Wednesday, 20 October 2021
Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas - The editor and big chief of The Dubrovnik Times. Born in the UK he has been living and working in Dubrovnik since 1998, yes he is one of the rare “old hands.” A unique insight into both British and Croatian life and culture, Mark is often known as just “Englez” or Englishman. He is a traveller, a current affairs freak and a huge AFC Wimbledon fan.


The Dubrovnik public bus company, Libertas, has finally introduced the use of contactless payment.

Libertas has announced that it is now possible to pay for monthly passes, bus tickets and other tickets with credit cards rather than cash.

This move, which clearly should have been made years ago, is also and added advantage with the current Covid-19 safety situation.


"There is no plan to expand the EU's digital COVID certificates, but we will soon start talking about it," Krunoslav Capak, director of the Croatian Institute of Public Health, announced yesterday after a session of the Scientific Council of the Croatian Government.

He referred to the fact that Western European countries are very widely and increasingly using COVID certificates as a kind of relative pressure to vaccinate non-vaccinated people, because those who have been vaccinated have certain advantages in using certain services, such as cultural institutions, restaurants and the like.

“It is very likely that we will talk about it soon. I would say that the introduction of COVID certificates in the health and social care system has succeeded, "Capak said.

As of this week, 70 percent of nurses and technicians and 88 percent of medical doctors have been vaccinated with at least one dose, and hospital directors say there are no major difficulties with testing. It is not yet specified what the application of the EU digital COVID-19 certificate will be extended to.

Some of the members of the Scientific Council and epidemiologists mostly refer to the experiences of European countries, but with the caveat that it is decided by the Civil Protection Headquarters.

Here’s what they don’t teach you at school: how to put your money to work. All they say is that there’s this linear path you should follow: go to college, get a degree, find a prestigious job, and move up the career ladder until retirement.


Yet, when it comes to building wealth, that’s not the whole story. It leaves out what you should do with your savings. Spoiler alert: the answer’s not “put them under a mattress.”


You can grow your savings by investing that money and whatever returns you gain later on. But which assets should you choose?


Let’s make a case for the tech industry stocks and for getting started while you’re still in college.

First, a Word of Caution: Always Do Your Research

The reality of tech stocks is, not all of them are Apple, Netflix, or Facebook. Most tech companies are either startups or young companies that haven’t even turned a profit yet. Plus, even tech giants can be replaced: think about what happened to BlackBerry and Nokia.


So, unless you invest in FANGMAN (Facebook, Apple, NVIDIA, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Netflix), you’ll need to do thorough research. While investing is never risk-free, it can help you minimize the possibility of losing your hard-earned money.


Of course, due diligence takes time. In fact, it’s akin to a part-time job. So, you’ll need to reflect on your priorities and act on them. That can mean reducing your academic workload by hiring a professional paper writer from, for example. You can also work on this during boring lectures (wink-wink).

Reason #1. Tech Industry Is Booming

While practically every other industry took a nosedive during the COVID-19 pandemic, tech was the exception to the rule. The pandemic only accelerated technology adoption across the board. 


Case in point: Zoom. Its year-on-year customer growth reached a whopping 354% in the first quarter of FY2021.


What’s more, the tech companies that have the right secret sauce to corner the market are synonymous with higher-than-average growth. Think about it: Google was founded in 1998, Amazon – in 1994. And over just a bit more than two decades, they grew into multinational conglomerates with revenues of $182.5 billion and $386 billion (2020), respectively.

Reason #2. Tech Stocks Have a High ROI

Tech companies’ outstanding performance during this digital surge was reflected in the ROI of their stocks, too. Apple, Amazon, and Alphabet (Google) saw gains of around 80%, 70%, and 30% in 2020, respectively. For comparison, the average ROI in other sectors of the stock market is a-not-so-amazing 10%.


But the pandemic only sped up the existing trends. Tech stocks have always brought higher ROI to investors.


