10 July 2018 FT — Articles to Read

10 July 2018

List-Serve Good Story: Often the stories are negative but this one was/is positive.  I was in South Beach looking at real estate and left my laptop in my hotel room at The Betsy.  When I arrived at the airport and it was not in my bag I was 100.0% convinced it had been stolen.  Never in my life had I forgotten my laptop anywhere.  Two positive results: (1) When the panic subsided I realized the laptop was nothing but a hunk of plastic.  Two years ago I had had my IT Manager centrally locate all data/information on a remote server making my laptops/desktops (yes, I still have desktops) dummy machines.  All my data was safe, i.e. no panic was necessary.  (2) After calling the hotel, I discovered The Betsy had my laptop and FedExed it back to me the next day.  Great customer service.  What did I learn?  I learned the importance of not carrying data and having it not just backed-up to a server but located on a server.  While I realize there is expense involved with owning and maintaining and backing up servers, it is/was worth the expense at that very moment and going forward.

Question: What are 10 tips to manage your finance s while you job hunt, according to credit.com?

Macron pledges improvements in welfare – Pg. 4

–          …plans to merge 40 different retirement schemes into one by 2019

–          He defended his decision to slash taxes for the wealthy and entrepreneurs at the beginning of his term, …

UK Economy – Pg. 7

–          In 2016, output per British worker lagged behind every G7 country except Japan.  The gap with the US stood at 27.3%.  The parallel often used is that a French or German worker could knock off on a Thursday having churned out as much as his or her UK counterpart would manage to produce in a full working week

–          …UK productivity fell in the first three months of 2018 from the previous quarter

–          One hypothesis for the lag is that UK managers are under-trained and under-valued

–          …when Harvard Business School….surveyed how well or poorly companies were run, they concluded that US companies were “the best managed in the world”.  US managers were “ruthless at rapidly rewarding and promoting good employees and retraining or firing bad employees”…

–          The most effective management tools….include “continuous improvement”, a way of standardizing and streamlining work processes that many big western companies started copying from efficient Japanese manufacturers as long ago as the 1980s

–          Other simple techniques that could help companies produce more from what they put in include setting goals and encouraging workers to meet them, conducting performance reviews or sending more people for training

CIC posts record profits but reins in deals – Pg. 16

–          The sovereign wealth fund China Investment Corporation posted record-high profits for 2017 yesterday, but new data show it has slowed its acquisition activities in 2018 after spending tens of billions of dollars overseas during the past two years

–          CIC, China’s top state investment vehicle, was launched by the central government in 2007 to put to work the country’s rapidly growing foreign reserves.  It has quickly become one of China’s largest investors with $941bn in total assets at the end of last year and major holdings in overseas equities and direct investments in companies

–          The profits were boosted by a 17.6% net annual return on overseas investments, nearly trebling the return in 2016

–          CIC’s global portfolio was composed of 43.6% publicly traded equities at the end of last year, of which 52% were based in the US

–          About 39% of the portfolio was in alternative assets, such as hedge funds, private equity, real estate and direct investments into companies.  Fixed-income investments accounted for another 16% of the portfolio

–          Over the past two years the US has made it more difficult for Chinese companies to invest in technology and financial companies

Answer: (1) Figure out your current financial situation (Prof Note: This is critical to understand at all times); (2) Create a budget (Prof Note: One must always have a budget, else expenses will become unbridled); (3) Stick to your budget (Prof Note: Why else have a budget?); (4) Separate your wants from your needs (Prof Note: This is often difficult.  More discipline will mean more $$$); (5) Shop cheap (Prof Note: Look for me in Ridge and you will find me at Dollar General!); (6) Use credit cards with caution (Prof Note: Yes, use discipline but also use point-providing cards for everything); (7) Find things to do that are fun and free (Prof Note: Absolutely!  Willy, 1962 Little Willy, and I love our trips to the dump and to town.  Sunsets, cool breezes, slow jog, etc.  All are free and enjoyable); (8) Consider rent free living (Prof Note: Economize); (9) Explore freelance work opportunities (Prof Note: a.k.a. side hustle); (10) Don’t get desperate (Prof Note: Be selective and do not take less than what you believe you are worth.  However, be realistic and seek advice from senior people and listen to them on what they believe you are worth in the marketplace.)