Wednesday, January 29, 2014

3 of the Most Expensive Television Commercials

Bidness Etc – Business Entertainment
 Brand equity is one of the most influential factors in determining and increasing the financial value of a brand and the net worth of its investors. The competitive marketplace has made it necessary for firms to invest in advertising and marketing their product in the most efficient, comprehensive, and memorable fashion – and what better medium to use for this purpose than television, with its extensive reach and its high visibility.
  Read More : Television Commercials

2014: The Brave New World

[caption id="attachment_4082" align="alignnone" width="500"]Bidness Etc – Business Entertainment
 Some eight decades after its release, Brave New World is still just as relevant as it was back in 1932, probably more so. Aldous Huxley’s dystopia, where achieving universal happiness no matter the cost, was the goal, has many modern parallels. The easiest population to control is one that is satisfied and content and no longer wants for more. And that is exactly what Brave New World introduced to us: a stable nation thriving on superficial and drug-fueled happiness.
  Read More : The Brave New World

Somebody Should Have Told Jim Bisenius to Biserious about His Bidness

Bidness Etc – Business Entertainment
Common Sense Investment Management – contrary to what the name implies, the founder and CEO of the fund of hedge funds has proven the saying right that common sense is not that common. If anything, it is one of the rarest characteristics found in the world, financial or otherwise.
 The reason the bidnessmen are saying this about Jim is because he was arrested in a prostitution sting operation five months ago. The irony of his arrest is:
Read More : Jim Bisenius to Biserious

All That Glitters – Exploring the Diamond Industry: Part 1

Bidness Etc – Business Entertainment
The Cullinan mine in South Africa has been a great source for notable finds like the Cullinan Diamond, valued at around $400 million, and the Star of Josephine which sold for $9.5 million in 2008. The most recent discovery is a rare blue 29.6 carat diamond which, according to analysts, could fetch up to $33 million or higher at auction. In light of this precious new find, let’s take a look at some of the most valuable diamonds in the world.
 Diamonds have always played a huge part in history, and some, like the Koh-i-Noor, are shrouded in legend and controversy, having been passed down through royal bloodlines and helped define nations. Others have surpassed all expectations and have sold for millions depending on their cut, color, and quality. Here are some of the most valuable diamonds ever mined
Read More : Exploring the Diamond Industry

And That’s a Wrap – January 18 -24 2014

Bidness Etc – Business Entertainment
 The Argentine peso saw its steepest one-day decline since the country’s economic collapse in 2002. The fall threatens to incite a major financial crisis for Argentina.

Bidness Etc – Business Entertainment
Read More :  January 18 -24 2014

Bob McDonnell and Maureen McDonnell – The Dirty Side of Politics

Bidness Etc – Business Entertainment
Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, are facing a 14-count indictment for their alleged financial interactions and dealings with the former head of Star Scientific, Jonnie Williams (JW). Allegedly, Star Scientific was picked as the preferred dietary supplement provider to the McDonnell administration in exchange for “gifts”, more commonly known as donations.
 The indictment charges against Bob McDonnell and Maureen include accepting expensive gifts such as a Rolex watch and designer clothes. They were also reportedly loaned a jet, a Ferrari, a beach home and $120,000 in cash by Jonnie Williams. According to the documents presented in court, the couple started soliciting money and gifts almost immediately after they moved into the governor’s mansion.
Read More : McDonnell and Maureen McDonnell

Richest 1% Own Half the World’s Wealth

Bidness Etc – Business Entertainment
Oxfam International’s latest report titled “Working for the Few” outlines the extent of global economic inequality and the impact this is having on developed and developing nations. Oxfam statistics reveal that the 85 wealthiest people in the world are worth $110 trillion put together, and this disparity, if gone unchecked can hamper human progress.
According to the report, a poll conducted among low wage earners in the US showed that 65% people believe laws and economic policies are skewed in favor of the rich at the expense of the poor. There is also a growing concern that the concentration of wealth and power with the world’s richest goes against the norms of democracy by silencing the voice of the majority to cater to the whims of the rich. The report also proposes a number of solutions by asking governments to focus on issues like tax evasion, investing in education and healthcare, creating equal rights and opportunities for women and redistributive transfers.
Read More :  the World’s Wealth

His ‘High’ness, Rob Ford

Bidness Etc – Business Entertainment
Canada is known for many things, its healthcare policy, ice hockey craze, its freezing winters, being polite, and Robin Sparkles. But nobody thought that the country would become the talk of the town because of the antics of one of its citizens, Rob Ford who happens to be the serving mayor of Toronto.
 The world first got to know about the crack-smoking and alcohol-swigging mayor in November 2013, when a video was made public showing him smoking crack cocaine back in 2012.
Read More : High’ness, Rob Ford

I Still Don't have a Title (Part 3)

