China http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/1400/all en-US 5 Ways Greece and China's Economic Problems Might Impact You http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-greece-and-chinas-economic-problems-might-impact-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-greece-and-chinas-economic-problems-might-impact-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_reading_newspaper_000035901626.jpg" alt="Woman learning how China and Greece&#039;s problems might impact her" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's virtually impossible to watch the news without hearing about China or Greece.</p> <p>With Greece on the constant brink of defaulting its debt payments and China's stock market losing almost 40% of its value, you may be wondering, &quot;Is this going to affect me or my finances?&quot;</p> <p>Here are the five ways Greece and China's economic problems might impact you.</p> <h2>1. Professional Investors Betting on a Greek Stock Bounceback</h2> <p>According to data from Athens Exchange Group, foreign investors own <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-06-21/you-could-fit-america-s-greek-stock-holdings-in-one-u-s-midcap">own close to 60%</a> of the Greek stock market. The same data reveals that U.S. investors hold the lion's share (25%), which amounts to $5.7 billion.</p> <p>Despite the downward trend of the Greek stock market, U.S. investors continue to pour money into Greek holdings, such as the Global X FTSE Greece 20 ETF (<a href="http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=GREK">NYSE:GREK</a>). And even though the price of this ETF dropped from a high of $23 in June 2014 to a bottom of $9.90 in July 2015, the ETF's total assets have increased from $245 million to $304 million over the same period.</p> <p>Unless you've got an unusually high risk tolerance, investing in Greek stock is probably best avoided for the time being. Ditto for China, which is likely to experience continued volatility in the short-to-medium term.</p> <h2>2. Average Investors' &quot;Sleeping Point&quot; Put to the Test</h2> <p>While the investing pros may be betting on the Greek stock market to bounce, the rest of us may be losing some sleep about the ups and downs of our 401(k) balances. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-simple-ways-to-boost-an-underperforming-401k?ref=seealso">5 Simple Ways to Boost an Underperforming 401(k)</a>)</p> <p>When Greece appeared likely to default on its debt payment on Tuesday, June 30th, the Dow Jones industrial average <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/global-markets-fall-as-greece-closes-banks-and-twin-defaults-loom/2015/06/29/c1a48d72-1e76-11e5-aeb9-a411a84c9d55_story.html">plunged by 350 points</a> the day before. Even though American financial institutions have improved mechanisms to shield themselves from foreign externalities, the global financial system continues to be highly interconnected.</p> <p>This is why many U.S. investors may be reaching their sleeping point &mdash; taking only the risk that still allows them to sleep at night &mdash; and decide to sell part of their stocks or switch holdings to alternative financial vehicles, such as bonds.</p> <p>In these times of financial turmoil is important to remember this pearl of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-pearls-of-financial-wisdom-from-alan-greenspan">financial wisdom from Alan Greenspan</a>: &quot;The market pays a premium to those willing to endure the angst of watching their net worth fluctuate beyond what Wall Streeters call the 'sleeping point.'&quot; Before jumping the gun on Greek or Chinese stocks, consult your financial advisor or 401(k) plan manager to make an informed and non-emotional decision.</p> <h2>3. U.S. Dollar Becomes Stronger</h2> <p>The mid-June 2015 crash of the Shanghai stock market was huge. The world's third largest stock exchange by company value, the <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/quote/SHCOMP:IND">Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index</a> went down by more 20% during the second half of June.</p> <p>There was such a selling frenzy of Chinese stocks that China's 21 major securities brokers had to mutually <a href="http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2015-07/04/c_134381795.htm">agree on not selling</a> Chinese stocks as long as the Shanghai Composite is below 4,500 points (it's currently trading at about 3,990 points).</p> <p>The Chinese stock market crisis has contributed to the strengthening of the U.S. dollar as more and more Chinese investors are seeking refuge in U.S. assets, including stocks, treasuries, or just plain cash. Tack on Greece's economic problems, and you get an U.S. dollar gaining 3% in value against global currencies.</p> <p>In theory, a stronger U.S. dollar sounds awesome. However, the reality is a bit more complicated. It can make exports more expensive, hurting returns for American companies, for example.</p> <h2>4. Chinese Investors Are Inflating U.S. Real Estate Prices</h2> <p>One thing that Chinese investors are buying a lot: U.S. real estate. That may be in part because of the unstable economic reality of their home country.</p> <p>According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), in 2014 Chinese buyers spent an estimated $22 billion on American real estate. Even more surprising, 76% of those purchases were made in cash. If you think you had to keep the bid for your dream home competitive, well now you have to work extra hard to keep it that way.</p> <p>Since the NAR indicates that 51% of real estate purchase from Chinese investors took place in California, Washington, and New York, home buyers in those states need to inform themselves about properties that may be attractive for Chinese investors. If you snooze, you lose.</p> <h2>5. Slowdown for Some U.S. Businesses</h2> <p>Chinese consumers contribute about 8% of the revenues for companies in the Standard &amp; Poor's 500. However, the contribution of Chinese consumers to the revenues of some American businesses is much higher.</p> <p>Take for example, Yum! Brands Inc. (<a href="http://finance.yahoo.com/q?d=t&amp;s=YUM">NYSE:YUM</a>) with over 6,800 restaurants in over 1,000 cities &mdash; it generates about 18% of its sales from China. Another example: Apple (<a href="http://finance.yahoo.com/q?d=t&amp;s=AAPL">NASDAQ: AAPL</a>) reported <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/apr/27/apple-record-results-china-iphone-sales">$16.82 billion in sales</a> from China for the first quarter of 2015. This means that the giant from Cupertino made 29% of its global sales just in China.</p> <p>A shaky Chinese stock market or economy means that those same Chinese consumers may have to cut back on ordering buckets of KFC and buying iPhones. Some U.S. companies are already feeling the burn. The world's largest auto market saw auto sales tumble 2.3% in June year-over-year and this drop has already <a href="http://www.cnbc.com/2015/07/18/china-woes-to-hit-auto-sales.html">affected the price target</a> of General Motors stock from $44 to $36.</p> <p>So, don't be surprised if some of your U.S. stocks take a dip, or if your employer downgrades sales projections, or starts looking at ways to cut costs. What happens across the globe can impact us, too.</p> <p><em>How have Greece and China's economic problems affected you? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us at </em><a href="http://www.twitter.com/wisebread"><em>@Wisebread</em></a><em>.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-greece-and-chinas-economic-problems-might-impact-you">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-best-money-management-tips-from-john-oliver">7 Best Money Management Tips From John Oliver</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/recession-depression">Recession Depression</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-get-a-promotion">8 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Get a Promotion</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-smart-things-to-do-with-your-settlement-money">8 Smart Things to Do With Your Settlement Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-surprising-ways-the-rich-get-richer">5 Surprising Ways the Rich Get Richer</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance China economic problems greece investing stock market Fri, 24 Jul 2015 17:00:13 +0000 Damian Davila 1501861 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Easy Ways to Invest in China http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-invest-in-china <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-easy-ways-to-invest-in-china" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/china_000031662610.jpg" alt="Cool new ways to invest in China" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>China, with its 1.4 billion people, is overwhelming in size. Investing in China can be daunting. But it also poses a huge opportunity.</p> <p>There are a number of good ways for the American investor to benefit from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/need-a-job-try-searching-in-china">China's economic growth</a>. And you don't need to know Chinese, or even learn a lot about individual companies there to profit.</p> <p>Consider these Chinese investments to add some geographic diversity to your portfolio.