Masterclass SMSF – Borrowing in SMSF – The Cans and Cant’s

Masterclass SMSF – Borrowing in SMSF – The Cans and Cant’s

SMSF – Borrowing in SMSF – The Cans and Cant’s

Bryan Ashenden at Money Mangement writes about the cans and cant’s of borrowing in SMSF-

One of the investment opportunities available to self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) trustees is the ability to purchase an asset using borrowed funds.

From the original Instalment Warrant arrangements introduced in 2007 through to the addition of sections 67A and 67B to the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (SISA) from 7 July 2010, many … have become accustomed to the key concepts and applications of limited recourse borrowing arrangements (LRBA).

SMSF trustees continue to enter the property market for a number of reasons, including the ability to borrow, the ability to directly invest in an asset class many clients feel comfortable, and the retirement planning and asset protection opportunities available to small-to-medium business clients who might look to hold their commercial premises through their SMSF.

Although direct property investments within … SMSF may be appropriate given their risk profile, goals, objectives and overall strategy, SMSF trustees and their advisers still need to be aware of the various requirements of establishing and maintaining LRBAs to ensure their funds remain compliant under the law.

Investing in property via an SMSF is not the same as purchasing an investment property in your own name for a number of reasons, which are discussed below.

Having said that, LRBAs need not be limited opportunity borrowing arrangements for your clients. When structured correctly, there are a number of opportunities offered by these arrangements you may not immediately be aware of.

Standard LRBAs

A common misconception …  is the view that an SMSF can simply ‘borrow’. An SMSF is actually specifically prohibited from borrowing, subject to some small carve outs, under section 67 of the SISA.

However, if certain strict criteria are met, an SMSF can borrow subject to the exemptions contained in sections 67A and 67B of the SISA.

Section 67A provides an exemption to the general borrowing prohibition so long as the SMSF complies with the prescribed requirements of the section.

In short,

  • An SMSF can enter into an LRBA if the loan taken is used to acquire a single acquirable asset, or a collection of identical assets.
  • The asset must be held on trust for the SMSF and be able to be transferred to the SMSF once one or more loan repayments have been made.
  • Any rental or investment returns are paid to the SMSF, with the SMSF being responsible for establishing the loan, as well as meeting the interest and loan repayments.

In the event of a default, the only recourse the lender will have is against the single acquirable asset held on trust — hence the limited recourse in limited recourse borrowing arrangement.

Then comes the question of what can we do with the property while it is in the holding trust?

Understandably, it is not quite the same as holding an investment property as an individual.

While the loan is outstanding, the SMSF can undertake repairs and maintenance to the property using either the existing cash resources of the fund or a portion of the borrowed funds.

When it comes to improving the property, things are a little different. While the existing cash resources of the SMSF can be used to improve the property, borrowed funds cannot.

In addition, and most importantly, when a trustee is looking to improve a property under an LRBA, the improvements cannot result in the single acquirable asset becoming a different asset; otherwise the borrowing exemption under section 67A will be in breach.

So what’s the difference between a repair and an improvement and when would an asset become a different asset?

Fortunately, we have received guidance from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) on this issue in SMSFR 2012/1.

While improving a residential property by adding a garage, swimming pool, or even a second storey is classed as an improvement, the improvement would not result in the property becoming a different asset — i.e. it is still a residential property.

Alternatively, if you purchase a vacant block of land and subsequently build a residential house on that land you will have a different asset (land plus house, opposed to just land).

Alternatively again, if you had a residential house and land, then demolished the house and replaced it with strata title units, you would also now have a different asset (strata units, opposed to a residential house).

So why does all this matter? Well, when we replace the single acquirable asset with a different asset and the replacement asset it not covered by an exemption in section 67B, then the exemption allowing the SMSF to borrow under section 67A ceases to apply.

As a result, the SMSF would be in breach and the arrangement would need to be reviewed with the most likely course of action being to wind it up, possibly at an inopportune time.

So is there a better way? There might be, depending on what your client is trying to achieve. For more, go HERE

Want to know the options and how property works in SMSF? See our Free slides SMSF & Property Overview

Call for free education, or to speak to an advisor about your specific situation. SuperBenefit works with SMSF trustees to CONNECT them with the advisors they need. A call is FREE.

