State John Kerry - In America, "you have a right to be (as)
stupid (as) you want to be."
(But too many Americans are abusing the privilege)
Why did our systems fail and why
will they continue to do so? From Paul Volcker
"our economics are based on “an
unjustified faith in rational expectations, market efficiencies
and the techniques of modern finance"
You must not believe everything you think
language intentionally designed to influence rather than inform is now ubiquitous in the business of sports and politics and markets
Why? Because it works.
Be careful who you call your friends. I'd rather have four quarters than one hundred pennies.
– Al Capone
Investing is not easy. Anyone thinking that it is, is stupid
There is no sense in being precise when you do not know what you are talking about.
John von Neumann
"If you see fraud and don't shout fraud, you are a fraud"
“What you think is much less important than how you think.”
There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.
Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds
India is not China (Charles Schwab)
India has dethroned China as the fastest growing economy. Although some may assume that India will face the same issues as China, there are key differences between the two.Perhaps most interestingly, China's biggest risk "comes mainly from outside the country" — since it heavily depends on global demand. But on the flip side, "India’s biggest risk may come from inside the country. India’s economy is much more dependent on consumer spending than on demand for exports. The drop in oil prices has helped narrow India’s consumer-driven trade gap. This means that India’s biggest threat now may be the weather. The World Bank estimates that 47% of jobs in India are in agriculture. India has seen two back-to-back years of drought, further bad weather could mean job and income losses that could weaken consumer spending growth,"
|Company/Product||Costs||Minimum Balance Requirement||Comments|
|AssetBuilder||0.20 to 0.45 percent of assets, depending on balance, plus trading costs||$50,000||Uses investments from a company called Dimensional Fund Advisors, which creates funds that are similar to index funds but don’t mimic standard indexes precisely. Includes help from a human during account opening.|
|Betterment||0.15 to 0.35 percent of assets||None, but people with less than $10,000 must deposit $100 each month or pay a $3 monthly fee||One feature helps people determine a safe amount of money to withdraw for retirement each month. Betterment also offers tax-loss harvesting in taxable accounts and support for trust accounts.|
||Free (Schwab does make money when it uses its own funds in the portfolios)||$5,000||Schwab says it does not disqualify any funds that don't pay it fees to be considered; it does make money this way in other parts of its business.|
|Fidelity Go||No announcement yet, since it is still in beta||None yet||In an employee beta as of late 2015, set for invite-only beta in early 2016. Some portfolios may include a few actively managed Fidelity mutual funds.|
|Financial Guard||$15.95 per month or $149.95 annually, plus trading costs||None||Financial Guard gauges risk, examines all of a customer's investment accounts and suggests funds to buy and sell. Customers can request index or exchange-traded funds, which Financial Guard recommends.|
|$29 per month or $290 annually||None||Folio Investing has a number of “Ready to Go” portfolios of exchange-traded funds that customers can buy in a single transaction.|
|FutureAdvisor||0.5 percent of assets||None||FutureAdvisor will advise on, watch and rebalance multiple Individual Retirement Accounts and taxable brokerage accounts at Fidelity or TD Ameritrade. Customers don't have to sell investments in taxable accounts and potentially pay capital gains taxes to use the FutureAdvisor service if they already have money at those firms.|
|None||$5,000||Hedgeable also offers a Plus Plan with more active monitoring and charges 0.40 to 0.75 percent of assets.|
||$250 per year for balances under $100,000, 0.25 percent of assets for balances over $100,000||$5,000||Only in Connecticut, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia so far. Invessence does the trading and rebalancing.|
|Jemstep Portfolio Manager||Free for first $25,000;$17.99 to $69.99 per month after that, depending on balance, plus trading costs||None||Jemstep also evaluates the holdings in your 401(k) or other workplace retirement account, which other services may not do.|
|MarketRiders||$14.95 per month or $149.95 annually, plus trading costs||None||MarketRiders tells you which funds to buy and when to rebalance but doesn’t do it for you. The company’s owners started Rebalance IRA for people who want more help.|
|Motif Investing(Horizon Portfolios)||None||$250||There is a conservative, moderate and aggressive portfolio of exchange-traded funds that Motif has built. Motif does the rebalancing and is itself a brokerage firm.|
|Rebalance IRA||0.5 percent of assets, plus $250 start-up feeand trading costs||None, but there’s a $500 minimum annual fee||As the name suggests, Rebalance IRA specializes in retirement accounts; their service includes human contact with a dedicated adviser.|
|$10 per month||$2,000||SigFig manages money in your existing account if it's at Charles Schwab, Fidelity or TD Ameritrade. There are no trading costs, and the company trades for you.|
|Vanguard’s are inexpensive and made up of index funds with average costs of 0.17 percent||Generally very small, if any||Sometimes companies stuff target-date funds with their own actively managed mutual funds, which can raise costs. Funds from competing companies with the same target date may have very different ratios of stocks to bonds and other assets.|
(Personal Advisor Services)
|0.3 percent of assets||$100,000||Vanguard is alone among this group in including full-service financial planning in the price. The company is hoping to lower the minimum balance to $50,000.|
|Wealthfront||Free for the first $10,000;0.25 percent after that||$500||Wealthfront does tax-loss harvesting for all taxable accounts and helps Twitter and Facebook shareholders sell their stock and diversify in an efficient fashion.|
|WiseBanyan||None||None||WiseBanyan makes money by charging for various additional financial planning services.|
US economy grew faster than initially thought in the
third quarter, with the strong momentum likely to
further bolster the Federal Reserve's case for an
interest rate hike next month.
Dementia itself is not a disease, but rather a set of symptoms that accompany specific diseases. Dementia is a general term for the loss of memory, language and recognition that is severe enough to interfere with everyday life. Researchers believe dementia may be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Some diseases that cause dementia are irreversible and include Huntington’s disease, Pick’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Lewy body dementia, multi-infarct dementia and Alzheimer’s disease (AD), the most common form of dementia, accounting for 60-70% of the diagnosed cases.
