Best Investments in 2019

With the new year finally upon us, you may be aching to make some significant changes in your life. Maybe you want to start exercising more often and taking better care of your health.

Or, perhaps you want to spend more quality time with your kids — time where you only focus on them and nothing else.

And maybe, just maybe, you’re starting to feel like 2019 is the year you should finally start investing your money for long-term growth. Maybe you have built up a respectable sum of money in a high-interest savings account, but you know that saving cash isn’t enough.

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Singapore’s economy dodges technical recession after growing 0.6% in the third quarter

Singapore’s economy — often seen as a bellwether for global growth — avoided a technical recession after growing by 0.6% in the third quarter, compared to the previous three months.

That quarter-on-quarter expansion marked a reversal from the revised 2.7% decline in the April-to-June period, official advance estimates by the Ministry of Trade and Industry showed on Monday. On a year-on-year basis, Singapore’s economy grew 0.1% in the third quarter.

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Worst week for mortgage rates in 3 years – and it may be just the beginning
  • The average rate on the 30-year fixed is now 20 basis points higher than it was on Monday and 36 basis points higher than its last low on Sept. 4, according to Mortgage News Daily. That is the biggest short-term jump since the week following the election of President Donald Trump.

  • When rates dipped to their recent low, the number of borrowers with good credit scores and at least 20% equity in their homes who could save on a refinance surged to the largest on record, 11.7 million, according to Black Knight. That has now dropped by about 2 million.

  • “The big risk here is that the overall rate rally — the one that began in November 2018 -- has run its course,” said Matthew Graham, chief operating officer at Mortgage News Daily.

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Sterling shrugs as UK leader Boris Johnson suspends Parliament for five weeks

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s office has confirmed the British Parliament will be suspended for the next five weeks starting Monday, after Johnson visited his counterpart in Dublin to discuss solutions to a problem that bedevilled his predecessor Theresa May: how to reconcile an open border between Ireland and the UK, while allowing Britain to strike independent trade deals in the future.

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US debt levels could be 2,000% of economy, a Wall Street report suggests

Total potential debt for the U.S. by one all-encompassing measure is running close to 2,000% of GDP, according to an analysis that suggests danger but also cautions against reading too much into the level.

AB Bernstein came up with the calculation — 1,832%, to be exact — by including not only traditional levels of public debt like bonds but also financial debt and all its complexities as well as future obligations for so-called entitlement programs like Social Security, Medicare and public pensions.

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Borneo for New Indonesia Capital

Indonesia will build a new capital city on the island of Borneo, home to some of the world’s biggest coal reserves and orangutan habitats, as President Joko Widodo seeks to ease pressure on congested and sinking Jakarta.

The new administrative headquarters will be located between North Penajam Paser and Kutai Kartanegara in East Kalimantan, Jokowi, as the president is commonly known, told reporters in Jakarta on Monday. The relocation of the capital, some 1,400 kilometers away from Jakarta, will help spread economic activity outside the nation’s most-populous island of Java, the president said.

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Stay Calm and Buy Stocks

Trade war? Yes. Global slowdown? Yes. Volatile market? Yes. But does that mean investors should cash out and run? Not this top-performing fund manager. She’s staying put.

Joanna Kwok, who co-manages the JPMorgan Asia Growth Fund, says volatility will linger in Asia markets due to trade war uncertainty and corporate earnings concerns. Even with the unpredictability of U.S. President Donald Trump and other political risks, investors should hang on as valuations suggest “decent” returns in the next 12 months, she said.

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Investors, ‘starved for returns,’ flood private markets in search of high-growth opportunities

* Money spent in venture capital and other alternative investments is surging as investors look for riskier, but higher-yielding investments.

* The trend coincides with relatively low returns from more conventional Wall Street investments such as stocks and bonds, and a drop in the number of publicly traded companies.

* “In a world where big institutional investors find themselves starved for returns, it’s not surprising that they have steadily increased allocations to private markets and you’ve seen capital continuing to flow into the asset class,” says McKinsey Partner Bryce Klempner.

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Cybereason raises $200 million from Japan’s SoftBank
  • Boston-based online security start-up Cybereason said Tuesday it raised $200 million in fresh funds from Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp and its affiliates.

  • That brings the total amount of funds the start-up has raised to $400 million since it was founded in 2012.

  • The new funds will be used to “grow our global expansion with our partner community,” Lior Div, CEO and co-founder of Cybereason, told CNBC.

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What is your net worth?

Even if you don’t fly in first class or summer in the Hamptons, this simple equation is an important tool that says a lot about your financial health. Still, most people don’t bother to calculate it. That’s a mistake.

“It’s the first snapshot into an overall look at your finances,” said Michael LaRiviere, a certified financial planner at Essex Financial in Connecticut.

Subtract what you owe from what you own to determine your net worth.

That will give you a good picture of your financial health.

If your net worth is in the red, don’t panic.

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Powers used by the security services to "Hoover up" communications data from most people in the UK

Liberty's lawyers say that "bulk" data gathered by the security services and other agencies, under warrants granted by a judge or the home secretary, can include:

  • intimate data including an individual's internet browsing history

  • which apps they have downloaded to their phone

  • their usernames and passwords

  • and even cell site data that can pin-point a person's location at a given time

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London Beats New York in Attracting Saudi ETF Investor Billions

Investors betting on Saudi Arabian shares are showing a clear preference for funds listed in Europe over the U.S. The contrasting picture may come down to which market offers lower fees and more attractive treatment on taxes and dividends.

An exchange-traded fund focused on Saudi equities offered by BlackRock Inc. in New York since 2015, the year when the oil-rich kingdom started opening up to foreigners, drew net inflows of about $626 million this year, quadrupling in size from the end of 2018.

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Wealthy Families Are Adding Forests to Their Portfolios

long-term bet on growth.

Tom Crowder spent much of his two-year career in the NFL running away from men who weighed upwards of 300 pounds. These days? He worries about bears and snakes. As a senior vice president at Bank of America Corp., Crowder spends most days in the woods, from the evergreen forests of New England to the wetlands of the Carolinas, scouting U.S. timberland assets for people with a net worth of at least $100 million and a minimum of $10 million to invest.

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