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Firstlinks, the 2018 highlights

The Cuffelinks team has selected 10 highlights from the hundreds of articles published in 2018. This ebook, Firstlinks, contains original content first published in Cuffelinks, including many of our most popular.

Our sixth year of publishing in 2018 was tumultuous for financial services. The Royal Commission provided a deep well of revealing and often unbelievable content, and the editorials from Cuffelinks are collected in another article as a summary of what the industry needs to address.

Many of our articles are viewed over 10,000 times, including this year, the Budget Special direct from the Canberra lockup and Garry Mackrell's insider view of the changes at CBA. The survey in our Special Edition on the book 'Factfulness' was completed almost 5,000 times.

The coming year of 2019 promises to be tough for financial services and investing. The Royal Commission report in February will set the ground rules for future regulatory and behaviour changes, while rising US rates will temper enthusiasm for risk assets. Cuffelinks will continue to deliver insights to help navigate these changes.

Click on the cover page image to download the ebook, or here.

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Most viewed in recent weeks

Five ways the Retirement Review points to new policies

The Retirement Income Review goes much further than an innocent-sounding 'fact base', and is sure to guide policies in the run up to the next election. It will change how we think about retirement incomes.

Graeme Shaw on why investing is at a pivotal moment

Company profits have not improved for many years but higher valuations have been driven by falling rates and excess liquidity. Conditions do not suit a value and contrarian manager but here are some opportunities.

Retirement Review gives strong views on hoarding of super

The Review includes some profound findings, most notable that retirement income should include drawing down far more capital. Expect post-retirement products to proliferate under a Retirement Income Covenant.

11 key findings on retirement dreams during the pandemic

A mid-pandemic survey of over 1,000 people near or in retirement found three in four are not confident how long their money will last. Only 18% felt their money was safe during a strong economic downturn.

Bank scorecard 2020: when will the mojo return?

Banks severely cut dividends in 2020 but are expected to improve payments in 2021. History provides clues to when the banks will return to their 2019 levels of profitability, but who is positioned the best?

Generational wealth transfers will affect all investors

It's not only that 60 is the new 40, but 80 is the new 60. Many Baby Boomers spend up in retirement and are less inclined to leave a nest egg to their children. The ways wealth transfers will affect all investors.

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Hamish Douglass on big tech and life after COVID

On the sidelines of the Morningstar Conference, the Magellan co-founder reflects on the pandemic and which sectors are set to gain and lose. He says we were lucky the pandemic hit when it did (videos and transcripts).

Superannuation

Cost of running an SMSF receives updated judgement

Administration costs can rise for complexity, especially owning property in an SMSF, but fees are highly competitive from a wide range of service providers. The break-even cost is less than previously reported.

SMSF strategies

Three areas SMSFs should consider outsourcing

SMSF trustees often cite ‘control of my investments’ as the number one motivation for setting up their own fund. But it still makes sense to outsource some parts of a well-diversified portfolio.

Retirement

Apparently, retirees should learn to SKI

The Retirement Income Review demonstrated limited understanding of the risks faced by self-funded retirees implementing rational human behaviour. Spending to qualify for the age pension is not a solution.

Retirement

7-point checklist for managing the uncertain timing of death

Average life expectancies are a weak predictor of individual outcomes, and it's better to consider a range of probable lifespans. A plan that lasts to the average will disappoint every second retiree.

Exchange traded products

'Quality' ETFs under the microscope

Interest in 'quality' factor ETFs has increased this year, helped by very attractive returns. However, not all ETFs are created alike and there are divergences in portfolio traits which investors can identify.

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Is growth of zombie companies real or fiction?

Much has been written about the rise of 'zombie firms' which should have gone bankrupt, but new research should be comforting to economists and investors alike, with focus on a particular segment.

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