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News and Insights

On Wednesday the 23rd, the US House of Representatives voted to suspend discussions on the US debt ceiling until May (2013). By doing this they averted a potential US default but also bought some more time for extended budget negotiation between the parties.

The subsequent Bill now goes to the US Senate where it is expected to pass and then be approved by the newly re-elected President Barack Obama (Democrat), defusing tensions between the Democrats and Republicans as they continue to negotiate on how to rein in US deficits and debt.

While this is not the preferred outcome as global markets must now wait until May, it is a positive note coming off the back of successful negotiations around the US Fiscal Cliff which we reported upon in the December update.

So what is the “debt ceiling” and why does this impact global markets in such a manner?

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January 30, 2013

Market Commentary - November 2012

by Matthew Congiusta

The current global economic environment is showing signs of stabilisation, however there are inherent risks and issues to be contended with to achieve future growth.

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December 3, 2012

In today’s complex world and even more complex family structures, best practice would suggest that all Estate Planning is conducted as a joint professional service by your Financial Adviser and Lawyer. In the instances where higher net worth clients are involved, it would also be prudent to involve the client’s accountant as well.

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December 2, 2012

After a seemingly endless campaign and $6 billion worth of political spending, Americans voted to re-elect President Obama, keep Congress more or less the way it’s been and continue the divided government that’s been in place for the last two years.

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December 1, 2012

Market Commentary - August 2012

by Brendan Gallagher

Investment market’s focus on Europe has continued to dominate headlines over the past quarter with Spain now replacing Greece on centre stage. Sovereign debt and banking issues of these countries, together with nervousness of the recent Greece elections, led to falling markets in May and early June. Since then, share markets have strengthened as each of the European spot fires has been extinguished.

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August 3, 2012

The world is a different place to that of the last bull market (2003-2007) and the way we look at investing in the global investment universe should be re-examined. Financial Keys has identified a fund manager with the characteristics that make it truly a manager of our time. The Magellan Global Fund (MGF) is designed to take advantage of the changing landscape of global markets.

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August 2, 2012

Is Cash Really King?

by Mark Causer

There have been many articles written on the Global Financial Crisis (or GFC as it is now commonly referred to); so much so that I am sure the acronym is headed for the Oxford Dictionary! It is hard to find ANY story that provides an optimistic short, medium or even longer term view (insert country of choice to suit your argument).

All of this volatility has made global investors extremely nervous. As a result, many have flooded back to the supposed safety of ‘cash’ (term deposits, savings accounts, cash management trusts) - billions of dollars have been transferred back into cash. Investing money into cash has never made anybody wealthy, however Australians are now more aware that the Government will protect their cash (up to $250,000) and over the last few years cash has managed to contribute a positive return to their investment portfolios. Therefore the obvious thing to do is move to cash to avoid risk!

But how safe is this strategy? Is cash really King or possibly the Court Jester?

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August 1, 2012

Market Commentary - May 2012

by Brendan Gallagher

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 hit a nine month high early in May, closing at 4,429.5 points after the Reserve Bank of Australia cut interest rates by a larger than expected 50 basis points. Since then, renewed fear of a disorderly Greek default and exit from the Euro has been a major driver of a flight to safety and subsequent falls in global share markets.

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May 2, 2012

2012 Federal Budget

by Mark Causer

On the 8th of May 2012, Treasurer Wayne Swan delivered his fifth (and some might predict his last) Federal budget. Falling out of this Budget are the usual announcements to which advisers and accountants must consult with their clients, to ensure that their personal circumstances are maximised for the following 2013 financial year and potentially beyond.

Given the impact that this year’s Budget places on Superannuation, therefore accumulation and retirement planning, we have placed a little more focus onto this area in this quarter’s newsletter.

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May 1, 2012

Market Commentary - February 2012

by Brendan Gallagher

European sovereign debt issues continued to influence local and international markets over the past quarter. While Australian shares and bonds continue to produce strong income, the volatility of share prices continues.

Europe remains the drag on global markets. The debt crisis lingers and has seen several countries have their credit rating downgraded, including France. Germany remains the only major European economy with a triple-A rating. The Greek debt crisis provides ongoing news headlines out of Europe. European leaders are offering additional funds to prop up the Greek economy provided strict austerity policies are introduced, designed to cut costs, boost the governments ailing revenues and cut debt levels. With so many European countries and institutions involved, it is a slow and complicated process.

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February 3, 2012

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