</p> <h2>1. Fidelity China Region Fund (<a href="https://fundresearch.fidelity.com/mutual-funds/summary/315910778">FHKCX</a>)</h2> <p>If you're a Fidelity customer, you can buy and sell this fund with no transaction fee. The fund has risen in value more than 20% this year, and has an expense ratio of just 1%, which is relatively low for international funds. Major holdings include Taiwan Semiconductor, AIA Group, and the China Construction Bank. This fund has a coveted five-star rating from Morningstar.</p> <h2>2. iShares MSCI China ETF (<a href="https://www.ishares.com/us/products/239619/ishares-msci-china-etf">MCHI</a>)</h2> <p>This exchange-traded fund from Blackrock will give you exposure to large and midcap firms in China, and is designed to track the MSCI China index. Its expense ratio is just 0.62%, and top holdings including Tencent Holdings, China Construction Bank, and China Mobile. For a different mix of Chinese investments, also consider the <a href="https://www.ishares.com/us/products/239536/ishares-china-largecap-etf">iShares China Large Cap</a>, and the <a href="https://www.ishares.com/us/products/239620/ishares-msci-china-smallcap-etf">iShares MSCI China Small Cap</a> ETFs. This ETF is free to trade through Fidelity.</p> <h2>3. Kraneshares CSI China Internet ETF (<a href="http://kraneshares.com/kweb/">KWEB</a>)</h2> <p>You've heard the buzz about Alibaba, so here's a way to get in on the action. This ETF, which is less than two years old, has risen in value by more than 30% this year. It counts Tencents Holding Co. and Alibaba as its top holdings.</p> <h2>4. Market Vectors China AMC SME-ChiNext ETF (<a href="http://www.vaneck.com/market-vectors/equity-etfs/cnxt/snapshot/">CNXT</a>)</h2> <p>Shares of this ETF have nearly doubled this year, thanks to good performance from its mix of large and medium Chinese stocks. This ETF just began trading in July of last year, and already has assets of nearly $90 million. Top holdings include East Money Information Co., Sunung Commerce Group, and SIASUN Robot and Automation.</p> <h2>5. Guggenheim China Real Estate ETF (<a href="http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=tao">TAO</a>)</h2> <p>There's been some talk of a real estate bubble in China, but it hasn't popped yet. This ETF is up more than 15% over the last 52 weeks, as the value of Chinese real estate continues upward. You may never get to own a skyscraper in Shanghai, but this is one way to get a piece of the action.</p> <h2>6. Yum! Brands</h2> <p>It's often a wise idea to invest in an American company that has a big presence in the market with which you are seeking exposure. In the case of Yum! Brands, you'd be investing in one of the top retail developers in China, with 6,800 restaurants (mostly Pizza Hut and KFC) and another 700 on the way this year.</p> <h2>7. Ford and General Motors</h2> <p>What? American automakers? Yes, the Chinese are adding new drivers every day, and seem to like U.S. made cars. The Wall Street Journal in May labeled Ford &quot;The big up-and-comer in China,&quot; and the company has doubled its Chinese market share since 2012. GM has also seen increases in sales. Invest in U.S. automakers, and get some indirect exposure to China in the process.</p> <p><em>Are you considering investing in China?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-invest-in-china">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-your-retirement-by-avoiding-these-10-risky-investments">Save Your Retirement by Avoiding These 10 Risky Investments</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-invest-in-biotech-without-getting-burned">7 Ways to Invest in Biotech Without Getting Burned</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-build-an-investment-portfolio-for-under-5000">How to Build an Investment Portfolio for Under $5000</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-investment-mistakes-we-all-make">11 Investment Mistakes We All Make</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-tell-if-your-401k-is-a-good-or-a-bad-one">How to Tell if Your 401K Is a Good or a Bad One</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment China diversity ETFs overseas stocks Mon, 06 Jul 2015 11:00:12 +0000 Tim Lemke 1475624 at http://www.wisebread.com Need a Job? Try Searching in China http://www.wisebread.com/need-a-job-try-searching-in-china <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/need-a-job-try-searching-in-china" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/yangzhou.jpg" alt="Yangzhou" title="Five Pagoda Bridge, Yangzhou" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Recently I read an article in <em>The New York Times</em> that profiled <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/11/business/economy/11expats.html?bl&amp;ex=1250136000&amp;en=370e4670dc148005&amp;ei=5087%0A">young American graduates who found jobs or started businesses in China</a>. Personally I have not worked in China before, but many of my family members and some friends do. One of my good friends is actually pursuing her MBA right now with the goal of finding a job in China once she graduates. This is not such a crazy idea considering that unemployment is still very high in the United States, and China is still in need of talented professionals who are familiar with the western culture. Here are some quick tips for those who are interested in working in China.</p> <h2>Language barrier</h2> <p>Many people are hesitant to apply to positions in China because they do not know Chinese, but as <em>The New York Times</em> article pointed out, some jobs do not require the knowledge of Chinese. There are many foreign companies operating in China that have offices that speak English. Additionally, English is officially the second language in China and it is taught from the sixth grade. Most college educated Chinese people will be able to speak a bit of English. It is helpful to learn Chinese if you have to live in China, but many companies offer training in this area.</p> <h2>Compensation</h2> <p>A new college graduate in China considers 5000 to 6000 yuan a month to be a very good payrate right now. This works out to be $730 to $838 a month at the current exchange rate of 6.83 yuan to a dollar, and most recent graduates do not get paid that much. It is very easy to spend that much and more each month if you live in Beijing or Shanghai due to the cost of living. That is why some young folks in China are called &quot;yueguangzhu&quot; or &quot;moonlight tribe&quot; which means &quot;the generation that ends up with nothing every month.&quot; (This is a pun based on &quot;yue&quot; which means&nbsp; &quot;moon&quot; or &quot;month&quot; and &quot;guang&quot; which means &quot;light&quot; or &quot;emptiness.&quot;) The best situation for a foreign job seeker would be to find a position that pays American or European pay. For example, if you are hired by an American company to work in China for $3000 a month, then you would be earning 3 to 4 times the local pay and you can live very well.</p> <h2>Job types</h2> <p>There are many junior positions for new graduates, but many candidates will be competing for these positions and the pay will be lower. There are many senior executive level positions available in China, too. These senior positions are actually very lucrative if the right person is willing to relocate. Most of the time the senior positions may require some fluency in Chinese.</p> <h2>Employers</h2> <p>If you are truly ready to take the plunge, it is probably easier to start your search with large U.S. or Europe based companies first. For example, multinationals like <a href="http://www.intel.com/jobs/china/">Intel have offices in China they are actively recruiting for</a>. This site called <a href="http://www.newchinacareer.com/index.html">New China Career</a> lists many jobs from large companies such as IBM and J.P. Morgan. You can also find joint ventures and private companies in China that hire foreigners.</p> <h2>Cost of living</h2> <p>The cost of living has risen dramatically in the last decade in China. In large cities like Beijing and Shanghai, monthly costs can be comparable to or even higher than large cities in America if you want to live in the best areas. However, if you are frugal and not extremely picky about where you live then your cost of living would be much lower. Right now it is possible to rent a decent small condo in Shanghai or Beijing for $200 to $400 a month. Many young people have roommates in these big expensive cities to cut down living costs further. As to food, if you want to eat at your favorite American fast food places you would have to pay American prices. However, if you cook your own food from groceries at the local market, it is possible to eat fairly well for under $100 a month. If you go out to the posh clubs and restaurants every night then there is really no limit to how much you can spend, but that is true anywhere.</p> <h2>Transportation</h2> <p>If you do live in a big metropolis in China then you probably do not need a car because there will be public transit everywhere. Business districts are also tightly packed so it is possible to walk or take short cab rides to get to your destination. Another cheap option is to get a bike, but as Carrie mentioned in her article <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheap-china-the-expat-way-or-better-the-chinese-way">it could be dangerous</a> due to the unruly traffic. Even though in my last visit to Beijing after the Olympics it looked like the bike lanes were quite wide and well paved, other Chinese cities' traffic were not so orderly. The fact is that it is actually extremely expensive to get your own private car in China. For example, in Shanghai it costs more than $6000 just to get a car registered, and there is a waiting list to participate in these license plate auctions. Public transportation is definitely the cheapest way to go, but you have to get used to the pushing and crazy amount of riders during peak hours.