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Edition: 355

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Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 355

  • 30 April 2020
  • 3

May Day delivered a reality check with a fall of 5% in the S&P/ASX300 after rising 8.8% in April. Hopes of a V-shape recovery are optimistic but Australian investors are reacting to market volatility with polar opposite portfolio changes. While one cohort has rushed for cash and safety in the crisis, another group has seized a share-buying opportunity. The S&P/ASX300 bottomed on 23 March at 4,500 and has since risen to about 5,200, but whether those brave enough to buy equities will be rewarded, only time will tell.

Six simple charts on what to expect from shares

Investors in Australian equities should expect a loss in at least one year in every five, but subsequent years normally recover lost ground and reward patience. No need to pick tops and bottoms.

Don’t fall under FOMO’s market spell

Fear of missing out in a rallying stock market pushes many investors back into shares even when the outlook is poor. Bear markets usually last longer than we have seen so far during the coronavirus.

'Unprecedented' should be 'here we go again'

It might be a 'black swan' event, but the market is down only 15% since its peak. Looking back at an article written in 2008 reveals the uncertainty at the time was similar to the unknowns now.

Too many unknowns: hope isn't an investment thesis

Many investors believe they have sufficient visibility into numerous unknowns to make the high-conviction call that the recovery will be strong. We don’t, and we're not willing to guess.

Together in isolation, four steps in a strange new world

Free spending by governments risks unsustainably higher debt levels, as deficits matter and must be paid for. Here are four steps investors should consider as previous techniques may not work.

Oil and the storm before the really big storm

The oil market is as much about geopolitics as it is demand and supply, with regimes controlling much of the global production. Are negative oil prices part of a bigger plan by someone?

Four steps to resurrecting Australia

As we slowly emerge from the pandemic, there is a small window where everyone is on the same team, fighting a war against a common, invisible enemy. It's an opportunity to make some big decisions.

Giving and receiving the right aged care advice

Aged care should not be narrowly defined, as opportunities include home care, granny flats, retirement villages, land lease communities and residential aged care. Take advice and don't rush it.

Media worth consuming - April 2020

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

What unbelievable circumstances!

In repositioning a portfolio to this new environment, focus on companies with balance sheet strength and less investment market and consumer sensitivity. In any crisis, there are victims and beneficiaries.

Coronavirus and the fragilities of Italy and the eurozone

Italy is so weak economically, financially and politically that it poses an existential threat to the eurozone. Solutions to appease the crisis face political hurdles and a euro exit is possible.

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?

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.

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.

Welcome to Firstlinks Election Edition 458

At around 10.30pm on Saturday night, Scott Morrison called Anthony Albanese to concede defeat in the 2022 election. As voting continued the next day, it became likely that Labor would reach the magic number of 76 seats to form a majority government.   

  • 19 May 2022

Comparing generations and the nine dimensions of our well-being

Using the nine dimensions of well-being used by the OECD, and dividing Australians into Baby Boomers, Generation Xers or Millennials, it is surprisingly easy to identify the winners and losers for most dimensions.

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