1. And... we're back. You'll notice that all of your images are back as well, as are our beloved emoticons, including the infamous :foo: We have also worked with our server folks and developers to fix the issues that were slowing down the site.

    There is still work to be done - the images in existing sigs are not yet linked, for example, and we are working on a way to get the images to load faster - which will improve the performance of the site, especially on the pages with a ton of images, and we will continue to work diligently on that and keep you updated.

    Cheers,

    Fok on behalf of the entire Styleforum team
    Dismiss Notice

Clothing and the rich

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by esquire., Feb 2, 2005.

  1. linux_pro

    linux_pro Senior member

    Messages:
    551
    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2005
    drizz -

    I'm very nervous about forex overall. I've stopped all manual trades this week, since I lost about $8k last week (trading GBP/USD, EUR/USD and USD/JPY), and am totally standing aside. It sucks. But it's crucial to recognize when you're trading on emotion, and when you do, it's time to take a breather. I was getting desparate and started buying like 8 lots of 100k with TP at 20 pips and SL at 35 pips, crazy stupid stuff like that. It was truly bizarre, because I've never traded like that, and not sure why I was, but I noticed it and now am standing aside until things cool off a bit and the markets start showing some clear direction. At times, I wish Snow would just keep his mouth shut, and if you're gonna take on the damn budget deficit, just do it already and stop yappin about it and making the markets all choppy. Heh heh.

    I lost a bit in the late 90s too, but not too much (unlike some friends). I had my capital spread pretty even over a variety of industries, along with some funds, my forex stuff, a few CDs (I had one with the Royal Bank of Canada that was at 6.5% on a 3-yr term, talk about sweet, they of course did not offer me anything close to that when I asked to renew it), and some private investments. Risk management is not optional if you want to see growth on your capital, that's my mantra.

    Real Estate.. I've been waiting to start trying that. My girlfriend and I have been looking at some real estate here in Seattle and are seriously considering the jump, but we just can't see the sense in tying up so much capital for such low returns (they say, on average, RE grows at about 2%), and then having to deal with the taxes, property management and so on. Also, both of us have relatively modest income, so we are focussing more on income-producing investment strategies for now. But, I'd love to know how real estate has worked for you, any info you might wish to share would be highly appreciated, as like I said, we are considering taking our first few steps fairly soon, in the next year or two possibly. We see real estate as being a potentially strong form of risk management at the very least.
     
  2. esquire.

    esquire. Senior member

    Messages:
    1,303
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2004
    linux: I don't really believe any promises Bush makes about reducing our defecit. Under his leadership, our surplus turned into a defecit. He's got some political capital from his election, but it seems like he wants to spend it on social security. Even if he succeds, his plan would only increase the defecit, as the government would need to borrow at least a trillion dollars to cover current benefits. And, with such a large defecit, interest rates need to go up. And, mortage rates are corelated with interest rates, so any increase would hurt the housing market. An interesting point the book makes is to stick to what you know. So, if you're occupation involves foreign exchange currencies, stick to that instead of trying to be a investor in some other field. However, that same logic would suggest that we should invest in retail stocks as well but I don't know anything about them.

    Dz,
    I'm sure there are some exceptions, especially if you can find some distressed property, but when I look at the numbers, I think we're in a housing bubble. Of course, if you asked me this a year ago, I would have said the same thing and thought that prices would have started to drop this year. If you look at the historical house price to income ratio, today's ratio is around 4X greater than the historical ratio. Prices in housing have far exceeded increases in income. How much higher can they really go before everybody gets priced out of the market. That's why I feel that most prices will start to decline soon and it might be wiser for some people to just rent right now, and wait to buy houses a few years from now.

    But, overall, housing is almost always a good investment if you're in it for the long run and if its where you live. If you can hold onto the property for a long time, you can weather any volatility in the housing market. If you were to rent, you wouldn't build up any equity nor would you get the tax breaks.

    That's an interesting list. Why aren't you a fan of cities like NYC or SF. Even if they're overpriced, there's limited room for devolpment. So, as the population increases, there's still only the same number of apts and rooms. NYC is an island, and SF has the Pacific on one side and mountains on the other side. During the last recession in CA, the average price for housing in SF didn't drop as much up as it did in socal.
     
  3. kabert

    kabert Senior member

    Messages:
    2,093
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2004
    Real estate only getting 2 percent returns? Where? I think the average return last year nationwide was something like 12 percent. The DC metro area alone, in just the last quarter of 2004, had something like a 24 percent increase (almost 100 percent over the last 3 years, and parts of DC, such as tony Georgetown had nearly 200 percent increase in the last 3 years). Must be a Seattle thing...
     
  4. Dakota rube

    Dakota rube Senior member

    Messages:
    14,501
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2005
    Location:
    A bit better than yesterday, all day vomiting for
    The $1200 ding was not a fine at all; as I said, the IRS doesn't get "nasty" over deductions as a rule. I paid a total of $1200, which amounted to the tax I had underpaid because of some deductions which were later disallowed; interest from 15 April of the year in which the taxes were due; and a penalty for not paying the full amount of taxes upon the 15 April due date. No fine, no tax court, no "record".
     
  5. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 Senior member

    Messages:
    13,141
    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2004
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    esquire,

    I am interested in some areas of NYC, but I live in Southern California, and for me to buy real estate there would involve a flight (or at least a long drive) at least once, and probably 3-4 times, that's too much time and effort considering my current work situation. It's much easier for me to pursue real estate projects here, and of course it's also much easier for me to supervise my properties. Right now I am involved in three projects here in Socal and a couple in my home state of WI.

    Even if we're in a bubble (and I'm not convinced housing prices will drop, if anything they will just stop their huge increases) rental properties will always be good, because when people can't afford to buy, they need to rent, and you'll always be able to rent a 2 bdrm condo for $1000-1500 min and a 3 bdrm duplex for $1500-2000 at least in the LA/OC area if you're not in Compton etc. Distressed areas are the best because of the possibilities of HUD loans. Right now some of my properties are on mortgages < 4% because of government subsidization. I know some people who have invested large amounts of money in South Central LA, with HUD loans that almost pay their interest completely. They are making money hand over fist while rehabilitiating urban areas.

    A developer in my hometown purchased hundreds of acres of downtown real estate for almost nothing in the 1980s when the downtown was run down, now that there's been a rennassiance of sorts, he made a killing, and is worth well over $100M.

    Real estate is a good investment if you can find the right properties, because it allows a relatively high degree of leverage with relatively little risk, and if you find the right properties you can have both capital gains and income streams. However, the key is, of course, finding the right property.

    linux,

    I got into the euro mainly because I felt that the US was going to devalue the dollar and was in it for the medium to long term, and it worked out quite well. To be honest, one of the main reasons that I wanted to get into the euro MM was because of the higher interest rates than the USD and IMO relatively low risk of the Euro falling beyond $0.83/1E.
     
  6. linux_pro

    linux_pro Senior member

    Messages:
    551
    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2005
    esquire - an increase in the int rate by the fed leads to higher interest rates on loans, and has a large impact on home loans (and of course, auto loans). Generally, the housing market experiences the quickest, and sometimes greatest, impact from rising interest rates. This is the reason the Fed keeps an eye on the new housing index in relation to its interest policies. Everything is a fine balance in the American (and world) economy, and the housing indexes are considered a good indicator of the effectiveness of the current policy (on the short-term). If the housing markets experience strong growth (especially at a rate like +0.18), then the Fed will generally increase the interest rate (way overgeneralized statement here, I know), and continue until they see "stability" in the housing index. I'm leaving out some pretty crucial data here, but if I were to go into all the factors governing Fed policy, it would require a few hundred pages at least. The simplest way to put it is that when the Fed raises the interest rate, one of their goals is to stabilize the housing market (and discourage consumer debt spending). The general idea is to keep growth at a fairly fixed or stable rate, and prevent steep drops or climbs (unless that is the stated goal they are trying to achieve).

    So, drizz hits it pretty dead on when he states that rising interest rates should stabilize housing prices and prevent further "bubble". However, I've read some statements lately (I think it was the Philly Fed chairman) stating a concern about a UM study showing average household debt exceeding 400% of annual income, and what some view as a dangerous bubble trend in some major housing markets, and a consumer overspending trend that does not appear to be reacting to previous policies. If this is the case, many are asking: will we see an aggressive move by the Fed and a possible split from its stated policy regarding slow increase in the interest rate, in order to deter further debt spending and reduce the trade deficit (and strengthen the dollar, since Bush and Co. seem so obsessed with that lately)? If so, that would definitely have an impact on housing (at least on new housing and development), and might even cause a decrease in housing values.

    Anyway... I liked the HUD idea. I am going to investigate that immediately. There is a low-income area here in Seattle (the CD) that is somewhat like the SC-area of LA, and is becoming slowly gentrified, but yet still is fairly affordable, and near the heart of the urban center. I could see values increasing greatly in this area over the next 10 years, and to think that HUD assistance would cover even a portion of the cost of investment makes that a very interesting option. I had never thought of such a thing. Thanks for the input drizz.

    And if you are ever up here in Seattle (I am coming down to LA in a few months on business), I would love to treat you to a steak dinner or a good single-malt scotch or something. It'd be great to pick your brain for a few minutes, as most of the investors I work with view real estate as too low-growth to mess with, and so I rarely get good advice on it. Food and shelter are necessities (like health care), so I think they make great investments over the long-haul obviously.
     
  7. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 Senior member

    Messages:
    13,141
    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2004
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    linux,

    I think you are pretty much right on with your analysis of future housing price trends, although in some higher density areas, I think you may see growth regardless of the interest rates, as in the late 90s we saw an increase in silicon valley property values despite a ~3-4% increase in interest rates. I'd be happy to talk to you further about this, send me an PM when you're going to be in the LA/OC area and we can chat.
     
  8. linux_pro

    linux_pro Senior member

    Messages:
    551
    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2005
    Yeah, I'll do that. I'm going to be taking a vacation down in San Diego and hanging out with an ex-girlfriend, sometime around March I think. The rain and clouds drive me nuts up here. I generally fly into OC (John Wayne airport) and hang out around Santa Monica and Malibu, there's a couple of restaurants I love down on the Pacific Coast Hwy - Beaurivage, and the Chart House (I think it's called that). Anyway, I generally grab a bite there before going anywhere else, because they have great calamari, and some excellent seafood (especially the Mahi Mahi). I'll tell ya one thing for sure... if I could afford a place in Malibu, I wouldn't think twice about buying down there. God, I love that area.
     
  9. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 Senior member

    Messages:
    13,141
    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2004
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    Thats not a bad area, Chart House is not a bad place to eat, although a bit touristy. Malibu is a good area, but I think I would rather buy in Newport Coast, the land lease stuff nonwithstanding... I like the Orange County environment a bit more. There are some really excellent restaurants in this area, some extremely affordable, real estate values, though, are another story.
     
  10. BondArb

    BondArb Member

    Messages:
    15
    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Linux Pro...I do not know where to begin. First of all, I work on Wall St. and am a total trading junkie like yourself. I work 12 hours a day as an analyst at a hedge fund, then come home and trade Hang Seng Futures at night. I could not disagree with you more about the correlation between success and expensive clothing in New York. I can tell you from personal experience that the Wall St. community is home to many multi-multi-millionares who have no clue how to dress and wouldn't want to know even if you told them. In fact, for some I firmly believe that dressing poorly helps them, because it conveys a sense of down-home honesty and integrity. The guy who founded and runs my hedge fund has been known to entertain investors in the office in a t-shirt and flip-flops...and our investors are mostly Europeans who dress to the nines. It all comes down to who can make money and nothing more....dressing well is for fun. That said, many on Wall St. do dress very well and incorporate that into their persona, but it is not a neccesity. I am not suprised that you work in VC...you would not talk the way you do if you had ever spent any time working on a trading desk.
     
