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Short position reporting to ASIC

(23 August 2017) – Following up on a news story in today’s AFR about reporting of short positions (stocks that are sold short), for the investors and traders who are interested in seeing a list of shorted stocks, ASIC maintains a daily list of this information as reported to it by the sellers. (Thank you … Continue reading

2 Aug 2017 (AFR) – Apple, Google take down binary options apps at ASIC’s request

[COMMENT: Now this is an interesting article for retail investors who might want to trade in such financial instruments. (2 August 2017, AFR, p17, by James Eyers) ‘Australia’s corporate regulator says it has convinced two of the world’s largest technology companies, Apple and Google, to remove applications that offer unlicensed financial products to customers from their … Continue reading

29 July 2017 (AFR) – Compare how your superannuation fund performed

[COMMENT: As I always do when posting things like this funds performance table, I warn that past performance is no guarantee of future results. It is merely an interesting observation of the past performance of some funds and their own strategies which may change from time to time.] (29 July 2017, AFR, p27, by Sally … Continue reading

18 July 2017 (AFR) – ASIC’s Greg Medcraft warns hybrids are ‘ridiculous’ for retail investors

(18 July 2017, AFR, p1, by Tony Boyd) ‘Billions of dollars of hybrid securities issued to retail investors by the major banks will eventually cause problems for the financial system, according to outgoing chairman of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Greg Medcraft. In an interview with The Australian Financial Review to mark his six-and-a-half … Continue reading

15 July 2017 – Back on the job

After taking a break for overseas travel, this commentator is now back on the job.

8 June 2017 (AFR) – Stockspot survey highlights the hidden dangers of some passive funds

(8 June 2017, AFR, p28, by Myriam Robin) ‘Investors who put their money in small exchange traded funds that lack sufficient market liquidity could receive less than market value when they want to sell, according to Chris Brycki, the CEO of roboadviser Stockspot. Stockspot this week released its third annual survey of the Australian passive universe, rating … Continue reading

6 May 2017 (AFR) – Passive investing is lobotomised investing

[COMMENT: I don’t normally reproduce this much text from a news article; but this is compelling reading because it will challenge the beliefs of some investors. I urge you to click-through and read the entire article.] (6 May 2017, AFR, p25, by Christopher Joye) ‘Buying a “passive” or “indexed” fund is lobotomised investing, predicated on … Continue reading

10 Apr 2017 (AFR) – Former NAB director to chair new financial sector body to oversee industry

[COMMENT: Now, according to this news article below, we have a powerful new body to “professionalise” the scandal-ridden financial advice sector. It might be possible to “clean up” the sector so that more honest “advice” can be given; but I seriously doubt if the industry will ever be able to avoid harsh criticisms and dismal … Continue reading

30 Mar 2017 (AFR) – Stake lifts the bar for trading US stocks and ETFs

(30 March 2017, AFR, p17, by James Eyers) ‘It was during a three-year stint in Chicago, working for market maker Optiver, that Matt Leibowitz realised Australians were getting gouged buying international equities through the brokerages owned by the big banks and the customer experience was woeful. ‘ <snipped…> ‘…The culmination of his thinking is Stake, an … Continue reading

4 Mar 2017 (AFR) – Active investment funds v passive options: which is right for you?

[COMMENT: He is some more discussion about the pros and cons of active versus passive investing, and to invest in managed funds or not, plus other considerations. Please be the judge yourself.] (4 March 2017, AFR, p24, by Philip Baker) ‘Warren Buffet warned this week about the rule of active managers? But should you let … Continue reading

22 Feb 2017 (TheAge,SMH) – Padley: You need to understand brokers’ game – Why investors should be sceptical of broker research

(22 February 2017, The Age, MONEY supplement, p3, Marcus Padley) ‘I get regular emails pointing out how bad broker recommendations have been in hindsight. Most of the finger pointing is simply an investor attempting to transfer the blame to someone else of course, but if the investor is ever going to learn from their mistakes … Continue reading

