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Seven key charts on the global economy and investments

Key factors to watch in 2021 are coronavirus cases and deaths, global business conditions, unemployment, inflation, bond yields and the gap between earnings yields and the US dollar. Where are we now?

How did you go? Australian and global stockmarket winners and losers

The Australian market overall finished flat for calendar 2020, but the pandemic delivered big wins and losses. The companies, sectors and companies you invested in delivered vastly different results.

Is growth of zombie companies real or fiction?

Much has been written about the rise of 'zombie firms' which should have gone bankrupt, but new research should be comforting to economists and investors alike, with focus on a particular segment.

Four themes to set your portfolio for economic recovery

Sitting on the sidelines means missing the best days in the market and forgoing initial recovery periods that may include healthy index increases. Here are investment themes to guide through turbulence.

YourSuper will save $17.9 billion! Surely you’re joshing

In Budget 2020, Josh Frydenberg announced a performance comparison tool and fund stapling to save Australians $17.9 billion over 10 years. But too many moving parts make results highly cyclical.

Interview: How markets saved companies with zero revenues

Both equity and fixed interest markets now have far greater understanding of which companies will struggle during COVID. Supported by central banks, the markets have bailed out companies facing zero revenues.

20k now or 50k later? What’s driving decisions to withdraw super?

The amount of retirement savings withdrawn under the Superannuation Early Release Scheme has surprised many. This comprehensive survey of thousands of Cbus members explains their motivations.

The surprising resilience of residential housing and retail

With a pandemic, a recession and high unemployment, there's every reason to expect residential property and retail sales to be collapsing. But data shows both are resilient, so what is happening?

When America sneezes, the world catches a ...

The recovery from COVID-19 is looking more like a K-shape, with some companies doing well while others struggle. The pandemic seems more akin to a black swan, exogenous shock than a structural downturn.

Your views on the Superannuation Guarantee and JobKeeper

We asked our readers whether the government should proceed with the legislated increase in the superannuation guarantee and the wind-back of JobKeeper. One issue was clear-cut, the other more divided.

Have stock markets become a giant Ponzi scheme?

A global financial casino has been created where investors ignore realistic valuations in the low growth, high-risk environment. At some point, analysis of fundamental value will be rewarded.

Your views on the Victorian COVID restrictions

The second wave of COVID-19 sweeping Victoria and the resulting lockdown have taken a huge toll on the state's economy and its population. Was the government's reaction heavy-handed or necessary?

Most viewed in recent weeks

Great new ways the Government helps retirees

Last year's retiree checklist of services available was one of our most popular articles. There are some additions for 2021, and while it can take effort to set them up, they can pay off over the long term.

Four simple strategies deliver long-term investing comfort

A long-time advocate of the merits of generating income by investing in industrial companies rather than bonds or deposits checks his 'mothership' chart for the latest results, and continues to feel vindicated.

$100 billion! Five reasons investors are flocking to ETFs

It's not official, but Australian ETFs are clicking over $100 billion right now. It's a remarkable rise, leaving the traditional rivals, the Listed Investment Companies, in their dust. Why are they so popular?

Cut it out ... millionaires are not wealthy

The widespread use of 'millionaire' must stop. Inflation means that the basket of goods and services that cost $1 million in 1960 now requires $15 million. Today, millionaires are not wealthy.

A close look at retiree fears and expectations

Half of Australians retire early due to unexpected circumstances and within timeframes they did not choose, and two-thirds of pre-retirees worry about funding their retirement. But neither are the greatest fear in retirement.

Minister Jane Hume on SMSFs and superannuation reform

Senator Jane Hume presented at the SMSFA conference this week, and we reproduce the full transcript as a guide to what the Government is thinking on superannuation reforms as we head into the next election.

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