Investing for income when interest rates are low

Looking for income producing assets while interest rates are low?

Investing for Income when interest rates are low

The official cash rate has been sitting at a historic low of 1.50% p.a since August 2016. With global growth barely moving and consumer debt at high levels, it’s conceivable that rates could remain low for a long time to come.

Lower rates over a number of years aren’t all bad. Offering benefits for those paying off a mortgage or funding a business, but it is the savers and income investors who get hurt the most.

With cash investments offering low returns, those nearing retirement are going to have to save more while working to meet their retirement goals. And that’s difficult enough as it is with an increased cost of living.

Fortunately, there are a few options available outside of cash, when investing for income when interest rates are low.

Risk versus reward when investing for income

It’s important to know upfront that while there is some promising income producing investment ideas in the current low-interest rate environment, they do come with a higher level of associated risk. That’s something you need to wrap your head around before you start thinking past a savings account or term deposit for better returns.

By diversifying your investments across a range of asset classes, you can prevent exposing yourself to an unacceptable level of risk by putting all of your eggs in one basket.

We’ve put together some of the income-producing investments available to you in this low-interest rate environment. Together with what you need to consider when deciding to invest. As everyone’s situation is different, professional advice from an experienced adviser is recommended.

High Yield Shares

When interest rates are low, shares are one of the first options that investors turn to. Interest payments are often a major cost for businesses so when rates are low it can mean that business profits increase and share prices rise.

Investing in the share market will expose you to increased volatility, so determining your level of portfolio risk is an important first step as share prices fluctuate all the time so are not ideal for short-term investments.

Even blue-chip shares can be riskier than other investment options, as high dividends can potentially mean the company has less to invest in future growth. So when investing for income, it’s important that stocks are not only healthy but have a strong history of paying dividends from a stable earnings base.

Dividend franking coupled with the potential for capital growth make high yield shares an attractive option. With share trading platforms making it easy to sell and buy quickly for low entry and transaction costs.

Bonds

Bonds offer a stable investment by providing a reliable income. Government bonds are often an attractive option as you can invest with a small budget and invest directly on the ASX, just like you would shares. Where other types of bonds are harder for individuals to access.

Corporate bonds offer a way for you to indirectly lend money to a company, with the company making interest payments to you as a return. This helps companies to raise funds.

While they tend to be safer than other investment alternatives, a result is lower yields and the risk that you may not always get your money back on corporate bonds.

Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs)

Rather than investing in individual shares, some investors prefer ETFs, which are managed funds directly traded on the ASX.

While traditional ETFs track the share market index, there is now a huge range of ETF options available with some specifically designed to generate income. In these cases, the funds offer exposure to high-yield shares with regular franked dividends, or even invest in high-interest deposits.

ETFs can be an effective way to diversify and help you get low-cost exposure to assets that might otherwise be out of reach.

While ETFs are seen as a low-cost option, you will need to consider having to pay a management fee and brokerage when you buy and sell.

High Yield Managed Funds

Managed funds are worth considering to get affordable exposure and diversification to a range of income generating assets.

They are great for being able to be tailored to a different balance of risk and return depending on your risk profile, as they allow you to diversify across asset types, industries and countries.

The fund you choose will charge a management fee as professional expertise comes at a cost. So be sure to look for a provider that offers value and take into account the impact the fee will have on your returns.

Peer-to-peer lending

A relative new-comer to the income-producing investments arena, peer-to-peer lending allows investors to lend money to a borrower through a third-party lending site. The borrower pays you back at an agreed rate of interest within a specified time frame.

The rate of return for peer-to-peer lending is higher than a savings account, however, does come with the added risk that the borrower may default on the loan and there is a chance you won’t get your money back.

Growing your income producing investment portfolio

With a range of options to choose from, you might determine that a diversified portfolio made up of a few of these investment options may allow you to enjoy higher yields while managing risks.

Unlike cash, none of these investments are government guaranteed, but you may reduce your risk through diversification.

Over to you

In the sustained low-interest rate environment, are you investing in income-producing assets? If you need help building your portfolio, talk to RJS Wealth Management. We’ll work with you to tailor an approach that is unique to your needs.

This blog has been prepared by RJS Wealth Management Pty. Ltd. ABN 24 156 207 126. RJS Wealth Management Pty. Ltd. is a Corporate Authorised Representative (No. 438158) of Modoras Pty. Ltd. ABN 86 068 034 908 an Australian Financial Services and Credit Licensee (Number 233209). The information and opinions contained in this blog is general information only and is not intended to represent specific personal advice (Accounting, taxation, financial, insurance or credit). No individuals personal circumstances have been taken into consideration for the preparation of this material. Any individual making a decision to buy, sell or hold any particular financial product should make their own assessment taking into account their own particular circumstances. The information and opinions herein do not constitute any recommendation to purchase, sell or hold any particular financial product. Modoras Pty Ltd recommends that no financial product or financial service be acquired or disposed of or financial strategy adopted without you first obtaining professional personal financial advice suitable and appropriate to your own personal needs, objectives, goals and circumstances. Information, forecasts and opinions contained in this blog can change without notice. Modoras Pty. Ltd. does not guarantee the accuracy of the information at any particular time. Although care has been exercised in compiling the information contained within, Modoras Pty. Ltd. does not warrant that the articles within are free from errors, inaccuracies or omissions. To the extent permissible by law, neither Modoras Pty. Ltd. nor its employees, representatives or agents (including associated and affiliated companies) accept liability for loss or damages incurred as a result of a person acting in reliance of this publication.

