Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

Man accused of stealing $16,000 from wedding functions

<p dir="ltr">A man has been accused of allegedly gatecrashing eight weddings and stealing a total of $16,000 and other gifts. </p> <p dir="ltr">The 24-year-old Melbourne man pretended to be a wedding guest at eight events from between April 2 and May 22.</p> <p dir="ltr">He allegedly stole $16,000 cash, jewellery and gift cards from at least three of the events.</p> <p dir="ltr">Bride Kellee Pace said she felt violated when she found out that the man had allegedly stolen some of her and her husband’s gifts and even wrote in their guest book.</p> <p dir="ltr">"It was the best wedding he'd apparently ever attended and he was feeling awesome and lucky on the night, three quarters of our wishing well was missing," she told Nine News.</p> <p dir="ltr">"We definitely felt really violated, we were mingling with people and he was downstairs drinking in the bar and we had no idea he was even there."</p> <p dir="ltr">The wedding industry shared his photo around before he was spotted at a Macedonian wedding by wedding planner Jasmine Arapovic.</p> <p dir="ltr">"My dad then put him in a bit of a headlock to make sure he didn't try and escape before I could have a chat with the venue manager to get them to put him in a room."</p> <p dir="ltr">Police arrested the man and he was slapped with 27 charges, including aggravated burglary, burglary, theft and going equipped to steal.</p> <p dir="ltr">Police will allege they found jewellery and gift cards when they searched a property on Tuesday.</p> <p dir="ltr">He has been granted bail and will appear before Melbourne Magistrates' Court on October 18.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: Nine News</em></p>

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

Sean Connery's personal James Bond Aston Martin on sale for first time ever

<p>A piece of Hollywood history has gone up for sale, with car enthusiasts everywhere dying to get their hands on it. </p> <p>Sean Connery's personal 1964 Aston Martin DB5 is being offered for sale through <a href="https://www.broadarrowauctions.com/vehicles/009/1964-aston-martin-db5" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Broad Arrow Auctions</a>, with the iconic vehicle expected to fetch between $US1.4 million and $1.8 million ($AU1.9-2.5m).</p> <p>The car boasts a Snow Shadow Grey colour, as per it's appearance in the Bond movie <em>Goldfinger</em>, over a show-stopping red leather interior.</p> <p>The vehicle was delivered brand new to its original owner in the UK in 1964, where it remained until Connery bought it in 2018 and relocated it to his property in Switzerland. </p> <p>It is worth noting that the car was originally black, and Connery had it painted to match his famous on-screen co-star. </p> <p>The Snow Shadow Grey colour was limited to the prototype DB5 used in the James Bond films, and was replaced by Silver Birch as the 'factory' DB5 colour.</p> <p>The car is on sale for the first time, with the lucky owner also receiving driving training from Formula One World Champion Jackie Stewart. </p> <p>Many of the proceeds from the sale benefitting the Sean Connery Philanthropy Fund, a charity supporting young people of Scotland.</p> <p>The auction for the car will take place on August 17th 2022. </p> <p><em>Image credits: drive.com</em></p>

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

Man spends $7,000 on royal piece of cake

<p dir="ltr">A man has spent almost $8,000 on a piece of cake from Princess Diana and Prince Charles’ wedding.</p> <p dir="ltr">Avid royal fan Gerry Layton from Yorkshire in the UK purchased the 41-year-old large slice of cake which came from one of the 23 wedding cakes used at the couple’s wedding in 1981.</p> <p dir="ltr">The 62-year-old first bought the piece of cake for £2170 ($3840) at an auction last year in August before deciding to donate it to a local charity ball auction.</p> <p dir="ltr">It was only last week that the slice of memorabilia which has the royal coat of arms in gold, red, blue and silver went up for auction again and Gerry realised he hadn’t even tasted it. </p> <p dir="ltr">"After some free champagne, I suddenly got the urge and thought 'I haven't even had a bite of it yet'," he told The Yorkshire Post.</p> <p dir="ltr">This time round, Gerry paid £2100 ($3700) for the cake and said “I don't care if it kills me” but he will taste it. </p> <p dir="ltr">"It's 41 years old but I definitely am going to have a bite."</p> <p dir="ltr">Gerry has not ruled out donating the piece of cake again but only after he has tasted it. </p> <p dir="ltr">Dave Avery who was the head baker of the Royal Navy said he had met up with Princess Diana before her big day. </p> <p dir="ltr">"She said to me, 'I want a wedding cake and not a monument', so she was quite happy.</p> <p dir="ltr">"There was nothing much [known] about Diana, so it ended up being more of a naval type of cake – all I could do was the Spencer crest.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: Twitter</em></p>

