Thursday, 8 December 2011

Unemployment Rate World Map

Below is the link to the Unemployment Rate world map at IndexMundi.

Monday, 28 November 2011


Awesome XKCD map of all money. :)

Geography of the Top 1%

In line with the "we're the 99%" movement, here is an interesting article with maps from the IRS, on geography of the "top 1%" of income earners in the US.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011


Rate yourself on rich-o-meter and see in which percentile of the world population you fall into:

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Quicken 2012 Manual Updates

Since Quicken 2012 has been available for a while, here is the link for manual download of updates:

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Metric Mash

At Metric Mash, you can access various public data sources and create your own charts.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

S&P Downgrades United States

(Reuters) - The United States lost its top-tier AAA credit rating from Standard & Poor's on Friday, a move that will affect the country's borrowing costs and investor opinion of U.S. assets. Here is a Q+A on what the downgrade means for investors, consumers and to the country.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Show One Amount Column in Quicken

Quicken (2011) will, by default, display incoming and outgoing transaction amounts in separate columns. This might be convenient for accountant-types but sometimes the screen realestate is not plentiful and we might just want to see one amount column with sign '-' for negative numbers. And preferrably different color.

Fortunately, the new Quicken column options offer this possibility. 

There are columns for Deposit and Payment, but also Amount. Simply untick the Deposit and Payment columns and tick the Amount column. The column names are different for different types of accounts but they can be easily located by checking what the actual column titles are in the register.

The drawback here is that values cannot be typed directly into the Amount column. Fortunately, this is where quick switch between 1- and 2-column layout comes in handy. CTRL+2 is the shortcut key for switching to 2-column display, which can have separate Payment and Deposit columns for entering transactions. Then, pressing the hotkey again will switch to 1-column display that could have only the Amount field and more transactions listed, which provides a great overview of the recent account activity.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Currency Effect on International Investing

A great overview of relation between currency exchange rates and investment performance in international arena. This is noteworthy, considering current performance of Australian Dollar.

Read more:

Taxation and Investment in Australia 2011

Deloitte's publication on taxation and investment in Australia in 2011:

Taxation Guide for Investors in Australia

General Taxation Arrangements section of the Taxation Guide for Investors, published by the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism, contains useful definitions of Dividend Imputation and Dividend Witholding Tax Exemption for Foreign Source Dividend Income.

Australian Equities - Tax Issues for Individual Investors

A paper that describes the Australian taxation system for investors, both resident and non-resident; the effect of franking credits on Australian equities, and compares it to the environment in the US and UK.

Australian Equities - Tax Issues for Individual Investors

Australian Fixed Interest Education

Here are few useful links on (fixed) interest rate securities on ASX. Fixed interest securities are available on Australian Stock Exchange and the texts below summarize what is available and then describe the basic characteristics of each type of security.
  • Understanding ASX Interest Rate Securities (link)
  • Corporate bonds/notes (link)
More resources at the Interest Rate Securities page on ASX (link).

Australian Manufacturing is Disappearing

A few interesting details on the stats for the Australian manufacturing industry.

Since 1990, manufacturing's share of Victorian gross state product has fallen from 16 per cent to 10 per cent and that decline is increasing. According to a paper sponsored by Visy, that will mean the loss of some 587,000 jobs in the next decade, 27 per cent of state household income and 24 per cent of state income.

Nationwide, manufacturing's share of income has declined from 15 to 8 per cent over the same period.

The practical effects are someting along the lines of

Infrastructure needs, and just what needs to be done to support the mining sector, will be part of the study, which will look at how tertiary education can be directed more at mining service sectors. In short, more IT and engineers and fewer lawyers.


Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Residents and Foreign Residents - Taxation Australia

Australian Taxation Office contains a text that illustrates several different edge situations, where it might not be clear whether a person is a resident for taxation purposes or not. It is a good reference, as I was not sure what my status would be in the next couple of months. From these guides, it appears I will still be Australian resident for tax purposes even though the travelling might be for an extended period of time.

Examples of residents and foreign residents

Sunday, 8 May 2011

On booms, busts and investor psychology

There is a great article by Dr. Shane Oliver on booms, busts and investor psychology where he explains how the psychology affects the boom and bust cycles of the markets. This is just a rehearsal of the same ideas that were so painfully demonstrated during the GFC.

Reading article like this simply reinforces the ideas represented on this blog. Have in mind your long-term investment strategy (if investing for the long term, that is).

