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Coronavirus: Your guide to winners and losers in the business world

<p>As we adjust to life with the new coronavirus around us, our behaviours and habits are quickly changing. What will be the impact of these changes on the organisations and industries around us?</p> <p>We broadly see three business categories:</p> <ul> <li>The winners: sectors that will benefit;</li> <li>The losers: sectors that will suffer;</li> <li>The inbetweeners: sectors that could go either way depending on how they respond.</li> </ul> <p>The third category is the most interesting, as actions they take now will move them into one of the first two categories. Let’s look at each in turn.</p> <p><strong>The winners</strong></p> <p>These sectors have found themselves serendipitously on the right side of history. By applying a basic level of competence, they should thrive. The natural strategy for these companies is to aggressively invest in opportunities and growth.</p> <p><strong>Ecommerce marketplaces</strong></p> <p>People are moving online to do their shopping. Already, Amazon <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/16/amazon-to-hire-100000-warehouse-and-delivery-workers.html">is adding</a> 100,000 new jobs to manage the extra demand. Some other marketplaces are struggling to add capacity. For example, online grocer Ocado <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/business-51941987">has suspended</a> new orders until it can clear its backlog of deliveries.</p> <p>Some marketplaces are turning to technology for help. Chinese ecommerce giant JD.com <a href="https://technode.com/2020/02/07/jd-completes-first-unmanned-delivery-for-coronavirus-aid-in-wuhan/">is using</a> unmanned vehicles to deliver food and medical supplies in Wuhan.</p> <p><strong>Pharmaceuticals</strong></p> <p>Pharmaceutical companies are inevitably playing a large role in the crisis. Gilead, which owns the rights to treatment drug Remdesivir; Moderna, actively working on a vaccine; Roche, a major supplier of testing kits; and Fujifilm, with existing treatment drug Avigan, are all poised to benefit.</p> <p><strong>Logistics/delivery</strong></p> <p>As people around the world are blocked from leaving their homes, products and services will need to be delivered. Cainiao, Alibaba Group’s logistics arm, launched the <a href="https://www.alizila.com/cainiao-green-channel-speeds-medical-supply-delivery-coronavirus/">Green Channel initiative</a> on January 25 in response to the increased demand for protective clothing and medical supplies, especially for front-line medical staff in Hubei province. In just nine days, Cainiao received more than 7,000 calls and shipped over 5 million medical products to Wuhan and neighbouring cities.</p> <p>Meanwhile, UK food delivery app Deliveroo has <a href="https://www.independent.co.uk/topic/deliveroo">launched a</a> “no-contact drop-off service”. This provides restaurants with additional packaging and seals for orders to be left on customers’ doorsteps.</p> <p><strong>Video conferencing</strong></p> <p>Videoconferencing start-up Zoom has benefited massively. The <a href="https://www.fool.com/investing/2020/03/04/zooms-q4-earnings-crush-estimates.aspx">company’s sales</a> and <a href="https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/ZM/">share price</a> are already up over 50% in 2020. <a href="https://blog.node4.co.uk/blog/the-rise-and-rise-of-cisco-webex">Webex</a> from Cisco and <a href="https://news.microsoft.com/2020/02/26/microsoft-update-on-q3-fy20-guidance/">Skype and Teams</a> from Microsoft are also seeing major upticks in sales. Most are offering special deals for their conferencing services during the outbreak.</p> <p><strong>Entertainment streaming and gaming</strong></p> <p>Platforms like <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/greatspeculations/2020/03/13/will-coronavirus-really-help-or-hurt-netflix-stock/#313202d922aa">Netflix</a>, <a href="https://www.rollingstone.com/product-recommendations/lifestyle/hidden-amazon-prime-features-967087/">Amazon Prime video</a>, and <a href="https://nypost.com/2020/02/28/how-coronavirus-benefits-netflix-and-other-in-home-services/">Disney+</a> all report increased viewership. Online gaming platforms <a href="https://edition.cnn.com/2020/02/13/intl_business/gaming-china-coronavirus/index.html">are also experiencing</a> record volumes.</p> <p><strong>The losers</strong></p> <p>For the losers, their managements will need a Herculean effort to pull them through the crisis. Even if they succeed, many will be seriously damaged. The natural strategy in these sectors will be to cut costs, de-risk operations and be ready to return when conditions improve.</p> <p><strong>Airlines, trains and cruise ships</strong></p> <p>The global airline industry <a href="https://www.scmp.com/business/companies/article/3075730/global-airline-industry-needs-aid-us200-billion-survive">has said it will need</a> up to US$200 billion (£171 billion) in emergency support, and Boeing <a href="https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/transport/boeing-calls-for-us60b-lifeline-for-us-aerospace-industry">has called for</a> US$60 billion (£51 billion) in assistance for aerospace manufacturers as the international travel industry bleeds cash. Norwegian <a href="https://media.uk.norwegian.com/pressreleases/norwegian-to-cancel-85-percent-of-its-flights-and-temporarily-layoff-approximately-7300-colleagues-2982294">has already cut</a> 85% of its routes and laid off 90% of its staff. Virgin Atlantic <a href="https://thehill.com/policy/transportation/487852-virgin-atlantic-reducing-flights-by-80-percent-asking-staff-to-take">intends to</a> park up to 85% of its fleet during the month of April and is asking staff to take up to eight weeks unpaid leave over the next three months to avert job losses.</p> <p>IAG, parent company of British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus, Level and Vueling, <a href="https://www.businesstraveller.com/business-travel/2020/03/16/willie-walsh-to-delay-retirement-as-iag-sets-out-coronavirus-response/">will cut capacity</a> by 75% in April and May, while the Air France-KLM group <a href="https://www.businesstraveller.com/business-travel/2020/03/16/coronavirus-air-france-klm-to-cut-capacity-by-up-to-90-per-cent/">is set to</a> cut capacity by between 80% and 90%. Most cruise ship operators <a href="https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/cruises/articles/cruise-lines-suspending-operations-over-coronavirus/">have ceased</a> operations, and bankruptcy is likely for some.</p> <p><strong>Tourism</strong></p> <p>The US Travel Association <a href="https://thehill.com/policy/transportation/488063-tourism-industry-predicts-46-million-travel-related">is projecting</a> that close to 5 million travel-related American jobs will be lost. This is more than 25% of the 15.8 million Americans who work in the sector. The situation is equally dire elsewhere. For example, <a href="https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/news/france-ski-resorts-close-coronavirus/">all ski resorts</a> in Italy, France, Austria and Switzerland are effectively closed for the season.</p> <p><strong>Oil and gas</strong></p> <p>On January 1, a barrel of crude oil sold for US$67.05 on New York’s NASDAQ exchange. At the time of writing, it was <a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/topics/cmjpj223708t/oil">trading at</a> around US$26 per barrel. So companies’ oil reserves are worth less than half that of the start of the year. The value of giants like BP reflects this – on March 19, it <a href="https://www.hl.co.uk/shares/shares-search-results/b/bp-plc-ordinary-us%240.25">was worth 51%</a> of what it was at the start of January.</p> <p><a href="https://www.iea.org/news/global-oil-demand-to-decline-in-2020-as-coronavirus-weighs-heavily-on-markets">According to</a> the International Energy Agency, global oil demand is set for its first annual drop since 2009. Contrast this with the agency’s <a href="https://www.offshore-technology.com/news/opec-cuts-oil-price-russia-summit/">February prediction</a>, when it expected annual growth of 825,000 barrels per day.</p> <p><strong>Investment banking</strong></p> <p>Hundreds of London and New York investment bankers are set to lose their jobs amid a slump in deal-making. Shares of leading US banks <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/quotes/?symbol=JPM">JPMorgan Chase</a>, <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/quotes/?symbol=BAC">Bank of America</a> and <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/quotes/?symbol=C">Citigroup</a> are all down more than 30% from January highs.</p> <p><a href="https://www.fnlondon.com/articles/bankers-set-to-lose-jobs-as-ma-activity-tumbles-on-coronavirus-fears-20200316">Financial News</a> spoke to senior London investment bankers who predicted a drop in fees of up to 50% in the first six months of 2020. That would mean around <a href="https://www.fnlondon.com/articles/bankers-set-to-lose-jobs-as-ma-activity-tumbles-on-coronavirus-fears-20200316">US$10.7 billion (£9 billion)</a> in lost revenues across equity deals – the worst first half of a year since 2009.</p> <p><strong>Traditional retail</strong></p> <p>With people confined to their homes, there isn’t much point keeping traditional retail stores open. The largest US mall owner, Simon Property Group, <a href="https://eu.usatoday.com/story/money/2020/03/18/coronavirus-mall-closings-simon-closing-malls-starting-wednesday/2867904001/">announced on</a> March 18 that it would close all its malls across the country. Similar decisions have been made across Europe and Asia. Apart from grocers and pharmacies, it will take a long time for traditional retail to recover.</p> <p><strong>Professional sports and entertainment</strong></p> <p>Italy, Europe’s worst-hit country, <a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/51605235">cancelled</a> all sporting events until at least April 3. <a href="https://www.france24.com/en/20200313-sporting-events-around-the-world-cancelled-due-to-coronavirus">France</a>, <a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/51853524">Spain</a>, <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/coronavirus-chaos-forces-widespread-sporting-cancelations/a-52328912">Germany</a> and <a href="https://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/0/coronavirus-cancelled-premier-league-six-nations-london-marathon-2020-postponed/">the UK</a> quickly followed suit. This year’s Copa America and Euro 2020 football tournaments <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/17/sports/euro-2020-postponed.html">have been postponed</a> until 2021.</p> <p>North America’s Major League Soccer, the National Basketball Association and National Hockey League <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/12/sports/coronavirus-sports.html">have suspended</a> their seasons, and restricted locker room access to players and “essential staff” only. The African Nations Championship 2020 soccer tournament scheduled for April in Cameroon <a href="https://nationalpost.com/pmn/health-pmn/african-nations-championship-2020-postponed-due-to-coronavirus">has been postponed</a> indefinitely. Long cancellations mean major losses for sports channels and the traditional cable TV ecosystem, as live sports has kept millions of viewers from cutting the cord on cable.</p> <p><strong>Cinemas</strong></p> <p>Analysts <a href="https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/film-industry-facing-5-billion-loss-coronavirus-outbreak-1282038">predict that</a> the global film industry is facing a US$5 billion (£4.2 billion) loss from diminished box office revenues and production restrictions. That could grow if more countries force people to remain at home or order public space to close.</p> <p><strong>The inbetweeners</strong></p> <p>These sectors will probably struggle if they continue as is. Many companies will fail, though a few will adapt their business models to take advantage of new and emerging opportunities. In some cases, this will build a solid foundation for continued success.</p> <p><strong>Banking</strong></p> <p>Most banks will lose money as individuals and businesses struggle to pay back loans. If the world economy enters a recession, which <a href="https://edition.cnn.com/2020/03/16/economy/global-recession-coronavirus/index.html">seems very likely</a>, the market for financial products will also fall.</p> <p>Banks can, however, generate goodwill with businesses that need assistance, and create relationships with new customers. Several UK incumbents, including Barclays, Santander and RBS, <a href="https://e.businessinsider.com/click/19644859.4/aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cudGhlZ3VhcmRpYW4uY29tL3dvcmxkLzIwMjAvbWFyLzAzL2JhbmtzLWlzc3VlLWVtZXJnZW5jeS1sb2Fucy10by1maXJtcy1oaXQtYnktY29yb25hdmlydXMtY3Jpc2lz/5d233c18f730436f2414784fBec4debd6">are already</a> offering emergency loans and overdrafts to at-risk business customers. Many consumers will need temporary solutions, which could yield a spike in demand for small and medium-sized loans.</p> <p><strong>Healthcare</strong></p> <p>Some players in this sector emerge with new ideas that could improve healthcare. Others will be pushed past breaking point and will never return.</p> <p>Chinese digital firm Baidu is among those that has been quick to innovative. It <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/04/coronavirus-china-alibaba-tencent-baidu-boost-health-tech-efforts.html">launched a</a> Fight Pneumonia app to help the public get accurate and useful information about the epidemic in real time. It is also offering its online medical advice platform free to users seeking COVID-19 consultations. This has seen over 100,000 doctors across China responding to tens of millions of inquiries.</p> <p>Baidu has also released an intelligent healthcare unit that responds to common questions through a conversational chatbot. This so-called “call bot” makes automated phone calls to ask people about their recent travels, health condition and contacts.</p> <p><strong>Manufacturing</strong></p> <p>Many manufacturers will struggle as the goods they produce are no longer in demand, but more agile operators will shift to making different products. For example, Chinese car manufacturer BYD <a href="https://www.energylivenews.com/2020/03/20/chinese-ev-maker-byd-builds-worlds-biggest-coronavirus-face-mask-factory/">has opened up</a> production lines for surgical masks and hand sanitisers. It was one of 2,500 Chinese companies to respond to a <a href="https://www.inkstonenews.com/business/coronavirus-china-ramps-mask-production-and-reminds-world-it-manufacturing-king/article/3074900">call from</a> President Xi Jinping for a “people’s war” against the virus.</p> <p>GM, Ford and Tesla are <a href="https://edition.cnn.com/2020/03/19/business/ford-gm-ventilators-coronavirus/index.html">talking about</a> producing ventilators. LVMH, the French luxury goods company behind Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior and Givenchy, <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/15/perfume-giant-lvmh-to-make-hand-sanitiser-to-give-to-french-hospitals">is also shifting</a> to produce hand sanitisers, and aims to make 12 tonnes within the first week of production. LVMH is giving the product to French authorities to distribute at hospitals at no charge.</p> <p><strong>Education</strong></p> <p>Most schools, universities and private education providers have closed their doors, but not necessarily their operations. As more and more people are confined to their homes, there is a golden opportunity for education institutions to expand the scale and scope of their operations online.</p> <p>In China, Kuaishou, a social video platform valued at US$28 billion (£23.5 billion), has <a href="https://hbr.org/2020/03/how-chinese-companies-have-responded-to-coronavirus">promoted online education offerings</a> to compensate for school and university closures. The company and other video platforms have partnered with the ministry of education to open a national online cloud classroom to serve students.</p> <p>Zhejiang University, one of China’s leading universities, officially started online teaching on February 24 in line with the term calendar. This covers all ZJU students, although many courses are open to learners worldwide. Two weeks in, the university was offering more than <a href="https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/03/coronavirus-china-the-challenges-of-online-learning-for-universities/">5,000 courses</a>. 2,500 graduate students are expected to defend their theses in the spring, and will also be able to do an online oral defence to graduate as planned.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/134205/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/michael-wade-445001">Michael Wade</a>, Professor of Innovation and Strategy, Cisco Chair in Digital Business Transformation, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/international-institute-for-management-development-imd-3333">International Institute for Management Development (IMD)</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/coronavirus-your-guide-to-winners-and-losers-in-the-business-world-134205">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Inside the mind of the online scammer