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

Father offers 20 homes to help lure wife for son

<p dir="ltr">A father desperate for his son to get married has gifted him 20 homes in hopes of luring a wife. </p> <p dir="ltr">The dad, from Hebei Province in China, arrived at a matchmaker event carrying a pink bag filled with the estates to show off to potential wives for his 24-year-old son. </p> <p dir="ltr">Footage of the moment was shared on popular chat service Weibo with Wang, who signed up the father to the service claiming he was not showing off.</p> <p dir="ltr">“The father is not trying to show off. He just wanted to display his sincerity and find a daughter-in-law of equal status,” Wang told Jimu News.</p> <p dir="ltr">“He said his son has a stable job and has many good qualities.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Some people however said the father was taking it a bit too far and his son might feel pressured into something he doesn’t want. </p> <p dir="ltr">“That kind of pressure is a bit too much. Maybe the son doesn’t even want to get married,” one person wrote.</p> <p dir="ltr">“How bad is his son? Do good guys really have this much difficulty finding a girlfriend?” someone asked.</p> <p dir="ltr">“How’s this supposed to help? They are premarital property by law,” another commented.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Would the father add the name of his daughter-in-law to the property ownership certificates? All of the certificates?” another questioned.</p> <p dir="ltr">China has recently allowed married couples to have three children instead of one to help increase the population. </p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Shutterstock</em></p>

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

Prince Charles mocked over "cost of living" promise

<p>Prince Charles has been relentlessly mocked online for a comment made in a speech at British parliament.</p> <p>The speech was originally meant to be delivered by his mother Queen Elizabeth, who was forced to pull out of yet another key public engagement due to health reasons. </p> <p>As snippets of the speech circulated online, the future king was mocked as he promised the government would aim to "ease the cost of living for families" - all while he sat on a golden, jewel-encrusted throne inside the ornate House of Lords.</p> <p>Many online couldn’t resist a few digs at the Prince over the stark contrast between his speech and his setting. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">i simply would have made this announcement from any other room, wearing any other outfit <a href="https://t.co/2u1XNn6Vj5">https://t.co/2u1XNn6Vj5</a></p> <p>— rax ‘leads with her crotch’ king (@RaxKingIsDead) <a href="https://twitter.com/RaxKingIsDead/status/1524100216688885761?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 10, 2022</a></p></blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Note to self. Do not give “cost of living” update while sitting on solid gold throne. <a href="https://t.co/rvhGu89xNO">https://t.co/rvhGu89xNO</a></p> <p>— Paddy Andrews (@PaddyAMetis) <a href="https://twitter.com/PaddyAMetis/status/1524037178006937602?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 10, 2022</a></p></blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Gotta love the irony of Prince Charles feigning concern about the cost of living, while decked out in more gold than Flavor Flav at the Pimp of the Year awards <a href="https://t.co/VirBplUoDz">pic.twitter.com/VirBplUoDz</a></p> <p>— We're Werewolves Not Swearwolves (@punka1977) <a href="https://twitter.com/punka1977/status/1524006462611144705?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 10, 2022</a></p></blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">As he sits on his gold throne next to a hat made of precious jewels, English Prince Charles adorned with bogus medals talks about how his government will solve the cost of living crisis. </p> <p>Meanwhile, thousands of his subjects are forced to use food banks.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AbolishTheMonarchy?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#AbolishTheMonarchy</a> <a href="https://t.co/PZJQiKZyl5">pic.twitter.com/PZJQiKZyl5</a></p> <p>— Graham Sanders 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 🇺🇦 (@gramatter) <a href="https://twitter.com/gramatter/status/1524134103674765313?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 10, 2022</a></p></blockquote> <p>“Her Majesty’s Government’s priority is to grow and strengthen the economy and help ease the cost of living for families,” Charles said in the speech.</p> <p>“Her Majesty’s Government will level up opportunity in all parts of the country and support more people into work.”</p> <p>The Queen’s speech to parliament is traditionally penned by the government and is used to outline the Prime Minister’s plans for the country, meaning Charles would have had no actual input in the content of the speech.</p> <p>The Prime Minister’s office was later forced to defend the speech amid criticism that it did not outline any specific measures to alleviate the cost of living crisis in Britain. </p> <p>“The public understand that we’ve already acted to address some of the immediate challenges facing the public.</p> <p>“The Prime Minister and the Chancellor are very upfront that no government could address all of these global pressures that we’re seeing,” the Prime Minister’s official spokesman told <a href="https://www.thesun.co.uk/fabulous/18518084/queens-speech-live-watch-video-health-prince-charles-king/">The Sun</a>.</p> <p>“The Queen’s speech, the bills we’re bringing forward, focus on boosting economic growth across the country to create the conditions for more people to have high-wage, high-skilled jobs, so dealing with the medium to long-term issues, that’s what is a sustainable solution to ease the burden of families and businesses.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

