Thursday, June 28

Barclays Libor Fixing Caper

The Great Libor Rate Manipulation Caper - Bob Diamond Resigns

[UPDATE : June 3, Bob Diamond has resigned as CEO of Barclays - with immediate effect - a bit foa surprise it happened so quick, just a week or so since the LIBOR fixing scandal broke - and just a few days after I published my blog post! Such is the power of the written word :-)]

"Why do you rob Banks Mr Dillinger?"

"Because that's where the money is (dumbo)." John Dillinger's (public enemy numero uno) famous reply to his judge in court.

He could also have robbed jewelry stores of course if he had been interested in diamonds, but he obviously prefrred cold hard untraceable cash.

But, despite Mr Dillinger's inflated opinion of  himself, that's the dumb way to rob banks, unless you also like getting shot at - see video of Dillinger below - complete with whacky subtitles and cutesy music

The smart way to rob banks involves inside jobs and computer terminals - here is an email from one of the people involved in the Barclay Libor interest rate fixing scam (or was it just an innovative scheme?) in a move known to insiders as "covering your donkey" -
As the U.S. Dollar senior submitter said in October 2008 to his supervisor at the time, “following on from my conversation with you I will reluctantly, gradually and artificially get my libors in line with the rest of the contributors as requested. I disagree with this approach as you are well aware. I will be contributing rates which are nowhere near the clearing rates for unsecured cash and therefore will not be posting honest prices.”
Will there be compensation made to Joe Public mortgage payer? Will there be litigation? Will  Barclays and other bank share prices tank even further? Will Bob Diamond sit on his sword? We are holding our breath. In the meantime here's a look at Barclay's share price charts.

First the 10 year chart - that line around 100p looks very tempting

Now the 6 month chart

Falling knives? Only for the brave? At the low point today it was down 20% to 164p - when the City finally realized that people outside their little cosy bubble were taking this latest Barclays' pile of poo seriously and there might actually be serious consequences.

For further reading about how to interpret stock charts check out -

That's all Folks! (Until the next time that is - what will they cook up for us next?)

Sunday, June 17

Weekend Newspaper Share Tips

Stock Trading - Newspaper Weekend Share Tips

Questor Share Tips and Video

Buy WH Smith at 484.5p

First tipped at 529½p on October 14 - so down 8% since then compared to a 1% fall in the FTSE 100.

At a multiple of 8 times, falling to 7.3 next year, the shares are at a discount to the retail sector and still look good value - dividend policy is expected to continue to be progressive, yielding a prospective 5.4pc, rising to 6pc next year.

Buy WS Atkins at 696.5p

Questor doesn't tip Falklands Oil - too much of a gamble - but has a different tip - Falkland Island Holdings - they own 50 acres of land in Stanley - pay a dividend of 3.4% - play the oil boom without taking the risk and also has 40 million shares in Falkand Oil and Gas

Sunday Telegraph

BHP last tipped at 2057p in February -now down to 1799p. High quality assets and above average dividend potential - still a buy.

Sunday Times

Tiddler worth watching - City of London Group - due to update on trading this week. Forecast to lose about £1.9m this year, but revenues are predicted to grow around 500%.

Singer Capital Markets says if management forecasts are true there is room for the shares to almost double over the next few years.

Mail on Sunday

Midas - Buy Renew Holdings at 75p - focus on essential maintenance work and has achieved 95% rise in underlying pre-tax profits

Shares Magazine Tips

Imagination Technologies (IMG) at 496p
British Sky Broadcasting (BSY) at 685p
Chime Communications (CHW) at 155p

Premier Foods at 79.8p
Ocado at 98.9p

Further reading - buy and hold stocks tips -

Tuesday, June 12

Time to Buy Stocks in Tesco?

Is It Time to Buy Tesco?

Following its recent problems (people say they don't like their shops or their staff and they find their prices at times misleading apparently - and there are cheaper places to shop)Tesco's share price has slumped from 440p to 300p - quite a drop for a big company like Tesco. Does this mean it is now cheap and a good stock to buy at these prices?

