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Itinerant Wanderer

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About Itinerant Wanderer

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  1. Itinerant Wanderer

    UK Property: How Low Can It Go

  2. Itinerant Wanderer


    Hi Goldfinger, For those of us that aren't charty sort of folk (and by this I mean don't fully understand them rather than don't believe in them) could you give us a little more info on what you mean by this chart and how you think we should interpret it. Thanks CS
  3. Itinerant Wanderer

    Credit Cards Next?

    Hi all, I met the Head of a Commercial Bank where I live this week. We talked at length about the local economy and then we got onto the Credit Crunch. He said two interesting things: firstly, he'd been told by Head Office to stop growing his loan book (it had grown +50% each of the last two years) even though it is in good nick (no sub-prime here yet). Secondly, in discussing European problems he noted that Credit Card debt was still growing very swiftly. We agreed this was probably people getting by on CCs to pay the daily bills and the mortgage. He thought the banks would pull the rug on this soon, citing possible ways this might happen, including forcing cardholders to pay off a minimum %age of their outstanding debt each month instead of simply rolling it over by paying the interest (he mentioned 50%). Yikes. If that happens, its game over and even I might buy the deflationary argument. Also, I liked this article. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jh...7/03/do0301.xml CS
  4. Itinerant Wanderer

    That old ISA at the back of the cupboard

    OK, I've now taken it from the back of the cupboard - I am transferring it into my main Selftrade A/c (where I keep my PMs, Junior miners etc.). This gives me the option to freeze it (keep it but not add more funds), sell it and re-invest in something else (not sure whether I should add to my gold etc. - eggs in one basket - but if its the right one hey!) or simply cash it in. Everyone in the media seems exceedingly bullish/resigned to further increases in oil. Time for an Oil ETF or better still for shorting oil?
  5. Itinerant Wanderer

    What are you doing for a pension?

    Hello, Funnily enough I do have a pension. Given that I'm a Civil Servant I have a, er, Civil Service pension. "How do I live with myself living off the back of all the honest people in the land?" I hear some of you say. Easily enough actually. I know what I could earn in the Private Sector and its substantially more than I do in the public sector. More even than the Govt's contribution towards my pension. Really. I'm happy with this because (1) I'm not in it for the money but because I have a job that I really look forward to doing each morning and which makes a difference and (2) any private sector job using my skills would be more boring and therefore I'd demand to be paid more.... The pension helps though. Having a solid pension does mean I'm more willing to be risky with my investments than would otherwise be the case. Incidentally there are still some really great private sector pension schemes out there if you know where to work. A member of my family works for the John Lewis Partnership. They get a 60ths index linked pension - thats even better than the 80ths pension you get in Government. Exxon are good too I think. I'm heavily invested in Gold but I wouldn't put my pension there (at least not all of it). Far Eastern/Asian investments or, if you are brave, Africa e.g. Madagascar, Mauritius, would be profitable in the longer term. CS
  6. Itinerant Wanderer

    That old ISA at the back of the cupboard

    Thanks for this. I should clarify I'm not about to retire - about 30 years away in fact! However I'm not in the UK and so don't need my house-fund for a house for about 3 years and hence the 3 year timeline. No-one seems that excited about the UK Growth style ISA. I'm quite tempted to rest it for a while as Dr B suggests. I could put more into a commodities ETF but feel I might be well enough exposed to the sector at about 30-40% of net wealth. (most of rest in cash, the odd Premium bond etc.). However I'm not that sure WHAT else I'd put money into. I had daft thoughts about the Chinese Stockmarkets last year (thank goodness I didn't). Nothing else looks particularly cheap. Japan will come good one day 'ere long but I'm not sure this year is the year (I know a little about Japan). Perhaps in two years time. The fact nothing really 'feels' cheap give me the sense that we are in for continued financial turbulence. Wind Turbine Manufacturers? Ethanol producers?
  7. Although I STR'd a few years ago and put much of my money (after too long of a delay) into precious metals, I've still kept going my little UK Growth ISA which was my 'endowment' on my house. This ISA (Norwich Union) has performed exceedingly mediocrely but I thought it worth hanging onto in case I needed to buy a house back and the Bank wanted to see a 'repayment vehicle'. Anyway, I'm in a position where I am under no pressure to buy now (lucky me) and so don't NEED this ISA. I thought of cashing it in a couple of months ago with the FTSE at 6400 'cos I thought it was defying gravity. But anyone who has followed my trading on here will know without me writing that whilst I thought of selling it I didn't. Now the FTSE is at 5400 and I'm thinking of selling it again. I know this might be stupid so I've started this thread for views. Should I: - keep paying into the ISA my monthly payments and so take advantage of 'averaging' ('traditional' advisors tell me this is good!) - not sell the ISA but not pay any more into it (perhaps paying into a different sort of ISA vehicle e.g. cash) - sell the ISA and put in other things e.g. PM, cash etc. I've a three year time horizon. To put it in perspective this ISA is about 6.5% of my assets whilst PMs are c. 30% and the bulk of the rest in cash. All the usual caveats just to reinforce I'm not mindlessly going to do what you say and then sue you etc. I post because I suspect quite a few of us have got these sort of 'back of the cupboard' investments and its a good time to consider them. CS
  8. Itinerant Wanderer


