Archive for the ‘finance’ Category

(Whenever a new year is round the corner, I have been so starry eyed, as with my gambler’s optimism, to make a resolution, “I must improve my financial career”.-and come 2019 I cannot think of any better area than my finance. Two heads are better than one so I shall happily let a Canadian humorist to double for me. Happy new year to all my visitors.-Benny.Jan.1,2019)

When I go into a bank I get rattled. The clerks rattle me; the wickets rattle me; the sight of the money rattles me; everything rattles me.

The moment I cross the threshold of a bank and attempt to transact business there, I become an irresponsible idiot.

I knew this beforehand, but my salary had been raised to fifty dollars a month and I felt that the bank was the only place for it.

So I shambled in and looked timidly round at the clerks. I had an idea that a person about to open an account must needs consult the manager.

I went up to a wicket marked “Accountant.” The accountant was a tall, cool devil. The very sight of him rattled me. My voice was sepulchral.

“Can I see the manager?” I said, and added solemnly, “alone.” I don’t know why I said “alone.”

“Certainly,” said the accountant, and fetched him.

The manager was a grave, calm man. I held my fifty-six dollars clutched in a crumpled ball in my pocket.

“Are you the manager?” I said. God knows I didn’t doubt it.

“Yes,” he said.

“Can I see you,” I asked, “alone?” I didn’t want to say “alone” again, but without it the thing seemed self-evident.

The manager looked at me in some alarm. He felt that I had an awful secret to reveal.

“Come in here,” he said, and led the way to a private room. He turned the key in the lock.

“We are safe from interruption here,” he said; “sit down.”

We both sat down and looked at each other. I found no voice to speak.

“You are one of Pinkerton’s men, I presume,” he said.

He had gathered from my mysterious manner that I was a detective. I knew what he was thinking, and it made me worse.

“No, not from Pinkerton’s,” I said, seeming to imply that I came from a rival agency. “To tell the truth,” I went on, as if I had been prompted to lie about it, “I am not a detective at all. I have come to open an account. I intend to keep all my money in this bank.”

The manager looked relieved but still serious; he concluded now that I was a son of Baron Rothschild or a young Gould*.

“A large account, I suppose,” he said.

“Fairly large,” I whispered. “I propose to deposit fifty-six dollars now and fifty dollars a month regularly.”

The manager got up and opened the door. He called to the accountant.

“Mr. Montgomery,” he said unkindly loud, “this gentleman is opening an account, he will deposit fifty-six dollars. Good morning.”

I rose.

A big iron door stood open at the side of the room.

“Good morning,” I said, and stepped into the safe.

“Come out,” said the manager coldly, and showed me the other way.

I went up to the accountant’s wicket and poked the ball of money at him with a quick convulsive movement as if I were doing a conjuring trick.

My face was ghastly pale.

“Here,” I said, “deposit it.” The tone of the words seemed to mean, “Let us do this painful thing while the fit is on us.”

He took the money and gave it to another clerk.

He made me write the sum on a slip and sign my name in a book. I no longer knew what I was doing. The bank swam before my eyes.

“Is it deposited?” I asked in a hollow, vibrating voice.

“It is,” said the accountant.

“Then I want to draw a cheque.”

My idea was to draw out six dollars of it for present use. Someone gave me a chequebook through a wicket and someone else began telling me how to write it out. The people in the bank had the impression that I was an invalid millionaire. I wrote something on the cheque and thrust it in at the clerk. He looked at it.

“What! are you drawing it all out again?” he asked in surprise. Then I realized that I had written fifty-six instead of six. I was too far gone to reason now. I had a feeling that it was impossible to explain the thing. All the clerks had stopped writing to look at me.

Reckless with misery, I made a plunge.

“Yes, the whole thing.”

“You withdraw your money from the bank?”

“Every cent of it.”

“Are you not going to deposit any more?” said the clerk, astonished.


An idiot hope struck me that they might think something had insulted me while I was writing the cheque and that I had changed my mind. I made a wretched attempt to look like a man with a fearfully quick temper.

The clerk prepared to pay the money.

“How will you have it?” he said.


“How will you have it?”

“Oh”—I caught his meaning and answered without even trying to think—”in fifties.”

He gave me a fifty-dollar bill.

“And the six?” he asked dryly.

“In sixes,” I said.

He gave it me and I rushed out.

As the big door swung behind me I caught the echo of a roar of laughter that went up to the ceiling of the bank. Since then I bank no more. I keep my money in cash in my trousers pocket and my savings in silver dollars in a sock.

*Gould Jay, a crooked American financier of the Golden Age period. He had his hand in every shady deal and made money.