An estimated 4.5 million people in the United States have dementia. On average, patients with AD live from 8 to 10 years after they are diagnosed, although the disease can last up to 20 years. The disease usually begins after age 60 and the risk increases with age. Younger people may get AD; however, it is much less common. Ten percent (10%) of Americans age 65 and older have AD and it affects fifty percent (50%) of Americans age 85 and older. AD is one of the most feared mental disorders because of its progressive and relentless attack on the brain. Despite its prevalence, dementia may go unrecognized or be misdiagnosed in the early stages of the disease.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association and current national studies, there are many reasons to support the early detection of AD. An early diagnosis is crucial because that is when the most can be done to slow the progression of symptoms. In addition, early treatment can have a considerable effect on maintaining a patient’s current level of functioning. An early and accurate diagnosis can also help to identify reversible conditions that may mimic dementia such as depression, medication side effects, substance abuse, vitamin deficiencies, dehydration, bladder infections or thyroid problems. An initial assessment can avoid the trauma of a diagnosis of dementia where it does not exist. It also prevents unnecessary and possibly harmful treatment resulting from misdiagnosis. Other reasons include:
The earlier the treatment, the better the chance of a favorable response to treatment, the longer the delay of progressive symptoms and the less financial cost overall. The early identification process, currently recommended by the Chronic Care Network for Alzheimer’s Disease, includes two key tools to identify people who may have dementia.
Tool 1: Education and Awareness Materials which recommend the use of triggers that signal possible dementia and include the Ten Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Tool 2: Family Questionnaire which aims to collect data from family members who are often the best historians and are more likely to be aware of the signs and symptoms (of possible dementia) that are not apparent to the medical staff.
The Ten Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease
If you recognize any warning signs in yourself or a loved one, the Alzheimer’s Association recommends consulting a physician for a complete assessment. Early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or other disorders causing dementia is an important step to getting appropriate treatment, care and support services.
The Family Questionnaire is designed to help identify patients with memory problems that might go unnoticed by clinicians. It consists of five simple questions:
In your opinion, does your loved one have problems with any of the following challenges and how often?
The information collected from these tools can be shared with the patient’s primary care physician and then a determination of need for further testing or a referral to a specialist can be made at that time.
There is no single diagnostic test to detect whether a person has Alzheimer’s disease. However, diagnostic tools and criteria have been developed in recent years to make a clinical diagnosis of AD with an accuracy rate of 85-90%. The factors used to complete a diagnosis include:
The assessment of AD might begin with a memory screening test in the primary care physician’s office and then the patient may be referred to a neurologist, neuropsychologist, a geriatric psychiatrist or other specialist trained in the diagnosis of AD for further testing. Caregivers and family members are essential to the process of diagnosing early-stage Alzheimer’s disease. They may be able to supply valuable information and validate or deny the patient’s own reports.
A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease usually falls into one of three categories:
Delay of Diagnosis:
Amazingly enough, there is a significant percentage of caregivers who are told, upon bringing their spouse or relative to the physician, that their decline is due to ‘normal aging.’ We now know that dementia is not a normal part of the aging process.
It is strongly recommended that persons experiencing any dementia-type symptoms should undergo diagnostic testing as soon as possible. A delay in diagnosis allows for a missed opportunity for treating the patient and also increases the chances for other problems and demands to multiply for the caregiver. For example, since AD affects memory, patients are at risk of not complying with the treatments that are necessary for problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, mental health disorders and infections. A health crisis can then develop, compound the effects of dementia and lead to emergency care or hospitalization.
Caregivers may initially hesitate to bring a loved one with dementia to the physician. Researchers at the University of Portland found that it takes an average of 30 months from the time family members notice the first changes and symptoms of dementia for the person to be diagnosed with AD. Reasons cited by caregivers were: lack of knowledge about AD, they did not imagine that the changing behavior was part of an illness, they were unsure what type of doctor to see or how to describe symptoms, they felt overwhelmed with the burden of caregiving or they feared that the illness was truly AD. Many caregivers have reported that prior to the diagnosis, they were nearly overcome with anxiety as they watched their loved one deteriorate. Once the diagnosis was made, they felt a great sense of relief and were finally able to name the disease and move forward toward a plan of care.
There are several other reasons that contribute to a delayed diagnosis of AD. Early symptoms are often disregarded, mistakenly attributed to aging or even misdiagnosed. Sometimes people with dementia are unwilling to have their mental abilities evaluated, are defensive, or in denial of the changes that are occurring in their lives. Physicians may not feel comfortable dealing with memory loss issues, may not be trained to administer cognitive tests or are reluctant to place a patient in an uncomfortable testing situation. Patients with high intelligence may be able to score above average on screening tests (despite cognitive decline) and compensate for or even mask their symptoms during the office examination, thus leaving the physician without sufficient evidence to provide a diagnosis. This is the point where caregivers play an important role and can provide the most valuable data to support the possible diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease.
Treatments and Medication Benefits:
Although there is no cure for AD, new and improved treatments are on the horizon and offer hope. Most health professionals feel that the best plan of treatment includes a combination of medication, changes in lifestyle and support, along with a goal of managing symptoms that affect memory, thinking and behavior. The regional director of the Alzheimer’s Association of Minnesota-North Dakota points out that there is a growing interest in the use of non-medical interventions that may be effective on their own or used in combination with medications. These interventions may include memory and communication aids, speech therapy, behavioral therapies, memory stimulation therapy, exercise, adequate sleep and education. The environment also strongly influences the health and capabilities of persons with AD; thus, it is important for caregivers to pay attention to safety factors, reduce stimuli and adjust the surroundings to accommodate the disease.
AD changes the brain in many ways, which results in a decrease of acetylcholine levels. It is believed that acetylcholine is a chemical messenger that is important for memory, thought and judgment. The US Food and Drug Administration currently approves five prescription drugs, yet only three are actively marketed for the treatment of mild to moderate AD. According to Mayo Clinic, these medications are referred to as cholinesterase (ko-lin-ES-tur-ase) inhibitors and seem to improve the effectiveness of acetylcholine either by increasing the amount in the brain or strengthening the way nerve cells respond to it. The top three cholinesterase inhibitors are Aricept, Razadyne and Exelon. They have all been effective treatment options in clinical trials. The other two medications are: Cognex, which has been on the market since 1993 but is rarely prescribed, and Namenda, which is the first drug approved by the FDA to treat moderate to severe dementia and may be co-prescribed with cholinesterase inhibitors. Treatment with medications has revealed delays in nursing home placements and improvements in cognition and functional abilities in many patients with AD.
Doctors usually start patients on a low dosage of medication and then gradually increase the dosage based on the tolerance level of the patient. According to a journal of the American Academy of Family Physicians, the above named medications have a low incidence of serious reactions but they do have common side effects that can occur such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or weight loss. Tolerance to these medications often develops over time. Cholinesterase inhibitors must be taken regularly and in a sufficient dosage to benefit the patient. Interruptions of the drug treatment over time will result in sustained or irreversible cognitive decline. If a patient is unlikely to follow a drug regimen or has an illness that could interrupt the drug regimen, benefits will decrease and patients may face greater side effects. The healthcare provider should consult with the patient and the family to decide together on the best plan of treatment. Pharmacists are also a valuable resource for medication information.
