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I was just inquiring as to whether or not more people are using online currency exchange and transfer, or if visiting your local bank is still the norm. I am going to be travelling later this year and will require a large amount of foreign currency. I was going to use this website but if anyone can suggest a different site I'm open to suggestions. What I have noticed is that by exchanging foreign currency online it looks like I can save about 2% on the exchange rate. Please let me know if there are any other good foreign exchange sites to check out.
For your reading pleasure & contemplation * Enjoy * UNEEK
Iron Rules of Money By Morgan Housel
8 Financial Rules That Apply To Everyone And Their Money
No matter who you are, how much you earn, or how you invest, a few truths apply to you and your money.
1. Spending money to show people how much money you have is the surest way to have less money.
Singer Rihanna earns tens of millions of dollars, but found herself "effectively bankrupt" in 2009. She sued her financial adviser for not doing his job.
He offered a legendary response: "Was it really necessary to tell her that if you spend money on things you will end up with the things and not the money?"
The first iron rule of money is that wealth is the stuff you don't see. It's the cars not purchased, the clothes not bought, the jewelry forgone. Money buys things, but wealth -- assets such as cash, stocks, bonds, in the bank, unspent -- buys freedom and security. Pick which one you want wisely.
2. Wealth is completely relative.
According to World Bank economist Branko Milanovic, "the poorest [5%] of Americans are better off than more than two-thirds of the world population." Furthermore, "only about 3% of the Indian population have incomes higher than the bottom (the very poorest) U.S. percentile." And those figures are adjusted for differences in cost of living.
The easiest way to judge how well you're doing is to compare yourself to people around you. The curse of living in the United States is that most people are doing well, so your own success looks ordinary. If you want to feel rich, look at the 90% of the world that isn't American or European. You'll realize that feeling rich is just a mental game.
3. The goal of investing isn't to minimize boredom, it's to maximize returns.
Successful investing is pretty boring. Its main requirement is patience and inaction. Most people demand more excitement, so they tweak, fiddle, and adjust their investments as much as necessary to destroy as much of their wealth as possible. If you want to do better than average at anything, you must do something that most people can't. In investing, that means putting up with perpetual boredom. It's a serious skill.
4. The only way to build wealth is to have a gap between your ego and your income.
Getting rich has little to do with your income and everything to do with your savings rate. And your savings rate is just the difference between your ego and your income. Keep the former in check and you should be fine over time.
5. The most valuable asset you can have is a strong propensity to not care what others think.
Most people are bad with money, so being good means doing things differently than they do. You won't spend as much. You'll invest differently. You'll grow wealth slower. This can make you look like a fool in the short run. But who cares what others think? They're probably idiots.
As Charlie Munger put it, "Someone will always be getting richer faster than you. This is not a tragedy." Not only is it not a tragedy, but it's a necessity. The ability to not care what other people think about what you're doing is mandatory in achieving abnormal results.
6. Spend more time studying failures than successes.
You can learn more about money from the person who went bankrupt with a subprime mortgage than you can from Warren Buffett. That's because it's easier and more common to be stupid than it is to be brilliant, so you should spend more effort trying to avoid bad decisions than making good ones.
Economist Eric Falkenstein summed this up well: "In expert tennis, 80% of the points are won, while in amateur tennis, 80% are lost. The same is true for wrestling, chess, and investing: Beginners should focus on avoiding mistakes, experts on making great moves."
7. People are flawed, so a lot of stuff makes no sense.
As James Grant put it, "To suppose that the value of a stock is determined purely by a corporation's earnings is to forget that people have burned witches, gone to war on a whim, risen to the defense of Joseph Stalin, and believed Orson Welles when he told them over the radio that the Martians had landed."
8. Anything can happen at any time for any reason.
You might be laid off next week. You can be sued tomorrow. Or win the lottery. Maybe you'll get cancer. Or a huge promotion. Stocks can rally for twice as long as you think and crash twice as fast as you assumed. History is one d***** thing after another, most of it involves money, and there's nothing you can do about it.
Read more: http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2014/09/26/iron-rules-of-money.aspx#ixzz3EexuXGe6
Miser v. Stunna: A Case Study By Jabulani Leffall
Ever considered where you are on the consumer/financial PH chart?
Meet Gene Burd. He is an eccentric old journalism professor at the University of Texas at Austin. I call the septuagenarian scholar eccentric because he's rich. If he were poor he would just be weird.
This is a man who according to campus legend and local news reports never married, holds his hand over his mouth when he talks so as not to waste that valuable oxygen.
He has no ride and walks seven miles per day to work. He lives in a flat so small if he did the splits his heels would be hanging out of his front and back door. He finds kicks in the trash, cleans them up and rocks them to school. He collects pennies to pay his phone bill.
Funny, because he's not keen on using the phone. Yet he has amassed a fortune on a teacher's salary because he's extremely cheap.
