Friday, January 19, 2018

Our Changing Lifestyles Hold The Key To Successful Property Investing

This may seem obvious, but I have to start with it… How we live is changing

In order to create long-term wealth from property it will be important to know the type of property that will be in continuous strong demand from both owner occupiers and tenants in the future.

Understanding the needs of your market is fundamental to success when it comes to securing properties that will attract above average capital growth in the years ahead, and one of the keys to this is to study demographics – that is the number and composition of our population and how we choose to live in our society.

How we live is changing  

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Interestingly, Australian demographics are undergoing some radical changes at present.

With housing affordability becoming an increasing issue for many first home buyers and our lifestyle becoming a lot more hectic, we are seeing an increase in the popularity of medium density apartment living.

This is far from the way older generations chose to live, with many of them having opted for a detached house on a large suburban block of land.

The fact is, the property investor of the future will be catering for a whole new breed of tenant and buyer.

Look what Gen Y are doing

Gen Y is on the move, as many from this age group start to think about leaving the family home and starting their own life independent of mum and dad. 12495683_l

In 2010, around 150,000 new households were created in Australia and approximately 65,000 of these comprised Gen Y singles, groups and couples.

Interestingly the majority of this younger demographic will be destined to live as tenants for quite some time, stuck on the rental roundabout due to ever increasing house prices and the cost of living, interest rate uncertainty and of course, annually rising rents.

As such, many choose to live in shared accommodation and multi-income households in order to reside in the locations they favour, but could never be able to afford as a home buyer.

These include inner ring suburbs close to our major CBD’s where employment opportunities and a fast paced lifestyle with plenty of recreation and entertainment facilities are the primary attractions.

With the number of Gen Y’s looking for accommodation continuing to rise, rental demand for near city and inner suburban units and apartments will grow significantly in the coming years.

Apartments make great investments

And our old friend the supply and demand equation will ensure that rents for these types of properties keep rising, as will their values, as higher yields will entice investors back into the market.

Today medium density properties – apartments and townhouses – make great investments and in general appreciate in value equally, if not more, than houses in our capital cities.

This is of course in part due to affordability, as units offer a much more affordable alternative option than houses.

But it’s about much more than affordability.

Significant changes in our population profile and lifestyle priorities are creating a strong demand for apartment living.

Today, our lifestyles are vastly different to those of our parents.  We're working longer, we're increasingly time poor

We’re working longer, we’re increasingly time poor and we’re starting families much later in life.

This means proximity to work, transport, entertainment, cafes, shops and beaches is becoming more important than owning a piece of land.

In Australia’s capital cities, apartments are continuing to improve in design and size and are generally closer to the CBD than affordable houses.

Of course, there is still demand for houses with a front and back yard, particularly from families with more than one child, yet there is definitely a shift towards apartment living.

It should be fairly obvious that more single households, smaller families and the impact of the baby boomers downsizing will continue this trend in the long-term.

People are getting married later in life and apartments suit their busy lifestyles; and when a baby comes along, they will often stay in their apartment or buy a bigger one in the same location.

What about the Baby Boomers

And don’t forget as baby boomers move into retirement they will also significantly increase the demand for townhouse and apartment living.

Low maintenance, secure “lock and leave” living is a priority for these buyers. Baby Boomers

According to RP Data capital city units and apartments only accounted for 25% of all home sales 15 years ago.

Today though, medium and high-density accommodation makes up around 35% of all home sales.

Now that’s an interesting trend, isn’t it?

In our two most densely populated capital cities, Sydney and the proportion of unit sales is significantly larger.

So if you’re looking for a great investment property you should seriously consider well-positioned, established apartments in smaller boutique blocks with value add potential through renovations.

Look for a property with a “twist” – something special or an element of scarcity.

Then hold it as a long-term investment and reap the rewards.

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5 Thoughts that are secretly destroying your goal progress

Our life isn’t as logical as we like to think.

You may plan your goals perfectly, but when the time comes for action, it doesn’t work out.Life isn’t as logical as we like to think

That happens to all of us, because our emotions affect our decisions.

We don’t think about that when we set goals.

A 2014 study shows how our emotions affect our logical decisions.

So how do you deal with that?

You have to make these decisions and set your goals when you’re in a logical state, and then push through when you’re thinking emotionally.

Easier said than done.

Don’t worry, I’ve summed up five of the most common emotional thoughts that will destroy your goal progress.

