Notes From a Native Son: Good Financial Planning is Essential, in Good Times and Bad

Hal Austin

Hal Austin

Life-Long Financial Planning:
As the nation becomes obsessed with the state of the national economy, and the gross incompetence of the minister of finance and the governor of the central bank, it is necessary that households devise some form of financial planning strategy to take them through these tough times. For those people unfortunate enough to have lost their jobs, the practicality of maintaining their lifestyles, feeding themselves and looking after their families, must come top of the agenda. The first and most important thing to do is to sit down and draw up a list of household incomes and expenditures, what you earn and what you spend monthly or weekly. If your income is fixed, usually from a single source such as employment, then it is important that you go through your expenditure and prune it back as much as possible. Then ask what would happen to your family’s lifestyle if you or your partner were to become seriously ill or, heavens forbid, or even one of you die. If you have received a reasonable redundancy package, then look at clearing off some (most?) of your debt, such as credit cards and hire purchase. Also have a word with your mortgage lender of landlord and out them in the picture.

If you are lucky enough not to have lost your job, then a review of your finances is also essential, you may not be so lucky next time. I am still surprised that the unions or the government have not offered those being made redundant counselling or good exit financial planning. In fact, given that many of those made redundant, aged in their 40s, 50s and 60s, will never again get a job as most of us know them. One deal the unions should have negotiated with government was re-training opportunities for all those made redundant, from learning trades and crafts, to new disciplines such as computer repairs and book keeping. Getting the sack from a solid public sector job has brought to an abrupt end their substantive working lives as employees. From now on in they must live on their own ingenuity.

Life-Long Financial Planning:
Good financial planning goes beyond the emergencies that follow losing one’s job or a family tragedy. This is more so in the early stages of adulthood as financial planning is one of those essential things that does not appear on the radar of young people, who, as we have all done, believe they are invincible.  But when the time comes and you are no longer the responsibility of your parents, is a good point to start thinking in a serious way about a job your financial security. One of the first, if not the first thing you should think about is protection cover. This is just jargon for saying that you must have proper insurance policies which are relevant to your current marital status and lifestyle. As pointed out, you do not need whole of life insurance which only pays out when you are dead. Beneficiaries may like you for it since it means they are in a position to inherit a relatively modest sum of money, and for that gift they may give you a good funeral, but that is no good to you. So, at that early stage in your life, you may need an endowment policy covering a period of 25 years or so, at the end of which you will receive a lump-sum – according to how the equities and bond markets perform.

Think of saving or travelling to work by pooling resources and forming a car club; with high petrol costs and the wear-and-tear on vehicles, four or five people travelling in to work in a single car will not only save money, but also the environment and reduce those grinding traffic jams. The same for dropping children off at school; meeting at a central collection point and sharing that burden will not only encourage the children to be friends, but will add to the economy by allowing parents to get to work much earlier.

You also need income protection at the very earliest stage, which covers you in case of serious illness (young people, especially men feel they are invincible), such as motor accidents, heart attacks, or even redundancy from your job. Good income protection will replace most of your monthly take-home pay, allowing you to pay your bills and maintain your lifestyle at least for a period after losing your job or becoming ill.

Always save for a rainy day. One great pleasure I have is a few years ago I was interviewed in BBC Radio Five Live along with Steve Webb, the current pensions minister, and Tory David Willetts, at present universities minister. One point I made was that the average worker should aim to save about 20 per cent of his/her take home pay; my memory is that both politicians disagreed. It is now a part of the savings vocabulary to talk about saving 20 per cent of earnings as long-term savings for a retirement income.

Another early essential is to start saving towards a deposit for a mortgage; home ownership is the greatest source of family wealth in the Western world. Most mortgage lenders calculate repayments on a daily basis, so it is important to ask if they offer offset mortgages – those are joint mortgage and current accounts. So, by having your salary paid in to the account, and any rainy day savings, you will be actually reducing the interest on your loan, which can save thousands of dollars over the lifetime of the mortgage. It is not a coincidence that in both North America and the UK homeownership accounts for about 70 per cent of homes. This is the wealth which, in the main, you will pass on to your children and their children.

Investing is one of those things that middle class, professional people, whatever their earnings, are keen to do. Often they do so without getting any professional advice, in the mistaken belief that if they are accountants or lawyers they are expert at managing investments. Big mistake. The people who provide expert advice on life-long financial planning are financial advisers/planners. These are the people to discuss the state of your financial health with, the same way that you go to medical doctors for your physical health and lawyers for your reputational health and legal rights. It is always a good first step, to my mind, to start investing by joining or forming an investment club. In that way you pool your investments and share the good times and bad – investments can go up as well as down. Once you have gained experience you can diversify your portfolio by investing in other pooled investments. Going direct to a stockbroker or mutual fund managers to buy shares on the stock market is a game for the wealthy or riskier investors. First, you have to carry out due diligence and that is not as simple as it may seem. Even hardened investors often fail the due diligence test. Private pensions, or as I prefer long-term savings, also call for expert advice, especially during the accumulation phase, when you are building your pot. This is the period when you invest more in equities than in fixed income or cash, on the principle that money lost when you are in your 20s is not as painful as when you are five years away from retiring.

As you get older you rebalance your pension pot, gradually moving from the high-return equities – any investment that promises a high return means a high risk – more towards a more passive investment style, i.e. tracking a benchmark.
In the de-cumulation or drawdown stage, when you are about to take a pension, it is good to shift from equities to fixed income, such as gilts or corporate bonds and cash. Some people may even prefer to buy a conventional annuity, a lifelong contract with an insurance company in which, in return for an agreed annual income (which can be paid monthly or twice a year), a lump sum is invested with the insurance company. This income is based on an actuarial assumption: the estimated performance of the equity markets, your expected longevity, etc. If you do not live as long as the actuary estimates, then the remainder of your investment goes to the insurance company; if you live longer, then the insurance company is the loser. I find this contractually unfair and believe that the remainder of the pension pot should go to the annuitant’s estate.

Then you also have to think of long-term care: because you are living longer it does not mean you will be in good health. So, the best time to plan for those years when you are unable to do anything for yourself is when you are in good health. Also think about appointing a power of attorney, someone to look after your interest legally and not leave it to your loved ones. It is also a good time to write a will, it does not mean you are going to die, and plan your funeral.

Analysis and Conclusion:
The massive sackings by the government should be a wake-up call to the nation, no matter how wealthy, to put their finances in order. It is never too early, nor too late. One problem is that most insurance companies are dishonest and just see customers as people to take money from. For example, many of them offer few, if any, protection products, the most important insurance products for the average person. The main reason for this is not demand, since it is a product that must be sold, not bought, and the margins are much lower than life insurance and critical illness. It is a lot to do with ignorance. So, with the typical money-focused insurance company, life insurance and critical illness product development and marketing feature much more prominently in their development plans than income protection, which would naturally be of greater benefit to the ordinary working person. Another reason is the complexity of income protection: although initially the policyholder will know the percentage s/he could claim in the event of an incident which prevents them from working, the amount actually paid will be based on any full or part-payment received from the employer and any state benefits, both of which would be deducted from the final payment. So, before taking out protection cover, it is important to speak to your HR department and find out the company’s policy on sickness payments and what payments you would be eligible from national insurance. Then there is question of the policyholder returning to work part-time or in a lower-paying job with fewer responsibilities. The most complex area, however, is the insurance company’s definition of incapacity, which may at first seem simple, but it is not. Is the claimant incapable of performing his/her regular job, a similar job or a set of jobs?

