1. The Motivating (and Demotivating) Effects of Learning Others’ Salaries – Harvard Business Review
How does learning your colleagues’ salaries make you feel? You could’ve learnt it in person, or via pages like MalaysianPayGap on Instagram.
Learning that your peers with similar background, skills and experiences are making more than you (sometimes significantly more) can be motivating. It’s likely you will start to feel resentment to your employer and start looking for better opportunities and higher salaries.
However, it can be demotivating, too. In which case, it’s not a bad idea to read the article for more in depth explanation to what and how you’re feeling that way.
2. I had pretty much given up on budgeting until a friend gave me a piece of advice that’s help me save over $5,000 – Business Insider
The advice is… budgeting weekly instead of monthly.
That’s quite insightful! Worth trying if the traditional monthly budgeting method doesn’t work that well for you, because let’s face it, 30 days is a long stretch of time and it’s easy for one’s motivation to run out halfway through the month.
Find tips to budgeting weekly in the article.
3. A new ETF is investing in companies based on the character of their CEOs, and Tesla’s Elon Musk didn’t make the cut – Business Insider
This is too funny and unique to not include. The Return on Character ETF ‘ranks its stock holdings based on a character model centered around integrity, responsibility, forgiveness, and compassion.’
‘The fund, which is actively managed and rebalances its 75 to 150 portfolio holdings once per year, believes the scores distilled from its character model will deliver outperformance in the long-term’.
Some CEOs who are included: CEOs of Apple, Microsoft, and Amazon, led by CEO’s Tim Cook, Satya Nadella, and Andy Jassy, respectively. Other holdings in the portfolio include Costco, Berkshire Hathaway, and Nvidia.
Some CEOs who are NOT included: Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg
The ticker symbol is ROCI, in case you’re looking out for it.
4. VPNs are digital ‘snake oil,’ expert claims — here’s why– Tom’s Guide
Wait, what? I’ve been told that VPNs are necessary for optimum security protection all my life??
In 2021, Grauer and a team from the University of Michigan tested 51 consumer VPN service providers. Along with Consumer Reports colleagues, she made more extensive analysis of 16 major VPN brands, including CyberGhost, ExpressVPN, Hotspot Shield, IPVanish, NordVPN, Private Internet Access, ProtonVPN and Surfshark. (Grauer and Troutman both warned against using lesser-known VPNs, especially free VPN services that pop up in mobile app stores.)
Grauer found that of the 16 well-known VPN services she analyzed, 12 made exaggerated claims about how much protection they really could provide.
Huh. So VPNs do give better privacy, but not necessarily enhanced security. Got it.
“When people ask me if they should use a VPN,” Grauer said, “I tell them no, they should use a password manager instead.”
(I use Bitwarden password manager. It’s good)
Fact is, if you’re lucky, you WILL be growing older.
And another unfortunate fact is, most people can’t afford retirement in Malaysia.
So it’s probably a good idea for most people to learn the tips and tricks to deal with and push back against ageism in the workplace, which you will probably experience – according to the article, ‘nearly 80% of older employees say they’ve seen or experienced age discrimination in the workplace’.
With the reality of climate change looming, and complicated geo-economic strains, I sometimes wonder if the choice and availability of products I am enjoying now will soon cease to exist. I mean, how do you manufacture said products if supply chain issues caused by irregular weather and politics cause raw materials to not reach its destination?
Get used to deglobalisation as a term, as countries and productions start to be less externally-dependent.
It’s not about being in denial about your level of activity – if your schedule is packed, then it is packed.
It’s more about the choice of words. Saying you’re busy means you are overwhelmed, which isn’t great for self-autonomy and your sense of control = less happiness.
8. Celebrities at this year’s Oscars got $138,000 gift bags — including a $50K private stay in a castle – Business Insider
Ah, the business of gift bags as a marketing channel. Yes, business. It costs the companies’ money (“anywhere from $4,000 to $50,000”) to include their items as gifts in the Oscars gift bag, which contained $138,000 in value.
(Most of that value though is in experiences – $50,000 private vacation in a castle in Scotland and a $15,000 spa retreat)
However, apparently not all items get redeemed, because gifts are taxable.
Just a list of life reminders. Good for a skim when you’re stuck, to remind you of what you should prioritise on.
10. Indonesians Are Trying to Make Crypto Halal – Vice
And last but not least, a Vice video on cryptocurrency use in Indonesia. I just find it fascinating how Indonesians justify using crypto when the local fatwa there has ruled crypto transactions haram, as they observed many use it for the purpose of speculation and gambling.