One way or return?

Is the quoted fare for a one-way or return flight? Many of the low fares on offer are one-way tickets only. Be sure you are [...]

POSTED ON March 18, 2008
Market correlation….is there any….

By Karl Siegling Having recently travelled in the USA and Asia presenting to investors, I was surprised how often I was questioned on the correlation [...]

POSTED ON July 18, 2007
Litigation lending earns some credibility

As finance industry niches go there could not be many smaller than litigation lending, the business of giving plaintiffs financial backing in return for a [...]

POSTED ON September 28, 2006
Look for a non-recourse loan

Borrowers considering a reverse mortgage should look for a 'non recourse loan' that offers a guarantee of ‘no negative equity’. This means you can never [...]

POSTED ON September 22, 2005
Beware of any impact on Centrelink payments

If you are eligible for social security benefits such as the age pension, discuss your intention to take out a reverse mortgage with Centrelink to [...]

POSTED ON September 22, 2005
Seek all relevant information in writing

Fully understand all costs that are associated with the loan and ensure that you receive all documentation relating to the loan in writing. This information [...]

POSTED ON September 22, 2005
Small business customers on the move

Twelve per cent of micro business customers said they would definitely change banks during the next six months, while 20 per cent said it was [...]

POSTED ON February 23, 2005
Citibank eyes regional bank takeovers

Citibank Australia chief executive Les Matheson said the bank was examining opportunities to make an acquisition in order to expand distribution. "We have only seven [...]

POSTED ON February 21, 2005
Take tax into account for investment planning

When judging performance, investors often look at the wrong number, since many published comparisons of investment performance do not take into account tax. For example, [...]

POSTED ON October 19, 2004
Ensure your mortgage broker really delivers

Getting a broker to arrange your loan can certainly save a lot of time and hassle, but borrowers really must ensure the service they expect [...]

POSTED ON August 11, 2004
Do you qualify for a ‘relationship discount’?

Relationship discounts are available from banks and credit unions for those borrowers who consolidate a range of banking business with the one institution. Home and [...]

POSTED ON August 11, 2004
Caution needed on protected equity loans

Protected equity loan products allow investors to gain leveraged exposure to the sharemarket with a built-in safety net if their portfolio stocks take a dive. [...]

POSTED ON June 1, 2004
Think hard about the rewards you want

Annual fees for cards are on the increase – and the highest fees are usually on the cards with a rewards program attached. At the [...]

POSTED ON May 20, 2004
Win rate discounts for bulk business

It's possible to get home loans with interest rates discounted by up to half a percentage point lower than the standard variable rate. The big [...]

POSTED ON May 10, 2004
The trade off between loan cost and share growth

Protected equity lenders broadly offer two different ways to reduce the high interest costs of their capital protected loans. 'Shared upside' simply offers the borrower [...]

POSTED ON April 15, 2004
Don’t fall foul of the taxman

If you're an investor in rental property, take a note of these common problem areas the ATO finds with deduction claims. Legal fees are only [...]

POSTED ON February 9, 2004
Caution the key in current housing market

Home owners and property investors would be wise to adopt greater financial caution amid uncertainty in the outlook for property prices and interest rates. Easy [...]

POSTED ON October 9, 2003
Be careful of ‘honeymoon’ intro rates

Home lenders entice borrowers to their home loans with attractive low introductory rates. These rates may be up to 2 percentage points below the standard [...]

POSTED ON September 11, 2003
Don’t rely solely on comparison rates

All lenders must now include "comparison rates" in advertisements for their home loans and personal loans to help consumers get a feel for their total [...]

POSTED ON July 23, 2003
Debentures can be traded

Debentures can be traded. Investing in a debenture for a fixed term does not mean you are locked in for the whole period. Just like [...]

POSTED ON April 3, 2003
Do your homework on debenture rates

Government policy, inflation and other economic variables can all affect the prevailing level of interest rates which in turn affect debenture rates and the resale [...]

POSTED ON April 3, 2003
UK insurer plans cradle-to-grave cover

British United Provident Association announced on Wednesday that it will take 50 per cent of AXA Asia Pacific's health fund in Australia, and says that [...]

POSTED ON September 9, 2002
Check your statements for errors

There are claims that more than 50 percent of home loan statements contain calculation errors. Simple mistakes, like the entry of the incorrect balance or [...]

POSTED ON August 30, 2002
Check your statements carefully

There are claims that more than half of loan statements contain calculation errors. Simple mistakes, like the entry of the incorrect balance or the application [...]

POSTED ON August 30, 2002
Beware off-market offers for your shares

Be wary of unsolicited offers to buy your shares. A number of operators flood small investors with mailed offers to buy their shares in public [...]

POSTED ON July 19, 2002
Understand straight-through processing

When a broker offers 'straight-through processing' this means trades are fully automated - you're trading direct into the market yourself. Once you submit a buy [...]

POSTED ON July 3, 2002
Check your rego

If you’ve acquired shares in previous floats you may need to transfer CHESS registration of these securities to your online broker before you can sell [...]

