Estate Planning – What you need to have

Having a comprehensive estate plan will help you to distribute the assets and money you’ve worked so hard for throughout your life to those you wish to receive them after you die.


“Thinking about your estate plan now and putting something in place before you die will save your family of lot of time and stress” says Peter Stewart “as well as giving you peace of mind that they will be looked after financially.”


Does your current estate plan have:

  • An up-to-date Will. A Will is a vital part of every estate plan, as it’s the legal document that records how you would like your assets and money passed to your beneficiaries.

“Not having a current Will that clearly sets out how you’d like your estate distributed could cause your family considerable heartache” says Peter Stewart “as it opens it up to potential legal disputes, the cost of which could decrease the value of your estate significantly.”

“Once you have a legal Will in place, you should then look to review and update it as your personal and financial situation changes, otherwise it could be ruled invalid.”


  • Adequate life insurance. Having life insurance in place is a cash payment to your estate that can be used to support your family, pay off your mortgage, pre-pay your children’s school fees or invest for your family’s future.

“Taking out life insurance, whether in your own name or through your super fund, can be a relatively inexpensive way to protect your family’s future” says Peter Stewart.

“If you have a share in a business, key person insurance is an important consideration for business owners as it can help to protect the value of your business and its key people.”

“One thing people tend to forget about is reviewing their level of cover. It is a good idea to check that the sum you’re insured for reflects your current financial situation.” adds Peter.

“People often don’t update their insurance as their mortgage and expenses increase, which can often leave their family with a shortfall after they die.”

  • A death benefit nomination for your super. We also find that many people don’t realise that their super doesn’t form part of their estate, which is why many don’t nominate who should receive their super when they die. They also do not realise that a beneficiary must be a spouse or a child.

“This can be a huge problem, given super is often the biggest asset that many people have” says Peter Stewart.

“Not having a nomination in place means the trustee of your super fund, not you, determines who receives your super benefit after you die.”

“While providing your fund with a binding nomination removes any uncertainty over who receives your super, it only lasts for three years, so you should check to make sure it is current” adds Peter Stewart.


  • An enduring power of attorney. This is a legal agreement that allows you to nominate a trusted person to make financial or legal decisions on your behalf.

“Putting an enduring power of attorney in place while you’re still capable is a wise move” says Peter Stewart “otherwise it can mean your financial affairs will be looked after by an external party, like the Public Trustee, if you become sick or mentally incapable.”

“You can continue to manage your finances while you’re able to, knowing that there’s someone that can take over for you as you get older.”

“An enduring power of attorney is definitely worth considering if your partner is not interested in your finances, or if you have a share in a business because it is one area that they will want some help if you were to pass away suddenly” adds Peter Stewart.

“You want important decisions to be made by an experienced person with only your family’s best interests at heart.”


  • A plan for your beneficiaries. Leaving money to your family as a cash lump sum is often not the best or most tax-effective approach if your beneficiaries are minors or are disabled.

“There are a range of trust structures that can be used to hold assets and money on behalf of your beneficiaries” says Peter Stewart “that won’t allow their inheritance to be frittered away.”

“For instance, if you have a disabled beneficiary, there are special disability trusts with tax concessions that can be used to pay for their ongoing care, education and medical expenses.”

“For beneficiaries that are minors, you could look to use a protective trust, which pays out the income while protecting the capital.”

“Having these structures in place well in advance also means your estate can be executed and finalised quickly and efficiently.”


It’s never too early to start working on your estate plan, however many people keep putting it off due to the paperwork and complexity involved.

A financial adviser can help you to put together a logical plan that will give you peace of mind that the assets and money you’ve worked so hard for are passed on according to your wishes.


