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Banking on an Australian recession

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Joe, i hope I am not duplicating an existing thread.

I am gettiung convinced Australia will soon technically be in a recession.
How do you bank on this?
A recession does NOT mean the asx will go down, so how do you profit from such an event if it occurs;
what should I buy/sell?
Interested in the opinion of the most experienced;
If recession I expect interest rates to go down, AUD to follow, but what else?
unemployment rising would counter any positive impact of lower rates for Real Estate..
If anyone has some good advice on this subject
 
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Recession usually means that bear market has hit the bottom. Using history as a guide, recessions and depressions occurs only when markets were trending down/sideways for a while. There were no any recessions at market tops. So if you think Australia will soon be in a recession, prepare your cash and start buying assets that goes up in bull markets.
 
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Hi Qld Frog,

From my experience of the past couple of years, I know we have been on a downward slide with plenty of double income couples (mainly with kids) struggling to make ends meet, so I personally disagree on the theory the politicians (and public service) use to talk about recessions. What happened to the politicians phase "we are in a two speed economy"? I thought it is more like 4 or 5 with the majority of present politicians who have never been in financial positions that a lot of the electorate are going through presently. Unfortunately, I think there will be a lot more people joining the queues in the coming weeks and months with less jobs being around. The manufacturing industry is shot and I get concerned (being one) that all these skills will be gone when the country will need them most!!

Sorry QF if I've gone off at a different tangent to what you were after. But I do find it offensive when people ask of how they can gain in times of recession when a lot of people are struggling to make ends meet and often cannot put proper food on the table for everyone...

PB
 
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Things aren't as bad as happened in past recessions, most things, that are not housing related, are cheaper.
What I mean by that, is motor vehicles, appliances, food and consumables are much cheaper as a percentage of the average wage.
The only thing that has become skewed as a proportion of disposable income is housing and household services e.g electricity, water, gas and rates.
If unemployment rises substantially, rents will fall and this will result in house prices falling.IMO
As for how to profit from a recession.

The first thing you need is a secure job, so you have a secure income. This then enables you to borrow money and avail yourself of opportunities that present.

This then goes back to your individual tolerance for risk.:D

At the height of the GFC, there were many opportunities to buy great shares at rock bottom prices.

CBA $26, WES $12, ANZ $12, WBC $15, NAB $15, MQG $15, CSL $27.

Did you take out a big loan and buy any?
If not, why do you think your reaction will be any different, if we dive into recession?
It is one thing, saying I will jump in when everyone else is jumping out, quite another to actually do it.:xyxthumbs
For example, if houses fall by 40%, do you buy one and hope to find a tenant? or do you buy bank shares which will have a corresponding fall due to their exposure.

Or do you buy WOW, TLS or WES on the expectation of a recession? But their price will be elevated due to their percieved recession proof model.
This then ties up your available money, not allowing you to pick up opportunistic buys.
Also let's not forget, once in a lifetime events, are much more frequent these days.

Hope that helps.lol
 
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Short anything related to housing. Although I expect shorting financial stocks will be banned if things get bad.
 
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There's also the effects on the consumer side to consider.

Boats, used luxury vehicles, real estate etc all get cheap when people lose jobs or businesses and can't meet loan repayments and buyers are concerned about their own prospects and/or unable to secure finance. More sellers, fewer buyers = prices drop.

Also the trades. Eg you want to build or renovate something. You'll get a cheaper price for labour and to some extent materials when there's not much work around.

Having a secure income is also important unless you've already got a lot in terms of assets. Trouble is, there's no such thing as a truly secure job these days. Even something "safe" is still subject to the risk of an individual company failing and/or downsizing. Even a government job isn't truly safe with cuts and outsourcing always a risk.:2twocents
 

So_Cynical

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I was thinking about starting a thread called "2015 the recession we had to have 2"

Some experts are predicting a recession based on the collapse of commodity prices and the impact that will have on GDP, Govt revenues and the flow on effects - consumer confidence etc. Low fuel prices and more foreign tourists and students taking advantage of the lower AUD could counter the negatives somewhat.

