It's been quite a time for the markets this August. First the Reserve Bank cut the Official Cash Rate to a new record low of 1 per cent and last week we observed the first inversion of the US yield curve between two-year bonds and 10-year bonds since 2007.
New Zealand appears to be stuck in an economic malaise. Household debt has never been higher, wage growth tends to lag, and gross domestic product per capita (everyone’s share of the economic pie) annual growth has been shrinking. And this was with interest rates already at record lows. Solution? Cut interest rates further.
Ross Asset Management was the biggest Ponzi-scheme ever happened in NZ when it unfolded in 2012 – it is said investors had $450 million with Ross but only $10m was recovered. In reality the figure invested was closer to $110m as most of the $450m were accumulated fictious returns. About 200 have signed up to the claim so far.
Given how unfathomable the game of cricket is for the uninitiated (and initiated) I am at pains to reference such a wonderfully convoluted activity; however, sometimes sport offers up such vivid examples of our behavioural biases in action that it proves irresistible subject matter.
The hype in new IPOs continues to be huge. The recent announcement by Hawke’s Bay Regional Council approving to float a 45% stake in the Napier Port on July 15th has stirred up a lot of interest among many investors in New Zealand.
Heard of Warren Buffett? You probably have. You might not really know much about him, but that’s ok. World’s most famous investor. World’s greatest investor. Take your pick. He’s reasonably well known and has been reasonably successful, to put it mildly.
An adviser once said he did not so much have people with investment problems as he had investments with people problems. Your assumed rationality can vanish in a crisis. So why not build your human imperfections into your game plan?
In Greek mythology Sirens were beautiful half-bird/half female creatures, but you couldn’t trust their appearance. They lured passing sailors with beautiful music and melody toward their island home. While not quite as dramatic, the world of investing has never been short of sirens and their songs. These mostly manifest, not in tune, but in story.
As a topic of conversation, investment is like sports. Everyone has an opinion. And the strongest opinions often come from those who spend more time in front of the TV than out on the field. Practitioners, meanwhile, are wary of anything labelled a sure thing.
Investment fads are nothing new. When selecting strategies for their portfolios, investors are often tempted to seek out the latest and greatest investment opportunities.
Making sensible investment decisions is difficult. We are subject to a range of behavioural biases. We have to cope with incessant noise around financial markets. We behave in ways that are inconsistent with our long-term investment objectives. So, what can we do about it?
Finance journalists tend to write lots of articles about industries or sectors because these stories fit a current narrative. In the tech stock boom, it was the information revolution. In the mining boom, it was the rise of China.
Although financial markets are awash with randomness and uncertainty, there are obvious, vital and, often simple, cues that as investors we seemingly choose to ignore or disregard. This results in poor choices and often disappointing outcomes.
We'd all love for the market to go on a tear forever, reaching record highs and blowing minds; but the truth is, downturns are a reality, particularly if you are a long-term investor.
One old adage about investment is that you buy a bunch of reliable stocks, stick them in your bottom drawer and forget about them. That ignores one pesky fact: nothing stays the same.
Go back to the 1995 film, Clueless. After a driving lesson goes terribly wrong, the valley kids are almost squashed by a tractor-trailer, harassed by a motorcycle gang, and given the finger for driving too slowly by old people. If only they had remained in their comfort zone and taken their lesson on quiet residential streets rather than a 12-lane highway!
New Zealand's house prices have been ranked the most overvalued in the developed world behind only Hong Kong. The Kiwi housing market was also deemed to be the fifth most at-risk among OECD nations, according to an Oxford Economics report.
There's been a lot of noise in TV & print media finance reports in the past one month. But have you ever wondered that if there are so many sellers out there, who is buying?
In almost every area of life – whether it's marriage, the workplace, or taking care of our health – we are often our own worst enemies. The realm of personal finance is no different. What's the biggest threat to achieving financial independence? Unfortunately, it's your own brain.
The Tarzino Trophy Daffodil Raceday on September 1 launches Group 1 racing for the season, bringing the big guns of New Zealand racing to Hastings, to battle at one of the country's stellar racing events.