No savings at 40? I’d forget cash savings and buy FTSE 100 stocks today

first_img Renowned stock-picker Mark Rogers and his analyst team at The Motley Fool UK have named 6 shares that they believe UK investors should consider buying NOW.So if you’re looking for more stock ideas to try and best position your portfolio today, then it might be a good day for you. Because we’re offering a full 33% off your first year of membership to our flagship share-tipping service, backed by our ‘no quibbles’ 30-day subscription fee refund guarantee. Image source: Getty Images. I would like to receive emails from you about product information and offers from The Fool and its business partners. Each of these emails will provide a link to unsubscribe from future emails. More information about how The Fool collects, stores, and handles personal data is available in its Privacy Statement. Having no retirement savings at age 40 doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be reliant on the State Pension to fund your outgoings in older age. However, it does mean that starting to plan for retirement sooner rather than later could be a good idea.Of course, where you invest your hard-earned cash can make a significant difference to your standard of living in older age. Here’s why it may be a shrewd move to avoid cash savings and buy a range of FTSE 100 shares for the long term instead.5G is here – and shares of this ‘sleeping giant’ could be a great way for you to potentially profit!According to one leading industry firm, the 5G boom could create a global industry worth US$12.3 TRILLION out of thin air…And if you click here we’ll show you something that could be key to unlocking 5G’s full potential…Cash savingsHaving some cash is always a good idea. It provides peace of mind, as well as the capacity to pay for unexpected events such as repair bills. However, relying on cash savings to provide a return which can improve your retirement prospects may lead to significant disappointment.Currently, cash savings accounts offer an annual interest rate of around 1.25%. Therefore, in most cases, they may struggle to offer a positive after-inflation return over the coming years. This could lead to reduced spending power in older age.Looking ahead, cash savings accounts may not experience a significant improvement in their returns. Inflation is currently low, while the prospects for the UK economy are uncertain. This may convince the Bank of England to maintain low interest rates, or even move to lower them, which could be bad news for savers.FTSE 100 prospectsWhile cash savings may fail to produce strong returns in the coming years, the FTSE 100 could have a positive impact on your retirement prospects. It currently trades at a relatively appealing price level, since risks such as Brexit, political uncertainty in the US and coronavirus have impacted negatively on investor sentiment in 2020.This could provide buying opportunities for investors who have a long time horizon. The track record of the index shows it has always recovered from its downturns to produce high single-digit annual returns. And, with many of its members currently offering higher yields than their historic averages and lower valuations than they have done in the recent past, now could be the right time to start building a portfolio of FTSE 100 stocks.A simple processThe process for buying FTSE 100 shares isn’t especially complex, nor is it expensive. Opening a tax-efficient account, such as a Stocks and Shares ISA, takes less than 10 minutes online in most cases, while buying shares is a simple process which is now more accessible to a wider range of investors, due to falling commission costs over recent years.As such, starting to invest for your retirement could be an easier process than you’d previously imagined. And, through buying and holding FTSE 100 shares, you may be able to generate significantly higher returns than from cash savings, which improves your prospects of enjoying financial freedom in older age. “This Stock Could Be Like Buying Amazon in 1997” I’m sure you’ll agree that’s quite the statement from Motley Fool Co-Founder Tom Gardner.But since our US analyst team first recommended shares in this unique tech stock back in 2016, the value has soared.What’s more, we firmly believe there’s still plenty of upside in its future. In fact, even throughout the current coronavirus crisis, its performance has been beating Wall St expectations.And right now, we’re giving you a chance to discover exactly what has got our analysts all fired up about this niche industry phenomenon, in our FREE special report, A Top US Share From The Motley Fool. No savings at 40? I’d forget cash savings and buy FTSE 100 stocks today Peter Stephens | Saturday, 15th February, 2020 center_img Simply click below to discover how you can take advantage of this. Our 6 ‘Best Buys Now’ Shares Click here to claim your copy now — and we’ll tell you the name of this Top US Share… free of charge! See all posts by Peter Stephens Enter Your Email Address Peter Stephens has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.last_img read more

