Penn Wealth Publishing

2015.01.25 Journal of Wealth & Success Vol 3 Issue 4

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CRS-5 Dragon in orbit. 14 wealth & success volume 3 issue 4 January 25, 2015 wealth & success Copyright 2015. All Rights Reserved. investment intelligence weekly business rePort Industrials: Aerospace & Defense google may invest $1 billion in musk's sPaceX drive Pioneer Elon Musk wants to build a global com- munications system designed to bring Internet access to every corner of the world. And Google, which has a history of lofty ideas, wants in on the deal. It appears that Google may be close to investing about $1 billion in Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX), Musk's aerospace company, to support the company's uber- ambitious plan to build and launch hundreds of satellites into low-earth orbit (LEO) for the pur- pose of delivering the Internet to every remote location on the globe. Some might call it a departure for the space startup, which currently focuses on build- ing the rockets and spacecraft to resupply the International Space Station, but it seems like the logical next step in Musk's ultimate plan to design the vehicles that will take travellers to Mars. As for Google, the company is at a point where future growth is strongly contingent upon building its user base. If it could play a role in bringing the Internet to another billion or so people around the globe, it could leverage its investment ten-fold. The yet-to-be-named plan calls for hundreds of SpaceX-built and launched satellites orbiting around 750 miles above the earth, much closer than the current communications satellites in geosynchronous orbit—about 22,000 miles out. In select cities right now, Google is lay- ing fiber optics cables as part of its mega-fast, 1-gigabyte, Google Fiber project to increase the speed at which Americans can surf the Internet. Right now, Web data packets must travel through a number of routers and other terres- trial networks to make their way to users around the globe. Musk's plan calls for these data pack- ets to go directly into space, bouncing from one satellite to another until the data reaches the one nearest its destination, then return to a ter- restrial antenna. Musk, who holds dual degrees in physics and economics from Wharton, says that the speed of light is 40% faster in the vacuum of space than it is travelling through the earth-bound fiber optics. Considering the average Internet speed for Americans is an embarrassingly low 18.2 Mbps (1 gig = 1,000 Mbps), this program would put surfing the Web on par with turning the pages in a book! Let the naysayers wallow about the $10 billion price tag to complete the project; knowing Musk, it will get done. Personal Finance: The Vault hsbc issues grim retirement study It truly is hard to believe how much a society can change in two generations. Take the concept of "retirement" in the US. Two gen- erations ago, it was a pretty straightforward proposal. You worked for three or four decades, got a gold watch at a party in your honor, and drove the family Packard back to your ranch home in the suburbs. From there on, it was just you and the family, an afternoon cocktail or two, a monthly pension, and a health care plan from the company. Oh, the good old days. A lot has changed in fifty years. The steady job has been replaced by a nomadic work- force. Pensions are all but gone, replaced by the ubiquitous 401(k) plan that relies on worker contributions. And very few companies have a health care plan that a worker can carry through retirement. British banking giant HSBC just released its annual state of retirement study, and the out- look is not rosy. The report shows that millions of workers broke into their retirement plan piggy banks, ponying up the IRS penalty to get their hands on money inside (what Penn refers to as) "The Vault." These workers are now six years closer to retirement than they were at the start of the Great Recession, and many have not made up for the lost ground as of yet. Interestingly, the HSBC report shows the sit- uation most grave in Canada and the UK, where the retirement savings of the study group has been nearly halved since the start of the crisis. Perhaps this is because the workers in those countries believe the government will provide a greater safety net to retirees. 70% of the mem- bers believe they will not have enough money

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