David Bassanese
+ About David Bassanese

David Bassanese is one of Australia’s leading economic and financial market analysts, who has authored several investment books and works in a number of advisory roles.

David is Chief Economist at BetaShares, which involves providing economic and investment portfolio advice to both retail and institutional investors. David is also an economic advisor to the National Institute for Economic and Industry Research.

Prior to these roles, David was Economics Commentator with The Australian Financial Review, where is regular “Bassanese” column appeared three times per week, as well as monthly in Smart Investor Magazine.

David’s analysis and commentaries cover local and international economic trends, interest rates, the exchange rate, and share market analysis.

Prior to becoming a Fairfax business columnist in 2003, David spent several years in financial markets as a senior economist and interest rate strategist at Bankers Trust and Macquarie Bank. David started his career at the Federal Treasury in Canberra, after which he spent several years as a research economist at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris, France.

David has authored two e-books: The Australian ETF Guide: cheap and easy investment strategies using exchange traded funds (ETFs), and The Australian Investor’s Guide to Asset Allocation.

David has a first class honours degree in Economics from the University of Adelaide, and a Master in Public Policy from the J.F Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Is the worst yet to come?

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Share markets have bounced back over the past week, but technically and fundamentally it is still hard to be confident the worst is over. I’d prefer to have seen a little more blood on the streets. Technically, for example, America’s S&P 500 has so far experienced only a relatively modest 7.4% peak-to-trough pull back in closing prices – which cannot, therefore, even be labelled a ‘correction’. And the V-shaped bounce in the market since last Thursday came from typically short-term oversold conditions, with the daily relative strength index down to around 30. Prices overnight broke back above their 200-day moving average. Prices will now need to hold above this key technical level for at least a few days to give me more confidence. Fundamentally, the full article ›
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John McGrath
Property Expert
+ About John McGrath

John McGrath is considered one of the most influential figures in the Australian property industry. As Chief Executive of McGrath Estate Agents, he took the company from a lounge room start-up in 1988 to one of Australia's most successful residential real estate groups, selling $10.1 billion in residential property in FY14.

A total solution company, McGrath Estate Agents currently has offices located throughout Sydney, North Coast, Central Coast, Southern Highlands, South Coast, the ACT and Queensland, as part of its growing franchise network.

In October 2008, he was honoured by the Real Estate Institute of NSW with the Woodrow Weight OBE Award, a lifetime achievement award for his outstanding contribution to the real estate industry.

John himself has become a spokesperson for the industry both in Australia and internationally. John has five books that have reached bestseller status including “You Don’t Have To Be Born Brilliant” and “You Inc.”. In “The Ultimate Guide to Real Estate”, John shares with the reader his invaluable knowledge on the Australian property market.

Regional & coastal QLD markets & suburb picks

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

by John McGrath A few weeks ago I wrote about the exciting things happening in Brisbane but there’s also plenty of great news outside the capital, which is what I’d like to tell you about this week. Some of the trends we are seeing in Brisbane – such as strong activity among upgrading local families & increasing interest from both local & southern state investors is being mirrored in key regional & coastal communities. Some of the important trends in regional & coastal QLD markets are as follows: Big infrastructure projects on the Sunshine Coast (new public & private university hospitals, Maroochydore CBD redevelopment) & in Toowoomba ($100M Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport opening this year & the $1.6B Second Range Crossing starting mid-2015) the full article ›
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Janine Perrett
+ About Janine Perrett

Janine Perrett has a distinguished 30 year career in Australian broadcasting and newspapers. In the 1980’s she worked in London and New York as a foreign correspondent for The Australian newspaper.

In the 1990’s she worked as a television reporter for the Nine Network on the Sunday and Business Sunday programs. She also founded The Small Business Show and was presenter of that program for its nine year run.

Since then she has worked as a guest presenter on ABC radio and a columnist for News Ltd and the Sydney Morning Herald.

In 2007 she was awarded the prestigious Knight fellowship at Stanford University for a year.

Today she can be seen on Sky News television where she hosts The Perrett Report each night and is a regular panelist and guest presenter on Paul Murray Live and other Sky programs.

