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Edition: 354

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What are the options for a pandemic exit strategy?

The risk of easing restrictions early is still large but it could be managed progressively, while the risk of staying out longer will be crippling for the economy. Here's a summary of the options.

What do 11 stock market crises over 148 years tell us?

There have been 11 occasions in the 148 years between 1871 and 2019 when US stocks destroyed at least 25% of value for investors. What has been the best strategy to recover the losses?

A band-aid on a bullet wound

As hopes of a V-shaped recovery diminish, so will the revenues of many highly-geared companies. Client redemptions and downgrades will force selling at distressed prices beyond the Fed's capacity.

The vital 'rule of thumb' influencing the market

A key market heuristic during times of crisis is the second derivative. This is simply the rate of change or the acceleration or deceleration of whatever is causing the crisis.

Bear markets are good for portfolio makeovers, not only bargains

The tax cost of a ‘portfolio makeover’ from moving equities to a more efficient structure may now be minor compared with the benefits. The market fall is not just an opportunity to find bargains.

Are we again crying wolf on inflation risk in pandemic response?

Are analysts who repeatedly issue warnings that do not come true crying wolf about an imaginary risk of inflation? The problem is governments may become addicted to imprudent deficit spending. 

Take a total return focus during COVID-19

Rather than tying spending only to the income generated by a portfolio, a total-return approach encourages the use of capital returns when necessary to meet defined goals.

Is it fair that the wealthier get the most super benefits?

A reader asks about the inequitable distribution of the tax advantages of super, with most taxation benefits going to those with the highest incomes. We asked David Knox of Mercer to respond.

Magellan versus Platinum: which offers a less bumpy ride?

Magellan has attracted massive inflows in the last five years, while Platinum has struggled. The disparity in both track records can be explained by their varying investment approaches.

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 354

  • 22 April 2020
  • 4

The impact of central bank activity on stock and bond markets is so pervasive that 'don't fight the Fed' has become a cliché. In fact, clichés are thriving in the coronavirus pandemic. We hear 'the cure is worse than the disease', events are 'unprecedented' and 'black swans', hotels and ships are 'Petri dishes', while 'we're all in this together' but it's 'the worst since the Great Depression' before we 'come out on the other side'. And yes, yes, yes, we know 'when the tide goes out, we can see who's been swimming naked'.

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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