Conference Program



Day 1: Monday, 21 May 2018

8.00am - 9.00am Registration 
9.00am - 9.10am Opening - Judith Fox, CEO, Australian Shareholders' Association
9.10am - 10.10am
Economic outlook
Chris Richardson, Partner, Deloitte Access Economics​

Growth is great, both globally and here at home in Australia.  And, even better than that, the cost of credit remains very low around the world and in Australia too. That’s been a happy environment for investors, as it means that business profits are growing and yet the cost of capital remains near historical lows – a combination that’s been good for a range of asset values, not just those in share markets. Looking ahead, the longer term challenge is likely to be that – eventually – interest rates will move higher from their record lows.  What has been an important tailwind for investors may slowly move into something of a headwind. 

10.1 0am - 10.40 am Morning tea
10.40 am - 12.40 pm Workshop


Planning successful investing workshop 
Bill Dodd, ASA Member & active investor

The investment plan needs to set out the investment goals, including the types of investments that might be suitable for achieving them, considering the investor’s age, time frame, financial situation, risk tolerance and tax position. The plan needs to provide sufficient detail such that all the variables, (including risks and emotions which are the main contributors to investment losses) can be confidently controlled. Bill will look in detail at the investment plan and use examples of different investment systems and strategies to illustrate why the investment plan is indispensable to achieving a profitable result.

As numbers are strictly limited, delegates will need to pre-register for this workshop.

10.40am - 11.40am Breakout Sessions
ETFs - Dispelling the myths
David Bassanese, Chief Economist, BetaShares

Since they were first introduced in Australia 15 years ago, the popularity of ETFs has grown significantly. In this presentation, David will outline why ETFs are proving so popular, especially with SMSFs. David will also outline how to assess ETF's investment risks, as well as provide some practical ETF investment strategies for 2018. 

From old age metals to the new age
David Lennox, Resource Analyst, Fat Prophets

Australia is a leading resource nation blessed with a rich prospective resource base that hosts an array of commodities that have satisfied, over the generations, the demands of an industrial world. Is this all about to change as a new century has brought with it new age metals?

Although volatility in the sector is the only thing that can be assured, if you know what to look for there are still many opportunities for investors. David will provide an outlook of this sector, discuss these opportunities and threats and why major players will emerge.

11.40am - 12.40pm Breakout Sessions
11.40am - 12.40pm 
Cryptocurrency- A new asset class
Nathan van den Bosch, Founder and CEO, Bitcoin Trader

In 2017 people were asking what were Bitcoins but now since the Bitcoin Boom, the question has been how do you buy Bitcoins? Nathan will discuss where Bitcoin fits in the evolving digital economy, Bitcoin as a new asset class and the essentials required to buy, comply, store, secure and insure Bitcoin. What do you want to know about Bitcoin and cryptocurrency? This presentation will be interactive, as Nathan covers three key subjects: Cryptocurrency: Transition to a Digital Economy; Bitcoin: The New Asset Class and How to invest in Cryptocurrency: Buy, Comply, Store, Secure & Insure. You will have the ability to engage with Nathan directly from your smartphone. Ask questions, participate in polls and help shape the focus of the forum. Interaction begins February 1, 2018 at Event Code #Z527.

11.40am - 12.40pm 
Telcos and Techs sector
Guarav Sodhi, Deputy Head of Research, Intelligent Investor 

Encompassing software, technology hardware and equipment, computers and communications these two sectors have to be the fastest changing sectors listed on the ASX.  Technology has been the best performing sector of the IPO market but can this continue? The headwinds presented by the NBN has created challenges for the biggest player of the telco sector.  Can Telstra meet these challenges? Guarav will provide an in-depth overview of the sectors and will, more importantly, outline how to take advantage of the opportunities.

12.40pm - 1.30pm Lunch
1.30pm - 3.30pm Workshop
Understanding financial statements workshop
Sonya Sinclair, Director, Eco Risk & Consulting

Financial statements within the annual report provide so much data. This workshop will show you how to interpret the data to help you with your investment decisions. You will be shown what to look for, what to ignore, how to find anomalies and interpret the financial statements to help you assess the financial health of the company. You will leave this workshop with a much greater confidence in assessing a company’s financial statements to help you make better investment decisions.

As numbers are strictly limited, delegates will need to pre-register for this workshop.

1.30pm - 2.30pm Breakout Sessions
Knowing when to sell 
Julia Lee, Equity Analyst, Bell Direct

Buying stocks is easy, or at least it can appear that way. Most of us can acquire reasonably good analytical skills. The selling decision, on the other hand, requires us to overcome more psychological factors than inherent optimist, often the mark of the buy trade. Julia will show us how to develop our capacity to not be emotional.

Disrupting the banks panel
Michael Blomfield, Investment Trends & Richard Wiles, Morgan Stanley

Banking is one of the fastest moving and most disrupted sectors in the Australian economy. Banks are facing fintech, cryptocurrencies, blockchain, peer-to-peer lending, equity crowd funding and payment systems riding off messaging services such as those offered by WeChat, Facebook, Apple and Google. What is the future for our banks? What do they have to do to become more competitive? What does it mean for shareholders?

