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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

12 Apr 2017 (TheAge,MONEY) – Top Australian share funds named

[COMMENT: I usually bag the managed funds industry because of their general failure to produce reliable returns year-on-year over several years. But this news story names some fund managers which can actually deliver better returns.  The one thing that is very interesting is the comment in the article stating that “…outperformance comes from individual stock selection … Continue reading

5 Apr 2017 (AFR) – Magazine’s hotspot reports get it badly wrong

(5 April 2017, AFR, p33, by Larry Schlesinger) ‘Who would have thought investing in a mining town five years ago would have been a bad idea? Clearly not the so-called investment gurus who advised the faithful readers of glossy mag Your Investment Property in 2011 and 2012 to buy property in places like Roxby Downs, … Continue reading

28 Mar 2017 (AFR) – More institutional investors to add ETFs to portfolios

(28 March 2017, AFR, p29, by James Frost) ‘Assets managed by Australian exchange-traded fund providers are poised for their next leg up with more than half of institutional buyers indicating plans to ramp up their allocation to the investment vehicles in the future. The survey of 35 institutions, which included five of the top industry … Continue reading

24 Mar 2017 (AFR) – The Cape measure also suggests US equities are overvalued

(24 March 2017, AFR, p29, by The Lex Column) ‘Number-crunchers have been trying to calm the market hive mind for years. This week they may feel as though they’re getting somewhere. As Cape, the cyclically adjusted price-earnings multiple, hit a near two-decade high, the S&P 500 had its worst day since the US election. By … Continue reading

24 Mar 2017 (TheAge) – S&P says Aussie-managed funds underperform

(24 March 2017, The Age, BusinessDay, p25, Myriam Robin) ‘Only 10 per cent of the Australian managed funds that outperformed their benchmark index in 2014 were able to do so consistently for the following two years, according to research by S&P Dow Jones Indices.’ Read more at

23 Mar 2017 (AFR) – Global fundies warn shares are overvalued

(23 March 2017, AFR, p25, by Jens Meyer) ‘An exit from equities for big money could be on the cards after a record number of global fund managers reckon that stocks are overvalued, according to a survey. In Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s monthly survey of 200 global investors representing close to $US600 billion in assets … Continue reading

11 Mar 2017 (AFR) – Rates are rising but dividend yields are still too good to give up – Chase for income drives sharemarket spike in bank stocks

(11 March 2017, AFR, p26, by Philip Baker) ‘Talk to anyone over 60 years of age with one eye on retirement and the conversation quickly turns to income, especially now that interest rates are so low. For sure, it looks like rates are heading higher, but exactly when, and how high they go, is still … Continue reading

10 Mar 2017 (AFR) – Why the ASX200 can’t break past 5800

(10 March 2017, AFR, p33, by Myriam Robin) ‘Corporate Australia has enjoyed one of the best earnings seasons in years, but investors don’t appear to be buying in. The ASX200’s growth so far this year has been modest, and has vastly lagged that of other major indices. While many equity strategists remain upbeat – expecting the … Continue reading

10 Mar 2017 (AFR) – Plenty of cash for risky business as companies pile into junk bonds

(10 March 2017, AFR, p32, by Philip Baker) ‘A month ago, when US President Donald Trump said he wanted to abolish the Dodd-Frank financial regulations, he pointed out many of his friends had really “nice businesses” but they couldn’t get a loan. There’s no doubt one of the great ironies of the US Federal Reserve’s easy monetary policy since … Continue reading

8 Mar 2017 (AFR) – Blue chips lead the way – ASX20 banks, miners lead blue chip recovery

(8 March 2017, AFR, p30, by Sally Patten) ‘What a difference a year makes. Twelve months ago the share prices of Australia’s biggest companies were in the doldrums. Commodity prices were spiralling down, Woolworths and Coles were battling it out between themselves and new-kid-on-the-block Aldi and the banks were being forced to hold more capital.’ … 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

1 Mar 2017 (AFR) – Reporting season: The ASX is still a stockpicker’s market – Investors still need to hone stockpicking skills for the year ahead

(1 March 2017, AFR, p28, by Philip Baker) ‘The full-time siren for the current reporting season has just been sounded and it’s hard to criticise the latest batch of profits from corporate Australia that has given investors their best set of results since 2010. But they still need to tread carefully and hone their stock-picking … Continue reading

27 Feb 2017 (AFR) – Is Wall Street’s rise a classic “suckers’ rally”?

(27 February 2017, AFR, p28, by Karen Maley) ‘Are we witnessing a classic “suckers’ rally”? If you listen to more bearish analysts, the answer is an emphatic “yes”. They say Wall Street’s prolonged rise – the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average has notched 11 straight record closes, its longest winning streak since early 1987 – bears … Continue reading

27 Feb 2017 (AFR) – Bond yield rally suggests too much good news priced in

(27 February 2017, AFR, p20, by Bill Bovingdon, chief investment officer of Altius Asset Management) ‘The contrast between 2017 and 2016 could hardly be more stark. This time last year, financial markets were in turmoil in response to the US Federal Reserve lifting cash rates for the first time in nearly a decade. Now, following … 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

14 Feb 2017 (AFR) – Sell and keep selling for five months when a stock disappoints

[COMMENT: There are many points of view (ie. different opinions) about holding shares as the share price falls, or selling, protecting capital by selling, or hoping for the best by holding. This news story throws an interesting light on this topic.] (14 February 2017, AFR, p26, by Philip Baker) ‘Patience pays off for investors when … Continue reading

6 Feb 2017 (AFR) -Momentum overpowers value investing in Aussie market: Morgan Stanley quants

[COMMENT: Interesting article comparing differing investing styles and approaches.] (6 February 2017, AFR, p16, by Jonathan Shapiro) ‘Buying stocks that go up, and selling the ones that go down seems like a simple way to beat the market. It turns out that when it comes to Australia, it’s by far the best.   Morgan Stanley’s team … Continue reading