05/05/15: Interest rates cut

A record low...

Today the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) finally decided to take the plunge and reduce the cash rate by 25 basis points to 2.00%, a record low.

This wasn't a huge surprise as economists this morning were factoring in a 78% chance of a rate cut today. Interestingly, the RBA provided no outlook statement for interest rates going forward, so unless the Australian economy deteriorates significantly from here, this could be the last of the rate cuts. We'll see.

At the time of writing, the Australian share market was initially up 1.1%, however has since fallen into negative territory as the Australian dollar, surprisingly, went up in defiance of the interest rate cut.

While this is welcome news for borrowers, the decision will put more pressure on investors, particularly retirees, with significant cash/term deposit holdings - interest rates are low and will stay low for some time to come. If you need income, it's time to consider your options.

On a different matter, the Federal Budget will be announced next Tuesday night (12 May) and, as usual, the rumours have been flying fast and furious, from superannuation to negative gearing to pensions.

Our advice is to ignore the background noise. Typically, the lead up to every Federal Budget is a showcase of worse case scenarios and general fear mongering, coming from both side of politics, usually leading to fairly unspectacular, watered-down announcements on the night.

We'll distill the budget details into a simple, easy to understand report for our clients soon after budget night, once we've had a chance to thoroughly weigh-up the proposals on the table. More importantly, we'll contact you individually should there be anything important to discuss.

Rick Maggi Westmount Financial Clear Focus. Better Solutions.