Smart Money weekly: Market highs, January motivation, & getting smarter with tax

Ben Nash

Before I get into the market movements, I’m excited to share a project I’ve been working on based on some feedback from the Pivot community last year. I’ve kicked off a daily express podcast where I’m doing 5-10 minute quick tips and hacks about all areas of money, ranging from saving tax, investing, employer share plans, buying property, and a bunch of other content to help take your money game to the next level. 

I’ve now dropped a bunch of episodes that you can catch on your podcast platform of choice here; Apple, Spotify, Stitcher, Podbean.

Sharemarket wrap

Joe Biden’s inauguration and the fact Trump left the Whitehouse before a civil war broke out in the US has given markets some confidence this week, with tech shares leading the charge. The Australian sharemarket hit an 11 month high of, and is getting close to the all time market high point record seen pre-COVID. 

Other key markets numbers:

  • The ASX ‘All Ords’ (top 500 shares in Australia) finished the week 1.25% higher than last Friday, on 7,087.9 points.
  • The US ‘S&P500’ (Top 500 shares in America) finished the week 1.37% higher than last Friday, on 3,841.47 points
  • The US ‘Nasdaq’ (Top 2500+ mainly tech shares in America) finished the week 3.36% higher than last Friday, on 13,543.06 points.
  • The Global ‘All World’ index (measured with the iShares MSCI world index (all share markets around the world combined) finished the week 1.22% than last Friday, at 115.35

Share story of the week

Lynas Rare Earths (ASX:LYC): Lynas is one of the few producers or rare earths in the world. Given they run the only rare earth mine outside of China, with the escalating trade tensions coupled with our increasing use of rare earths in our daily lives, it’s no wonder the stock is receiving increasing attention of late. 

How to be Successful with Money – 

Money mistake of the week: Not capitalising on your new year motivation

I chat to a bunch of people every January that are PUMPED to get on top of their money in the new year. This happens with money, but also with fitness and weight loss at the gym, personal and career development, and a bunch of other areas. But unfortunately success in these areas doesn’t just come easy.

Success in any of these important areas demands action, commitment, and consistency. And having been having these conversations for the last decade, I sadly end up talking to many of the same people the following year. This happens because they let their motivation slip and don’t end up getting the results they were looking for last new year. 

The trick to translating your motivation into results is taking ongoing action. You need to do something to get started, but then you need to keep on top of what your next step needs to be, and put the time aside to make it happen. If you do that, you’ll start building momentum and eventually your money success will create a life of it’s own, needing less of your input to keep going. 

But it won’t just happen on it’s own. Learn from this mistake to make 2021 the year you take your money game to the next level. If you want a hand hit us up here. 

Smart Money Upside

Because people don’t often talk about the full ins and outs of their money, it’s hard to learn lessons from hearing what good and bad choices other people make. This story from one of our clients to help you take your money game to the next level.


Early 30’s individual, income ~$90k, property $1.3m, debt ~$200k, cash $560k, shares $55k. Saving $2k monthly.

Frustrations when first coming to see us

Good at saving and had created some good property assets, but not sure how to get the most out of existing assets and set up for the future.

What they wanted from us / the advice process

Optimise tax position, get clear on next investment move. Create a clear approach for when it was time to invest into share type investments.

What an awesome result looked like for them

Replacing employment income of $10k per month with investment income, buying family home while not being stretched or stressed.

What money strategy they were following when we started working together

Saving in cash which was building up in an offset account.

What money strategy they chose to pursue from our planning work

Purchase investment property while preserving ability to buy family home with partner in 1-2 years, start small share portfolio to start building investment knowledge. Super contribution strategy to reduce taxable income

Key benefits of going through the process

Uplift from buying property, better tax outcomes from existing assets, increased knowledge of investing, tax saving from super strategy, reduced fees, more financial confidence.

Total quantifiable value to be received in year one from plan after all advice fees (i.e. tax savings, increased savings rate, growth on investments): $59,646, reflecting a 512% return on investment

Money hacks of the week

Weekly jargon buster – Comparison Rate (via Mozo): A comparison rate is a useful tool that shows you the true cost of a home loan or personal loan. Also known as an AAPR or ‘Average Annual Percentage Rate’, the comparison rate appears by law in all home loan and personal loan advertising to show you how fees and charges can impact the total cost of the loan.

How employer share plans work: While there are a HEAP of people that have access to employer share plans, there is still lots of confusion out there about how these work. And given the ability to leverage your employer’s share plans to crank up your money momentum it’s something you should be getting right. 

This week I put together some practical guides to the different types of employer share plans, the rules, and how you can maximise them. Check them out here: 

Super fund and investment market outlook: Last week I also spoke with SBS World News on the outlook for financial markets and what to expect from your super fund in 2021. You can check out the clip here.

Podcast from last week: How to choose a financial adviser

Online event from last week: Last week I presented the fourth live online event in the ‘How to Money’ series I’m putting on in partnership with Raiz Invest and General Assembly, How to get smarter with tax in 2021. I cover an overview of the tax system in Australia, how tax works with investments and how to increase your after tax return when you invest, and some tax strategies that can help you hold onto more of your hard earned income. Check out the recording of the session here.

Be awesome, 


PS: If you want a hand to get on the front foot with your money in 2021, check out our 45 minute one-on-one sessions here

PPS: Next live online event coming up in Feb: How to to avoid the most painful money mistakes in 2021.

Disclaimer: I know you’re smarter than someone that would need me to write the words that come next, but our compliance peeps are real hard-asses so here we go… This information is not personal advice, poetry, or a map to where Jimmy Hoffa is buried. It may only be regarded as general advice, and definitely shouldn’t be considered something worthy of inclusion for Donna Hay’s next cookbook or the Archibald prize. This is actually just an email communication that has been sent to a bunch of people, and doesn’t even have your name on it. Your personal objectives, needs or financial situation have not been considered when preparing this email, but I want you to know that I have spent a lot of time thinking about the venn diagram intersection of poetry, landscaping, and essential oils – if you’re fascinated by this same phenomenon please reply to this email so we can compare notes. You should consider the appropriateness of any general advice we have given you, having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs, and if necessary, seek advice before acting on it. You should also consider other people when getting on and off public transport, smiling more, eating healthy, and listening to your mum when she tells you that you’ve been working too hard. Where information relates to a financial product, you should obtain and consider the relevant product disclosure statement before making any decision to purchase that financial product. Where the information relates to a hilarious joke I’ve made, you should consider belly laughing deeply. Financial services guide.