Friday, December 18, 2009

Why Choose Vim Trading?

What is so special about your product?
There are five elements to the Vim Trading “Steps to Success” training programme.
1. Understanding the psychology of markets and your emotions (how to deal with them)
2. Money and risk management (simple but most important)
3. Investment strategies, we cover developing, testing and implement strategies.
4. The skill set; to physically trade from your office or home you require a certain skill set. The practical nature of this programme give you the skill set required.
5. Learning how to analyze charts and identify the most probable future direction of the trend. (this is where most people focus for success, it is important but the least important of the above elements)
For a fraction of the cost of other products we run our course over a three month period so clients can build on their skills between sessions. We will take clients with no experience or knowledge of the markets and within three months give them the knowledge and skills to develop and implement a success investment plan.

Others programmes just offer some of the above elements. For example some programmes can charge over €2,000 for loads of information and some poor technology all of which can be acquired for free if you are smart. Others provide one day and half day workshops on some of the skills and strategies but this is information overload and does not allow time for clients to practice the skills.

What can I take away from the course?
Clients will acquire knowledge, skills and wisdom in the above areas as well as some new perspectives about markets and finance.

What turn around on profits will I make?
If you understand what is said above to come out with this question is a bit silly.
As you may not make a profit at all.
Your success will depend mainly on you implementing a sound, realistic plan with SMART objectives. Then there are an infinite number of factors that can impact (positively and negatively) on your P&L. So while it may seem like a smart question it would be stupid for us to put a figure on the answer as you may lose money or you may become the next Warren Buffet.

What you will have is a clear understand of this fact by the end of the programme so if you get bluffed by someone offering you a magic bullet formula you were not listening in class!!!!!!

Do I need software for the course?
FREE software is provided with your trading account. We will guide clients to what we believe are good sources of free information and resources.

How much time is involved studying at home?
Simple, what you put in is what you get out. The course is run over 10 sessions and not a weekend so clients can build the knowledge and skills as well as learn from the emotions that they experienced trading. The reality is that some people won’t go near it from one week to the next but we recommend doing 2 hours of planned, specific work between sessions. Some clients spend much more time studying and they get more from the contact time as they can ask smart questions and will understand the answers.

Is there an after care service?
Yes there is a mentoring service but this is expensive. One is much better off going away and putting the knowledge and skills into practice with small amounts of money. Then, when you have experienced the real investment world join us for a group get together to explore our experiences. We find the people looking for after care are those that just don’t put the work in during the course and have more money than cop-on. They are a prefect target for a sales guy who comes along offering them a magic bullet solution.

How long will it take before I will be trading on real markets?
We hope clients set up a real micro trading account with €100 straight away and then you are trading real money in the markets. By the end of the course you should have developed an investment plan.

Do I have to set up my own account with a stockbroker?
All clients will set up a demo and/or a real account with the same brokers so we all have the same technology. We will look at a number of different ways to invest but each client’s choice of brokerage beside the demo or micro account should be based on their due diligence. While we cover the steps one takes in choosing technology, brokers and investment vehicles we do not make specific recommendations.

Investing seems like hard work, would I not be better off putting my money on deposit or letting a professional manage my investments?
For many they are better off giving their hard earned savings to an investment manager or putting it on deposit. However, don’t expect to make a great return or even a positive return on your investment. See our blog on the best investment of the past decade.

Even if you choose not to invest yourself, you will be a lot wiser about markets and investing by taken part in training with a company whose only vested interest is giving you an impartial education on the financial world. We give clients the skills and knowledge to “form their own opinion”. Our programmes are based on our understanding of what these requirements are and our knowledge and experience on how adults’ learn best.

If you have any other question please leave a comment or email

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Stocks, Bonds, Property, Cash, or Gold

Here we will look at what was the best investment for your money since the introduction of the Euro. For this illustration we will consider that you had €1,000,000 to invest ten years ago and you wanted a safe place for it?

Option one is, you take the €1million in cash and hide it in a very safe place. You now still have €1million in cash to do what you please. However, you lose to this thing called inflation, but how much?

I think we need to look at the money and credit expansion and not CPI when we consider inflation. So in December 1999 if you had €1million in cash, that was 0.0000027 of the €361billion of Euro currency in circulation at that time. Now your million is just 0.0000012 of the €774billion Euros in circulation. Just 44% or put differently, the Money supply is up 114% during this period.

To put this simply, if your investments or your earnings are not up 114% from what they were 10 years ago you are less well off. Your €1million needs to be more than €2140000 just to keep up with money and credit expansion. This required an 8% annual compounded growth.

So let’s see how the other asset classes performed.
You put your million in a deposit account at net 5% compounded annually and you receive €1,628894

You buy 1 million worth of Irish housing property you get back €1,615,026 and your net rental income possibly €500000 at a rental yield of 4% with interest at 3% so the total is €2,115,026.

You buy €1 million of Irish stock, they are now worth €598541 + the dividends you received.

You buy €1million worth of the DJ Euro Stoxx 50 index, it is now worth €567,800 + the dividends you received.

You buy 3571ozs of gold at €280 an oz. its value is now €2,857,142 less storage costs. A growth of 11% compound annually.

It is a very weird situation when holding real money (gold) in storage outperformed investing your money in any other asset class. We have explored why this is so in previous blogs see and

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Is Personal Bankruptcy a way out?

While the debate on cuts and how they happen is very important I believe what is now paramount for our Government to focus on is changing the current bankruptcy laws. If the union leaders were interested in the citizens and working classes this is where their interest should rest. Based on this years tax take our spending needs to return to 2003 levels. Everybody believes their role is more important than the next. If all departments received their 2003 budget and cut spending accordingly this would be a simplistic and a fair way to do this. Now that is an unending debate however the issue of our draconian bankruptcy legislation and the state of debt many families find themselves in is a much more important issue for many reasons.

· The deflating/contraction of credits cycle we are in is positive for workers and only those whose who have large amounts of debt will suffer. As when prices were inflating and wages trailed, wage will also trail deflation for many.
· This means many in public and private sector jobs will have more cash to spend on cheaper goods and should be willing to take some pay cuts. (Ideally what the market will bear but good luck with trying to get that.)
· Personal bankruptcy is pretty much a last straw as one is perused for 12 years making it unfeasible to be a productive member of society during this time. By allowing people to quickly file for bankruptcy and come out of bankruptcy in a couple of years and get on with life will be much more socially and economically beneficial. They will lose their assets which may be punishment enough. It is unlikely that these people will take on risky investments in the future. The current law is a measure to immunise the creditor from risks. It should be the role of lenders to make prudent not riskless decisions.

It is unlikely that the currently bunch of TDs will make any decisions that will be beneficial to the majority of society or the economy as a whole. It is not that they do not know what to do but like any lifestyle change, many try to take the easy route.

Raising awareness on this issue and uniting those who are indebted will receive much more public support than the current squabbling between public and private workers. With NAMA and bank guarantees the burden of this debt will again fall back on the public. However, drastic action needs to be taken soon.

Free or just serfs

As unions and government go head to head on pay and conditions we the people need to reflect where we are on the spectrum between freedom and serfdom. On a superficial level it looks like we have a liberal society. We have free elections and free press. We have good contract and property legislation. We can dress, do and say pretty much what we feel. However, on further reflection a growing mass are under the spell of government dependency and control.

Firstly we have those on direct government dependency. The number we all know being the 423,000 on the live register. We have the same number dependant on government to pay their pension. There are thousands on Fás C.E. schemes, back to work schemes and other such projects that keep the real unemployment figures down. We then have our 263000 public servants who are at the mercy of the Government for their wages. Thousands are also employed in the community and voluntary sector which is funded through government departments. We have the farmers who since joining the EEC have become dependant on subsidies to survive which has killed off any incentive to become more productive and competitive. We then have Irish and EU regulation which is a massive burden on the farming and fishing sector as well as on small businesses. This burden means big business can be less competitive which means higher costs for consumers. On viewing “big business”, are they capitalistic or just involved in corporatism? Michael O’ Leary’s actions with the EU Transport Commissioner during the recent Lisbon campaign points very much to corporatism. Government support for multinationals also points in this direction. Now in the midst of deflation hundreds of thousands are enslaved to debt and our Government is intent on enslaving our country in foreign debt.