He was then able to donate a cool $1 million to an educational foundation. You can’t argue that his methods, however uncanny, garnered results. Sick disciplined genius or fiscal pathology?
Now meet Brian "Baby" Williams, known professionally as "Birdman," known para-professionally as the "#1 Stunna." He's the founder and CEO of New Orleans-based Cash Money Records.
In his latest poetic opus, he quips, "I got a hundred million dollars and I come from the ghetto!" In a passage from another one of his songs, he says that he leaves the sticker on the Bentley to "show off the price" and makes sure his arm is out of the window so he can floss his "ice."
He spent $2 million on a necklace. Sick price of fame or fiscal pathology?
We all fall somewhere in between the extremes of these two gentleman but often exhibit both traits, albeit on a smaller scale.
The most important thing in money management is not financial wit, business savvy or even mathematical prowess. It is attitude.
Ask yourself what your thoughts, feelings, prejudices, inclinations and tendencies are around moolah.
If you can answer the question honestly, then you can save hundreds or perhaps thousands everyday -- especially in your initial consultation with whatever funds guru you're counting on to help you get your life together.
Sadly, many of us can't answer these questions honestly because we live in a society of instant gratification, a modern realm where we're told we have to have things, where people stand in line overnight not to get paid but to pay for the new, new thing.
The dishonesty lies at the intersection of our choice pendulum.
We convince ourselves we need -- "I need an iPhone so I can e-mail my cat from the train and then I'll just have one topless dance at the strip club instead of a full nude, gotta save some money." -- a good or service.
Or we bargain with ourselves -- "I'll get this bottle of Patron tonight for all the fellas and the ladiezzzzzz, but next week I'm at the crib chillin, not spending any money. I swear."
Worst of all, we chastise ourselves -- "I'm not being unreasonable, I deserve this $1,500 spa weekend on the island of Tu Dahmuche, I never get time off!"
Worst still, when things get tight, when confidence dissipates, when we grimace looking at our bank statements, our pendulum swings entirely the other way. All of a sudden we tell ourselves that we're staying home for eternity.
Some start collecting Hot Sauce, Soy Sauce and Ketchup packets. Others buy one big whole chicken, chop it up and put it in a stew so they can piecemeal for a fortnight. (fourth?)
Wowww people, you don't have to do that.
There is a logical range of frugality that you and you alone must consider. At one end is the self-rationalizing spend thrift and manic consumer. At the other is the miser, the cheap weirdo.
You should take lessons from both and try to be practical.
3 Good Reasons to Give Financial Gifts By Miranda Marquit
Do you enjoying giving financial gifts?
When we think of savvy finances, we rarely think that giving money away is the smartest thing to do. After all, shouldn’t you be using that money for something else – like building wealth?
The reality, though, is that well-rounded finances include an aspect of giving. And, believe it or not, giving your money away can be good for your pocketbook.
1. Giving Forces You to Get Your Finances in Order
One of the consequences of prioritizing your charitable efforts is that it forces you to get your own finances in order. If you want to be able to help your loved ones, pay your tithing, or give to a cause you believe in, you need to be financial stable. If you make giving a priority, chances are that you will need to look at your income and expenses, and acknowledge your cash flow situation.
Just as you need to plan in order to meet goals like funding a retirement, buying a house, paying down debt, and saving for your child’s college, you need to plan if you want to become involved in charitable giving. If giving really is important to you, you’ll create a spending plan that allows you to meet your charity goals.
2. Giving Makes You Happy
It’s hard to make the right spending choices when your judgment is affected by negative emotions. Few of us are truly happy with the way we use our money. That can change, however, if you decide to give. Studies indicate that spending money on others can make us happier than spending money on ourselves.
So, if you want to improve how you feel about your finances, you can try getting them in order and giving to others. When you take some of your money and spend it on others, you’ll feel more satisfied with the way you are using your financial resources. Your life will be happier, and you are likely to make decisions based on positive emotions.
3. Giving Has a Way of Coming Back to You
One of the great things about giving is that it has a way of coming back to you. For the religious, giving has the potential to open up blessings. Many major world religions include the concept of giving.
If you are a believer, then chances are you have blessings coming your way when you give. You might not always receive great worldly riches, but many religious believers feel as though their needs are met when they take the effort to give generously.
You don’t have to be religious to feel the benefits of giving, however. Many of those who don’t ascribe to religious beliefs feel amply repaid when they give. The positive mindset that results in giving often leads to other benefits. When you are in a giving mindset, there is a good chance that you are in a place where you recognize opportunities and are prepared to grasp them.
The organization required in having the resources to give often means that you are on your toes, looking for the right networking and career chances that can lead to improved finances.
While you don’t want to give away money that you can’t afford to part with, there is no reason to hoard your cash. You can improve the world through the application of your financial resources, and you can also improve your own life.
Giving money away can help you boost your finances, improve your quality of life, and open your eyes to opportunities.
What do you think? Have you seen benefits from giving money away?