Saturday, November 29, 2008

Why a job is not a long term solution to Financial Freedom

This weekend I am not able to do much posting on my blog and other activities.

Why?

Its year end! And my boss want me to send him my achievements for the year to convince him that I am still a valuable asset to the company. It's frustrating despite working 10hrs everyday I still have to spend my weekends gathering 'statistics' to prove what I have contributed just because my boss does not keep a record of what I have done.

For the numerous Bosses that I worked for nowadays, they are just interested in protecting their own job and getting a fat bonus and pay check end of the day. An employee to them is just a tool, if you are perceived to no longer be able to portray that you are a valuable asset you are just wasting your time working in the company.

Noticed I used the word perceived and portray, because in my company everything is about perception. How well you 'work' with your counter parts and managers. Did you buy them coffee or beer to make them happy for the past few months? This will determine your pay check.

I have awakened to realize the opportunity and time lost over the years of selling my time to get a few thousand dollars of salary.

Do you think it is worth selling your life time for just a few thousand dollars?
I know I will not if given a choice!

Take a look at How To Build Recession Proof Income

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Latest Christmas Carol for 2008!

You'd better watch out
You'd better not cry
You'd better keep cash
I'm telling you why:
Recession is coming to town.

It's hitting you once,
It's hitting you twice
It doesn't care if you've been careful and wise
Recession is coming to town

It's worthless if you've got shares
It's worthless if you've got bonds
It's safe when you've got cash in hand
So keep cash for goodness sake, HEY

You'd better watch out
You'd better not cry
You'd better keep cash
I'm telling you why:
Recession is coming to town!

Finance products are confusing
Finance products are so vague
The banks make you bear the cost of risk
So keep out for goodness sake, OH

You'd better watch out
You'd better not cry
You'd better keep cash
I'm telling you why:
Recession is coming to town.

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

10 Steps Techies Should Take to Keep Their Jobs in a Financial Meltdown

As the economy gets shakier each day, workers everywhere are concerned about losing their jobs. Here are 10 steps the corporate techie toiling away in the server room or the help desk can take to help keep his or her job.


OK, the stock market is falling like a rock. Big banks are being bought and sold like overripe bananas. The masters of the financial universe are looking like suckers at the horse race track buying tip sheets printed after each race. And now, even the venture capitalists of Silicon Valley are telling their captive companies to skip the party, tighten the belt and get yourself sold.
So, with all the highly educated financers showing that they have no clothes, what is the corporate techie toiling away in the server room or the help desk supposed to do to keep a job and pay the mortgage? Here’s my 10-step program.


1. Heads Up!
Don’t think that just because you are doing a really good job at your one task that you can avoid the corporate grim reaper. You really need to understand not just your little corner of the IT world, but all the technology tools that keep your company running. The more you know about all the parts of the machine, the more valuable you become as the company looks for utility players rather than specialists.


2. Take a Hike
That’s right, get outside of your cubicle and spend some time visiting other parts of not just your company’s technology universe, but also the business brains. This is not easy, but after your first small forays, you will be surprised in just what regard the company holds the techies. You’ll learn the language of business and soon find yourself in the ambassador-at-large role, able to form your own opinions about what tech projects are seen as valuable outside the world of the techie cubes.


3. Make Friends
This is foreign territory for lots of techies. It is a lot easier to deal with your computer than a real person. But unless you want to see that e-mail that puts you on the goodbye list, you need to build some sources in the company who can give you an early storm warning. Without access to the corporate radar, you will be flying blind. Become the unofficial computer help desk, and you will soon have the chance to make lots of new friends.


4. Lose Friends
You are trying to keep your job, right? You know how much corporate time is being taken up with fantasy leagues, Web surfing, non-business e-mail, IMing, YouTubing, etc. Someone is going to drop the dime to the higher-ups on the huge waste of time taking place as employees run eBay stores and exchange photos of the party the night before. Might as well be you.


5. Protect the Boss’s Wallet
Make one of your corporate walkabouts after hours. How many terminals are still glowing, printers are running and computers are sitting idle? Take a good guess at how much power is being wasted and let the boss know. Pick another simple target: printer supplies and costs. All those printers add up to a lot of supplies and paper being wasted. Wade through all those software license agreements to find out exactly what your company is paying for. You can become not only the boss’s favorite cost cutter, but you can fashion yourself as an eco champion as well.


