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Is Gen Z working? It all depends on what you consider a "job."

Half a million Gen Zers appear to be missing from the US labor force. It may just be because they don't consider their hustle or gig work a job. urbazon/Getty Images Roughly half a million fewer 20- to 24-year-olds are in the labor force now versus pre-pandemic. It's taken time for Americans of all ages to return to work, but older Gen Zers are most lagging. It may all have to do with how Gen Z views a job versus a side hustle or gig work. Last week, did you do any work for pay?If your primary source of income is a typical 9-to-5 company job, you'd probably answer "Yes."But if you're a reseller on Poshmark, sold a few items on Etsy, or drove a few days for Uber, your answer could be more complicated.And those answers could partially explain a question economists are puzzled over: Where have the Gen Z workers gone?The 20- to 24-year-old age group — whose members are older Gen Zers — has lagged more than any other as the 8.2 million Americans who stopped looking for work or working in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic have come back to the labor force. In October, 497,000 fewer workers in this age group were working or actively looking for work compared with February 2020, per Bureau of Labor Statistics data.Labor-force participation among Americans ages 20 to 24 is down 2.4 percentage points, while participation for workers ages 25 to 54 and at least 55 are down only 0.5 and 1.4 percentage points, respectively.!function(){"use strict";window.addEventListener("message",(function(e){if(void 0!==e.data["datawrapper-height"]){var t=document.querySelectorAll("iframe");for(var a in e.data["datawrapper-height"])for(var r=0;r.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytNov 24th, 2022

Is Gen Z working? It all depends on what you consider a "job."

Half a million Gen Zers appear to be missing from the US labor force. It may just be because they don't consider their hustle or gig work a job. urbazon/Getty Images Roughly half a million fewer 20- to 24-year-olds are in the labor force now versus pre-pandemic. It's taken time for Americans of all ages to return to work, but older Gen Zers are most lagging. It may all have to do with how Gen Z views a job versus a side hustle or gig work. Last week, did you do any work for pay?If your primary source of income is a typical 9-to-5 company job, you'd probably answer "Yes."But if you're a reseller on Poshmark, sold a few items on Etsy, or drove a few days for Uber, your answer could be more complicated.And those answers could partially explain a question economists are puzzled over: Where have the Gen Z workers gone?The 20- to 24-year-old age group — whose members are older Gen Zers — has lagged more than any other as the 8.2 million Americans who stopped looking for work or working in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic have come back to the labor force. In October, 497,000 fewer workers in this age group were working or actively looking for work compared with February 2020, per Bureau of Labor Statistics data.Labor-force participation among Americans ages 20 to 24 is down 2.4 percentage points, while participation for workers ages 25 to 54 and at least 55 are down only 0.5 and 1.4 percentage points, respectively.!function(){"use strict";window.addEventListener("message",(function(e){if(void 0!==e.data["datawrapper-height"]){var t=document.querySelectorAll("iframe");for(var a in e.data["datawrapper-height"])for(var r=0;r.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytNov 24th, 2022

25 fun tech gifts teens will get excited for, from gaming gear to mobile accessories

From smart speakers to cameras and earbuds, you'll find a tech gadget from our list that would thrill any teen. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.You can find plenty of great tech gifts for teens right now, including gaming accessories and mobile gear.Target; AmazonThe holidays are coming, and that means it's time to start buying gifts for the teens in your life. Teenagers can be notoriously difficult to shop for, but there are lots of cool tech devices, gadgets, and accessories that are perfect for young adults with all kinds of interests.We've got a lot of experience picking out products for different types of shoppers, so we've used our expertise to round up 25 of the best tech gifts for teens. From the latest earbuds to new gaming gear, these items are all geared toward hobbies and activities that are popular with teens.Victrola Re-Spin Sustainable Bluetooth Suitcase Record PlayerAmazonWhen it comes to entry-level record players, you can't go wrong with Victrola's Suitcase Record Player. The Suitcase Record Player can play music through a built-in speaker, or any other Bluetooth speaker. And it works the other way around, too — your teen can connect their phone to the record player to play anything through its speaker. It also has a headphone jack for an even more personalized experience.The Re-Spin is made from 25% recycled plastic. Pair this gift with a subscription to Vinyl Me, Please, and they'll be all set to start their collection.Asus Zenbook OLED LaptopBest BuyThe ASUS Zenbook is the ideal laptop for teens. It gives you an ultra-fast solid-state hard drive, beautiful OLED screen, and even decent gaming performance from the 12th-gen Intel Core i5. It's a fantastic mid-range option that delivers bang for the buck, especially for users who need a computer for both school and play.Joby Beamo Ring LightB&H PhotoWhether it's for selfies, live streams, or video chats, a ring light brings out more facial details — even under bright conditions. For teens who are always in front of their camera phones, the Beamo Ring Light from Joby is a handy accessory that attaches to a tripod, camera, or phone with its various mounts. There are three color temperatures to choose from for that perfect on-camera complexion.Apple AirPods Pro and Samsung Galaxy Buds2 EarbudsCrystal Cox/InsiderWhen it comes to true wireless earbuds, the pair that you buy really depends on what kind of smartphone your teen owns: An iPhone or an Android.If they own an iPhone, AirPods are by far the best true wireless earbuds you can buy. The AirPods Pro are the top-tier model that comes with resizable tips and noise cancellation. Although they're a bit more expensive than the basic models, your teenage giftee will appreciate the sound quality whether they're listening to tunes or chatting with friends.If they own an Android, you can't go wrong with Galaxy Buds. The Galaxy Buds2 have resizable silicone tips, and combine active noise cancellation features with deep, high quality sound. They come in four different colors: Graphite gray, Lavender purple, Olive green, and plain white. And a full charge should last for about 10 hours, more than enough for a commute, workout, or study session.Tile Mate Tracking Device (2022)AmazonThere are few things more frustrating than losing your keys, especially if you're in a hurry. That's where the redesigned Tile Mate comes in handy: The Tile Mate is a tiny Bluetooth alarm that can fit right onto a keychain, and can be triggered from a smartphone.Each Mate has about a year of battery life, and you can sync them with an iPhone, iPad, or Android. And they're not restricted to keychains — try leaving them loose in your bag, or gluing them to a remote control. They're an inexpensive but incredibly useful gift for anyone prone to misplacing things.PowerUp F22 Raptor RC PlanePower Up ToysThey don't make paper planes like they used to — they make them better. A fun gift for budding hobbyists, PowerUp's F22 Raptor remote-controlled airplane is built from foam and carbon-fiber with up to 10 minutes of flight time. They'll be able to use the PowerUp app to maneuver and fly the plane, with the option to livestream the flight.Nintendo Switch Gaming ConsoleJulian Stratenschulte/Picture Alliance/Getty ImagesThe Nintendo Switch is the best-selling console of this generation, and it's not hard to understand why. Between easy portability and dozens of great games, it's one of our favorite consoles on the market today.Nintendo currently sells three versions of the Switch: The standard model, which is the best for most people; an OLED version with a crisper-looking screen; and the Switch Lite, which is cheaper but can only be played in handheld mode (the others can be played on a TV). They all play the same games, so if you don't see yourself playing it on a TV often, then definitely save money and go with the Switch Lite.Lomography LomoChrome Metropolis Reloadable Film CameraUrban OutfittersDigital is so yesterday. Teens today value authenticity, and nothing is more authentic than real film photography. The LomoChrome Metropolis brings back the feel of old-school disposable cameras, except this one is reloadable (a roll of film is preloaded). It also teaches the fundamentals of photography: Because film is finite, it forces one to think about composition. Whatever photos you shoot with it, they'll come out looking like they're one-of-a-kind.Varmilo VA87M Mechanical KeyboardSimon Hill/Business InsiderThere's no way to feel cooler while working on a computer than by using a mechanical keyboard. Mechanical keyboards give a distinct tactile and audible response as you type, which many users swear has helped them work faster and more efficiently — useful skills for any 21st century teen.There are plenty of mechanical keyboards to pick from, but the Varmilo VA87M is a great pick. It's available in a variety of configurations and color options.Headspace SubscriptionHeadspaceIn these stressful, uncertain times, self-care means something different for everyone. For busy teens, a subscription to Headspace is the perfect place to start. The app offers easy-to-navigate guided meditations — from one-off sessions to help with burnout, to full-blown courses on stress and anger — from a variety of teachers, each with different perspectives. It's a simple, thoughtful gift that can help build an effective self-care routine.Govee LED Strip Light M1AmazonGovee's new M1 LED light strip is a great alternative to the expensive gradient light strips from Philips Hue. Measuring in at 16 feet, the Govee M1 produces bright, colorful lighting and has a built-in mic that lets it sync to music and movies playing nearby. It also has 50 customizable segments and 17 animation effects, and offers hand-free control using Alexa or Google Assistant.Anker 541 Bio-Based CableAmazonUSB cables may be a dime-a-dozen these days, but the 541 from Anker is a bit special. It is made out of plant-based materials like corn and sugarcane, and it's been tested for durability and longevity. Available in USB-C-to-Lightning and USB-C-to-USB-C, you can choose from five colors that best match your teen's likes. With the right charger, like the Case-Mate Fuel listed here, the 541 supports 30-watt fast-charging.Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 3 SpeakerAmazonThis portable Bluetooth speaker stands just 4.5 inches tall and packs high-quality audio and powerful bass sound. It lasts more than 14 hours on a single charge and has a Bluetooth range of more than 130 feet.XP-Pen Deco 01 V2 Drawing TabletXP PenThe XP-Pen Deco 01 V2 is an affordable and feature-filled drawing tablet, making it perfect for beginner digital artists. For less than $70, it provides a sizable amount of drawing space with eight reprogrammable buttons, and a pressure-sensitive stylus that never needs to be recharged. It works with PCs, Macs, Chromebooks, and even Android phones, and it comes with USB adapters to help connect it. If you have a budding digital artist on your gift list, the XP-Pen Deco 01 V2 is a great place to start.Meta Quest 2 VR HeadsetMetaThe best virtual reality headset you can gift without breaking the bank is the Meta Quest 2. It is comfortable to wear and easy to use. You can play nearly every major VR game with it, whether it comes through the built-in app store or SteamVR on a PC. And for a limited time, you can get a discounted bundle with a Quest 2, Beat Saber, and Resident Evil 4 for $50 off.Apple iPad 10.9-inch (10th generation)Best BuyThe latest generation of Apple's classic iPad is a great budget pick for anyone who wants a fast, durable tablet that will last for years. You can still easily use it to play games, take video calls, draw pictures, and more. Best of all, the iPad now uses a USB-C port like the rest of the iPad line. This means that you can charge it with the same cable you probably already have for your laptop or game controller, and it supports more accessories.Blue Yeti X USB MicrophoneAmazonThere are few things more important for a streamer or video maker than a good microphone. The Blue Yeti X is a USB microphone that's easy to use and offers great sound quality, along with multiple recording styles to fit any user's voice and room setup.Case-Mate Fuel Fast ChargerAmazonThe see-through colored shell gives this charger a fun and unique appearance. Despite its small size, it can provide up to 30 watts to phones and tablets — recharging up to 50% in an hour or less, depending on the device. It employs a charging technology called GaN that reduces heat and lets it charge faster.Fitbit Inspire 3FitbitFor health-conscious teens, Fitbit's latest fitness tracker can help you monitor and manage all sorts of personal health data on a daily basis. Fitbit Inspire features a 24-hour heart rate sensor, sleep tracking, workout tracking for more than 20 exercises, and a personal wellness report.HyperX Cloud II HeadsetHyperXThis wireless headset works on PlayStation consoles as well as PCs, and can last hundreds of hours on a single charge. It's perfect for communicating with party members during online games and it's also compatible with the PlayStation 5's immersive spatial sound features. The mic can be removed when not in use, and the headset features controls for mute and volume control.Satechi 2-in-1 Headphone Stand and Wireless ChargerAmazonIf your gift recipient is a messy teen, why not help them organize with this stylish desktop accessory from Satechi? This sleek stand provides a place to hang a pair of headphones and charge a phone at the same time. The stand also has a USB-C port for recharging wireless headphones, or accessories like mice and keyboards.Backbone One Mobile Gaming ControllerBackboneThe Backbone is a portable controller that turns your phone (available for iOS or Android) into a full-fledged gaming device. While smartphones can already connect to Xbox and PlayStation controllers via Bluetooth, the Backbone provides a direct connection to the device through its USB charging port. This provides a faster, more stable connection, improves battery life, and keeps the Backbone's controls firmly in place. The controller also features a 3.5mm headphone port and a passthrough for charging while you play.Casely Power Pod Wireless BatteryCaselyWhen you can't get to a power outlet, a portable battery is your phone's best friend. If your teen has a smartphone that supports wireless charging, they'll love the Power Pod from Casely. Slim and compact, it supports both regular wireless charging and MagSafe, meaning that it can magnetically attach to the back of an iPhone — no cable needed. In addition to colors, the Power Pod comes in fun patterns and graphics.Baggu Laptop SleeveBagguAnyone who has a laptop will appreciate a stylish laptop sleeve, especially if it's from the bag makers at Baggu. Available in different of-the-moment prints and patterns, you're bound to find something that matches your teen's style and taste. The puffy laptop sleeve will slip into any bag easily, but we wouldn't be surprised if they end up toting it around on its own.Custom Xbox ControllerThis is just a small selection of the colors available in the Xbox Design Lab.MicrosoftMicrosoft's Xbox wireless controllers already come in a huge variety of colors, but you can also create your own custom controller with the Xbox design lab. The online tool will let you or your gift recipient decide how each part of the controller looks, including the buttons and thumbsticks. Microsoft also recently opened customization for the premium Xbox Elite controller, which has extra customizable buttons and a rubberized grip.Pricing starts at just $10 more than a standard Xbox controller. If you want to let your gift recipient design their own Xbox controller, you can give them a Microsoft or Xbox gift card to cover the final price after customization.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 23rd, 2022

