Share Market

The share markets are in turmoil, since the last crash and melt down, I have given shares a very wide berth. However it’s nearly impossible to avoid getting burnt when the Share market runs amuck. Shares are a prime back up to pension schemes, unit trusts, Insurance Funds, and goodness knows what else. Some years earlier I had purchased some shares in a company called ‘Compass’. Impeccable credentials, Chairman of Auckland Stock Exchange on the Board. It would seem they had a position in Auckland Airport to move to lined up. Impossible to fail? Wrong, the manager of Compass set fire to the principal competitors business, after the smoke had cleared, blame apportioned. My share certificates were suddenly turned into very attractive Wall Paper. Another sad story, I bought into a very profitable boat business. Some entrepreneur swam by with a salmon company in tow, asset stripped the company I had shares in. Then I was the proud part owner of a small part of a failing Salmon Farm, with my shares now valued @ 3 cents each. More expensive Wall paper. I must say I have looked hard at the current price of Telecom Shares, Phones are such an important part of our lives. There was a time not so long ago, when we didn’t even own a phone. We managed then with Telegrams and public telephone ‘Call Boxes’. Once you moved away from Local Telephone calls, communication was horrendously expensive. $10 a minute was not unusual, so if I had to make a long distance call, I always wrote down all the points I wished to cover, long before I even picked up the phone. Today we own one copper wire phone, A Skype phone, which works through the computer, (Very advanced, as it also transmits a picture of the callers) the Skype phone are actually ‘Free’ world wide to other Skype callers. Skype charges to others are mainly E.017 euros per minute which is only a couple of pennies. It matters not, if your call is across the road, or across the world. As I keep ‘downloading’ their improvements, reception just gets better and better. Google has a similar system. Then on top of that we have two Cell Phones or Mobiles. Cell phones it would seem are part of today’s youth culture. The companies who make them are pandering to this love and affection of this new teenage toy. They now have built in, Cameras, clocks, games, TV, Email.


We noticed recently in downtown Singapore, everyone had a cell phone, they were all, it seemed, busy talking to one another. No one in town seemed to be over 40 years of age. I wondered where were all their old folk, or did they practice euthanasia once they reached 40 years of age? Then one afternoon we went into a tea house in the Suburbs, it was full of elderly all playing cards, socialising, and drinking tea. Maybe they were just filling in time until the Schools finished their family duties kicked in.


One point I should mention that when phones became more common in New Zealand, we still had to share the same line with perhaps up to eight other users. So that you knew it was your call, you were each given a Morse Code letter which the operator rang. Our ‘Party Line’ phone number was 772K. Once I tried to explain the ‘K’ part to an operator when overseas. I may as well saved my breath, alright it was rather primitive, but it did work. However it was open to eavesdropping, some inquisitive people thought it was a gift from heaven, and couldn’t resist the temptation to listen in.


Just out from Singapore in the nearby Straits, it’s not one of the safest places in this world. You are also likely to bump into Pirates, as they are very active there. There is a site I look at from time to time, that gives an ‘up to date’ on the latest Pirate’s activities.

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