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Edition 215

  • 18 August 2017

When I started working in CBA Treasury in 1979, it was like a startup. Personal computers and trading screens were new technologies, access to foreign bond markets was opening and financial markets were deregulating. Balance sheet management techniques were in their infancy, there were no capital adequacy rules and product pricing was naive. Everything was possible.

Heigh-ho heigh-ho, are family trusts the way to go?

The intricacies of family trusts can be confusing, but examining the potential through the eyes of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs shows whether a trust is a dopey or happy move.

8 ways long-term investing is rewarded

It's intuitively appealing that long-term investing by active managers should be rewarded, but a new report quantifies many ways a patient investor can extract extra returns.

Do your homework on 'granny flats'

Centrelink’s ‘granny flat’ exceptions are designed to encourage people to stay out of supported care, but it's important for welfare recipients to make the correct arrangements.

Oil price projections are no longer gushing

Long-term oil price projections and currency appreciation make the current valuations of many Australian companies look overly optimistic. Extra supply can be turned on quickly when prices start to rise.

The investment bias against small companies

The share prices of smaller companies are traditionally more volatile than large, but the market is changing and the roles seem to be reversing. Is it possible to change our bias against small caps?

What happened in the last Korean War?

A war between the United States and North Korea is unlikely, but with Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un turning up the rhetoric and mad fingers on the red buttons, anything is possible. What happened last time?

The amazing AUSTRAC versus CBA turmoil

Readers made many insightful comments about trust in financial institutions last week, and we welcome further constructive feedback about the unbelievable cash laundering through CBA ATMs.

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10 reasons wealthy homeowners shouldn't receive welfare

The RBA Governor says rising house prices are due to "the design of our taxation and social security systems". The OECD says "the prolonged boom in house prices has inflated the wealth of many pensioners without impacting their pension eligibility." What's your view?

House prices surge but falls are common and coming

We tend to forget that house prices often fall. Direct lending controls are more effective than rate rises because macroprudential limits affect the volume of money for housing leaving business rates untouched.

Survey responses on pension eligibility for wealthy homeowners

The survey drew a fantastic 2,000 responses with over 1,000 comments and polar opposite views on what is good policy. Do most people believe the home should be in the age pension asset test, and what do they say?

100 Aussies: five charts on who earns, pays and owns

Any policy decision needs to recognise who is affected by a change. It pays to check the data on who pays taxes, who owns assets and who earns the income to ensure an equitable and efficient outcome.

Three good comments from the pension asset test article

With articles on the pensions assets test read about 40,000 times, 3,500 survey responses and thousands of comments, there was a lot of great reader participation. A few comments added extra insights.

Coles no longer happy with the status quo

It used to be Down, Down for prices but the new status quo is Down Down for emissions. Until now, the realm of ESG has been mainly fund managers as 'responsible investors', but companies are now pushing credentials.

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