July is here along with freezing temperatures and good snowfalls in the south and east of the country. Meanwhile, temperatures are sizzling in Russia for the football World Cup where the finals are looming, although not for the Socceroos who unfortunately are headed home.
As the financial year ended, Australian investors had reason to be optimistic despite ongoing global tensions. Our economy grew 1 per cent in the March quarter, lifting the annual growth rate from 2.4 to 3.1 per cent, marking 27 consecutive years of growth. Unemployment eased from 5.6 per cent to 5.4 per cent in May while inflation is a benign 1.9 per cent. The cash rate remains at a record low of 1.5 per cent.
The Australian dollar fell below US74c, down from its January high of US81c (should have got some cash for our holiday then), due largely to the stronger US dollar. This helped push Australian shares to 10-year highs in June, although some of our largest companies (the big 4 banks, AMP, and Telstra) have share prices which are well down for the year and they have a lot of work to do to regain the trust of consumers and investors alike.
I always think the start of a new financial year is a great time to reflect on your finances, and think about where you would realistically like to be financially in 1 year, 5 years, and 10 years from now. Set yourself some targets, and make them a priority. Then sort out an action plan to help you get there, and a measurement system to keep you on track. Of course, if you think you could use some help with this please give us a call!