Government caps tax exemption on pension earnings

Here’s the full Media Release of today’s changes to superannuation, including capping the tax-free earnings from assets supporting a pension at $100,000 a year. The reforms will affect individuals with more than $2 million in super assets, or about 16,000 people in 2014-15. A concessional tax rate of 15 per cent will apply to earnings above $100,000.

Debating the value of super

There is not enough done to balance the debate about the costs and benefits of superannuation, and reduce the hysterical and ill-informed headlines. Here are some of the more common misconceptions.

APRA helps SMSFs but large super funds left hanging

The nation’s savings are in superannuation and the nation’s funding needs are in the banks. Yet the regulators and the new liquidity rules make it even more difficult for the two to get together, with another free kick to SMSFs.

Jumping frogs and rhyming markets

Who is the greatest market analyst of all time? Towering above all is Mark Twain with his immortal line: “no occurrence is sole and solitary, but is merely a repetition of a thing which has happened before, and perhaps often …”

Lessons from 32 years of investment returns

Future returns from different asset classes are always uncertain and subject to contrary forecasts, but there are useful lessons from the past. As Shakespeare wrote in The Tempest, “What is past is prologue.”

So you think you think rationally. Think again

Each day, we respond to problems quickly, automatically and often gullibly, giving undue attention to details that stand out easily. Critical information is often ignored. The best investors are those who can hear through the noise.

If the small cap fits, wear it

There are reasons why small cap stocks have a history of long term outperformance, although recently, the preference for defensive large cap yields has dominated.

Mortality risk could be the death of you

It is unfortunate that super funds and financial planners spend far more time considering investment risk than mortality risk. In future, retirement savings must last much longer, and a study of mortality risk shows how long.

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