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Market Update
April 26, 2024
Financial Keys

Market & Economic Update - April 2024

The Australian equity market (as measured by the S&P/ASX 200) started the year off much like the previous finished, although most of the steam had been taken out of the rally with January producing a solid +1.20% return. February was much more muted with the uncertainty of an imminent reporting season hanging over the market however with better-than-expected results, coupled with softer-than-expected domestic inflation data, March provided some highlights as Australian shares hit new record highs. The quarter ended on a high with March producing +3.27% closing the quarter off with an attractive +5.53%.

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Market Update
January 25, 2024
Financial Keys

Market & Economic Update - January 2024

The Australian equity market (as measured by the S&P/ASX 200) started the December quarter the same way the September quarter ended, with a sea of red as stubbornly high inflation and rising bond yields placed pressure on current and forward-looking company earnings. November and December came roaring back as positive inflation data (i.e. lower inflation numbers) and sudden falls in bond yields created an air of optimism and the potential end of central bank tightening. The share market closed at near record highs.

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Investment Management
December 22, 2023
Financial Keys

Year in Review – 2023

2023 made for another very interesting year in investment markets as macro / regime driven events resulted in extreme shifts in investor sentiment on an almost monthly basis. Investors chose to shoot first and ask questions later in what can best be described as a year of maximum noise.

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Market Update
October 30, 2023
Financial Keys

Market & Economic Update - September 2023

The Australian equity market (as measured by the S&P/ASX 200) started the September quarter with a flurry but ended up in the red as the global “higher-for-longer” narrative (interest rates) coupled with the ever-increasing cost of living concerns caused consumer confidence to wane.

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Market Update
July 11, 2023
Financial Keys

Market & Economic Update – July 2023

The Australian equity market returned (+1.01%), for the quarter, to end the financial year at (+14.8%).

The Australian equity market (S&P/ASX 200) started and ended the June quarter well with a slight bump in May as an unexpected rate increase caught the market by surprise. Investor resilience continued through until mid-May when momentum shifted to the downside as further rate hikes - off the back of strong labour data and services inflation - coupled with US debt ceiling concerns, started to take their toll.

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Latest News
June 29, 2023
Financial Keys

July Income Distributions

As we have reached the end of another financial year, we wanted to send a reminder about income distributions.

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Market Update
April 20, 2023
Financial Keys

Market & Economic Update – April 2023

January produced a stellar return of (+6.23%) however as the quarter progressed, it was clear rising interest rates had started to take their toll on sentiment. As financial conditions continued to tighten sharply, the equity market began to cool. Although the quarter ended in positive territory, (+3.46%), the final two months fell a combined (-2.60%).

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Superannuation & Retirement
March 2, 2023
Financial Keys

Proposed Changes to Tax on Superannuation Earnings

As you have most likely heard, the Government has proposed to amend the tax rates that apply to earnings associated with large superannuation account balances.

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Market Update
January 27, 2023
Financial Keys

Market & Economic Update – January 2023

The Australian equity market (S&P/ASX 200 TR) continued its recovery after a poor first-half of 2022 and although pulling back in the month of December, returned a strong (+9.4%) for the quarter to finish off 2022 just slightly in the red at (-1.1%). The month of November provided the yearly highlight (hitting 7-month highs) as shares rallied off the back of falling treasury yields. 

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Market Update
December 21, 2022
Financial Keys

2022 Year in Review

In an ideal world, the events of 2022 will be learned from but never repeated – macro and geopolitical driven markets, one of the worst years for bonds on record, and a year where diversification was the only free lunch you didn’t want.

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Federal Budget
October 25, 2022
Financial Keys

2022-23 Federal Budget Update

The new Federal Labor government has handed down their first budget with an improved fiscal position for the current year, but with mounting challenges in the period ahead.

The Albanese government has warned of “hard days to come”, meaning the likelihood of tax increases and spending cuts in the period ahead, with debt and deficit forecasts over the next decade now expected to be worse than thought just six months ago; due to costs in relation to the National Disability Insurance Scheme, rising debt payments, and weaker productivity.

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Market Update
October 18, 2022
Financial Keys

Market & Economic Update – October 2022

The Australian equity market (as measured by the S&P/ASX 200) underwent a chaotic and volatile three months and whilst providing some relief in July and August (off the back of a better-than-expected reporting season), reality set back in as the month of September gave most of the gains back, slumping (6.2%); the index ended the quarter up slightly (0.4%).

