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Edition: 394

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Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 394

  • 11 February 2021

At any time in the investing cycle, a strong case can be made for both buying and selling equities. There are no absolutes. Even as markets look overvalued at the end of a bull run, the optimism could play out for years to come. The added complication for investors at the moment is the unlimited liquidity the central banks are pumping into the system. The TINA trade is real.

$100 billion! Five reasons investors are flocking to ETFs

It's not official, but Australian ETFs are clicking over $100 billion right now. It's a remarkable rise, leaving the traditional rivals, the Listed Investment Companies, in their dust. Why are they so popular?

Guess what? It may actually be different this time

Retirees or those close to retirement are courting risk by standing pat with too-aggressive portfolios. In a volatile market, tune out the pundits and take a look in the mirror. Are you happy with your exposure?

Should equity investors fear higher bond yields?

Lower bond yields have been used to justify higher share market valuations for much of the last decade. Now bond rates are rising and there is an inflation threat, what determines whether equities will be hit?

The attacking defender: position for downturns with private debt

In investing, income and capital gains are akin to scoring goals, but successful teams must also stop the other side from scoring. Most portfolios need a manager preserving capital and reducing drawdowns.

Taxing the ‘rich’: the potential tax consequences of inequality

At some point, politicians will debate how to reduce the national debt and implement measures aimed at simultaneously easing budget pressures while reducing the gap between rich and poor. Investors should be ready.

Germany will do the minimum to support the euro ... and Europe

Germany benefits from the European currency union that makes the country an export dynamo, but there are at least five reasons why it is reluctant to force the economic and fiscal union the continent really needs.

The challenge of completing our retirement income system

The Government should fix the problems in the pension phase that are leaving gaps for vulnerable groups. Unless these problems are resolved, 9.5% will not deliver adequate retirement incomes.

Most viewed in recent weeks

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.

The sorry saga of housing affordability and ownership

It is hard to think of any area of widespread public concern where the same policies have been pursued for so long, in the face of such incontrovertible evidence that they have failed to achieve their objectives.

Two strong themes and companies that will benefit

There are reasons to believe inflation will stay under control, and although we may see a slowing in the global economy, two companies should benefit from the themes of 'Stable Compounders' and 'Structural Winners'.

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