Sunday, May 31

Weekend Stocks Shares Newspaper Tips

Stocks and Shares - Weekend Newspaper Share Tips



Golden hellos return at Barclays

Spiralling debts put Kwik-Fit in a right fix



Hold Electrocomponents at 145.5p
Buy Cineworld at 142.5p
Hold Centamin Egypt at 85.25p


Premier Farnell to bring in clawbacks on directors' bonuses
Google's next mission: help British firms sell kilts to the Japanese

Spotlight on Mayfair in fraud probe

Commodities promise rich harvest for investors


Buy Compass Group at 357p
Homeserve heads for FTSE 100
Healthcare Locums: shares have lots of potential and should continue to perform


Hornby expected to generate strong sales in Scaletrix division

AirAsia profits soar by 591%


Fuel costs to hit Ryanair

Experts say Jessops (camera retailers) has to deal with market in 'terminal decline' -must close more shops and increase online presence and promotion

Cash and carry group Best Way's sales soar - profits up by 25%

Cash crisis leads to pawn shop revival (ABM is ticker for Albermarle and Bond - as previously mentioned by Tempus here - stocks and shares )


Vodafone forced into U-turn on cutbacks after staff fury

Prophet mysery shopper survey says Marks & Spencer are at bottom of shoppers' lists

Light finally shining in housing market windows



Hold on to Electrocomponents for the yield
Smiths News probably better bet than Menzies
Vp seems cheap but progress unlikely till construction trade picks up

Other comment:

Thomas Cook down on further fears re. Arcandor shareholding

Tiddler to watch - Xploite

Charting: IS it time to get stuck into the FTSE?

Investment Extra:

Avoid BT Group for the moment


WPP investors to resist bonus payout


Odds improve for internet gaming investors (PartyGaming, 888 Holdings)
Northern Petroleum cash flow helped by output
Templar Minerals shows what it's made of

Friday, May 29

Online Trading Newspaper Stock Picks

Online Stock Trading - Stocks and Shares Tips


Ten shares on the up:

Randgold Resources -- AstraZeneca -- Autonomy -- Tullow Oil -- Amlin -- Next -- Experian -- Inmarsat -- Kingfisher -- Admiral Group


Sell Kingspan at 45.74p
British Land at 404p

Buy Lancashire Holdings at 495p
Buy Coal of Africa at 89p
Buy Idox at 11.5p
Buy Hill & Smith at 225p


Buy Vantis
Sell Ciref
Sell Game Group

Company Results:

Buy Cluff Gold -- Intec Telecom -- Scottish & Southern Energy -- Avon Rubber -- Melorio -- Petrolatina.


National Grid hit by rights issue fears

Carnival lower on talk of weak trading

Concateno up on 150p-a-share offer speculation



Pass on Caledonia Investments
Hold Paypoint
Buy HSBC Infrastructure


Talk that Dragon Oil may soon use cash to fund a deal

Bet of the day: Copper

Tiddler to watch - Vertu Motors



Buy United Utilities
Avoid Wolseley



Hold United Utilities
Buy Paypoint
Buy Hogg Robinson


Prospects of expansion sustain Highland Gold

Scotty Group contract win talk

IMS Maxim deal talk

Thursday, May 28

Hammer Bullish Reversal Candlestick Pattern

Online Stock Trading - Technical Analysis - Hammer Bullish Candlestick Reversal Pattern - Candlestick Training Video

Technical Analysis - Stock Market Candlesticks

In technical analysis the Hammer Pattern is a bullish candelstick reversal pattern. It is a single candlestick a body at the top and a shadow below it (the Hammer looks exactly the same as the Hanging Man - the difference is that the Hammer comes after a downward trend and represents a bullish reversal - the Hanging Man on the other hand comes after an upward trend and represents a bearish reversal pattern). The body of the Hammer can be either red or green but the green body is slightly more bullish.

The Hammer needs to be confirmed the next by a gap up and move upwards and trading above the hammer.

The lower shadow in the hammer candlestick needs to be at least twice the size of the body.

The level of confirmation you require will vary depending on how willing you are to accept risk - aggressive traders will enter the trade as soon as the price trades above the hammer high, more risk averse will wait for the closing price to be above the high of the body.

More details in this candlestick training video from on youtube.

Related Post : Online Stock Trading
How Does the Stock Market Work
Home : Buy Stocks Online

Stock Market Investing Newspaper Tips

Online Stock Trading

- Shares Magazine and Newspaper Stocks and Shares Picks

Stocks and Shares - Stock Market Investing

Buy Amlin at 341p - stop loss at 272.8p

Intelligent Environment - take profits
Mother care - take profits
British Airways - hold

More tips
Buy Braemore
Buy GW Pharmaceuticals in anticipation of Sativex's progress
Buy Kentz
Sell Lamprell
Hold Brightside

Monsanto stumbles on expected shortfall due to lower profit for its blockbuster herbicide

ANZ -- a good sign things are looking up is that banks are openly raising money to buy stuff, rather than stuffing it under their mattresses to appease regulators


Hold Northern Foods
Pass on Topps Tiles
Buy Kentz on weakness

Other comment:
Mike Ashley may have sold a chunk of JJB Sports shares

Bet of the day: Tate & Lyle
Tiddler to watch - Churchill Mining


Buy Northern Foods
Hold Royal Dutch Shell


Hold BSS for now
Sell Topps Tiles
Sell Speedy Hire


Punters like Greene King (unlike yours truly who lives next door to one of their noisy pubs)


BowLeven up on Cameroon reserves hopes
Nighthawk Energy underpinned by hopes of sale of Jolly Ranch

Wednesday, May 27

Online Trading Wednesday Stock Picks

Online Stock Trading - Share Tips and Stock Picks

Stock Market News


Homeserve: wait for further international progress before getting back in
Pass on Holidaybreak
Hold Albemarle and Bond (ABM) [ABM are pawnbrokers and were one of the Financial Times' stock picks back on February 24 but strangely in these difficult economic times the share price went down for 2 months before recovering recently]

Albermarle and Bond 6 month chart

Other comment:

DIY retailers down after sales warning

Bet of the day: Cantor Index has Charlie Mayfield of John Lewis at 4-1 to take the hot seat at M&S

Tiddler to watch - Island Gas Resources


Buy Mothercare
Hold Aveva


Bargain-hunting by US homebuyers to lay foundations of recovery


Buy Aveva
Hold Greencore for now
Hold Holidaybreak

Ministers get another chance to ignore victims of Equitable Life


Kingfisher's B&Q is starting an £18 M battle with Argos and Ikea

Sunday, May 24

Online Stock Trading Weekend Shares

Online Stock Trading - Weekend Newspaper Share Tips and Rumours



Buy Scottish & Southern Energy at £11.63
Buy Compass Group at 361p
Buy Petrofac at 637.5p


Other comment:

Northern Foods - dividend cut may be on the cards

Hold Tate & Lyle

Pawnbrokers are fashionable again


Steer clear of Lloyds' cash call


Timpson - the shoe repairer - is having a good recession

British Airways to cut thousands more jobs to reduce costs by another £200 million

Blacks Leisure expected to announce an £8 M loss this week as it tries to get banks to renew borrowing terms
Wolseley, Investec and LSE to be promoted to FTSE
£63 M costs expected at Siberia Energy


Big city buy-to-lets revived by rising rents

Rockhopper Exploration has first discovery that has been independently verified in the Falklands Islands


Footballers to hit back at 50p tax rate

Gathering storm at Aquascutum
Investors get aboard indebted National Express
Sports Direct up on talk of strong trading

Money section:

FTSE 100 bear market not over yet

Weekend Share Watch
Strong sales at Intec Telecom Systems
Shaftesbury still defensive


Stopping the payout is reaping rewards for for FTSE's finest (M&S, BT, BA)

Other comment:

Sports Direct said to be winning share from JJB Sports

Bet of the Day: Mothercare

Tiddler to watch - Alliance Pharma

Mortgage 'time bomb' stokes fears of more repossessions to come


Investment Extra:

Safety first pays dividends: Intertek, Balfour Beatty, Cryptologic, Immupharma, Imperial Tobacco, BAT, Vodafone and Amec.

