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Three Ideas to Tackle Financial Ghosts.

Is money distress part of your life? Do the dollars & cents of poor decisions past sneak up on you and rattle around your house like chains? What if…



Is money distress part of your life? Do the dollars & cents of poor decisions past sneak up on you and rattle around your house like chains? What if I could provide three ideas to tackle 2022’s financial ghosts and put them at rest for good?

Listen, ghosts of the financial past are notorious for creeping into the present, especially when holidays roll around. Oh, and watch out for the ghosts of the financial future. They’re dark and ominous and portend to money mistakes for generations!

Perhaps, you’ve unpacked an ornament from 30 years ago or got lost in memory while watching A Charlie Brown Christmas, then you understand.

Unfortunately, the ghosts of Financial Mistakes Past are sometimes not so kind. They aren’t warm and fuzzy, either.

Rattling chains of the ghosts of financial mistakes can be uninvited guests for years to come.

Post-pandemic household financial conditions have just made ghosts stronger.

I wrongfully believed Americans would change their fiscal ways post-pandemic. The personal savings rate is currently at levels we haven’t seen since 2005. Total bank card balances are a record $866 billion for the third quarter, up 19% from last year’s period. According to, the average outstanding revolving credit card balance stands at $5,474 over last year. The average credit card interest rate is 19.20% per

December is the month to objectively review your financial history.

This month, expose the good and bad – then outline tactics to sever ominous chains and sprout wings to the beneficial for 2023.

Just because I partner with others on personal finance challenges doesn’t mean I don’t own my share of mistakes. Thankfully, my Ghosts of Financial Mistakes Past lost their power to frighten me. I, too, assess my consistent progress to slay them. As a financial professional, I remain ‘fiscally aware’ throughout the year.

Hey, it’s my job.

This month, as you prepare your favorite meals from recipes in the family for decades, watch a timeless film (White Christmas is my favorite), go through old photographs, take some time to unwrap financial gifts, and pack away the mistakes.

Here are three ideas to tackle 2022’s financial ghosts.

Calculate your household debt-to-income ratios.

I know. Math. I promise this isn’t a difficult task. As a society, we tend to base our lifestyle on the ability to meet monthly payments but rarely consider the damage to net worth by spending too much or taking on excessive debt.

I complete a couple of calculations for my household. I’ll also share with you RIA’s financial guardrails. I won’t lie: Our tenets are tough; I promise your net worth will thank me ten Decembers from now.

First, I isolate my mortgage, HOA, and homeowner’s insurance payments and divide the sum by my NET or ‘take-home’ monthly income. 

Currently, my ratio is 6.6%. The standard rule in finance is a house payment shouldn’t exceed 28% of pre-tax income. It’s a horrible rule. It’s designed to push the boundaries on cash flow and sell you more house than is necessary.

Throw it out if you desire financial flexibility, cash to cover emergencies, and save for a prosperous financial future.

Dave Ramsey suggests 25% of after-tax income. Not bad. However, you can do better.

Our rule at RIA is a total mortgage payment should not exceed 15% of after-tax income. I didn’t extract this percentage out of thin air. Over the last two decades, I’ve watched how households who utilized this rule continue to increase their wealth by thinking of a primary residence as a place to live, not an investment.

In other words, an intimidating mortgage obligation was just too painful for couples who employed long-term consideration of other important goals they sought to fund.

I then consider my household’s variable and specific fixed expenses.

Entertainment, groceries, and clothing. I also examine costs for utilities and car insurance (not cheap with a college-bound daughter driving). The general rule is 30% of after-tax income for ‘wants.’ Auto insurance is a need, not a want. However, with the ability to shop around for better rates or utilize insurance company ‘drive-pay’ programs that reward responsible drivers, I place auto insurance into the variable category.

My current variable expenses are 9% of my monthly after-tax household income. I understand I no longer have a household with young children where variable expenses are greater. However, my personal inflation rate stands at 7.7%. Want to calculate yours? Click here.

However, that doesn’t mean as a growing family, you shouldn’t create your own rules, which still allow for a robust savings rate. At RIA, we believe variable monthly expenses shouldn’t exceed 20% of after-tax income.

If you’re disappointed by your ratio results, be grateful for new awareness and schedule a meeting with your financial professional in January to create an action plan for improvement. Hence, when ratios are calculated next year, they’re much healthier.

Openly communicate about money, especially mistakes, with loved ones.

Holidays, when there is downtime from work and family gathers, seem to allow communication flow about money.

Children: Your children are monitoring your relationship with money. What is your outward expression towards debt, savings, and general household financial management, especially when communicating with immediate family?

Your children will learn from the example if your relationship with money is positive or one of control and discipline. If your relationship with money is negative, stressful, extravagant, or reckless, the kids will pick up on that, too.

