Bond Basics

Currency CountryTo many people, bonds are the ugly step-child of the financial markets, with nowhere near the interest or appeal of the equity or commodity markets.  It is certainly true that equity markets have historically out-performed bonds over long time horizons, and that commodity markets express frantic volatility that generate both euphoria and despair within the hearts and minds of traders on a daily basis.

However, it is also true that bonds (i.e. debt) is the single largest financial market on the face of the earth with aggregate global obligations in the neighborhood of $100 Trillion.  (Yes … Trillion)

Thus, as informed investors it makes sense for us to understand how bonds work and what they tell us.

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Categories: Investing | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Mouths vs. Minds

With the global population currently in excess of 7 billion people, it has re-invigorated the arguments made by some that the world population is on an unsustainable trajectory that will deplete the planet’s resources and result in mass starvation. A This is a viewpoint shared by many in the political and intellectual class.  Naturally, the upshot of all this analysis inevitably points to a larger and more prominent role for government and ‘experts’ in determining the course of people’s lives.

It is not hard to see where the fervor for such a viewpoint comes from. After all, the world population is growing quickly.  When that growing population is multiplied by the average resources consumed per person, it creates what looks like an unsustainable situation.  And of course, the solutions supported by the politicians and intellectuals just happens to be the one that results in them acquiring more power.  Quite a coincidence …

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Categories: Politics | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Five Steps to Accelerate your Career

Many people have heard the popular phrase “climbing the corporate ladder” in reference to the development of a person’s career.  This conjures up mental images of pushing people out of the way to claw your way up to the top.  This hyper-competitive view of the world has created a dour image of professional success in the minds of many people.

It is most certainly true that there is an element of “dog eat dog” competition when it comes to careers, but it is also true that there are many people who build highly productive, highly constructive professional careers.  Ultimately, this is the goal that we strive for … to achieve professional success in a constructive manner that is compatible with a highly rewarding personal life.

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The Winners Edge

One of the greatest questions that mankind has dealt with over the years is that of determining what causes success.  There have been many notable authors such as Napoleon Hill, Dennis Waitley, and Zig Ziglar who have tackled this subject, and produced spectacular works.  A common theme among all of the success literature is the notion that success is something you must go out and achieve.  One cannot expect success to come and find them in the middle of the night and announce its presence.  This analogy may sound silly, but it seems to be the strategy that many people pursue in regards to their own well-being.

The main thing that cripples most people’s chances for success is inaction.  Sometimes this inaction comes from genuine apathy, but many times it is the result of discouragement over past failures.  Feeling the sting of temporary defeat is both the ruin of many otherwise successful people and the “winners edge” that propels others to great heights of achievement.

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Giving Yourself a Pay Raise

By o5com

If you ask most people whether they would like to earn a pay raise, they would answer yes.

If you ask them whether their boss is likely to give them a pay raise, they would most likely answer no.

However, there is a reliable way to give yourself an after-tax pay raise in any year and any economy.  This fool-proof strategy is to track your spending and tighten-up your budget.

The power of this strategy comes from the fact that every dollar we spend is taxed before we spend it.  This means that when we find ways to reduce our personal spending profile, we can immediate reward ourselves with an after-tax pay raise.

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Categories: Personal Finance | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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