Share Market

BUILDING WEALTH

Property trusts up, but danger lurks if investors overpay

John Collett They may be less risky than before the financial crisis, but listed property trusts are vulnerable to rises in interest rates.

GETTING STARTED

Doomsayers an unreliable guide to market trends

David Potts Experts get it wrong, and the most pessimistic tend to be most at risk of doing so.

INTELLIGENT INVESTOR

A window into why ASIC is a pushover

Whistling: Even a former ASIC lawyer says the agency favours big business.

John Addis Why have a regulator that doesn't believe in regulation?

HOT STOCK

Woodside Petroleum well-positioned for growing Asian market

Hot: Woodside's LNG production was a standout performer for the first nine months of 2014.

David Lennox Oil producer set to beat production records and deliver a big dividend.

HOT STOCK

Bright outlook for NZ's Spark after name change

Bright young thing: Spark is being underestimated in the telco market.

Greg Smith New Zealand's telecom outfit has a new name, and is mounting a strong challenge to the competition.

FLOATS

Some buoyed by Medibank float

Float taking off.

Daryl Dixon Both the government and small investors have benefited from the privatisation of Medibank Private.

THE MOTLEY FOOL

Six lessons from the Medibank IPO

Tasty to investors: The success of the Medibank privatisation suggests more privatisations will be on the way.

Scott Phillips Hype, fees, no stag profit, and more to come …

LOOK NORTH

Seek some fresh horizons

Slightly tattered: Australian investors are likely to do better by broadening their horizons.

John Collett After an up and down year, Australian shares are set to end 2014 where they began. Investors need a new approach.

UNDER THE RADAR

Forget small potatoes, look across the pond

Small scale: Australian corporate deals are small potatoes compared to those in the United States.

Richard Hemming Compared with the $100 billion-plus mega-mergers in the US the Medibank float is chickenfeed.

THE 'HONEST' BROKER

Benefits to going against the tide

On the contrary: Swimming against the tide can be very financially rewarding.

Marcus Padley There is more money to be made buying a stock that everybody hates then loves than there is buying a stock that everybody loves already.

ASSET CHECK

Prepare portfolios for rough weather ahead

Time to batten down.

Daryl Dixon Investors need to ensure that the asset composition and risk profile of their holdings suit their personal needs.

CHINA BOOM

'Mania' drives China's stock market to three-year high

Many families are taking out brokerage loans to buy stocks, raising leverage and risk.

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard Retail investors are driving Chinese stocks to fresh highs, and market watchers are alarmed.

TIP OF THE WEEK

Buy and hold Australian blue chip stocks? Not so fast...

Think global: Perhaps it's time to broaden your investment horizons.

Thabojan Rasiah There's a whole world out there. Why don't you invest in it?

UNDER THE RADAR

Asia has big appetite for soft commodities

License to grow: The China-Australia free trade agreement  underlines that food will be one of the boom industries for Australia.

Richard Hemming Asian demand has been growing for soft commodities, which include protein, namely fish, nuts, beef and dairy.

THE MOTLEY FOOL

Five steps to getting started in shares

Baby steps: Even the best businesses can stumble, but there's a lot you can do to put the odds in your favour.

Scott Phillips Investing can be daunting - but the reward is worth it.

TIP OF THE WEEK

Buy and hold Australian blue chip stocks? Not so fast...

blue chips;afr;pic by louise kennerley;blue chips, portfolio, blue chip investment

Thabojan Rasiah There's a whole world out there. Why don't you invest in it?

Frankingly my dear, I can't credit it

David Potts The drums are beating louder against one of the best tax breaks ever invented.

INTELLIGENT INVESTOR

Spread yourself out, but not too thinly

The Age 29/5/05 DOMAIN  rlh060629.001.010  Basket with stone eggs  Styling by Holly Evans  Pic by Rebecca Hallas SPECIAL PRODUCTS
Hand-woven indigenous bowl, $140 and African soapstone eggs, $7 large , $5 small from Juliet Horsley

Richard Livingston Diversification is about minimising the impact of luck and improving the odds of getting an outcome closer to what you expect.

UNDER THE RADAR

Why bother with gold stocks?

A collection of one kilogram gold bars are seen at London bullion dealers Gold Investments Ltd. in this arranged photograph in London, U.K., on Thursday, April 4, 2013. Gold traders are split on whether bullion will plunge into its first bear market since 2008 as economies improve or rally as central banks buy more debt. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Richards Hemming There are opportunities to make big money in the yellow metal sector.

MONEY LESSONS

ASX game gives students a taste of trading

ASX

Tony Hunter Long running game lets first-timers become familiar with the basics of investing in the sharemarket.