Smart money beliefs and actions can lead to smart money scripts by the younger generations around you.

Generally, if you’re a saver, your children will be too. According to a survey from 2017, parents with three or more types of savings are more likely to have kids who discuss money with them and less likely to have kids who spend money as soon as they get it or lie about their spending.

I have found that parents who openly communicate their financial failures and how they worked through them raise fiscally intuitive children. Get the kids to help you with three ideas to tackle financial ghosts.

Kids want to know you’re human. You mess up!

Most important is how you acknowledged and changed erroneous behavior. Give the gift of wisdom this season!

Parents: Older parents are challenged to communicate final intentions with their children, or they decide to let estate planning documents speak for them. Big mistake. If you seek to create a Ghost of Future Turmoil for heirs, go ahead and remain tight-lipped about how you wish assets dispersed, including family heirlooms and whom you selected as the executor of your will and why.

Perhaps John doesn’t want great-grandmother’s fine China, but Erica does. 

Or Alan is bitter and wondering why your younger son, his brother, Edward is the executor of the estate instead of him. These are not small things. I’ve witnessed them generate irreparable family rifts. Make December the month where you communicate with the children and ask questions about the items they’d wish to inherit upon your passing. Take a moment to explain to siblings why one sibling is selected as executor and the logic that drove the decision.

Trim the expense tree.

The evergreen fir has been a part of winter festivals for roughly 1,000 years.


The first documented use of a tree at Christmas and New Year celebrations is argued between the cities of Tallinn in Estonia and Riga in Latvia! Both claim they had the first trees; Tallinn in 1441 and Riga in 1510. Both trees were put up by the Brotherhood of Blackheads, an association of local unmarried merchants, ship owners, and foreigners in Livonia (now Estonia and Latvia).

Little is known about either tree apart from being put in the town square, danced around by the Brotherhood of Blackheads, and then set on fire. This is like the custom of the Yule Log. The word used for the ‘tree’ could also mean a mast or pole. A tree might have been like a ‘Paradise Tree’ or a tree-shaped wooden candelabra rather than a ‘real’ tree.

Year-end credit card and checking account statements should be available from your financial institutions the first week of January. Today’s statements do an excellent job of categorizing expenses. Access, print, and review all statements.

Analyze your household spending for 2022.

Many statements outline prior years’ spending by category and how it compares to the current. From there, begin to outline a spending budget for 2023 focusing on expense reduction and debt-to-income ratio improvement.

Let’s all try to make our financial ghosts the ones we don’t mind inviting into our homes at any time of year and use these three ideas to tackle 2022’s financial ghosts!

The post Three Ideas to Tackle Financial Ghosts. appeared first on RIA.

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Four burning questions about the future of the $16.5B Novo-Catalent deal

To build or to buy? That’s a classic question for pharma boardrooms, and Novo Nordisk is going with both.
Beyond spending billions of dollars to expand…



To build or to buy? That’s a classic question for pharma boardrooms, and Novo Nordisk is going with both.

Beyond spending billions of dollars to expand its own production capacity for its weight loss drugs, the Danish drugmaker said Monday it will pay $11 billion to acquire three manufacturing plants from Catalent. It’s part of a broader $16.5 billion deal with Novo Holdings, the investment arm of the pharma’s parent group, which agreed to acquire the contract manufacturer and take it private.

It’s a big deal for all parties, with potential ripple effects across the biotech ecosystem. Here’s a look at some of the most pressing questions to watch after Monday’s announcement.

Why did Novo do this?

Novo Holdings isn’t the most obvious buyer for Catalent, particularly after last year’s on-and-off M&A interest from the serial acquirer Danaher. But the deal could benefit both Novo Holdings and Novo Nordisk.

Novo Nordisk’s biggest challenge has been simply making enough of the weight loss drug Wegovy and diabetes therapy Ozempic. On last week’s earnings call, Novo Nordisk CEO Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen said the company isn’t constrained by capital in its efforts to boost manufacturing. Rather, the main challenge is the limited amount of capabilities out there, he said.

“Most pharmaceutical companies in the world would be shopping among the same manufacturers,” he said. “There’s not an unlimited amount of machinery and people to build it.”

While Novo was already one of Catalent’s major customers, the manufacturer has been hamstrung by its own balance sheet. With roughly $5 billion in debt on its books, it’s had to juggle paying down debt with sufficiently investing in its facilities. That’s been particularly challenging in keeping pace with soaring demand for GLP-1 drugs.

Novo, on the other hand, has the balance sheet to funnel as much money as needed into the plants in Italy, Belgium, and Indiana. It’s also struggled to make enough of its popular GLP-1 drugs to meet their soaring demand, with documented shortages of both Ozempic and Wegovy.

