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Old 02-10-2007, 14:34   #106
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Was he living in a tent!!

I also lived in South Wales, Swansea about 25 years ago and my little 2 bedroomed terrace house cost me then $22,000, wages in South Wales are very similar to where I live, as we have no industry just service industries and of course the holiday trade which is the biggest in the West Country.

I travel around the UK a lot on business and I can assure you that unless he grew his own food, didn't drive a car or had any hobbies he would still seriously struggle on $2000.00 (1000.00) a year, my local council tax (to cover refuse collection, local schooling etc) is $2800.00 before Electricity, Water, Gas, Insurances, Car, Food, Holiday etc, etc.

Did you not mean $20,000.00 because even that would be a struggle, believe me I live here!!!!!

With the exception of house prices, which I admit do vary as I live in the second most expensive part of the UK outside of London, all other costs ie petrol, cigarettes, taxes etc are the same within the UK.

Ask any other UK registered user and they will confirm what I am saying, you boys have it easy.
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Old 02-10-2007, 14:51   #107
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Cat man do, you might want to take a look closer to home for the source of your credit problems

"
The Australian economy may be healthier now than it has been for 20 years, perhaps longer. But this doesn’t mean families or individuals are necessarily doing it easy. Rising housing costs have placed enormous additional mortgage and rent burdens on many people. Personal debt is at record levels.
The ratio of personal debt to income in Australia is one of the highest in the world � higher even than America and the UK. For every $100 we earn, we owe $130. Credit and charge card debt account for $26 billion of the debt." from Real Esate - Home
Fully understand that OZ has insane levels of debt at the moment and don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it is all America's fault , but for my lender the US subprime issue was the straw that broke the camels back so to speak.
Finance was approved via email, but pulled away before signing with subprime being mentioned as reasoning behind change of lending criteria. Funnily enough, I could have got a "Liar Loan" myself from the same lender, but needed a 30% deposit to do the deal, which would have been my safety buffer gone.
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A quick google search also shows that your bankruptcy laws are pretty similiar to the US, declaring bankruptcy allows you to 'walk away' from your debt just like us. The quote you took was comparing UK foreclosure to US foreclosure, in which the US puts some of the risk on the back of the lender to make a good loan. The UK puts all the risk on the borrower. Most of the time the value of homes goes up, and the lender profits by selling a foreclosed home because they got 20% down in the beginning.
The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005, has considerably amended the Bankruptcy Code. The use of bankruptcy in the US is much less liberal now, and those who seek to erase all of their debts through a bankruptcy filing now must wait eight years before filing again.

Ironically, because they cannot file again in that time frame, they are deemed to have excellent credit.
The vast majority of loans here are 20% deposit as well, though some get around it with suspect valuations and lending practices through suspect lending companies.

The bolded section from Tao Jones shows the difference, here, there is no lending during the bankruptcy period, being deemed unworthy of credit


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The lenders took unreasonable risks here in the last few years by making bad loans with no money down in a bubble period, they have a responsibility to ensure that the loans they make can be repaid as well as the borrower.
See, that be the difference here, I think (and I could be wrong) that is the borrowers responsibility full stop

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You make it sound as if we have the ability in the US to just ignore any debt that we don't want to pay. It's not like that
Well, that is certainly the impression that the media and various sites portray.

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Old 02-10-2007, 15:08   #108
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So, any advice for someone who is definitely not a financial guru? (Bear in mind, I'm not asking for specific choices -- I wouldn't put you on the spot like that -- but rather overall strategy.)

Thanks.

ID
Far from being a financial guru myself and Not knowing your particular financial situation that would be difficult to do, but I know that part of mine revolves around being deemed a NON-resident of Australia (for tax purposes) while cruising, and Purchasing income producing funds through my Vanuatu company(name).

As Vanuatu has no personel or company tax law's, fund's will be Tax Free, and as a NON-resident of Australia, there will be no tax payable to Australia.

Then i'll do my cruising in a much cheaper country than Australia.

This strategy is all above board and has been discussed with the ATO, but the becoming a NON-resident part may not suit most people.

