Forum Topics Investing is HARD
a month ago

14-April-2024: OK, found this last night:

Have a butcher's at this:


OK, got all that?

Clear as mud, right?

It's worth a read - click on the link at the top. One of the key players is Nick Bolton who was disqualified (by ASIC) from managing a corporation for 3 years from 17/11/2015. This is the same Nick Bolton whose company, Keybridge Capital, was hoovering up Magellan MGFO options (Magellan Global Fund options) last year that were out of the money at the time, so he was buying millions of them for fractions of a cent each, and ended up accepting 10 cents per option from Magellan - see here: Activist Nick Bolton triumphs as Magellan pays out option holders ( [07-Dec-2023]


"Investor Nick Bolton has scored nearly a $20 million victory over Magellan after the fund manager agreed to buy $65 million worth of options over its flagship ASX-traded global shares strategy, putting its battle with the activist to rest."

"Magellan will buy up to 650 million options tied to its $2.7 billion global fund, 178 million of which were acquired by Mr Bolton at less than a cent apiece."

"The Bolton-controlled Keybridge is on track to make almost 15 times profit on the options which Magellan will buy at 10¢, well above their 0.7¢ average purchase price. Keybridge’s $1.2 million outlay will be cashed in for $17.8 million, netting a $16.6 million profit."


Activist investor Nick Bolton has come out on top in his battle against Magellan. (image: Danielle Smith)

"Magellan confirmed it will spend $65 million buying the 650 million options, in two separate ASX statements on Thursday. A week ago, they were trading on-market for about 1¢."


The options, listed under the ticker MGFO, entitle holders to buy units of Magellan’s Global Fund at a 7.5 per cent discount to net asset value.

They were considered almost worthless as the share price of the relevant strategy has persistently traded at an even larger discount to net asset value – averaging 13.5 per cent over the past three years.

But Mr Bolton accumulated a large holding and agitated for Magellan to take action to close the discount. Magellan said Keybridge had “entered into a standstill deed in support of Magellan’s purchase initiative”.

Mr Bolton said he was able to get a win for option holders and unitholders alike, and the proposal was a “great win” for Magellan shareholders. “Sensible decisions like this bode well for the future of their business,” he said.

Liability management

The motivation for Magellan to buy Mr Bolton’s options was the existence of a $160 million liability associated with them.

If the options eventually trade in the money, Magellan would be required to finance the 7.5 per cent discount to net asset value for those investors electing to exercise. That liability was due to vanish once the options expire in March, creating a strong incentive for Magellan to delay acting on the discount.

But sources said Magellan feared that Mr Bolton could team up with a deep-pocketed ally such as a New York hedge fund that could force a wind-up or conversion that would narrow the discount and put Magellan on the hook for more. Magellan also risked losing control of the fund if investors supported such a move.

Magellan alluded to as much in its statement.

It said the options had attracted the interest of several market participants “who have, or may in the future, acquire options with a view to exercising them, possibly in combination with other strategies that are designed to bring about the delisting and winding-up of the fund”.

The discount of the closed-end fund relative to net asset value narrowed to about 7 per cent this week.

Magellan’s proposal to cut a deal with option holders was supported by activist investor Sandon Capital, which said the situation was weighing on the funds management group, and the proposal put it on more solid footing.

“As [Magellan] shareholders, we would have preferred a lower price being paid for the options, but we see clear strategic benefits for [Magellan],” Sandon managing director Gabriel Radzyminski told The Australian Financial Review.

Mr Radzyminski said Sandon had been calling for “more aggressive capital management by Magellan”.

“We know the Magellan/MGFO situation was a hurdle. Magellan will be in a position to undertake more aggressive capital management by mid-2024.”

Meanwhile, Wilson Asset Management founder Geoff Wilson, a long-time adversary of Mr Bolton, wants the profits of the trade paid out to “long-suffering” Keybridge shareholders. Mr Wilson’s WAM owns 45 per cent of Keybridge. Keybridge shares jumped 45 per cent on the options outcome.

--- end of excerpt ---

See also: The fascinating battle between Nick Bolton and Magellan ( [27-Sep-2023]

The folllowing is from a July 2023 AFR article:


Source: ASX MGF: Nick Bolton seeks like-minded activists for Magellan battle ( [09-July-2023]

There's some big discounts there, and a lot of those have narrowed significantly since then (i.e. in the past 9 months) due to (a) activism, (b) other pressure from shareholders and unitholders to wind up funds or convert them from closed-end funds (CEFs) to open-end funds (OEFs) that trade at or very close to NTA/NAV, or (c) the prospect of (a) or (b) happening scaring the sh!t out of some fund managers and LIC/LIT Board members who are trying very hard to do everything they can think of to get the gap to close, from better communications, to promotion to additional shareholder benefits.

But back to Molopo. I briefly held some Bentley Capital (BEL) in 2021 both here and in a real money portfolio, and I had a go at trying to sort out some of the structure in terms of the interplay between some of the associate companies, many of whom appeared to be little more than cashboxes. Here's a link to my scribblings from back then:

The Takeovers Panel report (and diagram) relates to matters that took place between 2014 and 2017, and I was looking at Bentley, Orion and Queste in 2021 when it all seemed to be about Strike Resources (SRK), but Farooq Khan was the SRK Chairman from January 2014, and Bill Johnson was on the SRK Board from January 2013, and Azhar Chaudhri was involved with Strike back in 2005, so the Strike association does predate this Molopo stuff, but Strike Resources as a company doesn't seem to be involved with the Molopo saga. Those dudes are now involved with a company called Lithium Energy (LEL). Back then, I could see about this much of the picture (shaded yellow below):


I was lucky to get out of it without losing money.


