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Tax Guy: What is tax planning, and why is it important? Don’t find out the hard way

Planning to reduce taxes is a critically important piece of the overall financial-planning puzzle, Tax Guy says......»»

Category: topSource: marketwatchMay 26th, 2021

Incorporate Humor on Social Media With Real Estate Memes for More Engagement

In real estate, social media has become an important marketing tool. From promoting your listings and services to sharing educational and informative content with your sphere of influence, having a multichannel presence is essential for agents everywhere. In a time where consumers mindlessly scroll through their feeds, having some fun with your marketing methods can […] The post Incorporate Humor on Social Media With Real Estate Memes for More Engagement appeared first on RISMedia. In real estate, social media has become an important marketing tool. From promoting your listings and services to sharing educational and informative content with your sphere of influence, having a multichannel presence is essential for agents everywhere. In a time where consumers mindlessly scroll through their feeds, having some fun with your marketing methods can attract and engage even the hardest-to-reach prospects. In addition to educational and promotional posts, it can be helpful for real estate professionals to mix some humor into their social strategy. But how do you combine the professionalism of real estate marketing with the whimsy of relatable and engaging content? Real estate memes! That’s right…these playful and humorous images can help you not only attract a new audience to your page, but also keep your followers, clients and prospects engaged and entertained—especially millennials, the largest generation of homebuyers. According to Forbes, there are more than 3 billion social media users, and at least 60% are looking for funny and entertaining content. Millennials, on average, look at an estimated 20-30 memes every day, which can ultimately lead to a 60% increase in engagement with 10x the reach. But no matter the generation or demographic, these images use positive emotions and humor to break the ice, engage with your audience and even increase your brand exposure. Here are some tips for agent, brokers and brands who are looking into using real estate memes in their social strategy: Develop Your Meme Library Before you dive into posting real estate memes, it’s important to curate a library of memes that you can reference for the right purposes, whether it be leveraging existing memes or creating your own. Memes, especially those that are trending, have a short lifespan; be sure to collect enough so you don’t have to reuse the same one twice. Giphy, for example, has thousands of free, shareable memes and gifs that you can share across social media, blogs or even in emails and newsletters. Imgflip and Canva are two free platforms you can use to create and develop your own unique memes. They both offer different templates, fonts and even images that you can choose from. Imgflip also has a library of existing memes that you can choose from. You can search for real estate-specific memes, or simply look to see what’s trending and utilize it to fit into your post. Match Your Brand Identity  If you decide to use memes in your social strategy, be sure that they align with your brand identity and voice. If you are a niche or luxury brand, find memes that speak to a more specific or eloquent humor. Remember, these are still a form of marketing, so you want to be sure you are speaking to the right people. Real estate memes are often shared based on real-life concepts and situations. In real estate, many agents know those awkward moments, from a seller being present at an open house to asking for referrals, so use them! Be sure to stay away from any inappropriate language and imagery, as this can hurt your brand and potentially cause you to lose your audience, ultimately losing potential prospects and existing clients. Understand Your Audience Just like planning out your other posts, such as articles and resources that you intend to share, you want to study your audience and the demographics of your clients and prospects to ensure you are reaching the right people with the right content. If they don’t like your content, they may not share it within your network or they may simply unfollow you and move on to another agent. For example, if you’re trying to reach millennials or Gen-Z buyers, memes can be a trendy and engaging form of content that will draw attention to your page. However, if your audience is an older demographic, and that is who you are targeting, there is a chance that memes can make you unrelatable. Relatability is important for real estate agents, especially on social media. Look into your insights, get to know the people who frequent your pages and share your content, making sure you remain genuine and authentic in your posts. Avoid Politics  Memes are also a fun way to make lighthearted jokes on social media. However, you never want to take a joke too far, or even touch on a subject that can create hostility and invite uncomfortable or unnecessary conversation. Politics is a topic that all brands and agents should stay far away from, both in the memes you share and the rest of the content you post. By diving into too many divisive topics, you can split or alienate your audience, which may ultimately lead them elsewhere. Avoid using images of political figures, as well as any topics that focus on politics, such as highlighting a specific political party or weighing in on a local or national election. Here are some examples of how you can use memes in your real estate social media marketing plan below! IMAGES: Check out the latest ACESocial Blog for more memes you can share today! Paige Brown is RISMedia’s content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas to pbrown@rismedia.com. The post Incorporate Humor on Social Media With Real Estate Memes for More Engagement appeared first on RISMedia......»»

