Get ASX Price
Hot Issues
Vaccination rates as they happen around the world
2021 - a list of lists regarding the macro investment outlook
2020 - the year that united us
Videos and other resources for our clients
How to review your direct debits and save
Majority of working Aussies to benefit from personal income tax cuts
2020 is coming to an end. Phew!!
Review of 2020, outlook for 2021
The right times for financial advice
Is your home loan still right for you?
3 golden rules that make saving for retirement easier
How to budget for your social life in retirement
Still The Lucky Country
Comprehensive list of COVID-19 initiatives and packages.
Understanding the Age Pension income and assets test
Considerations when downsizing your home
Ways to help reduce your debts before you retire
How to identify (and beat) your spending triggers
Budget 2020 - A very comprehensive break down.
Budget 2020 - Fact Sheets
Budget 2020 - At a Glance, Overview, Outlook
JobKeeper extension – changes implemented
Australia's "eye popping" budget deficit and public debt blow out
The economics of COVID-19 lockdowns
How mindfulness can improve the way we work
Taking control of your personal finances in a COVID-19 world
September update of latest COVID-19 initiatives.
Seven reasons why the trend in shares will likely remain up, albeit with bumps along the way
Market outlook Q&A
Changes to super contribution rules for over 65s
COVID-19: How long may your super savings take to recover?
Boost your super in the lead up to retirement
4 ways to help prepare your finances for a recession
JobKeeper - Latest Update
The fiscal cliff is more likely to be a fiscal slope
Australian economic and fiscal update
Protect yourself from COVID-19 related scams
The economic hangover of COVID-19: how long will it last?
How to rebuild your super after a COVID-19 withdrawal
Market update - July 2020
Investment options and retirement
Extra Tools & Resources for our clients.
The Australian economy and recovery from COVID-19
Digital payments and online banking for older Aussies
The coming surge in Australia's budget deficit and public debt due to coronavirus
10 medium to longer-term implications from the coronavirus shock
Thinking about insurance ahead of retirement
Gifting and financial generosity during coronavirus
Diversification - why it matters now more than ever
The value of financial advice
Our Website, your resources
Light at the end of the coronavirus tunnel
Market update
Changes to pension drawdown and deeming rates
Preserving retirement saving during COVID-19
How investment market volatility could affect your super
COVID-19: Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package
The coronavirus pandemic and the economy – a Q&A from an investment perspective
Money challenges women face
Data so large it's hard to comprehend.
Is coronavirus driving a recession, depression or an economic hit like no other?
Holding your nerve – why retirees fear a market plunge
Historic $130bn wage subsidy to cover 6 million workers
Stage 2 – Covid-19 stimulus package.
Covid-19 Update - Small Business
PM launches $17.6 billion virus stimulus plan
The plunge in shares – seven things investors need to keep in mind
Three reasons why low inflation is good for shares and property
Can refinancing my home loan save me money?
Expected GDP by country 2010 to 2100
Super investment options – what’s right for you?
Life beyond work
Statistical picture of Australia - Update
A resource hub for our clients.
Market Update
Real Time World Population Growth - Wow!!
Dividends explained
Start 2020 with a best snapshot of Australia.
5 tips for green investing
Make Australians save again
Bushfires and the Australian economy
Grow your super in the new year
Australia by the Numbers
How to create realistic goals…… and stick to them.
5 days to get your finances in order
Our Advent calendar for 2019
5 reasons why I’m not so fussed about the global outlook
Superannuation changes
You'll be the life of the party when armed with this information!
7 tips to improve your financial wellness
Rebooting for retirement
5 reasons why the A$ may be close to the bottom
Resist today, relax tomorrow
Market Update 30 September 2019
How much superannuation is enough?
All Australia's vital statistics - October 2019
6 new financial videos
DGP by country since 1800
Boost savings with compound interest
High times for low interest rates
Market Update - September 2019
Will the world slip up on oil again?
Australia by the numbers - September 2019
Spending money in a cashless world
Dealing with being cash poor and asset rich
Saving for a rainy day
Market update
Access to more resources and tools than most websites.
Nine reasons why recession remains unlikely in Australia
Can I go back to work if I’ve accessed my super?
How's Australia doing statistically?
Protecting your super package.
Making the most of record-low interest rates.
