CAFSG – Quarterly Newsletter – September 2013

Welcome to CA’s Quarterly Newsletter

We have a property theme in this quarter’s newsletter – with historically low interest rates, sensational auction clearance rates in Sydney and rising prices, it’s a topic that a lot of clients are keen to talk about.

Property is only one small part of an overall diversified investment strategy but given the media attention and interest, we thought we’d give it some focus this quarter.

Thank you for taking the time to read our September newsletter and as always please contact us any time if you have any questions. We’d also love to hear your feedback and ideas for topics you’d like us to include next quarter.

Happy reading!

1.   Solving the Property Purchase Puzzle

With low interest rates our younger clients are understandably keen to get into the property market.  Feedback is that buying a property is exciting but the process can be complex and daunting.

CA’s professional mortgage consultant, Ken Batten, in conjunction with Financial Planner Thomas Cotter, who is in touch with the needs and challenges facing our younger client base, have produced a detailed paper, “All you need to know about purchasing your first home”.

It’s a great summary of the steps and costs involved in purchasing a property – everything from the ‘extra’ charges you have to consider to the exchange and settlement process. It’s not a short read but let’s face it – buying a property is not a simple process. What we hear from clients is the more knowledge you have upfront, the better.

If you, or anyone you know, are looking at taking the plunge into the property market grab a cup of coffee, get comfortable and have a read.

(As well as helping our clients with new loans, Ken is happy to review your current loan and analyse whether it’s still the best option for you.  Feel free to give Ken or your adviser a call any time if you would like to us to do a comparative analysis.)

2.   Housing Affordability

Other feedback we are hearing from you is “how on earth are my kids ever going to afford to buy a home?” For Baby Boomers and even Gen X, as long as you worked hard the great Australian Dream was achievable. For Gen Y and beyond it seems the dream is becoming illusive. Like so many issues in life, the simplest solution is often the best and the answer is to start planning early and utilise effective saving and budgeting strategies to accumulate a healthy deposit.

Taking a strategic approach, and utilising initiatives such as the First Home Saver Account as well as implementing cash-flow and budgeting strategies early on, can get you well on your way to that first property purchase. If this is something you would like to discuss for yourself or for your children, just give your adviser a call and we can talk you through these strategies in more detail. Taking a proactive and planned approach to property early on requires discipline but having the insight to start sooner rather than later will reap rewards.

3.   Oliver’s Insights

Property prices is hot dinner party conversation  – is it a bubble and is there more to come? To hear what the experts have to say (and to impress your friends with highly technical opinion at your next gathering) read Dr Shane Oliver’s article – “Australian housing – economic savior or just another bubble?”

Another hot topic is of course the election – In a video Insight Shane Oliver talks about what does an election mean for Australian Shares? Check out his video here.

4.   Congratulations Michael

We are proud to announce that Michael Horan has just received his CFP® certification – this is the highest level of certification that a financial planner can achieve. In achieving this credential Michael has successfully met the requirements of the ‘ 4 Es’ as set out by the Financial Planning Standards Board (FPSB) – Ethics, Education, Experience and Examination. We congratulate Michael on achieving this important milestone in his career.

5.   Cupcakes for Critters

Meet Isabelle Fregosi (Izzy) – one of CA’s esteemed Account Managers. You no doubt know that Izzy provides wonderful service to our clients but what you may not know is that she is also a lover of all creatures great and small and is a passionate supporter of the RSPCA (and a great cook as we recently discovered).

In August Izzy participated in the RSPCA Cupcake Day. We sacrificed our waist lines for the greater good and purchased her amazing cakes and biscuits and through donations and baking we are proud of her efforts to raise over $500.

So that you can share in the fruits of Izzy’s labour, here is her recipe for her amazing shortbread:

  • Melted butter, to grease
  • 225g (1 1/2 cups) plain flour
  • 120g (2/3 cup) McKenzie’s Rice Flour
  • 100g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 225g cold butter, coarsely chopped
  • Plain flour, extra, to dust
  • Melted white chocolate, to decorate
  1. Preheat oven to 150°C. Brush 2 large baking trays with melted butter to lightly grease.
  2. Combine the flour, rice flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Use your fingertips to rub in the butter until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth.
  3. Roll dough out until 1cm thick. Use a 5cm-diameter star-shaped pastry cutter to cut shapes from dough. Place on prepared trays. Bake in oven for 45 minutes, swapping trays halfway through cooking, or until shortbreads start to change colour. Cool on trays for 1 hour. Drizzle with chocolate to decorate.

Enjoy!

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