Category: realestateSource: rismedia3 hr. 36 min. ago

The 5 best golf balls of 2021

Picking out the right golf ball is almost as important as playing with the right set of clubs. Here are the best, according to a seasoned golfer. Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky It's more important to understand your clubhead speed and course tendencies than to buy an expensive golf ball. Be patient, too - You'll need to test balls on your own to truly know which kinda suits you best. Our top pick, the Titleist AVX, is a premium golf ball that's durable and works well for those with slower swings. Between sporting goods stores, online outlets, and your local pro shop, picking out the right golf ball can seem like picking the best circle in a sea of identical circles. While all golf balls may more or less look alike, they won't all play the same way. Although there's plenty of technical details that go into golf ball manufacturing, I'm here to help with the selection process and narrow down your choices. This decision largely depends on two things: How well you know your game and what you want the golf ball to do for you. Let's get the easy stuff out of the way first. If you're a beginner golfer looking for ammo, buy the cheapest balls you can. There are loads of options in stores and online that are great for this.If you consider yourself an average to an above-average golfer, this guide is likely more your speed. And although this list isn't exhaustive, it's based on my own personal playing preferences and research; I'm a regular golfer who's written about the game and its equipment for the last five years, and I've spent plenty of time playing with, testing, and analyzing almost every golf ball on the market. To find your best ball, work from the green backward. You want a ball that's optimized to your wedges and irons first since you'll use those clubs most. After that, calibrate the rest of your game to fit the ball that works best for your approaches and around the greens.Below are five of the best golf balls that work well for a variety of play styles, including my favorite overall, the Titleist AVX. I've also included some insight into how I tested each of the featured golf balls, as well as answers to a few FAQs.Here are the best golf balls 0f 2021Best overall: Titleist AVXBest on a budget: Snell MTB-XBest tour ball: Bridgestone Tour B RXSBest new ball: Mizuno RB Tour and Tour XBest for control: Wilson Staff Model R How I test golf balls The traditional advice for picking a ball is to hit them close to the green and work backward to find the one you like best and that performs well for you. Most everyone plays an adjustable driver these days and you can adjust the driver to the ball that serves other parts of your game best. I've played golf for 20 years and have written about equipment for five. I've been as low as a 12 handicap with a better-than-average short game and I value balls that respond to chips and wedge shots. The balls showcased here are designed to suit a majority of players who swing less than 100 mph with their driver and have a tendency to visit a lot more of the course than better golfers. To test the golf balls featured, I first looked at premium tour balls with high compression cores with multiple layers around them and urethane covers. These types of balls are the best performing balls even for mid-handicappers. Because my short game is one of the areas I feel most confident, I play a premium ball that I can spin near the greens. Urethane is grabby and responds well to shorter clubs, and I do find that when I catch one with the driver, it flies farther than a mid-tier ball. I then took each of these balls out to my local course and worked with them on the chipping green, as well as in actual rounds of play. If any of these balls showed up in my bag on the days I played, I was happy to give them a go. While testing, I looked for which balls I was able to stop close to the hole. All the balls listed here do that well with both the Snell and Wilson models being particular standouts for my game. Off the tee, I liked the AVX's performance best, followed by the Bridgestone. A small thing about balls and your equipment is that sound plays a huge role in how we like or respond to a piece of equipment. I've always felt the Bridgestone balls don't sound as solid off the club as I'd like. The performance of them is fine enough but something about the sound always throws me off a little, which is why I've leaned toward Titleist a lot over the years with Bridgestones often being a backup. When I'm playing a little worse, I find cheaper balls to play that still perform really well: Snell and now Mizuno. The best golf ball overall Michael Croley/Insider The Titleist AVX is a premium ball that works for slower swingers and is incredibly durable.Pros: Soft feel, low spin off the driver for longer distance, good durability. Cons: At $50 per dozen, these are pricier than other premium balls, and better players may not benefit from them as much. The ProV1 lines get a lot of love from the tour pros and everyday players alike, but the AVX is built for the amateur golfer who likely has a slower swing speed. The ball feels soft around the greens and really pops off the driver. It's a premium golf ball that suits an everyday player and has recently replaced the ProV1s in my bag, which requires much faster swing speeds than I'm able to generate. For a slower swinger, you need a ball that responds to shorter shots and allows you to hone in your chipping and pitching yardages. The AVX allows for that while giving me a few more yards off the tee because of its lower spin rates and ball flight. I'm not afraid of using the yellow ones, either.  The best budget golf ball Snell Golf Snell Golf's MTB-X offers a high level of performance that you don't find elsewhere at this price point.Pros: Long off the tee, responsive off your irons and wedgesCons: Frustrating shipping delays and Snell only allows customers to buy them two dozen at a time. Dean Snell set out on his own after a trailblazing career that saw him develop not one but two premium golf balls: Titleist's ProV1 and TaylorMade's TP Series golf ball. Few golf ball engineers know more about the physics and manufacturing of a golf ball than Snell, and his DTC company has formed a cult-like following since he founded it. Snell's MTB and MTB-X regularly appear on the top lists of the major industry raters, and it's easy to see why after playing with them. There's virtually nothing Snell's MTB-X does from a performance standpoint that the industry-leading ProV1 does markedly better. It's long off the tee and incredibly responsive with both wedges and irons. Snell Golf makes it easy to see if this ball is best for you, too, as each box of a dozen costs just $34 (though there is a limit of two dozen per customer at a time). I play these balls as often as I play anything else these days. The best tour golf ball Michael Croley/Insider The Bridgestone Tour B RXS maximizes driver distance with a new cover designed to help spin (and stop) wedge shots.Pros: Built for swings less than 105 MPH, sticks to the green on approaches, slow swingers can still compress this ballCons: Driver distance may lag compared to other balls in its segmentBridgestone made plenty of noise with casual golfers when it signed Tiger Woods but the move made sense: The brand had been making his Nike balls for years. Bridgestone was among the first manufacturers to provide a road map for swing speeds to correlate to the balls that you should play and even offered ball fittings at golf expos around the country. Its Tour B series has a ball for golfers of all levels and the line routinely ranks near the top in ball speed, meaning your ability as a regular player to compress it like your faster swinging friend increases. Better players may want to use the company's calibration to determine the best ball for them, but from its e Series value balls to the premium category, Bridgestone is a brand you should try if you haven't. And, go ahead, too. Get the Tiger Edition balls with TIGER stamped on the side. We can all dream.  The best new golf ball Mizuno Mizuno's recently released RB Tour and Tour X ball is an impressive new tour ball that costs under $40 and delivers some serious driving distance.Pros: Solid distance off the tee, good feel off the ironsCons: Wedge shots not as responsive as others in this categoryI'm a golf geek, so I like trying out new equipment. But that doesn't mean I'm not skeptical of it either. Although I play Mizuno irons, I was unsure how well its new tour balls would play but when these arrived, I was pleasantly surprised.Like most golfers, I don't like losing expensive golf balls. When my game is out of whack, I switch gears to cheaper balls to save the headache. I decided to put these Mizunos in play because they had solid rankings and I particularly liked how they felt off the tee, holding their own against my regular balls. I found them to be very pleasing with my mid-irons but a little less responsive on shots around the green, particularly those out of the bunker where they kept rolling past the pin despite a well-executed shot. But at $35 per dozen, these are a solid alternative if you've run out of Snells and like to tinker and play different balls.Mizuno RB Tour XRB Tour X (button)Mizuno RB Tour The best golf ball for control Wilson The Wilson Staff Model R grips like a spider around the greens, giving you a bit more grab on short shots on the green.Pros: Great around the greens, matte finish gives a different look, good, all-around performanceCons: The matte finish might throw you off and the ball can look dirty. The matte finish on the Wilson Staff Model R seemed like a marketing ploy when I first got these, and the company even claimed that inconsistencies in the paint might cause distortion in playing. I was dubious but I came to like the softened matte finish and I felt as though the ball was much more grabby around the greens on wedge shots and approaches while also playing well off the driver. The different look of the ball was appealing to me because while I do like playing a yellow ball, I reserve that for the fall when the leaves are on the ground. I felt like I was able to spot this ball better and it just felt different when I picked it up. Certainly not as slick as your usual ball and that did seem to contribute to its greenside performance. It's hard to find a foothold in the landscape of premium golf balls but I think the Model R is definitely worth a try if you find you're having a lot of chips each round. FAQs Why didn't you cover the ProV1? Everyone that plays golf already knows about this ball. The ProV1 revolutionized golf balls and golf and changed the game in nearly every way. When I was playing my best, I loved the ProV1x. It might have just been psychological but I hit that ball really far and it was great around the greens. The only ball that was as consistent as that for me was the pick from Snell Golf.What do three-piece, four-piece, and five-piece mean when I'm shopping? This is both complicated and not complicated at the same time. This refers to the number of layers a ball has that cover its inner core. You can go deep into this stuff and the layers aren't really marketing fluff. In short, the layers and their composition affect the performance of a golf ball. Some golf-centric sites do breakdowns and cutaways of golf balls to show you different layers, though that gets a bit too technical for this guide.Shouldn't I play what tour pros play?Not exactly. Just as your car is not tuned to NASCAR conditions, neither should your golf equipment be. Tour Pros get a special level of service and have highly honed swings. Don't just pick up what they're playing or what is advertised during their telecasts. If you're serious about golf, find a ball that has the properties you need. I need to be longer off the tee, so I play a ball that gives me maximum distance but that doesn't neglect that I'll miss a lot of greens and need to get up and down. There are a lot of choices and the most expensive one isn't often the best.I'm new to golf and lost. What should I play?New golfers should always strongly consider playing a cheaper ball since you'll likely lose quite a bit during the learning process. As you get better, you will want a better ball because it does actually perform better as you hit the center of the clubface more often, but extreme amateurs should stick to budget picks when possible. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsider17 hr. 52 min. ago

