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Ashley Owen

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.

Lessons from a century of virus plagues

As sharp market falls in Australia and globally mark an end to coronavirus complacency, it's worth reflecting on the economic effects of other major pandemics of the 20th century and beyond.

Where do sustainable returns come from?

The 20% share price gains over the past 12 months have not been supported by similar improvements in company earnings. The market is willing to pay far more for each $1 of profit or dividends.

Where do Australian share returns come from?

The returns from Australian shares come from four main components. Any forecast needs to consider these different parts, as Australian shares were recent laggards in diversified portfolios.

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Weekly Editorial

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 376

The US tech index, the NASDAQ, peaked on 2 September 2020 at 12,058 and closed three weeks later at 10,793. On the same days, Apple hit US$137.98 and then fell to US$110.08. These falls of 10% and 20% seem high but both were simply returning to their early August levels. It's hardly a rout when a month's gains are given back. The bigger issue is whether such a stock correction will scare off the retail 'Robinhood' traders.

  • 24 September 2020
Interviews

Interview Series: What’s new in a global innovation fund?

For many global tech companies, COVID has boosted their revenues and pushed share prices to all-time highs. We are on the cusp of amazing technical advances and there are plenty of new opportunities.

Shares

Five reasons why Tesla is the everything bubble embodied

As fewer professionals actively research the merits of a company’s prospects, stocks become disproportionately driven by capital flows. Prices disconnect from fundamentals and there's no better example than Tesla.

Retirement

Three retirement checks for when you have enough

Not every retiree needs to gun for higher returns, but a conservative portfolio can court its own risks, especially with bond rates so low. But some retirees prefer to settle for a lower income.

Shares

Hide and seek: the FX impact on global equity investments

As more Australians tilt their investments to global equities, they often overlook the exchange rate risk and fees. The move from US57 cents to US73 cents in six months shows the unhedged impact.

Economy

When America sneezes, the world catches a ...

The recovery from COVID-19 is looking more like a K-shape, with some companies doing well while others struggle. The pandemic seems more akin to a black swan, exogenous shock than a structural downturn.

Retirement

How the age pension helps retirees cope with losses

It's often overlooked how wealthier couples can fall back on the age pension if a market loss hits their portfolio. The reassurance is never greater than in a financial (and now epidemic) crisis.

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