Welcome to our Blog Page
Expecting Quiet Times? Then You’d Better Read This
Is your business seasonal or do external factors influence your customer’s behavior? After running your business for a while you might be able to see quiet times coming. Good for you – but foresight isn’t everything! Turn foresight into action and lead your business in the right direction.
How to Survive the Quiet Times and Benefit from the Experience
Change is inevitable and quiet often unforseeable. Quiet times can hit us when we least expect it. The cancellation of a major project, a big customer leaves or roadworks commence that make your shop inaccessible. The unexpected can catch us all.
Tax Refund Tips for 2017
To increase your tax refund in 2017, you need to either reduce your taxable income or increase your deductable expenses. Now this doesn’t mean that you should go out and earn less and spend more.
What it does mean though is that if you run a business, you should look at the timing of both the payments you receive and the expenses you pay.
7 Tax Tips for Planning your 2017 Tax Return
When it comes to tax returns, most people want the same thing, the biggest refund possible or at least the minimum tax payable possible, executed as quickly as possible, at the least cost possible. At Johnston Grocke, we understand this so here are some tax tips to help you achieve your tax return goals for 2017.
Superannuation Changes 2017
The changes to the superannuation contributions effective 1 July 2017 represent a move by the Federal Government to increase revenue by reducing tax concessions.
To best understand these changes and what they mean to you, it’s firstly, worth having a look at the current superannuation contribution arrangements, so we can gain some perspective.
The Dirty Little Secret the Banks Don't Want You to Know...
that could help you with your tax planning and cash flow management.
Have you ever stumbled upon a product or service your bank has available that could have been of benefit to you, if only they had let you know about it?
Well there are many products and services that banks deliberately don’t publicise or widely offer. You may be one of the lucky customers that get tapped on the shoulder and receive a whispered offer because someone at the bank considers you to be exceptionally “valuable”. But for most of us who are considered by our bank to be ‘less valuable’, we are unlikely to learn about these offerings first hand.
CBD Apartments- Set for a Shock?
New reports from, global and financial institutions are now warning about what we have suspected for quite some time...
Succession Planning - 3 Major Factors
Sadly, we are seeing too many businesses looking to sell but struggling to find an interested buyer at the right price. Unfortunately, the most common mistake in succession planning is the absence of a plan!
Superannuation - 5 Tips
The uncertainty surrounding the superannuation rules is now starting to ease as legislation gets through the new parliament. Time flies though, so make sure you consider seeking advice on these 5 areas before tougher rules come into force on 1 July 2017.
Get SUPER Organised - but for the Right Reasons
Most people have more than one super account. And some people have forgotten about a super account!
Consolidating super accounts is about getting organised, bringing together information and making good decisions about how to invest and protect your super savings. This topic may be boring for some people and you probably already want to stop reading but wait! I can assure you that you will get that feel good feeling once you take control of your money and move those numerous small super account balances into one large account balance.
How to Purchase your First Home, Faster!
Visualising where your new sofa will sit and planning paint colours is much more exciting than strategizing ways to save a house deposit. Unfortunately, as most of my first home buyers discover: you usually can’t get to the fun stuff until you’ve done the hard yards and saved your deposit. But how can you get to your goal quicker?
Having an Outsider, In?
Why is a non-family member often a good person to have on the board of a business?
What to do When you Have Kids
Life is pretty easy when we only have to look after ourselves. We enjoy a freedom that we take for granted and responsibilities are not too onerous. My, how that changes when we have kids!
Personal Insurance - "What if?" and Why we Want to Help you Navigate the Minefield
No one really likes to talk about the negative “what-if’s” of life especially death and disablement, so it’s easier to just keep thinking that we’re invincible and bury our heads in the sand. That works great until something goes wrong….
Asset Protection - is it Important?
The simple answer is yes, but what exactly is it?
Protecting one’s assets is all about planning to make sure any valuable asset is not able to be targeted by a creditor, bank or other entity making a claim on you or your business. History is full of sad stories where people have ‘lost the lot’ when unexpected events happen, sometimes out of their control, and their assets are seized by others.
We're Not in Kansas Anymore...
Moving can be a new and exciting experience. It can also be quite daunting if you find yourself in a new city, state or even country. This was my experience when I moved to Australia in 2000. I suddenly found myself on the opposite side of the world in a thrilling Sydney around the time of the 2000 Olympics. I am originally from the suburbs in Kansas, USA. I didn’t exactly grow up in a small town but it was worlds apart from the atmosphere in Sydney at that time. I was experiencing a strange mix of emotions. I was filled with the joviality of being young in a big thriving city. I was overwhelmed at the challenges I faced to find a job and accommodation. I was also a bit sad about being 15,308 Kilometres away from my family.
