Friday 12 July 2024

[Post 605] Wind Energy In India Is Powering Over 1M Homes, But At What Cost? | Power To The People


Muppandal Wind Farm, in the Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu, India, is home to more than 3,000 wind turbines, making it the largest in India. 

Power generated from the farm feeds India's central grid, and the industry offers livelihoods to educated youths and has lifted living standards for the communities. However, rising land prices leave past land sellers in regret. As the town grapples with economic transformation, the delicate balance between progress and environmental preservation becomes apparent.

Thursday 11 July 2024

[Post 603] Do Fed Comments Cause Too Much Volatility in the Stock Market?


A growing body of research shows how comments from Federal Reserve members move financial markets. Longterm transparency efforts from the Fed have resulted in more communication with the public today than ever before. But some argue that the Fed's communication and forecasting framework may be contributing to undue market volatility. When it comes to "Fed speak," how much is too much?

Wednesday 10 July 2024

[Post 602] How Royal Caribbean And Carnival Made A Comeback


Royal Caribbean is leading the $61 billion cruise industry’s comeback. This comes just a couple of years after a 15-month pandemic era shutdown led to questions about whether the industry could ever recover. But the three public companies - Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian - are starting off 2024 with record breaking booking positions and pricing levels. Drawing younger audiences, smart cash management and strong pre-cruise spending have all been contributing factors.

[Post 601] Why A $100,000 Salary Can’t Buy The American Dream


More than half (52%) of Americans say they would need at least $100,000 a year to be financially comfortable, according to the August 2023 CNBC Your Money Survey. It’s becoming increasingly more difficult to achieve the American Dream, especially as younger generations are beginning their adulthood with thousands of dollars in student loans. Watch the video above to learn more about how much it costs to achieve the American Dream.

Tuesday 9 July 2024

[Post 600] Why So Many EV Companies Fail


The EV revolution could bring more change to the automotive industry than since its founding, and the potential impact is a tempting proposition for entrepreneurs. But this business is not for the faint of heart and nothing like starting an app or a social media company. It takes billions of dollars to build factories, design vehicles, secure suppliers, comply with regulations and find a way to distribute and service cars. Many have dramatically underestimated the capital costs. Going public through Special Purpose Acquisition Companies, or SPACs, is one way to raise funds. Balancing the need to respect age old industry practices, while finding ways to innovate in a highly competitive market is a struggle. The few that have been successful so far, such as Tesla and BYD, are emulating some of the practices that helped automakers like Ford and General Motors emerge victorious from the industry's first wave of consolidation in the early 20th century. But others like Fisker, Lordstown Motors, IndieEV and WM have or are failing.

[Post 599] Why Kraft Heinz Is Warren Buffett's Worst Bet


Nine years after its megamerger, food behemoth Kraft Heinz is facing challenging times amid slumping sales, high inflation, a shift away from processed foods and stiff competition. Despite $27 billion in annual sales, the company must keep innovating if it wants to compete with private-label brands such as Costco's Kirkland or Wegmans' various brands which are quickly stealing market share as recent generations value lower prices over loyalty. With a new CEO, a renewed focus on core brands, and Brazilian private equity company 3G out of the picture, majority stakeholder Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway is betting it can make a comeback. But experts say it could be difficult.

Monday 8 July 2024

[Post 598] Why The U.S. Economy May Have A ‘Delayed’ Recession: Gary Shilling


The U.S. economy may still face a “delayed” recession, says financial analyst Gary Shilling. “We’ve had more strength in employment than probably is commensurate with the state of business,” Shilling told CNBC. In this episode of “The Bottom Line,” Shilling talks about what may be next for the economy — from key indicators and AI to globalization and the Presidential Election.

[Post 597] Living In The “First Car-Free Neighborhood In The U.S.” For $1,472/Month


Jada Stratman, 25, lives in Culdesac, a car-free community in Arizona. She pays $1,472 a month in rent for her one-bedroom apartment and retail space to house her candle business.

