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My 3 key ASX takeaways from the week

The S&P/ASX 200 (ASX: XJO) added another 1.2% over the week while the Dow Jones led the way for US benchmarks, gaining 0.9%.

Here are my three key investor takeaways from the week.

Buybacks not the answer

It was the week of share buybacks in Australia as boards follow the US lead and seek to either return capital to investors or reduce their shares on issue.

Commonwealth Bank (ASX: CBA), National Australia Bank (ASX: NAB) and ANZ Banking Group (ASX: ANZ) along with Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS), Boral Limited (ASX: BLD) and Suncorp Group Ltd (ASX: SUN) have all announced buybacks in recent months and whilst a short-term positive for the share price, they may actually be hiding a bigger issuer.

As much as we all love dividends, if those dividends are coming from a company that is not reinvesting, particularly in the era of disruption, they are unlikely to be sustainable. Buybacks tend to suggest a management team doesn’t believe they can generate better returns in house.

Climate in focus

The release of the UN’s Climate report during the week was met with both fanfare and derision, as is typically the case. But regardless of your view on the report, it is clear that a transition to a lower carbon and more sustainable economy is already underway.

Many popular thematic funds are seeking to capitalise on the demand for exposure but may be contributing to a sustainability bubble, as evidenced by the significant run-up in lithium and renewable energy stocks in 2020 and 2021; as always, tread with caution and invest for the long-term.


With the S&P 500 hitting its 40 something record high and the ASX 200 joining the party, the attention naturally switches to concerns about valuations.

On the one hand, the ASX remains fairly valued compared to other assets but particularly government bonds.

On the other, most of us aren’t investing directly into the index, rather we are actively seeking to own the best quality assets for the evolving environment.

The Golden Rules of Investing

We might be experts in retirement, but with combined financial advice experience of 35+ years, we’ve nearly seen it all. 

In mid-2023, our senior team at Wattle Partners Financial Planning put the finishing touches on a brand-new report “The Golden Rules of Investing“.

In this free report, we outline the key principles that determine all of the portfolio construction and investment decisions of Wattle Partners. Collated over decades, this paper should be seen as a work-in-progress, constantly under review in light of the ever-evolving nature of markets. 

You’ll find the free report on my Author page. Simply click the button below to view the Golden Rules.

Information warning: The information on this website is published by The Rask Group Pty Ltd (ABN: 36 622 810 995) is limited to factual information or (at most) general financial advice only. That means, the information and advice does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It is not specific to you, your needs, goals or objectives. Because of that, you should consider if the advice is appropriate to you and your needs, before acting on the information. If you don’t know what your needs are, you should consult a trusted and licensed financial adviser who can provide you with personal financial product advice. In addition, you should obtain and read the product disclosure statement (PDS) before making a decision to acquire a financial product. Please read our Terms and Conditions and Financial Services Guide before using this website. The Rask Group Pty Ltd is a Corporate Authorised Representative (#1280930) of AFSL #383169.

At the time of publishing, the author of this article does not have a financial or commercial interest in any of the companies mentioned.

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Wattle Partners is a financial advice firm, servicing clients around Australia, specialising in retirement planning (pre and post retirement). 

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