How women can take control of their money and be financially independent


We were out last week with a large group of women travellers. It was a fun trip filled with great stories from the lives of our co-travellers, recounted with great glee. The average age of the group was 65 years. It is amazing how things have changed for these women.

Many of them had worked all their lives and were now enjoying retirement on their own terms. The best stories were told by the widowed women, many of whom said they felt free finally. Such a sad commentary on how they pledged their lives to their men and family, sacrificing many joys. In the not too distant past, these women would have been banished to the background. Not anymore.

These women were spending on clothes and accessories, enjoying their outings and holidays, and laughing and having a good time. It was a joy to find that attitudes about life and more importantly their sense of self-esteem had changed dramatically. Each evening we had conversations about something, led by one of us: children, in-laws, husband, work, men, and food. Here is what I discussed when it was my turn to speak about money.

First, it is wonderful to enjoy financial independence. Do not shortchange that idea of money that you can call your own and allocate to whatever you wish, for anything at all. If you are employed, set a corpus up for yourself; if not, ensure that a portion of the family’s income is invested in your name, for your use. Not all us have the benefit of pension income, but we must have money that is ours to use. Ask for it by all means.

Second, assets serve a limited purpose. Do not overdo assets like real estate, gold, silver and such stuff. Many of these end up being hoards of wealth that are kept locked or used in a limited manner. Once, when girls had to be given their share of the family wealth, they were sent away with gold and jewels to the husband’s home; and to a woman who could not access her husband’s family wealth directly, the streedhan was her security. Today’s women have their education and jobs to secure them. They don’t need gold. Not beyond its ornamental value.

Third, do not obsess about passing wealth over to your children. We live in times of obsessive parenting. Sometimes, our guilt about being working mothers leads to needless generosity with kids using the money we earned. By all means support your children and enable their growth if you so wish, even after you have provided for their well-being and education. But draw the line at some point, when your kids have begun to earn money. They will do much better when they have to fend for themselves.

Fourth, there is nothing complex about investing and finance. Money left idle loses value, while money deployed to work earns an income or grows in value, or both. Every investment option can be understood in terms of where the money is deployed, and what happens to it. Return is what you get by allowing others to use your money; risk is the quality of that promise to give you something for using your money. Ensure that your money is put to use by scrupulous institutions whose promises are valuable. Don’t hand it over to your streetside broker and hope that trading on the screen will magically grow it.

Fifth, do not part with your wealth too easily and too early. One of the women told us the story of how her PF proceeds were used by her brothers to set up businesses that failed. She was lucky enough to inherit the wealth her husband left behind. But her warning that money in the hands of an elder attracts many in the near and extended family evoked resonance. Many dismiss the needs of senior citizens, and generalise they don’t need much money. Whatever is yours should be in your control, so you can decide how to spend, save, and give it away at a time that you deem appropriate.

Sixth, do not assume that all the wealth you have should be hoarded and kept in a place you deem safe, until you are alive. Money as we just learnt, has many uses and there are many institutions who will use your money for their business and pay you for doing so. Only a portion of your wealth might be needed for your routine everyday activity and annual spending. The rest must be invested efficiently to earn an income or grow in value. What you do not need immediately should be allowed to appreciate. Allocate your wealth between growth and income, based on what you have and what you need. Do not allow fear and misinformation to guide your investment decisions.

Seventh, do not provide information about and access to your money to others, however close you deem them to be. Many in the group had “delegated” money management to their children, spouse, financial adviser, or a relative. As long as they got money when they needed it, they did not care much about what was there and how it was being held. This is a lazy, indiscreet and callous attitude towards money. Learn to manage your money and take charge. Secure your bank account, learn Net banking, make those trips to the ATM yourself, and check your accounts from time to time. It takes a few minutes, but places you in complete control.

Eighth, keep the paperwork in order. Pay your taxes and file your returns. Ensure that nominations are completed and in order for all your wealth and investments. Consolidate and hold fewer investments so that acting on them is easier. Close accounts that are not in use or have matured.

We did a quick round of polling that evening, converting these eight pointers into questions, and seeking yes or no as answers from the group. Sadly, our fun loving women scored too low, the average score for yes being three out of eight. It is wonderful to enjoy the powers of money as a currency for fun; it is equally important to acquire a strategic orientation to personal finance.


Independent Agency Periscope Expands Its Creative and Strategy Departments With Several New Hires

(L. to r.) Rhea Hanges, Jen Stocksmith, Brian Boord, Renae Hermen and David Hahn

Periscope announced several new senior-level hires in its creative, strategy and media departments as it moves to reposition itself as an “agency of the future.”