To find out more, please contact Peter Stewart from Benchmark Consultants on 92932922 or at




*Peter Stewart is an Authorised Representative of RI Advice Group Pty Limited (ABN 23 001 774 125), Australian Financial Services Licence 238429. This editorial does not consider your personal circumstances and is general advice only. You should not act on the information provided without first obtaining professional financial advice specific to your circumstances. From time to time we may send you informative updates and details of the range of services we can provide. If you no longer want to receive this information please contact our office to opt out.

Are you looking to retire in 2014?

Are you looking to retire in 2014?

If you are considering retiring or reducing your working hours this new year but are concerned about having enough money to retire on, it’s not too late to seek some professional advice to give you peace of mind.

For anyone approaching retirement, especially those who are worried about their finances, it’s never too late to seek professional financial advice. Your financial circumstances change as your life changes, so getting some advice, whatever age you are, is always worthwhile. “We often find that it’s only as they near retirement people really start thinking about their finances,” says .“Especially when they start looking at everything that retirement offers, like making time for a hobby, more travel, volunteering projects or spending time with family.” “We suggest that seeing a financial adviser well before you retire, rather than trying to do it all yourself, is the best option. Not only will this give you peace of mind but it will also give you options for when you do need to make financial decisions.” So even if you’ve never received any financial advice before, here are just some of the things a financial adviser could help you with that could make a real difference to the quality of your retirement.

Working out the best time to retire. This depends on how much money you have in super and other investments to live on in your retirement.

  • “We often find there is a real difference between people’s expectations around the income they’d like to retire on” , “and the investments they have that can actually generate this income.”
  • “What we can show people is the positive impact that working another couple of years can have on their final super balance, and what this could mean for their retirement income.”

Increasing your final retirement amount. Are you feeling overwhelmed about how to increase your savings as retirement gets closer?

  •  “We can suggest a number of tax-effective ways to fast-track your savings” says , “some of which may not impact your cashflow that much at all.”
  •  “Saving as much as you can in the last few years before retirement can make a significant difference in how much income you’ll have in retirement, and also how long this income will last.”

Avoid making a rush decision. In an effort to increase your savings right before retirement, it can be very easy to make financial decisions that, at face value, look quite reasonable but may cost you a whole lot more.

  • “Rather than rushing in and making immediate decisions” , “we encourage people to take their time and assess their whole situation before doing anything.”
  • “When people approaching retirement come and see us, we always spend time upfront with them to understand their situation and their goals so that we get things right.”

Make sure you’re invested appropriately. Having the right investment mix for your age and risk profile will help build your funds and give you the opportunity to increase your savings ready for when you retire.

  • “We see some people that have been invested too conservatively for much of their life” . “Often their super has been put into cash and fixed income investments at some point, and they’ve never actually changed it. So that’s something we would look at.”
  • “And for those people that are closer to retirement, we’d look at whether or not they are over-exposed to growth assets, as the impact of negative returns can be felt more deeply when you have a limited amount that needs to last a long time.”

• Consider different types of income. Many people planning for retirement often see term deposits as the only way to generate a consistent, stable income.

  • “However, falling interest rates has made term deposits less and less attractive” says , “especially when you take inflation into account, which make things even harder for people with fixed incomes.”
  • “We can look at income options available, for example, transition-to-retirement pensions, annuities and credit funds, and structure things to make the most out of the amount of income each person receives in retirement.”
  • “We can also look at whether they would be eligible for any Government entitlements, as these can make a big difference too.”

To find out more about the benefits seeing a financial adviser before retirement, contact Peter Stewart at Benchmark Consultants on 92932922.

*Peter Stewart is an Authorised Representative of RI Advice Group Pty Limited (ABN 23 001 774 125), Australian Financial Services Licence 238429. This editorial does not consider your personal circumstances and is general advice only. You should not act on the information provided without first obtaining professional financial advice specific to your circumstances.

ATO Update for SMSF Trustees

Article written by Law Central – Legal Documents Online (Bulletin 432 – 5 Apr 2013)

Being a trustee of a self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) comes with a string of responsibilities and obligations. If you are a trustee (or a director of a corporate trustee) of a SMSF, it is important you discharge your obligations to avoid being struck with heavy penalties.

