Are you a deflationist? Or an inflationist? No matter which way you believe the wind will blow, the truth is this: it’s up in the air. But, as Jim Rickards explains, there are things you can do to cover your assets, no matter which one wins the tug-of-war. Read on…
Smart meters are supposed to be our saving grace. Reduce pollution… reduce blackouts… and keep you and your family safe. The truth, though, is the exact opposite. What’s the true agenda behind smart meters? And why are you being lied to? Read on…
You hear a lot about gold these days. But what about silver? Chris Campbell speaks out about the moon metal with one shocking confession. Read on…
Markets have you spooked? You’re not the only one. In today’s Laissez Faire Today, you’ll hear from three market experts on how to stay safe, no matter what direction the overall market heads. Read on…
Savvy investors: Two experts weigh in on why having your own personal gold standard… and betting that Ebola will get worse… could be your best investment decisions of 2014. Read on…
Where do great investors come from?I’m not sure what the hurdle rate for greatness is, but Guy Spier has put up impressive results. His Aquamarine Fund has returned 463% since inception in 1997, versus just 167% for the S&P 500 (a broad proxy for the market). Put another way, $1 million invested at inception is […]
Writing a book? Chris Campbell shares a PROVEN system to making your book go viral on the Internet. But he doesn’t just tell you how to do it, he shows you how he did it too. Just last weekend he received nearly 7,000 downloads in only three days. Read on…
Bitcoin has been pretty quiet lately. But that doesn’t mean big things aren’t taking place behind-the-scenes for the digital currency. In today’s Laissez Faire Today, Chris Campbell pulls back the curtain and shows you how Bitcoin is quietly slipping into the mainstream. He also shows you why now could be the time to buy now, or forever hold your peace. Read on…
Want to get rich? Don’t listen to financial “gurus,” says Chris Campbell. In today’s Laissez Faire Today, Chris shares a Zen proverb and shows how understanding it is the only real way to get rich (and live a rich life). Read on…
Ben Franklin once said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” In today’s Laissez Faire Today, you’ll learn about one FREE website that has the potential to not only keep your family safe – but also open your eyes to what’s happening in your own neighborhood. Chris Campbell has all the details. Read on…
Next year is the 65th anniversary of the Peanuts comic strip. And Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy and the rest of the gang will appear in their first full-length feature film in 35 years.One small company has the license to the Peanuts brand. The cash flow due to this company could be enormous. In late October, […]
All over the world, power is dying. The dictators and tyrants of the world are no longer able to wield it like they once used to. And they’re losing it to the “little guy.” Chris Campbell shows you how to be the king of your castle by taking advantage of this fact. Today, you’ll learn how to grab “power gaps” in the market and channel them into your product idea or project. Read on…
The fireflies along the tidal rivers of Malaysia show "feats of synchrony that occur spontaneously, almost as if nature has an eerie yearning for order." Chris Campbell tells you where else this might occur in the world. Also, new technology may revolutionize the agriculture industry and what we think of as a farm.
Jeff Davis is running for Governor in Hawaii and has an interesting campaign strategy. Also, what motivates hackers is revealed and the findings might surprise you. Finally, Ferguson is discussed in a new light. Chris Campbell has more...
When the government pumps trillions of dollars into the economy, they’re not actually printing the money. It enters as digital entries in banks across the country. It’s made the system fast, responsive, and, unfortunately, vulnerable. Now our money is no longer something we hold in our hands, but something that exists on a very susceptible network.
