Early access to superannuation

The Government is proposing to allow individuals affected by the impacts of the Coronavirus to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation in the 2019-20 financial year and a further $10,000 in the 2020-21 financial year.

While superannuation is intended to be saved for retirement, the Government recognises that for those significantly financially affected by the Coronavirus, accessing some of their superannuation today may outweigh the benefits of maintaining those savings until retirement.

Eligible individuals will be able to apply online through myGov to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation before 1 July 2020. They will also be able to access up to a further $10,000 from 1 July 2020 for approximately three months (exact timing will depend on the passage of the relevant legislation).

Am I Eligible?

To apply for early release you must satisfy any one or more of the following requirements:

  • You are unemployed

Or

  • You are eligible to receive a:
    • job seeker payment,
    • youth allowance for jobseekers,
    • parenting payment (includes single and partnered payments),
    • special benefit,
    • farm household allowance

Or

  • On or after 1 January 2020 you:
    • were made redundant,
    • your working hours were reduced by 20 per cent or more,
    • if you are a sole trader and your business was suspended or there was a reduction in your turnover of 20 per cent or more

People accessing their superannuation will not need to pay tax on amounts released and the money they withdraw will not affect Centrelink or Veterans’ Affairs payments.

How do I apply?

If you are eligible, you can apply directly to the ATO through the myGov website: www.my.gov.au

What is the process?

  1. You will need to certify that you meet the eligibility criteria.
  2. The ATO will process your application.
  3. After the ATO has processed your application, they will issue you with a determination.
  4. The ATO will also provide a copy of this determination to your superannuation fund, which will advise them to release your superannuation payment.
  5. Your fund will then make the payment to you, without you needing to apply to them directly.

When can I apply?

You will be able to apply for early release of your superannuation from mid-April 2020.

To ensure you receive your payment as soon as possible, you should ensure your super fund has your correct details, including your current bank account details and proof of identity documents. Please speak with your advisor if you are unsure about this

Further guidance will be available on the ATO website: www.ato.gov.au

We continue to monitor the ongoing market conditions with regards to the growing escalation of the Coronavirus health crisis as part of our wider operations. If you have any questions about your investments or the path that lays ahead, please get in contact with an advisor here at Endorphin Wealth.

Helping Amy in finance and life

As an orthopedic surgeon, Amy Gibbens can replace a hip, fix a knee or sure up a spine.

Give her a scalpel – or a bone saw – and Amy can work magic with the human body, but managing finances? Well, even Amy would admit that’s not her strong point.

Or, at least, it wasn’t.

Amy has been a much-loved client of Endorphin Wealth since early 2018.

Fast forward two years and Amy has kicked some major financial goals.

She has enjoyed some fantastic returns from her investments and she has used those funds to tick off one of her major short-term aspirations; buying her first home.

She even managed to survive breast cancer.

In our first edition of Endorphin Zen series, Amy shares her story of health, wealth and how fun and friendship has been a central part of her financial management experience with Endorphin.

Financial Seeds Are Sewn

Like most surgeons, Amy got into medicine to help people.

“We’re like a carpenter for the human body,” Amy said through her trademark smile.

“I guess, getting into medicine, I was always interested in doing something that helped people.

“I’ve always had this fascination with the human body and as a junior doctor working within an orthopedic team and seeing how orthopedics can make a real difference in treating and helping people make a big difference in their lives.”

But even those who dedicate their lives to making a difference for others need some support of their own.

“I’m a bit naive when it comes to this financial world,” Amy said.

“I’d been wanting to get someone to help me manage that side of things for me. I’d always just had my savings sitting in a bank account and I wasn’t doing anything with it.”

So, like most people looking for a helping hand with their financials, Amy got talking to her colleagues and friends.

One name just kept popping up.

“One of my friends had just commenced working with Rob Rich from Endorphin Wealth and he was recommended to her by another friend and they were both impressed and happy with Rob after their first couple of meetings,” she said.

“I was working at the Royal Melbourne Hospital at the time and it’s pretty hard to find time outside of a busy schedule in orthopedics.

“But Rob was more than happy to come to me so our first meeting was actually in the hospital cafeteria after work one evening.”

Rob’s eyes light up when he recalls his first meeting with Amy.

“We got along like a house on fire!

“She’s always smiling, she’s a really optimistic and beautiful person. She’s just got a caring nature.

“It’s funny, but she’s this lovely, quite petite girl and I was sort of sitting there imagining her in surgery cracking bones or using a saw and grinder, basically using power tools on the human body.

