Calendar 2019 is ending on a relatively positive note, especially compared to the same time in 2018. Policymakers have a chance to "fix the roof while the sun is shining".

With interest rates on government debt at multi-decade lows, a number of leading economists have argued that almost every advanced economy can allow debt to drift up toward Japanese levels. This ignores what can go wrong.

This lecture explores the concept of ethics, contemporary issues in financial services as they relate to ethics, and the relevancy and application of ethics in our everyday lives.

Clare Payne | 1 comment | 2.50 CE

The disconnect between financial markets and the real economy is becoming more pronounced, as investors focus on the attenuation of some short-term tail risks, and on central banks' return to monetary-policy easing.

Sharpe proposed that active investing must be a losing pursuit in aggregate. This paper takes a critical look at that proposition, and whether it is worthwhile considering using active fund managers.

Geoff Warren | 1.00 CE

Central bankers and senior economic officials now almost unanimously believe that monetary policy has reached its limits.

It is only a matter of time before some shock triggers a new recession. Because policymakers will be pressured to do something, "crazy" policy responses will become a foregone conclusion.

The Sino-American trade war may well be about to enter its endgame. The next round of negotiations could be the last real chance to find a way through the trade, technology, and wider economic imbroglio that has been engulfing both countries.

Coming to a Portfolio Construction Forum program and looking for somewhere to stay? We don't organise accommodation for delegates, but we can point you in the right direction...

Are markets efficient? Recent research suggests not, finding media impacts information dissemination, and mispricing explains the value premium.

Ron Bird | 1.00 CE

This lecture instructs IMAC candidates on the principles of equity securities and analysis including: fundamental investing and analysis; industry analysis; corporate analysis; quantitative investing; momentum investing; value/contrarian investing; and, technical analysis.

This lecture instructs IMAC candidates on the theoretical and empirical underpinnings of portfolio management, specifically in relation to how portfolios are designed and measured.

This lecture instructs Investment Management Analyst Course (IMAC) candidates on the fundamental of applied economics with an Australian perspective.

This lecture instructs IMAC candidates on the accurate and meaningful measurement and assessment of investment portfolio performance, specifically performance measurement and attribution.

This lecture instructs IMAC candidates on approaches to asset allocation (SAA, TAA, DAA), the role of strategic asset allocation and method for setting the SAA, optimisaton, pre-tax return estimates, estimating risk and correlation, and forecast estimation errors.

This lecture instructs IMAC candidates on properties of debt markets, the investment features and risks of bonds, the application of the time value of money to the valuation of bonds, and the concepts of duration and convexity and their application to bond portfolio management.

This lecture instructs IMAC candidates on how to make decisions about a portfolio's market and currency exposure, and to determine the impact of those decisions on portfolio performance. To various extents, these topics are considered in other IMAC lectures (currency management, asset allocation, performance measurement) and hence this lecture fills the gaps.

This lecture instructs IMAC candidates on alternative asset classes and sub-asset class strategies, portfolio design, performance characteristics, and valuation methods.

Christine Lagarde will soon succeed Mario Draghi as president of the ECB. She is taking the reins at precisely the right moment for Europe to make the changes needed to avoid a second lost decade.

There are several geo-economic games of chicken playing out. In each case, failure to compromise would lead to a collision, most likely followed by a global recession and financial crisis.

Policymakers are coming to realise that it is neither wise nor feasible to rely constantly on central banks for economic-policy support. The case for shifting the burden from monetary to fiscal policy is becoming more apparent.

Trump's administration is flailing at antiquated perceptions of the Old China that only compound the problems it claims to be addressing. Financial markets are starting to get a sense that something is awry.

With bond prices going parabolic in the past few weeks, once again market participants are wondering whether the bond market is in a bubble.

Financial regulators have been reluctant to dish out jail terms. A new research paper finds that prison terms can be a cost-effective governance mechanism. A second paper gauges the impact of self-control on investment behaviour.

Ron Bird | 2 comments | 1.00 CE

In the increasingly intense strategic and economic competition between Washington and Beijing, it's naive to think Australia can just sit on the sidelines.

Expert Panel | 0.75 CE

A broader approach to retirement income, looking beyond yield and incorporating expected return and risk, means some income-generating assets should be excluded from retirement portfolios.

Michael Martel | 0.50 CE

Since the GFC, we have seen a re-emergence of the low growth world which persisted before the 1950s. Investment returns in the 2020s and beyond will be concentrated in a few winners with real earnings growth.

Mark Arnold | 0.25 CE

One of the best performing equity sub-asset classes over 20 years is seemingly being ignored. Investors should seriously consider an allocation to Global SMID equities in their portfolios.

