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Showing posts from 2008

Beware Asia’s Current Woes

Source: September 05 2008 - Australasian Investment Review – (AIR) Fears are swirling through Asia that the unrest in Thailand and Malaysia, the economic and political woes of Japan and the continuing weakness in South Korea might be a precursor to more serious problems at a time when the Australian economy's sole remaining lifeline is linked firmly into the region. This week's National Account and trade figures showed that the booming resource sector led by miners and exporters of coking and thermal coal and especially iron ore, boosted corporate income and profits to the point where it and the sector's investment plans stopped the economy from dipping into the red in the June quarter. We received a nasty reminder yesterday that our trade performance is not permanent and might be a bit more tenuous than we think. The trade surplus evident in June disappeared in July with the Australian Bureau of Statistics reporting a $717 million deficit as exports stalled and imports

BankWest 9% p.a. Regular Saver

9% p.a. and a range of other features: Needs to deposit between $50 and $500 per month. Note: maximum is $500 a month. Earn interest on your interest - it's calculated daily and paid monthly. No account fees. Link your Regular Saver to an eligible BankWest linked account. 24/7 access with online and phone banking. This will be a good account for saving. 9% p.a.! Where else can you get this low-risk/high-return investment? See BankWest for more details.

Australian Dollar’s Plunge Continues

Great article about the recent Australian Dollar's Plunge on Australasian Investment Review . It's now the biggest imponderable for Australian business. Just as we seem to have pushed high oil prices and inflation to the back of the agenda with last week's Reserve Bank hint of a rate cut, possibly next month, the plunging value of the Australian dollar will force us to keep oil and cost pressures in the forefront of our mind. Exporters will be having a quiet cheer, the pressures of a 98 USc Aussie dollar and the prospect of parity with the US currency, have been ended by the near 10 USc drop in the value of the local currency in the past three weeks. The Aussie fell more than 4% last week alone against the US currency and the loss since its peak last month is now well over 10%. Suddenly exporters are getting more for their exports, while importers are having to pay a bit more, including importers of oil and petrol. Big investors feel the uS has better recovery hopes t

Will China go bust after the Olympics?

I saw this good article on TheAge.com.au . It is always the question I had in my mind. Should we sell off the resource stocks after the Olympics? HAVING just given the banks another drubbing, it can't be long before the market turns on resources stocks with a vengeance. After all both are at the, er, coalface of the credit crisis. Despite taking a direct hit, the banks are valiantly fighting back with a 9.5percent annual jump in their fees and charges. But the bigger problem is that China is becoming more vulnerable. Certainly if the experience of Sydney, Athens and the other Olympic cities is any guide, when the games are over it will have a huge hangover, apparently without any fun to earn it. In all the twists and turns of the credit crisis, one surprise is how China gets away with a rickety banking system. If ever there were a banking collapse waiting to happen, outside the US that is, it would have to be China. The other day the Bloomberg news wire reported one of the c

Term Deposit 8.40% for 2 years

Westpace is offering the high interest rate 8.40% for term deposit for 2 years. With the hint from RBA that interest rate may fall, this seems a pretty good deal. # No set-up, monthly service or management fees # Competitive fixed interest rate on balances of $5000 and above # Interest paid annually They also have 7.8% offer for 3-month term deposit. See Westpac for more details.

Commsec Cash Management Account

Forget about CDIA!!! We have the better account now. Commsec is now offering the Cash Management Account which contains a cash account and an investment account. With the investment account, we can earn the interest rate of 7.5%pa. Yes, 7.5%! Both accounts offer no monthly fee. Unlimited electronic transactions; meaning unlimited withdraw from CBA ATM's (using MasterCard Debit Card.) Please see more details on Commsec .

ING Direct - Savings Maximiser rate is going up - and up

Great News! Savings Maximiser's standard variable rate is increased from 6.90% p.a. to 7.00% p.a. effective 23 June 2008. Plus the promotional interest rate from 7.90% p.a. to 8.00% p.a. effective 23 June 2008, which you can earn on any eligible deposits you make up until 30 September 2008. This is better than term deposits offered by major banks.

Inflation

The inflation hit Australia! Fuel price is increased greatly. Rice price was doubled in the past month. I think it's time to track where we can find the best bargain around the town, Melbourne. Rice: I think the Jasmine Rice (I love Coles) is the best value. Its current price is $17 for 10 kg. The taste is among the greatest; much better than the long grain rice. I will start posting best value essential food when I find one.

You might be able to get away paying speeding fines.

From www.fines.vic.gov.au under Official Warning sub menu: If you have received a Traffic Infringement Notice for a minor offence and you have a good driving record, you may be able to apply for an official warning. You may apply to receive an official warning if you: * hold a current drivers licence (including probationary licence but not including a learner drivers permit) * have not been issued with a speeding or other traffic fine or official warning within the previous two years * were caught doing less than 10 kilometres per hour over the speed limit * do not deny that you were speeding. Each application for an official warning is judged on a case-by-case basis and is subject to the discretion of Victoria Police. To get more information about your eligibility for an official warning call Civic Compliance Victoria on (03) 9200 8111, between 8am and 6pm, Monday to Friday. Callers from regional Victoria can contact Civic Compliance Victoria on 1800 150 410 for

Free Train Travel for Early Birds

* Early Bird program to be expanded to all metro lines * Quarter or users changed plans to take advantage * Passengers can save 'up to $47-per-fortnight' ALL of Melbourne's trains will be free before 7am in a bid to ease crowding on the network. After a trial of the free Early Bird travel on two lines, which began in October, the State Government today said it would expand the program for all 15 metropolitan lines, starting on March 31. Passengers must arrive at their destination by 7am, between Monday to Friday, for their travel to be free. Victorian Premier John Brumby said the trial on the Frankston and Sydenham lines showed more than a quarter of passengers who travel before 7am altered their travel times to take advantage of the initiative. "Roll-out of the Early Bird is the next step in our commitment to find new and innovative ways to address the unprecedented patronage growth we are experiencing across the network,'' Mr Brumby said.

Hunt for the cheapest home loan

With the prospect of higher interest rates on the cards you should be searching high and low for the cheapest home loan rate you can get. If it is a new loan you're after, it is hard to beat the "headline" rates being offered by the mostly non-bank online providers which, at first glance, can be a whole basis point behind the current variable rates being charged by the big four banks. At the time of going to press - remember financial markets are volatile right now and variable rates are on the rise - the cheapest variable rate online home loan on offer was RateBuster's 7.65 per cent, compared to ANZ's 8.77 per cent. According to loan comparer Infochoice, there are plenty of cheaper loan options (see tables below). Where they might sting is in the application or termination fees and with the flexibility they offer. Cheap but not cheerful Remembering that it was the cheap "teaser rates" offered to thousands of new borrowers in the United States that

My Canon EOS 40D

Yeah! After researching for weeks on the net, I finally got my Digital SLR from eBay. It costs me AUD$1300, which is around $500 cheaper than the street price. The Canon EOS 40D is a 10-megapixel semi-professional digital single-lens reflex camera. It is the successor of the Canon EOS 30D and can accept EF and EF-S lenses, and like its predecessor, it uses an APS-C sized image sensor, resulting in a 1.6x Field of View Crop Factor.