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17 Jan 2020 (AFR) – Investing: Growth investors on top in unprecedented decade

(17 January 2020, AFR, p29, Tom Richardson, Markets reporter and commentator) ‘The post-GFC bull run for risk assets accelerated this week with the local sharemarket topping 7000 points to deliver the best start to the year since 2000. The latest move higher is on investor relief that a tariff-reducing US-China phase one trade deal will … Continue reading

17 Jan 2020 (AFR) – The missing ingredient in the ASX rally, where quality doesn’t come cheap

(17 January 2020, AFR, p27, Robert Guy, Senior Writer) ‘The 1000 point rally in Australian stocks over the past 11 months testifies to the power of multiple expansion to gloss over anemic earnings growth, as low yields unite investors in the belief in TINA – There Is No Alternative.’ <snipped…> ‘But the missing ingredient in … Continue reading

16 Jan 2020 (AFR) – Short sellers poised to swoop as earnings disappointments loom

(16 January 2020, AFR, p27, Sarah Turner, Reporter) ‘The stakes appear unusually high for companies this earnings season, with short sellers poised to claim the rewards as companies trade on some of the richest valuations in history, inviting ruthless punishment for missed expectations. ASX-listed companies are gearing up to report first-half earnings in February, meaning … Continue reading

16 Jan 2020 (AFR) – Coal miners optimistic despite BlackRock exit

(16 January 2020, AFR, p12, Peter Ker, Resources reporter) ‘Australian coal miners say there are plenty of investors willing to replace those blacklisting the sector, as the world’s biggest fund manager announced a new policy that will reverse its aggressive buying of Australian coal stocks over the past year. BlackRock joined the long list of … Continue reading

16 Jan 2020 (AFR) – Super funds record best year since 2013

[COMMENTS: Because of my own distrust of managed funds in general, including superannuation funds, I always post reports like this one below with some comments like the following. It will be interesting to see how these funds perform over the next couple of years because it is common for a superior fund one year to … Continue reading

15 Jan 2020 (AFR) – Financial planners reveal what’s wrong with their industry

[COMMENT: As Karen explains here, her piece in the AFR a week ago elicited a lot of response from financial planners, and this follow up article provides a great insight into the financial planning industry in Australia. It’s well worth reading the entire article at] (15 January 2020, AFR, p29, Karen Maley, Columnist) ‘Financial … Continue reading

15 Jan 2020 (AFR) – Costello warns of boom in risky assets

(15 January 2020, AFR, p1, John Kehoe, Senior Writer) ‘The chairman of the $166 billion sovereign wealth fund, Peter Costello, has warned that record low interest rates are pushing investors into risky financial products akin to “collateralised debt obligations”, which blew up during the 2008 global financial crisis. ‘ Read more at (might need … Continue reading

15 Jan 2020 (AFR) – Investing: The Aussie icon that’s turned boring into tech value

[COMMENT: The old discussion about value investing versus growth investing continues. This article provides some interesting food for thought.] (15 January 2020, AFR, p26,  Michael Glennon, Contributor) ‘It’s been a hard few years for investors with a value bias. While we don’t put ourselves into either the growth or value camps, we have definitely taken … Continue reading

15 Jan 2020 (AFR) – Investing: Australian stocks are partying like it’s 1960

(15 January 2020, AFR, p27, Robert Guy, Senior Writer) ‘Australian industrial stocks are trading at their richest valuations since 1960 on reflation hopes but some strategists warn investors could be set for disappointment. You know valuations are frothy when you have to go back to when Sir Robert Menzies was prime minister to find market … Continue reading

10 Jan 2020 (AFR) – The national scandal that is financial planning

[COMMENT: Now this is a great read. What is the future of financial advice in Australia? The rich can afford it, while many cannot afford the fees of an adviser who could do a proper job. So what do the rest of us do for financial advice? Read the full story.] (10 January 2020, AFR, … Continue reading

10 Jan 2020 (AFR,Bloomberg) – Swiss Trader Spills Secrets of Global Insider Network

[COMMENT: Here is an interesting expose into the mysterious world of organised insider trading.] (10 January 2020, AFR, p28, By Bob Van Voris, Bloomberg) ‘He tapped a safe full of cash to pay off corrupt stock tipsters and used phony invoices for artwork sales to mask some payments. He stole information from his banker girlfriend, … Continue reading

10 Jan 2020 (AFR) – It was a stellar decade for stocks, despite the headlines

(10 January 2020, AFR, p27, Jonathan Shapiro, Senior Reporter) ‘The decade is over, and counter to all the headlines, it’s been one of the best ever for the stockmarket. But it sure didn’t feel so great. For ten years, equities scaled a wall of worry. The hangover from the sub-prime catastrophe, a European debt crisis, … Continue reading

9 Jan 2020 (TheAge) – Investing: The top 10 phrases you’ll need to understand the economy in 2020

(9 January 2020, The Age, p20, Jessica Irvine) ‘It’s that time of year when those of us with a professional interest in grabbing headlines stare into our crystal balls and make bold predictions about what lies ahead in 2020. The trick for those of us seeking both fame and longevity is to keep things a … Continue reading