Ned Bell | 0.25 CE

Alpha still matters and an active approach can enhance portfolio returns, creating extra saving to be spent in retirement.

Thomas Poullaouec | 0.50 CE

We can never know for certain how the macro backdrop will change or which investment style will dominate. But focusing on uncovering fundamental earnings leadership tunes out market noise, and enhances returns.

Jonas Palmqvist | 0.25 CE

Value investing experienced one of its worst underperformances in the decade since the GFC. As we enter the 2020s, valuations heavily favour value stocks and the data shows that value has a greater than 85% chance of outperforming growth from here.

Charles Dalziell | 0.50 CE

This hypothetical Investment Committee considers three relevant, forward-looking economic and market scenarios which have a reasonable probability of occurring during the next two to three years.

Expert Panel | 1.00 CE

The significant valuation gap between listed and direct infrastructure markets presents an opportunity to arbitrage value from the two as the gap closes. Understanding the weight of this change into 2020 and beyond is key.

Daniel Foley | 0.50 CE

The diverse characteristics of credit markets provides investors the ability to construct robust portfolios, offering investment opportunities suitable for all potential market environments.

Michael Buchanan | 0.50 CE

Trailing a rising market can feel like missing out - but pure pursuit of highest returns can have unintended consequences. Protecting capital on the downside has a material impact on total returns.

Benjamin Treacy | 0.25 CE

Prior to the GFC, you could build a retirement portfolio on the back of a 7% yield, virtually risk free. Today, without that free kick, a 7% yield is a much harder job, especially from a risk-budgeting perspective.

Jason Teh | 0.50 CE

Limiting overlapping economic exposures more effectively creates concentrated yet diversified portfolios capable of meeting investors’ long-term objectives into the 2020s, while better managing risk.

Donald Huber | 0.25 CE

Focusing on financially material ESG data and systematically including them into investment analysis facilitates 20/20 vision of a company’s risk-return profile.

Masja Zandbergen | 0.50 CE

Whether they realise it or not, investors use factors every time they make an asset allocation decision. Combining multiple factors can help investors increase the chances for investment success.

Antonio Picca | 0.50 CE

Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning (ML), and Deep Learning represent an important expansion of the quantitative investors' analytical toolkit, providing substantial new flexibility.

Joanna Nash | 0.50 CE

A deliberate blend of emerging market debt and high yield opens up another universe of liquid, high income opportunities which can offer relative stability in returns and deliver the potential of higher income.

James Blair | 0.25 CE

Australia has enjoyed nearly three decades of uninterrupted economic growth, but there are sound reasons to question whether this will continue in the future. Five core shifts – industry, urban, energy, land and culture – are needed for Australia to reach its full potential.

Katherine Wynn | 0.50 CE

Value investing has proven successful over time but it requires discipline and a long-run horizon - and disagreement remains over whether the value premium will persist. What's your philosophy?

There are three negative supply shocks that could trigger a global recession by 2020. None of them are amenable to the traditional tools of countercyclical macroeconomic policy.

Great eyesight depends on more than just clarity of vision - peripheral awareness, eye co-ordination, depth perception, focus and colour sensitivity all play a crucial role, without which our vision is impaired. Strategies Conference 2019 looks ahead at the issues that will dominate the 2020s and beyond to provide greater clarity in building quality portfolios.

Many economists argue that resolving US-China trade tensions is the best way to avoid significant global economic and financial disruption. Yet, while necessary, this would be far from sufficient.

A disciplined, scenarios-based approach to determining your views on the outlook for markets is vital for building 20/20 portfolios. Determining investment strategy by analysing issues from a number of viewpoints allows you to arrive at plausible scenarios for how the future may unfold.

As life expectancies improved, the "Financial Independence, Retire Early" movement was born. But a very long time in "retirement" requires more flexible spending rules.

Crypto land has become an unregulated casino where unchecked criminality runs riot. It is high time that law-enforcement agencies stepped in.

In late May 2019, Australian 10-year bonds were at 1.64% per annum. A month on and they’d dipped under 1.3% per annum. This is quite a move.

Two recent research papers explore the impact of investors' increasing appetite for environmentally responsible investments.

Ron Bird | 1.00 CE

There is nothing unusual in a US President having a penchant for spin. But it won't be nearly as easy to spin the consequences of the flaws with Trump's economic policy.

Portfolio construction is multi-faceted and should be iterative. Five key components provide a framework to design quality portfolios to meet clients' objectives.

