India in The 21st Century

India and The 21st Century

First Published: May 1, 2010

India is one of the oldest civilizations on Earth. Going back 5,000 years, there has been organized civilizations living on the Indian subcontinent. Through all this time, India has had an immense impact on our civilization. It was in India where Buddhism first came into being, as did the Hindu religion. In addition, India was as far as Alexander the Great reached before turning back his army and India gave us two of the most important people of the 20th century; Mahatma Gandhi and Mother Teresa. What does the 21st century hold for this amazing country? Well, if many experts can be believed, the 21st century may be the century where India becomes a superpower.

Many publications and academic papers cite India as being a potential great power in the 21st century but there are many challenges facing the country. Many consider India to be the underdog in becoming a superpower because of these challenges. First of all, most consider China an emerging superpower, but China is several decades ahead of India in several regards and the average Chinese individual has a better life than the average Indian individual. Other problems that relate to India include immense rural poverty, slums that are often full of disease, corruption and the huge maternal mortality rates that exist within the India subcontinent.

Another problem with India attaining the superpower label in the 21st century is that there are a lot of Indians leaving the country, in massive numbers, which is something that China is also suffering from.

This doesn’t mean that the country is not making headway. For one thing, the caste system which has existed for centuries is being dismantled to allow more upward momentum within the country, allowing more to live the lives they have always dreamed of. In addition, the country, unlike China, is completely democratic and is the world’s largest democracy.

Will India become a superpower on the scale of China, Russia, the European Union or the United States in the 21st century? Well, most likely it will not occur within the first 50 years of the century. As the century draws to a close, there is a chance that the country may be able to move more towards becoming a superpower. This does not mean that India will not be important. It will be highly influential in the 21st century and will probably find its way into the upper echelon of countries at the United Nations. The country also has a very successful professional class of people and more and more people are coming out of poverty within the country. The relationship of India with Pakistan is also a problem as both countries are nuclear states and there may be the demand by many other countries that for the country to join the superpowers of the world, some sort of peaceful resolution over the Kashmir region between India and Pakistan must be reached.

India is going to be a powerful country, without a doubt, in the 21st century. Will it be a superpower? Not for many years to come.

Is A Dawn Journal The Best Personal Finance Blog?

Is A Dawn Journal The Top Personal Finance Blog?

First Published: May 4, 2010

Is it possible to rank a personal finance blog or website “The Best” based on its traffic or content? I don’t know how many personal finance blogs exist today on the Internet; however, I do know that there are roughly 130 million blogs live these days and this number will only grow in the future. Among the total number of blogs, even if only a few percentages are personal finance blogs, that makes the total number of financial blogs a significant big number. And claiming one particular blog, such as A Dawn Journal to be “The Best Personal Finance Blog or Website” or “The Top Personal Finance Blog or website” would be preposterous. However, I would not hesitate to claim A Dawn Journal to be a very “different kind of personal finance blog or website” and I can claim that with confidence.

Here are some facts that make ADJ fairly distinguishable from its peers, different from any other financial blogs. Let’s go over some of these facts:

o You will come across many personal finance blogs these days; however, you will hardly come across situations in which the authors of these blogs have both education and work- related financial background. I come from both an educational and work-related strong financial background. My extensive education, training and experience have enabled me to develop the knowledge and skills required to write this and many other blogs.

o Most other financial sites have something in common – they are for professional investors; hardly will you find a personal finance blog which is easy to absorb and written in clear and simple English for regular and simple readers who are trying to enhance personal finance knowledge to build a secure financial future – just like you.

o Repetition of subjects is what you will find in many other personal finance blogs. How many times you can read articles in same subjects over and over? Do you really want to hold an MBA on TFSA account, discount brokerage ratings, ins and outs of smith maneuvering, how to do wash trading in your brokerage account and so on?

o I try to balance articles on ADJ on a variety of topics ranging across a wide array of subjects. You will come across articles from different viewpoints and every walk of life. The reason I do this? I would like to keep you informed and entertained without boring you and keeping things simple.

o I am one of the few financial bloggers who is also a Financial Author, an Internet Entrepreneur, and a full time Analyst at a Canadian Wealth Management Corp. trying to achieve my goal of living a Dot Com Lifestyle. My interest varies on a broad range of topics from International Real Estate to Green Living. I own lots of domains and many websites. At the end of this post, I will give you a list of my sites for which I write and update manually by myself.

After considering all the facts I presented above, it is up to you to see A Dawn Journal as the best or top personal finance blog or website, a different financial blog, or the worst personal finance blog ever. Regardless of what you think of ADJ, I appreciate your time for reading A Dawn Journal and hope to see you again.

Australia Travel Blog: Sydney City Tour Harbour Cruise

Sydney Travel Blog: Part 7 – Sydney Harbour Lunch Cruise

Australia Travel Blog: Sydney City Tour | Bondi Beach

2-Day Combo: Sydney City Tour + Sydney Harbour Lunch Cruise and Blue Mountains Day Trip

We lost 2 tour mates on our way to Sydney Harbour Cruise; the couple failed to show up to catch the bus at the designated time. The tour operator called them and looked for them for a couple of minutes and then started the bus, leaving them behind.

Our next stop and last tour for day 1 is the Sydney Harbour Cruise. The cruise will be two hours with lunch provided.

The Cruise boat left from the marina in downtown Sydney. I found the boat in very good condition and it had 3 levels. The middle level was where all the tables were arranged for the lunch and that’s where I settled in. I got acquainted with some other travelers, so we all sat together.

The specious catamaran had lots of sitting space on the deck, but due to sun and humidity I stayed inside. I went up on deck a few times to get pictures and videos.