15 Feb 2017 (AFR) – CMC Markets in final furlong for ANZ Share Investing

[COMMENT: Some interesting news and insight for those investors and traders who are interested in the online brokers, and who owns what.] (15 February 2017, AFR, p18, by:  Sarah Thompson, Anthony Macdonald, Joyce Moullakis) ‘CMC Markets could end up powering ANZ Share Investing, with Bell Financial Group dropping out of the race for the broker … Continue reading

8 Feb 2017 (TheAge,SMH) – Growth stock investors jumpy as profit season under way

[COMMENT: Another very informative and great article from Marcus Padley.] (8 February 2017, The Age, MONEY supplement p8, Marcus Padley) ‘After a relentless raft of profit warnings last week the alarm bells are ringing.’ ‘First there was Aconex (ACX) down 45 per cent on Monday. Virtus (VRT) down 17 per cent on Tuesday. Then Ozforex (OFX) and … Continue reading

4 Feb 2017 (AFR) – ‘Banner year’ for insider selling as directors dodge corporate disasters

[COMMENT: In many cases where someone inside a company is selling their shares because they know “something”, or a substantial shareholder is selling down their holding for a good reason, the average investor won’t have the same information at hand, but they can still be alerted to the selling by studying the share price performance. … Continue reading

4 Feb 2017 (AFR) – Tough week for ASX as Trump scares and earnings disappoint

(4 February 2017, AFR, p27, by Myriam Robin and Jessica Sier) ‘International diplomatic tensions dominated the second week of US president Donald Trump’s tenure, spooking investors and forcing most bourses lower, while earnings downgrades plagued the local market.  The S&P/ASX 200 index experienced the largest single-week fall since November, with broad losses across every sector except … Continue reading

3 Feb 2017 (AFR) – History shows February a tough month for sharemarkets

(3 February 2017, AFR, p30, by Philip Baker) ‘February is usually a good month for the sharemarket. But not when its the year after the US president gets elected and definitely not if that president is elected for the first time. When that happens, February turns into a very bad month for investors. January often … Continue reading

30 Jan 2017 (AFR) – Top stock pickers John Sevior, Hamish Douglass and Kerr Neilson lag benchmark

(30 January 2017, AFR, p18, by James Frost) ‘Australia’s top fund managers have had an end to the year they would rather forget with big name stock pickers John Sevior, Hamish Douglass and Kerr Neilson all lagging the benchmark.  The recovery of oil prices, a rally in mining stocks and the Trump-inspired reflation trade have … Continue reading

7 Jan 2017 (AFR) – Old-school trading (“open outcry”) might be in the pits, but volumes aren’t

[COMMENT: This is interesting, about the trading pits in some stock exchanges, and how they are all slowly moving to electronic trading. Interesting read.] (7 January 2017, AFR, p20, The Economist) ‘As a new trading year began this week in the art-deco tower that houses the Chicago Board of Trade, big men were clustered around … Continue reading

19 Dec 2016 (AFR) – Fast driving fund managers take more risks

[COMMENT: Now this article is very interesting. It touchs on the topic of behavioural finance (the emotions and psychology of the markets), and helps explain a few things. ] (19 December 2016, AFR, p17, by James Frost) ‘Fund managers who drive powerful sports cars take more investment risks than those who drive mini vans but … Continue reading

9 Dec 2016 (AFR) – Citi trading algorithm involved in sterling October ‘flashcrash’

(9 December 2016, AFR, p29, by Katie Martin and Caroline Binham) ‘The UK investigation into October’s “flash crash” in sterling has focused heavily on the Japanese trading operations of Citigroup, which fired off repeated sell orders that exacerbated the pound’s fall, according to bankers and officials involved in the inquiry. Citi’s traders are not believed to have … Continue reading

