Watching China soar atop the leaders boards at the Olympics has reaffirmed something I’ve been considering for some time now – China’s influence on almost every aspect of the international scene will increase as we go forward.  Aside from all the moral objections many seem to have to the Chinese government (it’s so sad that wealth business people run their country… wait a second…) and jingoistic chants, my more pragmatic side asks: How can I benefit from this broad trend?

While many people out there on a daily basis write about whether or not to invest in China, or “how to play China’s need for natural resources” I think there is a more direct approach that might benefit young people even more.  Here in Canada we still consider French a national language.  Many people are picking up a little Spanish on their cheap winter getaways, and still others know a little of their mother-tongue (German, Russian, Ukrainian, etc) that is a holdover from their immigrant roots.  Yet even as our population becomes even more diverse than ever before we still largely ignore languages that would give an individual a very marketable skill set.

I believe that if you have a mind for politics and negotiation and wish to pursue a career in that field you might be best of learning Arabic, but Mandarin comes in a close second.  If you are looking to separate yourself from the pack when entering the business world, what would look more impressive and raise more eyebrows that know Mandarin?  With companies being forced to become more and more international, and people with any knowledge of China, its cultures, or the language of its elites/government, anyone who can put that on their resume gets a huge boost.  Hey, you want to ride the oil wave in Alberta, but don’t want to tear your lower back up by the time your 30?  I’m willing to bet that a few of these companies that are routinely negotiating with the Chinese would be willing to take you on.  Think of how valuable those skills would be in a board room setting.  Last time I checked we weren’t selling too many products to France these days, and there wasn’t a huge shortage of Canadians who could speak the language, instead, I propose investing time in learning Mandarin instead!  I’m not a big fan of forcing kids into doing too much, but I would argue that rather than badgering them to learn an instrument, getting to them to jump on some “learning Mandarin” software for 20 minutes a day would pay huge dividends.

Right now my hands are pretty full, but after my M. Ed degree wraps up, I think learning Mandarin could be a pretty cool side project.  Has anyone out there tried learning the language with only an English background before?  How difficult was it relative to learning other subjects?

Anyway, here is the gold medal list of blogs for this week:

Jeremy @ Modest Money writes Does Everyone Need An Emergency Fund? – I just cannot wrap my head around the concept that apparently everyone should tie up a large sum of money in a low interest savings account. While it does make sense for people with debt problems, it just does not seem logical for anyone with decent credit. In such cases a small emergency fund should be adequate.

Sicorra @ Tackling Our Debt writes Are You an Impulse Spender? – Are you an impulse spender? Do you spend money because it is fun to spend? Do you often find yourself looking at your…

Deacon Hayes @ Well Kept Wallet writes The Purpose of an Emergency Fund – Emergencies happen and you need to be prepared. If you were to have the transmission go out on your car, how would you pay for it? Would you put it on a credit card? If the emergency cost you $2,000, how long would it take you to pay off that card? With an Emergency Fund, you can plan for the unknown and avoid paying more than you need to.

Steven Zussino @ Grocery Alerts writes Ultimate Cloth vs. Disposable Diaper Calculator – Do you know if cloth diapers or disposable diapers less expensive? We created a calculator that looks at 17 types of cloth diapers (including all-in-one and hybrid cloth diaper systems) and provide pricing for different types of disposable diapers. The calculator looks closely at the cleaning costs, electricity, and hydro and looks at diaper use estimates from several sources and tells you what each system costs.

Earth and Money @ Earth and Money writes Seven Reasons for Renting over Buying – There’s a lot of reasons to buy property, but sometimes its better to rent. Here’s seven reasons why renting is better than buying.

Robert @ Entrepreneurship & Life writes Getting Started Tracking Your New Business Finances – You started a business! You got customers! You made money! Congrats! But don’t pat yourself on the back too much just yet. You have to figure out what to do with that first check paid to your new business.

Everything Finance @ Everything Finance Blog writes Career Vs. Family: The Pressure to Have It All – At 28, I have heard the faintest tick-tock of my biological clock and am starting to wonder where motherhood will fit into the career path I have created. I have spent the past six years since graduating college on working my way up the corporate ladder to get to the place I am now, making a solid five-figure salary doing a job I enjoy. And yet, one of my biggest fears is that I will have to place my children in daycare.