</p> <p>There are many more issues about working in China such as taxes, work permits, and culture that I am leaving out in this post. It is a big change to move to a foreign country for a job, but my point here is that you do not have to restrict your search for opportunity in one small section of the world. Globalization is happening <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/how-to-find-and-hire-a-virtual-assistant-for-your-small-business">whether we like it or not</a>, and if you are adventurous enough, working in China is a good opportunity to advance your career and also gain some perspective on the most populous country in the world. Now the hardest part is probably to get hired, since competition may be fierce for some of the more lucrative jobs, but it does not hurt to try.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/xin-lu">Xin Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/need-a-job-try-searching-in-china">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-best-free-tools-to-improve-your-work-performance">The 7 Best Free Tools to Improve Your Work Performance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-healthy-habits-to-take-to-work">10 Healthy Habits to Take to Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-never-to-bring-up-in-a-job-interview">5 Things Never to Bring Up in a Job Interview</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-important-signs-that-your-job-sucks">10 Important Signs That Your Job Sucks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-youre-being-a-terrible-employee">12 Ways You&#039;re Being a Terrible Employee</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building careers China work Thu, 13 Aug 2009 22:00:04 +0000 Xin Lu 3496 at http://www.wisebread.com Poisonous Infant Formula May Be Closer Than You Think http://www.wisebread.com/poisonous-infant-formula-may-be-closer-than-you-think <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/poisonous-infant-formula-may-be-closer-than-you-think" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/poisoned bottles.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="159" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <!--[endif]--><!--[endif]--><p class="MsoNormal">The concern arises over Friday’s announcement of a major Chinese dairy recalled 700 tons of milk powder linked to a rash of illnesses in infants.<span>  </span>Most of the infants suffered from kidney stones, although two deaths had been reported at the time of this article.<span>  </span>The culprit?<span>  </span>Melamine, a substance used to make plastics, is reportedly not supposed to be used in food production, but suppliers in China have been found to mix it into some products to make them appear higher in volume (<a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/09/12/health/main4443254.shtml">Associated Press</a>). <em>Remember the melamine dog food recalls?</em> </p> <p class="MsoNormal"><a href="http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/asection/la-fg-milk16-2008sep16,0,7132079.story">Sanlu Bei Bei Infant Powder</a> (the only brand found responsible at this point) isn’t a brand you may be familiar with.<span>  </span>In fact, the FDA is trying to reassure those who purchase formula from the major US distribution channels that the contaminated milk won’t be in anything we typically use.<span>  </span>But what about Chinese-Americans or others who may be inclined to purchase Chinese-made infant formula from ethnic grocery stores or other means?<span>  </span>The FDA is standing firm on its claim that any formula made in China be tossed immediately. </p> <p class="MsoNormal">I’ll even go one step further.<span>  </span>Because of past scandals involving formula (including the 2004 arrests of Chinese infant manufacturers who were found <a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/05/10/health/main616432.shtml">guilty of providing infant formula with no nutritional value</a> whatsoever), I would want to know more than just who made my formula. I would avoid buying even approved-brand formulas from any channel that is less than reputable.<span>  </span>This means you may want to avoid getting formula from places like Ebay, Craiglist, or garage sales unless you can guarantee it is in its original, sealed containers (and not a fake formula.) </p> <p class="MsoNormal">At this point, it is still safe to buy any formula from approved U.S. distributors (including “Abbott Nutritionals, Mead Johnson Nutritionals, Nestle USA, PBM Nutritionals, and Solus Products LLC. Also, one manufacturer, SHS/Nutricia, Liverpool, England, markets an amino acid based exempt infant formula that does not contain any milk-derived ingredients.)<span>  </span><a href="/why-theres-no-reason-not-to-buy-store-brand-baby-formula">Store-brand formulas are OK</a>, too.<span>  </span>Just be careful where you get it.<span>  </span>Retail outlets with a good reputation for offering authentic wares are still your best bet. </p> <p class="MsoNormal">For the official press release regarding this alert, visit <a href="http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/NEWS/2008/NEW01883.html">the FDA press release</a>.<span>  </span>(For a new update regarding the Chinese milk recall, see this <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601080&amp;sid=aJk9YS__guLc&amp;refer=asia">Bloomberg report</a>.)</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/poisonous-infant-formula-may-be-closer-than-you-think">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/more-evidence-more-deals-would-you-ever-trust-toyota-again">More Evidence. More Deals. Would You Ever Trust Toyota Again?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/did-your-car-break-down-check-for-recalled-parts-and-fix-it-for-free">Did your car break down? Check for recalled parts and fix it for free!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/canadians-try-to-kill-your-pets-pet-food-recall">Canadians Try To Kill Your Pets - Pet Food Recall</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/used-toyotas-are-being-discounted-would-you-buy-one">Used Toyotas Are Being Discounted. Would You Buy One?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/great-idea-for-papa-murphy-s-make-the-pizzas-in-order">Great idea for Papa Murphy’s – make the pizzas in order.</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs China infant formula recall Tue, 16 Sep 2008 18:28:06 +0000 Linsey Knerl 2432 at http://www.wisebread.com Cheap China the Expat Way (or Better, the Chinese Way) http://www.wisebread.com/cheap-china-the-expat-way-or-better-the-chinese-way <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/cheap-china-the-expat-way-or-better-the-chinese-way" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/bikinginchina.jpg" alt="Americans biking in China" title="Carrie Kirby" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="143" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When I returned to China with my husband and friends in 2001 (after living there for a couple years in the 90s), I almost forgot the lessons I had learned about travel on the cheap in China. I picked up the phone and called a state-run tourism company, looking to rent a minibus to take a group of us to the Great Wall for an overnight campout. When given the price, I translated it into dollars and split it among my friends. I think it came to about $50-$100 a person, and at first we thought it would be worthwhile for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.</p> <p>No, no, no.</p> <p>Fortunately, before we booked it we chatted with a friend who was living there, who set us up with an independent driver with a van. We ended up paying the guy the same amount total as we were going to pay the travel company per person. And the driver was happy to get the job.</p> <p>When we were living in China, nothing made us laugh harder than hearing what American tourists paid for guided trips and Western hotels. OK, not everyone is ready to live the way even middle class Chinese do, which is far below the standard of living we are accustomed to. And it can be scary to venture alone into a country where a very small percentage of the population can understand English. But if you are adventurous enough to travel indepently and live just a little like the locals do, you can have a lot of fun in China for very few renminbi (Chinese bucks).</p> <p>Here are a ten ways to travel for less in China, in ascending order of courage required:</p> <p>1) Avoid Western restaurants. Since eating foreign food in China can be a status symbol akin to eating French cuisine in the US, it&#39;s pricey. And often not very good. You&#39;ll pay less in many excellent Chinese restaurants than you will in below average Western ones.