Posts tagged ‘Money’
The World Bank released findings and indicators around how people bank (save, borrow, make payments, and manage risks). Found through the Economist who put it quite simply and eloquently:
A big data hole got plugged last year when the Gates Foundation, the World Bank and Gallup World Poll carried out the biggest survey yet of how people save, borrow, make payments and manage risk.
The study is public and free on the World Bank’s page: “Measuring financial inclusion : the Global Findex Database”. The sixty some page report is filled with mind boggling information. The Economist’s points on how banks are used in poor and developing countries are interesting in and of themselves … here are some points about Kuwait from the indexes:
- The study surveyed 1,000 individuals in Kuwait
- Interviews were face-to-face in Arabic with nationals and Arab expat.
- 87% of the people in Kuwait have a bank account
- 80% of the women in Kuwait have a bank account
- 40% of people in Kuwait save using a bank
- 13% of people in Kuwait save using a community method (jam3iyat)
- 21% of people in Kuwait took out a loan in the past year
- 18% of people in Kuwait originated a new loan from a family member or a friend
- 58% of people in Kuwait hold a credit card of sorts
- 22% of people in Kuwait have an outstanding mortgage
Some of these figures are striking. For example: half the people in the country don’t save! Over half the country holds some sort of debt/liability product ._.’ and each year that number increases by a fifth of the population. I’m coercing with the figures slightly but that is basically the bleak picture. These numbers are even more surprising when compared to neighbouring countries and regions.
What are people doing with their money?Tweet
What would you do if you had to choose between doing what you love to do and what makes you money?
This is precisely the issue addressed by L. Schlesinger, C. Kiefer, and P. Brown in their article “Choosing Between Making Money and Doing What You Love”
They come to a three level conclusion:
- If you can afford to do what you love, and it will make you money – do it.
- If you can’t afford to do what you love, and it will not make you money, and you have dependants – don’t do it.
- If you don’t do it, don’t put it off for later, start doing it in small progressive intervals.
This echos the stoic philosopher of Seneca:
The greatest loss of time is delay and expectation, which depend upon the future. We let go the present, which we have in our power, and look forward to that which depends upon chance, and so relinquish a certainty for an uncertainty.
Schlesinger et. al touch on the same dilemmas – uncertainty and availability of resources (namely time and money). This is captured in their brief example of what we often tell ourselves at the onset of our professional lives:
“Once I get enough money, I’ll do what I really want to do. I won’t worry about the money.” But somehow, they never get to that point. Time is finite. The question might be enough to get you to reconsider how you’re spending it.”
Stop. Think. Are you doing what you like to do? Is your job one of the best jobs in the world? Does it matter if it’s not what you’re passionate about?
Whether you answered yes or no to those questions, keep reading – because the article goes off on a tangent and starts talking about passion, satisfaction and fulfilment … and more importantly what keeps that passion going – what drives you.
RSA Animate – Drive
This information isn’t new … we’ve seen this before … in 2010 … oh right, it was that awesome video clip that everyone must watch at least once a year done by the brilliant folks at RSA Animate … “Drive: The truth about what motivates us”
If you haven’t watched this yet, here it is watch it now and make you children, mothers, fathers, grandchildren, dogs, cats, and fish watch it … If you have already watched this, well then it’s that time of year again (watch!)
Right. Now that you know we’re motivated by purpose we make it a point here to state a possibility that the seed of passion is purpose. Unless you have a clear goal or reason to drive your passion, then whatever you do is just disorganised chaos; all reason is lost in a wild effort that does nothing by doing everything all over the place.
Is purpose enough?
If we take a step back and consider uncertainty and resources limitations – passion and purpose do little to alleviate these concerns and disintegrate over time. This begets the question of how do you sustain passion and purpose when you have these obstacles in your way?
The Power of Small Wins – a 15 year study by Amabile T. and Kramer S. – proposes that motivation is sustained in small steps – slowly chipping away at your goal (purpose).
This sounds like common sense when you read it, but apparently it’s still relevant!
I’m going to completely massacre the brilliant paper by summarising the main points … but before I do let me preach: Read it. Share it. Stop Stupidity.
The Idea in Brief
What motivates people on a day-to-day basis is the sense that they are making progress.
Their research highlights that a good day is directly correlated to progress, catalysts, and nourishers. Catalysts are actions that support work and nourishers are actions of interpersonal support.
