In all the talk of “building back better” and making economies “match fit”, “strategically autonomous” and “resilient”, there is an unstated but tragic premise. For decades, most advanced economies did not build their future but languished in an investment drought, the scandal of which is greater for being unacknowledged.
Between 1970 and 1989, the share of gross domestic product devoted to investment by six of the world’s seven biggest economies averaged from 22.6 per cent for the US to 24.8 per cent for Germany. The seventh, Japan, was an outlier with 35 per cent.
Of the G7, only Canada has sustained this level of investment: its 22.5 per cent in this millennium is barely down from 22.8 back then. All the others have only managed to match their 1970-89 investment levels in four instances: the US in the boom years of 2000 and 2005-06, and France in 2021.
Yet these past 20 years have been the era of lower-than-ever financing costs, first because of market exuberance, then thanks to central banks’ ultra-lax monetary policy. And what do we have to show for all that cheap credit? Two lost decades for investment. As economics writer Annie Lowrey concisely puts it, “we blew it”.
France and the US have invested nearly two percentage points of GDP less this century than they did in the 1970s and 1980s; Germany and Italy about 4.5 points less; the UK and Japan 6 and 10 percentage points less respectively. These are enormous numbers. The G7 account for about $45tn in annual GDP. Restoring their investment ratios could fill nearly half the global shortfall to the $4tn the International Energy Agency calls for in annual clean technology investment if we are to meet net zero by 2050.
Those are total investment numbers, but a similar story holds for the public sector on its own. In the US, net government investment (after accounting for depreciation of the existing public capital stock) fell by almost two-thirds in the decade to 2014, when it dropped to 0.5 per cent of GDP.
In the eurozone, net public investment went negative in the same year, thanks to extreme fiscal austerity in the eurozone periphery and chronic under-investment in Germany.
Some will be tempted by claims that we need not worry. It is normal to invest less as you get richer — so one argument goes — because adding to an already large capital stock is increasingly useless. The cost of capital goods has fallen, so the same money buys you more real investment, goes another. A third is that the current economy needs intangible, not physical capital, and while this is harder to measure, countries seem to be doing better on that front.
Yet such reassurances, even if factually true, are no use. No one who takes a close look at most western countries’ physical infrastructure can think it fit for purpose — not when that purpose expands to include decarbonising our industries and energy and transport systems.
Why have we lived for so long off past investments and failed to make enough new ones? Financing costs have clearly not been the problem, with interest rates at record lows. (Crisis-hit eurozone countries in the sovereign debt crisis were the exception, but even Spain and Italy have out-invested Britain for decades.)
More likely culprits are a lack of demand and cheap labour. Businesses that don’t expect enough demand to absorb expanded output have no reason to invest. And when they are permitted to treat workers as cheap and disposable, they may choose that over irreversible capital investments. This is why faster wage growth and the so-called “labour shortages” (really competition for workers) are something we should embrace if we are to prod businesses into productive investments.
Something similar may have been true for cheap energy in Europe. The 2010s were a time of unusually low-cost natural gas and hence electricity. This may have undermined the urgency of investing in both greater renewable generation and geopolitically safe natural gas developments. Oil prices, too, were low for much of the decade.
But underneath these economic factors, I think our failure to invest is profoundly political. Raising the investment-to-GDP ratio, whether through boosts to private or public investment, or both, means that a smaller ratio of GDP is left over for consumption. Even if this prepares a better future, it can feel like a measlier existence today. And that is something a generation of politicians across the rich world have been afraid to inflict on their voters.
That is true in good times, when transfer payments, tax cuts and immediate public goods are all politically more attractive than capital investment. (Something equivalent is at work in the private sector: witness companies’ choice to return cash to owners through share buybacks rather than invest in their own growth.) It has also been true in bad times, when investment is the easiest expenditure for belt-tightening governments and companies to cut.