Market Update 2019
How the top 10 global companies have changes since 1998
The longest US economic expansion ever
When can I access my super
Australia by numbers – Update
How to retire early
How to play catch up with your Super
Inflation undershoots in Australia
9 money mistakes to avoid in retirement
What a financial planner does to help.
Australia's vital statistics.
What kind of money parent are you?
How to save money
Federal Budget 2019 - Overview
How the 2019 Federal Budget affects you
New Global growth slowing, plunging bond yields & inverted yield curves
Women and Money
Market Update - March 2019
The problem with getting to 53 years of age.
How to avoid a travel debt hangover
Things to avoid as a newbie investor
Budget Time - How's Australia going?
Most older Aussies prefer home care over a nursing home
Why growth in China is unlikely to slow too far
10 money conversations to have when your relationship heats up
Australia slides into a 'per capita recession'
6 steps to get your money stuff together
All you need to know about how Australia is going.
Australian housing downturn Q&A
6 ways to reduce your credit card debt once and for all
5 life insurance questions you've always wanted to ask
2019 a list of lists - regarding the macro investment outlook
Part 4 - The major benefit of ‘behavioural coaching'
How to adult—a quick guide to personal finances in your 20s
How Australia is performing.
The Australian economy in 2019
Holiday budgeting tips— How to avoid a travel debt hangover
Australia - a comprehensive run-down of our vital statistics.
The Fed and market turmoil - the Fed turns a bit dovish but not enough (yet)
12 ways to avoid waste this Christmas
Rising US interest rates, trade wars, the US midterm election results, etc
Our Advent calendar for 2018
Responsible and ethical investing
What are the 3 biggest living expenses for households?
Your Adviser and Behavioural Coaching
Stop!! Don't do a paper Budget, use our online budgeting tools instead.
Information needed to be the BBQ expert.
Would you like to retire by 40?
The property cycle and the economy
How financial advice helps create wealth.
7 money personalities you may identify with or want to avoid
Are shares expensive?
How's Australia doing statistically?
Super investment options – what’s right for you?
Here's how to lead a happier life
What happened to all the worries about rising inflation and bond yields? Goldilocks, tariffs, Turkey & other things
Is it better to buy an investment property or home first?
Nine keys to successful investing
This information will turn you into a fireside expert.
How Australians will use their tax return
Lessons from the blue zones: secrets of a long life
Trumponomics and investment markets
Tools for budgeting, cash flow, Super and more ….
How tax deductible personal super contributions work
How much super should I have at my age?
The rise of the gig economy and side gigs (thanks to technology)
Statistics for all Australians
Watch out for tax scams
Now’s the time for tax planning
After the Australian household debt and east coast housing booms
Why it pays to contribute to your partner's super
Australia by numbers – Update
How to deal with financial stress – nearly 1 in 3 affected
Federal Budget 2018 – Overview
Your Budget
4 components of our 2018 Federal Budget
US China trade war fears – Q & A
Tools to help you manage your financial position are available on our site.
7 ways to boost your super
Australians reveal their priority goals
Australia by numbers – Update
Your retirement questions answered
How to make money by turning your unwanted goods into cash
Our website is really our digital office.
Bitcoin – is it really for you?
Spread your money, reduce risk
Love and money? It’s not about control
The pullback in shares - seven reasons not to be too concerned
Australia. All you need to know to be the expert.
Australian’s love affair with debt - how big is the risk?
5 ways to keep a cool head in a falling share market
2018 – a list of lists regarding the macro investment outlook
Sports lovers enjoy better financial fitness
Where Australia is at. Our leading indicators.
The year that was and the year ahead
Add some extra cash to your New Year
New year, new financial resolutions
Our Advent calendar for 2017
Where are we in the global investment cycle?
Australia's vital statistics
12 ways to enjoy summer without spending a fortune
One in three Aussies travel without protection
Digital payment options could see you spend more this Christmas
If you’ve always thought property prices only go up…
Will Australian house prices crash?
Where are we in the global investment cycle and what's the risk of a 1987 style crash?
Money steps for women
Resources on our site to help you, your family and your friends.
Australian Dietary Guidelines and healthy eating chart (PDF)
How to retire, your way
