Pete Wargent blogspot

Co-founder & CEO of AllenWargent property buyer's agents, offices in Brisbane (Riverside) & Sydney (Martin Place), and CEO of WargentAdvisory (providing subscription analysis, reports & services to institutional clients).

4 x finance/investment author - 'Get a Financial Grip: a simple plan for financial freedom’ (2012) rated Top 10 finance books by Money Magazine & Dymocks.

"Unfortunately so much commentary is self-serving or sensationalist. Pete Wargent shines through with his clear, sober & dispassionate analysis of the housing market, which is so valuable. Pete drills into the facts & unlocks the details that others gloss over in their rush to get a headline. On housing Pete is a must read, must follow - he is one of the better property analysts in Australia" - Stephen Koukoulas, MD of Market Economics, former Senior Economics Adviser to Prime Minister Gillard.

"Pete Wargent is one of Australia's brightest financial minds - a must-follow for articulate, accurate & in-depth analysis." - David Scutt, Business Insider, leading Australian market analyst.

"I've been investing for over 40 years & read nearly every investment book ever written yet I still learned new concepts in his books. Pete Wargent is one of Australia's finest young financial commentators." - Michael Yardney, Australia's leading property expert, Amazon #1 best-selling author.

"The most knowledgeable person on Aussie real estate markets - Pete's work is great, loads of good data and charts, the most comprehensive analyst I follow in Australia. If you follow Australia, follow Pete Wargent" - Jonathan Tepper, Variant Perception, Global Macroeconomic Research, and author of the New York Times bestsellers 'End Game' and 'Code Red'.

"Pete's daily analysis is unputdownable" - Dr. Chris Caton, Chief Economist, BT Financial.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

What's happened to Aussie house values 2008-2012?

Tremendous article by Christopher Joye here, showing that falls in Aussie house values in 2008 and 2011 effectively mean that prices have only increased at 2.5% per annum over the past four years - exactly in line with the Reserve Bank's targeted rate of inflation. Very interesting analysis.

Casino games you can win at?

Keno

Possibly the biggest con of all - KENO! Exists in various forms - Heads or Tails is a 'favourite' (for those who run it, that is, not the hapless players)  in Australia. The payout odds are favourable to the house somewhere between 25% and 50%. Basically exists to snare people who are bored/inebriated/desperate in the pubs.

Slots/Pokies/Fruit Machines

Not a lot better. Depending on the machine you are playing the machine will be programmed to retain up to around 10-13% of your money on average for Pokies in Australia, 2-18% for slots in Vegas - and up to a staggering 30% for some fruit machines in the UK. Pokies and slots have the allure of possible big payout and thus resembles a lottery: very likely to lose but could win big. Fruit machines...why bother?

Roulette

Over time you won't win at roulette. In Australia and UK the house has an edge of 2.7% (being the zero number on the wheel) and in Vegas the house has an edge of 5.4% (a zero and a double zero).

You can win in the short term using a Martingale approach (aka double or quits) but you will reach the table maximum or the end of your funds in an amazingly short period of time.

The alternative is simply to cheat by 'past posting' (using David Copperfield-style sleight of hand to place chips or increase bets after the ball has landed) or using lasers to predict which segment of the wheel the ball will land in and betting accordingly. With the security cameras on show these days, you might last about 5 minutes - if you are lucky.

Other casino games

The games that offer the best odds are craps (0.6% edge to the house) and blackjack (0.8% edge to the house - providing you play your hands perfectly).

Blackjack is perhaps the only game where it has been possible to beat the house consistently through card counting. That is, noting the number of low cards (2 through 6) and high cards (10 through the colours to Ace) and amending the size of your bet according to the odds of being dealt a good card, sometimes known as the Kelly criterion or Kelly model. Also, where decks were poorly shuffled, it was once possible to recognise sequences.

Three problems with this: (1) if you win consistently, you get barred. (2) Shuffling is now done by machines: i.e. properly. (3) You have to play perfectly for hours for the odds of you winning to move in your favour.

Conclusion

The best option is not to gamble at casinos. Period!

play Blackjack at Casino Action

ASX meanders down despite strong leads

Succint market wrap here from Motley Fool.

Facebook shares are getting crucified

As I mentioned on the day of the float in my post here, there was a huge risk attached to speculating in Facebook shares.