The 5 best coolers of 2021

A quality cooler helps keep food and drinks chilled no matter if you're picnicking, tailgating, or camping in the woods. Here are our favorites. Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky Whether you're an occasional picnicker or an itinerant outdoorsperson, a cooler is a must-own item. The best coolers should retain ice for at least 24 hours, have a durable design, and be easy to transport. Our top pick, Yeti's Tundra 75, is durable and has the best ice and temperature retention of any cooler we've tested. Buying a cooler these days can be perplexing. Type "best cooler" into Google and amidst a sea of advertisements, you'll also find reviews and recommendations praising coolers that in some cases cost more than the refrigerator in your kitchen.Before you get carried away doing that, or you find yourself convinced a bear-proof cooler is all anyone should buy, consider your intended use for it. Firstly, what are you storing? If it's just drinks and pre-made sandwiches, then there's no need to spend a fortune. For a cooler to do its job, it's most important that it's loaded correctly; a 2:1 ice-to-beverage ratio is a good rule of thumb. And it's only going to be minimally effective if it's opened every 20 minutes or so for a fresh beverage or snack.For simple day trips and regular opening and closing, know this: you'll be perfectly fine with a budget-friendly option, especially if you're not slinging it around too much.But if you go on days-long fishing expeditions with no fridge or access to power, you'll need something with thick insulation to store your catch safely. You'll also want to consider its durability as you're probably going to knock the cooler around a bit.Having been a commercial and recreational fisherman on and off throughout my life, I've purchased, wrecked, and replaced more coolers and cooler parts than I can recount - and I can't stress enough how important it is to know how to choose and effectively use a cooler. I keep a supply of no less than five coolers and regularly depend on all of them. Below are five of the best coolers I've tested, each of which excels in a certain category. I've also included some insight into how I test coolers, as well as some tips on what to keep in mind while shopping. Here are the best coolers of 2021Best overall: Yeti Tundra 75Best on a budget: Coleman Performance 48-Quart Cooler Best backpack cooler: Yeti Hopper 24Best soft cooler: Yeti Hopper M30Best budget soft cooler: AO Coolers Carbon Soft Cooler How I test coolers Owen Burke/Insider Each cooler featured in this guide went through several field tests, be it fishing, camping, lounging in the backyard at home, or at the park, to see how well they fared across these four categories: Ice retention, durability, portability, and value. Specifically, here's how each category factored into which coolers ultimately made this guide:Ice retention: Perhaps a cooler's most impactful feature is how well it's able to keep ice. Though variables such as how often you open and close the cooler, how much ice you use, and what all is in the cooler impact ice retention, the differences shouldn't be so dramatic that you're able to confuse a poorly-designed cooler for a quality one. We judged ice retention in a number of ways, though mostly used each cooler as we normally would while keeping track of how much ice or ice water was left after one, two, and three days.Durability: A cooler's durability comes down to more than just its exterior quality but also how well its hinges or zippers hold up to constant use. If the cooler you buy gets a lot of run each summer and by fall you're already thinking you'll need to upgrade next year, then durability is a major concern. This is where spending more money on a premium cooler can save you quite a lot in the long run.Portability: Coolers are inherently portable (for the most part) but some are designed far better than others. Even the most cumbersome of coolers should still offer some method for it to be easily carried (via one or two people), and if it's a small cooler like a soft cooler or a backpack cooler, then these should have portability near the top of what list of what they do exceedingly well. Value: As mentioned above, coolers aren't always an inexpensive investment — especially the premium options like what Yeti offers. But if you're able to piece together how exactly you need to use the cooler and for what activities you'd use it most, then you're able to make a better decision on a cooler's true value. Consider the three categories above, as well, and keep in mind that it's better to invest a little more in a premium product that's designed to last than to spend less money, more often on something that's second-rate. The best cooler overall Best cooler for longterm use Yeti The Yeti Tundra 75 Cooler can keep ice frozen for more than a week even if you're using it in the middle of the summer.Pros: Amazing ice retention, rugged construction, great for boating or long road tripsCons: Very expensive, very heavyTo deal with the elephant in the room first, yes, this cooler costs almost five hundred dollars. That's a lot of money to spend on a cooler, no two ways about it. But for that price, you will get one of the absolute best coolers on the market today. Let's just rattle off a few highlights, shall we?The Yeti Tundra 75 Cooler's rugged rotomolded design makes it tough enough to be certified as bear-resistant. That's right, in a fight between a bear and this cooler, the cooler will probably win. Its three-inch-thick PermaFrost insulation and ColdLock gasket allow the cooler to keep ice frozen for days on end. You can expect at least a week of sub-zero temperatures within provided you loaded it up with sufficient ice.It has a 50-can capacity and also comes with a dry goods basket that holds a selection of foodstuffs above the ice. Its BearFoot non-slip feet and AnchorPoint tie-down points help you to secure the cooler in the bed of a truck or aboard a boat. Do most people need this level of cooler? Probably not. But if you're a serious fisherman, if you're on a road trip and you want to stay self-sufficient, or if you're stocking a cabin or campsite for an extended stay, you'll be glad you have the Yeti Tundra 75 at your disposal, no buyer's remorse involved. Just note that the cooler weighs 30 pounds even when empty, so if you have trouble lifting heavier loads, you might need to look elsewhere. The best budget cooler Coleman/Facebook The Coleman Performance 48-Quart Cooler is a classic hard-shelled cooler with multi-day ice retention and an all but indestructible design.Pros: Great price, sturdy construction, large capacity, trusted legacy brandCons: Hinges on lid prone to eventual breakingIf Coleman's cooler weren't such a simple, reliable, and all-around great piece of hardware, I would have called it the best low-cost cooler instead of the best overall cooler. It costs less than thirty dollars, but it will last you thirty years or more provided you take the time to wipe it clean now and then and you don't run over it with a truck.This is the cooler your dad brought on family camping trips, it's the cooler of your childhood, and it's still an awesome buy.Coleman's 48-quart cooler can hold 63 standard 12-ounce cans and is tall enough for two-liter soda bottles to stand upright with the lid closed. It's more than sturdy enough to double as a seat, yet still light enough for one rather fit person to heft alone or for two people to easily carry down the dock, into the park, or onto the beach. Empty, the cooler weighs about seven pounds, so you can easily lift it up onto the top shelf of the garage for storage, too.The Coleman Performance 48-Quart Cooler has a drain built into the bottom so you can let out any spilled beverages or ice melt without dumping the entire contents, but for the record, there won't be much meltwater provided you keep the lid secure most of the time. This cooler offers three-day ice retention even when the mercury tops 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Oh, and this cooler is made in America, too. The best