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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

Are you caught in the ‘retirement trap’?

Our retirement savings system is supposed to encourage financial independence but there is a ‘Retirement Trap’ due to the reduction of age pension entitlements as assets and income rise.

The power of letting winners run

Handling extreme winners is a complex task. Conventional wisdom such as “you never go broke taking a profit” often leaves a lot of money on the table as strong growth stocks continue to run.

Tony Togher on why cash isn’t just cash

An active manager of cash and fixed interest funds can achieve higher returns than the cash rate through a selection of other securities while managing both liquidity and income for clients.

NAB hybrid: one says buy, one says sell, you decide

Differences of opinion make a market, and hybrid specialists disagree on the likelihood that NAB will call one of its hybrids early. It makes a major difference to the expected return on NABHA.

Watch your SMSF’s annual return this year

The best way to preserve your SMSF’s favoured status is to make sure the fund’s annual return reaches the ATO on time. There are new rules this year that every SMSF trustee should know.

Worshipping at the altar of alternative assets

Investors worried about an overvalued sharemarket and low interest rates on term deposits and bonds are focusing on alternatives. What are they and how are they used by leading asset allocators?

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