Latest Articles

Published on Friday, 19 December 2014 16:38
The outlook for major energy firms like Exxon and Shell are very much in doubt if the global community adopts measures UN negotiators are considering for a legally binding global climate pact to be agreed in Paris next year. 
Published on Friday, 19 December 2014 14:09
Just in time for the Lima Negotiations, the World Meteorological Organization has proclaimed 2014 as likely as one of the hottest years on record. Driving the heat in 2014 has been the oceans which all experienced the warmest temperatures ever recorded. WMO's annual compendium on the "Status of the Global Climate“ was released during the U.N. climate talks in Lima, Peru, where diplomats are negotiating a new global climate deal to be signed in Paris at the end of next year, hopefully.
Published on Thursday, 18 December 2014 06:08
While my candidate for "Denier of the Year" is most naturally Tony Abbott, currently Prime Minister of Australia, I find on reflection that many political leaders in other developed countries are just as bad, but have held a lower profile. Who are they?
Published on Friday, 12 December 2014 02:45
Air conditioning has been a transformative technology as it has made even Singapore a liveable economy with high industrial productivity. But it is expensive. Now the future may inform us how to do accomplish this beneficial air conditioning more economically.

Latest Portfolio News

Published on Thursday, 18 December 2014 06:06
The markets traded down during the past week with the sell-off eliminating the gains of the previous 5 weeks. Oil prices hit another low at $62 per barrel for Brent crude. The RealReturnEnvironment (RRE) portfolio was also down and like many other investors, the concern is losing the gains already booked. However, the RRE portfolio will remain fully invested as operationally there is no realistic option for exiting this portfolio at this stage. At the end of this week, the RRE portfolio is up just under 26% with Continental Resources now joining Pacific Basin Shipping in cumulatively over the past 12 months losing 42% and General Electric reversing course and down almost 4% over the past year (see below).
Published on Monday, 08 December 2014 23:59
The major indices again reached record highs in the United States this past week. However oil prices again suffered another decline, reflecting the strength of the US dollar, so that Continental Resources ended up the week down by almost 32%. Overall the RealReturnEnvironment (RRE) portfolio was also down on the past week but recorded an overall gain since the portfolio was initiated in December 2013 by 27% (see below).
Published on Monday, 01 December 2014 00:40
After OPEC failed to reduce its over-production of crude oil as Saudi Arabia refused to be the only producer willing taking the cuts. As a result, Brent crude fell to below $73 per barrel and is likely to stay depressed for at least the first half of 2015. Oil majors are of course down but transport stocks are corresponding at record levels. Moreover with lower oil prices, there are substantial benefits for industrial country consumers, equivalent to a tax reduction. Christmas shopping is off to an outstanding start, following the US Thanksgiving holiday when sales were up 14% over last year. As such the omens are favorable for the equity markets in the remainder of 2014 as the Santa Clause rally looks to be substantial this year.
Published on Monday, 24 November 2014 12:11
A interest rate cut by China led the stock markets higher to record levels in the Dow Jones Industrials and in the broader Standard and Poor's 500 index in the United States. The RealReturnEnvironment (RRE) portfolio has benefited from its concentration in the US markets.  However it has suffered from laggards like Pacific Basin Shipping Ltd that is down some 38% and should have been sold when it first fell by 10% early in 2014, that unfortunately was not possible to effect then or even now. In aggregate, the RRE portfolio is up almost 30% from its inception in December 2013.