Category : General

Boring Old Bourses

In the 90’s I wrote an article that appeared in the Weekend Argus each week called Money Talks. It was not meant to be hi brow just a snippet of news from overseas, a nibble of info on the FTSE and tit bits from the Dow. The point is that I once used the term BOURSE when describing an overseas exchange and I remember even then feeling a bit of a pompous prat, especially as the only bourse is really the CAC and lets face it, CAC just about sums up the word BOURSE, it’s so twee and knowing!

I mention this only as one of SA’s strangest TV channel’s, Summit, seems to have become addicted to the word. Once a day Sky News go to Summit TV, for an update on the African Markets. Suddenly an Asian girl with an American accent was speaking from Johannesburg, very cosmopolitan I thought, if not exactly politically correct. She then went on to enter the Guinness Book of Records by using the word BOURSE six times in approximately 45 seconds! I thought I was going to gag on it!

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A Deeper Meaning

Sometimes in life you just feel good about something. You just know in your heart and soul if something will be good, bad or indifferent. It steers us in and out of relationships, it directs us, at times, that hard-to-define “feel good” factor.

The year 2008 has that feel to me and hopefully, without tempting fate, I say it looks like it will be a good year.

It appears to be a good year to discard baggage and things that make me feel uncomfortable – and I am not talking of my clothing straining under the pressure of a Christmas and New Year well eaten!

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Virtual Service

There are always two sides to a coin, two sides to every argument and two views on service! Those in the business of delivering service will tell you that it is always getting better, while the rest of us, on the receiving end, find good service very hard to find.

Financial services is a key battle ground in the service war – Better, Faster, Greener, Today, Tommorow and very PC, whatever the slogan we are assailed by the PR campaigns of the banks, insurance companies and investment houses, but has service really improved?

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Something has got to give

When people expect returns in excess of 25% per annum, whether they be in property or shares, you have a clear case of unrealistic expectations and therefore a potential collision of expectations waiting to happen.

When you read, too often, that the way to achieve this scale of return is simply to switch between the two aforementioned Investment Classes as each slows, then you have potentially the blind leading the blind.

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Repetition Reaps Rewards

We live in an ever changing world. Take your eye off the papers or TV for only a few days and the rest of the world seems to be dealing with, and talking about, issues you know nothing about.

This is the information age and we are force-fed a diet of news and product, constantly. Forget noise pollution, we are now assailed by visual pollution, you cannot open your eyes without someone’s brand or message prompting you to buy or sell.

Occasionally you can find yourself in a space where time has seemingly stood still, there is no road noise, there are no adverts and your soul actually feels lighter and more at peace. I suppose that is the real purpose of a holiday, the ability to allow our minds and bodies to recover before we return to the hectic world we now live within.

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A Reality check on Realty

James Goldsmith was asked what he thought about his daughter Jemima’s marriage to Imran Khan, the Pakistani cricketer. “He will be a good first husband”, he answered straight faced. Well, he was certainly correct that it would not last, but whether Hugh Grant would have met with the, now deceased, mogul’s approval, we will never know!

What I do know, however, is that a line I heard from him many years ago still rings true as a bell today. Jimmy was asked what he thought of a particular hot and popular new investment trend, his reply says it all: “If you can spot a trend, you’ve missed it!”

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Pocket Money

I now believe the worst thing you can have is a child who is good at Maths. Personally I was never great with the old numbers as a child, hence my slide down that old academic pole into law school.

Maths came to me later in life and consequently I was conned out of numerous pocket money amounts as I never really kept track of what was going on, my Mum and Dad were always the winners!

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