Crash calls for share markets

Published: April 17, 2014

The past few weeks has seen several predictions of a share market crash by some perennial high profile bears. The broad claim is that share markets – namely US shares – have disconnected from fundamentals and that the Fed is to blame for a poor recovery and/or doesn’t know what it is doing. And of […]

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Australian housing to the rescue – but is it too hot?

Published: April 3, 2014

Two years ago some (mainly foreign) commentators were convinced Australian housing was in a bubble that was in the process of collapsing as the China driven mining boom faded. Instead, lower interest rates have led to the usual response of rising house prices & approvals for new homes. But has it gone too far, taking […]

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Common myths and mistakes of investing

Published: March 27, 2014

The increasingly complex nature of investment markets leads many to adopt simple rules of thumb often based on common sense, when making investment decisions. Unfortunately though, the forward looking nature of investment markets means such approaches often cause investors to miss out on opportunities at best or lose money at worst. This note reviews some […]

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The Ukraine crisis

Published: March 17, 2014

It seems there is always something for investors to worry about and right now the crisis involving Ukraine is it. Following its latest “revolution” tensions in Ukraine threatening a war on the European Union’s doorstep, which could disrupt Eurozone gas supplies and possibly drag in the US and Europe against Russia, investors have been rattled […]

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The critical role of asset allocation for investors

Published: March 13, 2014

One of the big swings in thinking around investment management relates to the perceived importance of asset allocation, ie the relative exposure to asset classes like global shares, Asian shares, Australian shares, bonds, unlisted property and cash. Through the long strong secular bull market that went from 1982 through to 2000 (or up to 2007 […]

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The Australian economy – looking beyond the gloom

Published: March 6, 2014

February seemed full of bad news in Australia with layoffs coming from various companies including Toyota, Alcoa and Qantas, unemployment rising to 6% and very poor business investment intentions. And yet, the share market rose 4.2% last month and has had two good years and December quarter GDP growth even perked up a bit. So […]

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The US reinvents itself, yet again!

Published: February 26, 2014

The problems with the US economy are well known. Its level of public debt is too high, its spending on social security and health is unsustainable, its health system is woefully inefficient – spending more relative to GDP than most OECD countries but with worse life expectancy – its level of savings is too low, […]

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Chinese debt worries and growth

Published: February 20, 2014

China bears have always been around. At their core seems a disbelief a so called “communist” country could grow so fast. But with China now being the world’s second biggest economy and the largest contributor to global growth their concerns get a lot of airplay. Last year it seemed “ghost cities” were the big worry. […]

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Why investors need to be wary of crowds

Published: February 12, 2014

Sometimes being at one with a crowd can be nice, eg at rock concerts it adds to the ambience and safety in numbers can provide comfort. However, when crowds turn they can be dangerous – you might get trampled! In fact a wariness of crowds is essential to successful investing. The Japanese bubble of the […]

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The Australian dollar – still more to fall

Published: February 6, 2014

Over the last year the $A has fallen from around $US1.05 to around $US0.89 – a fall of 15%. In fact the $A is down nearly 20% from its 2011 high. The drivers of the slump have been a combination of lower commodity prices; increasing evidence that Australia is not competitive internationally; a deterioration in […]

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