:dunno:
 
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Sorry QF if I've gone off at a different tangent to what you were after. But I do find it offensive when people ask of how they can gain in times of recession when a lot of people are struggling to make ends meet and often cannot put proper food on the table for everyone...

PB
Piggybank, I am not recession immune, my rate has been unchanged for the last 3 years and my work income has been decreased by more than half in the last year or so.
Tax wise, treasury has just lost a 6 figure income
Being in mining in Qld, i feel the recession well before it hits the dashboard of the Australian economy;
So should i be a sitting duck and keep spending?
no, i save what i can and try to expand what i save.
It would be offensive NOT to try to gain from the situation I/we are in.
To do what? Rely on the taxpayers to sort me out, now or at pension time?
 
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But otherwise, agreeing on the state of manufacturing (and being an engineer by formation, really cranky about it; and on most of the post from Piggybank;
  • Shorting banks could indeed be a way, take short options on CBA target end 2015;
  • making sure I sell my IP quickly and keep cash available.
  • Sadly for the secure job, no hope here.
I like Rimtas input his point is similar to my experience and I may just need reinforcing my belief we will have an expending share market (except financial) very early on.
the GFC is probably a bad model as Australia was mostly going counter trend and we did not have a real recession, a market hit yes, a world recession yes, but not in Oz, so the coming one may be very different with a local recession in a booming global economy.
So short term bear and medium (1 y+) long market wise.
 
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I am not recession immune, my rate has been unchanged for the last 3 years and my work income has been decreased by more than half in the last year or so.

There would be a lot of people in that situation I expect. Looking at the ABS statistics is somewhat revealing. There is nominal growth in all states, but if you take out the effects of population growth then the NT, WA and Tas are going forward on a per capita basis.

I can recall a few instances in the past where Tas outperformed the big states economically. They were generally a good warning of trouble ahead, since Tas seems to lag the other states with shifts in the economy. And of course these figures were for 2013-14, pre-dating the steep falls in commodity prices (NT, WA) and the doom and gloom surrounding public sector job losses (Tas). Factor those in and I wouldn't be surprised if there's no state or territory going forward on a per capita basis right now.

There's no such thing as a "recession proof" industry or job in my view. Even Police, something that seems as safe and certain as it can get, have had job cuts in the past. Even in things like utilities, another thing one could expect to be reasonably safe, well power demand is down, profits have largely vanished at the upstream end and jobs have gone that's for sure.

And all this is whilst there's still some construction going on in mining-related things and manufacturing is yet to incur the massive blow that a doubling or tripling of bulk gas prices will represent.

I don't blame anyone for attempting to shore up their own situation given the broader circumstances. You can't depend on your job still being there tomorrow and you can't depend on government to feed you these days either. :2twocents
 
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Great idea for a thread qldfrog, especially with the falls in iron ore and oil.

I am also expecting poor economic conditions ahead, although I am not too sure if that will culminate in a recession. As such, I expect the AUD to continue to fall against the USD over the next few months. My plan for the next few months is to move my cash out of AUD and into USD and then purchase US equities that have benefited from the decline in oil (and its continued drop) and those companies which I think have good value (good yield + underpriced compared to trend growth).

Having said that, I am also keeping an eye out for a bottom in iron ore and oil. I think that there would be some good buying opportunities in primarily oil-exposed equities once the inefficient oil producers are shutdown and OPEC decides to cut back on supply.

I don't really see many opportunities in AUS equities, and I don't think the rest of the market is eager to buy into the ASX either. If you have a look at the All Ords for the past 8 years, two things stand out:
  1. We are still ~1200 points off of the high achieved in late 2007, whereas the DJI surpassed its previous high by 4000
  2. It has essentially been a sideways market, except for increases in 2009 and mid 2012-2013
The alternative view would be that the DJI has been overbought and that there is still more potential for the AUS market to grow but from where?
 
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But otherwise, agreeing on the state of manufacturing (and being an engineer by formation, really cranky about it; and on most of the post from Piggybank;.
just to clarify the cranky was about loss of manufacturing and I agree on most of the post from Piggybank
 
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It would be offensive NOT to try to gain from the situation I/we are in. To do what? Rely on the taxpayers to sort me out, now or at pension time?

