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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

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) – How CSL and BHP Group drove the ASX to 7000

(17 January 2020, AFR, p27, William McInnes, Reporter) ‘The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index has finally cleared 7000 points, more than two years after it cleared the 6000 point mark in 2017 for the first time since the global financial crisis. While the majority of the market has enjoyed strong advances across those two years, two stocks … 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

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) – 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

10 Jan 2020 (AFR) – Leading stockbroker launches secret review of rogue traders

[COMMENT: Case Study – Here is one example of some of the things that might go wrong when investing. Make sure to proceed with caution.] (10 January 2020, AFR, p14, Liam Walsh, Reporter) ‘One of Australia’s biggest stockbroking outfits, Morgans, has secretly begun examining reparations for customers burnt many years ago by rogue trader actions. … 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

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

5 Oct 2019 (AFR) – Improving cashflow, capital growth won’t trigger investor housing boom

(5 October 2019, AFR, p10, Nila Sweeney, Reporter) ‘Improving cashflow and even the prospect of stronger capital growth brought by lower interest rates are unlikely to entice hordes of property investors back into the market and trigger another investment boom, experts say. While investor activity had picked up since the federal election and after APRA … 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

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

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

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

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 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

22 June 2019 (AFR) – Cheaper money pushes investors into riskier positions

(22 June 2019, AFR, p22, William McInnes, Reporter) ‘Global sharemarkets were pushed to record highs this week as dovish central banks herded buyers into the equity markets, with expectations of cheaper money and additional stimulus pushing investors into riskier positions. Investor optimism was also buoyed by hopes a US-China trade war truce could be reached … Continue reading

19 June 2019 (AFR) – ‘The debt bomb is still ticking’ – Household debt burden still casts a shadow

(19 June 2019, AFR, p22, Paulina Duran and Jonathan Barrett) ‘Investors in Australian mortgage bonds are demanding higher premiums to buy the riskiest tranches of new debt, as a slowing economy stokes concerns a property downturn could get worse and increase home loan defaults. High-yield investors are receiving up to 40 basis points more than … Continue reading

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

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