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    Tim Boreham

    Tim Boreham edits The New Criterion

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  • Why the listed online retailers are not all equal

    The ongoing pandemic lockdowns may have been a boon to online commerce, but don’t presume the unprecedented tide of spending on the part of captive shoppers has lifted all of the ASX-listed ‘boats’. In reality, performance has been varied and it remains to be seen how the sector fares in the post pandemic era –

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  • As commissions plunge, young traders are going for broker

    Australia might not yet have the zero-cost broking model for local shares popularised by the US platform Robinhood – or not yet anyway – but that hasn’t stopped younger Australians from discovering the delights of share trading. Call them millennials or Zoomers, they’ve been using their latest lockdown time to good effect. What’s more, they’re

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  • The New Criterion: how to pick the winners from the duds amid the ongoing IPO mania

    Like climbers queuing below the Mt Everest summit before the next blizzard sets in, private vendors are continuing to join the initial public offer (IPO) conga line before the market turns foul. Or has the IPO ‘weather’ turned already? Frankly, it’s hard to tell. According to the esteemed website smallcaps.com.au, 84 companies have already executed

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  • The saintly stocks versus the sinners: which ones perform the best?

    In a new era in which environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations have been enshrined in the way fundies pick their shares, the so-called ‘sin’ stocks had been largely discounted as relics of the past. Until Woolworths’ spin-off Endeavour Group (EDV) came along, that is. By virtue of Endeavour’s sheer size and pure-play focus on

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  • How to invest in recruitment stocks when the machines take over the hiring process

    Job seekers routinely are warned that a recruiter will accept or reject an application in a matter of seconds, with a missing keyword or a grammatical error consigning the paperwork to the ‘rejected’ pile. Attributing a previous employment separation to ‘personality differences’ doesn’t help either – and don’t even think about using emojis in the

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  • Purging the portfolio: the shares that could make for handy EOFY tax losses

    In keeping with the pre June 30 EOFY vibe, this week your columnist opines on a few well known underperformers that arguably are worthy of being sacrificed on the altar of the fiscal fiend. In other words: they’re unlikely to recover in a hurry and their best use is as a tax loss. Investors who

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  • Three small cap ASX plodders now positioning for the home straight

    Almost every small-cap investor knows the pain of investing in the next big thing, only to find their stock remains resolutely that: a small cap. Or even worse the company ceases to be altogether, providing fodder for the ever-booming insolvency industry. Even more annoying is the regret of investors losing patience with a serial plodder,

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  • Is Costa Group or Lynch Group the pick of the bunch for investors?

    Mourners grabbing a bunch of roses at the supermarket en route to great aunt Dora’s funeral – or virtual send-off in the case of Victoria – would be oblivious to the complex logistics that enable a bunch of fresh blooms to be available beside the wonky trolleys every day. We guess the same applies to

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  • Where to find pet care stocks amid a paw-city of choice

    Even before the pandemic spurred the panic puppy purchasing phenomenon, Australian pet ownership was on the rise because of the powerful demographic trend to single occupant households. With pooches and moggies and other random beasts displacing children on the family hierarchy, pet care expenditure has risen even more sharply. According to an Animal Medicines Australia

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  • The New Criterion: One of Australia’s oldest listed companies follows a super new path

    The walls of the Melbourne headquarters of Equity Trustees (EQT) are adorned with the portraits of former prime ministers, premiers and governors-general who have served on the board of the stately 133 year old institution. The roll call of dignitaries includes 19th century premier Sir Charles Sladen, prime ministers Stanley Bruce and Robert Menzies and

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  • Manganese: the next hot battery metal

    Move over lithium, graphite, cobalt and copper: manganese is fast emerging as the next ‘battery metal’ story to titillate investors. The back story is similar: with manganese usage dominated by China and supply emanating from largely unattractive or unreliable geographies, western world car and batter makers are desperate to get their paws on the processed

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  • Diagnostic imaging: what stock will become the next Pro Medicus?