<p>When Dame Helen Mirren revealed she had been the victim of a <a href="https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/1199903/Dame-Helen-Mirren-latest-telephone-scam-warning-BBC-Radio-4-news">“humiliating” scam</a> on the press junket for her latest movie (in which, coincidentally, she also plays the victim of a hoax), it highlighted how everyone needs to be on their guard against fraudsters. Even members of the royal family are not immune, as was illustrated when Prince Charles was dragged into a <a href="https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/prince-charles-hit-counterfeit-art-20799908">major counterfeit art scandal</a>. But what motives scammers, other than greed? I believe the answer can be gleaned by investigating why humans lie in the first place.</p> <p>Online fraudsters carry out a sophisticated and well-planned array of deceiving strategies to con people. These include <a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-49825888">romance scams</a> in which the victim is enticed to contribute cash to foster a fake romantic relationship, fraudulent lotteries, prize draws, sweepstake games and auction sites. Substantial winnings are offered if the victim can send in some cash.</p> <p>The fraudsters are <a href="https://www.nbcnews.com/better/lifestyle/scammers-have-upped-their-game-former-conman-shares-tips-protecting-ncna1057631">constantly building better mousetraps</a> in order to lure in increasingly sophisticated mice. For example, scams are being personalised to the victim by including references to familiar people or by targeting the victim’s occupation.</p> <p><strong>What’s behind the deception?</strong></p> <p>Scams are carried out using almost untraceable methods, so the criminals are often unknown, despite concerted efforts by law enforcement to identify and prosecute them. But the knowledge from several disciplines (<a href="https://www.britannica.com/science/ethology">ethology</a>, social psychology and criminology) can help us to understand them.</p> <p><strong>Deception to ensure survival</strong></p> <p>Ethologists study animal behaviour. They have observed that species, including humans, have developed a complex means of deceiving their prey in order <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1745691614535936">to ensure their survival</a>. For example, ethologists have identified complex forms of deceptions in other species, such as the jumping spider, which uses behavioural and chemical mimicry. This allows them to coexist with ants and feed on them. This is regarded as comparable to humans engaging in embezzlement by which they use their privileged access to resources and reputation for illegally extracting finances from other people.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe width="440" height="260" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/vAS3kahu76k?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p><strong>Altruistic lies?</strong></p> <p>Social psychologists have found that when humans lie for altruistic purposes or advancement of the group, the lie is often praised rather than denigrated. For example, even young children (aged between five and seven) show a willingness to tell “white lies” in order <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/bjdp.12083">to make others feel better</a>. Meanwhile other research shows that adults perceive lying that benefits others (because sometimes the truth hurts) <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0022103114000328?via%3Dihub">as more “ethical”</a> than honest statements.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe width="440" height="260" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/wJCRzgAPwE4?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p><strong>Typical and serious lies</strong></p> <p>Social psychological research shows that <a href="https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/9781351035743">lying is part of normal life</a>. Frequently, people tell everyday lies that are rather benign. Most of these lies are self-serving, but many are designed to benefit others.</p> <p>People most often tell <a href="https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=uC1NDwAAQBAJ&amp;pg=PT116&amp;lpg=PT116&amp;dq=doi:+http://dx.doi.org/10.1207/s15324834basp2602%263_4&amp;source=bl&amp;ots=b4Yp7Aw_WK&amp;sig=ACfU3U1sEhUyv82mQ4iTYFaGTKveIwdjpQ&amp;hl=en&amp;sa=X&amp;ved=2ahUKEwijj9Dhq8HmAhWJa8AKHRFiB08Q6AEwAHoECAcQAQ#v=onepage&amp;q=doi%3A%20http%3A%2F%2Fdx.doi.org%2F10.1207%2Fs15324834basp2602%263_4&amp;f=false">“serious lies”</a> to their closest relationship partners. They tell serious lies in order to avoid punishment, protect themselves from confrontation, appear a highly desirable person, to protect others and also to hurt their partner. Common serious lies tend to involve affairs and taking money from others without their knowledge.</p> <p><strong>Liars, fraudsters and corruption</strong></p> <p>Frauds represent a complex array of deceptive behaviour that originates in species and arises, in part, from some of the typical motivations for deception. It is, of course, a criminal activity that is well understood by criminologists. Most criminals are typically male and have parents with criminal records, delinquent peer friends, arrests at a young age and come from poor areas with <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5892438/">higher crime rates</a>.</p> <p>Today’s most common online scams are often carried out by people from poor countries. These countries and their government officials are generally regarded as corrupt by <a href="https://www.transparency.org/files/content/pages/2018_CPI_Executive_Summary.pdf">international corruption indexes</a>. Such corruption conveys the message that deception is a desirable strategy. Poverty combined with high corruption contributes to a heightened motivation to deceive others for survival.</p> <p>The criminals in question tend to have traits of <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0047235217301897">psychopathic and antisocial personality disorders</a>. Research has investigated illegal downloading and hacking in adolescents from 30 countries. It was found that “<a href="https://www.cybercrimejournal.com/Udrisvol10issue2IJCC2016.pdf">cyber deviance</a>” was mostly carried out by males and by people who experienced “school disorganisation” (stealing and vandalism) and “neighbourhood disorganisation” (having untrustworthy or criminal neighbours).</p> <p>These “cyber deviants” tend to have <a href="https://www.cybercrimejournal.com/Udrisvol10issue2IJCC2016.pdf">elevated cognitive ability</a> and, of course, have access to computers and technology. This type of fraud is often well planned and the fraudsters employ a range of deceptive tactics.</p> <p>The law tries to keep these criminals at bay. In September 2019, Operation reWired in the US succeeded in prosecuting <a href="https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/281-arrested-worldwide-coordinated-international-enforcement-operation-targeting-hundreds">281 email scammers</a> from several countries.</p> <p>But the large numbers of fraudsters who combine deceptive and complex strategies make it extremely difficult to keep these crimes under control. So an understanding of how their minds work and their modus operandi is vital if one is to avoid becoming a victim.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/127471/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/ken-rotenberg-272715">Ken Rotenberg</a>, Professor in Psychology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/keele-university-1012">Keele University</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/inside-the-mind-of-the-online-scammer-127471">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Fancy working for the Queen? The Palace is now hiring

