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5 Oct 2019 (AFR) – Investors ignoring growing global economic risks, RBA warns

(5 October 2019, AFR, p6,  Karen Maley, Columnist) ‘Global equity, bond and commercial property markets could suffer savage sell-offs if investors, who have until now been remarkably complacent about risk, suddenly wake up to the deteriorating global outlook. In its October Financial Stability Review, the Reserve Bank highlights the darkening global outlook, as economic activity has … Continue reading

25 Sept 2019 (AFR) – The return of value investing – As the gloom gathers, value investing shines brighter

[COMMENT: Warning!! Make sure to read this article in entirety before deciding whether the information is useful or not.] (25 September 2019, AFR, p31,  Michael McCarthy) ‘Value investing has intuitive appeal. Identify a company with a value higher than its current share price, buy and wait. Eventually, the short-term “voting machine” that is the market … Continue reading

23 Sept 2019 (AFR) – There are still too many risks to chase value stocks

(23 September 2019, AFR, p20,  Jun Bei Liu) ‘There is never a dull day on the sharemarket. The end of the volatile reporting season marked the beginning of the great rotation from recent winners into losers, so to speak. The US equity market staged a five-standard deviation rally − a particularly rare event − of … Continue reading

17 Sept 2019 (AFR) – Investors fatigued by daily dose of calamity

(17 September 2019, AFR, p29, Robert Guy, Senior Writer) ‘The risk is investors become too complacent. The attack on Saudi oil is a potent reminder of the vulnerability of the world’s energy security infrastructure. There once was a time when a foreign attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil industry, coupled with China’s Premier warning that maintaining … Continue reading

11 Sept 2019 (AFR) – Investors doubt consumers have got their mojo back

(11 September 2019, AFR, p17, Sue Mitchell, Senior Reporter) ‘The ink is barely dry on retailers’ full year accounts but investors are anxiously awaiting first quarter and annual meeting sales updates to see if an encouraging uptick in consumer spending in the first few weeks of 2020 is sustained. Retailers such as Woolworths, Wesfarmers, JB … Continue reading

11 Sept 2019 (TheAge) – Trump’s market-moving tweets have created a new field of financial analysis

(11 September 2019, The Age, Business, p30, By David Scutt) ‘US President Donald Trump’s prolific use of Twitter is leading to wild swings in the prices of stocks, bonds and currencies and has spawned an entirely new field of financial market research.’ <snipped…> ‘According to the North American fixed-income strategy team at JPMorgan, Trump’s tweeting … Continue reading

6 Sept 2019 (AFR) – Investors don’t buy the ‘death of the consumer’

(6 September 2019, AFR, p6, Tim Boyd and Luke Housego) ‘On the surface, economic data unveiled this week painted a bleak picture of the national retail industry, as annual economic growth slowed and retail trade contracted in July. But that hasn’t stopped investors jumping back into retail stocks.’ Read more at (might need AFR … Continue reading

4 Sept 2019 (AFR) – Active managers fail to shine

(4 September 2019, AFR, p27, Elouise Fowler) ‘More than nine out of 10 large-cap fund managers failed to deliver a better return than the market in 2018-19. Fund managers recorded an average return of 6.3 per cent, well below the gain of 11.6 per cent enjoyed by passive investors in S&P/ASX 200 index funds, S&P … Continue reading

31 Aug 2019 (AFR) – Trade war and earnings punish ASX

(31 August 2019, AFR, p33, William McInnes, Reporter) ‘A strong session on Friday wasn’t enough to offset steep losses earlier in August, as the Australian sharemarket finally recorded its first negative month of the year. The trade tensions and warnings of an economic downturn the market had been stubbornly ignoring for the first seven months … Continue reading

27 Aug 2019 (AFR) – APRA’s game-changing intervention in super

(27 August 2019, AFR, p9, Joanna Mather, Superannuation writer) ‘The prudential regulator will intervene to settle a quarrel over the extent to which unlisted property and infrastructure can be counted alongside bonds and cash as “defensive” assets. The practice of classifying unlisted assets as partially defensive – rather than wholly growth – is contentious, having … Continue reading

