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Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 345

  • 20 February 2020
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Investment returns in major asset classes in 2019 were wonderful, except for cash and term deposits. With growth super funds delivering around 10% a year for a decade, it's tempting to expect similar good returns in future. The Morningstar Gameboard below shows only two negative results across all asset classes in any year over the last five years.

Should your equity manager hold lots of cash?

An investment with any fund manager should be part of an asset allocation decision, but what happens when your equity manager decides to do a major switch to cash? It messes up your plan.

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?

Where do sustainable returns come from?

The 20% share price gains over the past 12 months have not been supported by similar improvements in company earnings. The market is willing to pay far more for each $1 of profit or dividends.

The moral hazard of a national super fund

If billions of dollars of retirement savings were lost by a government agency in a national super scheme, the cost and risk would be passed back to the government and ‘caveat emptor’ would be history.

Dispelling the disruption myth

We tend to call any change a 'disruption', but the vast majority of so-called disruptive technologies are variations on a theme. Many innovations are really high-risk, low-probability investments.

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.

SMSFs have major role but not for everyone

Arguments between segments of the super industry do not foster public confidence. SMSFs are suitable for many who seek control of their own financial destiny, but it's not a competition. 

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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