Prepare for retirement without missing out today
Be the boss of your cash
The Australian economy bounces back again
Should you lend money to family?
Money mistakes people make in their 50s and 60s
Australian Dietary Guidelines and healthy eating chart (PDF)
Eight steps to improved cashflow... and lifestyle
Powerful Budgeting, cash flow and Super Tools available on our site.
5 ways Australians will use their tax return this year
Australia's leading causes of death - ABS
The threat of war with North Korea
Six traits of Australians living the dream
The break higher in the Australian dollar is likely to be limited
Money can buy you happiness, you’re just spending it wrong
Key Economic Indicators, 2017 – updated
Helping your kids buy a home
From Goldilocks to taper tantrum 2.0
What’s your debt age?
Doing a budget is a good idea but ....
Planning is the key to making it financially
What to do when you come into money
Managing your money when you move in together
Reduce your bills with these household items
It pays to contribute to your partner's super
How to cope with losing independence
Transition to retirement income streams
The Australian economy hits another rough patch
Watch out for tax scams
The three core pillars of this year's budget
Federal Budget - 2017-18 - Overview
Federal Budget - 2017-18 - Budget documents
Make the most of the current super caps
Five, four, three… it’s not too late to get more in super
Super changes are coming
What’s your debt age?
Australian cash rate on hold
Super changes this financial year - Dr Shane Oliver - video
The door is closing on super’s current caps
Is Donald Trump's honeymoon with investors over?
Estate planning and why you need a super plan
What does a comfortable retirement look like?
Give your career a health check
Super changes from July 2017
Changes to the Age Pension assets test
Keep your money safe over the silly season
Looking ahead at 2017
Review of 2016, outlook for 2017 - looking better despite the political noise
Merry Christmas for 2016, a Happy New Year and a prosperous 2017.
54.2 million worries
Five tips for happy healthy ageing
Thinking about managing your own super?
Sending more to the tax office than you should?
Government pulls back on proposed changes to super
Market Update - What to consider when investing in a low return world
Stop!! Don't do a paper Budget, use our online budgeting tools instead.
Oliver's Insight - Megatrends
Value of Advice
A growing family doesn't have to blow the budget
Blinded by optimism
Thinking about managing your own super?
The investment outlook - it's not all that bad!
What’s your biggest obstacle to financial success?
Ageing Parents
Should you own the roof over your head?
Be a senior entrepreneur on your own terms!
Brexit and other key developments
Brexit wins
Commentary on major issues - AMP
Five money habits for a happy financial year
Are grandparents giving too much?
Remember to factor in parental subsidies at tax time
2016-17 Federal Budget - AMP
2016 Budget in detail
How (and why) to talk to your adult children about insurance
Procrastination: Just do it. Eventually.
Why Australian property won't collapse
The Lucky Country holding up pretty well
Have we reached the bottom?
The evolution of the Chinese consumer
Retirement rolls around faster than you think
Pressed for time?
Changes to the Age Pension assets test
Women are building financial intelligence
Heirlooms no more
Initial market falls precede stronger returns - Shane Oliver
What exactly is income protection insurance and do I need it?
A rough start to the year, which could have further to go
Aged Care - Changes to Assessment of Rental Income
A bump in the road, then a new start
New year, new start – are you ready for retirement?
Review of 2015, outlook for 2016 - Dr Shane Oliver
We wish you a Merry Christmas for 2015 and a Happy New Year
Go easy on the plastic over Christmas
Resolutions for a wealthy future
The Australian dollar doing what it normally does - overshoot. Dr Shane Oliver
How to manage volatility in a low return world
The Australian economy - more help will be needed. Dr Shane Oliver
Insurance through my super
Four tactics to build an investment portfolio
The demand for global infrastructure
Help achieve your investment goals with dynamic asset allocation
The Power of Budgeting
Jump retirement hurdles with a coach
Preparing for the time of your life
A Super Loan for all reasons
Making a smooth transition
Australian Government - Budget 2015
Budget 2015 - some professional opinions
Achieving a comfortable retirement
Is off-the-plan on the money?
Should I take my super as a lump sum or not?
Do you have a key person in your business?
Tips for success in a competitive job market
All you need to know about buying at auction
To sell or not to sell?
Saving in a material world
Review of 2016, outlook for 2017 - looking better despite the political noise

