The Blogs that appear on this page may be sourced from outdated material so please seek appropriate professional advice. The blog material is in no way intended to be personal financial planning advice.

Catherines Chat

Wholistic Financial Solutions provides a lot of essential information and updates regarding the property investment industry. Check this page for the updates.

Happy Client Testimonial

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Catherine

Thank you for sending the additional information on property hot spots.  It was a very interesting read (as well as a good quality product) and I think very worthwhile.

I also want to thank you for your time – the Pathway to Wealth session was very useful from a practical sense but also, in terms of giving me a sense of control, confidence and certainty over my short and long term financial futures.

I would also like to commend Lara and Lynda for their professionalism and courtesy

Regards

Ray

What is Financial coaching services

Thursday, February 05, 2015

A new and fast growing advisory service - Financial coaching services

 

Financial coaching definition

 

So what is Financial Coaching?  The industry is so new there is no accepted financial coaching definition.  One can turn to Wikipedia for a definition of Coaching.  Coaching is defined as ‘training or development in which a person called a "coach" supports a learner in achieving a specific personal or professional goal’  So how can this definition be expanded to a Financial Coaching Definition? 

 

Wiki further goes on to outline a sub category of Financial Coaching being ‘an emerging form of coaching that focuses on helping clients overcome their struggle to attain specific financial goals and aspirations they have set for themselves. At its most basic, financial coaching is a one-on-one relationship in which the coach works to provide encouragement and support aimed at facilitating attainment of the client's financial plans. Recognizing the array of challenges inherent in behaviour change, including all too human tendencies to procrastinate and overemphasize short-term gains over long-term wellbeing, they monitor their clients’ progress over time and hold the client accountable. This monitoring function is hypothesized to boost clients’ self-control and willpower. Previous studies in psychology indicate that individuals are much more likely to follow through on tasks when they are monitored by others, rather than when they attempt to ‘self-monitor’. Although early research links financial coaching to improvements in client outcomes, much more rigorous analysis is necessary before any causal linkages can be established. In contrast to financial counsellors and educators, financial coaches do not need to be experts in personal finance because they do not focus on providing financial advice or information to clients.

 

The obvious flaw in Wiki’s Financial Coaching Definition is that it states that financial coaches do not need to be experts in personal finance because they do not focus on providing financial advice or information to clients.  It is correct that Financial Coaches cannot provide Financial Planning advice as they would need to be Licensed Financial Planners to do so. However, I fail to see how a coach can coach someone on their financial life without having any expertise in personal finance issues.  Even the term personal finance is ambiguous.  The term ‘personal finance’ financial management which an individual or a family unit is required to do to obtain, budget, save, and spend monetary resources over time, taking into account various financial risks and future life events.  When planning personal finances the individual would consider the suitability to his or her needs of a range of banking products (checking, savings accounts, credit cards and consumer loans) or investment (stock market, bonds, mutual funds) and insurance (life insurance, health insurance, disability insurance) products or participation and monitoring of individual- or employer-sponsored retirement plans, social security benefits, and income tax management. Are these not highly specialised areas in which advisors need experience, qualifications, registrations and licenses to advise? 

 

To my way of thinking using a ‘Financial Coach’ who has no experience, qualifications, registrations or licenses in financial fields is akin to paying a sports coach who has played football all their life to coach a girls netball team.  Why would you pay financial coaching fees to someone who is not able to provide financial planning advice, tax advice, or finance advice?

 

So who do you turn to for Financial Coaching Services? 

 

If you are seeking financial coaching services or financial coaching packages you would be wise to turn to professionals or a professional advisory firm that are experienced in their field of advice, and licensed, qualified and registered with professional bodies such as NTAA, CPA, FBAA, MFAA, PIPA, PIAA.

 

 

Coaching and mentoring program's

 

So when looking for Financial Coaching Services I think I have made my point clear enough that the individual or business should be experienced, qualified, licenced or registered.  I also think you should be looking for and individual or firm that offers financial coaching software, financial coaching tools and financial coaching packages.   Coaching and mentoring program's can greatly assist you develop wealth creation strategies.