backpack cooler Yeti Yeti's known for its incredibly high-quality products and the Hopper 24 backpack cooler is no different, featuring a durable exterior, a 100% leakproof zipper, and insulation designed to keep contents cold for days.Pro: Keeps ice cold for multiple days, ergonomic shoulder straps allow for easy and comfortable transport, high-quality and durable constructionCons: ExpensiveIt should be no surprise that Yeti shows up multiple times in this guide as the company's made its name manufacturing some of the best coolers on the market. With its Hopper 24, the brand delivers the same kind of durable construction and quality design its fans have come to expect in the form of a backpack cooler. With space enough to carry roughly 20 cans of beer or soda (with ice included), or 25 pounds of ice, the Hopper 24 is at no lack for available cooler space. And don't worry about a loaded pack feeling especially heavy either. Yeti designed it so weight distributes evenly, and its removable hip belt and ergonomic shoulder straps make it comfortable to tote around, whether it's down a long trail to the beach, a short jaunt to a campsite, or a few steps to a backyard. Yeti also includes its HydroLok Zipper which helps keep any contents from spilling out (i.e. water from melted ice), and its ColdCell Insulation is capable of keeping ice for several days (something we've tested and confirmed often). Similar to many of Yeti's products, the Hopper 24 isn't cheap, sporting a price tag of $300. However, Yeti consistently exceeds standards of quality and this backpack cooler is no different — it'll be one of your favorite pieces of go-to gear for several, several years. -- Rick Stella, fitness & health editor The best soft cooler Yeti Yeti's Hopper M30 is a highly durable, tote-style soft cooler that now features a better zipper closure system that made its already quality ice retention even better. Pros: Extremely durable, keeps ice anywhere from 15 to 20 hours, large capacity, highly portableCons: Expensive, requires two hands to unzip and closeIt should be apparent at this point that Yeti's coolers are worth every bit of the recognition of nabbing three spots in this guide, as its coolers are just that damn good. And when it comes to picking the best soft cooler, the Hopper M30 is a clear choice. With the brand's patented bomb-proof construction, some impressive ice retention, and surprisingly large capacity, this is the one you want for day trips to the beach or local park.Though the Hopper M30 gets a lot right, its best feature is how well it keeps ice throughout the day. During my tests, it reliably kept ice anywhere from roughly 15 hours on up to 20 hours, depending on how hot it was outside, how often I opened it for a drink, and whether I'd remember to fully zip it up or not. But even on its lower 15-hour days, that's more than enough time to get your fill of hanging at the park or lounging on the beach (it was even a nice supplemental cooler on two-day car camping trips). You'll be surprised at how much this cooler is able to house, too. Despite often stocking it with more cans of beer than I'd know what to do with, there was still plenty of room for a couple of sandwiches, some cheese sticks, and whatever other snacks seemed fit for the outing. It also comes with a padded should strap that makes lugging the thing either from car to beach or park a comfortable experience — I've even slung it over my shoulder while riding my bike and it was completely fine. Then there's its durability. The Hopper M30 can take an utter beating, whether it's getting tossed into the back of a car, dragged down a trail, or even falling completely off my bike (this only happened once and the cooler managed to avoid taking any damage at all). Its zipper closure system also seals the cooler airtight and not even melted ice (aka water) drips out if it's tilted upside down or laying on its side. You'd be hard-pressed to find a more high-quality soft cooler, which is why the Hopper M30 is our go-to whenever I want to leave my bulky, cumbersome cooler at home. — Rick Stella, fitness & health editor The best budget soft cooler Owen Burke/Insider The AO Coolers Carbon Soft Cooler is stuffed with insulation and a thick liner that keeps things plenty cold for over 24 hours and can handle a bit of abuse.Pros: Great insulation, tough exterior and interior linings, exterior pouch, comes in 12-, 24-, 36-, and 48-can sizesCons: Not the easiest to clean, zipper isn't airtight/leakproofYou don't need to spend a fortune to buy an effective soft cooler for general use and, in fact, this is one of the coolers I tend to use most. From lighter fishing excursions to an afternoon picnic, I haven't found a handier cooler, hands down.I've also been using it for well over two years — that's two years of sea time, being left outside through every season, and countless fruitful trips home from the fishing grounds. The vinyl hasn't so much as scratched, let alone torn, and as with any cooler I get my hands on, I've mistreated this thing every way possible.Aside from more methodical testing, which proved that it could hold ice for 24 hours even with four hours of direct sunlight in the dead of summer in New York City, I've also filled it with two-thirds ice and a couple of bottles of wine, left it in my unconditioned living room for three days, and found exceptionally chilled wine and a large iceberg still floating inside.While the brand touts its use of high-density insulation, it seems to be that the large air pockets between the insulation and the inner and outer linings are what give it its best retention qualities. High-density foam (or insulation) is actually a better conductor of heat than low-density foam (or insulation), while air is one of the worst conductors. So, while the insulation may seem curiously loose against the linings, all that space is actually helping to improve ice and temperature retention.Regarding features, there are more than you'd find in your average soft cooler. First, there are briefcase-style handles that velcro together and a padded shoulder sling, buckles on either end for strapping it down and making it more compact, and there's also an outside zipper pouch in which I keep utensils, a cutting board, a folded rag, a wine key, and still have room for a couple of other odds and ends.The only room for improvement with this cooler is an airtight zipper but that would probably drive the cost up too much. It's also a bit tougher to clean than some other options in this guide, but it's nothing a sponge and some dish soap can't handle (I like to fill it with warm soapy water, zip it, and give it a shake first). How to shop for a cooler Amazon When choosing the best cooler for your needs, first consider where you'll most often use it. If a cooler is too big to bring along on a camping or fishing trip, it's useless for those outings.The same goes for if it can't retain ice well enough to keep things fresh during a weeklong stay in a cabin or camper. If its only purpose is for convenient beverage chilling in your own backyard during cookouts, that's going to have a huge impact on how much you need to spend (which should be well south of $100 in that scenario).Consider how frequently you're going to be opening and closing your cooler open, too. If it's every 20-30 minutes, it won't much matter whether you have a Coleman Performance or a Yeti Tundra (save for a price tag difference of several hundred dollars), especially on hotter days. You'll also need to think about what you'll be keeping cold, and how much of it. It's easy to judge cooler capacity as almost all coolers explicitly list their interior quart size and how many cans they're able to hold. Don't forget to review the overall size of the cooler, as some are much larger on the outside than their interior dimensions might have you think.To really keep contents cold, you'll need to keep a ratio of somewhere around 2/3 ice to reach optimal efficacy. Even a rotomolded cooler simply won't do its job without you meeting it halfway. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsider17 hr. 52 min. ago

