The Secret Broker: There is a flickering light at the end of the tunnel
The Secret Broker
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After 35 years of stockbroking for some of the biggest houses and investors in Australia and the UK, the Secret Broker is regaling Stockhead readers with his colourful war stories — from the trading floor to the dealer’s desk.
As the powers that be start to relax some of our recent COVID-19 restrictions, you get the feeling that when it’s finally all over, we are all going to come out of the traps faster than a rabbit starved greyhound.
This will be a good thing for Australia’s hotel and hospitality operators, as they have been the hardest hit with a $35bn no-overseas-traveller-allowed black hole, which will not reappear until our borders are opened up and unrestricted flying is once again allowed.
Every year about 1.4 million Australians travel overseas and now, as Australian families have rediscovered being families, the hope is that travelling in the car for day trips and short overnight stays will become the new norm.
Just make sure the kids have their headphones and plenty of data.
In 1900, The Michelin (driving) Guide was launched by the French tyre manufacturer to encourage the then 3,000 or so registered cars to travel around France and wear down the rubber on their wheels.
It wasn’t until 1936 that they then added their 3-Hat restaurant rating guide and this explains why their corporate mascot, Bibendum, is so fat, having been forced to travel around France, feasting on Foie gras starters, goose drowned in butter sauce and a wheel of brie, every day for a year.
The hospitality wish over here is that all those 1.4 million Australians previously seeking overseas adventure will be able to discover the same type of experiences locally.
And as 900,000 of them fly economy, the other 500,000 will get out their posh SUVs and take Australia’s own Michelin inspired SMH Good Food Guide for a drive around the country.
Then, when the overseas tourists are finally allowed back into Australia, their demand will be even more pent up.
The previous headlines of bushfires will all be forgotten as at the forefront will be how safe Australia was during COVID-19, with so few related deaths and a world-class health system that did not collapse.
The clean air, clean beaches and our love of home grown foreign inspired produce, washed down with our own makes of Australian wine, and a dollar hovering around the 62 to 64 mark, will make us a premium place to visit.
Airbnb have admitted to making an early mistake and returning monies paid by previously booked in travellers, whereas Booking.com and Expedia just gave a credit note.
In doing what Airbnb did, it managed to completely annihilate its base of hosts, some of whom owned over 25 properties and relied on the company’s service to generate a profit.
Airbnb has promised to come out with a better model, having just raised $US1bn ($1.6bn) in funding after its planned IPO was pulled.
So if you want to balance your portfolio with a bit of property, now may be the time to start thinking about picking up a bank forced sale, with an eye to preparing it firstly for the domestic tourist (an easy couple of hours drive, with hatted restaurants nearby) and then for the overseas market (outstanding natural beauty and unique experiences).
I just pray that my physical tyre-wearing-down research will result in a fatter wallet, rather than just a fatter Bibendum style waistline. Though either way it will be fun and definitely selfie overseas tourist free.
The Secret Broker can be found on Twitter here @SecretBrokerAU or on email at email@example.com.
Feel free to contact him with your best stock tips and ideas.
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