6. Watch the Cloud
It used to be really difficult to learn a new application or programming environment. You had to get access to a system and attend a class or certification seminar somewhere, and, after all that, you were never quite sure your new knowledge could stand the corporate computing environment test. Now, you have a computing cloud you can tap into. Take some time to understand Google’s corporate offerings, Salesforce.com and Amazon’s cloud. The corporate cloud is one of the hot topics these days, and you need to be the one who can explain why or why not the cloud is right for your company.


7. Keep the Boss Happy
How many times has the mystery of why one corporate geek keeps his or her job when the layoff scythe is swinging been solved by figuring out who really is the one that the boss uses to keep his or her system running? Who makes sure the boss has the latest laptop or makes sure the boss’s BlackBerry is always up to date and tied into corporate apps? And who is the one whom the boss uses to keep the family computers running and is the one who acts as the help desk for the boss’s college kids? Enough said.


8. Tune Up the Old Engine
In downturns, companies hang onto their old servers and network equipment far longer than the equipment’s warranties. Someone has to be the person who knows the ins and outs of the sputtering server, the dying disk drives and the flaky network router. It should be you they call when the system conks out.


9. Kill an App
Somewhere, maybe many somewheres, there are apps running on servers in your company that haven’t been needed in years. No one knows who created those apps, who used those apps or why they are still running. Killing an app means you can usually kill a couple of servers, save some money in the server room, free up resources and generally look like someone who knows what’s going on. Good for you.


10. Pull a Plug
Keep track of the servers you take offline, the printers you turn to off instead of putting on idle, the computers you shut down instead of putting on standby. Those acts alone will put you in the green cost-saving category. Now, take on the bigger task of sitting down with the bean counters and HVAC and figure out how much that data center is costing each month. You find out this information and you have the keys to the castle.


source: eweek

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Monday, November 24, 2008

How to build a focused website that is pulling in tons and tons of traffic?

Keyword research is a very, very important part of having a website. The internet is a huge place, and if you are not spending time planning things out before you build, you are wasting a true opportunity.
Sometimes the internet seems crowded, sometimes it seems vast. What you need to do is find the holes in the crowd, and build your pages there. Fortunately this can be done with keyword research, and wordtracker has created a free service for us to use!
Wordtracker is a keyword research company, that operates a massive keyword research tool. To fully take advantage of wordtracker's power, you would need to subscribe to its services. Fortunately for us, the free tool will suit our purposes.
To start using the tool, simply decide on a root keyword phrase that you would like to explore. Essentially you will feed this phrase to wordtracker, and it will spit out up to 100 related keywords. It will also show you how often each one of these terms is searched for on the internet.
This is very valuable information, because it helps us to understand what area of your niche has the most demand for traffic. I would suggest plugging in as many "root" keywords as you can, to get a thorough overview of what people are typing in to find your niche on the internet.
This can also help you better understand how you should expand your website, to meet the demands of your visitors.
Once you have a list of potential keywords, it is also important to look at the amount of competition each has in the search engines.
Before you know it, you will have built a focused website that is pulling in tons and tons of traffic.


Sign-up for your free wordtracker today!

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How to insulate yourself from the impact of the economic crisis

We all know it’s getting ugly out there. Jobs are going, share prices have plummeted, year-end bonuses look shaky and anxiety levels are sky-high. Time, then, to batten down the hatches.

For many people, that means keeping their finances on track until the economy turns the corner.

Experts have various tips on how to do this, but they mostly boil down to belt-tightening and taking a hard look at expenses and liabilities.

Ms Anne Tay, OCBC Bank’s vice-president of group wealth management, encourages people to go back to basics and revisit some principles of managing wealth.

‘I agree that we are entering turbulent times now and cash is king. But bear markets or financial crises come and go and things will recover,’ she notes.

‘The real test is how long it will take and can we hold out that long. This is an opportunity to rethink our wealth-building strategy.’

Here are 10 tips to ride out the recession.

1 Take stock of your cash position

It is vital to get a handle on your cash flow - income versus expenses - so that you know how vulnerable you are if, say, you get retrenched.