26 Aug 2019 (AFR) – Value investing: Why it’s hard to say when value wins again

[COMMENT: The ongoing debate about value investing versus growth investing, and their usefulness, is discussed in this article – very interesting.] (26 August 2019, AFR, p15, Jonathan Shapiro, Senior Reporter) ‘Cliff Asness says much of his job is about sticking to his finely-tuned investment strategy like grim death. It’s the question every almost every fund … Continue reading

24 Aug 2019 (AFR) – Investing: Small-cap bargains beneath the gloom

(24 August 2019, AFR, p28, Tony Featherstone, Finance writer) ‘Canny investors should be keeping an eye on the huge gap between soaring tech/mining stocks and a “black hole” of underperformers that could be set for takeovers. Australia’s small-cap universe is diverging into two worlds – a narrow group of soaring tech and mining stocks, and … Continue reading

24 Aug 2019 (AFR) – Why a good short is a ‘slow bleed’

(24 August 2019, AFR, p22, Vesna Poljak, Jonathan Shapiro and Jemima Whyte) ‘Activist short-sellers made a startling impression on the Australian market over a year ago, striking at targets with mixed precision but genuine impact. Now the reception has changed. ‘ <snipped…> ‘Activist short-sellers made a startling impression on the Australian market over a year … Continue reading

17 Aug 2019 (AFR) – Strong earnings weather global market sell-off

(17 August 2019, AFR, p22, William McInnes, Reporter) ‘The second week of earnings season proved difficult for many companies, as a global market sell-off and fears of recession pushed the vast majority of shares on the local market lower. The S&P/ASX 200 was caught in the worldwide drawdown, falling 178.9 points, or 2.7 per cent, … Continue reading

16 Aug 2019 (AFR) – Big US investors use summer sell-off to ramp up bets

(16 August 2019, AFR, p29, David Randall and Jennifer Ablan) ‘New York | The summer sell-off is finally here – and not all US investors are rattled by it. After a record-setting first half of the year that pushed US stock markets to new highs, a more than 760-point drop in the Dow Jones Industrial … Continue reading

15 Aug 2019 (AFR) – A contrarian investor’s guide to the trade war

(15 August 2019, AFR, p29, Patrick Commins, Columnist) ‘There are scenarios where a US-China trade deal happens sooner than the market believes, which could lead to a “violent” reaction in a very one-sided market. As 10-year bond yields in Australia fell below 1 per cent for the first time last week, my colleague wondered whether we … Continue reading

10 Aug 2019 (AFR) – Trade war may be over – Stalemate could drive search-for-yield rally

[COMMENT: This article has a very interesting take on the current trade war that seems to be just a tit-for-tat exchange; but which could be a whole lot more.] (10 August 2019, AFR, p29,  Christopher Joye, Columnist) ‘While trade tensions have recently erupted, this may presage a permanent impasse that could unleash the mother of … Continue reading

10 Aug 2019 (AFR) – Low rates are the weeds of the equity market

(10 August 2019, AFR, p23, Vesna Poljak, Markets Editor) ‘The Australian cash rate is inching closer to the zero lower bound, the same sharemarket that hit a record high in July just had its worst week in nine months, and earnings season is off to a rocky start. On what might eventually be recalled as … Continue reading

6 Aug 2019 (TheAge) – Worst day of the year for ASX as China’s currency play wipes $38bn from stocks

(6 August 2019, The Age, Business, p27, By William McInnes) ‘Tech stocks led a sharemarket slump on Monday, as the Chinese yuan dropped below a key level, sparking selling across Asian markets and pushing local shares to their worst session since December. Selling in growth stocks was heavy as investors looked to exit riskier stocks. … Continue reading

3 Aug 2019 (AFR) – How to find the best returns in a low-rate world

(3 August 2019, AFR, p28, William McInnes, Reporter) ‘For 20 of the past 30 years of investing, there were some certainties. Investing in equities would give you a higher rate of return coupled with a higher risk premium, bonds were a steady and stable form of income, and cash, while delivering only low returns, came … Continue reading

