John Cameron's personal blog

Serious discussion about your financial position now - and in the future.

Pension Caps

Okay, at the risk of being beaten up by well-heeled senior citizens (It’s OK, I’m one myself) wielding folded budget papers, I will say it:

     “I support the Government’s action to limit the amount held in an allocated pension to $1.6million.”

There, I have said it.

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Superannuation Changes Are Not Retrospective!

There. I’ve said it.

There are many reasons to criticise the superannuation changes announced in the budget (more on that next time), but retrospectivity is not one of them. Why? Because they are not retrospective.

Much of the considerable amount of criticism has been around the changes being “retrospective”. However, there is confusion between “retrospectivity” and “grandfathering”.

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Is It Time To Reconsider What We Mean By “Risk”?

Traditionally investments such as government bonds have been considered “safe”, whereas shares are considered “risky”.

So pervasive has this been, that, in the jargon of financial markets, when somebody talks about “taking on more risk”, what they are really saying is that they are selling bonds and buying shares (or using cash to buy shares). Conversely, if they are selling shares and moving to bonds or cash, they are “reducing risk”.

Now, it seems, the jargon is moving mainstream. I recently saw a retiree being interviewed on television. In order to make ends meet, he said he was “taking on more risk” with his investments.

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Happy to see The Australian Financial Review printing my letter today....I even got my own Cartoon!


 

 

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Culture – From Boring To Buzzword In No Time

The last couple of weeks have seen more skirmishes in the “culture wars”. 

The first shots were fired by a Four Corners Programme that disclosed that the Commonwealth Bank’s insurance subsidiary, Comminsure, had used dodgy methods to avoid paying claims. A poor culture within Comminsure was quickly blamed.

The issues have been smouldering for years, but now that full scale conflict has broken out, it looks like being a protracted campaign. No doubt there will be moments of tension, drama, high farce and even, yes, humour (in fact a sense of humour may be an essential survival mechanism).

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