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Edition: 392

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Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 392

  • 28 January 2021
  • 6

When we wrote about Robinhood and Reddit investors in June last year, it was not expected that their activities would ramp up to another extreme level. Fuelled by stimulus cheques and social media stories of instant wealth, thousands of new participants are speculating on stocks in a way the market rarely sees.

Unfortunately, all fund manager presentations are good

Part of the fund manager's job is to raise money from investors, and with years of practice, a few good stock stories and an educated guess on the future, it's not hard to present well. That's a problem for investors.

Win some, lose some: Buffett's 2020 scorecard

Warren Buffett's investment portfolio gains attention because of his legendary status, but parts of his empire in insurance, railways, metalworking and aircraft suppliers have been damaged by the pandemic.

Prefer or defer? Sector and investment themes for 2021

It's time for equity prices to more closely tie to a company’s underlying near-term earnings trajectory and financial strength. Despite the market trading at record levels, some stocks have been left behind.

Is cancelling the SG increase a retiree version of ‘Buy now, pay later’?

No doubt, any reduction or deferral in the SG increase would be received favourably by many. However, early access and lower contributions undermine the foundation of our super system.

Three ways to match housing affordability with good returns

This increased focus on affordable housing is welcome but the challenge is that investors typically require ‘market’ rate financial returns. By definition, social housing tenants cannot pay market rent.

Investors face their own Breaking Bad moment

Savers are making small decision after small decision that leads them away from investing and closer to outright speculating. Time will tell if this ends in a bloody climax or we all live happily ever after.

Australian banks prove resilient but risks remain

Australian major banks reported a decline in financial performance in 2020 but as the impact of the pandemic evolves, the banks maintained a strong focus on customers. Is the renewed market optimism justified?

Most viewed in recent weeks

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?

House prices surge but falls are common and coming

We tend to forget that house prices often fall. Direct lending controls are more effective than rate rises because macroprudential limits affect the volume of money for housing leaving business rates untouched.

Survey responses on pension eligibility for wealthy homeowners

The survey drew a fantastic 2,000 responses with over 1,000 comments and polar opposite views on what is good policy. Do most people believe the home should be in the age pension asset test, and what do they say?

100 Aussies: five charts on who earns, pays and owns

Any policy decision needs to recognise who is affected by a change. It pays to check the data on who pays taxes, who owns assets and who earns the income to ensure an equitable and efficient outcome.

Three good comments from the pension asset test article

With articles on the pensions assets test read about 40,000 times, 3,500 survey responses and thousands of comments, there was a lot of great reader participation. A few comments added extra insights.

Coles no longer happy with the status quo

It used to be Down, Down for prices but the new status quo is Down Down for emissions. Until now, the realm of ESG has been mainly fund managers as 'responsible investors', but companies are now pushing credentials.

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