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COVID-19 and the madness of crowds

57 million people die every year, including over 3 million from respiratory diseases. Why is COVID-19 allowed to panic nations around the world and destroy so many businesses and jobs?

Duh! Of course geared funds won, but know the risks

Lists of the best funds of 2019 show geared funds dominate, which is little more than a statement that gearing does well in a strong market. What about the costs and downside when it's not so good?

What is 'cash' and why it matters

APRA’s letter to super funds highlights concerns about 'cash' investments. A lack of understanding might haunt investors when the next downturn comes as too many people forsake protection for yield.

GFC and personal reflections, 10 years on

Before the GFC, many experienced market professionals forgot about risks such as liquidity, and did not do the research needed to minimise the problems. It will all happen again.

10 years after GFC, 7 lessons for investors

This brief history of the GFC and the lessons we should learn is a reminder that similar events will happen again at some stage, and this time we have no excuse not to be ready.

10 years on from the GFC, retirees still jittery

The National Seniors Australia (NSA) survey reveals that retirees want access to regular and stable income, even at the expense of lower returns. The need to preserve capital reduces tolerance of losses.

Aussie shares: 50 years and we’re finally ahead

It's too easy to look at a long-term chart of rising share prices and be reassured about performance. But adjusted for inflation, many of our largest companies have gone nowhere in half a century.

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.

Podcast: What did you do during the GFC? Warning signs and lessons for investors

The 2008 GFC actually started a year earlier in the global credit markets, but the equity markets ignored the warning signs. With hindsight, everyone had the chance to exit shares at elevated prices.

The saga of FoFA (so far) - a reprise from 2014

Following the Ripoll Inquiry in November 2009, the Labor Government formulated the Future of Financial Advice proposals. A lot has happened since, and the Royal Commission is dealing with the consequences.

Stock market winners 10 years on

The intuition is that stock markets should perform in line with an economy's GDP, but a look at the last decade shows little relationship, and perhaps the opposite is more accurate.

Focus on quality industrial stocks regardless of the economy

There is always market uncertainty, but the economic outlook is broadly set and investors should focus more on companies delivering solid returns over the next few years almost regardless of market conditions.

Most viewed in recent weeks

Have the rules of retirement investing changed?

In retirement, we still want to reduce stock volatility while generating cash flows. The two needs have not changed, but the reward expected in the old days from interest payments has gone. What should we do?

18 Aussie names for your watchlist

A Morningstar stock screener reveals a cross-section of companies with competitive advantages that are trading at material discounts to estimated value. This is a list of 18 highly-rated names worth watching.

Buffett and his warning about 'virtually certain' earnings

While many investors are happy to invest in any online companies, Warren Buffett focusses more on the quality of future growth, buying companies whose earnings are 'virtually certain' in 10 or 20 years from now.

Hamish Douglass on what really matters

Questions on the stock market/economy disconnect, how to focus long term, technology's growing role, income in a low-rate world, Modern Monetary Theory and endless debt and the tooth fairy.

Kate Howitt: investing lessons and avoiding the PIPO trade

Kate Howitt identifies the stocks she likes and the disappointments, gives context to the increasing role of retail investors, and explains why the market is more of a 'voting not weighing' machine than ever before.

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 379

It is trite and obvious to say the future is uncertain, and while COVID-19 brings extra risks, markets are always unpredictable. However, investing conditions are now more difficult than ever, mainly because the defensive options for portfolios produce little income. We explore whether investing rules have changed with new input from Howard Marks.

  • 15 October 2020

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