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About Ret45

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  1. Hi. No am trading AGQ, a leveraged silver ETF instead. A trade which is doing very well so far. I have a thread on that in the trading forum.

  2. Hi Romans, are you still trading VIX. It seems to me that it is staring to look attractive again- any views?

  3. Ret45


    Just been looking at Bloomberg - DOW down 180 pips, oil down 4 USD. Gold was fluctuating but now firmly up. I think this is a pattern we are going to see into the summer. load up on gold now!
  4. Ret45


    I agree. Your posts have great conviction. I hope your plays on oil work out great for you.
  5. Do you think you could earn a living by trading, using your system. How much capital would you need to start with?
  6. Ret45

    Ret45's Journal

    Some form of restructuring or default is inevitable unless we can somehow return to economic growth this year (we are in our fourth year of recession). Already half of all income tax generated in the country is going to pay the interest on the sovereign debt taken on to bail out our banks. So some form of default, yes. That's why I bought GM gold. Savings in our zombie banks are guaranteed only by a government which is months away from defaulting.
  7. Ret45

    Ret45's Journal

    Yeah, a lot of people are starting to ask that question. They have already raised the tax on deposit interest and are making noises about the need to get people spending again. After a decade of living on credit and being afraid to be seen in an old car or cheap clothes, irish people are starting to take pride in being thirfty and getting rid of debt. Can't remember the exact figure for the savings rate here at the moment but its gone from something like 2% to 12% in the space of a year or so. Of course that is killing the domestic economy...
  8. Ret45

    Ret45's Journal

    Here’s my thinking on where to put my money. Until 2009 I was good at saving. But increased taxes, salary hits and new costs such as nannies for the kids have affected my ability to save so I have to be careful with what I have managed to put aside. Of my existing savings, I am about 50% in gold/silver, 50% in cash. I will continue to buy gold and silver on dips. I bought into a commodity & emerging markets fund from 2008-2010 through a private pension. Won’t be able to access this for 20 years and am wary of it being wiped out in the meantime. Will focus on shorter term investments instead. I am overexposed to property but there is not much I can do about that unfortunately…I think most of the big property price falls in Ireland have already happened. There could be further drops but my mortgages are on a very low ECB tracker rate and in the long term I think I am better off holding on to my house and rental property and paying down the mortgages over the next 15 years or so and hope that prices start rising again in the meantime. If interest rates go up I might use my gold and cash to reduce the mortgage. I want to use some savings to build up a stock portfolio, starting small. I think this will help balance out my generally defensive & bearish overall position. I have studied the different approaches and think that the Benjamin Graham value investing approach suits me best – I don’t have the temperament for spread betting and I don’t have the time to trade options. A lot of this journal will focus on learning the ropes of value investing. Are there any other Benjamin Graham disciples on GEI? Can anyone recommend any good books, sites, courses?
  9. Interesting Bubb, I'd love to get your take on the Irish property market. We had 14 years of rapidly rising property prices from 1994 - 2008, and we have had nearly four years of even bigger falls from 2008 to now. House prices have dropped between 40-50 percent since 2006 and are now back to 2001 levels. It has been argued that the falls have been so big because Irish banks are trying to reduce the size of their loan book and are not lending for property. The level of mortgage lending in Ireland fell from EUR 40 billion in 2006 to just EUR 2 billion in 2010 - that's a 95% drop in lending! So virtually the only buyers out there are the cash buyers who are bottom feeding. How much further do you think prices can fall?
  10. Not so much a trading diary but more an attempt to evaluate financial & lifestyle options and hopefully make some good decisions for the future. In this first post I'll outline the background & context that will guide my investment decisions into the future. Investment goal: When I joined GEI in 2007 my goal was to be financially independent by end 2016 (hence Ret45 – “retire at age 45”!). The motivation behind this was to allow me to leave my current job in order to pursue another (non-incoming generating) career. But thanks to the recession and property crash in Ireland, if anything I have moved further away from this goal over the past four years. So I want to use this journal to help me get back on the road towards financial independence and as a first step to reduce my working hours to 2-3 days per week by end 2012. Another motivation is to prepare for the implications of the economic scenario set out below. Assets & income: Both my partner and I have fulltime jobs. We’ve seen a circa 20% fall in combined net salary income since 2008, mainly due to increases in taxes and income levies. Been buying gold via GM since 2008 and have some cash (EUR & USD). Have a number of illiquid assets including a mortgaged rental property in Ireland, shares in a German commercial property fund and a small private pension fund focussing on commodities and emerging markets. Will have a public sector pension. Debts: Have a mortgage on my home of about 3 X net annual salary, and mortgage repayments are 20% of net salary. Mortgage on my rental property is also 3 X net annual salary and repayments on this are covered by rental income. Economic facts in Ireland: The Irish state is insolvent and has been unable to borrow on the international money markets since 2010. The Government is currently relying on an IMF/ECB bailout to fund its day to day expenditure. Annual expenditure by government is EUR 48 billion and annual income is EUR 30 billion – an annual deficit of EUR 18 billion. Half of all income tax goes towards repaying the interest on sovereign debt. All of Ireland’s banks have been effectively nationalised at a cost of approx EUR 70 billion to date. Ireland is in its fourth year of recession. Unless Ireland returns to economic growth it will be unable to meet loan repayments and some form of sovereign default or restructuring will be inevitable. Broader assumptions: The situation in Ireland is bad but other western economies are not far behind. I believe that the US and other western economies will continue to experience structural contractions which will result in a double dip, multi-annual recession. Recession will tip already grave systemic solvency problems into crisis. The US will have little alternative but to use the printing press to cover debt obligations which are too great to be resolved by austerity or through raising taxes. The end game in this scenario, eventually, is hyperinflation. Summary: A bearish outlook, particularly for property, but high risks also exist in relation to stocks & bonds. My income will keep falling as taxes and levies increase and inflation is a particular risk for me with my high level of mortgage debt – to an extent I am trapped in the golden handcuffs of a very low ECB tracker mortgage rate. Longer term, there is a high risk that public sector pensions will not be honoured or will be eroded away by inflation. Internationally, there will be increased volatility in property, stocks and currencies and over the next decade the value of these assets will fall. There will also be increased volatility in commodities and gold – but over the next decade I believe that the value of gold will ultimately increase as a hedge against inflation and due to its safe haven status. Priorities: Generate new sources of income - to cover income lost through increased taxes and levies - and to allow me to reduce my hours at work. Hedge against inflation, particularly to protect against the effect of possible ECB interest rate hikes on my mortgage debt. Reduce future dependence on pension funds – they may be wiped out. My next post will look at options for investments. Advice welcome!
  11. Ret45

