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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

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

15 March 2019 (AFR) – ACTU claims business is ‘afraid’ of $1.4trn in workers’ super

(15 March 2019, AFR, p1, Joanna Mather) ‘The Australian Council of Trade Unions has declared that the $1.4 trillion accumulated in industry superannuation funds is workers’ money that the union movement will use as an industrial relations weapon to force companies to raise wages and conditions. ACTU president Michele O’Neil told a superannuation conference on … 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 (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

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

5 Feb 2019 (AFR) – Argo Investments predicts volatile 2019 for ASX investors

(5 February 2019, AFR, p15, by Simon Evans) ‘The managing director of the $7 billion Argo Investments says 2019 is likely to be as volatile as last year because there are so many local uncertainties still to be resolved including the severity of the housing downturn, the Hayne royal commission fallout and the federal election. … Continue reading

2 Feb 2019 (AFR) – Life-cycle products disappoint over five years

(2 February 2019, AFR, p29, by Joanna Mather) ‘They’re used by retail funds as their default option but the performance is underwhelming. In more bad news for the battered retail superannuation sector, “life-cycle” products are delivering underwhelming results compared to traditional growth options provided by not-for-profit super funds. In its first analysis of five-year returns … Continue reading

1 Feb 2019 (TheAge) – Labor franking shake-up plan could spark buybacks, special dividends

(1 February 2019, The Age, Business, p22, by Clancy Yeates) ‘The spectre of a changes to dividend taxes under a Labor government has sparked fresh predictions that some of Australia’s largest companies could pay special dividends, or launch off-market share buybacks to get funds back to shareholders before the policy is put in place. The … Continue reading

23 Jan 2019 (AFR) – US investors more bearish than bullish

(23 January 2019, AFR, p29, by Timothy Moore) ‘The S&P 500 is up 6.5 per cent this year, yet the advance has so far failed to offset lingering bearishness among US investors. The latest weekly survey of investor sentiment by the American Association of Individual Investors showed that pessimism about the short-term direction of the … Continue reading

21 Jan 2019 (AFR) – Year of shame for fund managers? – Why are Australia’s large cap fund managers failing to beat the index?

[COMMENT: This article is a great insight into the (contrarian) performance of fund managers and equity markets. It is well worth reading the full article – see link at the bottom.] (21 January 2019, AFR, p32, by Jonathan Shapiro) ‘Jack Bogle, the father of index investing who passed away on Thursday, would not have been … Continue reading

5 Jan 2019 (AFR) – Financial Review: hedge funds’ best long and short ideas 2019

[COMMENT: For what it’s worth, this article some thoughts and opinions about ideas for investing/trading in the year ahead.] (5 January 2019, AFR, p18, by: Jonathan Shapiro and Vesna Poljak) ‘Australian hedge fund managers are betting that real estate companies bear the brunt of a property market downturn while childcare and consumer stocks are also … Continue reading

2 Jan 2019 (AFR) – Investors retreat: Investment mortgage loans grow at slowest pace on record in November

(2 January 2019, AFR, p29,  by Michael Bleby) ‘Investors retreated further in November, as investment mortgage borrowing grew just 1.1 per cent, its slowest annual pace on record. Lending figures reported by the Reserve Bank of Australia on Monday showed that the stock of investor housing loans stood at $593.7 billion for the month in … Continue reading

2 Jan 2019 (AFR) – Investment: Superannuation and house prices post dire result in 2018

[COMMENT: The regular readers of my blog entries will know that I don’t think much about reports such as this news story, because it uses a rather arbitrary start date for measuring the fund performance. For fund managers who need to report their performance to their own investors, and to the industry, then they have … Continue reading

22 Dec 2018 (AFR) – Smart Investor: Asset allocation: Understanding the basics

(22 December 2018, AFR, p46, by James Weir, director of Steward Wealth) ‘When you build your portfolio, start with the big picture. Like any project, when you construct a portfolio you’re best to start with the big picture and work toward the detail, which means you start with the overall asset allocation. Asset allocation is … Continue reading

21 Dec 2018 (AFR) – BWX slashes full-year outlook, stock tumbles 47pc

[COMMENT: Note to self… When studying the price charts, and noting a fall in the share price, look for company announcements, and especially an earnings or profit downgrade. If so, it might be time to close an open position.] (21 December 2018, AFR, p19, by Carrie LaFrenz) ‘Just days before Christmas, BWX Limited has revealed … Continue reading

12 Dec 2018 (AFR) – High-frequency trading loses its spark: ASIC

[COMMENT: Now this is interesting. In recent years there has been concern amongst investors and traders that HFT was taking over the markets and making it harder for retail investors to trade for a living. But if this report is true, then it’s not so bad.] (12 December 2018, AFR, p17, by Jonathan Shapiro) ‘The … Continue reading

12 Dec 2018 (AFR) – Treasury Wines’ painful $4 billion spillage

[COMMENT: Technical analysts (aka chart readers) could have spotted a potential loser here, some months before the share price tanked. They would have trimmed any losses and quite the stock.] (12 December 2018, AFR, p17, by Simon Evans) ‘Old-school investors who believe share sales by directors and top executives are a potential danger signal have … Continue reading

26 Nov 2018 (AFR) – Market minds: Looking through the P/E multiple to unlock value

[COMMENT: I cannot help but comment on this article. It includes a good discussion about the usefulness, or otherwise, of the PE multiple when looking for shares to buy. After reading this one I became even more convinced that the PE might generally be useful (eg. lower PE is better), but that it cannot be … Continue reading

14 Nov 2018 (TheAge,SMH,MONEY) – ‘Lazy’ advisers push Australians to invest overseas

[Comment: Here are some an interesting comments about investing local versus overseas, and whether to diversify your portfolio, or include managed funds, or even heed the “advice” of your financial planner.] (14 November 2018, The Age, SMH, MONEY supplement, p2, by Marcus Padley) ‘I remember going to New York in 2006 and John, my Wall … Continue reading

10 Nov 2018 (AFR) – Super investors warned about turbo-charging ‘safe’ funds to boost performance

[COMMENT: This is one topic that has puzzled myself for a long time – How on earth can we compare all of the ‘balanced’ super funds, for example, when they don’t use the same definition for ‘balanced’? We’re actually comparing apples with oranges, so to speak. So performance comparisons are out the window. And then, … Continue reading

1 Nov 2018 (AFR) – Regional correction: small investors facing losses on service stations, childcare and shops

(1 November 2018, AFR, p35, by Larry Schlesinger) ‘Self-managed super funds, mum-and-dad investors and wealthy individuals who poured hundreds of millions of dollars of cheap debt into service station investments in regional towns on the promise of high returns are staring down the barrel of significant losses as demand for such property plummets. A new report by … Continue reading