Monday, May 31, 2010

Arks June Informer - Investing in Equities

Ark's June edition of the Informer talks about equity markets, and an ebook explaining what Seperately Managed Accounts (SMA's) and Exchange Traded Funds (ETF's) are, and how these are used to build an investment strategy..
To Download your free Ebook, click "here"
If you need any more information, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Where to from here... are you a bull or a bear?

The 'Informer' is an Ark total Wealth initiative, developed to help individuals identify and understand the current opportunities that exist in investment markets. This initiative forms part of our commitment to provide innovative solutions and advice to clients, with the aim of creating, managing and protecting wealth.

This edition will focus on the ever-changing equities environment.

The past two years have been characterised by extreme market trends with the worst bear market in equities since the Great Depression, followed by the biggest recovery.1 The start of 2010 has greeted us with even more volatility and we have watched on with cautious optimism as interest rates increase domestically and more debt issues emerge from Greece and Dubai.

This rapidly changing investment environment has left us with the question... where do we go from here?

MLC Investment Strategist Brian Parker presented a very simple but concise outlook on the market in his February 2010 Market Watch. He spoke about the following;

Firstly, even though the worst of the Global Financial Crisis is over, the aftershocks are set to continue, and at least some of those shocks are going to be quite severe from time to time for financial markets. In short, not all the financial sins committed during the boom have been atoned for.

Secondly, It's still our expectation that we'll see a recovery in both business and consumer spending in the major world economies, and that a modest but sustainable economic recovery will result. However, as we've discussed previously, it will take some time for heavily indebted households in the US and elsewhere to get their balance sheets back in order.

Finally, our medium term estimates of returns still look reasonable, and if anything have probably increased as share prices have declined of late. However, the fact that our prospective return estimates look no better than reasonable at this point, speaks volumes about just how far and how fast markets rose during 2009.

This summary, is in line with the views of many leading economists in Australia and it has been played out over the past few weeks with extreme volatility in our sharemarket and Australian Dollar. The key theme however is that investors need to proceed with caution and do your due diligence when investing.

At Ark Total Wealth, we have combined several simple and innovative investment strategies that will help you invest in the market without over extending yourself.

Ark's investment philosophy allows individuals to invest in a recovering market with confidence. The aim is to ensure that any investment made during this period of unpredictability, will not be overexposed to any undue risk. Although there may be continued after shocks from the Global Financial Crisis, our strategy can help mitigate potential risks and put you in a position to benefit from any recovery upside.

Click here to find out more about this investment Philosophy.

1Blackrock Investment Review and Outlook - January 2010

2MLC Economic and Market Developments - February 2010 - MLC Investment Strategist Brian Parker

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sydney the property crown's emerald

SYDNEY house values have made a "surprise" recovery from six years of dormancy, climbing 3.9 per cent in the first quarter to a median price of $610,000, the latest data reveals.
And forecasters expect the growth to continue, with solid growth tipped for the rest of 2010.
Houses and units in the Emerald City beat the rest of the nation in the first three months of the year.
Sydney houses are now almost twice the value of Hobart while Sydney units recorded an Australia-wide high median price of $435,000.
The latest figures from RP Data come after the Sydney median auction price reached $770,000 last Saturday when 739 homes went under the hammer and almost $300 million of property was sold with a record clearance rate of 71.9 per cent.
Sydney has boomed after a stagnant six years when values rose by only 1.3 per cent a year on average.
Values over the past year rose 12.8 per cent in Sydney and 9 per cent in regional NSW.
Even rising interest rates and the end of the Federal Government's $14,000 first-homeowner handout did not halt a huge price jump for the three months to the end of February.
"It was reasonable to expect that these factors would have dampened market conditions, however this does not yet appear to be the case," research director Tim Lawless said.
"Consumer confidence remains well above the long-term average thanks to better than expected domestic economic conditions, particularly an unemployment rate that has peaked much earlier and lower than anyone predicted."
Economists and property experts forecast "moderate" property gains this year on that confidence.
Real estate agents said houses were selling faster in middle-ring Sydney suburbs close to transport and "lifestyle" locations, with Ray White Brighton sales director Paul Nissirios saying suburbs in 20km of the CBD were hot spots for astute investors.
Residex head of research John Lindeman said the market was experiencing a roll-on effect from last year's first-home boom.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Proposed Changes to the EMDG 26 May 2010

Below are the proposed changes introduced into Parliament today which will go towards extending the life of the programme.


Mr Crean, please give this certainty to this sector of the economy!!


