The mental health, family life and physical health of a large proportion of Australians are being adversely affected by financial issues. In our recent report, ‘The Value of Advice’ we surveyed 2,000 Australians, to take a pulse of Australia’s financial and overall wellbeing and highlight the positive impacts of financial advice beyond potential monetary gains. Read it here.
South Korea, Iran and now Italy. Coronavirus has entered a new phase, spreading rapidly across the globe and hitting major stock markets. Further implications are emerging for investors as health experts question whether the virus is being under-reported outside China and if the number of new cases will fall as the weather improves.
Environmental, Social and Governance issues (ESG) have been increasing in importance for a while but are shooting up corporate agendas in 2020. Over 90 per cent of Fidelity analysts report that some or all of the companies they cover are focussing more on ESG, following a pronounced increase in climate change awareness and corporate reforms.
With interest rates at all-time lows, and set to remain there for “…years, perhaps decades…” according to Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) Governor Philip Lowe, it is likely that Australian investors become willing and able participants in the global hunt for yield. However, Australians are late to the party, with the yield-to-worst on both international and domestic bonds around record lows.
For a couple of reasons, the next few weeks are going to give investors an interesting ride. The first is what I expect to be a rise in short-term volatility as the coronavirus crisis shifts from being a human health story to an economic one. The second is the evidence that last year’s remarkable stock market rally is persuading previously cautious investors that it is safe to go back into the water.