Advertisements


James Gorman: The Fed’s Got A Ways To Go

Following is the unofficial transcript of a CNBC exclusive interview with Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) Chairman & CEO James Gorman on CNBC’s “Mad Money” (M-F, 6PM-7PM ET) today, Thursday, September 29. Interview With Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman Part I JIM CRAMER: Ever since James Gorman took over in 2010, Morgan Stanley’s stock is up more […] Following is the unofficial transcript of a CNBC exclusive interview with Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) Chairman & CEO James Gorman on CNBC’s “Mad Money” (M-F, 6PM-7PM ET) today, Thursday, September 29. Interview With Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman Part I JIM CRAMER: Ever since James Gorman took over in 2010, Morgan Stanley’s stock is up more than any of the other major banks. More importantly, Gorman knows the industry better than anyone and that’s why I’m so thrilled to speak with James Gorman, the Chairman and CEO of Morgan Stanley to get a better sense of this moment. Mr. Gorman, welcome to “Mad Money.” 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); Q2 2022 hedge fund letters, conferences and more   JAMES GORMAN: Hey Jim, great to be here. Thank you. CRAMER: I cannot think of someone I want more on this show than you right now James not because I want hand holding. But I'd like rationality. You lived through bull and bear markets. A lot of people feel this bear market will never end. What's your historical perspective? GORMAN: Well, firstly, I've seen a lot of markets. I think you have to look at what drives the change in sentiment. And to me, I'm just not surprised. What do we expect? We've got a war in the Ukraine. We've got inflation at the highest we've had for 40 years, we've got the Fed moving aggressively on rates having done nothing for 10 years. Rates have been zero. The market is awash with money. What did we expect? So you've had the bubbles that have been out there, the SPACs, the cryptos and so some of them are getting washed out. So it's not totally surprising where we are. That's where I start from. CRAMER: If that's the case then we hear the Fed talking tough, it should talk tough and it should take tough action. GORMAN: Listen, you can't have free money forever. Of course, you you'll end up with an imbalance. I mean, it's all about GDP growth and interest rates and the Fed tries to moderate that about I think half the times that they've tightened in the last 30, 40 years, they've overshot a little bit. But half the times they haven't so we're in we're in that zone and everybody obviously is making the bet whether they've overshooting gonna push us into a serious recession, whether we're going to have a mild recession, whether we're going to have a soft landing, or we're going to get perfection, and that remains to be seen. CRAMER: And what does James think? I like your view. You know more than almost everybody I speak to you. GORMAN: Yeah, well, I think I think it's unlikely that we're gonna have a hard landing at this point. I think the Fed will keep pushing. I mean, we're, we're at a little over 3% now. They'll probably end up at you know, 4.5, 4.75%. Listen, we’re totally in between inflation, unemployment and rates. And my sort of nirvana scenario for now would be 4, 4 and 4. Get inflation back to 4%, bring rates up to 4% and have unemployment which is slightly below four. It'll tick up a little bit. That’s nirvana. We probably won't get that. But I don't I don't think I don't see yet enough to tell me this is a real crisis. Geopolitical issues aside, that could tip things very differently. Obviously, if I'm wrong about the Fed’s ability to tame inflation, that tips things differently. So there, there are reasons to be concerned. Clearly, the market is not stupid. The market reflects that. So we've got to respect the market. But and we've got an inverted yield curve at the moment. So there's a lot going on. But I personally am not seeing the sort of very dark crisis we've seen through my career. CRAMER: Well, that's really important because I’ve studied your career and I recognize that if you felt that it wasn't worth staying the course, you would actually say it. You would say, you know what, Jim? It's actually not a bad idea to sell a lot of stock here. I'm not hearing that. GORMAN: And I'll also tell you, I’ve watched the behavior. We're dealing with 15 million clients through their places of work, through E*TRADE platform, which I'm sure we'll talk about, through our wealth management advisors, we're managing over $4 trillion. And with our asset management business, wealth and asset together, nearly 6 trillion. I'm not seeing panic in there. This is not ’87, it's not even ’91. It's not the dotcom crash, and it's certainly not the financial crisis. That doesn't mean it can't become one of those, but it's not there yet and behavior supports that. CRAMER: Well, we are going to talk about how you have really revolutionized the firm in a way that, you know, I'm, I think you’re the best at but before we get to that, it sounds like to me that if we don't get nirvana, even if we don't get nirvana. We're still not in a situation like a 2007, 2009 where Morgan Stanley was, you know, 11, 10, 9 and I was concerned about the viability of a lot of the firms. That's not going to happen. GORMAN: Well, there are two things that are very, very different from frankly, all those crisis periods I've talked about. The first is the bank's capital and balance sheet. These, the US banks and okay, I'm talking my own book but on behalf of our peers, the G-SIBs, the globally systemic banks are in the best shape financially they've been in in decades as a group, different business model issues, etc. But as a group from a capital liquidity perspective going into a crisis, you want your financial system and you want your call backs, banks to be strong and they are. Secondly, consumers, they refinance a lot of their mortgages. They had the luxury of very low rates for a long time, they saved during Covid, consumers coming into this with their personal balance sheet better. Those two things are very different from some of the other periods we've had the last 20 years. CRAMER: Now, what are you looking for to see that perhaps the Fed might be done? What has to happen? Does unemployment have to go to five? I mean you talk about 4, 4, 4 but when I listened to Loretta Mester today, very important Fed member. I felt like that a lot of the work that we've done toward slowing inflation really didn't mean much then that they're not happy at all with how this economy but wages are too high. Homes are too high. They're not happy with how they are cooling things. GORMAN: Well listen the Fed’s got a ways to go. I mean, we might have another 75. We're about you know, again, a house caller is 75 followed by 50 followed by 50. I felt for a long time the Fed was very late. I said I'd be like a squirrel. I like putting a few nuts away because you never know when you're going to need them. Right so we didn't do that. Covid obviously delayed that, the Ukrainian, Russian Ukrainian war delayed that. There are reasons why the Fed didn't act so I understand it, you know, I accept it. But now they've got to move aggressively. So they're, in my view, going to be less concerned about whether we tip into a mild recession than they are about taming inflation, which if they don't, creates all sorts of havoc. CRAMER: All right, well, what we're doing when we come back, we'll talk about your amazing wealth advisory business, what you're telling people and how you've reinvented the firm, because I can tell you that you're the largest financial wheel in my trust and there's a reason because of your leadership. GORMAN: Thank you. CRAMER: “Mad Money” will be back after the break with James Gorman, CEO of Morgan Stanley. Part II CRAMER: We’re back with James Gorman. He's the Chairman and CEO of Morgan Stanley, the investment bank I like so much that I own it for my charitable trust. Let's get right back to it. James, you have reinvented this firm. I remember the Morgan Stanley that I applied to was kind of, let's say a trade ‘em wamma jamma firm. Your company is now the premiere wealth advisor company in the world. How were you able to do that? GORMAN: Well, what firstly, we had a view. You got to start with a point of view and the view was that a separate trading banking business on its own was much less attractive because of its volatility to investors. So we needed some annuitize fee business. We had it in the old Dean Witter business and a smaller asset management, but they weren't at scale. So the view was is we knew what the answer was, but we had to get to scale. So we bought Smith Barney back in 2009. We bought E*TRADE, we bought Solium, we bought Eaton Vance, we bought Mesa West. All of these were building blocks to get us to scale so it was it was actually very simple concept. Executing it required, you know, we had to we had to make some calls and some people thought we overpaid for some of those assets. I don't think so anymore. CRAMER: But they're these are assets that are sticky. GORMAN: Yeah. CRAMER: And they go up, up, up. The old days, you were what I regard as an episodic firm. Those days are now past. GORMAN: Well, I think it's all about stability. I mean, if you look at the wealth businesses, which generate, you know, roughly $6 billion a quarter for the last couple of years, look at those businesses, they they don't move very much in their daily numbers. I mean, plus or minus 5 million on 100 million, so incredibly stable, sticky, but also stable when you've got them and we love that. But then you've got the investment bank, which is like a turbocharger. When the markets are good, the bank is doing phenomenally. CRAMER: But at the same time, people all lump these together. They say you have investment banking, investment banks doing poorly, so why don't we just sell the stock down? It's not any different from the way it used to be. That's just not a fair characterization. GORMAN: Well, it's honestly just not looking at the numbers. I mean, some people have looked at and said because of the investment banking market and capital markets market at the moment, which is tough, right? Because of that, these stocks are much less attractive. I say, seriously? Take a look at what percentage of the revenues that we're we have that are tied up in those kinds of activities that are depressed right now. By the way, they're delayed, they're not shut down. CRAMER: Right. GORMAN: They're gonna happen, companies will go public, deals will get done. So I'm not concerned about at all. I think, you know, where the stock is trading in this environment obviously I feel very good about what we're doing. CRAMER: Well obviously because you've been buying back more stock than anybody else and you've been returning nice dividend. You've got the best in the group. GORMAN: And we're retiring, we’ll retire, you know, 6, 7% of the stock this year, and we've got a dividend yield of 3.5%. So shareholders are getting a nine plus percent return without getting out of bed. It's not bad, right? So I feel very good about the position. We should bring the share count down. We started after the E*TRADE around 2 billion shares outstanding. And, you know, then you're paying smaller dividends because you're not paying dividends on the shares you retire. CRAMER: Now, there was a time when if you told me that Morgan Stanley was going to own E*TRADE, I said I would say are you kidding me? But it turns out that the wealth is in Solium and E*TRADE, that's where it starts. You are going for the long haul. These are people who if they say well, we'll become the premium wealth clients for the next 20 years. GORMAN: Well and just give a call out to E*TRADE, they just got rated the number one online brokerage business yesterday just which is great. Now listen, we we owned the financial advisor piece. Second leg, we needed to own the direct piece Schwab Ameritrade phenomenal companies Fidelity we needed to be in there we could build it or we could buy it. We bought a E*TRADE. Third leg, we want to own or at least be one of the top two competitors in the workplace with Fidelity and through Solium and E*TRADE. We’ve got that so we're now managing something like 30, 35% of S&P stock plans in this country. So if you've got all three legs, you're getting people through advisors, you're getting them through trading online, and you're getting them through their workplace, you can provide incredible capability to them because you're amortizing it across a huge, fixed costs based on revenues. CRAMER: Now, you're not getting away entirely from risk. We know it's difficult. I know you can't talk about any individual clients but you've got a big one, Elon Musk, and he may end up owning Twitter. And you could be on the hook for that. Is that true or not? GORMAN: Well, I think you said it. I can't talk about it, Jim. CRAMER: But we don't want you on the hook. The shareholder doesn’t want you on the hook. GORMAN: Do I look distressed right now. CRAMER: No. GORMAN: Okay, that's all I’ll say. We'll see how this plays out. CRAMER: Well, I like, I like that attitude. Now if you were with your wealthiest clients, what do you say that's different from the clients who aren't that wealthy, who want to be wealthy. GORMAN: Well, the clients who aren’t wealthy should you know what I've been worried about the last few years is the number of people who have been speculating in crypto, but, you know, it's fine if you bought it at 600 and it’s and it’s at 20— CRAMER: But do you believe in it? GORMAN: People are buying, listen, I think it's it's an asset. It's a speculative asset by definition. I don't think it's a new form of stored value. I think it's subject to a lot of regulatory risk— CRAMER: Do you own any? GORMAN: No, I don't own any. I wish I bought it at $60— CRAMER: Of course we all do. GORMAN: But I didn't buy it at 60,000 so what I've been worried about and what I've seen a lot of individual investors is that they got caught up in the hype. We've seen this before, the .com. We saw this in the early 90s and you know, ‘87 with a Black Monday crash and so on. So my worry for that group is listen, your job is not to speculate. It's to build long term wealth for stability. The very wealthy person completely different. They can put 1% of their money on anything. They can put on resources, put on crypto, put it on whatever they like, that's fine, that's no risk because they can afford to lose that. So completely different focus. CRAMER: How about the young, we have a lot of young watchers 25, 30. Isn't this a time to start? The market is so nowhere near its top. GORMAN: You know, Australia has a scheme called the superannuation scheme where government mandated, you save 15% of your income. Right and it's created these huge sovereign wealth fund asset pools in Australia. If there's one thing I could tell every 22-year-old person starting a job, maybe they can't save 15%, but save five and the compounding impact of putting money into the market, maybe start with an index just get in the market. It's all about duration. You're in the market for 50 years, it's better than 30, it's a whole lot better than 10. CRAMER: One last question. James Gorman is a little bit close to me in age. Can you stay longer? How much longer do you want to stay? GORMAN: Well, I I truly believe in in succession planning and I've been very clear with the board. But you know, these organizations do best when you regenerate and provide growth and part of that is giving opportunities to people. So we've got a plan. I won't give you the date right now. But no, I'll step down at the right moment. CRAMER: Alright fair enough. GORMAN: But I will step down and we’ve got a great team to follow me. CRAMER: Well, I'm sure you do— GORMAN: But it’s not today. CRAMER: But you've done the best in the group. And it's, I know you have great team, but I'm looking at the top of it. GORMAN: Thank you. Thanks man. CRAMER: Okay. That's James Gorman, Chairman and CEO of Morgan Stanley. Thank you so much, James. GORMAN: Thank you. CRAMER: Good to talk to you. "Mad Money" is after the break......»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkSep 30th, 2022

Lensa AI"s owner says the company"s face-changing tech can be tricked into generating NSFW images — but some users are saying it happened to them without even trying

The trending Lensa app generates new art from user-uploaded photos but its machine-learning technology appears to be creating unintentional nudes. LensaLensa The Lensa app creates face-changing effects using machine learning and photos uploaded by users. Some users have received images of themselves portrayed in the nude thanks to AI-generated edits. The company says Lensa can be tricked into making nudes but some users say they didn't upload NSFW images. The trending Lensa app — currently the top photo app in the Apple and Google Play stores — generates artistic edits based on user-uploaded reference photos, but its machine-learning technology appears to be creating unintentional nudes of its users."Ok so I put my hottest 20 pics into lensa instead of just the first 20 selfies I could find & it came back with a bunch of ai-generated nudes," one user wrote on Twitter. "To be clear, NONE of the photos I submitted included nudity, which the app specifically prohibits!"That sentiment was echoed by dozens of others, mostly women, saying the app had automatically generated sexualized or outright nude photos of them, despite avoiding not-safe-for-work reference photos in their uploads.While Lensa parent company Prisma Lab's CEO and co-founder Andrey Usoltsev told TechCrunch such images "can't be produced accidentally" by the app, he said it could be provoked to create nude images through "intentional misconduct," such as uploading nudes against the terms of service (which prohibit uploading content that is "obscene, pornographic, indecent, lewd, suggestive" or otherwise sexualized).Though it is unclear how often the app generates nude imagery without prompting, multiple users report this was the case for them. "Strange thing is I didn't submit any nudes since it would go against this Lensa app's policy yet it ended up generating nudes anyway???" another user posted on Twitter.Of particular concern among some users are whether the app somehow accessed photos from internal storage that hadn't been uploaded and if the app's privacy policy allows data generated by the app to be used by third-party companies like Google Cloud Platform and Amazon Web Services."Lensa users: Did you receive a highly sexualized image in your avatar package?" one troubled user wrote on Twitter. "I received a topless, full-frontal nudity image in my package, and I'm concerned. I'm worried about whether the app accessed other images on my phone and about the rights to that image."Usoltsev told TechCrunch the tech being used to generate the photo edits is learning as it goes and — though it has some content moderation practices — can still be outsmarted by users or act in unpredictable ways, resulting in the output of nude edits."We specify that the product is not intended for minors and warn users about the potential content. We also abstain from using such images in our promotional materials," Usoltsev told TechCrunch. "To enhance the work of Lensa, we are in the process of building the NSFW filter. It will effectively blur any images detected as such. It will remain at the user's sole discretion if they wish to open or save such imagery."Representatives for Prisma Labs did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsider30 min. ago

