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February Market Update

We are pleased to enclose the February 2014 edition of Market Update.

Global economies continued to improve, with the International Monetary Fund revising its 2014 global growth forecast up to 3.7%.

Over in Europe there are signals the economic recovery is gaining momentum, with industrial production up 1.8% in November and car sales increasing for the third month in a row. However, the risk of deflation remains at the forefront of the Eurozone with CPI increasing only 0.8% in December.

In domestic news, economic growth remains weak with below trend growth rates. While the December unemployment rate did remained unchanged at 5.8%, we saw employment rates fall in every state except Western Australia. On an encouraging note, the housing market is looking positive with housing finance approvals rising by approximately 2% per month.

If you would like to discuss anything in this report please don’t hesitate to contact Alison Foenander of our office.

Any advice in this communication has been prepared without taking account of your objectives, financial situation or needs. Because of this you should, before acting on any advice, consider whether it is appropriate to your objectives, financial situation and needs. Apogee Financial Planning Limited ABN 28 056 426 932, registered office 105 – 153 Miller Street North Sydney NSW 2060, is an Australian Financial Services Licensee and member of the National Australia Bank group of companies. From time to time Apogee Financial Planning, members of the National Australia Bank group of companies, associated employees or agents may have an interest in or receive pecuniary and non pecuniary benefits from the financial products and services mentioned herein.

RBA decides to leave cash rate unchanged at 2.5%

At its meeting today, the Board decided to leave the cash rate unchanged at 2.5 per cent.
Since the Board’s previous meeting, information on the global economy has been consistent with growth having been a bit below trend in 2013, but with reasonable prospects of a pick-up this year. The United States economy continues its expansion and the euro area has begun a recovery from recession, albeit a fragile one. Japan has recorded a significant pick-up in growth, while China’s growth remains in line with policymakers’ objectives. Commodity prices have declined from their peaks but in historical terms remain high.

The Federal Reserve has begun the process of curtailing stimulus measures but financial conditions overall remain very accommodative. Long-term interest rates and most risk spreads remain low. Equity and credit markets remain able to provide adequate funding, but for some emerging market countries conditions are considerably more challenging than they were a year ago.

In Australia, information becoming available over the summer suggests slightly firmer consumer demand and foreshadows a solid expansion in housing construction. Some indicators of business conditions and confidence have shown improvement. At the same time, with resources sector investment spending set to decline significantly, considerable structural change occurring and lingering uncertainty in some areas of the business community, near-term prospects for business investment remain subdued. The demand for labour has remained weak and, as a result, the rate of unemployment has continued to edge higher. Growth in wages has declined noticeably.
Inflation in the December quarter was higher than expected. This may be explained in part by faster than anticipated pass-through of the lower exchange rate, though domestic prices also continued to rise at a solid pace, despite slower growth in labour costs. If domestic costs remain contained, some moderation in the growth of prices for non-traded goods could be expected over time.

Monetary policy remains accommodative. Interest rates are very low and savers continue to look for higher returns in response to low rates on safe instruments. Credit growth remains low overall but is picking up gradually for households. Dwelling prices have increased further over the past several months. The exchange rate has declined further, which, if sustained, will assist in achieving balanced growth in the economy.

Looking ahead, the Bank expects growth to remain below trend for a time yet and unemployment to rise further before it peaks. Beyond the short term, growth is expected to strengthen, helped by continued low interest rates and the lower exchange rate. Inflation is expected to be somewhat higher than forecast three months ago, but still consistent with the 2–3 per cent target over the next two years.
In the Board’s judgement, monetary policy is appropriately configured to foster sustainable growth in demand and inflation outcomes consistent with the target. On present indications, the most prudent course is likely to be a period of stability in interest rates. (04.02.2014)

January Market Update

Donegan’s Wealth Advisers are pleased to enclose the January 2014 edition of Market Update.

Global economies last month continued to show signs of improvement, with rising employment and overall higher demand seen throughout the major economies.

In the US, the Federal Reserve started its dial down of QE3, with an initial reduction of US$10b, down to US$75b. Janet Yellen, the new Federal Reserve Chairperson elect, was also voted in by Congress.

On the home front, residential property finished 2013 on a strong note, with sales volumes at record levels in Sydney and Melbourne. The Mid Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook was also released last month, and concluded that the budget would remain in deficit throughout the forecast period until 2016/2017.

As markets continue to remain uncertain in the short term, please remember to remain focused on your long-term goals.

If you’d like to discuss anything in this report please contact Donegan’s Wealth Advisers.

Market update 15th January 2014

Seasons Greetings | Office reopening Monday 6th January, 2014

Donegan’s would like to wish all its clients an enjoyable Christmas holiday period!

Note, the office will reopen Monday 6th January, 2014.


“A Year in Review” by MLC’s Brian Parker

Click here to read MLC’s Senior Investment Consultant Brian Parker’s annual review of the Australian and Overseas investment market.

