Diversified Financial Planners News
Thursday, 21 December 2017 11:23

It's official: multitasking sucks

Think you’re great at multitasking? So did these people, until studies revealed some unsettling data.

On three different occasions over the years, something terrible has nearly happened to me as a result of multitasking.

Behavioural economist Daniel Kahneman – who teaches us to control our damaging behavioural traits to become better, more-disciplined investors – continues as a powerful force on the best-seller lists as 2017 draws to a close.

Kahneman's Thinking, fast and slow has been on The New York Times bestselling non-fiction paperback list for 147 successive weeks or almost three years. It is currently ranked seventh on the weekly list ending November 18 – even outselling the acclaimed American biography Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow, the subject of a hit Broadway show.

Thursday, 21 December 2017 11:17

Who can investors trust?

Trust can be tested in many ways.

Consider this situation. You are sitting at a conference with 1000 or so industry colleagues – effectively professional strangers – and you are asked to unlock your mobile phone and hand it to the person sitting next to you. They have 30 seconds to do whatever they like with it...

Thursday, 21 December 2017 11:13

Your rights when it comes to Direct Debits

Direct debits can help you organise your finances. Make sure you understand how they work and what to do if you want to cancel them.

Wednesday, 20 December 2017 13:25

Processed Foods: A Health Nightmare

As our lives have evolved and living standards have improved, our days have become more and more busy. Time is at a premium for many.

Sometimes life seems like a continuous cycle of things to do, and it can be difficult to balance everything.

With advances in technology, we are inundated with lots of different innovations to save time and make tasks less laborious. One area which has undergone huge changes within the latter part of the last century is food – what we eat, when we eat and how we prepare food.

Now more than ever we have access to food which has been prepared for us - in whole or in part. But is this a good thing?

Did you know it takes 957 gallons of water to create a single Big Mac? Some 550 million Big Macs are consumed each year in the US alone. That’s a lot of water. But we simply wouldn’t have Big Macs without the infrastructure to filter and transport water to each part of the Big Mac production process.

It’s easy to forget that infrastructure is a vital cog in the items we consume every day in a dynamic and growing economy. Infrastructure is often viewed as old and boring, dangerous when rates rise, and relatively volatile.

The so called ‘yield trade’, which has pushed valuations in the Australian real estate market across the various segments right up to their long term averages, will continue in 2018.

Even though this ‘search for yield’ phenomenon has been playing out for some years – while interest rates remain low and investors to be pushed into riskier assets in search of income – the real estate segment is still fairly priced overall and there are even some pockets of value for discerning investors.

For instance, high quality CBD commercial assets still offer well-placed investors strong outperformance potential.

Friday, 15 December 2017 12:25

Active ETFs - the basics

An Active ETF is, most simply, a managed fund that is traded on a stock exchange such as the ASX. They are built like managed funds, but trade like shares, meaning that pricing is transparent and they can be bought and sold during any trading day just like ordinary shares.

Active ETFs share many similarities with Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) but have one key difference: ETFs are “passively” managed and aim to track a particular benchmark or index, whereas Active ETFs are “actively” managed by fund managers with the aim of outperforming a relevant benchmark.

Two years after it first started raising interest rates in this cycle in December 2015, the Fed has increased rates for the fifth time, raising the Fed Funds rate another 0.25% to a target range of 1.25-1.5%. For the last two years, it has been right not to fear the Fed as tightening was conditional on better economic conditions, it would be gradual and we were only moving from very easy monetary policy to less easy.

2017 – a relatively smooth year

By the standards of recent years, 2017 was relatively quiet. Sure there was the usual “worry list” – about Trump, elections in Europe, China as always, North Korea and the perennial property crash in Australia. And there was a mania in bitcoin. But overall it has been pretty positive for investors:

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