Welcome to the 3rd issue of our weekly newsletter! As usual, do feel free to contact us if you have any suggestions or feedback!
We've released the second part of our guide exploring financial instruments. In this week, we talk about everything you need to know about stocks, shares and equity. Check it out!
We've also started a new series about exploring your personality and improving on yourself. In the first part, we talk about why personality is important.
In the second part, we discuss introversion, extraversion, and social anxiety. If you're curious about how people around you think, do give it a read!
Thoughts of the week
This week has been quite the slow week for us. We're out of the lock down period here in Singapore and have been spending some time catching up and going out (while wearing masks, of course).
Election week is drawing closer, and campaigning has been going on in full swing even with the coronavirus still around. In fact, local cases here in Singapore have been increasing slowly as lock down measures ease and people begin to mingle.
As they say, time will tell if there's a wave two of the coronavirus outbreak.
Perhaps of note this week is the sort of boycott going on over in the US with Facebook. Facebook has been facing public dissatisfaction due to their lack of policing of hate speech and disinformation.
In a bid to jump on the bandwagon, large companies like Unilever and Coca Cola have stopped all advertising with Facebook, and the collective boycott of multiple companies and the public has resulted in Zuckerberg losing 7 billion on his net worth so far.
This has led to new policies being introduced at Facebook and many promises to ban hateful ads and the like, but Facebook does not have a pretty history with regard to its controversies such as how it dealt with privacy, and perhaps these promises will be empty ones too.
Another week, and another new hit to the market surfaces as the US Federal Reserve carried out stress tests on banks, concluding that major banks "meet minimum capital requirements" in various recovery scenarios.
This stress test was carried out with conditions better than current economic levels however, and even then, a quarter of banks would nearly dip below minimum capital requirements if a second dip in the market occurs.
For now, the Federal Reserve has decided to cap dividend payments (no more than the last dividend payout), as well as suspend share buybacks for banks. This paints a more cautious approach than the stress test results have indicated.
Either way, the biggest losers are still the general population, with retirees having their interest rates slashed to zero, and their investments not paying out dividends.
All these highlight the importance of a diversified portfolio that can sustain your liabilities in most conditions, insurance, and also emphasizes why we need multiple income streams other than just your income to stay financially stable should unforeseen circumstances occur.
Recently, I've been looking at some interest shifts in the way technology is evolving in today's world. In the realms of artificial intelligence, we see it making its way into real world robotics, such as Spot, a robot dog that is aware of its surroundings and can perform tasks autonomously.
It can even navigate obstacles, know where to place its feet to walk over uneven ground, and take shocks and impacts. This makes Spot useful in areas where humans may find it dangerous to go and do tasks. Check it out!
Spot is just one of the many robots that are coming out into the field, and only one of the many applications of artificial intelligence today.
Personally, I think it's probably inevitable that someday artificial intelligence surpasses or even replaces human intelligence in many tasks. Perhaps one can even view it as a next step in evolution of the human species - robots.
After all, everything we know today stems from our consciousness and the human mind. If we manage to figure that out, then we could simply transfer our consciousness to a more robust (robotic) body and theoretically live forever.
Of course, artificial intelligence is a very scary thing, especially if one considers its potential to overthrow humanity and be used for evil. In many places worldwide, we already see it being used in cameras to detect faces and in war to identify buildings and key targets.
With the advancement of technology, human life will become more and more fragile - we already have nuclear warheads capable of ending all life on Earth, and the more of such world ending technologies we have, the higher the possibility of someone, or some nation abusing it.
As they say, if we can't prevent it, we can only embrace it and try to make things work. This means stricter control over the research and advancement of artificial intelligence, and perhaps, look into ways to increase our survival as a species, such as becoming multi-planetary.
That's all for now for issue three of our newsletter! We hope you enjoyed reading and see you in the next one!
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