    For all the leaps and bounds in medical science, the know-how behind detecting diseases hasn’t changed much in decades – or even centuries. Take X-rays, which are widely used despite the wee problem of irradiating the patients. And that’s because they are cheap and convenient. The underlying tech hasn’t really moved on since 1895, when

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  • Who’s who in the burgeoning listed non-bank sector

    More non-bank lenders are clamouring to list on the ASX, but is it a harbinger of a permanent new banking paradigm or a sign the bull market is nearing a peak? We’re not talking about the buy now pay later (BNPL) sector which has become a crowded ASX-listed cohort in its own right. Rather, the

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  • You beauty! Health and wellness stocks that deliver prosperity and vitality

    It seems the only advertisers these days are Harvey Norman, sports betting shops and Chemist Warehouse and Priceline with their pages of pills and unguents. Indeed, the term “health and wellness” might be overused and even tautologous, but tell that to the average household that spend many billions of dollars annually on cosmetics, dietary supplements

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  • Listed waste management options that are not rubbish

    Not for the first time, the listed waste management sector is in the throes of ownership upheaval as investors await the fallout from this month’s proposed $20 billion merger of the French based giants Veolia Group and Suez Group. The outcome has direct implications for the largest ASX listed waste manager, Cleanaway Waste Management (CWY).

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  • Class Limited aims for super returns as it expands beyond the SMSF sector

    A listed fintech company that simplifies back office functions for accountants and financial advisers doesn’t exactly have the same investor ‘sex appeal’ as neo banks, bitcoin players or the buy-now-pay-later sector. But that doesn’t mean it won’t generate exciting returns for investors. A giant in the self managed super funds (SMSF) administration sector, Class Limited

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  • Who’s top of the class post pandemic in the listed education sector?

    With our international borders still resolutely padlocked, the absence of foreign students poses an ongoing existential threat to our universities and other parties feeding off the education ecosystem (such as student accommodation providers). The listed education providers have not been immune, although arguably those exposed to the foreign student trade have not fared as badly

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  • Here’s cheers: the craft beer market offers plenty of upside to the discerning operators

    Investors thirsting for an ASX beer exposure have been left largely unsated since Fosters/Carlton United Breweries and Lion Nathan were subsumed by foreign buyers a few years back. Coca Cola Amatil (CCL) has long held beer and spirits ambitions that have never quite come to fruition, but in any event the bottler looks headed to

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  • Pharmaxis shares present untapped value as the drug developer pursues a rare cancer therapy

    In biotech circles, tackling a rare and difficult disease with few patients does not necessarily equate to targeting an unprofitable one.  In the case of fibrotic diseases specialist Pharmaxis (ASX: PXS), its proposed treatment for the rare blood cancer myelofibrosis presents a potential billion dollar-plus market, even though only about 15 in every 1 million

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  • With their mind blowing medical potential, are hallucinogens the next ASX ‘pot stock’ equivalent?

    The mere mention of magic mushrooms, ecstasy or ketamine is enough to send parents of teenagers into conniptions. But are these so-called party drugs poised to follow cannabis into the realm of a medical treatment within a legitimate listed sector? As a likely precursor to more local action in the (mind) expanding field, cannabis play

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  • Three ASX listed stocks exposed to single party risk

    Last week your columnist delved into the issues facing stocks such as Crown Resorts that rely on the stroke of a regulator’s pen to stay in business. (Highlighting the risk, Crown has since become a takeover target with diminished bargaining chips). As an extension of the theme, many companies rely on the whim of fellow

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  • The companies that live or die with the stroke of a regulatory pen

    Deep in any corporate vault lies a piece of paper or two that affirms the right of an enterprise to operate, such as articles of incorporation, a banking or broadcasting licence or a mining permit. Apart from diligent company secretaries, no-one else will give the paperwork a second thought. But when this right to operate

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  • ‘Employee engagement’ emerges as a hot listed sector as workers straggle back to their offices

    Most employers would like to think that their workers are champing at the bit to return to more normal conditions after a bout of pandemic-induced soul searching about their career direction. In truth, many will be reluctant to return to the physical workplace, having grown attached to leisurewear and liberated from dealing with malodorous colleagues

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  • Coppertunities! How to play the red metal as a serious shortage looms in the Biden era

    While investor interest in ‘battery metals’ has focused on lithium and graphite, copper has been the quiet achiever in terms of its role in the renewable energy revolution. But with the copper price testing record highs set a decade ago, the credentials of the red metal are getting louder by the day. For veteran US

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  • How to play the listed Bitcoin game

    With Bitcoins – by far the dominant ‘crypto’ – now worth a collective $US1 trillion, massive punts are being made on the latter by the likes of Blackrock, the world’s biggest funds manager. Having fetched $US380 apiece five years ago, Bitcoins last week hit the $US57,000 ($74,000)  level before retreating below $US50,000. But the normally

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  • The New Criterion: what to look out for as the $800 billion investment platform sector feeds on itself

    The head of investment platform Praemium (PPS), Michael Ohanessian sounds like he’s channelling the coronavirus when he says that “like any living organism, any organisation wants to survive.” But in this case, he’s referring to the need for the $800 billion a year adviser ‘platform’ sector to grow and diversify at a time when the

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  • The local shares vulnerable to a ‘short squeeze’ – or else sold for good reason

    Could the ASX become subject to the same trading shenanigans in the US which put a rocket up the share price of struggling video outlet operator GameStop and then the silver market. It’s certainly food for short … er, thought. This month, shares in online travel agent Webjet (WEB) have climbed around 10 per cent

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  • Should investors succumb to the BNPL FOMO?