Bidness Etc – Business Entertainment
So I'm on a roll today.  On Part 3 of something I never thought I'd write.  I'm an extremist, I do everything in excess, so I might just disappear on you one day and stop writing so if you actually like my nonsense, enjoy it before I wake up and wonder why I ever did this. Now I feel old and so will you if you actually understand what I'm writing about here.  This is from March 13, 1999:
"Internet stocks are booming..or so went my observation.  Internet stocks peak really high then fall back down but they are then basically stabilizing at higher levels  ...YAHOO investment challenge days...I shall bring everything into the open in this formal analysis of me, myself, my life, my trading career, my failures, my successes, and most of all where do I want to go?? How do I want to get there???  Why do I want to get there or do that??? Are my priorities correct or should I revaluate them....March 16 more challenge (yahoo investment challenge) entries...apparently the NASDAQ market makers make the shares fall so they can buy more and then they raise the price again....March 19..WNKIM (some yahoo guys name in the challenge)...if you remember days...March confident and relaxed it is the human psychology of supply and demand that sets market prices...March 29...some entries..."
Read More : I Still Don't have a Title 

This is Part 2 (Part 2)

Bidness Etc – Business Entertainment
I'm already on Part 2.  This one is going to be a breeze, I'll just mostly lift my own writings. On February 3, 2000, I said (and these are EXACT quotes):
"It is often said to fix something if it is broken. trading seems to have been broken since I started trading in March of 1999.  When I began it was a naive person.  It felt as though I were forced into it.  Like I needed an escape.  Somewhere to disappear.  The trading was not even performed on behalf of my own intelligence.  It was superficial.  It was for show.  I liked the money...but what was that money worth when I wasn't earning it as a result of my own intelligence...well next to nothing obviously because not only was I not earning the money by using my own intelligence but I lost it through my own stupidity.  The purpose of the following timeline of my trading career is to fix what's broken.  it's been almost a year now.  I have been humbled and am ready to admit that when it comes to the market I am not nearly as good as I think I am.  I am just another participator and I should make the best of it.  Just work hard and they say it will come.  Well, now it's not so much about the money but more the challenge."
Read More : This is Part 2

I Can't Think of a Title (Part 1)

Bidness Etc – Business Entertainment
 Ok so I never planned on publishing any of this.  I started trading and taking notes when I was 17, over 15 years ago.  I've seen multiple markets in that lifetime, one could say the market made me somewhat erratic, I don't know if that's a good or bad thing.
 I remember being fascinated with trading- Wall Street - when it actually was driven by physical trading and there were actual people handling most of the business.  My parents wanted me to be a brain or heart surgeon, I wanted to live and breath the stock market.  I won.
 My writing style is a lot more informal and personal than the other things you will read on this website because I never planned on doing any of this so I'm just going to always keep it natural, unedited, unfiltered.  I am going to sound completely incoherent and insane a lot of the time- especially when I'm writing about trading and markets, because they are impossible to figure out.  I really still haven't a clue and I've gone from a kid at 17 with a $5,000 Etrade account to scheduling all my classes in college around market timings to working at one of the most prominent hedge funds in history and then in my mid 20s founding my own hedge fund and making and losing millions of dollars on a daily, hourly basis. Go figure all my weird quirks.  I blame the market, it's always nice to have something to blame, and here I get to blame millions of other people.
Read More : I Can't Think of a Title (Part 1)

Tiny Budgets and Big Successes: 5 Low-Budget Movies That Made it Big

Bidness Etc – Business Entertainment
Sometimes, movies with very small budgets can provide a great return on investment and make millions, giving hope to amateur filmmakers. This is a list of five low-budget movies that were great successes at the box office.
 The supernatural horror film is about a young couple who think that their house is haunted. The film – written, edited, and directed by Oren Peli – was shot in a way that made it appear to be “found footage” from cameras the couples had set up around the house. With a measly budget of just $15,000, the film was shot as an independent feature before it was bought by Paramount Pictures for $350,000. In total, the film grossed $197 million – which makes it one of the most profitable movies (in terms of return on investment) ever.
Read More : Tiny Budgets and Big Successes

Jos. A. Bank and Men’s Wearhouse – Get over with the Takeover Already

Bidness Etc – Business Entertainment
In the latest episode of the seemingly never-ending takeover war between Jos. A. Bank (JOSB) and Men’s Wearhouse, Inc. (MW), the former rejected yet another unsolicited bid from the latter on Friday.
  This was us when we heard the news
 And this is the reaction of the management of Men’s Wearhouse, Inc., according to our imagination.
 The bidnessmen have lost count of the takeover bids and the counter bids exchanged between the two apparel retailers, but it all started last year when Jos. A. Bank offered to buy Men's Wearhouse for $2.4 billion. Men's Wearhouse not only rejected the bid, but countered it with an unsolicited bid of its own for $55 a share. The proposal was rejected, but triggered a bidding war that is still going strong months later.
Read More : Bank and Men’s Wearhouse

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Short Track Speed Skater With an Even Shorter Temper