Bridget @ Money After Graduation writes Why I travel – Read my philosophy with respect to traveling and why I love it.

Kyle @ The Penny Hoarder writes Earn Extra Cash As a Personal Paparazzi Photographer – Are you an amateur or professional photographer wanting to put your talent to use while earning some money in the process? Here is what you can do to earn extra money.

Passive Income Earner @ The Passive Income Earner writes Why Hold High Yield Stocks – High yield investments can play a part in your portfolio. Even though I am a fan of the 10/10 rule of investing which focuses on the growth of a dividend stock,a high yield dividend stock (or income trust) can have a part in a portfolio. In fact, I have high yield investments in my portfolio.

Jason @ Work Save Live writes Does Canceling a Credit Card Hurt Your Credit? – Should You Consider Canceling Your Credit Card? Nearly everybody on this planet knows that Dave Ramsey is against credit cards; so much so that he shuns the idea of utilizing cards for their rewards and encourages people to CANCEL all of their cards despite the fact that canceling it may hurt your credit.

Ashley @ Money Talks Coaching writes Childhood Money Memories – I went to a financial seminar this past weekend and one of the exercises was to think as far back as you could and tell a 2 minute story about a money memory

Lance @ Money Life & More writes It Pays to Ask For More – Coke Zero Commercial “And…?” – I can’t count the number of times I’ve gotten something more simply because I asked for more. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t just say “and…” with no reason to back it up and have someone give me free money. You always need a reason and shouldn’t just expect a hand out.

John @ Married (with Debt) writes Workplace Stress – The verdict is in – your job is killing you. More specifically, workplace stress is killing you. This means we’ve come full circle from our days as cavemen, when our biggest source of stress was finding food.

Jon the Saver @ Free Money Wisdom writes 13 Part-time Jobs With Benefits – Do you want some good news on the employment front? Here it is: you can get employee benefits on many part-time jobs.

Crystal @ Budgeting in the Fun Stuff writes Student Loan Advice – Check out my student loan advice, see if I can help you.

Luke @ Learn Bonds writes Can we Trust Corporate Bond Credit Ratings? – Although there is a lack of trust in the rating agencies after the financial crisis you can still trust corporate bond credit ratings.

Kevin @ Thousandaire writes Social Security Taxes the Poor to Benefit Rich White People – The people who live the longest (rich white people) benefit most from Social Security. We need to stop taxing poor people to give money to rich people.

Amanda L Grossman @ Frugal Confessions writes Frugal Cures for Cubicle Fever – I am reading a fantastic book right now that has caused bursts of belly laughter to escape from my mouth at random moments throughout the day.

Jen @ Master the Art of Saving writes USDA Guaranteed Home Loan – I knew absolutely nothing about USDA guaranteed loans when we applied for one. So I thought I would share a little bit about what I’ve learned so far………..

Wayne @ Young Family Finance writes The Cost of Being Sick – Being sicks can put a huge strain on your normal life. It can not only cost you a lot of money, but cause social disruptions.

YFS @ Your Finances Simplified writes A Few Reasons Why Asset Allocation is Important – When it comes to investing, many people recommend that you diversify your accounts. The idea is to not put all your eggs in one basket.

Ryan @ Early Retirement Investments writes How Much Risk is Involved in Spread Betting? – Really! How much risk is involved in spread betting! Read more to find out…

Maria @ The Money Principle writes The Limits of Social Acceptability: payday loans and credit cards debt – Payday loans have bad reputation. In this article we discuss some ways in which they can be used reponsibly.

SFB @ Simple Finance Blog writes How Does Corporate Finance Work? – Corporate finance is the finance of companies and businesses, and the tools used to make financial decisions for businesses. The primary goal of corporate finance is to increase the value of the company. Most corporate finance issues can be broken down into either long-term or short-term goals and decisions. For example, capital spending, long-term financing…

Roger the Amateur Financier @ The Amateur Financier writes Job Hunting Success – Retooling Your Job Hunt – Some advice on how you reshape your job hunt if you aren’t successful, and increase your chances of standing out from the crowd as you do.

Jester @ The Ultimate Juggle writes The Personal Power of Changing a Blog Theme – Change is important in life, sometimes just a little change like a blog theme can greatly change your attitude!

Jennifer Lynn @ Broke-Ass Mommy writes Boo To Those Sneaky Bank Fees – Sneaky bank fees suck, read my recent bad experience with them and why I think they are wrong!