European countries have come to rue how they used the “peace dividend” of 1989 to cut defence spending. The same moment pushed the west as a whole to forget the broader idea of short-term sacrifice for a more prosperous future. But this is not inevitable, as exceptions such as Canada and the Nordics’ sustained investment show. Western voters and governments have both unlearned the virtue of delayed gratification. They have to relearn it, and fast.
There are a few key things that owners should consider to decide if their investment is worthwhile
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Inflation is up more than 8%, the highest yearly change in almost four decades, according to Statistics Canada. And in a scramble to bring that inflation rate down, the Bank of Canada raised its benchmark rate to the highest amount since 1998: 2.5 per cent.
The hope is that inflation gets back to a normal two per cent by 2024. For borrowers with fixed mortgage rates, they would have locked in a certain interest rate when they purchased their property. For variable-rate mortgages, the interest rate that the borrower pays is tied to the central bank’s inflation rate.
Canadian borrowers are dealing with a five-year fixed rate of around 4.5 to 5.5 per cent. Variable rates are in the 3.8 to 4.5 per cent range. And rates are at least two per cent higher than a year ago.
Now that the days of easy money are a distant memory, real estate investors affected by higher interest rates may have to adjust behaviours in order to maintain a positive cash flow—or at least break even during this difficult time.
Remember, real estate is a long game
Big real estate investors, such as developers, buy properties to hold for years, through many up and down cycles.
“My views are that if you are going to invest you should be a long-term holder,” says developer Gino Nonni of Nonni Property Group.
“I don’t know how often you can buy something and then turn around and make a substantial profit in a short period of time. At minimum, mom and pop investors pay their mortgage down and typically the value of the asset will go up.”
He believes the shortage of land will always constrain supply and put pressure on prices. The result is a secure, long-term investment.
“That’s the way I view it, and that’s what I tell my friends when they ask. I tell them to always hold.”
Put your investment in perspective
Millennial broker Jacky Chan, president of BakerWest Real Estate, has been investing in real estate his entire adult life. He prefers real estate to other investments because it’s less volatile, and with the world’s population growing by about 80 million people a year, people are always going to need a place to live. Prices may slow down, but overall they go up.
“The faster an investment moves, the closer you need to monitor it, especially with the recent hype of NFTs and cryptocurrency,” says Chan. “But look at any real estate market in the world with a growing population, and it was definitely cheaper 50 years ago than it is today.”
Two things matter in real estate investment, says Chan: positive cash flow and appreciation. If the investor isn’t over-leveraged by too much debt, they should maintain a long-term outlook and not get spooked by interest rate hikes.
If you own a $1 million property and have a $500,000 mortgage at five per cent, you are, in simple terms, looking at $25,000 interest per year.
If the property increases by five per cent in a year on the $1 million investment, that’s an increase of $50,000, so the owner has a net positive of $25,000.
“Even though the rate has gone up, the real estate value is still increasing.”
When things are getting tight
Let’s say you purchased a condo to live in, and purchased another as an investment. With interest rates climbing, what happens if you took out a variable rate mortgage and the rent isn’t covering the higher mortgage payment? Mortgage advisor Alex McFadyen, of Thrive Mortgage, saw a lot of people buy second properties in the last couple of years, and they might now find themselves stretched. All experts will tell you that selling off the property should be a last resort, but how do you avoid that when costs are mounting?
“Ask yourself if the property itself is really underwater, or are there expenses we can remove or eliminate?” says McFadyen. “That’s the first thing we determine.”
He gets his clients to write down all their property expenses, including management and maintenance fees, taxes, utilities, and any upcoming repairs on the home. If it’s a primary property that’s causing them stress, then he asks them to write out a cash flow budget spreadsheet to see what’s coming in and going out. McFadyen finds that the main culprit for expenses is often a car loan or credit card debt, or — more commonly these days — travel debt. Cut those debts and throw that money at your mortgage instead, he advises.