The World COP: Neoliberal Profiteering Dressed Up As Altruism

The World COP: Neoliberal Profiteering Dressed Up As Altruism By Michael Every of Rabobank The World COP Today’s Daily is truly Global. For those who only want to hear about US inflation, especially all those beating down commodities and the US dollar on the view that things are transitory again, I offer ‘History Lessons: How “Transitory” Is Inflation?’ based on the 1970-2022 inflation experiences of 14 OECD economies. Its key conclusions are: “The US Federal Reserve Bank’s expectations for the speed of reverting to 2% inflation levels remains dangerously optimistic.”; An inflation jump to 4% is often temporary, but when it crosses 8%, it proceeds to higher levels over 70% of the time; If inflation is cresting, levels of up to 6% revert by half in about a year; If inflation is accelerating, 6% inflation reverts to 3% in a median of about seven years; Reverting to 3% inflation is easy from 4%, hard from 6%, and very hard from 8% or more; and above 8%, reverting to 3% usually takes 6 to 20 years, with a median of over 10 years; and Nobody is even mentioning 2%. Those interested in the global outlook feeding this sticky inflation, please look around you. COP27 just concluded in Sham el-Chic. Few seem happy with the outcome, and the EU27 nearly walked out. The final communique, in the words of Bloomberg’s energy voice Javier Blas, “is full of diplomatic language gymnastics… the reference to “low-emission” energy to mean gas and nuclear (and probably carbon-captured oil)…. no advance from COP26 on coal… coal remains a phase down, not a phase-out (and, in reality, coal demand is going up, on track for a record high both in 2022-23, surpassing the 2013 peak)… doesn’t move the needle on fossil fuels either, simply copy-and-pasting COP26 language on the need to phase-out “inefficient fossil fuel subsidies” (but, in reality, subsidies are up!!). Early attempts to call for a phase down of fossil fuel *consumption* were killed… While everyone is talking about “loss and damage” (but where’s the money?), to me COP27 key is the lack of progress on what really matters: fossil fuel consumption and emissions. And there, an alliance of big fossil fuel producers and consumers has delayed-or-muted action.” Is that at least deflationary near term if it means more fossil fuels for several years? Perhaps – just look at oil prices today. Then again, Daniela Gabor argues the Wall Street consensus won at COP27, noting “central banks' journey from restrainers of carbon finance to derisking 'influencers'” as they will use Blended Finance Initiatives for “marginally bankable transition projects to attract private capital.” So, central banks will back loss-making transition projects, guaranteeing the tax-payer wears all losses while all profits flow to Wall Street. Yet such neoliberal profiteering dressed up as altruism is perhaps not a million miles away from my argument of inevitable rate hikes and MMT: we would still get higher rates alongside de facto public subsidies for infrastructure - just hiding the role of the public sector as the loss maker while lauding the ‘bravery’ of the private sector getting guaranteed profits. It depends on what we do with the inevitable losses - will they be monetised? Is that deflationary? Over the medium term on the supply side, yes: but there is a big J-curve as investment ramps up, while investment and monetisation depress the exchange rate and raise inflation until new supply, and so healthier trade balances, kick in; and this neoliberal version offers more financialisation and high-end consumption to boot. Not far from Sham el-Chic, and full of fossil fuels and high-end consumption, Qatar kicked off the 2022 World Cup – with no booze for fans staying in $200 a night tents, and ‘polite’ requests for no loud noise, music, or public displays of affection of any kind (but some more than others): the Daily Mail is doing its usual pot-stirring in calling it a ‘Qatarstrophe’. The dazzling opening ceremony involved Morgan Freeman and the reception Trump got in Saudi minus the Palantir, and talked about mutual respect and being “one tribe”. The football was less dazzling, with the hosts losing 2-0 to Ecuador and the Guardian noting: “This was the global game in its final form, a private power-show for the benefit of a very small group of very rich people... They were 2-0 down by half-time… whereas people and presidents and slogans can lie, elite sport rarely does.” Notably, the World Cup is not a distraction from our problems, but in many ways emblematic of them: how do we make things work globally when we can’t agree on what that even means? On a level fans can understand, how did we end up with the World Cup being held in Qatar in November? Why do FIFA run ‘The people’s game’? Can we get rid of them? Forgetting about their legitimacy, their corruption is a matter of public record (and prosecution). More politically, the BBC refused to carry the opening ceremony, instead covering the trail leading to Qatar’s selection as host, alleged human rights abuses there, and recorded deaths among the migrant workers who built the new football stadia nobody will use when the competition is over. (Qatar’s official mascot is ironically a friendly ghost.) Beforehand, FIFA General Secretary Infantino launched a bizarre rant claiming, “Today I feel Qatari. Today I feel Arab. Today I feel African. Today I feel gay. Today I feel disabled. Today I feel a migrant worker,” adding he had been bullied for being a redhead long before he was a slaphead, and that any Western accusations against Qatar are hypocrisy because of the West’s actions over the last 1,000 years. Branko Milanovic made a typically poignant observation back in 2015 when noting the expansion of the World Cup to new venues represents a shifting of global power from an old European and Latin American aristocracy to a more inclusive kleptocracy. There is more money; more people are involved – if ‘people’ means a larger elite; but the football gets worse for the working class base in the former aristocracies. Nobody wanted to see the 32-team tournament this time round but Infantino and teams not good enough to qualify for 24 slots. But wait until the 2026 World Cup in Canada, the US, and Mexico --two of which have no interest in the sport. There, instead of nobody being able to travel anywhere as in tiny Qatar, nobody will be able to do so because of the huge distances involved - and 48 countries’ fans will be involved. By 2034, perhaps every country qualifies automatically, and we all form a global league that plays non-stop? This is the issue with globalisation: there are winners and losers, and new power structures emerge - with obvious limits involved to those who are not being paid not to see them. Some argue alongside Qatar 2022 --and Saudi Arabia’s MBS and its Emir shaking hands when the former was recently considering building a moat around the latter-- COP27 showed geopolitical gains for smaller economies demanding payments from the West for damages from climate change; the G20’s ‘middle powers’ took the lead in making the US and China back off slightly; the International Institute for Strategic Studies confab just saw smaller economies argue together they can constrain larger ones; and even France’s Macron told the Indo-Pacific not to allow the larger beasts of the jungle to set the rules. In short, perhaps middle powers present a middle path to us all via a ‘new non-alignment plan’. However, what if the old football aristocracies with all the money and talent say enough is enough? What happens if UEFA, flirting with its own deeply unpopular stupid European Super League, says it won’t release players to even bigger, sillier World Cups? (Or national leagues to UEFA?) When push comes to shove, true footballing power lies with the old elite not the new. What could other footballing countries do? Refuse to let their talent play in Europe and develop their own leagues over decades? If it were that easy, why don’t they just do it now? Brexit was an attempt to just that, botched by tautisms, contortions, and deliberate distortions. The British government is now pushing back against suggestions it is now interested in a ‘Swiss’ route back to Europe again. After all, the government is about to embrace EU style fiscal rules and taxation just as Europe realizes how stupid they are. Yet opinion polls make abundantly clear the Conservatives won’t be in power for long, and perhaps ever again(?) Looking forward, one can say that with a structural energy crisis, high taxes and crumbling public services, a rump nationalist demographic, geopolitical delusions of grandeur, and an economy driven by mainly one sector with a cloudy global future, the UK would fit back into other EU economies snugly. Donald Trump, now back on Twitter and running for President again despite the mainstream press and billionaires trying to ignore him, also claimed to want to do the same for the US. Trump is less relevant now because we are all Trump to varying degrees. Yet imagine what a Trump unencumbered by wanting to please either the Republican establishment or billionaires might want to do in power. Time for some serious ignoring from mainstream thinkers! Indeed, for now we are all pretending to be “one tribe” cheering a game where 22 men kick a ball for 90 minutes, even if Gary Lineker’s “…and the Germans win” seems less likely on and off the pitch. Everyone is friends with everyone else again, despite PM Trudeau's on-camera dressing down in Bali; middle powers are pretending they can swing outcomes in their favor; France and Germany are pretending they have strategic autonomy, as is the Netherlands in saying it won't follow the US lead on tech controls vs. China when its semiconductor firm ASML is reliant on US inputs; Australia’s PM is pretending he can block Taiwan joining the CPPTP then suddenly remembering he can’t. But let’s see how long it is until things we are sorted into World Cup groups, or things kick off. China just told Russia it is happy to work together with “like-minded countries”, and Thailand that they are "one family". The US is sending F-22s to Japan and other bombers to Australia, and is extending and deepening its mutual defense treaty with the Philippines; the White House is also to help Thailand and the Philippines develop nuclear power. (If middle powers play against both sides smartly, they prosper; if they play against both sides badly, they get sent off.) The Wall Street Journal carries a detailed report showing EU-US trade and FDI is surging, dwarfing that of both into China in some respects – and European firms are looking at the US as an industrial base. Is this deflationary? The sharp economic downturn we have coming ahead certainly is. The grim outlook for net exporters facing up to no more net exports certainly is. Yet a surge in new infrastructure and industrial investment, even if private-sector led and loss-stop bank-rolled by central banks, and into new up-to-downstream supply chains into new defence spending, is going to be very inflationary almost immediately afterwards. It is, as they say, a game of two halves. As is my Bloomberg morning screen today, where headline one says ‘Locked Down: Covid Curbs Return to City Rumoured to Be Reopening’; and the one underneath says ‘China stocks to Jump on Reopening, Property: Hao Hong’. And you thought footballers who were not very bright but made too much money - at least they can kick a ball. Tyler Durden Mon, 11/21/2022 - 09:50.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytNov 21st, 2022

How To Stand Out To Small Business Investors

Has your dream always been to own a business? Perhaps you have an invention you can’t wait to get into the hands of the masses. Whatever the reason, if you’re seeking small-business investors, you’re competing against thousands of others trying to secure financing. How can you stand out from the crowd and show you have […] Has your dream always been to own a business? Perhaps you have an invention you can’t wait to get into the hands of the masses. Whatever the reason, if you’re seeking small-business investors, you’re competing against thousands of others trying to secure financing. How can you stand out from the crowd and show you have a solid plan that leads to success? After all, no one wants to invest in something without a well-thought-out series of steps. In addition, investors want at least a chance of getting their money back and earning a little extra. 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 .af-body.af-standards 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); Q3 2022 hedge fund letters, conferences and more   Find A Qualified Financial Advisor Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn't have to be hard. SmartAsset's free tool matches you with up to 3 fiduciary financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes. Each advisor has been vetted by SmartAsset and is held to a fiduciary standard to act in your best interests. If you're ready to be matched with local advisors that can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now. How Do You Impress a Private Investor? The United States Census Bureau tracks how many applications come through for businesses needing tax IDs. Keep in mind that not all new businesses will utilize an Employer Identification Number (EIN). Hence, the numbers are likely much higher when you include solopreneurs using their Social Security numbers and filing as sole proprietors on their personal taxes. The Census Bureau listed 525,741 applications in September 2022. If you want to attract the attention of an angel investor or others, you must refine your approach. Have you ever watched the television series “Shark Tank?” Investors serve as hosts and hear pitches from inventors and small-business startups. You can learn a lot about the information an investor needs to decide. However, a few episodes into the show, one thing becomes clear: If you don’t know your business numbers and plan, don’t bother talking to an investor. Here are some of our best tips to help you stand out in a crowded field of applicants. Know Your Goals What are your goals for your small business? The last thing you want to do is stand in front of one or more investors without a clear vision for where you’ll be in a year, five years, or ten years. Write out your goals. It’s a good idea to embrace the S.M.A.R.T. goals method. S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym that stands for: Specific: Narrow the focus of your goal. Measurable: How will you know you met the goal? For example, you might say you’ll increase the customer base by 10% in the first quarter. Achievable: Make sure you can accomplish the goal. It’s okay to make it challenging. Don’t make it impossible. Relevant: Choose a goal investors will care about. They want to know how you’ll reach customers or achieve more sales. Time-based: Set a time limit for your goal. “By the end of the first quarter, I’ll have gained 10% more customers than I have now.” You should set more than one goal, but don’t set so many that your resources are stretched thin. Then, share your final version with investors to show you’ve put some clear objectives in place and have a plan to achieve them. Improve Your Credit Score What is your long-term credit rating, and how might it impact how investors look at your business? Even though you might separate your company from your personal holdings via an LLC or corporate structure, as an entrepreneur, you’re still the one in charge of managing finances. Therefore, when looking to secure funding, it’s essential to keep your personal and business credit ratings in check. If your personal credit score is low, investors may hesitate to trust you with a lump sum for your business. You’ll run into similar issues if you try to get a small-business loan. Spend time improving your personal credit situation so investors can see you know how to manage money: Make a list of payments and when they are due. Set up automatic payments so you’re never late again. Pay off the lowest-balance debt first and then throw that payment at the next lowest, and so on. Some people advise paying the highest-interest debt first. Both ways work – it just depends on your personal financial preference. Don’t take out any other lines of credit. Investors may worry you have too many revolving lines and will default on something. Call credit card companies and work with them on how to improve your credit score. Remove any errors from the credit reporting agencies. What if you need cash flow today and your personal credit is horrible? You may have to turn to family and friends for personal loans to get you through. You don’t want to pay such a high-interest rate that you’ve basically borrowed from a loan shark. It takes time to clean up an ugly credit report. Start Small and Scale Investors don’t necessarily want a company that throws a ton of money at advertising and tries to grow rapidly. Such rapid growth can lead to cash flow problems and growing pains. You’re better off starting small and scaling up as you go. Put yourself in the investor’s shoes. Would you rather loan someone a few thousand dollars to get past a cash flow hump and move on to success, or would you like to throw tens of thousands at a business and just hope it pays off? If you keep a laser focus, your business will increase over time. But don’t try to force it to grow up too quickly. Remove Ownership Don’t be so in love with your business model or product that you become inflexible. If something isn’t working, be open to advice from your investors. Many of them find small-business owners and build them up, mentoring them along the way. Remove your ownership of certain parts of your business. While you should have values and stick to them, will it really kill you to get rid of the first product you sold if no one is buying it, or it breaks easily and creates return scenarios? Take a step back and look at things neutrally. If an investor gives you some advice you don’t like, ask them to let you mull it over for a day or two and get back to them. Often, once the initial hurt emotions at the insult to your “baby” die down, you’ll see some value in what they’re offering and can figure out adjustments that will keep you and your investors happy. Embrace Technology Most small-business owners apply analytics to their use of technology in this post-pandemic world. One survey showed that 55% of small-business owners use data to improve efficiency and results. Use programs such as: Customer relationship management Inventory tracking Marketing analytics Automation of processes Showing investors, you understand how artificial intelligence and big data can drive sales may put you ahead of your competition. You’ll stand out as being on the cutting edge of new discoveries. Your business will likely benefit from you implementing high-tech procedures, too. Ask Those You Know Still, having trouble finding small-business investors? Reach out to the people in your inner circle. Would some of your family and friends be willing to invest in your company? Perhaps you could offer $100 vouchers for $75 with the understanding the voucher pays off once your business becomes more profitable. Spell out the terms clearly so your family and friends don’t feel you’re just trying to get a handout from them. Also, it’s important to consider that you may not make as much as you predict. Make sure they understand you may be able to pay off the vouchers quickly, or it may take several years. They should understand that if your business goes under, they may not get their $75 back at all, but you do not intend to allow that to happen. It’s a risk, though, so prepare them for it. You might be surprised how many want to invest in your great idea. Choose Investors Wisely Be careful who you take money from and what the agreement entails. You may lose your entire business to debt if you have to start paying the money back at a specific date rather than a revenue trigger. Investors tend to come up with a few potential scenarios: Pay them back starting on “X” date. Then, pay them a percentage of all sales going forward. Third, repay them once you hit a certain revenue threshold until they make a return on their investment plus a bit extra. Finally, give them a percentage of the business and thus all future profits. Most investors give money to small businesses they believe in with the expectation that their money will increase. However, you should also double-check how much input the person wants into your business. Getting too many “cooks” working on the “recipe” of a successful brand can be a nightmare. So always maintain control, even if it’s only 51%. Create Amazing Content HubSpot’s State of Marketing 2023 report estimates about 90% of marketers plans to use the same or more content marketing going forward. Here are some of the types of content that can drive traffic and show potential investors you understand your audience: Short-form videos Articles on your site or blog Social media posts Infographics Longer “explainer” videos Testimonials Beautiful images showcasing your products Content is what drives users to your site. You can be almost sure that any investor considering your brand will likely look you up on a search engine. Hopefully, they’ll make their way to your landing page and see how fabulous your business model is. Your site should sell investors as much as consumers. Be Yourself Although you want to stand out and show you are a professional in your industry, you should never turn your back on who you are. Your story – the reason you started your business – is a deciding factor for many small-business investors. Share why you care about the product you’re selling. What is the pain point your customers face that you want to solve for them? Why do you care so much? What about your background gives you the passion and drive to make your company as successful as the others out there? Being yourself and showing your backstory is one of the most powerful things you can do to stand out in a crowded application pool. Article by Devin Partida, Due About the Author Devin Partida grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, where the booming tech and startup scene nurtured her curiosity. Always an avid writer in her younger years, Devin began covering the tech industry for ReHack in 2019, and has since become the young brand’s Editor-in-Chief. When she isn’t writing, Devin enjoys biking around the Golden Gate Bridge, eating hand-crafted ice creams and listening to true crime podcasts......»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkNov 21st, 2022

I spent a week on Mastodon, the social media platform some are turning to as they abandon Elon Musk"s Twitter. This is what it was like.

