The Australian share market rallied on soaring Chinese debt extension and Commonwealth Bank's profit report and finished off high for the day. Last night the US S&P 500 index gained 0.4 per cent, but the S&P/ASX 200 index climbed to a 1.1 per cent gain, and finished up 53.9 points, or 0.94 per cent, at 5809.1 as bank stocks followed US financials higher. Wall Street's record-setting run entered its fifth day on Wednesday, as President Donald Trump repeated his promise of tax cuts and on upbeat economic data that increased the odds of a rate hike and lifted bank stocks.

What this means for you:
What a difference a year can make. This time last year investors suffered through one of the worst Januaries for markets on record, and now investors are enjoying a fantastic start to the current year. Some investors panicked 12 months ago and sold their shares, but for those who have stayed the course and not let their emotions get in the way, they've enjoyed double-digit returns over the 12 months. It just goes to show why it's so important not to make a short term decision on a long-term investment.

The heat wave power blackouts in parts of Australia have featured on the news recently, which reignites the issue of reliable energy. For individuals and businesses, there is a definite financial benefit to taking up solar for your power needs, provided you're going to stay in the same building for some years. Depending on the size of your solar installation, it will pay itself off in a number of years, meaning energy savings after that will fall straight to your bottom line. This may be worth considering for those who don't like their current utility bill.