•Local and global equity markets were mixed this week with concerns regarding a new virus variant early in the week then drowned out by more hawkish than expected comments from the US central bank chair.
•Bond markets remain volatile in relation to how they price the timing of central bank rate rises with this week alone first seeing traders pushing out their expectations for a US rate increase given the spectre of increased virus restrictions, before more hawkish than expected comments from the US central bank chair saw expectations of a rate rise brought forward.

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As sure as death and taxes

Five Ways to Protect Your Estate
It’s a sad but unavoidable fact: one day we are all going to die. You will most likely have clear ideas as to how you would like your hard- earned wealth – your ‘estate” is to be divided amongst your loved ones or other beneficiaries.
However, estate planning is a complex area of law and basic mistakes can see Wills declared invalid, money end up with unintended recipients, or benefits reduced by avoidable tax bills. So how can you avoid making some of these mistakes?


1.   Make a Will

Only around half of Australian adults have a valid Will. If you don’t have one, make one. Otherwise, your estate will be distributed according to a government formula, and if no beneficiaries can be identified your life’s savings will end up in state government coffers.

If you do have a Will make sure you review it regularly and update it as required. Just a few of the key events for revising your Will include entering or leaving a marriage or de facto relationship, starting a family, establishing investment vehicles such as companies or trusts, changes to the financial or health status of adult beneficiaries or to add gifts to charities.

2.   Appoint an appropriate executor

Administering an estate can be a major undertaking. Ideally, you will want an executor who is competent, organised, honest and unbiased. Often this will be a spouse who is also the sole beneficiary, and administration of the estate may be relatively straightforward. But it’s common to also nominate an alternative executor should your spouse die before you. This may be an adult child or other close relative, and not necessarily a beneficiary. Whoever you nominate make sure you tell them that they are a (potential) executor and to provide them with important information such as the location of the original Will, and contact details for your lawyer, accountant, and financial planner.

3. Identify assets that may not be dealt with by your Will

Any assets that you jointly own automatically pass to the surviving owner(s) on your death.

They are not subject to your Will.

If you have provided your super fund with a binding death benefit nomination your death benefit will be paid to the nominated beneficiary. This can be anyone, and not necessarily a beneficiary of your Will. If you nominate your ‘personal legal representative’ (i.e., your executor), the death benefit will be paid to the estate and dealt with according to your Will. If you don’t make a binding nomination the trustees of your super fund are obliged to pay the benefit to your dependents, as defined by superannuation law. This may not coincide with your wishes and may also incur tax.

4. Be fair

If someone has reasonable grounds to believe they should receive something from your estate, but you have not provided for them in your Will, then they may be able to legally challenge your Will. Legal fees may be paid by the estate, eroding its value, so you’ll want to minimise the chances of the Will being contested. You are not here to fight the battle and you are leaving it up to your loved ones, so be fair.

Also be wary of ‘ruling from the grave’, for example by making any gifts dependent on a beneficiary either doing something (marrying a specific person, or not doing something).

5. Get expert advice

Estate planning throws up many other traps for the unwary, from paying too much tax on a superannuation death benefit to not making provision for beneficiaries who are unable to adequately manage their own affairs. With so much at stake, it pays to consult your financial planner who can assist you and also make recommendations to specialist estate planning  lawyers.


  • Local and global equity markets mostly finished weaker for the week due to a combination of US central bank rhetoric regarding the potential for sooner than expected rate rises and a potential new virus variant that has emerged out of South
  • In local stock news, private equity group Blackstone raised its price for Crown Resorts, with the US company tabling an offer of $12.50 per share despite a royal commission in Western Australia continuing.

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  • Mixed week for equity markets with weakness locally, strength in the US, mixed results across Europe and weaker Asian and emerging markets.
  • In local stock news, property group Mirvac said momentum in residential sales show no signs of slowing with market conditions expected to remain favourable helped by lower interest rates. Commercial leasing was less buoyant with the company conceding that working from home would remain part of the economy.

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  • Local and global equity markets had a very mixed week with the surge in US inflation spooking US equity investors, other developed markets recovered to finish flat, whilst some Asian and emerging markets rose.
  • In local stock news, Sydney Airport has agreed to accept a $23.6 billion takeover bid ($8.75 per share) from an infrastructure investor group in one of Australia’s biggest ever buy-outs. The deal still has to clear regulatory hurdles including competition and foreign ownership.

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  • Local and global equity markets mostly moved higher this week as central banks did their best to allay any concerns regarding any swift reversal in their easy policy stances.
  • In local stock news, sleep apnoea specialist ResMed improved sales by 20% in the last quarter to US$904 million, with higher demand for sleep and respiratory products helped by a competitor’s product recall.

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RBA November Board Meeting – 2021

What happened?
In one of the most anticipated Reserve Bank of Australia monetary policy meetings in a while, the Board decided to:
  • maintain the cash rate at 0.10%
  • continue to purchase government bonds (print money) at a rate of $4 billion a week until at least mid-February 2022.
Both were expected.

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  • Local and global equity markets were mixed this week as investors fixated on US corporate earnings, inflation concerns, and the next moves by central banks around the world.
  • The bond market continued to fret this week this time turning its attention to Australian government bonds as the RBA decided to step out of buying 2-year government bonds to keep a lid on yields whilst the higher inflation print didn’t help bond investor sentiment.

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  • A mixed week for equity markets with the US and Australian equity markets leading the way whilst European markets were flat and emerging markets were flat to lower.

  • A strong start to US 3rd quarter reporting season with more than 80% beating profit forecasts thus far, calming fears that higher inflation and supply-chain problems would affect corporate.

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Investor Confidence Makes A Comeback

  • Local and global equity markets lifted this week supported by better investor confidence and mixed US inflation and labour market data which may have reduced some pressure on the US central bank’s next move.
  • In local stock news, Qantas is making a huge bet on a rebound in travel demand with plans to buy more than 100 new planes worth in excess of $9 billion as it proceeds with ultra-long.

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Markets Hold Their Own Lights of Plenty of News Flow Markets

  • Local and global equity markets looked set to finish the week higher in what has been a topsy-turvy week for investor sentiment.
  • In local stock news, Commonwealth Bank’s $6 billion share buy-back was more than $18 billion oversubscribed with an average scale back of almost 80%. Those holding a smaller number of shares were scaled back less whilst those left with less than 20 shares will see them compulsorily acquired.

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Investors Fret on Fed's Next Move

•Local and global equity markets took a breather this week as investors didn’t “buy the dip” and instead awaited more news from the US central bank regarding their policy plans.
•Australian and US government bond yields have risen strongly of late, reversing some of the sharp falls we saw in June when the investors got increasingly concerned regarding the delta variant. The recent swift rise in bond yields (prices lower) is the result of selling pressure from investors in light of the increased likelihood of US central bank bond purchase tapering and potentially sooner than expected rate rises which may begin in the 3rd quarter of 2022.

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