2016 may only be 3 months old, but it feels like enough has happened to fill up a year. After the collapse of China’s share market starting from the first trading day of the year, global markets followed, and by mid-February, many markets were staring down the barrel of a full-blown bear market. How quickly fortunes can change, though, as markets rallied into March, fears of ‘GFC 2.0’ faded. What’s apparent from this (and the 5% the market has fallen from its March highs) is that volatility is the flavour of the market in 2016. Regardless of market conditions we will continue to bring you timely and actionable content from our contributors and ourselves. Following the end of quarter, I thought I’d take a break from the usual format of my 3 favourite wires of the week, to bring you the top 10 best performing contributor wires of the year so far.

A deep dive into the world of short selling

Chad Slater, Joint Chief Investment Officer, Morphic Asset Management

1) First up is this in-depth look at the controversial world of short selling. If you’ve ever wanted to understand the thinking behind short selling, this is for you.  (VIEW LINK)

What we've been buying in February

Pie Funds

2) Pie Funds shared with us what they were buying in February in their March update. This was far from being the only useful and interesting article in their update, so I’d encourage you to read the full update.  (VIEW LINK)

4 high conviction buys for March

Morgans Financial Limited

3) The Morgans research team each month update their high-conviction stock picks. Their picks returned 13% in less than 6 months after launching last year, and in this update, they made some major changes to their list.  (VIEW LINK)

10 stocks offering growth at reasonable yield

Mathan Somasundaram, Quant Strategist, Baillieu Holst

4) Growth and yield, everyone wants them, but where can you find them? Mathan Somasundaram from Baillieu Holst identifies these stocks as part of his popular GARY (Growth At a Reasonable Yield) screen. See the latest results here:  (VIEW LINK)

Is there really a crisis?

Marcus Padley, Director, Marcus Today

5) Following the share market rout at the beginning of the year, Marcus Padley came out with a very well timed article asking “Is there really a crisis?” Given the falls over the last couple of weeks, now might be a good time to review it.  (VIEW LINK)

Making money this year

Alan Kohler, Founder, Eureka Report

6) Alan Kohler, one of Australia’s most respected financial commentators, wrote another well-timed article in early January pointing out the risks and opportunities presented by China in 2016. Despite the eventful months since these themes remain relevant.  (VIEW LINK)

Beware of Quantitative Tightening

Hamish Douglass, CEO & CIO, Magellan Financial Group

7) Magellan Financial Group has been one of the great ASX success stories, and a large part of that success is thanks to Hamish Douglass. Each quarter he provides an update on the global macro picture, in this update he looked at the effects that monetary tightening is likely to have on global markets. The update also includes a detailed look at one of their major positions in the fund.  (VIEW LINK)

Themes for 2016

Saul Eslake, Advisory Board Economist, Jamieson Coote Bonds

8) Saul Eslake is the former Chief Economist for ANZ Bank, economic adviser to multiple governments, and now the Chief Economist for Bank of America Merrill Lynch Australia. He is also an adviser to Livewire contributor, Jamieson Coote Bonds, who shared with us his views on what to watch in 2016.  (VIEW LINK)

Lithium is in an undisputed bull market

Paragon Funds Management

9) Last year, nobody was talking about Lithium, this year everyone wants a piece. As an example, Pilbara Minerals recently raised $100m to develop their Pilgangoora lithium project, with some reports suggesting it was oversubscribed to the tune of another $100m. Back in January, Paragon Funds Management were one of the first to be discussing this theme:  (VIEW LINK)

A quick checklist for selecting stocks

Graham Witcomb, Analyst, Intelligent Investor

10) Checklists are a great way for investors to make sure they’ve not missed anything too important. If you’re not convinced, I suggest reading this 2007 article by Dr. Atul Gawande about the wonders of checklists: (VIEW LINK). If you’re already a believer like me, you can skip that and jump straight into Intelligent Investor’s quick checklist for selecting stocks (VIEW LINK)

And finally...

If you’re a regular reader of my ‘3 wires you should read this weekend’, you’ll be expecting some bonus Livewire content here. Not being one to disappoint, here are our top performing editions of Buy Hold Sell and Livewire Collections. 

Geoff Wilson from Wilson Asset Management and Ben Clarke from TMS Capital give their view on the most popular stocks from Livewire’s 2015 reader survey:  (VIEW LINK)

The market is not always right, so we asked 3 of our regular contributors about a stock the market misunderstood in the February earnings season. Responses come from Eley Griffiths Group, Wilson Asset Management, and Hyperion Asset Management.  (VIEW LINK)

I hope you’ve enjoyed Livewire so far this year. As always, good luck in the markets next week.

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James Marlay

Thanks for putting this together Pat, some exceptional insights...