Once you acknowledge that these thoughts exist, you can fight them off.

1. I messed up, so I might as well “go all out”

Here’s the scenario: You’re on a strict diet that includes absolutely zero grains.

While you’re eating out, you taste something delicious and realize the onions in your salad are breaded. 

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You’ve messed up.

You’ve blown your diet. 

So then you decide that you might as well go all out and order a second entrée.

Before long, you’ve eaten everything, ever.

Because of a breaded onion.

We all mess up.

If you mess up, that’s fine, it was an accident.

Get back to your goal.

It could be that you overspend, miss a run or eat a piece of breaded onion.

Whatever happens, just get back on track.

It’s not a big deal until you decide to “go all out” and ruin everything. 

But in the same way, if you do go all out for an entire day, you can still get back on track the next day.

Stop thinking of it as “I messed up one thing, so it’s all for nothing.”

Every decision counts, including all the small decisions you make to stick to your goal, after you did something that hindered your goal.

2. I’ll start tomorrow, next week, next month

Sometimes going all out when you mess up can lead to further delay. Confused

You messed up, so you try again…on Monday.

You say, “well, I messed up, and it’s already Friday, so I’ll just blow off my goal the rest of the week and start fresh on Monday.”

I’m going to debunk a myth that seems to be naturally ingrained in our minds: 

You do not always have to start new things on Mondays.

The mindset of “I’m going to start this new diet, workout routine, budget, or whatever on Monday or on the 1st of next month” has got to stop.

I understand that sometimes it doesn’t make sense to start something today.

Maybe you just planned a new lifting routine and it’s bedtime.

You don’t have to go to the 24 hour gym right now, but why can’t you start first thing tomorrow morning or at least tomorrow after work?

Even if you can’t do the whole routine, start as soon as possible.

Now let’s talk about what to do if you can’t do the whole thing…

3. If I can’t do it all, I might as well not do it

You’ve planned to run for 30 minutes and you woke up 15 minutes late.

There’s no possible way you can get your 30 minute run in before work.

No problem!

Run for 15 minutes…or even five! Run for 15 minutes…or even five

Whatever you can do, do it.

For goals like this that are going to be part of your ritual or routine, it’s important to simply build the habit.

Let’s say, for whatever reason, you weren’t able to do your entire workout, at all, the entire month.

Would you feel better if you skipped all of them, or if you did a partial workout every time?

In one scenario, you never used your gym membership.

In the other scenario, you were at the gym several days a week, every week.

One built the habit, while the other was completely useless.

4. I couldn’t do it before, so I can’t do it now

When you’re out there achieving your goal, your motivation often comes in the beginning, but once it gets hard, you remember how you couldn’t do this before.

Then you start to emotionally (and illogically) assume that you can’t do it now.

Remember: this is why we set goals in our logical state. You’re improving, and so are your goals

We set goals to become better.

Of course you couldn’t do it before; you weren’t the person you are now.

You should set your expectations in a way that always assumes your goals will get harder and harder, as they should.

You’re improving, and so are your goals.

Measuring goal progress backwards will help with this.

It will help to show you how far you’ve come.

And how you can’t judge what you can do now by what you could do in the past.

You should always be able to do more.

5. Other people don’t do this much, so I don’t have to

Comparing yourself to others is almost always a bad idea.

Don’t cut your goals down based on what others are doing.

You may start with big goals, and then realize that most people don’t do half of that.

Then when you’re out there running or making cold calls or working extra jobs, you start to think “I’m already doing more than the average person, I don’t have to do this much.”

Even though earlier when you were setting the goal, you felt like it was appropriate. Make the important decisions

Don’t trust your emotions on this.

Wait on your logic.

And trust your logic.

You’re going to be much more logical when your mind is clear and you’re writing your goals, as opposed to when you’re sweating at your third job to pay off all your debt.

Remember to trust your logic that set the goal, not your emotions that are talking to you right now.

Make the important decisions with your logical mind.

You’re better than average.

You’re an overachiever, and you should be proud of that!

What is risk in investing?

Risk in investing means a lot of things to different people.

This could be the risk of capital loss; the risk of not having enough investment income or the risk of not having enough to last through retirement.

In an Oliver’s Insight, Dr. Shane Oliver, chief economist of AMP Capital, discusses the role that risk plays in investing.

Here’s what he said:

What is risk? AMP-chief-economist-Dr-Shane-Oliver

Surely that is a stupid question as everyone knows what risk is when it comes to investing.

