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Everything posted by lordofcolchester

  1. Moving overseas is a big decision and should, in my opinion, only be made for positive reasons. Also key is making sure your family really want to go as well and they will have something to do. Sure there are things we don't like about the UK but this will be the same where ever you go. We have been in Hong Kong for three and a half years and there are some great reasons to live here but things we miss are: Family and friends, A garden, Good pub garden, Some 'british' foods, The seasons, the humidity in summer in HK is horrendous, Cheap property! Going to football,
  2. Also wrong. Finished your sentence for you. Labour historically spend, spend, spend, the Tories have to come in and clean up the mess only for the general public to vote Labour back in!!
  3. Last April all senior managers and a certain level and above got a pay freeze. Did get fairly good bonuses though. Not sure if there will be any pay rises this year - may be an average 1-2%. Entitlement to business class travel now 6 hours instead of 4. A lot of training / conferences cancelled during 2008 / early 2009. (Now starting to increase again). A few thousand jobs redundant over the last couple of years throughout the Group.
  4. Err, Mike are you suggesting anyone that doesn't pay tax should not be allowed to vote? What about the unemployed or housewives etc? Also being non domiciled does not mean you don't pay UK tax.
  5. Also worth noting if you take shares in lieu of dividends you still need to pay the tax.
  6. Are you being serious or is your 100-120K valuation in Vietnam Dong?
  7. Am a bit stuck myself at the moment. Have about 83% sterling, 10% Hong Kong dollar, 4% equities and 3% gold. Have been heavy sterling as was fully expected to return to the UK early next year but thankfully it looks like I will have a reprieve and be able to stay in Hong Kong long term. Now seriously need to consider rebalancing my portfolio. I am fully expecting the stock markets to come down significantly but I also have grave concerns about sterling. Am considering Swiss / Canadian currencies. Any thought?
  8. Correct, HSBC were forced by the FSA to relocate its Head Office to the UK when it saved Midland Bank. It is now however a UK based bank, with its major listing on the FTSE. By the way HSBC was started by the Scottish albeit in Asia! USD17 billion figure quoted earlier is wrong by the way.
  9. This is old news I believe. Basically 2-3 traders bet heavily on this and senior management considered closing the trades as house prices continued to rise for a while. In the end they made a lot of cash and the traders pocketed over USD100 million in bonuses.
  10. Down, down deeper and down. People are starting to realise that when the stimuli run out the economy is screwed. Take out all the government spending and the collapse in GDP looks frightening.
  11. You should count yourself lucky the UK has had free banking for so long. In other countries people have had to pay for the service for years. Do you expect supermarkets to give you free food??
  12. Bloke from our UK office has recently retired and has been looking to retire to Yorkshire. Put his house (home counties) on for an "above market" price and it sold within a week. Has already exchanged and will have to move in to rental for a few weeks until his house in Yorkshire completes.
  13. Nearly finished our Christmas shopping. Main objective was getting presents we could fit in the suitcase and still have enough room for clothes for a couple of weeks. A lot of shops in HK are already discounting - mid season sale apparently. Getting a fair number of e-mails from amazon etc about Christmas bargins - not sure if the on-line retailers are suffering. By the way if anyone wants to be me a present I could do with some after shave.
  14. Property seems to be rocketing in Hong Kong. Bloke in the office is in the process of completing on an apartment in HK for HKD4.15 million. Apparently worth HKD4.5 million. Anyway, got someone at work to check and it previously sold for HKD3 million in September 2008.
  15. What I find even more worrying is that a surprisingly high number of people think Brown is doing a good job.
  16. Great news HumanAction and hang in there everyone looking for a job.
  17. This is not true. The value of the business does not alter it is exactly the same business albeit with extra cash in it.
  18. None whatsoever at the bank I work at. Although I would add it is a different story with "high value" commercial property. There is a tendency to hold on to such repossessions until the market picks up. BTW these are being held on balance sheet, not in shell companies.
  19. Durch, You still keeping most of your cash on the sidelines?? This has also been my strategy but I am currently struggling to believe the strength of the rally over the last few months. I have also just finished reading the 'Gone Fishin' portfolio and was thinking of giving it ago although most of the funds suggested do not seem to be available in the UK (or Hong Kong where I currently am).
  20. Income tax will have to be increased. The level of debts are just too high. This is probably the best tax to increase as: (i) A vast portion of it is collected by employers, therefore very little cost in collecting; the cost is in the administration of hugely complex rules. Err, employers have to calculate the tax and collect it on behalf of the government and if they get it wrong they are penalised. (ii) For employees it is very hard to avoid paying; so you just work towards your rebate. The higher the tax, the harder you work on it. Known as the Laffer curve. I paid more nominal tax on £22k-ish in 2007-8 than on £95k-ish in 2008-9 because I resented 54% tax enough to do something about it. There are very few legitimate deductions if you are an employee. Given your claims you should expect an enquiry in to your 2008/09 return (which you appear to have submitted very earlier and more unbelievable is getting your rebate so quick). (ii) The few people eventually left in work will be the only ones with anything to tax! On the contrary, work has been devalued, it's asset owners who have something. Err PAYE is still the major source of taxes. Asset owners will have taken huge losses on their assets to 5 April 2009.
  21. Its a long long time that I did any personal tax work but... I seem to recall that there were special provisions that allowed any gain on selling assets individually owned in to a business. Can't remember the rules but the person would need to get shares in the NEWCO.
  22. Very, very lucky at the moment to be living in fantastic accommodation paid for by my employer. More than likely that I will have to return to the UK next summer though. Anyway, we have a fairly decent STR fund, approximately split 80% GBP, 15% USD, 3% shares, 2% some funny shiny stuff. (Have just swapped, yesterday, about 10% USD back to GDP). Constantly keeping an eye on the market from afar. However, Lady of Colchester recently viewed some houses in the Limehouse, Bow areas of London. Estate agent gave the usual about how the market has taken off again and houses are immediately selling when coming to market at close to asking price.
  23. Income tax will have to be increased. The level of debts are just too high. This is probably the best tax to increase as: (i) A vast portion of it is collected by employers, therefore very little cost in collecting; (ii) For employees it is very hard to avoid paying; (ii) The few people eventually left in work will be the only ones with anything to tax!
  24. To the OP in the current environment* I would offer 325 considering how long it has been on the market. Although given that prices will start to fall again I would be tempted to wait it out. *delusion that crash is over.
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