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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

Is it better to rent or own a home under the age pension?

With 62% of Australians aged 65 and over relying at least partially on the age pension, are they better off owning their home or renting? There is an extra pension asset allowance for those not owning a home.

Too many retirees miss out on this valuable super fund benefit

With 700 Australians retiring every day, retirement income solutions are more important than ever. Why do millions of retirees eligible for a more tax-efficient pension account hold money in accumulation?

Reece Birtles on selecting stocks for income in retirement

Equity investing comes with volatility that makes many retirees uncomfortable. A focus on income which is less volatile than share prices, and quality companies delivering robust earnings, offers more reassurance.

Superannuation: a 30+ year journey but now stop fiddling

Few people have been closer to superannuation policy over the years than Noel Whittaker, especially when he established his eponymous financial planning business. He takes us on a quick guided tour.

Is the fossil fuel narrative simply too convenient?

A fund manager argues it is immoral to deny poor countries access to relatively cheap energy from fossil fuels. Wealthy countries must recognise the transition is a multi-decade challenge and continue to invest.

Anton in 2006 v 2022, it's deja vu (all over again)

What was bothering markets in 2006? Try the end of cheap money, bond yields rising, high energy prices and record high commodity prices feeding inflation. Who says these are 'unprecedented' times? It's 2006 v 2022.

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