</p> <p>2) Forgo a guide in major cities. Even if you speak no Chinese, you should have no trouble getting to and enjoying the Forbidden City and Great Wall in Beijing, the Shanghai Museum, and other major sites. They have English language audio tours, and you can get there by taxi. Hotel concierges can write out the Chinese characters for where you&#39;re going so the drivers will know where to go.</p> <p>3) Start thinking in local currency as soon as possible. The sooner you realize that 50 renminbi is a lot more money than the $6 it exchanges for, the better. Six bucks is nothing, but 50RMB can be many things -- a pretty nice restaurant meal, a night in a hotel, a medium-to-long taxi ride. OK, my prices are a few years out of date but you get the idea.</p> <p>4) Try to avoid being charged extra for being foreign, but understand that sometimes it&#39;s unavoidable. The average urban Chinese worker earns a few thousand dollars a year; migrant workers selling food in big cities make a fraction of that. So it&#39;s understandable that many people there see Americans as walking ATM machines. Also, at official sites such as the Forbidden City, paying the foreigner price is non-negotiable. But in other situations, you can bargain or just say no if someone tries to charge you more than the local rate. Dressing low-key without a lot of labels helps; if you feel comfortable claiming to be a student or a teacher it definitely helps, but that schtick isn&#39;t very believable if you don&#39;t speak any Chinese.</p> <p>5) Take the train. China has an impressive rail network, especially compared to its highway network. As long as you avoid getting on an overcrowded train (no national holidays!), it&#39;s not a terribly uncomfortable way to travel, and it&#39;s ultra-affordable. Personally I love watching the countryside roll by through an open train window -- I&#39;ve seen water buffaloes in the rice paddies, stopped in small villages and seen the most breathtaking scenery of my life. Another nice thing about riding Chinese trains is that you have hours and hours to hang out with ordinary locals and for them to warm up to you. Once someone who speaks some English turns up, you&#39;re bound to have some very interesting Q&amp;A sessions.</p> <p>6) Use accommodations and services that are not specifically for foreigners. The train is one of them. Another money saver is taking a Yangtze River cruise on a &quot;Chinese&quot; boat. You won&#39;t get English-language commentary and the cabins won&#39;t be as nice (OK, ours had roaches), but the price difference will be huge. The cheapest hotels are often not open to foreigners, but plenty of midrange and pretty darn cheap ones are.</p> <p>7) Eat street food. The longer time you have to spend in China, the better idea this is. If you only have a few days, you probably want to be pretty careful about what you eat to avoid spending the whole trip in the bathroom. I have a handy rule for staying safe eating food sold on the street: If it came right off an open flame or out of a bot of boiling water or a very hot cloud of steam, it&#39;s good. Barbecued lamb skewers, dumplings and bowls of noodles can be enjoyed at ad-hoc roadside restaurants for a few pennies -- and the experience is priceless. For more cheap and tasty, hit a night market.</p> <p>8) Take the public bus or one of the private minibuses running the same lines. OK, you really need the help of someone local in this endeavor because last time I was in Beijing you were not going to find an English language bus schedule posted. Maybe no schedule whatsoever. And the crowds can be intense. Once I almost got punched when a couple of passengers engaged in a fist fight although they could barely lift their arms due to the crowd.</p> <p>9) Join up with a guided Chinese tour. You can get a very cheap trip to some sights outside of Beijing by signing up for a Chinese bus tour. This can be good for laughs -- both on your part on on the part of the Chinese folks on the bus. But there is a downside besides not being able to understand the tour: A lot of these trips stop at &quot;the jade jewelry factory&quot; or &quot;the perfume factory&quot; for some sales pushy presentations.</p> <p>10) Rent or buy a bike. Many foreigners living in Chinese cities get around on bicycles, thereby avoiding some of the traffic congestion and possibly saving money (the high bike theft rate in Beijing might negate any savings). Biking in Chinese cities is quite dangerous, and you&#39;re not likely to find helmets for sale. Still, you have more freedom this way -- you can explore without having to negotiate ticket buying or worry about being cheated by an unscrupulous cab driver. And you will be seeing the cities the way the residents do.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheap-china-the-expat-way-or-better-the-chinese-way">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/free-and-cheap-things-to-do-in-champaign-urbana">Free and cheap things to do in Champaign-Urbana</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-free-and-4-cheap-things-to-do-in-auckland-with-a-toddler">8 Free (and 4 cheap) Things to Do in Auckland with a Toddler</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tips-for-sounder-sleep-at-hotels">Tips for Sounder Sleep at Hotels</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/disneyland-on-the-sort-of-cheap">Disneyland on the (Sort of) Cheap</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/become-a-frequent-flyer-master-and-earn-a-free-flight-every-year">Become a Frequent Flyer Master and Earn a Free Flight Every Year</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel Art and Leisure China Sat, 16 Aug 2008 05:50:46 +0000 Carrie Kirby 2336 at http://www.wisebread.com Book Review: The Post American World http://www.wisebread.com/book-review-the-post-american-world <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/book-review-the-post-american-world" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/post-american-world-cover.jpg" alt="Cover of The Post American World" title="Cover of The Post American World" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="105" height="160" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/039306235X?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=wisbre08-20&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=039306235X"><cite>The Post-American World</cite></a> by Fareed Zakaria.</p> <p>Is there a link between having a modern society and having a western society?&nbsp; The vast economic and military power of the United States (and before that, the United Kingdom) has made the two seem more connected than they actually may be.</p> <p>Zakaria's new book is about what he calls &quot;the rise of the rest&quot;:&nbsp; non-Western countries becoming significant economic and military players.&nbsp; This change doesn't imply any decline in US power; rather, it's an entirely predictable result of other countries choosing to modernize their economies, and become thereby more powerful.</p> <p>China and India each gets its own chapter, and Zakaria provides a broad and deep exploration of the very different trajectory each is taking toward modernization.&nbsp; Those chapters are excellent, but much of their excellence comes from their richness.&nbsp; Any summary would lose exactly what's best about them, so I won't try.</p> <p>The US has unmatched--probably unmatchable--economic and military power.&nbsp; But as the past 8 years have shown, turning that into real benefits is not necessarily easy or straightforward.&nbsp; Perhaps the best part of the book is the observation that the best strategy for the United States is exactly the strategy that it had always followed until the past few years:</p> <blockquote><p>America was the most powerful country in the world when it proposed the creation of the League of Nations . . . .&nbsp; It was the dominant power at the end of World War II, when it founded the United Nations, created the Bretton Woods system of international economic cooperations, and launched the world's key international organizations. . . .&nbsp; For most of the twentieth century, in other words, American embraced international cooperation not out of fear and vulnerability but out of confidence and strength. </p></blockquote> <p> He also articulates well one of my own biggest concerns about the United States--that we've let ourselves be terrorized.&nbsp; (The things Americans choose to fear always puzzle me.&nbsp; We tolerate over 40,000 traffic-related deaths every year.&nbsp; Dangers smaller than that--terrorist attacks, for example, or contaminated food--deserve some attention, but what they get is, to my mind, wildly inappropriate.)</p> <p>The biggest flaw in this book is that Zakaria seems to have no perception of the way resource limits will affect the future. &nbsp;</p> <p>He talks about natural resources, but always either in terms of their abundance or else in terms of how economic and military power influences how they're divided up.&nbsp; There's no mention of peak oil, and no discussion of the impact that an actual decline in the quantity of oil brought to market might have. &nbsp;</p> <p>Environmental limits get a couple of paragraphs--he mentions that there are already on the books <em>just in China and India </em>plans to build coal-fired power plants that will release five times the total savings in carbon emissions proposed in the Kyoto accords--but that observation doesn't seem to inform the rest of his discussion at all.