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Category: Provision Newsletter Articles

Your personal financial register

Date: Jun 04th, 2019

Have you written a personal financial register, listing your super and non-super investments, your other assets, your income and any debts?

This fundamental task for managing your personal finances, investing and saving for retirement would often be left on a must-do-tomorrow list – and perhaps never done.

Behavioural economists typically rank investor inertia and procrastination high among behavioural traits that are enemies of investment success. And never getting around to preparing a personal financial register would often be part of that inertia.

A personal financial register – updated as your circumstances change – is critical for a range of personal financial issues. These include saving for retirement, preparing a personal financial plan, setting your portfolio’s asset allocation, controlling your spending and estate planning:

  • Preparing a financial plan: A good starting point for preparing a comprehensive financial plan, perhaps with the guidance of an adviser, is to prepare a personal financial register. You can then make more informed and realistic decisions – including about your long-term goals, targeted returns and tolerance to risk – for your financial plan.

  • Setting your portfolio’s asset allocation: An up-to-date list of your super and non-super investments is necessary to set an appropriate asset allocation for your portfolio. Repeated research, including by Vanguard, shows that a diversified portfolio’s strategic asset allocation – the proportions of its assets in different asset classes – is the main cause of variations in its long-term returns.

  • Keeping your personal spending under control: A basic rule for investment success is to try to spend less than you make so as to have money left over to invest. An accurate personal financial register should help you to take a realistic approach to spending given your income and assets.

  • Saving for retirement: A financial register is necessary for estimating how much you will need to save for retirement. You can then plan how to save to meet your savings goals.

  • Spending in retirement: Without a personal financial register in place at the eve of retirement, retirees may have a poor understanding of how far their financial resources will stretch. This may lead to overspending or being too frugal given the state of your finances. And you may miss opportunities to more efficiently manage your investments and spending in retirement.

  • Estate planning: Having an up-to-date personal financial register is a central part of estate planning together with such tasks as making a Will and nominating beneficiaries for your super savings. A financial register should give you and, eventually, your intended beneficiaries a better understanding of your finances.

As Smart Investing has discussed, the last baby boomers celebrate their 70th birthday within the next 15 years as a growing proportion of the population reaches old age. This should underline the need to save for retirement and for estate planning – and that should include having a personal financial register.

Please contact us on |PHONE| if we can assist you on this topic .

Source : Vanguard

By Robin Bowerman, Head of Corporate Affairs at Vanguard.

Reproduced with permission of Vanguard Investments Australia Ltd

Vanguard Investments Australia Ltd (ABN 72 072 881 086 / AFS Licence 227263) is the product issuer. We have not taken yours and your clients’ circumstances into account when preparing this material so it may not be applicable to the particular situation you are considering. You should consider your circumstances and our Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) or Prospectus before making any investment decision. You can access our PDS or Prospectus online or by calling us. This material was prepared in good faith and we accept no liability for any errors or omissions. Past performance is not an indication of future performance.

© 2019 Vanguard Investments Australia Ltd. All rights reserved.

Important:
Any information provided by the author detailed above is separate and external to our business and our Licensee. Neither our business, nor our Licensee take any responsibility for any action or any service provided by the author.

Any links have been provided with permission for information purposes only and will take you to external websites, which are not connected to our company in any way. Note: Our company does not endorse and is not responsible for the accuracy of the contents/information contained within the linked site(s) accessible from this page

11 Budget-Friendly Family Meals

Date: Jun 04th, 2019

We know that life can get busy at times with pickups, drop-offs, work, to-do lists… no wonder it sometimes feels impossible to eat healthy.

We often get asked for recipes that are healthy, inexpensive, and easy to throw together, so we’ve gathered 11 of our favorite go-to recipes below.

But first, we want to share with you our best tips to help you through your busy week because without a little bit of prepping and planning things are going to seem a whole lot harder. With these tips below, it doesn’t have to be stressful…

Our rapid-fire hacks to help you get the most out of your week:

  • Plan your menu before you hit the shops 

  • Empower the kids to help with the weekly menu 

  • Pre-cook your favorite grains to have ready in the fridge for quick meals 

  • Opt for one-pan wonders; less fussing and less washing

  • Get the kids involved in the kitchen with prepping 

  • Sneak in extra vegetables by grating or baking them into recipes 

  • Try batch cooking a vegetable pasta sauce that you can use for multiple dishes 

11 Healthy Family Recipes That Won’t Break the Budget 

1. Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie

 A meal like this vegetarian shepherd’s pie makes a great family meal that is also cost effective! You can make the filling ahead of time a throw together mid-week to save you time on those days where you just seem to run out of time! 

