Comfort with Money

by Rodney Gibson Financial Advisor

I am a sole practitioner with 40 years experience in finance, taxation, law, business and accounting. I am currently associated with SALA Financial Services. I provide the following:

  • Estate Planning, including wills and powers of attorney (EPOAs)

  • Estate Management

  • Taxation advice

  • Investment advice, including superannuation

  • Business structure advice

 

My aim is to assist you to live within your means and achieve all your financial goals.

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Average? Median? Real??

Because so much of our life is tied up in numbers – age, temperature, salary, wealth, weight – the newspapers, television and radio news programs devote significant space or time to giving us the “news” about what real estate values are doing in our suburb, city, state and nation. My greatest problem in trying to make sense of the headlines about house prices is that firstly there is little recognition of the fact that every single “place of abode” in the world that is owned and/or rented is UNIQUE. Even if the properties are identical to look at there are differences, even with brand new matching duplex units. Secondly, like the share market, the buyer and the seller could easily have sever

Good Debt, Bad Debt

A respected financial author recently published yet another book predicting that ruin is about to rain down on us largely because the world is carrying too much debt. The world in this context means countries, banks, businesses, institutions, companies and individuals. A few years ago one bright spark invented the concept of good debt and bad debt, which at least made the concession that all debt is not bad. Simplification rapidly hijacked these terms so that they came to mean tax deductible (good debt) and non-deductible (bad debt). In my world the technical term “bad debt” stems from accounting terminology, where bad debt is simply one where you concede, however reluctantly, that the debt

Petrol Prices – No Logic At All!

When I call in to a service station to fill my car with petrol, I am mildly pleased that no matter what price I am paying, the tank of my current vehicle, unlike that of the previous one, will not hold $100 worth of fuel. Oh for the good old days when $20 would get me to the Gold Coast and back. Our fuel prices have something – I’m not sure what – to do with prices in Singapore, but every time I fill the car I feel slightly sorry for the motorists in Europe who are paying about 40% more for the same product as we are here in Australia. The wild fluctuations we experience world wide have nothing to do with supply and demand, which my economics lecturer way back in the 50’s asserted were, in a

Utopia?

I am not a communist and I passionately believe in the strength, efficiency and fairness of free markets. Karl Marx got it right when he espoused the concept of “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs”. Robin Hood had the same idea…take from the rich and give to the poor. Human nature being what it is, the choices available to everyone are linked by a very large number of conditions, both internal and external. The internal conditions are generic, coupled with other circumstances of childhood. People can be poor for a great many reasons, only some of which may be reprehensible. Unless enterprise, innovation and risk/reward motivation are coupled with safeguards to

"The Market"

Within the financial services world there are a distressing number of writers whose basic universal assumption is that everyone would like to be rich so that they can afford to live in a mansion, drive a flash, fast, expensive car and jet off (business class of course) to exotic holiday destinations. All of this can be easily afforded because they’ve made lots of lovely loot playing “the market”. One simple fact seems to elude lots of financial journalists. “The market” may describe a physical place which can vary from a collection of tents to an impressive building on Wall Street, or lots of buildings in European cities, with a “Bourse” sign displayed. “The market” may also describe what a