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Mothers Day – Let’s talk money Part 1 1024 774 Fox & Hare

Mothers Day – Let’s talk money Part 1

To celebrate Mothers Day a little differently this year, the Ladies Talk Money team used their How to Talk About Money guide to chat to their mums.

Ladies Talk Money Community Manager and Fox & Hare’s Marketing Manager, Charlotte chats with her mum, Gaenor, and her nan, Krythia about their top tips, biggest challenges and much more here –

What’s the best money or financial advice you have ever received? 

G – Have a plan, budget + goal and set up the habit of saving, put an amount aside religiously.

K  – borrow 100K to build a dual occupancy townhouse, even though I was near to retirement.

C – You should care about your Super. At the end of the day, your Super is YOUR money and you should care about where it’s invested, the returns and the fees associated with the fund. Making small changes can make a huge difference if you have the advantage of time.

What did your parents/grandparents/teachers/first boss teach you about money?

G – Both my Parents and Grandparents were very careful with money.(exception, my father would buy expensive items that he deemed important to him) They saved up for the item before purchase.

K – not much advice in a direct way.  But early on aged 11yrs old, I learned that money is a common problem in relationships, it causes strife. (My parents took on a new business immediately after the WW2 1946, and I was the person who tried to calm the rows over money, which occurred through my early teens.

C – It’s important to have something that is your own and only your own. Whether that’s a separate bank account, an investment property, a side hustle. Talk about money and be smart with it.

How has your approach to money changed throughout your life?

G – In both my long term relationships, my Husband and my Partner were reckless with spending and money in general. Both were very good earners but always spent more than they earnt. There was no equality in the financial decisions. I was a bookkeeper and took on the role of administration for the entire household. I tried to control the spending, Tax payments and budgets. It was exhausting, soul destroying and I learnt Money = Control + I had none!

K – My approach has mainly been a cautious one, although I have taken a couple of big risks and the example : buying my home in Mosman, at age 65, post Retirement.

C – I was never really interested in money as such and didn’t see the value in learning about it past the basics.

What have been some of the biggest financial challenges in your life?

G – Trying to have a partnership with shared goals and dreams with financial matters.  Never having a voice or being heard or considered. Realising that I need to have financial independence and take responsibility for myself.

K – Renovating my home, with no income coming in.

C – Paying off my credit card from my gap year in Europe. The debt totaled to $5,000 and was way easier to spend then pay off. Learned my lesson, chopped it up and haven’t had one since.

If you could give one piece of financial wisdom to future generations, what would it be?

G – Get good advice, make the time to set up goals. Discus your needs, wants, and Dreams and stick to the plan.  Grow up and take responsibility for your own future.

K – Be very careful with who you get to advise you about your money. Ask for a 2nd or 3rd opinion.

C – Have a solid cash flow plan as soon as you start in the workforce. Split it into different buckets and pay yourself weekly. This has made managing my money SO much easier and even if it’s just $20 per week you are allocating to your savings or a holiday, it’s better than spending it all. 

Read the rest of the Ladies Talk Money teams chats here.

What Does A Financial Adviser Actually Do? 1024 576 Fox & Hare

What Does A Financial Adviser Actually Do?

Can a financial adviser help me with purchasing a home? Shouldn’t I wait until I’m old to seek financial advice? Does seeing an adviser restrict my ability to spend on leisure and weekends away? Trust us, we’ve heard it all before. 

 Understanding what the heck an adviser does can be incredibly confusing. And in light of the recent Banking Royal Commission, many of us are unsure and cautious about seeking professional help altogether. But to make the most of your hard-earned cash, speaking with a financial adviser who you trust can be a valuable way to boost your long-term wealth.  

 So, let’s debunk a few common misconceptions and uncover exactly what a financial adviser does.  

 The things a financial adviser can help with 

So, you’re earning a decadent salary and have your sights set on making your money work as hard as you do. Whether you want to start a family, own a home in your dream suburb or guarantee an early retirement, a financial adviser can help you grow your wealth and make your long-term money goals a reality.  

To help boost your wealth, financial advisers provide guidance on budgeting, investing, superannuation, estate planning, retirement planning, insurance, tax and more. 

How expensive is it to work with a financial adviser? 

Although the exact fees you’ll pay will depend on the adviser and arrangement you choose, financial advisers generally charge a combination of upfront and ongoing fees. These costs will be based on their level of service and amount of work completed and can include preparing financial advice strategies, making recommendations about financial products, reviewing your investment portfolio and more.  

