Much like 2020, last year dealt its fair share of challenges and opportunities for investors, while COVID-19 continued to dominate conversation and shape policy and strategy. As we ring in the new year, we take a look back at Cromwell’s most read articles of 2021.

We look forward to bringing you more insightful content in 2021 and beyond.

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Brisbane's 2032 Olympic bid: why it's bigger than sport

In July 2021, the International Olympic Committee formally awarded Brisbane the 2032 Olympic Games.

The Olympics have been known for making or breaking a host city long after the closing ceremony. Sydney played host to ‘the best Olympic Games ever’ in 2000, with the sporting, economic, social and environmental legacy still evident two decades on. On the other hand, Athens 2004 and Rio de Janeiro 2016 have given rise to the idea of an ‘Olympic curse’, due to these cities facing budget blowouts and little long-term benefit to the economy or locals.

As such, now that Brisbane is officially looking ahead to 2032, it is walking a fine line between holding a successful event and not being left with expensive and unused infrastructure once the Games are over.

This article looks at how Brisbane can benefit from the Games to solidify itself as a new world city, the infrastructure currently underway and the gaps that remain, as well as the ways in which the ‘River City’ can avoid the pitfalls of the 2004 and 2016 Olympics.

Read more here.

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Inflation and its impact on real estate

Inflation and the relative economic uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 dominated conversation throughout 2021. The longer-term economic effects of COVID-19 will take time to fully emerge. While interest rates are extremely low, making it a good time to borrow, the huge and ongoing economic stimulus funded by governments around the world could drive an increase in inflation.

The benefits of the stimulus currently outweigh the potential future issues – but with debt levels at an all-time high, the balance between the two will be an increasingly fine one. Irrespective of the outcome, the real estate sector’s ability to offset inflation through rental value growth makes it an attractive asset class relative to bond or equities.

In this article, Cromwell’s Senior Research and Investment Strategy Analyst, Alex Dunn, looks into how rising inflation is a double-edged sword for the real estate sector.

Read more here.


Counting down to retirement: seven considerations before you say goodbye to work for good

According to the most recent data available, there were just under 4 million retired Australians in 2019, with another half a million intending to join them over the subsequent five years. For many, retirement can be a drastic change of pace and lifestyle, meaning it is vital to make a plan, review your finances and consider your mental and physical health in preparation.

If you’re thinking about retirement, this article outlines seven tips to consider before you say goodbye to work for good.

Read more here.

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Offices 2025: The next evolutionary cycle

Office demand is evolving, not disappearing. The type of office that businesses will need in the post-COVID-19 world will change to reflect new working practices, which carries significant ramifications for investors.

At present, a large proportion of Australian office stock is misaligned to future occupational demand, especially when increasingly stringent sustainability requirements are overlaid. Compounding this issue is that, moving forward, occupiers will be more discerning when leasing space, given they have greater optionality in meeting their workplace needs.

As such, more intensive asset management and a more customer-oriented approach will be needed to enhance the experience of office workers. An in-house management model, as opposed to outsourcing to third parties, can help in building trust in the landlord / tenant-customer relationship, which will be increasingly important when dealing with shorter lease terms.

Head of Research and Investment Strategy, Tom Duncan, takes an in depth look at how short-term structural change in office markets will allow investors to understand the future role of offices to construct portfolios aligned to future demand and an unparalleled opportunity to position for sustained medium and long-term performance.

Read more here.

Three generations of family

Preserving wealth for future generations

Over the next decade, the world will experience the greatest ever wealth transfer between generations as baby boomers, the richest generation in history, push into the later stages of life.

In Australia, it is estimated that $3.5 trillion in wealth will be transferred from baby boomers to their millennial children (as well as their grandchildren) over the next two decades. That averages to $320,000 per person.

This article looks at a few things to consider in preparing for the safe transfer of wealth to the next generation.

Read more here.

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The benefits of a boutique: Why bigger doesn’t always mean better

The idea that smaller, more agile boutique fund managers are at an advantage when it comes to performance is nothing new. Often, the more money a small, highly successful fund takes in results in the manager finding it difficult to maintain a liquid position in a small-cap stock or to seek out new opportunities.

Remaining open to new investment for too long can also change the fund’s profile as managers are forced to invest into larger companies to deploy growing investor capital.

Managing Director of Phoenix Portfolios, Stuart Cartledge, outlines three reasons why it (literally) pays to be nimble.

Read more here.