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"That means you rent everything. Renting is even worse financially in the long term, especially in the UK because the price of housing is going to increase forever."
Did the UK housing market cash?
My brother in law is some 60k underwater, which means if he sold his house today, he'd still owe the bank another year or two of gross income.
Don't get me wrong, I'd like to have a home of my own - but it's not in the cards until I find a much better paying job.
ii 2012 I'd say invest in Apple, except Steve Jobs died. There are no obvious clever investments right now. There's no companies that stand head and shoulders above others, and no clear idea leaders. Without jobs there's a 50/50 chance Apple will flush itself within 8 years. Look for a CEO or team that generates a massive level of excitement around the product. Noone is awaiting with awe the next google news announcement because google has matured. Same with Facebook. Apple time will tell what happens there. Tech as an investment is pretty crappy at the moment.
There are no obvious clever investment for 2012 right now but in 2015 it will be obvious. There is never any obvious clever investment for the future. It's always obvious for the past.
In the US it's different because you have so much free land. The UK is overcrowded. The housing price will only go up until the next revolution.