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Five global forces that will shape your new financial year




IT’S a cloudy crystal ball for personal finance forecasting in 2016-17.

The new financial year has arrived at a time of financial uncertainty perhaps not seen since the Global Financial Crisis, and what happens globally is increasingly shaping our money movements.

So what global forces might affect our finances this year? Here are some thoughts.

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1. BREXIT

Britains vote to exit the European Union has dominated global headlines in the past week, but many experts say it has little direct effect on Australian businesses and investors.

Only 2.7 per cent of Australian exports go to the UK, says AMP Capital chief economist Shane Oliver.

However, Brexits effect on financial markets is potentially bigger. Its already triggered a wave of uncertainty, and if other countries consider similar moves it will magnify. Uncertainty is bad for share investments and superannuation at least in the short-term.

2. US DOLLAR

Currency movements affect more than just overseas travellers, and the US dollar is king of the currencies. After the recent Brexit vote the greenback rose against most currencies including the Aussie dollar.

While a weaker Australian dollar helps our exports and tourism, Oliver says a stronger US dollar is bad for the global economy, commodity prices and the emerging world.

Many economists expect the Aussie dollar fall further in the coming months.

3. CHINA

Businesses and investors will keep a close on China, our biggest trading partner that drives our export growth. Economists say Chinese economic growth had been falling but appears to have stabilised.

Patrick Canion, a certified financial planner at ipac, says China is much more important to Australia than Europe because of the trading relationship. It impacts employment, shares, super and government revenue.

4. INTEREST RATES

Much of the world is already on zero or negative official interest rates Australias is 1.75 per cent and forecasters say they will remain low. Even the US, which has started raising rates, now has a greater chance of rate cuts than rate rises in the coming months.

It will continue to hit retirees with term deposit rates and bond rates, Canion says.

5 HEALTH IMPROVEMENTS

A massive global trend is the ageing Baby Boomers and their huge demand for improved health and lifestyle options.

Canion says the boomers will live much longer than previous generations, are more wealthy than their parents, and they dont like the fact that they are getting older.

He says that will drive improvements in aged care, food and other areas, and suggests that investors look past the short-term financial noise. There will always be noise look at multi-year, multi-generational trends.

How this couple managed to avoid paying rent for six years and counting




THIS couple found a way to make living in New York affordable: just stop paying rent.

Digital content producers Zachary Bennett and Karen Nourse have not paid a cent for their Chelsea loft in more than six years, relying on a bizarre law to back their claim that they shouldnt have to, the New York Post reports.

According to legal documents, the pair quit paying the $6504.34 ($US4,754.02) monthly rent on their West 26th Street place back in 2010, according to a lawsuit.

They owe $560,952 ($US410,000) in rent and electric charges, their landlord claims.

Theirs is the only residential loft in the nine-story building, where other units house art galleries or businesses.

The couple were month-to-month tenants before June 2010, when the state of New York expanded the Loft Law, which is intended to protect people whose apartments are in mostly commercial or industrial buildings.

Mr Bennett and Ms Nourse, who have two children and run a video content company called KZ Films, claim they dont have to pay rent because the building doesnt have a residential certificate of occupancy, according to court papers.

This building does not comply with the Loft Law, said their lawyer, Margaret Sandercock. The owner is not entitled to collect rent and my clients are not required to pay rent.

It has been 80 months since the two paid rent or electric charges, the landlord said in its Manhattan Supreme Court filing against the couple.

The Loft Law applies to buildings with at least three residential tenants but Bennett and Nourse are in the buildings only non-commercial unit, said Harry Shapiro, the landlords lawyer.

If the couple wont pay, they need to leave, Mr Shapiro told The Post.

They can stay if they pay, he said, adding, The unit is legal ... We really dont want to evict them. We just want them to pay the rent. Theyre getting all the services but the landlord got zippo.

Mr Bennett and Ms Nourses building is in a special district that requires only two or more residential units for a building to be covered by the Loft Law, said Ms Sandercock. She claimed that at the time the law was changed, there were other residential tenants living there.

For the building to be safe and legal for them to live in, the law requires the landlord to have a residential certificate of occupancy, she said, adding that the landlord had not made any move to get the document.

The lawyer insisted the building is unsafe, but defended her clients choice to stay for years rent-free with a young family.

Theyre entitled to be there, she said.

This article first appeared at the New York Post and is reproduced here with permission.

Airbnb announced for the first time that it would enforce a legal limit on the number of nights a year a host in London and Amsterdam can rent out a home. Thursday's announcement, coupled with several deals made over the past year, shows the company has started to offer more compromises to make peace with cities.