Skip to main content Skip to search

Archives for October 2017

Should You Have Trauma Insurance?

Breast Cancer has maintained its deadly position as one of the top four estimated cancer deaths for 2017. It is predicted that an average of 48 people every day will be diagnosed with this horrible disease. With the average age of the first diagnosis is at 61 years*. Although 61 years is the average, there is commonly diagnosis at much earlier ages.

However, there is some good news at last! The survival rate for breast cancer has slowly been on the incline for the last few years. Recent statistics show the five-year relative survival rate has increased from 72% (between 1984-1988) to 90% (between 2009-2013)*. It is important to note that many people live a long and happy life beyond this as well.

I could go on and on about the statistics of getting breast cancer, treatment, survival rates etc. However, what you don’t see in any statistics or research is the impact a diagnosis will have on the loved ones connected to those with the deadly disease. As a Risk Insurance Adviser, I have witnessed firsthand the devastating toll it takes on loved ones not only emotionally, but also financially.

Thankfully, you can do something about it. By taking out trauma protection, you will receive a tax-free lump sum payout on the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. Clients who receive the benefit may wish to use the money for a number of things, some include:

  • Paying for lumpy medical bills associated with treatment
  • Providing a lump sum to reduce level of debt
  • Living expenses so you and your spouse can take some time out of the workforce
  • Capital available to take a holiday or not return to work immediately – even if you are physically able

The last thing you want to think about while going through this trying time is money. Here at The Investment Collective, we have a dedicated Risk Insurance team to help you through every aspect of obtaining, maintaining and claiming your life insurance.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month I feel it’s imperative to remind everyone (yes, you too fellas!) the importance of self-examinations as early detection is important for full recovery. Everyone should be familiar with the size, shape, look and feel of their breasts and underarms so that if changes occur, you can be proactive and seek advice/treatment immediately.

You will commonly hear that someone ‘felt a lump’ which lead to their diagnosis. But, there are many other symptoms or warning signs to look out for, these include; irritation or dimpling of your breast skin, redness or flaky skin in your nipple area or breast, pulling in of your nipple or pain in your nipple area and many more. I would encourage everyone to become familiar with the early warning signs and to seek medical advice if they have any concerns.

Please note this is prepared as general advice. It has not taken into account your personal circumstances, your insurance needs or current coverage. If you would like to learn more about how the above advice can be customised to your personal situation, please contact one of our experienced and knowledgeable insurance advisers today.

Read more

Capital Gains Tax: What You Need To Know

Small businesses are vital to our economy and their sale can help fulfil their owners’ retirement dreams.  Since September 1999, there have been a number of Small Business Capital Gains Tax (CGT) Concessions available to allow business owners to cash in on years of hard work, blood, sweat and tears.  However, it is important that these concessions are correctly navigated; otherwise, there is a good chance that the “Taxman” will walk away with a big chunk of your hard work.

Business and Active Assets

The CGT provisions give a number of concessions to clients who sell a business or active business assets.  An active asset is:

  • an asset the taxpayer owns and uses or holds ready for use in carrying on a business and has been active for the lessor of 7.5 years or 50 percent of its life;
  • an intangible asset inherently connected with the business (e.g. goodwill); or
  • an interest or shares in a resident company or trust where the market value of the underlying active asset is up to 80 percent of total assets for at least half of the ownership period of the interest/shares.

Eligibility

To be eligible for the concessions the following conditions must be met:

  • you are an individual, partnership, company or trust;
  • you are carrying on a business;
  • you are a small business, defined as having an aggregate annual turnover of less than $2 million; and
  • your net assets value plus the net asset value of the client’s associates must be less than $6 million (excluding home, personal use assets, life policies and superannuation.

The Concessions

15-year Exemption

If the business or active asset was owned continuously for 15 years, and you are over age 55 and retiring, you can sell the asset or business without being assessed for capital gains.  In our example above, the Smiths would be able to take home $270,000 each.

50% Active Asset Reduction

There is a 50 percent reduction on the capital gain from the sale of an active asset or business.  This is in addition to the 50 percent CGT discount if the asset has been held for 12 months or more.  If Mr and Mrs Smith implement this strategy they would incur a $43,875 tax bill and take home $496,125.

Retirement Exemption

A client can elect to have a capital gain of up to $500,000 from the sale of an active asset or business treated as a superannuation benefit payment.  If you are under 55, then this amount must be contributed into a superannuation fund and will add to the tax-free component. Once you reach the age of 60, all superannuation benefits are exempt from the tax, provided you meet the conditions of release.  This strategy can be applied after the CGT discount and would allow the Smiths to contribute $135,000 to each of their superannuation accounts.

