rat race

retire 早early ,retire 富裕rich 假如 you are out of rat race

zt:Robert Kiyosaki get rich , stay rich ,now is the time to position yourself for riches.

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Posted on Tuesday, May 27, 2008, 12:00AM I’ve been on television recently discussing the U.S. financial crisis. These shows often feature a panel of so-called financial experts who rarely agree with each other. The reason their advice is different is simply because each expert speaks to a different segment of the population.Giving Credit

For example, Suze Orman, Dave Ramsey, and Larry Winget speak to people who are deep in credit card debt. Their advice is excellent, direct, practical, and to the point. I should know — in the late 1970s, I was one of the debt-ridden people they’re speaking to. I was deeply in debt because my business was suffering and I was using credit cards to live on. Instead of paying off my credit card, I’d get a new credit card and use that one to pay off the old credit card. I, too, once used a home equity loan to invest in my business — and lost it all.

At my lowest point, I was nearly $700,000 in debt. One evening, I attempted to check into a motel in upstate New York and my credit card was declined. I slept in the car that night. Many people might say that this was a horrible experience, but that isn’t true — it was a wake-up call. It was clearly time to look in the mirror and face who I really was. I realized that if I wasn’t going to be tough on me, the world would take on the job.

Today, older and wiser, I have tremendous respect for the power of debt and the value of credit. Credit is another word for trustworthiness. I’m currently millions of dollars in debt, but it’s good debt invested in income-producing real estate. While millions of homeowners are threatened with foreclosure, my investment real estate is doing very well. In fact, I’m doing even better because more people are renting than buying.

The Strata of Financial Advice

If you’re deeply in debt like I was and want to get rich someday, I suggest you start by following the advice of Orman, Ramsey, and Winget. For a certain portion of the population, their advice is very rich indeed.

But there are other types of financial advice, some of it not nearly as beneficial. The lowest kind assures people that the government will take care of them. This is what the people who are counting on Social Security and Medicare have been led to believe. The problem is that the U.S. government is the biggest debtor in the world, and those depending on it to take care of them will only become poorer.

Another type of bad financial advice tells us to get a safe job, save money, live below our means, buy a house, get out of debt, and invest for the long term in a well-diversified portfolio of mutual funds. On those financial TV shows, I get into the most head-butting with the so-called financial experts who subscribe to this philosophy. That’s because, according to the Census Bureau, in 1999 the average U.S. income was $49,244. By 2006, the average income declined to $48,201. This means that U.S. workers haven’t had a pay raise for seven years. So much for the advice about getting a safe job — it’s the opposite of rich advice.

Diversify at Your Peril

Moreover, in January 2008 the Federal Reserve Board dropped the interest rate twice over a period of just eight days, by a record 1.25 percent. If my crystal ball is accurate, I expect another .5 percent drop sometime later this year. Savers are actually losers, then, because interest rates are low and inflation is high. So urging people to save money isn’t rich advice, either.

Finally, the S&P stood at 1,352.99 in March 2008, which is below its mark of 1,362.80 in April of 1999. So much for the advice of investing for the long term in a well-diversified portfolio of mutual funds — that’s also not rich advice.

Warren Buffett has said that diversification is for people who don’t know what they’re doing. And my rich dad once told me, “Diversifying is like going to a horse race and betting on every horse. The only way you win is if the darkest of dark horses wins.” So my concern is that people who follow this second type of financial advice may actually wind up poor in the long term.

Get Rich, Stay Rich

So there’s different financial advice for different people, and the price of poor advice is that millions will be poor if they follow advice that isn’t aimed at them.

To become rich, I recommend investing in your financial education. There’s a difference between that and financial advice. A solid financial education allows you to know the difference between good advice and bad advice, rich advisers and poor advisers.

If you want to become rich — and remain that way — it’s important to know what financial advice is best for you.

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This will be a politically incorrect article. It may seem unkind, insensitive, and cruel given the fact that so many people are hurting financially. Many have lost their jobs, homes, retirement security, and hope. Yet — if you can see beyond today and let intelligence, not emotion, rule the day — now is the time to position yourself for riches.

