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Posts posted by cashinmattress

  1. OPEC will defend it's assets. Hubbert may have predicted, rather accuratly mind you, that sweet crude would diminish according to a simple mathematical model. Aside, he never would have imagined that sources as abundent as the wind, sun, and tides would be able to power cities.... or that the human (or any) genome can be altered by our own hands.

    It's all about what choices we are going to make in this century. Want to fill at a petrol station? Want to eat processed foods? Suburbia? Or not?

    Cheeseburger eating majority are in for a shock.

  2. Just keep your eye on the goal(s) that really matter. Staying debt free and saving money is food for the soul. Getting by on a little, as you must have been doing all these years as a student, should put you in a very good position financially. F the system, who cares what people think.

    Save your money, take the hit in your pride if that is what drives you, and one day you can cash purchase the things you desire. The personal achievement and feeling of fulfilment by saving will also stop you from making rash decisions using other people's money, ie the banks. This 'now' mentality, or disconnect from reality, with no consideration of risk that the financiers and government marketing campaigns have introduced into the psyche of the populous is hard to resist, but you can. Maybe you won't have the 'bling', but knowing that you have a real future comfort enough, especially in this deflationary time.

    “We all pay for life with death, so everything in between should be free.” Bill Hicks

  3. Personally I'd stay away from the big oil companies. There are lots of smaller businesses that pay well, and the specialized service sector will give you a more satisfying time at work. The big ones have so much bureaucracy and useless staff interfering with your daily routine. Of course, these things are trade off's with wages. Personally I'd choose the median and go for smaller to medium sized company, go as a contractor and attempt to get the top rate.

    Things will start to dry up in the North Sea with our governments restrictive taxes, dwindling oil and gas supply, and high probability of closures due to major safety shortcomings with the zero maintenance policy on most of the platforms. Tie this in with the workforce offshore nearing retirement and the fact that a lot of the big players are downsizing in the North Sea significantly, ie selling off fields.

    With your education, you should look international. If you are genuinely interested in work in the oil and gas industry, you'd be much better off (financially) to base yourself from the gulf or far east. The North Sea had its time, the big players haven't reinvested enough back into the machinery and personnel, and this credit crunch will undoubtedly have a detrimental effect on the industry.

    Good luck though, and enjoy your visit. Aberdeen has lots of pubs, but lacks the cultural diversity you'd get back in Edinburgh, being as it is a one horse town. Pop into Ma Cameron's for one of their really good 'Ma's loaded' burgers and a pint of pale ale.

  4. You sure you want to work for BP? They've culled the staff twice this year, be warned.

    BP to cut 350 North Sea oil jobs

    BP has suffered a profit slump despite rising oil prices

    Oil giant BP is to shed about 350 jobs at its North Sea headquarters in Aberdeen as part of a restructuring of its operation.


    North Sea workers face tax bills

    Unions have said the move could have a damaging impact on the industry

    Thousands of North Sea workers could be in line for large tax bills, BBC Scotland has learned.


    Oh, and the prices are very overinflated for the mean time. Sellers aren't budging, but with more job losses on the way things will change. There are tons and tons of Milne new build shoeboxes in the city, with 200k price tags. Wait a year and these will be halved no doubt.

  5. I must ask if you have ever been out in Aberdeen ?

    Compared to most UK cities the amount of designer clothing on show seen on the streets is incredible. The same can be said for luxury watch brands etc.

    You do endeavour to paint Aberdeen as a Ned infested city but those who are actually out and about in the city will see a different picture

    Oh dear. If you consider Union St a highlight for shoppers then you havent been too the likes of Edinburgh or Glasgow lately. What about all the bookies, junk food, pound shops, property agents, off licences, to let signs, and tons of neds for such a small city! Selective vision I'd say. Aberdeen's high street definatly needs a facelift. The only shining stars with a bit of prestige I can think of on the high street are Bruce Millers and the pubs on Belmont, the rest is pure tat.

    What is true is that Union St is full of tramps, drunks and Neds most of the time. I suppose its the same Scotland wide because the state is too soft on crime.

  6. Well I say we just take a wait and see approach to the debate. The current financial deflation is global, and unless I am mistaken, Aberdeen is a gold rush town. But my question is why argue about it? If you want to take a punt on student lets in the city then go for it. Listen to the EA who knows as much about economics as a cab driver, dont take heed from the financial gurus and headlines on every international paper. Bonds are currently kicking out a fixed 7% or better in some of the banks, savings rates are doing well from some of the majors, and there are some good growth funds in the energy and agricultural sectors. If you reckon that your money will do better in a student let, or property in general, then for for it. I just shudder at the thought of paying compounded interest on a mortgage for a property that is decreasing at a 10% YoY rate.

  7. Ach well,

    Student lets have always been dodgy investments and seem to attract slummy landlords, or, maybe things have changed since I was in higher ed. I have fond memories of flat smashing parties on freshers and reading week... ah the good old times and all the shagging.