We think that we tried free market capitalism and got burns and we will now take security any day. However, this was just a debt based pyramid scheme. I urge you to discover what market capitalism really is and where true liberty rests.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


In our previous blog we declared that Henry Ford spent his life protecting his company from bankers and stated, “It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.” He was speaking about the US system but what the hell was he on about?

What Ford was talking about is the much excepted and misunderstood magic of fractional reserve banking and central banks setting of interest rates. One may think that for each loan made there is a saver to match it but that is not the case. One may also think that inflation is all the same but we have “monetary inflation” which is manipulated by the banking system to have an every increasing amount of money in the system. We then have commodity inflation/deflation which is a natural oscillation of prices based on supply and demand. The banking and monetary system legally robs people of much of the productivity gains achieved by society. Now, that is a good enough reason to revolt if one reflected and understood it.

Savings are diluted by an ever increasing supply of money forcing this wealth to be mal-invested. Prices continue to rise forcing society to borrow more and of course each time a bank makes a loan this value is added to the money supply. More money goes into the system allowing others to earn it and pay off the principle and interest on their loans. The ECB tries to manage this increase with interest rates so we have a smooth level of “monetary inflation”. This has gone on successfully for years and now people see it as a part of life i.e. “we always have this curse of inflation but the central bank is trying its best to deal with it and the last thing we want is deflation.”

Now all that may be true but what happens when thing go wrong? For this system to work it needs an every increasing supply of money. So banks must continue to make new loans, adding more money to the system which allows other borrowers the opportunity to earn some of it and pay off their loans. If it comes to a halt (borrowers get tapped out) the money in circulation begins to dry up as each time a borrower makes a payment on a loan, that money is taken out of the system. It goes from a situation where if you borrowed it was always easier and easier to make the payments as time went on due to “monetary inflation” to a situation where it gets harder and harder to earn the money to pay off the loan due to “monetary deflation”.
Monetary deflation is the situation we currently find ourselves in and the ECB seem to be taking a different approach in this situation than the US. Both have dropped interest rates trying to get the monetary inflation back on track but when zero interest rates will not work to get society to borrow more the USA are choosing to dilute the money supply themselves while the ECB are allowing it to contract. Both approaches have pros and cons in what they wish to achieve but as with all pyramid schemes this banking and monetary system will end in tears and probably in revolt and war as well. Savers and borrowers are the big losers and the ones that make the magic loans get to keep all the securities in the end.

For most it may be enough to get from this article that there is something seriously fishy about banking and all the clichés about fat bankers are clichés for a reason.

However, it would be leaving the reader up in the air if we didn’t explore some of the below topics and ask some further questions that we need to reflect on.
How much fiat money is in the ECB system?
How much gold reserves are in the Euro Zone Central Banks?
If gold is outdated why are central banks still holding it?
Is there an alternative, better system?

These magic tricks of bankers are around a long time and by just having a gold standard to back currencies will not prevent against fractional reserves banking. However, the reserves would be backed by gold (which is a store of value) and not just a promise of a printed piece of paper which can be produced at little cost.

Money supply is measured by M0, M1, M2 and M3

The Euro money supply from 1998-2007 has doubled (See graph). Has the released CPI and Eurozone Harmonised Price Index doubled in this period? At most it is up about 40%????????
The European Central Bank's definition of euro area monetary aggregates.
M1: Currency in circulation + overnight deposits
M2: M1 + Deposits with an agreed maturity up to 2 years + Deposits redeemable at a period of notice up to 3 months
M3: M2 + Repurchase agreements + Money market fund (MMF) shares/units + Debt securities up to 2 years

As of June, Euro Zone M0, (paper and coins) was €784 billion or about €2400 per capita. Below is the ECB report of M1 M2 and M3 in billions.

