How Much Should You Save for Retirement?

INTRODUCTION Most people ask themselves this question at some point in their working life (hopefully, relatively early). With the continued shift toward defined contribution plans, future retirees are being asked to take on more responsibility for their retirement outcomes than in the past. So the question is of vital importance. But do we have a Read more…

The Power of the Market

A lot of people talk about the market, but what does that mean? The financial market is made up of millions of participants, many just like you. Buyers and sellers who voluntarily agree to trade shares of companies all over the world.  Every year, millions of trades take place each day totalling billions of dollars. Read more…

The Patience Principle when Investing

Global markets are providing investors a rough ride at the moment, as the focus turns to China’s economic outlook. But while falling markets can be worrisome, maintaining a longer-term perspective makes the volatility easier to handle. A typical response to unsettling markets is an emotional one. We quit risky assets when prices are down and Read more…

The 7 Truths of Investing in a Volatile Stockmarket

Volatility is back. Just as many people were starting to think the stockmarket only ever moves in one direction, the pendulum has swung back the other way. Anxiety is a completely natural response to these events. Acting on those emotions, though, can end up doing us more harm than good. There are a number of Read more…

Heads or Tails? Either Way, You Might Beat a Stock Picker

Imagine a world where investors in the stock market have no skill whatsoever. The investors themselves don’t understand this, however, and many truly believe that they are good at what they do. But in this thought experiment, there’s no doubt about the underlying reasons for fund managers’ success: When they turn in an outstanding performance, Read more…

Ten Stocks for Ten Years

‘Ten Stocks for Ten Years’ – that was the headline in The Australian Financial Review nearly 5 years ago. The paper had interviewed analysts to identify 10 stocks to ride out the next decade with. Nearly half way through, how are they going? Resource and energy stocks topped the AFR’s December 2009 list of the Read more…

Great financial planning finally has a value: 23 per cent more in retirement

Financial planners are familiar with alpha and beta as drivers of long-term investment portfolio returns; but now there’s a third letter to add to the lexicon – gamma – and according to Morningstar, it’s the value created that can be directly attributed to sound financial planning. Portfolios optimised using five techniques identified by David Blanchett, Read more…

Sliding Doors: The Financial Sequel

Sound investing for the long term is not just about sticking to your chosen pathway. It also means staying off those investment paths that can derail your journey. In the 1998 British-American romantic comedy ‘Sliding Doors’, the story revolves around two contrasting life outcomes for the central character, played by Gwyneth Paltrow, all stemming from Read more…

Investor Rocket Science

When the media raises the subject of beating the market through astute stock picking, the name ‘Warren Buffett’ is usually cited. But what does this legendary investor actually say about the smart way to invest? Buffett is considered to have such a track record of picking stock winners and avoiding losers that his annual letter Read more…

Financial Fashion Victim

The global fashion industry is fickle by nature, pushing and then pulling trends to keep hapless consumers forever turning over their wardrobes. Much of the financial services industry works the same way. Fashion designers, manufacturers and media operate by telling consumers what’s in vogue this year, thus artificially creating demand where none previously existed. What Read more…