Here’s where the royal family gets their money

queen elizabeth christmas 2008A little summary:

• It costs about $368 million a year to run the British monarchy.
• Some of that money comes from the queen’s private investments.
• But a substantial chunk — about $48 million last year — comes from the British government. 

Royal families don’t come cheap: The Telegraph reports that it costs about £300 million (that’s about $368 million USD at current conversion rates) to run the British monarchy each year. So how do Queen Elizabeth II and her brood acquire such a sum?

Their funding actually comes from a few different sources, both public and private. Here’s how it breaks down.

Every year, the Queen gets a chunk of cash called the Sovereign Grant.

It comes from the treasury and it’s funded by taxpayers, according to the BBC.

The basic agreement is that the Queen gets the grant in exchange for surrendering all profits from the Crown Estate — the Royal family’s massive portfolio of properties — to the government. Every year, the Queen is given an amount of money equivalent to 15% of the Crown Estate’s profits from two years ago.

For example: In 2013, the Crown Estate generated a profit of £267.1 million (about $325.8 million). That means, in 2015, the Queen’s Sovereign Grant was 15% of that total — that’s £40.1 million (or $48.9 million).Buckingham Palace London

The Sovereign Grant pays for the family’s travel, palace upkeep and utilities, and royal employee payroll, according to official royal family financial reports. But the Telegraph notes that at the grant doesn’t cover costs of security and royal ceremonies — that money comes from a few other places.

The Queen’s private income is called the Privy Purse.

That money comes from the Duchy of Lancaster — a portfolio of land and other assets that’s been in the royal family for hundreds of years. It includes 18,433 hectares of land and is made up of residential, commercial, and agricultural properties.

From 2015 to 2016, it generated £17.8 million (about $21.7 million). According to the royal family website, this sum helps with costs not covered by the Sovereign Grant — namely, it’s used to pay “expenses incurred by other members of the royal family.”

The Queen also has a personal fortune estimated to be about £340 million (about $414.7 million). She outright owns Balmoral and Sandringham Estates, which she inherited from her father, and also has a valuable artwork collection, CNN reports.

It’s nothing to sneeze at, but the Queen is by no means the richest person in Britain. For the past two years, she’s failed to make the Sunday Times’s list of the top 300 wealthiest Brits. kate and william christmas 2011

The Duchy of Cornwall— yet another suite of properties owned by the royal family — covers the expenses of the Prince of Wales (that’s the Queen’s oldest son, Charles) and his heirs. That means Harry, William and Kate, and George and Charlotte are all covered by the Duchy of Cornwall, too.

The total income of the Duchy for the 2015–2016 fiscal year was £33.5 million (about $40.8 million). No wonder Prince George has such a fluffy bathrobe!Image result for british royal family

Want to learn more about royal family finances? Check out their official website.

Source: INSIDER

The 4 Most Important Effects of Rising Interest Rates

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), the Federal Reserve’s interest-rate setting panel, voted unanimously on Wednesday to raise the federal funds rate by 0.25 percentage points to a target range of 0.5% to 0.75%. Stocks hardly budged as a result: the hike was modest, after all, and so thoroughly expected that fed funds futures were pricing in a 90-plus percent probability going into the decision. It’s easy to come away with the impression that investors, savers and consumers should carry on as before.

On the other hand, there are good reasons not to be nonchalant. The FOMC signaled three rate hikes in each of the next three years on Wednesday, a faster pace of tightening than it had projected in December, meaning that the target range could be as high as 2.75%-3.00% at the end of 2019. Given that it was 0.00%-0.25% until December 2015, that’s a dramatic increase (of course the Fed chronically overestimates the rate of tightening – going by December 2014 estimates, the rate should be four times higher than it currently is).
Federal_Funds_Rate_1954_thru_2009_effective.svg.png

The federal funds rate is the bedrock of the world’s financial calculus. Raising it pushes up the price of money, affecting rates on everything from credit cards to corporate bonds. It pushes up the yield on Treasuries, which stands in for the so-called risk-free rate of return on which every lending decision is based. It sucks capital into the U.S., that is, out of everywhere else. The fed funs rate is so powerful that it has the potential to wreak political havoc not just at home, but also oceans away.

All of which means that the list below is far from comprehensive. But it’s a start.