“In our first meeting I was really just wanting to learn a bit more about her and her work and what makes her tick and we hit it off straight away.

“I knew from that meeting that she was exactly the sort of person and client I would love to work with, too.”

First Things First: Setting The Goals

Like all of Rob’s engagements, this one started with a blank canvas.

“It’s a real discovery session,” he said.

“For me, it’s really about understanding the person, what they’re excited about, what they’re fearful of and there’s always a lot of talk about their emotions surrounding and relationship with money.

“With Amy, obviously she knew that as a surgeon she was earning a solid income, but what is she doing with that money? Is it being put to a good purpose that builds her wealth over time instead of just sitting in a bank account?

“We wanted to make the most of a good situation.”

For Amy, being able to build an instant connection with Rob was crucial to her feeling comfortable in trusting him with her finances.

“Rob was able to outline everything for me in a really easy and clear way to understand,” Amy said.

“We set some goals after assessing my current financial status and set out goals for finances as well as for life, both in the near future and down the track.

“And then he handled everything from there. Before long he came to me with a proposal on where to invest my money and how to do it.”

More than that, Rob provided some great options for Amy’s super and personal insurances.

“Just by doing that, the savings I made basically covered Rob’s fee,” Amy said.

“It just automatically gave me confidence in him. He’s a really lovely, approachable, warm friendly person and he goes above and beyond.”

As it would turn out, Rob’s initial advice for personal insurance cover for Amy’s income would become particularly crucial with what was to come next.

Amy’s Battle with Cancer

Six months after signing up with Rob and Endorphin Wealth, Amy was dealt with some terrible news.

She was diagnosed with breast cancer.

“I get goosebumps thinking about that call,” Rob said.

“We’d become good friends pretty much straight away. She just called me and told me she’d been diagnosed and would be getting surgery straight away.

“My heart just went out to her on a human level first … but immediately it was about making sure we swung into action and started liaising with the insurance company and informing them there would be a claim and getting everything in motion straight away.”

Amy said that being able to rely on Rob as a friend and as a financial adviser was crucial to her financial health, which in turn gave her one less thing to worry about as she focused on her recovery.

“The income protection insurance covered my salary and the trauma insurance provided a payout of a lump-sum payment. Together they helped cover the lost income because I couldn’t work but also helped cover extra costs of medical bills,” she said.

“I was super grateful I’d signed up with Endorphin and taken up that cover. It meant I came out of a terrible situation on top financially.

“Rob handled everything with the claims. Knowing that was looked after was a massive burden off my shoulders.”

And it wasn’t just Rob’s quick financial thinking that made a difference, it was his personal care factor that set him apart for Amy.

“He was so supportive of me. That first two months when I was unwell and undergoing chemotherapy, he was contacting me almost every second or third day just to touch base and see how I was,” she said.

“He’d always put a smile on my face. It meant a lot to me.”

Moving on Up: Kicking Goals

With Amy’s cancer battle in the rearview mirror and thanks to the forward-thinking advice of Rob and the team at Endorphin Wealth, our surgeon hero could continue to stride forward to her financial and personal goals.

While a cancer battle is financially debilitating for many, Amy’s insurance cover and the ongoing performance of her investments with Rob meant that the reality of owning her own home was a real prospect for her short-term future.

It was a goal Rob was only too happy to assist with.

“With Amy’s investments and her savings we had enough for a deposit,” he said.

“But the important thing was finding the right property. Amy had never bought a property before, and I was happy to lend some experience in that respect.

“I mentored Amy and took her under my wing. I got her to tell me what sort of property she wanted, what areas she was looking in and she would send me the listings she was interested in, I’d then ask her for three comparable properties so we could determine what we should pay for it.”

Amy was once again blown away by the efforts Rob went to in supporting her in her journey towards property ownership.

“He owns several properties himself and his wife is in real estate as well, so he was a big help,” she said.

“It’s not in his job description, but he was looking at properties with me. I’d send him an email and we would talk through the pros and cons of the property.”

Eventually, they found Amy’s first property and in December 2019, she signed the papers and paid a deposit on a new townhouse in Coburg.

“It’s exciting. You always want your own place and be able to hang things on the wall without having to worry about your landlord,” Amy said.

And she’s not stopping at one…

“I’ve already spoken to Rob about the future game plan. This is the first, but after this we’ll be looking to expand our property portfolio and start looking at a second and maybe a third.”

As the game plan evolves, Rob is only too happy to be able to count Amy as one of his loyal, happy clients.