In my real money portfolio I also got out of the trade without losing money, but it was at a different price because I was not reliant on end of day closing prices like I am here on SM. But, yeah, lesson learned. Don't think you understand something that looks that complex after just a few hours of research - in this case there was a LOT more to the picture that I was unaware of at the time.

BEL is now at 4 cents. Strike Energy (SRK) have come down from a 31 cps high in 2021 to now be trading at 4.4 cps (under 5 cents).


And BEL (Bentley Capital) has been suspended from trading since September 21st, "pending the release of a market announcement in relation to the Company’s activities." and subsequent "please explain" letter(s) from the ASX where either Bentley have not provided appropriate answers, or else have provided answers that the ASX are not happy with.

It may have all started with this: BEL-NTA-Backing-as-at-31-August-2023.PDF [14-Sep-2023]

Here's page 1 - I've added the arrrow:


Call me old fashioned, but I'll need to take off my shoes and socks to try to add that lot up to 100%, particularly when a single investment accounts for 101.3% of their NTA.

Page 2 was also interesting:


With Note 1 about BEL's stake in SRK, they are basing their carrying values on the closing highest BID price on the last trading day of each month, so 5.2 cents for 31st August 2023 and 6 cents for the previous month (July 2023). Trouble is that SRK closed at 6.5 cps at the end of July and at 5.3 cps at the end of August, so they're ignoring the last traded price and just looking at the highest bid left in the market after the market has closed, which I don't think is kosher because that can very easily be manipulated and besides, the highest bid when the market is closed is not the market price, the market price is the last traded price.

Because Bentley has looked like, sounded like and smelled a lot like a cashbox company, which the ASX has rules to prohibit, I believe the ASX would likely have had some questions about Note 2 and their aspirations to "develop a portfolio of exploration projects". Some of these companies associated with this group of individuals appear to have in common that they have business plans that somehow don't play out very well, or they play out nothing like their stated business plan, like a communications company that reports no sales (QUE). Anyway, no more speculation, it's too late at night for that.

Since Bentley were suspended from trading in September, they have requested nine (9) extensions, and they remain suspended, saying, "The Company requires more time to engage with ASX vis a vis the Company’s proposed market announcement and accordingly, the Company requires an extension of its voluntary suspension."

This is what I mean about being lucky. Anyone who held BEL shares on September 21st was unlucky, coz they have had no chance to sell them, as they haven't traded since.

What a tangled web they have woven.


Farooq Khan


2a13b2759cf13fd8172ea1c2d4240c0038b510.png d604dbf8b6b1e93ca71098f47ad3938f58e33c.png f7c4a9aec1250e96e247992d64b99d54f7a595.png

Nick Bolton



This Valentine proposal looks a winner for Nick Bolton ( [29-Jan-2015]


ASIC investigates Nick Bolton ( [26-April-2018]


South American adventures keep Nick Bolton from important court date ( [08-Dec-2017]


5 months ago

01-Jan-2024: Happy New Year y'all! For those with AFR access or who can get around paywalls: The 53 risks top Australian CEOs say you’re not paying enough attention to ( [01-Jan-2024]


The 53 risks top CEOs say you’re not paying enough attention to

From the ageing population to housing, healthcare and cybersecurity, there’s plenty keeping our top bosses awake at night.

by James Thomson and Anthony Macdonald [Jan 1, 2024 – 4.44pm]

As part of our annual Chanticleer CEO poll, we asked Australia’s top business leaders a simple question: What risk or trend are you seeing that isn’t getting the attention it deserves?

Matt Comyn, Commonwealth Bank

It would appear that some markets have not yet fully adjusted to a higher rate environment, in terms of appropriately recognising the higher cost of capital. The combination of excess liquidity post the COVID-19 period, high levels of debt in various parts of the global economy, and a cash rate which is likely higher for a longer period, will all take time to work through the system.

Brad Banducci, Woolworths

Violence and abuse of frontline workers, including those in our stores and contact hubs. This is not acceptable and needs to be codified into clear legal penalties.


Woolworths chief executive Brad Banducci. [photo: Natalie Boog]

Ryan Stokes, Seven Group

In the event we see a sustained high cash rate, it is difficult to see how we avoid a material correction in the housing market. Constraints on supply present a buffer. However, the concerted efforts of the RBA to stifle the economy risks pushing widespread mortgage distress into foreclosures. That may be the catalyst for a material correction in the housing market.

Shayne Elliott, ANZ

As a nation, we all know that a growing number of Australians are increasingly unable to access suitable housing or buy a home. There is simply not enough housing to match demand. In addition, our strong regulatory regime means it is harder to get a home loan in Australia today than it has been in 30 years. The data tells us the average income today of a person getting a home loan is materially higher than an average citizen. That gap is continuing to grow so if you want a loan, you have to essentially be wealthy. The “market” won’t be able to solve this easily as there are already distortions including from taxes and local development laws which can exacerbate the issue.

