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Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 412 with weekend update

  • 17 June 2021
  • 1

Despite lofty valuations, a higher than expected 5% annual inflation rate published last week in the US and new strains of the virus, fund managers and financial advisers are increasingly weighting portfolios to equities. Asset allocators believe inflation will be transitory and growth will be extended.

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 411 with weekend update

  • 10 June 2021
  • 1

Go figure. We're told that when employment rises, the economy is stronger and the stock market rises. Then we're told when employment rises, interest rates rise and the stock market falls. Which is it? We're told that when governments spend, the economy grows and inflation rises. But now, when governments spend, central banks buy the debt and there is no impact on inflation. Take your pick.

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 410 with weekend update

  • 3 June 2021

At the Morningstar Investment Conference, founder of GMO, Jeremy Grantham, lamented the consequences of high prices on everything but he expects a major correction. An extract from his interview covers markets, technology, commodities and venture capital. Plus home prices and inflation focus.

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 409 with weekend updates

  • 27 May 2021
  • 6

Share investors focus on buying well and selling well, but holding well is at least as important. Next time you attend a fund manager presentation, ask about their longest investment. If they are skilled at identifying great companies, there should be plenty of long-term holds. On the other hand, blind devotion to a company whose fortunes are deteriorating is also a failing, so watch where a fund manager falls in love with a stock.

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 408 with weekend updates

  • 20 May 2021

There are no better examples of Australia's unexpected recovery from the pandemic than the fortunes of our major banks and the changing forecasts of our leading economists. In May 2020, NAB reduced its dividend and undertook a Share Purchase Plan at $14.15 to build up its capital, and now the bank is contemplating a buyback at over $25. Looks like sell low buy high. 

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 407 with weekend updates

  • 13 May 2021

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg is loving it. Two years ago, the budget was Back in Black, now it's Simply Red and the politics works both ways. This year, he's a sugar daddy as the Hot Chocolate references are flowing thick and fast. ABC TV declared 'Everyone's a winner, baby, that's the truth'. The Australian added 'I believe in miracles' to its front page. Hot Chocolate's other hits include 'You'll Always Be a Friend' and 'Don't Stop It Now'.

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 406 with weekend updates

  • 6 May 2021

This time last year, we were debating the shape of the recovery in alphabetic terms. Choices were the L, where the economy fell and stayed down for a long while, and the U, where the fall was followed by a period on the floor before a rise. Some offered the W, a series of rises and falls as pandemic waves took over, and the K, a widespread drop followed by strong rises and falls across sectors and economies. Are a tick or a swoosh better analogies?

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 405, with weekend update

  • 29 April 2021
  • 1

Includes weekend market update and Morningstar highlights. According to music scholars, Beethoven became more original and brilliant as his hearing deteriorated late in his life. He could not hear the music of either himself or others, and so became less influenced by the external 'noise'. The clarity and creativity of his music formed inside his head. Good investing is similar.

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 404

  • 22 April 2021

In a market where the valuation superlatives and 'meme investing' gains become more ridiculous by the day - a joke cryptocurrency called Dogecoin is now valued higher than Ford or Wesfarmers - it's welcome when a chart is the surprise of the week. While we have written before about the rapid increase in new participants who consider the stock exchange like a video game, inflows into global stock funds in the five months since November 2020 were greater than the previous 12 years.

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 403

  • 15 April 2021
  • 8

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?

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 402

  • 8 April 2021
  • 12

There was an important moment in an interview with Paul Keating last week when asked about the origins and purpose of super. He said he thinks about retirement in 'family terms', and it is appropriate to pass super money to the next generation ... assuming you have not spent it through living so long.

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 401

  • 31 March 2021
  • 4

It's doubtful we will see short-term rates above 5% for at least a generation, maybe a lifetime. It's a weird thing to say for someone who spent his first decade in money markets with double-digit rates and a bank bill rate of 17.5% in 1990. Plus Deborah Ralston on retirement income, and why picking fund managers is like selecting hot cross buns.

Most viewed in recent weeks

Super changes, the Budget and 2021 versus 2022

Josh Frydenberg's third budget contained changes to superannuation and other rules but their effective date is expected to be 1 July 2022. Take care not to confuse them with changes due on 1 July 2021.

Noel's share winners and loser plus budget reality check

Among the share success stories is a poor personal experience as Telstra's service needs improving. Plus why the new budget announcements on downsizing and buying a home don't deserve the super hype.

Grantham interview on the coming day of reckoning

Jeremy Grantham has seen it all before, with bubbles every 15 years or so. The higher you go, the longer and greater the fall. You can have a high-priced asset or a high-yielding asset, but not both at the same time.

Whoyagonnacall? 10 unspoken risks buying off-the-plan

All new apartment buildings have defects, and inexperienced owners assume someone else will fix them. But developers and builders will not volunteer to spend time and money unless someone fights them. Part 1

BHP v Rio v Fortescue: it's all about the iron ore price

Don’t look at an earnings forecast or a DCF valuation or a broker target price for a mining company. Share price forecasts are only as good as the commodity price assumptions they are based on, and they are a guess.

Should investors brace for uncomfortably high inflation?

The global recession came quickly and deeply but it has given way to a strong rebound. What are the lessons for investors, how should a portfolio change and what role will inflation play?

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