</p> <p>(He does have some good observations on the effects that limitations of the supply of clean water might have, but that just makes me miss all the more the things he could have said about oil.)</p> <p>To the extent that <strong>people</strong> are what's going to influence the future, this is the best examination I've seen this year into what the future is going to look like, and has the best suggestions I've seen for dealing with it.&nbsp; (Admittedly, suggestions for public policy--there's little about what individuals can do to take advantage of the changes that &quot;the rise of the rest&quot; is going to produce.)&nbsp; If that's of interest to you, <em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/039306235X?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=wisbre08-20&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=039306235X">The Post-American World</a></em> deserves your attention.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/book-review-the-post-american-world">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/book-review-reinventing-collapse">Book review: Reinventing Collapse</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/book-review-the-little-book-of-common-sense-investing">Book review: The Little Book of Common Sense Investing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/book-review-cash-rich-retirement">Book review: Cash-Rich Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/book-review-the-only-investment-guide-youll-ever-need">Book review: The Only Investment Guide You&#039;ll Ever Need</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/book-review-retire-on-less-than-you-think">Book review: Retire on Less Than You Think</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance american book review books China india review society Wed, 02 Jul 2008 15:14:48 +0000 Philip Brewer 2214 at http://www.wisebread.com The Shanghai Supposition: Better Choices=More Choices=Better Experiences http://www.wisebread.com/the-shanghai-supposition-better-choices-more-choices-better-experiences <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-shanghai-supposition-better-choices-more-choices-better-experiences" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/Jin Mao Tower.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="100" height="150" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoNormal">I’m in Shanghai, China on a business trip right now, (read working vacation) and in my time away from working at the Jin Mao tower, which is nestled in the Lujiazui section of the Pudong district, an area that makes Manhattan look like Des Moines (No disrespect to Iowa), I again discovered the wonders of a favorable exchange rate.</p> <p>When I visited a local tailor during a rare break, I bought three tailored dress shirts made of Egyptian and Sea Island cotton, designed by me, configured to my exact bodily dimensions and all for a paltry equivalent of $40 each. In Beverly Hills, or even Macy’s I’m paying maybe $500 each for such shirts if I’m lucky and catch a sale. I won’t even mention the criminal discounts I got on one-of-a-kind teas and items for the family. </p> <p class="MsoNormal">But this isn’t about extravagance at the expense of a slightly weaker currency. Nor is it about my insatiable taste for fine haberdashery. I already went there in one of my past <a href="/killin-em-out-there-the-school-clothes-conundrum">posts</a>. This is about the $16, 30-mile train rides, the 28-cent round trip subway rides and the $10 five-star, three-course meals. It’s about discovering something new and about frugality and the ridiculous American mark-ups I experience at home.</p> <p>So I got to thinking, what if I just shopped for my clothing and fine wines in China, or in Malaysia or in Hong Kong or in Prague? What if I saved my money on luxury items and entertainment expenses stateside and created a travel savings account? People have health savings accounts, money market savings accounts. Why not a life experience account? We all know that if I curbed unnecessary shopping here, made different choices about outings to the movies or fine dining or mark ups on exotic ingredients for dishes at home, that I could save a lot of money and gain a lot of goods, time, and experiences money can’t buy. </p> <p>People I know always use the excuse that they can’t travel because they can’t afford it. Well, I’m here to tell you: with anything it just takes planning. If you plan it out, stretch your expenses, book passage and accommodations on the Pricelines, the TravelZoos, the Otel.com and the Cheapoair.com’s of the world, you too can buy Bordeaux Rouge for $6 or look upon the splendor of the Huangpu River and take a deep breath. </p> <p>As I espouse in these posts again and again, it’s not about what you spend or don’t spend that helps you build wealth or create a quality and standard of living that you enjoy, it’s about choices. After this eye-opening trip, I may never again visit Nordstrom or any of the overpriced boutiques or wine shops. If I told you what I spent on these items you’d have to kill me. Savings are good, eating out is good. Going to Macy&#39;s isn&#39;t bad. But no one wants to die having never left the town they were reared in and nobody wants to live their lives through other people&#39;s travel anecdotes either.</p> <p>I&#39;m not saying come over here and go nuts or get rich by saving to fly 8,000 miles to shop; nor am I saying waste your money buying cheap goods in a foreign country. What I&#39;m saying is that experience is something you can&#39;t buy!</p> <p>BTW, General Tso is known over here as a war hero and not a spicy delicious chicken dish.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jabulani-leffall">Jabulani Leffall</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-shanghai-supposition-better-choices-more-choices-better-experiences">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chinese-money-habits-how-my-culture-influences-my-attitudes-toward-money">Chinese Money Habits - How My Culture Influences My Attitudes Toward Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-costa-rica-lesson-awwwwwww-they-got-me">The Costa Rica Lesson: Awwwwwww They Got Me</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/decked-out-in-dog-more-reasons-to-boycott-chinese-goods">Decked out in... dog? More reasons to boycott Chinese goods</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-you-should-donate-a-blood-sucking-timeshare">Why You Should Donate a Blood Sucking Timeshare</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-travel-full-time-for-17000-a-year-or-less">How to Travel Full-Time for $17,000 a Year (or Less!)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle Travel business China clothing money Orbitz savings account Shanghai Travelzoo wine Fri, 14 Mar 2008 04:50:59 +0000 Jabulani Leffall 1918 at http://www.wisebread.com Chinese Money Habits - How My Culture Influences My Attitudes Toward Money http://www.wisebread.com/chinese-money-habits-how-my-culture-influences-my-attitudes-toward-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/chinese-money-habits-how-my-culture-influences-my-attitudes-toward-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/elephant.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I moved to the United States when I was a child from Yangzhou, China. After sixteen years, I could easily pass as an American because I speak English without an accent, and I am well versed with the popular culture. However, if you ever examined my attitudes toward money you will see that I am undeniably Chinese. Here are some of the principles I grew up with.</p> <p><strong>1. Being frugal is a virtue </strong>- Being frugal did not start as communist propaganda. Actually it is a concept that has been taught for thousands of years. The classic Chinese text Dao De Jing states that the three greatest treasures one can have are love, frugality, and generosity. Frugality is really a integral part of the Chinese culture</p> <p><strong>2. Save as much as possible</strong> - The personal savings rate in China is incredibly high compared to the United States. According to this <a href="http://money.cnn.com/2006/03/03/news/international/chinasaving_fortune/" target="_blank">2006 CNN article</a> , the personal savings rate of Chinese households is 30% while Americans dipped into their savings that year. I know that my Chinese relatives regularly save 50 to 60% of their income and it feels normal to me that I save as much as them.</p> <p><strong>3. Pay for things in cash</strong> - Credit cards are still fairly rare in China and most people pay for everything in cash. What really impressed me is that many ordinary Chinese people were able to pay cash for their homes when the government allowed homeownership recently. The houses are not cheap, and it is amazing to see teachers and factory workers pull out savings equivalent to ten to twenty times of their regular salaries. Chinese people are wary of debt, and I think that is a good thing.</p> <p><strong>4. Always look for a bargain</strong> - In China, haggling is a way of life. If you ever visit China you have to ask at least 50 to 75% off in stores. This has been changing lately as high end stores are switching to the model of &quot;no haggling allowed&quot;. However you will still find plenty of vendors willing to negotiate. I think in America this particular bargain seeking behavior earned the Chinese the cheapskate stereotype.