Bear Market

A toast to discovery in Top 10 juniors at year end

December 31, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

There was lots to not like about 2013 for juniors. But for those that had success, discovery played a notable role.

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Looking back at the year of the bull – Holmes

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Frank Holmes looks back at some of the peaks and valleys that gave 2013 its colour

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The Market Ticker – As The Ball Drops….

December 31, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

By Karl Denninger, The Market Ticker

The market is closed, the rum is out and I am a designated drinker (and have a designated decoy, otherwise known as a non-drinking driving-age person, should I choose to venture out this evening.)

With that said Tickerforum is, as I’ve previously said, going to change in material ways this evening.  The first batch of visible changes has already gone into effect — a significant number of former “Donor Only” areas are going to be “marked off” (closed) and will disappear.

However, for those users who are verified, there are enhanced capabilities that will enable themselves at midnight.  Specifically, the following areas will be available to you:

  • Trading — a new trading area specifically for those who choose to continue to trade and wish to discuss trade-specific ideas.

  • Guns and Butter — Formerly Gold-only
  • Tinfoil — Formerly Gold-only 

Verified users also have access to the gallery, SSL access is enabled, and email limits have been expanded to 200 messages in your PM box.  The latter three changes have already taken effect.

In addition all the Breaking continuation areas, along with Earnings, are now available to all registered users where formerly they were either Gold-only or read-only for non-Gold.

A verified user, incidentally, is one that I can link to an actual person.  If you were a donor to the system I have billing information for you and that qualifies.

But there is no formal process at present for becoming verified if you aren’t already, and I am not planning to institute one either.  That means if you want enhanced access from this point forward you’re going to have to make an effort and the means by which you accomplish satisfying me in this regard has no formal definition — you either do or you don’t, basically.

(By the way, reading comprehension counts in the above two paragraphs.  If you demonstrate that you’re incapable of it, well…… check the weather forecast….)

I believe that the handful of people who were “special cases” have all been successfully set up to transfer to “Verified” status at the appointed time, if they haven’t already.  If it appears I missed you drop me an email on the system with the details and I’ll look at it.

The TOS will be updated over the next couple of days to reflect these changes and as is the case when the TOS changes you will be asked to “Agree” to it again.

Enjoy the New Year and be safe.

More articles from the Market Ticker….

Mahindra and Mahindra hopes to sell more tractors on good Rabi crop

December 31, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

The company expects more sales in the next three months due to forecasted bumper rabi crop after achieving a growth rate of 19% year-on-year basis in December

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Oil ETFs strengthen on US economic recovery

December 31, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Crude oil has strengthened after the Fed pointed to improved economic growth as a reason for its $10 billion tapering and recent government reports indicating faster-than-expected domestic growth. U.S. GDP expanded an annualized 4.1% in the third quarter, compared to average consensus calls for a 3.6% projected growth.

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Aluminium: How Can This ‘Weak Metal’ be Stronger Than Steel?

December 31, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

The Daily Reckoning

All last year I told you to acknowledge the presence of government and central bank meddling, but not to let this meddling consume you.

And most of all, I’ve told you not to let it get in your way of investing to grow your wealth for now and for the future.

The fact is, whatever the anti-stocks crowd says, the stock market is still the single best way to build long and lasting wealth. This year has been further proof of that…

What most folks have forgotten this year is that, while they’ve stayed fixated on money printing or the end of money printing, entrepreneurs and capitalists have just gotten on with the job of creating new ideas.

That has included innovations in 3D printing, biotechnology, and computing. But my favourite innovation this year has come from an unlikely source.

It has come from a sector few people consider innovative. I’m talking about the car industry…

Cutting Pollution Through Mining

The car industry gets a bad rap, especially in Australia where companies like Holden and Ford have decided to close manufacturing plants due to high costs and inefficiency.

When most people think of a carmaking plant their only image is of late-aged men with beards wearing overalls.