A Guide to Downsizing to Boost your Retirement Savings

We outlined an easy to read 14-point guide that will help you decide if you are ready to make that move.

Guide to Downsizing your Home to Boost your SUPER

Thinking about downsizing? Perhaps your home is too big now that you are becoming empty nesters or perhaps you need the funds to create your retirement lifestyle? Learn our guide to downsizing to boost your retirement savings.

From 1 July 2018, Australian homeowners aged 65 years and older will be eligible to contribute up to $300,000 as a non-concessional (after-tax) contribution to their superannuation. Why would you place the funds in your superannuation? By placing the funds in your superannuation. Then paying yourself a pension from that superannuation all earnings on the investment including Capital Gains are generally tax free. As is the pension you would be receiving.

What you need to know:

  1. The contribution must be from the sale proceeds of their family home that they have owned for at least 10 years.
  2. The family home must be the contributor’s main residence and must be eligible for the main residence exemption for capital gains tax purposes.
  3. Couples will be able to contribute up to $300,000 each to make a total contribution of $600,000 per couple.
  4. Super contributions made as a result of the new downsizing rules are not counted towards non-concessional contributions caps.
  5. An individual taking advantage of the downsizing measures must make the contributions within 90 days of receiving the sale proceeds.
  6. Centrelink currently give pensioners a 12-month exemption under the assets test for the Age Pension.
  7. Australians are only able to use the downsizing contribution (which can be multiple contributions up to $300,000) from the sale of a home once. You cannot use this policy again at a later date.
  8. The existing ‘work test’ for voluntary contributions made by Australians aged between 65 and 74 do not apply to the sale proceeds of the main residence. The existing contribution rules have people in this age group having to prove they had gainful employment for 40 hours within a 30-day period during the year the voluntary contribution was made.
  9. Those 75 years and over and are currently unable contribute to their super are also able to contribute up to $300,000 from the sale proceeds of their home.
  10. The existing $1.6 million transfer balance cap does continue to apply. To find out more about this balance cap, click here.
  11. There is no requirement to purchase another home after they sell their main residence. There is also no restriction of the purchase price or size of a replacement home.
  12. Before accepting contributions under the downsizing scheme, super funds must obtain verification from the ATO that downsizing contributions are from the sale of a family home owned for more than 10 years. Forms confirming this, must be submitted to the super fund before or at the time of making the downsizing contribution.
  13. Downsizing contributions will be counted for the assets and income tests used to determine eligibility for the Age Pension and DVA benefits.
  14. Costs with the sale of a family home can be substantial if high stamp duty and land taxes apply.

The new downsizing rules may not be an ideal strategy for everyone. To find out if this is an ideal strategy to boost your retirement savings to create a comfortable retirement, contact our financial planners on 1300 27 28 29 and get their brains trust working for you.

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This blog has been prepared by RJS Wealth Management Pty. Ltd. ABN 24 156 207 126. RJS Wealth Management Pty. Ltd. is a Corporate Authorised Representative (No. 438158) of Modoras Pty. Ltd. ABN 86 068 034 908 an Australian Financial Services and Credit Licensee (Number 233209). The information and opinions contained in this blog is general information only and is not intended to represent specific personal advice (Accounting, taxation, financial, insurance or credit). No individuals personal circumstances have been taken into consideration for the preparation of this material. Any individual making a decision to buy, sell or hold any particular financial product should make their own assessment taking into account their own particular circumstances. The information and opinions herein do not constitute any recommendation to purchase, sell or hold any particular financial product. Modoras Pty Ltd recommends that no financial product or financial service be acquired or disposed of or financial strategy adopted without you first obtaining professional personal financial advice suitable and appropriate to your own personal needs, objectives, goals and circumstances. Information, forecasts and opinions contained in this fact sheet can change without notice. Modoras Pty. Ltd. does not guarantee the accuracy of the information at any particular time. Although care has been exercised in compiling the information contained within, Modoras Pty. Ltd. does not warrant that the articles within are free from errors, inaccuracies or omissions. To the extent permissible by law, neither Modoras Pty. Ltd. nor its employees, representatives or agents (including associated and affiliated companies) accept liability for loss or damages incurred as a result of a person acting in reliance of this publication.

