With US interest rates on the rise and the prospect of Australian rates heading the same way, floating rate bonds have increased in popularity as they allow investors to benefit from increasing rates.
It took Wall Street and equity investors a long time to realise interest rates had gone through an inflection, and the era of the easiest money conditions in a lifetime is now over.
Australian banks are vulnerable to a collapse in the local housing market due to an overexposure to high-rise developments, interest-only loans and high loan-to-value ratios. The main uncertainty is the timing.
Australian bank liquidity regulations are continuing to tighten, adversely affecting access to cash and the ability of SMSFs to earn the same returns from bank deposits as individuals.
In a recent speech, US Federal Reserve Chair, Janet Yellen signalled that ‘unconventional’ monetary policy actions by central banks are likely to be ‘normal’ for many years.
Following the recent cash rate cut, it seemed unusual for banks to then increase their term deposit rates, while only passing on a fraction of the cut to borrowers. What’s behind this change in bank strategy?
The RBA follows a fairly standard formula when drafting its interest rate announcements each month and a keen observer might detect a change in view before an actual change in interest rates.
The US Fed has finally lifted interest rates as anticipated, but from here it’s especially difficult to predict future rate changes given that current economic conditions would normally dictate lowering rates.
The market has been supplying investors with high dividend-paying stocks, but unfortunately, this focus overlooks better opportunities with more growth and capital appreciation.
Smaller financial institutions have become more competitive in the home loan market, and as they seek new funding sources, the market is doubting the value of the traditional prime bank BBSW benchmark.
The lending patterns of households and businesses, when compared against GDP and disposable income, can provide useful insights into where the economy is headed.
Most borrowers accept break costs will be incurred when a fixed rate loan is repaid early and rates have fallen, but many are surprised at the cost. Even more surprising is the banks’ reluctance to show the calculations.
A range of factors determine interest rates, and the yield curve reflects expectations of the future. Even if interest rates look low, waiting to invest is attempting to outguess the market.