If you have any questions, why not give us a call – it’s FREE!

No obligation. 0407 361 596, Paul

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NEWS –Super Changes Passed in Parliament April 2017

Reporting at Advisor Voice

NEWS –Super Changes Passed in Parliament April 2017

NEWS –Super Changes Passed in Parliament April 2017

After receiving feedback from industry, the federal parliament has passed amendments giving effect to regulatory change, continuing the implementation of changes to superannuation that were announced by the Turnbull government in the 2016 federal budget.

Martin Breckon, IOOF’s Head of Technical Services said “We are pleased to see the Government continuing to refine the operation of its super reforms through passing changes that are fair and sustainable.

“While providing increased certainty, ongoing changes to superannuation have made it incredibly complex. In turn, this has made it incredibly difficult for individuals to manage their superannuation themselves, driving an increased need for them to seek advice.”

The regulatory changes confirmed by the passing of the amendments are effective from 1 July 2017 and include:

  • Retail super funds will be able to establish a new accumulation interest for the payment of a super lump sum as a result of a commutation authority issued under the transfer balance cap system, without requiring an application form at the time of commutation. This provides a ‘safety net’ for individuals who do not have an existing super benefit and do not take action before the ATO issue their super provider with a commutation authority as the provider can simply transfer the commutation into an accumulation account, keeping it in the super system.
  • Fund-capped contribution limits are to be removed, reflecting the increased complexity with administering this arrangement under the new non-concessional contributions cap, particularly around overseas transfers with a sizable applicable fund earnings component.
  • Commutations from income streams will not count towards a pension’s minimum drawdown requirement, and similarly it will not be possible to elect a pension payment to be taxed as a lump sum withdrawal. Going forward a lump sum withdrawal will reduce a person’s transfer balance account, whilst a pension payment will count towards the minimum payment required from an income stream.
  • Certain defined benefit funds can elect out of offering personal deductible contributions to their members. These schemes may not have the ability to adjust their benefits based on additional personal contributions, or may simply not be able to handle the administrative complexity in dealing with these contributions.
  • A death benefit is only considered a roll-over super benefit so long as it is paid as to a dependant entitled to receive a death benefit income stream. This will allow the ability to rollover a death benefit from one provider (who may not offer a death benefit income stream) to a different provider who is able to pay a death benefit income stream.
  • Death benefit income streams, by definition, must be cashed as ‘retirement phase’ income streams to meet the requirements under the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act.

Get our FREE Expert Guide – Self-Managed Super and You – it has all the info you need to know, with bonus TIPS and CHECKLISTS  to determine if SMSF is for you and what steps are needed to set up. It also gives you ALL the Aust Tax Office publications about SMSF. Get your copy now – click “Free Download” top right hand side above. You’ll also get monthly SMSF news, investment teaching and upcoming seminar and workshop briefs! Download your FREE Guide now!

Posted in News & Stats, Pensions / Income Streams, Retirement Planning, SMSF Info, Superannuation General | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

MASTERCLASS Investment – What is the Cashflow Statement and what does it tell us?

MASTERCLASS Investment – What is the Cashflow Statement and what does it tell us?

Investment – What is the Cashflow Statement and what does it tell us?

Today’s Masterclass looks at what is cashflow and the Cashflow Statement, what does it tell us and why it is as important along-side the Profit & Loss and Balance Sheet.

What is the Cashflow Statement:
Cashflow looks at the ACTUAL CASH and is essential to showing the solvency of a business. It is a record of what has happened in the past, like inflow such as the sale of service or product, what was spent and on what in three key areas – Operations, Investing or Financing.  In other words, it shows what a business  took in and spent. It can also be projected into the future to predict what is coming and where cash will be short. Cashflow is crucial to managing business survival. Having adequate cash on hand will ensure that suppliers/creditors, employees and others are paid on time. When a business or person does not have enough cash to support its operations, it is said to be insolvent, and a possible candidate for bankruptcy if the insolvency continues, depending on the circumstances.

The Cashflow statement of a business’s cashflows can be used to gauge financial performance. Companies with spare cash on hand are able to invest the cash back into the business in order to generate more cash and profit.

Cash inflows usually arise from one of three activities – Operations, Investing and Financing (as well as a result of donations or gifts in the case of personal finance).

