Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Recession Dealt Us a Hand We Must Play Cunningly

We have been dealt a hand which is very difficult to play with any sort of confidence. However, we must realize that hardly anybody is holding a good hand, and thus we are not necessarily down and out. From now on, it all comes down to skill and a little bit of luck.

Of course, it is all to do with money. In some cases the safety of it, but mostly the lack of it. Include the malady of housing and jobs into the equation, and this should be sufficient to give most people a king sized headache.

There is no percentage in moaning or being depressed. Hard times can often bring great opportunities and the sooner one looks for them, the better. How many times does one hear of needing luck to be in the right place at the right time? It is more likely, that great effort needs be made to make sure to be in that right place at the right time!

The ability to anticipate with a high degree of accuracy the pros and cons of whatever venture one wishes to succeed in, can only be achieved by taking the bother to become knowledgeable and well informed . Good anticipation is the key to win whether it is in tennis, chess, football, or in any kind of business. It is also important when needing to get out of problems.

People who do their jobs with feeling, care, and interest are the last ones who are made redundant because they are in the indispensable bracket and are released only if there is no other way. A good employee is always noticed. Although skill is vital, willingness also plays a major part.

On the housing front, if you are selling, you expect to get less than you would months ago. Equally, if you are a buyer, you expect to get a property much cheaper now than months ago. Since everyone has to live somewhere, in theory one thing should cancel the other. There are of course people who buy and sell or build houses as a business, and who have come to a halt at the moment. They did have a good run for their money nevertheless, and one cannot be on a winner all the time.

The difficulty of being able to borrow money with ease, or if at all, does have a huge bearing on the housing market or car market and many other cases, but on the other hand, it stops the ones who are reckless in their spending habits, albeit it does not help the economy where spending keeps the wheels turning.

Many will not be able to keep up the lifestyle to which they hooked unto. Some will have to go back to the spending limits which they knew all about before the boom days, while others will have to tighten their belts within limits they never experienced before. All will have to be resilient to difficult times in order to succeed.

One must come to terms with rising unemployment during a recession period, but it is essential to keep a positive outlook on things. The way forward has to be to recognize that the more knowledgeable one is, the more indispensable one becomes.

Time is always valuable. If you have less work and thus more free time, never waste it. Keep perfecting your skills, and this will propel you ahead of your competitors in due course.

Paul Dubsky
Paul Dubsky is director of Foreign Currency Exchange & Transfers Ltd. The company is focused on being able to offer really friendly currency exchange rates. We believe we are the only Foreign Currency Exchange company which offers special rates to Senior Citizens.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Taking Stock Of The Increasingly Disturbing Position

The number of people who feel they have reached a problem incapable of a solution is growing. It is all to do with money and the falling house prices of course, but here one has to differentiate between several categories.

The young have complications, senior citizens have complications, the well off have complications, the less well off have complications, and the ex-pats have complications. All of these complications are subject to their own peculiarities and need separate understanding.

In the case of the young first time buyers, prices are getting lower almost by the day, so from that angle it is better news for them than it was some months ago. However, getting a mortgage is a formidable task and is harder than finding the right house. It may help to look at things from the point of view of the lender, who will not part with money providing he has funds to lend, without careful checking. This means giving correct information as to the income which must be adequate to repay the loan. The type and condition of the property plays a role because the lenders like to have as much security as possible in case of having to recover their money. Ten worthy reliable borrowers are better than a hundred iffy ones. Easy mortgages are a thing of the past, and getting the lender to lend is the biggest obstacle to jump.

Senior citizens, who bought their house more than twenty years ago, should have no problems. Properties in big towns went up so much that they might have sold and bought something cheaper in the countryside to pocket the difference. However, assuming they did, now that property prices have fallen and continue falling, they may have been better off had they stayed put without all the hassle. Some might have borrowed against their property to help the youngsters, but since their house would have gone up significantly before they got their loan, it would not have gone down to a level where they would land in the negative equity zone, so they will muddle through.

The well off brigade have either made more money and got out in time, or else lost some back and remain rich unless they entered the housing game very late and bought at rather high prices. Of course, they probably also suffered losses in other directions, and must now wait patiently for the markets to recover which may take quite a time. The fix will come, but there is no quick fix. Patience is the key, as good opportunities will emerge and to be ready to step in at the right time is essential.

