October 29, 2012

Highlights Of The US Dollar 2008-2010

Everyone knows that individuals and small businesses are still experiencing the effects of the Great Recession that has been the worst since the Great Depression. But what effects is the dollar experiencing?

Below are highlights of our currency's woes during the recession (excerpt from Currency Wars by James Rickards):

  • October 28, 2008 - Interfax reports that Vladimir Putin, prime minister of Russia, advised Wen Jiabao, premier of China, to abandon the US dollar as a transaction and reserve currency
  • November 15, 2008 - The Associated press reports that Iran has converted its financial reserves into gold
  • November 19, 2008 - Dow Jones reports that China is considering a target of four thousand metric tons for its official gold reserves to diversify against the risks of holding US dollars
  • February 9, 2009 - The Financial Times reports that transactions in gold bullion have reached an all-time record
  • March 18, 2009 - Reuters reports that the United Nations supports calls for the abandonment of the US dollar as the global reserve currency
  • March 30, 2009 - Agence France Presse reports that Russia and China are cooperating on the creation of a new global currency
  • March 31, 2009 - The Financial Times reports that China and Argentina have entered into a currency swap, which would allow Argentina to use Chinese yuan in lieu of dollars
  • April 26, 2009 - Agence France Presse reports that China is calling for the reform of the world monetary system and replacement of the US dollar as the leading reserve currency
  • May 18, 2009 - The Financial Times reports Brazil and China have agreed to explore conducting bilateral trade without using dollars
  • June 16, 2009 - Reuters reports that Brazil, Russia, India, and China, at a BRIC summit, call for a more "diversified, stable and predictable currency system"
  • November 3, 2009 - Bloomberg reports that India has purchased $6.7 billion worth of IMF gold to diversify assets away from the weaker dollar
  • November 7, 2010 - World Bank president Robert Zoellick states that the G20 should "consider employing gold as an international reference point of market expectations about inflation, deflation and future currency values"
  • December 13, 2010 - French President Nicolas Sarkozy calls for the consideration of a wider role for SDRs in the international monetary system
  • December 15, 2010 - BusinessWeek reports that China and Russia have jointly called for the dollar's role in world trade to be diminished and are launching a yuan-ruble trade currency settlement mechanism
All of this and more happened and is happening during this recession.  Yet not much attention or consideration are these issues given or being addressed during the Presidential debates...questions about what will be done, or is being done to bolster our currency isn't mentioned.  If other countries are diversifying and finding alternative investments to the dollar...should you be doing the same?  Just food for thought.


October 28, 2012

Price Stability - Just a thought of mine.....

Mayer Amschel Rothschild
"Give me control of a nation's money supply, and I care not who makes the laws" - Mayer Amschel Rothschild

Price fluctuations are a normal symptom of a failing currency.  Ever notice how gas prices go up, then go down?  Then go back up again?  Think about how fast college tuition has been increasing lately and the student protests that are happening as a result?  At one point the price of a home was rising ever so quickly, just to see the price come crashing down and a lot of people's wealth wiped out.

The role of the Federal Reserve is to focus on price stability in order to keep our economy "going strong".  But so far, the Federal Reserve has not been doing a good job.  There hasn't been much price stability in the last 10 years.  I have a one-ounce silver dollar that would've purchase 3 gallons of gasoline about 7 years ago, today it will buy about 10 gallons of gasoline.  As Ron Paul would say, "that's wealth preservation".  Should we keep putting dollars in our bank account?  Or should we add something our government can't devalue - like Silver and Gold? (Although FDR did make it illegal for Americans to own gold at one point in our nation's history.)

As a global economy emerges, how long will the dollar remain as the currency of trade?  Given our country's deficit, pending fiscal cliffs, and debts owed to other nations?  And the global economy is starting to take action against the dollar:  Russia and China conduct trade with each other in a currency besides the dollar.  The IMF suggests another currency or "basket of currencies" is needed as the dollar becomes worthless.

Given all the bad news and warnings about our currency and debt levels - should we prepare for the worse?  It's as if you're driving an old car and all of the warning lights begin to flash and beep - yet instead of pulling off the road and fixing the problem...we keep driving.  Do we really believe our government is telling us the truth about our money supply and its true value?  Is that 401K plan really a retirement plan when 60% of the people that have one, can't retire and live comfortably with the money saved/invested?


October 26, 2012

Ron Paul Comments

October 19, 2012

Health Insurance Comparison


Just an interesting article I happened to come by today - looks like health insurance will continue to steadily go up!  They say just 4% - but speaking for myself - my health insurance just saw an increase to $141/month from $117/month.  Talk about inflation!  That's about a 17% increase!  Where's all of the price stability that Bernanke promises?

I suppose that checkup and other wellness trips were costly to me...I suppose because I'm self-employed, I'll be able to write some of this off or find some way to counter this spike in cost.  Hopefully it will be beneficial in the long run and reduce my 17% increase in premium.  Or I'll just search compare plans via www.ehealthinsurance.com

Have any of you received a higher premium notice from your health insurer?  By how much are your premiums escalating?

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October 18, 2012

October 2, 2012

Best online trading platform

Several people have asked me my opinion on the best online trading platform for
investing. There are several platforms available, such as, Sharebuilder, OptionsXpress, Charles Schwab, etc. To be honest, I think the answer depends on your preference. I've tried my hand at all 3 above and in my opinion, Sharebuilder is the best. Mostly because Sharebuilder offers very user friendly, hold your hand, taking baby steps learning approach in teaching users on how to use its platform.

Nevertheless, it is a basic investment platform, and once I mastered Sharebuilder, I wanted more complexity because there are so many different strategies in making money with online trading that Sharebuilder didn't offer. Plus, Sharebuilder limits you to mostly stocks, and doesn't give much option for bonds, currency trading, mutual funds, etc.

I thought I found my answer in OptionsXpress - which offers pretty much all of the exotic transactions above including futures trading. But it became pricey over time and sometimes I feel that it offered me almost too much information - and it eventually became confusing! Charles Schwab is the most cost effective and is definitely a good runner-up.

But I think Sharebuilder is the most user-friendly and not overly expensive, which is why I give them the nod as the best online trading platform.