Scam losses hit $2.8 million as police, tax board impersonated

Australians have lost millions of dollars to a phone scam demanding the payment of tax debts and threatening prison time, with authorities including the Tax Practitioners Board and police reporting their phone numbers have been appropriated as part of the hoax.

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Source: https://www.smh.com.au/business/small-business/scam-losses-hit-2-8-million-as-police-tax-board-impersonated-20190110-p50qk9.html

The Australian economy in 2019

- Australian growth has slowed again. The housing cycle downturn and its impact on the economy will likely see growth constrained to around 2.5-3%.

- As a result, spare capacity is likely to remain significant, keeping wages growth and inflation low.

- The RBA is likely to cut rates in 2019 and the housing downturn will likely see Australian shares continue to underperform global shares.

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Corrections, gummy bears and grizzly bears in shares

Key points

- The pullback in shares could still have further to go but a deep (grizzly) bear market is unlikely as US, global or Australian recession are unlikely.

- Increasing US Federal Reserve openness to a pause in raising rates, the likelihood of a US/China trade deal sometime in the next six months and the plunge in oil prices all add to confidence that a grizzly bear market is unlikely.

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13 common sense tips to help manage your finances

Getting your personal finances right can be a challenge. Here are 13 tips that may be of use: shop around when it comes to financial services; don’t take on too much debt; allow that interest rates can go up as well as down; allow for rainy days; credit cards are great but they deserve respect; use your mortgage (if you can) for all longer term debt; start saving and investing early; allow that asset prices go up and down; try and see financial events in their longer-term context; know your risk tolerance; make the most of the Mum and Dad bank; be wary of the crowd; and there is no free lunch. 

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Royal Australian Mint challenges Aussies to find specially marked $1 coins in a ‘golden ticket’ style competition

The nation’s first ever coin hunt, Australia’s Dollar Discovery, launches today as a fun way to encourage the public, and families in particular, to engage with coin collecting.

“At a time of growing ‘intangibility’, the Royal Australian Mint (the Mint) is delighted to launch a program to encourage a whole new generation of collectors both young and old, who will not only collect these coins but also be reminded of the value of a dollar,” says Ross MacDiarmid, CEO of the Royal Australian Mint.

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Source: https://www.ramint.gov.au/publications/royal-australian-mint-challenges-aussies-find-specially-marked-1-coins-golden-ticket