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  1. #1
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    The future of PowerLine Communications (broadband over utility lines)

    I'm looking to invest a small amount in the stock market, and there seems to be a lot of talk with PLC technology. Does the idea of broadband over utility lines seem like it will do well?

  2. #2
    Glorious Leader I.M.O.G.'s Avatar
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    What sort of investment are you looking for?

    PLC investment sounds risky to me, but I naturally lean more towards long-term stable producers.
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  3. #3
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    I currently have about $8100 to "play" with. I have a fair amount in conservative mutual funds, so I figured I'd invest what was left over in something like techonology and/or international companies.

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    Glorious Leader I.M.O.G.'s Avatar
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    If I had the money at the time, I would have dumped it all into Sirius stock the morning Howard Stern announced on his morning show he'd be moving to sattelite in 15 months. I'm no market analyst or anything, but seeing the top syndicated radio personality move from FM to Satellite tells me thats a huge step for the technology. Stock raised some hugely ridiculous percentage after his announcement, and I would bet that it will make another jump as the move comes closer.

    IMO, Satellite radio vs. AM/FM is going to be what cable television is compared to local antenna television. It will take time, but I think this is a good place to put some money.
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  5. #5
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    Interesting. So far, it seems like I'll be dividing the $8100 into 4 equal shares. One will go to a Pacific Int'l mutual fund, one into a health/tech fund, one into a tech stock, and possibly another tech stock. How's that look? I already have other assets in more conservative mutual funds, so this can be viewed as money that I can afford to burn (though obviously I'd like to make money).

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    Glorious Leader I.M.O.G.'s Avatar
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    Sound alright to me, but I'm less than thoroughly experienced with stocks... Haven't hit the income point in my life yet where I have any surplus to take any risk with.

    I would say that if you are looking to make money on this investment, you will certainly want to make the investments yourself and not go through a broker. This requires time and research on your own of course, but if you look at all the best investment firms, you will see that they do not beat the market, and sometimes don't even keep up with it AFAIK.

    BTW, its nice to see you around more often again. Seems like I'm coming across your posts more regularly... More free time lately?
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  7. #7
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    That looks tech heavy to me. But then I don't know, you could have a hundred grand in the mutual fund. Of course if that were the case then you would be running very light.

    Actually, you have to weigh out the risks of each investment and decide what you can afford to lose. Seriously, it all depends on what your tolerance for risk is and how long you want to keep the money invested. If you are going for a long term plan (like 10+ years), you probably want to put a fair chunk of it in more conservative products like mutual funds (right now is not a great time to invest in bonds IMHO).

    Speaking personally, if I had only eight grand, I would do something along the lines of 40% mutual funds, 20% (moderate) growth stocks, 20% income producing stocks, 10% bonds and 10% tech stocks. That way, you spread the risk around a bit more and still retain a good chunk in stuff that could become better to be in when the economy shifts around.

    You should also check with William as he does this stuff on a bigger scale than I am used to.

  8. #8
    Prodigal Son Moderator William's Avatar
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    Bad asset allocation is what that looks. If its trully risk money, then do whatever fits your fancy, but if its anything less than that, go with something more stable.

    Personally, for that money I would dump it into the Vanguard Index 500 and forget about the money for years. Your much more likely to do well there than anywhere else.

    If you were looking something that was riskier, skip any sort of funds, they tend to eat some profits out. I would consider investing in a stock or two that offers a DRIP program. There aren't any risky tech stocks in there, in fact there aren't many tech stocks (the only ones I am aware of are Microsoft, Intel, and IBM, I think intel at least).

    I personally see no reason to gamble around with 8100 dollars. I would start sticking chunks of 3000 a year for the next 3 yerars into a ROTH IRA invested in some index funds and again just forget about it. Investing is incredibly dull once you have your strategy set out. Thats fine by me though, it has served me very well so far.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by I.M.O.G.
    I would say that if you are looking to make money on this investment, you will certainly want to make the investments yourself and not go through a broker. This requires time and research on your own of course, but if you look at all the best investment firms, you will see that they do not beat the market, and sometimes don't even keep up with it AFAIK.

    BTW, its nice to see you around more often again. Seems like I'm coming across your posts more regularly... More free time lately?
    I plan on staying amateur with this for now, so a broker is definitely not worth my time. And yes, I do have much more free time. College is much less strenuous than high school (so far).


    That looks tech heavy to me. But then I don't know, you could have a hundred grand in the mutual fund. Of course if that were the case then you would be running very light.

