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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

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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