Declaration Update

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) requires all new trustees to complete and sign a Trustee declaration to demonstrate that they understand their duties and responsibilities under super law. This must be completed within 21 days of becoming a trustee. Late last year, the Trustee declaration (NAT 71089) and accompanying fact sheet (NAT 71128) was updated by the ATO.

If you are a SMSF trustee and have previously signed the Trustee declaration, it is in your best interests to revisit the updated version of this document. This update applies to anyone who has become a SMSF trustee since July 2007, even if the SMSF was established prior to this date.

The ATO has made three major changes to the Trustee declaration. These include:

1. A requirement to review the investment strategy of an SMSF on a regular basis.

All SMSF trustees must regularly review their fund’s investment strategy taking into account all relevant circumstances such as the risk, return, liquidity and diversification of any investments made.

2. A requirement to consider whether the SMSF fund should hold insurance cover for its members.

As a trustee of an SMSF, the ATO requires you to consider taking out insurance for the members of the fund. There is no minimum level of insurance and it is not mandatory. However to avoid a penalty of up to $110,000 make sure you keep evidence that you have at least considered taking out an insurance policy for one or more members of the fund. This can be done by documenting it in your fund’s investment strategy or in the minutes of trustee meetings. Make sure to document that the trustees of the fund have considered taking out insurance when you first implement your investment strategy and each time you regularly review it.

3. A declaration from the trustees of the SMSF that they are aware of not having access to the government’s financial assistance program in case of financial loss due to theft or fraud.

The ATO now requires all trustees to declare that they have no access to the government’s financial assistance program that is available to trustees of the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) regulated funds. Financial assistance can be accessed in cases of financial loss due to fraudulent conduct or theft.

If your SMSF suffers loss due to fraud or theft, legal options are available in some circumstances under corporation’s law. You may also approach the Financial Ombudsman Service if the fraudulent conduct was committed by a member of the fund.

Alternatively, if you want your super to be covered by the financial assistance program, you can choose to join an APRA (Australia Prudential Regulation Authority) regulated fund or appoint a registrable super entity licensee as a trustee and become a small APRA fund.

Gold and Platinum Members Read on to find out more about APRA funds…

I have completed the declaration, now what?

Once you have signed the declaration, do not send it to the ATO. The declaration must be kept with your SMSF records for at 10 years, or for as long as you remain trustee – whichever is longer.

All sounds like a hassle? Law Central will take care of this for you. Use our  Investment Strategy for Self-Managed Super to make sure you comply with all the regulations.

ATO Claims Inactive Super

Previously, any superannuation accounts with balances of less than $200 could be claimed by the ATO provided they had been inactive for five years.

This year the ATO has ramped it up a notch claiming unidentified balances of up to $2,000 unless contributions have been made in the past twelve months.

Not only will this improve the government’s short term budget position, but it may also benefit superannuation holders. Sounds crazy right? It has been argued that this move will benefit the owners of lost superannuation accounts because the fees charged by super funds are likely to exceed any earnings made.

These reforms will also reduce the number of superannuation accounts with unidentified members. This provides an incentive for super funds to collect sufficient information to identify their members when they make contributions.

Never fear! Individuals can reclaim superannuation accounts transferred to the ATO at any time. Previously no interest was paid to these individuals. However this year, the ATO will pay interest on these accounts at the rate of the consumer price index. Therefore accounts are more likely to retain their real value if reclaimed by their long lost owners.

So these reforms may not be all bad. But it is best to get your super in check to maximize your earnings with an efficient investment strategy. Use Law Central’s Investment Strategy for Self-Managed Super to maximise your returns with ease.

