“Luis Wells: De La Destrucción Al Juego” Opens at Maman Fine Art

Argentine contemporary artist, Luis Wells who is famed for his “Destructive Art”, has opened a new exhibition at MAMAN Fine Art in Avenida Libertador, Buenos Aieres.

Wells was considered to have played an influential role during the Informalist Movement of the 1950s and 60s, and he earned a reputation for creating “Destructive Art” (the name of his first exhibition, and ultimately a descriptor for much of his future work). Wells’ art at the time was considered distasteful, but his work has since gone on to become respected globally; marked by the latest opening of his exhibition at Mamam Fine Art.

The exhibition opened on September 1st 2016 and will run through to October 15th.

Further Reading:
Olyvia Kwok’s Biography
MAMAN Fine Art

About MAMAN Fine Art

Daniel Maman, having worked 25 years as an economic and art advisor, opened MAMAN Fine Art in 2001. As an Argentinian man, Maman has dedicated his gallery to Latin American Modern and Contemporary Art, solidifying his reputation as an influential figurehead of Agentina’s culture.

How is Spread Betting taxed, today and in the future?

At the time of writing, the HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) position on Spread Betting is that gains are generally not subject to tax. Any income is treated effectively as gambling income – because no assets are physically traded. However, this is not always the case 100% of the time; HMRC will try to tax individuals for whom ‘gambling’ forms part of their ‘trade’. Thus, if you are trading spreads and are also a professional stock broker or trader, the income would very likely be subject to tax.

The majority of spread betters are effectively part-time, so you almost certainly don’t need to worry about this HMRC position. You will need to think carefully about this position however if you choose to enter this sphere on a full-time basis. If you do choose to trade on a full-time basis, and if HMRC deem your ‘trade’ to include spread betting, you will very likely be liable for capital gains tax (CGT) on any profitable trades that you make.

Each UK individual has an £11,000 CGT exemption – meaning that the first £11,000 of realised gains will be free of capital gains tax. Beyond this exemption, tax will be applied at your marginal capital gains tax rate – which will probably be around 28%.

There are currently no CGT tax breaks available to spread betters, though this may not be the case indefinitely. The UK Government introduced the Innovative Finance ISA in April 2016, to act as tax shelter for new forms of finance. The initial iteration of the “IFISA” covers certain types of crowdfunding (specifically, Peer-to-Peer lending). Over time it is widely expected that the Government will choose to extend the remit of the ISA to cover other forms of modern finance (starting with other debt-based crowdfunding activities). It is certainly not beyond the realms of possibility to imagine that the Government may choose to include income from spread betting within the new Innovative Finance ISA, though at present it is understood that there are no immediate plans to bring this form of investing under the IFISA banner.

An Overview of the Innovative Finance ISA

If the Government were to do this, then holding an IFISA would potentially allow Spread Betters to invest up to £15,240 under a tax-free wrapper, with no consequences for either income tax or capital gains tax. However it is likely that the majority of investors would be sensible to spread their annual £15,240 ISA allowance across a range of investment vehicles (the Cash ISA, Stocks & Shares ISA and Innovative Finance ISA share a common annual limit – they are not separate).

We will update this page with news of any updates to the Innovative Finance ISA remit. For the time being, it is not likely that Spread Betting will be covered by the IFISA, though it is impossible to say with any certainty whether or not the Government will subsequently elect to include this form of investing within the new tax-free wrapper.

AAPL: China Sales to Save Stock Price Dive

The past three years have seen Apple’s share price (AAPL) in an unstoppable rally; but a recent flurry of skeptical media reports have left this share price down nearly 30% from its all-time high of $700.

Such is the skepticism of Apple, that even a launch of their iPhone 5 in the World’s largest market did little to stop the fall. On Friday, Apple finished the day trading at a 10-month low by falling 3.9% to $509.79. The company’s stock was downgraded and 6 month predictions fell by nearly $100…

But great news came from Apple HQ as this weekend’s launch of the iPhone 5 saw over 2,000,000 sales – the largest opening weekend for a mobile phone ever seen in China.

“Customer response to iPhone 5 in China has been incredible, setting a new record with the best first weekend sales ever in China,”

Tim Cook, Apple CEO

This news seems to clash with some reports of empty stores and despondent customers; and there is no doubt that many investors will remain skeptical given the relatively few sales in such a large market.

Such a short term gain may seem like a big win for shareholders; but the real value in the China launch will be in the long term. Apple currently does not have partnerships with some of China’s main telecoms carriers (including China Mobile), and so the outlook may still remain uncertain.

Image Credit: http://uk.finance.yahoo.com/q?s=AAPL

Why The PlayStation 4 Will Continue To Be Sony’s Key Profit Maker

First there was the speculation, then there was that E3 Expo showdown between Microsoft and their xBox One console, but finally we know the full specifications of the PlayStation 4 which in turn gives us reason to believe that Sony’s profits will continue to soar.

Gaming website VGChartz recently unveiled its ‘2013 Year on Year Sales and Market Share Update’, which displays various statistics gathered from the last four years up to June 29th 2013. It details figures relating to the ‘big four’ consoles currently on the market, including the PS3, Nintendo Wii, the not-so-successful Nintendo WiiU and Microsoft’s xBox 360. For the sake of this article, we’ll be pitting the PS3 and xBox figures against one another, just to see if the latter will be battered as much as it was at the announcement conference for their next generation consoles, the PS4 and xBox One respectively.