It’s important to discuss the costs of seeking financial advice with your financial adviser prior to commencing work to ensure you’re informed about the final amount.  

What questions should I ask to find a good financial adviser?  

When it comes to finding the right financial adviser, it’s important to find someone you can communicate open and honestly with. We recommend meeting with a few potential advisers to find the right fit for you. Some good questions to ask include: 

  • What are your qualifications? 
  • Who are you licensed through? Does that license have an affiliation with a large institution?  
  • Do you have any referral arrangements with any product providers? 
  • What is your investment philosophy? 
  • Do you charge a flat fee for ongoing services? 

What we do and how we help at F&H

On a decadent wage, but have nothing to show for it? Overwhelmed by too many optionschoices and decisionsWant an expert by your side to make your coin work as hard as you do? You’ve come to the right place.  

At Fox & Hare, we work with the next generation to help them create clarity, take control of their money and further their adventure. We help our members create the life of their dreams, whether that means starting a family, investing in property, building a passive income or starting a business. We get to know you and your unique goals and figure out the best approach to help you achieve financial freedom.  

We do:  

  • Create goal-driven strategies:we figure out what’s important to you and create a tailored roadmap to get you there. 
  • Speak your language: we skip corporate jargon and stick to clear, honest advice that you can actually understand.
  • Ditch the confusion:we do the hard work for you by figuring out all your options and offer strategic recommendations to help you hit your goals. 
  • Put you in control: what’s the point in keeping all the financial know-how to ourselves? We empower our members with the skills and knowledge to make educated money decisions.  

 We don’t: 

  • Stop you from spending: want to travel every year or splurge on top-shelf booze? We help you do what you love and live the lifestyle you want.  
  • Get in bed with the big banks: we don’t have ties with big institutions, so we can scout out the best options on the market to suit your lifestyle and goals.  
  • Make you rich quick: sadly, there isn’t a secret scheme for overnight success. But we’ll map out a clear plan and coach you towards long-term wealth.  
  • Deliver a cookie-cutter approach: everyone is different, and so is the way we approach their finances. 

Never used a financial adviser before? No worries! In fact, most of our members prior to joining F&H hanever seen a financial adviser either. So, we have the tools to guide you through any questions or concerns you might have, every step of the way.  

So, in practical terms, how do we help? 

  • SAVINGS: we help our members aster their cash flow, understand their buying habits and consider if they really align with their goals. We help with creating a strategy for how our members use their money, with today and tomorrow in mind.  
  • INVESTING: let’s face it, investing can be incredibly confusing. So, we help identify the best investment strategies for our members to make their money work as hard as they do. From a step-by-step guide to landing the keys to their first home to choosing socially and environmentally aware investment options, we guide you through the entire investment process. 
  • PLAN B: if 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that having a back-up plan is vital. So, we help our members plan for the unexpected, whether that be illness, injury or a change in circumstances. 
  • SUPER: saving for retirement might seem like a distant thought, but it’s important to consider how you’re going to ensure a comfortable (or even early) retirement. We’ll give you all the options and implement a strategy that’ll secure your golden egg.  
  • TAX: this one is unavoidable, but it can be reduced. We can help with that. 
  • DEBT: there’s nothing fun about maxed out credit cards and piles of overdue bills. We know it can be overwhelming, frustrating and mentally draining, so we help you understand where you’re at and work together to banish debt for good.  
  • ESTATE PLANNING: as much as we might not want to think about it, we need to have a plan for your assets if the unthinkable should occur. Because safeguarding the financial welfare of your loved ones with an estate plan is so important.  
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How To Start A Side Hustle

With many of us spending more time at home, we might be looking for ways to generate an additional stream of income. Discover how to kick start your freelancing career with this practical guide to starting a side hustle. 

The phrase ‘side hustle’ has been a buzz word splashed across blogs and headlines in recent years. And with good reason. Recent data from Finder has revealed that those with a side hustler are earning an average of $7,300 per year from their side income alone (as reported by Money Magazine). Plus, with 80% of Australians turning to their side hustle to find fulfillment outside of their 9-5 job, it’s no wonder the gig economy is continuing to rise in popularity worldwide. 

