Jets strike late to stun Perth

Posted by on 13/12/2018 at 9:17 am
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ON TARGET: Johnny Koutroumbis celebrates after scoring against Perth Glory in the Jets’ 2-1 win on Saturday night. Picture:AAPNEWCASTLE Jets coach Ernie Merrick says he should be charged with “theft” after watching his side steal a 2-1 A-League win over Perth Glory with two goals at the death.
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Glory looked headed for victory courtesy of a 20th-minute strike from Joe Knowles in Saturday night’s game at nib Stadium.

But a sweet volley from 19-year-old Jets substitute John Koutroumbis in the 88th minute levelled the scores, before Glory defender Jeremy Walker scored an own goal in the 92nd minute to hand all three points to the Jets. The double blow stunned the 8063 crowd, and left Glory languishing in eighth spot following consecutive defeats.

The Jets remain in second spot, five points adrift of ladder-leading Sydney. Newcastle struggled for opportunities for most of the match, and Merrick said his side were lucky to come away with the win.

“The police have just come into the dressing room and charged us with stealing three points,” Merrick said.

“It really was theft. We didn’t deserve three.

“Sometimes you need a wee bit of luck. We’ve played some really good games and finished up either losing or getting a draw.

“We were a bit lucky tonight. I felt it was a bit of a scrappy game, but the better team was Perth Glory, without a doubt.” Glory coach Kenny Lowe was proud of his team’s efforts, and agreed with Merrick’s thoughts.

“I think he’s being very honest. Ernie’s a decent bloke and he knows the game,” Lowe said.

“They’ve had one shot on target and won the game. I don’t know how you can do that.

“I thought we were excellent. I thought we controlled the game.” Koutroumbis made no mistake with his volley after Roy O’Donovan’s header fell to him as he surged into the box.

And Walker could only look on in distress as his attempted clearance from a corner came off his left thigh and rocketed into the back of the net. Star Glory striker Andy Keogh failed to return from a groin injury, but Spaniard Diego Castro made a strong cameo off the bench Jets striker O’Donovan also made a strong return off the bench in his first game back from a groin injury.

Glory defender Alex Grant (hamstring) and Xavi Torres (groin) limped off in the 67th minute, and their absence left a big hole as Newcastle stole the win.

How to cope when your ATAR arrives

Posted by on 13/12/2018 at 9:17 am
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The lead-up to the release of exam results can be as stressful as the exams themselves, but remember: the ATAR will not make or break your life. Don’t let your ATAR define you
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It is the biggest cliche of them all when it comes to the final years of school. But it is also the most true: The ATAR will not make or break your life. The ATAR is not an IQ score. The ATAR – Australian Tertiary Admission Rank – is exactly that. A rank. It is not a measure of how well you will succeed in life, and it is not a ticket to a high-paying job. It won’t set you up for life, and it certainly won’t end your chances.

You have every right to be super proud if you do get the ATAR you were aiming for. It will probably get you into the university course you have your heart set on and it can make the next step in your journey a little more straightforward. But do not let it define you.

Remember: More than half of all students who start a degree at an Australian university are admitted in ways other than by their ATAR. That can be anything from interviews, to Year 11 and 12 reports, to portfolios.

Professor James Arvanitakis is an academic who regularly speaks and writes about the unhelpful hype around the ATAR. He offers students this advice: “Put enough pressure on yourself to do well. Any more than that is wasted energy. It leads to panic and over-stress.”

“When I did they HSC there was only one way to university. But now we have so many pathways. Even medicine has multiple pathways,” Arvanitakis says. What is an ATAR and how is it calculated?

The ATAR stands for Australian Tertiary Admission Rank. It is not a mark; it is a rank. It’s a number between 0 and 99.95, increasing by 0.05 increments. The highest possible ATAR is 99.95, while the lowest is 30. Any rank below that is referred to as “30 or less”. The ATAR system is now used by all Australian states and territories, although Queensland is still transitioning from its Overall Position (OP) to the ATAR system.

The ATAR is a measure of a student’s overall academic achievement in relation to other students. It helps universities rank applicants for selection into their courses. It’s designed to predict how well you will perform in your first year at university.

Your result is a percentile position out of all students who started Year 7 with you. So an ATAR of 80 doesn’t mean you got 80 per cent, rather, it means that you’re in the top 20 per cent of your year group. The average ATAR is usually around 70, not 50 as you may think. It would only be 50 if everyone from Year 7 went on to get an ATAR – and they won’t.

Scaling is the first step in calculating the ATAR. This is important because students take all sorts of different courses, so scaling allows courses to be compared fairly. The same marks in different courses are not necessarily equal, just as the same amounts of money in different countries are not equal. Scaling is done using raw marks to ensure apples are compared with apples, so a scaled mark of 50 means the same – you were in the middle of those who took the course. Scaled marks are then used to rank students.

Universities make admission offers based on the number of places available for a course, the number of students who have applied and their ATARs.

All universities publish their ATARs for each course, based on the previous year’s admissions. This gives a good indication of the minimum ATAR you will need. Advice for parents

Judith Carlisle, headmistress at top British independent girls’ school the Oxford High School, has a blunt message for her students: No one will give a damn about your final school results a couple of years down the track.

So forget about being perfect, she says. Instead, learn how to cope with failure.

Sounds harsh – but it is good advice.

Since 2014, Carlisle has been running a program called the Death of Little Miss Perfect. She wants to get rid of the idea that girls need to be perfect, so she uses the phrase ‘”unhelpful perfectionism” to explain what she means.

“In a high-achieving school such as Oxford High School, there is now a recognition amongst pupils that the further you go in academia there is less likely to be an answer that can be verified as correct or perfect. Girls are encouraged to just go for it, and that it is OK to learn from failure,” Carlisle says. “Importantly, they are all encouraged to be kinder and more positive towards themselves.”

In Australia, Jenny Allum, head of the Sydney Church of England Girls Grammar School in Darlinghurst, has a similar message for teenagers and their parents: Parents have a role in helping their teenagers (girls or boys) to avoid “catastrophising” when things do not go as planned.

“If you think getting 12 out of 20 in an essay, or even 8 out of 20, is the worst thing in the world, then you have a pretty good life,” Allum says. “Every tiny little milestone that happens in your last two years of school is not the be-all and end-all. Nothing is the end of the world.”

“Teenagers have highs and lows about all sorts of things.” says Allum. “I think it is important for the adults around young people to be the stable ones, to be the calm and rational ones with reality checks. When parents ride waves of emotions with their teenagers – whether they are elated when something good happens [or] angry when things are not so good – [it] only amplifies those ups and downs.” When the results are not what you were expecting

The lead-up to the release of exam results can be as stressful as the exams themselves.

When the day arrives, there can be jubilation. Or devastation. And plenty of emotions in between.

All may not go well. Disappointing scores? An ATAR that will probably fall short of the mark?

The not-for-profit organisation Youth Beyond Blue, which works to address issues around depression and anxiety, urges parents not to be fooled by their teenagers if they appear too dismissive of their results – particularly if they were lower than what everyone expected.

Chances are they really do care about how they went, and especially about what their parents and friends think.

Don’t make negative comments or point out what they could have done differently.

It’s too late to criticise now. Remind them that all is not lost if they do not get into their first choice of uni course or miss out on their traineeship. There are many pathways to get to their ultimate career destination.

Their exams will be a distant memory before they know it, and their marks will not damage their future.

Encourage your teenager to think of Plan B.

It is common to transfer degrees after first-year university, so their second-choice course may be a good option. They could take a gap year and spend some time working. A career or guidance counsellor may be able to help make a plan.

And just keep reminding them that a Year 12 result, whether good or bad, does not define them.

This is an edited extract fromIf You Want to Blitz Your Year 12 Exams … Read this Book, by the Herald’s education editor Alexandra Smith (ABC Books RRP$27.99), published on December 18.

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‘I bought the zoo,’ says the man who fell in love with the devil

Posted by on 13/12/2018 at 9:17 am
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News Review. Singles Gallery. Kangaroo road kill between Walgett and Lightning Ridge. Photograph by Edwina pickles. Taken on 25th July 2010. ” i must of drove around & past 10-20 kangeroos, casualty of roadkill.The devil made him do it. Animal behaviouralist Bruce Englefield emigrated to Australia after falling in love with Tasmanian devils, working with others to save them from the facial cancer that was threatening them with extinction.
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But he was shocked when nearly a quarter of healthy devils released back into the wild became road kill within weeks of their release.

The roads are as big a threat to the devils as the facial cancers, he says. His research estimates “millions” of Australian marsupials are killed on the Australian roads every year. The most vulnerable are kangaroos, wallabies, wombats and koalas, he says. The figures don’t include birds or reptiles, also run over in large numbers.

At 75, Mr Englefield – previously a television technical director, animal behaviour counsellor and farmer in Britain – is now undertaking a doctorate in veterinary science with the University of Sydney.

To find out how many animals are being killed by cars, Mr Englefield is conducting a survey of anyone who rescues native animals. He wants to quantify the size of the problem (estimates vary wildly and hard data is hard to find), the number of wildlife carers, how much support they need and how they can continue to rescue injured animals as the amount of road kill increases.

“If you find a dead wallaby with a live joey, it can be alive in the pouch for three to four days,” he said. With so much road kill, the government and the public had a choice of policy options: “You either bring in a policy to leave them there and let them starve to death, or take them out and euthanise them. I don’t think the Australian public would go along with this. The only alternative, then, is hand rearing these animals, and if that is the decision you may need a lot of voluntary carers.”

NSW’s WIRES Wildlife Rescue responds to thousands of calls each year related to motor vehicle collisions.

Right now, it’s the worst time of the year for road kill and injured animals.

