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MB Fund celebration offer

Be warned, folks, this is an advertorial. 2019 was an outstanding year of returns for MB Fund Portfolios, highlighted by our Growth fund up 17.8%; placing it in the top 4 growth Super funds in Australia. In celebration of this, we’re offering Brokerage-Free set-up for any new regular or super portfolio with the MB Fund

Latest posts

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ScoMo’s geniuses suggest you avoid China

Via the ABC: Australians are being officially advised to reconsider their need to travel to China as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. Early on Wednesday morning, government travel website Smarttraveller updated its travel advice for China from “exercise normal safety precautions” to “reconsider your need to travel”. Foreign Minister Marise Payne warned Australians should not travel

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Macro Morning

By Chris Becker  Hope returned to stock markets overnight as US economic data beat expectations. Wall Street rallied over 1% higher with the usual safe haven assets falling in response, although Bitcoin did surge above the $9000 mark. Oil prices came back a little after being whallopped, while the USD lost ground against most of

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Daily iron ore price update (clubbed like baby seal)

SGX that is. Hammered again yesterday to $73.64: Coronavirus damage estimates are mounting, via Platts: “The concentration of the virus in China, the strong growth of Chinese steel production/exports since 2003 are likely create a demand vacuum across the region,” Jefferies’ Australia-based analysts Simon Thackray and Abraham Akra said in a note. “We believe, inventories

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Chinese international student bubble to pop on virus

When it comes to international student enrolments, Australia is a world-beater. As shown recently by Professor Salvatore Babones, the concentration of international students at Australia’s universities is the highest in the developed world at roughly 2.5 times second-placed United Kingdom and around three times third-placed Canada: The main driver of Australia’s booming international student enrolments

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Links 29 January 2020

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: Dow Jones sinks more than 400 points amid coronavirus uncertainty – ABC Amid climate crisis, investors are starting to put their money towards a sustainable future – CNBC Fed Adds Nearly $50 Billion to Markets, but Overall Temporary Liquidity Declines – WSJ “Digital currency cannot be private,” warns Bank

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Macro Afternoon

Asia stocks continue to drop as economic fears surrounding the Chinese coronavirus continue to mount alongside the growing number of official cases. Forex markets are relatively tight with the Kiwi dropping slightly on the announcement of a new election, while Bitcoin is fast approaching the $9000 mark: Japanese share markets were relatively stable alongside Yen

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China cancels all IELTS courses

Nasty for Australian education, via Xinhua: China’s Ministry of Education announced that English proficiency exams Chinese students take to get enrolled by foreign universities will be cancelled nationwide during February in view of the ongoing novel coronavirus outbreak. The exams include the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), the Test of English as a Foreign

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NBN faces grim future amid mounting financial pressures

Cross-posted from Independent Australia: The future of the NBN looks grim with entrenched poor outcomes, increasing financial pressures and no solutions from the Morrison Government, writes Paul Budde. OVER THE LAST WEEK, I had an interesting discussion on the NBN with several long-term colleagues. What triggered this discussion – we have had many more of

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CommSec crowns Victoria number one economy as Victorians go bust

CommSec has released its latest State of the States report, which once again ranks Victoria on top due largely to a combination of strong population growth, construction, and debt-fuelled consumption: How are Australia’s states and territories performing? Each quarter CommSec attempts to find out by analysing eight key indicators: economic growth; retail spending; equipment investment;

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Infrastructure deficit impossible to fix without tackling immigration

Cross-posted from Online Opinion: Australian politicians never tire of telling the public how they are investing record amounts in infrastructure. Barely a day goes by without a minister announcing a new “congestion busting” infrastructure project designed to ease bottlenecks in Australian cities. Malcolm Turnbull said he wanted to be known as an “infrastructure prime minister”.

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Superannuation is robbing the pension system

The fake outrage of the Aged Pension taper rate has continued in the New Daily, which claims that the tightened pension assets test is leaving a growing number Australians in a “retirement trap”: Research by exchange-traded fund provider BetaShares found Australians with super balances between $350,000 and $600,000 at retirement age can shrink their income

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Coronavirus quarantines go global as ScoMo goes to Hawaii

We know that China has some 60m people in lockdown. The always pragmatic British have now joined the push, via The Telegraph: Britain will put people airlifted from China into quarantine amid concerns that around 1,500 people who arrived in the UK since the new year have not undergone checks. Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary,

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Why crypto-parasites love coronavirus

Unleash the spruik, via FTAlphaville: Don’t let moral anguish over the deaths of potentially thousands of people get in the way of an opportunity to shill some crypto and pump up the price of bitcoin. As ever, crisis is opportunity for cryptocurrency lovers. In the past they’ve seized upon everything from a banking collapse in

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Coal is already doomed

Coal is doomed, via Ian Verrender at the ABC: It was a story that raised a few hackles, particularly in Canberra, but one largely overlooked as the unfolding disaster gripped the nation. Early last month, as fire swept across large parts of the east coast and South Australia but before the Christmas conflagration, secret internal

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Ancient history NAB business survey fades

It’s pre-bushfires and coronavirus but it was weak anyway, from NAB: Key messages from the Survey: The final monthly business survey of 2019 provides further evidence that activity stabilised in Q4. Conditions edged 1pt lower in the month to +3 index points – another below average result and one that is well below the level

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Tiny houses obliterate Great Australian Dream

As Australia’s house prices surge towards fresh all-time highs and traditional housing becomes increasingly unaffordable, “tiny houses” are once again being touted as a fake solution. The latest example comes from the Daily Telegraph’s Aidan Devine, who has penned a triumphant propaganda piece on “why more Aussies are joining the tiny house revolution”: The off-the-grid

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ASX bubble begins to pop

The AUD has been stable through the morning, pancaked: Bonds are on fire. New highs ahead for mine: The ASX has gapped lower 1.5% at the open, getting off very lightly: Big Iron is the tip of the falling spear. My recent blowoff call looks good: Big Gas too. STO is also threatened by the

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David Jones confirms gutted consumer

Via The Australian: In a statement to the Johannesburg Stock Exchange released on Monday, Woolworths Holdings, the South African company that owns David Jones, said sales were 4.9 per cent higher over the 26 weeks to December 29. But the prior year’s figures were for the 26 weeks up to December 23, which meant the

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Shane Oliver: Underemployment “a chronic problem” for Australia

AMP chief economist, Shane Oliver, has warned that labour underutilisation is now “a chronic problem for Australia”, is far higher than other developed nations, and will continue to depress wage growth: “It has been trending up this year and has been high for a while now, since the global financial crisis,” he said. “It’s indicative

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George Megalopolis hails Melbourne’s diving living standards

Political commentator, George Megalogenis, penned a long-winded article in The Age’s Good Weekend hailing the rise of Melbourne to Australia’s largest city, and how this will make it the cultural, political and economic capital of Australia: The rise of Melbourne is shaping up to be the social and economic story of the 21st century, tilting