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The BillyB, Aster & JR8 roundtable!

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Postby BillyB » Wed, 20 Apr 2011 12:13 am

aster wrote:Very interesting info on Intel, forgot about them completely. Especially since we haven't heard much from AMD recently, which usually help raise the question, "where are Intel nowadays?". :)

Are there any foreseeable dangers for Intel, or do they look fairly bulletproof? I see they're missing out on the iPad, where ironically Samsung manufactures the Apple i5 CPU. I don't suppose Apple is looking at long-term plans at ditching them for its computer range?

Regarding Google, I'm wondering if peoples' feelings about the company will get so negative (personal data collection, storing it, using it, etc.) that people will move away from their search engine even. I recall when Mozilla launched Firefox and how people left not only due to the promise of a better browser, but also because they were sick and tired of MS. Now if Mozilla was to launch a massive campaign aimed and introducing its own search engine, without storing sensitive info about people, possibly without ads, etc., could they do to the Google SE what Firefox did to IE?

http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_stats.asp

What's the best thing to do when awaiting a major market crash? I suppose when shares tumble then the USD shoots up, so holding the $ or a currency that will shoot up with it (CHF?) is the way to go? Are any other currencies out there a safe bet in this situation? I suppose the AUD will tumble horrendously when things go haywire in the world, just like it did the last time around...


Intel are placing a great deal of resources in the cloud space and really pinning their future on being the leader and the backbone of it. It's interesting that they've also abandoned their preference to MS and see the smartphone and tablet arena in Android and Apple as where they also want to be. Intel in Laptops, smartphones, tablets - a sort of continuity and consistency appeal don't you think. They are making good traction with many tablet makers and are pushing, as you rightly say, to get into the apple devices. They have major competition though in smartphones from a British firm called ARM who have industry leadership in this space despite no one knowing about them. Also AMD are making some great advances too which will shake up the chip makers if they gain a foothold and win some big partnership contracts.
But my reason for being bullish on Intel is the cloud space. Nothing is ever bulletproof as you know, but they are a good bet and have a great track record of coming back to the table (not always the best first time) with the best product in class.

I think the mozilla thing took off because of microsoft's greed, monopoly and people got genuinely pissed off with their lack of real innovation, unreliability and simply wanted a change. A bit like the conservatives winning the elections - not because people liked them, but because they were a change. But credit to firefox, its a good browser that is thought of highly - as the rankings reflect. There is so much more potential, as you point out, for them to do so much more.

Google and the technology is actually pretty frightening if you think about it. They analyse what you search for, what you write in emails (this freaks alot of people out) and use this to target and tailor all sorts of ads to you. Apparently their technology can index and crawl facebook and find any reference to you on the site - pictures, posts, messages - but it has been blocked by a court injunction. I'm not sure if it's true or not. More likely is that facebook simply write code to prevent google working its algo magic within facebook??!! I'm not sure what to believe so I tend to stick with what is measurable and reasonably predictable!!

I think Google have such a foothold in the search market that anyone wanting to compete will always have to settle for second best - you can still make good dollar being second or third best to google, but overtaking them, I'm not so sure. I think you just associate the internet with google full stop and people assume it is the internet!! They can keep it prominent in new technology by controlling things at the device level also - thus tapping into the youngsters getting their new mobiles at age 4, 6, 10 etc. and automatically seeing google as a browser when you open the internet. From such a young age, nothing else gets a chance. If they dominate the smart phone space, they are locking in a potential endless flow of customers for the longterm.
I think if someone were to try and challenge, the amount of cash they would have to put into the venture would be such a high figure, it really limits the options to those companies with huge cash flow - such as MS with Bing etc.

Do you know something that the rest of us are missing, as you keep mentioning market crashes??!!

If you are bearish on equities in, for example, the U.S, you can sell index call options on say the S&P 500 if you think its going to bomb out. That way you receive a premium that you can leverage into shorting all the stocks in the index if you have enough cash to do that!!

For FX, in a practical context with client orders - you can use forward rates or swaps to lock in your view and thats about as far as I go. I'm not an FX expert by any means so I'm not even pretending to know that space!!

But there is a safeguard of value - that you have surprisingly ignored - in bad times for the U.S dollar - GOLD!!!!

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Postby aster » Tue, 26 Apr 2011 4:46 pm

BillyB wrote:I think Google have such a foothold in the search market that anyone wanting to compete will always have to settle for second best - you can still make good dollar being second or third best to google, but overtaking them, I'm not so sure. I think you just associate the internet with google full stop and people assume it is the internet!! They can keep it prominent in new technology by controlling things at the device level also - thus tapping into the youngsters getting their new mobiles at age 4, 6, 10 etc. and automatically seeing google as a browser when you open the internet. From such a young age, nothing else gets a chance. If they dominate the smart phone space, they are locking in a potential endless flow of customers for the longterm.