Ms Janice Poon, Standard Chartered Bank’s general manager of wealth management, believes that managing cash flow is the first step towards planning for a rainy day and it could mean having enough cash for emergencies.

‘It’s something you should be doing all the time but it’s even more critical during a downturn,’ she says.

The chief executive of financial advisory firm New Independent, Mr Joseph Chong, says people must ensure they have enough emergency funds.

‘This should be in the region of six to 12 months of your monthly expenses. The downturn in the global and Singapore economies will see more layoffs and fewer hirings,’ he says.

2 Home loans

In this high-inflation, low-interest-rate environment, one of the best things you can do is to review your debts and refinance wherever possible.

It is crucial to prioritise your debts and manage them.

Your home loan should rank high in this scheme of things simply because it is a big-ticket item. This means it could provide the single biggest cost-saving option.

Consider moving to a variable rate mortgage pegged to the three-month Sibor or Singapore interbank offered rate. This rate fell to a near five-year low of 0.89 per cent on Tuesday and was 0.95 per cent on Friday.

Mr Chong notes that central banks around the world are slashing interest rates to head off a steep recession, so short-term rates are expected to stay low next year.

This means big savings for those on variable packages.

Alpha Financial Advisers’ chief executive, Mr Arthur Lim, suggests that home owners look for refinancing savings by checking out the different mortgage rates - but take into consideration any penalty charges.

3 Credit card debt

With hard times coming, consumers should be wary about credit card spending and unsecured debts such as credit lines.

‘The good times experienced by Singapore over the last few years have lulled individuals into complacency and some bad habits have been built up, such as not paying your credit card bills in full,’ says Mr Kuo How Nam, president of Credit Counselling Singapore (CCS), a non-profit group that advises debtors.

‘This is a good time to tighten their belts, pay off the unsecured consumer debts as fast as possible and build up a buffer fund as a cushion if something bad happens to their jobs and incomes.’

One way is to curb spending on non-essentials.

Ms Chenise Lim, vice-president at ipac financial planning Singapore, warns consumers that credit card debt is one of the most expensive loans available.

‘Don’t be taken in by the minimum payment option on your statement, as outstanding balances can attract an annual interest cost of up to 24 per cent. If you’re unable to pay your debt in full, try to pay as much as possible and then set aside your credit card and avoid using it until your debt is fully cleared,’ she says.

4 Consolidate your debts

As a guide, your monthly long-term debt commitments should not exceed 35 per cent of your monthly gross income.

Consider debt consolidation if you have outstanding balances with different credit card companies and have difficulty paying. CCS can negotiate with these banks and help restructure the repayment of these debts on your behalf.

Ms Poon suggests taking advantage of balance-transfer promotions offered with a lower interest rate to refinance your higher-cost debt.

5 Review insurance policies

Mr Chong urges people to ensure that their hospitalisation policies are in force.

‘Remember, you cannot rely on your company’s insurance coverage, especially in a downturn, as the company may not always be there,’ he says.

An exception is if you have a portable medical plan that follows you even when you leave your employer.

Check if your policies still meet your financial objectives. You may want to discontinue them if they are no longer necessary. Otherwise, it is prudent to take a policy loan, says Mr Lim.

This means you maintain your protection while you take a premium holiday.

During this period, premiums will be deducted against the policy’s cash value so you still enjoy your cover.

6 Review your investment portfolios

It is very likely that many investors’ portfolios have suffered big losses with gains wiped out and even the starting capital reduced.

Given that your objectives, time horizon and risk appetite remain unchanged, Mr Lim recommends restructuring the portfolio to cater for more risk.

But if taking on more risk is not consistent with your investment profile, then either moderate the target amount needed or extend your time horizon.

Here’s a suggestion from Mr Chong on how to restructure a portfolio: ‘At least rebalance your portfolio in accordance with your investment-risk profile. A 60 per cent equities and 40 per cent fixed income portfolio would probably need to be rebalanced by selling one-third of the fixed income and deploying the proceeds into equities.’

This discipline means you automatically buy cheap as equities now are at bargain prices with an average dividend yield of 4 per cent. ‘The economy and the stock market will eventually recover as global money supply is beginning to pick up in response to the aggressive central bank rate cuts,’ Mr Chong adds.

