Frustrations with corporate life sometimes has me secretly thinking about starting my own business. Yet I have not taken the leap to become an entrepreneur, as despite the challenges, there are lots of benefits working for a large organisation — not least of which is the steady pay check.
However, for some people in other parts of the world, starting a business isn’t about getting away from corporate drama or even fulfilling some life goal, it is a matter of survival. That is why I have finally taken the plunge to become a loaner at Kiva.org.
I became aware of this micro financing opportunity a few years ago via Andrew and after reading his latest post summarising his experience so far, I decided that while for now I will continue daydreaming about starting my own business, I would help someone else less fortunate make their dream become a reality.
It looks like Richard Branson’s Virgin Group has won the British government’s support to buy Northern Rock. Why I have no idea.
I mean, Northern Rock does need to be nationalised or have a private buyer come forth. But the consortium led by Branson has no major banking/mortgage experience. Thus why the government would back them is beyond me. Also, to throw support behind Branson when there are other interested parties who have not yet showed their hands is puzzling.
Maybe with the BILLIONS invested the government just wanted someone to take it off their hands. Whatever the case, I hope the deal is structured in such a way that taxpayers will get back most if not all of their money — sooner rather than later. However, something tells me that if this bank ever bounces back, the consortium will be first in line for a payoff. Such is the world of private equity.
I recently go an updated statement for my 401K plan and was happy to see that the investments selected had given a reasonable return. However, when I thought about the weakening dollar against the pound, my smile disappeared.
Why? Well when I moved to the London in April 2005, for every British pound, you would get 1.87 American dollars. Now, for every British pound, I get 2.07 Americans dollars. So great if you are moving money from the UK to the US. Not so great if you are moving money from the US to the UK.
On a positive note, I am paid in British pounds and the current exchange rate takes away all temptation to withdraw any funds. Particularly as after Uncle Sam takes its share and the conversion happens, I wouldn’t have much of anything.
So my US retirement money will have to stay where it is for now. Hopefully in time the exchange rate will get better. If not, retirement will definitely have to be someplace more tropical — where I hope the exchange rate will be more favorable.