Friday, 27 September 2013

"You Can Keep Your Existing Health Insurance"

I wondered about this statement at the time Obama made it.  Clearly, by changing all the rules of health care insurance and mandating conformity, it was unlikely that the vast majority of Americans would not find themselves forced by 'The Affordable Care Act' to have to deal with a completely different health insurance plan and completely different set of health care providers.

I now understand what Obama meant.   He was speaking to his immediate family and (politician) friends.  They are exempt from the "Affordable Care Act."  Clearly what he meant to say was: "if you are exempt from Obamacare, like me and my family, you can keep your existing health insurance."  He never meant to mislead.

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Things We Now Know

The poor are losing ground in the new Obama world.  The facts are showing up even in the halls of collectivist extremes like the New York Times.  The rich are getting richer and poor are being locked in place.  Big government is throttling the economy and the hopes and dreams of lower and middle class Americans.

Today's Wall Street Journal's article by Simon Constable lays out some of the simple and obvious facts of the Obama era: "The richest 20% of households account for 38% of spending, according to government data for 2011, the latest available.  Compare that with 2003 when the top earners spent 26% of the total."  The article goes on to say..."it could get even worse."  It will.

Who really benefits when the regulators strangle the banks?  Do banks really need to get much more conservative in their lending practices?  Why does the government know best?  How far can you stretch the FDIC guarantees before American banking is simply a subsidiary of the US government?  We are now getting clear answers to these questions.

The big losers are minorities, the poor, the struggling middle class.  These are the folks that are being devastated by Obama's big government agenda.

The next hammer to fall on the middle class is the 'Affordable Care Act,' which, in theory, is due to begin implementation next week.  This 'Act' will destroy the American health care industry, impoverish the average American, and create a bonanza for bureaucrats and politicians.  The wealthy are totally unaffected, as are the politicians.  We don't know this yet, but soon we will know.  This will be the straw that breaks the camel's back.

Stuck under this morass of regulation, that tells you where you can send your kids to schools, what they should eat, what you should eat, where you should go to get your health care, what kind of car you can drive, and even what size soda bottles you are permitted to purchase, is the average American.  The land of opportunity is now the land of regulation and oppression.

Given how bad the public schools are, you might think that learning on the job might be able to give you just the lift you need to begin climbing the ladder of the American dream.  The big government boys have an answer for that too.  The minimum wage.  By escalating the minimum wage, the ladder's bottom rungs are effectively sawed off.  Too bad if you are poor, uneducated and striving to improve your circumstances.  Every opportunity to break out of the low income world has now been criminalized.

Meanwhile, JP Morgan may be facing an $ 11 billion fine from the big government boys.  Like everything else, this is a tax on the American worker, since he/she  are the owners of JP Morgan and will pay this $ 11 billion.  Who won't pay the $ 11 billion are any of the perpetrators of the so-called crimes for which this $ 11 billion is a settlement.  The janitor sweeping out the building will pay this fine and retire on a lower income thanks to the big government boys.  Meanwhile, the directors and senior executives at JP Morgan will see their compensation continue to sail higher and higher.  The rich get richer, the poor get poorer, courtesy of the US government and its cronies.

In every way, government is waging war on its own people.  These things we now know.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

5 Unusual Tricks to Help you Save Up

Saving money is not always as easy as it first seems, and all those good intentions and budgets can fly out of the window without you even noticing – so why not try some more unusual money saving tips? Here are five of our best tips to help you save up!


  1. Never pay with coins
    That’s right, take out all those coins weighing down your purse or wallet and put them in a piggy bank or jar instead. That 10 Sen coin isn't worth much on its own, but once you start saving up all your coins, it can add up to a considerable sum. Avoid the temptation of dipping into your coin fund by storing in it a tin with just a coin slot at the top. If you have to get out a can opener to access those coins, you’re more likely to wait until it’s full before you open it!

  2.  Never say NO to a freebie
    Whether it’s free shampoo and soap from a hotel or free condiments from a restaurant, stock up! These free products are just as good, but with the added bonus that they cost you nothing. It also means that you get better value on your hotel room and meal out, so it’s a win-win situation.

  3. Sleep on it
    Make a deal with yourself: Don’t buy something the first time you see it. Shopping can be a dangerous experience for those wanting to save up, and sometimes all that temptation can get too much. So avoid all that hassle and post-shopping regret by not buying anything the first time you see it or try it on. Go home, sleep on it, look at your finances and your budget and decide whether you
    really need it, or whether you can survive without it.

  4. Find a partner who’s good with money
    If your partner is always overspending, borrowing money from you and forgetting to pay their bills, chances are you’re not going to be that good with money either. We’re not saying you should break up with your partner if they’re not good with money, but you should definitely sit down together and discuss your expectations when it comes to finances – money is the number one cause of arguments in relationships, so don’t let it ruin yours too.

    If you’re still single, on the other hand, why not add “good with money” to your list of criteria? A smart spender will encourage you to save, and will help you to get back on track if you fall off the saving bandwagon.

  5. Save the environment and your money at the same time
    You've heard it a thousand times before: switch off the lights when you’re not in the room, reuse paper, bottles and everything possible… It’s all great for the environment, but there’s another key reason to save energy and reduce, reuse and recycle: it saves you money!