Daisy @ Add Vodka writes Why Babysitting is an Awesome Side Hustle – I babysit as a side hustle. I watch two kids that live fairly close to where I work. It works out perfectly, because I get off at 4:00 and I start babysitting at 4:30 a couple of days a week.

Invest It Wisely @ Invest It Wisely writes Important Steps in the Home Buying Process – Here are the important steps in the home buying process. See if you agree.

Hank @ Money Q&A writes The Four Of The Best Car Insurance Discounts – Car insurance is an extremely competitive business which is great for the individual consumer. Most car insurance companies will keep their rates low in order to attract and keep consumers.

Ted Jenkin @ Your Smart Money Moves writes Three Ways Credit Card Companies Can Trick You – When the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act was put into place, credit card holders were supposed to benefit from the new

MR @ Money Reasons writes Spending Money Fail! How We Spend More Than We Realize – How spending on a car repair cause great financial anguish while the lunches I’d had that week cost even more! It funny what we worry about financially.

L Bee @ L Bee and the Money Tree writes The Magic of Compounding Interest on Student Loans – Below is a guest post by Drewski. In addition to being my main squeeze he also used to work as a broker in New York City and currently helps teach brokerage exams. Aside from being uber qualified, as a graduate student he knows first hand the cold fist that is compounding interest.

A Blinkin @ Funancials writes What is Supply Trade Finance? – Supply trade finance is when a company uses a bank (usually an international bank) to facilitate the transfer of goods or services, while also facilitating the payment for said goods or services in exchange. Basically, if you’re a US-based company, you don’t want to pay for goods from China until you are guaranteed they are on their way.

Shawanda @ You Have More Than You Think writes Changing Jobs? Why Cashing Out Your 401(k) Could Be a Costly Mistake – When a job change occurs, many workers cash out their 401(k), which can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in retirement assets.

PPlaner @ Provident Plan writes Signs of Dysfunctional Finances – Find out if your finances are dysfunctional. Do you find carry a credit card balance or live paycheck to paycheck? If so, it might be time for a change.

Suba @ Broke Professionals writes 6 Things to Do This Summer to Boost Your Promotion Potential – Here are six things to do this summer to boost your promotion potential!

Aloysa @ My Broken Coin writes What Would You Take With You in Case of a Fire? – I feel that I became too materialistic, too attached to stuff. If anything dreadful happens to us, I will be devastated by a loss of material things that took years to accumulate. I realize that material possessions are just bits and pieces of our lives and not really us. So if a fire happened, what would you grab first?

Sustainable PF @ Sustainable Personal Finance writes Want to Boost Your Savings? Consider a TFSA – One of the most interesting options that Canadians have when it comes to saving money is the Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA).

krantcents @ KrantCents writes The 3 Z’s of Success – The 3 Z’s of Success is twenty-six in a series of articles to help you reach your goal.

PITR @ Passive Income To Retire writes Want to retire? Answer these 3 Questions! – Find out what three questions every person should ask in preparation for retirement.

j @ All Things Finance writes 8 Ways To Earn Income When Interest Rates Suck – 8 investment strategies that will generate a much higher income than CDs and money market accounts. Rates are too low to invest your money in low yield products.

Daniel @ Sweating the Big Stuff writes Top Five Stress-Free Vacation Tips – Imagine having a stress free vacation: nothing too expensive, no crowds, and no worrying about how things are going back at work. Here’s how to do it.

Kanwal @ Simply Investing writes Are Your Investments Making You Money? Are You Happy With The Results? – Are Your Investments Making You Money? Are You Happy With The Results? Will You Have Enough to Retire? Can You Quit Working? If you answered “No” to any of the above questions, then the time to act is now. I know life is busy and it’s easy to put off investing for a few years, but before you know it’ll be too late.

J.P. @ Novel Investor writes Risk Basics: Understanding Interest Rate Risk – The last few years we’ve seen historically low-interest rates and a rising concern over interest rate risk. We need to understand interest rate risk, its effect on different assets, and how to mange it all.

MMD @ My Money Design writes Overcoming Envy – Why Do We Hate Other People’s Success? – Have you ever felt inadequate or frustrated with yourself about another person’s accomplishment? Learn about overcoming envy and what you can do rise about your emotions.

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