Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Publish your own book

Hey, I thought if you wanted to publish your own book you needed to convince a publisher that it is worth printing. A work colleague then told me there is a site where you can publish your book without convincing anyone other than your potential market that your book is worth buying. I haven’t used it, don’t think I am good enough to publish a book, but hey I think it’s an interesting business model. I was then told by a friend that that kind of thing is called the vanity press, where you go because you not good enough to convince a publisher. A Time magazine article then caught my eye which said that this kind of publishing is taking off and some best sellers have emerged from Internet websites that publish! It’s amazing how the publishers then rush in and offer millions : ). I see lulu also allows you the ability to upload photos and make calendars that can be sold directly on their site. A worthwhile look, check it out if you think you have what it takes.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Time magazine - a great buy!

I have subscribed to Time magazine over a number of years and think it is really a fantastic publication! There is a general impression that Time magazine only covers political events. This is not true, the latest edition’s cover story is about stem cell research and how this could lead to treating diabetes, heart disease and Parkinson’s, it covers a wide range of topics, including science, arts, business, politics and in fact anything that is of interest to the international community. What is also great is that it is a weekly publication which is cool since you don’t need to wait weeks for the next edition. If you subscribe it is reasonably priced to. So buy one off the shelf, see what I mean and if it strikes your fancy subscribe.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Freaky freakonomics

Want to read a book that will blow your mind? Then Freakonomics is the book. It is a book that will make you question the goodness of society. Does it sound like an economics book? Well its not what you think it is, no inflation, deficit or debates about capitalism or communism. The author gathers statistical data and draws some conclusions that are scary including:

  • Teachers cheat by upping their class marks when performance incentives are introduced.
  • It explains why drug dealers live with their mothers.
  • Derives a conclusion that the legalisation of abortion reduced crime in the USA
  • Shows how sumo wrestlers cheat.

I must say, quite a freaky book and a worthwhile read.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Another wealthy man believes the US dollar is in trouble

Another wealthy investor has indicated his belief that these stimulus packages will not help the US or global economy and refers to it as just printing money, a historic way to cause a currency crisis and high inflation. Jim Rogers apparently made a lot of money when he predicted the Pound would lose its value some years back and now predicts the same for the US dollar. I am no economist but it concerns me that some very financially successfully individuals like Jim Rogers and Robert Kiyosaki are making such predictions. They are asking why rich wall street bankers are being bailed out by the American tax payer. Both of them suggest buying commodities like Gold and Silver. In South Africa on the JSE you can do this with ABSA’s EFT New Gold, code GLD. I am still trying to make my mind up! A least in the short term it seems like the markets like these bailouts. I have also heard to interesting reports that say the Meryl Lynch CEO bought a carpet for his office cost R 1 000 000, total office decor $ 1 000 000. Another saying the Lehman Brother’s CEO Richard Fuld sold his multi-million dollar mansion ($14 000 000) to his wife for $100. Sounds like someone is protecting his personal assets from litigation???? Anyhow use the google search on my page to listen to some of Jim Roger’s interviews, it’s very interesting.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Make money in a falling market

With the credit crisis everyone is concerned at the rate at which their assets are losing value. If you own a house I am sure you wouldn’t risk not insuring it. So why take that chance with your stock portfolio in market conditions like this. Many people don’t know that you can protect your investment or make money in a falling market using financial instruments like warrants and futures. Standard Bank Online Share Trading has some good courses to help you understand these products as they are not for those that have not educated themselves on how they work. I am sure other brokers have similar courses. The point is you can either hedge you current portfolio, preventing a substantial loss in a falling market by buying put warrants on the shares you own. This ensures that if the share you own tumbles, the put warrant shoots up protecting your investment and allowing you to hold onto the stock for the long term. There are other benefits to these instruments but hedging is one of them.

__________ Information from ESET Smart Security, version of virus signature database 3792 (20090123) __________

The message was checked by ESET Smart Security.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Stuff White People Like

I always wonder what will draw one to a blog and it isn’t always a wealth of important information. Sometimes it’s just nonsense that gets interest in your blog going. Gareth Cliff on 5FM mentioned a Blog called Stuff White People Like. I must say I found the discussion very amusing. This guy not only set up a blog (claiming millions of hits) but also managed to publish a book. Guess what’s top of the list? Organic Food J. The Blog is .

__________ Information from ESET Smart Security, version of virus signature database 3780 (20090120) __________

The message was checked by ESET Smart Security.

Monday, January 19, 2009

United States dollar to crash?

The best selling Rich Dad, Poor Dad author, Robert Kiyosaki recons the financial crisis is far from over. His view is that the US government bailout won't work and in the long run will lead to hyper inflation, since they are basically printing money to bailout the financial institutions. This may sound far fetched, however if the bailout is not funded by the tax payer I guess that is how they fund it, they will print money! I guess time will tell!

Roberts view is that prepare for it by buying gold and silver, what he calls God's money and a great hedge against inflation. In SA there is a Gold exchange traded fund, or I suppose you can buy gold coins. Apparently Mandela coins have or will be released into the market shortly.

With commodity prices dropping this seems like a leap of faith, I wonder how things will pan out.