Bidness Etc – Business Entertainment
The final short track speed skating tournament before the Winter Olympics, the European Championships, featured a surprising plot twist when Sjinkie Knegt managed to get himself disqualified, missing out on his silver medal finish. According to him, the emotions and frustration of the loss got the better of him. The obvious conclusion he reached in the spur of the moment was to flip off the Russian skater, Viktor Ahn. 
Viktor Ahn, born Ahn Hyun-Soo, competed for South Korea for most of his career. After becoming a Russian citizen in 2011, he started to race for his adopted country. At the 2006 Olympics, held in Italy, Ahn won three gold medals and one bronze. All this was probably on Knegt’s mind as he watched Ahn race past him for the number one spot. That was obviously not going to do.
Read More : Short Track Speed Skater 

Gadgets We Wish Actually Existed - The Hoverboard

Bidness Etc – Business Entertainment
 In the year 1989, the first GPS satellites were launched into orbit, and Nintendo introduced the first Game Boy in Japan. But Michael J. Fox took us all back to the future, to the year 2015, by soaring above the ground on the Mattel Hoverboard – a gadget that captured the hearts and imagination of a generation. 
Resembling a skateboard without wheels, Hoverboards also applied the same basic principal - requiring momentum by the rider to use, and most of them would not work on terrain such as water and ice. However, the powerful rocket-fired “PitBull” model - which featured three attachments, was shown to work on low traction surfaces as well. Other models in the trilogy included the “No Tech” hoverboard, and the “Rising Sun”, used by members of Griff’s gang to chase Marty around the Courthouse Mall.
Read More : The Hoverboard

Mayer Fires Top Lieutenant as Turnaround Strategy Seems to be Going Nowhere

Bidness Etc – Business Entertainment
Henrique De Castro was no ordinary man. He was poached from Google (GOOG) to help Yahoo! (YHOO) CEO Marissa Mayer rejuvenate the company’s flagging advertising revenues.
As Yahoo’s COO, he was one of the highest paid executives in Silicon Valley.
It is also said that De Castro’s pay scale was heftier than Marissa Mayer’s who reportedly pulled in $36.6 million annually, compared to his $39.2 million.
Read More : GOOGYHOO

Zach Braff’s Wish I Was Here: A Kickstarter Project

Bidness Etc – Business Entertainment
Ten years after Garden State became the official selection of the Sundance Film Festival, Zach Braff returns to the event with another film, this time co-written with his brother, Adam J. Braff. The film premiered on Saturday, to a great critical reception. But the story of how it got there is perhaps even more interesting.
 It is the first movie made by a high-profile star, to have been funded via Kickstarter, the world’s largest crowdfunding platform. The purpose of the site is to help start creative projects like movies, stage productions, and music among others. The idea is to adopt the same approach as artists who appealed to their audiences to fund their work. Donors are promised some sort of reward or experience for their help.
 In Braff's case, the reward - based on the size of the donation - was either a video diary of the making of the movie, tickets to screenings or a credited part in the film for a donation of $10,000. He was originally looking to raise $2 million to initiate the project, and the drive was started on April 24, 2013. The drive was supposed to last a month, but the response was overwhelming. In a few days, by April 30, the donations were up to $2,258,710. On May 15, with just over a week left Worldview Entertainment stepped in and lent its support to the project. Braff ended up raising $3,105,473 contributed by over 46,000 people.
Read More : A Kickstarter Project  

Davos 2014: Reshaping the World

A ski resort is an unlikely setting for perhaps the biggest business meeting in the world. Yet at Davos, Switzerland, over 2,500 global business leaders, intellectuals, and policy wonks have convened for a week of introspection, network building, and even some hardcore partying.
 Bidness Etc provides some updates from this year’s meeting and highlights some of the important topics that will be coming up for discussion.
Read More :  Reshaping the World

The Oscar Effect: An Economic Breakdown of the Academy Awards

The Oscar statuette costs roughly $400 to make, but being nominated for one can result in millions of dollars of revenue at the box office. Winning an Oscar means different things for different people. For an actor, it symbolizes recognition of his or her professional achievement, and usually results in higher salaries and better roles in the future. For fans, the nomination indicates which films are viewed by the industry as worthy of appreciation. And for film distributors, being nominated or winning the award means additional box office earnings.
Keeping this in mind, let’s look at a few percentages and some numbers to find out exactly how nominations and awards affect a film’s performance at the box office.
Read More : Oscar Effect

7 Awesome Concept Cars at the Detroit Auto Show

 Every January, the Detroit Auto Show offers a glimpse of what is to come in the rest of the year. It also brings a number of concepts and prototypes to audiences as a precursor to future car models. While a lot of these daring concepts never make it to full production, they nonetheless intrigue customers at the auto show. Here are seven of Bidness Etc’s favorite concept cars from the 2014 Detroit Auto Show.
It seems as though retro styling is making a serious comeback this year, with many automakers showing off smaller rear-wheel drive coupes that remind us of the iconic shapes of the 60s and 70s. Nissan (NSANY) is doing just that with its IDx Freeflow concept that resembles the Datsun 510.
The Nissan IDx is a small coupe that will likely carry an efficient, four-cylinder turbocharged engine, and will compete against the likes of the Scion FR-S and the Subaru BRZ. The best part is that this isn’t just a concept – Nissan has confirmed that the IDx will be turned into a production model by 2016.

