By Amanda Morrall (email)
Recently, the new man in my life made a confession. It wasn't the one I was hoping for, but I took it as a compliment anyway. Basically he said the worst thing he could observe about me was that I was "too negative about the economy." Being the office optimist, I had a good laugh. Of course, a quick fix to this "problem" would be to introduce the BF to my boss. By comparison, I will present a joyous and glowing optimist.
Having returned from a recent holiday to Bali with the BF I am feeling decidedly more optimistic about the economy and life in general. This could be the holiday after-glow but there are a few reasons for my cheer(ier) outlook.
The signs of growth and development were abundant in Bali. The sky line in Kuta and other big centres like Sanur were full of cranes. If the sovereign debt crisis was having any impact on Bali, it sure wasn't visible from the street. While more remote locations were slightly less busy than the norm (for high season), touristy locales were booked out solid.
I won't try to paint a happy picture of poverty however from observations from visiting this beautiful island and other "developing nations" is that people overall are a heck of a lot happier with their lot in life despite not having granite countertops, a country home and a slushed up retirement fund. It was another reminder for me to appreciate what wealth and health we do have in the "developed" West.
Perhaps it was the effect of too many 25,000 Rupiah (NZ$3) Bali mojitos (light rum, brown sugar, lime and soda water), but from where I sit (even sober) life doesn't look too bad. Optics are everything.
My links for Monday:
1) The Age reports on the world's super rich who are said to be hiding more than A$20 trillion in offshore tax havens. Apparently that doesn't include other less traceable wealth including art, boats and such. And still, the taxman is chasing after the middle-class who are scraping by.
2) At the risk of sounding a broken record, fees on managed funds really do add up. This piece from the Telegraph newspaper reporting on the fee gouge on pensions funds underscores the point. Relative to other types of funds, fees on KiwiSaver are reportedly low but it still pays to know what you are paying and the long term effect. You can find out both from your provider or on our website under the KiwiSaver section. Thanks to DM for the link.
3) Your ability to earn money is limited only by time, imagination and effort. This article from the Guardian profiles how a few aspiring entrepreneurs fared trying to make a profit from a £100 personal investment. Where there's a will, and a lot of persistence, there's a way.
4) In personal finance, like life, there's always room for self-improvement. Here's six tips from cfinancialfreedom.com on how to manage your money better.
5) Money can cause a lot of strife in relationships and is the leading cause of divorce apparently. But is money itself really the problem or is the fight just symptomatic of something else? Personal finance blogger canadianbudgetbinder.com offers a view on how to keep the peace with your partner and put out financial fires before they engulf you as a couple.
To read other Take Fives by Amanda Morrall click here. You can also follow Amanda on Twitter @amandamorrall