REPOST: Baby boomers are more entitled than millennials—and this research proves it

Millennials have their own way of expressing themselves and managing every aspect of their lives that they are often stereotyped as arrogant and conceited. In the article below from MarketWatch, personal finance writer Quentin Fottrell explains why the case may not be entirely true. Read on:

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Young Americans are constantly told by the media — and, sometimes, their own parents — that they think the world owes them a favor. Bad news for baby boomers: It may be the exact opposite.

Millennials say people should be able to pay for their own housing at 22 years of age, pay for their own car at 20.5 years of age and be responsible for their own cell phone plan at 18.5 years of age, according to a new study from personal-finance site

In all three cases, the younger cohort’s average response is about a year and a half earlier than when baby boomers feel these three landmarks of financial independence should happen.

“Millennials are often stereotyped as being entitled,” Sarah Berger, a columnist and analyst at, said in a statement on the survey released Wednesday. “It’s refreshing to see that millennials really do have high expectations of gaining financial independence and getting off their parents’ payroll.”

The survey tapped a nationally representative sample of 1,000 adults. Those respondents living in the Northeast said parents should help with housing costs until their children are 24.5 years of age. That was two years longer than for Midwesterners, 1.5 years longer than for Southerners and about a year longer than for those who live on the West Coast.

The full story HERE.

How effective are celebrities as brand ambassadors?

Using the influence of celebrity as a marketing tool has been around since the 1930s when famous athletes and personalities promoted products that ultimately broke sales records and delivered a generous return on investment.

Today, the same marketing strategy of utilizing the benefits of celebrities as brand ambassadors is rather more challenging and one move can either attract customers to your products or can spell an advertising disaster.



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Choose wisely

One crucial step is in choosing a celebrity endorser for a company’s brand. This decision does not only mean selecting a famous face to promote their products; it also means choosing a person whose lifestyle and personality embody the promises of their brands.


Statistics don’t lie

In a recent study based on hundreds of marketing contracts involving celebrities, a 20% increase on sales for some brands have been observed right after starting an endorsement deal.  A similar study also revealed a 0.25% rise in the companies’ stocks on the day of a celebrity contract announcement, according to Anita Elberse, associate professor at Harvard Business School.


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Stand out

The era of social media and online marketing has provided companies with opportunity to reach millions of audience and potential consumers. However, this unrestricted connectivity also opened a strong and unpredictable competition among businesses. This is where celebrity endorsements matter the most.


Authenticity is the key

A celebrity endorser talking about your brand on their social media pages gives your product not only exposure but credibility. However, this is only effective if the personality is genuinely connected to the brand.


Undeniably, companies realize the risks of celebrity brand endorsements but the results have been continuously outweighing the risks.

Buying the right things: Living the yuppie life

Yuppies are young professionals who are usually doing well career-wise. They have a high-paying job and usually at the forefront of a fashionable lifestyle. Considering their age, they have more time on their hands as compared to their older counterparts. They have money to burn, so why not spend it? Yuppies often spend their hard earned cash on things which will give them convenience, excitement, efficiency, and above all, fun.

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One of the most popular things that yuppies spend their money on is coffee. To be more specific, those that they purchase from expensive coffee shops and cafes. They like to lounge and loiter in those locations after a long and stressful day at the office. As a matter of fact, it can be considered as one of the defining characteristics of the new generation.

Yuppies usually live a fast-paced lifestyle, meaning that cooking meals at home is already a luxury instead of a need. So the next best alternative? Fast food. Whenever they get hungry while rushing to work, all they need to do is to take a turn at a corner where a fast food restaurant will be waiting for them ready to satiate their gurgling stomachs.


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No matter what the profession, work can become grueling. Mountains of paperwork and thousands of forms to process will tire anyone out, even the young ones. So to celebrate the end of the day, yuppies will usually spend money for alcohol in bars or nightclubs and party the night away. All they have to worry about now is the possibility of a hangover greeting them in the morning. For those who do not drink and are not necessarily party lover, traveling to thrilling places (whether mainstream or off-the-beaten-track) is an equally compelling option.

Of course, not all these characterize yuppies. There are also a small segment in this demographic that actually put equal importance between having fun and ‘having funds.’ Young professionals of today already have the access to critical information related to smart money management, investing, and even insurance. There is a growing number of millennials opening stocks- or bonds-linked savings accounts, such as mutual funds, VULs, or direct investments through brokerage firms and asset management companies.  This generation of money-smart individuals prioritize both their present needs or desires and future goals.

REPOST: 20 Surprising facts about Warren Buffett (

Did you know that Warren Buffett earned 94 percent of his wealth after he turned 60? That and 19 other interesting things about the “Oracle of Omaha” from this article on ENTREPRENEUR:


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Often referred to as the “Oracle of Omaha” -- Nebraska native Warren Buffett is an investing legend, business magnate and philanthropist.

When he was 11, Buffett already bought stock, and by 16 he had amassed more than $53,000 from various business ventures and investments. From a young age, Buffett was bound for success.

