Tag Archives: healthcare

The Cultural Danger Of Covid-19: A Devolution Of Intellectual Progress


By William A. Foster, IV

“A man only learns in two ways, one by reading, and the other by association with smarter people.” – Will Rogers

I am rarely one who likes to write qualitative pieces over quantitative ones, but for the moment I am going to make an exception. I can give you numbers about how the economy is suffering and is going to continue to suffer for the foreseeable future. I could give you the number of cases, deaths, lack of PPE numbers, and percentage of overworked medical and essential workers. I could go on and on and on with numbers, I am economist after all, but here is the reality of all those numbers – they are bad, real bad, and will be bad for sometime to come. Instead, what I would like to discuss is an acute qualitative cultural loss we may potentially experience and perhaps give us an opportunity to think about what this very new world could look like that we are about to embark upon if we are not proactive in maintaining a core essence of our humanity.

The world we are entering will be far more online and far more physically distanced from each other both on a micro level and global macro one. Everything from work, school, and socializing. Many would argue that online college is the way of the future. This maybe true, but people forget one of the most critical components of college in person is the social aspect, the relationship building that simply can not currently be replicated online. A few decades ago, I was a freshmen at Livingstone College in Salisbury, NC and there I would meet my three best friends that I am sure will be that for the rest of my life. Our meeting was happenstance. None of us had the same major, personality, or interest. We called ourselves the Variety Pack because nothing about us was alike, but alas, we found each other, bonded, and formed a brotherhood that has stood the test of time. For all the differences of course, two of us did share the same Algebra/Trigonometry class. The class was an 8AM class and the pain of getting up for it when you are not a morning person can not be overstated in my case. However, myself and Rashad, the one of the said Variety Pack with whom I had the ungodly morning class with, loved to sit up and debate theology many nights. Rashad was/is a devout Christian. I on the other hand am something of a spiritual nomad you might say, but am fascinated by the intellectual aspect of religion. One particular night in our dorm hallway we got into one of our intense discussions and the hours clearly raced by because before we knew it the sun was rising. Sleep? Forget about it. We both agreed we would get ready and meet for breakfast and try our best to stay up through class. Moments like these and many more are what built our bond and there is simply no way to replace it online. People from different backgrounds meeting, sharing an experience, bonding, learning from each other, evolving, and developing their understanding of the world.

Simply put, COVID-19 has the potential of sending us back to the dark ages in terms of cultural evolution and development. Thousands of students who study abroad every year will no longer get to do so. Student exchanges, especially from China and Asia in general, will be looked at with heavy skepticism if considered at all. Americans, who are already known to be culturally hubris and inept, often failing to travel much and experience culture even within the United States will be even more isolated. Tourism and vacations that allow us to experience distant lands and bring back with us new ideas will be vastly reduced. Academic tourism for professors who may themselves spend time as visiting professors at different universities will be greatly hampered. Cultural developments like fusion cuisines from different parts of the world will retrench and much more will simply begin to deteriorate. The rise of intellectual incest, a term I use when someone or an institution is only receiving ideas from the same petri dish of thought. If a student receives all of their degrees for instance from the same institution, this would be an example of intellectual incest. Because the world is now going to shrink itself in an effort to protect itself, there is a unknown danger that may start to form. We have seen the world where people are exposed to different cultures, ideas, and ways of life and we have seen a world where people are isolated and xenophobia forms out of it.

The danger that we become a less tolerant, less compassionate, less understanding, and less intellectually evolved is a real possibility that could have far reaching societal implications for future generations. In a world where terroristic nationalism has been on the rise in far too many countries, COVID-19 may give many the “pass” they have been looking for to justify retrenching from a world that was evolving and developing towards efficiency of its intellect. Sharing best practices the world over is something we need more of and not less. This is by no means to say we were in Utopia. I do not believe in Utopia and not sure I would I enjoy living in it. Conflict has its place within measure in a society. Disagreement has its place within measure in a society. My Global Economic Environment professor, Dr. Catherine Mann, taught me years ago in business school that if you do not truly understand your opposition’s position, then you can not truly understand your own. To this day she is one of the most brilliant and wisest people I have ever met and there is an acute truth in what she said. How does one know their position is best if they have nothing to compare it with? Plan A maybe good, but an objective view of Plan B may allow it to have tweaks made to it that can make it great or perhaps it is Plan AB that is great. Without that engagement, we will be taking steps back in the interactions that create evolution and development of thought.

