2018 is drawing to an end. Like every year, this has been a big one. We hope it’s been a joyful and prosperous one for you – certainly, we have done everything we can to make that your reality.

2019 also promises to be an important year. The polls are suggesting we may well have a new Federal Government, which always makes for change when it comes to personal finance. Here is hoping that all the candidates running for election make the well-being of their fellow Australians their absolute and highest priority.

2018 has been a good year for many around the world. Back in September the World Bank gave us some heartening news. They reported that the most recent data about global poverty showed a reduction in the percentage of people around the world living in what they call extreme poverty. Most recent data comes from 2015, during which year only 10% of the global population were living in extreme poverty. This was a reduction from 11% just two years earlier. That said, 10% of the world population is still 736 million people – the population equivalent of 30 Australias. So, there is still work to be done.

As we count our blessings here in Australia, we can all spare a thought for people living in less fortunate parts of the world and hope that 2019 continues to be a good one for the poorest people on our planet.

Older readers might recall a children’s television show called Simon Townsend’s Wonder World. Every day, the host would sign off with the catchphrase “and remember, the world really is wonderful.” As more and more people around the world exit poverty and begin to enjoy a quality of life like we have here in Australia, this is very much worth remembering.

Thank you for your support this year. May your world be wonderful in 2019.