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Low Interest Rates

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Britain amid COVID and the pain of the final exit talks

No option removes the existential threats to the UK stirred by its EU departure. What started in 2016 as enough voters defying the odds has left the UK dangling politically and economically amid a pandemic.

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.

10 reasons low interest rates may limit growth

Ultra low interest rates could be counterproductive for economic growth. Policymakers need to rely less on monetary stimulus and be mindful of the side effects they are creating, especially for retirees and savers.

What we don't know: five strategies for uncertainty

While pundits make forecasts every day, Charlie Munger admits he has no idea where COVID-19 will lead us. Investors need to understand what we don't know and adapt their portfolios accordingly.

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.

How to find diversification and flexibility in bond markets

The role of a portfolio manager changes when normal opportunities become constrained. Flexibility and diversification in seeking alternatives in new markets is vital to adapting. 

What does a negative bond yield really mean?

Many investors are struggling with the idea of negative yields on bonds, but with $17 trillion on issue, it's worth taking a moment to think about what it actually means for your portfolio.

Finding safety and returns in a low interest rate world

Bonds markets have continued to defy the notion that low yields imply low returns, and most investors need the solid foundation that bonds give to a portfolio.

Why bank hybrids are far too expensive

The recent rise in the prices of bank hybrids fails to recognise the risks involved, and they now look expensive compared to alternatives available to both retail and institutional investors.

Achieving real returns in a low growth world

The 'lower for longer' mantra has become common, but investors can assess current market conditions to achieve decent returns after inflation, without taking on extreme levels of risk.

How Japan’s 'Abe-nomics' affects Australian investments

The close relationship between the Japanese share market, Japanese yen and the Australian share market shows that Japanese economic policy and a further boost from 'Abe-nomics' may have implications here.

Differences in direct bonds versus bond funds

The money in a bond fund never 'matures' as the manager automatically reinvests both interest and principal, whereas a direct investment in a bond comes to an end on maturity.

Most viewed in recent weeks

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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