Asxnewbie.com. The weekly ramblings of an eccentric trader. - Part 2

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Money Weekend’s Technology FutureWatch 3rd August 2013

Money Weekend’s Technology FutureWatch 3 August 2013

TECHNOLOGY:

If Wine Is Your Investment, This is Your Wine’s Annual Report

Wine can make a good investment if you’ve got wads of cash. To get into the arena where wine becomes an investment you need to be well on your financial way.

However, it’s not uncommon for people to occasionally buy a nice vintage bottle of wine as a one off. The intention is usually to drink it. But the motivation is often sentimental or nostalgic.

Regardless of the reason at some point wine needs drinking. Unless you’re a teetotaller or Scrooge McDuck it’s likely you’ll drink that one off purchase.

Let’s say you splashed out $3,300 on a bottle of Penfolds Bin 14 1955 Grange Hermitage. And the time rolled around to drink it. You open it up, pour it into the decanter, and realise very quickly it’s corked.

Imagine spending $3,300 on a dud bottle of wine. You can’t get a refund either. It’s buyer beware. However if you’d been able to drink it a year earlier it might have been fine. But you’ll never know because you couldn’t sample the bottle without removing the cork. And you were keeping it for that special occasion.

However you can now pour wine from a bottle without removing the cork. It’s thanks to an amazing invention called the Coravin system.

Sounds like a Dynamo trick doesn’t it? Pouring wine without removing the cork…well it’s no trick. The technology behind the device is simple yet ground-breaking.

You attach the device to the top of the bottle. A thin needle penetrates the cork to access the wine. The bottle is then pressurised with Argon which helps the wine flow through the needle and into your glass. [Read more →]

August 3, 2013   Comments Off

Not Having of a Trading Strategy Can be Fatal.

Of course once you have learnt the pitfalls of trading, usually by bitter experience you can then easily avoid them before they occur. Making small mistakes are a foregone conclusion, for instance entering the wrong stock symbol or incorrectly setting a buy level.

The mistakes that you will need most to avoid are the ones due more to bad judgment rather than just plain simple errors. These are the type of mistakes which can ruin your trading career instead of just one or two trades. To avoid these pitfalls, you will have to watch yourself very closely and stay alert.

Trading in the stock market will always involve a certain amount of risk .But you must never treat it as you would gambling in a casino or a race track. [Read more →]

August 2, 2013   Comments Off

Two Approaches to Investing…

Two Approaches to Investing…

When you break investing down to the basics, there are two key approaches.

And we’re not talking about fundamental or technical analysis.

We’re talking about something different.

And just as it’s possible to combine technical and fundamental analysis, it’s also possible to combine these two approaches.

One of these approaches helped us identify what could be the biggest and most lucrative period forinvestors in living memory…

To be honest, we don’t really mind which approach we use.

We’ve used both, and they can work equally as well.

The main difference is the direction from which you approach an investment.

We’re talking about ‘top down’ and ‘bottom up’ investing.

If you’re wondering what the heck we’re talking about and how these approaches can help an investor, let us explain… [Read more →]

August 2, 2013   Comments Off

10 World Changing Technologies That Could Change Your Life (Part I)

10 World Changing Technologies That Could Change Your Life (Part I)

It’s almost impossible to predict the future with 100% accuracy. But that won’t stop me taking a stab at it. A big part of our new technology investment servicewill be working out which technologies have the best chance of succeeding and which will be a flash-in-the-pan.

What follows is just a sample of some of the technologies under development right now. Let me make this clear: I haven’t just made-up a lot of random futuristic ideas. The Revolutionary technologies you’ll read about below are projects being developed in laboratories and research centres round the world…

From hypersonic jet travel to near-space exploration and vacation, to medical and scientific breakthroughs that could rewrite the laws of physics.

It’s impossible to tell how many (if any) of these developments will succeed, but you should know that technology is rapidly changing the world. Even if none of these achieve commercial success, you can be sure that something just as incomprehensible and spectacular will. Read on for our take on the future… [Read more →]

August 2, 2013   Comments Off

The News Gets Worse, So We’re Buying Resource Stocks…

The News Gets Worse, So We’re Buying Resource Stocks…

If you own resource stocks, you don’t need us to tell you it has been a torrid two years.

The gold price is 30% below the 2011 peak, and the S&P/ASX 300 Metals & Mining index has lost a whopping 40.6% since April 2011.

And with headlines in the press talking about the ‘Economy at a turning point’ and ‘Mining sentiment in free fall’, only a lunatic would even consider looking at mining stocks today.

That’s where we come in. This is exactly why we’ve just tipped three mining stocks in the past six weeks.

As a contrarian investor, those are exactly the headlines to give us confidence that a rebound in resource stocks is on the way…

But not everyone agrees with our view. [Read more →]

August 1, 2013   Comments Off

That Squeeze You Feel is The Great Credit Contraction (Part 1).

That Squeeze You Feel is The Great Credit Contraction (Part 1)

Sir Isaac Newton’s third Law of Motion states:

When one body exerts a force on a second body, the second body simultaneously exerts a force equal in magnitude and opposite in direction to that of the first body.

This law of physics has been widely interpreted as ‘for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction’.

Newton’s laws of motion have been in existence since 1687. Therefore it’s reasonable to assume they’ve passed the test of time and are in the irrefutable category.

The law of gravity is also irrefutable. Sadly poor old Sir Isaac Newton forgot this one when he invested in the early 18th century South Sea Bubble.

