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We’ve all heard about the self managed super fund and the fact that it’s becoming the most effective type of superannuation funds in Australia. The SMSFs hold one third of the total superannuation funds in our country and are especially popular among people who are planning their retirement and among those who are highly engaged with their superannuation. The most obvious benefit from the SMSF is the flexibility and the total control every member has over their fund. This means that even if you get help from a financial adviser, lawyer or any other kind of professional, you’ll be still the only one responsible for all the decisions made by the fund. The purpose of the SMSF is to provide its members with benefits during their retirement years, so if you have no knowledge in terms of finances, make sure you make some research on SMSF providers that will help you set up your fund for the future.

Before you choose your SMSF provider, get familiar with their policies and their fees. It’s crucial that you understand all the information they will provide you with. Make sure that the provider you’re going to choose is experienced and reliable. They should respect and value the professional relationship and commit to protect all the private information from their clients. But remember, in certain situations they may disclose some personal information if it’s required or authorized by the law.

Also, it is imperative to understand how each provider structures their ongoing fees for administration and reporting. Unless otherwise specified, all fees will be levied by the SMSF provider for the services outlined in the agreement you’re going to sign. Note that ongoing fees may sometimes be influenced by the member’s age, the number of assets they own and the total value of the fund.

If while making your research you come across some SMSF providers that have been on the marketplace for less than two years, be very careful, unless the individuals working there have been in the super industry for a long time. When it comes to the services, some providers will offer you the “complete service package”, but think carefully before you sign on for one of these packages because they can be really expensive. Others may give you the liberty to choose which services you need the most and pay just for them.

In the end, the agreement you sign with the provider can be legally terminated by either you or them by providing 30 days notice in writing, normally without any additional fee. The provider on the other hand can also terminate the agreement immediately if you fail to pay the fees and the services provided by them.

If you are a curious person who constantly reads and gathers useful pieces of information, you have probably already come across the fact that mortgage brokers are highly respected experts in the field of economics. These professionals play an extremely important role throughout the entire mortgage loan process for a mortgage broker serves as a financial expert and a middle-man (or a middle-woman) between the borrower and the lender (which usually is a bank). Researching and finding out which type of loan is the most suitable one for their client is among the most crucial activities of licensed mortgage brokers.

mortgage-broker

Since a mortgage broker’s job includes many responsibilities and requires many skills, becoming one isn’t exactly a quick and easy mission. Read on to learn how to become a mortgage broker (a licensed and successful one, of course).

1. COMPLETE THE APPROPRIATE TRAINING COURSE AND OBTAIN THE CERTIFICATE IV IN FINANCE AND MORTGAGE BROKING.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission currently stipulates that the aforementioned certificate is the minimum education requirement for each individual who wants to start a career in the mortgage broking industry. However, if you choose to begin this professional journey of yours as a member of a certain brokers group, you should learn how to become a mortgage broker according to the organization you have selected. Many new mortgage brokers decide to give this option a chance because joining a brokers group offers a lot of great benefits, including full training, immensely helpful pieces of expert advice from at least one experienced and successful mortgage broker (mentoring services), and all the tools an individual needs to kick start their mortgage broker career.

2. WORK AS A CREDIT REPRESENTATIVE FOR TWO YEARS.

If you haven’t worked in the financial services sector for at least two years, you will have to operate as a credit representative for a two-year period once you obtain the certificate mentioned above. During this relatively short period of time, you will work under a license holder. However, this doesn’t mean that the licensee will be your employer. The licensee will only supervise your work and see whether you comply with legislative and industry requirements or not. At the end of the second year, if everything is all right, you will be given the opportunity to choose whether you will continue operating as a credit representative of a license holder or you will apply for your own full license.

3. NEVER STOP IMPROVING YOUR SKILLS.

Successful mortgage brokers are the ones who are aware that constantly enhancing their communication, negotiation, and decision-making skills is a crucial part of their job. Never forget this.

insurance

Although for some it may be pretty straightforward, there are a lot of companies that either don’t really understand product liability insurance or they don’t believe it is necessary, which is why it is often overlooked. However, it is one of the most important aspects of a company’s overall insurance program and it should be taken seriously.

