CBD

Investors beware ... similar advice from al-Qaeda and ASIC. <em>Illustration: John Shakespeare</em>

Investors beware ... similar advice from al-Qaeda and ASIC. Illustration: John Shakespeare

The modest dinghy once owned by the flamboyant (and now deceased) Sydney stockbroker Rene Rivkin is back on the market.

Known when the late Swiss-banking enthusiast owned it as Dajoshadita, after the first syllable of each of his children's names, the 33-metre motor yacht features four staterooms, one with a spa. And another spa on the top deck, right next to the helipad, which will take a 2500-kilogram chopper.

The founder of RP Data, Ray Catelan, bought the yacht from Rivkin in 2004, when the broker was serving periodic detention for corporate fraud. Catelan paid $5.7 million for it - well under the $7 million asking price - but spent an additional $2.5 million overhauling the craft, which he renamed Flying Fish.

Selling agent Perry James of the boat broker Geoff Lovett International is advertising Flying Fish as ''seriously for sale'' at the knock-down price of $4.25 million.

That's less than the $4.6 million Rivkin paid back in late 1996, using money funnelled through Swiss bank accounts from an insurance payout reaped after a mysterious fire at the printer Offset Alpine.

Exactly who is so keen to get rid of the luxury vessel is also something of a mystery.

James wouldn't say who owns the yacht - but did tell CBD it wasn't the family of Catelan, who died last year.

On the other hand, Australian Register of Ships records list the owner as Flying Fish Marine, a company controlled by the Catelan family.

FLIGHT PLANS

Still on rich men's toys, the boss of Linc Energy, Peter Bond, will today be leaving on a jet plane for a 4200-kilometre flight from one end of the mining boom to the other.

He'll be sitting aboard a jet on a three-day trip from Perth to Chinchilla, where the synthetic aviation fuel powering the flight was produced. The point of the whole exercise? To demonstrate that avgas produced using Linc's GTL and UCG technology is A-OK.

That's ''gas to liquid'' and ''underground coal gasification'' - which, Linc is at pains to point out, has nothing to do with the coal seam gas so despised by the Sydney radio squawker Alan Jones.

GENIUS OF CLIVE

Ideas mine Clive Palmer was at it again last week, throwing up grand schemes left, right and centre (but mostly right). The mining magnate on Friday unveiled a plot to start a new shipping business to service his privately held Queensland Nickel Group.

Palmer said Asia Pacific Shipping Enterprises would commission four 64,000-tonne ships from a Chinese builder, CSC JinLing Shipyard.

But what stroke of genius will next strike Palmer? The trouble is, he's already done so many amazing things - or, at least, announced he intends to do them, which is surely exactly the same thing.

To help eliminate duplication, CBD has compiled the following list of things Palmer has already done:

Announced plans to build a new Titanic

Announced plans to run for a seat in federal Parliament against the Treasurer, Wayne Swan

Tried to start a rival soccer code in competition with the Frank Lowy-run Football Federation Australia

Used a company helicopter to rescue his stable staff (but not the horses) from a flood

Pretended to have dark hair

Lectured university students as an adjunct business professor, and

Accused the Greens of being funded by the CIA.

MARKET TARGETS

What's the one thing in common between the late terrorist leader Osama bin Laden and the chief corporate plod Greg Medcraft? Belief in the importance of seeking independent financial advice.

Bin Laden's views on sharemarket investment are revealed in correspondence seized by US Navy Seals last year when they raided his compound in Pakistan and killed the al-Qaeda leader.

Answering a question from a Gaza-based terrorist organisation, Jaysh al-Islam, on acceptable sources of funding for jihad, bin Laden said trading on stock exchanges had ''many complications, and are full of tricks''.

''It is advised to ask some scholars who are specialised in this

area, after editing your question well, and explaining the circumstances and regulations of the stockmarkets at which you trade,'' the then most wanted man in the world wrote.

Or, as Medcraft's Australian Securities and Investments Commission recommends on its Moneysmart website: ''As with other investment options, shares are not without their risks. Think carefully about your options and seek financial advice before you enter the sharemarket.''