The Summer Series is coming

James Marlay

To help you start the new year on the right foot our content team have worked with our contributors to compose the 2018 Summer Series. Starting from the 27th of December and running through to Australia Day you’ll get access to an exclusive content series including: Show More

Join the conversation

Investing 101: Capitalising on fear

James Marlay

Some big names global investors have issued stern warnings about impending bouts of volatility in markets. It makes for great reading, but how useful are these warnings are for most investors? I sat down with two wealth managers and discussed the strategies they use to capitalise on periods of volatility. Show More

Hi Danny, this series is always released as a video. We've uploaded a few to our Soundcloud account and we can get this one added on Monday.

On Chris Stott: One last call -

Thanks Marvin, hope all is well up in QLD. Worth tuning in to the full podcast if you have the time, there are plenty of additional insights that I couldn't get into the wrap.

On Are markets topping or pausing? -

Hi Adam, Livewire allows contributed content from approved fund managers and that means that some of the videos are produced by third parties. The advantage is that we are able to open the platform to a wider range of commentary, which we think is a plus for our subscribers. In doing this we do relinquish some of the control on the produced content. Appreciate the feedback.

On Apocalypse not now - Australian equities amid the volatility -

Hi Tony, each to their own and glad you enjoyed the article. Some people prefer the videos, others prefer to access via a transcript. We try to make the content available in all formats. James

On Buy Hold Sell: 5 defensive stocks -

Thanks for taking the time to share your thesis on Class, hopefully another good result for the fund.

On Out of favour, lots of flavour -

Hi there, we can absolutely add more options. We have started with a selection of funds that presented at the recent Livewire Live investment forum. If the service is something that investors feel adds value to the platform then we will most definitely look to add more funds. If you have specific managers you'd like to hear from please leave a comment so we know or shoot us an email on

On Fund in Focus: A new tool for Livewire members -

Thanks for the suggestion SR V - the selection of stocks came from the 'most-shorted' list as per the ASX. We can certainly look at incorporating those stocks into future episodes.

On Buy Hold Sell: 5 big shorts -

I'd say that was a pretty non-alarmist commentary Mike. 6 out of 24 of their indicators isn't exactly calling a disaster. We get lots of people asking about how to measure risks so they can think about how and when they might need to make changes in their portfolios.

On How to model the timing of a US recession -

From my experience many fund managers are actually reluctant marketers and would rather spend most of their time investing. Investors demand access to the people running their money and I personally wouldn't invest without having had some level of exposure to the person running the fund - so marketing is a bit of a necessity. I think your first point is a strong one.. closely following company releases and attending results + AGMs will give you plenty of access to company CEOs. Thanks for the article Lawrence.

On 3 ways you can beat the fundies -

Hi Alex, thanks for sharing your counter view on the stock and it's great to hear people with a view on the other side of the story and raising some of the risks. Please send us a note if you'd like to provide a more detailed submission outlining what you think some of the risks might be, I think it would be of interest to readers. I'd also add that Dean was one of the very early fund managers to share his views on Afterpay with his first article on the stock published here over 2 years ago ( Thanks again for sharing your views.

On Afterpay: Silencing the doubters -

Hi Douglas, I've just completed a series of interviews focussed on fixed income and mostly on government bonds in the current environment. Will have this up on the Livewire website in the next few days.

On Is the party about to end? -

Hi Jack, a fair point and I think you are right to use articles to test your own assumptions against counter views from other investors. That is definitely a great way to be using the Livewire website. Safe investing.

On Is there a correction on the horizon? -

Hi Ted, thanks for your comment. I've had some similarly average experiences with Telstra and I think customer service and the offering they put to consumers needs to be a focus. The lack of flexibility in their contracts is such a short-term approach to retention...

On Is it time to buy Telstra? -

Hi Jack, thanks for your comment. I think the article is pretty balanced and is simply drawing investors attention towards some of the risks. It also goes on to share two of the key data points that Magellan believe are worth keeping an eye on. I don't believe there are any conspiracy theories playing out here...

On Is there a correction on the horizon? -

Hi Ian, I've reached out to the company and have the following response: "Neuberger Berman is partnering with Equity Trustees Limited, as responsible entity and issuer, to offer its Global High Yield strategy to Australian investors via a public offer (the “Offer”) and listing on the ASX later this year. The invitation to acquire securities under the Offer will be made through, and subject to, a Product Disclosure Statement (“PDS”), which will be issued by Equity Trustees. The PDS is expected to be available from 3 August 2018, being the date that the PDS is lodged with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. You should obtain a copy of the PDS and consider its contents carefully before making a decision about whether to acquire or continue to hold any securities under the Offer"

On Why high yield bonds is one asset class to consider for the next correction -

Hi Ian, I feel like that debate would never end. We do have articles from time to time that debate the benefits and shortcomings of both active and passive. It's one of those topics that could gone on (and likely will) forever.

On Paul Moore: Navigating the late-cycle -

It's always interesting to hear the history of a firm and understand how management have shaped the company and their decisions. It would also have been good to get a view on the outlook for A2 Milk especially since you have been following it for a number of years.

On 7 Key Decisions on a2 Milk's Road to Success -

Jonathan, my understanding that there has been a big growth in new high yield markets such as Europe and Emerging Markets. Do you see the same issues here as you have outlined in the US?

On The downturn in high yield will be big, long and ugly -

David, just clarifying these are not 'stock tips'. This is some of the information presented at a shareholder forum that we thought would be of interest to readers. You're absolutely right to do your own research.

On Key stocks and ideas from the WAM presentation -

Hugh, an excellent report and really appreciate the effort in putting these together for Livewire readers.

On Hard to fault Westpac's result -

Gareth, Michael and Pete - thanks for your comments on the episode today. The format of today's episode is consistent with the 'thematic' content that we've been producing for some time. The stats show that the short punchy Buy Hold Sell format is very popular with many of our readers (it's consistently our best rated content). To cater for those members (like yourselves) who enjoy the deep dive content we have recently introduced two new series. Namely our fund manager videos and the "Rules of Investing' podcast. These are typically released as the headline content on our Weekend Edition. Our members all have different tastes on content and we try to provide a mix of short form, long form, written, video and audio content. Not everything will be your cup of tea but I think there is plenty on offer to satisfy most members. Thanks again for the feedback - we have more of this style coming next week with a focus on banks and financials. James

On Buy Hold Sell: From darlings to dogs -

Hi Gary, apologies for the spelling mistake (which I have now corrected). I can certainly reach out to Steve but can't guarantee a response. All the best, James

On Dividend Imputation Should Change -

Hi Gary Krew, thanks for both of your comments and you're 100% entitled to your views. As you can see from the thread in this comments section the topic has created a lot of interest and a variety of differing views. We don't act as a censor for people with opposing views and only moderate comments if the language or tone becomes aggressive or uses abusive towards contributors or other Livewire members. We do that to keep the tone of the platform respectful.

On Dividend Imputation Should Change -

Hi Rudi, I was thinking just last night that it seems everyone is bracing themselves for higher interest rates / inflation. From the commentary at least it appears that this has become the consensus view.

On The Battlelines Are Drawn -

Enjoyed the analysis of PayPal - such a great example of looking through the headlines to understand the full story. Goes a long way to explaining why 'ignore the noise' is one of the most common pieces of investing advice you hear from fund managers.

On The Rules of Investing: Finding opportunities in unusual places -

Hi Wes, thanks for your feedback. I definitely debated about factoring in questions on Trump but I felt the chance of getting really new information was low given how much coverage and focus Trump attracts. I'd actually reads through the release on Trump's infrastructure proposals the night before the interview and it was very light on detail. I did raise it with Ron and we made a call that it would be challenging to add anything concrete on this subject. Thanks again for tuning in and for the feedback.

