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Edition: 539

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Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 539 with weekend update

  • 13 December 2023
  • 11

In politics, there’s an old saying that if everyone is unhappy with a policy, then it must be on the right track. On that measure, the Government’s financial advice reforms aren’t a total success, though they may not be far off.

Which asset classes are undervalued right now?

Many assets have had a rollercoaster 2023 though most are up, and some of them are up a lot. Here we compare valuations of cash, bonds, stocks, and property, and suggest where investors may be able find a bargain.

Super wars: who needs to do what for retirees?

Retirement is the new black and super funds are seemingly expected to do all things for all retirees. Do we need to better apportion the different responsibilities to create a world class retirement income system?  

Time to announce the X-factor for 2023

What is the X-factor - the largely unexpected influence that wasn’t thought about when the year began but came from left field to have powerful effects on investment returns - for 2023? It's time to select the winner.

The reforms that our retirement system needs

Australia should change its retirement system so people can easily access targeted support to plan their futures and fund their lifestyles by having greater work flexibility and access to equity in their homes.

The future of bank hybrids is open to question

APRA is reviewing hybrid capital bonds issued by banks. This is hardly surprising since the demise of Credit Suisse showed they don't work for the purpose that they are designed, and their continued use must be questioned.

Cash underperforms when rates peak

History tells us that hiding in cash isn't the best approach when interest rates peak. While equity markets have had a strong year driven by the ‘Magnificent Seven’ stocks, the rally might broaden to other sectors in 2024.

Podcast: US recession risks and a simple wealth-creating strategy

Brandywine Global's Richard Rauch warns of US and global recession risks, Vanguard's Duncan Burns on building a simple, effective investment portfolio, and Peter Warnes on the Australian market outlook for 2024.

Most viewed in recent weeks

Where Baby Boomer wealth will end up

By 2028, all Baby Boomers will be eligible for retirement and the Baby Boomer bubble will have all but deflated. Where will this generation's money end up, and what are the implications for the wealth management industry?

Meg on SMSFs: $3 million super tax coming whether we’re ready or not

A Senate Committee reported back last week with a majority recommendation to pass the $3 million super tax unaltered. It seems that the tax is coming, and this is what those affected should be doing now to prepare for it.

How much do you need to retire comfortably?

Two commonly asked questions are: 'How much do I need to retire' and 'How much can I afford to spend in retirement'? This is a guide to help you come up with your own numbers to suit your goals and needs.

Meg on SMSFs: Clearing up confusion on the $3 million super tax

There seems to be more confusion than clarity about the mechanics of how the new $3 million super tax is supposed to work. Here is an attempt to answer some of the questions from my previous work on the issue. 

The secrets of Australia’s Berkshire Hathaway

Washington H. Soul Pattinson is an ASX top 50 stock with one of the best investment track records this country has seen. Yet, most Australians haven’t heard of it, and the company seems to prefer it that way.

How long will you live?

We are often quoted life expectancy at birth but what matters most is how long we should live as we grow older. It is surprising how short this can be for people born last century, so make the most of it.

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