Dr Shane Oliver
Head of Investment Strategy and Chief Economist 
AMP Capital 



Key points

  • 2016 started badly for investors with worries about global growth and deflation. But global growth turned out okay &, despite political events, rising bond yields & disappointing Australian growth, the end result has been a constrained but okay year for diversified investors. 
  • 2017 is likely to see another year of okay & maybe even slightly higher global growth, higher inflation, higher bond yields after a pause and divergent monetary conditions as the Fed tightens but other countries stay easy. The RBA is likely to cut rates to 1.25%. 
  • Most growth assets, including shares are likely to trend higher, resulting in reasonable returns in 2017. 
  • The main things to keep an eye on are US policy under Trump (stimulus v trade wars), the Fed and the $US, bond yields, various European elections, China and the impact of the rising supply of apartments in Australia.

2016 – a messy but okay year

US share market analyst Joe Granville once observed that “if it’s obvious, it’s obviously wrong”. 2016 was perhaps remarkable for the things that many thought were obvious at the start of the year but did not happen: the global economy did not see plunging growth and deflation; the Fed did not blindly raise interest rates; commodity prices did not continue to crash; the Brexit vote did not plunge the world into a growth slump; the election of Donald Trump did not cause a share market crash; China did not hard land (again); Europe did not break apart; tensions in the South China Sea did not bubble over into war; and the Australian property market did not collapse. What did happen was far more mundane: 

  • The global economy continued to muddle along, at around 3% growth. The good news is that growth indicators stabilised and improved through the year helped in particular by stronger growth in the US after a slow start and a stabilisation in Chinese growth. 
  • Fading deflation risks. While talk of deflation was all the rage early in the year this faded as commodity prices bottomed, spare capacity was gradually being used up and as the policy focus shifted from monetary to fiscal stimulus. 
  • Rising commodity prices. An upswing in industrial commodity prices surprised many and was driven by a combination of better than feared demand and supply cuts. 
  • Politics turned populist. The Brexit vote, the US election, the Australian election and some say the Italian referendum highlighted to varying degrees the rising support for populist solutions and a backlash against globalisation. 
  • Another year of easy money. While growth fears and politics saw the Fed scale back its planned rate hikes, central banks in Europe & Japan remained in easing mode as did the People’s Bank of China during much of the year. 
  • The great policy rotation. While monetary conditions remained ultra easy the realisation that monetary policy could only do so much combined with populist political pressures saw more talk of a shift towards fiscal stimulus. President elect Trump is at the pointy end of this move. 
  • Low inflation saw more rate cuts in Australia and growth disappointed. Australian growth started off strong but weakened in the second half. Rebalancing is continuing, with NSW and Victoria continuing to do well, but a dip in inflation well below target saw the RBA continue cutting interest rates. Meanwhile, the risks continued to build around the Sydney and Melbourne housing markets. 