Kevin Gallagher, Santos

Closing the gap on Aboriginal disadvantage in Australia. At Santos, we work with 26 traditional owner groups and six land councils around Australia. I have established an Indigenous advisory panel, so our leadership team is listening and learning directly about their priorities and that is informing our community investments and community programs where we operate. In the Northern Territory especially, I have seen first hand the disadvantage associated with a lack of training, education and job opportunities, and we are launching programs to get more Aboriginal people into work and to support them in doing that.

Vicki Brady, Telstra

The rapid growth in data and AI presents immense opportunity and risk for business and society more broadly. And I don’t call it out because it’s not getting enough attention – I just want to reinforce how crucial it is that we balance the opportunity with the risks across everything from data protection and security risks to mitigating bias and discrimination. The ethical development and application of data and AI is front-of-mind for leaders and on the agenda for boards everywhere. We take this very seriously at Telstra and have set ourselves a high bar. We’re partnering with the Australian government and with telco and business organisations around the world to help set and adhere to ethics principles for AI.

Rob Scott, Wesfarmers

Australia’s ageing population and future healthcare requirements are becoming more and more pressing. Forward-thinking by governments at a federal and state level needs to be happening now to ensure we can support this. There is an enormous benefit to wellbeing, productivity and government budgets if we make healthcare more accessible and affordable. We should aspire to be the healthiest country, and the business case if we deliver on this will make Australia not only the best place to live, but also the most competitive nation.

Richard White, WiseTech Global

Anyone not focused on cybersecurity as a critical need is risking major disruption and reputational damage. No one is completely impervious, and no single approach is enough. We have been steadily building a “defence in depth” approach and continue to work hard to be as strong and as complete as possible. Ransomware is a big risk for businesses and a huge motivated for cyber criminals. There are two key things we can do as a nation to make Australian organisations a less attractive target for cyber criminals: governments could help massively by banning the payment of ransoms that incentivise criminals, and the use of cryptocurrency to pay the cyber criminals as this is the mechanism by which the ransomware actors can get paid anonymously, secretly, and undetectably.

Shemara Wikramanayake, Macquarie Group

While investment in climate mitigation solutions continues to step up, especially in developed markets like Australia, much more investment is needed in solutions to help countries and communities adapt to the impacts of climate change that has already happened. Given acute weather and fire events in Australia and rising sea levels across the Pacific, Australia can play a leading role in defining these solutions and working with investors and multilateral institutions to deploy them urgently and at scale.

Meg O’Neill, Woodside

The number of offshore projects facing uncertainty over approvals. Businesses need certainty so we can continue to deliver our much-needed products as well as considerable government revenue, to be shared by the Australian people. At a global level, the developed world is overlooking the developing world’s need for reliable and affordable energy.

Steve Donohue, Endeavour Group

As we all navigate the economic challenges that are likely to continue in the short-medium term, it’s important we don’t lose sight of what happens over the longer term – particularly from a productivity perspective. And as part of this I can’t overstate the importance of stability and certainty, particularly from a regulatory perspective. We operate in highly regulated industries and as the world changes, we need to ensure regulation keeps up with this pace of change. Regulatory reform needs to be fit-for-purpose, with a focus on evidence and industry consultation.

Mike Henry, BHP

Societal expectations of companies and how they conduct themselves has grown – and rightly so. This is not so much a challenge but an opportunity for business: those that go the extra mile to work closely with and generate value for all stakeholders – workforce, suppliers, communities, Traditional owners, governments and investors – should be advantaged and will prosper longer term. Within this, however, there is a broader problem in the lack of rigour and standardisation in the way ESG performance is measured and reported on, which leads to confusion among investors, governments, communities and companies. It also results in a dissipation of impact as companies invest excess effort in meeting the requirements of many different external standards, rather than focusing more intensely on achieving better outcomes, faster. Both businesses and stakeholders would benefit from a set of common standards upheld by all, where performance against those standards is a greater determinant of access to capital and licence to operate.

Vanessa Hudson, Qantas

We need more focus on improving productivity across the economy because it really is the engine room of growth.

Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, Xero

We all saw through COVID how communities around the world rallied around and supported their local small businesses. Continuing to support small businesses by shopping local and paying invoices as soon as possible remains just as important to encourage local innovation, lift productivity and nurture the very important social role our small businesses around the world play. Delays in receiving payments can have a significant impact on small businesses’ ability to pay their staff, themselves and support their families, which is why it’s so important for businesses and customers to ensure they’re paying small businesses on time.


Xero CEO Sukhinder Singh Cassidy.  [Photo: Louie Douvis]

Jakob Stausholm, Rio Tinto

Decades of extraordinary globalisation have left the world with a serious dislocation between geology, processing, manufacturing and consumption. Many governments want to re-industrialise and secure their supply chains. We can support them. And our end, customers increasingly want sustainable, traceable and transparent materials with security of supply and provenance, which we can also provide.

Mark Fitzgibbon, NIB

Healthcare reform. We are simply running out of taxpayers to fund an ongoing heavy reliance on government funding. We should be thinking of the challenge as we did the age pension. That is, incentives for people to take increased responsibility for not only self-funding their healthcare but improving their health and wellbeing.

Darren Steinberg, Dexus

Capital has many places it can invest around the globe and if we are to continue to attract investment to Australia, it is important the right incentives are in place to give investors the confidence to invest. We fundamentally need overseas capital to fund the necessary infrastructure investments, so it is important we get the settings right. Australia is very well-regarded on the world stage, however when governments tinker with the tax environment we know it impacts investor sentiment. Streamlining the number of taxes we have on foreign capital, ironing out differences in state regulations and generally cutting red tape to reduce the cost of doing business in Australia will stop capital being deployed to other jurisdictions.

