Moneylife Events
Safe and Smart Financial Advice for Students
Financial literacy seminar at SIES College of Management Studies, Navi Mumbai
 
After several successful events for management students in the past, Moneylife Foundation conducted another special programme for students—“Be Safe and Smart with Your Money”—at SIES College of Management Studies, Navi Mumbai. The programme imparts real-life financial knowledge that their curriculum does not, usually, expose the students to. The first session was conducted by Sucheta Dalal, managing editor of Moneylife and founder-trustee of Moneylife Foundation. She pointed out to the students how one can avoid financial mistakes so that they do not lose money. The second session was addressed by Debashis Basu, editor and founder-trustee of Moneylife Foundation. He articulated the simple steps for investing smartly.
 
It is important for college students, who will soon enter the workforce, to have a good understanding of what it takes to protect their money and invest smartly in a manner that would deliver prosperity in the long term. Unfortunately, college education does not prepare students for the intricacies and the realities of managing money. There are several instances of youngsters being lured by chain-marketing schemes or get-rich-quick schemes which, often, promise quick and easy money. 
 
Ms Dalal started her session with a brief introduction about scams in India. There is no dearth of frauds in India. Freshers are easy targets for scamsters. There are various types of scams out to get us—lottery scam, job scam, conference scam and interest-waiver scam. The number of scams being reported is infinite. Such schemes claim to provide extremely high returns luring unsuspecting savers only to vanish from the scene.
 
In her session, Ms Dalal informed students about currency notes, security features in a note and how to identify a real note from a fake one. Students who were able to provide correct answers to her questions on currency notes received a surprise gift from Ms Dalal. 
 
In the second session titled, “How to invest smartly”, Mr Basu asserted that everybody can make correct financial decisions, if only they stick to some simple principles such as saving early, saving as much as possible and investing in a few financial products that are useful. He explained the principles of compounding under different scenarios. The effect of compounding is slow initially; but, with the passage of time, the power of compounding surges and the wealth created is huge. Where does one invest?
 
Mr Basu advised students to keep it simple: home loans, bank fixed deposits, equity funds and stocks. As college students have time on their side, he advised them to invest in equity mutual funds and stocks, with an investment horizon of 15 years or more.

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Nationwide Crackdown in the US on Deceptive Debt Collectors
Married couples' phantom debt collection scheme headlines recent sweep
 
Someone calls to settle a debt that they say you owe, threatening garnishment of wages, arrest or other legal action if left unpaid. You pay hundreds or thousands of dollars toward this so-called debt to stop the harassment. But it turns out you didn’t owe any money at all. 
 
That’s how one married couples’ phantom debt collection scheme swindled hundreds of thousands of dollars from consumers, alleged the FTC and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, whose joint settlement with Aurora, Ill.-based Payday Loan Recovery Group bans the company from the debt collection business and recoups $6.4 million for consumers.
 
“People should not be bullied, intimidated or scared into paying debts that they don’t actually owe, ” Madigan said at a recent press conference where the Payday Loan Recovery Group case headlined 30 new actions against deceptive and/or abusive debt collectors under a nationwide crackdown dubbed Operation Collection Protection.
 
So far this year more than 115 actions have been taken against debt collectors under Operation Collection Protection, according to the FTC (see infographic below). Since 2010, the agency says it’s sued more than 250 debt collectors for breaking the law (which includes harassing or threatening consumers), banned 86 of them, and secured judgments totaling nearly $350 million.

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Pulse Beat
Weight of the Nation
 
Anew film, produced in association with the Institute of Medicine in Washington DC, gives sensible tips about avoiding and preventing obesity which is becoming an epidemic even in our country. In the US, one-third of the population is already obese and the number is growing. Since American junk food is invading India in a big way, this film makes sense. ‘Catch them young’ is the slogan. We must act in childhood to prevent childhood obesity. 
 
Some recommendations in the film are very sensible. All school children must have at least 60 minutes of lessons in physical activity daily. The school lunch should have no junk food and no sugary and preserved food with plenty of salt in it. Sugary drinks should not be sold to children. The same advice holds good for adults.
 
We, in India, will do well to initiate these measures in our schools. India vegetarian food is good for school lunch as well.
 
Cancer Cells To Kill Cancer?
 
The discovery of a rare human antibody has pointed to a way of getting leukaemia cells to kill each other, according to research findings published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) in the US recently.
 
Researchers have stumbled upon a way to make leukaemia cells kill each other. The cells could be converted into NK (natural killer) cells, the most powerful killer cells in the human immune system. NK cells are a type of lymphocyte (a white blood cell) and a component of the innate immune system. Now, they have been able to convert some acute myeloid leukaemia cells into NK killer cells. Researchers think that this might be a safer method of cancer treatment. Let us wait and see. Early results appear encouraging.
 
Daytime Nap Might Improve Memory
 
University of Geneva in Switzerland researchers have studied daytime nap among 31 men and made a surprising observation: Men who had a daytime nap were found to have a better functioning of hippocampus major that deals with memory. This study needs to be replicated to see if this is a real or an accidental finding.
 
Alcohol Dangerous in Pregnancy
 
The recent study has shown that consumption of alcohol, in even small doses, during pregnancy could be dangerous to the baby. Many birth defects and abnormalities are related to alcohol ingestion during pregnancy. The American Academy of Paediatrics says that no alcohol is acceptable in pregnancy.
 
Sickness-care Industry Booming
 
Economics of the West shows that one industry that is doing very well is the sickness-care industry. The debt load on the US is about a trillion dollars annually only because of sickness care. They cannot sustain it for long. However, Big Pharma is the biggest beneficiary and they are very happy. 28%of American household expenditure goes towards medical insurance costs. Yet, US has the biggest disease load, among the industrialised nations.
 
America has a surplus of doctors also. It is an irony that America, among Western countries, is the worst as far as human health indices go. This is a warning for India which is aping the American way of life. Prevention is better than cure

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