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Edition: 212

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Edition 212

  • 28 July 2017

The Holy Grail of investing is high returns with low risk. When a fund or index delivers a return of say 10% and volatility (used as a measure of risk) of 10%, analysts say it has a 'Sharpe Ratio' of 1.0 (ie return/risk). This 'risk-adjusted return' rarely averages over 1.0, and 0.5 is considered a good result. Yet according to Bloomberg, in the 100 months to June 2017, the S&P500 index delivered a Sharpe Ratio of 1.4. A stellar result.

Tension as diversified portfolios have lost their anchor

With the strongest defensive assets earning close to zero and negative real returns, investors are looking at other ways to shock-proof their portfolios, but it invariably means taking on more risk.

Decide if 'fake crises' are worth the worry

Instead of automatically reacting to fake crises, a better approach is to weigh up the pros and cons first. If the news proves to be correct, take action based on your risk tolerance.

How to improve retirement outcomes for women

Adequate retirement incomes rely on accumulating superannuation balances throughout a working life, and many factors are detrimental to women keeping pace with men. Urgent reform is needed.

Disruption supports small company growth

New technologies and markets are driving opportunities for small to medium cap companies, as well as the global tech giants. Many Australian companies have jumped on the wave.

5 factors for SMSFs investing in residential property

Should SMSFs invest in residential property, should they borrow to do it and what is the impact on housing affordability and market stability?

Easier transfer of death benefit pensions

Transferring a death benefit pension can be complicated but new legislation from 1 July 2017 simplifies the process.

Are banks misjudging retirees?

A retired reader wrote to us about his poor treatment by several banks, seemingly because he is retired. Are banks missing out on opportunities to service retirees?

Australian LICs versus Berkshire Hathaway

As part of the continuing discussion about dividends, Peter Thornhill sent in a chart that compares the long term performance of three Australian LICs with Warren Buffett's legendary Berkshire Hathaway.

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Three steps to planning your spending in retirement

What happens when a superannuation expert sets up his own retirement portfolio using decades of knowledge? He finds he can afford much more investment risk in his portfolio than conventional thinking suggests.

Finding sustainable dividend stocks on the ASX

There is a small universe of companies on the ASX which are reliable dividend payers over five years, are fairly valued and are classified as ‘negligible’ or ‘low’ on both ESG risk and carbon risk.

Among key trends in Australian banks, one factor stands out

The Big Four banks look similar but they are at fundamentally different stages as they move to simpler business models. Amid challenges from operating systems, loan growth and neobank threats, one factor stands tall.

Why mega-tech growth are the best ‘value’ stocks in the market

They are six of the greatest businesses ever and should form part of the global portfolios of all investors. The market sees risk in inflation and valuations but the companies are positioned for outstanding growth.

How inflation impacts different types of investments

A comprehensive study of the impact of inflation on returns from different assets over the past 120 years. The high returns in recent years are due to low inflation and falling rates but this ‘sweet spot’ is ending.

How to manage the run down in your income in retirement

The first of five articles on modern retirement income products that aim for an increasing pension that lasts for life and on average should not decline in real terms. They are not silver bullets but worth a look.

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