The share price has fallen as low as $28.65 - wiping almost a quarter off the value off the initial valuation of $104 billion.

The original valuation of 100 times earnings was just far too high.

Analysts on Wall Street are concerned that Facebook may struggle to translate its presence on mobile phones and smart-phones into revenue and hard cash.

Stocks stage relief rally

Indicators of stronger China growth and a few positive glimmers related to the Greek elections have seen stocks stage a relief (as in: 'investors breathe a sigh of...') rally.

With the Dow Jones up more than 1% as I write this, the Aussie market could be up as much as 3% for the week after Wednesday's trade.

Which stocks to buy

Personally, I'm finding hard to see past BHP Billiton (ASX : BHP) when it's hovering around $32-$33. 

Note that I don't tip individual stocks and this does not represent financial advice. Always seek professional financial advice before making investment decisions.

If you are looking for a long-term portfolio to retire on, you could much worse than read this article by the excellent Motley Fool crew.

{Disclosure: I hold BHP Billiton)

***

As I mentioned in my post here, the bookmakers exposed themselves remarkably in the Test Match cricket, and sure enough England have the series sewn up - closing out the rubber 2-0 yesterday with a minimum of fuss, and ensuring that the bookies copped a shellacking.

Good to see my mate Alastair Cook in the runs againand Andrew Strauss scoring back-to-back Test centuries which ensures that he will remain captain through to the 2013 Ashes in England next year (and the 2013/2014 Ashes in Australia).

Strauss has the opportunity to become unique among modern English cricketers by winning no fewer than FIVE Ashes series.

He will likely retire after the 2014 leg and Cookie is odds-on to take over then.

QE on the way to UK again?

I'm not talking about Queen Elizabeth and the coming Jubilee weekend, instead I'm referring to Quantitative Easing (QE) in the UK.

The ever-brilliant lads at Deloitte Access Economics highlighted that with GDP in Britain floundering (worsened by diabolical weather in April) if the Eurozone crisis intensifies, the Brits won't hesitate to switch on the printing presses to pump up the economy with more cash.

Of course, in this day and age, they won't literally print more cash.

Instead the Bank of England will buy assets from the private sector, government bonds and quality corporate bonds - effectively increasing the amount of money in the economy and hopefully stimulating growth.

Since 2008, the Bank of England has fired some £325 billion into the economy.

Normally, a central bank would look to cut interest rates, but with rates already a record low of 0.50% there is not much room for movement left to work with.

Inflation risk

Inflation in the UK is running at 3.5% year on year.

History has shown that QE does not necessarily lead to inflation, but where inflation does occur, QE is often a key precipitating factor.

A tax on net savers

Inflation is bad news for those who try to save their cash (and also for pensioners) as each year the cash loses a percentage of its purchasing power.

What is needed as protection is investment in inflation-busting assets - shares in outstanding franchise-type companies who have the ability to raise their sales prices in line with or above the rate of inflation (personally, in the UK I just buy the FTSE 100 index via a fund) and investment properties in areas with supply shortages (London and the south-east of England).



Monday, 28 May 2012

Auction tactics

Went into town today and saw something from times gone by: a marketplace auction of bric-a-brac.

The existence of e-Bay has replaced much of the need for these events.

Properties do still go to auction, particularly in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney. Here are just 11 of the tactics you might use at a property auction (you may see some or all of these at a cut-throat auction!).

This is in no way a comprehensive list, so DYOR (do your own research!). For example, top tips include having a bid limit before you attend etc.

1) Talk-it-up - tell other bidders there is no point in bidding as you will bid more - it can scare 'em off (no longer legal, but does happen)

2) The eyeballer - glare menacingly at fellow bidders when you make your bid and intimidate them;

3) The full number-er - say "Five hundred and five thousand dollars" - sounds a lot more money than saying "505";

4) Suss out fake bidders - fake bidders who attend on behalf of the vendor to drive up the auction price are illegal - doesn't mean they don't exist though (bidding is often seemingly opened by a dog or the fence-post);

5) The knock-out bid - suddenly bidding in a big increment to scare off other bidders;

6) The loud talker - shouldn't work but sometimes does - bid loud and bid confidently;