The impact won’t be immediate. The parties expect the deal to close near the end of 2024. Novo Nordisk said it expects the three new sites to “gradually increase Novo Nordisk’s filling capacity from 2026 and onwards.”

As for the rest of Catalent — nearly 50 other sites employing thousands of workers — Novo Holdings will take control. The group previously acquired Altasciences in 2021 and Ritedose in 2022, so the Catalent deal builds on a core investing interest in biopharma services, Novo Holdings CEO Kasim Kutay told Endpoints News.

Kasim Kutay

When asked about possible site closures or layoffs, Kutay said the team hasn’t thought about that.

“That’s not our track record. Our track record is to invest in quality businesses and help them grow,” he said. “There’s always stuff to do with any asset you own, but we haven’t bought this company to do some of the stuff you’re talking about.”

What does it mean for Catalent’s customers? 

Until the deal closes, Catalent will operate as a standalone business. After it closes, Novo Nordisk said it will honor its customer obligations at the three sites, a spokesperson said. But they didn’t answer a question about what happens when those contracts expire.

The wrinkle is the long-term future of the three plants that Novo Nordisk is paying for. Those sites don’t exclusively pump out Wegovy, but that could be the logical long-term aim for the Danish drugmaker.

The ideal scenario is that pricing and timelines remain the same for customers, said Nicole Paulk, CEO of the gene therapy startup Siren Biotechnology.

Nicole Paulk

“The name of the group that you’re going to send your check to is now going to be Novo Holdings instead of Catalent, but otherwise everything remains the same,” Paulk told Endpoints. “That’s the best-case scenario.”

In a worst case, Paulk said she feared the new owners could wind up closing sites or laying off Catalent groups. That could create some uncertainty for customers looking for a long-term manufacturing partner.

Are shareholders and regulators happy? 

The pandemic was a wild ride for Catalent’s stock, with shares surging from about $40 to $140 and then crashing back to earth. The $63.50 share price for the takeover is a happy ending depending on the investor.

On that point, the investing giant Elliott Investment Management is satisfied. Marc Steinberg, a partner at Elliott, called the agreement “an outstanding outcome” that “clearly maximizes value for Catalent stockholders” in a statement.

Elliott helped kick off a strategic review last August that culminated in the sale agreement. Compared to Catalent’s stock price before that review started, the deal pays a nearly 40% premium.

Alessandro Maselli

But this is hardly a victory lap for CEO Alessandro Maselli, who took over in July 2022 when Catalent’s stock price was north of $100. Novo’s takeover is a tacit acknowledgment that Maselli could never fully right the ship, as operational problems plagued the company throughout 2023 while it was limited by its debt.

Additional regulatory filings in the next few weeks could give insight into just how competitive the sale process was. William Blair analysts said they don’t expect a competing bidder “given the organic investments already being pursued at other leading CDMOs and the breadth and scale of Catalent’s operations.”

The Blair analysts also noted the companies likely “expect to spend some time educating relevant government agencies” about the deal, given the lengthy closing timeline. Given Novo Nordisk’s ascent — it’s now one of Europe’s most valuable companies — paired with the limited number of large contract manufacturers, antitrust regulators could be interested in taking a close look.

Are Catalent’s problems finally a thing of the past?

Catalent ran into a mix of financial and operational problems over the past year that played no small part in attracting the interest of an activist like Elliott.

Now with a deal in place, how quickly can Novo rectify those problems? Some of the challenges were driven by the demands of being a publicly traded company, like failing to meet investors’ revenue expectations or even filing earnings reports on time.

But Catalent also struggled with its business at times, with a range of manufacturing delays, inspection reports and occasionally writing down acquisitions that didn’t pan out. Novo’s deep pockets will go a long way to a turnaround, but only the future will tell if all these issues are fixed.

Kutay said his team is excited by the opportunity and was satisfied with the due diligence it did on the company.

“We believe we’re buying a strong company with a good management team and good prospects,” Kutay said. “If that wasn’t the case, I don’t think we’d be here.”

Amber Tong and Reynald Castañeda contributed reporting.

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Petrina Kamya, Ph.D., Head of AI Platforms at Insilico Medicine, presents at BIO CEO & Investor Conference

Petrina Kamya, PhD, Head of AI Platforms and President of Insilico Medicine Canada, will present at the BIO CEO & Investor Conference happening Feb….



Petrina Kamya, PhD, Head of AI Platforms and President of Insilico Medicine Canada, will present at the BIO CEO & Investor Conference happening Feb. 26-27 at the New York Marriott Marquis in New York City. Dr. Kamya will speak as part of the panel “AI within Biopharma: Separating Value from Hype,” on Feb. 27, 1pm ET along with Michael Nally, CEO of Generate: Biomedicines and Liz Schwarzbach, PhD, CBO of BigHat Biosciences.

