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Everything posted by Tuberider

  1. Well, you did what was right for you at the time. I did what I felt was right for me. BTL is about timing i suppose, although like i said earlier,I fell into it rather by accident so i cannot take credit for this. I actually want to buy more houses, at least two, in my target area, but I feel prices are still too high. I really don't see anything immoral in it.
  2. Some of what you say rings true. If you have spare cash, where else are you going to invest it ? I don't really understand shares etc, and neither do I want to. I know it's a cliche but no other investment is as safe as property (to me, at least). And I don't even mind subsidizing my rentals from time to time if necessary, you just think of it as paying into a pension plan. BTL not foolproof by any means, but what alternative is there ?
  3. It would be hard for me to exist if my dad was not born a few years earlier than me... but I think I get your point.
  4. Very seldom had to do any of that. Have a very good agent who gives me gauranteed rents and takes care of maintenence. If i don't like his initial quote i send my own guy round, but usually the agent's price is OK. I don't even live in the bloody country, so it would be hard for me to do all the things you say. In all the years i've had maybe 3 serious problems, caused by d1ckhead tennants. All rectified easily enough. Didn't even want to get into BTL to begin with. Dad busted my balls when I was younger and made me do it. Very grateful to him now.
  5. Germany has a worse record of money laundering than Cyprus
  6. The British are world class manufacturers when they want to be. Again, reflections of an highly organized, orderly, disciplined society
  7. No, not everything made in China is crap, but most things. The Japs did not start of with crap products. They started off with OK products (with a few very good ones) and rapidly improved. Chinese have been going for what, 20 years now with no noticable improvement in quality. 'Made in China' is synonymous with crap and avoided by many. It's inside the people. Some things cannot be taught or learned. Go to Japan or Germany and see the order, discipline and pride in those societies. Reflects in the product.
  8. 45 vessels at 40 million a pop, not peanuts by anybody's standards ! But cheaper than Japan, yes. However in retrospect it was a mistake - the money we 'saved' is more or less swallowed up by retrofitting, repairs and higher running costs in general. Also we have to pay crew more to sail on these ships. Chinese vessels are generally despised by seafarers due to poor quality of machinery and other equipment.
  9. I can only speak from (extensive) personal experience. In China, crooked dealings, cheating and cutting corners are the norm. We had very high hopes early on, we knew it would be very rough at the start but we believed we could pass on knowledge and fill those gaps, get them up to a European standard after 4,5 years. The reality was very different. Our staff were quickly exasperated and drained, the product absolutely no better than when we first began all those years ago and the costs had only risen. the mantra here became ' dont try to change them. do the best you can do with the resources that are available and go home'. I hope, never again. Give me Japan any day.
  10. I have to strongly disagree here. 15 years of experience with Chinese shipbuilders - and the quality is still nowhere near the Japanese, let alone the Europeans. China has a cheap low quality mentality that is embedded into the national psyche. They simply cannot produce high quality goods unless micro managed by westerners. You can pay them more for better quality, but they will still use the same materials and pocket the difference. China will be relegated to making tat IMO. The do not have the same mentality for quality and pride in what they do like the Japs or germans. this is the problem - the mentality. Europe still has a wealth of dormant shipbuilding knowledge - greece, poland, england, romania. Would not take much to get it going again. We were still building vessels in Europe up until a few years ago, and we realize now that shifting production to china was a mistake. manufacturing, REAL manufacturing will make a 'homecoming' to the west, starting with the US, but the economies of Europe will also see a steady trickle back, growing over the next 10 years
  11. What we know is that shale gas is there, it is extractable, and it’s cheap (right now). The offical line as propogated by Obama is that the USA has a 100 year reserve. This might be overstated, but even the most pessimistic estimates put reserves at around 10 years. Whatever the correct figure, it’s enough to convince many US manufacturers to re-shore. (Lets not forget huge reserves in South America, China, Australia and France) Whether this will propel the USA out of the doldrums and into a new era of prosperity is unknown. My gut feeling tells me it very well might. At the very least, we are not going to have a peak oil Mad Max future, life will grind on and hydrocarbons will continue to play a leading role in our energy mix. And even if this is a bubble right now, the infrastructure, knowledge and experience will remain after it bursts. Case in point the tech/internet bubble of the late 90’s. Only downsides I can see are environmental, but shale is not alone here.
