As the name suggests, direct equities (or shares) provide a share of direct ownership in a company. This means you also share in the company’s success in the form of profits (generally distributed as dividends) and/or capital growth (the value of your shares increasing).

Historically shares have outperformed other asset classes over the long term; which is expected, since they are also more volatile (risky) than other asset classes, especially over short time-frames.

Shares frequently offer tax advantages over the other asset classes. When companies have already paid tax on their profits, tax credits known as franking credits are issued with the dividends the company pays to you. These franking credits can be used to offset tax payable by you on other income. In addition, shares held for more than 12 months qualify for a 50% discount on any capital gains tax payable.

Shares are highly liquid, meaning they can be bought and sold quickly. Generally, you can sell shares and have access to your money in no more than three days. Other investments, like real estate, can take longer to sell.

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