Who can forget Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island? That map, marked with an “x,” is the stuff of high adventure.There is a modern-day equivalent of a treasure map, and it is just as coveted by those who seek reservoirs of oil and gas. It’s called seismic data.What are seismic data? In essence, they’re collected from […]
In a 2009 article, the Huffington Post went into considerable detail about the number of people with PhD degrees in economics employed by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. This is the government’s branch of the Federal Reserve. It is not one of the 12 regional Federal Reserve banks, all of which […]
The U.S. dollar is the dominant global reserve currency. All markets, including stocks, bonds, commodities, and foreign exchange are affected by the value of the dollar.The value of the dollar, in effect, its “price” is determined by interest rates. When the Federal Reserve manipulates interest rates, it is manipulating, and therefore distorting, every market in […]
The game of speculation is the most uniformly fascinating game in the world. But it is not a game for the stupid, the mentally lazy, the person of inferior emotional balance or the get-rich-quick adventurer. They will die poor.– Jesse Livermore, How to Trade in StocksThe trouble with capitalism’s guardians is that they have no […]
Let’s head back in time…In 2004, a mere decade ago, the US national debt rang the register at $7.4 trillion. That represents “debt per citizen” of over $25,000. You, me, your neighbor, your 4-yr old grandson, you name it and they’re portion of the U.S. debt is $25k.But flash forward to today and you’ll see […]
I bet you use different kinds of money all the time, sometimes without even realizing it.In various online accounts, I currently have: some dollars, some pounds, and some euros. I have some air miles from two different credit card companies. I have some supermarket rewards points from three different companies. And I also have some […]
Alexander Hamilton was America’s first Secretary of Treasury under President George Washington. When he first entered office in 1789, America was an agricultural nation of just 4 million still broke from its financially costly victory over the British Empire in the Revolutionary War.The states had accumulated relatively massive debts to finance that war, which mostly […]
Remember that correction we’ve been quietly talking about over the past couple of months?Well, it might be right around the corner. Stocks waited until the last day of the month to nose-dive. The S&P 500 posted its first 2% down day since April — and the Dow wasn’t far behind. Early this morning, futures continue […]
A great technology solves a problem that we didn’t know we had. It makes us aware of deprivations we didn’t know existed until we discover the new thing. Once discovered, we can’t go back.People in the 1950s, for example, never missed the smart phone. They were pleased to have a phone at all. But today, […]
Fifty years after the 1929 crash, a group of money managers and investment thinkers put together a collection of essays looking back at that experience. The result was a distillation of some pretty fine investment wisdom. Timely, I think, to review now.One of the contributors was Arthur Zeikel, then with Merrill Lynch. The title of […]
I’m sure you’ve seen the news. As if recent, past U.S. policy fiascos in Libya, Egypt and Syria were not enough, the wheels are now coming off the proverbial bus in Iraq, site of so much blood and treasure spent in the last decade.Radical Islamist armies are marching toward Baghdad, slicing through Iraqi government troops […]
In early July 1944, delegates from 44 countries gathered at the Mount Washington Hotel in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire. A three-week summit took place, at which a new system was agreed to regulate the international monetary and financial order after the Second World War.The U.S. was already the world’s commercial powerhouse, having eclipsed the British […]
When you type a website address into a browser, you might have noticed that the letters “http” appear at the front. “HTTP” stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol. In typing a Web address, you are actually sending an HTTP command to transmit that website to you. Hypertext Transfer Protocol is the means by which information is […]
Some people are saying it is just what the doctor ordered. Others are saying that the cure is worse than the disease.The Affordable Care Act? Reengagement in Iraq? Tea Party bullying in the GOP?Not this time. Just as protracted in the corridors of Congress and the White House is the debate over the proposed reform […]
In 2012, money mandarins running the European Union chose stagnation over restructuring. Here’s a consequence of that choice: expectations for a self-sustaining economic recovery keep getting crushed.Two years ago, European Central Bank (ECB) chief Mario Draghi promised to do “whatever it takes” to hold the eurozone together. He bluffed nervous investors into believing in a […]
In 1995, American agriculture underwent a profound, dangerous change.In that year, Monsanto and other companies pushed through approval for a handful of genetically modified (GM) organisms. These included canola oil tweaked to improve its flavor, potatoes modified to resist pesticide dousing, and tomatoes gene-spliced to delay ripening.“About half of all the crops planted on American […]
Picture the scene. It’s 2020. You’re at the checkout in a convenience store with a carton of milk. But you’ve got no cash and you’ve left your cards at home. No problem. You scan your right index finger; the green light flashes. Purchase approved and you leave. Easy.Is this a realistic vision of the future, […]
People jacked up about income inequality can find a new hobby. The 1% are victims of a doomsday machine, and the countdown is ticking. Machine, thy name is “family.”This came to mind as I was reading a preview of Columbia Professor Andrew Ang’s forthcoming, must-read book on Asset Management. Ang is that oxymoron, an exciting […]
Those of us in our 50s grew up going to the movies. But only occasionally does Hollywood take its eye off the 2 to 24 age group to make movies about something other than vampires, superheroes and animated whatever.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is different. It is a sweet story acted by a stellar cast in their 60s and 70s aimed at an audience over 50. It hits the target: the first wave of 78 million baby boomers is retiring, or hoping to.
