New Iranian Oil bourse, it might just get them bombed.

When it comes to Uncle Sam and oil you simply don’t mess around. I don’t mean that in a frivolous way either, playing about with Oil supply will get you invaded, it has happened before (both Gulf Wars) and can/will happen again.

Iran’s leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad might not be your favourite leader, and he does some of the disgraceful things that are a hallmark of some Middle Eastern politicians, such as claiming there was no holocaust. Perhaps for them ‘holocaust’ is subjective given that there is one happening in Iraq today and nobody is talking about it any more than the SS did back in the 1940’s, the only saving grace at the moment is that it is not a state sponsored exercise. Anyways, Ahmadinejad might not be to your liking but he is the legally elected President and the leader of Persia, thus far his wild comments and defiant stance when it comes to things like nuclear power have brought about international pressure but the thing that might make his country the final resting place of many bombs is …

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Chinese Property and US Manufacturing, what does it mean for 2008?

There are times when you get caught by surprise, there are times when you get dazzled by the headlights but you know something is coming then there are times when you see the smoke signals in the distance and there is plenty of advance warning. Chinese REITS are of the latter ilk. In fact the whole Chinese Stock Market at 37 times earnings seems to represent a giant bubble.

The acronym BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) has been the road to profit for many investment managers but this all looks set to change. The growth in developing markets has attracted speculative money, and lots of it, China would be the most extreme example of this, their largest companies are now ranked in the top ten in the world (by market capitalization), as far as I am currently concerned now is the time to pull out.

Since the beginning of November Hong Kong property stocks have fallen 40% mostly in the area of REIT’s.

[REIT’s: This stands for ‘Real Estate Investment Trust’, this is an investment vehicle that is used for …

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Vice Funds, because hard markets are thirsty work

Vice funds: These are funds that invest in Alcohol, Tobacco, Arms/Military supplies, and Gambling. Basically they go for everything that isn’t green, socially responsible, or beneficial to mankind, and much to my personal chagrin it seems to work. (the first one I looked at has done over 21% on average for the last five years)

In an environment where stocks and property are going haywire the stocks in these markets seem to be performing quite strong. Reutersrecently did an article about art and wine, and how the recent world market events have left them relatively untouched (in the sense of a negative impact), infact wine funds are one of the things that are experiencing a growth phase during all of this. Maybe its true, when there are hard times we all turn to drink. Certainly the shareprice in Diageo made gains in the last month (although it did fall 1.3% this week).

During the great depression people still found the money to drink (to what I recall the popular whiskey …

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Stagflation 2008, what’s the good thing about recessions?

2008 looks like a year where we will (we being the EU, USA, and likely Asia) will face a recession, in America the fears are even a little bit more as they might suffer from Stagflation which is the mean-eyed just got out of prison older brother of recession.

Stagflation [just to be clear] is where you have the decreased or negative GDP in an inflationary environment. This could happen in the US because currently the GDP there is reducing, America is not really a manufacturing nation any more, so it relys on services and consumer spending, actually about 2/3’s of the US economy is based on consumer spending. So picture that fact, and then picture a world where the Dollar to Euro is at $1.50 and oil is at $100+.

That means that anything imported is much more expensive, so people will not continue spending at the same rate. Then to exacerbate that situation you have expensive gasoline and a country where car engines are only getting bigger, whether or not people can no longer afford to drive to …

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Stagflation 2008, what's the good thing about recessions?

2008 looks like a year where we will (we being the EU, USA, and likely Asia) will face a recession, in America the fears are even a little bit more as they might suffer from Stagflation which is the mean-eyed just got out of prison older brother of recession.

Stagflation [just to be clear] is where you have the decreased or negative GDP in an inflationary environment. This could happen in the US because currently the GDP there is reducing, America is not really a manufacturing nation any more, so it relys on services and consumer spending, actually about 2/3’s of the US economy is based on consumer spending. So picture that fact, and then picture a world where the Dollar to Euro is at $1.50 and oil is at $100+.

