February 2014


Wildly divergent views about property market

17 February 2014 | Staff reporter

Divergent viewsA sign of a dangerous market is that opinions start to diverge about the direction it is going to take. Although this is not a sure fire indication of where the market is headed, that is what is happening in Australia's property market. DIY super investors should be cautious if they are punting on capital gains.

Australian market may be less vulnerable to crisis

13 February 2014 | PSI

Less VulnerableThere are growing signs of an international crisis because of the over exposure of emerging markets to debt. This is creating nervousness in stock markets. But one broker reckons that the Australian stock market could prove resilient.

Reporting season healthy so far

26 February 2014 | Broker reports editor

Reporting HealthyReporting season is about half over and the results are slightly exceeding expectations. It suggests a relatively healthy market that is fully priced. Resources and banks have performed well.

Signs of strength in stock markets

10 February 2014 | Broker reports editor

oreEarnings revisions were only slightly downwards according to a broker report. It is a sign of strength in the market. Meanwhile, global conditions are also improving.

Buildings materials companies may be over rated

31 January 2014 | Broker reports editor

oreThe buildings materials sector should be benefiting from the housing strength. But analysts think that the market may be getting ahead of itself. CSR and Adelaide Brighton may be the preferred play.

Is the rate cycle turning?

28 January 2014 | PSI

“Rates”When advisers start telling home owners that it may be time to fix interest rates, it is a signal to personal super investors. Investing in the housing market may have just become more perilous.


Australian companies sitting on a mountain of cash

28 February 2014 | Reynard

CashAustralia's corporates are sitting on $71 billion in cash. Some analysts are saying that it gives them the possibility of pursuing growth options. DIY super fund investors should start worrying if they do. The track record suggests they do not have the management skills. They should return it to shareholders.

They would say that, wouldn't they?

05 February 2014 | Reynard

“SelfVested interests are attacking the self managed super fund sector in an effort to claw back some of the funds they have lost. For the most part the critics are showing how little they are to be trusted, which is the very reason for the rise of self managed super in the first place.

How to produce better productivity statistics

05 February 2014 | PSI

“StatisticsThe downward trend in graphs of Australia's productivity has a simple solution. Turn the graphs upside down. They will look much better.


The GFC hasn't ended

28 February 2014 | PSI

CashThe removal of interest rates in most of the developed world is a sign that the global financial crisis is ongoing. It is hitting pensions around the world and is a warning to DIY super investors to be cautious.

Is the $A heading for a fall or rise?

05 February 2014 | Staff reporter

AU DollarIt is possible to make two opposite cases about the direction of the $A. One is that, with LNG improving the nation's trade position, the currency will rise. This is the "fundamentals" argument. The other is that, with sentiment improving towards the $US, the $A is headed down. The latter trend may be more compelling.

Japan's problems loom dangerously

21 February 2014 | PSI

JapanJapan has been in trouble for over two decades. Much of America's monetary policy in the lead up to the GFC was an effort to avoid Japan's mistakes. The only upside was that the country used to run a trade surplus, but that has ended. It may spell danger.

Private debt good, public debt bad?

18 February 2014 | PSI

Public Private DebtOne of the lessons of the GFC is that high public debt is more dangerous than high private debt. Countries with excessive government debt suffered much more than those with low debt. Australia's public debt is low, which may explain some of the lack of impact of the economies other excesses.

The next crisis?

06 February 2014 | PSI

Next CrashThere are disturbing signs that the mistakes made by developing economies in the past, which caused financial crises, are being repeated.


Risk averse DIY funds miss opportunities

19 February 2014 | Staff reporter

RiskA report by SPAA shows that DIY super funds stayed heavily invested in cash in 2013, missing out on opportunities in the stock market. It also shows sharp growth in younger people setting up their own SMSF funds.

Why markets can be mad, bad and dangerous to know

18 February 2014 | PSI

Strategy"Humans are economically rational" is one of the best jokes ever produced by the otherwise dull economics profession. Humans are in fact irrational, veering between fear and greed. A behavioural economist explains why.


Where DIY super is heading

27 February 2014 | PSI

Way ForwardA survey of self managed super trustees reveals a strong streak of independence and a liking for shares and cash. The results are significant for what they say about the role of financial advice.

The giants who dominate the super industry

24 February 2014 | PSI

MellerAn interview with AMP head Craig Mellor reveals how much the "big boys" dominate the superannuation industry and the domestic investment options. It is worth examining what these players are thinking when crafting an investment strategy.

The doubtful future of the future of financial advice

14 February 2014 | PSI

Future doubtThe Coalition's proposed "reforms" of the Future of Financial Advice are dubious in the extreme. Why should financial advisers not be subject to perfectly normal professional standards, such as not having a conflict of interest? Two lawyers have described the consequences. It is another reason for the DIY fund.

Are financial advisers going to get a free pass from the government?

11 February 2014 | Staff reporter

Free PassThe government is asking for repsonses to a draft bill to change the Future of Financial Advice legislation that applies to how financial advisers are regulated. There is a risk it may be a green light for financial advisers to do what they like, without the constraints that apply to other professions.


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