On Don’t bet against the US recovery -

Here's a link to the AFR article:

On IMF on China: A Downturn is Inevitable -

Umberto - Tim Toohey is the economist that works alongside Brett at Ellerston Capital. You can read some of his current and quite detailed views here:

On Burning down the house -

Hi there, this segment was purely focussed on the two sectors and we occasionally run one of these shows in addition to our regular Buy Hold Sell shows. We have our regular Friday show coming up - which will be the final episode for the year.

On Time to switch back into retail? -

Hi Anna, as Liz points out we are planning on getting this to itunes. However, there is a slight approval process to go through. Note that Inside Investing will have it's own channel - not the Cuffelinks or Livewire channels. James

On Podcast: Inside Investing Episode #1 -

Appreciate the feedback folks. We have some good guests coming up and will aim to release one of these each fortnight.

On Charlie Aitken: Setting the trap -

Appreciate the feedback. Cuffelinks have some great content and I'm keen to help Livewire readers discover new information that can help with their investing. The podcast will be a learning process and I'm sure we will get better as we go. Have a great weekend. James

On Podcast: Inside Investing Episode #1 -

Hi Tim, here's one of the specific examples given by the Spheria Team that is already published on the website. Here: there will be another one coming through shortly.

On It’s time for value to shine -

Thanks Ashok, Ben and Ray for your comments. We have a few more great episodes with Charlie, Matthew and Geoff to come out over the next week or so. I also recorded an extended interview with Charlie which has some very interesting commentary. Should be a good week on Livewire coming up. As always we appreciate you tuning in to the website, have a great weekend. James

On Buy Hold Sell: Wilson vs Aitken – Mining & Energy -

Thank you Hamish for sharing such detailed and transparent analysis on what is a widely held and very topical stock. Worth reading for any Telstra holders...

On Telstra Revisited -

I can't see what impact an additional rate cut from the RBA would have at this stage. As you point out the average household has borrowed about as much as they possibly can and more...Still feels like a bit of a muddle through for the domestic economy to me with any rate moves likely to be pretty slow.

On Catch 22 for RBA -

Hi Michael, great point. The data came straight from ABS so we can look into it and come back to you with the answer.

On What's hurting your hip pocket? -

We speak with a lot of fund managers and it is fair to say Steve is as authentic and transparent as they come. Willing to talk about failures but fiercely motivated to become a better investor. He's at the forefront when it comes to communicating with his investors. It's great to see the funds performing well, hopefully it continues. (disclosure: not invested in Forager Funds)

On Try, fail, learn - repeat! -

Excellent post. Would be great to see this article extended to 3 and 5 year time frames where possible... Thanks Mark

On Microcaps: FY17 in review -

Hi Graham , thanks for your comment - with due respect there is a meaningful portion of the Livewire audience that are looking for these types of solutions. Ben is listed as a contributor on Livewire along with his position as a PM at Totus, I believe his disclaimer was intended as a declaration of interest but worth pointing out. Do you have soem alternative suggestions to add, I think it's a topic investors are interested in at the moment. James

On Ray Dalio: Risks are rising. Allocate 5-10% of your portfolio to gold -

No wonder so many people are scratching their heads when it comes to figuring out markets. Dog's Breakfast is an apt description...

On GFC 10 years on -

I'm getting better at #1, guilty of #2 and surprisingly I seem to have #3 under control. Would be good to hear what other investors are grappling with. I'd say having a strong sell discipline would be my biggest weakness...

On The biggest biases for investors to overcome -

Hi Sam, thanks for this post and interesting to hear about the change in behaviour from the brokers... Great insight

On East coast exposure at Perth prices -

Hi Muditha, we're running a panel session on this in the next few days and will get some views on BWX + AMA.

On Four hot roll-ups we are avoiding -

Hi Mark, unfortunately we don't have any formatting option in the current comments field (feedback noted) . I'll drop you an email and follow up on your question with Nathan to see if we can get you a response. James

On Just 2 ASX stocks pass the Benjamin Graham filter -

Hi Graeme, could be any number of reasons and they could be entirely unrelated to the Future Gen. We just find it interesting to have a look at these things after the fact. We did the same for the Hearts and Minds Conference last year.

On Future generation stock ideas are outperforming -

Another comment sent from a Livewire reader: "Mr. Parker! I just read that you are liquidating your shares and giving back millions to your clients. Just wanted to say that you have a lot of integrity in doing so. I have tried talking to many, many people regarding the gloomy outlook (I live in the U.S. ) but am usually met with skepticism....That's awesome you are honest enough to do what you are doing!"

On Why we're selling all shares and handing cash back to investors -

Comments like this come up from time to time. I'm genuinely surprised that people even raise an eyebrow that a fund manager is talking about a stock that they own or one they are short. It's clear from the article that the fund manager owns the stock and his name and firm are in the by-line. Once a fund manager has done the work I can completely understand why they would want to tell the story. As a reader you should definitely factor in any bias the author may have, this relates to any article you read. Always start from a position of skepticism...

On When You See Value It Smacks You Right In The Face -

Excellent post Daryl, some really useful and practical ideas that are accessible to all investors. Thanks for sharing

On How to invest in an expensive market -

Hi Graeme, appreciate your feedback. There is nothing certain about forecasts, strategists like Gerard Minack work on probabilities not certainties and use economic data to help with their analysis. I found it interesting to see that Minack – a highly regarded strategist - had changed his view. His position was supported by the data, which was presented in the two charts I included. The data on the US dollar was used to illustrate how the market had moved given this was previously cited as an influential factor in the global economy. The comments you highlight regarding the US Dollar are mine not Minack’s. I have no idea where the US dollar goes, however, I was interested to see that given the strength of the US economic data that the USD had not moved against many major currencies over the past year.

On Gerard Minack’s Global Recession thesis is playing out (sort of) -

Hi Andrew, you're entitled to an opinion, however, keep in mind that Hyperion have a very long track record (and a good one at that). To have one of their senior investors talk openly about holdings that have been sold down and their approach under these circumstances is quite unique and in our opinion adds value to the platform. We can always go and find people who are only willing talk about their winners - but we don't think that is a reflection of the reality of investing.

On Hyperion: There’s a real opportunity at the moment -

great article Andrew. The director selling has come under the spotlight recently. Has this always been part of your process?

On Navigating the Small Cap minefield -

Hi Allan, thanks for your comment. Livewire isn't a stock recommendation service. Our goal is to give you access to the views and opinions of investment professionals in an easy to use format. In terms of finding out which companies Roger feels are high quality you can simply search on his name and you will find numerous articles where he discusses stocks that his team think are high quality. You can access a recent article here: . Please remember this isn't a tipping or recommendation service, if you are looking for that you should spend some time reviewing the different providers - all of which will charge a subscription fee for their services.

On Quality stocks are finally cheap -

Hi Geoff, this is something we can definitely do - it might just take us a few days to get all the stocks categorised. We've had requests for the micro caps as well, so we will pull together a few different lists. Please remember these are just submissions via the survey - not recommendations. Cheers, James

On Livewire readers' top stock ideas for 2017 -

The central piece of the article is around investor behaviours and some of the emotions that kick in when you're experiencing losses. I look after my own super and probably the biggest mistakes I made in the early years were caused by selling positions in individual stocks that had experienced short term prices falls. In almost every case (e.g. BTT, CGF, CBA) if I'd held my course I would have achieved a better outcome. Avoiding the temptation to tinker/fiddle with stock positions is one of the disciplines I constantly need to remind myself of...

On Why investors do worse than the funds they invest in -

Dean. I've read Liars Poker - very entertaining (you'll laugh out loud). Has the potential to put you off markets entirely...

On Bill Gates’ favourite books of 2016 -

I've just finished Shoe Dog which is the Nike Story from Phil Knight. Highly recommended and pretty easy to get through.

