Season’s Greetings one and all. 2015 has been another eventful year, starting with Alexis Tsipras becoming prime minister of Greece only to face tough austerity demands from the EU; continuing with escalating war in Syria, now with Russia’s involvement; Earthquakes (Nepal being the biggest); Mecca Hajj stampede; significant refugee problems in Europe (there has to be a better solution); continued South China Sea tensions and more recently; the attacks in Paris (proving that no country is immune to the global threat of terror). It is also worth mentioning the more trivial issues of the Volkswagen emission scandal and Windows 10 being released (I thought Windows 95 had a mind of its own!). Staying closer to home, we have had more colourful moments in Canberra with a new prime minister of Australia (or was there two in the last 12 months, there has been so many lately I forget – the polls seem to like it though), and the sad loss in the Rugby World Cup (to our biggest island state – I know that was not called for!). The team here at Active are now very much looking forward to the Christmas break.
It’s worth stating, that regardless of what’s happening in the big wide world, we continue to closely monitor the markets, review potential risks, and consider potential changes to economic markets, growth industries and legislation to provide what is best for our clients. Where necessary, we will continue to recommend changes to both investments and strategies to maximise your situation.
Like last year, and the year before, significant events both here and abroad will continue to impact markets. While it has not been a bad year for investors, overall returns have been constrained and it is hard to see what will drive a sharp acceleration in worldwide economic growth. The combination of slower population growth and a more cautious approach to debt and structural problems will keep a lid on global growth. Saying this, major economic downturns are invariably preceded by either economic or financial overheating and there are no signs of that. There has been no major bubble in global real estate or business investments and inflation remains low. Overall share markets are not overvalued and global monetary conditions are good.
In Australia the economy is likely to continue to rebalance away from mining. In the face of a further fall in mining investment and a slowing contribution from housing, further monetary stimulus in the form of more RBA interest rate cuts and a lower $A will be needed. If this occurs, other sectors (tourism, manufacturing etc) should see growth of approximately 3%. We do expect Australian shares to improve over 2016, however they will probably lag global shares again.
As many of you may know, Aileen Hooper and Andrew Wieman are the founding directors and financial advisers for Active Financial Services. It has been a very effective and dynamic relationship that has allowed Active Financial Service to provide clients with comprehensive and quality advice over the years. We are now excited to announce that Aileen has recently decided to use this Christmas period to take an extended holiday until late January and then semi-retire. Aileen will cease working in her current capacity however she will still be involved and remain working part-time at Active into the future. Aileen’s input and passion for this business and the financial services industry is still strong and we have, and will continue to, value her input into the business.
We hope you and your family have had a fantastic year and for those of you who are lucky enough to get a break, we hope you enjoy the time celebrating with loved ones.
Have a Merry Christmas and a safe New Year
Andrew Wieman Aileen Hooper
Active Financial Services Active Financial Services