1. Borrowing Becomes More Expensive

The Fed’s key policy rate only applies to overnight lending between banks out of their reserves held at the Fed. In other words, it doesn’t affect consumer or (non-bank) business borrowing directly, but the distinction is academic, because it is so closely linked to borrowing rates that do affect these borrowers directly.

The prime rate is one. Within hours of the Fed’s move, just about every major bank announced that they would raise their prime rates from 3.50% to 3.75%. This rate affects a slew of variable-rate loans, including most credit cards. Mortgages are generally linked to Treasury yields, but these are also rising due to the rate hike: the 10-year Treasury yield shot up nearly 10 basis points to 2.57% Wednesday and is above 2.62% as of 12:15 p.m. EST Thursday. Libor, another common benchmark that serves as the basis for many student loans, for example, rose to its highest level since May 2009 in response to the rate rise. In short, just about every variable-rate lending rate is likely to move more or less in line with Fed actions. Borrowers who can refinance to lock in low rates should consider doing so.

2. Deposits Yield More … Eventually

Higher borrowing costs also apply to banks, which take loans from savers in the forms of deposits. In other words, the savings account that currently pays out a few bucks a year – if that – will become more generous.

But don’t hold your breath. Trading gains, fees and other revenue streams aside, banks profit from the spread between the rates they lend at and the ones they borrow at. In other words, they have little incentive to raise the interest they pay on deposits and cut into their profit margins. Following liftoff in December 2015, deposit rates mostly stayed flat. Between the third quarter of 2015 and the third quarter of 2016, Bank of America Corp.’s (BAC) average rates stayed at 0.08%, according to SEC filings. JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s (JPM) rose by a rounding error, from 0.14% to 0.15%. Wells Fargo & Co.’s (WFC) rose from 0.11% to 0.16%, but that’s still less than $2 earned per $1,000 per year. The three banks held almost $3.9 trillion in combined deposits at the end of the third quarter.

At some point deposit rates are likely rise due to competition among banks for customers. But unlike rate changes that make the bank’s money – like raising the prime rate – it will take longer than a few hours.

As a result of this lag, banks can expect fatter profit margins, and investors are responding accordingly. Bank of America’s stock has risen 2.9% to $23.26 from Tuesday’s close to 1:49 p.m. Thursday, while JPMorgan’s has risen 1.9% to $86.39. Wells Fargo, perhaps due to the ongoing fracas over the debit cards it opened in customers’ names without their knowledge, has seen its shares slip slightly.

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), the Federal Reserve’s interest-rate setting panel, voted unanimously on Wednesday to raise the federal funds rate by 0.25 percentage points to a target range of 0.5% to 0.75%. Stocks hardly budged as a result: the hike was modest, after all, and so thoroughly expected that fed funds futures were pricing in a 90-plus percent probability going into the decision. It’s easy to come away with the impression that investors, savers and consumers should carry on as before.

On the other hand, there are good reasons not to be nonchalant. The FOMC signaled three rate hikes in each of the next three years on Wednesday, a faster pace of tightening than it had projected in December, meaning that the target range could be as high as 2.75%-3.00% at the end of 2019. Given that it was 0.00%-0.25% until December 2015, that’s a dramatic increase (of course the Fed chronically overestimates the rate of tightening – going by December 2014 estimates, the rate should be four times higher than it currently is).

The federal funds rate is the bedrock of the world’s financial calculus. Raising it pushes up the price of money, affecting rates on everything from credit cards to corporate bonds. It pushes up the yield on Treasuries, which stands in for the so-called risk-free rate of return on which every lending decision is based. It sucks capital into the U.S., that is, out of everywhere else. The fed funs rate is so powerful that it has the potential to wreak political havoc not just at home, but also oceans away.

All of which means that the list below is far from comprehensive. But it’s a start.

1. Borrowing Becomes More Expensive

The Fed’s key policy rate only applies to overnight lending between banks out of their reserves held at the Fed. In other words, it doesn’t affect consumer or (non-bank) business borrowing directly, but the distinction is academic, because it is so closely linked to borrowing rates that do affect these borrowers directly.

