You’re reading this exquisite piece of literature because you want to learn something. You secretly want to be someone else/someone better (strike through as appropriate), be tickled with a feather on your funny bone, or let’s face it you have a deeply treasured reason whispered quietly to the depth of the star-filled night. It’s ok I won’t tell, in fact most people read blogs for those reasons.
But here’s the thing, if I could do one miracle or even nine, for YOU with my magic words, what miracles would we create?
Answers by return email please and I shall dust your neck in a thousand happy, chocolatey, supporter kisses toasted with raspberries, forthwith.
Nine deliciously melty things you’ve told me
Some of your comments about why you keep coming back crack me up, some force me to my knees;
I don’t have time to read the news or surf inane websites, tell me what I need to know
Give me a bedtime story
I want to be a better person
I want to leave my abusive relationship (if you’re the person who wrote this to me anonymously, please do talk to your doctor, Lifeline, or google a support service can you friend? Get some well-earned support).
You’re funny. I like. Keep it up.
You give me courage
I always learn something I didn’t know
Can you teach me about money?
Because I’m your paying client and I need to keep an eye on you Sara, so behave.
Your reasons are each unique. Not quite-unique, you can’t be quite-unique sorry, it’s an oxymoron. You’re either unique or not, it’s absolute.
I’ll send a free Luk Lip Nourish Tasting Plate instead of chocolate raspberries to the first ten of you who email me to tell me how I can help you, with your postal address – Men, you can play too, give the lips to your lady so you have an excuse to kiss her. Like you need one, right?
Meanwhile in other news, here’s the weekly goodies round up; including Snoop Dogg as a stoner otter, and is Islamic Zakat a viable source of funding for global humanitarian aid?
- This video. Snoop Dogg isn’t on my Christmas list but damn dis made me choke wit ma Cloudy Bay. (Content Warning/language/themes/NSFW).
Man, can we just solve this already? What is wrong with us humans?
2. Madeline Albright once said there’s a special place in hell reserved for women who don’t help other women. I believe there’s a special place in hell for all people who don’t help other people. It’s incumbent on us as humans to step forward and help humans who can’t help themselves.
In 2016 more than 125 million women, men and children will need humanitarian assistance Just. To. Stay. Alive.
- The cost of providing a whole year of humanitarian assistance is around US$25bn. There is an estimated $15bn shortfall, which means around 25 million people are going to die because there isn’t enough money to help them.
- The UN is trying to work out where to find the extra $15 billion each year, and after commissioning a report believes it has found the answer.
- The third pillar of Islam requires Muslims worldwide to donate around 2.5% of their net wealth to a social fund. It’s called Zakat; think of it as a religious tax for the purpose of purifying the donor’s soul and giving back to Allah who has granted them life and bounty. The funds are then allocated to those in need. Even as an atheist, I like it.
- The total unallocated pool of Zakat funds worldwide is estimated to be between US$232bn and US$560bn, according to the UN.
“A gap of $15bn is a lot of money but in a world producing $78 trillion of GDP it should not be out of reach to find,” said Kristalina Georgieva, vice president of the European Commission, and Sultan Nazrin Shah of Perak, Malaysia, co-chairs of the expert panel. “Closing the gap would mean nobody having to die or live without dignity for lack of money and a victory for humanity at a time when one is greatly needed.”
Except, the UN report has also uncovered a principal reason Zakat has not yet been made wholly available for allocation towards the $15bn shortfall is because no-one has yet come up with a Sharia compliant funding mechanism to satisfy the religious grounds for donation in the context of the values which generated the funds in the first place.
Do you need to read that again? I’ll wait here.
Ok? So our best brains worldwide can dream up CDS’s, CDO’s, hold the world to financial ransom over oil and virtually collapse the global banking system overnight, but can’t come up with a Sharia compliant funding vehicle? For the love of All Gods, I despair of the human race.
If you’d like more substantial insight you can read the full UN report yourself here.
3. And here’s a little sorbet between tough topics. This tweet nailed it. Kudos Amy.
4. I had a little princess sulk this week because I wanted to go to Fiji and we couldn’t. I ended up on the Central Coast wallowing in solitary bliss looking out at a sea of blue while juggling phone interviews and executing three thousand words on Self Managed Super Funds.5. Talking of Self Managed Super funds [SMSFs] (please skip onto the next snippet, non-Aussies), your SMSF can apply for a mortgage to buy a property. You knew that, right?
Broadly, the rules are you can’t buy it from a related party, you can’t live in it or renovate it, but you can base your business in it.
On the type of loans you can use; “It doesn’t really make sense for an SMSF to borrow using interest-only loans,” I was reminded today by the head technical super guru at one of the big four banks. “Principal repayment and interest on the other hand, offers the opportunity for the investor to repay the loan using super contributions from salary sacrifice. By so doing the borrower could see an immediate reduction of personal income tax rate on the salary sacrifice amount from their top marginal rate of up to 47%, down to 15%.”
This is heaps complex stuff and pretty whiz bang for your wealth if you get it right, but you need good advice. If you want to know more, tell me because I have professional partners who are heaps clever with SMSFs.
6. Also on the topic of borrowing Moolah in a bid to make more Moolah, ASIC, the corporate regulator quietly changed the rules for home loan lenders last August, so if you’re a property investor, or are thinking of taking out a new mortgage, you might find it harder than you perhaps used to. I’ve edited them below:
The recommendations are not meant to end our love affair with property, but making sure the ones with the money to lend:
1. align their approved loans with the consumer’s requirements and objectives [SL – lenders can’t sell loans to people who don’t need them or don’t need as much, as if…..] 2. lenders use a consumers’ actual expenses rather than relying on a benchmark [SL – lenders have to use real numbers to help you work out if you can actually afford a bazillion dollar mortgage before you fall in love with the view from the balcony . Ones that reflect just how much it actually costs us to live which is PLENTY] 3. affordability assessments include buffers for future interest rate rises. [SL – Remember interest rates go up too, and now lenders have to work out if you can still afford your loan should we find ourselves riding the rate roller coaster back up again].
Of course, Newtons Law says for every force there is an equal and opposite force – if loans are harder to come by, there will be flow-on effect. One senior economist I talk to regularly, said the tightening will impact house prices. Property values could fall as buyers have less money to spend overall, and sellers realise they can’t ask as much. He also thinks rental yields will reduce as house prices soften, leading them to start buying shares instead.
Form your own judgement won’t you, dear reader? This is not advice, simply passing on what I’m hearing from whispers in the money vaults.
The Danish Girl
6. On a final note, I went to see The Danish Girl on Sunday night at the St George Cinema. Sniffles and sobs all around. If the stunningly lovely Alicia Vikander doesn’t get a quiver of awards for her performance I’ll eat my silk stockings. Oh and Eddie Redmayne was sublime too but we already know he’s gifted after he played Stephen Hawking. The two together created an onscreen magic which made me want to climb into the film and squeeze them both to my maternal bosom.
Just for kicks here’s a picture of our very own Sydney Harbour, Opera House and Harbour Bridge, which I took just as the Tourism Australia ad was running on the magic pop up screen. Chandon, Lindt balls, good friends and this view, happy smug sigh.
Well folks that’s it for now. Don’t forget to email me will you?
You just never know what you’re gonna get do you, and that is how life rolls.