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text "> <p>The Royal Family is hiring again and this time, they’re looking for the best of the best when it comes to numbers and spreadsheets.</p> <p>Buckingham Palace is looking to hire an accountant to join the Privy Purse and Treasurer’s Office.</p> <p>The role is based at Buckingham Palace and offers a whopping £40,000 <span>($NZD $81,000)</span> a year salary while promising a job that’s “forecasting figures whilst surrounded by a priceless past”.</p> <p>"No two days will be the same and the deadlines we work to will stretch you," the job description reads.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B6fflJVn-oE/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B6fflJVn-oE/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by The Royal Family (@theroyalfamily)</a> on Dec 25, 2019 at 2:29am PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>"Yet in all that you do, you'll rise to the challenge and deliver faultless accuracy and a first class service to this unique organisation."</p> <p>The right candidate needs to be able to work well under pressure, and "feel comfortable with a high level of responsibility and variety in your work."</p> <p>"You'll produce management information and financial accounts for the official and private finances of a number of entities and account holders including both retail and charitable bodies."</p> <p>"You'll provide everything from annual reports and statements, to tax advice. Preparing budgets, forecasts and reconciliations, your timely financial planning and control will be vital."</p> <p>The right person also needs to be as “good with people as you are with numbers, which is crucial, given the customer faced nature of this role”.</p> <p>If you’re interested in relocating as well as working within the walls of Buckingham Palace, better get in quick as applications close at the end of February.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="post-action-bar-component-wrapper"> <div class="post-actions-component"> <div class="upper-row"><span class="like-bar-component"></span> <div class="watched-bookmark-container"></div> </div> </div> </div>

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British coin sparks grammar controversy

<p>Britain’s new 50 pence coin has sparked debate after a renowned author pointed out the absence of a certain punctuation mark on the piece.</p> <p>On January 31, the Royal Mint launched three million coins with the slogan “Peace, prosperity and friendship with all nations” to mark the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union.</p> <p>Novelist Philip Pullman called for a boycott against the new coin ahead of its release, citing what he perceived as a grammatical error.</p> <p>“The ‘Brexit’ 50p coin is missing an Oxford comma, and should be boycotted by all literate people,” Pullman wrote on Twitter.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">The 'Brexit' 50p coin is missing an Oxford comma, and should be boycotted by all literate people.</p> — Philip Pullman (@PhilipPullman) <a href="https://twitter.com/PhilipPullman/status/1221365577157087232?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 26, 2020</a></blockquote> <p>The <em>Times Literary Supplement </em>editor Stig Abell also wrote, “The lack of a comma after ‘prosperity’ is killing me.”</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">Not perhaps the only objection, but the lack of a comma after “prosperity” is killing me. <a href="https://t.co/ZCN6Zt45cH">pic.twitter.com/ZCN6Zt45cH</a></p> — Stig Abell (@StigAbell) <a href="https://twitter.com/StigAbell/status/1221405487725453312?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 26, 2020</a></blockquote> <p>According to the Associated Press, Oxford commas should be used whenever necessary to clarify.</p> <p>“We say: If omitting a comma could lead to confusion or misinterpretation, then use the comma. But: If a comma doesn’t help make clear what is being said, don’t use it. ‘The flag is red, white and blue’ is clear.”</p> <p>Writing for <span><a href="https://theconversation.com/comma-again-philip-pullmans-oxford-comma-rage-doesnt-go-far-enough-130699"><em>The Conversation</em></a></span>, Associate Professor Roslyn Petelin of the University of Queensland’s School of Communication and Arts said the absence of Oxford comma is not the coin’s only shortcoming.</p> <p>“Does ‘Peace with all nations’ make grammatical sense? No. Does ‘Prosperity with all nations’ make grammatical sense? No,” Petelin wrote.</p> <p>“As admirable … as Pullman might be in advocating for the use of the Oxford comma on the coin, it’s clear this coin has committed more than one crime against the rules of grammar.”</p>

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Why we value diamond rings and other Valentine's Day gifts

<p>“Diamonds are a girls best friend”, so the saying goes. These shiny rocks are durable and pricey. And on Valentine’s Day, it’s likely someone’s new diamond engagement ring will pop up on your Facebook or Twitter feed.</p> <p>Many couples rely on rings to communicate their deepest feelings to each other and the world. An engagement ring is worth more than its sticker price: it tells family, friends and strangers that you are planning a wedding, you are cherished, you are an adult. It is likely the most expensive and most important object many of us will ever own, but why do we invest sentimental feelings in inanimate objects?</p> <p>Turning objects into cherished items is nothing new. People have been spinning tales about why <a href="http://www.utpjournals.press/doi/abs/10.3138/ecf.23.2.347">things matter</a> to them for centuries. Think of your favourite teddy bear, your baby blanket, the hand-me-down furniture and bric-a-brac around your home. These objects may be crafted from ordinary cotton, wood or clay, but our feelings about them turn them into valuable assets. We cost them well above their price in the marketplace.</p> <p><strong>Not just a ring</strong></p> <p>It’s a story I know all too well. Over ten years ago, as my now husband and I were starting to talk marriage, I asked my mother if she was ready to part with her grandmother’s engagement ring. The setting needed work, she said, and the “diamonds” were small (I believe she used the word “paste”).</p> <p>It was clear she wasn’t ready. And after all, I had never even met my great grandmother. Margaret had endured an unhappy marriage: she left her husband in 1925 and divorced him in 1941 (the grounds were adultery). How could this ring possibly ensure anyone’s happiness?</p> <p>Two years after my son was born, my mother bestowed this ring, of no great monetary value, upon me. We both teared up. Three weeks later, I lost the ring. I turned our house upside down searching for it. I cried. I lied to my mother about how much I was wearing it.</p> <p>Six months later, my toddler ran into my bedroom, gleefully brandishing a small, shiny object he had discovered (or more likely squirrelled away). It was the ring. I screamed. I cried again. I rang my mother to confess. The ring had transformed from a keepsake passed from mothers to daughters for three generations into a new tale of lost and found.</p> <p><strong>Stories about objects</strong></p> <p>In the 18th-century, dozens of writers took to a new form of fiction that focused on ordinary things – coins, banknotes, shoes, carriages, dolls. These stories brought things to life, granting them their own voices. Today literary scholars call them “object-narratives” or “it-narratives”, so named after their inanimate protagonists. Think Toy Story, Georgian-style.</p> <p>My own research into <a href="http://www.cambridge.org/us/academic/subjects/literature/english-literature-1700-1830/women-work-and-clothes-eighteenth-century-novel?format=PB#7ipO191ldzRTSTjh.97">18th-century clothes</a> has meant reading novels narrated by waistcoats, petticoats, shoes and slippers. Georgian object narratives overflow with scandalous gossip about the foibles of humans.</p> <p>The brothel is a frequent stop in these tales of circulation and the truths (mostly of the bedroom variety) owners seek to conceal from the world. And at the time, these stories became so popular that book reviewers complained about them flooding the literary marketplace.</p> <p>By the late 18th-century, the genre had grown up to focus on children and their possessions. Children could read about <em><a href="https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=The+Adventures+of+a+Pincushion&amp;oq=The+Adventures+of+a+Pincushion&amp;aqs=chrome..69i57j69i64.2014j0j9&amp;sourceid=chrome&amp;ie=UTF-8">The Adventures of a Pincushion</a></em>, the <a href="https://books.google.co.uk/books/about/The_Life_and_Perambulations_of_a_Mouse.html?id=6YY6AQAAMAAJ&amp;printsec=frontcover&amp;source=kp_read_button&amp;redir_esc=y#v=onepage&amp;q&amp;f=false"><em>Life and Perambulation of a Mouse</em></a>, <em><a href="https://books.google.co.uk/books/about/The_Adventures_of_a_Whipping_top.html?id=SPt4mQEACAAJ&amp;redir_esc=y">The Adventures of a Whipping-Top</a> </em>and <em>The Silver Thimble</em>. English professor and author Lynn Festa has <a href="http://www.bucknell.edu/script/upress/book.asp?id=255">written brilliantly</a> about how these stories instructed Georgian children to care for their things: good owners made good British subjects. And in this way, it’s not hard to see how these stories paved the way for books like <em><a href="https://www.google.co.uk/imgres?imgurl=http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q%3Dtbn:ANd9GcSZ7ylq6PDaokG7VNWpt6qbBSxnnyL9q8R1_fFIV3-yc5yE5gAe&amp;imgrefurl=https://books.google.com/books/about/The_Velveteen_Rabbit_Or_How_Toys_Become.html?id%3DcRumDgAAQBAJ%26source%3Dkp_cover&amp;h=700&amp;w=543&amp;tbnid=_fzxhK683qN9ZM:&amp;tbnh=160&amp;tbnw=124&amp;usg=__2yGT0rjbbLH3hEm7BsDkJ4GqZWE%3D&amp;vet=10ahUKEwiK17mTnaDZAhXJAMAKHYh5AjQQ_B0IkwIwHQ..i&amp;docid=DLhr4nyP5RT_wM&amp;itg=1&amp;sa=X&amp;ved=0ahUKEwiK17mTnaDZAhXJAMAKHYh5AjQQ_B0IkwIwHQ">The Velveteen Rabbit</a></em> and <a href="https://www.waterstones.com/series/paddington"><em>Paddington Bear</em></a>.</p> <p><strong>The story of things</strong></p> <p>Last year, I led a school project that taught children how to recreate these tales. In the <a href="http://www.fairfaxhouse.co.uk/education/story-of-things/"><em>Story of Things</em></a>, year four and five pupils devised their own versions of the histories of secret dresser drawers, tea caddies, dolls, shoes and yes, many chamber pots, inspired by the collection of Georgian furniture at <a href="http://www.fairfaxhouse.co.uk">Fairfax House</a> in York.</p> <p>I thought I was teaching the children, but their brilliant stories convinced me of our <a href="http://www.fairfaxhouse.co.uk/education/story-of-things/teacher-resources/">continued longing</a> to connect with the objects around us and our imaginative capacities to turn inanimate things into vivid, talkative beings.</p> <p>On Valentine’s Day, it’s all to easy to feel annoyed by couples advertising their deepest feelings with objects – or by the ever more elaborate stakes of social media ready proposals. But it’s important to remember, that we all hold at least one object close to our hearts – no matter how chic or shabby. And in this way, the stories we tell ourselves about the things we own remind us of the ways we love and are loved by others.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/89056/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/chloe-wigston-smith-429745">Chloe Wigston Smith</a>, Lecturer in 18th-century Literature, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-york-1344">University of York</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="http://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/why-we-value-diamond-rings-and-other-valentines-day-gifts-89056">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Global trust crisis as people no longer believe hard work will bring a better life