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Market Update
October 7, 2022
Financial Keys

RBA Changes Pace

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) Board increased the cash rate by 0.25% to 2.60% at its October meeting.

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Market Update
September 14, 2022
Financial Keys

Factors impacting markets

For the last 12 months, markets have been solely driven by macroeconomic factors and events, which can happen over short periods of time. This means that markets are far removed from fundamentals which is what actually drives returns over the medium to longer term.

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Market Update
July 31, 2022
Financial Keys

Market & Economic Update – July 2022

The Australian equity market (as measured by the S&P/ASX 200) recorded its biggest monthly decline since March 2020, falling (-8.8%) in June to extend its quarterly loss to (-11.9%), its worst loss since the March quarter 2020. Fearing aggressive monetary tightening policy and the risk of recession, every sector bar two (Energy and Utilities eking out small gains) were violently sold-off as fundamentals were tossed aside and indiscriminate selling took control. 

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Market Update
June 30, 2022
Financial Keys

Video Update - Flinders Emerging Companies Fund

Please access the video via the link below, featuring Andrew Mouchacca, one of the Portfolio Managers of the Flinders Emerging Companies Fund:

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Market Update
June 15, 2022
Financial Keys

Inflation, Rates and Market Movements

We have seen some more significant sharemarket moves this week and discuss below.

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Market Update
May 11, 2022
Financial Keys

Investment Market Volatility – What’s Going On?

Once again, we find ourselves in the midst of volatile investment markets across all asset classes. In this article we look at what is occurring across investment markets, what is causing the moves; and the opportunities that begin to arise for the astute long term investor.

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Market Update
April 21, 2022
Financial Keys

Market & Economic Update – April 2022

The Australian equity market (as measured by the S&P/ASX 200) bounced back from a difficult start to the period (-6.4% in January) to post a positive return (+0.74%) for the quarter. The March quarter was dominated by the outbreak of war in Ukraine which caused massive volatility in growth assets and the final realisation that inflation will not be “transitory”. The fall-out of war coupled with increasing inflationary pressures, China growth concerns and the rather strong February reporting season resulted in a very uncertain period, filled with questions, and one which made portfolio positioning challenging.

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Latest News
March 9, 2022
Financial Keys

Ukraine & Inflation – what does it all mean?

Investment markets are currently being driven by two risk events:

  1. Inflation and rising central bank interest rates
  2. Russia / Ukraine conflict

In isolation, market sentiment would’ve settled already. However, markets are struggling right now to account for the combination of both and the spectre of both feeding off or into each other.

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Latest News
March 2, 2022
Financial Keys

Russia / Ukraine Update

What we know so far, in what is a very fluid situation, is that Russian troops have moved into Ukraine from the north, east, and south. It also appears that there's been no official use of NATO or allied troops yet. 

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Market Update
January 27, 2022
Financial Keys

Market & Economic Update – January 2022

Australian equities (as measured by the S&P/ASX 200 TR) bounced back from a sluggish start to the quarter, to return (+2.75%) for the month of December and end the year on a positive note. For the December quarter, the Australian market returned (+2.09%) to round out what was a turbulent 2021 for equity markets.

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Latest News
December 23, 2021
Financial Keys

An Essay on Man – AND did we tell you that we moved office?

An Essay on Man is a poem published by Alexander Pope in 1732. It was dedicated to Henry St John, 1st Viscount Bolingbroke, hence the opening line of the poem…."Awake, St John..."

The poem focuses on four epistles. The first surveys relations between humans and the universe; the second discusses humans as individuals, the third addresses the relationship between the individual and society and the fourth questions the potential of the individual for happiness.

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Latest News
December 8, 2021
Financial Keys

Financial Keys is on the move

Amidst an Infrastructure surge and Global Supply Chain issues, Financial Keys is on the move.

Westconnex, NorthConnex, and Sydney Light Rail are all great examples of Sydney’s booming infrastructure works, designed to support its growing population, and increase mobility for its constituents.

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Market Update
November 1, 2021
Financial Keys

Market & Economic Update - November 2021

The Australian equity market’s (as measured by the S&P/ASX 200) nine-month positive run came to an end with a (-1.85%) return for the month of September however the quarter ended in positive territory, returning (+1.71%). The quarter was consumed with continuous lockdowns as the Delta strain took hold of a number of parts of the country, there were global growth concerns, inflation fears as well as the inclusion of the all-important August corporate reporting period.

