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PINNACLE ROAD MONTHLY NEWSLETTER EDITION #4

Pinnacle Road Monthly Newsletter Edition #4

Welcome to our fourth edition of the Pinnacle Road monthly newsletter.

We break down what’s been happening in the market over the past month and how it’s affecting each of our services.

 

Accounting & Advisory

 

Lower Taxes

For Individuals

  1. Personal Tax Cuts
  • As of 6 October 2020, personal income tax cuts have been announced – meaning low to middle income earners will receive immediate tax relief of up to $2,745 for singles and $5,490 for couples compared with 2017-18;

 

  • For employees, these tax cuts will be realised throughout the year on their payslips, as less PAYG Withholding will be withheld on the Gross Income;

 

  • Other individual taxpayers (e.g. Non-employees) will observe the tax cuts in when lodging their 2020/21 Income Tax Returns next year;

 

  • Further tax cuts are scheduled for future tax years – with 95% of taxpayers facing a marginal tax rate of 30% or less by 2024-25;

 

For Businesses

  1. Instant Asset Write Off Extension – Temporary Full Expensing
    • Expanding on the current $150,000 Instant Asset Write Off (currently available until 31 December 2020), the Federal Government announced that businesses with turnover up to $5 billion will be able to deduct the full cost of eligible depreciable assets with no threshold limit* so long as they are acquired and ready for use from 7:30pm 6 October 2020 to 30 June 2022;
    • *Limits apply to Motor Vehicles;
  2. Loss Carry Back
    • Losses incurred during the 2019/20, 2020/21 and or 2021/22 can be carried back against profits made in or after 2018/19. Eligible companies may elect to receive a tax refund when they lodge their 2020–21 and 2021–22 tax returns;
  3. R&D Tax Incentive
    • The Government will enhance previously announced reforms to invest an additional $2 billion through the Research and Development Tax Incentive (R&DTI).
    • For small claimants (turnover less than $20 million), the Government will increase the refundable R&D tax offset to 18.5 percentage points above the claimant’s company tax rate, and there will be no $4 million cap on annual cash refunds.
    • For larger claimants, the Government will streamline the intensity test from three to two tiers and increase the non-refundable R&D tax offset rates. The new rates will be the claimant’s company tax rate plus 8.5 percentage points for initial R&D expenditure up to 2 per cent R&D intensity, and 16.5 percentage points for R&D expenditure above 2 per cent R&D intensity.
    • The Government will also proceed with the increase in the cap on eligible R&D expenditure from $100 million to $150 million per annum.
    • These changes apply from 1 July 2021 and will support more than 11,400 companies that claim the R&DTI.

 

Supporting Job Creation & Sustainability

  1. Jobmaker Hiring Credit

The JobMaker Hiring Credit was announced in the 2020 Budget to assist to accelerate growth in the employment of young people during the COVID-19 recovery, aiming at reducing long-term unemployment. Subject to passage of legislation, the incentive will be available from 7 October 2020 for 12 months for eligible employers creating new jobs for eligible employees aged between 16 to 35.

The JobMaker Hiring Credit will be:

  • $200 per week for each eligible employee aged 16 to 29
  • $100 per week for each eligible employee aged 30 to 35

 

Employers are eligible to receive the JobMaker Hiring Credit if they:

  • - Have an Australian Business Number (ABN);
  • - Are up to date with tax lodgement obligations;
  • - Are registered for Pay as You Go (PAYG) withholding;
  • - Are reporting through Single Touch Payroll (STP);
  • - Meet the additionality criteria;
  • - Are claiming in respect of an eligible employee; and
  • - Have kept adequate records of the paid hours worked by the employee they are claiming the hiring credit in respect of.

 

To be an eligible employee, the employee must:

  • - Be  aged either 16 to 35 years old at the time their employment started;

- Have worked at least 20 paid hours per week on average for the full weeks they were employed over the reporting period;

- Commenced their employment between 7 October 2020 and 6 October 2021;

- Have received the JobSeeker Payment, Youth Allowance (Other), or Parenting Payment for at least one month within the past three months before they were hired;

- Be in their first year of employment with this employer, reflecting that the hiring credit is only available for 12 months for each additional job; and 

  • - Must be employed for the period that the employer is claiming for them.

Employees may be employed on a permanent, casual or fixed term basis.

  • - An employer cannot claim JobKeeper and JobMaker Hiring Credit at the same time.

 

  • For more information on your business and employee eligibility for JobMaker Hiring Credits, please contact our Accounting Team.

 

  1. Apprentice Wage Subsidy

The federal government announced that they will extend funding to support 100,000 new apprentices and trainees through the proposed wage subsidy program. The subsidy will provide employers with 50% of an apprentice’s wage, up to a cap of $7,000 per quarter, for commencing apprentices and trainees, until 30 September 2021.

 

  1. Fringe Benefit Tax Exemptions for Retraining Staff

In an effort to encourage re-skilling and retention of staff who may have otherwise been made redundant under current COVID-19 working conditions, the federal government has provided businesses with an exemption from Fringe Benefit Tax on staff training and education so that they can be given a new role within the business. The costs towards training for a completely new role are normally not deductible, so this provides employers with incentives to re-train and re-skill staff to keep them working within the business, rather than making them redundant.

 

 

Residential Finance

It has been an exciting month for the team at Pinnacle Road. With restrictions easing, plus a drop in interest rates on Tuesday, we are busier than ever with homebuyers getting well and truly ready to pounce in the forthcoming months. We are also working hard to take advantage of the decrease in rates, making sure our clients are being refinanced into better structured loans that save them money.

September was a tough month for everyone in Victoria. Heavy lockdowns meant there were no open for inspections, and certainly no auctions. Now with restrictions easing and auctions back on, this has caused a backlog in properties and buyers which means the market is very hot at the minute. We are seeing properties being sold at auction for well over their reserve and predicted price. Because of this is it very important to know your limit and stick to it.

Obtaining a pre-approval will confirm the bank will lend you the money, taking as much stress out of the purchasing process as possible. It will also allow you to know your absolute max borrowing capacity which will allow you to narrow down your search accurately to properties you can afford. Different banks mean different borrowing capacities as well, so it is important you apply at the most suitable for your situation. If you are in the market, we recommend talking to us about this and we would be more than happy to help you apply at the best bank, preparing you properly for that purchase.

