Government bonds arrive for retail investors but may not jump out of the gate


Legislation passed through parliament yesterday that followed through on a promise by “the world’s greatest treasurer” Wayne Swan that Government bonds will be listed for the retail market (I nearly said the ASX but now we have to be generic as we have Chi-X as well). the Treasurer took his time getting the legislation together but now we have it in place.

Click the link below to read more of this article

http://www.smh.com.au/business/government-bonds-set-to-fail-with-retail-investors-20121102-28nqj.html

Are you looking for an advisor that will keep you up to date and provide guidance and tips like in this blog? Then why now contact me at our Castle Hill or Windsor office in Northwest Sydney to arrange a one on one consultation. Just click the Schedule Now button up on the left to find the appointment options.

Liam Shorte B.Bus SSA™ AFP

Financial Planner & SMSF Specialist Advisor™

SMSF Specialist Adviser 

 Follow SMSFCoach on Twitter Liam Shorte on Linkedin NextGen Wealth on Facebook   

Verante Financial Planning

Tel: 02 98941844, Mobile: 0413 936 299

PO Box 6002 BHBC, Baulkham Hills NSW 2153

5/15 Terminus St. Castle Hill NSW 2154

Corporate Authorised Representative of Magnitude Group Pty Ltd ABN 54 086 266 202, AFSL 221557

This information has been prepared without taking account of your objectives, financial situation or needs. Because of this you should, before acting on this information, consider its appropriateness, having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. This website provides an overview or summary only and it should not be considered a comprehensive statement on any matter or relied upon as such.

Are SMSF Investors really comparing Hybrids vs. Company Shares?


 

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Every article I  read at the moment the commentators are more and more sceptical about the recent issues of Australian listed hybrids and notes. They constantly compare the hybrid against the equity in the actual shares of the issuer.

And yes I have been saying to younger clients who wanted to invest that I personally would buy the shares of the blue chip issuers, not the hybrid, because the successful hybrid issue shifts risk from equity investors to the hybrid investors and if you are going to take long-term risk then get recompensed for it from the  issuer.

Yet the majority of people buying these hybrids are not my younger clients and they probably don’t look at the case for hybrids vs. shares. They are my SMSF Retiree and Pre Retiree clients. They look at the investment case of hybrids vs. their HISA (High Interest Savings Accounts) rates and term deposit rates. I know from these clients the majority of the demand for Australian hybrids has come from maturing term deposits and falling interest rates as the RBA cuts.

The banks and their advisers have worked out these “yield plays” seem to be in favour and hybrid issuance is increasing as term deposit and cash rates fall. They are tempting clients to put some of their “defensive portfolio” in to this sector rather than trying to grab some of the Share portfolio allocation.

Commentators say that the banks who are the main issuers are getting the best deal and yes their ratings have been improving when they finalise these issues.

They recommend that you buy the Shares in these companies rather than the “mutton dressed up as lamb” hybrids.

Christopher Joye in the SMH provided the following as an example where he compared the results using CBA PERLS IV vs. CBA Shares themselves over the period July 2007 to July 2012. Yes, with hindsight, you would be far better off owning the shares but they miss the point. Regardless of the outcome many SMSF trustees have a lower risk tolerance and they would be content with the returns from the PERLS IV (25.4% over 5 tumultuous years) during that period while they may have had a meltdown if in the CBA shares during the highlighted volatile period July 07-Mar ’09.

The other point I should make is that clients are making much smaller risk adjusted plays in these hybrids by quality issuers only and are willing to hold to maturity. When they have  a $100K Term Deposit maturing they are placing 10K-30K in to one or two of these hybrids and putting the rest back on Term Deposits. It is recognition that these hybrids do carry more risk and that they understand that risk.

Their aim is not to attain equity like returns but an average portfolio income in the 5.5-6% mark and that can no longer be achieved by cash and TDs alone. So yes they are taking on more risk to achieve their objectives but they are not being silly and getting over exposed. That is why we have avoided Crown, Caltex, Bendigo & Adelaide and even SunCorp issuances.

So yes the Banks get the benefit of cheaper finance but SMSF investors get access to that yield, in bite sized manageable chunks that they require with less volatility than the underlying share. The risks in hybrids are not to be scoffed at but if you do your home work, understand the risk, keep the allocations small and think long term, then they may have a place in your portfolio.

If you want to read more about hybrids generally, the ASX has produced a guide – Understanding hybrid securities – that you can download here.

Are you looking for an advisor that will keep you up to date and provide guidance and tips like in this blog? Then why now contact me at our Castle Hill or Windsor office in Northwest Sydney to arrange a one on one consultation. Just click the Schedule Now button up on the left to find the appointment options.