How much gold reserves are in Euro Zone Central Banks?
Euro zone gold reserves = 11,065 tonnes @ €21million a tonne = €235 billion and about 1oz per capita.
Euro paper and coins (M0) = €784 billion or 3.3 times more than the gold value. So gold is worth €2191 an OZ or they need about 35,000 tonnes of gold to back M0.
M1 is €4,190 billion or 17.8 times their gold reserves. So gold is worth €11,819oz or they need 200,000 tonne of gold to back M1 and only 158,000 tonnes of gold have ever been mined?
M2 is €8126 billion or 34.5 times gold reserves (gold €22,908oz)
M3 is €9408 billion or 40 times gold reserves (gold €26,560)

If gold is outdated why are central banks holding it?
I think many believe in the system that is in place and of course it’s instigators and people that understand it will do well to the loss of those who don’t (most savers and borrowers). It is likely that these instigators hold most of the gold as well as the securities that back all the loans as they know the basic difference between money and wealth. So in the case of the ECB, when less and less money is in the system and you can’t pay your loan, you will lose your assets. In the USA they just print more money diluting more, the $ value to the determent of savers. By the time this money reaches borrowers prices have gone up as well as market interest rates, making it more difficult to pay off their loan. They also lose the asset securing the loan.

Is there an alternative better system?
Almost any system would be better for the majority of society than the system in place today. It will collapse, if not in this year sometime in the near future. The majority of real money and assets will be legally in the hands of a few. Capitalism and free markets will likely get the blame for the mess and not the real culprits, banking and the monetary system. To spell it out this system is not capitalism. It is up to citizens to discover how society progresses, what causes stagnation as well as cycles of boom and bust. While people keep listening to the vested interest groups and those who haven’t a clue they will get poorer and poorer without even knowing it. Free market capitalism is how all of society progresses most. However it is a system that once established will continuously be attacked from all angles and especially from within. It is worthwhile getting to understand it for one’s self.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Irelands external debt

I wish to explore our external debt of $1,841,000,000,000
I believe this figure is the elephant in the room that is not being discussed and I wish to outline how the Government interventions has, I believe socialised much of this debt putting the death nail in any chance we had for future prosperity.

As you can see from all the zeros this number is off the scale and the idea that we were a wealthy nation is a myth. Per capita, we borrowed almost $500,000 and from the taxes on how this was spent the Government increased the size of the Public Services that now costs €65 billion PA to run. Interest repayments on this borrowing has to be between $50 and $100 billion or up to half current GDP. Of course some people got wealthy as some of this money stuck to their fingers as it circulated. But wealth of nations is build by savings and investment that improve productivity. But we are being fed that its consumption and spending that makes the world go round.

Until recently our National Debt was about €45 billion, less than 5% of this external debt and well manageable at under 25% of GDP.

Now this $1.8 trillion we bowered was I believe made up of unsecured debt, as well as debt secured by assets and personal and business guarantees. When things went pear shaped, the underwriters of this mess were in a serious situation and it was a bad situation for many individuals and businesses that were over leveraged. However it was not a very bad situation for many of us. We as well as the Government were living pretty much within our means and had the ability to adjust down if necessary. The banking and legal system was in place to deal with the risks that were taken and we could all begin again on solid ground with valuable lessons learned.

However this situation changed when the Government gave the bank guarantees. All the so call economist and bankers can dress up or down the figures all they like but the bottom line is that we the people are now the underwriters of much of this figure. While individual and business can say to the lender this is the security for the loan, you know the risk etc. this is not possible for Governments and every effort will have to be made to make full repayment.

We are being drip fed sound bites about this issue. Crap like “we couldn’t let the banks go under, letting Lehman Brothers collapse caused the current crisis”. My favourite is, “we must get the consumer spending”. The diversion that is an Board snip and a €5 billion cut over 5 years when we are short €30 billion this year alone. Most of this comes from a few sources and it is continuously rehashed by journalists and the media. The international bankers are laughing all the way to the bank. Their pile of bad loans is now AAA. With a stroke of Brian Lenihan’s pin the Irish nation is enslaved by debt.

Henry Ford spent his life protecting his company from bankers and stated if the people understood what they were up to there would be revolts before morning. However, it was our Government that signed the deal and of course will play dumb when the reality of these figures finally hit the fan.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Why 5000 year old rules on getting wealthy will not work today

When asked for advice on investing I would generally refer people to a book called “The richest man in Babylon”. This is not an attempt to avoid their question but is due to the amount of regulation designed to “protect the consumer”. It is very difficult to advise clients on the reality of investing and advisors are forced to give very generic recommendation making clients money fodder for the system that exists.