A week on Mastodon revealed glitches and a lack of important features. Its designed for the most tech-savvy, but there's a welcoming community. Almost 500,000 users joined Mastodon in the ten days after Elon Musk took over Twitter.Photo Illustration by Davide Bonaldo/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images I tried Mastodon, the app that many disillusioned Twitter users are flocking to, for a week. Its confusing servers and emphasis on decentralization only attracts the most tech-savvy. But it has a welcoming community, that reminded me more of Discord than Twitter. Elon Musk said that Twitter usage "is at an all-time high" following his controversial takeover of the social media platform. Average daily downloads have surged too, according to research firm Apptopia, but its director of content, Adam Blacker, told Insider's Kali Hays: "It's like a car accident on the highway. People like to stop and watch."Some come and watch, others are fleeing the scene. Looking for a similar platform with less dramatic ownership, almost 500,000 new users joined Mastodon in the ten days following Musk's $44 billion acquisition of Twitter. I downloaded the app a week ago, exploring its servers and accounts, making friends and foes. From its glitches to its progressive mindset, this is what my experience has been like.Servers are confusing, because Mastodon isn't really one website.The list of server URLs can be overwhelming.MastodonThe most daunting part of Mastodon comes as soon as you press "Sign Up." Because it's decentralized, the app isn't really one site like Twitter, but a collection of servers, like multiple kids stacked under a Mastodon trench coat.The flurry of URLs is off-putting, with categories ranging from journalism to furries and everything in between. It's worth seeing which server your friends or other Twitter migrants are on to find what might work best for you.Most of the big accounts are on general servers like "mastodon.social," but when I tried to join it, it wasn't letting anybody else in. The pop-up message felt like a testy nightclub doorman shooing away latecomers. You can switch servers later, but it's a real hassle because you have to create a whole new account then log back into the old one to migrate your profile over.You can still see what people are saying on other servers, but it is a bit glitchy and limits your interactions. Server owners also get to decide which other servers you can interact with, so it could be out of your control.I eventually settled for "mas.to," another general server with about 100,000 users.Getting started with the Community tabMastodon's "For You" page wasn't actually custom to me, like TikTok's.MastodonMastodon handily gives you a list of suggested follows, and I mostly added a few tech journalists to try and recreate my Twitter feed. The app's recent popularity means that it's mostly just people who are following tech news that are using it, meaning there isn't much variation – more on this later.The app's best feature is a "Community" tab, which shows you recent messages from your server. It makes it easier to find new people and explore what Mastodon is about, in a way which other social media lacks.It would be even better if it was somewhat tailored to you, like TikTok's "For You" page, but nonetheless it makes for a smoother introduction than Twitter or Facebook. Confusingly, Mastodon does have a "For You" tab, but it seemed to just be a list of big accounts it suggested I follow.Everybody's introducing themselves, and using far too many hashtagsI joined in with a #introduction, but Mastodon's abundance of hashtags looks ugly.MastodonIntroductions were the most frequent post in the Community tab. The email you get upon signing up encourages you to use the #introductions hashtag, and because Mastodon has had such a rapid influx of users, there are lots of them.Largely, they're wholesome: People telling you where they're from, their niche hobbies, their political compass – like Tinder, but for social media followers. The main problem is that people overdo it with the hashtags, which makes Mastodon ugly. There are @s and #s everywhere with all the server names and introductions, which makes it invariably tech-focused. People were adding a hashtag to almost every other word to try and attract more followers, but it feels spammy and hard to look at.Hashtags began to phase out of use on Twitter as people just searched for phrases rather than the tags themselves. And even worse, they don't seem to work properly on Mastodon.I kept trying to search the introduction hashtag and my screen just stayed black. I swiped down to refresh the page, and still nothing popped up. I tried again with the popular hashtags – still nothing.It feels old. More features need to be added to compete with mainstream social mediaLinks don't have previews like Twitter, so journalism suffers.MastodonMastodon also lacks a translation feature. Because I joined such a large server there were posts in several languages from German to Arabic, which were unreadable because it's not worth copying every post into another app – it's another thing that you'd expect will be introduced as the platform grows.Cute cat videos, however, transcend the barriers of language. You find accounts like The Guardian also, but they're actually unofficial – run by people who just like its content. Mastodon posts also don't have any sort of link preview feature like every other social media nowadays, which makes it less enticing to actually engage with any news. The most interesting articles have their own News tab, with a proper headline and image; essentially a watered-down Twitter Moments. But with 978 people talking about the top one, clicking on it takes you straight to the article, with no clear way to see the online conversation about it.Mastodon could become a Democrat's version of Truth SocialThe top three news articles were all about Twitter.MastodonThe News tab reveals another flaw about Mastodon – everyone is mostly just talking about Twitter.The top article was an interview with Mastodon's founder, Eugen Rochko, about why everyone was leaving Twitter; second was a Bloomberg piece about Twitter layoffs; and third was just a link to a tweet.This will likely change as the news moves on, of course, but if you're moving to Mastodon to escape Twitter, it's still very much the main conversation.Many users just reposted tweets directly from Twitter as well. I even saw one guy using Mastodon to ask somebody to unblock him on Twitter.Aside from this, though, many spoke about how welcoming their new community had been. If people weren't complaining about Musk, they were complaining about right-wing politics, and finding comfort among like-minded users.In some ways, it seems like Mastodon could become a Democrat's equivalent of Truth Social. The highest trending hashtag was #BikeTooter, where users shared their love for cycling as opposed to cars. I also saw several users declaring their profile a safe space for reproductive justice, worried about the consequences of Roe v Wade being overturned.There were calls for trans rights and a general strike too, while many Brits used the #FBPE hashtag to identify themselves as anti-Brexit.Findom, furries, and fakes – do not "Tap to reveal"Blue-tick emojis let users impersonate Harry Styles and Taylor Swift.MastodonRules vary between servers – most of them are strict about NSFW content, others basically specialize in it.In the former category, posts use Mastodon's warning tool to censor content. But the problem is, sometimes people just use it to build suspense, with no actual warning of what's underneath, so you can't really know what's a joke and what's pornography.If something just says "Tap to reveal," I'd recommend not tapping. I mistakenly revealed one post from a user who actually should've stayed on the furry servers. Never again.In slightly tamer variations on the pornographic, it was somewhat reassuring to see that the financial domination cohort of tweeters have also moved to Mastodon. To see a couple posts from women demanding money from their paypigs actually grounded the app in a wider community beyond tech nerds and politics.I also stumbled across some accounts claiming to be Harry Styles and Taylor Swift – usually I'd shrug it off as parody, but they had a blue-tick symbol. The two users spoke in Spanish to each other, especially odd given a rather tense breakup in 2013. It turns out verification on Mastodon isn't actually a thing, it's just a blue-tick emoji specific to the server they're on. Still, it could make for a very confusing experience.It feels easy to make new friends, so Mastodon can feel more like Discord than Twitter.My first follower came from a conversation about "My Year of Rest and Relaxation."MastodonOnly one of my friends signed up for Mastodon and that was because I asked around while working on this piece. He'd previously given up after being dispirited by the server page. The only person I knew of on the app before that was my old journalism professor who literally taught the class on social media. I do feel a bit bad for laying into all Mastodon's faults, because there were some good moments too. While scrolling through the Community tab, the cover of Otessa Moshfegh's novel "A Year of Rest and Relaxation" popped up.I'd enjoyed reading it over the summer, and this user was lamenting how they had to return it to the library before finishing it. I tried to console him: the ending was the worst bit, in my opinion. We exchanged pleasantries about reading novels, and complained about some of Mastodon's glitches together.In this way, Mastodon reminded me more of Discord than Twitter. Both are made up of servers tailored to different interests, a bit nerdier than mainstream social media, and lend themselves to a more easygoing, friendlier atmosphere. That idea of meeting new people and being part of a community is less common on Twitter unless you're a K-pop stan, so Mastodon gets the win on this.Mastodon was designed for a specific audience. I don't think it works for me.Mastodon's emphasis on decentralization is just jargon to most people.Jonathan Raa/NurPhoto via Getty ImagesMastodon is too technical. You can write off a lot of the glitches for now because it's dealing with a lot of new users, but with its servers and its abundant hashtags, it's just not cool.Most of its acolytes are tech writers and hackers, because that's who it's made for – its 2016 launch was first announced on Hacker News. Its emphasis on "decentralization" and "open-source" are words which only amaze and inspire the most tech-savvy. To everyone else, it's just jargon. Sure, it seems pretty easy to become part of a new community on Mastodon, but one of the key parts of social media is that your real-life friends are sharing online too. I want to see my friends' posts, the latest memes – like that guy on Twitter who ate an entire rotisserie chicken 40 days in a row – and scoops are always tweeted before they hit the newsstands.Social media depends on its users, and while I expect more people will want to leave Musk's platform in the future, Mastodon only has 1.6 million compared to Twitter's 450 million. With 281 tweeters for every Tooter, that's almost like comparing the population of Barbados to Germany.I found myself spending just as much time on Twitter as before, and my scrolls through Mastodon soon reduced. I really did want it to be exciting and enjoyable, but I just got bored.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytNov 19th, 2022

The direct-to-consumer sales model Rivian and Lucid tout as a key unlock could hamstring them in booking revenue — while Ford and GM reap the benefits of working with dealers

Rivian and Lucid want to forgo dealers and deliver their vehicles directly to customers. That's a problem for these startups' revenues. Direct-to-consumer sales were supposed to be an advantage for EV startups like Rivian. But challenges with it are chipping into their revenue.Andi Hedrick/Rivian Many EV startups like Rivian and Lucid have opted to sell their vehicles directly to consumers. Not working with dealerships was supposed to be an advantage for these budding carmakers. The DTC model means their revenue depends on getting cars to customers — which isn’t always so easy. Electric-vehicle startups including Rivian and Lucid are banking their futures on direct-to-consumer sales, eschewing the dealership model used by their more established rivals for what they call a more streamlined approach to automotive retail. "The consumer experience and the consumer journey is too precious to delegate to a third party," Peter Rawlinson, Lucid's CEO, told investors during an earnings call in November 2021. The auto consultancy Berylls said the benefits would include the potential to provide a better buying experience, cut the haggling shoppers hate, and reduce overhead costs.This approach does come with inconveniences. Because most states require that cars be sold through dealers, these automakers must appeal to franchise laws and dealer lobbyists to run stores, physical or digital, wherever they want to operate. That can be an expensive and aggravating process, even when it works out.More critically, selling cars to individuals rather than a network of dealers has been making it harder for them to make money.Competing with the legaciesWith direct-to-consumer sales, Rivian and Lucid are responsible for getting vehicles into customers' hands after they're produced. The revenue they bring in, logged once a customer has their vehicle, depends on the startups' ability to deliver efficiently. In a second-quarter earnings call in July, Claire McDonough, Rivian's CFO, said the company started moving from truck to rail for vehicle deliveries as a cost-saving measure. A downside of the move was a larger gap between the number of cars produced and the number delivered to customers. Rivian was hitting production goals and saving money. But the thing that matters most — clocking revenue — takes a hit as a result.In the dealer system, automakers book revenue as soon as their vehicles leave the factory. The messy business of putting a car in a customer's driveway — and finding customer financing — are outsourced to franchised dealerships.And as competition increases, consumers may lose patience with a laggy delivery system and opt for more immediate options on dealer lots."Meeting the complex challenge of getting each car to each customer is an especially tall order when Ford, for example, is starting to churn out F-150 Lightnings," said Jessica Caldwell, an analyst for Edmunds.A new look for older playersWhile startups scramble to build their own retail networks, older automakers are chasing some of Tesla's direct-to-consumer style without needing to risk delayed revenue.Ford, GM, and Volkswagen are setting up preorders for new electric-vehicle launches and preparing dealerships to transition to more of a delivery-center-style role.Consumers are helping move the shift along as well. With a prolonged inventory shortage and a move away from haggling, car buyers and dealers alike are leaning into a hybrid approach of sorts. Many more car shoppers are ordering from the factory and picking up from the dealership instead of the traditional tire-kicking and test-driving process."For now, the legacy car companies have this competitive advantage," Caldwell said. "They are slightly changing the way things are done, but it's not something that they have to figure out immediately like the startups."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytNov 19th, 2022