It is currently receiving about 4000 calls a week about animals that have been injured on the roads and elsewhere, and the number of calls rose 19 per cent in the past year to 143,000.

Yet its spokeswoman said it was impossible to say accurately how many animals were killed or orphaned by cars each year.

She said it was difficult to identify why animals were coming into care because some may have been moved from the scene of the accident. Those which were euthanised on the scene, or orphaned, were not attributed directly to motor vehicle collisions, although they were often the result of these crashes.

It receives more calls to help animals in more populated areas where there are major roads located near areas of native habitat. “This is partly due to road traffic but also loss of habitat and just greater human-animal interaction in general,” the spokeswoman said.

Some highways now have overpasses or tunnels to allow native animals to cross safely.

In Queensland, CSIRO’s research has found vehicle strike is a major threat to koalas. In 2013, Fairfax Media reported 10,956 of the 15,644 south-east Queensland koalas that died between 1997 and 2011 were struck by cars, mauled by dogs, or died of stress-related disease.

But a six-year study of bridges and tunnels found many animals regularly used tunnels and bridges as soon as they worked out how to use them.

WIRES wants more of these crossings: “We are a long way from the ideal, but it would be great if organisations and government could work together to identify hotspots where safe animal crossings or rope bridges could be deployed to reduce the impact of our roads on wildlife.”

Based in Tasmania, described by some as the road kill capital of Australia, Mr Englefield fell in love with Australian wildlife when he visited Tasmania on holiday in 2000.

When he visited a wildlife park about 150 kilometres east of Hobart, he saw devils for the first time.

“I was wowed, I couldn’t work them out, and their behaviour with spinning and running, and everything they did, was different from anything I’d seen from other animals. They were unique. They fascinated me,” he said.

He also saw that the zoo was for sale.

“To cut a long story short, we bought a zoo,” he said.

“But it was the devil that brought me over here. I started the Devil Island Project and by running a wildlife park I had the thrill of seeing devils on a daily basis,” he said.

Researchers within the Tasmanian government’s Save the Tasmanian Devil Program have since pioneered new approaches that have reduced the road toll of devils being released.

As part of his research Mr Englefield is undertaking a scientific appraisal of a virtual fence system that appeared to reduce devil road kill. If shown to be successful, it could be extended Australia-wide.

Survey: https://redcap.sydney.edu419论坛/surveys/?s=NHTLWLKTRT

Wildlife Rescue Line: 13 000 WIRES or 1300 094 737.

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Paramedic educator shortage stokes fears for front-line

Posted by on 13/12/2018 at 9:17 am
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Overstretched paramedic educators are struggling to support untenable numbers of front-line staff hone critical skills to respond to life-threatening medical emergencies including birthing complications and stroke.
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A shortage of educators has left critical training officers (CTOs) responsible for training up to three times the number of paramedics than recommended by NSW Ambulance itself.

A leaked 2015 report from NSWA stipulates the appropriate ratio for educators to paramedics is one to 75.

But this ratio has never been achieved in Sydney “with subsequent negative impacts on both educators and paramedics”, according to the Paramedic Response Network, Education report.

“Educators are overwhelmed with a workload incorporating CTP course delivery, workshops for accelerated clinical roll outs, return to clinical practice, training needs analysis, clinical assistance programs, on road assessments, trainee followup [sic] and general engagement with paramedic staff,” the report read.

Paramedics were not able to access educators when they wanted to, and a lack of CTOs meant there were delays in getting returning paramedics back to work.

Two years on, the ratio of educators to paramedics in western Sydney has ballooned to 1:211, almost three times recommended ratio, according to staffing figures obtained by the Health Services Union (HSU).

In south west Sydney there are 188 paramedics to a single CTO, two-and-a-half times the recommendation.

In South East and Central Sydney, the ratio is 1:177, and in North Sydney there are 146 paramedics for every CTO.

Paramedic CTO and HSU delegate Allison Moffitt said the roles of responsibilities foisted upon educators have increased markedly, but their ranks have not.

“There is an untenable workload pushed onto educators because of a lack of staff,” Mrs Moffitt said.

“We’re not even close to where we need to be, There is just not enough of us to effectively support our paramedics.”

Mrs Moffitt said the pressure has taken its toll on educators as well as frontline staff.

“They work in really difficult conditions under really stressful circumstances and are short staffed themselves. They turn to us for support and when we can’t give it to them, that is a really hard thing for us to deal with.”

“We feel like we’re letting them down.” Educator to paramedic ratiosWest Sydney 1:211South west Sydney 1:188South east and central Sydney 1:177North Sydney 1:146

Being “severely understaffed” on the front lines and in eductors ranks will also have flow-on effects for patients, Mrs Moffitt said.

When NSWA decide to roll out a new training module, CTOs are tasked with creating the content and teach the course in addition to their already overwhelming workload that sees them travel between ambulance stations to oversee paramedics’ follow up training.

“When a new training package is rolled out, ongoing training suffers,” Ms Moffitt said.

CTOs are currently working on a suite of new maternal care training covering medical emergencies involving pregnant women and their unborn babies.

The skills paramedics need to respond to birthing complications including breech birth and prenatal haemorrhage are not routine, and paramedics will need considerable training and support to master the techniques.

The relative rarity of encountering a birthing complication only reinforced the importance of thorough and ongoing training to cement the knowledge, Mrs Moffitt said.

“It’s a big area of need for us [in terms of training] because it’s not something paramedics do everyday.

“When it does happen we’re talking about a critical medical emergency,” Mrs Moffitt said.

“You can’t just go through a course and be a master at it. They need to be supported throughout their career and we can’t give them that with the current ratios,” she said.

Training in thrombolysis to treat blood clots and prevent heart attack and stroke was another training priority.

“We know drastically improves patient outcomes and decreases long-term complications, but again it’s not something paramedics practise everyday so they need to drill the skills,” Mrs Moffitt said.

Health Services Union NSW secretary Gerard Hayes said the community expected paramedics to be prepared for critical health emergencies across the gamut of medical scenarios, and capable of dealing with the most extreme presentations in volatile situations.

The HSU is urging the state government to fund an additional 31 educators.

Mr Hayes said paramedics needed consistent ongoing training and access to educators to maintain the skills and knowledge needed to respond to traumatic births, heart attacks, major trauma, mass casualties, drownings, suicide attempts, mental health emergencies and rescue operations, Mr Hayes said.

“We can’t expect to maintain world-class paramedic standards without sufficient paramedic educators,” he said.

“Over the next 20 years, this state will grow by several million people. NSW desperately needs investment in its paramedic workforce to keep pace with that growth.

“Unfortunately, the current government’s investment in paramedic skills and training is a fail.”

In a statement, a spokesperson for NSWA said the service had 70 dedicated staff to support training and eduction of frontline paramedics and two new CTOs recently started in Sydney, as well as an additional aeromedical educator starting in the new year.

“NSW Ambulance is committed to providing quality clinical training for our dedicated paramedic staff,” the statement read.

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Investor Angie Ellis reveals the secret of her Shares Race success

Posted by on 13/11/2018 at 4:42 pm
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The Sunday Age,Money. Angie Ellis is the reigning champion for the 2017 Shares Race, pictured with her dog cushion Charlie.Pic Simon Schluter 10 November 2017.
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Angie Ellis has won more of the four-week shares races this year than any other competitor, including the professional tipsters.

Not only has she won more four-week competitions, she was leading the one-year race all year and was just pipped to the post in the final results published last week.

So what are her secrets for success?

It all started when Ellis seeded her family share portfolio from the proceeds of investment properties about four years ago.

The 46-year-old from Melbourne has an investment style best described as “growth”.

She prefers to invest for capital gains rather than holding the local market’s big dividend payers like the big banks.

Her family portfolio is separate from her superannuation, which allows Ellis, a trained accountant, to take more risks knowing her retirement savings are protected. Speculative

Ellis is much more speculative for the four-week Shares Race than she is with the one-year game and her family portfolio.

For the four-week race, in which eight competitors select 10 stocks with a hypothetical $10,000 in each, she likes to see strong share price gains with no down days before the race starts.

“It has to be an easy-to-understand business that is also a ‘hot’ share,” Ellis says. “I pick shares in sectors that are trending up and that are receiving a lot of media attention.”

Ellis also likes to see the directors of the company themselves as well as fund managers buying shares in the company.

With her star pick Digitalx, a facilitator of overseas money transfers using digital currencies, Ellis ended the last four-week race of the year, which she won, with her original $10,000 worth $31,250.

“I like companies that have a global outlook and a lot of my shares are not just Australian based,” she says.

Ellis has done very well from A2 Milk Company in her family portfolio, whose products include infant formula.

“There were a lot of articles in the Australian Financial Review about A2 Milk and about milk formula generally in China,” she says.

“I went to the supermarkets and you could see that it was flying off the shelves and I spent the whole week looking at A2 Milk.Then, I was helping a girlfriend out who had broken her knee and I opened her fridge and there were half-a-dozen bottles of A2 Milk in her fridge and I started buying A2 Milk at about 80c.”

A2 Milk’s shares are now worth almost 10 times that.

Of course, just like any share investor, Ellis has had her fair share of disappointments.

For her family portfolio she bought Buddy Platform, a platform for monitoring and reducing consumption of electricity, water and gas, among other things.

She bought the shares for about 13c in May last year and sold out a year later for 5c.

Almost immediately after selling the shares, they rocketed to about 35c.

“I’ve learnt that sometimes it takes a while for the market to catch-up on why these businesses are amazing,” Ellis says. Year-long race

For the one-year shares race and for her family portfolio she puts more emphasis on companies with strong revenue and profit growth and good “tailwinds” for the business.