While much of the simple advice in this little book holds true 5000 years on, the first rule of “pay yourself first” has been made a lot less feasible. The propaganda put out today and then rehashed by the media is all about the important role of the ECB and the need to control inflation. If society had a real understanding of this phenomenon the ECB would not exist. Now, we will hear all sorts of arguments on their importance but I will try and make the facts speak for themselves. First we will look at a chart of inflation since 1650.
What has to stick out is that we have no green on the chart after 1950. Before this we were continuously oscillating from periods of inflation (blue) to periods of deflation (green). However, during the most of our lifetime all we have had is periods of low inflation and periods of high inflation.

To give a simple explanation of this, throughout most of history money has been precious metals. The periods of blue (inflation) were times when commodities were scare or in high demand and it required more gold (money) to acquire them. The periods of green (evil deflation) were times when you required less gold to acquire goods. This may be due to an increase in the supply of goods or an increase in the amount of gold. We are often told that this system will not work today and central banking ironing out high inflation and stimulating economies during periods of low growth is what’s required.

The question one may ask is why is deflation seen as such an evil today? Surely it is a positive thing if one can get more goods for less money? I would suggest that we really may have had a period of green from the 1980s until recently. This was mainly due to the massive productive gains achieved during this period. If one reflects on this period, the advances made were phenomenal but instead of our money going further the majority of us seemed to be working harder for less.

The simple answer to this chart being blue has been central banking controlling the money supply. So, instead of society realising these productivity gains, their wealth was stolen by the continuous dilution of paper currency. Besides having this hidden tax, monetary inflation made it unfeasible for people to save (pay themselves first). This system forced people to consume, build up debt and make mal-investments.

Consume: I better buy today as tomorrow it will take more money to purchase this product.
Borrow: It makes sense to take on more debt and as things go up, including wages it will be easier to pay off and I will benefit from leverage.
Mal-invest: The system forced people to invest in managed pensions, stocks, bonds and property. Your success depended more on market timing than on making prudent investments. The real winners were the middle men. This is so obvious today when this house of cards is collapsing. I say collapsing as this game is not over yet.

I would argue that our society as a whole would have been better off if a capitalist system was in place and the 5000 year old rules of creating wealth were available for all to implement. Through work one could produce and save their surplus without fear of it losing its purchasing power. This capital could also be invested to make society more productive and allowing the risk taker the opportunity to receive some of the rewards.

Without getting in too deep it looks like society is coming more under the spell of government control. The smokescreen tries to make it look like capitalism has been what we have had and due to bad boys in the system and lack of regulation it has failed. So we now need more Government intervention, more regulation and of course more Central banking manipulation. The people in control may not be lying when they preach about the importance of this central banking system and the necessity for government regulation and intervention. But the question we must ask is “who is this important to”?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Is this a Bull Trap

I met with an estate agent today to look at a few properties. He was very quick to tell me about the rise in UK property prices for the past four months (check Chart if you don't believe him....)

Rather than rehash the same old stuff this article explores if this is a bear trap and also considers the inflation debate. The rise may be a bit of both.

I would just like to explore the dream world that is the Irish property market. The more mature UK market tanked 20% in 17 months to €163,000 (£147,746) before starting to climb. This is a more densely populated country with a real shortage of quality housing and strict but unambiguous, compared to Ireland planning laws.

Take the average Irish House price, it climbs to €311,000 and over the past 26 months has drifted slowly down 20% still 50% higher than UK property prices. Last November in our webpage we put a case that €123,375 was fair value.

Fair play to the Irish Government they have created the “soft landing” they predicted in the property market. With all their intervention and now with the monster that is NAMA it looks like it is going to be the long slow grind lower. But we will get there.

One is just being like a protective parent pointing out the benefits of Government butting out and allowing a natural correction. In the end of the day “the people want leadership” and politicians love doing stuff, anything that increases their perceived importance. Meanwhile poor old moaning Paddy will have to experience being raped twice along the way (that is once by buying an overpriced property and continuing to pay for it and then by bailing out the few that are creating and working the system).