Friday, May 22

Online Trading Tips

Online Trading Tips for Online Stock Market Investing

I have just discovered the excellent site created by the US Securities and Exchange Commission - - on which, amongst other things they have very helpfully given their tips for online trading.

I will preface these tips by the SEC by my own tip - if you are considering trading stocks online, avoid TDWaterhouse - IMHO neither they nor their software is reliable - TDWaterhouse Problems

Tips for Online Internet Stock Trading from the SEC

The following online trading tips were drafted by the North American Securities Administrators Association, Inc. They are designed to inform investors and help them carefully consider what they are doing before online investing.

  • It is important to understand that you are probably not linked directly to the stock market through your PC and that when you click on your mouse your order is not instantaneously executes or cancelled. (Very true particularly if your online brokers software is up the creek ! I know from bitter experience - believe me get yourself a reliable broker).
  • Check that the online quotes and updates to your account that are displayed on your screen are genuinely real-time or delayed. (Once again a reliable broker with reliable software is absolutely essential - if your broker's system clock is inaccurate by 1 minute and 37 seconds then you will discover that the stock market has in fact closed by the time you try to cancel your order when you thought it was still open - this has already happened to me so it is not just a theoretical possibility)
  • Check that your online broker is able to get you the best price. (Difficult to find out by asking, as they are obviously going to tell you whatever they want in order to get your business. Best to check with other people who are already involved in online trading first).
  • Get information from the broker which will substantiate advertised claims concerning the ease of online trading and the accuracy of their system. (Particularly their timing system - it is essential that their clocks are accurate - you can test this yourself by visiting the Greenwich meantime site where they have an accurate clock).
  • Make sure you have all the information you need concerning entering and cancelling orders (market price, limit price, and stop loss), and the details and risks involved with any margin accounts (trading on margin means you borrow money to buy stocks in the hope that the share price will go up and you can get out at a profit).
  • Ask the firm about website outages, and other interruptions that may negatively affect your trading. (If you expect them to own up to this you are dreaming !)
  • Make sure the brokers you choose have an alternative way to execute your orders if there are problems with the online trading system.
  • Read the firm’s policy regarding privacy and security. Make sure your name and address will not be put on mailing lists for promotional activities from the firm or third parties.
  • Make sure you get clear information about commissions, fees, and conditions governing advertised discounts.
  • Make sure you know where to contact customer service if problems occur (they will).
  • Ask for prompt fair consideration (you may get it if you're lucky it all depends on which broker you sign up with of course - try and get some personal recommendations beforehand).
  • Be sure you keep your own records to back up any problems that may occur. (The problem with this is that if you choose an unscrupulous broker then your records will simply be ignored).
  • Check the registration status and disciplinary history of any online brokerage firm, and where you should go to file complaints.

So that's the SEC's tips for which we are truly thankful, with my comments, personally I think you can't beat personal recommendation - you can see which online brokers I don't recommend at the top of the page. With regard to 'disciplinary history' you may like to read this article from the New York Times - TDWaterhouse Fined for Online Trading Problems

Online Trading Newspaper Stock Picks

Online Stock Trading - Investors Chronicle

Stocks to Watch

Sell Eurasian Natural Resources at 590p
Sell Johnston Press at 26p

Buy Invensys at 243p
Buy Centamin Egypt at 82p
Buy Development Securities at 289p
Buy Prodesse at 435p

Buy H&T Group
Buy Scisys

Sell Regus
Sell SQS Software

Company Results:

Sell Marks & Spencer -- BT Group -- Luminar

Buy ICAP -- Future Medical -- Mediterranean Oil & Gas -- National Grid -- Impax -- Northern Petroleum


GMAC -- the US is ready to inject over $7 billion into GMAC

US unemployment -rising joblessness could lead to genuine economic havoc soon
There are lots of reasons to believe that this stock market rally won't last, particularly if companies need to raise more equity
The pound has risen 9% since December, but is due due for a correction, or a pause at least
Sony Corp intends halving its suppliers, but can it make the changes quickly enough?
Miners down on talk of weak iron ore price
Talk that Tullow Oil may get involved in a break-up bid for Heritage Oil


Hold Scottish & Southern Energy
Buy Investec
Hold Shanks Group


Tullow Oil up on bid talk

Speculation that Avanti Communications will win a grant to design a satellitefrom the European Space Agency

Bet of the day: British Airways

Tiddler to watch - Western & Oriental


Buy Shanks Group
Buy Qinetiq


JJB Sports a speculative buy
Buy Shanks Group
Hold Western & Oriental


China JV speculation stimulates Altona Energy


Obama's Credit Card Reforms

Thursday, May 21

Obama's Credit Card Reforms Bill

Online Stock Trading - Obama's Credit Card Reforms

The Obama Credit Card Bill

Ever thought credit card companies have been ripping you off? Well it seems the President of the United States agrees with you.

What does Obama's credit card reform bill mean for you ?
Credit Cards Obama Credit Card Reforms
We all know that credit cards are bad for your wealth and that credit card companies are the spawn of Satan - but hopefully Obama's attempt at reforming the industry will someusers money.

When the bill passed and comes into force credit card bills will be able to be paid online or on the phone without a processing fee being added.
Before an interest rate can be raised customers must be more than 60 days late on payments. If the interest rate is increased, it will revert to the lower rate if you make the minimum payment on time for 6 consecutive months.
Fees cannot be charged for going over the limit unless cardholders are told that their purchase will take them over their limit and they choose to authorize it to go through nevertheless.
For credit cards with more than one interest rate for different balances, any payment made must be applied to the balance with the highest interest rate first.

So what next? The bill goes to the House for a vote.

The key provisions are:-

The bills ban retroactive rate increases on existing balances. So if you have a $1,000 balance at 7%. If they change the rate on your credit card, the new rate will only apply to new purchases - they won't be able to start charging 29% on the money you have already spent.

However, if you don't comply with a debt repayment plan or if you are over 30 days (House bill) or 60 days (Senate bill) late on payments, then all bets are off.

Both bills prevent credit card issuers from increasing your interest rate over the first year of the account.

Both bills require that credit card issuers must give 45 days notice before making any significant increases in interest rates, fees and finance charge.

Any promotional rates must apply for at least six months.

Credit card statements must be sent out 21 days before the bill is due at least, an increase from the current 14 days. They can no longer choose strange times for deadlines for payments — any payments received by 5 p.m. on the due date are on time.
Payments with due dates on holidays or weekends must be accepted by the next business day.

Banks cannot issue cards to "un-emancipated minors under the age of 18" unless there is a parent that is the account holder.

College students are limited to one credit card, with credit limits set to a percentage of the student’s income. Parents must approve any increase to credit limits on joint accounts.

Card issuers are no longer allowed to increase your rates if it learns you were late on another card.

The House bill requires that issuers give 30 days notice before closing an account after these credit card reforms.