Client Info Session Part 3
BREXIT- While it has had a significant impact to the share market and property prices in London, Australia remains largely unaffected. Remembering that it could be another 2 years before the UK actually leaves the EU, Australian economists predict expect little impact to Australian property prices. Others are suggesting that Australian ex-pats may return home if it becomes too difficult to work and travel in the EU (which would add to local demand for property).
Client Info Session Part 2
In July, I had the pleasure of speaking at the Johnston Grocke Market Update where I gave my review of the Australian property market’s performance over the last 12 months. This is a summary of that presentation.
The annual growth of 5.5% over the last decade (as shown below), is a little short of the 7.2% per annum that is required for property values to double every 10 years. It’s important to note however that not all cities have performed this way. This is the combined capital city data.
Client Info Session Part 1
A few weeks ago, Johnston Grocke held an information session for its clients. The information session was a Market Update, covering the global economy, shares, property and retirement. Watch in the following weeks for blogs from the speakers, summarising their thoughts and information presented on that night. John Grocke was one of the speakers at this event and below are some of his key messages.
Fast Food isn't all bad - you can learn things too!
Changing consumer trends have favoured premium and healthy food produce in recent years, to the detriment of traditional fast food outlets.
This trend has played out in the pizza restaurant and takeaway industry, as Pizza Hut has struggled to maintain growth as smaller pizza store operators have increasingly offered premium produce.
Studying While Working - it can be Done! Part 2
- Is your employer flexible with the hours you work? If you can’t afford to reduce your employment income and your study will require attendance at certain classes perhaps your employer is open to alternative work hours? Some courses require students to attend on campus during business hours – those lost employment hours could be made up outside business hours – again depending on what work you do and your employer's flexibility.
- Read More
Studying While Working - it can be Done! Part 1
For the last year and a half I have been studying a university course part time while still working full time. This isn't the first time I've undertaken study while working full time however it is the first time I've been studying a course that requires me to attend campus. This, of course, raises some additional logistical issues.
If Brexit was a Business...?
Whether or not Brexit is the correct decision (time will tell), it's important to understand why the decision making process was flawed and understand that if this process was adopted in a private business, it would be a disaster.
The following are some key decision making pointers, to help you make the right decisions, for YOU.
How do you get your Business Flying?
One thing that can be proven by analysis across many companies is that depsite periods of loss, a good return on shareholders' funds (ie returns after salaries) can be quite sustainable.
Australia's highest performing businesses largely follow similar success guidelines to average over 35% ROSF in any five-year period.
Estate Administration - Why it can be the Elephant in the Room & how do you Choose an Executor?
What are Deposit Guarantees?
Transition to Retirement - Unlocking your Super Whilst Still Working
The Top 5 Businesses that are Expected to Prosper
The I Return is Alive & Well
There is a lot of media about the removal of the “I” return for individual taxpayers. The Australian Government identifies individual income tax as the “single largest Australian Government revenue source” (www.bettertax.gov.au) and proposals have been put forward which would remove the need for many individuals to submit tax returns.
Self Managed Super Funds
Family Super Funds, referred to as Self-Managed Super Funds (SMSF's), have become the popular choice for those people seeking more control, flexibility and access to direct investments that otherwise are not available through most Institutional or Industry super funds.
Property Investment - What, When, Why & How?
We continue to get frustrated seeing and hearing all the public commentary and marketing from property investment ‘gurus’. Although many are no doubt very intelligent business people, the one thing that stands out is that they all seem to preach that direct residential property is the right investment for everyone, all the time. This is regardless of financial position, age and stage of life, tax position, attitude to risk and existence of other wealth creation strategies.
Preparing for a Family
As you may have read in our latest newsletter, we were delighted to announce our Para-Broker Matthew Bodger and his wife Kelly, recently become parents for the first time. Leading up to the birth of their baby daughter, there was a whole lot of planning required, making sure the baby’s room was prepared, purchasing items such as a cot, car seat, change table etc., not to mention attending the anti-natal classes.
Online Home Loan Comparison Sites can Cost you $33,730.
Online home loan comparison sites are all the rage at the moment and it is easy to see why: simply jump online, punch in your details and compare every available home loan on the market. What a great concept... until it costs you $33,730.
New Age Reporting - Are you Stuck in a Time Warp?
What is Mortgage Insurance?
Lender Mortgage insurance, often referred to as LMI, is an insurance taken out by the lender to protect them against the borrower defaulting on their loan. It is a once off payment, paid by the borrower, when the loan is first taken out if the loan is above 80% of the value of the house eg. if the house was worth $400,000 then an 80% lend would be a $320,000 loan. Anything above 80% is considered a higher risk for the bank to lend against as there is less hurt money (equity) in the property if the borrower were to default.