Hi qldfrog,

Firstly, I apologize if I came across as being aggressive - it wasn't my intention to upset you (or anyone else). I am frustrated myself though - at a time of when some people (e.g. Politicians) are suppose to help those in need - are more concerned about how they can make more from this situation... I have been out of work now for two bloody long years and only getting 3 interviews in that time. Lazy bum I hear people say, well if you think having written over 500 applications and gone out knocking on companies doors is being lazy then you are entitled to your opinion. Before the end of last year I went to Centrelink and was informed that

I was still not entitled to anything - even a concession card for travelling or health card for my medications. They also said going for a driving course to get an HR licence was a waste of time give there were dozens of people on their books with the licence(s) but were still unable to get work. Instead they suggested I go and do a Cert III in Aged Care and Home & Community Care as there weren’t enough people (especially males) with the skills in the labour force. Not everyone is cut out for this work but beggars can't be choosers, so I went and signed up to do it. On completing my theory and practical side of the course, I had applied for several jobs without any joy until I was fortunate (so I thought) to be accepted by a well known company in the industry to work in HACC which is what I want to do. Although it was permanent part time - but with no guaranteed hours it was long before I realised that the work was very sporadic and in the 10 weeks I was there I only had one week that had more than 10 hours (it was 12!!). Before I left, I was lucky to bump into a couple of fellow workers who told me there was a big turnover in this work due to the lack of hours. They also revealed much to my displeasure that there are only around 30 employees out of nearly 200 (on the books) who get regular work. If only to add insult, I read the companies monthly magazine last week that said any employee who got someone signed up as an HACC worker would get a $150 bonus if that someone lasted the 6 months probation!! I was informed the other day that men are less likely to get work in HACC as most of the clients are women and to improve your opportunities of getting work is to speak another language but you still only get $18.50 starting pay.

Btw, I did go back to Centrelink the other week and spoke to the woman who advised me to do a PCA course instead of a driving one this time last year. She said that if I wanted to do the driving course next year it isn’t in the package as it was this year so it will be at least twice the cost (and even money if you don’t qualify for the government subsidy). The moral of the story is do what you want to do and don’t be put off by anyone else, even if they think they now better…
 
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no offence taken and I understand your frustration.
I am down to 1/1.5 day a week myself the rest being self project (aka app development and entrepreneur ventures) vs 5 days a week of crazy workload a couple of years ago;
so far so good on a personal basis but I am not alone in that situation and most of others are not in as comfortable a situation as I am in.
So my posts for the last year or so about recession and doom and glooml
this is what I live work situation wise.But noone I know can ever register at centerlink or get any benefit.
too rich aka assets above 30k or contractor/consultant so self employed
These persons are never in any ABS data.
So dream about a real 7% unemployment in Qld, we are far far above the official numbers
Goof luck Piggybank and try to see what you could start as self employed business: that could be your way out.
 
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Shorting banks has one major problem - every 6 months you have to pay the dividend.

While officially we are not in recession, you only have to take a walk down the street to see that things are not what they used to be. I recently visited Sydney & North Sydney. The amount of retail degradation that has gone on in North Sydney is amazing - shops shut down everywhere.

Right now I think the only thing holding it all together is housing/unit construction based on demand from new & non Australians funded by ZIRP money.

Working in a utility industry, the data says that there is simply no demand anymore, just some sort of part time economy.

The unemployment stats are totally misleading - loose defininitions of what constitutes employment etc - some have estimated that a truer figure is north of 10%....

I wouldn't believe the hype coming out of the US either - they conveniently didn't mention the 150k full time jobs lost last month while hyperventilating over the headline NFP number. In a world of free money they can make anything look and sound fabulous, until it isn't.

I don't think that there will be a recession. It will be much worse because of the increased debt and leverage since the start of the GFC. Buy some gold.
 
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I've been relatively pessimistic about the OZ economy since early last year.

Been buying ETFs that invest outside of OZ eg IOO / IXI / WDIV / HHV. While thinking that a lot of markets seem to be poor value, the over valued AUD made it attractive. So far the currency fall has been a nice bonus on top of the increase in overseas markets.

