Education

Becoming one of the most engaging wires on Livewire is no easy task. Hard work and great content aside, it contains an ‘X’ factor element that causes the piece to connect strongly with our audience.

While we monitor a suite of data points to ensure our content is relevant, the one we love most is the ‘like’ or ‘thumbs up’ button (it’s always there on the left hand side of each article you view on Livewire).

As our founder Tom McKay puts it, hitting ‘like’ is a nice way to give a contributor a "tip of the hat" to let them know you appreciated their article. Moreover, the like button is actually a powerful way to tell us what you are interested in so we can serve you more of that content over time. (PS – you can also see the wires you liked by clicking on the thumbs up button on the top right beside your name).

In this wire, I have shortlisted 6 of the most liked wires from 2019 that focused on timeless investment lessons, or strategies, from our contributors, and how some of our readers reacted to them. Enjoy!

1) "Penniless at 100" is the new black & 2) Growth beats income

Marcus Padley , Marcus Today

Marcus scored two of 2019's most liked wires. The sheer headline of #1 sparked a bit of a ‘shock and awe’ reaction among readers (myself included), particularly those thinking about their golden years. The heart of Marcus’s argument is this: in a zero-rate world, retirees will need to explore the concept of selling down their assets to live off the proceeds, given income is fast disappearing. They'll also need to manage their children’s expectations as far as leaving an inheritance goes.

Marcus certainly gave our audience a reality check, with one user commenting “I felt most uncomfortable as a 77 year old reading this article” while another reacted “our plan is to spend it all before we kick the bucket. We have told the kids that anything we leave behind is a miscalculation.” The latter comment brought this author quite a chuckle until I realised my parents may need to consider the same strategy!

Marcus's other zinger in 'Growth beats income' dovetails nicely into the view he paints of the new reality confronting retirees. With traditional yield stocks like the banks facing challenges,  Marcus argues that investors need to flip their thinking and go after companies with a high return on equity and low yield – rather those with high payout ratios and high yields – in order to generate a superior total return.

We certainly enjoy hearing about the actions our subscribers take after reading this type of content, with one saying: “I do find it hard to sell my CBA, despite the fact that I have been aware of the downside of continuing to chase the franking credits for years. I have picked up some growth stocks this year & I will steel myself to sell some of my CBA & purchase more in the near future.”

3) The developed world is on the brink of a financial, economic, social and political crisis

Donald Amstad, Aberdeen Standard Investments 

The thought of another global financial crisis when the bull market has been running so strongly was certain to ruffle feathers and that’s exactly what Don Amstad did in one of the most candid pieces of market commentary our team has seen in all our years of filming videos (a written summary with the video can be found here).

Don argued that developed economies are at a crisis point, the powers of unconventional monetary policy are exhausted, and markets are just beginning to wake up to this. His view is that when developed markets finally crack, there will be serious implications for every asset class and economy.

While the video had a fair few comments on Livewire, check out what the general public is saying about it on YouTube (it has nearly 6,000 comments).

4) The selling blind spot

Matt Joass, Maven Funds Management

As Matt puts it “for every thousand articles about when to buy a company, we’re lucky to find one about when to sell”, so Matt decided to tackle a clear retail investor need by sharing his two principles on when it’s time to get out of a stock.

And it clicked with our readers, with one nicely summing up their views by commenting: “This is easily the hardest part I find in investing, particularly with a buy and hold mentality being drummed into most investors from the core books. I am now much more focused on having my own method of valuation and using that to do both the purchase and to decide when to sell.”

5) Platinum and Magellan: Inside the minds of Australia’s most successful global investors

James Marlay, Livewire Markets

In my experience as a journalist it’s never been an easy feat to land an interview with either Magellan Asset Management’s Hamish Douglass or Platinum Asset Management’s Andrew Clifford. But my colleague James Marlay managed to get both together for an interview and the outcome was an education bonanza for those wanting to learn about global equities.

We were delighted that it helped some of our readers out with their portfolio construction, with one commenting: “The differences and similarities between the two firms helps private investors focus and plan their own strategies.”

6) IPO Wealth/Mayfair Platinum - The scary end of the "rush" for yield

Dominic McCormick, Investment Consultant

The rush for yield in an extremely low interest rate environment is clearly creating all sorts of distortions and excessive risk taking by investors across the investment spectrum. For Dominic McCormick, IPO Wealth/Mayfair Platinum is one of the more obvious examples.

In this analysis, Dominic looks under the bonnet of Mayfair 101's “term deposit like” investment products targeting sophisticated investors and offering yields well above current cash and fixed deposit rates provided by banks.

In his summary, Dominic puts forward 9 key questions for stakeholders consider. These are worth noting for any income investor, particularly the role of finance promoters in spruiking products and regulators in assessing the structure and risk of such investments.

Our readers took note of Dominic's assessment, responding with comments including "buyers beware" and that the article "raises a number of important issues".

Don't forget to hit that like button

We hope you learned some good lessons from these wires. Please do remember to keep hitting that like button if you do find a piece of content to be valuable - it helps us understand what you enjoy consuming so we can bring more relevant content to you.