6 Jan 2020 (AFR) – Investing: Corporate regulator investigates Dixon Advisory

(6 January 2020, AFR, p13, Jonathan Shapiro and Carrie LaFrenz) ‘The Australian Securities and Investments Commission is investigating listed wealth manager Evans Dixon over the advice provided to some of its clients after the corporate watchdog received several complaints over 2019. ASIC is investigating the Dixon Advisory arm, which merged with boutique firm Evans & … Continue reading

6 Jan 2020 (AFR) – Investing: Wealthy clients are no longer sophisticated investors

[COMMENT: This is an interesting move forward regarding the way in which so-called “sophisticated investors” are treated by their financial adviser or stock broker. For years now, different rules have applied to them on the assumption that because they have a bucket load of money to invest, that they know how to invest, and are … Continue reading

3 Jan 2020 (AFR) – ASX: Activist short sellers profit in local raids

(3 January 2020, AFR, p15, Jonathan Shapiro, Senior Reporter) ‘Activist short sellers made good profits from targeting Australian companies in 2019, even as a the broader market made strong gains while corporate executives sought to counter negative claims. In 2019, short sellers launched five public campaigns against Australian companies, resulting in an average decline of … Continue reading

3 Jan 2020 (AFR) – ASX: Short sellers keep faith after tough year

(3 January 2020, AFR, p15, Chanticleer) ‘The short sellers of the ASX might be coming off a desperately difficult year, but they’re certainly not ready to back down. That’s the message from fascinating data analysed by veteran Bell Potter broker Richard Coppleson, which shows that of the top 25 short positions on the ASX on … Continue reading

16 Dec 2019 (AFR) – Investing: Accused scammers flee after ASIC uncovers fake super investments

(16 December 2019, AFR, p8, Joanna Mather, Superannuation writer) ‘Three alleged scammers have fled overseas after the Australian Securities and Investments Commission accused them of fleecing more than 50 superannuation clients of as much as $8 million. Victims were encouraged to roll their super into newly created self-managed funds and then invest, by way of … Continue reading

7 Dec 2019 (AFR) – ‘I’m no Skase’: Inside Mayfair’s investment pitch

[COMMENT: Caveat emptor. Readers should read the entire article in full before passing judgement.] (7 December 2019, AFR, p23, Jonathan Shapiro and Liam Walsh) ‘Interest rates are at rock bottom. Investment risks are sky high. Trust in our banks and our financial advisers is broken. Across the country, retirees don’t know what to do with … Continue reading

7 Dec 2019 (AFR) – Subprime loans lure yield-hungry investors

(7 December 2019, AFR, p1, John Kehoe and Matthew Cranston) ‘Subprime mortgage funds are luring tens of thousands of yield-starved retail investors and advertising their “term accounts” like safe bank deposits. Ultra-low interest rates are driving mum and dad investors into subprime mortgage trusts operated by non-bank lender XXXXXXXXX and other fund managers. ‘ <snipped…> … Continue reading

4 Dec 2019 (AFR) – Signs to watch for an imminent correction

(4 December 2019, AFR, p26,  Michael McCarthy, Contributor) ‘Active investors could do well to doubt the extremes of sentiment – a practice which is is powerful under current market conditions. ‘ <snipped…> ‘The good news for those who refuse to look at the fuzzier predictive tools is that there are numbers to back up the … Continue reading

16 Nov 2019 (AFR) – Four signs bullish investors need to see

(16 November 2019, AFR, p32,  Robert Guy, Senior Writer) ‘Stronger growth in major economies and a manufacturing recovery are just two indicators the uptick in global markets can be sustained. It’s the global rally powered by magical thinking. There may be no hard evidence – yet – of a recovery in the global economy, but … Continue reading

16 Nov 2019 (AFR) – Challenge for the blue chips

(16 November 2019, AFR, p28,  Aleks Vickovich, Reporter) ‘With weak consumer spending and soft economic growth, can these market darlings justify their rising valuations? Geopolitical uncertainty and low interest rates are reigniting investors’ love affair with blue chip stocks, but are the lofty valuations really justified?’ Read more at (might need AFR login access, … Continue reading

14 Nov 2019 (AFR) – Global fund managers all in as fear of missing out prevails

(14 November 2019, AFR, p30, Timothy Moore, Online editor) ‘Equity markets have been on a tear the last few weeks and the November survey of global fund managers by Bank of America Merrill Lynch highlights a significant repositioning for the year ahead. Investor cash levels fell to 4.2 per cent this month from 5 per … Continue reading

12 Nov 2019 (AFR) – Tread carefully when the market is searching for value

(12 November 2019, AFR, p33,  Sean Fenton) ‘There are often false starts at turning points, so whether this market rotation has legs will depend on whether growth recovers. It’s often said that the darkest hour is just before dawn – that certainly applies to markets. Only a few weeks ago, bond yields were hitting record … Continue reading

21 Oct 2019 (AFR) – The ‘big sag’: Why investors have lost their risk appetite

(21 October 2019, AFR, p29, Karen Maley, Columnist) ‘Billionaire hedge fund founder Ray Dalio probably didn’t have either WeWork or Latitude Financial in mind, but his warning that the global economy is heading for a “big sag” pithily sums up the market’s risk-taking appetite at present. Speaking as part of a panel discussion in Washington … Continue reading

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