Scott Wyatt, Viva Energy

I am concerned about the lack of skills in key areas such as trades and transport which are required to support our business over the long term. For example, the average age for tanker drivers in our sector is now 56, and this is growing every year. We need to attract more women and younger people to pursue careers which are critical to our economy.


Viva CEO Scott Wyatt is concerned about a lack of skills in areas such as trades and transport. [Photo: Dominic Lorrimer]

Alexis George, AMP

Our ageing population and the growing number of retirees relative to our workforce is one of the most significant social and economic challenges we’re facing. We need to consider policy settings that support older Australians who want to stay in the workforce longer. We need to do more to provide retirees with the financial confidence to spend and enjoy their savings in retirement, and we should look more closely at how we can improve the aged care system to support Baby Boomers through this challenging life transition.

Greg Goodman, Goodman Group

We have a skills and talent shortage in this country when it comes to trades. We need to see more attention in promoting this area, so we have the people required to create the infrastructure we need to grow.

Mark Collette, EnergyAustralia

Gas supply. AEMO has been saying for years that there are big gaps in gas supply in the southern states from 2026 or 2027 with limits to alternatives like electrification. This is a scary outlook for homes and businesses, a problem that cannot be solved by industry alone.

Paul McKenzie, CSL

Cybersecurity as a concept certainly gets plenty of attention, but I still think the potential consequences are significant. While we can take steps to protect our own business, we have also seen the consequences where there is an incident at another company that we rely on in our supply chain. The impact can really be multiplied and that’s a huge risk.

Peter King, Westpac

The speed of building new renewables infrastructure is slowing down and as a nation we need to speed up. We need to make it easier to invest and simpler to get developments off the ground.


Westpac CEO Peter King. [Photo: Edwina Pickles]

Tom Palmer, Newmont

The Australian government and the mining sector need to work together much more closely to reverse the alarming downward trend in interest in STEM subjects at both primary and secondary school, especially among young women.

Owen Wilson, REA Group

The skills that we’ll need in an economy where AI is more prevalent are not being developed in this country. We need engineering, developers and other AI-focused technology skills and experience if Australian businesses are to embrace the opportunity that AI presents. A mix of local training pathways, including corporate partnerships and programs, and ability to hire international talent are necessary to ensure we have enough people with the skills needed in the economy of the future.

David Koczkar, Medibank

The ballooning costs for future generations of providing healthcare to an ageing population – as a nation we are currently spending 10.7 per cent of GDP on health. Health expenditure is expected to grow by more than 30 per cent over the coming decades. If we don’t do anything, we will simply be transferring a huge and growing debt burden onto future generations, or be forced to reduce the quality or access of care that we receive in this country.

Amanda Lacaze, Lynas Rare Earths

I am really worried about the trend of increased mental health conditions in our young people. Of course, this was exacerbated by policies adopted through the pandemic, but the trend was evident even before that. Many of us (although I acknowledge not all of us) who are older remember carefree and secure childhoods. It breaks my heart to see the rise in anxiety disorders extending even to preschoolers. It seems we have overestimated the resilience of our young people as we make fundamental changes to the way we care for and educate our young. Young parents continue to be faced with very difficult economic decisions where our children are often short-changed. Simply paying more childcare subsidies has not addressed some of these underlying issues.

Frank Calabria, Origin Energy

The energy transition is a substantial investment and transformation that will have significant impacts on customers and communities. It is imperative that communities affected by the construction of renewables and transmission share in the benefits through jobs and investment, which in turn will help support the transition. An orderly transition with respect to reliability and affordability is also important to maintain customer support for the energy transition.

Adam Watson, APA Group

The amount of misinformation out there about the energy transition. For example, we seem obsessed with the household consumption of gas, and yet it represents around 10 per cent of the gas consumed in Australia. That means 90 per cent of gas consumed in Australia is used to power our most critical industries – to make the bricks, cement and steel to build our homes, the fertiliser to support agriculture and produce our food, and to power remote industries like our resources sector, which is so critical to our economy and to Australian jobs. These industries don’t currently have viable alternative energy sources.

Chris Ashton, Worley

We are all underestimating the extent and effects of changes underway globally, especially in technologies and energy fundamentals.

Graham Kerr, South32

The world is going to need significantly increased volumes of critical minerals including those that we produce like copper, zinc, nickel, aluminium and manganese in order to transition to a net-zero global economy. Governments have started to realise this and the need to foster their own domestic supply chains to reduce historical dependencies through initiatives such as those in the US with the Inflation Reduction Act, the Department of Energy’s grant program and the Defence Production Act. We have also seen the European Union, Canada and Australia release their own critical minerals policies to support investment. Many of these initiatives, however, are focused on funding support, a vital element, but miss the need for improvement in permitting responsible supply in critical minerals, a crucial element to bringing that much-needed supply to market.

Mark Hutchinson, Fortescue Energy

The biggest issue in Australia at the moment in the energy transition is the cost of renewable power, given the current interest rate environment and the pressure on the global supply chain. The most useful thing the government can do is ensure that renewable resources get built and the cost of that power comes down over time. Continued support for fossil fuel use and subsidisation should be redirected toward renewable alternatives. Incentivising the take-up of renewable alternatives should be front-of-mind for policymakers, as should redirecting funding from fossil fuels to underpin the development of the renewable energy sector here in Australia.