On Bill Gates’ favourite books of 2016 -

Hi Grant, a fair suggestion and we can certainly look into some practical ways to incorporate this into the show. Please make sure you read the disclaimer slide which draws attention to the fact that the presenters may have interest in the companies discussed. James

On Buy Hold Sell: 5 Sizzling Small Caps -

Two different approaches, i.e. Platypus are growth and Katana more of a value approach.

On Buy Hold Sell: 5 high flyers -

Great article and excellent read. Thanks for sharing and a very timely piece of analysis.

On Wishing aloud -

Haihang, Chris did sharehis views on this two months ago here:

On Helloworld to fly into the sky -

Worth a read, there are some very good messages in this article particularly for younger people who have time to act...

On Poor retirees -

Hi Stephen, I think the RBA has actually done a pretty good job when you take into consideration the fact that they have one blunt monetary tool at their disposal. With rates at 1.5% they have far more options at their disposal than most other central banks. The fact is that there has been a distinct lack of fiscal support combined with a lack of political leadership. I personally don't think the RBA should be lumped with shouldering the whole burden of creating demand and jobs...

On The RBA has failed dismally - look at inflation and unemployment -

I thought the comments about the property market were interesting. Essentially RBA said they think property price growth has eased and they have their eyes on the pipeline of apartments coming through on the east coast. This was one of the major sticking points in the 'against cutting' rates camp. It was very specific commentary so they are making a bold statement.

On RBA Cuts Interest Rates by 25bps! Positive for Equity markets.. Albeit priced in.. -

Hi David, glad you enjoyed the article. Livewire content is curated but the majority of it is not editorial. You will often find information/ideas that are technical in nature. Your suggestion about a glossary of terms is a good one and something we will consider for the website.

On The lust for safe-haven investments -

Most of the commentary I've read suggests there is less concern about the 'health' of the financial sector, but definitely worth keeping in mind...

On Markets aren’t always quick to react -

We're having a debate about other potential candidates for the list... Interested to hear thoughts from any readers. Invocare (ASX:IVC)??

On The Dividend Aristocrats -

I use a full service broker and as a retail investor have had access to some reasonable IPOs. Also Medibank was widely available..

On IPOs: Risk or opportunity? -

We're just debating whether an issue like this should be left to the masses to decide? Do they really understand the issues?

On Does Brexit matter? -

Hi Tim, I agree with your sentiments and the moves from the ASX about potentially placing higher 'quality' hurdles for new tech IPOs speaks to your message. Perhaps, a closer inspection would be a good follow up piece for one of your more detailed monthly reports. It appears to be an issue that is worthy of further discussion. As always thanks for your contribution to the platform. James

On A disaster could be brewing in tech -

You guys held your nerve in Q1 this year, was looking tight for a little while

On RBA Cut - More to come -

I like that suggestion Michael. I tend to find I am often fighting the temptation to tweak things that aren't necessarily broken or wrong. Usually if I force myself to look at the position on a 3 - 5 year view the urge to change something is overcome.

On Protecting your portfolio from poor thinking -

Thanks for sharing these sentiments Romano, some good charts..

On Hope is Not a Plan -

Headlines today = Housing/Apartments looking overvalued (40% in some cases), lists of suburbs being blacklisted by lenders, Bad & Doubtful Debts on the rise, Bank margins under pressure, dividends under pressure, AUD too high and could start to impact the transition away from mining.

On Sunset Strip | Aussie Afternoon Institutional Market Wrap -

Very true Graeme. It is also true that markets can react to information that is seemingly already known sometime after it happens. For example the US rate rise in late 2015 couldn't have been more telegraphed yet it appeared to be the source of a great deal of volatility...

On Is the rally in resources real? -

In general agree with your sentiments. I also think there has been some commentary about property markets that was drummed up by the press and would have been extremely alarming and probably quite terrifying for many people. Moving to the extremes of being either too complacent or overly pessimistic is unlikely to result in people making rational decisions.

On Padley: Don't buy the bubble hype -

Isaac, thanks for your comment and we definitely encourage differing views, thanks for making your point and explaining your position. My take on this was that Chris was not always advocating to sell in down dips but more he was pointing out that in his view there appear to be an 'abnormal' number risks at present. If you look back over the interviews we have run with Chris he has had a relatively cautious stance for some time so this was certainly not out of the blue for him. He did also refer to take a more 'defensive' stance with the risk assets that you do hold so I don't think he was suggesting full liquidation.

On Investing in a bear market -

I can't remember a time where views on the direction of interest rates have been so polarized. RBA seems to be a reluctant cutter - rates already at record lows... cost of funding probably isn't a major concern for businesses so lower rates would have a limited effect there and households are already heavily indebted. Maybe there is a case for lower rates, I'm just not sure how much impact it would have.

On Blackrock: Get set for one, maybe two rate cuts this year -

Great article - well worth taking the time to read in full.

On Where art thou growth? -

Still can't get convinced I need to be looking in this space. I'm sure these businesses will be around for a while but it still feels too fluid with new supply coming to market...

On Aitken: Nobody has mentioned the rally in commodities -

A great tool for investors and very excited about some of the opportunities we can work on with this smart, innovative and customer focused team.

On Ditch the spreadsheet -

Do you think the type of apartments being built at the moment are being built for a specific investor market and will they be as appealing in the secondary market as some of these first homebuyers come back as suggested in the stats you present?

On Demographic waves in the Aussie housing market -

Surely this market has lost credibility? It's like markets are so used to central bank intervention it is viewed and received as par for the course.

On Rule #1 of the Chinese stockmarket -

Romano, have you reviewed the fortunes or prospects of Atlas Iron? We have read some positive commentary on the prospects for FMG but is Atlas a step too far?

On The Good, the Bad and the Worse -

I never really know what to make of the individual releases on data points such as these - there always seems to be revisions and errors in the counting. However, I do like to look at longer term trends and as per the Bloxham post above there looks to be (at least for now) a trend lower. There are new businesses being set up that may well be hiring and employing people but aren't yet making a meaningful contribution to GDP.

On Australian unemployment rate falls -

Great little note and some good articles mixed in.

On Market Bites -

There is no doubt Chris has some contrarian views. I'm happy to hear them and I also think he is trying to get people thinking about possibilities not probabilities. Economists have no chance of getting all their calls right - but I think there is merit in highlighting a range of potential scenarios.

On Australian recession a formality -

I think it also highlights the importance of businesses that have high barriers to entry. In the case of Apple they have created a whole ecosystem around their products that make it very difficult to leave. They were early to innovate and this early innovate allowed them to capture a massive portion of the market. The trick with Apple is they have done an exceptional job and keeping their user base captive and feeding them new products as they are incrementally developed.

On R&D it's not the size that counts but what you do with it. -

Interesting moves, such a tricky balancing act with the RBA. If China stimulus takes hold the short AUD could get flipped around very quickly

On AUD/USD – technical buy signal generated -

Interesting to see WA still ranked #2 for retail spending. I would have expected that to drop with the mining slow down and weak sentiment...

On State of the States -

Thanks for the feedback Dean. Are you specifically looking for information on LICs or more industry research reports such as the one attached to this wire?

On Market masters top LIC performance and ratings -

Employment data very interesting.. Need a few more results to see a trend forming

On Quay Mid-Day Market Update -

Dan you refer regularly to your growth indicators in your blogs. Are you able to give some insight into what goes into these indicators and why you have chosen the respective data points? Cheers, James

On Happy holidays and improving global growth data for Q2 -

If you have a suggestion for a topic you would like covered please let us know via the comments section on this ‘wire’ or send us an email on Have a safe and happy Easter. Cheers James

On Iron Ore and Oil: Just how low can they go? -

Hey Mathan, I experienced the same issue. I logged it on our side as I thought it may have been related to the new website. Are you able to post the full link in the comments or emal me the report link? web.

