Monday, April 11, 2011

Where There's a WILL, There's a WAY

Very Uplifting and inspiring TRUE story of this beautiful island, Koh Panyee, Thailand.  Words won't do justice to this video so please watch it.

"Where There's a WILL, There's a WAY"




Whatever Challenges you face in LIFE
Make THE Difference

Never Give up

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Necessity is the Mother of all Inventions

An ordinary kid born in England facing the same challenges that a lot of students out there in UK and here in USA face and most likely other parts of the world as well, The rising cost of education.  I am talking about Alex Tew, who was about to enroll in to his Business Management course when he realised that the cost of going to school would put him into debt for at least 10 years.  Under tremendous amount of stress, Alex tried very hard to figure out how could pay for his education.  And he achieved his Yahoo or Bing moment.  He came up with a ONE PAGE website idea called Million Dollar Page.   A very simplistic marketing idea.  Basically he decided to make a web page of 1000 x 1000 pixels (1 Million) and sell 1 pixel for $1, on only one page.  He put this idea to work sometime in mid 2005.  Initially nobody signed up so he sold few pixels to his family and friends then word spread out so he got few advertisers, when he got some money out of these in few weeks he did a press release, BBC and then a Boom happen.  Soon Alex became a marketing Genius.  Advertisers started signing up left and right and withing few months of launch he was able to reach his target goal of 1M pixels netting him over $1Million.  In the end the demand was so high that he sold the last pixels on Ebay and was able to get about $35k, Yes.  Simply Amazing.  An ordinary Kid struggling to pay for his school came up with the most amazing idea on the Internet and made $1M in less than 6 months.  He is far from ordinary, The Genius was within him, he just had to bring it out. There are many lessons to be learnt from this.  
1) Never Give up
2) Try Harder
3) Reach out to family and friends
4) Network
5) Stress can bring out the best in us
6) It doesn't take millions or thousands of dollars in funding to start a successful business.
7) You don't have to be an Ivy league student to be successful
8) Yes, world class products are important but it is the marketing that makes them a world class success.  Apple :)
9) Think Outside the Box
10) Take that first step, Take Risks.



Tuesday, March 22, 2011

ENDGAME

ENDGAME - The End of the Debt SuperCycle and How It Changes Everything  By John Mauldin & Jonathan Tepper

Latest book by my favorite writer, economist, analyst, author, father, friend and a great human being, John Mauldin.

I've been reading John Mauldin's newsletter and research on Economics, Finance & Investment for over few years now.  Let's put it this way, I have been in a School of Global Economics, & Finance and the teacher is John Mauldin.  I don't know the exact current statistics on the number of friends John has but it should be easily about 1.7 Million.  If you want to know what kind of person John Mauldin is, you can subscribe to his FREE newsletter called "Thoughts from the Frontline" and you can also read about this highly acclaimed writer at, About John Mauldin.  Do yourself a favor and signup for this newsletter and see what you've been missing.  It may give you a fresh new perspective on how economies actually work at a global level and more importantly how to benefit from it by investing in the right vehicle.

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Endgame - The End of the Debt SuperCycle and How It Changes Everything  

Q&A with Authors John Mauldin and Jonathan Tepper (From Amazon.com)


Author John Mauldin


What is the debt supercycle?
Over a period of about sixty years, debt levels grew faster than incomes. This increase in debt became particularly pronounced in the 1980s, 90s and finally went parabolic after the Federal Reserve lowered interest rates to 1% after the Nasdaq crash. The increase in debt was not just a US phenomenon. As interest rates fell structurally with the fall in inflation from 1982 onwards, people took on more debt because it became more manageable. However, by 2008 the burden of debt became too much to bear and the debt supercycle came to an end. People started deleveraging and banks started collapsing due to low levels of capital and large losses from loans people couldn't pay back.

How does the sovereign debt crisis play into this?
The rapid contraction in debt levels due to default and deleveraging lead to a fall in economic activity as people started saving and cutting spending. Governments immediately stepped in and backed bank debt with explicit guarantees. Governments also started borrowing and spending to transfer money to the private sector, for example via unemployment insurance. So in a very real sense, private borrowing was replaced with public borrowing. Debt was added onto more debt. Rather than free itself of debt, the system now has more debt. The sovereign debt crisis is the recognition that most of this debt will not be paid back, and governments are making promises to pay debt and other obligations, for example general spending and pensions, that they simply lack the ability to fulfill.

What is the impact of the end of the debt supercycle?
Author Jonathan Tepper

The end of the debt supercycle and the beginning of the sovereign debt crisis present problems and challenges for investors and governments. Governments will need to either 1) inflate, 2) default or 3) devalue, which is similar to inflate. That is the way governments have historically dealt with too much debt. Some countries will experience deflation and others inflation, depending on what choices governments make. Currently governments have only bad and worse choices. Let's hope they can choose wisely.

What do you predict for the next ten years?
Central banks globally have shown a predisposition to print money to solve problems. We forsee rising inflation in many parts of the world, reductions in real income as people lose purchasing power due to higher food and fuel prices and more macroeconomic volatility. Some countries that do not control their own money supply or are running pegs may experience deflation as they are forced to delever and cannot increase the money supply to counteract the weight of deleveraging.

