Netflix wants to teach you about money: What you've missed this week
ATO issues a tax time warning, and Queensland offers workers $1500 to take up tourism jobs in rural Queensland.
Here are five things you might have missed this week.
Investors chase thematic ETFs
Investors are increasingly putting their investment dollars behind thematic exchange traded funds (ETFs) - that is, ETFs that provide exposure to specific investment themes or ideas.
According to VanEck, through the six months to April 30, 2021, funds under management (FUM) in thematic ETFs grew by 70.8% to $4.3 billion. Sustainable ETFs have been the standout thematic with a 62.8% increase in FUM to $3.52 billion.
"This is the next chapter for the ETF market, the growth of thematic ETFs which is underpinned by sustainable long-term trends in which momentum is building," says Arian Neiron, VanEck chief managing director for Asia Pacific.
"These offer investment strategies that capitalise on enduring economic trends or themes, with technology, clean energy and healthcare favoured among investors."
The move towards thematic ETFs has in part piggybacked the lifestyle changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
"VanEck's Video Gaming and eSports ETF (ASX: ESPO), for example, has been our quickest growing ETF since we first launched our funds in Australia in 2014," says Neiron.
"The industry's growth has been strong in recent years and COVID-19 lockdowns and other social restrictions have accelerated its expansion. The sector offers returns which outstrip those on technology."
If you're looking for a new show to Netflix and chill, give the doco 'Money, Explained' a go.
Each episode is devoted to a different topic, which include get rich quick schemes, credit cards and gambling.
While it's obviously made for an American audience (you'll hear about 401k, for instance, essentially their version of superannuation), the takeaways are the same.
The cast includes Tiffany Haddish, Jane Lynch, Edie Falco and Bobby Cannavale.
ATO warns against over-expensing
Don't "copy and paste" your pre-COVID expenses this tax season, warns the ATO.
Around 8.5 million Australians claimed nearly $19.4 billion in work-related expenses in their 2020 tax returns, and the ATO expects this to increase as more people work out of the home office.
But while some expenses will go up, others will go down.
"We know many people started working from home during COVID-19, so a jump in these claims is expected," Assistant Commissioner of the ATO, Tim Loh.
"But, if you are working at home, we would not expect to see claims for travelling between worksites, laundering uniforms or business trips."
Last year, the ATO saw the value of car and travel expenses decreased by nearly 5.5%, while clothing expenses went up 2.6%.
"You can't simply copy and paste previous year's claims without evidence."
"But we know some of these unusual claims may be legitimate. So, if you explain your claim with evidence, you have nothing to fear."
Western Sydney and Western Melbourne hotspots for mortgage stress: CHOICE
The western suburbs of the two big capitals are reporting the highest levels of mortgage stress, according to postcode data released by consumer group CHOICE.
The 10 crisis suburbs for New South Wales and Victoria represent more than 130,000 households on the brink.
The worst affected postcode is 2560 in Sydney's west, with 10578 households in mortgage stress. Its suburbs include Airds, Ambarvale, Appin, Bradbury, Blair Athol, Bradbury, Campbelltown, Englorie Park, Gilead, Glen Alpine, Kentlyn, Leumeah, Rosemeadow, Ruse, St Helens Park, Wedderburn and Woodbine.
Victoria's worst postcode is 3805 with 8919 households under mortgage stress. It covers Fountain Gate, Narre Warren, and Narre Warren South.
"These are households where from fortnight to fortnight, people are spending more than they are earning. That means that they have to make difficult choices, like whether to put food on the table or keep up with repayments. If they can't maintain the juggling act, they risk losing their homes." says CHOICE CEO Alan Kirkland.
Work in paradise and pocket $1500
The Queensland government will give workers $1500 to take up tourism jobs in rural Queensland.
On top of the $1500 incentive, workers will receive a $250 travel bonus to get to the job.
The payouts are part of a $7.5 million "work in paradise" campaign aiming to boost regional tourism.
"Grab your friends and take a tourism job to work in paradise - that's the message we're sending to thousands of Queensland and Australian jobseekers," says Annastacia Palaszczuk.
"In addition to the $1500 cash incentive for jobseekers to relocate for employment in the tourism industry, we're also offering a $250 travel bonus to help workers to travel there.
The incentive program starts from July 1.
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