7 Investment checklist

If you are planning to enter the market, Ms Lim says you should ensure that your investment strategy is well diversified across asset classes, countries, sectors and stocks.

In addition, practise dollar-cost averaging, which involves buying into the market via a fixed sum regularly so when the prices are low, your money buys more units.

Over the long term, your portfolio will benefit as markets tend to trend upwards.

For stock traders, DMG & Partners head of research Terence Wong’s advice is to stay away if they need the cash in the next couple of months.

Enter only if you are willing and able to wait for the long haul. While stocks appear cheap now, he expects better opportunities next year as the negative sentiments are expected to weigh on the market.

8 Use of CPF top-ups

Enjoy tax relief on your income when you top up either your own CPF Minimum Sum or those of your immediate family members.

You can enjoy tax relief of up to $7,000 a year if you use cash to top up for yourself and/or receive cash top-ups from your employer.

You can enjoy an additional tax relief of up to $7,000 a year if you use cash to top up for your siblings, spouse, parents or grandparents.

Your siblings and/or spouse must have earned $2,000 or less in the preceding year to qualify for the tax relief.

The giver can claim tax relief in the following year’s tax assessment.

9 Use the Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS)

Contributions to the SRS account bring income-tax relief. You can contribute any amount each year subject to a cap of $11,475 for Singaporeans and permanent residents and $26,775 for foreigners.

Besides providing you with the discipline to save consistently for retirement, SRS gives an additional nest-egg on top of your CPF account.

Note that 50 per cent of your withdrawals from SRS is subject to tax at retirement. Withdrawals can be made over a period of 10 years. With lower or nominal income at retirement, you may end up paying little or no income tax.

10 Recession-proof your job

With job cuts reported more often now, this is not the time to take an extended holiday or sabbatical. Be visible, go beyond your basic responsibilities, upgrade yourself and continue to network.

Remember, no one will lay off a star performer.

But, update your resume just in case.

Source : Straits Times - 16 Nov 2008

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Sunday, November 23, 2008

How to start an Internet Business

Many individuals ask themselves - is it really possible to run an online home business part-time and still continue their full time office job. The answer to this question is Yes. Many people wonder, How would they make the time? It's just too much to do all at once, How could someone manage all of this? All of these questions and comments are involved in juggling an outside job and an online home business, but the main to keep in mind is that it is possible – but are you capable? These are three important things that you would want to keep at the top of your head if you to be successful. What really matters is you must have the desire and drive to have an online home business. If it is your wish to maintain your current day job and at the same time start an online home-based business you have to be really focused on being able to do so. If you do not want it bad enough and don't have the necessary drive you would be setting yourself up for failure. If you think you are ready to make a commitment to do both jobs and are prepared to do whatever it takes to maintain them both,then are defiantly moving in the correct direction. What this means simply is that you must use all the available time you have from your full time job and use it to your online home business, this might mean cutting back on normal everyday recreational activities like going to dinners, the movies and other similar activities. Holidays as well as weekends can be used working on your online home-based business. As long as you are prepared to use all your free time on your online home business it would be possible for you to do both. It all comes down to you possessing the drive and desire to do what it takes to get what you want. Nowadays there is never enough time; everybodys' daily routine is all about juggling, stretching and rushing what ever free time they have. This is the same when it comes to juggling a home-based business and you regular job you, have to be prepared to make the time. After investing the time and effort to find the best home business to start, you would not want to fail by poor time management. Patience, Time and Drive all go hand in hand when working an online home-based business and a regular outside job, you must be efficient and manage your time wisely. Keep very focused on your plans and goals. Don't lose track and have patients because being successful does not happen easily and not everyone you meet will have understanding or patients. You can have a full-time job and run a successful online home business as long as you are prepared to make the effort and do what has to be done. If you would like to know more on this topic check out the link Google Secrets For Small Business that Shows Small Business Owners How To Apply The Power Of Internet Marketing To Their Business.

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Boss's Reaction During recession

Boss Reaction During Recession
In the beginning.....Boss: Be good, you will be fine.


After a week... Must Work Hard k?

After a month...Must Work Hard for " Lim Peh " yu know!
After a Quarter....Can you hear me? you must work hard!!!







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Can you afford to fall sick without a job these days?

I fell sick during the weekend. Spent about $30 to consult my neighbourhood GP.