Young woman on $100k-plus salary shares her spending habits

<p dir="ltr">A woman who earns $104,600 a year has shared how she spends her lavish pay cheque. </p> <p dir="ltr">The 24-year-old producer based in Melbourne, Australia, submitted her salary and breakdown of her spending habits to Smart Women Society.</p> <p dir="ltr">The breakdown is then shared into a short clip on TikTok revealing how much money goes where.</p> <p dir="ltr">After tax, HECS and superannuation, the young woman is left with $5,468 to take home. She also has a side hustle which brings in $1,000 monthly.</p> <p dir="ltr">The woman’s main goal is to set aside at least $60,000 for a house deposit, as well as having a safety emergency fund.</p> <p dir="ltr">A breakdown of her monthly spending habits shows $1,424 on rent, $140 on bills, $40 on her phone, $50 on transport, $90 on the internet, $74 on insurance, $300 on groceries and $160 on psychologist appointments. </p> <p dir="ltr">Once she’s got the important stuff out of the way, the woman is left with $3,728 of which $700 of it goes towards her home savings and $300 to the emergency fund.</p> <p dir="ltr">The only debts she has are a $363-a-month Invisalign treatment and her $26,000 HECS which is automatically taken out from her pay. </p> <p dir="ltr">She is then left with $2,582 for “fun” stuff such as shopping and eating out. </p> <p dir="ltr">Viewers shared their suggestions to the woman saying it would be better to put more toward the home savings.</p> <p dir="ltr">“That's a lot of money spent on 'fun' - I think I would try and save $1500 for my house,” one commented.</p> <p dir="ltr">“You need to live like you actually have a mortgage now and add those extra bills into it because when you have a mortgage you don’t get 2500 a month fun,” another added.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I’d be dropping an extra bit of cash into the house/emergency fund,” someone else shared.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: Shutterstock</em></p>

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

Woman scammed out of $730,000

<p dir="ltr">A woman has lost an eye-watering $730,000 after opening an email from who she thought was her settlement agent.</p> <p dir="ltr">The victim was in the process of purchasing a property in Western Australia and had clicked on the email which asked for money to be deposited into an account they were in control of.</p> <p dir="ltr">After filling out the “authentic-looking documents”, the scammers were able to take control of $730,000. </p> <p dir="ltr">Consumer Protection WA confirmed that the settlement agent’s email was hacked by the scammers in what is described as payment redirection scams.</p> <p dir="ltr">Payment redirection scams are almost impossible to tell the difference between the real and the fake thing. </p> <p dir="ltr">In this instance, the woman did not think twice that the email would have been a scam after the agent reminded her of the payment. </p> <p dir="ltr">Consumer Protection executive director Trish Blake said the hack is sophisticated and can make it difficult to know when the hacking took place.</p> <p dir="ltr">“These scams usually involve the hacking into someone’s email account or computer system but it can be difficult to determine exactly where the hack has occurred,” she told <a href="https://www.news.com.au/technology/online/hacking/woman-loses-730000-after-one-scam-email-while-buying-property/news-story/0eabd0fcc189dc3a0bd7c472f0034150" target="_blank" rel="noopener">news.com.au</a>.</p> <p dir="ltr">“The hackers may have successfully guessed the password or installed spyware or malware on computers or laptops after recipients open attachments or click on links in scam emails.</p> <p dir="ltr">“The losses from these scams can be extremely devastating to the victims who may have lost their home deposit that they have been saving for many years and may not be able to buy the home of their dreams. Or it may be a business doing it tough that can least afford to lose such a large amount of money.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Shutterstock</em></p>

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

How to leave a financial legacy in a tax-effective manner

<p dir="ltr">The taxman needn’t be the biggest beneficiary of your financial legacy – so long as your plans are properly enacted while you still walk the earth. While Australia doesn’t have an inheritance tax per se, there are a range of other tax implications and inheritance rules to consider – which may determine how, and even if, you leave a financial legacy for your loved ones.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Where there’s a will</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">In 2015, it was estimated that just over half of Australians (59 per cent) have a will. I’d wager a good chunk of those are outdated too – not reflecting separations, remarriage or additions to the family. Most people without a will aren’t choosing to avoid one, but apathy about the need for one has set in. It is difficult to leave a financial legacy – other than confusion and conflict – if you don’t have a current will in place upon your death. Not only does it outline your wishes as to who gets what, it forces you to consider how each asset will be passed down and minimise the taxes and other costs your beneficiaries will inherit.</p> <p dir="ltr">Remember too that your beneficiary may be subject to Capital Gains Tax (CGT) on assets they sell. For example, if you leave someone a rental property, they will likely have to pay CGT when they sell it for the time you owned it – even if they made it their primary residence. That could come as a nasty shock to them.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Nothing and no one is equal</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">Not all assets are treated equally; neither are all beneficiaries. For instance, certain entities are governed separately from your will. Superannuation is perhaps the main one, but so too are trusts and companies. Hence you should nominate beneficiaries of these entities to ensure they pass on to your intended recipients. Otherwise, they may be subject to a forced sale – wiping out your legacy. Keep them updated too – otherwise your ex could get an unintended windfall. </p> <p dir="ltr">For jointly owned properties, whether you are tenants in common or joint tenants will determine whether they have automatic right of survivorship. A superannuation death benefit may or may not be taxable, depending on various factors at the time of your death. And if you leave an asset to charity that is subject to CGT, it is your estate – not the charity – which bears the tax burden. So, you may want to leave extra cash in your estate to cover this.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Keeping assets in the family</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">A financial legacy usually involves family and passing assets down through generations. How these assets are structured often dictates the ease and cost of doing so. As superannuation is treated outside of a will, it can be great for distributing money within a blended family to ensure everyone is provided for. Self-managed super funds (SMSFs) can include multiple generations but may add complexity when someone retires and begins drawing down super before others do. Or if the asset is illiquid.</p> <p dir="ltr">Conversely, family trusts can offer more flexibility for family-owned assets than super but may not provide the same tax benefits. Also consider how any children or grandchildren under 18 are provided for – and who oversees their inheritance until they turn 18. Testamentary Discretionary Trusts (TDTs) can be useful, taxing assets at the adult rate instead of the higher child tax rate.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Good business</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">Ownership structures and new management can affect the profitability and even viability of a business as a going concern, as well as its goodwill among customers, staff, and suppliers. Family businesses should have a plan for who will assume operational control, and whether each director will inherit an equal share. For business partnerships, consider buy/sell agreements to manage insurance policies and ownerships to surviving business partners and your spouse or children.</p> <p dir="ltr">Meanwhile, examine financial and tax implications too. Outstanding director loans to you can affect the tax status of both the business and your personal estate. And commercial transactions may attract transfer duties or stamp duty.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Helen Baker is a licensed Australian financial adviser and author of the new book, On Your Own Two Feet: The Essential Guide to Financial Independence for all Women (Ventura Press,</strong></p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>$32.99). Helen is among the 1% of financial planners who hold a master’s degree in the field. Proceeds from book sales are donated to charities supporting disadvantaged women and children. Find out more at www.onyourowntwofeet.com.au</strong></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Shutterstock</em></p>

