fireworksHappy New Year! With 2013 almost a distant memory we hope you have had some relaxation time over the summer and opportunities to catch up with family and friends.

This is a great time of year to reflect on what you have achieved and review your goals for life over the next 12 months in the context of your longer term plans. Some of these may have a financial consequence and others might be more around lifestyle changes you want to achieve.These should all form part of your financial planning as the glue to stick it all together and the intent behind ‘why’ you are doing what you do!

The best way to achieve changes in life is to ensure you have a good team to support, motivate and guide you and also provide accountability along the way.

For 2014 what would you like your ideal life to look, feel and be like?  What does your ideal week look and feel like? What does your ideal day look and feel like?  What are you doing, who are you with and where are you doing it?

Is it any different to what you are doing today?

By breaking the goals down to bite sized chunks and keep it to a daily focus it makes it more achievable!

Market Update

The second quarter of this financial year added some more returns overall from the share market with the Australian Share Market up 3.4% for the quarter and tracking at 19.7% over the last 12 months.

Portfolio diversification will remain the key to success in the markets and economy as we see some continued challenges emerge throughout the year but we will continue to review this with you as the year progresses.

At the global level, the three core drivers of equity market performance continue to be interest rates, profit expectations and risk appetite. These remain generally supportive although the risk appetite is subject to fluctuations. Central banks around the world remain generous (although we expect this will change in the US, and possibly the UK, during 2014). Profit expectations, although variable across sectors, are proving relatively resilient and there should be sufficient encouraging news from the majority of the global economy to underpin investor confidence.

In Australia, company balance sheet strength and profitability will continue to provide a solid foundation. Earnings momentum is proving difficult to generate, particularly across the industrial stocks which is still burdened by cost pressures and sluggish demand. The Australian economy and equity market face numerous challenges, but corporate financial health is robust and dividends sustainable.

The easing in interest rates from the Reserve Bank of Australia is assisting, more so if it can drag down the currency below US$0.85.

The target level for the ASX200 index for January 2015 is 5500-5600.


Scott Malcolm ( is Director of Money Mechanics a fee for service advice firm who are authorised to provide financial advice through PATRON Financial Advice AFSL 307379.

The information provided on this article is of a general nature only. It has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs.  Before acting on this information you should consider its appropriateness having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs.