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Global Mining Investing is a reference eBook to teach investors how to think and act as investors with a underlying theme of managing risk. The book touches on a huge amount of content which heavily relies on knowledge that can only be obtained through experience...The text was engaging, as I knew the valuable outcome was to be a better thinker and investor.

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

EUR and JPY weakness to outpace USD debasement

I actually expect the debasement of the EUR and Japanese Yen to outpace the USD debasement, so we can expect a relatively strong USD. All these currencies will of course be weak against the commodity currencies and emerging markets. See my article about the Fed and Asian property.
The interesting aspect is the impact on the commodity producing countries like Australia, Canada, South Africa, Chile, Brazil; as well as the emerging markets like China, Korea, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines.
We can expect these countries to be strong. It is interesting of course because the Fed and EU are blaming the Chinese for the strong Yuan; but partially the reason for the strong Yuan is that the US and European Central Bank (ECB) are debasing their currencies. True, the Chinese are funding the US deficits, and that has artificially raised the USD, but that is with the support of the US government.
We might well expect emerging markets to survive this currency crisis fine this time; largely I think because they can expect a lot of property investment by Western fund managers. Expect a property boom in Asia, particularly the Philippines, China, Vietnam and Thailand. Small Western players are better off in the Philippines because of favourable language (i.e. English), familiar legal system, generous visa rules, and good yields of 8% on high-end apartments.

So what about the commodity producing countries? Australia, NZ, Canada, Brazil and Argentina rely greatly on commodity exports. The problem of course is that mineral commodities do not price at parity with agricultural commodities. This is has to result in these countries sabotaging their currencies with debasement, or more likely we can expect the stronger foodstuff prices to continue. This development makes investment in countries like the Philippines more attractive, or other countries which might have cheaper agricultural land. I know the Philippines does have marginal land as cheap as PHP10-20/m2 (USD0.20/metre2), however you could probably do better elsewhere. Certain higher value crops like coffee are better in the Philippines. Nestle certainly produces a lot. Some of the mountain provinces are also suitable to growing more temperature foodstuffs. e.g. Baguio City is a food basket for the Philippines. It is one of the few cities with malls in the cool mountains...aside from Tagaytay, south of Manila. Anyway, the Philippines is a distraction from the currency strength that is gripping these commodity and emerging markets. So expect stronger commodities as the central banks debase currencies with more 'quantitative easing'.
Andrew Sheldon

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Yen set to fall against the Philippines peso

Whilst I am looking at exchange rate action, its noteworthy for Japanese people and Western expats living in Japan that they ought to consider buying property in the Philippines. Why? Well...the Yen is about to fall, so it would be a good idea to remit money before the currency collapses. Property yields in Japan are about 12-13% now, compared to 8% in the Philippines. The difference however is that Philippines population growth is 2% per annum, whilst Japan's is negative, and does little better than 1.5% in certain districts of the major cities.
The Philippines is attracting a lot of investment from Taiwan, China and Korea in tourism, and also a lot of business from US, Australian and NZ call centres. Aside from that, it also has a healthy exposure to expat remittances and domestic commodity production. In recent years the Philippines has been growing at 7-8%, and there is no reason why that will not be sustained.
Andrew Sheldon

The AUD play with a Japanese property twist

The AUD-JPY is not a currency I have been giving much attention to of late because my focus has been on the commodities (AUD-USD) rather than property. Though since I have an interest in Japanese (foreclosed) property, I was interested to look at the implications for the property market....which is offering yields of 12-13%.
We can see from the chart that the AUD might be strong against the USD, but against the Yen, the AUD has actually been a bit lacklustre. That is about to change. The Japanese yen is going to come under a bit of pressure as the govt there debases its currency. You can expect this to lead to a strong AUD against the yen. In fact I am expecting the AUD to rise to the previous high of Y107. This is a good long term currency trade, as you will never earn more spread interest than on this trade. With the unemployment rate 5.1% in Australia, there is actually scope for more rate increases as well. Stimulus in the Eurozone and Japan can only help Australian commodities demand.
The implication is that there is a good opportunity to trade AUD-JPY and then use your profits to buy a holiday house in Japan. Don't forget to get your Japan Rail Pass! God, I should be selling the things...I'd told so many people about them. I love trains. :) I take GPS coordinates for every station I stop at. That's right...I don't have a life. Glad you could join me though.