Unlocked is a home tour series focused on how much people across the globe spend on their housing, what they get for the money and what they had to sacrifice to make it happen

Sunday 7 July 2024

[Post 596] Dating Apps’ Hidden Money-Making Strategies, Explained | WSJ The Economics Of

[Post 595] What Family Dollar Closures Reveal About Dollar Stores | WSJ What Went Wrong


Along with Dollar Tree and Dollar General, Family Dollar has been one of the most well-known discount retail brands in the U.S. for decades. In June, Dollar Tree announced that it’s looking to sell or spin off Family Dollar, a brand it acquired in 2015 for roughly $9 billion. 

WSJ breaks down why Family Dollar has been struggling to juice sales for years.

[Post 594] Indonesia's mie lethek or "dirty noodles", popularised by the Obamas


Mie lethek or "dirty noodles" made with cassava in Indonesia is seeing a rise in popularity because it's healthier than instant noodles. But producers can't keep up with demand, as they rely on ancient methods of production such as an ox-driven mill.

Saturday 6 July 2024

[Post 593] How Japan’s Hot Springs Could Power Your Home | Power To The People


After the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011, Japan suffered an energy shortage affecting small towns like Tsuchiyu Onsen. The town's community tapped the onsen-rich resources and built a geothermal binary power plant. However, onsen operators fear rampant geothermal developments will deplete geothermal resources, putting their centuries-old onsen tradition in question.

Friday 5 July 2024

[Post 592] Japan's Geothermal Expansion: Are Centuries-Old Onsens At Risk? | Power To The People


In Japan, the longstanding tradition of bathing in onsens faces new challenges amid the country’s efforts to expand geothermal energy development. Despite its abundant hot springs, only a small fraction of the country's energy comes from geothermal sources. In Fukushima's Tsuchiyu Onsen, a micro-geothermal plant was built to revitalise the town, generating revenue from electricity sales to fund local initiatives. But not all in the community are happy.

[Post 591] I Quit My Tech Job In The U.S. — Now I Earn $30K Baking Pastries In France


Valerie Valcourt, 34, earns $30,000 a year as a pastry assistant in Tournon-sur-Rhône, a village in eastern France. She moved from the U.S. to France in 2022 to attend pastry school.

This is an installment of CNBC Make It's Millennial Money series, which profiles people across the globe and details how they earn, spend and save their money.

Thursday 4 July 2024

[Post 590] We Spent $1 On An Abandoned Baseball Stadium - And $14 Million To Convert It Into Luxury Apartments


Core Redevelopment, a Midwest developer group, renovated the former baseball stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana into a 138-unit luxury apartment building. The city of Indianapolis gave them the school for $1 and it cost about $14 million to renovate.

Unlocked is a home tour series focused on how much people across the globe spend on their housing, what they get for the money and what they had to sacrifice to make it happen.

[Post 589] My Korean Restaurant Brings In $1.8 Million A Year – Here's What It Costs To Run


At 27, Ji Hye Kim quit her long-time job at a medical administration company to become a cheese monger at Zingerman's Deli in Ann Arbor, MI. Eight years later, she opened her own Korean restaurant: Miss Kim. Ji Hye is now a James Beard Award semifinalist. In 2023, her restaurant brought in $1.8 million in sales. Ji Hye passes much of that revenue on to her staff, paying them $12-$15/hour and sharing the restaurant's profits with them.

This is an installment of CNBC Make It's Millennial Money series, which profiles people across the globe and details how they earn, spend and save their money.

Wednesday 3 July 2024

[Post 588] Are green investments profitable?


Investing in sustainable businesses is on every major fund portfolio. Where do you start when looking at green finance and what are the risks and rewards? In this episode of Money Talks, Professor Lawrence Loh from the NUS Business School is our guest. 

[Post 587] Made In China Only: China Looks Domestically For Growth But Will It Succeed? | Insight


President Xi Jinping wants Chinese consumers to spend their way to growth, buying up domestically made goods. At the same time, the government will invest more in “New Productive Forces” – A.I, Green Tech and Advanced Computing - all for the goal of moving up the value chain and shedding China’s reliance on foreign technology. 

