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Edition: 387

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Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 387

  • 10 December 2020

It's already become a cliché to say 2020 was a terrible year to be consigned to the rubbish bins of history and the 2021 return-to-normal will be welcome by all. And indeed, the pandemic turned lives upside down and millions suffered. But it also proved again that for financial markets and capitalism, far from being a free enterprise system where government interference is despised, when the going gets tough, central bankers save the system with a bottomless bucket of cash.

John Malloy: why time is now for emerging markets

Emerging market equities performed strongly up to the GFC but have gone sideways since. In this cyclical sector, there's an opportunity to catch up boosted by strong inflows, a lower US dollar and tech adoption.

10 key themes for 2021

A summary of 10 investing themes for 2021 including early-cycle opportunities, populism, digital transformation and supply chains, plus the outlook for equities, fixed interest and alternatives.

2021 economic and market outlook report

The next phase of recovery depends on immunity to COVID and reduced consumer reluctance to engage in normal economic activities. What are the various scenarios and how do they influence a balanced portfolio?

Just how reliant on China are we?

China takes 40% of our exports and BHP, RIO and Fortescue generate 41% of Australian listed company profits. Trade tensions are hitting more companies and they need to diversify their revenue sources.

Three reasons why super performance test fails

The Government's performance test in the 'Your Future, Your Super' proposals is likely to prove ineffective and generate undesirable outcomes. It will distort how funds are managed and confuse members.

Investor downside when management controls access to the board

Try having a direct conversation with a board member without going through the company's PR team. Boards can become managed and co-opted by company executives and forget who they work for.

Two courageous responses to the Retirement Income Review

The Retirement Income Review has received criticism for compromising future super balances and not supporting the SG increase. The same result as an increase could be achieved by changing two other policies.

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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