<p>Many people no longer believe that <span><a href="https://www.abc.net.au/triplej/programs/hack/2020-edelman-trust-barometer-shows-growing-sense-of-inequality/11883788">hard work will lead to a better life</a></span>, a new survey found.</p> <p>In its <span><a href="https://www.edelman.com/sites/g/files/aatuss191/files/2020-01/2020%20Edelman%20Trust%20Barometer%20Global%20Report_LIVE.pdf">20<sup>th</sup> annual Trust Barometer</a></span>, which polled more than 34,000 people in 28 countries, public relations firm Edelman found that despite strong economic performance, the majority of people in developed markets said they believe they and their families will not be better off in five years’ time.</p> <p>“We are living in a trust paradox,” said the agency’s CEO Richard Edelman.</p> <p>“Since we began measuring trust 20 years ago, economic growth has fostered rising trust. This continues in Asia and the Middle East but not in developed markets, where national income inequality is now the more important factor in institutional trust.</p> <p>“Fears are stifling hope, as long-held assumptions about hard work leading to upward mobility are now invalid.”</p> <p>Trust in government also continued to decline as people grappled with concerns over job insecurity and income inequality.</p> <p>More than four out of five (83 per cent) employees said they worry about losing their job due to a range of factors, including gig economy, looming recession, foreign competitors and automation.</p> <p>Government was viewed as the most unethical and least competent institution, with only 42 per cent of respondents saying they have confidence that government leaders will be able to address the challenges int their country.</p> <p>Media was also considered incompetent and unethical, with 57 per cent saying the media they consume contain untrustworthy information.</p> <p>Business ranked the highest in competence but was deemed unethical, with the majority of respondents agreeing that capitalism does more harm than good in the world today. No institution was seen as fair in the survey’s index of public perception.</p>

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Why paper maps still matter in the digital age

<p>Ted Florence is ready for his family trip to Botswana. He has looked up his hotel on Google Maps and downloaded a digital map of the country to his phone. He has also packed a large paper map. “I travel all over the world,” says Florence, the president of the international board of the <a href="https://imiamaps.org/">International Map Industry Association</a> and <a href="https://www.avenzamaps.com/">Avenza Maps</a>, a digital map software company. “Everywhere I go, my routine is the same: I get a paper map, and I keep it in my back pocket.”</p> <p>With the proliferation of smartphones, it’s easy to assume that the era of the paper map is over. That attitude, that digital is better than print, is what I call “technochauvinism.” In my book, <em><a href="https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/artificial-unintelligence">Artificial Unintelligence: How Computers Misunderstand the World</a></em>, I look at how technochauvinism has been used to create an unnecessary, occasionally harmful bias for digital over print or any other kind of interface. A glance at the research reveals that the paper map still thrives in the digital era, and there are distinct advantages to using print maps.</p> <p><strong>Your brain on maps</strong></p> <p>Cognitive researchers generally make a distinction between surface knowledge and deep knowledge. Experts have deep knowledge of a subject or a geography; amateurs have surface knowledge.</p> <p>Digital interfaces are good for acquiring surface knowledge. Answering the question, “How do I get from the airport to my hotel in a new-to-me city?” is a pragmatic problem that requires only shallow information to answer. If you’re traveling to a city for only 24 hours for a business meeting, there’s usually no need to learn much about a city’s layout.</p> <p>When you live in a place, or you want to travel meaningfully, deep knowledge of the geography will help you to navigate it and to understand its culture and history. Print maps help you acquire deep knowledge faster and more efficiently. In experiments, <a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2016.10.014">people who read on paper consistently demonstrate better reading comprehension</a> than people who read the same material on a screen. <a href="https://doi.org/10.1177/0165551512470043">A 2013 study</a> showed that, as a person’s geographic skill increases, so does their preference for paper maps.</p> <p>For me, the difference between deep knowledge and surface knowledge is the difference between what I know about New York City, where I have lived for years, and San Francisco, which I have visited only a handful of times. In New York, I can tell you where all the neighborhoods are and which train lines to take and speculate about whether the prevalence of Manhattan schist in the geological substrate influenced the heights of the buildings that are in Greenwich Village versus Midtown. I’ve invested a lot of time in looking at both paper and digital maps of New York. In San Francisco, I’ve only ever used digital maps to navigate from point to point. I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t know where anything is in the Bay Area.</p> <p>Our brains encode knowledge as what scientists call <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2016.10.014">a cognitive map</a>. In psychology-speak, I lack a cognitive map of San Francisco.</p> <p>“When the human brain gathers visual information about an object, it also gathers information about its surroundings, and associates the two,” wrote communication researchers Jinghui Hou, Justin Rashid and Kwan Min Lee <a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2016.10.014">in a 2017 study</a>. “In a similar manner to how people construct a mental map of a physical environment (e.g., a desk in the center of an office facing the door), readers form a ‘cognitive map’ of the physical location of a text and its spatial relationship to the text as a whole.”</p> <p>Reading in print makes it easier for the brain to encode knowledge and to remember things. Sensory cues, like unfolding the complicated folds of a paper map, help create that cognitive map in the brain and help the brain to retain the knowledge.</p> <p>The same is true for a simple practice like tracing out a hiking route on a paper map with your finger. The physical act of moving your arm and feeling the paper under your finger <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/06/smarter-living/memory-tricks-mnemonics.html">gives your brain haptic and sensorimotor cues</a> that contribute to the formation and retention of the cognitive map.</p> <p><strong>Map mistakes</strong></p> <p>Another factor in the paper versus digital debate is accuracy. Obviously, a good digital map is better than a bad paper map, just like a good paper map is better than a bad digital map.</p> <p><a href="https://medium.com/@mitpress/3-recommendations-to-combat-technochauvinism-9099b257b92c">Technochauvinists</a> may believe that all digital maps are good, but just as in the paper world, the accuracy of digital maps depends entirely on the level of detail and fact-checking invested by the company making the map.</p> <p>For example, a <a href="http://articles.latimes.com/2012/dec/20/business/la-fi-tn-apple-google-maps-lost-20121220">2012 survey by the crowdsourcing company Crowdflower</a> found that Google Maps accurately located 89 percent of businesses, while Apple Maps correctly found 74 percent. This isn’t surprising, as Google <a href="https://www.google.com/streetview/understand/">invests millions in sending people</a> around the world to map terrain for Google StreetView. Google Maps are good because the company invests time, money and human effort in making its maps good – not because digital maps are inherently better.</p> <p>Fanatical attention to detail is necessary to keep digital maps up to date, as conditions in the real world change constantly. Companies like Google are constantly updating their maps, and will have to do so regularly for as long as they continue to publish. The maintenance required for digital content is substantial – <a href="https://www.pprune.org/private-flying/601767-maps-obsolete.html">a cost that technochauvinists often ignore</a>.</p> <p>In my view, it’s easier to forgive the errors in a paper map. Physical maps usually include an easily visible publication date so users can see when the map was published. (When was the last time you noticed the date-of-last-update on your car navigation system?) When you are passively following the spoken GPS directions of a navigation system, and there is, say, an unmarked exit, it confuses the GPS system and causes chaos among the people in the car. (Especially the backseat drivers.)</p> <p><strong>The best map for the job</strong></p> <p>Some of the deeper flaws of digital maps are not readily apparent to the public. Digital systems, including cartographic ones, are more interconnected than most people realize. Mistakes, which are inevitable, can go viral and create more trouble than anyone anticipates.</p> <p>For example: Reporter Kashmir Hill has written about a Kansas farm in the geographic center of the U.S. that has been <a href="https://splinternews.com/how-an-internet-mapping-glitch-turned-a-random-kansas-f-1793856052">plagued by legal trouble and physical harassment</a>, because a digital cartography database mistakenly uses the farm’s location as a default every time the database can’t identify the real answer.</p> <p>“As a result, for the last 14 years, every time MaxMind’s database has been queried about the location of an IP address in the U.S. it can’t identify, it has spit out the default location of a spot two hours away from the geographic center of the country,” Hill wrote. “This happens a lot: 5,000 companies rely on MaxMind’s IP mapping information, and in all, there are now over 600 million IP addresses associated with that default coordinate.”</p> <p>A technochauvinist mindset assumes everything in the future will be digital. But what happens if a major company like Google stops offering its maps? What happens when a <a href="https://www.theverge.com/2018/1/19/16910378/government-shutdown-2018-nasa-spacex-iss-falcon-heavy">government shutdown</a> means that <a href="http://satnews.com/story.php?number=827160505">satellite data</a> powering smartphone GPS systems isn’t transmitted? Right now, ambulances and fire trucks can keep a road atlas in the front seat in case electronic navigation fails. If society doesn’t maintain physical maps, first responders won’t be able to get to addresses when there is a fire or someone is critically ill.</p> <p>Interrupting a country’s GPS signals is also a realistic cyberwarfare tactic. The U.S. Navy has resumed training new recruits in <a href="https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/11931403/US-navy-returns-to-celestial-navigation-amid-fears-of-computer-hack.html">celestial navigation</a>, a technique that dates back to ancient Greece, as a guard against when the digital grid gets hacked.</p> <p>Ultimately, I don’t think it should be a competition between physical and digital. In the future, people will continue to need both kinds of maps. Instead of arguing whether paper or digital is a better map interface, people should consider what map is the right tool for the task.</p> <div><a href="https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/artificial-unintelligence"></a><em>MIT Press provides funding as a member of The Conversation US.</em><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></div> <p><span><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/meredith-broussard-659409"><em>Meredith Broussard</em></a><em>, Assistant Professor of Journalism, <a href="http://theconversation.com/institutions/new-york-university-1016">New York University</a></em></span></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="http://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/why-paper-maps-still-matter-in-the-digital-age-105341">original article</a>.</em></p>