On Tuesday, the RBA announced a further rate cut to a record low rate of 0.10%. We have seen a few banks pass this one meaning we now have some fixed rates at as low as 1.97%. This is as low as we have seen. The banks are also very keen for business and are still offering up to $4,000 for refinancing your existing loans.

 

     Home Loan Savings 

        If a 0.15 basis point cut happens

     

 

If you have a rate in the 3’s or haven’t had a look at your loan structure for over a year, we strongly recommend giving us  call to see if we can get you a lower rate and save you potentially thousands a year to pay for a well-earned holiday after this crazy year!


 

Wealth Management

Risk Management – What is Income Protection?

 

“Unprecedented” and “uncertain” times could well be the slogan of 2020, a year which if nothing else has shown us we definitely can’t predict the future and what might happen.  With this in mind, we think it is essential that every holistic financial plan takes into account risk.  Risk can appear in some many different – interest rates, inflation, markets, specific stocks, governments etc.

One risk that people often don’t consider fully enough is what would happen to them financially if you suffered a serious illness or injury.

The reality is that your health and your ability to work is your greatest asset and so it is essential that you protect “your asset”.  Research has shown that 83% of Australians insure their car but only 33% of Australians insure their income.  The same data indicated approximately 20% of mortgage defaults were due to ‘illness or accident in household’.

An alarming one in ten individuals across all age groups admitted to not knowing what income protection was with 65% of Gen Y and 50% of Baby Boomers not understanding what it covered. As such, we’ve given you a quick ‘Income Protection 101’ below; 

  • You can cover up to 75% of your pre-injury/illness income.


  • Your ‘waiting period’ is the length of time you need to be out of work before a benefit is payable to you – generally between 30-90 days but can be longer.

 

  • Your ‘benefit period’ is the length of time a benefit will be payable to you should you make a successful claim – this can be for 1, 2, 5years and even up to age 65.

 

  • An ‘Own-Occupation’ policy will pay a benefit where the life insured cannot work in their usual occupation – e.g. a surgeon who injures their hand may still be able to work but cannot perform their usual surgery and so the benefit is payable.

 

  • An ‘Any-Occupation’ policy will only pay a benefit under circumstances where the life insured cannot work in any occupation – e.g. they are so ill that they cannot reasonably perform any duties

 

Income Protection is just one of the areas of insurance that you need to look at, it is also important to look at Life Insurance, Total and Permanent Disability and Trauma insurance.  Unfortunately, bad things happen to good people so it is important that you have a holistic plan. 

Establishing a risk management strategy is a key component in any financial plan and at Pinnacle Road our approach is to quantify your financial risk, determine the most cost effective way to manage the risk and then proactively manage your risk over time.

We hope that none of our clients will ever have to claim on an insurance policy but if you need to make a claim and aren’t insured, well you simply can’t claim.

Ultimately, we aim for our clients not to have any insurance because they have accumulated sufficient assets that they are financially independent and don’t need insurance.

Should you have any queries regarding income protection or your risk management strategy please feel free to get in touch.


Economic and Market Commentary

The fourth quarter of the 2020 calendar year brought with it one of the most crucial budgets our government ever released, one of the most dramatic US elections we’ve witnessed and signs of sustained recovery for Australia among the chaos.  The Morrison government announced an unsurprisingly jobs focused budget which will bring the total level of support during the Covid crisis to $507billion.  The US election, at the time of writing, has become closer than anticipated and overshadowed threats of legal action on recounts and fraud.  While it looks like the process could be drawn out over weeks, the markets have been responsive over the session demonstrating the ripple effect of the US on the globe.

On election day Australian time, we saw a surge in the Australian dollar to 72.21US cents and a subsequent slump back to 70.5 US cents as Trump closed the margin and the outcome became more uncertain.  The market has been swinging between gains and losses as the count looks like it will be dragged out and the polls again proved unreliable.  We would like to touch again on historical market responses to the election, as it does look like the senate will remain with a Republican majority.  Assuming this, markets have previously seen the best returns with a Democratic (Biden) House win and a Republican Senate.



The other area in which this would affect Australian markets will be on the increasing trade tensions with China.  With such a rapid recovery from our largest trade partner, the outlook for Australia’s recovery should be very optimistic.  However, this has been in doubt recently by inquiries, custom delays, calls for tariffs and now confirmed suspension on some of our largest exports to China including coal, barley, wine and lobsters.  We’ve witnessed over the past four years the speed at which the Trump administration can escalate tensions internationally.  With the Coronavirus as the apparent source of this friction it is unclear whether a Biden, with more predictable conduct, or Trump, with a harder line on international trade, administration could help or hinder the current trade climate.

Returning to the domestic outlook, the remainder of the year and entry into 2021 is looking positive at this stage.  As Victoria emerges from strict lockdowns and maintains good health outcomes, the state looks set to rejoin the rest of the functioning economy.   Australian and Asian markets will likely gain ground on US market performance with the recovery of the manufacturing, materials and financial sectors.  With the heavy focus on jobs in this budget it is expected we will see strong performance in both manufacturing and materials over the next 12 months.   The ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer confidence rating rose 0.2% to an 8-month high of 99.9 this week, confidence not seen since early February this year.

 

Stay safe

Kind regards, 

Mark Rice

0435 618 232

 

 

Equipment Finance

Deferrals

For those Pinnacle clients who deferred their equipment finance loans back in March for 6 months please be aware of the ramifications of deferring again, if you’re thinking about it then please contact George directly to discuss as it can effect lending in the future.

Payments should begin to start for the rest, again if you are having any issues with your lenders please contact our team for assistance.


Low Doc Policies

Bank of Queensland have just reinstated their true low doc policy for all new to bank clients up to 150k.

This means you can obtain finance for tier 1 assets up to 150k without financials.

Criteria below; 

  • ABN 2 years registration
  • Director Property backed
  • Clear credit file

 

Contact George directly on 0408 052 919


Commercial Finance

 

What is debtor finance?