Andrew Forrest and CEO of Fortescue Future Industries Mark Hutchinson. [Photo: Lucy Cormack]

Andrew Harding, Aurizon

Lagging productivity improvement across the economy, the result of not addressing the fundamentals – slowing business investment, inefficient and vulnerable national supply chains; shortages of skilled labour; and a lack of innovation including digital and operational technology.

Steve Johnston, Suncorp

Australia needs to invest in adaptation to protect the economy from natural hazard shocks, such as cyclones, floods, bushfires, alongside net zero, as part of a dual response to climate change. This should be underpinned by the establishment of a natural hazard map of the country to help with government investment, including targeted assisted relocation of high-risk homes and communities, as well as encouraging business investment.

Nick Hawkins, IAG

Climate change is one of the biggest risks facing our country. We are seeing this play out through more severe and frequent weather events, such as repeated flooding, droughts and bushfires. An area that deserves greater attention is the shaping and adapting our communities to the current and future hazards they face. While there is some great work being done across the state and federal governments through the Disaster Ready Fund and Hazards Insurance Partnership, more needs to be done to ensure the policy settings support building a more resilient Australia. The first action is to stop putting more people in harm’s way, which we can achieve through sensible reforms to Australia’s land planning systems to better consider natural disaster risk and future climate risk. The second action is to identify communities which need support to adapt, and to work towards mitigating the risks they face or plan for long-term relocation if the risk is unmanageable.

Tony Lombardo, Lendlease

Recent cybersecurity incidents in Australia, which are costing our country billions of dollars, highlight the ever-evolving threat they pose to governments, companies and individuals alike. We need to better educate the entire nation on being more cybersafe, including when they’re using day-to-day technology platforms.

Damien Nicks, AGL Energy

We need to think more holistically about the role that customer energy resources (CER) will play in the energy transition. Policies to help support a significant increase in CER like rooftop solar, home batteries, and electric vehicles and the orchestration services needed to take advantage of a decentralised grid will be critical, and retailers like AGL are well-placed to manage these resources, given our strong customer focus and relationship. The establishment of an expert taskforce under the road map to consider national reforms for efficient CER integration, and to consider how CER can help households reduce costs and benefit from the opportunities of electrification via rooftop solar, home batteries, and electric vehicles is an important step in the right direction.

Sanjeev Gandhi, Orica

A critical consideration to maintain Australia’s competitiveness as we continue to decarbonise, is the introduction of a cross-border adjustment mechanism (CBAM) for emissions. There are presently carbon leakage risks associated with ammonium nitrate, due to differences in emissions reductions policies between Australia and key trading partners. Australia must act to protect its domestic industry, and a CBAM will ensure a level playing field and avoid unfair competition with imported products from countries with less mature carbon pricing regimes.

Sue van der Merwe, The Lottery Corporation

Like most major companies, we’re focused on ensuring we have the right protections to manage cybersecurity risks in an environment where significant attacks on corporations have been occurring and privacy and protecting customer data are priorities. As a trusted operator of government-issued licences we are always focused on compliance risks.

Matt Halliday, Ampol

The decline in productivity must be reversed if we are to drive a healthy level of growth and confront the many challenges on the economic agenda. Technology and innovation should be an important enabler of this, though we don’t have a strong track record of translating into productivity improvement in recent years. We can’t take our standard of living for granted and need to drive a step change in this area.

Inaki Berroeta, TPG Telecom

As a tech-driven company, we invest significantly in improving our cybersecurity defences. This strengthens our resilience and helps protect customers and businesses. Collaboration between the industry and policymakers is imperative to stay ahead of evolving cyber threats. Relying on fines and penalties hasn’t made Australians safer; we need a system encouraging co-investment in security and resilience measures for the protection of both individuals and the national interest.

Campbell Hanan, Mirvac

We are facing an ageing construction workforce. Construction workers made up less than 2 per cent of all permanent migrants, and the number of completed construction apprenticeships in our cities isn’t rising in line with the volume of work. We need a greater focus on growing construction workforces through targeted skills programs and migration occupation intakes.

Marnie Baker, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank

The rising volume of scams and fraud continues to concern the bank and our customers. I have heard many upsetting stories of customers who have fallen victim to a scam. It’s a reminder of the important role we can play to educate our customers and help them to identify scams and when they are being targeted. We need to talk more about how we can all work together to further reduce instances of scams and fraud. It’s a complex problem that will require a whole of ecosystem response, and the more attention we can give to educating our customers and stopping scams at the source, the better. In September, we launched our Banking Safely Online sessions which are designed to be delivered face-to-face in our branches. We’ve seen enormous interest in them with over 100 sessions conducted already.


Marnie Baker is the chief executive of Bendigo and Adelaide Bank. [Photo: Oscar Colman]

Stuart Tonkin, Northern Star Resources

Industrial relations policies that will impede productivity. Like most large organisations, Northern Star is concerned that the Closing Loopholes Bill will simply add more cost rather than any productivity gains to our business.

Alastair Symington, Blackmores

Issues around climate change are rarely out of the news. However, I would still like to see more companies focus on undertaking a nature-based assessment of supply chains and operations. I am part of a group known as the Climate Leaders Coalition, made up of CEOs from 48 companies, who are calling on companies to start setting out targets to address risk but also consider the opportunities emerging in the nature space. This will help businesses prepare for nature-based reporting that puts a value on components of nature used by companies.