7) Wear sunnies - like when playing poker, sunglasses can make you appear cool even when you ain't and are 'bricking it';

8) Look for whisperers - a couple that is whispering to each other or appearing to argue won't be bidding much further - they are probably already over their pre-agreed bidding limit;

9) Slow the pace - if you're up against a fast-and-furious bidder, slow everything down (the auctioneer won't close until he's certain you will go no higher) - it might not help you win, but you'll at least annoy the other bidder and maybe throw him off his game too;

10) Smarten up - first impressions do make a difference, so at least look like you have the cash to be the winning bidder (even if you don't!) - 10 year old boardshorts + VB singlet doesn't work so well here; and

11) Arrive in style - likewise, don't turn up in your rusty 1984 Torana - probably gives the impression that your bidding limit is a low one, rightly or wrongly.

Going, going...gone!



Saturday, 26 May 2012

Invest where the property shortages are

In this article here, Rob Sindel of building group CSR notes where Australia's property shortages are:

“What you've got is you've got shortages in certain places. You've got shortages in NSW, you've got shortages in south-east Queensland. You've got a shortage in Western Australia. You don't have a shortage in Victoria. And it's often driven by land shortages, it's driven by a number of factors. So I think it's very hard to categorise the Australian market as just one market. There is a series of undermarkets."

But, hey, if you read my Blog - you already knew that. What only a few of the more diligent analysts noted from the latest budget's small-print is that overseas (i.e. non-resident) property investors in Australia will lose the 50% Capital Gains Tax Discount going forward. 

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Are Sydney's property markets tanking?

Pick the right suburbs and the right property types

Short answer: definitely not if you are investing in the right areas.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record (ahhh, too late), smart investors have been saying for years now: invest in supply-constrained suburbs of the inner-west and certain in-demand pockets of the eastern suburbs.

Here's an actual real-life example of what is happening in the inner-west - I bought the unit below in Erskineville (off-the-plan; something I wouldn't normally advocate) in 2009 for $374,950.

Erskineville is 4km and 2 stops from Central Station. An identical unit just sold for exactly $450,000.

That's exactly a 20% increase over 3 years or a 6.3% compounding annual capital growth. Interestingly, that growth rate averages out to be very close to the median growth in household incomes...

...which is what I have long argued will happen to investment grade unit values over a long-term time horizon (though I do believe that household income growth will slow a little to nearer 5% - the historic income growth has in part been facilitated by a boom in the number of two-income households).

I've seen very similar growth rates in other inner-Sydney suburbs I invest in too, in the eastern suburbs and around the harbourside, for example.

Price easing?

Could prices fall? Sure they could. But with equity in this property example of $125,000 in just 3 years, I'm not exactly quaking in my boots.

And if Sydney's population increases by 1 million - hey, that's 1,000,000 people, by the way - over the next dozen years or so, if you are investing in high-demand, supply-constrained areas, you can relax.

Vacancy rates as extremely low and rents have grown very, very strongly too - as much as 15% in the past year.

I see a similar story in the south-east of England in the UK - if you are buying properties in areas with supply shortages for 25% less than they last changed hands for in 2005 and using a 25% deposit, then your long-term risk is low.

Remember property is a long-term investment. By way of comparison the FTSE 100 in the UK dropped by 2.5% in one day yesterday.

So, no the markets certainly haven't tanked - if you know what you are doing.



Erskineville: near the train station for the City and near to Newtown - ideal for young professionals.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Women are better investors than men: fact

It was pointed out to me today that my Blog can be a little, how should one say?…bloke-ish (cf. my last post on cricket, sports betting and Monday lunchtime curries).

I must admit, it had never occurred to me as to whether anything I write retains a gender bias. I hadn’t consider this to be so, but perhaps it is true?

Studies have shown: women make superior investors

A point I iterate and re-iterate in my book, is that studies have shown time and again that women frequently make more successful investors than men – when, that is, they are afforded the opportunity to control household purse-strings.

There are a number of reasons for this, most of them related to the perception of risk and emotional responses.

Women tend to have a greater desire and propensity for self-control than men, who seem to have more of a leaning towards self-destruction and love the call-to-action-adrenaline-rush of a crisis situation.

When it comes to share investing, surveys have shown that men tend to overtrade (generating eye-watering transaction costs), place too much confidence into speculative ventures (the self-destruct mechanism in full flow) and tend to be over-confident in their own ability in general.