The gold price has crashed! I’m buying UK shares to get rich and retire early

first_img Our 6 ‘Best Buys Now’ Shares “This Stock Could Be Like Buying Amazon in 1997” Harvey Jones | Thursday, 13th August, 2020 Click here to claim your copy now — and we’ll tell you the name of this Top US Share… free of charge! Renowned stock-picker Mark Rogers and his analyst team at The Motley Fool UK have named 6 shares that they believe UK investors should consider buying NOW.So if you’re looking for more stock ideas to try and best position your portfolio today, then it might be a good day for you. Because we’re offering a full 33% off your first year of membership to our flagship share-tipping service, backed by our ‘no quibbles’ 30-day subscription fee refund guarantee. The gold price has crashed! I’m buying UK shares to get rich and retire early This has been a rotten year for UK shares, and a great year for the gold price. It has risen by around a third this year, breaking through its all-time high of $2,000 an ounce. Despite this, I’ve been urging people to buy shares, and shun gold. Am I completely daft?I don’t think so. If you’re investing to generate enough money to get rich and retire early, I still believe investing in FTSE 100 shares will prove more rewarding in the longer run than piling into gold. For a supposed store of value, the precious metal is too risky for me.5G is here – and shares of this ‘sleeping giant’ could be a great way for you to potentially profit!According to one leading industry firm, the 5G boom could create a global industry worth US$12.3 TRILLION out of thin air…And if you click here we’ll show you something that could be key to unlocking 5G’s full potential…The gold price can fall just as swiftly as it rises, and stay low for years. It soared in 1979, following the Iranian revolution and Russian invasion of Afghanistan, only to crash 54% by 1982. The price then drifted sideways for the next 10 years. Similarly, gold hit its previous all-time high of $1,837 during the eurozone crisis in 2012. When the crisis eased, it fell 42%, according to figures from FundCalibre.Here’s why I’d rather buy UK sharesOn Tuesday, gold suffered its steepest one-day crash in seven years, dropping 6.6% to $1,865. It has recovered slightly, but this is a shot across the bows for gold bugs. I don’t expect a gold price crash yet, but it could happen. Especially if scientists find a vaccine, and we can finally put Covid-19 behind us.UK shares have also fallen sharply this year, of course. On 23 March, they were down by a third. They would have fallen further if the UK Federal Reserve hadn’t flooded markets with trillions of dollars of liquidity. Despite the recovery, they’re still 20% below their January high.During the stock market crash in March, I said buy UK shares. After it recovered, I said the same thing. Sorry if I sound like a stuck record. While I think investors have space in their portfolios for gold, I would never hold more than 5% or 10%, as a diversifier. Remember, gold pays no income. You only make money when the price rises, and that depends entirely on investor sentiment.The gold price isn’t enoughWhen you buy UK shares, you’re taking a stake in top businesses that generate the wealth our society is built on. Energy companies, utilities, healthcare, natural resources, food and clothing, technology and telecoms, and property. Not just some shiny metal that sits in a vault.UK shares give you capital growth when stock markets rise, and dividend income even when they don’t. Some top FTSE 100 companies still offer yields of around 7% a year, despite the recent wave of dividend suspensions. Buying companies like these and holding them for the long-term is one of the best ways I know to build your retirement wealth.After this year’s market crash, stocks look cheap. Gold seems expensive. That’s another reason to favour UK shares today. I’m sure you’ll agree that’s quite the statement from Motley Fool Co-Founder Tom Gardner.But since our US analyst team first recommended shares in this unique tech stock back in 2016, the value has soared.What’s more, we firmly believe there’s still plenty of upside in its future. In fact, even throughout the current coronavirus crisis, its performance has been beating Wall St expectations.And right now, we’re giving you a chance to discover exactly what has got our analysts all fired up about this niche industry phenomenon, in our FREE special report, A Top US Share From The Motley Fool.center_img Image source: Getty Images. Harvey Jones has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Simply click below to discover how you can take advantage of this. Enter Your Email Address I would like to receive emails from you about product information and offers from The Fool and its business partners. Each of these emails will provide a link to unsubscribe from future emails. More information about how The Fool collects, stores, and handles personal data is available in its Privacy Statement. See all posts by Harvey Joneslast_img read more