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

7 savvy ways to grow your wealth

<p dir="ltr">You don’t need to start with a fortune to grow wealth – but you do need good foundations on which to build. From where you get investment ideas to how you manage your taxes, it is the little things that add up to quickly grow wealth.</p> <p dir="ltr">Lay the groundwork with these easy-to-implement tips:</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>1. Start early</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">The longer your investments have to grow, the more wealth you should accumulate.</p> <p dir="ltr">That’s thanks to a combination of value growth over time and the compound effect of reinvesting profits and dividends. So start investing now.</p> <p dir="ltr">Additionally, good habits formed early are more likely to become ingrained.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>2. Create a savings and investments plan</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">I hate the word ‘budget’ – it’s the financial equivalent of a diet. A savings and investments plan both sounds nicer and is more encompassing.</p> <p dir="ltr">This plan gives you visibility over your incomings and outgoings, your assets, and liabilities. Then you can determine if debts are being paid down as fast as possible and whether any surplus funds are being invested prudently.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>3. Have an emergency fund</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">This might seem counter-intuitive – squirrel money away that you could be used to invest and grow your wealth.</p> <p dir="ltr">But having available cash should disaster unexpectedly strike – such as redundancy, illness, even another pandemic – means you won’t have to sell assets to make ends meet.</p> <p dir="ltr">Forced sales may generate below fair value for a quick result or occur at a low point in the investment cycle. Plus, that asset and its growth potential are gone for good.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>4. Reduce your tax bill</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">No one likes paying taxes. Surprisingly, though, many people pay more than they need to.</p> <p dir="ltr">Avoid under-declaring your deductions: good record-keeping will help you claim your rightful deductions, such as for donations, investment expenses, business costs, and even financial advice fees.</p> <p dir="ltr">Embrace legitimate tax breaks: for instance, spousal super contributions and certain investment structures (like family trusts) can be used to cut your income tax or get taxed at a lower rate.</p> <p dir="ltr">Look at the calendar: Which financial year you sell an asset or claim a benefit can affect your tax liability.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>5. Invest wisely</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">A gung-ho approach to investing can be a costly mistake, so invest wisely. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.</p> <p dir="ltr">Only invest what you can afford to lose – while the aim is for investments to grow in value, you shouldn’t be left destitute if things go pear-shaped.</p> <p dir="ltr">Have a clear exit strategy – know when and how you will sell to maximise your returns, keep costs down and minimise your tax on the profits.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>6. Get good advice</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">Your father, sister, friend, or hairdresser may mean well, but unless they are qualified to give advice, you could be making a mistake.</p> <p dir="ltr">Money matters are complicated and most people simply don’t know what they need to know. Plus, everyone’s circumstances are different – so what worked for dad, Julie, Tom, or Bev might not be beneficial for you.</p> <p dir="ltr">Just as you want medical advice from a doctor, seek advice about money from those qualified and registered to give it: your financial adviser, tax accountant, estates solicitor, and mortgage or insurance broker. Chances are the cost of that advice is far less than you stand to lose through an avoidable mistake.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>7. Invest in you</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">You are an asset that, when in tip top condition, can deliver a solid return on investment.</p> <p dir="ltr">Invest in education and training: gaining extra qualifications and skills allows you to boost your earning potential.</p> <p dir="ltr">Invest in your wellbeing: Good mental health equals wiser decision-making, better productivity, and hence more room to grow your income.</p> <p dir="ltr">Invest in your health: Good health means lower healthcare costs, fewer lost work hours and cheaper life and disability insurances. Not to mention a longer lifespan allows you to enjoy the fruits of your wealth-building efforts!</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Helen Baker is a licensed Australian financial adviser and author of the new book, On Your Own Two Feet: The Essential Guide to Financial Independence for all Women (Ventura Press,</strong></p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>$32.99). Helen is among the 1% of financial planners who hold a master’s degree in the field. Proceeds from book sales are donated to charities supporting disadvantaged women and children. Find out more at www.onyourowntwofeet.com.au </strong></p> <p><em>Image: Shutterstock</em></p>

