Julie's Blog Posts

Here you will find interesting quotes, useful information and links to helpful articles on a wide variety of subjects.
Interest Rates

Interest rates are low .... but they will go back up, right?  Well what if that thinking is wrong? Let's start with interest rates and the 700 year chart above. There is a clearly downward trend over 700 years. Each century seeming to drop on average by about 5% until we have finally reached zero in 2020. So here's an idea:

  • Capital markets are now so efficient that money has been priced to perfection.
  • Many people around the world have spare money at any moment, so that money should be cheap provided it can be efficiently allocated.
  • Even someone with no money has $10 in their wallet for most of the day until they spend it on dinner, that money could be put to use during the day in a hyper efficient market.

That's why money is nearly free, because of market efficiency. Excess money anywhere in the world can now be used almost immediately anywhere else in the world.

The proof of this is credit cards A regular person can directly create money that did not previously exist through using a credit card. This is a very recent innovation and arguably has vastly increased the efficiency of global capital markets, since the provider of the card can finance the funds from anywhere else in the world.

Prove it to yourself. Buy something on a credit card. Pay off the card at the end of the month, no interest to pay. Not only is it free, it is highly likely that some part of your borrowing was financed from overseas through a global liquidity pool.

Is it technology that has made money cheap and not quantitative easing? Also, why should the 700 year falling trend stop at zero?

COVID-19 & the madness of Crowds

Predicting future epidemics and pandemics is easy: they will continue to happen. But knowing what disease, how dangerous, and when it will strike isn’t easy at all. The world has had 14 pandemics over the past 100 years to 2020, averaging seven years apart and averaging <5 % of annual deaths of the population each year. Only three were terrifying (Spanish Flu, Smallpox and AIDS).

So, it is well to remember that >95% of deaths are unrelated to pandemics.

I read the attached article this week - it provides another perspective on how to manage this outbreak.  Hard to be so pragmatic though if your own family was impacted by this dreadful virus... but it's worth a read.

It might be time for a media fast.

What if for one whole week... you did a media fast?

Too long? Then scratch that, make it three days. 

THREE DAYS. That’s just a long weekend. You can do it, I promise. 

No screens, no devices, don’t even pick up a newspaper! 

No. Media. Period.

Give it a shot. And when you do, pay close attention to your emotional state. How does it make you feel? Happy? Sad? Energized? Exhausted? All of the above?

I don’t know how it will make you feel… but I am super curious.

Join me and I'd love to hear how you get on - send me a note!




Volatility? That's normal.

Imagine being on a boat in the ocean on a very still day. No wind. No swell. The water is flat as a mirror. The calm goes on just long enough for you to start to feel like it’s normal.

When a small wave finally does come, it feels big. When a normal-sized wave comes, it feels enormous. And when a big wave comes…?

As scary as they might feel, waves are normal. Even storms are normal. The question is, what do we do when a storm does come? 


In terms of investing, people often freak out and abandon ship.


You know how that goes: We sell when the market is low because it’s crashing and that’s scary, then we buy when the market is high because it’s rising and that’s exciting. 

Obviously, this is a very bad idea. The last thing you want to do as an investor is buy high and sell low. 


Of course, this doesn’t just apply to our investment behavior.


For example, I bet you can think of a friend or family member that blows out of every relationship at the first sign of trouble. Seas are calm, smooth sailing… uh oh... is that a storm cloud on the horizon? I’m outta here!

And yet, as anyone who has been in a relationship for more than a few months knows… storms happen. Volatility is normal. Ups and downs are part of the game.


That may not sound very romantic, but it’s certainly realistic. And in this case, realism may help prevent you from making what I like to call The Big Mistake: abandoning ship in the middle of a storm.


Hope that helps.


Carl Richards (www.behaviourgap.com)

Why are recessions usually good for share prices?

