Register For Our Mailing List

Register to receive our free weekly newsletter including editorials.

Home / 370

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 370

  •   12 August 2020
  • 3
  •      
  •   

Weekend market update: While the US S&P500 gained for the sixth week in the last seven, on Friday it struggled to reach an expected all-time high as investors saw the P/E ratio exceed a heady 26. Vaccine progress overseas drove up Asian and European markets, and Australian equities rose a strong 2% for the week with property and retail doing well.   

***

It's easy to oscillate between vaccine optimism and pessimism depending on the most recent authoritative report. Many companies and countries have a vested interest in hyping up their treatments, but even if a convincing vaccine were discovered soon (as Putin and Moscow claim they have done), it would take most of 2021 to complete the required testing and roll it out globally. In the meantime, politicians must make tough decisions to sustain economies and manage outbreaks rather than pretending we are close to business as usual.

This chart from CBA shows the extraordinary extent to which the Australian economy is relying on government support, with benefit payments driving a rapid increase in household income despite poor wage growth.

Let's check three vaccine opinions, and anyone can draw a line between them, as where the virus goes, so does the economy.

Ian Bremmer writing in Time Magazine, 6 August 2020:

"This liquidity support (along with optimism about a vaccine) has boosted financial markets and may well continue to elevate stocks. But this financial bridge isn’t big enough to span the gap from past to future economic vitality because COVID-19 has created a crisis for the real economy. Both supply and demand have sustained sudden and deep damage. And it will become progressively harder politically to impose second and third lockdowns.

That’s why the shape of economic recovery will be a kind of ugly 'jagged swoosh', a shape that reflects a years-long stop-start recovery process and a global economy that will inevitably reopen in stages until a vaccine is in place and distributed globally."

"The world could get seven to nine vaccines over the next two years given historical vaccine success rates and the current pipeline of candidates. The outlook is even more optimistic if the full pipeline of candidates advances toward clinical trials, tripling the likely number of successful vaccines."

We should also ask, when the world masters COVID-19, what next? The World Health Organisation (WHO) gives a daily virus update with lots of interesting news. But on 10 August, WHO included this longer-term warning:

"We are at greater and greater risk around the world and let's face this. We live on a planet in which we're adding a billion people a decade. We are densely packed, we're exploiting pristine environments, we are creating and driving the ecologic pressure that is creating the risks that are driving the risk at the animal/human species barrier.

There are so many people out there working in the ecologic movement who are seeing this each and every day. We are pressuring the biologic system. We live in a biome, we live in a world of biology and we are actively creating the pressures that are driving the breaches of those barriers and we need to do better at managing the risks associated with that."

So this is not just about COVID-19, as there will be COVID-21 and COVID-23 unless we put far more resources into looking after our ecosystem.

This week, focussing on investing and retirement ...

We start with Brendan Coates and Matt Cowgill who question our preoccupation with superannuation for retirement incomes. Having a place to live and the role of the age pension matters more to most people.

With a lot of attention on the potential bubble of the mega-cap tech stocks, it's easy to overlook that many companies are more expensive and have far worse prospects. Jason Ciccolallo finds a heady 100 and US$3 trillion worth of these companies.

As companies rebuild their balance sheet with capital raisings, Tim Canham and Wik Farwerck have identified three factors which are driving their investment decisions in this new normal. Similarly, Kent Williams finds a sector with promising tailwinds, with local software companies delivering solutions for financial efficiency and customer-centric enhancements.

Stephen Mayne has updated his database on retail Share Purchase Plans, and he awards the 'brickbats and bouquets' for the schemes that are equitable and the ones which are downright unfair.

We regularly hear about the 'fear index', the VIX, but what is it? Tony Dillon explains. Is it really worth the attention it receives whenever the market spits the dummy?

Back on retirement incomes, Arthur Naoumidis descibes five ways to use the family home as a source of income, and why it's likely to become a more common solution in future years.

This week's White Paper from BetaShares is their July 2020 ETF review, where despite market runctions, Australian ETFs reached an all-time high of $67 billion. Check where the money is flowing into.

Morningstar has produced a useful calendar of the company reporting season, so you can watch for results affecting your portfolio.

Graham Hand, Managing Editor

A full PDF version of this week’s newsletter articles will be loaded into this editorial on our website by midday.

