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12 Aug 2017 (AFR) – The Aussie sharemarket has an earnings problem

(12 August 2017, AFR, p31, by Patrick Commins) ‘Five months ago I asked whether valuations “matter any more”. Prices across assets have been sky-high for a long time, but keep heading higher. The answer was in that in one important way they do, and in another important way they don’t. Starting with the latter, they … Continue reading

9 Aug 2017 (TheAge,MONEY) – IPO warning: more than half of floated companies are underwater a decade later

[COMMENT: The conclusion in this newspaper article is very similar to what I have reported previously on my Toolbox IPO web page, along with many share price charts to graphically show how an IPO stock performs over time.] (9 August 2017, The Age MONEY supplement, p2, Scott Phillips, The Motley Fool) ‘You’ve heard the hype. … Continue reading

3 Aug 2017 (AFR) – Investor complacency has an eerie ring to it – Previous bull runs demonstrate dangers of complacency

(3 August 2017, AFR, p21, by John Plender) ‘The CBOE Vix index of implied equity volatility – the so-called fear gauge – last week hit the lowest point since its inception. To many, this will seem altogether perverse in the light of a welter of uncertainties hanging over the market. These range from worries over … 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

2 Aug 2017 (TheAge) – Retail strips struggle but investors don’t care

(2 August 2017, The Age, BusinessDay, p25, Simon Johanson) ‘Retailers in Melbourne’s suburban shopping strips may be under siege but nobody has told investors. While high street retailers across the city struggle with historically high vacancy rates, wannabe landlords are bidding up retail assets and seizing shops on tight yields at well-attended auctions.’ Read more … Continue reading

31 July 2017 (TheAge) – $1b of short interest in retail stocks faces earnings season test

[COMMENT: This news story indicates one possible event that might move the local market.] (31 July 2017, The Age, BusinessDay, p18, Vesna Poljak) ‘More than $1 billion of bets against the Australian retail sector will be tested when the earnings season gets under way this week, underlining a difficult year for the stocks with the most to … 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

26 July 2017 (TheAge,SMH,MONEY) – How to turn $10,000 into a million dollars

(26 July 2017, The Age, MONEY supplement, p2, Marcus Padley) ‘I ask for Stupid Questions in my newsletter and I get them. “I have $10,000 and want to turn it into a million dollars. How do I do it?” You’re thinking “How Stupid” but it’s actually a really good question. So let’s try and answer … Continue reading

20 July 2017 (TheAge) – BAML fund manager survey shows tech stocks off, US overvalued

(20 July 2017, The Age, BusinessDay, p25, Jessica Sier) ‘They might be the most exciting companies in the world, but a majority of fund managers sold out of global internet stocks in July, saying they are too expensive and US equities are broadly overvalued. A survey of 179 fund managers, with an accumulated $US525 billion … Continue reading

20 July 2017 (TheAge,SMH) – Super returns add $140b to national retirement savings pot

[COMMENT: My usual caveat must accompany this news article – That the reporting of the performance of any fund needs to be taken very carefully. The start and end date of the study period can make a big difference to the returns over the period (some people call it creative accounting). Also, that the returns … 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

21 June 2017 (TheAge) – Macquarie bank faces class action over advice on worthless Brazilian mine project

[COMMENT: Whether this purported class action proceeds or not, the allegation that is described in this news article is an interesting eye-opener for retail investors, because it might be possible for any market participant to engage in such conduct. The various Holywood movies of recent years portray that such things might really happen.] (21 June … Continue reading

21 June 2017 (AFR) – Watch out Warren Buffett, value investing is dead

(21 June 2017, AFR, p32, by Philip Baker ) ‘Warren Buffett, and all the armchair Warren Buffetts out there, you’ve been warned. There is so much change going on in the world that value investing, as a strategy, is on its way out. Buying stocks with the lowest valuations is just not working. It’s a major reason why so … Continue reading

19 June 2017 (TheAge) – Last week for tax-loss selling before the July bounce

(19 June 2017, The Age, BusinessDay, p18, Jessica Sier) ‘Tax loss selling has hammered some shares over the past two months, but the strategy is gearing up to have one last wash through the ASX this week. The popular strategy involves disposing of underperforming shares as well as crystallising a loss to offset any capital … Continue reading

19 June 2017 (AFR) – Robots are cashing in – for now; The machines taking over Wall Street

(19 June 2017, AFR, p28, by Philip Baker) ‘There was a time when what happened in the sharemarket had more to do with investor emotion than anything else. But not so much these days. The machines armed with making all the investment decisions these days don’t have any emotion, don’t get nervous and don’t worry … Continue reading

19 June 2017 (AFR) – Positive skew that exists in equity markets – Most sharemarket gains come from a very small subset of stocks

[COMMENT: There are two thoughts that come to mind here. Firstly, the investment period quoted below of 90 years is not relevant to many retail investors, and it is easy to cherry pick a start and end date for comparative purposes to suit the hypothesis. But secondly, and of more interest, is the notion that … Continue reading

