NSW eviction moratorium comes to a discreet close

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SMSFs find favour among young people, and the first private equity ETF in Australia is rolled out.

Here are five things you might've missed this week.

Online shopping scams hit $4.8m in 2021

Wesfarmers, which also owns Bunnings and Officeworks, has announced plans to spin off its Coles supermarkets and Liquorland stores.

As the Christmas shopping season heats up, customers are being warned to stay alert to online scams.

According to Reviews.org, online shopping scams have cost Aussies over $4.8 million so far in 2021.

A survey it conducted of 1000 people found that 67% say they've been shopping online more since the start of the pandemic, and 42% say they have been scammed while online shopping.

NSW victims have lost the most money ($1.55 million), followed by Victoria at $1.51 million. Queensland victims have lost the third-largest amount at $888,000.

August had the highest number of cases, with 2318 reports of online shopping scams, representing a loss of $975,000.

NSW eviction moratorium wraps up

The eviction moratorium protecting Covid-affected renters has ended, as the state continues its staged reopening.

The program served its purpose, according to Shannyn Laird, head of customer experience at property management agency :Different.

"The eviction moratorium was a necessary step to support renters who were impacted by Covid job losses or salary cuts," she says.

"The state does appear to be getting back to some kind of normality, but there will still be renters that might need additional support and will no longer have the same protection that the moratorium provided. In these instances, it is important to speak with your property manager and be transparent about your situation. They will be able to help come to a reasonable agreement for both the renter and property owner."

While the balance of power has swung back to landlords, fair solutions to rental stress remain important.

"Owners are firmly in the driver's seat now, so do have more power over the end decisions, but a good property manager will help work with owners to provide fair solutions for both parties."

SMSFs gain popularity among younger generations

Self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) are finding increasing favour among young Australians.

Data from AUSIEX shows that during the first quarter there was a 9.3% increase in new SMSF accounts opened compared with last year's first quarter.

Gen Y or millennials (born 1981-1996) represent the fastest-growing segment of new SMSF accounts. This group now represents 10% of all new accounts.

"SMSFs have traditionally been the domain of those with higher fund balances and those approaching the decumulation phase," says AUSIEX CEO Eric Blewitt.

"SMSFs may be appealing to younger people due to the fact they provide greater control over investments."

VanEck launches private equity ETF

The VanEck Global Listed Private Equity ETF (ASX: GPEQ), the first of its kind to list in Australia, will provide retail investors with access to private equity investments.

"Private equity offers investors long-term historical outperformance over public markets, yet traditionally it has only been accessible by institutional and ultra-high-net-worth investors. GPEQ changes that and allows all investors to participate in private equity investments for the first time through a single trade on the ASX," says Arian Neiron, VanEck's CEO and managing director, Asia Pacific.

"As an alternative investment, private equity is important for investor's portfolios as it displays a low correlation with equities and bonds as well as offering attractive risk and return characteristics."

Private equity investments span a much bigger universe than do public investments.

"The private equity asset class is significantly bigger than the publicly listed market. An estimated 98% of companies are private while a mere 2% of companies are listed," says Neiron.

Bunnings and Officeworks team up with Flybuys for Xmas

Commencing early December, Flybuys points will be able to be collected by members across the Wesfarmers and Coles Group retail businesses, which means Flybuys users will be able to earn and redeem points at Bunnings and Officeworks, in addition to retailers like Coles, Liquorland, Kmart, Target and Catch.

"We know millions of our customers will be excited because Flybuys member research shows that Bunnings is the most preferred partner in Australia to join the program and we know that Officeworks is an essential part of helping Australians increasingly working from home," says Coles Group CEO Steven Cain.

"We look forward to continuing to support millions of Flybuys members receive more value from their purchases and deliver more opportunities to collect and redeem points in-store."

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David Thornton was a journalist at Money from September 2019 to November 2021. He previously worked at Your Money, covering market news as producer of Trading Day Live. Before that, he covered business and finance news at The Constant Investor. David holds a Masters of International Relations from the University of Melbourne.

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