Law Commission overhaul of Will-writing necessary but safeguards needed, says Remember A Charity

first_img Melanie May | 10 November 2017 | News About Melanie May Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via www.thepurplepim.com. Law Commission overhaul of Will-writing necessary but safeguards needed, says Remember A Charity AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis20 Charity consortium Remember A Charity has welcomed proposals for electronic and video Wills in its submission to the Law Commission’s consultation, but warns that legacy giving must be safeguarded.The Law Commission’s consultation on Wills closes today (10 November). In its submission, Remember A Charity says that while introducing electronic and video Wills will have the welcome benefit of easing the Will-making process for many, this must be balanced with added safeguards to protect the public and minimise the risk of dispute. It supports the development of electronic and video Wills from regulated providers, and recommends a centralised national Wills storage system among a range of measures to modernise the current framework.Rob Cope, Director of Remember A Charity, said:“If the legal profession gets the balance right, this overhaul of Will-writing could be crucial for growing charitable legacies. Introducing electronic and video as a means particularly for those who can no longer write or visit a solicitor’s office is certainly welcome. But we need to be mindful that relaxing the laws around what makes a Will legally valid could create uncertainty and increase the scope for legacy disputes. This means having more accessible, regulated will-writing opportunities, while ensuring appropriate checks are in place to test mental capacity and protect against undue influence.“With contested Wills on the rise, charities are keen to avoid the emotional, financial and reputational costs associated with inheritance disputes, defending donors’ wishes and their own legal obligation for funds allocated to them. We are keen to ensure that the new system provides greater protection for the public and minimises the scope for conflict between charities and any other potential recipients.”In addition, with an estimated 4 in 10 people currently dying without a Will, Remember A Charity’s consultation submission is also encouraging a public campaign to tackle intestacy. Advertisementcenter_img Tagged with: legacies legacy pledges Institute of Legacy Management response to consultationThe Institute of Legacy Management has also raised concerns that the Law Commission’s consultation on Wills fails to pay sufficient attention to the increasing impact of technology on will making.In its response to the consultation, the Institute of Legacy Management said the growing trend towards writing Wills through the use of technology was already affecting the probate process, but that the consultation failed to acknowledge this, and the issues it may cause.Chris Millward, Chief Executive of the Institute of Legacy Management, said:“Our members are already seeing the consequences of Wills made online, and as we become more reliant on technology, this is likely to increase. There is a risk of badly drawn up Wills resulting in donors’ final wishes being frustrated, and failing, meaning charities and their beneficiaries miss out on vital support. The introduction of fully electronic Wills would complicate the process further.“The law needs to catch up quicker with the changing way people are writing Wills. We can embrace technology while retaining essential safeguards and standards to make sure such wills are legally robust and vulnerable people are protected. Tighter regulation and standardisation of online Will-writing platforms would help achieve this.”  241 total views,  1 views today  242 total views,  2 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis20last_img read more

Angolan police unleash dog on reporter covering protest

first_img Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is outraged to learn that an Angolan radio reporter ended up in hospital after being badly bitten by a police dog while interviewing protesters in Ondjiva, the capital of the southern province of Cunene. The police officers responsible for unleashing the dog on him must receive an exemplary punishment, RSF said. to go further October 28, 2020 Find out more News Angolan radio reporter Alfredo Kuito after being bitten by a police dog. Alfredo Kuito, a reporter for Catholic Church-run Rádio Ecclésia, Angola’s oldest privately-owned radio station, was covering a small civil society protest against the government on 5 February when one of the dogs let loose by the police to disperse the protesters bit his leg through his jeans, inflicting injuries requiring hospital treatment.“The police unleashed the dogs as I was conducting interviews and was clearly identifiable as a journalist by the Radio Ecclésia vest I was wearing,” Kuito told RSF. When RSF reached provincial police commander Leitão Ribeiro, he gave a sanitized version of the events, claiming that the dog only “scratched” Kuito when passing close to him.“The size of the tear to this journalist’s jeans and injuries to his leg are clear evidence of a very brutal attack and a completely arbitrary use of force,” said Arnaud Froger, the head of RSF’s Africa desk. “This was an appalling attack and it is unacceptable for the police to minimize its importance. Three years after President José Eduardo dos Santos’ departure, the level of abuses against journalists is still high. If the new authorities want the situation to evolve, they cannot dispense with a serious investigation into this incident leading to exemplary sanctions for those responsible.”This is not the first time journalists have been intimidated or attacked during protests in Angola. At least seven journalists were arrested, detained or roughed up in the capital, Luanda, on 24 October during a demonstration against corruption, unemployment and the postponement of the local elections that were supposed to have been held in 2020. Four journalists were briefly detained during a protest two weeks later against inflation and poor living conditions.Three years after João Lourenço became president, journalists are still harassed and persecuted and the media landscape continues to be marked by a lack of pluralism. The state’s grip on the media has even increased since July 2020, with the government gaining effective control over several media outlets that already had public funding, including TV Zimbo, which used to be the leading commercial TV channel, Radio Mais and the newspaper O País.Angola is ranked 106th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2020 World Press Freedom Index. Follow the news on Angola Cyber-attacks against Angolan news site and reporter News Help by sharing this information AngolaAfrica Condemning abusesProtecting journalists ImpunityViolence Receive email alertscenter_img AngolaAfrica Condemning abusesProtecting journalists ImpunityViolence Covid-19 in Africa: RSF joins a coalition of civil society organizations to demand the release of imprisoned journalists on the continent News February 17, 2021 Angolan police unleash dog on reporter covering protest October 9, 2020 Find out more News Organisation Crackdown on reporters covering Luanda demonstration RSF_en April 6, 2020 Find out morelast_img read more