 

Financial coaching fees can be worth paying if the financial coaching fees are paid to suitably qualified professionals whose advice can greatly assist you create personal wealth.  Financial coaching fees can be reduced via subscribing to coaching and mentoring programs and financial coaching packages as these tend to be cheaper than one on one financial coaching services.  However coaching and mentoring programs and financial coaching packages as they are not one on one take more commitment as you have to be self-disciplined enough to follow the coaching and mentoring programs and financial coaching packages.

 

 

What if you are looking for the coaching definition business?

 

If you are seeking financial coaching for business there is once again no accepted coaching definition business. Some business coaches talk about leadership coaching definition, performance coaching definition or executive coaching definition.  But once again nowhere in all these definitions or explanations do you actually find a requirement for a coach who is holding themselves out to be a business coach to be experienced, qualified, licenced or registered.  

 

Personally I would not take business advice from someone who is not, at the very least, a CPA, NTAA of Chartered Accountant and preferably someone who is also a Registered Tax Agent.

 

What is the purpose of coaching?

 

As explained above coaching is ‘training or development in which a person called a "coach" supports a learner in achieving a specific personal or professional goal’. In terms of Financial Coaching Services financial coaching means to coach a client on their personal finance issues which should include topics such as

  • Protection against unforeseen personal events, as well as events in the wider economy
  • Transference of family across generations (bequests and inheritance)
  • Effects of tax policies (tax subsidies and/or penalties) on management of personal finances
  • Effects of credit on individual financial standing
  • Planning a secure financial future in an environment of economic instability

All of these topics require the financial coaching services person or business to be suitably experienced, educated, registered and licensed.  Don’t sell yourself short or waste your money paying financial coaching fees to someone who is qualified only as a life coach.

Year End Strategies Newsletter

Monday, April 28, 2014

 

Please follow the below link for your copy of the Year End Strategies Newsletter:

Year End Strategies Newsletter 2014

 

Australian Taxation Office catching up with Technology

Friday, August 16, 2013

Hi All,

This year the ATO are trying to catch up with technology and (seemingly) reduce people calling in to follow up their tax return.

They have launched a free App for both Android and Apple phones.

 

Apple -https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/ato-tax-2013/id664461825?mt=8&ls=1

Android- https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=au.gov.ato.ATOTax&hl=en

 

This App also has a handy calculator to help you work out a rough guideline of whether or not your employer is withholding enough tax.

Of course you can do the same things on the ATO website, but some people may prefer to check in on their refund more regularly. Therefore the app can be handy.

Just make sure to protect your TFN at all times as it is highly sensitive information.

Private Health Insurance Rebate Entitlements

Friday, July 19, 2013

Hi all,

It has come to our attention with the start of the new tax season that many people were not aware that the private health insurance rebate is now means tested.* Generally from 2013 if your income is greater the $168,000.00 for a couple with no dependents ($84,000.00 for a single) then your only entitlement to a rebate from the government may be reduced, unlike in previous years were it was 30% across the board.  Additionally, the percentage of rebate you are entitled to reduces as income moves between the various tiers - please see table below:

 

Entitlement by income threshold 2012-2013.

(Australian Taxation Office)

 

The difference between the rebate you claimed and the rebate you received is calculated as either refundable or payable on lodgement of your return, dependant on if you over or under claimed. Please update your information with your private health insurer if you know you are claiming more rebate then you are entitled to.

 

The ATO have developed a helpful calculator to help you work out the rebate you are entitled to for the 2014 financial year.  Please click here to access it. The table for 2014 follows:

Entitlement by income threshold 2013-2014.


 

(Australian Taxation Office)

 

*Please note that is general information only to highlight this issue to our readers and clients. This does not constitute advice or take into account your individual circumstance.

 

Works Cited

Australian Taxation Office. (n.d.). Individuals: Medicare Levy. Retrieved July 7, 2013, from www.ato.gov.au: http://www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/Medicare-levy/In-detail/Medicare-levy-surcharge/Changes-to-private-health-insurance-rebate-and-Medicare-levy-surcharge/

 

What to Bring to Your Tax Appointment

Monday, July 08, 2013

Hi all and welcome to the first tax related post for the new financial year.