Please explain

Friday, October 24, 2014

"Cormann yanks watchdog's leash" read the wonderful headline in the Sydney Morning Herald Business Day section yesterday. It all began with the bizarre outburst by ASIC chairman Greg Medcraft on Wednesday when he told a business lunch that "Australia is a paradise for white-collar criminals". I was taken aback; so were many others, including, apparently, his boss Finance Minister Senator Mathias Cormann. He quickly asked Medcraft for a "please explain". As the good senator told a senate estimates hearing yesterday, he immediately contacted the ASIC chief. Senator Cormann told the Senate that he said to Medcraft, "Do you believe Australia is a paradise for white collar criminals, because if that is what he believed I would be very concerned".  He went on about Medcraft's the full article ›
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Michael Witts
+ About Michael Witts


RBA cash rate unchanged at 2.5%

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

by Michael Witts What were the reasons behind today's rate decision?  The RBA left the cash rate unchanged at 2.5 per cent, following its monthly Board meeting.  Despite expectations of a meaningful change in commentary, the RBA left their comments largely unchanged this month. From their viewpoint, accommodative monetary policy is still required for a further period to support growth in demand across the economy. This is especially the case given the slowdown in investment spending and, as yet, the increased capacity that this creates has not been taken up in other sectors of the economy. Overall, the RBA expects growth to be below trend for several quarters into the future. Against this background the RBA repeated that there will be a period of stability ahead for the full article ›
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Craig James
Economy Expert
+ About Craig James

Craig James is CommSec’s Chief Economist.

He became chief economist of Colonial Group in September 1987, before becoming chief economist at CommSec in August 2000 with the Commonwealth takeover of Colonial.

CommSec economic reports are a bit different in that they devise tools such as the ‘Mums and Dads’ share index and the iPod index, and undertake research on the weather and demographic changes to show how they affect the economy.

Craig currently does around 2-3 regular TV crosses a day, ad hoc radio and newspaper interviews and writes regular commentaries as well as presenting to staff, clients and external organisations.

RBA can rest easy on inflation

Friday, October 24, 2014

Consumer price index Tame inflation: the Consumer Price Index – the main measure of inflation in Australia – rose by 0.5 per cent in the September quarter, in line with expectations. In seasonally adjusted terms the CPI rose by 0.1 per cent. The CPI stands 2.3 per cent higher than a year ago. Underlying measures: the Reserve Bank monitors three measures to derive the underlying inflation rate. The trimmed mean rose by 0.4 per cent in the September quarter (2.5 per cent annual); the weighted median rose by 0.6 per cent (2.6 per cent annual) and the CPI less volatile items rose by 0.4 per cent (2.1 per cent annual). Overall, underlying inflation rose by 0.5 per cent in the quarter and around 2.4 per cent over the year. The Bureau of Statistics noted: “The the full article ›
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Olivia Long
+ About Olivia Long

Olivia Long is a Founder and Executive Director of Xpress Super. She is currently the Chief Executive Officer for SuperGuardian Pty Ltd, Xpress Super and PortfolioGuardian. She has had more than 16 years of experience in the Financial Services Industry predominantly in management roles and joined SuperGuardian in 2004. She studied a Bachelor of Communication (Marketing) and various courses with the Financial Services Institute of Australia. She is an active member of SPAA - The SMSF Professionals' Association Australia, a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and has over 9 years experience in self-managed superannuation.

In SMSF trustees investing, we trust

Friday, October 17, 2014

by Olivia Long In all my time in the SMSF industry, I have yet to find a trustee who has had a flippant attitude about their superannuation. People – typically a husband and wife – decide to set up an SMSF after serious deliberation; it’s rarely a spur-of-the moment decision.When you consider their backgrounds that’s hardly surprising, with a solid majority coming from the ranks of professionals, farmers, and small business people. These are people who are used to making financial decisions, often tough financial decisions. So taking responsibility for their retirement savings is often the next logical step in their financial walk through life. In saying this, there are two caveats. First, they often need professional advice, especially on the investment the full article ›
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Ross Walker
+ About Ross Walker

Poly pill for heart attack survivors

Monday, September 22, 2014

by Ross Walker For a number of years, many experts in the cardiology world have been spruiking the potential benefits of a 'cure-all' poly pill with multiple cardiac medications in the one pill. One piece of madness from a few years back was the suggestion that everyone over the age of 55 should start popping this poly pill containing a standard dose of a soluble statin, Simvastatin, three half-strength blood pressure pills and low dose Aspirin. At the time, I expressed enormous concerns about this ‘one size fits all approach’ because of the significant potential for side effects and the important points that when given to everyone over a certain age, it would only benefit less than half those taking it for the obvious reason that less than half the population are the full article ›
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David Bates
+ About David Bates

David is the Managing Director of Workforce Guardian where he provides a wide range of strategic, practical and plain-English advice to Australian business owners and operators. He is deeply committed to assisting employers and is a passionate advocate of competition and free-enterprise.

