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Posts published in “Market and Biz”

Not Understanding the Stock Market

I confess I am clueless when it comes to buying and selling stock. Oh, I understand the general idea is to buy low and sell high, but beyond that, I am pretty much in the dark. If I could ever get enough money together that I felt like I could invest in some significant way, I would trust someone to do it for me that knows much better how to watch and use trends.

An article today about yet another big drop in the Dow for a variety of reasons reminded me of just how volatile the market can be, and why I don’t like to take risks with it.

Generally speaking, I don’t think of myself as stupid; in fact, I think I am smarter than the average guy right along with Yogi Bear. Typically if I don’t know something, I can research and educate myself. Perhaps I have never done enough research on markets, but there are some subjects I have decided I am just not wired for. Along with chemistry, trading and taxes rank right up there. Thankfully my wife handles the taxes and I no longer have to deal in the nuts and bolts of chemistry (I stunk at it in college, trust me).

Way back when I did a little buying and selling of stock with companies I was involved in some fashion. I pretty much ended up even after some good gains and then some losses that humbled me. That was enough to scare me away.

I feel comfortable with subjects that have a level of predictability and logic I can understand. Oh, you stock types like to think you can predict the markets, but most of you are just making good guesses more often than not, which gets you ahead. Any given day the market can, and often does, take unexpected turns that defy logic. I have seen it numerous times when a company makes a huge announcement that should drive their price up, only to see it tumble as people are selling off all at once thinking they were going to reap a windfall along with everyone else.

Even in my meager attempts socking away for the future I haven’t had much success. I started up a 401k and Roth IRA this year right before the market took some tumbles. The result? I ended with a loss in my first quarter of retirement savings. Gee, now I feel great about putting that money in at just the right time. I know, I know; I am still doing the right thing; but, nothing like a punch in the gut to make me feel better about it.

Any of you have been lucky with it? You have any secret I should know about? Please, do share.

I confess I am clueless when it comes to buying and selling stock. Oh, I understand the general idea is to buy low and sell high, but beyond that, I am pretty much in the dark. If I could ever get enough money together that I felt like I could invest in some significant way, I would trust someone to do it for me that knows much better how to watch and use trends.

An article today about yet another big drop in the Dow for a variety of reasons reminded me of just how volatile the market can be, and why I don’t like to take risks with it.

Generally speaking, I don’t think of myself as stupid; in fact, I think I am smarter than the average guy right along with Yogi Bear. Typically if I don’t know something, I can research and educate myself. Perhaps I have never done enough research on markets, but there are some subjects I have decided I am just not wired for. Along with chemistry, trading and taxes rank right up there. Thankfully my wife handles the taxes and I no longer have to deal in the nuts and bolts of chemistry (I stunk at it in college, trust me).

Way back when I did a little buying and selling of stock with companies I was involved in some fashion. I pretty much ended up even after some good gains and then some losses that humbled me. That was enough to scare me away.

I feel comfortable with subjects that have a level of predictability and logic I can understand. Oh, you stock types like to think you can predict the markets, but most of you are just making good guesses more often than not, which gets you ahead. Any given day the market can, and often does, take unexpected turns that defy logic. I have seen it numerous times when a company makes a huge announcement that should drive their price up, only to see it tumble as people are selling off all at once thinking they were going to reap a windfall along with everyone else.

Even in my meager attempts socking away for the future I haven’t had much success. I started up a 401k and Roth IRA this year right before the market took some tumbles. The result? I ended with a loss in my first quarter of retirement savings. Gee, now I feel great about putting that money in at just the right time. I know, I know; I am still doing the right thing; but, nothing like a punch in the gut to make me feel better about it.

Any of you have been lucky with it? You have any secret I should know about? Please, do share.

Kinross Gold Corp is talking with three main lenders on its $1.6 billion Tasiast gold mine expansion and will review terms later this month, though the project looks unlikely if gold prices do not rebound, the company said on Thursday.

Kinross, the world’s fifth-largest gold producer by output, said it has not yet made a decision on Tasiast, its biggest expansion project, but plans to issue an update at the end of the first quarter of 2015.

gold

Repeating that it would not advance any project that weakens its balance sheet, Kinross said key lenders considering the project are Export Development Canada, the government’s export credit agency; the U.S. Export-Import Bank, an export development branch of the U.S. government; and French development agency Proparco.

Toronto-based Kinross, which reported better-than-expected quarterly results after markets closed on Wednesday, has said it is considering financing of $700 million to $750 million toward Tasiast, with the balance from existing cash balances and cash flow.

gold

The price of gold, which plunged 28 percent last year, has recently slumped to four-year lows. On Thursday, prices edged slightly higher to $1,144.70 an ounce as a retreat in the dollar relieved some pressure.

