3 Killer Tips For Smart And Safe Online Shopping You’ll Be Glad You Read

However, how sure are you that you are not paying for more than what you think you’ve bargained for? Horror stories of buying fakes and low-standard materials have been seen on posts and other online platforms. So how do we protect ourselves from these possible threats?

It would be very hard to figure out if what you’re buying is the real thing or a triple-A imitation. So I sought out brand maven Barbs Aguirre-Miravalles, Division General Manager for Fragrances of LUXASIA – is the leading omnichannel partner for luxury beauty and lifestyle brands to reach Asia Pacific consumers for some tips to help consumers figure out what they are buying. 


Most e-commerce platforms have a marketplace wherein it is open to all resellers. It is difficult to spot authentic resellers from counterfeit resellers as most would put a 100% authentic on their product pages. When in doubt, I would recommend shopping at the retailer.com sites or brand.com sites so you can be guaranteed that the products are coming from the original sources.


It would help to read reviews but it would still help to compare prices and product details/ specifications from the original brand websites to know what you are buying. Check the source of the products.  


Counterfeit items are sold at cheaper prices precisely because the ingredients/materials used to create this is not comparable to the authentic item. I suggest watching Netflix’s “Broken” to understand the danger of counterfeit items. This is dangerous to one’s health, especially for cosmetics and ingestibles.  If the price is too good to be true, it probably is. You get what you pay for so the lower the money you spend equates to the quality you will receive in return.  

To further help our readers, we dug deeper into the precautions necessary for doing online purchases:

  1. Always make your purchases from a secure connection. After clicking the link to the site, check out the prompt on the address field. It would usually read https://www but if you read, “Not Secure” then it’s not worth your while. Click on this link to give you more ideas on securing your connection.
  2. Create a unique password. And if you keep on forgetting your password, get a secured password keeper like dashlane which keeps all your unique passwords that can be generated by the system or from a story of your life that no one knows about. Click this link to find out more.
  3. Be mindful of the information that you provide the sites. Identity theft is one of the most rampant crimes going around and giving more information than you have to may just be the biggest mistake that you can ever do. Standard information would be information on the method of payment, shipping address, telephone number, and/or email address. If the merchant asks for more, walk away.
  4. Check the shipping details. Some merchants charge exorbitant shipping fees that can turn a shopping bargain into an expensive mistake. Look to see if they provide tracking and insurance. Understand what carriers they use, and be particularly cautious if the item won’t be shipped within 10 days.

Always remember, before you CLICK & SHOP, STOP & THINK. 

Source: The Australian Filipina

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

New Research Report Points To Growth In Private Real Estate Debt

More than three million Australians now have access to an expanded range of asset classes as sophisticated investors. And that gives them the opportunity to grow their wealth through alternative investment strategies, including private real estate debt.

What is a sophisticated investor?

If you have a gross annual income of $250,000 and/or at least $2.5 million in net assets, you’re classified as a sophisticated (or wholesale) investor – and that gives you more options to diversify your investment strategies. With the rapid growth in property prices and incomes, more Australians are reaching sophisticated-investor status – by 2031 that cohort will double to more than six million investors.

So what drives the decisions of this group of investors? Like all investors, they are currently most concerned about two main things: equity market volatility and how to earn yield in a long-term low-interest environment. A recent survey of AltX investors revealed just how important a proven track record of returns is when allocating funds to non-traditional asset classes like private real estate debt. And 38% say they plan to increase their allocation to this alternative asset class in 2022.

Private real estate debt is a core income strategy

In the wake of widespread market disruption, sophisticated investors are looking for greater certainty – and for a higher income return than banks can currently offer. With interest rates in Australia remaining at all-time lows, private real estate debt provides an alternative to more traditional fixed-income options like term deposits or bonds.

As Nick Raphaely, Co-founder of AltX puts it: “Money needs to earn its keep – it should be working as hard as you do. But it’s not doing that in the banks right now.”

AltX investors are ahead of the curve when it comes to private debt. The majority (61%) say that private real estate debt is already a core part of their investment strategy in retirement. It’s not just that the yield is higher than with other asset classes, or the predictability of regular monthly interest income. The most important reason for investing in real estate debt is knowing their investment is secured against a first mortgage, as well as the diversification benefits for their portfolio.

Finding the right investment amid market uncertainty

According to AltX’s 2022 Private Real Estate Debt Investor Outlook, nearly one in four investors (24%) either fear a bubble in the equity market or worry about the impact of ongoing low-interest rates and what this means for their ability to earn yield. This makes it increasingly difficult for investors to generate stable returns while still protecting their capital against riskier investments.

Private real estate debt is one solution. Because this investment type is linked to the asset and the borrower, it’s less likely to be impacted by external factors that can heighten volatility. And that’s why 59% of respondents said private real estate debt would give them the best downside protection over 2022 and 2023 – far higher than direct property (16%), bonds (5%) and equities (3%).

