Pretty penny: The three most expensive cities in the world

Recently numerous places have been popping up where travelers can go on ‘luxurious’ vacation for a fraction of the cost, and it’s all thanks to the Internet. Because of blogs and social media, travelling has never been more budget-friendly and democratized. With nothing as so much as the clothes on their back, they can experience everything that the city or country has to offer. Then there’s Zurich, Hong Kong, and Singapore, the three most pocket-boring cities in the world.

 

Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland. It is home to more than 3 million inhabitants and has the busiest airport and railways in the whole country. Living in the city is no joke for a single lunchtime meal which includes a drink in the business district and could reach up to US$26. Meals in fast food restaurants are significantly cheaper but still isn’t for the faint of heart for the diner will be spending 14 dollars on average.

Image source: myswitzerland.com

 

The second city on the list, Hong Kong, is an autonomous region in China. Upon examining its territorial area and the number of individuals who inhabit it, Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated cities in the world. Spending for electricity, heat, water, and garbage disposal for a month can easily reach US$200, and that’s only the tip of the iceberg.

Image source: homejamesglobal.com

 

For the fourth time in a row, Singapore is the world’s most expensive city. For a single month, rent can exceed US$1,500, and that’s not even in the high-end neighborhoods. To live there, a person needs to dish out more than US$2,500 monthly.

Image source: absoluteinternship.com

 

Apparently, the aforementioned cities are wealthy cities. They are also relatively small (making real estate prices very high) and rely heavily on imported goods such as food and even water. When cash flow is robust, chances are prices are also extremely high. That means the likes of London, New York, Dubai, Tokyo, and even Hamilton in Bermuda (a well-known offshore financial center) can also be just as expensive.  Meanwhile, the world’s cheapest cities to live in are mostly found in poorer Asian and African nations, with the top three being Bangalore (India), Lagos (Nigeria), and Almaty (Kazakhstan).

REPOST: European markets are cheap – here’s how to invest (The Telegraph)

Europe’s current political climate is making quality stocks relatively affordable. Is now the best time to invest in this region? Know more from this article published on The Telegraph.

The forthcoming French election is one event scaring off investors

After what some have termed a “lost decade” economically, Europe now offers a potential bargain to investors willing to look through the political turmoil.

When the financial crisis hit, European markets fell to valuations cheaper than those in the US, and since then the American recovery has been stronger. The MSCI USA index has returned 82pc in five years in dollar terms, versus 28pc for the MSCI  Europe index – in pounds it’s 135pc to 64pc.

This performance has driven up valuations of American stocks while Europe now looks comparatively cheap on the basis of its “Cape” score – a popular valuation metric that compares share prices with average earnings over 10 years.

The US market has a Cape score (or “cyclically adjusted price to earnings ratio”) of 28, compared with 17 for developed European countries and eight for their less developed counterparts, according to Star Capital, a German investment firm.

Bill McQuaker, a multi-asset fund manager at Fidelity, said this disparity represented an anomaly relative to historic norms.

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How To Start Investing And Be Organized About It

investment bankerIf you are tired of struggling with your financial life, it is about time to change that and allow the act of i
nvesting to turn your life around. It would require a lot of discipline and dedication on your end, but trust me that it is worth it. I have here some guides that would motivate you to start investing and actually become organized in doing it. I believe that a goal gets to be fulfilled with an organized thought and a disciplined lifestyle. You can apply that now with your investing plans.

Take a look at these tips that I have gathered from CNN Money, as to how you could make more money starting this year and not just depend on your salary’s pay.

 

  1. Get A 401K Plan: Companies usually offer this to their employees and I would suggest that you get it. This one actually is so far the easiest because your company would just have to set aside the money you will pay for it monthly. Any retirement plan that would just take money from your salary on a monthly basis is a good idea. If you want to do it independently, you can do it as well just make sure that the institution handling your money is legit.
  2. Extra Cash: Make use of your extra cash for investment. Don’t just spend some free money that you get on a new phone. If you can think of anything that would make it grow, do it. I’m talking about extra money like your Christmas gifts, allowances or anything that you have saved. Find a way to make it flourish even if it is just a small investment. Do not underestimate the power of a lemonade stand!
  3. Stay Updated: You can do this by having the latest apps in finance. I am not saying that you download them all, but one or two is suffice to keep you updated. Robinhood is a good app and it won’t charge you for buying a stock. And if you really want to start from the bottom all the way up (it’s less risky by the way), download Acorns and Stash and you can begin with an investment for as low as $5!
  4. Surround Yourself With Friends Who Are Into It: If you want to be a millionaire, you have to be passionate about it. One way to keep your passion burning is to always talk about it. This is why I suggest that you surround yourself with friends who share the same passion that you do. If you guys talk about your goals and aspirations in attaining some good portfolio in the market, then you are most likely to get it.

These are simple ways on how you could rewire your mind into being more organized and more motivated in your game plan in being an investor this time. 2016 is already looking good, don’t waste it! Star investing now!

 

 

Donald Trump And The Constitution

How come everyone’s hating on Donald Trump?

That is, except for my veteran ex-NSA neighbor.  I think he’s a big fan. Currently, my Facebook and Twitter feed is all my neighbor’s tweets about Donald Trump and how the guy is supposed to be on the right side of reason.  Now that’s a rare event considering that my neighbor usually just posts things once a month on Facebook, on average.  That’s why he managed to catch my attention this time.  I think this is something

worth investigating.donald trump

Okay, so Donald Trump, I first heard about him in the early 1990’s when I was just in grade school.  He was business scion with investments in the real estate, hospitality and entertainment industries. He was divorcing his first wife, Ivana, at that time, dumping her for his mistress, Marla. The tabloid story aspect was what caught my attention.  Maybe I was just too young at that time, still uninitiated to the harshness of life.  And so, the story horrified me.  My young mind couldn’t yet seem to grasp that kind of betrayal and infidelity.

