Argo Investments boss Jason Beddow says it's still too risky to buy the banks
- It's probably too early for investors to be buying back into the big four Australian banks even though they have fallen close to one-year lows, says the managing director of the $6 billion listed investment company Argo Investments.
- But Mr Beddow said Australian companies broadly are still generally expected to continue growing at about 7 per cent on average in 2018-19, with the domestic economy gaining momentum and interest rates still at historical lows.
- Mr Higgins, who has just stepped down as a director of Telstra after nine years on the telco's board, said those franking credits should have the same value to all Australian taxpayers regardless of their marginal tax rate.
- Mr Beddow said Argo was still a believer in the long-term value of private hospital operator Ramsay Health Care, which had been de-rated by the market since hitting a share price peak in September, 2016.
How car subscription app Fair wants to disrupt the market for car loans using subscriptions
- Enter Fair, which is two-year old startup where you choose a used vehicle, get approved and complete the transaction — all on your smartphone app.
- It's an idea that's already got some adherents in car manufactures like BMW, Volvo and Cadillac, all of which are testing their own auto subscription models that give customers more flexibility to acquire new vehicles.
- According to Painter, Fair has 20,000 customers and is adding 500 a week.
- He added that the average Fair user is paying a monthly fee of $360 a month.
- For an additional fee, Painter added that Fair offers month-to-month auto insurance, or drivers can use their own policies.
- He specified that Fair makes money when customers "pay month-to-month [and] we generate fee-based revenue" — but accurate pricing of used cars is key to making a profit.
Blockchain Is a Semantic Wasteland
- From what I can tell, people witnessed the success of bitcoin — which relies in part on an ersatz, expensive database — and wanted to generalize it to other uses.
- But private, permissioned, or enterprise blockchains do not have native currencies nor do they issue monetary units to validators, as the validator set is permissioned and thus has Sybil resistance and good behavior built in by design.
- “Blockchain” dilutes the importance of a tremendously important and valuable innovation — a trust-minimized monetary system — and abases it by putting it to work to generate efficiencies, real or imagined, in enterprise supply chain management.
- They aren’t really referring to the data structure, so it’s beside the point to say, “Just use MySQL.” “Blockchain,” for better or for worse (definitely for worse) has become a term of art that is typically used to refer to the whole system — economic and social — rather than just the data structure.
Cold war between China and US should chill local investors
- A good portion of his chat with Douglass focused on the state of trade tensions with China, and Morell explained America's growing anger with the rising superpower runs much deeper than Donald Trump.
- Morell expects the Democrats to win Congress in the mid-term elections later this year, but that could create more mayhem on China, not less, as Trump becomes more erratic and potentially more aggressive on tariffs.
- The question for investors, of course, is how these trade tensions will affect a market that Douglass describes as expensive and hard to read.
- As Douglass points out, China's Made In China 2025 plan calls for it to dominate an incredibly broad range of industries over the next seven years – beyond even the reign of Trump, should he win a second term.
Silicon Valley’s Saudi money crisis illustrates a decline of ‘moral leadership’ in America
- And it’s also had so many implications in tech, which is the Saudi money toxically awash in Silicon Valley and how tech companies are responding to the disappearance of the journalist at the Saudi embassy — not the disappearance, the murder of a journalist at the Saudi embassy by the Saudis, which I think most American intelligence, all the reports are coming in, that this is what’s happened.
- I think a lot of people are focused on the Vision Fund, which was the big fund that SoftBank raised, and they were about to raise another hundred-billion dollar fund, which was an unheard of fund, which has been throwing money at everybody, from Slack to WeWork to Wag, which is a dog-walking app.
NAB overhauls controversial 'introducer' program
- National Australia Bank has slashed the number of "introducers" paid commissions to refer it new home loans after the controversial program was exposed by the Hayne inquiry, and revealed 300 staff were sacked or left the bank in the past year for code of conduct breaches, as the final bank CEO was quizzed by a parliamentary committee in Canberra.
- The impact of focusing too much on short-term profits at the expense of customers was driven home to NAB when the royal commission revealed its "introducer program" had resulted in staff being paid cash bribes in white envelopes to write loans based on fake documents in order to hit targets and collect bonuses.
- With Commissioner Hayne suggesting less complexity is a possible solution to banks' apparent disregard for laws, Mr Thorburn said NAB has 7,000 compliance obligations and "it would be great of they could be reduced" by removing duplication and streamlining data collection.
‘Texas cage-match’ level of competition among Canadian cannabis companies
- On Thursday, Leamington, Ont.-based licensed cannabis producer Aphria Inc. submitted its registration to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange, making it the second major Canadian producer to pursue a listing on the NYSE this month.
- Aphria’s bid followed that of Aurora Cannabis, which announced Thursday that its shares will begin trading on the NYSE as of Oct. 23 after receiving approval, and earlier moves to secure U.S. listings by Canopy Growth Corp.
- Listing shares in U.S. marketplaces may also be a way for Aurora and Aphria to begin to hedge toward securing a future in a potential U.S. cannabis industry, said Aaron Salz, founder of consulting firm Stoic Advisory.
- Hickey, who has buy recommendations on Tilray and Canopy, said if Aurora and Aphria are looking to make acquisitions in the future, they’d be able to get more value out of using their stock as part of the deal.
NAB chief executive Andrew Thorburn reminds bank investors of their role
- National Australia Bank chief executive Andrew Thorburn has provided bank investors with a subtle but important reminder of the role they have played in creating the "profits before people" culture that has landed the sector in its royal commission malaise.
- The first of these was the shift away from customers being the primary focus of the banks, which left the sector open to putting profits before people.
- This element of short-termism is concern of many CEOs and boards, and Thorburn has good reason to try and train his investors to think in longer time horizons.
- Thus the pressure on banks to keep growing profits every year has become a constant in the sector; investment or even strategic changes announced by a bank CEO are looked on with a deep scepticism.
- But the banks – and their investors – are now paying for this single-minded focus on profits.
When it comes to markets, it’s hard to define what ‘normal’ is. But this isn’t it
- In capital markets, it’s much harder to determine what’s normal, or to use an economic term, equilibrium.
- What’s perceived as normal in the stock market changes with each new high or low.
- How addicted the world is to hyper-stimulative monetary policy showed through last week when President Trump called the Federal Reserve “loco” for gently normalizing short-term interest rates.
- History is unequivocal on this — zero or negative real interest rates in good economic times are not normal.
- After spending a week with my four 20-something nephews, I’m realizing the number of hours people spend on social media each day is slowing our growth in productivity.
- When you pull up long-term charts of the major stock indexes, you’ll see they all follow a bumpy path that goes up and to the right.
An inside look at Winton, the $27 billion British hedge fund that's decked out with fossils, statues of Paddington Bear, and a chart-filled room that's basically paradise for finance nerds
- Data rules everything in financial markets.
- While this view predominates in 2018, it isn't long since many in the financial industry would have sneered at the idea that computer models and data might be more efficient ways of making money than good old fashioned intuition.
- Harding pioneered a system of investing known as trend following, whereby trends and patterns in markets are identified and used to inform a long term investing strategy.
- Winton had assets of around $27 billion (£20.6 billion) at the end of 2017, putting it among the 10 largest hedge funds on the planet.
- Business Insider was invited by Winton in September to get a glimpse of the fund's offices, as well as its recently completed chart room.