Online Stock Trading Share Tips

Online Stock Trading - Shares Magazine and Newspaper Shares Tips

Stock Market Investing



Sell Game Group at 178p
Buy Central African Mining and Exploration at 12.25p


Take profits at Southern Cross Healthcare and N Brown

Sector Focus:

Buy Sportingbet, GamingVC and William Hill


The Japanese recession, which is 4 quarters old, is far worse than those in other major developed countries
UK telecoms -- fees charged by mobile operators to their rivals to connect users are falling, but how far?
California's budget -- the state is faced with a shortfall of over $20 bn that will need some painful cuts

Porvair up on bid rumours
Advanced Computer Software talk of fundraising



Buy Experian on weakness
Buy De La Rue
Avoid CareUK

Other comment:

Mitchells and Butlers heads for 50% drop in profits
Tower Resources firm on Uganda drilling hopes

Tiddler to watch - Public Service Properties


Buy Cape
Take profits at Gazprom


Qataris said to be eyeing up Panmure Gordon


Buy Mothercare,
Buy Britvic
Buy GW Pharma

Good times ahead forecast for Enterprise Inns


WH Ireland - bid rumours


Belmore Resources (Plus) - talk of a bullish drilling update from

Home : Online Stock Trading

Wednesday, May 20

Online Stock Trading Share Tips

Online Stock Trades - Wednesday Newspaper Share Tips

Stock Market Investing

US housing starts -- like family feuds and tattoos, the housing market is still there, and refuses to improve

US auto emissions -- Obama's 'truly historic' tougher car mileage standards are more like a truly historic missed opportunity

Vodafone -- focus on efficiency is just what Vodafone needs


Premier Foods firm on disposal rumours

Fundraising talk around Tanzanite One


Burberry hold
Pass on Dairy Crest
Buy Great Portland Estates

Other comment:

Verona Pharma appears to be close to announcing that its asthma treatment has successfully come through the first two stages of a 3-stage clinical trial

Tiddler to watch - Chariot Oil & Gas


Buy SSL International
Avoid Marks & Spencer


Wellesley pushing for promotion to FTSE 100



Hold Burberry
Sell Dairy Crest
Buy Evolution Group


Carluccios: rumours are still of a cash bid around 125p-a-share from Hutton Collins


Check here if you are considering remortgaging your home - remortgages

Home : Online Stock Trading

Tuesday, May 19

DOW Finishes Lower

Stock Market News - DOW Finishes Lower

Stock Maerket News

Stock markets started lower, moved higher, were flat in the afternoon and finally the DOW turned down 29 points, although the NASDAQ finished up 5 and the S&P finishe down 1.

Technicals showed a 3 to 2 positive ratio on advance-declines on the DOW but were positive by just 30 on the Nasdaq.

Financial shares fell due to a new bill passed by the Senate on Tuesday to combat sudden increases in credit card rates and hidden fees from credit card companies.

Home Depot closed down 5.3 percent.

European shares finished at their highest in more than four months, on optimism about a financial sector recovery.

"There is a very strong conviction now that recovery lies ahead and that earnings are going to come through and it is not going to budge until there is some real disappointing news flow," said Brewin Dolphin strategist Mike Lenhoff.

U.S. crude finished 62 cents higher at $59.65 a barrel, after reaching $60.48 a barrel at one point, the highest level since November 11.

The gains came after a fire a Flint Hills Resources' refinery in Texas, that processes 288,000 barrels of oil a day.

There was also an explosion on Sunday at Sunoco's oil refinery in Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania, following which the company shut off gasoline production.
Home : Online Stock Trading

US Stock Markets Open Lower

Online Stock Trading - Futures Weak on Poor Housing Report

Stock Market News

After early gains U.S. futures turned lower after bleak housing reports and the markets have opened lower.

Manus Cranny, of MF Global in London, said the housing market pre-market reports will have a major impact on Tuesday trading.

Stocks soared yesterday on upbeat views on the economy, but hey that was yesterday ! So upbeat views are now downbeat views, or so we are led to believe.

The Dow, Nasdaq and S&P all rose 3%, due to the upbeat outlook from Lowe's and Goldman Sachs' upgrade of BoA.

The Commerce Department announced declines in April for building permits and housing starts.

Building permits fell 3% to 494,000 in April, from March's revised rate of 511,000. That represents a 50% fall from last year's rate of 991,000.

April housing starts fell almost 13% to 458,000, from March's revised rate of 525,000. i.e. a 54% drop from last year's rate of 1 million.

Home Depot reported quarterly earnings above expectations with operating income of 35 cents per share, against an expected 29 cents.

Credit card company American Express announced it cut 4,000 jobs, or 6% of its workforce.
Home : Online Stock Trading

Tuesday Newspaper Share Tips

Online Stock Trades - Tuesday Newspaper Stock Picks

Newspaper Share Tips

Xploite up on vague takeover speculation

Circle Oil boosted by Egyptian discovery hopes


Big Yellow buy on weakness
Buy Close Bros
ITE Group - avoid pending signs of increased stability in forward bookings


Circle Oil doing well in Egypt

Bet of the day: Britvic

Tiddler to watch - BPC


Buy JP Morgan Indian Investment Trust
Buy Cranswick

Other comment:

Huveaux up on Mike Danson bid hopes


Buy Mitie
Buy Cranswick
Buy Robert Wiseman Dairies

Other comment:

US TV networks bracing themselves for worst advertising year since 2001

Paulson & Co Hedge fund bids to make a killing in property market


Other comment:

SSL International: profits are firm

WFCA - rumours of deeply discounted fundraisng


FSA worried by pub share price plunge

Indian equities drive market up (Vedanta, Hirco, Standard Chartered, JP Morgan Indian Investment Trust)


Rumours that several major oil cos. eyeing up BowLeven


Want to remortgage your home ? Check out - Remortgaging Deals

Home : Online Stock Trading

Monday, May 18

Remortgaging Deals and Information

Stock Market Investing - Remortgage Deals and Refinance Loans


UPDATE : Click here for latest on remortgaging deals

Want to remortgage your house ? Well in these hard times credit is of courser harder to find, now that the banking executives have run off with most of the money and need the rest to pay their pensions.
Once upon a time you could borrow up to 125% of your home's value. Nowadays you can forget about that, if you want to remorgage your home you will get the best deals if you want to borrow less than 60% of your home's value and you have a good credit history. If you borrow less than 75% then there are still some reasonable remortgage deals , 75-90% will be quite expensive and over 90% you will have to look hard to find a remortgage deal that is worthwhile. [UPDATE - Oct. 2009 : You can now find good mortgage deals at 70% LTV and the Nationwide is offering 95% mortgages]

Self-certificated morgages for the self-employed will be very hard to find. If you have a poor credit history you are going to struggle and will have to pay through the nose.

In addition to this there is the problem of falling house prices. Some of the value of your house will have disappeared and therefore your borrowing power will have been negatively affected too, because of the loan to value.
The 'loan to value' (LTV) is the amount borrowed compared to the value of the property you want to buy or remorgage. For example, if you want to buy or remortgage a home worth $200,000 and you are borrowing $180,000, your LTV is 180/2000 i.e. 90%. So clearly if your home has fallen in value then your LTV will increase.

However, there is the advantage at the moment that mortgage rates are at their lowest for generations.

Banks do nevertheless prefer people with large deposits as this will protect the banks' money should house prices continue to fall.

Why do people refinance their loans?
Well, the only intelligent reason is in order to save money by getting a better remortgage deal, a simple 1% reduction in your mortgage rate could save you thousands over the years. But people also sometimes need to remortgage to get their hands on some cash.

Sometimes you don't even need to change mortgage company to get a good remortgage deal. The first port of call is your current mortgage company, tell them you are looking for a better deal. It is better to arm yourselves with some facts beforehand though.

Take care when remortgaging however as there may be fees involved and at the moment fees are in fact increasing, such as exit fees or early repayment fees, arrangement fees, and some mortgage brokers also like to charge fees.