  11. linux_pro

    linux_pro Senior member

    Messages:
    551
    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2005
    Your client's expectations, and level of commitment, is a different ballgame than what we are dealing with. Our clients are fully aware of the exponentially higher risk in investing with a firm like ours. They are not looking for "safe", and if they were, we would be the last investment option they chose. Our clients are looking for "the next Microsoft", although that sounds cheesy, it is generally true, and they want us to find a dozen of them a year. Also, we won't even consider a potential investment of less than $50-100m, and that is standard with every VC I have worked with and around. That places your average potential investor in a whole different class (and mindset) than the types you might encounter from the sound of it.

    With our investment interests, in most cases, we are assuming up to 75% interest in a company, and creating its directorship. Some of these companies have been in operation for over 10-20 years (although many are startups). If you had owned and run a successful business for 20 years, would you accept some 31-year-old kid in T-shirt and flip-flops reorganizing the entire management of your company, and telling you how to better run your business? Not a chance in hell.

    American, and especially foreign, investors do not perceive success as wearing a T-shirt and jeans. During the dot-com days, it was trendy for startups to be seen running around in pajamas, or blue jeans, and so on. But NEVER with VC, and actually those days are long over for companies looking for seed capital. And many of our foreign clients during that period would even inquire as to how many dot-com clients we had, because they disapproved of the sloppy habits of these types which they believed would inevitably affect their business discipline (and correctly so). I had a Japanese investor tell me personally that he would never invest capital in a business run by a child (which is how they view denim and t-shirts). It is also worth noting that our Japanese investors are so formal, we actually require an extremely high level of dress code of our entire employee base (including receptionists) when dealing with them, not to mention protocol training, and so on. I'm not sure what kind of foreign investment you work with, but it is commonly known in our industry that foreign investment as a whole requires a much higher level of professionalism than their simpler American counterparts.

    Also, I'm curious which firm you deal with, or in what sense, that you see what you do. I regularly meet with some of the larger firms out of NY, such as Smith Barney, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, and so on, and they (and their attorneys) are some of the best-dressed people I have met. We rarely meet anyone from those firms that appears to be wearing anything other than custom-tailored suits (although always in traditional navy or black). And that includes the analysts that always come with them. They are actually quite intimidating generally. Maybe there is something happening out there on the "ground level" that we don't see in our meetings. I have no idea. I can only speak from my own experience.

    The entire reason I even came to this forum is to attempt to keep up with it all. I am not some kind of fashion buff, I barely know anything about it, as is obvious by my novice questions posted to this board, and by the fact that I graduated with a math degree (a very low-fashion crowd as a rule). Before starting my current job, I just grabbed whatever suit looked good on the rack at the local department store, generally an Abboud or Boss, because I thought those were the best (I know I will probably get laughed at for that remark, but take it easy). I know almost nothing of various tailors, the various materials, what the heck all those terms everyone uses on here really mean, and I had no idea there were so many types of collars on shirts until I started trying to find a shirt that fit me a little better and some guy started blabbing to me about how my face was shaped and that should determine my collar type and so on and so forth. About the only thing I knew before taking my current job was that your belt should match your shoes, the bottom button on a suit-jacket should always remain unbuttoned, and you always wear a windsor knot with a silk tie (not sure where I picked that one up).

    Point being, it became obvious to me quickly that were I to succeed in my field, I would be required to learn a bit more about proper business attire and men's fashion, and hence I ended up on this board. I wish what you said was true for me too, it would save me much time and money. I would love to wear a comfy pair of trainers and some relaxed trousers to work. I jog every day after work, so it would be awesome if I didn't have to spend so much time changing my clothes before heading to the gym or the pool.
     
  12. johnapril

    johnapril Senior member

    Messages:
    5,663
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2004
    linux_pro,

    There are a lot of different kinds of people on this board with a lot of different perspectives and obsessions. I find it best to come in here knowing what I want to get out of it.

