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Slowing global trade not the threat investors fear

Investors ask whether global supply chains were stretched too far and too complex, and following COVID, is globalisation dead? New research suggests the impact on investment returns will not be as great as feared.

Why market forecasts matter to long-term investors

Investors should prepare for a decade of returns below historical averages for both stocks and bonds. Over the next decade, equity returns may be tiny compared with the lofty double-digit returns of recent years.

Know your fund types and structures – an acronym odyssey

ETFs, LICs and MFs. These investment options share some similarities but there are also important differences that make them more or less suitable for particular investors. There are a few key features to know.

Why investment stewardship matters for long-term investors

A fund that is 'passive' does not mean its managers merely invest as directed by the index with little concern for ESG risks. Good stewardship is valued as much by 'indirect' investors as direct shareholders.

Now playing: China’s policy normalisation challenge

While western policymakers aim to sustain economic recovery, Chinese post-pandemic policy normalisation is a headwind with slower credit growth, less government bond issuance and a reduction in the fiscal deficit.

Evan Reedman: Australian ETFs from slow burn to rapid fire

ETFs have gone from bit player to major force in Australian investing in the space of a few years, and will top $100 billion soon. One of the major providers explains how they bring products to the market.

2021 economic and market outlook report

The next phase of recovery depends on immunity to COVID and reduced consumer reluctance to engage in normal economic activities. What are the various scenarios and how do they influence a balanced portfolio?

Four reasons ESG investing continues to grow

Although Australian investors are among the most ESG-aware in the world, with the vast majority wanting responsible and ethical investments, there are still some misconceptions to dispel.

To speculate or not to speculate

More retail investors than ever are speculating on the stock market, driven to FOMO by the success of others. Here are five rules which have stood the test of time rather than hoping speculation works.

Why 2020 has been the year of the bond market

Going back to June 2019, investors would have questioned the logic of diversifying away from outperforming growth assets. But when markets feel at their best, it is paramount to keep a perspective on long-term goals.

Choosing an index fund is more than just the expense ratio

Popular belief is that all index funds are the same, but it pays to follow this framework, which shows there is more to consider than the cheapest management cost. Replicating an index is not easy.

Take a total return focus during COVID-19

Rather than tying spending only to the income generated by a portfolio, a total-return approach encourages the use of capital returns when necessary to meet defined goals.

Choosing your investment strategy is like a road journey

Investing in a traditional index can be compared with taking the main road to a destination, but if you know the backroads and traffic conditions, you coud reach your goal quicker.

Vital lessons from the long-term Index Chart

A look at long-term performance gives a sense of perspective that helps tune out short-term noise, focus on your long-term goals and ‘stay the course’. Here are some interactive charts.

How important are investment costs for retirement?

Cost is one part of investing that people saving for retirement can control, and it's surprising how the compounding impact of small cost savings build up to large amounts over a long accumulation phase.

Recession and why timing markets doesn't pay

Inevitably, with each new development in this cycle, investors as what they can do to prepare for a recession. Our answer: revisit asset allocation, diversify, and review active risks in your portfolio.

Retirement planning is not just about income

The main focus in retirement planning should be on the entire return from a portfolio, not just the income generated, and this might help some people in managing changes due to Labor's franking credit proposal.

Vale Jack Bogle

As Warren Buffett said: "If a statue is ever erected to honour the person who has done the most for American investors, the hands-down choice should be Jack Bogle." The 'father of indexing' died last week.

Australian ETFs: end of year reviews 2018

ETFs reached over $40 billion by the end of 2018, with international equities ranked first for net flows, and a rapid growth in fixed income products. Cap-weighted indexes dominated but smart beta is gaining ground.

Reverse mortgages: short-term gain, long-term pain

As the population ages and property prices rise rise, equity in owner homes has more potential as a significant source of 'retirement income'. But an ASIC report highlights complexities in reverse mortgages not well understood.

Interactive: where will your goals take you?

This excellent Interactive Index Chart shows market performance of various asset classes since 1970, and allows readers to compare the growth of $10,000 invested in these asset classes over historical periods.

Some trustees should self-manage out of SMSFs

Although over one million Australians are trustees of SMSFs, ASIC reports that many do not have the expertise or time to take responsibility to manage their own superannuation.

How to use factors to tailor your investing

The concept of factor investing has been around for decades and features in many portfolios. A considered and patient use of factors can enhance investment performance but not short term in all market conditions.

Bitcoin: digital gold or fool's gold?

The Global Chief Economist of a leading asset manager has taken one question more than any other in recent months. People are both transfixed and bemused by Bitcoin, but there is a chance its value may fall to zero.

The truth on three big indexing questions

Indexing has come under increasing criticism as it has grown rapidly. Three issues dominate the arguments but the indexing benefits of low cost and diversification means active and index funds have a symbiotic relationship.

When no decision is the right one for super

Superannuation funds strive for increased engagement from their members, but is there merit in the decision not to choose? Evidence shows default options perform well compared with the 'choose your own' path.

The value of Adviser's Alpha explained

The main benefit a financial adviser can give clients is not in stock picking or selecting an outperforming manager, but acting as a wealth coach and helping to control emotions.

You get what you don’t pay for

While there is a role for both active and passive investments in portfolios, the impact of relatively small reductions in management fees can compound to large amounts over a lifetime of saving.

Preparing for the ups-and-downs of 2017

When markets deliver lower returns, investors need to save more, learn about investments and stay the course to achieve their retirement goals. Diversification is an effective way to weather uncertain times.

Investing is a balancing act

Investors should set a preferred asset allocation based on risk tolerance, but sticking to it through tough market conditions is a challenge. Yet most of an investor's return comes from asset class allocation.

Do investment principles stand test of time?

A comparison of superannuation investment strategy outcomes over two decades for three types of investors: a baby, a 20-year-old and a 40-year-old, shows the benefits of time and the value of compounding.

Leadership skills of a crusading communicator

One of the most important leadership skills to master is the art of communication. Superannuation industry leaders can learn much from the father of indexing, Jack Bogle.

Most viewed in recent weeks

10 reasons wealthy homeowners shouldn't receive welfare

The RBA Governor says rising house prices are due to "the design of our taxation and social security systems". The OECD says "the prolonged boom in house prices has inflated the wealth of many pensioners without impacting their pension eligibility." What's your view?

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.

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