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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

2 Jan 2018 (AFR) – Last year’s losers, this year’s stars? – Why one of 2017’s ASX dogs will howl in 2018

[COMMENT: This is an interesting insight into some real life studies of the “Dogs of the Dow” approach and the Australian share market.] (2 January 2018, AFR, p30, by James Thomson) ‘Could sifting through this year’s ASX 100 dogs unearth next year’s gems? That’s the question posed by Hugh Dive from Atlas Funds Management, who … Continue reading

22 Dec 2017 (AFR) – Lesson for investors: don’t count just on market returns to boost your portfolio

[COMMENT: This article touches on some of the cognitive biases that can play havoc with the way that investors think, and which influence investment decision making. It is very useful for investors to understand much more about cognitive biases.] (22 December 2017, AFR, p49, by Patrick Commins) ‘The year 2017 for investors is one of … Continue reading

21 Dec 2017 (AFR) – KPMG partners face court contempt over China audit

[COMMENT: This news story highlights some of the risks involved with international trade.] (21 December 2017, AFR, p10, by Matthew Miller) ‘Several current and former KPMG partners are facing contempt proceedings in a Hong Kong court, as liquidators for a failed US-listed Chinese company step up their action against the auditor over its refusal to … Continue reading

11 Dec 2017 (AFR) – The 10 fund managers who made $300m profits this year

[COMMENT: I don’t comment on fund managers very often, because many cannot make consistent profits for their clients from year to year. However, this story suggests otherwise for some managers.] (11 December 2017, AFR, p1, by John Stensholt) ‘Australia’s most successful boutique active fund managers have recorded huge profits this year and paid themselves big … Continue reading

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

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