Take control of the situation
If expenses are truly unmanageable, McFadyen advises that clients consider consolidating debts with a loan, such as the possibility of taking out a second mortgage or home equity line of credit(HELOC) to get it under control. He predicts consolidation will be a “massive trend” in the next 12 months.
“I ask my clients, ‘are you able to sleep at night right now?’ If someone isn’t able to effectively get out of debt, what is the downside of setting yourself up with a second mortgage or HELOC to help things?”
McFayden has a client who owes nearly $75,000, which caused their credit score to go down to the low 500s (a good score should stay above 650). By consolidating their debt, it became a more manageable single payment instead of several payments that were only covering the interest owed. The key thing is to do it before you’re drowning in debt.
Restructure for bumpy times
Long term, everyone agrees that real estate will go up in value, so do what it takes to get through the interim.
McFadyen is helping some of his clients to re-amortize their 20-year mortgages to 30 years, for example. With a longer amortization period, the clients have reduced monthly payments, which helpsto reduce expenses and eliminate payment shock.
McFayden also advises mortgage holders coming up for renewal to consider a refinance option and lock into a one- or two-year mortgage, until rates settle down. If historical trends are an indicator, we are near the peak, he says. A lot of his clients are taking that approach because there is good value in short-term mortgages, if rates do come back down as expected. That means the borrower isn’t locked in at a higher rate. Additionally, they don’t face a huge penalty, if they do want to take advantage of lower rates.
“We’ve seen folks worried about rising mortgage payments and we’ve helped them lock into short terms, to stem the tide,” says McFadyen.
But also, know when to sell
That said, when a person is over-leveraged, with negative cash flow and sleepless nights, then it could be time to sell that investment property. You’ve got to think about your mental health, advises McFadyen.
“If you are significantly underwater and it’s not only impacting your quality of life and there are no options to re-amortize or consolidate debt, and you can’t afford to make payments and it’s impacting your quality of life, and if the property also has upcoming expenses, then we would recommend letting it go,” he says. “If they are in so much stress and they have the ability to get out from under it, they should consider it as a last resort.”
This article provides information only and should not be construed as advice. It is provided without warranty of any kind.
Glasgow, Scotland, Aug. 13, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — With the intention of being one of the top investment platforms for investors of all stripes, FXM Venture was established in July of 2020. FXM has been extending its impact to adjacent nations thanks to the vision and leadership of its core members.
BACKGROUND OF FXM VENTURE
Ten significant individuals were involved in the founding and early development of FXM Venture, with the goal of establishing this investment fund’s brand on a global scale. And today, 100 members work in 6 transnational branches and continue their tradition. In addition to being directed and run by professionals with decades of expertise in a variety of sectors, including finance, investing, marketing, and technology, FMX is also run by vital departments like: customer service personnel, technical staff,…
Additionally, in just two years (starting in July 2020), FMX has called for a total investment of 8 million USD.
HOW DOES FXM VENTURE WORK?
For both long- and short-term traders, funding rates are regular payments. Investors are free to select a transaction based on their financial situation and liquidity. Users can, in particular, withdraw money at any moment and get interest.
At FXM Venture, we have experienced traders in both Forex and Cryptocurrencies allowing us to build a stable financial foundation to increase the returns of our investors.
FXM also has AI technology in trading approaches to Real-time forecasts of hundreds of scenarios, execution strategies, and commercial alliances, in addition to our research, market neutral algorithms by monitoring market movements and building trading algorithms. Our primary goal is to establish a win-win relationship between the customer and the firm, in which FXM Venture develops specific investment plans and strategies, while investors can then choose suitable investment packages, together with FXM consider and select specific investment plans.
ORIENTATIONS AND VISIONS
By expanding its operations and financial system in 2022, FXM aims to become one of the best legitimate funds in the world. To that end, 4 additional branches will be opened, and recruiting efforts will be stepped up to reach our target of 200 members.
