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Australian banks prove resilient but risks remain

Australian major banks reported a decline in financial performance in 2020 but as the impact of the pandemic evolves, the banks maintained a strong focus on customers. Is the renewed market optimism justified?

Bank scorecard 2020: when will the mojo return?

Banks severely cut dividends in 2020 but are expected to improve payments in 2021. History provides clues to when the banks will return to their 2019 levels of profitability, but who is positioned the best?

Bank reporting season scorecard May 2020

Uncertainty was the key theme in recent results, but how did they score on loan provisions, capital resources, margins and most importantly, dividends. There's a lot of guesswork going on in banks.

Australian banks undervalued amid economic turmoil

Australian bank share prices are down about 40% since February 2020, with many of the risks factored in. It's hard to estimate short-term loan losses and asset growth, but the longer term is more positive.

Worried about low rates, SMSFs drop banks and diversify

Traditional SMSF asset allocations to cash, banks and property are changing as ultra-low interest rates start to bite, and SMSFs take on more diversified equity and fixed interest exposures.

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.

Headwinds and tailwinds, a decade in review

Looking back over the last decade shows the factors which have driven success for some companies and failure for others, driven by falling interest rates, a lower Aussie dollar and technology changes.  

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. 

Bank reporting season scorecard for FY19

Our annual scorecard for Australian banks shows earnings were hit by remediation costs and slow credit growth, but they are in good health and look attractive versus other listed companies. 

Should you buy CBA PERLS XII Capital Notes?

CBA's latest PERLS offer is directly offered to hundreds of thousands of investors who already hold CBA shares or other PERLS securities. How does it compare with the rest of the hybrid market? 

Why bank hybrids are far too expensive

The recent rise in the prices of bank hybrids fails to recognise the risks involved, and they now look expensive compared to alternatives available to both retail and institutional investors.

Is it time to sell bank hybrids?

The margins (or spreads) on so-called AT1 bank hybrids have reduced significantly since the franking doubt was removed in the election, and investors should ask whether they are now rewarded for the risks.

Most viewed in recent weeks

The risk-return tradeoff: What’s the right asset mix for a 5% return?

Conservative investors are forced to choose between protecting capital and accepting lower income while drawing down capital to maintain living standards or taking additional risk. How can you strike a balance?

How long will my retirement savings last?

Many self-funded retirees will outlive their savings as most men and women now aged 65 will survive at least another 20 years. Compare your spending with how much you earn to see how long your money will last.

Buffett's favourite indicator versus all-in equities

Peter Thornhill shows how his personal portfolio has thrived under an 'all-in equities' strategy, but Warren Buffett's favourite valuation indicator says stock markets are priced at their most extreme ever.

In fact, most people have no super when they die

Contrary to the popular belief supported by the 'fact base' of the Retirement Income Review, four in every five Australians aged 60 and over have no super in the period up to four years before their death.

Five timeless lessons from a life in investing

40 years of investing is distilled into five crucial lessons. An overall theme is to embrace uncertainty to make an impact on how much you earn, how much you spend, how much you save and how much risk you take.

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 403

Most Australians hold their superannuation in a balanced fund, often 60% growth/40% defensive or 70%/30%. Lifecycle funds are also popular, where the amount in defensive assets increases with age. Employees who are not engaged with their super (and that's most people when they start full-time work) simply tick a box for the default fund selected on their behalf by their employer. Are these funds still appropriate?

  • 15 April 2021

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