Property

Granny flats - turning backyards into gold

John Collett and Caitlin Fitzsimmons Granny flats are proliferating like crazy, at least in NSW where the rules are much more relaxed than in Victoria.

SHARES RACE

Shares Race Week 2: leader plots a map to success

Vanessa Desloires There's been a shake up in the ranks this week, and one clever tipster has shot from fifth to first place on a bet in volatile small cap stocks.

Rate cut puts savers in a pickle, but good for borrowers

Borrowers could soon see their repayments fall considerably if lenders pass on the full cut in the official cash rate.

John Collett Changes in the official cash rate always create winners and losers. Irene Dumer is one of the winners.

QUIRKY INVESTMENTS

Contemporary art collectors seek next big thing

Mirka Mora's 1972 painting Mermaids and Friends sold for $3400.

James Cockington Keen buyers at the latest Leonard Joel fine art auction were ''all looking for the Brett Whiteley of the future''.

Four rules for investing in uncertain times

John Manuel Owing BHP and Rio Tinto isn't diversification, nor is owning a rental property down the road from your own home.

INVESTMENT 101

Motley Fool: compile a watchlist of companies you like and wait for opportunity

Scott Phillips If you understand a company's strategy, management and opportunity, you'll be ready to pounce when the market next throws the baby out with the bathwater.

NOEL WHITTAKER

The beauty of dividends for investors

Noel Whittaker Don't forget that it is the after-tax return of investments that counts and that is where franked dividends come into their own.

NEGATIVE GEARING

How investors outgun first home buyers

The auction trail can be dispiriting for first home buyers.

Caitlin Fitzsimmons It's not just that one in three buyers are investors, it's also that they're disproportionately competing with first-home buyers.

INVESTMENT 101

Motley Fool: It's not just about what a company does, but what it has

Scott Phillips In recent weeks, we've been looking at some of the attributes of a great company, on the premise that the better the business, the greater our chance of investment success.

THE MOTLEY FOOL

Motley Fool: never buy from private equity

Myer's share price has never reached the IPO height.

Scott Phillips Any time you read "accepted wisdom", you should ask yourself whether that's simply code for "I just use the same tired cliches as everyone else".

QUIRKY INVESTMENTS

Arthur Fleischmann sculptures for sale after decades in storage

Arthur Fleischmann's Spring. Estimates $2000-$3000.

James Cockington Sculptor Arthur Fleischmann spent a productive 10 years in Sydney, but his works from this period were kept in storage for half a century, and will now be sold.

Investment 101

Motley Fool: Modern day moats

Look out for companies that surround themselves with

Scott Phillips The best companies in Australia are surrounded by moats – although not the ones you are thinking of.

BOURIS ON MONEY

Ten things you must know about investing before you turn 30

Make sure you set your own investment goals.

Mark Bouris Money expert Mark Bouris shares basics investment principles for those aged 30 and under.

ASSET CHECK

Reserve Bank and election guarantee an unsettling time for investors

The Reserve Bank has warned of an oversupply of apartments.

Daryl Dixon By highlighting the increased risk for both investors and the banking system of an oversupply of apartments and commercial real estate, the Reserve Bank has added to the normal uncertainty facing...

QUIRKY INVESTMENTS

British buyers under spell of Ida Rentoul Outhwaite's Australian bush magic

Illustrations from Hoppity's House.

James Cockington Ida Rentoul Outhwaite is not exactly a household name in Australia but the artwork from her children's illustrations is worth tens of thousands of dollars in Britain.

BANKS

Big bank 'dividend trade' far from over, analysts say

Most investors and super fund members own shares in the Big 4 banks.

John Collett Increasing bad debt provisions, dividends under threat and falling share prices are giving long-term big-bank shareholders pause to think.

THE MOTLEY FOOL

Motley Fool: Kogan and the new age of retail

Ruslan Kogan, pictured, might have a very 21st-century story but the echoes from Gerry Harvey's story are unmistakeable.

Scott Phillips Rich Lister Gerry Harvey and challenger Ruslan Kogan have more in common than they'd like to admit.

THE MOTLEY FOOL

Motley Fool: counting the cost of catastrophe

Scott Phillips The recent storms down the eastern coast of Australia brought with them significant loss. Should you invest in insurance companies?

PROPERTY

How landlords can protect themselves from nightmare tenants

Rogue tenants are a landlord's worst nightmare.

John Collett It's a property investor's worst nightmare – the rogue tenant who falls into rent arrears, or worse, causes malicious damage to the property.

MONEY MENTOR

Be warned: we're hard-wired for a financial fall

Warnings of danger are not always heeded, as proved at a Newcastle beach.

Nicole Pedersen-McKinnon My three year old is climbing – then jumping off – ever taller objects. Far taller already than it's possible for my short self to reach.