    As with the coronavirus, the buy now pay later (BNPL) sector was expected to have fizzled out by now. Instead, it’s stepped up another level in terms of revenue usage trends and valuations. Among investors, Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) is rife as the BNPL contagion continues to displace the role of credit cards in

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  • The New Criterion: what’s on the menu for fast food investors?

    Australian retail investors have been prevented from taking a decent bite out of the fast food sector to date, which is a pity given its proven resilient qualities.  Market leader McDonald’s is listed in the US, but not here, while Red Rooster and Hungry Jack’s are privately owned. KFC’s ownership is more complex. According to

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  • Never been Healthia: COVID-19 spurs a new breed of patient

    Is the notion of the typical Australian stacking on the ‘isobars’ and indulging in a few too many ‘lockdown lagers’ during their in-house detention just another case of fake news? In reality, says Healthia (ASX: HLA) CEO Wesley Coote, incarcerated citizens were more likely to be exercising more often and assiduously holding to their appointments

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  • The New Criterion: can these fallen soufflés rise twice?

    The ASX is replete with hugely successful companies that not long ago were small caps, such as Afterpay and Fortescue Metals. Sadly, there’s also the reverse: ‘famous name’ blue chips that have fallen out of favour and have been unable to participate in the virile market recovery. Takeover raiders have sniffed the blood in the

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  • The pandemic boom sectors that slipped under the radar

    Think of a coronavirus boom industry and ecommerce or takeaway food delivery come to mind. Few would nominate the noble accounting profession, which is busy and only about to get busier as the expected delayed economic mayhem unfolds. “I don’t think there’s a more defensive exposure on the ASX,” declares Brett Kelly, founder and CEO

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  • The New Criterion: local investors can now enjoy mining’s royal(ty) treatment

    There’s a ‘something for nothing’ element with mining royalties: the holder takes none or little of the risk in extracting the commodity while enjoying a virtually assured income stream. Investors can sit back, relax and be treated like – well – royalty. As an investment class, royalties have been poorly understood by Australian investors. But

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  • The New Criterion: sizing up the latest seafood IPO

    If an upcoming IPO has its way, dinner party guests will need to contend with oyster aficionados raving on about creaminess and mouth feel along with the wine swillers, olive oil purists and crema-obsessed coffee snobs. By making a splash into the underappreciated Sydney rock oyster pond, East 33 (E33) wants to be seen not

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  • The New Criterion: the ASX stocks protecting organisations from the online hackers and hucksters

    Afraid of being hacked or cyber-compromised in some other way? If you want to be very afraid, take a look at the online sites that track the daily flows of global cyber attacks in real time (similar to a real-time map of global airline routes in the good old days when planes actually flew). For

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  • There’s vroom to move for ASX automotive stocks as motorists – and bikers – hit the road again

    The sprawling ASX-listed automotive sector is one to watch this AGM season as holidaymakers avail of newly-restored freedoms and gear up for a good ol’ fashioned road trip. Of course, with the freedom of travelling offshore confined to Tasmania and the vaunted Kiwi bubble, householders have no option than discovering the joys of their own

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  • The New Criterion: looking elsewhere for golden value

    The gaze of ASX gold watchers has averted from the exploration minnows to the top end of town, after the stunning ‘merger of equals’ of Northern Star Resources and Saracen Minerals that will create the world’s sixth biggest gold miner by market capitalisation. We say ‘stunning’ because no-one really expected it, although in glorious hindsight

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  • The New Criterion: searching for value in the ASX-listed ‘buy now, pay later’ sector

    Amid the US-led tech sell off the ASX-listed buy now pay later (BNPL) sector has had a decent touch-up, with valuations as much as 40 per cent down on their recent peak levels. Is it enough to quell what many investment experts view as a clear case of irrational exuberance? The near-term price graphs tell

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  • Listed debt trusts: something for nothing?