On Sunset Strip | Aussie Afternoon Institutional Market Wrap -

We didn't touch on it Dean, but it sounds like a fair question. I'll see if I can get a few answers/views for you.

On 3 views on Virtus -

It is hard to replicate once in a cycle discoveries - think about how much money gets put into exploration across Australia yet so few discoveries get up and into production.

On Sandfire Resources is already past its prime -

I think that is a better sign than being financed from offshore via an off-take partner. I have seen too many examples whre these negotiations become quite protracted and then the terms of the deals shift and the junior companies (which Padbury is) end up getting stranded. Interesting to see how this plays out and quite a bullish sign for longer term commodity demand.

On Padbury Mining (ASX:PDY) has today announced it has secured 100% equity funding to construct a $6 bilion deep water port and associated rail network at... -

John, I followed this stock very closely for a long time. I must say I didn't realise how much expectation was built into the offshore drilling in Vietnam. I was really surprised at how heavily the stock got sold off post the failure of the offshore drill program. Like many investors I tuned out following the disappointing results. I'll need to have a look over the new strategy - sounds most unlike management.

On Neon Energy has abandoned a carefully crafted and hitherto well supported strategy in favour of a big bet on deep water drilling -

The other outcome that we are observing now is more Australian managers created options for investors to get access to investments offshore via the ASX. There have been three possibly four new LIC's offering international exposure listed in the past year. The more articles like the one above that get published the more comfortable Australian investors will become with investing offshore. However, I concede the point that the weight of money going into Super is likely to outpace a significant shift in investment flows.

On Jo Townsend, the CIO of REST Super, a $28billion superannuation fund, says they have sent the majority of new funds allocations offshore -

MG nice debut and thanks for sharing your blog. What is you definition of a fogey? Is this something that used to be a tech stock but has stood the test of time and is now part of our everyday lives?

On Tech withdrawal might be a sign of its maturing status -

Tim, thanks for sharing. Kennards and Storage King are two of the big names that come to mind in this space. It seems like the baseline offering across most of these businesses would be pretty similar and therefore I imagine there would be some benefits in scaling up as much as possible - does the sector lend itself towards consolidation?

On National Storage (NSR) is a high yielding, high growth real estate investment trust -

UBS upgraded Woolworths to a buy rating on Thursday with a price target of $39.20. Some of the points they noted were lifting sales on a square meterage basis, new store roll outs and improving margins at existing stores (through volume and cost outs). Interestingly UBS see inflation kicking in leading to increased food prices in the years ahead - this is a god thing for food retailers (not so great for the consumer).

On Woolworths made a record all-time high and record-closing high on Thursday -

Dan - quick note to say great work on the Bloomberg Visual Data piece that you shared yesterday. I always enjoys those pieces when they come through.

On Bloomberg's overnight global wrap -

Interesting to see that BHP and RIO seem to be holding up relatively well compared to pure iron ore plays like FMG, AGO and BCI.

On No stabilisation in sight as yet -

Reading an article right now that names BCI as a top 10 yield stock in the mid cap sector. The stock is nearly yielding 10%. Either the market is still overlooking this one or they don't believe the yield is sustainable.

On No stabilisation in sight as yet -

Nathan, I really enjoyed this wire on energy efficiency. Do you think you could put together a wire covering a specific stock thesis in this space that you are happy to discuss? Perhaps an example of a domestic stock that has the attributes you describe in your energy efficiency discussion?

On This month's Portfolio Reflections, we visit energy efficiency -

There are definitely some pretty polarised views in there. The call on unemployment spiking in the US is an interesting one particularly given last nights FOMC minutes seemed pretty calm on that front.

On A contrarian view on the US economy -

An interesting point John. Take a side step into the medical industry where doctors are increasingly fearful of litigation and as a result the health system is being clogged up with unnecessary and referrals so that doctors are covered on all fronts. This is coming out of tax payer money in most cases and causing congestion in the public health system. So much scrutiny that the system no longer works.

On ASIC is right to maintain the rage against inappropriate disclosure but heaping more constraints on analysts comes at a potential cost -

Rudi, some interesting trends in the results. Thanks for sharing and writing up the results. Out of interest from the historical surveys it doesn't look like the cash balances vary too much? Have you seen periods where cash balances fluctuate dramatically from this survey?

On They say equities are currently climbing the wall of worry -

Good article Gavin, it certainly makes it difficult for explorers and even mid tier operators to attract capital. I think numbers like this must really underpin the logic behind growth strategies such as the one being employed by NST. So much cheaper to buy these operating assets than to dicover and develop new resources. Probably a good long term sign for the gold price

On The cost of building a goldmine has increased significantly over the past decade, from US$560/oz to more than $2,300/oz last year -

Gav, with the remote nature of this project I get the impression GOR is more vulnerable to gold price fluctuations than some other stocks due to the large capex likely to be required. What sort of scale (in terms of ounces) is the Company targeting and likely to need to justify progress toward development scenarios? Is the resource good enough to attract a major?

On Gold Road (ASX:GOR) up 2c to 22c following yesterday's commentary after today releasing further outstanding results -

Steve on a similar but slightly different topic... Clive helps current government repeal the Carbon Tax... Does this then flow on to improved sentiment in the resources space or potential other parts of the market such as broader consumer sentiment?

On Infigen up almost 20% yesterday thanks to big Clive Palmer -

Good read Jordan and some good charts. I do think that the volume/headline is a good starting point for the US economy. These kinds of results not only reflect the employment numbers but they also flow through to consumer confidence. There is no doubt it has been a grind back from the GFC, however, with the consumer such a big part of the US economy confidence is a big influence and strong headlines are a good place to start.

On In explaining one of the major strengths of the Red Army, Joseph Stalin once stated that Quantity has a Quality all its own It's a quote that came to mind in... -

Chris your point about the market entering euphoric phase is coming up pretty regularly in conversations at the moment. Smaller/micro cap companies are starting to get some airtime and a bit of heat returning in junior resources. But it doesn't feel like everything is being thrown at the market just yet....

On Will the world cup boost the DAX -

Kieran is it one you follow? Looks to have been on a good run since the Buy Back of the convertible notes?

On HFA, overlooked and poorly covered -

Steve we noticed a lot of fund managers and particularly those who identified themselves as value investors had been running higher cash balances for a period of time this year. They cited market or more specifically stock valuations as the main driver of this position. As a value investor yourself have you found the slow grind higher has impacted your own cash weightings in this cycle more than previous recoveries?

On Buffett is sitting on more cash than the total FUM of Platinum and Magellan combined ($50bn) -

The statistics on manufacturing levels is pretty alarming. Manufacturing output is lower now than it was in 2002 and is set to fall further once the last of the auto plants shuts down in 2017. Not sure if you read the article from BTIM on the currency? But basically very hard to see the dollar falling quickly with all the stimulus globally. Even with the fall so far we struggle to be competitive.

On The latest jobless figures were a major talking point last week, this article from the FT puts them in context of a wider range of data points -

I agree with your sentiments Jordan, definitely a catch 22 situation. We are in this situation because companies/boards responded to investor requests. It was not just the mums and dads but also big funds. You can't blame them for responding to their investors. The best thing the Government could do is provide a solid political backdrop for corporates to invest against. Neither Govt. has been able to deliver this in recent history.

