Fundamentals

Tax paper shows bracket creep is stalking Australian taxpayers

Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra The government’s long-awaited tax discussion paper says Australia has a relatively low tax burden compared to other stgeloped countries but its system faces “challenges from a changing world”. The paper, aimed at launching a national dialogue on re-thinking the tax system, says tax reform “offers one of the biggest opportunities”…

Falling Aussie dollar to weigh on interest rates decision

By Timo Henckel, Australian National University The CAMA RBA Shadow Board is a project by the Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, based at the ANU, which asks industry and academic economists what interest rate the Reserve Bank of Australia should set. After lingering around the US93 cents mark for several months, the Aussie dollar recently…

Don’t believe the unemployment rate? Here’s what’s happening

By Tim Robinson, University of Melbourne The unemployment rate is one of the most closely followed macroeconomic indicators. Of importance in its own right, it tells us about the level of spare capacity in the economy and provides information about likely future stgelopments in inflation. Recent fluctuations in the unemployment rate have surprised many economists….

Concentrated investments are bad bets

By Wealth Foundations Most people are attracted to the idea of becoming fabulously wealthy by being a substantial and early investor in the next Microsoft, or Google. But they generally understand that the chances of selecting such “winners” are slim. However, it is not widely understood that although a large holding in a single investment…

Are you getting the best product, or the one that makes your planner the most money?

By Wealth Foundations The Future of Financial Advice (FOFA) reforms ban “conflicted remuneration” … in the future Many people will be unfamiliar with the new FOFA reforms that came into effect on 1 July 2013. The intent of the FOFA reforms is to improve the quality of financial advice in Australia. One of the key…

Irrational gold panic forces gold stocks to ludicrous lows

Gold stocks have to be the most despised sector in all the markets.  Mainstreamers barely even know they exist, while even the vast majority of so-called contrarians scorn them.  The sheer contempt for this sector is amazing considering gold stocks were almost certainly the best-performing sector of the past decade.  This universal antipathy has driven…

Attention stock bulls: beware a toppy market

The US stock markets enjoyed an incredible first quarter, with the flagship S&P 500 stock index (SPX) surging 10.0%.  New cyclical-bull highs were achieved on an amazing 3/7ths of all Q1’s trading days!  But the most interesting one was certainly the last.  On Q1’s final trading day, the SPX edged up to a new all-time…

Borrowing to invest a risky solution to a savings problem

By Wealth Foundations Borrowing to invest has appeal to some high income professionals The Global Financial Crisis clearly revealed the dangers of attempting to accelerate wealth accumulation by borrowing to invest. Many were left owing considerably more to their lenders than their investment assets were worth. However, for many high income earning professionals in their…

8 Defensive Stocks For Yield And Growth

The ASX 200 Index has struggled for years – failing miserably to match the performance of the US based S&P 500 over the past five years.  Some investors have jumped ship while others have waited patiently for good times to returns.  Since June this year conditons have improved somewhat.  Here is a six month price…

The US Financial System Is In Danger Of Collapsing, Researcher Warns

By Ron Hera, Hera Research, LLC Famed Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises wrote in his seminal work, Human Action (originally published by the Yale University Press in 1949), that “There is no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion.  The alternative is only whether the crisis should come…