financial stress

News: Dreamworld nightmare, financial storm and confidence

In money news that affects your hip pocket, the Dreamworld tragedy and why parents and shareholders are fearful, plus why another financial crisis is looming.

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This week’s tragedy at Dreamworld will rip into the heart strings of parents and the Queensland tourism industry, not just out of fear but respect.

As a parent who lives not too far from Dreamworld, it’s a regular attraction, particularly Wiggle Town, but I have to say there are now serious safety concerns about the rides, not to mention sheer sadness at what was a fun place.

Indeed I’m questioning whether the faded paint work on many attractions is just a sign of budget tightness at the park.

It follows the deaths of four adults on the Rapid’s ride yesterday, and the narrow escape of two children, according to police reports.

Shareholders of the fun park’s parent company Ardent Leisure are also running scared, with the stock price plunging a good 8 per cent in Tuesday’s trade.

Ardent Leisure is run by Deborah Thomas, who is said to be restructuring the business to reportedly focus on its theme parks and Main Event attractions in the United States, according to Fairfax Media.

An investigation will no doubt look into whether the tragedy was caused by a ride malfunction or operator error or something else.

Whatever the cause it’s little too late for the families of those killed, and those at the park who witnessed the event unfold.

Compensation will surely have to be huge and Ardent Leisure shareholders know it.

The Gold Coast’s fun parks also attract millions of visitors each year to Queensland and as we all gear up for Summer, there’s no doubt in my mind that some parents will be second guessing whether they visit the parks at all, or if they do whether they’ll line up for a hour at a time for some attractions.

The Queensland Government will be in massive damage control as it risks losing millions of dollars in tourism as a result of the incident, all at a time when the industry is making a comeback thanks to a weaker Aussie dollar keeping locals at home and attracting those from overseas.

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Financial storm in a tea cup?

Financial markets investors are worried at the moment, some way more than others amid fears of another financial crisis hitting the globe in the near future.

Fuelling the concerns are worries about the housing market in Australia going too far with its pricing, plus rapid inflation of asset prices, large borrowing levels and rising debt – all made worse by record low interest rates in the wake of the 2007/08 crisis.

But AMP Capital’s chief economists Shane Oliver is once again urging for calm and has given investors five ways to help manage the noise and turn down the worry list.

  • Put the latest worry list in context
  • Recognise that shares return more than cash in the long term because they can lose money in the short term;
  • Find a process to help filter noise
  • Make a conscious effort not to check your investments so much
  • Look for opportunities that investor worries show up.

The advice comes after the release of Tuesday’s disappointing consumer confidence survey, which fell to its lowest level since May on the back of a weaker than expected jobs report last week.

The ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence Index slipped 3.6 per cent in the week ending October 23, reversing a slight blip the previous week, according to Sky News Business.

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