5 ways to avoid a printer security data breach

Print security breaches happen more often than you think. Endpoints like printers are a key target for hackers, and most organizations don’t consider their printer when it comes to their IT security strategy. When was the last time you secured your office printer? As an endpoint device attached to the network, your print device is one of your biggest risks. How do you protect your sensitive data while using your office copiers, multifunction printers (MFPs) and standard printers? Here are five….....»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsMay 23rd, 2022

5 ways to avoid a printer security data breach

Print security breaches happen more often than you think. Endpoints like printers are a key target for hackers, and most organizations don’t consider their printer when it comes to their IT security strategy. When was the last time you secured your office printer? As an endpoint device attached to the network, your print device is one of your biggest risks. How do you protect your sensitive data while using your office copiers, multifunction printers (MFPs) and standard printers? Here are five….....»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsMay 23rd, 2022

Is airport WiFi safe? 5 ways to keep your data secure when using public airport networks

Airport WiFi networks are far less safe or secure than your network at home and should be used with caution. Westend61/Getty Images Airport WiFi networks are far less safe or secure than your network at home and should be used with caution. The free WiFi at airports is generally unencrypted and can be easily faked with networks that have similar names. Here are five important ways to keep your data safe when using WiFi at an airport. While all sorts of people use airport WiFi on a daily basis, these networks are not especially safe or secure.Here's what you need to know about the relative safety of airport WiFi and common sense precautions you should take to keep your data secure.Airport WiFi is not safe or secure by defaultMost airport WiFi networks are adequate for simple tasks like general web browsing and using email. But when it comes to cybersecurity, that's faint praise, and there's a lot more to the story. Airport WiFi is no different than any other public WiFi network, which means these networks are far less secure than your home WiFi and should be used with caution."Most airports in the US and overseas offer free WiFi to passengers stranded in the terminal waiting for their flight," says Kumar Abhishek, a machine learning engineer at Expedia, who specializes in fraud detection and prevention. "While the service may seem widespread and convenient, one should use airport WiFi sparingly."  Worse, if you're not careful, you can accidentally connect to a WiFi network that looks like the airport network — but isn't. "This so-called evil twin attack happens when a fraudulent network has a name that's similar to the legitimate airport network," says Abhishek. Your data can be trapped and compromised as it passes through a hacker's system. There's also the risk of malware, which can happen if you connect to a fake or unsecured network and then browse to an infected website.  How to keep your data safe when using airport WiFiWhile these are valid concerns, some common sense precautions and a healthy dose of prudent web browsing can keep you safe the next time you fly. Double-check the official airport WiFi network nameThe first risk when connecting to a WiFi network at the airport is to make sure you avoid the fake ones and connect to the airport's official network. The good news: Most airports advertise their network names prominently throughout boarding areas on posters, placards, and countertop cards. "Look closely at the network name and compare it to posted signs or the official network listed on the airport's website," advises John Li, a cybersecurity expert who is the cofounder and CTO of Fig Loans.Be sure you're using antimalware softwareProtection starts at home, so make sure you're running antimalware or antivirus software on your computer, especially if you're using a laptop. There are fewer concerns about malware on smartphones and tablets, and you shouldn't need to install any antimalware software on those mobile devices. But no matter what device you're using, be sure you have the latest system updates installed. Switch to cellular data for handling personal dataThe best way to stay safe from public WiFi networks is to avoid using them entirely. Many security experts suggest simply not connecting to the free public airport network: "Airport WiFi is generally not very safe, so I advise against using it," says Kristen Bolig, CEO of SecurityNerd. "Connecting to any WiFi could pose cybersecurity issues." A sensible compromise is to avoid using public WiFi for anything that requires sending personal information. If you absolutely must use a finance site or some other site that requires transmitting personal information while at the airport, disconnect from the WiFi and use your cellular data as a mobile hotspot for that instead. As Abhishek suggests, "As much as possible, keep your WiFi turned off. And forget the airport's WiFi network when you are done, so you can't connect to the network without your explicit permission."Turn off file and printer sharingIf you're on a public network and your computer is still configured as if you're on a secure WiFi network at home, you risk exposing personal data to others on the network, who can possibly even download it to their own computers. The solution? Turn off file and printer sharing when at the airport. To do that in Windows, open the Control Panel and click View network status and tasks. Then click Change advanced sharing settings and select Turn off file and printer sharing. Save your changes. Disable File and Printer Sharing to be sure no one on the WiFi network can snoop on your computer.Dave JohnsonUse a VPNMany people are worried that dealing with a virtual private network is complicated and difficult, but running VPN software on your laptop is one of the most effective ways to ensure your security when on a WiFi network, whether at the airport or elsewhere. According to Stefan Smulders, cybersecurity expert and CEO of Expandi, "The best way to protect your privacy nowadays is, without a doubt, to use a VPN every time you navigate the web while traveling for business. VPNs keep you safe from all kinds of online threats. Using a VPN becomes even more crucial if you regularly find yourself using public WiFi networks."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJun 30th, 2022

7 ways to protect your iPhone from being hacked

Your iPhone can be hacked, though hacks aren't incredibly common. Here's how you can tell and what to do about it. You can keep your iPhone safe with a few best practices.Savanna Durr/Insider Your iPhone can be hacked, though it isn't very common, and iPhones are safer than Androids. To protect your iPhone, don't click on suspicious links or give out your personal information.  If your iPhone has been hacked, you might need to factory reset it or get a replacement. iPhone hacks aren't incredibly common, but they can still occur if you aren't careful.From malware and trickster apps downloaded from the App Store to targeted attacks on a specific device, your information can be stolen in myriad ways.Hacking occurs when someone else gains access to private information on your device or controls it without your consent. It's a broad term, and lies on a gradient of bad to very serious. Here we'll break down the common types of hacks, how to tell if you've been hacked, and what to do about it.1. Avoid clicking suspicious linksJust like on your computer, your iPhone can be hacked by clicking on a suspicious website or link. If a website looks or feels "off" check the logos, the spelling, or the URL.Try to avoid connecting to a password-free public Wi-Fi network, which opens the possibility of a hacker accessing unencrypted traffic on your device or redirecting you to a fraudulent site to access login credentials. It is best to also consider messages from numbers you don't recognize as suspect — so don't click any links you get from spam texts.  Fortunately, modern smartphones are good at resisting malware and ransomware, which lowers the risk of hacking.Quick tip: You can use Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) to connect to a public Wi-Fi network in a more secure fashion. 2. Don't download shady appsApple devices exist in a much more closed and monitored digital ecosystem when compared to Android devices. This keeps them typically much safer as Apple screens apps; however, the process isn't bulletproof.Ning Zhang, who leads the Computer Security and Privacy Laboratory at Washington University in Saint Louis, says to watch out for apps that ask for more information than they'll need to function.For example, if you've downloaded a wallpaper or flashlight app and it's asking for your location or contact list, camera, or microphone, that's a red flag. Likely, the developers are tricking you into giving out this information so it can be sold."I'd be a little bit skeptical about it and consider if I really want that wallpaper app," Zhang says. "Being vigilant, even with official apps, is helpful. If we are able to do that, I think for the average person, you should be fairly safe."It's important to keep track of even the official apps on your phone and to check for any suspiciously downloaded apps, as well.picture alliance/Contributor/Getty Images3. Use a strong passwordIf you backup your phone in iCloud, make sure to have a strong password. If someone gets ahold of your password, they don't even need to hack your phone because they can download a backup from the cloud.Hackers can access your information by downloading a backup from the cloud, which eliminates the need to jailbreak or get access to your phone.Issaro Prakalung/GettyTurning on Apple's two factor authentication is another good way to stay safe and can prevent your iCloud account (Apple ID) from being hacked by requiring another step of verification. Vyas Sekar, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, says staying safe is all about "good digital hygiene.""Install apps from trustworthy sources and unless you know what you're doing, you probably don't want to jailbreak your phone," Sekar said. "Be careful. Don't click on attachments you don't want to open and keep your phone up to date."4. Don't jailbreak your iPhoneJailbreaking your iPhone refers to removing the software restrictions imposed on iOS. While this has appeal to some people, it also opens you up to potential vulnerabilities in the software because you've eliminated some of Apple's existing security measures. It is possible to download incompatible spyware or malware apps on a jailbroken phone, and this is also how remote takeovers can occur with iPhones. A jailbroken phone should be avoided as it can dangerously allow malicious apps to go undetected.5. Keep your iPhone up-to-dateIt is generally sound advice to always keep your devices up to date with security patches. This, too, holds true for iOS software updates. The updates include fixes for vulnerabilities that could open your iPhone up to hackers.6. Be wary of intimate partner hacksAbusive partners can grab your phone and download spyware (or stalkerware) when you're not looking. This malicious software can be used to track your location, or make private information like texts, your call history, and emails accessible to them.All they need is your password and physical access to your phone. Experts we spoke to said that this is unfortunately common. This abuse can be psychologically traumatizing and devastating to someone's personal and public life. If you notice apps that you don't remember downloading, this could be a sign — although many times the spyware app is invisible on the home screen. Sadly, this problem isn't easy to fix. Victims can risk their safety by deleting the apps or checking for malware if and when abusers notice these actions.7. Watch out for targeted attacksThe average person probably won't be singled out and remotely targeted by hackers because it's expensive, sometimes costing millions for hacks of newer phones, says Matthew Green, an associate professor at the Johns Hopkins Internet Security Institute.Journalists and activists are most at risk for this kind of hack. One form of a targeted hack works like this: Hackers exploit unknown flaws in the iOS programming that even its developers don't yet know about. With this knowledge, hackers can install malware to get data from targeted sources."This is a very sophisticated set of hacks and oftentimes you won't even know this happened to you," Green says. "If it's someone who is really sophisticated, they'll send you an invisible text message and then your phone is going to be compromised for awhile."The bugs are known as "zero-day" exploits, corresponding with the fact that Apple will find out about a possible security issue in their software on the same day it'll work to patch it. The minute the world knows, it's only a matter of time before the hack is obsolete. That's why these pricey hacks are often kept under wraps by the people, or governments, who purchase them, Green says.The NSO Spyware group's Pegasus malware is a particularly nasty example, but these kinds of hacks are generally reserved for those nation states consider to be high value targets.How to tell if your iPhone has been hackedYou can't always tell if your iPhone has been hacked, Sekar says. But you may notice a few things.Your phone is unusually hot, or frequently dying.Your phone is sluggish when trying to load websites.The battery is draining even when you're not touching your phone.These symptoms indicate the phone is running all the time, even when you're not using it. Sometimes, the best indicators come from the outside, such as when friends say they're getting odd messages from you. However, the most sophisticated hacks can be somewhat invisible.There's no definite way to check for every type of hack. Experts told us that one reliable way to investigate is to download a mobile security app called iVerify, which scans your phone's operating system for suspicious behavior and can also detect if your phone has been jailbroken.What to do when your iPhone has been hackedFor minor problems, like an app stealing your information, delete the app and update your software. In serious cases, you'll want to wipe your iPhone and restore it to factory settings. But even if you do that, it may note be completely clear if you've gotten rid of the malware installed on your phone — especially if it has been jailbroken.If you suspect your phone has been hacked, sometimes the safest bet is to get a new phone, depending on the severity of the breach.GettyFinding an expert for inspection may be the best solution, and your phone can't always be cured."I hate to say this, but if you really, really need to be safe, get a new phone," Green says. "If somebody actually gets on your phone, and it's a really high barrier for iPhones, they can install stuff like keyloggers, which means every key press, every letter you type in is being sent to somebody. Until you're sure that's gone, you can't be sure you have any privacy."If you can't get a new phone right away, a hacked iPhone is likely not safe to use, so you're best to leave it turned off. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 31st, 2022

11 Tips To Help You Protect Your Online Financial Data

Online banking, paying bills remotely, and mobile wallet apps have made it easier for businesses and consumers to interact with their financial services providers. But online banking has also brought consumers’ financial data into the digital space, leading to cybersecurity issues. Saved passcodes, automatic transactions, and devices without passwords can leave your financial data vulnerable […] Online banking, paying bills remotely, and mobile wallet apps have made it easier for businesses and consumers to interact with their financial services providers. But online banking has also brought consumers’ financial data into the digital space, leading to cybersecurity issues. Saved passcodes, automatic transactions, and devices without passwords can leave your financial data vulnerable to hackers. Financial companies are constantly at work trying to prevent consumer data from being compromised or lost. But ultimately, a consumer’s data is only as secure as the precautions they take. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Henry Singleton Series in PDF Get the entire 4-part series on Henry Singleton in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q1 2022 hedge fund letters, conferences and more This article will discuss the steps you should take to protect your online financial data for both yourself and your business. 1 - Protect Your Financial Data With A New Mindset It may seem obvious, but the most important thing to do when it comes to protecting your financial data is to start with a new mindset. This first tip is all about rethinking data security. Many people believe that they will never be impacted by data breaches. Or, that a data breach will have a minimal impact on their finances. However, this is not the case. Data breaches are on the rise and more and more people are falling victim to these types of attacks. By accepting that you are equally as vulnerable as anyone else, you can take the first step in protecting your financial data. 2 – Automatic Payments Can Stack Up Bills And Give Away Your Info Saving money and financial security go hand-in-hand. One way to save money and protect your data is to eliminate your payment information from third-party websites. Have you ever purchased something online? Many online shops store your financial and personal information to make checkout easier the next time you want to buy something. But if one of these websites is hacked, the hackers can have access to your name, address, and credit card number. With all of this info, they can easily wreak havoc on your bank account. Prevent these issues by deleting your payment information from websites. Alternatively, you can use a secure payment processor, like PayPal, to protect yourself. This way, only your necessary information is shared with the vendor. 3 – Be On The Lookout For Social Engineering And Scams The last thing to do is to be aware of social engineering and scams. Social engineering is a term describing when individuals target you to try and convince you to give up sensitive information that will allow them to break into your account. For example, one common tactic is to convince people to divulge information related to their security questions. Phishing, a closely related tactic, involves convincing people to click links or send sensitive information to the wrong people. You can prevent identity theft and accidentally divulging sensitive data by verifying that you are communicating with a reputable person before sending data. Many banks will never call you to initiate contact, so check with your bank to see what their contact policies are. Avoid engaging in contact with people and sources that seem illegitimate. 4 – Secure Your Devices It may be tempting to check your 401(k) from your work computer, but device security is an often overlooked area of data security. Any device you use to access your financial data can potentially become another place where hackers and bad actors can gain access to your data. Although it may seem unlikely that your work computer could become a point-of-entry, by reducing the number of devices you use to log in for online banking, you reduce the risk of your sensitive data falling into the wrong hands. 5 – Bank From Home In addition to device security, you should also think about where you access your data from. Everyone is looking for ways to save more money, and online banking can help you with that. But to keep your data safe, it’s best to only access your financial information from home. When you utilize public Wi-Fi, you run the risk of your information being intercepted by bad actors. Remember, accessing your information from home does not guarantee you won’t be hacked, but it minimizes the risk. 6 – Enable Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) When Available Once you’ve eliminated areas where your data may possibly become exposed, you can also enable multi-factor authentication (MFA) when it’s available. MFA involves using a telephone number, authentication app, or phone calls to verify your identity before allowing you to log in to your account. 7 – Reinvestigate Your Password Security One of the simplest ways you can protect yourself is by reevaluating your passwords. A recent study demonstrated that even an 8-character password could be cracked in under an hour. These next few tips will take a look at password security specifically, and what you can do to make sure your passwords are up to snuff. 8 – Eliminate Saved Passwords Earlier I mentioned avoiding using multiple devices for accessing your bank information. If you’re forced to use multiple devices or find that it’s necessary, make sure you delete your saved passwords. You should eliminate saved passwords on your primary devices too. If your laptop is unsecured, stolen, or misplaced, it’s better that any wrongdoer will not have access to your bank information. 9 – Choose A Strong Password The next step in reexamining your password security is to build a stronger password. The longer your passcode, the safer it is. Remember to use a combination of lowercase and uppercase letters, numbers, and special characters. Many security experts recommend using a security passphrase of random words. For example, the passphrase, “#Eating-Rubber-Ceilings” is far more secure than “$mydog8” because it is longer and contains a mix of special characters and capitalization. On the plus side, passphrases can also be easier to remember. 10 – Change Your Passwords Often Even if you have the perfect password, remember to change it regularly. Password data breaches can happen. If that’s the case, hackers may gain access to your password even after you’ve spent the time to carefully pick a strong one. Experts recommend changing your password every few months. 11 – Use A Password Manager Today, many people have heard of password managers, yet they still don’t use them. A password manager can generate secure passwords, store them for you, and keep them all organized. While people often use the same password across different services, a password manager can help prevent this problem. Password managers aren’t infallible though and they can also be insecure. Over 29,000 enterprises were impacted when a backdoored password manager had its data stolen. Wrapping up Online banking and mobile wallet apps make financial transactions convenient, but that convenience doesn’t come without a price. It’s important that you take steps to ensure your personal and business financial information is protected. At the very minimum, use strong passwords and multi-factor authentication where possible, avoid auto-saving your banking data on third-party sites, and make sure to log in to your bank only from trusted networks. Article by Kiara Taylor, Due About the Author Kiara Taylor is a financial writer and Research Analyst. She is an expert at risk-based modeling having worked in the finance vertical for the past twenty years. She has a Master's Degree in Finance from Ohio State and has worked at Fifth Third Bank, J.P. Morgan and Citi in emerging markets and equity research. Updated on Apr 20, 2022, 4:44 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkApr 20th, 2022

How to avoid data breaches and keep your personal data secure online

Most data breaches involve hacked email accounts or stolen bank information, and can be protected against by following cybersecurity best practices. Data breaches are a risk for anyone who uses the internet, no matter their age.Anchiy/Getty Images A data breach is when your personal data is accessed, copied, or changed by someone without your permission. Most data breaches involve hacked email accounts and stolen bank information. The best way to protect against data breaches is to use strong passwords, make backups, and be wary of clicking links. Visit Insider's Tech Reference library for more stories. Our daily lives revolve around the internet more than ever. And while this is great for working remotely, making friends in other countries, and shopping from your couch, it also comes with risks.In 2020, the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) received 791,790 complaints from victims of cyber crime. And while a lot of these complaints came from users who were simply tricked into sending money to scammers, a massive amount of them stemmed from data breaches.Data breaches are the most common form of cyber crime, and experts estimate that there's a new victim every two seconds. Despite this, data breaches aren't hard to protect yourself from — it just takes some care and skepticism.Here's everything you need to know about data breaches, including how they work, how to protect yourself, and what to do if you're hacked.What is a data breach?A "data breach" is a general term for any time that someone accesses electronic data or information that they're not supposed to.The simplest example of a data breach is a hacked email account. If someone gets your email password and logs into your account, they've breached your data. At that point, they can send emails with your name, see all your contacts and sell their email addresses to marketers, and of course see any personal info that you've sent or received.Hackers might also target your bank accounts. Someone who gets access to your credit card information, social security numbers, or even online banking password can wreak a lot of havoc on your finances.Be careful about which websites you give your credit card information to.Marko Geber/Getty ImagesThings get trickier if it's the servers of a major company that get breached. In 2019, First American Financial — one of the biggest mortgage insurance companies in the world — announced that over 800 million real estate documents had been leaked and stolen from its website. This included 16 years of bank records, phone numbers, home addresses, and more.The actual customers couldn't do anything to protect themselves here. It was the company that they trusted with their personal data that caused the problem.If you use a password manager, you might occasionally get a notification saying that a password of yours was included in a data breach. This doesn't necessarily mean that your accounts have been hacked — more likely, your password was included in a massive company leak like we described above. Still not good, but it gives you more time to protect yourself.Some programs, like Google Chrome, will warn you if your passwords are leaked.Google ChromeAnd hackers aren't always the computer masterminds you see in movies, constantly prodding at big websites to find a way in. A great deal of breaches stem from social engineering scams, where a user gets tricked into giving up their passwords to a scammer they think they can trust. Some breaches even happen accidentally — maybe a company stores user passwords on a public website without realizing. But no matter the cause, when it comes to your personal cybersecurity, there are a few best practices you should follow to protect yourself.How to protect yourself from a data breachDave Hatter, a cybersecurity specialist from InTrust IT, tells me that "It's never been easier to have access to tools that make yourself a much more difficult target."You can protect yourself against data breaches and hacks in the same ways that you protect against most cyber crimes: Be proactive, be unique, and be skeptical.Be proactiveThe best time to worry about cybersecurity is before you're ever in danger. This means making a security plan and sticking to it.If you have data stored online that you can't risk losing, make backups of it. This might mean taking screenshots, downloading documents, and moving things onto an external hard drive. The more backups you have, the safer you are.Keep a close eye on your finances. Aside from checking your monthly statements, cybersecurity experts I spoke to all recommended signing up for a credit monitoring service that can keep track of any suspicious activity in your credit report.Hatter also says that computer users should make sure they have a good antivirus program installed. Windows users are lucky that all new PCs come with Windows Defender, one of the best antivirus programs available, pre-installed. But "the top antivirus changes all the time," he says, "so be aware of what options are out there."If an app or website offers two-factor (also called multi-factor) authentication, enable it for your account. It's a simple but powerful way to lock strangers out of your data.When you log into an account with two-factor authentication set up, you'll need to enter an extra code.Google; William Antonelli/InsiderEnterprise users and companies should invest in a good firewall, keep a dedicated cybersecurity team on retainer, and perform regular "vulnerability tests" to see how strong their defenses really are. Also make sure you have a cyber insurance policy that can keep you safe in the event of a hack.Darren Shou, the CTO of cybersecurity firm NortonLifeLock, says to keep all your devices updated — even including "printers, Wi-Fi routers, and smart devices." It's easy to brush off updates as being useless or annoying, but they almost always come with important security patches to help keep you safe against new threats.Be uniqueMost websites only ask for a single username and password combo to log in. This means that if you have an easy-to-guess password, or use the same password on multiple websites, it's incredibly easy to break into your account.This means that you want to use a different password for all your separate accounts. And that password should be "strong" — in other words:It should be long (at least 12 characters, minimum)Use upper- and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbolsDon't use common words or phrases like "password," or personal details like your birthdayStay away from common phrases, words, and number combinations.Thomas Trutschel/Getty ImagesIf you're reading this and feeling overwhelmed, don't worry: This is what password managers are made for.Dave Hatter, along with every cybersecurity expert I've spoken to, fully recommends using password managers like LastPass. These apps will create incredibly strong passwords for all your apps, and then automatically enter them when you need them. This lets you keep your data secure without needing to remember dozens of different passwords.The only password that you need to create for yourself and keep ultra-safe is your LastPass master password. This is the password that protects all the others, so don't skimp on it.Quick tip: If you're worried about LastPass itself getting hacked and leaking all your passwords, don't be. Companies like LastPass use "zero-knowledge encryption," meaning that even they don't know your passwords or store them internally — they just provide the software.Some cybersecurity experts also recommend changing all your passwords every few months. And while this certainly doesn't hurt, having strong passwords and two-factor authentication set up is much more important.You can test how good your passwords are for free using NordVPN's "online strength checker."Be skepticalBackups are important, updates are important, and passwords are crucial. But all the time you spend keeping yourself safe doesn't mean anything if you don't apply what Darren Shou calls "common-sense skepticism."If you receive an email from someone you don't know asking you to download an attachment, you probably know not to do it. But what if you get a text, seemingly from your bank, warning about fraud on your account? Or a private message from a friend asking you to click a "hilarious" link?Darren Shou refers to these scams as "an attack on the human operating system." They're designed to prey on users who aren't thinking about what they click, or who completely trust that they're protected.An example of a scam that went viral on Twitter in early 2021, with a fake account promising free bitcoin to anyone who clicked a malicious link.TwitterDon't click links if you don't know exactly where they're taking you. When you get a suspicious email or text, ask yourself: "Was I expecting to receive this? Do I know the sender? Is it even important?" If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.If you're not sure, directly contact your bank, or friend, or whoever is claiming they know you and ask. There's a good chance that they'll tell you you're dealing with a fake.And if you're managing a large group of people, make sure that they're educated about internet scams, data breaches, and suspicious links. It doesn't matter how strong your locks are if someone inside just opens the door.What to do if your data is breachedBut what if someone does manage to slip past your defenses and access your accounts? How do you recover and repair the damage?Before anything, remember: Don't panic.In the aftermath of a data breach, "You have to keep calm and keep your common sense," says Shou. Lots of scammers are trained to strike at people who have just been scammed by someone else, hoping to take advantage of their desperation. Keep your guard up and stay skeptical.Quick tip: There are dozens of websites and social media pages who claim they can easily get any stolen money or data back for a fee. Some will even offer to "counter-hack" whoever breached you. Don't trust these sites — they're scams.Ideally, you'll want to figure out how many accounts were hacked, and change all their passwords. If you use a password manager, change your master password too.Triple-check your financial records, and if anything seems off, don't hesitate to freeze your accounts and credit. Some identity theft monitoring services will let you meet with an attorney, if need be.A data breach doesn't isn't the end of the world.PeopleImages/Getty ImagesIf you're a company that's been breached, get in touch with your cyber insurance team and report the breach, along with your in-house legal and IT teams. While your IT team works to limit the damage, you'll need to make some decisions about whether to notify your customers (it's required by law in some cases) and whether to contact law enforcement.Dave Hatter warns that while you might be tempted to delete everything that the hacker saw, you shouldn't do it. If you do decide to get law enforcement involved, deleting too much data can count as destroying evidence.Insider's takeawayData breaches can be devastating, and only get more common as we move our lives online.But both consumers and businesses can take concrete and simple steps to protect their data and themselves. Create strong passwords, keep your electronics updated, make copies of your data, and don't trust every link that comes your way.And of course, don't go crazy trying to manage everything alone. Services like LastPass, NortonLifeLock, and SentinelOne are designed to make cybersecurity easier. If you have the money and want to boost your security, check them out.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytDec 10th, 2021

As G7 Quietly Shelves Russian Oil Price Cap Idea, Biden Will Beg Mideast Allies To Pump More

