Research & Papers

December 2017


APW Insight 12 - Financial Management for Children

Money management skills are difficult to attain, and decades of experience may be required before the basic tenets of saving and handling wealth are understood.


November 2017


APW Insight 11 - Cyber Security

In recent years personal cyber security has increasingly been at the forefront of all our minds. We've pulled together a check list of Do's and Don'ts.


October 2017


APW Insight - Retirement Seminar Summary

People need to change their definition of retirement. It is a transition, not a destination. Learn from science and psychology about how to get the most out of this stage of life.


May 2017


APW Insight - 2017 Federal Budget

With so much Superannuation Reform from last year’s budget still being worked through ahead of 1 July, unsurprisingly (and some might say thankfully) the 2017 Budget has little that impacts superannuation and retirement savings directly.


December 2016

APW Insight - 2016 Year In Review

2016 may well be the year where we remember that surprises can and do happen.


October 2016

APW Insight #6 - The Budget Trojan Horse Continues To Roll In

The government has released another ‘Exposure Draft’ Bill to test public reaction to the superannuation proposals they want to legislate. A short consultation period will ensue followed by a potentially arduous passage of the Bill through parliament.

September 2016

APW Insight #5 - Updated Superannuation Reforms

Four months after the May 2016 Federal Budget was handed down, we are seeing legislation being tabled to enact the measures announced. This edition highlights the ‘version 2’ superannuation announcements.

July 2016

APW Insight #4 - Brexit

On 23 June, the UK voted to leave the European Union (EU) after what was a long and fractious referendum campaign. In this edition we take a closer look at what it all means for investors.

June 2016

APW Insight #3 - Understanding budget impact

This edition of APW Insights focuses on a more granular look at some of the Budget implications as we see them, based on the detail of the announcements on 3 May 2016.

May 2016

APW Insight #2 - 2016/17 Federal Budget

Scott Morrison delivered his first Budget as the Federal Treasurer and enlivened many of the rumors that have been circulating for weeks whilst also squashing some of the touted predictions.

April 2016

APW Insight #1 - 2016 Budget Speculation

With the Federal Budget approaching on 3 May 2016, speculation surrounding the possible changes to superannuation is increasing. While it is impossible to predict what the Coalition Government will announce, there are four particular areas under focus.

March 2016

Changes to Taxation of Property

From 1 July 2016, the sale of Australian property for $2m or more will be subject to a 10% withholding tax.The new law is targeting non residents who evade capital gains tax on the sale of Australian property but will be applied broadly for administrative ease. The law doesn’t just target investors, it will sweep up homeowners.

February 2016

Family Loan Agreements

Many families provide financial assistance within their family group and good practice ensures that a Loan Agreement is in place. A Family Law case has highlighted that a Loan Agreement will not protect an asset from being included in a matrimonial property division if it is not ‘commercial’ in nature.

July 2015

Greece & China: Investment Portfolio Implications

The recent instability in global financial markets sparked by the Greek debt negotiations and volatility on the Shanghai Stock Exchange is a reminder of the dangers investors can face if they react to short term information. For example, the Australian stockmarket is now at a similar level to early June, when Greece became the number one topic in the financial media.

May 2015

Federal Budget Review - 2015

Last night’s Federal Budget demonstrated that the Government is relying on small business to get the Australian economy moving, but that major (and overdue) structural reform is still a few years away. Overall, it was an uneventful Budget. A deficit of $35.1 billion has been projected for the 2015-16 financial year.

September 2014

 An astonishing record of failure

At APW Partners we do not rely on forecasts from economists or stockbrokers when developing and implementing client strategies. That’s because “expert” forecasts have a history of being less reliable than random guesses. A recent article by Tim Harford in the Financial Times provided further insight on the accuracy of economic forecasts

July 2014

 Relying on Big 4 Bank Shares for your Financial Future

One of the more significant ‘takeaways’ from the report released by David Murray (former Commonwealth Bank CEO) on Australia's financial system is concerns for the future of the banking sector, and in particular the Big Four Australian banks, which often form the centrepiece of Australian Mum & Dad investor portfolios.

June 2014

 Are Econcomic Forecasts Relevant?

Should investors focus on factors like a country’s budget deficit or economic growth forecasts when deciding where to invest?

May 2014

 Federal Budget Review - 2014

The team at APW Partners has reviewed the detail of last night’s 2014 Federal Budget and identified various key matters that may affect our clients.

February 2014

 2013 - A reminder of the benefits of diversification

The benefits of global diversification were never more evident than in 2013. The major developed world markets, which had been near the centre of investor concerns in recent years, led the world with historically strong gains.

December 2013

 Intergenerational Planning - Starting the conversation....

