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Financial Happenings Blog
Tuesday, March 17 2009
The latest edition of our fortnightly email newsletter for 2009 has been sent to subscribers.

In this edition we:

  • remind readers of the importance of diversification within and across asset classes,
  • take a look at 30 years of asset class performance,
  • provide a summary of the movements in markets over the past fortnight including 3, 5 and 10 year return history,
  • look at an example of how an active investment approach has not protected investors during a bear market,
  • provide a link to Scott's latest Eureka Report article, and
  • discuss early access to superannuation.

Click on the following link to have a look at the full newsletter - Financial Fortnight That Was - 17th March 2009.


The market update section is set out below:

ASX P/E Ratio and Dividend Yields

The P/E ratio is a common broad indicator of the price of shares.  It is a calculation of the price of shares compared to expected earnings.   A higher ratio indicates that share prices are more expensive.  The historical P/E ratio for the ASX has been between 14 & 15.  The dividend yield is the calculation of dividend payments divided by the market capitalisation of the company or index.  The historical average in Australia is around 4%.


As of March 10th the P/E ratio for the S&P/ASX 200 was 8.77.  The dividend yield was 6.75%.


Volatility Index (VIX)


Another index we are keeping an eye on in the USA is the CBOE Volatility Index.  This index purports to be a key measure of market expectations of near term volatility conveyed by the S&P 500 share index.  The higher the level of index, the higher are expectations for volatility in the S&P 500 index.  For more information on how the VIX is calculated please take a look at  -


The latest close for the index was at a level of 43.74.  This is slightly lower than the 49.7 level reported last edition.


Market Indices



Since last ed.

Since Start of 2009

1 Year

3 Year

5 Year

10 Year

Australian Shares







S&P - ASX 200






NA *

International Shares







MSCI World - Ex Australia







MSCI Emerging Markets














S&P - ASX 200 REIT






NA *

S&P/Citigroup Global REIT - Ex Australia - World - AUD














US Exchange Rate







Trade Weighted Index







 * - Data unavailable as ASX 200 only commenced on 31st March 2000


General News
Since publishing our previous edition the Reserve Bank of Australia board has decided to keep the official cash rate at 3.25%.  Minutes of the meeting can be found here - RBA Minutes of the March Monetary Policy meeting
The Australian Bureau of Statistics has released the latest National Accounts figures up to the end of December 2008. The figures show a small fall in economic growth of 0.5% over the last 3 months of 2008 and annual growth for 2008 of 0.3%.  They have also released the latest labour force data which places the level of unemployment to the end of February at 5.2%, up 0.4% from the end of January.



Scott Keefer
Posted by: AT 06:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
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