3 May

Women’s Institute goes to Uni

first_imgThe Women’s Institute (WI) has experienced a year of heightened student interest, with the establishment of first two University branches and requests to set up a branch in Oxford. The WI, which is an organisation established to provide women with educational opportunities, has been already established at Goldmith’s University and King’s college London.There have been many positive responses to this news in Oxford. A representative of Oxford Women in Politics, Marta Szczerba, stated that she is “positive about the idea of Women’s Institute cooperating with Universities around the UK” and praised the fact that “Women’s Institute has been a force in campaigning against women’s violence”. Other current national campaigns include ‘Women and Climate Change Campaign’ and ‘Care Not Custody’ for the mentally ill.This support was echoed by Cynthia Chang, a DPhil student at Christ Church, and a representative of Females in Science, Engineering and Technology. Chang said that women often “need a network” and that there would probably be a “significant proportion” of women students at Oxford who would be interested in “producing things with their own hands”.However, some students were less enthused. Rachel Harrison, of Christ Church College, pointed out that the organisation carried the negative stereotype of “being for old people”. Sara Stafford, also of Christ Church, thought that it was “not a good idea” and probably “wouldn’t be very popular”. She went on to say that she felt Oxford “has enough volunteering groups”.Many Oxford students have agreed that the opportunity to engage in activities such as learning how to make tie-dyed sustainable shopping bags and how to knit iPod cases fills a niche not currently occupied by the various clubs and societies in Oxford. Angharad Scott, St Anne’s College, enthusiastically supported the idea of an Oxford group, and said that she thought it sounded “really cool” as long as it had nothing to do with “tea towels and cabbages”.While the image of the WI may not fit in with that of the typical student society, India Volkers, the founder and President of Goldsmith’s WI, emphasised the benefits of membership. “Starting a WI has meant that my friends and I are able to learn useful practical skills that we may not otherwise have been taught.”The President of the National Federation of Women’s Institutes argued that getting involved with the WI could provide women with key skills pointing out, “students are under increasing pressure these days to have additional skills as well as their degree, and the WI offers women the chance to learn new skills that they wouldn’t normally have access to.”last_img read more

2 May

Weekly Market Review: September 8, 2020

first_imgIt has been a six-months of U.S. employment numbers unlike any other in history. The number of working Americans reached a record high of 158.8 million (February 2020) before plummeting to 133.4 million only two months later (April 2020), and now the total has rebounded to 147.3 million at the end of August 2020. The number of out-of-work Americans was just 5.8 million only six months ago (February 2020), soared to a shocking 23.1 million by the end of April 2020, and now is at 13.6 million as of last month. The latter number represents a national jobless rate of 8.4% (source: Department of Labor).Jobless Americans who are renters are being protected from eviction through the end of 2020 as a result of a White House executive order announced on 9 /01 /20. But unless out-of-work Americans secure employment within the next 100 days, the latest moratorium is a short-term fix on a problem impacting an estimated 9 million U.S. renter households nationwide. Frustrated owners of rental housing have their own set of financial responsibilities that have not received similar forgiveness – mortgage payments, utilities, insurance, property taxes – setting the stage for chaos in municipal courts when landlords ultimately move to evict tenants for the non-payment of rent (source: BTN Research).U.S. oil production fell to 9.7 million barrels a day for the week ending 8/28/20, the first time that our domestic oil production has been below 1 0 million barrels per day since Friday 1 /26/18 or more than 2 ½ years ago (source: Department of Energy).Notable Numbers for the Week:COMPARING THE STARTS – Since hitting a bear market low on 3/23/20, the S&P 500 has gained +54.5% (total return) in 116 trading days through last Friday 9 /04/20. By comparison, the recently ended 11-year bull market for the S&P 500 (lasting from 3/09 /09 to 2/ 19 /20) gained +53.3% (total return) during its first 116 trading days on its way to a +529% (total return) overall bull market gain (source: BTN Research).THE MOST PAID – The maximum Social Security benefit paid to a worker retiring at full retirement age in 2020 is $3,011 per month, triple the $975 per month maximum benefit paid 30 years ago (source: Social Security Administration).GOING FAST – 68% of the 597,000 existing home sales that took place in the United States in July 2020 were listings that were on the market less than one month (source: National Association of Realtors).TWO TRILLION IS GONE – As of 3/31 /20, the size of the U.S. economy was estimated to be $21.54 trillion. As of 6/30/20, the size of the U.S. economy has been estimated to be $19.49 trillion (source: Department of Commerce).Mark R. Reimet, CFP®CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™Jodie BoothFinancial Advisorlast_img read more