Did you know:

  • Share prices rose during 17 (85%) of the 20 economic recessions in Australia in the past 150 years.
  • Share prices rose during each of Australia’s last nine recessions.
  • The last time a recession was accompanied by falling share prices was the 1938-39 recession (share prices fell by only -1.8%).
  • Share prices rose in each of the recent well-known recent recessions – including: Keating’s 1990-91 ‘recession we had to have’, the long 1981-3 recession, the 1975 post-Whitlam dismissal recession, and the 1971-72 oil crisis recession.

The hard part for investors

Although shares prices often fell heavily at around the same time as the economic crises, in almost all cases, the share market fell before the economic contractions and then started to rebound during the contractions. As a result, most of our big share market crashes were not actually during economic ‘recessions’ – not the 55% share crash in the GFC, the 50% crash in 1987, the 60% crash in 1973-4, the 39% mining crash in 1970-71, the 40% fall in 1981-82, nor most of the other big falls.

Conversely, some of the best years for Australian shares have been when the economy was contracting or still weak (albeit after big share falls earlier). For example: 1983, which was the best year ever for Australian shares (up +60%), during the 1981-1983 recession.

The hard part for investors is having the courage to buy shares when the economy is still contracting and the media headlines are full of doom and gloom about a cascade of corporate collapses, bankruptcies, and rising unemployment.

And, of course, deciding if this time really is different!

Some Good News!

With the COVID19 crisis absorbing so much of the news & airwaves - I think we need to find some GOOD NEWS to share.

John Krasinski (an American actor) has started a YouTube channel in recent weeks that is getting a lot of attention.  His weekly videos share only good news from around the globe on how people are coping during this crisis.

Each video is 15 minutes of pure feel good material that will help restore your faith in humanity!  I absolutely love it and hope you do too!  

Click on the LINK to start watching:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOe_y6KKvS3PdIfb9q9pGug


We will remain open & available for all our valued Clients.

The health and wellbeing of our clients, our team and our business networks remains our highest priority and with that in mind we have implemented a well-considered program of measures and protocols to allow us to remain fully operational during the period ahead. 

We have changed the way we interact with our clients whilst this health event plays out, but our level of service has not altered.

Our robust IT infrastructure has been specifically designed to enable our team members across all office locations to work remotely, as and when necessary.

On a practical level this means that for the foreseeable future meetings and events can be conducted through dial-ins to a designated number with additional access to video, Skype and Zoom capabilities where relevant. Additionally, team members will still be contactable via their standard email address and telephone number. 

As a Valued Client of ES&A please don't hesitate to contact our office if you have any queries or concerns that we can assist with.  We are here and are determined that we will all get through this together.


Cool Your Heels During A Market Downturn!

It is times such as this outbreak of coronavirus which test whether a portfolio is properly positioned for a person's risk appetite. A major hurdle to investor success is the urge to do something in reaction to news, especially as market experts are issuing lists of companies which will suffer from the lower activity caused by the virus. We don't yet know how widespread and sustained it will be, and investors take a risk selling out of high-quality companies and then not investing again. The S&P/ASX All Ordinaries Index fell almost 10% last week and the S&P500 is 12% down from recent highs. Consider how investors jumped out of Apple years ago when a quarterly sales figure did not quite meet target.

Berkshire Hathaway’s dynamic duo Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger do not even worry about buying businesses that are undervalued, and they ignore short-term noise. Charlie has a special name for it:

“Sit on your ass investing. You’re paying less to brokers, you’re listening to less nonsense, and if it works, the tax system gives you an extra one, two, or three percentage points per annum.

“What we really like is buying good-sized to very large first-class businesses with first-class management and just sitting there. You don’t have to go from flower to flower. You can just sit there and watch them produce more and more every year.

“If you buy a business just because it’s undervalued then you have to worry about selling it when it reaches its intrinsic value. That’s hard. But if you can buy a few great companies then you can sit on your ass … that’s a good thing.”