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Edition: 220

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Edition 220

  • 22 September 2017

I am in Tel Aviv, gaining insights into why Israel is one of the leading start-up and innovation nations in the world. It’s driven by a complex mix of risk-taking confidence, military influences, self-determined dynamism and downright belligerence. Israelis seem proud to be called argumentative and impatient, and this pushes creativity and change.

The truth on three big indexing questions

Indexing has come under increasing criticism as it has grown rapidly. Three issues dominate the arguments but the indexing benefits of low cost and diversification means active and index funds have a symbiotic relationship.

The paradox of passive investing

The rapid rise in investments into passive vehicles is having a distortive effect on markets as the flows are prone to sudden reversals. The cheap cost may come with a paradoxical result.

Investment innovation beyond the status quo

Large super funds have been successful in delivering strong investment returns, but the changing nature of the sector means more investment innovation is necessary for continuing long-term success.

Bond demand is dumb, dumber and dumbest

A sign that the strong credit cycle is ending is the funding of some emerging market governments that are more than likely to default, but demand is driven by desire for yield regardless of risk.

LIC reporting season wrap for 2017

LICs have generally retained their dividends despite some softness in income received from underlying investments, and three prominent, longstanding LICs are worth a look at current prices.

Why the times suit active fixed interest

With the 35-year bull market in bonds coming to an end, passive fixed interest portfolios are at the mercy of the index’s high levels of interest rate risk and compositional skew towards low return investments.

Six ways to improve your term deposit outcome

Leaving a term deposit to rollover automatically at the end of each term will almost certainly guarantee a worse return than if you read the rollover letter and do some research instead.

Most viewed in recent weeks

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.

The sorry saga of housing affordability and ownership

It is hard to think of any area of widespread public concern where the same policies have been pursued for so long, in the face of such incontrovertible evidence that they have failed to achieve their objectives.

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