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9 Aug 2018 (AFR) – ‘Cloud cuckoo land’: Brookes lashed in Myer profit guidance class action

[COMMENT: Some investors are firm believers in particular stocks. Over the years, some investors in Myer Holdings would have been firm believers. Many of these investors ignore warning signs that things are not right, and continue to hold the stock. I am sure there were many investors in Myer throughout time. But some investors would … Continue reading

8 Aug 2018 (AFR) – Lessons from investor’s attempt to claim $11m in share losses against income

[COMMENT: This news story covers a perplexing topic that frequently puzzles (share market) investors and traders – How do we account for the proceeds from trading activities?  Is it regarded as income, or a capital gain? This is a very grey area with accountants offering differing opinions from time to time. This news article reports … Continue reading

3 Aug 2018 (ABC) – Apple becomes first US-listed trillion-dollar company

(3 August 2018, ABC online) ‘Apple has became the first $1 trillion publicly listed US company, crowning a decade-long rise fuelled by its ubiquitous iPhone that transformed it from a niche player in personal computers into a global powerhouse spanning entertainment and communications. The tech company’s stock jumped 2.8 per cent to as high as … Continue reading

19 July 2018 (AFR) – Super funds notch up ‘stellar’ ninth year of growth

[COMMENT: Here is another one of those reports of the performance of superannuation funds. We need to be careful about interpreting these results because of the time window for the comparison – which in this case is towards the bottom of the GFC and not the market peak prior. And we need to remember that … Continue reading

7 July 2018 (AFR) – Own bitcoin or other cryptocurrency? The ATO is after you

[COMMENT: This article sheds some light on how the ATO views the proceeds from share market trading and investing, and how it should be taxed. Are the proceeds simply “trading income” or capital gains? This is an ongoing grey area, and some accountants will want to treat the proceeds differently to others in their profession.] … Continue reading

28 June 2018 (AFR) – GDPR: Privacy makes the world go round as new laws abound

(28 June 2018, AFR, pS3, by Nick Abrahams and Jim Lennon) ‘Privacy is big news. The data breach at Equifax has reportedly cost that company $US430 million ($580 million) and climbing, the PageUp People breach in Australia has impacted many of our biggest brands, meanwhile Barbra Streisand is intent on erasing your Memories. Privacy is … Continue reading

25 June 2018 (AFR) – ‘Fools’ paradise’ momentum tests value investors

[COMMENT: This is an interesting article to do with investing, and challenges some of the age-old investing paradigms.] (25 June 2018, AFR, p13, by Jemima Whyte) ‘Buying stocks just because they are expected to continue to rise, the so-called “momentum trade”, is a “fool’s paradise”, according to a global equities fund manager. Causeway Capital’s Harry … Continue reading

21 June 2018 (AFR) – GE becomes the last 19th century company kicked out of the Dow

(21 June 2018, AFR, p12, by Sarah Ponczek and Richard Clough) ‘General Electric suffered a crowning ignominy on Wednesday (AEST) as overseers of the Dow Jones Industrial Average kicked the beleaguered company out of the stock gauge it has inhabited for more than a century. Once the world’s most valuable company, GE will be replaced … Continue reading

2 June 2018 (AFR) – Ten years on from the GFC, what happened to the once mighty Babcock & Brown?

(2 June 2018, AFR, p15, by Su-Lin Tan) ‘June 12 2008 is a date seared into the memory of everyone who worked at Babcock & Brown, a financial wizard that operated across the globe, buying up high end assets; wind farms, power companies and a lot of real estate. B&B’s share price, that had soared … Continue reading

2 June 2018 (AFR) – Could the GFC happen again? These guys should know

(2 June 2018, AFR, p9, by Su-Lin Tan) ’10 years after the GFC’ ‘Conservative bank lending, low interest rates, and tighter access to credit have carved a very different debt landscape to that of the global financial crisis 10 years ago, but there is a risk of complacency around the rise in interest rates, former … Continue reading