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Market Update
October 5, 2021
Financial Keys

Evergrande and broader Chinese issues

Historically, western media has done a rather poor job at covering issues in China and 2021 is no different. That has usually meant media/investor overreaction when not required and media/investor underreaction when required.

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Market Update
July 26, 2021
Financial Keys

Market & Economic Update - July 2021

The Australian equity market (as measured by the S&P/ASX 200) continued its upward trend to record a ninth straight positive month, returning (+2.3%) in the month to take the June quarter to a strong (+8.3%). The Financial-Year posted an extraordinary (+27.8%). 

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Market Update
July 13, 2021
Financial Keys

The COVID World We Live In - Key areas impacting global markets

It’s fair to say it’s been quite an unbelievable period since our last update.

Ups and downs in virus numbers, declining hospitalisation and death rates in most jurisdictions, particularly those with heightened vaccination rates, some of the largest quarterly economic growth numbers on record, surging inflation in the USA and concerns regarding inflation in other countries, all whilst central banks attempt to reassure investors regarding their plans, and geopolitical risks rumble in the background.

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Market Update
April 27, 2021
Financial Keys

Market & Economic Update - March 2021

The Australian equity market (as measured by the S&P/ASX 200) continued to press forward, posting a healthy (+4.3%) in the March quarter. The 12-months to 31 March 2021 finished with an extraordinary return (+37.5%), once the carnage of March 2020 dropped out of the yearly numbers.

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Market Update
February 2, 2021
Financial Keys

Market & Economic Quarterly Update - December 2020

The Australian equity market (as measured by the S&P/ASX 200) continued its recovery surging (+13.7%) in the December quarter, underpinned by a rise in sentiment as positive vaccine trials and rollouts became closer to realisation. After a tough finish to the September quarter, the market slowly began to recuperate in October as the release of the federal budget provided confidence that fiscal policy was to continue supporting the economy.

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Market Update
December 23, 2020
Financial Keys

2020 Year in review - a year to forget, a year to remember, a year to learn from…

There are many things to take out of 2020; a year where records were broken multiple times, a year where it seemed we had multiple years of events crammed into one; and a year that went both very fast and/or very slow depending on your predicament.  

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Market Update
November 4, 2020
Financial Keys

Reserve Bank of Australia Announcement – November 2020

At its November meeting, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) announced a package of stimulus measures, largely as expected by economists and market participants, as both the Governor and Deputy Governor of the RBA had well flagged their intentions in the lead up to the meeting.

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Market Update
October 23, 2020
Financial Keys

Market & Economic Quarterly Update – September 2020

Below is a summary of market movements this quarter and major changes to some of the key asset classes:

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Market Update
September 1, 2020
Financial Keys

Spring is in the Air

Is it September already?

It is almost unbelievable that family discussions around how we will spend Christmas will start very soon and with the end of the year in sight, it seems to have gone quick in terms of the lack of social events and interactions, holidays and the general variations of life.

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Market Update
May 28, 2020
Financial Keys

Financial Keys Market Update – now for some good news

Bad news sells!

When you read the news, sometimes it can feel like the only things reported are terrible, depressing events. Why do the media concentrate on the bad things in life, rather than the good?

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Market Update
April 17, 2020
Financial Keys

Financial Keys Market Update - 17 April 2020

We have seen a roller coaster ride in investment markets over the last couple of months with a recent rebound.

The US equity market fell more than 34% from peak to trough this year, before rebounding more than 27%. In Australian dollar terms, the fall was only 25%, given movements in the Australian dollar. Therefore, being unhedged on currency for US equity investments, as Financial Keys clients predominantly are, assisted materially. The Australian equity market fell more than 36% before rebounding more than 20% more recently.

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Latest News
March 25, 2020
Financial Keys

Financial Keys Update

With all the changes we are witnessing to our own working and living arrangements, as well as those of our family and friends, we wanted to take this opportunity to provide an update. The Financial Keys team are currently working from home to do our part in reducing the amount of people travelling to and from the city. It is, however, business as usual, and we maintain the same capabilities as we have in the office.

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Market Update
March 24, 2020
Financial Keys

Key Insights - Recent Developments

We have all been inundated with negative news flow over the last few weeks. We have been looking for some positives to write about of late, to help everyone’s psyche at present. We have come across some interesting information pieces over the last couple of days and elaborate below.

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Market Update
March 20, 2020
Financial Keys

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Central Bank Policy Response

Some of you may have seen or heard of the recent policy action from central banks around the world in response to the significant economic and market impact caused by the response to control the spread of the virus.

