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Edition: 198

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Edition 198

  • 21 April 2017

Brexit confirmed London is unlike most of the UK, as the capital voted firmly to stay in Europe. After spending a few days here, it’s easy to wonder what the doom of Brexit is all about. As Samuel Johnson said, “Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.” The West End shows sell out every night and the multitude of languages on the streets feels like many nations assembling in one place. More important, there is something eerie in the night sky over the city that is more tangible and optimistic: vast numbers of blinking red lights atop a forest of cranes.

Aussie equities vs Sydney housing: who’s the marginal buyer?

If you’re wondering how sustainable the current high prices of Australian equities and Sydney’s housing are, you need to consider the likely demand of the marginal buyer.

Risks to banks at end of construction boom

Australian banks are vulnerable to a collapse in the local housing market due to an overexposure to high-rise developments, interest-only loans and high loan-to-value ratios. The main uncertainty is the timing.

Perfect storm brewing for local retailers

A decline in activity related to household construction, combined with the arrival of foreign retail brands, does not bode well for Australian retailers. And an online behemoth may be an even bigger threat.

Why 'total superannuation balance' is important for SMSFs

In addition to the $1.6 million transfer balance cap, SMSF members should also understand the concept of ‘total superannuation balance’ to stay within the rules and make the most of contribution opportunities.

Catch-up contributions are a tax planning opportunity

Deferring concessional contributions to a year when an individual’s taxable income is higher by making 'catch-up' contributions can create a sizable tax arbitrage between tax paid within the fund and tax paid personally.

Why infrastructure stocks can withstand higher interest rates

There's a common misconception that as a 'bond proxy', infrastructure asset prices will fall as bond prices do when rates rise. But these hard assets have sufficient inflation protection to drive a more robust outcome.

Three drivers of attractive infrastructure opportunities

Chronic under-spending, public expectations for improvement and strained government budgets are placing an onus on public equity markets to help the world meets its rapidly growing infrastructure needs.

Most viewed in recent weeks

10 reasons wealthy homeowners shouldn't receive welfare

The RBA Governor says rising house prices are due to "the design of our taxation and social security systems". The OECD says "the prolonged boom in house prices has inflated the wealth of many pensioners without impacting their pension eligibility." What's your view?

House prices surge but falls are common and coming

We tend to forget that house prices often fall. Direct lending controls are more effective than rate rises because macroprudential limits affect the volume of money for housing leaving business rates untouched.

Survey responses on pension eligibility for wealthy homeowners

The survey drew a fantastic 2,000 responses with over 1,000 comments and polar opposite views on what is good policy. Do most people believe the home should be in the age pension asset test, and what do they say?

100 Aussies: five charts on who earns, pays and owns

Any policy decision needs to recognise who is affected by a change. It pays to check the data on who pays taxes, who owns assets and who earns the income to ensure an equitable and efficient outcome.

Three good comments from the pension asset test article

With articles on the pensions assets test read about 40,000 times, 3,500 survey responses and thousands of comments, there was a lot of great reader participation. A few comments added extra insights.

The sorry saga of housing affordability and ownership

It is hard to think of any area of widespread public concern where the same policies have been pursued for so long, in the face of such incontrovertible evidence that they have failed to achieve their objectives.

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