Ark Informer – February 2011

It is about that time of the year again to make those financial, lifestyle and work resolutions for the year. Unfortunately for many, in a few months all of those resolutions will be a distant memory.

How can you make this year different from the previous ones?

Our suggestion is just to pick a couple of resolutions and don’t make them all one year long. Make small incremental goals that lead you to a bigger one so you can actually start achieving straight away.

In this ‘Ark Informer’ we have highlighted several ideas and strategies financially that will hopefully provoke some thought and give you some motivation to make and achieve your financial goals.

Savings – How can you structure your lifestyle and income so you can save more? Savings are the key to creating substantial long term growth and it is generally not one strategy that will increase your savings considerably it will be a combination of several. For example;

Are there ways in which you can reduce your tax?

Do you have a large credit card debt from Christmas and are you paying this off in the most efficient manner? Is there another solution that will give you a lower interest rate and monthly payments?

Could you save more without influencing your lifestyle?

Investments – Where do you think the Australian and International Markets are positioned at the moment? At Ark we believe there are significant opportunities in both markets if you invest conservatively and in the correct markets.

How can you gain access to these markets without risking everything to accelerate your wealth?

Insurance – Unfortunately this area is the first to go when we make budget cuts but it is probably one of the most important expenses to maintain. I know if I had to choose between Foxtel and life insurance which one I would choose but is there a way in which you can have both.

One great way is to look at what insurance you have in your superannuation account. The majority of individuals have insurance in their super and they are unaware of this so they are essentially paying twice for the same insurance.

Are your premiums competitive? Although cheapest is not always the best you may be able to find a comparable product for less.

Superannuation – Often a forgotten asset until it is too late. By effectively using your super you can drastically increase your wealth over time.

Have you consolidated it all into one super fund?

Are you invested in the right fund? The majority of the time the cheapest fund is not the best because it has the least options and flexibility which costs you more over time.

Do you have sufficient funds to buy investment property within your super? Did you know you could do this? We are presenting a Webinar on “Using your super to Buy Investment Property” on Thursday 3 March , 2011 from 6 – 7pm. It would be well worth while for you to register and learn what the opportuninity is and how you can take advantage of it. Click Here to Register

Loans/Interest Rates – We are currently living in an environment of rising interest rates (although thankfully flat for the last few months) but there is little doubt that they will rise over the coming 12 months.

Can you afford another 1% rise in interest rates? If not, what strategies can you employ to ensure you can?

What loan and rate do you have at the moment? Is it the best one for you.

Once again it is not all about finding the lowest rate as this may be the least flexible in the longer term, it is about finding what is suitable for you.

Estate Planning and Wills – Do you have the right mechanisms in place to protect your family should something happen to you? Do you have a nominated guardian to look after your children?

Although not the most exciting topic to discuss, it is actually relatively simple to complete a will and the time and money it may save you later on will be priceless.

Summary

The article above presents many questions and not all of them may be relevant for you. What is relevant is that everyone, regardless of their situation can do something to improve it.

If you would like chat about your personal situation and what strategies are relevant for you, call us directly on 02 9262 3333.

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