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Edition: 453

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Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 453

  • 7 April 2022
  • 4

'The future ain't what it used to be' and 'It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future' are attributed to Yogi Berra, a great US baseball catcher. But there's one Yogi-ism that does not have much applicability in financial markets at the moment: 'It's like deja vu all over again.' There's a lot we have not seen for a long time, if ever.

Track if your fund manager is taking the best shot

In his final letter as CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos implored people to avoid being normal, to nurture their distinctiveness. Fund managers should earn their active fees by building unique, active portfolios.

Australia’s bounty: is it just diversified luck?

Increases in commodity prices have fuelled global inflation while benefiting commodities exporters like Australia. Oftentimes, booms lead to busts and investors need to get the timing right on pricing cycles to be successful.

We need hard conversations about frailty planning

The costs of aged care will only continue to increase as the Baby Boomer generation moves into their frailty years, increasing not only the demand for services but also higher consumer expectations around the quality of service.

Budget cash splash will do more harm than good

Governments borrowing for roads, infrastructure and items that have a long-term payback is good debt, but cash handouts for the sole purpose of getting the government back into power is 'bad' debt.

Why I’m not afraid for Taiwan

Much of the commentary on the impact of Russia's invasion of Ukraine on China and Taiwan lacks a deep understanding of each country's political reality. It may even improve, rather than exacerbate, the China-Taiwan problem.

Hybrids alongside corporate bonds a good balance

Higher distribution levels and potential returns have caused many investors to turn to hybrids for the fixed income portion of their portfolio. Now may be a time to reassess the relative risk-reward balance of the instrument.

Age pension is increasing: what you need to know

Older Australians saw the largest increase in their age pension payments in almost a decade last month. But pensioners receiving aged care will only see $4 of the $20 pension increase.

Most viewed in recent weeks

Is it better to rent or own a home under the age pension?

With 62% of Australians aged 65 and over relying at least partially on the age pension, are they better off owning their home or renting? There is an extra pension asset allowance for those not owning a home.

Too many retirees miss out on this valuable super fund benefit

With 700 Australians retiring every day, retirement income solutions are more important than ever. Why do millions of retirees eligible for a more tax-efficient pension account hold money in accumulation?

Is the fossil fuel narrative simply too convenient?

A fund manager argues it is immoral to deny poor countries access to relatively cheap energy from fossil fuels. Wealthy countries must recognise the transition is a multi-decade challenge and continue to invest.

Reece Birtles on selecting stocks for income in retirement

Equity investing comes with volatility that makes many retirees uncomfortable. A focus on income which is less volatile than share prices, and quality companies delivering robust earnings, offers more reassurance.

Superannuation: a 30+ year journey but now stop fiddling

Few people have been closer to superannuation policy over the years than Noel Whittaker, especially when he established his eponymous financial planning business. He takes us on a quick guided tour.

Comparing generations and the nine dimensions of our well-being

Using the nine dimensions of well-being used by the OECD, and dividing Australians into Baby Boomers, Generation Xers or Millennials, it is surprisingly easy to identify the winners and losers for most dimensions.

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