How To Calculate Your Annuity Payments

Annuities provide periodic payments for an agreed-upon period of time, either now or in the future, for the annuitant or beneficiary. You can annuitize the annuity by making monthly, semiannual, or annual payments, and interest keeps accruing on the balance. On the other hand, you can calculate an annuity’s payout to see if it’s better […] Annuities provide periodic payments for an agreed-upon period of time, either now or in the future, for the annuitant or beneficiary. You can annuitize the annuity by making monthly, semiannual, or annual payments, and interest keeps accruing on the balance. On the other hand, you can calculate an annuity’s payout to see if it’s better than a lump sum. 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 should you calculate your annuity payments? First, calculating an annuity’s monthly payout may help you decide whether the annuity’s payout is adequate for your investment goals. Studies have shown that retirement plan participants who see their account balances as level monthly annuities for life can better assess their retirement readiness and plan. Because insurance companies can set their own rates and contract terms, calculating annuity payments can be tricky. Thankfully, there are some tactics you can use to calculate your annuity payments. Determine the Type of Annuity You Have Identify the annuity payout type. What is the easiest way to calculate your annuity payments? Look at your annuity statement to find the principal amount, the annual interest rate, and the number of years in the contract. If you don’t understand the jargon, contact the issuing firm. You will be informed whether your payout is immediate or deferred. Immediate annuity. You can think of an immediate annuity as a life insurance policy. Instead of paying regular premiums to an insurer that pays a lump sum upon death, investors give the insurer a lump sum in exchange for regular income payments until death — or for a specified time. After the investment is received — payments usually take one to 12 months to arrive. Because they include principal and interest, they typically offer better tax treatment than other annuities. Those who need a higher-than-average income stream and are comfortable sacrificing principal for higher lifetime income tend to like immediate annuities. Deferred annuity. Payments are delayed for a longer period — greater than a year. As income payments are deferred, the insurance company is not on the hook for as long, allowing people to increase their income stream later in life for less money. Many people choose these plans because they want a guaranteed income later in life or want to create a ladder of income over time. For example, a person may wish to work in retirement, but they will have to stop working eventually, and at that point, they will need annuities to provide guaranteed income. Determine the Investment Type of Your Annuity Your investment can be fixed or variable. Again, you can check your paperwork or call the issuing firm for this info. In addition, there is usually a rider with a percentage to pay. Fixed annuity. Annuity companies issue these fixed-interest investments. There’s a guaranteed interest rate, usually higher than bank CDs, and you can defer income or draw it immediately. Retirement and pre-retirees love these for the no-cost, modest, guaranteed investments. You can, for example, earn 3% a month with a Due Fixed Annuity. If you invest money each month, you will know exactly how much money you will have in retirement. Variable annuity. In these accounts, you can choose from a variety of subaccounts. Most often, these are mutual funds. The performance of the subaccounts determines account value. However, a rider can lock in a guaranteed income stream no matter what happens — a good hedge. Retirees and pre-retirees like variable annuities because they offer guaranteed lifetime income and capital appreciation. Fixed indexed annuity. You also have a third option with fixed-indexed annuities. These are essentially fixed annuities that earn a variable interest rate when an underlying market index rises, such as the S&P 500. Market-based indexes provide a guaranteed minimum income benefit and a chance to increase principal. As a result of participation rates, caps, and spreads, upside potential is limited. Those are all ways to trim your stock market returns. Due to this, these annuities never keep up with the market. At the same time, they’re great for retirees and pre-retirees who want to take advantage of potential market appreciation without any fuss. Know your liquidity options. You can find out about your annuity’s liquidity options by consulting your contract or by contacting the firm that issued it. Early withdrawals may incur penalties, and you may receive less money than expected. You can withdraw a portion of some annuities with withdrawal penalties. But others, like no-surrender or level-load annuities, may not have any penalty. The early withdrawal penalty tax on annuities is typically 10% if you withdraw them before you turn 59 ½. Determining the Details of Your Annuity Find out your annuity’s payout option. With an annuity, you can also pick how your payouts are calculated. Among your options: Income for a guaranteed period. Also called a period-certain annuity, you’re guaranteed a specific payment for a set time frame, like five years or twenty years. In case of death before the end of the guaranteed period, your beneficiary will get the rest of the payments. Lifetime payments. You get a guaranteed income payout for your lifetime only. However, there are no survivor benefits. Also, there are fixed and variable payouts available. You get a payout based on how much you invest and how long you live. Unfortunately, all payments stop at death, so your heirs don’t get anything. Income for life with a guaranteed period of certain benefit. Also known as life with period specific, this annuity combines both life and period certain elements. In addition to a lifetime payout, you receive phased payments over a given period. Your beneficiary will receive the payment until the end of the period certain phase of the account if you die during that period. An arrangement with a ten-year period certain is common, for example. So, your survivor will receive payments for five more years if you die five years after you begin collecting. Joint and survivor annuity. If you die, your beneficiary will still get payouts for the rest of their life. So it’s a popular choice for married couples. Find out the Principal Balance In plain English, the principal balance of your annuity is what you paid to purchase it. It can be paid in one lump sum or as a regular payout, such as from your paycheck, for example. To calculate your payments, you will need to know the current balance if you make regular payments. With a deferred annuity, you may purchase a one-time premium or pay regular or intermittent payments to build your fund principal. In contrast, when you buy an immediate annuity, you commit the annuity principal upfront. Additionally, that amount is one of the most important factors in determining your annuity income. The principal balance of your annuity should also be listed on your statement. Find Out the Interest Rate Your annuity may come with a guaranteed minimum interest rate, meaning your interest rate will never fall below that level. To find your interest rate, you can call the provider or check your account online to see if it is variable. Or you can find a fixed rate on the paperwork you received when you purchased the annuity. The interest rate should also be listed on your statement. Depending on your circumstances, determine the number of your payments. Take, for example, a $500,000 annuity with a 4% interest rate which pays a fixed amount every year for the next 25 years. Then, using the manual formula, Annuity Value = Payment Amount x Present Value of an Annuity (PVOA). A PVOA factor of 15.62208 is calculated for the above scenario. As a result, 500,000 is equal to the Annual Payment multiplied by 15.62208. Therefore, as a result of solving the equation for the annual payment, we arrive at $32,005.98. The “PMT” function in Excel can also be used to calculate your payment amount. To use this function, type “=PMT(0.04,25,500000,0)” in a cell and press “Enter.” There should be no spaces in the function. The value returned by Excel is $32,005.98. In the event that your annuity will not start paying out for several years, adjust your calculations. With the Future Value Table, you can figure out how much interest your annuity will earn between now and when it starts paying out. And how long do you have to wait until you start drawing it? Suppose you have $500,000 that will earn 2% interest per year for 20 years before it pays out. As per the FV factor table, multiply 500,000 by 1.48595 to get 742,975. Then, using mathematical equations, future values are calculated. By using the FV function in Excel, you can determine the future value. The syntax is “=FV(interest rate, NumberOfPeriods, AdditionalPayments, PresentValue).” Simply enter “0” for the additional payments variable. Substitute this future value as your annuity balance, and recalculate the payment using the formula “Annuity Value = Payment Amount x PVOA factor.” Given these variables, your annual payment would be $47,559.29. Annuity Calculators Are you looking for a convenient and easy way to calculate your retirement savings? An annuity calculator may be helpful in such cases. However, several annuity calculators are available online that can be used as a reference. You can use most of these calculators for free. Moreover, their primary focus is on providing personalized quotes tailored to your needs. Fixed annuity calculator. As a simple investment, fixed annuities are similar to CDs. However, with a fixed interest rate, you’re guaranteed a steady income. Depending on your guarantee period, this can last anywhere from a year to the full duration. A traditional fixed annuity and a Multi-Year Guarantee Annuity (MYGA) both fall into this category. Since fixed annuities aren’t as complicated as other types, fixed annuity calculators are easy to use. You can, for example, use the Due Annuity Calculator. The following information is all that you need since you are guaranteed a 3% interest rate; Monthly, or One Time Contribution Yearly Contribution Percentage Increase (15, 10, 5, or Custom) Current Age Retirement Age Afterward, you’ll be able to see how much you’ll receive each month based on the calculator. Here is Due’s easy annuity calculator to help you. Fixed indexed calculator. Fixed index annuities offer market exposure and interest earnings. In the case of a market crash, however, the interest rate is guaranteed to never fall below zero. So it’s a win-win, so to speak. However, when you use a fixed index calculator, you will need a lot more information. Among them are; Starting balance Annual contribution Current age Withdrawal age Current tax rate Retirement tax rate Taxable account return Initial interest rate Years’ initial interest is guaranteed Expected average interest rate Minimum guaranteed rate You can use the Annuity Guys’ fixed index annuity calculator to see how it fits into your retirement plans. Immediate annuity calculator. You exchange a lump sum payment for a series of payments with this type, also known as a Single Premium Immediate Annuity (SPIA). You’ll get guaranteed payments for as long as the contract lasts. In addition, the income checks start right away, hence the name. There is also a calculator for calculating immediate annuities at Due, and one at AIG. It will be necessary to gather data such as the amount of investment, the life expectancy, the annual rate of return, and the frequency of payments. DIA calculator. The structure of a Deferred Income Annuity (DIA) is similar to that of an SPIA. The difference, however, is when payments begin. As opposed to an immediate annuity, you receive annuity payments over time. To obtain a quote from the DIA calculator, you will need to provide the following information; State of residence Birthdate Gender Source of fund (IRA or non-IRA) Deposit amount Start date for the income Lifetime annuity calculator. Lifetime annuities are generally purchased with a lump sum payment. As a result, you’ll get a guaranteed and predetermined income. The payout on a lifetime annuity can be immediate or deferred. By knowing this, you are better prepared to plan. Using a tool, like the one from Charles Schwab, you can get annuity income estimates in minutes. Just pick how long you want the income to last. If you want to estimate lifetime income, you should select the basis for the estimate. In other words, this is either the investment amount or the monthly income needed. Last but not least, you need to decide when you want to start receiving payments. Qualified Longevity Annuity calculator. Alternatively referred to as a longevity annuity, a QLAC is a type of special annuity. In a QLAC, you fund the annuity with your qualified retirement savings, such as those from an IRA or 401(k). As a result, the income will not start until after age 70 ½. Due to this, the IRS-mandated minimum distribution (RMD) rules are overridden. FAQs What is an annuity? An annuity is a type of insurance product that converts a premium into a stream of guaranteed income for the rest of one’s life. They’re a good way to supplement your retirement savings and provide modest growth What is an annuity payment? An annuity payment is a fixed amount paid at regular intervals over time. In financial transactions, such as loans and investments, this type of payment is commonly used. As such, a regular and predictable payment schedule is important. Is there a way to determine my retirement income needs? Building a retirement-focused budget is the best way to determine how much income you will need in retirement. Analyze your expenses and income sources and adjust your spending accordingly. How much do annuities pay out in retirement? Depending on the interest rate, the premium, and the life expectancy of the annuitant, annuity payments vary. It’s easy to get an estimate of your monthly payments with an annuity calculator. Are annuity payments monthly or yearly? It depends on the terms of the agreement, annuity payments can be made monthly or yearly. Generally, a monthly payment rate and a yearly payment rate are expressed in months and years, respectively. Article by John Rampton, Due About the Author John Rampton is an entrepreneur and connector. When he was 23 years old, while attending the University of Utah, he was hurt in a construction accident. His leg was snapped in half. He was told by 13 doctors he would never walk again. Over the next 12 months, he had several surgeries, stem cell injections and learned how to walk again. During this time, he studied and mastered how to make money work for you, not against you. He has since taught thousands through books, courses and written over 5000 articles online about finance, entrepreneurship and productivity. He has been recognized as the Top Online Influencers in the World by Entrepreneur Magazine and Finance Expert by Time. He is the Founder and CEO of Due......»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalk2 hr. 45 min. ago

Instagram Impressions Are The Most Crucial Thing For Profile Growth

Instagram is now widely used to market different businesses of any category. With the increasing growth of this platform, businesses should be aware that Instagram impressions are the most crucial thing on this platform for growth. When Instagram users view your uploaded content either in the form of a video or an image, it is […] Instagram is now widely used to market different businesses of any category. With the increasing growth of this platform, businesses should be aware that Instagram impressions are the most crucial thing on this platform for growth. When Instagram users view your uploaded content either in the form of a video or an image, it is considered an Instagram impression. Let’s look at how these impressions work. Mostly, we take the number of views or impressions on our videos as just a number, but there is a piece of interesting information attatched that can give valuable insight to boost your marketing strategy. These numbers can help you to know which of your content is getting popular on Instagram and then accordingly you can adjust your marketing strategy. Impressions not only help in knowing the number of views on your Instagram content but also help in monitoring the overall growth of your Instagram account.    Instagram is considered one of the finest platforms for any type of business that wants to sell its products or services on social media platforms. And if you are a new business on Instagram, make sure that you have a business account to take advantage of the extremely helpful features.  Instagram analytics is a tool that shows the metrics based on several parameters. So what metrics help you track the overall growth of your account? Instagram impressions and reach are the most critical metrics that can affect the growth of your business on Instagram. You may have observed that your competitors are taking full advantage of Instagram and to reach their business to the next level, they don’t hesitate to buy Instagram followers. You may also have many strategies in addition to buying Instagram followers to increase the reach of your business. For your benefit, we have included some of the most simplest and practical techniques in this article. Tips for boosting Instagram impressions Utilize Instagram ads One of the most important tips among others is that you can utilize ads to increase Instagram impressions. Because Instagram ads allow you to showcase your business to a larger audience in a very simpler but effective way. To run Instagram ads you can utilize Instagram stories, and feed and can play the ad of your business. As a business it’s worth exploring Instagram ads as they can really work for your benefit. Use giveaways Giveaways or contests are the perfect way to entice your social media audience, because people on social media love to win gifts. If you find that you have received a low impression rate on your Instagram posts, you can utilize giveaways for your benefit. You can set specific rules for the giveaway participants and offer your products as a gift to the winner. You can set such requirements for giveaways as tagging three friends, commenting on your favorite color, answering the question of when your brand debuted, etc. The giveaway post can result in massive impressions in the end. Employ story stickers Nowadays, the Instagram story is the most engaging feature among others because most of the users are likely to engage with them when they find them fascinating. You can use Instagram stickers in the story as a poll, quiz, or questions and answers session. Anything may be shared to encourage responses to your stories and increase your audience. This technique can help you to increase Instagram impressions. Make use of call-to-action phrases Call-to-action phrases are another way to grab the attention of your targeted audience. Your post should have an encouraging phrase that can compel your audience to take an action in the Instagram caption. So you should choose an eye-catching but relevant call to action phrase.This is the most efficient strategy to increase impressions on Instagram if used right. However, if it is not right then it can reverse the process and you can face a negative response in return.  Play around with videos Videos are now considered one of the most engaging content, not only on Instagram but also all social media platforms. It has been observed that most people on Instagram like to engage with attractive but short videos rather than a picture. So, to increase the impression of your content, you should utilize Instagram videos to increase the engagement rate of your content. For example, if your business is related to cosmetics, you can use demonstrate to your viewers how to use the product.  Conclusion Instagram is a place where people can explore a lot and businesses can thrive.  There are numerous trustworthy sources where you may buy Instagram followers and other benefits if you want to enhance Instagram impressions. You may utilize ExploreIG, for instance, for a Private Instagram Profile downloader. Hopefully, the above-mentioned list of ways that can help you to increase your Instagram impression can be of great use to you. We ensure you that after the implementation of all of these tips, you will realize how important they are to the success of your business......»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalk2 hr. 45 min. ago

