Issue 35: Keeping an eye on the big picture can be a challenge, but what about the bigger big picture – what the 2021 Census is telling us

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Issue 35: Keeping an eye on the big picture can be a challenge, but what about the bigger big picture – what the 2021 Census is telling us

With headlines talking of a volatile and challenging year to the end of June; citing geopolitical tensions in Eastern Europe, rising inflation and interest rates lead to equity markets here in Australia and overseas falling. It’s hard to keep any eye on the big picture that is our investment strategy, let alone the bigger one; the next five years and beyond.

With the release of the first phase of high-level results from the 2021 Australian Census we have an insight to what has happened socially and demographically in Australia over the past five years and what this may mean for our investment strategies in to the future.

Why is this important?

Australian investors, like many universally, have a ‘domestic market bias’. They invest in local companies they know, and understand. They may even use some of the services or goods that these investments provide; where they do their banking, the office in which they work, where they shop or the telco that they use.

census to plan for the future, investors can adopt a similar view on how they frame their investment decisions to meet changing behaviours (or at least to hold the thought at the back of their mind where it may influence or guide a future investment decision).

Let’s take a look at the background that some of the key findings from the 2021 Census may provide us to assist with our longer-term investment thinking. If nothing else, it may provide a distraction to the daily headlines.

The most recent Census was conducted on 10 August 2021, during significant lockdowns due to the pandemic. It had a 96.1% response rate. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) will provide date in a phased approach starting with the release of key population data in June, employment data in October, and in 2023 data on more complex topics, so stay tuned.


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Disclaimer: The information contained in this document is provided for educational purposes only, is general in nature and is prepared without taking into account particular objective, financial circumstances, legal and tax issues and needs. The information provided in this article is not a substitute for legal, tax and financial product advice. Before making any decision based on this information, you should assess its relevance to your individual circumstances. While SMSF Association believes that the information provided in this article is accurate, no warranty is given as to its accuracy and persons who rely on this information do so at their own risk. The information provided in this bulletin is not considered financial product advice for the purposes of the Corporations Act 2001.

Ian Irvine - Guest Contributor

Ian has been a keen investor for over 40 years and can draw on his experiences from both investing on his own behalf and also having worked in financial services for more than 30 years. Over this time, he has seen many changes that impact investors’ attitudes to in what and how they invest.

He started his career in what is now referred to as fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) or grocery, working for an Australian margarine manufacturer. In 1986, he was recruited to Westpac around the time of deregulation of the sector, where he spent 10 years before taking a role at AMP and then with ASX for 14 years up to the end of 2017. He continues to be involved with ASX; working on their educational programs.

In 1996, he and his wife established their own SMSF and again the experience and lessons learned regarding managing an SMSF over the years have provided him with many insights and ideas. He enjoys sharing these with others where these are helpful and always suggest that if an investor or SMSF trustee is unsure, that they should seek appropriate advice from a licenced professional.

Ian holds a B. Com (UNSW), and lives in Sydney and enjoys travelling to and meeting investors and SMSF trustee at the educational events with which he has involvement with from time to time.