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Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 427 with weekend update

  • 30 September 2021
  • 5

All in one week. All on one subject. All buying into the same problem. Let's do a roll call of abbreviations and acronyms. IMF, OECD, CFR, RBA, APRA, ANZ, CBA. What are they all fussing about? Suddenly, they've realised rapidly-rising house prices might cause financial instability, generational inequity, mortgage stress and loan defaults. And did you know a housing inquiry is underway?

What do you expect from your portfolio today?

Recent history has been spectacularly good for most asset classes but there is a the colossal gap between fundamentally-based forecasts of stockmarket returns over the next 5-10 years and investor expectations.

400th Edition Special: 45 of the best investment ideas

Over eight years since February 2013, Firstlinks has become a leading financial newsletter, publishing thousands of articles from hundreds of writers. To mark this milestone, 45 experts have joined the celebration for our 400th edition bringing their best investing ideas for the next few years.

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.

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.    

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 387

  • 10 December 2020

It's already become a cliché to say 2020 was a terrible year to be consigned to the rubbish bins of history and the 2021 return-to-normal will be welcome by all. And indeed, the pandemic turned lives upside down and millions suffered. But it also proved again that for financial markets and capitalism, far from being a free enterprise system where government interference is despised, when the going gets tough, central bankers save the system with a bottomless bucket of cash.

Investor downside when management controls access to the board

Try having a direct conversation with a board member without going through the company's PR team. Boards can become managed and co-opted by company executives and forget who they work for.

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 358

  • 20 May 2020

One of the many victims of COVID-19 is Australia as a private sector, market-based economy. It's become a public-subsidised economy. Most workers are on some type of government support, and the downturn is disguised in the official numbers. Last week's unemployment rate of 6.2% is fiction, as most workers are either unemployed, paid by the government or they have given up looking for work. How do we climb out of the valley?

The uncertainties of using debt in a time of crisis

The ability of countries to support their economies today turns on fiscal practices set well before this crisis. Increasing levels of debt escalate overall risk, and tie our hands in the future.

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 342

  • 30 January 2020

Most people satisfied with the home they own or rent care little for the parallel universe of weekend house hunters who barely have time for breakfast before they join the queues. With mortgage rates as low as 2.84% and risk written all over other asset classes, housing FOMO is strong in major cities, even though consumer confidence is falling in the wake of the bushfires and coronavirus.

Why this age of artificial returns must falter

Sharemarkets are booming not because companies are increasing earnings, but because falling interest rates are driving asset prices ever-higher. It is artificial and it will not end well.

Welcome to the Firstlinks Edition 316

If you knew your incoming boss thought something the business does is 'absolutely abhorrent', would you fix it before he arrived? I know I would.

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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