    ASX listed debt trusts are trading at material discounts to the value of their underlying assets, which presents potential opportunities for investors to derive enhanced yields on these income-focused investments. Having sprung up like mushrooms after a thunderstorm over the past five years, these so-called credit-focused listed investment trusts (LITs) vehicles offer investors a liquid

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  • A new world beckons for the listed medical cannabis stocks, but liberalisation is not what it seems

    Having been subject to a harsh reality check over the last year or so, the ASX listed cannabis sector is applauding the local medicine regulator’s endorsement of the weed as an effective therapy that should be more freely available to the ailing masses. But the path to the pharmacy is likely to be harder than

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  • The New Criterion: the decline of junk mail weighs on the listed printers

    In a victory for the ‘no junk mail’ eco warriors and a blow for an army of 14,000 letterbox walkers, grocer Coles last week ceded to the digital age and stopped producing physical sales catalogues for seven million Australian households. Whether other mass-market retailers follow suit is of keen interest to IVE Group (IGL) and Ovato (OVT), the foremost

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  • The New Criterion: the overlooked small cap champions defying the coronavirus gloom

    The New Criterion: the overlooked small cap champions defying the coronavirus gloom. As the now-concluded earnings reporting season shows, the pandemic has created a distinct market of winners and losers – interspersed with a few plodders just getting by. The trouble with the obvious Covid-19 beneficiaries such as ecommerce stocks is that they’re trading on

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  • The New Criterion: No dead certainties in the listed funeral parlour game

    One neat investment theory of the pandemic era is that the deathcare industry provides the perfect hedge against the human cost of the pestilence and the ensuing economic chaos. But as with having blind faith in gold as a safe harbour, the notion of funeral parlours as a defensive certainty should be dead buried and

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  • COVID-19 and cyber security concerns spur the data centre sector

    Flush with newly-raised cash, the listed data centre (DC) operators are on an expansionary push as the pandemic elevates corporate and government requirements for more data storage and better connectivity. Investor interest has long centred on sector big daddy NextDC (NXT), which is trading near record high levels despite (or because of) a monster $672

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  • The best and worst of times loom for the listed debt collectors

    With apologies to Charles Dickens, it’s the best of times or the worst of times for the receivables management industry – known in less polite circles as debt collectors. Broadly speaking the sector’s fortunes are inversely correlated to the economy, so swelling unemployment and consumer and business stresses imply rosy fortunes. But too much misery

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  • Latest IPO taps wholesale appetite for plant-based proteins

    The latest company to brave the sparse list of new ASX listings can’t be accused of being off-trend when it comes to tapping the dietary habits of younger inner-urban consumers that are more about quinoa and chia and less about KFC. In the throes of a $6 million raising, Forbidden Foods (FFF) claims to have

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  • The ASX biotechs surfing the COVID-19 story

    Normally investors shun speculative plays in times of market uncertainties, but that’s not been the case with ASX-listed life sciences stocks across the drug, diagnostics and device sectors. Naturally, the biotechs drawing a connection with fighting or detecting the virus – spurious or otherwise – have seen their valuations soar. Not that investor interest is

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  • Boom or bust: retailing’s two-speed economy

    Shoppers engaging in retail therapy despite the spectre of even more serious job losses and mounting evidence the virus is far from vanquished. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, retail sales rose 2.4 per cent for the month of June, to $29.7 billion. This was an 8 per cent rise on the previous June

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  • Hydrogen: an expensive bomb or a multibillion dollar opportunity?

    Australia’s chief scientist Alan Finkel describes hydrogen as “Australia’s next multibillion dollar export opportunity’’ – and judging from two recent equity raisings investors are willing to back the future of the earth’s most abundant element as a clean energy source. Creating clean-burning energy from water and oxygen sounds like fairyland stuff that would put a

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  • The New Criterion: the IPOs forging ahead in the coronavirus era

    The coronavirus has pulled the plug on many proposed initial public offers (IPOs), with the Australian Securities Exchange’s ‘upcoming listings’ feed looking decidedly barren. But some promoters are quietly forging ahead, in the sectors that have been largely impervious to – or have benefit from – the COVID-19 mayhem. We’re talking about resources (especially gold),

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  • The New Criterion: the niche stocks flying the flag for Australian manufacturing

    Our trade tensions with China have fuelled the coronavirus-spurred debate about our reliance on offshore supply chains for goods both to and from our shores. Apart from the reluctance of the Chinese to take our barley – and thank goodness they’re not snubbing our iron ore – the other topic of post virus introspection is

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  • Healthia primed for post-COVID acquisition growth with keys to ‘war chest’

    Having emerged from the coronavirus pandemic in good shape, Healthia (ASX: HLA) is poised to deploy its $27 million ‘war chest’ for further acquisitions in the fragmented podiatry and physiotherapy sectors. In May the company settled the $5 million purchase of The Foot and Ankle Clinic, which consists of 12 clinics in Melbourne and regional