Right now, we’re all facing a one-in-one-hundred year event: a global pandemic. With workplaces shifting their operations entirely online and many Australians facing a reduction (or loss) of their main source of income, finding ways to bolster and safeguard our wealth is at the top of everyone’s to-do list.  

With the Internet at our fingertips and the majority of us stuck at home for the foreseeable future, now could be the perfect time to finally kick-start that big idea you’ve been talking about. Whether you’re on the hunt for additional work as a freelancer or want to finally launch your side hustle, discover the practical steps you need to take to turn your dreams into a reality.  

Understand the commitment a side hustle requires 

As with starting any business, a side hustle still requires a considerable amount of time and energy in order to become a successful source of additional income. Particularly for those balancing a side hustle or freelancing alongside a full-time role, it’s important to be realistic about your time and capacity from the beginning.  

In the early stages of launching a side hustle, learning to be comfortable with ‘the juggle’ is incredibly important. This means dedicating a good chunk of time after work hours and on weekends to building your business, fostering new leads and producing work for your side hustle. To help manage your time, try using free online project management tools such as Trello or Asana to manage your to-do list and use your calendar to block out time to work through important tasks.  

It’s also wise to understand the financial commitment required to launch a side hustle. You should never go into debt to kick-start a freelancing career or side project, so make sure to have a healthy savings balance first to fund any initial start-up costs that may arise. Realistically, you’ll need to be able to cover the costs of set-up (which can take up to 12 months) from your savings, so make sure you’ve budged for the ahead of time.  

Where to get an ABN and how to trade mark your business 

To help keep track of your side hustle transactions (and to reduce the headaches of tax time), it’s a wise idea to register for an Australian Business Number (ABN). Although this is compulsory for businesses with a GST turnover of $75,000 or more, it’s a good idea to set this up from the beginning to avoid additional paperwork down the track. To apply for an ABN, simply fill out this online application from the Australian Business Register website here. 

As well as this, applying for a trade mark enables you to distinguish your offering (such as goods and services) from other businesses. There are a number of types of trade marks you can apply for depending on the type of business you’re building. To find more about the basics of trade markets, the benefits of having a trade mark and to start the application process, click here. 

Plus, it’s a wise idea to register your business name with IP Australia as soon as possible (as it can take up to 4 months to approve). Be sure to get this process started early to ensure no one else snaps up your name! Find out more here 

How and when to register for GST  

When launching your side hustle, it’s important to understand how and when to register for GST (the Goods and Services Tax). Essentially, it all relates to how much income your side hustle is generating.  

You must be registered for GST if: 

  • Your business has a GST turnover (gross income minus GST of $75,000 or more
  • If you expect your new business to reach the GST threshold within the first year of operation 
  • If you’re already in business and have reached the GST threshold 
  • When you’re providing taxi or limousine travel for passengers (including ride-sourcing) regardless of GST turnover 
  • If you are planning to claim fuel tax credits for your business or enterprise 

To find out more about and to register for GST, visit the ATO’s website here. 

Create business accounts for your side hustle 

Want to help your future self as a freelancer or side hustler? Make sure to open up separate transaction accounts specifically for your side hustle or freelancing business. Why? Because this will make reconciling and assessing your gross revenue much easier and will streamline your records to keep your personal and professional transactions separate. Plus, this will come in handy when tax time rolls around as you’ll have a specific bank account dedicated to any business income and expenses.  

Track your business financials using accounting software 

Once you’ve started generating an income from your side hustle, it can be easy to lose track of invoices and payments from various customers and clients. To save you time and energy, consider investing in online accounting software such as Xero or MYOB. These digital platforms are designed specifically for small businesses and help keep you to keep track of bills, create invoices, manage your cashflow in real-time and so much more.  

Create channels to market your side hustle 

Aside from all the administrative tasks of setting up a side hustle, another key part of starting a successful side income is to ensure you’re showcasing your work with potential clients and customers. Two practical steps you can take to do so is to launch a website (that can act as a digital portfolio or marketplace for your goods and services) as well as create a social media presence (to build brand awareness and engage with past and potential customers). 

To launch a website for your side hustle, a number of online website building platforms exist including WordPressWixShopify and Squarespace. Take your time to research these options and consider which platform might be the best fit for launching your businesses’ website. 

As well as this, it’s a smart idea to create social media channels (such an Instagram profile, Facebook and LinkedIn pages) to market your new business. These free marketing channels are a great way to show your goods and services in action and to share regular updates with your customers about new product launches, new services and more.

