August 26, 2021

Financially speaking – Now’s not the time to do nothing

Financially speaking now's not the time to do nothing

With so many people affected by COVID fatigue, it’s understandable that uncertainty is affecting decision making. However, financially speaking – now’s not the time to do nothing, especially if you have accumulated surplus cash. And it’s very likely you have. Especially if you are among those working for producers of iron ore, rare base metals, gold, lithium, uranium, bauxite and coal.

Records volumes of these high-quality resources are being exported to trading partners around the world, and it’s very likely you are benefiting from solid wage growth, bonus payments and extra parcels of shares allocated to Executive Share Schemes (ESS).  In this article we implore you to push through any decision-making paralysis you may be feeling to share your uncertainty, so you can take control of the financial opportunities that are available to you right now.

Doing nothing is always an option. You could leave your surplus cash in the bank at the meagre rate it’s offering or you could take advantage of options that include contributing to super, paying down debt, investing in shares or buying other wealth producing assets. Importantly, for high earners, proactively managing your tax obligations are central to your financial plan and personal prosperity, especially if you have an ESS.

About Super: While we caution that past performance is never an indication of future performance, the past year has delivered extremely healthy growth for plenty of super funds. If you’ve left your super to languish unadvised, now’s the time to take action.

Super is important, especially for those who may currently have all, or most, of their eggs in their ESS basket.

It’s common for mining and resources professionals to find themselves in a top-heavy financial position where the majority of their wealth is tied to a single company’s shares (the company they work for). Regardless of how favourable share values may be at present, the nature of volatility is that at some point in time those share prices will fall. Superannuation can provide the wealth producing diversity (and tax efficiencies) you need outside of your ESS.

It recently became possible to get more money into super.  Once in super, rather than set and forget, your money deserves a well-considered and actively managed investment plan designed to boost your retirement wealth.

From 1 July 2021 annual concessional (before tax) contribution caps increased to $27,500 and non-concessional caps to $110,000 and the three-year bring forward rule increased to $330,000. There’s also a catch-up contribution rule which enables you to contribute extra cash equal to any ‘unused’ contribution caps during a 5-year period.  Also among the new rules, your employer’s guaranteed super contribution rate has also increased.

About ESS: Apart from making the most of your surplus cash there is the ongoing financial matter of managing your Executive Share Scheme.

Share plans for BHP, South32, Evolution and Woodside have recently vested. If you’re a participant in any of these you might have been made aware of significant tax liabilities that may require your attention.

Managing an ESS is time consuming at the best of times, and the complexity of tax compliance can be daunting.

We understand that finding the motivation to tackle the actions required for ESS compliance and planning tax payments (which can be considerable), can be a stretch too far when you are time poor and feeling the effects of disruption and economic uncertainty.

Again, now’s not the time to do nothing.  If you have concerns, or simply don’t have time to manage your ESS, get the help you need for realising the wealth outcomes your years of service deserve.

Next steps
Commit to taking action and get the support and advice you need, especially if you are feeling uncertain about your financial affairs. Advice will in the very least provide perspective, but more importantly, options for achieving the financial outcomes you require, and deserve.

Alternatively, you could complete our 5-Minute Health Check. It’s self-assessing Q&A with no additional obligation attached.  However, I do encourage you to take up our offer to talk through your responses.  As experienced financial planners and ESS specialist advisers, we can help you find the clarity you need to put you back in financial control and make the most of the opportunities available now, and for the future.

Please contact Brett Cribb or James Marshall on +61 (0)7 3007 2000 or email

Take our 5-Minute Health Check 

Resources Unearthed is a solutions hub that provides integrated financial, legal, property, accounting and business advisory services for executives, professionals and business owners in the mining and resources sectors.

Stratus Financial Group and its advisers are Authorised Representatives of Fortnum Private Wealth ABN 54 139 889 535 AFSL 357306. This advice is general and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should not act on it without first obtaining professional financial advice specific to your circumstances.

*Please note: For advice and services relating to this matter that are not offered under the Fortnum Private Wealth AFSL, in accordance with our collaborative advice model, when required, such matters are referred to appropriately qualified professionals.



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