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The Science of Gift Giving

December 19th, 2019
Christmas is on the doorstep, which means tough decisions, budget allocations, and last-minute shopping. If you're like most people, then you probably approach gift giving with a combination of random luck and hours walking the streets. As it turns out, however, there is a clear and robust science behind gift giving, with people who receive gifts much more appreciative when decisions are based on thoughtful consideration and long-term value rather than immediate satisfaction and price.

Australians spent a cumulative AU$11 billion during the 2018 Christmas period on gifts alone, which amounts to an average spend of AU$573 per person. Kiwis spent slightly more on average when you account for currency conversion, with NZ$624 per person spent on gifts last Christmas. Most shopping takes place in the week leading up to December 25, with millions of people still hitting the pavement on Christmas Eve.

While giving gifts to your loved ones is supposed to spark happiness and joy, ma [...]

Power Bills Forecast to Fall

December 19th, 2019
Power bills are forecast to decline in Australia over the next three years. According to official forecasts published by the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC), we can thank renewable energy for the good news, with an increasing supply of renewables on the market helping to drive prices down. While these forecasts are only estimates and widely dependent on current trends, we may have reached a critical stage where the evolution of green power is driven by economic factors along wit [...]

National Property Index Jump

December 16th, 2019

The CoreLogic National Property Index jumped into action in November, recording its fifth straight monthly increase and largest monthly gains in over 16 years. While parts of the national market remain slow, values in Sydney, Melbourne, and Hobart continue to grow beyond expectations. The downturn that defined the Australian market at the start of the year seems like a distant […]

Negative Effects of Bushfire Smoke

December 9th, 2019

Bushfires remain prevalent across Australia, with smoky conditions possibly becoming more normal as climate change takes hold. Rural communities in NSW have been inundated by smoke for weeks, with Sydney also choked by bad air and dangerous smoke particles. While everyone is aware of the destructive power of fire when it comes to harming property and affecting lives, the true […]

How to Increase Your Mental Bandwidth

December 2nd, 2019

The modern world can be busy and stressful, with people often experiencing a lack of time and mental resources. It’s easy to make bad decisions in such an environment, as our mental bandwidth narrows and we focus on the wrong tasks. While some people thrive under pressure, for others, busy routines and ongoing stress lead to procrastination and reduced productivity. […]

Hot Household Products This Christmas

November 22nd, 2019

Once again, Christmas is just around the corner and you’re probably not ready. Whether you need to buy five gifts or fifty, new product releases leave us spoilt for choice as we head into the holiday period. From household tech and lifestyle products through to media subscriptions and kids’ toys, let’s take a close look at the best new household […]

Optimism Returns to the Market

November 22nd, 2019

Australians are feeling much more positive about the property market, with prices expected to rise in 2020 by homeowners and experts alike. After a period of decline and pessimism, double-digit gains are expected in Sydney and Melbourne next year alone. While forecasts are dependent on interest rates, economic growth, and wider global conditions, time may be running out for first […]

Economic Predictions for the 2020s

November 15th, 2019

Trade uncertainty, shifting economic power, and social upheaval are some of the key issues likely to reach boiling point over the next decade. According to one of the world’s largest banks, significant shifts in the global economic landscape could reverse many of the defining trends of the past four decades. Population growth, environmental catalysts, and changing attitudes to globalisation are […]

Why Do We Gain Weight As We Age

November 11th, 2019

Gaining weight as we age has become completely normalised in modern society. Men and women in their late 30s and beyond are almost expected to gain weight, even though we’ve never understood exactly why. While various genetic and lifestyle factors influence weight gain, there are age-related considerations that can’t be accounted for by eating or exercise habits alone. As it […]

Modern Work & the Adaptability Quotient

November 4th, 2019

Modern workers are always looking for that little something extra to help them forge ahead in their careers. Whether you’re a mechanic, a salesperson, or a surgeon, making moves in your chosen field was always thought to be a combination of smarts and hard work. As it turns out, however, additional capacity may also be needed. Along with regular and […]

Low Interest Rates and the Bank Response

October 23rd, 2019

Australia’s interest rate is at an historic low, currently sitting at 0.75% and possibly heading even lower. As the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) moves the cash rate closer to zero, an increasing number of banks are failing to go along for the ride. Individual lenders have been told to look towards alternative lenders, with the RBA itself possibly resorting […]