Market Insights

2021


  • Inflation-Hedging Commodities: Precious Metals
    As economies recover from the pandemic, there still lies the looming threat of rampant inflation. This risk has provoked investors’ appetite for inflation-hedging commodities. Precious metals which include gold, silver, platinum, and palladium are an attractive asset class that not only have lucrative potential but also serve as an effective diversification tool due to its low correlation with equity markets.
  • Winter is Coming – The Global Energy Crisis
    Recently, there has been supply shortages of natural gas and coal, thus propelling an extreme surge in their prices. China’s industrial sector and major provinces are currently dealing with power shortages and Europe is currently facing a supply shortage. As winter approaches, it has prompted them into an all-out global bidding war for these power-producing fuels.
  • The Evergrande Crisis
    Evergrande is the second largest property developer in China. The company currently has 1,300 ongoing projects in more than 280 Chinese cities. However, this Fortune 500 company is in trouble, with ramifications that could reach all parts of the world.
  • To Infinity and Beyond: Investing in Space
    Defining the space industry can be difficult, as it includes not only space technology itself but the commercial opportunities that are generated from observing and using space. The OECD has defined the space economy as “the full range of activities and the use of resources that create and provide value and benefits to human beings in the course of exploring, understanding, managing and utilising space”.
  • The Olympic Games and its Economic Impact
    Many cities submit their application for the Olympic bidding process, with five cities bidding to be host to the 2024 Olympic Games. As such, you would seem to think that the economic impact of hosting the Olympics would be a positive one. However, most cities have fallen into debt after hosting the Games.
  • Reshaping the Consumer Finance Industry: Square’s AU$39 billion acquisition of Afterpay
    Square’s AU$39 billion acquisition of Afterpay, the largest public mergers and acquisitions deal in Australian history and largest cross-border fintech deal in global history, is a game-changer for the fintech sector.
  • The Crypto Market Crash
    Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, such as Ethereum and Cardano, have continually been reaching all-time highs during the current bull run. However, as of late, cryptocurrency traders and investors have been riding the wild, volatile crypto rollercoaster.
  • How to ‘legally’ manipulate the Market
    Market manipulation has always been a problem in the financial market space. One of the most significant forms of legal market manipulation in recent times is illustrated through Elon Musk – specifically via his public tweets regarding cryptocurrencies.
  • The Special-Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) Boom
    The interest in special-purpose acquisition companies or SPAC has grown exponentially in the past year. Many companies are choosing to go public through these types of companies instead of a traditional initial public offering.
  • Neobanks – The Choice for Millennials
    With rapid advancements in technology, coupled with strong shifts away from physical workplaces and face-to-face interactions, the world has become increasingly digital in all forms of life. One major change we have seen is the boom of digital banking, also known as ‘neobanking’.
  • Climate Change – Simply a Risk to the Earth’s Climate?
    A number of regulatory initiatives, such as the Task-force for Climate related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), have been enforced in the past decade. They have had the effect of making asset managers responsible for incorporating climate risk and related considerations into their investment decision making, governance and risk management.
  • The Mental Health Crisis & The Economy
    Mental health plays a key role in the overall vitality and wellbeing of the economy. According to the Health Council, a mental illness is defined as ‘a clinically diagnosable disorder that significantly interferes with a person’s cognitive, emotional or social abilities’.
  • The Psychedelic Renaissance
    In 2018, the market observed an investment bubble into cannabis. Since then, a similar trend has resurfaced with the psychedelic craze which has subsequently raised investment capital. Commonly associated with magic mushrooms, ketamine, MDMA and LSD, these ‘magic’ substances have caught the keen eyes of investors.
  • Dogecoin: Meme to Currency
    Dogecoin (CCC:DOGE-USD) is a cryptocurrency, which is a digital currency that can be exchanged for goods or services. Dogecoin is an example of an “altcoin”, a term used to refer to cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin that are built on the same fundamentals, but aim to provide solutions to the limitations of Bitcoin and ultimately be an improved form of cryptocurrency. 
  • The Greensill Collapse
    In early March, Greensill Capital declared insolvency. Only last October, Greensill, which was backed by Softbank’s Vision Fund, was planning an initial public offering that would value its company at US$7 billion. Its senior advisors included former U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron and former Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop.
  • The Rise of ESG and Sustainable Investments
    ESG stands for Environment, Social and Corporate Governance and they are a subset of sustainable investments. ESGs involves financing a business seeking to generate positive returns whilst also creating a positive societal and environmental footprint.
  • The Booming Rise of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs)
    We are currently living in a world where everything unimaginable becomes reality. From Pokémon Card prices skyrocketing, to the striking rise of Cryptocurrency. Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have sought to bring these two momentous worlds together, allowing ownership of specialised, digital tokens.
  • GameStop: The Rise of the Redditors
    GameStop Corporation (NYSE: GME) is an American video game retailer and trade-in destination. Since the end of January, shares of GameStop have been rapidly rising and falling. At its peak, the GameStop share price rose to around $US350, from about $US20 in early January. In the span of one week, it went up almost tenfold.

