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Lessons to a columnist’s previous self

Lessons to a columnist’s previous self

Finance
IN A British television show, “Doctor Who”, the titular character is able to travel anywhere in time and space in his Tardis police box. Given access to that technology, what useful message would this columnist impart to his previous self, nearly 12 years and 550 columns ago?The first lesson would be to avoid confusing the economy with the financial markets. If you looked at share prices alone, you might assume the intervening period had been calm; the S&P 500 index is around double its level when this column began in September 2006. But though the markets have long since recovered their sangfroid after the crisis of 2008-09, the trend growth rate of developed economies has never regained its strength. That is a bitter irony given that the crisis originated within the finan...
Blockbuster movie Black Panther provides these 4 valuable money lessons

Blockbuster movie Black Panther provides these 4 valuable money lessons

Finance
"A man who has not prepared his children for his death has failed as a father."When I watched King T'Chaka's declaration to his son, T'Challa, in Disney-Marvel's box-office hit Black Panther, the Dora Milaje warrior spirit in me surfaced and brought forth my financial planner's spear!This mystical, ancestral scene piqued my curiosity regarding how King T'Chaka's legacy would unfold in T'Challa's reign as the new king of Wakanda.Preparing the next generation for leadership includes guidance on managing resources and wealth. This lesson is gender neutral despite the gender-specific reference made by King T'Chaka. In another poignant scene T'Challa's mother, Queen Ramonda, also affirmed the parental and community influence in grooming T'Challa for his ascension to the throne.The state of affa...
Atacama's lessons about life on Mars

Atacama's lessons about life on Mars

Science
Even in the driest places on Earth there is life eking out an existence, it seems. Scientists have examined the soils in those parts of the Atacama desert that may not see any rains for decades. Still, the team led from the Technical University of Berlin, Germany, found evidence of microbes that have adapted to the extreme conditions. These hardy organisms are of interest because they may serve as a template for how life could survive on Mars. "All the stresses you have in the Atacama, you have on Mars, too - just a little tick more," TU Berlin's Dr Dirk Schulze-Makuch told BBC News. So, as well as super-aridity that means even higher levels of ultraviolet radiation and soils that are loaded with salts. Dr Schulze-Makuch's team sampled a range of sites in the South American desert - from t...
4 money lessons every teenager needs to know

4 money lessons every teenager needs to know

Finance
How to talk to your kids about moneyIt's time to talk to your teenager about money. The teen years may be the first time kids start to earn their own money. And establishing good habits now can pay dividends well into their future. Plus, teaching kids to be smart about money will have benefits for parents too. "Clients that have been more transparent with their kids tend to have children that are smarter with money,' said Bill Van Sant, a certified financial planner and senior vice president at Univest Wealth Management. "Parents that may not be as transparent tend to have children that stay in the house a little longer." But it's hard to know where to start -- especially if parents don't have a solid grasp on their own finances. The first step is to avoid making money talks into lectu...
Here are some lessons learned from Black Monday that can guide you now

Here are some lessons learned from Black Monday that can guide you now

Finance
On Monday, Oct. 19, 1987, the Dow Jones Industrial average fell 22.6 percent in one day. It's been 30 years since then, but the event still holds some valuable lessons for any investor today.New innovations, such as program trading, which powered portfolio insurance and trading on indexes and index futures, were blamed for what happened on Black Monday.At the time, as much as half of the market's trading volume was programmatic. When index futures in Chicago were lower than the actual indexes on Wall Street, the programs would sell stocks. Unfortunately, the rout was on when the futures market remained lower throughout the day and investors panicked and sold, too.From the beginning of 1987 through August of that year, the Dow had jumped up 44 percent in value — but then fell roughly 10 per