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Three New York Construction Workers Settle Injury Claims For $3.85 Million

Three undocumented workers have reached settlements in New York after being the victims of a construction accident. The three men suffered serious injuries due to extremely poor working conditions. One of the men, a plumber, was scalded when a pipe burst while he was working at a Wall Street construction site. Another of the men sustained debilitating injuries to his foot after a steel beam crushed parts of his lower body while on a construction site in downtown Manhattan. The final man was injured when three large metal trusses collapsed on him, fracturing his hip and causing several other serious injuries.

According the attorney for the three men, Brian O’Dwyer, “all three cases involve construction and terribly unsafe working conditions.” And indeed, this case is no exception to the experience of many undocumented workers; a large majority of undocumented workers are often forced to work in unsafe situations or risk losing their job. This alarming trend seems to be growing across the United States as construction jobs become harder to find amid the nationwide economic crisis. Of course, unsafe working conditions will invariably lead to more construction accidents, a sad and frightening fact for many of those involved in the construction field.

Executive director Joel Magallan of Asociacion Tepeyac, an immigrant advocacy group, said that while construction work is often dangerous, undocumented workers are likely to work at sites that lack proper safety equipment, OSHA regulation compliance, and required warning signs. According to several studies, both by local nonprofit agencies as well as national researchers, abuses of workers on construction sites are widespread. An especially high number of immigrant workers were represented among those whom had suffered either seriously debilitating or fatal injuries due to unsafe working conditions.

In light of the recent construction accident lawsuits against contractors and building site owners, there may be a positive side to the tradgedy that takes place so often on dangerous construction sites. With the victories of these three undocumented workers, the opportunity for workers who have been injured on construction sites to receive just compensation grows larger. The three men were awarded a total of $3.85 million in damages between them, money they say will now be used to support their families, pay for costly medical expenses, or pursue their dreams.

Despite improvements in safety in virtually every field, construction site accidents remain one of the most dangerous professional accidents. Many times these injuries are seriously debilitating and sometimes fatal. Additionally, workman’s compensation insurance may not provide enough to cover medical expenses, living expenses, and outstanding debt that might have accrued during the recovery time. To that end, it is paramount that workers who have been injured in a construction site accident seek compensation through the proper channels, such as contacting a construction accident lawyer when they have settled on legal recourse.

Important Investment Lessons for Young People

If you are an investor under the age of 40, you have one big advantage over everyone else: you have an incredibly long investment time horizon during which to grow your investment dollars. Here is how to take advantage of it.

If you are an investor under the age of 40, you have one big advantage over everyone else: you have an incredibly long investment time horizon during which to grow your investment dollars.

The power of compounding is one of the great wonders of investing. The benefit of an extra decade or two can make a huge difference to your ending wealth. To capture this benefit, you have to start investing early and intelligently, and with consistency and discipline. After all, it is only with regular, long-term success that financial goals are realized.

For most investors, staying focused over the long run is challenging. The temptation to speculate can be high, and there is plenty of noise and distraction vying for your attention, making it easy to get sidetracked. Some of the confusion is caused by Wall Street hoping to get your business by playing to your hopes or fears. Some of it is the financial press trying to get catch your attention to sell advertising. Other noise is generated by the very nature of financial markets themselves, and the vast amount of information all around us. Now, more than ever, it is difficult to keep disciplined and stay the course.

The bottom line: it is not the day-to-day fluctuations of markets that should concern you. The primary risk you face as a young investor is the constant threat of inflation eating away at the purchasing power of your assets. For example, at just 3% per year, inflation will reduce the purchasing power of a portfolio by one-third after 14 years, and one-half after only 23 years. Your most important task is to invest your assets to protect yourself from this erosion.

A successful, long-term investor knows the difference between comfortable portfolio and a safe one. A comfortable portfolio does not fluctuate much in value. It might be invested in stable things like bank CDs with an expected return not much more than the rate of inflation. Alternatively, a safe portfolio has expected returns well above inflation. It is invested predominately in stocks and highly diversified. This equity oriented portfolio fluctuates with market movements and can be uncomfortable especially during stock market declines but it provides for long-run inflation protection.

As a young investor, you may not have made a lot of investment mistakes. That can be good and bad good because you havent lost money; bad because you havent learned any lessons the hard way. As one of my colleagues likes to say: the market is a great teacher, but it charges a steep tuition. You can skip the tuition payment by learning how to invest prudently early on.

Remember that the stock market is not a zero-sum game. There are not winners and losers in these markets, with the winners taking all the spoils and the losers going broke. Capitalism generates positive returns overall, and, although some win more than others, everyone can succeed. The elegant truth of economics is that the return on capital is exactly equal to the cost of capital. In other words, in the aggregate, the return to investors is equal to the payment required of those entities such as governments and corporations seeking to attract investment capital.

Wealth is created when natural resources, labor, intellectual capital, and financial capital combine to produce economic growth. As an investor, you are entitled to a share of that economic growth when your financial assets are invested in and used by the global economy. This is not a free lunch. It is your fair share of profits as compensation for putting your money to work.

One of your main goals should be to capture as much of the global return on capital as you can. Cut your investment costs, make sure you have a widely diversified portfolio, and stay disciplined. Investing this way, you can have a successful investment experience!