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A picture taken on September 25, 2019 in Bern shows the building of the Swiss National Bank (SNB), the central bank of Switzerland.

FABRICE COFFRINI | AFP | Getty Images

Switzerland’s central bank is working with the country’s stock exchange to examine the possible use of digital currencies in trading.

In a statement on Tuesday, Swiss stock exchange operator SIX Group said it was partnering with the Swiss National Bank (SNB) on a proof of concept to “explore how digital central bank money could be used in the settlement of tokenized assets between market participants.”

Such a framework could involve connecting the Swiss mechanism for clearing payments with the proposed digital exchange, or the issuance of an electronic version of the Swiss franc from the SNB.

The research will be carried out at a hub set up by the SNB in partnership with the Bank for International Settlements, an umbrella group for the world’s largest central banks.

‘Tokenization’

SIX has been working on a digital exchange that would use blockchain, the underlying technology behind cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, issue and settle trades in digital assets.

A big focus of the group is the “tokenization” of traditional assets like shares and bonds — essentially creating digital versions of such securities — a move the firm claims would reduce the time it takes to complete a trade, from a number of days down to less than a second.

Thomas Zeeb, head of securities and exchanges at SIX, recently told CNBC that it was seeing increased interest in the tokenization of niche investments like art gallery collections.

“Some of the Asian markets are quite keen on tokenizing things that are related to a passion,” he said in an interview last month. “You could tokenize part of the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, thereby fund some of that collection and attach to that access to the twice-a-year gala event.”

“That kind of passion investing is something that we’re seeing quite a lot of interest in,” he added.

The news comes as Facebook looks to introduce its libra cryptocurrency. Major global central banks have been looking further into the creation of their own digital currencies, with China’s central bank having recently said it is close to releasing its own virtual coin.

Meanwhile, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has proposed a digital alternative to the U.S. dollar to become the world’s reserve currency.

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Apple iPhone SE2 will cost $399 and launch in Q1 2020, Kuo says

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The iPhone 8 Plus camera’s portrait mode is fun! Here’s my dog.

Nina Raja | CNBC

TF Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says Apple’s new and more affordable iPhone will launch in the first quarter of next year for $399.

Kuo previously said the phone, which he calls the iPhone SE2, will include the same processor that’s in the new iPhone 11. It will succeed the iPhone SE, which launched in 2016.

An Apple spokesperson was not immediately available to comment.

In a note to investors Sunday, Kuo reiterated that the iPhone SE2 will have a similar design to the iPhone 8. That suggests Apple will be able to reuse parts from that phone while upgrading some of the internal components, like the processor and camera. It will be offered in silver, space gray and red, Kuo said.

Kuo also predicted that the budget iPhone will likely attract people who are still using the iPhone 6 and 6s, which he estimates are still being used by as many as 200 million people, even though those phones launched five years ago. He said the new phone will be a “key growth driver” for Apple next year.

The “iPhone 6 and 6s series are the best-selling iPhone series, and we estimate that around 170–200mn people are still using iPhone 6 and 6s series now,” Kuo wrote. “The iPhone 6 series users may have more urgent replacement demand for an upgraded model because iOS 13 doesn’t support iPhone 6 series.”

The iOS 13 software is Apple’s latest iPhone operating system, but it doesn’t support the iPhone 6. It was released last month.

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The No. 1 habit all self-made millionaires share, says money expert

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You are who you associate yourself with

That’s what I discovered through my “Rich Habits” study, in which I spent five years interviewing and researching the daily activities, habits and traits of 233 wealthy individuals (with at least $160,000 in annual gross income and $3.2 million in net assets) and 128 low-income individuals (with at least $35,000 in annual gross income and $5,000 in liquid assets).

It’s human nature to associate ourselves with like-minded people with whom we feel the most comfortable.

The ultra wealthy and successful, however, are a lot more selective when it comes to who they allow into their inner circle. Nearly all of the self-made millionaires I interviewed said one of their top priorities was cultivating “rich relationships” and avoiding the “toxic” ones.

‘Rich relationships’ are about mindset, not money

It’s important to note that a “rich relationship” is defined by mindset, rather than wealth.

In other words, individuals who contribute to rich relationships don’t necessarily have big bank accounts (though they do know how to save money and don’t spend recklessly), but they all have lofty goals and aspirations — and they spend much of their time trying to achieve them.

“I limit my exposure to toxic, negative people,” one individual in the wealthy group of my study told me. “Some of them may bring you down and infect you with their negativity, which can undermine your ability to creatively find solutions to problems and overcome obstacles.”

And it makes sense, doesn’t it? Those with a positive attitude are better able to stay focused on seeking and finding solutions to their problems. Positivity can make you a problem-solver, whereas negativity can make you a problem-finder.

