Major stock markets around the world are in tight trading ranges. They’re going sideways.
Everything from a seven year to a weekly chart shows that both our Australian share market and the US market isn’t going anywhere.
Sure, there have been epic rallies in the US and Japan, for example. But they’re nothing put into the right context. Throw in inflation, fees and survivorship bias and you’re getting nowhere.
So things are going to start off a little differently today. This year is the 10 year anniversary of The Daily Reckoning Australia. If you’ve been with us that long, we’d love to hear from you at email@example.com.
If you’ve been with us too long and need a breath of fresh air, we’ve got just the thing. Some changes are afoot behind the scenes of the DR.
This morning the photographers are in and some video interviews will be held. The future looks bright…and suited up. Some old faces are returning. Some new ones are joining. And some are just the same.
Anyone who is hoping for the kind of unified voice you get elsewhere will be disappointed. The reckoners will be arguing it out over much more than state of origin. Is China’s economy booming or crashing? Are miners doomed or undervalued? Will there be inflation or deflation?
This isn’t a generic financial advisory firm, where advice is based on the company line, stocks go up and the fees go higher. Apart from being honest and free, we’re not making any promises.
But why not give the real stars of the Daily Reckoning show a moment in the spotlight too? It’s our intention to stimulate your brains each day, not indoctrinate them. That’s why we publish things you’ll disagree with.
This results in some interesting feedback. The Daily Reckoning inbox is being flooded at the moment. This report is causing quite a ruckus. So let’s take a look at what subscribers are saying.
The emails start off nice…then they get nasty. Thanks to everyone for their effort either way:
‘My compliments for the outstanding information you provide so graciously in your Daily Reckoning News Letter.
‘The Ageing problem is a worldwide occurrence which will rock establishments for many years to come.
‘It is no one fault in particular and was bound to occur without the proper planning by those in power whom we know only plan for their own good and not for the people they are elected to look after.
‘That being said the vast majority of the population have been dumbed down by Governments and a media that is corrosive of itself.
‘Your efforts to enlighten those that are willing to listen is welcome.
‘Well done & best regards
The idea that those in power can plan properly is inherently flawed. How on earth could they possibly know what’s right? How on earth could one policy be appropriate for more than 20 million people?
‘Since receiving the Daily Reckoning, I have read every issue with interest and while no-one can predict the future, to me all of your arguments on future economic issues are logical.
‘The only way for Australians (including pensioners) to put this budget in context is to go to Asia , Africa or Melanesia , then just count your lucky blessings to even live in a country like Australia.
‘I agree on your assessment along with the current Government that Australia’s welfare system is unsustainable , but many people do not even understand that word . I am 65 years of age and see nothing wrong with immediately altering the pension Age to 70.
The good thing about economics is that people tend to get what’s coming. Not understanding what ‘sustainable’ is will eventually leave the country in just as much trouble as a household budget with the same mindset.
Going over to South East Asia is more likely to turn you into an expat than help you appreciate Australia.
‘You along with the media, politicians, etc, manipulate peoples thinking. Working people were never meant to pay for the pensions of older people.
‘About forty something years ago the goverment imposed a tax on income to fund the retirement pension, later on that tax was incorporated into the overall income tax and stopped leaving a trail. Governments should have managed that money so they would be able to fullfil their part of the deal but instead, of course, have "missmanaged" that money as any proper son of a bitch should do.
‘So I propose that you stop feeding rubbish to your readers, call things by their proper name and be trully succesful
We’re surprised anyone expects politicians to keep promises, manage anything properly or keep funds allocated. What was ‘meant’ to happen doesn’t really matter in politics.
In the end, our report which generated the feedback wasn’t actually about the pension or government welfare policy. It’s the Superannuation welfare system we’re worried about. The idea that you can save and invest for retirement is in just as much trouble as the government budget.
If there aren’t enough taxpayers to fund the pension, there aren’t enough people to buy all those shares and properties retirees will be selling to fund their retirement either.
We keep receiving emails that the compulsory superannuation contribution and immigration will fix this. Why people think we don’t include them in our analysis is a mystery…
‘I haven’t nor do I intend to read any of these e-mails as obviously they’re emanating from morons! What’s wrong with these people? Do they not comprehend the facts that it takes 2 to make a Sale? without the 1 there is NO SALE — so who cares how high their shares have gone or how expensive their Homes are, if there’s no one at the other end to buy them! NOT BRAIN SCIENCE — all you’re doing is warning them of the obvious demographics that are and WILL be with alternatives to protect their savings! As you state…it’s demographics, NOT morality!..
Of course, there will be people to buy shares and property. But not enough to keep prices high. And in a world where prices fall, you don’t invest in the same way.