In this period of “de-coupling” and trade wars, Beijing might have little choice but to become more self-sufficient. Yet, an overly inward-looking and nationalistic China could discourage foreign investors. Are domestic consumption and production enough to jumpstart China’s sputtering economy?

Tuesday 2 July 2024

[Post 586] I Bought An Ice Cream Shop — Now It Brings In $1.2 Million A Year


Shawn Allard, 27, quit his job as a dental consultant and decided to buy two Arizona ice cream shops called Novel Ice Cream. In 2023, the business brought in $1.2 million in sales.

[Post 585] I Won The NYC Housing Lottery — Now I Pay $1,000/Month For A Luxury Apartment | Unlocked


Nkenge, 30, won the New York City housing lottery in May 2023. She lives in a one-bedroom apartment in the Flatiron District of Manhattan. Her rent is about $1,000 per month.

Unlocked is a home tour series focused on how much people across the globe spend on their housing, what they get for the money and what they had to sacrifice to make it happen.

Monday 1 July 2024

[Post 584] Living On $110K A Year In Italy - How I Plan To Retire By Age 40


Darren Thedieck enlisted in the military at 18 and has diligently saved and invested ever since. He's on track to retire in 8 years, after 20 years of service. So far, he's saved over $500,000.

This is an installment of CNBC Make It's Millennial Money series, which profiles people across the globe and details how they earn, spend and save their money.

[Post 583] I Live In A $250K Houseboat In Toronto, Canada | Unlocked


Kate Fincham, 35, has lived in a houseboat in Toronto, Canada for the past three years. She purchased her home for $250,000. Kate is a content writer and lives with her two cats.

Unlocked is a home tour series focused on how much people across the globe spend on their housing, what they get for the money and what they had to sacrifice to make it happen.

Sunday 30 June 2024

[Post 582] I'm Much Happier Living In Belgium Than In The U.S. - Here's How Much It Costs


Jessica van Dop DeJesus, 45, relocated with her family from Washington, D.C. to Brussels, Belgium in 2021. Last year, Jessica and her husband purchased an apartment for about $587,000, where they live with their young daughter.

[Post 581] I Live Above A Mall In Miami, FL For $4,150/Month | Unlocked


Rachel Koggan, 34, lives above a mall in a one-bedroom apartment in Miami, Florida. She pays $4,150 a month in rent. Rachel works in public relations as the vice president of media relations at M Booth.

Unlocked is a home tour series focused on how much people across the globe spend on their housing, what they get for the money and what they had to sacrifice to make it happen.

Saturday 29 June 2024

[Post 580] Making $37K A Year Playing Dungeons & Dragons In Salt Lake City


Mari Murdock, 36, turned her love of tabletop gaming into a career. She is a professional dungeon master and writing teacher that brings in $37,000 a year.

This is an installment of CNBC Make It's Millennial Money series, which profiles people across the globe and details how they earn, spend and save their money.

[Post 579] Living On $65K A Year Working Three Jobs In Houston, TX


Shonnita Leslie's side-hustle as a DoorDash driver helped her pay down around $20,000 of her six-figure student loan debt. Here's how she spends her money.

This is an installment of CNBC Make It's Millennial Money series, which profiles people across the globe and details how they earn, spend and save their money.

Friday 28 June 2024

[Post 578] How I Bring In $400K A Year Selling Cheese In NYC | On The Job


Caroline Hesse, 32, is the founder and CEO of C. Hesse Cheese, a wholesale cheese distribution company in New York City. She sells cheese to restaurants, cheese shops, catering companies and direct to consumers. In 2023, her business brought in $400,000.

[Post 577] Living In A $1,600/Month Apartment In New York City | Unlocked


Vionna Wai, 30, and her husband, Chucky Hui, 29, have over 150 houseplants and two cats. The couple pays $1,600/month in rent for their 1-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn, NY.

