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12 Feb 2020 (TheAge) – Disconnected: Why markets are booming while the world reels from the coronavirus outbreak

(12 February 2020, The Age, Business, p23, Stephen Bartholomeusz) ‘The US stockmarket hit yet another record overnight and other major markets, including the Australian exchange, are within sight of their own high points. The world must be in good shape, right? With the death toll from the coronavirus now surpassing that of the SARS epidemic … Continue reading

7 Feb 2020 (TheAge) – Illiquid gold: Why Future Fund looks beyond our shrinking sharemarket

(7 February 2020, The Age, Business, p27, Stephen Bartholomeusz) ‘With stock exchanges shrinking around the world and private equity and unlisted investments growing rapidly, an interesting conundrum arises. Why is it big investors believe illiquid assets will generate better returns than those in liquid markets? ‘ ‘Stock markets, at least in the developed world, are … Continue reading

1 Feb 2020 (AFR) – Investing: What to look for in earnings season

(1 February 2020, AFR, p28, Sarah Turner, Reporter) ‘The bar has been set low for companies this earnings season but still may prove too high a hurdle for some, given steep share price gains the past year. A combination of surging share prices and subdued earnings could be setting some companies up for losses in … Continue reading

30 Jan 2020 (AFR) – IPO drought shows few signs of lifting

(30 January 2020, AFR, p18, Michael Bailey, Rich List Editor) ‘The number of small cap initial public offerings on the Australian Securities Exchange plummeted in 2019 and the pipeline remains soft, meaning high-growth businesses may remain private for longer, according to a new report. A survey of IPOs by advisory firm HLB Mann Judd found … Continue reading

29 Jan 2020 (AFR) – Coronavirus and ASX: ASX endures worst day of 2020 as virus concerns deepen

(29 January 2020, AFR, p26, Luke Housego, Reporter) ‘Australian shares tumbled to their biggest loss of 2020 as concerns about the fallout on global growth from China’s coronavirus outbreak sparked a rout of world stockmarkets. The S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 96 points, or 1.4 per cent, to 6994.5 points, making it the biggest one-day fall … Continue reading

29 Jan 2020 (AFR,Lex) – Coronavirus and luxury retail: When China sneezes, luxury retail catches cold

(29 January 2020, AFR, p23, The Lex Column) ‘China’s woes have caused feverish debate about travel bans and screening. With economic growth near multi-decade lows, Chinese shoppers are already spending less. Time to cash in on luxury’s bull run. China is sneezing. How sick is the rest of the world going to get? Reports that … Continue reading

28 Jan 2020 (AFR) – Coronavirus: Empty restaurants in China a worry for Australian wine

(28 January 2020, AFR, p9, Simon Evans, Senior Reporter) ‘Australia’s wine industry faces a short-term hit if people in China keep staying away from restaurants and bars as the coronavirus outbreak worsens, with industry players nervous about a repeat of the fall-out from the 2003 SARS epidemic. Australia and France compete as the biggest exporter … Continue reading

28 Jan 2020 (AFR) – Climate change putting Australia’s food bowl at risk: Credit Suisse

(28 January 2020, AFR, p3, Mark Ludlow, Queensland Bureau Chief) ‘The future of Australia’s agricultural food bowl could be at risk from changed weather patterns resulting from climate change, according to Credit Suisse.’ <snipped…> ‘ “It’s hugely problematic for the Australian agricultural industry. Whole swathes of what has been the food bowl of Australia is … Continue reading

28 Jan 2020 (TheAge) – Coronavirus: Fears mount for global economy as China’s coronavirus outbreak worsens

(28 January 2020, The Age, Business, p26, By David Scutt) ‘Investors are bracing for the contagion of the coronavirus outbreak and the impact of a possible global pandemic on markets, with economists saying a hit to global growth from the disease is now all but inevitable. A rush to safe-haven assets lifted the price of … Continue reading

25 Jan 2020 (AFR) – International fallout from bushfires a big risk for investors

(25 January 2020, AFR, p23, Simon Evans, Sue Mitchell, James Fernyhough and Jenny Wiggins) ‘… Goldman Sachs has estimated the bushfire fallout could strip 0.4 per cent off Australia’s GDP, with the international dimension a potentially long-term drag. ‘ <snipped…> ‘A raft of profit downgrades from ASX-listed companies in the retail and tourism sectors in … Continue reading

18 Jan 2020 (AFR) – Investing: The equities funds that delivered most for super investors

[COMMENT: It is always interesting to compare the results of various funds over different time frames. The included bar graph below is over 10 years, and is starkly different to the fund performance graph over just one year. And when you compare the lists of funds, we note that some funds appear on one list, … Continue reading

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