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Market Update
March 17, 2020
Financial Keys

Market Update - 17 March 2020

We understand many of you would have seen the incredible share market volatility during the last few weeks, which has seen trading days of up or down 10%. Overall share markets have experienced falls which appear to be a function of panic regarding the inability to model the impacts of Coronavirus containment on the economy and asset prices. Once panic sets in, rationality is hard to come by. 

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Market Update
March 10, 2020
Financial Keys

Market Update - 10 March 2020

During this period of market volatility, we remain available to discuss your portfolio and investment strategy. We will continue to provide regular communication and keep you up to date with investment markets and the global economic environment.

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Latest News
March 10, 2020
Financial Keys

Financial Keys Response to Coronavirus

In relation to the outbreak of the Coronavirus, we have introduced an infection control measure with the aim of keeping staff and clients safe.

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Market Update
February 28, 2020
Financial Keys

Special Market Update

As many of you would have been following, investment markets locally and globally have fallen sharply this week on renewed concerns regarding the Coronavirus, or Covid-19, as it’s known.

At the time of writing, both the Australian and US equity markets are down more than 8% for the week, with Europe down more than 6%, and Japan down more than 5%. US technology stocks are down almost 8%.

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Market Update
January 14, 2020
Mark Causer

Review 2019 - Preview 2020

………and like that, the decade came to an end.

Bushfires, a Royal Commission, Brexit, Trump v China and the Hong Kong turmoil - the year that was 2019. The global economy was rife with market changing events not limited to those mentioned.

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Latest News
December 24, 2019
Mark Causer

Time flies when you’re having fun – where did the decade go?

This commonly used idiom or cliché describes the feeling of time passing by very quickly. Most scientific research was able to explain away this perception of phenomenon as simply the desire to do, see, hear, read and observe more and not enough time in which to do it all. In scientific circles, it was also referred to as Time Pressure.

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Market Update
November 6, 2019
Lonsec Research

Economic and Investment Update - September 2019

One of the topics asset allocators are grappling with at the moment is whether asset class valuations are expensive or not. Whether you’re an active asset allocator or an active bottom-up stock picker, valuation will most likely form the core or at least a significant part of your analysis when making a decision to enter or exit an investment. 

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Market Update
October 21, 2019
Mark Causer & Jenny Josling (Managing Director, Orbis Australia - Orbis Global Equity)

It’s All About the Style – Value vs Growth

When building investment portfolios for clients many aspects are considered.

For example we consider the different asset classes - Australian Equities, International Equities, Australian Fixed Interest, International Fixed Interest, Property to name a few.

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Market Update
September 30, 2019
Lonsec Research

Economic and Investment Update - August 2019

With an increasing focus in the market on how we are all building our client portfolios, it is incredibly important to have a strong and defendable investment framework in place. This investment framework consists of, but is not limited to, how we structure our investment committee, what our APL looks like, and where we get our research from. 

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Market Update
August 26, 2019
Lonsec Research

Economic and Investment Update - July 2019

It’s a challenging time for asset allocators in the current environment, which has seen asset prices and market sentiment shift quickly on the back of a single tweet. Markets in July were generally strong across most assets, but August has seen a re-emergence of trade tensions between the US and China. More importantly we have seen the yield curve invert with the 10-year US treasury falling below the 2-year treasury for the first time since 2007, which, as you may recall from the text books, has historically been an indicator of economic weakness.

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Market Update
July 2, 2019
Lonsec Research

Economic and Investment Update - May 2019

It’s been an eventful month for markets – the Coalition won the federal election in a surprise upset, the RBA cut rates to record lows, and US-China trade tensions re-emerged with a vengeance. Domestic markets reacted positively to the Coalition win, with some of the pessimism surrounding the housing market subsiding. The RBA’s rate cut was not unexpected, with most analysts having already priced in the cut and potentially another.

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Market Update
May 29, 2019
Lonsec Research

Economic and Investment Update - April 2019

Markets continued their upward trajectory during April which has largely continued unabated since the so called ‘Powell put’ earlier in the year, with the US Fed chair signalling a pause to further rate hikes. However, market volatility has picked up as the US-China ‘trade war’ has been reignited as the US seeks to precent Chinese telecom manufacturer Huawei from accessing US suppliers. 

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Federal Election
May 22, 2019
Financial Keys Investment Committee

Australian Federal Election 2019 - Where to now?

