Τετάρτη, 4 Ιουλίου 2012

UK could block Greek migrants in case of euro exit, Cameron says Britain could restrict the immigration of Greeks and other citizens of euro zone countries affected by Europe's sovereign debt crisis in the event of "extraordinary stresses and strains", Prime Minister David Cameron said


4 Jul 2012
Britain could restrict the immigration of Greeks and other citizens of euro zone countries affected by Europe's sovereign debt crisis in the event of "extraordinary stresses and strains", Prime Minister David
Cameron said.
"The legal position is that if there are extraordinary stresses and strains it is possible to take action to restrict migratory flows, but obviously we hope that doesn't happen,» he told a parliamentary committee.
"I would be prepared to do whatever it takes to keep our country safe, to keep our banking system strong, to keep our economy robust,» he added.
European Union rules allow the free flow of people to live and work around the group's 27 member states, but fears have mounted in Britain of a wave of migrants from struggling states such as Greece and Spain if their economies continue to worsen.
Cameron said greater European banking integration - a likely response by the euro zone's 17 member states to the crisis - would not necessarily mean big changes for Britain if the right safeguards were in place.
Some in Britain worry that a powerful euro zone banking bloc could change financial rules that impact London, Europe's biggest financial centre and on which Britain relies for a large chunk of its revenues.
Cameron wants safeguards that a euro zone banking union would not use its clout to bounce Britain into decisions it does not agree with.
"If the 17 countries of the euro zone bring about a banking union for themselves, which I think frankly they need to do...and if we can get proper safeguards in place then that wouldn't be a fundamental change for us,» Cameron said. Source: Reuters

Saving smarter These last few years have been confusing for Australians thinking about retirement: when they look at what the experts have done with their money, they see it going backwards, or growing very slowly, writes Mark Bouris


These last few years have been confusing for Australians thinking about retirement: when they look at what the experts have done with their money, they see it going backwards, or growing very slowly.
The 2010-11 APRA figures over the decade to June 2011 show that the average return in large super funds was 3.8 per cent per year. That was the overall average: retail funds earned just 2.9 per cent. After accounting for inflation, which has averaged about three per cent over the same period, savers have received little-to-no "real" return.
One of the standard "expert" remarks about investing is that you have to skew your super to higher-returning equities, or you won't have enough to retire on. But global shares suffered 40-50 per cent losses in 1987, 2001, and again in 2007-08.
The other extreme is to ask you to accept very low returns on your money for little or no risk.
I believe in a 'middle way' solution: a portfolio comprising a mix of short-term bank accounts and term deposits combined with variable rate bonds.
By diversifying your portfolio across these investments, the risk you are taking is not much higher than cash and much lower than equities - while receiving very attractive returns.
Many big fund managers and most financial planners do not steer their clients into these products. While many offer bond-based products, when you select the 'default' setting in your super fund, you are normally placed in a 'balanced fund', which typically gives you a total exposure to cash and bonds of not much more than 10 per cent.
In other words, the super option most Australians are in - 'balanced' - will see you about 80 to 90 per cent exposed to Australian shares, global shares, and "equity" risk in commercial property, private companies, and hedge funds.
Recently, one of our branch principals at Yellow Brick Road dealt with a retiree in Queensland with $800,000 in a bank account, earning less than 2 per cent per annum. By putting his cash into a portfolio that exposed him to both institutional bank accounts and variable-rate Australian bank bonds, this retiree will now earn an extra $25,000 per annum.
Another case is a Sydney family that sold an investment property and needed to park $705,000 before they bought another home in 6-12 months time. This family was going to put the money in a bank's "bonus" savings account paying 5.20 per cent for a few months, which then dropped to a very low 3.5 per cent.
Instead, they will now likely earn an extra $9,000 per annum by investing in a diversified portfolio of bank deposits and bonds.
The point I try to get across to those who are worried about retirement - or who are unhappily retired - is that they have to get their minds out of the approach of 100 per cent shares or 100 per cent bank accounts.
There are smarter solutions out there for you. Start by becoming informed, and always get advice before you act.
* Mark Bouris is the Executive Chairman of Yellow Brick Road, a financial services company offering home loans, financial planning, accounting and tax and insurance. Email Mark on mark.neos@ybr.com.auwith any queries you may have.

Home loan repayments going up According to the 2011 census, released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics yesterday, average monthly home-loan repayments have increased 40 per cent over the five years since 2006


3 Jul 2012
According to the 2011 census, released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics yesterday, average monthly home-loan repayments have increased 40 per cent over the five years since 2006, rising to $1,800 from $1,300.
The average home loan increased 15 per cent to $299,200 from $261,100. The percentage of households with a home loan increased a little over the census cycle, to 34.9 per cent from 34.1 per cent.
There are signs of greater stress among the mortgage-paying population. For 9.9 per cent of households, their mortgage repayment was more than 30 per cent of their income in 2011, up from 8.4 per cent in 2006, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said.
Source: Banking Day

New government committee to promote Greek interests Call out to community members who want to join the Ministerial Consultative Committee

The state government is looking for strong members of the Greek community to join its new Ministerial Consultative Committee.
As a way for the Greek community to have a direct communication line with senior ministers, the committee will be open to anyone interested that meets the selection criteria (see bellow).
Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Bowen MP says the committee is noting the big contribution the Greek community has given Australia.
"The Greek community has made an important contribution to Australia for many years. That's why the Government is formally recognising its role by establishing this Ministerial Consultative Committee," Mr Bowen said.
Member for Hindmarsh, Steve Georganas MP, and Member for Calwell, Maria Vamvakinou MP will be co-chairing the committee.
"Maria and I have worked tirelessly over the years to ensure that the Greek Australian community is heard and recognised for their contributions. This committee will provide a powerful new channel through which we can work to make sure that continues." Mr Georganas says.
The Ministerial Consultative Committee will comprise approximately 10 members, drawn from Greek community leaders across Australia.
The Government will also hold an annual forum for the committee to facilitate access to the Prime Minister and other senior Government ministers.
Candidates must address these selection criteria:
· Displays strong leadership in the community
· Demonstrates an understanding of issues affecting the community
· Possesses a capacity to inform and consult within the community
· Experience in engaging with and working with government
Please email expressions of interest to Timothy Chandran in the Immigration Minister Chris Bowen's office mcc@immi.gov.au before 5pm on Friday, 6 July.