Cash outflows are for expenses or investments in assets (both business and personal finance) in the same three activities.

Examples of cash transactions are sales paid into the bank, expenses paid from the bank or purchasing inventory, loans of actual money into the bank, loan instalment payments, prepayment of interest or insurance premiums. NON-cash transactions that will NOT be on the Cashflow Statement are increase in asset value, depreciation, invoicing such as payment terms 30 days, placing an order for stock to pay in 45 days.

The statement is calculated by adding the noncash charges (such as depreciation etc) back to net income after taxes. Cashflow can be reported for a specific project, or for the business as a whole. Cashflow is an indication of a company’s financial strength.

The areas of the statement are:

  1. Operating activities Reports the received and paid parts from the income statement (no invoices outstanding to be paid or to pay) ;
  2. Investing activities Reports the cash-paid purchase and sale of long-term investments and property, plant and equipment;
  3. Financing activities Reports loans taken and re-payments on loans, as well as the issuance and repurchase of the company’s own bonds and stock and the payment of dividends;
  4. Supplemental information Reports the cash of significant items and reports the amount of income taxes paid and interest paid. Although these are sometimes included in the Operating area above.

Because the Income Statement or Profit & Loss Statement reports under the accrual basis of accounting, the sales/revenues reported may not have been collected yet. Similarly, the expenses reported on the income statement might not have been paid yet. We can review the Balance Sheet changes to see what occurred (debtor or accounts payable increase or decrease, etc), but the cash flow statement already has included all that information.

To use the Cashflow Statement: The cash from Operating activities is compared to the company’s net income on the Profit & Loss. If the cash from operating activities is consistently greater than the net-profit income, we say the company’s net income or earnings are of a “high quality”. If the cash from operating activities is less than net income, a red flag is raised and we need to look at why the reported net income is not turning into cash.

What are your Thoughts? Comment below!

Want to know the options and what we need to retire on, the super system in Australia and what is self-managed super ? See our FREE slides Super & SMSF for Business owners

Call for FREE education, or to speak to an advisor about your specific situation. SuperBenefit works with SMSF trustees to CONNECT them with the advisors they need. A call is FREE. No obligation. 0407 361 596, Paul

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Basics about Super – Transition to Retirement TTR – How does it work?

Basics about Super – Transition to Retirement TTR – How does it work?

Basics about Super – Transition to Retirement TTR – How does it work?

A TTR (Transition to Retirement) is a method for topping up your income as you approach retirement. It helps you supplement your work income with a super pension, enabling you to work less or part-time.

It is good to see if the strategy is worth it, based on your numbers – so talk to your accountant or advisor who is licensed to advise on SMSF. If yours isn’t licensed, ours are – so call for a chat!

We looked at its viability with the new changes coming 2017 in January.

TTR, or also called transition to retirement income stream (TRIS) or income pension (TRIP) is a gradual move to retirement – a way to enable those aged over 55 to reduce working hours without reducing income. You can do this by topping up your full or part-time income with a regular ‘income stream’ from your super savings. There are many reasons people why people continue to work after 55 (minimum preservation age) or 65 (when you are eligible for the Government Age Pension (within certain asset and income tests)), such as the mental stimulation, social interaction or feeling of value to society.

The Australian Government has made it possible for you to keep working while drawing down some of your super benefits. The policy, called transition to retirement, allows you to supplement your salary and maintain a comfortable lifestyle if you want to reduce work hours. You can also use TTR to save tax and boost your super before you retire, if you continue full-time work (in some cases). Once you hit preservation age (55 for many people, a designated age when you can withdraw super depending on date of birth), you can draw down a pension from your super even if you are still working. The government site Money Smart has a calculator to tell you what your preservation age is and also when you are eligible to receive the Age Pension. Until July 2017, the income stream assets earning a return will be tax free in the super fund, while concessional contributions into the fund (before tax employer contributions) will still pay 15%. The income stream coming out is taxable in the hands of the receiver at their marginal rate, but when over 60 the TRIS becomes a normal Income Stream (or Account Based pension) and is tax free in your hands. Once you reach age 60 you may no-longer need a TRIS, if you formally retire (condition of release) and you will receive the super income stream tax free.

