Should the RBA raise rates to prepare households for higher global rates?

It’s nearly two years since the Reserve Bank of Australia last changed interest rates – when it cut rates to a record low of 1.5% in August 2016. That’s a record period of inaction – or boredom for those who like to see action on rates whether it’s up or down. Of course, there are lots of…

2017-18 saw strong returns for diversified investors - but there's a few storm clouds around

After reviewing the returns of the last financial year, this note looks at the investment outlook for 2018-19 financial year.

Trade wars risks are escalating - but a negotiated solution remains most likely

The threat of a full-blown trade war has escalated in the last few weeks with the G7 meeting ending in disarray over US tariffs on imports of steel and aluminium from its allies and more importantly President Trump threatening tariffs on (so far at least) $US450bn of imports from China, and China threatening to retaliate. Our base…

China's economy is pretty stable - but what about high debt levels and other risks?

It seems there is constant hand wringing about the risks around the Chinese economy with the common concerns being around unbalanced growth, debt, the property market, the exchange rate and capital flows and a “hard landing”. This angst is understandable to some degree.

Italy is a worry - but 3 reasons not to be concerned about an Itexit

So far this year geopolitical developments have been having a significant impact on investment markets. Most of these revolve in some way around ...

US China trade war fears - Q & A

IntroductionMuch has been written about the trade dispute between the US and China and the risk of a global trade war. Much of it has been hyperbole but financial markets have had to price in the risks of a full-blown trade war zapping global growth. This has been difficult given almost daily developments on the issue since…

Falling Sydney & Melbourne home prices-is this the crash? What about other cities & the impact on the economy?

Australian capital city home prices fell 0.2% in March, their fifth monthly fall in a row. This has brought annual growth down to 0.8% from 11.4% in May last year. Most of the recent weakness relates to Sydney and to a less extent Melbourne.  

Share market volatility - Trump and trade war risks

  After the calm of 2017, 2018 is proving to be anything but with shares falling in February on worries about US inflation, only to rebound and then fall again with markets back to or below their February low, notwithstanding a nice US bounce overnight. From their highs in January to their lows in the last few…