By Amanda Morrall
1) Space age payments
CNN reports that PayPal is "getting serious" about a payment system for those going into sub-orbital space soon, or living on planets later. Seriously? I'll be interested to see if the first purchase in space is a barf bag from a weightless astrosurfer.
On the realms of reality, I have a friend who spends a lot of his time with his head in the clouds. It made perfect sense therefore that he made the virtual leap as well into the iCloud wherein now dwells his contacts, email, photos and music. For those of you still wrapping your head around the whole cloud business, access is from anywhere with the Internet and you only have to change the data once. That's music to the ears of anyone who has tried to migrate contacts from one database to another.
2) House prices
Compliments of Mr Money Mustache, a reminder of the power of compounding interest for enthusiastic savers. He's making no outrageous assumptions regarding returns either, although NZ tax rates will skew them a little. Some will baulk at the idea of saving 50% of after tax income, but before you completely dismiss the idea, look at the results if you do.
4) More joy for index fund fans
I was interested to see another pitch for index investing, this time reported by Mandi Woodruff from Business Insider. The debate on active versus passive is as old as the indexes themselves, which is some cases is well over a century. You might wonder what and how many options for index investing exist within KiwiSaver. Remarkably, despite their popularity with investors keen on preserving gains and minimising the extractions from fee hungry fund managers, only two providers actively pitch their wares in this space; ASB and SuperLife. Even then their hedging policies for offshore investments vary widely, as can their asset allocations. Can they fairly be called index trackers and are their fees as low as they claim? Yes, they charge lower fees for their services, which is to be commended, but there are still plenty of subjective decisions made in the managing of the money. This has to be the case with asset allocation and hedging so, as is always, get advice before you take the plunge into active or passive investing.
On space travel and living in the cloud, I couldn't help but think of the Beastie Boys. RIP Adam Yauch.