Permian Basin String Quartet concert

first_img Facebook Local News The Midland-Odessa Symphony & Chorale will present Reimagined by the Permian Basin String Quartet at 7:30 p.m. Friday at First United Methodist Church, 300 N. Main St., Midland.The event will include “Quartet for Strings,” by Amy Beach; “Break Away,” by Jessie Montgomery; and “String Quartet No. 4,” by Dmitri Shostakovich.Tickets are $15 and students are free. Tickets may be purchased at the door.For tickets, visit mosc.org. Twitter Pinterest By Odessa American – May 6, 2021 Facebook Twittercenter_img WhatsApp WhatsApp TAGSMidland-Odessa Symphony & ChoralePermian Basin String QuartetReimagined Pinterest Permian Basin String Quartet concert Previous articleHispanic Chamber of Commerce Cinco de Mayo MixerNext article‘We Will Rock You’ Odessa Americanlast_img read more

SDLP to raise concerns of the people in North West on Britain’s High Court…

first_img Twitter Pinterest Google+ 365 additional cases of Covid-19 in Republic Google+ Pinterest By admin – November 3, 2016 WhatsApp Previous articleCouncillor Sean McEniff in a serious condition in Spanish hospitalNext articleDonegal boxer is named captain of Team Ireland ahead of World Youth Boxing Championships admin RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Twitter 75 positive cases of Covid confirmed in North center_img Facebook Further drop in people receiving PUP in Donegal SDLP to raise concerns of the people in North West on Britain’s High Court ruling appeal on Article 50 Homepage BannerNews A High Court ruling earlier today means the British Parliament must vote on whether the UK can start the process of leaving the European Union.The British Government this morning lost its case that it has power under the royal prerogative to trigger Article 50 without putting it to MPs.The government is now expected to appeal that decision, and the Supreme Court has earmarked December 7 and 8 to hear the case.SDLP MLA, Daniel McCrossan says his party will now ensure that concerns raised in Northern Ireland will be carried to the Supreme Court in the process of the appeal …Audio Playerhttp://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/dan530.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume. Facebook Main Evening News, Sport and Obituaries Tuesday May 25th Man arrested on suspicion of drugs and criminal property offences in Derry Gardai continue to investigate Kilmacrennan fire WhatsApplast_img read more

