This Christmas donate that pair of shoes that you , your kid or your spouse is no longer wearing, join this initiative and give shoes to the shoeless ( collection can be aranged)…you can also send monetary contribution via the number 0724695533 and help Viatu Africa Kenya give shoes to the shoeless…..your ksh 100 can buy a pair of used shoes and just imagine the smile that will bring to the face of that kid, that person in the village ….giving is golden…touch a life this Christmas and give…merry Christmas

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Markets Round-Up

Markets Round-Up

Since the global financial crisis, we did see a synchronized response by central banks across the world by loosening monetary policy to cushion the world against a probable devastating collapse. The accommodative policies adopted have succeeded in protecting the world from a protracted recession that would have aggravated the then prevailing situation. However, the pace and extent of recovery has turned out to be uneven and resulted in diverging policies across the world. On the upside, this creates great and clearer investment opportunities in the markets across the markets going forward. Oil Drop in oil prices will be a significant boost for consumers and net oil importer countries. As at the time of writing, crude oil is trading at $61.59 and Brent at $65.04. Crude oil bounced off psychological support level just slightly above $60.  The down move has been due to a combination of factors such as, slow growth in major economies such as China, Europe and Japan, increase in supply due to US shale oil production, unwinding of long oil speculative positions etc. US is supposed to debate on whether they should lift the export ban which will provide a wider market for the shale oil as well...
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All Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholder Letters Combined

All Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholder Letters Combined

Warren Buffet has slowly risen back to become the second richest man on the planet,businesses he bought are making record profits. Warren Buffett is legendary as an investor, but he’s also an incredibly successful businessperson, too-a fact that sometimes gets lost in the millions of words that have been written about his advice on how to buy a stock. I downloaded all of the Berkshre Hathaway upto 2012 BRK annual shareholder letters, turned them into a PDF, and combined them. I think it could be useful if you want to search through all of the letters at once to see if WB ever wrote about a certain company/topic. Enjoy reading about happenings in corporate America, and trying to predict where things will land in the future. Anyways, here is the file: Click to download In addition here is the 2013 pdf:Click to download To get all the letters separately here is the source BRK official website Good luck and enjoy Here are some of my favorite lessons from his annual letters to Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-A) shareholders: 1.Keep calm in the face of volatility. Buffett writes that earnings gyrations “don’t bother us in the least.” After all, “Charlie and I would...
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Attempt at demystifying Currency Analysis in Making Investment Decisions

currencies

Analyzing currencies is not just for Forex futures traders as incorrectly presumed. If you invest in stocks or bonds or other assets especially in foreign markets, analyzing currency movements is very crucial especially in making investment decisions and in estimating amount of money you target to make. It doesn’t take much of decline in the currency to render total return of your investments negative. On the same, an appreciating currency offers an interest advantage and total return exceeds anything the holder of financial assets could expect in the normal course of events. Total return on foreign investments has three main elements: Interest rate differential, exchange rate differential and capital appreciation in local currency. Since the third element varies from case to case, speculative capital can be narrowed into rising exchange rates and rising interest rates. Of the two remaining, exchange rates are by far more important. Not that interest rate differentials are not important, but their importance lies in their effect on exchange rates and depends on perception of the investors. At times they are regarded as major influence, other times they simply aren’t.  For instance, in the 1970s, Switzerland couldn’t stop the influx of capital even after imposing negative rates,...
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Markets round up

Markets round up

Oil Some of the world’s largest economies – the US, Japan, China – are also among the largest net importers of oil. Cheaper and more plentiful higher supply of oil/Energy is akin to a supply-side boost to these economies and other net oil importer countries around the world inclusive of frontiers markets like Kenya. We may now be ushering in a ‘new oil order’ as now US dominated the supply side in the oil market and lower oil prices for year 2015. Some analysts have been speculating that the lower oil prices may be some form of stealth stimulus from the US. The shale gas revolution in the US has markedly reduced its dependence on energy imports and helped to boost industrial competitiveness as energy costs stabilise at a lower level. It would be unwise to extrapolate too much from the recent fall in oil prices of over 25% (between July and October this year). But a gentle secular decline in the real price of oil is not an unrealistic assumption that, if true, should be a boon to global economic growth. Efficiency in and cut on reliance on oil also counts as a supply side factor OPEC is set to...
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Lessons on investing from Ravi Menon (Singapore)

Lessons on investing from Ravi Menon (Singapore)

(This is an extract of speech by Mr. Ravi Menon, Managing Director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore at the launch of Tamil Financial Literacy Guide, Singapore, 16th Nov 2014 courtesy of Bank of International Settlement) Invest wisely As we build up our savings, some of us may wish to invest part of it to obtain higher returns. Investments in bonds, equities, mutual funds (or unit trusts) and other financial products typically yield higher returns than bank deposit rates over the medium to long term. But they also carry higher risks. For the majority of financial investments, neither the returns nor the principal amount invested are guaranteed. This means we could potentially get less than what we have put in. MAS has set stringent disclosure requirements for financial products. We also require that information be provided in a clear and concise manner, through the use of Product Highlight Sheets, for example. But the responsibility ultimately lies with the investor. Every month, MAS receives, on average, about 10 complaints from the public involving the sale of investment products. To be sure, some of them involve mis-selling or poor disclosure, for which the financial adviser or institution is responsible. But there many...
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Opinion: Thoughts on Implementation of Cashless System in Kenya

Opinion: Thoughts on Implementation of Cashless System in Kenya

Earlier on in the year the Kenyan government gazetted regulations that were to outlaw the use of cash for bus fare payments from July 2014 but the deadline was pushed further to December. Since then mobile service providers and banks have launched varied payment systems in a bid to capture market share. It is a move that the government is ideally aiming at achieving the level of success Hong Kong has achieved in implementing the cashless system in the public transport sector. But, I think the whole implementation process is flawed and may face challenges until one of the participating competitors decides to move a step further and make changes within their systems as an anticipatory move. As a participant I feel that they fail to tackle fundamental issues of which I shall discuss some in this article. To start with, the idea is good and we will undoubtedly reap numerous benefits on adoption of the system. Benefits of cashless system pointed out by the authorities and other participants around the world are numerous. The amount of cash that exchanges hands every day in the public transport system is a lot and small commission on each transaction is bound to reap...
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Providing Financial Education is Important for Meaningful Inclusion: Central Bank Speeches

Providing Financial Education is Important for Meaningful Inclusion: Central Bank Speeches

  Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz, Governor of the central bank of Malaysia recently gave a speech that was captured by Bank of International Settlements on the importance conducting financial education to the general public in both businesses and educational institutions. As the government works hard to promote financial inclusion, other problems are bound to arise as financial consumers are likely to be marginalized by market forces. There are numerous examples of people who have been caught up in mortgages and other financial services packages simply because they didn’t have sufficient knowledge on how the market as whole operates or the provider didn’t adequately educate them. Among those that qualify, aggressive marketing practices and more complex financial products can also lead to poor financial decisions at a time when economic and financial reforms are also shifting greater responsibility to individuals to plan and provide for retirement and unexpected developments. Marketing practices that target select groups of consumers often further deprive the broader segments of society from new products that can better meet their financial needs. Involvement of technology and more efficient methods of communication is making it difficult for institutions to provide adequate advisory to individuals The way in which financial services...
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