Quotes from the Greatest Minds in Finance, as Pictured By Us

Looking for professional insights as you start a career in finance? You can trust the advice these Bidnessmen have to give – they’ve got mad Wall Street cred
Read More : Greatest Minds 

5 of the Wealthiest Charities in the US

 Most billionaires, frugal or not, are big on philanthropy and give back to their communities by donating generously to various causes. Many have started their own charities, and through them, they aim to help those who have less – much less – than them. This is a list of five charities in the US that have the most money to give.
 Known as the largest non-operating private foundation in the world, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s endowment as of June 2013, was calculated at $38.3 billion. It was founded in 1997 as the William H. Gates Foundation with an endowment of $94 million. The name was changed in 1999, and it merged with the Gates Learning Foundation. The charity aims to improve healthcare globally, and to create more access to education and technology in the United States. It relies on its three trustees: Bill and Melinda Gates, and Warren Buffett – who started foundation with a donation of 10 million Berkshire Hathaway Class B shares in 2006.
  Read More : Wealthiest Charities

Beating the Burial Blues: A French Company Designs Fun and Colorful Headstones

 When you think of a cemetery, what comes to mind? Big gray headstones, morose marble angels – it’s all creepy as hell. That’s what Funeral Concept wants to change. The company creates iron headstones printed in bright colors and with specific images, selected by the loved ones of the deceased. Each headstone is unique and custom-made to suit the client.
 Freddy Pineau, the founder, said that the idea came to him when someone close passed away and he was tasked with the funeral arrangements. The headstones he had to choose from were gloomy and not at all what he wanted for his loved one. Pineau worked at a metallurgy company, from where he acquired a laser cutter – which inspired him to start his own business. He created some painted steel models, and showed them to professionals who jumped on board.
Read More : Burial Blues

The 8 Most Influential Art Dealers in the World

Moving one step up from his 2012 position in the rankings is Glenn David Lowry - the Director of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City. Mr. Lowry is head of the museum’s contemporary art program and has directed a $900 million investment campaign toward the museum’s restoration, extension, and endowment.
 He has lectured and written on topics such as the role of museums in society and contemporary artists and their work. Some of his publications include: The Museum of Modern Art in This Century New York (2009), Designing the New Museum of Modern Art New York (2004), and MOMA Highlights: 325 Works from The Museum of Modern Art New York (2002). He has also written for Time magazine.
 In 1995, The New York Fine Arts Support Trust, created by David Rockefeller and Agnes Gund, paid Lowry $5.35 million in an effort to recruit him for the museum. This was in addition to the compensation supplied by the museum, which consisted of a salary, bonuses, and benefits of $1.28 million. Since 2004, Lowry has been living rent-free in a $6 million apartment purchased by The New York Fine Arts Support Trust, situated in MoMA’s residential tower.
Read More : Art Dealers  

Financial Journalist Michael Lewis Takes Another Swipe at Wall Street

According to The New York Times, the new book – Flash Boys – will be about high-frequency trading. It has been described as being “squarely in the realm of Wall Street” by a spokeswoman for Norton.
 After the success of Liar’s Poker, a semi-autobiography on the author’s experiences as a bonds salesman for Wall Street, Lewis promises that his next release will offer a ringside view to the workings of Wall Street, and would definitely interest those who wish to develop a deeper understanding of the financial industry. Michael Lewis is well-known as one of the country’s most popular business journalists, his new book is already being touted as a potential best-seller.
 Starling Lawrence, Lewis’s editor, claimed in a statement: “Michael is brilliant at finding the perfect narrative line for any subject. That’s what makes his books, no matter the topic, so indelibly memorable.”
  Read More : Michael Lewis

German Automakers Bring It to Detroit Auto Show

Yesterday was the first day of the Detroit Auto Show, America’s largest car exhibition, with stunning new models from some of the largest automakers around the world on display. This article is the first of a three-part series, and covers those models that will enter production this year. Concept vehicles will be featured in a later piece. Here’s what the major German carmakers have on offer at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
 Mercedes Benz, owned by Daimler AG (DDAIY), made headlines yesterday, with a number of refreshed models, including its all-new 2015 C-Class mid-size sedan, which was unveiled for the first time to audiences in the US. Unlike its predecessor, the new C-Class is no longer the entry-level sedan in the Mercedes Benz lineup in the US. That title now goes to the CLA Class introduced at the end of last year.
  Read More : DDAIY - BAMXY - VLKAY

