|The writings of Nicholas Edwin Renton AM cover many different subjects: meetings procedure, voluntary bodies, shares, property, corporate governance, income tax, the GST, dividend imputation, wills, estate planning, family trusts, negative gearing, the English language, public relations, Internet usage, retirement issues, managed investments, and so on.|
|This "telephone" has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.|
- Western Union internal memo, 1876
A SPECIAL MESSAGE FOR READERS OF THIS SITE
This proudly Australian site was launched by Nick Renton on 2000-01-08 and has been maintained solely by him ever since.
It now contains 161 web pages, three fractal galleries, one slide show, a screensaver, 38 movies, a web log and 10 podcasts.
© 2000-2009 N E Renton. All rights reserved. All material on this web site and all associated podcasts and videos are protected by copyright law and may not be reproduced or distributed without Nick Renton's prior written permission.
The information on this site does not constitute legal, investment or financial advice.
All dates on this site use the YYYY-MM-DD date format of ISO 8601.
This home page is updated frequently.
This site is not owned by a bookshop and cannot be used to purchase books. However, most Australian bookshops are only too happy to get the books featured on this site in for Australian and international customers on request, even if these titles are not currently in stock. It is best to quote the 13-digit ISBN.
The books can also be purchased online:
|Miscellaneous Items of Interest
||Euthanasia, Blind Trusts, Interest Rates and other Social Issues
Essays and Articles
(and several promotional movies)
Articles by Nick Renton in CompareShares
|The Censorship of e-mails by Telstra, the real Rogue Organisation
||Fincorp: Apportioning the Blame|
Some Controversial Suggestions and Provocative Reflections on the Current System - a Plain English Contribution to the Current Debate
Australian politicians would get much more support for a carbon tax if they made it clear that every dollar raised under such a label would be returned to the community in the form of lower income tax.
There is no reason why a tax designed to discourage pollution cannot at the same time also be revenue neutral.
In a development very pleasing to Nick Renton as author four of his books have been republished in India.
ONLY IN AMERICA
Sexual abuse or kiddie porn? Only in America would the stupidity of a shop assistant lead to a mother losing access to and custody of her three young children, aged five, four and one.
It is to be hoped that a large sum by way of compensatory and exemplary damages will now be awarded against Wal-Mart for its unethical meddling in this matter and against the State officials involved, especially as the parents were not even charged with any offence.
BRISCONNECTIONS (ASX:BCSCA) AND BOLTON
The $4.5 million that Nicholas Bolton received for his voting rights sounds a lot of money, but it needs to be put in context.
It represents only 5.81 cents per stapled unit, which was actually less than the promised 5.95 cents distribution which was subsequently cancelled.
Furthermore, it pales into insignificance against the $138 million in fees that Macquarie received from the float.
And, after all, the transaction took place between a willing and informed buyer and a willing and informed seller. What is wrong with that?
YOUTUBE VIDEOS BY NICK RENTON
Readers can now follow Renton on Twitter:
WORTH READING: SCANDAL IN HIGH PLACES
Lest we forget: a paper by Anne Lampe to a seminar on the Westpac Letters Affair - an event organised by the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism in June 1992.
ETHICS: AN INTERESTING ARTICLE
A QUESTION FOR READERS OF THIS SITE
Barack Obama recently said:
"President and Mrs Bush invited Michelle and I to come to the White House."
But he probably would not have said:
"President and Mrs Bush invited I to come to the White House."
What on earth causes him, and numerous other highly educated persons, to get the pronoun after verbs and prepositions so wrong in such constructions?
Why, for example, do some people say "for my wife and I" rather than the correct "for my wife and me"?
And why do so many people also get it wrong the other way round and say something on the lines of "Me and Michael went there" instead of the correct "Michael and I went there"?
Readers are invited to send their comments on this subject to Nick Renton.
The Common Latin Phrases page of this site continues to be extremely popular around the globe and has now had nearly 200,000 hits. Many readers have e-mailed their appreciation. A typical message read as follows:
"Dear Ones who have compiled this wonderful information:
"I found your site via Google. I am an American living in the area of Valencia, Spain. I appreciate the list as I was deprived in my education of opportunity to study Latin and often have found my ignorance troublesome.
The worldwide reach of the Latin Phrases page can be seen in the graphic at the foot of the page.
THE BEST FORM OF REPUBLIC FOR AUSTRALIA
THE NASA KEPLER MISSION OF MARCH 2009
The Kepler Mission to search for earth-like planets is a monumental waste of money:
A FREE SCREENSAVER
41 original fractal images by Nick Renton, for computers running Windows
A WARNING FOR ONLINE SHARE TRADERS
An easily made typing error has cost the Japanese Mizuho Corporation at least 27 billion yen.
The company had wanted to sell one share in a job recruiting business called J-Com Co., which was having its public debut on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, for 610,000 yen.
Instead it sold 610,000 shares for one yen. Unfortunately, this meant that the company had actually sold some 42 times as many shares as were in existence.
AN INTRIGUING QUESTION
Many prayers contain the phrase "world without end".
Does this refer to time or space?
At the time of Caliph Omar's invasion of Egypt, the Arab officer on duty in the destruction of the library of Alexandria used two stamps with which he marked the books.
One said: "Does not agree with the Koran - heretic, must be burned." The other said: "Agrees with the Koran - superfluous, must be burned."" - Nils Kjaer
AUSTRALIAN LISTED COMPANIES AND THEIR ASX CODES
Many companies listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) fail to show their ASX code when dealing with their shareholders - for example, when sending out circulars, annual reports, dividend advices or forms.
All such communications from these companies or their registrars to investors should prominently set out these handy identifiers, the local equivalents of the mnemonic ticker symbols used on Wall Street.
This concept should also be taken one step further. Their web and e-mail addresses should become standardised - for example, to forms such as:
Such a move would greatly assist investors.
LISTED COMPANIES AND e-MAIL
Companies listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) or on exchanges in other countries enjoy a valuable privilege.
The quid pro quo for this should include making it easy for shareholders and customers to communicate with them by e-mail. The companies should therefore put the e-mail addresses of appropriate personnel, including that of their chief executive officer, on their web sites.
To prevent harvesting by spammers they can, of course, disguise these addresses - for example, by typing "@" as "AT" or by using a more sophisticated device such as that used on this web site.
AUSTRALIAN SHAREHOLDERS' ASSOCIATION MATERIALInaugural Meeting 1960-09-06
Submission to the Rae Committee 1970-07-08
Is a Shareholders' Association really necessary? (Podcast)
Answers to Questions about Shareholders' Rights (Podcast)
The archives relating to the ASA's early years (from 1960) are now in the State Library of Victoria.
A Simple Guide to Wills and to Saving for Retirement while Minimising Tax
DID YOU KNOW?
On 1987-06-30 the All Ordinary Index was 1764.1.
This represented an average growth rate of about 6.58 per cent per annum, for a period which included the October 1987 crash.
Q. What would the Index be in 100 years' time at the same rate of growth?
A. About 3,700,000.
ROLL OF HONOUR - LEXICOGRAPHY
An important principle in lexicography is that a word should not be defined in terms of itself. It is therefore disappointing that this classic mistake was made by the New South Wales Parliament when it passed the Land Tax Management Act 1956.
This contains the following unhelpful definition in section 3:
"principal place of residence" of a person means the one place of residence that is, among the one or more places of residence of the person within and outside Australia, the principal place of residence of the person.
Telstra thinks that it is all right to hang an occasional innocent person as a by-product of hanging guilty persons. Do you agree?
Telstra likes to blame others for its own incompetence and in the process demonstrates both arrogance and stupidity.
When a subscriber's dial-up broadband connection kept cutting out recently and thus mould on Telstra's own lines was suspected it refused to test them, saying that the ISP should do this!
THE FORMER PRIME MINISTER OF AUSTRALIA ASKED A QUESTION
Question by the Hon. John Howard MP: Who do you trust?
Suggested Answer: Only people who know when to use "whom".
NICK RENTON HAS BEEN AN ACTUARY FOR 50 YEARS
RECENT BOOKS - IN GREATER DETAIL
RENTON'S METAPHORS - A BARGAIN AT 3.6 CENTS PER PAGE
A SPONTANEOUS COMMENT FROM A READER
"Thank you very much for providing such valuable information so freely on the net and also for producing your books. The information about running trusts is very scarce and your books are the best resource I have yet found."
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Readers are invited to submit questions about the subjects shown below.
Providing answers to reader questions is a free service, made available for the benefit of the community and in appreciation of all the freeware that so many generous authors have put on the Internet.
However, it would be appreciated - in order to reduce the volume of unnecessary correspondence - if, before writing, readers looked at both the book concerned and the questions and answers already posted on this site.
Supplementing his prolific output of conventional books, Nick Renton has now produced his first four ebooks. These are aimed at international audiences. To read their outlines or to purchase the books click on the links below:
This is a book which every CEO of a business should read. The cover shows a colourful portion of the Mandelbrot set, designed to attract attention.
This is a work that contains wonderful quotations on business and investment - ideal material for someone preparing a speech or an advertising brochure. The cover shows a 19th century share certificate featuring a picture of a fascinating steam engine.
This is a plain English guide for businesses and organisations wishing to produce effective newsletters. Its cover shows logos of voluntary associations that are typical publishers of their own newsletters.
Subtitled "a Collection of Controversial Essays by an Opinionated Writer", this book of 32 essays has something of interest for everybody.
These ebooks are designed to be read onscreen, but their font size can be adjusted to give comfortable reading. They can also be used with text-to-speech software.
Publishers interested in producing print versions are invited to contact the author.
Nick Renton has also produced this promotional movie dealing with the first three books (2 minutes 33 seconds).
A promotional movie dealing with a book of quotations is worth watching (3 minutes 50 seconds).
Another promotional movie dealing with the essays book is also worth watching (5 minutes 27 seconds).
A further promotional movie deals with the successful newsletters book, which is a plain English ebook for businesses and voluntary associations (3 minutes 29 seconds).
This movie deals with another plain English ebook - one that covers all aspects of public relations for both businesses and non-profit bodies (7 minutes 4 seconds).
An article on ebooks and their many advantages may also be of interest.
These ebooks can be purchased online from the Australian Online Bookshop 08 9377 0991 (or +618 9377 0991 from outside Australia)
*** NOW AVAILABLE! ***
DEFINITIONS OF "INDEPENDENT DIRECTOR" AND "SHARE QUALIFICATION"
DEFINITION OF "PUMP AND DUMP"
DEFINITION OF "STAPLED SECURITIES"
DEFINITION OF "PRIVATE EQUITY"
DEFINITIONS OF "TRIMMED MEAN" AND "WEIGHTED MEDIAN"
DEFINITION OF "PUBLIC PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP"
DEFINITION OF "MERGER OF EQUALS"
AMENDED DEFINITION OF "RETURN ON ASSETS"
The ignorance of some professional bodies in Australia is truly appalling.
To illustrate, consider the case of the Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA). This organisation describes itself as "the national professional association for the real estate industry in Australia".
In order that an appropriate entry could be included in the next edition of this Dictionary the Institute was asked for a formal definition of the term "sale by expression of interest", which did not appear in its Glossary. Astonishingly, the Institute was unable to supply one.
Somewhat surprisingly, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) does not seem interested in educating investors either. Invited to comment on the draft definitions on this site, ASIC responded that it does not give legal advice.
However, it had not been asked for legal advice; after all, this project is a dictionary for ordinary investors, which is being produced in the public interest; it is not meant to be a legal treatise.
ASIC also suggested engaging a lawyer. Actually, the author has acted as a consultant to a number of legal firms over the years and it seems likely that he is much more knowledgeable in this area than most legal practitioners.
A Russian astrologist, who says NASA has altered her horoscope by crashing a spacecraft into a comet, is suing the US space agency for damages of $405 million. But, surely, if she were any good, she would have foreseen this event and allowed for it?
Do this sum yourself for your own superannuation fund:
If you want to retire on, say, $30,000 per annum then one way of doing this is to invest $600,000 at 5 per cent.
