ETF growth is outstripping the momentum of unlisted funds

The global market for exchange-traded funds (ETFs) will soon top $US3 trillion ($3.7 trillion), having exceeded $US2.9 trillion at the end of the first quarter, 2015. While this is overwhelmingly concentrated in North America – some $US2 trillion resides in the US – almost $US120 billion of this total is held in the Asia-Pacific region. ETFs […]
In Focus

IN FOCUS: Direct fix for bond investors

The rising life expectancy of Australians and the rapid growth in self-managed super funds (SMSFs) are fuelling a resurgent interest in fixed-income investment for financial planners and their clients. As a key defensive asset class, bonds are particularly important for investors requiring a reliable income stream and stable growth. “They’re looking at the risk of […]

LICs: Investors rethink the ‘poor cousin’ of managed funds and ETFs

The first listed investment company (LIC) in Australia joined the board of the Melbourne Stock Exchange in the 1920s, well before the state exchanges merged to form the Australian Stock Exchange, and before that entity changed its name to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX). LICs are an established part of the investment landscape. But this […]

Financial planners’ interest in platform alternatives continues to grow

Financial planning firms, particularly those not aligned with banks, are eyeing options to circumvent the high costs of platforms, says the head of online investment start-up Stockspot. Chris Brycki, founder and chief executive of Stockspot, which follows a primarily direct-to-consumer business model, says he is also being approached by financial planners. In recent weeks, four […]

New ASX offering could alter state of play for independent financial planners

ASX mFund could bring a substantial shift in the terms of engagement between investors, platform providers and fund managers, according to one of the new managed funds settlement service’s foundation members. Having officially launched yesterday, after a years-long process that included significant regulatory hurdles, mFund is an electronic processing service allowing investors to buy and […]

The fund manager’s view: mFund set to shake things up

ASX has launched its much-anticipated mFund Settlement Service. Peter Dorrian examines the benefits of the exchange’s latest initiative. Direct investing has become a phenomenon in Australia. Sparked initially by the attractively priced privatisation of state-owned assets through the late 1980s and 1990s and stoked by a rapidly rising domestic share market leading up to 2007, […]

Portfolio planning is for pros

Before the global financial crisis(GFC) gripped our world of portfolio construction, I was happy to think in terms of a highly concentrated portfolio of eight to 15 blue-chip stocks. It is easier to find a few good stocks than a large number; and the diversification benefits fall off rapidly when increasing the number of stocks. […]