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Everything posted by Ret45

  1. Hi Romans, are you still trading VIX. It seems to me that it is staring to look attractive again- any views?

  2. I've been holding my breath - did Wilcock survive the threat from the evil overlords or did he in fact just forget to take his meds for a couple of days and not realise the threat was actually an overdue reminder from the library to return the book of maklumat?
  3. Even so. Being so casual about anti-semetism is not cool. I hope other GEI members wll check out the stuff being posted here and let Bubb know that it's not ok.
  4. I looked at his website, avaresearch.com. It promotes the latest "educational" video from former ku klux clan leader David Duke, complete with pictures of Soros, Geithner etc with The star of David plastered on their foreheads. I don't think this sort of vile fascist crap is type of thing most GEI members want to see on GEI.
  5. Ret45

    Eurozone has "10 days at the most"

    That's the thing about very low interest rates during a period of global growth, everyone thinks they are on a winner. Greenspan was hailed as a genius for years for also pursuing the low interest rate, high growth policy. I would love to think that Germany would have the cojones to let the thing fall now. Dealing with the debt we have now by creating even more debt will just create a bigger problem in the future. But do politicians ever think beyond the next election? As banks start crashing like dominos, I think they will do what politicians have always done and only focus on the short term. When you strip it down it comes down to this~ can the PIIGS pay back their debt? The answer is, not based on current growth projections. So only two things can happen - printing or defaulting. Once you start printing there can be no going back until we have hyperinflation. Defaulting will result in the break up of the eurozone, and contagion will spread to the core. Which we will end up with is anybody's guess. Gold is great hedge against printing, not so sure how to hedge against the default scenario - dollars?
  6. Ret45

    Eurozone has "10 days at the most"

    GF and Bubb, you are both wrong. Ireland, Portugal and other PIIGS were running a budget surplus until 2008. The problem is the private sector in these countries got drunk on cheap credit and built up massive debt, which then threatened the financial stability of these countries and was nationalised by Governments. why was the credit so cheap? ah yes, we had to keep the ECB rate ultra low to assist a sluggish german economy post reunification. Never mind the fact that ireland's growth was hitting 10 per cent and desperately needed higher rates to rein in inflation. And where did all the credit come from? Germany and France of course, countries which are now facing a massive loss on their forays into the Irish and Spanish property bubbles and this in turn threatens the financial stability of the german and French banking system. Let's not pretend that the german/French domination f the ECB over the past 10 years has not had a big influence on everything that is unfolding in the eurozone.
  7. Ret45

    The Commute will keep them poor

    And the sheer smug arrogance of others is nauseatng! You seem to think that everyone who commutes does so by choice, and not because of economic necessity, family ties or just wanting their kids to grow up in a good neighbourhood or go to a good school. Perhaps you blame them for being stupid enough to have kids in the first place, given the high ecomomic cost of raising them (just think how much of their mortgage they could pay off if they didn't have to pay for food, clothes and school fees for those pesky brats!). Or perhaps you blame them for being so stupid that they have to take a salary paying job instead of being a whizz trader who can live off their investment income. How terrible it must be to live in a world where everyone is stupid but you! btw I bet the airmiles you rack up every year puts the carbon footprint of the 'average' American commuter in the shade.
  8. You may be wrong about Ireland. Property prices have fallen by more than 50%. Rents have stabilised and yields of 9% and more are now possible. Tax conditions for landlords are favourable - you can deduct 75% of the interest of an investmnt mortgage against your tax bill as well as a range of other deductions. The house price drop may have been overdone because of the lack of credit available. For example you can buy this apartment for about EUR 260,000. It's in the Dublin city centre docklands area and from the balcony shots you can see the European HQs of Google and Facebook and within a five minute stroll are the offices of Amazon, Ebay, Microsoft and Paypal. The Irish economy has been hit by the property bubble but the private sector is stronger than people think.
  9. didn't Pinetree's CEO just pay himself USD 34m! he gets 10 of all new growth in the company's capital - I think that means that if you buy shares in the company you pay a 10% tax to the CEO. A pity, beacuse it seems like a good company otherwise...
  10. Ret45