Reasons to Remortgage
You are buying a larger property.
You need extra cash.
You've got more money and want to remortgage so that you can pay off larger amounts or take a mortgage holiday.
If you have an endowment mortgage that has underperformed and will not pay off your mortgage at the end of the term, then you should remortgage amd consider taking out a repayment mortgage for all or part of your mortgage.
You've got other loans that charge higher rates so it might be a good idea to consolidate all your loans into a remortgage with a lower interest rate. But bear in mind that it is cheaper to borrow at 10% for 5 years than at 5% for 20 years - so a long mortgage is not necessarily the answer to your debt problems.

It is not always however a good idea to remortgage, in particular for small amounts of money. In the UK for example if you want to borrow less than £30,000 ($45,000) any savings you will make may be so small that it may not be worth while and some mortgage companies won't lend you such a small amount.

Similarly, if you are close to the end of your mortgage it may be too costly to remortgage.

What Type of Mortgage ?
First you may be tempted by an interest-only mortgage or a repayment mortgage. The wise decision is invariably the repayment mortgage, as this means the size of your mortgage is actually decreasing (albeit slowly at first) over time. With an interest only mortgage you are paying the interest only ! To pay off the capital you need some other form of investment which will pay off the capital at the end of the mortgage.

Once you have taken this first decision you then have other decisions to make,notably what type of mortgage.

Standard Variable Rate (SVR) mortgages or remortgages - the Central Bank rate plus a bit more, which changes as the Central Bank rates change.
Tracker mortgage - this follows the Central Bank base rate precisely. The interest rate tends to be a bit higher than the SVR mortgage rate. Some tracker rates also have a 'collar' below which they will not fall no matter what the base rate is.
Discount mortgages - these have a rate which is a fixed percentage below the SVR, but the discounts are only for a couple of years usually.
Fixed rate - the mortgage rate is fixed but the deal tends to be short-term - 2 or 3 years. You might get a shock at the end of the deal if rates have gone up. A fixed rate is probably better for you if you are borrowing very close to your maximum as you cannot take the risk that interest rates might go up.
Capped mortgage - the interest rate on these mortgages changes as the base rate changes but only up to an upper limit.

Consider also if the mortgage deal charges interest daily or yearly. This is very important as when you pay money back on your mortgage it comes down a lot faster if they cahrge interest daily rather than once a year.

Watch out for arrangement fees for remortgaging - these fees used to be around £200- £300 ($300 - $450), they can now be double or triple that amount. If you decide to add it to your mortgage then remember you will be paying interest on it for years (anyone would think they do it on purpose). In fact they do. It is important for mortgage and remortgage companies to keep their interest rates low so that they appear high up in the comparison tables. They therefore make up their profits by adding on fees. Moral of the story - don't rely on interest rates alone when comparing remortgage products.

There may also be a non-refundable reservation fee and a telegraphic transfer fee, a valuation fee for a survey (ha ha - they send a guy round with a clipboard who says 'yes' you can have our mortgage that'll be $500 please - I know because that's what they did to me). You get the idea.

Don't just accept your mortgage provider's buildings insurance, shop around for cheaper insurance deals.

Remortgaging will also probably incure legal fees (lawyers have to live too !).
If you are in the UK and are remortgaging and moving house,you will also have to pay stamp duty land tax, which can be anything from 1 - 4% for homes worth over £125,000.

There may also be mortgage broker fees.

To work out whether it is worth remortgaging you need to take into account all these fees, including any fees you may have to pay for paying back your existing mortgage early.

How to Remortgage?
You can do it on your own, but you will probably be better off using the services fo a broker. you will have to pay fees of course but do not go with any borker that charges more than 1.25%.

More Fees and Charges when Remortgaging

Watch out for these charges designer to cost you money for little value:-
Higher lending Charge - an insurance policy designed to protect the lender and paid for by the borrower - avoid

Mortgage Payment Protection Insurance

Aka Accident Sickness and Unemployment Insurance is supposedly designed to cover your mortgage payments in the event of accident or illness. But they are expensive and contain many exclusions and usually only covers mortgage payments for one year.

Despite all these fees and charges remortgaging is generally a good idea but you need to take a close look at all the details of any remortgage deals .
If you are looking for a reverse mortgage, which we don't recommend, see - What is a Reverse Mortgage ?

Home : Online Stock Trading

Sunday, May 17

MPs Inflated Mortgage Expenses Claims

Stock Market Investing - Ben Chapman's Expenses Inflated to Cover Non-Existent Mortgage Element

MPs Expenses Pig Trough

Officials at the House of Commons allowed MPs to make inflated claims on their mortgages. (Isn't that fraud ? - Ed. ). This would all be farcical if it wasn't so disgusting.

(Rumour has it that some MPs have been claiming for a second trough)

Parliamentary authorities secretly allowed some MPs to over-claim for thousands of pounds in mortgage interest in deals that resulted in widespread abuse of the expenses system, paid for by us poor sods.

Ben Chapman Labour MP for Wirral South has admitted that he repaid £295,000 from his mortgage in 2002, but was allowed by House of Commons officials presided over by Michael Martin the speaker to continue claiming expenses for the whole of his mortgage for another 10 months. He reduced his mortgage payments from £1,900 to £400 per month but explained to the fees office that this was a great burden to him as in his own words “By paying off capital I am forgoing interest and investment opportunities elsewhere.”

The official therefore accepted that “the mortgage should remain for ACA (Additional Costs Allowance) purposes at the original amount”.

This meant that Chapman received £15,000 for the part of his mortgage which he had already paid off. Is it true ? "It may be I don't know" Chapman said to the BBC. But he has also been reported as having said he would not give the money back as it had been approved by the fees office.

Permission to put in claims for “phantom” mortgage payments was offered to a number of MPs before 2004. It was ended after officials acknowledged it should never have been allowed.

The revelations concerning Mr Chapman come on the heels of the revelations about Labour MPs Elliot Morley and David Chaytor. They both made claims for non-existent mortgages but said the claims were an oversight. Both face police investigations.

There is the possibility that the problem may be far more extensive and could lead to criminal proceedings.

Lawyers say that just because Parliamentary rules allow an arrangment it doesn't mean it is legal.

An email sent by senior officials reveals that this case is not unique. “…I have heard similar arrangements being agreed to in the past,” one said. “Personally, I do not believe that such an arrangement should ever have been suggested.”

More MPs Expenses

The Daily Telegraph has also revealed that large numbers of everyday household items are are being for MPs’ second homes, but are then delivered to their main homes. This is not allowed by the rules but the fees office rarely questions the arrangement.

Today’s files from the Daily Telegraph show that:

Madeleine Moon, Labour, furniture worth thousands of pounds was delivered to Wales although she designated her second home as a London flat;

Ed Vaizey, Conservative and key ally of David Cameron, furniture worth £2,000 was delivered to his London home when his designated second home is in Oxfordshire;

Ian McCartney, erstwhile Labour Party chairman, spent £16,000 decorating and furnishing his second home but after the High Court decided that expenses claims would be published, he paid it back.

There is clearly a difference between claims that were within the rules but were just tacky, disgusting and a way for MPs to line their pockets at our expense; clais that clearly bent the rules on second home allowances, once again to line MPs pockets; and claims that were fraudulent. Hopefully we will see some criminal prosecutions being brought.

And what about Gordon Brown's expenses ? Not much has been said about them at all since we learned that his brother does his house cleaning but see last year's expenses here - Gordon Brown's Expenses

Home : Online Stock Trading

Midas on Kalahari Minerals

Stock Market Investing - Midas on Kalahari Minerals

Stock Market News

Midas recommended buying shares in Kalahari Minerals, an exploration and mining company with interests in Namibia, when they were at 43p back in February. They are now 112p, an increase of 162%, so well done Midas !

