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8 June 2019 (AFR) – ‘Check your airbags’: Investors brace for creative destruction

(8 June 2019, AFR, p15, Patrick Commins, Columnist) ‘Perhaps the most disconcerting aspect among the many troubling features of today’s global financial markets is that few profess to know where we go from here. This is not a statement in the sense of “nobody knows what tomorrow will bring”, although that is undoubtedly true. Rather, … Continue reading

8 June 2019 (AFR) – Banks slash savers’ rates and term deposits

(8 June 2019, AFR, p6, Duncan Hughes, Reporter) ‘Lenders are slashing term deposits and savings rates by more than double the 25 basis point reduction in cash rates by the Reserve Bank of Australia, with more cuts expected, according to analysts. Some lenders, such as Westpac and ANZ, made term deposit rate cuts on Tuesday … Continue reading

3 June 2019 (AFR) – Why we are all carry investors now

(3 June 2019, AFR, p20,  Tamar Hamlyn) ‘Market movements have seen bond yields pushed to multi-decade lows, with Australia leading the way on expectations of a cut in the cash rate on Tuesday.’ <snipped…> ‘But with a large chunk of the global bond market now yielding below cash or below zero, this is driving a … Continue reading

1 June 2019 (AFR) – Fundies seek to run down cash exposure, buying the dip

[COMMENT: I can’t help but think that “buying the dip” now, as explained below, is potentially very dangerous – just in case the current confirmed downtrend in global share markets continues, as some pundits expect. We remember the Dow Theory comments on this – a downtrend is a downtrend and is expected to continue, until … Continue reading

31 May 2019 (AFR) – Growth concerns drag ASX into the red

(31 May 2019, AFR, online, William McInnes) ‘Australian shares ended the week lower as fears of a recession in the US soured investor sentiment. The S&P/ASX 200 Index slid 59.1 points, or 0.9 per cent, to 6396.9 while the broader All Ordinaries closed the week 53.8 points, or 0.8 per cent lower, at 6491.8.’ Read … Continue reading

31 May 2019 (AFR) – Time for investors to get cash savvy

(31 May 2019, AFR, online, Tony Featherstone, Finance writer) ‘With expensive markets and a falling cash rate, you need to become more strategic about cash – both for buying opportunities in a fall and to maximise returns. Selling shares and adding cash to portfolios has low appeal with the sharemarket rallying and the Reserve Bank … Continue reading

31 May 2019 (AFR) – ‘Frenzied’ rate cuts fall through 3pc benchmark to record lows

(31 May 2019, AFR, online, Duncan Hughes) ‘Borrowing rates have crashed through the 3 per cent benchmark to record lows as lenders aggressively compete for residential mortgage market share amid improving market sentiment and the prospect of easier lending conditions. The new one-year fixed rate of 2.99 per cent from Greater Bank, a NSW-based mutual, … Continue reading

30 April 2019 (AFR) – Confession season off to wobbly start

(30 April 2019, AFR, p29, Vesna Poljak, Markets Editor) ‘The Australian sharemarket arrives at the flagship equities conference of the year fresh off an 11-year high, and with a select group of highly desired stocks – Pro Medicus, Magellan Financial Group, Breville, Technology One, ASX and A2 Milk – trading at record levels. That can … Continue reading

29 April 2019 (AFR) – The threat to the fledgling retail corporate bond market

(29 April 2019, AFR, p16, Jonathan Shapiro) ‘The threat of class actions brought against trustees of failed corporate debt offerings could further derail efforts to grow a retail corporate bond market, as two looming defaults weigh on the sector. Individual investors that subscribed to bond offers by Mackay Sugar and ASX-listed Axsesstoday are facing the … Continue reading

18 April 2019 (AFR) – How to position your portfolio for recession

(18 April 2019, AFR, p58, Mark Draper) ‘Investors should pay attention to the next few months of leading economic indicators, and position their investments accordingly. With the graphs of leading Australian economic indicators taking on the shape of a waterfall, investors would be wise to dust off the play book about how to invest in … Continue reading