Women on the other hand are often more rational, have more patience and composure and thus trade less frequently (and see no merit in action without purpose), are more inclined to seek advice and education, and tend to invest more conservatively.

Women may also have more awareness, which can lead to stress but also a greater yearning for financial discipline.

Men, on the other hand, react angrily to crises, extrapolate wildly based upon incomplete information and make ill-advised, hasty financial decisions.

What do men need to learn from this

What study after study has shown is that men need to learn the following skills:

·         -Be less over-confident
·         -Trade less frequently
·         -Take fewer unnecessary risks
·         -Learn discipline

In fact, men simply need to learn to be more like women investors!

Monday, 21 May 2012

Where is your city on the Property Clock?

A great little piece regarding the time on the 'Property Clock' by Michael Matusik of Matusik Property Insights here - check out his regular common-sense updates via my Blogroll.

Brisbane next to go

Precisely in keeping with my own thoughts, Matusik is calling Brisbane as the next Aussie capital city to see a material upswing in values.

Brisbane has seen little or no growth no since well before the financial crisis - the recent flooding in Queensland damaged confidence and saw values sliding, which now presents savvy counter-cyclical investors with some mouth-watering opportunities.

Personally, I am very keen on some of the inner-western suburbs with transport links, such as Toowong and Indooroopilly.

More than one 'property market' for each city

Of course, it is very difficult to generalise with property markets.

I agree with Matusik that Sydney is at the peak of its cycle for most dwellings - but there are of course pockets of suburbs and property types that will see - heck, that are seeing - very sharp rental growth, and values will tend to follow in certain supply-constrained hubs.

The only point I disagree with is the placing of Albany/Wodonga - I assume this intended to mean Albury-Wodonga as Albany is nearly 3,500 clicks down the Eyre Highway from Wodonga, and thus has a low correlation...

Oz can be very confusing like that: an example, accidentally take a left turn up the Stuart Highway instead of the Sturt Highway from South Australia and you could end up 3,979km from your target destination (Darwin instead of Sydney).

So it does pay to check the map occasionally!



Toowong: some great value units if you know where to look. Expect to pay around $380,000 for a high-quality 2 bedroom investment unit.

***

Steady trade just finished on the ASX , the All Ords finishing up just over 0.6%.

Aussie dollar has eased down to 98.3 US cents.

Friday, 18 May 2012

Spain officially in recession; global equities sell-off

With Spain now officially in recession as of today and fears of there being a run on Spanish banks, stocks were never going to be in for a good day.

Throw a little weak US data and rising fears of European debt contagion into the mix and we have an ideal recipe for a bloodbath on the bourse today.

The XJO (ASX 200) latest as write this is down 1.7% to 4,086 and sinking fast - heading well off the bottom of this chart.

It's been a rough ol' month for stocks as investors have moved back into risk-off mode.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

CBA to get pinged on Greek Eurozone exit

Commonwealth Bank (CBA) admitted that its exposure if Greece were to exit the Euro would see them copping "material" write-downs. Guess I might be seeing some more margin creep on the (several) mortgages I hold with CommBank then. The CBA share price reacted poorly, getting pinged for 1.5% in yesterday's trade.

***

Got to dash as I'm heading to Lords for the Test Match. As I so drolly remarked on my Facebook status: this is revenge for 1984 (West Indies 5-0 drubbing of England, that is, not George Orwell's dystopian novel on pervasive government surveillance). Oh come on, it's hard to be witty at 7.32am - and I'm already running late...

ASX oversold yesterday?

The Aussie stock market (XJO) got smashed by around 2.3% yesterday on more scary news out of Greece.

And yet, the Dow Jones actually opened up today as US investors chose to place more importance on better than expected industrial production data and a promising reading on housing starts than it does on European woes.

That would normally imply a strong open for the ASX today, but if the past couple of years are anything to go by I wouldn't be too hopeful - the Aussie market has been tremendously reserved in its recovery when compared to other indices (such as that of the US).

In fact, the SPI 200 (the Aussie stock futures index) is suggesting an improvement of 0.5% today - a lot can happen in 24 hours though!

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

>2.3% wiped off Aussie shares today

Looking increasingly likely that Greece will be exiting the Euro someday in the not too distant future.

