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About Bobsta

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  1. I agree. I've recently had some success with swing trading Barclays. It looked cheap to me at 88p on 20 Jan so I went long a few £s/pt on 22 Jan they were down at 55p I added some more. By my reckoning they were taking a pasting "by association" rather than with any real substance. I took some profits up at 90p, 100p and 110p on 26, 27 & 28 Jan. Took further profit at 118p on 10 Feb. Bought in again at 58p on 9 March. I took some profits at 110p and 130p last week. They're now sitting pretty at 173p and I'm wondering whether to dump the lot on Monday, in anticipation of a swing back down below 100p at some point.
  2. Bobsta


    I can't disagree with that decision. Doubling your money is nothing to be sniffed at, and converting PMs back into GBPs when the pound's taken (IMO) most of the beating that it's going to take... Well, I can see why you've done it. And good luck to you! I think we all remember watching Gold go to $1000+ and then all sitting there licking our wounds when it fell back to below $700. Sometimes it's time to take your winnings off the table and bank it. (I'm sure folks will warn you that your fiat will be destroyed shortly ... but I think you've actually been quite smart and conservative - good luck )
  3. Bobsta


    Given the way the Yen has performed over the past 18 months, I don't blame the Japanese for calling the top and getting out of their currency and into something more tangible. If only us Brits we were in such a fortunate situation.
  4. Bobsta


    But if you do want to trade gold, or would just like a bit of bearish "ying" to go with the bullish "yang" on this thread then check out Ker's Gold & Silver Swing Trading thread. I've found it helpful to have some "TA-led caution" when thinking of buying more. That thread would certainly have stopped you buying into gold at $930 last week, when you could've got a better deal today. Personally I see no possibility whatsoever of gold making the ridiculously (IMO) low lows of ~$400 being predicted. But short-term, it's sometimes useful.
  5. Bobsta


    You're not alone. I've done the same with my tradeable gold. In fact, I know I shouldn't really admit this but as of this moment, one of my accounts is actually *short* gold in USD. Shock-horror! Still holding firm on my BV stash - I don't think I'll ever, ever, ever, ever trade/sell that. "It's my pension "
  6. Bobsta

    Barclay's Bank

    And that point there is worth remembering, folks. Back in the summer a lot of pundits in the mainstream were looking at the banks and saying "At these prices, that's a 10%+ yield from the dividend alone. A screaming buy!" Of course, they were looking at LAST YEAR'S dividend. Which, franky, meant nothing. I seem to remember MoneyWeek mentioning that very important point. Long-term amateur investors (folks like my dad) will have been burned badly by such advice and such flawed reasoning.
  7. Bobsta

    Barclay's Bank

    IMO Barclays is being harmed by association. It's playing an interesting game of distancing itself from gov't handouts, but looks a lot healthier than the others. But Lloyds was in good shape until GordEnron forced them to take on TurdBOS - similar *could* happen to Barclays, I guess. I may well risk a long punt (and it will be a punt) tomorrow. It's no more volatile than Gold or Silver.
  8. Swampy, You have 30+ years in the IT industry. I have a mere 15. Mine has given me a great deal of contact with network (from SNA to IP) and security technologies, however I will acknowledge that there is potential for you to know more about this stuff than I do. IF what you say is true... that governments can and do intercept just about every electronic transmission out there, then surely they will already know: a ) Where you live b ) Whether you have a Goldmoney or BullionVault account c ) What stocks you own d ) What trading accounts you have If you really think they give a t0ss about what you're up to, then they'll have this info and won't need to "hack" GEI's MySQL database to access your voting info, then cross-correlate it with your ISP's connection logs, etc. So which is it? Are they hyper-effecient with gathering this info or do they need their "plant" (DrB) to set up such a crude tool for gathering the info they need? I personally love people knowing what I do. I *want* Tesco to target me via Clubcard with offers that are applicable to me. If I've got a newborn child, offer me cheap nappies. If I drink lots of wine, offer me discounts on wine. I want to use an Oyster card in London so that TfL know where I go, how long it takes me and can use the data to improve services. If someone phones me up and asks me to confirm my name, date of birth and mother's maiden name I'm intelligent enough to tell them where to go. But other than that, I've got too much going on in my life to be paranoid about all this stuff. Life's all about choices and if you don't want to partake then don't vote. As much as I enjoyed reading about ECHELON, I don't think you need to feel it your "duty" to warn everyone not to vote on a forum such as this. To me that's akin to folks who forward around fake virus warnings, when 30 secs at snopes.com could've saved them wasting bandwidth and time.
  9. Zopa does just that by splitting your loan into chunks. You never lend any one person more than £10 (unless you specifically choose to). I must admit I was sceptical at the start - hence only punting £1k ... but it's gone very well. I appreciate that we're now entering testing times. And to answer Dr.B's question - applicants are credit scored in the usual way - see: http://uk.zopa.com/ZopaWeb/public/lending/why-its-safe.html
  10. I've been pleasantly surprised. I joined in April 2007 and initially only lent in the 12month markets as I didn't want to be tied in too long and, like you, wasn't sure if anyone would actually pay me back! When you pick a headline IR to offer, the system factors in an allowance for bad debt based on the market you're choosing (A, B, C - A being most creditworthy). Returns have been way above that rate because the level of default hasn't been anywhere near that high. In fact, of the initial £1000 I lent, I haven't had a single default, and currently just have one late payment (for £1.65 or thereabouts). They've now pulled 12 and 24 month options (I guess the admin overhead was too high)... so it's 36 or 60 month only. Given I've pulled in approx 15% in 20 months, (admittedly during a climate of higher IRs and lower unemployment) I'm considering putting a little more cash into it. My main concern right now is around tying up Sterling for 3years, rather than Zopa itself!
  11. Bobsta

    Punish the prudent

    This is the piece that absolutely infuriates me. How on earth can anyone argue that property speculation is "productive"?! Kaletsky would do well to spend a few hours chatting with Fred Harrison to understand just how nonsensical this is.
  12. Reading through DrB's "questions for Mish" thread sparked some thoughts around credit availability, money supply and velocity of money. It's widely acknowledged that governments worldwide are frustrated that banks and other financial institutions have withdrawn lines of credit and pulled many consumer and commercial mortgage products, overdrafts, and financing packages that were previously available. The primary cause of UK high street retailers folding seems to be lack of available financing - the inability to renew credit lines that were previously in place. The cost of the loans doesn't seem to be an issue - it's simply that it's not available. So, my hypothesis is that LOW INTEREST RATES DISCOURAGE INSTITUTIONAL LENDING. Banks need to make money from their lending. They have to account for cost of sale, administration, and factor in the risk of default. When base rates approach 0%, this becomes difficult and the potential gains from taking the risks of lending simply don't stack up. It may be an over-simplified model, but consider a bank in the same way as an individual member of the public. If I'm asked to lend someone I know quite well £5,000 in return for 10% interest, I might just go ahead with it. £500 is a decent return on £5000 in a year, so yeah, why not?! But if that same person wants to only pay me 2% interest then the £100 gain from risking my £5000 just isn't worth it. The UK government may have been quite "clever" by taking a large stake in our banks, and will no-doubt continue to push them hard to lower the barriers to lending/borrowing, but to me the easiest way to achieve this is to permit those banks to charge a rate of interest that actually makes it worthwhile for them to lend. Otherwise they will simply sit on the money being printed (or "bury it in their backyard" to quote Mish). In the UK interest rates are at their lowest rate ever, so for many folks, their monthly mortgage repayments will be at their lowest level for many years. Those people are probably very happy to carry on paying this rate, but if the banks won't renew their discounted mortgage at these rates, their funding will be pulled - potentially causing a forced sale. It's simply not sustainable! I'm a firm believer that the market should be allowed to set the rate of interest. For anyone not aware of it, take a look at Zopa - www.zopa.co.uk - a site that matches borrowers and lenders, and lets the market dictate rates. Despite reason cuts in the base rate, I'm still managing to lend to folks on 36-month terms at rates above 10%. Demand is there, and if the reward is high enough, lenders will take the risk.(BTW, if anyone wants to join Zopa to borrow or lend money, please let me know. I can send you a referral link that earns me money - which I'd be happy to split 50:50 with you!) So, what do others think? If the risk:reward ratio is too high right now, is one answer not to increase the "reward"? Conversely, how has the Japanese banking system functioned during their extended period of low interest rates?
  13. Hmmm... I don't follow your logic there Dr B. Could you explain? I'm essentially saying "€200 EUR says the gold price will touch $1000 at some point during 2009" and inviting someone to take up that bet. The only difference being that I'm asking to be paid in gold (which I think will be worth more than €200) but then offering to pay the counterparty to the bet in EUR because if they feel gold will devalue, they might need this incentive to take up the bet. I like my bet because the price only has to hit $1000 at some point during the year. There's a positive outlook for the counterparty to the bet because we're still ~$150 away from that price and the timescale is limited. Are you suggesting that you'd take the bet, then go out and purchase (say) €1000 of gold now, knowing that if it doesn't go up you get €200 from me, but if it does go over €200 you make money on your gold which helps you pay me? I guess that's an option, but if gold tanks, you stand to potentially lose €800, whereas my losses are limited to €200. Hmmm... maybe I should go and study some option prices. I think you may have a point.
  14. I'd like to bet that Gold will hit $1000/oz on or before 31 Dec 2009. But I don't want to set a downside "stop". If we get to 31 Dec 2009 and gold has NOT been above $1000/oz (measured by Kitco) I'll pay the counterparty 10g of Gold or 200EUR (whichever they prefer). But if gold DOES hit $1000/oz on or before 31 Dec 2009, the counterparty pays me 10g of Gold. Any takers?
  15. Bobsta

    2009 Predictions

    Because it'll take a little while for lending to pick up and the trillions of printed money out there to get moving again. Then the money supply goes ballistic, and with it, "real" stuff.