Cold calling investment boiler room scammers

I had another call from these scammers. This time purportedly from a number called +61 2 7147 0151 (or 02 7147 0151 if in Australia)

They keep changing their company name. First, the lady said they were calling from “Yahoo Finance” offering sophisticated investment private placements.

Then a man calls from “Elite Capital” saying he was referred from the above and they are offering retail investment opportunities. If you receive these calls…

DO NOT confirm your personal details. Hang up immediately.

The Email address they quoted back to me was a “honey pot” trap (used for trapping and detecting Scams and spam) confirming they had indeed gleaned the Email address via a shady source.

Given the amount of time wasting calls I get from them, it is getting to the stage where will be tracking them down.

Cold calling investment boiler room scammers

Bank runs hypothesis

Another risk scenario that could happen is that some fed up savers could begin withdrawing their savings in frustration at Central Bank policy. Given sufficient enough numbers could culminate into a bank run where it generate it’s own momentum feeding upon itself.

Asset prices would continue to rise in the meantime while people convert their savings into other forms, however once a full on bank run is in motion, Asset prices then could snap back the other way while money supply contracts, loans are recalled and people forced to sell assets in a sliding market in order to fulfill collateral requirements.

Subjectively, the risk of such an event happening in the next few years I feel is currently ‘low’, but thought it was something worth putting out there.

Bank runs hypothesis

Reduction of LVR on Investment property questioned

In my mind, the Loan to Value ratios (LVR) for investment properties should have never been reduced by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand from 35% to 20% and I struggle to understand why it has.

Will probably now join the investing hordes in this Property pile up owing to a decade of a dearth of any real investment opportunities. There’s only one or two areas in the South Island of NZ which I feel still presents value, every other area in NZ has gone full euphoric FOMO. May be the continuous money pump will never turn off (or won’t turn off for the foreseeable future) and the pull back of global asset bubbles may not eventuate in any significant sustained scary way. No one knows.

Seems to be also a lot easier today to get pre-approved for a loan in New Zealand than it was say a few years ago, the banks appear to be willingly to lend more (In my view, a jaw dropping and gobsmackingly lot more) and going through the process earlier this week does perhaps make it easier to understand why the Housing Market bubble refuses to burst and instead continues to inflate.

Again, the only risk factors to the asset markets on the radar is food security (which appears to have receded recently) and Civil Unrest which appears to be subjectively growing around the world, but still appears to be relatively benign (not raucous enough to enact any real change). Seems with all other threats the Central banks seem to be able to just add a few zeros at the end of the Global Money supply and “she’ll be right”. But who the flip knows…?

Reduction of LVR on Investment property questioned

Cold calls from Georgeson a Computershare subsidiary

Turns out the phone calls from +61 3 9415 5000 I’ve been receiving is from Georgesons, a Computershare subsidiary who are using the same outbound number and probably utilizing the same call centre staff as Computershare. While my view may certainly be debatable, I feel personally this impacts on Computershare’s reputation of impartiality as a share registry and Administrative service.

“Georgesons” acting on behalf of APVG (wishing to take over MetLife Care) have repeatedly called me on my number stating the directors of APVG are encouraging MetLife Care shareholders like me to vote yes to the take over offer.

They also wanted me to advise right there and then on the spot which way I would be voting. I repeatedly replied saying that “I have yet to review the information and I am unable to provide you an answer right at this point in time”. I suspect that Georgeson staff are given incentives.

Have finally got around to reviewing the documentation and will personally be voting ‘No’ to the take over offer. In a high level (superficial) nutshell…

  • Offer I feel is a little bit too low for the potential future gain I will be leaving on the table.
  • (To be direct) Tired of losing access to an ever diminishing range of investment opportunities, given the global liquidity glut courtesy of central bank endless money pump.

NZ Shareholder’s association have also provided their views to their members with the view of voting against the take over offer.