“She’s just so awesome,” Rob said.

“I just love that she’s met my wife and kids, Amy and her partner even bake me a loaf of bread each Christmas.

“I just love being able to help her and my other clients. I feel like I’ve known her for 10 years, but it’s only been two years.

“I can’t wait to see what we can do for her by the time it’s actually been 10 years.”

 

Robert Rich is a Director and Financial Advisor with Endorphin Wealth and has helped clients from many walks of life to make the most of their financial situation.

Want to learn more about how Robert and the team can make an impact in your life? He can be contacted via the following means:

Email: robert@endorphinwealth.com.au

Mobile: 0466 554 234

 

If you have further questions about financial advice or wealth management, please get in contact with an advisor here at Endorphin Wealth.

Market Volatility- March 2020

Since writing to you late last month we have seen continued volatility in financial markets, culminating in substantial drops in equity markets over the last few days. The steep falls have been caused by a combination of the coronavirus and reduced oil prices as a result of oversupply vs lower demand. There has also been a price war that has broken out amongst major players, Saudi Arabia and Russia.

While oil price shocks have a potential to rock markets and frequently have in the past, the latest development comes at a time of already high fragility for markets. The backdrop to the volatility, as we all are now all aware, is the uncertainty and disruption caused by the onset of the highly contagious new virus (now widely known as coronavirus COVID-19), which has taken hold in a number of countries.

The below chart highlights the number of cases identified in China and the remainder of the world from 22/1/2020.

 

 

What is the ‘oil crisis’ and why has it caused further market falls?

The catalyst for the steep falls early this week both domestically, and across international markets was that oil prices suffered a historic collapse after Saudi Arabia shocked the market by launching a price war against onetime ally Russia. The turmoil comes after the implosion of an alliance between OPEC and Russia, which had been restraining oil supply since the start of 2017 in an attempt to support prices.

In short, Russia refused to go along with OPEC’s proposal to rescue the coronavirus-battered oil market by further cutting production at a meeting in Vienna on Friday. The standoff left the oil industry shell-shocked and sparked a 10% plunge in oil prices Friday. Crude oil was already reducing because of a sharp drop in demand linked to the coronavirus outbreak.

Saudi Arabia escalated the situation further over the weekend. The kingdom slashed its April official selling prices by $6 to $8, according to analysts, in a bid to retake market share and heap pressure on Russia. US oil prices have since crashed as much as 34% to a four-year low of $27.34 a barrel as traders brace for Saudi Arabia to flood the market with crude in a bid to recapture market share.

There is also the risk of credit exposure to the oil sector could result in further write-offs if oversupply issues continue to keep a lid on oil prices. Our view is that lower demand will persist for years, thanks to the weakening outlook for China and Europe, while supply has been expanded by booming US shale production and stubbornly high Opec production.

 

Is the world headed for a recession?

Whilst the very term ‘recession’ invokes very negative feelings, one should remind ourselves this is simply a technical term economists use to describe two or more consecutive quarters of negative growth. The short answer is that, at the moment it is a complicated situation where no one really knows how far and deep the virus will spread and just how bad the disruption to the global economy will be, or how long it will last.

Therefore there needs to be a period for the market to resolve a lot of uncertainties that have emerged since we have learned more about the virus and its spread and the tendency for world media outlets is more alarmist that realist, increasing the risk the world ‘scares itself into recession’. The economic impact from developments already known (supply chain delays caused by factory shutdowns, lockdowns of major cities in China and abroad, the global halt of non-essential travel and impact on airlines and tourism, decline of retail spending across Asia) are very real and will dent economic growth this year and has increased likelihood of a recession.

Having said that there is an expectation for a coordinated Central Bank response, which may or may not be enough, depending on how much is thrown at it, and how long it takes for virus fears to dissipate.

It is important to note that with recent falls, uncertainty has caused markets to ‘price in a recession’ until it knows more. This situation creates opportunities for long-term investors who can see through the noise and focus on the relationship between Price and Value because ultimately, once uncertainties are resolved the market will reflect earnings and potential for growth in earnings.

 

Should I buy, hold, or sell?

There is no doubt Coronavirus represents major problems to overcome for the global economy, and the market reaction has been severe. What really matters however, is whether recent price changes is proportional to the worsening of fundamentals.

For clients who are already invested and have a long-term horizon, we recommend to hold as such market corrections are already accounted for when setting your long-term strategy, as risk rewards long-term investors.  We also remind investors that the cost of selling and buying in volatile markets means you will likely be behind compared to if you just held.