Considering the weighting of the ASX 20 on the all ords, I can't see our market going anywhere for the next few years. The banks ain't cheap, though not overly expensive if they can keep their dividend yields, BHP and RIO have a lot further to fall, WOW and WES are pretty pricey and will eventually have to fight against a growing Aldi and Costco, WPL and ORG have to survive the LNG glut and Russian pipelines to china.

I wish it was easier to invest in foreign currency corporate bonds, but the ETFs on the ASX are not attractive and the managed funds gouge too much in fees.

At the moment I think get out of AUD assets, and keep your powder dry so you at least have the option to buy up when the market takes a dive, though whether we have the intestinal fortitude to do this is the question. To be greedy when others are fearful is easier said than done.

I'm lucky in that I feel my job is secure for the next 2 to 3 years, so that in itself is a valuable asset to have.
 
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Working in a utility industry, the data says that there is simply no demand anymore, just some sort of part time economy.
+1

Apart from a couple of extreme hot days last Summer in Vic and SA, demand just isn't there.

Most will have heard about the oversupply of electricity and that is indeed true most of the time. But LED lights and solar panels go nowhere near to explaining the drop in demand, especially the drop in the middle of the night. Dig a bit deeper and you find that most of the load that has disappeared is business consumption and much of that is manufacturing closures. Energy efficiency, solar etc has played a part certainly, but there's more to it than that.

There's more to come too. Holden etc are still running at the moment. I don't know how much energy they use, but once all the component suppliers etc are included then I'd expect it's quite a lot. :2twocents
 
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So dream about a real 7% unemployment in Qld, we are far far above the official numbers
Hi qldfrog

Thanks for your honesty and plight of those who don't register on the ABS. Not that this anything new, all governments have fudged the figures over the past 10-15 years, so people won't think that they were the ones who caused the unemployment to go belly up. Yet they are able to get away with not putting the likes of myself on the unemployment list, can't this be construed as deceiving the public of the real truth, so why can't they be tried in a court for this? I'm sure if the shoe was on the other foot we would be in prison!!

Regarding me going self employed was discussed the other day with the wife but with limited skills it might not be the way to go. However, I will find out how much the public liability will cost as well as that for an ABN.

Cheers
PB
 

Julia

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PB, I'm sorry to hear about your situation. Agree about the deception of successive governments in so misrepresenting the unemployment numbers. Don't you have to be employed for just one hour per week to be categorised as employed? Obviously, that's ridiculous.

Have you been able to narrow down any of the factors which are contributing to your problem, eg being too young or too old, living in a regional area, etc? What previous work have you done? Have you been able to just make direct approaches to local businesses rather than waiting for jobs to be advertised etc, so as to emphasise your initiative? Is there something else you can perhaps do as an interim measure like lawn mowing etc?
(I get a message in the letterbox at least once a fortnight from people looking to do home handyman/gardening work and have used a couple of them.)

I don't mean to be intrusive. By all means just ignore the questions.
 
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Just thought I'd add, that I know quite a few people who have started small businesses (initially as sole traders) for the simple reason of being unable to get a job, any job, with an employer.

They have initiative, they have skills, they're not 100 years old, etc. But it comes down to maths, if you've got more workers than jobs then at any given time someone has to be unemployed. And once you're unemployed, then you're faced with the reality of 100 applicants for every job and a degree of employer bias against those not currently working, such that your chances of getting back into the workforce rapidly diminish toward zero.

Based solely on my observation of what others have been through, if you're out of work then ANY job is worth taking, simply because it seems to be easier to get a job (a better one) if you've already got a job somewhere else. That makes little sense, but seems to be reality.

If you do end up unemployed for an extended period, then your realistic options are either starting a business, retirement, or serious study (uni or at least a decent length TAFE course) to get you qualified to enter a new industry. If you've been studying then apply for graduate positions upon completion of study, having been out of work isn't such a problem since any rational employer can see a very valid reason in that you've been studying full time. Just don't mention why you took that route in the first place.:2twocents
 
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