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May 2015 Market Wrap

The Australian share market closed the month flat, with the All Ordinaries Index steady at 5,774.9 points. The Australian share market is clearly experiencing a period of consolidation following the strong performance in the first quarter of 2015.

Global shares were also relatively subdued in May with the US Dow Jones Index gaining 1.0% the London FTSE gaining 0.3%, the Hong Kong Hang Seng Index falling 2.5% and the Japan Nikkei 225 Index the standout performer gaining 5.3%.

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2015 Federal Budget Summary

Last year's tough budget has been followed up with a budget aimed squarely at growing the economy.

According to Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey, this is a "responsible, measured and fair" budget with generous tax cuts for small business and a range of youth unemployment and infrastructure spending initiatives designed to stimulate growth.

Importantly, the government kept to its promise of no new taxes on superannuation. However, the budget contains significant changes to the age pension assets test and childcare subsidies.

Noted below is a summary of the key measures of relevance from a financial planning perspective. Importantly, most of the changes announced last night require support from the Senate (which has proven to be hostile over the past year).

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March 2015 Market Wrap

The Australian share market closed the month flat, with the All Ordinaries Index declining 0.6% in March to close at 5,861.9 points. Global shares were mixed, with the US Dow Jones Index falling 2.0%, the London FTSE falling 2.5%, the Hong Kong Hang Seng Index gaining 0.3% and the Japan Nikkei 225 Index gaining 2.2%.

March 2015 marks six years of the latest "bull market", which has seen our share market grind back from the low of 6 March 2009 to current levels. The Australian share market was up just over 10% for the 2015 calendar year (to 6 March), with the market then stabilising (since the Reserve Bank's decision in early March to keep rates on hold at a record low of 2.25%).

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