Ross McEwan, NAB

The major issues are getting the attention they deserve: housing, cost of living, climate transition, digitisation, productivity. Big business has a responsibility to work collaboratively with government and the community on meaningful responses that make a difference and NAB will play our part.

Elliott Rusanow, Scentre Group

We’re in the business of time, so “experiential consumption” is the biggest trend we’re seeing driving growth across our Westfield destinations. There’s demand for experiences that make customers feel good. Whether it’s visiting their local Westfield to see a live music performance, laser clinics or putt-putt golf, we’re focused on catering to this. Creating diversity in what we offer and extending this to more minutes of the day is ultimately how we’re going to continue to attract more people and grow our platform.

Renato Mota, Insignia Financial

In a year of increasing cost-of-living pressures and global uncertainty, the Matildas captured our imagination and were a deserving trending topic. They have gained widespread attention and have been celebrated for not only their sporting achievements, but for the team’s unique ability to mobilise and unite Australians in the spirit of a shared goal. What perhaps didn’t get the attention it deserved was how we could take the lessons from this and benefit from it more widely. It’s clear more needs to be done to celebrate diversity in leadership and recognise the benefits of varied perspectives and their ability to drive meaningful change. If we could harness the Matildas’ phenomenon by taking the best things about sport; the camaraderie, sense of community and the diversity of talent, and apply these characteristics to the way we approach leadership, we can potentially find unique ways to bring solutions to the issues impacting Australians.

Tim Ford, Treasury Wine Estates

There are so many wonderful things about Australia – from our people and culture to great restaurants and bars, not to mention beaches and rainforests – we need to keep showcasing Australia on a global scale to continue to attract tourists and investors.

Robert Spurway, GrainCorp

We’re keen to see Australia develop on-shore, sovereign capability in the biofuels industry. We estimate 75 per cent of the canola seed exported from Australia ends up refined into biofuels, principally in Europe. The development of a domestic manufacturing industry is a huge opportunity that, with the right attention, will provide long-term benefits that help Australia achieve a net zero carbon future.

Dig Howitt, Cochlear

Hearing loss is a growing health challenge due to our ageing population, and it warrants greater attention. Recent evidence shows that treating hearing loss slows cognitive decline in older people compared to those with untreated hearing loss. Treating hearing loss in adults could lower the burden of dementia in the future.

Paul Graham, Australia Post

Customers have more choice, they’re more discerning about who they choose to deliver their products, and they have greater expectations on price and services. We see this as an opportunity for Australia Post to make sure we continue to be the delivery partner of choice by offering the products and services they’re asking for and investing in key areas of our business.

Jon Davey, Tyro

We know that small business owners are some of Australia’s most hardworking and having choice in the partners they work with is key to their success. With businesses under increasing economic pressures, our hope is that we don’t see a trend where Aussie merchants are punished with exorbitant fees for remaining with providers when they exercise their freedom to choose the best partner for them. We’re proud of the breadth of Tyro’s interoperability with many point-of-sale systems and believe strongly in merchant choice.

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I have to say that Stuart Tonkin's comment about the Closing Loopholes Bill are interesting. Certainly elements of the bill - which was passed by both houses in mid December - are already negatively impacting casual workers both where I work and at other worksites that I'm aware of. Casual Workers who have been doing the same hours for close to 3 months or longer are either being told there is no more work for them (so sacked effectively) or else have had their hours reduced, changed (different shift) or been transferred to a different department. My understanding is that this is a tactic being recommended by the Chamber of Commerce and other industry bodies to avoid the possibility of these workers requesting they be transferred from casual to full-time under the new legislation. This is in industries where there is a high degree of casual workers due to the seasonal nature of the work - where the workforce has to be increased during certain months and decreased during other quieter months/periods of the year. If the seasonal workers are made full time because they have spent months working the same hours, often full-time equivalent hours, then the company will face redundancy payments when they need to scale down the workforce again during their quieter months. The workers I have spoken to are often not seeking full time work anyway, they're happy with current arrangements and the 20% casual loading they are receiving to compensate them for not getting sick leave, annual leave and other leave. They are still getting superannuation and they still have substantially the same rights as full time workers, they just know there won't always be work for them all year 'round.

I have been a union member all of my working life, and I remain a union member today, and I agree with many elements of this bill, but I do think there needs to be more flexibility for companies to employ casual labour as needed in seasonal occupations, including in factories where demand for the products produced in those factories tends to increase in summer for instance and decrease in cooler months. I'm thinking of dips and spreads here, which are often bought more in warmer weather when there is more outside eating and entertaining, but there are likely hundreds of other examples. Even when companies choose to move workers on before they become eligible for consideration under the respective elements of the new legislation, there will still be additional costs, mostly associated with additional training, which is what I am seeing. Companies are now becoming happier to see casual workers move on after a few months, and if they don't move on of their own accord, they are moved on by being told there is no longer any work for them. Even if there is still the same work being done by different people, companies can get around that by other means, including by claiming that the worker was unsuitable or didn't have the right attitude - it's much easier when the worker is casually employed - and a lot harder when they have been made full-time and wrongful dismissal laws then apply. Anyway, just saying, sometimes no good deed goes unpunished. Or, to put it another way, some workers may benefit from these new laws, but other workers - and many companies - will clearly be worse off now, unfortunately.

one year ago

It is just about an investing truism that if you take a non consensus view and are right, you will make a lot of $.

i would add that you actually make that money when the consensus fully buys into the story.

i have sold when i see a talking head on ausbiz or livewire start recommending my non consensus call, thinking it is now consensus. wrong

wait for them to fully gorge themselves on your idea, otherwise you are out too soon, leaving a lot on the table. thats my leson. :)


7 months ago

I am reviving this thread to highlight this reflection on being a full-time investor and learnings over many years by Ian Cassell. There are a lot of observations that I found myself nodding away to. Well worth a read.