On A debate has begun over whether Australian companies are paying out too much cash in dividends to shareholders, and not enough capital is being reinvested -

Mathan, could you write a post for us that shows the performance of the Quant portfolio that you have put together and explains the constituents etc? I was looking with interest at the chart on page 21 which looks like you have generated good returns? What goes into the portfolio? Is it essentially tracking the ideas in Sunset Strip? Cheers

On Sunset Strip | Aussie market delivered another flat day despite geopolitical risks rising, negative China data and US being closed tonight -

I agree with many of the sentiments in your post David. However, the timing of interest rate movements seems like the most influential factor in the discussion. On that front I am it does not feel like rates in the US or Australia are going to rise in a hurry. The relative value of equities against other asset classes looks like it could be a persistent theme throughout FY15.

On The latest earnings reporting season for Australian listed companies is almost past, and once again, a major theme from the latest earnings reporting season is... -

Nice report Chris. I thought this observation from Shawn Hickman was quite interesting as small caps had been leading the way lower in the US. the Russell 2000 (small cap Index) was up 1.28%, a bullish indicator to me with the index that led the decline is now leading the recovery.

On Did we see a market capitulation -

Julius, a regular question is being raised about the range in the pricing. I.E. Investors don't know exactly what they are bidding into from a pricing perspective. Are you assuming the offer prices at the top end of the raise and if so I assume you are still comfortable with this valuation?

On Medibank, perfectly satisfies the investment checklist -

The difference is scale. New technology is something the incumbents can buy if it really starts to agitate them, sure they might have to pay a bit for it but they can afford to if they have to. The difference is the existing client base that these global companies (like AMEX, Visa, Mastercard etc) have and their brand recognition is so valuable, embedded and so hard to replicate.

On Are new payment technology startups really displacing incumbents -

I would also argue that they are also facing some major structural headwinds as well. The iPhone release was on the 17th of September and you would have expected to stock to rally ahead of that news (which it didn't). A slight uptick following the AGM commentary but it does look weak.

On iPhone 6 leaves big mark on retail sales -

very interesting read Rudi. Thanks for sharing and making the full article available.

On This time is different -

Pete, I have a pretty straight up and down question that I am hoping you can shed some light on. Companies like CSR, Boral, Harvey Norman and the like have all benefited from increased housing construction. I note your comments about the population growth in the eastern stats as well as your commentary on the peak of apartment construction having passed. So (in your view) has the sweet spot for housing passed or is the cycle likely to have a long tail?

On As dust settles around the Labour Force data, a look at net immigration which continues to slide in 2014. Although short-term Chinese visitors to Australia... -

I went to four open inspections and an auction on the weekend to go and have a look at the activity levels myself. The open inspections were suprisingly quiet even the owner who I spoke with said they had been a bit disappointed with the level of interest in the property (in Redfern). There were four properties for sale on the one street which usually experiences slow turnover. It definitely felt like buyer demand was now being met with a supply response.

On The CoreLogic RP Data home value index is pointing to an on-going slowing in house prices. So far in November, house prices have actually fallen 0.3 per cent,... -

This from Mathan at Baillieu: When we started pushing the tidal wave of unemployment with economic outlook leading to interest rate cuts it sounded a bit number of months ago, now it is fast becoming consensus. Unemployment is going to get close 7% and remain close to 6% atleast till 2017. There is a lot of structural unemployment coming and we have not made any structural changes to cater for it. Mid-year budget outlook is going make Wayne Swan look like magician. Joe Hockey just went out of the line to be the next Liberal leader. 2016 federal election ruffy from a long way out....Julie Bishop to lead the Liberals as Tony steps aside for the good of the party. Victorian elections looks like a reverse of last Fed election....Labour wins purely to vote out Liberals.

On Australian construction work completed falls in Q3, engineering drags: While it is clear that there is some rebalancing taking place, residential construction... -

The reaction in NCM and RRL on the exchange today has been quite dramatic. It seems strange that given a no vote was expected that the reaction has been so dramatic. Hard to believe sentiment towards resources/metals in general could get any worse...

On Swiss vote no to gold referendum -

More of the conversations I am having with equity markets investors are leaning towards a rate cut if not two in CY15. AGM season (i.e. November) has seen a staggering number of profit warnings and downgrades - which would seem to be a pretty good indicator. This has been across a broad spectrum of industries as well - not just isolated to resources/mining services.

On My take on the RBA: The RBA holds on to an on hold position The penny still has not dropped at the RBA -

There was certainly some pretty strong language in that interview and some good counter arguments (in my view) against a further rate cuts. Stevens' point about job losses not being dramatic, whilst a little insensitive, does probably stand true when you look at the experience of some of the EU nations. It certainly doesn't suggest a rate cut is a forgone conclusion... The AFR interview is a good read.

On Stevens slashes rate cut hopes, underpinning Aussie: While the language towards the currency is an escalation of jawboning seen earlier in the year, by... -

It is an interesting space at the moment, NCM has rallied 50% since November last year but as you point out the broad economic picture seems to have deteriorated even further during that period. We have had a few gold bugs in hiding for the past 12 months on Livewire so we will try and dig up a few additional views. Thanks for your post

On Have you missed the gold rush, or is it just beginning -

surely we are due for a few updates post reporting season Tobes...

On Reporting season idea -

Surely the RBA will take a wait and see position so they can assess any impacts of lower currency and oil... I was strongly in the camp for a move lower but the moves in currency and oil have been significant and I suspect enough to hold rates for now

On Door slammed shut on further RBA easing -

For what it is worth I am expecting no cut but but as you say Jordan the language will leave the door open for a cut in March. I think the RBA will want to give lower currency and lower petrol prices sometime to work through the economy. Reporting season outlook commentary (in Feb) could well provide some insights.

On Implications of no rate cute.. -

Just seems like something to be mindful about. I have seen lists of top 50 dividend stocks flying around and half of them were in mining services or similar... A few non cash backed dividends starting to pop up as well

On Dividends don't grow on trees -

Sentiment towards gold seems to have improved compared to mid 2014... The recovery in gold stocks in late 2014 early 2015 definitely caught some investor interest. Either way, articles like the one you quoted don't really help anyone and shows how data can be manipulated to tell the story you want. Sounds like there may have been another agenda...

On Gold is the worst investment in history! This headline - which was followed by several paragraphs of 'analysis', appeared in a recent article in Daily... -

Sam great to see you on LW, would be good to get a few of your thoughts leading into reporting season. Some good signs/trends coming from US markets but still very sloppy on the China front

On Buybacks, drp, substantial holder changes -

You could argue that this falls into the sovereign risk argument/discussion so often raised about investing offshore. Highlights the risks that exist domestically as well as offshore.

On Can companies trust governments -

iron ore producers having a great time at the moment and prices remain well above most analyst forecasts. Chinese PMI looking strong so could support the IO price longer term.

On Bloomberg - Fortescue Metals Group Ltd -

John, I am attending a resources focused investor forum for the next two days. One of the key things to take away for me will not be the company presentations but the sentiment of the investors and how full the room is at the conference. Speaking to the executives last night there is no doubt they are feeling fatigued from the past three years. I'll be posting updates.

On The Australian resources sector lost its momentum through the September quarter with prices adding 22% after dropping 6% in September -

I am firmly of the opinion that people have underestimated the level of reliance the US economy has on current stimulus packages. The next round of negotiations on the debt ceiling may well highlight the difficulty the Fed faces in turning this money printing off.

On How do you run out of money when you are printing it -

Nice summary Jay, interesting to see the tech stocks getting sold so quickly and not a good back drop for the twitter IPO. I was reading reports recently that some expected the post float valuation to touch US$40 billion, this looks like a challenge in the context of the current environment.

On The US government deadlock is starting to take its toll on investor confidence -

I am not much of an expert on the Forex business but keenly waiting to see how the float performs. There has been plenty of pent up tension and expectation that the IPO pipeline is about burst. This one is a decent size float to test that theory and the appetite of the investment community.

On What does everyone think of OzForex -

Always enjoy your wires John, I think the situation in the US is really a short term distraction and I doubt a US default is on the cards. What looms after the debt ceiling resolution is that tapering comes back into the minds of investors/media. Some positive Euro GDP and employment data would be a nice way to dampen any negative sentiment.

