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It is easy to feel lulled into a sense of security about interest rates, as a generation of investors has experienced little but falling rates. Despite the recent rises (see red arrow), US and Australian yields remain near record lows. Australia has the world's highest ratio of household debt to GDP, according to the Bank for International Settlements. It's frightening to consider the consequences of a 'black swan' rise in rates to the long-term US bond average of say 6% over the next couple of years, as recently forecast by legendary fund manager, Stanley Druckenmiller. 

Robin Bowerman seeks resilience in portfolios, dealing with uncertainty by diversifying, saving more, safeguarding assets from cybercrime and staying informed. For those looking for new sources of income, Sulieman Ravell writes a review on NAB's new subordinated issue.

Ian Dunbar sees the excitement of fintech opportunities but offers five ways to cut through the hype. The recent rapid share price falls of Fitbit and GoPro shows even great brands can struggle.  

Faced with the 1 July 2017 superannuation changes, many creative ideas are surfacing. Bruce Brammall explores segregating by having two SMSFs, but watch for potential costs. Reuben Zelwer looks at succession planning and the improved testamentary trust opportunities. Lee Anthony peers inside SMSF costs and returns to consider when they are worth the effort.

This week's White Paper from OwnersAdvisory is the important subject of whether 'active' managers are actually active enough. Avoid paying active fees if your fund manager is almost replicating the index.

We also include the Bell Potter Reporting Season Calendar below, full of useful information.

I have spent most of this week at the incredibly popular SMSF Association Conference in Melbourne, and we will bring some highlights to you next week. 

Graham Hand, Managing Editor
The latest insights and ideas from hundreds of market experts

Newsletter Edition 190, 17 February 2017

Trust alternatives after 1 July super changes
by Reuben Zelwer
The changes to superannuation rules make rolling over an estate into a surviving spouse’s pension account less attractive, reviving a role for testamentary trusts. Read more…

Preparing for the ups-and-downs of 2017
by Robin Bowerman
When markets deliver lower returns, investors need to save more, learn about investments and stay the course to achieve their retirement goals. Diversification is an effective way to weather uncertain times. Read more…

A study of NAB’s Subordinated Notes 2
by Sulieman Ravell
Subordinated debt issues are a less risky investment than capital notes and hybrids, but each transaction is different and not riskless. The current issue of NAB Subordinated Notes is just one example. Read more…

Is super segregation still possible for SMSFs?
by Bruce Brammall
In light of the coming superannuation changes, advisers are considering alternative opportunities to retain some of the benefits, although each should be carefully checked. Read more…

Size matters for SMSF performance
by Lee Anthony
There is much industry debate on the minimum size to make an SMSF worthwhile, and the range of costs can add up. A recent study of SMSF performance highlights the difference size can make. Read more…

Five ways to filter the fintech hype
by Ian Dunbar
Almost every day, there is a new and exciting fintech announcement of the next big thing. Some checks improve the chances of finding the financial services winners. Read more…

“Australia’s foremost independent financial newsletter for professionals and self-directed investors.” - Australian Investors Association

Thanks to our Sponsors for their commitment to investor education

Our Sponsors
Sponsor White Paper  

How active are Australian equity funds?

Not all active managers are the same and some actually do add value. The difficulty is finding them when there are so many active managers to compare. Read more.
Additional features this week

Weekly Investment Update from David Bell, CIO at Mine Wealth + Wellbeing

Indicative LIC NTA Update and Reporting Season Calendar from Bell Potter

PDF version of Cuffelinks Newsletter Edition 190

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) hours quiz

Webinar hosted by nabtrade on 28 February: Investing in a low yield environment

Plus updates and announcements on the Sponsor Noticeboard on our website

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