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Posted on 31 Aug 2017 by Gareth Brown

The Value of Cash

The Value of Cash


Forager’s two funds have quite high cash weightings today. It’s almost 28% in the Australian fund and 30% in the Forager International Shares Fund.

On our recent roadshow tour, many intelligent questions were asked about the current cash weightings. Is it reflective of our thoughts on value available in stockmarkets? Does it mean we expect an imminent downturn? Wouldn’t returns be better if the Fund was 100% invested all the time? Why should I invest in your funds today if a large part sits around doing nothing? Continue reading “The Value of Cash”

Posted on 22 Aug 2017 by Gareth Brown

West Oz Property: As Bad as it Gets?

West Oz Property: As Bad as it Gets?


For long-term sceptics of Australian property markets, this week’s Four Corners program—Betting on the House—didn’t add much. Scary, but little you didn’t already know.

For those of us living in the other two-thirds of the country, it was a reminder of how tough some currently have it in Western Australia. A resources and property boom has given way to hangover. Nominal house prices have been flat for more than a decade, real rents have fallen, mortgage stress and delinquencies have risen. Continue reading “West Oz Property: As Bad as it Gets?”

Posted on 21 Aug 2017 by Steve Johnson

How to Retire Happy, Comfortable and Property Free

How to Retire Happy, Comfortable and Property Free


My parents, some investors, politicians and a large number of journalists seem very concerned about me. I’m one of the renter generation, and everyone seems worried about us because they think we are going to retire without a roof over our heads.

Please don’t concern yourself. Yes, it’s true. My wife and I don’t own a house. But we do have a very clear plan for living a happy and secure retirement. For any of my fellow renters out there, here is a simple three step plan for you to do the same.

Continue reading “How to Retire Happy, Comfortable and Property Free”

Posted on 09 Aug 2017 by Alvise Peggion

Chinese Phones, Cars and Drones

Chinese Phones, Cars and Drones


Fedon 1919 is a fancy leathergoods store in Italy. While visiting family there last month, I popped in and made a small purchase—a beautifully crafted leather keyring. The store attracted a small crowd, so I did some further research. It led to some thinking about broader themes for investors. Those thoughts led to China.

Continue reading “Chinese Phones, Cars and Drones”

Posted on 07 Aug 2017 by Steve Johnson

$1bn Fine The Least of CBA’s Worries

Reading the weekend’s press, some CBA shareholders are surprisingly sanguine about last week’s shocking revelations. The market capitalisation fell more than $5bn, the theory goes, well in excess of the fine CBA is likely to incur.

Just another case of Mr Market overreacting then?

Maybe. There’s one issue I haven’t seen much discussion of, though, that has the potential to be far more expensive for CBA shareholders.

Every bank that provides funding to CBA has spent the weekend trying to work out what their own compliance obligations are. Are they at risk of providing funding to an organisation without appropriate terrorism financing controls? The US banks in particular are absolutely ruthless on this issue and, given the fines handed out to HSBC and Barclays in recent years, it is hard to imagine how CBA’s cost of funding stays at its current low levels.

Throw in the consequences of a Royal Commission, and the obvious risk of more misconduct issues raising their ugly heads, and a $1bn fine really is the least of CBA’s worries. Continue reading “$1bn Fine The Least of CBA’s Worries”