Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Are You a Whig or Conservative?

Todays stock markets can trace their existence back to the mid 18th Century. The era when men met in coffee houses and read the latest news from the new fangled newspapers of the day.

They gambled and drank coffee or chocolate and talked of politics and philosophy.

From the melee of coffee houses rose stock exchanges, insurance houses and the two party system.

Call them whig or Toriy in their day or bulls and bears today. A conversation between these two sides of the argument still revolves around the same idea.

For the Whig or Bull, things are better now than they have ever been. Buy now because things will be even better tomorrow.

For the Conservative, Tory or bear things are only marginal right now but tomorrow will bring disaster as we face the punishment we deserve for our folly.

Be you a bear, or be you a bull. You will share many of the values of your whig and Tory ancestor.

To be honest there is little new in this market and nor will there be in any future markets. The whigs will look forward in hope, the bears will sell in fear.

Whig or Conservative we all stand on the right side, most of the time.

Friday, May 10, 2013

ESPN Moves in Britain

Early this morning I caught a nice little snippet of information on Bloomberg TV.

The British communications giant BT (formerly British Telecom ) announced a new sports service for its customers.

The service will be free to existing BT Broadband subscribers and just 15 GBP for paying subscribers, the service will begin on August 1, 2013.

Service will be available  through BSkyB digital services, BT's Infiniti service or on streaming broadband via the internet.

There will be 3 channels BT1, BT2 and most importantly from my point of view an ESPN channel.

ESPN network is owned by Disney Corporation (DIS)

I am an owner of Disney stock and have been for several years.

This move tying in with BT to provide an additional service to the UK beginning this Fall will add to ESPN income stream from mid way through the third quarter of this year.

In Britain sports are a major interest and ESPN's expertise will be well suited to the large customer base of BT.

While it may not impact massively on Disney itself it seems that the House of the Mouse just keeps delivering good news lately.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Back In the Market

For the past several weeks I have been sitting back and allowing my cash reserves to build again. I have done this by a mixture of cash dividends, stopping several of my dividend reinvestment options as stock prices rose and adding a little extra cash as I had some left over at the end of the month.

It doesn't take long to build a good cash reserve that way and so now I am in a position to go out and buy some new stock.

My current policy of maintaining bonds and some dividend stocks has served me well. My market exposure has been mostly solidly within the US with only a small margin overseas, mostly in Emerging Nations ETF stock.

Recently one of the most interesting areas of potential has looked to be Israel.

I have seen a great deal of talk about that nations potential, a major innovator rather than producer, Israel enjoys the benefit of having a global demand for many of its products but little internal production concerns. If the Israelis can create a product, then other nations often beat a pathway to their door to buy the rights to produce the product for them.

Licensing products can be very lucrative for the licensor.

I am therefore thinking of dipping a toe in Israel's waters with the addition of the iShares Israel Fund. (EIS ) The EIS Fund holds a basket of Israeli stocks, from banks to chemicals and technology companies.

One thing that is a limiting factor for me is that this ETF only pays a semi-annual dividend in June and December. it is at a high point at the moment in the mid $40's range and so I will earmark it for a buy when the price falls a little after the June dispersion of dividends.

In the long term I am looking to put about 5% of my portfolio into overseas ETF's and this will be my first foray into that arena, though there is always a risk in Middle East stocks, I don't see the risk in these Israeli stocks as being a major factor as there seems to be with European stocks at the moment. By the end of the year I think we will see a more stable environment in Europe and so a chance to build a more secure footing on those markets too.