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Six investment lessons from 15 years of data

S&P's SPIVA (index versus active) data now spans 15 years of data on the performance of Australian managed funds. This study illuminates returns from sectors and styles, and investment lessons learned from it.

How fixed interest is undergoing profound change

Exposure to bonds in the last few decades has delivered strong returns, but the risks in simply buying a bond index are acute and investors should consider different ways of investing in bonds.

Don’t judge all small companies by the poor index returns

What factors are a guide to a long term successful investment experience in small caps given the sector has struggled to deliver decent returns?

The difficulties picking fund manager winners

It's difficult for investors to find active fund managers that consistently outperform the market over multiple periods, and the claim that active managers do better in falling markets also lacks recent evidence.

Competing for alpha

The term 'alpha' may be financial jargon, but for fund managers, it's the highly sought-after prize for successful active management that justifies fees charged. But how do you select a good manager?

Calculation and use of BBSW and BBSY

The Bank Bill Swap Rate (BBSW) is an important metric in many markets. It’s used as the benchmark for hybrids, FRNs and billions of dollars of loans and bonds.

There's nothing sleepy about Rip Van Winkle indexing

Index and asset allocation specialists, Research Affiliates, have tested a theory they call the ‘Rip van Winkle’ approach. It uses a cap-weighted index portfolio drawing the data from 20 years earlier to prove a point.

Why good active managers should outperform

In a continuation of the 'active vs passive' debate, there are many reasons why a good active manager should be worth the extra cost. What should the manager be doing to deliver results?

The numbers tell the story for index investing

The empirical evidence in the active v passive investing debate favours index in most asset classes, but there's a role for mixing the techniques if good managers can be identified - although that's not easy.

I will survive! Investing amid structural change

Australia's economy has long had to cope with structural change, which hasn't stopped quality companies from generating wealth for investors. But with increasing complexity, picking winners and losers will become harder.

Good active managers are hard to identify

The SPIVA Australia Scorecard measures the performance of actively-managed funds compared with the relevant S&P indexes. Results from the most recent Scorecard are not pretty for active managers.

Building more relevant Australian share portfolios

Australian index-based equity portfolios are often concentrated by company and sector. Some other goal-based strategies might be a better fit for your investments but clients and advisers will need to drive this change.

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Retirees facing steep increases for basic items

ASFA has updated its tables on how much money is needed for a 'comfortable' or 'modest' lifestyle in retirement, but there are some unavoidable prices rising well ahead of inflation.

Let’s stop calling them ‘bond proxies’

With cash and term deposit rates at all-time lows, and fixed interest bonds not much better, investors are looking for ‘bond proxies’ to deliver more income. But is ‘proxy’ a misnomer, and what are they anyway?

Adele Ferguson on ‘Banking Bad’ and weaving magic

The journalist most responsible for the calling of the Royal Commission takes care not to be roped in by everyone with a complaint to push. It takes experienced judgement to gather the right information.

Six warning bells against property spruikers

Property spruikers use common techniques, and con men will increasingly target older people who feel they do not have enough financial independence for their retirement years.

Helping your children build their super

It has become more difficult to build large superannuation balances with contribution caps and more people paying off home loans for longer. How can wealthy parents help their adult children?

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Specially-selected collections of the best articles 

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Pandora Archive

Firstlinks articles are collected in Pandora, Australia's national archive.

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