Although, like anyone else, he faced setbacks. From being rejected at Harvard Business School to getting told he would fail by his father-in-law, hard work and resilience pushed Buffett towards success. Today, he’s recognized for his achievements and uses his money for the greater good.

From using a Nokia flip phone to pledging 85 percent of his Berkshire Hathaway stocks to various charitable foundations, check out these 20 Warren Buffett facts that might surprise you.
  1. He bought his first stock when he was 11-years-old.
While most 11-year-old boys were playing T-ball and reading comic books, Buffett bought stocks. In the spring of 1942, at 11-years-old, Buffett purchased shares of Cities Service Preferred for $38 a piece.
  1. He made $53,000 by the age of 16.
Even since he was young, Buffett’s not only been tactful, but also an extremely hard worker.

When his family moved to Omaha, Neb., Buffett delivered The Washington Post every morning and brought in about $175 a month (that’s more than most teachers made during that time).

He also pursued a few side gigs such as selling used golf balls and collector stamps and buffing cars. By the time he turned 16, he had amassed the equivalent of $53,000.
  1. He was rejected from Harvard Business School.
After graduating from the University of Nebraska in three years, Buffett applied to Harvard Business School. But during a brief interview with the school that would determine his acceptance, the staff said to Buffett: “Forget it. You’re not going to Harvard.”

After much disappointment from the rejection, Buffett discovered that his idols Benjamin Graham (“the father of value investing”) and David Dodd were professors at Columbia Business School.

“I wrote them a letter in mid-August," Buffett shares. "I said, 'Dear Professor Dodd. I thought you guys were dead, but now that I found out that you're alive and teaching at Columbia, I would really like to come.' And he admitted me."
  1. He eats like a 6-year-old.
Buffett’s secret to staying young? Coca-Cola and ice cream.

In an interview with Fortune, Buffett claimed he is “one quarter Coca-Cola” -- "If I eat 2,700 calories a day, a quarter of that is Coca-Cola. I drink at least five 12-ounce servings. I do it every day."

Sometimes for breakfast, he eats a can of Utz potato sticks (yes -- a can, not a bag) to accompany his soda. Other times he takes a sweeter approach and indulges in a bowl of ice cream to jump start his day.

When asked how he’s managed to stay healthy with such a salty and sugary diet, he said, "I checked the actuarial tables, and the lowest death rate is among 6-year-olds. So I decided to eat like a 6-year-old."

Continue reading HERE.

Investment Strategy for 2016

In order to make your portfolio grow, your best bet is to place your money in stocks. But of course, you will need a good strategy for it to flourish, especially this coming 2016. One of these strategies is to slow down shelling out your money in equities and its funds. Why? It is because for the past 5 years, these funds have been up for at least 150% of their course and this coming year might be the time it runs its course. But despite of that fact, believe it or not, investment strategyyou could still invest your money here.

It would probably make you wonder why, especially when the risk could go high. Okay the truth is, even though the risk is high, it would still be worth it because this avenue has been proven effective by a lot of investors to still earn profit from it. This means, you won’t experience complete loss after all. For many years, investing in stocks has always been a good idea because it helps an investor’s money to grow.

It is always the goal of investors to see the economy flourish by having corporations profit from their business and having the sales of companies grow as well. Lately, companies and their profits were a result of cost cutting rather than sales profits going high. Corporations in the US don’t even want to go hire people anymore.

A solution to stimulate the economy is to have interest rates go low, as it will also help to have unemployment rates investor risk profilego down. In order for this to happen, purchasing debt securities that have longer terms should be done by the government. This is why investing in stocks is something that investors should be doing because the more stocks are invested on, the more the interest rates would go down.

The best move is to place your money in stocks knowing that your country would do something in having some new plans in the economy’s growth, which includes employment rates and increase in business sales. If you think that there’s a chance for a higher interest rates to come this coming 2016, I would suggest not putting in a lot of money for your investment, especially if you think that it would not be good for the economy.

Keep in mind that when the interest rate is high, this would have a huge affect in sales and it is not going to be in a good way. Profits in corporation would also be affected in a negative way when interest rates are high, as this would raise the cost for money lending. And in case you don’t know, corporations do a lot of that in a year.
To sum up the strategy I have for you this 2016, be careful and check first if the interest rates are high before you invest anything on any funds, bonds or stocks. Always do your research first before shelling out your savings. I’m not saying don’t invest at all, but be more cautious in investing.

We Didn’t Actually Fix Anything since 2008 – IMF

Actually we made it worse.

In effect, the fix of 2008 was just like putting a bandage on a diabetic wound.  But the patient still keeps eating candies.  It really was just a fix and not a cure.

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How long can we keep kicking the can of market failure down the road?  Well, LOM’s offshore brokers said that the markets can be irrational and stay that way for an unexpectedly long, long time.  Maybe that’s what our central banks and policy makers are really wishing for.  At least it can buy them some time to figure things out. Yellen and Bernanke merely continued the policies started by Allan Greenspan, using money supply to steer the economy.   Want more growth?  Cut rates.  Want a stronger dollar?  Hike rates.  Depressed?  Take some Prozac.