28 Oct 2016 (AFR) – The test for investors who might need more maths skills

[COMMENT: A great article about investing, gambling and behavioural and cognitive biases.] (28 October 2016, AFR, p31, by Tracy Alloway) ‘ “You’re invited to a talk by a hedge fund manager who was a partner at a fund that famously flopped about 20 years ago. You turn up, hoping to hear some valuable insights, or at … Continue reading

28 Oct 2016 (AFR) – Curse of the witching hour haunts currency traders

[COMMENT: This is a very interesting article about the impact on currency trading of the different time zones around the world, and the things that happen when it’s night time around the world and some traders are sleeping.] (28 October 2016, AFR, p28, by Netty Ismail, Bloomberg) ‘In the global currency market, the darkest hour comes … Continue reading

22 Oct 2016 (NYTimes) – Internet Attack Spreads, Disrupting Major Websites

[COMMENT: Now this is the sort of thing that could disrupt business on a wide-spread scale. Something to consider going forward.] (22 October 2016, New York Times website, Nicole Perlroth) ‘SAN FRANCISCO — Major websites were inaccessible to people across wide swaths of the United States on Friday after a company that manages crucial parts … Continue reading

5 Oct 2016 (AFR) – Managed funds, LICs, ETFs or managed accounts: which solution is right for you?

[COMMENT: This is not advice of any sort. The information in this article is intended to convey some details about possible investment alternatives to help the reader be a little better informed. Always seek professional advice about whether a particular investment might be suitable for you.] (5 October 2016, AFR, p26, by Hugh MacNally*) ‘Investors … Continue reading

28 Sept 2016 (TheAge,SMH) – What to do in a falling share market

[COMMENT: Of course, the information herein does not constitute “advice”. It is the opinion of the named author. And many other seasoned investors might also think the same way.] (28 September 2016, The Age, MONEY supplement, p4, Marcus Padley) ‘… With the US markets on the highest price-earnings ratio since 2009, the next illogical sentiment … Continue reading

24 Sept 2016 (AFR) – Hardware fail blamed – ASX identifies failings behind its worst systems outage since 2011

(24 September 2016, AFR, p17, by: Vesna Poljak, James Eyers, Jessica Sier) ‘The ASX has blamed an “unprecedented” hardware failure for its outage on Monday that forced the early close of trading, but hit back at any suggestion its handling of the meltdown prevented stockbrokers taking orders to rival Chi-X. A faulty disk in its data centre and a … Continue reading

23 Sept 2016 (AFR) – US Federal Reserve divided, Yellen finds new reason to hold rates

(23 September 2016, AFR, p15, by John Kehoe) ‘The decision to hold US interest rates steady was rejected by three of ten voting members on the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy committee, underlining how the central bank is growing increasingly divided about how soon to lift borrowing costs from crisis-level lows. Though Federal Open Market Committee … Continue reading

20 Sept 2016 (TheAge) – ASX flat as index shuts early in day marred by glitches

(20 September 2016, The Age, BusinessDay, p21, Jessica Sier, Vanessa Desloires) ‘It was a frustrating Monday on the ASX as investors confronted a technical glitch that periodically enabled share trading before freezing it again.  After a 90-minute delay to the start of trade, blocks of stocks slowly came online before the market froze again in the afternoon … Continue reading

20 Sept 2016 (TheAge) – Loose tweets can sink floats, warns Australian Securities and Investments Commission

(20 September 2016, The Age, BusinessDay, p19, Sarah Danckert) ‘Loose tweets can sink floats, according to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. So can overly optimistic Youtube clips, LinkedIn posts and Facebook missives. That’s the take out of a review by the corporate watchdog of the marketing practices of companies and issuers involved in the … Continue reading

17 Sept 2016 (AFR) – AQR’s Cliff Asness and the quest for truth in the madness of financial markets

[COMMENT: Now here is a breath of fresh air for investing and funds management, and a belief that the conclusion from Efficient Market Hypothesis (EMH) is wrong. That is, the market can actually be systematically beaten. The only question is – how to do it?] (17 September 2016, AFR, p17, by Jonathan Shapiro) ‘For as … Continue reading