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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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