The other great concern will be the quality of the personal underwriting, the assumptions on which decisions are made. Without regulatory competence, this, along with actuarial assumptions, will be two areas which would tie up the regulator and expose their limitations. In fact, there is a really powerful case for making income protection and critical illness cover compulsory for all working people, along the lines that all motorists must have compulsory road insurance.
Of course, there will be those who will say that Barbadians are already over-taxed, but sometimes you must protect people from themselves. Part of life is about managing disappointments and it is no good just feeling sorry for yourself if you have been sacked.

The key is to audit your skills and talents and work out ways of monetising them, of turning them in to ways of making a living. Some people develop a number of small products that combined give them a reasonable living: home-made cakes and pastries, in-house laundry, book-keeping, chauffeuring (why not form a car club to take people to work and collect them in the evening?), home protection, etc. Redundancy could be the making of you.

This is a good time to spend a couple hours organising your finances, from a careful assessment of one’s debt to proper calculation of income, can be invaluable.

90 thoughts on “Notes From a Native Son: Good Financial Planning is Essential, in Good Times and Bad

  1. It didn’t escaped my noticed that you had made mentioned to Skill Training as a viable option for some of those unemployed persons. I remembered quite vividly after graduating St. Leonard’s Boys Secondary in 1983, I attended skills training program sponsored by the government for people of my academic background. At that time the government had assembled the best and brightest artisans in the island of Barbados. Who taught such courses as: masonry, carpentry, electronics etc. And I’ll tell ya one thing: many of the young people in my day had gotten a skill ( I did electrical instellation which paid quite well at the time) and was able to make an honest living.

    • @Hal

      There is a 10 million dollar training fund set up by this government. In fact Minister Suckoo has been very vocal in recent days promoting this fund. It appears that take up has been weak over the years. Why would this be?

    • @Hal

      The interesting thing about the poor response to the training fund has been the reaction (or lack of) of the government. It has not changed the way they have executed communication about the fund and related activities.

  2. @ David
    First, may be it is not properly advertised; and, second, young people not in education or employment and receiving benefits should be sent on a c ourse aof their choice. No training, no benefits.

  3. @ David
    You miss a key point: the academic/professional mind-set of the people who make decisions means that vocational skills are seen as training for academic failures.
    They just do not understand, and never will. Had it been for law training or a ;PhD in cultural studies or journalism, there would have been thousands of takers.

  4. @”One point I made was that the average worker should aim to save about 20 per cent of his/her take home pay”

    So once the government has taken 33% of my gross pay in income tax and VAT, NIS and property tax

    And after I have paid those banksters 30% of my take home pay as a mortgage.

    And after I have paid the profiteering utilities for electricity, and telephony

    And after I have fed myself and my children

    Tell me again how am I supposed to save 20% of take home?

    Thanks for the advice, but I am not scrunting because of my lifestyle or poor financial planning.

    I am scrunting because I am overtaxed.

    If the world’s billionaires had to pay near half of their earnings on taxes, mortgage, utilities and food and they couldn’t manage their billionaire lifestyle either.

    What if I am already taking the bus, not car pooling?

    What if my children are already walking to school?

    What if I work with an insurance company and they have already laid me off because when things are tight the first thing people do is to cut back on frills like insurance? What am I supposed to do, stop paying my rent or mortgage instead? Cut back on nutritious food? survive on breadfruit alone? Let my children starve to death as 25% of Bajan children did in the 1930’s when Barbados was one of the richest sugar producing spots on the world

    You don’t think that I already make lists of income and expenditure?

    Why don’t you understand that I have been doing that for decades?

    What I am am renting out a little 18 x 10 that my grandmother left to me and now you advise the tenant to have a word with me? A word to say wha’? What I am am waiting for that little $300 a month to buy food?

    What if I have a young person in the house, or more than one young person in the house who is out of school, and willing and able to work and can’t find work? (And notice I did not say can’t find a job, or can’t find a government job? I can tell you that out of work young people in Barbados are not on “benefits” (what a British concept) and are not enjoying a “gap year doing the grand tour of Europe (or Africa or whereever). They are surviving because their parents (not the state) feeds and shelters them.

    You fellows live in such ivory towers.

    People in Barbados have always had to make decisions as to which child or which children should be allowed to die of malnutrition.not easy decisions about whether to car pool or not.

    I know a friend 11 of whose infant aunts and uncles died of malnutrition in Barbados in the first half of the 20th century.

    Tell me Hal how many of your infant aunts and uncles did not make it to 5 years old.

    Or don’t you want to think or talk about that?

    They did not “just die” you know. Children don’t “just die”.

  5. @ Simple Simon
    It is predictable that many Barbadians will come out against even showing the slightest humanity. What I said is that if a tenant is having a tough time, they should talk to their land lord and tell him/her that you may not be able to pay the run every month, or even have a reduction in the amount.
    Or, on the other hand, you can kick them out on the street and be the hard man – unforgiving.

  6. So why you don’t ask LIME to show humanity?

    A corporation can’t show humanity?

    Why you don’t ask the CIBC/First Caribbean. Scotia Bank/RBC and de rest ‘o dem to stop killing we with fees and interest rates of up to 24% After all Barbados is a small place, the banks always know whrere to find us, we can’t run anywhere. So explain to me why interest rates in Barbados are between 7 and 24%%. It is not as thugh we run away form our debts.

    If interest in the UK were between 7 and 24% could the U.K function?

    Answer me dat

    Corporations can’t show humanity?

    Why you don’t ask the stores in Bridgetown to stop adding up to 160% to the cost of imported goods?

    Merchants can’t show humanity?

    Why you don’t ask the Cabinet Ministers to take a pay cut?

    Cabinet Ministers can’t show humanity?

    The little peddling landlords in Barbados, who are mostly landladies anyhow have to show all the humanity?

  7. @ Simple Simon
    Barbadian corporations do not want to show humanity. In the UK the utilities cannot switch off a householder’s water/electricity/gas because of unpaid bills. That is the law.
    Equally, if you become unemployed you may approach your mortgage lender and ask for a payment holiday of up to six months, pay interest only or pay pay a reduced monthly repayment, thereby extending the length of the mortgage.
    A large number of people in the UK who reach retirement age (65) still have outstanding mortgages. They reach arrangements with their lenders.
    Some of it is good customer relations, some of it is by law.

  8. H Austin

    You refer to the UK. And that is precisely SS’s point. Your post is really not geared to reality HERE. It is rooted in ‘somewhere else’. When you do refer to Bim you acknowledge the difficulties which makes the advice otiose.

  9. Hal, the best thing I did when I was young was as you say was to buy property, the average person doesn’t have any write offs, being able to write off upgrades to a home to increase selling price is good way to make money
    I found over the years renting them out at a fair price, working with tenants when times are tough( and there will be tough times at some point) is far better than trying to get every last cent from them. If your tenants leave and your property is vacant for even one month you have lost more than that yearly rent hike is worth. When times are bad they are usually bad for everyone finding a new one may not be that easy ,the advertising costs the time wasted going through applications etc the best idea is to work with the ones you have.

