Peter Switzer
+ About Peter Switzer

Peter Switzer is one of Australia’s leading business and financial commentators, launching his own business 20 years ago. The Switzer Group has since grown into three successful companies spanning media and publishing, financial services and business coaching.

Peter is an award-winning broadcaster, twice runner-up for the Best Current Affairs Commentator award for radio, behind broadcaster Alan Jones. A former lecturer in economics at the University of NSW, Peter is currently:

  • weekly columnist for Yahoo!7 Finance
  • a regular contributor to The Australian newspaper and ABC radio
  • host of his own TV show, Switzer and Grow Your Business, on SKY News Business
  • regular host of the Super Show on 2GB radio.


Dear Peter, What fun! You are really very good at what you do. I appreciated our time together and wish you continued success in all you do. Have fun (I know you will).

Jack Welch, former CEO, GE, and ‘Manager of the Century’ (Fortune magazine)

Peter, It was great to have worked with you – you really made the event come alive. I hope you enjoyed yourself. I know Steve Ballmer [CEO, Microsoft Corporation] did.

John Galligan, Director of Corporate Affairs & Citizenship, Microsoft Australia

Here’s a home truth, my only real education – or teacher who I actually ever listen to – is your interviews on Qantas. So thank you with sincere respect.

Sean Ashby, Co-Founder, AussieBum

Peter did a wonderful job on the night; keeping the program moving, working around changes to the run sheet, and ensuring each award recipient, and our sponsors, were made to feel welcome and important. The feedback received from those attending has all been extremely positive.

Peter Mace, General Manager NSW, Australian Institute of Export

Peter, We would like to congratulate you for performing your master of ceremonies role in such a professional, entertaining and informative manner. We were impressed by your ability to tease out each winner’s story so that the audience gained maximum benefit from their collective business experiences.

Greg Evans and Nicolle Flint, Directors, Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Hi Peter, I listened to you speak this morning and thought you were amazing. I am an accountant and in risk management and have never thought about doing a SWOT on myself – thanks for the tip!

Serife Ibrahim, Stockland Corporation Ltd

Dear Peter, Thank you for your valuable contribution to this year’s forum. Ninety-two per cent of delegates rated your presentation highly, commenting on its useful and topical content.

Catherine Batch, Head of Marketing and Communications, Indue

Peter has facilitated our CEO and CFO symposiums over the last three years. A true professional, he takes away the stresses of hosting and organising an event.

Justine Goss, Strategy Group

Off to the races, again!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

  by Peter Switzer With the Queen’s horse set to race at Randwick over the weekend, (and its running in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes, no less) looking at Wall Street overnight, it seems we’re off to the races again! Of course, the Queen’s horse has nothing to do with my story this morning except that it will be a big media event on Saturday if the Liz can win a race named after her. The horse is trained by the Queen of the Turf, Gai Waterhouse, so it will be huge if it happens, but I think it’s huge that Wall Street finished on its highs. So what was behind this big gallop to the closing bell?  It was a trifecta of wins that explains the optimism overnight on the New York Stock Exchange. First, industrial production was up 0.7 per cent, which the full article ›
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John McGrath
Property Expert
+ About John McGrath

John McGrath is considered one of the most influential figures in the Australian property industry. As Chief Executive of McGrath Estate Agents, he took the company from a start-up in 1988 to one of Australia's most successful residential real estate groups, selling $5.7 billion in residential property in Sydney in FY11.

A total solution company, McGrath Estate Agents currently has offices located throughout Sydney, the Central and North Coasts, Southern Highlands, the Blue Mountains, Wollongong, Gungahlin (ACT) and the Gold Coast (QLD), as part of its growing franchise network.

In October 2008, he was honoured by the Real Estate Institute of NSW with the Woodrow Weight OBE Award, a lifetime achievement award for his outstanding contribution to the real estate industry.

