CPD: From global to local – Lockdown insights and what it might mean for investors

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While everyone’s individual experience of this global pandemic has been different, there are many shared experiences that we hope readers will be familiar with. In short, the adaptations we have made as a society have changed the way we live and work. Might these new behaviours give a clue as to what industries and companies... Read more

CPD: Australian housing prices – how worried should we be?

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Summary Over the past three years Australian house prices have mostly moved sideways, rising or falling by around 10% per year. When prices started falling in 2018, we saw little reason to be concerned as housing affordability remained strong, unemployment was low and interest rates had room to fall. This setup the conditions for the... Read more

CPD: Halley’s Comet and Life Insurance economics 101

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Edmund Halley (1656 – 1742) was a remarkably talented man of science, who made important contributions to mathematics, physics, and of course, astronomy. A peer of Sir Isaac Newton (apple, gravity etc), Halley’s most public legacy is the comet named in his honour after he correctly predicted the frequency of its appearance (roughly every 75... Read more

CPD: Global small caps – An underappreciated and underutilised alpha sleeve

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Many investors and advisers recognise that a diversified portfolio should include an allocation to equities across the market capitalisation spectrum. This allows investors to capture the “small-cap premium” which has shown persistence over medium and long-term investment horizons. In this article from GSFM’s investment partner, Toronto-based global small cap specialists Cambridge Global Asset Management, the... Read more

CPD: Factor investing in action, across regions, cycles and asset classes

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In article one of this two-part series Factor investing – an introduction[1], we introduced the concept of factor investing, exploring its origins and academic basis, the nature of commonly used factors, and the various ways investors can access factor-based strategies. In this second part we take a more in-depth look at factor investing in action,... Read more

CPD: Surviving the dividend drought

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Introduction The Australian market declined sharply from the 20 February high of 7,160 to the 23 March low of 4,536, and has since recovered to over 6,000 at the time of writing. The decline was driven by fears and uncertainty of the extent of the medical crisis, and the economic consequence of isolation and the... Read more

CPD: Factor investing – an introduction

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Introduction Any list of the hottest topics in investment management circles over the last few years is almost certain to contain ‘Factor Investing’. Sitting between highly active, alpha seeking investing and low-cost, index hugging investments, factor investing is effectively a ‘third pillar of investing’, combining the transparent, rules-based and low-cost nature of passive investing with... Read more

CPD: Economic freeze sends US oil price sub-zero

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While reviewing the overnight market on the 21st of April 2020, no doubt we were not alone in taking a moment or two to comprehend the number we saw. West Texas Intermediate, the US benchmark set out of Cushing, Oklahoma, was showing a price for the May contract as low as negative USD 37 per... Read more

CPD: Fed to go negative? Any idea can seem ‘crazy’ until it becomes fact

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The market is becoming focused on whether the Federal Reserve (Fed) will take rates negative. Admittedly, Powell has thrown a bit of cold water on it by saying that they haven’t considered it, and almost every economist I have read seems to be saying it’s not going to happen. But that doesn’t mean the idea... Read more

CPD: The outlook for dividends in a world of yield starvation

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There remains much uncertainty regarding the depth, breadth and length of the COVID-19 recession. For example, the Global Economic Policy Uncertainty Index (compiled by academics from Stanford, Chicago, and Northwestern) stands at a record high and almost twice its level during the global financial crisis (GFC). Bill Priest, CFA, Executive Chairman, co-CIO and portfolio manager... Read more