  10. @ simple simon
    Hal does not seem to understand the difference between insufficient funds and being poor. So I will try to assist, if my woman and I had a sum total take home of $7000 per month and our expenses amounted to $4500 per month and one of us lost our job so the new income was now $4000 per month then we could employ Hal’s theory of financial adjustment.
    However if my monthly income is $1200 per month and I have three children and two grans. I am on the only breadwinner in the house. I live in an NHC unit. I was employed by NHC and was recently laid off after being temporary for 8 years. It does not matter who I call, the money I earned was never enough to feed and sustain my family in the first place. The young ones depended on the breakfast program to feed them. We have been eating ramen and tuna in its various forms for the past years. The school age children have two uniforms a piece which have to be washed and treated with care so that they can be passed down to the next in line. A treat for us is to buy an itee from the rasta brethren on Friday if I got paid on time. We would buy two and share. One of the children real bright and get in a school that did around for a long time and she missing opportunity because some of the things they want she to do cost more than we can afford and either way the next child got athletic talent and eating more food than the rest. He more likely to get a scholarship and go way so I going take my chances with this one because he will get through faster than the others and send for we when he make it big. The bright one is a good girl but I can’t afford the internet and she always want to read but it hard to keep up with the expensive things she need to succeed, now she want to go UWI and we got to pay for that too. I love all of them the same even the one that get pregnant for a man that get lock up and left she with two mouths to feed. She does plait hair on weekends but she does not have the fancy certificate like the other girls so only people that come is the ones who feel for she and give she something. The $100-150 comes in handy to buy food and diapers. But I still got to help she with personal items like deodorant and pads. There are real expensive. If not for the coolie man we could not get the simple things that boost our confidence around the holidays. Like a new plastic table cloth or shower curtain so that we can sit as a family and pretend we rich and eating dinner like a family. Hal, you may not be familiar with this view or maybe you have forgotten where you came from but maybe if you can spend some time in the real Barbados that we live in you will better appreciate that most families have gone from bad to worse. Your scenario is applicable only to those who are moving from better to good.

  11. Yesterday I saw a UWI bus. On it was written ‘Path to Prosperity’. So there you are – a graduate in every household after all and 20% saved every month for everyone. Like the post, life is THAT easy.

  12. @ Robert Ross
    Are you suggesting that decent customer relations is exclusive to the UK, that ordinary Barbadians cannot/should not expect decency from their landlords or banks?
    I have more confidence in Barbados than you seem to. You can call it reality.

  13. H Austin

    You don’t gainsay my point. What ‘should be’ is not the thrust of your post. And what ‘is’ does not share relevance with your post suggestions.

  14. @ Mark Rosmar | February 7, 2014 at 9:12 AM |
    re Look. Bajans wanted their own Obama and they voted-in their own Obama!

  15. It is also very clear that the Government has the responsibility to run their finances in a way that does not put its citizens at risk. That is the biggest failure of the islands ministry of finance and central bank over successive governments. They have shown a total lack of understanding of how the currency regime that they put into place could seriously erode the islands exports while at the same time discourage internal production resulting in reduced employment opportunities. .

  16. On the back page of the Nation newspaper of Thursday, February 6, 2014, there is a story that deals with how after 41 years of getting certain others overseas to produce the copper plated zinc one cent Barbados coin, how the Central Bank of Barbados is set to withdraw it “from circulation later this year”.

    The story goes on, in the next paragraph, to state how “the measure is thought to be based primarily on the economics of producing and using cents. That is, it costs more to produce them than they can really buy”.

    Now, this is another piece of damning evidence of how the cost of use of money is – in countless cases – imposed on the remunerations of the relevant others ( except government and financial institutions of this country – they hardly get such) by primarily the monetary authorities of the government of this country and the main managers of the core financial system of this country securing grossly unfair fraudulent dishonest agreements among themselves and between many money users in this country.

    Anyhow, this case of the Central Bank of Barbados and other relevant core financial institutions aiming to regulate the deactivation of the use of the Barbados one cent is another case where these people are showing how very insensate and obtuse they are about the use of money and the cost of use of money in this country, and showing how very deficient and irresponsible they are about the use of a language to communicate the circumstances surrounding the use of money and the real actual cost of use of it in Barbados and beyond.

    For even with money, it does NOT cost a cent to PRODUCE OR USE money (we have often stated that non-money commodities and physical services do NOT cost anything in money terms – there therefore is no objective existence of PRICE – it only exists in particular people’s minds).

    Hence, it does NOT cost one cent of our national remunerations – whether represented in local or foreign currencies – to PRODUCE or USE cents or any other local denominations.

    The government simply from time to time passes on – via computers – portions of false fictitious numbers to the foreign makers of our money before or upon they making our money.

    The foreign makers of our own money then actually draw upon other numbers/money out of their own financial system overseas.

    So it really COSTS our remunerations – as represented by those false fictitious numbers – to get money made, and NOT money to do so.

    Furthermore, it costs our own remunerations – as represented by money and the relevant false fictitious numbers too – to create the use of or to use money or to create or use those false fictitious numbers,

    And such does NOT mean it costs the users of money money to use money either. Since, it is impossible to do so!!

    So what rubbish it is that is reported in the said Nation news back page story that it costs more (more of what? what like hell?) to produce them than they can really buy (buy what? What like what?).

    What fallacious ignorance when the concepts of buying and selling are very utterly discredited and false ones, with very inappropriate inexact meanings that do not conform with the reality of human behaviour in the relevant commercial contexts.

    Indeed, many Barbadians had better better wake up to the reality that a domestic political financial process – that involves the purest of all money denominations – is being seriously senselessly attacked in this country by the monetary authorites and their cohorts in the banking system – and that they must do something about it.

    By aiming to deactivate the Barbados one cent – as small as it may appear to some people in Barbados – these very backward financial people are not only stupidly attempting to undermine the power and capacity of hordes of consumers to choose what numbers they want in the commercial market, but they are also attempting to conform such people away from thinking that it is realistically the core financial sector’s own massive contributions to the staggeringly high real actual cost of use of money (local) that is causing many people to use fewer and fewer cents on a daily basis in this country.

    So rather than deal with this staggeringly high real actual cost of use of money (local) in Barbados these fools falsely take it out on helpless cents, so to speak.


  17. In general terms there is one piece of advice I can give. IF in debt ALWAYS keep in contact with the creditor and explain. If you run from him, he inevitably becomes NASTY. If you don’t give him the chance to help he can’t.

  18. I can remember buying my first piece of property and had no money, I tried to get a mortgage but they wanted a large down payment and even though the property was worth more than I was paying, the bank would only lend to the sale value. I went to four banks to take a loan, they asked if I owed any money, I said no, they checked and offered me a small loan I filled out the paperwork but put it on hold till I see if I needed the money or not. Made the same application at each bank with the money not needed. Then I convinced the owner to take back an open mortgage for one year with a 25% down payment, he agreed. Went back to the banks picked up my loan from each one and bought the property. Now I was a man of means, went back to one of the exact same banks, and took out a mortgage which was now for the appraised price not the sale price and was able to pay off the seller, pay off the loans at the higher rate and still have some extra money
    All this is to say think outside the box, don’t let the blocks that are put in front of you, keep you from moving forward. opportunity is there everyday you have to just see it……………

  19. Hal it is very difficult for a bajan couple with 2 children & a mortgage to save 20% of their income. You may not be aware of the very high cost of living in this Country, because we import so much of what we consume and with the high taxes imposed on the taxpayers we are over taxed.

    About 3 years ago the MOF following his impractical fiscal policies imposed a tax on allowances which took a further $200 to $500 out of the take home pay of employees. From my limited knowledge I cannot comprehend how an Economy can be stimulated if people have less disposable income to spend; the MOF continued his misguided policies causing and heaped additional havoc on this Country. The Govt’s revenue decreased as more taxes were imposed.