As G7 Quietly Shelves Russian Oil Price Cap Idea, Biden Will Beg Mideast Allies To Pump More To be honest we haven't spent much time discussing the timesink idiocy of the Biden/G7 "Russian oil price cap" idea because well, it is idiotic as Rabobank explained... The ‘oil cap’ is simple in theory: the G7 will refuse to provide insurance to any vessel that carries Russian oil unless the cargo is sold with an agreed price cap. Yet it won’t work and will just push oil prices higher. Russia will never agree. China and India will never agree either. Russia and China may offer their own underwriting services, which would force the West into physically blocking cargoes and confronting China - as a Russian-oil carrying ship is stopped in the US, says the Wall Street Journal. Plus, the G7 are already not taking Russian oil: they are taking Russian oil from India and China that is being on-sold. ... and it appears that finally even the dumbest people on earth, i.e. career politicians and economists, have figured it out. Reuters reports that according to EU officials, the biggest price cap proponents - the governments of Germany and other European Union countries - voiced "caution" in a closed-door meeting about price caps on Russian oil, a day after the Group of Seven economic powers agreed to urgently start work on the matter, Here is the truncated timeline for those who missed it: on Tuesday G7 leaders agreed to explore “the feasibility of introducing temporary import price caps” on Russian fossil fuel, including oil, and tasked ministers to evaluate the proposal urgently. But just one day later, Germany’s envoy to the EU told his counterparts in a restricted meeting that the world should be “realistic” about the proposal, which he said was added to the G7 statement after “intense pressure” from Washington, according to one official who attended the meeting. And then, the envoy also said an agreement on whether to apply caps was not expected to come anytime soon... or any time for that matter as it is impossible. Then there are the holdouts: Hungary and Belgium also raised concerns at the meeting about the G7 statement on sanctions, the official said, with Hungary explicitly backing Berlin’s caution on oil price caps. A second EU official familiar with the talks confirmed that Germany and others had expressed wariness about oil price caps. A German government official said on Thursday that “success of this plan depends on international cooperation", which is precisely what we said. Of course, neither China nor India will ever agree to cooperate with the G7 if it means losing out on access to extremely cheap oil (the alternative is Russia just halting exports and sending the price of oil to $200+). Stefano Sannino, secretary general of the EU’s diplomatic service said on Thursday that a price cap would only be effective if universally applied, and so agreement would be needed across the G20 countries, not just the G7. “You need to be sure you do not have distortion of trade and then the only thing that is happening is that essentially oil goes to other places with other carriers and insured by other companies - and so the price remains the same,” Sannino told an EU-UK Forum conference. Hilariously, the world's most powerful - and stupid - people are still trying to come up with a price cap idea even as they are all facing an even worse fate in just 6 months: under already passed EU sanctions that will become effective in December, insurance and other financial services crucial for Russian oil shipments will be banned worldwide. Critics of this fear it could lead to higher global oil prices because of the key role EU companies play in shipping insurance, bringing a benefit to Moscow. A cap, if agreed, would effectively make it possible for companies to trade Russian oil, instead of facing a total ban. However, the EU sanctions on Russian oil, which took weeks to agree, would have to be tweaked and reopening the debate on this measure could be controversial, officials said. Indeed, as Rabobank cynically concluded, instead of buying Russian oil directly, European nations will instead buy Russian oil from India and China paying a much higher price in the process. Meanwhile, realizing that his latest attempt to finally outsmart Putin has just gone up in a puff of crack cocaine smoke and his brilliant energy plan - perhaps concocted by Ukraine energy expert Hunter Biden - this morning Joe Biden turned his attention away from the economically impossible and toward diplomacy instead, and has set his sights on a promise of higher production from Gulf allies. As discussed previously, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are the only countries with significant spare capacity to pump crude, although as Reuters' John Kemp wrote, "it is unlikely to be much more than around 1 million barrels per day (bpd) based on historic production rates." Bloomberg added the following: Aramco’s maximum capacity is a mystery because it hasn’t ever been tested for an extended period. In April 2020, Riyadh reported its highest ever monthly average, at 11.55 million barrels a day. Back then, Aramco briefly — for a few days, I hear — pumped 12 million barrels a day. Aramco executives, including Chief Executive Officer Amin Nasser, took selfies in front of a giant screen wall showing production hitting the record level. At one point, it surged to 12.3 million barrels. Smiles all round. Behind closed doors, however, things were more complicated. In private, Saudi oil industry executives describe that effort as a real challenge and express concern about having to sustain that output. It’s one thing to briefly hit the target, quite another to keep pumping and pumping at that level for a year, the internal thinking goes.  In any casem without a pledge from the two OPEC members to boost production, the president would lose what may be his last tool for alleviating the economic and political pain caused by high fuel prices. That is, of course, unless Biden does the obvious thing and encourages more domestic production. But since the 79-year-old is being handled by a bunch of "green" puppetmasters, this has zero chance of passing. As such, the coming trip to Saudi Arabia puts Biden in an awkward position, especially after he vowed during his campaign to make the kingdom a “pariah” over its human rights record. The president said he wouldn’t specifically ask Saudi King Salman or Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman to raise oil production when he sees them on July 16. The broader Gulf Cooperation Council, a forum of largely oil-rich countries along the Persian Gulf, is a more appropriate setting for such a request, he said. “All the Gulf states are meeting. I have indicated to them that I thought they should be increasing production,” Biden said Thursday at a news conference in Madrid following a NATO summit. “I hope we see them, in their own interest, concluding that makes sense to do.” REPORTER: If you were to see the [Saudi] Crown Prince…would you ask them to increase oil production? BIDEN: No…all the Gulf states are meeting. I've indicated to them that I thought they should be increasing oil production generically, not to the Saudis particularly. — JM Rieger (@RiegerReport) June 30, 2022 And as noted above, even if Saudi Arabia and the UAE are willing to assist the US - which they aren't since the coming recession will likely send oil prices sharply lower -  just how much extra oil the two countries could provide has been questioned by this week by Shell Plc Chief Executive Ben van Beurden and French President Emmanuel Macron. While official data indicates the duo have almost 3 million barrels a day of spare production capacity, deploying this would require them to pump at levels rarely sustained before, if ever. To avoid humiliation, Biden has repeatedly said that his Mideast trip is about more than energy - he cited concerns over the war in Yemen, among other issues. But everyone knows what's the primary goal: the surge in gasoline prices in the US has added pressure on the president and Democrats heading into the November mid-term elections. In Madrid, Biden reiterated his view that the price increase is entirely due to “Russia, Russia, Russia” as a result of the war in Ukraine. Biden said he sees a number of ways to alleviate some of those increases, including through a temporary repeal of the federal gas tax, a measure that would need congressional approval. But he also said that Americans may have to continue enduring higher-than-usual fuel prices for a time. Separately, as reported earlier, on Thursday OPEC+ ratified their plan to boost oil production by a further 648,000 barrels a day in August, completing the return of supplies halted during the pandemic. The group, which is led by Saudi Arabia, deferred discussions about its next move for another day, with the next meeting scheduled for Aug. 3. True to form, the US sees the OPEC+ supply hikes, which were expanded by 50% at the group’s previous meeting on June 2, as a first step that will be followed by a further production increase, Amos Hochstein, the State Department’s senior adviser for energy security, said in a Bloomberg Television interview on Wednesday. “Announcing additional supplies a few weeks ago was step one,” Hochstein said. “I’m very hopeful that you and I can have this conversation about step two sometime in the near future.” The problem, however, as the chart below shows is that OPEC+ is simply incapable of pumping as much as it used to in the recent past due to lack of capital spending. Oil fell after Biden’s comments, with West Texas Intermediate futures sinking 3.9% to $105.50 a barrel around 11am. We expect oil to resume its surge in the coming days. Tyler Durden Thu, 06/30/2022 - 12:45.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytJun 30th, 2022

Everybody"s Guilty: To The Police State, We"re All Criminals Until We Prove Otherwise

Everybody's Guilty: To The Police State, We're All Criminals Until We Prove Otherwise Authored by John W. Whitehead & Nisha Whitehead via The Rutherford Institute, “In a closed society where everybody's guilty, the only crime is getting caught.” - Hunter S. Thompson The burden of proof has been reversed. No longer are we presumed innocent. Now we’re presumed guilty unless we can prove our innocence beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. Rarely, are we even given the opportunity to do so. Although the Constitution requires the government to provide solid proof of criminal activity before it can deprive a citizen of life or liberty, the government has turned that fundamental assurance of due process on its head. Each and every one of us is now seen as a potential suspect, terrorist and lawbreaker in the eyes of the government. Consider all the ways in which “we the people” are now treated as criminals, found guilty of violating the police state’s abundance of laws, and preemptively stripped of basic due process rights. Red flag gun confiscation laws: Gun control legislation, especially in the form of red flag gun laws, allow the police to remove guns from people “suspected” of being threats. These laws, growing in popularity as a legislative means by which to seize guns from individuals viewed as a danger to themselves or others, will put a target on the back of every American whether or not they own a weapon. Disinformation eradication campaigns. In recent years, the government has used the phrase “domestic terrorist” interchangeably with “anti-government,” “extremist” and “terrorist” to describe anyone who might fall somewhere on a very broad spectrum of viewpoints that could be considered “dangerous.” The ramifications are so far-reaching as to render almost every American an extremist in word, deed, thought or by association. In the government’s latest assault on those who criticize the government—whether that criticism manifests itself in word, deed or thought—the Biden Administration has likened those who share “false or misleading narratives and conspiracy theories, and other forms of mis- dis- and mal-information” to terrorists. This latest government salvo against consumers and spreaders of “mis- dis- and mal-information” widens the net to potentially include anyone who is exposed to ideas that run counter to the official government narrative. In other words, if you dare to subscribe to any views that are contrary to the government’s, you may well be suspected of being a domestic terrorist and treated accordingly. In this way, government and corporate censors claiming to protect us from dangerous, disinformation campaigns are, in fact, laying the groundwork now to preempt any “dangerous” ideas that might challenge the power elite’s stranglehold over our lives. Government watch lists. The FBI, CIA, NSA and other government agencies have increasingly invested in corporate surveillance technologies that can mine constitutionally protected speech on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in order to identify potential extremists and predict who might engage in future acts of anti-government behavior. Where many Americans go wrong is in naively assuming that you have to be doing something illegal or harmful in order to be flagged and targeted for some form of intervention or detention. In fact, all you need to do these days to end up on a government watch list or be subjected to heightened scrutiny is use certain trigger words (like cloud, pork and pirates), surf the internet, communicate using a cell phone, limp or stutter, drive a car, stay at a hotel, attend a political rally, express yourself on social media, appear mentally ill, serve in the military, disagree with a law enforcement official, call in sick to work, purchase materials at a hardware store, take flying or boating lessons, appear suspicious, appear confused or nervous, fidget or whistle or smell bad, be seen in public waving a toy gun or anything remotely resembling a gun (such as a water nozzle or a remote control or a walking cane), stare at a police officer, question government authority, or appear to be pro-gun or pro-freedom. Thought crimes. For years now, the government has used all of the weapons in its vast arsenal—surveillance, threat assessments, fusion centers, pre-crime programs, hate crime laws, militarized police, lockdowns, martial law, etc.—to target potential enemies of the state based on their ideologies, behaviors, affiliations and other characteristics that might be deemed suspicious or dangerous. It’s not just what you say or do that is being monitored, but how you think that is being tracked and targeted. There’s a whole spectrum of behaviors ranging from thought crimes and hate speech to whistleblowing that qualifies for persecution (and prosecution) by the Deep State. It’s a slippery slope from censoring so-called illegitimate ideas to silencing truth. Security checkpoints and fusion centers. By treating an entire populace as suspect, the government has justified wide-ranging security checkpoints that subject travelers to scans, searches, pat downs and other indignities by the TSA and VIPR raids on so-called “soft” targets like shopping malls and bus depots by black-clad, Darth Vader look-alikes. Fusion centers, which represent the combined surveillance efforts of federal, state and local law enforcement, track the citizenry’s movements, record their conversations, and catalogue their transactions. Surveillance, precrime programs. Facial recognition software aims to create a society in which every individual who steps out into public is tracked and recorded as they go about their daily business. Coupled with surveillance cameras that blanket the country, facial recognition technology allows the government and its corporate partners to warrantlessly identify and track someone’s movements in real-time, whether or not they have committed a crime. Rapid advances in behavioral surveillance are not only making it possible for individuals to be monitored and tracked based on their patterns of movement or behavior, including gait recognition (the way one walks), but have given rise to whole industries that revolve around predicting one’s behavior based on data and surveillance patterns and are also shaping the behaviors of whole populations. With the increase in precrime programs, threat assessments, AI algorithms and surveillance programs such as SpotShotter, which attempt to calculate where illegal activity might occur by triangulating sounds and images, the burden of proof has been turned on its head by a surveillance state that renders us all suspects and overcriminalization which renders us all lawbreakers. Mail surveillance. Just about every branch of the government—from the Postal Service to the Treasury Department and every agency in between—now has its own surveillance sector, authorized to spy on the American people. For instance, the U.S. Postal Service, which has been photographing the exterior of every piece of paper mail for the past 20 years, is also spying on Americans’ texts, emails and social media posts. Headed up by the Postal Service’s law enforcement division, the Internet Covert Operations Program (iCOP) is reportedly using facial recognition technology, combined with fake online identities, to ferret out potential troublemakers with “inflammatory” posts. The agency claims the online surveillance, which falls outside its conventional job scope of processing and delivering paper mail, is necessary to help postal workers avoid “potentially volatile situations.” Threat assessments and AI algorithms. The government has a growing list—shared with fusion centers and law enforcement agencies—of ideologies, behaviors, affiliations and other characteristics that could flag someone as suspicious and result in their being labeled potential enemies of the state. Before long, every household in America will be flagged as a threat and assigned a threat score. It’s just a matter of time before you find yourself wrongly accused, investigated and confronted by police based on a data-driven algorithm or risk assessment culled together by a computer program run by artificial intelligence. No-knock raids. No-knock, no-announce SWAT team raids are what passes for court-sanctioned policing in America today, and it could happen to any one of us. Nationwide, SWAT teams routinely invade homes, break down doors, kill family pets (they always shoot the dogs first), damage furnishings, terrorize families, and wound or kill those unlucky enough to be present during a raid. No longer reserved exclusively for deadly situations, SWAT teams are now increasingly being deployed for relatively routine police matters such as serving a search warrant, with some SWAT teams being sent out as much as five times a day. Police carry out tens of thousands of no-knock raids every year nationwide. Militarized police. America is overrun with militarized cops—vigilantes with a badge—who have almost absolute discretion to decide who is a threat, what constitutes resistance, and how harshly they can deal with the citizens they were appointed to “serve and protect.” It doesn’t matter where you live—big city or small town—it’s the same scenario being played out over and over again in which government agents, trained to act as judge, jury and executioner in their interactions with the public, ride roughshod over the rights of the citizenry. This is how we have gone from a nation of laws—where the least among us had just as much right to be treated with dignity and respect as the next person (in principle, at least)—to a nation of law enforcers (revenue collectors with weapons) who treat “we the people” like suspects and criminals. Constitution-free zones. Merely living within 100 miles inland of the border around the United States is now enough to make you a suspect, paving the way for Border Patrol agents to search people’s homes, intimately probe their bodies, and rifle through their belongings, all without a warrant. Nearly 66% of Americans (2/3 of the U.S. population, 197.4 million people) now live within that 100-mile-deep, Constitution-free zone. Asset forfeiture schemes. Americans no longer have a right to private property. If government agents can invade your home, break down your doors, kill your dog, damage your furnishings and terrorize your family, your property is no longer private and secure—it belongs to the government. Hard-working Americans are having their bank accounts, homes, cars electronics and cash seized by police under the assumption that they have been associated with some criminal scheme. As libertarian Harry Browne observed, “Asset forfeiture is a mockery of the Bill of Rights. There is no presumption of innocence, no need to prove you guilty (or even charge you with a crime), no right to a jury trial, no right to confront your accuser, no right to a court-appointed attorney (even if the government has just stolen all your money), and no right to compensation for the property that's been taken.” Vehicle kill switches. Sold to the public as a safety measure aimed at keeping drunk drivers off the roads, “vehicle kill switches” could quickly become a convenient tool in the hands of government agents to put the government in the driver’s seat while rendering null and void the Constitution’s requirements of privacy and its prohibitions against unreasonable searches and seizures. As such, it presumes every driver potentially guilty of breaking some law that would require the government to intervene and take over operation of the vehicle or shut it off altogether. The message: we cannot be trusted to obey the law or navigate the world on our end. Bodily integrity. The government’s presumptions about our so-called guilt or innocence have extended down to our very cellular level. The debate over bodily integrity covers broad territory, ranging from forced vaccinations, forced cavity searches, forced colonoscopies, forced blood draws and forced breath-alcohol tests to forced DNA extractions, forced eye scans, and forced inclusion in biometric databases: these are just a few ways in which Americans continue to be reminded that we have no real privacy, no real presumption of innocence, and no real control over what happens to our bodies during an encounter with government officials. The groundwork being laid with these mandates is a prologue to what will become the police state’s conquest of a new, relatively uncharted, frontier: inner space, specifically, the inner workings (genetic, biological, biometric, mental, emotional) of the human race. “Guilt by association” has taken on new connotations in the technological age. Yet the debate over genetic privacy—and when one’s DNA becomes a public commodity outside the protection of the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition on warrantless searches and seizures—is really only beginning. Get ready, folks, because the government has embarked on a diabolical campaign to create a nation of suspects predicated on a massive national DNA database. Limitations on our right to move about freely. We think we have the freedom to go where we want and move about freely, but at every turn, we’re hemmed in by laws, fines and penalties that regulate and restrict our autonomy, and surveillance cameras that monitor our movements. For instance, license plate readers are mass surveillance tools that can photograph over 1,800 license tag numbers per minute, take a picture of every passing license tag number and store the tag number and the date, time, and location of the picture in a searchable database, then share the data with law enforcement, fusion centers and private companies to track the movements of persons in their cars. With tens of thousands of these license plate readers now in operation throughout the country, police can track vehicles and run the plates through law enforcement databases for abducted children, stolen cars, missing people and wanted fugitives. Of course, the technology is not infallible: there have been numerous incidents in which police have mistakenly relied on license plate data to capture suspects only to end up detaining innocent people at gunpoint. The war on cash and the introduction of digital currency. Digital currency provides the government and its corporate partners with a mode of commerce that can easily be monitored, tracked, tabulated, mined for data, hacked, hijacked and confiscated when convenient. This push for a digital currency dovetails with the government’s war on cash, which it has been subtly waging for some time now. In recent years, just the mere possession of significant amounts of cash could implicate you in suspicious activity and label you a criminal. The rationale (by police) is that cash is the currency for illegal transactions given that it’s harder to track, can be used to pay illegal immigrants, and denies the government its share of the “take,” so doing away with paper money will help law enforcement fight crime and help the government realize more revenue. A cashless society—easily monitored, controlled, manipulated, weaponized and locked down—plays right into the hands of the government (and its corporate partners). The Security-Industrial Complex. Every crisis—manufactured or otherwise—since the nation’s early beginnings has become a make-work opportunity for the government to expand its reach and its power at taxpayer expense while limiting our freedoms at every turn. What this has amounted to is a war on the American people, fought on American soil, funded with taxpayer dollars, and waged with a single-minded determination to use national crises, manufactured or otherwise, in order to transform the American homeland into a battlefield. As a result, the American people have been treated like enemy combatants, to be spied on, tracked, scanned, frisked, searched, subjected to all manner of intrusions, intimidated, invaded, raided, manhandled, censored, silenced, shot at, locked up, denied due process, and killed. These programs push us that much closer towards a suspect society where everyone is potentially guilty of some crime or another and must be preemptively rendered harmless. The ramifications of empowering the government to sidestep fundamental due process safeguards are so chilling and so far-reaching as to put a target on the back of anyone who happens to be in the same place where a crime takes place. The groundwork has been laid for a new kind of government where it won’t matter if you’re innocent or guilty, whether you’re a threat to the nation, or even if you’re a citizen. What will matter is what the government—or whoever happens to be calling the shots at the time—thinks. And if the powers-that-be think you’re a threat to the nation and should be locked up, then you’ll be locked up with no access to the protections our Constitution provides. In effect, you will disappear. As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People and in its fictional counterpart The Erik Blair Diaries, our freedoms are already being made to disappear. Tyler Durden Fri, 06/24/2022 - 23:00.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytJun 24th, 2022