Unlocked is a home tour series focused on how much people across the globe spend on their housing, what they get for the money and what they had to sacrifice to make it happen.

Thursday 27 June 2024

[Post 576] Justin's: How I Built A Peanut Butter Company And Sold It For $281 Million


Justin Gold put his homemade nut butters in Whole Foods, but still couldn't turn a profit. A 2006 mountain-biking ride inspired a new product that put Justin's on the map. For more on how Denver and Boulder have rebuilt themselves as centers of business and industry, check out CNBC's primetime special, "Cities of Success: Denver & Boulder," premiering Thursday, April 11 at 10pm ET/PT.

[Post 402] My Side Hustle Now Brings In $25K/Month - Here's How I Did It


Liz Chick started making and selling art to get reprieve from her "windowless office" job. Now, she runs an art studio in Brooklyn and makes $5,500 per month.

Sunday 23 June 2024

[Post 401] I Spent 14 Years As A Stay-At-Home Dad For My Son. Here’s Why It’s Time To Reclaim My Life


“Why is an abled-bodied man being a stay-home dad?” For 14 years, father of two, Lee Kwong Luen dedicated his time and energy to caring full-time for his son, Jue Ming who has autism and bleeding disorder, haemophilia B. 

He shares candidly about the criticism he faces, his struggle with social isolation and depression, and how he’s slowly reclaiming his identity after putting his career and life on hold for over 10 years. 

Wednesday 19 June 2024

[Post 400] Why Japan’s Economy Is So Fiercely Inefficient | WSJ


Japan is a country of contradictions. From bullet trains to pioneering robotics, it’s often seen as a land of innovation; but it also has a strong attachment to tradition with practices like hanko. Japan used to be the third largest economy in the world but lost the title to Germany last year. So why is the country falling behind?

WSJ’s Peter Landers explains how being fiercely traditional is weighing down Japan’s economy.

Monday 17 June 2024

[Post 399] Our Japanese Bakery In A Hawker Centre: Meet The Shio Pan Sisters | On The Red Dot - I Am A Hawker


It had always been 28-year-old Danielle Tan’s dream to be a baker and own a bakery. She honed her skills by baking and selling cakes at pop-up stalls both as a student and a working adult. After two years of working, Danielle decided to start her own pastry business, specializing in “shio pan” – a Japanese salt bun. Teaming up with her 32-year-old sister Serene, they opened Butter Town.

Butter Town quickly became a roaring success, consistently selling out their breads within two hours of opening. However, their small oven, single mixer, and few trays couldn’t keep up with the overwhelming demand. Within three months, the sisters faced the urgent challenge of scaling up their operations to meet their customers’ needs.

Wednesday 12 June 2024

[Post 397] From Hospitality Graduate To Noodle Hawker: My COVID Career Switch | On The Red Dot - I Am A Hawker


26-year-old Catherine graduated with a degree in hospitality, while her sister, 27-year-old Chong Kai En is a nursing graduate. Neither imagined that they would end up running a hawker stall specialising in noodles when finding a job during the COVID-19 period proved extremely challenging.

Neither sister knew how to cook, so they had to learn to cook the dishes, handle tough customers, and deal with financial struggles. Despite all that, they managed to grow their one noodle stall into three noodle stalls, a vegetarian food stall, and even a vegetarian restaurant. How did these sisters beat the odds and thrive in the competitive hawker scene?

[Post 396] Ultimate World Cruise: What's it like to spend 9 months on a cruise that goes to 60 countries?


What is it like to live 274 days on a cruise ship that's been closely followed by the entire world on TikTok? CNA Lifestyle talked to some passengers from Royal Caribbean's Ultimate World Cruise to find out, during a recent Singapore stopover. (Video: Joyee Koo)

Friday 7 June 2024

[Post 395] The man who eats IKEA food for a living gives us insights on their famous meatballs and more


Ever wondered how IKEA makes its famous meatballs and popular chicken wings? How do they come up with new menu items? IKEA Singapore’s food manager Aeson Ong invited us into the kitchen to find out – and even got us to try some of their brand new dishes.

