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1. More migrants…

The share of the Australian-born population aged 15+ in employment is lower than the peak prior to the GFC. In part this reflects the aging of our population weighing on labour force participation. Interestingly migrants’ employment-to-population ratio in aggregate has risen significantly over time, and since pre-COVID.

Source: ABS, Macrobond, Antipodean Macro (February 2024)

2. All calm on the 2024 front…

If it feels a little calmer than usual, that may be because the VIX has been below 15 for 61 trading sessions in a row. This hasn’t happened for over 5 years.

Source: The Daily Shot (February 2024)

3. The cost of credit…

US government annualised debt servicing costs are over $700 billion due to increased interest rates and debt levels. In 2021 they were around $350 billion.

According to the US Mortgage Bankers Association, mortgage delinquencies increased across all product types for the 2nd consecutive quarter, and the pace of new loans entering delinquency has picked up.

Roughly $276 billion of corporate bonds (Investment Grade + High Yield) need to be refinanced in Q2 2024. HY must refinance from an average coupon of 5.8% to 9%. IG must refinance from an average coupon of 3.77% to 5.75% – the highest since Q3 2007, according to Evans.

Source: Apollo (February 2024)

Source: Mortgage Bankers Association (February 2024)

Source: Bloomberg and Saxo Bank (February 2024)


This article is prepared by Firetrail Investments Pty Limited (‘Firetrail’) (ABN 98 622 377 913, AFSL 516821) as the investment manager of the Firetrail Australian High Conviction Fund (ARSN 624 136 045), the Firetrail Absolute Return Fund (ARSN 624 135 879), the Firetrail Australian Small Companies Fund (ARSN 638 792 113) and the Firetrail S3 Global Opportunities Fund (ARSN 653 717 625) (‘the Funds’). Pinnacle Fund Services Limited ('PFSL') (ABN 29 082 494 362, AFSL 238371) is the product issuer of the Fund. PFSL is not licensed to provide financial product advice. PFSL is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Pinnacle Investment Management Group Limited (‘Pinnacle’) (ABN 22 100 325 184). The Product Disclosure Statement (‘PDS’) and Target Market Determination (‘TMD’) of the relevant Fund are available via the links below. Any potential investor should consider the PDS and TMD before deciding whether to acquire, or continue to hold units in, the Fund.

Links to the Product Disclosure Statement: WHT3810AU, WHT5134AU, WHT3093AU, WHT7794AU

Links to the Target Market Determination: WHT3810AU, WHT5134AU, WHT3093AU, WHT7794AU

For historic TMD’s please contact Pinnacle client service Phone 1300 010 311 or Email

This communication is for general information only. It is not intended as a securities recommendation or statement of opinion intended to influence a person or persons in making a decision in relation to investment. It has been prepared without taking account of any person’s objectives, financial situation or needs. Any persons relying on this information should obtain professional advice before doing so. Past performance is for illustrative purposes only and is not indicative of future performance.

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