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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

Unexpected results in our retirement income survey

Who knew? With some surprise results, the Government is on unexpected firm ground in asking people to draw on all their assets in retirement, although the comments show what feisty and informed readers we have.

Three all-time best tables for every adviser and investor

It's a remarkable statistic. In any year since 1875, if you had invested in the Australian stock index, turned away and come back eight years later, your average return would be 120% with no negative periods.

The looming excess of housing and why prices will fall

Never stand between Australian households and an uncapped government programme with $3 billion in ‘free money’ to build or renovate their homes. But excess supply is coming with an absence of net migration.

Five stocks that have worked well in our portfolios

Picking macro trends is difficult. What may seem logical and compelling one minute may completely change a few months later. There are better rewards from focussing on identifying the best companies at good prices.

10 reasons wealthy homeowners shouldn't receive welfare

The RBA Governor says rising house prices are due to "the design of our taxation and social security systems". The OECD says "the prolonged boom in house prices has inflated the wealth of many pensioners without impacting their pension eligibility." What's your view?

Six COVID opportunist stocks prospering in adversity

Some high-quality companies have emerged even stronger since the onset of COVID and are well placed for outperformance. We call these the ‘COVID Opportunists’ as they are now dominating their specific sectors.

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