I think I still have 20 drachma from a Corfu trip in the 1990's, so it's not all bad news.

Monday, 14 May 2012

SMH reports increase in fixed-rate lending

Borrowers flocked to lock in fixed rate mortgages at around 6.3% in March, Sydney Morning Herald reported today here.

The standard variable rate for mortgages was around half a percent higher at 6.8%.

Fixed rates are normally higher than variable rates as lenders charge a premium for locking in the certainty of the repayment amounts.

However, sometimes the yield curve can become inverted - in other words, the markets think that interest rates will come down (and they have!), so the fixed rates can be lower than the variable.

Sydney's auction clearance rate continued to climb at the weekend to 62%, so no signs of the much-touted collapse in property values just yet.

Aussie dollar slips as low as 0.9962

Finally, the world's economic worries have taken their toll on the Aussie dollar as it slips below parity with the US dollar.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Greek election woes are back...

Aussie dollar fell to 100.27 against the US dollar - the closest we have seen to the magic 100 - as fears have again mounted of a Greek financial crisis.

The elections there have failed to return a winner as voters rejected austerity measures and the ruling coalition party.

Just when we thought that somehow the worst of the Greek issues might be behind us...

Aussie stock markets sure didn't like it, returning the worst weekly result in 6.

***

Driving up to Yorkshire in the next hour or two.

Is that sun out there I can see?!

Rents in Sydney's inner west growing strongly

There's an awful lot of claptrap talked about property markets - but I own properties in the inner west of Sydney myself and, I can confirm that rents are indeed growing very sharply there.

As Michael Yardney points out in this article here, this is simply being driven by supply and demand: vacancy rates in the inner west are lower than 1%.  That is an extremely low vacancy rate.

Sydney's eastern suburbs have a similar low-vacancy dynamic and rents will probably continue rise there too, though property value growth might be more unlikely in the more expensive east.

In fact, Metropole manage several of my properties and re-let one of them to a new tenant within 24 hours of listing it. So, yes, there's plenty of rental demand out there.

Predictably, the news out of Melbourne is less promising with vacancy rates being higher, and Melbourne values having boomed in recent years.


Photo: Sydney's inner west (well, a bit of it!).


Rates (and QE) on hold for the Brits

The Bank of England left UK interest rates at record low levels of 0.5%, that being unchanged for well over three years now, since March 2009 when the emergency levels were first adopted.

It was also announced that there would be no extension yet to the quantitative easing measures or 'QE' (effectively the printing of more money to stimulate the economy).

This has brought the British pound up to three and a half year highs against the struggling Euro. Some investors were clearly expecting more QE.

It's been great for those of us with UK mortgages, but such low interest rates are the sign of a sick economy.  Still, can't see them changing any time soon.

***

Currently reading An Author's Guide to Publishing by Michael Legat.

Should've read it before I wrote my book really, I suppose.

Off up to Yorkshire in the morning for 3 days of hiking.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Aussie unemployment comes in low at just 4.9%

Resulting in a jump in the dollar. This reduces the chances of another interest rate cut in June.

Below is a quick re-hash of an earlier post of mine on making sense of unemployment figures.

Interpreting unemployment figures

It is well known that employment figures are seen as a key economic indicator.

But what does an unemployment rate in 2012 of 5% in Australia really mean?  It sounds quite high, right?

Well, not really.  Countries have a natural rate of unemployment (known as the NAIRU) and for Australia it is a shade over 4%.

Unemployment should not really drop far below 4% for these four reasons:

1) Frictional unemployment - there is always a certain number of people moving between jobs and thus temporarily unemployed

2) Structural unemployment - e.g. those trained to work in industries that are become obsolescent

3) Seasonal unemployment - such as those who work in tourism or agriculture

4) Residual unemployment - economists might cruelly refer to this hard core of non-workers and "the great unemployable".  For varying reasons, some people have not adjusted to the modern capitalist world and will never work.  The same is true in all countries.

The reality is that at 5% unemployment, we're very lucky. Spain's unemployment rate is close to 25%, for example.

Source: The Economist

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Aussie dollar finally IS cracking post-Budget

The AUD only buying 101.3 US cents now after the release of the budget. Could be testing parity in a matter of days now - enjoy those holidays while you can!