Ukraine War Blows Up EU"s Superpower Delusion

Ukraine War Blows Up EU's Superpower Delusion Authored by Soeren Kern via The Gatestone Institute, The leaders of France, Germany and Italy have jointly visited Ukraine in an attempt to present a unified European front regarding the Russia-Ukraine war. The one-day visit was long on rhetoric but short on substance: European unity remains elusive. When Russian President Vladimir Putin launched his invasion of Ukraine on February 24, the European Union responded the following day with a package of unprecedented economic sanctions aimed at isolating Russia. The EU, which was praised for displaying "determination, unity and speed" in its response to Putin, was said to be facing a "transformative moment" that would allow the bloc to become a "geostrategic actor" on the global stage. An observer claimed that the EU had become "a top geopolitical protagonist" and that Europe "discovered that it's a superpower." On March 21, less than a month after Russia invaded Ukraine, European officials announced an ambitious plan for the EU to achieve "strategic autonomy" aimed at placing the 27-member bloc on equal footing with China and the United States. The implicit objective was to enable a "sovereign" EU to act independently of the United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in matters of defense and security. That plan is now in shambles. As the war has dragged on, European unity has collapsed and efforts to transform the European Union into a European superstate — a United States of Europe — have been exposed for what they are: delusions of grandeur. The EU's largest member states — France and Germany — have sought to appease Putin at the expense of Ukrainian sovereignty. French President Emmanuel Macron, the strongest backer of European strategic autonomy, insists that Putin should not be "humiliated" and has even called on Ukraine to make territorial concessions to help the Russian dictator save face. Meanwhile, German Prime Minister Olaf Scholz, for reasons that remain unclear, has stubbornly refused to supply Ukraine with the weapons it needs to defend itself against Russian aggression. The Franco-German appeasement has infuriated most Central and Eastern European members of the EU and NATO. They rightly fear that if Putin's imperial pretensions are not stopped in Ukraine, he will set his sights next on them. Russian revanchism, and the EU's divided response, has produced a clear shift in the bloc's balance of power on security matters. France and Germany have long arrogated to themselves de facto leadership of the EU — and have expected other member states to fall into line. The failure of Paris and Berlin to confront Putin's aggression has created an EU leadership vacuum that Poland, the Baltic states and other former communist countries have filled. A return to the pre-war status quo seems unlikely. Putin's invasion of Ukraine has underscored the indispensability of the United States and NATO for European defense and security. France and Germany, by failing to defend the most basic Western values, have undermined their own trustworthiness and dependability. Other EU member states can be expected to strongly oppose any efforts to develop an independent European military capacity that undermines the transatlantic alliance. Humiliating Putin Macron and Scholz in particular have repeatedly sought to accommodate Putin. Both, for instance, have held numerous one-on-one telephone calls with the Russian leader — calls that other EU member states have criticized as counterproductive because such conversations may convince Putin that he can end the war on his terms. After one such phone call on May 13, Scholz called for a ceasefire in Ukraine but did not demand that Russia immediately withdraw all its troops from Ukrainian territory. Germany, despite repeated promises, still has not transferred a single heavy weapon to Ukraine, according to the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag. Some say Scholz is playing for time. The German newsmagazine Der Spiegel recently reported that Scholz refuses to utter the words "Ukraine must win" because he believes that Ukraine cannot achieve victory. Others think the German chancellor is waiting for the war to end so that German industry can resume doing business with Russia. Whatever his motivation, Scholz's dithering has seriously damaged Germany's credibility, according to policy experts from across the political spectrum. Scholz seems unable or unwilling to consider, after the lessons of Britain's appeasement of Adolf Hitler in the 1930s, that if Putin wins in Ukraine, he might turn his sights next on Europe. Meanwhile, Macron has clung to his pretense of turning the EU into a sovereign superstate. During a speech to the European Parliament on May 9, the French president called for building a "stronger and more sovereign Europe" that can become "the master of its own destiny." He added that the war in Ukraine "must not distract us from our agenda." Macron, who has provided military support to Ukraine, also warned against humiliating Putin and called for reaching an agreement with Russia "to build new security balances" in Europe. That was widely interpreted as a call for Ukraine to make territorial concessions to Putin. On June 3, Macron repeated his warning about humiliating Putin. Speaking to French media, he said: "We must not humiliate Russia so that when the fighting stops we can build an exit ramp through diplomatic channels. I am convinced that France's role is to be a mediating power." Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba responded: "Calls to avoid humiliation of Russia can only humiliate France. We all better focus on how to put Russia in its place. This will bring peace and save lives." Polish President Andrzej Duda, in an interview with the German newspaper Bild, said that the phone calls with Putin were akin to talking to Adolf Hitler: "I'm amazed at all the talks that are being held with Putin at the moment. By Chancellor Scholz, by President Emmanuel Macron. These talks are useless. What do they do? They only legitimize a person responsible for the crimes committed by the Russian army in Ukraine. Vladimir Putin. He is responsible for it. He made the decision to send the troops there. The commanders are subordinate to him. Did anyone talk to Adolf Hitler like that during WWII? Did someone say Adolf Hitler had to save face? That we should proceed in such a way that it is not humiliating for Adolf Hitler?" John Chipman, head of the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies, tweeted: "The end of French exceptionalism. Once you claim your main role to be a mediator between right and wrong, days of grandeur are over. "'Saving face' is a weak diplomatic aim; Putin can take personal responsibility for his face. "Humiliation: a mild punishment for war crimes." National Interests Some observers have speculated that Macron's obsession with Putin's humiliation stems from a faulty understanding of the June 1919 Treaty of Versailles, which officially ended World War I. Long-standing orthodoxy has held that the terms imposed on Germany were humiliating and fueled the nationalist sentiment that led to the rise of Adolf Hitler and World War II, but contemporary scholars have challenged that narrative: the Treaty of Versailles, they say, was not tough enough on Germany. Others suspect that Macron and Scholz are seeking a new 19th century-style Concert of Europe in which France, Germany and Russia agree to divide Europe into spheres of influence. Such an agreement would, presumably, turn Ukraine into a vassal state of Russia. Still others believe that France and Germany are primarily concerned with protecting national business and financial interests in Russia. German Member of the European Parliament Reinhard Bütikofer noted: "As Moscow hardliners question whether Europe will 'survive' the current crisis, President Macron says: 'We must not humiliate Russia.' Macron appears not to realize that defending Ukraine against Russia's aggression is also about defending Europe's common security. Putin wants more than just to dominate Ukraine. Macron sees France's interests decoupled from those of Eastern and Central Europe." Bütikofer's comment goes to the heart of the issue: national interests still matter. One of the EU's founding myths has been that national sovereignty is an outmoded concept and that the national interests of the EU's 27 member states can be subsumed under a new "European interest." The war in Ukraine and the differing responses to it have proven that national interests still matter and will continue to do so. Latvian Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš, in an interview with Politico, argued that the only way to achieve lasting peace and security in Europe is for Russia to lose the war in Ukraine: "The difficulty is that some of my colleagues have a false belief ... peace at any cost. Peace at any cost is what we have done for 20 years with Putin. Peace at any cost means Putin wins. We end up losing. Now, in the self-interest of Germany, and France and Italy and everyone else, if we really want security in Europe, Russia has to lose, they finally have to realize they cannot operate in this way. And collectively, we have the ability to make that happen." Transatlantic Relations Meanwhile, transatlanticism is enjoying a surge in popularity. A new survey by Globsec, a think tank based in Bratislava, found broad support (79%) across nine countries in Central and Eastern Europe (Bulgaria, Czechia, Hungary, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Slovakia) for NATO's role as security guarantor. The survey also found significant growth in the CEE countries' perception of the United States as a strategic partner. In Poland, for instance, such perceptions increased from 54% in 2021 to 73% in 2022. By contrast, Polish perceptions of Germany as a strategic partner plummeted from 48% in 2021 to 27% in 2022. "The perception that the US is a strategic partner has soared by 10 percentage points since 2021," according to the report. "Washington is now viewed as a key ally in NATO by 3/4 of respondents in the CEE region." German analyst Marcel Dirsus noted: "Without American support, Ukraine would already be done. Countries like Germany and France have made European autonomy even more difficult because nobody east of the Oder River trusts them to come through when things get rough.... "What good are more German tanks to Poland or Estonia if neither they nor Russia thinks that Berlin would be willing to use them to defend Warsaw or Tallinn? "I very much doubt central Europeans who were already skeptical about European autonomy or sovereignty or whatever the phrase of the day is are looking at Macron and Scholz and think now is the time to rely more on Paris and Berlin. If anything, they'll double-down on America." Polish analyst Konrad Muzyka agreed: "Ukraine's shown that France and Germany are unwilling to increase costs on Russia for its attack on Ukraine. Paris and Germany are unwilling to send equipment to Ukraine, what makes people think its soldiers will die for Tallinn, Vilnius, Riga or Warsaw?" American foreign policy expert Elliot Cohen concluded: "President Macron continues, perversely, to talk about an exit from the war, to include European security guarantees for Ukraine. Why on earth would any Ukrainian think France or Germany could or would fight on their behalf? This is vanity, not statesmanship, at work." Rhetoric versus Substance On June 16, Macron, Scholz and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, joined by Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, arrived in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv for the first time since the beginning of the war. The visit was designed, apparently, to dispel criticism of European disunity and inconsistent support for Ukraine. The leaders pledged that the EU would not force Ukraine to surrender or give up territory to end the war. "Ukraine will choose the peace it wants," Draghi said. "Any diplomatic solution cannot be separated from the will of Kyiv, from what it deems acceptable to her people. Only in this way can we build a peace that is just and lasting." Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was also invited to attend the G7 Summit to be held in Germany on June 26-28, and the NATO Summit in Madrid on June 29-30. The three leaders expressed support for Ukraine to be given candidate status for EU membership, but Macron stressed that such status would be accompanied by a "roadmap" that would include "conditions." Previously, Macron, Scholz and Draghi all said that Ukraine's EU bid could take decades. German MP Norbert Röttgen criticized Scholz's trip to Ukraine as political showmanship: "Chancellor Scholz created high expectations for his trip to Ukraine. He did not fulfill them with the 'yes' to EU membership and the invitation to the G7 summit. Ukraine needs quick help now, we owe it. EU membership is a matter of decades." Europe analyst David Herszenhorn, writing for Politico, noted: "Despite the encouraging rhetoric, the trio of leaders — representing the EU's biggest, richest and most powerful countries — did not announce any dramatic new military or financial assistance for Ukraine, which might help tip the war in Kyiv's favor. "By contrast, U.S. President Joe Biden on Wednesday announced an additional $1 billion in support for Ukraine.... "While Ukraine has been pushing hard to win candidate status, that designation alone offers little indication about when, or even if, Ukraine would ever formally become a member.... "Many EU officials and diplomats said it is difficult to imagine Ukraine making much progress toward actual membership until it is no longer at war, and Macron has said that the overall process could take a decade or longer." Correspondents Guy Chazan, Roman Olearchyk and Amy Kazmin, writing for the Financial Times, concluded: "French president Emmanuel Macron, German chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italian prime minister Mario Draghi did not just have warm words for Ukraine — they also backed its bid to join the EU. "But once the euphoria wore off, some Ukrainians wondered whether the visit of the three leaders, who were also joined by Romania's president Klaus Iohannis, marked a triumph of ceremony over substance. "Andriy Melnyk, Ukraine's ambassador to Berlin, summed up the ambivalence. EU membership for Ukraine lay far off in the future, he told Germany's ZDF TV. 'But right now what we need is to survive,' he said. 'And for that we need heavy weapons.' "Anyone hoping the visit would break the logjam in the delivery of such kit will have been disappointed. The only new pledge came from Macron, who said France would supply six additional Caesar howitzers, on top of the 12 it has already given Ukraine.... "The issue of weapons continues to loom over relations between Ukraine and its allies. Presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak tweeted earlier this month that Ukraine needed 1,000 howitzers, 300 multiple rocket launchers, 500 tanks, 2,000 armored vehicles and 1,000 drones to achieve parity with Russia and 'end the war.' The equipment western countries have committed to provide so far falls far short." Expert Commentary Irish analyst Judy Dempsey, in an article — "German Ambiguity Is Deciding Ukraine's Future" — published by the Brussels-based think tank Carnegie Europe, wrote that Scholz's delay in sending heavy weapons to Ukraine was hurting Kyiv's chances of preserving its sovereignty, and that it was damaging Germany's standing across Europe: "Scholz's position reveals a lack of leadership and with it a lack of conviction and consistency. It is also about a fear of antagonizing the Kremlin. The German political elites that grew up during the Cold War don't want to give up their special business and political ties to Moscow. They are still reluctant to accept Russia's motives in Georgia, Syria, Belarus, and now Ukraine. "These motives are about Russia positioning itself to reshape Europe's post–Cold War order. The longer Scholz continues his ambiguity toward Ukraine, the greater the likelihood that Putin will use the German chancellor and French President Emmanuel Macron to push Ukraine into a compromise and ultimately change Europe's security architecture. "In practice, that would have devastating consequences for the transatlantic relationship which Putin has long sought to weaken. It would divide Europe. As it is, Poland and the Baltic states are deeply distrustful of France's and Germany's relations with Putin. They are also frustrated that Paris and Berlin do not take the Russian imperialist agenda seriously. "Beyond Ukraine, Scholz's ambiguity is hurting all of Europe. Putin will not hesitate to exploit it both militarily and politically." Former MI6 head John Sawers, in an article — "Macron is Playing a Risky Game on Ukraine" — published by the Financial Times, warned that the French president's insistence that Putin should not be humiliated could lead to a premature ceasefire that locks in Russian gains: "The west has two goals in the war in Ukraine: to uphold Ukrainian sovereignty and to deter Russia from any similar assaults on European countries in the future. "However, the fighting in the Donbas region is ugly and it is tempting to support any move that would bring it to an end. Unsurprisingly, there have been calls for an early peace initiative, while French president Emmanuel Macron has said that it is important not to 'humiliate' Russia over its invasion — a remark that drew a frosty response from Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy's chief of staff. "The problem is that a ceasefire now would lock in Russia's military gains on the ground. There is no reason to think that Vladimir Putin would agree to pull back.... "If another round of European diplomacy leaves Russia once again sitting on its military gains in Ukraine, then Putin will regain political strength at home and feel empowered to launch new military adventures in the future. The Ukrainians want to fight on and they need our continued support — advanced weapons and ever tougher sanctions on Russia. That means several more months of ugly fighting. But a premature ceasefire will help Putin snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. No western leader should be his enabler." Austrian political scientist Ralph Gert Schöllhammer, in an article — "Why Europe Hedges Its Support for Ukraine" — published by The Wall Street Journal, argued that Paris and Berlin worry that an EU with Ukraine could lead to a competing Warsaw-Kyiv axis: "Despite the supranational ambitions of the EU and its most ardent supporters, national interests still dominate the political calculations of member states. For Paris and Berlin the Ukraine crisis isn't only a security issue, it could also determine the EU's future power distribution. "The most prestigious positions in the EU are held by Western European politicians, reflecting a power imbalance between Eastern and Western Europe, from Ms. von der Leyen (Germany) and European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde (France) to the high representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell (Spain) and the president of the European Council, Charles Michel (Belgium). Eastern European governments have made clear that this status quo is increasingly unacceptable to them, and the war in Ukraine has given them additional confidence to change it. "The EU is built around Germany and France, and both states have jealously guarded their position as the ultimate decision makers in Europe. Policy makers in both countries are aware that an EU with Ukraine could lead to a competing Warsaw-Kyiv axis, something neither France nor Germany wants. Ukraine is politically and culturally closer to Poland than Germany, meaning that German power in the EU could be diminished significantly and replaced by growing Eastern European influence. "These thoughts might seem cynical in light of the heroic struggle of Ukraine and its people, but it would be a mistake to believe that power politics has been replaced by universally held ideals." Europe expert Stefan Auer, in an opinion essay — "Ukraine's Fight for Freedom Exposes 'Sovereign Europe' as a Delusion" — published by the Financial Times, wrote that Central Europeans understand better than France or Germany the connection between national independence and security: "The shared outrage over Russia's invasion of Ukraine initially strengthened European unity. But the challenges that the war has generated appear to be reinforcing European disunion. Central and eastern European states, with the notable exception of Hungary, strongly support Ukraine's fight for territorial integrity, while Germany, France and Italy seek ways to accommodate Russia. "For the EU, the return of sovereignty is unexpected. European integration supposedly made nation states increasingly obsolete. Dialogue, not threats of violence, would uphold peace.... "Rather than enemies, Europeans thought they had partners, competitors or at worst rivals. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has forced an abrupt re-evaluation of this view.... "It was once a truism that France needed the EU to conceal its weakness, while Germany needed it to hide its strength. In relation to Russia, one could argue that Germany uses the EU's relative weakness to justify its own inaction.... "But when it comes to assisting Ukraine in the war itself, it is national capitals that matter, not Brussels. What Moscow wants and many of Putin's western supporters appear willing to accept is the division of Europe into spheres of influence. This is redolent of the Grossraum thinking articulated by the crown jurist of Nazi Germany, Carl Schmitt: a theory of large economic spaces controlled by major powers.... "German chancellor Olaf Scholz echoes such arguments when he declares that 'Russia must not win this war,' rather than unambiguously advocating a Ukrainian victory. This is as logical as it is misguided. Where there are no enemies, there can be no victors. "By contrast, leaders in central and eastern Europe are not afraid to combine the language of values with power politics. The French and German visions for peace imply Ukrainian territorial concessions. Such ideas are foolhardy and will not ensure security for Europe or Ukraine. A sovereign Europe must not be pursued at the expense of Ukrainian sovereignty.... "In fact, for Europe to have a future in freedom, Ukraine must win this defining battle of our times. The losers will include not just Putin's Russia. The defeat of Russian imperialism should finally put to rest Franco-German delusions, whether they aim at a sovereign or a post-national Europe." German analyst Ulrich Speck, in an essay — "The Ukraine War and the Rebirth of NATO" — published by the Swiss newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung, concluded that the actions of Macron and Scholz has cemented NATO, not the EU, as the cornerstone of European security: "Three developments have catapulted NATO back into the center of events. "First: Russia's open attack on Ukraine in February 2022. This time, not only East Central Europeans, but also West Europeans and North Americans were shocked by the breach of all norms on which the European peace order is based: an open war of aggression and conquest with countless atrocities and war crimes. It is therefore clear that Putin is ready to implement his project of a new Russian empire, even at great expense. It is also clear that if he is successful, he will probably not stop at Ukraine. "The second reason for the renaissance of NATO is that the United States is fulfilling its classic leadership role in the Western alliance. For the Biden administration, the revival of alliances is at the center of foreign policy: close cooperation with allies is seen as providing a decisive advantage over China and Russia, which allows it to deal with the autocratic challengers from a 'position of strength.' "The third reason is that the EU leaders, France and Germany, have been very reluctant to react to Russia's attack on Ukraine. While the United States made decisive progress on arms deliveries and sanctions, flanked by a resolutely acting Great Britain, it seemed that Paris and Berlin were hoping to the last to be able to change the mind of the Russian President. Both are reluctant to supply arms to Ukraine, and they are more likely to play along than lead when it comes to sanctions. The fact that Macron and Scholz have not been in Kyiv since the beginning of the war underscores the distance they maintain from Ukraine. "With this attitude, Berlin and Paris have discredited themselves in the eyes of East Central Europeans and Scandinavians as reliable partners in the event of a Russian threat. More than ever, Eastern and Northern Europe will rely on the United States and Great Britain — ​​that is, on NATO — for security policy. "This means that there is no alternative to NATO — at least as long as Russia takes a revisionist stance, does not respect borders and does not recognize the reorganization of the region after the end of the Cold War. The lesson of current experience is that only the United States is capable of holding Russia in check. The vehicle for this remains NATO, which has not outlived itself, but is more important as the security policy core of a free West than it has been for decades." Tyler Durden Thu, 06/23/2022 - 02:00.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJun 23rd, 2022

Understanding Cybersecurity Threats To Secure The Hybrid Workplace

More businesses now offer a hybrid workplace to cope with the changes led by the global pandemic. As more offices shifted to work-from-home settings, it has been challenging for many employees to return to the office as things bounce back to normal. According to a Pew Research Center survey, 76 percent of respondents are still working […] More businesses now offer a hybrid workplace to cope with the changes led by the global pandemic. As more offices shifted to work-from-home settings, it has been challenging for many employees to return to the office as things bounce back to normal. According to a Pew Research Center survey, 76 percent of respondents are still working from home due to personal preferences. A hybrid workplace is a flexible model that combines in-office and remote work. It allows employees to perform their tasks at home while occasionally joining the office. Although this working structure is convenient, it poses cybersecurity risks, mainly if you use two different computers and networks while working at the two locations. The first step businesses need to take to reduce the risk of cybersecurity threats is to learn more about them while educating every team member. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Series in PDF Get the entire 10-part series on Charlie Munger in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues. (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q1 2022 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Listen to Cybersecurity Podcasts Some people absorb materials better when they listen to them. A cybersecurity podcast is a perfect tool that allows listeners to catch up on the latest news about cybersecurity threats or gain insight from experts in the field. Cybersecurity podcasts are a convenient method of educating yourself or your employees as it requires minimal effort and can be done when performing other tasks requiring little concentration. You can listen to them during your drive or bus ride to work or when you’re taking a lunch break at home. A cybersecurity podcast can also be a valuable asset for specific professions, such as journalism. Sometimes, digital traces left behind can threaten the safety and security of journalists and their sources. Lack of knowledge about cybersecurity threats can lead to costly expenses for journalists that can harm their credibility. Understanding the threats makes it easier to prevent data breaches and protect confidential information. Listening to a podcast from a reputable source allows you to learn about a significant cybersecurity story and gives you a head start to train your employees if it happens at your workplace. It is vital to stay updated about new vulnerabilities to protect your company as hackers continuously look for more ways to invade your privacy and perform data breaches. Offer Material Outlining Threats As you educate yourself about the potential threats that could harm your company, offer materials to your employees. All team members need to be aware of the threats to identify them if they occur. Understanding the different types of cybersecurity threats, such as malware, ransomware, and phishing, is the best way to learn how to tackle each of them. You could subscribe to magazines or other outlets that offer updated information or create a comprehensive guide outlining all the threats and ways to deal with them. Although there are many resources available online to allow people to educate themselves, many of your staff members might not have the motivation to search for the right source. They are more likely to view materials if you provide them, especially if you make it mandatory. You could take quizzes at the end of every material to encourage participation and ensure that all your employees are prepared to tackle any cybersecurity threat. Conduct Training Sessions Frequent cybersecurity training sessions are a great way to educate yourself and your employees about cybersecurity threats your company may face, as they can prevent costly mistakes in the long run. Introducing more cybersecurity programs will reduce the risk of data breaches as they will be more knowledgeable in the field and possess the ability to identify the red flags. Cybersecurity training should be mandatory for employees in all departments, even if they don’t frequently use applications that pose security risks. You can further reduce the risk by holding refresher training sessions every few months to ensure that your employees are always aware of emerging threats. Use Vulnerability Testing Tools Some companies offer to crowdsource security services to find your company’s vulnerabilities and report them to your security team. Professional teams use an advanced computer security testing method by mimicking attack paths that hackers may use. This allows them to identify potential threats and inform you before they occur for extra safety. Some types of tools include web application scanners, protocol scanners, and network scanners. Each tool addresses a different location to test vulnerabilities in various areas. It is crucial that you consult an experienced team for this work to achieve realistic answers and prepare your workplace accordingly. Hiring the wrong company can increase your risk of cybersecurity threats and make you more vulnerable in the eyes of hackers. Encourage Awareness with Incentives Whether your employees are working in the office or remotely, it can be helpful to encourage them to be cautious of cybersecurity threats. You can increase their attention span and draw light on the security matter by offering incentives. Positive encouragement is a great way to ensure employees focus on security matters. The incentives can include rewarding them when they complete a training course or if they accurately handle a potential data breach. According to an Incentive Research Foundation study, incentive programs with awards in the form of money or tangible awards can increase performance by an average of 22 percent. You can also offer interactive training sessions that allow employees to engage and enjoy the process. If they have fun during the learning process, they’re more likely to concentrate on the materials. The Importance of Cybersecurity Education Employing different tools and methods to educate your team about cybersecurity threats is vital to keeping your company safe. Encourage your team to actively participate and be ready to tackle any cybersecurity threats as they occur. Offering reliable resources and pointing your team in the right direction will ensure that your company is free of data breaches. Use all the sources and techniques available to secure your hybrid workplace. Updated on Jun 20, 2022, 5:03 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkJun 21st, 2022

Futures, Cryptos Surge As Dip Buying Turns Into "Nasty Squeeze"