It is important to understand that medication alone cannot stop the disease and medications do not work for everyone. For those who are helped, the effects may be only modest or temporary. Treatment with medication may help prevent symptoms such as depression, sleeplessness or wandering from becoming worse for a period of time and can help keep behavioral symptoms under control. Periodic monitoring and testing of a patient’s functional and cognitive abilities is also recommended. These results may offer encouragement to the patient’s family and can serve as a guide for doctors, patients and families in planning for the future.
The best evidence of progress in AD research lies in the growth of clinical testing of treatments, prevention of the disease and diagnosis. This alone gives patients and families a reason to hope. Advances in our knowledge and understanding of AD have also led to the development of many new drugs, diagnostic tests and treatment plans. Scientists now recognize the need for earlier detection of AD and are devising new brain imaging techniques and lab tests that could improve diagnosis. One landmark trial that began in 2005 is the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative. The goal of this trial is to determine whether standardized brain images combined with laboratory and psychological tests may offer a better way to identify those at risk for Alzheimer’s, track disease progression and monitor treatment effects.
Clinical trials are the final testing ground for new treatments that are currently under investigation. Each trial represents the results of years of scientific thought, observation, and data analysis and is only possible through the participation of patients and their family members. Clinical trials are the principal way that researchers can discover whether a treatment is safe and effective for patients, especially for those in the early stages of the disease. Trials take place at private research facilities, specialized AD research centers, teaching hospitals and even at physicians’ offices. Taking part in a clinical trial can be a big step for both the patient and the family so it’s necessary to discuss the expectations and pros and cons of participation with the clinical trials staff.
There are two kinds of drug trials available:
When a person signs up for a clinical trial, they are asked to sign an informed consent form to ensure that they are protected and well cared for during the study. If a participant is unable to provide informed consent because of memory loss, it is still possible for an authorized representative (usually a member of the family) to give permission. Next, patients go through a process of screening to see if they qualify and can safely participate before they proceed with the study. Although clinical trials may not produce miraculous results, many participants believe that even if the benefit to them is small, they are making a valuable contribution toward future research. Family members have also found that the best benefit of participating in a clinical trial is the regular contact with the research team. The team can be a link to education, provide advice on the emotional and physical aspects of AD, and offer supportive and helpful information.
The amount and variety of clinical trials underway are a sign of the intensity of research to seek solutions for a disease that robs the mind and takes away the essence of a person’s life. Current clinical trials are available on the Internet under www.alz.org or by contacting the Alzheimer’s Association or the Alzheimer’s Disease Education and Referral Center (ADEAR) at 1-800-438-4380 (a service of the National Institute on Aging).
Caring for a person with AD can be likened to driving on an unfamiliar road, riding a roller coaster or even walking on a tightrope. It can be an incredibly stressful ride, yet rewards can also be visible. The key is to balance your own needs against those of the person you are caring for day to day. Many caregivers find that they are stronger than they ever thought possible and that they feel rewarded knowing they have stayed committed to helping a loved one during the difficult years.
Caregiving can produce a great deal of stress that can lead to physical decline and emotional exhaustion. The health of caregivers is at risk, yet they often become the ‘hidden patients’ while focusing all of their attention on the person with AD. Caregivers need to keep their own health in check and visit their doctor on a regular basis. Support systems must also be alert to signs of caregiver burnout or depression and plans must be made to provide respite to the caregiver. No one can do it all alone. It is heartbreaking to watch a loved one go through the stages of Alzheimer’s disease and caring for them requires an abundance of courage and strength. Asking for help and taking care of yourself cannot be overemphasized.
The Alzheimer’s Association assistance is available nationwide and offers a wide variety of programs, educational materials and support services to persons with AD and their caregivers. Many communities have a local or regional chapter and offer regular education and support group meetings. The Alzheimer’s Association also provides:
In addition to contacting the Alzheimer’s Association, consider care options such as in-home respite care, adult day programs, home care services, delivered meals programs, or chore services. Keep a personal journal of your journey or a medical journal to record helpful information for yourself and the physician. Continue with activities that are enjoyed. Maintain a network of support and communicate your needs to family members, friends, volunteers, and organizations to avoid isolation. Join a caregiver support group to find hope, gain valuable information from people who understand your position and learn new ways to cope with the challenges you face.
Alzheimer’s disease impacts the whole family. Like a pebble thrown into the water, the ripples of the disease touch the lives of everyone. The signs and symptoms of AD can’t be ignored! Early detection and current treatments can help maintain or even improve memory, thinking and behavior problems plus support the quality of life for persons with AD and their caregivers.
junk bonds are underperforming assets that are deemed safer and riskier in both up and down markets.
The last time this happened was early 2000 and late 2007.
Both of these periods presaged major negative market events.
Here's Melentyev (emphasis added):
interesting and unusual development is taking place on a
high-level across asset classes, where US
[high-yield] is now underperforming all major related
markets, Including loans (-1.2%), [investment grade
bonds] (-0.5%), equities (-2.1%), Treasuries (-6%),
[European high-yield] (-3.7%) and even external
[emerging market] sovereigns (-4.3%). The most intriguing detail
here, in our view, is that [high-yield] is
underperforming both [investment grade bonds] and
equities at the same time. Think about how unusual this is
for a moment. If [high-yield] is an asset class that
sits somewhere in the middle on a risk scale between high
quality bonds and equities, then normally we would expect
it to be underperforming one and not the other, as they
would normally move in opposite directions. Figure
2 confirms this intuition – plotted
here are the trailing 12mo differentials between
[high-yield] and [investment grade bonds] (blue
line) and [high-yield] and equities (red line), and
most of the time these two lines are on the opposite sides
of the x-axis. In fact, the only two times we
had both of them being negative were, again, early 2000
and late 2007. Even 2011 did not create an exception here.
In such cases, it’s not necessarily that we have the wrong narrative. Rather, we might need to rethink what a narrative can and should involve. Economic markets are a classic example of what scientists call a complex system, meaning one in which many agents interact with one another simultaneously, creating the possibility for knock-on effects and feedbacks that might amplify tiny causes into big effects. In such a situation, causation doesn’t have a simple meaning: do we ‘blame’ the random fluctuation or the incipient instability of the whole system? When traffic is such that any tiny, chance disturbance will trigger a jam, does it really matter what that disturbance was? Seismologists can tell if a big earthquake might occur in a particular location – but they know better than to talk as if that local rupture will ‘cause’ the quake.
