John Kavanagh
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Kavanagh

Banks have argued strenuously over the past year that established mortgage account holders don’t pay a premium or “penalty”, compared with new borrowers. The Reserve Bank says they do. For variable rate mortgages, older loans typically have higher interest rates…

Testamentary trust passes the test

A ruling of the Family Court of Australia has tested the effectiveness of using a testamentary trust to protect assets from claims arising from the breakdown of a marriage. A father established testamentary trusts for his son and daughter in…

Real return strategy reduces equity exposure

When fund manager Schroders Investment Management Australia launched its Real Return Fund in 2008, it set a target annual return of CPI plus 5 per cent. It has largely achieved that. After assessing the outlook for global share markets in…

Banks under more earnings pressure

Profit reporting season starts this week and investors will be keen to see if there is any sign of a turnaround in the banks’ earnings. It doesn’t look likely, as revenue pressure emerges from several new directions. Banks are facing…

ATO issues GST reminder

The Australian Taxation Office has issued a reminder to SMSF trustees that they have a GST withholding obligation if they purchase new residential property. They need to make sure they have done all the paperwork. The ATO says purchasers who…

No TBC indexation this year

Q: I read in your publication last year that the superannuation transfer balance cap would be indexed to $1.7 million this year. Is that still the case? A: No. The Australian Taxation Office has advised that the transfer balance cap…

Kavanagh

Lifecycle investment options in superannuation funds have been getting a bit of coverage lately, with one article saying they can increase retirement benefits by up to 35 per cent. A typical lifecycle fund is one that automatically changes the member’s…

House sales provide better gains than apartment sales

House owners have a greater chance of making a gain on the sale of their property than apartment owners. And owner occupiers do better when they sell than investors. Residential property researcher CoreLogic reports that during the September quarter 90…

Signs of a sustained gold rally

Gold price rallies tend to be short and sharp but Morningstar has forecast that, after rising strongly last year, the metal may hold its current level through the rest of this year. The gold price rose around 29 per cent…

More lenders drop home loan rates below 3 per cent

Several lenders announced cuts to their home loan rates last week, with the number of lenders offering rates below 3 per cent growing. ANZ cut home loan and deposit rates. On the home loan front, for borrowers with loan-to-valuation ratios…