5 Themes to Watch Out For at CES 2014

The 2014 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) will kick off today at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Sin City’s flagship convention is expected to draw crowds in excess of 150,000 over the next four days, and the stage has been set for innovators to showcase their latest offerings to geeks and average Joes alike.
 Every year, hundreds of tech giants and startups alike display upcoming products and prototypes to CES visitors. A few surprises are always on the cards, and a number of disruptive technologies have been introduced on the busy floors of the CES in the past decade. The most prominent among these include 3D TVs (2009), Blu-ray Discs (2003) and the first Xbox (2001).
 In more recent times, the focus of the trade show has been on smartphones, tablets, and 3D TVs. But the theme has shifted away from the traditional hardware touted by electronics makers this year, and CES ’14 is all about software rather than gizmos and gadgetry.
Read More : DDD - GOOG - F - BAMXY - SSYS - P - SIRI - IT

Automakers Take CES by Storm

 Ford (F) announced yesterday, a major revamp of its SYNC in-car infotainment system, which now includes a more user friendly and intuitive interface, and voice notifications. The system will be natively embedded in Ford’s new Mustang, and will eventually make its way onto most Ford vehicles by the end of the year. The SYNC platform delivers a cloud-based voice recognition system that responds to the user’s commands.
Ford also unveiled its new C-Max Solar Energi Concept vehicle that incorporates roof-mounted solar panels to power its electric drivetrain. The concept is being touted as an alternative to conventional battery electric vehicles that require drivers to stop and plug in their vehicles to recharge the batteries. The C-Max Solar Engeri uses a “concentrator lens” to focus the sun’s rays onto the solar panels, charging the batteries enough in a full day to let the car run for 21 miles on solar energy alone.
Read More : F - BAMXY - TM - TSLA - VOLVY - P

The Best of CES – Day 2 and 3

Day one of CES 2014 ended on an exciting note, with major highlights discussed in our previous article. Since, the first day was mainly about announcements, day two and three were mostly about showing off the products. Bidness Etc brings you some more highlights.
 Toshiba (TOSYY) introduced a bunch of products at CES 2014, and has already shown off two upcoming Windows 8.1 notebooks with 4K displays. But the company is also displaying a concept for a future PC that is already looking very different than the standard laptop.
 The company literally stole the show with this concept laptop. With the declining PC market, there has been an influx of 2-in-1 convertible laptops, which serve both as a tablet and a laptop. Toshiba has surprised the competition with the debut of its 5-in-1 laptop. It consists of a screen, keyboard, and a piece of metal attached to screen which has speakers and ports. In total, the 5-in-1 is really four different devices; a laptop, a tablet, an all-in-one, and a tabletop computer.
  Read More : TOSYY

2013 – The Year Private Equity Made a Comeback

 The Private Equity (PE) industry returned almost $61 billion to investors over the first half of 2013, according to reports collected by Cambridge Associates, and looks set to return roughly $120 billion for the full year. This makes 2013 a very good year for the industry, considering it returned only $115 billion in 2012.
 According to data provided by S&P’s Capital IQ, PEs sold more bonds in 2013 than in the preceding year. The value of debts issued by PE firms in 2013 was $2 billion higher than the $66.2 billion raised in 2012, and the capital raised was used to return money to investors and pay partners. That strategy is expected to pay off as long-term interest rates rise through 2014, following the Fed’s decision in December 2013 to taper its aggressive $85-billion-a-month bond-buying program.
 Buyouts led by PE firms also reached their highest levels since 2007, with deals worth $233 billion announced in 2013 even as the stock market touched all-time highs. PE firms increased their holdings by 20% year-over-year (YoY).

Colorado Offers Potheads a Legal High

Holidaymakers to the famed Aspen ski resort will be tempted to indulge in Colorado’s new attraction - legalized marijuana.
 Colorado started selling marijuana to recreational users on January 1, 2014, a day dubbed as ‘Green Wednesday’ by advocates. The historic day saw eager customers queuing up in long lines, waiting to make their first legal purchase of the psychoactive drug.

A Brand New Industry

Colorado’s decision to legalize the sale of marijuana to recreational users will create an industry that is expected to rake in $600 million in 2014, of which around $70 million will end up in the state’s treasury. The state will also save on the millions of dollars of taxpayer money it spent each year to incarcerate and charge small-time drug offenders.
 Under special licenses issued to qualifying retailers, America’s third-most popular recreational drug will be sold to eligible customers aged 21 years or older. Colorado residents are now able to purchase up to an ounce of cannabis in a single transaction, while out-of-state visitors can buy up to a quarter of an ounce. Customers purchasing marijuana can gift their friends up to an ounce for free. Stores selling the drug are allowed to operate from eight in the morning to midnight.
  Read More : Colorado Offers

5 Companies That Are Committed To Going Green

 The environmental and clean-energy sector is growing fast, and more and more companies are making the decision to go green, giving rise to the term, Green Economy. The list of companies that are making efforts to reduce their carbon footprint is growing. In order to help protect the ecosystem and limit the impact of greenhouse gases, many of the world’s leading companies are now shifting towards adopting environmentally friendly policies.
 One major way for companies to promote environmental sustainability is the use of green power, or electricity generated from renewable energy resources, such as solar power and biogas. Here are five companies that are committed to going green.