Zac Erekson Named As New Snow Head Football Coach

first_img Tags: Snow College football Brad James FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailEPHRAIM, Utah-In news released Monday, Snow College head football coach Andrew Mitchell resigned and associate head coach Zac Erekson has been appointed in his stead.Snow College athletics director Rob Nielsen confirmed Mitchell resigned his position to pursue other opportunities.The changes are effective immediately.Mitchell took over the position in December 2018, coaching the Badgers during the 2019 season.He led the Badgers to a 5-3 (.625) record in his only season at the helm, including a 30-27 win at Garden City (Kan.) when the Broncbusters were No. 3 in the national polls.Erekson is currently in his second season with the Badgers’ football program and his 12th overall season in coaching.He has previously served as the athletics director and head football coach at Skyline High School of Millcreek, Utah.Prior to his time with the Eagles’ football program and athletic department, he coached high school football throughout Texas for 8 years.Among his attainments in Texas High School football was coaching at O.H. Cooper High School of Abilene, Texas where he led the Coogs (Cougars) to a 12-2 record in 2011.He coached several future Division I college football prospects, such as Texas receiver Lorenzo Joe (2014-2017 with the Longhorns), Texas Tech quarterback Clayton Nicholas (2012-2013 with the Red Raiders), former BYU tailback/receiver Trey Dye (2014-2015; 2017 with the Cougars), Houston tailback Joseph Glenn (2013 at the University of Houston) and Army defensive back Max Regan (2015-2018 with the Black Knights).Erekson is a native of Mapleton, Utah and graduated from Springville High School. He was a 12-time letterman for the Red Devils, competing in football, basketball, baseball and track.Erekson played football at Dixie State College (now Dixie State University), before graduating following his freshman season.Erekson transferred to BYU in 2006, playing receiver for the Cougars on their Mountain West Conference championship-winning squad and graduating with a degree in communications.Subsequently, he earned his master’s degree in athletic administration from Azusa Pacific University of Azusa, Calif.He and his wife, Juli, have a 9-year-old daughter and two sons, aged 6 and 5, with a fourth child expected in May. November 17, 2020 /Sports News – Local Zac Erekson Named As New Snow Head Football Coach Written bylast_img read more