    Just been looking at Bloomberg - DOW down 180 pips, oil down 4 USD. Gold was fluctuating but now firmly up. I think this is a pattern we are going to see into the summer. load up on gold now!
  11. Ret45


    I agree. Your posts have great conviction. I hope your plays on oil work out great for you.
  12. Guilty!(except for the silver bit) but i hope the comments were taken in the 'friendly feral' spirit they were intended I still think you are wrong to believe that UK house prices can levitate above everything that's happening in the real economy. i don't follow the property market in the UK but I can tell you that if the average house costs more than 5 or 6 times the average industrial wage it is overpriced. And if a house costs more than 16 times the annual rental income it can generate then it is overpriced. Everything else is just noise.
  13. Do you think you could earn a living by trading, using your system. How much capital would you need to start with?
  14. Not so much a trading diary but more an attempt to evaluate financial & lifestyle options and hopefully make some good decisions for the future. In this first post I'll outline the background & context that will guide my investment decisions into the future. Investment goal: When I joined GEI in 2007 my goal was to be financially independent by end 2016 (hence Ret45 – “retire at age 45”!). The motivation behind this was to allow me to leave my current job in order to pursue another (non-incoming generating) career. But thanks to the recession and property crash in Ireland, if anything I have moved further away from this goal over the past four years. So I want to use this journal to help me get back on the road towards financial independence and as a first step to reduce my working hours to 2-3 days per week by end 2012. Another motivation is to prepare for the implications of the economic scenario set out below. Assets & income: Both my partner and I have fulltime jobs. We’ve seen a circa 20% fall in combined net salary income since 2008, mainly due to increases in taxes and income levies. Been buying gold via GM since 2008 and have some cash (EUR & USD). Have a number of illiquid assets including a mortgaged rental property in Ireland, shares in a German commercial property fund and a small private pension fund focussing on commodities and emerging markets. Will have a public sector pension. Debts: Have a mortgage on my home of about 3 X net annual salary, and mortgage repayments are 20% of net salary. Mortgage on my rental property is also 3 X net annual salary and repayments on this are covered by rental income. Economic facts in Ireland: The Irish state is insolvent and has been unable to borrow on the international money markets since 2010. The Government is currently relying on an IMF/ECB bailout to fund its day to day expenditure. Annual expenditure by government is EUR 48 billion and annual income is EUR 30 billion – an annual deficit of EUR 18 billion. Half of all income tax goes towards repaying the interest on sovereign debt. All of Ireland’s banks have been effectively nationalised at a cost of approx EUR 70 billion to date. Ireland is in its fourth year of recession. Unless Ireland returns to economic growth it will be unable to meet loan repayments and some form of sovereign default or restructuring will be inevitable. Broader assumptions: The situation in Ireland is bad but other western economies are not far behind. I believe that the US and other western economies will continue to experience structural contractions which will result in a double dip, multi-annual recession. Recession will tip already grave systemic solvency problems into crisis. The US will have little alternative but to use the printing press to cover debt obligations which are too great to be resolved by austerity or through raising taxes. The end game in this scenario, eventually, is hyperinflation. Summary: A bearish outlook, particularly for property, but high risks also exist in relation to stocks & bonds. My income will keep falling as taxes and levies increase and inflation is a particular risk for me with my high level of mortgage debt – to an extent I am trapped in the golden handcuffs of a very low ECB tracker mortgage rate. Longer term, there is a high risk that public sector pensions will not be honoured or will be eroded away by inflation. Internationally, there will be increased volatility in property, stocks and currencies and over the next decade the value of these assets will fall. There will also be increased volatility in commodities and gold – but over the next decade I believe that the value of gold will ultimately increase as a hedge against inflation and due to its safe haven status. Priorities: Generate new sources of income - to cover income lost through increased taxes and levies - and to allow me to reduce my hours at work. Hedge against inflation, particularly to protect against the effect of possible ECB interest rate hikes on my mortgage debt. Reduce future dependence on pension funds – they may be wiped out. My next post will look at options for investments. Advice welcome!
  15. Ret45