    I am retired now, but the very first Management course I took @ BIMAP with a Canadian Instructor I remember him saying that the secret of running a profitable business was to “reduce expenses & increase revenue ” and how one does that was what he was going to show us. Well Govt is the biggest business in the Island and the same principle applies. The MOF cannot accept that his policies have failed and failed miserably – revenue down & expenses up imagine borrowing money very month to pay wages, failing to take action in a timely manner, ignoring the basic principles of business, continuing to blame the international recession and not accepting the blame for not correcting the issues after in Govt for 6 years. If this was a Company the CEO,CFO & Managers would have been replaced for allowing the situation to deteriorate.

    But we elected them, the evidence was there but we wanted DEM. LIke Sparrow sang “we know but we like so”

  20. @Lawson

    What you are advocating is how homeownership in the USA became such a big problem. People began using their houses like ATM’s. Appraised values went up and so they got more money in mortgages. Then appraised values went down and people became under water on their mortgages. My advice would be don’t do that.

  21. Sith Absolutely not, you know as well as I the hardest part of getting into the property market is the first one, all the cards are stacked against you and unless you have help, or try to even the odds somehow you just cant do it. In the US market there was no control appraisers were getting a cut, mortgage companies were getting a cut on how many they wrote . appraisals were inflated far beyond what the property was worth, and when the banks realized this they bundled and sold those toxic assets around the world
    You know that even if you are buying million dollar property at a steal of 500 thousand the bank will only let you have 375000 on a conventional mortgage …the regular guy will never own that home.
    But I was not just talking about houses, I was maybe in an awkward way trying to say it is allowed to be untraditional . Dreams can be realized but if you are sitting at home feeling sorry for yourself it is not going to happen.. Because we always did it that way…….is an opportunity waiting for someone

  22. The major points to be inferred from the above PDC post are:

    1) that our Barbados money – including cents – does not – barring a few instances – go outside of the country – such that it could in any reasonable way be argued that it costs the country any money to produce our own money, and

    2) that there will be as many amounts of remunerations as the amount of money in circulation will – through the use of money by the users of it – allow for, and the real actual costs of/the use of money will allow for at any stages.

    Also, it is the material – the copper – the zinc – the paper – etc, that makes up money, that costs the material to make money.


  23. Hal made some good points BUT that will not help those who have more month than money.
    Th Political “leaders” if they could truly lead would have developed a Comprehensive Plan to ensure that the populace is properly educated for real jobs and careers. Naturally, re-training would also be part of the long term solution. What is the point of having some training plans/ programmes if this is not adequately communicated to the correct target audience?
    Thorough Planning would certainly help. Obviously we would also need to attract JOBS via foreign companies and local by engendering the correct environment to maintain a high level of interest.

    Having adequately provided good, appropriate Education ie everybody does NOT require a Uni degree, the Government should have a Central Provident Fund into which a mandatory 15-20% of income should be contributed by each individual. The concept of this is to plan for future lifetime needs like a Home, Retirement and Sickness. If you migrate from Bim you take the contents at some point.

  24. Hal’s positions/advice is well intentioned but I have to agree with those who suggest that within the local context , it may not be practicable to many of those who have been given the shaft by the current administration. Many of the financial planning programs are not designed for those earning under $500. per week with house holds of 6 or more. Poor (Black) people have created addition savings by keeping dances, meeting turns and those with much discipline have used the credit unions quite effectively. Also, many “raised” pigs and did extra work in their kitchen gardens and the sale of their ackees , mangoes and , in a time past, the tamarind. Many of those Blacks who have risen to prominence owe it to the hawkers and Fish vendors. The simple truth is that our politicians never tapped into the resourcefulness of our people. We either looked down on these business people or did not instill in our children that if your grand mother sells toffees/candy from a tray, you can become the owner of a chain of candy stores etc. If your father /grandfather started out with a donkey cart , you can become the owner of a fleet of freighting trucks! If your uncle is a butcher you can become the owner of a chain of butcher shops.
    However, the advice given by Hal , should at least be considered by those who can afford it.
    Somewhere along the line we threw out the baby with the bath water.

  25. Local politicians need to read the Wall Street Journal and New York Financial Times or listen to Obama who has been saying for the last 6 years that it’s the mom and pop corner stores and small business people who keeps the US gigantic economy afloat, that is why he made absolutely sure these small entities had the required funding needed for continuity……the problem as I see it in Barbados is the politicians can only see in millions of dollars and it must be fly-by-night and it must be immediate…..right now…..those are the signs of losers.

  26. @ Georgie Porgie

    “Bajans wanted their own Obama and they voted in their own Obama”

    Porgie, I do not know what to make of your comment but you’re certainly not in a position to espouse your haft baked theories regarding the Obama Administration. Your three cent education wont even get you a job cleaning the White House floors. So find your way back to your Tea Party as well as your Reagan Conservative blogs, where their marginalized blacks, women, and homosexuals perpetually. And finally, the next time you think you’re perfect, try walking on water Porgie.


    These are not my numbers, they were posted , The Question what is rate for Barbados?


  28. @Lawson

    Borrowing 100% of a house you are buying to live in is simply a bad plan. A worse plan is taking cash out of a property by adding to a mortgage that has risen by an appraised value and not an actual transaction. I don’t know of anyone that is lucky enough to buy a $1million dollar property for $500,000. Things sell for what they are worth. Not a penny more or a penny less. There are two things we should keep in mind about value. . First, the big boss said “never a borrower or lender be” . Second, all things that go up come down except things that are in outer space. Smart people pay mortgages off and then use the cash to invest because when things do head down they continue to survive. The USA learnt its lesson. The Government was paying a significant portion of everyone’s mortgage because the interest paid on a mortgage, unlike somewhere like Canada, is deductible against other income.

    Wealth can only be created by persons who are prepared to live several notches below where they can, and work their butts off. Check out the book The Millionaire Next Door.


    Life-Long Financial Planning:? then these pimp title crooks take it from you after you die , even with a Will? For them to get elected to crook your things ,After buying votes on the street, PASS ACTS to protest them self from criminal charges? and want to say it can only be civil? when the same crooks are the same on the bench?
    Now you see why Barbados in a Mess , Only in Barbados ,???? Police are told to back of crimes , But to pull up thyme from a plantation you get 6 months TIME as the ones that take the Plantation by paper work walks free.

  30. …. especially if one has an adjustable rate…. that is how a lot of people got screwed during the economic meld down in America…

  31. I don’t have to check out the book, I agree with what you say to a point. I was just at a place where I had just bought a truck and the owner had just bought a 850 thousand dollar property for six hundred from a neighbor. You may say it is only worth 600 but you would be wrong I know the property Unlike Barbados where everyone lives to 100 LOL. The back page of our newspaper is filled with people moving on, the children may not live in town, or the next of kin just want to get rid of it and there is value to a quick uncomplicated sale . I cant agree wealth is only created by people living below where they can, the work their butts off for sure.
    Being able to deduct your mortgage is different from my home but I would guess you have to pay tax on your property when you sell it. The secret to wealth as you know is to make it off someone else’s back .

  32. Sith, in America if one work hard he/ she could possibly carve out a decent standard of live-true. But that does not necessarily mean that he /she is go to get rich any time soon. It is the Inventive Ingenuity that generates the big bucks in America. Ideas such as: Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Apple technologies, actually generates the big bucks in America and else way in the world. Yes! Inventive Ingenuity, coupled with the can do spirit and supported by the big bucks, obviously generates a lot of green stuff in America. And of course, marketing one’s commodity is an essential ingredient in the quest to bag that green cash.