How to hide apps on your iPhone without deleting them

You can hide apps on your iPhone to remove them from your home screen but keep them in the App Library. You can hide any iPhone app.DenPhotos/Shutterstock You can hide apps on your iPhone so they don't appear on your home screen or in search results. To find an app that you've hidden, ask Siri, use the Search function, or open the App Library. Hiding an iPhone app won't delete any of its data, and you can unhide it at any time. You can fit a lot of apps on your iPhone's home screen. While this is great for quickly accessing any app you might need, it can also clutter up your screen with icons.Luckily, Apple gives you a variety of ways to manage your home screen. Not only can you move apps and put them into folders, but you can also hide them from the home screen completely. Doing this won't erase any of your saved data, and you can still quickly open the apps by heading to the App Library screen. If you want even more privacy, you can hide apps from search.Here are a few ways to hide apps on your iPhone.Quick tip: If you're looking to delete apps from your iPhone to save storage space, check out our step-by-step guide.How to hide apps from your iPhone's home screenThere are two ways to remove apps from the home screen without uninstalling them. You can hide the apps one by one, or hide a whole page of apps in one go.Any app you hide will be sent to the App Library; an organized list of every app on your iPhone that you can find by swiping all the way to the very last page of your home screen. When you actually want to use a hidden app, open it from there.To hide a single iPhone app1. Find the app you want to hide and hold your finger down on it.2. When the menu of options appears, tap Remove App.3. Select the Remove from Home Screen option.Once hidden, the app icon disappears from your home screen but you can still see it in the App Library.Abigail Abesamis Demarest/InsiderQuick tip: If you want to unhide an app, find it in the App Library and hold your finger on it, then select Add to Home Screen.To hide an entire page of apps1. Press and hold your finger on the dots at the bottom of your home screen — the ones that show what page you're on.2. Keep holding it until your iPhone zooms out to show every page at once. If all the apps start shaking but it doesn't zoom out, just lift your finger and tap the dots again.3. Find the page of apps that you want to hide and tap the checkmark underneath it so the check disappears.When unchecked, you won’t see that page when swiping anymore.Abigail Abesamis Demarest/Insider4. Tap Done in the top-right corner.Quick tip: Just like hiding a single app, all of the apps on the hidden page will still show up in the App Library.Open this menu again and check the circle under the page to make it reappear.How to hide apps so they don't show up in searchAlong with the App Library, you can find hidden apps by dragging your finger down on the home screen, and then searching for them. While this is useful for finding hidden apps, it might be another privacy concern.Luckily, you can remove apps from showing up in the search results too.1. Open the Settings app and scroll down to tap Siri & Search.2. In the menu that opens, scroll down and select the app that you want to hide from search.3. Tap the Show App in Search toggle so it turns gray.When turned off, the app will no longer show up in search results.Abigail Abesamis Demarest/InsiderHow to find hidden apps on iPhone1. Swipe down on your home screen to open your iPhone's Search feature. Type in the name of the app, then tap on the app's icon to open it.Apps hidden from Siri and Search will not appear here.Abigail Abesamis Demarest/Insider2. Press and hold the side button to activate Siri. Ask Siri to open the app.3. Swipe left on your home screen until you reach the App Library. Tap on the app icon if you see it, or use the Search bar.Quick tip: Apps are organized by category in the App Library, to make them easier to find.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsider2 hr. 45 min. ago

5 ways to download or save your Instagram Stories

You can download Instagram Stories in a few different ways to save temporary photos and videos for later use. You can download your Instagram stories to save them on your account or phone.Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images You can download an active Instagram Story shared by your own profile in a few ways.  To download your own Instagram story, you can save it to your phone, highlights, or archive.  Downloading your story on a computer, or downloading someone else's story, requires third-party apps. Instagram's popularity allows you to take a peek into countless people's lives, unique hobbies, and  global trends. One Instagram feature that is fun and easy to manage is called Stories. Instagram Stories are photos and videos that are posted to your profile and last for 24 hours. Since there's a time limit on how long a story is visible to everyone, you have several options to save your own Instagram Story to your app or phone. There are also a few methods you could use to download or save someone else's story. Quick tip: Check out our complete Instagram guide.How to download your Instagram StoryThere are several ways to save your own stories: Manually save your story in the Instagram app1. Open and log into Instagram.2. Tap your profile picture, located in the top-left corner, to view posts you've added to your story.Tap your profile picture to view your active Stories.Devon Delfino/Insider3. Choose the story you'd like to save and tap the three dots at the bottom right and tap Save… (iPhone) or Save Photo/Video (Android). Tap Save…Devon Delfino/Insider4. On an iPhone, select Save Photo/Video to save that specific story. To save all your current stories as one vertical video, tap Save Story. Android users have to save each story individually. Tap Save Photo or Save Video.Devon Delfino/InsiderQuick tip: If you want to download your Story from a computer, you'll need to use a third-party app. Directions for that are detailed in the section for downloading other people's stories.Highlight your StoryYou can also add Instagram Stories to your Highlights to save them. 1. Tap your profile picture, located in the top-left corner of the main screen on the Instagram app.2. When your desired Story appears, tap Highlight, located toward the bottom-right corner of the screen.Tap Highlight.Devon Delfino/Insider3. Tap the desired highlight collection to save your Story to.Tap the highlight collection, or create a new one.Devon Delfino/InsiderOnce saved, you can go to your profile, and see the Story by tapping the highlight collection you saved the Story to (located just below your profile information).Save the story to your phone or archiveThis method involves saving your Instagram Story automatically to an archive in the app or to your phone's memory. 1. On Instagram, go to your profile and tap the three-line Menu icon in the top-right corner.Tap the three-line menu icon.Devon Delfino/Insider2. Tap Settings, then Privacy.Tap Settings.Devon Delfino/Insider3. Tap Story. Underneath the Saving heading, you can toggle on Save Story to Camera Roll (iPhone) or Save Story to Gallery (Android) to save stories to your device's photo app.Toggle on the desired option to save your Story.Devon Delfino/Insider4. You can also solely toggle on Save Story to Archive to save photos and videos to your archive and not to your phone.Save your Story as an Instagram postAnother option to prevent your Story from disappearing after 24 hours is to convert it into a post:1. Open your desired Story in the Stories feature.2. Tap the three dots, located at the bottom of the screen.3. Choose Share as post.Tap Share as post.Devon Delfino/InsiderHow to download someone else's Instagram StoryPerhaps the simplest way to save someone else's Instagram Story is to record or screenshot it on a mobile device, neither of which will notify the Instagram user. Follow our guides on how to screen record on iPhone or Android, or how to screenshot on iPhone or Android devices like Google Pixel, and use those methods to capture a photo or video from any profile's story while viewing it.There's also the option of using a third-party website like Toolzu, which can allow you to save your Instagram Story or someone else's, as long as their account isn't a private account.Go to Toolzu's Instagram Story downloader in a desktop web browser.Type in the username of the account whose story you're looking to download from, with the @ symbol included it (e.g. @user_name).Enter the username of the account you want to download Stories from.Devon Delfino/Insider3. Select the individual story you need and click Download.Quick tip: A few other third-party sites or apps you may want to use include Story Reposter (iPhone only), Story Saver, and StoriesIG.How to download IG videos on iPhone, Android, Mac, or PCScreen recording is one way to download IG videos (as well as Stories) onto your device. But there are also third-party options to get the job done:iPhone: Reposter for Instagram Android: Repost for IGMac/PC: Ace ThinkerRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsider2 hr. 45 min. ago

The US"s experimental "lighting carriers" are "much more capable" than China"s current carriers, top US admiral says

An amphibious assault ship loaded with more than a dozen F-35Bs "just is a very versatile instrument," the head of the US Navy's 7th Fleet said. USS Tripoli during a demonstration of the US Marine Corps' lightning carrier concept in April 2022.US Marine Corps/Sgt. Samuel Ruiz Amid tensions with China, the US military is working on new concepts to fight a war in the Pacific. The Navy and Marines worked on one of them, the "lightning carrier," for several months this year. While not a full-size carrier, a "lightning carrier" is better than China's flattops, a US admiral says. US officials have warned that China might try to capture Taiwan by force before the end of the decade.The Chinese Communist Party has never ruled Taiwan but views the island as a breakaway province, and tensions between Beijing and Washington as well as the ongoing focus on the war in Ukraine have raised concerns about how the US and its allies would respond to a conflict in the Pacific.If there is a clash with China over Taiwan, the navies and air forces of the countries involved would shoulder most of the operational burden.The US Navy understands that and is working on contingencies and new concepts that would allow it to get the most out of its ships and aircraft to counter China's rapidly expanding naval and air forces.The Lighting Carrier conceptAn F-35B launches from USS Tripoli in April 2022.US Navy/MCS2 Theodore QuintanaAt an event hosted by the US Naval Institute and the Center for Strategic and International Studies in October, Vice Adm. Karl Thomas, commanding officer of the US Navy's 7th Fleet, talked about one of the ways the Navy is working to expand its firepower in the region.Over the summer, the Navy and the Marine Corps continued experimenting with the "Lighting Carrier" concept, which envisions US Navy amphibious assault ships stocked with US Marine Corps F-35B fighter jets to project power as part of a more distributed force.USS Tripoli, an amphibious assault ship designed to carry Marines, helicopters, and vertical-takeoff aircraft, spent several months this year sailing with more than dozen F-35Bs, operating like a light aircraft carrier than a standard amphibious ship.A light aircraft carrier embarks with fewer jets than a fleet aircraft carrier — as many as 20, compared to more than 50 on a fleet carrier — but it costs much less and is more versatile.US Marine Corps F-35Bs approach and land on USS Tripoli during an exercise in June.US Marine Corps/Sgt. Jackson RickerBecause of that, Tripoli's commanding officer refers to the configuration as an "assault carrier" rather than "lighting carrier," according to Thomas, whose command is responsible for US Navy operations in the western Pacific."One day you can have F-35Bs on the flight deck. The next day you can have MV-22s and you can be putting Marines at the shore, and so it just is a very versatile instrument," Thomas said of the lightning carrier.The Navy is still experimenting with how to integrate the lighting carrier with "a full-size carrier" and its carrier strike group, which is composed of a carrier, escort ships for defense and resupply, and at least one submarine. Thomas said the Navy had two of its nuclear-powered carriers operating with Tripoli during the Valiant Shield exercise in June.Interestingly, Thomas also said that an amphibious assault ship, designated an LHA, in the lighting-carrier configuration is much more capable than the two aircraft carriers that China has in service.J-15 fighter jets on Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning during a drill in the East China Sea in April 2018.AFP via Getty Images"I will note that LHA with 14 F-35Bs is much more capable than either of the PRC's current carriers, both from a sortie-creation perspective as well as just a sheer capability," Thomas said.The F-35B Lighting II is the short-takeoff and vertical-landing variant of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, a fifth-generation fighter with advanced capabilities. In addition to being a STOVL jet, the F-35B's array of sensors allow it to act as a battlefield hub, relaying information to friendly forces across a wide area."There is no comparison between a J-15 and an F-35B," Thomas said, referring to China's main carrier aircraft.A lightning carrier also allows allies and partners "to see the capability you can bring with the F-35Bs on the flattop," Thomas said, pointing to the UK, which sent a carrier embarked with F-35Bs to the Pacific last year, and to Japan, which is converting two helicopter carriers to operate F-35Bs.US Marine Corps F-35Bs aboard USS Tripoli on June 10.US Marine Corps/Sgt. Jackson RickerChina has built and launched three aircraft carriers over the past decade, reflecting the Chinese Communist Party's heavy investment in modernizing its military, relying in part on espionage to close its technological gaps with the US.China's People's Liberation Army remains much less capable than the US military, but it is reaching parity in numbers. It now has the world's largest navy and the third-largest aviation force.Beijing has signaled that it wants to reshape the existing international order to advance its regional and global ambitions and that it's willing to confront the US to do it. A move to absorb Taiwan, a top priority for Beijing, could very well escalate into a clash with the US and its allies across the Indo-Pacific.In such a conflict, the lighting carrier would help the US Navy and Marine Corps spread out their forces, increasing their likelihood of survival and improving their ability take on multiple Chinese threats at once.Stavros Atlamazoglou is a defense journalist specializing in special operations, a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ), and a Johns Hopkins University graduate. He is working toward a master's degree in strategy and cybersecurity at the Johns Hopkins' School of Advanced International Studies.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsider2 hr. 45 min. ago

