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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.

Most viewed in recent weeks

Too many retirees miss out on this valuable super fund benefit

With 700 Australians retiring every day, retirement income solutions are more important than ever. Why do millions of retirees eligible for a more tax-efficient pension account hold money in accumulation?

Is the fossil fuel narrative simply too convenient?

A fund manager argues it is immoral to deny poor countries access to relatively cheap energy from fossil fuels. Wealthy countries must recognise the transition is a multi-decade challenge and continue to invest.

Reece Birtles on selecting stocks for income in retirement

Equity investing comes with volatility that makes many retirees uncomfortable. A focus on income which is less volatile than share prices, and quality companies delivering robust earnings, offers more reassurance.

Welcome to Firstlinks Election Edition 458

At around 10.30pm on Saturday night, Scott Morrison called Anthony Albanese to concede defeat in the 2022 election. As voting continued the next day, it became likely that Labor would reach the magic number of 76 seats to form a majority government.   

  • 19 May 2022

Keep mandatory super pension drawdowns halved

The Transfer Balance Cap limits the tax concessions available in super pension funds, removing the need for large, compulsory drawdowns. Plus there are no requirements to draw money out of an accumulation fund.

Comparing generations and the nine dimensions of our well-being

Using the nine dimensions of well-being used by the OECD, and dividing Australians into Baby Boomers, Generation Xers or Millennials, it is surprisingly easy to identify the winners and losers for most dimensions.

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