Principles of Investment

This six-part series of webinars is designed for people with little or no previous experience of investing who now find themselves charged with the responsibility of overseeing an investment program at a charitable trust or fund. 

The webinar material covers the basic investment principles everyone needs to understand in order to make a meaningful contribution on an investment committee. Each webinar is accompanied by downloadable presentations that you can make notes on during the webinar and keep for future reference. The presentations include a list of useful resources and further reading.


  • Establishing an Investment Capability: This webinar provides an overview of the skills required for a successful investment program. The decision whether to out-source, and to whom, is discussed as well as important governance principles for investment committees.

  • Setting Investment Policy: This webinar examines setting investment policy, which is the most important task of any investment committee. The session explains how to establish objectives, risk tolerance, and strategic asset allocation.

  • Equity Investments: This webinar explains the role equities (shares) play in an investment portfolio. Various managed fund options are discussed as well as the relative benefits of international and domestic equity markets. The session concludes with a summary of the economic and financial market conditions which are favourable and unfavourable for equities.

* Please note, if you are unsure of your membership status with Philanthropy Australia, please call (03) 9665 9100 for confirmation. All tickets will be verified.


  • Debt Investments: This webinar explains the different types of debt investments - fixed interest bonds, hybrids, and floating rate notes - and the role they play in an investment portfolio, as well as ways to manage risk.

  • Property and Alternate Investments: This webinar explains the general characteristics of property investments and also touches on alternative asset classes such as infrastructure and private equity. The webinar concludes with a discussion of “social impact investing”.

  • Performance Measurement: ​This webinar explains why accurate performance measurement is important and points out some of the common flaws and misunderstandings in the way investment performance is calculated and interpreted. 

* Please note, if you are unsure of your membership status with Philanthropy Australia, please call (03) 9665 9100 for confirmation. All tickets will be verified.

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Peter Wetherall

Peter Wetherall

Investment Executive, Helen Macpherson Smith Trust

Peter Wetherall has been working in investment markets as a stockbroker and portfolio manager since 1980. He is currently the Investment Executive at Helen Macpherson Smith Trust and a director of the listed investment company, Australian United Investment Company, and of the not-for-profit Royal District Nursing Service. He also sits on investment committees at the Geelong Grammar Foundation and the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons.

Vision is for a more giving Australia…

Sarah Davies (CEO) launched Philanthropy Australia's Strategic Plan 2017 - 2020 at our 2016 Conference.