John himself has become a spokesperson for the industry both in Australia and internationally. John has five books that have reached bestseller status including “You Don’t Have To Be Born Brilliant” and “You Inc.”. In “The Ultimate Guide to Real Estate”, John shares with the reader his invaluable knowledge on the Australian property market.

Reality check on reality TV

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

by John McGrathWhat a finale last week! This year’s The Block TV show was a huge success, with all four luxury apartments in O’Grady Street, Albert Park selling under the hammer for way beyond their reserves, with rookies Steve and Chantelle taking out the top prize with a sale price of $2.47M – $636,000 above reserve. I’m a big fan of The Block and have been involved in it since it started in 2003. It’s the highest rating TV series ever and has been produced in many other countries including the US.  This year I was a guest judge on the contestants’ final challenge – the seven-day renovation of the two houses. It’s always fascinating to see what they come up with and they did a great job converting two original homes into the full article ›
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Janine Perrett
+ About Janine Perrett

Barry O'Farrell falls on his sword

Thursday, April 17, 2014

by Janine PerrettEarly yesterday morning I penned a rant about how heartily sick I am of pollies and bizoids fronting up to inquiries and courts claiming they "don't recall".The conventional wisdom, or wisdom of highly paid QCs, is that it is better to seem an idiot than corrupt.All very well I say, but if a leading businessman uses that excuse, how come a few years later they are lauded in the financial press for their fabulous business acumen and extolling investors to put money with them?Politicians who can't remember crucial things that happened only a few years ago are the same ones who boast of their great ability to run the state or country, their incredible attention to detail, and indeed they can always remember something from decades ago and quote it ad nauseum to suit the full article ›
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Olivia Long
+ About Olivia Long

Olivia Long is a Founder and Executive Director of Xpress Super. She is currently the Chief Executive Officer for SuperGuardian Pty Ltd, Xpress Super and PortfolioGuardian. She has had more than 16 years of experience in the Financial Services Industry predominantly in management roles and joined SuperGuardian in 2004. She studied a Bachelor of Communication (Marketing) and various courses with the Financial Services Institute of Australia. She is an active member of SPAA - The SMSF Professionals' Association Australia, a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and has over 9 years experience in self-managed superannuation.

The ATO crack down on dividend washing

Friday, April 11, 2014

by Olivia LongMany SMSF Trustees recently received a letter from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) in relation to participation in franking credit arrangements. We appreciate the ATO correspondence has come as a shock to many, especially in light of the fact that during the May 2013 budget Treasury issued a media release entitled Preventing Dividend Washing to insert an integrity rule into the ITAA 1997 which would close a loophole that enabled sophisticated investors to engage in ‘dividend washing’ from 1 July 2013. The media release made no mention of applying any laws regarding ‘dividend washing’ retrospectively so one may imply the practice was permitted prior to 1 July 2013.

Currently, sophisticated investors can engage in ‘ the full article ›
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Craig James
Economy Expert
+ About Craig James

Craig James is CommSec’s Chief Economist.

He became chief economist of Colonial Group in September 1987, before becoming chief economist at CommSec in August 2000 with the Commonwealth takeover of Colonial.

CommSec economic reports are a bit different in that they devise tools such as the ‘Mums and Dads’ share index and the iPod index, and undertake research on the weather and demographic changes to show how they affect the economy.

Craig currently does around 2-3 regular TV crosses a day, ad hoc radio and newspaper interviews and writes regular commentaries as well as presenting to staff, clients and external organisations.