2.30pm - 3.30pm Breakout Sessions
Infrastructure: Risks, opportunities and the threat of disruption
Gerald Stack, Head of Infrastructure, Magellan

A quick trip on an expressway, touching down at an airport, turning on a tap or flicking on a light switch. On any given day, the complex and capital-intensive structures that support our modern life go unnoticed.  As an investment opportunity, however, these assets are gaining more attention. While infrastructure as an investment opportunity has been around for decades, it is not well understood. Gerald will set out the challenges, opportunities and risks associated with investing in global listed infrastructure and why infrastructure deserves a place in a well-diversified portfolio. 

How to find the best performing shares in the best sectors
Russell Markham, Director of Education Asia Pacific, VectorVest 

Using the VectorVest program, Russell will show you how he takes a broad approach to selecting shares. Having determined those sectors with the best short term and long term price performance, he will then show you how to identify the best performing shares. Key elements for those shares include great earnings, price behaviour patterns and safe growing dividends and franking credits, suitable for the long term, more conservative investor looking for capital preservation, income and some capital growth. For the short-term trader Russell will also show you how to identify sectors and shares which may not necessarily have great fundamentals, but which are showing strong upward price momentum. 

3.30pm - 4.00pm Afternoon Tea  
4.00pm - 5.00pm
Investment trends panel
Roger Montgomery, Montgomery Fund, Matthew Kidman, Centennial Funds & Anton Tagliaferrero, Investors Mutual Limited  - moderated by Elio D'Amato, Lincoln

Renowned and successful fund managers will canvass the big picture issues which affect investment, such as the geopolitical context, international and domestic economic conditions and the impact of disruption on multiple business models and sectors. What are the implications for investors?


Happy Hour

Complimentary for all conference delegates, Happy Hour is a great opportunity to meet and network with fellow members from around Australia. A delegate’s guest may attend for $20 per person.


Conference Dinner (optional) sponsored by Lincoln Indicators
Wenworth Ballroom, Sofitel Sydney Wentworth

Guest speaker Tony Boyd, Chanticleer columnist, Australian Financial Review

Join fellow conference delegates for an informal networking opportunity at the Conference Dinner. Includes three-course dinner, beverages and a special guest speaker.

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Day 2: Tuesday, 22 May 2018

8.30am - 10.30am
Look at the market differently through technical analysis workshop 
Stuart McPhee, Author of Trading in a Nutshell

Technical analysts assume that all fundamental and economic influences on a share price are already taken into consideration in the market, so they simply monitor the price action.  A common toolkit for monitoring the sentiment, technical analysis reflects many of the undercurrents of the market.  Stuart will  introduce you to some basic tools for reading those currents to include measuring and using volatility, measuring volume, how to identify simple trends and how to use support and resistance.  More importantly, you will learn how to take hundreds of stocks and whittle them down to a manageable number of potential trades or investments.

8.30am - 9.30am Breakout Sessions
8.30am - 9.30am
Is 2018 the year of inflection for global markets?
Alva Devoy, Fidelity International

Investing globally is a key component to a well-diversified portfolio - so what is happening on the world stage?  Alva will provide Fidelity’s global outlook for markets in 2018 as we move into a period of expected inflection for markets. Alva will discuss global themes, what key signals you need to watch for you and identify opportunities and risks for investors allocating, or thinking about allocating, to markets offshore.

Hybrids - not a proxy for cash 
John Likos, Morningstar

After exhibiting large levels of volatility during the global financial crisis, recent years have seen a recovery in hybrids which has returned double digit numbers to investors. In doing so, they have gained not only further attention, but increasing fund flows. Unfortunately, a large number of investors chasing these hybrid returns are still unaware of some of their major risks and features. In particular, the confusion as to where hybrid securities should sit in an investor portfolio. Are they a proxy for cash? Fixed income? Equity? Or should they be treated as a separate asset class? 

9.30am - 10.30am  Breakout Sessions


SMSFs - the story one year later
Peter Hogan, SMSFA

With the range of new regulations that came into effect on 1 July 2017 including member contributions, death benefits and more, the reporting regime for self managed super funds have become more tightly regulated. Almost one year later what have we learned and where do the complexities lie? Peter will provide a comprehensive overview to ensure you are well in charge of your SMSF trustee obligations.


What stocks should you hold ahead of the next recession and market crash?
Peter Switzer, Switzer Financial Group

With stock markets rallying around the globe, smart investors are starting to think about how to position their portfolio in the case of a market crash. Peter Switzer will discuss when this global bull market may come to an end, and explain how he would position his family’s portfolio for a market downturn.