The proposed changes to the Export Market Development Grants (EMDG) Act introduced into the Parliament today aim to both extend the life of the EMDG scheme and better balance the cost of the scheme to its budget. These changes also aim to ensure that those exporters most deserving of grants receive the greatest level of support possible within the budget available for the scheme.
The changes are as follows:
1. extending the Export Market Development Grants (EMDG) scheme so that it applies to all grant years from 2011-12 to 2015-16 inclusive;

2. reducing the maximum grant from $200,000 to $150,000;

3. reducing the maximum number of grants available for an individual recipient (other than an approved body or an approved joint venture) from eight to seven;

4. capping intellectual property registration expenses at $50,000 per application;

5. increasing the minimum expenses threshold from $10,000 to $20,000;

6. increasing the income limit for members of approved joint ventures/consortia from $30 million to $50 million (rectifying a previous drafting error);

7. removing approved trading houses as an eligible special approval applicant category (this provision has been unused for a number of years);

8. reinstating disqualifying conviction provisions in the Act that were unintentionally removed when Criminal Code Amendment (Theft, Fraud, Bribery and Related Offences) Act 2000 rules replaced earlier disqualifying conviction provisions (rectifying a previous drafting error);

9. enabling Austrade to impose conditions on the accreditation of EMDG consultants (clarifying the long-standing section 100 provisions);

10. amending the ‘form and manner’ requirements and claim lodgement deadlines for applications submitted by accredited EMDG consultants (enabling Austrade, for example, to accept later lodgment of claims from accredited consultants).

Changes to the basic provisions of the scheme (2 through 5 above) are as developed in consultation with Industry Associations including Consultant representation. Changes one through eight above are expected to have effect from 1 July 2010.

Changes nine and 10 only have practical application should Austrade at a future point in time implement a consultant accreditation scheme. At this point in time Austrade has not made this decision. Should Austrade intend to implement such a scheme, it will conduct widespread consultation with the industry.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Name ONE thing that you've learned from either a co-worker, Boss, client (s) during your career that you will never forget.

Interesting Comments from a queston posed by Fiona L Browne | NYSE EURONEXT | Financial Controller Dept.... would be interested in your comments:-

Name ONE thing that you've learned from either a co-worker, Boss, client (s) during your career that you will never forget... and you've also applied it to your daily life.

Liam Carroll


Intisar ul Hasan Alvi

Do More than what you are required to do

Eddie Tofpik

Bums in seats!

If people see you in the job you want to do they are more likely to accept you doing it permanently!

Thomas Seay

In that loyalty is no longer a core value in corporate America, one should always be developing and expanding their network relationships. It is to late once you are out of work. Assume you will be looking and strengthen the quality of your newtwork relationships.

Curtis Chambers

That dress for success may be a cliché but it is serious business in the business world. Always wear your best to the boardroom. Polonius said it best
"Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy, But not express'd in fancy; rich, not gaudy; For the apparel oft proclaims the man," Shakespeare.

Ketul Shah

Reach early to the office from my boss in ICICI Bank. practicing that for last 9 years and happy

Terrence Young

Never judge a customer on their look or the way they are dressed

CA Arvind Karnik

Proprietor AB Karnik & Co. Chartered Accountants

Stop following Follow CA Arvind

Keep your work records with all fine details to be available to required officials that will speak for itself and for the work. Employees come and go but the records remain to keep trail of the work, transactions and information. Name stamp of person is not necessary on these records, since it has emblem of the Organisation.

Karthik Narasimman

1. Making a list of Pending Issues/ Things to be Done for next day's schedule.
2. Dont put things on Hold if it can be done immediately.
3. Updation of MIS Records whenever to be done. It saves time in retrieving Reports.
4. Prepare a DTP for the work you regularly do so that any new person can understand the process in your absence.

Matthew Chapman [LION]

Head of Business Development, Client Relations and Account Management


always be commited and love your job and you will learn to do the best.

Priya Kuttuva

Be responsible and understand your accountability. Proof your work before sending to clients or filing for records to avoid costly corrections!!

Amit Shah

Market Research, Business Development, IT, Finance

Dont get Hipper, maintain chillness in your attitude

Hitesh Sangtani

Combination of passion and acceleration

Jim Hillier {}

I am now 61, and my first employer said never lie. Take your kicks for being wrong, and you will never have to cross the street for no one and he was right.

Robert-Jan Kroes

When I was working as an underwriterl liability, my former executive gave me a valuable lesson about acceptating risks. He said: Imagine you are a millionare and you should accept the offered risk with your own capital, would you accept the risk, and, if so, against which terms and conditions. This mindset in underwriting (and later on in my other insurance-activities) helped me straighten out business in a clear way and doing business in a transparant and effective way.

Sandeep Gupta

Keep the "person" and the "position" separated - remember that you occupy a position and when you are in an official interaction with anyone inside / outside the organisation,

Hema Purohit

Always be on time and if you commit to something, execute/delivery it on time. Do not give lousy excuses for not doing it or not on time because people know.

Jeanne McDonald

Every paper MUST have a date on it or it's just a meaningless piece of paper with no point of reference. If I can add a second, don't dress for the job you have today - dress for the job you'd like to have tomorrow!

seira salemon

it's hard to beat hard work!

Experts warn small exporters will pull back unless grant funding increased

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Luck is a State of Mind

Luck is a way of thinking and behaving...created through thoughts, feelings and actions.

With the same set of ingredients, some people have a happy family life, health, wealth and career success..
Others struggle, have financial hardship and cannot seem to see the light at the end of the tunnel – when they are not even in the tunnel!!