In other words, it might be quite wrong to tell such a story in terms ofthis small-scale action leading to that large-scale effect. And in fact the aptness (or otherwise) of such a narrative can now be quantified. In 2013, the psychiatrist Giulio Tononi and colleagues at the University of Wisconsin-Madison described a very general abstract model of a complex system in which the ‘micro’ behaviour underpinning the ‘macro’ properties could be completely specified, and yet causation didn’t flow from the small to the large. Think again of the traffic analogy: even if we know the detailed trajectory of each car, it’s meaningless to blame a jam on this or that vehicle.
The virtue of the model devised by Tononi and colleagues is that they could put numbers to the causative influences. They defined a quantity called the ‘effective information’ for each size scale (for individual cars, let’s say, groups of five, 50, 500…). This measured the degree to which the system’s states at that scale could be considered to ‘cause’ the behaviour at the largest scale (in the traffic analogy, a massive jam of the whole highway). They found that in certain cases this effective information was greater at the larger scales than at the smaller: the big picture was, in a formal sense, where the true ‘cause’ was located. Tononi and colleagues suggested that the brain might be such a complex system, too – in which case the apparent belief, evinced in some current international projects, that we will understand it by mapping and computer-modelling it down to the last neuron and synapse is misconceived.
These considerations surely apply in several other areas of science and technology, where they should commend caution about the kinds of narrative we spin. Some of the recent debate about the role of genes in biological behaviour probably stems from this ambiguity. Because of the complex networks of gene interactions, it can be hard to assign high-level properties (personality traits or intelligence, say) to the activity of specific genes, even if the inheritability of the trait suggests a strong genetic influence. We like to tell the story in terms of a gene ‘for’ the trait, but work such as Tononi’s might imply that this is wrong – not simply because it’s hard to trace the trait back to the genes ‘responsible’ but because that’s simply the wrong way to look at causality in this case.
We don’t know which story to tell – but we know that we need a story of some kind
What is leading us astray? I would argue that it is our instinct for story, albeit in a very abstract form. The putative ‘gay gene’ or ‘criminality gene’ or whatever becomes a character whose motive is to make the organism gay or criminal – even though, when such candidate genes are examined, they might turn out to encode digestive enzymes or something. This storifying crops up in Richard Dawkins’ notion of genes as autonomous replicators struggling (just like us!) for reproductive success: it’s a narrative we understand, even though no gene is (or probably ever has been) a replicator in that sense at all.
It seems likely, says the literary scholar Richard Walsh of the University of York, that complexity in general ‘resists the tendentiousness of narrative representation’ – and that in such cases ‘there is an important gap between our narrative talk of what a system does and how the system actually does it’. Here stories surely help us make sense of a complicated universe, but sometimes they are just that: comforting tales, not genuine accounts of why things are the way they are.
But how else, if not with narrative, are you going to make scientific ideas comprehensible? This is not an argument about how to explain science at a popular level, but about how to do science at all. Quantum physics has made that particularly apparent. The primary literature is full of narrative devices to frame the phenomena. Which slit did the photon go through? Was the electron behaving as a wave or a particle? Did the act of viewing the experiment disturb it? How did this particle communicate instantaneously with that one? Did this event happen differently in a parallel universe? All these questions refer to stories placed on top of the maths: it’s not the equations that demand them, but us. We don’t know which story to tell – but we know that we need a story of some kind. These narratives of which particle did what to which raise more questions than they answer, but without them the science somehow seems incomplete.
And that’s the real point. We need narrative not because it is a valid epistemological description of the world but because of its cognitive role. It’s how we make sense of things. An inability to render life experiences into a coherent narrative is characteristic of psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia. Text that fails to deliver narrative coherence, for example in terms of relating cause to effect and honouring the expectations of readers, is harder to understand.
So identifying narratives in abstract activities such as music and sport seems inevitable: if they lacked the properties that make this possible, they wouldn’t catch on, because they would seem pointless and unintelligible. Looked at this way, we might wonder if the ultimate intelligibility of the universe will be determined not so much by the capacity of our minds to formulate the appropriate concepts and equations, but by whether we can find a meaningful story to tell about it.
Economic growth in the eurozone slowed unexpectedly in the third quarter, as weaker foreign trade held back Germany and France, the region’s two biggest economies, while much of the rest of the bloc underperformed.
The economy of the 19-member eurozone grew 0.3 percent in the third quarter, slowing a touch from 0.4 percent in the prior quarter, according to Eurostat, trade bloc’s statistics office. The figures reinforced expectations that the European Central Bank would expand its monetary stimulus next month.
Obesity rates for white men and white women remain very close. But for blacks, the female obesity rate has soared to 57 percent, far above the male rate of 38 percent. The gender gap is widening among Hispanics, too — 46 percent for women, 39 percent for men.
The report also looked at obesity in children but did not see much change. For young people ages 2 to 19, the rate has been holding at about 17 percent over the past decade or so.11/15:Wealthy Retirees Worry They May Outlive Their Savings
Diabetic Foot Care Tips
Never soak your feet.
Never apply heat of any kind to your feet.
Never cut your own toenails, refer to a podiatrist or medical doctor.
Never go barefoot.
Never assume that the circulation or sensation in your feet is normal.
Never use strong medications on your feet (be careful of over-the- counter preparations).
Never allow corns or calluses to go untreated.
Never perform bathroom surgery on your feet.
Never wear shoes that do not fit properly.
Always wear white socks, as colored socks contain dyes.
Wear acrylic fiber socks, which are actually more absorbent than cotton as it "wicks" moisture way from the skin.
Never keep your feet too moist or dry.
Seek medical attention immediately if you have any questions about or problems with your feet.
|On The Move|
By Jennifer Bradley, Staff Writer
For a caregiver, one of the most anxiety-causing side effects of dementia is wandering. With this diagnosis, caregivers come to expect severe memory loss and confusion as to time and place, but usually they are not prepared for the constant “watch” they must have on their loved one.
Nearly 60 percent of all people with dementia wander, especially in the middle stages. There are many facets to this unpredictable behavior, and the causes are as numerous as the tactics people have used to curtail them. In the end, knowing an individual’s personality, prior lifestyle and triggers which may send them “on the move” will make all the difference.
