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Money Weekend’s FutureWatch: 18 May 2013.

Money Weekend’s FutureWatch: 18 May 2013

TECHNOLOGY: The Best Portable Transportation Since the Bike
Public roads are log jammed and in disarray. Public transport systems are a shambles. Motorbikes and scooters are too dangerous. And riding a bike means you’re more likely to get ‘doored’ than make it to your destination.

Aside from walking what other green alternatives are there to get from A to B at a decent speed? Not many. Except for inventions like the Segway.

But now, a new invention has taken the place of the Segway. And it’s called the Hovertrax.

From Shane Chen, a serial inventor, Hovertrax is’an autobalancing electric transporter with gyro technology.[Read more →]

May 18, 2013   Comments Off

What’s Next for the Silver Price?

What’s Next for the Silver Price?

Looking back at the articles I’ve written about silver over the years, if there’s one theme that keeps recurring, it’s the word: ‘frustrating’.

Silver can meander about and do nothing for years. Then, when your back’s turned, it’ll suddenly spike to unheard-of levels, making its owners rich.

Then, just as suddenly, it’ll plummet, leaving all those who hold the metal heading for the poor house.

Yet, for all its volatility, for all the dark rumours of shortages and manipulation, it trades in a remarkably symmetrical pattern.

For a few brief hours in the spring 2011, it cost $50 an ounce. Now it’s less than half that price, at $23.

So is it time to be playing the silver game once again? [Read more →]

May 18, 2013   Comments Off

STOP PRESS…Resource Stocks Pay Dividends Too.

STOP PRESS…Resource Stocks Pay Dividends Too

In the global quest for yield, it seems as though investors have labelled the whole resource space as ‘growth stocks’, and left them on the shelf.

Yet a quick scan through mining stocks shows resource stocks pay dividends too.

Some of them yield as much as 7%, 9%, or even 11%…

The Reserve Bank of Australia’s (RBA) interest rate cut to 2.75% last week took us to a historically low rate. Anyone funding their lifestyle from interest is going to find things harder than ever. Falling rates have forced investors into riskier assets in the search for yield.

We’ve seen this in the financial stocks, with the XFJ index exploding 45% in a year.

And we’ve seen it in industrials too. Smaller players have done very well. Veterinary business Greencross (ASX: GXL) has increased ten-fold! [Read more →]

May 17, 2013   Comments Off

The Next Move in the Currency War.

The Next Move in the Currency War

In the world of central banking, the gloves are coming off. You can blame theJapanese.

At the G7 meeting, everyone smiled politely and said that they completely understood why the Japanese were printing unprecedented amounts of money and hammering the yen.

The main reason they gave Japan a free pass is because lots of other countries are hoping to get away with doing the same.

Central banks overseeing around a quarter of the world’s GDP have cut rates this month alone, notes Bloomberg.

The currency wars are just getting started… [Read more →]

May 17, 2013   Comments Off

The Sexiest Job of the 21st Century: Data Scientist.

The Sexiest Job of the 21st Century: Data Scientist

What do you think has been named the ‘sexiest job of the 21st century’? International footballer? Supermodel? Brain surgeon?

All wrong. The answer is in fact ‘big data scientist‘. This does not mean a data scientist who happens to be six foot six and 20 stone. It refers to those who can make sense of the vast and constantly expanding heap of digital data. The amount of data that is gathered is astonishing.

According to IBM, we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day. This means that 90% of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone.

Where does it all come from? The constant use of the internet generates data all the time. Every time you use your mobile phone, you create data. But human interaction is not the only cause. There is the ‘internet of things’.

Two million security cameras in the UK record images that are faithfully filed away. Sensors also give out stores of data, such as climate information and detecting possible faults on aeroplanes and cars. At home we could even have sensors which tell us when to turn on the radiator or even restock the fridge. [Read more →]

May 17, 2013   Comments Off

There’s Going to Be a Bull Market in Technology Metals.

There’s Going to Be a Bull Market in Technology Metals

Not long ago I was in Toronto for a couple of days for a conference on what people in the resource space call ‘Technology Metals‘. These are critical elements that go into all manner of advanced materials, electronics, optics and more.