Cold calls from Georgeson a Computershare subsidiary

Ben Felix of PWL Capital – Personal opinion

Yeah, I have to admit, I don’t agree with a few of the things that Ben Felix of PWL Capital (based in in Ottawa) says in his YouTube video series. More his assertion that the stockmarket is efficient, is forward looking, etc.

The naming of Ben’s channel “Common sense investing” and the style of his presentation would naturally give off the impression that Ben Felix is the man who knows what he is talking about. I would however caution people against settling into any sense of security so to speak, especially when it comes to finance and economics.

Certainly, look at his videos, but apply it with a healthy pinch of salt. A healthy dose of scepticism as with anything in the financial sector wouldn’t go amiss. Seeing comments such as “I got clicked baited into this video and I’m not disappointed” is a red flag in my mind for Astroturfing activity (Fake grassroots praise).

To be honest, apart from the purposes of imparting Ben’s view, I think the video series may be primarily more of an advertising mechanism to get PWL’s name “out there” so to speak.

Ben Felix of PWL Capital – Personal opinion

Tech Bubble 2.0

As always, all views expressed in this site is my personal opinion only. Not financial Advice

With Faceborg shares, along with other Tech shares up 6-8% today on something I can’t pin on, I’m declaring this as a classic bubble in formation as the FOMO factor along with mania very obviously increasingly takes hold. As mentioned in my previous post, If I were a short term speculator type who likes riding by the seat of their pants, yeah, I would probably look to go all in.

Also reaffirming view of the bubble scenario. COVID-19 was essentially only an interruption to the larger trend originally sensed…

Old scribble I made in November 2019. Will need to be re-drawn to include COVID-19.

Not planning to substantially change my current mix of investments, however will probably now look to offload some over valued holdings in the next month or two and then rebalance things. Currently, I see many stocks are valued far beyond any reasonable metric and strongly believe that we are in the midst of a forming classic bubble. Short term, I now expect shares, in particular, technology stocks, to shoot to the sky towards completely absurd levels. Long term, I now expect pain (should the optimism continue).

For longer term folk, who aren’t into thrills and speculating, we may just have to sit tight for a while longer. I believe personally it is fairly clear that things are now running on almost pure emotion / euphoria. Though again, who the flip knows?


Tech Bubble 2.0

Unusual Economics

The original bull trap assessment is well and truly dead I believe. If a down leg as part of a great depression type scenario were to have happened, it should have occurred by July and no later than the middle August. Coming to the view that COVID-19 was a mere interruption to the previously assessed larger trend.

The financial markets from many accounts appear to mostly now be sentiment (emotionally) driven and would not be at all surprised to see Asset prices continue to drive higher as a result of the FOMO affect (before possibly abruptly pulling back), helped along by Federal Reserve support and other interventionist (as opposed to classic free market) policies.

The ‘Efficient Market’ disciples can argue blue in the face that the markets are forward looking and the market is factoring in that things will drive back to normal before we know it, but this argument simply isn’t stacking up for me… at all.

I see a forming Technology bubble, driven by the likes of TSLA whose prices are being driven far beyond what facts, fundamentals and underlying data could ever justify.

While this certainly seems like a classic bubble with the usual tell tale signs including Taxi drivers talking about their gains in Property + stocks, and phases such as ‘Permanently high plateau’ + ‘This is a new paradigm!’ being banded about (i.e this time being “Modern Monetary Theory”), these bubble signs and anecdotes have been going on for an extraordinary long time, considerably longer than what would have normally occurred in a text book bubble. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that I feel the last secular bull run from 2009 to today is highly unusual.

Nothing can be said for certain as all I can see is that much of the information coming out to date is simply too poor to base any meaningful longer term decision making off of (have long held the view that Economics as a discipline is in disrepute), and that the markets in my view have most certainly been interfered with.

Current personal investment focus is towards NZ Farm Land where prices on average have not shifted a huge amount over the last decade (See Farm land price Graph at and REINZ Rural + Lifestyle property data). How one might be able to partake in this may be through funds such as the Booster Private Land and Property Fund, however, the types of properties they appear to cover are rather limited. In regards to other investment related thoughts… Continue reading “Unusual Economics”

Unusual Economics

Australian Consumer Protections + Regulatory frameworks

Update: 15 July 2020 – Rewritten to correct some of my own views and information.