    Actually, you have to weigh out the risks of each investment and decide what you can afford to lose. Seriously, it all depends on what your tolerance for risk is and how long you want to keep the money invested. If you are going for a long term plan (like 10+ years), you probably want to put a fair chunk of it in more conservative products like mutual funds (right now is not a great time to invest in bonds IMHO).

    Speaking personally, if I had only eight grand, I would do something along the lines of 40% mutual funds, 20% (moderate) growth stocks, 20% income producing stocks, 10% bonds and 10% tech stocks. That way, you spread the risk around a bit more and still retain a good chunk in stuff that could become better to be in when the economy shifts around.
    Bad asset allocation is what that looks. If its trully risk money, then do whatever fits your fancy, but if its anything less than that, go with something more stable.

    Personally, for that money I would dump it into the Vanguard Index 500 and forget about the money for years. Your much more likely to do well there than anywhere else.

    If you were looking something that was riskier, skip any sort of funds, they tend to eat some profits out. I would consider investing in a stock or two that offers a DRIP program. There aren't any risky tech stocks in there, in fact there aren't many tech stocks (the only ones I am aware of are Microsoft, Intel, and IBM, I think intel at least).

    I personally see no reason to gamble around with 8100 dollars. I would start sticking chunks of 3000 a year for the next 3 yerars into a ROTH IRA invested in some index funds and again just forget about it. Investing is incredibly dull once you have your strategy set out. Thats fine by me though, it has served me very well so far.
    I actually already have a fairly substantial amount invested in various Vangaurd index funds, and a Roth IRA should be set up within the week. The $8100 is something I can afford to lose (though obviously I'd rather not lose it). Knowing this, what kind of market sectors should I look into? I've heard recommendations about technology, healthcare, metals, and Asian stocks. Any others?

  10. #10
    Member TommyHolly's Avatar
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    WOW Everyone is "Blue" in this thread! Can I join the club too?

    ANyway, I would not put too much into the powerline broadband IPOs. Too many companies are going to saturate the market in Telecom again in the next few years and there will be another bubble and then it will break again. Then everyone will lose thier jobs all over just like last time. Example:

    -Verizon has announced a billion $ plan to bring fiber optics to the home across the major cities. (Then they'll probably go bankrupt after spending all that money, then some other company with former board members of Verizon will probably buy the companies network for a fraction of the cost...

    -SBC has announced plans for Cable TV as well as phone service and DSL all over the same lines. They have already started in Michigan...

    -WI-MAX is going through final testing and will probably womp on all the competitors once it comes out due to no lines of any kind. Just a 25-Mile Line Of Sight issue and you have the whole package at your door very cheap! (This would be your best bet but is still risky.)

    Myself, I made some decent money betting on the stock market and things like snofall or Millions of Dollars a movie will make on opening night at www.tradesports.com You are better off with something like that if you want to go less risky.
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  11. #11
    Glorious Leader I.M.O.G.'s Avatar
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    How'd TommyHolly get into this thread?

    Guards, shoot that man.
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  12. #12
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    Reserving spot...yay! I feel like I am in the blue room with a fellow orange that is rather punctured with bullet holes.

    IMO, Satellite radio vs. AM/FM is going to be what cable television is compared to local antenna television. It will take time, but I think this is a good place to put some money.
    I agree. Satellite radio is something that I think is going to make it for the same thing you said: "is going to be what cable television is compared to local antenna television."

    I might add that I am still on AM/FM, broadcast TV, and 14.4 dialup internet! Look at my computer in my sig...pretty ancient too .


    To be honest, this is one of those things that might hit it, then again there is a good chance it might not. Just look at RDRAM for example, that looked nice at the moment, it hit it temporarily and is now the way of the dinosaur for the now mainstream DDR. To me I think this would probably end up being something more like the RDRAM and something like wireless internet (what is it, Wi-max? Broadcasted 30 miles or something...but kinda slow) would be the "DDR."

    Another analogy would be 802.11A vs. the B and G that hit it off.

    To be honest, this is something you don't really know...but if everyone knew we would all be millionaires. It could make it, it might not as I am now realizing this post could influence whether or not you make it rich or lose it all.......

    *sweats*

    Ok, this is just what I PERSONALLY think on it...there are good chances I could be wrong and good chances I could be right. Just think of this as another way to look at it.
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    Member TommyHolly's Avatar
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    Wi-Max could easily broadcast 100Mbs/sec to multiple customers from a local tower. It has a maximum effective range of 50 miles. When it comes out, it will dominate the market because it requires no local connections. Just set up a box outside or in many cases just inside the house and BAM! You have 100Mbs! Digital HDTV, and Phone lines too.
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  14. #14
    The Mad Smelter Susquehannock's Avatar
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    This technology has been around for quite some time. IMO, it won't become viable
    until they clean up all the noise on the lines. Afterall, the infrastructure
    here in the U.S. is extremely old. Some places are still using
    components (transformers, lines, generators) installed during the TVA era
    from the 1930's.

