Saturday 26th March, 2006

 

Make sure you show up

 
 
 
 
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In the new movie Take The Lead, one student complains that only a few people in the world really make it. Antonio Banderas, the teacher, responds by saying, “Those are the ones who show up!”

And that’s precisely why some people never have enough money, and seem not to be able to make it: they don’t show up. And those who have an ample supply of most things in life are the ones who do; they take the time to turn up and stake a claim for themselves.

Of course God has always provided, more to some than to others, and the clergy may well respond: “Those who get more, are the ones who ask!” That’s all in the same vein. You have to contribute effort, it’s the old production equation: there must be input, before there is output, and you have to exercise choice.

And that’s the other problem: we have too many choices. So the skill resides in an ability to filter out what’s unnecessary, superfluous and cumbersome in our financial affairs.

Unnecessary refers to those things you simply don’t need, like bank charges, and fees for services you don’t use. Superfluous refers to an excess over what you really need, such as fancy pyramid schemes and promises of immediate wealth.

And cumbersome refers to those things that are just too complicated. For the majority of people, the stock market might represent a cumbersome choice. But we can choose to make it easier to understand by simply getting in on the information bandwagon! Bear in mind however, that trillions of dollars were lost in the stock market in 2000 and 2001!

But on the unnecessary things: in the US, typically, there are no annual fees for credit cards, and two or three credit cards on the same account do not merit additional membership fees. Why then are we paying fees to hold a credit card, and some multiple if there are more cards on the account?

To charge consumers a fee for the use of someone else’s money is legitimate, but to charge a fee for the convenience of not walking around with large sums of cash is unnecessary, to say the least.

The fact is: in a global market place, the local current fee structure is not competitive. And we have a choice! That has to be one of the advantages of CSME!

CSME may really be the beginning of the decline of governments’ role as sovereign power. In fact, the role of government may well be reduced to that of welfare provider, and tax collector! Markets without boundaries are a huge challenge to the concept of State.

It is the beginning of the understanding of the concept of freedom. You see capitalism together with the new technologies is opening doors that before were the domains of the select.

Knowledge has always been the main component of power, and that has resided for umpteen years in the hands of monarchs, queens, presidents and generals. But the Internet technologies have begun the speedy process of pulling power down from the traditional seats, into the hands and minds of those people who have access to search engines, and a few dollars more!

It is estimated that some three million digital switches (that facilitate searches on the Worldwide Web) are available for every individual human on the planet. There are half a billion PCs in the world—one for every dozen of population. Plus the planet has about a billion cell phones.

So even though we don’t understand the movement of the dance yet, we had better just show up!

Next week: The stock market

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Designed by: Randall Rajkumar-Maharaj · Updated daily by: Sheahan Farrell