You see, the biggest predator’s ball in history is in its planning stages and invitations are being sent out. For about a year now, friends and associates have been inviting me to join their investment pools. One friend has over a billion dollars in cash sitting on the sidelines. Last night, another friend said that a large bank had invited him to bid on their portfolio of foreclosures. The minimum price: $30 million in cash. He estimated that for that price we could acquire over a billion in distressed properties. For $1 million, I could buy a ticket to the party. I passed on the deal, saying the price was out of my league.

Many people got into trouble when times were good. For example, some of my family’s friends placed all their money with a financial planner during the boom years, believing the standard sales pitch that the market goes up an average of 8 percent a year — even though it doesn’t. For over 20 years, I encouraged them to learn about investing rather than blindly turn over their money to a stranger. Today, they have lost over 45 percent of their portfolio in the last two years. They are not rich people. Now they want to know what to do.

Two Types of Predator’s Balls

My point is this: There are two types of predator’s balls. There are balls when times are good. My family’s friends were victims of this type of exploitation — when predators get you excited about rising markets.

For example, when real estate was soaring in price, predators known as flippers emerged and began selling houses to people at sky-high prices — many of whom had no business buying a home.

There are also predator’s balls for bad times. These take advantage of the exploitations that occurred during the good times. I like the bad-times predator’s balls the best because deals are plentiful, people are humble, prices are low, and opportunities abound. I hope this party lasts for at least five years. I am investing more today than I was two years ago.

The Best of Times — the Worst of Times

In 1859, Charles Dickens wrote in ‘A Tale of Two Cities’:

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times; it was the age of wisdom; it was the age of foolishness; it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity; it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness; it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair …”

For millions of people this is the dead of winter. If any of you who are reading this article are going through tough financial straits, I offer you this article and passage as encouragement to keep going — to make the worst of times your best of times.

As the economy worsens, I am seeing a new predator’s ball emerging - one for suckers. This is the ball for gold and silver. If you have been watching television lately, you will have seen ads advising people to send in their old gold jewelry for cash. Only suckers would do that… but as you know, a sucker is born every minute. I also see ads advertising 100-percent-pure 24-carat gold-plated coins for $29.95. Obviously, the key words are gold-plated. Only a moron would invest in a gold-plated coin. The only way that person can sell that gold-plated coin is by finding another moron — which I’m sure can be done, especially as the gold and silver markets pick up steam.

A Sign of Bad Business

In Phoenix, a businessman who was convicted on fraud charges recently opened up a new gold coin shop. He had been banned from being in the gold and silver business for ten years. His timing was good because his ten years were up and now he is sending invitations to his party. Invitations are expensive. He has prime retail space, marketing expenses related to advertising heavily on radio and television, half-page ads in newspapers, major yellow page ads, and a slick Web site. This is how predators send out invitations. Any time an investment company has to spend heavily on advertising, it’s probably a bad business in which to invest. You may recall that many mutual fund and real estate companies were sending out plenty of invitations during the last stock and real estate predator’s balls.

I believe that gold and silver are good investments — but their prices are at all-time highs, which means it is time to be cautious, not foolish. Today, I hear financial experts on television advising people to buy gold. These are the same guys who were recommending stocks and mutual funds less than two years ago. So be very careful as the gold and silver markets begin their next climb. I am still buying gold and silver but I did most of my buying when gold was at $300 an ounce in 2000 and 2001.

Many gold and silver experts will recommend you buy numismatic coins — rare and old coins. If you are not a rare coin expert, I’d encourage you to stay away from them. New investors often pay too much for rare coins that are not really rare. If you are new to gold or silver, I recommend you buy as close as possible to the international spot price of the metals, watching out for premiums and commissions per coin. Buy bars or blanks, rather than coins, if premiums are too high. Watch out for scams. If the person you are buying from makes you uneasy, run. Take delivery when you hand over your money. Keep coins or bars in a bank or safe.

A good book I recommend is ‘Investing In Gold and Silver’ by Mike Maloney. He is one of my personal advisors on the subject, and his book is worth its price in gold.

