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The Elements of Investing
Published: 
Sunday, August 20, 2017
BEYOND PAYDAY

You can either work for money, or have your money work for you. Investing, in a financial sense, involves putting money into some type of activity with the intention of generating a profit on that money in return. Many investment opportunities exist to help us achieve that goal. Stocks, bonds, mutual funds, real estate, even starting a small business can all be considered viable investment options. Investing however, is both an art and a science. Here are a few things to consider when deciding to invest.

Know What You’re Investing In

Before making any decision to invest, it’s important to know and understand in some detail what you’re investing in. Unlike saving, which is primarily focused on capital preservation, and ensuring that we have access to what we put in, investing involves pursuing opportunities with the potential to multiply our money. It also involves risks that can potentially cause us to lose money and, in some cases, everything we put in. Thus, having deep knowledge of these opportunities and the associated risks is critical. Ultimately, the more you know, the better an investor you’re likely to become.

Seek Professional Guidance

Even if we are knowledgeable about specific investment opportunities, it’s important to seek the advice of professionals working in the particular space in which we would like to invest. Their insight, experience and advice can help guide us along the right path and provide some necessary perspective on things we may or may not have considered. They can also provide some peace of mind as they are able to answer questions and address any concerns one might have. Bottom line: professional advice matters a lot when choosing to invest.

Be Patient And Disciplined

No one gets wealthy from investing overnight. Central to being a prudent investor is the ability to be both patient and disciplined. Being patient allows us to survive the inevitable peaks and valleys we will experience during the investment process, and being disciplined allows us to keep a steady eye on our investments in both good times and bad. When it comes to investing, how we manage ourselves is just as important - if not more - than what we invest in.

Know When To Call It Quits

The reality of life is that things don’t always go according to plans. It’s no different with investing. Knowing when to exit an investment can be just as crucial as knowing when to start, and can help save us both time and money. While the desire is often to at least recoup what we put in, sometimes in that process, we can end up doing ourselves more financial harm than good. Sometimes, the best thing we can do as investors is simply to call it quits.

The Elements Combined

By no means is this an exhaustive list of elements to consider, but it’s a good place to start the investing journey. Ultimately choosing to invest is one of the best decisions we can make to help us live well, beyond payday.

COMING NEXT WEEK

... Retirement Considerations

ANDRE WORRELL

​Guardian Media Limited

andre.worrell@guardian.co.tt

Art in the age of social media
Published: 
Sunday, August 20, 2017
Drevait on Sunday

Social media has become something of a buzzword. Upon its utterance, an abundance of negative and/or positive connotations are summoned. There are the people that live their lives through screens and lenses, capturing every moment but not really existing in or experiencing it. There are those that openly condemn social media, and the effects it has on the way we experience things now. There are those that utilize and take advantage of these platforms to stir conversation and share their craft: the creatives.

Social media plays a very interesting role in the art world currently, and has fostered a lot of conversation about the way that we experience and consume art now. You could enter any major art museum or gallery right now, and almost all of the visitors would be equipped with some sort of device in hand, ready to shoot art they deem “instagrammable”, or possibly, take the ever-so-popular “art-selfie”. This shouldn’t be such a big deal or issue, right? Why is this such a huge topic of conversation? Artists are getting more recognition, their work is being shared, their audiences are growing beyond physical space! This should be a good thing- but there is a flaw in this kind of consumption. The experience of the piece is subject to becoming as one dimensional and depthless as the image on the screen. This is antithetical to the whole idea of a museum or gallery visit. Experiencing a piece in person- and actually spending some time with it to think about it, is not the same as seeing an image of it on a tiny screen. Art is more than an image- and is therefore experienced best within physical space.

Social media has done a lot of good for artists still. Especially here. Take Brianna McCarthy for example. The producers of Love by the 10th Date, found McCarthy’s work online, reached out to her, and she provided artwork that can be seen all throughout the film. This would not have happened if it weren’t for social media. Artists here have been using social media platforms to share their work, and more importantly, our culture. Trinidadian culture in the eyes of the rest of the world is a blurred image. Its limited to vague ideas of tropical living- sandy beaches, rum, women. Those that have heard of our little island, most likely know it for carnival, but not mas as we know it, including the rich history behind it. They know it for the party, social media is also partly to blame for this, but we’ll give it a bligh. Local artists have been working hard to provide a clearer view and stronger voice for Trinabagonian culture through social media. This is extremely important, because it allows for a more accurate representation of who we are as a living people, with a collective consciousness. The fact that social media allows for our words and ideas to travel beyond physical borders only helps us to join a larger conversation being had all over the world right now. Our collective, Trinbagonian voice now has the ability to enrich the global conversation in new and exciting ways.

