Friday, June 24, 2016

Walton International - Good Investment?

Walton International is a Calgary, Alberta, Canada based land investment company. It has been aropund for 20 or more years. It claims a long track record of success, and it claims investments can exceed 15% or more per year.

It is my opinion that this is a highly risky investment based on a track record that is by and large unproven after 2005. Even up to 2005 some of Walton’s investments, for example around Calgary, took almost 20 years to deliver a measely 2%.

Ask them about this one !

Walton benefits three groups: the sales people who collect up to 15% commission, the dealers/referrers who take a cut of this 15%, and of course Walton and its owner, Mr. Doherty.

The investment syndicate is taking very big fees for their “business concept” upfront. Therefore, it is highly lucrative for Walton, allowing it to pay for lawyers to stop blogs like this one, slick marketing brochures and fat sales commissions.

The outcome of the investment is highly speculative, especially in land syndications after 2005 which were often bought in the US into a booming market that dropped considerably in value after 2007. Many of their land projects, if sold today, would sell for less than purchase price. Add the 300-400% uplift and costs upfront and a 90% or more loss woudl be the result.

Of course Walton woudl not sell this land, and just sit on it. and sit. and sit. and sit. Maybe in 20 years you get your money back. Maybe.

Many of these investments – even with no value drop – will take 15 or more years to develop, let alone make a profit for investors as land demand is low in the US for 10+ years due to massive surpluses of homes, a tight lending envoronment for new home construction and dropping land values.

My opinion: Invest only if you do not need the money for 20 or more years.

Also ask for a ride on the corporate Lear jet, as you are paying for it !

Do not believe the sales reps who are often completely unaware of land development risks, costs or timelines and just sell it for the big fat commission.

It is not illegal. It is not a scam. It is just a bad investment in my opinion.

Asia Special Situation Fund - Stay out of Sterling trade ahead of EU poll

Heavy trading volume and turbulence across currency, equity and bond markets is expected following Britain’s historic vote on its membership of the EU on Thursday.

Traders and brokers are particularly wary that UK polls close at 10pm local time on Thursday — when the trading day ends in New York and begins in the early hours in Asia.

Sterling has been particularly sensitive to swings in opinion polls in recent weeks, and liquidity in the foreign exchange market will be a particular focus after it dried up in January 2015 when the Swiss central bank shocked traders by removing the franc’s longstanding peg to the euro.

Bank has already warned customers it may not be able to provide usual levels of pricing and liquidity in the 24 hours after polling closes on Thursday.

We closed up all our sterling positions to avoid possible liquidity crunch on any shock.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

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Tuesday, June 7, 2016

June 2016 : Federal Reserve Chair : Janet Yellen

Broad risk markets are back in business, buoyed by a renewed spurt in oil to 10-month highs and reassurances by Fed Chair Janet Yellen, who though acknowledging Friday’s ‘disappointing’ jobs report, said economic positives still outweigh negatives.
Yellen proved vague on the exact timing of the Fed’s tightening path, merely saying that further gradual rate hikes remained appropriate but dropped the phrase ‘in coming months’.
Nevertheless, iron ore climbed 2.1% with commodities as a whole via the CRB index impressively rallying into a bull market by gaining 20% from February’s lows and US Treasury yields modestly pared Friday’s steep jobs induced falls. However moves were capped with Fed fund futures now pricing in an even lower 2% chance of a June hike and 21.6% chance for July.
Looking ahead, Asian stock futures are pointing to modest opening gains with a prop from USD/JPY’s recovery of the 107 handle.