Liam Shorte B.Bus SSA™ AFP

Financial Planner & SMSF Specialist Advisor™

SMSF Specialist Adviser 

 Follow SMSFCoach on Twitter Liam Shorte on Linkedin NextGen Wealth on Facebook   

Verante Financial Planning

Tel: 02 98941844, Mobile: 0413 936 299

PO Box 6002 BHBC, Baulkham Hills NSW 2153

5/15 Terminus St. Castle Hill NSW 2154

Corporate Authorised Representative of Magnitude Group Pty Ltd ABN 54 086 266 202, AFSL 221557

This information has been prepared without taking account of your objectives, financial situation or needs. Because of this you should, before acting on this information, consider its appropriateness, having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. This website provides an overview or summary only and it should not be considered a comprehensive statement on any matter or relied upon as such.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Understanding bonds – Guidance for SMSF Trustees


What is a bond?

A bond is simply a loan between two parties.

A person who buys a bond is the lender of money at a fixed rate of interest. The borrower is the organisation, which issues the bonds. Issuers are usually government bodies or large corporations.

Organisations issue bonds as one way of financing operations – the Australian government has used bonds to fund road projects.

Like any loan, the borrower must attract investment by offering interest on money lent. Bonds are issued with a guaranteed fixed interest rate for a set period of time.

When that period expires, the investor’s original capital investment is returned. The original investment is known as the “face value” of the bond. The interest rate is known as the “coupon”.

The date of expiry is known as the “maturity date”.

For example, on 1 July 2010, the Australian Government issues a 10-year bond with a face value of $1000 and a coupon of 5 per cent.

The bond owner will receive an interest payment – paid by the Australian Government – of $50 per year (5 per cent of $1000) for the next 10 years.

On 1 July 2020 the investor will be paid back the bond’s face value of $1000.

Once issued, bonds are traded on an exchange and purchased or sold by individual investors, fund managers and other institutions. The price of the bond may change depending on demand and supply of buyers and sellers in the market.

How do bonds work?

A bond’s price may change when it’s traded on an exchange but its face value, coupon and maturity always remain the same.

Any change in price will also change a bond’s yield – or the return on the bond based on its current price.

For example, a bond with a face value of $1000 and a coupon of 6 per cent (or $60) has a yield of 6 per cent. This is determined by dividing $60 by $1000.

But if the price of the bond rose to $1200 investors would still receive a coupon of $60 – pushing its yield back to 5 per cent ($60 / $1200). If the bond was to fall to $600, the yield would rise to 10 per cent ($60 / $600).

This explains why a bond’s yield falls when its price rises, and why its yield rises when its price falls. It also explains why a bond investor who sells prior to the maturity of the bond may experience a loss on the capital value of their investment if long term interest rates rise. Conversely they may sell at a gain if long term interest rates fall.

Are you looking for an advisor that will keep you up to date and provide guidance and tips like in this blog? Then why now contact me at our Castle Hill or Windsor office in Northwest Sydney to arrange a one on one consultation. Just click the Schedule Now button up on the left to find the appointment options.

Liam Shorte B.Bus SSA™ AFP

Financial Planner & SMSF Specialist Advisor™

SMSF Specialist Adviser 

 Follow SMSFCoach on Twitter Liam Shorte on Linkedin NextGen Wealth on Facebook   

Verante Financial Planning

Top 50 Logo 12%

Tel: 02 98941844, Mobile: 0413 936 299

PO Box 6002 BHBC, Baulkham Hills NSW 2153

5/15 Terminus St. Castle Hill NSW 2154

Corporate Authorised Representative of Magnitude Group Pty Ltd ABN 54 086 266 202, AFSL 221557

This information has been prepared without taking account of your objectives, financial situation or needs. Because of this you should, before acting on this information, consider its appropriateness, having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. This website provides an overview or summary only and it should not be considered a comprehensive statement on any matter or relied upon as such.

Managing the Government Guarantee on Term Deposits as an SMSF Trustee


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SMSF trustees are able to take advantage of cash accounts backed by the Federal Government’s Financial Claims Scheme (FCS), commonly known as the government guarantee, to improve the security of their capital and achieve good levels of interest.

In 2012 the Government announced the guarantee on deposits was to be reduced to a $250,000 cap, down from $1m cap in place since 2008. The lower limit is a concern to many SMSF Trustees given that it reduces competitiveness between the Big 4 banks and smaller the regional banks and the building societies.

The initial reaction especially for the risk averse was for Term Deposits larger than the cap to drift back to the CBA, ANZ, Westpac and NAB, given their much higher credit ratings. They have capitalised on the move and as a consequence we see lower term deposit rates from the Big 4 for amounts more than $250,000 since February 2012.