Join the Conversation- follow these creatives!

@p3ake

This account belongs to local artist, Bianca Peake. Whose work is an amalgamation of strong feminist and vibrant Caribbean imagery. Her feed is also something of a love letter to the Caribbean (mostly Trinidad).

@jcw_art

The account of Jessika Welch. Her work captures the daily local life we often overlook. Her work on plexi-glass brings a new dimension to portraiture, with her captivating use of color and brush work.

@iamthesignman

The account of the fete sign man, Bruce Cayonne. We are all familiar with his work. It’s often the backdrop of daily life all over the country. This account is an archive of all of his colorful and fun signs, as well as current signs in progress.

@kbanfield122

Kriston Banfield is a young artist whose work is visually arresting and charged with symbolism. His feed is comprised of sketches, works in progress and completed pieces, with the occasional introspective local still life- places where he draws inspiration.

@designerisland

This is a great account to follow to keep up with the Caribbean creative community. They spotlight West Indian creators of all kinds- from chocolatiers, to mas makers, to designers.

@sharipettiii

This account belongs to young artist and film maker, Shari Petti. She recently began a series of short youtube videos called “Small Lime” (they’re amazing- 10/10, would recommend) and who’s short film “Sorf Hair” was also chosen to be a part of the TT Film Festival, as well as the Caribbean Tales Festival in Toronto.

@thousandcurls

The account of Shanice Smith, whose work is deceptively soft and light, but upon further inspection is actually extremely dense and heavy with meaning. Her work deals with the things that are hardest to talk about, but in a delicate, and beautiful way.

@chelovelace

Che Lovelace’s account. A closer look into the artists life, and what inspires him.

@notprofound_

This account belongs to artist, Elechi Todd. His unique work ranges from collage, to drawing and painting, performance, video and photography.

Restaurant Week keeps on growing
Published: 
Sunday, August 20, 2017

Despite the tough economic conditions facing T&T, T&T Restaurant Week shows no signs of slowing down as it gears up to take place between September 15 to September 24.

From its inception five years ago to now, the culinary experience has shown a significant growth in popularity—starting with the participation of just 19 restaurants in 2012 to close to 80 high-end eateries opening their doors this year to the public to enjoy two weeks of discounted prices.

The platinum sponsors for this year’s event are AMCO and Scotiabank.

Shira Mohammed, coordinator of TT Restaurant Week, left with Russell George, General Manager, Hyatt Regency Trinidad and Seitu Joseph, Web Developer of the TTRW app. PHOTOS: DAVID WEARS
Monetary policy
Published: 
Sunday, August 20, 2017

Monetary policy is the process by which the monetary authority of a country, like the central bank or currency board, controls the supply of money.

It is maintained through actions such as modifying the interest rate, buying or selling government bonds, and changing the amount of money banks are required to keep in the vault (bank reserves).

Broadly speaking, there are two types of monetary policy, expansionary and contractionary.

Expansionary monetary policy increases the money supply in order to lower unemployment, boost private-sector borrowing and consumer spending, and stimulate economy.

Contractionary monetary policy slows the rate of growth in the money supply or outright decreases the money supply in order to control inflation.

While sometimes necessary, contractionary monetary policy can slow economic growth, increase unemployment and depress borrowing and spending by consumers and businesses.

Central banks use a number of tools to shape monetary policy. Open market operations directly affect the money supply through buying short-term government bonds (to expand money supply) or selling them (to contract it).

Benchmark interest rates, such as the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) in the United Kingdom and the Federal Funds Rate in the US, affect the demand for money by raising or lowering the cost to borrow—in essence, money’s price.

When borrowing is cheap, firms will take on more debt to invest in hiring and expansion; consumers will make larger, long-term purchases with cheap credit; and savers will have more incentive to invest their money in stocks or other assets, rather than earn very little—and perhaps lose money in real terms—through savings accounts.

In T&T, the “Repo Rate” is often used as the benchmark interest rate around which other interests rates in the commercial banking sector are set.

The Central Bank of T&T (CBTT) is also responsible for managing the supply of foreign exchange to the local market.

According to the Central Bank’s website, its responsibilities include (among other things) “ the maintenance of a low and stable rate of inflation, an orderly foreign exchange market, and an adequate level of foreign exchange reserves.”

The CBTT is also referred to as the “Banker to the Government” as it “maintains deposit accounts, effects domestic and foreign currency transactions and provides advice relative to these matters.”

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