Noel News Special Bulletin I’m thrilled to tell you that my new book Wills, Death & Taxes went on the printing presses last Thursday. The catalyst for writing a book about estate planning was a bulletin from Finder claiming that 12 million Australians did not have a will and 60% have never given a thought to estate planning. That’s a serious situation – and a signal that many people are unaware of the complexities that can arise if proper estate planning is not put in place. Recently I was having a chat to the guy who takes care of my garden, and I asked him if he had a will. He replied “never got around to it. It all seems too much trouble.” I responded “you’ve been married before haven’t you –and don’t you have any children from that relationship? He said yes to both questions. He got a shock ...

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 Noel News Do you know the difference between education and experience? Education is when you read the fine print; experience is what you get when you don’t. PETE SEEGER Welcome to our March newsletter. It’s been about five weeks since the last one, but things have been hectic in the Whittaker household. The good news is that the new book on estate planning is almost finished. It will be called Wills, Death and Taxes, and we hope to have final proofs by the end of this week. If all goes smoothly it should go on the printing presses later in the month and be available in April. You’ll be given a chance to pre-order as soon as the book is on the printing presses. I know what the delivery date will be, but I don’t want to commit to any pre-orders until I have a definite printing schedule. It’s so ...

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Noel News If you wish to find you must search. Rarely does a good idea interrupt you. JIM ROHN Welcome to our first newsletter of the year. It’s hard to believe the end of January is nearly upon us. It’s going to be a big year with elections in the United States and several other American countries, the United Kingdom and Indonesia, and legislated tax cuts to take effect in Australia on 1 July. They are truly a game changer. We’re probably only 15 months from another general election in Australia, so expect the May budget to be full of goodies. The trouble is goodies cost money, so as usual, the government will have a balancing act to deal with. I think there are reasons to be optimistic. Inflation appears to be getting under control in most developed nations, and it’s a reasonable bet that interest-rate rises in Australia are ...

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Noel News A credit card is an anaesthetic which simply delays the pain.  HELEN MASON Welcome to our last newsletter of 2023 It’s been another eventful year with no progress with the war in Ukraine and the unexpected attack by Hamas on Israel. I don’t think either of these battles will end soon. Next year’s presidential election in the United States will further complicate matters. The good news in Australia is that the interest rate cycle is getting very close to the top, with some economists even predicting a drop in rates within 18 months. I doubt that will happen, but I do think we won’t see many more rises. Keep in mind that the Albanese government is about 18 months from an election, so expect the May 2024 budget to have more sweeteners than nasties. The controversial topic is the personal tax cuts that have been legislated to take ...

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Noel News  “The easiest way to get to where you want to be is to find someone who is already there and ask them for directions.” DAVID MELTZER Welcome to our November Newsletter Last week our Reserve Bank raised interest rates another 25 basis points. It was a bad decision. I am one of 32 ‘experts’ who are surveyed each month for their prediction on the next monthly rate movement, and this month I was in the minority – just 30% of us forecast no change. It was not so much a prediction from me as it was a fervent wish. The last thing we need is another rate rise. Central banks around the world are trying to combat inflation with one blunt instrument: interest-rate control. They have been sold on the idea that inflation should be kept within a specific target band, and all their efforts are directed to ...

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Noel News  “The unexpected blow lands heaviest.” SENECA Welcome to our October Newsletter We have just got home from London, so today’s newsletter will be mainly about travel. Our original plan for the trip started with a Qantas return flight from Brisbane to Los Angeles to visit the grandkids, but the travel agent pointed out it would be no dearer to continue to London from Los Angeles and then fly home with Emirates. It was too good to resist! There were some challenges, though. The first was travel insurance – once you turn 80 the options shrink. But I duly did my research – using Choice – and opted for Medibank. The process involved a simple phone call, and I did not get the usual message about “receiving an unusually high volume of calls” – their message was, ‘Your place in the queue is number two.’ I chose the basic policy because my main ...

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Noel News   Welcome to our September Newsletter It’s been another busy month and the good news is that the Reserve Bank did not increase interest rates at its monthly meeting on 5 September. I do think we’re getting near the top of the interest-rate cycle, but I can’t guarantee there will be no more rate rises. The problem is that so much inflation appears to be entrenched with big backlogs in the construction industry. Increasing rates won’t fix that. The estate planning book is moving along but taking longer than I thought due to the vast amount of research needed. I do thank you all for the fantastic anecdotes you have sent me. I’m now working through these and I think they’ll be of immense benefit to the readers of that book. We’re still hoping for release in time for Christmas. ...

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Noel News  “Make the most of yourself, because that is all there is of you.” RALPH WALDO EMERSON Welcome to another Newsletter The big news last week was the housing summit, but unfortunately, I can see nothing proposed to solve the alleged housing crisis. There are two basic problems: too much demand and too little supply. The only way to cut demand is to cut immigration, which the government is not prepared to do, and building all these proposed new houses will put further pressure on the building industry, which cannot complete the jobs they have.  I would hate to be building or renovating a house right now. Then of course you have the Greens pushing for a rental freeze, one of the worst ideas imaginable. To increase the supply of rental houses, we need to make becoming a property investor attractive, not unattractive. If they want to freeze rents ...

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Noel News “Don’t make your mistakes into a habit, rather make it a habit of learning from your mistakes.” DAVID MELTZER The Reserve Bank has spoken… …and, as I predicted, interest rates are on hold for at least one more month. The big question now is where they will go from here. The simple answer is that they will keep going up until inflation is under control, and at this early point in the new financial year, I see no signs of that. In the last two weeks our electricity bills have gone up by 15%, our car insurance bill is up 45%, all tolls have increased, and my favourite block of Lindt chocolate has leapt from $3.50 to $5.50. At the same time, the whole country is in a building frenzy, with massive projects going full steam in every state. My architect friends tell me it’s impossible to get ...

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 Noel News “The simple things that lead to success are all easy to do. But they’re also just as easy not to do.” JIM ROHN Another financial year ends Good morning. We are almost at the end of another financial year. In the newsletter I wrote at this time last year, I was bemoaning the fact that the previous 12 months had been horrendous. However, I did point out that markets tend to have four bad years every decade and six good years, and my advice was to hang in there. That’s what I have been doing for as long as I can remember. Anyway, the market has done the right thing and the All Ordinaries Accumulation Index is up 13% from this time last year. It just proves the value of staying in there. This is not to play down the state of the world right now. It seems ...

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