 

Debtor Finance is, quite simply, a line of credit linked to and secured by your outstanding accounts receivable.
If your business supplies products or services to other businesses on standard trade credit terms, Debtor Finance can help.
There are a number of variations in how the service is delivered, ranging from Confidential Invoice Discounting (for larger, more sophisticated businesses with a dedicated finance department) to the option of full management of accounts receivables (which allows many of our smaller clients to focus on growing their businesses rather than chasing outstanding invoices).

What are the benefits of debtor finance?

 

It is a powerful standalone business finance facility, which helps because:

  • As your business grows the facility grows with it
  • Unlike a traditional bank overdraft, there is generally no need for real estate security
  • It is a standalone facility that can sit alongside other business borrowings (such as overdrafts, term loans, and asset finance)
  • It helps you grow your business and increase purchasing power through improved cash flow
  • There are no capital repayment requirements

 

How does debtor finance work?


You invoice your client directly and upload the invoice to us at the same time. Within 24 hours our lender will pay 80% of the value of approved invoices, less our fees. The remaining 20% becomes available to you when the invoice is paid in full.

Imagine you are a furniture importer who wholesales to other businesses.

You buy a chair for $20 and sell it for $50, BUT you only had $20 and have to wait to get paid (possibly 45 to 60 days) before you can buy and sell another chair.

No problem, our lenders can give you up to $40 against the invoice within 24 hours (with the balance on full payment by the debtor), meaning that you can immediately go and buy two chairs for your $40 and sell them for $100…

Now we can give you $80 against the second invoice and you can buy four chairs and so on. The math speaks for itself!
This is a very simple example, but debtor finance is just that – simple.


Without A Debtor Finance Facility

  • - Buy a chair for $20
  • - Sell the chair for $50
  • - Wait for payment to buy another chair

- With A Debtor Finance Facility 

  • - Buy a chair for $20
  • - Sell the chair for $50 but rather than wait to get paid, receive $40 the next day, meaning you can
  • - Buy 2 more chairs

- Will debtor finance help my business?

If you answer “Yes” to these 3 questions, your business could benefit from a debtor finance facility.

  • Do you sell products or services to other businesses on standard trade credit terms?
  • Are your invoices issued for delivered goods or completed services (i.e. not issued on a progress claim/milestone basis)?
  • Does your business have an annual turnover greater than $200,000?

 

For more information about how we can help your business please contact Pinnacle Road.

 

PINNACLE ROAD MONTHLY NEWSLETTER EDITION #3

Pinnacle Road Monthly Newsletter Edition #3

Welcome to our third edition of the Pinnacle Road monthly newsletter.

We break down what’s been happening in the market over the past month and how it’s affecting each of our services.

 

Accounting & Advisory

 

September in Accounting has seen the released of new Victorian State Government Grants and well as the start of JobKeeper 2.0

 

State Government Grants

The Victorian Government recently announced the $3 billion Business Resilience Package to help businesses impacted by ongoing restrictions and prepare for COVID Normal business. The package includes various cash grant, tax relief and cashflow support including the following:

 

Business Support

  • Small and medium sized business ($822 million): The third round of the Business Support Fund provides grants of $20,000, $15,000 or $10,000, depending on size, to around 75,000 eligible businesses with a payroll of up to $10 million. Applications are now open. Please note that this program provides support to businesses in industry sectors that are Restricted, Heavily Restricted or Closed and for which restrictions are not easing between the First and Second Steps (list of eligible sectors attached). Businesses in the building and construction industry are not eligible for this grant. We will shortly be sending around a separate email with more information on this package if you are eligible.

 

  • Licensed Hospitality Business ($251 million): The Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund provides grants of up to $30,000 for licensed pubs, clubs, hotels, bars, restaurants and reception centres, based on their venue capacity and location, plus liquor license fees waived until 2021.

 

  • Sole Trader Support Fund ($100 million): The Sole Trader Support Fund provides grants of up to $3,000 to over 30,000 eligible sole traders in sectors such as retail, accommodation and food services, creative and media, hairdressing, gyms, events, education and training who operate from a commercial premises or location as a tenant and are non-employing. This Program is not yet open.

 

Business Adaptation

  • $20 million voucher program to assist sole traders and small businesses in building their digital capability through off-the-shelf digital programs such as Shopify or Square online and workshops designed to help adapt to online operations. This Program is not yet open.

 

  • $8.5 million to market and expand the ‘Click for Vic’ campaign to promote small Victorian producer and encourage more Victorians to support local businesses.

 

  • $87.5 million Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package to support hospitality businesses prepare for COVID Normal reopening across Victoria. This Program is not yet open.

 

Information about other support programs from the Victorian Government’s Business Resilience Package.

 

JobKeeper 2.0

 

JobKeeper 2.0 is an extension of JobKeeper which will run for the period 28 September 2020 to 28 March 2021 and have a new two-tiered payment rates depending on how many hours each eligible employee works.

 

Entities will be required to demonstrate a decline of 30 per cent relative to its comparable quarter in 2019.

 

JobKeeper Extension 1 – This extension period will run from 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021.

 

You will need to demonstrate that your actual GST turnover has fallen in the September 2020 quarter (July, August, September) relative to a comparable period (generally the corresponding quarter in 2019).

 

JobKeeper Extension 2 – This extension period will run from 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021.

 

You will need to demonstrate that your actual GST turnover has fallen in the December 2020 quarter (October, November, December) relative to a comparable period (generally the corresponding quarter in 2019).

 

    

    JobKeeper Extension 1

28 September – 3 January 2021

    JobKeeper Extension 2

4 January 2021 – 28 March 2021

             Tier 1 rate

Eligible employees worked 80 hours or more in reference period


 

    $1,200 per fortnight

 

$1,000 per fortnight

             Tier 2 rate

Eligible employees who worked less than 80 hours in reference period

 

    $750 per fortnight

 

$650 per fortnight

 

Please note that the above amounts are before tax

 

Please note that alternative tests for determining turnover and payment rates may be available in some circumstances. As such, if your business does not been the above criteria, it still may meet an alternative test criteria.

 

Now is the time to speak to your trusted advisor to determine if your business is eligible for any of these grants.

 

Residential Finance

 

Fixed Rates 2.09% and variable rates as low as 2.59%

 

Its been a pretty eventful month in the home finance world. With forecasted rate cuts, house inspections back on, and potential changes to the lending process announced, it is clear the government are looking to stimulate the housing market.