The not so well off are usually very flexible. They have known good days and bad days and by and large are survivors. They are the good spenders when they are holding, and tighten their belts when things are going badly. There is a section on a fixed income that bowl along at a steady pace come what may, who neither get an abundance of thrills nor an abundance of disappointments.

Finally, there is an army of ex-pats who sold their houses in U.K. at the right time, and bought their new property abroad at a reasonably low price with a very high pound. Life was great, and those on a pension enjoyed the bonus of the very good exchange rate for years.

Now the prices of houses have also gone down, especially in Spain where most of the ex-pats have settled. The pound has greatly lost value against the euro, meaning the pension is thus worth much less. It is a double blow. Does the answer lie in selling the house abroad and buying one back home now that the prices have fallen and will fall further? This time the exchange rate would be on their side!

Paul Dubsky

Paul Dubsky is director of Foreign Currency Exchange & Transfers Ltd. The company is focused on being able to offer really friendly currency exchange rates. We believe we are the only Foreign Currency Exchange company which offers special rates to Senior Citizens.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Easy To Get, Hard To Let Go

Lets take a couple and call them Mr and Mrs Brown. Like many thousands of others who had very little saved up, they could not fail to notice two things: money was simple to borrow, and houses went up in value by leaps and bounds. No way were they going to get left out of such an opportunity!

Before long, they found their house, easily obtained credit, and instantly saw their purchase gaining sizable value. They never felt so rich and their ego gained altitude. A new car was a must and a cocktail of new adventures was on the horizon, especially since the price of houses was rising more and more and there was no trouble in raising extra cash against the equity of their new property.

Thousands of couples like the Smiths were becoming the proud new property investors, thus driving the market up and up.

It was obvious that a dangerously high proportion of borrowers were given loans well beyond their means to repay. As a result, numerous mortgage lenders collapsed when the inevitable crash came. Such huge numbers of these subprime mortgages were set up, that it caused havoc and many banks were placed into difficulties when this class of borrower failed to make payments. Furthermore, lots of mortgages were sold on to various investors and hedge funds, making their life miserable to say the least.

Money gets hard to borrow when the banks have empty coffers. Desperate sellers start lowering their prices, but mostly this will not work because the real problem is not the price, but the inability of getting a loan which stops a sale. Naturally this type of situation can only make things worse. Negative equity sets in, bringing further complications.

It is sad to lose a house, but repossessions are on the increase. While it may help the letting market since people cannot live with mum and dad forever, it is not a permanent answer.

When banks have a shortage of money it is not only home buyers who suffer, but all types of businesses from large companies to small traders are hit. Automatically, this in turn sets problems for thousands of private individuals, who cannot keep up their mortgage payments as well as other obligations.

It seems that the old way of making sure a borrower is worthy of a loan, must be strictly observed. It may not please some, but in the long run it will restore sanity to both the borrower and the lender. Unless the two have a happy deal, there will always be a problem.

Paul Dubsky

Paul Dubsky is director of Foreign Currency Exchange & Transfers Ltd. The company is focused on being able to offer really friendly currency exchange rates. We believe we are the only Foreign Currency Exchange company which offers special rates to Senior Citizens.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

The Deflation Rocket Is In Flight Right Now

Deflation is the opposite of inflation. When there is a retreat in the level of prices things point to deflation. The actual extent of the damage to the economy may well be potentially much higher in case of deflation than inflation.

When collateral collapses, the Banks begin to wobble under the strain and of course the falling home values play a major role, and inevitably credit tightness looms. Naturally, any chance for growth is quickly dampened. It also follows, that with property prices sliding down further, the credit crunch becomes worse. Further down the road, this will discourage a rise in prices and encourage a drop in prices, thus creating a perfect climate for opening the door to deflation.

Banks will start piling money. In order to lure in more cash deposits, some might offer more attractive interest. On the horizon, a picture will emerge of endless heaps of products needing buyers. This will force the prices to go lower and lower.

It is unlikely that anybody will wish to invest in those circumstances, and the prospect of getting jobs will deteriorate.

