Sunday, April 22, 2012

Peer Currency Transfers:

Transferring money WISely across currencies while avoiding onerous wire transfer fees - foreign exchange marketplaces - currency transfer networks ... the disintermediation of institutional currency exchange - 0.3% currency exchange fees vs the typical 3% or greater via "banks" - cheaper remittances

From my own experience there is a lot of potential here.. I've done bilateral currency exchange transactions with trading firms (import/export - particularly those with an import bias) who are typically always in need of foreign currency.. they've always sought out further transactions, and will always offer better than bank - usually somewhere between retail to interbank, and in times of extreme scarcity at retail ...i.e. they'll buy from you at the bank's retail offer price.

 - person to person currency exchange marketplace, customers exchange currency with customers
 - review and choose the best rate on offer from other customers
 - place your own rate and wait to be matched
 - no dependence on "interbank rates", customers sometimes achieve better rates than interbank

What I've found so far at the date of this post, please add any others you're aware of in comments: 

-  (supporting >10 countries/currencies) the best one so far IMHO
- (only supports EU and GBP)
-  (student payments)

Further reading:
- (on transferWISe)
- (CurrencyFair review)
- (peerTransfer coverage)

Startup of the Day:

TransferWISe - avoid onerous wire transfer fees  

NYSE:MUX - McEwen Mining Co.

Speculative... watch listed...
MUX is a special company, there is little to say about it now because earnings haven't really kicked in. I'm not going in-depth in this post, you've got to understand the metals sector and be able to speculate to risk this one...
Its attractive at these levels precisely because its undervalued viz its potential.
Some positives: it has a heavily invested founding CEO with a great industry reputation. But thats qualitative, without any hard quantitative evidence to back it up. That's the nature of risk.
Some negatives: its exposed to Argentina, and thus subject to the risk that the Argentinian government appropriates its mining rights. Its a junior minor i.e. tiny in comparison to other players in the industry - but thats also why its attractive, etc.
In summary do your own research and size appropriately to your risk appetite.. I'll bite into this, a very small bite, next week...
More reading:

Telefonica (ADR) - Bought 20/4

2012.04.20 I bought some TEF today, as it looks attractively undervalued with an 11% dividend yield. Note thought that management is initiating a share repurchase program and thus the cash dividend will probably decrease; plus historic results mean nothing. This is a long term investment, you should be comfortable holding for 3 years or more, and seeing Telefonica's price decrease even further in the interim. If the price does continue to decrease substantially then I may purchase more later ...
"Telefonica presents an appealing opportunity for dividends and stock appreciation. The Spanish company has tumbled in the last year as concerns over that country's economy have grown and Spanish bond rates have risen to 6%. The telecom giant, though, may not be as exposed to the struggling Spanish economy as it appears, since it generates much of its revenue from Latin America. In fact, about 70% of its 2011 operating income came from Latin America and the rest of Europe.

Telefonica's shares have dropped nearly 50% in the last year, and it recently reached a new 52-week low just under $15. As the stock has dropped, its dividend yield has soared, now up to 11.4%. Shares look affordably priced at a forward P/E of just 7, and the company brought in over 8 billion euros in free cash flow last year." Idea Source: Motley Fool