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.



Most viewed in recent weeks

How much bigger can the virus bubble get?

Stocks have rallied hard creating a virus bubble, but will this run for years or collapse in a matter of months? The market is giving a second chance to leave so head for the exit before there's a rush.

Share trading is the new addiction

The ability to buy and sell cheaply and quickly in small parcels is both the biggest drawback and benefit of shares. But it encourages people who should not go near the market to use it as a casino.

What is happening with SMSFs? Part 1

Taking a realistic view of the median ‘operating expense’ of an SMSF shows they cost less to run than previously claimed. Look at this granular breakdown and see how the costs of running your SMSF compare.

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 362

The biggest policy issue facing the Government over the next few months is how to phase out JobKeeper and reduce JobSeeker. While stock markets continue to ride a mood of optimism, a September withdrawal of support would create a rapid rise in unemployment with consequences for business loans, mortgages and home prices. At the same time, payment deferrals will expire, and let's hope deferrals do not become impairments.

  • 18 June 2020

New ways for listed funds to fix their price discounts

Running a fund should not become a gravy train for boards and investment managers. It is time to address the persistent discounts to NTA on LICs, and there is one especially exciting new structure.

Howard Marks' anatomy of an unexpected rally

Markets can swing quickly from optimism to pessimism, and while there are more positives now than in the bleak early days in March, the market is ignoring many negatives. Risk is not rewarded at these levels.  

Latest Updates

Howard Marks' anatomy of an unexpected rally

Markets can swing quickly from optimism to pessimism, and while there are more positives now than in the bleak early days in March, the market is ignoring many negatives. Risk is not rewarded at these levels.  

Why are we convinced 'this time it's different'?

Investors tend to overstate the impact on investments when something significant happens and they assume the future will be different. COVID-19 has been dramatic, but is it really that unusual?   


Super fund performance and rank depends on risk

APRA's heatmap has profound implications as it shows which super funds are underperforming in a period. But when good markets are compared with poor markets, one in five of funds changes its assessment.    

Investment strategies

Why women are most hurt by financial pandemic

Many people were financially unprepared for a pandemic, but it is women who are suffering most because they earn less, have interrupted careers and have less risk-taking capacity.


What is happening with SMSFs? Part 2

The latest SMSF data shows retirees favour listed shares and cash to maintain liquidity. SMSFs continue to grow, and the new super rules led to changes in contributions, payments and lump sums.


Retirement dreams face virus setback

A new 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.


Common confusions with death benefit pensions

Awareness of common misunderstandings in relation to the payment of death benefit pensions can assist in estate planning matters. Given the large amounts involved, seeking professional advice helps.



© 2020 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 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.
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.