Financial systems are sensitive to general tendencies or directions. Thus, any slight hint of changing conditions from good times to bad times can trigger confidence to change from good outlook to gloomy outlook. The lending appetite as well as the borrowing appetite shrinks, which means that ultimately the prices of goods fall.

The cocktail of debtors, creditors, consumers and producers laced with a negative trend, will set off a warning siren. Once the creditors begin to worry it is hard to contain their fears. The supply of money begins to dry up and cash is king.

When the supply of goods goes up quicker than the supply of cash, favourable conditions for deflation begin to gather. The ability to lend or borrow is a problem which seldom has happy endings unless a great deal of effort is given to solve it. There is no inoculation to make one immune to the disease of deflation because the component part of the disease is not necessarily always completely the same, albeit very close. Whatever happens, it will take quite a while to get rid of it.

The thing to be aware of is not to get into a situation which makes people wait and not buy because they think prices will go down. This makes for an acute spiral of lowering prices with no end in sight. As a result, the factories cannot make money and get into more and more trouble, and consequently redundancies start gathering pace.

Paul Dubsky
Foreign Currency Exchange & Transfers Ltd.

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Making Right Decisions More Often

Nobody can be right all the time, but many are making it more difficult to be right even some of the time.

The answer is because they tend to jump to conclusions too fast, and thus can misjudge a particular situation.

You can make a hasty decision fly, but you have to successfully land it. This applies to all kinds of examples. You may like the look of a particular car for instance, and your inner self will start making a case for having that type of car. You will often help the salesman to make the sale without knowing it by asking questions in a way to get answers you want to hear, such as: ' I take it the car does a good mileage to the gallon' or ' I presume that the resale value if quite good on this model ' or ' these are very reliable cars are they not?'

Instead, it would be prudent to have checked the facts about the fuel consumption of that car, how well does it hold the resale value, what was the report on the reliability of the model in question. Furthermore, getting to know out what other cars offer in value before making a decision is important. Flying on an instinct can be scary.

There are other instances where decisions are often made not in line with thinking ahead in a prudent way. Take the case of choosing a dolly bird for a wife. It may not be the best selection for a wife whose role must also be to devote serious time to the tedious task of housework, and possibly help in the running of a business.

It is mostly the serious quiet types that most rich businessmen prefer as wives, because it is more suitable for them, and also because in the long run, any other choice would end up almost certainly in problems.

The 'go along to get along' formula maybe a way to solve a few problems, but it is not a way on which to base all choices. To hope to make the right decisions in the field of share buying or currency trading for instance, one has to devote serious time to the study of such markets. Rushing things can limit making the right decisions.

It is easy to understand that an obese person would not be suitable to sell slimming biscuits, and that a good looking lady would be more suitable in selling beauty products. When it comes to dealing in special markets, it is not as easy to understand the good and bad points and well informed people have a distinct advantage. If you are not sure, consult the experts it is worth the money.

Many people have not landed the right jobs because in a hurry underlings have not made the right decision to put their name forward to be noticed. Wrong decisions are being made simply because the people making them lack the will power to go the extra yard.

Paul Dubsky
Paul Dubsky is director of Foreign Currency Exchange & Transfers Ltd. The company is focused on being able to offer really friendly currency exchange rates. We believe we are the only Foreign Currency Exchange company which offers special rates to Senior Citizens.

Saturday, 2 August 2008

Like Sharks They Must Keep Swimming Or Else Sink

It is well known, that sharks must keep swimming or they sink. In a similar way, lots of businesses, not least the banks, share that kind of problem.

For the latter if circumstances arise that can cause interruption to normal activity, life support machinery is required pronto.

Banks need new depositors whose cash will help to pay out existing clients who, like it or not, need to take some of their cash out at times. Since the money from previous depositors Tom, Dick, and Harry is out earning interest, the funds have to come from somewhere to keep the show on the road.

Of course if Tom, Dick and Harry happen to be financially strapped for some horrible reason like a credit crunch, and start missing out on regular payments, headaches of major dimensions will flare up. That is the time to get going and get bailed out by the central bank, who will invariably fork out because after all, who wants to create waves more than is necessary and start a run?

Getting money out of Peter to pay Paul is not really the thing to do, but then, there is an art in doing the wrong thing correctly.