10.30am - 11.00am Morning Tea
11.00am - 12.00pm Breakout Sessions
11.00am - 12.00pm
An insight into the effectiveness of common investment theories
Elio D'Amato, Lincoln Indicators

Lincoln Stock Doctor has been conducting significant research internally into a range of various investment ideas and concepts to help support its research methodology into the future. While there are various investment theories that all sound compelling, do they stack up when robust quantitative back-testing is applied - or are they just good stories? Come here Elio report the remarkable insights which include which theories work from a practical rather than theoretical perspective; what factors drive performance in the Australian market and what to look for; the value of Quant vs Qual and how to apply these two in your stock selection; and can technical analysis enhance fundamental returns. These findings will contribute to the evolution of Lincoln’s Stock Doctor stock selection and rejection methodology.

Ethical investing - returns and impact 
Phil Vernon, Australian Ethical

Responsible investing is much more than a buzzword — Phil Vernon will take you through its investment track record versus other portfolios and show why you should pay attention. He will outline the difference between ethical screening, ESG investing and thematic screening and set out the ethical screening process and how it interacts with the investment process. He will also cover the hot topics in responsible investing, including how to deal with the reporting of non-financial metrics that impact the bottom line. 

The future of bricks and mortar retail shopping
Michael Doble, APN Property Group

Against a backdrop of sluggish GDP and low wage growth, coupled with the hype of Amazon's arrival and US department store closures, it's understandable to be concerned about the future of shopping malls. But how does this explain the heaving crowds and low vancancy rates of between 0.5% and 1.0% in the best shopping centres in Australia? Michael will outline why US retail is struggling and why the parallels currently being drawn between it and Australia don't stack up, why the online threat is overstated and how smart retailers are creating an unparalleled experience for consumers.

12.00pm - 1.00pm Breakout Sessions
Investing for income and long-term capital growth
Vince Pezzullo, Perpetual Investments

There are some important changes taking place in the market that have implications for the level of risk investors are taking to access equity returns. Vince will share his current views on markets and approach to investing. Highlighting some key risks and detailing the amount of work that goes into assessing new investment opportunities. 

Diversification via property
Adrian Harrington, Folkestone Limited

Property plays an important diversification role in an investment portfolio. The question is how does one get exposure to property? There are a number of options depending on one’s risk and return appetite - listed A-REITs or unlisted property, property debt or equity, residential or non-residential, income or development, global or domestic. This session will look the different options and pros and cons of including each within an investment portfolio.

Why investing psychology matters
Dr Katherine Hunt, Griffith University

Humans have many weaknesses when it comes to decision making, and nowhere are our illogical tendencies as tangible as in the investing arena. Dr Hunt will explore some of the components of investor psychology which have affected your financial decision making, and which are even affecting you right now. The great news is that Dr Hunt will also explore some of the tips and tricks we can all use in our day to day lives to ensure that we are our best 'financial selves' and that our investment behaviour is guided by insight, rather than emotion.

1.00pm - 1.50pm Lunch
1.50pm - 5.00pm Plenary Sessions 
1.50pm - 2.40pm
Political and economic state of the nation: the big picture
Dr Ken Henry AC, Chairman, NAB and former Head of Treasury

Dr Ken Henry AC will address the ‘big picture’ issues facing Australia at both the political and economic levels. Does Australia need a new reform agenda or are there reforms that have been proposed and not taken up that should be undertaken? What is required to facilitate business in Australia? Is Australian business generally prepared for the digital transformation sweeping all sectors? Should business be playing a stronger role in addressing the rise of social and economic inequality around the world, and what does that mean for shareholders? What is the purpose of the corporation today? What should shareholders be looking out for?

2.40pm - 3.30pm
The impact of innovation on investment decisions: the Regulator's view 
John Price, ASIC, Kevin Lewis, ASX and Brandon Khoo, APRA - moderated by Judith Fox, ASA

Hear from the regulators about whether Australian business is prepared for the digital transformation sweeping all sectors and how companies are managing corporate culture and their social licence to operate. What role can the regulators play in building a more secure and resilient digital economy and what do investors need to know about the regulators’ support of innovative financial business models in areas including marketplace lending, crowd-funding, robo-advice, payments and blockchain technology? What are the implications for our financial institutions of technology-driven innovation?

3.30pm - 4.00pm Afternoon Tea
4.00pm - 5.00pm
Grill the chairman panel
Ilana Atlas, Coca-Cola Amatil; Ian Blackburne, Aristocrat Leisure; Steven Gregg, Caltex Australia and Richard Sheppard, Dexus; Chaired by Stephen Mayne, ASA

This closing session will bring together three prominent chairs of ASX200 companies for a lively discussion facilitated by Stephen Mayne and involving audience participation. Should the AGM be abolished? What do chairs think about two strikes? How should ASA engage with chairs before, during and after an AGM? How do you get rid of dud directors? And what do chairs think of ASA’s rising voting power?  These and many other issues will be debated in this not-to-be missed final plenary.

5.00pm Close of conference

Please note that all program details are subject to confirmation and change. The dates and venue remain fixed.

The AGM of the ASA will commence at this venue from 5.45pm.


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