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Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 332

  • 13 November 2019

Almost overnight, 'OK Boomer' has become a biting retort for younger people. The New York Times calls it "the end of friendly generational relations". OK Boomer entered Hansard in New Zealand when Chloe Swarbrick, a 25-year-old politician, silenced a heckler. How much have Boomers benefitted from favourable policies and markets? 

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 331

  • 6 November 2019
  • 3

Sludge. Well done ASIC for calling out the meaningless warnings, disclosures and disclaimers in financial presentations and offer documents. ASIC even says they are often harmful to client outcomes. Consider the dreaded disclaimers at the start of every talk. They interrupt well-crafted and strong introductions, and they are usually the butt of jokes by presenters, along the lines of "You've all read that, right? Good, now I'll get on with what really matters."

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 330

The superannuation industry is its own worst enemy. The disagreements spill into the public domain and reduce confidence and trust in the system. Research released this week by Qantas Super shows only 60% of Australians (and worse, only 52% of those in the critical savings years of 40 to 49 years old) trust their super fund to act in their best interests. Confidence in having enough money in retirement languishes at an average score of 5.4 out of 10.

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 329

  • 23 October 2019
  • 2

Are you ready to pay your bank to accept your deposits, as is happening in Denmark and elsewhere? Already, some Australian banks will not accept large deposits from companies unless there is a business relationship. The ACCC Review on mortgage pricing may exacerbate the problem for depositors, as government pressure to reduce mortgage rates will be passed to the other side of the balance sheet.

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 328

  • 16 October 2019

Chief executives of banks usually give their pricing committees free rein to adjust fees, deposit and loan rates, as there are hundreds of prices regularly changing. But there is one rate which must always be cleared by the boss: the variable home loan rate. This demand goes back at least 30 years, because the managing directors know the Federal Treasurer of the day will hit the phone and the airwaves to complain if banks do not pass on a full cash rate cut.

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 327

  • 9 October 2019
  • 1

When you consider all the things people worry about, the current ABC survey called 'Australia Talks' is uncovering our attitudes and producing surprising results. Based on 54,000 responses, ahead of health comes 'Saving enough money for retirement'.

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 326

  • 3 October 2019

Last week, the Government announced the first Retirement Income Review since the 1993 Fitzgerald inquiry into national savings, which followed the introduction of compulsory super by Paul Keating in 1992. As background for the Review, we have selected six Classic Articles, including one from Keating himself, which many readers would otherwise miss. 

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 325

  • 25 September 2019

A few days ago, Bloomberg Markets recorded the 'end of an era' and an 'epic shift' which has not been widely reported in Australia. Bloomberg called it a major turning point in history. "In August, the investment industry reached one of the biggest milestones in its modern history."

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 324

  • 18 September 2019
  • 1

Disruption is an overused word but there are major trends underway which are changing retirement planning. Three experts, Michael Rice, Anthony Asher and David Knox, have described a better integrated system for retirement options. We draw out their seven trends affecting the long-term investing of Australians.

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 323

  • 11 September 2019

Sometime in the next year, if there is no major market fall, total assets in superannuation will hit $3 trillion on the way to a forecast $10 trillion in 20 years, as shown below. Not bad for a country with GDP of about $1.9 trillion. The entire market value of all listed companies in Australia is about $2.1 trillion. While super funds obviously invest in a wide range of other asset classes, super investments will be increasingly offshore.

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 322

  • 5 September 2019

The latest update on the Future Fund's portfolio shows an asset allocation that differs from almost everyone else, and certainly most SMSFs. The stark variations versus individual trustees are the heavier allocation to global instead of domestic equities and significant investments in private equity, alternative assets, infrastructure and timberland.

Welcome to Firstlinks Edition 321

  • 29 August 2019

More falls in cash rates and Josh Frydenberg's advice to boards to stop paying special dividends and making buy backs would mean further income reductions for investors. The Reserve Bank hopes moving from 1% to 0.5% would stimulate the economy, but what about the withdrawal of spending power from millions relying on their savings?

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How much super is enough?

We cannot see into the future, but here are some general guidelines on how much to save in super, and then how much you can spend to enjoy a good retirement. Start as soon as possible.

How to include homes in the age pension assets test

A reader speaks out about the inequity of ignoring own homes in the assets test for the age pension, plus a proposal on how it could work politically. Take our survey on the merit of the policy. 

OK Boomer: fessing up that we’ve had it good

The pre-Boomer generations faced global wars and depressions, but Australians born after 1946 have enjoyed prosperity. Superannuation, education, strong markets and surging property prices locked in gains.  

Four reasons to engage a financial adviser

The value of financial advice is increasingly questioned after the Royal Commission and changes to advice business models, but the case for financial advice for many people remains strong.

Should you buy CBA PERLS XII Capital Notes?

CBA's latest PERLS offer is directly offered to hundreds of thousands of investors who already hold CBA shares or other PERLS securities. How does it compare with the rest of the hybrid market? 

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