On The European Commission statistical agency is scheduled to release August industrial production data for the Euro area on 14 October -

Cheers Alex, glad you enjoyed the session and we appreciated you making the effort to come up to Sydney. Can't apologise for the warm weather, comes with the turf.

On Livewire Panel Discussion Webcast Replay,... -

Still too early at the junior end Tony. I am concerned that strength in resources is going to be limited to companies that are in production or have mines that are about to enter production. Commodity prices need to recover substantially before exploration interest starts to really rev up. That being said starting to see some action in a few of the juniors and as a result the first (big) steps up in terms of percentage moves.

On Great presentation from Dr Allan Trench CRU to open Mining 2013 in Brisbane this morning -

As the Sydney property market continues at a Formula 1 style pace, it has been reported that 5 year old are now being bought houses by their parents!!!Investor appetite for houses from SMSF and overseas punters is running white hot. Better than an education??


Jason, can we get a wire preview on some of the themes/stocks Nathan will discuss? Would be great for the LW community to get a bit of flavour for how II is thinking. Cheers, James

On Tickets selling fast to annual roadshow -

The junior mining space has enough headwinds as it is. Certainly they have responsibilities socially and environmentally, however, with the exception of a rare few many mines run on the margin of being economic depending which part of the cycle we are in. The model you have alluded to would pretty much rule out progress for the majority of junior explorers.

On The New South Wales ICAC has come up with a radical new model for the allocation on mineral exploration licenses that could kill off exploration by small... -

Jay it looks like Twitter have taken note of some of the criticism following the FB IPO. Interesting to see the level of volatility in the FB stock price given the size (mkt cap) of the business. I think it demonstrates that the market still is unsure on the true value of these companies.

On It was a lively day for investors in social media giant, Facebook (FB) -

The alternative to this is that many have now succumb to a short term view that normal asset valuations are being overpowered by stimulus.

On Where did the bears go -

I went shopping at one of the retail super centres over the weekend (JB Hi-Fi, Freedom, Harvey Norman etc). The place was packed with families and it wasn't just rubbernecking. I get the impression retailers are going to do pretty well over Christmas. Housing turnover means people want more white goods, televisions, furniture.... The level of activity definitely caught me by surprise.

On Few musings today...You know what is really scary..the banks have collectively made $27bn of record profits in an economy that according to the Coalition was... -

$55 million cash at bank, receipts of $15mil for the last quarter and operating cash flow -$4.5mil. Pretty heady valuation...... quarterly from Septermber here

On Xero matching $27.50. Nearly a $4b company!! -

Just had a quick squiz on the ASX, looks illiquid (what isn't these days), however, holding up pretty well. I assume given the trading pattern that the stock is tightly held so minimal free float at this stage. Have had some dealings with Morrie Goodz who is on the board and is a decent and honest operator. Need to do some background on the asset as I am not familiar at all.

On A1 Consolidated Gold (AYC) was given a portfolio grade rating in the 4 November PortfolioDirect/resources investment report -

Also the businesses of today are playing on really strong trends. Mobile consumption, customisation, social engagement.... These are real trends that you can observe and quantify. Humans are clever, we have become adept at pealing money out of each others pockets. I am sure the clever cats at twitter will figure it out.

On Is Twitter (TWTR) overvalued -

There is a few of them floating around at the moment in the tech space. The same can be said about all parts of the market. Take junior resources for example... If you take a retrospective view of what happened over the past 5 years in that space you could frame a similar argument. A few will make it and justify the valuations many wont.

On Is Twitter (TWTR) overvalued -

Rod, the departure of Osisko from the funding agreement definitely gave the SP a cold shower on the back of good initial results. My understanding is that the next program will be twice the size of the maiden Tokop drilling. There were three interested parties on site last week looking at the project. I expect the next round of exploration to more extensive allowing for consistent flow of results. Something that has been missing over the past 12 months from GSC.

On Global Geoscience is a micro cap gold explorer, like many of its peers the stock is out of favour -

It is definitely a bit of a punt because Fairfax face really stiff headwinds and barriers to entry are far lower in the online news department. However, who else is investing the way they are in online news? They have an audience and a brand.... It is just taking some time for them to turn the ship. Just a thought

On Are there similarities between Fairfax and Telstra -

Bigger article in Bloomberg here, looks like sentiment is more widespread

On BNP Paribas cut its 2014 gold forecast to $1095 -

Jim I agree with your comments about observing the trends in the jobs market. In my view it will be a case of observing a strong trend before the Fed has confidence to ease off on QE. What is do think also needs to be looked at is retail activity over Christmas, I think this will be a telling measure for consumer confidence.

On Market may have got ahead of itself on the USD rally over the last week or so -

Tony, what is your take on the RMS situation at the moment? It seems like the disruption to production is not negligible?

On Riding the Resources Recovery -

Have a look at the post from Jay Soloff from earlier today. Raises similar questions but in the short term this looks to be direction that markets will continue to take. Interesting article on whether we are now in a position where bubbles are required to deliver growth

On The coronation of QEeen Janet Yellen was the most talked about financial market event of the past few days. In a surprise to no one, she was dovish, trotting... -

I think one of the differences is that people are addicted to mobile/social communication. Yes the valuations are pie in the sky and mind boggling but if I look forward 5 years I expect more people will still be using phones and social media. The commercial outcome is not about the particular social media but about engaging with and accessing the audience.

On Came across a very interesting article today that attempts to prove mathematically how Snapchat could be worth $3 billion or more -

The question on timing in terms of dust settling on the resources sector is a big one. I got the impression from listening to Jeremy that he is still really unclear on this front. You can see his argument in play across some sub sectors in the resources space with Iron ore being the obvious one and tin to a lesser extent.

On Small Cap underperformance presents fertile ground -

I find these stats so interesting. Do you look at intra month patterns? This from Coppo earlier this week. In the last 20 years the Australian market has this bizarre trading trend where it rallies briefly at the begining of November (which it did this time was up +0.25%) and then from there falls by a average of -1.5% between early November in to the 3rd week of November & then in the last week begins its big late November to the new year rally that happens about 88% of the time.

On All Ordinaries Index - December is Bullish following a 5% plus gain for the calendar year to November -

Interesting blog piece from BlackRock: Emerging market stocks have started to outperform developed market equities. We believe that investors should maintain a long-term overweight in EM stocks, but need to be prepared for significant volatility and focus on being selective in their country and company selection.

On Strengthening emerging market equity prices may be needed to help precipitate a turn in resources sector stock prices -

from Henry Jennings this morning talking of pokies I was amazed to read that 50% of facebook users are using social media gaming website too...should help ALL and AGI..pretty easy I would imagine to roll out the software online and do away with all those pesky venues and costly licences! Ninus, any mention of online rollout/opportunities for AGI?

On The one-armed bandit -

Chris did you read the piece in The Australian over the weekend? It sounds like USD/JPY trade is getting some big bets. Do you have a view on the Yen and where it is headed in 2014?

On Looking for a tactical buy on AUD this week -

How about asking politicians for more transparency in return for removal of a debt ceiling? Who is going to hold them to account for that? Seems like a win for Hockey if this gets through.

On Love this article -

I would say one of the major differences I observe between Michael's philosophy and that of Montgomery is the time frame that you place on an idea or trade. When it comes to the technical calls my observation is that Michael tends to have a specific time frame or outcome in mind (and this is usually stated). This tends to be a shorter period than the value investing style that Roger takes. Agreed - the property reference didn't quite make sense to me.

