Solid global economic outlook for 2018


After more than a year of unusually benign market conditions, February began with a rolling wave of volatility, the likes of which we haven’t felt for over 2 years. Measures of share market volatility spiked to their highest levels since August 2015.

Despite the media hype, the pullback has generally been described by most of us industry experts as “healthy” and “long awaited”, given that we had seen 15 straight months of gains for US shares and January had just delivered the strongest start to the year for three decades. In the short term, this should not detract from the solid global economic outlook for 2018.

For the first time in a decade all the world’s top economies are growing. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasts the global economy will expand 3.9 per cent in 2018, the fastest rate in eight years, up from 3.7 per cent last year. US growth is expected to reach 2.9 per cent this year on the back of tax cuts. The Eurozone, Japan and some emerging economies such as Brazil are also tipped to gather steam this year.

In the US, the recently unveiled US$1.5 trillion Trump infrastructure plan along with the US$1.5 trillion tax package approved late last year should also help buoy markets in the months ahead. But a big risk to the impact of these growth stimuli could be rising interest rates, which would be a natural response to stronger growth and higher debt levels. The speed of these rate increases will go a long way to determining how good a year we can expect in local and international share markets.

If you would like to talk to our team of professionals about building your wealth and securing your financial future contact our Wealth Management team on (03) 9744 7144 or email



Business owners – what is your end game?

team work for success

Why do you own a business?

It’s interesting to consider this because we are shocked at how many business owners haven’t taken the time to consider this fundamental question.

From a big picture perspective, having a business provides you with a lifestyle. That’s it!

It gives you cash now to fund your family spending, and hopefully a lot of cash in the future when you sell your business.  And it’s very similar to having a Self Managed Super Fund (SMSF), an investment property or share investments. They give you cash either now or in the future, or a combination of now and future.

Having a business, SMSF or an investment property is not the important thing. The important thing is what the cash you receive from owning these allows you and your family to do.  Your plans for what you do will do with your business, SMSF or investment property in the future are what we call your ‘end game’.

A good business mentor and friend of ours once taught us that “the point of having a business is to sell it – even if you don’t want to right now.”  This one pearl of wisdom could mean hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars more for you in the future if you let it guide you now.

Here’s how… as you run your business, start to make decisions now to plan for selling it – even if you don’t plan to sell it for many years.  The biggest thing you can do is to make changes so that your business does not depend on you. If your business needs you to operate – can you really sell it? Absolutely not.

Setting up systems for your business is the key. You can then train your team to follow your systems, and then you can gradually delegate what you do to the right team members, and then you’ll find that you’ve got a business that can partially run without you.

Would you like us to be your sounding board?

At Sage Business Group we can help you to work out your end game, and plan to have a business that you can sell for a much larger amount in the future because it doesn’t depend on you.

Contact us today on (03) 9744 7144 or email for a free initial meeting about creating your end game.

General advice disclaimer – General advice warning: The advice provided is general advice only as, in preparing it we did not take into account your investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs. Before making an investment decision on the basis of this advice, you should consider how appropriate the advice is to your particular investment needs, and objectives. You should also consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement before making any decision relating to a financial product


Avoiding bad debt with better debtor management


Ask yourself – What would your business world look like if you could reduce your debtors by half?  What would you be able to buy for your business?  What cash flow problems would go away?  What would you be able to do with that money for your family?

We have compiled a list of 17 debtor management tips to ensure your cash flow management system is as robust as possible to keep your business healthy and growing.

These tips may seem obvious on reflection, but many businesses get bogged down and forget to apply these simple rules. Cash flow is crucial to the growth and survival of your business.  You may have won the sale but getting paid is just as important.

If you need assistance with your business please contact Lynda on (03) 9744 7144 or email our team is here to help.

General advice disclaimer – General advice warning: The advice provided is general advice only as, in preparing it we did not take into account your investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs. Before making an investment decision on the basis of this advice, you should consider how appropriate the advice is to your particular investment needs, and objectives. You should also consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement before making any decision relating to a financial product.

Six questions every business owner should ask themselves…..

1. Is it important to know how much money you have in your business bank account?
2. Does your software or spreadsheets allow you to see how much money you have in your business bank accounts?
3. Over the course of a month, how long do you spend doing your bank rec?
4. Have you ever sent an invoice to someone that owes you money and they’ve turned around and said ‘I didn’t get your invoice?’
5. Has your accountant or bookkeeper ever asked you to provide them with your receipts, invoices or memorandums?
6. How long does it take you to process your super payments?

