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According to the Financial Review this week, Australia is in the middle of a wealth boom. That surging property market, a comeback for manufacturing, strengthening iron ore prices and high performers in the technology and financial services industries has pushed the total wealth on the Financial Review Rich List to a record $233 billion.

The top 10 wealthiest Australians are worth about $75 billion alone, while the average wealth for the 200 list members is a whopping $1.16 billion, the paper’s Rich List 2017 reveals.

 As we reported last week, Anthony Pratt led the field with $12.6 billion.


Meanwhile, reports of a consumer spending strike – driven largely by low wage growth and consumer confidence – have brought out the winter sales season early, with David Jones and Myers both kicking off discounts and bargains.

But don’t expect to see Mr Pratt and his friends queuing at the shirt racks.

One budgeting story that caught our eye was in the Sydney Morning Herald.

“I saved $4,000 when I quit alcohol” ran the headline.  

The first-person story writer maintained: “Drinking is an expected part of life in Australia, and we consume a lot of it. The Bureau of Statistics estimates Australians drank more than 1.74 billion litres of beer and 543 million litres of wine in 2014. In 2012 Australians spent $14.1 billion on alcohol, meaning the average spend for a single person under 35 was $24 a week or $1248 a year.

“Given that’s averaged across the whole population and more than one in five people do not drink at all, it means the typical drinker is spending far more.

Let’s say in a typical week you buy two $15 bottles of wine for home, and spend $50 on Friday nights after work. If you go out for a meal, you might spend another $40 for a cocktail and half a bottle of wine. Every two months you have one big night out and spend $150. That’s $7140 in a year. Then think about how much that might skew for celebrations and holidays.”


If you are thinking of a holiday, you should lock in any foreign currency now.  The markets are predicting a fall in the Aussie dollar from it’s current rate of 0.73 against the US dollar – and with some suggesting it could go down to 0.70 cents.


And finally, a story which just goes to show you never know where your assets are reports a car numberplate has set a new national record, selling for $745,000 at auction.

The NSW ‘29’ licence plate belonged to the 29th car to be registered in the state and fetched the extraordinary sum at Shannons’ Sydney auction — and they are not even the originals.

According to the experts, there is nothing sentimental about this type of collecting. It is solid financial investment, guaranteed to appreciate by at least 10 per cent year on year.

The Daily Telegraph reports there is no payable capital gains tax when selling a numberplate. The only overhead is a $50 a year holding fee payable to the Roads and Maritime Authority