 

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5 smart things to do in a down market

With so much volatility across the market, many investors are unsure how to proceed in this challenging period. So, here are 5 practical strategies to help you navigate this uncertain time.

It’s important to remember that market downturns are out of our control and therefore we need to focus on the things we can control in order to navigate them. Whether you’re new to the world of investing or have an extensive portfolio of assets, there are key things you can do to help set yourself up for success now and into the future. Here are the top 5 things to do in a bear market

TUNE OUT THE NOISE

Right now, checking your portfolio balance might send your down a rabbit hole of despair. So, one of the best ways to prevent making emotional decisions is to avoid frequently checking your assets in the weeks and months ahead. Plus, make sure to limit your exposure to financial news and the headlines, as this can cause you to deviate from your long-term investment strategy.

REVIEW YOUR ASSET ALLOCATION

This comes back to your tolerance for risk. Whether you’re close to retirement or are finding yourself concerned about market downturns, speaking with your financial adviser can help you make educated decisions about your asset allocation. By adjusting your split between stocks and bonds, you’ll be able to find a balance that best suits your personal circumstances and appetite for risk.

UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU CAN CONTROL

One of the best ways to manage feelings of anxiety during an uncertain like this is to focus your attention on what can control. Right now, managing the costs associated with your investments is a tangible step an investor can take to safeguard their wealth. Speak with your adviser to understand how to remove high-cost investments from your portfolio in ways that minimise the taxes due from their sale.

BE REALISTIC ABOUT YOUR EXPECTATIONS

With significant downturns across markets locally and abroad, investors should expect lower returns in the weeks and months to come. However, you can work with your financial adviser to create a strategic plan that helps to keep you on track to hit your long-term goals.

FOCUS ON DIVERSIFICATION

The investment strategy we use for all of our members at Fox & Hare emphasises the need for a diverse portfolio of assets. Why? Because this helps to insulate your portfolio and blunt the impact of downturns that may happen across the market over time. If you’d like to learn more about your particular financial situation, get in touch with us here.

Employment Changes
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Employment changes: here’s how to cope during this time

With so many Australians’ jobs impacted by COVID-19, it’s important to understand what support is available to you and those in need.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU’VE LOST YOUR JOB?
Depending on your type of employment, different levels of protection exist to safeguard your job now and into the future. For permanent full-time and part-time workers, your employer can temporarily stand-down or even make you permanently redundant due to slowdowns in trade. It’s important to clarify your current employment situation and the terms of payments and notice periods with your employer in either event.

Regardless of which category you fall into, the Australian government has increased the levels of financial support available to those left without work as a result of COVID-19. The Coronavirus Supplement provides an additional payment of $550 per fortnight to new and existing income support recipients (available from April 27th for a 6 month period). Along with the existing JobSeeker payments, individuals can now receive a total of $1,100 a fortnight as a result of these changes.

To find out more about these changes, check out the Sydney Morning Herald’s explainer guide here.

ARE YOU ELIGIBLE FOR CENTRELINK PAYMENTS?
The JobSeeker Payment and additional Coronavirus Supplement is available to all Australian citizens and residents aged between 22 and 66 who are looking for work. In light of these challenging times, the usual liquid asset test waiting period has been suspended (meaning you’ll still be eligible for payment even if you have more than $5,500 as a single or $11,000 as a couple in savings). To learn more about the JobSeeker Payment, check out The Guardian’s comprehensive Q&A article here.

WHAT IS THE JOBKEEPER PAYMENT?
The JobKeeper Payment is a new wage subsidy available to employees who have been stood down or retrenched since March 1st 2020 as a result of the Coronavirus. This payment of $1,500 a fortnight is paid to employers to keep their employees afloat, and is available for full-time and part-time workers, sole traders, not-for-profits and casuals who have worked for the same employer for the last 12 months. To find out more about the JobKeeper Payment, check out Money Magazine’s helpful guide here.

SUPPORT FOR SMALL BUSINESSES
With a downturn in trade, many small businesses are struggling to manage their cash flow during this time. For those businesses suffering financial distress, a moratorium has been announced that will prevent eviction for non-payment of rent across commercial tenancies.

As well as this, the government is working to support businesses by offering:

  • The JobKeeper payment
  • Boosting cashflow for employers
  • Increasing the instant asset write-off + more

To find out more about what support is available to small business owners, visit the Australian government’s website here. 

