Are school uniforms beneficial?

One of the great advantages trumpeted about the school uniform is its capacity to make everyone equal. If all children have to wear the same uniform, the theory goes, discrimination based on socio-economic background, as signaled through, for instance, their brand of shoes or jacket, will disappear.

But is this really the case? Can uniforms actually exacerbate discrimination?

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Should I fly first (or business) class?

Recently, we traveled to Canada with my parents as a group of four. We all flew to Japan, taking a transpacific cruise with stops in Hokkaido, Alaska and Canada. There, we finished with 2.5 weeks visiting breathtaking national parks. Including all flights, meals, accommodation, and car hire, our total cost per person for the entire trip was less than a couple of our friends spent on just their plane tickets to Canada.

Why?

They flew business class.

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Should I rely on the Bank of Mum and Dad? / Should I lend money to my kids?

A worrying new report names the so-called ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’ as Australia’s 5th largest lender. This ‘Bank’ – Aussie parents – have collectively lent their sons and daughters more than a whopping $65 billion dollars. Almost a third of parents now help their kids buy a home. The average amount ‘lent’ is $64,000. Why the scare quotes around ‘lent’? Because in two-thirds of cases, Mum and Dad don’t expect to be repaid. (In my book, that’s called a gift, not a loan).

But should you rely on the Bank of Mum and Dad? And, Mums and Dads – should you lend to your kids?

This post – a bumper issue that is the first to tackle two questions – is not only for those considering lending money within families, but also for those who have or will buy a home without family support.
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How can I reduce investing anxiety?

A reader recently asked me whether I ever get nervous before a big investment, like buying shares. A better question would perhaps be when am I not nervous? Although my post today takes investing in the share market as an example, it’s really relevant to almost any worry. Not only investing anxiety and money troubles, but general concerns that keep you up at night.

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Is your portfolio diversified enough?

Diversification is an important topic, but one that isn’t well understood. And I don’t just mean by the general public. Investors aren’t great at understanding it either, apparently. Less than half of investors surveyed by the ASX (46%) claim that their portfolios are invested. And even that group holds just 2.7 financial products on average. A further 40%, who held 1.6 products on average, said they knew their portfolios were not diversified enough. But most worrying of all, 15% of investors admitted they didn’t know if their investments were diversified or not.

So how do you know if your investments are diversified? Or if they are diversified enough?

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What is an investor?

What do you think of when you read the word ‘investor‘? What mental image springs to mind when you hear that word?

Perhaps you’ve heard this riddle: A father and son are in a horrible car crash that kills the dad. The son is rushed to the hospital; just as he’s about to go under the knife, the surgeon says, “I can’t operate—that boy is my son!” Explain.

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Do we need finance books for women (or minorities)?

Look up the words ‘finance’ and ‘women’ on a bookselling site like Amazon (not that I’d recommend you buy anything from them) and you’ll find over ten thousand books.

Switch out ‘women’ for ‘men’, and you’ll find half as many. And most of these simply mention the word ‘man’ or ‘men’ in their titles in a generic sense. They’re referring to the whole human race rather than men specifically. Others, such the troubling Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man are actually aimed at women (and not really about finance at all).

But do we even need separate books on finance for women and men? And why are there so many more books aimed at women?

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Do you have too much American influence?

In one of the older posts here on Enrichmentality, we talked about financial resources being a bit like milk – in some cases, the older they get, the more off they are. So the time of production of any advice is important. Especially in the case of highly-specialised, subject to frequent change information. Like interest rates or tax rates or first home owner’s grants. But how much should we worry about where our advice comes from? Is there such a thing as too much American influence?

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