technology trends and the value of thinking
The Value of Reading and Thinking
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The two big trends — over-valued markets and the shifting tectonic plates in the economy — are on a collision course. Being in a position to capitalise on the opportunities that are coming, is going to be one of those ‘getting it right’ moments in life…the ones that people think happen by luck. But, it wasn’t luck…it was due to taking the time to read and think.
A Window of Opportunity
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The International Monetary Fund increased its world growth forecast for 2018 and 2019. They expect the world to grow by 3.9% in 2018 and 2019. That is a 0.2% increase from the previous forecast.  But don’t get too comfortable with this synchronised world notion…it may not last long.
Do Kids Play with Toys Anymore?
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The latest to go is toymaker extraordinaire, Toys "R" Us. Like us, they know the online world provides content that is often more engaging and rewarding than anything you can find in the real world. And with myriad of video games and mobile applications available, it’s no surprise that the humble toy store couldn’t compete. This is a trend we are seeing in retail across the board.
Shorten Sounds Siren
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When (not if) the share market goes through a significant correction, and struggles to respond to stimulus efforts, dividends will be cut. Shorten’s proposed tax grab is going to end up as a ‘grab bag of nothing’…a bit like Swan’s mining tax. Shorten’s announcement was further confirmation of this inevitable outcome.
Aussie economy nearing crisis?
Early Warnings Flashing Amber for Aussie Economy
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Australia avoided the worst of the Global Financial Crisis’ fallout in 2008.  Australia´s economy is still growing…but very slowly. In fact, it’s growing at the slowest rate since the GFC. Consumer spending is sluggish, household debt is at almost 200% of disposable income. Australians are saving less, but they’re not spending. Their money is covering higher bills as prices go up and incomes stay put.  
Looking for Higher Returns Could Cost You
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In Australia, low interest rates are pushing investors to look for higher returns. Hybrid securities have been gaining ground. However, hybrids are very different from saving accounts. For a start, they are NOT covered by the government guarantee scheme, and the issuer does not guarantee the investment will be repaid...
What Will Force the RBA’s Hand?
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Much like the rest of the market, I don’t think there will be a move up this year. That means that the record run of flat rates looks set to continue. However, what will change this view very quickly are the two factors that go hand in hand — wages and inflation.
Complacency Breeds Stupidity
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As a society we’re ill-prepared for a sustained period of financial hardship. The good times — credit funded lifestyles we cannot afford — have gone on for so long that we consider this as normal. I can assure you that it is not. The piper has to be paid.
The High Stakes in Copper’s Future
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Copper prices have retreated once again. Currently, it’s down 0.8% to US$6,810 per tonne. But traders are looking to the future and in turn, the futures market. And some of the stakes are growing to extremes.
dollary symbol holding up property market
Property Market Incentives are Drying Up
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Easy credit and low interest rates have meant a booming housing market. What do you think a cut on credit and higher interest rates will mean for the housing market? Developers are now offering incentives to buy property. Another sign that the property market is slowing.
The Interest-Only Craze Is Setting Us Up for Disaster
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Interest-only mortgages may seem quite attractive at first. For one, opening payments are lower. This makes the loan look more affordable for people worried about taking on a large mortgage. And with house prices climbing in recent years — much faster than inflation and salaries — that is a worry.
The Radical Shift Hitting Aussie Exports
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With our wide-open space, clean air and natural wonders, Australia is an exporter’s dream. It’s no surprise that our natural resources are coveted worldwide. However, the export industry in Australia also has a dark side…
Paved Paradise and Put Up an Apartment Block
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‘Air rights’ weren’t a thing in Australia until a few years ago. Even then, it mirrored the US, where air rights were mostly protecting the space around important buildings. Of course, things change. Now air rights mean something more than just views. Instead of paving paradise and putting a parking lot, the new twist is to rip up the parking lot and put in an apartment block.
bank stocks CBA
What Lies Ahead for the Big Bank Stocks?
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Banks are the backbone of many investors’ portfolios. Their steady and growing dividends have been a boon for income investors. They are our biggest dividend payers. But could this all be about to change?
The End of the Strong Aussie Dollar
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The Aussie dollar is getting a boost from stronger commodity prices. Recent price rises have helped push the dollar higher. In my view, I think it pays to watch what the Aussie dollar does this year. The Aussie dollar has had a strong start to the year. However, it may be more cyclical than anything to do with the underlying strength in the Aussie dollar.
Aussie Dollar in 2018: Up or Down?
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The RBA cash rate, whether higher or lower than in the US, makes little difference to the Australian dollar in the medium term. In my view, when it comes to forecasting the Aussie dollar, the only thing worth following is commodity prices. That’s because Australia is a resource-driven economy.
Time to Get Bearish on the Aussie Dollar
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A lower Aussie dollar may benefit the commodity sector and other export-reliant businesses. But it also drives up prices for consumers. Because we import so many goods, a lower currency means that you’ll pay more for goods.
Italy could spark gold bull market
Italy to Spark the Coming Gold Bull Market
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To be honest, most people are downplaying the vote. There’s a serious risk that we’ll see a referendum by year’s end. I believe Italy will hold a referendum to leave the Eurozone this year. You can’t ignore the majority of Italians voted for Eurosceptic parties.
What the Italian Election Could Mean for Gold
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Thanks to Merkel’s hard-line policies, multiple countries could leave the European Union within the next five years. Will Italy be next following the Italian election? It’s clear that people aren’t happy and want something different. That’s why we’re seeing old governments thrown out and extreme politicians, whether left or right, elected around the world.
The New Golden Rule
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Repeated international economic sanctions continue to encourage Russian President Vladimir Putin to look for new ways to avoid the US dollar. Russia’s increasing gold reserves shouldn’t be ignored. Even though the precious metal isn’t at the centre of the financial system today, gold still equals power. Late last year, however, Russia added a new twist to the story. 
Italian flag with coins representing Italy's debt
Italy Throws a Spanner on EU’s Plans
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It’s been over a week since the Italian election. The French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, were planning for more integration. They want to continue with a banking union to protect members in case of another financial crisis.
Is This the Future of Money?
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In a crisis, cash is king. But with physical cash disappearing, we are losing control over our own money. Cryptos, being outside of the system, could give you another option to access cash to buy necessities or move money in a time of crisis.
Is There a Future for Cryptos?
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All appears quiet in the world of crypto. The roaring optimism we saw last year has died down considerably. Though, right now, new cryptos are popping up all the time. Blockchain innovations are even more prevalent. Clearly, the crypto market is still alive and kicking.
Is Bitcoin Dead?
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The truth is that bitcoin divides the financial community. US Securities and Exchange Commission may be cracking down on ICOs, but the crypto space doesn’t care. The fact that institutions like Goldman Sachs are investing in the crypto space and blockchain could mean that they are here to stay.

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