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Edition: 321

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Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 321

  • 29 August 2019

More falls in cash rates and Josh Frydenberg's advice to boards to stop paying special dividends and making buy backs would mean further income reductions for investors. The Reserve Bank hopes moving from 1% to 0.5% would stimulate the economy, but what about the withdrawal of spending power from millions relying on their savings?

Magellan’s Vihari Ross on the players in the team

The companies that earn a place in an investment portfolio are like the players in a sporting team. They must perform strongly and complement each other, and not keep someone out who is better.

Why you should be wary of share buy backs

This week, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg told Australia companies to invest in growth rather than return capital or buy back their own shares. There are other reasons to check the merit of buy backs.

How to spot genuine pricing power

Look for a company whose prices are rising faster than inflation without customer churn, while leveraging its existing strong relationships to cross sell or up sell or some mix of both.

Four things advisers can do to manage conflicts

Thanks to the Royal Commission, everybody is aware of the problems with vertical integration and in-house conflicts for financial advisers. What should advisers and their clients look for?

Finding safety and returns in a low interest rate world

Bonds markets have continued to defy the notion that low yields imply low returns, and most investors need the solid foundation that bonds give to a portfolio.

Six suspects in the murder of inflation

The market has been looking for inflation for most of the last decade. Low interest rates should increase consumption, borrowing and demand and result in higher prices. What killed inflation?

What do negative rates and other RBA moves mean for investors?

The RBA is likely to first exhaust conventional easing by cutting the cash rate to 0.5% by year end before deploying unconventional measures. Negative interest rates are unlikely.

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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