Another positive month for economy-wide sales

Thursday, April 17, 2014

by Craig JamesCommonwealth Bank Business Sales IndexEconomy-wide spending expanded for the 19th consecutive month in March according to a new survey. The Commonwealth Bank Business Sales Indicator (BSI) – a measure of economy-wide spending – rose by 0.6 per cent in trend terms in March, down from 0.7 per cent in February and 0.9 per cent in January. Despite the on-going expansion, it was the slowest growth of sales in seven months.The more volatile seasonally adjusted estimate of spending also grew by 0.6 per cent in March after easing by 0.3 per cent in February. Annual growth slowed for the second month, down from 10.7 per cent to 9.7 per cent in the month.The seasonally adjusted and trend estimates of the BSI results are derived via the SEASABS statistical program the full article ›
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David Bates
+ About David Bates

David is the Managing Director of Workforce Guardian where he provides a wide range of strategic, practical and plain-English advice to Australian business owners and operators. He is deeply committed to assisting employers and is a passionate advocate of competition and free-enterprise.

David gained his BA (Government) from the University of Queensland in 1998 before going on to complete a Law degree, with Honours, in 2001. He began his career working for a large, blue-collar union before moving to Canada and then the United Kingdom where he was employed by both the Commission for Racial Equality and the UK Equality and Human Rights Commission.

David routinely represents employers in Fair Work-related proceedings and can assist with every aspect of employment relations compliance. David is also an accomplished and highly sought-after public speaker who facilitates dynamic, informative and highly interactive workshops on all aspects of industrial relations best-practice.

He is proud to lead a highly-qualified team of ER, HR and Technical professionals at Australia’s leading, online employment relations service.

Workplace Relations Minister for a day

Thursday, April 10, 2014

by David BatesA few weeks ago I was invited to speak at a HR conference where, consistent with the views I’ve previously expressed in this blog, I challenged the fairness of the Fair Work Act 2009 and suggested that the Fair Work Commission (FWC) and Modern Awards are simply not fit for purpose. This prompted one conference attendee to ask: what would you do if you were the Minister for a day?…and that seriously got me thinking! While I sincerely doubt much gets done in our federal bureaucracy in just one day, but there’s plenty I’d make a start on in the first 24 hours. This week: my ‘top three’ priorities as Workplace Relations Minister for a day:1. Remove Small Business from the Fair Work ActSmall businesses are the lifeblood of our economy, the full article ›
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Jason Huljich
+ About Jason Huljich

Mr. Jason C. Huljich, B.Comm serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Direct Property Funds at Centuria Capital Limited. Mr. Huljich has been the Chief Executive Officer of Direct Property Funds at Centuria Property Funds Limited since 2006. He is also the Head of Property at OFM Investment Group. Mr. Huljich has been involved in investment property syndication in Australia since 1996. Mr. Huljich has been an Executive Director of Centuria Capital Limited. since November 2007. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Auckland.

Once bitten, twice shy?

Thursday, March 27, 2014

by Jason HuljichDespite the strength of the sector, advisers are slow to return to unlisted property investments.Most investors suffered during the GFC, including those who invested in unlisted property funds. The massive credit squeeze saw heavily geared funds falter, and some investors suffer. Fast forward to 2014, and unlisted property trusts are very different beasts. Gearing is down, transparency is up, and many of the less scrupulous managers have disappeared, and the result is that quality managers are again experiencing strong inflows from retail investors.Unfortunately, for many advisers, the scars have still not healed. Many are now in gridlock, slow to reassess alternative investment options. This is particularly true of advisers who are part of a national planning network, the full article ›
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Colin Jowell
+ About Colin Jowell

Colin began his career as a business analyst for McKinsey Inc.

Since then, he has been in leading marketing roles in both digital media and hospitality, but has spent most of his career working for M&C Saatchi. He helped them start up their first South African and Malaysian offices before moving to Australia where he became Head of Strategy.

In April, he founded UDKU with two partners. UDKU helps clients solve business problems reach their full potential using a combination of strategy, innovation and communication.

The Swollen Generation

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

by Colin Jowell Trend spotting is a dangerous game. One risks uncovering something so fringe that it’s actually a fad not a trend. Or something so obvious that it’s impossible to apply with any focused use. But with any luck, sometimes one can strike the balance just right, so that it describes things that are our new reality, but are yet to be applied.This article in Vice Magazine does a fairly withering expose of a new breed of young British gentleman, distinguished by his loutish behavior, and muscular physique. But the truth is, this phenomenon is not unique to Britain - it can be spotted across the landscape of Australian youth. And swept up in this phenomenon is the well documented, ever declining age for cosmetic procedures that include insertables, the full article ›
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Ross Walker
+ About Ross Walker

A chocolate a day...