I am not sure when we will come out of this state we are in and I am not sure how we will be when we do. What I do know is that fear can drives even the fiercest animals into hiding and that fear for humans could undo hundreds of years of intellectual progress. Great ideas will become fewer and farther apart if that is true. The grand ideas of humanity like cleaning up pollution, reaching Mars and beyond, eliminating poverty, and so many more will take hundreds of years longer to accomplish than they otherwise would have. Yes, the world has forever changed and we will have to interact with each other differently, but make no mistake about it, we must continue to interact. Can you imagine a world where peanut butter never met jelly? Neither can I and I do not want too.

The Finance & Tech Week In Review – 5/6/17


Every Saturday the HBCU Money staff picks ten articles they were intrigued by and think you will enjoy for some weekend reading impacting finance and tech.

A low risk, high reward approach to innovation l HBR s.hbr.org/2q84SZi

How far is too far? New evidence on abortion clinic closures, access, and abortions l NBER bit.ly/2ph9mZC

What are 3 unique strategies for unplugging from #work? l Inc. on.inc.com/2qGMfZy

How to Launch a Successful Portfolio Career l HBR ow.ly/ZCgg30btTB9

What will healthcare look like in 2030? l WEF wef.ch/2qDH3po

Ordinary pill bottle has a clever electronic cap l New Atlas newatl.as/2pOSOeE

Are you a #SmallBiz owner innovating green technology? Learn about our #EPAsbir program l EPA epa.gov/sbir

Dutch Transit Agency Hermes Achieves 1,000,000 All-Electric Kilometers l Clean Technica ow.ly/CBSD30btTiq

Mobileye: Mapping Tech To Be Profitable Long Before Self-Driving Vehicles Hit The Road l Clean Technica ow.ly/ASNy30btTfT

Invisibility cloaks, teleporters – impossible things the laws of physics may allow l New Scientist newscienti.st/2pICFHc

The Highest Paying Dividend Index ETFs For Your 2017 Portfolio – Sector By Sector


stock-mutual-fund-etf

Investing can be a daunting affair for first timers or newbies and yes, even experts, but the rise of ETFs (exchange traded funds) have made the access to traditionally expensive mutual funds much easier to secure for those with smaller accounts or limited investment knowledge. How can I be invested while reducing my risk? This both a financial question and a knowledge one. We believe the answer is to own every sector through an index ETF. Indexes are passively managed, meaning they are set and left to the fundamentals of the markets and economies they serve. These index ETFs usually have much cheaper expense ratios because of their passive management making it easier for investors, beginners and experts alike, to not see their gains eaten away by inundated fees often tacked on by active managers. There is now enough research after decades of tracking to show by the likes of John Bogle, founder of Vanguard, and others in the passively managed space that index ETFs and mutual funds far outperform their actively managed counterparts.

On top of that, there is the consideration of dividend or investment income. Dividends are money paid out by companies usually on a quarterly basis from a company’s ongoing operating income. It should be noted that not all companies pay dividends. However, in ETFs because they hold a myriad of companies there is a higher probability that there will be dividends present. Dividends help households reduce the income risk of job loss. This is how many wealthy households even during recessions are able to maintain and how many pay far less in taxes. Of the three incomes (earned, passive, investment), it is earned income, or the income we get up and go to work for everyday that is taxed at the highest rate. No matter how much you earn, your dividend tax rate is never above 20 percent versus a high of almost 40 percent in earned income tax rate, so more income from dividends is always advantageous.

Our list was calculated by taking the three lowest expense ratios of ETFs by sector according to the website ETF Database’s screener. Once those were identified we looked at the dividend yield that each ETF was paying and subtracted the expense ratio. This would appear in a calculation as nominal dividend yield minus expense ratio equals real dividend yield and there would be our winner for 2017. It should be noted that dividends are not fixed and companies can reduce or increase them as they sit fit, usually based on a company’s financial health.

You can buy this list and know that you are well diversified across every sector of the economy and will be receiving dividend payments along the way. If you really want to simply things, just head over to the Motif Investing platform and buy the All-Sector ETF of ETFs Motif, which is each of these ETFs below in one security and constructed by HBCU Money. Click here to find out more.