Futures, Cryptos Surge As Dip Buying Turns Into "Nasty Squeeze" Following a relentless rout that erased nearly $2 trillion in market value from the S&P 500 last week, US equity futures have surged, extending their Monday holiday gains just as predicted on Sunday when we said that a "Nasty Squeeze" was on Deck following last week's "Second Largest Ever" shorting by hedge funds. Nasdaq 100 futures rose as much as 2.2% before trading 1.7% higher as major US tech and internet stocks advanced, poised to extend Friday’s gains; shares of Tesla and Twitter also rose following billionaire Elon Musk’s comments at the Qatar Economic Forum; S&P 500 futures gained 1.8%; the cash market was closed on Monday for a holiday. Asian and European stocks also advanced as did bitcoin which jumped above $21K after sliding below $18K briefly on Saturday. Meanwhile Treasuries and the US Dollar retreated. US stocks came under renewed pressure last week, with the S&P plunged into bear market territory amid surging inflation and fears that aggressive rate hikes by the Federal Reserve will push the economy into a recession. The S&P 500 is set for an 11% drop in June, poised for the worst month since March 2020, which marked the lows of the pandemic selloff. Sentiment was somewhat boosted by Biden’s Monday comments on the economy in which he said that a recession isn't "inevitable" (what else will he say) but strategists have warned of more volatility ahead. “Even if the mid-term investing landscape remains blurry to most market operators at the beginning of this summer season, some investors looking for opportunities to buy shares at a discounted price have been reassured,” said Pierre Veyret, a technical analyst at ActivTrades. “The fact central banks are moving quickly towards a super hawkish stance in order to tame inflation is also perceived as good news by some.” In premarket trading, bank stocks also pushed higher amid a broader rebound in risk assets. In corporate news, HSBC has lost two senior investment bankers in Asia as global banks compete for financial technology talent and dealmaking slows. Meanwhile, the UK’s Payment Systems Regulator will focus a pair of market reviews on the rising card fees charged by Visa and Mastercard. Tech names were also solidly higher; notable movers included Apple +2.4%, Microsoft +2%, +2.6%, Alphabet +2.6%, Meta Platforms +2.1%, Nvidia +3.1% premarket; all six stocks closed higher on Friday, while US markets were closed for a holiday on Monday. Stocks related to cryptocurrencies were also indicating a rally as the price of Bitcoin continues to hold above $20,000 amid a tentative recovery and hopes that prices have bottomed. Meanwhile, Revlon surged as much as 27% in premarket trading, extending Friday’s rally after the cosmetics firm filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Here are some other notable premarket movers: Tesla (TSLA US) and Twitter (TWTR US) shares rose in premarket trading on Tuesday after billionaire Elon Musk said the CEO label at the social media firm was less important than driving the product and that Tesla will cut its salaried workforce by about 10% over  the next three months. Tesla rose 3.1% and Twitter was up 1.2% in premarket trading Revlon shares surge as much as 27% in US premarket trading, extending Friday’s rally after the cosmetics firm filed for bankruptcy. Major US technology and internet stocks advanced in premarket trading on Tuesday, poised to extend Friday’s gains. Apple (AAPL US) +2.4%, Microsoft (MSFT US) +2%, (AMZN US) +2.6%, Alphabet (GOOGL US) +2.6% Spirit (SAVE US) shares jump 13% in US premarket trading, to $24, after JetBlue (JBLU US) raised its offer to $33.50 per share from $31.50 on June 6, the latest move in a multi-billion dollar takeover contest with rival Frontier (ULCC US). Arrival shares jump 8.6% in US premarket trading after the electric- vehicle maker announced that its zero-emission van has achieved EU certification and received European Whole Vehicle Type Approval. US-listed Chinese stocks are mostly higher in premarket trading, tracking a two-day 2.3% rise in the Hang Seng Tech Index. Alibaba (BABA US) +4.6%, Baidu (BIDU US) +3.5%, Pinduoduo (PDD US)+3.3% Stocks related to cryptocurrencies rise on Tuesday in US premarket trading as the price of Bitcoin continues to hold above $20,000 amid a tentative recovery and hopes that prices have bottomed. Riot Blockchain (RIOT US) +5.6%, Coinbase (COIN US) +4.7%, MicroStrategy (MSTR US) +5% Citi cuts ratings on International Paper Co. and WestRock to neutral from buy, citing increasing questions about demand as supply additions loom. International Paper falls 1.1% in premarket trading, WestRock -1.5% Keep an eye on Maxar shares as Wells Fargo said the stock is its top pick in the burgeoning space sector, initiating it at overweight, Rocket Lab at equal-weight and Virgin Galactic at underweight. Adobe (ADBE US) shares may be in focus today as the stock was downgraded to equal-weight and given Street-low $362 target from $591 by Morgan Stanley, on expectation of a slowing structural growth profile for the computer software company. After unexpectedly accelerating to a fresh 40-year high in May, US consumer price growth is seen slowing, with a Bloomberg survey of economists predicting 6.5% by the fourth quarter and to 3.5% by the middle of next year. Yet fears are rampant that Federal Reserve policy makers intent on cooling price pressures will go too far and trigger an economic slowdown. Strategists at Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. warned equities may have further to fall to fully price in the risk of recession, reflecting wider skepticism about Tuesday’s rebound. “We think equities will struggle to rebound sustainably until earnings expectations reset lower and/or central banks turn more dovish, which seems unlikely for now,” said Emmanuel Cau, head of European equity strategy at Barclays Plc. European stocks also extended their recent recovery, with the region’s benchmark Stoxx 600 Index rising 1%, led by gains in basic resources and chemical companies’ shares. Consumer discretionary, chemicals and autos also trade well. CAC 40 outperforms. Leonardo jumps as much as 9.7% in Milan trading after its DRS unit agreed to buy Israeli radar-maker RADA Electronic in an all-stock transaction. Valneva rises as much as 23% after CEO Franck Grimaud said the company’s Lyme disease vaccine has the potential of becoming a “blockbuster” with sales of more than 1 billion euros. K+S and OCI shares gain after JPMorgan said valuations are “compelling” and fundamentals remain positive. European fertilizer shares had dropped recently because of rising gas prices. OCI rises as much as 4.6%; K+S +6.3% Air Liquide climbs as much as 3.9%, after the French industrial gas company signed a long-term power purchase agreement with Vattenfall. Mithra rises as much as 21% after the pharmaceutical company said it received subscription commitments for 3.87m new shares at an issue price of EU6.07 apiece, representing a 5% discount to last close. Richemont and Swatch advance after Swiss watch exports for the month of May showed strong demand versus the year-earlier period in the US and Japan as well as in European countries such as France and the UK. Luxury peers also trading higher in a wider rebound. Richemont gains as much as 2.8%, Swatch +2.8%, Hermes +3.3%, LVMH +3.7% European apparel retail shares drop after JPMorgan downgrades Asos, About You, Boohoo and Primark owner AB Foods to neutral from overweight, citing the cost of living crisis with cracks emerging in discretionary spending. Asos declines as much as 5.1%, Boohoo -4.8%, About You -4.3%, AB Foods -3.2% Proximus and Telenet slide after a statement by the Belgian telecom regulator showed that new entrant Citymesh partnered with Romanian carrier Digi Communications and acquired spectrum across various bands. Proximus shares fall as much as 7.8%, Telenet -3.9% Earlier in the session, MSCI’s Asia-Pacific index snapped an eight-day slide to add more than 1% as Asian equities headed for their biggest gain this month. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed as much as 1.8%, set to snap an eight-day losing streak, with financial and tech stocks among the biggest contributors to its advance. The US president spoke overnight after a conversation with former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers, as the White House and congressional Democrats are in talks on legislation that aims to fight inflation. Benchmarks in Taiwan, Japan and Hong Kong led gains in the region. Australia’s index advanced for the first time in days after central bank chief Philip Lowe signaled he will only raise interest rates by 25-to-50 basis points at the July meeting. Chinese shares edged lower after recent gains.  “It’s a respite, not a rebound,” said Charu Chanana, a market strategist at Saxo Capital Markets. “We are still in a bear market that is facing a double whammy of Fed tightening and building recession fears, and the second-quarter earnings season is likely to be particularly painful for the markets” due to cost pressures, she added.  Valuations for the MSCI Asia gauge have continued to slide toward pandemic lows, with the index down 18% this year. Still, it’s outperforming a measure of global shares, supported by a rally in Chinese equities this month as the country emerges from Covid-triggered lockdowns. Japanese stocks advanced as investors weighed the impact of the yen’s weakness and the extent of the recent selloff. The Topix Index rose 2% to 1,856.20 as of market close Tokyo time, while the Nikkei advanced 1.8% to 26,246.31. Sony Group Corp. contributed the most to the Topix Index gain, increasing 4%. Out of 2,170 shares in the index, 2,023 rose and 108 fell, while 39 were unchanged. “Stocks that are expected to have an upward revision from the weak yen may be firm,” said Mitsushige Akino, a senior executive officer at Ichiyoshi Asset Management. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 index rose 1.4% to close at 6,523.80, snapping a seven day losing steak. The benchmark was led by gains in banks and miners, with the financials sub-gauge rising the most since March 10.  In early trade, Australia’s central bank Governor Philip Lowe said he didn’t see a recession on the horizon for the nation.  In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index rose 1.1% to 10,701.59 India’s benchmark share index posted its biggest two-day advance since May 30, boosted by a recovery in information technology stocks and as investors looked for bargains after a sharp selloff last week.  The S&P BSE Sensex rose 1.8% to close at 52,532.07 in Mumbai, taking its two-day advance to 2.3%. The NSE Nifty 50 Index advanced 1.9%. All of the 19 sectoral indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. gained, led by a measure of oil & gas companies. “Crude prices have corrected by almost 10% from its recent peak, providing some breather to the Indian market,” Motilal Oswal Financial analyst Siddhartha Khemka wrote in a note.   Reliance Industries contributed the most to the Sensex’s gain, increasing 1.6%. All but one of 30 shares in the Sensex index rose. Of the top ten performers on the measure, half were information technology companies, led by Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. that clocked its biggest advance this month.  In rates, treasuries were cheaper across the curve as trading resumed after Monday’s US holiday; cash USTs bear steepened, but trim losses after cheapening ~5bps at the Asia reopen.  Long-end leads losses with stock futures rising after last week’s rout. US yields are ere cheaper by as much as 6bp at long end, steepening 2s10s by nearly 3bp, 5s30s by nearly 4bp; 10-year, higher by ~5bp at 3.27% lags bund and gilts by 3bp and 4.5bp while Italian bonds outperform Treasuries by 12bp in the sector. Bunds and gilts outperform Treasuries, while Italian bonds extend recent gains after ECB’s Olli Rehn reiterated determination to combat unwarranted spikes in borrowing costs for some of the region’s most vulnerable economies.  That said the ECB has yet to disclose said measures, a move which most agree will lead to selling the news. Gilts bull flatten, 10y yields drop 4bps after stalling near 2.6%. Bunds are comparatively quiet. Shorter-maturity Australian bonds rallied after central bank chief Philip Lowe said interest rates are likely to rise by 50 basis points at most in July. Money markets subsequently scrapped bets he would track the Federal Reserve with a 75 basis-point move. Japanese government bonds were mixed after a five-year note sale that drew the weakest demand in more than two years in the aftermath of wild price swings in futures that have made some traders uneasy about their exposure to cash bonds. In FX, Bloomberg dollar spot index fell 0.3% as the greenback weakened against all of its Group-of-10 peers apart from the yen. JPY is the weakest in G-10, plunging to a fresh 24 year low of 136. NOK and SEK outperform. The euro advanced and European bonds rallied, led by the front end even as ECB Governing Council Member Peter Kazimir said negative rates must be history by September. Governing Council member Olli Rehn separetely said that “there has been good reason to expedite the normalization of monetary policy”. The pound extended gains amid broad dollar weakness while UK government bonds inched up. BOE Chief Economist Huw Pill said policy makers would sacrifice growth in order to bring down inflation, saying there’s a risk of prices developing a “self-sustaining momentum. In commodities, WTI drifted 2.3% higher to trade near $112. Most base metals trade in the green; LME zinc rises 2.8%, outperforming peers. LME aluminum lags, dropping 0.3%. Spot gold is little changed at $1,838/oz. Bitcoin is bid and above the USD 21k mark, after last week's slip to a sub-USD 18k low. Elon Musk says he intends to personally support Dogecoin, via BBG TV. Coinbase (COIN) says connectivity issues across Coinbase and Coinbase Pro could cause failed trades and delayed transactions; issue was subsequently resolved. To the day ahead now, and data releases include US existing home sale for May, as well as the Chicago Fed’s national activity index for the same month. Otherwise, central bank speakers include the Fed’s Barkin and Mester, the ECB’s Rehn and the BoE’s Pill. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures up 1.9% to 3,744.50 STOXX Europe 600 up 1.0% to 411.06 MXAP up 1.5% to 158.77 MXAPJ up 1.5% to 528.18 Nikkei up 1.8% to 26,246.31 Topix up 2.0% to 1,856.20 Hang Seng Index up 1.9% to 21,559.59 Shanghai Composite down 0.3% to 3,306.72 Sensex up 2.2% to 52,741.19 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 1.4% to 6,523.81 Kospi up 0.7% to 2,408.93 German 10Y yield little changed at 1.76% Euro up 0.5% to $1.0567 Brent Futures up 1.2% to $115.53/bbl Brent Futures up 1.2% to $115.52/bbl Gold spot down 0.2% to $1,835.31 U.S. Dollar Index down 0.61% to 104.06 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg UK rail workers began Britain’s biggest rail strike in three decades after unions rejected a last-minute offer from train companies, bringing services nationwide to a near standstill. Britain’s local authorities say they can’t afford to pay a mandated increase in the legal minimum wage over the next year without a £400 million cash injection from the national government A majority of European businesses are worried about their ability to meet employee demands for higher wages amid the current spike in inflation, according to a regional survey by Intrum AB Companies in Germany, the UK, France, Spain and Italy are the most distressed since August 2020, according to the Weil European Distress Index. The study aggregates data from more than 3,750 listed European firms A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asia-Pac stocks gained across amid a broad constructive global risk tone despite a lack of fresh macro drivers and the recent holiday closure in the US, with Bitcoin and Chinese commodity prices also stabilising after the recent tumultuous price action. ASX 200 was led higher by the energy sector and after RBA's Lowe effectively ruled out a 75bps hike next month. Nikkei 225 outperformed and reclaimed the 26,000 level amid a predominantly weaker currency. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp. were positive with sentiment in Hong Kong underpinned by news the SAR is to propose a quarantine-free business travel corridor with mainland China, while mainland bourses lagged with the US ban on imports from Xinjiang taking effect from today. Japan's PM Kishida says rapid JPY weakening is a source of concern, must closely watch FX moves and consider monetary policy and FX measures separately. Top Asian News Chinese Developer Accepts Wheat, Garlic as Payment to Woo Buyers China Junk Bond Selloff in New Phase With Record Fosun Rout Gold Steady as Traders Weigh Central Bank Plans to Hike Rates Australian Tesla-Supplier Eyes First Lithium Exports Over- Optimism Among China Steel-Makers Behind Iron Ore’s Plunge European bourses are firmer and building on Monday's upside, Euro Stoxx 50 +1.1%; thus far, newsflow has largely focused on familiar themes. Additionally, participants are awaiting the return of the US after Monday's market holiday. Currently, ES +1.7% with the region incrementally outperforming European peers. Elon Musk says there a still a few unresolved matters with Twitter (TWTR) including the number of spam users, via BBG TV; still awaiting a resolution, very significant. Adds, they are reducing the salaried workforce of Tesla (TSLA) by circa. 10% over the next three-months. Top European News French President Macron will invite all parties able to form a group in the new parliament for talks on Tuesday and Wednesday, according to Reuters. BDI revises down 2022 German GDP forecasts: 1.5% (prev. 3.5%); return to pre-COVID level expected at end-2022 at the earliest Central Banks ECB’s Lane said very high inflation means there is a risk inflation psychology could take hold and said the larger increment for rate increase in September does not represent a red alert assessment of inflation. Lane also commented that he doesn’t see a situation where they would need to revisit the plan for a July decision and there is no preview beyond September of what will be the appropriate pace of tightening, according to Reuters. ECB’s Villeroy said the new instrument should be available as much as necessary to make the no-limit commitment to protect the Euro very clear and the more credible such an instrument is, the less it may have to be used in practice. Villeroy added the new instrument will have rules but there will be elements of judgement also and said they would not necessarily need to hold purchases of government or private sector securities to maturity, according to Reuters. ECB's Rehn says EZ inflation pressured are broader and stronger; very likely the September move is more than 25bp in magnitude. BoE's Pill says if there is evidence of persistent price pressures, the MPC is certainly prepared to act, expects further tightening in the coming months, need to consider the exchange rate when assessing inflationary pressures. Worries that using monetary policy to stabilise the FX rate in the short-term would be a distraction from the BoE's goals. HKMA purchases HKD 9.6bln from the market, as the HKD hits the weak-end of the trading range. FX Euro firm as risk revival continues and ECB’s Rehn says 50bp hike in September is highly probable, EUR/USD eyeing 1.0600 after breaching 1.0550, but could be capped by 1bln option expiry interest between 1.0575-85. Sterling rebounds ahead of CBI industrial trends and after BoE chief economist Pill underlines willingness to act if price pressures prove persistent; Pound probes 1.2300 vs Dollar as DXY slips further from recent peaks through 104.000. Loonie and Nokkie boosted by firmer crude prices, as former awaits Canadian retail sales data; USD/CAD close to 1.2900 vs circa 1.3078 double top, EUR/NOK sub-10.4000 within 104.4200+/10.3400 range. Kiwi and Aussie underpinned by improvement in risk appetite, but hampered as NZ consumer sentiment slides to record low and RBA Governor Lowe pushes back on the amount of 2022 tightening priced in at present; NZD/USD hovers above 0.6350 and AUD/USD shy of 0.7000. Franc and Yen remain divergent with SNB and BoJ policy paths, latter largely ignoring latest verbal intervention; USD/CHF pivots 0.9650 and USD/JPY back above 135.00. Israel PM Bennett and Foreign Minister Lapid agreed on dissolving the Knesset and going for an early election, while the vote will take place next week and Lapid will become PM once the vote passes, according to Walla News. Fixed Income Debt divergent and erratic awaiting the return of US cash markets from long holiday weekend. Bunds hold within 143.05-144.01 range and Gilts between 111.11-68 parameters. Treasury futures retreat and curve flits from marginal flattening to steepening ahead of US existing home sales and more Fed speak via Mester and Barkin Commodities WTI and Brent are bid amid broader risk sentiment with newsflow focusing on familiar themes primarily around the reduction in Russia's gas supply to Europe. Thus far, Brent has tested but failed to connivingly breach the USD 116.00/bbl mark ahead of touted USD 116.37/bbl resistance. US Treasury Secretary Yellen said she does not see resuming the Keystone XL oil pipeline as a short-term measure that can address high oil prices, while she added it would take years to have an impact. Yellen also commented that evidence is mixed on the level of pass-through from a gasoline tax holiday to lower prices and said that an exception or ban on insurance for certain Russian oil shipments would effectively provide a price cap on oil, according to Reuters. Brazilian Economy Minister Guedes said Brazil is part of the western energy security, particularly for Europe, while he added that privatising and moving Petrobras to Novo Mercado would increase its market cap from BRL 450bln to BRL 750bln. Guedes added that they will conduct new measures again if the war in Ukraine is escalating, according to Reuters. PetroEcuador may have to stop exports if protests continue and it declared a force majeure to avoid contract penalties, according to Reuters. Vitol CEO says markets are faced with underinvestment and falling production capacity for crude and there is a relatively tight refining situation, via Reuters; if China exports some more products, the tightness felt today won't be felt. Denmark's energy agency declared an 'early warning' stage of gas supply preparedness, according to Reuters. German regulator says they are not in a hurry to declare the highest gas emergency level yet, via Reuters citing BR; however, Sweden declares an "early warning" stage of gas supply preparedness for Western and Southern parts of the nation. Codelco's union presidents ratified the start of a national strike beginning on Wednesday, according to Reuters; an update which, alongside broader risk, is supporting LME Copper. US Event Calendar 08:30: May Chicago Fed Nat Activity Index, est. 0.47, prior 0.47 10:00: May Existing Home Sales MoM, est. -3.7%, prior -2.4% 10:00: May Home Resales with Condos, est. 5.4m, prior 5.61m Central Banks 11:00: Fed’s Barkin Interviewed During NABE Event 12:00: Fed’s Mester Speaks at Women in Leadership Event 15:30: Fed’s Barkin Speaks in Richmond DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap I’ll be publishing my latest monthly chartbook later today so keep an eye out for it. It will include the slides for last week’s webinar on the default study “The end of the ultra-low default world”. See here for the webinar replay and here for the original default study. Welcome to the longest day of the year although most in markets will already say we've had numerous of those already so far this year. Actually if you're outside of London, trying to get in it could be a very, very long day as the UK is today gripped by the first of three alternate day rail strikes. There is a tube strike today thrown in for good measure. It does seem industrial relations with the government are on a knife edge across the UK as at least 3 million workers across different professions are considering industrial action at the moment over pay and working conditions. So this could become a much bigger story if tensions are not eased. With inflation this high it's not easy to see how they can be without big pay rises being offered. However on this day of wall to wall sun (sorry to the Southern Hemisphere readers), there has been a little more light than dark in markets over the last 24 hours after what was the worst week for global equities since March 2020. The next major event(s) to look forward to are Fed Chair Powell’s congressional testimonies from tomorrow. To be honest though, its been a fairly quiet start to the week given the US holiday yesterday, with the biggest news instead being a fresh rise in European sovereign bond yields after President Lagarde reiterated the ECB’s intentions to start hiking next month, and also shone a bit more light on their plans to deal with any potential fragmentation. We’ll start with those remarks from Lagarde, who appeared in a hearing at the European Parliament yesterday and spoke strongly against any potential fragmentation in the Euro Area. Indeed, she said that “we need to be absolutely certain” that monetary policy was being transmitted to the different Euro Area countries and went as far to say that it was “right at the core of the mandate”, whilst adding “anybody who doubts that determination will be making a big mistake”. So not quite “whatever it takes” but along the same lines. Given the ECB has promised to deal with any fragmentation, that should make life easier for them when it comes to raising rates, and European sovereign bond yields responded accordingly yesterday. Looking at the specific moves, yields on 10yr bunds (+9.0bps), OATs (+11.8bps) and BTPs (+12.3bps) all moved noticeably higher, although by the standards of last week that seemed quite modest given that 10yr bund yields had seen absolute moves of 11bps in either direction on 3 out of 5 days last week. When it came to bonds though, it was UK gilts who were one of the biggest underperformers yesterday after we heard from one of the more hawkish members of the Bank of England’s MPC. Catherine Mann (who was in the minority that favoured of a 50bps move last week) said in a speech that “the incoming data on inflation show increasingly domestic embeddedness, persistence, and momentum”. Furthermore, she also warned about the risk of embedded domestic inflation being “further boosted by inflation imported via a Sterling depreciation”. Against that backdrop, 10yr gilt yields rose by +10.6bps to close above 2.6% for the first time since 2014, whilst overnight index swaps are continuing to price in a more aggressive response from the BoE after the next meeting, with 50bp moves priced in for each of the next 3 meetings, which would be the fastest pace of hikes since they gained operational independence in 1997. In spite of the sovereign bond selloff, equities put in a much better performance yesterday, with the STOXX 600 (+0.91%) seeing a broad-based advance that was supported by all the main sector groups. Other indices on the continent also moved higher, including the FTSE 100 (+1.50%), the DAX (+1.06%) and the FTSE MIB (+0.99%). The worst performer on a relative basis was France’s CAC 40 (+0.64%), which struggled following the news that President Macron had lost his parliamentary majority, which will make passing his agenda much more difficult in the coming years. See our economists’ piece on the topic here. With the US holiday we only had futures to look at, but those on the S&P 500 had moved around +1% higher by the time of the European close. They are +1.62% higher this morning with the NASDAQ 100 futures (+1.71%) also meaningfully higher. Meanwhile, Fed funds futures were again moving in the direction of pricing in a more aggressive path of rate hikes, with the implied rate by the December meeting up +7.18bps to 3.625%, albeit still beneath their closing peak of 3.72% just before the Fed meeting, which meant that Treasury futures were also pointing to fresh declines yesterday as well. Asian equity markets are relatively buoyant this morning with the Nikkei (+1.76%) leading the pack followed by the Hang Seng (+1.42%). In mainland China, the Shanghai Composite (+0.18%) and CSI (+0.12%) are also trading in positive territory whilst the Kospi (+1.03%) is sharply higher in early trade. Elsewhere, the meeting minutes from the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) released this morning indicated that the central bank is leaning towards more monetary policy tightening over the coming months. The minutes also revealed that inflation was expected to increase to 7% by the end of the year due to pandemic-related supply chain disruptions, before coming back towards the 2-3% inflation range in 2023. Meanwhile, the RBA Governor Philip highlighted that interest rates were still "very low" but watered-down expectations of 75bps rate hikes thus signaling a 25 or 50bps move at the July meeting. On the FX side, the Aussie Dollar did witness a sharp dip during the RBA Governor’s Q&A session but is reversing losses, trading +0.35% at 0.697 per US dollar, as I type. Elsewhere the Japanese yen has remained under pressure at 135.03 per dollar, not far off a 24-year low of 135.58 hit early last week. Separately, oil prices are higher this morning with Brent futures (+1.04%) at $115.32/bbl and WTI futures increasing +1.79% to $111.52/bbl. To the day ahead now, and data releases include US existing home sale for May, as well as the Chicago Fed’s national activity index for the same month. Otherwise, central bank speakers include the Fed’s Barkin and Mester, the ECB’s Rehn and the BoE’s Pill. Tyler Durden Tue, 06/21/2022 - 08:02.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytJun 21st, 2022