Yes, being second best to Google would not be bad at all! :) I think Bing didn't take off for two reasons: A) a silly name -and- B) the fact that Microsoft is behind it.

Now a search engine that did away with all the sensitive data collection and had such a respected name like Mozilla behind it would easily surpass Bing I think, and take a bite out of Google's market share too...

I just wish Google would come up with more money-makers than their search engine, as I still recall the day when altavista was the place where everyone would go to...

BillyB wrote:Do you know something that the rest of us are missing, as you keep mentioning market crashes??!!


I wish I did, but I do have a bad feeling about things spiralling out of control again with commodities hitting historic prices and showing no signs of slowing down. Things will heat up just like last time, except the bubble will get even bigger this time around before the big *pop* finally happens. 2012 perhaps? :) What would it take do you think to trigger the whole thing? Japan having to default on its debts? US ratings to fall and trigger a mass panic?

BillyB wrote:But there is a safeguard of value - that you have surprisingly ignored - in bad times for the U.S dollar - GOLD!!!!


I'm actually looking for something to hold for when US markets crash. But doesn't that usually bid well for the USD?

What held up during the last financial crisis?

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Postby JR8 » Wed, 27 Apr 2011 6:39 pm

'Hole in Greek finances bigger than thought as bond flight continues
Fears that struggling eurozone nations will not be able to pay their debts intensified as official data showed the hole in Greece's finances was bigger than thought.'
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/econ ... inues.html

What a surprise, another day and tic.... toc... tic .... toc, watch it slide. Going down!

Frankly Aster, why not bide your time. Wait until Greece, Portugal and Spain get spat out of the euro, then scoop up some rental property that's going to yield you 20% odd? The Germans will still want to go on holiday hehehe...

[Punch & Judy] That's the way to do it! [/]

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Postby aster » Wed, 27 Apr 2011 7:22 pm

You're like those guys who carry these "The end of the world is nigh" signs... :)

Spain and Portugal will not get booted anywhere, and I don't think anyone's daft enough to leave on their own accord. I *wish* Greece would have been booted out, but the decision has been made to hold the current currency union together without exception.

Now if the Germans are in charge of a currency then why exactly would you be worried? :)

And from what I see the UK is joining the Euro in a slightly different way: keeping it's design, name, and all original notes & coins... but almost leveling out with the Euro in terms of value. What is the GBP nowadays... 1.12 Euro?

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Postby JR8 » Wed, 27 Apr 2011 8:34 pm

aster wrote:You're like those guys who carry these "The end of the world is nigh" signs... :)

I am old enough to remember that guy who used to do that up and down Oxford Street. But are you? :)


Seriously though my friend I do not think you should take the P out of what I am saying. You are looking at property, you are looking at the gob-ends being spat-out in Eire. I am the 20 year seven figure landlord in Notting Hill who has seen a shit-hole yielding 15% turn to gold.

Spain and Portugal will not get booted anywhere, and I don't think anyone's daft enough to leave on their own accord. I *wish* Greece would have been booted out, but the decision has been made to hold the current currency union together without exception.

Sure. Meanwhile what do you think about the Spanish property market. You said that Eire is down to 25% of previous value...

[yawn] No one will get booted out of the EU. We all have to fund the Franco-German folly right to the end.


Now if the Germans are in charge of a currency then why exactly would you be worried? :)

Because the EU is totally buggered?

And from what I see the UK is joining the Euro in a slightly different way: keeping it's design, name, and all original notes & coins... but almost leveling out with the Euro in terms of value. What is the GBP nowadays... 1.12 Euro?


Is this like a wet dream that you have been having? No UK political party is EVER going to suggest joining the euro.

Funny re: the coinage though, the Turks mirror that too. I wonder why HAHA!. So that 20 Turkish families can post-joining come and camp in your garden in SG and enjoy lifestyle and taxes that they'll never get in Europe? 'Ooh lala, these low non-EU taxes are just great, thank heavens we don't have to live there!


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Postby JR8 » Wed, 27 Apr 2011 8:43 pm

'The continued flight from Greek sovereign debt pushed the yield, or return, on the 10-year government bonds to new highs of 15.5pc.

The European Central Bank, the only major potential buyer, "won't buy whilst [some eurozone countries such as Germany] continue to speak and put pressure on Greece to restructure", said one trader.'
----------------------------------------



Do let us know why you think Greece, in fact the EU, is a buy.

Seriously I'd be interested to see a case made for the EU being a target for investment.

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Postby BillyB » Wed, 27 Apr 2011 9:13 pm

On a separate point guys - Greece is completely on it's arse as you've probably read.