If you have $600,000 in a managed fund charging 2 per cent in fees then this is costing you $12,000 per annum.
Compare this with going to a doctor on average once a month at a cost of around $40 per visit, ignoring the Medicare refund. This would cost you $480 per annum.
WEALTH VERSUS HEALTH
Ask yourself: Is your fund manager really worth 25 times as much as your doctor?
And all this in a system where the government confiscates 15 per cent of superannuation contributions and where fund members can suffer from poor or even negative investment returns.
In America, only the successful writer is important; in France, all writers are important; in England, no writer is important; and in Australia, you have to explain what a writer is - Geoffrey Cottrell
Understanding the Stock Exchange (Fourth Edition)
Wills and Family Records (Second Edition) with CD-ROM
PUBLIC RELATIONS/GOVERNMENT RELATIONS
Renton's Metaphors (Third Edition)
MEETINGS PROCEDURE AND VOLUNTARY BODIES
Guide for Meetings and Organisations (Eighth Edition)
Consolidated List of Internet Links of Interest to Australian Investors and Others
The uncreative mind can spot wrong answers, but it takes a very creative mind to spot wrong questions - Anthony Jay
What strange creatures Australians are
Do you remember?
Is Renton a philosophical essayist or just plain opinionated?
A recent advertisement:
Investment Advice - Who do you turn to?
About Nick Renton
ART: MANDELBROT GALLERIES AND ZOOM MOVIES
Some interesting items.
A fractal is an irregular geometric pattern that appears similar at all scales of magnification. The term was coined in 1975 by Benoit B Mandelbrot, the discoverer of the Mandelbrot set, from the Latin fractus, meaning "broken".
This is an interesting zoom movie, finishing at a magnification of about 8e28 times (64 seconds).
This is another zoom movie, with many snakes (103 seconds).
For those who are curious, the station is in Glasgow.
One correspondent commented to Renton: "Glad that you found your station in life."
Nick Renton's Blog:
An informal blog about family matters, cats, travel reminiscences and consumer grumbles. It also contains more Mandelbrot art.
From Other People's Sites:
Complete List of Nick Renton's Australian Books. Enter: renton n (in Author)
Nick Renton's Evidence to the Australian Parliament's Joint Committee on Corporations and Securities on 1999-06-16 on the Company Law Review Act.
Nick Renton's seven Submissions to the Inquiry into Australia's Future Tax System (AFTS) on 2008-09-25 (go down to "Renton").
Form for Reader Suggestions in regard to this site
This form can also be used by readers:
It can also be used by organisations wishing to use Nick Renton's services as a lecturer or writer
Simple form for sending details of this site to a friend
Nick Renton's print books have been published by the following 13 publishers:
The ebooks were published by Gemburt Pty Ltd.
DO YOU AGREE?
The silliest question in the world is: "Do you understand?" - Nick Renton, addressing a human resources session
THE RENTON TRAM
A street scene from Renton, Scotland. The tram system was closed in 1928.
AN IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT MORTALITY
Unfortunately, the creator of this site, Nick Renton, is not immortal (except in the metaphorical sense that all authors live on through their works). Sooner or later this site will disappear.
However, all is not lost. The Wayback Machine maintains an archive of most pages on this site. Interested readers might like to bookmark this wonderful facility at this stage (and also explore it for its vast material).
(Use of the above phrase will ensure that
the message is not deleted unread as spam.)
Phone: +613 9859 4958
Time Zone: UCT+10 (when DLST: UCT+11)
The recommended retail prices shown on this site are in Australian currency and include GST. They are set by the respective publishers, not the author.
Some useless statistics:
Q. If someone owned one copy of each of Nick Renton's 66 printed books, how much shelf space would they occupy?
A. 1388 mm.
Q. And how many words do all 70 published books contain?
A. About 5.4 million words.
Compendium of Good Writing
a popular manual on grammar, punctuation, style
and word usage for individuals and businesses
|Kew Garden Club|
This home page http://nickrenton.com/ was last updated on 2009-12-18