David gained his BA (Government) from the University of Queensland in 1998 before going on to complete a Law degree, with Honours, in 2001. He began his career working for a large, blue-collar union before moving to Canada and then the United Kingdom where he was employed by both the Commission for Racial Equality and the UK Equality and Human Rights Commission.

David routinely represents employers in Fair Work-related proceedings and can assist with every aspect of employment relations compliance. David is also an accomplished and highly sought-after public speaker who facilitates dynamic, informative and highly interactive workshops on all aspects of industrial relations best-practice.

He is proud to lead a highly-qualified team of ER, HR and Technical professionals at Australia’s leading, online employment relations service.

Your questions answered

Sunday, October 19, 2014

by David Bates On 25 September I once again had the pleasure of joining Peter on his Sky News Business Program to discuss HR and workplace relations. My comments that evening about the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) and the Fair Work Commission (FWC) prompted a large number of questions from viewers. This week, I’m pleased to present answers to the most common questions we received after the show: What’s the difference between the FWO and the FWC? These are two quite different bodies with very distinct powers. Think of the FWO as the ‘police on the beat’. The FWO deals with complaints from aggrieved employees about wages and conditions, and it’s the FWO that employs Fair Work Inspectors who have the power to enter your business, interview you and your employees, the full article ›
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Colin Jowell
+ About Colin Jowell

Colin began his career as a business analyst for McKinsey Inc.

Since then, he has been in leading marketing roles in both digital media and hospitality, but has spent most of his career working for M&C Saatchi. He helped them start up their first South African and Malaysian offices before moving to Australia where he became Head of Strategy.

In April, he founded UDKU with two partners. UDKU helps clients solve business problems reach their full potential using a combination of strategy, innovation and communication.

The end of truth in journalism

Monday, October 20, 2014

by Colin Jowell When it comes to interplay between politics and journalism, the debate is vigorous. In the past few weeks Sharri Markson, media editor for The Australian, published a scathing ‘expose’ on journalism students ‘being taught to be biased against the Murdoch press’. Apparently, students were being told those publications had a bias. While I think such headlines as ‘Get this mob out’ (under the face of Kevin Rudd) might make Markson’s piece less ‘expose’ and more ‘moot point’, the ‘leftie press’ responded suitably and vigorously - including this well written piece by a soon-to-be journalism graduate, asserting that they are still taught as they should be, to examine things critically the full article ›
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Joanne Masters
+ About Joanne Masters

Jo Masters has 14 years of investment banking experience in Australia, with a focus on economic research and currency strategy.

Having completed a Master of Economics, Jo began her career at Macquarie Bank, initially in the Economics Team providing economic and financial market analysis and advice to clients and traders. She covered the major economies, Australia and New Zealand, as well as being integrally involved in setting up the Asian research base.

In 1999, Jo was asked to join the Foreign Exchange Division in the newly created role of Currency Strategist where she focused on G7 and commodity currencies providing written and verbal advice. In 2001 she joined the Corporate Sales Team specialising in wholesale institutional trading with clients including AMP, State Street, ING and the Reserve Bank of Australia. Jo regularly appeared as an expert commentator on CNBC, Bloomberg, Sky and various newswires.

Jo is currently working as a freelance financial writer, with a keen interest in currency markets.

Don’t forget the chase for yield

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

by Joanne MastersFinancial markets have woken from their slumber, with the past month or so seeing dramatic moves across currencies, equities and bonds. The Northern Hemisphere is back from summer holidays, economic data has offered some surprises and thoughts are turning to what 2015 could bring. The Aussie dollar has not escaped the volatility, falling over US 7 cents since early September to flirt with January’s low of US 86.60. Renewed price action and volatility stand in contrast to the preceding months, where the Aussie stuck firmly in a tight range, despite shifting economic fundamentals. Meanwhile, the Australian share market has fallen nearly 10 per cent.  Many economists and analysts had been calling for a weaker Australian dollar for some time (although the the full article ›
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Raymond Chan
+ About Raymond Chan

Raymond joined Morgans Financial Limited (formerly RBS Morgans) in 2003 and established the Asian Desk in 2005. As the #1 revenue adviser in Sydney office, Raymond accepted the challenge to set up the Macquarie Street office in 2011, providing strategic advice and managing portfolio for high net worth individuals and institutions.  Prior  to the current position, he worked with Merrill Lynch and HSBC Securities.