The prime rate is one. Within hours of the Fed’s move, just about every major bank announced that they would raise their prime rates from 3.50% to 3.75%. This rate affects a slew of variable-rate loans, including most credit cards. Mortgages are generally linked to Treasury yields, but these are also rising due to the rate hike: the 10-year Treasury yield shot up nearly 10 basis points to 2.57% Wednesday and is above 2.62% as of 12:15 p.m. EST Thursday. Libor, another common benchmark that serves as the basis for many student loans, for example, rose to its highest level since May 2009 in response to the rate rise. In short, just about every variable-rate lending rate is likely to move more or less in line with Fed actions. Borrowers who can refinance to lock in low rates should consider doing so.

2. Deposits Yield More … Eventually

Higher borrowing costs also apply to banks, which take loans from savers in the forms of deposits. In other words, the savings account that currently pays out a few bucks a year – if that – will become more generous.

But don’t hold your breath. Trading gains, fees and other revenue streams aside, banks profit from the spread between the rates they lend at and the ones they borrow at. In other words, they have little incentive to raise the interest they pay on deposits and cut into their profit margins. Following liftoff in December 2015, deposit rates mostly stayed flat. Between the third quarter of 2015 and the third quarter of 2016, Bank of America Corp.’s (BAC) average rates stayed at 0.08%, according to SEC filings. JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s (JPM) rose by a rounding error, from 0.14% to 0.15%. Wells Fargo & Co.’s (WFC) rose from 0.11% to 0.16%, but that’s still less than $2 earned per $1,000 per year. The three banks held almost $3.9 trillion in combined deposits at the end of the third quarter.

At some point deposit rates are likely rise due to competition among banks for customers. But unlike rate changes that make the bank’s money – like raising the prime rate – it will take longer than a few hours.

As a result of this lag, banks can expect fatter profit margins, and investors are responding accordingly. Bank of America’s stock has risen 2.9% to $23.26 from Tuesday’s close to 1:49 p.m. Thursday, while JPMorgan’s has risen 1.9% to $86.39. Wells Fargo, perhaps due to the ongoing fracas over the debit cards it opened in customers’ names without their knowledge, has seen its shares slip slightly.

3. Trouble for Stocks and Bonds

In a webcast on Tuesday, DoubleLine Capital chief investment officer Jeffrey Gundlach linked Fed tightening to rising 10-year Treasury yields, which he said could reach the psychologically important level of 3% in the next year. A sell-off in government debt could accelerate the bear market in bonds, which began to take hold almost immediately after Donald Trump’s election victory. (See also, Trump Win Shocks Bond Market With $1 Trillion Loss Globally.)

“We’re getting to the point where further rises in Treasuries, certainly above 3%, would start to have a real impact on market liquidity in corporate bonds and junk bonds,” Gundlach said. He added that equities and housing could also suffer: “a 10-year Treasury above 3% in my view starts to bring into question some of the aspects of the stock market and of the housing market in particular.”

Bond yields move in the opposite direction to their prices; since yields are closely correlated to the federal funds rate, monetary tightening implies a bond rout, particularly when trillions of dollars’ worth of government bonds have been bid up to the point that they trade with negative yields.

The relationship between the federal funds rate and equity prices is less direct. Since higher rates serve to reign in borrowing and spending, they can impact companies’ bottom lines, particularly in industries that depend on discretionary – and often debt-fueled – consumer spending. Higher rates also make it more difficult for companies to borrow, meaning that the pace of hiring, capital investment, acquisitions and stock repurchases slows. Finally, the ability to receive a decent return from safer investments such as Treasuries and even – some day – savings accounts makes the stock market a less appealing destination for capital. (See also, How Interest Rates Affect the Stock Market.)

 

4. The Dollar Strengthens

As higher rates make investing in Treasuries and other safe, dollar-denominated assets more attractive, capital floods out of other countries, particularly risky emerging markets. The result is that the dollar gains against other currencies, which can have profound implications for trade and, in a thoroughly trade-skeptical environment, politics. (See also, How Inflation Expectations and the Dollar Can Both Surge.)

The value of the euro, for example, decreased by nearly 1.9% to $1.0428 between Tuesday and 2:40 p.m. Thursday, leading to predictions that the two currencies would soon reach parity. While a one-to-one exchange rate is an arbitrary level, observers focus on it because of its psychological importance: since the financial crisis, the eurozone has been buffeted by deflation, high unemployment, dormant growth, sovereign debt scares, the prospect of bank failures – which could potentially set off another financial crisis – the fallout from Brexit and a vocal anti-euro contingent in almost every country (ironically, euroskeptics are increasingly allied across borders, increasing their effectiveness). If a euro can’t buy a dollar when French and German voters head to the polls next year, François Fillon and Angela Merkel’s prospects will look bleaker, and the single currency’s future will be in question.

