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Tony Dillon

Why not use options to protect your share portfolio?

Many investors ask why fund managers do not protect the portfolio downside by using options. All insurance has a cost, and achieving full protection is expensive, but there are other ways to use options.

What does the 'fear gauge' VIX really mean?

The VIX as a measure of risk has a place in equity markets in interpreting market sentiment, but it is overly simplistic to think it can represent volatility in equities as a whole. Just what is it?

Payment deferrals more expensive than borrowers expect

Reductions in loan repayments, either deferrals or failing to opt out of lower payments, seem like a good idea. But they are expensive and should only be adopted if the borrower needs the money.

The simple mathematics of social distancing

A simple check of the mathematics explains why social distancing is so important, and in the absence of a treatment or vaccine, the only way to stop COVID-19 becoming rampant.

What does a negative bond yield really mean?

Many investors are struggling with the idea of negative yields on bonds, but with $17 trillion on issue, it's worth taking a moment to think about what it actually means for your portfolio.

Bracket creep quietly increases your tax bill

Marginal tax brackets are not indexed for inflation, so when people receive salary increases, there is some erosion in proportional take-home pay due to higher tax. But it’s not as bad as it used to be.

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Weekly Editorial

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 380

Former US Vice President Al Gore once told me he needed to raise only US$70,000 when he first ran for politics. Now Biden and Trump spend billions just on television advertising. Little wonder so many favours are owed after each election, and this time, it really matters. Plus investing insights from Kate Howitt, Hamish Douglass, Roger Montgomery, Phil Ruthven and Morningstar's top stock picks.

  • 22 October 2020
Interviews

Kate Howitt: investing lessons and avoiding the PIPO trade

Kate Howitt identifies the stocks she likes and the disappointments, gives context to the increasing role of retail investors, and explains why the market is more of a 'voting not weighing' machine than ever before.

Investment strategies

Hamish Douglass on what really matters

Questions on the stock market/economy disconnect, how to focus long term, technology's growing role, income in a low-rate world, Modern Monetary Theory and endless debt and the tooth fairy.

Investment strategies

Buffett and his warning about 'virtually certain' earnings

While many investors are happy to invest in any online companies, Warren Buffett focusses more on the quality of future growth, buying companies whose earnings are 'virtually certain' in 10 or 20 years from now.

Shares

18 Aussie names for your watchlist

A Morningstar stock screener reveals a cross-section of companies with competitive advantages that are trading at material discounts to estimated value. This is a list of 18 highly-rated names worth watching.

Economy

Are debt and its servicing cost serious worries?

The impact of the pandemic on Australia's debt and deficit has forced the government into borrowing on a scale unimaginable at the start of 2020. What are the implications, and what is even more important?

Investment strategies

Why not use options to protect your share portfolio?

Many investors ask why fund managers do not protect the portfolio downside by using options. All insurance has a cost, and achieving full protection is expensive, but there are other ways to use options.

Property

A-REITs offering much-needed income

Many listed property stocks were hard hit by COVID, especially in retail, but foot traffic outside Victoria has held up relatively well. Some sectors are now good value for the recovery and less working from home.

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