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Everything posted by Prof

  1. Have you got one of Rooney`s ankle ? I haven`t seen it on TV for at least 2 days, and I`m quite worried about it. "Typical Germans"
  2. "Baker has also been prohibited from performing any function in relation to any regulated activity. " That`s something that he isn`t going to miss, having worked at Northern Rock.
  3. I reckon the secret of long term investing is not to neccesarily invest for the long term. You might have found that after 2 or 3 years, your investment might have been up about 20-30%. Stock markets can be volatile (stating the obvious), and managed funds even more so. The problem is that it is tempting, after "making" 10%+ per year for a year ot two, to think this will carry on. Sometimes it pays to cut and run. If you invested early in 2001, then you may never have been in profit since then, which does go to show that long term investment in the equity markets doesn`t always pay off (and I`d call 9 years - "long term"). I believe in drip feeding into the markets (pound cost averaging) which can turn a crash in the market into a benefit for you long term investment. Choosing the right fund can also help, but luck is factor too.
  4. Fairy nuff. It is possible that Santander/A&L might be one of the worst offenders for charges and dropping rates, but I treat all banks the same - I don`t trust them.
  5. I think they offered the slightly better rate before the ISA deadline, to attract those that hadn`t used their ISA allowance in 09/10. The current offer is one of the best available for 10/11 at the moment. Current rate is 3.2%, and will increase IF the BoE raises rates, plus it won`t drop below 3.2%. Most other banks are not even offering 3%, and some are simply variable rates, but not tied to base rate.
  6. First of all, I am in no way sympathetic to UK banks. In answer to you points - 1) Really ? That`s shocking. No other bank does this, right ? 2) Yes, some notice should have been given. Seems like their charges for being overdrawn aren`t too bad though. OK. Now show me a bank that pays decent interest on savings accounts, which doesn`t fall within a year or so and charges you less than £5 per day if you go overdrawn (and tells you instantly if you do). Here`s my lesson for today : Shop arround for the best savings rates, and be prepared to move your money after a while (and keep an eye on those interest rates, if they are variable). Keep some money in any account that charges if you go overdrawn. If you are "sailing close to the wind", frequently check your current balance, and be careful what you spend. That should help.
  7. You beat me to it, but I`ve just applied for mine.
  8. "And the meek shall inherit the Earth". Not under New Labour they won`t. Mind you, the lazy shall inherit some good benefits.
  9. True, but maybe I wasn`t making my point very clear. I typed....... I think that the lowest price a property could be would be cost of land + building costs + some profit for the builder. We seem to have a different equation at the moment, where the cost of the land and the profit for the builder is largely influenced by the availability of cheap credit (or liar loans ). The profit for the builder is one component that makes up the cost of a new property. If the buyer has a large wad of cash available (borrowed from the bank), then it is only natural that the builder will put up his price. That`s why I heard stories of plumbers/brickies/chippies on £200+ per day. I expect some of them would now be happy on £100 per day. Meanwhile, I know of several "fat cats" in the building trade who were making quite a lot of wonga out of the property boom. Yes, they were busy, but their large incomes were fuelled by easy lending. Of course, it isn`t quite so simple as this, because the cost of a new home will be largely influenced by the "value" of older homes too. So even if the builder cut his margin (because buyers had less money to offer), the asking price would be related to the average cost of nearby property. Sorry, this is a bit OT, and might not make sense !
  10. I beg to differ. If I am a builder (building company), I employ plumbers, bricklayers, roofers etc. I buy the materials, pay my workers, then add my profit. By "cost of build", I meant the cost of labour + materials. Ayn Rand ? My favourite band have been influenced by her work, I believe.
  11. This is pretty well spot on. It can be no coincidence that when the banks "shut" after the credit crunch, HPI went into reverse. Now the banks are dishing the wonga again (albeit more slowly), HPI is back. It would be interesting to see what the average 3 bed semi would sell for if people had to save for the purchase, instead of borrowing. If people had to save the £100k (or whatever) first, I suppose it might put the average age of a FTB`er up a bit. Mind you, isn`t the average age of a FTB`er already well above 30 ? I think that the lowest price a property could be would be cost of land + building costs + some profit for the builder. We seem to have a different equation at the moment, where the cost of the land and the profit for the builder is largely influenced by the availability of cheap credit (or liar loans ).
  12. He impersonates Margaret Thatcher with a cold.
  13. I hear ya`, but it`s been a long wait. We know the UK property market should have corrected, but still we wait..............
  14. Maybe. I would say that the reason I`m doing "well for myself" is through a little discipline with my finances (a little bit of luck has also helped, but even without that luck, I`d still be doing OK). No big income here, I`m afraid, and no big house, either (which helps). The trick ? It`s very simple, I spend less than I earn. I always have done (well most of the time). Current situation is : No debt, healthy savings (not earning much interest though !) and low income (less than average). I`ll add that I was lucky to start buying my house before 1997, which mean that my mortgage was manageable, even on a modest income. I wouldn`t be able to do the same today.
  15. You must be a "chip of the old block". IC design must be fairly interesting. IC`s, well modern CPU`s, fascinate me. How "they" cram so many tranistors into such a small space, in the correct arrangement, and get them to work is a wonder of modern technology.
  16. I plead innocent. I reckon the banks really don`t like me much. I am a bit of a sucker for an extra 0.5%, even if it means filling in a few forms.
  17. “It beggars belief that in 21st century Britain it takes a month to transfer information and funds from one bank to another,” said Mike O’Connor, chief executive of Consumer Focus. “The average Isa saver is getting a poor deal.” Indeed. My last two ISA transfers have taken >4 weeks to complete. I`m sure that in earlier years, the process took only about a week. I`ve heard about special machines called "computers" which are supposed to speed up the exchange of data and information. Apparently, these "computers" can even "talk" to each other ! Maybe if they used some of these machines to carry out the ISA transfer process, the world would be a better place (and savers would feel a little less frustrated by the whole process).
  18. Yup. Higher house prices = higher deposits (unless we go back to 100%+ mortgages....... where`s Northern Rock when you need them ?) + higher mortgage repayments. Still, what do I care if the next generation are going to have to sell vital organs to "get a foot on the ladder". As long as the value of my house is going up at least 1% per month, it`s happy days ! Now, if our economy was growing 1%+ per month, if wages were increasing 1%+ per month, I could see house price rises of 1%+ per month being a reasonable consequence. HPI of 9% over the past 12 months ? I suppose that`s to be expected, with house prices being so low.
  19. With a budget of 9 billion US dollars (approx. €6300M or £5600M as of Jan 2010), the LHC is the most expensive scientific experiment in human history.[46] The total cost of the project is expected to be of the order of 4.6 billion Swiss francs (approx. $4400M, €3100M, or £2800M as of Jan 2010) for the accelerator and 1.16 billion francs (approx. $1100M, €800M, or £700M as of Jan 2010) for the CERN contribution to the experiments.[47] NHS Software £12.7bn. LHC £2.8bn. I know that there is quite a bit of computing power behind the LHC experiment, and I suspect that the software might be a little bit "advanced". Did the LHC computer/software cost £12bn ? Discuss. PS. The amount of data that the LHC will produce and have to be analyzed by computer is enormous. I suspect it will be far more data than the NHS will require to store around 60 million patient`s records. Oh, I see someone has already mentioned this.
  20. For >£12bn, I suspect they are developing a system that will replace GPs and some surgeons, hence the delays and cost.
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