Reports suggest Sir Isaac lost a £20,000 (£268 million in today’s money) fortune in the bursting of the South Sea Company share bubble. Reflecting on the catastrophic loss, he remarked, ‘I can calculate the movement of the stars, but not the madness of men.

Newton was obviously a seriously smart man but the ‘need for greed’ overrode rational thinking. Therein lies the lesson for those of us who have much lesser IQ’s. Don’t think you’re smarter thanthe market and don’t let greed blind your objectivity. [Read more →]

August 1, 2013   Comments Off

Your Only Advantage In The Markets.

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Whew!

We spent most of last week on airplanes. From Paris to Amsterdam…then to Vancouver…then to Beijing…and finally back to Paris.

The best flight was Air Canada from Vancouver to Beijing. The plane was almost empty. We got on…put the seat back…and went to sleep.

A few times in the night we woke up…opened the window blind…and tried to figure out where we were. There was a red glow off to the right side of the plane, which we took to be the Arctic.

The air hostesses on the plane were all Chinese. Very pleasant and professional.

Remarkably, all the flights were on time.

But then, returning to terra firma, things started to go wrong.

We hadn’t much time to keep up with the markets last week. But nothing much happened anyway.

It’s summer. Investors don’t seem to be paying attention. On Friday, US stocks went nowhere. Gold slipped a little. [Read more →]

August 1, 2013   Comments Off

The Absurdity of Australian Property.

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Today’s absurdity involves Australian property prices. Weekend auction activity in the main cities of Sydney and Melbourne give the impression that the market is once again red hot. The prospect of lower interest rates, it seems, trumps concerns about a slowing China, a sharp drop off in mining investment and rising unemployment.

So is the move driven by fundamentals?

SQM Property Research publishes a weekly rental index. Over the past 12 months its index reading for Sydney and Melbourne (houses) is up 0.2% and 2.1% respectively. On the other hand, SQM’s weekly ‘asking prices index’ for the two cities over the same time frame is up 7.2% for Sydney and just 0.4% for Melbourne.

What does this tell us? Well, first of all understand that this is just one of many measures of house price data. SQM will have different results to RP Data or the Australian Bureau of Statistics. But it does give us the ability to compare prices with earnings, which for houses is rent.

So on this basis, you would argue that Sydney has moved ahead of its fundamentals over the past 12 months while Melbourne has actually underperformed. But with lower interest rates, and the prospect of more cuts to come, you could also argue that Sydney’s strong house prices reflect the discounting of a lower interest rate environment.

On the other hand, you have to ask yourself why interest rates are expected to fall. It’s because of a slowing economy. It’s because of fears over the growth prospects of our largest trading partner, China, which hasn’t even began to reform its hopelessly imbalanced economy yet.

With this in mind, it’s difficult to see how we’re going to get enough growth in national income and wages to maintain ‘earnings growth’ (rental growth) for residential property. If that is the case, and we think it will be, the recent spurt in the property market will be short-lived. [Read more →]

July 31, 2013   Comments Off

Why You Should Be ‘Hands On’ When Investing Your Money.

Why You Should Be ‘Hands On’ When Investing Your Money

Central banks have become the insider traders of the currency market, which is a paradigm shift that systematic traders cannot pick up as well as fundamental traders.‘ – Bloomberg News

If you had said 10 years ago that central banks were insider trading, you would have been laughed out of town.

Today everyone knows central banks trade in advance of upcoming policy decisions.

But it’s not just the central banks. The big investment banks play the same game too…

If you don’t believe us, take this story from Bloomberg back in May:

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS), which generated about half its revenue from trading last quarter, posted losses from that business on two days in the first three months of 2013, compared with one day a year earlier.

If we assume there were 60 trading days in the first quarter, it means Goldman Sachs traders made profits 96.7% of the time.

In the world of trading that’s an unheard of strike rate. Most traders are happy to make profits on just half their trades.

Even if you factor in the large number of traders on Goldman Sachs’ trading desk, the law of averages would still dictate a win rate close to what an individual trader can achieve.

So there’s only one explanation – the big boys have a secret advantage compared to every other investor. But it’s not just insider knowledge. Until recently they’ve had another advantage… [Read more →]

July 31, 2013   Comments Off

The Difference Between Great Technology and Great Technology Businesses.

The Difference Between Great Technology and Great Technology Businesses

How many times do you come up with an idea and think to yourself, ‘Wow, I should really do that.’

People in general have the capacity to come up with great ideas. We are all inherently creative to some extent. But there are a few key factors that separate great ideas from great technologies and from great businesses.

In this current global economic environment, a lot of businesses are struggling. There’s a lot of doom and gloom about. Yet it seems every other day there’s a story about successful technology companies making billions of dollars.

Recently the ‘Billion dollar Buy-out’ is the catch phrase running around tech hubs like Silicon Valley. But what takes a company from being worth nothing with a great technology to, to a billion dollar business?

Before we look at the answer first I should point out that, like with the English language there’s an exception to every rule. There are some companies that just have technology so good it sells itself.

A good example of that is Atlassian. Atlassian is an Australian private company that has no sales force, just a great software solution. They develop proprietary software that helps companies track information, analyse data, collaborate on documents and develop their own programs.

Not quite a billion dollar company yet, Atlassian has gone from start-up to about $200 million in just 10 years. Their clientele includes eBay, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. [Read more →]

July 31, 2013   Comments Off