- 09/14/15--06:09: The 16 safest banks in the world
- 05/29/16--04:01: Here's when you should start claiming your Social Security benefits
Europe's economy is still sluggish while China's market volatility continues. Greece has a cash shortage while Argentina carries a hefty debt burden.
It seems as if no bank is safe.
But the best place to store capital right now is in Europe, according to an annual report conducted by Global Finance.
“There have been some big changes in the Safest Banks ranking for 2015—reflecting the volatile markets within which many banks are now operating,” said the publisher and editorial director of the publication, Joseph D. Giarraputo.
The finance magazine determined the annual rankings by studying "long-term foreign currency ratings" from Fitch, S&P, and Moody's as of Aug. 2015. And it created a list dominated by European banks.
Germany boasts the most banks on the list, with seven. Three American banks also made it to the top 50 — the highest being AgriBank, at 30th place.
The full report will be published in Global Finance's November issue.
Scroll down to see the list in ascending order.
Click the link to Global Financial for a full list of the 50 safest banks of 2015.
16. Royal Bank of Canada
Assets: CAD$1.086 trillion, or US$819.3 billion
15. Banque Cantonale Vaudoise
Assets: CHF42.1 billion, or US$43.4 billion
14. Société de Financement Locale (SFIL)
Assets: €88 billion, or US$99.76 billion
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Susan Krakower bagged groceries in Queens, New York as a kid before moving to Los Angeles and working in TV trying to learn everything she could possibly know about creating a show.
Those efforts paid off. She created CNBC's first smash hit, 'Mad Money with Jim Cramer' in the 1990s, and then created the 'Fast Money' franchise on CNBC.
And now Julia Roberts has basically played her in a movie.
The movie is called Money Monster. It stars George Clooney as Lee Gates — a fast-talking, Wall Street TV personality who suddenly finds himself in a hostage situation when a viewer who lost his entire savings on one stock enters his TV studio during a live broadcast and holds him at gunpoint.
Roberts plays Gates' producer, Patty Fenn. She steadily guides him from the control room as he wears a explosive vest his attacker had on hand.
"It's crazy to the extent that it infiltrated our culture — a show on a cable network that I created," Krakower said when Business Insider sat down with her earlier this month.
(Note: She had yet to see the movie, and was not consulted on its direction.)
"It's [the hostage situation] not the kind of thing that executives at networks have not thought about ... because it could happen. If your defenses are down for some reason it could happen."
Gates is painted as a charlatan at first (don't worry there's a twist). His captor, Kyle Budwell, invested all of his money in an investment firm called Ibis, in part, because Gates hyped it hard on "Money Monster." Turns out there was shady stuff going on at the company that Gates is forced to uncover under duress, and on live TV.
"It's crazy, but it's a great compliment," Krakower said. "When I got to CNBC... I had come from LA and developing shows, and it was the first time on a network that I was able to create for a news division. And not with an anchor and prompter. I thought: 'Let's create something authentic, with a mission that is to make money.'"
The yelling, the rolled up sleeves, the trader speak, the props, the sounds — everything that is associated with 'Mad Money,' was part of Krakower's vision for a show that made you stop and watch when you were scrolling threw the channels.
"Kudos and thank you always to Jeff Zucker," Krakower told Business Insider. "At the time I created the show there was no leadership at CNBC."
Zucker, at the time, was the head of the whole NBC network. After she pitched the idea he sent her an email Krakower used carry in her wallet. It said: "Congratulations to you, I believe you found CNBC's first hit."
Of course, the movie is darker than that and touches on the main criticism of financial TV. What is the line between education and entertainment?
On that point Krakower pulls no punches.
"But those people who lost money also made money when the market recovered," she says, "and the whole thesis of capitalism is to have your money work for you. And my thing is everyone's gotta be working, even your money."
She continued:"There are many shows that get it wrong, and many shows that get it right."
"If you look there are disclaimers on these shows. You have to do what's right for you. Do you have $100,000 to play with or $100 to play with?"
Krakower left CNBC in 2014 and is currently keeping it real as head of the media arm of investment firm SkyBridge Capital.
There she helped develop the reboot of news show Wall Street Week, which airs on Fox Business Network.
"Working side by side with Krakower... for the last six years I would say that Susan would remain as cool and collected as Julia did under stress," said Wall Street Week co-host and former CNBC personality Gary Kaminsky.
"But I also think she might've come out of the control room and knocked out the intruder with a fist too."
Krakower says she wouldn't have been in the control room. She used to stand behind the camera motioning at Cramer with as much animation as he motioned to the audience.
That's more her style.
There will be roughly 10,000 baby boomers retiring every single day for the next 20 years or so. Entire industries and jobs are going to need to be created for the sole purpose of servicing this group. Healthcare comes to mind, but financial services will be in high demand as well, especially when you consider the number of advisors who are themselves baby boomers who will be retiring in the coming years.
One area that I think would be helpful to retirees is something of an H&R Block type of approach to Social Security benefits. People are generally confused about when to take their social security benefits and what the implications will be if and when they do. There are so many variables to consider when you think about some of the unique situations people deal with:
Should both spouses claim their benefits in the same year or stagger them?
What if you’re still working?
What age gives you the highest benefits?
What happens in a widow(er) situation?
What’s the breakeven if you wait to claim?
What about divorced spousal benefits?
How does social security affect tax planning?
There are a number of variations you could come up with for each individual or couple. Many retirees are going to have trouble figuring out their best course of action.
Obviously, some people won’t really have a choice about when to claim their benefits because Social Security makes up the vast majority of their retirement income, as you can see in this chart from Vanguard:
Over 60% of Americans rely on Social Security to cover 50% or more of their retirement income needs. So if you do have the option to wait to claim your benefits, consider yourself blessed or well-prepared. Lots of people don’t have that option.
Mike Piper, who blogs at The Oblivious Investor, has written a very helpful, accessible book called Social Security Made Simple that does an excellent job of explaining everything you need to know about how it all works and the factors you should consider when making this decision.
For those people who have the ability to wait to claim their benefits, Social Security can provide some pretty decent returns on your money. Here’s a handy chart from Piper that lays this out:
Age 66 is the point where you’ll receive 100% of your benefits, but waiting until age 70 to claim gives you a bump of over 30%. Claim at 62 and you take a 30% discount. Every year you wait corresponds to a roughly 7-8% annual return — not bad in a world of low interest rates.
There are a number of different factors you have to consider when performing a breakeven calculation on something like this, but longevity is probably the main one to consider. Piper explains:
According to the Social Security Administration, the average total life expectancy for a 62-year-old female is 84.7. For a male, it’s 81.8.31 In other words, from a breakeven perspective, most unmarried retirees will be best served by waiting to take their retirement benefit.
Vanguard has a nice visual on the odds here in terms of average retiree lifespan:
I always think it makes sense to keep your emotions out of financial decisions, but people don’t live their lives in a spreadsheet. The Social Security decision is one of those areas where you have to consider not only your ROI but also the opportunity cost of that capital. In retirement you always have to weigh the costs and benefits of your need for portfolio growth in the future and your desire to enjoy yourself — and your money — in the present.