15 Largest Hotel Chains in the US in 2022

In this article, we will discuss the 15 largest hotel chains in the US in 2022. If you want to skip our discussion on the hospitality sector, go directly to the 5 Largest Hotel Chains in the US in 2022. Despite the rising inflation and interest rates, the pent-up demand for traveling following the ease […] In this article, we will discuss the 15 largest hotel chains in the US in 2022. If you want to skip our discussion on the hospitality sector, go directly to the 5 Largest Hotel Chains in the US in 2022. Despite the rising inflation and interest rates, the pent-up demand for traveling following the ease of COVID-19-related restrictions is showing no signs of weakness. According to a study, 92% of U.S. citizens intend to travel in the next twelve months. Meanwhile, 28% of Americans intend to travel over the Thanksgiving weekend and 31% over the Christmas period. These figures are at the highest level since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, the largest hotel chains in the U.S. are experiencing a stellar recovery, with room occupancy recovering back to the pre-pandemic level. Furthermore, the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) anticipates hotel room revenue to be recorded at $188 billion by the end of 2022. On a nominal basis, it would be higher than the 2019 levels. Experts anticipate the demand for the traveling and hospitality sectors to remain insulated, benefitting some of the largest hotel chains in the U.S., such as Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAR), Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Inc. (NYSE:WH), and Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. (NYSE:HLT). benjamin-suter-Issa_lRkr0o-unsplash Our Methodology We have chosen the 15 largest hotel chains in the U.S. and have ranked them in terms of the number of properties owned by them as of 2022. Eight of the 15 largest hotel chains in the U.S. are publicly-listed companies, so we have included information regarding the level of hedge fund ownership as of Q3 2022. Largest Hotel Chains in the U.S. in 2022 15. Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc. (NASDAQ:HST) Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 30 Number of Properties in the US: 78 Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc. (NASDAQ:HST) is a Maryland-based lodging REIT with 78 hotels containing 42,200 rooms. On October 25, Chris Woronka at Deutsche Bank maintained a Buy rating on Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc. (NASDAQ:HST) stock with a target price of $24. During Q3, the Maui/Oahu portfolio of the business saw a significant increase in revenue, and experts believe that the continuation of this trend will bring more upside to the stock. To further boost its presence in the Jackson Hole area, Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc. (NASDAQ:HST) took over fee simple interest in the Four Seasons Resort and Residences Jackson Hole for $315 million. Experts believe that the company has a strong balance sheet and is working on multiple growth-related strategies as one of the largest hotel chains in the U.S. As of Q3 2022, Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc. (NASDAQ:HST) was held by 30 hedge funds. 14. Apple Hospitality REIT, Inc. (NYSE:APLE) Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 22 Number of Properties in the US: 220 Apple Hospitality REIT, Inc. (NYSE:APLE) is a Richmond, Virginia-based real estate investment trust (REIT) that has a portfolio of hotels located in developing, high-end suburban and urban markets. The company has a presence in 37 states in the US and has 28,983 guest rooms across its properties. Being a REIT, Apple Hospitality REIT, Inc. (NYSE:APLE) is mandated to distribute 90% of its taxable income as dividends to shareholders. The stock offers an attractive one-year forward dividend yield of 5.90% as of November 17. Experts believe that the hotel chain has low exposure to leisure demand and has a bigger presence in the upscale segment of the hotel chain, which is expected to remain strong in case of a recession. Millennium Management raised its stake in Apple Hospitality REIT, Inc. (NYSE:APLE) by 147% during the third quarter of the year. 13. Hyatt Hotels Corporation (NYSE:H) Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 26 Number of Properties in the US: 664 Hyatt Hotels Corporation (NYSE:H) is a Chicago, Illinois-based hospitality giant. The company posted its Q3 2022 results on November 3. Hyatt Hotels Corporation (NYSE:H) reported an EPS of 64 cents, surpassing the analysts’ forecast of 25 cents. In a research note issued on September 27, Duane Pfennigwerth at Evercore ISI highlighted that Hyatt Hotels Corporation (NYSE:H) operates on an asset-light revenue model that plays in the company’s favor. Analysts think this model would also aid Hyatt Hotels Corporation (NYSE:H) in generating healthier free cash flows in the long run. The analyst gave Hyatt Hotels Corporation (NYSE:H) stock a target price of $100 in his research report and upgraded it from an In-line rating to an Outperform rating. Of the 920 hedge funds in Insider Monkey’s database, Hyatt Hotels Corporation (NYSE:H) was held by 30 hedge funds as of Q3 2022. 12. Red Roof Inn Number of Properties in the US: 670 Red Roof Inn is a New Albany, Ohio-based hotel chain that has the distinction of being the third biggest budget lodging chain in the US. The company also operates in the midscale segment. The hotel chain claims to provide a high level of customer experience at an affordable rate. In January 2022, Red Roof Inn surpassed 60,000 rooms under its portfolio. The hotel chain operator recently opened a 51-room hotel in Rocky Mount, Battleboro, North Carolina, in November 2022. Red Roof Inn’s revenue in 2021 was 19% higher in comparison to 2019, making it one of the few brands in the hospitality industry to surpass the pre-pandemic revenue levels. 11. Westmont Hospitality Group Number of Properties in the US: 695 Westmont Hospitality Group is a Mississauga, Ontario, Canada-based hospitality management company that operates hotels under franchise agreements with leading hotel chains like Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAR) and InterContinental Hotels Group PLC (NYSE:IHG). The company has emerged as one of the biggest privately-owned hospitality entities in the world. In July 2022, Westmont Hospitality Group, along with hedge fund Angelo Gordon acquired, Madrid-Spain boutique hotel chain Room Mate for an undisclosed amount. Companies like Westmont Hospitality Group are now co-investing with leading hotel chains in developing new properties and then taking over the role of the tenant. This reflects a higher level of alignment between the parties. 10. Extended Stay America Number of Properties in the US: 760 Extended Stay America is a Charlotte, North Carolina-based company that operates a chain of economy hotels across the US and Canada with over 85,000 rooms. Given the boom in the hospitality industry, the company announced on October 19 that it intends to build 15 new Extended Stay America Premier Suites hotels in partnership with Concord Hospitality and Whitman Peterson. The hotel chain operator provides numerous hotel facilities like a completely operational kitchen and free Wi-Fi that is suitable for short, medium, and long-term hotel stay. The private company generates an approximate annual revenue of $1 billion and recently announced the employment of three industry veterans as part of the company’s Executive Leadership team. 9. Red Lion Hotels Corporation Number of Properties in the US: 1000 Red Lion Hotels Corporation is a Denver, Colorado-based hospitality company that owns and franchises economy, mid-scale and upscale hotels. The company has eight notable brands under its portfolio that comprise Hotel RL, Red Lion Hotels, Red Lion Inn & Suites, etc. Red Lion Hotels Corporation was acquired by Sonesta International in March 2021. Following the acquisition, Sonesta leveraged the expertise of Red Lion Hotels Corporation and launched its franchising operations. The name Red Lion still resonates with the customer strongly and, as a result, operates as a separate entity under the banner of Sonesta International. 8. Aimbridge Hospitality Number of Properties in the US: 1,166 Aimbridge Hospitality is an Arlington, Texas-based third-party hotel management company. The company is at the eighth position in our list of the largest hotel chains in the U.S. in 2022. On November 15, the company announced the arrival of Patrick Volz as Chief Operating Officer for Global Operations. Mr. Volz brings in an experience of over a quarter of a century along with him. In October 2022, Aimbridge Hospitality announced the expansion of its portfolio through the addition of five new properties that will provide growth to the Select Service business division of the company. Overall, Aimbridge Hospitality has six business divisions under its belt. Experts believe that the relevancy of midscale brands depends upon generating brand relevancy for new guests. 7. G6 Hospitality Number of Properties in the US: 1,400 G6 Hospitality is a Carrollton, Texas-based operator and franchisor of economy lodging through its subsidiaries Motel 6 and Studio 6. The company has a presence in 49 states. According to USA Today, Motel 6 was regarded as the “best budget-friendly hotel brand” in 2020. G6 Hospitality has recently launched the “Light Her Way” program, which is focused on encouraging women to own hotels. The company will provide franchise and guidance services to female entrepreneurs who are interested in owning hotels. Out of the 1,400 properties, the company has 100 locations dedicated to providing extended stay facilities. Experts have a bullish take on the extended stay segment of the lodging industry. 6. Best Western International, Inc. Number of Properties in the US: 2,161 Best Western International, Inc is a Phoenix, Arizona-based hotel network with a significant presence in the US through its various brands and a rich history of 75 years. During the annual convention held from October 28 to 30, the Chairman of Best Western, John Kelly, appreciated the efforts of CEO Larry Cuculic in making the hotel chain generate more revenue. Mr. Cuculic was brought in during the fall of 2021. During Q3, the company observed an increase in occupancy rate by 16.2% YoY, and revenue per available room (RevPAR) increased by 37.8% YoY. Given the better-than-expected performance, Best Western International intends to give back a rebate of $15 million to its member hotels. In addition to Best Western International, Inc, Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAR), Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Inc. (NYSE:WH), and Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. (NYSE:HLT) are also among the largest hotel chains in the U.S. in 2022.   Click to continue reading and see the 5 Largest Hotel Chains in the US in 2022.   Suggested Articles: Top 10 Clothing Companies in the World Biggest Beauty Companies in the World Biggest Garbage Companies in the US Disclose. None. 15 Largest Hotel Chains in the US in 2022 is originally published on Insider Monkey......»»

Category: topSource: insidermonkeyNov 18th, 2022

Without Easy Money, The Tech Sector Faces Hard Times

Without Easy Money, The Tech Sector Faces Hard Times Authored by Ryan McMaken via The Mises Institute, The tech sector in the US has benefited from more than a decade of ultra-low interest rates and easy money. But now it looks like the easy-money era may be ending—at least for now—and that means problems for the sector so long wedded to cheap loans. Just a year ago, the ten-year treasury's yield was 1.4 percent. This month, however, the 10-year's yield is up to over 3.6 percent, and throughout the economy, debtors are finding that debt service isn't nearly as cheap as it used to be.  Employers in the tech sector are responding as one might expect. Meta/Facebook has announced 11,000 layoffs. Amazon will soon lay off 10,000 employees. Twitter has laid off at least 3,700 employees. Stripe, Microsoft, and Snap have each laid off about a thousand workers. Salesforce and Zillow have laid off hundreds. Dozens of other firms have slowed or frozen hiring. Thanks to rising debt costs, employers need to cut costs, but many employers will soon be facing declining revenues as well. Given that a multitude of indicators point toward an approaching recession—the yield curve is now the most inverted it's been since 1982—this is likely just the beginning. What we're witnessing is the end of the latest tech bubble, and what seemed like rock-solid companies set to expand effortlessly forever will suddenly be characterized more by cost-cutting, falling revenues, and a hard slog in search of more capital.  The end of easy money will also separate the real innovators and entrepreneurs - people who build real value - from the big-talking frauds who only look smart or productive when they can just borrow more cheap money to kick the can of their failing and stagnating ventures down the road.  Unless the central bank and governments intervene to provide bailouts and backstops, the industry will face a much-needed reckoning. This will help clear out more than a decade of malinvestments and bubbles propping up top heavy and inefficient companies that could never survive without the artificially cheap credit provided by asset purchases and ultra-low-interest rate policy at the central bank.  Rising Interest Rates, Falling Valuations Until very recently, interest rates had been declining for decades in the United States, and that has meant companies, at any given time, have generally been able to bank on cheaper debt not too far down the road. This has increased companies' valuations, and has made it easier for companies to find investors.  Even for companies that never—or almost never—turn a profit, cheap money has meant that the day of reckoning can simply be pushed further into the future. In many cases, we call these zombie companies: they don't have real value, but they can stay "alive" by paying off older, more expensive debt with new cheaper debt.  But, things are very different when easy money starts to get scarce. As Ryan Browne at CNBC recently noted: Higher rates spell challenges for much of the market, but they represent a notable setback for tech firms that are losing money. Investors value companies based on the present value of future cash flow, and higher rates reduce the amount of that expected cash flow. As a result, Venture deal activity has been declining ... Not all companies will make it through the looming economic crisis — some will fail, according to Par-Jorgen Parson, partner at VC firm Northzone. “We will see spectacular failures” of some highly valued unicorn companies in the months ahead, he told CNBC. ... The years 2020 and 2021 saw eye-watering sums slosh around equities as investors took advantage of ample liquidity in the market. Tech was a key beneficiary thanks to societal shifts brought about by Covid-19, like working from home and increased digital adoption. ... In a time when monetary stimulus is unwinding, those business models have been tested. Part of the reason investors are now less interested in "unicorns" is that as interest rates rise, investors are less desperate to search out yield even in the most unproven and risky corners of the economy. For example, when government debt and other low-risk investments are paying next-to-zero yields, investors will be much more aggressive about finding riskier investments that pay at least something above zero. That includes high-risk trendy unicorn companies that promise big returns. But, as Treasurys and similar investments begin to promise higher yields—as they are doing now—there's less pressure to dump money in whatever flavor of the month is being put forward as the next big thing for investors. Moreover, in times of easy money, investors have more cash to throw around.  Once the cheap money regime ends, however, newly reticent investors become more interested in actually analyzing the fundamentals of firms seeking investors. That means firms will have to actually show they're efficient and only hiring employees who actually create value.  Easy Money Enables More Waste For many top-heavy companies, that means layoffs. It's why Meta's Mark Zuckerberg recently complained that "realistically, there are probably a bunch of people at the company who shouldn’t be here." Zuckerberg went on to say he would deliberately be "turning up the heat" for employees in the hopes that the less committed would simply quit. (Meta shares are down more than 50 percent this year, and Meta has lost revenues as Zuckerberg's obsession with the metaverse has not been especially popular with consumers.) Elon Musk has been in the midst of something similar at Twitter, firing thousands of employees, and demanding that those who remains be prepared to work long hours.  While Twitter employees and ex-Twitter employees have been whining continually online about how everything was wonderful at Twitter until Musk showed up, the reality is that Twitter has only ever had two profitable years (2018 and 2019) and is neither efficient nor innovative.  Moreover, it's certainly not difficult to see why Zuckerberg and Musk would want to trim the fat if recent videos about "a day in the life" at Meta and Twitter are true. The two now-notorious videos show young female employees walking around Meta and Twitter offices showcasing how little work they do and how opulent the office perks are. Perks apparently include complementary gourmet food, red wine on tap, and free cappuccinos. Last May, Project Veritas reporters captured a Twitter senior engineer bragging about how little he works:  "[B]asically went to work, like, four hours a week last quarter. And that's just how it works in our company. ... [E]ssentially, like, everyone gets to do whatever they want, no one really cares about, like, [operating expenses]."  The engineer contrasts this approach at Twitter with "capitalists" who "care about numbers or care about how to make the business more efficient." If true, it's all a perfect illustration of how the age of cheap credit has made it possible for companies to be highly valued even in the midst of senior employees who are essentially dead weight.  As debt costs rise, labor costs must fall in many cases. That makes employees who work a few hours a day ripe for trimming.  These companies are probably looking at more hits from the revenue side as well. David Zaslav, CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery this week warned that the advertising market is worse now than at any time during the pandemic slowdown of 2020.  Yet again, we find that as borrowing costs rise, companies have less money to spend elsewhere. Advertisers have reduced spending, and this has meant hits to the valuation of media companies like Warner Bros. Discovery. This extends to social media companies as well.  Years of Malinvestment The story of the last decade has in many cases been rising valuations for companies that often lose money, hire employees who barely work, and simply rake in the cash that yield-starved investors throw at them.  In other words, much of the tech sector has all the markings of a classic bubble and the effects of years of malinvestment. The lucky business owners and employees on the receiving end of malinvestment get to live high on the hog of cheap money with rising wages, luxurious offices, and never ending "growth." Workers and owners alike can then pat themselves on the back about how brilliant they all are. But much of it is an illusion and its existence depends largely on many years of central bank interventions designed to force down interest rates, prop up asset prices, and essentially print money to keep liquidity flowing unceasingly to firms via investors.  Yet, when price inflation finally forces the central bank to allow interest rates to rise again—as is now happening—the music stops, and it seems all the brilliant geniuses running tech companies weren't quite so efficient, profitable, or clever after all. Tyler Durden Fri, 11/18/2022 - 14:45.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytNov 18th, 2022

The Jobs That Make Americans Lie In Bed The Most

Morning routines are undoubtedly different from person to person, and there are hundreds of factors that influence the time we go to sleep, or we wake up, as well as the way we prepare for bed or the day ahead. New insights from sleep experts Best Mattress Brand reveal that one of these factors is […] Morning routines are undoubtedly different from person to person, and there are hundreds of factors that influence the time we go to sleep, or we wake up, as well as the way we prepare for bed or the day ahead. New insights from sleep experts Best Mattress Brand reveal that one of these factors is the job one does and more specifically the industry they work in, as well as their income and how happy they are with their jobs. 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 .af-body.af-standards 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 Our Activist Investing Case Study! Get the entire 10-part series on our in-depth study on activist investing in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or print it out to read anywhere! Sign up below! (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q3 2022 hedge fund letters, conferences and more   Average Number Of Minutes People Lie In Bed After The Alarm Sounds You might not be aware of this, but the industry you work with can and will be an influence on your need to lie in bed after the alarm sounds. Regardless of the times you need to be at work, you’re going to set an alarm depending on how long it takes you to get up, get ready and get to your workplace, and these times are often influenced by factors such as the stress one has to endure, the type of responsibility each person has and the way each one of us decides to face the day ahead. People with more “lightweight” jobs in industries like Arts, Entertainment and Recreation are the ones who stay in bed the most at 14 minutes, while those who stay in bed the least seems to be working in more manual jobs such as Transportation and Warehousing (8 minutes), Homemaker (8 minutes), Construction (7 minutes) and Manufacturing (7 minutes). Medical and Healthcare, Finance and Insurance and Technology all stand at an average of 11 minutes of lying-in bed after the alarm, while Government and Public Administration, Education and Wholesale and Retail workers take in average 10 minutes. Another factor that makes people lie in bed the most is the satisfaction towards their jobs, as those who are not less happy lie in bed the most (11 minutes), contrarily to those who are instead happy (9 minutes). However, this is not a rule, as while how happy you are with your job might affect how long you might want to stay in bed, that’s not the number one reason people decide to lay in a bit more. 40% of men and women said that the one factor that influences how long they stay in bed is the temperature of the room, followed by 34% who named lighting as the reason, weather (10%) and the mattress quality (8%). Average Number Of Minutes It Takes People To Get Ready In The Morning Another factor that can be influenced by the industry you work in is the time it takes you to get ready in the morning. This mostly depends on the environment one works in, as some jobs require more maintenance than others. Government and Public Administration workers take the longest to get ready (42 minutes), while those working in Transportation and Warehousing take the least (33 minutes). This can be explained by the nature of the two jobs, as people with public roles have most often a dress code they have to respect and their contact with the public means they need to carry themselves a certain way. A spokesperson for Best Mattress Brand has commented on the findings: “The data, which are the results from a survey conducted on 1,060 people, shows clearly that what you do for a living will influence your morning routine. And while these are not necessarily the number one reason for the way we act a certain way once awake, it is important to underline that to find similar patterns is very interesting, as it shines a light on the way our jobs are a huge part of our life even when we’re not a work.”.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkNov 17th, 2022

