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Cuffelinks Newsletter Edition 277

  • 26 October 2018

Owen on big bank failings, your Factfulness results, sustainable returns, SMSF pros, S&P scorecard shortcomings, choice paralysis, and super problems.

The sorry tale of our big banks

The history of the Big Four banks is littered with bad strategies by overpaid executives, taxpayer-funded rescues and a lack of competition. As the banks clean up the Royal Commission mess, Macquarie has overall done better.

Results: Factfulness of Australians and Cuffelinks readers

We had an outstanding participation rate for the Factfulness quiz. Our readers did well compared with Australia and the rest of the world, but perhaps not as well as expected.

Sustainable investing focuses on the future

A better approach to sustainable investing is to actively select for better ESG scores and identify companies with a positive impact. Fund managers have an important advocacy role.

Six advantages of an SMSF

In considering whether setting up an SMSF is the right decision for you, weigh up compliance obligations and cost with the main advantages SMSFs offer over other super funds. The 6 key positives are enumerated here.

Three key issues with S&P’s index v passive scorecard

The SPIVA Scorecard suggests that most Australian actively-managed funds underperform comparable market indexes, but this analysis can be challenged by a number of key assumptions.

When customised solutions ruin a company

Contrary to traditional economic models, excess choice can be bewildering to consumers. Some customisation-from-scratch businesses are failing, and half-way solutions might be better.

Super is worsening for self-funded retirees

Increases in longevity, and the numerous changes to the super system since inception, have mostly worked against self-funded retirees. Meanwhile, politicians and bureaucrats enjoy far superior retirement benefits.

Most viewed in recent weeks

Noel's share winners and loser plus budget reality check

Among the share success stories is a poor personal experience as Telstra's service needs improving. Plus why the new budget announcements on downsizing and buying a home don't deserve the super hype.

Grantham interview on the coming day of reckoning

Jeremy Grantham has seen it all before, with bubbles every 15 years or so. The higher you go, the longer and greater the fall. You can have a high-priced asset or a high-yielding asset, but not both at the same time.

Five stock recoveries not hanging on COVID predictions

The focus on predicting the recovery from the pandemic is the wrong emphasis. Better to identify great companies benefitting from market changes over a three- to five-year horizon with or without COVID.

BHP v Rio v Fortescue: it's all about the iron ore price

Don’t look at an earnings forecast or a DCF valuation or a broker target price for a mining company. Share price forecasts are only as good as the commodity price assumptions they are based on, and they are a guess.

Blink and you missed a seismic shift in these stocks

Blink and it happened. If announcements in this sector were made by a producer of iron ore, gas, copper or some new tech, the news would have been splashed across the front pages. Have we witnessed a major change?

Peak to peak, which LIC managers performed during COVID?

A comprehensive review of dozens of LICs shows how they performed in the crucial 'peak to peak' of COVID. This 14 months tested the mettle and strategies of a sector often under fire, with many strong results.

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