7 months ago

Nodding away to...I see what you did there @Noddy74


7 months ago

I saw it as well.


2 years ago

Marcus Padley over at MarcusToday has had his share of market timing mistakes, but I'm hoping he's got this one right. Here's a small portion of his Saturday morning email (from today):



US markets found some solid ground after a slow start. The Dow Jones finished up a modest 32 points (+0.10%) but most importantly, it didn't give back any of the 1200 point gain from the night before. Building foundations. At worst, down 321, at best, up 103. The S&P 500 gained 38 points (+0.95%) in its best week since June. While the NASDAQ rose a further 209 points (+1.88%) to round out its best week in two years. In Europe, the STOXX 600 was unchanged, the German DAXFrance and Italy saw some gains, but the UK FTSESpain, and Greece finished lower. SPI Futures are up 42 points (+0.59%) this morning, which follows the 2.79% gain yesterday. 


Easing COVID restrictions in China helped fuel the US rally, as US-listed Chinese stocks pushed higher. The US Dollar continued to fall overnight, with the USD Index down 1.77%, and notching up its fourth losing week. The US Dollar has now well and truly broken its uptrend. US Treasuries were closed for Veterans Day.


Commodities also found favour following the news out of China (quarantine periods reduced by 2 days) with rallies across the board. Base metals pushed higher, aluminiumzinc, and tin were all up over 5%, with big gains in coppernickel, and leadOil prices continued to rallyBrent crude was up 2.92%, and WTI was up 3.03%. BHP and RIO raced ahead overseas, with gains of around 6.5% each in the US. Other resourses stocks also had a good night, Alcoa was up 8.74%, Anglo-American was up 6.99%, and Vale was up 11.55%.

The bitcoin woes resumed overnight. The cryptocurrency fell 8.08%, as Sam Bankman-Fried - the CEO of FTX, which is no longer being taken over by Binance - filed for bankruptcy. The collapse has undermined the credibility of the crypto space with cryptocurrency personalities and entities backpedalling with excuses about why this is not systemic. 






Buy signals on all.




  • NASDAQ and S&P 500 add to rally, stoked by inflation optimism.
  • Stocks rally as Fed rate hopes dent dollar .
  • Hopes for Fed pivot explode on Thursday after soft US inflation data.
  • Biggest rally in US stocks and bonds and interest rate markets in years.
  • Fed officials embrace gradual rate hikes, still aim high.
  • ECB says market might be underestimating inflation.
  • China shortens quarantines as it eases some of its Covid rules.
  • US consumer sentiment slumps; inflation expectations edge up.
  • UK economy shrinks at start of feared long recession.
  • Ukrainian troops met with joy in Kherson as Russia abandons biggest prize.
  • Tesla mulls exporting China made EVs to US.
  • Twitter restores official label; $8 blue checkmark option vanishes.
  • Europe’s retailers brace for cutback Christmas.
  • Biden and Xi to meet at G 20 in Bali.
  • Uncounted votes in Nevada and Arizona could determine US Senate control.
  • Abortion, Trump dash Republican hopes for “red wave”.
  • As Biden turns 80, Americans asked “What’s too old?”.
  • Crypto firm FTX files for bankruptcy. Sparks investor rethink of battered crypto market.
  • Gold races for best week since March 2020 on Fed slowdown hopes. [yeah, I added that bold emphasis, not Marcus]
  • Iron ore soars as China COVID curbs eased despite surge in cases.
  • Industrial metals surge after China eases COVID measures.
  • Australia considering gas price cap but rules out mining tax.


What a week. A huge week if you missed it. The lower than expected CPI number on Thursday night in the US kicked off a 7.35% rally in the NASDAQ and a 5% rally in the S&P 500. All the portents of a market pivot point have turned. The US dollar fell by a massive 4.25% on the week, the US 10 year bond yield fell by 34bp, the ASX 200 went up 3.85%, the gold sector went up 17.4% and, as an aside, the A$ went up 3.68%.

We have been waiting for the peak in inflation all year, waiting for interest rates to peak, waiting for the peak in central bank aggression (still not confirmed), waiting for the US dollar to peak, waiting for the A$ to bottom and we have been waiting for the gold price to rally. Its all beginning to happen.

I wrote about the “Anatomy of the market bounce” back in July. It included:

  • A peak in inflation.
  • A peak in interest rates.


  • A peak in the US dollar.


  • A peak in the VIX Volatility index.
  • A bottom in the A$.
  • A bottom in commodity prices.
  • Technical buy signals on all major equity markets.
  • And it will start with a big day on Wall Street. That will be the signal.

We have them all.

The big day on Wall St was on Thursday and to reinforce the ‘hope’ that this is a meaningful equity market pivot point, the US market hasn’t given it all back overnight, it has gone on with it. The SPI Futures are up another 42 this morning. We are "backing up and filling" already.