Costing only $10 million to make, Marigold has grossed over $100 million.
Outsourcing a retirement is not something anyone wants to do. Going somewhere exotic might be fun for a week or month, but learning a new language just to transact day-to-day business, in unfamiliar surroundings, is a frightening prospect as you turn 60 or 70.
“Is this all that 40 years in the civil service will buy?” Jean Ainslie (Penelope Wilton) disgustedly asks her husband, Douglas (Bill Nighy), as they tour a modest cottage in an English retirement village, replete with handrails and panic buttons.
So the Ainslies become customers of Sonny Kapoor’s (Dev Patel’s) The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, a British comedy-drama based on Deborah Moggach’s 2004 novel, These Foolish Things, and directed by John Madden.
Joining the Ainslies are fellow retirees Evelyn Greenslade (Judi Dench), Graham Dashwood (Tom Wilkinson), Muriel Donnelly (Maggie Smith), Norman Cousins (Ronald Pickup) and Madge
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Hardcastle (Celia Imrie).
Sonny is the No. 3 son of a wealthy family from Delhi. The Marigold is an aging palace that his father left to his brothers and him, but the others sons are too busy with their successful careers and have no interest in the place. Sonny has big dreams, and a big idea: Retirees around the world must find cheaper places to retire. The Marigold can be just the place.
Like any wild-eyed entrepreneur, Sonny believes 100% in his idea, but lacks capital and management skills. Sonny’s mother wants him to return to Delhi for an arranged marriage. His brothers want the hotel knocked down and the land sold. So it is dust, cobwebs, broken facets and an exuberant Sonny that greet the retirees after braving a difficult journey to get there.
Retired High Court Judge Graham grew up in India. He wishes to return there to explore a secret from his childhood. Money is not his issue. Money was not on randy Norman’s mind, either. The other retirees have different stories, illustrating how a person can end up in retirement empty-handed.
Widowed housewife Evelyn, who had never worked a job in her life, must find a job to pay for her Marigold stay. Her home was sold to pay off her late husband’s debts. Madge is currently in between husbands, with no prospects in sight.
And after caring for the house and books of a single family for decades, the bigoted Muriel was let go for a younger replacement, leaving her bitter and broken. She reluctantly opts for the India trip to have her hip replaced there, rather than wait six months in England.
Most of the party do their best to adapt to this strange land filled with bright colors, masses of people, grinding poverty and stifling bureaucracy. A bitter Mrs. Ainslie refuses to explore and spends her days at the Marigold reading Tulip Fever, a novel set in 1630s Amsterdam, capturing that city’s frenzy of commerce and mania in tulip bulb prices.
Meanwhile, her husband takes great delight in exploring new places, only to have Jean ridicule him each day when he returns to the Marigold for tea in the late afternoon.
In Tulip Fever, author Deborah Moggach effectively portrays a man caught up in a mania. The artist begins to neglect his work, be negligent in his grooming and is totally obsessed with trading tulip bulbs. He leaves his painting entirely to his apprentice. He has great success trading and then hatches a plan to mortgage everything to raise the money needed for his lover and him (the wife of the man who commissioned him) to run away together.
Jan the artist tells his lover, Sophia, “Luck’s been on our side, all these weeks. Tell me we should put all our eggs into one basket!”
Moggach writes, “He means, of course, the risk beyond all risks: the most dangerous risk of all. The king of kings, the Semper Augustus. Claes van Hooghelande has one bulb left.”
In the movie, Jean and Douglas are caught up in a frenzy of their own. They had dumped all of their retirement funds into their daughter’s Internet startup company, and of course, they were to be rich once the venture went public. But news about company progress is spare, and their daughter is uncommunicative.
The droll, easygoing Douglas takes it all in stride. But the regret-filled Jean blames Douglas for everything. She’s not enjoying the life she’s entitled to, that is, a life their daughter’s startup was to make possible. Instead, Jean’s stuck in India in a dilapidated hotel, eating food too spicy for her English palate. Her only brief moment of joy comes when Graham tells her the chef has agreed to simply grill the chicken for that night’s meal.
Retirees have time, but only some have the money to enjoy it the way they’d like. That’s the lesson in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Putting your head in the financial sand and depending upon others will have you working through retirement or pathetically trolling in bars for someone to take care of you.