Credit: Insilico Medicine

Petrina Kamya, PhD, Head of AI Platforms and President of Insilico Medicine Canada, will present at the BIO CEO & Investor Conference happening Feb. 26-27 at the New York Marriott Marquis in New York City. Dr. Kamya will speak as part of the panel “AI within Biopharma: Separating Value from Hype,” on Feb. 27, 1pm ET along with Michael Nally, CEO of Generate: Biomedicines and Liz Schwarzbach, PhD, CBO of BigHat Biosciences.

The session will look at how the latest artificial intelligence (AI) tools – including generative AI and large language models – are currently being used to advance the discovery and design of new drugs, and which technologies are still in development. 

The BIO CEO & Investor Conference brings together over 1,000 attendees and more than 700 companies across industry and institutional investment to discuss the future investment landscape of biotechnology. Sessions focus on topics such as therapeutic advancements, market outlook, and policy priorities.

Insilico Medicine is a leading, clinical stage AI-driven drug discovery company that has raised over $400m in investments since it was founded in 2014. Dr. Kamya leads the development of the Company’s end-to-end generative AI platform, Pharma.AI from Insilico’s AI R&D Center in Montreal. Using modern machine learning techniques in the context of chemistry and biology, the platform has driven the discovery and design of 30+ new therapies, with five in clinical stages – for cancer, fibrosis, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and COVID-19. The Company’s lead drug, for the chronic, rare lung condition idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, is the first AI-designed drug for an AI-discovered target to reach Phase II clinical trials with patients. Nine of the top 20 pharmaceutical companies have used Insilico’s AI platform to advance their programs, and the Company has a number of major strategic licensing deals around its AI-designed therapeutic assets, including with Sanofi, Exelixis and Menarini. 


About Insilico Medicine

Insilico Medicine, a global clinical stage biotechnology company powered by generative AI, is connecting biology, chemistry, and clinical trials analysis using next-generation AI systems. The company has developed AI platforms that utilize deep generative models, reinforcement learning, transformers, and other modern machine learning techniques for novel target discovery and the generation of novel molecular structures with desired properties. Insilico Medicine is developing breakthrough solutions to discover and develop innovative drugs for cancer, fibrosis, immunity, central nervous system diseases, infectious diseases, autoimmune diseases, and aging-related diseases. 

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Another country is getting ready to launch a visa for digital nomads

Early reports are saying Japan will soon have a digital nomad visa for high-earning foreigners.



Over the last decade, the explosion of remote work that came as a result of improved technology and the pandemic has allowed an increasing number of people to become digital nomads. 

When looked at more broadly as anyone not required to come into a fixed office but instead moves between different locations such as the home and the coffee shop, the latest estimate shows that there were more than 35 million such workers in the world by the end of 2023 while over half of those come from the United States.

Related: There is a new list of cities that are best for digital nomads

While remote work has also allowed many to move to cheaper places and travel around the world while still bringing in income, working outside of one's home country requires either dual citizenship or work authorization — the global shift toward remote work has pushed many countries to launch specific digital nomad visas to boost their economies and bring in new residents.

Japan is a very popular destination for U.S. tourists. 


This popular vacation destination will soon have a nomad visa

Spain, Portugal, Indonesia, Malaysia, Costa Rica, Brazil, Latvia and Malta are some of the countries currently offering specific visas for foreigners who want to live there while bringing in income from abroad.

More Travel:

With the exception of a few, Asian countries generally have stricter immigration laws and were much slower to launch these types of visas that some of the countries with weaker economies had as far back as 2015. As first reported by the Japan Times, the country's Immigration Services Agency ended up making the leap toward a visa for those who can earn more than ¥10 million ($68,300 USD) with income from another country.

The Japanese government has not yet worked out the specifics of how long the visa will be valid for or how much it will cost — public comment on the proposal is being accepted throughout next week. 

That said, early reports say the visa will be shorter than the typical digital nomad option that allows foreigners to live in a country for several years. The visa will reportedly be valid for six months or slightly longer but still no more than a year — along with the ability to work, this allows some to stay beyond the 90-day tourist period typically afforded to those from countries with visa-free agreements.

'Not be given a residence card of residence certificate'

While one will be able to reapply for the visa after the time runs out, this can only be done by exiting the country and being away for six months before coming back again — becoming a permanent resident on the pathway to citizenship is an entirely different process with much more strict requirements.

"Those living in Japan with the digital nomad visa will not be given a residence card or a residence certificate, which provide access to certain government benefits," reports the news outlet. "The visa cannot be renewed and must be reapplied for, with this only possible six months after leaving the countr

The visa will reportedly start in March and also allow holders to bring their spouses and families with them. To start using the visa, holders will also need to purchase private health insurance from their home country while taxes on any money one earns will also need to be paid through one's home country.

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