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Investing has become a game of chicken in the eyes of some investors. Has COVID-19 become a buying opportunity? Have we seen the bottom, or is the worst yet to come? It’s hard to make any solid predictions in this unfamiliar territory – investment markets have experienced a health crisis rather than being undone by poor fundamentals, such as in the global financial crisis. The essentials, defensive assets and growth trends should be considered by advisers exploring the opportunities to tilt the satellite portion of their clients’ portfolios. Incorporating the essentials There are a number of areas which may benefit from the current situation – or if not benefit, then at least be largely able to continue normal operations. Companies in the consumer staples sector is an easy starting point. People need basic supplies to live and supermarkets like Coles and Woolworths continue to operate and have seen increased demand in these times. There are even pockets to consider in the consumer discretionary sector as people use lockdown to carry out home based activities or upgrade the technology they use to work from home. Infrastructure, such as railways, energy suppliers and telecommunications, is a sector that continues to operate in periods of volatility. These types of companies normally have monopolistic fee structures and have very high barriers to entry with predictable revenue streams. This means they aren’t expected to rise as much in good times but are less likely to be materially impacted in the bad times. In the current situation, telecommunications has benefitted from an increased dependence from a population working from home. An ETF like ETFS Global Core Infrastructure ETF (ASX code: CORE) can offer exposure to global infrastructure companies in a client portfolio. ...
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This week's highlights U.S. and Australian equity markets finished up last week. Oil rebounded and technology stocks bounced (OOO and ATEC) were the top performers for the week, returning 14.7% and 10.8% respectively. Biotechnology fund CURE also had a strong week up 8% and Global TECH was up 7.9%. European markets dipped along with emerging markets as debt levels came into question, with NDIA down 8%. While precious metal Palladium (ETPMPD) was down 7.7% for the week. Total flows into domestically domiciled ETFs were $286m, while outflows totalled $172m. iShares Composite Bond ETF (IAF) saw the biggest inflows for the week, followed by QUAL and defensive strategies GOLD and BBUS. iShares Core Cash (BILL) saw the week’s biggest outflows. Bearish domestic fund BBOZ was the most traded fund for the week, followed by MSTR and VAS. ...