An exceptionally unlucky reader. International index funds, a favourite long-term investment of mine, don’t look good to one reader. “I bought about $2000 worth of WiNZ in 2000,” he writes. “They are now 27 per cent lower (have been for quite a while). Fortunately for me it was not a huge amount. “Twenty years is a long time to wait for the fund to claw its way back up. Hopefully all the investors in index funds can wait that long!”
Why some advisers don’t recommend index funds. A while back I wrote that I still think index funds are the best way for most people to invest in shares, even though they are scheduled to lose their tax advantage next year. That has prompted an intriguing question from a reader: “If index funds outperform all other forms of sharemarket investing over a long period of time (10 years?), then why do advisers recommend other forms? Is it simply due to their commission?”
Q&As: Is there an 18-year cycle for industrial and resource shares?; Why index fund of Aussie shares has done much worse than its index; Limited submissions on tax changes not good enough; NZ shares, already favoured, shouldn’t get still more favourable tax treatment.
Australia is not good enough to get the spread. It’s a basic principle of wise investing: Spread your share investments around the world, to spread your risk. But proposed tax changes will increase taxes on overseas share investments beyond Australia. So should we stick with Australasia?