HSBC whooping 6% saving…and the catch?

HEADS UP!
So the online saving rate war is back! HSBC is now offering 6% APY until April 30th 2007 but…there’s always a catch.

This deal only works on so-called “new” money which is basically any money you deposit between Jan 29-April 30. So in the end, I’d say you will only make a few extra bucks (in the sub-100k category) if you already have a 5% saving account somewhere. Especially since it’s only a 3 months deal from now. And then also due to the slow transaction time that will cause a loss of interest return on the days between money is moved and then there’s taxation. And if you have 100k+? You probably should be think about putting some of that money into funds/stocks portfolio anyways (or buy a house, do something w/ them plz) and won’t have 100k+ in saving :P

So I would say it’s not worth it, for the little gain and the hassle. Again, HSBC has very slow transaction from personal experience. It’s just another strategy to draw some new money/customers.

Originally posted 2007-01-28 03:50:31. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Sensory Stimulated to Feel Alive in the Rat Race

Current culture is about consumption.

Consumerism.

What is consumerism about? Instant gratification. And what is it that we wanted to be instantly gratified…? Sensory stimulation.

But why sensory stimulation? Perhaps it is about our need to FEEL alive (feeling happy and excited is another way of expressing it), as if we are not alive already. Now has gotten to the point where we are constantly stimulated, as if we need to always live in an OMG(oh-my-god) state of mind, be it good or bad.

All current trends that people so desperate seek after these days resolve to the same end — sensory stimulation. Fashion, TV, video games, social networking, extravagent food, traveling, drugs, sex, whatever new “technology” we try to create, and even activisms to “save the world” inevitably have more to do to drive/cater/create need to be sensory stimulated than anything else. I am not condemning them and please read on.

Again, it has to do with us wanting to feel alive… when we are already alive. But when we over do a process that is natural of itself, we bring chaos and more troubles than necessary.

Try too hard to do something, mark my word, you will fail.
Try too hard to shoot a basketball, you will miss.
Try too hard to play the piano, you will sound like shit.

That is why if you know yourself, you know you are alive at this moment. You can simply live. You can embrace all your desires that will never become excessive and thus no need to repress them… desires that companies’ marketers and advertisiers so desperately want to instigate, with the sole intention to cause us to consume more.

The idea is not to be able to feel awe and wonder in the presence of extraordinary things. The idea is to be able to feel awe and wonder in the simplest things in life.

Perhaps to make a broad general statement.
It is not about living an extraordinary life
It is not about living a simple life
It is about living a simple life extraordinarily.

Then if you occasionally seek after more stimulating experience (and perhaps even over do it a bit), it’s absolutely alright and acceptable, and you definitely will not be addicted. You will not NEED to consume more and more, and thus spend so much money, and thus trade your time for more money… and consequently and inevitably be forever in the so-called rat race.

In the end, it still goes back to knowing yourself, which lead to a simple life. Be mindful it is not the other way… forcing yourself to have a simple life will never work, nor does repressing desires.

Originally posted 2010-11-30 15:56:12. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Presidential Candidates’ Obligation

It just crossed my mind that presidential candidates have always been able to propose whatever plans during their compaign and once elected president, do whatever else the heck they want. Doesn’t that constitute as lying? It seems to be the current trend of recent election.

Because of this, it is only logical for the candidates to say whatever it is that gets them the most votes. It is in their own best interest to do so. They would be stupid to do otherwise.

It just sucks to be the people because they will be stuck with the same president regardless. All we can really hope for is a president who feels a twitch when he sees child suffering or feels like barfing when he hears children being molested by people who pray to their deity. But hoping is too passive. I propose we implement a contractual binding to hold the candidates to their words upon presidency. I’m sure they will be more cautious about shooting spits across the floor. After all, this is only integrity, something that every president should have.

But we know this binding bill is destined for veto by all branches of governments because of the obvious non-existence of integrity among politicians.

Originally posted 2007-12-14 10:39:44. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

The Poverty Business

“The Poverty Business” is the title of an article from the May 21, 2007 issue of BusinessWeek. An excerpt from the article:

In 1989, households earning $30,000 or less a year paid an average annual interest rate on auto loans that was 16.8% higher than what households earning more than $90,000 a year paid. By 2004, the discrepancy had soared to 56.1%. Roughly the same happened with mortgage loans: a leap from 6.4% gap to one of 25.5%.

Does this help explain why the gap between the wealth and poor is expanding rapidly in the past years? Not only are these people making less, they also have to pay more. It’s a double whammy!

Another thing is, the poverty business, which includes service like pay-day loan, subprime mortgage, etc., use procedures and strategy that entice the poor or make use of their ignorance to use their service and then hit them with outrageous interest+fee (BlueHippo?). It is always my insistence that we are the results of our own action. Based on that principle, these people should educate themselves financially and know they are getting themselves into, otherwise, it’s their own fault. However at the same time, it’s also problematic that these business are exploiting these folks who are already making less. That’s just adding trouble to misery, kicking them when they’re down, and get them stuck in a vicious poverty cycle.

Who is responsible for this “poverty problem”? The business? Or the people themselves? What do you think?

Either way, this raises another point – there is a need in our society to better educate people on personal finance and raise their financial awareness.

Originally posted 2007-05-20 23:24:21. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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