The End

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My Getaway Story

As soon as I learned my 3Rs I planned my escape and meticulously chose the island villa and every artifact  to make my retirement, an ultimate guide to the purveyors of Good Taste. A decade went into making an inventory of Matisse, Goya and great masters that would be catalogued and displayed in the Salon where High Art was so well represented made even a Tate feel outclassed. On the day I turned seventy it was time for the works. “Presto! Let the good times roll said, I” so did my wife and my brood.  Only snag was that my supposedly kaboodle of billions in bonds, stocks, life annuities and what have you would show to give my last phase its gloss. Ah then all I need say was, “open sesame.” But my several portfolios never got disentangled from Internal Revenue service and all bullion and precious metals did not come detached from the ground. My wealth after leapfrogging several Black Tuesdays and down turns from Macau to Wall Street developed some aneurysm. It was a bubble and  it burst. My villa with it.



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According to The Guardian, in October 2012, Donaldson (not her real name) to her horror discovered that over the course of two years, each time she had transferred her monthly paycheck of $1,500 from her HSBC account to the joint one she shares with her husband at Nationwide building society, she had accidentally been placing the money in a total stranger’s account. After two years, the amount she had transferred was roughly $40,000.

Banks move with times and it was paperless statements and it made the bank’s work a lot easier. Unfortunately the customers who didn’t move with the times or failed in safeguarding hard earned savings were in for shock as in the case of Donaldson. In 2010, she checked that her wages were leaving her business account held with HSBC at the end of every month. To her utter dismay she had left one digit out in the bill payment scheme set up with HSBC.’ As a result the money has been going to another Nationwide account holder for the past two years, amounting to £26,650!”

It may be difficult for Donaldson to get her money back. According to The Guardian, the recipient refuses to return the money and the bank cannot reveal his or her identity due to data protection rules. What’s more, British law dictates that when money goes into the wrong hands, it can be withdrawn without gaining permission first for up to six years after it’s wrongfully transferred. But in Donaldson’s case, the recipient had withdrawn the money through ATMs so there is nothing they can do.

“People have become so dependent on technology that they’ve developed a blind trust in computers,” says Manisha Thakor, CEO of MoneyZen Wealth Management. “But technology isn’t perfect; when you consider the sheer volume of transfers that banks make every day, it’s actually very easy for an error to occur. People have a personal responsibility to take ownership of their finances.”

Here are some simple steps to protect yourself.

Communicate: It seems unlikely that Donaldson, who was supporting herself on a hairdresser’s salary, could overlook the fact she ought to have checked with her partner if the funds were in. Many couples don’t communicate enough about finances.

Read in reverse: When you’re double checking the number you typed in, read it again but this time backwards. “By reading from the last number to the first, you’ll avoid scanning on autopilot,” says Thakor. “This process forces your brain to stay alert while you read so you’re more likely to catch typos.”

Keep a Paper trail: “Even if the bank made the mistake, you’d have no proof of innocence if you don’t have it on paper.” If you don’t want to opt for mailed statements, take a screen shot of what you typed in and print it out for your files.(ack: Elise Solé,Shine /Financially Fit of Feb11,’13)

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Dynamics of Wealth©

Wealth is what gives power to an individual or as groups so they have freedom of action more than without it. For our primitive ancestor what he hunted and gathered were wealth; it provided for the family, clans and brought him rewards. As hunter-gatherer he commanded higher prize and won the hand of choicest girl.
Barter system was wealth by which he could trade what he had surplus with another. Such wealth had another plus point. It satisfied his social needs in meeting others and catching up with news. It made him realize what was plenty and scarce commodities could earn him better returns if he sold them right. Wealth was indeed power where local knowledge, contacts and ingenuity made him a vital entity.
Progress meant man could make wealth speak for him not merely in his level of knowledge or intrinsic worth but in the wares he could unearth or put them up for bartering. Cowry shells, beans, beads were all novelties that fetched price that made him feel adequately compensated.
Gradually it had to be placed on some standard where wealth acquired a symbolic value.
First piece of money was used in Lydia and coinage system bearing a royal stamp gave it a value that was only perceived and valid only within the kingdom. Money has no value in itself so paper or plasic could do equally well.
Dynamics of wealth took force in fulfilling the social needs of man. It was created by man for man. It was the wave of future. Inversion Principle shows in the manner it created haves and have-nots.

