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Everything posted by cbs7

  1. cbs7


    saw this in the latest Dilbert newsletter and it made me smile http://dilbert.com/newsletter/issue/December_2008_Issue71
  2. Have been away from the board for a bit Steve, but thanks for these links which I will take a look at
  3. Thanks for all the great info and links Steve, do you have any links you can recommend for emigration in general? I am particularly fascinated about South America, but have no idea what it might be like to live there
  4. Excellent analysis from Tom Szabo on why he thinks Jim is wrong on silver http://silveraxis.com/todayinsilver/2008/1...ir-is-mistaken/ To my mind, silver is in many ways a leveraged form of gold, it will rocket up faster than gold often and othertimes will collapse faster than gold on corrections. There is of course some difference in that gold will perform better in a contraction than silver which of course includes some correlation with the broad economy
  5. Thought this guy's ideas on how to deal with junior resource volatility was interesting. Have copied the ideas below from the documents you can download from his website Mercenary Geologist
  6. cbs7

    Gold Comments - 2nd Half

    Hi walden I hope you are right, it certainly felt emotionally something like a low last week. I wouldn't like to see many more sharp around this low but carving out a low while any remaining bullish optimism is wrung out of the market. I like biwwii's commentary on the HUI http://biiwii.blogspot.com/2008/09/hui-wee...e-road-map.html and I did like the volume on the HUI which suggested a strong powerful reversal.
  7. cbs7

    Aurelian taken out by Kinross

    Came across a very good LatAm blog Inka Kola and seems there is a lot of discontent surrounding the Kinross offer and I can only credit the author with this link It's gotta make you laugh on a day like today
  8. Looking at the current environment and seeing that there seem to be discrepancies developing in the spot/physical markets for commodities versus the futures, I am thinking of ditching all my precious metal ETFs and converting them to a physical from - e.g. coins, bars or Goldmoney. I've found the ETFs such as GLD, GBS and SLV convenient for making regular investments into precious metals over the last few years but the more closely I examine their ownership it seems very unlikely that the gold or silver they own is unencumbered. My eyes glaze over when faced with reams of pages in the prospectuses, but for example here are some bits of concern I've noticed while scanning the Lyxor Gold Bullion Securities (GBS) prospectus: 1. Under "Redemption and Payment in gold" "Should the Security Holder demand payment in gold he must provide the Company with a redemption notice specifying an unallocated gold account with an LBMA member clearing bank in London to which the gold shall be transferred and must pay the Redemption Fee." If I wanted delivery of gold I would certainly not want unallocated gold. I don't understand why I couldn't receive allocated gold or delivery of a gold bar 2. GBS says its gold is not insured against loss or theft. "The Custodian has no obligation to insure such gold against loss, theft or damage and the Company does not intend to insure against such risks. Accordingly, there is a risk that the Secured Gold could be lost, stolen or damaged and the Company would not be able to satisfy its obligations in respect of the Lyxor Gold Bullion Securities Why would no insurance be taken out? I don't regard myself as overly paranoid, but might it be because you wouldn't be able to get insurance for gold which is leased to other parties? 3. Under "Custody Services" "Unless otherwise agreed between the Trustee and the Custodian Secured Gold will be held at the Custodian’s London vault premises or, when gold has been allocated in a value other than the Custodian’s London vault premises, by or for any sub-custodian permitted as described in paragraph 6 below." What the hell does "when gold has been allocated in a value other than the Custodian’s London vault premises" mean? 4. The prospectus says the gold is allocated and seems to imply it is held in the company's name: "All such gold will be held in the Secured Gold Accounts. An amount of such Secured Gold not less than the Combined Entitlement to Gold of all outstanding Lyxor Gold Bullion Securities will be held in the Secured Allocated Account, where it will be held in "allocated" form (that is, as uniquely identifiable London Good Delivery bars) other than to the extent that any such gold is required to be transferred to the Secured Unallocated Account to effect a redemption." The word 'allocated' is defined as "uniquely identifiable London Good Delivery bar", but it isn't defined in the formal list of definitions at the end of the document whereas 'unallocated' is. To be honest for a layman like myself I find a prospectus like this extremely confusing, and I just get to feel uneasy that something is going on that I can't put my finger on. If ownership of the gold bullion was clear and straightforward surely it wouldn't be so difficult to describe it in the prospectus? I would like to think the ETFs were fine as they are an easier and cheaper to acquire, but I also feel they would be an easy target for governments to hit in an extreme crisis. The main use I can see for the ETFs might be for hedging by going short at interim tops when you might still want to hold on to physical and for short-term trading PMs.
  9. Good chart at biiwii.com showing the CDNX index still working within its triangle. http://biiwii.blogspot.com/2008/07/tsx-ven...hange-pain.html
  10. cbs7