 

For last few months we have seen the market slow down in Victoria due to COVID, but more importantly due to no open for inspections being allowed. This rule has been lifted as of today, so we expect the next couple of months to be a very busy period for property purchasing. We have many clients who have pre approvals, and are just waiting to purchase.

 

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg announced last week the government will be relaxing tough lending laws imposed on banks, putting the responsibility back on the borrower. This is good news for anyone looking to borrow money, as the banks will have much less ‘red tape’ to sort through when approving your loans. This should speed up the process and make it easier to borrow money in the future.

 

An interest rate has been forecast by Westpac and NAB predicting the RBA will cut rates in October or November by 15 basis points. This means that we could see bank rates go even lower than what they are now. Currently rates of 2.19% are available for owner occupied loans over a fixed period, and we may see this drop even lower. What this means to people who already have a loan is you should really be looking at your current rate to make sure it is competitive. We have seen far too many people over the last 6 months still on rates of 5% and higher and have saved them thousands of dollars a year in repayments.

 

If your rate doesn’t start with a 2, please call myself or Tom and have a chat about refinancing and saving you money.

 

Wealth Management

Economic and Market Commentary


During the first half of 2020 the pandemic and associated lockdowns led to the most severe contraction in global and domestic economic activity in decades.  We saw earnings per share growth fall 38% for ASX200 index, which was larger than the 20% fall during the weakest point of the GFC. Globally economic indicators have seen a Deep V recovery which suggests people are now ready to spend following the Covid contraction. 

 

We can see below the US leading the recovery due to their markets being largely denominated in tech stocks.  Tech and IT drove the markets gaining 15.3% in the last month where other sectors such as Utilities underperformed, down 5.9%.  Markets like Australia and China being more heavily weighted in manufacturing and materials will benefit from the bottoming of interest rates and the return to normalcy.

 

This reporting season we’ve observed companies reluctant to provide much guidance or much conviction in their outlook statements, delaying capital investments and maintenance. With health outcomes starting to look hopeful once more and restrictions beginning to ease, this pent up capital expenditure could underwrite our recovery. 

 

The RBA has predicted that, barring a global resurgence of infections, we have already hit the trough with the 7.0% contraction in GDP for the June Quarter.  This would mean domestic GDP recovery is now underway, this would be reinforced by a Victorian emergence from lockdowns. It is expected a more gradual U-shaped recovery moving into 2021, which would be accelerated by the approval of a vaccine. Sector results and outlooks are varied which we explore below;

 

Materials

This sector had strong results driven by resilient commodity prices.  Iron ore prices in particular benefitted from global building and infrastructure programs providing elevated returns that are likely to stick around for the near term.  We all witnessed the record breaking gold prices in July of this year, reaching US$1,944 an ounce with economists anticipating it could still challenge US$2,000 later this year.

 

Healthcare

This sector exceeded market expectations and is well position for continued future growth.  Australia’s healthcare sector index outperformed the S&P 500 with a return of 19.9% compared to 19.1% for the past 12 months. While the procedural and supply based companies suffered from the broad lock downs, most healthcare companies had share price growth on the days they reported and will benefit as the country prepares to live with the virus at an eased level of restrictions.

 

Consumer

As we’ve discussed previously the staggering level of stimulus provided by the government has resulted in above expected consumption. The breakdown of household spending shows a decrease of 2.4% in service consumption, namely transport and recreation, being propped up by a 1.0% increase in consumption of goods.  This could indicate households are ready to spend when services become available again. Toward the end of this month we’ll be seeing the wind back of fiscal stimulus and mortgage deferrals, economists will be watching carefully for any signs of distress over this time.

 

Real Estate

Results across real estate sub-sectors were varied. Retail unsurprisingly was hit hard with the move to online trading leaving rent collection under 50% for discretionary malls. This sub-sector could see further downward pressure if retailers decide to cut the overheads of bricks-and-mortar stores for cheaper e-commerce alternatives.  Markets tend to support this prediction with demand in e-commerce stocks skyrocketing, the crown jewel of this sector Shopify has seen a 161.8% increase in share price since January this year. Office leases continued to be serviced as the corporate sector moved largely to working from home. Future growth in the subsector is uncertain with business forced into flexible working space which could push the accelerator on decentralisation and a structural shift toward working remotely.

 

While the outlook is optimistic, the recovery is still expected to be very gradual and any knocks to confidence are still likely to cause near term pull backs and pricing opportunities.  The other event the world is watching nervously is the US elections, the result of which will have ripple effects globally.  We expect that a Trump victory would benefit US markets, avoiding Biden’s proposed tax increases.  Conversely a Biden victory is expected to result in an easing of foreign trade and relationship tensions which would benefit ex-US markets. Historically we’ve seen that a split house with a Democratic (Biden) President and a Republican Senate sees the best market performance.

 

As the pandemic has already inflamed geopolitical and domestic political frictions, a worsening of tensions could derail the global recovery and so we watch this space with interest.

 

Equipment Finance

 

We are starting to see some activity come back to the market which is encouraging.

 

I am strongly encouraging clients to obtain pre approvals before they start hunting for equipment, similar to buying a house you need that formal pre-approval first in this market.

 

Rates

 

For the right asset and borrower we are seeing mid 3%

 

Vehicle finance is a major area of our equipment finance business

 

Can offer our clients a full one stop solution

 

We can assist with:

 

  • Sourcing a new or second hand vehicle
  • Help sell your vehicle
  • Finance your vehicle
  • Insurance for your vehicle

 

Commercial Finance

 

Could your business do with a cash flow injection?

 

If you look over your balance sheet and see debtors are around 100k then how would 80% of that in cash help your cash flow?

 

With a debtor finance facility you can utilise your debtors to secure a cash flow boost, typically debtor finance companies pay up to 80% of your debtor ledger.

 

Further information can be found on our website https://www.pinnacleroad.com.au/commercial-finance/

PINNACLE ROAD MONTHLY NEWSLETTER EDITION #2

 

 

 

 


PINNACLE ROAD MONTHLY NEWSLETTER EDITION #2

 

Welcome to our second edition of the Pinnacle Road monthly newsletter.

We break down what’s been happening in the market over the past month and how it’s affecting each of our services. 

