A Sniippet of weekly news #8 – June 2020

In this issue, we learn that happiness gets better after 47 while a 68 woman becomes the first  person to go to space and the deepest part of the ocean.

In the real news, the latest data shows that the economy struggled in March but is improving in May. Meanwhile the share market has a life of its own.

The one-minute weekly recap

A Sniippet for You

Home builders get $25,000 grants (Domain, 4 June)

  • Government to provide $25,000 grants to build a new home or start a major renovation
  • Restricted to new homes and major renovations valued between $150,000 to $750,000
  • Available for singles who earned up to $125,000 the previous financial year and couples who earned up to $200,000
  • Scheme to last until the end of the year

Kogan.com worth five times more than Myer (AFR, 5 June)

  • As of last Friday, Kogan’s market capitalisation was $1.2 billion, which is more than five times that of Myer’s $220 million.
  • Mr Kogan said. “E-commerce in Australia has advanced several years in the space of a few months.”
  • At the start of the coronavirus restrictions in March, the main items being purchased were laptops, computer equipment, keyboards and webcams but now the increases area across categories

Australian banks save billions by failing to pass on interest rate cuts to credit card customers, CHOICE research finds (ABC News, 9 June)

  • Australian banks have pocketed $6.3 billion from credit card customers by failing to pass on interest rate cuts over the last decade
  • The card with the largest increase since April 2016 is the Coles-branded Coles Low Rate Mastercard

Two in three women will not return to pre-virus spending (AFR, 9 June)

  • Australian women are less likely than men to go back to their normal spending patterns as restrictions are lifted according to research
  • 35 percent of Millennial women said they did not feel financially secure, compared to 26 percent of Millennial men

Qantas will begin reopening lounges in July (AFR, 5 June)

  • Qantas will begin reopening its lounges in July
  • Goal is to reach 40 percent of pre-crisis capacity by the end of July
  • The airline said it would enforce physical distancing, use disinfectant on surfaces and install hand sanitising stations.

Brisbane facing a year of apartment oversupply (AFR, 8 June)

  •  The market is heading for oversupply in the 2021 financial year according to a new report by m3property
  • Covid-19 has reduced population growth and demand
  • QLD population growth to halve in 2021

Now you can buy a Coke with bitcoin (AFR, 9 June)

  • 1,200 Coca-Cola vending machines in Australia and New Zealand have started accepting bitcoin
  • Requires a QR scanner on your mobile and a Sylo smart wallet

What Australia can learn from Sweden’s move to a cashless society (ABC News, 8 June)

  • A report predicts Australia could be cashless within two years
  • Elderly and disadvantaged have struggled with the switch to cashless in Sweden
  • 500,000 Australians do not bank online

A Sniippet of Finance advice

The seven budget and savings apps every Aussie needs (Mozo, February 2020)

  • Moneytree tracks your reward points and your finances
  • Wiselist combines your grocery list with your budget
  • Spendee can track your finances across multiple currencies
  • Of course we also need to mention Sniip! Sniip allows you to pay, track and schedule your bills, and to earn full points with many of your reward programs on most bills.

A Sniippet of Brain food

Happiness is U shaped with age  (NBER Working Paper, David G. Blanchflower, January 2020)

  • Happiness decreases from around 16 years of age reaching a low at around 47 to 48 years of age after which it starts to increase again
  • The U shape is consistent across 132 countries with different median incomes and life expectancies. It is consistent even after controlling for factors such as marital status. 
  • Happiness was measured by asking a person whether they were satisfied with their living standard, finances, and country

A Sniippet of Trivia

Former NASA astronaut Kathy Sullivan becomes first person to travel to space and ocean’s deepest point (ABC New, 9June)

  • 68 year old Dr Sullivan travelled in a submersible to Challenger Deep, a point 11 kilometres below ocean level
  • In 1984, she was the first American woman to do a space walk

A Sniippet of Fun

Lismore in northern New South Wales this week looked more like Winterfell. Photographed by lisa_g_photography.


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