May 2008

Oil, Coal, Natural Gas, Nuclear, Wind, Solar Energy? The world’s energy appetite will at least double by the end of this century (some claim it will triple). If we attempt to meet this burgeoning global demand exclusively with fossil fuels, the environmental consequences are difficult to predict. We are products of a world where energy was long assumed to be cheap, unlimited and readily available. Today, all three assumptions are in question.

In a few short years, the problem of energy has emerged as one of the defining—and most difficult—challenges of the 21st century.

Economic activity is clearly the single most important driver of the energy demand of a country. This demand does change as countries gradually shift from more energy-intense manufacturing industries to service activities or when technological advances make energy use more efficient – but these processes take time and with oil reaching all time highs the effects are already being felt.

Oil; Countries with a high dependency on oil are already suffering higher relative inflation against their peers which will subsequently damage their exports. Spain, Greece or Belgium are already suffering from inflation above the average Euro zone inflation of 3.3%, already way above the 2% untries nuclear and alternatives seem to be the most viable energy sources in the not so distant targeted by the ECB. What alternatives do we have in Europe other than oil?

Coal, the main source of energy in both China and India, is cheaper to extract compared to oil and gas but is highly polluting. Although, vast reserves are still available, rail and harbour bottlenecks, as well as a sharp increase in demand is making supply fall behind.

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Some say no. They say unlike the tech and real estate bubbles, there’s no overabundance of supply. Others say these high prices are not sustainable.

Oil prices have doubled in the past 12 months, surging nearly $8 a barrel in the past four days alone.

Big investment funds are putting money into oil futures as if Saudi Arabia’s spigots will run dry tomorrow. At the same time, the supply of oil and the demand for it hasn’t changed much in the last year.

So it raises the question: Is $135 oil nothing more than one big bubble? Some say no. They say unlike the tech and real estate bubbles, there’s no overabundance of supply. Others say these high prices are not sustainable.

The answer depends on who you ask.

A bubble is where supply overwhelms demand, pointing to previous bubbles – like the tech bubble in the late 1990s where companies with zero earnings issued massive amounts of stock, and the real estate market a decade later where home builders went on a frenzy, overshooting the number of homes the market could absorb.

“But unless I’m missing something here, I don’t see any massive increase in the supply of oil”.

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Here are seven tips for you to help you achieve a success financial life. These seven strategies have been used throughout the ages by the self made rich and are being used just as effectively today by those who build their own fortunes.

1. Accept Your Right to Be Rich: We as human beings are a combination of the material, mental and spiritual. If we are neglecting any one of these areas then we are failing to fulfill our potential. We have both a right and a duty to become all we can be and this requires developing ourselves in all three planes in which we exist; the material, the mental and the spiritual.

Money is financial energy that allows us to purchase material items such as food, clothing, houses and cars, as well as mental items such as education, advice and entertainment. It is our right to tap into our potential for acquiring money and the things it can buy for us and it is also our duty to develop that aspect of ourselves.

Any suggestion that it is inappropriate to become wealthy is simply an avoidance of personal development. It is an expression of laziness and weakness and a totally undesirable sentiment.

2. Accept That Becoming Wealthy Is A Craft That CAN Be Learned And SHOULD Be Learned:

Everything that human beings do can be analyzed and broken down into sets of skills. These skills can be taught and learned. If you analyze what wealthy people do you will find that they are applying a set of skills and that these are skills that you can also learn and apply. Wealth building is a craft.

To try to become rich without taking the time and energy to learn the craft of wealth building is just plain stupid. It is laziness. It is a strategy that people use to justify their failure. They can say “I tried to become wealthy but it didn’t work for me.”

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Human’s are rational beings. We have the most developed brain among all species. However, in spite of all this, we are foremost governed by his emotions. It is said, man is ruled more by the heart than his mind. And these emotions, more often than not, play a huge role in man’s investments too. This is the sole reason, say, why the same person at one time might want to invest in the stock market, while at another time might find the same too much of a risk.

Investors may also feel attached towards a specific company and continue owning the stock without regards to its fundamental. For example, you might like Google’s search engine so much that you decide to buy the stock at $ 350 without doing any research. You figure that Google’s search engine is so much better that buying the stock will give you profit, right? Wrong. Now, I am not here to bash Google as an investment, but analyzing an investment goes beyond the products and companies. Most investors can identify good companies and products. It is quite easy. You know that a BMW is a better car than a Ford.

Emotions often also control the company one is investing in. Generally brand loyalties come into the picture here too. Example, if someone prefers purchasing his sportswear from Nike, he may want to invest in its stocks too, although the Reebok stocks may be doing far better. It is always better to conduct a proper research and check the latest trends rather than blindly following your heart. Keep in mind that you are currently dealing with the stock market and not the super market.

Google is a good search engine, probably the best that is ever produced so far. Sure, you probably pay more for Google than other generic search engines. But, please don’t over pay. You invest in Google to profit from it not because you like its products.

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Crude oil futures pass $130 a barrel for the first time on supply concerns, weak dollar.

Crude oil prices are shooting further into record territory, breaking above $130 a barrel for the first time on persistent supply concerns and a weaker dollar and heading for $180 a barrel.

The July contract for light, sweet crude rose as high as $130.30 in electronic trade on the New York Mercantile Exchange late afternoon Wednesday in Singapore.

Concerns that OPEC won’t increase its crude production before September fed some of the buying. Also, the dollar has been weakening against the euro and yen the last two days after appearing to be on a recovery track.

Oil futures are now selling for about twice what they were just a year ago.

In the short term — say, the next two years or so — we’re looking at bad news about global oil supply that could take the price of a barrel of crude to $180.

Needless to say, today’s $3.50-a-gallon gasoline would look cheap if oil prices hit $180 a barrel. At that price for a barrel of oil, gasoline would cost somewhere north of $5.50 a gallon.

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There are many different types of credit cards to choose from including low interest, balance transfer, instant approval, reward, airline, corporate, prepaid, and even student credit cards. Obviously, you consider many factors when determining the best offer for you.

Chief among these factors are all the different rates associated with each offer including the APR (annual percentage rate), the annual fee if there is one as well as other cardholder benefits.

Low interest credit cards have either a low APR or a low introductory APR. A low interest rate credit card can be a good choice for people who tend to either leave an outstanding balance on their credit cards or tend to pay their bills late.

Low interest credit cards can also help save money by reducing interest and finance charges.

Cardholders who tend to carry an outstanding balance on a credit card with a high interest rate may also benefit by applying for a low interest credit card for balance transfers. Simply put, with balance transfer credit cards, you can transfer a balance from an existing high interest credit card to a low 0% APR interest rate credit card.

Benefits that 0% credit cards should include:-

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Since a mintmark is an identifier for each coin and will tell you where your coin was minted, it stands to reason that you will find the mintmark somewhere on the coin itself. And this is where it might become slightly messy. Yes, the one thing that you can rely on is that a mintmark will be on a coin, or can you? What about when there is no mintmark? What then? There are of course as things go in this world, a few reasons for this.

There is no mintmark used for that particular mint. This can happen because the mint is the original one and therefore doesn’t use a mintmark, or perhaps the coins minted elsewhere weren’t given the mintmark on purpose. For example Lincoln cents which were minted at both the San Francisco mint and the West Point mint in the early 1990’s didn’t use a mintmark, thus making it indistinguishable from the Philadelphia minted Lincoln cents.

There was something wrong with die or grease got clogged up in it and covered the mintmark symbol, thereby resulting in a coin with no mintmark or a very weak mintmark, or the mintmark has been carefully scraped away for fraudulent reasons at some point or other.

Since some coins are rarer than others and sometimes the mintmark or the lack of one is the main reason, the mintmark will be carefully removed to give the appearance of having no mintmark at first glance, Or It could have worn away naturally with the passage of time.

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No question, foreclosures are at a record number right now. After a period of aggressive lending, more and more people are finding it impossible to meet their mortgage repayments. The banks and other lenders, in turn, are foreclosing on more and more properties.

I think the banks committed “foreclosure suicide” when they issued some of these adjustable loans and creative loan programs to people who really shouldn’t be getting those loans. They are now seeing the fruits of their labor. Given the crash in property prices across the nation… this means huge opportunities for the savvy real estate investor. So in this article I’ll outline the main ways you can make money from foreclosures.

Okay, so what is a foreclosure? Basically, a foreclosure arises where someone who has borrowed money from a bank or other lender to buy a property — and has given the lender the property as security for the loan — fails to meet their mortgage repayment obligations… and the lender decides to repossess and sell the property as a result.

There are three main foreclosure investment opportunities, depending on the status of the foreclosed home in the foreclosure process.

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If you need to cut your debt costs, a quick and easy way is to transfer your credit card balances to an introductory rate credit cards. In other words, you can get credit cards with low interest (or better still no interest at all).

Such special offers are designed to encourage people to swap credit card companies in return for a honeymoon period in which they pay little or no interest. Of course, the purpose is to gain a lot of customers who do in fact end up paying interest.

You can get credit cards with low interest from a number of different credit card providers. Monthly credit card interest costs place such a burden on many families that they struggle to meet everyday needs as a result. You can transfer your balance again as your low or zero interest periods come to an end. By doing this, you can ensure you are always paying little or no interest on your credit card balance.

No annual fee credit cards imply no charge for annual servicing of your account. No annual fee credit products may also include a balance transfer fee card offers card.

Most people who get credit cards with low interest or no interest do not think to transfer their balance to other balance transfer credit cards to avoid interest rates. It is certainly not an advertised strategy. However, if you have a large balance which will not be paid off within the special rate period, it is in your best interest to continue to transfer your balance until you have paid off your credit card entirely.

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Billionaire investor Carl Icahn reportedly has decided to lead a mutiny against Yahoo Inc.’s board in an attempt to pressure the directors into reviving negotiations to sell Yahoo to Microsoft Corp.

To turn up the heat on Yahoo’s board, Icahn has lined up a slate of 10 directors to nominate as replacements, The Wall Street Journal reported on its Web site Wednesday, citing an unnamed person close to the matter.

Icahn hadn’t returned phone messages from The Associated Press as of late Wednesday. His intentions should become clear soon, however, because Yahoo has set a Thursday deadline for submitting candidates to oppose its board at the company’s July 3 annual meeting.

A representative of Sunnyvale-based Yahoo declined to comment.

Yahoo’s board is on the hot seat for rejecting Microsoft’s initial bid of $44.6 billion, or $31 per share, and taking measures that finally drove away the software maker.

Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer orally offered to raise the offer to $47.5 billion, or $33 per share, earlier this month. He withdrew the bid May 3 after Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang, acting on behalf of the board, held out for $37 per share — a price that Yahoo’s stock hasn’t reached in more than two years.
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