The main conditions for Transition to Retirement are –

  • Must reach preservation age.
  • No Lump-sum withdrawal is allowed while in TRIS.
  • You must withdraw a minimum depending on age, and only up to a maximum of 10%.
  • You cannot withdraw any lump sums in TRIS.
  • Not all super funds allow TRIS, but many Self-Managed Super funds do, as long as the Trust Deed allows it.


Chance to Boost Super up to the contribution limits.

Pay less tax if salary sacrificing.

Ease into retirement – for personal or financial reasons.

Example from Money Smart wesbite

Andy is 55 and this is his preservation age. He earns $100,000 and wants to keep working, and has $220,000 in super. He speaks to an advisor to calculate the benefit of TRIS. He converts most of his super to a TRIS, leaving a small amount in accumulation that his employer can continue to contribute to (or he can start a new accumulation account). The employer is contributing the 9.25% – $9,250 up to June 2014, (9.5% from 1 July 2014). He salary sacrifices $15,750 and draws an income stream of $12,660. Since the tax on earnings will be zero while in TRIS, he will save over $2000 in tax yearly. See HERE.

The potential benefits of a TRIS strategy depend on

  • Age
  • Marginal tax rate
  • Salary Sacrifice amount

It is important to seek advice and have the calculations prepared to see if the strategy will benefit you – why not call so we can arrange an advisor to sit and discuss you needs?

If you want experts who have years of helping others, without the hype – then call for a FREE strategy session today and see how our Super-Connector Service assists you to  find the right expert to answer your question – it’s FREE also!

No obligation. 0407 361 596, Paul.

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Masterclass SMSF – CGT Relief – Capital Gains Tax Superannuation exemption when moving excess pension over $1.6 mill. pension account cap by 1 July 2017

MASTERCLASS SMSF – CGT Relief – Capital Gains Tax Superannuation exemption when moving excess pension over $1.6 mill. pension account cap by 1 July 2017

SMSF – CGT Relief – Capital Gains Tax Superannuation exemption when moving excess pension over $1.6 mill. pension account cap by 1 July 2017

If you have more than $1.6 million in superannuation pension phase, and/or a transition to retirement income stream (TRIS) and you wish to continue from 1 July this year, you must reduce the pension balance down to the $1.6 mill. Cap. This may cause Capital Gains Tax, but there is exemption relief in place. Here is an explanation from SMSF Advisor

Capital gains tax (CGT) relief

From 1 July 2017, the maximum amount a member can transfer from the taxable accumulation phase to the tax-free retirement (pension) phase will be limited by the new transfer balance cap (TBC) of $1.6 million (indexed). For pension balances in excess of this amount on that date, the member has the option to either:

  1. Withdraw the excess from the superannuation system; or
  2. Commute the excess back to the accumulation phase.

Also from 1 July, investment earnings and capital gains generated from transition to retirement income streams (TRIS) will no longer be tax free.

Transitional CGT relief – a special tax concession accessible between now and June 30 – is available to superannuation funds that have members affected by the new TBC, or pay TRISs that will lose the tax-exempt treatment of investment earnings.

Super funds where part of the fund’s investment return is a capital gain on individual assets will be impacted by the changes. These funds include self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs), small APRA funds (SAFs), and public offer (retail) funds – including wrap accounts – and industry funds offering direct investments, i.e. shares and managed funds.

The CGT relief measure was introduced to discourage the mass selling of pension-supporting investments before 1 July 2017. The intent of the new rule is to provide CGT relief on the gains accrued before that date, so as not to disadvantage members who are required to commute a pension due to the new TBC, or are impacted by the TRIS tax changes. CGT relief preserves the tax exemption for these accrued capital gains on selected investments by resetting the cost base of those investments to their market value. 

For members who currently have more than $1.6 million in pension phase and choose option two (above) or have a TRIS, the legislation provides transitional CGT relief for assets owned by the fund on 9 November 2016 (being the date the legislation entered Parliament).

Importantly, CGT relief is not automatic – the trustee of a super fund must choose for the relief to apply for a CGT asset in the approved form.

For those assets that become taxable, i.e. that are transferred back to accumulation phase or support a TRIS, an irrevocable election can be made on an asset by asset basis to reset the CGT cost base to its market value, with the fund deemed to have sold and re-purchased the asset at that market value. This means the fund is only exposed to CGT on future growth in the asset value from that point.

CGT relief is quite complicated. Different rules apply depending on whether the fund currently uses the segregated or proportionate (unsegregated) method in determining its exempt current pension income (ECPI). Furthermore, from 1 July 2017, SMSFs and SAFs in some circumstances will no longer be able to use the segregated method in determining the ECPI….

What should I do now?

Important decisions must be made in the lead-up to 30 June. With only a few months to go, now is the time to consider whether claiming CGT relief on certain investments is worth pursuing… This choice will have a direct effect on the amount of income tax paid in future years.

And for several very detailed examples, READ MORE of the article

What are your thoughts? Start or continue the conversation here!

Call for free education, or to speak to an advisor about your specific situation. SuperBenefit works with SMSF trustees to CONNECT them with the advisors they need. A call is FREE. If you have any questions, why not give us a call – it’s FREE!

No obligation. 0407 361 596, Paul.

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CASE STUDY – George & Sue – Wanted to use SMSF to control and manage super by direct investments

CASE STUDY – George & Sue – Wanted to use SMSF to control and manage super by direct investments

George & Sue – Wanted to use SMSF to control and manage super by direct investments

George and Susan knew our financial advisor via referral from one of the advisor’s clients.

George had experience with personal direct share investment in his spare time after his busy professional position that included interstate travel for a multi-corporate. Sue was busy in the education field.

Their future was their concern, particularly after the GFC – and they wanted to use SMSF to control and manage their super by using George’s direct investment expertise. This was part of their Retirement plan.

(There are 5 easy steps to planning anything – start where you are at, decide what lifestyle you want to have, what that lifestyle state/position will cost in money (to maintain or the living costs) what you need invested to meet that cost of having what you want, and what action we need to take now to get there. (Get the Free Resource: 5 Easy Steps to Plan your Retirement).

WHERE they were at – George was a professional who managed his own investments and wealth himself. Together they had about $300,000 when they pooled all his super funds together, and had nearly paid off their own home, with just 2 older children still at home. There were also several investments in shares.

WANT to have – For George and Sue being self-sufficient and comfortable in retirement and having to not rely on the Government Pension, was the plan.

COST of that lifestyle Estimated in today’s values, an annual income to retire that he desired would be at least $75-90,000 in today’s money. That would be close to the ASFA definition of “Comfortable” and allow meals out and occasional trips overseas.

NEED invested to return the cost To be safe, if a conservative investment return of 5% is used, (one 20th of 100%) this means at least 20 times the income goal – which rounded to approx. $1.5 – 1,800,000 of income-producing assets other than the family home.

NOW what to do After meeting the advisor who explained the Pros and Cons of SMSF, he met with Paul the Administration Manager at SuperBenefit who supplied FAQ sheets, a Checklist of what was required, diagrams how Borrowing worked with SMSF, and a detailed list of what would be included in the service. Once the Trust Deed was prepared and executed, bank account formed and applications to their superfunds signed Alex could organise for his employer to start paying his super to his new SMSF. (This was a challenge as they were behind in their obligations).

George liked best of all that the SuperBenefit Programme handled all the set up and documents, storage of records electronically and additionally, had a CONNECT/ASSIST service which provides co-ordination as well as help with who to talk to for advice and other help besides the financial advisor. He also saw value in our private-client share broker who supplied a list twice a year (after the Australian company reporting seasons) summarising financial data on companies with strong financial health that are likely to perform well.  He thought this would work alongside his own analysis and choices.

There is also peace of mind because any queries or compliance issues, could simply be given to the SuperBenefit administrator, who would CONNECT them to the right advisors as required (Connect/Assist Service)

They now had the components in place –

Strategy to take control of the retirement plan, and build super,

Structure use an SMSF using SuperBenefit administration service where ALL is taken care of,

Support with resources and all compliance taken care of by SuperBenefit, as well as a team of specialist professionals that the SMSF Connect/Assist service provides, working with the client advisors in unison.

Note – This is a simplified summary of one client – we recommend asking for a FREE consultation and/or seeking further professional advice with our recommended advisors or your own.

Got questions? If you want experts who have years of helping others, without the hype – then call for a FREE strategy session today and also get your FREE Expert Guide – Self-Managed Super and Youtop right hand side above.

