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Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 391

  • 21 January 2021
  • 1

The 46th President of the United States, Joe Biden, was sworn in on Wednesday, and we all hope it heralds a new era in US politics. Equally important for markets is the appointment of Janet Yellen as Treasury Secretary and her reputation for spending and economic stimulus. And Australia will be a fascinated spectator as the US and China battle it out for economic supremacy for many years to come.

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 390

  • 13 January 2021
  • 1

Two major decisions by the Morrison Government confirm that anyone saving for retirement or a home must make plans in the face of continuous regulatory uncertainty. Policy principles are firm one year and jilted the next. The once-lauded responsible lending laws will be abandoned, and the increases in the super guarantee are looking unlikely.

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 389

  • 7 January 2021

Back into full swing, this edition includes the resources you need to start your investing and planning for a new year. Stock and fund tips, a retirement investing framework, market outlooks and opinions for 2021, lessons from COVID and a check on the most popular articles from last year. Let's kick off by looking on the bright side of life.

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 388

  • 17 December 2020
  • 4

Our final packed edition for the year ... but first, if there is one thing 2020 taught us, it is to expect the unexpected. Although some people like Bill Gates forecast in 2014 that a pandemic on a global scale would hit in future, nobody seriously factored it into investment analysis. And even when COVID-19 struck, most analysts predicted economic doom and market collapses which also proved wrong.

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 387

  • 10 December 2020

It's already become a cliché to say 2020 was a terrible year to be consigned to the rubbish bins of history and the 2021 return-to-normal will be welcome by all. And indeed, the pandemic turned lives upside down and millions suffered. But it also proved again that for financial markets and capitalism, far from being a free enterprise system where government interference is despised, when the going gets tough, central bankers save the system with a bottomless bucket of cash.

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 386

  • 3 December 2020
  • 1

As vaccine success increases amid economic growth optimism, global fund managers are switching into sectors which lost in 2020, such as into small caps, emerging markets, value over growth and less defensive in cash and bonds. Energy is back in favour.

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 385

  • 25 November 2020
  • 1

Superannuation is under attack on several fronts, and the Retirement Income Review adds fuel to the fire. Far from being simply a 'fact based' set of statistics, it takes a strong stance on many controversial subjects. While not formally making recommendations, its findings are no less powerful, setting up retirement planning for significant changes.

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 384

  • 19 November 2020
  • 1

Underperforming asset managers receive little sympathy from critics and investors, but what does 'underperforming' mean? It's normally a reference to not matching a benchmark, but what should a manager do if the market is behaving in a way that is totally anathema to a belief in how companies should be priced? Most supporters demand style consistency, even if it does not work in the short term.

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 383

  • 12 November 2020
  • 8

One of the downsides of Donald Trump commanding the headlines is that we skim over other significant issues. For example, few Australians read the China Daily News or coverage of its contents, missing official statements that are terrifying hundreds of Australian producers. China says Australia will 'pay tremendously' for its recent lack of respect.

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 382

  • 5 November 2020
  • 28

ELECTION UPDATE. At 3.20am AEST on Sunday, Joe Biden became the 46th US President by winning Pennsylvania. Donald Trump is yet to concede but he did much better than the polls expected. Despite a scandal-filled Presidency, 70 million Americans voted for him in 2020. Regardless of his own wealth and the way he used the Presidency for his own businesses, he managed to tap into the disillusion from the bottom 90% of Americans who combined own as much wealth as the Top 1%. Much has changed in the US since I holidayed there with my family in 1998.

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 381

  • 29 October 2020

There is a popular belief that retail investors do not even achieve index returns due to poor timing of investing and selling decisions. The theory is that they buy after markets rise as confidence grows, then sell in panic when markets fall, and miss the recovery. This 'buy high sell low' tendency loses the advantages of long-term investing and riding out the selloffs. But the evidence for this belief is not convincing.

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 380

  • 22 October 2020

Former US Vice President Al Gore once told me he needed to raise only US$70,000 when he first ran for politics. Now Biden and Trump spend billions just on television advertising. Little wonder so many favours are owed after each election, and this time, it really matters. Plus investing insights from Kate Howitt, Hamish Douglass, Roger Montgomery, Phil Ruthven and Morningstar's top stock picks.

Most viewed in recent weeks

24 hot stocks and funds for 2021

Many investors use the new year to review their portfolios, and in this free ebook, two dozen fund managers and product providers give their best ideas for 2021 - some stocks, some funds, some sectors.

Great new ways the Government helps retirees

Last year's retiree checklist of services available was one of our most popular articles. There are some additions for 2021, and while it can take effort to set them up, they can pay off over the long term.

The hazards of asset allocation in a late-stage major bubble

The Grantham article everyone is quoting, in full. "The long, long bull market since 2009 has finally matured into a fully-fledged epic bubble ... this could very well be the most important event of your investing lives."

Four simple strategies deliver long-term investing comfort

A long-time advocate of the merits of generating income by investing in industrial companies rather than bonds or deposits checks his 'mothership' chart for the latest results, and continues to feel vindicated.

Retirement changes everything: a post-retirement investing framework

Categorising post-retirement needs – living, lifestyle, legacy and contingency – creates a framework for retirees. Advisers can translate these needs into investment goals and portfolios.

Cut it out ... millionaires are not wealthy

The widespread use of 'millionaire' must stop. Inflation means that the basket of goods and services that cost $1 million in 1960 now requires $15 million. Today, millionaires are not wealthy.

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