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Gamblers, Speculators and Investors

by Bruno Deshayes on 28 Apr 2016 permalink
Gamblers rarely see themselves as gamblers nor would they want their spouse to know what they are really doing. If there are some winners in the market there must also be some losers and I am afraid gamblers make the bulk of it. They compound their misfortune by trading with borrowed money rather than some set-aside capital they can afford to loose if it comes to that. They are attracted to the market for all the wrong motives and supply the grapevine with reasons why you should not be trading. They have no discipline no patience and no accountability. They have no notion of a calculated risk and do not take a break to regather themselves after a loss. Instead they try to make up for it by trading double the original quantity. Their demise is deserved. They suffer from a psychological addiction which blinds them to the consequences of bankruptcy to themselves and their family if they still have one.

Speculators are savvy traders who have a nosy interest in the market. They like to uncover profitable patterns and only trust what they have observed after some long and meticulous research. They use math and charting to document their findings but unlike specialists who know it all but never trade speculators take trades every day as a matter of personal discipline. They learn to take losses in their stride knowing that the next gain is just around the corner if they keep trading and maintain their safeguards. Speculators tend to trade commodities, forex and indices which cannot be manipulated by a single large player. Speculators are predominantly short term and use technical analysis.

Investors are in for the long term and use mainly fundamental analysis. They have a vested interest and inside knowledge of a given industry. They know the main players in the game and keep themselves informed of anything that might impact their industry. Investors tend to trade stocks of all capitalisation. They might know that so and so has been appointed to the board of directors of some unnoticed company and vote with an order for a bundle of shares. Investors are experts at sifting through information. In fact recent scandals have highlighted the fact that what you know and what you do with that information can make you a fortune. Insider trading is hard to quantify, hard to prosecute and hard to expose. Retail investors are in danger of being duped by insiders and recriminations are the norm at company annual general meetings. Share options and the plethora of new weird and wonderful share issues muddy the waters for newcomers.

Find out more at Trading Pal


Capital raising for the masses

by Bruno Deshayes on 21 Apr 2016 permalink
Crowd funding is a new phenomenon in cyberspace at the cross-roads of social media and equity markets.

Raising funds for a small business was an anathema. You either borrowed funds from your bank manager or a local solicitor. Today people seek funding for all sorts of ventures like a music festival, a movie, a video game, a technical innovation.

There are two funding models: All Or Nothing and Keep It All. In the first all monies are returned to investors if the targeted amount is not reached by the deadline. In the later, the onus is on the entrepreneur to return funds to investors or carry on the project with whatever was raised.

The promoting website is the only one with a stable business model if you allow me to be circumspect. They don't offer any endorsements or guarantees as to what gets promoted on their pages but they levy a percentage tax on all donations transacted through them.

The amazing thing is that you see lots of hype about fashion, entertainment, technology but few brick and mortar businesses like your local garage, an independent corner store or a cheese manufacturer.

So what does the future holds? The monopoly of long established equity markets is under threat. The recent annual report of the ASX (Australian Stock Exchange) makes sober reading in the face of CFD trading (contracts for difference) and the growth of dark pools and HFT (high frequency trading).

So it looks like the big players are going to do their own thing anyway. They are a law unto themselves, transcending national boundaries and regulators.

When you have a business idea you would go for seed money or angel funding. As opposed to venture capital these involve much smaller amounts (up to $50,000) and seek active participation in the new start-up business. Many are searching high and low for the next facebook to emerge and you have to kiss many frogs to find Prince Charming.

The emphasis is not on creating employment for those who need it the most. Instead it is for going after the latest fads. A new app for mobile phones which will be so compelling that its distribution will reach a viral effect. It is free to download to gain instant market share and carries a payload of advertisements for all those who will join on the band wagon. It does not offer any intrinsic value until users realise that they have been duped and the cycle repeats itself.


The end is nigh

by Bruno Deshayes on 14 Apr 2016 permalink
If you had to live only until the next feast of Trumpets, how would you re-prioritize your life?

It does not take an expert to figure out we have gone past the point of no-return on many fronts: collapsing economy, rampant unemployment, unaffordable housing, aging population, endemic corruption, government gridlock, global warming, epidemics, pollution, sexual abuse, wars, illegal immigration, to name a few.

If God cares about us, why does he allow so much suffering and inequality?

God is going to exact his judgment upon the earth but he also has provided a way of escape for those who love him. This is called the Rapture. The Scripture foretell an event where people who abide in Christ would suddenly vanish and be translated into heaven.

A bit far fetched, you might think? In fact many Christians will miss out because they love their lifestyle more than they love God. There is a movie called "Left Behind" which details this very scenario. Indeed you don't want to be left behind and have to go through the ordeal that is ahead. This is the time to grab a bible and start reading the gospels and the book of revelation.

