Santos made $767 million profit a day


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The company that makes $767 million profit per day, boomer lender fails to boom, and lost luggage numbers pass population of Darwin. Here are five things you may have missed this week.

The company that makes a $767 million profit...daily

Australians may be battling high energy and fuel costs, but that doesn't seem to be hurting the bottom lines of big producers.

the company that makes 767 million profit a day

Energy giant Santos has just released its half-year report for 2022, confirming a 300% rise in underlying profit of $US1.267 billion ($AUD1.81billion).

It's an impressive result. But it doesn't hold a candle to Saudi oil giant Aramco, which reported a quarterly profit of $US48.4 billion.

That works out to a profit of $US537 million - or about $AUD767 million per day.

Investors hoping to get a slice of the supersized Aramco action will be disappointed to learn that it's not an easy company to invest in.

The oil giant is listed on the Saudi Stock Exchange, which only allows established foreign institutions to trade. Put simply, you'll need at least $US5 billion in personal savings to place a share trade.

For an investment closer to home - and with more modest trading requirements, Woodside Petroleum will be issuing its half-yearly report on August 30, 2022.

Boomer lender goes under

Earlier this year Money mentioned that a new lender - Boomer Home Loans - was set to launch in 2022, giving asset-rich, cash-poor retirees a greater choice of reverse mortgage providers.

But it seems business has failed to boom for Boomer.

The WA-based lender, which planned to specialise in loans for over-55s, went into voluntary administration this week.

A handful of other lenders continue to offer reverse mortgages, but for a super-low rate it's hard to go past the Home Equity Access Scheme available through Services Australia.

The Scheme lets seniors borrow against their home equity, with funds able to be taken as a fortnightly payment, a lump sum, or a combination of both.

The current interest rate is a low 3.95% and a 'no negative equity' guarantee applies.

Hug your luggage a little tighter

Next time you head overseas, give your luggage an extra farewell hug at the check-in counter. It could be the last time you see it.

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics confirms Australians are preparing for take-off in droves.

July 2022 saw over 1 million international arrivals to Australia, and almost as many departures - the highest levels since the onset of COVID.

However, as airports and airlines re-emerge from pandemic-induced hibernation, lost baggage numbers are on the rise.

A July report from the US Office of Aviation Consumer Protection shows that in one month alone - April 2022, close to 220,000 pieces of luggage plus 900 wheelchairs and mobility scooters, were 'mishandled' (lost, stolen, damaged or delayed), and these numbers only apply to flights within the US.

It highlights the importance of having travel insurance that covers lost luggage, as well as taking proactive steps such as clearly labelling check-in bags.

Or consider investing in a GPS tracking device like Apple's AirTag ($45) that lets you see where in the world your luggage is hiding when it fails to appear on the baggage carousel.

It can also be worth cramming a few extra essentials into carry-on bags just in case your suitcase enjoys a vacation destination of its own.

Aussie stick to shares - and crypto, through pandemic

A recent report from investment watchdog ASIC, looks at investor behaviour following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The study confirms that Australian shares continued to be a favourite, owned by a whopping 73% of investors.

Surprisingly, the second most common investment through COVID was cryptocurrencies. Close to half (44%) of investors held at least one of type of crypto.

International shares rounded out the top three investments, with one-third (31%) of investors holding a stake in global equities.

ASIC Chair Joe Longo, says, "We are concerned about the number of people surveyed who reported investing in unregulated, volatile crypto-asset products."

According to the survey, only 20% of cryptocurrency owners considered their investment approach to be 'risk-taking', raising ASIC's concerns that investors did not understand the risks of this asset class.

As Longo points out, "There is a strong case for regulation of crypto-assets to better protect investors."

Thursday: The point in the week when you start earning 'me' money

Thursdays just became a lot more attractive.

As Australians face cost of living pressures, Finder has crunched the numbers and found the average employee earning a $69,400 salary - or $33.68 per hour in post-tax income, needs to work 28 hours just to cover the basics of petrol, groceries and mortgage costs.

That's equal to 75% of the typical 38-hour work week, meaning most of us won't pocket genuine spending money until sometime on Thursday.

Finder's Sarah Megginson, says sticking to a budget and monitoring bills to make sure you're not overpaying can be a way to guide your finances through a fiscally challenging time.

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A former Chartered Accountant, Nicola Field has been a regular contributor to Money for 20 years, and writes on personal finance issues for some of Australia's largest financial institutions. She is the author of Investing in Your Child's Future and Baby or Bust, and has collaborated with Paul Clitheroe on a variety of projects including radio scripts, newspaper columns, and several books.