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8 ways to make more money in 2020

<p><span>The start of a new year is a great time to evaluate your money habits and identify places where you can boost your income or decrease your spending. While the process can feel overwhelming, especially if you’re drowning in bills, you’ve got this – and we’ve got your back. We rounded up a wide assortment of great tips for all aspects of your financial life so that you can turn your dream of saving money into a reality. Believe it or not, just a few simple tweaks can help you get (and keep) more money in your pocket in 2020.</span></p> <div class="tg-container categorySection detailSection"> <div id="primary" class="contentAreaLeft"> <div id="page3" class="slide-show"> <div id="test" class="slide listicle-slide"> <h2 class="slide-title">1. Buy gift cards at a discount, and sell ones you don’t want</h2> <div class="slide-description"> <p>Most of us have at least a few old, unwanted gift cards stashed away in a drawer. Leaving them unused is like throwing away money. Instead, turn them into cash by selling them online. Many of the sites that buy gift cards also sell those cards at a discounted price. This is a great way to save money on gift cards for yourself or others.</p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="tg-container categorySection detailSection"> <div id="primary" class="contentAreaLeft"> <div id="page4" class="slide-show"> <div id="test" class="slide listicle-slide"> <h2 class="slide-title">2. Shop through sites that offer cashback rewards</h2> <div class="slide-description"> <p>Meghan Fox, a savings expert, suggests users maximise their savings by buying discounted gift cards and then using those cards at a site that pays cash back. Check out sites such as Cashrewards and PricePal which offer cashback rewards for purchases at a variety of retailers and websites.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div id="page5" class="slide-show"> <div id="test" class="slide listicle-slide"> <h2 class="slide-title">3. Use social media for positive motivation</h2> <div class="slide-description"> <p>“Follow financially savvy young professionals instead of, say, travellers,” says Brian Walsh, a certified financial planner at SoFi. “They will inspire you to stick to your goals rather than keeping up with the Joneses.”</p> </div> </div> </div> <div id="page6" class="slide-show"> <div id="test" class="slide listicle-slide"> <h2 class="slide-title">4. Declutter and make money on Facebook Marketplace</h2> <div class="slide-description"> <p>Go through your closet, apartment, garage or storage unit, and sell things you no longer wear or need on Facebook Marketplace. “I have sold several thousand dollars worth of stuff to declutter our house!” says Deb Liu, Vice President of Marketplace and Commerce at Facebook. “I [also] get the kids involved. We’ve sold some of their games and toys. It’s a win-win: They think they’re earning money for even more toys, and I get to teach them about math and budgeting!”</p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="tg-container categorySection detailSection"> <div id="primary" class="contentAreaLeft"> <div id="page7" class="slide-show"> <div id="test" class="slide listicle-slide"> <h2 class="slide-title">5. Cash in on special-event items you won’t use again</h2> <div class="slide-description"> <p>Lindsey Nickel, a wedding planner at Lovely Day Events, suggests newlyweds help recoup some of their wedding expenses by selling items they used at their event. “These items are very wedding-specific and probably won’t be used again,” she says. “So instead of taking up storage, I tell them to sell them on sites like Facebook Marketplace and help out the next bride instead. Ask your professional photographer for the big day to take high-quality pics of the items.”</p> <div class="tg-container categorySection detailSection"> <div id="primary" class="contentAreaLeft"> <div id="page8" class="slide-show"> <div id="test" class="slide listicle-slide"> <h2 class="slide-title">6. Take advantage of price matching</h2> <div class="slide-description"> <p>This can help you avoid a lot of driving around or wasting time shopping at a bunch of different sites. But be sure to read the store policies carefully. Some will only price-match the items at brick-and-mortar stores (not websites) or stores within a certain geographic location.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div id="page9" class="slide-show"> <div id="test" class="slide listicle-slide"> <h2 class="slide-title">7. Become a preferred shopper</h2> <div class="slide-description"> <p>Sign up for retailers’ email promotions and follow them on social media. You will often get access to special coupons, sales and discount promotions. That said, it’s a good idea to create a special email address for these promotional emails to keep them from swamping your primary inbox.</p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="tg-container categorySection detailSection"> <div id="primary" class="contentAreaLeft"> <div id="page10" class="slide-show"> <div id="test" class="slide listicle-slide"> <h2 class="slide-title">8. Let your home pay for itself</h2> <div class="slide-description"> <p>All over the world, there are millions of unused bedrooms in homes that could potentially be rented out. “This is often especially true for empty nesters and retirees,” says Wendi Burkhardt, CEO of Silvernest. “Rather than letting them gather dust, profit from them by renting them out to a long-term housemate. Estimates show that you can earn an average of $10,000 a year per room. Even better is that you can split bills with your housemate, helping you slash monthly expenses while you’re earning passive income on the side.”</p> <p><em>Written by Bobbi Dempsey. This article first appeared in </em><span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/food-home-garden/money/38-ways-to-make-more-money-in-2020" target="_blank"><em>Reader’s Digest</em></a><em>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, </em><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.co.nz/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRN93V"><em>here’s our best subscription offer.</em></a></span></p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p>

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The psychology behind why people buy