Thursday 6 June 2024

[Post 394] What to do if you get retrenched | CNA Explains


What should go into your severance package? Are non-compete clauses enforceable? We asked HR experts on what you should know if you get retrenched

Wednesday 5 June 2024

[Post 393] The private driving instructor who's retiring after 48 years on the job


Sunny Kang has been working as a private driving instructor for 48 years. He retires on Apr 27 when he turns 75, the age limit for private driving instructors. And their numbers will only dwindle - Singapore has only about 305 such instructors left, since it stopped issuing teaching licences in 1987. 

Tuesday 4 June 2024

[Post 392] Employment rate for private university graduates falls but median salaries rise


The employment rate for graduates from private education institutions fell, even as they earned more money. This, according to a SkillsFuture Singapore survey of 2,400 students who graduated between May 2022 and April last year. Monthly median salaries rose to $3,400 -- up $200, or slightly more than 6% from the previous survey. But fewer are finding full-time jobs. Over 58% found permanent employment within six months after graduation -- a drop of more than two percentage points from the previous cohort. The percentage of those unemployed crept up to over 16%.

Sunday 2 June 2024

[Post 391] How To Manage Your Money On Payday: The 50-30-20 Rule | Money Mind | Personal Finance


Can three simple numbers help you manage your money better on payday?

[Post 390] $13 For Restaurant-Style Fine Dining In An Yishun Hawker Center? I Am A Hawker | On The Red Dot


33-year-old Asyraffie Bin Mohamed Shukor is an accidental chef who fell in love with the art of fine-dining cooking while working in the modern European restaurant Iggy’s. When his dream to start his own restaurant fell through, Asyraffie, decided to continue his fine-dining journey in a hawker centre, blending haute cuisine techniques with the vibrant flavours of local street food.

From serving six customers a night in a private fine dining restaurant to serving 200 plates in four hours in a hawker centre,  Asyraffie has not compromised in his cooking techniques that brought him fame and acclaim. He serves a dish called Nasi Kerabu, which is unfamiliar to most Singaporeans. Yet it has attracted customers from across the island. So, why are people willing to pay more than $10 a dish and queue for up to 45 minutes for an unknown dish in a hawker stall? 

Friday 31 May 2024

[Post 388] Gen Z Spending More On Travelling: Tips On Planning Your Next Holiday | Money Mind | Travel


Travel experiences are increasingly the currency of choice among travelers today. So how do you get the best bang for your buck when planning such holidays?  

Tips On What To Spend On, To Make The Most Of A New Holiday Experience

Thursday 30 May 2024

[Post 387] Gen Z Money Tips: Saving $10k Fast On A Graduate's Starting Salary | Money Mind | Savings


How do you save $10k quickly if you've just started working? One Gen Z shares his strategies. 

[Post 386] "Kids Are Too Expensive!” How Thailand Became One Of The World's Fastest Aging Countries | Insight


After Singapore, Thailand has the lowest fertility rate in Southeast Asia, making it one of the fastest aging countries in the world. The problem is, Thailand will grow old before it grows rich. 

An aging society is typically a predicament affecting developed nations. But Thailand is still developing. So, why is it facing a population crisis ahead of time? How did culture, religion, the economy, policies, and politics drive down the birthrate in the Land of Smiles? The Thai government is changing the laws to encourage more births. Can they reverse the slide? And, faced with a stagnating economy and competition from its younger neighbours, what does it mean for Thailand if it cannot rejuvenate its fertility rate?

Wednesday 29 May 2024

[Post 385] Savings Account Interest Rates Going Down: Better Ways To Save? | Money Mind | Savings


Major banks are cutting rates on their flagship savings accounts, so what are the low risk, high yield alternatives for savvy savers?