Continue reading

Advisers have a ‘duty of care’ – Financial Planning

In 2011 two of John Murdica’s long-term life insurance clients, a couple in their 60’s, came to him and said they wanted to cancel their policy. They were going through financial difficulty and couldn’t afford to pay the premiums, plus didn’t think they needed the insurance.

Murdica, who is the practice principal of Retire & Wealth Planners, said he was not only disappointed, but concerned. He knew both of the clients had heart conditions and tried to convince them to retain some sort of cover, but they decided against it and let the policy lapse in September 2011. For an unknown reason the policy didn’t lapse until January 2012, but Murdica knew that due to their prior health issues the couple would not get cover again. In February last year, one of the clients was diagnosed with bile duct cancer – a cancer that has a five-year survival rate of 30%.

“I obviously was shocked to hear about the condition and was told how potentially terminal it was, so I decided to take it upon myself to contact the insurer. Basically I emailed them the case history and so forth, and asked if they would consider a TPD (Total and Permanent Disablement) claim.

“Given their recent health issues that I knew they had and their financial situation, which I wasn’t aware of fully… I just felt that something needed to be done to help. And I’m glad I did.”

Without much argument from the insurer, Murdica was pleased to call the clients and tell them they would receive about $189,000. During that time he was only employed as their insurance adviser, but in July 2012 they engaged him as a financial planner. Murdica was then able to arrange the Centrelink disability support pension as well as health cards to help with the cost of medication.

The husband said he hadn’t even considered the insurance claim, and would be grateful for any help because he would have to give up work to look after his wife. “He was resigned to the fact that he would stop his business and care for his wife…From a piece-of-mind point of view they know they’ve got money there now.”

The key thing that Murdica took away from the experience, that he says other planners should remember, is “the importance of not giving up”.

“We have a duty of care to our clients to at least investigate what, if anything, we can get for them.”

Murdica’s story has inspired other planners; one planner in his dealer group told an older client to get a medical before cancelling their insurance. The client did, and found that she had a serious medical condition.

“There are not enough good news stories out there. The media’s been hell bent on bashing us, as if we were responsible for the global financial crisis. Most of us do good for our clients and try to improve their situation and I thought this is something where the planner and the institution – the insurer – has actually done good by a client. There’s numerous stories like this that just don’t come to light,” said Murdica.

BE WARNED – by Noel Wittaker

BE WARNED – Article by Noel Wittaker

This newsletter is an unusual one because I’m warning you about a menace that is affecting the lives of many Australians, and at the same time asking for your help.

Four years ago the Storm Financial Group collapsed, leaving investors with losses of over a billion dollars. Last week Four Corners revealed another $15 billion in losses – this time through shonky mortgage trusts.

There’s more to come, and the losses have the potential to be even greater. This time the predators are the property spruikers.

A woman I will call Jane is just one of thousands of victims. She is 41 years old, single, and lives in Perth. She had worked hard to pay off her home and was almost debt free. Two years ago she accepted a friend’s invitation to go to a property seminar.

The seminar was supposed to be free – it cost Jane over $200,000.

The seminars always follow the same pattern. The victims are given a long spiel about the growing pressure on government budgets caused by rising life expectancies, and are then shown vivid illustrations of the life of poverty that will be faced by those who don’t take steps to provide for themselves.

But then comes the sting – the way to wealth is to negative gear into residential property. This is followed by complex illustrations showing how quickly you can pay off the mortgage on your home by using the rent from the investment property to speed up the repayments. The cream on the cake is the huge amount of tax that is going to be saved.

That of itself is reasonably harmless – the killer blow is that the spruiker then convinces the victim that the best property for them is one that the spruiker, or its associates, will build on their behalf.

Unfortunately, Jane fell for it and found herself the owner of a property in Caboolture near Brisbane for a total cost of $421,000.

The spruikers had set up a series of loans but it was done in such a convoluted fashion that Jane felt all she was doing was “robbing Peter to pay Paul”. After a few months she also noticed her debts were rising, not falling as promised.