This time of year we have a lot of people asking us what to bring along to appointments for their tax returns (or email through depending on preference).

Please find below a list of information that we believe should cover most bases when trying to get your documents together.
Please remember though, when in doubt just include it.

Also in this listing are links to our individual schedules and rental property worksheets.

To efficiently provide you with the best service it is beneficial for you to bring the following to your appointment:
o Bank account details (for payment of refunds)

o Previous year’s tax return (if a new WFS client)

o Previous years invoices relating to cost of managing tax affairs (if a new WFS Client)

o Details of interest received.

o Details of dividends received

o All Payment Summaries/Group certificates for the year

o Receipts for (or preferably a summary of) all work related expenses (i.e. union fees)

o Any work related car expenses

o Any work related travel

o Any work related uniform or clothing expenses

o Any work related self-education expenses

o Summary of donations

o    Sale price and Cost base of assets (if disposed of in 2013)

o    Spouse income (if not a WFS client)

o    Summary of child support paid

o Private health fund statement

o Details of medical expenses, if net out of pocket costs exceed $2,120.00
If you intend to claim  please bring:

                o Private health  insurance  summary (of claims, not certificate of cover)

                o Summary of other out of pocket medical expense or receipts for any other medical expenses (not claimed through medicare or private health insurance)

o Any other items that you feel are relevant.

 

For rental properties:
o Please click here to download our rental property worksheet (1 sheet per property, per year)
              The worksheet is optional, but does entitle you to a 15% discount  if completed correctly.

o Details of all rent received – (rental property management annual summary preferred)

o Details of all expenses including interest

o  Property address and date first earned rental income (if first year with rental property)

o Depreciation report (or list of all capital  expenses)

o Any other items that you feel are relevant.

 

If you wish to email through your information, please use our individual schedule. You can download it here.

EOFY Tax Planning

Friday, April 19, 2013

Hello All,

Catherine is away at National’s for Dragon Boat racing and I thought I would take this opportunity to hijack her blog and write about tax. It is getting to the point in the financial year where people need to start thinking about end of year tax strategies and how the tax changes implemented for 2013 can really affect them. For example, does the tax free threshold rising to $18,200 mean that you no longer need to lodge a tax return? The ATO have some good calculators available on their website to help you make this decision. But when in doubt remember to ask a professional.

For those in business it is time to look at whether or not you have contributed enough into superannuation for yourself and does the business have enough profit in it for you to contribute more? It also time to make sure if you are a sole trader that you register with you super provider to claim super contribution’s as a deduction in your personal tax.  As we get closer to the end of the financial year (EOFY) we will give you more hints and tips. Please feel free to comment below if you have any questions you would like answered or have anything in particular you are interested in hearing about for EOFY. Remember that now can be the best time to get in and see your accountant for some tailored strategic advice.

That’s enough from me for now but you might see me again posting on Catherine’s blog as we get closer to the new tax season.

Lexie O’Toole

Thousands needed to run mines

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

MORE than 13,000 machine operators, 6000 graduates and more than 7000 tradies will be needed by 2015 to keep Queensland's mining industry ticking over.

Skills researcher Kinetic Group's boss Derek Hunter concedes these are "uncertain times" but said a flood of activity was still headed our way.

"If you stop looking at the headlines and look at what the activity in the industry is right now, it's as high if not higher than it has ever been," Mr Hunter said.

"We have got significant new growth in productivity from 2013 onwards."

As of April, there were 20 mining and gas projects in Queensland alone, amounting to more than $64 billion in investment.

That includes BHP Billiton's Caval Ridge and Daunia mines already under construction, which will deliver a total of 2450 jobs in construction and during operations.

"These are not pie in the sky figures - the companies already invested are unlikely to stop them going through to production unless there was the most amazing crash," Mr Hunter said.

He noted that even the global financial crisis, though it created a few "blips" for the industry, had only mild long-term effects.