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

Revealed: New Zealand’s most trusted brands for 2022

<p>Celebrating its 100th year as a global brand, Reader’s Digest has announced the <a href="https://www.trustedbrands.co.nz/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Most Trusted Brands in New Zealand</a> in its annual survey – and the results are about as delicious as we’ve come to expect!</p> <p>Taking out the Number One spot in 2022 was popular chocolate brand Whittaker’s – making this the 11th year in a row it has earned the Reader’s Digest Most Trusted of all Brands award – proving that New Zealanders are clearly very proud of the sweet treat that consistently tastes great. </p> <p>The award-winning brands that appear in the Reader’s Digest 23rd annual survey have stood out among their competitors during the most challenging of times throughout the pandemic, and have continued to build their customers’ trust. </p> <p>“Trust in consumer brands takes years of careful planning, execution and nurturing,” says Reader’s Digest editor-in-chief, Louise Waterson. “But during challenging times, and the past year has been one of the most difficult on record, we’ve seen quality brands live up to their promises to their customers. These brands have been able to win and retain the trust of their customers.” </p> <p>The Trusted Brands survey covers a comprehensive range of products and services across 71 categories, as selected by New Zealanders, was without prejudice.</p> <p>Brands included in the list to be rated were generated by asking local New Zealand consumers for their most trusted brands. This question was unprompted to ensure the rating of top brands in each category, as selected by New Zealanders.</p> <p>Each respondent was asked score each brand out of ten, as well as providing comments on their most trusted brand within each category – providing key drivers of trust for consumers.  </p> <p>Each category contains one Winner, and two Highly Commended brands. These brands scored higher in their respective categories than the other brands polled. </p> <p>The top 20 winners – that scored higher in their respective categories than the other brands polled – are as follows:</p> <p><strong>Top 20 Trusted Brands of all brands surveyed</strong></p> <ul> <li>1 Whittaker’s<span style="white-space: pre;"> </span></li> <li>2 St John New Zealand<span style="white-space: pre;"> </span></li> <li>3 Mitre 10<span style="white-space: pre;"> </span></li> <li>4 Tip Top<span style="white-space: pre;"> </span></li> <li>5 Mainland<span style="white-space: pre;"> </span></li> <li>6 Samsung<span style="white-space: pre;"> </span></li> <li>7 Anchor<span style="white-space: pre;"> </span></li> <li>8 Resene<span style="white-space: pre;"> </span></li> <li>9 Toyota<span style="white-space: pre;"> </span></li> <li>10 Dettol<span style="white-space: pre;"> </span></li> <li>11 Panadol</li> <li>12 Canon</li> <li>13 Dyson</li> <li>14 Bridgestone</li> <li>15 Yates</li> <li>16 Griffin’s</li> <li>17 Fisher &amp; Paykel</li> <li>18 Masport</li> <li>19 Dilmah</li> <li>20 Cookie Time</li> </ul> <p>Under each category one winner and two highly commended placings were awarded. To find out who you can officially trust, see the full results of all 71 categories in the May edition of Reader’s Digest or visit <a href="https://www.trustedbrands.co.nz/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">www.trustedbrands.co.nz</a></p> <p> </p>

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

Why Elon Musk just bought Twitter

<p>Twitter is set to be taken private after being purchased by billionaire Elon Musk.<br />The board of directors have unanimously agreed to Musk’s offer, and have sold the social media platform to him for $US44 billion.</p> <p>The deal brings the internet’s most influential platform under the control of one of the world’s richest people. Musk himself, a prolific Twitter user, has repeatedly denounced efforts to moderate speech on the service: “Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated,” he said in a statement.</p> <p>“I also want to make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spam bots, and authenticating all humans.</p> <p>“Twitter has tremendous potential — I look forward to working with the company and the community of users to unlock it.”</p> <p>“The Twitter Board conducted a thoughtful and comprehensive process to assess Elon’s proposal with a deliberate focus on value, certainty, and financing,” said board chair Bret Taylor in a statement.</p> <p>ln April, it was first revealed that Musk had acquired a 9.2% stake in Twitter, making him one of the company’s biggest shareholders.<br />Since then, Musk and the company had engaged in a corporate battle over the future of the company.</p> <p>So, why does Elon Musk want twitter?<br />Elon Musk essentially purchased a social network that he openly admitted might cause much of the world to hate him.</p> <p>“Everyone will still blame me for everything,” Musk said during an interview at a TED conference on Thursday.</p> <p>“If I acquire Twitter and something goes wrong, it’s my fault 100%. I think there will be quite a few errors.”<br />Musk has repeatedly stressed in recent days that his goal is to bolster free speech on the platform and work to “unlock” Twitter’s “extraordinary potential”.</p> <p>Others have suggested he may be more interested in boosting attention for himself, whether or not the deal goes through.</p> <p>To hear Musk tell it, the goal of his Twitter offer is "nothing less than protecting civilisation as we know it".</p> <p>“My strong intuitive sense is that having a public platform that is maximally trusted and broadly inclusive is extremely important to the future of civilisation.”</p> <p>Among Musk’s plans for the platform are making its algorithm open source and also making it more transparent to users when, for example, a tweet has been emphasised or demoted in their feed. He has also stated he would like to have more lenient content moderation policies.</p> <p>We all know Musk has long used Twitter to build his brand and communicate with his more than 80 million followers, and troll those he views as his detractors. Some might say, he is buying the platform where he derives the most popularity.</p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