By this stage the alarm bells were sounding. And it didn’t take much research for Jane to realise she’d been sold a dud.

The property sold last month for $299,000. In just two years, Jane has gone from owning a debt free home to being saddled with a debt of over $200,000.

There is now a growing pile of files in my office showing that Jane’s situation is becoming increasingly common.

This area is totally unregulated – this is why you will be on your own if you get taken in. Fortunately the scam is easy to spot once you know what to look for.

As you read this, keep in mind that the way to buy property is to decide on your price range and the area in which you wish to buy, then spend enough time in that area talking to reputable, local real estate agents so you will recognise a bargain when you come across it.

The approach from the property spruikers contravenes all these principles.

First. The approach will always come from the spruiker – it won’t be initiated by you. It may well be by an offer to attend a “free” seminar showing you how to become a millionaire, or else by a simple phone call asking you if you’d like to pay off your home loan quicker while saving tax. Of course, these concepts hit all the right buttons and you’re likely to accept. This will normally be followed by a home visit so they can “qualify” you, after which you’ll be asked to come to an interview at their office to give you more details. This is where the hard sell really starts and these interviews have been known to be as long as six hours, by which time the victim will agree to almost anything.

Second. Even though any seasoned property investor knows the way to wealth is to search out bargains for yourself, the spruiker will take control and try to convince you that they are the only people who can find the right property for you. This is so they can sell you an overpriced property.

Third. There will nearly always be a building contract involved and the rationale is that you’ll save stamp duty, get a new home, and therefore bigger tax breaks. The real reason is it gives the spruiker a better chance to load the price.

Four. In most cases, they will be a one stop shop – once again, to stay in control. You will find they control the lawyer, the mortgage broker, the builder, and the managing agent.

Five. The properties will usually be situated in outlying suburbs and in lower socio-economic areas. Often, the properties offered will be in a different state to the one you live in.

Six. There will invariably be a mortgage required over your own home. The last thing the spruiker wants is for valuation to be done on the overpriced property they are trying to force on you.

Seven. The spruiker will invariably have a most attractive website showing pictures of good looking ordinary Australians, and with heaps of testimonials of how the particular spruiker has helped thousands of people become wealthy.

The sad reality is that this section of the market is totally unregulated. Anybody who is unscrupulous enough can pressure unsophisticated people into buying overpriced real estate.

The only defence we have is to make this practice as widely known as possible to prevent other victims being caught, but we also need feedback to convince the regulators that the laws need to change. Unfortunately, many people who have been caught don’t know how bad their finances are until they try to sell the property, and then they may be too embarrassed to talk about it.

In this newsletter, I’m asking for your cooperation. As well as spreading the word as widely as possible, I’m keen to hear anecdotes and stories to add to my ever growing file, and the bigger the file grows the more chance we have of action being taken to stamp out these unscrupulous operators. Please let me know of your experiences by writing to my usual email address.

Contact Noel Wittaker via his website:  or email:

Surviving the Global Recession

It’s been 5 years since the golden economic period ended in 2007, and we have survived, although not necessarily thrived, during this great global recession.  To me it has been a little like watching and old WW11 movie, where after 5 of the 6 years at war the general feeling starts to come upon people who maybe the tough times are only going to last a little bit longer.

So you might be thinking, how much longer can we expect this to go on?  My prediction is that in Europe this might be another 3 to 5 years, in the USA possibly 2 to 3 years and in Australia things are expected to improve a little sooner, possibly in 6 to 18 months. So what should we do now to take advantage of likely improvements in the economy in the near short-term?

Firstly we need to acknowledge that the situation often can get worse before it gets better. So it is expected that there will be short-term hiccups and dare I say it, we will need to be patient for a little longer. Now is the perfect time to look to undervalued investment opportunities which are likely to grow well when the economy picks up.