She wants to know how a company is going to generate cash, grow its business and strengthen its economic “moat”, the barrier to entry for new competitors.

Ellis’ pick of Big Un, the parent company of Big Review TV, helped to finish in the long race as well as helping her to win many of the four-week races.

She bought shares in the company in late January this year for 42 cents and they are now trading at about $3.50.

The Big Review TV platform integrates multimedia to provide a hub for people to search, view and review businesses, events and destinations.

It has a global focus and strong revenue growth. She took the time to understand the business model and contacted a few of its customers to see if they were happy and would be likely to resubscribe to the service.

Ellis took the opportunity to realise her huge gains from Big Review TV to plough 80 per cent of the sale proceeds in jewellery retailer Lovisa, which became her largest holding in her year-long portfolio.

The company is rapidly expanding overseas and recently opened a “pilot” store in Los Angeles.

Ellis has a contact in Los Angeles who sent Ellis some photos of inside the store showing it bustling with customers.

Last year, Ellis visited a QVB store in Sydney with her daughter and after seeing the store doing a brisk trade, bought more of the company’s shares.

Ellis attends the company AGMs to make a point of meeting the chief executive and the board. Offshore holdings

Ellis has 30 per cent of her family portfolio invested in global markets with much of her international exposure held in Australian-listed exchange traded funds (ETFs).

These are funds that track not only sharemarket indices, but a variety of markets such as the gold and oil prices.

One of her ETFs tracks the share prices of the biggest companies listed on Asian sharemarkets.

She has further exposure to emerging markets through a managed fund with a focus on the Indian sharemarket.

Ellis holds only two overseas-listed shares directly; Amazon and Twitter, which are listed on Wall Street.

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The secret to happiness? Why giving feels so good

Posted by on 13/11/2018 at 4:42 pm
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Is having wealth the secret of happiness? The fact that millions of Australians buy lottery tickets every week, even though they have less than one in a million chance of winning, suggests that the majority think it is. But the evidence is very much to the contrary.
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Many lottery winners end up broke after less than two years, and the papers are full of stories about rich families fighting over the family fortune. One well-known book, Navigating the Dark Side of Wealth: A Life Guide for Inheritors by Thayer Cheatham Willis, tells about the challenges faced by those who have been “unlucky” enough to be left huge sums of money by billionaire relatives.

There is no doubt that nothing can take the place of money in the areas where money works. Margaret Thatcher put it succinctly, “the good Samaritan needed more than good intentions – he needed money as well”. The problem is that money of itself cannot give meaning to our lives.

This leads us to the big question – how can we arrange our finances so that we enjoy our money and are not burdened by it? If we can believe Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton, the authors of the new book Happy Money: The New Science of Smarter Spending, it might be time for a radical rethink on the ways we spend our money.

They point out that, for most people, experiences turn out to be far better value for money than purchases. Certainly, a new car gives you quite a buzz the day you drive it home, but after a few weeks you become accustomed to it and it becomes simply another thing you own. In contrast, money spent on a holiday that has long been on your bucket list gives you wonderful memories for years to come.

But the big surprise was their recommendation to invest in others. They discuss an experiment in which participants told the researcher how happy they were, provided their phone number for follow-up, and then received a mysterious envelope.

Many envelopes contained a $5 note with the instruction to spend it before 5pm on a gift for themselves, or for expenses such as rent or food. Other envelopes carried a $5 note with a different instruction: to spend the money before 5pm on a gift for someone else, or a donation to charity.

Just to broaden the experiment, some of each type of envelope contained a $20 note instead of a $5 one.

After 5pm, all the participants were phoned and asked to report their level of happiness now that the day had passed. Overwhelmingly, individuals who had spent money on others were happier than those who spent money on themselves – even though there had been no differences between the two groups at the beginning of the day.

The twist in the tale was that the amount of money in the envelope made no difference to their feelings. How the money was spent mattered far more than the amount they were given.

I asked my wife, who was a psychologist, why giving money away has such a positive effect on our well-being. She explained that it is because the person who makes the gift feels they are contributing to society and benefiting future generations, while enjoying the feeling that they have made a contribution without any thought of benefit to themselves.

Did you know that many retirees die with more money left in their superannuation than they had when they retired? This is because they tend to live more frugally after they retire because they don’t know how many years they have left. For them, making donations to worthy causes is a wonderful way to add meaning to their lives, as well as gaining the happiness of seeing what a huge difference their generosity has made to other people’s lives.

Let me conclude with a quote from American poet Rod McKuen: “The gifts that one receives from giving are so immeasurable that it is almost an injustice to accept them.” I reckon that sums it up.

Noel Whittaker is the author of Making Money Made Simple and numerous other books on personal finance. His advice is general in nature and readers should seek their own professional advice before making any financial decisions. Email: [email protected]南京夜网419论坛

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How a property slump would affect homeowners

Posted by on 13/11/2018 at 4:42 pm
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Recent headlines have flagged a fall in Australian capital city house prices. But does it mean anything for you?
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CoreLogic’s November Hedonic Home Value Index showed that in November there was a -0.1 per cent fall in capital city dwelling values. This was, however, offset by a 0.2 per cent rise in regional values.