18 April 2019 (AFR) – Can the 2019 equity boom last? – Markets return to ‘assisted living’ as investors shun rally

(18 April 2019, AFR, p46,  Patrick Commins) ‘After the best start to Aussie shares since 1991, investors are wondering whether this heralds a new beginning or the restart of an old, unwelcome trend. It might not feel like it, but the start of 2019 has witnessed a boom of historical proportions on the ASX. A … Continue reading

5 April 2019 (AFR) – Off-the-plan apartments bomb for investors

(5 April 2019, AFR, p10, Duncan Hughes) ‘Two out of three Melbourne apartments sold off the plan during the past eight years have made no price gains, or have lost money upon resale, despite a property boom and record immigration, according to analysis by BIS Oxford Economics. In Brisbane about half are selling at a … Continue reading

29 March 2019 (AFR) – Australian bond yields at fresh record low

(29 March 2019, AFR, p31, Vesna Poljak) ‘Australian 10-year bond yields have hit a fresh record low of 1.73 per cent, and half a percentage point of interest rate cuts by the Reserve Bank is now fully priced in by the futures market, which sees the cash rate at 1 per cent in August 2020. … Continue reading

29 March 2019 (AFR) – Consumers confused over financial advice: ASIC

[COMMENT: This is a very interesting article. When we stop and think about it, it’s no wonder that general consumers are confused about the terminology in this field. the regulators have put this wording in place without taking enough time and care to make sure that consumers understand it.] (29 March 2019, AFR, p20, James … Continue reading

25 March 2019 (AFR) – Investors await $10b windfall amid market sell-off

(25 March 2019, AFR, p23, William McInnes) ‘More than $10 billion is set to hit investors’ back pockets this week as Australian companies pay out a record level of dividends to their investors. Eighty-eight companies will return money to their shareholders this week, the biggest week in a bumper two months for dividend-hungry shareholders.’ Read more … Continue reading

23 March 2019 (AFR) – US stocks fall amid hints of slowing growth

(23 March 2019, AFR online, Vildana Hajric and Sarah Ponczek) ‘New York | US equities ended the week lower and Treasuries rose amid more signals that global growth is slowing. The US dollar advanced against most major currencies, while the three-month/10-year yield curve inverted for the first time since 2007. Despite a dovish turn by … Continue reading

14 March 2019 (AFR) – Will the next financial crisis be as bad as the last one?

(14 March 2019, AFR, p27, Patrick Commins) ‘The world has borrowed an extra $US66 trillion since 2008, when a global financial meltdown triggered a “great recession” in the United States and brought the world economy down. The total global debt pile sits at $US178 trillion ($252.2 trillion) as at the middle of last year, an … Continue reading

13 March 2019 (AFR) – The final kick in Shoes of Prey collapse for Blue Sky backers

(13 March 2019, AFR, p16, Jonathan Shapiro) ‘Investors in a Blue Sky fund that backed start-up Shoes of Prey are set to lose all their money, including a portion of the $1 million in management fees that were paid five years in advance. On Monday, Blue Sky told investors in its Blue Sky Private Equity … Continue reading

12 March 2019 (TheAge) – Oil and gas giants shed billions after Norwegian fund’s divestment

(12 March 2019, The Age, Business, p29, by Cole Latimer) ‘Australian energy companies shed more than $2.5 billion on Monday after Norway’s sovereign wealth fund’s decision to cut its global oil holdings, the rout even hitting companies the fund didn’t own.’ Read more at

11 March 2019 (AFR) – Mega super funds will make ASX less relevant says ex-Schroders chief Greg Cooper

(11 March 2019, AFR, p1, Joanna Mather, Jemima Whyte and Jonathan Shapiro) ‘Super funds are set to threaten the role of the Australian sharemarket as they grow larger under the weight of trillions of dollars of funds and move to take full ownership of companies rather than invest in them through shares. The biggest super … Continue reading

