Abenomics: Japan’s Dangerous Experiment
Shinzō Abe, Japan’s prime minister, set out in early 2013 to rejuvenate Japan’s struggling economy with a $116 billion stimulus package, structural reforms, and $1.4 trillion of very loose monetary easing.
In anticipation of the effects, Japan’s stock market surged. By May 2013, the stock market had risen by 55%, but these early indications turned out to be premature.
Up until this point, it seems that Abenomics has not done much for the real growth of Japan’s economy, despite temporary boosts that were a consequence of optimism. As Bloomberg columnist, William Pesek, puts it, “so far, Abenomics has meant lots of stimulus and no deregulation, a recipe that has boosted inflation more than growth or confidence.”
Another problem: the Japanese economy shrank by 6.8% during Q2 on an annualized basis. This was the direct result of a drop in consumer spending (~5% drop), brought on by an increase in sales tax. Japanese consumers scrambled to buy and hoard in Q1, before the new tax kicked in and cost of acquisition rose by 3%.
Abenomics has so far been a disappointment. The world’s eyes are on Japan and we’re rooting for them. After all, the nation is the world’s third largest economy and global economics is an interdependent ecosystem.
Original infographic from: UK Saxo Markets
40 Stock Market Terms That Every Beginner Should Know
Getting a grasp on the market can be a daunting task for new investors, but this infographic is an easy first step to help in understanding stock market terms.
40 Stock Market Terms That Every Beginner Should Know
Understanding the stock market can be a daunting task for any new investor.
Not only are there many concepts and technical terms to decipher, but nearly everybody will try to give you conflicting pieces of advice.
For example, if a stock in your portfolio falls in price, should you be accumulating additional shares at a lower price or should you be strategically cutting your losses?
Some experts will tell you one thing, while others will tell you precisely the opposite.
A Place to Start: Terminology
Before you drift into the many debates that the investing pundits are weighing in on, perhaps the most proactive step for a beginner is to simply learn to talk the same language as the pros.
Today’s infographic comes to us from StocksToTrade.com, and it covers the most important stock market terms that every new investor should know and understand. It’s enough to get any beginner on the same playing field, so they can start toying with the more nuanced or complex concepts in the investing universe.
While we don’t agree with the exact definitions of all of the terms, the list is adequate enough to get any new investor off the ground. It covers basic order terms like “bid”, “ask”, and “volume”, but it also goes into concepts like “authorized shares”, “secondary offerings”, “yield”, and a security’s “moving average”.
Already got a handle on 40 of the most important stock market terms?
Visual Capitalist has a ton of other powerful visual resources for new investors, or anyone else hungry to learn about how markets work:
- Learn how to read stock charts
- Visualize the power of compound interest
- See this simple introduction to investing we published
- See how elite growth investors pick stocks
- Learn about the basics of ETFs and mutual funds, and even the differences between them
- Learn about the basics of creating a stock portfolio
- See how stock market indices work
- Understand 12 types of technical indicators for investing
- See how Warren Buffett’s brain works
Crush the above resources, and you’ll be market savvy in no time!
A Brief History of Jewelry Through the Ages
Jewelry has been coveted for centuries by many different cultures. Here’s a look at the history of jewelry, and how it’s evolved into a $348B industry.
Jewelry has been an integral aspect of human civilization for centuries, but it was the discovery and subsequent spread of precious metals and gemstones which really changed the game.
In today’s infographic from Menē, we visualize how the uses and symbolism of jewelry have evolved across time and space to become the industry we’re familiar with today.
Antique, Yet Ageless
There isn’t a single corner of the world that’s untouched by the influence of jewelry.
- Ancient Egypt
Gold accompanied the affluent into the afterlife – the famous 1922 discovery of King Tutankhamun’s tomb was filled to the brim with gold jewelry.
- Ancient Greece and Rome
Jewelry was used practically, and as a protection against evil. The gold olive wreath design was highly popular during this time.
Both men and women in the Sumer civilization wore intricate pieces of jewelry, incorporating bright gems like agate, jasper, or lapis lazuli.
The aristocracy in Aztec culture wore gold jewelry with gemstones to demonstrate their rank. The jewelry also doubled up as godly sacrifices.
- Ancient India
The Mughal Empire introduced the combination of gemstones with gold and silver. Today, pure gold jewelry is often gifted to new brides for financial security.
- Ancient China
Both rich and poor wore jade jewelry for its durable and protective properties. Pure gold jewelry is making a fashion comeback, doubling as a form of investment.
Modern Jewelry: At a Crossroads
Today, jewelry is at once the very same and vastly different from what it used to be.
The industry is worth upwards of $348 billion per year, and it’s not hard to see why. As an alternative asset, jewelry has grown 138% in value over the last decade – only outperformed by classic cars, rare coins, and fine wine.
However, perceptions of jewelry vastly differ. It’s not a stretch to say that Western jewelry buyers are enamored with diamonds, given their enduring association with special occasions – but it’s interesting to note how that ideal was fabricated.
The Invention of Diamonds
The De Beers Group is well known for making diamonds great again. In the early 1900s, the company had already monopolized the diamond trade and stabilized the market, but they faced the challenge of marketing diamonds to consumers at all income levels.
The average American considered diamonds an extravagance, preferring to spend money on cars and appliances instead. The concept of engagement rings existed, but weren’t widely adopted. The #1 slogan of the century – “A Diamond is Forever” – transformed all that.
Even as more companies like Tiffany and Co and Cartier entered the playing field, De Beers had set a successful industry standard. But there’s a catch – diamonds are actually:
- Not all that rare in nature
- Intrinsically low in value
- Easily replicated in a lab
- Decreasing in sales
Despite these caveats, the popularity of diamonds illustrate how Western consumers do not approach jewelry in the same way as Eastern economies, where its function as a store of wealth persists.
The Eastern Gold Standard
In Eastern economies, jewelry often takes the form of pure gold. The reasons behind this difference are surprisingly pragmatic: gold is considered a secure and innate store of wealth that maintains its purchasing value over decades, allowing families to pass wealth from generation to generation.
The rich history of the precious metal has made it a sought-after commodity for centuries, and China and India drive more than half of global gold jewelry demand every year:
|Year||Share of Demand (India + China)||Total Global Jewelry Demand (tonnes)|
Source: Gold Hub – Values have been rounded up to the nearest tonne.
Why are Eastern cultures so attracted to the properties of pure gold?
Part 2 of this series will show why gold is the world’s most incredible metal, and why it’s coveted by billions of people.
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