Source: DigitalTrends.com

In terms of their sales, Sony’s PS3 has sold around 17,522,702 units since 2010, whilst the xBox 360 sold just 13,184,911 units in the same period. Whilst the XBox saw an increase in unit sales of 527,159 between 2010-2011, the console lost an average of 671,099 consoles between 2011-2013. Meanwhile, the PS3 lost an average of 337,266 units per year between 2010-2013.

Since 2010 console sales across all platforms (inclusive of PS3, XBox 360, Wii and Wii U have been slowly decreasing. A total of 24,373,258 consoles were sold in 2010, versus just 19,981,875 in 2011 and a measly 18,348,630 in 2012. However in the earlier half of 2013, 15,122,419 older consoles have already been sold, and with the launches of the XBox One and PS4 imminent, it is likely that these new ‘toys’ will boost the gaming market back into its former glory, pushing console sales over 20,000,000 units once again.

Financially, the 7th generation PlayStation console, PS3, has a lifetime market share of 30.5%, just 0.1% ahead of its 7th gen Microsoft rival, XBox 360, whose lifetime market share stands at 30.4%. The PS3 has also had a consistently larger market share across the 4-year analysis period in comparison to the XBox, so is this a sign of the future?

The main reason contributing to the predicted positive future for the PlayStation’s success in both sales and shares, is that its 8th gen console, the PS4, costs around £80 less than Microsoft’s XBox One. Retailing at £349, the PlayStation 4 is significantly cheaper than XBox One’s £429 price tag and an online comparison site is waiting to see what bundle prices will appear nearer to the launch date. The PS4 was also made instantly more attractive as the makers of the XBox announced that its players would need to check in online once a day, and its games also carried strict digital rights managements software that prevented users from using second-hand games – although both points have now been revoked.

With a poor pitch from the start, the majority of gamers already seem much more attracted to Sony’s latest gaming hardware in comparison to the XBox One. However, with both consoles’ launch day editions already sold out on Amazon, it seems that the market is anyone’s for the taking…

Nevada Legalised Online Gambling; Happy Zynga

At the end of last week, Nevada became the first state in the US to legalise online gambling within its borders. Gambling had been effectively outlawed as of April 2011 with major US gambling sites (Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars) being shut down a few months later and millions of dollars frozen in player accounts. Since then, individual state governments have been on a tax offensive, attempting to regulate the industry in a way that brings in revenue for a country recently crippled by the financial crisis of 2008. And now it appears that they may finally cracked it, with Nevada signing this historic bill and New Jersey to follow closely behind.

This new legislation is termed ‘inter-state’, meaning that the bill works across multiple states; but that doesn’t mean that gambling is opened up to anyone. Individual states will have to sign an agreement with Nevada in order for their players to gamble with players from other states. While this does mean that the process of legalising gambling in the US isn’t quite there yet, the momentum will likely pull in several other states over the course of the next year.

So what does this mean for Zynga (ZNGA) and potentially other online casinos/poker rooms, like Full Tilt Poker? Well you might remember that in December 2012, Zynga signed a deal with Nevada for a gambling license; exciting news for investors that saw the stock price jump by 7%. With this latest move, the reality of Zynga breaking the real money gambling market in the States is that little bit more likely; an industry worth billions of dollars each year.

Do All Tech Stocks Follow The Same Volatile Pattern?

As we wrote last week, tech companies are without a doubt the most exciting investment of the 21st century. Technology is rapidly becoming a market layer as opposed to an industry in itself; technology can and must be used across most types of sectors and that list of sectors is growing. Tech is easily distributed and cheap to manufacture which also makes it very scalable; and this contributes to a tech company’s ability to grow rapidly.

But tech stocks over the years have shown a very interesting and surprisingly common pattern that seems unique to the industry. The below share price charts show 7 major tech stocks (software and hardware), that have either existed before mainstream web usage (we’ve set this cut-off as the year 2008) or have held an IPO during mainstream web usage.

All major tech stocks that we looked at went through a similar pattern: rapid growth or a high-priced IPO and then a rapid drop in share value. It seems that investors consistently over anticipate a tech company’s potential to grow and therefore overvalue the stock resulting in a bubble-effect; perhaps this is an inevitable learning curve of a new industry – but judging by this, I would be reluctant to invest in any that hadn’t already suffered a dramatic share price decline.

Is Tech The Best Investment… Indefinitely?

The 2001 dot com bubble still resonates with a lot of investors. Tech stocks are seen as a ‘too good to be true’ market with many speculators assuming that fast growth means false growth. Sure, we’ve seen it with Zynga and Facebook but the reason for their initial failure was down to their creation of an entirely new market – it’s just a learning curve.

More markets will be created, and more markets will be over-anticipated but tech will grow and so will the opportunities for investment. The fact is, software, cloud and web-app technologies are being adopted across all industries and this trend will continue. Technology will not be an ‘addon’ for business, it will be a layer for business.

So what is the point of this short piece?

You should be considering a tech stock portfolio. The risks are different but with new markets being created the rewards are limitless. This year, for example, we are likely to see the introduction of Google Glasses and the Apple iWatch – in the future, Google hopes to launch driverless cars. Technology is where it is at; it’s building new markets and driving existing ones. Get involved.