This week, the share market recovered some of its early falls but still closed in negative territory as sentiment remained subdued on strengthened expectations of a rate hike by the US Federal Reserve. The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index dropped 0.6 per cent, with materials, industrials and real estate stocks among the worst performers. The Australian dollar has slipped against the greenback after global risk sentiment fell on expectations the European Central Bank will probably wind down its bond purchases. At 1700 AEDT on Wednesday, the local unit was trading at 76.26 US cents, down from 76.74 US cents on Tuesday.

What does this mean for you?

The Australian Financial review published an interesting article during the week about UBS Australia Boss Matthew Grounds, who was saying there's no point in just buying into the ASX 200 if you'd like to make money as an investor. Our philosophy differs from this, mainly due to the results of those who do try to beat the market. Over 60% of trained fund managers failed to beat the index last year, and the results seldom differ from this on an annual basis. We'd recommend you get the returns you're entitled to as an investor and apply an index investment approach.

This week the IMF (International Monetary Fund) warned of exploding private debt on an international level. Our observations would be that those people who can afford a comfortable retirement are also those who have worked hard to pay down private debt in their working years. Start by focusing on the highest interest rate debt first – personal loans and credit cards, and then move on to the home loan. A focused debt reduction approach is just as important as having a focused investment plan.

If you would like to review your current structures, contact us today on 5482 2855.