Kalahari Minerals had on 13 May a 37.53% stake in Extract Resources (not quite accurate apparently as they really hve 86.38 million shares not 85.725 million)), an Australian company.

Midas says that it is unlikely that the recent momentum will continue. However, there is further positive news expected from Extract in August and large investors are in the process of stake building, so Midas expects the share price to rise further over the next few months.

Midas says take some profits (assuming you bought them early enough) but hold on to half of your stock, until August at least.

Growth Company Investor also mentioned Kalahari when they were at 15p three years ago, and they too say partial profit taking might be the prudent course of action, although there could be "more to play for".

Kalahari Minerals 3 year Chart

Kalahari Mineral 1 Month Candlestick Charts

Home : Online Stock Trading

Weekend Newspaper Share Tips

Stock Market Investing - Weekend Stock Picks and Share Tips

Weekend Newspaper Share Tips


Inside the City:

Buy Experian
Mothercare should be tucked away


Top 60 Cable & Wireless managers will split a £60 mn bonus pot

Whitbread Staff have their pay frozen

Yell Group falls into red on Spanish £1 billion loss


Marks & Spencer to cut dividend as profits slide
British Airways' losses expected to rise above £500 mn
Marston's almost certain to cut dividend

Midas :

Kalahari Minerals: hold half, sell half

M&S dividend threat as profits dwindle; retailer may move into banking
Strike ballot after Qinetiq bonuses
JJB Sports expected to announce write-down of £60 mn or more
Strong sales produce strong profits at Coffee Nation

British Airways expected full-year loss of £225M
Bank of Ireland profits slump 81%
News Corporation to drop Sun price to 20p in effort to revive sales


6 reasons for believing that the next boom in share prices has already begun
House prices will bottom in 2012 at £130,000 for the average house.

**** SATURDAY ****


Executive pay -- the game is up. The current state of play with the ever-widening gap between directors and the rest is politically unsustainable

Shoppers check out car boot sales for bargains

David Geffen eyeing up the New York Times

Whitbread overshadowed by vague rights issue rumours

Investors wonder what to do as rally comes to an end


Investors urged to sell bank shares

Weekend Share Watch

Impax - green light for growth --

Too early to celebrate at Luminar
Spirax-Sarco runs out of steam


Has the rally in the FTSE 250 run its course?


Tiddler to watch - Mariana Resources


Rumours that Pearson is interested in BPP Holdings
Japan should be first to see the light
Philip Gibbs, star financials manager at Jupiter, spots blue skies through clouds

New York professor, Nouriel Roubini, who foresaw the credit crunch, sees the gloom dissipating


Tesco accused of breaking promise to increase pay of women living on the poverty line


M&S expected to lift high street the gloom on Tuesday.


Which are the best paying jobs in the US ? CEO ? Lawyer ? Doctor ? - see Top Ten Best Paying Jobs

Home : Online Stock Trading

Friday, May 15

Online Trading Friday Stock Picks

Online Stock Trades - Investors Chronicle Share Tips and MPs Expenses

More about MPs expenses first - Shahid Malik (the Justice Minister) has just stepped down pending investigation into his claims. He made a vigorous defence of his claims on Sky News last night but he has now repaid £1050 for his 40" TV and stepped down from his position as Justice Minister.

I am surprised, but then again this is our glorious leader Gordon Brown desperately trying to be seen to be doing something (largely to other people) and protect his own back - I don't like to blow my own trumpet - toot toot - but I was writing about Gordon Brown's expenses a year ago - see here - Gordon's Brown Expenses

So far, as far as I know, Gordon Brown has not paid back a penny, even Cameron has paid something back, although apparently he also makes very high claims for his home, much higher than the £680 for his wisteria.

Fred Goodwin must be laughing all the to the post office to pick up his giro.

So anyway enough of this - on with the stock picks !


Hidden Treasures:

Nautilus Minerals -- Serica Energy -- Polo Resources -- Aurelian Oil & Gas -- -- Northern Petroleum

Recovery Bargains:

Croda -- Vitec -- Elementis -- Weir Group

Buy Capita at 697p
Buy Jardine Lloyd Thompson at 445p
Buy Effective Research at 344p

Sell Logica at 79p
Sell Carpetright at 605p
Sell Aero Inventory at 344p


Buy Costain -- Diageo -- Emed -- Addax Petroleum
Sell Travis Perkins

Company Results:

Buy Imperial Tobacco and GeoPark Holdings

Sell Lonmin and Enterprise Inns


Market correction -- gloom and doom is returning after 2 months of euphoria

US retail -- profits and sales are still down on last year, but are not as bad as feared

Japanese markets -- the indiscriminate recent stock market rally has lifted even the world's least-liked stock market.


Rio Tinto helped by hopes of renewed BHP approach
Rights issue speculation around GKN subject

Booker down on rumours of HBOS sale



Hold on to National Grid
Do not lose faith in SABMiller
Hold Luminar


Savills said to have received an approach for its 33% Adventis' stake

International Power rumoured to have put its power stations in the Czech republic up for sale

Bet of the day: Ladbrokes

Tiddler to watch - H&T


Buy National Grid
Hold SABMiller


BBA Group, GKN and Yell Group hit by rights issue rumours

Rumours of stakebuilding in Phorm


Investment Column:
Buy Prudential
Hold Euromoney


Pension deficit may lead to BT break-up

Thursday, May 14

Technical Analysis Hanging Man Pattern

Stock Market Investing - Technical Analysis - Hanging Man Candlestick Bearish Reversal Pattern

Technical Analysis - What is the Hanging Man in Candlestick Charts?

In technical analysis the Hanging Man is a bearish candelstick chart reversal pattern. It consists of one candlestick with a head at the top and a body or shadow hanging down below it (the Hanging Man actually looks exactly the same as the Hammer - the difference is the trend that precedes them - the Hanging Man comes at the end of an upward trend, the Hammer comes at the end of a downtrend). There is a high probability that the upward trend will change and reverse to a downward trend or to a sideways patern

In candlestick charts a red body is more bearish than a green body. The lower shadow in the hanging man candlestick needs to be at least two times the size of the body. The trend must be an upward trend for the pattern to be valid and there must be a gap up from the previous close. Confirmation of the reversal comes if the price trades below the candlestick pattern. The level of confirmation required varies depending on your risk appetite - aggressive traders will enter the trade as soon as the price trades below the hanging man low, more conservative traders will wait for the price to close below the low of the shadow. The hanging man is a less bearish candlestick pattern but it is less bearish than a shooting star.

Check out the candlestick training video by your

How Does the Stock Market Work
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Newspaper Stock Picks

Online Stock Trades - Shares Magazine and Newspaper Stock Picks

Stock Market News



Sell Barratt Developments at 160p
Buy NetPlay TV at 25.75p

Take profits in Sepura
Hold Business Systems Group

Blue Sky Stocks:

Blinkx -- Lombard Medical -- Ceres Power -- Imaginatik -- Antisoma -- Synchronica -- Vyke Communications -- Falklands Oil & Gas -- Imperial Innovations -- PureCircle

Sector Report:

Buy Eredene Capital -- Dolphin Capital Investors -- Speymill Deutsche Immobilien


UK economy -- the BoE's prognosis for the economy is "we don't know, neither do our models".