In terms of financing, FXM VENTURE’s aim is to raise our fund up to $15 million.. Aside from that, FXM equips you with the resources you need to be completely confident in your investment decisions. Furthermore, you may invest with FXM with complete confidence because here are what make FXM different:
PROFESSIONAL TRADER TEAM
SECURED DEPOSITS AND WITHDRAWALS
24/7 CUSTOMER SUPPORT SERVICE
FXM does not intend to stop at satisfying almost 30,000 customers who have been using services and investing in FXM (with a customer satisfaction rate of 78% and a customer return rate of 85%), FXM is as complete as possible with the goal of increasing the number of clients to 50,000 in the next quarter with a satisfaction level of over 90%.
And also, Remember to refer friends to be rewarded with $25 for every friend who joins and registers at least one package — with no cap on the number of people you can refer, and gain matching income on their profits: F1 (10%), F2 (5%), F3 (3%), F4 (2%).
There is no offer to sell, no solicitation of an offer to buy, nor a recommendation of any securities or any other products or services. Furthermore, nothing in this PR should be construed as a recommendation to buy, sell or hold any investment or security, or to engage in any investment strategy or transaction. It is your responsibility to determine whether any investment, investment strategy, security or related transaction is suitable for you based on your investment objectives, financial situation and risk tolerance. Please consult your business advisor, attorney or tax advisor regarding your specific business, legal or tax situation.
has its sights on gaining a bigger share of the energy drink with a $550 million investment in Celsius Holdings. The energy drink maker is also at the center of a lawsuit between Russell Simmons and his ex-wife Kimora Lee Simmons along with her husband Tim Leissner, as he tries to retrieve his shares in Celsius back from them. Allegedly Kimora Lee and Leissner transferred and were using his shares of Celsius as collateral to pay a bond in connection with these criminal charges. Leissner already pleaded guilty, and agreed to forfeit $43.7 million for his role in the Malaysia 1MDB scandal that cost Goldman more than $3 billion. Simmons alleges that his shares of Celsius are being used as collateral to pay a bond in connection with these criminal charges.
The Breakdown You Need To Know:
Celsius recorded a first-quarter domestic revenue increase of 217% to $123.5 million and the long-term distribution deal gives Pepsi a minority stake of about 8.5%. The brand, which doesn’t use artificial preservatives or sugar, adds to PepsiCo’s energy drink portfolio, which already includes Rockstar as well as Mountain Dew drinks Amp, Game Fuel, and Kickstart. CultureBanx reported that with these types of returns it’s easy to see why Simmons wants his shares back from the couple.
Quick Recap on how these three people ended up in this situation. Goldman Sachs GS
last year agreed to pay the Malaysian government $3.1 billion, to settle claims in the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) fund. One of the main people who got the bank involved in this scandal was Kimora Lee’s Simmons husband Tim Leissner.
The bank swiftly parted ways with him after his shady dealings with Jho Low came to light. In November 2018, when Leissner agreed to pay $43.7 million toward victim compensation, it was in order to avoid jail time.
In his claim, Simmons says Kimora and Leissner “knew full well that Leissner would need tens of millions of dollars to avoid jail time, stay out on bail, and forfeit monies for victim compensation.” Simmons claims they used their Celsius shares as collateral for Leissner’s bail, and he wants his shares returned.
Now Russell wants no financial part in keeping Leissner out of jail. In a letter sent to his ex-wife Kimora Lee on May 5, 2021, he was pleading with her to do the right thing and avoid a lawsuit. He wrote that “I am shocked and saddened to see how your side has behaved in response to my repeated attempts to get an agreement from you to rightfully and legally reaffirm my 50% of the Celsius shares..which have been locked up with the government after being used for your husband’s bail money.”
A representative for Kimora Lee said “Kimora and her children are shocked by the extortive harassment coming from her ex-husband, Russell Simmons, who has decided to sue her for shares and dividends of Celsius stock in which Kimora and Tim Leissner invested millions of dollars.” At this point Russell is asking a judge for damages against Kimora and Leissner and believes he should be awarded restitution for interest and equal value for the wrongfully obtained shares.
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