WHAT FINANCIAL SUPPORT IS AVAILABLE FOR SOLE TRADERS?
For those working for themselves, the government has introduced a range of new measures to support you during this difficult time. These include:

To explore the full range of support options available to sole traders, visit the Australian government website here.

Early Access Super
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Should I access my super early?

With so many of us facing financial uncertainty during this unprecedented time, early access to our super can provide some financial relief to those in need. But, is this a wise move?
WHAT CHANGES TO SUPER HAVE BEEN ANNOUNCED?
In light of the current situation, the Australian government has announced that anyone affected by the coronavirus can gain early access to up $10,000 of their superannuation in 2019-20 and a further $10,000 in 2020-21, able to be accessed from mid April 2020.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE?
To access super early, those affected by the coronavirus must have been:
  • Made redundant
  • Had their working hours reduced by 20% or more
  • Be a sole trader, where their business has been suspended or there has been a reduction in turnover of 20% or more
SHOULD YOU CONSIDER ACCESSING YOUR SUPER EARLY? 
Although this new measure does provide an additional level of financial security for those impact by the coronavirus, we urge all of our community to view dipping into super as a last resort. By removing funds from your retirement savings, you’ll have less money working hard for you in your super when markets recover.
If you are considering accessing your super early, please get in touch with us and we can discuss alternative income support measures available to you during this difficult time.
Income protection pandemics
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Income protection and pandemics: what you need to know

Discover what the outbreak of a global pandemic means for protecting your greatest asset: you.

WHAT IS INCOME PROTECTION INSURANCE?
What is the most valuable asset you own? You. That’s right, your capacity to earn an income can amount to thousands, if not millions, of dollars between now and retirement. Income protection enables you to receive up to 75% of your income if you need to step away from work due to illness or injury. Plus, income protection is tax-deductible and affords you the space to focus on recovery without the financial stress of mounting debt and unpaid bills.

DOES IP COVER YOU FOR PANDEMICS? IF SO, WHAT IS THE WAITING PERIOD?
There aren’t any inbuilt exclusions for pandemics in retail IP insurance cover (there may be if you have default cover through your Super fund, this varies from fund to fund). For those with an existing retail IP policy obtained through your financial adviser, you are covered for coronavirus as long as:

  • You contract the virus after your policy has started, and
  • Your policy is in force, and
  • You meet the other T&Cs of your policy (including your duty of disclosure)

For new policy applications (from Feb 2020 onwards), you’ll need to share additional information about any recent travel and potential exposure to the virus during your application. Depending on your response, you might need to complete further assessments.

The waiting periods for accessing IP insurance vary depending on your level of cover. If you or someone you know needs help understanding your policy they currently have or whether they need to take out a new policy, reach out to the Fox & Hare team here.

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9 top tips for starting to invest

Jess shares her top tips for investing alongside Clayton Daniel & Sarah O’Carroll at Yahoo Finance’s Breakfast Club!

As share markets experience incredible volatility, the question on a number of Australians’ lips is: “Is now the right time to invest?”

And according to the experts, the answer is generally “yes,” provided you understand the rules of investing.

  • Covid-19 crash: Is it finally time to start buying stocks?
  • Hot tips: Where to invest during coronavirus
  • Australians are jumping into the sharemarket: This is where they’re investing

Speaking to Yahoo Finance Editor-in-Chief Sarah O’Carroll during the inaugural Yahoo Finance Breakfast Club: Live Online, co-founder and financial adviser at Fox & Hare Jessica Brady and XY Adviser managing director Clayton Daniel shared their top tips for first-time investors.

