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Are Australian bank boards fit for purpose?

Many of Australia's bank directors lack crucial skills in technology, operations and HR as part of a broader shortage of experience that is as important in dodging scandals as in business success.

Focus on quality yield, not near-term income

Many investors are tempted by high yields on shares, but when they are not sustainable, and in weak businesses, the outcome is disappointing compared with better quality and lower yields. 

It’s the large stocks driving fund misery

There’s a lot of talk of the WAAAX stocks causing fund underperformance, but they’re simply not big enough compared with choosing the wrong winners and losers among the large cap stocks.

10 reasons not to hold bank royal commission

There is popular and political support for a bank royal commission, but what can it really achieve? Two years of bank bashing for doubtful results in an already heavily-regulated and monitored industry.

The value of wealth management for Australian banks

The wealth management businesses of major banks may be efficient uses of their capital, but it comes with scrutiny of the vertical integration model and culture risks. There's increasing focus on whether it's worth having.

Is bank bias worth the risk?

The Big 4 banks make up nearly 30% of the ASX, and Australian shares make up a significant proportion of most multi-asset portfolios. Even if you can't resist the bank dividends, you should review your level of exposure.

What happened to our gold-plated bank capital position?

The implications for hybrids, bank margins and bank fees from the increase in the risk-weighting of residential mortgages and learning our banks are not top quartile among the capital levels of global banks.

Don’t treat bank shares as defensive assets

Other sharemarket opportunities than banks are likely to be more resilient in the event of a market correction. Banks have large exposures to residential property which is doubling up on risk for many Australians.

Bank capital in a post-FSI world

The FSI's final report is expected this month. From a bank capital perspective it could go one of a few ways: changes to mortgage risk-weightings, new capital rules for the big banks, a combination of both, or no change at all.

Ian Macfarlane on emerging markets, banks and property prices

Part 2 of the edited transcript from the Morningstar Investment Conference Q&A session with Ian Macfarlane. He shares his thoughts on emerging markets, Australia’s banking system and property prices.

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10 little-known pension traps prove the value of advice

Most people entering retirement do not see a financial adviser, mainly due to cost. It's a major problem because there are small mistakes a retiree can make which are expensive and avoidable if a few tips were known.

Check eligibility for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card

Eligibility for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card has no asset test and a relatively high income test. It's worth checking eligibility and the benefits of qualifying to save on the cost of medications.

Hamish Douglass on why the movie hasn’t ended yet

The focus is on Magellan for its investment performance and departure of the CEO, but Douglass says the pandemic, inflation, rising rates and Middle East tensions have not played out. Vindication is always long term.

Start the year right with the 2022 Retiree Checklist

This is our annual checklist of what retirees need to be aware of in 2022. It is a long list of 25 items and not everything will apply to your situation. Run your eye over the benefits and entitlements.

At 98-years-old, Charlie Munger still delivers the one-liners

The Warren Buffett/Charlie Munger partnership is the stuff of legends, but even Charlie admits it is coming to an end ("I'm nearly dead"). He is one of the few people in investing prepared to say what he thinks.

Should I pay off the mortgage or top up my superannuation?

Depending on personal circumstances, it may be time to rethink the bias to paying down housing debt over wealth accumulation in super. Do the sums and ask these four questions to plan for your future.

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