With a One World Government also comes a One World Currency and a One World Religion. A mighty financial collapse is being engineered through the quantitative easing of the US dollar and now the Euro and a bankrupt Federal Reserve. Use your money to do some good because come Sept 2015 it will be useless. A new currency will be ushered - one that prevents identity fraud as everyone will have to take a microchip implant under the skin to buy or sell anything.

One World Religion means the pope is an apostate who has denied Christ long ago and because of that denial a mishmash of religious leaders will have no qualm into forging ahead with a new global religion - we know what that is - the worship of the antichrist.

We are living a unique time in human history - and this calls for a unique response on your part. There have been many warnings before and even scoffers were running "rapture parties" but God will not be mocked. Consider that all the prophecies in the Old Testament of the bible concerning the life, death and resurrection of Christ came to be fulfilled exactly. Now soberly consider that all the prophecies about the second coming of Christ and the tribulation will also come to pass.


How good it is to do nothing when all else is busy around

by Bruno Deshayes on 07 Apr 2016 permalink
Being able to rest from your labour is a privilege few of us know how to enjoy in a world that wants more for less. You are not a machine. Unless you learn how to pace yourself you will burn - guaranteed!

There is a time to work and a time to rest. A time to concentrate and a time to unwind. A time to be creative and a time to relax.

What would be the motivation to get people to break that rule? Who said we had to obey rules? The common wisdom "do as you please as long as it doesn't harm anyone" is flawed.

Human beings work in cycles. We have a heartbeat. We need a regular sleep pattern. Even being deprived of sunlight is detrimental. The short answer is that we were made that way.

Learning to manage your time is a skill that is taught by frustration and disappointment. Something good can come out of a negative experience - as long as you have a teachable spirit. If you had it your way all the time you would become lazy and conceited. Not a pretty sight. Where you spend your time tells me all about your priorities in life. If you care for your family you will spend quality time to build them up. If work is your idol you will bow to a slave master that is never satisfied.

Why not be content with what you have now rather than trying to bite more than you can chew? And you know what? If you don't have the discipline to know when to stop someone else will pull the plug on you. It might be an accident, a mental breakdown, a relationship that ends up abruptly, a large customer taking their business elsewhere, etc...

The knowledge of the future does not belong to us. One thing we can control though is how we spend our time right now. Don't be burdened by past events. The past is gone. You can't go there and try to fix it. It is water under the bridge. Let go and move on. Forgive those who did you wrong. They might be oblivious to the hurt they caused you but by holding a grudge you're the one being bound - not them!

It is by abiding to your own rhythm that you can move forward. When you the least expect it, new ideas will spring to mind, why? Because the pressure is off and you are free again to be who you were meant to be...


Can you ever trust your favourite brand?

by Bruno Deshayes on 31 Mar 2016 permalink
The people you have loved to trust may be just an empty shell. Let us look behind the scenes at some very quiet operators who are the recipients of some many famous brands outsourcing their design and production.

Ideo is a think-tank doing a lot of design work for many famous brands. So if you think a brand you love had a reputation for expertise and know-how - think again.

If you think we live in a healthy competitive market where the best design, the best quality and the best service wins the dominant market share - think again.

If you think that as a consumer you have a choice - think again. You merely have a choice of distribution channels all pumping out the same merchandise repackaged in different flavours to give you the illusion of choice...

Accountants like to set aside an amount under "goodwill" or "industrial property" to quantify the know-how of a given firm. As an investor what do you make of a company who has divested its intelligence and know-how to a third party who also works for your competitors?

The argument behind idea factories like Ideo is that it is very costly to retain the best design brains in the world and keep them busy year-in year-out. So brands have given up being competitive anymore and have surrended to a monopoly of good ideas. Perhaps they take turns in a round-robin arrangements where competitors decide between themselves who will release what and when... Definitively not a good arrangement for consumers...

If you favourite brand can't be bothered to design its own unique products anymore it appears they can't be bothered to manufacture them either. We live in a virtual world, a global village where we are at the mercy of anything happening at the other end of the globe. The following brands are listed as using Flextronics facilities: Cisco Systems, Inc, Eastman Kodak , Ericsson Telecom, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, Sony-Ericsson, Western Digital, Sun Microsystems - even Lego toys!

As the Icelandic volcano air travel disruption pointed out we live in an interconnected world where a Japanese car manufacturer can be held-up by parts made in Ireland and shipped by air-freight.

iPad kills

If you think you have a duty of care as a citizen of planet earth and become an environment-conscious consumer have you ever considered the plight of Chinese workers who make your iPad?

How long can companies live a double life through a carefully choreographed marketing campaign? The truth is that when you buy an iPad you are party to a scheme of slavery and mental abuse. Check out the not so glorious record of Foxconn a Taiwanese conglomerate employing 800,000 people in mainland China including those working at the massive Shenzhen complex.

So instead of advertising the virtues of Apple, Hewlett-Packard, Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft, Nokia, Motorola, Cisco, etc... shouldn't we scrutinize the shortcomings of Ideo, Flextronics and Foxconn?


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