Investopedia (www.investopedia.com) defines risk as “the chance that an investment’s actual return will be different than expected”.

It’s actually quite a complex concept because it could mean different things to different people depending on their circumstances and tolerance to it.

And it can be highly perverse often being very different to what backward looking statistical measures and common sense might suggest.

But it’s worth thinking about because it can impact how you invest.

Volatility

The conventional approach to measuring investment risk is to look at volatility.

This is usually done with a statistical concept called standard deviation which shows how tightly clustered past returns have been around their average in a certain period.

The higher the standard deviation the greater the volatility.

The standard deviation of monthly returns based on very long term data for major asset classes is shown in the next table.

Source: Global Financial Data, Bloomberg, AMP Capital

A basic idea in investments is that the higher the volatility (or risk) the higher the return should be over time as investors need to be compensated for taking on additional risk.

If more risky assets do not offer this then their prices will fall until their prospective returns do.

From the standard deviation and return assumptions, statistics on things like the chance of a negative year for an asset or fund can be calculated.

However, to get a real handle on risk there is much more involved than this.

The risk of capital loss

What really concerns investors is not the volatility to the upside (as most of us like stronger returns) but capital loss.  finance market

Various attempts have been made to measure the risk of capital loss.

However, it’s not clear that these are much better than standard deviation.

More fundamentally there are several problems with simple statistical measures.

First, standard deviation and related measures of risk are backward looking and when measured over short periods can give a misleading picture as to the potential for capital loss.

 This is because during solid periods for returns markets tend to be relatively stable and so measured volatility and hence risk looks low.

And vice-versa during bad periods.

For example, the next chart shows the rolling 12 month standard deviation of US shares against the US share market.

Source: Bloomberg, AMP Capital

It can be seen the standard deviation often indicates high risk when the market is low after a big fall and low risk when it’s high.

This is around the wrong way.  

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The risk of capital loss actually rises as markets go up and goes down as they fall.

Trying to manage a fund based on such backward looking indicators is about as sensible as driving a car through the rear view mirror (unless you look at them as contrarian indicators).

Second, the risk regarding an asset can be perverse and radically different to what the statistics show and common sense would suggest. 

The well-known corporate bond investor Howard Marks is reputed to have once said that “there is nothing riskier than the widespread perception that there is no risk”.

This usually comes after a period of strong returns, when economic and profit growth is solid and those investors who want to invest have.

Perhaps the best way to demonstrate this is with one of my favourite charts – what Russell Investments called the roller coaster of investor emotion.

Source: Russell Investments, AMP Capital

During a bull market ‘optimism’ gives way to ‘excitement’, ‘thrill’ and eventually ‘euphoria’ as investors push the asset class up in value.

It’s at this point investors are most bullish and most confident and relaxed.

The reality though is this is actually around the point of maximum financial risk.

That’s because it’s at this point that the market has become overvalued and with the crowd fully on board everyone who wants to buy has and so it only takes a bit of bad news to tip the market down.

On the flip side after a bear market when shares have become cheap and investor sentiment has collapsed to ‘depression’, the market will then reach the point of minimum risk and maximum opportunity. property economy market

It then usually only takes a bit of good news to tip the market higher. 

Unfortunately, this is the point when both statistical measures and common sense indicate risk is high.

A classic example of the latter was in 2009 at the end of the bear market driven by the GFC.

At this point statistical measures of risk were high (see the first chart), investors were scared and had retreated to cash and all the buzz was about the need to focus on capital preservation.

Of course history speaks for itself on this one as 2009 provided a huge investment opportunity after which followed very strong returns.

The way to get a handle of the risk of capital loss is therefore not to look at backward looking statistics but rather at forward looking indicators such as valuation measures and indicators as to how optimistic and invested the crowd is.

Maximum risk is when an asset is unambiguously overvalued and over loved.

Finally, when it comes to investing time is on your side as it smooths out short term risk.

 For example, over rolling 12 month periods shares periodically have negative returns (since 1900 roughly two years out of ten are negative) and/or underperform cash.

But over 10 year periods this has hardly ever occurred and has never occurred over 20 year periods.

Source: Global Financial Data, Bloomberg, AMP Capital

The point is: when it comes to investing time is on your side.

Risk of insufficient income from investment

But sometimes it’s not really capital loss that should concern an investor but the risk that investment income falls short.

