2014

How to break bad habits

Where to start? First, identify the habits you want to change. Each day, up to 40 per cent of what we do is determined by our habits. Learning how to make or break them, and thereby altering the way we work and live, can have a dramatic impact on our productivity and our lives. Where to start? First of all, it’s about identifying the habits we want to change. “It all comes back to our personal productivity and effectiveness,” says Bri Williams CPA of People Patterns, a consultancy specialising in the application of behavioural finance to everyday business issues. “Our […]

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Australia’s most family friendly city announced

Albury-Wodonga has been crowned Australia’s most family friendly city thanks to high employment and general safety in the city and on its roads, according to Suncorp Bank’s annual Family Friendly City Index. Australia’s biggest cities by population were ranked against key criteria including employment levels, schools, volunteer work, health, community and road safety and family income levels. Suncorp Bank General Manager Russell Harrison said regional cities were offering more than just a tree change. “Australia’s regional cities are punching above their weight across a number of areas. The report shows regional hubs offer a better lifestyle but also have strong […]

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What are the 9 hottest luxuries to add value?

1. Ducted heating or reverse-cycle air-conditioning aren’t as good for people with allergies and are more expensive to run, but they’re still also desirable. 2. Good insulation or double-glazing. “Some people are now even looking for triple-glazing for superior insulation,”. 3. Smart technology. “It used to be considered a niche feature but that niche is now getting bigger with people demanding all sorts of smarter functions,”. 4. Stone bench tops and good quality appliances are important,. Laminates just don’t cut it anymore. 5. Built-in robes and a separate laundry are luxuries people love,. 6. Frameless showers or showers with minimal […]

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Record Claims Paid in 2013

Claims payments were up 13.7% year on year For the first time in its history, the Australian life insurance industry has paid out more than $5 billion in claims in a single year. According to the latest Claims Paid Statistics report, claims payments were up 13.7% year on year, for the period ending December 2013. Despite one additional insurer participating in the research this year, the figures still well exceeded those reported in 2012. Total lump sum claims paid increased by 15.6%, and income protection claims by 8.3%. Another notable statistic in the report was the increase in TPD claims […]

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Act Now To Secure These Business Deductions

Small businesses may want to act now and bring forward their capital purchases if they still wish to utilise the instant asset write-off of $6,500 or the $5,000 motor vehicle write-off in 2013-14. Businesses thinking of acquiring a depreciating asset costing less than $6,500 or a motor vehicle may want to do so to take advantage of these concessions while they still exist.

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How highly taxed are we compared to other countries?

While many of us may feel that we’re already paying enough to the taxman, recent Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) data reveals that Australia is in fact the fifth-lowest taxed nation of the 34 OECD member countries. (Statistics are taken from 2012 or the latest available year.) Australian total tax revenue was measured by the OECD at 26.5% of national GDP. The USA is rated third-lowest taxed nation at 24.3%. The lowest taxed is Mexico, at 19.6%. Higher taxed countries include Canada (30.7%) and Britain (35.2%), but the highest taxed OECD member country is Denmark, at 48.0% of […]

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CHINESE INVESTMENT IN AUSTRALIA

Research by the University of Sydney found that total Chinese outbound direct investment (ODI) in Australia in 2013 was US$ 9,115 million, reduced from US$ 10,105 million in 2012. The Chinese investment profile is changing. For the first time in 2013 Chinese investment in Australia was not concentrated in the mining sector. We experienced a shift towards a larger number of smaller to medium sized deals and a larger share of private Chinese investors. But this did not make up the gap in mining investment. Australia narrowly lost its mantle in 2013 as the world’s top destination for Chinese outbound […]

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Divorce and Your Super Savings

According to research by a large retail superannuation firm, going through a divorce can lump 10 more years on to the average Australian’s working life, as they endeavour to re-establish the level of retirement savings they may have accumulated through their married lives. Suncorp Superannuation’s Untying the Knot report purports to have uncovered the until-now unappreciated real cost of divorce for Australia’s divorcees (estimated to be close to 100,000 people annually). Suncorp said the most common considerations during divorce were property, child custody, the family car and the partner’s income. However thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars were […]

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SOCIAL MEDIA RISKS

Social media (SM) enables two-way communication and collaboration. Organisations can (and have) utilised it to great success building a competitive advantage, generating business and engaging with their customers on a more personal level. For every SM marketing success, however, there are a dozen examples of organisations getting it wrong. A single public failure can have far greater ramifications than multiple successes. Boards and management teams must be aware of, understand, and manage the risks that online conversations may present to their business. “Today’s customers expect that the organisation they do business with will be ‘on’ social media and will be […]

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