For example, NASDAQ-100 has always beat S&P 500 over the past decade by 2.5x on average. Why? The former consists mostly of tech companies, while the latter includes only a quarter of them.

Reason #3. The Earlier You Start, the Better

Why invest in tech stocks should be a no-brainer by now. But why do it while you’re still in college? Wouldn’t it be safer to wait until you graduate and get a job?


Not exactly. That is, it wouldn’t make that much difference in terms of safety. Where it does make a difference is in the potential earnings. And this is where time is of the essence because of two simple words: compound interest.


Here’s what it means in practice. Let’s say you have $1,000 to invest. Imagine that you start when you’re 18, earn 10% in returns every year (stock market average), and put the returns to work, too. By the time you’re 40, you’ll have around $8,100.


How much will you have by that time if you start at 25? Only around $4,180 – just a half of what you could’ve had.

Reason #4. You’ll Learn a Lot from Experience

Like many other skills, you can’t become a pro in investing only from reading books or watching YouTube tutorials. You need to get your hands dirty – and a lot of what you’ll learn will be by trial and error.


Apart from just investment skills, you’ll have no other choice but to build solid financial habits, like tracking expenses, in the process. They are invaluable: they’ll help you build a safety net for yourself and ensure you won’t be ruined by a surprise bill or student loan debt.

Reason #5. It Can Help You Pay Off Your Student Loans

Speaking of student loans, most websites will tell you, “get rid of all debt before investing.” But that’s easier said than done if you have a student loan. And, in reality, it’s not 100% necessary.


What you need to take care of is minimizing your interest through restructuring. Then, the returns you earn won’t be eaten away by the interest on your debts.


The neat part is that you’ll have a head start to pay off your student loans if you invest wisely while in college. That means you’ll have to pay less in interest, which brings down the whole amount you’ll have to give away.

3 Tips on Choosing the Right Stocks

What if you can’t afford to buy Amazon’s shares? Or you simply don’t want to buy fractional shares for FANGMAN companies? Then, these three tips will help you find the right tech stocks.


  • Understand the company’s product. As Warren Buffet once put it, “Never invest in a business you cannot understand.” Not following this piece of advice is what led to the dot-com bubble bursting in the early 2000s.
  • Analyze price-to-earnings or revenue growth metrics. Price-to-earnings works only for established tech giants. Think Apple and Google, for example. Revenue growth works better for innovative startups or young companies.
  • Remember: overvaluation is rampant. Every company presents their product as the new Facebook or YouTube – so, it ends up overvalued. Don’t rely solely on valuations. Instead, analyze the product, its target audience, and competitors to see if it can actually take off.


A Final Piece of Advice

Remember to start small and play it safe. Don’t try to beat the market by betting all of your money on a “one-of-a-kind game-changer.” Instead, consider low-risk investments like exchange-traded, mutual, or index funds.


Investing is a long-term commitment, and it can be boring or even discouraging at first. But if you stick with it, you’ll see your savings grow, at first steadily, and then – faster and faster as you accumulate wealth.



On Thursday and Friday this week there will again be a mass vaccination against Covid-19 in Dubrovnik. The Civil Protection Headquarters of the Dubrovnik-Neretva County has sent an open invitation for vaccination against coronavirus, which will be held on Thursday and Friday, October 21 and 22.

Once again the vaccinations will be held at the Student Dormitory in Dubrovnik.

On Thursday, all interested people can be vaccinated with either Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson. From 8:00am to 11:00am Croatian citizens can be vaccinated and from 11:00am to midday foreign nationals can be vaccinated. People attending the vaccination don’t have to make an appointment, the vaccination is operated on a first come first served basis.

On Thursday, all those who have been recommended a third (booster) dose of Pfizer can also be vaccinated.

And on Friday only people who need to receive the second dose of the vaccine should attend. And these are people who received the first dose on these dates - 10, 16, 23 and 30 September.