Knowledge is Key
If a previous homemaker was accustomed to retrieving her children from the bus every day at 3:30 p.m., and as a senior with dementia, she wanders at that time habitually, it’s time to connect the dots. Her wandering pattern is the reason people wake up at the same time each morning without an alarm clock. Those set schedules become a part of the person. The triggers which initiate wandering are different for individuals. No two individuals have identical life experiences and past daily routines; not even driving or walking habits.
When a man lives in New York City his entire life, and then is moved to small-town Wisconsin so his daughter can care for him, it’s understandable he craves some sense of his former life. Plagued with dementia, however, he doesn’t understand that his neighbor from Queens is no longer a short stroll down the sidewalk. Thus, taking a walk becomes a dangerous wandering risk when he can’t find his friend’s home.
A loved one’s former work schedule also can be a clue to wandering patterns. What time did they start? What time did they arrive back home? Some people believe they are at work all day and try to leave when the sun sets, searching for a way home. They may look for a bus stop, train station, even parking garage. Anxiety might creep in when they feel unable to leave and care for their families. Many times a person with dementia says, “Why are you making me stay here?” For a caregiver, knowing these seemingly insignificant “life” facts can make a day less stressful and more predictable.
The Source of Wandering
As the professionals at Mayo Clinic emphasize, many wanderers are either searching for or escaping from something.
Often, wandering occurs for no other reason than mere confusion. When a person with dementia becomes lost and disoriented after leaving a restroom at a public setting and cannot place themselves, it is a sign they may need additional supervision.
The challenge for them is an inability to communicate where they are, who they are with, and where to go next. Many times a person with dementia may not know their friends and family by name, but only by sight or even smell. Living with a degenerative memory disease is scary. At the onset, the person knows something is different and “off.” Imagine the fear of being in a room of people who seem familiar, but you just can’t pinpoint why. It makes the person with dementia uncomfortable, so they seek a way out of the situation. Factor in loud music or congestion of people and these triggers guarantee a paranoid, very fearful person. This explains why a person who wanders is not always in search of an intentional destination, but may be expressing a sign of distress and the need to escape.
A caregiver on the hunt must consider the physical, social and geographical factors of the place from where their loved one left. If it’s from the inside of a quiet home with which they are familiar, it’s a different story. They may be bored, looking for their job or going for the mail.
As a caregiver, it’s also necessary to ensure your loved one is getting enough exercise. Just as children and adults need physical stimulation to keep their bodies healthy, so do people suffering from dementia. Exercise lessens their anxiety and sense of boredom. Socialization is also an essential component to controlling nervousness, and in turn, wandering. No one likes to be alone.
The desire to fulfill basic living needs such as eating, drinking and using a restroom are all reasons a person may wander. Photos on doors can help with direction and a successful outcome. It is the caregiver’s responsibility to ensure these needs are met; otherwise, the person under their care may take off in pursuit of a bathroom and soon become lost.
A Different Direction
There are many factors a caregiver cannot control,
as hard as they may try. With this illness, brain
function is changing and lessening. A caregiver can
have some influence, however, by guiding their loved
one in a different mental direction.
For the homemaker, meeting her kids at the bus, folding towels, stirring a pot, or engaging in something else that reminds her of her past daily routine can keep her busy. A caregiver can tell her that the children will be home shortly, and change the discussion topic. Distraction and redirection are vital in keeping a loved one calm and feeling in control. How a caregiver redirects is just as important as the task itself. It must be done in a way that is supportive of the person with dementia.
The Journal of Family Practice says this: “Redirection is the most commonly misused behavioral management technique. When patients enter restricted areas, attempt to elope, or engage in problematic interpersonal exchanges, caregivers may tell them ‘You can’t do that’ and attempt to physically lead them away. Handled this way, redirection is often an antecedent to agitated or aggressive behavior.”
The journal offers this three-step approach, developed at Mayo Clinic, to successful redirection.
First, validate the person’s apparent emotional state. (“You look worried.”) This helps establish rapport.
Secondly, join their behavior. A caregiver might say, “You’re looking for your children? Well, I’m trying to find something, too. Let’s look together.”
And finally, establish a common goal. Those with dementia are easier to distract after being treated as if they are needed, and part of a team. (“Let’s look over there where those people are having coffee.”)
Looking for the Lost
Even though redirection is a crucial part in providing care for a loved one with dementia, there are times the person simply goes missing.
In the “Caregivers Fact Sheet—Wandering in Dementia” by Meredeth Rowe, RN, PhD, it states that typically wanderers are found within five miles of their home. Her research also concludes that 90 percent walk away, five percent drive and very few use public transportation.
This seasoned nurse says the first step is to contact law enforcement as 50 percent of the time this sector is the first to find a lost loved one with dementia. Then, conduct a search immediately. The person will NOT return by themselves. Have a search plan. A friends-and-family network is an essential tool to have in place, so when the caregiver is out searching, the police and other people will have someone by a phone who can inform the others out looking when news comes in.
“Rapid action is crucial in preventing injuries and death after you cannot locate your relative,” says Rowe. “Enlist your family and neighbors to rapidly search the immediate neighborhood including yards, sheds and cars, etc. for about 30 minutes. If you haven’t found the person, call 911 – don’t wait more than 30 minutes at the most.”
Also, it will not work to predict where they may wander. As caregivers, knowing why they wander is one thing, but predicting where they will go is another. At this point, the person is lost and has no clue where to head next.
“Most persons with dementia will remain in populated areas walking in neighborhoods, around or in businesses, or along roads,” Rowe adds. “These people are easier to find, although it might take awhile. A small percentage decide to seclude themselves in woods, natural areas, or abandoned buildings and are very difficult to find. They hide themselves and don’t respond to searchers. So even though a searcher is near them, they remain hidden.”
As a caregiver, first get help searching; and then, get moving!
A caregiver must make sure their loved one has identification on them at all times. Often, police or community residents find a wanderer and can easily help by first establishing identity.
However, people with dementia misplace things very easily, including license and ID cards, so today’s technology is aiding caregivers with an extra layer of security for their loved one. The options are growing fast.
One of these options, GPS tracking, is a top competitor for wander solutions. Many companies have developed their version of “person” tracking devices. Some are bracelets, wristbands, and necklace pendants a loved one can wear with assurance they will never be completely out of sight.
According to a GPS Tracking blog (www.rmtracking.com/blog), GPS tracking works by sending a signal from the transmitter a loved one is wearing to a home computer or receiving device. A caregiver can log on at any time to check on the whereabouts of their loved one, and even view a report of their activities throughout the day.