Bank7 (BSVN) Upgraded to Strong Buy: Here"s What You Should Know

Bank7 (BSVN) has been upgraded to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), reflecting growing optimism about the company's earnings prospects. This might drive the stock higher in the near term. Bank7 (BSVN) appears an attractive pick, as it has been recently upgraded to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). This upgrade is essentially a reflection of an upward trend in earnings estimates -- one of the most powerful forces impacting stock prices.A company's changing earnings picture is at the core of the Zacks rating. The system tracks the Zacks Consensus Estimate -- the consensus measure of EPS estimates from the sell-side analysts covering the stock -- for the current and following years.Individual investors often find it hard to make decisions based on rating upgrades by Wall Street analysts, since these are mostly driven by subjective factors that are hard to see and measure in real time. In these situations, the Zacks rating system comes in handy because of the power of a changing earnings picture in determining near-term stock price movements.As such, the Zacks rating upgrade for Bank7 is essentially a positive comment on its earnings outlook that could have a favorable impact on its stock price.Most Powerful Force Impacting Stock PricesThe change in a company's future earnings potential, as reflected in earnings estimate revisions, has proven to be strongly correlated with the near-term price movement of its stock. That's partly because of the influence of institutional investors that use earnings and earnings estimates for calculating the fair value of a company's shares. An increase or decrease in earnings estimates in their valuation models simply results in higher or lower fair value for a stock, and institutional investors typically buy or sell it. Their transaction of large amounts of shares then leads to price movement for the stock.For Bank7, rising earnings estimates and the consequent rating upgrade fundamentally mean an improvement in the company's underlying business. And investors' appreciation of this improving business trend should push the stock higher.Harnessing the Power of Earnings Estimate RevisionsEmpirical research shows a strong correlation between trends in earnings estimate revisions and near-term stock movements, so it could be truly rewarding if such revisions are tracked for making an investment decision. Here is where the tried-and-tested Zacks Rank stock-rating system plays an important role, as it effectively harnesses the power of earnings estimate revisions.The Zacks Rank stock-rating system, which uses four factors related to earnings estimates to classify stocks into five groups, ranging from Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) to Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell), has an impressive externally-audited track record, with Zacks Rank #1 stocks generating an average annual return of +25% since 1988. You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here >>>>.Earnings Estimate Revisions for Bank7For the fiscal year ending December 2021, this company is expected to earn $2.51 per share, which is a change of 22.4% from the year-ago reported number.Analysts have been steadily raising their estimates for Bank7. Over the past three months, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company has increased 12.6%.Bottom LineUnlike the overly optimistic Wall Street analysts whose rating systems tend to be weighted toward favorable recommendations, the Zacks rating system maintains an equal proportion of 'buy' and 'sell' ratings for its entire universe of more than 4000 stocks at any point in time. Irrespective of market conditions, only the top 5% of the Zacks-covered stocks get a 'Strong Buy' rating and the next 15% get a 'Buy' rating. So, the placement of a stock in the top 20% of the Zacks-covered stocks indicates its superior earnings estimate revision feature, making it a solid candidate for producing market-beating returns in the near term.You can learn more about the Zacks Rank here >>>The upgrade of Bank7 to a Zacks Rank #1 positions it in the top 5% of the Zacks-covered stocks in terms of estimate revisions, implying that the stock might move higher in the near term. 5 Stocks Set to Double Each was handpicked by a Zacks expert as the #1 favorite stock to gain +100% or more in 2021. Previous recommendations have soared +143.0%, +175.9%, +498.3% and +673.0%. Most of the stocks in this report are flying under Wall Street radar, which provides a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor.Today, See These 5 Potential Home Runs >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Bank7 Corp. (BSVN): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacks19 hr. 52 min. ago

Vanda (VNDA) Upgraded to Buy: Here"s Why

Vanda (VNDA) has been upgraded to a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), reflecting growing optimism about the company's earnings prospects. This might drive the stock higher in the near term. Vanda Pharmaceuticals (VNDA) could be a solid choice for investors given its recent upgrade to a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). This rating change essentially reflects an upward trend in earnings estimates -- one of the most powerful forces impacting stock prices.The sole determinant of the Zacks rating is a company's changing earnings picture. The Zacks Consensus Estimate -- the consensus of EPS estimates from the sell-side analysts covering the stock -- for the current and following years is tracked by the system.Individual investors often find it hard to make decisions based on rating upgrades by Wall Street analysts, since these are mostly driven by subjective factors that are hard to see and measure in real time. In these situations, the Zacks rating system comes in handy because of the power of a changing earnings picture in determining near-term stock price movements.Therefore, the Zacks rating upgrade for Vanda basically reflects positivity about its earnings outlook that could translate into buying pressure and an increase in its stock price.Most Powerful Force Impacting Stock PricesThe change in a company's future earnings potential, as reflected in earnings estimate revisions, and the near-term price movement of its stock are proven to be strongly correlated. The influence of institutional investors has a partial contribution to this relationship, as these big professionals use earnings and earnings estimates to calculate the fair value of a company's shares. An increase or decrease in earnings estimates in their valuation models simply results in higher or lower fair value for a stock, and institutional investors typically buy or sell it. Their bulk investment action then leads to price movement for the stock.For Vanda, rising earnings estimates and the consequent rating upgrade fundamentally mean an improvement in the company's underlying business. And investors' appreciation of this improving business trend should push the stock higher.Harnessing the Power of Earnings Estimate RevisionsEmpirical research shows a strong correlation between trends in earnings estimate revisions and near-term stock movements, so it could be truly rewarding if such revisions are tracked for making an investment decision. Here is where the tried-and-tested Zacks Rank stock-rating system plays an important role, as it effectively harnesses the power of earnings estimate revisions.The Zacks Rank stock-rating system, which uses four factors related to earnings estimates to classify stocks into five groups, ranging from Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) to Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell), has an impressive externally-audited track record, with Zacks Rank #1 stocks generating an average annual return of +25% since 1988. You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here >>>>.Earnings Estimate Revisions for VandaThis biopharmaceutical company is expected to earn $0.66 per share for the fiscal year ending December 2021, which represents a year-over-year change of 57.1%.Analysts have been steadily raising their estimates for Vanda. Over the past three months, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company has increased 6.5%.Bottom LineUnlike the overly optimistic Wall Street analysts whose rating systems tend to be weighted toward favorable recommendations, the Zacks rating system maintains an equal proportion of 'buy' and 'sell' ratings for its entire universe of more than 4000 stocks at any point in time. Irrespective of market conditions, only the top 5% of the Zacks-covered stocks get a 'Strong Buy' rating and the next 15% get a 'Buy' rating. So, the placement of a stock in the top 20% of the Zacks-covered stocks indicates its superior earnings estimate revision feature, making it a solid candidate for producing market-beating returns in the near term.You can learn more about the Zacks Rank here >>>The upgrade of Vanda to a Zacks Rank #2 positions it in the top 20% of the Zacks-covered stocks in terms of estimate revisions, implying that the stock might move higher in the near term. 5 Stocks Set to Double Each was handpicked by a Zacks expert as the #1 favorite stock to gain +100% or more in 2021. Previous recommendations have soared +143.0%, +175.9%, +498.3% and +673.0%. Most of the stocks in this report are flying under Wall Street radar, which provides a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor.Today, See These 5 Potential Home Runs >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc. (VNDA): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacks19 hr. 52 min. ago

