Are Free Markets the Correct Answer?

I often find myself wondering why people believe that government intervention is the answer or better, why does the government believe it can solve problems better than society? What makes the government believe it can solve not only individual's problems but society's issues in general? In a capitalist, free market society when a problem arises, this is where entrepreneurship plays a significant role in growing economy.

Progress does not come about with additional government regulations or barriers that prevent others from entering the market. Progress comes from individuals identifying a problem then finding a solution to that problem; entrepreneurs will develop a business around this idea allowing the free market to decide its success. Government involvement has never solved nor provided anything a free society could accomplish on its own.

Long Term Savings Through Gold

News about America's economic decline continues to plague media outlets. Additionally, the purchasing power of the United States Dollar (USD) persistently weakens, yet nothing is accurately reported on how middle-class Americans can protect their wealth. Sure, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal and other financial outlets are available but for the majority who do not understand investing principles this is not the correct path to protect their capital. Furthermore, putting a portion of income into a savings account is not the correct answer either as it is earning a negative interest rate in relation to inflation; meaning purchasing power is being reduced. Historical data has demonstrated that silver and gold are an asset that will act as a hedge against inflation over the long run.

Turkish ETF by iShares: TUR

This ETF allows those who seek investment opportunities in the emerging market a rare opportunity, exposure to a top growing economy within the $5,000 to $25,000 per capita GDP range. The pros and cons with Turkey is its location to an unstable region. Do the potential returns associated with this investment outweigh the risks of being near the Middle East? First, I want to discuss the reasons why investing in Turkey is an exception investment with long term returns.

Nigerian ETF Launched by Global-X Funds: NGE

Earlier this month Global-X Funds offered their first single country ETF, NGE (Nigeria). This ETF allows those who seek investment opportunities in the frontier market a rare opportunity, early exposure to a rapidly growing economy. However, as most Americans know, Africa is strife with problems and Nigeria is no exception. Do the potential returns associated with this investment outweigh the risks? First, I want to explore the reasons why investing in Nigeria is a solid investment with long term returns.

Microfinance Follow-Up

Last week I posted a piece about the career benefits of utilizing outside the box finance jobs, to distinguish yourself from your peers. This week I wanted to provide a follow-up to some questions that were posed in the comments, hopefully being able to provide more insight into the microfinance field. Admittedly information about career benefits after a stint in microfinance are essentially non-existent. However, there were many interesting articles involving the life changing effects seeing the benefits of microfinance, that were able to spark a few ideas.

Do Microfinance Opportunities Provide Anything Valuable?

Students are constantly working to distinguish themselves from their peers in order to land that coveted entry level position at an Investment Bank, conducting Equity Research or performing Private Wealth Management. Yet these individuals are all performing the same tasks just slightly better than one another. Why not take that motivation and apply to another aspect of finance that would make your application stand-out? Many options exist but I would like to point out just one: entry level positions at a microfinance institution in a developing county.

The Failures That Lie With Socialized Medicine

Lately there have been numerous articles dedicated to how Obamacare is going to be received by businesses throughout the country. However, little attention has been given to how people will be affected by this small step towards socialized medicine. While eating dinner at a local grilled chicken restaurant in Adana, Turkey this week I struck up a conversation with the owner's son; a married man in his 30s who had recently moved back from Vancouver, Canada.

The secondary reason he moved back, the first being to help his father run their three restaurants, was due to the freedom of choice in healthcare Turkey offered. Over the course of dinner he proceeded to tell me his story about opening and running a highly successful carpentry business in Vancouver. During this time he obtained dual citizenship, allowing him and his wife to finally start their family with a peace of mind. However, Mother Nature did not oblige as his wife had two miscarriages.

The Complexity of Simplicity

Recently I have been told that it takes only endurance, not any disenable talent to be considered a runner or an investment banker. This forced me to think about how the simplest concepts are often in fact highly complex. First, let me state that I am not an investment banker, I am a runner. Most runners barely envision themselves going beyond three miles, the few that do train for half or full marathon, believing this is the pinnacle of running. Do not get me wrong, reaching these distances requires an immense amount of training and discipline. However, for those of us who have been cursed to never be satisfied with the status quo there are ultra-marathons; races covering distances from 50km to 100 mile and further, taking place on single track trails through mountainous terrain.

Finding Happiness Outside of Finance

Finding happiness in our lives is a state of mind we all seek, yet we often uncover that it is difficult to truly achieve this mental state. Culture has dictated that to truly be happy with must first be financially secure. This is true to a certain extent however what is the proper amount we need to be financially secure? Determining the correct amount is obviously a personal choice but understanding what brings you happiness will allow a more accurate number that is actually attainable.

However, the first obstacle we confront is establishing the moments in life that made us truly happy. Studies have shown that family, travel (experiences) and philanthropy create lasting happiness. These are quite simple to understand and accept however many of us still seek to earn more money thinking it will make us happier even though family, travel and philanthropy can occur on a decent income e.g., $45,000. The question then remains,what drives us to work longer hours in order to earn a larger paycheck?

The Pursuit of American Economic Growth Outside Our Borders

The United States and two member nations of NATO have been deployed to Turkey providing defensive aid due to the conflict in Syria. Even though the United States already has a military presence in Turkey, this increase in troop activity is dictating a clear movement towards American imperialism within the region. Due to the increase of western military personnel, anti-western [American] protests have been occurring at a greater rate. While it is true the Turkish government asked NATO for aid during this delicate situation, it must also be noted that governments have long stopped answering to its citizens.

Occupying a nation with military personnel is not how the United States became a hegemonic power. All empires that have stretched their militaries thin by occupying nations far beyond their borders fell. Evidence is seen from the Greeks to the British yet political leaders believe they are far more intelligent than those who preceded them. This arrogance will lead to America's downfall while China slowly takes the reins. More importantly, as the United States continues to occupy the Middle East creating more enemies in already unapologetic region.

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