Newsletters Archive
  • April 2012: Todays' Cost of living: it's a mixed bag [Download]

    Most of us talk about rising prices for life's essentials like housing, petrol, gas and electricity, food and clothing. Our impression may be that the cost of living is constantly rising. The April snapshot looks at some recent research which suggests that, when higher wages and better quality goods and services are considered, the cost of living may have actually fallen over the past 20 or 30 years. We look at how we are changing the way we spend our money, and where household cost pressures remain.

  • March 2012: Working out the future [Download]

    Behind recent headlines about job redundancies in industries as diverse as manufacturing and financial services, lie both the human stories and the adjustments taking place within the local and global economies. In our March snapshot we take a closer look to examine how the Australian economy has adjusted in the past, the importance of change and innovation in building a stronger Australian economy, and the skills and training that jobs will require in the future.

  • February 2012: Australia: shaken but not stirred [Download]

    The financial crisis of 2008 may be well behind us but a combination of natural disasters in our region and unresolved debt issues in 'majors' like the US and Europe meant economic activity in 2011 remained patchy and uncertain. This February snapshot looks at how the share market and economy performed in 2011, and examines some of the issues which may influence share prices, interest rates and the local economy during 2012 as the US continues its slow recovery and Europe tries to solve its debt issues.

  • January 2012: Cutting rates - a welcome relief? [Download]

    Judging by the headlines, most of us are pleased when the Reserve Bank drops interest rates as they did in late 2011; it means lower mortgage and business rates. However, lower returns on term deposits and a slower economy are not so welcome. This newsletter takes a look beyond the headlines to see what interest rate moves mean for Australian investors in 2012, as the global economy struggles to grow and Europe faces major issues. And we take a glimpse at what might emerge as banks grapple with rising funding costs.

  • December 2011: Hedging against uncertainty [Download]

    As share markets in Australia and around the world continue to fluctuate and investors look for solid returns in an uncertain market, this Snapshot notes that hedged international shares were the top performing asset class in the 2010-11 financial year. And the fact that unhedged international shares were the poorest performers underlines the potential importance of hedging. In this article we look at what it means to hedge against currency or commodity price movements, how hedging works, and whether it should be - or already is - part of your portfolio.

  • November 2011: Investing today: Getting the right mix [Download]

    As you will have seen, October was a stellar month for the Australian share market - it ended up posting its biggest one month gain in 2 years. Nonetheless our share market, like those around the world, is likely to experience continued fluctuations as the Eurozone grapples with its debt problems.

    Our November Snapshot compares the volatility of shares, property, bonds and cash and explains the importance of focusing on total returns rather than simply headline prices and interest rates.

  • October 2011: Brazil, Russia, India, China: Australia's future fortunes? [Download]

    We are all aware that share market fluctuations are continuing both locally and overseas. This snapshot steps back from the current upheaval to take a broader view of what is taking place, what it means, and why it is significant for Australian investors. Emerging, rapidly growing economies like those of China, India, Brazil, Russia and others are outpacing the traditional but slow-growing economic powerhouses of the US and Europe. In particular, we look at how Australia is positioned for this emerging future.

  • September 2011: The debt crisis - not our problem? [Download]

    With the share markets around the world on a rollercoaster ride recently, this Snapshot looks behind the upheaval to examine the concerns about sovereign debt which seem to have triggered things off. Our article explains what sovereign debt means, how it works in the financial system, and why it is important. We explore why excessive debt levels in major economies overseas can have an impact on both the Australian share market and our economy, even though our own debt levels are low and our economy is tied closely to strong Asian economies.

  • August 2011: Carbon Tax: The simple facts [Download]

    The proposed carbon tax and carbon emissions trading scheme look like being a dominant issue facing federal parliament in this current term. Despite agreement on the objective of reducing carbon emissions by 5 per cent by 2020, there is real dispute over its policy mechanisms and impact. Without endorsing one view or another, this month's Snapshot summarises key points in the policy with the aim of providing food for thought on its possible impact on investment opportunities.

  • July 2011: The economic recovery... really? [Download]

    Twelve months ago, Australia and the Asia zone had emerged well from the global financial crisis but the US and Europe still had some hard decisions to make. While those tough decisions are still looming and Australia is grappling with the impact of natural disasters, our economic fundamentals are sound even if the strong dollar and commodity prices are presenting challenges. The July snapshot looks at how the Australian sharemarket and economy actually fared during the past 12 months, and what is in prospect over the months ahead.

  • June 2011: Property: Bubble, Bust or Non-issue? [Download]

    The family home is a major investment for many people so any concern about the health of the Australian property market is of great interest to most people. The question being raised in some quarters at the moment is whether the local market, so long a strong performer, is now a bubble waiting to burst. This June snapshot takes a look at what is really happening, and examines some of the relevant local and international data.

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