The Bill Gurley Chronicles: Part I

The Bill Gurley Chronicles: Part I By Alex of the Macro Ops Substack What if there was a way to distill all the knowledge that someone’s written over the last 25 years into one, easy-to-read document? And what if that person was a famous venture capital investor known for betting big on companies like Uber, Snapchat, Twitter, Discord, Dropbox, Instagram, and Zillow (to name a few)?  Well, that’s what I’ve done with Bill Gurley’s blog Above The Crowd.  Gurley is a legendary venture capital investor and partner at Benchmark Capital. His blog oozes valuable insights on VC investing, valuations, growth, and marketplace businesses.  This document is a one-stop-shop summary of every blog post Gurley’s ever written.  Here’s how it’ll look. Each summary will contain the following:  Date, title, and link to blog post One paragraph summary My favorite quote This piece allows anyone to absorb all of Gurley’s knowledge bombs in the fraction of the time it took me to do it. I hope this piece brings you as much value as it did to me.  Let’s get after it. Years: 1996 -1999 October 21, 1996: Backhoes Don’t Obey Moore’s Law: A Story Of Convergence (Link) Summary: The backhoe improved at an annual rate of 4.4%, falling short of Moore’s Law equivalent improvement of 59.7%. Computers are dependent on telecom to deliver the internet. But telecom is dependent on Moore’s Law failing-backhoes. This means we’re building computer-centric solutions to Internet-based problems without addressing the core problem: laying fiber cables with obsolete backhoes.  Favorite Quote: “Backhoe dependency is really just the simple side of our message. It is our impression that the majority of the players in the computer industry bring a “computer centric viewpoint” (CCV) when analyzing the issues that exist with the Internet. This computer-centric view could prove hazardous. Not only will it lead to disappointed expectations, but it may also lead to a less than accurate vision of the future.” April 20, 1998: How To Succeed In Advertising (Link) Summary: There are three reasons why success-based advertising wins the day on the internet:  Customers want it: Advertisers can quickly see if their programs work and easily predict margins using COGS + “bounty fee” model Solves excess inventory problems: The best way to reduce inventory is through direct-selling, success-based advertising (think 1-800 ads on cable TV) Unsold Ad-Space on Internet: As internet population increases, it reduces the CPM per pageview. This causes an inventory glut of internet space and a perfect place for performance-based ads Also, you can use a DCF to find the LTV of a customer. It’s simply: $ in FCF per customer/year divided by the discount rate.  Favorite Quote: “The lifetime value of the customer is equal to the future cash flows (not revenue!) expected over the life cycle of the customer, discounted back by a reasonable discount rate. What we are really doing is treating the customer acquisition as an investment and the lifetime cash flows of the customer as the yield on that investment.” May 5, 1998: Standards: Open For Business (Link) Summary: Open standards is the idea that companies in an industry operate within a specified set of rules (or parameters). Think of printers and PCs. It makes sense for all PCs and printers to be compatible with one another. This reduces time to market for most products. The issue, however, arises when open standards are applied to tech-heavy businesses without distribution advantages. Software is a perfect example. Distribution is effortless, so the only way to gain an edge in open standards is through sales teams and technical support. And who has the lead in that? Large companies.  Favorite Quote: “Theoretically, you could have a better sales force or better service and support, but these are not typically assets that small innovative companies possess. This means that competing with a completely “open” strategy would offer very little room for differentiation, and there is almost a necessity to have some closed proprietary advantage. It is difficult to criticize companies for trying to innovate in a proprietary manner. After all, survival is instinctive.” August 17, 1998: Internet Investors: Beware Of The Proxy Valuation (Link)  Summary: Investors use proxy valuations to value companies without hard free cash flows (NOPAT – capex). Proxy valuations come in all shapes and sizes, including: P/Revenues, Market Cap / Subscriber, Market Cap / Unique Page View, etc. While proxy valuations are better than blindly picking stocks — it’s not the end goal. Businesses must generate cash flow to survive. This brings us to a few dangers of proxy valuations:  Symmetry Risk: Not all proxies are created equal (e.g., Price/Sub not the same as Price/Page View) Assumption Risk: A customer’s value changes. We can’t assume a company will generate $X from each customer over its lifetime Arbitrage Risk: Companies IPO based on # of customers, revenue stats or subscribers … not cash flows or profitability Favorite Quote: “Another reason to be skeptical of proxy valuations is arbitrage. If Wall Street comes to believe that customers, or visitors, or page views, or even revenues are uniquely valuable (regardless of profitability), than entrepreneurs are likely to rush to market with companies that can achieve these targets quite handily, but may have little chance at producing real value in terms of cash flow. With no focus on costs, it is easy to reach non-financial targets. This is the great thing about cash flow-based valuation, it’s hard to sweep costs under the rug.” October 16, 1998: The Continued Evolution Of Advertising Or How To Succeed In Advertising Part II (Link)  Summary: Traditional advertising is squeezed out of the value chain as ad buyers recognize the difference between pay-per-impression and pay-per-click through. Further, the invention of TiVO (recording shows & content) increased demand for a direct-to-consumer content delivery system. Ideas like pay-per-view TV were born from the idea that you can cut the middleman (networks & advertisers) and directly charge your customer.  Favorite Quote:  “While this is possible, it ignores the fact that the viewer now has a choice, and that these devices will allow the content provider to push content directly to the end-user, potentially on a pay-per-view basis. If the consumer is willing to pay $5 to watch Seinfeld commercial-free, why should they be denied?” July 12, 1999: The Rising Impact Of Open Source (Link)  Summary: There are six things to know about open source (OS) code. One, open source works. Two, OS can produce business-quality code. Three, OS business models are emerging. Four, OS is a tough competitor (hard to beat free!). Five, OS models are entering the content generation space. Six, OS may be as helpful as a defensive mechanism than an offensive weapon.  Favorite Quote: “Open source as a production model should be appreciated in the same light as Henry Ford’s assembly line or Demming’s Just-In-Time manufacturing process. By taking advantage of the electronic communication medium of the Internet as well as the distributed skills of its volunteers, the open-source community has uncovered a leveraged development methodology that is faster and produces more reliable code than traditional internal development. You can pan it, doubt it, or ignore it, but you are unlikely to stop it. Open source is here to stay.” October 18, 1999: The Rising Importance Of The Great Art Of Storytelling (Link) Summary: Storytelling is one of the most underappreciated business skills. Bill Gates admired a man (Craig McCaw) because he was able to convince investors to invest in a capital-heavy infrastructure business. McCaw created new (proxy) valuations to sell the story the company was trying to deliver. Storytelling also gets a bad rap because it’s associated with “hype” — overpromising and under delivering. Recognizing a good story from a bad one helps investors avoid dreams and invest in the future.  Favorite Quote: “As public market investors begin to evaluate younger and younger companies, their valuation tools become limited to subjective notions such as quality of the team and the uniqueness and boldness of the idea.  In other words, if there isn’t enough proof that a business already exists, then they must make a judgment as to whether one will.” Years: 2000 – 2002 March 6, 2000: The Most Powerful Internet Metric Of All (Link)  Summary: Conversion rate is the most important metric for internet-based companies. Why? Conversion rate captures total user engagement. It also boasts high leverage. Here’s the big idea: as conversion increases, revenue rises and marketing costs decline. There are five things that affect conversion rate: 1) user interface, 2) performance (slow v. fast), 3) convenience, 4) effective advertising and 5) word of mouth.  Favorite Quote: “Let’s assume you spend $10,000 to drive 5,000 people to your site, and your conversion rate is 2 percent. This means that 100 transactions cost you $10,000, or $100 per transaction. Now let’s assume your conversion rate rises to 4 percent. The same $10,000 buys you 200 transactions at a cost of $50 per transaction. An 8 percent rate gives you 400 transactions at a cost of $25 per transaction. As conversion rate goes up, revenue rises while marketing costs as a percentage of sales fall – that’s leverage.” April 17, 2000: Can Napster Be Stopped? NO! (Link) Summary: Napster paved the way for the free digital music we enjoy today. Here’s how. The software leveraged each user’s computer files and shared music freely between PC devices, not the internet. Napster’s popularity grew, and within six months the software had 9 million users. It took AOL 12 years to get to that figure. There are two important lessons from Napster: 1) the power of community-building and 2) information wants to be free. Connect those two lessons and you have an incredible community-based business.  Favorite Quote: “Remember that the amount of bits it takes to represent high-quality audio is finite. Until the past few years, the amount of space on a hard drive, as well as the bandwidth required to transfer an MP3 file, was prohibitive for widespread usage. However, both bandwidth and storage space are susceptible to Moore’s Law. This means that within six years, the amount of drive space or bandwidth needed to trade high-quality music will be unnoticeably negligible. Emailing an entire album of music to a friend will be no different than forwarding a Microsoft Word document today.” May 15, 2000: A Return To Demand-Driven Capital (Link) Summary: There is a huge difference between demand-driven and supply-driven start-ups. Demand-driven start-ups see an area of the market where a need doesn’t have a solution. Then, they create a company to fill that need. Supply-driven start-ups conceive companies on the idea that one day consumers will need their solutions to problems that might not exist yet. The intellectual satisfaction of creating solutions is more appealing than bottom-fishing for long-standing consumer problems. At the end of the day, it’s better to start (and invest in) demand-driven businesses.   Favorite Quote (emphasis mine): “I suspect what’s at work is that Plato-esque idea that creation is much more intellectually appealing than combing the earth for steadfast problems to solve. But keep this in mind: Even a sexy Internet company like eBay was born of demand instead of supply. Founder Pierre Omidyar’s girlfriend wanted a place to trade Pez dispensers online. The company rose after the market voted. I suspect that entrepreneurs and venture capitalists alike would be well-served to return to the boring, but perhaps more successful, world of demand-driven capitalism.” June 12, 2000: Like It Or Not, Every Startup Is Now Global (Link) Summary: The rising prevalence of start-up infrastructure overseas poses a threat to US-based start-up companies. US start-ups face two main threats: 1) imitation from overseas competitors and 2) expanding too quickly. Faced with growing competition, US companies might go global before establishing a solid footprint on their home turf. This has devastating consequences as they’ll burn more cash and lose focus on their core markets. There are three solutions: 1) Joint ventures, 2) acquisitions and 3) start-up your own global market. Favorite Quote: “Ironically, the same courage that leads a start-up to look overseas could cause failure if the company moves too quickly and aggressively or assumes it can get by without local partners. When considering such alternatives, it is important to keep one fact in mind: 50 percent of something is worth a lot more than 100 percent of nothing.” July 10, 2000: The End Of CPM (Link) Summary: Echoing Gurley’s 1998 article, 2000 saw the rise of performance-based advertising. The catalyst for such rapid adoption was the outflow of capital to money-losing internet companies. With tight budgets, companies needed ad campaigns that worked. The other catalyst is the proliferation of customer behavior data on company websites. Management can see exactly who is on their site, how long they stay, and if they convert.  Favorite Quote: “Of course, the biggest catalyst in the past 90 days has been the closing of the IPO market and the subsequent focus in the start-up world on profits and cost controls. This abrupt and refreshing change is a major accelerator that immediately tightens the belt of most Internet marketing departments and targets their spending on the most efficient forms of advertising they can find. Gone are the days when companies indiscriminately bought the “anchor tenancy” on the favorite portal just as a branding event.” February 19, 2001: The Next Big Thing: 802.11b? (Link) Summary: WiFi will revolutionize the way we conduct business and where we choose to interact online. While there are critics of the technology, there is no denying its potential to reach critical mass and spread nationwide. The real catalyst for WiFi’s adoption is the move from corporate offices to homes, then to public places like colleges.  Favorite Quote: “Like other dislocating technologies, Wi-Fi is now working its way from the office into the home. While home networks are still in their infancy, the benefits of a wireless architecture may be even higher than at the office. Who has the capability to rewire their whole house? And although less obvious, the interest in aesthetics at home heightens the benefit of not stringing wires halfway across the room. Also, as we integrate the home entertainment center with the PC, a wireless link is particularly appropriate. Lastly, what if I could carry my laptop home from work, lay it on the kitchen counter and be online instantly? You can today with Wi-Fi.” June 25, 2001: The Smartest Price War Ever (Link) Summary: Dell engaged in the smartest price war ever. Their business model, which focused on just-in-time inventory, resulted in positive cash-flows even under income statement compressions. Through five-day inventory, 59-day average payables and 30 days receivables, Dell generated a negative cash conversion cycle. This allowed them to cut prices while their competitors’ models couldn’t allow such maneuvers. Competitors were forced into a lose-lose situation (cut prices and lose margin or not participate and lose market share).  Favorite Quote: “Much has been written about Dell’s direct model, which removes the middleman, along with his margin, from the sales process. And others have noted that Dell’s incredible five days of inventory allow it to pass on component price declines faster than anyone else in the industry. But perhaps the unique aspect of Dell’s business advantage is its negative cash conversion cycle. Because it keeps only five days of inventories, manages receivables to 30 days, and pushes payables out to 59 days, the Dell model will generate cash—even if the company were to report no profit whatsoever.” August 13, 2001: Bye, Bye, Bluetooth (Link)  Summary: WiFi will eliminate the need for Bluetooth. In its simplest explanation, WiFi works for the internet model whereas Bluetooth works for walkie-talkies. That’s a huge difference. It also shows the power of companies that can quickly cut products/ideas that fail despite tremendous sunken-costs. Bluetooth was a three-year push designed to revolutionize the way computers and devices interacted. Then WiFi came along. Those that quit Bluetooth early not only had a head start on their stubborn competition, they also saved thousands in wasted R&D.  Favorite Quote: “Even without competition from Wi-Fi, Bluetooth would have major challenges. That’s because the very concept of a cable replacement like Bluetooth is flawed. In a world where every device is connected to a single network (read: Internet), there is no need to connect individual devices on an ad hoc basis. Consider this – a walkie-talkie is a device that supports communication directly between two nodes. A cell phone is a device that supports communications between “any” two nodes because they are all connected to a common network and they all have unique addresses. Blue-tooth is to a walkie-talkie whereas 802.11 connected to the Internet is more analogous to the cell-phone model.” October 1, 2001: Tapping The Internet (Link) Summary: After the terrorist attacks on 9/11, many government officials sprang forward, calling for increased surveillance and backdoors on many privacy networks. The main argument was that these terrorists had access to high level technology and software. The reality was less cinematic. Osama Bin Laden used Steganography to spread information amongst his followers. Unfortunately for senators, Steganography uses every day files like images to transmit messages. So it’s not as simple as allowing backdoor access to private channels.  Favorite Quote: “The government should not give up on computer surveillance. In fact, as a tool that is used to track down a particular offender after isolation and identification, these technologies can be extremely effective. However, we should not be unrealistic about what type of “magic” spy technologies are at our disposal. We are only going to spend a lot of money, waste a lot of time, and create a false sense of security.” October 29, 2001: When It Comes To Pricing Software, The Greener Grass Is Hard To Find (Link)  Summary: The internet allowed software companies to price their product as a subscription service (SaaS) right when companies were facing hardship. The SaaS model eliminates the high-dollar upfront sales pitch and allows the company to generate predictable revenue during the year. However, stretching revenues over months (not upfront) increases short-term operating losses. Those that can withstand the short-term negativity should reap the long-term rewards of the SaaS model.  Favorite Quote: “About this same time, the rise of the Internet gave birth to the idea of an ASP – a model where software would be delivered as a service over the web, and customers would “subscribe” to the software. Analysts raved at the genius of the idea. With this model, the customer would pay an incremental fee each month, therefore eliminating the “start from zero” sales game inherent in the software model. Assuming no loss of customers, the revenue from last quarter is already booked for this quarter – all new sales theoretically represent incremental growth.” April 3, 2002: It’s Time To Put A Stop To Spam (Link) Summary: Hackers and spammers always find a way to exploit new technology. Spammers were so bad in 2002 that Gurley had to write about it. The problem lies in time spent deleting spam messages. Time that should garner more productive activities like business. This creates incentives for start-ups to solve such problems. But, the biggest risk facing these spam software companies is a false positive. False positives could delete an email that was legit — potentially costing companies millions in lost revenues.  Favorite Quote: “Email is fast becoming the preferred communication medium for many corporations. Moreover, email is also the baseline for many new cross-company workflow applications. We simply cannot allow a bunch of Viagra ads to put a dent in the evolution of the global economy.” Years: 2003 – 2005 January 6, 2003: 802.11 & Cellular: Competitor Or Complement? (Link) Summary: Gurley explains that WiFi is to 3G as the personal computer was to the mainframe. By understanding the mainframe/personal computing industry, you could “see” the future of WiFi and cellular data. No-one envisioned personal computers operating hundreds of websites or ERP systems. Yet technologists built products on top of the standardized mainframe. WiFi is no different. At the time, a ~$30 WiFi radio and a Pringles can could get you high-speed connectivity at a 10 mile distance. To Gurley, WiFi and cellular data are complementary. Like chips and salsa, with WiFi stealing incremental market opportunities over time.  Favorite Quote: “This exact thing is currently happening with 802.11. This tiny, and increasingly inexpensive radio is already shockingly versatile. The same $30 radio can be used to serve wireless connectivity in your office, connect both you PCs and your multimedia in your home, and provide coverage to a police force across an entire downtown area. Add a Pringles can as a directional antenna (no kidding!), and this $30 radio is capable of providing high-speed line-of-sight connectivity at a distance of 10 miles. In fact, the majority of the volume in the line-of-sight fixed wireless market has shifted almost entirely to low-cost 802.11 radios.” February 10, 2003: Software In A Box: The Comeback Of The Hardware Based Business Model (Link) Summary: Software companies might pitch their product inside a hardware offering, going against conventional Silicon-Valley logic. Gurley notes that while pure software businesses generate higher margins with lower capital intensity, it comes at a cost: software-only business models are harder to execute. Gurley saw the software-in-a-box path as the easier option because it addressed seven key issues:  Development complexity/Quality Assurance Performance Security Provisioning Reliability/Stability/Customer Service Pricing Distribution Favorite Quote: “There is a silver lining. The industry has changed in ways that improve the “business model” elements of selling hardware. The key driver is the standardization and general availability of hardware components, particularly those used in generic Intel-based 1U servers. As a result, the hardware is not a proprietary design, but rather a type of packaging. Think of it as an alternative to a cardboard box.” March 18, 2003: Pay Attention To BPM (Link) Summary: Business Process Management, or BPM, will change all of business. Gurley was so excited about BPM because it solved four main sticking points in an enterprise’s day-to-day process:  Codifying current processes Automating execution Monitoring current performance Making on-the-fly changes to improve current processes For the first time, employees could “hand off” applications to other employees inside the firm. This allowed for faster improvement and implementation of better processes throughout the organization.  Favorite Quote: “Of course, the real winners here will be customers that embrace BPM to further automate, enhance, streamline, and optimize their core business processes. These processes are the core intellectual property of most businesses. And just as the level of competition in manufacturing increased with JIT, the level of competition with respect to non-manufacturing business processes will increase with BPM. Companies that lead will succeed.” April 23, 2003: Dot-Com Double Take (Link) Summary: Many investors threw all “Internet Based” businesses out with the bathwater during the Dot-Com bubble. According to Gurley, that was clearly the wrong approach. Underneath the grime of pump-and-dump schemes, the Dot-com Bubble created durable, profitable businesses (like AMZN, GOOGL, Verisign, etc.).  Gurley saw four reasons why these left-for-dead Internet companies worked:  They weren’t bad ideas. Rationality set in first.  Quick capacity reduction.  Internet usage growth is systematic, not cyclical.  Favorite Quote: “Consumer spending may be down 5%, but online spending is still such a small percentage of overall consumer spending that growth results from the continued increase in online usage. With IT expenditures already at 50% of corporate capital expenditures, the opposite is true for traditional information technology spending.” June 10, 2003: In Search Of The Perfect Business Model: Increasing Marginal Utility (Link) Summary: Increased marginal utility (IMU) is the holy grail of capitalism. It’s also easier than ever to attempt IMU in our internet-based world. IMU means that for each incremental time a customer uses your product/service, they receive more value than the previous time they used it. You don’t need switching costs in an increasing marginal utility ecosystem. Why? Because switching costs lock in a customer in an “I win, you lose” scenario. In an IMU world, the customer feels left out if they don’t use your product or service. The goal: find companies that produce increased marginal utility for their customers.  Favorite Quote: “This may be the nirvana of capitalism – increased marginal customer utility. Imagine the customer finding more value with each incremental use. Some may suggest that this concept already exists in the form of volume discounts. However, this offers a vendor no real competitive advantage, as all of its competitors are likely to offer the same discount to large purchasers. Others may feel this is just a buffed-up version of “high switching costs.” On the contrary, increased marginal customer utility preempts the need to impose switching costs, which can be seen as “trapping” or “tricking” the customer. Instead, the customer who abandons increasing marginal customer utility would experience ‘switching loss.’” July 16, 2003: The Comeback Of The Mobile Internet (Link)  Summary: Mobile internet flourished thanks to the growth in cell phones. With cell phones, billions of people could access the internet, purchase items, and engage in content. In fact, cell phones will dominate the war against PCs. There are a few reasons Gurley believes this claim. First, cell phones are everywhere. Billions of people have them. Second, they’re portable, allowing users to kill time on apps and games. Third, people are more likely to purchase over the internet on their phones. Finally, IP addresses make it easy for billions of users to connect simultaneously.  Favorite Quote: “While a more carrier-friendly split may be good for the carrier’s bottom line, it could drive content providers to more generous carriers, rendering the greedy carriers’ offerings less attractive to users. Interestingly, one of the most successful content platforms, Japan’s DoCoMo service, is built around an extremely generous 91%-9% split, which is more favorable than all U.S. and European carriers’ current deals. The carriers are all walking a fine line between driving revenues and creating a viable ecosystem to encourage publishers to invest in content.” August 23, 2003: Much Ado About Options (Link) Summary: People worry too much about stock options and their impact on bottom-line earnings. Yes, there are certain instances where stock options balloon to large percentages of pre-tax earnings. But those are few and far between. Also, it doesn’t really matter whether a company grants options or restricted stock. Both offer employees skin in the game, and both cost the company roughly equal equity. That said, restricted stock incentivizes value retention. Whereas options incentivize value creation.  Favorite Quote: “In addition, restricted stock grants could encourage a form of widespread corporate conservatism. If an executive is granted $2MM worth of stock, he or she might have incentive to help increase the price to say $2.3MM, or 15%. That said, the incremental $300K is peanuts when it comes to protecting the value of the $2MM already on the table. There is a huge difference between corporate sustainability and corporate value creation. GM traded at $38 per share in 1994, and since it is $38 per share today, it has “sustained” value for the past nine years. Is this the type of behavior we hope to encourage?” October 7, 2003: Beware The Digital Hand (Link)  Summary: Digitization is great for consumers, but awful for consumer electronics producers. Semiconductors make electronics faster, cheaper and more powerful. Who reaps the rewards? The semiconductor industry. That’s where differentiation happens. Consumer electronics (CE) companies commoditize, forced to differentiate another way: supply chain. The CE leaders will be the ones with the shortest distance between their product and the customer.  Favorite Quote: “Digitization is creeping its way across the entire consumer electronics industry, as we slowly remove analog media and components from our lives. While this is good news for consumers who benefit from the low prices that the digital hand ensures, the quid pro quo for businesses is brutal competition.” December 18, 2003: Cleaning Up After The Ninth Circuit In An Attempt To Save The Internet (Link)  Summary: A regulated internet disproportionately hurts these four groups: consumers, IT businesses, American competitiveness, and RBOCs. Regulation hurts consumers in the form of higher prices to compensate for increased taxes. IT businesses hurt because if you slow the speed of internet adoption, you remove the runway for the IT industry. This translates into competitiveness issues as places like South Korea see 60%+ internet adoption. Finally, RBOC’s hurt because it would be a repeat of DSL regulations, which slashed growth and prompted the switch to cable modems.  Favorite Quote: “We should all know by now that rather than increasing competition, regulation typically reinforces monopolies and oligopolies. Startups will not and cannot prevail in heavily regulated industries. They lack the required resources and capital to manage fifty different utility commissions on a hundred different regulatory issues. For this same reason, you will never see a startup deliver an automobile in the U.S. as the regulatory red tape swamps all efforts. Increased regulation will do nothing more than ensure that new competitors and innovative solutions are permanently locked out of the market.” * * * That’s about where Substack cuts us off! Stay tuned next week for the next part of our Bill Gurley Chronicles Series! Tyler Durden Sun, 06/12/2022 - 15:30.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJun 12th, 2022

What Is A Comfortable Lifestyle In Retirement?

To retire comfortably, Americans say they will need $1.1 million. ‌Unfortunately, less than one in four will have the savings to do so. According to the 2022 Schroders US Retirement Survey, 22% of people approaching retirement say they’ll have enough money to maintain a comfortable standard of living. ‌The figure is down from 26% the […] To retire comfortably, Americans say they will need $1.1 million. ‌Unfortunately, less than one in four will have the savings to do so. According to the 2022 Schroders US Retirement Survey, 22% of people approaching retirement say they’ll have enough money to maintain a comfortable standard of living. ‌The figure is down from 26% the previous year. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Henry Singleton Series in PDF Get the entire 4-part series on Henry Singleton in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q1 2022 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Overall, there is a general expectation among Americans that their retirement savings will be inadequate. In fact, the majority (56%) expect to have less than $500,000 saved by the time they retire ‌and 36% anticipate‌‌ ‌‌having‌‌ ‌‌less‌‌ ‌‌than‌‌ ‌‌$250,000. Not surprisingly, American workers were most worried about inflation shrinking their assets in retirement. ‌The‌ ‌second‌ ‌most-feared‌ ‌scenario is becoming a reality, at least right now – 53% of respondents fear “a major market downturn significantly reducing assets.” “The list of concerns that retirees have, and that Americans in general have, are longer and they are more serious today,” Joel Schiffman, who oversees defined contribution products in North America for Schroders, told Bloomberg. “Inflation, the stock market, the cost of healthcare, taxes — there is this compounding effect.” People already retired said they were comfortable, or that their circumstances were “not terrible, not good.” ‌But 18% said their retirement was hard, and 5% said it was an absolute‌‌ ‌‌nightmare. Among respondents, a quarter said that in order to afford their “dream retirement” they must sacrifice what they want today; another 25% just need to keep on keeping on. ‌The study revealed that 35% of respondents between the ages of 60 and 67 said they would have to win the lottery to achieve their dreams. Before panicking, though, you should answer an important question. What is a comfortable retirement lifestyle? What is a Comfortable Lifestyle in Retirement? Your mileage will certainly vary. However, “Comfortable Retirees were more likely to have intermediate levels of financial assets (between $99,000 and $320,000) and income,” reports the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI). ERBI also found that; One in two homeowners were mortgage-free, while 37 percent had a mortgage. ‌ A third had no debt, while 42 percent had debt that was easily manageable. They were most likely married and had college degrees. More than half said they plan to grow, maintain, or spend a small portion of their financial assets, and almost three-quarters said their retirement savings are sufficient or above their needs. “In this group, more retirees cited workplace retirement savings plans such as 401(k) plans and individual retirement accounts (IRAs), in addition to Social Security, as their major source of income than any other group,” they add. ‌The most common types of debt are credit card and auto loan debt, and 1 in 3 had at least one of each. “Half of the retirees in this group spend less than $3,000 a month, while the majority said they can afford their current level of spending,” states ERBI. “In this group of retirees, most think their standards of living have not changed since their working years; however, 1 in 4 believes it has declined.” Retired Comfortables were on average just behind Affluent Retirees in their level of happiness during retirement. Choosing a Comfortable Retirement Lifestyle Before getting too consumed with an exact dollar amount, a key question to ask when planning for retirement is, “What do I want to do when I retire?” ‌After all, putting money away for retirement without determining how you plan to make use of it can leave you unprepared for your golden years. In terms of retirement, men are looking at over 18 years and women at over 20 years, as per the Social Security Administration. ‌As such, it will be important to make sure you’re happy with how you spend that much time. If you’re stuck, you should take into account the things in life that are important to you. Examples include friends and family, socializing, travel, hobbies, etc. To get started, answer the following questions. ‌When you do, you should be able to figure out what your priorities for retirement are. Are there health concerns that will impact‌ ‌your‌ ‌retirement‌ ‌lifestyle? To what extent is the quality of health care where you live important to you? Are you planning to stay in your current residence? Would you like to live near your ‌family‌ ‌or‌ ‌friends? Are you interested in moving‌ ‌to‌ ‌another‌ ‌state? Do you think living somewhere with lower taxes is ‌important? Is it your dream‌ ‌to‌ ‌retire‌ ‌abroad? Would you like‌ ‌to‌ ‌move‌ ‌into‌ ‌a‌ ‌retirement‌ ‌community? When you get older, do you plan on moving into assisted living? During retirement, what kinds of activities do you want to pursue that you are passionate about? Are you interested in traveling? Is it important to you to participate‌ ‌in‌ ‌charitable‌ ‌activities? How much income will you need ‌in‌ ‌retirement? Would you like to remain in the workforce? Full-time‌ ‌or‌ ‌part-time? In retirement, are you interested in reinventing your life? When you figure out what your priorities are, you’ll get a better idea of what you should include in your retirement plan. And, more importantly what it will take to maintain a comfortable lifestyle in retirement. It’s Not About Money, It’s About Income When figuring out your retirement “number,” it’s important to take into account that it isn’t just about deciding how much you need to save,” explains Robin Hartill, CFP®. ‌Americans, for example, tend to want to retire with a million-dollar‌ ‌nest‌ ‌egg. ‌That, however, is a false assumption. “The most important factor in determining how much you need to retire is whether you’ll have enough money to create the income you need to support your desired quality of life after you retire,” adds Hartill. ‌Is a $1 million savings account enough to sustain an individual forever? ‌Possibly. So, how much income do you really need? Well, for most retirees, it’s definitely not 100% of your pre-retirement income. The reason? ‌These expenses are probably not an issue; There’ll be no need to save for retirement. If you don’t commute to work, you might spend less on transportation costs. By the time you retire, your mortgage may be paid off. If you do not have dependents, you may not need life insurance. “But retiring on 80% of your annual income isn’t perfect for everyone,” says Hartill. Depending on the type of retirement lifestyle you intend to have and the range of expenses you expect, you might need to adjust your goal. It may make sense to aim for 90% to 100% of your pre-retirement income if you plan to travel frequently in retirement. Alternatively, you may be able to comfortably live on less than 80% if you intend to pay off your mortgage before retiring or downsizing your living arrangements. “Let’s say you consider yourself the typical retiree,” she says. ‌Your annual income is $120,000 between you and your spouse. ‌Using the 80% rule, you can expect to need about $96,000 in annual income after retiring, or $8,000 a‌ ‌month. Social Security The‌ ‌good‌ ‌news‌? ‌If‌ ‌you’re‌ ‌like‌ ‌most‌ ‌people,‌ ‌your Social Security benefits may provide some additional help beyond your savings. ‌In‌ ‌fact,‌ ‌at the end of 2020, nearly nine in ten seniors were receiving Social Security benefits. ‌Moreover, Social Security benefits make up about 30% of an elderly person’s income. However, Social Security typically replaces a lower percentage of income ‌for higher-income‌ ‌retirees. “For example, Fidelity estimates that someone earning $50,000 a year can expect Social Security to replace 35% of their income,” clarifies Hartill. ‌On the other hand, if someone earned $300,000 a year, their Social Security income replacement rate would be only 11%. As a rule, you can expect to receive less than half your pre-retirement salary in Social Security benefits. ‌Therefore, you will be responsible for covering the‌ ‌difference. But, there are still ways for you to still live comfortable off just a social security check: Delay taking your benefits. Try to wait until after you have reached your full retirement age before starting to collect benefits. ‌Your Social Security benefits will be at their maximum if you wait until you are 70 years old. And, if you already filed, you can still withdraw your claim. Pay off your debt. ‌Before retiring, it is best to pay off all debts, including credit card bills and mortgages, so you can maximize your Social Security benefits. ‌So, instead of spending your benefits on things you have already bought, you can put them towards things you need today. Relocate. ‌By lowering your cost of living, you can reap greater Social Security benefits. If you can consider moving to a tax-friendly state. Alaska‌ ‌and‌ ‌New‌ ‌Hampshire‌ ‌do not levy sales or income taxes, while Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming do levy sales taxes, but do not levy income taxes or taxes on pensions. Don’t overpay for prescriptions. ‌Medications can get rather expensive. ‌Always choose generic over brand-name prescriptions when you can. ‌Additionally, you may want to join a prescription drug membership program at the pharmacy where you buy your medication so that you can earn rewards and receive discounts. Take advantage of discounts. Speaking of discounts, if you go out to eat only go to restaurants the offer senior discounts. Also, the same it true with retailers like Kohl’s. Consider Savings, Annuities, and Other Income Streams While it’s possible to live comfortably just off Social Security, I wouldn’t completely bank on that. As a general rule, Social Security will only replace around 40% of your pre-retirement income. And, if you’re using the 80% rule as a benchmark, then that’s only half of your retirement income. To make sure they are able to meet their bills and have a life in retirement, most people need additional income retirement streams. And, these income streams are typically; Qualified retirement savings plans. A 401(k) plan, an IRA, or another type of retirement plan are the most common in the private sector. ‌Throughout your working career, you invest money into the plan. ‌If you contribute to a retirement plan or take money out after you retire, you typically get a tax break. If you’re self-employed, you can contribute to a Simplified Employee Pension (SEP-IRA) or an Individual 401(k). Retirement portfolio. In addition to a qualified retirement, you should also have a diversified retirement portfolio. Generally, this consists of stock, high yielding bonds, high yield savings accounts, and dividend paying stocks. Annuities. ‌An‌ ‌annuity‌ ‌is‌ ‌a‌ ‌contract that you purchase from an insurance or annuity company. It can provide a steady and guaranteed stream of income in retirement. Pensions. ‌ Private pension plans have become rarer over time. ‌Government workers, who still have pensions, can rely on them as a regular source of income throughout their lives. Veterans pension benefits. Veterans Pension benefits may be available if you meet certain criteria, including serving during wartime, being 65 or older, having a service-connected disability, and little to no income. ‌It differs from your military retirement pension, which is based on your number of years of service. Work Part-Time. Moreover, you may want to consider working part-time. Besides the additional income, it can help make the transition into retirement smoother. And, it’s a surefire way to remain physically and mentally sharp. Some suggestions would be freelancing, consulting, or babysitting your grandkids. You could also enter the gig economy by driving for Lyft or Door Dash. And, you could even rent out a spare bedroom to a full-time roommate or list it on Airbnb. To learn more about the tax implications of retirement savings or collecting Social Security benefits during retirement, speak with your licensed financial advisor. ‌Your finances may be affected. Senior Living Options The cost of housing will likely be your largest retirement expense. Housing-related costs averaged $1,406.68 per month for Americans 65 and older between 2016 and 2020. The good news is that there are a number of ways to lower your monthly housing costs as well. ‌‌When you pay your mortgage off, you won’t have a large monthly expense. Instead, you would only have to pay taxes, insurance,‌‌ ‌‌and‌‌ ‌‌maintenance. Another‌ ‌choice would be to downsize to a home that costs much less and take advantage of the equity in your home. ‌You can also save money on heating, cooling, maintenance, and taxes if you live in a smaller home in a cheaper neighborhood. From what activities you can pursue to who you will socialize with to how much your new lifestyle will cost, where you live can make a big difference in your retirement lifestyle. With that in mind, here are some options worth exploring. Move to a more affordable state. Make sure you consider factors like taxes, cost of living, health care, and other quality of life issues before deciding where to retire within the United States. However, based on median home cost, medicare advantage cost, and the cost of living index, here are the 12 cheapest states to retire: Mississippi Alabama Oklahoma Arkansas Georgia Tennessee West Virginia Indiana Iowa South Carolina New Mexico 55+ retirement communities. Age-restricted retirement communities commonly offer detached houses as well as townhouses or apartments for active‌ ‌older‌ ‌adults. ‌The community may have golf courses, organized activities, social calendars,‌ ‌and‌ ‌other conveniences. Senior living apartments. Older Americans can benefit from age-restricted apartments, condos or townhouses, which are specifically suited to their needs. ‌The majority of them offer pools and fitness centers. On the other hand, medical or dining facilities aren’t usually available. ‌The equity in your home can be released when you move into an assisted living complex for travel or other retirement ‌activities. Living abroad. Approximately 432,000 retired Americans were receiving Social Security benefits in foreign countries at the end of 2019, ‌according‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌Social Security‌ ‌Administration. Many countries offer retirement benefits for Americans while stretching their retirement dollars, such as; Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic Chitre, Panama Northern Belize Thailand’s Eastern Seaboard Popoli, Italy George Town Malaysia Cuenca, Ecuador The secret? ‌Finding a good balance between finances, a place you will enjoy living, and understanding the issues of becoming an expat, from health care to tax issues. ‌Also, in a foreign country, Medicare typically doesn’t cover your health care, so you’ll still need to pay income taxes in the states. Retirement Hobbies and Activities When you retire, you should be able to focus on what makes you happy and what makes you feel fulfilled. ‌However, you can still pursue hobbies and activities that meet both of these goals while living within your means. Here are some of the best hobbies and activities you can enjoy throughout your golden years. Creative ‌pursuits. In retirement, you can pursue hobbies that interest you and have time to devote to them, such as knitting and photography. ‌Also, here’s your chance to start a blog or write a book about something that interests you – without having to worry about going back to work every day. Outdoor adventures. Retirement‌ ‌is‌ ‌a great‌ ‌time to explore national and state parks or your favorite fishing hole during a weekday and avoid the weekend crowds. ‌Even better? Most parks offer senior discounts. Health and fitness. ‌Golf courses are commonly found in retirement communities. ‌There are dozens of healthy lifestyle choices to pursue after retirement, including running, swimming, biking, and dozens of other activities. ‌Physical activity is important for long-term health. ‌Adults 65 and older are recommended to get at least two and a half hours of moderate – or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous – physical activity every week. Travel. ‌ Traveling around the world may be limited only by your budget since you do not have a limited number of vacation days. ‌It may be affordable to spread out an RV adventure across the country over several‌ ‌weeks. But, ‌the cost of intercontinental travel can be reduced with flexible travel dates and group tour packages. And, with four-day packages that offer affordable options, cruises provide action-packed adventures at sea. Volunteer. ‌ An estimated 42% of retirees volunteer in their communities, according to AARP and Independent Sector, an organization that partners with nonprofits and foundations. ‌Volunteering‌ ‌is‌ ‌a‌ ‌great‌ ‌way‌ ‌to‌ ‌stay active, meet new people, and make a difference in your community while feeling fulfilled. Continue your education. ‌ By taking classes at your local university or community college, you can keep your mind active in retirement. ‌Studying a subject you were always curious about but never had time to investigate is a great idea when you are retired. ‌Senior citizens have access to reduced tuition rates at many colleges and universities. ‌Some may even be‌‌ ‌‌free. Frequently Asked Questions about Your Lifestyle in Retirement 1. How much will I spend in retirement? That depends as everyone’s situation is different. But, the 80% rule can provide a guideline. Based on your current income, you can start the planning process by assuming you’ll spend about 80% of the income you will make before you retire each year. ‌This ratio is called the retirement‌ ‌income‌ ‌replacement‌ ‌ratio. ‌You can expect to spend about $36,000 a year in retirement, for example, if your preretirement income was $45,000. Think‌ ‌of 80% as a good starting point. ‌You can modify this number based on your lifestyle, health expectations, and income. 2. Where does retirement income come from? The majority of retirees‌‌ ‌‌have‌‌ ‌‌multiple‌ ‌sources‌ ‌of‌ ‌income‌ ‌during‌ ‌their‌ ‌retirement‌ ‌years. Investment accounts that provide inflation protection, governmental benefits, or continuing paychecks are some examples. ‌To ensure you have enough income to live comfortably, it’s best to have multiple income sources. When‌ ‌deciding where your retirement income will come from, diversification is an important aspect to consider. ‌As a result, your future income can be protected and market risks can be reduced. 3. How long will I live? According to the CDC, the average life expectancy in the United States is 77 years. 4. What will my taxes look like in retirement? Your retirement planner can provide you with an estimate of your tax rate in retirement if you ask this question. ‌There are certain retirement savings, for example IRA and 401(k) accounts, that‌ ‌are‌ ‌taxable. ‌‌‌You may also have to pay taxes on your Social Security benefits based on your income. ‌You must also consider federal and state taxes. 5. Should I pay off my mortgage before I retire? It all‌ ‌comes‌ ‌down‌ ‌to‌ ‌personal‌ ‌preference. ‌Those who itemize deductions may find that their mortgage interest reduces their taxes. ‌If the interest rate is low enough, you might be better off investing more money than paying off the debt. If you plan on retiring comfortably, you need to consider the impact of paying off your mortgage. ‌Even though it’s best to enter retirement debt-free, it’s not a good idea to drain your retirement fund to pay off a house. Article by Deanna Ritchie, Due About the Author Deanna Ritchie is a financial editor at Due. She has a degree in English Literature. She has written 1000+ articles on getting out of debt and mastering your finances. She has edited over 40,000 articles in her life. She has a passion for helping writers inspire others through their words. Deanna has also been an editor at Entrepreneur Magazine and ReadWrite.   Updated on Jun 3, 2022, 4:31 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkJun 3rd, 2022

