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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

Great new ways the Government helps retirees

Last year's retiree checklist of services available was one of our most popular articles. There are some additions for 2021, and while it can take effort to set them up, they can pay off over the long term.

Four simple strategies deliver long-term investing comfort

A long-time advocate of the merits of generating income by investing in industrial companies rather than bonds or deposits checks his 'mothership' chart for the latest results, and continues to feel vindicated.

$100 billion! Five reasons investors are flocking to ETFs

It's not official, but Australian ETFs are clicking over $100 billion right now. It's a remarkable rise, leaving the traditional rivals, the Listed Investment Companies, in their dust. Why are they so popular?

Cut it out ... millionaires are not wealthy

The widespread use of 'millionaire' must stop. Inflation means that the basket of goods and services that cost $1 million in 1960 now requires $15 million. Today, millionaires are not wealthy.

A close look at retiree fears and expectations

Half of Australians retire early due to unexpected circumstances and within timeframes they did not choose, and two-thirds of pre-retirees worry about funding their retirement. But neither are the greatest fear in retirement.

Minister Jane Hume on SMSFs and superannuation reform

Senator Jane Hume presented at the SMSFA conference this week, and we reproduce the full transcript as a guide to what the Government is thinking on superannuation reforms as we head into the next election.

Latest Updates

Investment strategies

Dog-eat-dinner: a tough day in the life of a broker analyst

What do stock analysts do in reporting season, faced with hundreds of company reports? Take a look inside the secret world of broking and the analysts burning the midnight oil for a month, hoping for a special insight.

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What drives Australian versus global equity performance?

We tend to think of the 'stockmarket' as one beast, but it pays to know the drivers of the different parts, especially global versus Australian stocks. The outlook favours global due to better sector exposure.

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Invest in Australian value stocks before it is too late

By now, we know 'growth' stocks have outperformed 'value' for many years and investors look to the future, but there are good reasons why the switch is on, especially as value companies emerge from the pandemic.  

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Gains of a lifetime reward new retail investors

Nobody knows how to pick the bottom of the market, but new investors did well in 2020. They captured most of the returns since the lows, and contrary to popular opinion, they are not punting away on tech stocks. 

Investment strategies

FANMAG: Because FAANGs are so yesterday

FANMAG returns have been strong but not relative to their predecessors. Looking at a broader group of large tech companies, most have lagged the market. Fad-based investing is no substitute for broad diversification.

Overdue overhaul of Australia’s aged care system

To support a better aged care system appropriate to the needs of all Australians, critical changes are needed including a new financing approach. The current system has failed seniors, carers and providers for years. 

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‘Super-defensive equities’ may rescue struggling 60/40 portfolios

The 60/40 portfolio has been the mainstay of 'default' Australian investing, but large allocations to bonds compromise returns when rates are low. Strategies with exposures negatively-correlated to equities are needed.

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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 class service prepared by Morningstar Australasia Pty Ltd (ABN: 95 090 665 544, AFSL: 240892) and/or Morningstar Research Ltd, subsidiaries of Morningstar, Inc, has been prepared by without reference to your objectives, financial situation or needs. Refer to our Financial Services Guide (FSG) for more information. 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.
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