Some devices are also equipped with an alert button so that if the person with dementia becomes disoriented, they can press a button which sends a message to their caregiver via phone or email. Other devices allow caregivers to establish physical perimeters, alerting them if their loved one ventures beyond. The U.S. federal government has even stepped up to offer assistance for dementia-based location initiatives. The program works with local law enforcement, establishing response teams who are notified once a person with dementia has gone missing. These teams are trained specifically to help guide the person home, using state-of-the-art technology and also special communication skills, knowing how to approach them and earn their trust.
Other technology solutions involve in-home camera monitoring and just released, cell phone tracking devices which are linked to 911 emergency response systems. Resources are available to caregivers; it is just a matter of determining which technology is best suited for their loved one’s lifestyle.
Safety is always a caregiver’s number one priority and freedom is their loved one’s goal. It may take a village to raise a child, and many caregivers would agree it takes the same to keep a loved one with dementia safe.
From doctors prescribing medications to neighbors being on the look-out, resources are available. Rowe says a caregiver should not be embarrassed to ask for help, and that “persons with dementia wander even when the caregiver has done everything humanly possible to provide excellent care and prevent this from occurring. It is not possible to provide 24-hour supervision. ”
The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America and professionals at Mayo Clinic offer these practical tips to keep a wanderer safe:
It’s difficult for a caregiver to not feel as if they are “locking down” their loved one, but the repercussions can be a lost person, or worse. Wandering is a serious side effect of dementia, though it may be minimized with a bit of knowledge and practical safety precautions.
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Longer with Palliative Care
By Helen McNeal
November is National Hospice & Palliative Care Month. It is estimated that 1.5 to 1.6 million patients in the United States received hospice or palliative care services in 2012. Anecdotal accounts indicate that many more who would benefit by this care did not have access to it or had to wait so long that services were provided only during their final few days of life.
Considering that 90 percent of American adults live with a chronic illness before they die, this is an important issue. While some manage well on their own with minimal assistance from healthcare professionals and/or friends and family, others may need more hands-on care and supervision, particularly as their disease burden becomes heavier. We cannot forget that as the population ages, more people with multiple illnesses or conditions will require more supportive care.
Doctors, nurses, social workers, chaplains, and allied health professionals play a vital role in educating the public about palliative care and the fact that it is much more than just hospice. Sharing the same philosophy and patient and family-centric approach, palliative care is the broader umbrella of care for those with a serious or chronic illness and goes hand-in-hand with curative treatment. Palliative Care is care that may be given while someone is receiving treatment that they hope will either cure them of their illness or prolong their life. Hospice on the other hand is the intensive end-of-life care offered to patients who are projected to have less than six months to live and who have elected to discontinue curative treatment.
The other role that health professionals, in particular physicians and nurses, play is in referring patients to palliative care. When we explore the reasons why health professionals are not referring their patients to palliative care, many surface. Some of these reasons include the fact that services are not available in their area or that they are afraid of “losing” their patient. The first reason is valid; the second is not, as most palliative care is consultative. But the reason that is hardest to understand is when providers do not refer because they believe that a palliative care referral means giving up on life. In fact, the opposite is true.
As noted above, palliative care goes hand-in-hand with curative treatment. Most importantly, as an article published in The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) in August 2010 highlighted, researchers have found what many had suspected for some time—that receiving palliative care actually helps patients to live longer.
The researchers evaluated the utility of early palliative care for patients with metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer. Newly diagnosed patients were randomly assigned to either early palliative care in addition to standard cancer care or cancer care alone. The results showed that not only did the patients who received palliative care have a better quality of life; they also lived longer, with a median survival of 11.6 months compared with 8.9 months in the group that did not receive palliative care. Since this article was published, other smaller scale studies have duplicated these findings.
There are many benefits to the health care system of palliative care … it reduces readmissions, results in few admissions for futile care, and in general, reduces costs associated with serious illness and end of life care. But, as important as reducing costs is, it pales besides the human imperative to enhance the quality of life of those we care about. And, no one would disagree that enabling those we love and care for to live as long as possible with the highest quality of life possible is a higher order goal.
Palliative care is an approach that requires close teamwork from everyone involved in the healthcare team including nurses, physicians, social workers, pharmacists, dietitians, chaplains, counselors and family caregivers all working together to ensure the best outcome for the patient. Thanks to this teamwork, the needs of the patient and family can be assessed, understood and addressed. And, thanks to this teamwork, palliative care professionals are helping patients with serious and chronic illnesses live longer and enjoy their lives more.
During National Hospice and Palliative Care Month, isn’t it time that all of us who are health care professionals set aside our preconceptions and control issues, make the necessary referrals, act as teams and focus on the best for patients and their families?
Helen McNeal is the Executive Director of the California State University Institute for Palliative Careat California State University San Marcos. Prior to joining CSUSM, Helen served as Vice President of San Diego Hospice and The Institute for Palliative Medicine (SDHIPM) where she was responsible for all of the operations of The Institute for Palliative Medicine (IPM).
At the same time, the World Meteorological Organization reported that the level of climate-altering gases in the air punched through the psychological barrier of 400 parts per million.
"Concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are now reaching levels not seen on Earth for more than 800,000, maybe even one million years,"
Read this- worthwhile
In short order, I will have DNR tatooed on my chest. Should stop a lot of guessing.
"The composition of an index is that it's usually capitalization weighted. So one stock that goes up vertically could theoretically drive up an index and 99 percent of the shares don't make new highs," Faber said. "We had a strong day on Wall Street, but on the New York Stock Exchange, out of more than 3,000 shares that are being traded, only less than a hundred made a 12-month new high. The advance is very narrow."11/11: Down we go
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has cut its growth forecasts, predicting the world economy will expand by 2.9 per cent this year and by 3.3 per cent in 2016. This compares with earlier projections of 3 per cent and 3.6 per cent respectively.
