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Is AMP a Bad Sign?

24 June 2013 | Staff reporters

AMP bad sign?AMP has announced a profit downgrade that does not augur well for the overall market. The company attributed it to “poor claims and lapse” experience in its Australian wealth protection business and a lower result in wealth management. The drop in underlying profit is expected to be about $55 million below the consensus estimates of $480 million.

Small Caps Require Close Scrutiny

23 June 2013 |

Small cap scrutinyThe small cap sector can offer some good gains, but they need to be good because there is a higher danger that the companies will get into trouble. This can occur even when the revenues are solid, just because of a downturn in market sentiment, which produces a need for investors to liquidate their postions. 

Global Gloom in Markets

23 June 2013 | Staff reporters

Global gloomThe stuttering of the American market is continuing, suggesting that we are a long way for a bull market internationally. The Bespoke Investment Group has this to say:

Property a Magnet for Wealthy Investors

23 June 2013 | Staff reporters

Property a magnet for investorsThe self managed super sector has about $400 billion in funds, making it about a third of the pool of Australian superannuation funds of $1.3 trillion. The managers of those funds have a heavy bias towards property -- outside their SMSF, according to a survey quoted in Property Observer

Gold dims

19 June 2013 | Staff reporters

Gold dimsThe boom in the gold price was a measure of the fear that investors felt about the global financial system. Most of the investment was into exchange traded funds (ETFs) and not the physical stuff. In fact, ETFs vastly exceed the size of actual gold in the world. Dr Doom economist Nouriel Roubini is now explaining what went wrong with the gold price:

Echo chamber

19 June 2013 | Staff reporters

Echo EntertainmentThe news that Echo Entertainment chief executive John Redmond is promising to invest more than $1billion to protect his casino monopoly in Sydney and "crush" James Packer’s bid to build a six-star hotel and invitation-only casino in Barangaroo should be a warning to investors.

Making Money From Traffic

18 June 2013 | Staff reporters

TrafficOne of the best defensive investments is Transurban. Taking tolls from traffic is a far more predictable revenue stream than many otyer sectors and the company has managed to avoid the debt disasters that have afflicted other toll road companies. 

Volatility in Super Returns

18 June 2013 | Staff reporters

Super volatilitySuper funds have lost 3.5% off returns because of weakness in the equity markets. The Financial Review is reporting that returns have been good, and, the fund managers are talking it up, saying returns are still well into double digits:

The Tribulations of Metals Pricing Hit Lynas

17 June 2013 | Staff reporters

MetalsManaging a resources company means dealing with the unexpected. Lynas has had a difficult job getting approval for its Malaysian processing site. Now it has had to deal with lower prices for rare earths. The long term prospects for rare earths look sound, especially with heavy dominance by China. 

Time To Buy Equities?

17 June 2013 |

Buy equities?Broker UBS has a modestly bullish take on the local stock market. The market has fallen by over 10% in a month, the All Ords showing its customary aversion to staying over 5000. So it may be time to buy. 

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