You cite the events in Greece as an example of a country continuing to run massive deficits. Is there an example of a country making a better choice?


The UK is making some of the right steps to control spending, but even the UK could be more draconian. In nominal and real terms, government spending in aggregate will not be cut in the UK. Also, Iceland has made positive steps by defaulting on its debt effectively. Default is a good way to cure too much debt.
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This book is an encyclopedia about the Global Financial Systems. It takes you on a journey through the complex and dynamic formation of various kinds of debt, The Debt Supercycle.  Debt, whether public or private needs to be checked, sooner rather than later.  There is no kind of money printing that can save anybody from it.  Most of the Governments have run deficits for many years, let's talk only about United States where we have run massive amount of deficits for last few years and our debt burden has grown to about $14.5 trillion, numbers these scary, disasters are wating to happen.  It's only a matter of time, until the Button is pressed.  I have not read this completely but it looks like a great read.

Friday, February 18, 2011

DO SOMETHING BIG!

One of the Biggest Gifts We (living organisms) have is to create life.  Don't we all wish if we could contribute in creating or saving lives.  We all do in many many ways. Besides giving birth, Some people Donate Blood, some Eyes, some Kidneys, Livers and Hearts.  Different people accept different challenges in life by either saving or trying to save lives in their own ways. 


Here is one of my favorite site. http://www.marrow.org/ and their Be The Match campaign.  Here is a wonderful ad from someone who's extremely successful athlete, one of the finest icon of Basketball, Shaq (Shaquille O'Neal) with Do Something Big ad.

 
If someone is diagnosed with leukemia, a bone marrow or cord blood transplant (also called a BMT) may be a treatment option for you. A transplant may also be a treatment option for certain immune system and genetic disorders.  It is very difficult to match the Bone Marrow to the patient and sometimes it takes years to find a perfect match.  So Please register and convince your friends and family to do the same.  Save a Life.
 

 

Saturday, January 29, 2011

USA - A Step Closer to Bankruptcy ?

Alarming! You Bet, IT IS.  John Doe lives on a $50000 a year salary and have normal expenses like everybody else.  He also has atleast 2 credit cards like everybody else with $10000 total limit (which he earned by having good credit history for last 10 years) on them.  Now, he gets 2 more credit cards for another $10000.  Life is good.  John goes on a spending spree over few years and maxed out all of his credit cards but he is still trying to pay them off like a good "American" Citizen.  All of a sudden he gets problems at work and finds himself out of job.  Started raining, I guess.  And to make things worse his rent went up, the gasoline went up and prices of groceries went up....adding insult to injury he missed one credit card payment and his interest rate went up....okay okay...long story short.  Someone knocking on the door? Bankruptcy.  Yes, It is Inevitable.  Simple as that. 

I am sure you've heard this story before, this is what our entire nation has been going through over last many decades.  It has trapped many innocent people willingly or unwillingly into it.  Now, we are all part of this death spiral.  Personal Debt. is a problem in itself.  But Guess, what our great country is not doing anything different.  There is a fundamental problem in here.  I've pointed out before in my older posts about the massive debt and the debt to income rations we are facing, I came across another good reads on the same subject, only this time it's not "good" its "WORSE".

Bill Gross, who is the manager of the world's largest mutual fund, Pimco Total Return Fund hints that we could be a step closer to one of the biggest financial disasters this world has ever seen.  Our country is primarily funded by these Treasury/Bonds investors like Bill Gross and countries like China, Japan etc.  US Treasury sells these Bonds to Bonds Investors in return for a "GUARANTEED" payment plus any interest.  USA has been selling these bonds in international auctions every month and now our total debt has come pretty close to it's limits, $14.3 Trillion.  There is a debate ongoing in the Congress whether to raise these limits or not.  We are at a crossroads with this.  If this limit is raised that means more debt which the bond investors think the USA will never be able to pay.  If the interest payments go up so will be the ability for us to sell more debt, hence the interest rates may go up, dollar may collapse and the dominoes may start falling when one after another the bond investors start pulling their money out of USA.  Eventually the world Credit markets would come to a halt.  A major disaster.  I think this would dwarf any financial disasters we have faced so far.  I am sure the USA (Treasuries, Feds, Congress and everyone else in govt.) has some tricks still left up their sleeves which they can use to "delay" the process.  But unless and until our debt to income ratios don't get better the problems are inevitable.  Now let's see how can USA reduce the debt.  One thing I read was stopping Social Security Payments to Americans rather than missing their interest payment to China. Neither of these two are good.  The question is not "IF" but "WHEN" will this happen!  I hope it doesn't for the good of millions of people.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Whining is for Sissies. Meet A Real Hero - Rick Ball

