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The green lining of COVID-19: a time for change

With historic falls in greenhouse gas emissions during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have a unique opportunity to construct a recovery that ensures a stronger economy while minimising carbon emissions.

Five industries profoundly changed by COVID-19

Even when the virus is finally contained, the business landscape will look very different. A critical issue is the ability of consumers to find product substitutes. Many people like what they find.

Easy money: download Robinhood, buy stonks, bro down

Millions of inexperienced traders have entered global equity markets since the end of March, fuelled by hype in a rapidly-rising market. What is happening and how are they having an impact?

The three main factors when the next storm hits

Markets always come back to fundamentals, valuations and liquidity, even when faced with a global pandemic. The key question is whether liquidity can hold up the market as the economic storm hits.

Why are recessions usually good for share prices?

It seems counterintuitive, but share prices rose during 17 (85%) of the 20 economic recessions in Australia in the past 150 years as markets tend to anticipate the bad times and recover early.

Four guiding principles to position for the rebound

Too many investors are lumping all companies together in the current crisis, but some businesses will emerge in good shape with recovering revenues, while others are disadvantaged permanently.

Why the stock market rallies cannot be justified

If a vaccine immediately emerges, equities would rally to an all-time high, implying a better outlook than pre-COVID with absolutely no damage done to the economy. It doesn't make sense.

Apps and ‘dark kitchens’ are changing food delivery

The restaurant business has always operated on thin margins, and home delivery doesn't make it better.  But most of the delivery platforms are also struggling, and an industry shake-up is underway.

Four huge categories of change after the pandemic

The deteriorating mood will bring changes that will have profound economic, financial, social and political changes that can be grouped into new, accelerated, busted and possible trends.

Payment deferrals more expensive than borrowers expect

Reductions in loan repayments, either deferrals or failing to opt out of lower payments, seem like a good idea. But they are expensive and should only be adopted if the borrower needs the money.

'Unprecedented' should be 'here we go again'

It might be a 'black swan' event, but the market is down only 15% since its peak. Looking back at an article written in 2008 reveals the uncertainty at the time was similar to the unknowns now.

Together in isolation, four steps in a strange new world

Free spending by governments risks unsustainably higher debt levels, as deficits matter and must be paid for. Here are four steps investors should consider as previous techniques may not work.

Most viewed in recent weeks

After 30 years of investing, I prefer to skip this party

Eventually, prices become so extreme they bear no relationship to reality, and a bubble forms. I believe we are there today, not for all stocks but for many in the technology space.

Australian house prices: Part 2, the bigger picture

There is good reason to believe the negatives will continue to outweigh the positives over the next 12 to 18 months. There is more concern about house prices than the short-term indicators suggest.

How to handle the riskiest company results in history

It is better to miss a results bounce and buy after the company has delivered than it is to step on a landmine. With such uncertainty, avoid FOMO by following these result season investing tips.

Australian house prices: Part 1, how worried should we be?

Three key indicators are useful for predicting the short-term outlook for house prices, although tighter lockdowns make the outlook gloomier. There is enough doubt to create cause for concern.

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 367

There is a similarity between the current health crisis and economic crises of the past. For COVID-19, record amounts of biotech funding from government agencies and private companies are looking for a vaccine. Likewise, central banks once struggled treating recessions but the 'vaccine' now is record amounts of financial stimulus to ensure liquidity. While the world awaits a COVID treatment, markets are purring along, at least until side effects hit.

  • 22 July 2020

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 369

Imagine you had perfect foresight about COVID-19 at the start of the year. You correctly foresaw that the global pandemic would kill over 700,000 among 20 million infections by August. In Australia, borders would close, cities would be locked down, most mortgagors would be on income support and companies would be allowed to trade while insolvent. You then had to guess how much the stock market would fall. Would you say about 10%?

  • 6 August 2020

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