During the quarter ending in November, house values went backwards in Sydney (-1.3 per cent) and Darwin (-2.7 per cent). Sydney is crucial in national housing data: it holds one-third of the country’s housing value. But if you look at the big picture, there is no need to panic.

Firstly, capital cities are coming off very strong growth trends – the types of price rises we’ve seen so far are hard to sustain long term. It’s no surprise the market needs to take a breather.

But if property values do fall, what effect does it really have on you?

A few tips:

Don’t panic: property value is influenced by market sentiment, interest rates and economic data. You can do nothing about these factors, but you can control your investment timeline: view property in 10-year windows, and try to buy well. Take the panic out of it.

Two-way traffic: Australian house prices don’t always rise: they fell in the early 1950s, the early 1990s, in 2008 and 2010. Realise that the market will always have ups and downs – it’s the nature of it.

Realised losses: value indices are theoretical until you sell and realise a loss or gain. As long as you meet repayments, the bank doesn’t call in a loan just because the value drops. You can still live there and wait until prices rise.

Renovations and investments: this is where a slump can become real. If you want to access equity to fund a renovation or buy an investment property, a lower house value could crimp your borrowing power.

Short term: given the time and costs of buying and selling property, a short-term “flipping” strategy could be uneconomic if values trend down. Fix this by thinking long term.

Giant pool: don’t be fooled by terms such as “Sydney property” or “Australian housing”. They’re vast markets and an “average” or even a “median” may not mean much to you. Lenders are very specific, using a valuer’s assessment right down to the street and house.

Budget: only when you’re forced to sell do low property values become an issue. So, take control of your household budget, ensuring you can meet repayments and retain your house through a price slump. This is crucial when interest rates start to rise.

Protection: along with household finances, ensure you have adequate insurances to cover repayments in case you can’t work. Don’t be forced to sell when the market is down – that’s when you lose money.

Advice: if you’re worried about values, stay close to experts such as mortgage brokers and real estate agents. Don’t be panicked – be informed.

The family home is most people’s largest asset, and it’s normal to be concerned about its value. But always base your decisions on real information and expert advice.

Mark Bouris is executive chairman of Yellow Brick Road.

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Best of the best: Don’t wait until the new year to find a better deal

Posted by on 13/11/2018 at 4:42 pm
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Why wait until the new year to make resolutions for your finances? Money asked researchers to nominate their best picks for several types of financial products and investments. Use the holiday season to shop around for a better deal. Saving for retirement
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Industry super funds dominate the table of the best-performing funds of past 10 years that are open to anyone.

Rest Super’s Core Strategy investment option tops the table with an average annual compound return of 6.1 per cent, followed closely by another industry fund, CareSuper’s Balanced investment option, with a return of 6 per cent over the decade.

All funds listed in the table comfortably exceed SuperRatings’ industry benchmark of 4.7 per cent, the median return of the largest 50 funds.

There are a few key areas to consider when assessing whether a super fund is a quality provider, says Camille Schmidt, market insights analyst at SuperRatings.

The investment performance may be strong, but is it consistent or will the up and downs of the returns keep you awake at night, Dr Schmidt says.

It is also important to look at the fees and whether they are reasonable. By comparing the overall fee to equivalent products, you can determine whether a fund is relatively cheap or expensive, she says.

And consider whether the fund meets your needs in terms of product flexibility and other services, she says.

For example, can you change investment options easily, does it have a mobile phone application, if that is important to you, and can you access relevant investment seminars and financial advice, Dr Schmidt says.

Australian share funds

Perpetual’s Wholesale Ethical SRI has an average annual compound return over the past 10 year of almost 8 per cent to make it the best-performing Australian shares fund.

Another Perpetual fund, the Wholesale Share Plus L/S, is in second spot with a return of 7.3 per cent. Investors Mutual’s All Industrials Share fund is in third with a return of 6.6 per cent.

Chris Douglas, director of research ratings at Morningstar Australasia, says it is important to assess a fund’s performance over the long term so they can see how a manager has performed over various market conditions.

“And the 10-year performance numbers in the table comprise a wide range of market conditions, including the dramatic sell-off during the 2008 GFC when the local Australian equity market was sold off by almost 40 per cent and 2012-13 when the market was up by more than 20 per cent,” Douglas says.

“All the funds displayed in the table have steered investors through some tricky conditions,” he says.

However, investors need to be careful about extrapolating past performance into the future, Douglas says.

Managers make changes to how the money is managed and key investment staff responsible for the good performance can leave, he says.

And choosing a fund will depend a range of factors to do with your personal circumstances, such as whether you are investing mainly for capital growth or for income. Home loans

Mitchell Watson, the research manager at Canstar, says despite the Reserve Bank keeping the cash rate on hold since August 2016, there’s been plenty of changes in lenders’ interest rates.