 Service Highlight – Wealth Management


Book a no obligation 15 minute ‘Financial Health Check’ with Mark Rice – Director of Pinnacle Wealth Management.

Mark has been a financial advisor for over 25 years, Mark can immediately add value to all clients. Remember there are no obligations. 

Call Mark now on 0435 618 232 or email Mark@pinnacleroad.com.au


Accounting & Advisory

COVID-19 Updates – Federal & State Governments Response to Victorian Restrictions
There have been a number of announcements and changes around COVID-19 Government Stimulus Packages that have been released this month, which are listed below:

  1. Existing JobKeeper 1.0

To broaden the scope of eligible employees to receive JobKeeper payments, there have been adjustments to the Eligible Employee tests for the current round of JobKeeper Payments (from 30 March 2020 through to 27 September 2020).

Old Test
Used the start date 1 March 2020 to assess your employees’ eligibility to receive JobKeeper Payments.
  •  
New Test

The variation to the original legislation updates the test 1 July 2020, applying to pay periods from 3 August 2020 onwards.

Like the original JobKeeper legislation states, it is also an additional requirement that these employees receive a minimum payment of $1,500 Gross Wages per fortnight. The ATO have granted employers additional time to review their employees’ eligibility and have until 31 August 2020 to make adjustments to August payroll data and make additional top up payments for employees that fall below $1,500 per fortnight.
 
This new test date will also be applicable to future JobKeeper 2.0 payments, which is explained in more detail below.  

  1. JobKeeper 2.0

Treasury have also released guidance on the assessment criteria for on-going JobKeeper payments post September 2020, referred to as JobKeeper 2.0. This will see the extension of JobKeeper payments beyond 27 September 2020, extending support to 28 March 2021

To reduce small and medium businesses from relying on this stimulus, the payments will be reduced from 28 September 2020 and then further reduced on 4 January 2021.

 It is also important to note that testing criteria has also changed, meaning that businesses who were eligible for the first round of JobKeeper payments may not be eligible for JobKeeper 2.0. 

This can be summarised below:

Payment Amount

  • Payments from 30 March 2020 to 27 September 2020 (original JobKeeper)
  •  
  • – $1,500 per fortnight per eligible employee or business participant
  •  
  • Payments from 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021
  •  
  • – $1,200 per fortnight for eligible employee or business participant (who work 20 hours or more per week)
  • – $750 per fortnight for all other eligible employees or business participants

 

  • Payments from 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021
  •  
  • – $1,000 per fortnight for eligible employee or business participant (who work 20 hours or more per week)
  • – $650 per fortnight for all other eligible employees or business participants

Business Eligibility Criteria
  •  
  • Payments from 30 March 2020 to 27 September 2020 (original JobKeeper)
  •  
  • – 30% reduction in GST Turnover for relevant month or quarter
  • – Subject to alternative testings for new and scaling businesses
  •  
  • Payments from 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021
  •  
  • – 30% reduction in September 2020 quarter GST turnover (1 July 2020 to 30 September 2020) compared to September 2019 turnover (1 July 2019 to 30 September 2019)
  • – Alternative testing yet to be released or confirmed
  •  
  • Payments from 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021
  •  
  • – 30% reduction in December 2020 quarter GST turnover (1 October 2020 to 31 December 2020) compared to December 2019 turnover (1 October 2019 to 31 December 2019)
  • Alternative testing yet to be released or confirmed
  •  
  1. State Government Grant

The Victorian State Government’s response to the Stage 4 restrictions was to extend the Business Support Fund Grant for employing businesses in Metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire experiencing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 restrictions. 
 
Originally, they announced a $5,000 grant to affected businesses, with applications closing 19 August 2020. Later, the State Government announced an additional $5,000 to be automatically applied to successful participants (total grant of $10,000) and also extended the original $5,000 grant to Regional Victoria who are currently experiencing Stage 3 Restrictions.

To be eligible for this grant, you are required to be registered for Workcover, be enrolled in the JobKeeper program and employ staff.

Applications for the program have been extended to 14 September 2020, the time to act is now if you have not yet applied for the grant and meet the eligibility criteria.

With the continual changes to the government support available to businesses, there has never been a more important time to get in contact with your financial advisors. For more information on how these changes may affect you and your business, please contact our Accounting Team.  

Tax Time Continues

While we travel through the forever changing landscape surrounding COVID-19, you can rest assured that somethings remain the same each year – our goal to ensure that our clients are in the best tax position. We have been working away to prepare Tax Returns for new and existing clients for the year ended 30 June 2020, achieving great results. If you have not already done so, please reach out to our team today to prepare your 2020 Income Tax Return.

Property Masterclass

Our Managing Director Jacob Hitchiner had the privilege of being a panelist on the Melbourne Property Masterclass webinar hosted by Frank Valentic, Director of Advantage Property Consulting. The panel of property professionals provided an informative session, covering a number of important factors to consider when investing in the property market.

If you are looking to invest in the property market or would like some more information, you can contact steff@pinnacleroad.com.au for a copy of the webinar.


 

Residential Finance

Fixed Rates 2.09% and variable rates as low as 2.59%

While Covid19 continues to plague our lives, especially in Melbourne, it is very hard to predict what is going to happen to the housing market. We have been in stage 4 lockdown for three weeks now and while we are seeing a decrease in virus numbers, home purchases have all but come to a standstill due to no auctions or inspections being allowed. 
 
We have noticed a lot of our clients have got pre approvals in place ready for the market to open back up and expect things to pick up as soon as this happens.

The silver lining with everything coming to a standstill is that it is a really good time to organise that refinance you have been putting off. Refinancing is an option the RBA has urged homeowners to consider to get a better deal during the pandemic. Even Reserve Bank of Australia’s governor Philip Lowe came out and said “I encourage people who haven’t already taken up the opportunity to do that to look at their mortgage rate and look for a better deal.”

If you have an existing loan and haven’t looked at it for a number of years, now is a great time to look into moving. Interest rates are at all time lows and banks are still offering cash back up to $3,000 for refinancing to them. We are refinancing clients at the minute into new loans with interest rates as low as 2.09% fixed. This could end up saving you thousands of dollars a year.