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The information from cat man do in this post is general in nature and does not take into account your personal circumstances, financial needs or objectives. Before acting on any information, you should consider the appropriateness of it and any relevant product having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs.

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Old 02-10-2007, 22:17   #109
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So, any advice for someone who is definitely not a financial guru? (Bear in mind, I'm not asking for specific choices -- I wouldn't put you on the spot like that -- but rather overall strategy.)
Definitely not a financial Guru and I don't play one on TV. The two peaks on my genius were selling AOL at $40 bucks and thinking I made a killing - and then selling a bunch of my company stock just prior to the Asia currency crisis in 2000 - a move prompted by needing a downpayment on a house - LOL.

I stock picked in the 90's like everyone else and I did fine like everyone else. Not because we were smart, because basically no one could lose.

Today I dollar cost average in the fund markets - that is a purchase a fixed amount of funds every month. I am in a Dow Index, a small cap index and an Asian "Tigers" fund because I think this part of the world has a very long way to grow. I also buy my individual company stock through a 50% matched ESOP as it would be criminal not to do so. I balance and adjust every 12-18 months. I also have about 9 months in cash in a money market account.

But the most important thing I do is spend less than I earn. It sounds strange but this simple advice is key. I put 30%-35% of my check away every month. When I get a raise I add it to the savings except perhaps a "cost of living adjustment."

We found a level of lifestyle we like and are sticking to it. We could have more and consume more but it's pointless.
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Old 02-10-2007, 22:34   #110
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Cleaning up a couple of thoughts.

TaoJones - I normally am loathe to cross post stuff but I got off on a tangent last night and found this blog. This guy has a great way of putting things and him being from Ventura you might be able to relate. http://exurbannation.blogspot.com/

To the Aussies and Brits - I can feel your pain. Americans get in a tizzie when their gas goes over $3 and almost everyone else in the world routinely lives with $4 gas. I have a lot of Brit and Aussie friends here. of course the fact that they are home country tax exempt here is splendid for them. I unfortunately get taxed twice ;-(

It's hard to compare the middle earner against their ability to buy a yacht. This is at the heart of many of the problems. My parents had seven kids, one crappy car, one B&W TV and one phone in the house that was connected to the wall with a cord.

We expect to have everything we see on TV. It is simply not realistic. We no longer have to make choice, we just have to make payments.

My sister and a good friend were in the middle earner ranks. They both had flexible rate mortgages and were extended credit deal after credit deal. They would say they "owned" a house, a car, a plasma tv, etc, etc. In reality they owned nothing and had negative net worths.

Credit is extended until you are making subsistence payments - that's what banks do. Then when it's time to raise the ARM, it's the straw that breaks the camel's back.

My sister and my friend went into bankruptcy. Neither one has credit nor loans. My sister uses a "debit" credit card and basically lives on a cash basis. I must say it was a hard adjustment but like a meth junkie she has been clean for 3 years. I think it was a lesson she needed - I had acutally made her some loans, proonging the inevitable. She has since paid them back to me.

That the banks share in the pain, I think is great - certain bank failures (remember S&Ls?) don't faze me. If a bank has a high exposure they are going to try and cover losses by leaning on their "good" customers - who flee to good banks.

Someday it could all come crashing down but you don't lose money in the market or in your house until you sell it. Just make sure you can make the house payments for a while.
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Old 05-10-2007, 15:16   #111
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I haven't read all the posts as they were drifting all over the place. You can make money from a downward dollar. Lets use the Canadian dollar to illustrate, I'll let you do the math. The only flaw is you need a bundle to make a bundle.

So you take your spare $100,000 sitting around and watch the Canadian dollar like a hawk. Why the Canadian dollar, well you know about Canada; its strong economy and you have a degree of trust with your neighbour. You watch the Canadian dollar like a hawk hoping it will go down a few cents in the next short while. Today as I type this, the Canadian dollar is $1.02; economists (Canadian) are projecting our dollar to go to $1.10.

You take your $100,000 and purchase $100,000 when the Canadian dollar is at par. Now your dollar falls and the Canadian dollars goes up to $1.10. If you were to convert that back directly (assuming no costs) and the American dollar remained the same, you would have $110,000 American dollars. If the American dollar dropped more, you would have more.