If you have any questions, why not give us a call – it’s FREE also! No obligation.

0407 361 596, Paul

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MASTERCLASS Investment – What is, and how do you read the Balance Sheet or Financial Position?

MASTERCLASS Investment – What is, and how do you read the Balance Sheet or Financial Position?

Investment – What is, and how do you read the Balance Sheet or Financial Position?

The balance sheet (also known as the statement of financial position, is a snapshot of a company’s health at a particular point of time, such as end of month or end of year. By reading it, we can learn how much a company owns (assets), and how much it owes (liabilities). The difference between what it owns and what it owes is called equity, or “net assets” or “shareholders equity”.
Put another way, the balance sheet tells a lot about a company’s fundamentals: how much debt the company has, how much it needs to collect from customers, how much cash and equivalents it possesses and what kinds of funds the company has generated over a period.

Assets, liability and equity are the three main sections of the balance sheet. They can tell investors a lot about a company’s fundamentals especially when ratios are performed on certain parts.

Here is a simple diagram of the Balance Sheet –

Business Balance Sheet
There are two main types/groups of assets: current assets and non-current assets or long-term assets.

Current assets are likely to be used up or converted into cash within twelve months. Three important current asset items are: cash, inventories and accounts receivables.

Cash – Investors normally are attracted to companies with plenty of cash on their balance sheets. After all, cash offers protection against tough times, and it also gives companies more options for future growth. Growing cash, if watched from year to year, can signal strong company performance. A reducing cash pile could be a sign of trouble. So, if loads of cash are more or less a permanent feature of the company’s balance sheet, investors will ask why the money is not being put to use.

Inventory – Inventories are the finished product that hasn’t been yet sold. Investors want to know if a company has too much money tied up in its inventory. Companies have limited funds available to invest in inventory. To generate the cash to pay bills and return a profit, they must sell the product they have manufactured or purchased from suppliers.

Accounts Receivable – are outstanding invoices owed by customers. The speed at which a company collects what it’s owed can tell a lot about its financial efficiency. If a company’s collection period is growing longer, it can indicate problems. The company may be letting customers stretch their credit in order to recognize greater top-line sales and that can bring  trouble later on, especially if customers face a cash crunch. Getting paid sooner is preferable to waiting for it – since some of what is owed may never get paid. The quicker a company gets its customers to make payments, the sooner it has cash to pay for salaries, merchandise, equipment, loans, and most importantly, dividends and growth opportunities.

Non-Current assets – Non-current assets are all the rest that are not classified as a current asset. This includes items that are fixed assets, such as property, plant and equipment . Unless the company is in financial distress and is liquidating assets, investors need not pay too much attention to fixed assets. Since companies are often unable to sell their fixed assets within any reasonable amount of time they are carried on the balance sheet at cost regardless of their actual value. As a result, it’s is possible for a company to inflate this number.

There are current liabilities and non-current liabilities.

Current liabilities are obligations the firm must pay within a year, such as payments owing to suppliers, payroll taxes, superannuation, credit cards and other short-term loans.

Non-current liabilities, are what the company owes in a year or more time. Typically, non-current liabilities represent bank and bondholder debt.
We usually want to see a manageable amount of debt. When debt levels are falling, that’s a good sign. Generally speaking, if a company has more assets than liabilities, then it is in decent condition. By contrast, a company with a large amount of liabilities relative to assets ought to be examined with more diligence. Having too much debt is one way a company can go bankrupt.

Equity represents what shareholders own, so it is often called shareholder’s equity. As described above, equity is equal to total assets minus total liabilities. The two important equity items are shareholders’ funds or paid-in capital and retained earnings.

Shareholder Funds are the amount of money shareholders paid for their shares when the stock was first offered to the public. It represents how much money the firm received when it sold its shares.

Retained earnings are profit or loss after tax accumulated over the years – it is money the company has chosen to reinvest in the business rather than pay to shareholders. Investors look closely at how a company puts retained earnings and borrowings/debt (together are called Capital) to use and how a company generates a return on it.

Want to learn the core issues of share investing?

Our slides SMSF & Shares Overview give a quick session to learn to easily understand Company Financial Statements, how to find healthy companies, what tools and Ratios to use, work on examples, and also includes how to get better investment outcomes.

If you have questions, call 0407 361 596

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