The Fed’s hike has driven the dollar up against another key currency, the yuan, by 0.6% over the same period. Behind the European Union and Canada (where the currency has also fallen against the dollar), China is the U.S.’s third-largest trading partner. It has assumed outsized political importance due to Trump’s emphasis on the U.S.’s trade deficit with China and his claim – apparently false – that China is holding down the value of the yuan in order increase the attractiveness of its exports. (See also, Billionaire Kyle Bass Anticipates 30% Drop in Chinese Yuan.)

By the same token, the dollar’s strength will make American exports more expensive, further squeezing the manufacturing sector that accounts for around 9% of U.S. employment but a significantly larger share of the political conversation.

Source : Investopedia

Here Are the Most Popular Google Search Terms of 2016

Google Scrubbing Search ResultsPikachu had a really big year.

On 15/12, Google revealed the most popular searches in 2016, and the viral sensation Pokemon Go was the top search worldwide this year.

The game uses augmented reality to hunt down pocket monsters called Pokemon, leveraging a GPS map and the camera on your smartphone to simulate catching the creatures as if they exist in the real world.

Pokemon Go was a summer phenomenon, as players strolled across cities and landmarks in search of Pokemon. It set an Apple App Store record for the most downloads during its first week of availability.

Apple’s iPhone 7 was the second most popular global search in 2016, followed by President-elect Donald Trump, Prince — who died in April — and Powerball. In the U.S., Powerball was the most popular search, followed by Prince, Hurricane Matthew, Pokemon Go, and mobile game Slither.io.

Trump was the most-searched person globally on Google this year, followed by his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton, Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, soon-to-be First Lady Melania Trump and gold medal winning gymnast Simone Biles.

See below to check out the full list of search queries that made it into Google’s top 10 trending list.

1. Powerball
2. Prince
3. Hurricane Matthew
4. Pokémon Go
5. Slither.io
6. Olympics
7. David Bowie
8. Trump
9. Election
10. Hillary Clinton

What Is a ‘Meme’?

Leo DiCaprio toasting meme. screenshotA ‘meme’ is a virally-transmitted cultural symbol or social idea.

The majority of modern memes are captioned photos that are intended to be funny, often as a way to publicly ridicule human behavior. Other memes can be videos and verbal expressions. Some memes have heavier and more philosophical content.

The world of memes (which rhymes with ‘teams’) is noteworthy for two reasons: it is a worldwide social phenomenon, and memes behave like a mass of infectious flu and cold viruses, traveling from person to person quickly through social media.

According to Cecil Adams of theStraightDope.com, the concept of memes “is either really deep, or really, really obvious”.

Examples will be provided in the next page.

Simple Ways to Save Money Effectively

These days, in our world of instant gratification, it’s more important than ever to be able to stay focused on saving money any way you can. So to help you monitor your spending habits and cut expenses, here are 20 easy ways you can save every day—starting right now. How’s that for instant gratification?

1. Plan out your meals for the week. Taking a few hours every weekend to grocery shop and meal plan for the week will definitely save you money, as dining out is the No. 1 expense for most households. By eating at home, you save money that would otherwise be spent on tax and tip—and you usually save calories, too.

earn-more-money-this-year-800x453.jpg

2. Switch to an exercise pass program. If you love working out, an exercise pass program such as Class Pass is the way to go. By paying a membership fee of $99 per month, you are welcome at many of the best studios in your area. And classes—like cycling, yoga, Pilates, barre, strength training, boot camp, dance and more—are unlimited. This beats having to pay for each studio’s monthly membership or individual class fee, which can add up to hundreds of dollars a month.

Low social status bad for health

A new study shows that having a low social status can be bad for our health. The study was on monkeys. Researchers from Duke University in the USA looked at the behaviour and health of 45 female monkeys and found that those with a lower social status had more health problems. The monkeys were split up into five groups of nine. The researchers gave the monkeys in each group time to get to know each other. Then they took one monkey from each group and put her into another group. This meant she was the “new girl” and was at the bottom of the group. When scientists checked the health of the monkeys, they found that the “new girl” was unhealthier than the other monkeys.