Trends & Opportunities

Retirement incomes review finds super problems

It would be a waste if the Friday’s mammoth Retirement Incomes Review was remembered only for its finding that increases in employers compulsory superannuation contributions come at the expense of wages. That has long been assumed, and is what was intended when compulsory super was set up. Compulsory super contributions are set to increase in…

Major ASX Oil Stocks Outperforming the Juniors

The promise of effective vaccines to ward off the threat of COVID 19 rolls on. US based biotechnology company Moderna thrilled the world with the news the preliminary results of its COVID vaccine trials were 94.5% effective. Within days, Pfizer updated its earlier findings with new data, now boasting a 95% effective rate. Johnson &…

Credit assets in focus as cash returns dive

As interest rates nosedive and Europe goes back into lockdown, markets continue to accentuate the fiscal and monetary positives. Yet creating a genuinely diversified portfolio remains as challenging as ever. With cash and bond rates close to or below zero, finding defensive income requires active management across a broad investment universe. The first week of…

US Elections: As the dust settles

As markets start to look through the US elections, the longer-term focus is on the US domestic economy, regionalisation of global trade, and the resilience of emerging and Asian markets. As the dust settles on the US elections, a couple of uncertainties remain. Control of the Senate will not be resolved until runoffs are conducted…

Why zero interest rates are here to stay

It’d be wrong to interpret last week’s Reserve Bank decision to cut its cash rate to 0.10% as an emergency response to the COVID crisis. The implication would be that once the pandemic is controlled the economy will return to something like the pre-crisis “normal” and the ultra-low interest rates will end. In reality, in…

Is a flood of liquidity entering markets?

As interest rates creep lower and asset-buying programs expand, contrarian investors have been steamrollered by liquidity and momentum. Yet abundant liquidity and plausible storytelling can only sustain markets for so long, and every story needs an ending. We prefer to leave expensive technology businesses to others, while focusing on neglected long-duration businesses with proven earnings…

Investor Signposts: Week Beginning 9 November 2020

Australia: Business & consumer sentiment in focus The NAB business survey and a number of consumer sentiment surveys are in focus in the coming week. The week kicks off on Monday when CommSec releases its annual Home Size report. The report examines trends in home building and the implications for home building, home purchase and…

5 ways the RBA is going to bat for Australia

The most important of the five measures the Reserve Bank announced on Tuesday is the one that won’t whirr into place for a very long time. Others start immediately. On Thursday the bank will wade into the market and start buying up bonds issued by Australian governments. It’ll buy Commonwealth government bonds with five to…

Time for Lower Risk Dividend Payers

The Australian economy continues to show flickers of light, strengthening the case our recession is over. On 4 November, investors learned retail trade rose by 6.5% in the September quarter, adjusted for inflation, surpassing the forecast of +6.0%. The positive news further sweetened the prior announcement on 3 November that the Australian Industry Group/Housing Industry…

Brexit talks are about how abrupt the UK’s final break will be

No option removes the existential threats to the UK stirred by its EU departure. The allegations went like this. The now-defunct UK arm of the US political consultancy Cambridge Analytica employed a Russian-born computer whizz to make an app-based survey. The app was placed on Facebook. When 300,000 people used the app, data was secretly…