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Oliver’s Insights

June 4th, 2018
China’s economy is pretty stable – but what about high debt levels and other risks?

Key points Chinese economic growth has been stable since 2016 at around 6.8%. Expect Chinese growth this year of around 6.5% and inflation of 2.5-3%. Key risks regarding China relate to the policy focus shifting to reducing leverage and reform, rapid … Continue reading

May 22nd, 2018
Italy is a worry - but there’s 3 reasons not to be concerned about an Itexit and Eurozone shares are attractive

Key points A populist coalition government in Italy is negative for Italian assets. Lingering uncertainty about a push for Italy to exit the Euro is likely a negative for the Euro too, though an Itexit and a Euro break up remain unlikely. … Continue reading

May 17th, 2018
An additional 21 great investment quotes

Introduction Investing can be frustrating and depressing at times, particularly if you don’t understand how markets work and don’t have the right mindset. The good news is that the basics of investing are timeless, and some have a knack of encapsulating these in … Continue reading

May 8th, 2018
The 2018-19 Australian Budget – saving a windfall with the hope of (decent) tax cuts to come

Key points The 2018-19 contains a small welcome boost to households and keeps the budget on track for a surplus. The main risk is that the revenue boost seen this year is not sustained & the budget continues to have relatively optimistic assumptions … Continue reading

May 2nd, 2018
After the Australian household debt and east coast housing booms – interest rates on hold until 2020

Key points The RBA has left interest rates on hold for 21 months. A rate hike is now unlikely until 2020: as growth is likely to remain weaker than the RBA expects; wages growth and inflation are likely to remain low for … Continue reading

April 12th, 2018
US China trade war fears – Q & A

Key points President Trump’s actions on trade are mainly aimed at achieving better access for US exports to China and better treatment of US intellectual property by China. They are not primarily aimed at traditional US allies, reducing the risk … Continue reading

April 9th, 2018
Falling Sydney & Melbourne home prices – is this the crash? What about other cities & the impact on the economy?

Key points Property prices in Sydney and Melbourne likely have more downside, but a crash is  unlikely in the absence of much higher mortgage rates, much higher supply and a long continuation of recent high construction activity. Other cities will perform better. Property … Continue reading

March 27th, 2018
Share market volatility - Trump and trade war risks

Key points Worries about the Fed, trade wars (the risk of which has been significantly exaggerated) and President Trump generally have increased the risk around the global outlook but are unlikely to drive a major bear market. The key issue … Continue reading

March 21st, 2018
Where are we in the unlisted commercial property cycle?

Key points Australian unlisted commercial property returns have been very strong this decade thanks largely to the “search for attractive yield” by investors. This return driver is expected to start to fade but rising rents, particularly in the south-east office markets, will provide an … Continue reading

March 14th, 2018
Tariffs, Trump, North Korea and other global political risks in the Year of the Dog

Key points Geopolitical issues generate much interest as dinner party conversations but don’t necessarily have a significant impact on markets, apart from a bit of noise. But given a backlash against economic rationalist policies, the falling relative power of the US & the … Continue reading

March 8th, 2018
The Australian economy - five reasons growth will continue but unlikely to be enough to justify rate hikes until 2019

Key points The Australian economy grew 2.4% through 2017, good but well below potential  given high population growth. There is good reason to expect growth to continue and pick up a bit: the drag from falling mining investment is nearly … Continue reading

February 21st, 2018
The “gradually” maturing investment cycle – what is the risk of a US recession?

Key points With inflationary pressures starting to rise in the US the global investment cycle is starting to get more mature. This is likely to mean a further rise in bond yields and more share market volatility. However, there is still little sign … Continue reading

February 14th, 2018
Australian’s love affair with debt – how big is the risk?

Key points Household debt levels in Australia are high compared to other countries and still rising. The rise is not as bad as it looks because its been matched by rising wealth and debt servicing problems are low. However, this could change as … Continue reading

February 9th, 2018
The pullback in shares – seven reasons not to be too concerned

Key points The current pullback in shares has been triggered by worries around US inflation, the Fed and rising bond yields but made worse by an unwinding of bets that volatility would continue to fall. We may have seen the worst, but it’s … Continue reading

February 5th, 2018
Correction time for shares?

Key points The US share market is long overdue a decent correction. This now appears to be unfolding and may have further to go as higher inflation, a slightly more aggressive Fed and higher bond yields are factored in. This … Continue reading

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Tony Laycock

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