Passive-aggressive shop sign sparks furious debate online 

<p>Furious debate has erupted after a shop owner took aim at Gen Z workers in a brutal sign blaming them for their business having to close.</p> <p>The obviously frustrated owner shared in great detail why a pair of young former employees were the reason the doors had to close.</p> <p>“I apologise for us closing AGAIN,” the sign, erected on the front window of a store in Indiana, USA, on April the 20th, read.</p> <p>“My two new cashiers quit because I said their boyfriends couldn’t stand here for their entire shift.”</p> <p>They went further to include some questionable hiring advice for other business owners, telling them: “Don’t hire Gen Zs, they don’t know what work actually means”.</p> <p>Underneath, they announced the store was “now hiring”, but specified it would be employing “Baby Boomers only thanks”.</p> <p>The sign sparked backlash online, after it had been shared around online.</p> <p>With Hundreds of people responding in comments to the post, after it had attracted over 5000 reactions and had been shared over 300 times, some agreed Boomers made better workers than their younger counterparts, but others argued it was unfair to age discriminate.</p> <p>“A lot of the older people I’ve worked with refuse to do anything physically demanding due to having a ‘bad this’ and ‘my this hurts’ and if asked to do so they will whine and complain,” one wrote.</p> <p>“That's a pretty awful and ageist sign. I’m pretty young and I work 48 hours a week and never sit once while I’m on the clock. There are people who are young and hard working,” another said.</p> <p>Most respondents agreed that regardless of whether a certain generation had better workers, openly discriminating against Gen Zs was the wrong way to go.</p> <p>“I’m a boomer and I wouldn’t want to work at a place that excludes people because of their youth. Good workers can offer service with vitality and enthusiasm at any age,” one person wrote.</p> <p>Others agree the sign hadn’t done the store owner any publicity favours.</p> <p><em>Image: Facebook</em></p>

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

Man sues company for celebrating his birthday

<p dir="ltr">A man has been awarded $US450,000 ($A611,000) after his colleagues threw a birthday party, despite him asking not to due to his anxiety disorder.</p> <p dir="ltr">Kevin Berling was working as a lab technician at Gravity Diagnostics in Kentucky when his fellow employees threw a celebration for his birthday on August 7, 2019.</p> <p dir="ltr">The 29-year-old suffered a panic attack following the celebrations and was eventually fired from his job. </p> <p dir="ltr">Mr Berling then filed a compensation lawsuit, seeking damages and compensation for lost income.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Managers started giving him a hard time for his response to the birthday celebrations,” his lawyer Tony Bucher told local TV news outlet WKRC.</p> <p dir="ltr">“They actually accused him of stealing his co-workers’ joy.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Mr Berling specifically told his boss in 2018 that he did not want any celebrations for his birthday at work due to his anxiety. </p> <p dir="ltr">His employer claims to have “forgot” about the request which resulted in a panic attack on that fateful day in 2019.</p> <p dir="ltr">It took Mr Berling almost an hour to recover from the awful ordeal in his car, which was then questioned the following day.</p> <p dir="ltr">Following the interrogation, Mr Berling suffered another panic attack. </p> <p dir="ltr">A week later, he was fired from his job with his manager being “worried about him being angry and possibly becoming violent”.</p> <p dir="ltr">Mr Berling was awarded a $US450,000 ($A611,000) judgment against the company by a unanimous jury.</p> <p dir="ltr">The settlement included $US120,000 ($A163,000) in lost wages and benefits, $US30,000 ($A40,000) in future wages, and $US300,000 ($A408,000) for “past, present and future mental pain and suffering, mental anguish, embarrassment, humiliation, mortification, and loss of self-esteem”.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Shutterstock</em></p>

