It’s September and spring is here, providing a welcome lift in spirits. After some spectacular performances by our athletes at the recent Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, hopefully you are inspired to achieve some personal goals of your own.

August provided mixed economic news, with central banks, business and consumers remaining cautious. In a widely-reported speech, US Federal Reserve chair, Jerome Powell said there remained “much ground to cover” before he would consider lifting interest rates, sending stocks higher and bond yields lower.

In Australia, shares and shareholders were boosted by a positive company reporting season. According to CommSec, of the ASX200 companies that have reported so far, 84% reported a profit in the year to June, 73% lifted profits and dividends were up 70% to $34 billion. One of the COVID “winners” is the construction sector. While the value of construction rose 0.4% overall in the year to June, the value of residential building was up 8.9% and renovations rose 24.5%, the strongest in 21 years. One of the COVID “losers”, retail trade was down 3.1% in the year to June. While unemployment fell from 4.9% to 4.6% in July, full-time jobs and hours worked were lower due to the impact of lockdowns.

It has been a challenging month for us at Excel, with a combination of legislative changes to deal with, our team not being able to come to work (fortunately we have Stacey and Kristie set up to work from home and they are doing a great job – but its not the same as being here).

We’ve has a fair bit happening on a personal front as well – we have been coordinating the construction of a granny flat for my mother and step-father, and building a workshop for my daughter’s business. You’ll certainly see some changes next time you visit us. Soon we’ll have 4 generations living on the same property – am I crazy or what?

Some of you know our son is a school teacher at Dubbo and he amongst many others at the schools out there tested positive to Covid-19. It has been a really difficult past few weeks for him (and us from afar) but thank goodness I’m pleased to say he seems to now be over the worst of it. The frustrating thing for us was being unable to do anything to help him. He has told us you would not want to wish this horrible disease on anybody, so if you haven’t already, please get the jab. Rural areas are not equipped to handle outbreaks like this of any kind.

With everything going on we are taking a bit longer than normal to finish some client work, but we are putting in a big effort to catch up and hopefully lockdown restrictions will ease and we’ll have our team back on deck soon. We really appreciate your patience and understanding at this time.

Until we see you again, please keep well – stay safe.

Stuart Fitzpatrick and Excel Financial Advisors Pty Ltd are authorised representatives of Interprac Financial Planning Pty Ltd AFSL 246638 registered office at Level 8, 525 Finders Street, Melbourne VIC 3000. This advice may not be suitable to you because it contains general advice that has not been tailored to your personal circumstances. Please seek personal financial advice prior to acting on this information. Investment Performance: Past performance is not a reliable guide to future returns as future returns may differ from and be more or less volatile than past returns.