  33. Mark you of all people know what you say is true .since one of your relatives had one of those very inventive ingenuities …….. I will sing with my clothes off

  34. @markfenty

    In the USA more millionaires drive Ford f-150 pick up trucks than any than any other vehicle. There are about 9 million millionaires in the USA (excluding their primary residence value) They are made up as follows. Managers make up the largest group, with 17%, followed by educators (12%), corporate executives (7%), entrepreneur/business owners (6%) and attorneys and accountants. Note that entrepreneur business owners are nowhere near the top. Managers and educators who no doubt paid off their mortgages and worked hard are the biggest percentage.

    • “One of the reasons for the extraordinary pressure of consumerism, which goes back to the 1920s, is the recognition by the business world that unless it atomizes people, unless it drives them to what it calls the “superficial things of life, such as fashionable consumption,” the population may turn on them. Right now, for example, about 80% of the U.S. population believes that the country is, in their words, run by “a few big interests looking out for themselves,” not for the benefit of the population. About 95% of the population thinks that the government ought to pay regular attention to public opinion. The degree of alienation from institutions is enormous. As long as people are atomized, worried about maxing out their credit cards, separated from one another, and don’t hear serious critical discussion, the ideas can be controlled.”
      ― Noam Chomsky

  35. Sith In a govt job in Canada your family pays nothing for health care, only a small cost for dental, the millionaires pension, my friend just split up after 27 years on the dept his pension was valued at 1million 2 by the actuary, free shoes, massages ,insurance etc etc Its the benefits that really add up .The teachers pension plan and omers are some of the biggest around we bought the rail link for the chunnel. Not having to pay out is sometimes better than the higher salary

  36. @Sith
    … This you ought to know though: the United States, which is arguably the richest country in the world, has more than 60 million poor people. You do the math Sith…

  37. Sith, in the United States, 1 per cent of the population owns 39 per cent of the country’s wealth. You do the math sith…

  38. We can even go further Sith: taking the planet as a whole, the combined wealth of the 358 richest people ( all of them billionaires) is greater than the total annual income of 45 per cent of the world’s poorest inabitants, that is, 3.5 billion people.

  39. One man can only drink so much, eat so much, screw so much, How many jobs are created by them so others can drink eat or screw why always focus on the negative. communism and socialism are not always the best alternative An old Russian heard a knock at the door in the middle of the night ..Who is it he asked Death…was the answer. Thank God he said I thought it was the KGB

  40. @Mark Fenty
    Surely the critical question is “are those rich people deserving of their riches?

    Gates and Buffet have already bequeathed most of their wealth to Charitable causes and as far as I know they came by their wealth honestly.

    Stronach in Canada has created 117,000 JOBS globally, does he not deserve to be rich?

    The questions are
    1 are these people crooks?
    2 do they ill treat their workers and purposely pay low/ slave wages?
    3 are they harming the country?
    4 etc etc

    What is really wrong is the linkages between CORRUPT Politicians and business people, especially BANKERS! This is exactly what has created the Financial MESS in which we are ensconced and for which we are ALL going to PAY for.

    CEO pay in the USA has gone completely crazy and it is my belief that it is hard to justify more than 100 times the pay for the average employee. Yet we know of CEOs that FAIL and walk away with $200mn!

    The Politicians are responsible for creating the correct environment so that the average citizen can position themselves to become successful Millionaires! Education, training and other programmes work in places like Singapore where excellent people run the Govt and make like $3mn in salary/ yr BUT with very stringent Integrity Legislation!

  41. @ David
    I’ve noticed that you often quote Noam Chomsky, as an authority to give validation to your point of view. So I must obviously surmised that he is probably your chosen source of information. Now, perhaps I am simple minded, but when has he become an authority on the political affairs in America? I haven’t seen this man in a national debate in donkey years, and this certainly leaves me to concluded that he is probably out of touched with reality, due to his advanced age. But who am I to make such an assumption? I am just the sole illiterate on the blog as far as Georgie Porgie is concern.

  42. @lawson February 7, 2014 at 10:04 AM “If prosperity is what is wanted in Barbados the bus sign should have read….keep it in your pants

    @Hal Austin February 7, 2014 at 10:22 AM
    @ Lawson
    Thank you.

    Dear Hal and Lawson if by “keeping it in our pants” you mean that we should have less sex/fewer children, then read these statistics.

    Barbados’ population is growing at a rate of 0.32% which is a slower growth than 181 other countries/territories, including South Korea, Taiwan, Austria, Switzerland, China, the United Kingdom, Sweden, France, South Africa, Norway, Spain, New Zealand, Canada, the United States of America, Australia, Luxembrg, Brazil and India, and I don’t hear you or anybody else telling those people to “keep it in you r pants”

    Bajans are not being laid off because we have too much sex/too many children. Don’t blame us.

    Cuh dear man. You hate poor people or what? Not only are we deprived of money. But you want to take away sex from us too?

    We may be willing to give up money, things, stuff, food.

    But if you try to take away our sex there will be war.

  43. @Moneybrain
    I quite sure that you’re cognizant of the fact that Education in America is a complex organism. In practically, every state in the Union, from K- 12 is the responsibility of the School District . In Barbados, it is quite difference because there is some measure unilateralism in that system of education.

  44. So in America, a good education through K-12 really depends a lot on where one resides in his or her respective state. It is just a reality in America, the more money a school district has, the better your chances of obtain a good education. The federal and state governments have little control over education in America. The municipal government has more authority over your child’s education than the federal and state governments combined. It’s a big mess right? I know you would agree. There is zero uniformity in the educational system in America.

  45. SS you should check population densities, then add in the fact that you have little resources, you end up with a massive amount of people competing for the same job .No-one is saying have less sex just less people either by curbing immigration, encouraging emigration or keep it in your pants .

  46. @Mark Fenty
    I am more concerned with what Education SHOULD be in the USA. Political Leaders key role is to Educate their populace in order to be and/ or remain a wealthy Nation and have JOBS eg Singapore actually has a Positive Employment Rate ie more than 100% as they import Labour from The Phillipines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and China!!!! Almost all Singaporean middle class households, living in Condos/ apartments, have a foreign maid at low cost so that the partners can both work and therefore be PRODUCTIVE and have a much higher standard of living.( some will say that BDS$800/mth for these foreign maids is exploitation! NONSENSE, there are millions of these women available who make NOTHING in their own Country)

    Bim could come close to this if managed properly. Already we have 20,000+ Guyanese and other peoples who quite correctly should NOT be in Bim in tough times, BUT many are doing jobs that Bajans dont want eg like Mexicans picking fruit/ veg in the USA, the locals are too lazy for dat!

    BIM should be a JOB creating POWERHOUSE! The “leadership” has been mediocre to be charitable, especially now! The Bajan attitude should be “it is us versus the World” kind of like when we had the Best/ most Cricketers per Square Mile on Earth in the 1950s, 1960s etc Bim has lost the plot! The key problem is a lack of top quality LEADERSHIP, far TOO MUCH CORRUPTION and Politicians whose only Objective is


  47. @ Tudor
    20 per cent is an ideal, but people in work must save. Whatever the amount

    @ Moneybrain
    @ William Skinner

    In the old days we had two very important financial instruments to help us through the week, until the next pay day: first was the ‘meeting’, in which we pooled resources and every week a member got the lump sum. If someone had an emergency then that person was given special treatment. That is the principle of insurance in its basic form, pooling .We should go back to that.
    Second, the old corner shop was very important. If we ran out of money we could always ‘trust’ from the shopkeeper until we next got paid.
    However, the principle of supermarket accounting is that the supermarket opens and takes in commodities on credit, usually with a 30 or 60 day interest free payment. All goods must be paid in cash.
    So, the supermarkets get cash the moment goods are sold, but take up to two months to pay suppliers.
    Big supermarkets impose conditions on their suppliers, including being the main outlet. Once they have an idea of your profits, they then threaten that if you do not reduce your produce they will stop selling your products.
    Supermarkets are crooks.
    We rejected small corner shops at our peril.

