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Understanding financial ratios

Financial ratios are useful tools for business owners to monitor, analyse and improve their business performance.

A financial ratio contains one or more financial figures and is expressed as a ratio, rate or percentage. Financial ratios are used to measure profitability, cash flow and liquidity, risk and return, and stock turnover and sales.

Here are some common financial ratios used in business to:

– Measure profitability
Gross profit margin is a percentage of gross profit on sales.
To work out: (Gross profit x 100) divided by sales.

Net profit margin is a percentage of net profit on sales.
Method: (Net profit before tax x 100) divided by sales.

– Monitor cash and liquidity
Working capital ratio measures the liquidity of a business (i.e. how much money is available to meet creditors’ demands).
To determine this ratio: Working capital = current assets divided by current liabilities.

Quick assets ratio measures the solvency of your business, or its ability to meet its immediate commitments.
Method: Current assets (minus stock) divided by current liabilities.

– Measure turnover and sales
Stock turnover ratio measures the number of times stock turns over.
Method: Cost of goods sold divided by (0.5 x opening + closing stock)

Material to sales ratio measures the percentage of sales dollars spent on materials.
To determine this ratio: (Direct materials x 100) divided by sales.

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News

Investing in shares vs property in SMSFs

March 19, 2020

Shares and property are two popular investment options for those with a self-managed super fund (SMSF). However, they both have very different attributes and choosing the one that will achieve the best outcome for an SMSF depends on your personal goals and situation.

While the price of shares can vary drastically, property is a relatively stable asset, making it appealing to those who want more security and predictability. Property prices are also negotiable unlike shares, and you can generally borrow money at a lower rate for property purchases.

It may seem hard to find the perfect investment property, but older and undercapitalised properties can be renovated for profit. However, returns from property rentals can be dented due to factors such as land tax, utilities and rates, maintenance and tenancy vacancies.

Shares are more dynamic and volatile than property. One advantage is the accessibility of investing in shares, as you can enter the share market with a few thousand dollars – much less than what you need to invest in a property.

Maintaining a portfolio of quality shares that pay tax-effective dividends may be a good way to fund retirement. With the right portfolio allocation, shares also have the potential to provide a better, stronger income than property rentals, as long as that income is sustainable and increasing.

Property can generally be used as a wealth-creation tool, while shares can create a reliable retirement income. For those who can afford to put more money into investments, it may be a good idea to consider investing and diversifying in both. If you’re unsure about which investment option is right for you, seeking financial advice may be the best option.