MB Fund November performance (part 2)

One of our core investment themes is that international stocks are the best asset class for Australian investors at this point in the cycle. To date, this has been the right call, with our international portfolio increasing over 13% over the last 4 months on the back of a weak Australian dollar, favourable stock selection

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Ponzi Pallas spins wildly as VIC Budget rides the bubble

By Leith van Onselen The Victorian Budget Update was released on Friday, which was largely another big spending, big taxing affair. In his Media Release, Treasurer Tim (“Ponzi”) Pallas spruiked Victoria’s booming economic conditions, which has led to an upgraded projected surplus of $1.7 billion in 2017-18, with estimated surpluses averaging $2.2 billion over the


The Australian dollar smash of 2018

DXY rebounded firmly Friday night as Trump tax reform is go: Australian dollar pulled back: EM forex took off: AUD CFTC speculative positioning lifted slightly to 41k last week, still moderately long: Gold held: Brent too: US rigs fell a bit last week but a new rush is coming: Base metals soared on growth hopes:


Auction clearances still weak

CoreLogic released its auction report yesterday, which reported a small rise in the preliminary national auction clearance rate to 64.2% from 63.1% last weekend, but remained well below the 68.3% recorded in the same weekend last year: Auction volumes nationally were 2,865 – slightly above the 2,735 recorded in the same weekend last year: As


Links 18 December 2017

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: Dreaming You Can Get the Returns of Stocks Without the Risk? Dream On – WSJ The economics of the Bitcoin payment system – VOX Bitcoin futures are about to get another big boost – CNBC John Griffin to Shut Blue Ridge Capital Hedge Fund After 21 Years – Bloomberg


Weekend Reading: 16-17 December 2017

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: Is Trump Driving the Stock Market Rally? – NY Times Goldman Wants a 100% Margin on Some Bitcoin Futures Trades – Bloomberg Out With the Old? Blockchain Requires a New Regulatory Approach – Coin Desk FCC Votes to End Net Neutrality Rules – Bloomberg U.S. regulators ditch net neutrality


Macro Afternoon

by Chris Becker Asia has a wet lettuce finish to the week with most stock markets finishing in the red as the USD continued its decline from overnight, except against Euro as the ECB meeting failed to ignite animal spirits.  Going into the Christmas break there is tension amid risk markets that have had a


Dastayari Affair reaches Washington

Via the ABC: Leading American political figures have seized on the Sam Dastyari scandal to highlight the threats posed by Beijing to Western democracies. A bipartisan congressional-executive commission on China has heard evidence of growing Communist Party influence in the United States, and towards allies such as Australia and New Zealand. The donations scandal that ended


Webinar: Bitcoin or Bitcon?

Enjoy: ———————————————————————– David Llewellyn-Smith is chief strategist at the MB Fund which is currently long local bonds and international equities that offer superior growth and benefit from a falling AUD so he is definitely talking his book. Here’s the recent fund performance: Source: Linear, Factset The returns above include fees and trading costs on a


Purple-bricks makes inroads

Via the AFR: UK fixed-fee disruptor Purplebricks sold $1.1 billion of residential real estate – around 2200 homes – in its first 14 months of operations in Australia, the company has disclosed as part of its latest interim results. Revenue from its Australian business surged to £6.8 million ($11.9 million) for the six months ended October 31 – up from £400,000


Budget’s return to surplus hope not fact

By Leith van Onselen A day after chief economist at Industry Super Australia, Stephen Anthony, penned an article projecting Budget deficits for the next decade and beyond, driven by publicly funded employment (disability support, education and health) and infrastructure investment, Westpac is still projecting a return to surplus by 2020-21. From The Australian: A budget


Credlin: Give us a debate and vote on Australia’s population

By Leith van Onselen Chief of Staff to former Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Peta Credlin, is the latest to question Australia’s mass immigration program, which flooded NSW (read Sydney) and VIC (read Melbourne) with a record 185,500 net overseas migrants (combined) in the year to June, further crush-loading our two biggest cities: Last night, Ms


BTFD US dip!

DXY firmed overnight: AUD surged on: It demolished EMs: Gold rose: Brent too: And base metals: But big miners fell: And EM stocks: Junk was OK: Treasuries were sold: Bunds too: Stocks fell: Four events of note. US retail sales boomed: Advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for November 2017, adjusted for


What kind of economic damage will the Dastayari Affair do?

Black Hole Malcolm continues the Bennelong assault, via the AFR: Malcolm Turnbull has tried to blame Labor for an anti-Liberal backlash brewing among Bennelong’s Chinese-Australian community by claiming it was the Opposition which stirred the trouble. With the byelection on Saturday and polls showing Liberal candidate John Alexander a nose ahead of Labor’s Kristina Keneally,


Bill Evans: Australian dollar to slump

Via Westpac: We confirm our forecast that the AUD will drift even lower in 2018 ending the year at around USD 0.70. Readers will be aware that one core driver of this expected deterioration in the AUD is our view that the overnight yield differential between Australia and the US will narrow significantly. Our target


Short-term Chinese arrivals hit new record high

By Leith van Onselen The Australian Bureau of Statistics yesterday released its overseas short-term arrivals and departures figures for October, which continued to show a trend rise in the number of inbound visitors, with Chinese arrivals continuing to boom. The number of short-term visitor arrivals jumped 11.8% in October in original terms, whereas short-term resident


Sydney house prices fall for 14th consecutive week

By Leith van Onselen The slow deflation of Sydney’s housing market has continued for the 14th consecutive week, with CoreLogic’s dwelling values index registering another 0.18% decline, with values down a cumulative 1.9% over that 14-week period, and dwelling values also down 1.8% over the past 19-weeks: Sydney’s quarterly growth rate continues to turn negative,


AUSTRAC expands CBA terrorism allegations

Via The Australian: The anti-money laundering agency has dramatically expanded its suite of allegations against the Commonwealth Bank, with new claims the nation’s largest bank failed to adequately monitor suspected terrorist financiers and alert them to authorities. …The bank now faces more than 53,800 alleged contraventions of the anti-money laundering act. Six transactions by five


Daily iron ore price update (a year of two halves)

Iron ore price charts for December 14, 2018: Tianjin benchmark rose 40 cents to $70.10. Paper is faltering. Steel is falling. Yesterday’s China data saw steel production fall heavily on Winter shutdowns in November: But cement remained very strong: I think what we’re seeing in these numbers is that supply has been hit harder than


Links 15 December 2017

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: Famed Short-Seller Jim Chanos Says Tesla Headed for ‘Brick Wall’ – Bloomberg Libor’s Rise Matters for Trillions of Debt – Bloomberg Yellen Tells Investors Not to Fear the Flattening Yield Curve – Bloomberg Is Bitcoin the Most Obvious Bubble Ever? – Medium Busting the Myths About A.I. Invading Our