Fawaz, Shapiro to lead Harvard Overseers for 2011-12

first_imgLeila Fawaz, A.M. ’72, Ph.D. ’79, a Tufts University professor, former dean of humanities and arts, and prominent social historian of the Middle East, has been elected president of Harvard’s Board of Overseers for 2011-12.Robert N. Shapiro ’72, J.D. ’78, past president of both the Harvard Alumni Association and the Harvard Law School Association, who is also a leading Boston lawyer with wide-ranging board experience, will become vice chair of the Board of Overseers’ executive committee.Both Fawaz and Shapiro will be serving the final year of their six-year Overseer terms. They will assume their new roles following Commencement this spring, succeeding Seth P. Waxman ’73, former solicitor general of the United States and a partner at the law firm WilmerHale in Washington, D.C., and Mitchell L. Adams ’66, M.B.A. ’69, executive director of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative.“We’re greatly fortunate to have such an outstanding pair of Overseers to lead the board forward next year,” said Harvard President Drew Faust. “Leila Fawaz and Rob Shapiro have brought extraordinary dedication and insight to their service as Overseers these past five years, and it will be a privilege to benefit from their leadership and guidance in 2011-12.”Leila Fawaz A longtime partner at the Boston-based law firm Ropes & Gray, Shapiro is a leading member and former head of the firm’s private client practice and the partner in charge of firm-wide attorney training.Shapiro graduated from Harvard College in 1972, having concentrated in philosophy, then studied at Trinity College, Cambridge, as a Fiske Scholar. After teaching secondary school English, he attended Harvard Law School, where he was a winner of the Ames Moot Court Competition and received his J.D. in 1978.Long a major presence in Harvard alumni affairs, he served as president of the Harvard Law School Association from 2000 to 2002 and as president of the Harvard Alumni Association in 1991-92. He has been a co-chair of his 25th, 30th, and 35th College reunions.As an Overseer, he chairs the standing committee on institutional policy. He also serves on the executive committee, the committees on humanities and arts and on alumni affairs and development, and the governing boards’ joint committee on appointments. He was an Overseer member of the corporation’s governance review committee in 2010 and is currently a member of the search committee for new members of the corporation.One of the most active figures in Harvard’s visitation process in recent decades, he serves on the visiting committees to the College, the Divinity School, the Art Museums, and Memorial Church, as well as the Departments of Classics, English, History, the History of Art and Architecture, Philosophy, Romance Languages and Literatures, and Visual and Environmental Studies.Widely experienced as a trustee of educational and cultural organizations, he is president of the board of trustees of the Peabody Essex Museum and is an overseer of the Handel & Haydn Society. He is a former trustee of Phillips Exeter Academy and the Noble and Greenough School.First created as the “Committee as to the colledg at New Towne” by order of the General Court of the Colony of Massachusetts Bay in 1637, the Board of Overseers dates to the earliest days of Harvard College. It is the larger of Harvard’s two governing boards, the other being the President and Fellows of Harvard College (also known as the Harvard Corporation). Members of the Board of Overseers are elected annually by holders of Harvard degrees. Typically, five Overseers are elected each year to six-year terms. Drawing on the diverse experience of its members, the board exerts broad influence over Harvard’s strategic directions, provides counsel to the University’s leadership on priorities and plans, has the power of consent to certain actions of the Corporation, and directs the visitation process by which various Harvard Schools and departments are periodically reviewed and assessed. Fawaz is the Issam M. Fares Professor of Lebanese and Eastern Mediterranean Studies and founding director of the Fares Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies at Tufts University, where she also holds appointments as professor of diplomacy at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and as professor of history.Born in Sudan to Greek-Orthodox Lebanese parents and raised in Lebanon, she studied at the American University of Beirut, where she received a B.A. in 1967 and an M.A. in 1968. She pursued graduate studies in history at Harvard, receiving her A.M. in 1972 and Ph.D. in 1979.A member of the Tufts faculty since 1979, she became a full professor in 1994 and chaired the History Department from 1994 to 1996. From 1996 to 2001, she served as dean of arts and humanities and as associate dean of the faculty. She is a recipient of the Lillian Leibner Award for Distinguished Teaching and Advising. Her leading publications include two co-edited volumes, “Transformed Landscapes” (American University of Cairo Press, 2009) and “Modernity and Culture” (Columbia University Press, 2002), and two authored volumes, “An Occasion for War” (University of California Press, 1994) and “Merchants and Migrants in Nineteenth-Century Beirut” (Harvard University Press, 1983). A Carnegie Scholar (2008-10), she is currently working on a study of the World War I experience of Muslims in the Middle East and South Asia.A former president of the Middle East Studies Association of North America and of the American University of Beirut Alumni Association of North America, she is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and of the Comité Scientifique of the Maison Méditerranéenne des Sciences de l’Homme at the Université de Provence. She has served on the advisory board of the Council for the International Exchange of Scholars and chaired the Council’s Fulbright Review Committee. Her editorial posts have included general editor of the book series “History and Society of the Modern Middle East” at Columbia University Press and editor-in-chief of the “International Journal of Middle East Studies.” Elected to the professional division of the American Historical Association, she has also served on the editorial board of the American Historical Review.A member of Harvard’s Board of Overseers since 2006, Fawaz has served on the board’s executive committee since 2009. She chairs the board’s social sciences committee, leads the executive committee’s subcommittee on visitation, and is a member of the visiting committees to the College, Radcliffe Institute, the History Department, the Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations Department, and International and Area Studies.In 2000, she received the International Institute of Boston’s New Citizen Award, given to immigrants who have made significant contributions within their respective communities.Robert Shapirolast_img read more

