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The Carillion effect #investments #finance

Since Carillion went into liquidation, people have been asking questions.Why did it pay a high dividend last year when it was in such a perilous state? This week, The AA announced a new strategy of investment and a cut its dividend to 2p a share. This is a good thing for the company, employees and shareholders but the share price still tanked. The Carillion effect, in this case, was to make them think long-term but we can conclude from the reaction of the market that, the market, in fact, considers only the short-term.

The Carillion effect

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Enlightenment and wisdom #ramble

There are some things more important than money but money does solve a lot of problems. We shouldn’t make money the most important thing in our lives and we shouldn’t devalue things like family and loved ones in our quest for money and material possessions. As we grow older we see things more clearly. When I’m out taking photographs I notice things and I see the young people in the park and I see older people in our nature reserves. The children go to the park to play and the older people go to the nature reserves to enjoy their scenic beauty. Enlightenment is seeing what is truly important.

enlightenment through art?

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Images of the present #photography

I’ve decided to photograph some buildings before they are lost to progress and also what’s left of some of our industry. Photography is about recording images of the present that do eventually become images of the past. I started with this building that used to be the offices of the Rubery Owen’s empire.

Images of the present

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Community and culture #ramble #Wednesbury

It’s Sunday morning and so once again I share my thoughts with you. What’s on my mind this week? Community and culture in the town where I live. I went to a meeting of the friends of the local park. Things didn’t go well last year and so to say I was apprehensive would be an understatement. I really didn’t want to venture out on a cold February evening but I seem to be involved again. I have made appeals for new volunteers using the Facebook pages that I am an admin of.

community and culture

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City spivs and bubbles #finance

At one time spivs in their sharp suits tried to sell you a watch or a pair of nylon stockings. Now they wear Rolex watches, flash iPhones and try to sell you Bitcoin or Ethereum. These alien currencies are mined, using lots of energy and extremely expensive computers, they are nothing but a con which will be exposed and crash, somewhat like the collapse of Lehman Brothers. At least Carillion was building roads and hospitals despite the fact they were paying themselves with cash that was borrowed. Carillion didn’t just borrow to build, they tried like many other companies to roll over their debt and borrow more to pay the existing debt. Many companies with high debt have been praying for inflation which would inflate away their debt but high inflation never seems to come. Inflation isn’t just rising prices, it is rising prices chasing rising wages. While fat-cat salaries have been rising, the wages of the ordinary worker, the hospital porter and the nurse, have been falling in real terms.

spivs and fat cats

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Winter landscapes #photography

Shooting winter landscapes can be difficult because the dark skies and poor light give us dark pictures. However, our eyes adjust to the darker landscapes and our camera can do that even better. You can let more light into the camera by using wider apertures, but you want them to be narrow to get a depth of field that will bring distant objects into focus. The answer to poor light then is to increase the sensitivity of the camera sensor and you can do that by increasing the ISO. If you’re new to a DSLR, then on aperture priority you can set the ISO to 400 or even higher and try to choose subjects that aren’t too far away and shoot at something like f/8.

SANDWELL VALLEY - winter landscapes

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Creativity and the creative industry #ramble

It’s Sunday morning and so once again I’ll share my thoughts with you. What’s on my mind this week? In a word, creativity. We set up a new writer’s group yesterday; The Darlaston Writer’s Group. It will hopefully encourage people to take an interest in writing and help them improve their craft. We now have a strong creative industry in the UK. It is needed because although we have goods that can be mass-produced relatively inexpensively, no one will buy them without advertising and marketing. That industry needs creative people who can write and produce visually appealing images and video. Some goods that are sold are now manufactured for a small percentage of the retail price, the rest goes on creating an image that makes the goods desirable.

creativity means creating images

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How to make easy money? #finance #investments

The Bank of England left interest rates at 0.5% yesterday which was good news for people with mortgages but bad news for savers. This week, stock markets fell all around the world and President Trump’s bragging about how well the US stock market was doing came to an abrupt halt. So how do you make easy money in such a volatile environment? When the panic sets in, so does what might be termed ‘computer panic’. Traders become concerned and start selling and then a few stop losses, those automatic trades that are meant to stop losses when the price falls a little, all kick in and that causes the share price to fall even further. The market makers know this and they increase the spread just a little to make their cut even bigger. You can make easy money when this happens by buying on the artificially low and then selling when the high comes. This is difficult for small investors because we tend to get hit with extortionate dealing fees.

easy money

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Industrial Images #photography #Blackcountry

There aren’t many industrial scenes left in the Black Country but the ones that are left can provide us with interesting subjects for photography. Industrial images with their unusual patterns and sense of decay against a dark or stormy sky can be quite dramatic.

Industrial images

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People and places #ramble

It is Sunday morning once again and so, as usual, I’ll share my thoughts with you. People are curious, that is why mankind has been so successful compared to the other animals. We roll a rock down a hill and we think about it. That simple observation led to the wheel. I take photos of people and places. People like my photos because they are curious.

people and places

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Money that you never spend #finance

I have written about discretionary income before, which is the money left over after you have paid for all the essentials like a place to live, food to eat and taxes! That is the money that you spend on all the luxuries that make life worth living. If you can double your discretionary income with income from investments or increase it by being a bit thrifty when buying the essentials, you can effectively double your standard of living. What is this money that you never spend?

money that you never spend

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The power of suggestion #psychology

Hypnosis uses the power of suggestion but we are influenced by suggestion all the time. That advert with its familiar jingle is a nudge in the right direction as far as advertisers are concerned. Advertising is a huge industry and they don’t spend billions of pounds for no result. Social media is now a powerful force that can influence us to buy all manner of products as well.

power of suggestion

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