Why the All Ords index can’t predict your super fund performance

Economic indicators are just one of many tools you can use to guide investment choices

Do market indices influence your investments image 1

Many investors like to keep an eye on the markets in general, or to watch the prices of assets they’ve invested in. When things are going well, this can give them confidence in their investments, but poor market performance can also undermine those good feelings. There’s danger in comparing big market indices to the performance of personal investments because they are seldom similar enough to be truly correlated.

There’s nothing wrong with watching the markets, in fact, many investors make quite a hobby of it. However, it’s important to educate yourself on what particular indicators mean and how relevant they are to your individual situation.

Economic indicators

According to Investopedia, economic indicators are ‘key statistics that indicate the direction of an economy’. There are three kinds of indicators, leading, coincident and lagging.

Leading indicators include consumer durables and share prices, and are used to predict which way an economy might move in the future. A coincident indicator (GDP, employment and retail sales) reflects the current state of the economy and relate to specific economic events. Lagging indicators are calculated and released once certain economic events are over. These include Gross National Product (GDP), Consumer Price Index (CPI), unemployment rates and interest rates1.

Many indicators are released on a regular schedule and the markets anticipate them, try to predict them and use them to influence future activities.

Your financial planner is always watching economic indices

Using indicators to predict future economic movements is fraught with danger for the inexperienced. Using one indicator alone doesn’t give a holistic view of the economy and using too many can be confusing. This sort of in-depth knowledge is something you would expect your financial planner to possess and able to give you advice on, if you needed it.

The All Ordinaries Index

A popular economic indicator followed by many investors and advisers in the financial markets is the All Ordinaries Index, considered the leading indicator of the Australian Share Market2.

Do market indices influence your investments image 2

The All Ordinaries (affectionately known as the All Ords) Index was established in 1980. It measures the value of the 500 biggest companies listed on the Australian stock exchange. This index gives an indication of the value and health of the Australian economy as it represents a large chunk of its listed corporations. Over time it has risen and fallen, and hit a peak of high 7000’s in early 2022. As we write this, its hovering in the early 7000’s.

Don’t think tracking the All Ords will give you any more than a general indication of what your particular share portfolio or super fund is up to. As an investor, the numbers you should be keeping a close eye on are those of the companies you own shares in3.

While superannuation funds are certainly after capital growth for their investors, they are also after smooth, steady income. Therefore, the mix of shares and other assets (property trusts, infrastructure assets) they will choose to make up your fund will not necessarily resemble the All Ords4.

Your investments will never directly align with an index and that’s ok.

Don’t worry that your retail super fund or your SMSF isn’t doing the same as the All Ordinaries, because it can’t. By all means keep up with the latest economic indicators, but don’t expect them to signpost what your own investments are likely to be doing next. If you invest in a retail fund, you can expect fund managers to have carefully combined share assets with property and infrastructure to help smooth your income and capital growth and to protect against share market volatility. If you have a self-managed fund, you’ll know exactly which shares you’ve invested in.

If you’d like to educate yourself further in economic indices and their influence on markets (and vice versa), speaking to your financial planner is an excellent start. It’s their job to be across market statistics and indicators of all kinds. They can also tell you which indicators are most relevant to you, and how to tell a ‘blip’ from a more serious unwelcome trend.

Contact our financial planners on 1300 27 28 29 and get their brains trust working for you.

Sources:

  1. Investopedia: Economic Indicators
  1. Westpac: Personal Banking – The Share Market- All Ords
  1. News.com: Anthony Keane, March 2016 – Understanding the All Ordinaries Index gives an investment edge
  1. Superguide: Boost your Superannuation – Unlisted investments- Super Funds Performance

This blog has been prepared by RJS Wealth Management Pty. Ltd. ABN 24 156 207 126. RJS Wealth Management Pty. Ltd. is a Corporate Authorised Representative (No. 438158) of Modoras Pty. Ltd. ABN 86 068 034 908 an Australian Financial Services and Credit Licensee (Number 233209). The information and opinions contained in this blog is general information only and is not intended to represent specific personal advice (Accounting, taxation, financial, insurance or credit). No individuals personal circumstances have been taken into consideration for the preparation of this material. Any individual making a decision to buy, sell or hold any particular financial product should make their own assessment taking into account their own particular circumstances. The information and opinions herein do not constitute any recommendation to purchase, sell or hold any particular financial product. Modoras Pty Ltd recommends that no financial product or financial service be acquired or disposed of or financial strategy adopted without you first obtaining professional personal financial advice suitable and appropriate to your own personal needs, objectives, goals and circumstances. Information, forecasts and opinions contained in this fact sheet can change without notice. Modoras Pty. Ltd. does not guarantee the accuracy of the information at any particular time. Although care has been exercised in compiling the information contained within, Modoras Pty. Ltd. does not warrant that the articles within are free from errors, inaccuracies or omissions. To the extent permissible by law, neither Modoras Pty. Ltd. nor its employees, representatives or agents (including associated and affiliated companies) accept liability for loss or damages incurred as a result of a person acting in reliance of this publication.