Insurance & You
How to Make Money from Property - Buy & Hold
How to Make Money from Property
Australians have always had a love of property. The fact you can see it, feel it and change it, makes it a desirable investment for many. Throughout this series “how to make money from property, I’ll explore the best proven strategies I've either used personally or advised my clients on. Having helped almost 1000 clients to purchase, renovate, develop or invest in property, I've witnessed the majority of pitfalls and identified the key contributing factors to success.
Financial Planning for the Young Professional
Knowing how to manage money is important for everyone irrespective of one’s profession, financial circumstances, lifestyle etc. Young adults need to understand that financial planning for the future can no longer be restricted to those approaching retirement. To get ahead in life one needs to plan one’s finances in addition to other responsibilities. As a young professional just starting out, the future can seem a long way off so it’s understandable not to spend too much time thinking about things like investing, insurance or even retirement. However, life moves pretty quickly and with the ever-increasing life expectancy in Australia and the uncertain future of social security it is never a bad idea to put a plan into perspective.
I Want to Sell my Business but I Dont Know How
How to Make Money from Property - Development
How to Make Money from Property - Buy and Hold Strategy
First Home Buyers
The First Home Buyer journey can be tough. For most of us, it’s the first major financial decision we’ve had to make on our own. It’s also usually a time for managing lots of expectations: What you want vs what you can afford, which areas you think you’d like to live in and what your parents think you should look for.
Exchange Traded Funds vs Listed Investment Companies
Exchange Traded Funds (ETF) or Listed Investment Companies (LICs): it′s an often-held debate between investors. The technical differences between the two often causes confusion among investors, especially when it comes to determining the suitability within one's broader investment profile.
Contributions to Super
Investing your Money - Cash vs Shares vs Property
Deciding to invest your money, in order to have a prosperous future, is a wise decision. However, it can also be a confusing one, especially when considering what area to invest your money into. It is timely, then, to consider the difference between assets like Cash/Shares/Property. Each has a different profile in terms of immediate access, but, even the view on those rules has been tested over the past few weeks.
Building a New Home
I recently embarked on a pretty exciting journey with my significant other: building our next home together. We found the perfect bit of land, not too big and not too small. Closer to work and which would give us the scope to build the home we’ve both been dreaming of. If you’re like us and have decided to build too, your next few months will be full of collaboration and big decisions to get you closer to moving into your new home. There are several benefits to buying land and building, instead of purchasing an established property. The main financial benefit is the reduction in stamp duty applicable, as you’ll only be charged duty on the cost of the land – not the entire value of the property when it’s complete. Most people however, are drawn to building as it gives them the freedom to design their dream home. Dream fittings and features, an amazing free standing bath, dream layout, additions which are too expensive or too hard to add to an established home. Depending on your budget, building gives you the scope to encompass all these options and more.
Budgeting for the Expected and Unexpected Circumstances Part 2
So, you have now completed your budget and the bottom line shows you are breaking even, or worse, spending more than you earn. For those of you who are just ‘breaking even’ you may feel like you are in control of your budget. However, do you have a regular savings plan in place and an ‘emergency fund’ for those unexpected expenses? For those of you who are spending more than you earn, your financial position can decline fast unless you address your spending habits.
Budgeting for the Expected and Unexpected Circumstances Part 1
How often do unexpected bills land in your letter box, and you haven’t set aside savings to pay for them? Have you ever made a New Years resolution to set up a Christmas Gift Savings Account to try avoiding the hefty credit card bill you receive in January? By establishing a Budget you will be more prepared to pay for these expected and unexpected expenses.
Beware of the SMSF Cowboys
For most people financial matter are something to think about when time permits, or when a crunch comes and they have no choice. Long term investments such as superannuation often gets even less attention, who wants to think about something that might only be accessible years away, most of us just try to keep up with today’s problems!
A New Take on FoFA
Achieving Your Wealth Goals Isn't Easy
Age Pension Changes - Good & Bad
3 Things Most Successful Businesses Do Right
It’s tough being a business owner with so many things to consider – where do you start? If you think too much, micro things you get overwhelmed so its best to look at the main areas.
How to Make Money from Property - Renovating
Renovating is mainly for the more active property investors and to be honest, the majority of renovators aren’t making anywhere near enough money from this strategy to make it worthwhile. Have you ever heard someone say they’ve been renovating properties full time for 20 years and loving it? Didn’t think so, because it’s hard work for minimal returns. When you include all the costs and the cost of your time, you have either lost money or break even without realising it. Often it’s best to stay in your job and invest in a more passive investment or different property strategy.