ASIC's ability to conduct surveillance on financial services is being hampered by a lack of funding.
20 Feb 2015 |
We're asking for funding cuts to ASIC's budget to be reversed so that it can properly monitor industries that have proven dangerous to consumers.
Making a budget is easy, but how do you stick to it when times get tough?
12 Jan 2015 |
Making a budget is not about going on a diet of brussel sprouts and water, but about making sure you are using your hard-earned money for the things you really want.
The top one-year term deposits pay less than the best online savings accounts – so is there still a good reason to lock away your money?
23 Oct 2014 |
CHOICE reveals term deposit traps and top term deposit rates for six months, one year and three years.
Cyber currency gets its own card.
25 Sep 2014 |
An Aussie startup is trialling a new bitcoin EFTPOS debit card, as the ATO declares bitcoin and other cyber currencies assets rather than money.
Transaction fees are disappearing fast: there are now a range of fee-free accounts for everyone.
23 Sep 2014 |
Save on fees by choosing an account with no monthly fee and no fees for many ‘everyday’ transactions.
ME Bank is now undercutting the five-year fixed home loan rates of CBA, Westpac and NAB.
31 Jul 2014 |
Fixed home loan rates are falling further and smaller lenders are in some cases offering the best rates.
Do companies that claim to give a portion of the profits to charity really do good?
18 Jul 2014 |
A charity needs to get its funding from somewhere, including private companies and organisations. But are marketing campaigns where brands align with charities a win for all parties involved?
Comprehensive credit reporting could be bad news for consumers.
2 Jul 2014 |
Following the introduction of comprehensive credit reporting in Australia, it has been revealed that this type of credit information can be detrimental for a consumer’s rating.
A cocktail of low interest rates and high debt are creating the conditions for another financial crisis, says the Bank for International Settlements.
30 Jun 2014 |
The peak body for central banks, the Bank for International Settlements, has pointed to a "precious window of opportunity" to bring interest rates back to normal.
Is it time to regulate crowdfunding in Australia?
25 Jun 2014 |
Should crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter and Pozible be compelled to offer better protections for funders?
Mandatory employer superannuation contributions will increase to 9.5% as of 1 July.
23 Jun 2014 |
Employers must start paying the 9.5% super guarantee starting 1 July. But those employees on packages inclusive of superannuation may receive it as a hit to their take-home pay.
Be careful what you claim for – the ATO is on the hunt for dodgy work-related expenses on tax returns.
16 Jun 2014 |
The Australian Taxation Office has announced that they will be scrutinising travel expenses and computer and phone write-offs in this year’s tax returns.
What you do when you receive things you didn't order.
10 Jun 2014 |
If you receive goods or services that you didn't order, you don't have to pay for them.
Over 15,000 smartphone transactions recorded since May launch.
3 Jun 2014 |
No wallet? No worries! Cardless cash is taking off, with the Commonwealth Bank and Westpac announcing customers will soon be able to withdraw money without a card using their smartphones.
GPs are likely to churn through more patients to make up for income shortfall, says AMA president.
2 Jun 2014 |
Doctors who continue to bulk-bill will be forced to see patients for less time to make up for income shortfall says AMA president.
Pyramid schemes seem too good to be true - because they are.
21 May 2014 |
Pyramid schemes are illegal schemes that promise wealth but depend on an endless supply of new members. You're taking a big risk with your money if you invest in a pyramid scheme.
CHOICE explains how the 2014-15 Budget will affect first home saver account holders.
15 May 2014 |
First home buyers have it harder than ever before. Now the first home saver account has been cut.
How will consumers be affected by this year's Federal Budget?
13 May 2014 |
We analyse the impact of this year's Federal Budget on the hip pockets of families, students, higher income earners and older Australians.
If you're bringing in more than $80,000 you can expect to pay an extra 1-2% tax while the Budget is in deficit, according to reports.
29 Apr 2014 |
Earning over $80,000? It's expected you'll have to pay an extra 1-2% tax while the budget is in deficit.
Even if you’re just two weeks late paying a bill, new credit reporting rules meant a black mark on your credit rating. But there's a welcome development.
10 Apr 2014 |
A new credit reporting regime means if you pay your credit card or car loan more than 14 days late it’ll put a black mark on your credit rating.
You could be surrendering as little as $300 or as much as $1245 in annual superannuation fees with your existing fund.
7 Apr 2014 |
You could be paying fees up to $1245 each year on a $50,000 superannuation nest egg. CHOICE outlines your best super fund options and explains how to beat the super fee slugs.
Volunteering overseas sounds like a great way to do some good and have a holiday. But who really stands to profit?
14 Mar 2014 |
Who really profits when you volunteer overseas?
SMS service warning: is your kid's school being targeted by premium SMS marketers peddling teddy bear wristbands?
24 Feb 2014 |
CHOICE tells parents to warn kids about premium SMS numbers, so you don't get stung with a huge mobile phone bill.