  1. Don’t try to time the market
    Brady said trying to time the market is a “dangerous game”, and that investors will never know the bottom of the market until it’s past. Instead, it’s better to make sensible investment decisions more broadly, rather than jumping in simply because prices are cheap.
  2. Make sure you have a buffer
    Questioned on how much money is required to begin investing, Brady said it’s important Australians have a cash buffer of at least a few months, and then to begin investing with however much is left over. That way, should unemployment or other unexpected expenses strike, investors won’t be scrambling to pull funds from their investments and potentially selling when the value of their investments is low just to access the cash.
  3. Just start
    “Starting is always the best thing to do, because you care more,” Daniel said, suggesting that instead of waiting to hit a particular savings goal, investors just start investing – provided they have a buffer. He said there are several apps out there that can help investors understand market movements, and build an awareness of what it feels like to watch your investments go up and down. And they don’t cost a lot: apps like Raiz and Acorns allow investors to begin investing with spare change.
  4. Set your goal
    Is your goal in investing to build a tidy nest egg? Or are you keen to have more money to spend now on purchasing a home or travelling? “The first thing to think about is: ‘what are you aiming to do with your investment’? Is it short term, is it long term, is it a bit of fun, is it to have money for the future?” Daniel said.Brady echoed that, noting that many first-time investors won’t have seen a lot of market volatility before. “There’s a couple of key things to consider if you are a first time investor: definitely work out what is the goal that you’re investing for then really think through what is your appetite for risk,” she said. “Up until now, a lot of investors haven’t [had their risk appetite] tested, and it can be really easy to watch your money going backwards, effectively, in terms of what the investment is and not stay the course.”So you need to really understand your appetite to risk and make a commitment to yourself that if you are genuinely doing this for the long term, you will stay the course.”
  5. Consider fees and costs
    “Make sure that you have a really good understanding of what it is actually going to cost you, and what are the performance figures for that investment as well,” Brady said. This means making sure your fees aren’t rolling up with the performance you receive, and considering whether paying for a relatively expensive actively managed fund is a better option for you than investing through a cheaper index fund.
  6. Diversify your portfolio. (Put simply: Don’t put all your eggs in one basket)
    One of the best ways to protect your investments is by holding a diversified portfolio. That just means not having all of your eggs in one basket, or all of your money in one type of investment. Investing through an exchange-traded fund or ETF is one way to do this, as an ETF offers you the chance to invest in a basket of shares, often grouped by an index. That means that as the index goes up or down, your investment value does as well.
  7. Be sensible
    When it comes to picking individual stocks, Daniel said his rule of thumb at the moment is to simply consider the companies that are doing well at the moment. So, transportation groups like Qantas and Uber aren’t doing as well because no one is going anywhere, and this is a trend that will continue until the virus is brought under control. On the other hand, social media companies, supermarkets and tech firms like Zoom are seeing strong performance as their services are being used more widely. Essentially, he’s looking at companies that consumers are using without needing to leave their homes.
  8. Sort out your cash flow
    Daniel said the greatest piece of advice he ever received was to figure out what his real salary was. That is, how much of your salary is left over once you’ve taken out your fixed costs? Reduce your costs and increase your cash flow. Then, start thinking about money you can afford to funnel away into investments.
  9. Do your homework
    Resources like ASIC’s MoneySmart website can really help you understand the basic ins and outs of investing, while Brady said it also doesn’t hurt to talk to your friends and family about how they’re investing and why – “with a grain of salt”.
– By Lucy Dean, Yahoo Finance, April 9th 2020.
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What are the advantages and return variables of compounding interest?

Jess and Glen use a case study to demonstrate the advantages of compounding interest and how the returns can change based on variables.

Check out more of our short videos 🎥👈

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What to consider when investing in property to live or to buy

Glen and Jess discuss the concept of Investing in Property and the points to consider when investing in property to live or to rent.

Watch more videos like this 📹👀

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When is the best time to get insurance?

Why get insurance when your young, fit and healthy? Jess and Glen explain the benefits of insurance and unpack the 4 main types available.

More videos like this! 💁‍♀️✅

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Shares and managed funds – whats the difference?

Hear how Glen simplifies the differences between a share and a managed fund.

Subscribe to our youtube channel here 🔥

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Ladies – Lets get our financial sh*t sorted

Jess stresses the importance of women having their superannuation sorted and why.

Book in a free coffee today ☕

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How to become a conscious Spender

Jess and Glen give their tips on how to be more conscious with your spending and assist in achieving your financial goals.

Watch more short videos like this! 👀

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Demystifying The Australian Tax System

The Hare breaks down how the Australian Tax System works.

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The Fox talks investing

The Fox discusses the risks and returns related to different types of investments.

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Think you’ll never own your own property?

Many people in their late 20s or 30s reach out to Fox & Hare with the belief that they will never be able to afford their own home or investment property. After exploring this a little further and catching up with Kellie Landrey, Principle Buyer at Scoutable, property expert and all round top gal, it became apparent that we haven’t been assessing affordability accurately. Kellie shared with us the below table put together by the Property Investment Professionals of Australia (PIPA) looking at the annual average loan size, interest rates, loan repayments and wages. Their research suggests that mortgages are more affordable today than they were in 1990.