As the refinance market can get confusing with online banks special deals which may not suit everyone, it is important you speak to a lending specialist who can simplify things and ensure you have the right product and structure to suit your unique situation. Please reach out to us if you would like to explore your options, we would love to help you save some money in these hard times.




Wealth Management

Economic and Market Commentary

We are now well into the third quarter of 2020, with strict lock downs in Victoria, NSW putting out cluster spot-fires and countries all over the world battling second waves.  To date, Australia has had relatively good health and economic outcomes throughout the pandemic.  However, the ongoing outbreak in Victoria has demonstrated we will likely be living with the virus and the associated restrictions for the foreseeable future.
What does this mean for our markets?

Following the initial fall in March, the Australian share market has seen a surprising bounce back and a steadying in prices.  It seems the enormous amount of stimulus provided by the government is propping up the markets for the time being.  We remain watchful of the unfolding situation and government response to manage the health crisis, economic crisis and potential monetary crisis.  In the near term we will likely see further volatility as we approach the US elections, the outcome of which will affect US and international markets.  In the long term, we believe Australian and international markets are well positioned for a steady recovery and continue to offer better returns than the cash and bond market due to near zero interest rates.  Some other areas we are observing with interest are discussed below.
It would appear everything good is gold during this period of uncertainty.  Investors have been buying up anything gold, pushing the price up to over AUD$2,850 per ounce.  Historically, gold has been seen as an investor’s safe haven, particularly in times of market volatility or when inflation is expected to gather pace.  There is no doubt we have significant market volatility right now but in the current climate of significant unemployment, no certainty as to when the economy will get going again and therefore demand for products and services to drive up inflation and interest rates expected to be low for quite some time, we do not see inflation on the near term horizon.  We are not saying gold shouldn’t form part of a diversified portfolio but make sure that you are getting your exposure through appropriate investment channels.  For example, if you are looking for income to be produced from your portfolio, a gold bar sitting in a bank vault won’t deliver that.
With the lock downs in place, not only have we become even more reliant on technology but new technology opportunities are being created.  As we all continue to adapt to life apart, our virtual world is expanding with virtual work meetings, virtual Friday night drinks, house inspections, dinner parties, music and art events and on a grimmer note, even virtual funerals.
With retailers’ doors closed, they have been forced online and one of the big benefactor of that has been the Canadian based company, Shopify, which provides a very easily customized online store.  We understand a good programmer can have an online store up and running in a couple of hours using the platform.  Not surprisingly their share price has gone crazy in the last 6 months from around $320 to $1,000.
The expansion of our virtual world has inflated, even further, the profits of tech giants.  The three key players, Apple, Microsoft and Amazon all reporting revenues well above expectations of US$59.7, $35 and $88.9 billion respectively. It is this boom in revenues for tech sector companies which has seen the US market, which is heavily weighted to these sectors, outperform during this period.  As the world finds it feet and other sectors such as manufacturing and financials will benefit and likely gain ground on US market performance.
 To date, the industry is relatively unregulated as it does not quite come under the National Consumer Credit Protection Act.  History has shown us the result of easy credit with little to no security and lax regulation, we are also yet to see the ability of this sector to withstand a large volume of payment defaults.  If unemployment continues to rise and spending contracts, we could soon find out.  Again we are not saying don’t have one of these stocks in your portfolio but understand the risks and the drivers before you buy.
So, as we approach September and the winding down of government support, we expect investment markets to continue to be volatile in the near term. However, with appropriate positioning and diversification we remain optimistic about market outlooks.  It is important to remember while we have never seen circumstances like this before, we have learned a lot from past economic shocks.  Our key take away is to stick the course and remain confident in well-rounded, long-term investment strategies.
Our last area of interest is a relatively new one, the Buy-Now-Pay-Later (BNPL) sector.  This payment product, offering a lay-buy style payment plan in which you get your product on day one, has taken the market by storm.  Its estimated that one in three Australians 15 years or over have a BNPL account.   With credit card balances plummeting, down 21% in the past 12 months, it would seem that BNPL is the new answer to consumers personal credit requirements.  While the key players, Afterpay and Zip, have produced good share price returns to date we are intrigued to see how these providers would withstand a pullback in spending and when they will actually make a profit.

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Commercial Finance

We wanted to touch on how we can assist your cash flow, as all business owners know Cash Flow is King.

It’s vital that you have access to capital, ideally unsecured and away from your bank.

A overdraft/line of credit allows you to have capital sitting there that can be quickly utilised for a number of different scenario’s. You can also pay it back when you like which will mean limited interest is charged.

One of our fintech lenders specialises is unsecured overdrafts, key points below.


 

Equipment Finance

We have come into a very challenging time for the Melbourne equipment finance market given the stage 4 restrictions, please note the below important points.

  • – Rates are still very low

  • – Low doc deals are also still available

  • – The government largest ever instant tax write off is still present up to $150k till December 31st 2020.

  • – Dealers across a number of industries are doing deals.
 

 
 

WEALTH MANAGEMENT – INVESTMENT UPDATE JULY 2020

 

Wow what a first half of 2020 it has been

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Pinnacle Road – Investment Market Update 

 

 

 

Dear Pinnacle Road Wealth Clients and Partners,

 

Wow what a first half of 2020 it has been!!

 

A world health crisis, a world economic crisis, unprecedented government and central bank stimulus to keep economies alive, a massive plunge in world share markets followed by a quarterly rise that hasn’t been seen in 20+ years, supermarkets shelves emptied by the hoarders, some companies (think tourism and hospitality) going bust, some companies (think technology and online shopping) going boom, record unemployment, working from home and the list goes on.  At the time of writing, around the world there have been around 14.3m people who have contracted the virus and tragically a little over 600,000 people have died.

 

As we cautiously enter the new financial year and the world shows signs of bracing for a second wave of the virus, it appears the equity market has shrugged off the financial crisis for the time being.

 

Global economies began to come back to life during June with consumers opening their wallets again and overall activity increasing.  The concern remains that this apparent surge in confidence may be the result of the lid coming off pent-up demand and people coming out of isolation rather than a “return to normal”.  What will happen should we return to isolation is of concern.