Raphaely equates those who invest in private debt to sellers of picks and shovels during the Gold Rush era: “Very few people made their fortunes mining for gold, but the people who consistently made money provided services to them. That’s what we do every day – we enable borrowers to take a risk on property assets and projects, and we do it in a very disciplined way.”

Meeting the changing needs of investors

With banks scaling back their direct lending in response to regulatory reforms, it’s creating new opportunities for private lenders. And that’s just one reason industry experts believe the private debt market could double by 2025. This comes at an ideal time for sophisticated investors who are approaching retirement – as income certainty and capital preservation become a priority, alternative strategies step in.

As an accessible online platform, AltX gives investors a user-friendly way to analyse the suitability of a wide range of private real estate debt deals, daily. And in turn, this also helps them have more confidence in a dependable income stream through to retirement.

With a growing cohort of sophisticated investors in Australia concerned by a market mired by low-interest rates and external market uncertainty, the need for more diverse investment options is likely to grow. Private real estate debt is one-way investors can take greater control of their capital and continue to earn stable returns despite the disruption of recent years.

Looking to diversify your portfolio with an asset class that offers the security of a first mortgage? There’s a reason why more and more investors are turning to private real estate debt. Find out more about how it works and get started by registering your interest with AltX today.

Download the report upon release at https://www.altx.com.au/2022-private-real-estate-debt-investor-outlook/

About AltX

AltX (www.altx.com.au) is a market-leading alternative investment platform. Founded in 2012 and headquartered in Sydney, AltX provides bespoke access to alternative income-generating products which have traditionally been inaccessible to individual investors.  AltX has funded more than $2bn of transactions since inception with zero loss of investor capital.

This article was sourced from a media release sent by Medianet

Expert Shares How To Save Money As Australian Inflation Surges

Inflation surges in Australia, climbing by 3.5 percent, meaning you may have to pay an extra $500 every month for your mortgage.

With the cost of petrol and building materials soaring, Westpac, Australia’s second-largest bank, is also forecasting six RBA rate rises within the next two years

Nick Drewe, money-saving expert at Australian discounts platform, WeThrift, shares his top tips on saving money on energy bills, tax, and other daily costs including supermarket shopping and travel and ahead of the upcoming hike.

1. Keep checking your bills regularly: Whilst some energy suppliers have been known to either make changes to tariffs or make mistakes when charging customers, it’s always a good idea to check your regular household bills.

With winter approaching, those who continue to work from home or have flexible conditions may opt to stay at home, therefore bills for water, energy, and mobile data are likely to increase.

2. Research before choosing a supplier: While many billpayers may instinctively choose an energy supplier they are familiar with, this may not always be the most cost-effective option. Really delve into a wide range of energy suppliers available and compare their prices.

Also note, if you are looking to switch energy suppliers, be sure to analyse each company’s exit fees, and opt for one that won’t charge the earth if you want to leave.

3. Understand your energy bill: Whilst there are often a lot of terms and conditions to read, attempting to understand the information related to your energy tariff and household consumption could help you keep the costs of your bills down.

The personal projection on the bill is the amount your household is expected to spend over the next 12 months, and the tariff comparison rate figure helps you understand how much you’re spending per kilowatt-hour of gas and electricity.

Knowing this information will make it easier when comparing energy deals if you are planning to switch to a cheaper one, or help you monitor your current energy consumption.

4. Book travel tickets early: If you’re someone who likes to plan ahead for the coming months, then this could help you make significant savings when it comes to booking your rail travel. Securing your train tickets between one and three months ahead of time could benefit you hugely when it comes to saving pennies.

If possible, always try to book train times that don’t clash with rush hour periods too (06:30 – 09:30 and 15:30 – 18:30).”

5. Look for discounts codes before ordering takeaways: If you’re treating yourself to a well-deserved takeaway, before clicking ‘checkout’ on sites like Deliveroo or Menulog, it’s always worth a search on voucher sites for any discount codes or free delivery incentives that could knock your basket price down.

Also, always check your emails for any promotional vouchers that may have been sent following your last order. Often delivery couriers will offer customers small incentives ahead of their next purchase to retain their loyalty and avoid them being tempted to order elsewhere

Deliveroo customers have the option to ‘Refer a friend, which will secure both of you $10 off your next order.”

6. Find the best exchange rates: With foreign travel allowed once again, many are looking for a last-minute getaway to enjoy some much-needed sand and sunshine.

Despite booking a last-minute trip, when it comes to gathering your currency, it is best not to exchange your money last minute at the airport. This is because the rates are generally much less favourable than online or high-street alternatives, therefore preparation is key.

