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A trader-friend who lives in Illinois USA sent me this chart from The Economist, with the question, "What is it about the old British Empire and house prices?" I replied with the usual stuff on Chinese investment, low interest rates and strong economies, and he came back on the ratios of household debt to GDP, price to disposable income and price to rents. The Economist has a fantastic interactive chart showing 27 countries, but for all their skilled analysis, they've been wrong on Australia since 2002. They now call it 'severely overpriced', and surely we're due at least a flat period.      

On accessing super for housing, there has been a lot of fuss this week after Professor Ron Bird's article in The Sydney Morning Herald disagreed with Paul Keating. In fact, Ron had already explained his research in more detail in this article for Cuffelinks a year ago.

With interest rates low, the main games in town are property and the share market, and Don Hamson highlights four features of shares, especially for those in pension phase of super. Robin Bowerman warns about managing costs, regardless of whether investing actively or passively, and don't miss the attached insightful CNN interview with Jack Bogle.

The share market always comes with a risk warning, and Lorne Johnson uncovers 10 'grey swans' floating near our portfolios. And demonstrating how worried many retirees are, new Investment Trends data shows a large increase in the number of people who expect to outlive their savings. Adam Tindall explores when a fund manager should step up their ethical investing to the extent of excluding companies from their investible universe.

Just like the ETF growth we showed last week, Listed Investment Companies continue to attract strong support, and Leisa Bell reports on IIR's latest performance review.

The movement in oil prices affects everyone, especially companies extracting it, and Andrew and Matthew Kaleel explain the uneasy truce in the market which suppliers hope will continue.

This week's White Paper from BTIM is a thorough review of the recent reporting season, including identifying many companies which will benefit or suffer from major emerging investment themes.

Graham Hand, Managing Editor

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Newsletter Edition 195, 24 March 2017

Four things retirees must know about shares
by Don Hamson
Investors and financial market professionals underestimate the power of franking credits to enhance returns, especially in pension phase where franking is fully refunded. Read more…

You get what you don’t pay for
by Robin Bowerman
While there is a role for both active and passive investments in portfolios, the impact of relatively small reductions in management fees can compound to large amounts over a lifetime of saving. Read more…

10 grey swans to watch out for
by Lorne Johnson
‘Grey swans’ are surprises that are improbable but more likely to occur than ‘black swans’, and investors should consider the possible impact on their portfolios. Some of these swans will paddle by this year. Read more…

Should we exclude companies purely on ethical grounds?
by Adam Tindall
General principles previously governed ethical investing, but both fund managers and clients now accept the more hard-nosed approach of eliminating certain companies from portfolios. Read more…

Big increase in retirees expecting to outlive their savings
by Graham Hand
New research shows a rapid increase in the proportion of retirees expecting to outlive their savings, and those not yet retired are worried about markets and not saving enough. Read more…

Watch premiums and discounts in LICs
by Leisa Bell
Independent Investment Research has released its December Quarter 2016 review of the performance of the 34 LIC’s under its coverage. Understand the premiums and discounts to NTA before investing. Read more…

Future oil prices: it takes two to contango
by Andrew Kaleel and Matthew Kaleel
US shale oil producers and the combined alliance of OPEC and Russia need one another to maintain the ‘sweet spot’ in oil sector dynamics and profitability into the future. Read more…
Sponsor White Paper  

Reporting Season Wrap and Outlook - March 2017

Key observations from BTIM's latest reporting season wrap include large caps outperforming small caps, a good earings update and strategies in disrupted industries showing signs of success. Read more.
Additional features this week

Graham Hand will be speaking at the Australian Shareholders' Association's Conference 2017 in Melbourne on 15 May 2017. Early bird rate ends 31 March 2017.

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

Indicative NTA Report from Bell Potter

PDF version of Cuffelinks Newsletter

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) hours quiz

Plus updates and announcements on the Sponsor Noticeboard on our website
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