I think I will stay renting for a while.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Compare gold in the 1970s to the 2000s

Gold multiplied 5 times from 1970 to 1975 $35 - $185.
Gold multiplied 4 times from 2001 to 2008 $256 - $1011.

From 1975 – 1976 there was a 50% retracement bring the price down to $103.50.
In 2008 gold corrected 44% of the 2000 to 2007 move, low $680.

From 1976 to 1980 gold multiplied nearly 7 times from $103.50 to a peak of $710 This parabolic move happened very quickly once the 1975 high was taken out and prices doubled in 1979.

So the question is how high can gold go? If it were to follow the late 1970s panic, prices could quickly go to between $3500 and $4000.

What I thinks is most bullish now about gold is the shallowness of the corrections. As mentioned above the 2008 correction was just 44% and again the recent correction Feb. to April was again just a 44% correction of what we will now label wave 1 of Three. If we are now in a wave 3 of 3 this is the most impulsive wave. Mybest count now is that the correction is over and gold is on its way to making new highs and possibly the parabolic move that many were predicting the last time it hit $1000.

Gold is a fear play and not an inflation hedge as many suggest. If this were so it would not have dropped from $710 in 1980 to $254 in 2001 while the buying power of the dollar halved.

A melt down in the bonds market may be the catalyst for this fear play.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

a gold swing trade setup

Take Some Responsibility


On the 90th anniversary of the first Dail it may be a time to reflect and value the benefits of having a free and open society. It may also be a time to take a look at who are these people that we are always complaining about and blaming for all our misfortunes.

In a free democratic society such as ours, the Government is just a reflection of us. We who exercised our voting rights all had an input into who represents us and if we are having a problem with their actions, it may be time to exercise this right again and put in place new people, who will reflect where we as a nation want to go now.

A common argument in the past two elections is “we were bought”. On reflection of this it may be more honest to say, “we choose to be bought”. Who in their right mind was going to put in power a Government that was going to stop or control the party we were having? The party is now very much over and we have to bear the pain of the hangover.

We are now also blaming the loose lending policies of the banks. Throughout the most of banking history the complaint was how difficult it is to get money from banks and if we could only get the money what a return we would make. Well we got the money with very few questions asked and we blew it on overpriced property and on consumer goods. Sadly, this is probably the last time for a few generations that such easy credit will be available. Why? Because the vast majority do not know how to use credit so the people most likely to get it in the future are the people that can.

So the moral of the above few paragraphs is simple. TAKE RESPONSIBILITY for your own actions. We were more than happy to take credit for all our Celtic Tiger Successes. It is now time to decide if we want a free and open society where anyone with the desire to succeed can, or go back to a society of being told what to do and be provide for by a crony corrupt over-sized government.

So if we chose the free open society where do we go from here? Some of the complaints we now have about this government are very real. While the majority of people are big enough to say they made poor decisions and are willing to take the pain, it is out of order that the sales people of the scheme i.e. the Government and the bank get off with Golden Parachutes. We must also not accept Local Authorities buying housing from their developer friends for 2007 prices. These are just some of the reflection that we may not like about ourselves.

We must accept quickly that we had a property bubble that is now deflating but not yet burst. Commercial property and housing must correct quickly like the stock market, which is now free to rise if we can show that we are a nation worth investing in. We need to lay down a marker than the New Ireland is not a place that accepts and reward corrupt salespeople and unethical business managers. We must value that we are a hard working productive society and take our learning from the tiger years and produce real economic growth. If we continue to deny reality we will quickly have a brain and body drain to Australia, Canada and the rest of the world.

Individually we need to take responsibility for all the decision we made. We as a nation have milked the last out of the “being oppressed for 800 years” story. Our government is just a reflection of the people it represents. If you don’t like their action, first look at yourself and then at the people around you. We hired them and we can fire them so forget the “we were fooled” rhetoric. Identify the direction you want to go or look for and support a leader with that vision. The majority of us are led by a few. Hopefully there is a visionary out there than can bring together a team to bring our nation to the next growth phase.

Vincent O Connell
Co. Kerry.