MBA Financial ServicesOliver's Insights

Oliver's Insights

Geopolitical events like Brexit and Donald Trump’s election in the US “surprised” investors in 2016 but had no lasting negative impact on global financial markets. By last year investors were well focussed on geopolitical risks – Trump taking over as US President, Eurozone elections, the Communist Party Congress in China and rising risks around North...
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Growth just muddling along For the last few years the Australian economy has been meandering between 2-3% growth. This remained the case through last year with December quarter GDP up just 0.4%, and annual growth of 2.4% as a bounce a year ago dropped out. In the quarter growth was helped by consumer spending and...
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The period since the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) has seemed unusual in the sense that periodic crises and post GFC caution prevented the global economy from overheating and excesses building, in turn preventing the return of the conventional economic cycle. Many of course concluded this was permanent and that inflation would never rise again (with...
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Introduction If Australia has an Achille’s heal it’s the high and still rising level of household debt that has gone hand in hand with the surge in house prices relative to incomes. Whereas several comparable countries have seen their household debt to income ratios pull back a bit since the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), this...
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The pullback in shares seen over the last week or two has seen much coverage and generated much concern. This is understandable given the rapid falls in share markets seen on some days. From their highs to their recent lows, US and Japanese shares have fallen 10%, Eurozone shares have fallen 8%, Chinese shares have...
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2017 was unusual for US shares. While Japanese, European and Australian shares had decent corrections throughout the year of around 5 to 7%, the US share market as measured by the S&P 500 saw only very mild pullbacks of less than 3%. This was against the backdrop of a strongly rising trend thanks to very...
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Since the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) there have been a few occasions when many feared inflation was about to rebound and push bond yields sharply higher only to see growth relapse and deflationary concerns dominate. As a result, expectations for higher inflation globally has been progressively squeezed out to the point that few seem to...
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Although 2017 saw the usual worry list – around President Trump, elections in Europe, China, North Korea and Australian property – it was good for investors. Balanced super funds had returns around 10%, which is pretty good given inflation was around 2%. This year has started favourably but volatility may pick up as geopolitical threats...
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Two years after it first started raising interest rates in this cycle in December 2015, the Fed has increased rates for the fifth time, raising the Fed Funds rate another 0.25% to a target range of 1.25-1.5%. For the last two years, it has been right not to fear the Fed as tightening was conditional...
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2017 – a relatively smooth year By the standards of recent years, 2017 was relatively quiet. Sure there was the usual “worry list” – about Trump, elections in Europe, China as always, North Korea and the perennial property crash in Australia. And there was a mania in bitcoin. But overall it has been pretty positive...
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