Despite the b/s the Government and trade unions are preaching, it looks highly likely there will be a second round of bailouts, so if you have a few spare quid maybe you can find a broker who will sell you some CDS!! Or short the banks, construction companies, real estate stocks, tourism related stocks etc.

Fast forward 12 months - The E.U and IMF shit themselves and bottle the hard-line stance to the annoyance of the other members and throw Greece a few Euro's to spunk down the pan once more.......deja vu.

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Postby JR8 » Wed, 27 Apr 2011 9:41 pm

The EU is f***cked, you'd be a fool not to see it.

And a hypocrite to be picking on the carcass whilst denying it's existence :wink:

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Postby JR8 » Wed, 27 Apr 2011 9:54 pm

BillyB wrote:On a separate point guys - Greece is completely on it's arse as you've probably read.

Despite the b/s the Government and trade unions are preaching, it looks highly likely there will be a second round of bailouts, so if you have a few spare quid maybe you can find a broker who will sell you some CDS!! Or short the banks, construction companies, real estate stocks, tourism related stocks etc.

Fast forward 12 months - The E.U and IMF shit themselves and bottle the hard-line stance to the annoyance of the other members and throw Greece a few Euro's to spunk down the pan once more.......deja vu.


Just waiting to see Portugal topple over. They say wait until until June do they?

Hahahaha.... that's funny, like 'they' have any say in the matter.

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Postby BillyB » Wed, 27 Apr 2011 10:13 pm

JR8 wrote:
BillyB wrote:On a separate point guys - Greece is completely on it's arse as you've probably read.

Despite the b/s the Government and trade unions are preaching, it looks highly likely there will be a second round of bailouts, so if you have a few spare quid maybe you can find a broker who will sell you some CDS!! Or short the banks, construction companies, real estate stocks, tourism related stocks etc.

Fast forward 12 months - The E.U and IMF shit themselves and bottle the hard-line stance to the annoyance of the other members and throw Greece a few Euro's to spunk down the pan once more.......deja vu.


Just waiting to see Portugal topple over. They say wait until until June do they?

Hahahaha.... that's funny, like 'they' have any say in the matter.


I heard Finland were kicking off about Portugal??

The Portuguese Government are trying to buy some time with the bail out plan and are acting like a dog with a newspaper about to be ripped out of it's mouth.

But seriously, they are talking about radical reform, privatisation and all that bollocks trying to win support - just in time for the elections!! Funny that!! Let's all unite for the good of the people and use policies that display our own complete incompetence at running the Country.

Or if they were feeling particularly strategic - they could just blame the Germans!!

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Postby JR8 » Wed, 27 Apr 2011 10:26 pm

BillyB wrote:
JR8 wrote:
BillyB wrote:On a separate point guys - Greece is completely on it's arse as you've probably read.

Despite the b/s the Government and trade unions are preaching, it looks highly likely there will be a second round of bailouts, so if you have a few spare quid maybe you can find a broker who will sell you some CDS!! Or short the banks, construction companies, real estate stocks, tourism related stocks etc.

Fast forward 12 months - The E.U and IMF shit themselves and bottle the hard-line stance to the annoyance of the other members and throw Greece a few Euro's to spunk down the pan once more.......deja vu.


Just waiting to see Portugal topple over. They say wait until until June do they?

Hahahaha.... that's funny, like 'they' have any say in the matter.


I heard Finland were kicking off about Portugal??

The Portuguese Government are trying to buy some time with the bail out plan and are acting like a dog with a newspaper about to be ripped out of it's mouth.

But seriously, they are talking about radical reform, privatisation and all that bollocks trying to win support - just in time for the elections!! Funny that!! Let's all unite for the good of the people and use policies that display our own complete incompetence at running the Country.

Or if they were feeling particularly strategic - they could just blame the Germans!!





Hahaha!

Portugal, the only country to have ever democratically elected a communist government.

Nuff said

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Postby aster » Wed, 27 Apr 2011 10:34 pm

For the residents of countries where fiscal irresponsibility has led to a budgetary collapse, being part of the Euro is a godsend. Imagine how people's life savings and investments would have gone to shit if their country weren't part of the Euro-zone? Imagine all those Greeks with Monopoly-money instead of Euros in their hands today... :D

Iceland? Everyone there wishes they were part of the EU just because of the possibility of joining the Euro. Nowadays that is, because before the global crisis they all thought they were bulletproof...

Even the UK has seen the currency go down the crapper. I recall the Pound being 2:1 against the Euro, what is it nowadays? :) Now I pulled ALL my quid out simply because I knew I wasn't going to be living in the UK any more (and possibly never returning as a resident) and it was the best decision I've ever made with regards to currencies. I didn't convert the lot into Euros but dumped everything I had into AUD at around 2.10 at the time. And happy as I am nowadays at doing so, the question is what to do now with regards to currency positions... Keep? Sell... and buy what?

