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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

24 May 2018 (AFR) – Mass financial adviser exodus puts $900 billion in play

(24 May 2018, AFR, p17, by Alice Uribe) ‘A mass exodus of financial planners over the next five years will put $900 billion of client wealth in play as the reality of tougher educational standards and the fallout from damning royal commission revelations set in. The stunning shift in the industry is a key finding … 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) – Schroders Martin Conlon sets out the bear case for market darlings

(11 May 2018, AFR, p31, by Sarah Turner) ‘Investing in the current crop of market darlings could be a flawed strategy given their expensive valuations, and the risk that central banks remove their implicit safety net that has emboldened risk taking by investors. That’s the view of that Schroders’ head of Australian equities, Martin Conlon, who singled out some … 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

7 May 2018 (AFR) – ASX confession season begins on a high note

(7 May 2018, AFR, p22, by Vesna Poljak) ‘The confession season has started on an optimistic note, with most companies able to hold their earnings forecasts, but further downgrades cannot be ruled out as the weather and industry-specific issues detract from reasonably strong economic activity.’ Read more (and see more charts and tables) at … Continue reading

25 Apr 2018 (TheAge) – The questions you need to ask before you pick a financial adviser

(25 April 2018, The Age, Money supplement, p2, Christine Long) ‘A financial planner may enter your life through the recommendation of a friend or family member or an introduction via your bank. But that doesn’t mean you should simply hand your money over. As the Hayne Royal Commission is highlighting some thorough investigation is needed … 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

24 Apr 2018 (AFR) – Banking royal commission: The real cost of financial advice

(24 April 2018, AFR, p2, by Jennifer Hewett) ‘The guiding principles for AMP’s remediation program for clients who received dud and damaging financial advice certainly sound reassuring. They include the company’s commitment to “timeliness and transparency” as well as to restoring the client’s financial position. But don’t ever try persuading the hapless clients of AMP’s … Continue reading

24 Apr 2018 (AFR) – AMP adviser’s clients lost a quarter of their super. They don’t know it yet

(24 April 2018, AFR, p6, by Joanna Mather) ‘A husband and wife who rolled their superannuation into an AMP-owned product on the basis of dodgy advice lost a quarter of their money in fees – only they don’t know it yet. AMP has yet to inform the mystery couple of their loss even though the … Continue reading

19 Apr 2018 (AFR) – Investors ignore bond market’s ‘stark warning’

(19 April 2018, AFR, p27, by Patrick Commins) ‘Given how allergic investors are to any talk of higher central bank rates, it’s somewhat perplexing experts have largely been happy to dismiss the impact of climbing short-term yields here and abroad. Take the London Interbank Offered Rate. Libor, as it’s known, is the first step in … Continue reading

17 Apr 2018 (AFR) – The lords of lithium, Twitter and social media’s heart of darknesss

[COMMENT: Here is a good insight into the background for some of the apparent hype that we read in the social media and online discussion forums. Investors beware!] (17 April 2018, AFR, p11, by Jemima Whyte) ‘On March 28, when locals were on constant thunderstorm-watch, a group of six men stood in front of a 12-seater, … 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

19 Apr 2018 (AFR) – Peak in equities still ahead, according to latest BAML fund manager survey

[COMMENT: Can you believe this? Would you believe this? Fund managers are forecasting the market – but then that is what they do all the time, and then they bet (other people’s) money on their educated guess. Some of us struggle with this. Some technical analysts would look at the chart of the S&P500, and … Continue reading

10 Apr 2018 (TheAge) – Half of Myer investors stuck with shares they can’t sell

[COMMENT: Here is a salutary lesson for investors who purchase shares in a company, including supposed blue chip stocks. In the case of Myer, anyone who didn’t spot the declining share price over a long period, or who decided to hold on and prayer for a turn around, if the share parcel value has declined … Continue reading

9 Apr 2018 (AFR) – Blue Sky-owned Wild Breads faces uncertain future

[COMMENT: This is simply a case study example of one of the things that could go wrong with an investment in a managed fund – that the fund is closed, and redemptions refused! Do you eventually get your money back?] (9 April 2018, AFR, p15, by: Jonathan Shapiro, Vesna Poljak) ‘A Blue Sky private equity … 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

15 Mar 2018 (AFR) – Most Australian fund managers fell short in 2017, S&P data shows

[COMMENT: Why on earth do people continue to “invest” in managed funds, when a significant number of funds cannot routinely deliver profitable returns? ] (15 March 2018, AFR, p27, by Patrick Commins) ‘The bulk of professional stock pickers have once again been unable to beat the market, as shown by S&P Dow Jones Indices’ scorecard for … Continue reading

15 Feb 2018 (AFR) – ‘Everything looks expensive’: Morningstar’s Daniel Needham

(15 February 2018, AFR, p29, by Sally Patten) ‘Some investors might be dipping their toes back into the sharemarket after last week’s rout, but Morningstar isn’t one of them. The high-profile manager is sitting on a hefty pile of cash and has not begun to deploy any of it, despite the recent falls. “Valuations are … Continue reading

14 Feb 2018 (AFR,TheAge) – The Aussie funds hardest hit by the correction

(14 February 2018, AFR, by Patrick Commins) ‘Geared and trend-following managed funds lost as much as 15 per cent during this month’s sharp market correction, highlighting the potential risks of such strategies during bursts of intense volatility. At the same time, cash and fixed-income funds showed their resilience by recording a positive month to date, … Continue reading

12 Feb 2018 (AFR) – Volatility bets should not be available to retail investors

(12 February 2018, AFR, p19, by John Authers) ‘How much protection do people deserve when they venture into markets? After the longest period on record without a stock market sell-off — or “correction” — capital markets reminded last week that setting prices is painful. It involves the interaction of greed and fear, with markets rising steadily, … Continue reading

12 Feb 2018 (AFR) – ETF market smashes through $US5tn barrier after record month

(12 February 2018, AFR, p19, by Chris Flood) ‘Investors ploughed more than $US100bn in new cash into exchange traded funds in January, a record monthly inflow that helped drive assets held in ETFs globally above the $5tn mark for the first time. The surge in January follows four consecutive years of record breaking inflows into … Continue reading

12 Feb 2018 (AFR) – Stock market nose dive: ‘This is how QE ends’ – AXA Framlington’s Mark Tinker sees structured product rethink after VIX blow-ups

(12 February 2018, AFR, p13, by Sarah Turner) ‘AXA Framlington’s Mark Tinker says he wasn’t surprised by the role that shorting volatility played in the last week’s stock market rout as he took aim at the wave of structured financial products that have emerged since the global financial crisis. The $US2 billion VelocityShares Daily Inverse … Continue reading

9 Feb 2018 (AFR) – Millennials get a lesson in turmoil – Market unwind will be turbulent, says ‘bond king’ Jeffrey Gundlach

(9 February 2018, AFR, p32, by Karen Maley) ‘It’s been a tough year for Millennials who, for the first time in their investing careers, have learnt just how vicious markets can be. The first market lesson came from the Millennials’ market darling – the cryptocurrencies. After soaring to a peak of nearly $US20,000 ($26,600) per coin … Continue reading

9 Feb 2018 (AFR) – Surge in volatility – ‘Buy the dip’ mantra faces unexpected test

(9 February 2018, AFR, p29, by Nicole Bullock and Eric Platt) ‘It took less than a day to debunk the longstanding mantra that financial markets are in an era of low volatility. As the shockwaves ripple out from this week’s ructions, another truism of recent years — that investors should “buy the dip” — faces … Continue reading

8 Feb 2018 (AFR) – The role of volatility shorts in this week’s market sell-off

(8 February 2018, AFR, p27, by Robin Wigglesworth) ‘When excitable beliefs in new paradigms in markets are shattered it can be spectacular. The conviction that stock markets had entered a new era of tranquility has become the latest example.’ <snipped…> ‘On Wall Street, being “short” means you are betting against something, and “short volatility” is … Continue reading

7 Feb 2018 (AFR) – Stocks plunge as investors ponder the end of Goldilocks

(7 February 2018, AFR, p27, by Patrick Commins) ‘The good news from the steep sell-off in financial markets in recent days is that in terms of fundamentals nothing has changed. The global economy remains in rude health. The global composite purchasing managers’ index – considered a leading indicator for economic activity – remains at its … Continue reading