Yet the car industry is among the most innovative industries around. You only need to look at the German carmakers – BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi and Porsche – for proof.

The German carmakers have led the pack when it comes to innovations around safety, electronics and the shift towards driverless technology.

But perhaps one of the biggest innovations in the car industry has gone largely unreported in the mainstream press. I’m talking about the innovation that’s helping reduce pollution in a way that no government tax could ever achieve.

How are they doing that?

By using an innovative process that can help carmakers cut a car’s weight by up to 25%. Naturally, the lighter a car the less fuel it uses and the fewer pollutants it emits.

The process involves something that had previously been impossible; bonding lightweight aluminium to steel.

The result is a composite structure that’s just as strong as a 100% steel chassis.

The Key to Fuel Efficiency

Perhaps you’re thinking the same thoughts I had when I first came across this story. By the way, the innovation comes from Japanese carmaker Honda.

When I think of aluminium I think of drink cans or food cans. And when I think of drink and food cans I think about how easy it is to crush them with my bare hands.

I also think of aluminium foil, a metallic product so thin even a baby could tear it apart.

Given those properties I wouldn’t blame you for thinking there’s no way you’d get into a car that had a steel and aluminium bonded chassis. Imagine getting into a crash and the vehicle scrunching up like a drink can.

The good news is that once the aluminium and steel bond together it produces a structure that’s just as strong as a fully steel chassis and yet weighs 25% less.

That’s important for petrol-powered cars where less weight means greater fuel efficiency. It’s even more important for the electric car industry, where huge battery packs take up a significant part of the car’s weight.

That’s why electric or hybrid cars are typically small ‘micro’ cars. But with the development of steel and aluminium bonded materials and higher end composite materials (such as carbon fibre), car makers can now bring electric car technology to mid-sized family cars.

The Free Market of Ideas

The issue for Aussie investors is how to invest in this industry?

One option of course is to buy shares in Honda. Or you could buy shares in Audi, the German carmaker that’s innovating with carbon fibre – although due to the current high costs of carbon fibre, penetration into the mass market may still be a while off.

In my view, the best way to invest in this technological innovation is in the least likely place. That is, the best place to invest isn’t in some Silicon Valley high-tech start-up.

One of the best places to benefit from this trend towards is right here on the Australian market…in an Aussie resource stock.

I know, that may seem bizarre and far-fetched. I thought so too until I heard about the impact this innovation could have on the aluminium industry.

According to one of the top guys at aluminium maker Alcoa, it’s set to see the demand for aluminium from the car industry more than double over the next 10 years.

In short, Honda’s innovation means it can create components that are 25% lighter, 50% more power-efficient and 20% more rigid than steel.

That’s the kind of innovation happening right now on the Australian market. And it’s happening despite the meddling from governments and central banks.

It goes to show you that innovation doesn’t stop. The free market of ideas is a powerful thing. And thankfully so. Without this innovation by the private sector, progress would grind to a halt.

And one of the best ways to potentially profit from this latest high-tech innovation is right here in Australia by investing in the unlikeliest of places…a tiny Aussie resource stock.


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Private mortgage insurance helping the return of jumbo loans

December 31, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

More lenders are opening themselves up for jumbo loans and more insurers are willing to back them with private mortgage insurance.

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Follow the housing leaders on Twitter

December 31, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

While everyone in the market has an opinion about the housing industry, only a select few have the knowledge to tell you what you need to know in 140 characters or less. HousingWire sifted through the data and chose the best Twitter profiles to follow in 2014.

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Bullion banks forcing hedging to replenish their gold stocks?

December 31, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Could there be hidden agenda behind the latest drive by the bullion banks to insist miners hedge some of their output as a prerequisite for the provision of new finance?

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Iron ore miners wait to assess Australian cyclone damage

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The key shipping ports of Dampier, Cape Lambert and Port Hedland, the world’s largest iron ore export terminal, bore the brunt of the storm.

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