“At $1,100 gold, all of our mines are forecast to be cash flow positive, with the exception of Tasiast. In fact, the same is true for $1,000 gold, when the current oil price and foreign currency exchange is factored in,” Chief Executive Paul Rollinson said on a conference call with analysts.

gold

“Nevertheless, we will continue to look for ways to further optimize our operations and reduce costs. As we begin our 2015 budgeting process, there are a number of discretionary options we will focus on in order to reduce spending without impacting operations.”

Kinross, which has operations in North and South America, Africa and Russia, currently benefits from a lower oil price and weaker foreign currencies relative to the U.S. dollar, Rollinson said.

gold

Gold producers are looking for ways to further reduce costs as the price of bullion slides, considering job cuts, shutting mines, halting projects and scrapping dividends.

Kinross shares jumped 32 Canadian cents to C$2.59 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Thursday morning. Dundee Capital Markets analyst John Wolfson said the share gains stem primarily from the strong quarter and operating results.

CME Group, alongside Thomson Reuters, has simplified and made more secure the silver price bench-marking system, it said.

The two parties jointly rolled out their new silver price bench-marking system on August 15 after winning the administration of the process in July.

“We’re very proud of what we have been able to accomplish in our partnership with the LMBA, Thomson Reuters and the silver market in such a short time,” Harriet Hunnable, managing director of precious metals at CME Group, said at a media briefing here on Wednesday.

silver

“[To improve the system] we’ve done some simple things, like making it easier to see. The traders wanted to have bigger fonts, so we did that. But we also did technology work as it relates to security requirements,” she added.

Its main focus is to provide increased functionality to facilitate central clearing, CME also said.

“It became very clear when we went into silver that the bilateral settlement that it would be better for the marketplace to have central clearing, which enables a much wider group of participants to come in and transact,” Hunnable added. “It also means that they are transacting with each other, which means much less counter-party risk.”

Under the new rules, the price discovery takes place at noon London time via an electronic auction, with each auction round lasting 30 seconds.

An opening price is selected; participants then decide how much they would like to buy and sell at that price.

If the discrepancy between buy and sell orders is more than 300,000 ounces, the auction price will change and the auction will restart. Each time the auction restarts, it clears the order book entirely – any orders must be re-entered.

This process repeats until the buy and sell volumes are within that 300,000-ounce tolerance level, at which point the London Silver Price is set.

Amid tighter regulatory requirements for verifiable data, CME says that it will be able to show that not only were the trades agreed upon but they also were settled, giving total confidence that the price reflects true buying and selling, Hunnable said.

“In a very short time, we’ve taken a market that was doing this on pen and paper on the telephone to an electronic platform,” she added. “We have moved from a small group – we have almost doubled our participants that are signed up and active in the silver platform today.”

silver

“This is the end of old club, so there’s no fixed number. The LBMA sets the criteria and we think it’s important that the level of participant goes up but we don’t take a view on that the right level might be,” she said.

JP-Morgan Chase Bank became the fifth accredited member of the silver pricing benchmark last week, alongside HSBC Bank USA, Mitsui & Co Precious Metals, The Bank of Nova Scotia-ScotiaMocatta and UBS AG.

CME Group/Thomson Reuters have also submitted a combined bid to the LBMA for the administration of the new gold price bench-marking mechanism, alongside seven other proposals. The LBMA hopes to make a decision next month, with the new system to be implemented later this year or early in 2015.

“The scale for gold is much bigger. So is the fact that we have been through a transition and we know that the technology works. We have set rules and we know the code of conduct. This will make the transition for gold much easier. This is proven and is the only ready platform,” Hunnable said.

Whether you’re a politician, a musician or a major brand, spending a little extra money on domain names now can save you from big headaches down the road.

Brand Manager

These days, with a few clicks of the mouse and about $10 anyone can be the proud owner of their very own domain name. For small businesses just starting out and fledgling bloggers dipping their toes in the water, this is a great thing. For established businesses and public figures it can mean disaster. The most recent example of this comes from the world of politics, where VP candidate Paul Ryan has both supporters and detractors vying for domains, but there have been countless stories over the years of domain squatters grabbing up URLs (including Madonna.com and iPhone5.com) with the hope that the rightful owners will pay big money to get their names back.

Brand Manager

To truly protect your brand these days you not only have to purchase your main URL, but also all variations (.com, .org, .net, .info, .biz and the newly created .xxx to name a few) and even the most common typos of your name. Businesses do have some protection under the law against alleged bad-faith registrations, but you will truly have to prove a bad faith intent to win in court. The other option is to try to contact the current owner of the domain and offer to purchase the domain from them.

Brand Manager

As if all of that wasn’t enough, you now need to also reserve all of the social properties for your brand name, even if you don’t plan on using them (although we highly recommend that you do).

Overwhelmed? It’s understandable. This is a marketing issue that doesn’t discriminate based on company size, budget or industry. Our branding, digital and social teams are constantly working together to make sure clients are well represented, both online and offline. Paired with an online monitoring program, it’s possible to cover most of what is happening with your brand’s presence on the web.

So tell us, are you the master of your domain?