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Edition: 202

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Edition 202

  • 19 May 2017

I've been a member of the Pricing Committees of three Australian banks. Over the years, meetings became increasingly complex as pricing factored in higher capital and liquidity requirements (for example, CBA holds an incredible $155 billion of high quality liquid assets), funding mismatches, competitive forces, product margins and, somewhere in the mix, community backlash and politics. Into the hundreds of pages of material produced each week will now go a new cost for five of the banks: the 0.06% levy on certain liabilities.

What matters most? A good industry or a good management?

The surprising fact from this study of profitability is that there’s no such thing as a ‘bad’ industry, only inadequate or inappropriate management.

Government debt: how much is too much?

The level of Commonwealth government debt to GDP is the highest it has been since the 1950s, and it’s only likely to worsen in the face of populist policies. Is this something we should worry about?

The growth sector property investors overlook

With a high rate of adoption of the internet globally and the large growth in cloud computing, network-dense data centres are well placed to generate long-term returns.

Corporate activity helps build a small cap portfolio

Watch the many different forms of corporate activity for clues to the way management is thinking about a company’s future and the ways to finance its growth. This can be especially useful for investing in small cap stocks.

Facebook's problem became a great opportunity

The good news about negative media articles is that a story only needs to become slightly more positive to create an investment opportunity. Just look at Facebook and a bad news day.

How I lost my files to ransomware

A cautionary tale to remind us that the authentic-looking email from that authentic company we deal with may not be friendly at all. This is what a ransomware virus can do after a moment’s lack of care.

Most viewed in recent weeks

A tonic for turbulent times: my nine tips for investing

Investing is often portrayed as unapproachably complex. Can it be distilled into nine tips? An economist with 35 years of experience through numerous market cycles and events has given it a shot.

Rival standard for savings and incomes in retirement

A new standard argues the majority of Australians will never achieve the ASFA 'comfortable' level of retirement savings and it amounts to 'fearmongering' by vested interests. If comfortable is aspirational, so be it.

Dalio v Marks is common sense v uncommon sense

Billionaire fund manager standoff: Ray Dalio thinks investing is common sense and markets are simple, while Howard Marks says complex and convoluted 'second-level' thinking is needed for superior returns.

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 467

Fund manager reports for last financial year are drifting into client mailboxes, and many of the results are disappointing. With some funds giving back their 2021 gains, why did they not reduce their exposure to hot stocks when faced with rising inflation and rates?

  • 21 July 2022

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 466 with weekend update

Heard the word, cakeism? As in, 'having your cake and eating it too'. The Reserve Bank wants to simultaneously fight inflation by taking away spending power, while not driving the economy into a recession. If you want to help, stop buying stuff.

  • 14 July 2022

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 465 with weekend update

Many thanks for the thousands of revealing comments in our survey on retirement experiences. We discuss the full results. And with the ASX200 down 10%, the US S&P500 off 20% and bond prices tanking, each investor faces the new financial year deciding whether to sit, sell or invest more.

  • 7 July 2022

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