While the macro environment turned out okay – the growth scare early in the year along with political events made for a constrained and at times interesting ride in investment markets.

Investment returns for major asset classes

Total return %,
pre fees and tax




Global shares (in Aust dollars)




Global shares (in local currency)




Asian shares (in local currency)




Emerging mkt shares (local currency)




Australian shares




Global bonds (hedged into $A)




Australian bonds




Global listed property securities




Aust listed property trusts




Unlisted non-res property, estimate




Unlisted infrastructure, indicative




Aust residential property, estimate








Avg balanced super fund,
ex fees & tax




* Yr to date to Nov. Source: Thomson Reuters, Morningstar, REIA, AMP Capital

  • In contrast to 2015 that saw share markets start well and end badly, share markets started 2016 badly on growth and deflation fears before rebounding as such fears faded. The Brexit vote, the US election and the Italian referendum caused only short lived scares. 
  • 2016 saw a classic reversal of some of the relative share market performances that had been seen into 2015, with: US shares outperforming in developed markets as the Fed paused, the US earnings recession ended and investors anticipated stimulus under a Trump presidency; resources shares outperforming as commodity prices rebounded helping the Australian share market to perform relatively well; and emerging markets doing well led by Brazil. 
  • After a huge rally in the first half of the year bonds then gave up their gains spurred along by anticipation of fiscal stimulus under Donald Trump. So bond returns were subdued. 
  • Real estate investment trusts surged in the first half of the year, but fell as bond yields rose, constraining their returns. 
  • Unlisted commercial property and infrastructure continued to benefit as investors sought decent income yields. 
  • Australian residential property returns were solid but slowed and remained concentrated in Sydney and Melbourne. 
  • Cash rates and bank term deposit returns were poor reflecting record low RBA interest rates. 
  • After several years of falls, the $A fell actually rose 3% as the Fed delayed and commodity prices rose. 
  • Balanced superannuation funds returns were subdued, but better than cash and bank deposits.

2017 – looking better despite the noise

Of course those who foresaw the “financial crisis of 2016” will just roll their call into 2017! But there are good reasons to believe disaster will yet again be averted.

  • Leading growth indicators such as business conditions PMIs have reaccelerated after a 2015-16 soft patch and actually point to stronger growth.

Global business conditions PMIs pointing back up

Source: Bloomberg, IMF, AMP Capital

  • There is no sign of the sort of excesses that drive recessions & deep slumps in shares: there has been no major global bubble in real estate or business investment; inflation remains low; share markets are not unambiguously overvalued and global monetary conditions are easy. 
  • While the Fed is likely to raise interest rates several times in 2017 this will likely be offset by fiscal stimulus from the Trump administration equal to around 1% of GDP. Rate hikes are likely to be limited to the extent that the rising $US is doing part of the Fed’s job. 
  • Meanwhile monetary conditions will generally remain easy in the Eurozone and Japan with a further easing likely in Australia, albeit a tightening phase is possible in China.

Against this background: 

  • Global growth is likely to move just above 3%, ranging from around 2% in advanced countries to around 6% in China. 
  • Headline inflation is likely to continue to rise as commodity prices rise with core inflation rising more slowly. 
  • The earnings recession looks to have ended – at least in the US & Australia – with solid earnings growth likely. 
  • Bond yields have gone up too far too fast in the short term, but the trend is likely to be gradually up.

For Australia, the economy is likely to continue to rebalance away from mining investment and pick up again from its September quarter decline: the ramp up in resource export volumes has further to go; there is still a huge pipeline of housing activity yet to be completed; strengthening approvals point to stronger non-dwelling construction; the drag from mining investment is fading as it falls as a share of GDP and its likely to be close to a bottom next year; recent retail sales data have improved suggesting a consumer bounce back in the December quarter and the rebound in commodity prices tells us that the income recession in Australia is over. Expect Australian growth to be around 2.5% through 2017. 