That is why it is important for home owners and investors to be consider whether their loan interest rate is still competitive, he says.

“It’s important to not only consider the interest rate but also the fees and the features of the loan meet your needs,” Watson says.

The table also shows the “comparison rate”, which helps consumers identify the true cost of a loan.

It factors in the interest rate, most fees and charges and displays a single percentage rate that can be used to compare various loans from different lenders.

Low-rate cards

In the lead up to the festive season, a no-frills credit card can support your spending while keeping your interest costs to a minimum, says Bessie Hassan, money expert at comparison site Finder.

“Low rate doesn’t mean these products come without fees,” she says.

“You can still incur fees, like an annual fee, which could set you back a hundred dollars or so per year, and late payment fees, so you’ll need to factor this into your budgeting,” she says.

For those looking for a really low purchase rate, there are a limited number of cards offering zero percent interest rates on purchases for a year or more.

However, it is important to pay-off the balance that was transferred within the zero interest rate period and to make sure that subsequent debt racked-up on the card is paid off, in full, each month, Hassan says.

These cards can often revert to a particularly high purchase interest rates at the end of the zero-interest period, she says.

Amex cards with frequent flyer points

Frequent flyer credit cards offer you points on your everyday spend that can be redeemed for a number of items like flights and accommodation.

There are a number of frequent flyer programs and Money has chosen to ranks cards that provide points for Qantas, the largest frequent flyer program.

When it comes to frequent flyer cards, the most important features are the “earn rate” (the number of points earned per dollar spent on the card) and the “burn rate” (how many points you need to spend to redeem a reward). The number of sign-up bonus points and the annual fee are also important.

Finder’s Bessie Hassan says as all of these cards have purchase interest rates of 20 per cent or more, these are only worth considering if you’re sure you can pay off your balance in full at the end of each month.

MasterCard/Visa cards with frequent flyer points

The interchange regulations, enforced in July this year, have seen frequent flyer programs devalued across the board.

Providers have dropped earn rates and there are tighter caps, where, once you exceed a certain spending threshold no more points or fewer points are earned.

“But don’t be blinded by the rewards alone,” Hassan says.

“These products typically come with higher annual fees and high interest rates so it’s essential to weigh up your options to see if the benefits outweigh the costs,” Hassan says.

Correction: The annual free (apart from the discounted first year fee) is $299 rather than $200 on the Qantas Premier Platinum card. Online accounts

There are two types of higher-earning savings accounts on the market – those with an introductory high rate (relatively speaking, given cash rate is at historic lows) and those with a ongoing high rate.

Introductory rates tend to only last for a few months, and after that the earning rate drops sharply – down to as low as 0.8 per cent.

The table shows the best accounts with ongoing interest rates.

Those with an introductory rate will have a bonus interest rate that is paid provided the saver meets certain conditions.

For example, often this simply involves getting your wages paid into a linked current account, making a minimum deposit into the account regularly, or using a debit card a few times a month, Finder’s Hassan says.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

From snail mail to SMS: the HSC wait is almost over

Posted by on 13/11/2018 at 4:42 pm
Nanjing Night Net

It was 1967 and about 18,300 students who had sat the first HSC exams were anxiously waiting for their results to arrive – by post.
Nanjing Night Net

Another 30 years later, in 1997, students could call a phone number and have a recorded message read their results to them.

This year, exactly 50 years after the first HSC, nearly 78,000 HSC students will wake up to text messages at 6am on Thursday with their marks for each subject and the bands they achieved.

Students now wait nearly a month less than students did 20 years ago to get their HSC results, and will get their Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR) the next day.

And the way results are delivered is not the only thing that has changed.

Students in 1967 had a choice of only 28 subjects, compared to the 140 subjects available to this year’s cohort.

In 1967, about 90 per cent of students did maths, another 80 per cent were studying a science subject and a massive 37 per cent were studying French, the most popular language.

Now, about 83 per cent of students are studying maths, 52 per cent are doing science and French is no longer the most popular language, with only 1.8 per cent of students choosing it this year.

Instead, Japanese has been the most popular language for more than 20 years, with 1446 students, or 2.1 per cent of the cohort, electing it this year. In 1967, just five students did Japanese.

The ATAR which was introduced in 2008, has also evolved over the years.

The current ATAR is based on a student’s 10 best HSC units, with a maximum possible ATAR of 99.95, and used by many universities to assess applicants.

The very first rank was based on a student’s five best HSC courses and was replaced by the Tertiary Entrance Score (TES), in 1976.

The TES, which was based on a student’s 10 best units and had a maximum possible score of 500, was replaced in 1990 by the Tertiary Entrance Rank (TER), with a maximum rank of 100.

The Universities Admission Index (UAI),was adopted in 1998 to bring in a common scale across all states. In NSW, the maximum UAI was 100, and it was administered by the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC), which is now responsible for the ATAR.

