The Most Expensive Cities in the World
Every year, The Economist magazine surveys the Worldwide Cost of Living, looking at 160 expense items across 133 countries. There are a lot of interesting tidbits to be found in the report, but perhaps the most interesting is a list of the most expensive cities in the world. In 2018, Singapore won this dubious honor. After that, it was a tie between Zurich, Switzerland and Paris, France, followed by 4) Hong Kong, 5) Oslo, Norway, 6) Geneva, Switzerland and Seoul, South Korea, 8) Copenhagen, Denmark, 9) Tel Aviv, Israel, and 10) Sydney, Australia.
No American city? The fact that the dollar fell against other currencies over the past year lowered the cost of living in places like New York (ranked #13) and Los Angeles (#14) when measured in global terms.
How to Argue
These days, it seems like everybody is arguing about everything, and with perhaps a bit more… energy than in years past. And it turns out that most of us are going about our arguments all wrong.
Author Daniel Pink has pointed out that most of the arguments going on today involve two people articulating their points in an attempt to convince the other person, while hardly listening to the arguments being made by the other person. Both sides are assuming that the other person is ignorant of the facts, and try to provide the facts they think are missing—to a person who believes he or she has superior facts, and therefore is not likely to be convinced.
The Luck Factor
Why are some people wealthier or more successful than others? The default explanation has always been that the wealthier among us are more diligent and/or smarter or more talented than the less-wealthy, so that the cream eventually rises to the top.
The problem with this explanation is that the statistical variation in wealth is far greater than could be explained by all the observed variances in work, talent or intelligence.
Social Security, Where Budget Cuts Lead to Terrible Service
These days, trying to apply for Social Security benefits, or getting straight answers about what your best claiming strategy might be, is frustrating at best. Recently, Max Richtman, president and CEO of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, illustrated the problem in vivid detail before the U.S. House Ways & Means Committee. When he began his testimony, he first dialed the agency’s toll-free telephone number. Twenty-five minutes later, he announced to the legislators that his phone was still on hold. A recorded message said that his wait would be about an hour.
2018 First Quarter Market Report
Is the bull market finally over? For the first time in nine calendar quarters, the U.S. investment markets delivered a negative overall return. It was only a slight decline, but the decline reminds us that markets can and do go down from time to time.
Last year, it was hard to turn on your computer without reading about the dramatic rise in cryptocurrency values, or see advertisements for ways that you, too, could participate in this get-rich-quick opportunity to buy virtual money that is backed by no government on Earth.
For many people, it’s hard to find the time and resources to build and manage their assets confidently. It can be even harder to know how to integrate your needs and goals into your financial plan and stay on track for the long-term.
As an independent financial advisor and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional with more than 15 years of experience, I aim to use my knowledge and experience to help my clients save money in taxes, simplify their financial life and enjoy peace of mind knowing someone is watching out for them. Read More “What I Do and How I Can Help”
By Colleen Weber, CFP®, CPA
When we’re young, many of us don’t know what we want to do with our careers. While I had always been interested in the world of investments, financial planning, and tax planning, I wasn’t inspired by the jobs I was seeing.
After graduating from Mankato State University with a degree in accounting, I chose to work in the corporate world, working at various Fortune 500 companies. Up until the late 1990s, the only way to provide financial planning advice was to sell products and offer a limited amount of planning or advice. Despite my interest in the industry, I knew this wasn’t the type of role I wanted to fill. I had no interest in working as a salesperson or having to face conflicts of interest. I knew I wanted a practice that treated clients how I would want to be treated.
Economists and traders pay a lot of attention to something that probably doesn’t keep you up at night: the FOMC Minutes, or, in English, the summary of the discussion among decision-makers on the Federal Reserve Board, known as the Federal Open Market Committee.
What do they discuss? The health of the U.S. economy, the prospects for inflation, and whether interest rates should be raised or lowered. The latter issue, of course, is the reason for all the fuss; traders want to know if rates are going to go up faster than people expect, which might slow down the economy and reduce demand for stocks. Read More “Sunny Weather Forecast”