That means that anything imported is much more expensive, so people will not continue spending at the same rate. Then to exacerbate that situation you have expensive gasoline and a country where car engines are only getting bigger, whether or not people can no longer afford to drive to …

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First Time Buyers – What you need to know

If you are considering your first home then you should do a lot of research because today’s market is a tricky one, there is value to be found in 2008 if you look for it and know how to negotiate, however, for the naive it can also be fast method to part ways with your hard earned money.

Some developers are currently knocking up to €100,000 off the price of properties they are selling, this has gotten a lot of media attention, however it also begs the question ‘why?’, are we to believe that they suddenly want to help out first time buyers? Or are they trying to shift stock that they think won’t sell otherwise? The real question is whether properties were vastly over-priced and the prices reflected pure greed or is the developer being forced to sell due to financial reasons or what the underlying cause for something so drastic is.

If somebody offered me an iPod for €50 I’m not sure I’d be interested, I guess I’m a natural born skeptic. I’m not implying that houses with …

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Debt Consolidation

Debt consolidation is a popular term in the mortgage market and what it involves is taking out one large loan to pay of other smaller ones, in the mortgage business this normally means tapping into the equity of your home in order to do so. The equity of your home becomes the security for the loan, and this means that you may get a lower interest rate however there are also inherent drawbacks to this.

If you take out a loan in the form of a mortgage and it is secured against your home then in essence you are putting your home on the line, if you were mortgage free and bought a car for €80,000 putting your home as security for a loan in order to get the car then if you could not pay you could potentially have to foreclose on your home. Typically you would sell the car but this is just to give an example of the risk.

Sometimes debt consolidation makes perfect sense, for instance if you have several loans (especially if they are at …

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Learn about Mortgages

If you want to learn about mortgages there are a few places to start.

Firstly you can take a course such as the ‘Mortgage Diploma’ offered by the LIA (Life Insurance Association – www.lia.ie) and that covers the subject in the fashion you would expect from a textbook, I personally feel that it is a good grounding but nothing can substitute experience.

Speaking to a person with several years of experience will enable you to get an insight into the working elements of mortgages and the things that separate good mortgages from bad ones, all mortgages were not created equal!

The people with experience are Mortgage Brokers, Bankers, Financial Advisors, Accountants and Solicitors. That is not an exhaustive list but it does cover the main industry players and if you want to get a good grounding spending some time with any of these people will go a long way towards educating you about mortgages.

The elements that define mortgages (if we are to take the main things) are LTV (that stands for ‘Loan to Value’), Rate, Term, and of course …

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People queueing to buy while 310 million is wiped off the property market

according to Irish Property Watch €310 million euro was the total amount that prices on the popular property website Daft were reduced by in from last March until this February. This looks at properties listed in the 26 counties and then the total amounts that the asking prices were decreased by and then adds them all up, in percentages the average was -7.6%

However there are a few things to bear in mind, firstly, The market is probably getting used to the idea of more realistic asking prices, the market has without doubt slowed down in the last 12 months and there probably is tendency of people who are listing their property for the first time since the slowdown began to price optimistically and then after an initial period to price more realistically or ‘price to sell’.

To the Bears this may be a sign that prices are falling at a spectacular rate, and that might be true, it could also mean that prices are simply coming in line with …

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Get Mortgage free, clear your debts!

Are you debt ridden and don’t know what to do? If so you are part of what makes headlines so often, however, recently there was an article in the Independent which cited the number of houses with no mortgage on them.

The research done be CB Richard Ellis showed that 34% of houses have no mortgage and are owned outright and only 40% have a mortgage, 10% are renting private accommodation’s, 9% are renting or buying their home from a local authority. The article didn’t say what the missing 7% are doing, maybe they are running around screaming ‘where have all the mortgages gone!’…. On a serious note I would imagine that it represents people living in local authority homes (perhaps).

Getting out of debt is not an issue for about 70% of households in Dublin City with no mortgage (the article states that mortgaged properties in the city centre are less than 30%), 45% of houses in Fingal are mortgage free, and about 60% in DunLaoghaire/Rathdown are mortgage free.

Now that you are salivating and …

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