When booking a last-minute break, try to order your euros for collection in advance of your travel dates to take advantage of the best possible rates.

Getting yourself a money travel card will help you get the best rates and whilst it doesn’t fully replace having currency in hand, once you are there you can use these at no cost for spending or withdrawing from a cash machine.”

7. Time your grocery trips wisely: Try to time your grocery trips for when your local stores are likely to have just added yellow ‘reduced’ stickers to stock that needs to be sold that day. Making the most of these heavily discounted deals will help you to fill your freezer up with discounted meat, fish, and freezer meals for cheaper food options in the coming days and weeks.

Normally workers will start discounting products that are about to pass their sell-by-date later on in the afternoon or early evening, so a food shop after work is the perfect time to grab a  bargain.

Many supermarkets also have clearance sections where products that cannot be sold at their RRP or may have damaged packaging can be found. Just make sure to check you are happy with the item and that the goods aren’t compromised before heading to the checkout.”

8. Cancel any unnecessary direct debits: Now is the perfect time to log on to your online banking and scour your direct debits and standing orders to see if you can cancel anything that’s become an unnecessary spend.

Whether it be a gym membership you aren’t quite getting your money’s worth for, or a streaming service you signed up for during lockdown that you no longer make the most of, cutting these small outgoings will make a difference to your bank balance in the long run.

Also, make sure all of your monthly direct debits look correct, and if there is any questionable outgoings from your account to immediate

Source: https://www.wethrift.com/tag/australia 

This article was sourced from a media release sent by Laura Burns @ JBH

NSW & QLD Voters Say Clean Industries Are The Key To Future Jobs & Prosperity… According To A New Poll

A new poll of over 2000 voters in regional, rural and metropolitan Queensland and New South Wales released recently reveals that 6 in ten believe the states’ future economic prosperity lies in clean industries, such as renewable energy exports (e.g. green hydrogen), critical minerals like lithium and cobalt, and manufacturing renewable products.

Notably, only a quarter of voters in Queensland (26%) and about one-fifth in New South Wales (21%) believe their state’s future prosperity lies in coal and gas.

New South Wales and Queensland dominate Australia’s coal export sectors, with New South Wales being home to the world’s largest coal port, in Newcastle. Three of Australia’s major liquefied gas export facilities are located in Queensland.

Yet two-thirds of voters say clean jobs in renewable energy will be the best source of future employment (63% in QLD and 68% in NSW). Overall, less than a quarter of respondents back fossil fuels as the best source of future jobs (27% in QLD and 19% in NSW).

The survey, commissioned by the Climate Council and conducted by YouGov, also found that:

  • 6 in 10 say the government’s top investment priority should be in renewables (60% QLD; 62% NSW). In QLD, only 20% nominated coal and 15% said gas. In NSW, the figures were 15% for coal and 17% for gas.
  • More than 6 in 10 overall agree that further cuts to carbon emissions will deliver economic benefits to workers (58% in QLD and 64% in NSW) and to businesses (59% QLD and 66% NSW).
  • 6 in 10 agree that regional areas will benefit most from the global transformation to renewables (60% QLD; 61% NSW).
  • Only 2 in 10 believe workers who rely on fossil fuels are getting enough support to prepare for a decarbonised future without coal and gas (19% in QLD; 21% in NSW).

Leading economist and Climate Councillor Nicki Hutley said:

“This polling reveals that people in New South Wales and Queensland understand the era of coal and gas in this country is coming to a close as the world rapidly decarbonises. They strongly support government investment in new, clean industries that will future-proof jobs and secure our economic prosperity.

“There is a huge opportunity for the historical coal and gas heartlands of New South Wales and Queensland to grasp the economic rewards of the global zero emission transformation, and the people see this.

“Significantly, voters recognise that further cuts to carbon emissions – critical if we are to keep global warming in check – will increase jobs and lift economic growth.

“They also think regional areas will benefit the most. However, there is a strong view that there needs to be better support from government for communities that currently rely on fossil fuels in order for them to adjust to the changes.

“All governments should pay attention to this public groundswell of support for clean industries, and commit to credible carbon cuts this decade. The Federal Government can play a huge role in helping Queensland and New South Wales harness their immense natural advantages and put these states on a path to becoming clean industry and renewable superpowers.”

Dr Amanda Cahill, CEO of The Next Economy, a not for profit that works with business, local government and the community to manage the transition from fossil fuels to clean new industries, said:

“There are so many opportunities for regional areas and they’re crying out for support from government to help them diversify their economies.

“This poll reaffirms what I’ve been hearing on the ground. Workers, businesses and investors are ready to take advantage of the opportunities in the new economy, but they need the government to back them in with clear targets, regional development funding and planning support.

“The countries we export to are already on the road to net zero emissions and we have a choice – help them do it or lose out on those new export opportunities.”

Other spokespeople include:

NSW (quotes available here):

Sam Mella, Hunter Engagement Lead, Beyond Zero Emissions

Geoff Bragg, solar installer and trainer Armidale, NSW, who can’t keep up with demand and sees a critical shortage of workers.

QLD (quotes available here):

Dr Heidi Edmonds, Gladstone Engagement Lead, Beyond Zero Emissions

Jason Sharam, CEO of Mackay based renewables company, Linked Group Services

Luciano Giangiordano, CEO of Enertech PV, a renewable energy company designing and developing large-scale solar farms in Queensland, based on Sunshine Coast

The full statewide poll findings from NSW and QLD, the full questions, and a methodology statement are available here.

This article was sourced from a media release sent by Medianet

3 Real Ways To Make More Money In 2022 (In 10 Days)

By Michelle Baltazar 

If one of your new year’s resolutions for 2022 is to sort out your finances, you’re not alone. The Coronavirus pandemic brought on drastic changes in our ability to maintain a secure job, earn extra income and start (or keep) a new business.

But there are ways you can make 2022 a better year by following these two simple steps – in 10 days. The best thing to do is to spread the tasks over several weekends.

Tip #1 Start a weekly savings budget. Time required: Two-three days

Technically, you can prepare this budget in a couple of hours or less, but to avoid the anxiety, allocate a weekend or two. There is also a difference between an expense budget (how much you spend) versus a savings budget (how much you save).

Most people know they have to set aside a certain amount off their wages for bills and other expenses but not many put together a weekly savings budget – and that’s a big difference.

I’m not saying this is going to be easy but it’s absolutely worth the effort. There are many budgeting spreadsheets available on the internet but I recommend this one from the government as it means you’re not giving away your financial info to a third-party service provider (unless you don’t mind this!).

Step one: Go to Budget Planner and work out your expense budget as indicated in their spreadsheet. It’s alright if you can’t fill the spreadsheet completely. If you can at least cover your major expenses, then you’re already a step ahead of most people.

Step two: Once you’ve filled in the spreadsheet, you’ll know how much money you have remaining. From this amount, you can work out your weekly savings budget.

Step three: Hey, if this is all too hard, to begin with, nominate a savings amount and stick with it for the year. Even a small amount, say $50 a week, works out to be at least $2,000 for the year.

Tip #2. Check your superannuation. Time required: One-two days

Again, you don’t need two days to do this, especially if you’ve already downloaded your superannuation app. But if you’re scratching your head and wondering what ‘superannuation’ even means, your future self will thank you if you swap an hour of a Netflix episode with an hour of googling the term.

Here’s a link to a government website to know more: How Super Works

The actual tip here is that by the end of this exercise, you should be able to answer two important questions:

What is the name of your superannuation fund?

What is your superannuation account balance?

If you can answer both of those questions easily, well done! You’d be surprised how many people don’t know these very basic details about their super.

Tip #3 Subscribe to Money Magazine for their twice-a-week free newsletters. Time required: Less than five minutes

Full disclosure: I am the editor-in-chief of this magazine so, of course, I’ll recommend that you subscribe to it but I can’t tell you how many hundreds, even thousands, of dollars I have saved simply from reading tips from the finance experts we feature over the course of the year.

You can also choose to subscribe to any other finance newsletters or websites. It doesn’t matter as long as you do subscribe to at least one finance-related resource in 2022. Financial literacy can do wonders for your wallet.

The main thing though is that you don’t invest nor give your money to finance schemes that sound too good to be true. If they are offering you unrealistic returns, it’s most likely a scam.

There you have it – three tips to kick off your financial journey in 2022. There’s so much more than you can do but I believe in the power of three when it comes to completing tasks, big or small. By ticking these three goals first, you’re more likely to gain confidence in your financial acuity.

Source: The Australian Filipina

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

Revealed: THIS decade Produced The Best Looking Cars

A new study from Confused.com (Q4, 2021) has revealed that the 2010s produced the most beautiful cars, according to Fibonacci’s Golden Ratio – a mathematical symmetry ratio that influences perceived attractiveness. The golden ratio – which analyses the height and width dimensions of the ‘face on’ view of the car, was used to determine the scientific beauty of over 370 cars. Confused.com can now reveal all!

The results:


Decade’s average % match to the golden ratio

Most statistically beautiful car from the decade

Car’s percentage match to the golden ratio



McLaren 720s 4.0 V8




Lamborghini Gallardo Coupe




Mercedes-Benz C111 – 11 D




Ferrari F355 GTS




McLaren GT




Bizzarrini 5300 GT Strada




Lamborghini Jalpa P350




Chrysler Plymouth Fury (KP31)




Ferrari 166 MM Zagato Panoramica


2010s produced the most statistically beautiful cars

Confused.com can reveal that the 2010s is the decade which produced the most statistically beautiful vehicles. Cars released in this decade averaged an incredible 90.18% match to the golden ratio. Of the cars released during this decade, the 2017 McLaren 720s 4.0 V8 is the most attractive. With an almost perfect 99.73% match to the golden ratio, it’s also making the most stunning of all cars analysed. The decade’s high average is also down to the 2017 McLaren 570s Coupe (99.24% match) and the 2012 Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 Coupe (99.20% match). These beautiful models finished second and third in the decade, respectively.

