice on super beneficiaries and estate planning, and this checklist can guide your decisions or discussions with your chosen adviser.

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Weekly Editorial

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 377

The most significant change in asset allocation by Australian investors in recent years has been the move into global equities. It's been a canny trade for those who focussed on the US, especially great companies such as Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Google. International equities experienced net inflows into ETFs of $722 million in August 2020 versus only $181 million for Australian equities. 

  • 30 September 2020
Superannuation

The elusive 12%: is superannuation at a turning point?

Such is the concern among unions and Labor about Government plans to undermine superannuation that an 'Emergency Summit' was called this week, and pioneer Bill Kelty evoked a social commitment.

Interviews

My lessons from five decades of investing

As she retires after 47 years of investing, Claudia Huntington explains the art rather than the science of the trade, the value of a great leader and culture, and the insights she gives to new colleagues.

SMSF strategies

The impact of our marriage breakdown on our SMSF

Even if a marriage ends amicably, there are complications when partners share an SMSF. You can't simply 'split' the assets on a handshake, and who takes the capital gains and what's the impact on an estate?

Investment strategies

The future is always clearest once it is in the past

It's one of those times when a case can be made that the market is expensive on some measures, but reasonable on others. Better to do what the great companies do: instead of guessing the future, they create it.

Investment strategies

Emerging markets: Should I stay or should I go?

For long-term investors, the most important factor driving returns is the price paid to acquire a stock. Emerging Markets stocks exhibit favourable valuations on both an absolute and relative basis.

Superannuation

20k now or 50k later? What’s driving decisions to withdraw super?

The amount of retirement savings withdrawn under the Superannuation Early Release Scheme has surprised many. This comprehensive survey of thousands of members of Cbus explains their motivations.

Economy

The surprising resilience of residential housing and retail

With a pandemic, a recession and high unemployment, there's every reason to expect residential property and retail sales to be collapsing. But data shows both are resilient, so what is happening?

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