2. Simple Ginger One-Pan Stir Fry

The key to a delicious stir-fry that the whole family will love has to be in the sauce! This stir-fry uses tamari, ginger and some coconut sugar to sweeten without refined sugar to make the perfect and simple sauce. Pack it with as many veggies or simplify it to use your families favorites.

3. Mushroom & Lentil Bolognese With Zucchini Spaghetti

Remember the Hidden Veggie Tomato sauce from the beginning of our list? This recipe is the perfect time to use from your pre-made sauce. Plus, this recipe will come in under budget! Using ingredients like mushrooms and lentils help bring the cost of meals down, while still providing a hearty and nourishing meal for your family. 

4. One-Pan Baked Eggplant Bruschetta

Nothing sounds better than only having to wash up one pan after cooking dinner! This fast dinner provides exactly that. Try this recipe with the Veggie Tomato Sauce to sneak in some extra veggies! 

5. Quick & Easy Tempeh Roll-Ups

This recipe comes from our Kids in the Kitchen series on FMTV and is an absolute favorite of Hugo’s and Rangi’s! Fresh and flavorsome, this recipe is loaded with living foods that your kids will enjoy making and eating, plus it can be made in minutes!

6. Hidden Veggie Tomato Sauce with Gluten-Free Pasta 

Making a big batch of veggie tomato sauce might be one of the best hacks you could do for quick, hassle-free dinners. This recipe will make a large batch that you can freeze into smaller serves for meals like pasta, pizza bases, curries. You’ll find recipes for our shepherd’s pie, lentil bolognese, eggplant bruschetta and more below which this sauce would make the perfect addition to. 

7. One-Pan Wonder: Coconut Fish Curry

This one-pan wonder packs a flavor punch! We’ve used fish but you could easily swap for your choice of protein or keep it plant-based by adding in extra vegetables like potato, sweet potato or pumpkin, and some chickpeas! 

8. Roast Vegetable Frittata

Don’t overlook the humble frittata when it comes to feeding the family healthy and budget-friendly meals! Easily bulked up with your families favorite roast-vegetables. 

9. Vegetarian San Choy Bow

Fast to whip up, using mushrooms to give a hearty flavor and texture! You’ll be surprised how filling this simple dish can be for a family. Plus eating with lettuce cups saves you time with washing up! 

10. Throw Together Baked Chicken

When all you want to do is wash up one dish after cooking dinner. This recipe you can literally throw it together in one dish and let it bake. The house will smell amazing! 

 11. Veggie Curry

A curry like this can be so simple to throw together in those times when you are short on time. The beauty is, you can swap ingredients for whatever you have and if you are feeling super lazy, why not throw it all in the crockpot, switch on for 4-6 hours and walk away! 

 

 

Source : Foodmatters 

Reproduced with the permission of the Food Matters team. This article by  LAURENTINE TEN BOSCH  was originally published at www.foodmatters.com/recipe/healthy-family-meals-under-15

Important:
This provides general information and hasn’t taken your circumstances into account.  It’s important to consider your particular circumstances before deciding what’s right for you. Although the information is from sources considered reliable, we do not guarantee that it is accurate or complete. You should not rely upon it and should seek qualified advice before making any investment decision. Except where liability under any statute cannot be excluded, we do not accept any liability (whether under contract, tort or otherwise) for any resulting loss or damage of the reader or any other person. 

Any information provided by the author detailed above is separate and external to our business and our Licensee. Neither our business, nor our Licensee take any responsibility for any action or any service provided by the author.

Any links have been provided with permission for information purposes only and will take you to external websites, which are not connected to our company in any way. Note: Our company does not endorse and is not responsible for the accuracy of the contents/information contained within the linked site(s) accessible from this page.

This simple trick will help you remember absolutely anything

Date: Jun 04th, 2019

By Flying Solo contributor Lucy Kippist.

Stop “outsourcing” your memory to Google and start investing in the power of your own mind. Organisational psychologist Adam Grant has discovered the secret to remembering absolutely anything.