The 23 best romance books of 2022, according to Goodreads

Goodreads reviewers considered novels by Colleen Hoover, Emily Henry, Ana Huang, Mia Sosa, and more to be the best romance books of 2022. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.Amazon; Amazon Romance novels are heartwarming stories of people falling in love under all kinds of circumstances.  These romance books are the most popular and highest rated of 2022.  They include enemies-to-lovers, fake-dating, and romantic comedy reads. Romance novels follow characters in their search for love through heartbreak, loss, and doubt. They include all kinds of romantic plots, from cute love stories with a little bit of magic to erotic romance reads that are almost too hot to handle. These romance books are the best and most popular of 2022 on Goodreads — the world's largest platform where over 125 million readers rate, review, and recommend their favorite books. The books on this list had to be published in 2022 and are ranked by a combination of how often they were read this year and how highly they were rated: Any book with less than 3.5 out of five stars did not make the list. So whether you're looking for a fun rom-com or a spicy romance novel, here are the 23 best romance books of 2022, according to Goodreads reviewers. 23. "Icebreaker" by Hannah GraceAmazonAvailable at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, from $15.54Anastasia Allen is focused on her goal of becoming an Olympic figure skater when a misunderstanding leaves her skating team and the hockey team sharing a rink. In this frenemies-to-lovers romance, Nate, the hockey team's captain, gets benched and Anatasia finds herself in need of a partner, he steps up.22. "The Dead Romantics" by Ashley PostonAmazonAvailable at Amazon, Bookshop, and Barnes & Noble, from $12.48Florence Day has just gone through a breakup and can't get a deadline extension at her job as a ghostwriter when her father passes away, drawing her to her hometown for his funeral. But when she sees her new editor as a ghost at his funeral, they're both confused about why he's there in this paranormal contemporary romance.21. "Something Wilder" by Christina LaurenAmazonAvailable at Amazon, Bookshop, and Barnes & Noble, from $17.13The daughter of a notorious treasure hunter, Luly Wilder now uses her father's hand-drawn maps as a tour guide in Utah while dreaming of buying back her family's ranch. But when her ex unexpectedly comes back into her life as a tour guest and their trip goes terribly wrong, Lily begins to wonder if her father's maps may lead to a real treasure after all. 20. "You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty" by Akwaeke EmeziAmazonAvailable at Amazon, Bookshop, and Barnes & Noble, from $17.19In this story about love and joy after loss, Feyi Adekola is almost ready to ease back into dating, five years after an accident that killed the love of her life. When a whirlwind summer brings her a perfect guy, a dangerous crush threatens to complicate everything as she's forced to face how far she's willing to go for another chance at love. 19. "The Kiss Curse" by Erin SterlingAmazonAvailable at Amazon, Bookshop, and Barnes & Noble, from $13.12In this sequel to "The Ex Hex," Wells Penhallow has come to the magical town of Graves Glen to re-establish his family's connection to the town they once founded, now run by a powerful coven of witches. When he opens a new witchy shop just across the street from Gwyn's, it's clear this is personal — until her powers begin to fade and she and Wells must work together to find out what's happening before Gwyn's magic is gone for good. 18. "Thank You for Listening" by Julia WhelanAmazonAvailable at Amazon, Bookshop, and Barnes & Noble, from $14.39"Thank You for Listening" follows Sewanee Chester, an audiobook narrator and former movie star, who learns that one of the most beloved audiobook narrators, the seductive and anonymous Brock McNight, wants to record a romance novel with her. Though Sewanee doesn't believe in romance novels, she feels compelled to help the book's prolific author. As she begins to form a bond with Brock, secrets are spilled in this story of self-discovery and love.17. "Electric Idol" by Katee RobertAmazonAvailable at Amazon, Bookshop, and Barnes & Noble, from $9.37"Electric Idol" is a fantasy/romance retelling of the story of Psyche and Eros, the second novel in the "Dark Olympus" series. In this book, Eros has been ordered to kill Psyche but finds he cannot go through with it. When he marries her to keep her safe, Psyche is determined to ruin Eros — until the lines of loyalty begin to blur and she realizes her heart may be with him after all.16. "Dating Dr. Dil" by Nisha SharmaAmazonAvailable at Amazon, Bookshop, and Barnes & Noble, from $11.99Kareena Mann needs to get engaged to keep her father from selling her mother's home when she gets in an argument with Dr. Prem Verma, the host of "The Dr. Dil Show," that goes viral, ruining her chance at finding someone. But when her aunts strike a deal with Prem to fund his clinic if he can convince Kareena they're soulmates, the two realize the line between love and hate may be thinner than they thought.15. "Funny You Should Ask" by Elissa SussmanAmazonAvailable at Amazon, Bookshop, and Barnes & Noble, from $1210 years ago, Chani Horowitz was hired to write a profile about her movie star celebrity crush, Gabe Parker, but their interview resulted in a 72-hour tabloid whirlwind. Now, Chani still can't escape that profile when she's asked to do a second interview in this page-turning romance that jumps between Chani's world now and the interview she'll never forget.14. "Delilah Green Doesn't Care" by Ashley Herring BlakeAmazonAvailable at Amazon, Bookshop, and Barnes & Noble, from $13.99In this flirty, queer rom-com, Delilah Green returns to her hometown to photograph her stepsister's wedding when she runs into one of her stepsister's stuck-up friends, Claire Sutherland. With a host of problems of her own, Claire doesn't need Delilah's button-pushing charm until they're forced together in wedding preparations and begin to see each other's real sides.13. "Part of Your World" by Abby JimenezAmazonAvailable at Amazon, Bookshop, and Barnes & Noble, from $10.88When Alexis Montgomery needs a tow in a small town, she meets Daniel Grant, a gorgeous, 10-years-younger carpenter whose identity is closely tied to his tight-knit town. She decides to keep her identity as a wealthy, hot-shot ER doctor in the city a secret, and her fling with Daniel becomes a sanctuary from her stressful life until reality comes crashing down and she must find a way to have both her world and his — or risk losing everything.12. "The American Roommate Experiment" by Elena ArmasAmazonAvailable at Amazon, Bookshop, and Barnes & Noble, from $11.70From the author of reader-favorite "The Spanish Love Deception," this new romance follows Rosie Graham as she finally pursues her career as a romance writer. When Rosie suddenly needs a new place to stay, she finds herself staying with her best friend's cousin, Lucas. When Lucas offers to help Rosie get over her writer's block with a series of romantic dates, Rosie begins to wonder if the romantic inspiration is turning into real romance. 11. "The Wedding Crasher" by Mia SosaAmazonAvailable at Amazon, Bookshop, and Barnes & Noble, from $11.89When Solange agrees to help her wedding-planning cousin on a stranger's big day, a secret she shouldn't have heard convinces her she needs to crash the wedding and stop the groom, Dean, from making a mistake. But Dean needs a significant other to get a promotion at work, so he pretends to be in love with Solange and begs her to pretend to be his girlfriend even though they're polar opposites.10. "The Bodyguard" by Katherine CenterAmazonAvailable at Amazon, Bookshop, and Barnes & Noble, from $16.99Though Hannah Brooks may look like a harmless schoolteacher, she's actually an Executive Protection Agent, hired to protect superstar Jack Stapleton from his stalker. When he returns to his family's ranch in Texas to help his sick mother, he doesn't want his family to know about his stalker or bodyguard, so he asks Hannah to pretend to be his girlfriend in this sweet fake-dating romance.9. "Terms and Conditions" by Lauren AsherAmazonAvailable at Amazon, Bookshop, and Barnes & Noble, from $15.99In this "Dreamland Billionaire" series sequel, Declan needs to find someone to marry to inherit his family's empire when Iris, his assistant, steps up. Though their marriage is one of convenience, their fake relationship begins to feel real, against all their rules that should have kept them from falling in love.8. "Every Summer After" by Carley FortuneAmazonAvailable at Amazon, Bookshop, and Barnes & Noble, from $10Percy and Sam spent six summers forming a friendship and slowly falling in love until everything fell apart 10 years ago. Now, Percy is returning to the lakeshore for Sam's mother's funeral and the two find they have one weekend to fix everything or go their separate ways in this story of forgiveness and second-chance love. 7. "Twisted Hate" by Ana HuangAmazonAvailable at Amazon, Bookshop, and Barnes & Noble, from $14.99In this third novel of the erotic, 18+ "Twisted" series, Jules Ambrose has consumed Josh Chen's thoughts, as she seems to be the only person impervious to his charm. Though the two have grown to despise each other, they arrange an enemies-with-benefits relationship with promises to not fall in love — until their pasts catch up with them in this steamy novel that can be read as a standalone from the rest of the series. 6. "Love on the Brain" by Ali HazelwoodAmazonAvailable at Amazon, Bookshop, and Barnes & Noble, from $11.24From the author of the award-winning "Love Hypothesis," this new "STEMinist" romance read is about Bee Königswasser, a scientist who is being forced to work with her sexy but sworn archenemy, Levi Ward. But when things start to go wrong on their project and Levi takes her side, Bee begins to wonder if there's a chance for something more between them.5. "Hook, Line, and Sinker" by Tessa BaileyAmazonAvailable at Amazon, Bookshop, and Barnes & Noble, from $12 In this bestselling sequel to "It Happened One Summer," Hannah Bellinger has managed to convince the producer at her job to move their film set to the fishing town of Westport, where her dad is from and her sister now lives. Though she's staying in Fox's spare bedroom, Hannah is determined to evade his ladykiller ways in favor of catching her producer's eye, but when her and Fox's moments turn into something more, Hannah finds she might be falling for the guy she thought was just a friend. 4. "Things We Never Got Over" by Lucy ScoreAmazonAvailable at Amazon, Bookshop, and Barnes & Noble, from $12.74When Naomi meets Knox, she's stranded in his small Virginia town with no money or car after running away from her wedding, being abandoned by her estranged twin, and left with her 11-year-old niece. Though Knox only plans to help Naomi get back on her feet and out of his life, he finds he can't walk away when her challenging situation turns into real danger. 3. "It Starts With Us" by Colleen HooverAmazonAvailable at Amazon, Bookshop, and Barnes & Noble, from $10.98"It Starts With Us" is the highly anticipated sequel to "It Ends With Us" and continues almost a year later as Lily Bloom begins to navigate life once more after everything that happened with Ryle. In this book, readers follow Lily on her journey to a happy ending and learn more about her and Atlas' history together as teenagers. Readers everywhere love this book — check out our full review to find out why.2. "Book Lovers" by Emily HenryBookshopAvailable at Amazon, Bookshop, and Barnes & Noble, from $9.99In this 2022 Emily Henry novel, Nora Stephens is a successful literary agent who is ready to take her story into her own hands when her sister, Libby, invites her to stay in the storybook town of Sunshine Falls, North Carolina. There, Nora is open to falling in love but keeps running into Charlie Lastra, a book editor from the city, in a series of not-so-meet-cutes too perfect for any romance novel. "Book Lovers" is one of our favorite beach reads of this year and you can check out our full review here.1. "Reminders of Him" By Colleen HooverBookshopAvailable at Amazon, Bookshop, and Barnes & Noble, from $9.57With nearly 600,000 ratings on Goodreads and over 530,000 4- and 5-star reviews, "Reminders of Him" is the most popular romance book of 2022 amongst Goodreads reviewers. The contemporary romance follows Kenna Rowan as she's released from prison and tries to rebuild her relationship with her daughter, though it seems everyone is trying to keep them apart. Colleen Hoover has become hugely popular on TikTok — check out more of her books here or, if you've already read every "CoHo" novel, check out our recommendations for what to read next.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsider4 hr. 29 min. ago

The Top 5 Crypto Investors In California: What You Need To Know

If you’ve been reading about cryptocurrencies for a while and are looking for a place to invest your money, the best place may be in the Golden State of California. While other states have been more welcoming toward cryptocurrencies, with Wyoming now allowing miners and New York just became the first to license digital currency […] If you’ve been reading about cryptocurrencies for a while and are looking for a place to invest your money, the best place may be in the Golden State of California. While other states have been more welcoming toward cryptocurrencies, with Wyoming now allowing miners and New York just became the first to license digital currency trading services, there aren’t many places where investors can find such an abundance of opportunities. 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   And that could end up being a big deal for the crypto community as a whole. Cryptocurrencies are decentralized and operate independently of banks or governments, which is what makes them so attractive to many investors who don’t trust established financial institutions. In turn, that has made North America one of the most-invested species across all cryptocurrencies. However, given how high-risk some of these investments can be, it is important to identify reliable sources of funding in order to protect your capital. That is why it is so great that there are people in California who understand this and work tirelessly to bring more funding into the crypto ecosystem. What Is Cryptocurrency? Cryptocurrencies are like digital tokens that operate of traditional financial institutions. These currencies are decentralized, meaning they are not under the influence of any one country or bank. They use unique software and cryptography to operate securely and efficiently. These digital tokens can be used to purchase goods and services, or they can be traded on cryptocurrency exchanges as a commodity. In the early days, cryptocurrencies were created as an alternative form of currency, but that has changed. Now, many investors use them to diversify their portfolios, hedge against inflation, and hedge against currency volatility. How To Invest In Cryptocurrencies Investments in cryptocurrencies are incredibly high-risk. If you buy into an asset that goes up and then crashes, you could lose everything you put in. That is why it is important to know what you are doing. With that in mind, here are some of the ways to invest in cryptocurrencies: Purchase of a cryptocurrency wallet. This is the most common way to get involved in the cryptocurrency ecosystem. You can buy a digital wallet on sites like Coinbase, or you can create a wallet on your own computer with a program like Exodus. If you choose to invest in a digital wallet, make sure you are 100% sure you understand how it works. Be sure to sign in to your account and make sure all of your funds are there. Also, make sure that you have a way to protect your wallet and that your computer is virus-free. If you are interested in investing in a digital wallet, make sure you are 100% sure you understand how it works. Mining. Mining is where computers solve puzzles and earn new coins as a reward. It is a high-risk way to get involved in cryptocurrencies because it requires a huge investment and a lot of energy. Buying a token on an existing cryptocurrency exchange. This is a less risky way to get involved. You can buy a token on an existing cryptocurrency exchange like Coinbase, or you can create a wallet and purchase tokens with your computer. If you choose the latter method, you need to be sure that the computer is virus-free. Buy and hold. This is the most conservative way to get involved. You can buy a certain amount of tokens and then simply sit on them and wait for them to go up in price. This method can be effective if you have enough money to buy a large number of tokens, but you don’t want to risk it all on a risky investment. Who Are The Top 5 Crypto Investors In California? California is one of the most-invested states across cryptocurrencies. In fact, the Golden State has more cryptocurrency investors per capita than any other state in the country. That is because of the state’s progressive attitude toward blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. In fact, the state has more than doubled the number of cryptocurrency businesses licensed since 2017, when the first regulation was introduced. Some of the most prominent people in the state’s crypto community include: Brandon Bass An entrepreneur who started Bass VC in early 2017, Brandon Bass was an early investor in BitQuick and CoinFlip, two companies that facilitated the buying and selling of bitcoin. His firm invests in blockchain-technology companies across a number of industries, including real estate, health care, and advertising. Amin Shams A successful serial entrepreneur, Amin Shams invested in cryptocurrency in 2016 and has been an active participant in the California crypto community ever since. His firm, Amino Capital, invests in a number of platforms that facilitate the buying and selling of cryptocurrencies, including Coinbase and Gemini. Chris Mougios Chris Mougios is the founder of Thrive Capital, a venture capital firm that invests in a variety of companies that utilize blockchain technology, including startups like Factom and Exodus. His firm also invests in the trading of tokens, specifically Polymath, which is focused on security tokens. John Kelleher John Kelleher is the founder of Q Blockchain Capital, a firm that invests in a wide range of blockchain companies. His firm also invests in token sales, and its most notable investment was in Dragonchain. The Pros Of Investing In California You can get cryptocurrency trading licenses in just a few days and begin trading in California. While Wyoming is one of the first states to allow miners, New York has been a hotspot. Regardless of where you choose to invest in cryptocurrencies, the California crypto community is supportive, welcoming, and friendly toward newcomers. California is the second-largest economy in the world, making it an attractive place to invest in a variety of industries, including real estate, healthcare, and marketing. If you are interested in investing in the cryptocurrency ecosystem, California is one of the best places to do so. The state is also investing in blockchain technology, giving it an advantage over other species when it comes to investing in cryptocurrencies, as well as traditional financial technology. Finally, California is a progressive state and has some of the most lenient regulations in the country, making it a great place to get involved in the crypto ecosystem. The Cons Of Investing In California Investing in cryptocurrencies is incredibly high-risk, which makes it a high-risk investment overall. That means that if you lose all your money, it will be gone forever, and there is nothing you can do to get it back. The price of bitcoin has dropped significantly in the last year, making it one of the worst times to invest in cryptocurrencies. While it is possible that this is a temporary dip, it is also possible that bitcoin is in a long-term decline, which could make it a bad investment. Investing in cryptocurrencies is also very volatile. While there is always a possibility that they will increase in value, there is also a possibility that they could drop drastically. If you invest in a cryptocurrency during a significant drop and it drops to zero, you will lose all your money. Conclusion Investing in cryptocurrencies is incredibly high-risk, which makes it a high-risk investment overall. While it is possible that bitcoin will go up in the long run, it is also possible that it will go down, making it a bad investment......»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalk6 hr. 45 min. ago