The problem is that the global markets have entered into an unprecedented era of market dysfunction where the traditional economic tools and formulas are not working anymore.  The market really needs a brilliant economist like John Nash 2.0 to pop up from the shadows with some new theory to solve it all. It needs someone to change the paradigm like the way Einstein revamped newtonian physics. But there seems to be not much time left for that kind of savior.

So what happens if there’s no breakthrough?  No super economist to save the day?

Then we face the consequences.

Like if you keep eating Big Macs straight, your body has to get sick.  What day it happens, you don’t know for sure.  After a month of pigging out on Big Macs?  Or a year? Or five years?  Regardless how long, that point in time will come that you are going to get sick. You’ll throw up, get a fever, get a heart attack or worse, die.  Your body will naturally, by itself, break down and try to do things that will get rid of all the toxic stuff you’ve ingested.

The credit addiction – all that debt that saturates the global economy right now- can be likened to all those Big Macs.  The difference in the analogy, though, is that the economic doctors are prescribing Big Macs as a temporary fix for the sickness which was actually caused by overeating those Big Macs. Thus, we are caught in a vicious cycle of Big Macs.

Take for instance the housing bubble of 2008. Subprime mortgages were bundled up and repackaged inside financial instruments that were sold to a lot of banks and financial institutions.  These financial instruments were used in more deals and even collateralized.   With the power of leveraging, the destructive powers of these toxic financial instruments were further magnified.  When it all imploded, the United States Federal Reserve created money out of thin air and bailed out those big institutions about to default on their credit obligations.  Effectively, the United States, lender of last resort, absorbed all that debt.

The problem now is that the United States government also needs to borrow more money.  The United States’ national debt now stands at $18.8 trillion, equivalent to around 30 percent of total global debt.   The interest on that national debt is piling up at an amazing rate of over $1,000,000 per minute.  For a long time now, the United States has had to borrow money to fund even its own operations, with congress having had to lift the debt ceiling seventy-four times already since 1962.

So what kind of fever, what kind of breakdown awaits?  There are a lot of worst case scenarios but no one really knows how it will really end up because it is all unprecedented.  The variety of market instruments available during our time complicates all analyses and projections.  The interconnectedness of banks and quasi-banks across countries also makes the possible outcome a big convoluted jumble of compounded distress.

The growth of shadow banking also pushes central banks into a dark ocean they know not how deep or wide.  International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde has actually pinpointed shadow banking as the greatest threat to the global economy right now. Maybe this is because one is most afraid of what one does not know.  Shadow banking, or banking in the shadows, has grown in recent years because of quantitative easing and the desire of institutions and investors to avoid the increasingly stringent rules being imposed by financial regulatory bodies.  These shadow banks operate beyond the scope of present regulators such as the exchange commissions and central banks.  And so, they conduct their business, executing complex and innovative deals, basically unregulated.  This is the wildcard in the already muddled equation the world is trying to figure out.

What should we do?  The economy – at the global and national level – finds itself in an impossible bind.  But individuals, operating at a microeconomic level, can still fix their own personal Big Mac overdoses.  By finding additional revenue streams, cutting unnecessary spending, reducing debt, saving little by little, investing wisely, an individual’s finances need not implode.  Fortunately, the tools of basic wisdom and common sense still work at the individual level.

How To Choose Your First Broker In Investing

Unless you’re a business or finance major, you will need the help of a broker to sort your investment, especially in handling stocks. These people will help you with the ins and outs of this business. Also, you should know that there is no way you could do this without owning a brokerage account. We’ll get to the details on how you could acquire that later, for now let’s focus on your getting your first broker.

If this is your first time, choosing your broker would be different from those who have been doing this for a long time now. You would be surprised that dealing with finding a broker is like handling and choosing the right stocks for your investment as well. That said, you must actually find the right match for you. Because if you don’t, I hate to break it to you but there’s a possibility you’ll end up penniless.

The first thing you need to know about picking the right broker is what exactly is their job description and how could they help you. You must know if you will get a regular broker or a broker-reseller. I’ll walk you through their differences.

The regular type of brokers is the ones that handle the whole investment deal with a direct client. The client will be hands-on working with them from the ground up. The other type, which are the broker-resellers are basically the middlemen dealing with a client and huge broker.

My advice is that go for a regular broker because they are more legit. There is a chance you could actually be ripped off when you deal with broker-resellers although of course, I am not saying it to generalize them, but it’s just wise to investment brokergo for a regular broker if you’re just starting here. Should you ever decide to go with a broker-seller, make sure that you know them well and that you double-check every document before making a final decision.

I would advise to also go for brokers that are linked to reputable organizations that are known in this industry. Fidelity and Scottrade are among these and they are members of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

You must also be aware that there are brokers who offer their full service and there are also ones that could give you discounts. Most people take the former even they are really expensive because they literally do all the job. As the investor, you will also gain a lot more than tips and suggestions in how you would deal with your stocks if you for the one who offers full service.

Aside from the obvious fact that you must go with a broker who is trustworthy, these are among the things that you must consider before going with one. And as much as I would want to tell you that you really don’t need their help, unfortunately you do. They are like the people who handle your taxes, which means you don’t have much choice but to trust them or you will have to do it yourself.