Lets make this dramatic and assume you were psychic to illustrate how you could have made money. About 4 years ago or so, the Canadian dollar was at $0.65 of the American dollar. So you took your $100,000 American dollars and purchased $153,846 Canadian dollars. So now the Canadian dollars is worth $1.02 and with your $153,846 Canadian dollars you exchange it back into American dollars, you see my point. So add the extra two percent and your Canadian money is now worth, $156,923; this illustration assumes no cost to exchange money which of course isn't the case, but I've done this to keep the illustration simple and easy to understand.
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Old 05-10-2007, 16:05   #112
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You can make money from a downward dollar. Lets use the Canadian dollar to illustrate, I'll let you do the math. The only flaw is you need a bundle to make a bundle.
True, you can make money from a depreciating $US. However, it is incorrect to say that "you need a bundle to make a bundle."

If a person ties up $100k (US) to make $10k, that person is a very unsophisticated investor, indeed. His 10% ROI is pathetic for the amount of risk he's assuming - he could earn 10% easily in much less risky investments.

If the $US dollar rallies from its present sorry level, as another poster to this thread seems to feel strongly it will, the person above will lose money. If the Cando (loonie) drops to previous historic levels of, say, .65 to the $US, his $100k investment will be worth $35,000 less than his buy-in, to say nothing of a big "opportunity cost."

Through the use of options on futures, that spare $100k can be leveraged to earn a real bundle, not the pathetic $10k the poster above projects.

Is it worth taking such a risk? Well, anyone who has actually got a spare $100,000 lying around would most likely say "No!" There are smarter ways to manage risk, and easier (less risky) ways to earn a measly 10%, but as they say, "Follow your dream."

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Old 05-10-2007, 21:59   #113
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I'm a little late in this thread but let me clarify a couple of thoughts. First off, on foreclosures, you'll notice a lot being written about renegotiating the rates with lenders in order to help homeowners who have fallen behind in their payments. Mortgage modifications, as they are called are not happening with most lenders and there's a good reason for this.

We are no longer in the days of the local bank lending deposits for mortgages. Instead these mortgages are made and then immediately sold to Wall street. Some very well known firms securitize these loans and offer Mortgage Backed Securities (bonds) to investors. In order to sell these bonds they insist that the lender whom they buy the mortgage from sign a no modification clause. Hence, no renegociating is possible. Congress is investigating how to do something about this now.

As for the comments on the value of the dollar.. I feel the currency trader being on one side of a trade will insist the dollar will increase in value, and then sell into the 'buys'. Heck, it's his job.

Our economic indicators seem to indicate the US economy is slowing and it's also no secret that Bernake has turned on the printing presses and with the recent rate decrease has abandoned supporting the dollar against other currencies. This week we learn that certain mid east nations are dumping dollars in favor of the Euro. With these items in mind, just how the heck is the dollar going to get stronger anytime soon? I would agree that it will eventually, but would argue the time frame... years away.
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Old 06-10-2007, 00:32   #114
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You all sure had an easier ride than an average Gen Xer. The Silent Generation was the hardworking one who paved the way for your easy lives by working hard and investing in the country's future. Whoops! You all forgot to do that for the X and Y generations. Your "I want it all for me and I want it now (me generation)" values sunk the country and mortgaged the future. Now we're in touble. Thanks.

Baby boomers were just along for the ride in life. Their parents provided everything (by building a good society). All they had to do was show up to work every day and the American Dream was theirs. They didn't even need to start work $50K in debt from college loans. They didn't need to go to earn 6 figures. Xers showed up to work every day (already $59 K in debt) only to get laid off/downsized and demoted to stocking shelves, working those Wallmart jobs, or scrapping around like I do.
...
I have to go back to this post by Sean because I get a chuckle about how the hippies ruined his life. How did they mortgage the future when the "Silent Generation" had control of much of the government and corporate America from 1960 till the early 1990's. If you have a beef about your mortgaged future take it up with Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush.