Yes, there will be future Federal elections, but more than most, this past election has seemed to have stirred Australian’s emotions more than I can recall. Maybe it was the boldness of the Labor proposals, maybe it was the continued infighting (interestingly, no prime minister has succeeded in serving a full term since 2007), maybe it was the solo approach that Scott Morrison took on the campaign trail (with some of his cabinet colleagues considered too toxic to appear in public).

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Market Update
May 7, 2019
Lonsec Research

Economic and Investment Update - March 2019

It’s been an interesting period for risk assets over the past six months. The last quarter of 2018 saw markets retract as sentiment shifted away from risk assets, driven by fears of further rate rises in the US and a pullback in global growth. Roll forward to the March quarter of 2019 and it has been risk on for equities, with both Australian and global markets posting double-digit returns for the quarter.

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Federal Budget
April 3, 2019
Mark Causer

2019 Federal Budget

Last night, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg delivered his first budget, announcing that the "budget is back in the black and Australia is back on track" and "for the first time in 12 years, our nation is again paying its own way".

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Market Update
March 27, 2019
Lonsec Research

Economic and Investment Update - February 2019

Equity markets have continued their upward trajectory, boosted by the Federal Reserve’s decision to place rate hikes on hold. But how long can markets remain placated? Despite the reprieve, key market risks remain, including a reduction in liquidity as central banks cease their quantitative easing programs, and tighter credit conditions, which have had a significant impact on those parts of the market supported by cheap debt and ample liquidity.

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Market Update
March 4, 2019
Mark Causer

Casino Royal – what will we end up with?

A study by Cambridge University suggested that a ‘bad news day’ increased magazine circulation by as much as 30% and a ‘good news day’ resulted in a 66% decrease in readership – the latter being online material.

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Market Update
March 4, 2019
Lonsec Research

Economic and Investment Update - January 2019

Equity markets have continued their recovery through February, with the S&P 500 and S&P/ASX 300 both rising 5.2% in Australian dollar terms in the first three weeks of the month. This comes on the back of January’s gains of 4.5% and 2.6% respectively. In price terms, the US index has recovered from a sharp fall in December, while the ASX has clawed back nearly all losses suffered in the final quarter of 2018.

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Market Update
January 31, 2019
Lonsec Research

Economic and Investment Update - December 2018

2018 was marked by a notable increase in market volatility and a decline in global economic growth from its previous high in the first part of the year. This has been reflected in a pull-back in most equity markets and an increase in expected volatility.

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Market Update
December 5, 2018
Lonsec Research

Economic and Investment Update - October 2018

Markets have continued to experience volatility over the month. The US market in particular has experienced significant volatility with technology stocks facing the brunt of the turbulence. Until recently the tech sector was a significant driver of US market returns, making up over 20% of the S&P 500 Index.

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Market Update
November 30, 2018
Mark Causer and Chris Lioutas

The October (Cause) and Effect

As Mark Twain was famously quoted “history never repeats itself, but it rhymes” is ……for October 2018 past. I prefer the more recent lines from a Split Enz classic “history never repeats I tell myself before I go to sleep. Don’t say the words you might regret, I lost before, you know I can’t forget!”.  

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Market Update
November 4, 2018
Lonsec Research

Economic and Investment Update - September 2018

We are seeing signs of volatility returning to markets, which has been reflected in an increased divergence in returns between regions, sectors and securities alike. For some time, we have flagged that volatility in markets has been subdued, underpinned by a wave of liquidity being pumped into global economies by central banks in the form of quantitative easing (QE). We have seen bond yields trade at historic lows and the subsequent low interest rate environment has led to increasing debt levels among both corporates and households.

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Market Update
October 8, 2018
Mark Causer and Martin Conlon

Oktoberfest

It may surprise many of you who have never visited Munich (Germany) in September that their world famous Oktoberfest beer festival is actually already in full swing – not October as the name suggests!

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Market Update
September 24, 2018
Lonsec Research

Economic and Investment Update - August 2018

The US economic engine continued to chug along in August. The August Manufacturing ISM Report of Business recorded the US PMI (survey of purchasing managers) at 61.3, signifying continued expansion, with the overall economy growing for the 112th month.

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Market Update
August 2, 2018
Mark Causer and Martin Conlon

Twain, Louis Vuitton, and the problems with valuations

The markets continue to look like Louis Vuitton – where the glamorous and sparkly are eye-wateringly priced compared to the ordinary. Wealth inequality means an increasing percentage of the population will baulk at the ridiculous price of anything, and the same should apply to stock prices.

