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Showing posts from 2014

'Red warning lights' flashing for global economy

LONDON (AP) — The global economy's problems seem to be multiplying.
Hours after the leaders of the world's 20 most developed economies sought to boost confidence by promising to increase global output by $2 trillion over five years, Japan said it had fallen into recession.

That leaves the country — the world's third-largest economy — on a long and growing list of troubled economies. China is slowing as well, and Europe can't seem to take off.
Among major economies, only the United States and Britain are growing at decent rates, and how long that lasts depends on how much trouble their trading partners are in.

British Prime Minister David Cameron warned in an opinion piece in the Guardian newspaper on Monday that the "red warning lights are flashing" for the world economy.

Here's a look at the problems in some key economies.

JAPAN'S RECESSION

This setback was not in the plan.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had pledged to end two decades of stag…

Stock market bubble warnings grow louder

By Matt Egan

Some of the brightest minds in finance are sounding the alarm about a stock market bubble. They aren't warning of an imminent crash, but their comments should remind investors that the current bull market -- over five years long -- can't last forever.

1. Nobel Prize-winning economist Robert Shiller: Valuations at "worrisome" levels.

"The United States stock market looks very expensive right now," Robert Shiller wrote in a recent column for The New York Times.

Shiller, a Yale University professor who is often cited as one of the most influential people in economics and finance in the world, created a metric that compares stock prices with corporate profits. The metric recently climbed above 25. That level has only been surpassed three times since 1881: 1929, 1999 and 2007.

Steep market tumbles followed each instance, including the bursting of the dotcom bubble in the early 2000s. The Nasdaq still hasn't fully recovered from that me…

Smart investors ignore the news

Chuck Jaffe You can read the headlines, just don’t trade on them If the market is making your head swim, you may be able to solve the problem by turning off, tuning out and dropping out of the 24-hour news cycle. 
That’s an odd suggestion coming from someone who works in the media, but what makes it doubly strange is that it’s prompted in part by the website I trust like no other, MarketWatch.com. Beyond simply being my employer, I trust the site because I know personally the quality people and journalists my fellow staffers are. 
But, last month, MarketWatch set a site record for the number of unique visitors to its news pages, which set me to wondering what kind of messages we were sending to both new and increasingly active visitors at a time when they were presumably drawn in looking for some measure of market guidance to calm their nerves or keep them on top of the financial news. 
In the old days of newspapers, I would have gone through a s…

The Recession's Over: Clean Your Financial House and Win

If you were an operations leader during the 2008 Financial Crisis and deep ensuing recession, you probably spent a lot of time on the phone like I did, literally begging vendors and business partners not to cancel credit lines or change payment terms vital to keeping a business afloat.

If that's the case, none of us were alone as total credit market debt held by American businesses peaked in 2008; contracting by $247.7 billion in 2009, the worst year of the downturn; not reaching 2008's levels again until 2011 or 2012.

So what happens when nearly a quarter of a trillion dollars in business credit is siphoned out of the economy in one year, customers pay you slowly for past business, banks stop lending, and customers stop buying new products?

Welcome to the world American COO's, CFO's, and CEO's faced just a few years ago: a period of intense struggle and fight or flight mode for many of us.

Thankfully, business lending regained traction, increasing fr…

3 Money Myths to Avoid at All Costs

Myths are very troublesome because they’re hard to dispel. What’s worse – if a myth crosses over from the realm of obscurity and becomes mainstream “belief,” that’s when the trouble starts.


The sad thing is that a lot of people end up getting hurt by accepting myths as truth – especially when it comes to financial myths that many wrongly assume are right.

So before you mistakenly set yourself on a course for financial disaster, read about the 3 money myths you should avoid at all costs!

#1 Your Cash Savings are Completely Safe Sitting In a Bank Account One myth that most Singaporeans thankfully recognise is reality that their Central Provident Fund (CPF) account savings probably won’t be enough to retire comfortably on.

