27 June 2009

Why Slash Land Tax?

There is an article in The Age called Pressure to Slash Land Tax. It claims that land tax is too high and there is pressure to cut it, especially now when property prices are starting to fall.

On the State Revenue Office website there is a website that lists the 2009 land tax rates. Land tax is not a fixed amount you pay all the time. The amount you pay on land tax depends on the value of your property. If your property goes up in value, you pay more. If your property goes down in value, you pay less. Hence the requirement to slash land tax simply because property prices are falling makes little sense because land tax goes down as property prices fall.

26 June 2009

Days When People Die

I have just been to The Age and on the first page alone there is so much reference to death. Have a look at the image below, which is a screenshot of The Age website with the death-related headlines marked in red.

This is not meant to prove anything. It's just an interesting observation. The news of Michael Jackson's death seems to have overshadowed all other news. I happen to think that Michael was a great singer and dancer, and I especially liked his music when I was a child.

17 June 2009

Million Dollar Traders

I have just finished watching Million Dollar Traders on TV. Million Dollars Traders is a reality TV show in which a rich hedge fund manager gives his own money to eight novices and tries to teach these novices to trade stocks to use his own money to make more money.

I have always dreamed of quitting my normal job and trading stocks at home for a living, so I watched this program hoping to get some pointers on how I can make this dream a reality. Million Dollar Traders, however, was very disappointing because it gave me no insight into how I can become a trader.

What I found annoying about the show is that the novices were simply given a computer, a telephone, and were told to buy and sell by themselves. There seemed to be no education about when they should buy and what they should buy. Most of the time it looked like the novices were just making guesses about which stocks they needed to buy or sell. Some traders made huge losses and in order to fix this problem, instead of teaching the traders economics, fundamental analysis, or technical analysis, they resorted to things like limiting how long their lunch or coffee breaks were. They even tried to improve stock trading performance by suggesting that the traders be rude to their stock brokers over the phone.