Latest updates

PDF version of Firstlinks Newsletter

Australian ETF Review from BetaShares

ASX Listed Bond and Hybrid rate sheet from NAB/nabtrade

Indicative Listed Investment Company (LIC) NTA Report from Bell Potter

Monthly Investment Products update from ASX

Plus updates and announcements on the Sponsor Noticeboard on our website

 

banner

Most viewed in recent weeks

A tonic for turbulent times: my nine tips for investing

Investing is often portrayed as unapproachably complex. Can it be distilled into nine tips? An economist with 35 years of experience through numerous market cycles and events has given it a shot.

Rival standard for savings and incomes in retirement

A new standard argues the majority of Australians will never achieve the ASFA 'comfortable' level of retirement savings and it amounts to 'fearmongering' by vested interests. If comfortable is aspirational, so be it.

Dalio v Marks is common sense v uncommon sense

Billionaire fund manager standoff: Ray Dalio thinks investing is common sense and markets are simple, while Howard Marks says complex and convoluted 'second-level' thinking is needed for superior returns.

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 467

Fund manager reports for last financial year are drifting into client mailboxes, and many of the results are disappointing. With some funds giving back their 2021 gains, why did they not reduce their exposure to hot stocks when faced with rising inflation and rates?

  • 21 July 2022

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 466 with weekend update

Heard the word, cakeism? As in, 'having your cake and eating it too'. The Reserve Bank wants to simultaneously fight inflation by taking away spending power, while not driving the economy into a recession. If you want to help, stop buying stuff.

  • 14 July 2022

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 465 with weekend update

Many thanks for the thousands of revealing comments in our survey on retirement experiences. We discuss the full results. And with the ASX200 down 10%, the US S&P500 off 20% and bond prices tanking, each investor faces the new financial year deciding whether to sit, sell or invest more.

  • 7 July 2022

Latest Updates

Economy

The paradox of investment cycles

Now we're captivated by inflation and higher rates but only a year ago, investors were certain of the supremacy of US companies, the benign nature of inflation and the remoteness of tighter monetary policy.

Shares

Reporting Season will show cost control and pricing power

Companies have been slow to update guidance and we have yet to see the impact of inflation expectations in earnings and outlooks. Companies need to insulate costs from inflation while enjoying an uptick in revenue.

Shares

The early signals for August company earnings

Weaker share prices may have already discounted some bad news, but cost inflation is creating wide divergences inside and across sectors. Early results show some companies are strong enough to resist sector falls.

Property

The compelling 20-year flight of SYD into private hands

In 2002, the share price of the company that became Sydney Airport (SYD) hit 80 cents from the $2 IPO price. After 20 years of astute investment driving revenue increases, it sold to private hands for $8.75 in 2022.

Investment strategies

Ethical investing responding to some short-term challenges

There are significant differences in the sector weightings of an ethical fund versus an index, and while this has caused some short-term headwinds recently, the tailwinds are expected to blow over the long term.

Investment strategies

If you are new to investing, avoid these 10 common mistakes

Many new investors make common mistakes while learning about markets. Losses are inevitable. Newbies should read more and develop a long-term focus while avoiding big mistakes and not aiming to be brilliant.

Investment strategies

RMBS today: rising rate-linked income with capital preservation

Lenders use Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities to finance mortgages and RMBS are available to retail investors through fund structures. They come with many layers of protection beyond movements in house prices. 

Sponsors

Alliances

© 2022 Morningstar, Inc. All rights reserved.

Disclaimer
The data, research and opinions provided here are for information purposes; are not an offer to buy or sell a security; and are not warranted to be correct, complete or accurate. Morningstar, its affiliates, and third-party content providers are not responsible for any investment decisions, damages or losses resulting from, or related to, the data and analyses or their use. Any general advice or ‘regulated financial advice’ under New Zealand law has been prepared by Morningstar Australasia Pty Ltd (ABN: 95 090 665 544, AFSL: 240892) and/or Morningstar Research Ltd, subsidiaries of Morningstar, Inc, without reference to your objectives, financial situation or needs. For more information refer to our Financial Services Guide (AU) and Financial Advice Provider Disclosure Statement (NZ). You should consider the advice in light of these matters and if applicable, the relevant Product Disclosure Statement before making any decision to invest. Past performance does not necessarily indicate a financial product’s future performance. To obtain advice tailored to your situation, contact a professional financial adviser. Articles are current as at date of publication.
This website contains information and opinions provided by third parties. Inclusion of this information does not necessarily represent Morningstar’s positions, strategies or opinions and should not be considered an endorsement by Morningstar.