SENIOR PLC (SNIRF) Upgraded to Buy: Here"s Why

SENIOR PLC (SNIRF) has been upgraded to a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), reflecting growing optimism about the company's earnings prospects. This might drive the stock higher in the near term. SENIOR PLC (SNIRF) could be a solid choice for investors given its recent upgrade to a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). This rating change essentially reflects an upward trend in earnings estimates -- one of the most powerful forces impacting stock prices.The sole determinant of the Zacks rating is a company's changing earnings picture. The Zacks Consensus Estimate -- the consensus of EPS estimates from the sell-side analysts covering the stock -- for the current and following years is tracked by the system.Individual investors often find it hard to make decisions based on rating upgrades by Wall Street analysts, since these are mostly driven by subjective factors that are hard to see and measure in real time. In these situations, the Zacks rating system comes in handy because of the power of a changing earnings picture in determining near-term stock price movements.Therefore, the Zacks rating upgrade for SENIOR PLC basically reflects positivity about its earnings outlook that could translate into buying pressure and an increase in its stock price.Most Powerful Force Impacting Stock PricesThe change in a company's future earnings potential, as reflected in earnings estimate revisions, and the near-term price movement of its stock are proven to be strongly correlated. The influence of institutional investors has a partial contribution to this relationship, as these big professionals use earnings and earnings estimates to calculate the fair value of a company's shares. An increase or decrease in earnings estimates in their valuation models simply results in higher or lower fair value for a stock, and institutional investors typically buy or sell it. Their bulk investment action then leads to price movement for the stock.For SENIOR PLC, rising earnings estimates and the consequent rating upgrade fundamentally mean an improvement in the company's underlying business. And investors' appreciation of this improving business trend should push the stock higher.Harnessing the Power of Earnings Estimate RevisionsEmpirical research shows a strong correlation between trends in earnings estimate revisions and near-term stock movements, so it could be truly rewarding if such revisions are tracked for making an investment decision. Here is where the tried-and-tested Zacks Rank stock-rating system plays an important role, as it effectively harnesses the power of earnings estimate revisions.The Zacks Rank stock-rating system, which uses four factors related to earnings estimates to classify stocks into five groups, ranging from Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) to Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell), has an impressive externally-audited track record, with Zacks Rank #1 stocks generating an average annual return of +25% since 1988. You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here >>>>.Earnings Estimate Revisions for SENIOR PLCThis company is expected to earn -$0.01 per share for the fiscal year ending December 2021, which represents no year-over-year changeAnalysts have been steadily raising their estimates for SENIOR PLC. Over the past three months, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company has increased 80%.Bottom LineUnlike the overly optimistic Wall Street analysts whose rating systems tend to be weighted toward favorable recommendations, the Zacks rating system maintains an equal proportion of 'buy' and 'sell' ratings for its entire universe of more than 4000 stocks at any point in time. Irrespective of market conditions, only the top 5% of the Zacks-covered stocks get a 'Strong Buy' rating and the next 15% get a 'Buy' rating. So, the placement of a stock in the top 20% of the Zacks-covered stocks indicates its superior earnings estimate revision feature, making it a solid candidate for producing market-beating returns in the near term.You can learn more about the Zacks Rank here >>>The upgrade of SENIOR PLC to a Zacks Rank #2 positions it in the top 20% of the Zacks-covered stocks in terms of estimate revisions, implying that the stock might move higher in the near term. 5 Stocks Set to Double Each was handpicked by a Zacks expert as the #1 favorite stock to gain +100% or more in 2021. Previous recommendations have soared +143.0%, +175.9%, +498.3% and +673.0%. Most of the stocks in this report are flying under Wall Street radar, which provides a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor.Today, See These 5 Potential Home Runs >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report SENIOR PLC (SNIRF): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacks19 hr. 52 min. ago

Who’s Afraid of Peter Thiel? A New Biography Suggests We All Should Be

Paypal cofounder Peter Thiel is famous for destroying media outlets, not paying taxes, and being a conservative tech billionaire. A new biography, The Contrarian, suggests that he is after more than riches. TIME chatted with its author, journalist Max Chafkin. Why should we care about Peter Thiel, apart from the fact that he is another… Paypal cofounder Peter Thiel is famous for destroying media outlets, not paying taxes, and being a conservative tech billionaire. A new biography, The Contrarian, suggests that he is after more than riches. TIME chatted with its author, journalist Max Chafkin. Why should we care about Peter Thiel, apart from the fact that he is another rich tech billionaire and they’re all weirdly fascinating? I think that Peter Thiel is secretly the most important person in Silicon Valley. He’s this behind the scenes player, who is behind so many of the really important things that have happened over the last two decades. Obviously Facebook is one of the world’s largest companies; a lot of people think it’s uniquely bad for the world. And a lot of people are super skeptical of Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO. And of course, Thiel is behind Facebook. He was the first outside money in the company. He is also the person who basically set up Mark Zuckerberg to be Mark Zuckerberg and turned him into this imperial CEO, who is now, arguably more powerful than a lot of world leaders. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] A lot of people are really excited about cryptocurrency and you can connect it back to to PayPal, which is the company that Thiel co-founded in the late 1990s with an explicitly libertarian ethos. There’s this aspect of crypto-world now, where people are really excited about the idea of taking power away from institutions and governments and that’s something that Thiel and his libertarian brethren that were starting that company were really interested in. It’s not something that happens accidentally. Read More: The U.S. Is Losing the Global Race to Decide the Future of Money—and It Could Doom the Almighty Dollar Do you see Thiel as dangerous? It’s really important that we understand the ideology of Silicon Valley. Five of the top 10 companies in the world are tech companies. They exert an enormous cultural and economic influence over our lives. Those companies have been really successful at telling a story about the world and their place in the world: we’re just trying to make the world a better place. Thiel comes with a very different perspective. He comes out of activist conservative media. I think it’s really important that we explore the ideology of what somebody like Peter Thiel believes. When you start peeling back the layers, what you find is this very out-there political and economic philosophy that I think is a little bit scary. What do you find scary about his economic and political philosophy? It’s bordering on fascism. Thiel taught this class at Stanford and then turned it into a book called Zero to One. He talks about how companies are better run than governments because they have a single decision maker—a dictator, basically. He is hostile to the idea of democracy. That’s pretty scary when you consider the role the companies that he’s been involved in play. Facebook, I’d say is the most influential media entity in the history of humanity, but he also has a major stake in several defense contractors, including SpaceX. He would explain it as belief in efficiency and results, right? He would not say, ‘I don’t think everybody has the right to vote.’ There would be some rationale and in fact, at various times he’s walked back things he said. His whole thing is being slippery, but I think when you look at the body of what he’s done and the things he’s been involved with, that’s the picture that emerges. A lot of people were very surprised that this nerdy, gay, Californian son of immigrants techpreneur decided to support Donald Trump’s presidency. Was it just the pure I’m going to shut down government aspect of Trump’s policies that he liked? If you look at his convention speech—which I think was a really good speech—he talks about Trump as this guy who’s gonna shake things up, who’s going to remake government, so I think that’s one part of it. The other part of it is, Thiel is very committed to the idea of being able to say the unpopular thing. That’s a core part of what Trump was. I also think that Thiel is a really savvy investor and he correctly diagnosed that Trump had a pretty good chance of winning and that there wasn’t a lot of downside to betting on him. He didn’t formally endorse Trump during the 2020 election, but if you look at the candidates he’s [now] supporting, they’re Trumpers: J.D. Vance, who’s running for Senate in Ohio was an employee of Peter Thiel’s and an investor in his fund. Before announcing that he was gonna run for Senate, Vance said that he was wrong in 2016 to oppose Trump, and around the same time, he got this $10 million dollar donation from Thiel to his super PAC. Another candidate that Thiel is supporting in the coming cycle is Blake Masters, who is literally an employee. He runs Thiel’s foundation. Read More: How Donald Trump Courted Gay Voters at the Convention Did Thiel get blowback about the January 6th attack on Congress? I think certainly his reputation in certain corners of the establishment has suffered. But I don’t think he really cares about the blowback; he seems to really take pleasure in that. Do you have a guess at his net worth? There’s an estimate of $6 billion, but I have talked to people who think actually quite a bit higher than that. One reason is that he has been incredibly adept at finding clever ways to limit his tax exposure; those investments in Facebook, in Palantir, and some others were made through this investing vehicle known as a Roth IRA that was originally intended for middle class taxpayers. Through some very clever tax planning, Thiel has managed to stash up billions of dollars in this tax-free account. When that story [that he used Roth IRAs to massively lower his taxes] broke, there was an outrage that somebody who had made so much money in America was not contributing to the national purse. Do you think he cared? Some of the ideology that motivated PayPal, and that motivates a lot of this crypto stuff that has happened since, is all about going beyond nations. It’s about this idea that individuals should have more power than nations and should be able to basically do whatever they want. It’s about undermining the national interest and making sure they don’t contribute to it. Do you see Thiel as an outlier among his tech brethren, or as an exemplar? The conventional wisdom is Thiel is an outlier; he’s like the one conservative guy in this relatively liberal industry. I think that is basically wrong. Many of the things that he believes are reflected in the actions and behavior of many of his peers. Yes, they may have some disagreements. Many of his peers may vote for Democrats. But the idea that companies should basically be able to do whatever they want, that democracy isn’t the most important value, these things are reflected in the decisions and actions that many Silicon Valley companies are making, even Silicon Valley companies that are run by ostensibly liberal progressives. In the beginning of the book, you paint a portrait of Thiel as a bullied child. Other kids put For Sale signs in his yard and then asked when he was leaving and so on. Was that the cradle of his reactionariness? I think he was bullied as a child. And I think that it’s not surprising that somebody who maybe had a tough time navigating a place like Stanford would develop a strong revulsion to the idea of universities like Stanford and would undertake a project to replace or critique these universities. Thiel famously funds a fellowship where he encourages promising young people to start companies instead of going to college and he’s been a prominent critic of colleges. But he’s only a halfway critic. He says in a thousand different ways that Stanford is worthless, but he keeps teaching classes at Stanford. He keeps hiring Ivy League graduates. Most of your sources are anonymous. Why do you think people who spoke to you spoke to you? Thiel’s pretty unique in that he was involved in this elaborate and secretive litigation campaign that resulted in the destruction of a pretty substantial media outlet when he secretly funded Hulk Hogan’s lawsuit against Gawker Media, which resulted in this roughly $100 million dollar judgment. So I would talk to people and they would be like, ‘I’m a little afraid of him.’ I wouldn’t really know what to say because I think there’s actual reason for people to be afraid of Peter Thiel. Read More: Peter Thiel Made an Offer to Buy Gawker, the Website He Helped Close Are you personally worried? I’d be lying if I said that Thiel’s litigation against Gawker didn’t weigh on me and I think you’d be foolish to not think about that. That said, it’s not productive to be afraid. Thiel has been right a lot. I wonder if there’s a bit of you thinking, ‘If he’s been right about these things, what should I be looking for now?’ Recently, he gave a speech where he dissed bitcoin, which was a weird thing. If somebody who played a big role in the beginning of digital money is suddenly saying that maybe crypto is bad for the interests of the United States, we should pay attention. There’s an extent to which he’s a great prognosticator, a great futurist. But he’s also a marketer of himself and he’s been very good at accentuating the calls that have been right and and playing down the calls that have been wrong. You note that he has funded two senators—Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley—and is now funding two more candidates. Do you worry he’ll wield outsized power over government? I have to say I worry less about the grandstanding of a handful of senators connected to Thiel than I do about the effect of Thiel-ism on the culture. When you combine the hostility to democracy and institutional norms with the bankroll of a billionaire you can potentially do some damage. This conversation has been lightly condensed and edited for clarity......»»