10 Tips to Protect a Wandering Loved One
PROVIDE INFORMATION TO HELP WITH SEARCH AND RESCUE:
SAFEGUARD THE LIVING SPACE – INSIDE AND OUT
REGISTER AND/OR ENROLL IN PROGRAMS THAT PROMOTE A SAFE RESCUE
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. introduced a bill that would pay Social Security recipients a one-time stipend designed to offset the absence of a cost of living adjustment in 2016. Investment News reports, Warren's plan calls for the elimination of a tax break that allows companies to write off CEO bonuses, freeing up the money to pay those on Social Security. The payment, which would equate to $581 per Social Security recipient, is the equivalent of the average 3.9% raise received by the top 350 CEOs, the press release states. Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont is among the 16 senators (15 Democrats and 1 independent) co-sponsoring the bill, Investment News says.11/10: There's a new king of independent robo advisors (Wealth Management)
Betterment is now the largest independent robo advisor, housing more than $3 billion in assets under management. According to Wealth Management, Wealthfront CEO Jon Stein attributes the AUM growth to a 140% jump in new users over the past year (120,000) and recently released features such as RetireGuide and SmartDeposit, which entice clients to contribute more money to their accounts. Interestingly, the average client's age has climbed to 36 years old and about 30% of all client assets are now come from those 50 or older. Despite becoming the largest independent robo advisor, Betterment still trails robo assets from traditional wirehouses like Charles Schwab ($4.1 billion) and Vanguard ($17 billion), Wealth Management says.EFM- any better? Don't know since both use software that is impossible to take apart. But I know neither addresses risk properly and will lead investors to sit and take a large hit like the last two hiccups. If you want to lose another 50% in equities, knock yourself out
should Mom pay my sister for care?
I am the youngest of four sisters. We live in four different states and the one who lives in the same state as our mother, is two hours away. Our mother has serious dementia and can no longer handle ANY of her normal living matters. On this, we all...Read More>>
For Shinzo Abe, prime minister, gambling-themed daycare may become a pillar of Japan’s economic revival plans by occupying some of the 10m Japanese now aged over 80 and so freeing up workers who might otherwise have left Japan’s shrinking labour force to look after frail relatives — the fate of about 100,000 workers each year.
Mr Abe has vowed to cut that number to zero by 2020, and stands a better chance, say the owners of Las Vegas Tsuzuki, if daycare is a genuinely attractive option.
But Kaoru Mori, owner of this and nine similar facilities, is playing his cards carefully. Casino gambling is illegal in Japan, so the currency is faux and can only be “earned” through exercise — a “Vegas stretch” warm-up routine performed to the music of Lady Gaga but tailored to the creaking-limbed or wheelchair-bound high-roller.
The incentive is not cash but the honour of the daily champion’s cup. Before a single chip is bet, everyone has their blood pressure and temperature checked.
“The honest situation is that in Japan we have a rising number of elderly people and there is often not a lot for them to do. If they stay at home alone, they get worse and the burden for the country is ultimately bigger,”
By Jennifer Bradley, Staff Writer
Forgetfulness is normal. Everyone has bouts of it; and even more with age. Whether a name, address or appointment, these facts slip through a person’s mind easily. For someone with Alzheimer’s disease, they don’t return; that’s the difference. The most common early symptom is a short-term memory loss.
The Alzheimer’s Association agrees that early detection is crucial to long-term management and symptom maintenance. According to the National Institute on Aging, “Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disease that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills, and eventually even the ability to carry out the simplest tasks.” Researchers today have hope, however, that catching it early can prevent most of the worst damage to a loved one.
When an early diagnosis is made, a caregiver becomes more of a task manager. A loved one will need help remembering appointments, names, medications, managing money and other simple planning efforts. A caregiver is the best encourager a loved one has. You must be a friend and a shoulder to lean on, as well as an observer. You are the person to go to events with, and help your loved one communicate when they can’t find the words. At some point, family and friends will need to be told. Life’s average days that included what used to be menial tasks will no longer be taken for granted. Recognizing the symptoms earlier rather than later can make the difference in the number of good days and number of bad days in the first stage of the disease.
The Diagnosis Process
If you suspect your loved one may be dealing with more than simple memory loss, the most important thing is not to ignore it. Hoping it may get better, or thinking it’s just a phase, could only lead to late diagnosis if in fact the situation proves to be more serious. Remember, too, that there can be many treatable causes for memory loss not related to Alzheimer’s and the sooner your loved one sees the doctor, the better the outcome for everyone.
With a physical examination, doctors may test a loved one for reflexes, muscle tone and strength, rising and walking, sight and hearing, coordination and balance. Lab tests rule out any other possibilities for the memory loss and confusion, such as thyroid disorders or vitamin deficiencies. While basic mental status testing can take just 10 minutes, a doctor may want more extensive neuropsychological tests done. These can take several hours to complete, but are helpful if the medical professional does suspect early onset Alzheimer’s as a diagnosis. These tests show the functionality of a loved one compared to that of the average person their age.
Brain imaging also is a popular diagnosis option in use today. From CT scans to MRIs and PET scans, brain imaging allows medical professionals to pinpoint abnormalities and also specific changes known to relate to Alzheimer’s disease. These are very important if the diagnosis is in fact Alzheimer’s. Brain imaging gives insight to the stage of the disease, the rate of progression and shape, position and volume of brain tissue. The brain of a person with Alzheimer’s is different than that of someone without the disease.
New Tests on the Horizon
As scientific understanding about the nature of Alzheimer’s disease has progressed, so has the urgency to find definitive tests to diagnose and manage the disease. Certain genes have been identified as being associated with Alzheimer’s disease; but while genetic tests give insight to the possibility of Alzheimer’s, they don’t confirm it. Also the only genes isolated so far have been linked to so called early-onset Alzheimer’s, which is only associated with about five percent of the cases occuring in people under age 65. The other 95 percent are diagnosed with the more common late-onset form. The risk of developing the late-onset form is still not yet understood, but believed to be caused by a variety of factors including environment, genetics and lifestyle factors.
Researchers are also pursuing the development of a blood test to screen for an individual with Alzheimer’s by looking for certain proteins in the blood called biomarkers. The goal of a successful biomarker test would enable doctors to detect Alzheimer’s before the symptoms appear. Another example of an Alzheimer’s screener is an eye test that would act as a diagnostic tool.
Early Treatment Counts
For someone with Alzheimer’s, changes have occurred in their brain possibly even 20 years prior to diagnosis. With an early diagnosis, or even pre-diagnosis, as researchers are hoping to have in the next decade, treatment options can be tailored to a more preventive focus.
In the early stages of Alzheimer’s, a loved one may experience increased irritability, depression or anxiety. These typically are the result of increased confusion and memory loss, but yet the ability to know they can’t focus as well. For behavioral-type symptoms, there are medications available to assist. They can be targeted to a specific symptom of the disease. However, looking for reasons behind the behavior and addressing those may be just as successful for a caregiver.