30 May 2018 (AFR) – Got less than $1m in assets? Forget a self-managed super fund

[COMMENT: Bah!! Humbug!!    We’ve heard a lot about superannuation and the Productivity Commission report, in recent days, including the so-called performance of funds, and fund performance comparisons. HOWEVER, there seems to be one key flaw in this reporting. The fund performance comparisons appear to be over a 10-year period – from 2009, the end of … Continue reading

17 May 2018 (AFR) – PwC, Deloitte, KPMG, EY face UK break-up call amid Carillion demise

(17 May 2018, AFR, p25, by Gill Plimmer) ‘British MPs have demanded the UK’s big four accountancy firms be referred to competition authorities for potential break-up following the collapse of government contractor Carillion, calling them a “cosy club incapable of providing the degree of independent challenge needed”. The recommendation by members of two powerful parliamentary … Continue reading

14 May 2018 (AFR) – Tassos Stassopoulos: The fund manager immersed in emerging market Millennials

[COMMENT: Now this is very interesting. An experienced funds manager being told by an ethnographer that his research methods are all wrong. This supports the views that many chartists and technical analysts have about the methods for selecting investment candidates in the financial markets – that the methods of the majority of professionals in the … Continue reading

14 May 2018 (AFR) – People are fed up with capitalism

(14 May 2018, AFR, p19, by John Authers) ‘ “The facts are clear: all the evidence is that process-driven CEOs are prioritising the bottom line and treating earnings as a key metric. That’s capitalism.” These lines are a summary of the news from the corporate sector in the past few weeks. Yet they will read … Continue reading

11 May 2018 (AFR) – ASR strategist Ian Harnett cautious on global stocks

(11 May 2018, AFR, p31, by Jonathan Shapiro) ‘Top London-based analyst firm Absolute Strategy Research says the equity market rally is at risk from a slowdown in China and further tightening of monetary policy by central banks. “If you’re looking for that last hurrah it could happen, but you’re dependent on policymakers getting it right,” ASR’s … Continue reading

25 Apr 2018 (TheAge) – One move that would go a long way to fixing financial advice

(25 April 2018, The Age, Money supplement, p1, John Collett) ‘There are no quick fixes to curb recurrences of the shocking revelations at the banking royal commission concerning financial advice. But there is a move you’d think would be obvious: licence planners individually.’ <snipped…> ‘… I recall the experience of a 61-year-old cancer patient. She showed me her … Continue reading

20 Apr 2018 (AFR) – CBA charging dead customers for advice, banking royal commission hears

(20 April 2018, AFR, p9, by James Frost) ‘A group of planners from Count Financial were charging customers for advice fees after they had died with one planner charging a dead customer almost $1000 a year for advice for more than a decade. The problems at Commonwealth Bank subsidiary Count Financial have been revealed at … Continue reading

17 Apr 2018 (AFR) – Regulators turned a blind eye to ‘inherent conflict’ for two decades

[COMMENT: This news article talks about the now infamous ‘fee for no service’ that was recently brought to light by the banking royal commission, but also includes a good history of the banks’ purchases of wealth management businesses over recent years.] (17 April 2018, AFR, p26, by Karen Maley) ‘In the late 1990s, it was … Continue reading

17 Apr 2018 (AFR) – Banking royal commission: AMP under attack – admits to lying to ASIC

[COMMENT: Ok, so what’s worse? Lying to the regulator? or ripping off customers? But how prevalent is this activity?] (17 April 2018, AFR, p1, by James Frost) ‘AMP copped the full force of the Hayne royal commission’s probe into the provision of financial advice with the company exposed for a policy of charging customers for … Continue reading

14 Apr 2018 (AFR) – CBA cops ASIC penalty for ‘fee for no advice’ scandal

(14 April 2018, AFR, p22, by James Frost) ‘Commonwealth Bank will cough up $3 million and submit to regular and independent third-party reviews of its financial planning arm as part of an enforceable undertaking reached with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. The agreement relates to 31,500 customers of CBA subsidiaries Commonwealth Bank Financial Planning … Continue reading

