Look UP to See the Next Downturn

  • The Aussie Open — a cracking day out!
  • A unique indicator…flashing orange
  • Plus, what New York, Jeddah and Melbourne have in common…

How was the tennis?

My mother asked me that after she dropped my daughter off on Saturday night. No kid for the Australian Open, thanks!  

I’ve gone most years for a long time now. It’s much more fun these days — probably because there’s so much more to do that has little to do with tennis.

We spent some time in the bar. We ate some yum souvlakis in the sun and listened to a great little singer. We braved the queue for the Garnier tent.

That was strangely hilarious. Grown women were taking great pleasure going down a yellow slide before immersing themselves in a pool of plastic balls. There was even a giant seesaw.

Oh, and a complimentary gift bag or a few other things.  

I fluffed it. I took the complimentary headband instead. Isabel wanted two free bags. Women!

We stopped by the massive music stage on the way out. There were empty beer cups everywhere and people dancing away.

I recognised the singer; he did a gig at the horse racing a few months ago too.

Todd Woodbridge says the tennis complex that hosts the Open is now three kilometres long from end to end.

But it was something I saw on the way in that gave me pause…

There’s another extension they’re adding on that’s due at the end of 2019. I saw it on a poster.

Here’s why I bring it up. It’s a bit of a round trip…

Australian regulations require that anyone who gives financial advice maintains their skills and knowledge.

That includes a lot of required reading and completing small exams based on the material.


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Normally, the information is a bit on the dull side.

But my eyes perked up last week when something called the Skyscraper Index came up.

This is something you should know…

The time cycle behind the Burj Khalifa

 ‘The Barclays Skyscraper Index,’ says my material, ‘refers to a theory that building booms, in particular the construction of the tallest buildings in the world, coincide with the peak of the economic cycle and, therefore, presage economic crisis/declines.’

There are many examples throughout history that back this up. The most compelling one is the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.

It’s the tallest building in the world — and opened in 2009.

(I went up the thing a few years ago. Yep, it’s high, but the view is pretty boring during the day — mostly desert. New York at night, at the top of the Empire State Building, is way cooler.)

Now here’s the general rundown behind this theory…

It’s only in ‘good times’ that a developer can raise the huge sums needed to finance these massive projects. They take a long time to get designed, approved and built.

By the time they’re ready to open, they often do so empty or at least partly so. That’s because, by the time it’s all happened, the economy has long since expanded and just can’t keep going…

Point being: Keep an eye out for very tall buildings — and when they’re due to open.

Oh, and what’s this?

The Wall Street Journal reported last week on a man called Gary Barnett.

He happens to be the developer behind the tallest residential building in the world….

Put 2020 down in your diary

It’s called Central Park Tower and Señor Barnett is building it in New York right now.

Here’s what it will look like once it’s done…

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Fancy an apartment? There are 179 to choose from. 18 of these are priced above US$60 million.

I do not envy this man right now. His company has a US$900 million construction loan with one of the big US banks.

He needs to sell US$500 million in apartments by December 2020 and pay down a third of his loan — or face increased loan repayments.

Home sales are down in Manhattan quite strongly…

Already Barnett’s company is throwing in incentives, such as covering common charges for three to five years.

Regardless, that’s his problem. All we care about is when this thing is due to open.

That’s 2020.

So put that one down in your diary.

It’s not alone, either.

Over in Saudi Arabia, they’re building something called the Jeddah Tower.

This is going to knock the Burj Khalifa in Dubai off its perch as the tallest tower in the world.

And when is this one due to open?

2020 as well!

That brings me back to my trip to the tennis. Part of the extension for the tennis complex is due to be finished by late 2019.

There are lot of other towers and projects due to finish around this time in Australia too — or a littler later, in 2020.

Australia 108, a residential tower in Melbourne, will be the tallest building in the city when it’s completed next year.

I’ve said it before: Be bullish in 2019, and more cautious about 2020.


Callum Newman Signature

Callum Newman,
Editor, Profit Watch

PS: US stocks finished strongly last week. The China-US trade war tension appears to be easing. Go here to read my latest report to see my favourite US play right now.

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