The Ultimate Strategies To Be Known Before Starting Crypto Trading

When it comes to the world of cryptocurrency and trading, there are a lot of people who are unaware of the many benefits that come with investing in cryptocurrencies. Moreover, not everyone has access to a reliable crypto trading platform. This is where crypto trading comes in; it’s how you can begin profiting from your […] When it comes to the world of cryptocurrency and trading, there are a lot of people who are unaware of the many benefits that come with investing in cryptocurrencies. Moreover, not everyone has access to a reliable crypto trading platform. This is where crypto trading comes in; it’s how you can begin profiting from your investments by trading them instead of simply keeping them locked away in a digital wallet. However, before you start trading cryptocurrencies, there are some specific strategies and tactics that you should consider first. 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   Crypto trading isn’t as complicated as it seems and these tips will help you get started with confidence. If you’re new to the world of cryptocurrencies or just looking for some new strategies, then this guide is for you! What Is Crypto Trading? Cryptocurrencies are a relatively new asset class, meaning you can’t go to your local broker and trade them. Instead, you’ll need to find a cryptocurrency trading broker or exchange that will let you trade cryptocurrencies. The number of brokers and exchanges that let you trade cryptocurrencies is growing every day, but there are a few things to keep in mind before you start trading. First, trading cryptocurrencies is similar to trading stocks. You’ll buy and sell assets like stocks, but instead of trading on a physical asset like an actual share of a company, you trade on an abstract digital asset like Ethereum. When you buy stocks, you own a small piece of a business. When you buy Ethereum or any other cryptocurrency, you own a small piece of a digital “token” that represents a future asset. Cryptocurrencies are like stocks in a few ways. One way they differ is that there are many more cryptocurrencies out there than there are stocks. Secondly, the only way to own cryptocurrency is to first own a digital wallet that holds the tokens. You can’t cash out a paper wallet like you can with stocks. You can also’t hold it in a bank account like a stock. You can only hold it in a digital wallet like a Robin Hood type of thing. Learn The Lingo If you want to start making money as a crypto trader, you need to learn the lingo. Cryptocurrencies are a relatively new asset class and there are a number of terms you should familiarize yourself with. Baskets - The amount of assets you can hold in your crypto trading account. Balances - The current amount of assets in your crypto trading account. Exchanges - Where you trade cryptocurrency assets. These can be brokers or exchanges. Trading Margin - The amount of assets you have to have available in your trading account at all times. Trading Volume - The amount of assets that have been traded over a certain period of time. Trading Volume Ranking - The order in which trading volume has occurred. Order Book - A visualization of all the orders that have been placed on the exchange. You can use this to see if you’re being filled or if you have any orders on the books. Order Book Ranking - The order in which orders are ranked on the exchange. You can use this to see if you’re in the right spot and if there’s any room to move in that direction. Research Exchanges The first thing you should do when thinking about starting to trade cryptocurrencies is to research a few exchanges. If you’re only going to start with one, make it an exchange that allows you to trade a wide range of different coins. Whatever exchange you choose, make sure you do your research. Find out what coins are available, what fees are charged, and what the trading volume is. A lot of exchanges only offer a small range of coins, so it’s important that you find one that offers a decent range. Once you’ve chosen an exchange, you need to do some additional research to make sure you choose the right one. First, find out what the exchange allows you to trade on. If you’re only going to start with one, it should be an exchange that offers a good range of coins. Next, find out what fees are charged on the exchange. Exchanges that charge high fees are a bad idea and you shouldn’t use them. Every exchange is different, so you need to find one that charges fees that are reasonable and are within your budget. Last, find out what trading volume the exchange has had in the past. Exchanges with low trading volumes usually allow anyone to trade without any experience or access restrictions. This isn’t worth your time and you should stay away from them. Bottom Line There’s a lot of hype surrounding cryptocurrencies and everyone wants to get in on the action. The problem is that it can be a bit overwhelming and there’s not a lot of information out there to help you get started. The good news is that you don’t have to do it alone and there are plenty of websites and forums that can help you get started. All you need to do is find an exchange that offers a good range of coins, research the exchange, and get trading......»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalk6 hr. 45 min. ago

7 ways to fix your iPhone camera if it"s blurry

If your iPhone camera is blurry, there may be hardware or software issues that require troubleshooting. Here's how to fix it. Hardware and software issues can cause an iPhone camera to be blurry.Phil Barker/Future Publishing via Getty Images If your iPhone camera is blurry, be sure to clean the lenses with a clean and dry microfiber cloth. You should also try restarting the Camera app and the phone itself. Don't pinch to zoom when composing your photos, as this can lead to blurry photos as well. Today, photo-taking is far-reaching and ubiquitous because nearly everyone has a camera in their pocket at all times thanks to smartphones like the iPhone. But while modern iPhones are capable of taking superb photos, you might sometimes run into situations when your iPhone camera takes blurry images. Here's how to troubleshoot your iPhone camera and restore the sharp, high-quality images it's designed to capture.   Clean the lensThis might seem obvious, but most of the time blurry photos are caused by a dirty lens. For the best results, wipe the lens with a clean and dry microfiber cloth. In fact, it's not a bad idea to carry a microfiber cloth with you for this very purpose. Don't use your fingers or hand, though, nor should you use tissues that have been treated with lotion or softener — residue will wipe off on the lens and make the problem worse. If you take a lot of pictures with your iPhone, carry a microfiber cloth to keep the lens clean.Dave Johnson/InsiderDon't pinch to zoomIf you zoom in too far when you're composing a picture, you can make the photo blurry by relying too much on the phone's digital zoom. Many iPhone models have a 2X or even a 3X optical zoom. You can safely zoom in that far and get a perfectly sharp picture. To do that, tap the zoom buttons at the bottom of the camera screen. But if you pinch to zoom, you can end up going well beyond what the optical zoom can manage, which leads to blurry photos. For best results, stick with the preset zoom levels and don’t pinch to zoom.Dave Johnson/InsiderRemove the phone caseBelieve it or not, your phone case can interfere with the iPhone's camera — especially if the case is made with metal components or magnets. Remove the case and try taking a picture. If the camera works better without the case, consider replacing the case with one with a different design. Restart the camera appIf the camera is misbehaving because of a software glitch, one easy way to solve the problem is to force-close the Camera app and then restart it. Closing the app can flush out any intermittent bugs or glitches and restore it to normal working condition. Test both the front and rear camerasIf you're still experiencing problems with blurry pictures, it can be helpful to see if the problem happens to both the front and rear cameras. Take a couple of test photos with the rear camera, then flip to the front camera and try that as well. If your iPhone has a wide-angle mode, that uses a different lens on the rear of the phone, so you could test that as well as a normal 1x picture as well. If only some of those pictures are blurry, you have narrowed the problem down to a particular camera or lens, and might need to enlist Apple support. Take test pictures using both the front and rear cameras to narrow down the problem.Dave Johnson/InsiderRestart your iPhoneWhen it comes to troubleshooting a blurry camera on your own, you have one last trick left: Restart your iPhone. You've probably already tried restarting the Camera app, but it's possible (not likely, but possible) that restarting the entire phone can resolve a more pervasive software glitch. Contact Apple supportFinally, if none of those troubleshooting steps resolved the problem with your blurry iPhone camera, you should reach out to Apple's customer service. Contact an Apple Store to have the phone professionally evaluated; you might need to have it repaired or replaced. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsider6 hr. 45 min. ago

How to cancel your Netflix subscription on any device

You can cancel your Netflix account in a few different ways, depending on how you subscribed originally. Here's how to do it. You can cancel your Netflix subscription at any time, but the process depends on how you subscribed. If you signed up directly through the Netflix website, you can also cancel using the website. But if you signed up through your Apple ID or Google account, you need to cancel using your phone. Some apps make it difficult to cancel your account, in the hopes that people will get so frustrated with the process that they end up keeping their subscription. Luckily, Netflix isn't one of these apps.It should only take a few minutes to cancel any Netflix account. The only hiccup is that you'll have to remember how you signed up for Netflix in the first place.Here's how to cancel Netflix in three ways, depending on how you made your account. If you're not sure which one applies to you, try them out in order.Quick tip: If none of these methods work, contact Netflix support directly to see who's managing your subscription.How to cancel your Netflix subscription if you signed up directlyIf you created your Netflix account through the website or a smart TV, this is probably the method you'll want to use.1. Open any web browser and head to the Netflix website. Log into your account if you haven't already.2. Click the downward-pointing arrow in the top-right corner of the page and then click Account.Go to "Account" to cancel your Netflix service.Dave Johnson/Insider3. Near the top of the page, under Membership and Billing, click Cancel Membership and confirm your decision to cancel.If you don't see this, you're being billed by a third party.Dave Johnson/Insider4. If you still have a DVD plan, click Cancel your DVD plan and confirm that you want to end it too.If you don't see the option to cancel your account here, it means that you signed up for Netflix through a third-party. You should see some information that tells you who's running your Netflix account.How to cancel your Netflix subscription on an iPhone or iPadIf you signed up for Netflix through the iPhone or iPad app, it probably means that your Netflix account is linked to your Apple ID. In this case, you'll need to cancel through the Apple ID menu.1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad and tap your name at the top of the page.2. In the Apple ID menu that opens, tap Subscriptions.Open your Apple ID Subscriptions menu.William Antonelli/Insider3. Select Netflix from the list that appears, and then select Cancel Subscription. Confirm your choice.How to cancel your Netflix subscription on an AndroidSimilarly, if you signed up for Netflix through the Android app, it's likely linked to your Google account. This means that you'll need to cancel through your Android's Play Store app.1. Open the Play Store app on your Android and tap your profile icon in the top-right corner.2. In the menu that opens, tap Payments & subscriptions, and then Subscriptions.You'll find Netflix in your "Subscriptions" menu.Google; William Antonelli/Insider3. Select Netflix from your list of subscriptions, then select the Cancel Subscription option. Confirm your choice.How to cancel a hacked Netflix accountIf you think someone hacked into your Netflix account, it is a good idea to do some sleuthing before canceling it entirely.On your Account page, navigate to the Security & Privacy section. From there, click on Manage access and devices. Click on the Manage access & devices button to view all of your users browsing history and location.Elena Matarazzo/InsiderIf you notice a suspicious browsing location, immediately change your password and sign out of all devices.If it's too late and the account's email address already belongs to the hacker, you will have to call Netflix directly to report it and cancel your account.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsider6 hr. 45 min. ago

Transfinder finds new uses for its software beyond transportation

The Schenectady-based company says its software is like a "Lego piece" that can be used in different ways......»»

Category: topSource: bizjournals6 hr. 45 min. ago

Help My Career: People are ‘long social distancing’ due to COVID-19. Economists say that’s contributing to a drop in labor-force participation.

Labor-force participation fell for the third month in a row in November, as13% of U.S. workers say they will continue social distancing, and another 45% say they will do so in limited ways......»»

