IN September 2006 the Howard government opened the gates to $1 million individual contributions to superannuation.
That night, nursing a sore throat, I remember sitting in a hotel room watching the budget. I was stunned. Nonetheless, it was an excellent initiative for those who could take advantage of it, and many people planned their retirement around it.
Soon after, however, the GFC set in, and people like me had to work very, very hard to ensure a positive outcome for clients and indeed, the survival of our business.
With the GFC in full flight and the collapse of Lehmann Brothers imminent, the Rudd government implemented a guarantee on banking deposits. The initiative was necessary, but it grossly distorted investment decisions. People (in the circumstances, quite rationally) withdrew their money from perfectly good investments, causing a second wave of major falls on markets. Superannuation balances, the ones encouraged by earlier government policy, were trashed.
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