The Minnesota shop, one of the country’s largest independent agencies, added nine names to its lineup, as people from as far afield as Atlanta and Kansas City made the move to Minneapolis.

They include group creative director Brian Boord (formerly of DDB Chicago), creative director Rhea Hanges (BBDO Atlanta), Jen Stocksmith (New York’s VaynerMedia), creative David Hahn (Barkley of Kansas City), associate media director Caitlin Curran (BPN Chicago) and senior brand strategist Tony Smith (FCB Chicago).

Newly hired group director of integrated media strategy Renae Hermen and strategy director Maggie Summers join Periscope from fellow Minneapolis agencies Novus Media and Peterson Milla Hooks, respectively, while Erik Jacobs leaves area shop Olson to become the director of Periscope Creative Studios, the agency’s in-house content unit.

Hanges called Periscope “one of our industry’s best-kept secrets” while Boord, a former Periscope art director who spent five years at DDB working on such brands as Skittles, State Farm and McDonald’s, said, “I am excited to come back to an agency that has grown and changed into an industry leader.”

The phrase “agency of the future” is not unique to Periscope. But what does it mean?

According to CEO Liz Ross and chief creative officer Peter Nicholson (who joined from McKinney just over a year ago), independence and an integrated, full-service business model are key differentiators.

“When I came here a year ago, my vision was to evolve Periscope from a regional leader to a top creative shop,” Nicholson said in a statement, citing such recent work as the Trolli Beardsketball campaign. Ross added, “We have so much we can offer not only to clients but to our teams by being an independent and integrated agency. The collaboration is easier, and bigger, bolder ideas are free-flowing.”

At last year’s Advertising Week, the two told AdExchanger that Periscope has been able to unite its media and creative departments more completely because its leadership doesn’t have to answer to a holding company. Senior innovation strategist Carter Jensen also discussed Snapchat, location-based mobile beacons and other digital initiatives in a recent Adweek profile.

“The advertising industry, particularly those with holding companies, is playing catch-up with this full-service integrated model,” Hermen said of her new employer. “It was a no-brainer to join a team that’s leading in that method.”

Periscope’s clients currently include Target, Best Buy, Walgreens, ExxonMobil, Petco, UnitedHealth Group and Autotrader, among others.


Engineering college in Gujarat Builds independent vehicle in 28 Days

Sitting in a vehicle sans a driver is probably a horrifying factor for the general public, however it’s in which we are heading. whether or not one may also find it irresistible or not, the truth remains that self sufficient motors are going to be an imperative part of the car enterprise soon. There are already severalagencies running on accomplishing that purpose.

Google, for one, has already started out testing their self sustaining vehicle and thinks that it will beprepared in a couple of years. Apple Inc. is likewise reportedly on the brink of input the market.however there are some Indians inside the blend too who want to peer the technology right here. Sayhey to 2 professors, Kaushal Jani and Nirav Desai from the Amiraj college of Engineering, Gujarat, who,together with a bunch of 15 college students, embarked on a challenge to construct their very ownversion of a driverless vehicle. referred to as Dextra’s smart Mobi vehicle, it’s far a driverless automobilebased on a mobile app.

yes, we had examples of Google and Apple, however creating a driverless automobile in India is a hugeundertaking. nor is the technology available right here, nor is there the infrastructure. So it became alarge project for us to make the software work. we’ve got taken a basic step toward creating a vehicleindependent,” says Kaushal.

Kaushal, who spearheaded this challenge, desired to complete it in just 15 days. In reality, everythinghave been chalked out to finish it in file time. “There are usually a few unforeseen troubles that one faces and the trial and mistakes technique takes a while. We tried our best and worked even on rest dayshowever subsequently finished the assignment in 28 days, which isn’t terrible in any respect, proper?”stated Kaushal.

the car, as one can see, turned into no longer constructed from scratch; so technically it is only apackage that they attached to a Hyundai i10. there may be no precise cause why they selected the i10. He quips, “We wanted a guinea pig and it turned into to be had.”

the car comes equipped with excessivevariety cameras and sensors, all of which can be easily availablewithin the market, for item detection. The sensors, placed all over the car, hit upon movement andconsequently, assist the automobile decide suitable direction of movement, i.e. to brake or toaccelerate. The sensors used on this vehicle can hit upon gadgets within the range of 24 toes. Thegroup believes the aforementioned variety isn’t enough, and are, hence, seeking to increase the rangeto ten ft on the way to make it more secure and higher. the total system for the car cost round 2 lakh, and wishes 3G connectivity, which, in the current scenario, is a chunk dicey, even within the metrotowns.