Tuesday 28 May 2024

[Post 384] Same Style For Less Money? Why Some Buyers Choose Dupe Products: Bargain Hunters | On The Red Dot


Dupes, or duplicates, have surged in popularity in recent years - offering budget-friendly options to high-end products. From designer fashion to make-up and tech, bargain hunters can find many products that are inspired by trendy branded originals. There are even dupes available for popular fast food items. How difficult is it to find good dupes, and how much can you really save from buying them?

Meet avid frozen food dupe hunter, Leslie Koh, relishes in finding “taste-alikes” for popular branded fast food and teaches you how to cook them to satisfy cravings at a fraction of the price. Next, Isyraf Rusydi, a business student who collects fragrances as a hobby, shows Host Andrea Chong where to buy popular expensive scents at a fraction of the costs. Then, Isabelle Rosta, who has a women’s lifestyle blog, shares her dupe fashion finds. She attempts to find Andrea a dupe of an outfit worn by a character in the series 'Emily In Paris,' which Andrea admires. Will she be successful in finding a budget-friendly option?

Monday 27 May 2024

[Post 383] Why Malaysia’s Currency Has Been Falling: Can The Ringgit Recover? | Insight | Full Episode


In February this year, the Malaysian currency, the ringgit, suffered its steepest decline in 26 years. It briefly slipped past MYR 4.8 against the US dollar, its weakest since reaching an all-time low of 4.88 during the 1998 Asian Financial Crisis. 

This has caused a strain on the country’s key industries - from the airlines to manufacturing - due to higher fuel prices and cost of raw materials. It has shaken investor confidence and accelerated outward migration. 

Why has the ringgit lost so much of its value? Could the depreciating ringgit spell trouble for Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim? As the government projects a recovery, is a turnaround in sight?

[Post 382] Hot Weather Makes You Less Productive: How To Keep Cool & Save On Energy Costs | Money Mind


Beating the heat with some cool tips and solutions while keeping energy bills down.

Sunday 26 May 2024

[Post 381] Save Money On Your Home Renovation With DIY, Thrifting, Taobao: Bargain Hunters | On The Red Dot


Creating your dream home can be costly…but it doesn’t have to be. Host Das meets couples who have done more for less, as he picks tips on glamming up his future home. When Izwan and Nadirah were forced to move up the timeline on their home purchase, they were left with just $5,000 to renovate their 5-room flat. Das discovers how they turned their blank canvas into a modern masterpiece - and their limitation into a thriving business – by doing it themselves.

Myra, known to her friends at the “Taobao queen”, saved thousands on furniture by buying direct from manufacturers on China’s largest online marketplace, despite not being able to read a word of Chinese. She teaches Das how to navigate the platform, save costs on shipping and even snag free furniture customisation. You’d never guess that 80% of the furnishing in Renee and Leo’s home is second-hand. Das learns how to haggle for homeware and get furniture for free, and transforms a worn out chair into a new piece for his home.

Saturday 25 May 2024

[Post 380] How Food Prep Saved Me From Having To Get A Second Job | Money Mind | Japan


After decades of deflation, Japan is now experiencing rising prices. Food items have seen some of the most price hikes. So how do you cope with inflation when your salary just isn't keeping up? For one Japanese millennial in Tokyo, the solution is at his fingertips.

[Post 379] Save Or Spend? Tips On Making The Most Of Your Bonus | Money Mind | Personal Finance


You've earned it, so how can you make the most of it? Tips on making your bonus go further.

Thursday 23 May 2024

[Post 377] What does the yen at a 34-year low mean for Japanese companies, consumers and tourism?


The Japanese yen has fallen sharply to a 34-year low against the US dollar. The weak yen is positive for inbound visitors, but Japanese consumers and companies are feeling the pinch. CNA's Henry Yin and Michiyo Ishida explain.

Wednesday 22 May 2024

[Post 376] What's driving China's gold buying spree?


Gold has surged to record levels this year. 

It's benefiting as investors flee to safe-haven assets amid geopolitical concerns and recession chatter. 

And there's a strong China connection.

But why is gold a top choice? Roland Lim explains.