10 Defining Themes For The Future Of Wealth Management
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    HOUSE MEDIAN ASKING PRICES AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $1,599,192 (-0.51%)       Melbourne $986,501 (-0.24%)       Brisbane $938,846 (+0.04%)       Adelaide $864,470 (+0.79%)       Perth $822,991 (-0.13%)       Hobart $755,620 (-0.26%)       Darwin $665,693 (-0.13%)       Canberra $994,740 (+0.67%)       National $1,027,820 (-0.13%)                UNIT MEDIAN ASKING PRICES AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $746,448 (+0.19%)       Melbourne $495,247 (+0.53%)       Brisbane $534,081 (+1.16%)       Adelaide $409,697 (-2.19%)       Perth $437,258 (+0.97%)       Hobart $531,961 (+0.68%)       Darwin $367,399 (0%)       Canberra $499,766 (0%)       National $525,746 (+0.31%)                HOUSES FOR SALE AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 10,586 (+169)       Melbourne 15,093 (+456)       Brisbane 7,795 (+246)       Adelaide 2,488 (+77)       Perth 6,274 (+65)       Hobart 1,315 (+13)       Darwin 255 (+4)       Canberra 1,037 (+17)       National 44,843 (+1,047)                UNITS FOR SALE AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 8,675 (+47)       Melbourne 7,961 (+171)       Brisbane 1,636 (+24)       Adelaide 462 (+20)       Perth 1,749 (+2)       Hobart 206 (+4)       Darwin 384 (+2)       Canberra 914 (+19)       National 21,987 (+289)                HOUSE MEDIAN ASKING RENTS AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $770 (-$10)       Melbourne $590 (-$5)       Brisbane $620 ($0)       Adelaide $595 (-$5)       Perth $650 ($0)       Hobart $550 ($0)       Darwin $700 ($0)       Canberra $700 ($0)       National $654 (-$3)                UNIT MEDIAN ASKING RENTS AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $730 (+$10)       Melbourne $580 ($0)       Brisbane $620 ($0)       Adelaide $470 ($0)       Perth $600 ($0)       Hobart $460 (-$10)       Darwin $550 ($0)       Canberra $560 (-$5)       National $583 (+$1)                HOUSES FOR RENT AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 5,253 (-65)       Melbourne 5,429 (+1)       Brisbane 3,933 (-4)       Adelaide 1,178 (+17)       Perth 1,685 ($0)       Hobart 393 (+25)       Darwin 144 (+6)       Canberra 575 (-22)       National 18,590 (-42)                UNITS FOR RENT AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 6,894 (-176)       Melbourne 4,572 (-79)       Brisbane 1,991 (+1)       Adelaide 377 (+6)       Perth 590 (+3)       Hobart 152 (+6)       Darwin 266 (+10)       Canberra 525 (+8)       National 15,367 (-221)                HOUSE ANNUAL GROSS YIELDS AND TREND         Sydney 2.50% (↓)       Melbourne 3.11% (↓)       Brisbane 3.43% (↓)       Adelaide 3.58% (↓)     Perth 4.11% (↑)      Hobart 3.78% (↑)      Darwin 5.47% (↑)        Canberra 3.66% (↓)       National 3.31% (↓)            UNIT ANNUAL GROSS YIELDS AND TREND       Sydney 5.09% (↑)        Melbourne 6.09% (↓)       Brisbane 6.04% (↓)     Adelaide 5.97% (↑)        Perth 7.14% (↓)       Hobart 4.50% (↓)       Darwin 7.78% (↓)       Canberra 5.83% (↓)       National 5.76% (↓)            HOUSE RENTAL VACANCY RATES AND TREND       Sydney 0.7% (↑)      Melbourne 0.8% (↑)      Brisbane 0.4% (↑)      Adelaide 0.4% (↑)      Perth 1.2% (↑)      Hobart 0.6% (↑)      Darwin 1.1% (↑)      Canberra 0.7% (↑)      National 0.7% (↑)             UNIT RENTAL VACANCY RATES AND TREND       Sydney 0.9% (↑)      Melbourne 1.4% (↑)      Brisbane 0.7% (↑)      Adelaide 0.3% (↑)      Perth 0.4% (↑)      Hobart 1.5% (↑)      Darwin 0.8% (↑)      Canberra 1.3% (↑)        National 0.9% (↓)            AVERAGE DAYS TO SELL HOUSES AND TREND         Sydney 28.7 (↓)       Melbourne 30.7 (↓)       Brisbane 31.0 (↓)       Adelaide 25.4 (↓)       Perth 34.0 (↓)       Hobart 34.8 (↓)       Darwin 35.1 (↓)       Canberra 28.5 (↓)       National 31.0 (↓)            AVERAGE DAYS TO SELL UNITS AND TREND         Sydney 25.8 (↓)       Melbourne 30.2 (↓)       Brisbane 27.6 (↓)       Adelaide 21.8 (↓)       Perth 37.8 (↓)       Hobart 25.2 (↓)       Darwin 24.8 (↓)       Canberra 41.1 (↓)       National 29.3 (↓)           
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10 Defining Themes For The Future Of Wealth Management

A list of new commandments for money management.