“Infrastructure is the primary motive why the access of the independent car in our u . s . a . is probablydelayed, however we can see boom inside the eu markets inside the following couple of years. we’vethe information in India and sincerely desirable engineers too, however cash is always a barrier to innovation. we have the Make-in-India wave coming our manner and i hope we can cast off a whole bunch of obstructions if engineers from all over the country pool of their assets,” said Kaushal.

Kaushal believes independent automobiles are not only for human beings looking for respite fromriding. He explains, “Self-driving automobiles can and have to also help the physically handicapped andthis could help them get from one area to the other without any hassles.”

whilst asked if any car manufacturer had shown interest in the Dextra smart Mobi automobile, Kaushalreplied within the bad, however stated that he’s anticipating a surge in enquiries quickly. smart cars are the future, and even though this vehicle would possibly appear like a crude version, it is a baby step tosome thing in reality bigger.

The Independent newspaper dies as it was born – in the white heat of technology

The Independent newspaper dies as it was born – in the white heat of technology
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Sunday, bloody Sunday: things began to go wrong for The Independent when the decision was made in 1990 to publish a Sunday edition. From the outset, it haemorrhaged money. And Murdoch dealt a second debilitating blow when he cut the price of competitor The Times. Revenue evaporated, and the Indy titles never truly recovered.

Perhaps the British media’s most regular topic of idle speculation in recent years, the question of how long the Independent newspapers could soldier on for has been answered emphatically by the news that the papers are to cease printing in March and become an online-only operation, with the loss of many jobs.

I was one of the journalists that launched the Independent in 1986 and worked there until 1995. As the dust settles, the autopsy will identify a sequence of events that turned the greatest Fleet Street success story of modern times into a protracted tragedy.

The Independent was perverse, smart, irreverent, sceptical – and very well written. It began without much idea of where it was going. Early news content had rather too many stories about what was “set to” happen, too much about what people said and too little about what they did. But the editors, sub editors and reporters hit their stride. They were encouraged to find stories and project vividly what was unearthed; if the Press Association news agency was covering it, then let’s take their coverage and have Indy reporters out finding unique content.

And they did. Tony Bevins in politics, for example. Heather Mills in home affairs. Paddy Barclay in football. John Carlin in South Africa. John Price’s news editing. Photographers were encouraged to eschew conventional picture composition. And their striking images were used imaginatively.

But the paper’s greatest virtue from was perhaps its copy tasting, the process of decision-making about what should be published, what prominence it should be given, and what should be discarded.

One typically compelling splash revealed the high number of babies born in New York to mothers who were HIV-positive. It was a story that had been buried in copy filed by a news agency. But the Independent’s curiosity was aroused, the story developed and competitors were left baffled by what they had missed – just one example of the paper’s independent streak.

Some of the distinctive journalism that characterised the papers was lost as ownership shifted. By the mid-1990s the Mirror Group had a stake. In the early 2000s it moved to a compact (tabloid) formatm and more recently it launched a successful cut-price spin-off, the i, which is being sold on to to Johnston Press.

The i was born under the Lebedevs who bought the titles from Independent News & Mediain 2010. In recent decades there have still been traces of the paper’s original voice, but only a shadow of that early élan.

Saved by Thatcher

Readers responded, but slowly. One month, not long after launch, the company only narrowly found the cash to pay wages. Its saviour was probably Mrs Thatcher. Her governments polarised opinion, in Fleet Street as well as among the electorate. So theIndependent’s boast of neutrality – “It is, are you?” – was suited perfectly to attract readers to its coverage of the 1987 general election.

Other ingredients merit mention. It was Murdoch, paradoxically, who made theIndependent possible: excellent reporters and editors on The Times and The Sunday Timesopted not to cross picket lines at the paper’s union-busting printers at Wapping, and were promptly recruited by the Indy’s founders, especially editor Andreas Whittam Smith.

Whittam Smith, the son of an Anglican clergyman and known by his staff as “the saintly one”, was a thoughtful, slightly detached figure. For humble reporters, it was hard to discern the essence of his ability. But he created in the City Road offices an atmosphere in which staff felt they had a proprietorial and emotional stake in their paper, a compelling incentive to do what they loved to do: good, serious and (also importantly) occasionally frivolous journalism. As circulation climbed, narrowing the gap with the Guardian, theDaily Telegraph and The Times, there were more reasons to be cheerful. This was the place to work on Fleet Street.

It was also Whittam Smith’s decision to launch the Independent on Sunday, something that puzzled those members of staff who recalled him not that long before denying any intention to enter the Sunday market. Perhaps it was an attempt to stymie the Sunday Correspondent, which had just launched.

From 1990, after Murdoch fired the first shots in the price war, energy levels dipped. The papers were never without flair, without imagination. But there were increasingly without money. But for those four or five years, it hardly seemed to matter. We were masters of the newspaper universe.