Latest AXA Guide to Investment Markets

About every six months AXA Australia publish an interpretation of what has been happening in the local markets and economy in the context of the global economy. Of the many commentaries published by Australian product providers the AXA guide is one I feel is most written in plain, accessible language.

The latest AXA Guide to Investment Markets, dated June 2011 is titled “Understanding the ups and downs”.

Among the topics covered in the latest guide are:

  • Global debt
  • Surging commodity prices
  • “Two-speed” economy in Australia
  • Australian dollar
There’s one guarantee in economic interpretations – and that is that all the economists will disagree. No-one has a working crystal ball.
So read the AXA guide (and all others) for your interest but with caution – it’s not fact nor gospel.

Updated: AXA guide to investment markets

Have you been watching the investment markets fluctuate over the past year and wondering if you should be getting back in, or just in at all?

If so you may be interested in this perspective published by AXA Australia today called Charting The Future – Guide To Investment Markets.

This is an updated version of the AXA Guide published in February. You can read that version here.

What do you think of the AXA guide?

Please let me know your reaction to the AXA guide in the comments section below.

Was it informative or too full of jargon? Did it take you closer to making an investment decision? What else would you want to know? Please share your thoughts below.

A guide to investment markets in 2010

Reading the Signs. A guide to investment markets in 2010. By AXA Australia, February 2010.Have you been watching the investment markets recover over the past year and wondering if you should be getting back in, or just in at all?

If so you may be interested in this perspective published by AXA Australia today called “Reading the Signs. A guide to investment markets in 2010.

The guide is easy enough to read without much jargon and covers some of the key aspects that I hear are on many people’s mind.

In conjunction with reading this guide I recommend you review my video article on “How to decide when to start investing again.”

If you decide you want to participate in the recovery by investing but are nervous about picking specific stocks or even managed funds then remember to always start simple. The easiest, simplest and also lowest cost way to invest is by using a index managed fund. Your return will be the market return – so if the market goes up you should also make money. (To learn more call me.)

What do you think of the AXA guide?

Please let me know your reaction to the AXA guide in the comments section below.

Was it informative or too full of jargon? Did it take you closer to making an investment decision? What else would you want to know? Share your thoughts below.

Death Throes of the Monster Chimerica

“Chimerica” describes the combination of the Chinese and America economies, which when the term was coined had become the driver of the global economy. In an article in The Weekend Australian over the weekend (21-22 November 2009) authors Niall Ferguson and Moritz Schularick discuss how the past structure of this relationship needs to die a peaceful death for sake of the global economy.

I recommend this article to you if you are interested in how the financial decisions of nations interact and impact on the global economy. (You could call this macro-economics).

Read “Death Throes of A Monster” here. (If that link to the original source has expired read the article here.)

The credit crisis explained visually

For those still a little bit baffled by how the credit crisis started and then snowballed I recommend you spend 11 minutes watching this video. The concepts are very simply explained including: leverage, collaterised debt obligation and sub-prime. The knowledge will help you become a better investor in the future so that you can better understand the true risk of your investments.

Much kudos to creator Jonathan Jarvis. You can also visit the official website for the videos.

The Crisis of Credit Visualized from Jonathan Jarvis on Vimeo.

RBA rate cuts an ineffective stimulus

“Figures from the Big Four banks show that fewer than 5 per cent of mortgage borrowers have opted to reduce repayments as interest rates continue to slide.” (As reported on News.com.au here or  here)

What that means is that the massive rate cuts from the Reserve Bank of Australia over the past four months have been an ineffective stimulus on the Australian economy.

I believe this is happening because our nation’s “leaders” are fear-mongering. They are talking up the bad news too much without sufficient balancing positive leadership. Their jaw boning is counter-productive to their financial stimulus.

The big problem is that talk is free and stimulus is costing the country billions. 

The consequences could include (according to my fuzzy crystal ball):

  • Sudden reflation of the bubble as confidence returns and people start spending like the old days using their new stash of cash savings
  • Equally rapid interest rate rises 
  • A debt noose around our nation’s necks that hampers our international competitiveness and growth
  • A depression as the fear mongering becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy

To clarify I don’t mean all of the above. It could go either way in the short term.

One thing I am clear on is that fear breeds fear and what we need is true leadership, not a cash shower.

If you’re feeling scared ask yourself if the facts of your personal situation have really changed? Or is it just your perspective?

Maybe you are unnecessarily too scared. Maybe you don’t really have much to be afraid of and instead could be showing personal leadership to those around you.