By Mary Callahan Erdoes, CEO, J.P. Morgan Asset and Wealth Management
Tue, May 18, 2021 11:19amGrey Clock 4 min

J. Pierpont Morgan would be proud that many of the historical tenets of the asset- and wealth-management industry still form the bedrock of how money is managed in modern times. The fund’s 150-year track record is a testament to our industry’s founding principle: While the world may change, clients’ desire for investment expertise and personalised service won’t.

With that in mind, here are 10 key themes that we look forward to helping our clients navigate in the future.

1) Price. Ever since I entered the asset-management industry, sceptics have warned that fee pressure will destroy profitability and detract top talent from the profession. Fees in every industry compress at some point. Successful firms of the future will thrive by either providing commodity-like products at scale for near-zero cost, or delivering hard-to-access insights and exposures that command a premium. Our industry must strive for continuous improvement on both ends of the spectrum.

2) Scale is a matter of survival. With compressed pricing, heavy regulatory controls, and immense spend on data, analytics, and risk-management tools, firms need a relentless focus on operational efficiency, a rigorous control framework, and a disciplined prioritization process around investments for the future. In this context, scale is key. Mergers and acquisitions and outsourcing of sub-scale and noncore capabilities to service providers will enable smaller firms to refocus their efforts back into their most important asset: talent.

3) Actively advising clients. If we learned anything from the Covid-19 crisis, it is the need for sound advice in volatile times. During that time, thousands of actively managed funds outperformed their passive alternatives across asset classes and portfolios. While markets may be efficient, manager selection is key and clients need guidance. The average industry return of a balanced portfolio over the past two decades was 6.4% annually, while the actual experience of the average retail investor was only 2.9%, a stark reminder of how critical hands-on advice is.

4) Impact and purpose. Portfolio managers and research analysts have become essential for investors seeking to make an impact in the world through their assets. Over 80% of surveyed CIOs expressed intent to invest in environmentally and socially conscious companies. Analyzing CEOs and their management teams is no longer just about inquiring about their financial and operational expertise and vision, but also about the impact they make on their communities and the planet. Rising demand for companies that drive positive change will create a virtuous cycle of asset allocation for good.

5) Personalization. Today’s investors want to be intentional, not passive, in investing. They care about taxes and want to overweight companies that can make a difference. They want to avoid whole sectors, or actively own and vote on a company’s strategic plans. Giving clients the freedom to pursue their very specific objectives in a highly customized manner will continue to drive innovation in our industry.

6) Stable and predictable incomes. Millions of investors around the world have come to rely on their investment portfolios as a stable source of income. With individuals enjoying longer life spans and more active lifestyles, especially during retirement years, asset managers need to adapt their strategies to provide for a stable and predictable flow of income every month. Along the same lines, saving needs to start at a young age. Today, less than 40% of Americans have enough savings to pay for an unexpected $1,000 expense in cash. It is our collective responsibility to educate and advise on what is required to cover all of life’s events and milestones.

7) Understanding China. The pandemic has highlighted the interconnectivity of the world and how important China is to supply chains and new innovations. Against this backdrop, it is irresponsible to be a fiduciary of client capital and not have a deep understanding of places like China. It is hard to imagine having a true grasp of competitive global forces without on-the-ground insights of the economies, cultures, and politics of re-emerging global marketplaces. After 100 years of being on the ground in China, J.P. Morgan is poised to become the first foreign asset manager to acquire full ownership of a Chinese fund manager, pending regulatory approval. That kind of commitment will contribute massively to our global research network.

8) Technology drives everything. To adapt to the velocity of progress and change, technology is providing our industry access, speed, and agility like never before. With more technologists than Google and Facebook combined, J.P. Morgan invests over $12 billion annually in technology to help empower our clients and employees to work faster and more seamlessly in ever-changing markets. We need to be forward thinking and have the ability to be a disruptor. Agile, collaborative partnerships between technologists and their businesses will drive innovation and speed to market at an exponential pace.