Congratulations to Chad Hewish on receiving a Merit Certificate for Management Accounting

Chad Hewish has earned a result in the top 5% of his class for Management Accounting, a subject within the Institute of Chartered Accountants Course.

The Institute awarded Chad with his Merit Certificate for this achievement at Crown Palladium on the 28th of November.

It’s time to get serious about your finances…seriously

With hectic lives, it can be difficult to think beyond the next few days or weeks, and planning for life’s financial milestones often gets pushed to the bottom of the priority list. But these milestones: getting married, having a baby, paying off the home loan or switching jobs, have their costs.
Whether you’ve a milestone on the horizon, or you want to be proactive about planning for your financial future, getting the right advice can help you reach your goals sooner.

Here we look at five milestone moments when getting serious about your finances can seriously help you.

Getting married
Cakes, confetti, a douse of courage, and some hefty costs! It seems whenever the terms ‘wedding’ or ’bride’ are involved, a zero is added to any price tag! From hen do’s to honeymoons it pays to do a full bridal budget.

To help with the costs of planning for your wedding and your financial future as a couple, most financial planners will offer an initial free consultation.

This gives you the chance to get to know the adviser and make sure you’re comfortable with them before you have to make any decisions involving fees. Contact Alison Foenander of Donegan’s Wealth Advisers to find out exactly what they do and how they can help you specifically.

According to Alison Foenander of Donegan’s Wealth Advisers there are plenty of strategies couples can take advantage of. “Getting married doesn’t mean everything has to go into one joint pot; there are lots of strategies an adviser can show you to make the most of your money and help you reduce the tax you pay,” Alison says.

Having children
Thinking about starting or adding to your family? Having a baby is an extraordinary gift, but from the minute you see those double lines on the home pregnancy test, the questions start.
Are we ready for this? Will we be able to do it? Are we going to be good parents? Not forgetting one of the biggest factors in today’s increasingly expensive world: can we afford it?
A recent study conducted by the National Centre for Social and Economic Modeling revealed: “…the total cost in today’s dollars is $448,000 for the average family to raise two children from birth to age 20. For the average couple with two children today, those children cost around $310 a week.”
Taking time plan for your future means, even if your income levels change, you’ll still be able to maintain your family’s lifestyle without worrying about money.

Things to think about include:
1. How do you protect and keep your family financially secure? Do you have enough life, disability and income protection insurance? A recent survey by put the ‘market value’ of a stay-at-home mum at $124,000 per year.
2. How would your family income change if one person takes time off to stay at home with the kids?
3. Have you done a baby budget, including everything from cots to a new family car?
4. Are your wills up to date?
Donegan’s Wealth Advisers can help with these questions and can also help you set up your insurance inside your super so you don’t have to worry about your cash flow being affected.

10 years into the mortgage
Most homeowners have the same thought at some stage or another: ‘how do I pay off my mortgage faster?’ Believe it or not there are a lot of things you can do to get the end of those payments in sight sooner.
Alison Foenander says that, “It’s important for a mortgage to be set up correctly from the outset.” Other simple tips, like increasing how often you pay your loan can make a difference. You don’t pay any more per year, but by paying more frequently such as every fortnight, you’ll reduce your interest amounts and this can mean reducing your home loan by hundreds of dollars a year.

Changing jobs
Changing jobs is stressful enough without worrying how it might affect your long-term financial goals.

But it’s a great time to get some one-on-one advice to find the right super for you so you don’t end up with multiple super accounts, each with their own separate fees.

“What would you do if every pay day someone, who was virtually unknown to you, took over 9% of your pay and said ‘don’t worry I’ll look after it for you’? Would you let them walk away and assume the money would come back to you at some time, with interest?” says Alison Foenander “There’s an assumption it will be looked after and a sense of comfort there’ll be a nice nest-egg waiting for our retirement” continues Alison Foenander “but many funds saw steep losses during the GFC and having the right advice as to which fund you should be with and how to invest your super to suit your needs can help you reach and even exceed your financial goals.”

Receiving a lump sum payment
You might have received a bonus, windfall or bequest or maybe you’re even going through a divorce. In any even you need that money to work to secure your long-term future. Quality financial advice can help you make the most of your situation.

Donegan’s Wealth Advisers will consider your investment timeframe, attitude to risk and the investment choices available. They’ll also look at how you can invest your lump sum tax effectively and develop a plan to get your finances working.

Is it time for you to get serious with your finances? Contact Alison Foenander of Donegan’s Wealth Advisers for more information on 03 9670 5232 or via email at to book your free initial consultation today.

Apogee Financial Planning Limited ABN 28 056 426 932, an Australian Financial Services Licensee, Registered office at 105-153 Miller Street, North Sydney, NSW 2060 and a member of the National Australia Group of Companies. This advice may not be suitable to you because it contains general advice that has not been tailored to your personal circumstances. Please seek personal financial advice prior to acting on this information.

November Market Update

November Market Update

Enclosed is the November 2013 edition of Market Update.

