WEEKEND READS: Catch up on the most interesting articles I’ve read this week

There are more interesting articles, commentaries and analyst reports on the Web every week than anyone could read in a month.

Each Saturday morning I like to share some of the ones I’ve read during the week.

So enjoy for some weekend reading…and please forward to your friends by clicking the social link buttons on the left.

Americans Are Delaying Major Life Events Because of Money Worries

A survey quoted in the New York Times recently showed that approximately half of American adults have postponed a major life decision in the past year for financial reasons.

The survey, conducted for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, found that the proportion of people delaying big decisions like buying a home or getting married had risen to 51 percent, from 31 percent in a similar survey in 2007, before the start of the financial downturn.

wedding ring day marriage

The change was striking, and the percentages more than doubled in some areas.

Nearly a quarter said they had delayed higher education, up from 11 percent in 2007, and 18 percent said they had put off retiring, compared with 9 percent in the earlier survey.

Twenty-two percent said they delayed buying a home in 2015, compared with 14 percent in 2007.

The change was also evident in life decisions that weren’t solely financial in nature: 13 percent said they had delayed having children, compared with 5 percent in 2007, and 12 percent said they had postponed marriage, up from 5 percent in 2007.

Susan Bruno, a financial planner and a member of the institute’s National CPA Financial Literacy Commission, said that the young people she counsels, in particular, often say that it’s more difficult to sustain a relationship if a couple is under financial duress, so they are waiting until they have jobs that help them feel more secure about money. “They know the biggest stress on a marriage is financial,” she said.

The primary reason given for the delays was a lack of savings, which was cited by 60 percent of Americans.

Rent-to-buy scheme | The gap between the rich and the poor in Australia | 1 into 4 lot subdivision | A good first impression – does it make a difference to a valuer?

Another great Real Estate Talk show produced by Kevin Turner.

If you don’t already subscribe to this excellent weekly Internet based radio show do so now by clicking here.

Details of this week’s show:

  • Peter Carter answers the questions about the rent to buy schemes that are catching many would be Aussie investors
  • Michael Yardney explains why the rich are getting richer
  • Catherine Cashmore tells us why the rate drop isn’t great for would-be first-home buyers.
  • Brad Beer returns to answer a question from David that came about because of a comment Brad made in an earlier show.

China stocks hitting the skids

In a recent blog, Pete Wargent details the precarious state of the Chinese stock market.

I recently uploaded a 25 year chart for the Shanghai Composite, a timely indicator of just how explosive the stock bubble had become in China.

What I hadn’t realised was just how quickly the whole shebang would unravel!

Note that I make no pretensions of having special or unique insights into China’s stock market craziness; I’m merely an interested observer.

Zooming in the chart to a two year time frame we can see that valuations are now down by more than 30 per cent and nose-diving fast.

No doubt we can expect all kinds of interventionary measures to be thrown at the market with stocks being suspended from trading all over the show.

Yet it’s notoriously difficult to stop downward momentum of this nature in its tracks…

The Internet Makes You Think You’re Smarter Than You Are: An Interview with Matthew Fisher

In the July-August issue of Harvard Business Review, Yale doctoral candidate Matthew Fisher and his colleagues Mariel Goddu and Frank Keil asked people a series of questions that seemed answerable but were actually difficult.

The questions concerned things people assume they know but actually don’t—such as why there are phases of the moon and how glass is made.

Some people were allowed to look up the answers on the internet, while others were not.

Then the researchers asked a second set of questions on unrelated topics.

In comparison with the other subjects, the people who’d been allowed to do online searches vastly overestimated their ability to answer the new questions correctly.

The challenge: Does the internet make us overconfident?

 We’ve zeroed in on access to this massive online database of information as the cause of an illusion of understanding.

Even when people did searches and got irrelevant or no results, they were far more confident that they’d know the answers to unrelated follow-up questions.

So what’s actually going on here?

There’s a lot of research about transactive memory partners.

Take an old married couple recalling their first date.

In isolation neither recalls much, but if you put their memories together, they can re-create a richer memory that’s more than the sum of each person’s fragments.

Now it looks like a machine can be that transactive memory partner.

You plus a search is more than you or the search. It’s just that we think it’s only us.

Plus, searching the internet is almost effortless, and it’s almost always accessible.

You never face your ignorance when it’s there.

Because we’re so deeply plugged into it, we misattribute the connection to knowledge to actually having the knowledge ourselves.

It becomes an appendage.

We like to use the term “cognitive prosthesis.”

See the full article here

7 Surprising Ways To Boost Your Memory

Smart Company explains seven surprising things you can do to boost your memory:

1. Sit Up Straight

Researchers at San Francisco State University discovered that standing or sitting up straight and tilting your chin upwards makes it easier to recall memories, because it boosts blood and oxygen flow to the brain by up to 40%.


2. Close Your Eyes

Eyewitnesses to crimes can more accurately remember details when they close their eyes, according to a recent study at the University of Surrey.

3. Avoid Doorways

If you’ve ever left a room to get something and then forgotten what it is you wanted, you experienced the “doorway effect.”

Walking through a doorway serves as a catalyst for compartmentalising a thought and ridding the brain of it when you’re no longer in the same environment.

This explains why you will often remember what it was when you return to the room where you had the thought.

4. Use An Unusual Font

Reading material in a new font can help you remember it.

5. Watch a Funny Sitcom

Researchers at Loma Linda University tested two groups of adults, showing one group a 20-minute funny video while the other group waited quietly.

Afterwards, participants were given memory tests and those who had laughed scored better.

6. Chew Gum

Researchers from Cardiff University in Wales found that the act of chewing gum improves concentration and memory.

7. Take Notes By Hand

Instead of taking down details on a computer, go “old school” and use pen and paper instead.

Weekend Video: You’re Not What You Think You Are

Blogs you may have missed this week:

Self-Made Millionaires Have Their Eggs in Many Baskets

Property investors should have a property maintenance plan

Do you remember the history of the Internet? [INFOGRAPHIC]

The Fish (or Investment) That Got Away

Nine costly financial mistakes that you can correct before it’s too late


Want more of this type of information?


Michael is a director of Metropole Property Strategists who create wealth for their clients through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He's been voted Australia's leading property investment adviser and his opinions are regularly featured in the media. Visit Metropole.com.au

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