Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Are you a millionaire, but still feel insecure?

CNN/Money released an article today about the number of households that are millionaires. Households with a net worth of at least $1 million excluding primary residences rose 8 percent to a record high 8.9 million. What I find interesting in this article is the mention of total income reported among millionaire households. They averaged $119,000. Among those households that drew some of their income from jobs, they earned an average of $82,000 in salaries or professional fees. The average age among the heads of these households was 56, and about 75 percent of them said they felt confident they will be financially prepared for retirement.

$119,000 isn't that much relative to their net worth. If that's the case, this group (at least the median earners in this millionaire club), is living the Millionaire Next Door life. They're using good offence (income) and great defense (saving).

Of course there are others, who make $600,000 a year and are "struggling" to make ends meet. A Financial Times commentary on Aug 30, 05 has an article about a hedge fund manager who can barely make ends meet with his $600k income. Interesting views on a secure future: one group making $119k who are millionaires, and another making $600k and feel poor.

Looking ahead, there will be a huge focus on the 'emerging affluent' (households with a net worth between $100,000 and $500,000, excluding primary residences) and financial services geared to the younger Generation Y. Look for financial services companies to focus on them in the near future.

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Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Google Fatigue in Media

So if you keep up with media news, there's no doubt that you see a lot of Google news. Google has a couple of 'wins' today. They launched their Google Blog Search tool. Google Blog Search returns search results only from blog posts. Blog search results include posts from Google-owned Blogger blogs as well as blogs created by other services (like MovableType or WordPress.) Of course Technorati has been around but in my experience, it's not as comprehensive as the Google Blog Search. There were times when I wished that there was an effective blog search tool. This is another reminder why Google is an important Internet media company. They quickly release tools that are useful for the masses.

Another 'win' for Google is the court ruling that allows the ex-Microsoft vice president, Kai-Fu Lee to work for Google in China. Lee can begin working for Google by setting up a research office in China and recruiting software engineers but is restricted from using confidential information gleaned while he worked at Microsoft, the judge ruled. Google has Microsoft on the defense and has the resources to do so.

Finally, speaking of resources, Google on Wednesday is set to begin a stock sale that could net more than $4 billion in proceeds from a shelf offering of 14.16 million Class A shares. As of today, GOOG is at $310 per share. After the offering, the big question is, what will Google do with their $6billon dollar pot? Extend their Google Talk message program to VoIP customers by buying Skype? Too late, Ebay bought Skype for $2.6billion, announced on Monday. Either way, it will be announced in every media outlet like the announcement about Ebay buying Skype or Oracle buying Siebel for $5.85billion. Most will probably be scratching their heads about why the acquisition since it may not relate to web searches. By then we'll be Google'd out and come to expect it, knowing that Google IS the media of the future.

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Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Katrina, August 29, 2005

My thoughts and prayers go to the victims and people who are affected by Hurrican Katrina. I hope the rebuilding of lives and homes will be a smooth one. Disasters cannot be compared, but we can only hope that the areas of destruction is as quick as the earthquake of Kobe Japan was.

On January 17,1995, a 7.3 eqrthquake on the Richter scale hit Kobe.

  • 4,571 died,
  • 85% of schools were damaged,
  • Fully collapsed 67,421 structures,
  • Partially collapsed 55,145 structures,
  • Almost all container berths and wharves were inoperable at the ports, The main roads in the harbor area were cut off
  • Total Damage - approximately 6.9 trillion yen (US$60billion)
  • debris removal lasted over 3 years.
These before and after pictures tell a remarkable story of rebuilding, revitalization, and moving forward. Let's hope the USA government can get their act together and look forward to a new New Orleans, Mississippi, Alabama, and its affected borders.

Hanshin Expressway Kobe Route Hanshin Expressway Kobe Route
Hanshin Expressway Kobe Route
Rokko Island Marine Park Rokko Island Marine Park
Rokko Island Marine Park
Daikai Street Daikai Street
Daikai Street
JR Shin-Nagata Station JR Shin-Nagata Station
JR Shin-Nagata Station

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