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Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 442 with weekend update

  • 20 January 2022

One of the benefits of ETFs, besides the low fees for the index options, is the ease of access. Anyone with a broker account needs no fresh paperwork. But there are disadvantages in the ability to sell quickly and cheaply. Our behaviour is guided by what is easy, so we tend to overtrade and our portfolios suffer from not taking a longer-term, more considered perspective. A fraction more friction would help.

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 441 with weekend update

  • 13 January 2022
  • 3

Every person is predisposed towards some combination of gullible and sceptical across many aspects of their lives. We might be sceptical about information we read on social media but gullible in accepting opinions in a favourite newspaper. In investing, one person may think 'it's too good to be true' while another sees a great opportunity.

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 440 with weekend update

  • 5 January 2022

Welcome to our 10th year of publication as we check our most popular articles of 2021. Much interest in retirement savings, housing policy and investing, and surprising to see social security policy feature strongly. Plus four charts for 2022 and the most-traded ASX stocks of 2021.

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 439 with weekend update

  • 23 December 2021
  • 4

For most investors, 2021 will deliver good performance, with the benchmark All Ords Index rising 10% and the best superannuation funds returning about 12%, and that's before we include house prices. If 2022 is worse, that is part of the deal all equity investors must accept. But there was something else weird and crazy about investing in 2021.

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 438 with weekend update

  • 16 December 2021

Tired of reading about inflation? It seems a dry subject and Firstlinks does not normally spend much time on a macro theme, but this is a fascinating and unique moment. Central banks are changing their policies at a critical time, and inflation, wages, the virus and house prices are all linked. Hamish Douglass gives his unique take.

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 437 with weekend update

  • 9 December 2021

As we come to the end of another year, predictions for next year will abound, especially as central banks step away from looser policies. Long-term investing should not depend on short-term predictions but draw on Buffett's advice to invest as if allowed only 20 investments in a lifetime. Do you own stocks or funds you expect to retain forever?

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 436 with weekend update

  • 2 December 2021
  • 28

Two recent discussions with retirees demonstrated why policy change is difficult, and why meaningful action demands a politician who can tell a convincing story when faced with the inevitable opposition. Can we implement changes which are good for the nation when powerful vested interests have so many public platforms these days? Plus all the stock picks from the Annual Sohn Conference.

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 435 with weekend update

  • 25 November 2021
  • 4

Most people have little idea how the machinery of politics works. Companies that donate to political parties say they are a contribution to the democratic process, but they are really a payment for access and influence, as I learned directly from a Canberra lobbyist a few years ago. We get the politics we deserve.

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 434 with weekend update

  • 18 November 2021

Is this time different? Every week, we face new challenges to our understanding of how investing works. A Bitcoin is worth about US$60,000 versus $1 only 10 years ago. Rivian makes no revenues and manufactures few vehicles and it's now the second-most valuable car maker in the world. Fill in our 'Living Years' survey and pass on the lessons.

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 433 with weekend update

  • 11 November 2021
  • 2

There’s this story about a group of US Air Force generals in World War II who try to figure out ways to protect fighter bombers (and their crew) by examining the location of bullet holes on returning planes. Mapping the location of these holes, the generals quickly come to the conclusion that the areas with the most holes should be prioritised for additional armour.

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 432 with weekend update

  • 4 November 2021
  • 1

Hi all. Harry here, sitting in Graham’s editor chair (albeit virtually) for a couple of weeks while he enjoys a long-overdue break. Having been a contributor to Firstlinks over the years, it’s very humbling to see the work of so many talented contributors from an editor’s perspective, rather than a writer. I hope you enjoy the thought-provoking pieces on offer in this edition.

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 431 with weekend update

  • 28 October 2021
  • 5

House prices have risen at the fastest pace for 33 years, but what actually happened in 1988, and why is 2021 different? Here's a clue: the stockmarket crashed 50% between September and November 1987. Looking ahead, where did house prices head in the following years, 1989 to 1991?

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Hamish Douglass on why the movie hasn’t ended yet

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Start the year right with the 2022 Retiree Checklist

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At 98-years-old, Charlie Munger still delivers the one-liners

The Warren Buffett/Charlie Munger partnership is the stuff of legends, but even Charlie admits it is coming to an end ("I'm nearly dead"). He is one of the few people in investing prepared to say what he thinks.

Should I pay off the mortgage or top up my superannuation?

Depending on personal circumstances, it may be time to rethink the bias to paying down housing debt over wealth accumulation in super. Do the sums and ask these four questions to plan for your future.



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