Scotia To Sun life, "Here Is $2.3 Billion In Cash, Give Me CI."

Scotia Financial & CI Financial

First Published: October 7, 2008

On Monday morning, investors around globe woke up with a little surprise. The news broke out confirming Sun Life Financial Inc. has agreed to sell its 37% stake in CI Financial Income Fund to Bank of Nova Scotia for $2.3 Billion in  cash. Sun Life first bought 30% of CI in July 2002.

CI is Canada’s number three fund company by assets under management. CI is well known for its wide selection of funds, top-rated portfolio and fund managers, expertise in international funds, and  for creating innovative products. CI Pacific is one of the first Asian funds in Canada, CI was the first company to offer tax efficient corporate class funds, CI was the first fund company to pioneer and launch segregated  funds.

This deal puts Sun life on fire by increasing its capital. Sun Life is seeking growth opportunities within the global financial markets. Recent global financial meltdown has created opportunities to buy companies at incredibly lower prices than anyone can ever imagine. Sun Life does not want to miss out on this.

This deal open up endless possibilities for CI. CI now will be able to use Scotia’s strong distribution channels. There should be increased economies of scale and possibly lower MER for shareholders.

One thing is not clear about this deal – what happens to the special relationship existed between CI and Sun Life? CI has an ongoing distribution agreement with CI. Once Sun Life is no longer the big brother, will there be any motivation for Sun Life to act as a big brother?

Ten Tips to Survive Global Financial Meltdown

How You Can Survive the Economic Crisis

First Published: Oct 30, 2008

In light of the recent global financial meltdown, it is imperative that I write a post on how to survive this financial nightmare. The good old days of 2007 are but a memory now and all we can do is to hope that this nightmare will be over soon. In the meantime, here is what you can do to survive the current volatility:

1.   Protect Your Job – Stay put with your current job. A new job is a lot harder to find in a financial crisis like this. Give your boss more than you are required to do on a daily basis; volunteer on a new project, volunteer to stay on some extra hours when required, etc.

2.   Have an Emergency Fund – I recommend setting aside at least six months expenses in a separate account. You should never touch this account unless you lose your regular job or your regular monthly income stops flowing in. If you don’t have an emergency fund, start building it now. This is something you need to do only once in your lifetime.

3.   Reduce Your Debt – When you have debt, you are no longer in control of your life. You are instead working hard to pay interests to your financial institutions. If you lose your job, you will be in a more high-risk position than someone who does not have any debt. Stop borrowing more money and concentrate on paying off your existing debts.

4.   Reduce Your Expenses – Do you really need to have five features on your cell phone that you never use or one thousand cable channels that you never watch? When was the last time you visited your gym? Although your gym membership fees are still appearing every month on your bill, do you go? If you can reduce you expenses here and there for small amounts, it will all add up and turn into a large amount at the end of each month.

5.   Have An Additional Income Flow – Start looking into generating a second income. You can earn additional money on top of your regular nine-to-five job by starting an ebusiness, writing a book, starting a blog, doing a part-time job, starting a home business, etc. I earn additional money from Invest Now and from A Dawn Journal. It’s always good to have a secondary income source and keep increasing it gradually so one day you will earn enough money to quit your traditional nine-to-five-job. Read ADJ regularly to learn more on this.

6.   Continue Automatic Saving Plan – If you are saving automatically from your paycheck or bank account, there is no need to stop it. Continue your long term saving plans. One major mistake we always make in market turmoil is that we stop putting money aside and end up spending this extra money. When conditions return to normal, the automatic saving plan you stopped never gets started again.

7.   Learn To Invest – If you are not familiar with investments, learn how to invest. Asking you to learn investments may sound conflicting in a financial crisis like the one we are going through now, but don’t make the mistake of staying away from investments. There will always be volatility in the market, but when it comes to achieving long-term goals nothing beats the stock market. Research has shown that the stock market has averaged an annual 11% rate of return over the last 120 years. Cash has managed to return only 4% annually for the same 120 years. You may be surprised to know that stock markets actually have outperformed home values by a considerable margin in the long run. Stay invested for the long run—through good and bad times, through market ups and downs. Take a few courses, read investment sites, blogs, and financial books to increase your knowledge. In Invest Now, I discussed how anyone can start investing with $25, and I also provided lots of tools to realize your financial goals.

