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Category: Interest Rates

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Bond basics and four messages in the search for yield

Bonds have been strong performers over many decades and always play a role in defensively-positioned portfolios. There are some basic principles investors should understand such as the types of yield.

Britain amid COVID and the pain of the final exit talks

No option removes the existential threats to the UK stirred by its EU departure. What started in 2016 as enough voters defying the odds has left the UK dangling politically and economically amid a pandemic.

10 reasons low interest rates may limit growth

Ultra low interest rates could be counterproductive for economic growth. Policymakers need to rely less on monetary stimulus and be mindful of the side effects they are creating, especially for retirees and savers.

Markets relying on central bank sugar hits

Global central banks are delivering a sugar hit that markets are relying on, but it is unsustainable. Interest rates cannot continue to be cut into negative territory forever. 

Why the Reserve Bank will cut the cash rate twice

A close inspection of Reserve Bank Board minutes, the implications of US Fed moves, the way unemployment is measured and how monetary policy is set add up to a picture of further rate cuts.

Floating rate bonds rise in popularity

With US interest rates on the rise and the prospect of Australian rates heading the same way, floating rate bonds have increased in popularity as they allow investors to benefit from increasing rates.

Volatility and reflecting on the inflection

It took Wall Street and equity investors a long time to realise interest rates had gone through an inflection, and the era of the easiest money conditions in a lifetime is now over.

Risks to banks at end of construction boom

Australian banks are vulnerable to a collapse in the local housing market due to an overexposure to high-rise developments, interest-only loans and high loan-to-value ratios. The main uncertainty is the timing.

Is it time for an SMSF rethink on deposits?

Australian bank liquidity regulations are continuing to tighten, adversely affecting access to cash and the ability of SMSFs to earn the same returns from bank deposits as individuals.

Unconventional monetary policy is now conventional

In a recent speech, US Federal Reserve Chair, Janet Yellen signalled that 'unconventional' monetary policy actions by central banks are likely to be 'normal' for many years.

Banks take political heat to preserve margins and deposits

Following the recent cash rate cut, it seemed unusual for banks to then increase their term deposit rates, while only passing on a fraction of the cut to borrowers. What's behind this change in bank strategy?

How to read RBA interest rate decisions

The RBA follows a fairly standard formula when drafting its interest rate announcements each month and a keen observer might detect a change in view before an actual change in interest rates.

Most viewed in recent weeks

The risk-return tradeoff: What’s the right asset mix for a 5% return?

Conservative investors are forced to choose between protecting capital and accepting lower income while drawing down capital to maintain living standards or taking additional risk. How can you strike a balance?

How long will my retirement savings last?

Many self-funded retirees will outlive their savings as most men and women now aged 65 will survive at least another 20 years. Compare your spending with how much you earn to see how long your money will last.

Buffett's favourite indicator versus all-in equities

Peter Thornhill shows how his personal portfolio has thrived under an 'all-in equities' strategy, but Warren Buffett's favourite valuation indicator says stock markets are priced at their most extreme ever.

In fact, most people have no super when they die

Contrary to the popular belief supported by the 'fact base' of the Retirement Income Review, four in every five Australians aged 60 and over have no super in the period up to four years before their death.

Five timeless lessons from a life in investing

40 years of investing is distilled into five crucial lessons. An overall theme is to embrace uncertainty to make an impact on how much you earn, how much you spend, how much you save and how much risk you take.

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 403

Most Australians hold their superannuation in a balanced fund, often 60% growth/40% defensive or 70%/30%. Lifecycle funds are also popular, where the amount in defensive assets increases with age. Employees who are not engaged with their super (and that's most people when they start full-time work) simply tick a box for the default fund selected on their behalf by their employer. Are these funds still appropriate?

  • 15 April 2021

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