So what strategies are available to retain the government guarantee and to secure the higher interest rates.  Here are some ideas for the SMSF Trustees and Self funded Retirees to consider:

  1. Do your research on your target providers and consider if the guarantee is really needed. If you are willing to take the risk on the solid backing of many of Australia’s financial institutions. If you are happy with them then you may just opt for the highest interest rate paying one and don’t be afraid to ask them to get you a better deal than advertised as you can get 0.05 to 0.2% by asking! It all adds to your bottom line so don’t be shy.
  2. If you have more than $250,000 to invest, you could split your investment between a number of providers. At www.ratecity.com.au and www.mozo.com.au  they give you details of a number of different institutions such as ING DIRECT, ME Bank, Greater Building Society and Rabobank. Don’t be afraid of these names not being too familiar, they have the guarantee! You could split deposits across 3-4 institutions as well as your current Big 4 favourite and maintain the guarantee on your portfolio.  It does involve a bit of work to set up initially but if you’re wanting a government guarantee, then it’s worth the initial effort, think of it as an Insurance policy application!
  3. The added benefit is that should you need access to some funds urgently then you may only have to break one of the Term Deposits instead of previously breaking the one large one and incurring Break Fee, which we all hate. You may stagger the terms to ensure even more flexibility.
  4. Now you may not be comfortable with this one as the level of knowledge about this sector is not great among individual trustees but you might consider buying some bonds for a higher return. By investing lower in the capital structure in those well-known banks where you are confident that they will continue to trade, you can pick up a higher return. While senior bonds are higher risk than term deposits, the main benefit they have is that they are liquid and can be sold very quickly.
  5. Yields on Australian dollar bonds are not great at the moment as market expectations for a low growth world economy spreads with the IMF this week reducing forecasts even further. Your adviser or fixed interest broker can guide you towards the better risk and decent yielding bonds and you can expect 2.5 to 5.5% for what I would consider suitable risk for a moderately conservative investor if well diversified.
  6. Don’t chase a guarantee or safety to far and limit exposure to underpaying securities like the 10-year government bond, 2.58 per cent. For $50,000, some of the best-paying, three-year term deposits with the deposit guarantee are paying in excess of 3.2 per cent.
  7. If you want diversity without the extra paperwork think about outsourcing this sector to a professional fund manager like Macquarie Income Opportunities Fund. Schroders or Henderson also have decent offerings in this conservative end of the sector. Look for a mindset in a Fund Manager that sees Capital Preservation as a core to their strategy.
  8. Instead of lending to the bank, buy the bank or at least blue chip shares that provide decent dividends. Buy no more than a handful of reliable blue-chip stocks that pay a regular dividend and are forecast to continue to do so through thick and thin. These should be “bottom drawer” stocks. If you have only got a small part of your wealth invested in them then you can afford to let them ride the volatility but you still need to watch their sector for any major changes (think Blockbuster video demise after online streaming). I am talking about the 1 or 2 banks, the consumer staples like Wesfarmers and inflation linked income companies like APA Group which owns Australia’s largest natural gas distribution and storage infrastructure network, constituting mainly gas transmission and distribution, mostly servicing power generation, industrial, and commercial customers.

All to0 hard? Well at Verante Financial Planning we have access to a facility that can access over 20 Term Deposit providers in one place with a one-off application form and easy transfer from institution to institution at maturity for the best rates.Have a look at Australian Money Market

In summary it appears most people are unsure about the future and want guarantees on their investments while on the other side younger people don’t want to take on additional debt at this time. This means we’re likely to see rates remain low for some time. By doing some research and comparing what’s available in the market and maybe seeking advice for a second opinion you can find the Term Deposit that suits your needs.

Are you looking for an advisor that will keep you up to date and provide guidance and tips like in this blog? Then why now contact me at our Castle Hill or Windsor office in Northwest Sydney to arrange a one on one consultation. Just click the Schedule Now button up on the left to find the appointment options.

Liam Shorte B.Bus SSA™ AFP

Financial Planner & SMSF Specialist Advisor™

SMSF Specialist Adviser 

 Follow SMSFCoach on Twitter Liam Shorte on Linkedin NextGen Wealth on Facebook   

Verante Financial Planning

Tel: 02 98941844, Mobile: 0413 936 299

PO Box 6002 BHBC, Baulkham Hills NSW 2153

5/15 Terminus St. Castle Hill NSW 2154

Corporate Authorised Representative of Magnitude Group Pty Ltd ABN 54 086 266 202, AFSL 221557

This information has been prepared without taking account of your objectives, financial situation or needs. Because of this you should, before acting on this information, consider its appropriateness, having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. This website provides an overview or summary only and it should not be considered a comprehensive statement on any matter or relied upon as such.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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