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Edition: 397

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Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 397

  • 4 March 2021
  • 4

Clichés such as 'unprecedented conditions' and 'we're all in this together' enjoyed prominence in 2020 but there are two new buzz words in Canberra for 2021. The 'polispeak' of innocent-sounding words are softening us up for major changes in the way we think about and manage superannuation.

Hume and Frydenberg reset super with two buzz words

The solutions to retirement problems are obvious. All we need are 'efficiency' and 'flexibility'. Learn what these two words mean and the future of superannuation policy is clear. Just don't tell Paul Keating.

How do women really invest?

It is often said that female investors are more risk-averse than males, but a closer look at the data suggest that income - rather than gender alone - may be the real determinant of women's investing choices.

Five lessons from the 'Witch' of Wall Street

Immersed in the business and finance worlds at an early age, Hetty Green became one of the most successful investors of all time. Her story shows that the best advice is often timeless.

Why it's a frothy market but not a bubble

There are pockets of bubble pricing in some assets that can pop at any time, but overall, valuations are frothy but prices of most companies can be sustained if not hit by rising bond rates.

Five factors driving the great Australian recovery

Australia’s economic recovery is expected to be strong in 2021. It may appear the local economy is lagging other countries as they recover but that is only because we are not starting from such a low base.

How bonds may temper equity market disappointment

Equity valuations are lofty, but long bond rates have now returned to levels before the pandemic crisis. In a balanced portfolio, long bonds now provide more opportunity to cushion the volatility of equities.

Will rising bond rates hit your share portfolio?

After a strong rally since March 2020, markets are increasingly worrying about the threat of inflation and higher interest rates. Ironically, it might be at a time of strong economic growth which benefits companies.

10 key takeaways on gold, Bitcoin and the Elon effect

The rise of the Bitcoin price coinciding with a pullback in the gold price is leading commentators to argue the precious metal is being usurped by its purported digital counterpart. There's a long way to go.

The coiled spring: markets are primed for the year ahead

Bull markets tend to follow their own momentum until they hit a clear opposing force. The economy is like a spring about to be uncoiled with the most obvious restraint on the horizon is the return of inflation.    

Is Australia turning Japanese? Watch these stocks

It has been three decades, and Japanese equities are still not back up to all-time highs reached at the end of one of the greatest bull markets in global history in 1989. Can we have lost decades in Australia too?

Three themes for emerging market debt in 2021

The outlook for emerging market debt in 2021 revolves around liquidity, uneven recoveries and debt sustainability. Damage has been done to many countries’ finances and watch for central banks withdrawing support.

Most viewed in recent weeks

The risk-return tradeoff: What’s the right asset mix for a 5% return?

Conservative investors are forced to choose between protecting capital and accepting lower income while drawing down capital to maintain living standards or taking additional risk. How can you strike a balance?

How long will my retirement savings last?

Many self-funded retirees will outlive their savings as most men and women now aged 65 will survive at least another 20 years. Compare your spending with how much you earn to see how long your money will last.

Buffett's favourite indicator versus all-in equities

Peter Thornhill shows how his personal portfolio has thrived under an 'all-in equities' strategy, but Warren Buffett's favourite valuation indicator says stock markets are priced at their most extreme ever.

In fact, most people have no super when they die

Contrary to the popular belief supported by the 'fact base' of the Retirement Income Review, four in every five Australians aged 60 and over have no super in the period up to four years before their death.

Five timeless lessons from a life in investing

40 years of investing is distilled into five crucial lessons. An overall theme is to embrace uncertainty to make an impact on how much you earn, how much you spend, how much you save and how much risk you take.

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 403

Most Australians hold their superannuation in a balanced fund, often 60% growth/40% defensive or 70%/30%. Lifecycle funds are also popular, where the amount in defensive assets increases with age. Employees who are not engaged with their super (and that's most people when they start full-time work) simply tick a box for the default fund selected on their behalf by their employer. Are these funds still appropriate?

  • 15 April 2021

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