Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Deadly Markets & Starting with $25

Literally deadly! Many thousands will lose their lives if there is a serious financial crisis, claims a new study by Cambridge university researchers.

"Statistical analysis of 40 years' data from the World Bank and World Health Organisation concludes that a system-wide crisis increases deaths from heart disease by an average 6.4 per cent in wealthy countries - more in developing countries"
FT - Banking crises shown to trigger heart attack deaths

Financial turmoil can be devastating and traumatic for anyone. Imagine losing your house or your retirement money or your job - all significant events what can lead to acute levels of stress and despair. When your livelihood and lifestyle is threatened it is normal to feel anxious.

Some strategies to mitigate such an experience include having adequate insurance, some amount of emergency funds, diversification of assets and faith.

Faith in the future, faith in you and faith in the American dream is adequately demonstrated by this fantastic story.

"Alone on a dark gritty street, Adam Shepard searched for a homeless shelter. He had a gym bag, $25, and little else. A former college athlete with a bachelor's degree, Mr. Shepard had left a comfortable life with supportive parents in Raleigh, N.C. Now he was an outsider on the wrong side of the tracks in Charles­ton, S.C.

But Shepard's descent into poverty in the summer of 2006 was no accident. Shortly after graduating from Merrimack College in North Andover, Mass., he intentionally left his parents' home to test the vivacity of the American Dream. His goal: to have a furnished apartment, a car, and $2,500 in savings within a year.

To make his quest even more challenging, he decided not to use any of his previous contacts or mention his education.

During his first 70 days in Charleston, Shepard lived in a shelter and received food stamps. He also made new friends, finding work as a day laborer, which led to a steady job with a moving company.

Ten months into the experiment, he decided to quit after learning of an illness in his family. But by then he had moved into an apartment, bought a pickup truck, and had saved close to $5,000."
CSMonitor - Homeless: Can you build a life from $25?

The fear of losing something and ending up with nothing is real and in some cases fatal. A belief in one's ability, a supportive environment and a desire to succeed can also take us from nothing to something.

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