Tesco store
A Tesco Store
If you are a long-term buy and hold investor then an extra 10% one way or the other won't make much difference to you. Warren Buffett after all bought multiple shedloads at 320p so he is down around 7%, but will be picking up shedloads of dividends which he will no doubt take in the form of shares, thus adding to his holding and benefitting from the positive effects of compound interest (interest on the interest - the negative effects of which can be seen in the form of credit cards, where you pay interest on the interest on the interest etc... - which is why Warren Buffett doesn't use credit cards but he does offer them to customers of the banks he part owns - he's such a sensible old fellow).

So if you are long-term investor who holds shares forever then 300p might be a decent price to be buying Tesco at. But IMHO there may well be an opportunity to buy them even cheaper.

The reaction to their recent results (yesterday) has generally been negative and the charts IMHO are still pointing down - so I will not be buying Tesco any time soon, - 260p seems to me to be to be a much better price to be taking a risk at. That's not to say the price won't bounce around, maybe even enough to turn a quick profit, but the risk reward ratio to me still seems a bit too high.

Tesco 20 Year Chart - the share price is still way below the 200 day moving average

Tesco 6 month chart - trend still looks negative to me - maybe if/when the 20 day m.a. crosses over the 50 day m.a. on the way back up it will look more positive

If  you are interested in learning more about charts see -

Sunday, June 10

Sunday Weekend Newspaper Share Tips

Newspaper Share Tips - Weekend 10 June

Here are the newspaper share tips gather from around the media from the Sunday newspapers

Questor Share Tips

Buy Rolls Royce at 818.5p
Buy Centrica at 315.2p
Buy Vodafone at 169.3p
Buy Johnson Matthey at 2304p
Hold Aggreko at 2177p

Centrica - 10 year chart

Centrica 3 Month Chart - althought here may be a pull-back to around 310 before heading on up again - just MHO

The Times

Tempus says Sainsbury's and Morrissons are a better bet than Tesco.

Midas - Daily Mail

Buy International Public Partnerships

Anite - The share price has quadrupled since being recommended in January 2009, to 115.5p.
This is not the time to sell out completely as Anite has consistently surprised on the upside - the price should continue onwards and upwards.

The Independent

If you are looking for car insurance then you could check out here cheap car insurance ! Car insurance is  going up apparently so don't delay !

Investment View

Buy Aveva at 1638p (the engineering software company that operates in the oil, gas and power generation sectors - not the insurance group)

Investors Chronicle from Friday 8 June

Standard Chartered at 1,315p
API at 55.8p
S and U at 765p
Scottish American at 211.3p

Ocado at 99.45p

Thursday, June 7

Avoid Credit Card Late Fees?

Cancel Your Credit Cards Quick!

Have you ever thought your bank manager was terminally stupid or evil or both? I certainly have experienced both from stupid bankers. This may explain why the economy and the Eurozone is in such a mess.

Well, if you don't want trouble in the afterlife make sure you cancel your credit cards on your deathbed just before you 'move along', 'pass over' 'kick the bucket' or otherwise snuff it.

Here's what happened to one dead lady's family in Newcastle, England (a large city in the north-east of England pop. approx. 500,000) as reported in the Newcastle Evening Chronicle.

The bank in question is Santander, one of the largest banks in the UK, formerly known as Abbey and formerly also known for charging 10% of the amount for cashing a cheque (personal experience) i.e. 40 euros to cash a 400 euro cheque! Nice work if you can get it, somebody's got to pay their bonuses after all.
Be sure and cancel your credit cards before you die! This is so priceless. And so easy to see happening - customer service, being what it is today!

A lady died this past September, and Santander bank billed her in October and November for their annual service charges on her credit card, and then in December added late fees and interest on the monthly charge.

The balance that had been £0.00, now is somewhere around £60.00.

A family member placed a call to the Santander Bank:

Family Member: 'I am calling to tell you that my grandma died in September.'

Santander 'But the account was never closed and so the late fees and charges still apply.'

Family Member: 'Maybe, you should turn it over to your collections section.'

Santander ‘Since it is two months over due, it already has been.'