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

Review: A sustainable bra worth the splurge

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Finding a bra that meets our lists of wants and needs - comfort, support, colour and more - is almost always a chore and can come with a high price tag.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">And as a regular bra-wearer, having to replace my old, trusty pieces with something new is a task I put off until I absolutely have to.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Despite my reluctance to wear anything except my trusty (and well-worn) T-shirt bras, I decided to try Bendon’s </span><a href="https://www.bendonlingerie.com.au/brands/bendon/conscious-simplicity" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Conscious Simplicity</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> Contour Bra ($59.95), which is the brand’s first range of recycled lingerie.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Their bras are made with recycled foam for the cups, 73 percent recycled nylon fibres for the straps, and 93 percent recycled yarn for the back fabric.</span></p> <p><img style="width: 0px; height: 0px;" src="../media/7846487/22-7619zphr_bf.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/03dee18eac494960b3c59fc21fee5a48" /></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">The contour bra (pictured) can be paired with a matching boyleg brief, both made from recycled materials. Image: Supplied</span></em></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The range - available in contour, underwire, and maternity bras - can be paired with boyleg briefs which all feature botanical-inspired lace made with 50 percent recycled nylon fibres.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">After taking it for a test drive - from quick trips to the shops to full 9am-5pm work days - here are some of my thoughts.</span></p> <p>Barely there… save the straps</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Initially, I was concerned I’d picked the wrong size despite checking my measurements, but upon trying it on I found it was a perfect fit. Plus, it felt as if the bra was barely there but still supportive.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">But, I noticed the edging of the straps would dig in each time I put it on, though it becomes less noticeable during longer wears.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">I’m pleased to report that the bra barely showed under some of my more notoriously thin white shirts, which even my beige favourites could sometimes be spotted through, but would still be visible through cotton t-shirts.</span></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="../media/7846486/bra-review1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/764f93f2f35a4280bc37b04f6a96a7ef" /></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">The contour bra is hard to spot in even my tightest of turtlenecks or white business shirts. The size pictured is an AU/NZ 16C.</span></em></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">On top of that, an initial play around with the straps meant I wasn’t constantly adjusting them during the day (a common problem among my former-favourites).</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">However, the band did start to make its presence known by the end of some of my longer days, when I would first put it on at 6am and only take it off at around 9-10pm.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Despite this, the Conscious Simplicity Contour Bra has become my new favourite and I am on the cusp of adding more to my wardrobe (though an expansion of colour options would be nice).</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In summary, here are some pros and cons to consider if you’re thinking of giving it a try.</span></p> <p><strong>Pros</strong></p> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Comfortable and feels supportive even during longer wears</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Eco-conscious</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Hardy, quality materials that are still comfortable</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Concealed under most whites (despite its colour)</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Wider range of cup sizes, with a maximum size of 22J</span></li> </ul> <p><strong>Cons</strong></p> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Slightly uncomfortable edging on the straps that can dig in</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Limited colour options (only pink at the moment)</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><span style="font-weight: 400;">The cost ($59.95 RRP)</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Limited underbust/band sizing, with a maximum size of 22 (102cm)</span></li> </ul> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Bendon Conscious Simplicity range is available from the Bendon website </span><a href="https://www.bendonlingerie.com.au/brands/bendon/conscious-simplicity" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><span style="font-weight: 400;">here</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span>EDITOR'S UPDATE (12/4/22):</span></p> <p> </p> <p><span>The Conscious Simplicity range is now available in black, with a Dark Rhubarb colour to be released in November 2022 with a maximum size of 20E.</span></p>

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

Boss threatens to sue employees over wage talk

<p dir="ltr">An employee has called out her manager after he threatened to fire staff for talking about their wages. </p> <p dir="ltr">The business owner of Planet Fitness gym in Kentucky, US, hung a poster on the wall informing staff not to talk about their wages because it is illegal. </p> <p dir="ltr">However, under the National Labor Relations Act, employees are entitled to speak about their wages freely. </p> <p dir="ltr">“ATTENTION ALL SUBORDINATES,” the letter, which was shared to Reddit began.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Effective immediately, conversing about wages (both on duty and off duty) is strictly forbidden,</p> <p dir="ltr">“This is considered proprietary information and as such, it is protected legally.</p> <p dir="ltr">“If you are overheard speaking (OR LISTENING TO!!) a conversation in which wages are discussed, you will receive disciplinary action up to and including termination.”</p> <p dir="ltr">One of the gym’s employees, Shelly, did not accept her boss's premise and decided to get back at him.</p> <p dir="ltr">Another photo shared to the post shows multiple hammers and sickles drawn on it - representative of the communist party.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Seeing as you’re a manager in the great illustrious word (sic) of Planet Fitness gym franchises, it may behoove (sic) you to become familiar with the laws pertaining to it,” Shelly wrote.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Sprinkling legalese and word-salad across an 8.5x11 paper you printed does not make a legal doc.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Needless to say, you can’t legally tell us not to discuss wages in the good ol’ U.S. of A. We will continue to do so.”</p> <p dir="ltr">She ended the note with “Love, $10.50 an hour Shelly” which then saw her colleagues write their own wages. </p> <p dir="ltr">Viewers commended Shelly for the move which showed a united front against the boss who was very much in the wrong.</p> <p dir="ltr">"I LOVE $10.50 an hour Shelly!" someone wrote. </p> <p dir="ltr">"Long Live Shelly. I hope she is $25.00 an hour Shelly very very soon,” another commented.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of SHELLY SHELLY!" another joked.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: Reddit</em></p>

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

Check your attic for this rare collectors’ card!