Shares are a precursor to the economic conditions in 6 to 9 months’ time. The worst of the Global Recession seems to have passed us so it could be argued that opportunity knocks now for the medium to long-term investor. Cash rates are likely to drop further in 2013 to stimulate the broader Australian economy and take pressure off the high $AUD. This should result in helping housing and construction to start up again.  We also expect that this will contribute to growth and inflated residential property values resulting in the return of growing inflation over a 2 to 5 years a period.

Following this, we expect the cycle will start again, of rising interest rates on lending in 2 to 5 years’ time. So the logical thing to do now is to work out your individual goals and objectives, both short and long-term, understand your investment risk profile and adjust your investment and financial strategies for the next 5 to 10 years.  The next step is to get some professional financial planning advice to ensure you minimize the risks and factor in exit strategies and flexibility for unforeseen circumstances, which can impact on your strategies adversely.

– Peter Stewart (CFP, AEPS, FAFA Dip FP Dip Li)

Peter Stewart the Principal of Benchmark Consultants is a Certified Financial Planner. Benchmark Consultants has been accredited as a Professional Practice of the Financial Planning Association (FPA). Benchmark Consultants is a corporate representative #289570 of Australian Financial Services Ltd AFSL#297239


Disclaimer: This information by no way constitutes financial advice.  We encourage any reader to seek out professional advice specific to their circumstances from a qualified Financial Planner.


If you are seeking Financial Advice from an adviser who runs their own Financial Planning Practice then contact Benchmark Consultants on 92932922 for a complimentary initial meeting to discuss your needs.

Phone: 08 9293 2922


How to Avoid an Investment Train Wreck

Seek professional advice from a Financial Planner who is licensed and regulated with ASIC

The Post Global Financial Crisis landscape and trying to navigate through the cycles of pessimism and optimism is a dilemma for investors in deciding whether to be risk averse or get back into growth investments particularly those investments in Superannuation.

Europe is going to take a decade to get back to better times and has yet to make the economic policy changes to achieve this.  The USA and Japan have to deal with their large debt position and will need to reduce their government spending. The valuation of domestic residential property in Australia is at very high multiples of average incomes. Shares have been volatile and interest rates are coming down.

Setting a multi asset mix of investments in cash, fixed interest, shares and property and then forgetting about it is no longer good enough. Increased diversification is now needed.  Investments that have strong medium to long term growth prospects by the mere fact that their current valuations are fundamentally good value today is what investors should be looking for.

More and more players are coming into the investment advisory business. Some of these so called wealth creators that spruik their wisdom at seminars to the public. Generally they are not Financial Planner/Advisers and therefore not licensed or regulated under ASIC. These so called investment experts once the facade is stripped away are no more than glorified property sales people or property developers. These people are quick to say that they are not giving financial or investment advice but then sell you on the idea of a particular investment generally in direct residential property.

Buying one single asset as the main source of wealth creation is not diversification. If you’re primary investment is in say a direct residential property and you also borrow the funds for this investment to achieve some tax savings. Taking on new debt you also increase your investment risks. These include lack of investment diversification, lack of cash liquidity or part thereof. Also many unforeseen circumstances such as changes to employment, family situation and expenses, taxes can be impacted with property investment returns.

Human nature and emotional investing trends or fashions are like following a herd mentality. The herd follows what is fashionable or dressed up as the latest or best way to go….. but is it?

A true cost benefit analysis is needed to determine the most appropriate solution for the individual investor. This analysis must include all the advantages and disadvantages, what will be gained and what will be given up with a change strategy.

Only licensed Financial Planners/Advisers can provide this comprehensive analysis for investors. Yes this will require a payment of a fee for receiving this advice. Without proper analysis investors’ risks are increased even more and could result in a train wreck and financial loss. In most cases this could be their investments for their retirement.

We advise clients what is the most appropriate investments for them.  This doesn’t necessarily mean the cheapest option. Other considerations such as clients Goals, Objectives, Investments Risk Profile, Cashflow needs Personal and Family circumstances and Estate Planning all need to be considered.

