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Staying invested through tough times; Peak happiness at $75K?; Five secrets of investor happiness; Heading off spats with your spouse over $; Ramit on raising prices

Staying invested through tough times; Peak happiness at $75K?; Five secrets of investor happiness; Heading off spats with your spouse over $; Ramit on raising prices

By Amanda Morrall

One small housekeeping matter folks:  We've had an unexpected cancellation from our planned guest on today's web interactive at 3 p.m. manager editor Bernard Hickey has kindly agreed step in for Martin Lewington from Mercer NZ. The topic will remain unchanged: mortgage repayments versus saving and retirement readiness. Remember that we can't give personalised financial advice. The discussion will be general in nature but will undoubtedly be thought provoking and engaging.You can join the fun as a registered user on our site or if you're a friend of on Facebook you can take part in the forum that way.

We look forward to your participation.

1) Staying invested through tough times

How will the deepening crisis in Europe impact on you as an investor? Is it time to cash in the stocks and hide in the safety of cash till the dust settles. In this column published by Professional Planner, Fidelity investment director Tom Stevenson, answers the top 10 questions investors are asking of their financial advisors.

2) Peak happiness

I've linked to several stories in the past on the issue of money and happiness and the theory that beyond US$75,000 you don't get any happier despite growing your wealth. Mr. Money Moustache cracks out his styling wax over this one and argues that actually the sweet spot doesn't have to be that high -- if you don't succumb to consumeritis. Congrats MMM for attracting attention North of the Border and tackling the subject on CBC.

3) 5 secrets of investor happiness

The words investor and happiness don't seem all that compatible these days. In this blog from Wall Street Journal MarketWatch writer Jonathan Burton reveals the five secrets.

4) Happy wife, happy life?

I work exclusively with a group of blokes so I hear the line above recited as frequently as I do rugby scores. Yawn. No divorces to report so I presumed they have it all sussed. For those headed down the aisle or wanting to head off any spousal spats over money, here's some advice from US News Money section on how to keep the peace. Again, communication is the key. Money may be a catalyst for fights but there's usually something deeper at issue. It's how you settle it that matters. "Yes dear.''

5) Raising your prices

How do you raise prices without scaring off your customers? The oh so modest Ramit Sethi, in an interview with oh so perky Maria Forleo, discusses some strategies.

To read other Take Fives by Amanda Morrall click here. You can also follow Amanda on Twitter @amandamorrall

We welcome your comments below. If you are not already registered, please register to comment.

Remember we welcome robust, respectful and insightful debate. We don't welcome abusive or defamatory comments and will de-register those repeatedly making such comments. Our current comment policy is here.


#0 You should have called - I could have stepped in for Martin Lewington. Not in any sort of official RBA capacity, just some incoherent ramblings based on my own personal philosophies about work, money and retirement... fun times.

Not sure I can entirely agree with Tom Stevensons "steady as she goes" investment philosophy.

  • China has lost the ability to drag the world economy forward.
  • US is slowing, high chance of a stall within 12-24 months.
  • Europe continue to slowly melt, no growth there.
  • There is a chance of war after the election.

Share markets provide forward discount of risk for sure, but the potential for significant upside is ebbing to nothing. It doesn't seem very rational to be anything but defensive at this time.

#1 seems a good time to have move your super into the cash option with a fund that has the lowest (sub 1%) fees for the foreseeable future IMHO

Exactly, although it it were an option I'd like to park some in USD right now.

"Money doesn't just represent money; it represents love, power, control, self-esteem, freedom," says Olivia Mellan, a money coach and author of Money Harmony: Resolving Money Conflicts in Your Life and Relationships.
If you build self esteem on the foundation of money it's no wonder you're anxious.
Money certainly isn't love.
The kind of power and control money brings is not the sort I'm interested in.
Money can provide a sort of freedom, but there are plenty of money slaves out there.

Well said Ralph. Olivia Mellan needs some professional therapy I think. That has to be one of the worst statements about money I have ever seen.

Hi Amanda (or anyone else in the know)
Slightly off topic but with all the media hype about 'The Block' house sales and how much money has been made , there has been no mention of where everyone stands regarding tax.
They were bought with the intention of  a quick sale so surely the IRD will want their slice.
Much of the goods were donated. Deductible???
Any one got any informed opinions??

Any one got any informed opinions??
Yes, your time could be spent more wisely than watching dreadful TV like The Block. Perhaps an evening class in Accountancy or Commercial Law for example. I did both at Unitech in Auckland and can recommend them if you live nearby.

I trust this is the kind of informed opinion you were seeking...

Who are you referring to  as 'you' Stan? I said there was a lot of media hype.....not that I had watched it.    Are you able to answer the question?Are the participants or  the TV company up for tax on these sales?And if so does that make a mockery of the numbers bandied around in all of todays newspapers?

Thanks for the correction neili, I am pleased that you have better viewing discretion than I gave you credit for. My apologies at the severe slight I erroneously gave you - no-one should have the ignominy of being compared to a The Block viewer!

To answer your question you are personally allowed to do up and sell one property per year before Inland Revenge come after you for running a property renovation business. As The Block is run by and paid for by the production company who create the TV show I expect that the money made on the property is lumped into their end-of-year accounts which takes into account all the costs of running the business and the profits from sale of the show etc etc and any profits are dealt with by the company tax.

I know for a fact that the Aussie company who make the show here in the bogan heartland of Melbourne do not make any money on the sale of the properties once the expense of purchasing them originally and other expenses are taken into account. They recoup the costs from the sale of the show.

I think you will find that the one property per year is an old wives tale. Intent at the time of purchase is the key. Intending to flick on 1 house per year for a profit is taxable.

Intending to flick on 1 house per year for a profit is taxable
Only if they catch you, and intent is pretty difficult to prove ;-)

You're heartfelt apologies are gracefully received Stan and thank you for  the tax seminar.
I'm now a wiser man.