2018 Investment Year in Review

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Key Take-outs

  • The comfy armchair ride global share investors experience during 2017 turned into a white-knuckled roller-coaster in 2018.
  • Key global share markets came under significant selling pressure from September on, with the US market falling sharply as the year ended.
  • After starting to fall in late 2017, residential property price falls accelerated in Sydney and Melbourne during 2018, while Hobart rose strongly.
  • Cryptocurrency, the investment mania of 2017, crashed in spectacular fashion, with Bitcoin falling 80% during 2018 .
  • 2018 proved there is no such thing as riskless returns, and that the occasional burst of volatility is the price of admission that all investors have to pay to receive returns better than Cash (i.e. 0% p.a. after inflation and before tax).
  • Low-cost diversification is still the single best way to get your fair share of market returns without flaming out on a single bet (ahem, #CryptoLife).

In our 2018 Financial Year in Review (for the year to 30 June 2018) we spoke about the unusual calm that had dominated markets during 2017, noting that “… 2017 produced a Goldilocks-like investment environment of steadily rising asset valuations.”

Unfortunately, as anyone who is familiar with the fairy tale knows, Goldilocks made herself at home in a stranger’s house, assuming it was a riskless act, only to be surprised by three angry bears unimpressed by her sense of self-entitlement.

As with Goldilocks, many share investors were lulled into a false sense of security during 2018, only to be mauled by a bear of a market.

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6 finance apps that make your life easier

 

As you’re answering emails or responding to Slack notifications on the go, you may wonder if devices like the smartphone really make your life better. But, there’s little doubt that in many ways, they can make life easier.

Need to know what time it is in New York? “Hey Siri!”

Like it or not, our phones and tablets mean that answers are in the palm of our hands.

So why should it be any different for our finances?
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5 ways to take control of your finances in your 20s

For many, your twenties are the years in which your finances are the most stretched. You’re probably trying to save for a house, a new car or a trip, as well as trying to keep up appearances at all the social events. But it’s also the time in your life when you should be setting yourself up to be financially secure for years to come.

So how do you balance it all and learn to take control of your finances?

We asked Bessie Hassan, money expert at finder.com.au for her 5 tips on how to get yourself on the road to financial freedom.
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4 things you need to do before you start investing

A research report from RMIT on women and money in Australia found that 48% of women were not willing to take any financial risks at all. For many women, their hard earned savings is not something they are prepared to risk.

A common perception of your typical investor is what we see in mainstream media from movies like The Wolf of Wall Street. What we aren’t shown is that there are several ways to invest and many of them don’t involve speculating on hot stocks.

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6 budget-friendly ideas for Valentine’s Day

 

Heart shape made with heart-shaped candies

Call us romantics, but if you have someone special in your life, you should be celebrating that love on a regularly basis – not just on Valentine’s Day. The smaller gestures make a big difference. However, we don’t blame you if you want to take that special someone out for a date this Valentine’s Day. But no need to spend a fortune because that’s not what romance is about.

Here are 6 budget-friendly ideas on how to spend your Valentine’s Day. Continue reading “6 budget-friendly ideas for Valentine’s Day”

2017: The Investment Year in Review

financial markets

Another year is behind us. 2017 was a year where politics, both global and domestic, seemed to dominate the news, from the ongoing turmoil in the White House, to the Parliamentary citizenship debacle here, and the historic passing of the same sex marriage legislation just as the year drew to a close.  

On the investment front, most markets and asset classes delivered returns significantly above the forecasts of a year ago. 2017 was a year in which risk was amply rewarded, with global sharemarkets in general, and emerging markets in particular, producing outsized returns for investors.  

Clover portfolio options benefited from the strong run up in global sharemarkets during 2017, in being constructed to provide more exposure to international shares relative to Australian shares, a positioning that added to relative returns during the year.

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The case for being frugal (and how to make it happen)

living frugally

‘Frugal’.

It’s a word many of us associate with being cheap, mean with money or stingy – just like Scrooge McDuck. Although wealthy, Disney’s Scrooge is a particularly greedy, cruel and selfish miser who keeps his cash in a giant money bin and is reluctant to even pay Donald a mere 5 cents an hour to polish his coins.

But Scrooge gives the word ‘frugal’ a very bad name. Taken out of the Disney world, some might think a frugal duck is one who is paranoid about money, stealing everything not nailed down from a hotel room and stashing 25 cafe satchels of sugar in their pockets after a coffee.

But frugal just means fiscally conservative – or smart with money. And who doesn’t want to be smart?

Here are the real benefits of being a bit more frugal:

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6 investing mistakes young Australians make

investing mistakes

Ask a seasoned Australian investor, and they will have little doubt about why they put their money to work. They’re thinking about retirement, paying off homes and giving their kids a financial boost, building great businesses – building wealth.

But when it comes to younger Australians, it’s more challenging to encourage them to start making smart investment choices. The vast majority don’t invest at all, with many saying they can’t afford it or simply don’t know enough.

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10 new year’s resolutions Millennials should be making for 2018

sleeping puppy

Straight after Christmas and right as the new year starts is often a time for a bit of reflection and self-evaluation.

While most years we might spend this time throwing together a list of unachievable resolutions that sounds a little something like ‘stop eating entire tubes of Pringles’ and ‘run five kilometres every morning’, we’ve come up with a list of 10 New Year’s resolutions that are not only achievable, but worthwhile and fairly simple.

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