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The story of Bitcoin, the world’s largest decentralized,peer-to-peer fiat currency, which today outranks many sovereign currencies in liquidity (and also overall market value), is indeed a fascinating one in both investment trends and distrust in government. The only reason thisdigital currency even exists is because of broad frustration in the global monetary system.
What was once a currency traded amongst your neighborhood anarchists online, Bitcoin is now blowing up in popularity. So called ‘Bitcoin Millionaires‘ are starting to pop up.
The early adopters of this currency, which started back around Halloween 2008 (near the climax of the subprime meltdown), have seen their holdings in Bitcoin skyrocket in value over the last few years.
image source: bitcointalk.org
In just the last few months, Bitcoin’s value has increased roughly 500%. It is completely unrelated and untied to any government or the unpredictable bearish market that has left many currencies and assets gasping for life. [Read more →]
April 12, 2013 Comments Off
March 11, 2013 Comments Off
February 23, 2013 Comments Off
For a view on the future of the Chinese economy, who better to ask than its businessmen? I had the chance to talk to two while I was in Hong Kong and Guangdong over Christmas.
The first, Jim, never went to school. He was working in a Hong Kong factory at the age of nine, where he made just £4 a month — all of which went to his family. Today, he lives in a large house in Hong Kong, has four cars, is a member of the prestigious Jockey Club and thinks nothing of betting a few thousand pounds on the horses at Happy Valley.
Jim has three fine and well educated sons, but he wonders whether they will do as well as he has without the incentive of an escape from poverty. After working for others for several years, he set up his own clothing factory in China, he made a good business supplying customers in Europe, and provided many jobs for loyal and grateful staff. [Read more →]
January 24, 2013 Comments Off
Which company would you rather invest in? One that will continue to make a million dollars in profit, or one that is only just breaking even, but has the chance of making billions?
The right answer depends on what you’re trying to achieve with your investment. But there’s a factor which many people overlook when trying to pick the companies that have a bundle of potential. How quickly, easily and cheaply could they get to that billion dollar mark?
BHP didn’t just go from being a small cap stock to making tens of billions in profit overnight. It took vast amounts of capital investment, costly acquisitions, painstaking exploration and more to get at each ton of iron ore. The more iron ore they wanted, the more they had to spend, explore and dig.
That meant BHP’s owners got rich the hard way. There’s nothing wrong with that. It just takes time and money to do it. [Read more →]
January 24, 2013 Comments Off
Cast your mind back to mid-2011.
The US debt level had blown out so badly that it reached the debt ceiling.
The US Government legally couldn’t borrow beyond this level. In other words, the US government credit card was well and truly maxed out.
Endless months of negotiation concluded with a deal that allowed the US government a lazy $900 billion extra credit (terms and conditions apply), which took the limit up to $15.194 trillion.
What happened next was where things got really messy.
Then on the back of all this, in early August 2011 Standard & Poor’s ‘rating agency’ downgraded US debt for the first time ever.
Stocks had their most volatile week since the 2008 financial crisis, with the Dow Jones Index falling 5.6% in a single day. The ASX200 fell to its low point for the year. And within weeks, gold soared from US$1600 to set a new record high of US$1920.
December 6, 2012 Comments Off
The US elections have finally arrived.
I have no interest trying to add to the reams of commentary on the US election outcome. I think we all know that not much will change either way.
The American government (Republican or Democrat) will continue to spend more money than it can afford to and will pay for it with printed dollars. If any cans need kicking they will be booted by both parties until they can be kicked no more.
But what about the idea that the stock market does better depending on which party wins the White House? If you want to trade stocks on the back of the US election outcome then stop.
November 9, 2012 Comments Off
Just for a change we will have a look at investing in Property.
If you really want to find the best opportunities in investment properties, you have to increase your odds by finding more deals. Who is more likely to get a cheap apartment building, an investor that looks through the property listings and calls it a day, or the one that uses these ten resources? Here are the ten:
1. Talk. Let people know you are looking and occasionally the properties will come to you. There are a lot of owners out there who want to sell, but haven’t yet listed their property.
2. Use the internet. Go to a search engine such as Google and enter the type of real estate you are currently looking for, along with the city you want to invest in. You just never know what you might find.
3. Take a drive around and just go looking for “For Sale By Owner” signs. Owners often don’t want to keep on paying out money to keep the ad in the paper every week, so you won’t see all properties listed there. [Read more →]
November 8, 2012 Comments Off
It’s crazy in New York and New Jersey, and commentators are mystified. Hurricane Sandy was bad enough. That’s a natural disaster, and we are dealing with it.
But then came the unnatural disaster in the form of the government’s response. This is where the real catastrophe begins.
Check out the mess in New Jersey. The New York Times reports that ‘widespread gas shortages stirred fears among residents and disrupted some rescue and emergency services as the New York region struggled to return to a semblance of normalcy after being ravaged by Hurricane Sandy.’
Fights, anger, lines, craziness everywhere. Emergency shipments of gasoline are pouring in. Mail trucks are stuck. Supply trucks are stuck. Ambulances need fuel and can’t get it. The government is trying to get gas to the place, but is hampered by traffic jams and chaos all around.
New Jersey has these weird laws that require that gas stations pump the gas for you. Why? To save jobs? I don’t know. But they are there. As a result, service station attendants are slaving, breathing in serious fumes for 18 hours a day and desperately trying to keep the peace. [Read more →]
November 7, 2012 Comments Off
‘Climate change adviser Ross Garnaut has lambasted Australian executives for destroying shareholder funds in the blind belief China’s demand for Australia’s big three mining exports would continue to climb.’ – The Age
Perhaps Mr Garnaut should ask why company executives are blowing up shareholder funds.
Maybe it’s because for 30 years, Australian governments have spouted off about the Asian economic boom.
And now the Aussie government has just released the Asian Century white paper. The gist of the white paper is that Asia will undergo an economic boom for another 100 years.
But before you trust everything the government says, just remember that they can’t even correctly forecast their budgets six months in advance. So we find it hard to take a 100-year forecast with anything more than a pinch of salt.
Our advice? Ignore the long-range forecast and look at history instead. That’s because history tends to offer useful lessons for the future…including a lesson Australia could learn from previous Asian booms and busts… [Read more →]
November 3, 2012 Comments Off