9) Access. With a global footprint and a full suite of investment vehicles, asset managers must continue to focus on enabling first-time investors to invest in previously inaccessible areas. We are finding ways to provide more opportunities, more choice, and more power to people. Investments once only available to the largest investors in the world are now being accessed by the everyday investor. Democratization of markets should create better outcomes for investors of all sizes.

10) A new flexibility. Our industry adapted quite seamlessly to a previously unimaginable work-from-home scenario. As such, increased flexibility will broaden talent pools and should promote greater diversity. While never losing the apprenticeship nature of our business, we should continue to find new ways of working with one another to generate even greater success.

In coming years, the industry’s winners will remain obsessed about their fiduciary responsibilities. As stewards of capital, the ability to leverage technology and scale to deliver the same extraordinary experience for every investor, with $100 or $100 million, is now within reach.

Reprinted by permission of Barron’s. Copyright 2021 Dow Jones & Company. Inc. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Original date of publication: May 14, 2021.



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Why Prices of the World’s Most Expensive Handbags Keep Rising

Designers are charging more for their most recognisable bags to maintain the appearance of exclusivity as the industry balloons

By CAROL RYAN
Tue, Mar 5, 2024 3 min

The price of a basic Hermès Birkin handbag has jumped $1,000. This first-world problem for fashionistas is a sign that luxury brands are playing harder to get with their most sought-after products.

Hermès recently raised the cost of a basic Birkin 25-centimeter handbag in its U.S. stores by 10% to $11,400 before sales tax, according to data from luxury handbag forum PurseBop. Rarer Birkins made with exotic skins such as crocodile have jumped more than 20%. The Paris brand says it only increases prices to offset higher manufacturing costs, but this year’s increase is its largest in at least a decade.

The brand may feel under pressure to defend its reputation as the maker of the world’s most expensive handbags. The “Birkin premium”—the price difference between the Hermès bag and its closest competitor , the Chanel Classic Flap in medium—shrank from 70% in 2019 to 2% last year, according to PurseBop founder Monika Arora. Privately owned Chanel has jacked up the price of its most popular handbag by 75% since before the pandemic.

Eye-watering price increases on luxury brands’ benchmark products are a wider trend. Prada ’s Galleria bag will set shoppers back a cool $4,600—85% more than in 2019, according to the Wayback Machine internet archive. Christian Dior ’s Lady Dior bag and the Louis Vuitton Neverfull are both 45% more expensive, PurseBop data show.

With the U.S. consumer-price index up a fifth since 2019, luxury brands do need to offset higher wage and materials costs. But the inflation-beating increases are also a way to manage the challenge presented by their own success: how to maintain an aura of exclusivity at the same time as strong sales.

Luxury brands have grown enormously in recent years, helped by the Covid-19 lockdowns, when consumers had fewer outlets for spending. LVMH ’s fashion and leather goods division alone has almost doubled in size since 2019, with €42.2 billion in sales last year, equivalent to $45.8 billion at current exchange rates. Gucci, Chanel and Hermès all make more than $10 billion in sales a year. One way to avoid overexposure is to sell fewer items at much higher prices.

Many aspirational shoppers can no longer afford the handbags, but luxury brands can’t risk alienating them altogether. This may explain why labels such as Hermès and Prada have launched makeup lines and Gucci’s owner Kering is pushing deeper into eyewear. These cheaper categories can be a kind of consolation prize. They can also be sold in the tens of millions without saturating the market.

“Cosmetics are invisible—unless you catch someone applying lipstick and see the logo, you can’t tell the brand,” says Luca Solca, luxury analyst at Bernstein.

Most of the luxury industry’s growth in 2024 will come from price increases. Sales are expected to rise by 7% this year, according to Bernstein estimates, even as brands only sell 1% to 2% more stuff.

Limiting volume growth this way only works if a brand is so popular that shoppers won’t balk at climbing prices and defect to another label. Some companies may have pushed prices beyond what consumers think they are worth. Sales of Prada’s handbags rose a meagre 1% in its last quarter and the group’s cheaper sister label Miu Miu is growing faster.

Ramping up prices can invite unflattering comparisons. At more than $2,000, Burberry ’s small Lola bag is around 40% more expensive today than it was a few years ago. Luxury shoppers may decide that tried and tested styles such as Louis Vuitton’s Neverfull bag, which is now a little cheaper than the Burberry bag, are a better buy—especially as Louis Vuitton bags hold their value better in the resale market.

Aggressive price increases can also drive shoppers to secondhand websites. If a barely used Prada Galleria bag in excellent condition can be picked up for $1,500 on luxury resale website The Real Real, it is less appealing to pay three times that amount for the bag brand new.

The strategy won’t help everyone, but for the best luxury brands, stretching the price spectrum can keep the risks of growth in check.

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