</p> <p><strong>5. Your salary is not a secret </strong>- If you ask a Chinese person in China how much money he or she makes, odds are that person will tell you. Discussing one&#39;s income is not always a matter of bragging because not everyone is rich. Most of the time I see Chinese people do this as a way of getting to know another person. Once you speak to people and find out their income they tell you more about how they live. It is not a rude or bad thing in my culture to talk about money, and sometimes good comes out of it. For example, my dad helped his friend secure a 20% raise after he found out that man&#39;s salary.</p> <p><strong>6. Cash gifts are the best</strong> - On every new year or birthday, Chinese children usually get cash gifts that they end up saving. This sounds pretty sad, but I remember being quite excited about visiting all the relatives and receiving red envelopes with cash in them. Red envelopes are the standard gift for any celebration, and they are considered the best gifts because the recipient can do anything with the money. In America it seems that cash is a less common gift because it is considered to be less thoughtful. Instead, cash is converted to <a href="/what-can-you-do-with-unwanted-gift-cards" target="_blank">gift cards</a> or useless trinkets that are probably less appreciated by the recipient.</p> <p>China has changed dramatically in the sixteen years I have been in America, but a lot of these money habits still remain. I know that the great influx of wealth in China is changing things, but I hope the country as a whole still advocates saving for the future. The biggest negative attitude towards money that I see in China is greed, but I do not think that is uniquely Chinese. Do you have any cultural specific money habits?</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/xin-lu">Xin Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chinese-money-habits-how-my-culture-influences-my-attitudes-toward-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-not-buy-something-just-because-you-can-afford-it">Do not buy something just because you can afford it</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/looking-on-the-bright-side-how-to-find-a-silver-lining-in-the-current-financial-crisis">Looking On The Bright Side: How to Find A Silver Lining In The Current Financial Crisis</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/in-times-like-these-separate-the-want-from-the-need">In times like these, separate the want from the need.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/oprah-asks-a-great-question-what-can-you-live-without">Oprah Asks A Great Question; What Can You Live Without?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/seller-concessions-and-buyer-bargains-what-to-ask-for-in-the-current-real-estate-market">Seller concessions and buyer bargains - What to ask for in the current real estate market.</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Frugal Living General Tips Lifestyle Real Estate and Housing Shopping cheapness China culture frugality gifts haggling money Thu, 06 Mar 2008 03:50:03 +0000 Xin Lu 1891 at http://www.wisebread.com Bad, bad China: a round-up http://www.wisebread.com/bad-bad-china-a-round-up <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/bad-bad-china-a-round-up" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/toothpaste.jpg" alt="messy toothpaste cap" title="messy toothpaste cap" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="187" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Well, I&#39;ve pretty much come to the conclusion that I need to stop buying Chinese goods. This is a tough one for me, mostly because so much of the cheap stuff that I love to buy comes from China, and as my readers know, I really like China and would like to see the country succeed. </p> <p>However, one headline after another is screaming to me that I need to seriously consider the source of what I am buying before I buy it. At the very least, you too should consider keeping an eye out for the following:</p> <h4>Poison poissons? From <a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/6251678.stm">BBC</a>.</h4> <p>&quot;The FDA is not allowing the import of these Chinese farmed seafood products until the importers can prove that the seafood is free from harmful contaminants,&quot; Dr. David Acheson, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration&#39;s assistant commissioner for food protection, said during an afternoon teleconference.</p> <p>He identified the banned fish as catfish, basa (similar to catfish), shrimp, dace (similar to carp) and eel, which he said may contain chemicals that are potentially carcinogenic.</p> <h4>Want shiny teeth? Try anti-freeze. From <a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/06/28/health/main2992320.shtml">CBS.com</a>.</h4> <p>The New York Times reported today that approximately 900,000 tubes of tainted Chinese toothpaste has shown up in prisons, juvenile detention centers and hospitals in North and South Carolina, Georgia and Florida, including some serving the general population. </p> <h4>It&#39;s been going on for a lot longer than you think! From <a href="http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/06/17/MNGM9QGQ761.DTL&amp;type=health">SF Gate</a>.</h4> <p>&quot;The U.S. imports a lot of Chinese glycerin, and it is used in ingested products such as toothpaste,&quot; Mary Pendergast, then deputy commissioner for the Food and Drug Administration, <strong>wrote on Oct. 27, 1997</strong>. Learning how diethylene glycol, a syrupy poison used in some antifreeze, ended up in Haitian fever medicine might &quot;prevent this tragedy from happening again,&quot; she wrote. </p> <p>[emphasis mine]</p> <h4>China responds. From <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/asiapcf/06/27/china.tainted.food.ap/index.html?section=cnn_latest">CNN.com</a> via <a href="http://itchmo.com/read/china-closes-180-food-factories-for-using-illegal-chemicals_20070627">Itchmo</a>.</h4> <p>Formaldehyde, illegal dyes, and industrial wax were found being used to make candy, pickles, crackers and seafood, it said, citing Han Yi, an official with the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, which is responsible for food safety.</p> <p>&quot;These are not isolated cases,&quot; Han, director of the administration&#39;s quality control and inspection department, was quoted as saying.</p> <h4>Getting <em>tired</em> of all the bad news from China? Ha! From <a href="http://www.newsinferno.com/archives/1595">Newsinferno</a>.</h4> <p>Defective tires have been added to an ever-growing list of dangerous Chinese imports. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) ordered 450,000 tires recalled after Foreign Tire Sales, the New Jersey company that imported the tires, disclosed that they had been manufactured without a gum strip meant to keep the tread from separating. The tires, manufactured by Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber, have been blamed for at least two accidents, one of which was fatal.</p> <h4>Poison toys. Good times. From <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=3275264">ABC News</a>.</h4> <p>China by far leads the list of countries making products that are recalled in the United States, accounting for 65 percent of all the recalled products in this country this year, according to CPSC. In 2006, China accounted for 233 product recalls -- nearly double the rate from the previous year, with lead a recurring cause among the recalls.</p> <h4>It&#39;s the attack of the killer tomato paste! In Italy! From <a href="http://www.winenews.it/index.php?c=detail&amp;dc=96&amp;id=10708">WineNews.com</a>.</h4> <p>And, Coldiretti emphasized, among the arrivals from the Asian giant it is significant that tomato concentrate, which represents almost one third of imports (31%), has registered a record import increase of 150%. This is a particularly worrisome situation for Italy because it was unable to obtain a norm for the mandatory printing of the origins of a product on labels, thus the risk that non Italian goods will be sold as Italian made.</p> <p>Ok, well, that last one isn&#39;t so bad. Yet.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bad-bad-china-a-round-up">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/decked-out-in-dog-more-reasons-to-boycott-chinese-goods">Decked out in... dog? More reasons to boycott Chinese goods</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-sell-your-kids-stuff-at-a-consignment-sale">How to Sell Your Kid&#039;s Stuff at a Consignment Sale</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chinese-money-habits-how-my-culture-influences-my-attitudes-toward-money">Chinese Money Habits - How My Culture Influences My Attitudes Toward Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-year-s-hot-toy-is-next-year-s-trash">This Year’s Hot Toy is Next Year’s Trash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-shanghai-supposition-better-choices-more-choices-better-experiences">The Shanghai Supposition: Better Choices=More Choices=Better Experiences</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle buy China deficit goods imports poison purchase seafood toys Fri, 29 Jun 2007 01:12:54 +0000 Andrea Karim 785 at http://www.wisebread.com Decked out in... dog? More reasons to boycott Chinese goods http://www.wisebread.com/decked-out-in-dog-more-reasons-to-boycott-chinese-goods <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/decked-out-in-dog-more-reasons-to-boycott-chinese-goods" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/CUTEYPIEPUPPY.jpg" alt="cute puppy" title="cute puppy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="197" height="190" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Thinking of boycotting Chinese goods? I know I&#39;ve been pondering it for a while, but I&#39;m definitely struggling with the idea, knowing how hard it will be.