Retiring Soon? 8 Facts About Retirement You Need To Know

The U.S. has gone through several economic crises that put a lot of Americans into the gutter. While it’s been more than eighty years, the memories of The Great Depression are still vivid today. Indeed, it has taught most of us a tremendous and painful lesson that will always linger. But in the following decades, […] The U.S. has gone through several economic crises that put a lot of Americans into the gutter. While it’s been more than eighty years, the memories of The Great Depression are still vivid today. Indeed, it has taught most of us a tremendous and painful lesson that will always linger. But in the following decades, notable booms, bubbles, and crashes transpired. The dot-com bubble, The Real Estate Bubble, and The Great Recession are some examples. Now, the pandemic crisis and inflationary pressures are again testing policymakers. 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 .af-body.af-standards 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); Q3 2022 hedge fund letters, conferences and more   Find A Qualified Financial Advisor Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn't have to be hard. SmartAsset's free tool matches you with up to 3 fiduciary financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes. Each advisor has been vetted by SmartAsset and is held to a fiduciary standard to act in your best interests. If you're ready to be matched with local advisors that can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now. Unfortunately, American retirees tend to be the most vulnerable to economic crises because most are on a fixed income. For instance, older Americans comprised 25% of bankruptcies in 2009. The same trend was visible in 2020, as shown by a survey of OECD member countries. Studies have also shown that senior bankruptcies have increased five times in the last thirty years. This year, US retirees are again at risk as inflation reduces purchasing power and increases volatility in the stock market. The financial literacy of Americans has not been great. Many near-retirement adults were confident about their financial literacy before the pandemic, but disillusionment followed. The good news is that youth and adults alike are becoming more interested in personal finance education. Some turn to financial advisors to understand the value of retirement planning, retirement accounts, stocks, and insurance. But, their savings are still lagging behind the standard of living. The State of Retirement in America Over the past decade, the percentage of American retirees has risen. It could be due to the full recovery from The Global Financial Crisis. The economy was in excellent shape, with stable inflation, interest, and unemployment rates. However, the trend has become more parabolic in 2020. Many Americans stepped out of the labor force or were forced into retirement. Of the five-million labor force drop, 3.3 million were excess or early retirees, primarily due to business shutdowns. The trend in 2022 is the exact opposite of the movement in the last two years. Small business openings, digital transformation, and the easing of pandemic-related restrictions likely contributed to that. Earlier this year, the share of those retiring due to joblessness fell to 28.2%. For better or worse, the percentage of American retirees continues to decrease amidst inflationary pressures. Many Americans plan to delay or wait for the perfect time to retire. On average, the full retirement age in the US is 66 (up from 62 in 2002). Many of those nearing retirement age fear inflation may raise the prices of goods and services. Healthcare costs and long-term care may become more expensive, leading to more bank withdrawals and depletion of their retirement savings. Social security and retirement benefits may not be enough for their preferred lifestyle. In addition, the compounding interest rate hikes have increased the cost of borrowing. As a result, many feel that they have to work longer to grow their nest eggs. The retirement delay of many American seniors is likely evidence of inadequate financial capacity. Thirty percent of retirees have no retirement savings, and over 70% of retirees are in debt. As of 2022, 65% of retirees report moderate to high financial insecurity. In addition, 51% said their savings were low relative to the life expectancy in the US. Many Americans will likely have to make a massive adjustment in their living standards as they approach or enter retirement. However, the lack of savings is not solely caused by limited financial awareness. Other contributors are external, such as the pandemic crisis and natural calamities. It also doesn’t help that not all companies have employer-sponsored retirement savings plans. The survey says employers of 31% of retirees did not offer a 401(k), traditional IRA, or Roth IRA plan. Of the 67% that expressed regrets about their finances, 52% wished they knew better about investments and retirement savings. Despite these findings, it is not too late to build financial security. Let’s start by looking at some retirement facts; then, we’ll discuss how to best prepare for retirement. Top Retirement Facts You Ought To Know Most people look forward to their retirement. It means not having to set your alarm clock or commute to the office. You have the time to relax, play word unscrambling games, and do anything else you want to do. However, you need to be financially prepared if you want stability during economic volatility. Unless you have a business that will continue operating, you’ll have to rely on limited financial resources. That said, there are many things you must know (and prepare for) before retiring. Every half-year counts Putting aside as much money as early as possible is the best way to prepare for a smooth retirement – no matter how far off it may seem. Starting to save early is particularly important if you decide to retire earlier than the average retirement age. In the same Yahoo Finance survey, 45% of retirees said they regret waiting too long before saving for retirement. As you approach retirement age, a year narrows down into a half-year because many retirement regulations revolve around half-years. For instance, withdrawals from a traditional IRA or 401(k) may be subject to an early-withdrawal penalty unless you wait until you’re at least 59 ½ years old. Meanwhile, you may get the required distributions from IRAs and 401(k)s when you turn 70 1/2 years old. Retirement could last a long time The full retirement age in the US is 66 (or 67, depending on when you were born), while the average life expectancy is 79 years old. However, life expectancy may increase to 80-81 years old in the next few years. So, if you retire at 66, you still have an average of 13 years ahead of you. You should prepare for a retirement period of at least 20 years to ensure your savings will not run out. Prepare for emergencies Aside from meeting your daily needs for however long you have left, your savings should also cover emergencies. You may also need more than the bare minimum to sustain your preferred lifestyle as you age. In other words, you’ll want to pad your savings as much as possible to provide the financial stability you’ll need in your retirement years. There are many ways to prepare for retirement Opening a savings account is one way to save for retirement. As of 2022, 71% of Americans have savings accounts in banks. Yet, problems arose when inflation started to peak in early 2022. Due to rising prices, almost 70% of Americans depleted their savings at varying levels. Aside from a savings account, you may also open an individual retirement account or IRA. Additionally, you could take advantage of an employer-sponsored retirement savings plan if you are employed. Multiple vehicles are available for amassing retirement savings. The best one for you will depend on your financial status and personal goals. Whatever option you choose, committing to saving money is what matters most. The number of retirees spending on hospitalization is high As people get older, illness and hospitalization become pressing concerns. Americans aged 65 and older comprise the largest portion of hospitalizations. They are also more than twice as likely to get hospitalized than their younger counterparts, and hospitalization costs rise yearly. Aside from COVID-19, cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of hospitalizations. Statistics show that heart and blood conditions rank second in the leading causes of activity limitation. Over 30% of adults have high blood pressure, and it’s prevalent among Americans at 45-64 years old. As a result, health insurance premiums also rise as we age. As a result, many older adults face increased spending on their healthcare, so you need to plan for that. Medicare may not cover all healthcare costs Enrollment in Medicare is vital for those approaching 65. This federal health insurance program covers healthcare services for people 65 and above and permanently disabled people of any age. With Medicare, you typically pay much lower premiums than for private insurance. As of 2022, 62.6 million Americans, or 18% of the population, are Medicare enrollees. However, Medicare does not always cover the entire cost of healthcare. You may have out-of-pocket expenses or copayment, typically a fixed amount for specific services. Your copayment depends on a few factors, including your chosen Medicare plan. Additionally, healthcare costs can exceed the maximum amount that Medicare covers. Pre-pandemic, the average hospitalization cost was $285,000, meaning you could face staggering healthcare costs even with Medicare coverage. Additionally, you should know that Medicare does not cover some critical health needs of retirees. These include long-term care, dentures, and hearing aids. Since 70% of seniors need assisted living care, that could be a significant financial problem. The average cost of assisted living facilities is $4,500 per month. Unfortunately, Medicare does not cover any of it unless you have Medicare Advantage. Even then, it may only pay a portion of assisted living costs for a limited time. While Medicare covers many healthcare costs, it stops short of paying enrollees for long-term or custodial care. When planning your retirement, make sure you include the costs of all excluded medical and healthcare expenses under Medicare. Many retirees are still working The pandemic forced many elderly employees into early retirement. But as restrictions ease and inflation intensifies, many retirees returned to work. These include those who delayed their retirement and the 1.5 million early retirees who returned to the rat race. That is likely a significant factor for the Labor Force Participation Rate of those aged 55-64 rebounding to pre-pandemic levels. It may also be a good indication of how few Americans are ready for retirement. Relying on Social Security may be a mistake For many retirees, Social Security benefits are their primary source of income. The Social Security Administration reports about 65 million Social Security beneficiaries as of June 2022. Most of them are retirees and direct beneficiaries of retirees. However, these benefits may not be enough for many people. The average American household spends about $61,000 a year, roughly $5,000 a month. On the other hand, the average Social Security check will be $1,547.87 in 2022. Add the increased healthcare costs, inflation, and taxes, and the gap between what you need and what you get widens considerably. How To Prepare for Your Retirement While the facts above may paint a grim picture of retirement, there are many things you can do to prepare better for a stable retirement. Start saving and investing now The YOLO acronym – “you only live once” – has been widely used to justify taking risks and living impulsively. While it’s undoubtedly important to seize opportunities and make the most of our time on earth, we must also remember that we may live longer than expected. This is especially relevant when it comes to retirement planning. You can take advantage of compounded interest by saving and investing as early as you can. This powerful yet underused tool can help grow your wealth over time. In addition to the financial benefits, regularly saving money can also help improve your self-discipline. Saving is not always straightforward, especially when you’re not used to it. Yet, the urge to save intensifies over time as you see your money in the bank grow. Take advantage of company-sponsored retirement plans Company-sponsored retirement plans allow you to set aside money from each paycheck. Some employers even match your contributions up to a certain amount. This can be an excellent way to build a nest egg, so take advantage of it when offered. While there are many company-sponsored retirement plans, 401(k) and pension plans are the most common. A 401(k) plan lets employees contribute pretax dollars to a tax-deferred account. Pension plans, also known as defined-benefit plans, are funds set aside by employers based on a percentage of an employee’s average salary. These plans provide a guaranteed income stream in retirement. Purchase insurance As medical advances allow us to live longer, many are spending more time in retirement than ever. This often means we need to have a solid financial plan to maintain our lifestyle. One way to do this is by purchasing insurance. Insurance creates an extra layer of financial protection during unforeseen circumstances. It includes accidents, sicknesses, and natural calamities. When these happen, your savings and investments remain intact. Insurance can lower stress levels because you know you have a safety net if something happens. Typical insurance policies include life insurance, health insurance, annuity, and property and casualty (P&C) insurance. The number of Americans with insurance is over 300 million today. In addition, you can use insurance as a retirement planning tool. For example, some policies build up cash value over time you can use to supplement your income in retirement. Others offer death benefits to help our loved ones cover expenses if we pass away. As you head into retirement, carefully consider your insurance needs to ensure you have coverage that best meets those needs. By doing so, you can ensure you’re ready for whatever life may throw your way. Invest but stay liquid When it comes to retirement planning, people can use many different strategies. One approach is to invest in stocks, bonds, and real estate. These types of investments can potentially yield high returns, which can help build up retirement savings. However, a golden rule in investing is to commit only money you can afford to lose. In retirement planning, that means the disposable income you have not earmarked for your retirement savings. Always ensure you are liquid, meaning you have funds available immediately to cover any unexpected needs that might come up. Working with a fiduciary, CPA, or attorney can help you make informed investment choices for your retirement planning. When done correctly, investing can be an excellent way to secure your financial future. Keep your long-term goals in mind, and don’t take on more risk than you can afford. Study the usual needs of a retiree Many look forward to retirement as a time to relax and enjoy the fruits of their labor. However, retirement can quickly become a morass of financial stress without adequate preparation. To ensure your comfort, find out the specific needs of retirees. In addition to basic living expenses, you must also consider the costs of healthcare, assisted living, traveling, and leisure activities. It would help if you also created an estate plan to avoid legal and tax conflicts with your retirement income and savings. Learn More About Retirement Savings A reliable source of income is more important than ever before for seniors. The economy’s volatility has made it painfully clear that you can deplete wealth quickly. Strategic savings, investments, and insurance are essential to secure our financial security during times of need. Retirement planning can be complex, but you can achieve your desired retirement goals with proper research and financial strategies. Article by Chris Porteous, Due About the Author Chris Porteous is a growth marketer, helping freelancers and small businesses become financially independent. Previous to this, Chris worked at prestigious financial institutions including: Goldman Sachs, UBS Securities, Garrison Hill Capital Management and DBRS. He is a frequent contributor and has been featured in publications, including: Entrepreneur, Forbes, Inc, Zerohedge, Lifehack, and more. Fun fact, his previous company Our Paper Life (that was acquired), built the largest cardboard beach in the world......»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkNov 15th, 2022