I do not need to fund this $30 from my own pocket as passive income from my blog is more than sufficient to fund this expenses.
Click Here!

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Friday, November 21, 2008

Having Multiple streams of passive incomes - Part6

Create traffic in your website
After setting up your own website, adsense account and affiliate account, you need to start creating traffic in your website. Meaning you need a lot of people to go into your website, then there is a higher chance that they will click on adsense ads and open account. You need to write contents that will interest people to come to your website. And the content of your website must be updated regularly so your readers will go your website again and again. 1st year of blogging can be very disappointing for your online revenue as few people know about your website. Usually after the 1st year, your website will be more popular, more people will be aware of your website presence and revenue will increase.

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Swarm of Traffic to Your Site

Targeted prospects will swarm your site 24/7! Just 5 minutes to set-up, it's automated, "viral" and proven - and best of all it's FREE!

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Smart Money Drives the Financial Markets?

What drives financial markets? Who manipulates them, and how? Why are 90% of retail traders "weakholders"?


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Having Multiple streams of passive incomes - Part5


Install Google Analytics in your website. This allows you to track a few information that will be useful to you:a. Where do your readers come from? b. What is the referring websites?c. Which contents are being actively being read?d. What are the keywords that leads the readers to your website? e. How many readers go to your website each day?f. How much time do your readers spend reading your website?

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

You really still want to rely on your job?

Neptune Orient Lines, the world's seventh largest container carrier, said on Wednesday it will shed 9 percent of its workforce and warned the outlook was grim as the shipping sector faces up to a prolonged downturn.
NOL shares fell almost 3 percent after the firm said in a statement it will cut 1,000 jobs, mostly in North America, as it battles to weather a global economic slowdown.
The Singapore-based firm said last month its container shipping business, APL, will reduce capacity in Asia-Europe trade by about 25 percent. NOL said this capacity reduction will save $200 million in costs next year.
In the latest statement on Wednesday it said the firm will incur a $33 million restructuring cost in its fourth quarter.
While analysts were positive about NOL's move to cut costs, they expected NOL to incur losses over the next two years as the shipping industry faces a double-whammy of slowing demand and growing supply.
Deutsche Bank analyst Joe Liew said in a client note that he expects NOL to lose $100 million in 2009 and $115 million in 2010. Regional brokerage CIMB said the job cuts alone would not be enough to keep NOL in the black.
"While we are positive on the measures announced by NOL, the cost-cutting initiatives may not be able to offset the severe top-line pressure at the Asia-Europe trades," said Raymond Yap, CIMB analyst.

Source: Reuters 18 Nov 2008 07:34 PM ET

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Having Multiple streams of passive incomes - Part4

Tie up with a company to do marketing for them. Many people has this misunderstanding that if they setup a website, they must create their own things to sell. This is absolutely not true, you can do marketing for other companies. Whenever your readers open account OR purchase items from your website, you will earn some commission. In short this is call affiliate marketing.Currently I am doing affiliate marketing for a European trading company call ForexYard. Commission for 1 standard account opened is US$250, commission for 1 mini account opened is US$100. You can tie up with ForexYard by registering yourself below.


http://www.forexyard.com/banner_images/126.gif?zone_id=

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Still want to rely on your job?

