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Are bond yields lower forever or is the Big Bang coming?

The signs are that bond yields could stay low for a long time. This has important implications for future returns, but are we heading for the Big Bang, the Big Crunch or the Steady State?

The role of financial markets when earnings are falling

Everything is rising in value because there is excess capital chasing too few opportunities. Capital should be allocated more responsibly with a focus on the future cash flow from a company.

Welcome to the Great Australian Deleveraging

The biggest concern that many analysts ignore is that, after house prices begin falling, the savings ratio climbs, reflecting a lack of consumer confidence, leading to a rapid slowdown in the economy.

Will the Royal Commission end our debt obsession?

The tightening of credit conditions for home lending driven by the Royal Commission has not fully translated into aggregate statistics, and the slowdown may already be worse than we realise.

Bankers must realise they are fiduciaries

The fiduciary duty of banks, while not legislated, is implied by their central role in the economy. Bank deposits are accepted as 'money', and public confidence in banks is fundamental to a functioning economy.

Defaulting into a world without growth

Global debt levels have increased significantly over the last decade, but not to fund new businesses or productive assets. When debt funds growth and growth fuels debt, can we continue to push the problem into the future?

Mortgage funds: if only we had a trendier name, like P2P

Mortgage funds still suffer from the poor reputation earned during the GFC, and are not well supported by investors. When the asset is a first registered mortgage over real property, some structures are worth a look.

Financial leverage in real estate: friend or foe?

Financial leverage is already built into many real estate funds and companies, and borrowing even more to invest can produce spectacular results - on both the upside and the downside.

Is a debt bonfire building?

Findings from three recent seminal papers highlight the rapidly growing levels of debt across the world, which at some time is likely to impact future investment returns and economic growth. Are you prepared?

Think about risks as well as returns

We focus far more on the return from our investments rather than the risk, and we should watch for leverage or high risk-taking and expect to be rewarded for it to pay for the added risk.

The decline of margin lending

Investments using margin loans must at least cover the cost of interest and other fees, currently around 8%. Fewer investors are using these products, but how long until we fall in love all over again?

Premature talk of bubble trouble

Australia may not be facing a stockmarket or property bubble right now, but there are early signs of concern. It's worth knowing what to look for and safeguarding against personal loss.

Most viewed in recent weeks

Stop treating the family home as a retirement sacred cow

The way home ownership relates to retirement income is rated a 'D', as in Distortion, Decumulation and Denial. For many, their home is their largest asset but it's least likely to be used for retirement income.

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 433 with weekend update

There’s this story about a group of US Air Force generals in World War II who try to figure out ways to protect fighter bombers (and their crew) by examining the location of bullet holes on returning planes. Mapping the location of these holes, the generals quickly come to the conclusion that the areas with the most holes should be prioritised for additional armour.

  • 11 November 2021

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 431 with weekend update

House prices have risen at the fastest pace for 33 years, but what actually happened in 1988, and why is 2021 different? Here's a clue: the stockmarket crashed 50% between September and November 1987. Looking ahead, where did house prices head in the following years, 1989 to 1991?

  • 28 October 2021

Why has Australia slipped down the global super ranks?

Australia appears to be slipping from the pantheon of global superstar pension systems, with a recent report placing us sixth. A review of an earlier report, which had Australia in bronze position, points to some reasons why, and what might need to happen to regain our former glory.

How to help people with retirement spending decisions

Super funds will soon be required to offer retirement income strategies for members in decumulation. With uncertain returns, uncertain timelines, and different goals, it's possibly “the hardest, nastiest problem in finance".

Tips when taking large withdrawals from super

You want to take a lump sum from your super, but what's the best way? Should it come from you or your spouse, or the pension or accumulation account. There is a welcome flexibility to select the best outcome.

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