Friday, November 17, 2006


OK. Being the OCD idiot that eye yam, it took me some time to sort out blogging software cos I wanted categories, and at the time, blogger didn't have anything other than some search type hack that I found on some geek's site.
Anyway, Blogger have finally got with the program and have introduced Blogger Beta, complete with categories. They also have made managing a blog a whole shitload easier.

If you are thinking about going for the upgrade (it's free of course) then just do it. It's also integrated with the best web based email system available today: "bigbrotherG" mail.

And then if you really are OCD, you can go back and edit each post to add the labels. Then, it's easier for your stalkers to read all about you. See? ->

Oh, I do hate the layout of this brog also, if you were wondering. So I will do a revamp at some point soon. I know everyone is excited about that.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Is the bubble about to burst?

Real estate is an interesting thing.

I was lucky enough to buy my first place when I was 23 - it was a shitty 100 year old villa that took me 7 years to finish. I learned a lot about DIY and property by getting involved pretty early on.
At one point, I was pretty close to the wire and sold my car, so I was biking to work each day, and sometimes buying milk or bread with money that could only come out of the coin jar. Oddly enough, I look back at those times with some pretty fond memories because those are the times when it seems that strength of character and ambition was more important than financial security. Those sorts of conditions can bring out the best (or worse) in a person.

Anyway, in NZ we have experienced a bit of a property boom since about mid 2001 - virtually to the month that we sold the house and left NZ for our 2-3 year Overseas Experience...that is now into it's 6th year. According to the stats, property rises have averaged 20% p/a for the last 4-5 years in some parts of NZ, and 80-100% increase in home values are not that uncommon. It's a similar sotry in other parts of the world, maybe the dates are different.
My view is that there is a correction coming. For the last 100 years, property has averaged more like 4-7% p/a in various parts of the world, so you have to ask yourself what impact the last 5 years of boom is going to have on the market in the next few years, if we are going to maintain that 4-7% p/a average.

Fortunately for me, I bought my first place when some people were reducing prices to sell. Indeed, Real Estate was going down. (I'm only talking the early-mid 90s here!)
These days, there is a new breed of people (or just those who have short memories) that believe 15-20% p/a increases are completely sustainable for the rest of their lives. Many people believe that this 15-20% p/a gain is something magical, "it's just the market showing it's true value" etc etc, but in the last few years, I believe that perhaps these unrealistic gains have been fueled by greed.
There are plenty of people who see 'flipping' as a realistic way to get ahead. Basically buying a place with the intention of selling it pretty quickly to the next person for a profit. Ya know, almost like MLM or Pyramid Selling.
The problem is, many of these people believe in "can't lose" mentality that they them selves are not content to cash up and enjoy the profits of their flips, rather, they extend their debt even further, making sure they are maximizing any equity they had by borrowing to the limit.
There is no belief that interest rates could possibly hike, or that the bubble will burst. Anyway, I think you get the idea.

Here is an interesting blog. It is by a 24 year old budding "investor", who didn't know any better and took what we wanted to believe from various get rich quick seminars. His name is Casey Serin, and he bought 8 houses in 8 months with no money down, and lost.

Check out out some of the comments. Wow.

Why is Real Estate so interesting? Cos is can make smart people do dumb things, and dumb people do smart things.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Some Kiwi Humor

I remember seeing the first 42 Below Vodka ad circulating on email about 3-4 years ago. Sometimes living away from home, it's easy to forget some of the stuff that makes ya laugh and other people stare at you like you need help.

I figured there must be more, so in between my busy appointments today, I decided to see what I could find.

Well, treasure hunters, you are in luck.

There is a whole collection of this stuff made by 42 Below Vodka. Very much bordering on offending even the PC police, but who cares right?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Best Inventions of 2006

I have been incredibly busy lately, so apologies for not blogging. (well actually I haven't been that busy, but ya know how sometimes you look at the calendar and realise it's a month later than you thought?)

Here is a pretty interesting read: