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News and Insights

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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November 11, 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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September 21, 2016

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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September 21, 2016

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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September 21, 2016

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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July 29, 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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July 20, 2016

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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June 28, 2016

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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June 22, 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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June 21, 2016

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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May 4, 2016

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