To make sure our team remains on top of the latest issues and changes in financial planning we regularly attend conferences and training events ensuring we continue to provide our clients with quality strategies and service. Our most recent conference was organised by Capstone Financial Planning (our Financial Planning licensee). Whilst the keynote by Todd Samson was of course excellent, the topics that resonated with our team centred around our focus on Tax Aware Planning and ESG Investing. Here’s a detailed breakdown of the insights garnered from the conference:
Tax-Aware Financial Planning:
Tax-aware financial planning is a holistic approach aimed at minimizing tax liabilities while striving towards financial goals. It encompasses various financial strategies, investment decisions, and wealth management techniques to minimise taxes legally and ethically. Here are the key aspects discussed:
Tax Structures: Understanding the different tax implications of using the various investment ownership structures available in Australia is fundamental eg own name versus joint, family trust, companies, super funds and investment bonds. Eg It aids in structuring income and investments to legally minimise tax liability.
Tax Efficiency: The goal is to maximize after-tax return on investments, ensuring more retention of earnings and wealth over time. This involves looking at the different types of investment income that can be generated and the corresponding tax implications eg fully franked dividends, capital gains, and superannuation pensions.
Minimising Tax Liabilities: This includes utilising tax-saving strategies like tax deductions for super contributions, and maximising franking credits. It also includes utilising strategies to maximise tax free super account components and minimising tax payable when transitioning super funds from accumulation to pension phase.
Capital Gains Tax (CGT) Management: Strategies like ensuring any capital losses brought forward are used efficiently; crystalising any losses at a tax effective time; and ensuring eligibility for the 50% CGT discount are essential for reducing CGT liabilities. We can also work with our DFK Everalls colleagues to ensure maximum small business entity CGT concessions are available to small business owners selling their business.
Estate Planning: Understanding gifting rules, family vs testamentary trusts, and how to maximise tax free components of super accounts are critical for reducing the tax burden on heirs & beneficiaries.
Risk Management: Considering the tax implications of various risk management strategies is crucial. Eg implications of holding your Personal Insurance policies personally or through your super fund.
Legal Compliance: Ensuring all tax strategies employed are legal and compliant with tax laws and regulations is paramount.
The essence of tax-aware planning lies in its potential to enhance your savings, investment returns, and overall financial security, adapting to the ever-changing tax laws and regulations.
ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) investing reflects a growing consciousness of the positive and negative impact on society and the environment that businesses and investments can have. Here are the key points discussed:
Sustainable and Responsible Business Practices: ESG investing aligns investments with investors’ values and beliefs, supporting companies prioritising sustainable and responsible practices to achieve a positive societal and environmental impact. It also involves screening out investments in entities that have a negative ESG impact.
Risk Management: Companies excelling in ESG factors tend to manage risks related to environmental, regulatory, social, and governance issues better. ESG factors also help identify potential risks not evident through traditional financial analysis.
Long-Term Performance: Research indicates that strong ESG performance positions companies for long-term success.
Market Demand: The growing demand for sustainable and responsible investment options is expanding the market for these assets.
Regulatory and Policy Trends: Being prepared for regulatory changes concerning ESG factors is crucial for investors.
Attracting Conscious Investors: ESG investing appeals to many people seeking to align their values with their investing strategies to contribute to a positive societal impact.
ESG investing signifies a shift towards sustainability, social responsibility, and ethical governance in the investment landscape. It not only offers potential financial benefits but also helps mitigate risks and align investments with personal values, encouraging companies to improve their ESG practices. The entire financial planning team came away from the Capstone Financial Planning conference buzzing with possibilities for our clients. The insights that we obtained reinforced our existing desire to focus on Tax Aware and ESG Aware strategies for our clients.
Keen to talk about how your investments could be better placed within a more sustainable, social responsible and ethical framework (whilst also ensuring they remain strongly tax aware), contact the team today.