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

by Ross WalkerWe are just about to experience another Easter and we may celebrate somewhat more than we intend. One of the big temptations over the weekend is to consume our fair share of chocolates. This then raises the question of how bad for you is chocolate?Well, the answer is quite straight forward in that not all chocolate is created equal. The real benefit comes from dark chocolate and,in particular, a set of chemicals called flavonoids from the polyphenol set of compounds. These flavonoids come from the seed of the cacao plant, the basic source of chocolate. The more processed the chocolate, i.e. milk chocolate, the less the health benefits.Recent studies involving various forms of cocoa related products show a reduction in:1. Stroke – recently at the conference of the full article ›
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Malcolm Mackerras
Political Expert
+ About Malcolm Mackerras

Senate election the best exercise in democracy

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

by Malcolm MackerrasMy pre-poll article on the Western Australian Senate re-election was published on this website on Monday 17 March. It was titled “Unusual writ returns” and my reference was to the Senate elections in South Australia and Western Australia last year. The feature of the two states was that only one Labor senator in each state was elected in September 2013 – Penny Wong in SA and Joe Bullock in WA. In my fourth paragraph I wrote: “In Western Australia the writ listed these people as duly elected, again in order of election: David Johnston, Joe Bullock, Michaelia Cash, Linda Reynolds, Wayne Dropulich and Scott Ludlam.” Towards the end of the article I predicted that the re-election on April 5 would see the election of Zhenya Wang the full article ›
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Shane Oliver
Financial Markets
+ About Shane Oliver

Shane Oliver is head of investment strategy at chief economist at AMP Capital.

Crash calls for shares

Thursday, April 17, 2014

by Shane Oliver Expect more volatility in shares this year as earnings take over as a key driver and Fed rate hikes gets closer. While some are suggesting a crash is in on the cards, it’s hard to see as shares are not expensive, the global economic cycle is gradually improving, monetary conditions are easy and we lack the euphoria that goes with major market tops. As such, the trend in share markets is likely to remain up. IntroductionThe past few weeks has seen several predictions of a share market crash by some perennial high profile bears. The broad claim is that share markets – namely US shares – have disconnected from fundamentals and that the Fed is to blame for a poor recovery and/or doesn’t know what it is doing. And of course this is all against the full article ›
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Simon Bond
Shares Expert
+ About Simon Bond


Simon is 48 years of age and has been in the Investment world almost all his life.

Simon is a Partner at the Newport Office of Morgans Australia, after having spent almost 2 decades learning his trade in the heart of Stockbroking in Collins Street Melbourne at various firms.

Simon is fanatical about the way that technology and the Internet is altering the Investment landscape around the globe and focuses much of his outlook on how these profound changes will affect the outcomes and futures of investors everywhere.

Circling the wagons

Thursday, April 10, 2014

by Simon BondSince I first explored the Internet and it's impact on the global economy I was convinced that we were entering a period of extended Deflation, I delved into how technology and it's advances would continue to bring downward pressure on prices and the deflationary issues that would follow.It seemed to me so obvious that there would be efforts to stimulate economies in times of economic recess and I was certain that these efforts would be ongoing.Over the past few weeks I have read every speech I could find that has been delivered by Janet Yellen, the new Fed Chair. I went back to 1995 and poured over the messages that she has given the market.Janet Yellen has always been what is known as a dove, (Doves prefer low interest rates as a means of encouraging growth within the full article ›
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Sinclair Taylor
+ About Sinclair Taylor