    PLC tech would work better in Europe with their more updated infrastructure.
    Heck, in Europe your Computer's PSU is required to have active PFC. Not so
    here in the States because it wouldn't help our aged system.

  15. #15
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    Actally, it won't be getting any better. Mainly because power lines have to much interferance and spikes in them to do any secure, stable, or fast type of communications. There were actually home network kits availabe way back when, and you'd just plug into your wall outlet, and then the adapter would go to a card in your computer. There were downsides to this though. A power surge could fry your computer, top speeds were about 750 kilobit (BNC networks can do 2 megabit), and of coarse the interferance.

    I think the future lies in optical lines, fiber, since it offers ultra high speeds up to gigabit and beyond. We just don't have the equipment on hand to reach those higher speeds.
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  16. #16
    The Mad Smelter Susquehannock's Avatar
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    I'm with you CP. The future is in fiber IMO. HUGE bandwidth.

    And I remember those home networking kits over power lines too. They were released
    with all sorts of fanfare. But it soon died off when they discovered nobody wanted them.

  17. #17
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    Oh wow, I did not know Wimax was that good. I think the future will be in that or in fiber optic as well. Both look quite promising.
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  18. #18
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    I would invest in the "Clash's conservatory fund"....
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  19. #19
    Prodigal Son Moderator William's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by It_The_Cow
    I actually already have a fairly substantial amount invested in various Vangaurd index funds, and a Roth IRA should be set up within the week. The $8100 is something I can afford to lose (though obviously I'd rather not lose it). Knowing this, what kind of market sectors should I look into? I've heard recommendations about technology, healthcare, metals, and Asian stocks. Any others?
    If it ain't broke don't fix it. Look at Warren Buffett, he makes more than practically anyone in the market and doesn't take risks. He looks to buy things that are undervalued and hold them forever, or as long as he can. In ten years, he made his investment in coke back in dividends, essentially becoming a ten year loan at no interest with the bonus of owning 10% of the company (its that for 5%, i forget which). He doesn't invest in tech stocks, he barely dabbles in foreign stocks, no airline stocks, etc. He only buys businesses he can understand intimately. He hasn't strayed from his formula because it works well for him, and he wouldn't have it any other way.

    There isn't any reason to risk money, because in some of the areas you are discussing you are taking completely uneducated gambles. What do you know about Asian stocks? Maybe more than me, but I know zilch, zip, and nadda about them. Healthcare, I know way too little about, though I will eventually know enough to feel comfortable investing in it. Tech stocks, only those I can understand will I invest in, or those that I feel comfortable not knowing enough about. I only own two, IBM and Microsoft.
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    Foreman: He was right about that infinite sequence last week... maybe we didn't consider this could be an asymptotic problem.
    House: This is the only way! Sometimes solutions are NP complete and there's nothing anyone can do about it! Foreman, sneak into the physics department and reroute their servers to ours, we need the extra processors if we don't want this equation to go quadratic on us. Chase, patch the memory leak and install Matlab 9.3.
    Chase: Shouldn't we be using Mathematica for potentially asymptotic functions?
    House: When I want your opinion, I'll do an affine transformation to get it. I'm off to see Cuddy. Those parabolic eigenvalues of hers must be good for something.

  20. #20
    Member Tamasha_Strife's Avatar
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    As someone undergoing his finance major, I'd have to say that I'd avoid tech stocks. Basically they're gambles. You -can- make a ****load of money but most likely, all of those little companies will fail and take your money down the drain along. I guess the question is, what do you want from your investment?

    If what you want is take a chance of a big payoff quickly, then go ahead and invest in a risky stock.

    If you want to pretty much ensure a big payoff at a much later date, go with a well established company that pays out dividends. There's quite a lot of them to pick from here.

    I'd really suggest going for option #2 however.

    Also a third option if you really want to get into tech stocks but you don't care to do a lot of homework is to buy in a Tech Stock Mutual Fund. That's a lot safer than #1 but you won't get crazy returns if you get lucky. If you're lucky you'll outperform option #2. If you're unlucky, you'll lose some but less than with option #1 (where its possible you might lose everything) but you'll lose more than with option #2.

    Most importantly, DO YOUR HOMEWORK. DO NOT buy a company because the hype they put out sound good to you. Analysts are looking at the actual financial data behind the companies and unless people with big money like what they see and hop in, the stock will never go anywhere.
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