If you’ve read our article on what you can use your CPF for other than retirement, you already know that you’re pretty much limited to using it on housing, investing, education and insurance.

Of course, there are restrictions to how (and how much) you can use.…

The 3 Biggest Financial Objectives You Should Aim For in Your 40s

Ah, the wonderful 40s – the years when you begin to experience the personal drama of dealing with teenage children, greying hair, weight gain and just about every symptom of “midlife crisis” known to science.


Yeah, there will be plenty of personal and professional distractions to deal with. But this isn’t the time to let your financial “guard” down so you could start cruising through life.

If you’re able to eliminate your credit card debt (or keep it to a very manageable level), build up a comfortable emergency fund (at least three, but preferably six months’ or more worth of your monthly salary) and pay great attention to the performance of your investment portfolio – you’re on the right track towards making the financial objectives in your 40s more achievable.

Here are the 3 biggest financial objectives you should aim for in your glorious 40s:

#1 Prioritising Your Nest Egg Your 40s will be the “prime” period in your professional life. It’s the decade when you’re advancin…

The 3 Biggest Financial Objectives You Should Aim For in Your 30s

Ah, our industrious 30s – the years when we’re focussed on making cash, getting promotions and starting a family. To draw inspiration from Charles Dickens, these can be the best of years and the worst of years. But one thing is for sure – this is the decade of your life will be financially confusing!


Why?

Simply because the amount of financial responsibilities (and liabilities) you’ll have to deal with in your 30s usually dwarfs anything you had to deal with during your 20s. You have to provide for your family, service big loans (home, car, education) AND save for retirement.

While your salary is no doubt increasing, you’ll still possibly struggle with trying to take care of all of your financial responsibilities. Hopefully you already established your financial groundwork during your 20s by paying off your credit card debt, starting your retirement savings and creating an emergency fund.

If you’re still working on those in your 30s, that’s OK. Continue to work on the…

8 Slow, Difficult Steps To Become A Millionaire

Money of course isn't everything. Not by a long shot. Where your definition of success is concerned, money may rank far down the list. Everyone’s definition of “success” is different. Here's mine.
Success is making those that believed in you look brilliant.
For me, money doesn't matter all that much, but I'll confess, it did at one time (probably because I didn't have very much). So, let’s say money is on your list. And let’s say, like millions of other people, that you’d like to be a millionaire. What kinds of things should you do to increase your chances of joining the millionaire's club?

Here are the steps I'd suggest. They're neither fast nor easy. But, they're more likely to work than the quick and easy path.

1. Stop obsessing about money.

While it sounds counterintuitive, maintaining a laser-like focus on how much you make distracts you from doing the things that truly contribute to building and growing wealth. So shift your perspective.
S…

What if you fail?

Share with me your fears.

Why Every Yuppie Should Have A Side Hustle In Addition To A 9-To-5 Job

JERALDINE PHNEAH

 The idea of a side hustle is growing in popularity. It is estimated that 35 percent of Millennials in the United States are currently involved in a side business to earn a little extra money during their extra hours. However, many have not joined in on this trend due to a lack of confidence or fear of being seen as “distracted” or “unfocused.”

The idea of a side hustle is a simple one: It is “a tiny, independent venture you do during your free time when you’re not at your full-time job.” Side hustles come in many shapes and sizes. They could be anything: business venture, startup, app, part-time job or even tinkering with a blog.

Side hustles are a form of career insurance that provide supplemental income or serve as a useful fallback in case of a layoff. But, a side hustle can also serve as a career accelerator that allows a person to build skills, form important relationships and develop new business ideas. Here are the six main benefits from having a side hustle…

4 Investment Tips For Millennials Who Want To Be Stock Market Savvy



In considering the wealthiest people who ever lived, you’re likely to find several common traits among them. One of those traits is that many created their wealth from owning and investing in companies. In fact, I don’t know of one wealthy person who created his or her wealth from simply saving a monthly paycheck. It is simply not possible to create wealth solely from saving, especially when inflation is on the rise. Despite being very rewarding, the world of investing seems complicated and challenging. As a result, too many Millennials tend to shy away from the place where the wealthy get wealthier. Here are four tips for Millennials to to use and invest successfully: 1. Never Let Your Emotions Influence Your Decisions The most successful investor of all time, Warren Buffet, says that successfully investing over a lifetime does not require stratospheric IQ, unusual business insight or inside information. It only requires a sound intellectual framework for making deci…

What to do if you haven’t saved a dime for retirement

By Jonathan Clements

Here’s a grim statistic: Half of workers age 55 and older have less than $50,000 in savings, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute’s 2014 Retirement Confidence Survey. 
Some of these folks have traditional defined-benefit pensions, so they’re in better shape than it seems. But most don’t. That means their retirement will be built on modest savings, Social Security and maybe some home equity. 
Does that describe someone you know — or perhaps your own financial situation? If so, how can you retire in at least moderate comfort? My advice: Try mightily to keep pulling in a paycheck until at least age 70, at which point you would claim delayed Social Security retirement benefits. 
Toughing it out in the workforce won’t be easy. Many people are forced to retire earlier than they had hoped to. According to the 2014 Retirement Confidence Survey, workers typically say they expect to retire at age 65 — but it turns out …

13 Skills You Can Master In 10 Minutes Or Less

By Emmie Martin

A simple Photoshop hack lets you remove tourists from your vacation photos.
Most useful skills, such as learning a new language or mastering the art of cooking, can't be conquered in a day.
However, there are several important life skills you can pick up almost instantly, and a recent Quora thread polled users on their favorite ones. 
Here are some of the best responses, with a few of our own thrown in.
After all, you never know when you'll need to turn your watch into a compass or Photoshop your vacation pictures. 
Learn to change a tire: "It's very straightforward, but it's worth thinking about before you need it. Here's a video." —Ben Mordecai
Identify the freshest strawberries : "Smell them. If they smell like strawberries, buy them; they will taste divine. If they look gorgeous but have no smell, they will have no taste. Simple and foolproof." — Cyndi Perlman Fink ...and oranges : "Pick up the orange or grapefruit…

17 Things Successful People Never Say

By Jacquelyn Smith

You'll never catch a successful person saying, "It's not fair."
Over 2,500 years ago, philosopher and poet Lao Tzu taught that our words become actions, which eventually become our destiny.

In first century Greece, historian and essayist  Plutarch declared that a speaker's state of mind, character, and disposition are exposed through their words. And Napoleon Hill, the twentieth century father of personal success literature, asserts that words plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.

"Across the planet, sages insist that words are potent and should be chosen and spoken with care, for they are 'the most powerful drug used by mankind,' as Rudyard Kipling warns,"  says Darlene Price, president of Well Said, Inc., and  author of "Well Said! Presentations and Conversations That Get Results."  "If they're right, it stands to reason that what we say to ourselves and others p…

10 things rich people know that you don’t

People don’t become wealthy by accident, here’s how they do it

By Jocelyn Black Hodes
As a financial adviser, I have occasionally found myself feeling envious of certain clients. Not because of their wealth — but because they were disciplined and determined enough to do all the right things that enabled them to accumulate their wealth and, in many cases, retire early. Despite my expertise, I, like a lot of people, sometimes struggle not to do the wrong things that make being rich, let alone retiring at all, a pipe dream.  Financially responsible and successful people don’t build their wealth by accident — or overnight. Becoming rich takes serious willpower and long-term vision. You have to be able to keep your eye on the prize of financial freedom, be willing to sacrifice your present wants for the sake of your future and develop good habits to win. Here are 10 habits you can start putting into practice now. Start early As the old saying goes: The early bird catches the worm…or, in this c…