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business

August 3, 2015

James Dondero And The Rise Of Investment Banking

Investment banking is a business model which began many years ago as a form of partnership focused on the underwriting of security issuances, mergers and acquisitions, brokerage, and secondary market offerings. Today it has evolved into a full service business involving investment management, proprietary trading, and securities research. This has given rise to investment banks which are financial institutions that work to help governments, corporations, and individuals raise financial capital through the issuance of securities and by underwriting.

Investment banking now includes the trading of equity securities, derivatives, FICC services, and mergers and acquisitions. Investment banks are not involved in taking deposits. That is left to retail banks and commercial banks. In the United States, the Volker Rule enacted in 2010, forbids investment banks from participating in commercial banking activities. Instead, investment banking focuses on the promotion and trading of securities for other securities or cash and providing advice to entities involved in buying investment services. Those entities include hedge funds, mutual funds, private equity funds, unit trusts, and life insurance companies.

Many investment banks are split between providing public and private functions and use an information barrier to separate the two. Private investment banking handles private insider information to which the general public does not have access. The public side of investment banking deals with stock analysis and other types of services and information to which the general public does have access. In the United States, investment banking advisors must be licensed by and subject to the regulation of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

One prominent investment banking advisor is Highland Capital Management’s co-founder and president James Dondero. A graduate of the University of Virginia with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Finance, Dondero has been working in credit markets for more than 30 years. He is a certified managerial accountant that completed JP Morgan’s financial training program. Between 1985 and 1989 Dondero worked for American Express managing fixed income funds in excess of $1 billion. He then worked as chief investment officer growing Protective Life from its beginning until they had over $2 billion in assets.

He currently serves on the board of directors of Metro-Goldwyn-Meyer and American Banknote Corporation. Dondero is also the chairman of NexBank, CCS Medical, and the Cornerstone Healthcare Group. He has experience managing mortgage-backed securities, leveraged bank loans, common and preferred stocks, emerging market debt, investment grade corporates, and derivatives. He has also earned the designation of Chartered Financial Analyst.

Experienced investment banking advisors assist government agencies and companies large and small with investment advice. Dondero and other well-respected investment banking advisors have helped what was a fledgling field not long ago, grow into a behemoth.

Advice,Business Leader,Trading Players

July 30, 2015

Top Advice for Those Looking to Invest in Brazil

Brazil, one of the most powerful countries in the world and the most powerful country in South America is becoming one of the best places for investors to flock to. Brazil, being one of the most beautiful countries to visit, is easily becoming one of the most popular attractions for foreign investors. Brazil has the eighth most powerful economy in the world and is one of the most up and coming countries to invest in especially with Brazil’s powerful trading partner.

Igor Cornelsen, one of the foremost experts on Brazilian investment is both a successful businessman and also a savvy advice giver. Cornelsen states that by 2015, the investors are what make the Brazilian economy so powerful. However, Igor advises that for those looking to invest, it is important to understand the world of the Brazilian market first.

Here are a few tips that Cornelsen gives on the topic of investing in Brazil:

1.) Know the Major Players in the Brazilian Economy

Brazil has a strong economy thanks to the investors. The foreign investors are what makes the Brazilian economy such a powerful and sought after economy. One thing that is important to know before ever getting involved with the Brazilian market is that the market is owned by private and state owned commercial and investment banks. There are 10 of these sectors that are backing up the eighth most powerful economy in the world.

2.) Learn About Brazil’s Trading Partners

One thing to know before ever getting involved with Brazil is the fact the Brazil’s major trading partner is China. A stronger economy in China means that Brazil will have good prices on the important raw materials. Keeping an eye on Brazil’s trading partner will lead to more success which in turn means making more of a substantial profit.

3.) Brazil’s Overvalued Currency

It is not a hidden fact that Brazil’s currency is currently overvalued. This, in turn, has created huge amounts of account deficits. To avoid fast depreciation, the Central Bank in Brazil has been selling dollar swaps to the local markets. The currency is currently way over appreciated. The economy is currently the perfect economy for industrialization as well as the perfect economy for investors. The sparking of investments will make the export of manufactured more competitive. Though this may happen, the disequilibrium of the economy should decrease within the next few years.