The 5 best iPhones for every budget in 2022 and which ones not to buy

With eight models to choose from, we break down which iPhone is best for your wants and needs. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.The iPhone 14 Plus is the best iPhone for battery life, as it even beats the iPhone 14 Pro Max.Antonio Villas-Boas/InsiderAt last count, Apple makes eight different iPhone models, which makes choosing the right one quite the undertaking. From the entry-level iPhone SE to the top-of-the-line iPhone 14 Pro Max, picking the iPhone that's right for you depends on your needs when it comes to things like performance, features, size, and price.Our guide is based on my many years of reviewing iPhones. From the iPhone 6 to the latest iPhone 14 series, I've learned the pros and cons of each model, and which is best suited for a particular user. I also work with a team of seasoned tech reporters who have also contributed their experience to this guide.In addition to which iPhone we recommend, we also include buying advice as well as information on what to avoid.The best iPhones in 2022Best iPhone overall: iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro max, available at Apple, from $999Best iPhone for battery life: iPhone 14 Plus, available at Apple, from $799Best value iPhone: iPhone 13, available at Apple, from $599Best mid-range iPhone: iPhone 12, available at Apple, from $599Best budget iPhone: iPhone SE 2022, available at Apple, from $429Best iPhone overallApple's iPhone 14 Pro is the best iPhone overall, as it has significantly better value than the standard iPhone 14.Antonio Villas-Boas/InsideriPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro maxPros: Stunning 120Hz display, excellent battery life, Dynamic Island is more useful than the notchCons: Always-on display needs more options, still uses Lightning when everything else is USB-C, heavyDespite their higher price, the iPhone 14 Pro models have so many upgrades and features over the standard iPhone 14 that they actually pose better value, especially if you plan on holding on to your phone for the long run. If you upgrade every few years, you won't regret spending the extra $200 on the iPhone 14 Pro models for the 120Hz display, the 3x zoom lens, the excellent battery life, and perhaps most importantly, the latest A16 Bionic processor.Not to mention you're also adopting the latest in Apple's design and functionality features — the Dynamic Island and the always-on display. Those two features alone bring a modern vibe to the iPhone 14 Pro, whereas the iPhone 14 feels like, and largely is, a previous-generation model.Should you prefer a larger screen, the iPhone 14 Pro Max delivers exactly that for a $100 extra. It also offers even better battery life than the iPhone 14 Pro.The iPhone 14 is a repackaged iPhone 13 with Apple's new Crash Detection and SOS Emergency. Those are great features, and the iPhone 14 is a good phone, but the value just isn't there for the top spot in 2022 and into 2023.Read the full review of the iPhone 14 ProBest iPhone for battery lifeThe iPhone 14 Plus has the best battery life we’ve tested on any phone.Antonio Villas-Boas/InsideriPhone 14 PlusPros: Large screen for sub-$1,000 price, best battery life in any phone, easier and cheaper to repair back glass than previous iPhonesCons: Previous generation processor, antiquated 60Hz screenIf you're after the best battery life, the best option is usually a phone with a large screen. That meant buying the most expensive Pro Max models, but the iPhone 14 Plus changes that.While the regular iPhone 14 isn't especially impressive for its lackluster upgrades, the iPhone 14 Plus manages to feel like something newer. It's a big-screen iPhone the size of a Pro Max, but it costs under $1,000, it's lighter in weight, and it has incredible battery life. In fact, its battery lasted longer than the iPhone 14 Pro Max during testing, and we would recommend this over the Pro models if you don't value the advanced features.Otherwise, the iPhone 14 Plus is nearly the same as the iPhone 14. But, again, it's a big-screen iPhone option for $200 less than you usually have to pay for a big-screen iPhone with the best battery life, and those are two of the biggest criteria when searching for a phone.Best value iPhoneThe iPhone 13 is basically the new iPhone 14 with a $100 discount, and it poses the best value.Antonio Villas-Boas/InsideriPhone 13Pros: Basically a $100 discount on the iPhone 14, excellent cameras, excellent battery life, excellent performance Cons: Doesn't include new safety features in iPhone 14The iPhone 13 offers a unique proposition — it's the new iPhone 14, but $100 less expensive. It has the same processor, same design, same cameras, same screen as the iPhone 13.The iPhone 13 doesn't have Apple's Crash Detection or SOS Emergency safety features, which are meaningful features you might want to consider in the iPhone 14, even for $100 extra. You'll also get slightly better battery life in the iPhone 14, too, and marginal improvements in low-light photos. Overall, however, the iPhone 13 offers a 99.9% identical experience as the iPhone 14, and that's what I'd tell anyone on the street who asks me. It's basically a $100 discount on the latest iPhone. Read the full review of the iPhone 13Best mid-range iPhoneThe iPhone 12 offers great value if you're looking for something more modern than the iPhone SE.Lisa Eadicicco/Business InsideriPhone 12Pros: Processor is only one generation behind iPhone 14, excellent cameraCons: Battery life is only average compared to newer iPhonesThe iPhone 12 is an ideal option if you're not looking to spend as much as a brand new model, but you still want something with a more modern design and features than the iPhone SE that will also hold up for several years.The iPhone 12 offers the modern iPhone design, a 6.1-inch display, a dual-lens camera, FaceID, support for the fastest 5G networks, and support for MagSafe charging and accessories. It runs on Apple's A14 Bionic processor, which is still perfectly capable today and only one generation behind the latest iPhone 14. iPhone battery life started to become incredibly impressive with the iPhone 13 series, so you could justify spending $100 more on the iPhone 13's superior battery life, as the iPhone 12's is only average. Otherwise, you can think of the iPhone 12 as a premium iPhone that was a top model just two years ago. To get worthwhile, noticeable upgrades today, you'd need to buy the $1,000 iPhone 14 Pro, so $600 for the iPhone 12 is a bargain.  Read the full review of the iPhone 12Best budget iPhoneThe iPhone SE 2022 is the least expensive iPhone you can buy, but it looks ancient and has short battery life.Antonio Villas-Boas/InsideriPhone SE 2022Pros: Same performance as iPhone 14, small screen appeals to some, solid camera, Touch ID appeals to some, least expensive iPhoneCons: Short battery life compared to bigger models, antiquated design, small screen might not appeal, single cameraThe $430 2nd-generation iPhone SE released in 2022 is the least expensive iPhone you can buy. It's an excellent little inexpensive phone, but it comes with caveats.The iPhone SE is very top-heavy on performance — it runs on the same processor as the iPhone 14, so it has legs to last a long time. It's also an inexpensive entry into the Apple ecosystem for iMessage, FaceTime, Apple Watch, and AirPods.Some are also die-hard Touch ID fans, and the iPhone SE is the only recent model that still offers it.Including Touch ID, at least on the classic iPhone home button, has its drawbacks. The iPhone SE has a now-antiquated design that dates as far back to the iPhone 6 days from 2014 thanks to the huge borders above and below the screen. It's also the iPhone with the smallest screen available at 4.7-inches, which some people look for. Being a smaller phone, its battery life isn't the greatest — heavy users will find themselves charging it during the day, but moderate users should find it'll last a day. The iPhone SE has a decent camera, but its single-lens is limited compared to the dual lenses you'll find on more expensive iPhones. Still, for many, a single lens is all they need. Read the full review of the iPhone SE Avoid these iPhonesAt this stage, it's not worth buying an iPhone XS or older, even if you can find them for significantly cheaper than the iPhone 12 or iPhone 11.Hollis Johnson/Business InsiderI don't recommend buying the iPhone XS or any older model. You might find them refurbished for less than the iPhone 12, but you won't be getting your money's worth whatever the price, as they won't last very long in terms of performance or iOS updates for new features and security patches. If you're looking to spend under the iPhone 12's $600 price for a modern-looking iPhone, a refurbished iPhone 11 for around $300 or less can still be worthwhile.Is now a good time to buy?Tim Cook visits an Apple store in New York City on September 16.Kevin Mazur/Getty ImagesThe best time to buy an iPhone is the first few months after a new model has been released. That way, you have the full landscape of what's on offer and you can make the best decision on which iPhone is right for you — whether it's an existing model that gets a $100 price drop or the new model that comes with the upgrades you were looking for. Plus, the sooner you buy an iPhone after an announcement, the longer it's relevant. The worst time to buy an iPhone is right before Apple announces a new lineup. The company usually announces new models in September, so avoid buying an iPhone in September before the announcement, August, and even July if you can. New iPhones are just over the horizon at that point.  Should you upgrade to the iPhone 14?The iPhone 14 Plus is the best iPhone for battery life, as it even beats the iPhone 14 Pro Max.Antonio Villas-Boas/InsiderI can't tell you how to feel about your current iPhone, like whether it's still working fine for your needs or it's time for a replacement. But I can make a general suggestion to upgrade to the iPhone 14 based on your device's age.Overall, if you have an iPhone 11 series or older and feel it isn't performing as well as when you first bought it, you can justify an upgrade. Other reasons for trading up include features like improved cameras if you love photography, for example, or you want to make sure your phone gets the latest security updates.However, if its performance meets your standards, there's no reason you need to upgrade. Phones as old as the iPhone 6 still support current features like Apple Pay, but while usable, Apple will stop supporting older devices at some point. In that view, we recommend upgrading if you own one of those outdated phones (iPhone 6S or older, as of this writing).If you use an iPhone 12 or 13, unless you need to replace a damaged device, we don't think you need an upgrade. The performance will be on par with the iPhone 14 — the iPhone 14 is very much the iPhone 13 with some new safety features added. You can justify moving up to the iPhone 14 Pro models, which have better cameras, features, and processors, but even then, it's not a must.Best ways to buy a new iPhoneCarriers are offering the best trade-in value for iPhones these days.Sean Gallup/Getty ImagesThere are three main ways to buy an iPhone — through your phone carrier, through Apple itself, and through third-party retailer like Best Buy, Walmart, or Amazon.Phone carriers. These days, carriers like Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile have the best trade-in offers to reduce the price of your new phone. For example, you can get the iPhone 14 free when trading in an iPhone 13. And carriers generally offer more for your older iPhone than Apple. For example, Verizon will trade-in an iPhone X for $400 while Apple will only give you $130 for it. Carriers also offer even more incentives if you switch from another carrier.Apple: If you prefer your iPhones unlocked, you can buy an iPhone straight from Apple, where you can trade-in your old iPhone online or at a physical store to reduce the price of the new one. Just note that the trade-in amount depends on the condition of your old iPhone, and that the trade-in offers aren't as good as carriers. If you like having the new iPhone every year, Apple's upgrade program is worthwhile, as you get AppleCare Plus included.Third-party retailers: Third-party stores like Best Buy or Walmart don't tend to be great options. They're the most complex option to get a trade-in offer, and they're basically middle-men. You're better off going through your carrier or Apple. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 15th, 2022

Are Robots And AI Really Going To Displace All Workers? Probably Not

Are Robots And AI Really Going To Displace All Workers? Probably Not Authored by Robert Blumen via The Mises Institute, Among the components of the World Economic Forum’s Great Reset are a drastically reduced population and the replacement of human labor with robots and artificial intelligence (AI). The question immediately comes to mind: can robots and AI really make all the stuff for the elites after they have gotten rid of the people? Because a plan has been formulated and described does not mean that it is possible to realize. The plan may contradict laws of logic or reality, or assume the existence of resources that do not exist. Podcaster and journalist James Delingpole, speaking to investigative journalist Whitney Webb on October 23, 2021, discussed this topic with his guest. I have transcribed several minutes from their conversation, edited for concision: Webb: The fourth industrial revolution. One of the main pillars of that is automation and artificial intelligence. We’ve already seen that with corporate behemoths, like Amazon’s efforts to replace human workers with robots. Starbucks is piloting their AI barista with plans to have at least one in most if not all locations…. How long until humans are gone entirely? That’s in a retail setting. In the UK Tesco recently joined the cashier less checkout. It’s all done on your phone. You scan when you enter the store. Everything is tied to you, your unique digital identifier with the corporation. You can just walk out of the store. How convenient that you didn’t have to walk by a cashier at all. We’re going to see this happen in big ways in manufacturing. Chile is one of the biggest producers of copper in the world. In the northern part of Chile, the economy is driven by mining…. They are automating the mining here [in Chile]. Most of Chile’s middle class in the north work in the mining industry. They are about to all be cut out…. It’s infinitely more profitable for a corporation to make an initial investment in a robot or an AI algorithm than to continuously pay a worker. Not have to deal with sick pay. There are efforts all over the world to demand better worker benefits. Better hours. Robots are the ultimate worker for a lot of these people because they are not interested in the human equation of things. There is a move to a human-free future coupled with anti-human rhetoric. The substitution of machines for human labor is a process that has been going on since the first industrial revolution. A considerable amount of manufacturing is already done by robots. But does it matter if a machine is a robot or not? Telecommunications switches connect calls that used to be done by telephone operators. We do not identify these machines as robots (perhaps because they do not have a recognizable torso and limbs or perhaps because they perform their work on data rather than physical objects) but the impact on the demand for labor to perform those tasks is the same. Contrary to Webb, it is not “infinitely more profitable” for a corporation to use an AI-powered robot in place of a person. Profitability is a calculation that depends on the price of the robot, the productivity of the robot, the wages of the person and the productivity of the human worker. The substitution of capital for labor makes economic sense when the cost of the capital goods per unit value of output—including paying for the entire supply chain—is less than the wages of the person that is replaced. Yes, workers are paid wages. However, robots and other machines are themselves not free goods. They must be designed, tested, and maintained. They are made of many parts which must be manufactured and transported. The manufacturing process is performed by some combination of people and other machines. The parts are ultimately made from materials that are mostly mined or extracted from the earth, also by men and machines. Workers prefer better working conditions over worse. And for machines as well there are optimal working conditions. A truck that is driven on poor roads in bad weather will wear out or break down more quickly. Computers need a carefully tuned environment that is temperature and humidity controlled. Computer servers are housed in a complex capital good known as a “data center.” The wages that are required to hire the workers are determined on the labor market, by the various competing uses for each person’s skills. If the cost of the robot is less than the worker, that is only because their labor is more urgently demanded doing something else. There is a greater need for human labor somewhere else in the world. AI itself is not inexpensive. Building and running AI requires engineering effort and computing resources such as networks, servers, and storage. AI models are trained by data that must originate with the same human intelligence that the AI is trying to reproduce. If you want to train AI to recognize photographs of cats, someone must have taken the photographs and classified them as cats or “not cats” so that the AI can be validated. If the photos come from security cameras, someone must have installed the cameras. After the model is built it must be maintained. AI models do not run perfectly forever. They must be monitored for drift, and it requires a human to determine if the drift is due to an error in the ingestion of data, such as a change in units, or a true change in the customer preferences that the model is trying to extract. In the latter case, the model must be retrained on a new data set. Modern computer systems are built with some degree of self-diagnosing and self-repairing abilities. But the automation must punt all but the most straightforward cases into a call for help that brings a human into the process. Humans are necessary to diagnose problems and restore service when something has gone wrong. The manufacture of machines such as robots requires a complex structure of production with perhaps tens of thousands of individual parts. Each part must be designed—by a person—manufactured and integrated with the other parts. The integrations, including isolating manufacturing defects, must be tested, and debugged. Parts are transported by industries such as shipping and trucking. All of these steps involve combinations of labor and capital goods. It is true that people take sick days, however, machines break, wear out, and, and require repairs. The humans who repair the machines also have kids and take sick days. If you need to send the robot out for service, a mover will pack it up and load it on a truck. Self-driving cars? Maybe someday, but not any day soon. Robots and made out of metals, which are mined out of the ground. Mineral deposits are not straightforward to find, to delineate and to mine. The discovery and extraction of mineral resources is a tremendously high-intellect activity. A small number of exploration geologists—many with doctoral degrees in fields such as geology and geophysics—have discovered a disproportionate fraction of mineable mineral deposits. Without labor, where would the metals come from to build the robots? Someone like Webb might respond that robots will replace all of these functions as well. And some day, they might. However, the replacement of humans by machines for one task creates a need for labor—with different skills—to operate the machines. That is why we now have jobs for truckers, power plant operators, and machinists instead of wood cutters. If miners were replaced with robots—how much labor would be required to build the robots including the entire supply chain, transportation, and the energy used to run them? It’s hard to say but a fraction of the impact would be shifts in the type of employment. Has the substitution of capital for human labor over the centuries since the industrial revolution has reduced overall employment? Not so much. We have far more need for labor now because we have accumulated so much capital and require more labor to operate it. The human population has increased—in lockstep with the demand for human labor—because we are so much more productive with our enormous legacy of capital goods that we can support much more population. Replacing the most routine and repeatable human labor with machines creates demand for the currently irreplaceable types of labor: creativity and problem-solving skills. It is true that boundaries of what machines can do expands over time. For example, voice recognition, which used to be quite poor, now handles a range of accents much better. However, AI is still at a point where it can at best replicate human learning by observing many samples created by humans. But for anyone who has tried to change their airline ticket by talking to a chat bot, it is clear that AI is at present limited to a standardized set of tasks. As we can afford it, out of our accumulated savings, capitalists will continue to invest in robots and other forms of automation to replace workers. When this results in cost savings, that means more output at a lower cost, and a rising standard of living. As certain goods become cheaper to manufacture, workers can demand other, new and different goods and services, which feeds the indirect demand for labor in those industries. Tyler Durden Sat, 11/12/2022 - 21:20.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytNov 12th, 2022

Do Gold Prices Go Up In A Recession?

