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News and Insights

With global economic growth forecasts being revised downwards, global interest rates at all-time lows, the insatiable appetite for yield, some might argue, has become more desperate.

This of course is by no means a new story, but one that should be monitored closely.

At Financial Keys we believe that it is a sound business and investment principal to occasionally and selectively challenge the status quo.

Let’s take for example, Australian company payout ratios and their dividends, one area that many investors expect and follow without question.

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March 31, 2016

It has been an interesting month, with rising iron ore prices supporting the Australian share market, coupled with a bounce in the AUD from 71 cents to 76 cents. The question is whether this is the start of a sustainable upward trend in markets? Lonsec has remained cautious, preferring to hold more cash and alternative assets over equities.

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March 30, 2016

Today Shane Oliver looks at the case for a bear market and what this might mean for markets and investor returns. The one message however that we would be keen to get out, is we all need to do our very best to avoid the current noise.

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February 23, 2016

Lonsec has remained cautious on markets, increasing our underweight position to equities in favour of cash and alternative assets at the last investment committee meeting. The move reflects our expectation of ongoing market volatility, uncertainty around the strength in earnings growth for many companies and, to a lesser extent, the risk of a possible escalation in geopolitical risk, particularly around the tense situation in the Middle East and a breakdown of the EU with a possible ‘Brexit’.

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February 22, 2016

As we head into 2016, the divergence between major economies is quite stark. The US Federal Reserve (the Fed) is confident enough in the US economy to begin tightening monetary policy while Asia and Europe continue to slow and policy is being eased. This contrast in conditions has led to a generally rising USD and weakening commodity prices.

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December 21, 2015

Equity markets rebounded in October after a market correction in the September quarter. Volatility eased after the US Federal Reserve (the Fed) delayed the first rate hike and the European Central Bank (the ECB) implied it would expand its QE program in December. Chinese monetary policy was also eased during the month. In Australia, the RBA retains a ‘glass half full’ view on the economy and seems to be on hold in the short term, with an easing bias if growth continues to disappoint.

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November 30, 2015

An increase in risk aversion swept through global financial markets in the September 2015 quarter. Equity markets retreated, commodity prices fell, government bond yields tightened and credit spreads widened. It is hard to pinpoint a single catalyst but the most obvious negative news was the continued slowdown in China and the apparent bungling of the Chinese authorities in its attempt to halt a sliding Shanghai share market. But the increase in risk aversion was not just about China, there are also concerns about slowing global growth generally, particularly in emerging economies.

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October 21, 2015

Genuine concerns over a slowdown in global growth, particularly in Asia, have led to a correction in global equity markets. The key to markets stabilising will depend on Chinese actions to restore confidence or simply market’s falling to a point where company valuations become compelling to longer term investors.

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September 22, 2015

The turmoil in global investment markets has continued into this week, although the last few days have seen a bit of stabilisation and improvement in several markets. From their highs to their recent lows major share markets have now had the following falls: Chinese shares -43%, Asian shares (ex Japan) -23%, emerging markets -22%, Eurozone shares -18%, Australian shares -16%, Japanese shares -15% and US shares -12%. Such falls are painful for investors. This note looks at some of the main issues.

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August 27, 2015

Last quarter, Lonsec wrote how financial market conditions seemed not too hot, not too cold but just right for equities. Interest rates remain very low, inflation is low and growth is expected to remain moderate. We also pondered what could go wrong and identified the key risks as ‘inflation surprise’, ‘deflation grind’ or something relating to geo-political events in Europe (Greece, Ukraine) or the Middle-East.

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July 22, 2015

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