This is now a big issue for those who have been relying on income from bank deposits.

Bank deposits are safe, but the income they offer is not.stock market money app techonology smart phone learn invest

Four years ago the income on $100,000 in a three year bank term deposit was running around $6150 a year.

It’s now just $2750.

What happened?

The deposit is safe but the income has collapsed with interest rates.

By contrast, a $100,000 Australian investment in shares 4 years ago that was providing annual dividend income of $4300 (or $5600 with franking credits) is now providing an income of roughly $5350 ($6950 with franking) & the investment has risen to $122,000.

The next chart compares the annual interest and dividend income on $100,000 investments in Australian shares and one year term deposits in December 2000.

The annual dividend payment has trended higher over the period reflecting growth in the value of the share investment (to $166,000 by end last year) and relatively stable dividend yields over time.

By contrast the annual interest payment has fallen sharply reflecting the collapse in interest rates and the term deposit remaining at $100,000.

Of course if franking credits are allowed for annual dividend payments would be about 30% higher.

Because dividend yields are relatively stable over time and shares tend to rise in value over time shares can provide a stronger and somewhat smoother income flow than bank deposits.

Source: RBA, Bloomberg, AMP Capital

The same applies in relation to property rent. If diversified, it tends to be more stable than term deposit income and has growth potential.

Risk of not having enough in retirement

While investors may be focused on short term wiggles, they can be distracted from what should really concern them and this is the risk of not having enough to last through retirement.

We are living longer.Piggy Bank with retirement savings super message

A few generations ago male retirees at age 65 had just 12 years on average to live.

Now it’s about 20 years and expected to stretch out further in the years ahead.

But not only are we living longer post retirement but we are having more healthy active years which need to be funded.

Against this backdrop there is a real danger that if we don’t have enough in growth assets our savings won’t provide sufficient growth and then ultimately income to last through our retirement years.

Wrapping up

The bottom line is that risk can mean different things – volatility, the risk of capital loss, the risk of not having enough income from your investment and the risk of not having enough in retirement.risk_decision_uncertain_fear_1000px

Each of these risks can be of greater or lesser importance depending on your stage in life, how much capital you have and your tolerance for risk.

What’s more risk is perverse.

The risk of capital loss is often highest when you think it is low (ie after good times) and lowest when you think it is high (ie after a bad patch).

Trying to get a handle on this is critical to being a successful investor.

Dr Shane Oliver, Head of Investment Strategy and Economics and Chief Economist at AMP Capital is responsible for AMP Capital’s diversified investment funds. He also provides economic forecasts and analysis of key variables and issues affecting, or likely to affect, all asset markets.

Editor’s note: This article has been republished for the benefit of our many new readers

Should You Buy Bitcoin? Ask a Different Question First

I received these two messages within three minutes of each other recently:

Several years back I used to mine Bitcoin, and then I sold most of them off for a down payment for our house.
I had 400 BTC at one point, which would be worth $6.8 million today. Needless to say, I am really depressed now.  I only kept one Bitcoin. I should have kept more.

Should I Buy Bitcoin

And this one:

My husband has invested in Bitcoin, and my son has invested in Etherium! I am debating about switching my 401(k) to Bitcoin.

Everyone, including my mother, is wondering if they should buy Bitcoin or some other cryptocurrency. And since everyone is asking, there are plenty of semi-informed people providing answers. But if you try to find a solid answer to this question, you will probably just end up more confused. Answering the question means guessing where the price of Bitcoin is headed, and nobody who is being honest actually knows.

Ask a different question.

So may I humbly suggest that asking if we should all buy Bitcoin is the wrong question, and that we should ask a different one instead.

The question we should be asking ourselves is this: Does buying Bitcoin fit into my investment plan?

That is a much more important question and one that we can all answer much more easily.

It places the attention on the process of investing correctly and not on the outcome of events that we have no control over.

In order to answer the investing plan question, it might help to clarify a few things.

Investing is different from speculating or gambling.

Investing is a means to an end, and that end is our collective financial goals.  

one-page-financial

Beating the stock market, buying what’s hot, outperforming a brother-in-law — those are not financial goals.

Financial goals are things like having money to send kids to college, buying a house, taking a trip or retiring someday.

This is why we invest.

If we start by declaring that certain important goals are the reasons we are investing, then we can move on to figuring out the investment process that can help us meet those goals while taking the least amount of risk.