The "Silent Generation" as you call them where not any better than any other generation. They stepped up to the challenges that faced them like anyone in their place would have done. They took part in and benefited from a U.S. economy that was totally dominate because so much of the rest of the world was in ruin from the war. Sure the Boomers benefited in this booming economy and things were not that difficult economicaly for them. In the 1980's and 1990's the rest of the world started to catch up and there is nothing that anyone could have done to stop the evolution of the world economy. It was only a matter of time.

Every generation has it's challenges, The Silent Generation had WWII, The Boomers had the Civil Rights movement, fighting to end a unjust and disasterous war in Vietnam, and the enviromental movement. You are to young to remember what a dirty, littered, and polluted landscape parts of this country were before the 1960's. You can thank the boomers you have clean air and water to breath and drink. What has your generation done other than whine about how hard they have it? You have to compete in the global economy. That's your challenge , deal with it.

A four year degree and the Uof M would have run me about 10k. It was not free but far less than the 60k you mention. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention I was working for about $3.00 an hour. When I bought my house 22 years ago it took half of my paycheck to make the mortgage. Nodody gave me anything. The two houses behind me are each owned by single Gen X women. One has a new car , the other a nice 2 year old BMW. Something I have never had. I guess they just made better choices than you. You need to get over the bitterness about your financial situaton.
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Old 06-10-2007, 08:48   #115
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They didn't need to go to earn 6 figures. Xers showed up to work every day (already $59 K in debt) only to get laid off/downsized and demoted to stocking shelves, working those Wallmart jobs, or scrapping around like I do.
In what other generation can one slide by without having to pay for a college education and still have 4 kids, own houses (sometimes two or more), and have ample cash left over for all the nice little things in life, like new cars and riding lawn mowers?
This is such a load of crap I can't stand it anymore....If only people would put the same amount of energy into making things better for themselves as they did being jealous and bitter of people that have already done it!
I live my life by the following quote...I didn't always live it like that but I SURE do now....

"wherever you are at any given point in your life is the SUM TOTAL OF EVERY DECISION YOU HAVE EVER MADE!!"

what that quote says is that we are ENTIRELY responsible for wherever we find ourselves...there is NO-ONE to blame but ourselves for our situation in life...and further...the longer you put off accepting this truth the longer it will be before you take the steps required to improve your lot in life!
Sure there are adverse things out of our control that affect us and what we do...but it's how we DEAL with those things that sort us out. If we sit beside the road bemoaning the pothole that broke the axle instead of fixing the broken axle then we get nowhere. Life is like that...get used to it...Life is EXACTLY what you make of it...nothing more and nothing less...

I know this through bitter painful experience...I spent a lot of years wasting myself doing some pretty stupid things and somehow managed to survive...society hasd a way of up and clocking you over the head sideways if you do crap like that for too long and believe me I did it way too long....but I got through it...I changed countries after shaping up for a while...came here 15yrs ago with a suitcase and $2000...that's EVERYTHING I owned in the whole world...in 15 yrs I have built a business and a life...I own all the toys Sean mentions above and more...I have manged to invest over $0.5M in various boats and am about to retire (15 years earlier than most) and embark on a hopefully neverending round the world journey. I achieved all that in a mere 15 years and I made it because I decided to TAKE RESPONSIBILITY instead of blaming something outside of myself. Responsibility is a very scary thing but it brings GREAT power with it and huge rewards....
Please don't take this as me blowing my own trumpet because that is not at all what I intend here...I can only use my own experience as an example but I fully believe the lessons I have learned from my own wasteful folly MUST be shared. It CAN be done...by YOU and no-one else...so frikken DO IT and stop wasting time complaining about it!!!!!
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Old 07-10-2007, 12:21   #116
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Dollar dead by design

The dollar is, as all fiat currencies do, reaching the end of its lifespan. The powers that be are already making plans to end American sovereignty with the Security and Prosperity Partnership, the North American Union, and creating of the Amero to replace the dollar.

To understand what is happening, one must understand what the Federal Reserve banking system really is. The Federal Reserve is a PRIVATE group of banks that, in 1913, were awarded the power to create money out of thin air. The PRIVATE Fed creates money, not in a straightforward manner, and loans it to the government at interest. This is the interest on the national debt. The income tax goes to the private bankers to pay this interest ( and you thought you were paying for roads and schools).