Without technology metals, most modern technological systems won’t work like the builders advertise and users desire.

In a global economic sense, all sorts of people and companies produce all manner of technology metals. Technology metals are key to many supply chains, such as high-priority military technology.

For example, Boeing builds airplanes. Much of the structure and skin of airplanes is made of aluminium. So Boeing buys aluminium from, say, Alcoa, which in turn has a chain of processing facilities, smelters and ore in the ground at mine sites, located in faraway corners of the world.

Or Boeing buys jet engines from, say General Electric. GE has all manner of suppliers who build parts and components for those engines. The suppliers, in turn, have their own supply chains, including for exotic, high-strength metals like titanium.

Eventually, when you trace the flow for titanium, you’ll find an ilmenite deposit in the rocks of, perhaps, Quebec, or a sandy beach in Australia. [Read more →]

May 16, 2013   Comments Off

‘Best Week in Four Years’: Resource Stocks are Starting to Move…

‘Best Week in Four Years’: Resource Stocks are Starting to Move…

Last week the market sounded the latest in a recent series of warning signals for a new bull market in resources.

You probably don’t realise it, but the Australian resource sector just put in its best week in more than four years.

Over the week the Metals and Mining index gained 9.4%.

Major moves like this aren’t common. You have to go back to March 2009 to find a bigger weekly gain. This is important. Moves of this size are often typical of violent changes in trend.

Sure enough, that move in March 2009 was the week that the mining sector began a two-year bull market in earnest.

So with a similar sized move last week, the evidence is now really mounting that investors should plan for the next resource rally… [Read more →]

May 16, 2013   Comments Off

A Total Overhaul of the Global Oil Patch.

A Total Overhaul of the Global Oil Patch

John Wooden – the late, great UCLA basketball coach – once said, ‘Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.

With coach Wooden’s advice in mind, let’s think positive. Let’s review the upside of the resource news flow.

Hey, oil prices are stable. The Brent crude oil price is hovering in the low $100 range, while North American oil prices – embodied in the price for West Texas Intermediate (WTI) – are $10 less, give or take.

Of course, OPEC oil exporters hate $100 oil…

That’s because most of the OPEC producers need much higher prices to balance their national books. That addiction to oil income is part and parcel of leaders allowing their respective countries to evolve into petro welfare states. The usual Middle Eastern names come to mind, although even Russia has an oil problem.

Russia is entering a recession after two years of stagnant or declining economic growth. Some of this is blowback from the overall chronic weakness in Europe. [Read more →]

May 16, 2013   Comments Off

Shareholders in Gold Miners are in Revolt — It’s Time to Buy.

Shareholders in Gold Miners are in Revolt — It’s Time to Buy

As a sector, gold mining stocks have taken some beating in recent years.

Frankly, it’s been justified. When the price of your key product just keeps on rising, it really shouldn’t be that hard to make money off the back of it. But somehow, the management teams of many gold miners have proven more than capable of squandering their good fortune.

Shareholders are fuming. And with the gold price faltering, and the future less certain, miners can no longer rely on an ever-rising product price to keep them afloat.

But the good news is that this squeeze could be just the thing that gold miners need to kick them into shape.

Here’s why now could be the time to buy[Read more →]

May 15, 2013   Comments Off

‘Abenomics’ Cannot Master the Immutable Laws of Money.

‘Abenomics’ Cannot Master the Immutable Laws of Money

The Japanese Topix Index is up more than 40% this year (and nearly 71% since July 2012) thanks in large part to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s unlimited stimulus initiative known euphemistically as ‘Abenomics‘.

The argument behind this spending is a classic one, at least in economic terms: stimulate the economy to produce higher inflation, weaken the currency and aid the exporters.

But like US Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke’s spending and Draghi’s spending in Europe, it’s ultimately going to fail.

Sure the short-term effects are great…a wildly enthusiastic stock market that’s trading at the highest levels seen in 4.5 years, a relaxation of risk and fresh strength in export focused companies that are showing stronger results on a devalued Yen. No question, I’ll take a bull market any day. [Read more →]

May 15, 2013   Comments Off