Saturday Summary – the most interesting articles I’ve read this week (2014/06/14)

There are more interesting articles, commentaries and analyst reports on the Web every week than anyone could read in a month. Each Saturday morning I like to share some of the ones I’ve read during the week.

Eenjoy your weekend…and please forward to your friends by clicking a social link buttons on the left.

Australian’s support strong population growth & spying on other countries

Christopher Joye writes in the AFR that most Australians want their government to spy on other countries, including allies like the United States and New Zealand, the 2014 Lowy Institute poll has found.

Another important finding was that:

Three-quarters (76 per cent) of all Australians want to see the current population increase by at least 25 per cent from 24 million presently to over 30 million people by 2040. This is up from 72 per cent of people when the question was last asked in 2010.

The embrace of rapid population growth conflicts with political trepidation on the issue, most pointedly highlighted when Kevin Rudd’s “big Australia” vision was publicly rejected by his usurper, Julia Gillard, after she replaced him as prime minister.

Indeed, one-third (34 per cent) of Australians think we should target a large 67 per cent population increase to 40 million people by 2040. Official government projections estimate that Australia will have approximately 38 million residents by that time, as The Australian Financial Review revealed back in November 2013.


Hidden bonus in our Federal Budget | Avoid common investor mistakes | What type of property will be popular in the future

Another great Real Estate Talk show  produced by Kevin Turner. If you don’t already subscribe to this excellent weekly Internet based radio show.

In this week’s show:

Chris Gray says deciding between a house and unit mostly comes down to affordability
Bryce Holdaway says the great Australian dream has changed
Josh Masters says, even in a hot market, many investors go about investing in property the wrong way
Gavin McPherson reveals some of his greatest investor traits and tricks
and more

You should definitely subscribe to this weekly audio program. Click Here It’s free and you can listen on the go on your smartphone, iPad etc.


Baby boomers fear super shortage

Business Spectator reports that the majority of Australian baby boomers don’t have enough superannuation for a comfortable retirement and believe they will have to rely on the age pension.

An even greater number of over-50s have no idea how much money they will need post-work, according to the research paper released on Monday by REST Industry Super.

A couple needs a combined superannuation balance of $510,000 and an individual needs $430,000, says the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia.[sam id=43 codes=’true’]

The REST study of workers aged over 50 found 64 per cent of respondents thought they would need the age pension to supplement their superannuation and 74 per cent didn’t know how much money they would need in retirement.

“This group who started their working lives before the advent of compulsory superannuation are trapped between a rock and a hard place,” REST boss Damian Hill said in a statement.

Almost half (45 per cent) of respondents said they are concerned by constant changes to superannuation laws, with 14 per cent saying they do not understand the system, and nine per cent not trusting it.

The study found an increased willingness among baby boomers to seek financial advice, but 48 per cent still do not ask for guidance, with cost proving the greatest barrier.

Is Bill Gates the most optimistic man in the world?

Bill Gates is not only the richest man in the world, with a fortune that now exceeds $76 billion, but he may also be the most optimistic.

Here’s why he believes there will essentially be no poor countries in the world by 2035:

We made really unbelievable progress in international development. Countries like Brazil, Mexico, Thailand, Indonesia – there’s an unbelievable number of success stories. The places that haven’t done well are clustered in Africa, and we still have Haiti, where I was last week, as well as Yemen, Afghanistan and North Korea, which is kind of a special case.

But assuming there’s no war or anything, we ought to be able to take even the coastal African countries and get them up to a reasonable situation over the next 20 years. You get more leverage because the number of countries that need aid is going down, and countries like China and India will still have problems, but they’re self-sufficient. And over the next 20 years, you get better tools, new vaccines, a better understanding of diseases and, hopefully, cheaper ways of making energy.

So time is very much on your side in terms of raising the human condition. Even things like decent toilets, which is a particular project of the foundation, can make a big difference.


Property investment spruikers on notice to abide by consumer law

ABC reports that property spruikers are on notice to provide consumers with information about cooling-off periods if they sign up to deals at seminars:

There have been growing concerns among state and territory governments about the high-pressure sales tactics of spruikers offering property investment deals at free seminars.

The New South Wales Commissioner for Fair Trading, Rod Stowe, says there could be a case for more comprehensive laws to deal with spruikers.

“It is an area that falls between the cracks somewhat,” he said.

“They aren’t real estate agents regulated under the property services legislation, they don’t come under the financial services legislation administered by ASIC.

“They are promoters of property investment schemes but they do need to comply with various aspects of Australian Consumer Law, and one of those areas is in relation to the 10-day cooling-off period that relates to unsolicited selling.

“Where a trader is involved in selling products other than their normal place of business, then these provisions apply.”

Mr Stowe says property spruikers must inform consumers of their rights and must not make false or misleading representations to people who attend the seminars.

“I think it’s the hard sell that accompanies, the initial information that’s provided to the public about investment in property,” Mr Stowe said.

“People going along, thinking they’re going to find out some techniques to get involved in the market who unwittingly find themselves under pressure signing up for very expensive training programs and other products.

“It’s that hard sell that a lot of consumers may be unaware of.”


Weight loss improves memory and alters brain activity

If your’e carrying a few extra kilos (as I am) and need further motivation to lose it then here it is. Science Daily reports that people who are obese tend to show deficits in memory for events, but this is reversible:

“Memory performance improved after weight loss, and…the brain-activity pattern during memory testing reflected this improvement. After weight loss, brain activity reportedly increased during memory encoding in the brain regions that are important for identification and matching of faces.”


Blogs you may have missed this week:

If you didn’t have a chance to read my daily blog, here’s a list of some of the blogs you missed this week:

Warning – some greedy “advisors” are getting very large commissions

Brian Tracy’s favourite quote on success

Property Investors – don’t become friends with your tenants- Damian Collins

Australia’s love-hate relationship with credit cards

Another 12 Inspiring Quotes To Start Your Week

Practical and Legal Tips for Selling a Tenanted Property- Rob Balanda



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Michael is a director of Metropole Property Strategists who help their clients grow, protect and pass on their wealth through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He's once again been voted Australia's leading property investment adviser and his opinions are regularly featured in the media. Visit

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