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Edition: 367

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Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 367

  • 22 July 2020
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There is a similarity between the current health crisis and economic crises of the past. For COVID-19, record amounts of biotech funding from government agencies and private companies are looking for a vaccine. Likewise, central banks once struggled treating recessions but the 'vaccine' now is record amounts of financial stimulus to ensure liquidity. While the world awaits a COVID treatment, markets are purring along, at least until side effects hit.

A hard dose reality check on vaccines

With 160 programmes underway and billions of dollars spent on COVID-19 vaccines, investors are drawn to optimistic news. However, the company that has developed most new vaccines has a sober view.

Two great examples of why company management matters

It’s not only products and business models that create wealth. Management teams make decisions on how to deploy capital and such actions drive vastly different outcomes over time.

How we have invested during COVID-19

With signs that the economic recession will not be as deep as first feared, many companies will emerge strongly with robust business models. Here are the sectors with the best opportunities.

Five principles from the lost decade of value investing

Value investing is a long-cycle play, but a decade (and counting) of waiting for mean reversion has tested the faith of even long-horizon investors. Some basic principles are worth assessing.

Is the '4% rule' for retirement broken?

The traditional 4% rule was designed to ensure retirees do not run out of money, but low interest rates and expensive equity markets question the sustainability of the level. What are the alternatives?

Hedging for capital preservation

New ways to hedge the risks in an equity portfolio are now readily available, including bear funds designed to make money when the market falls. They're not for everyone so check with a financial adviser.

A year coloured by what I have read

The lockdowns and less physical travel give more time to read and reflect. This article shares some favourite books including key investment implications from asking if the glass is half full or half empty.

Most viewed in recent weeks

Super changes, the Budget and 2021 versus 2022

Josh Frydenberg's third budget contained changes to superannuation and other rules but their effective date is expected to be 1 July 2022. Take care not to confuse them with changes due on 1 July 2021.

Noel's share winners and loser plus budget reality check

Among the share success stories is a poor personal experience as Telstra's service needs improving. Plus why the new budget announcements on downsizing and buying a home don't deserve the super hype.

Grantham interview on the coming day of reckoning

Jeremy Grantham has seen it all before, with bubbles every 15 years or so. The higher you go, the longer and greater the fall. You can have a high-priced asset or a high-yielding asset, but not both at the same time.

Whoyagonnacall? 10 unspoken risks buying off-the-plan

All new apartment buildings have defects, and inexperienced owners assume someone else will fix them. But developers and builders will not volunteer to spend time and money unless someone fights them. Part 1

Buffett says stock picking is too hard for most investors

Warren Buffett explained why he believes most investors should not pick stocks but simply own an S&P 500 index fund. "There's a lot more to picking stocks than figuring out what’s going to be a wonderful industry."

Should investors brace for uncomfortably high inflation?

The global recession came quickly and deeply but it has given way to a strong rebound. What are the lessons for investors, how should a portfolio change and what role will inflation play?

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