  48. @Mark Fenty

    This was not a discussion on rich and poor, it was a discussion on the advisability of purchasing a home with 100% financing and then refinancing to take monies out. The suggestion was there were only a few millionaires in the USA being Facebook owners, google owners etc. The reality is that most of the millionaires are managers and teachers and 200,000 more people entered the millionaire class in the USA last year.. They are doing it by mostly hard work and paying off their mortgages as quickly as possible and investing that money into good investments. They have the advantage of living in a country where there is no national sales tax such as vat, very minimal import duties if any, and have a currency we all want. On the other hand in Barbados we are creating poverty and stifling opportunity for local entrepreneurs by making imports cheaper than local products. If we want to share the economic burden and successes then eliminate income tax all together, let the dollar float to its true value, and rely only only on VAT to pay for services.

  49. @ SITH | February 8, 2014 at 11:37 AM
    “If we want to share the economic burden and successes then eliminate income tax all together, let the dollar float to its true value, and rely only only on VAT to pay for services.”

    So how would the much better-off contribute a greater share to finance the pot of social services and welfare (poverty mitigation) programmes? You must consider VAT falls much more heavily on the poor than on the better off.
    We can’t go back to a ‘very few rich men, many poor men’ situation like Lazarus peeping through gate at Dives.

    If you remove income tax then you will have to replace the revenue loss by a tax of properties like large houses, big vehicles, yachts, and other luxury items including rich man sporting equipment and facilities.

    There must a balancing mix of the two basic principles of taxation: the ability to pay with the benefit principle to make up the other side of the fiscal equation.

  50. The reality is that most of the millionaires are managers and teachers and 200,000 more people entered the millionaire class in the USA last year.. They are doing it by mostly hard work and paying off their mortgages as quickly as possible and investing that money into good investments. They have the advantage of living in a country where there is no national sales tax such as vat, very minimal import duties if any, and have a currency we all want.
    There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to the creation of wealth and owning a home is not always beneficial for some. Switzerland & Germany have low rates of home ownership (36& 53% respectively, yet their citizens are happy and enjoy a comfortable standard of living.

    The investment opportunities that allow people in the USA to create wealth are not available to the average Bajan. When Bajans invest in shares the prices remain stagnant and dividends are indifferent, when they opt for high interest rates to combat inflation they end up in the arms of Trade Confirmers and CLICO.

    Heads you lose,Tails you lose even more.

    • @Sargeant

      And those who take the middle of the road route and buy gilt-edged are crapping pink given the prevailing conditions.

  51. @Sargeant
    The most frequent and costly error by Savers is getting BURNEd by the attractiveness of “high interest rates”.
    I had a multimillionaire client ask me about lending to a certain RE/Hotel Developer who was promising 14% Guaranteed at a time when any clown could borrow at 7%! I told him the guy’s history and that he MUST be in BIG TROUBLE to make such an offer. The fella ending up burning at least $15mn of Savers $$$$$$!

    LESSON—NEVER LEND at ridiculously HIGH RATES vs the market!!!!!!!!!

    I warned family and friends about BCCI, Trade Confirmers etc BEFORE they went under! Also, true for the stocks of GM, Chrysler and several Banks in 2006-07!

    Sometime soon the second financial mess BOOT going to CRUSH our collective THROATS and Stocks et al will be killed again. CAVEAT EMPTOR!

  52. “The investment opportunities that allow people in the USA to create wealth are not available to the average Bajan. When Bajans invest in shares the prices remain stagnant and dividends are indifferent, when they opt for high interest rates to combat inflation they end up in the arms of Trade Confirmers and CLICO.

    The first and most important step to wealth is available in Barbados. Have a plan to GET OUT OF DEBT….all debt is bad. If you have debt scale back to where you don’t have debt. That is what the self made millionaires have learned to do..

  53. @moneybrain

    If you lean how to play the market you can protect yourself with stop loss orders. Learn how to protect your profits, If you want to make a nice conservative 7 to 8% a year in the North American Market invest in some high yield stocks like CIBC that is trading at about 10 times earnings and pay a dividend of 4% or Canadian Oil Sands trading at a similar PE ratio and paying dividends of 7%. Of course if you think the price of oil is going to have a dramatic decline or you think CIBC is going to change the dividend payment policy they have had in place since 1832, you can ;put the money on deposit and get about 1.5% return. Or you could invest in tax free municipal bonds in the USA.

    The complication for Barbados is the fixed pegged currency regime with draconian money control rules. I agree for those with no opportunity to invest in true markets opportunities are very limited.

  54. @ Sith
    Nearly all credit is bad ie credit card, hire purchase, etc. But few of us ca afford to buy a property outright. With a mortgage, house price inflation over the 25 yr period of an average mortgage far out strips the interest rate on the loan.
    But your point is valid: live debt free if you can afford it.

  55. lets say you want to buy a 200000 dollar house with 10 % down you need 20 000. If you make 60 thousand a year and clear 35 after taxes etc you save 20% every year which is 7000. In three years time you have the money but the average house increase was 4 percent each year so now the house is costs 225000. Would it not have been better to do what I said originally. Worst case you rent it out and deduct interest on loans.

  56. DEBT paydown is guaranteed to be a great after tax return. Credit Cards are PURE SELF IMPOSED SLAVERY! 20-29%!!!!!!! after Tax! Just SHOOT yourself and be done!!!!

    Always buy for CASH ON SALE!!!!!! or do as i do use Cards as Convenience where there is ABSOLUTELY NO DOUBT you have the CASH to pay every month. I have NEVER paid a copper cent of interest to those frigging BANDITS!
    Yes setting “sensible” stop losses is good, although you can become subjected to SCALPERS who wait at key nodal points to buy where many people were just stopped out! Happened to me once in a aggressive high tech stock at around $28 and then it rocked to $94! On the other hand I bought another @24 after it got killed and it went to $77 in 3 months and I sold before it crashed to $35.

    One should not run on Monday to sell all of your Stocks BUT the situation impels serious monitoring. In the weeks and months ahead a CRASH is far too highly probable to be carelessly absorbed by most investors.

  57. The stock market is where I agree with Sith, slow and steady wins the race, playing the markets is like trying to catch a falling knife. If you have extra money it is fun to take a chance at being the next Buffett, but for most people it is best left to the pros. Most of my picks went bankrupt like Nortel, Entrust, Corel World heart, others really tanked ericcson, ballard Jds uniphase biovail I did make money once on a bio stock but that was it. Property seems the only reasonably sure investment for me, like they say they are not making any more of it.

  58. @Lawson
    Yes one should be creative in developing a solution but must make allowance in your cashflow planning for troublesome periods.
    In Toronto when i wanted to trade up to an Executive class home it was 1990 when RE had just exploded up for 4-5 years. For several reasons i concluded that RE would drop in TO so I waited and monitored the market for 3-4 yrs before saving 30%+ on my next RE move.

