HSBC whooping 6% saving…and the catch?

HEADS UP!
So the online saving rate war is back! HSBC is now offering 6% APY until April 30th 2007 but…there’s always a catch.

This deal only works on so-called “new” money which is basically any money you deposit between Jan 29-April 30. So in the end, I’d say you will only make a few extra bucks (in the sub-100k category) if you already have a 5% saving account somewhere. Especially since it’s only a 3 months deal from now. And then also due to the slow transaction time that will cause a loss of interest return on the days between money is moved and then there’s taxation. And if you have 100k+? You probably should be think about putting some of that money into funds/stocks portfolio anyways (or buy a house, do something w/ them plz) and won’t have 100k+ in saving :P

So I would say it’s not worth it, for the little gain and the hassle. Again, HSBC has very slow transaction from personal experience. It’s just another strategy to draw some new money/customers.

Originally posted 2007-01-28 03:50:31. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

My Personal Finance Decluttering – Bye Bye Student Loan

Following my recent mortgage refinance, I also bit my teeth and paid off the student loan debt that I carried since I graduated in 2006.

I had to “bite my teeth” because of the amount of savings I’m giving up to get rid of these debt, especially on top of the chunk of saving I put away in the refinance process. My rationale…

For the longest time, because the student loan is sitting at a low 3.5% rate, I considered it as cheap money and was going to pay it down slowly over the year.

However, even as I was paying it slowly monthly, I was putting in 20-30 bucks extra each payment to help dwindle the loan amount down faster. As a result, I saw the amount sitting around $3000.

There is a story about a philosophy teacher that talks about how we can see our life as a bottle with the important things as large stone pieces we put in it and the trivial stuff as small pieces of sand.

Because the loan is sitting at just $3000, and by principle, it’s “cheap money” and money is better in your own pocket… I decided that keeping this loan is like having more pieces of sand than necessary. For my peace of mind and not having to keep track of it anymore, I made the jump to pay it off.

As a result, my only real loan left is my mortgage (because I’m paying off my credit cards monthly). Perhaps I’m simply risk-averse or financially conservative, but in this day and age where employment is not quite guaranteed and work environment unstable, it is important to reduce debt to provide yourself the flexibility and option to consider other opportunities. In short, the less fixed cost in your cash flow, the better.

Plus, the less things the mind has to keep track of, the less chance of making mistakes that may cost money. Therefore, being thoughtful in minimizing debt and reduce debt cannot be stressed enough because of how easily costs can snowball!

At any rate, I can forget making that student loan payment each month now, and that gives me more space in the mind… which by itself, is priceless.

Originally posted 2013-01-04 23:42:09. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Too Many Minds

I wrote this awhile back:

We should not establish our happiness upon others’ pain
Nor should we establish others’ happiness upon our own pain
Perhaps it sounds a bit selfish, but it’s the same analogy as “If you want to manage other, manage yourself first.”
Equivalently, if you want to help others, please help yourself first.
There is a quote told by Omura to Captain Nathan Algren in The Last Samurai
“Too many mind. Mind sword, mind people watch, mind enemy. Too many mind…”

I find this quote very meaningful and philosophical. In other words…
We often worry about others too much or try to take care of everyone else, and as a result, what we should be doing are not being done.
We try to take care too much. We worry too much. Consequently, we lost sight of what means the most to ourselves. The goals for ourselves become blurry.
If we cannot take care of ourselves, how do we take care of others?
Therefore, I will maintain “the self”. Keep it healthy, keep it happy, keep improving it.
If I want to take care of others, I will first take care of myself.
If I want to love others, I will first love myself.
If I want to instruct others, I will first teach myself.
If I want to criticize others, I will first evaluate myself.
If I want to make others happy, I will first make myself happy.
Everything beings with “the self.”

Originally posted 2007-07-06 01:48:59. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Why No Way is the Way

A way can be said to be a predefined set of pattern or behavior.

It has been a long time that our various social structures and cultural patterns base on our mutually exclusive definition of good and evil, right and wrong have done us well. That is great. However, it is about time for us to move beyond.

Impermanence IS the only absolute of nature, as base on the fundamental teaching of Buddhism and also base on the fundamental understanding in physics.

Time is changing. As we relentlessly continue to develop technology that accelerates the speed for which we and our society change, the more so that any pre-defined set of pattern and behaviors are to become obsolete. That is to say, it is very likely that pre-existing ways will have less and less benefits and more more harms the longer we hold on to it.

In a state of chaos, no predefined patterns, no premeditated thoughts can help us.

That is why having “no way” is the only way to behave suitably as time proceeds from here on. It has never been more true.

Having no way does not mean to fight and to abolish any existing way. Quite oppositely, having no way means MORE so that we need to study and fully understand all, or at least as many as possible, existing ways that we know of. But without being attached, as in clinging to any particular one of them…. only then, we can spontaneously apply a suitable way that maybe one or more of the pre-existing ways in combination, or create a new one, in any particular situation.

And this is only possible if you don’t cling on to a specific way.

Understand both what are defined as “right” and “wrong”… and know that at any time, “right” could become “wrong” and “wrong” could become “right”. Seeing sides without taking side.

This may seem very dangerous and foreign to our mind conditioned to follow patterns of behavior in the last few thousands of years. It is in-arguable that we have the brains to move beyond that.

That is the kind of mentality, living attitude that more and more mankind needs if we are to live harmonically among ourselves and with our environment.

That is the kind of world leader we need, even just as people with influence.

Bruce Lee’s JKD is actually of no particular style. It has its basic routines, training patterns. Many of those may have been drived from Wing Chun or any other style that Bruce Lee studied, and they are good starting point. But you should not be restricted by any of them. He did not even want to call JKD as JKD if he can get by without words.

We have to be able to move beyond all the ways that we have.

As the “no-mind” teaching in Zen, it means for us to go beyond our mind. Reality lives beyond our thinking, our logical intelligence. This is also why the only thing a Zen master really ever does is either destroy all your existing concepts and ideas — including what you think of Zen, or if he thinks you are close, directly points you to the “no-mind” state of being and perception.

To deal with reality optimally, we need no-mindedness and make no-way the way.

Then of course, this choice cannot be made up in the mind as a decision like we usually do, but instead it is a choice that is to known by our heart.

Originally posted 2010-08-23 23:33:31. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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