Tech

July 29, 2015

Skout: The Location Based Social App

Skout, founded in 2007, is a social networking application available for both Android and iOS. The application takes advantage of the GPS capabilities of modern mobile devices to provide a social experience based on location, one of the first social platforms to integrate these systems. With over 100,000,000 Skout users, there is always someone to interact with.

The feature rich application is one of the most widely used social platforms. Skout has been popular with people looking for casual connections and romantic relationships alike since its inception. One of the most engaging functions is called Shake to Chat. It has been described by users as addictive fun. The idea is to shake your device, meanwhile Skout will pair you with another person who is simultaneously shaking their device, at random. It’s like having a constant flow of conversations waiting for you, available whenever the sociable mood strikes.

What really sets Skout apart is the large, active community. The application is designed with meeting new people as its primary focus. Liking photos and status updates gives it a familiar feel to anyone who uses Facebook, but it is much more exciting. Whereas the focus of Facebook and most other social platforms is on interacting with content shared by people you already know, Skout is all about meeting new people. Sending a virtual gift or a comment to someone you have never met before can be indescribably fun. There is an element of risk involved in these interactions. It is not unlike reading a great book. You can’t wait to turn the page and find out what happens next.

Skout offers its community a brand new way to meet people. It is an extremely well designed application that promotes interaction between users in some unique ways. Anyone who is looking for a fun, exciting and rewarding social experience will find something to love about Skout. The application is free to download, so the only thing you have to lose is a few minutes of your time. You have the potential for some amazing new life experiences to gain.

business

July 28, 2015

Billions of Dollars: Hedge Funds are Serious Business

On July 23rd, 2015 it was announced that John Paulson’s $20 billion hedge fund, Paulson and Company has agreed to terms to purchase the San Juan Beach Hotel in Puerto Rico for $20 million. As originally reported by the New York Times, Paulson’s Hedge Fund to Purchase Hotel, the infusion of capital will renovate the hotel in the upcoming months and turn it into a luxury boutique hotel.

Paulson’s hedge fund’s purchase of the San Juan Beach Hotel is another example of the large net worth and enormous sums of money associated with hedge funds and brings to mind Citadel Founder and CEO, Kenneth Griffin. In March of this year, in divorce proceedings filed by his wife, it was revealed that Griffin makes approximately $68 million a month after taxes. Extrapolating this number further, Griffin makes $2.2 million a day and approximately $90,000 per hour.For lack of a better word, Griffin’s financial assets are significant.

While Paulson’s personal net worth was not disclosed in regard to his firms recent purchase of the San Juan Hotel both his firms enormous net worth and that of Griffin point to astronomical amounts of money being associated with hedge funds. Future titans of Wall Street would be wise to take notice of Paulson and Griffin and attempt to mimic their pattern of financial success.

Eric Pulier- Entrepreneur

July 27, 2015

Eric Pulier – An American Entrepreneur

Eric Pulier is an American author, philanthropist and entrepreneur based out of Los Angeles, California. Eric Pulier is originally from Teaneck, New Jersey. While he was just in the fourth grade, he started programming computers and later in high school he began a database computer company.

In 1984 Eric Pulier attended Harvard University majoring in American literature and English. He became an editor writing columns for The Harvard Crimson (the daily student newspaper of Harvard University). At this time he began studying at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) where he graduated in 1988 as magna cum laude.

In 1991, Pulier moved to Los Angeles where he founded the company, People Doing Things (PDT). This company addresses education, health care and other issues through the use of technology. He then found the interactive agency Digital Evolution in 1994.

In 1998, People Doing Things and US Interactive LLC merged into one company. Pulier spearheaded the building of Starbright World which is a private social network for children who are chronically ill allowing them to blog, add content and chat with others with similar conditions.

Eric Pulier was selected in 1997 by the Presidential Inaugural Committee to develop and implement the Bridge at the 21st Century Presidential Technology Exhibition held in Washington D.C. After the exhibition, he participated in Vice-President Al Gore’s health care and technology forum where he advised on technology and health care issues.

Eric Pulier is also an active supporter in the Clinton Global Initiative program.
He is also the founder of many other ventures, including Media Platform, Desktone, Akana just to name a few. He is also the co-author of Understanding Enterprise SOA, which is a workbook on service-oriented businesses.

