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Ashley Owen

How did you go? Australian and global stockmarket winners and losers

The Australian market overall finished flat for calendar 2020, but the pandemic delivered big wins and losses. The companies, sectors and companies you invested in delivered vastly different results.

Just how reliant on China are we?

China takes 40% of our exports and BHP, RIO and Fortescue generate 41% of Australian listed company profits. Trade tensions are hitting more companies and they need to diversify their revenue sources.

Tech continues to run on rising prices not profits

The global tech run paused in September but the boom is driven by rising prices rather than actual profits. It will end when global confidence in the prospect of endless monetary and fiscal stimulus runs out.

Australia’s debt and interest burden: can we afford it?

Australia has an ageing population and rising welfare and health costs, but it is still the best placed among its ‘developed’ country peers. Here's why the expected levels of debt are manageable.

How did shares perform in FY20 and where to from here?

Compared with most years in the last decade, FY20 performed poorly due to the virus, and now dividends are falling. There are three things to watch this year as support policies are wound back.

Why are recessions usually good for share prices?

It seems counterintuitive, but share prices rose during 17 (85%) of the 20 economic recessions in Australia in the past 150 years as markets tend to anticipate the bad times and recover early.

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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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