The 2000s comes in second place, with releases in this decade averaging an 87.83% match to the golden ratio. The 2003 Lamborghini Gallardo Coupe can be thanked for assisting with this high average, due to its 99.20% match to the golden ratio. The second best from this decade is the 2000 Ferrari 360 Modena Challenge Stradale F1 (99.07% match), followed by the 2008 Aston Martin One -77 in third (98.85% match). When it comes to the 17 Aston Martins analysed, the One -77 is the most beautiful, beating iconic models such as the 1963 Aston Martin DB5 (76.96% match).

It was the 1970s which produced the third most statistically beautiful cars, with an 85.37% match to golden ratio for the decade on average. Confused.com discovered that the 1970 Mercedes-Benz C111 – 11 D is the most mathematically stunning car released, with a 99.33% match to the golden ratio. This places the Mercedes as the third most beautiful car overall, and the oldest car to make it into the top 10.

In fourth place is the 1990s, with car releases averaging an 84.94% match to the golden ratio. With a 99.20% match, the 1994 Ferrari F355 GTS is the most stunning car to come out of the 90s, and the second most beautiful car overall. This is followed by the 1996 Lotus Esprit V8 32V Turbo as the second-best car of the decade (98.96% match), and the 1994 McLaren F1 in third (98.67% match). The F1 is also the second-best of all McLarens analysed.

40s and 50s: the least beautiful decades for cars

With a 74.48% match to the golden ratio on average for the decade, it’s the 1940s that produced the least statistically beautiful cars. The 1949 Ferrari 166 MM Zagato Panoramica came out as the most stunning, with an 88.27% match to the golden ratio. However, despite being the most statistically beautiful of the decade, the Ferrari falls short in the overall rankings. It places just 112 out of the 372 cars analysed, and 22 out of the 29 Ferrari models considered for the research.

The 1950s produced the second least statistically beautiful cars, with a 76.34% match to the golden ratio on average. With a percentage difference of 95.30%, the best car to come out of the 50s was the 1957 Chrysler Plymouth Fury (KP31). Of the five Chryslers analysed in the study, the Plymouth Fury takes first place. This beats younger models such as the 1997 Plymouth Prowler (92.11% match) by 3.19%, and the 1970 Plymouth Superbird (89.27% match) by 6.03%.

Alex Kindred, Car Insurance expert at Confused.com, comments:

“Although car design and technology have evolved throughout the decades, many classics from the 70s and the earlier years are clearly still popular today, with enthusiasts desperate to get their hands on them.

If you’re fortunate enough to own one of these classic beauties, keeping it secure should be a priority, as many classic cars don’t have the security systems more modern cars do. And it doesn’t have to be pricey. If you have a garage, keeping it stored away overnight might be a safer option than leaving it on the driveway.  Or you can invest in security devices, such as a steering wheel lock or a GPS tracker, which both help in keeping your car more secure. Our guide to car security highlights some of the most effective ways to keep your pride and joy safe.”

Please Note

  1. Confused.com sought to determine the most scientifically beautiful car from each decade according to the golden ratio (a mathematical symmetry ratio that influences perceived attractiveness) of the front view of the car.
  2. A list of a maximum of 50 iconic cars of each decade from the 1940s to 2020s was obtained from reputable sources using in-house metrics. Please access the full list of sources in this Google document.
  3. The width and height dimensions of each vehicle within the dataset was extracted from each vehicle’s manufacturer’s official website. Any model specifications not found on the sites were alternatively sourced from one of the following sources: Conceptcarz.com; carfolio.com; autoevolution.com;  auto-data.net/en/supercars.netfastestlaps.com/dimensions.com ; allcarindex.com ; carsopedia.comcarsguide.com.au ; automobiledimension.comev-database.uk. Cars with no data available were omitted from the study.
  4. Following the collection of data, the ratio of width to height was used to calculate the difference against the golden ratio dimensions (1.61803398875). In total, 372 cars were analysed.
  5. Subsequently, percentages were calculated to express the difference from each car to the golden ratio.
  6. All vehicles were ranked in ascending order, deeming the most beautiful cars as the ones closest to the golden ratio proportions; therefore, determining the most statistically beautiful cars from each decade.
  7. All data was collated in November 2021 and is subject to change.

