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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. 

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.

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.

Why Westpac walked away from advice

Statements by Brian Hartzer, CEO of Westpac, confirm that financial advice delivered by advisers to the mass market is not financially viable, and technology is the solution if most Australians are not to miss out.

Most viewed in recent weeks

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.

Four bubbly market pockets show heightened risk for investors

At the top of every market, there are signs that investors look back on and say the excesses were obvious. While many parts of the market are fairly valued, here are four bubbles which show irrational exuberance.

Turning point: the 2020s baby boom retirement surge

Every week, 2,500 Australians retire, or at least, reach the age of 65, and 2021-2027 will represent the peak years of the baby boom retirement surge. Longevity of life comes with dangers and opportunities.

Hume and Frydenberg reset super with two buzz words

The solutions to retirement problems are obvious. All we need are 'efficiency' and 'flexibility'. Learn what these two words mean and the future of superannuation policy is clear. Just don't tell Paul Keating.

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.

The world in 2030: Six investing tips for the next decade

Six portfolio managers look at how life may change by the end of the decade and how shifting trends are influencing their investment decisions. It's an optimistic view of the world in 2030 as a better place.

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