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Financial pathways to buying a home require planning

In the six months of my battle with brain cancer, one part of financial markets has fascinated me, and it’s probably not what you think. What's led the pages of my reading is real estate, especially residential.

Banks are punishing the most vulnerable

Interest rates are up again, with promises of more to come, but a major story is being glossed over in all the reporting. Large institutions have a feeding frenzy when people become vulnerable or get into trouble.

Why a $5 coin and not a $5 note repays public debt

Did anyone tell the Treasurer that if he had replaced the $5 note with a $5 coin, he could have saved $1 billion? The Government makes a profit from minting coins but we still need to decide whose face we want.

Superannuation funds should be long-term lenders

It makes sense to have long-term savings directed to financing long-term investments and short-term savings (which involve liquidity risk for the institutions accepting them) invested in shorter term investments.

A six-chart snapshot of June 2022 lending data

The Australian economy is undergoing crucial changes. The Reserve Bank's attempts to slow activity is feeding into lending volumes and loan rates but can authorities manage inflation without economic contraction?

Is it time for an Australian 30-year fixed rate mortgage?

The 30-year fixed rate mortgage is the backbone of the American housing market. Is this a better approach than Australia's obsession with either short-term fixed or just variable rate mortgages?

3 key risks: banks are too big to behave badly

Australia's major banks face many challenges but they are strong and remarkably adaptive and resilient. They have also finally accepted they are too big to behave badly.

The sorry tale of our big banks

The history of the Big Four banks is littered with bad strategies by overpaid executives, taxpayer-funded rescues and a lack of competition. As the banks clean up the Royal Commission mess, Macquarie has overall done better.

The outlook for Australian banks

Australian banks appear cheap and their shares trade below broker targets. But three analysts offer deeper explanations that suggest stronger credit standards will affect house prices and credit growth.

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.

Debt binge main cause of house price rises

Household borrowing, mainly for property, now far exceeds business borrowing, but it is businesses that create jobs and wealth. The crackdown on housing debt is overdue.

’Short selling’ and the Australian banks

Hedge funds have been short selling Australian banks for a while now, mainly due to perceptions about the property market. However, it is not house prices but unemployment that matters most for bank prosperity.

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Where Baby Boomer wealth will end up

By 2028, all Baby Boomers will be eligible for retirement and the Baby Boomer bubble will have all but deflated. Where will this generation's money end up, and what are the implications for the wealth management industry?

Meg on SMSFs: $3 million super tax coming whether we’re ready or not

A Senate Committee reported back last week with a majority recommendation to pass the $3 million super tax unaltered. It seems that the tax is coming, and this is what those affected should be doing now to prepare for it.

How much do you need to retire comfortably?

Two commonly asked questions are: 'How much do I need to retire' and 'How much can I afford to spend in retirement'? This is a guide to help you come up with your own numbers to suit your goals and needs.

The secrets of Australia’s Berkshire Hathaway

Washington H. Soul Pattinson is an ASX top 50 stock with one of the best investment track records this country has seen. Yet, most Australians haven’t heard of it, and the company seems to prefer it that way.

Meg on SMSFs: Clearing up confusion on the $3 million super tax

There seems to be more confusion than clarity about the mechanics of how the new $3 million super tax is supposed to work. Here is an attempt to answer some of the questions from my previous work on the issue. 

How long will you live?

We are often quoted life expectancy at birth but what matters most is how long we should live as we grow older. It is surprising how short this can be for people born last century, so make the most of it.

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