12 November 2018 FT — Articles to Read

12 November 2018


Question: According to MSN: Money, what seven (7) things can you do if you regret retirement?


Looming maturity of Chinese property debt worth billions triggers default fear – Pg. 1

–        A wall of onshore debt worth tens of billions of dollars issued by Chinese property developers is due to mature next year, sparking concerns over defaults at a time of economic slowdown

–        China’s property market is a bedrock for growth and economists fear that signs of distress in developer debt would send ripples through the financial system just as other problems are mounting

–        Property developers have struggled to issue new debt and refinance maturing bonds this year as the Chinese government attempts to control the runaway credit-fuelled growth that has helped power the sector in recent years


Warning over Brazil’s ‘unsustainable’ public finances – Pg. 4

–        Successive governments have tried but failed to address Brazil’s pensions problem, the main cause of a budget deficit equal to more than 7% of GDP

–        The danger of delay was that falling investment and rising borrowing costs, as investors lost confidence in the new government, would tip the country back into recession


Americans need skills, not credentials – Pg. 9

–        I cannot think of a market that is more dysfunctional in America right now than education.  Total student debt topped $1.5tn this year and a Brookings study found that nearly 40% of those borrowers are likely to default on their loans by 2023

–        The imprimatur of a $75,000 Harvard degree is in such demand that the school is now being sued by a group of Asian-American students who say more of them should be allowed in on the basis of high test scores

–        One recent survey found that 43% of college grads are underemployed

–        Ivy League colleges are great for those who can afford them but most education has become completely disconnected from the needs of both students and the labour market (Prof Note: More and more employers are telling me they specifically want “Ivy”.  The competition in the world is fierce!)

–        There are myriad factors that have created this dysfunctional system, but one that has not been talked about enough is the unfair bias towards schools rather than skills (Prof Note: AMEN!!!  How can one teach real estate “online” when so much of it is softer skills?  Even worse, the attempt dilutes the value for all students, i.e. online and in classroom)


Answer: (1) Pick up a part-time job; (2) Volunteer for a worthy cause; (3) Get fit; (4) Educate yourself; (5) Purchase a rental property; (6) Adopt a pet; (7) Relocate (Prof Note: Many on the list-serve are familiar with “Nevis News”.  Well, it is published from Cat Ghaut, Nevis where my grandparents spent the last 30 years of their lives.  In “retirement” my grandfather met tourists on the island coming to play the course and spent his days explaining island history, proudly showing the gardens and clearing new walking trails and paths.  My grandparents, from my perspective, had a blessed retirement which was birthed on the salary of a college professor and librarian, i.e. they were not born to wealth nor, while they absolutely were savers, did they achieve large amounts of wealth.  They built upon what they earned/had over decades.  We still get visitors that remember my grandfather (and grandmother though “Granny”, ever the librarian, rarely left the house and always had a book in hand) on the course.  Some will say, “Your grandfather let me play for free” and I will respond, “I am not my grandfather.” J  (in truth, the cost of play/admission is honourary))