If you are answering yes to any of these questions then you need to watch our information video below where Co-Director Tim McCarthy talks to team member and Xero Specialist Kade Tronson on why so many of our clients are turning to Xero Accounting Software.

Xero still

If you would like to learn more about Xero Accounting Software please contact Kade on (03) 9744 7144 or email


Protect what you have worked so hard to build.


Every time you go to the bank to borrow money, the bank takes out an insurance policy on you.

By taking out what is known as a “Loan to Value” margin on what the property is worth versus what they are prepared to lend you the bank is taking out their form of “Risk Insurance”.

The difference, known as the margin, protects the lender in many ways: It helps them reduce their risk as they know you’ve had to save hard to stump up the deposit, and it also gives them a “margin of error” should something go wrong.

You see, having the title to the house means the bank will always get paid before you do; and let’s be honest, everyone who has a mortgage always has that little worry in the back of their head “what would happen to the mortgage if I lost my job?”

But what would happen if you couldn’t work for an extended period of time due to your health, and therefore couldn’t pay your mortgage?

How would 12 months off work affect your mortgage while you battled a health condition such as cancer (note: 1 in 3 will suffer from cancer before the age of 65)?

Imagine being a tradie with a broken arm? A farmer with a broken leg?  What would happen to your mortgage if the “black dog” of depression hit?

Even worse still, what would happen to the home that your family lives in if you were to pass away prematurely?

You see, if you can’t pay your mortgage the bank does have insurance. They have it through lending you less than the house is worth (so they know they won’t lose) and through their ability to call on the loan if you can’t make payment.

We have all heard of someone who has been affected by a tragic set of circumstance that is now rendering them in an extremely financially vulnerable situation. While dealing with the challenge of personal and health issues they have the compounding pressure of financial woes to face as well.

However, it doesn’t have to be that way.  A review of your personal risk planning strategy gives you a starting pointing on what could happen to you and your family should a health event, or tragedy strike.

Even better, we help you completely understand your current insurance and super, and work with you to create a strategy to help you mitigate these risks.

As unpleasant as these conversations can be, a well-tailored personal insurance strategy can help provide you with peace of mind knowing that you will be financially secure in your time of need.

For further information please contact our office on (03) 9744 7144 or click on the link below to request a review.

Request a review



Are you at risk?


The Federal Government is cracking down on employers caught short-changing staff by failing to contribute the mandatory 9.5 per cent of employee earnings to a superfund of their choice.  The ATO analysis found that employees had likely missed out of $2.85 billion of their super guarantee payments during the 2014-2015 financial year, because employers didn’t meet their obligations (both intentionally and from uncertainty around obligations) with small business owners among the worst offenders.

Emma Koehn from Smart Company sums up how the latest reforms will change the ATO’s approach to businesses not complying with their superannuation obligations.

If you require more information on your superannuation obligations, please contact our office on (03) 9744 7144 or email




Planning for success

business plan

There’s an age-old saying ‘Failing to plan, is planning to fail’.  This applies in so many areas of our lives, but in particularly is extremely important when starting a business.  Many small businesses fail because they simply don’t set the solid foundations from the beginning.  Developing a business plan should be the first step in your planning journey.  Planning is simply deciding in advance; what to do, how to do it, when to do it, who will do it and what resources will be involved.  Your business plan should be a documented set of business goals, objectives, target market information and financial forecasts that you are aiming to achieve over a certain period of time.

When writing your business plan you should consider;

  • Will you want to expand your business, be more competitive in your industry or achieve certain goals?
  • Who will be your targeted audience?
  • How will you market your product/service?
  • How will you obtain finance?
  • What business structure will best suit your business?
  • Will you operate as an independent contractor?

Setting up your own business is an exciting prospect, but it takes more than just a good idea to start a business.  Operating a business is not just about working for yourself, it’s also about having the necessary management skills, industry experience, technical skills, finance and of course long term vision to grow and succeed.  Make sure you have the solid foundations in place to give your business the best start.

If you would like to learn more about starting your own business, register now for our FREE small business workshop, scheduled for Tuesday 5th September @5.30pm.

Register now, click on the link below –

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