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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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10 reasons wealthy homeowners shouldn't receive welfare

The RBA Governor says rising house prices are due to "the design of our taxation and social security systems". The OECD says "the prolonged boom in house prices has inflated the wealth of many pensioners without impacting their pension eligibility." What's your view?

House prices surge but falls are common and coming

We tend to forget that house prices often fall. Direct lending controls are more effective than rate rises because macroprudential limits affect the volume of money for housing leaving business rates untouched.

Survey responses on pension eligibility for wealthy homeowners

The survey drew a fantastic 2,000 responses with over 1,000 comments and polar opposite views on what is good policy. Do most people believe the home should be in the age pension asset test, and what do they say?

100 Aussies: five charts on who earns, pays and owns

Any policy decision needs to recognise who is affected by a change. It pays to check the data on who pays taxes, who owns assets and who earns the income to ensure an equitable and efficient outcome.

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With articles on the pensions assets test read about 40,000 times, 3,500 survey responses and thousands of comments, there was a lot of great reader participation. A few comments added extra insights.

The sorry saga of housing affordability and ownership

It is hard to think of any area of widespread public concern where the same policies have been pursued for so long, in the face of such incontrovertible evidence that they have failed to achieve their objectives.

Latest Updates

Superannuation

The 'Contrast Principle' used by super fund test failures

Rather than compare results against APRA's benchmark, large super funds which failed the YFYS performance test are using another measure such as a CPI+ target, with more favourable results to show their members.

Property

RBA switched rate priority on house prices versus jobs

RBA Governor, Philip Lowe, says that surging house prices are not as important as full employment, but a previous Governor, Glenn Stevens, had other priorities, putting the "elevated level of house prices" first.

Investment strategies

Disruptive innovation and the Tesla valuation debate

Two prominent fund managers with strongly opposing views and techniques. Cathie Wood thinks Tesla is going to US$3,000, Rob Arnott says it's already a bubble at US$750. They debate valuing growth and disruption.

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4 key materials for batteries and 9 companies that will benefit

Four key materials are required for battery production as we head towards 30X the number of electric cars. It opens exciting opportunities for Australian companies as the country aims to become a regional hub.

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Why valuation multiples fail in an exponential world

Estimating the value of a company based on a multiple of earnings is a common investment analysis technique, but it is often useless. Multiples do a poor job of valuing the best growth businesses, like Microsoft.

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Five value chains driving the ‘transition winners’

The ability to adapt to change makes a company more likely to sustain today’s profitability. There are five value chains plus a focus on cashflow and asset growth that the 'transition winners' are adopting.

Superannuation

Halving super drawdowns helps wealthy retirees most

At the start of COVID, the Government allowed early access to super, but in a strange twist, others were permitted to leave money in tax-advantaged super for another year. It helped the wealthy and should not be repeated.

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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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