</p> <p>But Chinese exporters keep giving me more reasons to take my frustation with their products to the next logical level... a boycott. Here&#39;s something that might just push me over the edge into a China-free zone: the dog and cat fur trade is alive and well in the Middle Kingdom, and animal pelts that are banned in the US still often make it over here attached to coats, hats, and boots.</p> <p>The <a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6765653.stm">EU recently decided</a> to ban the import of dog and cat fur. You&#39;d think that such a ban might have been imposed a while back, but apparently the big impetus here is to outlow mislabeling of fur. That&#39;s right - that fox-trimmed coat you bought at Neiman Marcus might contain the pelts of a few long-haired kitties. </p> <p>Dogs and cats are regularly killed for food and medicine in China (not every part of China, mind you, but still, in enough parts that it matters) and the fur is sold overseas. </p> <p>The <a href="http://www.hsus.org/web-files/PDF/Fur-Test-Results-Public-Factsheet-25-results-FINAL.pdf">Humane Society has documented</a> a number of cases in which imported Chinese fur from dogs and cats is used in clothing sold in the US. It&#39;s mislabeled, of course, to circumvent a ban on the import of such fur already in place in the US. </p> <p>Think you&#39;re not contributing to the problem because you only wear faux fur? Turns out that much of the &#39;fake&#39; fur is mislabeled, too - it&#39;s might be a mix of racoon and dog.</p> <p>Mislabeling seems to be a fairly common practice for Chinese exporters. China is still in full-fledged &#39;Make us rich&#39; mode, so honesty is not considered the best policy when it comes to letting people know what they are buying, especially if tainted or illegal ingredients are a part of the product.</p> <p>Me, I find all fur-wearing abhorrent, but then, I&#39;m a veganish liberal who feels bad about killing a spider. But as someone with two Chinese dogs (including one that I&#39;m afraid to say would have made a lovely hat), I feel a personal and moral obligation to speak out about this practice. </p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/decked-out-in-dog-more-reasons-to-boycott-chinese-goods">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-shanghai-supposition-better-choices-more-choices-better-experiences">The Shanghai Supposition: Better Choices=More Choices=Better Experiences</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bad-bad-china-a-round-up">Bad, bad China: a round-up</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chinese-money-habits-how-my-culture-influences-my-attitudes-toward-money">Chinese Money Habits - How My Culture Influences My Attitudes Toward Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/no-sew-ways-to-update-your-wardrobe">No-Sew Ways to Update Your Wardrobe</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-get-more-wear-out-of-your-clothing">10 Ways to Get More Wear Out of Your Clothing</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle China clothing designer fur Human Society imports Tue, 19 Jun 2007 21:16:56 +0000 Andrea Karim 758 at http://www.wisebread.com Tiny Nestegg? Retire abroad! http://www.wisebread.com/tiny-nestegg-retire-abroad <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/china_flag_large.jpg" alt=" " width="224" height="150" /></p> <p>Can&#39;t afford to live on your pension or Social Security in the U.S.? Why not find a cheaper place to live? No, not Canada - the other communist mecca... that&#39;s right, China!</p> <p>Ha ha! I know I&#39;ll get all kinds of flack for that one. I&#39;m just kidding, Comrade, don&#39;t take me seriously! I know China isn&#39;t communist anymore.</p> <p>NPR, my favorite news source, <a href="http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=9348962">offered up a story yesterday</a> filed by Keva Rosenfeld, whose mother-in-law (I&#39;m not sure if it is mother-in-law per se so much as his partner, Karen Murphy&#39;s, mother) has chosen to retire in China, finding it much too difficult to live off of $400 a month in the United States. Interestingly enough, the old gal (she&#39;s 75) has chosed Shanghai, arguably the most expensive city in China, to spend out her remaining days.</p> <p>Although the story promises some amusing tales of generational misunderstandings, it&#39;s much shorter than it should be, told from Keva&#39;s viewpoint, as he goes to Shanghai with his wife for a visit with his mother-in-law. There is a short discussion about how small a dingy the Shanghai apartment is, but little about how and where she shops for groceries, if she has learned to barter for her gorceries, if she has made any friends, or what it&#39;s like to live in Shanghai knowing absolutely no Mandarin AT ALL. Where does she go for health care? How does she explain what she needs in an emergency?</p> <p>China is a place you can&#39;t really avoid hearing about these days, so I hate to add to the hullabaloo. Slate featured a couple installments about traveling to China for <a href="http://www.slate.com/id/2131601/">medical treatments</a> a while back. </p> <p>Having lived in China, I can attest that unless you live in a big city like Shanghai or Beijing or Shenzhen, you&#39;re likely to have a hard time adjusting as an American. Not that the big cities are easy, either. Things are made immeasurably more difficult if you don&#39;t have any language skills. However, although Keva can be heard in the NPR story suggesting that no one in Shanghai speaks English, this is most certainly not the case.</p> <p>I&#39;d be really curious to know if this will be a trend among the Baby Boomers (Murphy&#39;s mother is not a boomer, but I can see boomers doing this), or if living in China is really more for people like Ms. Murphy&#39;s mother, who is described as a &quot;bohemian&quot;. And if Westerners start moving en masse to China, will it still be a viable place to live on less than $500 a month?</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tiny-nestegg-retire-abroad">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/book-review-cash-rich-retirement">Book review: Cash-Rich Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/book-review-retire-on-less-than-you-think">Book review: Retire on Less Than You Think</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/social-security-is-not-a-ponzi-scheme">Social Security Is Not a Ponzi Scheme</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/retirement-accounts-and-money-to-spend">Retirement accounts and money to spend</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-do-i-need-to-retire-how-much-can-i-spend">How much do I need to retire? How much can I spend?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Retirement baby boomers China elderly nestegg pension retire retirees Shanghai social security Thu, 05 Apr 2007 15:20:25 +0000 Andrea Karim 459 at http://www.wisebread.com Recession Depression http://www.wisebread.com/recession-depression <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/crash_small.jpg" alt=" " width="150" height="200" /></p> <p>Yesterday&#39;s market &quot;correction&quot; had a lot of investors experiencing acute arm pain as they clutched their chests, watching the Dow Jones average plummet over 200 points in the course of about 2 seconds. The swiftness of the drop was <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/technology/sns-ap-wall-street-what-happened,1,4784591.story?coll=chi-bizfront-hed">attributed to a computer glitch</a>, which isn&#39;t exactly reassuring, either from a technological standpoint (how did that happen???!?!) or a practical one (it <strong>still</strong> dropped over 500 points, right?). The <a href="http://www.sse.com.cn/sseportal/en_us/ps/home.shtml">Shanghai index</a> correction was the obvious impetus for the drop, and that makes me feel even worse.</p> <p>I don&#39;t have much dough invested in the stock markets, save for a paltry sum that fluctuates in my IRA, so I wasn&#39;t as concerned about the drop as say, my dad, whose entire 401k is directly affected by market swings.</p> <p>Despite this, I was definitely clutching my chest when I heard that former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan <a href="http://www.baltimoresun.com/business/bal-bz.greenspan28feb28,0,6642246.story?coll=bal-business-headlines">predicted a recession</a> for the US economy. <a href="http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,178699,00.html">Some economists</a> have been <a href="http://www.ft.com/cms/s/bc55913a-27cd-11db-b25c-0000779e2340.html">predicting a recession for a while</a>, based on the <a href="http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/2006/11/13/8393160/index.htm">housing slowdown/slump</a> or other indicators that most of us don&#39;t think about much. <a href="http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-economy28feb28,1,964658.story?coll=la-headlines-business">Other economists with actual jobs</a> have predicted that a full-blown recession is not, in fact, likely, but it certainly got me thinking: how does one prepare for the possibility of a recession?