The government could have debased the currency for free itself, but if it did this, these international banks would not have been able to siphon trillions in interest from the American people for basically doing nothing. Presidential candidate Ron Paul has been rallying against the private Fed for decades.

The Fed was held in check, somewhat, when the United States was on an international gold standard. Now, nothing prevents the printing of money until the currency is worthless.

This scam is actually quite sinister. The banks make trillions from national deficit spending. Anything that forces deficit spending enriches the private central bankers including wars and socialist programs.

Now the kicker. The private Fed is payed interest before inflation works its way through the system. They can take the interest and buy real assets. As the currency is debased the banks become wealthy beyond belief as they are the first ones diversified out of the debased currency. When the dollar is finally worthless, the banks can come in a buy everything, all for creating money out of thin air.

What moved Thomas Jefferson to write this:?


"If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered."

-Thomas Jefferson, letter to then Secretary of the Treasury, Albert Gallatin, 1802



We may be facing more than the end of the dollar, but the end of a free and sovereign America altogether.



Here the first summary that came up on Google explaining this scam.




Why An Income Tax is NOT Necessary to Fund the U.S. Government
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Old 07-10-2007, 18:49   #117
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What if I take my hundred grand to Vegas and put it all on red. Well red is better known to me and I really like red. I don't know black so well and really black makes me look fat.

One spin later and I've doubled my money.

"RSN48 - economists (Canadian) are projecting our dollar to go to $1.10. "

90% of all economists and brokers are lemmings. I had my Merrill guy call me one day with a super hot pick that I had to get into. 30 seconds later I had read all about it on the internet. It had been talked up by Dan Dorfmann on TV and I was like the last person in the world to get this "hot tip." I called my Merrill guy back and fired him. I told him that I was looking for someone to watch my investments not TV.
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Old 07-10-2007, 22:15   #118
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We may be facing more than the end of the dollar, but the end of a free and sovereign America altogether.
And here's another theory:

http://www.trueconspiracies.com/



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Wor...er_(conspiracy)
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Old 07-10-2007, 22:18   #119
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90% of all economists and brokers are lemmings. I had my Merrill guy call me one day with a super hot pick that I had to get into. 30 seconds later I had read all about it on the internet. It had been talked up by Dan Dorfmann on TV and I was like the last person in the world to get this "hot tip." I called my Merrill guy back and fired him. I told him that I was looking for someone to watch my investments not TV.
I love this, Dan! If only everyone bothered to educate themselves on money matters, then actively managed their portfolios, they would discover that investing is pretty simple.

A few years ago, my neighbors across the street (and best friends) told me the wife's mother, who lived with them, was considering investing in a "hot tip." It seems one of her other daughters (the dog groomer) had taken up with a new man, a Canadian. He had "inside information" on a new company that would become "the eBay of Canada," and they'd make a fortune if they bought as much of its stock as they could get their hands on.

She asked if I thought it was a good idea. I told her that real inside information is common knowledge by the time the general public hears it, and the people selling this "next new thing" are just the ones who want to dump its stock for whatever they can get. I also told her that eBay was the eBay of Canada, and had been for some time.

She didn't give her not-very-bright daughter the money she had asked for. Not surprisingly, her daughter's Canadian friend disappeared soon thereafter.

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Old 08-10-2007, 02:45   #120
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She asked if I thought it was a good idea. I told her that real inside information is common knowledge by the time the general public hears it, and the people selling this "next new thing" are just the ones who want to dump its stock for whatever they can get. I also told her that eBay was the eBay of Canada, and had been for some time.

She didn't give her not-very-bright daughter the money she had asked for. Not surprisingly, her daughter's Canadian friend disappeared soon thereafter.

TaoJones
I can't recall who made the quote that 'the US Stock market runs on an imbalance of information' but it is true.

I used to work with a guy who had a lot of Enron shares. We did some very profitable business with Enron before Arthur Andersen came in and well, you may know the rest of the story. Anyway, I called my friend as the business was collasping and asked if he was hurt by the losses. He had not been. Appearantly he knew Skilling's ex-wife through some activity their children belonged to and she had advised him that the business was in trouble a year earlier.
Funny old world, isn't it?
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