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About Wanderer

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  1. Wanderer


    Sorry. I know it isn't really adding to the debate, but really.... http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/3705851/3bn-gold-yacht-is-worlds-most-expensive.html Has Goldfinger been splashing out?
  2. Wanderer

    Wanderer's Trading Diary

    Morning all, I've not exactly been busy posting here recently: new country, new job and all that. I have less control over my time and so can't post here often, though I read a bit. I've also had less time to consider my portfolio. In the interests of transparency and admit-your-mistakes, I've got to admit I've had an awful 3 months on my portfolio, with some big losses. I've only myself to blame: I'm sufficiently arrogant that I don't trust anyone else to manage my money but I haven't got the time to do it properly myself and I've also just made some wrong and bad choices. So, I've been on the wrong side of both the Stock Markets rise since August and the wrong side of the US Dollar/Pound. I've had gold, but less than previously, so I've missed out there. And I sold my SLW back at $17 (!!) (although I'd held them since $3 odd). And I've held VXX (enough said). So, much money lost, even more money not made. Question is, how to go about re-shaping my portfolio now I've a little more time again. I'm wary of bailing out of e.g. XSPS just when it might turn in my favour, but don't want to hang on grimly through further losses. I don't want to miss out on gold/silver, but am wary of jumping in with all I've left only to see a big correction. My investing isn't helped by my job: I don't know whether I'll be going overseas again soon and have a nice 4 year investment time horizon, or whether we'll be staying in the UK with the likelihood we'll have to use much of our stash to buy a house (we're renting but will be turfed out in August). However, don't pity me: recently losses pale compared to previous gains garnered from advice here, so I'm quite happy now I've got used to the last three months' losses! Given the timescale uncertainty above (my biggest headache) where and how would people start re-arranging their portfolio if they were me? All views welcome. Wanderer
  3. Wanderer

    PIIGS / Europe's Debt Troubles

    Morning all, I thought this was utterly scary but very good: http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinio...4282865400.html Ireland the next Iceland, coming to a country near many of us here. What effect on the UK if we see Ireland literally crumbling? What chance German taxpayers will be willing to bail Ireland out? Wanderer
  4. Wanderer


    OK, if no-one else can be bothered.... 1304 and counting
  5. Wanderer


    If you look VERY VERY carefully at CID then, from time to time, they get their VAT rates wrong and it is possible to buy silver at 7% VAT. Just now and again.... :-) Don't know why people buy from Sarnia, even with no VAT it still seems cheaper to pay the VAT and buy at CID as their pre-VAT price is so much cheaper. (This is especially true if the VAT is 7%!!).
  6. Hi GoM, (disclosure: my sister works at JLP) actually it is during a time of rapid expansion. Waitrose took over a whack of Morrisons a while back and are also opening new-build stores and smaller outlets at motorways/in Boots the Chemist etc. John Lewis also opening several new stores. Yes, internal financial discipline is strict, but the company appears to be doing really well. I did like that quote and its accurate assessment about the level of financial rewards required to make people work hard. Wanderer
  7. Wanderer


    +8.50. Ignition sequence in operation?
  8. I was reading about John Lewis Partnership's profits being up 28% and came across this quote from their founder John Spedan Lewis (in the 1920s): "The present state of affairs is really a perversion of the proper working of capitalism. It is all wrong to have millionaires before you have ceased to have slums. Capitalism has done enormous good and suits human nature far too well to be given up as long as human nature remains the same. But the perversion has given us too unstable a society. Differences of reward must be large enough to induce people to do their best but the present differences are far too great. "If we do not find some way of correcting that perversion of capitalism, our society will break down. We shall find ourselves back in some form of government without the consent of the governed, some form of police state. "The dividends of some shareholders exceed their own highest hopes, hopes that may have been much too greedy, and the incomes of the more fortunate of the captains of industry are many times as great as would have caused the same persons to work just as hard and for just as many years if, instead of going into business, they had happened to become, say, lawyers or doctors. This is quite wrong." Visionary really. Just goes to show that not much changes! JLP are pretty good at fairtrade (e.g. only fairtrade bananas in store) and working with farmers to improve environmental and animal welfare standards. All employees get a vote on key policies and share the profits. But they're not cossetted and they have to compete ruthlessly with Tesco et al. I'm all for JLP and will happily pay a bit more (but you'd be surprised how little more) to shop at Waitrose/Ocado rather than Tesco, simply because I feel if more companies were a-la JLP the world would be a little bit better place. What would it be like if cooperatives were more influential in other sectors e.g. Finance ? (I bank with the Cooperative Bank, but it is only small)
  9. Wanderer


    At home today. Couldn't help checking Kitco and noticing a little 'rocketing' going on.... $1265!
  10. Wanderer

    UK House prices: News & Views

    Wow, Azazel, that is quite amazing. Where in SW England are you roughly? Renting is a no-brainer for you... We were doing the maths the other day and of course it is even more in our benefit than the figures suggest AS LONG AS HOUSE PRICES STAY STATIC OR FALL. We pay no buildings insurance, we pay no maintenance costs (and in a 400 year old house these are several!) and we have a couple of hours of gardener a week provided. We're happy! (though we hope they'll fix the few little roof leaks soon... :-) )
  11. Wanderer

    UK House prices: News & Views

    Interesting. My rent is one 413th of the asking price our landlady couldn't sell her house for until we rented it this August. Can anyone beat that?
  12. Wanderer

    Advice Welcome

    Dr B., In SE commuterville there isn't much sign of this in the price bracket we are looking for. Up to c.£350-400K seems sticky as people are finding mortgages hard to come buy. Above c.£1.1m seems sticky as bankers bonuses are perhaps being saved rather than spent on trophy properties. Between £400K and £900K seems to be moving well as people sell up Wandsworth town houses and move down to Kent/Surrey/Sussex and buy largely for cash. I do sense that come September/October we'll see a bit of a change as those sellers who thought they'd move by the summer realise they've missed the boat. One thing to note is that keenly priced properties aren't taking offers (and plenty of 'offers above £XXX,XXX' which is annoying) and that many chains are taking a long time to complete with several collapses along the way. This may begin to tell soon as vendors take offers from chain-free buyers in order to complete the circle more swiftly. Wanderer
  13. Wanderer

    Advice Welcome

    Dear Bob, Don't worry. I work for HMG in a position that means I am based overseas for years at a time. My salary isn't any thing to write home about, but being overseas (with housing paid for) means you can save if you are careful. My real income has been from investments (many deriving from discussion on this forum) over the last 8 years since we sold our London flat and re-invested the proceeds elsewhere. Now we're back in the UK so things will change a lot, though renting at least keeps our capital free to work. Wanderer
  14. Wanderer

    Advice Welcome

    Update: personnel tell me I might be in the UK as little as a year so we've pulled out of buying the house as it became a ludicrous proposition. Fortunately we were able to do so because we found a very nice rental house in a better location very close to a station in a village. The cost of pulling out of the house purchase was minimal. What surprised me was how very routine it all seemed to the agent. Now I need to make my capital work for me....
  15. Wanderer

    Wanderer's Trading Diary

    Dear Dr B, Nice of you to ask thank you! Yes, I'm fine. I've been moving back to the UK from overseas. This was hugely complicated by a range of things including a death in the family. We were intending to buy a house - partly because there was nothing to rent. However it became clear from my personnel team that I couldn't guarantee more than one year in the UK, which made buying not just questionable but ludicrous. So we looked again for rental properties and this time found one (a property that had been for sale but changed to rent). It is a great fit for us - 200 yards from a station into London and in a good village with a school with space for the kids. So we've paid rent up front for six months and hope to move in on Friday. Feeling much more relaxed about this and being able to revert to 'plan a' (buying was always plan 'b' but we couldn't find a house to rent 6 weeks ago). Also means we can move in much sooner. Now I've got a bit of time to dedicate to my underperforming portfolio.... Wanderer