Raymond is often invited to provide commentary for Australian leading media such as Sky News Business Channel, Australian Financial Review, SBS TV, SBS Radio, Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, Sunday Telegraph, Herald Sun, The Australian, TVB Jade, 2CR Radio Network and CRI Beijing

Raymond’s successes include:

* Advisory role to a Sovereign Fund, based in Southern China

* A$140 million share portfolio for a Singapore family

* A$100 million asset allocation Advice for Australian shares and properties for a major property developer in Hong Kong

* Share Portfolio Management to a resort island owner in Malaysia and Hordern Properties Group in Sydney.

Mr Chan is a JP, qualified Certified Practising Accountant (CPA) and Certified Financial Planner (CFP), CPA Financial Planning Specialist (FPS). Mr. Chan holds a master degree in commerce (funds management) with distinction average and bachelor degree in accounting and finance from the University of New South Wales.

Latte with Ray October edition

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

by Raymond ChanThis is not only a rare mass movement in Hong Kong, but also the Hong Kong police force’s second use of tear gas in the international financial hub. It is not difficult to imagine the impact of the news footage. The recent pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong has raised global concern. Stories of the movement appeared on headlines of major international media, including BBC and the Financial Times. The pro-democracy protests, first named by the UK media as the “umbrella revolution” on account of protesters defending themselves from tear gas and pepper spray by umbrellas. Apart from umbrellas, protesters armed themselves with umbrellas, goggles and surgical masks, with their skin covered in plastic wrap. The protesters have also been the full article ›
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Simon Bond
Shares Expert
+ About Simon Bond


Simon is 48 years of age and has been in the Investment world almost all his life.

Simon is a Partner at the Newport Office of Morgans Australia, after having spent almost 2 decades learning his trade in the heart of Stockbroking in Collins Street Melbourne at various firms.

Simon is fanatical about the way that technology and the Internet is altering the Investment landscape around the globe and focuses much of his outlook on how these profound changes will affect the outcomes and futures of investors everywhere.

The big dipper

Friday, October 17, 2014

by Simon Bond Investors always say they are going to buy the "dips”, that is until the dips come, then they consider selling. It has to do investor psychology. Behavioural economics is, in a way, at the intersection of economics and psychology. On one hand, traditional economic theory assumes that people are perfectly rational, patient, computationally proficient little economic robots that know objectively what makes them happy and make choices that maximise this happiness. (Even if traditional economists acknowledge that people aren’t perfect utility-maximisers, they usually argue that the deviations are random rather than showing evidence of consistent biases.) Behavioural economists, on the other hand, know better, they aim to develop models which account for the the full article ›
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Shane Oliver
Financial Markets
+ About Shane Oliver

Shane Oliver is head of investment strategy at chief economist at AMP Capital.

Weekly economic and market update

Monday, October 20, 2014

by Shane Oliver Investment markets and key developments over the past week Global shares had another rough week on worries about global growth and as the Ebola scare continued to build. Despite a rally in US and European shares on Friday most share markets fell with US shares down 1 per cent for the week, European shares down 0.8 per cent, Japanese shares down 6.1 per cent and Chinese shares down 1.4 per cent. However, Australian shares having led on the way down managed to rise over the last week as investors started to look for bargains. 8 per cent yields on Australian banks are hard to resist. Global shares are now down 7.4 per cent from their September high and Australian shares are down 6.8 per cent, although this has been pared from an 8.9 per cent decline to the low on the full article ›
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Jason Huljich
+ About Jason Huljich

Mr. Jason C. Huljich, B.Comm serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Direct Property Funds at Centuria Capital Limited. Mr. Huljich has been the Chief Executive Officer of Direct Property Funds at Centuria Property Funds Limited since 2006. He is also the Head of Property at OFM Investment Group. Mr. Huljich has been involved in investment property syndication in Australia since 1996. Mr. Huljich has been an Executive Director of Centuria Capital Limited. since November 2007. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Auckland.

End of financial year. Time to change everything. Or is it?