    Ret45's Journal

    Some form of restructuring or default is inevitable unless we can somehow return to economic growth this year (we are in our fourth year of recession). Already half of all income tax generated in the country is going to pay the interest on the sovereign debt taken on to bail out our banks. So some form of default, yes. That's why I bought GM gold. Savings in our zombie banks are guaranteed only by a government which is months away from defaulting.
  16. we switched to organic chicken a couple of years ago when the kids came along, and after a conversation with a farm animal inspector. Ordinary non-organic beef and lamb is fine because they are raised outdoors here and nearly 100% grass fed, but chickens are raised in the most unnatural conditions. We have cut out pork altogether about two years ago. I still miss BLTs!
  17. Ret45

    Ret45's Journal

    Yeah, a lot of people are starting to ask that question. They have already raised the tax on deposit interest and are making noises about the need to get people spending again. After a decade of living on credit and being afraid to be seen in an old car or cheap clothes, irish people are starting to take pride in being thirfty and getting rid of debt. Can't remember the exact figure for the savings rate here at the moment but its gone from something like 2% to 12% in the space of a year or so. Of course that is killing the domestic economy...
  18. the last time there was this much pessimism about the S&P was at 666, and its doubled since then. Maybe its time to buy...
  19. This is the exact same bullshit that was being spouted in the US and Ireland right up until the bubble burst. You'll find that once the bubble bursts all those apartments currently rented by foreign workers who come to the UK to feed the demand of the bubble market will suddenly be vacent. There is a massive supply problem in Japan but that hasn't stopped house prices falling there for the last 20 years. There are massive supply roblems in cities all over south america and prices haven't changed. Read that 18 year cycle article and you will see just how much of what you are saying conforms to classic bubble sentiment.
  20. What a completely head up your ar*e thing to say! House prices have fallen massively in the US, Japan and in many countries across europe. So why were house prices falls in the US 'allowed to happen'? House prices in the UK have already fallen big time in terms of gold and virtually all currencies except GB£. I don't know where house prices in the UK are going but if they are overvalued then nothing in the world will stop them from falling eventually. When the average person can no longer afford the average house then prices will fall. Ditto for stock prices. I cannot understand this blinkered, moronic viewpoint that house prices in the UK are somehow immune to the laws of gravity. There is always some idiot who claims that its different this time. Have you not seen what's been happening to property markets around the world?
  21. Ret45

    Ret45's Journal

    Here’s my thinking on where to put my money. Until 2009 I was good at saving. But increased taxes, salary hits and new costs such as nannies for the kids have affected my ability to save so I have to be careful with what I have managed to put aside. Of my existing savings, I am about 50% in gold/silver, 50% in cash. I will continue to buy gold and silver on dips. I bought into a commodity & emerging markets fund from 2008-2010 through a private pension. Won’t be able to access this for 20 years and am wary of it being wiped out in the meantime. Will focus on shorter term investments instead. I am overexposed to property but there is not much I can do about that unfortunately…I think most of the big property price falls in Ireland have already happened. There could be further drops but my mortgages are on a very low ECB tracker rate and in the long term I think I am better off holding on to my house and rental property and paying down the mortgages over the next 15 years or so and hope that prices start rising again in the meantime. If interest rates go up I might use my gold and cash to reduce the mortgage. I want to use some savings to build up a stock portfolio, starting small. I think this will help balance out my generally defensive & bearish overall position. I have studied the different approaches and think that the Benjamin Graham value investing approach suits me best – I don’t have the temperament for spread betting and I don’t have the time to trade options. A lot of this journal will focus on learning the ropes of value investing. Are there any other Benjamin Graham disciples on GEI? Can anyone recommend any good books, sites, courses?
  22. Ret45

    Help Reqd. I need music to run to

    Deadmou5 has got me up many a hill! Youtube "Deadmou5, Ghosts n Stuff"
  23. Interesting Bubb, I'd love to get your take on the Irish property market. We had 14 years of rapidly rising property prices from 1994 - 2008, and we have had nearly four years of even bigger falls from 2008 to now. House prices have dropped between 40-50 percent since 2006 and are now back to 2001 levels. It has been argued that the falls have been so big because Irish banks are trying to reduce the size of their loan book and are not lending for property. The level of mortgage lending in Ireland fell from EUR 40 billion in 2006 to just EUR 2 billion in 2010 - that's a 95% drop in lending! So virtually the only buyers out there are the cash buyers who are bottom feeding. How much further do you think prices can fall?