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David Bell

Grattan’s Super Savings flawed but essential reading

The Grattan Institute’s recent paper on reducing costs associated with superannuation is a reflective read for all executives and trustees of super funds in Australia, but is it the time right for these changes?

A sombre reflection on financial literacy

People with low levels of financial literacy have a greater likelihood of making financial mistakes, including being misled or defrauded. The financial services industry should work to address this.

Soft labour market's impact on retirement outcomes

The ‘economics of retirement outcomes’ is a concept that explores how economic developments can affect retirement outcomes. The current soft labour market is one of those developments.

Has the FSI missed the elephant in the room?

The FSI makes some important recommendations which would improve the super industry if implemented. However, the trade-off between return and risk is largely left untouched - it's an important opportunity missed.

Some challenges ahead for 2015

Every investor has questions they are pondering at any point in time. In 2015, finding value in the market, explaining how to think about risk and the design of solutions for the post-retirement phase are three major issues.

Reflections on markets in October 2014

October 2014 could be filed away as another month of reasonably normal returns. However if you lived through it day-to-day, there were lots of events and volatility, including somewhat of a ‘mini-panic’.

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Superannuation

The 'Contrast Principle' used by super fund test failures

Rather than compare results against APRA's benchmark, large super funds which failed the YFYS performance test are using another measure such as a CPI+ target, with more favourable results to show their members.

Property

RBA switched rate priority on house prices versus jobs

RBA Governor, Philip Lowe, says that surging house prices are not as important as full employment, but a previous Governor, Glenn Stevens, had other priorities, putting the "elevated level of house prices" first.

Investment strategies

Disruptive innovation and the Tesla valuation debate

Two prominent fund managers with strongly opposing views and techniques. Cathie Wood thinks Tesla is going to US$3,000, Rob Arnott says it's already a bubble at US$750. They debate valuing growth and disruption.

Shares

4 key materials for batteries and 9 companies that will benefit

Four key materials are required for battery production as we head towards 30X the number of electric cars. It opens exciting opportunities for Australian companies as the country aims to become a regional hub.

Shares

Why valuation multiples fail in an exponential world

Estimating the value of a company based on a multiple of earnings is a common investment analysis technique, but it is often useless. Multiples do a poor job of valuing the best growth businesses, like Microsoft.

Shares

Five value chains driving the ‘transition winners’

The ability to adapt to change makes a company more likely to sustain today’s profitability. There are five value chains plus a focus on cashflow and asset growth that the 'transition winners' are adopting.

Superannuation

Halving super drawdowns helps wealthy retirees most

At the start of COVID, the Government allowed early access to super, but in a strange twist, others were permitted to leave money in tax-advantaged super for another year. It helped the wealthy and should not be repeated.

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