Monday, July 21, 2014

Are you sick of hearing about the end of the financial year and all the things you should be doing to re-assess your financial position? You’re not the only one. It’s true that ensuring your portfolio adequately reflects your investment objectives and time horizon is crucial for long-term success, but there’s no reason that the end of the financial year is the only time this can be done. In fact, quite the reverse. The fundamentals of good investment are just that, fundamentals. They shouldn’t change just because it’s the end of the financial year, they should be your focus all the time.Today I'll give my take on what makes a fundamentally good property investment, and where investors should be looking for returns from property now, and as we move the full article ›
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Malcolm Mackerras
Political Expert
+ About Malcolm Mackerras

Why commentary on the re-election has been unsatisfactory

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

by Malcolm MackerrasAs I have indicated in past articles for this website, when it comes to commenting on election results I prefer to know those results before commenting. The general election which took place on Saturday 7 September 2013 was completed on Tuesday 29 April 2014 when the counts were finalised for the re-election of six senators for Western Australia on Saturday 5 April. So now let me revise my history. My article on this website dated 9 October 2013 was headed “Senate election – drubbing for Labor and Greens; no good for Abbott”. I now say it was a drubbing for Labor and no good for Abbott but it was not a drubbing for the Greens who succeeded in getting all their incumbents re-elected as well as gaining a Senate seat from Labor the full article ›
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Stephen Small
+ About Stephen Small

Stephen Small is the ETF Capabilities Manager for Australia. He is responsible for the ongoing management of our ETF platform and the creation and quotation of new products. Stephen also assists in the distribution of existing products as the ETF subject matter expert.

Prior to joining UBS, Stephen spent 7 years working for the Australian Stock Exchange spending time on both the compliance and business development sides of business. His final role was Manager of the AQUA & Warrants Business being responsible for ETFs, Managed Funds and Structured Products.

The ETF revolution – turning simple into smart

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

by Stephen SmallOnly a short time ago, if you were looking to invest in a diversified managed fund, you would call your financial adviser, invest via a platform, or go through the arduous task of completing application forms and posting cheques in the mail.  Like every other facet of our lives, innovation and technology are making laborious tasks like this as simple as one click of a button.  Let me introduce the Exchange Traded Fund. Designed to simplify investing, Exchange Traded Funds, have revolutionised the traditional managed fund structure, otherwise known as a managed investment scheme, by listing the fund on an exchange. In effect it makes accessing managed funds as easy as buying a single share on the stock exchange.   If we delve a little deeper, ETFs the full article ›
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Sinclair Taylor
+ About Sinclair Taylor


SMSF: Beauty of buying what you already own

Thursday, November 14, 2013

by Sinclair TaylorIf you’re a business owner with an SMSF, you may have heard of the idea of your fund borrowing money to buy the commercial property you already own. It’s not as crazy as it sounds, and it’s legal! Despite much of the recent media focus being on SMSF’s investing in residential property, the actual fact is that the dollar value of SMSF investments into commercial property is three times higher. This huge disparity is largely driven by superannuation rules that permit related party transactions to occur with ‘business real property’, more so than investor belief that commercial property is a better longer term investment than residential property.  Still reading? Good, because having your SMSF purchase a commercial property the full article ›
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Jim Vrondas
+ About Jim Vrondas

After completing a Bachelor of Science in Applied Mathematics and Statistics from the University of NSW in 1994 Jim began his financial markets career as an FX Trader in the Foreign Exchange department of the Bankers Trust Australia investment bank. His in depth understanding of FX markets and its drivers, coupled with subsequent experience as an educator, have made him a highly sought after commentator for businesses and individuals interested in currency markets.

With around 20 years’ experience in financial markets he is currently employed with OzForex as Chief Currency & Payment Strategist for the Asia Pacific region and is a highly sought after commentator on currency related issues. He regularly appears on Sky Business and ABC television and on an ad hoc basis on CNBC, Bloomberg and Reuters in addition to radio, leading newspapers and magazines across Asia Pacific.

Having held several key positions within the OzForex group since 2004 Jim has helped thousands of businesses and individuals seeking to manage all aspects of their foreign currency needs. He is passionate about ensuring all people, no matter what their level of experience, have access to unbiased information they can understand.

Keep a lid on travel expenses

Monday, September 08, 2014

With the Greenback expected to rise once the US Federal Reserve bank starts to signal higher interest rates, the cost of overseas travel for Australians is also likely to rise. If forecasts for a lower Aussie dollar prove to be correct and we see a depreciation over the next 12 months, then it may be a good time to lock the costs of some travel expenses away. People planning a trip at the end of this year or at some point next year may want to think about starting to save with a travel card soon. So rather than taking the risk of loading the card just before you travel, when the Australian dollar could be weaker, it is possible instead to convert at today’s rates for future spending. As an example: if you plan to travel to North America in 2015 and convert Australian dollars the full article ›
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