Penn Wealth Publishing

2015.01.25 Journal of Wealth & Success Vol 3 Issue 4

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January 25, 2015 wealth & success volume 3 issue 4 15 wealth & success Copyright 2015. All Rights Reserved. weekly business rePort Global Strategy to live like they want to in retirement, yet 40% said they have either stopped saving or greatly reduced their saving due to financial constraints. The angst is global, with about one quarter of those surveyed expecting their living stand- ards to decline as they travel through retirement. With the aging workforce on the continent, many Europeans are coming to grips with the limita- tions of a publicly-financed retirement system. If Americans have an edge in that regard, it is due to the fact that most in this country gave up hope years ago on recouping the money they put into the social security system. Perhaps the most disconcerting aspect of the HSBC study is the fact that most members of the target group could not quantify the dollar amount they should take into retirement to assure a good quality of life. Penn Wealth can help you deter- mine the amount you need in "The Vault" by the time you move into your next phase in life. Email us—we would love to put our experience to work for you on your journey. Global Strategy: Venezuela a marXist regime and Plummeting oil Prices—not american involvement—is crushing venezuela You have to (almost) feel for the poor little Marxist schlub leader of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro. After all, he is just trying to carry the torch passed on to him from his dead Marxist mentor, Hugo Chavez. The ultra-poor residents hanging course) have state-controlled energy companies. To keep their minions happy, they have imposed price controls on gas, food items, and nearly all other consumer goods. This means that they are unable to absorb the shock as commodity prices fall and infla- tion skyrockets. Somehow, all of this will be America's fault once again. As this argument becomes a harder pill to swallow, however, more and more citi- zens are becoming comfortable with talk of economic reform and personal freedom. The entrenched regimes are not apt to give up their power without a serious fight, and they have countless community agitators in the poor com- munities of these countries. Eventually, though, we know how the story ends. Freedom may lose a lot of battles, but it ultimately wins the war— every time. Global Strategy: China is mark zuckerberg having better luck with facebook in china? He has certainly given it a yeoman's effort thus far. Mark Zuckerberg, the 30-year-old, $30+billionaire has been shunned by the Chinese government time and time again, but he keeps coming back for more. His wife is of half Asian descent (her father is Vietnamese/Chinese), he is fluent in Mandarin, and he continues to make friendly overtures to the communist apparatchik. There appears to now be some light at the end of the tunnel, even if it is just the glimmer off a red star. But has his love affair gone too far? The most recent charm offensive is facing back- lash, due almost exclusively to what he has told Chinese officials. When he hosted the head of the Golden Shield Project (see previous story) at his Facebook headquarters, there was a copy of Chinese Communist leader Xi Jinping's book conspicuously placed on the CEO's desk. In an embarrassingly syco- phantic style, Zuck told Lu Wei, China's top internet censor, that he bought cop- ies of the books for his colleagues and encouraged them to "understand social- ism with Chinese characteristics." It didn't take long for his Mandarin comments to be translated and go viral on the Web. An enterprising computer geek added a photo of Zuck, standing proudly in com- munist garb, clutching a copy of Xi's book. The photo and the message went viral. China's state media has responded to Zuck's advances with loving adoration. They were impressed with his question and answer ses- sion in Mandarin at an elite Beijing university this past October. Freedom-fighting dissidents, understandably, are not impressed. Hu Jia, one of China's leading dissidents, tweeted that Lu should be Zuckerberg's sponsor when he attempts to join the Chinese Communist Party. It's understandable that the Facebook CEO would want to crack the largest—by population— potential market in the world. But he is fooling himself if he believes users on the mainland won't be highly censored. Is he willing to allow that just to be a player in the Chinese game? Time will tell, as we predict the company will be allowed greater access to the Chinese marketplace in 2015. All that sucking up will have paid off. Global Strategy: Southern Europe greek comedy: Professors running the country; what could go wrong? Fuming over the fact that the ECB actually expects them to pay back the massive government bail- out the country received, Greeks appear ready to show their appreciation by electing a self-pro- claimed communist as their next leader. If polling data holds, Sunday should put the once-fringe Syriza party in power, with its charismatic leader, Alexis Tsipras (pronounced like "Cyprus") taking charge of the country. Until a few days ago, it appeared that the ultra-leftist party would not garner enough votes to govern by themselves, but with Syriza candidates across the board making strong, last minute strides, it is not looking good for the New Democracy party—the current majority party. Syriza is led, in good part, by Keynesian, Marxist, and communist professors from around the country. Many currently hold positions at major universities around the world, from London to Dallas; all are pre- pared to leave their tenure behind to fight for increased govern- ment spending, a "restructuring" of the debt repayment agree- ment with the ECB, and major populist reforms in the country. The results of the election, if Syriza wins, portend bad things for the Northern European nations, especially Germany and France, which have ponied up most of the bailout money for Greece. Countries like Spain, where anti-austerity fervor is also boiling over, are likely to become more emboldened if Greece takes a hard left. There are no easy answers for Europe. While we don't think the euro will be dissolved, at least anytime soon, Syriza will be a thorn in the side of the union. This only buttresses our belief that the United States will provide the best investment opportunities in 2015.

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