The chart below shows that since 1993 the ASX300 has provided a total return of 9.8%pa, whilst a common timing strategy (to sell after a 10% fall in the share market, and to buy back in after things calm down and rise 10%. ) would have returned 8.3%pa and a whopping 32% less wealth whilst buying and selling 18 times. Change that to a ‘down 5% sell, up 5% buy’ strategy and you would have received a 4.14%pa return and 76% less wealth, buying and selling 74 times (chart and analysis provided by Ophir Asset Management).

What lessons can we learn from the past?

In 2008, shortly after Lehman’s Brothers collapse an in the darkest hours of the financial crisis, Warren Buffet published an article entitled ‘Buy American. I am’. In the article, Warren started with describing the list of seemingly insurmountable problems for the US economy including unemployment, faltering business activity and white-knuckle headlines. He also described how he had been buying stocks.

This is not about how he timed the market recovery to perfection but rather about how he did not – stocks continued to fall another 26% before the start of the next Bull market six months later. However, the market is still up 227% since that article was published up to last Friday.

We continue to monitor the ongoing market conditions as part of our wider operations. If you have any questions about your investments or the path that lays ahead, please get in contact with an advisor here at Endorphin Wealth.

Market Volatility- February 2020

After a strong 2019 in terms of returns, stock markets are adjusting to risks in the global economy, and in particular over the past few days, risks to the global economy posed by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) which up until last week, had been somewhat downplayed by markets.

Below we answer some questions our clients may be asking in relation to their investment portfolios:

  1. What has changed in the past few days?

It boils down to fears Coronavirus will become a pandemic, and the World Health Organisation (WHO), while resisting calls to call a pandemic already, has stated countries should be “in a phase of preparedness”. The key factor for markets is uncertainty, that is, we don’t yet know how severe it will be, nor do we know if the virus will spread to all continents, but it’s already spreading widely in China (death toll 2,663, total mainland cases at 77,658), South Korea, Italy, Iran and elsewhere — and thousands of undetected and infectious patients have been and continue to travel around the world.

  1. What is a Pandemic?

WHO states a pandemic is declared when a new disease for which people do not have immunity spreads around the world beyond expectations. There needs to be a second wave of infection from person to person throughout the community. In the US, the UK and Australia, there is no active community transmission at present. Once a pandemic is declared, it becomes more likely that community spread will eventually happen, and governments and health systems need to ensure they are prepared for this.

  1. What has been the effect on Markets so far?

Stocks have reduced slightly across the globe and bond prices have risen as worries mounted in the market over the virus. Industries directly affected have moved the most, for example, Airline and Travel providers. In the world’s largest market – U.S. stocks tumbled to an almost 12-week low on rising concern Coronavirus will upend global supply chains critical to economic growth.

Locally, the ASX 200 has erased the impressive gains it has made so far this year ending up where we were at the end of December and is currently trading at 6,736 at the time of writing. To put this in perspective, the ASX 200 returned 23.8% year to 31 Dec 2019 and the S&P500 (US market) returned around 33%.

  1. What should investors do?

The recent turbulence is a reminder of the types of market risks for which investors are compensated for over the long-term, and Endorphin believes investors that are able to see through the noise and stay committed to their long-term strategy will best weather the storm as markets resolve uncertainties and recover over time.

Considering the significant outperformance of equity markets over the course of the last year, it is not surprising to see a pull back in the face of growing uncertainties and we do not expect this to subside for a few months. US elections are then picking up pace and this will no doubt lead to more uncertainty and volatility ahead. We remind investors that such uncertainty is the flip-side to good returns from risk assets over time.

  1. Looking ahead!

While there has always been a strong focus on ‘Investment Governance’ (the structures and inputs that supports our decision making) at Endorphin Wealth, we have recently made the decision to strengthen our Investment decision making capabilities further by appointing an Advisory Investment Consultant to our Investment and Portfolio Construction Committees. Oreana (www.oreana.com) has operations across Asia and Australia and has been selected on the strength of their macro views and insights on the global economy, particularly Asia, which is a major focus and source of returns for Australian investors. In this role. Oreana, lead by Dr. Isaac Poole (former Chief Economist, NSW Treasury) will be delivering asset allocation and portfolio construction advice to improve portfolio outcomes and returns for Endorphin Wealth clients.

If you have any questions about your investments or the path that lays ahead, please get in contact with an advisor here at Endorphin Wealth.