 

From an economic perspective, it would seem that the unprecedented magnitude of the Australian government’s response to keep our economy afloat has stemmed off a financial crisis to date.  With much of the stimulus set to end in September we remain cautiously optimistic as we head into the third quarter.  Interestingly, many economic forecasters are predicted that the fall off in growth will not be as dramatic as previously thought. 

 

The second quarter of 2020, markets globally and locally closed on their best quarterly gain since the turn of the century.  US markets (S&P 500) fell 33.67% when they hit their low in late March but for the June quarter recovered to finish 5.39% higher for the financial year.  Most other major markets are still not fully recovered from the late March lows, but all saw record growth for the June quarter.  However, with case numbers of Covid-19 also hitting new record numbers the world over, we are hesitant to believe the worst is behind us.  We will be watching closely as companies around the world report their earnings for the June quarter and also on what their outlook statements suggest.

 

The tables below highlights the huge variances in geographical markets, the falls across different markets from February peaks through to the March lows, as well as the recovery through to the end of June.   We have also included some specific stocks so you can see even bigger swings.

 

Exchange

%Fall from 

Peak to trough

%rise 

from trough

%return 

FY20

% return 

CY to 30 June

Australia (ASX 200)

(37.09%)

31.49%

(10.42%)

(11.78%)

US (S&P 500)

(33.67%)

38.57%

5.39%

(4.04%)

Hong Kong (Hang Seng)

(25.33%)

12.59%

(14.42%)

(13.35%)

Japan (Nikkei)

(31.12%)

34.65%

4.76%

(5.78%)

China (Shanghai)

(14.62%)

10.49%

(0.19%)

(2.15%)

England (FTSE)

(34.93%)

23.55%

(16.91%)

(18.20%)

 

Stocks

%Fall From  

Peak to trough

%rise

from trough

%return 

FY20

 % return 

CY to 30 June

BHP (mining)

(29.83%)

32.52%

(12.97%)

(7.97%)

Afterpay (buy now, pay later)

(77.33%)

585.28%

143.28%

108.30%

Webjet (travel)

(72.19%)

21.61%

(66.38%)

(64.88%)

Newcrest Mining (Gold)

(19.71%)

38.72%

(1.31%)

4.23%

Ansell (protective gear)

(32.63%)

71.26%

36.69%

26.42%

Shopify (online shopping)

(29.91%)

152.86%

216.24%

138.74%

Zoom (video conference)

51.54%

58.90%

185.55%

272.63%

Netflix

(6.67%)

26.31%

23.88%

40.63%

 

The reality is that there are still many unknown risks in the market at the moment, which cause me to be cautious when investing in the short term.  However, as we have previously said, as long term investors we need to stay focused on investing in quality companies, managed by quality leaders, who have strong market positions and sound balance sheets.  We need to diversify our portfolios across all the major asset classes and use our asset allocation benchmarks as a guide to buying and selling in the long term.

 

The economy will recover from this, it may take time but it will.  Global share markets have always eclipsed their previous highs, but again it is a question of how long will it take.

 

Please also click up the top to access our June newsletter which provides further details about the economy, how the share market has been performing and other key things to help you navigate through these uncertain times.

 

As always, please feel free to call me if you have any questions or concerns about your portfolio or personal financial situation.  We are here to help and support you through this time.

 

Stay well!

Mark Rice 

Director – Wealth Management 

M: 0435 618 232 E: Mark@pinnacleroad.com.au

 

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PINNACLE ROAD MONTHLY NEWSLETTER EDITION #1

 

 

 

 

 

PINNACLE ROAD MONTHLY NEWSLETTER EDITION #1

Welcome to Pinnacle Road’s first newsletter. Each month we will be sending you a newsletter to ensure you’re kept up to date with the latest news regarding all things Finance.

 

Accounting & Advisory

Our Services:

– Tax & Accounting
– Business Advisory
– Cloud Accounting
– Bookkeeping

It’s been a challenging time for many people this year, but that doesn’t mean managing your tax affairs needs to be.

We have recently seen the introduction of JobKeeper, instant asset write-off and the Cash Flow Boost at a Federal level and the Boosting Support Fund grant at the State level.

 

•          The JobKeeper Payment is open to eligible employers so they can continue to pay their eligible employees and restart quickly when the COVID-19 crisis is over. On 21 July, the Government announced it is extending the JobKeeper Payment until 28 March 2021 and is targeting support to those businesses and not-for-profits which continue to be significantly impacted by the Coronavirus. From 28 September 2020, eligibility for the JobKeeper Payment will be based on actual turnover in the relevant periods, the payment will be stepped down and paid at two rates.

•          The Cash Flow Boost is a tax-free payment between $20,000 and $100,000 to eligible businesses who employ, delivered through credits in the activity statement system.

•          From 12 March 2020 until 31 December 2020, the instant asset write-off threshold was increased to $150,000 (up from $30,000). We have seen a lot of activity in this space, with many of our clients purchasing new business vehicles, and writing off the cost in full in order to maximise their tax position.

•          The Victorian Government recently announced the Business Support Fund Extension which provides businesses within metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire that are affected by the return to Stay at Home restrictions with a one-off grant of $5,000. This program is in addition to the first round of the Business Support Fund, which closed on 1 June 2020.

 

With the recent legislative changes, It’s now more important than ever to seek professional tax help to ensure that you are receiving all benefits that you are entitled to.

 

Final note, Pinnacle Road are pleased to announce that Holly Howard has recently joined the team. Holly is a Charted Accountant with six years of professional tax experience. Holly will be taking the lead as our tax manager, having already taken the lead on the JobKeeper project. We look forward to the exciting future with Holly.

 

 


TAX TIP:

Do you use a motor vehicle for business travel? Did you know that a motor vehicle logbook may yield you a greater tax deduction than if you use the statutory cents per kilometre rate? In order to use the logbook method, a logbook needs to be kept for a period of 12 weeks and records all business and personal tax. The logbook will remain valid for a 5 year period.

 

Commercial Finance

Commercial lending has definitely been restricted by COVID, however rates are at an all time low.

If you own commercial property either owner occupy or investment then you should have your debt reviewed.

We recently refinanced from one major to another and received an interest only rate of 3.3%.

 

If your rate doesn’t have a 3 in front of it, let us know now!