    I must confess Gold and Silver have me flumoxed at the moment. Although I freely admit I haven't traded them well, my portfolio is worth less than several months ago and I haven't traded THAT badly. I am now fixed in some longs and won't trade but simply hold. However it still amazes me that G&S remain stuck in a range and keep getting smacked down every time they try to break out. I'm more convinced than ever they are a good investment in the medium term but I'm generating a better return on my cash at the moment! Why is this? I know markets can remain irrational - I'm one of those STRs who STR'd too early (but not much too early). Fortunately housing is now falling back in line with the laws of gravity. However it took far too long (for my comfort) for housing to do this. I hope G+S won't take an equally long time to rise in line with inflationary pressures. Perhaps I should just not look at forums and prices until the Autumn... if the Fed keep bluffing about rate rises and haven't stuck them up by then, then maybe G+S will start getting a second look.
  9. Itinerant Wanderer


    OK, sorry. It was me. I dipped another toe in the water just yesterday. News must have hit the market this a.m. I'll let you guys know in advance next time I'm buying anything. I'll fetch my coat...
  10. Dr B, My RGLD have been meandering for some time now. What is your current recommendation on these? 'HOLD' I presume? CS
  11. Itinerant Wanderer

    Suggestions for new area of investment

    Are many people on here buying oil through ETFs? The mainstream press make plenty of references to $200 oil by the year-end. Do folk here place much credence on these forecasts or do people here feel they are in the category of $2000 gold (which I'd love and profit from enormously but don't see right yet....). I can't help feel oil is toppier than gold, but then I've learned at my peril (in the housing market) that a prominent 'commodity' can keep going against fundamentals further and faster than I had imagined if it attracts a lot of mainstream press and the 'small man's money'. Views? CS
  12. Itinerant Wanderer

    Suggestions for new area of investment

    Hi, Good thread idea. I've been looking at the UK Banking Sector as it is (a) something familiar and ( something that gets a wide press and so you can stay reasonably current through the mainstream press and © has taken a right hammering. I 'purchased' 10,000 each of four major UK banks in a virtual portfolio a couple of months ago. HBOS is now down to 5,500 - and has lost 70% of its value in a year. I was tempted to use real money in April and am now glad I didn't. But I'm wondering whether some of the UK banks are now bargains (and a useful hedge against my extensive exposure to precious metals - i.e. PMs if it all goes belly up, Banks if it doesn't....). I know some of this may sound crude, but I'm an evening-only investor and have a day job... CS
  13. Itinerant Wanderer

    The End of Affordable Air Travel?

    Hi, A bit of a repeat of a previous post but hey.... Recently had a chat with the head of a major airline. Their fuel bill has gone from US$200m to $1.2billion in five years. Ouch. US Airlines with older planes are already struggling to compete with airlines running newer more fuel efficient planes. Where I live the fuel surcharge on flights to London went up by (not to, by) £250 a couple of weeks ago. That is £1000 EXTRA on flights for a family of four to a popular if luxurious long haul destination. Some of these destinations are really going to struggle to attract tourists if they have to pay this much extra on top of what was already an expensive holiday - thats nearly £1800 of pre-tax income assuming you pay 40%. UK consumers may already be feeling it but the credit crunch/fuel crisis may really hit far-flung tourist dependent economies hard down the line. CS
  14. Interesting, I was speaking to the head of an airline recently who said their fuel bill had gone up from 200 million to 1.2 billion over the last 3 years or so. They obviously have to pass most of that on. To their amazement, sales were still holding up. But they suspected this wouldn't be the case for all airlines. Interestingly (and relevant to this being GEI) he thought this coming tough period would weed out those airlines that hadn't invested in newer and more fuel efficient planes. The Dreamliner is coming at the right time.
  15. Perfick. I'm not due back in London till 2010-11. I'll just sit the next couple of years out....