<p dir="ltr">A rare Pokémon card has fetched a whopping record $546,000 (US$420,000) at an auction.</p> <p dir="ltr">The insanely rare 1999 Pokémon Base Set Shadowless 1st Edition Holo Charizard card was sold on March 19.</p> <p dir="ltr">The description of the card on the auction website describes the inspiration it holds even a quarter of a century later.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Emblematic of the strength and power its design was meant to portray, the 1st Edition Base Set Charizard card continues to inspire awe even after almost a quarter of a century,” it read.</p> <p dir="ltr">“This historic piece of art designed by celebrated artist Mitsuhiro Arita is easily the most recognizable Pokemon card ever made.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Incredibly enough, 3,000 copies of the card were submitted to PSA Authentication and Grading Services but only 121 were given the highest grading of “10 Gem Mint” due to its popularity.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Featuring the highest attack power of any of the original Pokemon cards produced; the ferocity of the artwork coupled with the might of its Fire Spin caused most Pokemon fanatics to use it with pride. </p> <p dir="ltr">“It is one of the most coveted trading cards ever produced. Widely considered one of the holy grails of the Pokemon world, this Flame Pokemon is poised to show continuous returns for years to come and become a premier investment piece for any portfolio to have.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Maybe it’s time to ask the kids or grandkids to go through their own Pokemon collections!</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: PWCC Market Place and Shutterstock</em></p>

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

I scream, you scream we all scream for ice-cream

<p dir="ltr">Peters Ice Cream has been slapped with a massive $12 million fine after it was caught preventing competitors from selling their products at petrol stations and convenience stores.</p> <p dir="ltr">The Federal Court found that Peters, from November 2014 to December 2019, made a sketchy deal with their transport partner PFD Food Services to not sell competitor’s ice cream without prior consent.  </p> <p dir="ltr">The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), who prosecuted Peters in court, said the deal very clearly reduced competition and reduced options for consumers.</p> <p dir="ltr">“This is an important competition law case involving products enjoyed by many Australians,” ACCC Chair Gina Cass-Gottlieb said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“We took this action because we were concerned that Peters Ice Cream’s conduct could reduce competition in this market and impact on the choice of single-serve ice-creams available to consumers.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Other ice cream manufacturers who make Bulla, Gelativo and Pure Pops had approached PFD asking them to distribute their product.</p> <p dir="ltr">However, PFD said they were unable to distribute the ice creams due to its exclusive deal with Peters. </p> <p dir="ltr">"Peters Ice Cream admitted that if PFD had not been restricted from distributing other manufacturers' ice cream products, it was likely that one or more potential competitors would have entered or expanded in this market,” Ms Cass-Gottlieb continued.</p> <p dir="ltr">“This case is a reminder to all businesses of the serious and costly consequences of engaging in anti-competitive conduct.</p> <p dir="ltr">“The ACCC is targeting exclusive arrangements by firms with market power that impact competition as one of our compliance and enforcement priorities for 2022/23.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Peters Ice Cream was ordered to establish a compliance program for three years and pay a contribution to the ACCC’s legal costs.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Instagram</em></p>

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

Betty White’s home up for grabs

<p dir="ltr">Betty White’s Californian home, which she built with her husband back in 1981, has hit the market for a whopping $7.95 million (AU$10.6 million).</p> <p dir="ltr">The stunning home was put on the market just a day after a moving tribute at the Oscars for the beloved actress.</p> <p dir="ltr">Betty and her late husband Allen Ludden built the beautiful beach home together, with construction finalised in 1981.</p> <p dir="ltr">Described as “one of America's stunning jewels”, the home boasts impressive panoramic ocean views of the Point Lobos Nature Reserve, Ribera Beach, and Monastery Beach from nearly every room.</p> <p dir="ltr">The three storey manor has four bedrooms and four bathrooms, perfect for a growing family.</p> <p dir="ltr">Its interior is still that of the '80s, with exposed wooden beams, an arresting stone wall and a fireplace in the living room.</p> <p dir="ltr">The humble abode is expected to sell for $7,950,000 (AU$10.6 million).</p> <p dir="ltr">The <em>Golden Girls</em> actress died on New Year's Eve 2021, and was honoured at the 2022 Oscars with a moving tribute from Jamie Lee Curtis, who brought a puppy on stage with her in reference to Betty’s deep love for animals.</p> <p dir="ltr">“She was not only a Golden Girl, she was a legend who brightened every room she walked in and brought a smile to the faces of all who watched her on the screen," Curtis said.</p> <p dir="ltr">"And day in and day out for almost a century, she was a woman who cared so much for not just her two-legged friends but for animals just like this."</p> <p dir="ltr">"So the greatest gift you could give Betty White is to open your heart and your home and adopt a rescue dog just like Mac-N-Cheese from Paw Works. So thank you, Betty, thank you for being a friend to us all.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: Sothebys</em></p>

Money & Banking