Naturally, it is a bit more complicated than that, and we do need the banks, albeit they need us. Banks play a major role in making business possible, and for deals to take place. It is unthinkable to manage without them. However, it is not pleasant to know, that we have to pray for their good health, which we could ruin without wanting to, and actually help to sink them as well as ourselves at the same time.

The lack of liquidity is of course the main culprit. The wheels of the liquidity providers have to be turning smoothly for them, so that they in turn, can function. Anything going wrong brings fear of safety, and can trigger an avalanche of failures. It does not matter how many safety nets there may be in place, to avoid trouble is hard.

Like the sharks which have to keep swimming or else they sink, one too has to keep active come what may, to keep afloat. It means determination at all levels to do without certain things, raise output as best as possible even if under difficult conditions, and stay cool. Such combination always produces winning results.

It takes only a little to upset the boat, but by the same ruling, a little extra effort can see it sail through to safety.

Remember that song Ya Gotta Have Heart? If you sing it every now and then, it works wonders!

Paul Dubsky
Foreign Currency Exchange & Transfers Ltd. The best currrency rates for overseas property buyers.

Friday, 1 August 2008

There Is Always a Limit With Luck

Take luck and bad luck as two possibilities to be a recipient of. Call them A or B. The outcome of tossing a coin tails or heads brings two possibilities, again A or B.

Now, if you bet only once heads or tails, you have an even money chance of winning. This means that you have an even money chance of being lucky providing you win and walk away and play no more. You also have an even money chance of losing providing you walk away and play no more.

If you won you were lucky and if you lost you were unlucky. You took a chance and won, or you took a chance and lost.

There is luck, and then there is making the right or wrong decision not by chance but by reasoning. If making a decision by taking a chance and you win, than it is luck. If making a decision on the basis of working things out and you win, it is not luck but the consequence of making the right judgement. If you lose it is not bad luck, the cause is due to making a bad judgement.

People tend to mix luck arrived at by chance, with causing the right or wrong decision
based on their judgement. Often, many people work things out incorrectly and thus get an unwanted result, and automatically think themselves as being unlucky. Until they study more what they are into, they will keep on being unlucky.

Take a case where a man loses a five pound note and another man finds it. Here, the finder is plain lucky. The person who lost the five pound note was careless, not plain unlucky.

Being prepared for eventual good or bad developments may result in a loss or gain situation. More often than not, preparation and foresight determine the extent of luck or bad luck.

When professional gamblers or bookmakers lose at the races it is due to information or calculations nor being as good as they expected and not because of bad luck. When the ordinary punters win, it is due to luck based on purely taking a chance.

Well read, and well experienced foreign exchange operators are less likely to be unlucky than haphazard players.


A pilot has to fly lots of miles before he knows all the eventualities. A car driver, albeit he or she passes the driving test, cannot possibly know all the likely unexpected situations that can arise and often do arise, unless they have completed thousands and thousands of miles under all sorts of conditions.

Using the services of a good realtor, stockbroker, builder, accountant etc. may sound to some as not too important and many think they can do it on their own. Like the ordinary punter at the races, their success will be mainly based on luck. However, it is prudent to remember, that there is always a limit with luck. To get more mileage out of luck, the best way is to take precautions to avoid bad luck. Getting professional
advice and increasing your knowledge about whatever you are working on, is the best way forward.

Paul Dubsky

The best currrency rates for overseas property buyers.

Paul Dubsky is director of Foreign Currency Exchange & Transfers Ltd. The company is focused on being able to offer really friendly currency exchange rates. We believe we are the only Foreign Currency Exchange company which offers special rates to Senior Citizens.

Seeing Things Through Bewildered Eyes

When we read certain statements or listen to comments on various things, we tend to accept them as the truth, albeit that not everybody believes in everything they read in the papers or believes everything some politician might say anywhere in the world.

For instance, there are many items of news coming through about the state of the economy as well as the financial positions of large companies and banks. It would be nice to know if things are not so good, bad, horrible, or desperate.

To get an answer to that, it would be necessary to believe someone, somewhere. Of course, one would have to accept that what one reads and hears is in fact the whole truth.