<p>Between <a href="https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/joreco/v21y2014i2p86-97.html">40% and 80%</a> of purchases are impulse buys. Marketers often get blamed for this, but while marketing tactics may be <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1744-6570.2010.01187_2.x">cynical, manipulative, and even deceptive</a>, shoppers are generally wise to their ways.</p> <p>Of greater concern, is the fact that up to <a href="https://academic.oup.com/joc/article-abstract/64/5/915/4086043?redirectedFrom=fulltext">95% of our daily decisions</a> are potentially determined by <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S105774080570108X">impulsive, unconscious processes</a>. All too often, consumers are ignorant of the <a href="http://psycnet.apa.org/record/1992-98649-000">social influences</a> and <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/publication/288902202_Social_psychology_and_consumer_psychology_An_unexplored_interface">psychological states</a> that make them vulnerable shoppers. In fact, most people entertain a costly <a href="http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.552.7516&amp;rep=rep1&amp;type=pdf">illusion of invulnerability</a> and consider themselves especially shrewd shoppers.</p> <p>You can avoid spending too much by becoming more mindful of the factors that influence your shopping behaviours. Here are six factors which could cause you to overspend, along with some tips about how to counteract them.</p> <h2>1. Social pressure</h2> <p>Human beings are very susceptible to social pressures. The cooperative and competitive behaviours, which have ensured our survival as a species, also nudge us <a href="https://youtu.be/_qHYmx7qPes">to spend more than we need</a>.</p> <p>For example, the social norm of reciprocity obligates us to exchange gifts and good deeds at Christmas.</p> <p>Competition also fuels consumption: sales reinforce a sense of scarcity, and use time constraints to provoke a fear of missing out among shoppers – even when they’re buying online. Flash sales – such as Black Friday – create a herd mentality, which can provoke panic buying, hysteria <a href="http://blackfridaydeathcount.com/">or worse</a>. Being aware of these pressures will minimise their effects and allow you to maintain a sense of perspective.</p> <h2>2. More abstract money</h2> <p>The concept of money is a shared myth, powered by the human imagination. Our <a href="https://www.harpercollins.com/9780062316097/sapiens/">imagination has been instrumental</a> in the rapid development of the species, allowing people to swap pieces of paper and bits of metal for things they want. From notes and coins, to debit and credit cards, and most recently phones and <a href="https://www.fitbit.com/uk/fitbit-pay">Fitbits</a>, the human imagination accommodates increasingly abstract forms of money. This is dangerous.</p> <p>These new forms of money ease the “<a href="https://youtu.be/PCujWv7Mc8o">pain of paying</a>”, reducing the level of guilt we feel when parting with money. It temporarily hides the financial repercussions of our purchases (the lower bank balance or lighter wallet). This leads people to splurge without keeping track of the true financial costs of their decisions. Using cash when shopping will increase the pain of paying and make you more sensitive to how much you’re spending. This, in turn, will ensure that you only spend money on the items you really want.</p> <h2>3. Decision fatigue</h2> <p>Research <a href="https://www.guilford.com/books/Handbook-of-Self-Regulation/Vohs-Baumeister/9781462533824">suggests that</a> people have limited reserves of willpower. As we make decisions throughout the day, this reserve becomes exhausted, resulting in “resource depletion”. <a href="https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/510228">Resource depletion</a> causes people to act impulsively. Doing shopping early in the day, and avoiding other sources of stress, such as big crowds, will minimise the risk of resource depletion.</p> <h2>4. Mindsets</h2> <p>Psychological states known as “<a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1057740810000215">mindsets</a>”, which influence perceptions and decision making, can also make people more likely to spend. They occur outside of our conscious awareness, when the thought processes we use in one situation are carried over and used to process information in the next.</p> <p>Thinking positively in one situation can predispose a person to think positively in an unrelated situation – for example, generating supportive thoughts about giving to charity might prime a person to have positive thoughts about the bottle of detergent they see in an ad break a few minutes later. The makes them more likely to buy it.</p> <p>Mindsets also influence shopping goals. People with a “deliberative mindset” are open minded and likely to review all their options, while people with an “implemental mindset” are more close-minded and goal-focused. An implemental mindset reduces procrastination and focuses people to pursue their buying goals. These goals could be explicitly stated in a shopping list or even activated unconsciously.</p> <p>The implemental mindset can be dangerous, because it creates <a href="http://journals.ama.org/doi/10.1509/jmkr.44.3.370">shopping momentum</a>. This is when buying one thing makes you more likely to buy another since your goal-focused mindset remains active even after you bought what you intended. This is one of the reasons why people emerge from shopping centres burdened down with several bags, having gone in to buy one item.</p> <p>Unfortunately, <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S074959781000110X">switching between different mindsets</a> can deplete your mental resources and cause you to spend more. Making rules to guide your decisions before you go shopping can counteract the effects of these mindsets and reduce the risk of shopping momentum. For example, telling yourself that if a product is below a certain price, you will buy it, but if it costs more, you will not. Making a list and setting a budget will help you remember the old adage, “it is not a bargain unless you need it”.</p> <h2>5. Making comparisons</h2> <p>Shopping is essentially a three step process. First you ask yourself, “do I want to buy something?”; then, “which product is the best?”; and finally, “how will I buy the product?”. But when people consider two possible purchases, it induces a “<a href="https://academic.oup.com/jcr/article-abstract/34/4/556/1820298?redirectedFrom=fulltext">which-to-buy</a>” mindset, which primes them to skip the first question, and makes them more likely to buy something.</p> <h2>6. The halo effect</h2> <p>Using mental shortcuts help us navigate everyday life more efficiently. Yet these shortcuts <a href="https://www.penguin.com.au/books/thinking-fast-and-slow-9780141033570">can also lead to</a> incorrect assumptions and costly mistakes. In the context of shopping, not all assumptions are bad. Indeed, some assumptions are central to marketing. For example, branding works because we assume that products under the one brand have a similar level of quality.</p> <p>But other assumptions are less reliable. The “halo effect” occurs when we make incorrect assumptions, which lead us to think positively about something. So, the eye catching deals we see in the front window often make us assume that the other in-store deals are equally valid and generous.</p> <p>To counteract the halo effect, you need to come prepared. Knowing the recommended retail price (RRP) of products will ensure that you are not influenced by high anchor prices that give the impression of deep discounts. Remaining sceptical and calm will improve your decision making and reduce the risks of cognitive bias. This will likely be good for society, the environment and your pocket.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/108680/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><em><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></em></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/brian-harman-648072">Brian Harman</a>, Lecturer in Marketing, <a href="http://theconversation.com/institutions/de-montfort-university-1254">De Montfort University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/janine-bosak-400922">Janine Bosak</a>, Associate Professor in Organisational Psychology, <a href="http://theconversation.com/institutions/dublin-city-university-1528">Dublin City University</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="http://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-to-avoid-overspending-uncover-the-psychology-behind-why-people-buy-108680">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Why we think businesses are out to get us

<p>Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury, made headlines in the U.K. for <a href="https://www.archbishopofcanterbury.org/speaking-and-writing/speeches/archbishop-canterburys-speech-tuc">his speech</a> at the Trades Union Congress conference in Manchester, England.</p> <p>His remarks were forcefully pro-union and strongly disapproving of corporations, the profit motive and the wealthy.</p> <p>He singled out Amazon for not paying their fair share of taxes in the U.K. and the gig economy as a “reincarnation of an ancient evil.”</p> <p>To the archbishop, capitalism, with its pursuit of profit and inequality of outcomes, is inherently immoral.</p> <p>Other religious leaders have, over the years, made similar points. In 2015, Pope Francis <a href="https://nationalpost.com/news/world/dung-of-the-devil-pope-francis-denounces-capitalism-greed-and-the-pursuit-of-money">denounced capitalism</a> and the pursuit of money and, in 2008, the then-archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, wrote an article for a British magazine <a href="https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2012/03/from-the-archives-rowan-williams-on-capitalism-and-idolatry/">criticizing capitalism</a> in the wake of the financial crisis.</p> <p>Such negative views of business and profit are hardly uncommon.</p> <p>A recent article in the <em>Journal of Personality and Social Psychology</em> documented widespread <a href="http://psycnet.apa.org/fulltext/2017-31434-001.html">anti-profit beliefs</a>.</p> <p>In my research with some of my graduate students, I have found that people often take a dim view of businesses, interpreting many different actions —such as a <a href="http://acrwebsite.org/volumes/1010014/volumes/v39/NA-39">small price increase</a> or a <a href="http://tinyurl.com/ybptgtra">product recommendation</a> — as an attempt to take advantage of consumers.</p> <h2>Viewed as conscious entities</h2> <p>But what underlies these views? Why is business and the pursuit of profit so maligned?</p> <p>We think the answer lies, in part, in how people view firms and the resulting inferences they draw from the attempts of these firms to make a profit. To the first point, people seem to view companies as conscious entities — as living, breathing organisms with thoughts, feelings, intentions and motives.</p> <p><a href="https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/06/15/do-corporations-have-minds/">Research using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanners</a> has found that patterns of neural responses when considering other people’s mental states (<a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/socioemotional-success/201707/theory-mind-understanding-others-in-social-world">the parts of the brain involved in “theory of mind”</a>) are indistinguishable from the pattern of responses when considering the behaviour of organizations.</p> <p>What this means is that people are likely to attribute distinctly human motives to business actions that are the product of entirely different processes.</p> <p>In addition to viewing companies as people, consumers often view their transactions with firms as zero-sum — like sharing a pie, where more for one person means less for the other. This means that when companies are perceived to be making a profit, that profit is viewed as coming at the expense of customers.</p> <h2>Distrust of profitable firms</h2> <p>This is where profiting becomes problematic. Because we mentally view firms as people, this is seen as a wilful act — a deliberate attempt to take advantage of customers — and it violates an important norm of interpersonal conduct, a moral norm even, that forbids benefiting at another’s expense.</p> <p>We have found that a wide range of actions by businesses appears to be interpreted in this light: price increases, <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S002243591100090X">discounts for other people</a>, product recommendations and even advertisements.</p> <p>Even when people don’t buy goods or services from a company, and therefore no profit is made, perceptions that a firm tried to profit lead to negative responses.</p> <h2>Even sales clerks are suspect</h2> <p>In one extreme example, we found that even when a salesperson recommended the cheaper of two alternatives, customers still assumed it was to benefit at their expense.</p> <p>Our research has not yet investigated how firms can mitigate such reactions or whether they even can. If our results are anything to go by, some readers may think that these are legitimate reactions that should not be curtailed.</p> <p>However, we would point out that a purchase is a consumer decision. No company is forcing consumers to buy their products against their will.</p> <p>What’s more, businesses bear the burden of the risk in offering products for consumers’ consideration; the products that they make available to us are often a tremendous source of value in our lives; and, ultimately, the only reason companies develop and offer such products is to make a profit. Otherwise, what would be the point of going into business?<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/103977/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em>Written by <span>Laurence Ashworth, Associate Professor, Marketing, Queen's University, Ontario</span>. Republished with permission of </em><a rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/why-we-think-businesses-are-out-to-get-us-103977" target="_blank"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>. </em></p>

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Should we stop buying new clothes?