In 1990, it would require 48.1% of the average annual wage to pay off the average home loan of $66,300 due to the high variable interest rate of 17%. While the average home loan size has grown substantially to $389,000 in 2018, the standard variable rate is just 5.1% (or less) resulting in repayments of 40.9% of the average annual wage.

Let’s think about what that actually means… While property prices are still going up in some areas these numbers tell us that the struggle to get into the property market has more to do with people scraping together an initial deposit rather the buyer’s ability to service the loan.

Your dream of property ownership can become a reality but like some people need personal trainers, others need wealth coaches. If you feel like you’re saving but never going to get the property of your dreams, keen to learn about government incentives for first home buyers or want to ensure the money you work hard for is working hard for you, we’d love to hear from you.

Book in a quick chat.

Define ‘busy’ 1024 683 Fox & Hare

Define ‘busy’

How often do you greet a friend, colleague or acquaintance with ‘how are you?’ and the response is, ‘ohh so… busy!’ People clearly have different views on what busy is. Someone working 9 to 5 and only gets 45minutes for their lunch instead of their allocated 1hour may class themselves as busy. On the same token, someone working 75 hours a week may also be tagged as ‘busy’. My challenge for the new year, rather than responding with ‘ohh geez I’m so.. busy’ is to respond with either I’m being ‘productive’ or ‘unproductive’. In my view, this means so much more….

Two things I’m always conscious of when avoiding a ‘busy’ day are; Firstly, prioritise tasks which get you closer to meeting your goals. Any other tasks that don’t help you to do so are just clutter. Secondly, jumping from task to task without clear direction or goals is just “busy work” and is likely not going to result in a productive day. We’re sh*t at multi-tasking, focusing on one task at a time makes you more productive by allowing you to be fully immersed in the task at hand. If your mind starts to wander to another task, simply write it down and come back to it later.

Some food for thought, the average worker spends 30 hours a week checking email. For most workers, simply checking to see whether they’ve got a new email consumes as much time as they spend doing productive work. Does this sound like you? If so, one simple trick may be to turn off your email (if not all) the notifications on your phone, you’ll be amazed how much more productive you’ll become just by not constantly glancing over at one of the biggest time wasters of all, your phone!

Something else that I think is imperative to a productive workday is the incorporation of physical activity, for me, this is blocking out 1.5hours in my diary every day to go to the gym. Everyone’s different, this could be a lunchtime boot camp with colleagues, afternoon yoga or a morning jog, essentially anything that gets you moving. This time is my time and no one else’s. It allows me to have a productive morning, followed by some ‘me time’ then allowing me to go back to the office for a productive second half of my day without the need for quick fix stimulants, like a double shot cappuccino or brownie from Bourke St Bakery.

This year, let’s avoid ‘busy’ and simply be ‘productive’.

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Biggest Learnings from Corporate 1024 683 Fox & Hare

Biggest Learnings from Corporate

After over a decade inside some of Australia’s largest companies (including CommBank, Macquarie Bank and Zurich Financial Services) I recently jumped into self-employment which prompted some nostalgic reflections on my biggest learnings along the way. If I could write this to my fresh faced, straight out of school, 18 year old self this is what I would want her to know…

1. Do things that scare the sh*t out of you

If I think about the opportunities that gave me the greatest boost in my career they were not the ones that were easy or simple… they were the ones that completely took me well and truly outside of my comfort zone. The ones that give you butterflies and cold sweats and have you wishing for an emotional support animal. I remember when I was about 25 I was asked to MC the first day of the largest Financial Adviser conference in Australia, 800 delegates! I was truly terrified, there was a little voice inside that tried to convince me there was no way I would be able to do it. But then, I decided to ignore that voice, I found my big girl pants, spent hours in front of the mirror practicing and the next thing you know I was getting ready for sound check.  This was a pivotal moment for me in my career. Not only was it a huge success, I built a strong brand for myself (more on that later) and led me to a role that saw me presenting to Financial advisers at conferences in Australia and all over the world. How often are you pushing yourself further than you feel comfortable with? When was the last time you did something that really scared you? If the answer is no idea, its time to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. You got this!

‘Great things never came from comfort zones’

2. Say Yes

If you are presented with an opportunity, it might be a new role, new project, new community initiative – say yes! Often I find, particularly women, don’t take the next role or project unless they feel they satisfy 100% of the criteria. Saying yes will mean you learn faster, build influential networks and further opportunities.