In closing, I’ll leave you with this thought: Remember that when one predator’s ball ends, another is starting. If you plan on attending, be sure you are a predator, not the ———————————————————————-

“Don’t climb the corporate ladder, why not own the corporate ladder? The problem with climbing the corporate ladder is that when you look up, you see somebody’s big fat butt above you.

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                           ·刘以栋·

世上骗子很多,但能达到曼道夫(Bernie Madoff)这样500亿美元规模的,到目前为止还是绝无仅有。曼道夫的庞式诈骗案(Bernie Madoff Ponzi Scheme),其实就是中国人所熟知的老鼠会。无非是保证投资回报,并用新客户的钱付老客户的钱。只要新资金来源不断,就可以一直运行下去。

美国号称是一个法制社会,但其法律在曼道夫的庞式诈骗案面前却显得苍白无力。曼道夫诈骗案持续三十余年,被骗客户包括世界著名银行和美国参议员在内的社会名流,真是对美国法制的极大讽刺。

这次曼道夫出事,据说是因为有一个客户去年要求撤资七十亿美元,结果导致这一巨大诈骗案败露。曼道夫已经七十多岁,去日无多,所以把一切责任都揽在自己身上,期望不要波及其子女,这一点跟中国文化倒是很相似。从而也显出中国古代株连九族的合理性一面。

虽然我们没有在曼道夫的庞式诈骗案中丢钱,但其巨大影响应当能给我们一些有益的启示。

首先是股市。曼道夫的庞式诈骗案,对动荡中的美国股市,无疑是雪上加霜。曼道夫式的诈骗案,在世界投资领域,既不是第一个,也不会是最后一个。许多对冲基金(Hedge Funds)和私人股权投资公司(Private Equity Firm),肯定有各种各样的诈骗行为在里面。现在许多投资人对自己投出去的钱不放心,要求把钱收回来,逼迫资金管理人把手上的股票卖出。所以曼道夫诈骗案的股票效应,可能是其损失的500亿的许多倍。

其次是美元。美元是世界储备货币,所以各中央银行都购买美元储存。许多中央银行甚至卖掉手头的黄金储备去买美元。可是,美元是美国发行的纸币,每年并无发行定额。发行美元的成本很低,而世界各国又无制约发行量机制,所以从曼道夫的诈骗案,世界各国难免不会担心美元的长期购买力。这种担心一旦被付诸行动,那么对美元的冲击将是灾难性的。

第三是社会保障金制度。对比庞式诈骗案的特点,你就会发现美国的社会保障金制度和医疗保险制度都是标准的老鼠会。其共同特点,就是现在工作的人,交钱给现在已退休的人用。现在工作的人退休以后,等着未来工作的人交钱来维持退休金和医疗保险金。不幸的是,婴儿潮这一拨人退休以后,退休金和医疗保险金都将入不敷出,根本无法支付我们的退休费用。

第四是自力更生。求人不如求佛,求佛不如求己。最关心你的钱的人,应当是你自己。人是自私的,很难把别人的利益放在第一位。看看曼道夫,自己过得好好的,其老婆孩子也过得好好的,客户的钱却都被搞没了。挣钱不容易,管钱一样难。有条件的话,学点投资知识,应当不是件坏事。即使以后仍然请人管钱,至少可以明白投资战略是什么。

事物都是一分为二的,曼道夫的诈骗案也不例外。期望大家能从曼道夫的诈骗案中,得到一些有益的启示。 ———————————————————————————–

         何清涟

前不久,中国总理温家宝在达沃斯世界经济论坛上全力扮演”经济救世主”,既安慰了一些对中国甚为无知的西方政治家,也大大满足了中国政府的虚骄心理。温家宝致辞末尾那句从雪莱诗歌脱化而来的”严冬终将过去,春天就要来临”成为新华社重要消息的标题。

对于不熟悉中国政府官式话语的欧洲政界来说,中国总理那番头头是道的官话,确实产生”乱花渐欲迷人眼”之效,恍惚间就被其绘制的那幅”中国经济山水画”迷得七荤八素。限于篇幅,本文只讨论中国挽救经济之举当中最根本的一条,即刺激消费到底是不是一张画饼。