People whine.  Period.  Whether you agree with me or not but I can "almost" guarantee you that you did in last 24 hours, atleast once...Be Honest.  I know, I do, (didn't in last 24 hours) every once in a while, I do.  I always find something to whine about...it's not that difficult at all. :)  Because this world and life is full of challenging variables and difficult surprises and we "normal people" don't like difficult things in our everyday life, it's beyond our comfort zone. We need to do a lot of juggling to maintain order and not everyone knows how to juggle, let alone try to be an expert in it.  So, my point is, Everybody (I mean every living organism on this planet) faces problems and challenges, every single day in their lives.  Some choose to ignore them, some choose to close their eyes, some choose to see the other way, some choose to walk the other way, some choose to hop over the problems, some choose to bring somebody else in front of them and their real problem and they think these problems would magically disappear but do they?  May be for a short while for some but in the end these problems multiply and come back even harder than ever before in their lives.....and there are a small percentage who are MAN enough to stay Bold with their Rock solid intentions and determination to face any problem in their lives.  These are the ones who survive life's most painfull tests.  These are real Heroes. Rick Ball  is one of them.  I came across this very inspirational short video that I couldn't resist sharing....This is mainly to motivate myself for everything I don't do that I need to do and keep my on the ground and appreciate what I have.


Rick is from Canada and who is 44 now, lost his leg about 24 years ago in a motorcycle accident and was tore apart by this.  One day his brother took him to the hospital and he saw that "other people are facing even tougher challenges than him missing one leg"  This experience pushed him to change his attitude and move on or be miserable the rest of his life.  He decided to move on with a positive attitude and broke several World Records in running.  It's a very touching and motivating video, please see it and do something in your lives whenever you feel down. 

                                           

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

2010 - Consumer Bankruptcies at 9%


SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — Consumer bankruptcies rose 9% in 2010 and filings will keep climbing this year given high debt levels and tepid income growth, the American Bankruptcy Institute said Monday, citing data from the National Bankruptcy Research Center.
Ironic.  In the wake of almost 20% unemployment (U6) record federal debt almost $14 Trillion (with a "T", yes), largest foreclosure rate in the history and still growing, 9% Consumer Bankruptcies and expected to grow double digits, mortgage rates going up, falling real estate prices, rising commodity prices (inflation, think $4 gas this summer with no jobs, yeah! feels great)....and we are Partying at the WallStreet with a record climb at the indices from Aug 2010 lows to the 1/1/11 highs.  Most of the highs were made by pushing the "futures" in the overnight market but this is the topic of discussion for another post. :)  What I am thinking is, with 9% Consumer Bankruptcies and 20% U6, Can USA really sustain this kind of growth they are projecting?  3.5 to 4% GDP for 2011?  I've seen first hand how Credit Card offers have started pouring in from all over the country, (ME, I can understand lol) but to people with extremely sub-standard Credit histories, with no jobs and prior bankruptcies.   Come on guys, give me a break.  What are we trying to do and what the hell are we thinking?  December 2010, saw a record breaking holiday shopping season with these numbers.  My bet is come Jan/Feb 2011 and going forward a lot of these people with new hi-tech toys like IPAD, IPHONE, WII, KINECT and new cars, GMC, FORD etc. will have hard time paying their bills.  We are starting all over again at a time when we are not even out of the original mess.  Remember the fundamental problem we all are facing here as Consumers, Companies, Governments, Countries....We are spending the money WE DON'T HAVE based on future growth.  This is a disaster waiting to happen.  Bunch of "Fxxxxxx" Morons sitting in the high profile places, called FEDS who unfortunately has power to control our lives are doing everything in their power to make the Rich (GS)even more Richer and poor middle class people (US) even more poor.  How in the world are we going to get out of this?  We are "FxxxED".  God Save our Great Country.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

2011 Resolutions - Pointers

1-a) Spend Less Money and Save More
1-b) Save More Money or Make More Money, either way you are good.
2-a) Eat Less Calories and Burn More
2-b) Fit to Fitter, In Just 10-15 minutes a day.  300 reps of pushups, squats, dips and crunches.
3) Hate Less and Love More
4) Sleep Less and Work More
5-1) Work Hard and Play Harder
5-b) Work Hard and Smart (Be more efficient)
6) Spend Less time with your virtual friends on "Facebook" (Web). Spend More time with your REAL FAMILY (especially your Children) and FRIENDS.
7) Quit Tobacco and Eat more Spinach & Broccoli
8) Quit Alcohol and Drink more Water (at least 2 liter / day)
9) Quit the old nasty nagging habits and Learn something new, something fun, useful and productive.
10) Organize things, Organize your paper work, Organize everything...it will make life much easier.
11) Go Green, I mean Greener.  Reduce, Reuse and Recycle Everything (mostly) possible.  Save Mother Earth.
12) Learn to play at least one Song on Guitar (or your favorite musical instrument)
13) Read at least One Good Book and then read another and another.
14) Meditate

These are some of the pointers I've always had in my mind.  I already do or follow a lot of them and not do some of them.  For e.g. I don't Smoke, I don't consume Alcohol, I am a Vegetarian, I am not Obese etc. etc.  But there are a lot on this list that I need to work on and will be....In the mean time I will be putting on some details on the above list pretty soon.  If you've got some then please share your resolutions and experiences!

Happy 2011!