Here's what "Dr. No" had to say about the budget release:


Australians deserve better than a budget that increases debt, increases unemployment and delivers the world’s biggest carbon tax.

Well, it raised a smirk chez Wargent anyway. I'm easily amused, of course.

Overall, not a bad budget for Oz today. Hard to argue with the increased benefits for families and there won't be too many who cry about the failure to bring on the 1 percent cut in company tax rates. They should pay more in the view of most ordinary Aussies.

We are genuinely lucky in Australia to have a choice of two "common sense" parties.

Now, France on the other hand...I'm not sure Blogger's data-feed can cope with all of my vociferous thoughts on that subject...  

CBA cuts fixed rates

Commonwealth Bank announced that it has cut its 3 year fixed home loans rates by 34 basis points to 5.99%, passing on very slightly more of the 50 basis points than NAB did. Nice.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Stock market horror show

Going to be a morose Monday on the ASX - a slowdown in jobs creation data in the US sent Dow stocks plummeting some 168 points on Friday - that's 1.3%.

More of the same for Australia on Monday.

How quickly will the 0.50% interest rate cut have an impact?

Last week, I noted that there would be 3 effects of the double interest rate cut: a boost for the property market, a lower Aussie dollar (excellent news for tourism, exporters - and possibly the stock market) and, of course lower home loan rates (though National Australia Bank did its best to spoil the party by passing on just 32 of the 50 basis points cut).

Well, the Aussie dollar has almost immediately slipped down to its lowest level in a while to 'only' 101.7 US cents - the Reserve Bank will be very happy about that. Some analysts believe the dollar will be testing parity with the USD very soon.

What about the property market?  Well, here are the last two weeks of auction clearance rates for Sydney:

28 April - 49%
5 May - 61%

Fairly conclusive evidence of an impact there.

And as Chris Joye notes in his blog here, UBank are now offering a variable mortgage rate of a staggeringly competitive 5.38%.


Friday, 4 May 2012

What has happened to Aussie house prices?

From the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) in its February 2012 publications.

Of course, we had some very significant increases in prices in 2009 after the financial crisis brought interest rate levels down low as the graph below shows.

With rates having climbed again, there has been a general softening of prices since 2011, more marked in some cities (Brisbane, Perth) than in others (Sydney, Canberra).

Melbourne has weakened too, but this is no surprise after the phenomenal growth shown there.

Values in Sydney have refused to budge downwards, in part because they ostensibly remained flat from early 2004 until 2009 - a period when other cities were booming.

The RBA has also noted that rents have grown strongly and vacancy rates are at particularly low levels - which partly explains why prices have not fallen further than this.

Graph 3.8: Dwelling Prices

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Is the Aussie dollar FINALLY cracking?

1 March 2012 - USD $1.0813
Latest - USD $1.0287

Slipped below $1.03 tonight...might it finally be heading below parity?

Would be good news in general for Australian business (and stock markets).

That pesky Aussie dollar refuses to go down!

Even after the Reserve Bank waded in with a super-size 50 point interest rate cut on , the dollar is still buying well over 103 US cents.

Just to put that in perspective, back in the depths of the financial crisis, the Aussie dollar bought just 60 US cents (holidays for Aussies have become a whole lot cheaper - not so good for tourists coming Down Under, but!).

Why hasn't it shifted? The main reason is that even by cutting rates by half of one percent, the Aussie cash rate of 3.75% is still way higher than in other developed nations, who are nearly all at crisis levels of 1% or lower.

To some extent, the currency markets must have expected at least one interest rate cut in May or June too.

Banks reaction has been tight, but unsurprising - National Australia Bank (NAB) only passed on a cut in their standard variable rate home loans of 0.32%.  Nice work if you can get it.



***

Hoping for a very important win for the Lilywhites versus Bolton tonight...COYS!

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Interest rates will be cut today...

AUD/USD (AUDUSD=X)

...and watch that Aussie dollar weaken.

Rates will surely be cut by 0.25% at 2.30pm today (rather than the widely-touted 0.50%).

***

I'm in England, and hey, it's sunny!! If it was always like this, we'd never go overseas, right?

Caught up with the Maldon CC crowd last night (rather predictably) for a curry. Absolutely brilliant to see them all too!