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Estate Planning
July 12, 2018
Mark Causer

My Last Will and Testament

The idea or concept of a last will and testament is one that dates back to ancient Rome.

Throughout history there have been pivotal individuals responsible for great change and advancement in our society.  The development of our current law is no exception. A lot is owed to a man named Solon, in relation to the ability to choose how we want our property distributed when we pass.

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Market Update
June 22, 2018
Lonsec Research

Economic and Investment Update - May 2018

May was a relatively strong month for markets with the exception of emerging market equities, which retreated by more than 3% during the month. Emerging markets experienced significant outflows in May with over $12 billion in foreign investment exiting the sector. Outflows impacted both debt and equity markets, driven by country-specific issues along with broader geopolitical events, including ongoing concerns over a US-led trade war through to political uncertainly in Italy.

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Federal Budget
May 9, 2018
Mark Causer and Brendan Gallagher

2018 Federal Budget Analysis

Scott Morrison has now handed down his third budget. This year, the headline is $140 billion in tax cuts over the next decade, with some more immediate tax relief of up to $1,060 a year for middle-income households and the proposed fundamental reform of the tax system.

As we remind our clients every year, these Budget proposals are exactly that – proposals. They have NO effect until passed into law. Once passed into law, we can examine the impact to you and advise relevant strategy into the future.

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Market Update
February 19, 2018
Mark Causer and Dr Shane Oliver

The pullback in shares – seven reasons not to be too concerned

The past couple of weeks in global financial markets have indeed been very volatile, especially when the perception has been that it was ‘perfect sailing conditions’.

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Market Update
December 12, 2017
Mark Causer and Dr Shane Oliver

2017 - The Year that was!

“Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning, but a going on” and so it is as 2017 draws to a conclusion.

From our perspective at Financial Keys, 2017 has been a great year overall for investment returns and the subsequent growth of your portfolios. 

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Market Update
November 28, 2017
Mark Causer

How do you like them Apples!

For those movie buffs, you might recall the line from Matt Damon’s character in the movie Good Will Hunting after he secures the phone number of a young lady in a bar;

“Do you like apples? Well, I got her number. How do you like them apples?”

This line springs to mind when we take a look at the recent performance of several listed global companies (some of which you own in your portfolios), returns have been eye watering!

This is simply another reason to ensure that underlying valuations of the investments and/or fund managers we recommend to you are always questioned, prices are challenged, based on the available information. 

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Market Update
November 13, 2017
Lonsec Research

Economic and Investment Update - October 2017

We held our quarterly Asset Allocation Investment committee in September. As part of the committee process we assess the macro economic environment, the strength of the business cycle, asset valuations and sentiment. Over the past 12 months we have been defensively positioned in our asset allocation setting noting stretched asset valuations, improving but mixed economic data and uncertainty around process for the ‘normalisation’ of monetary policy around the globe.

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Market Update
November 13, 2017
Mark Causer and Martin Conlon

The Never Ending Search for the Truth!

A day in the life of a financial adviser is never boring.

Things do ‘rev up’ a little in the lead up to Budget night and the last minute rush ahead of 30 June. Some of you may not be aware, but after the annual reporting period (August – November) where companies report their annual results and give an insight into the next six to twelve months; this is also a hive of activity.

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Market Update
September 26, 2017
Mark Causer and Investor Mutual Limited (IML)

Investing beyond the Big Four Banks

Another week and yet another big four bank making national headlines – a positive this week! The big four have indeed come under considerable media scrutiny over the last 12 – 24 months. Some of this is possibly warranted and some……well it sells newspapers.

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Latest News
August 30, 2017
Brendan Gallagher

What is a “Good Return”

For many of our individual and corporate clients we provide financial education with the objective of helping people become more financially astute, so that they have the ability and incentive to make smarter financial decisions. For someone in their late 20’s that might be saving and investing for a deposit on a home. For someone in their 50’s it might be preparing for their retirement in a decades time. We are fortunate to see the impact that developing and implementing a sound financial plan can have on our client’s lives.

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Market Update
August 30, 2017
Mark Causer and Dr Shane Oliver

The Global Financial Crisis 10 years on - Lessons learned and can it happen again?

August 2017 represents the 10 year anniversary of the Global Financial Crisis.

Today, there remains several and varied concerns that Financial Keys considers as part of its overall investment research commitment. These include Geopolitical as well as simple home grown risks.

Today we catch up with AMP's Shane Oliver who gives us his thoughts on this faithful anniversary, what have we learnt and his view on the likelihood of this repeating itself.

