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  • Report: U.K. fund to buy Anglo American's Chile copper mines [View news story]
    AA isn't facing a threat by its banks to foreclose so why on earth should selling assets at 20+% discount to value be a job well done?
    Aug 10, 2015. 04:20 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Total Return Is Like Trying To Add Apples And Bananas [View article]
    I thought RAS's comment perfectly fair, personally
    Jul 22, 2015. 04:52 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Total Return Is Like Trying To Add Apples And Bananas [View article]
    No offence taken, I assure you
    Jul 22, 2015. 08:19 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Total Return Is Like Trying To Add Apples And Bananas [View article]
    Not ALL investors, just the sensible ones.
    Jul 22, 2015. 08:08 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Total Return Is Like Trying To Add Apples And Bananas [View article]
    What matters to the investor is the net amount after tax.
    In the UK there re different tax rates/regimes on dividends and capital gains.
    Apples and Pears.
    Jul 21, 2015. 12:35 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The False Debate - Deficit Spending Vs. Austerity [View article]
    So the company only pays tax on profits and you claim that is a subsidy?
    Jul 20, 2015. 12:22 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • AXA In £2.8bn Longevity Swap With Reinsurance Group Of America [View article]
    This does not de-risk the scheme - it merely swaps some of the longevity risk for some of the risk that RGA will fail, at (what I hope is) a modest cost to the AXA UK pension scheme. If you read the small print you will learn that RGA's net assets are only 1.5% of its life reinsurance in force (ignoring any other liabilities).
    Jul 20, 2015. 09:43 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Much Bond Duration Could You Endure? [View article]
    "There is risk in anything you invest in."

    Nearly anything - there is a *certainty* of loss if you invest in bonds with negative GRYs. Saturday's FT says that *all* Index-Linked Gilts have negative GRYs, the least bad being the 4.125% 2030, yielding -0.6% pa.
    Jul 20, 2015. 08:15 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Much Bond Duration Could You Endure? [View article]
    There is a default risk on municipal bonds
    Jul 19, 2015. 07:03 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Much Bond Duration Could You Endure? [View article]
    Oh, for Pete's sake!
    Deciding whether a long-term investment currently makes sense is not anything to do with "market timing" which involves views about SHORT-TERM movements in the market.
    Jul 18, 2015. 04:30 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Much Bond Duration Could You Endure? [View article]
    Dear Mr Carnevale,
    I have to admire your forbearance when responding to advocates of MPT. One of my elders and betters (i.e. one of the last century's top analysts) describes it as "neither Modern nor a Portfolio, nor a Theory" - Europeans will recognise the parallel to the Holy Roman Empire. Being less eloquent I comment that, unlike supporters of MPT, I believe in death and taxes.
    However I feel that you may be too harsh in attributing the slavish adoption of MPT to the desire for commission income - the average Joe who is unable to dispute the analysis will swallow wholesale the theories promulgated by a team of professors (especially if they get undeserved "Nobel" prizes).
    "When I first entered the financial services industry, a mutual fund wholesaler who represented the American Funds family of mutual funds (primarily equity funds such as ICA and Washington Mutual) introduced me to a concept about bonds that he called "guaranteed failure." His point was that due to the unavoidable effects of inflation, investing in fixed income under normal times almost always resulted in real economic loss. He acknowledged that quality bonds would return your principal and were almost guaranteed to make all of their interest payments."
    In 1948, shortly after you and I were born, a distinguished Actuary wrote a seminal paper pointing out that investing in gilt-edged stocks while the Attlee government manipulated the market so that the gross yield lower than either inflation or the interest rate assumed in premium calculations replaced the *risk* of failure with the certainty of failure. Investing in equities with a higher current yield (let alone the potential for capital growth from the reinvestment of the undistributed profits) provided a risk of success. There was a lot more to the paper, including the advantages of investing in companies upon whom the government smiled, but the above is once more particularly relevant in the current era of negative real interest rates.
    Jul 18, 2015. 04:20 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Men's Yoga Pant Sales Send Lululemon Shares Higher [View article]
    When I was at school jockstraps were for the top sportsmen or for those with lots of money but for the last 50 years (since I first got a paid job, thoughout university and thereafter) I have found them very easily affordable and long-lasting. Why should anyone buy an expensive copy from Lululemon?
    I have never worked out the annual cost because when it might have mattered (I started work on £6/week) because my jockstrap was actually a capital investment at that point. Except for training (not fitness)-freaks the average lkifev of a jockstrap is approaching a decade.
    Only an idiot, or a woman who doesn't know how long jockstraps last, would think that this is a major sales target.
    I am by no means an athlete - yesterday I was lapped by the winner in a 3km race (but I did beat all those older than me and all the women and a couple of others so a bit less than totally useless), but just how many idiots do you think will want Lululemon "anti-ball crushing pants" rather than basic jockstraps that have done the job for more than 50 years?
    Jun 10, 2015. 05:45 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • 3 Ways To Beat Buffett's Berkshire [View article]
    I do NOT think that is enough reflection on what YOU choose to describe as nonsense.
    FYI I have never been a holder of BRK because Brits were not allowed to buy US stocks without the "dollar premium" until I was in my mid-thirties, so I am not "talking my own book".
    Warren Buffet and Bill Gates and Carlos Slim have each built up their wealth by growing businesses - but only Buffet has done it by growing a business that anyone else could invest in before it boomed. The other two have relied on effective monopolies to obtain excessive returns on capital whereas Buffet has chosen companies without monopoly protection that obtained high returns on capital comparable to those obtained by monopolies. I was pretty good at my job and knew a few who were even better but if I was as good as Warren Buffet I should by now have funded wiping out Leprosy (better reward/cost than Bill's projects) starting from nothing except my education.
    Jun 4, 2015. 05:33 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Did Osborne Pause Austerity In 2013? [View article]
    Except that Osborne's so-called "austerity" was a budget deficit of scores of £billions, which. combined with QE, pumped scores of billions into consumer spending. The normal word for that is "Profligacy".
    May 20, 2015. 11:15 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Myth Of The U.K.'s Fiscal Austerity [View article]
    For the last four years I have been telling anyone who would listen that Osborne's talk of austerity is bullshit to con the buyers of UK government debt because getting to a balanced budget in less than 5 years from the mess that he inherited from Darling, let alone the mess that Darling inherited from Brown, would involve mass starvation or something similar. Fortunately Cameron's PPE degree involved learning about Keynes' insight and his pal has, unlike New Labour, run Keynesian policies but missed his targets due to the Eurozone recession.
    It is a major relief to have an academic note that points out stuff that I consider obvious but is disregarded by those who do not want to see it.
    May 14, 2015. 07:22 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment