3 January 2019 FT — Articles to Read

3 January 2019


Question: According to MSN: Money, what are ten (10) frugal resolutions for the new year?


Tesla tumbles as sales figures suggest tough year ahead – Pg. 1

–          Tesla’s charmed run amid recent carnage on Wall Street ended abruptly yesterday, as sales figures and a price cut suggested 2019 was shaping up to be a tougher year for the electric car maker

–          The company’s shares fell sharply after the news, falling more than 7% in NY morning trade, reflecting concerns about the prospects for the Model 3, designed to be the first mass-market electric vehicle

–          Some of that enthusiasm evaporated on the first trading day of the new year as Tesla said it had delivered fewer vehicles in the final three months of 2018 than most analysts expected.  At 90,700, deliveries were more than three times the same period in the year before

–          …ahead of an end-of-year reduction in the tax credit US buyers could claim on their purchases

–          The tax credit was halved to $3,750 from the start of this year


Hackers steal 9/11 insurance and legal data – Pg. 13

–          The FBI is investigating the theft of 18,000 insurance and legal documents relating to the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center by a hacker with a long record of holding companies to ransom…

–          Posting under the name “The Dark Overloard”, the hacker or hackers claimed on New Year’s Eve that they had taken emails and non-disclosure agreements relating to the 9/11 attacks that were sent and received by the insurers Hiscox and Lloyd’s of London and the law firm Blackwell Sanders Pepper Martin, now called Husch Blackwell

–          The Dark Overlord said they would sell the documents for bitcoin, inviting Isis, al-Qaeda and nation states to bid for them online

–          The September 11 attacks cost the insurance industry the equivalent of $45bn in 2017 terms,…

–          Lloyd’s said it had no evidence its systems had been compromised


Deal surge in local US television stations raises diversity concern – Pg. 14

–          More than $13bn of local US television networks have changed hands in the past two years as a loosening of Obama-era regulations on station ownership has fueled a frenzy in dealmaking in the sector that controls how most Americans watch their news

–          While social media sites and online news sources have become more popular, television is still the prime source of news for Americans and they prefer local stations to cable channels

–          About 50% of Americans said they consume their news through television, compared with 43% who said they often get news online,… (Prof Note: I am in the 43% category…)

–          Some observers are concerned that as a handful of large players consolidate the local television market, there will be a loss in diversity of the voices reaching US households

–          The buying spree has been hastened by changing US regulations.  The FCC, …in 2017 reinstated arcane channel ownership rules that has been scrapped by the Obama administration – a move that in effect lifted a barrier to companies owning more television stations


Answer: (1) Stop impulse buying (Prof Note: One way to do this is to purchase online and pick up at store.  I do this with Target and never truly enter the store.); (2) Put $10 a week toward retirement (Prof Note: You can transfer the money effortlessly online); (3) Pay credit card bills in full; (4) Take your budget seriously (Prof Note: I spent half a day developing the 2019 budget); (5) Commit to living within your means; (6) Take the ‘Uber frugal month’ challenge; (7) Surround yourself with frugal people (Prof Note: I was on the phone, literally for 45 minutes last night and 30 minutes today with a fellow frugaler, i.e. Chander D.  We regularly phone each other complaining about the expenses of life for which we cannot escape!  Find support!); (8) Build an emergency fund (Prof Note: While I agree with this I also believe an emergency needs to be an EMERGENCY.  Better to build other sources of income); (9) Consult your partner and family; (10) Take stock of where your money is going (Prof Note: Kill the autopayments.  You can lose control.  Hand write checks (or do online).  Know where the bleed is located and cauterize!)