The boat passed some of Sydney Harbour’s top landmarks such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Sydney Opera House, Fort Denison, Shark Island, and Sydney Harbour’s coastal residential areas.

About 15-20 minutes after leaving the downtown harbour area, I noticed lots of nice and upscale condos and houses nested along the coastline of Sydney. These homeowners have access to the ocean within a few steps from their home and a nice ocean view. There are a lot of foreign buyers, especially Chinese investors, snapping up real estate in Sydney, driving up the prices. I remembered not seeing residential housing in Auckland Harbour area.

Lunch was buffet style. There were plenty of items to choose from, including seafood. I chose rice, beef, mashed potatoes, broccoli, green beans, and salad. I ended my lunch with fruit salad and tiramisu.

What Is The International Monetary Fund (IMF)

The International Monetary Fund (IMF)

First Published: May 8, 2010

Whether you know it or not, there is an organization that has a huge impact on your life and while you probably have heard of it, you may not truly realize all that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) does for you. The IMF is an international organization that looks over the global financial system by applying the policies of macroeconomics to the countries that are members of the Fund. This includes overseeing the exchange rates of countries, as well as the balance of payments within these countries.

The IMF was formed with the objective of stabilizing international exchange rate, while also helping countries develop financially through liberalized economic policies as well as providing loans, aid and restructuring finances. In addition, the IMF offers leveraged loans to poorer countries in order to help them out.

Headquartered out of Washington D.C., the IMF was formed in July of 1944 by the 45 original members during the United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference at the Mount Washington Hotel in New Hampshire. Everything was officially organized on December 27, 1945 when the first 29 countries signed the Articles of Agreement. During the Second World War, the world’s finances were in a chaotic state and it was the purpose of the IMF to help aid in the reconstruction of the international payment system of the world, as well as stabilize the exchange rates that were fluctuating widely at the time. At the time, countries would contribute into a pool that they could temporarily borrow from.

The IMF currently has 186 countries in its membership which work together to create global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, while reducing poverty, in the words of the IMF itself.

All UN member states, with the exception of Taiwan, North Korea, Cuba, Andorra, Monaco, Liechtenstein, Tuvalu and Nauru, are members of the IMF.

All of these member states are represented by a 24-member Executive Board. There are five Executive Directors, which are appointed by the five members that have the largest quotas. The rest are made of Executive Directors that have been elected by the remaining members. All the members of the IMF then appoint a Governor to the IMF Board of Governors.

The influence of the IMF has increased greatly over the global economy as the numbers of members have increased over the years. Many cite the IMF as a contributing factor to the political independence of many developing countries, as well as helping usher in the end of the Cold War with the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Of course, things have not always been rosy for the IMF. In 2008, when the financial crisis was just beginning, the IMF decided to sell some of its gold reserves. In addition, the IMF has decided to implement a new framework for the organization to help deal with a $400 million budget deficit. By 2011, it is estimated that there will be roughly $100 million in spending cuts and the removal of 380 staff positions in order to help save money.

This was not the end to the changes implemented within the IMF. At the 2009 G-20 London Summit, the IMF decided it would need more financial resources to meet the needs of its member countries as a result of the huge financial toll the global financial crisis was taking. To help, the G-20 leaders, who represent the 20 largest economies on Earth, pledged to increase the supplemental cash to the IMF from $50 billion to $500 billion, while allocating an additional $250 billion to member countries.

Through thick and thin, boom and bust, financial turmoil and recessions, the IMF has been a constant that, in various ways, is trying to make the world a better place. The lack of wars between its member countries on the whole seems to show that it has been a success at this.

IMF Website Link: The International Monetary Fund (IMF)

What To Do When Your Home Is Being Repossessed?

Notice Periods – Time To Run Through Your Options

First Published: January 24, 2010

When you are having trouble paying your mortgage, the inevitable spectre of repossession emerges. Financial hardship is awful for anyone. The knowledge that you could be unemployed and not knowing where the next month’s groceries are coming from is bad enough, but when you have to deal with the idea that the roof over your head could be taken away from you things become worse still. Nobody who has experienced the situation of being repossessed, or even under threat of repossession, can ever take the payment of their mortgage lightly. The mere thought of having to move out of a home that you have made your own is too much.

However, there is a process that needs to run its course before a house can be repossessed, and if you work together with the bank who supply your mortgage then there are still options which could mean that you can escape the danger of repossession. The important thing of which you must take account is that banks generally do not want to foreclose on a house. As valuable as a house may be, and as keen as they are to protect their investment, banks set a lot of store by customer co-operation. With other forms of debt, specifically unsecured debts, one of the banks’ main fears is that customers will duck and run, leaving no trace of their whereabouts. With a mortgage, the loan is tied to the house, so the chance of a customer sneaking off with the proceeds of their non-payment is removed.

A policy of co-operation with the bank will serve you well in this respect. Rather than take the house off you, renovate any part that they consider not to be up to scratch and put it back on the market at a lower price to force a sale – all of which leaves them out of pocket – they would rather agree with a customer to refinance the mortgage to a more manageable level, creating in effect a new mortgage with a full term. You may stay indebted to the bank for longer, but you also stay in the house. If you cannot agree a remortgage or fail to make the payments, then the bank will be more likely to repossess. If they do this, they must however give a notice period.

During the course of your notice period, you have two options of any real substance. You can start looking for rental properties in preparation for the house being repossessed by the bank at the end of the stipulated period (either 35 or 45 days) or you can look for one last way to make the situation good. This may include looking elsewhere for a mortgage – which you will then use to pay off the old mortgage in full and begin to pay off anew. If you are able to demonstrate either the completion of this process or its reaching an advanced stage, the notice period can be extended or quashed, allowing you to make a new start and remain in the home you have made.