8.   Live A Simple Life – Simplify your life—live rich, live longer. It’s that simple. Do you really need that latest iPhone, HD Plasma TV, BMW, and gigantic house? We spend our precious life energy on the weekdays to earn money so we can spend it on the weekends. We work to pay our daily expenses, but we end up spending more than we make on things we do not need. So we go back to work to get money to pay interest on money we’ve already overspent. Stop using credit cards, live within your limits, help other people, and donate to charity whenever possible .

9.   Diversify, Diversify, Diversify – The old adage “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket” is still true to this day. Regardless of market conditions, some sectors will always go up and some will always go down. Try to spread out your investments across different sectors such as index funds investing across a variety of businesses, cash, real estate, bonds, cash, natural resources, and so on.

10.   Relax: Don’t Panic – Relax—this is not the end of the world. Avoid unnecessary risks by not making panic-filled emotional decisions. We survived the Great Depression , the 1970s oil shock, the 1980s crash, the 2000 tech crash, and we will survive the 2008 meltdown as well.

Why Are Poor Countries Poor and Stay Poor?

Why Are Poor Countries Poor?

First Published: : July 9, 2013

Although it sounds like an easy question to answer, in reality this is not something so simple. There could be hundreds of bizarre reasons why some countries are poor and stay that way. Also, this is one of the most controversial and debated topics on earth, and everyone can come up with their own arguments. Today, I will discuss my own three reasons to touch base on this.

1. Lack of Specialization

If you look at majority of the poor countries on earth, you will see that most of them are agricultural or are a raw material-based society where the majority of the population make a living based on agriculture or raw material production. If they want to produce these more to make money, it simply won’t happen due to the diminishing returns to scale. It simply means that if poor countries will produce more to make more money, they will actually make less money. This is because when you produce something that does not require any specialization or innovation, producing more without increased productivity will lower its prices – and each additional worker assigned to produce without productivity and innovation will produce less than the person before. Thus, producing more will decrease prices – making things even worse.

2. Corruption

Regardless where you look at, from Bangladesh to Burundi or Philippines to Paraguay, one thing all these countries have in common is corruption. There is corruption everywhere on most of the world’s poor countries, including in all levels of government, police, and the very anti-corruption departments that are supposed to look after corruption. When the government can not guarantee the basic rule of law, everything falls apart in the society. Think of this: Why would be a police officer interested in catching a robber who just killed a businessman for $100? He won’t – because he knows if he tries to prosecute the robber, he would lose his job as the robber looks after interests for one of the ministers. So it makes more sense for the police officer to grab $20 (of the $100 the criminal robbed) and let him go. It’s a win-win situation for all, except the businessman who just lost his life for such a small amount. Find it hard to believe? If you are from one of the top least corrupt countries on the Corruption Perception Index list, you will have a hard time believing it. But if you are one of the worst corrupt countries on the same list, you already know that this is very common in your country.

3. Poverty Itself

This may sound little a bit bizarre, but poverty itself may be the reason that prevents countries from getting out of poverty. Populations in poor countries are engaged in securing enough income to feed their families. It’s not an option for lots of them to enhance their knowledge in education, science & technology, arts, specialized skills, etc. to go beyond their boundaries to earn more income. If you look at it on a larger scale, the same applies to the government level. Government does not have enough money to invest in research and development to secure a better future and higher standard of living for their citizens. Even though if there was enough money, government would not spend it for the benefits of its citizens because politicians are occupied stealing money from every possible resource to buy properties, increase their bank balances, and securing higher education for their kids in 1st world countries. If you look at the high-ranking government officials in any of the poor countries, you will find out that their families and children are going to the universities in countries such as Canada, America, Australia, and so on. These families and children do not rent to live in those 1st world countries – they own their properties and drive high-end cars that even impossible to afford for many people in the first world countries.

What I have discussed so far are just some of the highlights from many reasons why some countries are poor and will remain poor. Actually, this topic can be neverending, as there are so many other factors that can come into play. However, my belief is that corruption is one of the most important factors (if not the most important) that makes countries poor and keep them poor for good. If you think deeply, you will see that most of the obstacles poor countries have (that keep them poor) can be easily avoided if bad people stop stealing money, which will stop the leakage that drains out the money. You can not fill up a tank, regardless how much water you pour in, if there are holes in the tank. It does not matter if you buy new tanks, color the tanks, use better material to build better tanks – because you are ignoring the basic fact, which is you have to close the leaks in those tanks first.