50 percent Asset Reduction + Retirement Exemption

If you have multiple business assets that you wish to sell to fund your retirement, you may be at risk of exceeding the $500,000 limit.  To circumvent this limitation, it is possible to apply the 50 percent asset reduction as well as the Retirement Exemption.  This strategy allows the Smiths to contribute $67,500 to each of their superannuation accounts, providing breathing room for an additional contribution of $432,500 to each down the track.

Rollover

If you sell an active asset, you can defer all or part of the capital gain for two years.  You can defer this even longer if you utilise the proceeds to acquire a replacement asset, or if you spend money to improve an existing asset.  This concession can also be applied after the 50 percent asset reduction.

 

It is vital that your personal financial position is carefully analysed when considering these concessions, as the above is provided as general advice only and should not be taken to be personal advice. Even if your circumstances are similar one of the above examples, please speak contact us to a business consultant today.

The last thing you want is to see the proceeds of your hard work end up at the ATO when you had access to professionals that could have navigated you through this tricky process.  So if you are a small business owner with an eye on retirement, please come in to see one of our helpful Consultants or Financial Advisers to get a plan specifically tailored to your financial goals and objectives.

 

Read more

How A Bookkeeper Can Help Your Small Business

Confidentiality and respect for client information is paramount to good bookkeeping. Supporting small businesses in compliance and day-to-day administration can alleviate small business owners from the often tedious tasks of administration.

This allows them to focus on what their business is good at and achieving their business goals. Increasing productivity, creative endeavour, research and development are just some of what small businesses can do well.

Small businesses play a significant role in the Australian economy, accounting for almost half of employment in the private non-financial sector and over a third of production. Small businesses are an important source of innovation in the economy, yet 57% of businesses with four employees or less fail in the first four years, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

While there is a multitude of reasons why their survival rate is low, juggling administration, as well as building productivity, can be a significant contributor to failure. According to a report published by the US National Small Business Association in 2016, administrative burden outpaces financial burden as the largest burden facing small businesses. Meeting regulatory requirements, and accounting for everyday expenditure is often not within the skill set of small business owners.

This is where outsourced bookkeeping can be invaluable. The Investment Collective’s bookkeepers provide support for a growing business on a time/needs basis.

Organisation, accuracy, reliability, sensitivity, the ability to deal with a range of people and assimilate information readily, are just a few prerequisites for a good bookkeeper.

As your small business grows, you will more acutely feel the need for professional advice and assistance. At The Investment Collective, we have business and investment expertise which we will draw on to provide your business with the assistance and advice you need in order to expand your business or encourage it to thrive.

We will do what we do best: support and assist your business to grow. We know what it is to be a small business, how to grow a small business and how to succeed in a difficult environment. If you would like to find out more about how our bookkeeping services could benefit you and your small to medium-sized business, and receive personal advice, contact us today.

Read more

How We Review Your Investment Portfolio

Part of the ongoing investment process at The Investment Collective is the management of client portfolios. As a team, we are always tending to client portfolios and we see it as being similar to the process of maintaining a healthy garden. Investments without future prospects are weeded out, whilst new investments that we foresee as having a bright future are included. Existing investments are managed, trimming or adding to the investment depending on ensuing market valuations.

We employ a ‘catch all’ methodology to maintaining portfolios, and these portfolios are reviewed in a variety of ways. The most common being the six monthly review where our Portfolio Administration System (‘PAS’) alerts us of portfolios due for review after a six month period. We will also schedule a review when alerted to the fact that the portfolio has either a high cash balance or low cash balance. As we are striving to operate portfolios as efficiently as possible, any excess cash will be deployed if necessary and shortfalls in cash for future drawdowns will also need to be managed.

Lastly, we will occasionally action a change in the portfolio when we decide it is in our client’s best interest to exit from an investment. We initiated this recently whereby we recommended our clients withdraw their investments in the company. In this case, a sales recommendation is made and we then review the portfolio to make a subsequent recommendation for the cash that is raised. Given our high-quality benchmark criteria for inclusion into our Approved Products List, this event is generally quite infrequent.

Maintaining efficient portfolios is a vital cog in the investment process, similar to watering a garden. We are continually fine-tuning this process with the aim of extracting the maximum benefit from limited capital.

Please note the above article has been prepared for general purposes only. It may not be exactly how your investment portfolio is managed. It has not taken into account your personal information or investments. If you would like more about how might review and maintain your current or potential investments, please contact one of our skilled and friendly financial advisers today.

Read more