“It’s a mirage, basically. In terms of cryptocurrencies, generally, I can say almost with certainty that they will come to a bad ending.” – Warren Buffett Crypto-Calamity May 2021 was a tumultuous month for ‘investors and traders of cryptocurrencies, as Chinese authorities cracked down on Bitcoin trading (and mining) which sent prices of all crypto tumbling. Bitcoin was one of the better performing cryptocurrencies, but still fell 17% on a single day in the month and at the time of writing was down 50% from its all-time high. Bloomberg Crypto index Source: Bloomberg, Al-Jazeera.com The Chinese announcement banned Chinese financial institutions and payment companies from providing services relating to crypto transactions – although it stopped short of barring individuals from actually holding crypto. The announcement led to several of the largest crypto mining operators suspending their Chinese operations. This is a big deal for crypto coins as China accounts for up to 70% of the worlds crypto mining. Adding to the woes of the sector, the US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell also stated that cryptocurrencies pose risks to financial […]
“The Intelligent Investor is one who sells to optimists and buys from pessimists.” Benjamin Graham NZ Property Update House price inflation is rampant in NZ with +22% y.o.y. for the period ending February 2021. This sort of growth increases the risk of a major disruption to the wider NZ economy when the $1.5 trillion property bubble finally bursts. How could we address this rising risk? Enter Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern! The biggest news in the past month for NZ investors has to be the changes to property investing announced as part of Labour’s Housing Package by PM Ardern on the 23rd of March. The major changes were: 1. The extension of the bright-line test to 10-years Previously, if you purchased an investment property after October 2015 and sold it within 2-years, you may have to pay income tax on the change in property value. This was then increased to 5-years in March 2018 and has now been extended to 10-years from the 27th of March. Bright-Line Test evolution To keep things complicated (and accountants employed): The bright-line test will remain […]
If it looks like a bubble and smells like a bubble……. It is very likely that US share markets are now in “bubble” territory. Bubble means shares are trading at historically expensive valuations. At present, many longer-term valuation measures show that S&P500 shares are trading at valuations higher than levels reached in 2000. The record high valuations in 2000 were the precursor to the “Tech Wreck” which saw the S&P500 fall by 44.70% over the next 2.1 years. S&P500 valuations stretched Source: Bloomberg, Yale/Robert Shiller, John Hussmann, John Mauldin It is easy to point to the markets and conclude we are in a bubble. The next question is: how big will this bubble get, and will it pop? As the famous economist John Maynard Keynes once said, “the market can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent.” We are anticipating increased volatility in the US sharemarket in 2021, but are also cognisant of several possible reasons the markets will push higher: There is No Alternative (TINA). The bond and cash markets are offering investors negative returns. As shown below, […]
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Reflecting on a year to forget Remember in January 2020 when things were looking great and we were expecting a year of growth driven by fiscal support? How right we were, just not in the way we anticipated! How the year started: 4th January we started hearing about 44 cases of pneumonia in China. 11th January China releases the genome sequencing for the novel coronavirus. We believe this is a localised virus and nothing too serious to worry about. 23rd January the World Health Organisation visits Wuhan in China (a city the world knew nothing about at the time). NZ government sets up a team to monitor this development. 30th January the WHO declares a health emergency of international concern. The world watched with some interest and then changed the channel. 3rd February NZ placed 14-day self- quarantine restrictions on people who are from or travelling through China. 11th February coronavirus gets a new name – Covid-19. We hear of transmission of the virus to people who had not been to China. The world starts to get nervous. 24th February […]
The joy of low interest rates As we finish another month, we have further historical events occurring. This time it is closer to home, with 2-year & 5-year government bond yields falling into negative territory for the first time in history. In September, the 5-year NZ government bond rate went as low as -0.06%. This is down from the not so attractive 0.66% six months ago. NZ Yield Curve – 18th Sept 2020 Source: The Daily Shot This has also led to mortgage rates in New Zealand dropping, which in turn is throwing further fuel on an already overpriced NZ property market. This is great news for borrowers who can now re-fix their debt at lower interest rates, giving them some short-term breathing room. NZ Mortgage Rate Forecasts NZ Annual Property Price Forecast Source: ANZ Research Source: Westpac NZ ANZ is currently forecasting mortgage rates to drop further, with the short end below 2% in 2021, as the RBNZ potentially moves our Official Cash Rate (OCR) into negative territory for the first time ever. The RBNZ is also likely to […]
Pay attention – we are in the middle of a historically significant event There is an old proverb, “May you live in interesting times”. This is falsely attributed to an English translation of a Chinese curse. The closest Chinese comparison to this saying is, “Better to be a dog in times of tranquillity, than a human in times of chaos“. Either way, there is no arguing that we do indeed live in interesting times. Since the start of the year, the world has changed in meaningful ways. We will focus below on the market related changes. Firstly, global share markets dropped 30% in March from their previous highs, wiping off US$30 trillion (30%) in value. Markets have since recovered to be only c.9% down from the previous high, as at the end of August 2020. World vs. US share markets Source: The Daily Shot In the US, we have seen share markets recover all their losses, now trading back at their historically record high valuations. Indeed, the US sharemarkets have now priced in the very unlikely “V-shaped” economic recovery, suggesting […]
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