Exclusively for Finance Malaysia Blog, this money saving tips is brought to you by comparehero.my, Malaysia's leading comparison portal.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Poor Policies; Poor Predictions

The Obama Administration and the Federal Reserve have consistently over-estimated the strength of the US economy.  The Fed has, on no occasion since 2009, had a remotely accurate prediction, constantly and consistently over-estimating economic growth by well over 40 percent on average.  With that record, one wonders why anyone cares what the Fed thinks about the future.  (The Wall Street Journal on Thursday reported, in a graphic, the predictions that the Fed had made over recent years).

Now, economists like Laura d'Andrea Tyson, a Clinton economic advisor, wonders why the poor are getting poorer in the Obama non-recovery since 2009.  After five years of government expansiveness and a Federal Reserve out-of-control, the rich are getting richer and the poor and middle class are losing ground.

Strangely, these results were perfectly predictable.  They follow from the Obama policies.  We have implemented in detail what David Stockman, in his recent book "The Great Deformation," has excoriated as 'crony capitalism' that benefits mainly rich folks.  It is no wonder that Warren Buffett supports all of this.  He does well in an Obama economy.  I doubt that his secretary's income is growing as fast as his personal wealth, regardless of who pays what in taxes.

Buffett, like other rich folks, is a hypocrite.  He knows that Obama's policies mainly benefit folks like him and destroy opportunity for the middle class and reduces them to scrambling for part-time work or applying for food stamps and other subsidies.  For Buffett, that works.  For Obama, that works.  For the poor and middle class, this is disaster.

Obama's only economic initiative this year is to encourage expansion of a law that makes it a criminal offense to hire an employee below a certain wage level.  This means that low-skilled workers that wish to learn a skill on the job are told.....no!  Forget about taking a job, without pay if necessary, to learn a useful skill that will enable you to get a real job.  That kind of apprenticeship, long a staple of growing economies, has been criminalized.  Obama would like to criminalize it further.

You wonder why Obama doesn't just propose a law saying that no one can hire a worker unless they are willing to pay them $ 150,000 and provide them with free health care.  That would pretty much eliminate any opportunity for folks below the top 25 percent in income and wealth.  I feel certain that Buffett could endorse such a proposal.  Then he could fire his secretary and no longer have to worry about what taxes she pays.

The hypocrisy of folks like Obama, Bernanke and Buffett knows no bounds.  They have spent the last five years in a successful effort to shut down the great American economic engine.  They have succeeded.  Expect the rich to get richer and the poor to get poorer.   That's where these folks are taking us.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

A Rose By Any Other Name

The Fed announced today that it would continue it's bond buying binge to the tune of $ 85 billion monthly, a policy that has been in place since the 2008 financial collapse.  This has expanded the once miniscule Fed balance sheet to over $ 4 trillion. 

The Fed, of course, can create money digitally.  That's what it uses to buy the bonds.  It just says:  "let there be money" and there is money.   This massive expansion in the monetary base has created huge excess reserves in the nation's commercial banking system.  Why doesn't anyone loan this money out?

The pitiful loan activity is a result of two factors.  Dodd-Frank and activism in the Justice Department and others has made it a criminal activity to loan money to anyone who doesn't have the very, very best credit.  And people with that kind of credit have lost interest in borrowing to build businesses in the new Obama world of massive regulation and impending soaring health care costs.  So, not too many loans are getting on bank books.  The reserves are simply piling up.

But what happens if, heaven forbid, the economy recovers?  Ah, an outcome not contemplated by the Obama-Bernanke clique.  So far, they have successfully prevented any serious chance of a strong economic recovery that would quickly expand loans and the money supply, bringing on the inevitable out-of-control inflation.  But, that won't happen if you keep the economy from recovering.  I think that I am beginning to understand the Obama-Bernanke plan.  It's working.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Why Gold and Silver? Why Online Store?

Are you first time gold and silver buyers? Why don't you invest in these popular metals? If you did so, you have had a wonderful investing experience after 2008 global financial crisis. But, do you really understand these metals? Were they really precious (especially now)?


Traditionally, gold and silver were one form of exchange. Because of the invention of fiat money, they were being turned into some short of "back-up" currency, in case our fiat money system go burst. It's natural when things go wrong, gold and silver tends to appreciate in value. In other words, people hold precious metals to preserve the value of their assets.

3 Reasons Why Gold and Silver...

  1. Still hot in demand, especially by emerging affluent Chinese. Traditionally, Chinese loves gold. They bought it for events such as new born baby, new year, wedding and even funeral ceremony.
  2. Strengthening USD ??? Yes. It's a correct reason also. Why? Because of news that US going to stop QE3, USD is strengthening so much. But, we must not forget that Europe is still printing money. Then, how about Japan who jump into the bandwagon of money printing?
  3. Simply for portfolio diversifying purpose. As a rule of thumb, 10% of our investment portfolio should allocate to precious metals like gold and silver. When everything goes haywire, precious metals tends to react reversely positive.

Alternative Distributing Channel...
Other than the commonly seen channel like banks and goldsmiths, have you ever think about online purchase? Why?

  1. Normally, it's cheaper because it does not need to open a shop and employ security guard.
  2. Convenient. You can view and select with the pleasure of your time, comfortably at home.
  3. Safe delivery. It's depend. But, I will feel safer if it delivers to my doorstep, instead of going to purchase at goldsmith. Do you know someone might be following you?


Of course, some of you may skeptical about the reliability of the online store. You may try it with small purchase first (test the water before diving in). On this matter, one of the most popular online store in town was SilverMalaysia.com which already features in major dailies with wide media coverage. You may open an account, then explore further.

* Finance Malaysia Blog DO NOT holds any form of liabilities regarding the recommendations. Investors are advised to read and understand the terms and condition thoroughly.