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Edition: 355

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Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 355

  • 30 April 2020
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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

$100 billion! Five reasons investors are flocking to ETFs

It's not official, but Australian ETFs are clicking over $100 billion right now. It's a remarkable rise, leaving the traditional rivals, the Listed Investment Companies, in their dust. Why are they so popular?

Invest in Australian value stocks before it is too late

By now, we know 'growth' stocks have outperformed 'value' for many years and investors look to the future, but there are good reasons why the switch is on, especially as value companies emerge from the pandemic.  

A close look at retiree fears and expectations

Half of Australians retire early due to unexpected circumstances and within timeframes they did not choose, and two-thirds of pre-retirees worry about funding their retirement. But neither are the greatest fear in retirement.

Minister Jane Hume on SMSFs and superannuation reform

Senator Jane Hume presented at the SMSFA conference this week, and we reproduce the full transcript as a guide to what the Government is thinking on superannuation reforms as we head into the next election.

Hume and Frydenberg reset super with two buzz words

The solutions to retirement problems are obvious. All we need are 'efficiency' and 'flexibility'. Learn what these two words mean and the future of superannuation policy is clear. Just don't tell Paul Keating.

Taxing the ‘rich’: the potential tax consequences of inequality

At some point, politicians will debate how to reduce the national debt and implement measures aimed at simultaneously easing budget pressures while reducing the gap between rich and poor. Investors should be ready.

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