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“RiskInfo Case Study: Mentoring” July 27, 2013

Posted by Meike Suggars in In the media.
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Meike was featured in RiskInfo in a case study looking at mentoring within the financial services industry.

“A shared interest in social media and technology led James Sutherland and Meike Suggars to embark on a mentoring relationship. Three years on, having both experienced significant growth in their personal and professional development, they share what they believe is the key to making a mentoring relationship work…

…Suggars and Sutherland met at an Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) Conference three years ago and immediately connected.  After chatting about all things social media, and having realised they could learn from one another’s experiences, they agreed to set up a regular, monthly catch-up.

“Our conversations generally involve bouncing ideas off one-another, and talking through challenges or opportunities within each of our businesses,” says Sutherland…”

Meike Suggars Mentoring Case Study Riskinfo

RiskInfo, July 2013

Read full article here.


“Future of finance is in younger advisers” July 8, 2013

Posted by Meike Suggars in In the media.
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Meike was featured today, 5/07/2013, in the Australian Financial Review magazine in a profile story covering her entry and early success in the financial advice industry.

“Meike Suggars was not initially interested in following her father Jeff Suggars’s footsteps into financial advice.

‘I did marketing at uni and Dad asked me when I was finishing up if I would like to join his business, at which point I quite rudely said, ‘No, I’ve just spent four years studying marketing, so that’s what I’m going to do,’ ’ she says.

After eight or nine years in that line of work, Suggars was ready for a change. She was living in London and wanted to come home.

‘I decided I wanted to explore other options than marketing, so the idea of working with Dad reared its head again,’ she says….”

Read the full article here.

Meike Suggars profile in AFR

Australian Financial Review, 5 July 2013

“Banks shift gears on technology spend” June 3, 2013

Posted by Meike Suggars in In the media.
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Meike was quoted today, 3/06/2013, in the Financial Standard in an article covering the use of technology in the delivery of financial advice.

“There is a role for large players and there is a role for smaller players in the industry, but in terms of providing scaled service and supporting advisers, you actually need to have a strong and robust infrastructure.”

Financial adviser Meike Suggars from Suggars & Associates says that she started using a tablet on December 2011 and has since then doubled the efforts to reduce paper in the office and work through online applications.

“I started in a paper-based business, but I soon wanted to use digital resources,” she says.

“Applications and technology are definitely improving the way we work today.”


Read full article here.

Wealthy super now taxed May 21, 2013

Posted by Meike Suggars in Superannuation.
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Prior to the May Budget, the Gillard government announced one of its changes to super for 2013: its intention to start taxing the super of Australia’s wealthy retirees.

In this case, “wealthy” is defined as those with superannuation earnings over $100,000pa.

Taxing super

Image courtesy Images_of_Money

It’s important we also clearly define “earnings” in this situation as being the income generated by the investments in a pension super fund (eg. dividends, interest or rent), NOT the pension income stream drawn from that fund by the retiree. This means any tax liability is paid by the super fund, not by the retiree. The income generated by the investments in an accumulation super fund (ie. the super funds of all working Australians into which super contributions are paid) is already taxed in this way.


To be generating $100,000pa investment income at 5% return, the retiree would need a super balance of $2,000,000. Another way to generate investment income of that amount is to sell assets within the fund that have generated a large capital gain.

Now, it’s only income above the $100,000 that is taxed so another way to look at it is the tax-free threshold increases to $100,000pa at retirement. That’s per person too so couple’s super could earn $200,000pa before tax was due. And the tax rate is 15% compared to 37% for a worker earning $100,000 in wages (excluding levies, 2012-2013 tax year).

So yes, the government is raiding the super pot because they’re spending too much, but in reality it’s a small portion of the population that will be affected. You’ll be one of those affected if:

  • you’re at retirement age (55) AND
  • you’ve converted your accumulation super fund into a pension super fund AND
  • you’re drawing a pension income stream from your super AND
  • the investments in your pension super fund generate over $100,000pa income

Don’t forget, it’s the super fund that pays the tax so the Aussie retiree can still pull their $100,000pa out of super tax free if they’re over 60 years old.

If you need more information about how super is taxed talk to your financial adviser or call Suggars and Associates. You can also read about the 2013 Budget here.

Words of Wisdom from the Godfather May 1, 2013

Posted by Meike Suggars in Investments.
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Many consider Warren Buffett to be the Godfather of the world of investing. He has long been known for his success and his willingness to share ideas and thoughts on how to get the most from your investment portfolio.

We found this collection of quotes from Buffett which we just had to share!

Our favourites are #16 and the bonus #24.


image by Art Comments

image by Art Comments

Of course, working with a financial adviser is the best way to achieve your financial goals so call us and we’ll explain what we can do for you.

The Carbon Tax Explained – Does it Affect Your Tax Return? April 2, 2013

Posted by Meike Suggars in General.
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A good friend was recently complaining about his tax. With HECS, and now the carbon tax, there was no way he was going to get a tax refund. In fact, after checking the government’s carbon tax calculator he was worried he’d have to make an extra tax payment.

I was confused by his worry until I realised that he thought the carbon tax was an extra item on his tax return, like HECS is. So this article endeavours to explain how it works. Please note, it is not a criticism, commentary or political opinion article!

The carbon tax came onto affect on 1 July 2012. A tax of $23 per tonne of CO2 emissions is charged to the largest polluters in Australia – there are 293 of them (you can see a list here). These are the only companies or entities that will get a ‘carbon tax bill’.

Of course, this extra tax is likely to increase their cost of production, so it’s more expensive for them to make the products they make or provide the services they offer. As is normal in the business world, they are likely to pass on the extra cost to their customers.