59% Of Americans Don’t Believe They Will Have Enough To Retire

Retirement is tricky. Oscar Wilde said it best. “When I was young I thought that money was the most important thing in life; now that I am old I know that it is.” Unfortunately, a majority of Americans may not have enough money to live comfortably and enjoy their golden years. According to a MagnifyMoney […] Retirement is tricky. Oscar Wilde said it best. “When I was young I thought that money was the most important thing in life; now that I am old I know that it is.” Unfortunately, a majority of Americans may not have enough money to live comfortably and enjoy their golden years. According to a MagnifyMoney poll of more than 2,000 Americans, 59% say they will never be able to save enough for retirement. Additionally, according to a Bankrate survey, 52% of Americans feel they don’t have enough money to fund their retirement. Approximately 16% of respondents are unsure whether they’re on track, but 21% say they’re on track. And, a mere 11% indicated that they were ahead of schedule. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Walter Schloss Series in PDF Get the entire 10-part series on Walter Schloss in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues. (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q1 2022 hedge fund letters, conferences and more However, rising debt rates and housing costs already weighed on Americans’ retirement savings. As an example, Gallup reported that 46% of non-retirees said that they won’t be financially comfortable in retirement. Of course, that was before the pandemic. In the aftermath of COVID-19, many people found themselves unable to contribute to their retirement savings because of job losses, higher health care costs, and unexpected family and caregiving responsibilities. For some, withdrawals from retirement savings were necessary. The MagnifyMoney survey found that 48% of those with a retirement savings account had stopped saving or decreased their contributions during the financial crisis. Roughly 1 in 6 have not begun to save again since then. In addition, 39% of respondents drew from their accounts or borrowed money to cover necessities. According to Bankrate, 51% of those with accounts like 401(k) plans or individual retirement accounts (IRAs) had made an early withdrawal, including 20 percent who did so since the pandemic began in early 2020. No wonder 40% of Americans say it will take a miracle to retire comfortably, according to another survey. Roadblocks to Retirement: Insufficient Income and Overwhelming Debt Keeping your finances on track when you aren’t earning enough or are facing massive student or credit card debt can be challenging — to say the least. In the MagnifyMoney survey, almost 30% of survey participants said they weren’t earning enough money to meet their contribution goals. 15% said debt was holding them back from meeting their contributions. In fact, Americans are awash in debt, with an average of $90,460 in consumer debt. This includes everything from credit cards to mortgages and student loans. Additionally, 11% of respondents had to use their retirement savings to cover emergency expenses, while 8% offered financial assistance to family members during the pandemic. 42% of those affected by Covid lost their income because of Covid, which led to a quarter of survey respondents having to delay retirement. Interestingly, it was the younger generation of savers who said they’ll have to delay retirement the most. Approximately a quarter of Gen Zers and a little less than a third of millennials and Gen Xers (41 to 55) said the crisis would disrupt their plans. Among baby boomers (56 to 75), only 11% agreed. Additional retirement financial risks. Although Covid was a factor, it wasn’t the only one. Two-thirds, or 64%, of respondents, said their retirement funds weren’t where they wanted them to be prior to a pandemic. Other retirement roadblocks include; Longevity. We are living longer than ever, resulting in retirements lasting 25, 30, or even 40 years. When more years are spent in retirement, the more likely it is that other financial detours will occur. Inflation. Inflation, such as we have experienced over the past two decades, can deflate a retiree’s ability to maintain purchasing power in retirement. Sequence of return. In certain retirement assets, market pullbacks can pose a major challenge for money withdrawals. As withdrawals are used for purchases, that money is no longer sitting in the account awaiting a market recovery. Withdrawal rate. Traditionally, it was suggested that retirees could withdraw 4% of their initial savings annually. With historically low-interest rates and bond yields, a lower withdrawal rate may now be needed to help ensure that a retirement nest egg will remain sustainable. Social Security. It is crucial to know when to file for retirement benefits. In many cases, people begin their retirement benefits before they reach full retirement age. Healthcare. A healthy 65-year-old couple can expect to pay $12,052 per year in out-of-pocket medical expenses. Taxation. IRAs and 401(k)s provide most retirement savings. When withdrawn, these funds are taxed. Nevertheless, the after-tax value of those assets may be uncertain since future tax rates may be higher than they are now. How to Get Your Retirement Savings Back on Track Assess your current financial situation. The very first thing you need to do is assess where you are now financially and how much you’ll need for your retirement goal. At the minimum, you need to know how much you currently have in retirement savings and what you’re contributing each month. If you still owe money on your 401(k), make a note of that as well. In order to maximize your retirement savings, you should compare what you have now to how much you expect to need in retirement. To get back on track, increase your contributions to your retirement account. This may not seem possible, but anything you can contribute is better than nothing — even if it’s $50 a month. Consider revising your budget. You should also review your budget at the same time you’re evaluating your retirement plan. Simply examine your recent bank and credit card statements to see where can trim any spending. Hopefully, this will free up some additional money that can be put to good use. “Saving for both emergencies and retirement are vitally important to current and future financial security,” says Greg McBride, CFA, Bankrate chief financial analyst. “Even a modest emergency fund acts as a buffer from early retirement account withdrawals when unplanned expenses arise, allowing the power of compounding to continue to work its magic.” Prioritize debt repayment. It might seem that debt repayment has nothing to do with retirement, but the two are often intertwined. After all, if you get rid of your debt, you won’t have to make those monthly payments. And, that means you can put that money towards your retirement savings. and you can save that money for retirement. Which debt should tackle first? 401(k) loans and high-interest debt should be your top priorities. Besides being costly, if you borrowed from your 401(k), then this could result in your retirement being underfunded. Before you make new contributions to your retirement plan, you may wish to work on paying these back. To help you manage your debt, consider taking out a personal loan or transferring your debt to a credit card. You may also want to consider part-time or freelance work until you’re debt-free. Kick up your savings rate. In terms of retirement savings rates, knowing how much is enough can be a challenge. “We tend to advocate for a 15% deferral rate, and that includes both the employee and the employer contribution,” said Lorie Latham, senior defined contribution strategist at T. Rowe Price, during the firm’s 2022 retirement outlook panel. According to Vanguard, automatic enrollment rates for those covered by those plans can be as low as 3% or less, if they also have automatic annual increases. Contributing enough so that your employer will match at least some of your contributions is generally advisable. It’s important to bear in mind that if you’re also investing for your spouse, you will need to save even more. As you earn raises or promotions, you can increase your retirement savings deferral rates — even if only by a little bit. McBride says this can have a considerable impact over time on your savings total. “The habit of increasing the amount that you’re putting away can go a long way,” McBride said. If your employer doesn’t match your retirement contributions, consider moving on. Ideally, when searching for a job, check the retirement account offered, the company match, and whether there is health insurance or other benefits that can reduce your monthly expenses. Make investing simple. In the absence of a 401(k), or if your contributions are already maxed out, look for other ways to save for retirement. You have plenty of time to incorporate an element of risk into your portfolio, so don’t overthink it. You might want to consider an index fund or robo-advisor to help automate your decisions. With the help of artificial intelligence, these platforms can analyze your financial status and provide you with curated portfolios tailored to your age and financial situation. Typically, you can choose among various tax-advantaged retirement accounts with this investment method, simplifying the investing process. Even if it’s only a few dollars per month, you can automate your contributions to help you stay on track with your savings goals. You could also use a spare-change app like Acorns. The app rounds up every purchase with the linked debit card and deposits the change in your investment or retirement fund when you make a purchase. Contribute to an IRA. An individual retirement account (IRA) allows you to save more money through tax advantages. But, there are two main types of IRAs. You can deduct your contributions to a traditional IRA every year from your taxable income. The withdrawals you make in retirement will be taxed. Roth IRAs are a great retirement investment if you don’t mind lowering your taxable income. As a result, you’ll pay taxes when you make a contribution, but when you retire and withdraw money, you won’t pay taxes. Moreover, any growth you have made in your portfolio is tax-free. Overall, with a balanced portfolio, you’ll be able to save the same amount for retirement while still maximizing your savings. Contributions to all traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs cannot exceed the following amounts for 2022, 2021, 2020, and 2019: $6,000 ($7,000 if you’re older than 50), or. You will be taxable if your compensation is less. You can also open a spousal IRA if one spouse works and contributes to the other spouse’s account if you’re married and only one spouse works. Open health savings account (HSA). Another way to accelerate your retirement savings? Use a health savings account. The benefits of HSAs may outweigh contributions to other retirement plan types since they are considered to be ‘triple tax advantaged’ accounts. An individual can set money aside for qualified medical expenses under these accounts. An HSA account allows its participants to invest in mutual funds and stocks tax-free — just as long as the investments remain in the account. You may also contribute to an HSA on a pre-tax basis, lowering your current taxable income and then use the savings to make higher contributions to another retirement account. Employed individuals who contribute to their HSAs on a pretax basis avoid Social Security and Medicare taxes (also called FICA taxes). Additionally, HSAs allow an individual to catch up on contributions as he or she approaches retirement. If you are 55 or older, you can invest an extra $1,000 each year. And, withdrawals made to pay qualified medical expenses during retirement can be accessed tax-free, including any growth that may have accrued. Review your social security strategy. In your retirement plan, Social Security will certainly play a major role. “Unlike the stock market, that part of your income won’t go down and will be adjusted for inflation yearly,” Diane Davis writes for Kiplinger. “That’s why it’s important to consider when you’ll start collecting benefits.” At 62, you can start taking Social Security, but your benefits will be reduced by 30% permanently if you decide you need it. The full retirement age for those born between 1943 and 1954 is 66. People born in 1955 through 1960 are gradually eligible for the age of 67 – and then those born after 1960 will also qualify. “If you can afford it, however, think about waiting until age 70 to claim benefits because they will increase 8% per year if you wait to take them,” advises Davis. Survivor benefits are another thing to consider for married couples. “If the higher-earning spouse dies first, the surviving spouse will be able to take over the deceased spouse’s benefits,” she explains. “So, if the higher-earning spouse delays taking benefits, the surviving spouse will get a larger monthly benefit.” Delay your retirement. Retiring later isn’t the best solution for most people. At the same time, there are no doubts about its effectiveness. Retiring later means you can save for retirement for a longer period of time while reducing your retirement costs. In addition, you have more time to grow your existing savings before you must begin to draw from them. However, this strategy should not be relied upon solely because employees cannot always work as long as they intend. Occasionally, injury or illness force an employee to leave work unexpectedly. Therefore, even if you plan to continue working for the foreseeable future, you should save as much as possible. Frequently Asked Questions About Retiring With Enough Money How much will I need to retire? You will need to determine the lifestyle you plan to have in retirement based on the vision you have for your future. No matter the lifestyle you select, retirement is expensive no matter what you choose. Among retirees, it’s common to need 70 to 90% of their pre-retirement income to maintain their lifestyle. You may consider that figure high, but according to the latest Consumer Expenditure Survey from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average retired household (led by someone 65 or older) spends $$48,872 per year. Where will my retirement income come from? Social Security Administration data shows that retirees typically receive income from four primary sources: Personal Savings and Investments Earned Income Company Pension Benefits Social Security Income When should I start saving for retirement? Every penny earned is a penny saved, but a penny saved today could earn more in the future. In other words, if you start investing at a young age this can pay off in the long run. Before I retire, is there a way for me to project my retirement income? There are a number of reasonably accurate financial strategy computer programs available today. You should seek the advice of a retirement planning professional. These include a Certified Financial Planner, a Certified Public Accountant, or another professional experienced in retirement planning How can I save for retirement? The most common ways to save for retirement are 401(k) and IRA plans. If a 401(k) is available through work, make sure that you’re taking advantage of the employer match. Once you turn 50 (or are turning 50 by the end of the calendar year in which the plan year ends), the IRS allows you to make annual “catch-up contributions.” However, there are lesser-known options like health savings accounts that can help address future medical expenses. And, if you’ve maxed out your other retirement contributions, you can buy an annuity to provide a guaranteed retirement income stream. Article by Deanna Ritchie, Due About the Author Deanna Ritchie is a financial editor at Due. She has a degree in English Literature. She has written 1000+ articles on getting out of debt and mastering your finances. She has edited over 40,000 articles in her life. She has a passion for helping writers inspire others through their words. Deanna has also been an editor at Entrepreneur Magazine and ReadWrite. Updated on Jun 1, 2022, 12:47 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkJun 1st, 2022

Sara Menker, CEO of Gro Intelligence, Warns the Fallout of Rising Food Insecurity Will Be Wide-Reaching

Menker talked to TIME shortly after briefing the U.N. Security Council Sara Menker runs a private company, Gro Intelligence, that uses data and AI to make predictions about climate change and food security, but when she appeared before the U.N. Security Council on May 19, she sounded more like an advocate. Gro’s data has found that, because of rising food prices around the world, 400 million people have become food insecure in the last 5 months alone. (Food insecurity, as Gro defines it, means people living on $3.59 a day or less.) That’s the same number of people that China has taken out of poverty in the last 20 years, meaning two decades of progress have been undone in five months. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] Speaking to the assembled world leaders on May 19, Menker said, “I come here today to share insights from our data, with the underlying hope that all of us here with the power to change the course of history will choose to do so.” Menker, 40, who was chosen as one of TIME’s Most Influential People in 2021, was born in Ethiopia, attended college at Mount Holyoke, worked as a commodities trader on Wall Street, and left to start Gro to use technology to tackle challenges like hunger and climate change. Today, Gro works with governments and big food companies, analyzing hundreds of trillions of data points from satellites, governments, and private sources, to forecast the supply of agricultural products globally. In recent months, as the war in Ukraine raged on, Gro’s systems started flagging problems that were putting a growing number of people at risk of going hungry. Some were worsened by the war, but many others have been building for longer, caused by the actions of other governments banning exports or imposing tariffs. Menker talked to TIME shortly after briefing the U.N. (This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.) Gro shows that 400 million people have become food insecure in the last five months because the price of staples like wheat, corn, soybeans, and palm oil has risen so dramatically. Is there an easy way to explain what happened? All of them are driven by different things, but I break it down into five major crises happening, any one of them on their own would actually be considered large. The five combined are truly unprecedented. The first is the price of fertilizers has gone up by 3 times over the last two years. That’s driven by a combination of factors. War obviously adds fuel to the fire, but there’s a natural gas availability issue. There’s sanctions, and then there’s logistical bottlenecks of getting out. So even though fertilizer is not sanctioned from Russia, getting anything out of Russia is sort of difficult. So it’s a confluence of things. Your second is climate. Wheat growing regions of the world are facing the worst drought they’ve ever faced combined for the last 20 years. And so climate shocks just keep getting in the way of production and productivity. Think of those two things as sort of inputs. Then from the output standpoint, you have a crisis linked to cooking oils. The price of palm oil is up 3 times In the last two years, and that’s been driven by increased biofuel demand. That’s driven by increased demand from China. Brazil and Canada had droughts, and so produced less vegetable oils. And then Russia and Ukraine used to export 75% of the world’s sunflower oil. Indonesia, the world’s largest palm oil producer, banned exports. Today they just announced that they’re removing the ban. But once you’ve banned it, the prices don’t come down as fast as they’ve gone up. Read more: Sara Menker, CEO of Gro Intelligence, Believes Big Data Can Save Our Climate and Food Supply The fourth is record low inventories of grains in general. If you look at government agency estimates, we have about 33% of annual consumption needs sitting in inventory around the world. We just need to move it around. Our data tells us that that number is closer to 20%, which is only 10 weeks of global inventory left. And that’s a really big deal. And then your final fifth is logistics. You can’t get anything out of Ukraine. There’s talk about things moving through rail, but if you move everything you can through rail, you can maybe move 10%, so it’s just a drop in the bucket. And then you can’t move stuff out of Russia either, because of maritime hazards. The seas are mined. If the Russia-Ukraine conflict ended tomorrow, how much of this supply problem would be solved? I want to make it explicitly clear that this war did not start this crisis. It added fuel to a fire that was already burning, and one where tremors were felt even before the COVID-19 crisis, which exposed the fragility of our supply chains. So this has been a crisis in the making. And the reason I frame it that way is that it’s really important for global leadership to understand this is not a come and go [issue]. If the war ends, that is better than where we’re sitting today. But there’s also a lot of infrastructure that’s been destroyed during the war. So you have to rebuild that and it’s not like you go back to the volumes you are at right away. In what way does climate change make it more difficult to deal with these crises? Climate disruption leads to a lack of predictability and stability of our food supplies. It just throws my mind off when last year we were writing about how North Dakota was suffering from a record drought and so its corn and soybean yields were going to drop and they did— by like, 24%. This week we’re writing about how it’s too wet there and farmers can’t plant. That’s climate change, this lack of predictability, this lack of stability itself that makes our food systems very, very fragile. Then you’ve had record demand growth. Economic growth and population growth in places like Sub Saharan Africa, and Asia where populations are still young. You run a private company but you also spoke at the U.N. calling for countries of the world to come together to solve the impending food crisis. Why step into this advocacy role and do you feel like there are any solutions that you can help on? So, we are a private company, but we work with financial institutions, we work with very big and very small companies. We also work with governments to help them think about food security. I started Gro to avoid something like this. I wish people would have paid attention to us when we were ringing alarm bells in 2017. Because it’s always about preventative medicine versus ending up in the ER. We’re a mission driven company. We set up this company to help tackle serious challenges that humanity faces. We believe business has a huge role to play in it because that’s how you make it sustainable. That’s how you fund it. But you know, also, I think these are not normal times. To know this and to not say anything would be a crime What could have been done earlier to prevent this? Re-examining what trading in agriculture looks like is a very big part of it. There’s no version of a country that actually has any and all natural resources it needs in one place. You can’t grow everything you need in a country. You actually need the world to function in a particular way, but the world became more isolationist in the last five years—not more connected—as politics and policy came into play. And so that itself has damaged diversification of trading partnerships. We could have invested a lot more in climate climate adaptation. It’s only now that adaptation is sort of a core and becoming a bigger part of the agenda. It was all about transition and transition risks, whereas we are living the consequences of actions we took 20 to 30 years ago. Have there been any governments or companies that have used your data to change what they were doing in regards to food insecurity? I can give you an example without naming countries. One country was about to ban the export of corn because rains were not normal. But that causes all sorts of issues for people on the downstream side, people who have contractual obligations for exports now are defaulting on contracts, which creates issues with their banks. We heard about it from one of the large institutions and we pulled up the data very quickly and looked at rainfall and they were absolutely right. It was pretty dry. But we also looked at things like crop health and soil moisture and it looked healthy. It started the season off with sufficient soil moisture, that the crop was being resilient to sort of the dryness, it had enough fuel in the tank per se. And if you looked at domestic prices in that country, and you look at it in all the different cities, prices weren’t going up, they were going down, which is not a signal for when you’re short of anything. So we put that together and the ban was removed. Where do we go from here if there are no major changes? Does the 400 million number keep growing? Where do we go from here? Lots of political instability around the world. Prices won’t continue to go up. You’ll just start losing demand, and demand destruction means more poverty, which means more instability and lack of economic growth. If we don’t do something about this, we are in for a real economic crisis around the world and no country is going to be immune. You’ll see it manifests itself in many, many different ways. I keep seeing headlines of Netflix losing subscribers. Netflix is losing subscribers because the average price of a grocery basket in America is two times the price it was in April 2020. Something’s gonna give—you’re going to buy fewer shoes—and that’s why I said it will manifest itself in completely unrelated industries as well. Who is benefiting from the increase in prices? Nobody. There are countries who are net exporters who are obviously making more money. American farmers are certainly making more money as a result of it. Is America as a country benefiting? Absolutely not, because the economic shocks are global. We live in a very globally intertwined financial system, period. So if you think of decades of economic progress and what drove that, it was the number of people coming out of poverty and the number of people becoming consumers of all these different products of all these different companies that are global in nature. They’re having their products bought in Nairobi and in Addis and Jakarta. All that starts to dwindle, and nobody wins. That’s why I really think that there has to be some level of difficult decision-making around what the right actions to take are......»»