Source: https://www.confused.com/car-insurance  

Photo by Broderick Armbrister from Pexels


Are Property Investors Ignoring The Real Cost Of Real Estate??

  • Buying and selling fees, ongoing management charges, tax and tenancy uncertainty can erode any potential profits on property investment.

  • Falling gross rental yield rates and rising housing prices can make it harder to find reliable returns.

  • AltX provides access to the attractive property market without some of the risks and expenses that come with direct investment.

Drawn to potential gains in a surging market, Australians continue to invest in real estate. But is there a better way to get in on the boom without costs and fees chipping away at your yield?

 According to the most recent Australian Bureau of Statistics data, property represents 51% of household wealth in Australia. And it doesn’t look like that percentage is going to be going down anytime soon. In June, ABS figures revealed quarterly growth in household wealth of 5.8%. And the increase was once again driven by residential property. The asset class grew by 6.7% in the period – the largest quarterly jump on record.

It’s clear Australians have retained their strong appetite for investing in property and are hungry for more opportunities. But is being a landlord all it’s cracked up to be – especially as residential prices continue to rise?

It all adds up

It’s one thing to outbid (or out-negotiate) the competition for your new investment property. It’s another factor in all the other initial and ongoing costs associated with real estate investing, all of which can dent potential returns in both the short- and long term. They include:

  • Buying and selling costs including stamp duty, conveyancing fees, agent fees, and inspections, not to mention the time involved in research, due diligence, finance, and settlement.
  • Ongoing fees such as property management services (which can generally eat up 7-10% of weekly rent income plus GST[1]), maintenance and repairs, strata fees, and landlord insurance (about $1200 a year for a property worth $1million[2]).
  • Capital gains tax on rental income from positively geared investments, as well as on the eventual profit when you sell.

And there’s also the potential unreliability of tenants, which can become an even bigger concern as you grow your investment property portfolio. On the one hand, more dwellings mean a greater number of potential income streams. On the other, each carries its own risk of vacancy and no- or low-rent periods, as we saw during COVID-19 support measures.

As vacancy rates rise and fall, so, too, can your return, bringing an extra element of unpredictability.

Prices up, yield down

Several other factors are making it harder for investors to find yield in the rental market.

In September 2021, the gross rental yield dropped to 3.32% – the lowest ever – with Melbourne (2.8%) and Sydney (2.5%) recording the lowest figures. COVID border closures and migration restrictions most likely played a role in this drop – highlighting one of the risks of traditional property investment.

Months of rising housing prices also make it harder to find consistent yield due to the inverse relationship between the two factors. Combining low yield with the aforementioned costs of real estate investment, and you can see why many potential investors are frustrated.

Taking some of the worries out of real estate

Alternative investing options like AltX give you a chance to get involved in the upward-moving Australian property market – without exposing yourself to as many of the costs and variables that can cause your yield to yo-yo.

By investing in the private real estate debt used to fund Australian real estate projects, property is still a part of your portfolio as the underlying security – without the burden of owning it yourself. Your regular monthly payments come in the form of interest, rather than rent, which means less worry about vacancy rates or unreliable tenants. And with an average deal timeframe of 12 to 18 months and no exit costs, you’ll have more flexibility in where and how you allocate your capital.

It’s an exciting time to get involved in the soaring Australian property market. And the alternative investment options from AltX might be the key to avoiding some of the traditional costs associated with doing so.

About AltX

AltX (www.altx.com.au) is a market-leading alternative investment platform. Founded in 2012 and headquartered in Sydney, AltX provides bespoke access to alternative income-generating products which have traditionally been inaccessible to individual investors.  AltX has funded in excess of $2bn of transactions since inception with zero loss of investor capital.

Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels

This article was sourced from a media release sent by Medianet

Will The Omicron Strain Impact Property Trends??

Pete Wargent, the co-founder of BuyersBuyers, Australia’s first national network of property buyer’s agents, says the Omicron strain of the coronavirus will have a negligible impact on the trajectory of the housing market.

Mr Wargent said, “to a certain extent, the last couple of years should have reminded us that making predictions is very hard, especially when they are about pandemics or the future. But, that said, there’s little to indicate that the latest strain of the virus will have any meaningful impact on housing market trends.”

“After an initial wobble, stock markets have been resurgent, and financial markets have been largely unperturbed, which is likely to be a better indicator than the latest alarmist headline.”

“Financial markets are possibly factoring in the various news about the lack of serious cases of the latest strain to date, with many reporting mild symptoms. However, case numbers seem to be increasing rapidly, which could delay the full reopening of the international borders into 2022”.

“Moreover, a look back at how the housing market fared through the past two years suggests that there are more crucial factors at play than the latest strain of the virus, such as the cost of mortgage debt and the supply of properties being made available for sale” Mr Wargent said.

