By David Prattent

What’s the fuss about?

MarketWatch has returned from his sabbatical slightly older, definitely greyer and much, much heavier. Happily though, he has discovered even more good reds across WA and South Australia. But more of that in late months.

What has pre-occupied his mind over the past twelve months is what on earth is going on? Venezuela, China, Iran, Syria, North Korea, Brexit, the US, Japan and South Korea, the banking Royal Commission, and, to cap it all, the Dockers are not performing. What do we make of it? Should we worry?

We could talk for hours about this stuff but there is little if nothing you and I can do about it. Don’t ignore, but don’t have sleepless nights either. Remember, the brutal truth is that you have no control over many of the things that happen in life.

That doesn’t mean, though, that you stop thinking about how to position yourself to guard yourself as much as you can.

My thoughts go to the Royal Commission on banking which comprehensively trashed the reputation of household names like AMP, the big four banks and several financial planning companies. It feels like the system is riddled with dishonesty, so how do we protect our money if you can’t rely on this lot.

(A word here, MarketWatch is not a financial planner, banker, or used car salesman and no association with anything to do with the financial industry. But that doesn’t mean he can’t read. I mean, how you understand the good wines if you can’t read the labels?)

Yes, the industry has had a shock. Banking and financial planning are in the doghouse. Or are they? Don’t forget there are plenty of good, independent financial planners out there who will provide good advice and direction. Like it or not, your money is still as safe as it can be with the banks. If the big four go under, you won’t need to worry about money anyway; nobody else will have any either. But that has always been the case.

Property will eventually recover although we may not see the kind of year on year growth of past years. So don’t ditch the investment property in despair, do your research. Shares are booming but that might correct itself but that is the way of stock markets. If you want to make serious money in the stock market, don’t play at it, take it seriously, there is still value to be had.

Yes, the Australian economy is slowing apart from mining. Yes, the world economy is slowing partly as a result of a range of trade disputes and other events. Possibly there will be more impacts on us, possibly the consumer will spend even less than they are now. Possibly a volcanic eruption will blot out the sun.

Everything and anything is possible. We have limited tools at our disposal and the credibility of some of them has been questioned. That didn’t make the entire tool kit bad, just bits of it. Stay focused on what you can achieve. The rest of it is, unfortunately, in the hand of others.

So welcome back, that’s the general thoughts. In the future we will do more specific stuff. And, oh yes, a parting shot. With an eye on summer, MarketWatch has tried a few local rosé wines with his brother-in-law, a foodie on holiday from the UK. He felt the following were far better than the French stuff; Vinaceous Salome 2016, Upper Reach Rosé and the Sandalford Rosé. Our apologies to those craftsmen and women whose wines we didn’t get to.

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