Category: topSource: timeMay 31st, 2022

Futures Rise As Dip Buyers Emerge To Cap Best Week Since Mid-March

Futures Rise As Dip Buyers Emerge To Cap Best Week Since Mid-March Unless stocks crater today, and the S&P tumbles by 4.3%, the streak of seven consecutive weekly declines in the S&P is about to end... ... as US stock futures rose again on Friday, their third consecutive gain, setting up the underlying indexes for the first strong weekly finish since late March on signs consumers remain resilient despite inflationary pressures, as upbeat earnings from Alibaba and Baidu eased some fears on the economic impact of China’s Covid lockdowns, and as investors (mostly retail) have staged a cautious return to the market hoping that the selloff earlier this month left valuations at bargain levels. Nasdaq 100 contracts rose 0.5% by 7:15 a.m. in New York, while S&P 500 futures were up 0.4%. Still, even after the recent rout, upside may be limited as the S&P 500’s 12-month fwd P/E ratio is now near its 10-year average. Among notable moves in premarket trading, Gap Inc. shares sank as much as 17% as analysts after analysts said that the retailer’s guidance cut was worse than expected, prompting brokers to lower their targets and downgrade the stock given a worsening macroeconomic environment could trigger further bad news. China's Uber, Didi Chuxing, jumped after a Bloomberg News report that state-owned automaker China FAW Group is considering acquiring a significant stake in the ride-hailing company. Zscaler Inc. rose after the security software company reported results above expectations.  Here are some other notable premarket movers: Gap (GPS US) shares dropped as much as 17% in US premarket trading with analysts saying that the retailer’s guidance cut was more than expected, prompting brokers to lower their targets and downgrade the stock given a worsening macroeconomic environment could trigger further bad news. Costco (COST US) shares dropped 2.1% in US after-hours trading on Thursday. While Costco’s margins disappointed analysts, brokers were generally positive on how the wholesale retailer is navigating an environment with rising inflation by controlling expenses. Zscaler (ZS US) shares rose 2% in extended trading on Thursday, after the security software company reported third- quarter results that beat expectations and raised its full-year forecast. Analysts lauded strength in multi-product deals. Marvell Technology (MRVL US) shares climbed 3.4% in US postmarket trading after results. Analysts highlighted that the semiconductor maker is seeing strength across key markets, in particular across data center and carrier infrastructure. 23andMe Holding Co. (ME US) dropped 8.3% in postmarket trading Thursday. It is in a “tough spot,” Citi says in note after the consumer genetics firm gave a fiscal 2023 revenue forecast that missed expectations. Workday (WDAY US) shares fell 9% in extended trading on Thursday, after the software company reported adjusted first-quarter earnings that missed expectations. Analysts noted that software deals were pushed out of the quarter and cut their price targets as they factored in the increased global uncertainty. The latest round of retail earnings have restored some confidence in consumer demand, lifting appetite for risk assets, while speculation is growing that the Federal Reserve will pause its rate hikes later this year as inflation shows signs of peaking. Still, Citigroup strategists on Friday cut their recommendation on US stocks to neutral on the risk of a recession, joining an increasing number of banks in warning of a growth slowdown. The path for the Federal Reserve to successfully bring inflation down while keeping the rate of economic growth above zero is narrow, according to Mark Haefele, chief investment officer at UBS Global Wealth Management. “If Fed policymakers underestimate the strength of the US economy, we face an extended period of above-target inflation. If they overestimate it, we face a recession. And we can’t know with great conviction which path we’re on,” he wrote in a note. Global stock funds saw their biggest inflows in 10 weeks, led by US stocks, according to EPFR data, as cheaper valuations lured buyers after a steep selloff on recession fears. The selloff made valuations attractive and enticed investors back into a market still shadowed by worries about inflation and higher interest rates, China’s downbeat economic outlook and the war in Ukraine. “We may see a little bit more stability here because we have repriced the stocks so much already,” Anastasia Amoroso, iCapital chief investment strategist, said on Bloomberg Television. “In the next three to six months it’s still going to be a constrained market environment.” Meanwhile, China-US tensions are once again being played out after direct comments from Secretary of State Antony Blinken aimed at Chinese President Xi Jinping. And in a fresh challenge to Beijing, the US and Taiwan are planning to announce negotiations to deepen economic ties. And elseshwere, as the Russins war in Ukraine approaches 100 days, the US may announce a new package of aid for Kyiv as soon as next week that would include long-range rocket systems and other advanced weapons. Boris Johnson urged further military support for Ukraine, including sending it more offensive weapons such as Multiple Launch Rocket Systems that can strike targets from much further away. Russia’s efforts to avoid its first foreign default in a century are back in focus on Friday, when investors are supposed to receive about $100 million in interest on Russian debt. Turning back to markets, consumer and technology sectors led gains in Europe’s Stoxx 600 which rose 0.9%, and was headed for its best weekly advance since mid-March, while utilities and energy shared lagged after the UK government announced windfall tax plans on oil and gas companies on Thursday. BP Plc said it will look again at its plans in the country. Here are some of the more notable movers in Europe: Cantargia gains as much as 23%, the largest intraday rise since December, after releasing three research updates late Thursday. The interim readout for the company’s nadunolimab (CAN04), used in combination with gemcitabine and nab-paclitaxel as a first line treatment of PDAC, a type of pancreatic cancer, was the most interesting of the data releases, according Kempen. FirstGroup shares jump as much as 9.8%, extending the gains from yesterday’s confirmation that the public transport operator received an unsolicited takeover approach from I Squared. Richemont shares rise as much as 8.3%, heading for their best weekly advance since November, pushing the Swiss Market Index higher as dip buyers returned more broadly this week. European miners advance for a third day, outperforming all other sectors on the Stoxx 600 on Friday as iron ore futures climb and metals posted broad gains. Hapag-Lloyd falls as much as 7.1% after Citi cut the recommendation to neutral from buy due to valuation versus peers. In note on European shipping, broker says it expects the supply and demand dynamics to remain favorable in the near term. Rieter Holding falls as much as 5.4% as Baader Helvea downgrades its recommendation to reduce from add after the manufacturer of chemical fiber systems said that it’s seeing a challenging first half. Earlier in the session, Asian stocks also advanced as upbeat earnings from Alibaba and Baidu eased some fears on the economic impact of China’s Covid lockdowns and fueled risk-on sentiment. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 1.6%, poised for its first gain in four sessions, led by consumer discretionary and technology shares. Most markets in the region were up, led by Hong Kong.  Alibaba and Baidu both delivered better-than-expected quarterly sales growth, providing investors with some relief after Tencent’s recent lackluster report and amid concerns over China’s virus measure and regulatory crackdowns. The Hang Seng Tech Index, which tracks the nation’s tech giants listed in Hong Kong, surged 3.8%. Asian equities have gained about 0.7% this week, set for a back-to-back weekly advance as dip buyers emerged. The regional MSCI benchmark is still down about 14% this year amid ongoing market concerns over global inflation and higher US interest rates, China’s economic outlook and the war in Ukraine. “The risk of a bull trap cannot be dismissed,” Vishnu Varathan, the head of economics and strategy at Mizuho Bank, wrote in a note. “Bear markets are famous for the pockets of relief rallies,” and increasing strains on liquidity in the coming quarters “may not pass without pain.” Japan’s stocks likewise advanced as the nation prepared to reopen to foreign tourists and China’s tech shares jumped.    The Topix rose 0.5% to 1,887.30 as of the 3pm close in Tokyo, while the Nikkei 225 advanced 0.7% to 26,781.68. Tokyo Electron Ltd. contributed the most to the Topix’s gain, increasing 3.2%. Out of 2,171 shares in the index, 1,480 rose and 615 fell, while 76 were unchanged In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 index rose 1.1% to close at 7,182.70, the highest level since May 6, led by energy and consumer discretionary shares. Woodside Energy Group was among the biggest gainers as US crude and gasoline stockpiles showed signs of continuing decline ahead of the summer driving season. Appen was the top decliner after saying that Telus revoked its indicative proposal for a takeover. In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index fell 0.3% to 11,065.15 In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index slumped as the dollar was steady to weaker against all of its Group-of-10 peers. Treasuries were steady across the curve. The euro inched up to touch a fresh one- month high of 1.0765 before paring. The bund yield curve bull- flattened slightly, drawing the 10-year yield away from 1%. Risk- sensitive Antipodean and Scandinavian currencies led gains. The Australian dollar climbed as a decent retail sales print brightened the outlook and a drop in the greenback triggered buy-stops. Benchmark bonds slipped. Australian retail sales rose 0.9% m/m in April vs estimate +1% and prior +1.6%. The pound ticked higher, touching its highest level in a month against the dollar, while gilts advanced. Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said that his package of support for the UK economy will have a “minimal” impact on inflation. The yen advanced for a second day as lower Treasury yields weighed on the dollar. Japanese bonds rise after being sold off on Thursday In rates, Treasuries were steady, following gains in European markets where bull-flattening was observed across bunds and gilts. Yields were richer by 1bp-3bp across the curve, the 10-year yield dropped by ~2bp to 2.72%, underperforming bunds by 1.5bp, gilts by ~3bp. IG dollar issuance slate still blank in what has so far been the slowest week of the year for new deals; next week’s calendar is expected to total $25b- $30b. Focal points for US session include several economic data releases including April personal income/spending with PCE deflator. Sifma recommended 2pm close of trading for dollar-denominated fixed income ahead of US holiday weekend.    In commodities, WTI drifts 0.7% higher to trade below $115. Spot gold rises roughly $7 to trade at $1,858/oz. Most base metals are in the green; LME nickel rises 6.6%, outperforming peers. Looking to the day ahead, and data releases include US personal income and personal spending for April, as well as the preliminary wholesale inventories for that month, and the final University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for May. In the Euro Area, there’s also the M3 money supply for April. Otherwise, central bank speakers include ECB Chief Economist Lane. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures up 0.3% to 4,068.25 STOXX Europe 600 up 0.7% to 440.64 MXAP up 1.6% to 165.89 MXAPJ up 2.1% to 542.44 Nikkei up 0.7% to 26,781.68 Topix up 0.5% to 1,887.30 Hang Seng Index up 2.9% to 20,697.36 Shanghai Composite up 0.2% to 3,130.24 Sensex up 1.2% to 54,919.92 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 1.1% to 7,182.71 Kospi up 1.0% to 2,638.05 German 10Y yield little changed at 0.99% Euro up 0.1% to $1.0737 Brent Futures up 0.4% to $117.91/bbl Gold spot up 0.5% to $1,859.48 U.S. Dollar Index down 0.16% to 101.67 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg The path for Russia to keep sidestepping its first foreign default in a century is turning more onerous as another coupon comes due on the warring nation’s debt. Investors are supposed to receive about $100 million of interest on Russian foreign debt in their accounts by Friday, payments President Vladimir Putin’s government says it has already made China’s oil trading giant Unipec has significantly increased the number of hired tankers to ship a key crude from eastern Russia A central bank legal proposal envisages Russian eurobond issuers placing “substitute” bonds in order to ensure debt payments come through to local investors, Interfax reported The US and Taiwan are planning to announce negotiations to deepen economic ties, people familiar with the matter said, in a fresh challenge to Beijing, which has cautioned Washington on its relationship with the island. Profits at Chinese industrial firms shrank last month for the first time in two years as Covid outbreaks and lockdowns disrupted factory production, transport logistics and sales “The process of increasing interest rates should be gradual,” ECB Governing Council member Pablo Hernandez de Cos comments in op- ed in Expansion. “The aim is to avoid abrupt movements, which could be particularly damaging in a context of high uncertainty such as the current one” The RBA is poised for its first review in a generation as new Treasurer Jim Chalmers makes good on a pledge to ensure the nation’s monetary and fiscal regimes are fit for purpose The UK signed its first trade agreement with a US state, amid warnings that Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s stance on Brexit is hindering progress on a broader deal with Joe Biden’s administration A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asia-Pac stocks took impetus from the risk-on mood on Wall St where all major indices were lifted amid month-end flows and encouraging retailer earnings.  ASX 200 was led higher by outperformance in the commodity and resources industries, while consumer stocks were mixed after Retail Sales printed in line with expectations, albeit at a slowdown from the prior month. Nikkei 225 traded positively but with upside capped by a mixed currency and weakness in energy and power names after increases in international prices and with the government looking to address the tight energy market. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp were firmer with notable outperformance in Hong Kong amid a euphoric tech sector after earnings from Alibaba and Baidu topped estimates which also inspired the NASDAQ Golden Dragon China Index during the prior US session, while advances in the mainland were moderated by the contraction in April Industrial Profits and after Premier Li’s unpublished comments from Wednesday’s emergency meeting came to light in which he warned of dire consequences for the economy. Top Asian News China’s State Council will seek specific implementation rules by May 31st regarding necessary measures at all levels of government and will dispatch inspection teams to all 31 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions to oversee the rollout amid an urgent need for national economic mobilisation, according to SGH Macro Advisors. US is seeking to hold economic discussions with Taiwan in the latest test with China, while supply chains and agriculture are said to be among the topics, according to Bloomberg. Furthermore, reports noted that bilateral economic talks will be announced in the upcoming weeks. Evergrande (3333 HK) is reportedly considering repaying offshore bondholders in instalments, according to Reuters sources; discussing giving the option of converting part of debt into equity of property management and EV units. China's Health Official says some areas along the Jilin border report local infections without a clear source, close attention should be paid to the risk of importing the virus; COVID infections show a trend of gradual spread from border to inland areas, via Reuters European bourses are firmer, Euro Stoxx 50 +0.9%, drawing impetus from APAC strength into month-end with catalysts thin thus far. Stateside, futures are supported across the board with familiar themes in play pre-PCE Price Index for insight into the 'peak' inflation narrative; ES +0.3%. Note, the FTSE 100 Unch. is the mornings underperformer amid pressure in energy names after Chancellor Sunak's windfall tax announcement on Thursday. DiDi (DIDI) has reportedly drawn interest from FAW Group, regarding a stake purchase, according to Bloomberg. +7.5% in the pre-market Top European News UK Oil Windfall Tax Prompts BP to Review Investment Plans; UK Energy Stocks Extend Windfall Declines as Retailers Gain Richemont Leads Swiss Stocks Higher as Dip Buyers Return Hapag-Lloyd Drops; Cut to Neutral at Citi on Valuation Big Dividend Payers May Be Next After UK Windfall Tax on Energy FX Greenback grinds higher ahead of PCE inflation metrics with month end rebalancing flows providing impetus, DXY bounces from fresh WTD base just under 101.500 to 101.800. Kiwi and Aussie propped by bounce in commodities and Loonie protected by further gains in crude; NZD/USD tests Fib retracement at 0.7129, AUD/USD eyes 0.7150 and USD/CAD probes 1.2750. Big option expiries in the mix and potentially supportive for the Dollar into long US holiday weekend, +1bln rolling off at NY cut not far from spot in EUR/USD, USD/JPY, AUD/USD and USD/CAD. Rand firmer as Gold touches Usd 1860/oz after 200 DMA breach, USD/ZAR below 15.7000. Fixed Income Debt futures on a firmer footing ahead of US PCE price metrics, but some way below weekly peaks. Bunds sub-154.00, Gilts under 119.00 and 10 year T-note below 121-00. Curves a tad flatter following hot reception for 7 year US issuance. Commodities Crude benchmarks are underpinned, but off best levels, by broader sentiment and initial USD weakness going into a long US weekend with Memorial Day touted as the driving seasons commencement. WTI July and Brent August, at best, were in proximity to USD 115/bbl vs troughs of USD 113.61/bbl and USD 113.77/bbl respectively. US Treasury is reportedly expected to renew Chevron’s (CVX) license to operate in Venezuela as soon as Friday, according to Reuters citing sources. China's State Planner has approved a coal mine in the Shanxi area to bolster annual output to 12mln tonnes per annum from 8mln; investment of CNY 5.35bln, via Reuters. Spot gold is steady and holding onto the bulk of overnight upside after breaching the 21-DMA at USD 1850.80/oz; USD 1860.19/oz peak, thus far. US Event Calendar 08:30: April Advance Goods Trade Balance, est. -$114.8b, prior -$125.3b, revised -$127.1b 08:30: April Retail Inventories MoM, est. 2.0%, prior 2.0% April Wholesale Inventories MoM, est. 2.0%, prior 2.3% 08:30: April Personal Income, est. 0.5%, prior 0.5%; April Personal Spending, est. 0.8%, prior 1.1% 08:30: April PCE Deflator MoM, est. 0.2%, prior 0.9%; PCE Deflator YoY, est. 6.2%, prior 6.6% April PCE Core Deflator MoM, est. 0.3%, prior 0.3%; PCE Core Deflator YoY, est. 4.9%, prior 5.2% April Real Personal Spending, est. 0.7%, prior 0.2% 10:00: May U. of Mich. Current Conditions, est. 63.6, prior 63.6; Expectations, est. 56.3, prior 56.3; Sentiment, est. 59.1, prior 59.1 10:00: May U. of Mich. 1 Yr Inflation, est. 5.4%, prior 5.4%; 5-10 Yr Inflation, prior 3.0% DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap A reminder that it’s your last chance to answer our latest monthly survey, where we try to ask questions that aren’t easy to derive from market pricing. This time we ask if you think the Fed would be willing to push the economy into recession in order to get inflation back to target. We also ask whether you think there are still bubbles in markets and whether equities have bottomed out yet. And there’s another on which is the best asset class to hedge against inflation. The more people that fill it in the more useful so all help from readers is very welcome. The link is here. I did have tickets available for tomorrow night's Champions League final but there is a big 36 hole golf tournament at my club so I decided that at my age you never know when your body will fail next so playing sport now pips watching it live. So I'll be playing golf all day, trying to rescue my marriage for an hour when I get home, and then blaring out the final on the TV at home with a couple of glasses of wine for good measure. I can't honestly think of a better day. However I may come last and Liverpool may lose so let's see what happens! The market comeback this week is on a par with some of Madrid's remarkable ones this year and indeed it’s been another strong performance over the last 24 hours, with better-than-expected outlooks from US retailers helping to bolster sentiment, coupled with growing hopes that the Fed won’t take policy much into restrictive territory, if at all. Those developments helped the S&P 500 to post a +1.99% advance yesterday, bringing its gains for the week to +4.01%, and means we should finally be on the verge of ending a run of 7 consecutive weekly losses. Obviously it’s not impossible things could end up in negative territory given recent volatility, and it was only last week the index posted a one-day decline of more than -4%, but it would still take a massive slump today to get an 8th consecutive week in the red for only the third time since the Great Depression. That advance grew stronger as the day went on, with S&P futures having actually been negative when we went to press yesterday. But sentiment was aided by a number of positive earnings developments, with Macy’s (+19.31%) boosting its adjusted EPS guidance before the US open, whilst the discount retailers Dollar Tree (+21.87%) and Dollar General (+13.72%) both surged as well thanks to decent reports of their own. That helped consumer discretionary (+4.78%) to be the top performing sector in the S&P, and in fact Dollar Tree was the top performing company in the entire index. Cyclicals were the outperformers, but defensives also shared in the advance that saw around 90% of the index’s members move higher on the day. As well as that news on the retail side, risk appetite has been further supported by growing speculation that the Fed won’t be as aggressive in hiking rates as had been speculated just a few weeks ago. I'm not sure I agree with that conclusion but if you look at the futures-implied rate by the December 2022 meeting of 2.64%, that is some way down from its peak of 2.88% back on May 3rd, and in fact means that markets have now taken out just shy of one 25bp hike from the rate implied by year end, which makes a change from that pretty consistent move higher we’ve seen over recent months. Yesterday also brought fresh signs that this re-pricing is beginning to filter its way through to the real economy, with data from Freddie Mac showing that the average rate for a 30-year mortgage fell to 5.10% last week, down from 5.25% the week before. For reference that’s the biggest weekly decline since April 2020, and comes on the back of recent housing data that’s underwhelmed against the backdrop of higher rates. There was another report fitting that pattern yesterday too, with pending home sales for April dropping by a larger than expected -3.9% (vs. -2.1% expected). But as with the retail outlooks, the more timely data was much more positive, with the weekly initial jobless claims falling to 210k (vs. 215k expected) in the week ending May 21, whilst the Kansas City Fed’s manufacturing index for May came in at 23 (vs. 15 expected). Treasuries swung back and forth against this backdrop, but ultimately the more bullish outlook led to a small steepening in the curve, with the 2yr yield down -1.6bps as 10yr yields were essentially flat at 2.75%. In a change from recent weeks, breakevens marched higher despite the little changed headline, with the 10yr breakeven up +7.0bps to come off its two-month low the previous day. But to be fair, that came amidst a big surge in oil prices after US data showed gasoline stockpiles fell to their lowest seasonal level since 2014, with Brent Crude (+2.96%) up to a 2-month high of $117.40/bbl, whilst WTI (+3.41%) rose to $114.09/bbl. European markets followed a pretty similar pattern to the US, with the STOXX 600 advancing +0.78% on the day. However, utilities (-1.12%) were the worst-performing after the UK government moved to impose a temporary windfall tax on oil and gas firms’ profits at a rate of 25%. That came as part of a wider package of measures to help with the cost of living, adding up to £15bn in total. They included a one-off payment of £650 to 8mn households in receipt of state benefits, with separate payments of £300 to pensioner households and £150 to those receiving disability benefits. There was also a doubling in the energy bills discount from £200 to £400, whilst the requirement to pay it back over five years has been removed as well. See Sanjay Raja’s blog on it here and where he also compares the measures to similar ones seen in the big 4 EuroArea economies. With more fiscal spending in the pipeline, UK gilts underperformed their counterparts elsewhere in Europe, with 10yr yields ending the day up +5.9bps. Those on bunds (+4.6bps) and OATs (+3.2bps) also rose too, but the broader risk-on tone led to a tightening in peripheral spreads, with the gap between 10yr BTPs over bunds falling -10.4bps yesterday to 189bps. There was a similar pattern on the credit side, with iTraxx crossover coming down -23.9bps to 439bps, which was its biggest daily decline in nearly 2 months. Asian equity markets are joining in the rally this morning with the Hang Seng rising +2.93% as Chinese listed tech stocks are witnessing big gains after Alibaba (+12.21%) posted better than expected Q4 earnings yesterday. Mainland Chinese stocks are also trading higher with the Shanghai Composite (+0.52%) and CSI (+0.63%) up. Elsewhere, the Nikkei (+0.63%) and Kospi (+0.89%) are also in the green. Outside of Asia, futures contracts on the S&P 500 (-0.11%) and NASDAQ 100 (-0.14%) are seeing mild losses. Data released earlier showed that Tokyo’s core CPI rose +1.9% y/y in May versus +2.0% expected. Core core was +0.9% y/y as expected with nothing here at the moment to change the BoJ's stance. Elsewhere, China’s industrial profits (-8.5% y/y) shrank at the fastest pace in two years in April, swinging from a +12.2% gain in March. On the geopolitical front, we heard from US Secretary of State Blinken yesterday, who gave a significant speech on the Biden Administration’s China policy. Blinken zoomed out to give a view of the forest from the trees, noting that the Russia-Ukraine conflict was not as strategically important as America’s relationship with China over the long-run. He offered a three pillar strategy for managing the relationship with China that involved investing in US competitiveness, aligning strategy with allies to enhance effectiveness, and to compete with China across economic, military, and technological frontiers. He noted the countries’ two different political systems need not impair connection between its peoples, or inhibit dialogue. Staying on the US-China front but switching gears, a bi-partisan group of US senators sent a letter to President Biden urging him to keep tariffs on China, to improve the US’s negotiating position in future deals, pouring cold water on the prospects for tariff relief to provide a temporary salve to raging price pressures. To the day ahead, and data releases include US personal income and personal spending for April, as well as the preliminary wholesale inventories for that month, and the final University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for May. In the Euro Area, there’s also the M3 money supply for April. Otherwise, central bank speakers include ECB Chief Economist Lane.   Tyler Durden Fri, 05/27/2022 - 07:54.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeMay 27th, 2022

The Dark Side Of The Internet

Superinvestor Warren Buffett called it “the number-one problem with mankind.” JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon said, “it may be the biggest threat to the US financial system.” And Bob Dudley, the former CEO of oil giant BP, told investors it’s what “keeps me awake at night.” These guys have millions or billions of dollars… so you […] Superinvestor Warren Buffett called it “the number-one problem with mankind.” JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon said, “it may be the biggest threat to the US financial system.” And Bob Dudley, the former CEO of oil giant BP, told investors it’s what “keeps me awake at night.” These guys have millions or billions of dollars… so you might assume they’re worried about direct threats to their wealth like inflation, runaway government spending, or the plunge markets have taken lately. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Series in PDF Get the entire 10-part series on Charlie Munger in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues. (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q1 2022 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Believe it or not… they’re talking about the grave threat of cyberattacks. As I’ll show you today, cyberattacks are skyrocketing. And the industry tasked with stopping them is growing faster—and more consistently—than almost any other industry out there. It’s the perfect industry to bet on now, while stocks are down… knowing it practically must come back stronger than ever when the storm in markets passes. Today, I’ll share an easy one-click way to play it. But first, let’s talk about the dark side of the internet… How The Internet Changed Our Lives Think about how the internet changed our lives over the past 30 years… In 1990, less than 1% of Americans had browsed the World Wide Web. Online shopping wasn’t a thing. If you wanted a question answered, you opened an encyclopedia. Meeting people online was considered strange and dangerous. Folks are now buying groceries and selling their homes on their smartphones. And did you know four in 10 Americans met their partner online? Even our homes are plugged into the web through devices like Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Nest. The internet is the most transformative tech of the past century. But the internet isn’t perfect. It created a tradeoff between privacy and convenience. Need a new coffee maker? Press a few buttons, and it’ll show up in a brown box on your front porch tomorrow morning. But we forfeit a little privacy for this convenience. Now your name, address, and credit card details are in some company’s database. And the problem is… bad guys regularly break into databases and steal your info. In fact, everyone from the IRS to the NSA to defense giant Lockheed Martin to Google has been hacked in the past couple years. By doing virtually anything online, you expose your personal details. That makes it possible for hackers to steal your money, access your secrets, and, if they’re determined to do so, potentially destroy your reputation. But hackers aren’t just targeting people… NotPetya Ransomware Virus Remember the NotPetya ransomware virus a few years ago? In short, ransomware is a type of cyberattack where hackers freeze a victim’s files, then demand money to unlock them. NotPetya crippled 30,000 computers and 7,500 servers belonging to drug giant Merck. It also hit FedEx, shipping giant Maersk, advertising firm WPP, and hundreds of other companies. It was the most destructive cyberattack ever, with damages topping $10 billion. NotPetya showed a few lines of malicious code can bring multibillion-dollar companies to their knees. And hackers aren’t just stealing digital data anymore. They’ve gone “big game hunting” by attacking real-world infrastructure. Last May, hackers shut down the Colonial Pipeline, which supplies 45% of the East Coast’s fuel. For days, two-thirds of gas stations in South Carolina were empty. A month later, cybercriminals pulled the plug on JBS, the world’s biggest meat processor. JBS, which produces 20% of all US beef, had to pay an $11 million ransom to get their systems back online. And did you hear about the attack on a water treatment plant near Tampa, Florida? Hackers broke into its systems and altered the levels of lye (sodium hydroxide) in the drinking water. Luckily an operator noticed the chemical levels changing and shut off the pipes. And the cost of cleaning up a cyberattack is soaring… Breaches now cost an average of $4.2 million, according to a new IBM report. When you get hacked, you must hire expensive cybersecurity experts to find and fix the problem. And you might need to rip out and replace all your computer systems. The total cost of cybercrime runs into the trillions. Why Money Is Pouring Into Cybersecurity This is why money is pouring into cybersecurity… Cybersecurity companies protect companies, governments, and other organizations from hacks and other forms of cybercrime. The service they provide is critical to our modern digital world. Top research firm Gartner expects cybersecurity spending will soon hit $200 billion per year. Cybersecurity spending has grown steadily by 10–15% per year without much notice. When you achieve this year in, year out for two decades running… you soon have a HUGE market. And we’re only getting started. Robust cybersecurity used to be a “nice to have.” Now you can’t run a business without it. Every Fortune 500 company employs a chief security officer. No cost is too high when it comes to protecting your computer systems. CEO Brian Moynihan said Bank of America has an “unlimited” cybersecurity budget. Microsoft is quadrupling its cybersecurity spending to $20 billion over the next five years. Google just announced it will invest $10+ billion to safeguard its networks. And the US government will plow $19 billion into cybersecurity this year alone. Cybersecurity is a never-ending arms race… Hackers are always inventing new ways to attack. Firms must constantly develop new tools and—spend billions of dollars—to stay a step ahead. This all but guarantees cybersecurity spending will keep marching higher. Turmoil in the cyber insurance industry is also adding fuel to the fire… The market for insuring yourself against hacks grew from zilch to $15 billion/year over the past decade. And the cost of cyber insurance is going through the roof. Research from consulting firm Marsh shows US cyber insurance premiums jumped by 130% in the fourth quarter of 2021. What’s going on? Cyber-insurers make money when you take out insurance and avoid getting hacked. But everyone is getting hacked right now. Victims are turning to insurers to cover the costs. And insurers are racking up billions of dollars in losses. Many cyber-insurers have exited the market. Many companies can no longer get cyber coverage. Instead, they’re spending record sums of money on security to avoid getting hacked to begin with. An easy, one-click way to play this is to invest in an ETF like the First Trust Nasdaq Cybersecurity ETF (NASDAQ:CIBR), which invests in a basket of cybersecurity stocks. 3 Breakthrough Stocks Set to Double Your Money in 2022 Get our latest report where we reveal our three favorite stocks that can hand you 100% gains as they disrupt whole industries. Get your free copy here. Article by Stephen McBride, Mauldin Economics Updated on May 24, 2022, 1:00 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkMay 24th, 2022