Cooling naturally

BuyersBuyers co-founder Doron Peleg said that a cooling of the housing market was inevitable in 2022 after a storming year in 2021. Still, the latest virus strain wasn’t a key factor in his forecasts.

Mr Peleg said, “a range of factors combined will help to take the heat out of the housing market in 2022, such as gradually rising mortgage rates, more vendors looking to lock in gains, and more cautious buyers as affordability bites following the strong price gains of 2021”.

“The rate of immigration has not been a key factor in driving the market over the past couple of years, with the notable exception of CBD and some inner-city apartments, where the absence of international students has been felt particularly keenly.”

“Remember, though, that the closure of the borders didn’t lead the doomsday outcomes many commentators predicted, partly because corrective policy measures were taken” Mr Peleg said.

“All eight of the capital cities recorded double-digit price gains over the year to September, with most recording price rises of about 20 per cent or higher”.

Population growth to resume

Pete Wargent of BuyersBuyers said that buyer sentiment has been broadly unchanged by the latest virus developments.

Mr Wargent said “there is less fear of missing out in the housing market now. But the pattern of housing trends through the pandemic has taught more buyers to look through the short-term noise and to buy quality properties when they can while taking a medium-term outlook.”

“We wouldn’t be surprised to see employment surging towards a record high approaching 13½ million through 2022, with the economy likely to grow by about 5 per cent per annum for the next couple of years, in turn helping to push the unemployment rate down to 4 per cent for the first time since the mining boom go-go years”.

“There might be a delay in the rebooting of immigration due to Omicron. But looking through the noise, population growth should be back to over 300,000 per annum whenever travel does become easier, and potentially even nearer to 400,000” Mr Wargent said.

About BuyersBuyers

BuyersBuyers connects people looking to buy a property with some of the best buyer’s agents around Australia. We aim to level the real estate playing field to give first-time and experienced home buyers and property investors a personalised service with the advantage of having a property expert working for them, serving only the buyer’s interests. Our national network of top buyer’s agents is the largest in Australia and offers some of the most affordable buying solutions on the market.

All our buyer’s agents are licensed, experienced, and are committed to working in the best interest of our clients. We offer excellent value for money with very competitive and affordable fees and no commissions. What you see is what you get. Our bespoke property research and tools enable buyer’s agents and buyers to stay informed on market trends and our insightful property reports help determine the best places to buy. That’s why we are quite simply, ‘the better way to buy property.

This article was sourced from a media release sent by Medianet

How Investors Are Embracing Alternative Strategies In This Day And Age

Traditionally financial advisers were considered investment specialists who earned fees for advising their ‘non-financial’ clients on where to invest. But with traditional debt and equity investments no longer achieving the desired outcomes, they’ll need to stay ahead of all available investment options – including the ones self-directed investors are already embracing.

Trust in financial advice eroded during the Banking Royal Commission, and only one in ten Australians currently receive financial advice. Oliver Wyman estimates non-advised investments in Australia are worth $3.6 trillion – more than three times assets under advice.[1]

“Financial advisers have been forced to make significant changes – to their fee models, professional education requirements and client duty of care – and in some cases their licensees have exited the industry,” says Nick Raphaely, CEO and Co-founder of AltX, an alternative investment platform focusing on property-backed private debt.

“At the same time, the available universe of investment options has expanded – and many high net worth or sophisticated investors know that. They expect more from their advisers than ever before.”

Direct investors are embracing debt

While it’s still a relatively small component of any portfolio, industry experts believe Australia’s private debt market could double by 2025. According to Preqin, Australia’s private capital assets under management rose steadily in 2020 to a record $77 billion, and the country has one of the most attractive risk/return profiles globally. These assets comprise private equity, venture capital, private debt, real estate, infrastructure, and natural resources.

“Investors no longer question whether the asset class has merits. They come directly to us, and are more interested in whether the deal matches what they’re looking for in terms of risk and return,” says Raphaely.

One AltX investor, who currently has over 100 deals on the platform and also invests in private debt elsewhere, says AltX’s deals play a “conservative role” in his portfolio as a capital preservation play. “I like the quality of the deals, and I like AltX’s flawless default rate of zero. Your money works harder there than with the bank, without taking on any undue risk.”

As a wholesale investor, he also invests directly in property, funds and equities – without a financial planner.

“I find they don’t really understand what you’re trying to do, or they have a bias towards a particular path,” he says. “I wish accountants could still provide that kind of advice, because they see everyone’s books and understand what does and doesn’t work.”

Most investors don’t have the time or expertise to stay on top of a truly diversified portfolio – let alone any tax advantages. Yet 19% of Australians say the biggest barrier to accessing financial advice is lack of trust – and 29% say it’s a desire to manage their own finances.