One could argue that even the law does not require the truth, just the appearance of it. After all, is it not reality, that most cases are settled on what is acceptable to both parties?

With that in mind, one could come to the conclusion that we are often being presented with an appearance of truth, and depending on the brilliance of the performance of the presenter, we swallow it hook, line, and sinker.

The appearance of truth as opposed to the real truth cannot be fairly quickly ascertained like the difference between a real diamond and a fake.

The answer lies in the ability to read in- between the lines. Such ability is something which one is not born with. It comes with a great deal of experience.

The one person you should be able to believe is yourself. If you formulate your own opinion based on knowledge you ascertain is correct, you are doing all that is possible to achieve the best result.

Your opinion may well be arrived at by having studied the problem in question at great length, as well as taking advice from several professional experts. Whatever way you eventually arrive to a conclusion, it will not be on the strength of reading various reports which may be put out in calming way. The sooner you work on mastering the art of reading in-between the lines, the sooner you may be on the track of more accurate versions.

The main concern is getting things right in the field of finance. Whether it is shares, foreign exchange, buying a house here or abroad, etc. it is not only the best deal that counts but also the best time it is prudent to do it There are instances where it is possible to miss the boat due to lack of information and not acting quickly enough to take advantage of favourable situations, or to prevent suffering losses by being able to envisage possible problems well in time.

Staying well informed at the cost of little time and money, can make a huge difference. Seeing things with bewildered eyes is always a formula for disaster.

Paul Dubsky

Paul Dubsky is director of Foreign Currency Exchange & Transfers Ltd. The company is focused on being able to offer really friendly currency exchange rates. We believe we are the only Foreign Currency Exchange company which offers special rates to Senior Citizens.

The best currrency rates for overseas property buyers.

Friday, 30 May 2008

The Possible Consequences of the Falling Housing Prices Fiasco

The game was, to talk mum and dad to borrow on their house in town, which rose by leaps and bounds in price, and thus find a deposit to give the kid to put down on a house out of town. Assuming it was just about possible to find a decent house at a price without incurring financial difficulties in mortgage payments, it was not necessarily going to be in an area of one's choice. It was also likely, that a possible risk of undesirable consequences would develop in due course.

By this, it is meant, that many people went ahead and bought a property which they normally would not rush into buying, but were driven to do so, because of rising prices reaching more and more areas.

It followed, that many have moved into neighbourhoods not right for them and where they and their children would not really fit in.

Coming from a relatively posh neighbourhood into a lower grade one, can equate into a "them and us" attitude, thus creating a whole series of little problems which escalate into big problems.

As time went on, in many cases mum and dad would sell their house in town, with enough profit to pay off any mortgage and buy a house for cash near their kids.

During the period when housing went up in value, the kids were able to borrow more on their new house, so that they could live it up and buy a new car etc., and life was quite pleasant for a time. There comes of course the day, when all this has to be actually paid for, and with the arrival of the credit crunch, it is proving quite a task to deal with. If negative equity sets in, all the red lights come on.

Basically, this is the sort of situation many are facing right now. There is another wave of people with no kids, who sold their house when the yoyo was up and bought a cheaper house in the country, pocketing the difference as a nest egg for future times. All in all, they feel they got a good result so far.

Those who chose to buy and live abroad, are facing good or bad news regarding the currency values, and in some parts of the world, housing is also prone to price fluctuation.

Challenging times need a cool head and a positive attitude. Life is a game to be played as best as one can, and to play it well, there are a few tips to follow.

If you owe money that cannot be paid back in the way it was intended, it is no help to put things under the carpet, but come out with the truth straight away by going to an expert company that deals with this kind of problem. There are many good ones you can approach, and by letting them face the music on your behalf, will achieve a much better result for you and the people you owe. A formula will usually be found, which will be acceptable to both parties.

If things get as bad as repossession, there are experts to guide you through the
problems of this dilemma, often able to find a way of avoiding it, or at least delaying it.

Making money is not just about how much you earn, but what you do not need to spend. Every penny that can be saved, counts in the long run. It may go against the grain, but one really has to bargain wherever possible.