Harsha Kumar, 18, from Rooty Hill High School, said the wait for results has been difficult.

“I’m extremely nervous, I’m scared I’ve gotten out of exams going ‘it was great’ and I’ve actually done really terribly,” Harsha said.

She has already had offers from two universities but is hoping to get an ATAR over 85 to get into media and international relations at UNSW.

Jayden Hicks, 18, Sabrina Zamaan, 17, and Braydon Hurley, 18, from Rooty Hill High, are also waiting for their results before they decide what to do next year.

“It’s finally good to sit back and relax after the HSC, although it’s an anxious wait for results,” said Braydon, who is hoping to study law or criminology next year and eventually wants to start his own law firm.

Sabrina, who wants to become a dentist, said she has received a conditional early offer for oral health at the University of Sydney, but still needs to get an ATAR of 78.

Jayden, who has been accepted into the Australian Film Television and Radio School, said he will apply to do a bachelor of arts at Western Sydney University if he gets an ATAR above 80.

“I’ll get very close to that but I’m not too nervous about it because I have a back up plan in case I don’t get what I want,” he said.

Follow the HSC results live on smh南京夜网419论坛 from 6.30am on Thursday.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Why it took this Victorian village 50 years to come to fruition

Posted by on 13/10/2018 at 10:05 am
Nanjing Night Net

The ideas behind a 25-27 house ecological village development close to Castlemaine that has just been given the green light by Mount Alexander council have probably been fermenting in the mind of Neil Barrett for half a century.
Nanjing Night Net

Active and effective on myriad environmental issues since he was involved with Friends of the Earth and anti-nuclear issues in the 1970s, Barrett, 72, and wife Heather have evolved a grand scheme for the transformation of a 1.4-hectare slice of land they have occupied since the 1980s into an eco village. It is projected to have an environmental footprint one-fifth of a conventional housing estate development.

It will generate its own electricity and fresh, organic food, as well as emphasising the health and happiness of future residents. It also puts “the beauty and spirit” of the site high on the agenda.

At present, The Paddock Eco Village, 1.4 kilometres from Castlemaine, is, Barrett says “just an area of light bush with a dam in the middle of it”.

Sometime next year, when the first stage of seven houses and the community centre begin to take shape, Barrett anticipates the project will sell itself.

What the council last week unanimously endorsed as “an exciting project” for the district is aiming to achieve an 8.5-star energy rating for each dwelling in the horseshoe arrangement of one to four bedroom homes surrounding a large orchard and vegetable garden (35 per cent of the site). It is also hoped that the 16 solar panels on each roof will generate more power (105 per cent) than any of the freehold houses will consume.

The dark green ambitions of this nascent village is appropriate both to Castlemaine ??? a town Barrett says was a committed environmentalist centre before he and Heather arrived ??? and to the chief driving personalities of what is now the impressive team of professionals who contrived the blueprint that follows the principles of the Living Building Challenge.

A US-based green building certification program, Barrett says the challenge sets out “the most rigorous environmental building standards in the world”. Based on the metaphor of a flower with seven petals, fulfilment of its essential performance benchmarks will only be confirmed 12 months after the project’s completion. Related: Neighbourhoods going greenRelated: What happened to the great Australian backyard?Related: Why prefabricated housing is back in vogue

And, as the developer explains, it is a big program to meet. It involves urban agriculture (the food gardens), energy, waste management (on-site grey-water reuse), materials (buildings of timber and recycled brick), offset habitat exchange, and the more esoteric qualities of the beauty and spirit of place, and the health and happiness of the owners.

“It will be of a human scale,” Barrett says, “and everyone will have equal access to the nearby bushland”.

While back and front yards will be private places for the one- and two-level dwellings, The Paddock will otherwise involve a lot of sensible resource sharing, including a community centre with spare bedrooms, laundry and kitchenette, capacious water tanks, sheds and tools and an electric charging station for bikes.

Unlike most developments ??? no matter how environmentally-idealised ??? The Paddock strongly emphasises “the primacy of landscape”, with a landscape architect involved from the get-go, not as an afterthought.

Though Barrett has thought about the project for a long time, it only developed real momentum two years ago when, at a party, he bumped into Remi Rauline, a powerhouse project manager, to whom he outlined his dream. The Frenchman came on board and quickly pulled together a team of seven consultants.

Last May, when it was officially launched, 90 people attended the event, and 85 have continued to indicate real interest in the project. Six people, the prospective pioneers of The Paddock, have recently been attending workshops that explain what they are committing to under the Living Building Challenge guidelines, and to enable them to work with The Paddock’s architect on their house designs.

Barrett says this foundation group will attend the fourth and final workshop next February, when he expects contracts will be signed.

Once The Paddock buildings manifest, he believes the hard work of philosophical groundbreaking will be complete “and we think it will then develop a life of its own”.


This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.