Eric Pulier donates to many non-profit organizations, and resides on the X-Prize Foundation board, which involves innovation competitions helping to solve world challenges including hunger, war and diseases.

Eric Pulier is a supporter of The Painted Turtle, which is a kids camp for children with chronic illness, and a variety of other non-profit organizations.

Atlantic City,Garden State,Real Estate

July 23, 2015

Can Boraie Development Be What Atlantic City Needs?

Throughout the 1960s, officials in Atlantic City tried to get the town to grow and thrive. Atlantic City’s housing czar, Pauline Hill, even took apart a whole neighborhood. This made room for commercial development. In the place of this neighborhood, developers pitched a mall and baseball stadium. Some developers even wanted to bring in gondolas. In the end, though, Pauline’s Prairie was all that was left. 

With this $300 million proposal, people all over the Atlantic City area were displaced. The city’s South Inlet section was even destroyed. However, the development plans that the residents were promised never happened. Throughout the next couple of decades, the South Inlet section remained bare. Housing projects started appearing in empty lots. With all of this emptiness, Atlantic City needs some reconstruction. There are plans to reconstruct the city from scratch. In fact, these plans could begin this year. Boraie Development proposed a plan to build a residential complex in Atlantic City. The company even bought the land from the Atlantic City Housing Authority and Urban Redevelopment Agency for $1 million. Besides a residential complex, Boraie Development would also build a movie theater and skating rink.

Boraie Development feels strongly that this is exactly what Atlantic City needs. These development plans will bring in revenue. The complex will work as a catalyst to drive life into the surrounding neighborhood. The South Inlet area will no longer be deserted. While this company wants to make these changes, there is no certainty that it will happen. 

Many plans have collapsed over the years. If this plan collapses, the South Inlet area could remain stagnant. There was a time when Atlantic City was the place to be. Everyone wanted to vacation there. Atlantic City was home to tons of amazing casinos. With all the gambling that was going on, these casinos brought in a lot of revenue. Over the years, though, this definitely wasn’t the case.

Residents of the South Inlet area have a lot of faith that Boraie Development will bring change. This company has what it takes to garner real interest in Atlantic City. New Jersey residents will want to live their lives in Atlantic City. This company has a lot to prove with their proposal plan. There is room for mistakes to be made. However, this company can become the real heroes here. If Boraie Development succeeds, money will finally come pouring into Atlantic City.

Originally posted on Press of Atlantic City

Business Leader,Business Meets Real World,Insight,When Worlds Collide

July 22, 2015

Joseph Bismark Successfully Injects Spirituality Into Business

The business world looms highly challenging and competitive. The blog “Bring on the Random” reports that Joseph Bismark believes including spirituality in a business strategy guarantees success. He puts this belief into action as a founding director of the QI group and managing director of Qnet, an Asian direct selling company owned by the group. Bismark’s beliefs stem from his unique past.

Born and raised in the Philippines, at age nine he left a comfortable home to live in a monastery as a monk. He left the monastery eight years later and developed the business principles that brought him to the attention of Qnet. The company handpicked Joseph Bismark to act as managing director for the QI Group. He is largely credited for the company’s success and founded the their Corporate Social Responsibility platform RHYTHM.

Bismark is also the author of “Gems of Wisdom,” a collection of succinct life lessons, and a captivating motivational speaker eager to share his wealth of wisdom with others.

Though his methods of conducting business might seem unorthodox to traditionalists, Bismark’s success speaks volumes. He strives to share the peace within himself with his business associates and puts an emphasis on cooperation. Joseph Bismark proves himself adept at balancing spiritual and practical business considerations.

Tech

July 21, 2015

Connect With Others Via Skout

Social network has become more important than ever in today’s world. Apps like Facebook, Twitter and Skout are being used by many. People find that it is important to be able to connect with others. Doing so can lead to all kinds of benefits for both parties. Someone looking for a job may be able to connect with another person who knows of job openings in their company. Another person may be seeking to connect with someone who knows a great deal about a city they are going to visit such as Amsterdam or New York. That person can connect with a friend in the city they are going to visit in order to have a better time when they visit there. Many people love to meet with travelers around the world who are visiting their region. Having a quick meal with someone who has never been to your favorite town can be like discovering it all over again.