NEW YORK (AFP) - - Citigroup said Monday it was slashing a near-record 50,000 jobs worldwide as the US banking giant tightens its belt further to cope with a global financial crisis and heavy losses.The company, in a document for a presentation to employees by chief executive Vikram Pandit, said that the headcount was "expected to be down 20 percent in the near-term from peak levels."At that peak, in the 2007 fourth quarter, Citigroup had a global workforce of 375,000 employees, according to the online document.By the end of September the workforce had been trimmed to 352,000; the additional job cuts announced would pare it to approximately 300,000.It was the second largest job-cut announcement on record, according to global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, tying with 50,000 job cuts by retailer Sears, Roebuck & Co. in 1993 behind the all-time largest the same year: 60,000 by IBM.The approximately 50,000 job cuts "would be split into the current divestures, and some natural attrition, plus lay-offs," a company source said on condition of anonymity.Citigroup, whose shares have been battered amid the credit crisis, said it was "getting fit -- fast!" and would reduce its overall expenses by 20 percent in the short term from peak levels, to some 50-52 billion dollars in 2009.But the string of announcements has failed to calm investor fears that the bank, once the country's largest, may not weather the financial crisis.Shares plunged 6.62 percent to close at 8.89 dollars, after losing some 24 percent last week.Citi, a component of the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average, has tumbled 70 percent since the start of the year, with the bank hit by hefty writeoffs linked to the US real estate crisis.Douglas McIntyre, analyst at 247 Wall Street, said the company's plummeting share price "leaves the question of whether Citi becomes the next Wachovia or the next AIG," referring to government actions to prevent the collapse of the bank and insurer, respectively."If the problems at Citi deteriorate quickly and it falls, as it certainly does, into the 'too big to fail' bucket, the government may simply have to pour cash into the bank in exchange for a majority ownership position," McIntyre said."That would involve bringing in new management to sell off enough assets to get the bank stable."On Friday the bank announced that Pandit and other key executives had bought 1.3 million shares to show confidence in the company.Citigroup said its capital position was "very strong" and it had made a "significant reduction in risky assets."The ailing bank was among the nine big US banks that agreed last month to give the US government equity stakes in exchange for a combined 125 billion dollars under a 700 billion dollar financial sector rescue plan. Citi got a 25 billion dollar injection.Citi has penciled in 2.1 billion dollars in charges this year for the planned elimination of 22,000 jobs, of which some 13,000 have been completed.Last month, Citi reported a third-quarter loss of 2.8 billion dollars, its fourth straight quarter in the red.The troubled bank is saddled with billions of dollars in losses tied to mortgage investments that lost value in the collapse of the US real estate market and the credit squeeze that erupted last year.Since last year Citi has raised more than 50 billion dollars to shore up its balance sheet, reduced its investment portfolio by more than 100 billion dollars, reorganized activities and sold several businesses, such as CitiStreet, CitiCapital, BPO in India and a retail bank in Germany.

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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Having Multiple streams of passive incomes - Part3

Setup account at Adsense

Adsense is a pay-per-click advertising system from Google. By setting up adsense into your blog, you can earn revenue when your readers click on the ads from Adsense.

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Weekend Special - The Perfect Business

Do you know that owning a house is a liability, until you had paid off all your mortgage loans?

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Having Multiple streams of passive incomes - Part2

Think of something that you like, such a your hobbies, food, entertainment, girls... and set up your own websites from free provider at blogger.com. Some people may prefer to buy a domain and pay for a server maintenance because it has a nicer website address but this incur costs. I prefer to use a free provider because whatever that I earn from online is net profit for me. Cost of my blogging is zero.

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Having Multiple streams of passive incomes - Part1


In today's world, there is no such thing as a stable and secured career. If your company is not doing well in this recessionary environment, employers may choose to reduce its labour cost and retrench some of its staff. But we as people in the society still have bills to pay, we cannot afford losing a job, income must still flow into our bank account on a monthly basis.This is why we must try to create a few income streams, so in the event that we lost our job, at least our secondary incomes are still flowing in. One of the way to earn secondary income is through blogging.

To be continued ...

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A Stock Market Crash

Many people are frightened by the stock market because of the stories about past market crashes. Yes, those crashes did happen, but the fear surrounding them is more hype than substance.

TIP
Your fear that the market will collapse as it has done in the past is best dismissed by learning that the probability of another crash is infinitesimal and that the damage caused by previous crashes was not as bad as the public’s perception of them.
On October 29, 1929, the Dow, a measurement of the stock market as a whole, fell 30 points to close at 230.07. This represented a drop of almost 13 percent in the whole market. The loss of market value was roughly $14 billion, a staggering sum even now. This meant that $14 billion of the total amount invested into the market by people and by entities such as pension funds was simply gone. The severe ramifications of this event affected even those people who had not actually invested in the market. The subsequent depression, while not directly a result of the stock market crash, further entrenched the idea that investment in the stock market would later reduce the investor to selling apples on a street corner while wearing a barrel. Finally, the stories and depictions of grown men throwing themselves off roofs and crying at their desks assured the general masses that stock investments could only cause heartache.




Taken From : 10 Minute Guide to Investing in Stocks

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Knowledge is the key. Some books which I recommend reading.