I concede this is more of an unquantified feeling at this stage and this post will likely be added to or otherwise edited…

While Australia has both Consumer and Retail investor Protection regulatory frameworks in place, the supervision and enforcement of I feel of is rather weak and probably weaker than anyone, even Australians actually realise. This extends to their financial sector as well In terms of retail investments and retail banking. Continue reading “Australian Consumer Protections + Regulatory frameworks”

Australian Consumer Protections + Regulatory frameworks

Pumping up the Money Supply, the ultimate treatment for financial market ailments?

Disclaimer: Not financial advice (as with anything else in this blog)

With endless money ‘printing’ and liquidity injection, the US Financial Markets have almost completely (if not completely) decoupled from their underlying real economy. Financial markets globally no longer represent the general health of their respective economies by any reasonable measure I feel.

The decoupling I believe started way back in the Global Financial Crisis of 2008 when liquidity creation was employed to restart the economies. So far since then, it seems when any sort of crises happens to spook the market, the treatment response has been to pump even more liquidity into the system and it seems to have been surprisingly extremely effective at least at treating any symptoms for the last 12 years.

What the end game is? I don’t know. It goes back to a post I penned back in November 2019 where I asked what would be a trigger to a sustained correction? (Not just short sharp corrections of the types we’ve been having recently)

One potential threat which could end up defeating the effectiveness of such monetary policy would include some sort of catastrophic, devastating and tragic famine by way of insect plague or widespread natural disaster where food security gets impacted and food supply contracts causing food prices to spiral out of control (by way of hyper inflation) where people find themselves being forced to sell assets into a sliding market to feed themselves and their families just to survive. Continue reading “Pumping up the Money Supply, the ultimate treatment for financial market ailments?”

Pumping up the Money Supply, the ultimate treatment for financial market ailments?

Bull Trap Warning still in force (currently)

Update: 6th June 2020 – The Bull trap assessment, as a prelude to a sustained bear market, is increasingly looking shaky with the current short term bull market likely to challenge previous highs. Longer term Secular Sideways market view, with large bull and bear cycles, still stands.

The S&P 500 is still behaving in a way that signals a possible (rather than probable) bull trap. Again, nothing can be said for certain and this assessment is very much certainly subjected to change and re-evaluation on a dime.

Main concerns at the moment is the inherently delayed corporate and economic reporting (including unemployment rates) where the full of effects of the measures behind CoVid-19 may not be fully realized and reported on until a few months down the track. The effect and global reaction so far has been sufficiently deep as to invoke a long-lasting change in the way we go about our lives going forward. At the moment, my feeling is that the latest bull leg (given the unexpectedly large magnitude and severity of the preceding fall was certainly to be anticipated) has mis-priced the effect of the measures surrounding CoVid-19 I feel.

Laying out the possible scenarios in a very broad and general way for my own edification… Continue reading “Bull Trap Warning still in force (currently)”

Bull Trap Warning still in force (currently)

If you want to buy a home to live in, then buy one

My Feeling is the same as it was in 2012, If one needs a house to live in and it looks like one is in a position to finance it (with a buffer one would deem comfortable) then by all means, I would look to buy a home.

Attempting to “time the market” is at best difficult if not impossible. I can’t say what would happen in the next few years. For all I know, we could have a volcano blow up under Auckland or another equally unforeseen disruptive event and houses prices could then crash through the floor. At the moment, all the information I’ve seen around the place suggests that house prices are on track for single digit percentage gains across the board in New Zealand for the next year or two, but I reiterate, who the freak knows in this bizarre market, particularly given the distortive effects of a decade of seemingly endless and inefficiency encouraging “stimulus” Continue reading “If you want to buy a home to live in, then buy one”