The next instance that Donald Trump caught my attention was in 2004, when I saw him on TV on a few episodes of The Apprentice. I say “a few” because I couldn’t take watching the show for long.  I just graduated from studying accounting in college then.  Watching the apprentice made me feel both excited and worried about the corporate world I was about to enter.  Once again, Donald Trump made my stomach turn as I watched him ruthlessly evaluate each contestant and then end with the words “you’re fired.” Trump was the executive producer of that show and was paid $3 million per episode. His personal financial disclosure statement indicates that he made a total of $213 million for hosting the show.

After that, I never really paid much attention to Donald Trump.

Recently however, he’s been popping up in the news quite a bit.  And now, even my usually low key neighbor is ranting and raving on Facebook because of him.

Everyone knows that Trump suffers from a bloated ego. I would say he’s your typical jerk.  He doesn’t seem to have an internal filter and blurts out everything that comes to his mind, politically correct or not.   What I really find interesting, though, is that he doesn’t seem to care about what people think.  He makes his stand.  Period.  Regardless of the violent reactions his words may elicit.

Now, what he recently said about United States immigration has raised hell with the media and political establishment.  He’s been compared to Hitler and called a fascist. Barbara Walters asked him if he was a bigot. Even some of his own Republican party members are ripping at him.

Trump commented that Muslims should be temporarily stopped from entering the United States in reaction to what recently happened in San Bernardino, California – where a terrorist couple targeted a Department of Public Health office party of 80 employees, killing 14 people and injuring 22.

According to his critics, what Donald Trump proposed is appallingly unconstitutional. In a kneejerk reaction of first world magnanimity, the US media was quick to protect America from any oppressive ideas.

However, since my neighbor has been sharing all these posts about Donald Trump, I decided to click on a few of them.  From one of those posts, I gathered that, apparently, suspending admission to foreigners is allowed by the United States constitution where such admission would be detrimental to the nation’s interests.  President Carter did it during the Iranian hostage crisis.

Whether or not Muslim immigration is detrimental is one question.  But what I find crazy is how the media can make vigorous assertions about constitutionality, stirring up a firestorm, pulling all their hairs out, before they even get their facts straight.  Maybe they got carried away by the obnoxiousness of Trump, but I don’t think that’s enough excuse.

If I recall it right, President Obama also had some issues in the past regarding the unconstitutionality of certain of his acts. Like the issue about the use of drones and the issue where Obama would make appointees during Senate recess. But, I didn’t seem to hear any pots clanging over those.  How come the actions of the US President didn’t get that kind of media condemnation? He’s more powerful than Trump. If he and Trump were both fascists, the President would be the more dangerous one because he’s leading the country.  Trump is just a clown as of the moment.  He’s rich but he’s not in government, at least not yet.

Would someone like Trump do well as President of the United States?  Well, he’s proven that he can build his businesses, suffer a string of bankruptcies and then get back up to recover much of what he lost.  Forbes estimates his net worth to be around $4 billion as of 2015. He’s good at investing and running operating businesses.  Maybe he has a chance of helping the US economy recover as well.  And anyway his suggestion, turns out it wasn’t unconstitutional.

An Investor’s Guide to Short Selling

Believe it or not, but you can still invest on a stock that is about to decline. It may sound risky, but there are people who are doing it and are actually gaining money from it. This is a strategy called short selling. This short sellingtechnique is also applied when an investor wants his or her portfolio to gain some value when stocks are experiencing some bear market moments. It is basically a season when securities are declining and everyone is already having that negative outlook on the outcome of it.

This strategy in the industry of investing and finance makes a way for an investor to purchase something that is not owned by anyone. It is also a method where one could borrow an asset then selling it and even buying it again for a lower price just to return what he or she has borrowed.

This involves a seller and an asset that is declining in the market. Through this strategy, the seller would make the deal faster and short because it has to be bought back on the market. There would be a difference when it comes to the price when the asset was finally bought back and that would pretty much indicates how much money would a seller gain or lose from it.


You must know that this process is also coined as “selling short.” For it to take place, the asset or stock involved in the process of selling and buying them back must be something that is already bearish, which also means that its price is about to drop really low.

The questions is, why are there investors doing it knowing that it’s basically trying to make money from a declining piece. Well, the truth is, they do it as a back up plan and they use it for hedging. Speculators in the industry are also using it to capitalize from a bearing market, while hedgers use it for security in a way that it could secure their profit and even prevent them from losing money in their investment, I know that LOM’s brokers use this strategy as a part of their offshore bank accounts.

The hedgers are wise in this game, because they have this ability make their stock’s position stay long in the market. The money coming from these type of investors are amongst the active ones in the market and they are wise because they pick short positions from selected stocks to make way for their lost positions with others securities.

This technique is not for everybody. And of course, it is better if you have a good broker who will guide you through the whole process. It wouldn’t be a good idea anyway to just do it alone. It is also not something I would suggest that an investor should do all the time. In this case, timing is everything and a strategy that is well planned would help you gain profit from this technique. That’s right, this strategy also comes with another strategy that mostly savant brokers or experienced investors only know.