17 June 2017 (AFR) – Exchange traded fund opportunities and risks

(17 June 2017, AFR, p29,  by Tony Featherstone) ‘Australia is a long way from having “biblical” exchange traded funds (ETFs), as the US does, that exclude companies that support lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender rights. But a rush of new ETFs in this market is creating controversy. Local issuers expect a massive conversion of investors … Continue reading

16 June 2017 (TheAge) – Record 44pc of fund managers say equities are overvalued: BoA Merrill Lynch

(16 June 2017, The Age, BusinessDay, p25, Myriam Robin) ‘A record 44 per cent of global fund managers believe sharemarkets, particularly those in the US, to be overvalued after years of overstimulative monetary policy, according to a monthly Bank of America Merrill Lynch survey. In the note, titled “Fed up with Bubbles”, three quarters of … Continue reading

16 June 2017 (TheAge,SMH) – Superannuation deadline sees ‘huge inflow of cash into equities’, says Richard Coppleson

(16 June 2017, The Age, BusinessDay, p25, Myriam Robin) ‘Voluntary contributions into superannuation funds doubled between April to May, and are so far having another strong month as investors race to beat a deadline on low-tax superannuation concessions, according to one of the country’s largest superannuation managers. Superannuation experts said there was no doubt this … Continue reading

15 June 2017 (AFR) – Credit Suisse sees eight ASX stocks activists should target

[COMMENT: The debate continues about active versus passive funds management. It seems as though there is something to be said for an active investor who remains nimble. But do note the details of the accompanying bar chart “Returns for different hedge fund styles (%pa)” (From 2005 till now, and Past 10 years) – with Activist, … Continue reading

9 June 2017 (AFR) – Bell Potter’s Richard Coppleson tips Blackmores, Domino’s while the bears are out

(9 June 2017, AFR, p32, by Philip Baker) ‘It’s that time of the year again when all the bears come out to play. Hot on the heels of May, which is usually a bad month for shares, the history books show that June isn’t much better. Blame it on the confession season, tax loss selling … Continue reading

9 June 2017 (AFR) – The Masters of the Universe Bill Gross, Paul Singer are worried it’s 2008 all over again

(9 June 2017, AFR, p31, by James Thomson) ‘The Masters of the Universe are getting nervous, and there’s one big thing on their mind: the return of GFC-like conditions. While Morgan Stanley’s chairman and chief executive James Gorman provided an upbeat assessment of the world economy in an exclusive interview with The Australian Financial Review … Continue reading

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 June 2017 (AFR) – Defensive stocks shine in the ASX but fund managers fear a tumble

(6 June 2017, AFR, p28, by Myriam Robin) ‘The ASX’s key defensive stocks, which have soared since November, are trading at record highs and highly inflated valuations, making them highly vulnerable to a sharp correction should inflationary expectations pick up. For the past six months, yield-hungry investors have poured into Sydney Airport, Transurban and APA … Continue reading

27 May 2017 (AFR) – ASIC chase MFS directors for record $615m fines

[COMMENT: Here is an interesting case study for investors and traders to study to help minimise investeing risk going forward.] (27 May 2017, AFR, p5, by Patrick Durkin) ‘The corporate regulator says “all options are on the table” for chasing the former rich listers behind one of Australia’s largest financial collapses who have been ordered … Continue reading

15 May 2017 (AFR) – Negative gearing ‘scalpel’ will cool apartment demand: experts

(15 May 2017, AFR, p9, by Su-Lin Tan) ‘New limits to the way expenses can be deducted against negative geared properties will prove a turning point in the investment property market, experts say. The federal government’s “scalpel rather than a sledgehammer” changes to negative gearing announced in last week’s budget will hit investor demand because … 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

6 May 2017 (AFR) – Investors try to look past confessions, not yet ready to sell in May and go away

(6 May 2017, AFR, p21, by Sarah Turner) ‘Investors aren’t quite prepared to follow the old saying “sell in May and go away” despite a week of ugly profit downgrades that sparked dramatic share price moves. Junior telco Vocus Communications, packaging firm Pact Group, footwear retailer RCG Corporation, Fairfax Media and casino operator The Star … Continue reading

26 Apr 2017 (AFR) – Star active fund managers fall on hard times – Active fundies struggle as passive index huggers deliver

[COMMENT: I cannot help but comment on this, as regular readers will know – I don’t invest in managed funds based on past experience and ongoing news and research like this news story.] (26 April 2017, AFR, p1, by James Frost) ‘Australia’s most successful and well-known stock pickers are under pressure as active managers fail to … Continue reading

19 Apr 2017 (TheAge) – High hopes for US earnings season but markets may stall

(19 April 2017, The Age, BusinessDay, p29, Myriam Robin) ‘Analysts and fund managers expect the upcoming US quarterly earnings season to be the strongest in some years, but with US equities already trading at highly elevated levels, few expect the strong results to translate into higher sharemarket growth. Expectations for the US earnings season are … Continue reading