If you want to buy a home to live in, then buy one

Too early to call

Noticed anecdotally that a few commentators have been suggesting the Housing market is “Finally turning”. I feel (fear) this may be premature. The fundamental Demand side factors appear to be still present and instead of a flattening of prices in the longer term, I see a period of consolidation before house prices across the country will possibly ramp up again continue their unrelenting  march to higher levels of (in my personal view) pricing insanity…

On broader economic matters…  I have a confession to make, I declare I no longer feel I have any understanding of present day economics, I struggle to make much sense of why the crowds and markets will act in the way they do.  At the moment, the only things I feel I have to go on is both “A trend is more likely to continue than reverse” and “The Trend is your friend” as being the two (related) statements which seem to have any relevancy.

Ended up in March stopping out of my “Short” position against the NYSE:SPY / S&P 500 Index (which I only held for a few short months) and immediately went “Long” on the underlying after determining that the the consolidation was merely a continuation. Perhaps thanks to time decay, the actual loss on the short position was minimized to breaking even. (I don’t plan to use derivatives much apart from the occasional hedge)

Too early to call

Binary Options Warning + Malignantly ineffectual ASIC

Please note, As always, These are my own personal (non-expert) opinions and should under no circumstances be purported as fact

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) have in my own personal (non-expert) opinion been utterly derelict in their duty to oversee and enforce financial regulations. May be it’s not entirely their fault, I wouldn’t know, all I know is that there is a proliferation of dodgy investment products being promoted on Australian Shores by way of high pressure cold calls to prospective investors.

In my own personal mind, It beggars belief that outfits such as World Binary Exchange (WBE) among others have been allowed to continue to promote their services from Australia to Australians and beyond (in my case, to buggers like me, living in New Zealand) without an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL) for as long as they have.

I recall being contacted by this Mob (being World Binary Exchange) several times about a year ago engaging in what I feel was some pretty high pressure cold calling to try and sign me on to some funny trial. I told them I wasn’t interested and then blocked their number (with multiple attempts recorded). Continue reading “Binary Options Warning + Malignantly ineffectual ASIC”

Binary Options Warning + Malignantly ineffectual ASIC

Apples and Oranges

This is a “living” Post (Meaning this post will keep changing as I investigate…)

Important: Please read the disclaimer before continuing to read this post

Take one asset class… Commercial and Industrial Real Estate Investment Trusts (REIT) and then another… Direct Investment into Residential Real Estate.

It would appear that Commercial / Industrial REITs as a broad asset class has well and truly under performed against Direct Residential Real Estate investment in Auckland. But why, I’m not quite sure and hence why I am now investigating.

Points of difference I currently see (over direct residential investment)…

  • Auckland Residential rental yields are low. (3% may be 4% Gross).  REIT’s rental income are around 5-6% NET across a given REIT’s portfolio. (As a side point, other costs aside, Dividend yield is around 5-6%)
  • REITs are already inherently leveraged to some degree (30-40%)
  • Appears to be Less Work involvement with managing this.  (Managers of REIT do must of dirty work and heavy lifting as it were, Less complicated Tax Returns to file at the end of the year).
  • A minor advantage is perhaps the liquidity.  You can exit your investment quickly.

In terms of say Goodman  Property Trust (Ticker GMT on the NZX)(I use Goodman in this example because it is perhaps the REIT that I am most familiar with), There was fairly modest to significant declines in valuations from around 2009 to 2012 (where the Auckland residential market was already rocketing away).  While flat Valuations persisted until around 2014 before the valuations very very started slowly turning around and then started taking off at a modest 8% for the 2015-2016 financial year.  None of this sustained 20% year on year price increase as seen in the Auckland Residential Housing Market… Yet.

On the surface, it would appear to make some sense (for me) to invest in say the likes of Goodman Property rather than continuing to chase the Residential Property Market up, by buying another rental…


…But More to come I guess. (As I investigate further)

Disclosure: Current Investor in Goodman Property Trust (as well as other NZX listed REITs), Planning to add more.


Apples and Oranges