<p>The fashion industry is one of the most <a href="https://www.unenvironment.org/news-and-stories/story/putting-brakes-fast-fashion">polluting industries</a> in the world, producing 20% of global wastewater and 10% of global carbon emissions – and it’s estimated that by 2050 this will have increased to <a href="https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/environment/fashion-industry-may-use-quarter-of-world-s-carbon-budget-by-2050-61183">25%</a>. A staggering <a href="https://www.governmenteuropa.eu/fast-fashion-waste/92213/">300,000</a> tonnes of clothes are sent to British landfills each year.</p> <p>The <a href="https://www.greenmatters.com/p/what-is-fast-fashion">fast fashion</a> business model, first developed in the early <a href="https://www.edology.com/blog/fashion-media/rise-of-fast-fashion/">2000s</a> is responsible for the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/four-factors-fuelling-the-growth-of-fast-fashion-retailers/">increase in consumer demand</a> for high quantities of low-quality clothing. Many fashion products now being designed and made specifically for short-term ownership and premature disposal. Clothing quality is decreasing along with costs, and the increased consumption levels of mass-manufactured fashion products are pushing up the consumption of natural resources.</p> <p>The pressure to facilitate consumer hunger imposes significant social and environmental pressures on the manufacturing supply chain. The UK’s consumption levels of fashion are the highest in Europe, at <a href="https://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/environmental-audit-committee/news-parliament-2017/fashion-bosses-reveal-environmental-record-17-19/">26.7kg per capita</a>. This compares to a consumption rate of 16.7kg in Germany, 16kg in Denmark, 14.5kg in Italy, 14kg in the Netherlands and 12.6kg in Sweden.</p> <p>The need for change is tentatively being acknowledged by fashion brands and manufacturers. Many different market sectors in fashion, from high street to high end, are increasingly taking action. But it’s very conservative. For example, high street retailer H&amp;M are boycotting the use of <a href="https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/amazon-fires-brazil-hm-brazil-leather-deforestation-cattle-a9094586.html">Brazilian leather</a> over concerns that the country’s cattle industry has contributed to the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest. Meanwhile, other brands, such as Adidas, Stella McCartney and Patagonia, are focusing their action on the use of waste products in the development of textile materials for new collections.</p> <p>Of course, such policies can only be positive. But are fashion brands really doing enough to change? Recent <a href="https://www.un.org/press/en/2019/ga12131.doc.htm">UN reports</a> state that we have 11 years to prevent irreversible damage from climate change. It’s doubtful that the small, incremental changes made by brands will do enough to significantly contribute towards the fight on climate change, so more pressure from consumers and campaign groups is needed.</p> <p>Fashion brands are not the only ones who have the power to create change. Consumers also have leverage – and it’s key that they use it. As London Fashion Week opened earlier this month, large <a href="https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/fashion/london-fashion-week-extinction-rebellion-protest-funeral-march-finale-a9109816.html">protests and demonstrations</a> highlighting fashion’s contribution to climate change reinforced the impact that consumers can have on raising public awareness of environmental issues. Consumer-driven behaviour change can encourage brands to adapt their practices towards a more sustainable future for the fashion industry.</p> <p>If real change is to happen, more people must begin to take a proactive approach and act in reflection of their moral values. Small lifestyle changes can create a big sustainable impact. So here are four things for you to consider before you buy any new clothes:</p> <h2>1. Think before you buy</h2> <p>Before we just buy more new clothes and contribute to escalating pollution, we need to think about the alternative options. This might not only save us money, but is also certainly better for the environment. These options include using what we have, borrowing, swapping, thrifting and making. Buying new items should be seen as the final choice, once all other options have been considered. This approach goes very much against the principles of fast fashion, with slow and considered consumption being the priority.</p> <h2>2. Shop by your values</h2> <p>We need to think about where we shop, as each purchase effectively acts as a vote towards the practices of a brand. By doing a small amount of research into a company’s responsible values, we can begin to make informed decisions about our shopping behaviour. This will ensuring that your chosen store reflects your personal beliefs.</p> <p>For example, if you want to know where your fashion comes from then you need to choose a brand that is transparent and open about their supply chain. Brands like <a href="https://communityclothing.co.uk">Community Clothing</a>, owned by Sewing Bee judge Patrick Grant, tell shoppers exactly where the raw materials were sourced from, where the yarn was produced and even where the final garment was made. Likewise, if you specifically want to take action against ocean plastic waste, then a brand like <a href="https://ecoalf.com/en/">Ecoalf</a> might be for you.</p> <h2>3. Buy a pre-loved item</h2> <p>The second-hand market is having a revival. Once seen as an edgy, individual and cost-effective method of shopping, it soon fell out of favour, to be replaced by cheap, mass-market product from fast-fashion retailers. But with Oxfam opening their <a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-oxfordshire-49650226">charity superstore</a> and Asda launching a pre-loved fashion <a href="https://www.edie.net/amp-news/12/Asda-forays-into-second-hand-clothing-market/">pop up shop</a>, buying second-hand clothing can give fashion products a new life and prevent the purchasing of new fashion garments.</p> <h2>4. Dispose responsibly</h2> <p>As well as considering where we buy our clothes, we too must consider the end-of-life options for our fashion items. It is estimated that <a href="http://www.wrap.org.uk/content/clothing-waste-prevention">£140m</a> worth of clothing goes to landfill each year. Many of these items will be made from synthetic fibres, meaning they can take anywhere between <a href="https://www.close-the-loop.be/en/phase/3/end-of-life">20-200</a> years to decompose. Again, people should explore a range of options available here, such as donating clothing to charity, recycling, reuse, repair and passing on items to friends and family. Why not hold a clothes swap at your house one weekend?</p> <p>Responsible procurement, ownership and disposal are all vital considerations when exercising your power to create sustainable change for the future of the fashion industry. Today, shoppers have more influence and ability to create change than ever before, with <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/jefffromm/2018/02/21/how-gen-z-is-using-social-media-to-affect-real-life-social-change/#1f29e7d149f4">social media platforms</a> allowing easier voicing of complaints and concerns. Meanwhile, the emergence of a <a href="https://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/circular-economy/concept">circular economy</a> business model is again pushing consumers to take a more active role in creating change.</p> <p>We can no longer sit back and wait for brands to take action. Individual drive and willingness to change everyday behaviour will be crucial in changing the future environmental impact of fashion.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/123881/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em>Written by <span>Alana James, Senior Lecturer in Fashion, Northumbria University, Newcastle</span>. Republished with permission of </em><a rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/why-you-should-stop-buying-new-clothes-123881" target="_blank"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>. </em></p>

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Secret car-buying tips your dealer won’t tell you

<p>Find out how to get the most value out of your purchase by side-stepping these common car dealer practices.</p> <p><strong>That car we advertised at the unbelievable price?</strong></p> <p>It’s a stripped-down model with a manual transmission, no air-conditioning, and crank windows. But we got you in, didn’t we?</p> <p><strong>The best time to buy is at the end of the month</strong></p> <p>… and it’s best to negotiate the trade-in separately. Negotiate up from the invoice price (what we paid for the car, easy to find on the Web), not down from the sticker price.</p> <p><strong>Everybody believes his trade-in is worth more</strong></p> <p>You’ve got bald tyres, chicken bones under the seats, and dust blowing from the vents, but you’re going to tell me your car is in “excellent” condition? Now who’s the pushy salesperson?</p> <p><strong>Here’s how to get a great price with minimal haggling</strong></p> <p>Call and ask for the Internet manager or fleet manager.</p> <p><strong>This is what happens once I’m sitting behind the desk</strong></p> <p>You’ll feel like I’m in control and may be willing to pay a little more. (We learn this during training.)</p> <p><strong>Ever wonder about those ads that promise a minimum $3,000 trade-in value for your clunker?</strong></p> <p>Those dealerships also pad the sales price to make up for the difference.</p> <p><strong>Every spring we have guys who show up and say they’re interested in one of our trucks and want to give it a spin</strong></p> <p>They think we don’t see the mulch on the floor when they bring it back.</p> <p><strong>Notice how many times we go back and forth to our manager?</strong></p> <p>The loud music, the gongs, and the blaring flat-screen TVs? All are distractions designed to help you lose track of what we’re doing with the deal.</p> <p><strong>We’re making less money on the car than you think</strong></p> <p>Our profit margin is typically 2 to 4 percent.</p> <p><strong>We all get our cars from the same place at roughly the same price</strong></p> <p>So if one dealer is offering to sell it for $2,000 less, there’s probably a catch.</p> <p><strong>Go in armed and educated</strong></p> <p>Study the pricing of the car you like and have your financing lined up. If you walk in with nothing, you’re not a customer, you’re a victim. Don’t be a victim when it comes to rental cars, either.</p> <p><strong>An older woman who walks in without an appointment, alone, is typically someone we can make a lot of money on</strong></p> <p>She’s usually uncomfortable with the process and just wants to get it over with.</p> <p><strong>If you want to test drive a bunch of models or need a lot of information…</strong></p> <p>Don’t pull in on a weekend without an appointment. Come by on a Tuesday or Wednesday.</p> <p><strong>Once you’ve agreed on a price, you think you’re done, but we’re just getting started</strong></p> <p>Worn out and ready to go home, you sign document after document. Then you wake up the next day, look down, and you signed a contract that had a $1,995 extended warranty that isn’t worth the paper it’s written on. And you’re stuck.</p> <p><em>Written by Michelle Crouch. This article first appeared in </em><span><a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/food-home-garden/money/secret-car-buying-tips-your-dealer-wont-tell-you"><em>Reader’s Digest</em></a><em>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, </em><a rel="noopener" href="http://readersdigest.innovations.co.nz/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRN93V" target="_blank"><em>here’s our best subscription offer.</em></a></span></p> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p>

Retirement Income

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How to curb your online shopping habit

