Why people choose the wrong credit card

Why people choose the wrong credit card Now we have a bit more proof that these warnings from consumer advocates were spot on. As banks face pressure to live up to claims they “put customers first”, the Reserve Bank released research finding almost two out of three Australian cardholders receive no “net monetary benefit” from having a credit card. When you think about it, that’s a surprisingly high proportion of customers who are no better …

Why growth in China is unlikely to slow too far and why it needs to save less and spend more

Why growth in China is unlikely to slow too far and why it needs to save less and spend more   Key points China’s economy is slowing but not collapsing as the services sector holds up. A further slowing is likely in the short term, but policy stimulus is likely to see growth improve in the second half, giving 2019 growth of 6.2%.   Concerns about China’s rapid debt growth are overstated given it reflects …

Why geopolitical concerns are somewhat overblown

Why geopolitical concerns are somewhat overblown The major worries for investors this year have been rate rises in the US, and geopolitics, particularly the US-China trade conflict and Italy. If we take another look at both those issues, however, some of the concerns appear somewhat overblown. I have previously said the US-China trade dispute would probably get worse before it gets better and that is playing out. It is clear that both sides have dug …

Are shares expensive?

Are shares expensive? Key points Starting point valuations for shares matter a lot in terms of medium-term return potential and vulnerability to share market falls. Basically, the cheaper the better.   Developed market shares are not dirt cheap (and haven’t been for several years) but on most measures they are not at overvalued extremes. US shares are most at risk, but other markets are reasonable. Introduction Some commentators claim shares are way overvalued and so …

Why investors should go back to basics in a low-return world

Why investors should go back to basics in a low-return world Investors can be forgiven for wondering how they are going to continue to make money in financial markets. Cash rates globally are low and are likely to remain so, especially in Australia. This article looks at a ‘back to basics’ investment strategy suitable for a low-growth environment. The US Federal Reserve has been hiking cash rates. But despite talk of a post-QE (quantitative easing) …

Under 40 and broke: Why young people need financial advice more than ever

Under 40 and broke: Why young people need financial advice more than ever With increasing debt and falling home ownership among the under 40s, their financial prospects are less than rosy.  If this trend is set to continue, young people are going to be needing financial advice more than ever to help them make the best choices for a secure future. There’s been a lot of talk in recent years about how much better off …

Why the $A is likely to fall further and shorting it is good protection against things going wrong globally

Why the $A is likely to fall further and shorting it is good protection against things going wrong globally Key points The downtrend in the $A from 2011 likely has more to go. The $A is near fair value, but the increasing negative interest rate gap to the US & a messy outlook for commodities suggest a fall to $US0.70 by year end. Given the downside risks for the $A and that being short the …

Why rates aren’t going up in Australia Here’s 4 reasons why:

Why rates aren’t going up in Australia Here’s 4 reasons why: It wasn’t so long ago that everyone was wondering when rates were going to rise. Now it’s looking like we will be waiting for a while before the Reserve Bank of Australia puts up official rates. We don’t expect the RBA to raise rates until 2020. How is this so, you may ask, given inflationary fears are playing some havoc with stock markets, particularly …

Why buying too many items on sale could be costing you a mint

Why buying too many items on sale could be costing you a mint Are you rushing out to buy things you need, or could really be going without? We’ve all done it—seen something on sale (particularly over the Christmas/New Year trading period) and without a second thought, jumped to the conclusion—great discount, I must have it straight away. If it’s an item that has been on your list for a while, you might save some …

Why it pays to contribute to your partner’s super

Why it pays to contribute to your partner’s super If your other half is a stay-at-home parent, working part-time or out of work, adding to their super could benefit you both financially. If your spouse (husband, wife, de facto or same-sex partner) is a low-income earner or not working at the moment, chances are they’re accumulating little or no super at all to fund their retirement. The good news is, if you want to help …