29 July 2019 (AFR) – Buying ‘quality’ stocks is no silver bullet

[COMMENT: This is an interesting article for all of the investors who are interested in the discussions about ‘quality stocks’, or value versus growth investing.] (29 July 2019, AFR, p28, James Thomson) ‘If the Merlon research shows us nothing else it’s that lazy investment slogans – such as “always buy quality” – shouldn’t be followed … Continue reading

29 July 2019 (AFR) – Separating earnings sentiment from earnings reality

(29 July 2019, AFR, p21, Jun Bei Liu) <snipped…> ‘…With August reporting season now mere days away from commencing, the wave of recent earnings guidance downgrades will be telling. With actual earnings performances now tallied and awaiting release, will there be enough positive surprises to drive continued share price out-performance?’ Read more at (might … Continue reading

27 July 2019 (AFR) – Revealed: Superannuation’s top performers

[COMMENT: I don’t like to post references and articles like this one without adding some over-riding words of caution. The numbers can be readily juggled depending on the start date of the period under consideration. And, of course, past returns are no guarantee of future performance. It will be interesting to re-visit this study in … Continue reading

25 July 2019 (AFR) – Retirees will scream ‘blue murder’ in a crash

[COMMENT: Now this is a very contentious topic – how to define the various terms used to categorise managed funds and more importantly superannuation funds – growth, balanced or conservative. There seems to be some very wide variations between the fund managers – which many people would call ‘misleading’.] (25 July 2019, AFR, p8, Joanna … Continue reading

25 July 2019 (TheAge) – ‘Short-term sugar hit’: ASX brushes records and sparks warnings

(25 July 2019, The Age, Business, p26, By Lucy Battersby and Clancy Yeates) ‘The local sharemarket’s brush with record levels has sparked warnings that the factors driving the growth, especially cheap debt, are not linked to strong company performance. The Australian All Ordinaries index closed at a record high level on Wednesday at 6862 points, … Continue reading

24 July 2019 (AFR) – IPOs rarer in first half, but performing better

(24 July 2019, AFR, p13, Michael Bailey, Rich List Editor) ‘Only 23 companies joined the Australian Securities Exchange in the first six months of 2019, barely half the five-year average, but the group that did list has trounced the performance of the broader All Ordinaries Index. While there were 39 initial public offerings in the … Continue reading

24 July 2019 (AFR) – APRA will need to focus on risk-adjusted returns

(24 July 2019, AFR, p9, Joanna Mather, Superannuation writer) ‘The chairman of the 2009 Super System Review, Jeremy Cooper, has backed calls for more stringent reporting standards for superannuation funds, including uniform definitions for growth and defensive assets. Some super funds have been accused of mischaracterising growth assets as defensive ones, which makes returns look better … Continue reading

18 July 2019 (AFR) – Insider selling a clear signal of tough times ahead

[COMMENT: This article might be of interest to share market investors, giving some clues about how to be forewarned of possible company share price downside.] (18 July 2019, AFR, p29, Chris Stott) ‘For equity investors seeking that elusive edge, the buying and selling of a company’s shares by directors and executives can offer a compelling … Continue reading

5 July 2019 (AFR) – Broking bad: warnings of an advisory wipeout

[COMMENT: This is an interesting expose into the world of stoke broking, and some of the things that can go wrong. Bottom line? – Maybe don’t trust everything that everyone tells you.] (5 July 2019, AFR, p20, Liam Walsh, Reporter) ‘Questions are being raised about why one of Australia’s biggest stockbrokers did not disclose internal … Continue reading

29 June 2019 (AFR) – Twin obsessions to take market higher as fiscal year dawns

(29 June 2019, AFR, p26, Sarah Turner, Reporter) ‘Income and growth-obsessed investors, emboldened by cheap money, have powered the S&P/ASX 200 to its best fiscal first-half performance in almost 30 years, with the market’s record high in sight as the new financial year dawns. Investors piled into stocks over the year firm in the view … Continue reading