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[sharechat] Student Loans, Commsoft, Alzheimers etc.

From: RIL <>
Date: Thu, 28 Sep 2000 14:36:24 +0100 (BST)

With regard to student loans might I say that
something to consider is the quality of the product
you are borrowing to purchase.

It is not much more expensive to do your degree in
Australia and part-time jobs are plentiful.

I am aware that the quality of degrees has dropped
significantly in the last ten years as a result of
staff loses and the ridiculous staff to student
ratios. Also, in engineering and medicine for instance
access to the latest technology is limited because of
budget constraints.

The reservation of a proportion of places in popular
courses based on race and not ability (i.e. medicine)
has degraded the product as well.

In addition, the awarding of degrees by polytechs is a

Students using loans for share investment is
inherently dangerous and bares no relationship to a
mortgage because of the volatility of the underlying
security value. Such high gearing is the province of
professionals unless you are dealing in very small

I do remember a colleague from university who
graduated with a 50K sharemarket related debt around
his neck as the result of an October, 1987 share

Commsoft has had an unspectacular beginning which
according to management is a result of the unfortunate
timing of the listing. I have been over the figures
again and again and this stock will have a run.
Forecast P/E of 9. The key is to establish whether
these forecasts are likely to be met. A high growth
telephony stock cannot exist for long with a P/E of 9.
The guys at the company are highly driven.

There already are natural treatments for Alzheimers
that can prevent, halt or to some degree reverse this
dis-ease. Read Brain Longevity and How I (not me) Beat
Alzheimers. Both at Amazon. An intersting example of
the flaws of the whole bio-tech movement, in my
opinion. All drug treatments have side-effects, some
of which are not predictable (ie read Michael
Ridpath's new book) and most drug treatments are
eventually proven to be disasterous (if a cause and
effect relationship can be established - a typical
shortcoming of scientific proof). 

Consequently, what is driving the bio-tech boom IMHO
is the mistaken belief that lab produced drugs can
produce efficacy without harm (provable or
While this belief exists, as it may always exist,
there will be money to be made in bio-tech. 

Also, it is not particularly difficult to get a drug
past the FDA and producing profits where a direct
cause and effect relationhip of harm can not be proven
within the limited constraints of scientific method.
It also helps that the applicant provides the data.

IMHO bio-tech companies are therefore very risky.



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