Category Archives: Market Timing

Epilepsy and Marijuana

I have never smoked or taken recreational drugs in my life. The closest I have come is having a hemp beer and taking a bite of hemp chocolate. The beer was not bad. The chocolate was terrible. In my excitement to try out the hemp chocolate, I failed to notice that it contained coffee. I hate coffee. I have found the debate of the medical use of marijuana an interesting one. I do believe that it is hard to distinguish using cannabis for medical reasons or recreational when it is smoked. However, I am more open-minded when it comes to using the extract or oil. I came across this article. I have epilepsy. I hope there will be a cure for it someday. In the meantime, if there is a medicine that can treat epilepsy especially in children then it should be encouraged. It is difficult for adults to cope with epilepsy. It can be a traumatic experience for children. I honestly hope GW Pharma will be successful in getting the medicine up and running. I do not have a problem if marijuana is an ingredient in it as long as the child does not get addicted to the drug. People with epilepsy need their medication. I can manage 18 hours at the most before I feel the effects of not taking my medication kick in. I think that this medicine may be positive.

GW Pharma depends on epidolex which is an orphan drug to become successful. I find the investment into companies that make orphan drugs highly risky. This would be different as I would see it as supporting a cause. I currently do not have any holdings of GW Pharma or am involved in any of their clinical trials but wouldn’t mind getting involved in both.

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Filed under Blog, Business, Compliance, Epilepsy, Healthcare, Investments, Market Outlook, Market Timing

Inverse ETF

There is a big difference between betting and investing. Investing in inverse ETF’s equates to betting. This article talks about the demise of XIV. People investing in products such as XIV should be given a lobotomy sponsored by the NHS. This is starting to bring back memories of 2008. The culprit was Hedge Funds then. Today it is ETF’s. That time one person I spoke to that worked for a bank that was heavily marketing Hedge Funds admitted that they did not read the fine print and did not know about gating. Another person told me that he was told hedge funds would never lose money. I wonder what that person’s view would be on ETF’s today. I am not a betting man but if I was then I would say that he would cease investing in ETF’s for the next one year. I would be telling him to keep his wallet out.

The active versus passive debate has been skinned so many times that there is nothing left to skin. The answer is that there is a place for both. However, in neither should there be a place for inverse ETF’s. There is nothing wrong with shorting stocks or ETF’s. You cannot crucify the undertaker for making money when people die. Investing in inverse ETF’s is like injecting yourself with a lethal substance hoping that you will make money off the insurance. The reality though is that action of your will probably leave your health beyond repair and cause heartbreak to the ones closest to you.

Except for two people; everyone else I know who passed through the gates of Credit Suisse has been glorified cold calling salespeople. Their structured products are so beautifully created that the client will not even realise that the only people making money are the banks themselves. Of those two people, one died and the other is a gem of a person who is thankfully working for another institution. I have told him that leaving Credit Suisse was the best thing that he did. It has been some time since I spoke to him. Maybe I should now.

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Filed under Banking, Blog, Business, Compliance, ETF, Family Office, hedge funds, Indices, Investments, Market Outlook, Market Timing, Private Banking

Bitcoin: Digital gold or fool’s gold

Bitcoin: Digital gold or fool’s gold?

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Filed under Blog, Business, Compliance, ETF, Indices, Investments, Market Outlook, Market Timing, Private Banking, Regulations, Tax Avoidance, Vanguard

An APPLE a day

I love alternate indices. RAFI which can be invested through PowerShares is probably my favourite investable index. The other index I really like is the Christmas Price Index. I had written a post on the following topics

  1. Religion-based Indices
  2. Condoms and Chocolates
  3. Analysis Test Series England vs. South Africa

I am still in the process of tweaking my cricket index. The common assumption in all this is my strong belief that the methodology used to measure certain indices is not completely accurate and some like the  ICC cricket ranking is completely wrong. One decision I really liked was a recommendation to buy the shares of Apple when the news that Steve Jobs had cancer broke out. Yes, I did feel sad that Steve Jobs had cancer but I absolutely was furious at the people who thought that Apple would collapse because Steve Jobs would no longer be involved and would die. Today I feel the same way about the negative ratings given by analysts about Apple. The good thing though is that the fall in the share price of Apple is a good opportunity to buy it. Apple is an innovative company and will continue to do so. Everyone initially predicted that the cost of the iPhone X would under perform the iPhone 8 and would eat into the profits of Apple. Analysts more often than not get their calls wrong. Does it really matter if a company distributes less dividend than analysts expected? The important thing is that Apple is a good company. I read an interesting astrological article on the numerology analysis of certain tech companies. I am not a great believer in astrology or horoscopes. I do consider that there is a certain amount of science in numbers. It does not matter whether it appears as numerology or the significance of numbers in various religious texts. This post on the thirteen tribes of Israel is extremely good. There is a logic in Shmita. Apple will always be an attractive company to buy into. Buying it when the share price is down is a bigger bonus.

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Filed under Apple, Business, Christianity, Cricket, ETF, Healthcare, Indices, Investments, Islam, Leaders, Market Outlook, Market Timing, religion, Test matches

Marks and Spencer

I have always been opposed to investing directly in Marks & Spencer. My view was simple. M&S sat in no man’s land. You had John Lewis that provided high-end goods. On the other end, there was Primark. If M&S made a few wrong calls on fashion then they would have a major slump. This did happen quite a few times. Yesterday’s news that M&S is to close down more stores came as no surprise. I strongly believe that M&S food is the ventilator that has kept the company alive. It will continue to do so. As always all you have to do is have a walk through the stores of M&S. In general, M&S Food will have the largest percentage of people. This trend will change unless M&S can appeal to the people who are inclined towards healthy but quick food but their older base that would like their traditional British meals. Will M&S be able to balance their traditional Cottage Pie with their Thai green curry? In light of Brexit, I hope they do as they are one of the iconic British brands. If one has to gain exposure to the UK today then possibly the best way to do it is through  VGK.  The Vanguard European Fund has about a 29% exposure to the UK. The exposure to the European markets would act as a hedge. I believe we are going through an extremely interesting time right now. I do not like making predictions but there will be a winner and a loser in the whole Brexit process. Either way, the financial markets will get affected. Overall the European markets will go up.


Disclaimer: I do not hold any shares of Marks & Spencer or VGK right now.

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Filed under Brexit, England, Europe, Food, FTSE, Indices, Investments, Market Outlook, Market Timing, United Kingdom, Vanguard

Opportunity costs

1 hour and 11 minutes till the tube strike ends. Do I wait for the tube strike to end or start my journey now? My purpose and destination will not change. I probably will leave now. At the end of the day I doubt whether it will take me more than 2 hours if I leave now. 2 hours will be what my journey time will be if I include the waiting period. This brings up the interesting issue of market timing. Can one actually time the market? Is it possible to know when the markets will hit the acme and nadir of the cycle? I don’t believe it is possible to call the markets. There is no use in wondering whether it will fall or rise. If you like an idea or investment then get into it now. If you are dealing with a bigger amount then invest a little on a weekly basis so that the cost averages out. Yes there is the possibility that a lower point may be reached but why should fear of a possible loss prevent you from taking action?

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Filed under Investments, Market Timing, TFL