Category Archives: Oliver Updates


Millennial socialism” and the swing of the political pendulum back to the left – what it means for investors

14

Mar 2019

Millennial socialism” and the swing of the political pendulum back to the left – what it means for investors

When I was in my early 20s I thought socialism might be the way to go. Two things happened. One I studied economics which led me to the conclusion that socialism/heavy state intervention doesn’t lead to the best outcome in terms of living standards for most. Second, I had the benefit of a trip to the USSR before it and the eastern bloc disintegrated. It…

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Australia slides into a "per capita recession"

07

Mar 2019

Australia slides into a "per capita recession"

Much has been made of Australia’s nearly 28 years without a recession. Despite many seeing recession as inevitable in response to the 1997 Asian crisis, the 2000-2003 tech wreck, the GFC and the “end” of the mining boom Australia has seemingly sailed on through each of these regardless. This has been thanks to a combination of economic reforms in the 1980s and 90s, the floating…

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Why I still love dividends and you should love them too

28

Feb 2019

Why I still love dividends and you should love them too

Prior to the 1960s most share investors were long-term investors who bought stocks for their dividend income. Investors then started to focus more on capital growth as bond yields rose relative to dividend yields on the back of rising inflation. However, thanks to an increased focus on investment income as baby boomers retire, interest in dividends has returned. This is a good thing because dividends…

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Five charts and a table that are critical to watch regarding the global economy and markets this year

21

Feb 2019

Five charts and a table that are critical to watch regarding the global economy and markets this year

I first ran through a set of five charts to keep an eye on regarding the global economy last September. Since then share markets plunged into December and have since rebounded. The rebound has been great, but we have seen such rebounds before only to see weakness resume so on its own it does not prove we are out of the woods. It’s rare for…

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Five great charts on investing – why they are particularly important now

14

Feb 2019

Five great charts on investing – why they are particularly important now

Investing seems to be getting more and more complex. Ever increasing complexity in terms of investment products and choices, regulations and rules around investing, the role of social media in amplifying the noise around investment markets and the increasing ways available to access various investments are all adding to this complexity. However, at its core, the basic principles of successful investing are simple. And one…

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Why growth in China is unlikely to slow too far and why it needs to save less and spend more

07

Feb 2019

Why growth in China is unlikely to slow too far and why it needs to save less and spend more

Scepticism about China’s economic success amongst (mostly western) investment commentators has been an issue for as long as I can remember. The current China worries mainly relate to slowing growth, high debt and the trade dispute with the US. China is now the world’s second largest economy and its biggest contributor to growth so what happens in China has big ramifications globally. This is particularly…

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Oliver's Insights – Australian housing downturn Q&A – how bad will it get

24

Jan 2019

Oliver's Insights – Australian housing downturn Q&A – how bad will it get

The housing cycle and house prices always incite high interest in Australia. Until recently it was all about surging prices and poor affordability – particularly in Sydney and Melbourne. Over the last year it’s turned into how far prices will fall and what’s the impact on the economy. Global issues and the election aside, the housing downturn is likely to be the main issue for…

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2019 – a list of lists regarding the macro investment outlook

15

Jan 2019

2019 – a list of lists regarding the macro investment outlook

2017 was a great year for well diversified investors – returns were solid (balanced super funds returned around 10%) and volatility was low. So optimism was high going into 2018 but it turned out to be anything but great for investors who saw poor returns (average balanced super funds look to have lost around 1-2%) and volatile markets. As a result, and in contrast to…

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The Fed and market turmoil – the Fed turns a bit dovish but not enough (yet)

20

Dec 2018

The Fed and market turmoil – the Fed turns a bit dovish but not enough (yet)

Three years after it first started raising interest rates in this cycle the Fed has increased rates for the ninth time, raising the Fed Funds rate another 0.25% to a target range of 2.25-2.5%. While this was largely anticipated by markets, the Fed was less dovish than expected and so shares sold off in response. That said it does appear that the Fed has got…

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The Australian economy in 2019 – house prices, growth and interest rates – another cycle extension

12

Dec 2018

The Australian economy in 2019 – house prices, growth and interest rates – another cycle extension

2019 is likely to be an interesting year for the Australian economy. Some of the big drags of recent years are receding but housing is turning down, uncertainty is high around the global outlook and it’s an election year, which will add to uncertainty. This note looks at the main issues around the housing downturn and what it means for the economy and investors. Australian…

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