Friday, 3 June 2011

I have my Index inked Savings Certificates. Do you? – UK savings interest rates – June 2011 Update

It has been a little bit of a faff and my recent adventure didn’t help but as with Salis Grano and Ermine I now have in my possession Issue 48 NS&I Index Linked Savings Certificates which offer index-linking to RPI plus 0.5% pa compound if held for 5 years.  Unfortunately I wasn’t able to buy them on the day they were re-issued for 2 reasons:
-          Following my overseas adventure I had to update my address details with NS&I.  This is quite a clunky process and takes a few days as it can’t be done via internet or telephone.  Instead I had to send off a signed letter requesting my details be changed which took a few days for them to process.
-          I had to transfer the funds from my online savings account into my current account which takes the usual 3 days.  I still can’t believe that in 2011 it takes 3 days to move money electronically.  In fact, yes I can, because we all know that this limbo period is where the banks hold on to your money and not pay you interest on it.  A nice little earner I’m sure.  What was also interesting was that my online savings account provider very quickly sent me a survey saying that I had recently moved a large sum of money from my account and they would like to understand why.  I’m amazed that they have gone to the trouble of paying somebody to set up a survey.  Surely the answer is always going to be because “I want to buy something” or “your rates are uncompetitive”.  Funnily enough they didn’t have an option that said “moving money from poor insulting interest rate to NS&I”.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

When will the haircut and pain occur – Aus, UK, US and the PIGS government 10 year bond yields – June 2011 update

It’s been many months since I looked at the 10 year bond yields of Australia, the UK, the US and the PIGS.  These can be seen in today’s charts.  When I last posted in August of 2010 Greek 10 year debt was yielding 10.31%, as of the end of May 2011 that is now 16.29%.  Mish’s post yesterday raised some great points and gave plenty of food for thought prompting this post.

Friday, 27 May 2011

Is Gold in a Bubble? - Gold Priced in US Dollars (USD) – May 2011 Update

I currently hold 5% of my Retirement Investing Today portfolio in gold.  This is in the form of physical ETC’s “which are intended to provide investors with a return equivalent to movements in the gold spot price less fees” available from the likes of ETF Securities.  This is the commodities portion of my portfolio.  I hold no other commodity types as the vast majority seem to be futures based and previous experience has taught me that issues like contango can really affect the available returns for the Average Joe.

Friday, 20 May 2011

Irrational Exuberance and LinkedIn – History of Severe Real S&P 500 Stock Bear Markets – May 2011 Update

I couldn’t believe my eyes yesterday when LinkedIn (LNKD) had its flotation on the stock market.  All that I could think of during the day was irrational exuberance, the market can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent and how quickly people forget.  For those that missed it LinkedIn floated at $45 per share which valued the company at $4.25B.  With earnings last year of $15.4M I calculate that as a Price Earnings (PE) ratio of 276.  That was shocking enough when you think that the long run cyclically adjusted PE (CAPE or PE10) for the S&P500 is 16.4.  However what I couldn’t believe was that during the days trading somebody or something (High Frequency Trading?) paid $122.70 a share for a PE ratio of 752 which is 46X the S&P500 PE10 long run average.  To me as an Average Joe this sounds like the dotcom days all over again.  The amazing thing is that it looks like plenty of others have already forgotten about the dotcom boom and its after affects in around 11 years and what’s even more amazing is that as I show today in Real (inflation adjusted terms) the market is still some 31.4% below the S&P500 real high of August 2000.  So we haven’t even recovered from the last lot of irrational exuberance.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

“ is likely that had they not occurred, inflation would have been substantially lower...” – UK Inflation - May 2011 Update

So we now have the UK CPI at 4.5% and the RPI at 5.2%.  I haven’t blogged about the UK Inflation situation since my post back in August of 2010.  Why?  Well as I wrote back then I had accepted that the Bank of England was going to steal from me and all the other savers out there by inflating away the value of my savings.  Also, while ever Mervyn and his mates (I think I’ll just call them the M&M’s from here in) keep interest rates at record lows of 0.5% this is going to continue so I really have nothing more I can add.  All I could do was protect myself as best as possible by ensuring I had my target allocation of 5% in gold and also that I held onto my NS&I Index Linked Savings Certificates (reinvesting as they came up for renewal) while I waited out the current theft that is occurring.