Habitual forgetting of passwords is my biggest work productivity sin. I can easily lose 15 minutes (to say nothing of my sanity) successfully firing up all the accounts I use.  

So I devoured this episode of Adam Grant’s Work Life podcast “How to remember anything.”

Adam is a very clever organisational psychologist who has created a very clever podcast, interviewing people who do what they love for a living.  He also uncovers some fascinating stuff about our brains and how to make them tick more efficiently, especially when it comes to our work.

He says having a good memory has been a valuable tool since caveman times, and that’s largely because of three things:  

The 3 most important things a good memory brings to your work

  1.  A good memory helps you to establish expertise in uncertainty
    “If a car salesperson knows safety specs at top of head you’ll assume she knows what she’s talking about.”

  2. A good memory is essential for making fast decisions:  “An emergency doctor doesn’t have time to run a Google search before treating a cardiac arrest.”

  3. A good memory helps you build and maintain relationships: “You want your therapist to recall your world view was shaped by your weird family and that your boss hasn’t forgotten all the good work you’ve done prior to a performance review.”

“A great memory gives you an edge to make quick decisions because you have an entire library of successes and mistakes at your fingertips…  You can strengthen your memory like a muscle, and when you do it will pump up creativity and boost sales,” says Adam.

Who doesn’t want more of that stuff in their life?  

The real “secret” to having a good memory

Helpfully, Adam doesn’t just leave us with that thought; the rest of the episode is spent uncovering a solution via the work of American journalist and author, Joshua Poer.

Joshua was sent by Slate Magazine to cover the United States Memory Championships where he spent time with people with remarkable abilities, ie they could repeat the sequence of a whole deck of cards after looking at them for just five minutes. Or remember the names of 100 strangers after meeting them the day before.

The experience not only left Joshua with fascinating insights, he learnt how to cure his only bad memory in less than a year, and then wrote a book about it. Not a bad outcome for a junket, eh?

‘People have done this for 2500 years’

As Joshua told Adam, the “secret” to a good memory wasn’t natural genius, but commitment to ancient mind-training practices. Some of which had been around for 2500 years.

“Incredible memory is latent inside all of us if we use the right techniques to awaken them,” Joshua says.

The process is relatively simple and requires some imagination;  Joshua describes it as creating a memory palace.

“Pick a place you know well and mentally attach things/words you want to remember to each image in that place,” says Josh.

“The more memories and time and experiences spent in [our memory palace] the far more  sticky they become, because they’re attached to all the other memories you have about that place.” 

Designing your own memory palace

Joshua’s memory palace is his childhood home. So every time he wanted to remember a speech or a word, he’d picture that word or phrase as existing inside a room of his childhood house.

“When you close your eyes and walk back through each room of your house (or memory palace) the words you want to remember will be inside each room where you left them.”

Here is how Joshua explains remembering tp buy items on his shopping list: 

“Say I have a shopping list, I will picture myself inside my childhood house pouring a gallon of milk over my mum’s head. I really picture that image of her, and how angry she would be. Because the more emotion and colour you attach to that image, the more likely you will be to remember it.”

Sound too good to be true? Well, here is the real kicker, Joshua says the results are almost instantaneous;

“You can almost immediately after earning this trick memorize really long strings of information,” he says.

It’s bound to be worth a shot.

Source : Flying Solo

This article by Lucy Kippist is reproduced with the permission of Flying Solo – Australia’s micro business community. Find out more and join over 100k others.

 

Important:
This provides general information and hasn’t taken your circumstances into account. It’s important to consider your particular circumstances before deciding what’s right for you. Any information provided by the author detailed above is separate and external to our business and our Licensee. Any information provided by the author detailed above is separate and external to our business and our Licensee. Neither our business, nor our Licensee take any responsibility for any action or any service provided by the author.

Any links have been provided with permission for information purposes only and will take you to external websites, which are not connected to our company in any way. Note: Our company does not endorse and is not responsible for the accuracy of the contents/information contained within the linked site(s) accessible from this page.

Super for employers

Date: Jun 04th, 2019

As an employer you have to select a default super fund to make super guarantee payments for your employees who have not chosen their own fund.

Here we explain how to choose a super fund for your employees.

What the super fund you choose must offer

The fund you choose needs to be a fund that is authorised to offer a MySuper product – these are known as ’employer-nominated’ or ‘default funds’.

For more detail on your super obligations as an employer see the Australian Taxation Office’s article on setting up super.

Comparing super funds for your employees

Industrial awards

When selecting a super fund start by checking the industrial awards applicable to your employees. There may be particular funds listed as default funds for your industry under an award.

Fees

Check the fees your employees will be charged by the fund. Low fees are generally good, but you should look at what your employees will get for their money.

Investment options

MySuper products must have a diversified investment strategy. Risks, returns and fees can vary. For example, a MySuper product that has high fees and high performance might offer a very aggressive asset allocation and take risks to get those returns.

Consider the types of employees you have in the business. For example, if the average age of your employees is under 30 you might look for a more aggressive fund.

A fund that offers a MySuper product may also offer a range of other different investment options, such as cash or shares. Your employees may find it helpful to have access to these options if they want to change their investment mix at a later stage. Some MySuper products provide a lifecycle approach to super where the investment mix changes as members get older.

See our MySuper webpage to understand the difference between a single diversified investment strategy and a lifecycle approach.

Performance

Pick a fund that has performed well over (at least) the last 5 years. Do not chase last year’s best performer. The fund may have higher fees but strong performance might justify the expense.

Insurance

MySuper products must offer insurance on an ‘opt -out’ basis. Consider the cost and what your employees get for their money. Cheap insurance cover may have significant exclusions. For example, casual or part-time workers may not be adequately covered. Conversely, paying more for insurance can affect super balances. You need to weigh up the pros and cons.

Extra benefits

What else does the fund offer? Some super funds offer educational seminars and advice. Does the super fund have a good website that helps you find information easily?

Beware super funds offering incentives

Superannuation legislation prohibits incentives being offered to employers on condition that their employees join that fund. Inducements may take any form, and include corporate hospitality, holidays, or discounted rates on products or services.

For example, a super fund cannot offer you tickets to a sporting event or discounted rates on loans on the condition you sign up new employees to their fund.

Case study: Jane’s super fund offers tickets to events

Jane has just started a small business and is considering what default 
fund is appropriate for her staff. Jane makes some enquiries with an industry fund about what they offer. The fund tells Jane they will send her tickets to a major sporting event if she agrees to sign up new employees to their default fund.

Jane is worried that she shouldn’t be accepting these gifts and selects another fund for her sales team.

Case study: Michael’s super fund offers discounts

Michael runs a small manufacturing business. He is considering selecting a new default super fund for his staff. Michael is a long term customer of ABC Bank that also offers a super fund. In conversations with the bank, they tell Michael that if he signs up some of his employees to their super fund, the bank will reduce the interest rate on Michael’s business loan and offer him a new overdraft facility.

This raises alarm bells for Michael because even though he has a good relationship with the bank, he knows the bank is not allowed to offer him this type of inducement. Michael decides not to go with ABC Bank’s super fund.

If you think you’ve been offered unlawful inducements by a super fund you can report it to ASIC.

Make sure any incentives do not distract you from making an informed decision. Focus on what’s best for your employees.

You may also be contacted by funds telling you about their MySuper product. Some advertising from super funds say that one fund is better with insurance, returns or fees than another. Be wary about these comparisons as they may not be comparing like with like.

Always take time to carefully consider information from super funds and seek a professional opinion if you need to.

Picking a super fund for your staff is an important decision. Take the time to do your research and seek help if you need it. 

Please contact us on |PHONE| if we can be of assistance on this topic .

Source : ASIC MoneySmart

Reproduced with the permission of ASIC’s MoneySmart Team. This article was originally published at www.moneysmart.gov.au.

Important:
This provides general information and hasn’t taken your circumstances into account.  It’s important to consider your particular circumstances before deciding what’s right for you. Although the information is from sources considered reliable, we do not guarantee that it is accurate or complete. You should not rely upon it and should seek qualified advice before making any investment decision. Except where liability under any statute cannot be excluded, we do not accept any liability (whether under contract, tort or otherwise) for any resulting loss or damage of the reader or any other person.  Past performance is not a reliable guide to future returns.

Any information provided by the author detailed above is separate and external to our business and our Licensee. Neither our business, nor our Licensee take any responsibility for any action or any service provided by the author.

Any links have been provided with permission for information purposes only and will take you to external websites, which are not connected to our company in any way. Note: Our company does not endorse and is not responsible for the accuracy of the contents/information contained within the linked site(s) accessible from this page.

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