Benchmark Consultants is a Corporate Representative of Australian Financial Services Ltd AFSL#297239.  For more information about how Benchmark Consultants can help you contact us today on 9293 2922.

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Russell Investment Summit – Melbourne 19 Jul 2012

Benchmark Consultants principal financial planner, Mr Peter Stewart, was lucky enough to attend the Russell Investment Summit in Melbourne today (Thu 19 Jul. 12).  The summit featured some notable international experts who spoke about the current investment climate.

Chris Corneil – CEO Australasia Russell Investment, says a retirement tsunami is coming to Australia with 5.5Million baby-boomers set to retire.  In the next 10 to 15 years it is expected that 40% of all retirement investments will need to be transferring from accumulation phase, to income phase.

Mr Alan DuPont, another key speaker at the Russell Investment Summit covered the topic: “Transitioning to a new world order. More turbulence ahead”

DuPont said, Geopolitical conditions are shaping the current economic conditions and volatility is the new normal. We are currently transitioning to a new world order.  Old templates will no longer work.  Pax Americans is unravelling. IMF, World Bank, USA.  Emerging economies and states have their own views on how the world should be ordered which is different to the Western Nations.  It is estimated that it will take more than 5 years to turn the economy around. It will be running $1Trillion annual deficits for next 8 years with a significantly large debt.

Japan is in bigger trouble with more debt and no GDP growth in the past 20 years.  Population is now in decline from 126m to 50m by end of century.

China and emerging nations will be 78% of world GDP in 25 years. The Financial Crisis is forcing major political change. There is a major risk of heightened strategic competition between the major powers, particularly the US and China.

It is estimated 40% of trade in world and 60% of energy is found in the Western Pacific thus creating an area of greater risk of potential conflict including key strategic islands.  China’s perception is that near these strategic islands are huge reserves of oil and gas with these islands being claimed by other Asian nations. There is a strong possibility that the US and China Navy’s may attempt to face-off each other over these strategic islands. USA is responding to this strategic risk by repositioning its military. Economic in-connectivity will be the potential peacemaker in Western Pacific as conflict would be a lose lose for all nations.

With Iran and other Middle East countries acquiring nuclear weapons, we expect the fallout will play out and come to a head in the next 18 months.

Andrew Pease – Global Head of Investment Strategist for Russell Investments said “Doubt is not a pleasant condition” the risk in risk of world will be around for a while, so we need strong investment processes.

The Share market is good value. Composite value Ind Undervalue USA 7%, emerging Markets 16%, Euro Markets 19% Australia and Japan 25%. The longer view rolling 5 to 10 years returns forecasts in Australia shares 8.5% pa and Fixed Interest 3.0% pa.

Finally, in today’s news: the Aussie Sharemarket SPI was up 35 points at opening today. The US housing market rebounds.  Corporate profits are continuing and the $AUD still remains strong.

If you want more information about personal financial advice, we urge you to speak to your local financial planner.  Call Benchmark on 08 92932922 to make an appointment with a Certified Financial Planner.

Benchmark Consultants is a corporate representative #289570 of Australian Financial Services Ltd AFSL #297239 AFS ABN #50116900362. Peter Stewart, is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® professional, and a member of the Association of Financial Advisors Ltd and Financial Planning Association of Australia Ltd.

Great Reads – Article featuring Andrew Pease 18 Jun 12

This article was written in the Australian Financial Review 18th June 2012.  Great story featuring Andrew Pease covering why Equities will bounce back. 


Benchmark Consultants is a corporate representative #289570 of Australian Financial Services Ltd AFSL #297239 AFS ABN #50116900362. Peter Stewart, is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® professional, and a member of the Association of Financial Advisors Ltd and Financial Planning Association of Australia Ltd.

To find out more about Benchmark Consultants go to or phone 08 9293 2922 to make an appointment.