This is where the general public of Australia is likely to feel the carbon tax pinch – normal products we use every day may be come more expensive. But we have the choice whether to still use those products or find an alternative that pollutes less in the making and so costs less.

For example, in the olden days, before the carbon tax, taking the green energy option from your electricity supplier was generally more expensive than the ‘normal’ coal-fired electricity option. But the carbon tax means the ‘normal’ electricity costs more to produce so it should now cost about the same as the green option to consumers. Or you might choose a hand-knitted cardigan instead of one manufactured on an electric knitting machine. Or maybe you choose the locally grown kiwi fruit when they’re in season, rather than those shipped in from Italy when they’re not.

The idea is that if you could have the green option without it costing you less, why wouldn’t you?! Theoretically if you change your choices you can avoid the carbon tax.

There are a number of household assistance packages from the government as well as changes to the income tax thresholds that are intended to minimise the impact on end users. You can estimate how you will be financially impacted by the carbon tax here.

Other places to get more info on the carbon tax (just beware of the political bias!):
http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/1650825/QA-How-does-the-carbon-tax-work (some figures are now out of date, but general principles still work)

Suggars & Associates aren’t tax advisers so we can’t give you personal tax advice but we do know a number of great professionals we can introduce you to if you need tax assistance.

The advice in this article is of a general nature only and does not take your personal circumstances into account. You should seek financial advice before making any investment or financial decisions.

“Financial Planner Profiles: Meike Suggars, Suggars and Associates” February 19, 2013

Posted by Meike Suggars in In the media.
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Meike was featured today, 18/2/13, in Money Management, in a story covering her career as a financial adviser.

After making a career change, Meike Suggars is preparing to take over the family risk practice as her father nears retirement.

Why did you get into financial planning?

I got into financial planning because my dad’s been in the risk industry since 1990 and I wanted a change of career.

I had grown up with it in my house, and saw how my dad was able to support the family financially without sacrificing his family life.

I studied marketing at university but wanted something that was more flexible and would fit better with my life — something that I felt was more meaningful….”

Meike Suggars profile in Money Management

Money Management , 18 February 2013

Read the full article.

Join us at The Hub Business Expo February 11, 2013

Posted by Meike Suggars in General.
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This Saturday (16th Feb) Suggars & Associates are exhibiting at The Hub Business Expo at the Darebin Arts & Entertainment Centre. This is a gathering of business-to-business companies providing a range of products and services. There will also be a great program of speakers to help you with everything from

Looking for a new supplier or someone to help you improve your business efficiency or productivity? Well, come along to find:The Hub Business Expo

o Office supplies
o Business coaching
o Social media
o Website design
o Interior design (home and commercial office)
o Virtual professionals
o Lead generation
o Accountants
o Recruitment
o Professional photography
o Personal stylist
o Graphic design
o Printer
o Insurance (thats us!)
o Lifestyle – personal styling, food, spiritual counselling

Entry is only $10.

Bookings at EventBrite and more information on Facebook

5 Easy Ways to Start Organising Your 2013 Finances January 31, 2013

Posted by Meike Suggars in General, Personal Insurance, Superannuation.
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So we’ve just passed the Australia Day weekend. We know who won the 2013 Australian Open and who topped the Triple J Hottest 100. The kids are almost back to school. The year is well and truly on its way!

 If you want 2013 to be a better money-year than 2012, here are 5 quick things you can do to help get yourself onto the right track:

 1)     Check your savings account is still competitive. Many banks offer special introductory interest rates to suck you in, but then after a few months they revert back to a standard rate. Use a comparator like Canstar http://www.canstar.com.au/savings-accounts/compare-online-saver/ to get a quick overview of what’s out there but do your own research by contacting the banks yourself too.

2)     Check your Binding Death Benefit Nomination is correctly set up so that if you die prematurely, the right people receive any money in your super fund. Your most recent super statement (probably dated around October 2012) will show you whether you have a beneficiary nominated and who it is. There may be tax implications for your beneficiary so talk to a financial adviser if you’re not sure.

3)     Check you’re not underinsured at home. As we’re right in the middle of bushfire season, it’s a timely reminder to check that your home and contents are properly insured – for the right amount and to cover the right risks. Check the policy wording and work out what would it cost you to replace absolutely everything? Getting a good insurance broker makes it easy. Here’s a story that highlights the implications of being underinsured.

4)     Check your mortgage is covered. If you have a mortgage on your home, would your family still be able to afford it if you died prematurely? Make sure they keep their home if they lose you by getting life insurance that at least covers the debt amount. It’s also a good idea to have some extra left insurance over to cover living expenses, so we strongly suggest you talk to an insurance adviser like Suggars & Associates as there are so many different options out there.

5)     Check your health insurance is competitive. A number of comparators are advertised on TV but these only display the insurance companies that pay to be included. Instead, use http://www.privatehealth.gov.au/dynamic/compare.aspx which includes all insurers in Australia

Of course, if you really want to get your finances in order, the best way to get started is to see a financial adviser. They’ll help you work out your goals and objectives and help you map out a plan to get you there.

If you’d like help with any of these items, call Suggars & Associates and we can get you started.

The advice in this article is of a general nature only and does not take your personal circumstances into account. You should seek financial advice before making any investment or financial decisions.

“Financial advisers recognised for social media strategy” November 16, 2012

Posted by Meike Suggars in In the media.
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Meike was mentioned today, 16/11/2012, in the Financial Standard in an article covering the first SMILEYS Awards.

“…’The Conversationalist’ Prize went to Sutherland, a self-confessed technology buff who’s behind the Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) social media push, alongside another financial adviser Meike Suggars…”

Read the full article here.