POSTED ON July 3, 2002
Beware of extra fees

For services beyond the standard buying and selling of ordinary shares on the ASX, check what fees apply, eg. for options and margin trading. [...]

POSTED ON July 3, 2002
Don’t pay entry fees on managed funds

If you want to buy managed funds online through your broker, check that they will rebate the standard upfront entry fee charged by fund managers. [...]

POSTED ON July 3, 2002
Check the level of ‘international’ access

Access to international shares generally only means the main US exchanges, NYSE (Wall St), NASDAQ and the American Exchange. Access to Asian and European exchanges [...]

POSTED ON July 3, 2002
Check cash account requirements

Before you sign up, check the account opening requirements of the brokers. These may involve initial deposits of up to $5,000. And can you monitor [...]

POSTED ON July 3, 2002
Know what interest rate applies

When offered car finance, either lease or loan, always be sure you know what interest rate applies. Lenders often ‘sell’ you their finance packages by [...]

POSTED ON June 21, 2002
Be honest in loan applications

Be honest about why you want the loan. Your bank may be able to offer you a loan option that better suits your circumstances. There [...]

POSTED ON June 21, 2002
Be clear about leasing

Leasing is really just another form of borrowing to finance a purchase. But unlike loan finance - where you take ownership of the item and [...]

POSTED ON June 21, 2002
Avoid unsecured loans if possible

Avoid using unsecured personal loans if you can put up some security for your borrowings. This will get you a lower interest rate. A home [...]

POSTED ON June 20, 2002
Don’t just take the dealer finance

Don’t accept loan or lease finance offered by a car dealer before comparing the offer with finance options offered by your bank or other credit [...]

POSTED ON June 20, 2002
Consider smaller lenders too

When shopping around for a car loan, consider community banks, credit unions and other smaller financial institutions which might be more approachable, and offer lower [...]

POSTED ON June 20, 2002
Prepay interest for tax benefits

Most borrowers are able to claim margin loan interest and other costs of investment as tax deductions - depending on personal circumstances. Prepaying twelve months [...]

POSTED ON June 13, 2002
Don’t try the prepay fiddle

If focussing on the tax benefits of prepaid interest, don’t try and pull a swifty by taking out a loan, prepaying interest, then cancelling the [...]

POSTED ON June 13, 2002
Beat rising interest rates

Prepaying interest on a margin loan may produce interest savings in a rising interest rate environment. By locking at a competitive fixed interest rate for [...]

POSTED ON June 13, 2002
How timely is your price data?

So-called 'Real time' market price data offered via a website is not always instant - it can be delayed by minutes. Even when it is [...]

POSTED ON June 11, 2002
Make sure trading tools suit you

Make use of watchlists, market depth and charting tools to help you analyse stock peformance. However, before committing to a broker check that any charting [...]

POSTED ON June 11, 2002
Tax advantages of borrowing to invest

There are several tax advantages when you borrow to invest in shares: you can claim your interest payments against your taxable income and if earning [...]

POSTED ON June 3, 2002
Twelve tips to ensure internet security

Online banking fraud is on the rise and there are a number of ways you can protect your credit card and bank accounts if you [...]

POSTED ON March 15, 2002
Add up those home loan fees

Once you've saved up the deposit for a home, don't forget to take into account all the extra fees that come with buying a house [...]

POSTED ON March 13, 2002
Compare loan features, not just rates

The more flexible the loan, the higher interest you'll pay. A variable loan which allows you to draw against repayments or offset savings against the [...]

POSTED ON March 13, 2002
Keep accurate records

Keep accurate records of your deposits and ATM transactions. It is also wise to keep copies of your loan application and approval documents in a [...]

POSTED ON February 20, 2002
Understand how excesses and co-payments work

Most funds offer hospital products with either excesses or co-payments (excesses are the most common). A hospital policy with an excess or co-payment will have [...]

POSTED ON January 29, 2002
Use a debit card instead

The safest form of card is not a credit card at all, but a debit card which offers all the convenience of paying with plastic. [...]

POSTED ON November 21, 2001
Online transactions are convenient

Online banking allows you to do your banking whenever you want, not when the bank wants to open for business. Internet banking websites offer 24-hour, [...]

POSTED ON October 2, 2001
Online transactions are cheaper

Pay bills, check balances and transfer money between accounts using online banking. These transactions are significantly cheaper over the internet than over the counter - [...]

POSTED ON September 21, 2001
Claims disputes and complaints

If you have a dispute with your insurance company regarding a claim you should firstly try to resolve it directly with them using their Internal [...]

POSTED ON August 30, 2001
Consider online savings accounts

Consider alternative options such as online savings accounts These new account offerings offer higher interest rates than traditional branch-based accounts and lower fees. Their returns [...]

POSTED ON June 22, 2001
Basic banking accounts now available

Basic banking accounts are designed to give pensioners, low-income earners other welfare recipients such as health care card holders cheaper access to banking services. Make [...]

POSTED ON June 22, 2001
Identify the exclusions

A home and/or contents policy will not cover all events – events not covered are called 'exclusions'. Check the policy to determine what exclusions apply [...]

