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Uncharted waters, 2020 and beyond

As we approach the 2020s, we are sailing into uncertain waters at best. These times also have some historical precedents, but we need to make important reforms before our luck runs out.

Policymakers fear cutting stimulus can lead to recession

Prolonging a recovery with stimulus could lead to a worse slump later. Even today, policymakers are haunted by actions taken in 1937 which led to a loss of production and jobs and a falling GDP.

Five major drivers making Asia the world’s growth engine

Global trends will create opportunities in Asia, including dealing with some of the world's youngest and oldest populations. Australia's Free Trade Agreement with ASEAN this week a valuable step. 

Central banks risk losing their feted ‘independence’

Central bank independence was an appropriate solution when inflation was a threat. In today’s low-inflation, low-growth and high-debt world, even central banks doubt their level of influence.  

Six suspects in the murder of inflation

The market has been looking for inflation for most of the last decade. Low interest rates should increase consumption, borrowing and demand and result in higher prices. What killed inflation?

What do negative rates and other RBA moves mean for investors?

The RBA is likely to first exhaust conventional easing by cutting the cash rate to 0.5% by year end before deploying unconventional measures. Negative interest rates are unlikely.

The death of value investing in a low growth world

For value investing to remain a rational strategy, mean reversion must hold true, which requires supportive economic conditions. But historical ranges are not relevant to companies losing market share.

From popular to unthinkable: do political outcomes impact investments?

Political outcomes are challenging to predict. Instead, we need to focus on the investment implications of a variety of policy outcomes. A long term perspective is where valuation intersects with fundamentals.

Recession and why timing markets doesn't pay

Inevitably, with each new development in this cycle, investors as what they can do to prepare for a recession. Our answer: revisit asset allocation, diversify, and review active risks in your portfolio.

Which political party is best for share prices?

Total returns from the local stock market have averaged 10.5% per year since Federation, with 12% p.a. under right-leaning governments and 8% p.a. under left-leaning governments. But it's mainly luck.

Why Budget infrastructure spending matters

Both the Government and Labor have made impressive commitments to infrastructure, but it focusses heavily on roads and rail. Australia's economic potential depends on more essential services.

Budget: Permanent promises, temporary revenues

It's an election budget with money to spend, driven by income and company taxes. It again relies on China, so as the economy and global growth stalls, the long-term revenues are doubtful with spending locked in.

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20 great ways the government helps retirees

This list could save a retiree thousands of dollars and provides ideas for a better lifestyle. It's surprising what you might be entitled to, but it's often hard to track down the benefits.

How do your financial priorities stack up with our pyramid?

Make sure you're not focussing on minor investment problems while giving short shrift to the game-changers. This pyramid describes the important decisions and it might surprise what comes last. 

Sweet spot helping bull market rampage

The strong market has challenged value investors who want to buy at lower prices, but there are signs 2020 will continue a 'sweet spot' of profit growth, low inflation and central bank liquidity support. 

Why good investing is like a healthy diet

It's the underlying nutrients in the foods we eat which determine if we have a healthy diet. Similarly, the underlying factors that affect our assets determine if we have a healthy portfolio.

Interview Series eBook, investing insights from global experts

30 interviews from 2013 to 2019, from global experts such as Markowitz, Malkiel, Dimson and Merton, to local fund managers sharing the secrets and lessons for investment success in 2020. 

Authorities reveal disquiet over LIC fees

Internal emails from the regulator released under an FOI request reveal warnings about advice conflict when selling fees are paid on LICs. Investors need to understand the consequences of the debate.

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