It is fair to say that the very notion of discussing one’s financial affairs with the next generation is deeply personal and for many not considered appropriate or perhaps necessary until much later in life.

However this Christmas, it may be time to start the conversation.

October 2013

Eugene Fama wins the Nobel Prize for Economics

In October 2013 Nobel Prize in Economics was awarded by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences to Eugene Fama, along with two others, for laying “the foundation for the current understanding of asset prices.”.

October 2013

Down the Mineshaft

Success when investing doesn’t just mean knowing what risks to take.

During the global credit crisis, many commentators proclaimed the materials resource sector offered a port in the storm.  So how did this strategy perform?

August 2013 Forecasters are bad at forecasting

As humans, we our natural biases typically make us bad investors. Whilst we’d all like to think we can predict the future, a new study has highlighted the dangers of investors relying on economic or stockmarket forecasts and predictions. We provide three simple strategies to help ensure your emotions don’t overwhelm reason.

July 2013 Second Guessing

Markets recently have had a rocky time as investors in aggregate reassess prospects for monetary policy stimulus in the United States. Is this something to worry about? And why would anyone ever believe there are more sellers than buyers in a market?

June 2013 The Art of letting go

In many areas of life, intense activity and constant monitoring of results represent the path to success. In investment, that approach gets turned on its head.

May 2013

 Federal Budget Review - 2013

Last night the Federal Government presented the 2013 Budget. We provide commentary on key annoucements that may affect clients of APW Partners.

April 2013

 Children Inheritance - how much should you leave them?

Last night the Federal Government presented the 2013 Budget. We provide commentary on key annoucements that may affect clients of APW Partners.

March 2013 

 Financial Independence in Retirement

This article deals with the most common question we get asked: how much do I need to live an enjoyable and financially independent retirement?


February 2013 

What are the alternatives to Term Deposits?

With the returns on term deposits and other cash like assets in Australia falling, many investors are wondering what alternatives may be available to them.
A recent article in the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) offered some suggestions. We were somewhat mystified at what they had to say.


January 2013

2012 – The year patience, discipline & diversification was rewarded

Throughout 2012, nervous investors did not have to look hard for reasons to avoid the financial markets. However, the year saw investors once again believe that the idea of owning a share in the world’s businesses is a sensible idea. This paper reviews 2012, the year patience, discipline and diversification was rewarded.

December 2012

Why Too Much Data Disables Your Decision Making

Knowledge, we’re told, is power. But what if our thirst for data is actually holding us back? What if obsessing over information actually reduces the quality of our decisions?
That’s the question raised by Princeton and Stanford University psychologists in a fascinating study titled “On the Pursuit and Misuse of Useless Information.

November 2012

The Future for the Asian Region

The financial crisis and subsequent ‘developed’ world recession have overshadowed changes in the ‘developing’ world that have implications for investors everywhere, as a new landmark Australian government report of Asia’s economic rise reveals.


October 2012

 How the Best Investor in the World beats the Market

For good reason, Warren Buffett has long been considered one of the most judicious investors of his generation. However, a new study shows that his strategy for generating his returns is not only accessible for most investors, but has been used by firms like Stewart Partners for many years.


September 2012

The Case for Investing in Europe

The past year has seen a flood of negative headlines from Europe: bank bailouts, political upheavals, spiking bond yields and falling stock markets.  We believe it is prudent to maintain exposure to European stocks.

 July 2012

 The Death of Equities...again

It has been a tough few years for investors in the stockmarket. Investor expectations of average annual stock returns of around 10% have been replaced with below average or even negative returns. For some, their emotional response is to question whether they should remain in the stockmarket, or to possibly reduce their exposure.

 June 2012

 Eminent academic insights on the global economy

This week APW Partners attended a seminar with some of the world’s leading financial academics. It was an opportunity for us to talk to and hear their views on recent global events and their thoughts on possible future outcomes. We have aggregated our learning below under some key headings.

 May 2012

 Why Europe wants Greece to remain in the euro

Over the past two years, we have written several articles focusing on what the financial issues in Greece mean for our clients. With some commentators speculating on the possibility of Greece leaving the euro, we reflect on how this scenario has arisen and discuss why Europe wants Greece to remain in the union.

 May 2012

 Federal Budget Review 2012

Last night the Federal Government presented the 2012 Budget. We discuss the key announcements that may affect clients of APW Partners.

 May 2012

 Recent Events & Possible Outcomes: Local & Global Financial Markets

This paper discusses recent events in the Australian and global economies and financial markets and some of the possible outcomes.

 March 2012

 Does the Market still reward investors?

