Mark Beyer

As editor, Mark oversees the day-to-day online news at Business News. His particular brief is following major deals, the professions and private/family businesses. Mark has 35 years' career experience, primarily in business journalism. Before becoming a journalist, he was an economist with the Commonwealth Treasury in Canberra. He has worked for The Australian Financial Review and The West Australian, and also has public relations and corporate affairs experience. 

Rates fix proves a fickle business

A FEW months is a long time in financial markets, as investors who switched to fixed rate housing loans will have discovered to their cost.

Past proves poor guide to shares’ performance

THE average investor in managed funds has earned less than one third of the overall stockmarket return, a new US study has found.

Index funds attracting investors

AUSTRALIAN investors can select from a small but growing number of ‘index’ funds.Vanguard Investments, the global pioneer of index funds, offers an Australian Share Fund, which aims to track the S&P/ASX 300 index, before fees and expenses.

New funds pecking order

WESTPAC’S purchase of BT Financial Group last month has reinforced the dominance of a handful of big players in retail funds management.

BT Wrap platform proves a big lure

THE growing popularity of master funds and wrap accounts has been one of the main themes of the managed funds industry over recent years.Westpac CEO David Morgan acknowledged as much when he announced the purchase of BT Financial Group last month.

Divining the rates oracle

CENTRAL bankers are renowned for making obscure comments that market watchers struggle to un-ravel.Australia’s Reserve Bank may be trying to break the mould judging by the relative clarity of its recent pronouncements.

Listed investors positive

AUSTRALIA’S listed in-vestment companies mostly defied the sharp downturn in equity markets to post positive returns last year.

Managed funds swim in red ink

THE positive returns achieved by most listed investment companies last financial year (see main article) has not been matched by managed equity funds.

Competition willing for master trusts

ADMINISTRATION platforms may not sound like an exciting concept, but they are generating hot competition in the financial planning industry.

Managed accounts offer flexibility and control

SEPARATELY managed accounts are a relatively new product in Australia, but investors can expect to hear a lot more about them in the future.

DirectPortfolio has style

THE latest prospectus from investment manager Direct-Portfolio neatly illustrates some of the emerging trends in investment styles.

Super choice on the agenda

THE Federal Government has started cranking up its campaign to give workers the right to select their own superannuation fund.

Current system is on track: Coonan

ASSISTANT Treasurer Helen Coonan has dismissed concerns that Australia’s superannuation system will leave many people with inadequate retirement incomes.

Rating the winners and losers

EVERY time interest rates move up or down, most of the media commentary invariably focuses on the impact on homebuyers.

Interest rate rises on hold for now

WHEN the Reserve Bank decided earlier this month to leave interest rates unchanged, it caught most pundits by surprise.

Advisers lift disclosure

PUBLIC surveys consistently show that accountants and family or friends are the most common sources of financial and investment advice.

Comissions driving industry incomes

THE impact of commissions continues to be one of the most contentious issues in the financial planning industry.

Funds fallout worst on record

AUSTRALIAN superannuation funds produced their worst returns on record in 2001-02 and have a “higher than normal” probability of posting negative returns again this year, according to consulting group InTech.

Offshore returns fall as dollar moves towards US65c mark

THE unexpected strength of the Australian dollar has been bad news for investors in international shares and the prospect is for more of the same.

Platinum shining bright amid gloom

PLATINUM Asset Management is a conspicuous success story among managers of international equity funds.In fact, it is the only main-stream investment manager to have achieved positive returns from international equities over the past 12 months.

IT woes continue

THE Australian IT sector produced another dismal performance over the past 12 months, according to Commonwealth Securities.

Alcohol fuels ethical debate

ETHICAL investors who have steered clear of wine and beer companies would be crying into their carrot juice, judging by the results of a new study.

Super funds to tread carefully

TRUSTEES of superannuation funds need to tread very carefully if they offer an ethical or socially responsible investment option, the University of Melbourne’s Centre for Corporate Law and Securities Regulation has warned.

Crunch time for boomers

AUSTRALIANS aged from 50 to 64 years have accumulated an average wealth of $240,000, the majority of which is in the family home, a new report has found.

Margin lending caution prevails

MARGIN lending is not the high-risk activity of popular mythology, judging by the latest Reserve Bank analysis of the market.Total margin lending grew by 32 per cent over the 12 months to March 2002, to reach $9.7 billion.

Marketing mileage for winning fund managers

A POPULAR marketing tool for fund managers these days is to publicise the awards they have won.This suits many fund managers because there are numerous awards waiting to be picked up.

Variety of successful styles

THE two big winners in the latest fund manager awards, UBS Global Asset Management (UBS) and Perpetual Investments, come from very different backgrounds.

Working long-term goals in with immediate needs

WITH June 30 approaching, many investors start to focus on ways of managing their looming tax bill.This short-term imperative is often seen to be at odds with the longer-term goals of building wealth or generating higher investment income.

LICs offer blue chip guide

WHEN major companies like Telstra and Mayne experience a sharp fall in their share price, investors trying to build a ‘blue chip’ share portfolio can be excused for feeling exasperated.

Extreme variety in hedge fund returns

RETURNS from Australian-based hedge funds varied from as high as 31.6 per cent to minus 8.3 per cent last year, a new study has found.The performance of hedge funds covered by the survey shows the very wide variation in returns.

Funds deliver wide range of returns: study

A STUDY of long-term investment returns produced by fund managers has found substantial variation.



Shortlist to run Rio facilities

Sodexo has been shortlisted with two other companies to manage all of Rio Tinto’s camps and other facilities in the Pilbara, in the same week it has been awarded a contract to run Shell’s Prelude Floating LNG facility.

TPG to end ‘country club’ culture

The final step in TPG Telecom’s takeover of iiNet is due to happen today, when iiNet shareholders will be paid $9.55 per share, however, staff and customers face an uncertain future.

Cooper & Oxley on the brink

Cooper & Oxley Builders, which is one of the 10 largest construction companies in Perth, has suspended work on its projects while it reviews its financial viability.

JCY goes into liquidation

Major Perth architecture practice JCY has been placed into liquidation after being hit by the slowdown in work volumes, pricing pressures and losses on the Perth Children’s Hospital.

most commented

TPG to end ‘country club’ culture

The final step in TPG Telecom’s takeover of iiNet is due to happen today, when iiNet shareholders will be paid $9.55 per share, however, staff and customers face an uncertain future.

Canberra is "really hopeless": Walsh

WA industry leaders Richard Goyder, Sam Walsh and Andrew Forrest lined up today to criticise deputy prime minister Julia Gillard and the federal government's tax and economic policies.

Woodside to spend $400m on Fifo camp

Woodside Petroleum is hoping to win state government backing for a new 700-bed fly-in, fly-out camp at Karratha, after selecting a consortium led by Multiplex and Compass Group to build, own and operate the facility.

Perth tech pioneer passes away

Conrad Crisafulli, who was one of the pioneers of venture capital investing and technology commercialisation in Western Australia, has died after a long illness.