However, near term risks to Australian growth are on the downside, inflation is likely to remain below target for longer than the RBA is forecasting, the RBA is likely to need to offset increases in bank mortgage rates and the $A remains too high. So we expect another rate cut in the first half of next year taking the cash rate to 1.25%. A rate hike is a long way off. 

Implications for investors?

The combination of some acceleration in global growth, rising profits and still easy money at a time when investors are highly sceptical (and ever fearful of the next GFC) should be positive for growth assets in 2017: 

  • Global shares are likely to trend higher and we favour Europe (which is very cheap and likely to climb a wall of Eurozone break-up worries) and Japan (which will benefit from the lower Yen) over the US (which may be constrained after its 2016 outperformance and Fed rate hikes). 
  • Emerging markets may underperform if the $US continues to rise on Fed hikes but for now are looking attractive if as we expect the rise in the $US takes a break early in 2017. 
  • Australian shares are likely to have solid returns as resource sector profits surge following the rebound in bulk commodity prices, overall profits rise 10% and interest rates remain low. Expect the ASX 200 to reach 5800 by end 2017. In terms of sectors favour resources, retailers, and banks. 
  • Commodity prices are at risk of a short term pause/pull back but should remain well up from their 2015-16 lows. 
  • Still low yields and capital losses from a gradual rise in bond yields are likely to see low returns from bonds. 
  • Commercial property and infrastructure are likely to continue benefitting from the ongoing search by investors for yield. 
  • National capital city residential property price gains are expected to slow to around 3-4%, as the heat comes out of the Sydney and Melbourne markets and rising supply hits. 
  • Cash and bank deposits are likely to continue to provide poor returns, with term deposit rates running around 2.5%. 
  • The downtrend in the $A is likely to continue as the interest rate differential in favour of Australia narrows and it undertakes its usual undershoot of fair value. Expect a fall below $US0.70 but little change versus the Yen and Euro.

What to watch?

The main things to keep an eye on in 2017 are:

  • US economic policy under President Trump – in particular whether the focus is on fiscal stimulus and deregulation as opposed to starting a trade war with China; 
  • How aggressively the Fed raises rates – faster inflation could speed it up putting more upwards pressure on the $US; 
  • A rapid rise in bond yields – this would be bad for shares and growth assets but a gradual rise would be okay; 
  • Elections in the Netherlands, France, Germany and maybe Italy which could reignite Eurozone break-up fears if anti-Euro populists win (which I doubt they will); 
  • Whether China continues to avoid a hard landing; 
  • Whether non-mining investment picks up in Australia - a failure to do so could see aggressive RBA easing – and how a surge in apartment supply impacts property prices; and 
  • Ongoing geopolitical flare ups, eg in the South China Sea.


Dr Shane Oliver
Head of Investment Strategy and Chief Economist 
AMP Capital 

Important note: While every care has been taken in the preparation of this document, AMP Capital Investors Limited (ABN 59 001 777 591, AFSL 232497) and AMP Capital Funds Management Limited (ABN 15 159 557 721, AFSL 426455) make no representations or warranties as to the accuracy or completeness of any statement in it including, without limitation, any forecasts. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. This document has been prepared for the purpose of providing general information, without taking account of any particular investor’s objectives, financial situation or needs. An investor should, before making any investment decisions, consider the appropriateness of the information in this document, and seek professional advice, having regard to the investor’s objectives, financial situation and needs. This document is solely for the use of the party to whom it is provided.

Hawthorn Financial Planning Pty Ltd ABN 47 011 910 918
Corporate Authorised Representative
Charter Financial Planning Limited ABN 35 002 976 294
Australian Financial Services Licensee Licence number 234665
Registered address Level 24, 33 Alfred Street Sydney NSW 2000
Legal Disclaimer | Privacy Policy

Hawthorn Financial Planning 67 King William Road UNLEY SA 5061 Ph: (08) 8339 7973