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  • The New Criterion: short term pain, long term gain for the battery metals market

    This week’s unfounded rumours of a Tesla takeover of listed battery group Novonix aside, the market for the so-called battery metals of graphite, lithium and cobalt needs a decent jump start. “Everyone’s in the toilet at the moment,” says industry veteran Mark Thompson, the CEO of graphite hopeful Talga Resources (TLG).  Take lithium, which has

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  • The New Criterion: more fun in the sandpit for childcare operators as the kids – and the old subsidies – return

    Everyone loves the notion of something for nothing – especially if the government is footing the bill – but for the childcare operators the hastily implemented “free” system during the virus crisis has fallen well short of a socialist paradise. Put another way, the emergency measure may have assisted some parents but was less than

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  • The New Criterion: flexible space operators grapple with co working in the social distancing era

    In the new era of germ awareness, co-working spaces have transformed from a booming sector to a public health hazard.  Exalted as a creative collaborative zone in the industry’s millennial friendly jargon, the humble tea room is now maligned as a potential virus super spreader. The lockdown conditions have not augured well for the office

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  • The New Criterion: are the banks perfume or poison to investors?

    Bank shares might have staged an impressive recovery from oversold levels – but don’t confuse that with any semblance of investor agreement on where the sector is headed. For every optimistic pronouncement about the worst being over as the nation returns to work – and indeed play – there’s a bearish investor proclaiming the true

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  • The New Criterion: the gambling stocks to punt on post the coronavirus crunch

    The age-old notion of Australians betting on anything that crawls has been supported by the behaviour of sports punters during the virus lockdown that has stymied most professional sporting events. Undeterred by the lack of football, tennis and cricket, gamblers have discovered the joy of offshore table tennis tournaments and obscure European second tier soccer

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  • The New Criterion: no more grubby business as environmental hygiene becomes the new normal

    One of the Great Unanswered Questions of the coronavirus pandemic is whether improved personal hygiene will become the entrenched norm, or whether mum’s advice about proper hand washing will be discarded like last night’s fetid dish water. The issue is even more topical given millions of workers will be trickling back to their offices, where

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  • The New Criterion: are the listed travel agents a turnaround investment or a flight of fantasy?

    Make no mistake: the sun has set on the golden era of travel, with both leisure and business passengers likely to avoid the airline lounges and cruise ship terminals for months to come. In hindsight, the sector’s woes were brewing even before the Wuhan pestilence was heard of, with the British-based packaged holiday veteran Thomas

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  • The New Criterion: rural stocks that won’t go to water

    Water is the staff of life – and no more so for ASX listed stocks that depend on water rights to grow their crops or else trade them for gain without tilling a single sod. What side should investors be on in the great water debate: the suppliers or the users? As with every aspect

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  • The New Criterion: bargains for the brave in the mining services sector

    The miners have been robust throughout the crisis and the ‘handmaidens’ to the sector should be as well – in theory at least So far at least, the leading resources stocks have been a shining headlamp of hope down the dark and deep pit of the COVID-19 crisis.  The crucial iron ore sector has barely

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  • The New Criterion: is it really time for yellowcake’s day in the sun?

    As followers of yellowcake would know, there have been plenty of proclamations about an imminent recovery post Fukushima, but they have all turned out to be false dawns. With buyers and sellers trilling from the same song book, is this time different? Attending a global nuclear energy powwow in Adelaide late last year, Boss Resources

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  • The New Criterion: will the listed sanitiser stocks clean up – or clean out – investors?

    Who said capitalism was dead in the new world order of prolific government handouts? The profit motive is at least alive and kicking in the sexed-up sanitiser sector, as both new and established participants grab on to what’s hopefully a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. For consumers, it’s a case of “you can’t be serious” as they scour

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  • Organic growth: the next generation of stocks tapping the “wellness” boom

    Usually referred to in the same breath as health, “wellness” is an amorphous term but that hasn’t stopped investors from flocking to listed exposures to trendy sectors such as organics, artificial meat, probiotics, vitamins and health supplements. Strictly speaking, wellness is not a defined ASX sector and often overlaps the agricultural, biotech, nutrition and health

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  • The New Criterion: stocks that benefit from the enforced working from home boom

    Having been a euphemism for skiving off or perhaps minding sick kids, ‘working from home’ (WFH) has become not just accepted but a compulsory requirement – or imposition – for white collar workers. Our tip is that, post COVID-19, divorce lawyers will emerge as the premier growth sector as working spouses see far too much

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