If you haven’t already guessed by the name, product liability insurance is actually intended to protect your business from claims related to the manufacturing or sale of various products such as food, medicine, and other goods to the general public. Whether it is a manufacturing flaw, some toxic substances in the product, design defects, an injury due to misuse of the product, even if it is not your company’s fault, you may still be found liable for damages. Very often these compensations are so big that a lot of companies are forced out of business, just because someone misused your product and the warning label wasn’t “specific” enough. And I’m not even going to mention the effect that this might have on the reputation of your company.

But, the two main reasons why you might want to get product liability insurance are knowing that if you get sued for some damage allegedly caused by your product, the insurance company will pay for the attorneys hired to defend you and the settlement costs of the lawsuit, and the second reason is the if you are planning on doing business with a retailer, you will have to show them evidence that your product has liability insurance.

So how do you know if your company requires product liability? Sometimes even importing or repairing a certain product is enough to make you liable. Here are some simple examples where product liability insurance is essential.

  • If you manufacture a certain product
  • If you commission the manufacture of a product or your company’s name appears on the product
  • If you are using components or materials from an unidentified supplier
  • If you use imported components and materials that don’t meet Australian standards

It is very important to understand that when you are selling goods, they are required by law to be safe for their intended use and accepting those responsibilities shows that you care for the safety of your customers and you want to keep them aware of any risks regarding your product. This is why you should always provide clear instructions for proper use of the product, warnings of potential risks through proper and improper use, taking proactive measures in measuring and improving the safety of the product, and so on.

Overall, product liability insurance can really help your business. You can either get a complete of-the-shelf insurance package or you can have a specialist decide on the level of cover you need and have a tailored solution.

Save

SMSF or the self managed super fund is a special type of trust established to provide financial benefits to members in retirement as well to their beneficiaries. The trustees control all the investments made in the name of the superannuation fund and they have the freedom to tailor the fund according to their individual requirements and needs. The SMSF must be set up in accordance with the trust and super laws. Furthermore, it must include trustees, assets as well as identifiable beneficiaries.

Superannuation Trust Deed

The first and most important part of the set-up process is the superannuation trust deed. It is a legal document which actually establishes the SMSF and provides all the rules for operating the fund. The Superannuation Industry Supervision Act (SISA) requires that the governing rules set up by the trust deed establish the fund with the primary purpose of providing provision or old-age pension for the trustees. Furthermore, the deed must ensure that the SMSF will be operated following the superannuation laws.

The superannuation trust deed includes an establishment date and a clear definition for all the relevant laws. It also provides information about the process of becoming a member as well as important details on how all the proceedings, such as voting or investing, should be conducted.

The deed must also provide information about the investment power of the trustees. This includes all the rules and terms about who can actually become a trustee and under which conditions. It should set up the rules for the payment of benefits as well as the terms concerning the acceptance of contributions. The deed should also provide details on how and under what conditions the super fund can be wound up.

As the most important legal document that forms the governing rules, the trust deed must be prepared by qualified professionals that will make sure the SMSF is a complying fund that operates in accordance with the superannuation laws. Moreover, the deed must be signed and dated by all the trustees. It should also be executed following the state and territory laws. For the proper functioning of the super fund, it is necessary for the deed to be regularly reviewed and updated.

An efficient and well-established superannuation trust deed ensures that the trustees enjoy all the advantages that come with SMSF. These include great investment options, a freedom to control and organize their funds such as the option to make a transition of retirement pensions, as well as the opportunity to purchase or borrow property and other assets. It really has a vital role when it comes to maximizing the potential of the super fund and building a safe future for you and your family.

It is known that you cannot borrow money from your self-managed super fund, but the “no borrowing” has some exceptions just as any other SMSF rule. Before any consideration, SMSF trustees must know the difference between direct and indirect borrowing, and the special rules that apply to the no borrowing rule. Indeed your super fund cannot directly borrow money, but there are two exceptions: for paying a member’s (trustee’s) benefit or for urgent settling of a share transaction.

SMSF Loans

The latest changes to superannuation legislation have made borrowing money for property investments possible. Now, you can borrow money from your self-managed superannuation fund to pay for any type of property, including commercial, industrial, residential or even for a farm (under certain circumstances). If your SMSF has enough money that can be put down a deposit, the remaining amount of the purchase price can be borrowed. The SMSF loan can be either provided by the members of your fund or loaned from a financial institution.

