Investing for Income
Income trusts as an investment vehicle have become the darling of the
business news media. In some ways they look like high yield bonds with no
expiry date and a potential for capital appreciation and growing distributions.
What could possibly be wrong with that? The problem is income trusts are as
risky as equity investments and worse yet their published reports of
business performance are often misleading.
If you are still interested in income trusts you can read Sooty's cautionary
lecture on this investment vehicle and review Sooty's daily updated picks
for trusts that have sensible yields at bargain prices. Read the whole article on
You should also read Sooty's newer adventures with shipping companies
and foreign stocks on US exchanges.
If you want even more edgy investing
take a look at Black Swan Investing and a prediction that would allow
you to try out those strategies when the US Dollar collapses.
Business Capex Spending and IT Employment
Once upon a time computers were expensive and programmers were cheap so
the purchase of new automated equipment included the hiring of IT staff
to keep it current, secure and operational. Memory was expensive so
a few bytes were saved from all the date records by skipping the century
digits. When Y2K loomed and 99 rolled over to 00 the IT folks saw
a wonderful opportunity to get paid a lot of money and do a lot
of exciting projects. After Y2K passed the projects went away, the
money went away, and the IT world entered a nuclear winter that lasted
for 3 years.
When Y2K shadow ended the world had changed. The old link between capex and IT
employment was broken. When manufacturing moved to lower cost countries so did
the programming jobs. Programmers were no longer cheap so technical support was
also outsourced to lower cost locations. The result is a drop in capex results in
a drop in IT jobs but a growth in capex only slows the decline. It is time to
tell your children there is no future in training for an IT job?
Read the whole article here.
What is Delaying the Adoption of EPIC Computers Like Itanium?
The first computers were nothing more than a few hundred gates so
all they could implement was a "reduced instruction set". As technology
improved the instruction sets grew and we entered an era of CISC
"Complex Instruction Set Computers". The problem with CICS is they
need a lot of circuitry to decode their instructions so designers
went back to basics and built modern "Reduced Instruction Set Computers"
or RISC. Ten years ago the battle between CICS and RISC was supposed
to end and the winner was supposed to be EPIC computers like the
Intel Itanium. Read the whole article here.
Economic Implications of an Indefinite Human LifeSpan
Forget penicillin, birth control, designer drugs, and all the
marvelous medical milestones - there is convergence of medical technologies
that are working to extend human lifespan indefinitely. What these technologies do is keep
our bodies forever in a state of being in our mid-twenties when there is a perfect balance
between repair processes and damage processes. The economic implications
of an indefinite human lifespan are enormous. It will certainly
be nice to live forever but can you make any money on it? Read the
whole article here.
Why Genetic Engineering is a Computer Hacker's Problem
Imagine you are given an alien computer and you have to
figure out how it works. This is not Star Trek where you can program
alien computers after staring at their console for 60 seconds. There
are no manuals, no source code, but you have lots of working machine
code to examine. If you write a test program it usually does nothing,
but be careful, it is possible your test program will kill you.
Of course the programming language is DNA and its machine code runs
all life on this planet. Read the whole article here.