On Is technical analysis rubbish -

Big set of numbers on the employment front Jay. For those interested in the impact from an Aussie perspective Evan Lucas has put together a pretty good (an animated) overview on the following video link

On Lots of economics news out in the US today, so let's get right to it -

OMB I am seeing more circumstances of brokers collaborating as joint lead managers on capital raisings. It used to be that brokers were pretty loath to give away any allocation but it seems more common for there to be a collaborative approach. Is this an industry approach to opening up demand for primary and secondary market raisings?

On Priced to imperfection: vendors could be big losers in conventional raisings.. -

hmmm pretty soft start, amybe punters think the Ashes will be wrapped up by the end of the weekend and are not banking on strong ratings.

On NEC-uninspiring even at these low levels! -

Henry, maybe Qantas should do what the Australian sports teams are doing? Local in charge for a local business? I know it is quite a parochial view point but perhaps in the case of businesses that are close to the hearts of Australians (such as TLS and QAN) there are cultural nuances that are best handled by a national? Just a thought. The reality is there are some serious structural challenges in the airline industry and Qantas are exposed on most fronts (labour, currency, geography)...

On Another one bites the dust!!!It is getting to be an all too familiar story at the moment Aussie Blue Chip announces another downgrade-gets hammered -

Chris, where is the best source for getting Bernanke's commentary tomorrow morning? Is there a live stream/call that people can listen to?

On A traders playbook on the FOMC -

It is almost a relief for equities that the Fed is now tapering. It sends a good signal on the health of the US economy, the start of the journey back to normal?

On The moment of truth has arrived.. -

SPA has actually held up surprisingly well since it announced the transition a month or so ago. As you mention the difference could be the profitability of the business. Technology has evolved drastically since the dot com bubble so some of the parallels that are being drawn might not be as relevant this time around.

On Here we go again, Spencer Resources has found a silver lining in the cloud -

Sloan I am not an economist but I can definitely see a precedent or path being set in the car insurance industry. The ability for insurers to customise and reward clients based on their record, habits and behaviour is now a competitive point of difference. The variables, however, when it comes to vehicles are relatively uniform and easy to measure. Health/longevity/susceptibility for individuals is a far more complicated variable to measure. Regardless I agree with your sentiment.

On Private Health Insurance premiums are once again in the news -

Jim, thanks for sharing this article and all the best for 2014. Given the bite sized initial approach taken by the Fed in reducing stimulus do you think a June 14 date is realistic for the complete removal of QE? I agree with your views on the growth outlook domestically but the prospect of all stimulus being removed by June 14 seems unlikely to me.

On Will the RBA get its way on the Aussie in 2014 -

Welcome back Henry and all the best for 2014 - hopefully a good one and perhaps a ski trip next year ;-). Interesting note from Chris Weston on the volume + drop in AGO yesterday. I know this is one you have followed (since it was well below current levels), I couldn't find any news to influence trade other than the price of iron ore. Thoughts??

On Back in the Saddle well and truly today!!Hope everyone had a good break and although this week will be quiet still it's a good time to start thinking about... -

So NEN has just come out of trading halt and the results have disappointed. The well is unlikely to be used for production despite the presence of hydrocarbons. Share price is off 70% in early trade. Copy of the release available here

On Neon Energy is in trading halt and will be worth watching over the next few days -

Michael, what are your expectations for earnings season? There were a few downgrades in November of last year seemed to put a bit of a dampener on the market.

On Nice little recovery in the market here today -

Hock, I don't have a strong view at the moment around the outlook for China, however, I do think that as far as the outlook for Australia over the next 12 months China will be a critical factor. Expectations on the commodity outlook (i.e. demand from China) are low, however, if we see some strength as we did with the iron ore price in 2013 it could go some way in assisting economic activity while non mining related activity (i.e. housing/manufacturing/tourism) hopefully maintains current momentum. China GDP figures are out tomorrow so perhaps the next place to look.

On This is one of the more bullish outlook statements for Australian economic growth that I have read over the past few days -

I think your comment about paying for talent is really valid here Jay. Competition for talent in the tech space is fierce and the need for companies to release, assess and then re release products is definitely talent intensive. The big players like Google, Facebook etc will always be buyers of the next big trend.

On Is there going to be a surge in tech mergers in 2014 -

Maybe its thing to dust off these stocks...the dogs of 13 maybe the stars of 14!! Interesting to note on the front page of the AFR that the best performing Fund Manager for 2013 had no exposure to resources (similar trend for many in the space). Made me think it was time to start looking at some of the better quality tier two producers and see what has emerged post the big resources dust up.

On If inflation is the genie, then deflation is the ogre that must be fought decisively Christine Lagarde...she warned against premature withdrawal of... -

interesting to note the WA still heading the states as the standout leader in this report. As mining projects moving from the construction phase and into production phase there still appears to be a significant wealth effect flow on into resources facing states. Similar comments noted from the Perth based brokers (Hartleys and Euroz) that clients who have invested in miners (i.e. producers as opposed to explorers) have still done well and there is somewhat of a wealth effect localised in these states.

On CommSec State of the States for January 2014,State & territory economic performance report -

The stockpile of cash on company balance sheets has been an interesting theme to follow. M&A activity is one avenue along with the replacement of manufacturing equipment which is reaching historically old levels (i.e hasn't been upgraded for years). The question remains what will be the catalyst from a confidence point of view for companies to start deploying capital. Paul Moore (PM Capital) was of the view that until central banks ceased intervention corporates would sit on their hands and cash awaiting more clarity on the fall out of tapering etc

On Why are companies are sitting on piles of cash but not spending it -

If you listen to the plight of many traditional manufacturing businesses, such as the car makers, the currency is one part of the equation but there are other factors also influencing costs and consumer choices. Market size (i.e. small), high labour costs and disruptive alternative products are also placing pressure on the manufacturing industries.

On Not all manufacturers want a lower Aussie dollar... -

Job losses continue to make headlines in corporate news particularly manufacturing and resources. Should we be surprised to see the jobs figure going up? I still can't get a clear view on where jobs growth is going to come from.... what else do we have/produce that the world wants? Not enough population/population growth domestically to take up the slack.

On Well, that tore the wind out of our sails -

Market reaction to the Seek result has been positive with a number of brokers expecting to upgrade based on results + earnings accretive acquisition. This from Bell Potter Upgrades likely to FY14. Net profit guidance for 2H14 of a result slightly ahead of 1H14 ($87.4m) implies FY14 net profit above $175m, versus consensus of $163m and our forecast of $169m. SEEK also expects the pending JobStreet acquisition to be strongly accretive post FY15.

On SEEK results delivers significant growth across major metrics and punctuates with a 40% lift in dividend -

Good note this morning Jordan. We received some interesting anecdotal feedback yesterday from a group who have been doing business in China. Apparently, the locals have got a serious case of the gold bugs. Street dealers are offering 5% discounts on physical gold and seeing lines hundreds of meters long with people queuing up to purchase physical.

On China is now the biggest buyer of physical gold in the world, overtaking India in 2013, according to the World Gold Council. Imports from Hong Kong of over... -

Paul I think there is an interesting opportunity here on both the company side and the investor side. As of 2011 Chinese made up 4% of the Australian population, this is a clearly a market that APX should appeal to. Secondly, if Chinese companies can give Australian domiciled investors leverage to the Chinese consumer market I think this is a theme that would resonate well with a good number of investors.

On Australia's new stock exchange officially launched in Sydney last night -

Thanks for your contribution Pieter and I look forward to hearing more form you andf the team at Beer & Co. It is great to have contributors with your background and experience particularly in the resources space. Thanks, James

On At Beer & Co, I have initiated research on New Age Exploration -

One of the things that stands out from the rush of IPO's at the end of 2013 is simply that things were done in such a rush. The IPO pipeline had been stagnant for years and when a few floats go off such as Virtus it must be almost impossible for funds not to participate. In fact we spoke with one manager who used the phrase get your allocation first and do the DD afterwards. Your description of information arbitrage is excellent, however, appropriate DD is the obvious input to balance this out. Tough when there is a rush..

