John Kavanagh
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Down, down: the falling discount rate

Q: I have seen and heard a number of references recently to the discount. I understand that it is a way of valuing shares and other investments and that it is affected by falling interest rates. Can you fill me…

Kavanagh

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg makes a big play of the Government implementation of the Hayne Royal Commission recommendations, regularly issuing media releases with updates on the progress of reforms. However, the Government has a few blind spots when it comes to…

These companies don’t deserve your business

Finance company Flexigroup has a poor record of dealing with customer complaints. The Australian Financial Complaints Authority received 304 complaints from customers of its Flexirent business over the past year. The company did not respond to any of those complaints…

A new approach to calculating retirement income

Retirees looking for a simple way of working out how much income they should draw from their superannuation each year can try this simple rule of thumb: draw down a percentage based on the first digit of their age; and…

Off the plan contract reform takes effect

New rules for the sale of property off the plan come into effect in New South Wales next month, introducing major changes in this contentious area. The changes will limit the scope a developer has to change or adjust key…

Big bank dividend party is over

Australia’s big banks have “reset” their dividends, cutting their payout ratios to more sustainable levels as they face a weak outlook and demands from regulators for more capital. While their dividend yields still look attractive, there is little prospect that…

Buying gold mining stocks as a defensive position

Marc Christopher Lavoie and Robert Brunelle are contrarian equity investors, so naturally with the US market close to a record high they are taking a defensive stance. The problem is traditional defensive stocks are expensive too. The pair are among…

ATO clarifies its approach to investment in DomaCom funds

Fractional property investment company DomaCom has received clarification from the Australian Taxation Office about its approach to compliance when a self-managed super fund invests in a DomaCom property sub-fund and where a related party of the SMSF may be a…

Vacant land tax change

Q: I own a vacant block which I am hoping subdivide in a few years. A tax amendment will mean no tax deductions for some holders of vacant land, but I understand there were some amendments to the original bill,…

Kavanagh

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s decision to defer the starting date for super funds to disclose their portfolio holdings has attracted criticism from sections of the industry. We’re with the critics. The first reporting date was to have been…