Latest News

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.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

There are many benefits to getting good advice, and if you're looking at this website odds are you already know it, you're just looking for affirmation.

Good advice can provide many benefits:

  • Peace of mind
  • Surety
  • Compliance
  • Understanding
  • Financial reward
  • ...and the list goes on

'Good' advice can be distinguished from any old advice you might get from friends, family of collegues and can often be hard to find. But, once you've found a good adviser, listen to their advice and stick with them.

Often the best way to find a good adviser is a recommendation from someone you trust. Look for people you know that are successful, experienced and trustworthy, then ask. If you can't think of anyone off hand, the internet is a wonderful source of information, there's just more of it to filter through.

As a general rule, we suggest you talk to a few different advisers to get a feel for your options and to improve the chances of you finding the 'right one' for you. The age old approach of getting three quotes can hold true hereas well.

Not getting advice doesn't help you at all, but advice doesn't come to you. If you want to get ahead, you've got to get on the front foot and be proactive.

Good advice always pays for itself !!

If you'd like to talk to one of our advisers, please feel welcome to contact us.


 
 

 

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Many people are becoming increasingly concerned about the issue of asset protection, whether they be professionals, business persons or the ordinary person on the street. In fact, many people have the primary motivation of asset protection when establishing their estate plans.

The assets of an individual can be attacked through a variety of ways, including from creditors, the trustee in bankruptcy, estate challenges under the Family Provision Act as well as when a relationship breaks down. Relationship breakdown will be a relevant factor not only to people who are married but also to people who live in a domestic relationship.

Recent events have shown that medical professionals have been particularly at risk from legal claims. These claims also apply to other professional groups (ie accountants, lawyers, financial planners).

A director of a company has extensive exposure to liability. The sources of liability for a director are prescribed in a variety of legislation, including the Corporations Act, the Income Tax Assessment Act, the Commonwealth Crimes Act, the Trade Practices Act, as well as industrial relations, occupational health and safety and environmental legislation.

Many people are not aware that the definition of "director" under the Corporations Act does not only include persons who are listed as directors with ASIC, but also persons who have effective control of a company and persons who are de facto directors or shadow directors. For example, the courts have determined that an accountant whom the company consulted to improve the profitability of the company exerted the necessary control to be a de facto director, and therefore had exposure to liability as a director.

So if you are in a position that places your assets at risk, what can you do? Deciding on a strategy for asset protection really depends on the circumstances of the particular person. However, here are some general pointers.

Individuals may consider the following for possible protection against creditors:

  • Avoid holding assets in the individual's name. The assets may instead be held by a spouse, company or discretionary trust.
  • If assets are held in an individual's name, it may be possible to transfer the assets. However, stamp duty and capital gains tax issues should be considered.
  • Corporate credit cards are often issued in the name of an employer or company, but generally the primary responsibility for payment of the debt is retained by the cardholder.
  • Holding monies in a super fund up to Pension Reasonable Benefit Limits.
  • Ensure assets are mortgaged or otherwise encumbered - for example to spouses, trusts or companies.
  • Avoid personal guarantees or indemnities, or limit them to specific dollar amounts and/or time period.

However, before undertaking any of these possible protection measures, consideration should be given to the claw-back provisions of the Bankruptcy Act.

Finally, in a proper estate plan there are factors to consider other than yourself.

These factors will include what your parents propose to do with their estate plan. If a person has asset protection issues, the last thing that person may want is to receive a large inheritance in their own name. Similarly, your children may have the same asset protection issues and therefore a large inheritance in their own name would not benefit them.

You should also consider revoking any unnecessary powers of attorney. The vesting provisions of trusts should also be checked.

An effective estate plan is very important. Do not wait until it is too late! Contact us.

 

 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Objectives Based Portfolios are different from the traditional Strategic Asset Allocation (SAA) diversified funds of old in a number of ways;

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Based upon the ASFA Retirement Standard a couple wanting a comfortable lifestyle in retirement will have to spend $58,128 pa.  A single seeking the same comfortable lifestyle in retirement will have to spend $42,433 pa.  

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

You may have read about two major online security breaches, Heartbleed and eBay hack, which generated headline across the globe. It has since been found that more than 1.6 billion internet username and password combinations have been stolen by a Russian crime gang in a large-scale security breach. The confidential material was gathered from over 500 million email addresses and 420,000 websites across the globe. What’s more, Australians are at risk of being affected by the cyber-attack due to our extensive use of overseas websites, such as online shopping or having personal information registered with a company.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Losing an original document can be quite a stressful event, particularly when you have no backups. A constant question is: "Can I destroy my originals now that I have made a digital copy?" In a world where everything is moving to digital, how should you handle original documents? 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

After a weak start October proved a better month for financial markets. Bonds and equities rallied, with REIT’s performing particularly well. Commodity prices declined further and the $A was little changed in the month. A generally positive earnings season in the US combined with supportive statements from major central banks contributed to the better month for equities.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

In 2015 WLM turns 10. We look forward to you joining us to celebrate our first decade.......more details to come!!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

From 1 January 2015, income from superannuation pensions will be taken into account in determining whether you are eligible to receive the Age Pension (full or part payment) or the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC). This might affect your ability to access either of these social security benefits in the future.

Friday, August 08, 2014

From 1 July this year it will be compulsory for employers with 20 or more employees (large employers) to pay contributions to your SMSF electronically. Plus from 1 July 2015 it will be necessary for all employers (including small employers with 19 or less employees) to make contributions electronically.