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Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Asperger's Syndrome and Migraines

I wrote about my son Richard’s Asperger’s Syndrome condition here last year. It was meant to be a light-hearted piece (I hope it was taken this way) about humorous aspects of Asperger’s Syndrome.

Here’s a post about the not-so-funny side of Asperger’s Syndrome. A few months ago Richard’s infrequent migraines began to become frequent, then regular, and then, over time, almost daily – and many of them were severe, necessitating several hours under the bedclothes, in bed with curtains tightly shut.

A visit to the doctor resulted in different pills (as a substitute for Migraleve), which made no difference at all.

I did some research, including consulting a medical colleague, and found that the circumstances above (that is: almost residing in one’s bedroom) can lead to a sunshine deficiency and hence vitamin D deficiency, as described by Dr. Mercola here.

Further research, on the net, showed that migraine sufferers respond positively to the vitamin supplements of D3, B12 and something called l-carnitine – all available at Holland & Barrett, a UK chain store selling health foods, vitamins and supplements.


Vitamin Supplements
Anyway, to cut to the chase, I started giving Richard one of each of the three supplements and the effect was immediate and dramatic. The very next day there were no migraines – and he had only two migraines in the next week. Three weeks on and Richard has had only those two migraines, neither of them severe.

I researched more and found that magnesium supplements can aid the ingestion of the aforementioned vitamin supplements – so I added those to Richard’s daily intake and Richard is still largely migraine free.

Let me here offer the strongest possible disclaimer. I have no medical qualifications or training. I did not consult my doctor before giving Richard the supplements. I am in no way qualified to offer any kind of medical advice or recommend medical procedures.

However, I love my son and would do anything to help him and relieve any pain or suffering he might encounter. I did this by giving him those supplements. I am very thankful I did – and so is he.


But! What works, works!

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Blackberry...yes, again!


Why? Because it’s worth shouting about, again, that’s why.

I’ve pumped up my stake in Blackberry and am looking forward to September’s business battle between the iPhone 6 and Blackberry’s Passport. John Chen is doing a great job and must be relishing this battle. There’s a whole plethora of analysts’ forecasts, financial data out there, almost willing Blackberry to do well, so I wont dwell on that.

I'm back! The good old Blackberry keyboard


But I have picked out some choice bloggers’ recommendations. I love ‘em!


Seeking Alpha says, in a heading of Final Thoughts:
Finally, Valuewalk, in an article with this very long headline - 'Blackberry has reason to cheer as most secure Android phone got rooted in just five minutes, proving the dominance of the Canadian firm as a security enterprise' - has this to say':



However, seekingalpha.com are hedging their bets, and have a  naysayer in their ranks. Kofi Bofah (Onyx Investments: avoid THEM!) tells us that the Passport has ‘no killer app’. Excuse me? I’d have thought that the Passport will itself be a killer app – you can walk around with about four eminently viewable films in your pocket. OK, so it’s a large pocket, but still.

Also Kofi, take a look at this – maybe apps are no longer king.

Kofi also reckons that after a consortium of institutional investors began to purchase $1.25 billion in Blackberry convertible debentures last year, the resulting ownership stake dilution, upon reaching $10, will be 23.7%, so 'conservative investors should avoid buying into Blackberry stock'. Blither blather. So what? they invested, and they're just getting their money back in a different way. Anyway, the stock's risen double that in a year.

So! I'm more than happy to stick with John Chen. However, I will nick Kofi's nicely worded disclaimer: Please do your own due diligence prior to investing. This article contains my opinions only, which should not form the basis of an investment decision.

Friday, 2 May 2014

Proven Investment Strategy - and no numbers involved

I’ve gone big, long, bullish – whatever you want to call it – on Blackberry. Big. And I don’t know their numbers – although nobody could have missed that they have been catastrophic in the recent past.

What I am increasingly basing my strategy on is the guy at the top – and in Blackberry’s case this is John Chen. More about him in a minute. If you have someone really top notch at the helm, why bother with the numbers? If the guy’s good he or she will get them right – and get them accurate. Like who, I hear you ask? Fair question. How about the genius Steve Jobs transforming Apple, twice? Or, closer to home and more up to date, look at the record of Harriet Green, CEO of the Thomas Cook Group who’s taken their share price from 20p – yes, 20p! – to 175p in seventeenmonths. Harriet is one smart lady – she told Thomas Cook they needed her. Did they ever!

This strategy has made me money several times and it's going to work for me again, with Blackberry. The way I’m hooked on them the old corruption of Crackberry could well apply to me.

Back to John Chen. What a record the guy has. You can read about it here and here. He’s a business genius.

More to the point, a staggering 56% of Blackberry’s shares are still owned by big institutions and in case you need reminding, big institutions hate to lose money. They brought Chen in on a hellova package. But he’ll pay them back.

And don’t take too much notice of Chen’s statement that there’s a 50-50 chance that the company might go under. C’mon John, we all know that that’s corporate speak for addressing your own folks. Subtext: take my reforms and cutbacks – or we (that means you) are going under. Much like Stephen Elop’s famous burningplatform speech to Nokia (by the way Nokia is my second biggest punt (I re-bought them) – more of that in another post). Apart from that, Fairfax Financial tried to buy Blackberry when it was on its knees and when they didn’t get it they piled in for more – and, importantly, they’re still there.

For the sake of fairness - as they say - let me put another side of this story. From seekingalpha.com (seeking help more like!), who said, a few days ago, ‘That being said, BlackBerryshareholders should immediately liquidate their positions, in order to avoid staggering losses over the next year'. Yeah, right!

On some of my other holdings: I’m well out of Anite and Ironveld now (lost a bit on both unfortunately) but, having laid my current Blackberry cards on the table you’ll be able to judge me, before the end of 2014 – probably well before.


Oh, and thanks to the 10,000 or so of you who take a regular peak at my blog (I must be doing something right – because I haven’t posted for a while!). Your loyalty is appreciated.

I can verify all I have said about my personal portfolio in this post but I am not offering this as an inducement to buy the stated stocks and shares. I am not a professional advisor. The views and opinions in this post are my own and should not constitute advice to purchase the stocks and shares quoted.