Category: topSource: time21 hr. 20 min. ago

7 improv tricks to ease social anxiety and make work conversations less awkward

Active listening, building on others' ideas, and finding common ground can help uncomfortable conversations become productive. Being aware of coworkers nonverbal cues and body language is key to being a good listener. fizkes/Shutterstock Conversations with coworkers can be awkward, especially when returning to in-person work. Comedian Megan Gray says applying the basics of improv to workplace interactions can help. Active listening, building on others' ideas, and finding common ground can help ease tension. See more stories on Insider's business page. Talking to people at work can be challenging and stressful. Whether you're attending meetings, conversing with clients, or just making small talk in the hallway, nerves can start to take over. What do you do with your hands? How long should you hold eye contact? What do you even talk about? And if you're used to working from home - let's say, if a global pandemic forces you and all your colleagues to go remote for many many months - face-to-face interactions can feel even more overwhelming.Improvisation can help.Improv is a form of unscripted theater where the actors don't know in advance what they'll say or do - or what other actors will say or do. There are no costumes or props, only a bare stage and chairs. The show often begins with a random word suggested by the audience. In order to create something out of nothing, improv performers have developed a whole range of techniques to keep themselves focused and in the moment.For the past 14 years I've taught improvisation to people of all ages in theaters, at schools, on cruise ships, and online. I've also worked with companies including TikTok, Google, and YouTube to use improv techniques to improve collaboration, communication, and confidence. With everyone from kids to CEOs, I've found that improv principles can help. We'll take a look at some of these techniques and break down how they can be applied specifically to the workplace and work-related interactions.1. Practice active listeningListening is an improviser's main tool. In order to respond to your partner and build off of what they said, you have to actually listen to what they're saying! Not just listen, but actively listen. Most of the time we're passively listening, focused on what we'll say next or imagining what the person we're talking to is going to say, and we miss key elements of the conversation. We're so busy anticipating that we end up listening to only half of what is said.I've seen many scenes derailed because an improviser only heard the beginning of a sentence, or completely ignored their partner's offer. For example:Improviser A: "I've had the worst day on this ship. I got seasick, dropped the map in the ocean, and a seagull took my hat. It's hard being pirates like us."Improviser B: "Welcome to space! We're astronauts."Clearly, Improviser B didn't listen beyond the first few words, assumed the "ship" was a "spaceship," and has now forced Improviser A to justify why these pirates are in space.Instead of interrupting or thinking about what you'll say next, try waiting until the person you're talking to is done talking, and then respond. For example, here's what might happen if you're too eager to jump in and aren't listening:Coworker: "I've been thinking about trying something new for lunch-"You: "Oh, there's a new sushi place that opened around the corner. Let's go there!"But if you allow your coworker to finish, the exchange might sound like this:Coworker: "I've been thinking about trying something new for lunch - maybe that new taco place? I'm allergic to fish, so I'd like to avoid sushi."You (once you've noticed that they're done speaking): "Yeah, tacos sound great."Waiting for someone to complete their thought is only the beginning. You should also aim to listen beyond their words to try to gauge their intent. If someone knows that they're being listened to and not just spoken to, they feel validated. When we're actively listening, we're communicating effectively and clearly understanding each other's goals and objectives-whether those are about today's lunch or that really important project.2. Be aware of body languageBody language helps improvisers communicate what they're thinking or feeling without having to say what they're thinking or feeling. Nonverbal cues like posture, facial expressions, and length of eye contact can be extremely helpful when they're trying to work together quickly and efficiently. If you know that your partner is on the same page as you, you will be more likely to keep going with a specific line of thought. If you know that your partner is in disagreement, you'll try another tactic.For example, if an improviser walks onstage to find their fellow actor facing them with a big smile, they might pick up on those nonverbal cues and kick off the scene with, "It's good to see my best friend after so many years!" But if instead their fellow actor is glaring at them, they might initiate with, "When we last saw each other it ended badly. But I still consider us best friends." The improviser still uses the same idea, but recognizes the emotion that their colleague is projecting.The same is true of any interaction you have at work. Paying attention to people's body language, in addition to the words they say, is crucial. If you're talking to someone and you see their gaze wander or their body start to stiffen, for example, find a way to change the topic or end the conversation. Let's say you see a coworker in the hallway and say, "Hi! I haven't seen you in forever. How are you? What's going on?" If they cross their arms, look at the ground, and say, "Oh, nothing," you might recognize that it's not the best time to talk. You'll also be able to glean how people are feeling about an idea suggested in a meeting, a project deadline, or anything else you're working on together.Your own body language is important, too. It can help signal that you're open to ideas and enthusiastic about collaboration - or the opposite. So be aware of the messages you're sending. Start with your face by holding eye contact, relaxing your features, and smiling or nodding to what is being said. Then move to your shoulders, drop them down, and make sure they're not tense. Uncross your arms. When our body looks closed off, it can signal that we're closed off to ideas. But an open stance can let someone know that you're approachable and receptive.3. Accept and build on others' ideas ("Yes, and…")A golden rule in improvisation is the idea of "Yes, and..." Not that you have to say these words exactly; it's more of a guiding principle that you accept your partner's idea ("yes"), and then build on that idea ("and…"). "Yes, and" starts you off with positivity and possibility, which can help the scene flow and continue. In improv, it might look like this:Improviser A: "I got this cake for you."Improviser B: "You remembered my birthday!" [yes, that is a cake and it's my birthday]Improviser A: "How could I forget? You're 100 years old." [yes, it is your birthday and it's a big one]Improviser B: "I am and I look great for my age." [yes, I am 100 and good looking]Improviser A: "Thank goodness you found that fountain of youth." [yes, you look great and here's the reason why]"Yes, and" is great for off-stage conversations, too. Simple agreement can let a coworker know that you're on the same page. If we immediately start with a negative reaction (either verbally or physically), the person we're talking to goes on the defensive. Try saying, "Yeah, I know," or simply "Yes," to get started and build trust, even when you're making small talk. At work, this might sound like:Coworker: "I hear we're getting a new copier."You: "I know, I saw them take the old one away."Coworker: "That old copier never worked right."You: "Yeah, I've lost so much time clearing out those jams."This isn't to say that you have to agree to everything or become a "yes machine." But agreement at the beginning of a conversation - about a shared goal or intent for a project or even just the meeting itself - can give you a harmonious start and help you relax into wherever the topic leads. For example, maybe you're walking back to your team's desks after a meeting with folks from various departments:Coworker: "I think that meeting went really well."You: "Yeah I know, everyone seemed to be on the same page."Coworker: "Finally. I feel like Jim shoots everything down."You: "Well, he's just being cautious."If you agree up top that the meeting went well, it's easier to express disagreement about Jim without letting the conversation devolve or losing sight of your shared goals.4. Find common groundImprovisers use relatable situations - not jokes - to start their scenes. If you open with a joke and your partner doesn't know the punchline, the scene falls flat. It might sound like this:Improviser A: Did you hear about the dog that walked into a bar?Improviser B: Uh, yes and…But when you start on common ground with a location or circumstance your partner can relate to, it's easier to build on:Improviser A: I'm glad we could finally meet. You look just like your profile picture.Improviser B: Yeah, you too. I've heard this is a good restaurant.Improviser A: It is! The waiters sing to you.You've probably been on a first date before, so you'd be in a better position to know what to say. It might be harder to imagine what that dog would say to a bartender.The same goes for a chat in a break room or small talk at the beginning of a meeting. Talk about things you know (such as shared hobbies or interests) or familiar experiences (like commutes, meetings, and other "work stuff"). Being relatable and honest lets your colleagues feel at ease and allows you to forge deeper connections. This can be a vulnerable place, so only share what you're comfortable sharing.If you're discussing a particular project, you can also start with something that shows you recognize a shared experience. For example:You: How's your team dealing with the new challenges of this project? We've found them a little tough.Colleague: Yeah, we weren't expecting the latest developments.Like an improv scene, it is easier to know what to say and respond when the conversation begins on common ground.5. Try to be confident in the face of the unknownWhen improvising, performers never know what's going to come next. If they show fear, uncertainty, or panic, the audience and the other performers are going to lose trust in the performance and disconnect. In order to stay engaged and make scenes entertaining, improvisers put on a show of confidence. Even if they're scared or don't know what to do, they remain cool and collected. This skill develops over years of practice and a gradual process of getting used to the uncertainty.I've seen experienced improvisers make hilarious speeches and sing impromptu songs in shows. When I would compliment them after the show, most would say, "Thanks, I had no idea what I was doing."Whether you're discussing ideas in a meeting, making a presentation, projecting the goals of a longer-term strategy, or having a quick exchange, you have to realize and accept that you don't know how things will play out. Try to get comfortable with not knowing, recognize that others probably feel the same way, and trust that if you work together, you'll figure out the path forward.6. Be resilientImprovisers are constantly adapting to every new piece of information in a scene. And if they're thrown off, they're resilient about it. How a performer recovers can build trust with the audience and fellow performers, and prove that they can adapt to a new situation. For example, a scene might go like this:Improviser A: "As you can see, there are hardwood floors throughout the first level. Three bedrooms, two baths."Improviser B: "Mom, I know what our house looks like."Improviser A: "Scott, I need to practice if I'm going to be the best real estate broker in this town!"Improviser B: "Ugh, OK. Tell me about the breakfast nook again."Improviser A was acting like a real estate agent and Improviser B made them their mom. Improviser A had to go with the flow and be flexible when the scene wasn't going the way they thought.Sometimes a conversation or meeting can take you in a direction you didn't expect. In moments like these, take a pause and breathe. Don't shut down or retreat. If we approach the situation as something we can work through and overcome, we become stronger for the next time it happens. For example, let's say your coworker approaches you in the breakroom:Coworker: "Hey, what did you do this weekend?"You: "I watched the new Marvel movie. It was great."Coworker: "Oh, I hate superhero movies."You might be taken aback by their comment, but you can bounce back with:You: "Yeah, they're not for everyone. What movies do you like?"Now you have a new topic and a new opportunity to find a common interest. The same attitude can help you in more high-stakes situations. Let's say you've just presented to a client and don't get quite the response you were hoping for:Client: "That's great, but do you have anything else?"You: "Did you have something in mind? We've had a couple of ideas in the works, but we want to give you what you really want."You can recover by clarifying with the client and opening up the conversation for further collaboration. And no matter what the situation, try not to get defensive.7. Don't judgeIf you're in an improv scene and immediately judge your own idea, or your partner's, the situation comes to a standstill. Judgement quickly leads to criticism, negative thinking, and distrust. Here are three versions of the same back and forth - in the first two, judgement gets in the way, whereas in the third, there's no judgement and a much smoother path forward:Improviser A: This cruise is surely going to help our marriage. Wait, no that's stupid. What I mean is that this cruise is great.Improviser B: Uh, yes?Improviser A: This cruise is surely going to help our marriage.Improviser B: Ugh, we're on a cruise? OK ...Improviser A: This cruise is surely going to help our marriage.Improviser B: I know, I'm glad we're taking Dr. Monroe's advice.Your improv partner has no incentive to invest in an idea that you hate. And if you judge your partner's idea, they'll feel attacked. It's important to go along with the situation and see where it leads you.Similarly, if a colleague suggests an idea, try not to jump to an immediate judgement. Instead, acknowledge their suggestion, ask questions, and try to understand the full picture before you reach a conclusion. For example:Colleague: What if we try using the slides from last year's presentation?You: That might work. What was it about those slides that stood out to you compared to this year's?Starting with a possibility, "That might work," or "Interesting," lets your colleague know that you're open to finding out more. Ultimately, you don't have to go with the idea, but hearing someone out makes them feel valued.And if you suggest an idea, be confident in your choice. When you believe in what you're saying, others will too. By reserving judgement in the moment, we're in a mode of acceptance and flexibility for what might come.Connecting in person is hard and can feel daunting or awkward. But using these simple improv techniques can help you become a more confident communicator. And as you work on your communication skills, take it easy, trust yourself, and try to have some fun.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 21st, 2021