With the economy volatile, many Americans are wondering if they should turn to one of the oldest investments on earth: gold.  And the answer depends on your portfolio. But what about during a recession? Is gold still a wise choice? Many feel that gold, due to its historical value, is an investment safe for everyone […] With the economy volatile, many Americans are wondering if they should turn to one of the oldest investments on earth: gold.  And the answer depends on your portfolio. But what about during a recession? Is gold still a wise choice? Many feel that gold, due to its historical value, is an investment safe for everyone even with an economic downturn. Let’s find out. For help diversifying your portfolio with precious metals, consider working with a financial advisor for guidance. 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 .af-body.af-standards 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); Q3 2022 hedge fund letters, conferences and more   Find A Qualified Financial Advisor Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn't have to be hard. SmartAsset's free tool matches you with up to 3 fiduciary financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes. Each advisor has been vetted by SmartAsset and is held to a fiduciary standard to act in your best interests. If you're ready to be matched with local advisors that can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now. Why Is Gold Valuable? Gold’s value is a social construct, meaning its worth is all based on what value society places on it. Gold is valuable, because we all agree it should be and historically it always has been and in assumption always will be. Even with its lack of practical uses beyond the aesthetic, gold has been a valuable precious metal for centuries dating back to 550 B.C. Gold Price Correlations Gold has multiple drivers and factors that affect the price. However, not all of those drivers are direct correlations. The only two correlation that will definitely move the price up or down is supply and demand. Factors such as inflation and currency devaluation play their part, but even their base correlation rests with supply and demand. Supply: Gold is a finite resource, there will come a time when what’s available in the market will be all there is. However, what keeps the price somewhat affordable is the fact that gold, unlike oil, is not consumable. Any gold that was mined in the past is, for the most part, still in circulation whether in the open market or in someone’s jewelry box. Demand: Gold remains to be a status symbol as well as a monetary symbol. Demand fluctuates but will eventually outweigh supply. As inflation increases or the value of the U.S dollar fluctuates, the interest in purchasing gold typically fluctuates as well. This leads to a price change. Gold And the Recession Gold possesses its share of unique qualities that make it an attractive buy-in for many people. It has aesthetic appeal and a longstanding history, but it can’t strongly support the weight of a “recession-proof” label. Gold can be a benefit to your portfolio in low amounts, but trusting it as a bulk portion of your holdings can leave you vulnerable to risk with no reward. Do Gold Prices Go Up in a Recession? Traditionally yes, gold prices trend upwards when inflation brings the value of currency down. Gold performs inversely to market conditions in this way, but this is not always the case. Gold can be just as vulnerable as the stock market if investors choose to not seek it out. Again this is the product of something’s value being based largely on social perception and popularity. If we all woke up tomorrow and decided gold was worthless, the price would plummet. Common Misconceptions of Gold Gold has a long-standing reputation as a stable asset that can always be trusted to hold its value and hedge against volatile economic performances. But we would argue that its history and random value shifts don’t make it as consistent as you think. Here are three common misconceptions that the average investor should be aware of. When Inflation Rises So Does The Price of Gold: False Gold can still have poor performance during inflationary periods. In the 1980s for example, inflation rose around 6.5% yet gold prices did not increase. In fact, gold prices over that four-year period fell 10%. This took place again between 1988-1991 when gold prices dropped 7.6% during a 4.6% inflationary period. This isn’t to say that the price of gold typically doesn’t rise during inflation, only that it’s not a hard-set fact. Investors need the entire economic picture to make a decision about how gold will perform. Gold Always Works Well As A Hedge Against Inflation: False Gold has mixed reviews and a mixed track record to match. A great hedge against inflation is anything that is used to offset a drop in currency prices by providing stability. For example, residential real estate. Residential real estate holds its value and even gains value during market fluctuations primarily because the economy will always have a strong need for residential property. As discussed above, gold is neither a tool that can be put to use nor is it consumable. So unlike real estate which gains its value through persistent need/demand or oil which gains its value through being a consumable finite energy resource, gold is based on unstable attributes. The bottom line stands while gold has its virtues, it’s ultimately unreliable. Gold Is Always A Smart Option For Your Portfolio: False Gold, unlike real estate or stocks, is a “dead asset” — meaning it generates interest. Also, gold can be highly volatile, as we’ve discussed previously. These two qualities make it unfit in terms of “always” being a smart investment. For example, those trying to save and invest for retirement need a primarily stable portfolio with minimal risk and predictable returns. Gold’s cyclical performance makes it a poor choice in this instance. The Bottom Line Gold is not consistent enough to be a recession-proof asset. Gold can be used for diversification to round out a portfolio but only in calculated amounts. Thinking that gold can protect you every time a recession hits is an overly optimistic outlook. Tips for Investing A financial advisor can help you reach your investment goals. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now. Counter-cyclical assets are an incredibly important part of any portfolio. If you have everything invested in just one asset class, you set yourself up for poor market downturns. When assessing your portfolio, it’s important to understand the types of risk that you will face. The post Do Gold Prices Go Up In A Recession? appeared first on SmartAsset Blog......»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkNov 11th, 2022

A social-media coach booking 6 figures in annual revenue shares 5 ways entrepreneurs can organically grow their followers and increase income

Kar Brulhart booked six figures as a social-media coach last year. Here are five things she suggests to her small-business clients. Kar Brulhart, a social-media coach and expert.Courtesy of Brulhart Kar Brulhart has more than eight years of experience in social-media management. After losing her job at a wellness firm, she launched a social-media consultancy in January 2021. Entrepreneurs should focus on sharing a media mix including static, carousel, and video content. When COVID-19 hit the US, Kar Brulhart was working as the head of social media and partnerships at a wellness company. When the firm went under, Brulhart sought a new job that combined her passions for social media, public relations, and global growth. In January 2021, she launched an eponymous social-media-strategy agency and joined the 5.3 million Americans who started their own businesses that year, according to US Census Bureau data. Brulhart 's eight years in the industry have included work with the United Nations, Apple, and Michael Kors. Her company offers services like one-on-one coaching calls and courses that help small-business owners grow their social-media followings organically, without using any paid advertisements. As social media continues to be a lucrative business opportunity, Brulhart has no shortage of clients looking to build their profiles. She booked six figures in revenue in 2021, according to documents verified by Insider.Today, she works with clients on perfecting their content strategies and taking advantage of what the social media platforms offer, including new methods of monetization and understanding the algorithm.Brulhart spoke with Insider about what she'd learned over the past eight years and how small-business owners can organically grow their followings. Video remains important, but a media mix is best Video has been the No. 1 feature for small-business owners to focus on when looking to grow over the last few years. But today, a mix of media types is key, Brulhart said. "What's moving the needle for growth right now is a mix of content," Brulhart said, noting that Instagram Reel video engagement has dropped compared to past months. "What this means is that we're moving back to posting more static content, meaning images and carousels, in addition to Reels."What's more, including a mix of content allows entrepreneurs to tap into multiple different growth metrics: Reels tend to reach those who are not already following the account, while static images typically find more existing followers, Brulhart explained. In order to grow sustainably, it's important to tend to both existing and potential followers, she added.To be sure, videos are still a highly effective way to share a brand's ethos, aesthetics, messaging, and information, Brulhart said.Personality can have more weight than a big budgetIt's important to share brand messaging and personality with audiences today, especially with the saturation of users on social platforms, Brulhart said. Small-business owners that lack large budgets for marketing can still emerge successful by focusing on engaging social media campaigns, Brulhart added. But there are some tactics both small and large businesses should follow."Showing your personality, core values, and standing up for social issues are important in building brand messaging," Brulhart said, adding that small brands had owned these methods in the past.New ways to monetize content can create additional incomeBoth TikTok and Instagram have implemented tools to encourage users to stay on their platforms, Brulhart said.One way Instagram is encouraging users to prioritize its platform is by including new methods of monetizing content. For example, now creators can create subscription-based content where followers pay a monthly fee for access to exclusive posts, stories, or group chats. Small-business owners can utilize this by incentivizing their followers to join with discount codes, insider deals, or early access, Brulhart said.Specific analytics can guide your growthBrulhart.Courtesy of BrulhartAnalytics offer the clearest way to determine how to increase your content's reach and therefore your sales, Brulhart said. A company's goals dictate which analytics are the most important for a business owner to watch, she added."It's important to look at everything holistically and understand what each individual metric does," Brulhart said. "Engagement is a really important metric because it's the overall health metric of your account: If you have a high engagement, that signals to the algorithm that your content should be shown to a wider audience."However, engagement relies heavily on likes and that is not the only number you should pay attention to, she added. Instead, nonvanity metrics — such as click-through numbers (read: clicks on your email-address button or responses to your stories and direct messages) — can be more helpful in explaining the back end of a business, including where sales and customers are coming from. Reach, which compares your engagement numbers with the total number of post views, is another indicator of the success of your posts in regards to the algorithm, she said."Saves are a really important metric because they show you what type of content is being looked at as a reference point or being saved for later to inform a future purchase decision," said Brulhart. Being intentional with analytics research can help guide you toward what the platform's algorithm is pushing and what your followers are drawn to, Brulhart said. Instagram vs. TikTok for business growth  A post shared by Kar | IG EXPERT & COACH (@karbrulhart) TikTok has tons of users, but Instagram remains a strong social-media option for businesses, Brulhart said. For example, Instagram's "shoppable tags" allow brands to directly link a product post to an online store, which leads to direct sales, she said. "TikTok is fantastic. It's where the trends start," Brulhart said. "But when it comes to monetization, many business owners I work with are not making anything on TikTok." TikTok's algorithm often allows users to grow more rapidly. Additionally, their content is often pushed to a wider or more varied audience, she said. Given these differences, the decision of which app to use depends on your company goals: awareness or sales. Sometimes, a combination of the two is the best way to create a marketing strategy, she added.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytNov 11th, 2022

A social-media coach booking 6 figures in annual revenue shares 5 ways entrepreneurs can organically grow their followiners and increase income

Kar Brulhart booked six figures as a social-media coach last year. Here are five things she suggests to her small-business clients. Kar Brulhart, a social-media coach and expert.Courtesy of Brulhart Kar Brulhart has more than eight years of experience in social media management. After losing her job at a wellness firm, she launched a social-media consultancy in January 2021. Entrepreneurs interested in growing should focus on sharing a media mix including static, carousel, and video content When COVID-19 hit the US, Kar Brulhart was working as the head of social media and partnerships at a wellness company. When the firm went under, Brulhart sought a new job that combined her passions for social media, public relations, and global growth. The following January, she launched an eponymous social-media-strategy agency and joined the 5.3 million Americans who started their own businesses in 2021, according to US Census Bureau data. Brulhart 's eight years in the industry have included work with the United Nations, Apple, and Michael Kors. Her company offers services like one-on-one coaching calls and courses that help small-business owners grow their social-media followings organically, without using any paid advertisements. As social media continues to be a lucrative business opportunity, Brulhart has no shortage of clients looking to build their profiles. She booked six figures in revenue last year, according to documents verified by Insider.Today, she works with clients on perfecting their content strategies and taking advantage of what the social media platforms have to offer, including new methods of monetization, and understanding the algorithm. Brulhart spoke with Insider about what she'd learned over the past eight years and how small businesses could organically grow their followings. Video remains important, but a media mix is the best strategy for today's social environmentVideo has been the No. 1 feature for small businesses to focus on when looking to grow over the last few years. But today, a mix of media types is key, said Brulhart. "What's moving the needle for growth right now is a mix of content," Brulhart said, especially as Reel video engagement on Instagram has dropped compared to past months. "What this means is that we're moving back to posting more static content, meaning images and carousels, in addition to Reels."Having a media mix allows accounts to tap into multiple different growth metrics: Reels tend to reach those who are not already following the account, while static images tend to reach more existing followers, Brulhart explained. In order to grow sustainably, it's important to tend to both existing and potential followers, she added.To be sure, videos are still a highly effective way to share a brand's ethos, aesthetics, messaging, and information, Brulhart said.Personality can have more weight than a big budgetIt's important to share brand messaging and personality with audiences today, especially as social media continues to become more saturated, said Brulhart. Small businesses that lack large budgets for marketing can still emerge successful by focusing on engaging social media campaigns, Brulhart said. But there are some tactics both small and large businesses should follow."Showing your personality, core values, and standing up for social issues are important in building brand messaging," Brulhart said, adding that small brands had owned these methods in the past.New ways to monetize content can increase follower loyalty and create additional income streamsAs social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok continue to compete with each other, they're implementing tools to encourage users to stay on their platforms, Brulhart said.One way Instagram is encouraging users to prioritize the platform is by including new methods of monetizing content. For example, now creators can create subscription-based content where followers pay a monthly fee for access to exclusive posts, stories, or group chats. Small businesses can utilize this by incentivizing their followers to join with discount codes, insider deals, or early access, Brulhart said.Specific analytics can guide your growthBrulhart.Courtesy of BrulhartAnalytics offer the clearest way to determine how to increase your content's reach and therefore your sales, Brulhart said. A company's goals dictate which analytics are the most important for a business owner to watch, she added."It's important to look at everything holistically and understand what each individual metric does," Brulhart said. "Engagement is a really important metric because it's the overall health metric of your account: If you have a high engagement, that signals to the algorithm that your content should be shown to a wider audience."That being said, engagement relies heavily on likes, and that is not the only number you should pay attention to, she added. Instead, nonvanity metrics — such as click-through numbers (read: clicks on your email-address button or responses to your stories and direct messages) — can be more helpful in explaining the back end of a business, including where sales and customers are coming from. Reach, which compares your engagement numbers with the total number of post views, is another indicator of the success of your posts in regards to the algorithm, she said."Saves are a really important metric because they show you what type of content is being looked at as a reference point, or being saved for later to inform a future purchase decision," said Brulhart. Being intentional with analytics research can help guide you toward what the platform's algorithm is pushing and what your followers are drawn to, Brulhart said. Instagram vs. TikTok for business growth  A post shared by Kar | IG EXPERT & COACH (@karbrulhart) TikTok has tons of users, but Instagram remains a strong social-media option for businesses, Brulhart said. For example, Instagram's "shoppable tags" allow brands to directly link a product post to an online store, which leads to direct sales, she said. "TikTok is fantastic. It's where the trends start," Brulhart said. "But when it comes to monetization, many business owners I work with are not making anything on TikTok." TikTok's algorithm often allows users to grow more rapidly. Additionally, their content is often pushed to a wider or more varied audience, she said. Given these differences, the decision of which app to use depends on your company goals: awareness or sales. Sometimes, a combination of the two is the best way to create a marketing strategy, she added.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytNov 11th, 2022

Read the 2:30 a.m. email Elon Musk sent to staff, his first, announcing the end of remote working at Twitter

Elon Musk sent Twitter staff an email for the first time, putting an end to remote work and warning that "the road ahead is arduous." Elon Musk sent Twitter staff an email on Wednesday.Carina Johansen/Getty Images Elon Musk has put an end to remote working at Twitter. Musk emailed staff to tell them to return to the office for at least 40 hours a week. He also warned staff in the email that "the road ahead is arduous." Elon Musk on Wednesday announced the end of remote working at Twitter.Musk, who took over Twitter on October 27, sent an email to his employees for the first time on Wednesday. The email was sent  2:39 a.m. ET, according to a timestamp on the email reviewed by Insider.The billionaire wrote in the email that employees would no longer be permitted to work remotely. Twitter expected staff to be in the office for at least 40 hours a week unless Musk gave approval for them to work elsewhere, according to the email.Musk told Twitter employees "the road ahead is arduous and will require intense work to succeed."The Tesla and SpaceX CEO also wrote in the email that there was "no way to sugarcoat the message" about the current economic climate and its impact on Twitter, which depends on advertising.Twitter did not reply to Insider's request for comment made outside of normal working hours.Days after Musk finalized his deal with Twitter, employees noticed that the company's "days of rest," implemented by Twitter cofounder Jack Dorsey, had been removed from their calendars, sources told Insider. While Dorsey encouraged staff to avoid burnout, Musk's other companies such as SpaceX and Tesla are known to work long hours.The change in pace at Twitter is already apparent after a photo was posted on the social-media platform showing a manager sleeping on the floor at its San Francisco headquarters last week.Bloomberg reported on the letter earlier.Read the full email that Musk sent to employees:Sorry that this is my first email to the whole company, but there is no way to sugarcoat the message.Frankly, the economic picture ahead is dire, especially for a company like ours that is so dependent on advertising in a challenging economic climate. Moreover, 70% of our advertising is brand, rather than specific performance, which makes us doubly vulnerable!That is why the priority over the past ten days has been to develop and launch Twitter Blue Verified subscriptions (huge props to the team!). Without significant subscription revenue, there is a good chance Twitter will not survive the upcoming economic downturn. We need roughly half of our revenue to be subscription.Of course, we will still then be significantly reliant on advertising, so I am spending time with our sales & partnerships teams to ensure that Twitter continues to be appealing to advertisers. This is the Spaces discussion that Robin, Yoel and I hosted today:Links to Twitter Spaces recording called "Elon Q&A: Advertising & the Future.The road ahead is arduous and will require intense work to succeed. We are also changing Twitter policy such that remote work is no longer allowed, unless you have a specific exception. Managers will send the exceptions lists to me for review an approval.Starting tomorrow (Thursday), everyone is required to be in the office for a minimum of 40 hours per week. Obviously, if you are physically unable to travel to an office or have a critical personal obligation, then your absence is understandable.I look forward to working with you to take Twitter to a whole new level. The potential is truly incredible!Thanks,ElonRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 10th, 2022