2020


  • Digital Money: A Distant Future or a Soon-to-Be Reality?
    In this article, we aim to analyze how close we are to the inevitability of physical cash phasing out, what the likely financial impacts of the transition are, and whether there are potential investment opportunities to look out for while we observe this inevitable change.
  • Cannabis – a high for the economy?
    Economies around the globe are suffering due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Governments in all nations will be looking for new sources of revenue to provide jobs to millions of people who find themselves out of work and to replenish diminishing budgets. With this in mind, a potential source of revenue and jobs could be provided through the legalisation of marijuana.
  • The Rise of Decentralized Finance (DeFi) in Crypto
    Ethereum, which is currently the second largest cryptocurrency in the world by market capitalization, distinguishes itself in providing one of the world’s first Turing Complete protocols, meaning programmers can use the Ethereum programming language to build their own Ethereum “Tokens” that can be swapped to and from Ethereum and are complete cryptocurrencies in their own right, which is a feature previously impossible on cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.
  • The Coronavirus Crash
    The global economy has suffered fourteen global recessions since 1870, some of which have resulted in severe economic contractions. With more than a third of the world’s population being forced into lockdown, the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to plunge the global economy into its worst recession since the Second World War.
  • The Revival of the Australian Bond Market
    Throughout February and mid-March, the Australian debt market was plagued by irrational investor behaviour following fears of economic stagnation. Many investors were spooked about the impending pandemic and its associated economic costs which caused a decrease in the value of risky assets and a boosted demand for risk-free assets such as government-issued bonds. As investors piled into safe-haven assets, Australian bond-yields declined to record lows.
  • Are we in a tech bubble?
    For the past few months, the market has traded with volatility that hasn’t been seen in a decade. Since the crash back in March, markets have aggressively rallied with the tech sector reaching all-time highs. In this article we will break down the leading tech companies along with the unprecedented inflow of funds into the industry.
  • Two-Faced FDIs & COVID-19’s Role in Accelerated Deglobalisation
    The Financial Times (“The modern era of globalisation is in danger”, May 24) is right to argue “the current era of globalisation is not dead but looks in ill health”. With the rise of populist nationalism such as UK’s Brexit vote and the US election of Donald Trump in 2016, the COVID-19 risks deliver the knockout blow. Every country will have to pay the price for increasing protectionism resulting in frailer domestic production.
  • Bitcoin’s Dominance and The Halving Event
    The purpose of this article is to delve into why Bitcoin is the single most buzzed about cryptocurrency, to discuss what Bitcoin’s halving entails, and how the past halvings have affected the global cryptocurrency market.
  • Sports Betting Pandemic
    The global sports betting market was valued at approximately US $104.3 billion in 2017 and is expected to reach US $155.49 billion by 2024. Although it is widely viewed as being a root cause of gambling-related problems, there are many positive aspects to the industry.
  • Investing in Antique Violins Part 3 – Liquidity
    Unlike many financial markets, I would consider the antique violin market to be somewhat niche and therefore, illiquid. This means it is far easier to buy and sell blue chip stocks on the ASX than trade antique violins which poses some problems – however, I have some measures in place to minimise the effects of low liquidity:
  • Investing in Antique Violins Part 2 – Health
    Just like one needs to look at the fundamentals of a company, i.e. the financial health of a company before investing, one of the most important factors in determining whether to invest in an antique violin is the health of the instrument.
  • Commodities Call
    To help paint the picture of how COVID-19 has impacted the commodity markets, we can compare it to other major events such as 9/11 and previous recessions.
  • Investing in Antique Violins Part 1 – Demand and Supply
    Just like with any physical or financial asset, its fair value will be determined by the demand for and supply of that asset, i.e. how many people want to buy that asset, and the abundance of the asset. For instance, a violin which is mass-produced in a factory utilising inferior materials will not fetch a price anywhere near as a high as an original hand-made 1720 Antonius Stradivarius violin, made with premium materials in pristine condition.
  • A Primer on Cryptocurrencies
    The purpose of this article is to briefly delve into the exploding topic of cryptocurrencies – specifically the financial and economic facets of this market. If you are new to crypto – we hope this is an interesting primer that encourages you to learn more, and if you are not – we hope you find this an insightful refresher nonetheless. We will also briefly look at how the coronavirus has impacted this asset class.
  • The Effect of COVID-19 on the Sporting World
    COVID-19 pandemic has shaken the sporting world, with several professional and amateur sporting leagues across the globe being postponed or suspended. The global value of the sports industry was estimated to be $471bn in 2018 – an increase of 45% since 2011.
  • Turm-Oil
    The markets have experienced extreme volatility in the past few weeks. Along with this, the market for oil has plummeted to levels never seen before. In this article we will break down the timeline of oil’s collapse.
  • COVID-19 Stimulus Packages in Australia
    In light of the current COVID-19 crisis, the Australian government has issued stimulus packages worth an unprecedented sum of $213.6bn to support workers and local businesses.
  • Global Pandemic Buying Spree
    In this unprecedented time, society’s consumption levels have fallen to levels last seen in the 90’s. The coronavirus caused the global markets to collapse, with the S&P ASX200 falling 38.9% from its all-time high.
  • The Global Supply-Chain Shock
    The world’s supply chains are facing root-to-branch shutdowns as lockdown measures to contain the coronavirus outbreak intensifies.
  • Asia’s COVID-19 Monetary Policies
    As the world remains in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, many countries are enacting strict lockdowns leading to a slowdown in economic activity.

2019 & Before