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‘You might have been born with a silver spoon in your mouth. Even so you shall use the nether end like the lowest of the low’.
Wisdom of life can only teach you not to confuse one with the other. O.K you will say, ’What has this got to do with wealth?’ Here are the ten commandments and you can work out your own conclusions.
1. Money is what you handle. If it brings you increase it can also decrease. It is time well invested or wasted.
2. Invest in your time and put your money where the mouth is. You shall live to spend it when others have lost shirts off their backs and their time as well.
3. Be warned when an offer to increase your capital is made by another: it does not state all facts. Any enterprise where your risks are your own and what profit you make has to be shared with another make the offer less than what seems.
4. Quick killing in a bullish market makes your credit good for possessing luxury goods. Ask yourself: does it cover your bare necessities even in a Bear market?
5. One who stays too long taking advantage of vagaries of market conditions has played the fool more often. Leave others to make their quick buck if you have made yours.
6. What good is making money if it cannot be spread around in ways that will keep on even after you have moved onto something else?
7. Any offer to make a quick buck is fine but does the profit come on a slow coach to keep you tied down?
8. Promoters who require hard sell and are hard up to put their own capital have already taken their cut. They only need your money to give an argument that your losses were as per the fine print in the prospectus:.’Market conditions shall apply.
9. Do not fall into debt trap. You spend one third of your life sleeping. Fine. Why should you borrow in order to make your sleep suffer?
10. Whoever offers you a simple solution to your credit worthiness only cover your back till you have taken a hit.

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Billionaire Paul J. Getty was sent a check for 200 pounds from a magazine asking for ‘a piece, not any great length,’ explaining his success.
Getty duly turned in his piece,” Some people find oil, others don’t.”
When John D. Rockfeller Jr. came of age in the financial world his father sent him to the formidable JP Morgan who wanted to buy some property belonging to the oil magnate. The junior duly called on Morgan and was ushered in his office where the banker did not look up from his papers for half an hour. This silent treatment had worked well with most experienced men before but the young man remained cool refusing to be intimidated. At last Morgan suddenly looked up and snapped,” I hear your father wants to sell his ore properties. How much does he want?”
“There must be some mistake,” John Jr. answered reaching for his hat, “I didn’t come to sell. I heard you wanted to buy?”
Before the speechless banker could reply, young Rockfeller departed. A few days later Morgan got the properties -at Rockfeller’s price.
Andrew Carnegie, when asked on one occasion whether he was not worried for fear that some young men he was training would take his place, shook his head and replied,”All that worries me is that they won’t.”
Carnegie noted for both business acumen and philanthropy was once visited by a prominent socialist whose main purpose was in convincing Carnegie the injustice of one man owning great wealth and the visitor tried to convince the Scot that a more equitable distribution of riches acquired through the effort of workers would avoid future conflicts. Carnegie heard him out. Then he asked his secretary for some particulars which were brought. Carngie studied the figures on world population and total worth of his assets. He said calmly to his secretary,” Give this gentleman 16 cents. That is his share of my wealth.”
(ack: Thesarus of Anecdotes-ed.Edmund Fuller)

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6 Financial Moves That Sound Good — but Aren’t
by Erin Joyce
Thursday, October 1, 2009

provided by
For most people, each and every day involves some type of financial decision. So how do you feel about your financial decision-making skills? If you think you are making sound choices, ask yourself this: Have you weighed the consequences of your choices against their apparent benefits? In many cases, the answer is no.

Let’s take a look at six common financial choices that sound like smart moves, but could leave you scratching your head wondering where you went wrong.

1. Applying for a Line of Credit
Advantages: Starting a line of credit will diversify your credit sources, which is good news for your credit score. It also allows you to access funds you may need for large purchases, like buying a car, without having to scramble to arrange the funds when you decide to buy.

Consequences: A line of credit is too often treated like free money. In many cases, such easy access to funds leads borrowers to rack up consumer debt for things they don’t really need. And there’s nothing free about this cash injection: borrowers have to make minimum payments on the line’s outstanding balance. In addition, a balance will limit borrowing power on other loans, such as a mortgage.

2. Withdrawing From Your 401(k) or Retirement Savings to Pay Down Debt
Advantages: If you have a big debt to pay off, you may choose to either put off contributing to a retirement or savings fund, or to withdraw money from an existing fund. The upside to this is that paying down debt is a good thing, and the sooner it is paid off, the greater the savings in interest expenses for the borrower.

Consequences: By withdrawing funds set aside for retirement, you are robbing yourself of the benefits of compounding. Also, pulling the money out of your savings could leave you in a very bad position should something unexpected, like a job loss, happen. The earlier you start saving, the more money you will be able to accumulate for retirement. If properly invested, money saved now is almost always better than more money saved later.
3. Choosing Only the Safest Investing Vehicles
Advantages: If you invest in risk-free or nearly risk-free vehicles, the risk of losing your hard-earned cash is extremely low. This can be a viable option, especially if you are nearing retirement.