    There is NO chance that this place (city and shire) will be able to weather out the current property market storm. Some people I know up here live in denial about just about everything...including the fact that the Poles and other EU immigrants leaving is a good thing. Oh yes, they have a problem that their kids are unable to buy anything at 10x salary mortgage multiples and are still living at home. Actually, the way people carry on about their last valuations is akin to the English folk I know carrying on about the last world cup win (I'm not much for footie, was that in 1966?).

    Good old Aberdeen: Union St is not exactly a shopping Mecca...rather, its full of bookies, fast food joints, property agents, boozers, mobile phone agents, charity shops and an ever growing number of commercial "to let" signs. Our city is filled with chavs and yobs all weekend, or has anyone not noticed all the tracky-suit clad lad/ladettes and junkies, tramps and beggars patrolling Union St? How about the welfare state that exists up here? How about the broken Aberdeen council coffers? How about the stabbings of late and the growth of violent crime in the last couple of years? Aberdeen city has almost twice the national rate of violent offences, vandalism and motor theft per capita, and higher than national rate per capita of sexual offences.

    More than two-thirds of the lads I've met in offshore game live far afield (can't say I blame them), and the locals here don't make much money. Yeah property is still high, but that's asking prices. There will be a serious downturn in home equity withdrawals which will stop the mad spending going on and people might just have to smarten up and start being responsible for their own futures. Thankfully the credit binge is over and the mastercard 'nouveau riche' crowd will be back to eating beans on toast like the rest of us. Hopefully the BBC and others will stop mass producing this euphoric American style spend to be happy entertainment and property porn. Maybe we can all get back to being responsible and thrifty, and get some national pride on the go as well.

    The old guard on the North Sea (the guys who started with the industry) are in their late 50's and early 60's and will most likely take their fat pensions outside of the city (hopefully not to Spain) in the next few years, by choice or by enforcement. How about oil trading at almost $30 less a barrel than two months ago? Anybody paying top rate for property up here now is either completely insane, or just plain ignorant. Personally, I'd stick my money into something a little safer, like your mattress and give the market a good decade to correct; with most of the North Sea oil gone by then. Hope that the lot of you have got some good liquid savings stashed for the coming downturn. Unfortunately, the "three blind mice" council has chosen not to put a good block of monies away for the future. There are not enough police in Aberdeen, nor is there enough health and support services for the growing number of pensioners up here. A good parallel of this in Scotland, in living memory, is with the Volvo plant closing in Irvine, Ayrshire. We all know what happened in Fife with the mine closures.

    My rant for the evening.

  8. No chip on the shoulder, just insider commentary and some concern. Well I contract, and it pays well too, but I have not gone the route of the PAYE+dividends. It's only a matter of time, but the government will come after the cheats, and claiming ignorance is no defence to HM Customs. Now that the bankers and the realtor's have spent themselves into oblivion for the forseable future, just who else has fat bank accounts on which the government can suck dry? But to put another slice on it, I talk to a lot of the lads in the game and there aren't many company men left on the rigs. Most work has been farmed out to the likes of Petrofac etc, and they in turn subcontract. The way the North Sea oil game is being operated is akin to how war is waged nowadays. No countries can maintain huge armies for the cost. But for less, mercenaries are available and even more expendable. Mobil, Shell, BP all know what they are doing, contract labour is easy to cut free and there are lots of replacements, especially nowadays.

    Aberdeen has a few company men left, but most of them are at or past their retirement age and there are no replacements. For some god awful reason, the powers that be in Britain decided to water down and stupify the education system over the last 25 years, leaving kids and grads these day with little usable skills, especially when you consider that its 1970's technology that runs these offshore platforms. On top of it all, the condition of the platforms Britain wide is very bad. Dangerous policies exist in many of the big companies, which gives bonuses based on the savings made by cutting maintenance. Its not a matter of if, but when, the next big incident happens in the north sea, or elsewhere. If the HSE had some balls and would not be held at bay by the politicians, I bet that 60% of the platforms would be declared unsafe to operate. But since crude is high and the taxes are too, the HSE has had their collective lease shortened by Brown and Co.

    Production is ramping down and the fields are slowly being sold off to smaller international service companies. All this of course will have an effect on the property market here. I bet you will see a big purge of staff from the big players this fall, and the selling off of more old fields to China and other multinational players.

    My piece for the evening.

  9. Aberdeen is in a bubble of its own. The majority of the people that earn the big oil bucks, at least the ones I know, are self employed. And of these, most of them are still paying reduced taxes (PAYE at minumum wage and the rest as dividends) by lying about their self employed status, and would not pass an IR35 checklist. An indutry wide audit, which will come in due time, will pressure the industry and put a lot of individuals into serious finacial difficulty, and with that the money will disappear. Don't believe me? Well, just in the last two years, the government passed legislation to remove MSC's (managed service companies, or , 'umbrella companies')from existence. There are still tons of people claiming base pay and dividends who are lying to the taxman. I imagine these are the same types who have been taking on the huge BTL liar loans. Now that the government is desparatley seeking cash, these masses of dodgy contractors will be easy prey, and bankruptcy cannot help you when tax evasion and fraud are in hand.

    My two cents on the city.

    Oh yeah, and as for the students. Students have no money.

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