We all get bombarded with information from every source possible and frankly, it's too much. Even if you haven't already flicked it into spam you probably don't have time to read it. We call it Information Overload. So, on this page we've selected big picture news items we think are relevant and of interest to our clients.
At its meeting today, the Board decided to lower the cash rate by 50 basis points to 3.75 per cent, effective 2 May 2012. This decision is based on information received over the past few months that suggests that economic conditions have been somewhat weaker than expected, while inflation has moderated.
The global economic outlook continues to be dominated by events in Europe. The optimism generated by the new European and Greek rescue package that supported a massive rally in financial markets in October has dissipated and given way to scepticism and political posturing. A Greek referendum proposal (since abandoned) and the resignation of the Greek and Italian Prime Ministers saw spreading bond market contagion with Italy at the epicentre. Italian bond yields pushed above 7% at one point, raising the prospect of default in the continent’s third largest economy.
Recently ATO legislation has been passed by Parliament to enable trusts to stream franked dividends and capital gains for tax purposes. It applies to the current 2010-11 and later income years. The legislation is contained in Tax Laws Amendment (2011 Measures No. 5) Bill 2011.
WLM is a strong supporter of the Government’s proposed Future of Financial Advice (FoFA) reforms. The goal of the reforms is to provide a more robust and transparent financial advice industry. This will benefit consumers of financial advice and products as well as continue the evolution of the financial planning industry into a profession.
The highly anticipated EU crisis summit has delivered headline agreements in the three key areas: a Greek bailout, bank recapitalisations and an expansion of the rescue fund. Agreements were reached between EU leaders at around 4am on Thursday morning Brussels time, 11 hours after the summit began. European equities rose strongly and the spreads on Spanish and Italian government bonds tightened relative to German bunds.
Self-managed superannuation fund members will not be able to transfer shares off market without the use of a broker under new regulations designed to limit the ability to minimise capital gains tax. The ban will apply from 1 July 2012.