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David Bell

Three reasons why super performance test fails

The Government's performance test in the 'Your Future, Your Super' proposals is likely to prove ineffective and generate undesirable outcomes. It will distort how funds are managed and confuse members.

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.

Let’s clarify growth/defensive and move forward

For all its widespread use in investing, growth/defensive remains undefined with a large degree of subjectivity. A Working Group is seeking an industry standard with measures for each asset class.

COVID Susceptibility Index can help to manage outbreaks

Susceptibility is the risk of severe illness or death if an individual contracts COVID-19. It shows how bad an outbreak could be by region and it will inform policy on relaxing restrictions.

The $20,000 decision on early access to super

The government’s early access to super scheme may reduce short-term financial stress for some, but members must understand how much tapping retirement savings will erode savings in later life.

Women’s super needs protection of reversionary benefits

Treasury is designing guidelines for retirement products which virtually preclude reversionary benefits, and yet these usually accrue to women when the male partner with more superannuation dies.

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Investment strategies

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.

Retirement

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.

Why ESG assessment must now consider active ownership

Regardless of how an investor owns an asset, they need to know how a business is sustainable over the long term. By influencing the activities or behaviour of investee companies, returns can be enhanced.

Gold

The outlook for gold in a post COVID world

Gold investors enjoyed solid gains in 2020, especially mitigating portfolio losses during Q1 when stockmarket losses were severe. The best-case scenario is built into shares now, but gold will be bid if this changes.

Financial planning

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.

Strategy

The pivotal fight between China and the US

Microchips are the key battleground in the rivalry between Beijing and Washington because the integrated circuit ranks with the internal combustion engine and electricity as inventions of consequence for everyday life.

Investment strategies

How fund managers should focus on investors in 2021

At a recent industry panel, superannuation and funds management experts discussed the challenges facing the sector in 2021 and beyond. Investors should know what managers are thinking in growing their businesses.

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