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Baseline outlook for economic recovery is too optimistic

We cannot throw our hands up in the air and say 'this time around, it's simply too hard'. Having no macro view is unhelpful, but many of the baseline scenarios are overly optimistic, says the former CEO of Westpac and now Chairman of Chi-X Australia.

Demographic change at the worst possible time

The missing piece in most analysts' views of the future of the stock market is demographics. The secular bull market until 2019 was driven by a generation that is now retiring and selling equities.  

Pandemics in perspective

Coronavirus is a particular worry compared to past epidemics because the world is now so interdependent, but the stockmarket has a habit of exaggerating threats as well as opportunities.

What is the likely effect of COVID-19 on the Australian economy?

Our close links to China mean the impact of the virus could tip the local economy into recession and certain sectors such as resources, education and travel will be harder hit than others.

Uncharted waters, 2020 and beyond

As we approach the 2020s, we are sailing into uncertain waters at best. These times also have some historical precedents, but we need to make important reforms before our luck runs out.

Internet of things and the power of 5G technology

With the power of 5G technology, the IoT phenomenon will grow exponentially, especially from apps, platforms and services. Much of the opportunity in emerging markets is underappreciated.

Blockchain revolutionises the cyberworld

If you're still getting your head around blockchain, read this quick summary on the potential of distributed ledgers. The technology is not without problems but cannot be ignored.

Will sovereign defaults spark the next GFC?

The fundamentals point toward bankruptcies of major sovereigns like the US and Japan in the next decade. The after effects could be catastrophic on all major asset classes. It’s time to discuss the makeup and costs of insurance.

Going global? Don’t break the 'Golden Rule'

In many valuations, the ‘Golden Rule’ is being broken. Earnings growth is assuming the sort of strong economic activity that would trigger higher interest rates, yet investors are delinking the two.

Value beyond the hype in US infrastructure

After many years of disappointment, there is a renewed focus on the US’s need to invest heavily in infrastructure. With investors looking for consistent revenue streams, it's a welcome addition to the asset class.

The ascent of Asia and what it means for Australia

Asia's GDP exceeds North America and Europe combined, and its increasing economic power should be embraced by Australia as we become more a Eurasian society. Are we enlightened enough to grab the opportunities?

Australia’s other boom exports

As Australia's commodities boom wanes, other more resilient industries have strengthened. Tourism, education, food, and wine exports have surged, with demand led by Asia.

Most viewed in recent weeks

Buffett's meeting takeaway: extreme caution

Warren Buffett's annual meeting of Berkshire Hathaway showed he has not been 'investing while others are fearful' during the crisis. lt's a reminder to take caution and preserve cash.

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 356

Few investors are as influential as Warren Buffett, although for the moment, the market is ignoring his caution. The annual meeting of Berkshire Hathaway revealed Buffett did not use the heavy market falls in February to buy shares. Rather than 'buy when others are fearful', he was a net seller of US$6 billion for the quarter, disposing of all airline shares. Berkshire is sitting on US$137 billion in cash, suggesting he expects better buying opportunities to come.

  • 7 May 2020

The vibe of future returns: tell ‘em they’re dreamin’

It's the vibe, but not much else. Super balance calculations default to earnings rates of 7.5%, but that's in the past. Global experts suggest financial plans are now dreaming at this level.

Baseline outlook for economic recovery is too optimistic

We cannot throw our hands up in the air and say 'this time around, it's simply too hard'. Having no macro view is unhelpful, but many of the baseline scenarios are overly optimistic, says the former CEO of Westpac and now Chairman of Chi-X Australia.

Retiree spending patterns differ from most expectations

A study of actual spending habits shows retirees have a faster-than-expected drop-off in spending in later years, casting doubts on financial plans that assume increasing expenditure over time.

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 357

There is a remarkable concentration similarity between the Australian and US stock markets that has delivered poor results for Australians and great results for Americans (and global investors). As the share prices of five Australian banks have tanked, the prices of five US technology companies have surged. Each group now represents 20% of their respective indexes, but the journey has been a disaster for many Australians.

  • 13 May 2020

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