As Warren Buffett once said: “There seems to be a perverse human characteristic that makes easy things difficult.” This has particularly been the case with investing where complexity has multiplied with new products, new ways to access various investments, tax changes and new regulations, all with social media adding to the noise. But it’s really quite simple and this can be demonstrated in charts...



Statistics show that 'baby boomers' are simply refusing to retire, and instead, are choosing to start new businesses. The same trend also applies to the recently retrenched, which is great news for the Australian economy and financial markets....


It's now 12 months since the British voted to leave the European Union, an event that some saw as setting off a domino effect of other European countries looking to do the same. This was also followed by a messy election result in Australia, Donald Trump's surprise victory in the US presidential election, increasing concern around North Korea and a steady flow of terrorist attacks.

The combination of which seemed to highlight that geopolitics is now more important, and perhaps more threatening, for investors than had previously been the case. But while political developments have figured highly over the last year, the impact on markets has been benign. Since the Brexit vote, global shares are up 22% and Australian shares are up 13%.

So what gives? This note looks at the main issues. Read more here

Trump Tantrum?

Since the US elections back in November, the 'Trump Trade' has sharply boosted global share markets, based on the promise of lower taxes, less regulation and other 'pro-growth' policies. After a lengthy period of economic 'stagnation' (not quite true), the prospect of Donald Trump ushering-in a thrilling, no-holds-barred period of Reaganesque optimism is an intoxicating idea, no doubt contributing to his election in the first place.

But is all of this about to come unstuck? Quite possibly.

With a Presidency already under fire for possible Russian collusion, bogus wiretapping claims and a myriad of other missteps, you could be forgiven for thinking that you've just stepped out of a time machine and it's 1974 all over again.

Nixon aside, Trump's massively eroded political capital and growing credibility problem points to short-term danger for the sharemarket. If Trump is no longer trusted, or even liked, his capacity to swiftly enact his pro-growth agenda is suddenly at risk, and with it, the quick sharemarket gains made since last November.

And Trump's first litmus test will be tonight's vote on his revised healthcare bill. If the vote doesn't pass or is post-postponed, markets will be rattled. Brace yourself, but don't forget the opportunities that come with uncertainty - we've been here before.

Rick Maggi

honeymoon over?


Since the US election last November, US and global shares rallied around 8% and Australian shares rallied around 12%. But with Trump now inaugurated as President we are at a point where that optimism is being tested. Read on...


Today’s US election results were a surprise to most and are likely to have a short-term impact on global share markets. Locally, our markets fell by just under 2% today, erasing gains made over the last two days - yes, after all of the media hysteria today (ie $34 billion ‘wiped off’ the sharemarket etc) markets are merely back to Monday’s levels.

Looking ahead, US markets look as if they might fall by roughly the same percentage this evening as investors weigh the potential pros and cons of a Trump presidency.

As we’ve seen before, these kinds of knee jerk reactions are typically short term in nature, so I would strongly suggest just ignoring the ‘noise’ over the coming weeks, and even consider taking advantage of market weakness, as long as you’re prepared to accept some short-term volatility.

We’ll continue to monitor the situation closely.

Interesting reading...

Shane Oliver

Bloomberg                                                                                                                                    Rick Maggi


Scams: Be Aware


More than 105,000 scams were reported to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) last year, resulting in losses of more than $84 million. And that's just the tip of the iceberg: many more scams went unreported, often because the victim was too embarrassed to tell authorities about the crime.

To help combat the increasing number of scams, Macquarie Bank have compiled a list of the 12 most common ones they've come across.

See the list here



There will be added interest in the Federal Budget announcement next week (May 3rd) as it's likely to be the final major economic statement the Government makes before the election later this year, quite possibly July 2nd. With the opposition taking a strong stance on capital gains tax and negative gearing, we're looking at a focus this year on taxation. Corporate tax could be cut by up to 1.5% however, there is likely to be minimal, if any, relief in terms of personal income tax.

There may also be some changes to superannuation. Some potential changes might be reduced contribution caps, the concessional 15% tax on super contributions, an end to 'Transition to Retirement' pensions and taxes on superannuation pension payments.

Overall, the outlook is for minimal growth in government spending, with spending offset by savings elsewhere in the Budget.

Where sharemarkets are concerned, historically we have seen some sideways tracking in past election years, but there has been no evidence to date of a lasting impact caused by an election. In fact, Australian economic growth has actually been strong during election years since 1980.

We'll be watching the announcements closely next week and will keep our clients informed of any meaningful developments.

For more information, contact Rick Maggi on 9382 8885 or