So much to be grateful for
There’s a lot to be grateful for.
Another week, and 7 more days I’m grateful to be Jon Giaan, living Jon Giaan’s life.
I’m grateful I wasn’t bailed up in that Lindt café in Sydney, dwelling on the horrible reality that I might not see my loved ones again.
But I’m grateful too that I’m not affected any of the violence that rears it’s ugly head in 1000s of trouble-spots across the world. Today, I’m feeling for those parents who lost their kids in the school massacre in Afghanistan.
And I’m also grateful that I’m not some journalist being paid to whip tragedy into sensation, for papers crying crocodile tears over genuine loss – whatever sells.
I’m grateful that I actually have the space and freedom to write what I want – to throw my truth into the mix of contested truths. And I’m grateful that I can make a sport out of sinking the boot into our politicians and vested interests, without worrying about unmarked cars parked in front of my house, or heavy breaths on the phone at 1am.
I’m grateful that I live and do business in an economy that continues to be the envy of the world. Hockey’s attempts to ‘fix the budget’ (if it was ever broken) seem to be going backwards, but it could be worse.
We could be Russia, sliding towards another currency crisis.
The Russian ruble has fallen nearly 50% in the past couple of months, dropping off a cliff in recent days. This chart from Bloomberg tells the story.
This seems to have been driven by a collapse in oil prices – half of Russia’s exports come from energy – but there’s an air of the panics about all this.
As a result, the Russian central bank jacked up rates by a massive 6.5 percentage points, from 10.5% to 17% – overnight!
So now the poor Russian have an emerging currency crisis on their hands, together with European sanctions and now interest rates at 17%.
Watch this space. This could be one of the big stories of 2015.
But as always, it’s a good time to be an Aussie.
And I’m grateful I’m in the property game. Property continues to be a solid and steady performer, even through the most uncertain times.
It is quickly becoming the only safe-have on choice, as Gold struggles to pick itself up off the floor.
And 2014 was the year of the Bitcoin revolution – with market loyalists quickly stamping out the crypto-currency rebellion.
Bitcoin spiked in a bubble, but has since collapsed, to be the worst performing $US asset of the year – even worse than the Russian Ruble!
Australian property on the other hand, continues to be a star performer. House prices in Sydney have now risen 28% in the past 18 months.
And that’s something the state government of NSW will be extra grateful about. Stamp-duty revenues have gone through the roof. They’re up a whopping 85% over the past 18-months to $6.1 billion.
Yes that’s billion with a ‘b’. And that ‘b’ is why we’ll won’t be seeing the back of this stupid tax any-time soon. State governments are hooked on the stamp-duty sugar.
But don’t let me bring that Grinchy vibe to Christmas. The truth of it is, that for me, 2014 was a year well-lived.
The world might not be perfect, (never has been and probably never will be), but through it all, life has been very good to me.
I drank deeply of the company of my friends, families and loved one this year. I had the financial freedom to follow my passions, and throw energy into projects that really moved me – not just the ones that got my accountant salivating.
And at the end of the day, I think I left the world a better place than when I found it at the end of 2013. I hope that I’ve helped my students (and you) on the journey towards financial freedom. And I hope I’ve helped you get a better feel for where property fits in the economic landscape, and the forces that affect it.
And I hope that you’ve found something useful in my ramblings about success and psychology and the radical responsibility of determining your own future.
And even if you thought it was all a crock of shi$t, at least you have a firmer picture of what you know you know, right?
Anyway, I hope your year was as rewarding and as satisfying as mine was, and that you have just as many things to be grateful for. I hope you get some time to reflect on it, in the company of your loved ones, this Christmas.
Personally, I’ll be unplugging the lap-top and taking a bit of down time to do just that, and the Knowledge Source office will be off-line until Jan 12.
But we look forward to working with you all again in the new year.
Have a joyous and rich Christmas everyone.