13 Apr 2018 (TheAge) – Behind Spaceship’s ASIC fine: drama, tension and false funding news

[COMMENT: This is a good case study example of ASIC getting involved with the issues of running listed companies.] (13 April 2018, The Age, Business, p20, By John McDuling) ‘Fines from regulators. Funding rounds, and false reports of funding rounds, involving powerful investors. Founder departures. Staffing changes. Shareholder tensions. Welcome to the wild ride that … Continue reading

28 Mar 2018 (AFR) – Day trading not the way towards riches – A lot to be said for buy-and-hold strategies

[COMMENT: I have to comment on this article – in my own humble opinion, it is mostly bunkum – based on the so-called classical investing theory, which many shorter-term nimble investors do not believe in. In the minds of many people, the old ‘buy-and-hold’ strategy is as useful as some people make it out to … Continue reading

24 Mar 2018 (AFR) – Inside Otsana Capital’s fight for Esense Lab

[COMMENT: Here is a good case study of some of the issues that can take place with small cap stocks. Good lessons for the investors in such stocks.] (24 March 2018, AFR, p25, by: Jemima Whyte, Jonathan Shapiro) ‘Otsana Capital, a Perth stockbroker that rates its employees as either “lone wolf” or “good wolf”, is attempting … Continue reading

13 Feb 2018 (AFR) – New payment platform live as banks pressured to open up access

(13 February 2018, AFR, p23, by James Eyers) ‘Banks are under pressure to open up access to a new national payments platform that will embrace the mobile era and finally allow payments to be instantly cleared. In a landmark innovation for the payments industry, the banks will begin to bring customers on to the “new … Continue reading

7 Feb 2018 (AFR) – Wall St’s VelocityShares ETF crashes 80 per cent as volatility strikes back

[COMMENT: Here is one good example of the sorts of things that can catch the uninitiated and unwary when playing in the financial markets.] (7 February 2018, AFR, p25, by Patrick Commins) ‘The rapid unwinding of complacent markets may have claimed its first victim after a Wall St exchange-traded fund which gains from falling volatility crashed … Continue reading

6 Feb 2018 (AFR) – Westpac used bonuses, sophisticated sales techniques for super switch campaign

[COMMENT: This alleged behaviour indicates some of the tactics that some organisations might be employing in order to rake in profits for the company, and not in the best interests of the customers or investors.] (6 February 2018, AFR, p3, by Misa Han) ‘Westpac and its wealth division, BT, used bonuses and highly sophisticated sales … Continue reading

2 Feb 2018 (AFR) – Xerox, an innovator hit by digital revolution, cedes control to Fujifilm

[COMMENT: Over the years, as technology develops, some major companies fail to keep up with technology and come across tough times. This happened to Kodak in recent years – a company well known to many people around the world, but not perhaps amongst the younger generations. Now it is Xerox’s turn. This can be a … Continue reading

31 Jan 2018 (AFR) – Why blockchain and bitcoin will never keep the promises they make

(31 January 2018, p43, by Nouriel Roubini) ‘The financial services industry has been undergoing a revolution. But the driving force is not overhyped blockchain applications such as bitcoin. It is a revolution built on artificial intelligence, big data, and the Internet of Things.’ <snipped…> ‘Worse, cryptocurrencies in general are based on a false premise. According … Continue reading

23 Jan 2018 (AFR) – US hedge fund Glaucus blasts tax breaks for MIS after Quintis joins failures

(23 January 2018, AFR, p13, by Vesna Poljak) ‘The hedge fund that brought down listed sandalwood grower Quintis has urged Australian policymakers to rethink tax incentives for managed investment scheme investors after the former TFS Corp became the latest failure in a long line of forestry-linked collapses. Quintis appointed administrators on Saturday, ending a months-long … Continue reading

9 Jan 2018 (AFR) – Is the next financial crisis looming: Ross Barry

(9 January 2018, AFR, p26, by Ross Barry) ‘The strong performance of many share markets around the world has led many to speculate that another major correction may not be too far away. History has shown us, over the past 300 years or so, that major corrections have occurred every nine to 10 years, on … Continue reading