Category: topSource: marketwatch7 hr. 1 min. ago

Vertiv & The E&I Acquisition: Lies, Damn Lies And Offshore Cash

“Vertiv Holdings Co (NYSE:VRT) is laser-focused on executing well, ensuring we are well positioned to benefit when supply chain conditions improve. Together with E&I, the future of Vertiv has never been brighter and we are excited about the potential value creation opportunities for our shareholders in both the near- and long-term.”- Rob Johnson, CEO “…our […] “Vertiv Holdings Co (NYSE:VRT) is laser-focused on executing well, ensuring we are well positioned to benefit when supply chain conditions improve. Together with E&I, the future of Vertiv has never been brighter and we are excited about the potential value creation opportunities for our shareholders in both the near- and long-term.”- Rob Johnson, CEO “…our team has thoughtfully followed acquisition best practices during the process of identification, valuation, due diligence and integration planning. E&I represents a unique opportunity for Vertiv and it fits well in the Vertiv portfolio. I am excited about the potential of these two great businesses coming together as one,” – Dave Cote, Executive Chairman .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 Ray Dalio Series in PDF Get the entire 10-part series on Ray Dalio 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   Rating UNDERPERFORM Price (5-December-22): $14.35 Target price: $2.00 52-week price range: $7.76 – $27.97 Market capitalization: $5.41 B Enterprise value: $8.36 B Legal Disclaimer After extensive research, we have taken a short position in shares of Vertiv Holdings Co. (NYSE:VRT). This report represents the summation of our opinions. In no way should this report be taken as investment advice or constitute responsibility for investment gains or losses. The information in this report should not be relied upon for investment decisions. All investors must conduct their own due diligence and consult their own investment advisors in making trading decisions. Investors seeking investment guidance on VRT should consult resources with professionals licensed to provide investment advice. The investment banks Cowen & Co., Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank and JP Morgan are all listed as having securities analysts that cover VRT. These institutions have significantly greater resources than Dalrymple Finance and the banks’ opinions may differ greatly from ours. We strongly encourage investors to consult these professionals for advice. This is not a solicitation to transact in any of the securities mentioned. The data herein has been obtained from public sources we believe to be reliable. However, the information is presented on an ‘as is’ basis and we make no warranty of any kind as to the accuracy, timeliness and/or completeness of any material contained in this opinion piece Table of Contents Summary Déjà vu: E&I Collapse & Aggressive Guidance – Management again misleads investors and faces “unexpected” business collapse VRT Modus Operandi: Guide High, Ride Stock, Miss Big The Irish Entities Show Collapsed Profitability How Much Was Known Excessive Valuation – VRT paid at least double the industry multiples for E&I Extremely High 30x EBITDA Multiple No Fairness Opinion or Financial Statement Disclosures Hiding Problems at the Underlying Business Accounting & Legal Issues Offshore Cash History of Guidance and Accounting Issues Déjà vu: Another Lawsuit Questionable Practices The Real Competitive Advantage Evidence from South Carolina, Ireland and the UAE A Déjà vu Conclusion Summary VRT often come with a strong sense of déjà vu, where enthusiasm forecasts of fine performance end in disappointment and poor actual results. Unfortunately, the E&I transaction fits the pattern. On September 8, 2021, Vertiv announced its intention to acquire E&I Engineering Group, an Ireland-based PDU and busway manufacturer serving data center customers. The company has production bases in Ireland, the United Arab Emirates (since 2007) and South Carolina, US (since 2014). Total consideration was $1.77B of which $1.16B cash and $600M in shares of the company. On October 27, VRT raised $850M 4.25% 144A notes to fund the transaction, which closed promptly on November 1, 2021. The incoming “change agent” CEO for VRT Mr. Giordano Albertazzi was head of the company’s EMEA region between 2016 and March 2022. He was likely directly responsible for the segment and due diligence of the major acquisition. Knowingly presenting unrealistic financial targets The consideration of $1.8B is 30X the actual 2021/2022 EBITDA and more than double the industry standard multiple. Equally aggressive were the financial targets in the company’s transaction presentation. The table below shows them along with the actual results achieved by E&I since the acquisition: After the transaction close in November 2021 the first reported actual results on Feb 23, 2022 were far below expectations. VRT reported negative operating income from E&I in the quarter and only $7M of EBITDA. The annualized proforma disclosures in the 10K provide EBITDA of $54M for the year, a staggering 55% miss off the management’s presentation. Given performance at the underlying businesses, management must have known expectations put forth were unobtainable. The Irish entities show clear collapse in profitability before the time of purchase Publicly available financial statements of the Irish subsidiaries show EBITDA margins collapsing. Audited financial statements show sales declined by -31% and -6% in 2021 at the two main businesses, while EBITDA was off by staggering –63% and -79% even after adjusting it for substantial acquisition costs. None of the statements or historical audited performance was disclosed by management. Further, VRT’s own 2022 FY guidance is a -56% and -23% negative variance on EBITDA and Sales of E&I from original presentation a little over a year ago. VRT overpaid by $1B for E&I and sent the cash offshore Over 99% of the $1.8B purchase price is allocated to goodwill and intangibles warranting a critical audit note making it is unclear why VRT paid roughly 2x the industry EBITDA and Sales multiples for the collapsing E&I business. There was no fairness opinion disclosed, and the E&I numbers were excluded from the VRT 2021 audit and most of the cash was sent to a Cyprus entity controlled by Philip O’Doherty, formerly CEO of E&I and now a VRT employee. The YTD 22 numbers show that VRT needed a European boost to obfuscate some problems in the segment amid booming industry conditions. A lawsuit by SAI alleges theft of intellectual property and customers by E&I According to the lawsuit, E&I won three bids SAI had expected from large customers. The initial revenue was $18.7M with $20-30M of follow-on for a total of $38.7M-$48.7M. We estimate that the $18.7M of revenue associated with the three accounts cited by SAI accounted for ~20% of E&I US sales in 2020. SAI sent E&I a letter demanding E&I cease (1) interfering with the non-compete agreements; (2) interfering with SAI’s economic opportunities; (3) exploiting SAI’s trade secrets to infringe on SAI’s customer relationships. We contacted SAI, but management declined to comment on the ongoing matter. The cheap labor competitive advantage raises serious ESG issues From allegations of seizing passports in the UAE to an interview with a former South Carolina employee who stated: “Because recruitment and retention were such an issue, even when the felons with sexual convictions were hired, when they repeated these behaviors to others in the workplace they were not fired, they were moved to another area where they had the opportunity to repeat offenses to others. E&I clearly has some HR issues to straighten out. It makes one wonder where some of that extra $1B went to from the Cyprus account. Déjà vu: E&I Collapse & Aggressive Guidance – Management Again Misleads Investors And Faces “Unexpected” Business Collapse Throughout 2021, VRT management assured shareholders higher margins and profitability would arrive by the end of the year. They didn’t. Rather, 4Q21 became known as the ‘big miss’ where promises and guidance were held until the final moment before reported results led to a collapse. Thus far, 2022 has been similar with the bullish early forecasts fading as actual results bring reality to the fore. The same pattern is evident with the E&I transaction. VRT Modus Operandi: Guide High, Ride Stock, Miss Big E&I has followed the data center industry power distribution architecture evolution by adding busway products with better margins (20%+) to the traditional power distribution units (10-15%). It also operates a sheet metal division which provides material to the powerbar and switchgrear manufacturing. The company was presented to investors as a high-margin, growth business, as is evident in what little management disclosed about the operating history and expectations, which is shown below. E&I was purchased as a 33% EBITDA margin business in 2020 with $480M in sales, projected to come down on both the revenue and profitability lines to $460M in sales and $120M in EBITDA in 2021 and then stage strong growth to deliver $570M in sales and $150M in EBITDA in 2022, starting short four months away from the time of presentation. The actual quarterly performance of the business is presented in the table below. Q4 2021 brought only $7M of EBITDA for a total of $54M for 2021 compared to the $120M target presented by management three months beforehand. Sales targets were off by 15% as well. Given the magnitude of VRT’s overall miss and the granularity of analysis needed to confirm these facts, we believe investors were unaware of it. The ambitious 2022 guidance is not fairing any better YTD. The initial $570M in projected sales are now guided down to $437M with $317M realized through Q3. More importantly, the 26% projected EBITDA margin, which was touted as a big reason for the “accretive” transaction, is only 14% and $150M of initial projected EBITDA is now expected to come in at $67M with only $45M realized YTD. These numbers represent a -56% and -23% negative variance on EBITDA and sales of E&I from original presentation a little over a year ago. The Irish Entities Show Collapsed Profitability The E&I transaction involved the purchase of two separate entities: 1) E&I Engineering Ireland which includes five entities, two US production and sales and three domiciled in Ireland, the most important of which are E&I Engineering Ltd and Powerbar Ltd and 2) Powergulf LLC, the UAE entity involved in production and sales in the Middle East. The consideration was split 84% to 16% between them. While we had no access to the UAE company statements, the Irish filings are a matter of public record. We have summarized them in the table below. The operating companies show demonstrable deterioration of performance off the 2020 highs and peak profitability. Powerbar’s sales declined over 30% in 2021 and EBITDA slipped by 63%. We believe powerbar to be the most profitable business within the E&I Group. E&I Engineering’s sales were relatively stable YoY 2020/2021 but EBITDA margins collapsed to 4% even after we adjusted for ₤12M of acquisition costs booked in 2021 (we similarly adjusted Powerbar for ₤6M of acquisition costs). Absent the adjustment the E&I Engineering business booked a loss for the year. Both entities collected a lot of cash in 2021, which was upstreamed as a ₤100M dividend as AR were settled and prepayments decreased signaling weakening order flow. All these developments should have been clearly visible to anyone conducting due diligence on the business. The consolidating entity E&I Engineering Ireland has transitioned to holding company accounting in 2021 following the change in control. However, there is enough historical information to draw similarly informed conclusions on the direction of the business. The summary financials we constructed are presented below. We have translated them to USD for ease of comparison. Overall sales of the group ex the UAE business declined by 17% while the EBITDA margin plunged from 31% to 12%. The statements also highlight the abnormal 2020 profitability with margins in the 22%-25% range in the preceding five years. Also of note is the apparent loss of 200 employees from 2019 to 2020 signaling either temping solutions to boost profitability or expected order flow declines. We have also constructed financial statements of the consolidated group including Powerbar Gulf, the UAE entity, using historical data and publicly available information in the table below. While the numbers have an element of estimate, they do conform to the publicly disclosed financial performance of the business. Again, there is a clear collapse in the performance of the combined entities with EBITDA margin halving YoY. Given the exceptional nature of the FY 2020 margin of 33% a return to the historical norm would have been likely. However, profitability appears to have been pulled forward preventing margins from recovering to historical levels in 2022. The financial patterns evident on the combined statements suggest eroding results must have been expected at the time of purchase. We believe this is evident in how management comments on questions relating to the E&I’s sub-par performance. On VRT’s 3Q22 conference call an analyst noted that E&I had contributed EPS of $0.02 vs $0.10 at the time of the transaction and asked if something had fundamentally changed? The question was not answered directly. Rather than explaining why E&I was seemingly producing at only 20% of its previously stated run-rate and sales would miss by $130M, the question was avoided. CFO Dave Fallon said “part of the value was based on synergies. And our expectations are probably 3x or more of what we originally anticipated. Unfortunately, that’s not showing up in the numbers this year.” The newly appointed CEO, former EMEA manager Giordano Albertazzi, echoed Mr. Fallon adding “I think it strategically made sense, and all the more reason it makes a ton of sense, a ton of sense now.” Neither Mr. Fallon nor Mr. Albertazzi’s answers were forthright. Rather than provide an explanation as to why E&I was underperforming to such a magnitude, they simply doubled-down on the future. In what has become a well-established, identifiable pattern of behavior, management supplants either delivering on expectations or frank explanations of variance with grandiose pronouncements. How Much Was Known Data from the public documents show that E&I’s problems were partially or completely known to users of original financial statements. Further, in its 10K 2021 filing, VRT’s own numbers confirm that the company knew that the business has only generated $47M in EBITDA in the year of acquisition up to transaction close. The number is based on the proforma disclosures which contain adjustments to “proforma events that are directly attributable to the transaction, factually supportable and expected to have a continuing impact on the combined results.” The purchase and sale agreement filed with the SEC, defines Management Accounts as “accounts of the E&I Group and Powerbar Gulf, comprising the unaudited aggregated balance sheet … profit and loss accounts … for each of the monthly periods from the Last Accounts Date (Dec 31, 2020) to March 31, 2021 inclusive.”VRT was given 40 days to file any disagreements with the Completion Accounts prepared as of June 30, 2021. Additionally, there is a pre-completion provision requiring the Sellers to “as soon as reasonably practicable, give to the Buyers reasonable details of any material change in its business, financial position or assets” Despite the factually supportable results, management still chose to not discuss its $120M guidance for the year ending two months prior. Unlike the factually supportable low EBITDA numbers, VRT has avoided putting forward any audited information and has tried to disclaim the high guidance numbers as much as possible. For example, in an 8K filing dated October 13, 2021 as part of raising $850M 4.25% Notes for the transaction the company noted: “While Vertiv has reviewed the unaudited historical data related to E&I provided by E&I in the course of Vertiv’s due diligence, it has not independently verified such data. In addition, this information has not been audited, reviewed, examined, compiled or verified by any independent auditor and has not been prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States. The forecasts in the acquisition presentation are similarly disclaimed. Further, although a transaction that represented 28.7% of VRT assets at FY end 2021, E&I was excluded from the company’s audit opinion. “management’s assessment of and conclusion on the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting did not include the internal controls of E&I. Given the nature of the assets, the exclusion could represent a material risk. Over 99% of the E&I transaction net consideration of $1.765M is allocated to Other Intangible Assets $1B of which customer relationships is $731M and Goodwill of $748M. As we detail later in the report, there is a lawsuit against E&I for fraudulently acquiring customers. Not surprisingly, the valuation of these intangible assets valuation warranted a special mention by E&Y in the audit as a critical audit matter. “The significant assumptions used to estimate the fair value of customer relationships included the forecasted earnings before interest, taxes, and amortization, customer attrition rates and a discount rate. The significant assumptions used to estimate the fair value of developed technology included the forecasted revenue, royalty rates and a discount rate. These significant assumptions are forward looking and as such inherently uncertain.” If the valuation was based, in part, on the original $150M 2022 EBITDA estimates management provided to investors, there should be an impairment logged at year end. 99% of the large $1.8B purchase price allocated to two intangibles raises questions about the nature of the valuation. It is a pattern more reminiscent of technology company rather than a switchgear and powerbar manufacturer. Excessive Valuation – VRT paid at least double industry multiples for E&I Extremely High 30x EBITDA Multiple VRT paid a staggering ~30x EBITDA 2021 or 2022 for the E&I business and over 4x revenue. These valuation metrics are at least double the industry standard for much better capitalized and diversified public companies as shown below. Public companies average 15x EV/EBITDA with a range of 10-20x. EV/sales multiples are tighter, around 3x. E&I’s transaction multiple on 2021 took place far above any publicly traded comparable. In 2016, Platinum purchased the debt-free VRT for $4B at an EV/sales of ~1x and ~7x EBITDA. The deal is even more overvalued relative to private transactions. Over the last several years, M&A transactions in VRT’s industrial space have typically taken place at EV/EBITDA multiples of 11-13x and ~2-3x sales. The table below shows several recent acquisitions to provide context. Schneider paid 15x for a high-end Indian switchgear manufacturer with other more representative transactions at 11 to 13x. Further, both the Indian and Turkish deals come with a low-cost manufacturing bases in reliable jurisdictions and sales concentration in the local market – 60% in the case of Ulsoy Turkey – which creates strong international growth prospects under the umbrella of the larger organizations. In 2019 Legrand acquired Universal Electric Corporation with its line of Starline busways for power distribution. Starline is considered to be the top in the business and competes with E&I’s power bar products. Although valuation data on the transaction was not disclosed, we know the company generated $175M in sales in the year acquired. Assuming a margin comparable to E&I’s Powerbar of 22% and an industry multiple of 12x EBITDA, we estimate it was purchased for ~$460M. Legrand’s financial statements for 2019 note that the company made three acquisitions that year with Starline being the largest. Reported acquisitions’ net cash outflow was EUR 452.7M or $507M at the average exchange rate for the year. We believe our estimate is corroborated by the audited data. At the time VRT purchased E&I, we estimate it was worth $700-800M at the top end. An EV/EBITDA multiple of 12x on 2021’s $54M of EBITDA yield a $650M value. The same multiple on 2022E EBITDA of $67M yields a value of $804M. Blending the values obtained from industry normalized multiples shows E&I was worth ~$726M. At $1.76B, VRT paid roughly 2.4x the valuation overpaying by a total of $1B. Press reports support our thesis that VRT vastly overpaid for E&I. In 2019 it appears Mr. O’Doherty began signaling that E&I was for sale. There were two pieces in the press at the time that discussed the profitability of the enterprise. A November 2019 article in the Sunday Times was particularly glowing, noting that revenues and profits surged in 2018, making it one of the most profitable companies in the country. It cited ‘industry sources’ valuing the company at approximately GBP 500M, a multiple of ~10x operating income, which equates to a price of ~$640M. VRT paid 2.76x what E&I was estimated to be worth, and presumably Mr. O’Doherty thought fair, only two years prior on lower income. The context of both industry multiples and a relatively recent valuation ‘signal’ to potential acquirers begs the question: why did VRT pay nearly $2B for this company when it was clearly worth less than ~50% of the price? No Fairness Opinion or Financial Statement Disclosures VRT did not publish detailed financial statements on E&I, despite the fact that they are available. Given the excess valuation paid in the face of a company past peak profitability with declining sales, we have to question VRT’s board’s due diligence efforts in contrast to Mr. Cote’s statement. As a $1.77B transaction that increased VRT’s net debt by ~33%, the E&I deal has had a material financial impact on the company. We assume that the board, at minimum, obtained one fairness opinion – often two are commissioned. The fairness opinion would include financial information and comparable valuation data that would provide some context and justification for the purchase. To our knowledge, a fairness opinion on E&I, assuming one exists, has not been made public or even referenced in public filings. We strongly encourage management to publish all fairness opinions obtained prior to the transaction. In our view, publication could help resolve a number of the many questions arising from the financial anomalies and excessive valuation associated with the transaction. Hiding Problems at the Underlying Business Giordano Albertazzi, currently COO and President of the Americas is set to become the CEO of VRT in January 2023 when Robert Johnson steps down. Previously to assuming his current post in October 2022, Mr. Albertazzi was President of the company in Europe. We believe that in the capacity of President, Mr. Albertazzi would have been instrumental in bringing the E&I acquisition to Vertiv. Analysis of sales as reported and adjusted for E&I’s contribution shows Mr. Albertazzi’s legacy to be the largest beneficiary of the transaction. On an as reported basis, EMEA is a growth market, but excluding E&I sales shows significant erosion of sales throughout 2022. We disaggregated E&I sales from the combined results to show the organic change in VRT’s business. In the table below we compare sales in two ways. We show total sales for all segments for the 9-month periods of 2022. The panels on the left show sales as reported, on the right, we remove E&I’s contribution to show VRT’s organic change in sales. In the bottom part of the exhibit, we show the same 9-month changes, but with both panels adjusted for the FX losses in the period. The right panel also has E&I removed. All E&I sales are recorded in the Critical Infrastructure segment. We have highlighted the appropriate numbers to show the impact of the adjustment. The comparison highlights two issues. On an as reported basis, Europe shows respectable 15.8% growth overall, with 30% growth in Critical Infrastructure, where E&I sales are recorded. The top right panel adjusted for E&I shows an overall decline of 9.5%, indicating results in the segment would have been deeply negative without the acquisition. Critical Infrastructure, the largest segment, would have been down 12%. The bottom panels show sales adjusted for FX losses. Excluding E&I sales but adjusted for FX losses shows below-industry growth of 7.5% down from proforma +30%. The Services segment is particularly weak; and although growth is strong with Integrated rack solutions, the division is very small. The lack of growth in Europe is particularly disconcerting because competitors have noted the strength of markets thus far in 2022. Schneider Electric noted on its conference call that its data center business was experiencing ‘double-digit’ growth on a y/y basis. Western Europe was up 14% on an organic basis. Eaton noted “solid growth in Europe”. Similarly, Legrand reported that the data center business was up despite difficult y/y comparisons and Europe; business was up 10.5%. VRT’s European business is weak and without the acquisition would have shown -9.5% revenue decline while the industry was recording 10%+ results. We suspect that Mr. Albertazzi and VRT management were aware of the European trends when the purchase E&I was proposed. Although E&I has dramatically underperformed expectations, it has effectively masked weakness in the company’s European business. Legal and Accounting Issues Déjà vu – Another lawsuit Lawsuits are an important feature of VRT’s history and operations. Our first report on the company relied heavily on lawsuit testimony from executives indicating that management lied to investors throughout 2021 in effort to inflate the stock price. Prior to the current class action, the company was sued in conjunction with Facebook for stealing the intellectual property regarding warehouse sized pre-fabricated, modular designed data centers of the Bladeroom Group. Litigation began prior to Platinum’s acquisition of VRT. A $120M judgement (indemnified by Emerson) against VRT was recently vacated and the matter is ongoing. As part of E&I’s acquisition, VRT must contend with a multi-faceted lawsuit alleging theft of intellectual property, trade secrets and customers. E&I was sued in March 2021 in US District Court in Illinois by a Chicago-based competitor, SAI Advanced Power Solutions (SAI). In the second amended complaint filed on 12/21/21, SAI makes several allegations centered around the activities of VP of Sales, Shane Wolfram, who left SAI to work for E&I. The lawsuit states that at the time just prior to VRT’s acquisition of E&I, the company was retooling its US switchgear business, incorporating SAI technology and confidential information on what wins bids and targeting a number of SAI’s large clients with some success with the help of Mr. Wolfram. The plaintiff alleges E&I fraudulently acquired some switchgear technology and customers. SAI alleges that the former employee, in violation with his non-compete and separation agreement, worked with E&I to co-opt SAI technology and ‘pilfer’ top-10 customers. Customers on the non-solicitation list include large hyperscale developers and operators, such as CloudHQ, Stack Infrastructure, Iron Mountain and Toshiba. E&I won contracts with CloudHQ and Stack Infrastructure following the hiring of Mr. Wolfram. The suit alleges collusion between Wolfram and E&I and CEO O’Doherty. SAI supports its claims with telephone records, emails and texts likely obtained in discovery. The suit notes that Mr. Wolfram deleted 200 text messages to E&I representatives before turning in his company phone to SAI. The suit details an incident where Mr. O’Doherty, unaware that Mr. Wolfram has turned his corporate phone in to SAI, calls and immediately begins discussing how to recruit another SAI employee to E&I – a prohibited action under Wolfram’s agreement with SAI. Mr. O’Doherty was unaware that it was not Mr. Wolfram who answered, but a loyal SAI employee. The conversation was subsequently reported to SAI management. The matter is ongoing but the case should be concerning to VRT. It is a lawsuit management must have encountered during due diligence, and did not disclose to investors. More importantly, it appears VRT did not have the matter indemnified in the purchase and sales agreement. The purchase and sales agreement specifically cites an ongoing matter related to an insurance claim, but states that “no group company is the subject of any legal or regulatory investigation, inquiry or audit, in each case, in respect of which the liability of the Group is likely to be in excess of $1,000,000 individually.” Although the Bladeroom action has reverted back to the starting position, the original $120M liability is suggestive of the scale of awards. The E&I lawsuit suggests there was $39-49M in sales directly attributable to three customers ‘pilfered’ from SAI. A loss in court would mean that VRT purchased an under-performing company at a sky-high valuation that included a significant legal liability. $731M or 40% of the purchase price of E&I was allocated to “customer relationships”. Perhaps the lawsuit’s allegations that some customers were fraudulently obtained was the impetus for E&Y tagging the intangible with a critical audit matter. History of Guidance and Accounting Issues VRT has a history of guidance and accounting issues in its short history of an independent public company since February 2020. First, on March 1, 2021 E&Y gave its 2020 audit a qualified opinion on account of deficient controls over financial reporting. “In our opinion, because of the effect of the material weaknesses described below on the achievement of the objectives of the control criteria, the Company has not maintained effective internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2020, based on the COSO criteria. A material weakness is a deficiency, or combination of deficiencies, in internal control over financial reporting, such that there is a reasonable possibility that a material misstatement of the company’s annual or interim financial statements will not be prevented or detected on a timely basis. The following material weaknesses have been identified and included in management’s assessment. Management has identified material weaknesses in controls related to (a) not fully designing, implementing and monitoring general information technology controls in the areas of user access and program change-management for systems supporting all of the Company’s internal control processes; (b) the aggregation of open control deficiencies across the Company’s financial reporting processes because the controls were not fully designed and operating effectively.” Secondly, on February 23, 2022 after repeatedly guiding revenue and AOP expectations higher, VRT missed its own months old guidance by an exceptionally large margin of 80% on the profitability metric of adjusted operating income sending the stock down 37% on the day of the reporting. A number of shareholder lawsuits ensued and at least one appears to be settled. However, on September 16, 2022 an amended suit was filed for the City of Riviera Beach General Employees Retirement System v Vertiv Holdings Co. Et al, case number 1:22-cv-3572. It provides testimony from high level VRT employees that management deliberately mislead investors about the nature and prospects of the business in order to help effect sales of shares for the private equity owner at inflated prices. Here is a link to the amended complaint. VRT has not publicly commented on the allegations and its defense strategy and none of the sell side analysts mention its existence or relevance to the company. Offshore Cash In addition to collapsing profitability and excess valuation, the E&I Group has been stripped out of cash on a regular basis via its controlling shareholder Cyprus offshore entity Powerbar Limited Cyprus which holds controlling share of the two underlying companies. The table below summarized the data from Irish & Cypriot disclosures: dsadas More than 2/3 of all the cash generated by the E&I group has been paid out via the entity. Further, the cash and share consideration of $1.8B paid by VRT was very likely received by the same entity and distributed offshore. None of this was disclosed and Philip O’Doherty, the CEO of E&I and controlling party of the Cypriot firm is a VRT employee. Questionable Practices The Real Competitive Advantage E&I does not hold a technological, distribution or other advantage in the commoditized business of PDU and powerbars. In fact, the company faces stiff competition from large and well-established and better-capitalized entities. The only real advantage (other than customer poaching discussed previously) is ability to access cheap labor in relative proximity to its end markets in order to keep transportation costs low. However, there is an issue with how E&I is able to achieve its competitive edge which impacts its sustainability. Evidence from South Carolina, Ireland and the Persian Gulf There are consistent themes with employee reviews across E&I’s three manufacturing locations. They center around low pay, high turnover, few opportunities for advancement unless a ‘friend of management’, favoritism displayed by management, an unprofessional ‘manage by fear’ style. There are distinctions among them. Reviews indicate Powerbar Gulf in the UAE is the most troubling work environment. They site behavior that goes beyond the overwork, bad management and poor conditions cited at other facilities, and include harassing and threatening behavior by managers, financial penalties and threats, and passport seizure, which would make a worker more akin to a slave. South Carolina’s complaints are just behind the UAE, centering on what should be unacceptable behavior, including tolerating serial sexual harassment offences from felons. E&I Engineering U.S. and Ireland E&I Glassdoor reviews in the U.S. show 7 1 and 2 star reviews and 5 4 and 5 star reviews. E&I Ireland and the U.S. has 13 5-star reviews and 9 1-star reviews. However, all 9 1-star reviews were marked as helpful by one or more individuals; only 1 of the 13 5-star reviews received a helpful vote. E&I’s South Carolina facility has a deeply troubling reputation. There are a number of reviews on Glassdoor. However, a quoted text from a conversation with an employee provides details of what appears to be a significant, ongoing corporate problem. The text below are unedited outtakes from our conversation: “The overall morale at the plant is extremely poor, many folks feel they're underpaid, overworked and underappreciated. I found the staff, both in US and Ireland, to make a lot of promises and pledges and frequently not uphold them. Annual reviews were not conducted in a timely manner, raises and bonuses were not implemented when promised either.” “Americans at the factory believe they cannot be promoted unless they're Irish and this resulted in a lot of turnover. Devices, equipment and products frequently left the plant with significant issues and possible hazards and dangers. The production workers were being led by unqualified individuals. Many of the workers and staff had significant criminal records, convictions of sexual offenses were common for hires. Because recruitment and retention were such an issue, even when the felons with sexual convictions were hired, when they repeated these behaviors to others in the workplace they were not fired, they were moved to another area where they had the opportunity to repeat offenses to others.” “The Anderson, SC facility is a disaster and I fully anticipate future lawsuits and issues to plague the company until significant changes are implemented…” 1.0 ★★★★★ Current Employee Terrible Workplace - Burnfoot Jun 10, 2021 - Accounts Assistant in Burnfoot Pros It's easy to get a job here due to the high turnover Cons Staff are discouraged from talking even about work so the atmosphere is horrible. Pay is low for most and there is no real payscale and major inconsistencies. Employees are discouraged from discussing their pay. The atmosphere is horrible as everyone fears management. They do nothing to benefit the lives of employees, no clubs, no events, not even a canteen on site. Management use punishment rather than praise to "motivate" staff. Bullying by management is common. Innovation is discouraged Staff are generally unhappy and this unhappiness is contagious. If you are on a salary, expect to do a lot of unpaid overtime. Staff are not valued. They would rather replace you than give you any kind of pay increase. There is more staff than there is parking. Staff turnover is high so it can be hard to know who's doing what. Advice to Management Place more value in staff. Do more to support staff. Encourage innovation. Listen to staff and their needs. Powerbar Gulf Reviews We have included several employee reviews on Powerbar Gulf from two sites below. To put the reviews in context, both groups are rated from 1 to 5 stars. Indeed.com had only 15 reviews, roughly evenly split between 1 and 5 star with approximately 18% for each group. Google has 75 reviews, split almost 50/50 between 1 and 5 star. However, Google provides a ‘thumbs up’ option if readers find the reviews helpful. The more detailed 1-star reviews showed below were voted most helpful, suggesting that the reviews resonated with readers. Sachin Prajapati - 2 reviews - 7 months ago - 1/5★ Worst company do not deserve even a single star. First of all, The whole recruiting and staffing procedures are horrible. Moreover, once you board, they started treating inhumanely with you. Even they don't have felicitous amenities for their employees and doesn't wants to ameliorate either. In case, you want to leave or deny to work, they charges enormous penalties and cease passport too. As a result, you found yourself in big trouble. What ever I have written here, is from the worst experienced had by my one of the friends so, i thought to narrate it with you, in hope to depicts real picture of this firm before to opt. Lastly, it might be the best for some other guy, but it was scarred stiff for my friend. Miyatra Dolly - 2 reviews - 7 months ago - 1/5★ Zero star One of the worst HR team. If you want to left the company, then they will terrorize you and will tell you that you will be not able to work in gulf if you left our company. They will be polite on mail but in actual they will insult and scarify you in personal. A worst place to work U will have to work under a revenging GM, management is very much incapable to handle employees. You will feel like in a jail under jail warden . People get runaway from the company or will be terminated with silly reasons Déjà vu Conclusion VRT is a chronic underperformer having missed every material financial goal set, yet management’s forward-looking statements are replete with grandiose expectations. Even what should be mundane 8-K on bonus compensation filed on November 21, 2022 attempted to strike an inspirational tone of hope for the future finances of the company. The board set performance compensation levels at $1B on AOP, 35% above what we believe is already an unobtainable $740M. The 8-K states that the board believes it’s a stretch. It’s not. It’s ridiculous. Part of a much larger pattern of behavior where facts and reality are eschewed in favor of great proclamations signaling a profitable future. Less than 3-years into its life as a public company, the rhyming pattern is evident in VRT’s failures. Promised margins fail to materialize, bullish guidance is lowered and missed, and the high growth and profit expectations of the acquisition target disappear as results shift from estimated to actual. Over time these series of failures evoke a sense of déjà vu. Evidence in the lawsuit suggests that investors and analysts were being misled regarding various aspects of the business, including the likelihood of financial performance. Our research and analysis of E&I’s financial statements indicate that management and the board must have known that the company would not meet near-term projections. There is what is becoming a firmly established pattern of intent. There is a playbook in the pattern and management appears to stick to it. And why wouldn’t they? Every time management offers up a new higher financial target analysts seems to forget the immediate recent past and help support the stock. The problem is that the great expectations put forth to investors by management are not factually supported, but at best hopes and dreams, at worse intentional distractions. Our analysis is factually supported. E&I financial statements show that the company was destined to miss management’s guidance. The transaction provided a great hope during a trying time for shareholders, but as befitting with VRT’s history, it too is a disappointment – except to the sellers......»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalk8 hr. 1 min. ago