<p><span>The holiday season might make us more inclined to browse through stores and make impulse purchases. The convenience of online shopping makes it easier to find the best deals and get your gifts and necessities in order. However, if you’re trying to stay on budget, there are things you can do to avoid overspending on the internet.</span></p> <p><strong><span>Remove your details</span></strong></p> <p><span>Make the shopping experience less convenient and <a href="https://www.lifehacker.com.au/2019/11/how-to-stop-spending-money-on-instagram/">build a buffer</a> between your banking account and the shops by removing all your payment information from your phone and go-to shopping websites. While it doesn’t fully prevent you from spending, putting in your credit card information manually might make you think twice about that item. </span></p> <p><strong><span>Wait it out</span></strong></p> <p><span>You might be worried about the cut-off dates, but waiting it out might be more beneficial for your wallet. “Put the item in your cart online and wait – ideally, at least 72 hours,” Lending Club financial officer Anuj Nayar told <a href="https://www.mic.com/p/instagram-is-making-you-spend-more-money-heres-how-to-stop-17293969"><em>Mic</em></a>. “You will, most likely, change your mind about making the purchase, realise you don’t love the item as much as you did a few days before or forget about it altogether.”</span></p> <p><strong><span>Follow financially savvy accounts</span></strong></p> <p><span>Keep your head in the goal of saving by having like-minded people in your social feed. You will be able to see other people’s journey towards similar objectives and perhaps gain a few helpful tips along the way. </span></p>

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What the royals would earn if they had real-life jobs

<p><span>As members of the royal family, the Dukes and Duchesses might be <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/travel/international-travel/the-world-s-richest-royal-in-2019-revealed/">worth millions of dollars</a> – but how much would they earn as a commoner?</span></p> <p><span>Training and qualifications provider <a rel="noopener" href="http://www.theknowledgeacademy.com/" target="_blank">The Knowledge Academy</a> has analysed the royals’ skills and qualifications to discover the job and the salary they would have if they were part of today’s job market.</span></p> <p><span>Duchess Meghan came out as the top earner with an expected annual salary of £350,000 thanks to her acting experience, while Prince Harry and Prince William could earn between £21,000 and £55,000 as a charity worker or a major in the army.</span></p> <p><span>Duchess Kate – the first royal bride with a university degree – could earn up to £23,000 in a corporate administrative or marketing role, considering her experience working for high-end retailer Jigsaw and her parents’ party supplies company Party Pieces.</span></p> <p><span>Sophie, Countess of Wessex would earn £40,000 with her secretarial training and PR experience. Her husband Prince Edward, who had worked in production for theatre and television, could earn up to £28,000 as an experienced production assistant.</span></p> <p><span>Princess Anne and Duchess Camilla, who had limited work experience, were expected to have a salary of £19,000 and £17,500 as a charity worker and a secretary respectively.</span></p>

Retirement Income

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Why shopping addiction is a real disorder

<p>UK-based healthcare group the Priory is well-known for treating gambling, sex, drug, alcohol and computing addictions – especially of the <a href="https://www.thesun.co.uk/fabulous/7327125/the-priory-celebrity-guests-katie-price-rehab-centre-cost/">rich and famous</a>. Now it has added a new condition to its list: shopping addiction.</p> <p>Research suggests that as many as <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/add.13223">one in 20 people</a> in developed countries may suffer from shopping addiction (or compulsive buying disorder, as it’s more formally known), yet it is often not taken seriously. People don’t see the harm in indulging in a bit of “retail therapy” to cheer themselves up when they have had a bad day.</p> <p>Indulging in the occasional bit of frivolous spending is not a bad thing, if it is done in moderation and the person can afford it. But for some people compulsive shopping is a real problem. It takes over their lives and leads to genuine misery. Their urges to shop become uncontrollable and are often impulsive. They end up spending money they don’t have on things they don’t need.</p> <p>The worst part is that compulsive buyers continue to shop regardless of the negative impact it has on them. Their <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMc1805733/">mental health gets worse</a>, they get into serious debt, their social network shrinks, and they may even contemplate suicide – but shopping still provides the brief dopamine rush they crave.</p> <p>There is no doubt that people who engage in this behaviour suffer, and often badly. But it is debatable whether compulsive buying disorder is a condition in its own right or a symptom of another condition. Often it is difficult to diagnose because people with compulsive buying disorder have symptoms of other disorders, such as <a href="https://psycnet.apa.org/record/1994-29953-001">eating disorders and substance abuse</a>.</p> <p><strong>Formal criteria needed</strong></p> <p>The most commonly used manuals for diagnosing mental disorders are the <a href="https://www.psychiatry.org/psychiatrists/practice/dsm">DSM</a> and <a href="https://icd.who.int/en">ICD</a>, and neither include diagnostic criteria for compulsive buying disorder. One reason may be that there are many theories about what kind of illness the disorder is. It has been likened to <a href="https://psycnet.apa.org/record/1995-01870-001">impulse control disorder</a>, mood disorders, <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1360-0443.1987.tb00424.x">addiction</a> and <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0005789402800259">obsessive-compulsive disorder</a>. How the disorder ought to be classified is an ongoing debate.</p> <p>What is also an <a href="https://www.macmillanihe.com/page/detail/Consumption-Matters/?K=9780230201170">ongoing debate</a> is what the disorder should be called. To the general public, it’s known as “shopping addiction”, but experts variously call it compulsive buying disorder, oniomania, acquisitive desire and impulse buying.</p> <p>Researchers also struggle to agree on a definition. Perhaps the lack of a clear definition stems from the fact that research shows that no single factor is sufficiently powerful to explain the causes of this compulsive behaviour.</p> <p>What most experts seem to agree on is that people with this condition find it difficult to stop and that it results in harm, showing that it is an involuntary and destructive kind of behaviour. People with the condition often try to hide it from friends and partners as they feel shame, thereby alienating themselves from the people who are best placed to support them.</p> <p>Although the disorder has not yet been clearly defined by name, symptoms or even category of mental health problem, most researchers agree on one thing: it is a real condition that people truly suffer from.</p> <p>The fact that the Priory, a well-established healthcare group, is treating people with compulsive buying disorder, may help to raise awareness of the condition. Hopefully, this will result in more research being conducted to help define diagnostic criteria. Without the criteria, it will be difficult for healthcare professionals to diagnose the illness and treat it. This is a condition that is crying out to be properly recognised and should not be trivialised.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/123813/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em>Written by <span>Cathrine Jansson-Boyd, Reader in Consumer Psychology, Anglia Ruskin University</span>. Republished with permission of </em><a rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/shopping-addiction-is-a-real-disorder-123813" target="_blank"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>.</em></p>

Retirement Income

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How to manage your phone's data use

<p>Smartphones give you access to a wealth of information and media, but most networks put a cap on the amount of data you can use each month. A typical phone contract includes a data allowance of between 500MB and 10GB per month; the more data, the higher the monthly cost. Your usage can mount up surprisingly quickly – watching a film on the phone is about 700MB in SD, an hour of streaming TV is around 500MB or 60-140MB for the same of radio, chatting on Skype for an hour is around 40MB. Try these tips to better manage your data usage:</p> <ul> <li>If possible, wait until you can connect to free Wi-Fi before using your phone’s data features.</li> <li>When you are on the road, use your car’s GPS, not your phone, to find your way. The phone has to download map data as you move, but maps are preloaded in a GPS, making this free to use.</li> <li>Be careful of how many “free” games you play on the move. Many of these are funded by ads that pop up on your screen. Every ad has to download through your network, using up your data allowance.</li> <li>If you regularly need to use a lot of data on your phone, consider a data-compressing app, such as Onavo (<a href="http://www.onavo.com/">www.onavo.com</a>). It compresses</li> <li>data before it is fed to your phone, so you use less of your monthly allowance. You may have to subscribe to such compression services, so you’ll need to weigh up whether it’s worth the cost.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Travel Smart</strong></p> <p>Using your phone overseas can be costly. Before you go, see if your carrier offers prepaid or flat-rate roaming. At your destination, if your phone is unlocked, you can buy a local prepaid SIM to replace yours, or buy a cheap prepaid phone and use free Wi-Fi for internet.</p> <p><em>This article first appeared in </em><span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.readersdigest.co.nz/money/How-to-Manage-Your-Phone-Data-Use" target="_blank"><em>Reader’s Digest</em></a><em>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, </em><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.co.nz/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRN93V"><em>here’s our best subscription offer.</em></a></span></p> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p>

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How to tell when a special deal is not so special

<p>Special offers at the supermarket aren’t always what they seem. It doesn’t mean you can’t get better value by taking advantage of discounts and deals – you just need to make sure it really is going to save you money. Here are some “deals” that you should approach with caution:</p> <p><strong>1. Price cuts that aren’t real</strong></p> <p>Just because some deals say it costs less than full price, it doesn’t always mean it was on sale at the higher price for long. Sometimes promotions featuring a “was/now” price change sticker are on sale at the reduced price for longer and more often.</p> <p><strong>2. Bigger packs more expensive</strong></p> <p>Big “value packs” suggest the best value. But it’s sometimes the case that it’s cheaper to buy the smaller packs. You can also get caught out by the packaging being downsized but the price staying the same, or fruit and vegetables being cheaper sold loose rather than in packs (and vice versa).Tip: Most supermarkets have the unit price (eg, per 100g) on the label located on the shelf, so you can check whether it’s cheaper to buy in bulk.</p> <p><strong>3. Multi-buys can cost more than single items</strong></p> <p>If you need more than one of an item, multi-buys such as Buy One, Get One Free, can save you cash. Be careful though: some supermarkets have been found to increase the price of one item when they’re in a promotion and lower it when they’re not. This makes you think you’re saving more than you really are.</p> <p>The word “Special!” makes the shopper believe the product on sale is scarce, available only in one shop, and for a short time only. The shopper responds almost instinctively by buying the product – retail psychologists called this response the Scarcity Effect.</p> <p><em>This article first appeared in </em><span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/money/How-to-Tell-When-a-Special-Deal-is-Not-So-Special" target="_blank"><em>Reader’s Digest</em></a><em>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, </em><a rel="noopener" href="http://readersdigest.innovations.co.nz/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRN93V" target="_blank"><em>here’s our best subscription offer.</em></a></span></p> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p>

Retirement Income