Likewise, a bad day is directly correlated to setbacks, inhibitors and toxins. These are the opposite of their relative counterparts (progress, catalysts and nourishers).
The article also touches on the point on purpose – referring to the concept of progress through meaningful work. If progress is not meaningful, it is not motivating. Therefore the argument here is that the absence of purpose that is personal to the person precludes progress (please wipe the saliva from your mouth after reading so many P’s in one sentence … :] #winning). The authors give a popular example of how purpose motivates:
In 1983, Steve Jobs was trying to entice John Sculley to leave a wildly successful career at PepsiCo to become Apple’s new. Jobs reportedly asked him, “Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water or do you want a chance to change the world?” In making his pitch, Jobs leveraged a potent psychological force: the deep-seated human desire to do meaningful work.
Not only is meaning important, but prohibiting purpose leakage is another imperative you have to consider. The authors highlight four major points of failure in organisations:
- Dismiss the importance of work or ideas.
- Destroy sense of ownership of work
- Send the message that the work will never see the light of day
- Neglect to inform about unexpected changes in priorities
You can quickly translate this into personal imperatives: always believe what you are doing is important, take ownership of you own endeavours, keep your goal in mind and measure against it, and finally take stock of your priorities.
The article goes on with progress loops and tools that managers can use to monitor and control progress and motivation – these out of the scope of our post but this is not to say that you should dismiss them.
Closing the Triangle
So with this we covered three pillars of motivation: Purpose, Passion and Progress.
First it is important for purpose to be present at a personal level (your work must mean something to you). Passion is what fuels your drive towards your purpose. Progress, in small steps, keeps you going.
Think about something you’ve always wanted to do … it doesn’t have to be something big like “put a dent in the universe” … it could be as simple as changing the paint in your bedroom … now apply the triple P and see if you get anywhere …
Go forth and motivate!
(Reuters) – The United States will likely suffer the loss of its triple-A credit rating from another major rating agency by the end of this year due to concerns over the deficit, Bank of America Merrill Lynch forecasts.
The trigger would be a likely failure by Congress to agree on a credible long-term plan to cut the U.S. deficit, the bank said in a research note published on Friday.
A second downgrade — either from Moody’s or Fitch — would follow Standard & Poor’s downgrade in August on concerns about the government’s budget deficit and rising debt burden. A second loss of the country’s top credit rating would be an additional blow to the sluggish U.S. economy, Merrill said.
“The credit rating agencies have strongly suggested that further rating cuts are likely if Congress does not come up with a credible long-run plan” to cut the deficit, Merrill’s North American economist, Ethan Harris, wrote in the report.
“Hence, we expect at least one credit downgrade in late November or early December when the super committee crashes,” he added.
The bipartisan congressional committee formed to address the deficit — known as the “super committee” — needs to break an impasse between Republicans and Democrats in order to reach a deal to reduce the U.S. deficit by at least $1.2 trillion by November 23.
If a majority of the 12-member committee fails to agree on a plan, $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts will be triggered, beginning in 2013.
Those automatic cuts, mostly in discretionary spending, would weigh further on a fragile U.S. economy, Merrill said. In the same report, the bank reduced its 2012 and 2013 growth forecasts for the United States to 1.8 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively.
If there were a downgrade, it was not clear which ratings agency would move first.
Moody’s Investors Service, which has a negative outlook on the United States’s Aaa rating, said it is looking at several other factors, including the results of presidential elections and the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts late in 2012, to decide on the rating.
“It’s not that we’re waiting just for this committee to decide on the rating,” Steven Hess, Moody’s lead analyst for the United States, told Reuters in an interview last week.
Failure by the committee to come up with an agreement, he said, “would be negative information but it is not decisive in our view about the rating.”
To be sure, Hess did not rule out the possibility of an early move on U.S. ratings if the country’s economy slips into recession. So far, however, the economic performance “is certainly not super positive but not a disaster either,” he said.
Fitch Ratings, on the other hand, still has a stable outlook on its AAA rating on the United States, meaning it is more likely to revise that outlook to negative before actually downgrading the rating.
In its latest report on the United States, Fitch says a “negative rating action,” which could be only an outlook revision, could result from a weaker-than-expected economic recovery or by failure by the bipartisan committee to reach agreement on at least $1.2 billion in deficit-reduction measures.