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Old 05-14-2017, 02:31 PM   #11 (permalink)
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The real problem here is how do you tell when prices are cheap? For instance, not that long ago it was around $4/gal, then dropped to $3. That's cheap, right? So if you bought a bunch of cheap $3 gas, you'd have missed out when it went below $2.50.

OTOH, if you really can reliably forecast price changes, you should get a job on Wall Street and not have to worry about the cost of a few gallons of gas :-)

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Old 05-16-2017, 01:32 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I once traveled in a country where the highways were lined with kiosks like a farmer's fruit stand, except the shelves were lined with gasoline in whiskey bottles.
Seen them in Cambodia and Indonesia. But I would not call them highways In these countries, gas is expensive and if you take into account their purchasing power; doubly so. The main choice of transportation is a small cc underbone moped. They are even modified to pull a short trailer at the back to work as Taxis. IMHO by far the most fuel efficient mode of transportation.
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Old 05-16-2017, 02:10 AM   #13 (permalink)
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The real problem here is how do you tell when prices are cheap? For instance, not that long ago it was around $4/gal, then dropped to $3. That's cheap, right? So if you bought a bunch of cheap $3 gas, you'd have missed out when it went below $2.50.

OTOH, if you really can reliably forecast price changes, you should get a job on Wall Street and not have to worry about the cost of a few gallons of gas :-)
Haha. No I cannot predict market prices but from current market prices I can predict next week gas prices. The New Economic definition of Day traders = Idiots. I am not really into investing but more of curiosity as I like to learn Economics even though I am more technically inclined.

You can see price movements on the web such as

CNBC Quote Modules

From that chart you could see next week prices are going to soar. Or a simple one but a day late such as

Crude Oil Price, Oil, Energy, Petroleum, Oil Price, WTI & Brent Oil, Oil Price Charts and Oil Price Forecast

I think in the US there are apps where they can tell you what current prices are at where you live. Its like Waze for gas. Countries outside the US would also have to look at currency exchange rates. I typically use XE - The World's Trusted Currency Authority

These two variables are the main indicators for pump price fluctuations. The other being refinery profits but that is a bit harder to find out. You just need to have a glimpse of the charts to get an idea where its heading.
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Old 05-16-2017, 02:44 AM   #14 (permalink)
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The real problem here is how do you tell when prices are cheap? For instance, not that long ago it was around $4/gal, then dropped to $3. That's cheap, right? So if you bought a bunch of cheap $3 gas, you'd have missed out when it went below $2.50.

OTOH, if you really can reliably forecast price changes, you should get a job on Wall Street and not have to worry about the cost of a few gallons of gas :-)
When it hit $2/gallon, I knew it wouldn't go much lower. You don't have to buy at the absolute lowest to profit anyhow. You just need to buy at less than the average price. If you buy a lot of fuel and the prices drop further, you keep your stored fuel and fill your vehicle with the cheaper stuff at the pump until prices rise above the price you paid.

As you point out though, buying physical goods as an investment is dumb when you can buy futures instead.
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Old 05-16-2017, 02:53 AM   #15 (permalink)
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buying physical goods as an investment is dumb when you can buy futures instead.
Nickels were the only USofA coin that hadn't been debased; which is now scheduled to happen.

An ammo can of nickels, by my calculation, would be worth about $40. Just sayin'.

Try smacking someone upside the head with your paper futures.

https://www.google.com/search?q=debased+nickel
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Old 05-16-2017, 03:04 AM   #16 (permalink)
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How do those gas pump operators set prices in the US? I know prices in and around Houston, TX are typically the lowest. I know its supposed to be an unregulated market. But what stops them from charging highest possible? Is it just 'competition'? Is there a state predetermined max ceiling on prices?
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Old 05-16-2017, 10:16 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Nothing stops them from charging as much as they can. Generally gas is just to get you into their convenience store anyway, and when there's a gas station on every corner and idiots who'll drove across town to save a buck on a 20 gallon tankful, they can't be out of line with the other stations in the area.
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Old 05-16-2017, 01:03 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Is it just 'competition'? Is there a state predetermined max ceiling on prices?
I'm trying to think of anything that has a maximum legal price. Maybe virtual bridges?

Capitalism is a race to the bottom, in this case it's a good ting.
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Old 05-16-2017, 01:51 PM   #19 (permalink)
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From that chart you could see next week prices are going to soar.
Maybe I just don't buy enough gas, 'cause I generally go 2-4 weeks between purchases.
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Old 05-16-2017, 05:20 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freebeard View Post
Nickels were the only USofA coin that hadn't been debased; which is now scheduled to happen.

An ammo can of nickels, by my calculation, would be worth about $40. Just sayin'.

Try smacking someone upside the head with your paper futures.
Sure, there are always exceptions to my comments, but generally it's wiser to trade commodities electronically than physically.

...and I'm not sure if you imply that the metal in the nickel is worth more than it's face value, but it's illegal to destroy US minted currency.

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How do those gas pump operators set prices in the US? I know its supposed to be an unregulated market. But what stops them from charging highest possible? Is it just 'competition'? Is there a state predetermined max ceiling on prices?
All markets are regulated. An "unregulated" market is just regulated by what people are willing to spend (supply and demand). Nothing stops people from charging the highest possible. We all do that. When I sell my labor to an employer, I demand the highest possible amount that they will accept. I'm regulated by the supply of people with my skill-set vs the demand for people with my skill-set. There is no max ceiling on prices just like there is no max ceiling on your income. We don't want artificial floor or ceiling limits placed on the value of things in a free economy. When you do that, unintended bad consequences occur.

... and I once heard that gas stations have an average mark-up of about $.05 per gallon. They aren't making much on the fuel; it's those 5hr energy bottles they sell for $5. Amazing how someone figured out how to market a product that normally comes in a bottle of 200 pills for $3, into a product that comes in 1 serving for $5. There is nothing special about the caffeine in 5hr energy that makes it last longer than any other caffeine source.

(as a tangent, 5hrs is the average half-life of caffeine in the body)

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