Here’s a rather thoughtful and concerning perspective:
‘Not another grumpy spray of hate mail…
‘…But there is one trap that I see yourself falling in to…and that is to demonize the baby boomers. You can’t rail against a demographic term, or what they do, because there is no Mr Baby Boomer to hold to account. It’s the sum of their individual decisions and attitudes that is the issue; accountability and responsibility is dispersed in to the ether.
‘The way I think about the baby boomer problem is to think about them like a rabbit problem. See the problem with rabbits is that they are cute and cuddly, and kids love to have them as pets. Likewise, every family has baby boomers in the family somewhere, and they are increasingly the lovely old people that kids want to cuddle.
‘But when rabbits get out of balance in the native population, they become a plague and the sum of them strips everything bare. When I was a kid in the country (back when you could actually have a .22 rifle) I used to get paid by farmers to clear out rabbits; when their numbers got too big in a spring you could knock a 100 of them off in a night.
‘Now here is the problem. Individually boomers are fluffy and white; collectively they are stripping the fields of the food for the young. And there is no way to address the population imbalance. And you can rest assured that the rabbits with the vote aren’t going to want to have their lifestyle culled. To mix analogies — the turkeys won’t vote for Christmas.
‘Therefore we are going to starve and live in a dust bowl for a while until the plague passes and the lands recover. It’s inevitable to me that the solution is not social; it’s tribal. Circle the wagons, work with your clan to create safety, and ride it out.
‘That’s how I summarise the key threads you discuss of family wealth and the baby boomer problem. I like your approach — and I agree with many of your insights. But call them what they are — you are ringing the bell to circle the wagons. You can’t solve it collectively; but you can deal with it individually.
‘Therefore be nice to the collective and don’t provoke them – you may get them all wound up and end up having your individual efforts ruined.
If baby boomers were anything like rabbits we’d have the opposite demographic problem. But solving this problem individually is certainly the right idea. Our report is dedicated to solutions to the demographic crisis we face too. The obvious one is dividends. Lower share prices mean higher dividend yields.
Last but not least is the first piece of feedback we received when the report went out. It’s an all time classic:
‘Ah leave it to the snotty nosed 20 somethings to write an article like this.
‘I am sick to death of the baby bashing that these people want to engage in. Most of them still live at home, have no intention of having a family until they are in their 40’s, God forbid them marry to do so. Most have spent their short life at school, and evidently like Nick, have one of the many ‘bullshit jobs’ society has created for he likes of them.
‘Clearly he does not ‘want’ to pay for another person’s hard work. It is clear that sitting on your arse writing useless articles to fulfill your ‘bullshit job’ criteria has given him the sage of age.
‘Baby boomers who he says did not have enough children, were actually the ones who had their children early. How many children do you have Nick?
‘By the time I was your age I already had two, and followed that up with another at 27. How many children do you intend to have Nick — perhaps the problem comes from your generation? Our three children had 7, maybe your family stopped at you because you were too much. Selfishness is the reason most people don’t have a family, and most of those either not having a family or deferring are of your age, not the baby boomers, we all pulled our weight. It is just the new light-weight generations that are causing the problems. Why do you think we will not leave anything to you little snots — for us to have worked and you to have sat and complained.
‘Your parents must be very disappointed with what a little shit you turned into. Maybe you are looking at your own family for your role models — not good if that is where your inspiration and greed comes from. Sounds like you should have had a good spanking, but the softly softly brigade intervened.
‘If your generation were not so greedy, expecting everything without working, the world would not be in such a sad place.
‘Perhaps if Nick got off his clacker and did some hard work from an early age, worked several jobs to make ends meet, took out a mortgage as well as another loan to get enough to buy a wreck of a house to renovate, despite it being over the amount legally allowed to borrow. Bought (one)secondhand car, secondhand furniture, had no phones, made their own clothes, grew their own food, worked for undertakers, worked for concreters, all while keeping down a primary job. Paid for their kids to go to uni, bought their kids furniture to get them going, never had a proper holiday, and never got a hand of help or money from their parents, or an inheritance from anyone.
‘Perhaps he should stop expecting, taking, and start working and giving.
‘Sick to death of the shit these kids talk.
‘Wake up to yourself you little gobshite.
‘Proud to have worked my arse off, not giving the likes of you anything.
To be clear, we don’t criticise or vilify baby boomers for a second. This isn’t a question of morality. It’s one of maths. There aren’t enough young people to buy all the investments baby boomers will sell in retirement. Not with immigration, foreign buyers or compulsory superannuation contributions factored in.
Because supply will overwhelm demand, the price of investments will fall .
for The Daily Reckoning Australia