    Mining Dictionary

    This mining glossary is also quite useful as a quick reference http://www.insidemetals.com/index.php?view=mining_glossary
  11. cbs7


    That is just so blatant it is incredible, but doesn't surprise me one bit. Whatever the FSA say please remember these guys are bookies and Gambling Law in the UK recognises gambling as a grey area of law which is why gambling debts are not enforceable.
  12. cbs7


    I hadn't noticed that myself, but it's yet another nail in the coffin for using SBs for serious investing. I think the promise of tax-free gains is very appealing, but the risks are just not worth it to me. Given this security hole it's easier for them then to claim their data feeds occassionally "make mistakes" and i'm sure in the T&Cs it's buried away that they aren't liable, blah, blah, blah...
  13. cbs7


    True, but we know how well funded these compensation schemes are... and i imagine in the event of a system shock spread betting clients will get less sympathy, and therefore less likely to be bailed out by the taxpayer / investigated by the FSA. I have heard about and also seen this type of manipulation live so I don't think that these are isolated cases. Security on spread betting accounts in my experience is also minimal - when I have rung up all they need is my username and my name - not much else and off you go. I'm not wholly against spreadbetting, but I think the systems are too flaky for any sizeable trading or anything too leveraged. I will use it on occassions for an easy quick trade but not for anything serious, as whatever the FSA say for me they are just a bunch of bookies which means generally they will do things ok, but where it is to their advantage or disadvantage, I suspect there is some manipulation, especially running the stop losses.
  14. cbs7


    I really would advise against spread betting for long-term positions. Please remember that in the UK gambling debts are not legally enforceable so there is a good chance in an extreme event any gains you make you could lose if the the firm or its systems fail in any way. Precious Metals will be extremely volatile and I make sure that all my core positions are 100% unleveraged and 100% owned. If you want to take a long term view buy the shares / metal / whatever it is directly and then you know you own what you own. For lower-risk leveraged short term trade options or double-long/short ETFs would be preferable in my view.
  15. cbs7


    Interactive Brokers is sooo much cheaper and I dare to say even fairly stable (have a look at their share price history compared to most other brokers). The interface has improved a lot though it is still orientated to professional traders so it takes some time to get used to. Customer Service is ok, but not particularly fast. Trades in currencies outside your base currency (GBP in my case) are debited from your balance in that currency. So you actually have to purchase USD or CAD or EUR in currency trades yourself otherwise you run a debit balance and get charged interest. All of this is confusing to start with if you are used to a typical UK broker who normally converts foreign currency into GBP equivalent (while screwing you on the conversion), but you do get used to it. You also enter orders directly into the market which again gives you a lot more control over your trading. I recommend them if you are prepared to take some time to learn the interface.
  16. cbs7

    Pinetree Capital (PNP)