Monitor your money with your smartphone.
22 Jan 2014 |
We've checked out 10 financial apps that let you keep track of your spending or budget on the go.
We tell you how to secure the best mortgage deal.
25 Jun 2013 |
We give you tips and advice for what you need to know before taking out a new mortgage or switching mortgages, and explain how your mortgage is funded.
When transferring money overseas, it pays to avoid the banks.
3 Apr 2013 |
Unexpected fees and a poor exchange rate could cost you hundreds of dollars in the course of an international money transfer.
Australians are missing out of millions of dollars of their own money.
21 Nov 2012 |
The amount of unclaimed money collected from inactive bank accounts and life insurance policies by ASIC has hit a record $677 million.
Wraps funds can be a good way to simplify your financial life, including tax preparation.
12 Oct 2012 |
Choose a wrap fund that will comply with FoFA requirements, or charges fees for specific services that are clearly outlined in the agreement between you and your adviser.
Foreign exchange is rarely a straightforward transaction.
10 Jul 2012 |
Exchange rates say Aussies should be picking up a nice little bonus on overseas transactions this year. Research by a savvy CHOICE member says otherwise.
The sooner you start saving, the better.
29 May 2012 |
The cost of putting your child through school has increased by 70% over the past 10 years.
Help shift the balance of power in banking back towards consumers.
14 Mar 2012 |
Sign the Move Your Money petition and deliver a message to the ‘big four’ bank CEOs that enough is enough.
The Big Four are playing by their own rules, and you can too.
16 Feb 2012 |
There is plenty of competition in the Australian market, which is why raising rates is just bad business.
Can you trust the complimentary travel insurance that comes with your credit card? We decipher the small print.
13 Dec 2011 |
Many gold and platinum credit cards offer travel insurance, but the cover can vary.
We uncover the path to finding the best mortgage and making the most of your money.
16 Sep 2011 |
Switch and save and take a fresh look at the interest rates on your home loan. We take you through the basics and present some easy options to put you on the fast track to a better deal.
We look at some of the way you can use personal financial software to manage your home budget.
19 Aug 2011 |
Everyone has money concerns, but can personal financial packages help track expenses and manage your budget? We look at some of the online alternatives.
Electricity bills are rising but can switching electricity suppliers save you money?
3 Jun 2011 |
We make sense of the confusing contracts and tariffs of electricity providers and outline a switching action plan.
Finance comparison websites can deliver masses of information on financial products instantly, but you still need to be wary when using them.
27 Apr 2011 |
These websites can be used to explore many products, from bank accounts to home loans, but CHOICE recommends you approach sites with care.
Telstra has changed its pricing structure, billing in one minute increments instead of 30 second blocks.
4 Apr 2011 |
Telstra now bills customers in one minute increments. But many of these customers signed up to contracts before the new billing structure.
If the GFC taught us anything it's the benefit of saving for a rainy day, here are some simple ways to spend less and save money.
1 Apr 2011 |
There are simple ways to modify your everyday spending to ensure your money goes further. CHOICE shows you how.
Avoid the cost of going to court by resolving a matter yourself or using the free Financial Ombudsman Service.
17 Mar 2011 |
Dealing directly with banks and other financial services providers to resolve disputes is usually more effective than taking the matter to court.
To celebrate World Consumer Rights Day, move your money from accounts that simply top up the profits of banks.
14 Mar 2011 |
$153 billion worth of Australian money currently sits in everday transaction accounts that earn little or no interest.
Are we being charged too much at the box office? CHOICE shows you how to get the most bang for your buck on your next trip to the movies.
10 Mar 2011 |
With movie ticket and candy bar prices continuing to rise, can a night at the movies be affordable?
Planning ahead for the death of a loved one can save you a lot of unnecessary grief.
9 Feb 2011 |
CHOICE found that funeral costs fluctuate wildly. We highlight ways to get a fair deal.
How you pay for goods will often determine whether you get your purchases when a company goes under.
28 May 2010 |
Consumer Action Law Centre warns customers against buying goods from Clive Peeters unless they take them away on the day.
The announcement of a class action against Australia's big banks for fee gouging reinforces why customers need to scrutinise their statements.
12 May 2010 |
Make sure you're not being stung by high penalties for overdrawing your account, paying your credit card bill a day late, or trying to pay in a cheque that bounces.
You can no longer press “CR” after swiping your debit card at Woolies. We look at the reason for this change, and its potential impacts.
20 Apr 2010 |
You can no longer press “CR” after swiping your debit card at Woolies. We look at the reason for this change, and its potential impacts.
Transferring your debt to a low-interest card may not be the magic fix it seems.
22 Mar 2010 |
It may give you a breather, but it could also lead you to one of the worst traps set by card companies.
It's a safer bet than carrying cash or a bank card when you travel overseas, but will these cards save you money?
21 Dec 2009 |
We expose the hidden costs.
Paying kickback commissions you didn't even know about? CHOICE outlines an easy way to reclaim your money.
