Link Roundup #39: 10 Things to Know This Week

Accelerate your personal finance knowledge with this regular feature on Ringgit Oh Ringgit – the Link Roundup! I promise you’ll find these 10 links informational 🙂

1. Microsoft Japan’s 4-day workweek experiment sees productivity jump 40% – CNBC

This article went VIRAL in social media, for good reason – who doesn’t want an extra day off per week?

So I thought I’d use this space to dig a little bit behind the headline. Here’s what I found:

  • ‘Productivity’ was measured in sales per employee, and 40% increase in sales is no joke
  • They capped in-person meetings to 30 minutes
  • They reduced operations cost: ‘23.1% less electricity used and 58.7% fewer pages printed over the period’
  • The experiment ‘also incorporated self-development and family wellness schemes’

Would this work in Malaysia, you think? I don’t know. Obviously Japan and Malaysia’s working culture is different – we work hard of course but they literally invented a word which describes dying by working hard (‘karoshi’).

However, common sense tells me that it wouldn’t hurt to at least try to reduce our meeting time, no?


2. CEOs Who Cheat in Bedroom Will Cheat in Boardroom, Study Shows – Bloomberg

Not just CEOs. Also corporate executives, financial advisers and brokers. When their position is that high up the career ladder, their integrity matters more than we think.

3. Commentary: Are you better off working from home than in the office? – Channel News Asia

Answer: yes it’s better to work from home if the office is an open plan office. ‘A number of studies have found that employees working in modern open-plan offices are so easily distracted and constantly interrupted, they cannot concentrate on their tasks.’

4. Facebook’s new payment service will let you send money without fees across Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger (FB) – Business Insider

I am both excited and scared of this development. Giving Facebook access to my payments data will allow them to deliver better-targeted ads to me. I’m still on the fence whether that’ll be a good or a bad thing.

Worth knowing – this payments system is seperate from Libra, Facebook’s planned cryptocurrency. Although I suppose they will integrate it in due time. Also not sure how to feel about that.

5. America’s 1% Borrow Money, Too. Here’s What the Rich Are Paying for With Loans. – Barron’s

TL;DR –

‘The rich don’t fund consumption with debt and they don’t borrow to buy depreciating assets. (They) seem to borrow only to fund tax-advantaged, appreciating assets. And over the long run, housing prices have increased.

Poorer households, on the other hand, rely on debt to pay for post-high school education and transportation, while carrying credit-card balances. Unlike housing, cars aren’t an appreciating asset.”

6. In Her New MasterClass, Self-Made Billionaire Sara Blakely Shares 7 Remarkable Tips for Turning Any Idea Into a Successful Company Inc

Sara Blakely – the founder of Spanx – has great perspectives on entrepreneurship mindset. I highly recommend you to read this article and at least read #5 – understanding the four types of customers.

But beyond that, Sara Blakely is just someone amazing to follow in general. She has GREAT personal branding, and amazing in making sales pitches (the non-sleazy kind).

I’m really tempted now to shell $90 to enrol in her Masterclass hmm

7. 101 Ways to Live Sustainably – Curbed

It’s obvious they put a lot of effort behind this listicle – the graphics, the flow, the copywriting – everything works.

For me, striving to be a more ethical consumer is not just better for my personal finance, but also for my conscience.

I want to be more mindful with my purchases, and stop the process of accumulation for the sake of accumulation. I want to be happy with what I have, instead of always feeling like I don’t have enough. Capitalism does that to you.

8. 5 Key Steps to Build Your Side Hustle Enterpreneur

Some people planned their side hustles. Others are really lucky with theirs – they were just doing passion projects, then get job requests from people who love what they do. They may even do the steps (outlined in the article) backwards.

Both types can benefit from this article. You may learn what you don’t know you don’t know.

9. We bought a $1 house in Italy. Here’s what happened next – CNN

They spent money on renovations, but it’s still *super* cheap.

*cries in severely unaffordable Malaysian homes*

10. The Laundromat – streaming on Netflix

Want to learn how the super-rich and corrupt hide their money, through a very entertaining movie?

Look no further than The Laundromat, inspired by the Panama Papers scandal and stars Meryl Streep, Gary Oldman, Antonio Banderas, Jeffrey Wright, David Schwimmer, Matthias Schoenaerts, James Cromwell, and Sharon Stone.

It reminds me of The Big Short, another good movie explaining another financial scandal, the 2008 financial crisis.

That’s it for this round, catch you next time! Want to submit a link you thought was great? Reach out to me on FB or Twitter.

To read past link roundups, please click here.

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