The moment we start down that road, we run into the closest thing we have in finance to the law of gravity: diversification.

Investors do not put all their eggs in one basket.

That’s something speculators do.

Our financial goals are important, and the consequence of failure are high.

So we spread our risk out by diversifying across lots of different types of investments, like stocks and bonds and real estate, both in the countries where we live and far away.

We choose each one carefully based on how it interacts with the others in our portfolio.

This is what the process of investing looks like.

And yeah, it can be a little boring.

But it is far better than repeatedly getting our teeth kicked in from buying high and selling low, which is often what happens when we chase the latest shiny thing that’s grown in value exponentially or that Peter Thiel is betting on.

So this isn’t really about Bitcoin at all.

Just like it wasn’t about real estate in 2007, or internet stocks in 1999. 7 Big Insurance Risks When Renovating46

This is about investing versus something else we typically call gambling or speculating.

It’s not about where Bitcoin is going, or what we might have missed out on over the last year.

All of that is out of our control.

What is in our control is the process of identifying goals, building a portfolio that matches those goals and then maintaining it for a very long time (even when it’s scary, or hard) so we can achieve those goals.

So no, I cannot tell you if you should be buying Bitcoin.

But I can urge you to ask a very different question.

This article originally appear in The New York Time

6 Traits you need if you want to become wealthy

If you’ve been reading my blogs you’ll know I write a lot about what makes people successful.rich wealth money

For the last 25 years I’ve been studying why only a minority are able to achieve their dreams and attain financial freedom.

And of course, luck only has a small part to play.

Sure you’re more likely to be successful if you are given a good start in life.

But most of us in Australia have been given the tools to make a real go at life.

We don’t need to spend all day wondering how we’re going to feed our families that night or walk for miles for clean drinking water like in other parts of the world

This means we’re lucky. 

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Lucky enough to have the time to create, to invent, to invest and to work towards a goal that has nothing to do with the basics of survival.

And yet, so few reach the mountaintop.

Many men and women are content to just coast along, getting by, rather than living to their fullest potential.

They lack that all-important psychology of success.

You need a few important character traits to be successful.

Here are some that will make a real difference:

1. Determination

Don’t be fooled by the softly spoken successful business person, entrepreneur or investor.

Underneath every leader, is a mountain of determination and persistence.

These are the people who didn’t listen to ‘no’, kept pushing when the road became steep and never lost slight of their end goal.

2. Independence

Very few people get rich from working for someone else. rich-300x169

In order to become truly financially independent, you need to take (educated) risks.

These are people who are comfortable working for themselves.

In fact, they prefer it because they realise the only thing stopping them from reaching the highest level is themselves, and that is something they are happy to bank on.

Others have a full time regular job and build a property investment business on the side that leads to their financial freedom

3. Creativity in buckets

What happens when you’re stumped by a particular problem?

Do you give up or try and find a way around it?

Successful people will not only take roadblocks in their stride, but, most importantly, they will think up creative solutions to problems.

Entrepreneurs are also good at coming up with fresh ideas.

This is their bread and butter, and they usually also have great instincts and can tell the difference between one of their great ideas and one that is more pie in the sky.

4. Organisational skills

Just because successful people are innovators, doesn’t mean they are incapable of handling the more humdrum tasks. Man doing his accounting, financial adviser working

In fact, the two go hand in hand.

There are a lot of ideas in people’s sheds gathering dust or scribbled down in notepads at the back of people’s drawers — and never acted upon.

Successful people are self-responsible and they follow through on ideas and commitments.

They are adept at taking the idea to completion stage and to do this they need to be both organised and efficient.

Mad scientists need not apply — unless they are also mad organisers, too.

5. Self-possession

The great innovators don’t care what the majority think.

It takes a fair whack of courage to stand out in the crowd and they don’t let other people’s sniping (or jealousy) put them off their game.

They are self-possessed, in other words.

They follow through with their ambitions and plans even if they don’t make sense to other people — which they sometimes won’t.

6. Honesty

By honesty I don’t just mean with other people (although this is important too).

The most successful investors are also honest with themselves.Humorous image of young boy working on a laptop computer

They take the time to reflect on their past decisions.

Could they have handled a situation better?

Where did they go right or wrong?

What should they do next time?

This ensures they learn and grow.

The above list may seem a little intimidating and difficult to attain, but the good news is these traits can be worked on.

Very few investors started out with all of these character traits already fully developed.