5 ways hackers can target office printers

With new technology comes many significant advantages for businesses of all sizes, including enhanced communications and increased mobility. But as more devices are connected to the company network, IT teams must increasingly protect their infrastructure from threats like malware, phishing scams, viruses and more. While data security measures tend to target laptops, desktop computers and smartphones, many organizations overlook one other high-risk device: the office printer. Hackers love to target….....»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsMay 23rd, 2022

Trust Stamp, a facial recognition company with a $7.2 million ICE contract, had dozens of peoples" data exposed in breach

Names, addresses, and driver's license data were exposed in the breach, though it doesn't appear to include the data of migrants. An asylum seeking migrant shows the phone he was given to take photos of himself for check-ins with Immigration and Customs Enforcement on March 31, 2022.REUTERS/Paul Ratje Trust Stamp, which has a $7.2 million contract with ICE for tracking migrants, has exposed dozens of people's data in a data breach, Insider has learned. Credentials meant for prospective clients to test Trust Stamp were posted publicly, leaving names and driver's license data open. The vulnerability, which has been resolved, did not appear to expose any migrant data.  Trust Stamp, a government contractor that develops facial recognition and surveillance tools for agencies like Immigration and Customs Enforcement, left the personal information of several dozen people unsecured on a breached database, Insider has learned. This information included names, birthdays, home addresses, and driver's license data.An anonymous tipster who said they were a security researcher contacted Insider and disclosed the breach. Insider confirmed the authenticity of the data with the people named in the data leak. Trust Stamp then confirmed the security vulnerability and breach to Insider. In an email to Insider, Trust Stamp's CEO, Gareth Genner, said that the exposed database was for prospective customers to test its product, and that most entries were "clearly invented data," such as "Heidi Sample" or "Test Alaska." A majority of the several-hundred user entries exposed in the breach were indeed for fake users as part of a so-called demo app, the security researcher found, but several dozen entries were of real people. Insider independently authenticated these people's information as accurate. This breach comes shortly after Trust Stamp won a lucrative $7.2 million annual contract with ICE to monitor migrants processed at the southern border, using facial recognition and passive GPS tracking, as Insider previously reported. The company also has partnerships with MasterCard and a major US bank to process identity verification, according to an SEC filing from earlier this year.Genner said that until Insider contacted the company, it "had not been aware of any suggestion of unauthorized data access anywhere in our systems" but "have taken all available steps to safeguard the referenced database.""We have notified the National Cyber Investigative Joint Task Force as to the information provided and will of course cooperate with them and other agencies in the investigation," Genner said, adding: "We take data security very seriously and we are always looking for ways to improve our policies and practices."Cooper Quintin, a security researcher and senior staff technologist for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, told Insider that he's "very concerned" about the breach.  "If that was possible in the demo app, my biggest concern here is they seem to have data on a lot of people and they are not even taking the basic steps to secure that data," Quintin said. "They clearly are not taking any of their security responsibilities seriously.""They don't strike me as a company that should be trusted with [immigration] data," the anonymous security researcher told Insider.None of the several dozen people whose names were included in the data leak were migrants who had been processed at the US southern border. Of the people Insider was able to reach by phone, none were familiar with Trust Stamp or any of its services.Genner, the Trust Stamp CEO, confirmed to Insider that some of the user entries exposed in the breach "appear to represent 'real people.'" It's likely these people had used a service from a company that is considering working with Trust Stamp, and that company used their data while testing Trust Stamp's demo app, Genner said. He said Trust Stamp grants credentials to prospective clients, but declined to name them.The security researcher who discovered the breach said that Trust Stamp had publicly posted credentials that could be used to access the demo app's restricted application interface, or API. Access to this API could reveal the personal information — including names, addresses, dates of birth, and the issue and expiration dates of driver's licenses — of people used in this demo app, they said.Genner said Trust Stamp withdrew "all credentials" to the API after Insider contacted the company, adding that the company will reissue them with a new policy that it will auto-delete test data after 90-days."If 'real' testing data was uploaded and not deleted that is contrary to the intended use of the testing tool," Genner said.In a recent SEC filing, the company said it had "39 commercial opportunities" with potential customers as of March 31, 2022. In addition to its contracts with ICE and MasterCard, the company has a handful of smaller contracts with other companies. Trust Stamp also said that it has "opened dialogs" with "several overseas governments bodies" about selling its facial recognition and biometric technology.Genner told Insider that any breach of Enrollment Demo data "would have no relevance to our government services products" because the Enrollment Demo isn't a test for government clients.Got a tip? Contact this reporter via email at or, or through secure messaging app Signal at +1 (785) 813-1084. Check out Insider's source guide for suggestions on how to share information securely.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 20th, 2022

The cost of ransomware attacks has more than doubled. Here"s how companies can prevent and plan for these attacks, according to experts

Biden-Harris campaign cybersecurity staffer Jackie Singh and data privacy expert Debbie Reynolds explain how companies can prevent ransomware attacks. As a cybersecurity expert for the Biden 2020, Jackie Singh was tasked with preventing breaches like the disastrous hack-and-leak that struck Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign.Photo courtesy of Jason Schorr Ransomware attacks can be costly and damaging to an organization's reputation. Companies can implement security programs to keep track of data assets and plan for cyberattacks. Cybersecurity experts Jackie Singh and Debbie Reynolds tell Insider how to prevent cyberattacks. This conversation was a part of Insider's virtual event "Cybersecurity Trends: Prepare For A More Secure Future," presented by Cisco, which took place on Thursday, May 12, 2022. Click here to watch a recording of the full event. Ransomware strikes, like the Colonial Pipeline attack last year, are becoming more widespread.Companies of any size can fall victim to attackers threatening to block or release data unless it pays a fee. The average total cost of recovering from a ransomware attack has more than doubled from 2020 to 2021, increasing from $761,106 to $1.85 million, according to a survey from the cybersecurity firm Sophos.Ransomware can harm the privacy of employees and customers, hurt the company's reputation, and rack up high costs. But there are ways to prevent attack, or at least minimize the damage. Companies can keep track of data assets and plan for cyberattacks to prevent harm, according to Debbie Reynolds, CEO of data privacy firm Debbie Reynolds consulting, and Jackie Singh, director at Surveillance Technology Oversight Project. At a recent panel hosted by Insider on Thursday called "Cybersecurity Trends: Prepare For A More Secure Future," presented by Cisco, Singh, who also served as a senior cybersecurity staffer for President Joe Biden's campaign, said "organizations are vulnerable to ransomware because of gaps in the tech or because of poor awareness of their risk."Keeping track of data and planning ahead can help focus ransomware prevention measuresProtecting data starts with understanding what information an organization stores.Organizations must make sure they collect the only information they need and ensure only authorized people have access to the data, Singh said. Then, they can prioritize what data is most critical and focus their prevention measures on that. But cybersecure companies should also know when and how to let some data go. When data is outdated and has lower business value, companies may not take the proper steps to protect and remove that data, according to Reynolds. That can leave the organization at risk of a data breach. Hackers may still want that data because it's not as protected as the "crown jewels of organizations," Reynolds said. "It's still very risky, and it creates a problem for organizations if they can't really follow that data through the life cycle of the information."Planning is crucial to prevent cyberattacksMinimizing the fallout from a ransomware attack starts way before a malicious actor targets the company.It's similar to having a plan in case of a fire emergency, Reynolds said. Organizations must ensure that they're up to date with incident response simulations, frequent testing, and disaster recovery plans.By conducting frequent testing, companies can better ensure that they are prepared if they do actually face a ransomware attack."We want to make sure that this is effective at the time of a crisis, so it really is best to test your backup and recovery capabilities," Singh said.Collaboration keeps all departments in sync on cybersecurity best practicesCybersecurity is a team sport, which means information security units must work closely with other departments across the business to keep it secure. "Eliminating any potential silos there will definitely pay dividends," Singh said.Individual employees can also play a part in keeping the business safe from attack. Employees should make sure they don't have sensitive data lying around, such as a post-it note with a password written on it, Reynolds said.The workforce could also be the target of more coordinated attacks, like phishing campaigns that trick people into clicking malicious links. For example, hackers could take advantage of people's fears surrounding the conflict between Russia and Ukraine to get their attention and send phishing emails with ransomware, Reynolds says. But even with strong defense measures in place, attacks can still happen.Companies could consider looking into cyber insurance to make recovery post-attack easier. But cyber insurance is not a band-aid for proper policies, procedures, and tools to protect data. "Prevention is really key, so being able to try to find ways to make you a lower risk target will help people in all levels of society," Reynolds said.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 17th, 2022

25 Ways To Help Your Young Children Save Their Money

Did you know that kids aged 4 to 14 receive an average weekly allowance of about $9.35? That comes out to roughly $486 per year. Which, really isn’t all that bad for daily chores like tidying their bedroom or helping with laundry. Even better? It’s also been found that almost half of the average kid’s […] Did you know that kids aged 4 to 14 receive an average weekly allowance of about $9.35? That comes out to roughly $486 per year. Which, really isn’t all that bad for daily chores like tidying their bedroom or helping with laundry. Even better? It’s also been found that almost half of the average kid’s weekly allowance is saved. While kids may not have the same financial obligations as their parents, this is certainly encouraging. Saving money ensures financial independence and security during an emergency. More specifically, this habit encourages discipline and goal-planning. And, it can prevent a potential financial crisis. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Warren Buffett Series in PDF Get the entire 10-part series on Warren Buffett in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q1 2022 hedge fund letters, conferences and more With that being said, if you’re a parent, you can help your young children step up their saving game using the following 25 strategies. Start with the basics sooner than later. In 2001, Sam X Renick created Sammy Rabbit, a character and financial literacy initiative for children. He has been teaching kids about money through his Sammy Rabbit stories since then. It has been his experience that the earlier you start teaching your children about finances, the better. Money habits and attitudes are formed by age seven, he says, so lessons need to begin before then. Your children should be introduced to coins and cash when they are old enough to know they shouldn’t eat pennies. Describe how money works and why it is important to save money. Rather than telling them how money works, you should show them. You can do this by showing them how you use cash. You should always tell your children that you’re using money to make purchases, regardless of whether you use a debit or credit card. Chase Peckham, director of the San Diego Financial Literacy Center, taught his daughter and son this when they were young. On every shopping trip they took together, Peckham showed his children the receipts with the amount he had paid. “By doing it over and over again, it became habit to them,” he says. “As they got older, they started to understand. That’s how we introduced money.” The receipt strategy allowed Peckham’s son to understand how money works by the age of 4. However, getting his daughter to understand was more difficult. Consistency, however, guaranteed that “the light bulb would turn on” — which it did. Talk about money. According to a 2021 survey by T. Rowe Price, 41% of parents are reluctant to talk to their children about money. Moreover, many express embarrassment when discussing money. In order to teach kids how to save, you must sustain an ongoing dialogue. The key is to keep the conversation going, whether you schedule a weekly check-in to talk about money or make it part of your daily routine. Be a financially responsible role model. Educate children by example by saving money yourself. This is the most effective way to teach them to save money. Put funds into your own jar of money frequently, for example. As you’re out shopping, teach your kids how to discern different prices and why some items are more beneficial than others. Also, emphasize that you save a portion of every paycheck as a way to secure your financial future. Use a piggy bank. By providing your kids with a piggy bank, you can teach them the importance of saving and make it easy for them to do so. To fill up the piggy bank until there is no room, tell your children to put in as many dollars and coins as they can. Most importantly, demonstrate that the piggy bank is for saving money for the future. And, this will result in wealth accumulation. As an example, Kevin O’Leary from “Shark Tank” explained compound interest to his own children by using a piggy bank in this video. Develop their budgeting skills. As you know, a budget helps create financial stability by tracking expenses and following a plan. And teaching your kids how to budget is a crucial life skill they need to develop sooner than later. Use jars to teach your children basic budgeting concepts by spending, saving, giving, and sharing. You can show younger children how Elmo from “Sesame Street” saves in those three jars. As your child’s chores or allowance are complete, discuss with them the importance of; Saving money now so it will grow for later use Making a plan for how to spend the money that they have now How caring means sharing their funds with people and organizations that your family values Physically show them that things cost money. It’s one thing to tell your son or daughter that that Paw Patrol vehicle they’ve been eying up is $10. It’s another thing to have them take a few dollars from their piggy bank and hand it to the cashier at the store. Sure, this is a simple act. But, it will have a greater impact than having a conversation. Write down savings goals. According to psychology professor Gail Matthews, writing your goals down on a regular basis makes them 42% more likely to be achieved. And, yes, this can be applicable to children as well. When they write down a clear savings goal, they’ll be motivated to follow through. Additionally, you can help them break this goal into achievable. Let’s say they want a $60 Lego set. Help them determine how long it will take for them to reach that goal if they receive $10 a week for doing chores. Also, help your child understand that there are two types of savings. One type of savings is saving for the Lego set, a game card, or a special pair of Allstar shoes. However, the other savings is the savings we never touch — it is for emergencies and to build enough funds for investment. Use stories to inspire. “Beyond writing down goals and providing interest payments, I’ve also discovered that stories can be educational and inspire kids to keep saving,” writes Kerry Flatley, owner, and author of Self-Sufficient Kids. “I’ve shared a few stories with my girls of times when I had to save – for my first car, for example – to provide insight into how saving works in the adult world, where purchases are larger and more critical.” Additionally, Flatley and her children have read a few books together on how people stick to their savings goals — or don’t. She recommends the following three books; “Rock, Brock, and the Savings Shock” “Alexander, Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday” “Bunny Money” Give them fake money. This might seem a bit out there. However, the positive aspect of fake money is that it teaches kids about how money works without involving any real money. Essentially, it’s a set of training wheels for future consumers, with you acting both as merchant and bank. To make this stick, assign reasonable values to various chores, such as making their bed or cleaning up after a meal. You can also apply this to privileges, such as movie night and their wants, like popcorn for said movie night. Create a timeline. Kids often have difficulty understanding the concept of time and money. In fact, it’s been found that one-hour financial lessons lose their impact after five months. As such, a timely and ongoing approach to money education is needed for the message to stick. If, for example, your child receives $5 a week in allowance and they want to save $50. Their goal would be reached in roughly three months if they saved 100 percent of their allowance. To really bring this home, use visualization. You’ll need a long piece of paper and a marker to begin. On one side of the paper write 0 and on the other side write 50. Make checks for 25%, 50%, and 75% of the goal on the paper. If an amount is saved, draw a line showing the amount that they saved. Also, explain that at each checkpoint, kids will be given small rewards. Rewarding kids in this way can encourage them to stay the course. Also, visual representations assist them in illustrating how their money is growing and how their savings goals are progressing. Consider making earning money a competition. You could make money-making a contest if you have more than one child. “That always brings out the competitive nature of the kids. Whichever child saves the most gets the biggest special treat or bonus,” Lamar Brabham, CEO of Noel Taylor Agency, told U.S. News. In order to make sure that your kids are good sports if they lose, you could always set up a series of contests to increase the chances that both will win. It will help, however, if you make teaching your kids about finance an enjoyable experience, Brabham says, noting that many adults have a difficult time dealing with the world of finance. “Words like boring, confusing, complicated, and scary are common when hearing someone describe money matters. You can imagine what children think of it,” he says. Play games. Do you and your family play games together? Board games in particular can be fun while also teaching priceless life lessons as well. Ideally, you want to pick games that teach financial basics, like the Game of Life, Pay Day, or Monopoly. Additionally, there are some games that specifically teach money management techniques, such as Cash Flow 101. Make sure kids get paid fairly for age-appropriate chores When you give young children an allowance without requiring them to work, make sure it’s fairly distributed and based on their age. If you prefer, you can give them quarterly or annual raises. Most importantly, assign equal work assignments, as well as similar pay rates if you pay for chores. Unfortunately, the gender wage gap has reached children as well. According to BusyKid, an app that tracks personal finances for kids, girls receive less than half the weekly allowance given to boys. Believe it or not, that gap is far more severe than the one that exists for adults. Offer savings incentives. Matching contributions from employers are perhaps the main reason people make contributions to their company’s retirement plan. Everyone loves free money, right? Well, using that same principle will help you motivate your kids to start saving. You can match your child’s savings by 25 or 50 cents on the dollar, for example. Not only does this help them increase their savings, but it also introduces the idea of company matching in 401(k) plans. Discourage impulse purchases. As a parent, I’m sure that you’ve been in this situation before. You go to Target and your child pleads for you to buy them Chase’s transforming police car from PAW Patrol. As opposed to caving in, remind them that they can use their savings. But, also suggest that they wait a day or two. Maybe after sleeping on it, they really don’t want this new toy. But, just reassure them that Chase and his police car will still be there if they decide that they really want to buy it. Also, depending on their age, this could be a great time to talk about opportunity costs. By fifth grade, children should understand this concept. Help them prioritize their needs and wants. Impulse buying happens to the best of us from time to time. But, help them to learn to recognize it and how to limit it. As little as possible, give kids money. Yeah. This might seem harsh. But, here’s the jest. When kids are given as much money as possible less frequently, they will learn to budget. As an example, instead of giving your 10-year-old lunch money every single day, give them $80 for the entire month. Remind them that if they spend all of this money too soon, they’ll have to eat PB&J every day. In this way, your children will understand the real meaning of money and the need for budgeting and deferral of expenses. Make use of age-appropriate spending cards and parental control apps. Today, you use apps for just about everything. So, why not use an app to improve your child’s financial education? With Greenlight, you can reload a prepaid debit card for your kids. Through an app, you can supervise and control the card. The card is designed to load instantly, leave notifications every time your child uses it, and turn on and off instantly. Another feature worth mentioning is that it also lets them save their change. Stress the importance of giving. I remember during a family vacation to D.C. my little brother struck up a conversation with a homeless vet. Without hesitation, he gave the man $5 from his allowance. With that in mind, when your little one has some money saved, teach them the power of giving. “I think helping our kids experience the happiness that comes from giving to others is probably one of the most valuable ways we can nurture generosity in them,” says Lara Aknin, an assistant professor of psychology at Simon Fraser University in Canada (and the one who led the study suggesting that giving makes toddlers happier than getting). “It sets off this positive cycle: Giving makes people happy and happiness promotes giving.” At the same time, don’t force them to do this. Researchers have found that when people are forced to do something kind for others, or subtly coerced to do so, they will feel less altruistic and less motivated to help others. Include them in the financial process. Encourage your children to help you save money while shopping. Ask them to find the right items and compare prices with coupons from the grocery store, for instance. You can also challenge your child to find the clothes they need within a limited budget when back-to-school shopping. The older your children get, show them what your mortgage or utility payments look like. Or, you show them what your 401(k) statement looks like. Sounds simple. But, having them be a part of your financial processes is good preparation for when they have their own financial documents. Kid blew all their money and needs more? Seize this teachable moment. Parents familiar with this scenario might be able to relate: your kid has money but spends it all on toys. Imagine you are at the toy store again, where they want something but can’t afford it. How do you deal with that? Don’t give in. Instead, use this as a “teachable moment,” suggests says Rachel Cruze, personal finance expert and the co-author of “Smart Money Smart Kids: Raising the Next Generation to Win with Money “Teach them that when money runs out, it runs out,” Cruze says. “It will be tough in the moment, but in the long run you are teaching them to live below their means — and that’s the only way to win with money.” Visit the bank together. You and your child can open a no-fee savings account together. The concept of delayed gratification can be difficult for them to grasp. However, children may see the benefits of accumulating compound interest as free money if they equate it with short-term sacrifices. Charge a “parent” tax. I don’t think that many of us are fond of taxes. But, that’s life. So, this could be an easy way to break the news to your children. To help them prepare them for the real world withhold some of their earnings. Be sure not to spend the money though. Instead, invest it or save it for them until they’re 18. By letting them know that they won’t keep every penny of their paycheck, they’ll be better prepared financially. Also, let them know that if they have $5,000 saved by 16, they can invest this money and become rich. As a teenager. Let them make mistakes. You may think “that’s easier said than done.” But let me explain. Almost everyone has regrettably purchased something, whether it was a Peloton we thought we’d use more frequently or an investment that was too good to be true. Since the stakes are low, now would be an ideal time for your child to make mistakes. Give your child the option of spending their money on a short-lived gimmicky toy. Upon realizing a mistake, ask them what they’ve learned and how they can avoid making it again. Do they need to do more research next time? What can they do to remind themselves of what their goals are? How can they spend their money in a way they enjoy? Perhaps, in the future, they’ll spend their savings a bit more wisely. And, since we’re talking about kids here, don’t be too harsh. In fact, you can share with them your past financial mistakes and the lesson you learned. Don’t give your kids an open line of credit. Make sure your kids do not have open credit lines. Spending money should be limited, even if occasional spoiling is possible. After all, on other matters, you’ve been telling your kids no for a while. The same holds true when it comes to denying requests for cash or parent-aided purchases such as video games and candy bars. The importance of imparting this type of financial education to young children cannot be overstated. When you delay, old habits will become more difficult for them to break. Now, how exactly you approach this is totally up to you. Maybe there’s a family jar of money for expenses like snacks or activities like mini-golf. If they know the balance, your kids will be able to budget their spending accordingly and won’t be surprised when you say no. And, with time, they’ll realize that if they want a large purchase, they’ll need to save. that they need to save. Open a 529 plan. Share the fact that you are saving for your children’s future higher education with them. Even better, ask them if they want to contribute to the plan as well. Although you don’t need to share the dollar amount saved in your 529 plan with them, make it clear that you expect them to continue their education after high school. According to a study by Institute for Higher Education Policy, children who know that money will be saved for college are much more likely to enroll in college. What’s more, kids with college savings of $1-$499 are three times more likely than children with no savings to attend college. If you’re unaware, plan 529s are for any school your child wishes to attend after high school. As a result, these funds can be used tax-free for eligible higher education expenses including; Four-year schools Two-year colleges Trade institutions Apprenticeship programs Certificate programs In short, this means that your children are free to attend schools based on their interests, talents, and skills. And, this can set them up for financial success later in life since they won’t have a lot student loan debt. Frequently Asked Questions When should kids learn about saving money? According to research, many of our money habits as adults are formed around age 7. So it’s wise to teach your children about money at a very early age. Children as young as 3 can start with basic concepts. As they grow, they can move on to more advanced ones. How do I talk to my kids about saving money? Curiosity is a natural, and often relentless, characteristic of kids. Teach young children that in order to make money, you have to earn it. Explain that money is a type of energy exchange. After all, money just doesn’t appear out of thin air. Take going to the grocery store with them. Show them the budget for groceries and why it’s important. Tell them if they want a toy that it’s not in the budget. But, tell them to put the money in their piggy bank so that they can buy it later. You can also involve your children in making money-making decisions that affect the whole family, such as booking a summer vacation, as they grow up. Consider sharing your experience with them when you’re negotiating a job offer or choosing a robo advisor. How can I encourage my kids to save money? Providing a place for kids to save their money is an effective way to get them to set aside some of their money. Kids younger than 12 can get a piggy bank; older kids can get a debit card or bank account. Incentives such as interest can also be provided to encourage them to save money. What are some of the best ways for kids to earn money? Children can earn money in a variety of ways. You might find them setting up a lemonade stand or having a yard sale depending on their age. They can also babysit, care for pets, collect recyclable materials, wash cars, and work in the yard. If you have your own business, you could also “hire” them for age-appropriate tasks like filing paperwork or being a part of your social media marketing. Make sure to follow child labor laws. How can you teach kids to distinguish between needs and wants? Children can be quizzed about household items such as kitchen utensils, clothing, and toys. Ask them if it’s something your family really needs or if it’s just something they fancy. Kids learn that some purchases should have a greater priority than others as a result of that distinction. Article by John Rampton, Due About the Author John Rampton is an entrepreneur and connector. When he was 23 years old while attending the University of Utah he was hurt in a construction accident. His leg was snapped in half. He was told by 13 doctors he would never walk again. Over the next 12 months he had several surgeries, stem cell injections and learned how to walk again. During this time he studied and mastered how to make money work for you, not against you. He has since taught thousands through books, courses and written over 5000 articles online about finance, entrepreneurship and productivity. He has been recognized as the Top Online Influencers in the World by Entrepreneur Magazine, Finance Expert by Time and Annuity Expert by Nasdaq. He is the Founder and CEO of Due. Updated on May 16, 2022, 3:22 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkMay 17th, 2022