BASIC MATERIALS

Ticker Symbol: XLB

Issuer: State Street

Real Annual Dividend Yield: 1.80%

Annual Dividend: $0.97 / share

consumer goods

Ticker Symbol: FSTA

Issuer: Fidelity

Real Annual Dividend Yield: 2.45%

Annual Dividend: $0.79 / share

financial

Ticker Symbol: FNCL

Issuer: Fidelity

Real Annual Dividend Yield: 1.73%

Annual Dividend: $0.63 / share

healthcare

Ticker Symbol: XLV

Issuer: State Street

Real Annual Dividend Yield: 1.45%

Annual Dividend: $1.11 / share

industrial goods

Ticker Symbol: XLI

Issuer: State Street

Real Annual Dividend Yield: 1.92%

Annual Dividend: $1.29 / share

services

Ticker Symbol: XLY

Issuer: State Street

Real Annual Dividend Yield: 1.56%

Annual Dividend: $1.39 / share

technology

Ticker Symbol: XLK

Issuer: State Street

Real Annual Dividend Yield: 1.61%

Annual Dividend: $0.84 / share

utilities (tIE)

Ticker Symbol: XLU

Issuer: State Street

Real Annual Dividend Yield: 3.27%

Annual Dividend: $1.66 / share

Ticker Symbol: FUTY

Issuer: Fidelity

Real Annual Dividend Yield: 3.27%

Annual Dividend: $1.06 / share

real estate

Ticker Symbol: VNQ

Issuer: Vanguard

Real Annual Dividend Yield: 4.70%

Annual Dividend: $3.98 / share

Disclaimer: This article is in no way financial or investment advice. Each person’s investment and tax needs vary. Please consult your financial adviser or CPA before making any decisions. HBCU Money, its staff, or ownership has no holdings in any of the aforementioned investments. 

HBCU Money™ Dozen 11/30 – 12/4


high-noon

Did you miss HBCU Money™ Dozen via Twitter? No worry. We are now putting them on the site for you to visit at your leisure. We have made some changes here at HBCU Money™ Dozen. We are now solely focused on research and central bank articles from the previous week.

Research

Google announces massive clean energy purchase l Computerworld http://bit.ly/1lZZZvs

One in four #food-insecure households visited food pantries in 2014 l USDA http://go.usa.gov/c2X3x

Is quantum physics behind your brain’s ability to think? l New Scientist http://ow.ly/Vrf3e

Canada’s boreal region is home to >1 billion acres of pristine forests & wetlands l Pew Environment http://pew.org/1XciwFi

Big data and the future of healthcare l Computerworld http://bit.ly/1jBmd52

The first effort to edit genes inside the human body will be to treat haemophilia l New Scientist http://ow.ly/VrWZ1

Federal Reserve, Central Banks, & Financial Departments

Which are the world’s healthiest countries? l WEF http://wef.ch/1YxE1xK

Why The #Holidays Make Us Dumb About #Spending l FA Mag http://ow.ly/VrY3d

Small banks facing ‘regulatory overload,’ l American Banker bit.ly/1Nsjna9

Beige Book: Wage pressures were generally stable to increasing l St. Louis Fed http://bit.ly/1HGETw0

Are your financial records ready in case of an emergency? Disaster preparedness resources l KC Fed http://ow.ly/VkBmP

Is there an optimal workday? l WEF http://wef.ch/1HHZIXV

Thank you as always for joining us on Saturday for HBCU Money™ Dozen. The 12 most important research and finance articles of the week.

HBCU Money™ Dozen 10/27 – 10/31


12

Did you miss HBCU Money™ Dozen via Twitter? No worry. We are now putting them on the site for you to visit at your leisure. We have made some changes here at HBCU Money™ Dozen. We are now solely focused on research and central bank articles from the previous week.

Research

Cleveland Clinic uses IBM’s Watson in the cloud to fight cancer l Network World http://ow.ly/DA5nK

How to figure out if a data breach is a hoax l Network World http://ow.ly/DA5QJ

Prescriptions for Cleaner Waterways l US EPA Research http://go.usa.gov/7TdF

Sorry boys. Bird divorces are good news for the females l New Scientist http://ow.ly/DA6pz

Healthcare CIOs Can’t Be Afraid to Innovate l CIOonline http://ow.ly/DA6zv

Writing letters by hand produces measurable changes in brain activity compared with typing l New Scientist http://ow.ly/DA6I5

Federal Reserve, Central Banks, & Financial Departments

Are record-low interest rates masking high-cost mortgage lending? l Housing Wire http://hwi.re/7MqG7v

How empowering women can tackle malnutrition l World Economic Forum http://wef.ch/1zN9BP5

Africa’s urban population growth: what are some trends and projections? l World Bank http://wrld.bg/Dz1V8

Are men more emotional about money? l World Economic Forum http://wef.ch/1q30rEx

Dodd-Frank: Proposed records retention requirements for FDIC as receiver l St. Louis Fed http://bit.ly/1wE4Qne

On the Economy explores rising share of borrowers with more than $100,000 in student loan debt l St. Louis Fed http://bit.ly/1mm1KwI

Thank you as always for joining us on Saturday for HBCU Money™ Dozen. The 12 most important research and finance articles of the week.