Based on my research, individuals who contribute to rich relationships have at least one or several of the following traits:

  • Positive mental outlook: They’re the entire opposite of downers; they bring an upbeat and optimistic type of energy to the table.
  • Gratitude: They are appreciative and focus on what they have, not what others have.
  • Encouraging attitude: They inspire and motivate others to pursue their dreams.
  • Hard work ethics: They take action on their goals and never quit.
  • Health-oriented: They devote time to taking care of their physical and mental health. This might mean engaging in leisure time or exercising.
  • Humility: They see egotism as a deficiency.
  • Future-oriented: They invest in themselves and for the long-term, instead of seeking instant gratification.
  • Open to feedback: They accept feedback — from their friends, colleagues, family and mentors — and see it as a means to pivot what they’re doing in order to achieve success.
  • Loyalty: They are trustworthy, responsible and reliable.
  • Authenticity: They don’t pretend to be someone they aren’t. This is because they like who they are.
  • Influence: They have some degree of influence, power or recognition in their field of work. They can open doors for others that otherwise would have been closed.
  • Curious: They seek to improve their knowledge and skills in topics they want to learn more about. This might mean going the library, taking an online class or actively seeking mentors. 

As for the people who often contribute to “toxic relationships,” they usually have a very pessimistic view on everything and a “poor, poor me” attitude. They rarely take any sort of responsibility for the circumstances in life.

Nurturing ‘rich relationships’

Those in the wealthy group essentially see their relationships as trees: in order for their roots to grow, they must be nurtured.

Even billionaires Bill Gates and Warren Buffett agree that by choosing the right group of friends, you can push yourself to achieve bigger professional goals. “You will move in the direction of the people that you associate with,” Buffett once said.

Making sure the relationship thrives and continues to do so over time takes a lot of work and commitment. Here are the four most common things the self-made millionaires in my study did every day to deepen and maintain their rich relationships:

  • Make hello calls: This is about gathering information while at the same time truly getting to know the other person.
  • Make happy birthday calls: When you wish someone a happy birthday, it says to them that they’re important to you.
  • Make life event calls: Life event calls (e.g., to people who just had a baby, got married, experienced a death in the family) are critical. Those you reach out to will never forget your kind and thoughtful gesture.
  • Network: Participating in or running business organizations, nonprofits or trade associations is critical to success. Plus, it’s how you meet influential people who can add to your rich relationships.

We are only as successful as the people we spend the most time with. If you want to create and grow your wealth, you have to evaluate each of your relationships and determine whether it’s rich or toxic.

Tom Corley is an accountant, financial planner and author of “Rich Kids: How to Raise Our Children to Be Happy and Successful in Life” and “Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals.”

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US being hit harder by trade war than China

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The U.S. economy is being hit harder than the Chinese economy by the long-running trade war between Washington and Beijing, influential Chinese financier Weijian Shan told CNBC on Monday.

“Both parties lose from the trade war, but the numbers suggest that the damage to the U.S. side is greater, in percentage terms, than to the Chinese economy,” said Shan, a U.S.-trained economist and chairman and CEO of Asian private equity giant PAG. PAG has offices in China and Hong Kong and about $30 billion of assets under management.

“That doesn’t mean that the Chinese economy is not severely damaged. … For China, the business confidence in particular has been hit very hard in the past 15 months,” Shan said on “Squawk on the Street.” He spoke just hours after reports that China wants another round of talks before signing what President Donald Trump called last week the first phase of a trade deal between the two nations.

Trump said on Friday that China agreed to buy more U.S. agricultural products and made a commitment to address intellectual property concerns. The U.S. agreed to hold off on a tariff rate hike that was supposed to go into effect Tuesday.

Earlier Monday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on CNBC would not comment directly on the status of the deal, but said it’s a “fundamental agreement in principle” that’s “subject to documentation.” Mnuchin said he expects “phase one will close.” But if it doesn’t, he said a new round of tariffs on Chinese goods, set for mid-December, would take effect.

“They’ve reached an understanding, but the devil is in the details, so they have to work out the details and agree on paper,” Shan said, noting how positive signs in June quickly devolved into additional tariff hikes. Both sides are hoping Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are able to meet and sign the phase one of the trade deal at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit next month in Chile.

Shan’s argument that the U.S. has seen greater impacts from the trade war were the subject of an op-ed in “Foreign Affairs” with the headline: “The Unwinnable Trade War.” Throughout the escalating trade dispute, both China and the U.S. have been saying that the other’s economy is bearing the brunt of the tariffs.

However, Shan wrote, “The tariffs did not compel Chinese exporters to reduce their prices; instead, the full cost of the tariffs hit American consumers.”

He also pointed to China’s decision to only place tariffs on U.S. goods that can be replaced with imports from other countries at similar prices.”

“It actually lowered duties for those U.S. products that can’t be bought elsewhere more cheaply, such as semiconductors and pharmaceuticals,” he wrote. “Consequently, China’s import prices for the same products have dropped overall, in spite of higher tariffs on U.S. imports.”

Shan acknowledged on CNBC the trade war has “accelerated” the process, already underway, of companies moving supply chains out of China into Southeast Asian countries. “It’s having some impact on the Chinese economy, but it is not going to be very substantial.”

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