    I read your Feb. 06 2005,13:32 post. What stands out for me is this very strict dress code you live by, and the way it can be intimidating. I hope you are not stressing too much over this. If you need some straight-up answers to questions about dealing with your wardrobe, I would refer you first to Manton, a regular member on this forum, who knows the rules of proper dress, and delivers them without pretense.

    To all SF members,

    Could we not find a good tailor for our new friend here and get him some duds to deal with his situation? I'm over here in Indianapolis and can't do shit, so it's gonna have to be one of you nearer to him.
     
  13. Mike C.

    Mike C. Senior member

    Messages:
    1,528
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2002
    Location:
    New York City
    That's no excuse, I graduated with an Math/Econ degree from NYU; now I work in fashion. Regardless, this board is a great place to get some knowledge.

    Wait... remembering back on my math classes, ok those kids really did dress like crap.
     
  14. SmartDresser

    SmartDresser Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    57
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2004
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Ditto on this point. I sell tailored clothing and can never guess the level of bank account by how the customer is dressing. Nor by how receptive the customer is to my suggestions of highlighting the face with clothes selections. Economics seems to have little to do with it. The natural process is to buy what you bought last time and the time before. [​IMG]
     
  15. linux_pro

    linux_pro Senior member

    Messages:
    551
    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2005
    drizz - hope you get this... The EUR/USD pair is now trading at 1.2775, has (seriously) broken the 1.2920 previous support, and the dollar is making huge gains in every pair right now. Any non-USD forex positions should be reversed, as the USD is expected to make further gains at least until Monday when the Federal budget is released. I did extraordinarily well overnight with USD-favorable positions (+820 pips in one night. Yahooo.), so that might be a wise bet this next week at least. You could easily see 200-300 pip moves further in favor of the USD on the major pairs - CHF, JPY, EUR and GBP. Trend on EUR/USD pair definitely appears to be following predictions and statements made by EU and US. We might see that pair at 1.2000 by month's end (?). It's a wise time to hedge any non-USD interests, and according to all word I'm hearing, that trend should continue for the next 3-6 months if the economy continues slow growth and there are no nasty surprises from the Fed, or Bush & Co. If you want me PM you some signals we're trading, I can do that.
     
  16. linux_pro

    linux_pro Senior member

    Messages:
    551
    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2005
    I should ammend that previous statement... the USD strength is expected to possibly continue until sometime near the end of the week as the trade balance data is expected. If USD trade balance is weak (as expected), USD will experience trend reversal on major pairs, so buying USD now is good... by Thursday, it would be wise to be selling USD most likely. [​IMG] Long-term (3 mo.) trends are expected to be slightly in favor of USD.
     
  17. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

    Messages:
    33,456
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2002
    Location:
    Moscow, Idaho
    My Bachelors was in engineering, and my PhD done at Caltech, during which time I did unofficial stints as a buyer's assistant and as a stylist. So no, no excuse at all.

    BTW, engineers are the sloppiest dressers. Math dudes the nerdiest. Pick your poison.
     
  18. j

    j Senior member Admin

    Messages:
    14,914
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2002
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Allow me to demonstrate my ignorance: what's a 'pip' (or 'pips')?
     
  19. Mike C.

    Mike C. Senior member

    Messages:
    1,528
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2002
    Location:
    New York City
    It's a ten-thousanth of a point, (.0001), the smallest incrament of measure in dealing with forex. A point is 1 unit of measure in a currency: $1 = 1 point in terms of USD. Geeezee man... I can't believe you didn't know that. Gosh, some people... [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  20. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 Senior member

    Messages:
    13,141
    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2004
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    linux,

    Thanks for the notes, I have been out of Euros since late last week, and have really been holding a steady USD MM position, I'm going to close on another property so I think with how things are going I may just use cash to make downpayments and avoid leverage until I have a better handle on how interest rates are going to behave in the near/mid term. I'm also not entirely convinced it isn't a good time to go into equities, at least in a small way.
     

Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by