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Hide and seek: the FX impact on global equity investments

As more Australians tilt their investments to global equities, they often overlook the exchange rate risk and fees. The move from US57 cents to US73 cents in six months shows the unhedged impact.

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.

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.  

Beware: the share valuations failing the commonsense test

The valuation maths of many expensive companies simply cannot work. They assume low interest rates for long terms, but strong economic growth to drive ongoing success. You can't have both. 

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.

SMSF investment trends show rising diversity

SMSFs are continuing to use the ASX20 as a bargain buy, but are also diversifying into mid caps and international shares via direct investments, ETFs and LICs.

Oil price projections are no longer gushing

Long-term oil price projections and currency appreciation make the current valuations of many Australian companies look overly optimistic. Extra supply can be turned on quickly when prices start to rise.

Let's focus on modern slavery in Australia

A Senate Inquiry is examining the need for a Modern Slavery Act, and many Australian companies are reporting on their activities due to their overseas business. It's the next front towards more sustainable investing.

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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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