</p> <p>There&#39;s lots of info out there on how to survive a <a href="http://www.ft.com/cms/s/bc55913a-27cd-11db-b25c-0000779e2340.html">recession as an investor</a>, but what about us regular Joes who are simply worried that we won&#39;t have a job should the economy turn southward?</p> <p>Well, there are some <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Conserve-survive-recession-experts-say/dp/B0008INZYC/sr=1-8/qid=1172699867/ref=sr_1_8/102-1803238-5069756?ie=UTF8&amp;s=books">articles</a> and <a href="http://www.insomniacpress.com/title.php?id=1-894663-24-1">books on the subject</a>. Some <a href="http://mark-watson.blogspot.com/2007/01/what-to-do-to-survive-recession-build.html">bloggers</a> are giving it some serious thought and have their own ideas on the subject. <a href="http://www.sciforums.com/showthread.php?t=62383">Forums</a> are filled with helpful (and not-so-helpful) tidbits. Paul Kirvan penned <a href="http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0CMN/is_n12_v28/ai_11943308">some advice back in 1991</a> regarding this exact topic, when it may have been even more relevant than today.</p> <p>Here are some ideas that I am exploring:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.queercents.com/2007/02/22/build-a-business-while-keeping-your-day-job/">Start your own business</a>. Be prepared to start working on a consultant or freelance basis if you lose your permanent job, and get some great tax write-offs in the meantime.</li> <li>Look around your workplace and find ways to make yourself more useful. Job security is when no one else can do everything that you are doing.</li> <li>Know ahead of time if you qualify for unemployment. If you don&#39;t, look into that emergency savings account that you&#39;ve been meaning to get started for the past 6 years.</li> <li>Take the classes that you need to take now. Make sure to include the costs of continuing education when you file taxes. You can probably make a shift in your career with relative ease if you pick up a few new skills or take a risk and try out a new field altogether.</li> <li>Develop a love of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.</li> <li>Get a roommate (shudder).</li> <li>Join the <a href="http://sfcompact.blogspot.com/">Compact</a>. Not sure if I WANT to do this, but I might have to at this rate.</li> <li><a href="/balancing-act-the-perils-of-budgeting">Budget</a>. Budget. Budget.</li> <li>Chose a hobby that will actually promote your career. Volunteer for a professional society or nonprofit organization that corresponds to your work. Life shouldn&#39;t be all about work, but these are great networking opportunities, should you ever need them.</li> </ul> <p>How about you guys? Are eBay careers the way to go? Do you have any ideas for recession prep besides what we normally tout to our readers (Save, Budget, Buy Used, Library Card, etc.)?</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/recession-depression">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/peak-debt">Peak Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-new-normal-economy">The new normal economy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/preparing-for-a-recession">Preparing for a Recession</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/recession-journal-v-mind-the-gap">Recession Journal V: Mind, The GAP</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tiny-nestegg-retire-abroad">Tiny Nestegg? Retire abroad!</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Financial News bull session China Dow Jones economics global trade job market markets NASDAQ prepare recession savings Shanghai stock market US economy Wed, 28 Feb 2007 22:26:37 +0000 Andrea Karim 307 at http://www.wisebread.com Confessions of an eBay Shoe Addict http://www.wisebread.com/confessions-of-an-ebay-shoe-addict <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/shoemedley_sm.jpg" alt=" " width="425" height="282" /></p> <p>In addition to my myriad of other addictions, I am an eBay shoe addict. Oh, sure, I&#39;ll go to Target to get my fix every now and then. But with eBay, I&#39;m pretty sure that I&#39;m not going to see anyone else wearing the same shoes as me. </p> <p>And oh, lordy, the kinds of shoes that you can find on eBay!</p> <p>Now, you might already know eBay is great for finding fancy-schmancy new stuff for a bargain, like finding <a href="/a-deal-too-good-to-be-true">sample sales on designer items</a>. And there&#39;s also something to be said for purchasing gently used items if they come from a good label, if only for the warranty associated with them. I&#39;m just a little queasy when it comes to shoes. I don&#39;t like to buy them used. Sure, you can disinfect them, but it just never feels right to me.</p> <p>So I&#39;m come to my own compromise - I buy cheap (new) shoes. And yes, I buy them at Target, and I buy them at JCPenney (when they have a sale, they REALLY have a sale), but eBay is increasingly becoming the place that I turn to to find cheap, unique, wild and crazy shoes for rock-bottom prices.</p> <h4>Quality versus Quantity </h4> <p>Some people argue that you are better off buying quality shoes at high prices, caring for them, and keeping them for years. This is true for men, for sure. Quality men&#39;s shoes are really damn good shoes. My boyfriend is a shoe fanatic, but unlike me, he pays high prices for a few excellent Italian shoes. He polishes them regularly, and returns them if there is any problem. </p> <p>That system won&#39;t work for me. For one thing, I don&#39;t wear socks (well, you wouldn&#39;t wear socks with heels, anyway unless you&#39;re Cindy Lauper) but even with nylons, my shoes just don&#39;t smell so great after a while. Maybe a year. I don&#39;t polish my shoes. I&#39;ve tried - I almost died from the fumes. I&#39;m also a klutz, so my shoes will look like hell within a few months. I trip over curbs, kick myself in the ankles, close doors on my feet, simply fall over with no warning at all - it&#39;s a miracle that I&#39;m still alive, actually. </p> <p>A couple of years ago, I bought two pairs of pumps at Nordstrom. Good, quality leather. High price. They lasted roughly two months each. I can&#39;t bear to throw them away, but there&#39;s no saving them, either. So I&#39;ve simply come to the conclusion that for me, cheap disposable and crazy footwear is where it&#39;s at.</p> <h4>Cheapster</h4> <p>Case in point? I paid $1 for a pair of brown leather pumps with lots of detail and little bows. They were being sold as &quot;damaged&quot;. The damage was a teeny, imperceptible scratch under one of the bows. I&#39;ll take damaged goods like that any day! </p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/brownshoe_sm.jpg" alt=" " width="448" height="291" /></p> <p>My other recent purchase was a pair of zebra pumps with metal heels. These shoes are too naughty for work, but not for drinks with my girlfriends. Oh, they are lovely indeed. They were $12 with $9 shipping - roughly the same as Target, but I doubt I&#39;ll ever run into anyone else who is wearing a pair.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/zebrashoe_sm.jpg" alt=" " width="421" height="267" /></p> <p>My current lust is for polka dot shoes. Green polka dot shoes. Peep toe ones. I can barely contain my glee at the idea.</p> <p>Some tips:</p> <ol> <li>Cheap shoes are cheap. They are often from China, and some of them smell like a Chinese factory. If you&#39;ve never smelled that before, let me assure you that it is very unique. The brown pair that I bought had to sit outside on my porch for 3 days before I could bring them in.</li> <li>You&#39;re not guaranteed a perfect fit. So far, I&#39;ve been lucky, and if I&#39;m not, I can always <a href="http://www.drscholls.com/product.aspx?prodid=62">add those little inserts</a> if they shoes are too big, or get them stretched if they are too small.</li> <li>Look for sellers with cheap shipping ($10 or under) or that combine shipping. </li> <li>Use the filters to limit your results. You can search by size, type, color, heel height, and more. There are lots of shoes out there, so the filters are your friends.</li> </ol> <p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/confessions-of-an-ebay-shoe-addict">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/access-ebays-hidden-auctions">Access Ebay&#039;s hidden auctions</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/modifiers-5-things-that-change-an-items-final-price">Modifiers: 5 things that change an item&#039;s final price</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ebay-account-hackers-dont-be-fooled">eBay Account Hackers - don&#039;t be fooled</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-you-really-save-with-amazon-prime-pantry">Can You Really Save With Amazon Prime Pantry?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chinese-money-habits-how-my-culture-influences-my-attitudes-toward-money">Chinese Money Habits - How My Culture Influences My Attitudes Toward Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping bid cheap China designer eBay Espradilles heels import platforms pumps shipping shoes Thu, 22 Feb 2007 22:33:57 +0000 Andrea Karim 293 at http://www.wisebread.com