8 March 2019 (AFR) – ASX behind the scenes: Transitions dominate equities desks, dealing rooms

[COMMENT: Now this is some interesting behind-the-scenes reporting regarding share trading in the equity market, and some of the things that happen away from the retail share traders and investors.] (8 March 2019, AFR, p17, Sarah Thompson and Anthony Macdonald) ‘It’s the week after Australia’s interim results season and focus on equities desks and in … Continue reading

5 March 2019 (AFR) – Almost every Australian equity fund lagged the market last year

(5 March 2019, AFR, p29, Patrick Commins) ‘Almost nine in 10 actively managed mainstream Australian equity funds failed to beat the market last year, according to the latest figures from S&P Dow Jones Indices. The SPIVA scorecard is promoted by S&P as the “de facto scorekeeper of the ongoing active versus passive debate”, and surveys … Continue reading

2 March 2019 (AFR) – Death of the defensive stocks will reshape investor portfolios

(2 March 2019, AFR, p22, by James Thomson and Jonathan Shapiro) ‘The least important lesson investors could take from Warren Buffett’s billion-dollar loss on his investment in Kraft-Heinz is that even the greatest can get things wrong. This is much more than a story about Kraft-Heinz shares falling 25 per cent in a day – … Continue reading

27 Feb 2019 (TheAge,SMH) – Top-10 tips for not losing money in the share market

(27 February 2019, The Age, MONEY supplement, p2, by Marcus Padley) ‘You don’t have to be a genius to work out that if only we could avoid the losses, we would all be winners. The first rule of making money in the share market is not to lose it. So here are my top-10 tips … Continue reading

27 Feb 2019 (AFR) – How commodity price action can help investors cut through the noise

(27 February 2019, AFR, p23, Michael McCarthy) ‘Many investors are surprised that key resource stocks BHP and Rio Tinto are trading at or near their highest share prices since the global financial crisis (GFC). Both individual and institutional investors are generally underweight in these stocks. The prevailing market narrative has Europe on the verge of … Continue reading

26 Feb 2019 (TheAge) – Appen rockets on ‘mega trend’ of artificial intelligence

(26 February 2019, The Age, Business, p27, by Cara Waters and Lucy Battersby) ‘Shares in the search and language dataset company Appen rocketed on Monday on the back of its full-year results driven by the “mega trend” of artificial intelligence. Appen’s revenue increased 120 per cent to $364 million and underlying post-tax profit increased 148 per … Continue reading

26 Feb 2019 (TheAge) – Former AFL player loses $160m as GetSwift sinks on legal action

(26 February 2019, The Age, Business, p27, by Colin Kruger) ‘GetSwift shares tested record lows as the market reacted to Friday’s late news that the company and two of its executives, Bane Hunter and former Melbourne Football Club player Joel Macdonald, had been sued by the corporate regulator. GetSwift said it would vigorously defend itself against … Continue reading

13 Feb 2019 (TheAge) – Nearly $60 million in customer money mixed up at collapsed broker

(13 February 2019, The Age, Business, p25, by Sarah Danckert) ‘Administrators picking through the wreckage of one of the country’s largest online broking houses Halifax Investment Services, have found that $57 million in money invested by clients has been mixed up with funds belonging to the company. Halifax collapsed before Christmas, freezing $210 million invested … Continue reading

13 Feb 2019 (AFR online) – The 9 bad habits of highly ineffective investors

[COMMENT: Now many people will not necessarily agree with all of the items below (especially the one about timing the market because many of us know that you can), but it is one set of opinions from one ‘expert’. ] (13 February 2019, AFR online, by Shane Oliver) ‘In the upside-down world logic that applies … Continue reading

9 Feb 2019 (AFR) – Banking Royal Commission: now you will get what you pay for in financial advice

(9 February 2019, AFR, p30, by Ben Smythe) ‘As highlighted in the royal commission, people paid a lot of money for what they thought was financial advice. But in fact what they were paying for were expensive financial products (in-house superannuation, managed fund funds etc) with little or no financial advice that was specific to … Continue reading