Elon Musk ends remote working at Twitter and orders staff back to the office for at least 40 hours a week

Elon Musk sent Twitter staff an email for the first time, putting an end to remote work and warning of "difficult times ahead," per Bloomberg. Elon Musk sent Twitter staff an email on Wednesday, per Bloomberg.Carina Johansen/Getty Images Elon Musk has put an end to remote working at Twitter, per Bloomberg. Musk emailed staff to tell them to return to the office for at least 40 hours a week. He also warned staff of "difficult times ahead" in the email. Elon Musk on Wednesday announced the end of remote working at Twitter, Bloomberg reported.Musk, who took over Twitter on October 27, sent an email to his employees for the first time on Wednesday, according to Bloomberg, which reviewed the email.The billionaire wrote in the email that employees would no longer be permitted to work remotely. Twitter expected staff to be in the office for at least 40 hours a week, unless Musk gave approval for them to work elsewhere, according to the email.Musk was preparing Twitter employees for "difficult times ahead," per Bloomberg.Twitter did not reply to Insider's request for comment made outside of normal working hours.The Tesla and SpaceX CEO also wrote in the email that there was "no way to sugarcoat the message" about the current economic climate and what the impact of this would be on Twitter which depends on advertising.Days after Musk finalized his deal with Twitter, employees noticed that the company's "days of rest," implemented by Twitter cofounder Jack Dorsey, had been removed from their calendars, sources told Insider. While Dorsey encouraged staff to avoid burnout, Musk's other companies such as SpaceX and Tesla are known to work long hours.The change in pace at Twitter has already been shown after a photo was posted on the social media platform, showing a manager sleeping on the floor at the company's San Francisco headquarters last week.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytNov 10th, 2022

Musk Tries to Calm Advertisers on Twitter After His Chaotic Takeover

Musk said that some “dumb things” might happen on his way to creating a better, safer user experience. Elon Musk sought to reassure big companies that advertise on Twitter on Wednesday that his chaotic takeover of the social media platform won’t harm their brands, acknowledging that some “dumb things” might happen on his way to creating what he says will be a better, safer user experience. The latest erratic move on the minds of major advertisers who the company depends on for revenue was Musk’s decision to abolish a new “official” label on high-profile Twitter accounts just hours after introducing it. Twitter began adding the gray labels to some prominent accounts Wednesday, including brands like Coca-Cola, Nike and Apple, to indicate that they are authentic. A few hours later, the labels started disappearing. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] “Apart from being an aesthetic nightmare when looking at the Twitter feed, it was another way of creating a two-class system,” the billionaire Tesla CEO told advertisers in a conversation broadcast live on Twitter. “It wasn’t addressing the core problem.” Musk’s comments were his most expansive about Twitter’s future since he closed a $44 billion deal to buy the company late last month. Read More: What We Know—and Don’t Know—About Elon Musk’s Ever-Changing Verification Plans The rollout hours earlier of the “official” labels appeared arbitrary, with some politicians, news outlets and well-known personalities getting the label and others not. Musk seemed to acknowledge the confusion and embraced his role as “Twitter Complaint Hotline Operator” as he invited users to send him complaints. Media sites like The Associated Press, The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal received an official designation, as did most major corporate brands. And then they were gone. Before they disappeared, the labels were causing confusion. For instance, users in London could see an “official” label attached to a BBC News account, but the label didn’t show up for users in the U.S. YouTube personality and author John Green jokingly noted that he got the label, but his younger brother and “vlogging” partner Hank Green didn’t make the cut. But then John Green’s label was gone, too. Another popular YouTuber, Marques Brownlee, who posts videos on technology, tweeted he got the label, then tweeted again that it disappeared, which attracted the attention of Musk himself. “I just killed it,” Musk responded, though at first it wasn’t clear if he was referring specifically to Brownlee’s label or the entire project. The site’s current system of using what are known as “blue checks” confirming an account’s authenticity will soon go away for those who don’t pay a monthly fee. The checkmarks will be available at a yet-to-be-announced date for anyone willing to pay a $7.99-a-month subscription, which will also include some bonus features, such as fewer ads and the ability to have tweets given greater visibility than those coming from non-subscribers. The platform’s current verification system has been in place since 2009 and was created to ensure high-profile and public-facing accounts are who they say they are. Experts have expressed concern that making the checkmark available to anyone for a fee could lead to impersonations and the spreading of misinformation and scams. The gray label — a color that tends to blend into the background whether you use light or dark mode to scroll Twitter — was an apparent compromise. But it was expected to lead to more confusion, as Twitter users accustomed to the blue check as a mark of authenticity would now have to look for the less obvious “official” designation. Esther Crawford, a Twitter employee who has been working on the verification overhaul, had said Tuesday on Twitter that the “official” label would be added to “select accounts” when the new system launches. “Not all previously verified accounts will get the ‘Official’ label and the label is not available for purchase,” said Crawford, who recently was the subject of a viral photo showing her sleeping on the floor of a Twitter office while working to meet Musk’s deadlines. Crawford said those receiving the label would include government accounts, commercial companies, business partners, major media outlets, publishers and some public figures. But after the labels started disappearing Wednesday, she again took to Twitter to say “there are no sacred cows in product at Twitter anymore.” “Elon is willing to try lots of things — many will fail, some will succeed,” she said. “The goal is to find the right mix of successful changes to ensure the long-term health and growth of the business.” There are about 423,000 verified accounts under the outgoing system. Many of those belong to celebrities, businesses and politicians, as well as media outlets. But a large chunk of verified accounts belong to individual journalists, some with tiny followings at local newspapers and news sites around the world. The idea was to verify reporters so their identities couldn’t be used to push false information on Twitter. ——- AP Business Writer Mae Anderson contributed to this report......»»

Category: topSource: timeNov 9th, 2022

I"m an entrepreneur who took a 3-month sabbatical. Here"s how I set up my business to run itself while I was gone.

Ellen Wong is a naturopathic doctor who hired help, anticipated legal changes, and scheduled social posts to go up while she was away this summer. Ellen Wong.Courtesy of Ellen Wong Ellen Wong is a naturopathic doctor with her own practice in Toronto, Ontario. Before taking a three-month sabbatical this year, she took many steps to prepare her business. She hired help to cover for her, anticipated legal challenges, and prepared social-media content. With the Great Resignation, the backlash of the Great Regret, and the momentum-gaining "quiet quitting," employees are seeking ways to manage work-life boundaries and protect themselves from burning out.But small-business owners and entrepreneurs face a different dilemma — how do you "quiet quit" when you're running your own business and your livelihood depends on it?Rather than closing down or quitting, it may be better to take a break. I'm a naturopathic doctor with my own practice in Toronto, Ontario, who's been practicing for more than a decade, and taking an "entrepreneurial sabbatical" has given me the time I've needed to reflect on my trajectory, improve my mental well-being, and create the space I needed to feel happier and at peace again.There's a risk of losing current or new clients in the process, but I decided if I continued down the path toward burnout, my inability to provide the type of care and service to my customers would also result in the loss of clients, and maybe worse, my entire business.There's a systematic approach to preparing for a sabbatical. Putting the necessary components in place means a guilt-free experience, no customer backlash, and the ability to keep your business running — or even growing — while enjoying a much-needed break.TimeYou first need to decide how much time you want to take off. Ask yourself how long you want to be on vacation, but don't get into the weeds of how that can happen yet. Once you have an answer, if you can, double it, because the answer you first land on is probably the minimum. Doubling it is probably closer to what you want and what your body actually needs.The longest vacation I'd ever taken before my sabbatical was five weeks for my honeymoon. I remember coming home from that feeling rejuvenated, excited, and rested. I was also able to do a lot of pondering and planning for the future during that time.Reflecting on that time away, I knew that I wanted my sabbatical to be at least five weeks. This time though, I had to account for the fact that I'm more tired than I was back then and I have a toddler (who will inevitably require my attention, which means less pondering time for me). I doubled the time and rounded it up to three months, planning to start my sabbatical in July 2022 and go back to work in October.FinancesNext, consider your budget. Based on how much time you want to take off, decide if you need to hire an additional contractor or increase the hours of someone on your team. I decided I needed to hire an assistant.Consider the minimum expenses to cover your business operations. These include contractors, employees, or services (email automation, subscriptions, etc). You'll also need to take into account your living expenses during the time that you're off. I recommend adding a little extra buffer, so you can outsource or delegate if something comes up.Your product or serviceGet clear on what services or products can continue to be provided while you're gone, and by whom. For example, if you run a coaching program, can you bring in guest speakers? If you have a physical product, can you outsource your fulfillment process? If you provide a service, can you set up an agreement with a trusted member of your field whom you can send your clients to?For existing customers, I reached out to colleagues and asked if they would be willing to take on a patient if needed. I also communicated with patients and clients directly so they knew what to expect and whom to contact. Clearly communicate to your current customers whom they can contact for support.LegalitiesIf you're a regulated service provider, check with your regulatory board for steps that have to be taken before and when you return from a sabbatical. For me, I had to ensure continuity of care, which meant that my patients needed to know either how to get a hold of me if needed or someone they could reach out to who would have access to their medical information and be able to provide a similar level of care.Consider anything else that needs your attention during the time you'll be gone, such as renewing contracts. If possible, take care of these before you leave.Sales and marketingYou can still generate leads and even convert prospects on sabbatical. Continue running ads and posting on social media. Use scheduling platforms like Facebook's Creator Studio or hire a social-media manager. Yes, your engagement may dip — mine dropped by about 30% — but being active is better than not posting at all.Once I got back to work, I dedicated a bit more time to social media and things went back to normal fairly quickly. Make sure your lead-generation and nurture funnel are created. You can even set up and automate a "return to work" promotion before you leave.Systems and operationsFor many entrepreneurs and small-business owners, this can be the most limiting factor. Many of the operational aspects of your business might be living inside your mind. Going on a sabbatical is a great opportunity to outline and clean these up.When hiring additional help prior to my sabbatical, I dedicated time to standardizing (identifying key tasks and creating standard operating procedures, or SOPs) and systemizing (how often and when the SOPs need to be acted upon) my business.One of the first tasks for my new assistant was to go through videos I recorded about my business operations and turn them into SOPs. Transcription software like Descript can be used to extract the content out of videos. My assistant and I also worked through areas she didn't understand or felt could be improved. It meant that when I returned from my sabbatical, I had an even more efficient business than before I left.In the 3 months of my sabbatical, I freed up mental space to do 'big picture thinking' about my business and the direction I wanted to take itThe biggest benefit in taking a sabbatical is that you'll get clarity around certain areas of your business and identify ones that can be improved, delegated, or outsourced.It's really hard to work on your business if you're always working in your business. Spending extended quality time with my daughter and husband was a game-changer for my mental health and sense of happiness.The spark to go back to work has returned — this time with fresh perspectives and a renewed sense of energy and purpose. I'd chosen to go back to work at the same intensity as I did before and wasn't fully prepared for how fast I needed to get back into things. In hindsight, it might've been a better transition if I had chosen to take 10 weeks fully off, then eased back in slowly for two weeks.Because the large majority of my business income comes from one-to-one patient care, I generated significantly less income while I was away. However, because I had a self-directed online program available, the income generated from that was enough to cover the business expenses.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytNov 9th, 2022

Corporate ‘Greenwashing’ Must End if World Hopes To Meet Climate Goals, U.N. Warns

A new U.N. report is a sharp rebuke to companies that claim to be tackling climate change without doing the actual work. Over the last few years, corporate executives and investors have enthusiastically jumped into the fight to address climate change with hundreds of the world’s largest companies committing themselves to eliminating their carbon footprints by the middle of the century—a goal known as net zero. That enthusiasm is now on display at COP27, this year’s U.N. climate summit, where executives from some of the world’s largest and most influential companies have gathered in the resort town of Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt to tout their progress and engage with delegates from around the world. What these corporate commitments mean depends on who you ask. To some, it represents the most significant advance toward putting the world on track to slow global warming; to others, it’s a whole bunch of greenwashing that amounts to little more than a press release. Into this debate comes a highly-anticipated new report released Tuesday at COP27 that outlines best practices for companies that say they are committed to net zero. The report, released by a commission convened by U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres, offers a sharp rebuke to companies that claim to be tackling climate change without doing the actual work. It also offers 10 pointed recommendations about a path forward for corporations and other “non-state actors” like cities and investors. “If you’re saying to the world, ‘I am net zero,’ then there is a price of admission,” says commission chair Catherine McKenna, a former Canadian Minister of Environment and Climate Change. “You need to walk the talk, you need to deliver on it.” [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] Delivering on net zero requires a range of different practices, the report says. Companies need to put clear plans in place—short, medium, and long term—that show they actually have a pathway toward it They should focus on reducing their own emissions as much as possible and limit buying carbon credits to offset their emissions. They need to address their entire value chain, meaning they need to look at their own supply chain as well as how their products are used. All three of those practices address common shortcomings of existing corporate net zero commitments. The report also offers particularly pointed recommendations for the energy industry’s climate commitments: companies need to stop investing in new fossil fuel supply if they want to claim they are committed to net zero emissions. Many oil and gas companies have said they are working toward eliminating their carbon footprint while focusing on so-called carbon intensity targets, meaning they want to reduce how much carbon is generated by digging up the fossil fuels. “The planet doesn’t care about intensity,” says McKenna. “It’s an important measure, but it cares about actual reductions.” One area that’s likely to make waves is the report’s call for companies to use their lobbying influence to push for climate-related rules and regulations. Many of the world’s biggest corporations—think of Walmart, Apple, and other giants—have made significant strides to address climate change themselves, but have faced criticism for not matching that record in the halls of Congress. The Inflation Reduction Act, the Biden Administration’s landmark climate bill, received limited corporate support, for example. The willingness of the working group—known formally as the High-Level Expert Group on the Net-Zero Emissions Commitments of Non-State Entities—to call out the long list of questionable practices that have taken hold around net zero won quick praise from activists. Tzeporah Berman, an activist pushing for a treaty to stop new fossil fuels, praised the report for its “courage.” Indeed, the report will provide activists with a clear and credible benchmark to hold corporations to account. Activists aren’t the only ones who have awaited the report with anticipation. Corporate leaders engaged on climate have followed the commission closely as it worked throughout the year. Its anticipated findings have been a topic of much speculation and discussion. Time will tell whether non-state actors embrace the rules of the road laid out in the report. And it’s no small question: getting clarity on corporate commitments will shape policies, politics, and economies—not to mention our future climate......»»

Category: topSource: timeNov 8th, 2022