Out at the peak

Monday, February 27, 2006

Support SLV (Silver ETF)

SEC Form

Silver Association Petition

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Too much bubble information!

While I think this is a great thing, I can no longer keep up with all the bubble news and comments. I mentioned on Sacramento Land(ing) that there is just too much information going on in thriving blogs and their comments.

In October and November I was able to read every blog post, referring article, and comments from my links. I even got a word in once in awhile. There is no one that can keep up now unless they were unemployed. Triple digit comments on Ben's blog per article isn't uncommon. Is there anyone that still can? Now I have to be selective in what I read. Thank goodness for headlines. :)

I believe this means we have reached a critical mass of some sort, and perhaps there will be a bubble about bubble talk. ;-) (That's cheesy.) People will become bubbleheads whether they want to or not because affordability will be a real issue. As an asset continues to slide, people might think it's not the best thing in the world to put all your money in.

Economic Rot has pointed out that the housing bubble is only part of the story. It will be interesting and scary to see how this all unfolds.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

JPY gets some hopeful news, ISK not so much

Bloomberg reports that the bank of Japan might be ready to increase rates. We've seen this head fake before. One of these times, it will be real.

On another currency note, Icelandic Krona has been hit hard the last two days due to Fitch downgrading its outlook for the currency. Ouch!

More inventory keeping agents busy

More lumps of for sale signs. (Nice picture)

I think we are inching towards seven months inventory in Orlando, FL. (Original story)

Friday, February 17, 2006

New CanRoy in town

CNE is now available on the NYSE. Current monthly payout is $0.20 USD.
I think this would be a nice buy @ $20/share. After 15% Canadian tax, the yield would be 10%+. The question is if it will dip to $20. As always, please do your due diligence (DD).

To recap, I like the following CanRoys:
AAV, FDG, PGH, PTF, PVX, and PWI. (Other people like HTE too.)

Thursday, February 16, 2006

More lending jobs lost (WM)

Washington Mutual is cutting 2500 jobs after an acquistion/consolidation. Their stock is up! They are still hiring with 2340 job openings. Unsure if all positions will be filled.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

India might invest $1 billion in oil sands

From The Daily Pfennig:
"India may invest as much as $1 Billion to develop oil-sands projects in Canada within the next 12 months, the Wall Street Journal said, citing an Indian government official it didn't identify. India and Japan sent delegations to Alberta to study the area and visit scientists researching extraction of heavy oil, known as bitumen."

India must see the excellent business case that the oil sands provide.

You have a 1 in 5 chance...

Diane Cohn says you have a 1 in 5 chance to sell your house in Reno. She's not a doom and gloomer. She's a Realtor(tm)! Her long term outlook is still optimistic (because Reno is special). Although I like her usages of "flood" and "TONS".

Monday, February 13, 2006

Syria beats Iran to Euros

Syria is now switching their transactions to Euros. This definitely does not help the USD, and should give Euros a boost.

Friday, February 10, 2006

It's different this time

I liked this Craigslist post:
1922: An acre of Florida swamp sells for $4 million. No worries. Experts proclaim "It's different this time."
1929: The Dow quadruples in just a few years. No worries. Experts proclaim "It's different this time."
1980: California real estate prices are way out of wack. No worries. Experts proclaim "It's different this time."
1988: Nikkei reaches 30,000. No worries. Experts proclaim "It's different this time."
1989: California real estate prices are way out of wack. No worries. Experts proclaim "It's different this time."
2000: Nasdaq resides at absurd levels. No worries. Experts proclaim "It's different this time."
2005: California real estate prices are way out of wack. No worries. Experts proclaim "It's different this time."

Bush policy asking for trouble

From today's Daily Pfennig:
"When Bush talks about cutting the deficit in half, he's not talking about dollar amounts. Instead, the plan calls for a reduction in the deficit to half of the current percentage of the nation's GDP."

"That means the deficit doesn't actually have to decline for the president to declare he met his goal of cutting it in half. "To hit their target," says Wiggin, "the economy just has to grow by 3.3% a year for the next 4 years."

"Instead of truly solving the budget deficit, Washington is trying to mask it. They will focus on keeping the GDP up with tax cuts and other incentives instead of trying to control debt by keeping government spending under control."

This thinking is going to get us into big trouble depending how bad the housing market downturn is. A modest downturn (less volume, some reductions) could decrease the GDP by 5%. Then the deficit will look really, really bad. This could be a trigger for USD decline.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Investors reaching

The following was said on SDCIA:
"I agree that with 600k new people and only 200k new homes the market in SD is probably going to be strong. The problem as I see it in CA is because of the higher house prices the property taxes are killing everyone. Since you can't do much about the greedy bureaucraps with the politicians in their pockets what CA needs is another prop 13!"