Booms, busts and investor psychology (link)

Thursday, 5 May 2011

GDP Chart(s)

Google (as usual) has an awesome service to display publicly available data. This time the data comes from World Bank and represents World Development Indicators or the GDP of world's countries. 

I've selected a few to compare the world index, Australia, and India and China, then added Bosnia and Herzegovina. These are some interesting charts!


Saturday, 30 April 2011

New Vanguard ETFs

Vanguard Australia is to add additional ETFs to their current offer. The new funds will track market sectors, including  small companies, large-cap stocks and high-yield equities.


"Endgame: The End of the Debt SuperCycle and How It Changes Everything"

In The Endgame Headwinds (link), John Mauldin, touches on important issues facing the Western world in the next multi-year period. It is a very worthy read.

There are lots of references to the issues further explained in his recently-published book. The excerpts from the book "Endgame: The End of the Debt SuperCycle and How It Changes Everything", by John Mauldin, Jonathan Tepper, is available for preview on Google Books.

Google Books link

Some great quotes from the text are below:

"There are only two ways to grow an economy. Just two. You can increase the working-age population or you can increase productivity. That’s it. No secret sauce."


Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Golden Rules

Herald Sun has a nice compilation of top investment tips from several well-established investors and fund managers. Read here.

Thursday, 21 April 2011


Collin Twiggs, in his market commentary "No such thing as free lunch", explains the roots and causes for increase in the money supply in the market and its effects.

This explains the current moment, where bonds are being sold off, the inflation is at the door, and the prices of real assets, like stocks and commodities, are going through the roof.


Sunday, 3 April 2011

Unemployment starts to drop in EU

BBC, April 1, 2011 - The unemployment in the Euro zone has started to fall. Positive version of the same statement would be that the employment is on the rise. This is a very good sign. It has taken a while for the EU economies to catch up on the recovery but it is finally happening.

Have in mind that the stats differ wildly by country. Some countries are well into double-digit unemployment while others are in the range of natural unemployment (around 4%).

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Tax the Super-Rich

Here's a really interesting article on the 'Super-Rich Delusion' and the consequences for the society:

AUD Forecasts for 2011

There is an overview of the forecasts and conditions affecting the position of the Australian Dollar this year. While the Australian economy is strong and the comodity prices have gone up on one hand, rate rises are expected in the Northern hemisphere on the other.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Extremely Good Signs for the Labor Market

The recent high growth in company profits points that the job market in the US is to improve significantly.

"... economy-wide corporate profits rose 9.7% annualized in Q4 2010, which was roughly twice what we were expecting. Since the recession ended, profits have grown at a sturdy 27% annualized pace."


"... profits per private sector employee are at an all-time high-well above their pre-recession peak."

The correlation is usually two quarters apart so mid-2011 should mark a hot labor market.


Friday, 25 March 2011

Hedging in AUD

Here is another tip for investing overseas in local currency. In this case it is Australian Dollar but tips work for any currency. There are times the currency is high, compared to other currencies, and this happens often with Australian Dollar because it is closely related to the price of commodities, mostly mining ore.

During these periods it is a good idea to buy units in funds that invest in international shares, unhedged. This way we are using the high position of AUD to buy more units in local currencies.

When times change and AUD is low, relative to other currencies, the opposite applies. Buying units in funds that are hedged for AUD variations provides more value. This way, when AUD goes up again the price of the fund portfolio will grow automatically with the currency.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

More on Inequality in the USA

Here is a continuation of the previous post, with more insight and analysis in the inequality that is rapidly increasing in the United States.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

American Opinion on Income Inequality

Here's a very interesting view of the world. Distorted, as usual.

Original post here.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Fee-Free Credit Card in Sweden

I'm currently looking into the banking system in Sweden and it is a nice surprise to find a fee-free credit card on the first go. Wikipedia has a list of banks in Sweden. The only bank with non-Swedish name is GE Money. This was particularly interesting since I am aware of their great credit card products in Australia. One of the best travellers' credit cards has recently been renamed to 28 Degrees. There are no membership fees or surcharges for money withdrawal overseas.

So, in good tradition, GE Money Sweden happens to have a great credit card on offer, as well. There is no membership fee nor currency fees for funds withdrawal abroad. Apparently, quite a few banks in Sweden do not charge for funds withdrawal in the EU, which is great. And, apart from that, there is 60 days interest-free period for the card.

Financial Crisis over in Sweden

According to the Nordic financial services group Nordea, the financial crisis is over in Sweden. Economic growth is forecasted for 2011 and 2012. Other metrics is to follow - unemployment is set to fall, inflation to rise, etc.

source: The Local