在中国,刺激消费其实是一个老话题,不同的是此番由国务院总理充当了下厨炒作这盘冷饭的大厨而已。多年以前,中国就开始讨论储蓄率过高(从2003年以来一直高达45%以上)与消费率过低的问题,参与讨论者均知这是中国内需无法启动的直接原因。

与世界各国相比,中国消费率(又称最终消费率,指一定时期内最终消费额占国内生产总值使用额的比重,用公式表示为:消费率=国民消费/GDP×100% )明显偏低,从2003年降至55.4%以后一直走低,至2007年降至36%左右,不但低于发达国家,而且低于世界平均水平:世界平均消费率从2000年至今,一直维持在77%上下。

相比之下,中国的消费率比世界平均水平低41个百分点,目前中国的消费率不仅远远低于美国等发达国家,甚至低于印度等发展中国家。

说起来让人不敢相信的是:目前的最终消费率不仅低于中国计划经济时代的平均水平,甚至低于”大跃进”之后的三年大饥荒时期。

能力遭质疑

中国政府一直真心实意地考虑如何刺激老百姓多消费。为了弄清中国老百姓为什么爱储蓄,国家统计局以及各省直辖市的城调队经常调查,但所有调查结果都惊人地雷同:储蓄的第一位目的是子女的教育费用,接下来就是为了应付住房、医疗、养老等各项开支。

当然,储蓄率过高与消费率过低的背后,其实还有一个中国政府不愿意多讨论的实质性问题:中国庞大的金融资产分布极不平等,按照中国官方数据,2005年,最高收入组占有的金融资产为66.4%,最低收入组只占1.3%,二者比例为51:1。这意味着银行储蓄的大部分其实并不属于中低收入阶层。

另一个不可忽视的问题是占中国人口近70%的农村人口消费能力非常低。中国农民的消费率从最高点即1983年的32%下降至2007年的9%。在全国城乡居民消费总额中,农民消费所占比重从30年前的62%下降到2007年的25%,下降将近37个百分点。下降的原因是:自上世纪90年代中期以来,农村土地不断沦为贪官与房地产商觊觎的目标,农民收入不断下降,在城市打工的农民工报薪酬过低等。

可以说,所谓”三农”问题一直是中国经济的”阿基里斯脚踵”。2008年以来,超过2,000万的农民工在企业破产潮中失业,500万拾荒的农民被迫回归乡土,农村的整体消费力再次下降。但出于宣传需要,发掘近农村的”投资和消费需求潜力”成了政治时尚,处于凋敝的中国农村竟被渲染成”全球经济版图上少有的一个亮点,这个潜力若释放,对中国经济增长将产生巨大推动作用”。

这就让人产生疑问:多年来消费率持续走低的中国农村,目前大量农民工失业更使农民收入雪上加霜,中国政府多年来都未能让其承担起刺激内需的重大责任,难道如今一夜之间拍脑袋想出了锦囊妙计?

一个国家消费率偏低的现象缘于社会分配不公。这一点经凯恩斯指出以后,已经成为西方经济学界的基本常识。凯恩斯说,”消费支出的不足,是因收入分配不均所造成。若把国民收入的较大部分给了那些富人,他们只会把其中大部分储蓄起来。只有把国民收入的大部分交给低收入的家庭,才能提高消费支出”。

改变中国消费率过低并有效拉动内需的前提是必须建立相对公正的社会分配体制,铲除权力市场化这一病根,扭转政府蜕变为自利化政治集团这一趋势–假定政府愿意改变如此现状,成功也并非可期于朝夕之间。

基于上述理由,请中国政府踌躇满志地充当”经济救世主”拯救世界之前,先救救本国那数以几亿计的贫困国民吧。这不仅因为是本国人民的税收在支撑政府的生存,更重要的是当”救世主”,必先具有”救世”之能力。

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      ·黎日工·

房宁”我国决不能搞西方的多党制”一文的立论点是:

“掌握较多经济资源的阶级与集团,必然要利用其掌握的经济资源,通过各种途径影响进而控制社会公共权力,以保护和扩大自己的既得利益。”

这完全正确。

拿选举一事来说,就有可能出现房先生所描述的一种现象:掌握资源的集团,把选举演化为一场政治推销活动,通过对选举规则的控制,通过媒体的运作、炒作,控制公众的信息接受,广泛而深刻地影响社会舆论与公众认知,进而影响选民的选择,最终取得选举的胜利。一切见不得人的事都在暗箱中操作,不让阴谋暴露。

但是,从房宁所说的美国情况,我们却看到在美国发生上述”房宁现象”的可能性不大。房宁告诉我们:

“据美国联邦选举委员会2004年12月14日公布的报告显示,2004年竞选一名参议院议员的平均费用约为251万美元,最高达3148万美元;竞选一名众议院议员的平均费用约为51万美元,最高达904万美元。”

循房宁所引查一下,原来美国选举包括总统选举是公开记帐的!简单的说,谁用了多少?钱从哪里来、到哪里去?谁出多少钱?等等,都是公开的,有帐可查。这样,每一步都留下脚印,谁还敢伸出违法乱纪的魔爪?就是搞阴谋也容易被公众揭露。这就从最关键的地方防止那些用金钱影响、控制选举行为的出现。至于有的被选举人看上去花费很大,不会不引人注目,自然可能成为重点清查对象。查出问题了,不光灰溜溜走人还要受法律制裁。查不出问题,因为选举是一个社会中最重要的大规模活动,好比拍电影,不可能不耗费钱,数量上高一些低一些大概也是题中之义,人们只得承受。

因此,一个国家,也不管几党制,发不发生”房宁现象”就看它如何实行类似的制度了。实行得好,发生”房宁现象”的机会就少,实行得不好,发生的机会就多。无论如何,实行比不实行好,实行了,会渐渐从坏到好,不实行,”房宁现象”就必然发生。房宁文中提到有一些输入民主制度的国家出现问题,一定与实行得还不怎么好有关系。房宁没有点那些国家的名,不知指哪几个?我们可以统计一下,实际上,多数国家特别如捷克、波兰等东欧国家,确是越做越好的。

具体到中国的情况,房宁先生能否回答一下:选一个中国国家主席前前后后要用多少钱?有没有地方可以公开地查到这方面的明细帐目?这些钱是从哪里来的?出钱的人是自愿的吗?他们同意钱的用法吗?

这些问题,房宁肯定回答不出。假如有答案的话,那早就应该公开了。我们面对的冷酷的事实是:中国不但不实行选举公开记帐制度,而且根本就没有这样的制度!至于中国的”房宁现象”,已经发展到一种极端状态,掌握资源的集团,何止是经济的资源,还掌握政、军、警、法、教育、舆论工具等所有可能的资源,把社会舆论与公众认知影响到如此之地步:在中国,选举等同虚设,实际上选举可有可无!

难道作为专家的房宁看不出自己发现的”房宁现象”就发生在身边吗?答案是:他本人就是中国”房宁现象”产下的怪胎,他手里拿着放大镜是专门去看外国”房宁现象”的。这一次文章露了破绽,让我们一窥中国真相。 (2009.2.12改)

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                    附房宁文:我国决不能搞西方的多党制

多党制是西方资本主义政治制度的重要组成部分。西方资本主义国家大多由两个或多个资产阶级政党,通过竞选轮流执政。从表面上看,这似乎是一种体现了人民选择的民主制度。而实际上,这种制度并没有改变西方资本主义国家政权是由占统治地位的资产阶级尤其是其中的大资本集团控制的实质。