    I have been watching BIM RE for years and told a friend in Reabout 4yrs ago to feel free to call me when homes that were US$1mn fell to US$500k. I am willing to facilitate a deal or my terms!

  59. Homes in Barbados are way out of whack, I read it similar to you. I rent different spots every year and I am surprised how people can make money paying 600kus for a property and renting it to me for 1200 something does not make sense

  60. @Lawson
    While it can be easier to do well in the longer term with RE than Stocks the truth is that most RE is bought with borrowed $$ and ALL markets are subject to price volatility.

    I know Bajans who took serious losses in RE in the last 5 years and one would think they definitely aint making anymore Bdos!
    So that saying is a fallacy sometimes. I bought my home in mid to Downtown TO in 1994 and paid a lot less than I would have in 1990!

    The common factor is HUMAN PSYCHOLOGY—-sometimes everyone is Greedy and sometimes Scared Shitless! So right now US Stocks are expensive, margin debt is record high and all Psychological info says that we are now at 5X Optimists versus Pessimists (a quarter century high; higher than 2000 or 2007/8 ie those who are involved have BOUGHT ALREADY! So the next big move is for everyone to SELL!

  61. The truth is that all the RE excesses globally were caused by IRRESPONSIBLE BANKERS and POLITICIANS! The gargantuan money creation is the reason. Indeed, we MUST have another Economic and Market CRASH! The DELEVERAGING process will take many long years .

  62. Money………….the trick is now to convince the leadership of the DLP in Barbados that another crash is inevitable, they are still in denial about the one that happened 6 years ago….guess what, the people may be the ones to save the country, not the government……..sigh

  63. Well Well…..Adrian rents out a room to 3 guys for 30 dollars a night, so they each put in 10 dollars the next day when they left he realized he should have only charged 25 dollars. So he sent a bell boy to give them back 5 dollars, the boy realizes 5 cant be divided by 3 so he gave them each back a dollar and kept the other 2. Now 3 times 9 is 27 dollars and the bell boy kept 2 that is 29 dollars where did the other dollar go…….damn govt

  64. I hear you guys but sometimes we have little financial control over life events. From a financial standpoint what solutions would you apply to these scenarios

    Scenario 1: The wife is a 38 year old professional with very young 2 children. She starts to complain of tiredness. You both agree that maybe a full time job and caring for 2 young children is too much for her so you both agree that she should reduce her hours to part timefor a couple of years with a consequent reduction of the benefits offered by her employer. 2 years later she is diagnosed with MS. There has never been any MS in your family. She will never go to work again. Now you are a single dad with 2 children younger than 10, and an increasingly disabled wife. She survives to age 62

    Scenario 2: Your widowed mother is 72 and seems in good health, except for high blood pressure for which the doctor has prescribed medication. One morning she gets up falls in the bathroom. It is a major stroke, but not major enough to kill her (as it turns out she had not been taking her medication, but since you do not live in the same house you did not know this). She survives for the next 8 years but is severely disabled. She cannot get out of bed, not do any of the tasks of daily living. She cannot feed herself, she cannot bathe herself. She cannot get to the bathroom even with assistance.

    Scenario 3: Your never married mother is in her mid-60’s and now that she is retired she goes to the U.S. for 6 months each year in order to help out with the grands. But she is becoming increasingly forgetful. Finally the doctor tells you the words that you dreaded hearing,. Alzheimers. She has no health care coverage in the U.S, She has to come home to Barbados. She survives for another 9 years.

    Scenario 4: Your 26 year old son complains of headaches and double vision, and extreme tiredness. The doctors diagnose MS. There is no history of MS in your family.

    Scenario 5: Your 55 father is a diabetic. He loses one leg at 5, another at 64

    Scenario 6: Your 28 year old wife delivered her second child 10 days ago. Your family is complete and everyone is very happy. She does not get up for the 2 o’clock feeding. You turn on the light and she is dead. The post mortem says eclampsia. You are now a single dad of 2 children younger than 3

    Scenario 7: You are an only child. Your mother has Alzheimers, but she is fairly well and remains at home. Your parents have had a long and happy marriage your dad looks after her well. One morning in London or New York or Toronto you get a phone call from a neighbour. Dad has died from a stroke.

    Scenario 8: You are an only child. You are 28 and living in the great white north, and you are doing well professionally. You have married and have 2 young children. Your wife is a stay at home mom. Your dad died in a traffic accident when you were 12 and mum has never remarried. She is 58 now and has developed early Alzheimers.

    Scenario 9: Your son dies of complications of HIV. His wife dies a few years later. They leave behind 3 elementary aged children.

    Scenario 10: Your children’s father was murdered 10 years ago. You were left with 2 young children. You have been working as a labourer, and just managing to keep the children, fed, and modestly clothed and sheltered. Now you have been severed. laid off/fired/lost your job

  65. @MoneyBrain February 8, 2014 at 3:54 PM “Just SHOOT yourself and be done!!!!”

    And shooting yourself or other is NOT a solution to any of the above scenarios

  66. Moneybrain you haven’t answered any of the 10 questions so you get zero for being a TOTAL LIFE CLOWN.

    I think that you are scared to answer the questions, because the truth is you haven’t thought them through.

    Severe and long term illness has been the leading cause of impovrishment in the United States and likely in Barbados although I don’t have the Barbados data.

    Dear moneybrian Hal etc. You shouldn’t be writing economic prescriptions unless you have first examined ALL of the data, and that data must include all of the scenarios listed above.

    It is easy to think of yourself as an economic genius/moneybrain when you are standing on the shoulders of others. Others like Tommy Douglas for instance. It is easy for moneybrain to believe himself an financial guru when he does for have to think about the cost of catastrophic and/or long term health care. When the moneybrain arrived in Canada in the 1980’s the flaming socialist Tommy Douglas had already developed Canada’s excellent single payer universal health care program so moneybrain could go out and make nuff nuff money (good, good!!!) without having to think about what happens if I face any or some of the scenarios above?

    But please moneybrain do not delude yourself that your success is all your own doing. You are standing on the shoulders of others.

    And do not hold in contempt those who have faced catastrophic life situations.

    In Barbados we have a saying ‘what int ketch ya ain’t pass ya yet. Look forward yes. But hear the footsteps behind ya? Trouble.
    Thomas Clement “Tommy” Douglas, PC CC SOM (20 October 1904 – 24 February 1986) was a Scottish-born Canadian social-democratic politician and Baptist minister. He was elected to the Canadian House of Commons in 1935 as a member of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF). He left federal politics to become the Saskatchewan CCF’s leader and then the seventh Premier of Saskatchewan from 1944 to 1961. His government was the first democratic socialist government in North America, and it introduced the continent’s first single-payer, universal health care program.

  67. @Simpy
    I have NOT even read that section Simpy!!!!!!!
    NEVER assume that any blog is in correct order! ASS U ME = making and ASS of U is ok but NOT me!

    You just have a SIMPLE method of pleading GUILTY in this forum! Relax and dont expose yourself so nuh, afterall you are my Bajan bruds at the end of the day, DONT go overboard EMBARRASSING yourself.

    It just so happens that I am also in the Life Assurance and other insurance business as well as Investing. At absolutely no juncture have I ever suggested that Government should not have programmes to help those in REAL NEED. In fact, I have made it VERY CLEAR that is exactly what we MUST have and we MUST CUTOUT the LAZYASSES from the system!