  12. This lot are not the Poles, who on the whole are educated, hardworking and quiet. You guys are in for big trouble. Here in Cyprus we have had a huge surge in crime since Romanians/ Bulgarians have been allowed to enter. Burglaries and armed robberies in particular. Lots of petty crime, beggars and cashpoint -type scams as well. The Cypriot police openly admit that this is a 'Romanian crime wave' and have even invited Romanian chief of police here for talks on how to combat it. Another thing, the driving (never good here to start with) has gotten a lot worse since these people moved here and bought clapped out old bangers to drive at breakneck speeds on our poorly maintained roads. I never had much exposure to Romanians/ Bulgarians before this, but to be quite honest I am finding it hard to see anything piositive at all about them. There is a small minority of about 15-20% who are very decent people, but the rest just seem to be teefs.
  13. isn't that the whole idea, that low energy costs will lead to re-shoring and therefore a surge in employment and living standards?
  14. one more, for those interested : http://www.pkverlegerllc.com/publications/papers/the-amazing-tale-of-us-energy-independence-the-international-economy-spring-2012-598/ Quote: In little more than a decade, the United States will find itself as an energy exporter and this amazing outcome will have happened by accident. The United States will then have low-cost energy supplies for decades. If oil prices remain high, America will benefit from the difference. Today, South Korea pays around $14 per million Btus for natural gas; the United States will pay less than $4. The situation is, and will be, the same in China and Europe. They will pay more, and the comparative advantage will make it possible for the United States to remain the global economic leader. I have been studying energy issues for forty years and the data are difficult to believe. But facts are facts. U.S. energy independence, as controversial as it sounds, will lay the groundwork for the New American Century.
  15. More bullish articles, from a few months ago : http://oilandglory.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/04/24/a_disruption_for_china_and_the_rise_of_small_nations http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/09fbb2ac-87b8-11e1-ade2-00144feab49a.html#axzz2BKjrpRfC
  16. I don't disagree. But what are we supposed to do, sit around on the internet all day crying about it ? We have to crack on and find a way out of this mess. My family and I spent 6 months in a TENT after the Turks invaded, no house, no clothes and no f*cking FOOD. This is nothing compared to that. People need perspective.
  17. Colonialism is long gone my friend. Nobody cares about the Brits anymore, they are too much trouble and don't spend much money anyway. All those whinging sunburned expats (read: immigrants) ever buy is Keo beer and dog food, and they do nothing but moan and complain. This year has been a record year for tourism and that is down to simplified visa regulations for Russians. Same will be done for the Ukraine next year. Despite popular wisdom the Russians here are not gangsters or criminals. The vast majority of them are quiet businesspeople who bring a great deal of money into the island. They like their privacy, but they casue very little trouble, and are polite and well behaved. Most of them speak greek (which is something the UK expats never bother to learn) and their womenfolk are extremely easy on the eye (again in stark contrast to the English) What's not to like ? Gas revenues are 5 years away at least, but not 20. I cannot open that link, but i suspect it's written by Fiona Sapien who is a notorious Cyprus basher. Cyprus is a small place, and we have a lot going for us. We bounced back from the Turkish invasion in 1974 where a third of the island was stolen and half the population displaced. I think we can handle a few Eurocrats and bankers.
  18. you forgot to add, one of the biggest shipmanagement centers on the planet, soaring receipts from tourrism and huge reserves of natural gas (relative to it's size) let's not get carried away
  19. I hear what you say, but since this forum by it's very nature is doom-and-gloom we have come to expect such replies whenever something potentially positive emerges. After all, we have all been waiting for a massive crash in property prices which is always just around the corner (ten years nearly since I found this site, and it's still just around the corner!) As a layman, i'm really interested to hear opinions from people like tomwatkins who have first hand knowledge of the Gas Shale industry. tomster, over to you...
  20. that's interesting. as someone with inside knowledge, can you give us your views on the gas shale 'revolution' ?
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