On The IPO excitement was palpable in late 2013 -

This was from one of the exclusives just last month, Justin Braitling believe that after a two year bear market there are some select opportunities in the resources sector. These are a few of the stocks and sectors Watermark holds Orocobre (Lithium), Tiger Resources (Copper) and Base Resources (Zircon). Full discussion here He also thought the uranium space was looking interesting.

On Lithium companies have jumped on the news that Tesla will build a huge lithium battery factory -

John, what is your read on the data? I have seen a few comments suggesting there could be some seasonal factors influencing the results and understating activity? I know these reports are notoriously inconsistent and often get revised. See this article from CNBC:

On The slide in Chinese manufacturing momentum continues -

60% of Dominos sales in Australia are now ordered online. For a humble Pizza shop that is an incredible statistic and demonstrates the successful transition into a mobile/digital economy. They also increased the dividend by 14% and in Japan they have just displaced Pizza Hut to become the 2nd largest Pizza chain in the country.

On The ham and pineapple pizza is making a comeback -

we've seen investors really seek income assets in preference to growth assets. - Based on the recent reporting season you could argue the dominant iron ore exposures in Australia are likely to be viewed by investors as income exposures moving forwards. There are plenty of forecasts suggesting iron ore will $80 - $90, however, following the cost out process from the major miners and the debt reduction programs I would suggest they are braced for lower prices in the medium term.

On Pengana's Head of Resources says high price of Iron-Ore is worrying -

There is definitely something skewed with the S&P ratings. However, I would say the impacts are even more pronounced at this point in time due to the scale of the decline in valuations for many resources companies. I would argue that the de facto sell/buy recommendations would be viewed by some investors who are benchmark/index unaware to gain some advantage.

On S&P DJ is stripping another 16 resources companies out of the small resources share price index -

The fact that the phone becomes the coupon is a great innovation. Very interesting stat from your article, we check our phones 150 times a day or about once every 6.5 minutes, it is with us all the time and helps us to discover new deals. With digital coupons you no longer need to carry around paper coupon cut outs for your purchases.

On RetailMeNot is the world's largest digital coupon marketplace -

Henry that Donaco call has been excellent. I had a look over their website and some of their presentations to get more of a feeling for the business. Apparently there is growing demand/competition between tour operators in China to lock in hotel beds so they can bring tours into the country for gambling junkets. The poor man Macau... Big market right on their doorstep.

On Move along nothing to see here as Crimea settles down to life under Czar RasPutin -

It is a good article, with all the additional money being spent on the malls I wonder if there is a precedent for expected returns for the retailers that end up letting the space. I would also suggest a fair assumption that the investors backing the developments are expecting a rosier retail environment in the coming years.

On Turnover up at Australia's 'big gun' shopping malls (BRW) -

Market has looked at those figures like a bit of a speed bump. A short sell off following the initial release and things have pushed on since then. Perhaps investors think that the China relationship is being diluted by positive outlooks in developed economies such as the US. Or expectations broadly are already lower than consensus forecasts?

On Chinese manufacturing data due today will set the tone for the week -

Jordan, it is an interesting article but it looks to focus mostly on cash flow and some of the accounting nuances around describing this. The last few years has been about cost out so profits have been posted on the back of declining revenue in many cases. My understanding is that there is significant amounts of cash already sitting on corporate balance sheets that has been held back over the past few years. Although the last chart is definitely not showing new investment taking place.

On I have been consistently reading views that the growth estimates for the US over the next few years have been understated -

I am no where near as much of a gold bug as you guys but I did take something away from the Saxo Bank post from Friday. 1) No fresh buying since late February (i.e. only short covering 2) Physical demand tapered dramatically at the $1300 level. I am sure there is more at it than these two anecdotes but they both seemed to add up for me.

On Tepid data from the US, Europe and China was not enough to halt golds slide yesterday. The move overnight brought back unpleasant memories of 2013 when sharp... -

You could go on forever debating that question and when politics come into it the arguments become even more heated. You can't discount Government intervention, however, 2021 is a fair way down the line and a long way from the strong trend in data consumption that we are seeing today. The TPG result today along with the content piece from K2 both highlight how late NBN will be coming to the party. Myopic policy keeps nimble competitors in play.

On Is the NBN shaping up to be a white elephant? -

Enjoyed your write up on Peter Birtles this morning Dean. Simavita is one that Alex Cowie has followed a little, I suspect he will have more to add on this front.

On What I'm buying, Simavita Ltd (SVA) -

Nathan, thanks for sharing and a very interesting article. The rise of solar in Japan is a really interesting development in response to the Fukushima disaster and is a great example of the role that renewable energy can play. Your fifth point - on Carbon reduction is definitely the most politicized and conflicted when it comes to a consensus of opinions. Hopefully some other nations will be able to execute and demonstrate a path forward that will generate sufficient buy in from Australia.

On Business Spectator picked up our article on the five primary issues that will influence our portfolio positioning and the broader clean energy space for the... -

Matt, thanks for sharing this. What were your thoughts on their results last week? Also, what are the implication on the corporate front of the Soul Patts shareholding?

On BUY: Brickworks Limited (ASX: BKW) -

Jay, what about seasonality in consumption trends in the US? I read an interesting piece a month or so ago saying as the weather improves through summer there is a seasonal (and noticeable) increase in consumption. Is seasonality going to be outweighed by supply?

On What's in store for the price of crude oil in the coming months -

I tend to agree with you on this one Dean, however, the one point that gets me concerned is interest rates. Given they are at historically low levels the capacity for individuals to borrow has gone up dramatically. Additionally, with the fierce competition between banks for mortgages I would hazard a guess that lending standards may be getting a little loose in some areas. Should inflation kick in, followed by rising interest rates there would be a substantial cooling in property prices. This scenario feels a little way off yet - but certainly not out of the question.

On We do not have a 'housing bubble' and there is a simple explanation why -

Thanks for sharing Pete - a long call on the AUD at these levels would probably have surprised quite a few people if you were to have told them this would be in play late last year. Interesting to hear comments from the RBA today

On Feels like markets are about to move -

I have read a couple of quite bullish reports on CSR of late, although the broker community appear to be divided. It sounds like they have some optionalility with respect to divesting a number of assets within the business (they have a holding in a non listed Aluminium business caled Tomago). Additionally the balance sheet is incredibly strong with vbery little debt. The stock is up 191% since July 2012 - still well short of the pre GFC high of $8.66.

On The are three stocks at present that technically look very strong indeed -

At our launch in October last year I was interested to hear Peter Morgan say he was lucky/happy if he got 7 out of 10 calls right. Over the weekend Colin Bell told the AFR he thought Charlie Aitken did a great job by having 6 from 10 good ideas a week. Hindsight is very forgiving, but I am sure there are just as many people who appreciate getting a wide range of opinions - even if there are a few clangers in there. Interesting fact - Buffett underperformed the S&P 4 out of the last 5 years.

On Always difficult to pick the top of the market -

It is interesting if you look at the other bids over the past few months they have been hotly contested with plenty of offshore interest. But is retailing strategic/growing in Australia? No doubt DJ's is a premium brand but is Aussie retail that strategic? If it is just a property grab perhaps HVN is also being looked at?

On DJS valued at 18.8x via this offer when adjusting for the property book -

So Dean I spoke with Scott Power - on the escrowed shares. His view is that not all come out of escrow in August (only some). The holdings are mostly with the practitioners who are business owners and operators. He says that whilst there may be some selling it is unlikely they would look to dispose of all their shares. He was looking into this further himself, but didn't believe it was a cause for concern.

On 3 views on Virtus -