Month: April 2016

New Website Launch

We have completely restructured our website with a modern look and design that adapts to the device used to view the website. Whether using a large screen desktop or a compact smartphone, we want to meet our client’s needs in the office or on the go.

In this fast changing world our aim is to continue to provide our services in a warm and friendly environment while utilising evolving technologies for the benefit of those who wish to use them. Some things are best done with a traditional face to face meeting here in our office where we can connect at a personal level as well as provide the services our clients expect and value. At other times our clients will want to use the expanding range of communications capabilities from simple requests or providing information, through to meeting their needs in complex matters.

We see our new website as the means to both improve the delivery of our services as well as expand the provision of information you want. We are looking forward to hearing from you about what you would like to see added to the website as well as any suggestions of where we can do better.

The Piatti Team

Superannuation

One of the most complex and controversial aspects of both taxation and financial management is superannuation. As a major social policy introduced many years ago to encourage Australians to provide for their retirement rather than rely on government pensions, it continues to grow as both an industry and of course the place where Australian’s store their wealth until they retire.

For many years Australians have turned to their Tax Agent and accountant for advice on super simply because it had such an impact on their tax. Following the scandals that resulted in many Australians suffering huge losses of their savings because of poor financial advice from those selling dubious and unsuitable “investments”, the government set up a financial services regime to protect the consumer by limiting financial advice to those with appropriate qualifications and expertise. Although some accountants chose to also become financial advisors (and obtained the appropriate financial services licence) most preferred to concentrate on tax and accounting and were granted an exemption in the area of superannuation that allowed them to provide advice and set up a Self Managed Superannuation Fund (SMSF) for their clients.

After 30th June 2016 the above accountants exemption no longer applies and to advise in the area of superannuation and set up an SMSF we need to have a financial services licence for the area of superannuation. We have that licence and will continue to provide superannuation services to our clients without any interruption or change in what we do.

Although the area of superannuation is quite complex with many rules and changes on a regular basis, for most clients the set appropriate to their specific circumstances is easily explained and we are always ready to talk about what might impact you.

For those looking for additional information there are many sources of the facts (and even more of opinions!) including the Tax Office website (https://www.ato.gov.au/super).

The Piatti Team

Statement by Glenn Stevens, Governor: Monetary Policy Decision

At its meeting today, the Board decided to leave the cash rate unchanged at 2.0 per cent.

Recent information suggests that the global economy is continuing to grow, though at a slightly lower pace than earlier expected. While several advanced economies have recorded improved growth over the past year, conditions have become more difficult for a number of emerging market economies. China’s growth rate has continued to moderate.

Commodity prices have generally increased a little recently, but this follows very substantial declines over the past couple of years. Australia’s terms of trade remain much lower than they had been in recent years.

Sentiment in financial markets has improved recently after a period of heightened volatility. However, uncertainty about the global economic outlook and policy settings among the major jurisdictions continues. Funding costs for high-quality borrowers remain very low and, globally, monetary policy remains remarkably accommodative.

In Australia, the available information suggests that the economy is continuing to rebalance following the mining investment boom. Consistent with developments in the labour market, overall GDP growth picked up over 2015, despite the contraction in mining investment. The pace of lending to businesses has also picked up.

Inflation is quite low. Recent information has confirmed that growth in labour costs remains quite subdued. Given this, and with inflation also restrained elsewhere in the world, inflation in Australia is likely to remain low over the next year or two.

Given these conditions, it is appropriate for monetary policy to be accommodative. Low interest rates are supporting demand, while supervisory measures are working to emphasise prudent lending standards and so to contain risks in the housing market. Credit growth to households continues at a moderate pace, albeit with a changed composition between investors and owner-occupiers. The pace of growth in dwelling prices has moderated in Melbourne and Sydney and has remained mostly subdued in other cities.

The Australian dollar has appreciated somewhat recently. In part, this reflects some increase in commodity prices, but monetary developments elsewhere in the world have also played a role. Under present circumstances, an appreciating exchange rate could complicate the adjustment under way in the economy.

At today’s meeting, the Board judged that there were reasonable prospects for continued growth in the economy, with inflation close to target. The Board therefore decided that the current setting of monetary policy remained appropriate.

Over the period ahead, new information should allow the Board to assess the outlook for inflation and whether the improvement in labour market conditions evident last year is continuing. Continued low inflation would provide scope for easier policy, should that be appropriate to lend support to demand.

Source: http://www.rba.gov.au/media-releases/2015/mr-15-08.html