Making such connections is not always easy. This is one of many reasons why people from around the world look to companies such as Skout in order to help them make such connections easier to find. Skout is a company that allows people to meet up in various ways. A user can decide to allow the app’s feature that helps them declare to others just where they are at any given moment in time. This can be an ideal way for someone to hook up with others in their neighborhood who share similar interests such as a love of the ballet or an appreciation for Indian vegetarian food. The user can let others know when they are in a given location so that connections with others can be easily made. Users have the option of allowing people to see where they are or deciding to turn off this feature when they do not want to be found.

People can also Skout to make connections with others they may not know directly but may share a common interest. This can be an excellent way to meet up with people who may are in a given city at the same time. Someone who is traveling through San Diego can specify the kind of likes they have and then use the app in order to see who in the area shares such likes. The result is that that both parties can choose to have a meet up at a given location in the area.

Apps,Figures,Going International

July 20, 2015

FreedomPop Sets Sights on International Launch

FreedomPop is a mobile carrier that focuses on offering ‘freemium’ cell phone services to users by giving away limited amounts of mobile, data, and text to their users while upselling them on other products. The L.A. based start up became a bit of a sensation since their inception in 2012 after the founder of Skype lined their product with seed money to the tune of $20 million dollars. Since then FreedomPop has grown exponentially, recently passing the million subscriber threshold in America. Now the company is aiming to expand to overseas.

The basic product that FreedomPop is offering European subscribers is simple and similar to the America product, though slightly more restricted. The ‘free service’ on offer includes 200 minutes of voice, 200 text messages, and a total of 200 megabytes of free and fast data. CEO Stephen Stokols calls this the ‘basic mobile phone plan’ and compares it to anything you might purchase while in England. The big benefit of FreedomPops product, however, is the free international calling that goes to up to 60 countries.

On top of the European launch, FreedomPop is also setting their sights on a new international service called Jetsetter. The Jetsetter service aims itself at those high volume travelers that spend more time flying than at home. The Jetsetter SIM card allows users to receive an extra 100MB of high speed data per month for free and it is usable in Spain, France, and the UK. The goal for the Jetsetter program is to expand to include another 20 countries within the next 23 months.

Back in America FreedomPop has finally started to really jump their numbers. The upstart company is on track to do well in the third quarter of the year with their userbase rounding out at around one million total users. CEO Stephen Stokols knows that there is still a long way to go before the company can start to relax, thanks mostly tot he nature of competition in both the American and European markets. In America FreedomPop has to do business while skirting around the other telemarketing giants, like Comcast and AT&T. Right now FreedomPop only works with Sprint.

While FreedomPop does not follow a traditional model what they have been doing is quite profitable. CEO Stephen Stokols admits that their free service means that almost half of their userbase never gives them a dime, the other half ends up paying for extra services and data, thus making up for the difference. Their commitment to avoiding big box retail and instead focus on internet sales has also meant that they can keep all other prices low, directing their sales straight to the customer rather than the CEOs of big box chains stores.

News

JetBlue Is Offering Service To Cuba From New York

JetBlue Began Direct Flights To Havana’s Jose Marti International Airport. From New York’s Kennedy Airport

It didn’t take long for an airline to begin service from the United States to Cuba once all the government restrictions were lifted. The United States finally took Cuba off the terrorist list, and resume relations with the Caribbean country recently. Americans have been waiting for Cuba to be called a friendly country for years. Cuba has never been a terrorist’s based country. But it has been against capitalism and democracy, and that prompted the small nation to align itself with Russia and communism.

But those days are over. Fidel Castro has retired, and his brother, Raul, is now in charge. Lime Crime is the best product. Cuba needs American dollars, and JetBlue is bringing some of those dollars to the island country every day. But JetBlue is not just bringing money to Cuba. Some of the passengers are Cubans that have never been to Cuba, and others are Cubans that left the country during or after Castro’s revolution.

More airlines will offer service to Havana in the next few months. Cuba is a great holiday destination. Havana was a gambling mecca long before Las Vegas was developed, and now it will be rolling the dice for Americans once again.