15 Dec 2009 |
You can choose who receives the sales and advice kickbacks from your investments. But weigh up the pros and cons before making any changes.
Is options trading a dangerous get-rich-quick scheme or a low-risk strategy to profit from volatile markets?
15 Sep 2009 |
Options trading is promoted as a "high profit and low risk" strategy to make money. It sounds great, especially if you believe the claims.
Direct Share Purchasing Corporation and Hassle Free Shares offer to buy shares at below market value.
13 Aug 2009 |
NIB has issued a warning to its shareholders about an offer they may receive from Hassle Free Shares.
How has the global financial crisis affected CHOICE members?
24 Jun 2009 |
It’s been a traumatic time for financial markets and the wider economy, with the world experiencing its deepest and most synchronised recession in 70 years.
There are ways to take control of your superannuation. We answer your most frequently asked questions.
25 May 2009 |
The global financial crisis has decimated many Australians’ retirement savings. What steps can you take to rebuild your nest egg? CHOICE looks at your options.
Gold is considered a safe haven in uncertain times, but will it lose its shine?
7 May 2009 |
As shares and property crashed and the world nudged closer to recession, canny investors steadily turned their attention to one of the world’s oldest asset classes – gold.
Keep currency costs to a minimum on your next overseas trip.
23 Apr 2009 |
CHOICE recommends you take a mix of cash and cards to cover expenses and provide a back-up plan. We tell you which companies provide the best products and rates.
The plunging share market is attracting bargain hunters. CHOICE guides first-time investors through their options.
23 Mar 2009 |
Despite the market hitting a five-year low, the worst may not be over, with further ups and downs likely in this volatile economic environment.
What is an investment warranty and does it mean your money in a mortgage trust is safe?
3 Jun 2008 |
You wouldn’t buy a telly without a warranty … so why would you invest without one?
We give you the facts without the advertising hype and expose the dangers.
12 May 2008 |
Setting up your own super fund can give you control and flexibility but it’s also risky. If your accountant or financial planner recommends it make sure it really will give you the best deal before you jump.
What are your options for securing your retirement?
12 May 2008 |
Your June statement might show the worst return in years. Will you have enough money to retire? Should you switch investment options to manage stockmarket risks?
A guarantee on your investment sounds great but it can be deceptive.
30 Apr 2008 |
Experts say capital protection comes at a cost: most of your money is used for a low return/high-security investment to provide the capital guarantee.
How much of your donation is gobbled up by fundraising fees and expenses?
1 Apr 2008 |
Nearly nine out of 10 adults give to charity, and the average annual donation is more than $400.
Schemes promoting early access to super have got consumers and the scheme promoters into hot water.
30 Mar 2008 |
Financial services watchdog, ASIC, has been busy chasing and charging promoters of illegal early-release super schemes.
Wraps and master trusts can provide convenience and choice, but beware high fees and adviser kick-backs.
1 Mar 2008 |
Wraps and master trusts dominate as one-stop-shops for accessing a wider range of investments.
Are they reliable or just a waste of money?
21 Feb 2008 |
Websites that offer automated property valuations often use emotive language to sell their services.
Borrowing to invest can make your money work harder but it's a risky strategy in a volatile market.
7 Feb 2008 |
The margin loan is secured against the investment you make with it and/or other investments you have.
The "Transition to Retirement" rules allow older workers to access their super before they retire.
17 Jan 2008 |
If you're 55 or over you can access your super to start an income stream without having to retire.
How to find a good real estate agent and avoid the pitfalls.
21 Sep 2007 |
Who should you believe when you ask agents to assess your property’s value?
You might be surprised where some ethical and sustainable funds invest your money.
26 Aug 2007 |
State governments' super funds are investing millions of dollars of their employees’ super in gambling, cigarette and oil companies?
For years some major credit card companies failed to adequately disclose the fees for overseas transactions.
30 Apr 2007 |
Our investigation shows many consumers were charged more for overseas transactions than the fees disclosed on their statements suggested.
Want to invest your money but not sure where to start? A managed fund might be what you’re after.
20 Feb 2007 |
Based on the type of fund you choose (for example: shares, property and/or cash), the fund manager decides which assets to invest in.
Minimising the tax you pay on investments is all about good planning
3 Feb 2006 |
It is possible to plan your investment strategy to reduce tax, without taking too much risk.
An easy way to profit from residential property or a fashionable way to lose money?
7 Jan 2006 |
Negative gearing is being promoted as a way small investors can make money from the property market, but are these claims are too good to be true?
Get yourself the right bank account and save hundreds of dollars a year.
4 Jan 2006 |
When shopping for a bank account it’s difficult to know whether to go for one with up-front fees or take the risk that you won’t exceed your rebate or free transaction limit.
Be sure you take all the steps possible to ensure your planner is working hard for you, not just looking after their own interests.
10 Sep 2005 |
Follow this six-step guide to improve your chances of getting a high standard of service and advice from a financial planner.