    Why did Tommy D NOT make it abundantly clear that the LAZYASSES must be monitored and dealt with very harshly when found to meet certain test criteria??????? There is always a Yin and Yang ie a Positive and a Negative. Slow wit Socialist Politicians ONLY care about VOTE BUYING with hardworking peoples $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$. Any IDIOT given a Cheque Book with other peoples money could go on a relentless spending spree!

    My point is we must CUT the WASTAGE in order to continue to HELP those in true need! You must appreciate that with competition from the newly released Capitalists in China, Russia et al the World has changed. Demographics dictate that we are NOT in a good position to handle the imbalances that a much larger proportion of older retired people pose.

    The current Politically induced course WILL lead to Bankruptcy and MISERY for the 99%! The WASTAGE GAMES are culminating!

  68. @Simpy
    What you dont appreciate is that I was clever enough in my 20s to intelligently analyse by comparing and contrasting the advantages and disadvantages of migrating to the US v Canada v UK v Aus/NZ. Canada was chosen because it had the best combination of factors regarding making $$$$, law and order, HC benefits etc. Australia won on Climate but was too far away from my quickly aging parents.

    Simpy, unlike most I dont depend on others to make progress. I set high objectives for my children and myself.
    You may have heard of the Yale Chinese Prof who wrote about successful immigrants to the US and is being branded a Racist! How can you be racist when you are stating that the data shows clearly that the following groups are performing above the average ie Chinese, Indians, Nigerians, Iranians.
    This proves to me the utter stupidity of Americans. The critical attitude required should lead to the questions
    1 is this substantiated by the facts? and if so
    2 what are the critical elements that cause these groups to be over-represented in higher education and higher income segments?

    This reminds me of when Larry Elder spoke about Saturday mornings in Compton where you walk towards the Library and you pass Black kids playing in the streets and than the Hispanics and when you enter the Library guess which racial group is ridiculously over represented KOREANS! Was that Racist? NO it is factual and should indicate to ALL people with children to be sure your kids are on the ball!

  69. I understand now why in North American rich white guys have the highest suicide rate.

    Perhaps rich white guys are moneybrains like our moneybrain but perhaps they are also TOTAL LIFE CLOWNS.

    This may be the reasoning on the moneybrains of this world “If it don’t work don’t work long and hard to fix it. If it will never work again put a bullet through its brain, even if the brain is your brain, or ma’s brain, or the orphaned children’s brains.

    Damn useless people who are only using up scarce resources and contributing nothing.

  70. I was simply saying that before you write an economic (or health) prescription you must have ALL of the facts and ALL of the truth.

    So a patient comes in says “Doc I have the bad feels”

    You have to ask the right questions, LISTEN to the answers, do the right tests before you write a one fits size all prescription. No point telling the patient take 2 aspirin and call me in the morning.

    Maybe the patient is catching a cold.

    Maybe the patient is catching the flu.

    Maybe the patient has dengue.

    Maybe the patient is pregnant.

    Maybe the patient is bleeding in the brain.

    Maybe all five of these things is happening to the patient at the same time.

    Life is complex. Life is very, very, complex.

    Simple prescriptions like save/invest 20% of ya money from the day ya first go to work until de day ya retire/die will NOT WORK for everyone.

    @moneybrain “Simpy, unlike most I dont depend on others to make progress. I set high objectives for my children and myself…performing above the average”

    Here I agree with you. All of my siblings and I and all of our children earn more, significantly more that the average annual incomes of Americans or Canadians or Britisheres, maybe more than you too (but I don’t have your data)

    We may not be as simple as you ASS U me.

  71. @Simpy
    I never ASSumed that you are Simple like your moniker BUT you sure have tried hard in some instances! For all I know you may have a PhD from Harvard in something or other, BUT I know that the best education does NOT prevent a person from being dumb as hell and I have a PLETHORA of examples in Medicine and Finance to substantiate my point.

    It pleases me greatly to learn that your family have been very successful, a few less complainers/ LAZYASSES are always welcome! lol

  72. @Simpy
    Here you go again with your racist self incrimination!

    Should I decide to take a racist tact on this I could say that the reason that rich white guys commit suicide at a higher rate is that they are more intense in setting high objectives OR that black guys are dumb enough to MURDER each other and thereby never grow old/ successful enough to reach the rich black suicide stage! BUT why would I say that and drop to your racist/ non thinking level?

    Your “reasoning” is as clear as a pitch black 4 day morning!

    My simple 20% prescription was preceded by the establishment of excellent, relevant Education! I believe in helping the truly disadvantaged BUT not encouraging people to expect $$$$ ad infinitum for NO effort!

    WORKFARE not WELFARE! Teach them how to FISH dont give them endless fish! It is OBVIOUS to some of us that too many humans are LAZYASSES!

    It is laughable that some idiot Prof espousing nonsense can persuade supposedly intelligent people to GIVE endlessly without proper discipline, monitoring and controls. We all should know the Pols BUYING VOTES with hardworking people’s $$$$$$$$.

  73. Moneybrain, have you given any consideration to the populations of the above mentioned groups that are doing good in America? Three of those groups constitutes the largest populations in our world today, the exception being Iran.

  74. Moneybrain, are you aware of the fact that there is a restriction placed on Indians applying to medical school in America? Well, thousands of Indians leave India who are already doctors and applying to medical school in America? These Indians have overloaded the medical schools in America, so it was necessary for the federal government to placed this restriction on them to make room for others groups.

  75. Moneybrain, the best and the brightest of these above mentioned large populations of people are given the opportunity to come to America. So that why these groups may appears as though there are doing much better, when compared to smaller groups such as West Indies and South Americans for example.

  76. @Mark F
    THE LESSON to be learnt and that should be focused on is that many immigrants that come to the USA do MUCH BETTER than the average home grown Americans (or Canadians). WHY???

    The answer that you are suggesting is AVOIDING the reality by using excuses that are true to a limited degree. Many poor Bajans from very humble backgrounds have migrated to Nth America and excelled. Indeed, Dr Velma Scantlebury-White was the first female black transplant Surgeon in the USA!( she was at Alleyne School before migrating) The Yale Profs would probably have mentioned Bdos as a source of the highly successful BUT Bim is so small that it made more sense to highlight Nigeria.

    So what exactly are the elements that lead to this excellent relative performance??? This is the ONLY aspect truly worthy of time and exploration, all the racist BS suggestions, that the media has focused on, are a WASTE of time!

  77. @Moneybrain
    it is a first generation phenomenon. After the second thrid generation it normalises. Numerous sociological studies have been done on this. Have a look at the Chicago Studies, led by Myrdal and including a second generation Barbadian, Professor St Clair Drake. His dad dropped the s because he was in the US illegally.

  78. @Hal
    Why? Most likely because people become too familiar with the easy life and fail to impress on their kids the important aspects of a running a successful life.Similar principles apply to the old saying, ” the first generation workede hard to be rich, the second generation enhances the family wealth and the 3rd G looses it all.”

    In both cases the people involved have no clue what it was like to be poor historically. My children are 3rd G with significant above average Net Worth and so we tried to teach them the values that matter, as follows. You want those new Koby’s BBall shoes, well you have a choice
    1 you pay out of your earnings
    2 wait for SALE of at least 50% off

    You want to make good money –EDUCATION

    It is a lot of time/ work to guide one’s kids and most people dont pay enough attention. Some very successful parents are the worst offenders.

  79. Strange you had a company down there taking applications for Canadian jobs, and the federal said it govt is fixing a problem in this budget so Canadians have first crack at those jobs. With unemployment with youth at 14% in Ontario. hope nobody paid anything to apply

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