AltX’s Flagship First Mortgage Debt Fund has recently received a ‘Recommended’ rating from independent research house IIR, and AltX can also create bespoke funds for advisers. This makes first mortgage private debt more accessible for both advisers and their clients.

However, they first need to understand the role of alternative assets like private debt in the current market.

Liquidity, yield and capital preservation

For investors approaching or in retirement, generating reliable income is the number one concern right now. But defensive positions are currently difficult: investing in cash currently does not beat inflation, and other fixed-income like 5-year Australian government bonds are only returning around 0.5% yield.

“Alternatives are not designed to keep pace with ‘raging bull’ equity markets – they provide non-correlated diversification to protect investment portfolios,” explains Raphaely. “But they can provide a balance of income, diversification and liquidity if you know what you are looking for.”

For example, AltX provides returns of around 4%-8% on first mortgage-backed property loans, over a fixed period – say 12 months. Construction loans may yield higher returns, but they assume an extra level of risk in the execution of actually building a project.

That’s why private debt investors need to do a fair amount of due diligence before committing to any specific deal. And their advisers should be across those details too.

“I understand property,” the AltX investor told us. “I don’t look at any LVR (Loan to Value Ratio) over 65% unless it’s a cracker of a position. I look at the valuation and whether I agree with that value. I look at the property, where it is and what the alternative uses are – how easy it would be to resell. And I tend not to go past 12 months.”

He prefers to invest directly, to have full visibility over the underlying asset. “I like that AltX has been doing this for quite a while. What I really love is that the exit strategy for the borrower is clearly laid out for every transaction. This gives me a lot of clarity on how I’m going to get my money back.”

Not just for those in the know

Raphaely co-founded AltX 10 years ago because he believed the ‘exclusive club’ mentality of investing in private debt was ripe for disruption. “It shouldn’t have to be a case of who you know,” he says. “We want to democratise access to this asset class.”

Many AltX investors do hear about the platform through friends and colleagues. These investors are far less likely to come through their financial adviser – although Raphaely hopes that will change as more planners understand the valuable role private debt can play in a portfolio.

“Instead of targeting a balanced portfolio mix with 60% equities and 40% bonds, think about it in terms of time,” he suggests. “Especially for retirees, who don’t have the time horizon to recover from a capital loss or ride out low bond yields.” For example, carving liquidity needs up into time, you could allocate cash funds to a 12-month private debt deal – and enjoy strong returns with a similar sense of security. “As a first mortgage holder, you rank in priority to other creditors,” notes Raphaely.

Other assets, like private equity, also have a strong showing as alternatives to equities – but (like equities) they play a growth role, rather than yield. And private equity positions are far less liquid than shares.

“There are assets that can provide income, but they aren’t the ‘usual’ types of products many financial planners are used to,” says Raphaely. “If we look at the US, there is certainly growing acceptance of alternatives as part of the mix. Yieldstreet, for example, enables investments in art or marine finance as well as real estate.”

As financial advisers seek to stay relevant in ever-changing markets – where new tech platforms may be just as trusted by the next generation of investors as a human adviser – it’s important to be aware of all the possible options available to meet investor goals and risk appetite.

About AltX

AltX (www.altx.com.au) is a market-leading alternative investment platform. Founded in 2012 and headquartered in Sydney, AltX provides bespoke access to alternative income-generating products which have traditionally been inaccessible to individual investors.  AltX has funded in excess of $2bn of transactions since inception with zero loss of investor capital.

This article was sourced from a media release sent by Medianet

Here Are The 5 Biggest JobKeeper Earners That Received More Than $1.2bn

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission effectively announced that it was mandatory for businesses to disclose the amount of JobKeeper payments they received and that these figures will be publicly listed on ASIC’s website.

Basically, it’s compulsory for every publicly listed company that received JobKeeper payments during the Covid-19 pandemic to publicly disclose their earnings from the scheme from Tuesday as per the Australian.

The Australian further confirms that initially, the $101bn payment scheme was set up to help keep businesses afloat throughout the pandemic, however, the plan created controversy when it was discovered that thousands of companies actually made a profit during the pandemic thanks to this initiative.

According to the new ASIC disclosure requirements, all publicly listed companies that received JobKeeper must declare the total amount of money they received, the number of employees they received it for, as well as if they made voluntary repayments of the payments.

That said, here are the top five companies that received the highest amounts of JobKeeper for the 2020-21 financial year. The entire list can be found via the ASIC website.

Qantas – $695.5 million

Crown Resorts – $198.3 million

Flight Centre – $152 million

Mosaic Brands – $96.5 million

Star Entertainment Group – $94.9 million

The combined earnings of the five largest recipients of the JobKeeper payment come at a total of more than a whopping $1.2bn taxpayer dollars!

More to come regarding this revelation.

Editorial credit: TK Kurikawa / Shutterstock.com