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Market Update
July 3, 2017
Mark Causer and Dr Shane Oliver

Global political risks one year on from Brexit – what have we learned?

Another end of financial year has now passed us – we rest for the weekend, then back into it!

With a wave of new money coming into markets from last minute superannuation contributions ahead of a raft of new superannuation rules coming into effect from 1 July, it is timely to reflect on the past 12 months  and this tumultuous period and then take a look out for the next 6 – 12 months.

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Federal Budget
May 10, 2017
Mark Causer & Brendan Gallagher

2017 Federal Budget

The Treasurer, Scott Morrison, has now delivered the 2017 Federal Budget.

As with every Budget, from an individual’s perspective, there are perceived winners and losers.

This year, home ownership affordability and related activities to further liquidate the Australian property market takes a lot of the limelight.

Importantly however, these Budget proposals are exactly that, proposals. It is important to remember this, but equally relevant to consider the strategy(ies) that you may now be able to apply to suit your individual circumstances.

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Market Update
March 20, 2017
Mark Causer and Dr Shane Oliver

The Australian housing market – what are the key issues?

But is the financial landscape changing sufficiently to allow property to take a well-deserved break from the headlines, at least here in Australia?

To help us with the question which is on the lips of millions of Australian’s, AMP’s Chief Economist, Shane Oliver, walks us through his current views.  

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Market Update
March 2, 2017
Lonsec Research

Economic and Investment Update - February 2017

Inflation appears to be back on the agenda, which highlights the extent to which things have changed compared to a year ago when talks of deflation and disinflation dominated discourse. Finally, no conference these days can be complete without pontificating on what a Trump presidency will bring from a geopolitical and economic standpoint. Is ‘up’ the new consensus?

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Market Update
January 12, 2017
Lonsec Research

Economic and Investment Update - November 2016

The US election has come and gone, and despite markets getting the wobbles in the lead up to the election it has certainly been ‘risk on’ since the result. Are we experiencing a ‘Santa Claus rally’, or is this the start of something more structural?

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Market Update
January 12, 2017
Mark Causer

2017 – A watershed year for the Eurozone?

The start of each year ushers in a new series of opportunities, challenges and a continuation of past themes.

Calendar year 2017 will be no exception.

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Market Update
December 28, 2016
Mark Causer

Season’s Greetings to you all.

As the year 2016 draws to a close and the pace of life slows just a little, it is probably as good a time as any to reflect on some of the key market and non-market events that shaped the year.

Well 2016 was an interesting year, but perhaps every year is interesting!

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Investment Management
November 11, 2016
Mark Causer

54.2 million worries – five ways to help manage the noise and turn down the worry list

In the last few weeks as we have had discussions with clients about investment markets and their portfolios, it has been difficult not to allow the conversion to drift into areas that are concerning investors, which has been highlighted recently in the media. After all, bad news sells and good news is, well nice!

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Market Update
November 11, 2016
Lonsec Research

Economic and Investment Update - October 2016

Since the global financial crisis 8 years ago we have been in a world where markets are heavily influenced by central bank policy. We have witnessed key central banks around the global undertake aggressive ‘unconventional monetary policy’, notably quantitative easing and rate cuts, whereby some countries are currently in negative rates territory. It is questionable whether this policy has stimulated real economic growth with measures such as the velocity of money (number of time a dollar is spent to buy goods and services) falling off a cliff and economic data being mixed as some countries grapple with deflation, while others seek to transition their economies away from exports to domestic consumption. 

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Market Update
September 21, 2016
Mark Causer

Sifting through the fog and finding value in an era of monetary policy divergence

In the past couple of days we have witnessed the power that global Federal Reserves have over our markets. In particular, the US Federal Reserve’s decision to increase (or hold) interest rates has become the subject of intense market speculation and volatility, which has impacted share markets, bond markets and currency, globally. 

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Federal Budget
September 21, 2016
Mark Causer

Government announces key changes to Budget super reform proposals

In a recent press release the Treasurer, Scott Morrison, released a number of changes to the Government’s three key federal budget proposals.

For some, perhaps the most significant changes to the earlier proposals were that the Government will now NOT be proceeding with the proposed $500,000 lifetime non-concessional contribution (NCC) limit.

Instead they have proposed reducing the existing Non-Concessional Contribution (NCC) limits from 1 July 2017. 

If legislated, this proposal will impact many accumulators and very early pre-retirees.