In the last 24 hours, 85 new cases of coronavirus infection were recorded in Dubrovnik-Neretva County. This nis the highest number of new daily cases since the 21st of April this year when 104 cases were recorded. 

These are 42 males and 43 females: 42 from Dubrovnik, 17 from Metković, 11 from Ploče, eight from Župa dubrovačka, two from Konavle and Opuzen and one from Dubrovačko primorje, Korčula and Kula Norinska.

One female person from Dubrovnik (born in 1930) died.

27 people made a full recovery: 11 from Dubrovnik, three from Metković, Orebić and Ploče, two from Konavle and Župa dubrovačka and one from Blato, Korčula and Vela Luka.

In the last 24 hours, 470 samples were processed, and since the beginning of the pandemic, a total of 147,588 samples have been analyzed.

In the Dubrovnik General, 26 people tested positive for coronavirus were hospitalized, and three patients require intensive care and are on ventilators.

There are 771 people in self-isolation, and in the last 24 hours no case of violation of the self-isolation measure has been determined.

The post-season in Dubrovnik is continuing in fine form with close to 7,000 tourists spending last weekend in Dubrovnik. The majority of guests came from the UK, followed by tourists from Germany, Croatia, the USA, France, Spain, Ireland and the Netherlands.

According to information from the eVisitor system, which collects data from tourist’s registration, almost 7,000 tourists spent the weekend which is close to the numbers from last weekend.

Compared to the same weekend from last year there were four and a half times more tourists in the city, however, any comparison with 2020 is complicated. And compared with the record breaking year of 2019 there were 49 percent of the number of guests.

Since the beginning of the year, 483 thousand tourist arrivals and 1,78 million overnight stays have been recorded, which is 48 percent of the tourist turnover realized in the same period in 2019.

The specialized magazine for business tourism “Kongres Magazine” has published their list of the best congress destinations in Central and Southeast Europe "Meeting Experience Index 2021", and Dubrovnik was named the best congress destination in the category of up to 1,200 participants.

"In the circumstances of the global pandemic, business tourism is one of the parts of the tourist offer that has suffered the most. In the next year, we expect the recovery of business trips and gatherings to continue, which is especially evident in the pre- and post-season periods," said the director of the Croatian Tourist Board Kristjan Staničić.

The Dubrovnik Tourist Board emphasizes that the proclamation of Dubrovnik as the best congress destination is also a great reward for all stakeholders operating in business tourism.

Kongres Magazine kategorija M

And whilst tourism has returned in Dubrovnik this year the congress and conference is still lagging someway behind. The first major international conference in Dubrovnik was held back in June this year with around 150 American travel agents in the ASTA group. This tourism sector, obviously due to the number of people involved, will be one of the last to fully recover from the pandemic.

However, the fact that Dubrovnik has been recognised as a leader for conferences in a publication that covers this region of Europe is certainly welcome news. Until the end of the year, numerous conferences, corporate events and professional gatherings will be held in Dubrovnik, while next October the M&I Forum for professionals in the congress industry will be held.

Let us add that in addition to Dubrovnik, which was declared the best congress destination in the category of up to 1,200 participants, the best destinations in other categories were also declared, so Vienna was named the best in the category of more than 2,000 participants, Tallinn in the category of up to 2,000 participants, Bohinj in the category of up to 2,000 participants.


The changeable October weather turned into sunshine and blue skies yesterday and tourists made the most of the warmer spell and the sunbathed on the Banje Beach in Dubrovnik


After a week of mixed weather with more rain than sunshine Sunday saw the beginning of a milder and indeed warmer spell in Dubrovnik, today should see temperatures reach a more than pleasant 24 degrees.


And the Adriatic is still relatively warm, the sea temperature is around the 21-degree mark. Some early Autumn sunshine and a dip in the Adriatic before the cold grip of winter bites, now that’s what the doctor ordered.



The Voice of Dubrovnik


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