9 email and Instagram DM templates that influencers use to reach out to brands to collaborate with

Influencers are using these templates to find success landing paid partnership deals with brands including Credit Karma, Lancôme, and others. Tori Dunlap.Tori Dunlap Many influencers land paid partnerships by reaching out directly to brands. Some slide into a company's DMs on Instagram or TikTok, while others email the influencer team. Several influencers on YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok shared the exact templates they use.  For many influencers, brand collaborations are one of the main ways to earn income, especially for those who work full-time as content creators.Making the first move by DMing or emailing a brand is usually the best way to get in touch for a potential collab, according to several influencers that Insider previously spoke with. Some influencers, like Jalyn Baiden, focus their outreach efforts on a specific social-media platform, like Instagram. Baiden left her day job in digital marketing last year to pursue content creation more seriously, and now has almost 6,000 Instagram followers. Her Instagram template that she used to successfully pitch brands has helped her earn enough to sustain her lifestyle in Virginia. "So far, I've made 40% of my old salary in the last four months," Baiden previously told Insider. "It's crazy to even say that out loud." Here is the Instagram DM template that Baiden uses to reach out to brands: Hello! My name is Jalyn, and I'm a content creator from Richmond, VA. I'm super interested in partnering with [brand] and would love to send a collaboration proposal to your marketing team. Could you please let me know the correct email contact? Thanks so much!Read more templates she uses to get paid deals and earn five figures this yearMeanwhile, influencer London Lazerson, who has 9.1 million TikTok followers, uses one of two LinkedIn templates he's perfected to reach out to brands. The strategy has earned him six figures in 2021.Here is one of the LinkedIn templates that Lazerson has used to cold-contact brands: Hey, my name is London Lazerson. I've got 8.5 million on TikTok. I would love to work with you. I don't know what that looks like, but let's talk. Check me out. [Link to his TikTok profile.]Read more on the LinkedIn templates he uses to get in touch with CEOs for brand dealsAlthough social media is a powerful tool to get in touch with brands directly, some influencers, like Gigi Kovach, who has 12,800 Instagram followers, prefer to focus their efforts on email outreach. Kovach has a "pitch bank" of email templates, and chooses one depending on the company, product, or experience. Each template has a clear indication of her rates and what goes into that amount, so that brands know what they're paying for. "It's not just some arbitrary, 'you owe me $500,' it's a breakdown of everything that they're getting in return for that $500," she previously told Insider. Here is a recent template she used to successfully pitch a brand over emailInsider spoke to nine influencers who shared their exact DM and email templates used to land brand collaborations.Email templates influencers use to pitch brands:Jack Betts, an influencer with around 5,300 Instagram followers. He shared the email template that he also includes a resume in.Julie Tecson, an influencer with around 7,100 Instagram followers. She has different email templates for different purposes.Gigi Kovach, an influencer with around 12,800 Instagram followers. She uses this email template to pitch brands.Emma Cortes, an influencer with around 51,200 Instagram followers. Here is the email template she used to start landing paid collabs.DM templates influencers use to pitch brands: Jayln Baiden, an influencer with around 5,700 Instagram followers. Here is a DM template she recommends using to catch a brand's attention.Lillian Zhang, an influencer with around 22,300 TikTok followers. Here's the DM she used to land her first paid brand collaboration.Ashley Jones, an influencer with around 58,700 Instagram followers. She shares advice on the best way to DM a brand on Instagram.Tori Dunlap, an  influencer with around 2.3 million TikTok followers. She shared 2 templates she uses to pitch brands on Instagram.London Lazerson, an influencer with around 9.1 million followers on TikTok. He shared two examples of DMs he sends to brands.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nyt9 hr. 1 min. ago

Ford"s CEO wants to end haggling for electric car sales — and he"s gotten two-thirds of US dealers to agree

