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I dont know if anyone on the board has come across it but I picked a brilliant little programme called Atomica. It is a sort of on-line dictionary plus that runs in the background with a small icon on the bottom of the menu bar. When you want to find out what an acronym means you simply hold the ALT key down and put the cursor on the word or acronym you want to query and up pops a list.
As an example FC asked about etf's - I had a memory blank for a while but simply asked Atomica what it stood for - here is the list it came up with :-
Early Termination Fee
Education and Training Factor
Electrical Time Fuze
Electronic Target Folder
Electronic Test Facility
Electronic Trip Fare
Emergency Task Force
Encrypted Transmission Failure
Engine Test Facility
Engine Torque Factor
Enlage To Fit
Environmental Technology Factor
Environmental Test Facility
.......and last but not least there was FC's Exchange Traded Funds

Here's the link if you want to download the programme - I find it best to have it sitting in the background. This the home page - simply download a small programme.

http://www.atomica.com

Somethings else I've found useful and that is to duplicate the TMF window. When someone posts a link to say, a chart, it is annoying to have to close TMF and then access the chart or site you want to check up on.
There are two or three ways of doing this but this is the mehtod I use.
If you hold down the Shift key and press N you will get a duplicate window appear which overlays the original. You can then go to the site you want to visit and when finished minimise the duplicate window leaving the original one on the screen. If you have to go to another site then maximise the minimised one and do the same again.
Saves time and effort.
Regards
Harmy

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Harmy, thank you for the links, I am just in the process of looking
them up,

I am totally ignorant about etf's as yet. I have some vague recollection that there are a few in Aus that track the top 100,
but thats the limit of my knowledge right now.

I am wondering seriously if it would be more profitable to invest in
o'seas etf's, what drawbacks would there be there for an Aus resident?

I really dont like funds-- I think the management fees and various
other expenses are way too high for my liking, so I have avoided those.
I will have to find out the expense ratios of the etf's and get some
comparision,

Actually I am thinking that it may well be more profitable all round
to invest o'seas altogether and skip the Aus market.

I have never explored the possibility of investing o'seas (UK or US)
but I would be very interested in what you think and your experiences
with this.


Best.
FC,
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Cass

Actually I am thinking that it may well be more profitable all round
to invest o'seas altogether and skip the Aus market.


I think thats a case of "the grass is greener" - having invested in the the US,NZ and Oz market my view is that the there are just as many opportunities in the Oz market as anywhere else.

I have never explored the possibility of investing o'seas (UK or US)
but I would be very interested in what you think and your experiences
with this.

The first thing about the US market is that it is BIG !! - there are thousands and thousands of companies. There is a lot of manipulation by the MM's - the market is amazingly volatile with literally millions of shares trading on the bigger companies each day. Take a look at some of the companies on TMF and see the volume on say Nokia or Micrsoft - blows your mind !!
However, there are some really excellent tools to help you sort the wheat from the chaff. Excellent boards to assist you and heaps of really good companies out there. One of the things that surprised me was the huge cost of some shares - even today you can pay $60 to $100 per share no trouble at all - in US dollars too remember !! There will be tax implications for you - I'm not sure what they will be for an Oz resident but foreigners investing in the US are capital gains tax exempt. As a Kiwi I don't pay CGT in either the US or Oz markets. Things may change when I move to Oz but I have a query in with the Oz Inland Revenue which should clarify things for me.
I can't (and would not wish to) advise you on whether to put some money into the US. The market is still in a state of flux - and its all very uncertain. I still have some US bios but am getting out of those to invest in the Oz market. It's very hard to predict where the US market is going in the short term and for that reason I will stay on the sidelines. When the US economy really shows signs of moving then that is the time to get back into it.

However, don't let me put you off. The US market is quite exciting for a small investor and you can do very well.
Why not open an account with, say, Datek and send a telegraph a small amount over to try your hand. You can download the forms from their site Datek.com and don't forget to fill in a form called (from memory) W-Ben8 which exempts you from CGT.
JMO
Regards
Harmy
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Thanks for the info Harmy and thanks for the email earlier today. Much appreciated. As you might know I can't email from here because of a virus on my system.
I also don't see any point deserting the Oz market but I too have thought about investing directly in the US market as well.
My reasoning is this. With so many companies the chances of finding a hidden gem are greater. The things that have held me back so far have been lack of knowledge on tax matters concerning this & lack of capital.
I am also waiting to see if e*trade will allow us to trade US shares in Oz dollars from Australia on favourable terms. I reckon this will happen sooner or later and will greatly simplify matters. Especially as far as record keeping is concerned.

Barcoo
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I am also waiting to see if e*trade will allow us to trade US shares in Oz dollars from Australia on favourable terms

Barcoo

Fine about the email - nice to gets things sorted.
The problem I have with dealing through an Oz or NZ broker is that they are expensive and there is a time delay. If you trade direct on-line through a US broker there is little or no time delay. Datek for example will action your trade within sixty seconds or you get a free trade. They charge $US9.99 per trade which is considerable cheaper than buying through my broker here in NZ.
I like the streamers that many US brokers have - you can watch the bids and price rising and falling as it happens.
I also hope I haven't put you off buying stocks because of the US dollars prices I quoted - there are many stocks trading at $2 or $3 dollars and are very good companies. One thing I didn't mention is that there is tremendous momentum in the US market - stocks rise and fall very rapidly and to very great heights (or lows). As I said earlier it is an exiting market to be in and providing you start off small (say a couple of thousand Oz dollars) you can have a lot of fun.
Regards
Harmy
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Harmy, thank you so much for all the information, I really appreciate
it!

Yes there is a bit of "grass is greener on the other side" thing
to this o'seas investing that's for sure. Equities are very cheap
here, also we have this Franking system which I think may be unique
in the world., so there is a lot to be said for our own market, its
just so small!
I think you are right about the tax implications though..this would
have to be thouroughly sorted before doing anything...

( I would hate to get into a dust-up with the Tax Office--we all know )
who would win that one)

Cheers.
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harmy
I also hope I haven't put you off buying stocks because of the US dollars prices I quoted - there are many stocks trading at $2 or $3 dollars and are very good companies.

Not at all, I would buy a couple in BRK:A if I could. The price you are paying for the company is what counts, not the price of the share.
A 20 cent share is not necessarily any cheaper than a $500 share.

cassie
( I would hate to get into a dust-up with the Tax Office--we all know who would win that one)

Yes you could have the law 95% on your side, the other 5 % could be a grey area, you could win the case and still end up worse off (divorced,broke with many debts and on happy pills).
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you could win the case and still end up worse off (divorced,broke with many debts and on happy pills).






Barcoo, you're not wrong,!





Cheers,
FC
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Not at all, I would buy a couple in BRK:A if I could. The price you are paying for the company is what counts, not the price of the share.
A 20 cent share is not necessarily any cheaper than a $500 share.


Barcoo
Yes so would I !! - it seems incredible to think that they are now around the $US70,000 per share mark. I have 80,000 of ATP and that wouldn't even buy a quarter of one BRK share !!

Barcoo/FC/Anyone
I have a cyber friend who is very much into options trading. He has set up a website dealing mainly with chipstocks - he has just emailed me to say that he has set up a part of his website that deals with option learning and trading. He wants me to evaluate it as a novice (I understand options but don't trade them) - would anyone on the board be interested in this ??

Regards
harmy
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Picking up on your last tip for opening up links in a duplicate window, the method I use is to use the right-hand mouse button and select "Open in New Window". When I am finished with that window, I close it with AltF4.
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