Saturday Summary – the most interesting articles I’ve read this week (2014/08/02)

There are more interesting articles, commentaries and analyst reports on the Web every week than anyone could read in a month.

Each Saturday morning I like to share some of the ones I’ve read during the week.

Enjoy your weekend…and please forward to your friends by clicking a social link buttons on the left.

How High Will Interest Rates Go?

Bill Evans, chief economist with Westpac, writes in Business Spectator about his views on the direction of interest rates.

Knowing the current RBA cash rate of 2.25% is still stimulatory, Evans forecasts “neutral cash rate” during the next tightening cycle will be around 4 per cent and expects the next market peak in the cash rate to be 4.75 per cent.

That’s an increase of 2.5% from the current level of rates.

Westpac is expecting the next tightening cycle to begin in the second half of 2015 and that the markets are likely to begin to anticipate that cycle around 6 months in advance with fixed rates are likely to eventually embrace that outlook.

Avoid common investor mistakes | Collusive bidding at auctions | Hot spot or not?

Another great Real Estate Talk show  produced by Kevin Turner. If you don’t already subscribe to this excellent weekly Internet based radio show.

Details of this week’s show:
Josh Masters has some good advice about investing in the right area
Craig Whaley tells us how to avoid the 2 biggest mistakes that property investors make
Damian Collins explains what some first home buyers are doing while others are struggling
Jane Slack-Smith talks about a free online tool that can help you find out what you can afford

You should definitely subscribe to this weekly audio program. Click here It’s free and you can listen on the go on your smartphone, iPad etc.

Western Australia – A state in transition

In his blog regular Property Update Blogger Pete Wargent explains that Western Australia is now in transition mode as the mining construction boom passes its peak and the less labour intensive production phase of the mining boom kicks in.

He explains this well with multiple charts and says:

It’s important to note that in the short term this is likely to result in an uptick in unemployment and a slowing of the economy, which is one of the reasons why our 2014 forecasts were only for a far more moderate 0% to 3% (capital) growth, which essentially looks to be about on track at this juncture.

His summary:

Western Australia will continue to be Australia’s exporting powerhouse in the decade to come.

Clearly, however, there will be a very strong level of interest in how the Chinese economy continues to fare, since it is China’s demand for iron ore in particular which is driving the boom (although Port Hedland, for example, also exports salt, copper concentrate and manganese ore to China and Taiwan).

The key data to watch for WA will be the presently low unemployment rate and where that peaks, and the all-important Labour Force figures which are released monthly by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Top 1% control a third of China’s wealth

A Peking University report suggests the top one percent of households in Communist-ruled China control more than one third of the country’s wealth, while the bottom 25 percent control just one percent.

This massive breadth of China’s social inequality is a widespread source of anger in the country.

The wealth gap is also of significant concern for the ruling Communist Party, which places huge importance on preserving social stability to avoid any challenge to its grasp on power.

Australia is No 2 in Human Development report

Yahoo reports that Australia has come in as the second best country in the United Nations’ Human Development report measuring improvements in health and longevity, income and education, and personal security.

But, the United Nations says in its annual report that, globally, improvements in life spans, education and incomes are slowing due to natural disasters, misguided government policies and worsening inequality in a world where the 85 richest people have as much wealth as the 3.5 billion poorest people.

With nearly a third of humanity poor or vulnerable to poverty, governments need to put a higher priority on creating jobs and providing basic social services, the United Nations Development Program said in the report.

It warned that improvements in longevity, education and income, which are the three main components of the UNDP’s influential index of human development, are slowing due to worsening inequality and economic disruptions, to droughts and other natural disasters and to poor government policies.

Fun weekend video: The Test

Enjoy this fun test of your observation skills – I got the count wrong – let’s see how you go.

This Robot Has Written More Wikipedia Articles Than Anyone Alive

You might think writing 10,000 articles per day would be impossible. But not for a Swede named Sverker Johansson reports the Wall Street Journal:

He created a computer program that has written a total of 2.7 million articles, making Johansson the most prolific author, by far, on the “internet’s encyclopedia.” His contributions account for 8.5 per cent of the articles on Wikipedia.

But how can a bot write so many articles, and do it coherently?

As Johansson–a science teacher with degrees in linguistics, civil engineering, economics and particle physics–explained to the WSJ, the bot scrapes information from various trusted sources, and then cobbles that material together, typically into a very short entry, or “stub.”

Many of the articles cover the taxonomy of little-known animals such as butterflies and beetles, and also small towns in the Philippines (his wife is Filipino).

Blogs you may have missed this week:

If you didn’t have a chance to read my daily blog, here’s a list of some of the blogs you missed this week:

The great construction boom ahead | Pete Wargent

21 reasons you’re terrible at managing money

A bad property manager can cost you thousands

Inflation adjusted home values still lower than previous peak

What property investors need to know about population growth

It’s been a good year of capital growth across Australia | John Edwards


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Michael is a director of Metropole Property Strategists who help their clients grow, protect and pass on their wealth through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He's once again been voted Australia's leading property investment adviser and his opinions are regularly featured in the media. Visit

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