Sunny days are here

It’s time to take a look at the good things we all share

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS -

JOIN our Cam­paign for Op­ti­mism. We’ve had enough of the whinge­ing, the whin­ing, the glass half empty rhetoric. We’re draw­ing a line in the sand. No more.

We meet lots of vis­it­ing global busi­ness lead­ers and fi­nan­cial ex­perts and the most com­mon com­ment we get from them is: “I can’t be­lieve how much peo­ple com­plain here when the rest of the world sees you as an eco­nomic mir­a­cle. You don’t know how good you’ve got it.”

They are right. Com­pared with the rest of the world we have never had it so good.

Look, there is a lot we could do bet­ter … re­duce gov­ern­ment debt, bring the bud­get back to sur­plus sooner and in­tro­duce mean­ing­ful tax re­form, but over­all, we get a lot right.

What’s this got to do with in­vest­ing and fi­nances?

Economies and in­vest­ment mar­kets are driven by psy­chol­ogy. The hap­pier we are, the more con­fi­dent we are, the more we’ll spend and in­vest, pro­duc­ing bet­ter prof­its for busi­ness, who will create more jobs, lead­ing to bet­ter wages, cre­at­ing bet­ter tax rev­enues, to spend on more ser­vices and projects, which create more jobs … you get the pic­ture.

We call it the Cir­cle of Op­ti­mism. Ev­ery­one is po­ten­tially a win­ner.

That’s why we need to en­cour­age op­ti­mism. Don’t get sucked into the neg­a­tiv­ity of peo­ple around you. Stand up to it and try to stop the pes­simism.

The Cam­paign for Op­ti­mism is about turn­ing the psy­chol­ogy of grumpy Aussies around for a bet­ter and more prof­itable na­tion.

So here are four quick facts to hit a whinger with: 1) AUS­TRALIA HOLDS THE WORLD RECORD FOR THE LONG­EST SIN­GLE PE­RIOD OF POS­I­TIVE GROWTH Yep, the world record of 26 con­sec­u­tive years. Dur­ing that time, the rest of the world en­dured an Asian fi­nan­cial col­lapse and a Global Fi­nan­cial Cri­sis, bring­ing dou­ble digit un­em­ploy­ment, prop­erty price crashes and bank col­lapses. We had none of that. No Aus­tralian un­der 44 has en­dured an eco­nomic re­ces­sion as an adult. 2) THE AV­ER­AGE AUS­TRALIAN IS THE SEC­OND RICHEST IN THE WORLD That’s from the Credit Suisse Global Wealth Data­book. The richest are the Swiss, then Aus­tralia, US, Nor­way and New Zealand.

We un­der­stand many Aus­tralians may feel as­set rich and cash poor at the mo­ment be­cause wage growth has been sub­dued ( but still pos­i­tive), how­ever your su­per­an­nu­a­tion fund and most house prices have been mak­ing ter­rific gains. 3) THERE ARE PLENTY OF JOBS … WE’RE AL­MOST AT FULL EM­PLOY­MENT Un­em­ploy­ment is at 5.5 per cent na­tion­ally and 124,000 full- time jobs have been cre­ated since last Septem­ber.

Struc­tural full em­ploy­ment is gen­er­ally de­fined to be around a 5 per cent un­em­ploy­ment rate, so we’re head­ing to­wards that level and NSW, ACT and North­ern Ter­ri­tory are al­ready there.

The re­cent rise in job ad­ver­tise­ment num­bers and fall in job va­cancy rates, in­di­cate job cre­ation is strong thanks to a rise in busi­ness con­fi­dence.

When bosses are con­fi­dent, they are more likely to hire new peo­ple or add work hours for ca­su­als and part- timers. 4) MONEY HAS NEVER BEEN CHEAPER

This doesn’t mean you should over- ex­tend your­self or pay ex­tor­tion­ate in­ter­est rates on out­stand­ing credit card bal­ances.

But with of­fi­cial in­ter­est rates at a record low of 1.5 per cent, the cost of bor­row­ing to use pro­duc­tively on good in­vest­ments has never been lower.

Re­mem­ber there is al­ways good and bad debt. Good debt is bor­row­ing to in­vest in an as­set that will grow in value. Bad debt is bor­row­ing to in­vest in some­thing that de­pre­ci­ates. Now is a great time for “good” debt.

We think you’ll agree these facts will help peo­ple to stop, think about their whinge­ing, and maybe change their tune.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.