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Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 352

  • 9 April 2020
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The stock market usually bottoms well before positive data shows a turning point. The number of strong days in the market recently is a testament to the willingness of some investors to look through COVID-19 to a future of vaccines and economic stimulus. But as countries force business shut downs and demand people stay home, timing of sustained recovery is a coin toss.

The three key issues in the COVID-19 outlook

Hamish Douglass outlines the three main issues in the outbreak of coronavirus, with consequences which may change businesses and consumers forever. Will we face V-shape, U-shape or depression?

Survey: the impact on you of COVID-19

Let us know how are you coping in the current crisis. How is your portfolio performing? Have we seen the stock market bottom? When will the crisis end? What does 'the other side' look like?

How to make up for lost time on COVID-19

Bill Gates warned the world in 2015 that we were not ready for the next inevitable pandemic, and we ignored him. The Washington Post has provided free access to his updated views.

The simple mathematics of social distancing

A simple check of the mathematics explains why social distancing is so important, and in the absence of a treatment or vaccine, the only way to stop COVID-19 becoming rampant.

One trillion and counting: is government debt a problem?

With about $350 billion of new government spending announced to combat COVID-19, the obvious question is whether Australia can afford it, especially when national income will fall rapidly.

Brace yourself for (bad) tax and super news

The previous austerity of the Coalition Government has been tossed aside to deal with COVID-19, but at some point, debt will be repaid. Are policies once considered off-the-table now a target?

Hybrids throwing up opportunities … and risks

The GFC provided asset managers with a source of behavioural data they could only dream of. However, no amount of modelling can capture the full panic that some investors experience. 

Demographic change at the worst possible time

The missing piece in most analysts' views of the future of the stock market is demographics. The secular bull market until 2019 was driven by a generation that is now retiring and selling equities.  

COVID-19: Is this time really different?

All crises are inherently different, but investor reaction to them is remarkably consistent. There's no evidence to suggest this has changed, which means there are importnt lessons from history.

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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