It looks like a pivot point, so let's assume its a pivot point. We have been waiting all year for this moment. Let's not let it slide and play Chicken, because as we know, "Chickens don't make money". 

Of course there’s debate, of course the Fed may say something tomorrow that kills the assumption they will soft pivot, of course there is another worry around the corner (Recession, earnings downgrades) but, as I wrote yesterday, let's play the relief rally as hard as we can and if it happens to turn into a major pivot point so be it.  

--- end of excerpt ---

[there is a lot more to that email, and he also publishes three per trading day for subscribers, a morning email, a midday email, and an EOD (end of day) email. Plus he has databases and spreadsheets available on a range of companies and sectors - like ETFs/LICs etc.]

If this sort of data and commentary interests you, consider a free trial to his newsletter service at During the trial period you will not be asked for any credit card or other payment details. That only comes if you decide to become a paid subscriber. You'll get the usual follow-up emails/offers, but if it's not your cup of tea you can unsubscribe from the mailing list at any time quite easily. I find his stuff very helpful to assist me to understand what is happening overseas and how that affects our market here. It also keeps me up-to-date with what's happening with the main ASX200 companies on our market, and he does occasionally feature/discuss smaller companies as well.

My own strategy is to remain mostly fully invested most of the time, and I've done that through this recent period of heightened volatility. So it doesn't matter to me too much when the market turns, because I'm already in and have that exposure to the potential upside. However, it does feel like we may have turned a corner late last week. It would be nice to see more green than red on our screens for a change.

Let's hope US inflation continues its decline from here, because if it rises again, so will interest rates and stock prices will head south again. From my perspective (which I know is rather limited) it does feel like inflation is more likely to keep declining than to rise further - from here - in the near to mid term.

Chinese Inflation:


And US Inflation:


It's positive. It can all turn on a dime, but at this point in time it does look positive.


2 years ago

Cringing at the rally in tech shares at the moment (source marketindex)

ALU (Bought here and IRL for first time for a change from the usual "old world" gold and materials companies when share price got pushed down to "exterme" levels this week at $34). Still expensive and needed to get over my negative sentiment over tech but can argue that the tailwinds for the company are quite good.


But I thought I did well till I looked at PME!


Even old friend AEF which has holding in Lend Lease (currently doing a development which negatively impacts a Koala habitat), EML and NXL, got a big tailwind.



2 years ago

19-Nov-2022: From MP this week:


  • Global markets edge up on hopes recession warning forces Fed’s hand.
  • Fedspeak – Collins - Another 75bp hike could be ahead. Little evidence price pressures are waning.
  • Chances of 75bp FOMC hike in December up from 14.6% to 24.2% overnight.
  • US existing home sales plunge; tight inventory keeps price is rising.
  • Rising star Hakeem Jeffries announces bid to lead U.S. House Democrats.
  • Musk ultimatum email to Twitter employees. In-person meetings. Employees exit.
  • Twitter reinstates banned users. No decision on Trump yet.
  • China to strengthen supervision of lithium battery supply chain.
  • Nord Stream leaks confirmed as sabotage.
  • European refiners oversupplied as oil shortage fears subside.
  • Oil slides 2%, posts second weekly decline as supply fears recede.
  • Speculators cuts US crude oil net long positions.
  • Value of Russia-China energy trade up 64%.
  • Gold falls on Fed rate hike prospects, on track for weekly dip.
  • Copper eases as China COVID cases, rate hike worries cloud demand outlook.
  • Early Black Friday deals abound (Black Friday is next Friday).
  • Japan’s inflation hits 40 year high as BOJ sticks to easy policy.
  • China’s October aluminium imports drops 34% amid rising supply, weak demand.
  • Russia hits energy infrastructure. Kyiv facing possible shutdown.
  • Crypto lender Genesis plagued by contagion concern after FTX blow-up.
  • North Korea fires long-range missile landing near Japan.
  • Canada Home Price index slides again in October. 7.7% below peak in May. (Similar economy to Australia).
  • “Qatar is a mistake” says FIFA’s Sepp Blatter. No LGBT or alcohol. 45 degrees.


The market did nothing this week, ASX 200 down six points. Stuck at 7152. We have had an 11% rise from the lows hitting a five-month high on Monday and are now hovering around this 7100 to7200 area trying to make our mind up.


After the rather fabulous post CPI rally the momentum has momentarily died/stopped/paused. Hopefully it is just the pause that refreshes. The technical picture suggests doing nothing short term until the market decides to either head down to 6407 again or head up to the old highs at 7632. The odds are on the latter in my mind and, gloriously this week, in the mind of Shane Oliver.

Shane’s weekly missive this week (Oliver’s Insights - a weekly email he sends out you can subscribe to for free) was titled “Shares May Have Bottomed”. As I wrote on Wednesday “Don’t you just love it when a plan comes together”. And don’t you just love it even more when Shane Oliver agrees with you? Click on the link below to read the reasons Shane thinks equities are bottoming, it’s a good and very clear read, and there are also a few good reasons in there why the resources sector could bottom, which helped me decide to add a resources ETF to the Strategy Portfolio this week (MVR). You can read about that in the same article.

Click the following link to dowload a .pdf version:


Dr Shane Oliver - Head of Investment Strategy and Economics and Chief Economist, AMP Investments

15 Nov 2022

--- end of excerpts and links ---

I'm no fan of AMP, not at all, but Shane does occasionally say things that are worth paying attention to.