Diary from a darkened room

first_imgIf screenwriter and director Lorenzo DeStefano has his way, one of America’s oddest literary stories will soon appear on the big screen, with all its Harvard connections intact.“Hypergraphia,” a film project that has already signed Oscar nominee John Hurt for the lead role, tells the story of Boston recluse Arthur Crew Inman (1895-1963), whose 17 million-word diary is, one can safely assume, among the longest ever written. (By comparison, the diary of Samuel Pepys is a scanty 1.25 million words.)The title is the formal name for the overwhelming urge to write — on walls, napkins, and skin if no other means of expression are available. It’s sometimes associated with temporal lobe epilepsy or bipolar disorder, though not in Inman’s case.“He was a classic neurotic” and a strong hypochondriac, said neurologist Alice W. Flaherty ’85, M.D. ’94, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School who has chronicled her own bouts of hypergraphia. “This was a lonely guy. He shut himself away from the world, and he made himself happy by writing.”Inman’s 44-year diary comes in at 155 volumes. It’s not great writing, she said, but a powerful illustration of the redemptive power of art. “A lot of people give up and turn into vegetables,” said Flaherty, who wrote “The Midnight Disease,” a 2004 nonfiction bestseller on the neural origins of creativity. But Inman earned her grudging admiration because he chose to be “a vital member of his tiny world,” she said, “his world of one person.”Copies of the Inman diary were stashed for safekeeping in a Boston bank vault and even in a few salt mines. The original work now resides permanently in Harvard’s Houghton Library, along with photos, 100 hours of audio, and other artifacts.It was a Harvard English professor, Daniel Aaron, who managed to edit the epic diary down to a modest 1,600 pages. “The Inman Diary: A Public and Private Confession” was published in two volumes by Harvard University Press in 1985.“I read it straight through when it came out,” said DeStefano, then a film editor, theater director, and aspiring writer. He wrote a note to Aaron, and a year later — still fixated on the theatrical potential of the diary — caught a plane east to introduce himself.DeStefano acquired the film and drama rights 10 years ago. Before scripting the film, he wrote two plays based on the diary, in 2001 and 2002, and signed off on a 2007 chamber opera composed by Thomas Oboe Lee.But what was once a play “is very much a movie” now, he said, and will be an all-Massachusetts production. His partners include Brickyard Filmworks, a visual effects company in Boston, and producer Nicholas Paleologos, M.P.A. ’82, former director of the Massachusetts Film Office.“Hypergraphia” will be a narrative film with documentary elements, including archival footage from the eras that Inman obsessively described day by day: Prohibition (his third entry rails against “this crazy act”), the Jazz Age, the Great Depression, World War II, and the cultural tumult that began with the Kennedy assassination. (Two weeks later, Inman shot and killed himself.)The only son of a wealthy Atlanta cotton merchant, Inman first thought his self-published poetry would bring him fame. But his chief work soon became the diary. Virtually all of it was written in Garrison Hall, an apartment building in Boston’s South End where Inman — sensitive to light and noise and a hypochondriac — holed up in darkened rooms.Waiting on him was a cast of cooks, maids, and handymen, along with his wife, Evelyn Yates Inman, who remained enigmatically loyal. Inman counted them among the 1,000 “characters” of the diary, the people whose stories brought the real world into his sheltered life.Many were file clerks, waitresses, and schoolchildren — often girls from depressed circumstances — who were Inman’s “readers and talkers,” hired through classified ads for $1 an hour. While they sat with him in the dark, he pried away their secrets with charm and a genius for listening. Sadly, there was more. He called the girls — some as young as 12 — his “jade collection” and would often fondle them as they sat in his lap.Meeting this Arthur Inman, even by way of his words, was unsettling, said Aaron — a mixture of “the grotesque and the comical. You’re simultaneously entertained and disgusted.”DeStefano acknowledged Inman’s seedier side, along with his unhinged prejudices against blacks, Jews, and the poor. “This film is not a celebration of some heroic character,” he said. “It’s more of a forensic investigation of the complex, surprising, and ultimately fascinating human organism known as Arthur Inman.”During the seven years it took to edit the diaries, Aaron wrote personal letters to Inman in his own journals, diatribes at the old recluse’s creepy lusts and the co-equal seductions of being sick. (Inman, said Flaherty, “had deep wishes to be alone — but cared for.”)“He fancied himself a man of the world,” Aaron said. “But he wouldn’t have lasted a minute in the real world.”But still there was “the very important work” of the diaries, he said, and “a richness and a denseness about a certain side of American life” in the common voices Inman reclaimed for history.“I think it would make a wonderful movie,” said Aaron of Inman’s saga. “And it would make a wonderful soap opera.”last_img read more

Chuck Cooper & the Cast of Amazing Grace Visit Fallon

first_imgThumbs up to Jimmy Fallon for being such a big, enthusiastic, supporter of Broadway! He invited Tony winner Chuck Cooper, Tony nominee Josh Young and the cast of Amazing Grace on The Tonight Show on August 18 to sing a number from the new tuner. Fallon’s verdict after he heard the sweet sound of the company after they belted out the show’s titular song? “Fantastic!” Check out the moving performance below and then the musical, currently playing on the Great White Way at the Nederlander Theatre. View Comments Related Shows Amazing Grace Show Closed This production ended its run on Oct. 25, 2015last_img read more