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Edition: 342

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Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 342

  • 30 January 2020

Most people satisfied with the home they own or rent care little for the parallel universe of weekend house hunters who barely have time for breakfast before they join the queues. With mortgage rates as low as 2.84% and risk written all over other asset classes, housing FOMO is strong in major cities, even though consumer confidence is falling in the wake of the bushfires and coronavirus.

Just for Josh: Survey on attitudes to LIC fees

The LIC/LIT stamping fee issue is hotting up, as the Federal Treasurer sets up a snap 'public consultation' to help him. Take our survey and we will present the conclusions to Josh Frydenberg.

Mr Market isn't so foolish, after all

The story of Mr Market originated with Ben Graham and was further popularised by Warren Buffett, but does it still hold true? Based on experience, the two-investor scheme looks hopelessly oversimplified.

Tesla surges, VW doesn’t. Here’s why

Tesla has stunned the doubters, especially those shorting the stock. To understand the share prices of these disruptive companies, look to the big picture of changes to whole-of-world issues.

Why this age of artificial returns must falter

Sharemarkets are booming not because companies are increasing earnings, but because falling interest rates are driving asset prices ever-higher. It is artificial and it will not end well.

Who does compulsory superannuation really benefit?

While these findings are controversial and have already been attacked by the super industry, research suggests superannuation may not be the best long-term savings vehicle for everyone.

Long-term optimism for margin lending but share outlook subdued

Appetite for margin lending is improving but demand remains a fraction of its peak in 2007. While some advisers and clients may reengage with better products, they are subdued in their outlook for shares. 

Media worth consuming - January 2020

Links to dozens of global media articles that often do not receive mainstream coverage in Australia. It's sceptical, fun and revealing, often challenging consensus and accepted wisdom.

Most viewed in recent weeks

10 little-known pension traps prove the value of advice

Most people entering retirement do not see a financial adviser, mainly due to cost. It's a major problem because there are small mistakes a retiree can make which are expensive and avoidable if a few tips were known.

Check eligibility for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card

Eligibility for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card has no asset test and a relatively high income test. It's worth checking eligibility and the benefits of qualifying to save on the cost of medications.

Hamish Douglass on why the movie hasn’t ended yet

The focus is on Magellan for its investment performance and departure of the CEO, but Douglass says the pandemic, inflation, rising rates and Middle East tensions have not played out. Vindication is always long term.

Start the year right with the 2022 Retiree Checklist

This is our annual checklist of what retirees need to be aware of in 2022. It is a long list of 25 items and not everything will apply to your situation. Run your eye over the benefits and entitlements.

At 98-years-old, Charlie Munger still delivers the one-liners

The Warren Buffett/Charlie Munger partnership is the stuff of legends, but even Charlie admits it is coming to an end ("I'm nearly dead"). He is one of the few people in investing prepared to say what he thinks.

Should I pay off the mortgage or top up my superannuation?

Depending on personal circumstances, it may be time to rethink the bias to paying down housing debt over wealth accumulation in super. Do the sums and ask these four questions to plan for your future.

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