Register For Our Mailing List

Register to receive our free weekly newsletter including editorials.

Home / 337

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 337

  •   18 December 2019

If there were ever a time to offer a 20/20 vision about the future course of markets, a few days out from 2020 would be it. While we are happy to publish the views of others, here at Firstlinks, we don't profess to have a crystal ball. When major geopolitical risks rest in the hands of Donald Trump, Boris Johnson, Kim Jong-un and Xi Jinping, with the potential of a midnight tweet to cause a market meltdown, predictions are fraught. It's better to set up a portfolio according to your goals and risk appetite, and stick to a long-term plan.

It's been a tough year for financial advisers, most of whom are providing as good a service as other professionals in difficult circumstances. Adding to their woes, the new Code of Ethics comes into effect in two weeks, on 1 January 2020, and it's an onerous regime. We show the major confusion and impact on the Listed Investment Trust (LIT) and Listed Investment Company (LIC) market which holds $52 billion across 114 issues. Where is it headed in 2020? Peter Rae also reviews this sector for 2019 with the winners and losers. The following chart from the ASX Report shows the parlous state of some LICs, with around 80% of issues trading at a discount to Net Tangible Assets values.

All investors are subject to personal biases, and Joe Magyer reports on recent research which debunks some of the more common beliefs. Where do you sit on these findings?

Roger Montgomery explains the impact of the timing of returns on retirement outcomes, and makes the case for a parcel of funds that trade off some of the upside to protect the downside.

Property funds have generally delivered strong results in 2019, with some exceptions in the retail sector, Adrian Harrington reports on a new development where companies are making better use of capital by selling property on 'sale and leaseback', and it's creating attractive investment opportunities.

We rarely cover the more sophisticated trading techniques used by technical analysts and chartists, but Kim Cramer Larsson describes four tools which show how some people study the market.

In our Weekend Edition (which does not go to our entire audience), we published new research on retiree spending in retirement aimed at encouraging a better lifestyle rather than only capital protection.

In this week's White Paper, Perpetual provides background to better understanding fixed interest markets, especially important now more retail investors are turning to this sector.

With the acquisition of Firstlinks by Morningstar in October 2019, it has been a big year for the newsletter. We now have more resources to grow our services to you over 2020, and we're excited by the opportunities ahead. This is our last 'normal' edition for the year, and over the next few weeks, we will publish a free ebook, and Chris Cuffe will select some of his favourite articles for holiday reading.

We wish our readers and sponsors a wonderful Christmas, thanks for your support, and we look forward to sharing more ideas to help your investment journey in 2020.


Graham Hand, Managing Editor

For a PDF version of this week’s newsletter articles, click here.



Leave a Comment:


Most viewed in recent weeks

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.

Three good comments from the pension asset test article

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.

Two strong themes and companies that will benefit

There are reasons to believe inflation will stay under control, and although we may see a slowing in the global economy, two companies should benefit from the themes of 'Stable Compounders' and 'Structural Winners'.

Latest Updates


$1 billion and counting: how consultants maximise fees

Despite cutbacks in public service staff, we are spending over a billion dollars a year with five consulting firms. There is little public scrutiny on the value for money. How do consultants decide what to charge?

Investment strategies

Two strong themes and companies that will benefit

There are reasons to believe inflation will stay under control, and although we may see a slowing in the global economy, two companies should benefit from the themes of 'Stable Compounders' and 'Structural Winners'.

Financial planning

Reducing the $5,300 upfront cost of financial advice

Many financial advisers have left the industry because it costs more to produce advice than is charged as an up-front fee. Advisers are valued by those who use them while the unadvised don’t see the need to pay.


Many people misunderstand what life expectancy means

Life expectancy numbers are often interpreted as the likely maximum age of a person but that is incorrect. Here are three reasons why the odds are in favor of people outliving life expectancy estimates.

Investment strategies

Slowing global trade not the threat investors fear

Investors ask whether global supply chains were stretched too far and too complex, and following COVID, is globalisation dead? New research suggests the impact on investment returns will not be as great as feared.

Investment strategies

Wealth doesn’t equal wisdom for 'sophisticated' investors

'Sophisticated' investors can be offered securities without the usual disclosure requirements given to everyday investors, but far more people now qualify than was ever intended. Many are far from sophisticated.

Investment strategies

Is the golden era for active fund managers ending?

Most active fund managers are the beneficiaries of a confluence of favourable events. As future strong returns look challenging, passive is rising and new investors do their own thing, a golden age may be closing.



© 2021 Morningstar, Inc. All rights reserved.

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.

Website Development by Master Publisher.