Whether dealing with an estate agent, a foreign currency exchange company, car sales representative, travel agent, and all places where larger sums are in play, it is imperative to get the best deal. Remember when you bargain, people take you seriously because they know you intend to do business.

A lot of money is being spent on food and petrol. By careful planning and knowing what you are actually needing to buy in the store instead of browsing and shopping willy-nilly, saves money. Remember, cutting down on journeys which can be covered on foot or by cycling, is healthy for your figure and bank balance.

People are only people. They know very well how things are, and know the difference between liberty takers and genuine situations where money is tight. It is wise to understand that the companies you may owe money to can be in difficulties themselves.

By being truthful and acting quickly, a lot of problems can be ironed out in an amicable way without losing a good name.

Paul Dubsky
Paul Dubsky is director of Foreign Currency Exchange & Transfers Ltd. The company is focused on being able to offer really friendly currency exchange rates. We believe we are the only Foreign Currency Exchange company which offers special rates to Senior Citizens. The best currrency rates for overseas property buyers.

Friday, 16 May 2008

Useful Phrases When Driving in French Speaking Countries

Sometimes one wants to ask people how to get to somewhere, or where is this or that, and without knowing how to say it, life can be a little difficult.

Here are a series of likely phrases which may help in typical situations.

Excuse me, but can you tell me where I can find a petrol station? ( Excusez moi, mais pouvez vous me dire ou je peux trouver une station service?)

Your car may need some attention and you wish to ask: I need a mechanic to look at the car ( J’ai besoin d’un mechanicien a regarder ma voiture)

It may be a Sunday and you want to ask: Is there a garage open on a Sunday here? (Y at-il un garage ouvert le dimanche ici?)

If you have a flat battery you may need to ask: I have a flat battery have you a charger? ( La batterie est a plat avez-vous un chargeur?)

You are on your way to Paris and you want to know how far it is: How long does it take to Paris from here? ( Combien de temps faut-il pour Paris d’ici?)

You may want to be sure they take a credit card: Can we pay by credit card, we have not enough cash?( Pouvons nous vous payer par la carte de credit nous n’avons pas assez d’argent?)

You are looking for a toilet and say: Excuse me are there any toilets near here? (Excusez moi,y at-il des toilettes pres d’ici?)

You see a policeman (un agent de police) and you want to ask him: Is this the right way for the motorway?( C’est bien la direction pour l’autoroute?) Or you may ask him: Is there a motel nearby? ( Y at-it un motel pres d’ici?}.

You have arrived late at the hotel and you want to say: There were a lot of delays on the road ( Il y avait trops de bouchons sur la route) . You may wish to add :
On top of that the car stalled several times (En plus, la voiture a cale plusieurs fois.

The car may be dirty so you are looking for somewhere to have it washed and you
ask: Is there a place to wash the car: Y at-il une place pour laver la voiture?

If you see a sign that says: Impasse then it means a No Through Road. You may wish to know that (faire demi tour) means to turn back. Just in case you get a parking ticket, it is called (la contravention) and the traffic warden is called ( le contractuel).

The fog (le brouillard) can be a nuisance and the flood (l’inondation) is another hazard. You may want to know that mud is called (la boue).

When people tell you to keep going straight on, they say (Tout droit).When they tell you to turn left: ( Tournez a gauche) when they say turn right: (Tournez a droite) and when they say turn to turn right at the next lights: (Tournez a droite au prochains feux).

You may need to find a bank and ask, is there a bank here? (Y at-il une banque ici?)
You may need to know the exchange rate (Le cours du change).

Sometimes, one wants to confirm one is on the right road for Paris let us say: Is this the right road to Paris: (C’est bien la route pour Paris?) If you want to say: I am sorry to trouble you: (Je suis desole de vous deranger).

In case you want to know what the rush hour is in French, it is (les heures d’affluence).

You will not need your medical insurance (une assurance maladie) if having the flu (avoir la grippe), but you may, if you have a heart attack ( une crise cardiaque ).
In case you need to find a local pub, you will have to ask for (le bistro du coin).

Paul Dubsky

Paul Dubsky is director of Foreign Currency Exchange & Transfers Ltd. The company is focused on being able to offer really friendly currency exchange rates. We believe we are the only Foreign Currency Exchange company which offers special rates to Senior Citizens.