Australian dollar going to $1.15

The AUD is just about to reach parity with the USD. Followers of the currency price action might have reflected on the trends in the other currency. In this era of currency realignment, you might be thinking that the prospects for a strong USD will mean a weak AUD. I would challenge this point of view. In the short term, I would not be surprised to see the AUD find resistance at parity, but I do believe that we are looking at a stronger AUD currency in the future as a result of currency (i.e. economic) relativism. Yep, economic relativism is about debasing your currency faster than the competition. Countries like Australia have relatively hard currencies in these periods, so we can expect a sustained strong currency. I don't expect significant weakness in China. It will happily keep prospering along for decades to come. So long as there is a high household debt in Australia, we can expect measured increases in interest rates, but also a great deal of sensitivity to those rises. We will not be able to afford interest rate expect a strong currency. That is alright....all other commodity based currencies will be strong as well, so expect stronger commodity prices across the board.
I actually am expecting to see the AUD reach $1.15-1.20 in the next few years.
Andrew Sheldon

Currency market realignment coming - JPY:USD

Just as we are going to see a turnaround in the EUR, we can also expect a turnaround in the USD against the Yen. Japan has been complaining of late about its reduced export competitiveness. Of course this is just justification for printing Yen to repay the debt which is denominated in Yen. i.e. The Japanese have to debase the currency in order to inflate asset prices, in order to stimulate some spending in the Japanese economy. They will want to expand the economy in order to increase taxes (i.e. GST increase), and they will want to pay off that debt. Reforms will be easier if there is stronger economic activity.
The USD against the Yen is about to reach a yet level of 80yen. The yen has not reached this level for decades, so it will be an important achievement. For reasons already stated above, I am not expecting this support to be breached, as there is just too many reasons for the Japanese to weaken their currency. Its a case of who can be the biggest currency debaser. Unfortunately I have not got the history back to the 1970s on this chart...I just remember the forecast I made last year that it would reach this its finally happened.
Andrew Sheldon

Currency market realignment coming - EUR:USD

There are some important developments occurring in the currency market. We are about to see a change from a weak USD to a strong one. Not yet, but we are close. The justification is going to be:
1. Stimulus measures in Japan which will weaken its currency
2. Stimulus measures in the EU, which will refinance Greek/Spanish debts, but also expect some broader-based stimulus.

A turnaround in the USD will of course reduce the appeal of the Dow, as competitiveness will shrink, but not considerably if the later countries are dolling out most of the stimulus. The target value is 1.45 USD for the EUR.
Andrew Sheldon

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Nobel Prize winning economist states the bleeding obvious

Joseph Stiglitz, the former chief economist of the World Bank and Nobel Prize winner, has come out and said that he thinks Germany ought to break off the Euro currency. I made more profound statements 5 years ago....When do I get my Nobel Prize? In my Global Market Commentary blog I suggested Spain, Italy and Portugal, given there different cultural values, ought to be on a different currency. I guess my Nobel Prize is in the mail :)
This particular dumb-nut economist is suggesting that 'Keynesian stimulus' might be necessary. In the interests of global peace was he also one of the World Bank, govt-funded economists who supported the stimulus that made the 'extra stimulus' necessary in 2008, or did he back away from that stimulus. Maybe he didn't turn up for that office meeting. Read more in this NZ Herald article.

I am a bigger genius than I thought....I actually said the same thing 5 years here. There you go!
Andrew Sheldon

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