Solvency concerns around bond insurers

Independent Resources up on Rivara development hopes


Buy FirstGroup on weakness
Avoid Land Securities
Buy VT Group


Abbey set to loosen criteria popular home loans

RBS falls as big bill looms to refinance debt

Shire up on GlaxoSmithKline bid hopes

Bet of the day: BT Group

Tiddler to watch - Gulf Keystone Petroleum


Buy VT Group
Buy FirstGroup


Speculation that Brit Insurance has ended talks to buy Chaucer

BT Group faces pension deficit of £11 bn


Buy Compass Group
Buy H&T Group
Hold Greggs


RBS down on margin worries


United Utilities up on renewed disposal talks

Grainger firm on bid speculation

Talk that Canisp may soon buy a new business
Home : Online Stock Trading

Wednesday, May 13

Emue Credit Card Fraud Beater

Stock Market Investing - Emue Smart Credit Card

Emue Credit Card Visa Smart Card PIN Screen

Credit card fraud is on the increase, despite the claims that chip and pin cards were impregnable. Visa is now trialling a smart card for use over the phone or online - the Emue card, which incorporates a keypad, a computer and a screen, and which it is claimed represents a "revolution in authentication" and the fight against credit card fraud.

Emue Technologies was founded in Australia in 2006 and is a privately held company specializing in authentication solutions. Tohmatsu, the Australian Partnership of Deloitte Touche invested in Emue in 2006.

Why is it called Emue? Because Emue stands for End-to-End Mutual Authentication which is derived from the "principle (sic) unique differentiating feature" which is all suitably opaque, but would you trust an authentication company that can't spell 'principal'?

Despite my misgivings about the company's spelling prowess, Emue has won a number of prestigious awards, including the "International Card Manufacturers Association (ICMA) top honor “Judge’s Choice” √Član Award" and the "“Technical Achievement” √Član Award" which recognize the Emue Card’s "design innovation and technical achievement".

A BBC report explained that Visa is testing out the new Emue card, which generates a unique code each time you use it. The French though have had such a card for a while now, so I'm not sure just how innovative the Emue card is and how it differs from the French system.

You need a PIN (Personal Identification Number) to create the code, thereby preventing card-not-present fraud, i.e. Internet or phone purchases using a card, unless of course the crooks get hold of your PIN. The intention is for the Emue card to be used in online banking, telephone banking, online shopping and corporate access applications.

A disposable code is displayed on the card which has an integrated 8 digit alpha-numeric screen. In case you were wondering, the battery used for the display has a 3 year useful life.

The display is combined with your account number, 3 digit security code and magnetic strip.

There is currently a pilot study being carried out with Deloitte employees and Visa hopes to have a result of its trial by the end of 2009. So why is the BBC talking about it we wonder? Conspiracy theories anyone?

It is claimed that use of the card "mitigates" (i.e. reduces the severity of) keystroke logging, extended threats to OTP (theft of OTP device and keystroke logging combined), social engineering (consumer to enterprise), deployment of multiple devices, and consumer/employee inconvenience. With the widespread use of cheap laptop computers we certainly need a new card to help in the fight against credit card fraud.

Hopefully, if Emue is successful in reducing credit card fraud, this will save money for the credit card companies and this will allow them to do something about a problem which is far more serious than credit card fraud i.e. their outrageous credit card rates.

Home : Online Stock Trading

Stock Market Investing Stock Picks

Stock Market Investing - Wednesday's Newspaper

Just another quick word about MPs expenses. Health Minister Phil Hope has decided to pay back £41,709 in expenses he has claimed, because, in something akin to a Road to Damascus conversion, he has revealed "integrity is more important to me than money." Hallelujah ! A pity it has taken public disclosure of his expenses claims in a national newspaper to help him find his integrity, but better late than never.

What were Phil Hope's expenses ? The whole list is very long but it includes : a new kitchen, a chest of drawers, seven doors and wooden flooring, a television, a mattress, an armchair, a sofa, three chairs, a washing machine, one coffee table, two bookcases, a wardrobe, table lamps, a dining room table and a gravy train. Nice work if you can get it, but Phil welcome back to the real world where people pay for their furniture from their salaries.

Stock Market News and Stock Picks

Exports still falling in China

German bad banks -- the long-awaited effort to design a rescue plan look as though it won't work

UK quantitative easing -- if the economy really is recovering it quantitative easing should be ended

Bank of America sells a third of its interest in China Construction Bank

Aberdeen Asset Management rises acquisition rumours

Max Petroleum said to be nearing the sale of its Astrakhaskiy block in Kazakhstan

Tempus :

Buy Babcock International
Hold Stobart Group
Buy C&C Group

Talk that Rheochem may soon agree the sale of an oil field for about £5 million

Bet of the day: Sainsbury

Tiddler to watch - New Britain Palm Oil



Buy Babcock International
Hold Redrow and other housebuilders


Rio Tinto down on talk of £5 bn cash call


Buy Serco
Avoid Intercontinental Hotels
Buy Brit Insurance


Investors brace themselves for BT results


Talk of takeover and disposals lift Uniq.

Home : Online Stock Trading

Tuesday, May 12

MPs Expenses Pig Trough Claims

Stock Market Investing - The Smelly Trough that is MPs Expenses

Tory party leader David Cameron is not a happy bunny - he seems to have just discovered that Tory MPs have been abusing the expenses system and has decided to take action.

He said the conduct of some Tory MPs was "out of order" and added "I am angry about what has happened. It is out of order and some of it is abuse of taxpayers' money and I am going to deal with it."

Everyboy has known for years that MPs have been helping themselves to public money because they can and they even passed the rules needed to make sure that they could, now they seem to want to claim that the rules are all wrong and a terrible mistake.

Gordon Brown apologized yesterday about MPs expenses , but what for? He knew what was going on and was never bothered by it until the rest of us found out the gory details. Although the gory details were available long ago as can be seen from this blog post a year ago - Gordon Brown's Expenses - where we see clearly what Gordon Brown himself was claiming for - notably £15 for light bulbs ! This is a man who earns £190,000 a year as Prime Minister, but who thinks that he also needs to claim for food and light bulbs. The rest of us pay for our food from what we earn.

The speaker of the House of Commons - Michael Martin, is under pressure to resign after his outrageous comments in Parliament yesterday, criticizing Kate Hoey and others for talking to the press instead of protecting MPs. He called in the police to investigate how the public had got hold of the information on MPs expenses. Tomorrow we will hopefully see a vote of no confidence in Michael Martin - a very unusual step as the Speaker is usually considered to be above retribution.

Michael Martin however is a highly influential individual within the House of Commons as he is Chairman of a number of committees and in particular is directly responsible for the MPs expenses system.

It is claimed he spent hundreds of thousands of pounds of our money trying to prevent MPs expenses claims being made public.

MPs themselves seem to have adopted the attitude of blaming the system, as if they were somehow victims and had no control over what expenses they claimed for - a bit like Homer Simpson with doughnuts. But that's politicians for you.

Online Stock Trades Tuesday Tips

Online Stock Trades - Tuesday Newspaper Stock Tips

Stock Market Investing

Lonmin -- the possibility that Xstrata may bid again gives hope

Overseas listings -- unless Shanghai smartens up its act it will remain very unattractive
Centrica/EDF -- they are overpaying for British Energy and will live to regret it
Claiming expenses -- company executives are far worse than politicians when it comes to claiming expenses


BT's pension fund bill could double
Enterprise Inns will probably scrap its dividend
Thomas Cook hit by fears about Arcandor stake sale
Tate & Lyle firm on talk of stakebuilding
Travis Perkins takeover speculation supports Galliform


PartyGaming: US online gaming is nothing like a sure-fire bet
Hold TUI Travel
RM Group - defensive stock whose growth prospects are reasonable


Tate & Lyle flat despite reports over the weekend that an activist investor has taken a sizeable stake
Bet of the day: Intercontinental Hotels

Tiddler to watch - Galiform


Sell Lonmin


John Hourican at RBS is potentially £11 million better off on paper after last month's award of shares and options


Hold Hiscox for now
Hold Henderson Group
Buy Southern Cross Healthcare

If you are curious about technical analysis check out stock charts for beginners
Home : Online Stock Trading

Monday, May 11

Obama Credit Card Rates Reforms

Stock Market Investing - President Obama says Credit Card Reform is on the Cards

After my piece on rip-off credit card rates - Credit Card Rates for Dummies - President Obama has decided to invite Congress to pass legislation to reform the credit card industry so as to ensure that it is fairer and more transparent. I'm not sure if the two events are linked though.

President Obama said in his weekly address on Saturday that credit card companies too often "rip off" consumers by imposing sudden and unexpected rate hikes, and imposing unfair penalties and hidden fees.

The President says credit card users should not have to worry about strings being attached to new credit cards and credit card rates and they should not need a magnifying glass and reference book to read the application forms.

President Obama called upon lawmakers to design a bill that will tackle the credit card industry's "anything goes approach."

Mr. Obama is keen to get this bill passed quickly and so urged lawmakers to have a bill ready so that he could sign it by Memorial Day on May 25.

For tips on credit card applications from insiders see credit card applications

Credit Card Offers
Home : Online Stock Trading

Best Paying Jobs

Stock Market Investing - Top Paying Jobs in America

Ever wondered which are the bet paying jobs in the USA ? Well, wonder no more. You mave have thought it was CEO or big time lawyer or Wall Street guru ? Apparently not. All the best paying jobs in the USA are healthcare jobs - 14 out of 15 of the best paid in fact. Lawyers are only 16th and CEOs are 10th. So if you are contemplating a career change or if you are just about to embark upon your studies then you may wish to consider the following list of best paying jobs. Marketing jobs and sales jobs are not too shabby as long as you are the manager - around 23rd and 24th best paid.

Here are the top 10 best paying jobs

1. Surgeons ($206,770)
2. Anesthesiologists ($197,570)
3. Orthodontists ($194,930)
4. Obstetrician and gynecologists ($192,780)
5. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons ($190,420)
6. General Internists ($176,740)
7. Prosthodontists ($168,810)
8. Other Physicians and Surgeons ($165,000)
9. Family and General Practitioners ($161,490)
10. Chief Executives ($160,440)

For further information and to see which are the worst paying jobs check out - Find a Job

Home : Online Stock Trading

Sunday, May 10

Technical Analysis Shooting Star Pattern

Stock Market Investing - Technical Analysis using Candlestick Charts - Shooting Star Bearish Reversal Pattern

In the stock market candlesticks system of technical analysis a shooting star is a candlestick with a small body (white or black or green or red depending on which color scheme you are using) , a long upper shadow and a nonexistent or very small lower shadow. The upper shadow or wick should be at least twice the length of the body and the range between high and low should be relatively large. The high/low range should be large when compared with the range over the last 10-20 days.

For a candlestick to be a shooting star, it should gap up relative to the previous day. This rule is not hard and fast however, especially when dealing with indices and stocks, as these often open near the previous day's close. A gap up represents a stronger shooting star, but even without a gap up the reversal is still valid.

A bearish reversal also needs to be confirmed. The reversal shows that there were more sellers than buyers for one or more days, but it is not clear that it will continue. Confirmation is therefore required. Bearish confirmation takes the form of further moves to the downside, for example a gap down, a long black candlestick or significant decline in volume. Candlestick charting patterns are short-term indicators and usually last for 1-2 weeks, bearish confirmation should therefore be evident within 1-3 days.

For a more detailed explanation of shooting stars, candlestick charts and technical analysis and how this helps when trading stocks and shares check out this excellent video from

Home : Online Stock Trading

Stock Market Weekend Share Tips

Stock Market Investing - Weekend Share Tips

Online Stock Trading



Inside the City:

National Grid worth tucking away
Compass Group: investors should get some cream

Land Securities to state that over £4 bn has gone from its £9 bn portfolio in 1 year

Gardens fertile ground for Tesco and Dobbies


Buy Dignity at 538p
Buy Templeton Emerging markets IT at 368p
Buy Randgold Resources at £36.53


RBS plots new executive pay scheme

Sub-prime losses in the US will weigh heavily on HSBC

Black Thursday ahead for BT over profits, pensioners and jobs

Payouts fury at Spark Ventures


Dogs Portfolio fights back after 10% recovery; today's top 10 highest yielders are BT, Aviva, BP, Rexam, Man Group, RSA Insurance, Royal Dutch Shell, Vodafone and United Utilities -- Temptations on offer at IG Group


HSBC has giant US credit card bill

Hovis relaunch leads to recovery at Premier Foods

Profits down at Enterprise Inns


Threat of pension black hole to BT payout

New slump in demand at Barratt Developments

Investors to block shares bonanza for Shell bosses


Mystery European investors to challenge Tate & Lyle board, to further shake-up the management

Sainsbury profits expected to rise by 10%

Barclays Capital looking for a further 100 investment bankers.



Newspaper execs. believe gadgets such as the Amazon Kindle ebook reader might fix their troubled business model - see Stocks to Watch . and Kindle DX

RBS - recurrence of credit market losses of over £2 bn, mainly linked to monolines, less likely.

Toyota -- if this is what happens to one of the world's top carmakers, what is happening to the rest?

BowLeven hit by capital raising talk

Rumours of stakebuilding at Dragon-Ukrainian Properties



Weekend Shares : Ashley House back in good health (they build surgeries) -- GKN accelerating


3i Group's troubles of past 12 months outweighed by underlying strengths

On the money:

Pssst! RBS bill might vanish


BG Group up on Petrobas bid rumours

Bet of the day: Sainsbury

Tiddler to watch - West China Cement

Beware of BAT shares


BG Group ripe for takeover bid battle

Scotty Group underpinned by rumours of multi-million pound contracts

Home : Online Stock Trading

Friday, May 8

Credit Card Rates for Dummies

Stock Market Investing - Outrageous Credit Card Rates

Credit Card Offers - How Can You Refuse !?

Are you looking for the best credit card rates or are you keen in these times of low interest rates to stock up on your credit card applications ?

Then you need your head examined !

With interest rates at or close to 0 you might think low interest rate credit cards or 0 interest balance transfers would be being thrust upon you by all and sundry. Well think again.

I have just received a letter from Marbles Card Services (part of the Bank of Scotland, which I believe is now part of Lloyds Banking Group, though to be honest I've lost count of the number of incompetent banks that went bust) informing me of their criminally outrageous new credit card rates. They do have their bonuses to pay for after all, so clearly they have just cause for ripping off their customers

Dear Mr Brown, (yes, even Prime Ministers have secret lives as bloggers)

Changes to your marbles Credit Card Conditions

blah blah blah .....

The compound annual interest rates on your credit card will increase to the following :

  • Purchases 31.95% p.a.! tee hee - (up from the previously criminal 27.95%)
  • Balance transfers 31.95% p.a.! - tee hee - (also up from the previously criminal 27.95%)
  • Cash advances 38.92% p.a. !! ho ho - (note the .92% - is that supposed to make me think they don't just pick their credit card rates out of thin air ? - up from the previous criminal 33.94%)
  • Credit card cheques 38.92% p.a. !! - ha ha - (mmmmmmmmmm credit card cheques - up from the previous criminal 33.94%)

    Blah blah blah .........

    Our Service to You

    If you are unhappy with these changes you have the option to close your account. Ha ha ha. Have a nice day etc... etc... .

    The reason for these outrageous credit card rates when the Bank of England rate is curently 0.5% is, I suspect, because I am slowly paying off the balance and not using the card, although I can't be sure - maybe it's just an across the board rate increase to screw the suckers with outstanding debts.