Rare Earth Industry – A Turnaround in the Making

 Rare earth elements (REEs) are crucial raw materials in the production of many products we use every day. They have broad applications across a number of industries, and rare earth producers are considered important components of the global economy.
 There are 17 REEs in total. They are not rare in quantity, as the name suggests, and some are in fact more abundant than copper, lead, gold, and platinum. However, they are not geologically concentrated enough to make their extraction as economically viable as it is for elements like copper, gold and lead.
REEs are used in high-technology and clean-energy products. They also have important applications in the defense industry, including in the manufacturing of fighter jet engines, missile guidance systems, antimissile defense systems, and satellite and communication systems.

Sotheby’s – We’d Put it under the Hammer

Bidness Etc – Investment 411
 Sotheby’s (BID), headquartered in New York, is the only publicly-traded auction house in the world. Established in 1744, it deals in auctions and private sales of art, jewelry, wine and collectibles. The company’s performance is strictly cyclical, and its stock has a high beta of 2.8.

Business Model

Sotheby’s reports revenues by four different segments, namely: Auction, Dealer, Finance, and License. 
The Auction segment contributes most of the company’s revenues, generating them mainly from commissions on auctions and private sales. As an agent, Sotheby’s takes responsibility for facilitating these types of sales by scrutinizing the authenticity and condition of the art property being sold, encouraging buyers’ interest, matching sellers and buyers, and transferring funds and property.
Read More : BID

AbbVie – A Dividend Supplement for Your Portfolio

Bidness Etc – Dividends
 AbbVie (ABBV), a research-based pharmaceuticals company that was spun off by Abbott Laboratories (ABT), was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in January 2013. The company hit the stock markets running, as the separation of AbbVie and Abbott had unlocked significant shareholder value. Its stock rose 8% in its first month of trading, while the S&P 500 rose 5% in the same period. It continued gaining ground through the year, closing 2013 up 54.6%, compared to the S&P 500’s gain of 29.6%.
We feel 2014 promises to another good year for the company, as it is expected to introduce new products that will boost topline growth. The company has so far paid a constant dividend of $0.40, and its stock has a dividend yield of 3.16%; however, if its parent’s history is anything to go by, it is likely to increase payouts this year, and dividend investors should be taking note.
  Read More :  ABBVABT

Exxon Mobil – Dividends, Anyone?

Bidness Etc – INVESTMENT411
Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM) is one of the 51 companies ranked as S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats. And for good reason*: it has increased annual dividends by an average 6% each year for the last 31 years, and paid dividends for the past 100.
  *For a company to make it to this list, it should have consistently increased annual dividends for at least 25 consecutive years.
 More recently, its dividend payouts have been increased at an average rate of 12.2% each year in the last three years, and its stock’s dividend yield over fiscal 2013 (FY13; ended December 31, 2013) is a respectable 2.46%.
  Read More : XOM - CVX - RDS.A - BP

Chinese Telecoms – Enter the Dragons

Bidness Etc – INVESTMENT411
US telecom stocks are known for yielding high and, for the most part, steady dividends. Investments in large US telecoms – like AT&T Inc. (T) and Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) – return between 6% and 8% in annual dividends, which is pretty decent considering averages across other industries. However, if you’re a globe-trotting investor and find US stocks very vanilla, there are ripe pickings elsewhere as well. Case in point: Chinese telecom companies.
 The Chinese telecom industry, the largest in the world, is dominated by three gigantic state-governed enterprises. While it may seem to some investors that state control puts limitations on their growth, it actually presents an opportunity for alpha to others: the stability and exclusivity that comes with being governed by the Chinese state is something unheard of in other parts of the world.
Of the three telecom companies that control the entire Chinese market, China Mobile Ltd (CHL) stands out as the largest, not only in the People’s Republic, but also in the world. The company’s stock also offers the highest dividend yield compared to comparable investments in China Unicom (Hong Kong) Ltd. (CHU) and China Telecom Ltd. (CHA).
Read More : CHU - CHACHL

Staples – Holding it Together, But for How Long?

Bidness Etc – INVESTMENT411
Staples, Inc. (SPLS), the world’s largest manufacturer of office supplies, opened its first store in North America in 1986, and has since expanded its operations to South America, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. It generated over $24 billion in revenues in fiscal 2012 (FY12; ended February 2, 2013).
  Read our detailed analysis of the company at: Staples – Not Much to Go By
 Staples paid its first dividend in May 2004. Initially, dividend payments were only made on an annual basis, but the policy was changed in 2009 to allow quarterly dividend payments. The company has not only stuck religiously to the quarterly schedule since then, it has also increased dividends every year by an average 10.1%. Its stock yields over 3.5% of its current market price in dividends.