POSTED ON April 30, 2001
Discounts for multiple policies

Taking out several insurance policies with the same insurer may save you money. Many insurance companies offer discounted premiums if you have home, contents and [...]

POSTED ON April 30, 2001
Beware of pay-by-the-month insurance

Many insurers allow payment of premiums on a monthly basis so instead of having one large annual outlay you can budget for smaller monthly payments. [...]

POSTED ON April 30, 2001
Look for no-claim bonus protection

Many insurance companies will maintain your no-claim bonus if you make only one claim during the insurance period. Look around for an insurer that offers [...]

POSTED ON April 30, 2001
Get all accident details

If you're in an accident, it's very important to get the name, address and licence number of other drivers involved as well as the registration [...]

POSTED ON April 30, 2001
Windscreen replacement

Most insurance companies will pay for windscreen or window glass replacement. However, check whether this is a standard inclusion in the policy or a separate [...]

POSTED ON April 30, 2001
Keep premium payments up to date

Ensure that monthly insurance premiums are paid on time to avoid any delays when it comes to making a claim. The insurance company may even [...]

POSTED ON April 30, 2001
Understand how excesses are applied

Be aware of the different types of excesses insurance companies apply when you make a claim. A 'standard' or 'basic' excess is usually applied to [...]

POSTED ON April 30, 2001
‘Agreed’ value and ‘Market’ value

Some insurance companies allow you to choose the insured value of your vehicle. When the 'sum insured' is set in this way it is called [...]

POSTED ON April 30, 2001
Improve the security in your home

Some insurers offer reduced premiums for homes with better security, particularly alarm systems. However, check that any alarm meets the insurance company’s standards. [...]

POSTED ON April 30, 2001
Specify your valuables

Some of your unique or more expensive personal belongings may only be covered for their full value by taking out a ‘specified items’ option. This [...]

POSTED ON April 30, 2001
Do you need Domestic Workers’ Compensation?

If you regularly employ a person to undertake work around the home (eg. a cleaner or gardener), consider taking out Domestic Workers' Compensation as part [...]

POSTED ON April 30, 2001
Keep premium payments up to date

Ensure that monthly insurance premiums are paid on time to avoid any delays should you need to make a claim. The insurance company may even [...]

POSTED ON April 30, 2001
Will you need temporary accommodation?

Consider what would happen if your home became unliveable as a result of loss or damage. Many insurance companies will pay for you and your [...]

POSTED ON April 30, 2001
Discounts for multiple policies

Taking out several insurance policies with the same insurer may save you money. Many insurance companies offer discounted premiums if you have home, contents and [...]

POSTED ON April 27, 2001
Choosing the ‘excess’

Most insurance companies allow you to choose the 'excess' amount you pay when making a claim. Agreeing to pay a higher excess in the event [...]

POSTED ON April 27, 2001
Review your home and contents cover regularly

Your home circumstances will change from time to time, for example, renovating the kitchen or purchasing a new lounge. Any purchases or improvements will increase [...]

POSTED ON April 27, 2001
Rebuild your creditworthiness

You may baulk at having to pay higher interest rates or comply with stricter terms on the non-standard loan alternatives. However, paying off such a [...]

POSTED ON April 17, 2001
Save with a line-of-credit loan

Disciplined borrowers can make use of the increasing range of line-of-credit loans, also called salary account or all-in-one loans, which offer the chance to make [...]

POSTED ON March 12, 2001
Guard against unauthorised transactions

When making payments via BPAY using telephone or online banking, it is important to record your transaction details (receipt number and time of transaction) in [...]

POSTED ON March 5, 2001
Guard against PIN complacency

To ensure against unauthorised access to your account, never become complacent with the security of your PIN number. Keep in mind that the majority of [...]

POSTED ON March 5, 2001
Pay off your debts

The best investment you can make is to pay off your debts. Why pay 8 per cent on your home loan or 17 per cent [...]

POSTED ON February 15, 2001
Save more with offsets and redraws

Those with home loans should seriously consider why they are putting large amounts into savings accounts in the first place. Use an offset account attached [...]

POSTED ON February 15, 2001
Do you have to take out a personal loan at all

Think twice before borrowing money without security. You may have a better option already available; home equity extension to your home loan, a new loan [...]

POSTED ON February 14, 2001
Have you considered a credit card?

Consider also a credit card as your source of credit. Interest rates are generally higher but credit cards are easier to secure and offer greater [...]

POSTED ON February 14, 2001
Don’t be distracted by sweeteners

Many lenders offer credit cards that include introductory discounted interest rates, rewards programs and insurance. Make sure you look at the overall ongoing cost of [...]

POSTED ON February 13, 2001
Understand what’s on offer

Is the interest rate fixed or variable? What up-front, annual or ongoing fees are charged? Check out BankChoice's loan selector to compare loan fees and [...]

POSTED ON February 13, 2001
Honesty counts

Be honest about why you want the loan. Your bank may be able to offer you a loan option that better suits your circumstances. There [...]

POSTED ON February 13, 2001
Don’t make multiple applications

Don’t fill out applications at several financial institutions and have all of them checking into your credit history. This can make you look desperate and [...]

POSTED ON February 13, 2001