Family Member: ‘So, what will they do when they find out she is dead?'

Santander: 'Either report her account to the Frauds Department or report her
to The Credit bureau, maybe both!'

Family Member: 'Do you think God will be mad at her?'

Santander: 'Excuse me?'

Family Member: 'Did you just get what I was telling you . . The part about her being dead?'

Santander 'Sir, you'll have to speak to my supervisor.'

Supervisor gets on the phone:

Family Member: 'I'm calling to tell you, she died in September.'

Santander: 'But the account was never closed and the late fees and charges still apply.'

Family Member: 'You mean you want to collect from her estate?'

Santander: (Stammer) 'Are you her solicitor?'

Family Member: 'No, I'm her son'

Santander: 'Could you fax us a death certificate?'

Family Member: 'Sure.'

( fax number is given )

After they get the fax:

Santander: 'Our system just isn't set up for death. I don't know what more I can do to help.'

Family Member: 'Well, if you figure it
out, great! If not, you could just keep billing her. I don't think she will care.'

Santander: 'Well, the late fees and charges will still apply.'

Family Member: ‘Would you like her new billing address?'

Santander: 'That would help.'

Family Member: ' Plot 1049.' Heaton Cemetery, Heaton Road , Newcastle upon Tyne

Santander: 'But, that's a cemetery!'

Family Member: 'Well, what the **** do you do with dead people on your planet?'

Santander were not available for comment when a reporter from the Newcastle Evening Chronicle rang them.
Further reading on useful long-term investments :- Buy and Hold Investments

In case you want to know - Santander have a freephone number - 0800 7317774

Today's Stock Markets Forecasts

What will the markets do today?

Here is Oscar Carboni's analysis of the stock charts for today's trading (Thursday 7 June) - one more day up he says (it could be of course up in the US morning trading then back down in the afternoon) - it seems logical, personally I can't see the markets moving much higher (1326 on the SP500) has been mentioned by a couple of analysts, so we shall see. If you are more of a long-term trader and looking for some stocks to buy and hold then check out these recommendations from value investing experts - stocks to buy and hold

Tuesday, June 5

Good Buy and Hold Investments

Stocks to Invest in for the Long-Term

Buy and Hold Dividend Stocks to Boost Your Retirement

The stock market appears to closed again here in the UK so while you are waiting here are some stocks as picked by the Motley Fool. A further tip if you are new to this game, according to Warren Buffett's system you should also re-invest the dividends, thus benefitting from the effects of compound interest. After 30 years you may be a billionaire !

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.US)
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)
Unilever (ULVR).
Diageo ( DGE) Coca-Cola (KO.US)
Tesco (TSCO), - especially since its been hammered in recent months. Down over 20% on poor results - but Buffett bought a shed load so if you've got a wheelbarrow then it may be time to help yourself - though personally I'd wait till they get down around 270p [Ed.]
City of London Investment (CLIG), lots of cash flow and 6.4% dividend

7 more shares with a dividend yield over 6%
Resolution (RSL) - 9.8%
Aviva (AV) - 9.3%
RSA Insurance (RSA) - 9.1%
BAE SYSTems (BA) - 6.9%
AstraZeneca (AZN) - 6.7%
ICAP (IAP) - 6.5%
SSE (SSE) - 6%

'Legendary investor' Neil Woodford likes the following for the long-term

British American Tobacoo
Imperial Tobacco
Reynolds American

Monday, June 4

Stock Markets Headed Down Again?

Stockmarkets - the Charts for the Week Ahead

Another excellent video of stockmarket technical analysis for beginners or old salts by the Oldschoolchartist - he is still cautious about the markets and so am I. The UK is closed today, Asian markets were weak overnight and the DOW futures are pointing slightly up at the moment. The stock charting book that he mentions in the video is Technical Analysis of Stock Trends by Robert D. Edwards and John Magee probably not available at small book stores but can be obtained from Amazon no trouble.

Mr Stock trading master is a lot more bearish - with a 1250 short-term target on the SP500 if 1250 is broken then the next target is 1200 - if 1200 is broken then it's every man for himself !