Many times, the person is overwhelmed, by a setting or even a conversation they just can’t participate in at the level they used to. A loved one will benefit greatly by managing these “trigger” situations. Find out what makes a loved one “tick” so to speak, and avoid those at all costs. Between fear, and then mental and physical fatigue, the wrong setting can set a person into another door of frustration. A calm, friendly environment is usually the best medicine for someone with Alzheimer’s, even in the early days.
For the physical symptoms of memory loss, confusion and problems with thinking/reasoning, medication is the current mainstay. Two types are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration: cholinesterase inhibitors (Aricept, Exelon, etc.) and memantine (Namenda). Current medications can’t stop the progression of the disease, but can lessen or stabilize the symptoms for a period of time in some people. Many caregivers report frustration with the current medications, feeling that they are doing little or nothing to help their loved ones, especially over a period of time when the disease continues to progress despite the medication.
The other treatment measure for early Alzheimer’s comes in the form of sleep management. A loved one with this condition will most likely have a change in sleep patterns and difficulty with sleep. While scientists still do not understand why, they do know the “what.” People tend to wake up more and stay awake longer during the night. Brain wave studies show a decrease in dreaming and non-dreaming sleep stages.
The Role of Clinical Trials
There is a great need for people to participate in clinical trials, notes the Alzheimer’s Association. The group says this is the only way to further advance the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of the disease. There are a few types of clinical research, including: treatment trials, diagnostic studies, prevention trials, screening studies and quality of life studies.
The biggest challenge for all trials and studies today is finding people willing to participate. The funding is available, and a cure will not be without more research and treatment development.
While researchers continue to piece together how and when brain damage begins, the five million people in this country diagnosed with Alzheimer’s will continue to hope for the cure. Their caregivers wish for the same. Noticing symptoms early on is still the first line of defense in Alzheimer’s management. When it seems like normal forgetfulness has escalated, it’s time to take that next step, for your loved one and yourself, and seek a diagnosis as soon as possible.
EARLY SIGNS OF ALZHEIMER’S
Alzheimer’s Association 10 Warning Signs
11/8: And another"
The European Central Bank has said Greece’s troubled banks need more than Ř14bn in fresh capital pumped into them to survive. The results of the ECB’s health check of Greek banks show the top four lenders are short of Ř14.4bn in capital under supervisors’ so-called “adverse scenario”, where lenders must be able to withstand a worsening of economic and financial conditions. Under the standard scenario of what is known officially as the “comprehensive assessment”, the capital shortfall is Ř4.4bn.
How so? An auction works like this. You spot a lovely vase in the catalogue. It is estimated at £700 — £1,000. You turn up to bid for it — or go online or leave an absentee bid with the auctioneer. Mr Tongue (first name Silver) takes bids from the room, the internet, and his own book until only the highest bidder remains. In this case, it is you. With a crack, he brings down his ivory gavel for £1,000 and the sale, legally, is made. That is the “hammer price”. But it is not the price the buyer pays, nor what the seller receives.
Here is how auction arithmetic works. The hammer came down at £1,000. You go to the office to pay. Your bill is printed, but it is for £1,300. That is the £1,000 hammer price plus 25 per cent buyer’s premium (the typical rate charged by the auction houses to cover their administration costs) which is £250 and VAT on top of that of another £50. The item itself is usually VAT free.
If you want to pay by credit card expect another 2 or 3 per cent to be added. You avoid that by using your debit card, wrap your vase in bubbly plastic, place it carefully in a stylish Hammer & Tongue carrier bag, and take it home with trepidation. You tell yourself you only really paid £1,000. You didn’t.
At home, your vase takes centre stage on the mantelpiece and you admire it every day (and add it to your household insurance policy). A year later, you read that vases like yours have risen by as much as 50 per cent in price. You are proud of your good judgment — a pretty vase and £500 in profit!
You decide to cash this in and buy another. So back it goes to Messrs Hammer & Tongue. Sure enough, the catalogue shows an estimated price of £1,000 to £1,500 reflecting the 50 per cent growth in the market value of such vases. You are confident it will fetch the upper end or more. It is so pretty.
You keep tabs on the auction on the internet and are pleased when the hammer does indeed fall at £1,500 (though you were tensely hoping for just one or two more bids). You know that you paid a bit more than £1,000 but the auction confirms it has risen in price by 50 per cent.
A month later the stiff Hammer & Tongue envelope arrives with your account and cheque inside. But what’s this? The cheque is for £1,230. Which is less than the £1,300 you actually paid a year ago. The statement itemises the costs. Hammer price £1,500 less £225 commission at 15 per cent and VAT on top, which takes away another £45.
So even though the hammer price had indeed risen by 50 per cent in a year, you have made a loss of £70. Hammer is a price that neither the buyer (you) pays nor the seller (you again) receives. Premiums and commissions turn that simple number
Home flipping is up versus last year (RealtyTrac)
RealtyTrac's Q3 2015 U.S. Home Flipping Report found 43,197 single family homes and condos were flipped, or sold within 12 months of purchase, making for an 18% increase from a year ago. The number represented 5% of all homes sold, which was among the smallest percentages since RealtyTrac began keeping records in 2000. Miami Dade County in Florida saw 30% of sales come from flipped homes, the highest of anywhere in the country, according to RealtyTrac. Additionally, Baltimore City in Maryland saw the largest return on investment of flipped homes, at 136%.
For About and By Caregivers
CEOs have a lot of money for retirement (Institute for Policy Studies and the Center for Effective Government)A report co-published by the Institute for Policy Studies and the Center for Effective Government found the retirement savings of the top 100 fortune 500 CEOs match the entire retirement savings of 41% of all American families. According to the data, a top executive will average a monthly check of $277,686 over the course of their retirement. The research points out, "David Novak of Yum Brands had the largest retirement nest egg in the Fortune 500 in 2014, with $234 million, while hundreds of thousands of his Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, and KFC employees have no company retirement assets whatsoever." On the other side of the spectrum, looking at ordinary working-aged citizens, 62% 0f African-Americans, 69% of Latinos and 37% of Caucasians have no retirement savings, the report found.
Americans hold too much cash (BlackRock)
BlackRock's third annual "Global Investor Pulse Survey" found that Americans are holding too much cash despite the need for growing their retirement nest eggs. The survey found 37% of Americans see cash as "security" and 61% describe investing as "risky." Additionally, BlackRock says 72% of respondents don't believe investing in financial markets is a way to save towards their long-term financial goals. Almost half (49%) of those surveyed said they had a negative feeling about investing while 23% said they felt that way about saving.
It does not have to be that risky. One simply has to
alter investing after a loss of 10% to 15%. You have to
accept some loss but you must temper the exposure after