SMSF: Beauty of buying what you already own

Thursday, November 14, 2013

by Sinclair TaylorIf you’re a business owner with an SMSF, you may have heard of the idea of your fund borrowing money to buy the commercial property you already own. It’s not as crazy as it sounds, and it’s legal! Despite much of the recent media focus being on SMSF’s investing in residential property, the actual fact is that the dollar value of SMSF investments into commercial property is three times higher. This huge disparity is largely driven by superannuation rules that permit related party transactions to occur with ‘business real property’, more so than investor belief that commercial property is a better longer term investment than residential property.  Still reading? Good, because having your SMSF purchase a commercial property the full article ›
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Michael Witts
+ About Michael Witts


RBA happy with the economy

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

by Michael WittsWhat were the reasons behind today's rate decision?The RBA kept rates on hold. It is very much a case of more of the same, “rates are appropriate to foster sustainable growth in demand and inflation outcomes consistent with target, the most prudent course is likely to be a period of stability in interest rates.”The RBA is happy with the state of the economy, although they acknowledge the price pressures on the property market.The Exchange rate remains too high for the RBA, however, the strength of the property market prevents further action on interest rates to take steam out of the market.What is the RBA's reading on the Australian economy?In a nutshell the RBA believes that the domestic economy is reacting in textbook fashion to past rate cuts. the full article ›
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Raymond Chan
+ About Raymond Chan

Raymond joined Morgans Financial Limited (formerly RBS Morgans) in 2003 and established the Asian Desk in 2005. As the #1 revenue adviser in Sydney office, Raymond accepted the challenge to set up the Macquarie Street office in 2011, providing strategic advice and managing portfolio for high net worth individuals and institutions.  Prior  to the current position, he worked with Merrill Lynch and HSBC Securities.

Raymond is often invited to provide commentary for Australian leading media such as Sky News Business Channel, Australian Financial Review, SBS TV, SBS Radio, Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, Sunday Telegraph, Herald Sun, The Australian, TVB Jade, 2CR Radio Network and CRI Beijing

Raymond’s successes include:

* Advisory role to a Sovereign Fund, based in Southern China

* A$140 million share portfolio for a Singapore family

* A$100 million asset allocation Advice for Australian shares and properties for a major property developer in Hong Kong

* Share Portfolio Management to a resort island owner in Malaysia and Hordern Properties Group in Sydney.

Mr Chan is a JP, qualified Certified Practising Accountant (CPA) and Certified Financial Planner (CFP), CPA Financial Planning Specialist (FPS). Mr. Chan holds a master degree in commerce (funds management) with distinction average and bachelor degree in accounting and finance from the University of New South Wales.

Hong Kong mines and money

Friday, April 11, 2014

by Raymond ChanWhat happened last month?Over the week, ASX 200 +1%, Nikkei 225 +2.4%, Dow Jones +1.1%, Hang Seng -0.4%, Shanghai -1.3%, FTSE -2.6%, NASDAQ -2.6%, Iron Ore -1.7%, Oil -2.3%, Gold -4%, AUD/USD +3.3%Hong Kong Mines & Money ConferenceLatte with Ray is no stranger to Hong Kong, where my dad (and now my brother) have been running business there over the past four decades. This time, it’s great to travel here again, along with a group of Morgans Analysts, Corporate Advisors and Corporate Clients. We attended the Mines & Money Conference and Hong Kong Rugby during the week. Latte with Ray was pleased to be invited to one of the corporate box of a major global accounting firm. Speaking of global companies, do you know there are plenty of them appointing Chinese the full article ›
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Rohan Gamble
+ About Rohan Gamble

Rohan Gamble is a well-known finance industry entrepreneur in Australia. He is currently the founding CEO of leading financial comparison site Mozo, and previously set up Virgin Money in Australia.

All this has given Rohan unique insight into the challenges that Australian businesses face when it comes to banks and finance, as well as broader strategy.

Rohan also has a background in management consulting and executive management. He spent four years with Booz Allen & Hamilton and later founded and ran his own consulting firm focused on business strategy for large international financial services firms.