Allocation of Cash Flows

Staples’s cash flows from operations (CFOs) have declined from around $2.1 billion in FY09, to nearly $1.2 billion in the twelve months to the third quarter (3Q) of FY13 (ends February 2, 2014).
Read More : SPLSXLY

Unilever – A Safe Haven Dividend Stock

Bidness Etc – INVESTMENT411
A slowdown in emerging economies may have dampened the growth prospects of Anglo-Dutch consumer goods giant Unilever Plc. (UL), but the company continues to stand out as a solid investment for dividend investors.
 An investment in Unilever currently yields over 3.7% of its current stock price in dividends, which is higher than what you can expect to receive from a comparable investment in US 10-year Treasury bonds (2.9%). And that’s not all that should interest dividend investors: Unilever has also increased its annual dividend payouts by an average 7.8% over the last three years, and 7% over the previous five years. This is sufficient indication that the Unilever management is committed to returning value to investors every year, and that its stock can be considered ‘safe’ in that it will continue to yield higher returns every year on your investment.
Read More : UL

Monday, January 27, 2014

Apple – Low-hanging Fruit for Dividend Investors

Bidness Etc – INVESTMENT411
 Apple (AAPL) is one of the most recognized names in consumer electronics. The company has acquired a formidable reputation as a manufacturer of cutting-edge consumer technology, and has recorded stellar growth with its revolutionary products.
 The company banks heavily on sales of its popular handheld devices, the iPhone and the iPad; and while legacy products like personal computers, portable music players and related software remain in the company’s portfolio, they have taken a backseat in terms of their contribution to the company’s topline.
 The company generates more than 50% of its revenues from sales of the iPhone – a coveted product ever since it revolutionized the mobile phone industry. In 2007, the year it was unveiled, the company sold 1.4 million units of the iPhone. As of 2013, more than 150 million have been sold.
 The iPad tablet is the company’s second-highest revenue earner. Mirroring the runaway success of the iPhone, iPad sales have skyrocketed from 7.5 million units in the year of their introduction (2010) to 71 million units in 2013.
 Due to solid sales of the two products, Apple has accumulated a cash pile of more than $146 billion. It is now being pressured relentlessly by high-profile activist investors to increase returns to shareholders in the form of share buybacks.
Read More :  AAPL - IBM - HPQ  - P

Seeking Dividends? Here’s One Stock That Will Energize Your Portfolio

Bidness Etc – INVESTMENT411
 In the third quarter (3Q) of ConocoPhillips' (COP) fiscal year 2013 (FY13), the oil and gas exploration and production (E&P) firm increased its quarterly dividends by 4.5% to $0.69/share, which increased the stock’s dividend yield to 3.76%.
 A look at ConocoPhillips' financial metrics shows that, despite a decline in cash flows, the company will likely continue to pay dividends in the future, and we recommend the stock as a must-buy for dividend investors.


ConocoPhillips is the world’s largest publicly-traded E&P firm in terms of proven reserves and output. In 2012, it separated its downstream business – which included its refining, marketing and transportation businesses – and spun it off as a separate company, Phillips 66 (PSX). The decision to exit the downstream segment came as the company shifted its focus to upstream businesses, which have stronger potential to result in earnings growth provided that commodity prices remain above the costs of production.
 Read More : COP - XOM - CVX - RDS.A  - BP  - HES - APA - MROXOPXLE

Investing in Facebook – Have You Signed Up?

Bidness Etc – INVESTMENT411
 Facebook, Inc. (FB) is at the epicenter of the flourishing social media industry. With hundreds of millions of users accessing the platform each day to connect, share and communicate with each other, the company has witnessed stellar growth over the past few years.
 It has also been successful in turning its free service into a sturdy, revenue-generating business; as can be gauged from the rapid growth reported in its revenues from advertisements, its successful monetization of mobile users, and the growing number of advertisers who use its platform to reach out to their customers.

User Base: Trends and Engagement

Facebook had more than a billion monthly active users (MAUs) at the end of fiscal year 2012 (FY12; ended December 31, 2012), and new users continued flocking to the company’s website through the first three quarters of 2013, albeit at markedly lower rates than before.
  Read  More : FB - GOOG  - TWTR

Best Buy – Best Take a Position Now

Bidness Etc – INVESTMENT411
 The Best Buy Company, Inc. (BBY), known simply as Best Buy, was recently in the news after reports of low holiday season sales triggered a 30% drop in its stock price – the largest single-day fall recorded for the stock in a decade.
 Best Buy’s poor performance in the all-important holiday season prompted Goldman Sachs to downgrade its rating for the company from Buy to Neutral. Investors took that as another reason to punish the stock, and it sank another 9%.

The Trigger

The company reported a 0.8% decline in sales from stores open for at least one year for the nine-week period ending January 9, 2014 (the period covers the holiday season). Although the drop in revenues was lower than the drop recorded in the same period last year, investors were left deeply disappointed – especially as the initial successes of Best Buy’s ongoing turnaround had set expectations high.
Read More : BBY - WMT  - AMZN

Qualcomm – All Wired Up to Grow

Bidness Etc – INVESTMENT411
Qualcomm, Inc. (QCOM) is a semiconductor company that leads in the development, design, manufacturing and marketing of digital wireless telecommunications products and related services. The San Diego, California-based company operates four business segments, namely: Qualcomm CDMA Technologies (QCT), Qualcomm Technology Licensing Segment (QTL), Qualcomm Wireless and Internet Segment (QWI), and Qualcomm Strategic Initiatives Segment (QSI).

