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Michael Collins

Germany will do the minimum to support the euro ... and Europe

Germany benefits from the European currency union that makes the country an export dynamo, but there are at least five reasons why it is reluctant to force the economic and fiscal union the continent really needs.

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.

Britain amid COVID and the pain of the final exit talks

No option removes the existential threats to the UK stirred by its EU departure. What started in 2016 as enough voters defying the odds has left the UK dangling politically and economically amid a pandemic.

10 reasons low interest rates may limit growth

Ultra low interest rates could be counterproductive for economic growth. Policymakers need to rely less on monetary stimulus and be mindful of the side effects they are creating, especially for retirees and savers.

China and US ‘decoupling’ likely to be mild

The latest iteration of globalisation is forming. Western consumers will face reduced choice and higher prices and global production networks will be less efficient. But the US and China also need each other.

Three reasons China could become the world’s leading consumer

The growth in wealth and aspirations of middle-class Chinese may become a 'consumer of last resort' for the world economy, but to earn that status, China must avoid a ‘trap’ among other challenges.

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Investment strategies

Dog-eat-dinner: a tough day in the life of a broker analyst

What do stock analysts do in reporting season, faced with hundreds of company reports? Take a look inside the secret world of broking and the analysts burning the midnight oil for a month, hoping for a special insight.

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What drives Australian versus global equity performance?

We tend to think of the 'stockmarket' as one beast, but it pays to know the drivers of the different parts, especially global versus Australian stocks. The outlook favours global due to better sector exposure.

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Invest in Australian value stocks before it is too late

By now, we know 'growth' stocks have outperformed 'value' for many years and investors look to the future, but there are good reasons why the switch is on, especially as value companies emerge from the pandemic.  

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Gains of a lifetime reward new retail investors

Nobody knows how to pick the bottom of the market, but new investors did well in 2020. They captured most of the returns since the lows, and contrary to popular opinion, they are not punting away on tech stocks. 

Investment strategies

FANMAG: Because FAANGs are so yesterday

FANMAG returns have been strong but not relative to their predecessors. Looking at a broader group of large tech companies, most have lagged the market. Fad-based investing is no substitute for broad diversification.

Overdue overhaul of Australia’s aged care system

To support a better aged care system appropriate to the needs of all Australians, critical changes are needed including a new financing approach. The current system has failed seniors, carers and providers for years. 

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‘Super-defensive equities’ may rescue struggling 60/40 portfolios

The 60/40 portfolio has been the mainstay of 'default' Australian investing, but large allocations to bonds compromise returns when rates are low. Strategies with exposures negatively-correlated to equities are needed.

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