Politicians are denying it, Glenn Stevens is flagging it, and corporates are struggling with it: it’s the era of low growth. Many investors are, however, unperturbed by this reality, focusing instead on the high dividend pay-outs on offer and assuming some decent amount of growth as a given. Yield, however, accounts for only one element of the return an investor gets from equities, and to downplay the growth element is to ignore a fundamental reason equities have performed well over the long term. Now, with growth hard to come by, and only a gradual acceptance of this reality, we at BAEP believe that markets are overpaying for growth that often fails to materialise. This, however, does not deter us in looking for opportunities with genuine growth that adds to returns over the long term. This article considers the struggle for earnings growth in the Australian market, and the importance of growth when investing in shares. (VIEW LINK)

James Marlay

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

Patrick Poke

Very interesting read, in particular: "The data is best summarised by the most recently reported GDP number, which saw growth of just 1.8% in the year to June. Measured on an annual basis, this is the lowest nominal growth since 1962, below even the recession years of the early 1980s and early 1990s, and below even Greece." Wow, I would not have expected that! Also: "These studies in fact reveal there is no correlation between GDP growth and a market’s return, and to the extent that there is a relationship, it is slightly negative." This surprised me even more!