If you’d like to discuss anything in this report please contact Alison Foenander

Lunch Money Charity Auction

We are proud to be supporting Dianna Snape and her 10 day on-line auction “Lunch Money”.

Lunch Money is supporting African students by raising funds in order to provide the students with lunch each day.

To bid or to find out more information, visit:

Impact English College’s Latest Success

Congratulations to one of our clients, Impact English College, for being awarded with a prestigious Governor of Victoria Export Award (GOVEA) in the Education and Training section!

To read more about this award, click here

October Market Update

Market Update 8th October 2013

Enclosed is the October 2013 edition of Market Update.

Last month global economic data continued to show signs of improvement, with Europe, Japan and China in particular continuing to gain traction.

In the US, the property sector showed further signs of recovery, while consumer confidence fell slightly following the uncertainties in Syria.

On the home front, the Liberal National Party formed the new Federal Government, and is expected to provide greater business confidence through its policy settings.

Australian residential property continued to experience above average clearance rates. According to RP data, capital city home values have seen an average increase of 6.5% in 2013, with Sydney and Melbourne being the standouts.

As markets continue to remain uncertain in the short term, please remember to remain focused on your long-term goals.

If you’d like to discuss anything in this report please contact Alison Foenander.

September Market Update

For more information please click here

Raising Financially Aware Children

To view the article which features Alison Foenander, click here

July Market Update

For more information please click here

Phil Bretherton

Phil joined Donegan’s in 2003 and became a partner in 2004. Phil completed a Bachelor of Business (Accounting) at RMIT and is also a CPA, a Registered Tax Agent and a Chartered Tax Adviser.

Phil has extensive experience working with individuals, families, business owners, private family businesses and public companies, self-managed superannuation fund trustees and the trustees of charitable entities. Phil enjoys helping clients achieve their financial goals and has a particular focus on delivering financial advice and solutions that are specifically tailored to meet a client’s particular needs.

Phil also has hands-on operating business experience, having spent six years as Finance Director of Christies Fine Art Auctioneers from 1995 to 2001.

Outside of Donegan’s Phil is married with three sons and is actively involved with their sporting activities which include hockey and cricket. Phil has been heavily involved in local junior cricket, coaching junior teams for many years and has been known to umpire the occasional hockey match for his sons’ club. Phil is a keen Carlton supporter and enjoys a hit of golf when he can.

You can find Phil on Linkedin here

Ted Rahill

Ted is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants with over 40 years membership. Ted was a Partner of Donegan’s and a Registered Tax Agent for 35 years, having taken over from John Donegan who founded the practice in 1965.

Ted is an Honorary Life Member of the Woodend Fire Brigade and has a lifelong interest in Veteran and Vintage cars.

Ted retired as a partner in 2010 due to failing eye-sight and approaching senility and now consults to the practice.

Alison Foenander

Alison is a Chartered Accountant with over 28 years’ experience working within the financial services industry. Alison has extensive experience working with private clients providing the full range of financial services ranging from accounting and taxation services, financial planning and wealth management, estate planning, intergenerational transfer of wealth strategies, asset allocation, superannuation and investment strategies and philanthropic activities, including establishment and operation of private foundations.

Alison is an authorised representative of Apogee Financial Planning and together with Phil Bretherton established Donegan’s Wealth Advisers in June 2012. Alison completed a Bachelor of Business (Acc) at RMIT and has subsequently completed a Graduate Diploma of Financial Planning through the former Securities Institute of Australia (now the Financial Services Institute of Australia) and a Master of Law (JD) at Monash University.
Alison’s focus is on providing highly personalised financial advice to clients and developing long term relationships with clients.

In her spare time Alison is a passionate Hawthorn supporter and enjoys watching her three sons play sport, particularly hockey. Alison is also heavily involved in both club and regional hockey and is an advocate of the development of, and participation by players of all ages and abilities in the sport of hockey.

You can find Alison on Linkedin here

Judy Siede

Judy has extensive accounting, taxation and business experience gathered during her 40 years in the industry. Judy’s experience includes time spent as a financial controller at many organisations including a major stock broking firm and Elders Finance.

Judy completed a Bachelor of Business (Accounting) at RMIT, studying part-time and working full-time. Judy is a former partner of Donegan’s and now works in the practice as a consultant on a part-time basis, working Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.

Outside of the office Judy is an enthusiastic reader, cook and avid Hawthorn Football Club supporter.

Maria Patterson

Maria has almost 30 years’ experience with Donegan’s. Recruited directly from school, Maria completed a Bachelor of Business (Accounting) at RMIT, studying part-time and working full-time. Maria has extensive experience in tax and accounting for individuals, family groups and small to medium businesses and enjoys getting out of the office, working directly with clients.

Maria currently works three days a week – Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and occasionally can be found in the office on a Thursday.

In her spare time Maria is heavily involved with her son, Tom’s football and cricket clubs, both on and off the field.