Q: The new super rules are confusing. I have around 500K in super now, am 54 years old. What should I do next?
A: Put in as much as you can tax efficiently and consider more if you can afford it. Put a sound investment strategy in place until you are 90 and make sure you only pay for advice you need
Q: What are your thoughts on the online real estate agents that offer flat rate fees instead of percentage of sale price. At first glance there appear to be massive savings, however what are the risks associated with these companies?
A: Depends. I love them but I love all new disruption/competition. I also love how the top professionals add value beyond their fee/commission. I do caveat this that, all drivers are not equal - just like professionals
Q: I need to write a will. As it is likely to be rather simple (leave everything to my wife, then daughter) can I simply type it out and store it securely, or is legal advice necessary?
A: Personally, go somewhere and get it done. You also need power of attorneys. For well under $1,000, you can make sure it's squeaky clean. Where's there is a will there's relatives
Q: I'm looking at setting up a trust to purchase real estate through, for the asset protection, tax benefits and to allow for estate planning without stamp duty transfer cost. What is the best way to set it up, and expected costs?
A: I like Scotts answer! Basically, it may be right but what's right for one person or what it says it some property portfolio book does not mean its right for you. If it is great, accountant, lawyer and even places like cleardocs can do it
Q: I'm interested in setting up my own self-managed superfund - is there a minimum amount I need to have in super to make it viable. Also in speaking to my accountant they suggested it would cost around $3 - 5,000 to set one up, does that sound right?
A: No minimum - but I ask why are you doing it in the first place? If you're doing it to save fees it's not really the best option
Q: With interest rates at an all time low, is now the right time to fix a percentage of my loan?
A: I'm usually against fixed loans but the five year rates at some banks are pretty impressive
Q: Trying buy a unit in St Kilda but finding it difficult to obtain finance as it's 41 square metres. Is 50 squares always the minimum - any advice of which banks might help?
A: It's small and banks don't like it for a reason. If it's an older block and only a small number of units you might be ok. If it's a high rise, I wouldn't be buying it regardless
Q: Can an employer deduct superannuation payments from commissions?
A: Sure. Up to your contract if it's inclusive or added on.
Q: I'm looking at a 1 bedroom apartment for an investment, what percentage of the value will I be able to borrow? I don't see the benefit of it is too low to have the property negatively geared.
A: My questions would be around how does this fit in to your life plan. Structuring loans is the second part. Finally get the best asset. I would challenge you around all these areas before even looking at what lenders would consider this.
Q: What types of facilities are available to borrow money to use for share trading/investing? Do I need to give property equity, or will the shares be sufficient as collateral? What is the cheapest option to ensure the greatest overall result back to me?
A: While you have home owner debt, best to use home equity and an investment loan
Q: How much does a standard Statement of Advice from a financial planner normally cost?
A: Varies on complexity. Give us a bell for more info on your situation
Q: Who has the most competitive home loan rate in Australia currently??
A: Always changing. ING at 3.67 is pretty special
Q: If I borrow money to purchase shares, is the interest charge tax-deductible?
A: Sure. Ideally use your home equity rather than a margin loan
Q: I am a first time buyer. What is the % deposit I should be aiming for to get a decent rate on a mortgage?
A: Ideal 20% deposit + 5% costs - 25% ie $125,000 for $500,000
Option 2 12% deposit + 5% costs = 17% ie $85,000 on $85,000
Anything less than that and mortgage insurance starts becoming very expensive
Q: I am keen to use the equity in my home to invest - maybe real estate. Maybe another option. Does anyone have any firm advice on the available options at the moment?
A: Hi Jimmy, you have plenty of options but the key is understanding leverage, risk management and buffers. If you can get balance across both shares and property, together with planning for lifestyle transitions you will be on to a winner. Happy to have a chat - I'm in Melbourne and Sydney, Financial Planner for 10 years and mortgage broker for 3 years - 0412226009