Qualcomm CDMA Technologies (QCT)

The QCT segment fabricates integrated circuits (ICs) and systems software based on CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access), OFDMA (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing) and other technologies. Its products are used in voice and data communication, networking, application processing and multimedia devices, and global positioning systems (GPS). Qualcomm relies on independent third-party suppliers for the manufacturing, assembling, and testing of its ICs. ICs manufactured by Qualcomm for wireless devices have applications in WLAN, Bluetooth, frequency modulation (FM), and near field communications (NFC) modules, which are in turn used in consumer electronics devices like mobile phones, tablets, laptops and routers. ICs for wired devices include Ethernet and Powerline networks, which are used in products such as broadband gateway equipment, desktop computers and set-top boxes.
 Read More : QCOMAAPL - SSNLF  - XLK

Netflix – Reel It In!

Bidness Etc – INVESTMENT411
 Netflix Inc. (NFLX) is a leading provider of online content streaming services, which dominates the market with a worldwide subscriber base of nearly 40.3 million. The company also delivers DVDs and Blu-ray disks at customers’ doorsteps, but this segment has lost much of its importance with the rapid growth in demand for its more convenient-to-use online streaming services.
 While capitalizing on the almost universal move towards online streaming of video content, the company has tried to consolidate its leadership position by producing its own, original content. Doing so has helped it outperform traditional cable and satellite TV providers, which charge far more than Netflix does for comparable services.
 By offering original programming along with its highly convenient services, Netflix has been able to grow its subscriber base both in the US and abroad at phenomenal rates. The company’s total subscribers increased from around 16.8 million in the fourth quarter (4Q) of fiscal year 2011 (FY11), to 40.3 million by the end of 3QFY13. 77% of its current subscribers are based in the US, while the remaining are based abroad.
Read More : NFLX -  AMZN - GOOG

Legacy Tech Companies – Down, but Not Out

Bidness Etc – INVESTMENT411
 PCs have been rendered redundant in the age of powerful, highly-portable smartphones and tablets; cloud computing and virtualization has disrupted the software industry; and social media is transforming how human beings interact with each other using modern technology. The tech sector, dominated up till now by a handful of big names like Microsoft (MSFT), IBM (IBM), Cisco (CSCO), HP (HPQ) and Intel (INTC), is witnessing disruptions that have forced these giants to bend their knees to lesser companies.
 But while no tech analyst will argue the fact that legacy tech companies have struggled to adapt to emerging trends, we at Bidness Etc feel that the idea that they hold no upside for investors has been a little oversold. We’ve been analyzing how these companies are using their resources to make a strong comeback and stay relevant in the new age of technology, and we feel that they’re still safe bets. Here’s why:

Microsoft Corporation

Software giant Microsoft seems to have been sailing on a leaky boat over the past decade. The company has had to initiate major structural changes in the past two years to stay relevant in the modern tech age, and its flagship products – Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office – have generated fewer revenues every year as demand for PCs falls.

China Mobile – Big on Upside

Bidness Etc – INVESTMENT411
China Mobile Ltd. (CHL) is the largest mobile services provider in the most populous country in the world. A state-owned enterprise, it is headquartered in Hong Kong, but services customers residing on mainland China as well. The company boasts the largest wireless services subscriber base in the world, and the largest wireless network in China.
 China’s dynamic economy has taken on a new shape over the last three decades owing to massive urbanization. Rural to urban migration is at the highest levels in the country’s history, and China Mobile has already gained much from the trends. However, we expect more growth going forward, as a large portion of the Chinese wireless services market is still untapped.
 China Mobile’s sales, as reported at the end of the first half of 2013 (1H13), totaled $48.9 billion – up 16% year-over-year (YoY). The compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of sales over the preceding three years had been 13%. Its subscribers at the end of the period totaled 740 million – an increase of 8.5% YoY. As of 1H13, China Mobile’s subscriber base had been growing by an average 11.3% each year over the three preceding years.
Read More : CHLCHU - CHA

Thursday, January 23, 2014


How to Invest Smart For Your Retirement

 ETFs are investment tools that allow people to get exposure to a wide range of securities and underlying assets that provide liquidity and transparency. This also makes them great for retirement planning!
Read More : SI

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Art of Investing in Art

 Art is a risky investment and can also be difficult to sell in a hurry. But for a long time now investors have used art as a hedge against risks to typical investments in bonds, stocks and property. But what to buy? And how do you know if you are paying a fair price for it? And how can you tell what your art collection or ‘investment is worth? Bidness Etc has this quick guide so that you too can start building up your art collection and announce to the world that not only do you have money, but you also have taste and class.
  Read More : IIA