Mr Hunter said the danger was this boom to bust mentality, if something stopped booming, then surely it had bust.

"We have to change people's heads about that - companies have shareholders to satisfy so action must be taken as soon as there is difficulty.

"Certainly (BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance) is laying people off, they have closed a couple of mines in the past few months.

"But they have absorbed most of them back into the organisation."

Daunia

  • Open cut mine, 2960 hectares
  • Production expected to begin next year
  • Full production of 4.5 million tonnes per annum expected in 2014
  • 1000 employees required in construction phase, 450 during production
  • Caval Ridge
  • Open cut mine, 6706 hectares
  • Production expected to begin in 2014
  • Full production of 5.5 million tonnes per annum expected
  • 2000 employees required during construction, 500 during production

Self-managed super funds urged to be cautious with property investments (ATO)

Friday, November 23, 2012

The ATO today warned trustees of self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) to be cautious when investing in property.

Acting Commissioner Bruce Quigley said he is concerned people are using their SMSF to invest in property without fully understanding their obligations under the law or some people are seeking to take advantage of certain types of arrangements.

Mr Quigley acknowledged that investing in property can be a confusing area for some people.

"We have observed that some arrangements are deliberately entered into to get around the law, which can result in the fund's trustees being disqualified, facing civil penalties or even facing criminal charges. Those marketing properties to SMSF trustees as part of such arrangements could be referred to Australian Security and Investment Commission (ASIC)."

"The fine details are important and trustees need to be sure that property is the right investment for their SMSF and that the arrangement is legal,"

"We have also seen instances where holding trusts have not even been established at the time the contracts to acquire are signed. In other instances the title of the property is held in the individual's name rather than the trustee of the holding trust. Another common mistake is gearing in a related unit trust, which is not allowed under the law," Mr Quigley said.

"Some of these arrangements, if structured incorrectly, cannot simply be restructured or rectified. The only option may be to unwind the arrangement which could involve forced sale of assets at an inconvenient time. This could be very expensive for the fund with potential stamp duty and tax consequences."

"I urge trustees to get reliable, independent advice when making investment decisions and to obtain advice from us if they are contemplating entering into these sorts of arrangements. The responsibility for ensuring their SMSF complies with the law rests with them."

The upshot of this advice is to ensure you are getting reliable advice from specialist SMSF Advisors and Accountants who are experieced in assisting clients buy property through an SMSF. www.wfscanberra.com.au can assist.

Economic indicators for Property Investment are strong

Thursday, October 04, 2012

According to RP Data, with the exception of economic conditions, most ‘Spring selling season’ indicators for the residential market are stronger compared to this time last year.

Cameron Kusher, RP Data research analyst, says the lead-up to the residential Spring selling season is looking more positive, when compared to the same time last year.

However, Kusher says, the question is whether or not momentum will continue throughout the traditional selling season.

“In Spring we begin to see uplift in listings activity with more properties available for sale and subsequently an increase in auction activity. Spring also sees an improvement in the number of property sales, especially following winter, which is usually a slow period for the housing market,” Kusher says.

“Spring 2011 delivered somewhat of a disappointing selling season with sales volumes across the combined capital cities down by 3 percent, lower than they were in the Spring of 2010 and with no noticeable improvement from volumes in Autumn. The amount of stock available for sale during this period was continually increasing throughout the period to historic high levels and home values were falling across each capital city market,” he says.

According to RP Data, with the exception of economic conditions, most indicators are stronger compared with this time last year.

“Overall, we’ve seen some positive movements for home values with new stock being added to the market lower and each of the vendor metrics (selling time, vendor discounting and auction clearance rates) all showing an improvement,” Kusher says.

Despite a more positive trend for many indicators, when compared with those of 2011 , a comparison with the longer-term trend shows many of these indicators are moving off a low base.

“Overall, the data indicates that generally the housing market is now in a stronger position than it was 12 months ago. Considering this, the Spring selling season should be stronger this year than it was last year. However, in comparison to recent years we would not expect the housing market to power along through Spring in the manner that it has previously,” Kusher says.


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