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Market Update
September 21, 2016
Lonsec Research

Economic and Investment Update - September 2016

As we have flagged in previous editions of the IOR, our expectation has been that markets will be characterised by increasing levels of volatility and subdued growth. This has been the case when we reflect on 2016 so far, which started off with a bang with markets falling on the back of uncertainty surrounding China’s economic prospects and slumping commodities markets. More recently, markets have rebounded after shrugging off early concerns over Brexit and as headwinds in emerging markets faded as US rates hikes have looked less and less likely for this year.

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Investment Management
July 29, 2016
Mark Causer

In times of stress, quality should prevail

Having recently returned from a trip to Europe, I was able to witness firsthand some of the impacts that a slowing of global growth and negative interest rates (to name two) can have on investment markets and an economy in general.

When I read that the Future Fund is in negotiations with the Federal Government to lower and adjust the longer term investment return targets of this $120 billion investment vehicle, the tag line of ‘lower for longer’ starts to repeat itself.

Additionally, there have also been many non-financial events around the world that will challenge us, maybe not all directly financial, but that will test us none the same.

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Market Update
July 20, 2016
Lonsec Research

Economic and Investment Update - July 2016

Much of the recent market news has been dominated by ‘Brexit’ and what it all means. Post the UK’s decision to leave the EU equity markets and the Pound Sterling pulled back aggressively as markets had largely priced in that the ‘remain’ vote would win, conversely ‘safe havens’ like gold and defensive sectors such as utilities rallied. Since that time markets have recovered (although the Pound remains at multi-decade lows), however it is still unclear what it all means for the UK and more broadly the EU.

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Market Update
June 28, 2016
Shane Oliver

Brexit wins - implications for the world, Australia, and investors

n a shock for financial markets which had been increasingly confident that Britain would vote to Remain in the European Union, a victory for the Leave outcome by 52% to 48% triggered an abrupt bout of “risk off” in financial markets late last week. I suspect it was probably also a shock to many Brits themselves some of whom seem to be going through a bit of Bregret (thinking they were just delivering a protest vote against the establishment and assumed that Remain would win anyway). Of course, it wasn’t a good week for Europe either. This note tries to put it all in perspective.

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Market Update
June 22, 2016
Shane Oliver

Brexit or Bremain - or does it really matter?

In recent weeks, depending on who you speak to, the potential impact of Britain leaving the European Union are as varied as possible lotto numbers.

There will of course be things that would change if Britain leaves. The real question is what extent and how will Australian investors be impacted?

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Market Update
June 21, 2016
Lonsec Research

Economic and Investment Update - June 2016

t is certainly an interesting time for markets. As we have flagged in previous editions of the IOR our expectation has been that markets will be characterised by increasing levels of volatility and subdued growth. This has been the case when we reflect on the first half of 2016 which started off with a bang with markets falling on the back of uncertainty surrounding the Chinese market followed by a rebound in the oil and copper price which was positive for markets. This has been coupled with external factors such as the direction the US election will take, increased tension in the South China Sea and offcourse the prospect of the UK leaving the EU or ‘Brexit’ all contributing to market volatility.

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Federal Budget
May 4, 2016
Financial Keys

Federal Budget 2016-17 - What does the Budget mean for you?

Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison put forward a number of proposed changes, mainly around contributions to superannuation and taxation, in his budget speech
last night.

Here’s a brief roundup of what the proposals could mean for you. 

Remember, proposals are not set in stone and could change as legislation passes through parliament.

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Market Update
April 25, 2016
Lonsec Research

Economic and Investment Update - April 2016

The last quarter saw a pullback in equity markets, with Australian and global equities posting negative returns for the quarter despite an uptick in the market in March. Conversely, perceived ‘defensive’ sectors such as A-REITS, global listed infrastructure and bonds posted positive returns. Lonsec’s tilts away from equities towards cash and alternative assets relative to our strategic asset allocation has dampened some of the downside experienced by equities. We have held our defensive bias since the end of 2015 and have retained our positioning this quarter.

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Investment Management
March 31, 2016
Mark Causer

The Dividend Peril of following the herd

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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Market Update
March 30, 2016
Lonsec Research

Economic and Investment Update - March 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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Market Update
February 23, 2016
Dr Shane Oliver

There's a bear in there - what drives mild versus deep bear markets

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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Market Update
February 22, 2016
Lonsec Research

Economic and Investment Update - February 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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Market Update
December 21, 2015
Lonsec Research

Economic and Investment Update - December 2015

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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Market Update
November 30, 2015
Lonsec Research

Economic and Investment Update - November

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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