    UK House prices: News & Views

    True. And no one really has to own more than one pair of shoes. No one really has to go on holiday. No one really has to go to a football game, attend a concert, go to the pub or the cinema. And yet they do. Predicating your argument only on what people have to do is to ignore human nature. No one has to own a house. But I know many 30 something couples with young kids who want to. They want to put down roots and create a long term home that their kids will grow up in, and not have to leave at the whim of a landlord. They want to choose a location that is close to schools and know they can stay there for as long as their kids are in school. They want to pay down a mortgage and to own their home outright before they retire so they don't have to rely on investments to pay the rent in their old age. They want to pass on an asset to their children. These desires are perfectly legitimate, even if you do not share them. The simple solution is to create a legal and tax climate where people no longer want to buy a house because their needs are met through renting - long term security of tenure with built in ceilings on rental increases and with the balanace of power firmly tipped towards the renter. A tax environment that makes home ownership a very expensive luxury and which will reward investment in small and medium sized businesses. This is exactly the situation that exists in Switzerland - the population there invest their money in thriving Swiss businesses and rent throughout their lives. The government actively discourages home ownership through taxation. The only people I knew who owned their own homes in Switzerland were foreign tax exiles. Its also interesting to note the shift in attitude in Ireland (which has the highest levels or home ownership in the world) - where mortgaged property has gone from being considered an "asset" to rightly being seen as a liability. It would be very easy to change the attitude of the population from pro home ownership to pro renting with a few straightfoward changes to the tax code and pension arrangements. Just think of all the billions currently being "invested" into unproductive property that could be use to finance businesses that actually create and produce things...
  12. Ret45


    Don't know about the rest of you guys but I am loving this opportunity to stock up on EUR 24 per OZ silver. This time next year you'll be kicking yourself that you didn't!
  13. Ret45


    gold holding up quite well so far. If there is a bigger fall in the markets expect some deleveraging and falling prices in all assets, including Gold. that would be a good time to stock up.
  14. Ret45


    Not like Turk to make short term predictions like that. He will lose some credibility if nothng comes of it next month.