    So there you have it, and marbles aren't the only credit card making the most of the credit crunch to screw their customers MBNA recently increased its credit card rates to 30% from 18% - if you are looking for low interest credit cards then steer clear of these two cowboy firms and make sure you read the small print if you do decide to apply for a credit card.

UPDATE : President Obama has asked Congress to craft a bill to deal with the credit card industry's "anything goes approach" - see Obama Credit Card Rates Reforms

For more information on the shady practices and tricks that credit card companies get up to, see - credit card applications

Stock Market Investing Newspaper Tips

Stock Market Investing - Investors Chronicle and Newspaper Share Tips

Online Stock Trades

Stock Tips:

Buy Addax Petroleum
Buy Stanley Gibbons

Sell Kazakhmys
Sell GKN
Sell Barratt Developments
Sell LSL Property


Buy Aviva

Sell BSkyB
Sell DSG

Strategic Energy good value

Company Results:

Buy Fortune Oil -- Tanzanite One -- Petroceltic - Bisichi Mining -- Harvey Nash -- Griffin Mining -- Panther Securities

Sell easyJet
Sell Sage Group


Stress tests -- for banks who need to raise more capital, finding it is the challenge

Lloyds Banking Group -- John Kingman, ought to prove he has some backbone by sacking Victor Blank and Eric Daniels

The ECB interest rates hit bottom at 1%

The rapid recovery in Barclays shares suggests Mr Varley has regained investor confidence

Asian LCD panel makers are defying the slump and selling more screens at slightly higher prices

Fears about Vodafone earnings cause sharp reverse in FTSE 100


Pass on Thomson Reuters
Hold Rexam
Hold 3i Infrastructure

Panmure Gordon rivals line up to woo broker


Possibility of new EU rules sends Vodafone down

Johnston Press up on talk of new debt deal

Bet of the day: Royal Bank of Scotland

Tiddler to watch - Zenergy Power


Buy Unilever
Sell ETFS Crude Oil


Hold Unilever
Buy Rexam
Hold Diageo for now

Home : Online Stock Trading

Thursday, May 7

Totally Legal MPs' Expenses

Something Rotten in the Trough

Swine fever rife in the UK Parliament

- You may wish to wear a mask.

MPs constantly claim that they are not in the job for the money. Ha ha.

The Daily Telegraph has today published details of the expenses being claimed by the "great and good" governing this sad country. It does not make pretty reading.

It includes Gordon Brown claiming for the same plumbing work twice (oops) which he repaid after The Daily Telegraph contacted him (he is known for his honesty and probity after all) - for some more of Gordon Brown's expenses claims including his £15 for lightbulbs see - Let Them Eat Waste.

Gordon Brown (the Prime Minister of this country for those who don't suffer his governance and were unaware of the fact) paid Andrew Brown (his brother) £6,577 over 26 months for cleaning at his flat. Why? Is Andrew Brown out of work and down on his luck? No, he is in fact a senior executive at EDF Energy. The explanation is that the brothers "shared a cleaner" and Mr G Brown “reimbursed him [Mr A Brown] for his share of the cost”. Am I the only one who finds that totally weird?

Why did the Prime Minister not simply lodge receipts from the cleaner. He has been known to employ other cleaners. Well, ours is not to reason why, ours is to pay up and mind our own business. These payments would never have been disclosed if the government had had its way.

The Tlegraph has also disclosed that:

- Jack Straw, (Justice Secretary at the moment), received a 50% discount on his council tax but claimed the full amount. Within weeks of the High Court ordering MPs to provide details of their expenses he discovered his “mistake” and repaid the money.

-Lord Mandelson, (Business Secretary), claimed thousands of pounds for improvements to his constituency home AFTER announcing his resignation as an MP. He then sold the property for a profit of £136,000 but did not repay the thousands he had claimed for expenses.

- Hazel Blears, (Communities Secretary), has claimed for 3 properties in a single year. Spending almost £5,000 on furniture in 3 months after buying her third flat in an upmarket area of London.

-Alistair Darling, (Chancellor i.e. Finance Minister - more or less the equivalent of US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner in the USA who forgot to pay his taxes), changed his official “second home” designation four times in four years. It is important which is an MPs second home as they can claim back household bills on their main home, so by changing it about they can better manage their claims.

- Geoff Hoon, (Transport Secretary), switched his 2nd home, this allowed him to make extensive improvements to his family home in Derbyshire before buying a house in London, also funded by us.

- Andy Burnham, (Culture Secretary), Caroline Flint, (Minister for Europe), and Paul Murphy, (Welsh Secretary), also bought apartments — or the freehold properties already owned by them — claiming stamp duty and moving costs in the process.

A number of senior ministers received repeated warnings from the parliamentary authorities and some of their claims were either rejected or withheld.

Not all MPs have the same attitude toward claiming expenses. Ed Miliband, claimed only £6,300 a year in rent and also claimed for utility and council tax bills. Alan Johnson, (currently Health Secretary), claimed for his constituency home only over the past 4 years. He also rented a small property but claimed for some furniture and food. Hilary Benn, (Environment Secretary), claimed just £147.78 in food.

For details check - Daily Telegraph

Many have claimed tens of thousands of pounds to furnish and renovate what any reasonable person would consider to be their principal residence – the home where their families reside. A large proportion of MPs have refurbished, decorated and sold second homes at taxpayers' expense, using the allowance to pay the mortgage interest and then pocketing the profit or buying another property."

"Several ministers who have moved into grace-and-favour apartments in London — and who had previously claimed on private London homes — have suddenly decided that their “second” home is in their constituency, so that virtually all of their housing costs are met by the taxpayer. They include Gordon Brown, Alistair Darling and Geoff Hoon."

"Other MPs, including Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, nominate their main family home as their “second” home so they can charge the taxpayer for their household bills and mortgage interest payments while living cheaply in flats or even the spare rooms of friends or relatives in London."

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Espresso Book Machine

Online Stock Trading - The Espresso Book Machine On Demand Books and the Amazon Kindle DX

The Amazon Kindle Ebook Reader has been a good little earner for Amazon and will no doubt continue to be such into the future as more and more people buy them and buy the ebooks that they need, at $10 a time. The Kindle has also yet to be rolled out inEurope as far as I know, so a lot of scope for increased sales - and I expect at some point there will be a Chinese version. Amazon has also just announced the launch of the latest version the Kindle DX, which has a larger screen - 9.7 inches instead of 6 inches - for a video presentation see Kindle DX Amazon has also secured a good deal with a couple of newspapers - the New York Times and the Washington Post which will subsidize the cost of the Kindle DX - $489 - if you take out a subscription to the newspaper.

If this sounds like good news for Amazon it is worth bearing in mind one problem that has become apparent with the Kindle, namely if you send too much stuff back to Amazon because you are not happy with it (stuff totally unrelated to the Kindle) then Amazon can turn your Kindle off and you are stuck with a $359 machine that it is totally useless - see Kindle Ebook Reader problem.

There is another problem that Amazon may have to contend with and that is the roll-out of Espresso Book Machines - if you haven't heard of them an Espresso Book Machine is a machine that allows you to print out a library quality book in 5 minutes, thus increasing your options when it comes to buying your books. They are already installed in a number of libraries in the US and elsewhere - Canada, Australia, Egypt - and the first one has just been installed at Blackwell's book shop in London. The beauty of these machines is that you can priEspresso Book Machine EBM On Demand Books ODBnt out books which you can't find in bookshops anymore, due to the fact that they are out of print or are very hard to find. The text of the books and the covers are stored electronically.

The finished article looks just like the real thing - a high-quality paperback book. You can also print out any books you may have on CD or flash drives - even your own unpublished masterpieces.

The company that makes the Espresso Book Machine is On Demand Books (ODB) - they cost around $100K I believe, if you were thinking of setting up your own publishing empire.

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