Like growing their property businesses, they were forced to call on these hidden reserves to meet the various challenges.

Which means with a bit of effort you can too.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Why every generation feels entitled

Weekly economic update: Jobs may be increasing but the real test is whether we get a pay rise this year

The number of jobs might be going up but the real test will be whether wages rise too, writes…

Richard Holden, UNSW

This week: explaining why the number of jobs increased while the unemployment rate rose too and a bump in housing finance due to state government incentives.


The most consequential Australian data this week were Thursday’s labour force figures.

The ABS announced that employment grew by 34,700, well ahead of market expectations of around 15,000. Economy

It was the first calendar year in which employment grew every month since the ABS recorded monthly data in 1978.

The trend toward full-time employment continued to be the key contributor.

In 2017 full-time employment increased by 322,000 out of the 393,000 total increase.

As often happens, the rosier employment numbers were accompanied by a seemingly confusing increase in the unemployment rate to 5.5%.

This occurs because a better labour market leads to more people looking for work. On that point, the participation rate stood at 65.5% – the highest rate since early 2011.

Importantly, female labour-force participation was at a record high 60.4%.

Regular readers of Vital Signs will know what’s coming next. 

Despite this strong employment growth, wages remain stagnant in real terms. 

investor-needs-to-know-about-finance-tax-and-the-law
  Perhaps they key economic variable in 2018 – and surely the key political variable – is whether we start to see stronger wage growth.

The government’s “jobs and growth” slogan doesn’t sound so great if the jobs involve declines in real wages and still modest per capita GDP growth.

With a lag in statistics, economic data for the new year began with what happened toward the end of 2017.

Last week the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released building approvals data for November 2017 showing that approvals jumped 11.7% for the month to 21,055 on a seasonally adjusted basis.

That was almost solely driven by a 30.6% jump in apartments – with the bulk of this coming from Melbourne.

These figures caused many of us to do a double take. Either there are some very lumpy high-rise apartment projects in Melbourne (possible) or there is something odd about the ABS’s seasonal adjustment of the statistics (possible, too, but less likely).

Any revisions next month will be revealing.

Australian new motor vehicle sales were more or less as expected, with national sales up 6.7% on the year.

Victoria led the charge, with an annual increase of 19.3%, while NSW was essentially flat, recording a 0.2% increase.

Housing finance was up in November, with the total amount rising by 2.3% in seasonally adjusted terms. Economic growth

This was a solid result, with much of it attributable to owner occupier growth of 2.7% (compared to 1.5% for investors).

This reflects the prudent, if rather too late, measures put in place by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority to curb investor lending.

In part, it also reflects the silly first home owner grants reintroduced by state governments relatively recently.

As every economist knows (and 50 years of Australian economic history shows) this just inflates housing prices by the amount of the grant, making sellers better off, but not buyers.

A somewhat more leading indicator of trends in the housing market is construction, since it speaks to what new properties will be on the market in coming months.

The Australian Industry Group’s widely watched Performance of Construction Index fell sharply, by 4.7 points to 52.8, again in seasonally adjusted terms in December 2017.

This is down from the all-time high of 60.5 in July 2017. For these types of indices 50 is the “breakeven” point, so another drop like last month would essentially show construction in reverse gear.

The Australian economy begins 2018 exactly where it ended 2017, with a mixture of positive and troubling signs.

There is reason to be optimistic, but also reason to be cautious.

Next week the focus will be more global, as the World Economic Forum meets in Davos to discuss the theme: “Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World”.

United States President Donald Trump is expected to speak on the final day. globe-economy-growth-health-world-heart-decline-map

With French President Emmanuel Macron expected to attend, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel looking reasonably likely to make it, there is the potential for some fireworks.

Macron and Merkel could well suggest the US President has done a fair bit of fracturing of the world in his first year in office.

And based on my reading of Michael Wolff’s book Fire and Fury, President Trump doesn’t deal too well with criticism.

Meanwhile, it would be remiss of me not to note that one of the key figures in that book, former Trump strategist Steve Bannon has been subpoenaed by special counsel Robert Mueller to testify before a Grand Jury.

Those who have read Fire and Fury know that Bannon reportedly said a lot of things, but a notable one was that only morons lie to a Grand Jury. And say what you will about Bannon, he is no moron.

The ConversationTrump may end up copping it both at home and abroad next week.

Richard Holden, Professor of Economics and PLuS Alliance Fellow, UNSW

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.