The latest edition of our fortnightly email newsletter has been sent to subscribers. If you would like to be added to the mailing list please click the following link to be taken to the sign up page - The Financial Fortnight That Was Sign Up Page.
The financial topic discussed this fortnight was the level of investments needed in retirement. The latest edition also contained the following Market Update:
Since our previous edition, Australian and global sharemarkets have continued to experience downward movement. The S&P ASX200 Index has fallen 2.59% from the 7th to the 21st of March. It is now down 12.53% from the same time last year and down 19.12% for the calendar year (2008) so far. The S&P Global 1200, a measure of the global market, has fallen 0.28% over the same period. The index is down 6.03% from the same time last year and down 11.20% for the calendar year so far.
Emerging markets have also experienced negative movement with the MSCI Emerging Markets Index falling 4.69% since the 7th of March. It is still up 10.92% from the same time last year but down 15.13% for the calendar year so far.
On the other hand, Property trusts have experienced positive movements since the 7th of March with the S&P ASX 200 Property Trust Index rising by 2.61%. However, the index is down 31.60% from the same time last year and also down 23.65% for the calendar year so far.. The S&P/Citigroup Global Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) Index, a measure of the global property market, has risen 4.57% over the same period. It is down 23.79% from the same time last year and down 5.47% for the calendar year so far.
As of 4pm the 20th March, the value of the Australian dollar had fallen since the 7th of March with the Aussie dollar down 1.45% against the US Dollar at .9154. It is up 14.11% from the same time last year and up 3.83% for the calendar year so far. Since March 7th the Aussie has fallen 1.99% against the Trade Weighted Index now at 68.9. This puts it up by 5.19% since the same time last year and up only 0.29% for the calendar year so far. (The Trade Weighted Index measures The Australian dollar against a basket of foreign currencies.)
Since our last edition the Australian Bureau of Statistics has released the latest employment with Australia's unemployment rate falling to 4.0% for February 2008. The ABS has also released the latest population estimates suggesting that the population had grown by 1.5% for the year ended 30th September 2007.