Downside: However, you are again missing out on the opportunity to have your money work for you. Take into consideration your age and stage of life when deciding your risk level. Although everyone’s risk tolerance is different, generally speaking, the younger you are, the riskier you can afford to be. This is because you have the time to make up any losses, and also because the higher risk may be warranted because it helps combat the effects of inflation on your portfolio’s gains. The closer you are to retirement (or to whatever goal you are saving for) the more conservative you should be in order to protect your investment.
4. Avoiding Debt Altogether
Advantages: “Debt free”. It sounds good, doesn’t it? And it can be. Living debt-free is a wonderful goal and is more achievable than you might think.

Downside: However, debt can also be a tool. If, in your quest to remain debt free, you are turning down “good debt”, that is, debt that allows you to leverage your investments, you are doing yourself a disservice. Examples of good debt include taking out a mortgage to buy a house. This is because houses and property tend to appreciate over time, and owning your home can lower your living expenses compared to renting. Another example would be taking out a student loan for post-secondary education. While student debt can be a huge responsibility, it is also an investment in yourself that boosts your potential earning power.

5. Cutting Your Variable Spending
Advantages: If you are looking to cut your spending, this suggests that you have a budget to modify. That’s great! Often variable expenses (expenses that are not fixed, such as entertainment, dining out and personal spending) are out of line with the amount we earn. An honest appraisal of where your money is going is a great step to getting your budget in fighting shape.

Downside: This seemingly great idea is only great if you include the second part of it: sticking to your new budget. Unrealistic expectations, or treating your budget goals as “guidelines” rather than rules, could leave you spending more than ever. (For more tips, see Get Emotional Spending Under Control.)

6. Paying Off a Major Loan in One Payment
Advantages: You’ve been working hard and saving – smart! Before your loans start accumulating interest, or even if they have, you decide to pay them off in one payment. That’s a wonderful accomplishment that will save you months’, or years’ worth of interest.

Downside: If you choose this route, make sure you take a look at your interest rate. Some loans have such a low interest rate that you’d be better off putting your money in a savings account that earns you a higher return and paying off your debt monthly. Keep in mind this is only a good idea if 1) your savings interest rate is higher than your debt interest rate and 2) you are disciplined enough to pay the debt off on time, every month, and not to spend your hard-earned cash on luxuries instead. The bonus? Responsibly paying off monthly debt helps you to establish a good credit history. This is especially helpful if you don’t have a credit history (or you are trying to rebuild a bad one).
There’s nothing worse than making a choice you thought was conscientious only to find out it had hidden consequences. Make sure you do your homework and your financial situation will be the best it can be.

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“Why must you wring your hands to ask for credit? Be bold to ask and it is your right. See how bold I am to give you the money you ask for. I don’t wring my hands to charge you 35 %. Why am I bold? I ask what I am sure to get. It is my right.” Shylock of the Wall Street


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Harriet had worked hard to get the education, the skills and there was now the job if she could get past the interview. When she was called for one she was all excited. Her résumé was impressive and she had the right attitude that spoke volumes and she wondered if her peers had in them to see what an asset she was.

The local bank wanted to interview her. It was an institution that served the local community for long.   She thought a Bank that had stood for traditional banking needs of four generations of her family was good enough for her. She also was keen to be a part of it. This bank was looked upon in their region with affection and was called by young and the old as Grandma Fiduciary of Fair Lawns. But the grandma had decided to move with the times. The new management bought her lock, stock and barrel. She didn’t mind. She was all for change.

The hedge fund firm Fairfield Greenbottle Group assessing her strengths said, “You are a charmer. You can speak so sweet that even a skinflint will part with his money.”So she was taken on their payrolls and her task was to lie to investors. When she got a million in bonus at the end of the year she excitedly told the chairman Mr. Pupus Lupus, “ You do take care of your employees so well!” Then they handed her sheaves of papers and said,” here is a star who requires kid glove treatment.”
Later she went over the folder thoroughly. She asked her boss, “ I have a great foreboding about this fellow.” Her boss was aghast, and whispered, “ Bernard Madoff is a genius. You may call him a swindler but he can make our firm give millions in bonuses year after year. Only if you’re a team player. ” She was not still convinced, and did some soul-searching. She asked herself before  going to bed, “Grandma where is your ethics? Your responsibility for the community?” A question like that before going to bed will only make one sleepless. She wrestled with it whole night. Next morning she alerted SEC who came and rescued her before she could be lumped together with the rest .


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The day I turned 18 my father called me to his study and said I was on my own. My parents wanted me to go and find a job. But jobs that came were not what exactly I was after.
So after a long search I became my own boss. I have this sign in front of my seat: the buck stops here.
At the end of the day no bucks stopped but two nickels.  That will do.
You see how one learns to downsize one’s expectations?


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