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High ESG ratings a pointer to strong performance

Macquarie Securities has released its annual ESG Ratings Survey, confirming that ASX-listed companies with high ESG scores are outperformers. Since Macquarie started giving companies ESG ratings in 2011, high-scoring companies have outperformed low-scoring companies, with a relative outperformance of 4.2…

Transfer balance cap change ahead

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is alerting superannuation trustees to plan for a number of changes in regard to the indexation of the general transfer balance cap, which will be particularly important for SMSF trustees. The transfer balance cap is…

How to find an ethical bank

Following news of Westpac’s failure to manage risks associated with the processing of cross-border payments, consumers are once again asking where they can find an ethical bank. The two best sources for consumer guidance are the Responsible Investment Association Australasia…

Portfolio diversification: swap bonds for real assets

Real assets, such as commercial real estate and infrastructure, are taking on greater importance as safe haven assets. Investment manager JP Morgan Asset Management has issued the latest edition of its annual publication, Long-term Capital Market Assumptions, forecasting that global…

Equity income mindset needs to change

Investors need to change the way they think about generating income from their equity investments and be prepared to draw on capital gains as well as dividend payments. Two of Australian’s most successful equity managers, Platinum Asset Management chief executive…

RBA quantifies the home loan loyalty tax

Bankers have rejected the idea that long-standing customers with mortgages are paying a “loyalty tax” in the form of higher rates than the rates new customers pay. But Reserve Bank analysis shows that is exactly what is happening. According 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…

ANZ result shows the big banks are running on the spot

ANZ suffered a 3 per cent fall in Australian home loan balances during the year to September, which is a reduction of around $7 billion. The bank says things are turning around. For a bank going through a major simplification…

Elder financial abuse: what to look for and how to stop it

Jessica Latimer is a lawyer specialising in elder financial abuse at Moores and she sees a lot of cases that trouble her. A recent case involved an elderly man who had jointly appointed power of attorneys. One attorney was withdrawing…