在西方多党制度下,依然是私人资本控制着公共权力。西方多党制是处于资本主义社会体系中的政治制度。经济是政治的基础,政治是经济的集中表现,资本主义的基本经济关系、产权制度从根本上决定着政治权力的形成和运行。在实行生产资料私有制的经济制度之下,经济资源与财富的占有和分配严重不平等。掌握较多经济资源的阶级与集团,必然要利用其掌握的经济资源,通过各种途径影响进而控制社会公共权力,以保护和扩大自己的既得利益。恩格斯说过:”资产阶级的力量全部取决于金钱,所以他们要取得政权就只有使金钱成为人在立法上的行为能力的唯一标准。”因此,金钱政治是西方政治制度的痼疾。掌握巨大财富与金钱的大资本集团,把现代西方国家多党竞争与选举演化为一场按商业规则运作的政治推销活动,通过对竞选规则的控制,通过媒体的运作、炒作,控制公众的信息接受,广泛而深刻地影响社会舆论与公众认知,进而影响选民的选择,最终取得竞选的胜利。据美国联邦选举委员会2004年12月14日公布的报告显示,2004年竞选一名参议院议员的平均费用约为251万美元,最高达3148万美元;竞选一名众议院议员的平均费用约为51万美元,最高达904万美元。试想,没有大资本集团的资金支持,怎能进行权力的角逐?不依靠金钱的力量,又怎能在角逐中取胜?在西方资本主义制度下,无论哪个政党上台执政,实际上都是代表资产阶级和大资本集团的政治力量控制国家政权。多党竞争具有扩大社会分歧的倾向,不利于社会和谐稳定。多党竞争必然要争夺选民,争夺选民首先要”切割”选民,将选民的利益分歧公开化、对立化,从而形成竞争党派各自的政治基础。加之在多党制度下,各个政党以夺得或控制政权为唯一目标和根本价值,在权力争夺中不择手段、相互攻讦,结果必然是形成扩大和深化社会分歧的政治机制。这一缺陷在西方国家处于工业化社会转型期时表现得尤为突出。更值得注意的是,西方国家竭力向发展中国家输出的多党竞争的”民主制度”,在许多发展中国家造成了严重后果,使不少本来已经迈向工业化、现代化的发展中国家陷入长期的社会纷争,更使一些国家内战频发、民不聊生。造成这种不幸局面的重要原因就是,处于工业化、现代化进程中的发展中国家大多处于社会矛盾的多发期、易发期,而从西方输入的多党制造成了社会矛盾的显化、激化,成为这些国家社会矛盾升级的导火索和加油站。这是造成当今世界上许多发展中国家长期动荡不宁的重要原因之一。

我国决不能搞西方的多党制,而必须走中国特色社会主义政治发展道路。现阶段,我国正处于实现社会主义现代化和中华民族伟大复兴的关键阶段,也正处于发展的”黄金期”与社会矛盾的”凸显期”。在这个时期,各种人民内部矛盾伴随着因社会快速发展而出现的社会不平衡大量产生、发生。当前,中国人民的最大利益、根本利益是团结一致、抓住机遇、实现发展。为此,需要把人民内部的利益分歧与矛盾控制在最小的范围,使之不影响大局。在这种情况下,我国决不能搞西方的多党制,决不能走一些发展中国家的错误道路,因为那是取乱之道、取祸之道。我国需要的是从本国实际出发,汲取世界各国的经验教训,走出一条自己的政治发展道路。事实上,我国已经找到并走上了一条正确的政治发展道路–中国特色社会主义政治发展道路。首先,这条道路有利于形成反映中国人民整体利益、长远利益和根本利益的方针政策。在我国,执政的中国共产党不是任何一个利益集团的代表,而是中国各族人民共同的代表,因而能够根据中国社会发展的客观条件和要求,正确把握全中国人民的根本利益,制定出正确的方针政策,努力做到使全社会、全民族利益的最大化。其次,这条道路有利于统筹兼顾各方利益。中国的人民代表大会制度、中国共产党领导的多党合作和政治协商制度、民族区域自治制度以及基层群众自治制度等,在运行中既能够反映人民群众中不同群体的意见和呼声,又能够从全局出发将人民群众的各种意见集中综合起来,使国家的法律与政策能够兼顾各方利益,妥善化解人民内部矛盾,最大限度地协调人民内部的局部利益、个别利益与整体利益、根本利益。

相关链接:

中共专家:中国绝不搞多党制 http://my.cnd.org/modules/wfsection/article.php?articleid=21790

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