Buying a house
I always find Robert Gottliebsen's articles of interest (see Outer suburbs wedded to value, March 25) and this is probably because in many respects I can identify with his age, financial position and experience. However, a reason why property prices may still go up as outlined in today's Australian is due to continuing high immigration. He doesn't mention this in his interesting article. Also, the dilemma of the younger generation being able to afford housing he explains well, but some, including myself, took the gifting road rather than buy housing for rent to family. In my case, children and their family wanted to live in Melbourne inner suburbs and gifting enough to get substantially over the deposit threshold was the best alternative. I didn't want to be in a "landlord" and "banking lender" position with my own children. This way they have responsibility for their own loan finances and responsibility as home owners in terms of investment, maintenance, improvements, value for money etc.
Alan and colleagues, hi and thank you for probably the most informative and entertaining advice I read. I was interested in your news about Pfizer (Pfizer gets its timing right, March 23), but this presents me with the problem of having to change my broker. I am using HSBC but they don't support international markets. Can you give me your suggestions for an online broker with global access? Thanks again.
Editor's response: Thanks for your letter. Although we can't recommend one broker over another, you might be interested in this article: Buying overseas stocks: A Eureka guide, July 28, 2014. Brokers mentioned include Fortrend Securities, ANZ's Etrade and CommSec, while Saxo Bank also offers international trading.