 

 

 

Residential Finance

 

Fixed Rates 2.09% and variable rates as low as 2.59%

 

Greetings from the Mortgage Broking Team. We hope everyone is keeping safe and looking after themselves during these unprecedented times.

 

As we all suspected, the Coronavirus loomed to have a negative effect on the Australian housing market, with fears there would be a drop in sales over the coming 6 months. We are now starting to see this come to fruition with the Australian Bureau of Statistics releasing data on home loan approvals in May. The value of Home loan approvals has plunged 11.6% per cent in May, following a 4.6% fall in April. These figures show us the level of sales have been down, which we all suspected due to restriction on Auctions and open houses. With restrictions easing throughout the country, except Victoria, we are hopeful this market will start to recover, and we will see purchase levels back to normal. I can report that at Pinnacle Road, we have done a record number of pre-approvals for the month of June, so we believe the demand is still there, the consumer sentiment remains cautious though.

 

Although, on the whole, banks have been very good throughout this crisis by allowing deferrals of payments and being flexible on some of their policies in regards to income, we are now seeing higher restrictions with people on Job Keeper payments. All banks are different on their policies in regards to this, however some banks will not be accepting self employed customers that are on Job Keeper and some will take the Job Keeper payment as your actual pay instead of what it previously was. Therefore, it is important you speak to us regarding any finance, as we can point you in the direction of the lender that is most suitable for your situation.

 

In some positive news, the Bureau of Statistics have also reported that the value of refinances for owner occupied properties has risen 29.1% for the month of May. This is something that we have noticed at Pinnacle Road, with May and June being extremely busy months for us in terms of refinancing. We have seen record lows in interest rates and large cash back offers by banks who are desperately competing for your home loans. I would encourage anyone who hasn’t spoken to us, to please do so as we are now seeing fixed rates as low as 2.09% and variable rates as low as 2.59%, as well as cash back offers of up to $3,000 cashback by simply refinancing. Of course, we make this process as seamless as possible at Pinnacle Road.

 

So it is not all doom and gloom in the lending sector with our team being as busy as ever. However, it is very important at the minute to know your options when it comes to finance. So please touch base with us if you have any questions at all and are looking for some direction on your next purchase or refinance.

 

Need guidance with your next purchase or refinance? Get in touch!

 

Equipment Finance

What a few months it has been with our Equipment Finance business! The chaos that hit early March followed then by a busy June and now the unknown again.

 

Some key points below for our clients reference;

 

Review FY 2020

Last financial year our equipment finance team settled 243 deals with an average size lend of $63,094. This was an increase from FY 19 by 20% which is encouraging and although COVID severely effected months March & April, May and June were very strong considering.

 

Below is a breakdown of which lenders we use for your reference: 

 

  • – Macquarie Equipment Rentals: 42%
  • – Westpac : 25%
  • – Macquarie Leasing : 13%
  • – Capital  7%
  • – Metro Finance : 5%
  • – Flexi: 2%
  • – Grenke: .3%
  • – Bank of Queensland: .3%
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Deferred Payment

We recently sent an EDM out to all of our commercial clients regarding the impact of deferring your payments, please ensure you review that email and contact George if you have any questions.

 

Instant Tax Write Off 150k

The government has extended till December 31st 2020, please contact us to discuss this further.

 

Rates

Rates are still very low and are expected to remain the same for awhile, for a strong borrower on Tier 1 machinery we are seeing rates with a 3% in front. 

 

Industries that are on the financier watch list due to COVID-19

Below is an updated list of High Risk Industries from a financiers point of view: 

 

  • – Tourism
  • – Hospitality
  • – Retail
  • – Construction
  • – Sports, Art and Recreation
  • – Private Education
  • – Transport (excluding Public Transport and Delivery Services)
  • – Accommodation and Food services
  •  

If your business operates within one of these industries a full assessment will be required if you want to borrow money.

 

Contact us here to find out how your company could be affected.

 

Wealth Management

 

Our Services:

– Superannuation
– Portfolio Management
– Personal Insurance
– Budgeting
– Debt Management
– Estate Planning

 

For our first EDM, the impact of COVID-19 on the economic market will be our primary focus. 

Economic and Market Commentary

 

As we cautiously enter the new financial year and the world shows signs of bracing for a second wave of the virus, it appears the equity market has shrugged off a financial crisis for the time being.

 

Global economies began to come back to life during June with consumers opening their wallets again and overall activity increasing.  The concern remains that this apparent surge in confidence may be the result of the lid coming off pent-up demand and people coming out of isolation rather than a “return to normal”.

 

From an economic perspective, it would seem that the unprecedented magnitude of the Australian government’s response to keep our economy afloat has stemmed off a financial crisis to date.  With much of the stimulus set to end in September we remain cautiously optimistic as we head into the third quarter.  Interestingly, many economic forecasters are predicted that the fall off in growth will not be as dramatic as previously thought. 

 

The second quarter of 2020, markets globally and locally closed on their best quarterly gain since the turn of the century.  US markets fell 33.67% when they hit their low in late March but this quarter recovered and are up 4.9% on February highs.  Most other major markets are still not fully recovered from the late March lows, but all have seen record growth for this quarter.  However, with case numbers of COVID-19 also hitting new record numbers the world over, we are hesitant to believe the worst is behind us.  We will be watching closely as companies around the world report their earnings for the June quarter and also on what their outlook statements suggest.

 

The table below highlights the huge variances in geographical markets, the falls across different markets from February peaks through to the March lows, as well as the recovery to date.

 

Exchange

% Fall from Peak to trough

% rise from trough

% return FYTD

% return CYTD

Australia (ASX 200)
(37.09%)
31.49%
(10.42%)
(11.78%)
US (S&P 500)
(33.67%)
38.57%
5.39%
(4.04%)
Hong Kong (Hang Seng)
(25.33%)
12.59%
(14.42%)
(13.35%)
Japan (Nikkei)
(31.12%)
34.65%
4.76%
(5.78%)
China (Shanghai)
(14.62%)
10.49%
(0.19%)
(2.15%)
England (FTSE)
(34.93%)
23.55%
(16.91%)
(18.20%)
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s a great time for expert financial planning! We would love to help.

 

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Pinnacle Road 163 Eastern Road South Melbourne, vic 3205