When I was 18 working for CBA and studying at Uni there was an email sent around  looking for someone to help out with keeping on top of birthdays and team events. Bored answering calls all day (despite my colleagues warning me it would be a tremendous amount of work with no additional pay) I said ‘yes’. Flash forward 6 months and I had met every Executive on my floor, spent time working with them on their team events, making sure they celebrated team milestones and organised our first floor wide ‘International food day’ (did I mention I love food?). The culture of these teams had changed dramatically during this period, productivity had increased and absenteeism reduced. By all measurements, my initial ‘fluffy’ project had remarkable knock-on effects and management took notice. By putting my hand up and going outside my job description I was ‘lucky’ enough to meet a man who offered me my next role.

3. Never burn bridges

It’s fair to say you aren’t going to like every single person you work with. Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses and sometimes in business this can create friction. Some people think it’s a wonderful idea to let them know how you felt as you ride off into the sunset to your next opportunity… DON’T! Never, ever, ever do this… I have watched so many people ruin future opportunities by thinking this is a good idea. The world is small and you just never know who you will be working with or have mutual connections with. Write it on paper and burn it if you have to, its cathartic… I hear.

4. Lean in and out

I read Sheryl Sandberg’s ‘Lean In’ in one sitting on a flight home from a holiday overseas. I loved it, it appealed so much to me. There is so much to be said for leaning in but there is also a lot to be said for ‘leaning out’. If something doesn’t feel right, if you are not in an organisation that you feel passionately connected to or if you have a leadership team that doesn’t support your progression… get out.  In today’s corporate world some leaders literally expect you to be at their beck and call 24/7. I completely didn’t listen to my body when I was under the pump and it led to total and utter burnout. Luckily, I had an amazing boss who supported me to get better, not all bosses are like that. Listen to your body and make sure you are doing those basic things it takes to survive – sleep, eat well and move (I still have to remind myself of this one!).

5. You are a brand

Finally, you are a brand. Your personal brand should be treated like an ongoing, never ending, no deadline, project. How people perceive you has a huge impact on your career progression opportunities. I have seen some amazingly bad things happen to people when they don’t actually consider their brand. Here are some of my top tips (based on years of on-watching): don’t get white girl wasted at ANY work events, ever! Say good morning to people in your company you don’t know, its amazing how many people will be genuinely surprised and then strike up a relationship.  Fashion passes, style remains – always dress for the job you want to have. Lastly, make connections outside your company – go to other industry events to build your network. My network is an asset that I regularly call on for guidance, support and insights!

 

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Applying for a Loan? Don’t Just Pay Off Credit Cards

It seems like a no brainer, right? You are buying a home, so you’ll pay off your credit cards to reduce your debt, but keep them active so you can buy some furniture or deal with emergencies even when you have a mortgage to pay. Wrong.

It’s obvious that a lender will consider your credit card debts and the monthly repayments on those when you apply for a mortgage. But what many people do not realise is that credit cards that don’t have any balance owing can also impact a lender’s assessment of what you can afford to borrow.

If you have a high credit limit, you also have a high debt risk in the eyes of your lender. As the logic goes, there is no stopping you from racking up debt on your credit card the day after your loan is approved. Say, on lovely furniture to fill that new house.

“We have to take account of three per cent of the total credit card limit, regardless of what the applicant owes,” says the finance broker.

“If they had a $10,000 limit but they only owe $1000, we still have to assess $300 a month and that comes directly out of their liability. It does make quite a difference” , says the broker.

From this, it can be assumed that if you haven’t put a cent on your credit card for the past five years, a high credit limit will negatively affect your serviceability; $300 per month off a mortgage repayment means quite a bit over the life of a loan. In fact, being able to repay an extra $300 each month on a 30-year $500,000 loan at 5.5 per cent interest will mean paying it off 5 years faster, and saving approximately $100,000 on the total cost of the loan. Alternatively, it may mean that you are able to borrow an extra $50,000.

The best thing you can do is lower your credit limit or cancel your credit account..

“You need to pay out your credit cards and avoid having any other debt,” says the broker. “You need to be able to use your full amount of income.”

For those who have to pay off their credit account before dreaming of cancelling their liability, it is, of course, imperative to make those payments on time to avoid negatively impacting your credit history.

Get in touch today and see where your finances stand.