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What is Firstlinks?


Firstlinks is a publishing service providing content written by financial market professionals with experience in wealth management, superannuation, banking, academia and financial advice.

Authors of articles in Firstlinks are investors and market practitioners with long careers in senior management positions. Firstlinks shares both their knowledge and their battle scars. Our community discusses ideas from an informed and impartial point of view, without pushing products or promoting services.

Firstlinks is supported by long-term sponsors and it does not accept one-off advertising or paid promotions. It was acquired by Morningstar Australasia in October 2019 to enable an expansion of its services and audience.

Firstlinks does not provide financial advice, and we do not know the personal or financial circumstances of any of our readers. We believe there is a strong need for investors to access quality financial writing, both to hear the different sides of any investment opportunity, and to improve their financial literacy. We provide strategies and guidance rather than trying to time the market, picking stocks or selecting next year’s star fund manager. In particular, we aim to inform investors about markets, regulations, structures and useful ideas.

Our target audience is ‘engaged investors’, particularly those who manage their own money, and financial market professionals.

Firstlinks operates with the following basic principles:

* Superannuation is an important part of every Australian’s long term savings plan and financial wellbeing.

* The aim of every investor should be financial independence and creating lifestyle options for later stages of their lives.

* We are not advocates for any specific type of superannuation fund, as the merits of various structures such as pooled super funds (commercial funds, industry funds, corporate funds) and self managed super funds depend on individual circumstances.

* We do not promote any particular form of holding securities (direct or managed funds, listed or unlisted, active or passive) as we believe they all hold a place.

* Financial advisers should play an important role in the savings, retirement, estate planning and protection strategies of the majority of Australians, especially as they approach retirement.

* There is no one correct investment strategy for anyone, and like any life skill, investors need to be as financially literate as possible to participate in their own investing.

* Investors should match their assets to their risk appetites, since the ability to cope mentally with volatile markets is as important as the financial performance.

Firstlinks focusses on investment strategies and ideas with a medium to long term market horizon. We encourage readers to take a ‘through the cycle’, risk-aware perspective. 

 

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Most viewed in recent weeks

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 433 with weekend update

There’s this story about a group of US Air Force generals in World War II who try to figure out ways to protect fighter bombers (and their crew) by examining the location of bullet holes on returning planes. Mapping the location of these holes, the generals quickly come to the conclusion that the areas with the most holes should be prioritised for additional armour.

  • 11 November 2021

Why has Australia slipped down the global super ranks?

Australia appears to be slipping from the pantheon of global superstar pension systems, with a recent report placing us sixth. A review of an earlier report, which had Australia in bronze position, points to some reasons why, and what might need to happen to regain our former glory.

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 431 with weekend update

House prices have risen at the fastest pace for 33 years, but what actually happened in 1988, and why is 2021 different? Here's a clue: the stockmarket crashed 50% between September and November 1987. Looking ahead, where did house prices head in the following years, 1989 to 1991?

  • 28 October 2021

How to help people with retirement spending decisions

Super funds will soon be required to offer retirement income strategies for members in decumulation. With uncertain returns, uncertain timelines, and different goals, it's possibly “the hardest, nastiest problem in finance".

Tips when taking large withdrawals from super

You want to take a lump sum from your super, but what's the best way? Should it come from you or your spouse, or the pension or accumulation account. There is a welcome flexibility to select the best outcome.

“Trust your instinct” Hamish Douglass in conversation with Sir Frank Lowy AC

Sir Frank shares his story, including his journey from war-torn Europe, identifying opportunities, key character traits necessary for business success, and the importance of remaining paranoid yet optimistic.

Latest Updates

Investment strategies

20 punches: my personal investments are not a forecast

I prefer not to make market forecasts but I need to take personal investment decisions. I'm expecting a stockmarket fall in 2022 as central banks tighten policies but the mainstays in my portfolio will not be sold.

Retirement

The good news about retirement income

A lower starting withdrawal rate doesn’t always mean living on less. The latest research on sustainable withdrawals offers flexibility for retirees to improve the chances of not running out of funds prematurely.

Shares

Three small companies expected to deliver big returns

Small caps might require more work than large cap stocks but they are often worth it. After all, all large companies were small once, and there can be clear benefits of investing in and backing management early.

5 new trends driving the future of biotech companies

The biotech industry has seen an explosion of new techniques which will lead to innovative areas of growth in the use of cells and genes as medicine. Money for funding life sciences and biotech pharma has soared.

Gold

Gold and inflation: what does history tell us?

Multiple factors have seen gold fall in 2021, despite the rise in inflation. But given gold has performed strongly across longer periods of higher inflation, gold may benefit under the current inflation outlook.

  • 8 December 2021
Retirement

Solutions to unite the three pillars of retirement funding

Retirement solutions uniting the three pillars of retirement funding - the age pension, mandatory super and voluntary savings - are essential. Global experts discuss solutions that might work for Australia.

Investment strategies

New capital rules an effective vaccine for thriving banks

With stronger capital positions, improved brand equity and the potential to benefit from a robust post-pandemic recovery, the global banking sector is presenting significant opportunities for investors.

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Disclaimer
The data, research and opinions provided here are for information purposes; are not an offer to buy or sell a security; and are not warranted to be correct, complete or accurate. Morningstar, its affiliates, and third-party content providers are not responsible for any investment decisions, damages or losses resulting from, or related to, the data and analyses or their use. Any general advice or ‘regulated financial advice’ under New Zealand law has been prepared by Morningstar Australasia Pty Ltd (ABN: 95 090 665 544, AFSL: 240892) and/or Morningstar Research Ltd, subsidiaries of Morningstar, Inc, without reference to your objectives, financial situation or needs. For more information refer to our Financial Services Guide (AU) and Financial Advice Provider Disclosure Statement (NZ). You should consider the advice in light of these matters and if applicable, the relevant Product Disclosure Statement before making any decision to invest. Past performance does not necessarily indicate a financial product’s future performance. To obtain advice tailored to your situation, contact a professional financial adviser. Articles are current as at date of publication.
This website contains information and opinions provided by third parties. Inclusion of this information does not necessarily represent Morningstar’s positions, strategies or opinions and should not be considered an endorsement by Morningstar.

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