A client recently asked if we expect the stockmarket to continue to reward investors for taking greater risk.  We do – and this paper provides our rationale and an incredible video that demonstrates the ability of humans to innovate and drive future stock returns.

 March 2012

 Why patient investors in the US have been rewarded

If we think back to late 2008, the US was the epicentre of the GFC. Many investors wanted to remove any exposure to the US from the share portfolios, fearing that a ‘lost decade’ of returns was on the horizon. Since then, the US stockmarket has provided investors with returns almost double that of Australia.  So how did this happen?

 February 2012

 2011 Year in Review

The 2011 year reminded investors that they should hope for the best, prepare for the worst, and be thankful when reality does not match their fears. This paper provides an overview of the economy and markets during 2011.

 January 2012

 New Year's Resolutions

This paper reflects on the performance of global financial markets to the end of 2011 and recommends five financial strategies that all investors should ensure they follow in 2012.

 December 2011

 Were the old days really that good?

As 2011 winds down and financial markets continue to face uncertainty over developments in the Eurozone crisis, this paper critically reflects on our memories of the ‘good old days’.

 December 2011


Our perspective on what is happening in the Eurozone in late 2011 and what it means for investors.

 November 2011

 A Good Apple is No Guarantee of a Good Investment

It is important to remember that a good company does not always guarantee a good investment result.

 October 2011

 Why Chasing Recent Winners Reduces Your Expected Return

How many investors choose to invest in a stock, fund manager or asset class based solely on its recent performance over perhaps the last 5 years? Chasing recent winners has a higher probability of providing you with lower expected returns compared to smart investors.

 October 2011

 How do you Measure Sovereign Risk?

What is the best signal for investors worried about the risks posed by investing in sovereign bonds? Does one look at the relative size of a country’s debt, the nature of their borrowings or their credit ratings? And how long ago was the Australian Government in a similar position to the US today?

August 2011

 Strategies to reduce anxiety when investing in tempestuous stock markets

Many investors experience various levels of anxiety when financial markets are volatile. Consequently, there are strategies that we employ which are designed to minimise psychological stress.

 July 2011

 Was Apple Always Destined to be the World’s Largest Stock?

Apple’s innovative products are the gold standard for personal communication and entertainment gadgets, however it’s worth recalling how uninspiring the future for the company looked not so long ago.


 July 2011

Carbon Tax – What it Means for Investors 

The carbon tax announced yesterday is complex. In this article we detail some of the key points that we believe you should be aware of.

 July 2011

 Are the Big 4 Banks a Guaranteed Great Investment?

We often meet with people who believe that having a significantly overweight exposure to Australia’s Big 4 bank stocks is a fool proof investment strategy. Whilst there is no doubt that the Big 4 banks are good companies, it is important to remember that a good company is not necessarily a good investment.

 July 2011

 Why China is so Important to Australia & Our Stockmarket

We discuss how the growth of China is impacting on the structure of our economy and how it drives the profitability of our largest companies.

 June 2011

 Why You Shouldn’t Lose Sleep Over Greece

Some areas of the media have been trying to outdo each other with hype over the financial mess which is modern day Greece, with melancholy scenarios for the global economy. Our paper serves as an antidote to manic behaviour.

 June 2011

 Discipline: Your Secret Weapon

Research has highlighted that the worst investors tend to be those who follow markets and the financial media fanatically.

April 2011

 China’s Growth Trajectory & Implications for the United States

 We consider how the United States’ high debt levels may impact China’s economic rise and what options the U.S has to remedy their debt situation.

 April 2011

 Japanese Quake Aftermath for the Global Economy

We discuss why the vast human tragedy in Japan will likely have only short term negative implications for the global economy and your investment portfolio.

 April 2011

 How well do most Australian fund managers & U.S brokers serve their clients?

We review research on whether active fund managers actually deliver value for their clients.

 April 2011

 Why One Boatload of Iron Ore Now Buys Us More Flat Screen TVs

In 2005, one ship load of iron ore going to China was worth 2,200 flat screen TVs coming back the other way. Today, due to the surge in iron ore prices and falling price of TVs, one ship load of iron ore is equivalent to 22,000 TVs. That’s a 900% improvement in 5 years.

 April 2011

Special Report – Investing in Residential Property 

This paper focuses on current issues regarding investing in residential property as an asset class.

 January 2011

PAF Donations to Queensland Flood Relief

It is important to note that Private Ancillary Funds (PAFs) are unfortunately unable to donate to the Queensland Premier’s Disaster Relief Appeal.

October 2010

Do Budget Deficits & Low Economic Growth Reduce Expected Investment Returns?

Research has shown that Government budget deficits and forecast economic growth as measured by Gross Domestic Product (GDP) are not reliable predictors of a country’s bond or equity market returns.