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Postby BillyB » Wed, 27 Apr 2011 10:53 pm

aster wrote:For the residents of countries where fiscal irresponsibility has led to a budgetary collapse, being part of the Euro is a godsend. Imagine how people's life savings and investments would have gone to shit if their country weren't part of the Euro-zone? Imagine all those Greeks with Monopoly-money instead of Euros in their hands today... :D

Iceland? Everyone there wishes they were part of the EU just because of the possibility of joining the Euro. Nowadays that is, because before the global crisis they all thought they were bulletproof...

Even the UK has seen the currency go down the crapper. I recall the Pound being 2:1 against the Euro, what is it nowadays? :) Now I pulled ALL my quid out simply because I knew I wasn't going to be living in the UK any more (and possibly never returning as a resident) and it was the best decision I've ever made with regards to currencies. I didn't convert the lot into Euros but dumped everything I had into AUD at around 2.10 at the time. And happy as I am nowadays at doing so, the question is what to do now with regards to currency positions... Keep? Sell... and buy what?


Aster, I'm not trying to pick a fight here but in your first point you cannot see the wood for the trees. The Euro made them instable because the central policies pulled their economy all over the place. Yes they were unprepared and could have managed things much better, but even microscopic changes in rates, unemployment, borrowing costs, changes in credit ratings has such a ripple effect that a small economy get's eaten alive. I think the trade off is a vast chasm if you compare having your savings protected or having a more prosperous economy.

Iceland is a different kettle of fish but I do agree with you on the protection side although not enough to say that is a prime reason to join the Euro!! If the Governments of the Countries were savvy, they'd take insurance out on the risk of default - the premiums are a small price to pay to protect peoples money - hell they could even charge the public for it and build it into the tax rate. I'd be happy to pay that anyday.

I do feel for those people who had money tied up in Iceland - deposits, pension funds and the like and have lost the lot. It was yet again a case of greed from the banks fueled by ridiculous ratings on crap debt from moody's, S&P etc and also economic experts giving their two cents in support of Iceland becoming de-regulated given its stability in the past. this 'support' attracted inflows into the Country for investment that, like the U.S subprime debt passed onto the institutions and investors, was always doomed to fail. Very similar in fact to the same fundamentals that were catalysts to the housing crash in the U.S.

On your final point, don't you want to invest in property or something more stable? I'd be on a knife edge holding just cash and being at the mercy of the uncertain. What do you use to hedge?

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Postby JR8 » Wed, 27 Apr 2011 11:23 pm

For the residents of countries where fiscal irresponsibility has led to a budgetary collapse, being part of the Euro is a godsend. Imagine how people's life savings and investments would have gone to shit if their country weren't part of the Euro-zone? Imagine all those Greeks with Monopoly-money instead of Euros in their hands today...

Are you kidding man!? Do you think the citizens of Ireland, Portugal and Greece think being in the euro was a godsend? They’re totally crucified because of the euro.

Iceland? Everyone there wishes they were part of the EU just because of the possibility of joining the Euro. Nowadays that is, because before the global crisis they all thought they were bulletproof...

Sure, Iceland with more fish-stock than just about any country on earth yearns to have the Spanish come and scoop it all up. Their economy seems to be doing quite well recovering outside of the EU don’t you think?

Even the UK has seen the currency go down the crapper. I recall the Pound being 2:1 against the Euro, what is it nowadays? Now I pulled ALL my quid out simply because I knew I wasn't going to be living in the UK any more (and possibly never returning as a resident) and it was the best decision I've ever made with regards to currencies. I didn't convert the lot into Euros but dumped everything I had into AUD at around 2.10 at the time. And happy as I am nowadays at doing so, the question is what to do now with regards to currency positions... Keep? Sell... and buy what?

Yeah agreed, Europe is buggered. Prime UK property is ‘safe as houses’. I’d listen to people and macro views from the likes of BillyB. I have 20 years deep experience investing in W2/11 property... but I have no reason to preach or advocate :)

If you had £250k burning a hole where would you dump it?

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Postby aster » Wed, 27 Apr 2011 11:23 pm

Well we have Greece on one side and Iceland on the other, but I wouldn't blame the Greeks' demise on being part of the Euro, and likewise I'd never say that Iceland fell apart because they weren't part of it. But I definitely know where I'd want to be as a regular person trying to protect their savings...

I'm not hedging anything at the moment, and as I'm not keen on any "funds" or the like it's either currencies, stocks, properties (that I would own directly) or commodities for me. Not sure what to do... any ideas?


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