Rohan has a Bachelor of Civil Engineering and a Bachelor of Economics from Monash University, and a Master of Business Administration from INSEAD, France.

SMEs no longer second-class banking citizens

Friday, March 21, 2014

by Rohan GambleThe availability and cost of business finance in Australia is improving as we rebound from the global financial crisis and its aftermath.The big banks such as ANZ, Westpac and St George are committing billions of dollars to small and medium enterprise lending. ANZ has doubled its commitment to SME lending, pledging $2 billion over the next 12 months to support Australian enterprise and economic growth. At Westpac, business lending in the first quarter of 2014 is up 6 per cent on a year ago while St George has also been bullish on the growth of its business lending book this year.Great rates for businessAnd it’s not only the availability of business credit that is on the upswing. Business customers are now getting a better deal on interest rates than they were in the full article ›
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Jim Vrondas
+ About Jim Vrondas

After completing a Bachelor of Science in Applied Mathematics and Statistics from the University of NSW in 1994 Jim began his financial markets career as an FX Trader in the Foreign Exchange department of the Bankers Trust Australia investment bank. His in depth understanding of FX markets and its drivers, coupled with subsequent experience as an educator, have made him a highly sought after commentator for businesses and individuals interested in currency markets.

With around 20 years’ experience in financial markets he is currently employed with OzForex as Chief Currency & Payment Strategist for the Asia Pacific region and is a highly sought after commentator on currency related issues. He regularly appears on Sky Business and ABC television and on an ad hoc basis on CNBC, Bloomberg and Reuters in addition to radio, leading newspapers and magazines across Asia Pacific.

Having held several key positions within the OzForex group since 2004 Jim has helped thousands of businesses and individuals seeking to manage all aspects of their foreign currency needs. He is passionate about ensuring all people, no matter what their level of experience, have access to unbiased information they can understand.

Aussie spirit withstands China gloom

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

by Jim VrondasThere has been a very large amount of both negative and positive data out of China and Australia over the last few weeks with the Aussie dollar bouncing around the 90 cent level, seemingly unsure as to where to take its lead.We all know the performance of the Chinese economy is critical to the Australian economy but does it have more influence over the Aussie dollar than our own economic data?Let me start by saying it’s often difficult to get an accurate gauge on exactly where the Chinese economy sits at any given point in time. In addition many people don’t take official economic data out of China seriously. Whether we like it or not we can’t ignore it especially since the markets react to it.In March alone we have had the Chinese NPC annual the full article ›
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Nick Raphaely
+ About Nick Raphaely

Nick Raphaely has 15 years of investment banking and funds management experience in the UK and Australia, and is pioneering personal asset lending in Australia as co-founder of Assetline.

Nick began his career at Merrill Lynch International, providing corporate finance and investment banking services to corporate clients.  He later co-founded the Ashton Group, a privately owned investment management group focused on alternative investment with offices in Sydney and London. 

Nick holds a MA (law) from Cambridge University and a Bachelor of Business Science Degree (1st Class Honours with Distinction in Economics) from the University of Cape Town.  In addition, Nick has participated in an executive education program at the Wharton Business School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Framing the future: is it time to invest in art again?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

by Nick RaphaelyTighter rules over personal use assets in self-managed super funds, and the controversial "Resale Royalty Scheme", have seen the value of art and collectibles plummet since 2011, according to ATO figures. Prices cooled as SMSFs sold off works and bought fewer new ones to avoid storage fees, with the royalty scheme affecting both primary and secondary markets.Around 2% of SMSFs owned artwork or collectibles in 2012, with an average investment of around $70,000 according to the ATO. According to ATO figures, artwork and other collectibles represented 0.17% of SMSF holdings in June 2011.  That had fallen to 0.11% by November 2013.But is it time to look again at investing in art to diversify your portfolio? Has the market troughed and does it now represent a the full article ›
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