Identify the Opportunity and give it a go
  • A lucky person’s character helps create, notice and act on what seems to be random opportunities.
  • Have an open mind, see potential in situations – be proactive and do not be scared to take the opportunity.
  • Listen to your intuition - trust your hunches...
  • You have the power to make prophecies self-fulfilling and dreams come true.
  • Positive people with short, medium and long term goals.... have a focus.
  • They believe that what they want is achievable, and have a plan of how to get there… they are lucky…but they have created their own luck.
  • A resilient attitude and persistence can change bad luck into good luck. There are many examples of this. One that is famous is the story of how Colonel Saunders went to 100’s of potential investors before one group said that they would back him. How lucky was he?
  • Lucky people don’t dwell on the bad luck... this is what differentiates the lucky person from the average.
There is a huge difference between luck and chance.

Luck is a force that brings good fortune or bad.
Chance is something that happens because of unpredictable events.

We can’t choose what will happen to us, but we can choose how we react.
That is what counts!!

With an open mind, a set of goals and a positive can do attitude, there is nothing you cannot do

9 SECRETS - From 'get lucky' by Theresa Cheung

1. be curious, experiment, explore opportunities
2, define mission and goals
3. get time on your side...spend time on important things and whiz through irrelevencies
4. look and sound lucky
5. dont have enemies...create relationships and networks...don’t burn bridges
6 balance giving and generous with your resources and receive with gratitude
7 use your intuition...make a decision..if wrong, you can make another decision.
8. Turn rejection into resolve, turn a negative into a positive
9. look,sound and feel lucky.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Help Keep the EMDG

article by Ivan Kaye 22 May 2010

The Federal Budget is reducing the allocation of support for SME Exporters through the EMDG Scheme from $200m - $150m…. if anything, support for this vital part of the economy should be increased!

The Federal Government’s decision to reduce the funding of the Export Market Development Grants Scheme will only serve to undermine the effectiveness. motivation and desire of Australian exporters, especially smaller exporters to pursue overseas markets.

Its interesting that at the beginning of the decade, the government made a commitment to ‘doubling the number of exporters by 2006’.

This kpi was achieved, yet the pool of funding to support these exporters have significantly been reduced.

Surely achievement of kpi’s should be rewarded, and if the federal government is sincere about its commitment, they should make sizable increases in funding towards this programme!

What the EMDG Scheme Means for the SME Exporter

The Export Market Development Grants Scheme (EMDG) is an integral part of the export promotion strategy of many Australian exporters, especially smaller to medium sized exporters.

For many exporters, the Scheme plays a significant role in the decision of whether or not to export, which markets to tackle, their export orientation (what proportion of production to export) and how much they are prepared to invest in marketing.

These businesses are cash flow poor, and determine the amount of marketing spend, factoring in potential rebates from the EMDG. Reducing their potential entitlement places a huge strain on their resources, and will limit their marketing activity in the following year, hence starting the cycle of reduced export activities in following years.

The EMDG Program – A Successful Programme

The EMDG Scheme is regarded as one of the most successful programmes delivered by government, which is regulated in a professional and transparent way.

The objective of the EMDG is to bring benefits to Australia by encouraging the creation, development and expansion of foreign markets for Australian goods, services, intellectual property and know-how.

This objective is is intended to:

assist with the development of an export culture;
create new exporters;
assist with the diversification of exporters into new markets;
assist with the generation of additional exports and jobs within Australia;

create greater innovation with Australian Business;

The EMDG achieves this by encouraging small and medium Australian businesses to develop overseas markets through the 50% reimbursement of expenditure incurred on export promotional activities.

The Scheme is open to Australian companies which meet an overseas promotional expenditure threshold of $A10,000 over a 2 year period, have a turnover of less than $A50 Million and/or less than $A30 Million in export earnings.

The businesses that received grants during this same period generated in excess of $A4 Billion in exports. A multiple of government support!!

Politics and The Shortfall

Claimants in the 2007/08 financial year, received $A180 Million in grants to 3,500 exporters in the 2009 financial year. The Government had originally allocated $150m to the programme, that would have resulted in Exporters not receiving their full entitlements. After much lobbying, Simon Crean announced that funding would be increased to ensure that claimants would receive their full entitlements.

Claimants in the 2008/2009 financial year, due to be paid out in 2010 is expected to only receive 60% of their full entitlements. This is as a result of increased numbers of exports.

Due to a reduction of support for claimants in the 2009/2010 financial year from $200m to $150m, this shortfall is expected to increase significantly!

This shortfall is of great concern to ordinary businesses that look to the Scheme to contribute to their export performance.

False Economy!!

While recognising the need for fiscal discipline within public financial management, One needs to take into account the substantial economic multipliers and benefits arising from expanded export outcomes resulting from support from the EMDG Scheme.

Given the claimed "12 times" return of the EMDG program such cost-cutting is not only contrary to the objective of the Programme but ultimately comes at a net cost to the Australian exporting community and indeed economy at large.

Reduced funding to this programme is clearly ‘false economy’, where the broader economic returns from increased exports far outweigh public financial ‘savings’ from pairing back the scheme.

Call to Action

Do whatever you can to convince government to continue to support this worthwhile support for the SME Exporter