The problem with those thoughts is that 1) each house is going to hold three+ people average 2) Prop 13 is still enforced, you cannot re-enforce it. So demand will balance with supply, and I don't know what he means with another Prop 13. Perhaps he is suggesting that assessments should be artificially surpressed or transferable statewide. Assessment transfers are available for some counties already.

When you are calling for adjustments in the law to make something affordable, something is wrong. And since the law is very forgiving in CA (Prop 13 saved me and my family a bunch of money), something else has to give.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Corporations actually tell us what we can do

Earlier, we saw Bush had a proposal to ease off of foreign oil. However, Exxon had to step in and tell the president that it's not going to happen. The real chain of command is exposed.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Great Britian and Australia: Crystal Ball

I'm surprised the phrase 'bankruptcy bubble' made the press. This is all due to people not being able to make their mortgage payments. This is Great Britian where they were one year ahead of the US housing bubble.

The popping of the Australian housing bubble is going to hurt people on the sidelines. Australia is now faced with a shortfall of property taxes. They have to cut programs in order to maintain a balanced budget.

One year from now, the US will be faced with these same issues and more. As a culture, America is prone to be unstable. Fear and greed seem to be magnified thanks to religious conservatives addicted to FoxNews.

Mess with money

An REIT in Germany had to close down transactions because too much money was being pulled out at once. Do you have any risky investments that could become illiquid? Hopefully you've considered getting out of them before you are left holding the bag.

Ben Stein's latest blog is extremely telling of the average American Idiot. How can a renter burn through $75K a year without a dime in savings? How can she honestly believe that Social Security will be there for her? Even if it does, she's ignorant to the fact that it doesn't start until much later than she thought. Even with full confrontation, she proceeded to go to Nordstrom's!

Monday, February 06, 2006

Honeymay is straight up

While driving home listening to the radio, an ad came on with a woman pretending to be talking to her phone. (Paraphrased)
Phone: "I've been listening to your problems. Your financial problems."
Lady: "Who is this? You have?"
Phone: "This is your phone. I listen to everything you say. What you need to do is call Honeymay, and they'll help you out."
Lady: "How is this possible?"
Phone: "They offer mortgage services to get money out of your home to pay off debts and bills. They basically turn your house into a bank." (The bold statement is an actual quote!)
All these mortgage companies seem to tout that people are just 'unlocking' their 'trapped' equity. This would be like credit card companies multiplying your credit limit and saying you've discovered a new debt ceiling. It couldn't be that illegal since the government is going to do it to itself.

Everyone needs to start being calm and become financially responsible.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Silver Bug

Precious metals have been heating up for awhile now. Everybody has been getting in on the action to some extent. However, it can feel really expensive. You can spend $10K on 17.5 ounces of gold. If you look at silver, you get much more quantity for your money. $10K will get you about 1000 ounces of silver.

I almost feel that silver has more room for upward movement especially if the silver ETF is approved. As a kid, I felt like four silver coins would be equivalent to one gold coin. Silver was like a quarter to me as gold was a dollar. There are definitely reasons why there is a discrepancy today, but that could change.

The Silver User Association avocates inexpensive silver so everyone can use it. They are trying to stop the silver ETF because a purchase of 130 million ounces in silver would drive up the prices and possibly expose supply shortages. This would be bad for future silver purchases, but is great for past purchases.

The above is my basis for attraction to silver. However, when I look at my options, I love it more and more. My favorite coin has got to be the Canadian Maple Leaf Silver 1oz. It has a $5 (loon) face value, and it's diversified from USD at the same time. I don't see any other precious metal coin with a better face/trading value ratio (except for some 100 peso silver coins I was able to buy for much less than $9.8 USD, but I think that is a fluke). I still have dozens of silver American Eagles (Proofs), but they are less impressive because of the $1 face value. I guess all that really matters is the trade value, but it makes me sleep better when looking at all factors.

I think I'll turn into a silver bug and end up collecting many different forms of it. I still have my single ounces of gold and palladium, but making that a hobby is relatively too expensive.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

It's 1989 all over again

Well, an oil tanker is leaking product in Alaska right now. It feels like 1989 again with oil headaches and the housing market on a cliff.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Bush's six year plan

Even though Bush only has two years left in office, he is touting a six year plan. Over that time, he is confident that America will reduce their dependence on Middle East oil by 75%.

Bush has said a lot of things that never come true. Iraq possesses WMDs, US government will reduce its deficit, the war will only cost $2 billion, etc. His credibility is so bad that you can almost assume the opposite will happen. In six years when our dependence on foreign oil has never been higher, he will just blame the current presidence's actions as he has never accepted personal responsibility.

If the plan is successful, it presents a new problem. One of the few reasons why USD is the world's reserve currency is because Middle East oil can only be purchased with PetroDollar (excluding oil for food). If USD loses it stance as the world's reserve currency, ... everything will change.

However, Bush's new plan is the first policy I have agreed with.