The SMSF loan is set up with a non-recourse borrowing arrangement. In other words, you, the lender, are not allowed to recourse any other asset in the SMSF without the trustees giving you a guarantee. However, you should know that with the SMSF you can only partially pay for the property and all included fees. If you need to pay a larger deposit on an investment property, the investment bank might give up the requirements for trustees’ guarantee. In that case, the property will be the only security for the loan that matters, under the so-called limited recourse loan arrangement.

There are many benefits of the SMSF loan for purchasing a property. The greatest one is that you can sell your commercial property by the SMSF at market rates. Another benefit is that the assets of your SMSF are secure, since you are the only one with the right of recourse on the investment property. Using the rental income and super contributions, the loan is repaid conveniently. Also, the SMSF is only taxed at the net income, since the expenses and loan interested are deducted.

Before you loan money from your SMSF for an investment property, make sure your trust deed allows borrowing. Then, you should create an investment strategy of your super fund and include provision for your investment property. To service the loan, your SMSF must have some cash flows, which are usually achieved from trustees’ contributions, rental incomes and investment earnings.

The owners of investment property are you and your fund members, with your SMSF entitled to be the beneficiary. The bare trust is known as the title holder until the SMSF loan is paid off. After the SMSF loan is repaid, your SMSF has every right (not obligatory) to acquire the legal ownership of the investment property.

The number of international home buyers, from different parts in the world who buy properties in the USA, has been increasing in the recent years. One of the biggest investors in the US real estate market are the Australians, along with the Canadian and British citizens. There are many reasons why foreigners decide to invest in USA property for sale. The main factor more and more Australians buy properties in the USA, is the significant stagnation of the US housing market.

Foreclosure Homes USA

Dramatic fall of the prices of the US real estate was noted between 2009 and 2013. This was a result of the successive economic crisis. During this period, Australians accounted for 11% of the total number of foreign investor, and the number is rising. If you too would like to become an American property owner, here are the few things to keep in mind.

Step 1: Determine the type of property you plan to purchase

Before even doing the research on available USA property for sale, determine the purpose or simply said, what you plan to use the property for. Will you use it as a vacation home or will it be your long term residence or will it only be used by your children who plan to study in the USA? Or maybe, you want to lease the property in order to receive additional income.

Step 2: Get to know the US real estate market

When talking about the overall US real estate market, it is important to know, that each USA state has own housing laws and regulations. This means that many segments can differ for state to state, such as: the type of purchase contract, the titles and duties of people who are assigned to conduct the selling process and the method of closing the sale. Thus, get to know the US market you plan to invest in.

Step 3: Consult with real estate professionals

The process of purchasing USA property for sale can be a daunting one. Since you will be investing larger amount of financial assets in a real estate market you are not familiar enough with, seek professional help from experienced real estate agents. Hire an experienced and licensed real estate agent, inspector and attorney. They will represent your legal rights and will protect your investment strategy.

Step 4: Get financing

As a foreigner buyer of the USA property for sale, you may come across many requirements, especially when it comes to the banks. Usually, most banks ask foreign investors to provide a specific amount of financial deposit and to set certain limits to the loan. Some banks require at least $100,000 deposit, while others may require higher number. The US loan market offers affordable and safe loans for foreign home buyers who have good credit scores. It is up to you to decide which kind of financing you will choose.

A SMSF is one of the most popular retirement investment options in Australia. This is due to the fact that this type of fund offers great investment flexibility and no restrictions concerning it. Aside from this, SMSF offers full control over fund assets and better investment options. The greatest advantage of running a SMSF is the fact that it provides great control over investment possibilities. For example, a property investment strategy is a great option. It offers significant tax benefits and also provides the ability to invest without affecting personal funds.

If you are looking for more flexibility and a greater control over your DIY superannuation, then this simple guide may be for you. With the rising demand for super funds, they have become the number one choice of many future retirees as the preferred structure to invest their retirement assets. If you are considering setting up a DIY superannuation, you should educate yourself about it and get the right and professional advice from licensed financial accountant or planner before you proceed.

Boost Your SMSF