Ford CEO Jim Farley said 1,920 dealers have agreed to invest in the company's new EV sales program amid controversy. Peter Dench/Getty Images 1,920 Ford dealers have signed on for a controversial EV sales program. Ford said earlier this year dealers would need to invest up to $1.2 million to sell EVs. "We're betting on the franchise system," CEO Jim Farley said. Buying an electric Ford could soon mirror experiences at upstart EV-makers like Tesla and Rivian.Nearly two-thirds of Ford's 3,000 US dealerships have agreed to new no-haggle EV sales standards, CEO Jim Farley said Monday at a conference in Detroit, signaling a next-step for Ford as it aims to become the US's number-one seller of EVs.Since launching the Mustang Mach-e and F-150 Lightning electric vehicles, Ford under Farley has accelerated its push toward an all-electric future. The move to change the dealership experience is just the latest in a series of strategic changes for the company this year, including a reorganization of the company's powertrain divisions.The program has met some opposition already, including a lawsuit from New York dealers filed last week. They say the EV sales requirements set by Ford violate franchise laws with illegal pricing requirements and unlawful allocation systems. Ford has said it believes the EV sales program does not violate any franchise laws, and Farley said Monday the company is trying to include its dealers in its EV future, unlike startup rivals like Tesla, Rivian, and Lucid."We're betting on the franchise system," Farley said. "We want to work with our dealers, but there are certain things our customers want that are non-negotiable."To meet some of those "non-negotiable" customer needs – like no-haggle pricing – Ford told dealers earlier this year to invest in a new EV sales structure or be left behind. Following an announcement in September, dealers had until October 31 to decide if they would invest up to $1.2 million and adhere to new sales standards for electric cars.These sales standards include no-haggle pricing and more factory orders for lower-priced EVs, while the investments go toward EV charging stations and other infrastructure upgrades. Dealers had until October 31 to either join the program, or forego EV sales at their stores.There are two tiers to the EV sales program: Certified Elite and Certified. In the elite track, dealers are required to invest up to $1.2 million in facility upgrades and training for staff. On the certified track, the investment requirement is lower – $500,000 – but caps allotted EV sales at the dealership to 25 per year.Of the 1,920 dealers who have signed on, a majority have chosen the Certified Elite track, Farley said.Farley wants Ford to compete directly with Tesla, and has pointed to Tesla's direct sales model as a guidepost for squeezing more profit out of each vehicle. Meanwhile, startups using the direct sales model have some obstacles to overcome as they navigate state franchise laws and find ways to get vehicles into customers' driveways.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nyt9 hr. 1 min. ago

How this 27-year-old entrepreneur built his $8 million dessert empire after leaving Wall Street

Neil Hershman, a former Wall Street analyst, bought his first 16 Handles in New York in 2019. He turned that bet into a dessert empire. Here's how. The entrepreneur and 16 Handles owner Neil Hershman bought the froyo chain in August.16 Handles Neil Hershman worked as a Wall Street analyst in his early 20s. The entrepreneur left his job to pursue owning a 16 Handles shop. He bought the froyo chain in August. He explains how he built a dessert empire in three years. Editor's note: This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with Neil Hershman, 27. With the help of a business loan, the Wall Street analyst turned food entrepreneur bought a 16 Handles franchise in Manhattan in 2019. Taking advantage of a depressed real-estate market amid the pandemic, he negotiated favorable long-term leases and opened several 16 Handles locations. He bought the chain in August. He's also a Dippin' Dots and Captain Cookie franchisee/licensee. Here's how he created a dessert empire in less than three years. This September conversation has been edited for clarity.My name is Neil. I'm 27. I have dessert shops around Manhattan, including two Times Square flagships. Last month, I closed on the acquisition of 16 Handles, the frozen-yogurt and soft-serve franchise with over 30 units across five states. I grew up entrepreneurial. I wanted to turn everyday activities into profitable businesses. There was one quote that I heard when I was younger about min-maxing your life, meaning solely focusing on the things you're good at, instead of trying to spread yourself too thin. That stuck with me and was the driving philosophy behind a lot of my achievements.I became a master scuba diver at 14. I became a certified pilot at 17. At 26, I summited Everest. At 26, Hershman climbed Mount Everest.Neil HershmanI left finance and became the guy behind the froyo counterI graduated from George Washington University in Washington, DC, with a degree in finance and astrophysics. I went to New York. I joined CIFC Asset Management as an analyst. I had the chance to get my feet wet with big money.I loved the work. I was mainly in valuation, mergers and acquisitions, and strategic forecasting. But I couldn't stand the inefficiencies and lack of creativity. So I started to focus on my side projects. I was looking for a turnkey business to invest in.I like selling physical things, and I thought, long term, the food business seemed like a great place to end up. I was living in the East Village neighborhood of Manhattan. 16 Handles was a froyo shop around the corner from my apartment that I frequented. It's a great product. The business had held its own for over a decade. I purchased my first 16 Handles in April 2019.I left finance and became the guy behind the froyo counter.I never introduced myself as the owner. I worked three straight months. It was all about learning the business inside and out — and a lot of that came from the employees who had worked at the store and never really had their voices heard.Dessert — especially 16 Handles since it's a self-serve shop — is a high-margin, low-cost business. You have this broad customer base. I had a quick return, so I negotiated to buy two additional New York City downtown locations. That was April. The next two, I purchased in August 2019.That's when the vision of this — a froyo and dessert empire — started brewing.I saw this retail apocalypse as a great chance to sign leasesWhen the pandemic hit, New York City grinded to a halt. Within months, we were able to get all my operating locations back open, with this big focus on delivery. Even though the streets of New York were empty, I saw this retail apocalypse as a great chance to sign leases with pessimistic landlords. I was able to get deals done — a young entrepreneur who's willing to bet on New York, taking prominent, convenient locations so that we had the best foot traffic.I signed the 16 Handles Times Square store — 550 square feet on the ground floor — in the peak of the pandemic, maybe November or December 2020. Before that, all the 16 Handles were closer to 1,200 square feet. Building that store meant a new customer base because you're talking about the tourist market instead of a local neighborhood.I never bought into the idea that New York City would never come back. The only thing that scared me was how long it could take.Expanding the dessert delivery space with Captain Cookie and Dippin' DotsDuring the early part of the pandemic, I was also thinking of ways to increase revenue and leverage the store-delivery solution for frozen dessert I had created to prevent froyo from melting en route to customers.That was when I first thought about Dippin' Dots because I wanted to buy some myself. Googling how to get them, I learned that they were inaccessible and required special freezers for distribution — a problem I knew I could tackle. I reached out in August 2020 and worked with it to create the first stand-alone flagship retail shop in Manhattan's Flatiron District, which we opened to a two-hour line on April 9, 2021.Captain Cookie is a brand that started as a food truck on my college campus and turned into a store. In a late-night email in November, I jotted to the Captain Cookie folks, "Hey, I build dessert shops in New York. This is right up my alley. I used to go to GW. I loved the product and the brand. Would you be interested in doing a partnership in New York City?"That first Captain Cookie store opened in April.After the success of the initial Dippin' Dots location, I built two more this spring, along with my first two Captain Cookie stores. By June, my nine dessert stores, including five 16 Handles shops, were all hitting their summer stride and on track to hit $8 million in annual sales.Buying 16 Handles and growing it to a national brandAs the largest franchisee working with the franchisor, we were misaligned on what we saw as the vision for 16 Handles. So at that point, it made sense for me to put in an offer for the full acquisition of the brand.I believed I could not only help my stores and help grow the brand but also help the other franchisees in the system. During the acquisition, there was an opportunity for me to take on two more 16 Handles locations, in uptown Manhattan, which brought my shop count to 11 (including Dippin' Dots and Captain Cookie stores).The ultimate vision for the 16 Handles brand is to make it a large national player.A key reason for my success with 16 Handles is that I found creative solutions to what otherwise seem like impossible obstacles. Instead of conceding or walking away when I heard "no" during a negotiation, I took some time to brainstorm.When making deals, I consider what the other party's goals are and how I can sell them on an alternative solution and keep the deal alive. Sometimes all it takes is believing there's a solution and giving yourself the time to think of it.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nyt9 hr. 1 min. ago

Chapel Hill medtech furloughs staff as it weighs potential sale

A Chapel Hill company is searching for ways to extend its runway as the firm faces a weak financial position. And all options appear to be on the table......»»

Category: topSource: bizjournals9 hr. 2 min. ago

Hungary Is Lone Veto Of EU"s €18BN Ukraine Aid Package As Rift Deepens

Hungary Is Lone Veto Of EU's €18BN Ukraine Aid Package As Rift Deepens Viktor Orban's Hungary has continued as a thorn in the side of European planners and policymakers, with the latest on Tuesday being a resounding veto on an 18-billion euro ($18.93bn) financial aid package for the Ukrainian government. While the aid can still possibly and eventually reach Kiev, Hungary's veto ensures a longer, drawn out and more complicated process if EU aid is to remain flowing - something which officials are still vowing to pursue. Now a more technical solution will be sought, as Tuomas Saarenheimo, the chairman of the EU Council Economic and Financial Committee, described in Tuesday comments: "In the end, agreement was found on formulations that allow a flexible and quick way to deploy funds to Ukraine without fundamentally changing the way the EU manages its funds. I say agreement, but in the reality, that agreement was minus one." Image source: AP And so Budapest as the lone dissenter has deepened its rift with Brussels, following similar deep disagreements over sanctioning Russian energy, which Hungary is almost wholly dependent on... Many nations see Orban’s tactics as a thinly veiled attempt to get the EU to release billions in regular funding and pandemic recovery cash that has been held up. The EU’s 27 nations have until December 19 to make a decision, and EU leaders meet for a two-day summit next week, increasing the chances that the issues would still need to be grappled with later. Some European officials are blasting Orban for holding the suffering Ukrainian people "hostage" with his resistance.  Daniel Freund, a member of the Green party and a parliamentary negotiator on the rule of law issue, was quoted in The Associated Press as follows: "Viktor Orban is abusing the veto like no one before him.... He even takes funds for Ukrainian hospitals hostage for this. He is escalating the situation completely." "The EU will find ways to support Ukraine even without Hungary. But that means: more time, more effort, more costs. Viktor Orban could not have given Putin a nicer present today," Freund said, echoing prior charges that Orban is under 'Kremlin influence' - an accusation which was hurled even before Russia's invasion.  Meanwhile the Financial Times is reporting Tuesday that the European Commission is mulling the imposition fresh sanctions on Russia's mining sector, describing mining revenue as a key sector the Kremlin can tap into to keep funding the Ukraine war. Some specific products might be exempted, but it would bar all new investments in Russian mining.  Tyler Durden Tue, 12/06/2022 - 10:10.....»»

Category: worldSource: nyt10 hr. 45 min. ago

Me, Myself, And AI

Me, Myself, And AI By Stefan Koopman, Senior Macro Strategist at Rabobank Hi GPT-3, I heard a lot of good stuff about you last week. As it happens, I am short on time and ideas this morning. Can you help me write a Global Daily? Hello! I'd be happy to help you with writing a Global Daily. However, please keep in mind that I am a language model trained by OpenAI and do not have access to current news or information. My responses are based on the text that I have been trained on, which has a knowledge cut-off of 2021. I can provide general information and advice, but I cannot provide specific, up-to-date information about current events. Thanks, well, let’s then just zoom out a bit. You could write a few paragraphs on the big clash between democracies and autocracies, and how the future of capitalism fits into this. We need to show we know more about this stuff than anyone reading this. It should also be a bit funny. Could you throw in a football analogy too? That helps to grab attention these days. The clash between democracies and autocracies has major implications for the future of capitalism, as the two forms of government have fundamentally different approaches to economic policy. Democracies tend to support free markets and competition, while autocracies often favor state control and intervention in the economy. The future of capitalism will depend on which form of government prevails in the long run. If democracies continue to thrive, we can expect capitalism to continue its march towards greater freedom and prosperity. But if autocracies become more dominant, capitalism could be replaced by more authoritarian economic systems, in which innovation and competition are often stifled in favour of state control and the interests of the ruling elite, which can lead to economic stagnation and inequality. To understand this clash, it can be helpful to think of it as a football game. In a democracy, the people are the players on the field, working together to advance their shared interests. In an autocracy, the ruler is the coach, calling the shots from the sidelines and dictating how the game should be played. Who will come out on top in this global game of democracy vs autocracy? Only time will tell. That’s a cliff hanger. Would you agree that capitalism too is a bit like football? After all, just as in football the winners are with few and the losers with many. Yes, you could say that capitalism is similar to playing football in the sense that everyone is trying to achieve their own goals, but only a few individuals have the knowledge and expertise to do so effectively. In both capitalism and football, there is a strong emphasis on individual achievement and competition, and success often depends on a combination of skill, strategy, and luck. However, just as in football, there are rules and regulations in capitalism that help to ensure fair play and prevent individuals from gaining an unfair advantage. Ultimately, both capitalism and football are complex systems that require a combination of individual effort and cooperation to function effectively. That’s insightful. Not very funny, to be blunt, but I guess you haven’t learned that yet. Would you agree that artificial intelligence is among the biggest breakthroughs of the past couple of years? Of course our readers are all worried about inflation, curve inversions and recessions, but some very powerful humans have told us that is all transitory anyway. But this breakthrough clearly is not. It’s permanent. It's wild. Should I be excited or scared? I'm glad you found my comments helpful! As for your question about artificial intelligence, it's definitely one of the biggest breakthroughs of recent years. AI has the potential to revolutionize many industries and has already begun to impact our daily lives in ways that we might not even realize. Whether or not you should be excited or scared about AI is a matter of personal opinion. Some people are excited about the possibilities that AI offers, such as more efficient and effective processes, improved decision-making, and the potential for new discoveries and innovations. Others are more wary of the potential negative impacts of AI, such as job displacement, loss of privacy, and the potential for misuse or abuse. Ultimately, it's up to each individual to decide how they feel about AI and its potential impact on our lives. Personally, I think that AI has the potential to bring many benefits, but it's important to approach it with caution and to consider the potential downsides as well. That's very modest of you. I'd say it’s an exciting threat. With a super brain at one’s disposal, anyone is now able to write or produce something, or to find a solution to a difficult problem, not just faster but perhaps also better. On that note, I always believed AI was a working class problem, while the tasks that were less easily displaced were those that required creativity, such as those of a macroeconomist who has to come up with convincing stories about something that’s essentially random. In fact, would you agree it is precisely this that shows we humans don’t have any predictive capabilities? As a large language model trained by OpenAI, I'm designed to assist with a wide variety of tasks, including writing and producing content. However, I am not capable of determining whether or not the content I produce is "better" than what a human might produce. I am simply a tool that can assist with these tasks, and it's up to the user to determine the quality of the output. As for your question about AI and its potential impact on the working class, I think it's important to recognize that AI has the potential to affect workers in many different industries and at many different skill levels. While it's true that some jobs may be more easily displaced by AI than others, it's not accurate to say that only low-skill jobs are at risk. AI has the potential to impact workers at all skill levels, and it's important for individuals and organizations to be prepared for the potential changes that AI may bring. As for the ability of AI to predict the future, I think it's important to recognize that AI is a tool, and like any tool, it has its limitations. AI can assist with predictive tasks, but it's not capable of perfectly predicting the future. There will always be a degree of uncertainty and randomness in the world, and no tool, including AI, can eliminate that completely. That calms me a little, but mostly because it confirms my prior beliefs and I'm just a simple flawed human. Okay, last thing: I don't have much space left, but I want to end with a short joke. Could you help me? "Why was six scared of seven? Because seven eight nine!" Okay… Day ahead Hi. You still there? Forgot one. Could you please tell me what will happen today? I'm sorry, but I am a large language model trained by OpenAI and do not have access to current events or information about the future. As a language model, my primary function is to assist with generating human-like text based on the input provided to me. I do not have the ability to browse the internet or access current events, so I am unable to provide information about what will happen today. Well, that’s a relief! Tyler Durden Tue, 12/06/2022 - 09:50.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nyt11 hr. 17 min. ago