Why Canada Is The Place To Be Right Now

Best Place Canada

As things stand today, there are few parts of the globe that have not been touched by the problems in financial markets – problems which began in earnest over a year ago now and have been worsening ever since. The situation right now seems to point to a global recession which will only begin to lift during the latter part of next year. While playing the blame game is certainly not going to help anyone, there is a lot of blame flying around anyway, most of which is being aimed at the most acquisitive economies, and a large amount of that is directed squarely at the United States. Conversely, experts seem to have mostly good things to say about Canada.

There is little doubt that part of the reason for this is the proximity with the United States, which allows a side-by-side comparison between neighbours. While the crisis itself has been attributed to the sub-prime mortgage lending crisis in the US – although this is only part of the story, and the sub-prime market’s collapse was more catalyst than cause – the global nature of the markets ensures that when one economy takes a blow, the businesses which have investments in that economy suffer also. Hence, it was not just US banks that suffered in the light of the credit crisis, and when the problems precipitated a comparatively small gust of wind, those businesses which were not built on the strongest of foundations began to collapse.

The credit crisis, therefore, may have been catalyzed by what was happening in the US, but it immediately affected banks in the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan (which was already having problems) and beyond. To date it has even caused governments to be recalled, including that of Iceland, which had been surfing a wave of financial well-being. Canada itself has been far from untouched, but the current suffering here has been more of an inevitable outcome of global problems than a headlong plunge precipitated by failure to plan. While other countries pretty much dived head first into the cracks, Canada was slowly sucked towards them before sliding over the edge. Therefore, when the markets begin their definitive improvement, Canada will be one of the first countries to climb out of the mess.

There are so many stereotypes about supposed national tendencies, and some of the more unkind ones seem to imply that Canada is a country where nothing much happens, and what does happen is not that exciting. Anyone living here can see how inaccurate that is. The upside, however, of that stereotype is that Canada tends to find itself in better shape than others having refused to gamble away everything it owns.

Things right now are shaky – not just in Canada, but in most of the world – but this does mean that if you have cash to invest, prices now are at their lowest in some time and may not have far to fall. And once the economic indicators dictate that we are on the way to recovery, watch those numbers climb. Much better to watch it from Canada than anywhere else.

To streamline and minimize blog maintenance, I will be discontinuing maintaining the website (however, I will still hold the domain). I will gradually move all articles from this site to Ahmed Dawn Dot Com. This article originally published on the above website on Apr 10, 2009.

Want to Be Ultra-Rich Fast? Move to Bangladesh

How to Get Rich Fast

I was expecting a comparatively quiet cabin when I boarded my Business Class Turkish Airlines flight from Istanbul to Dhaka in November 2017. But to my surprise it was all full. What I did not understand then, I understand now after global ultra-rich research firm Wealth-X published their World Ultra Wealth Report 2018 report.

Contrary to popular belief, China is not the country producing ultra-high net worth (UHNW) population (those with $30+ million net worth) most. Bangladesh is the global leader and the fastest growing country in the world making people ultra-rich.

Here are the top 10 countries (growth rate) producing an ultra-rich population in the last 6 years (2012-2017):

Bangladesh (17.3%)

Chine (13.4%)

Vietnam (12.7%)

Kenya (11.7%)

India (10.7%)

Hong Kong (9.3%)

Ireland (9.1%)

Israel (8.6%)

Pakistan (8.4%)

United States (8.1%)

Courtesy: Wealth-X report

The ultra-high net worth (UHNW) population in Bangladesh posted a staggering 17.3% growth. The global UHNW number increased 12.9%. So China is not the global leader creating ultra-rich, that title goes to Bangladesh.

The top-ten list is different in terms of where the richest 595 UHNW population live:

US (79,595)

Japan (17,915)

China (16,875)

Germany (15,080)

Canada (10,840)

France (10,120)

Hong Kong (10,010)

United Kingdom (9,370)

Switzerland (6,400)

Italy (5,960)

Courtesy: Wealth-X report

So if you want to get rich fast, pack your bag and head to Bangladesh, which has been ranked as the fastest growing country in the world to become rich.