    I am interested in this PP. The press release says that Canaccord Capital Corporation and Thomas Weisel Partners Canada Inc are the agents carrying out the PP. Does anyone know if that means I would need to open a brokerage account with either of these? I will contact them anyway, but I've not been involved in a PP before so would appreciate any feedback from anyone with experience. From what I remember Bubb uses Cannacord and has had good experiences of them
  17. True I think that on balance many juniors are probably a better bet overall. However in a huge bull market in gold (if we get it) which includes broad public participation, then rare coins will probably start getting valued at significant premiums over their metal content. But it is a big if...
  18. There is a UK fund Avarae Global Coins (AVR.L) which holds a portfolio of rare coins. It seems to be carving out a bottom in a similar way that junior mining shares are. If gold really takes off like the juniors it could also do very well. *Disclosure - I bought into this share very recently, so I'm biased *
  19. I just use the Daily Email Digest for threads that I am particularly interested in and the Weekly option for other slower topics, but this suits the time that I have avaialble. I rarely get a chance to come on GEI more than once a day
  20. Looks like change is underway in Cuba http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7449776.stm http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7364791.stm
  21. It's been a while since I first brought up my concern, and I took steps to sell my GLD, SLV, GBS.L, SLVR.L and reallocate them into what I consider safer bullion equivalents. For me Goldmoney is likely the safest of all, however I like to maintain some diversification so I found some Swiss ETFs run by ZKB Bank which I feel are safer (am I naive to think this?) and have used these to maintain a little more liquidity with a smaller fraction of my precious metals. If anyone is interested the ETFs are below, and demoniated in Swiss Francs: ZGLD ZKB GOLD ETF ZSIL ZKB SILVER ETF ZPLA ZKB PLATINUM ETF ZPAL ZKB PALLADIUM ETF I can also get some easy platinum and palladium exposure with these which I feel is useful. Something interesting about Central Fund of Canada was that it seems to be trading at a premium to net asset value lately which I don't really understand given that the underlying assets are simply gold and silver bullion. Although I think CEF is a safe investment I actually sold my holidngs here too as I felt the premium was unjustified - am I missing something about CEF?
  22. Cuba is fascinating and perhaps the model of how a society functions where the price of petrol is simply way out of reach of the ordinary citizens. However I think many in the West view it through rose-tinted spectacles. They have a romantic image of it and its revolutionaries such as Che Guevara, but to me it would be horrendous place to live. I live a simple but comfortable western lifestyle and I realise there are some areas where things will change as we move through Peak Oil, but the conidtions in Cuba for ordinary people are just too low that I would want to see them come to pass in the developed world. I live in hope that we will be able to overcome the challenges of Peak Oil and restructure, just hopefully not too late... When I visited Cuba in 2006 the price of almost anything was way too expensive for ordinary people who didn't receive any outside money from family members abroad. People could hardly afford even soap or toilet paper. In 2006 a doctor earned about 35 USD equivalent a month, a teacher about 25 USD per month, and petrol was about 1 dollar per litre. The roads were delapidated and empty apart from trucks run by the government which picked up people who hitch from the side of the road and there were very very few private cars (presumably owned by the relatively wealthy) I like Cuba and the people, but I think most are desparate for change. I speak Spanish so could converse with them directly. There were a good number who thought that the socialist government was still the way forward, but I have my doubts. I asked some people who did say there was good free health care, some others said that yes it was free, but medicines weren't avialable and the hospitals were in disrepair. I'm sure that the constant interference from the US government has made the matter worse over the years and strengthened Castro's grip, but I do think it will change over time and hopefully for the better. I've heard that Raul Castro has liberalised things a little which sound promising, though the US unfortunately continues with its extreme policy of demonising the leadership which tends to prevent any constructive dialogue between the 2 neighbours.
  23. I've been to Cuba and outside the tourist zones it's a pretty miserable place. There is hardly any food available beyond the absolute basics though nobody starves in Cuba as everyone receives a (very) basic monthly ration. Food has to be sold at very low fixed prices determined by the government and meat and cheese are generally sold on the black market by the side of the road. The roads are shot to pieces and although many people have some lovely old cars most people simply can't afford to drive them. Something interesting though is that there is a genuine sense of solidairity among farmers there. One day we stopped and chatted to a group of tobacco farmers who were helping each other to rebuild a tobacco curing barn which had blown down, and it seemed they would always help each other whenever it was needed. Many in the West have a romantic idea of how wonderful Cuba is, but it has a huge number of problems, many of course created or worsened by the US blockade but the poltical system has a lot of faults too. Thinking about it I wonder if it's an example of where the West could end up in worst-case post-peak oil scenario... I hope not
  24. I personally think the car is a wonderful invention that has given people enormous flexibility when they are travelling in places / at times when public transport is unfeasible. I agree we need a lot better public transport, but my guess is it is impossible for the whole world to move to a location with good public transport. Also surely businesses and other people need the ability to move goods around e.g. via vans as and when required? When oil hits $300 or higher, will they be able to afford to? My feeling is that as the price moves higher there will be inevitable demand destruction or if not that then shortages, but the push to develop better electric cars will strengthen further. I don't really know much about electric car technology (I should find out) but especially for the US wouldn't it be a better solution than the wholesale destruction of the suburbs and the wealth and development they represent? Of course the technology may not be developed in time or work, so it is probably a good idea to be reducing car usage where possible.