Recruiters are often in a difficult situation. On one hand, they have to work hard for their customer base to ensure that the right candidates are cherry-picked and presented to the client. However, on the other hand, dealing with their own employees and ensuring they are happy with management and knowing everyone is moving in the right direction is just as important. Is there a problem with HR? Based on the findings of a recent survey, recruiters might need to consider their workforce more carefully and make changes to improve retention outcomes. Recruitment experts Robert Half Management surveyed more than . . .

While state and federal governments have made attempts to reduce the impact of red tape on small businesses, a recent report has revealed that many are still shackled by regulations.  According to the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (ACCI) National Red Tape Survey, close to half of the 700 respondents feel that red tape compliance measures prevent them from making significant changes to ensure growth. Additionally, the ACCI found that 27 per cent of respondents spent more than 11 hours per week on compliance regulations. Given that this figure is up five per cent on last year, it shows . . .

Any super contributions made under a salary sacrifice arrangement are treated as concessional contributions and need to be counted towards your concessional contributions cap. The concessional contributions cap for the 2014/2015 year is $30,000 for anyone ages 48 years or younger on 30 June 2014, and $35,000 for anyone ages 49 years or older on 30 June 2014. For our Super high income earners Since 1 July 2012, if your adjusted taxable income is greater than $300,000, then the contributions tax on your concessional contributions, such as salary sacrifice and Superannuation Guarantee contributions, is 15 per cent plus an additional . . .

Income Protection: What it is and how it helps you Many might consider a house, a car or even savings as their greatest financial asset. More often than not, however, it’s your ability to earn income that’s greater than the others combined. While we insure our cars, houses and other possessions, surprisingly only 31 per cent of Australians insure their greatest financial asset; the ability to earn income. Consider then that if 69 per cent of people don’t protect their income, is income insurance really that useful? And if over two thirds of Australians aren’t protected, why should you be? . . .

The power of binding death nominations in your Super Fund On 25 March 2015, the Queensland Supreme Court in Munro v Munro [2015] QSC 61, handed down a decision in which a document that was expressed to be a ‘binding death benefit nomination’ (BDBN) within a Self Managed Super Fund (SMSF) was found to be invalid, allowing the trustees of the SMSF to distribute the deceased’s death benefit other than as set out in the BDBN. Points to consider when writing a Binding Death Nomination based on the above decision: The BDN must be written as outlined precisely within your Super . . .

*The Federal Reserve has given no indication of when it is likely to lift rates, actually softening its view on the outlook for the economy. “The Committee anticipates that it will be appropriate to raise the target range for the federal funds rate when it has seen further improvement in the labour market and is reasonably confident that inflation will move back to its two per cent objective over the medium term. This change in the forward guidance does not indicate that the Committee has decided on the timing of the initial increase in the target range.” We have banks . . .

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has cut interest rates from the 2.5 per cent cash rate by 25 basis points to a new record low of 2.25 per cent. This move by the RBA hopes to lower the cost business and consumer credit. This week’s cuts will more than likely see the lowest rates in nearly 50 years. The majority of economists are predicting a second cut in the next 1-3 months, so all this begs the question: What does this low interest rate environment mean for the housing market? More entrants, more buyers and artificial housing prices? The . . .

A noteworthy mention goes to the historic Free Trade Agreement Australia has made with China recently. The Australian agricultural industry is a key beneficiary of the of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China, which will result in the elimination of tariffs over the medium to longer term. Here are some key messages from our team of analysts and our investment committee on how to take advantage of this historic decision.  A summary of the tariff removals and time frame: Dairy – Removal of all tariffs of up to 20 per cent, in four to 11 years Beef – Removal . . .

The current season of AGMs have allowed companies to guide investors on the health of their businesses, as well as update the market on how objectives are tracking for the year. The RBA looks to be leaving rates on hold, or even dropping them again in the first quarter of 2015. Australia’s commodity exports are subdued thanks to a growth slow-down in China and our Aussie Dollar is weakening, but not to the point where it becomes undervalued, so all-in-all we are in a low-growth environment. As we head into the Christmas period, the overriding question on the lips of . . .