Facebook’s crypto-currency aims to function as private money anywhere on the planet. Given the massive risks, governments must step in and stop it before it launches.

While much of the discussion around climate change and transition risks is focused on negative impacts, these changes will offer significant opportunities for some businesses.

Research finds that SRI funds perform as well as conventional funds, ESG equity investing has outperformed in the US, and controversial stocks do best in crises.

Ron Bird | 1.00 CE

The critics of QE are right to warn of unintended consequences. But shunning QE may also have unintended consequences. The critics should be careful what they wish for.

Retirement bucket strategies tie specific expenses to specific portfolios. But looking at categories of spending doesn't necessarily work. A better approach is to segment spending within each category.

Investment grade debt has become much riskier, default rates will rise when interest rates begin the inevitable normalisation, and credit spreads are too low – it’s a bubble waiting to burst. Actually, no.

If you believe the UK is turning into populist Zimbabwe or Venezuela, you should expect a no-deal Brexit. Otherwise, forget about it.

The Federal Reserve is contemplating changing its framework for targeting inflation. It should conclude that the FOMC needs more patience with the current neutral stance rather than a new target.

The inflation outlook is subject to far wider possibilities than policymakers have considered. Too little focus on structural factors could pose serious risks to economic wellbeing and financial stability.

A carbon tax - while immensely popular among economists - imposes the same cost on the rich and poor. A carbon dividend would be a smart step that wouldn’t invite a yellow vest reaction.

Five misplaced concerns about the future of the dollar make forecasts of a long-run collapse in the dollar problematic.

Woody Brock | 0.50 CE

Climate change has moved faster than most thought possible. There will be exciting investment opportunities in companies focused on climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Jeremy Grantham | 1.00 CE

A recent paper looks at the impact of passive investing on market stability; a second describes shades of alpha for active and index investing. A third reviews luck and portfolio rebalancing outcomes.

Ron Bird | 1.00 CE

The long boom in Australian residential property prices seems to have finally ended. Further falls to come will cause the Australian economy to slow but will not cause a recession.

Tim Farrelly | 2 comments | 0.25 CE

If a final US-China trade deal prevents China from gaining greater monetary-policy autonomy, it could create major problems when the next big Asian recession hits.

With Wall Street hitting all-time highs and the US economy certain to set a record in June, the question is whether this is a resumption of the bull market or only a temporary bounce.

These are my key takeouts from Markets Summit 2019's Faculty of investment thinkers from around the world offering their high conviction ideas on the drivers of and outlook for the markets.

China is frequently presented as a source of crisis or instability for the global economy. However, the picture is one of imperfection, not peril.

Yes, the days of 10% Chinese growth are over. That was inevitable. But there are five key reasons to dismiss the now-widespread diagnosis that China is ensnared in the middle-income trap.

Most of us use funds in clients' portfolios. Three new research papers look at what differentiates fund managers, highlighting factors we probably never considered important.

Ron Bird | 1.00 CE

Compared to physical risks, investors have a much greater ability to incorporate carbon and related pollution regulations into investment decisions.

The US Federal Reserve surprised markets recently with a large and unexpected policy change. The new normal will be a US policy rate close to or just below 3%.

My key takeout was that perhaps markets entered an inflection point through 2018 and, accordingly (if they haven't already), investors need to think about how they position portfolios.

The idea that imputation refunds are an unfair, expensive rort is gaining acceptance in the community. The Labor proposal is not fair, nor much of a revenue earner. It's not even nuts. It is just wrong.

The arguments of supporters of Modern Monetary Theory have a grain of truth, but also rest on some fundamental misconceptions and have unpredictable, potentially serious consequences.

Climate change is affecting countries, companies, assets and communities in a variety of ways. Good stewardship of client assets requires investors to consider these issues.

There may be enough positive factors to make this a relatively decent - albeit mediocre - year for the global economy. But a global growth-stall and sharp market downturn could come in 2020.

Two recent papers provide timely insights on the market impact of behaviour that is detrimental to corporate reputation, and the impact of ever-growing passive investing on behaviour within organisations.

Ron Bird | 1.00 CE

The former head of the Australian Stock Exchange recommends that dividend imputation should be abolished?

For most of the past decade, the growing spending power of China’s expanding middle class has fueled the global economy. Not so anymore.

Australian investors have a different perspective on foreign currency to investors elsewhere in the world, and this should be reflected in how local portfolios are built.

Over the course of this year and next, the biggest economic risks will emerge in those areas where investors think recent patterns are unlikely to change.

Cyclical volatility in earnings has increased dramatically since the 1980s. The recent Apple profit warning is an excellent case in point.