These Children Are U.S. Citizens. They Need Help, But They Can’t Get the Child Tax Credit

Ivan, just 6 months old, bounces in his baby rocker as a Spanish-language cartoon plays on TV. The living room is small but full, dominated by a tree branch with plastic red blossoms that Ivan’s mother, Sara, made. She asks her 9-year-old daughter, Luz, to leave the room. She’s about to explain something she doesn’t… Ivan, just 6 months old, bounces in his baby rocker as a Spanish-language cartoon plays on TV. The living room is small but full, dominated by a tree branch with plastic red blossoms that Ivan’s mother, Sara, made. She asks her 9-year-old daughter, Luz, to leave the room. She’s about to explain something she doesn’t want her daughter to ever think about again: the event that set off a chain of other events that led to them ending up in southwest Detroit with no money, no way to get around and no identification papers. Without those papers Ivan can’t qualify for any of the assistance the U.S. government provides for its citizens, because they can’t prove he—or they—exist. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] Sara, 27, and her daughter came to the U.S. from the Michoacán region of Mexico, under the asylum program. The father of her daughter, she says, had started selling and using drugs, and one night beat her while their daughter was in the home. They escaped to her relatives’ home, but her husband, concerned that she would report him to the police, monitored her every move. “I just stepped out of the house and he was there,” she says, in Spanish. “So I couldn’t do anything.” Fearing she was endangering her family if she stayed, she fled to the Arizona border, where she was granted provisional asylum, had her passport and all her identification papers taken, was put in an ankle monitoring bracelet and sent to live with a cousin in Chicago. (TIME has agreed to use only the first names of the women in this story, to protect their safety.) In order to get a Mexican passport for her daughter, to complete the asylum requirements, Sara needed a signature from the girl’s father. When she tried to obtain that in 2019, she discovered he had been murdered. She was told by her state-supplied immigration lawyer that with her husband’s demise, she was no longer in danger, and therefore her asylum case was closed and she needed to return to Mexico. Sara says her family warned her, however, that her husband’s brothers had been killed too, along with one of their wives, and his sisters were now seeking asylum. She cut off her ankle bracelet and fled from Chicago to Michigan with a new boyfriend, also Mexican, also in the U.S. without documents. (TIME has confirmed her account with relatives in Mexico.) A year or so afterwards, they had a son. Read More: As Many Americans Get COVID-19 Vaccines and Financial Support, Undocumented Immigrants Keep Falling Through the Cracks For the last three months, millions of U.S. families have gotten a payment of up to $300 for each child in their home from the Internal Revenue Service. There will be one each month until the end of 2021. They are advance tax credits, part of a new program by the Biden Administration touted as the boldest attempt in decades to try to help impoverished families, especially those for whom the pandemic had taken a very harsh toll. Every American citizen child qualifies for this benefit, even those from what is called “mixed status” families—those with some undocumented members. This is a reflection of the twin beliefs that (a) vulnerable children should be helped, no matter their circumstances and (b) that raising children out of grinding poverty is good for the long term economic growth of any country. Children are also the mostly likely age of American to be in poverty. A new Census Bureau report found that 44% of American children experienced at least two consecutive months of poverty between 2013 and 2016, even before the pandemic. Almost immediately after the first payments landed, the US Census Bureau’s monthly Pulse survey detected a drop in “food insufficiency”—the fancy term for people not having enough to eat—and in its measurement of people finding it hard to pay their weekly bills. Instead of 11% of kids going hungry, only 8% were. The improvement was only evident in homes with children, which means that the CTC payments were likely the cause. “There’s been no other social program that has reached this many families this quickly in the history of the country,” says Luke Shaefer, a professor of Social Work and the Director of the Poverty Solutions Center at the University of Michigan, and the co-author, with Kathryn Edin, of the seminal work on American poverty, $2 a Day. In 2018, the two of them, with other scholars, co-authored a paper recommending monthly cash payments, which is seen as one of the bases for the current administration’s program. Because Ivan was born in the U.S., his family qualifies for the credit, money that would help them find their footing, and move out of the unstable financial situation in which they live. But they didn’t get it. They are just one example of an extremely vulnerable household that has not been reached by the new program. The reasons are not novel. An analysis by the Urban Institute in 2019 found that a quarter of people living in poverty do not receive support from any government program. Welfare programs have always suffered from “last mile” issues: a legion of obstructions between the funds available and the families who need them. In many ways, the distribution of the CTC is offering an object lesson in the obstacles America faces when helping its poorest citizens. Cutting child poverty, for some In order to survive, Sara and families like hers live in a kind of nether world of informal economies and networks. Apart from her daughter’s bilingual public school, the household has almost zero contact with any institutions, government or otherwise. It’s necessary for them to be as invisible as possible to the authorities. Ivan’s dad is ferried to and from work with other laborers in a bus. He is paid in cash. They have a car but cannot drive anywhere because they do not have regulation license plates, and cannot afford to be pulled over. Sara’s biggest nightmare is being separated from either of her children; the American one, who is legally allowed to abide in the U.S. whatever happens to his mother, or the Mexican one, who might be separated from her, were Sara to be detained. It’s not like they don’t pay any taxes: many undocumented workers do. Magdalena, who lives in the Bronx, New York, has paid tax at her job in a grocery store for years. She has four children aged from 2 to 15, all born in New York City, after she escaped across the border 17 years ago. Her children need school uniforms and books, but she can’t afford those as well as the rent on her wages now that she is working part-time because her childcare was very limited during the pandemic. She can barely even cover the childcare she has. The CTC would pay her family $1100 a month, but she cannot figure out how to get it. “What we’re doing so far is not perfect,” says Shaefer. “There are people who are being left out.” Because it’s a tax credit, the money is sent to people who have filed taxes, and it has taken a little while for that news to filter out and for people to get their paperwork in order. “The second problem stems from residential complexity and bank account instability that are common among low-income people,” he says. Families who have recently moved to a shelter or started doubling up with other family members, or those whose bank balance went into arrears or were overwhelmed with bank fees might find that the money has been directed to an old address or closed bank account. “That’s something,” says Shaefer, “That is still going to require a lot of work.” Read More: 6 Ways To Use the Child Tax Credit Payments, According to the Experts (Who Are Also Parents) Some critics note that the methods the government is using to distribute funds are long overdue for an update. “It’s just a generation after generation after generation of doing aid through the same large not very nuanced poverty administration systems,” says Tyler Hall, director of communications at GiveDirectly, a non profit that helps donors give simple cash to people in need. Because the administration opted to give the money via the IRS, a large amount of money was sent out widely and very quickly, but not necessarily very accurately. “Prioritizing operational considerations and ease of access stymies a number of the administration’s best ideas,” says Hall. Before the first payment, the government set up a website for folks who had never paid tax so they could still claim the money. But it was loaded with bureaucratic language and not mobile friendly, even though phones are much more widespread in low income communities than computers. As the second payment rolled around, the administration, with the help of Code For America, set up a different website, which is due to go live in “the next few weeks,” according to a statement from the U.S. Department of Treasury. Critics also claim the credits were poorly advertised, utilizing services like Twitter and eschewing old school methods like radio advertisements and mailers, which tend to be where those whose lives are more precarious get their information. And Rosario Alzayadi, a fieldworker with the Detroit agency Starfish, says once she finds these stricken families, it takes a while to build their trust. “When we go to the homes, we kind of see what’s going on,” she says. “But sometimes it takes us a long time to know the family needs.” Many of her clients were unaware they are eligible for reduced-cost internet access, for example, or that even if they’re undocumented, they can still file taxes, and thus become eligible for benefits for their American born children, among others. “Unfortunately,” notes Hall, “the vulnerable will always be the hardest to reach.” Families need more time, experts say Until the pandemic, Sara worked in light construction, but now she stays home. The couple has bought one of Detroit’s many derelict homes, which can cost just a few thousand dollars, and are renovating it themselves. A social worker who is trying to help Sara’s American-born son qualify for the CTC through his father, is gamely dealing with a legion of setbacks. His Mexican passport has expired, the nearest consulate moved from downtown Detroit to Madison Heights, a three hour round trip by public transit. If he can get an appointment (consulates are backed up), and figure out how to travel there (the social worker says she is asking one of her siblings to drive them), get a day off work (his job offers none), and get enough forms of ID to qualify for a passport, it’s possible he can also get a ITIN, a taxpayer number. If he can then wade through enough forms to file a tax return, and get his son’s American birth certificate, Ivan may eventually qualify for some federal help. That’s if the program lasts beyond the end of the year. Read More: Americans Need Recurring Stimulus Checks Until the Pandemic Is Over In some ways Sara is among the lucky ones. He family unit is stable. She dreams of being an interior designer and cabinet maker. Maria, another mother in Michigan with three American-born children under 5, cannot afford those dreams. She and her children’s father do not live together, but he currently pays the rent. Even if all the obstacles to getting the CTC could be overcome, it’s not clear who would get the money. Maria, 26, who first came to the U.S. with her mother to escape the violence of her father, she says, has no work and is reluctant to search for any, because she has no childcare or transport. So she stays home all day, venturing out only occasionally to take the children on the long walk to the nearest grocery store for food, and worries about her elderly mother, who returned to Mexico after her father died and whose health is frail. Despite the program’s shortcomings, Shaefer, the poverty researcher, sees the advanced CTC as a profoundly important development. “I’m just incredibly excited that we have the scaffolding in place, that I think we can continue to improve,” he says. “It’s unprecedented in history that we would have a program that went out to this many families. And the initial evidence is really strong that it’s working in the ways that we think it should be working.” One side benefit Shaefer and other researchers were hoping for is that more families would come out of the shadows, so that they could be reached by social service agencies. The lure of free money is pretty strong, and Sara and other families seem committed to figuring out how to get themselves documented. The IRS is not allowed to share information on the families with other government agencies, whether it’s ICE or Medicaid, but activists hope that the interaction will help them gain some trust in government institutions. Alzayadi, the social worker, says she was inspired to work undocumented families, because as a young mother of four, a home visitor found her, encouraged her to put her situation to rights and showed her the steps she needed to take to get help. In an encouraging sign, a larger number of families applied for and received the August payment than the 35 million who got July payment. One of the unanticipated side effects of the CTC payments might be that it may entice those who have been difficult for social services to reach and the safety net to catch, to finally reach out for some help. —with reporting by Pablo Muñoz-Hernandez.....»»

Category: topSource: timeSep 21st, 2021

Total Construction Starts Decline In August

­­­Third consecutive monthly decline pushes starts to 11-month low Q2 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more HAMILTON, New Jersey — September 20, 2021 — Total construction starts fell 9% in August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $782.8 billion, according to Dodge Data & Analytics. All three sectors lost ground during the month: […] ­­­Third consecutive monthly decline pushes starts to 11-month low if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Henry Singleton Series in PDF Get the entire 4-part series on Henry Singleton in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q2 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more HAMILTON, New Jersey — September 20, 2021 — Total construction starts fell 9% in August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $782.8 billion, according to Dodge Data & Analytics. All three sectors lost ground during the month: nonbuilding starts were down 2%, residential starts were 9% lower, and nonresidential building starts fell 13%. “Construction starts have hit a rough patch following the euphoria seen in the early stages of recovery from the pandemic,” stated Richard Branch, Chief Economist for Dodge Data & Analytics. “The Delta variant has raised concern that the fledgling economic recovery is stalling out, undermining the already low level of demand for most types of nonresidential buildings. Additionally, significant price increases for construction materials, logistic constraints, and labor shortages are making a challenging situation worse. Construction starts are likely to remain unsteady over the next few months. However, the dollar value of projects entering planning continues to suggest that the recovery in construction starts should resume early in the new year.” The Full Breakdown Of Construction Starts Below is the full breakdown: Nonbuilding construction starts lost 2% in August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $167.8 billion. Starts in the environmental public works category (water-related projects) gained 4%, while miscellaneous nonbuilding starts (heavily pipelines) were up 14%. Meanwhile, highway and bridge starts were 4% lower and utility/gas plants dropped 21% following a sizeable gain in July. Year-to-date, total nonbuilding starts were up 1% through August. Environmental public works were up 23%, and utility/gas plant starts were up less than one percentage point through August. Starts in the highway/bridge (-2%) and miscellaneous nonbuilding sectors (-19%) were down through the first eight months of the year. For the 12 months ending in August 2021, total nonbuilding starts were 2% lower than the 12 months ending in August 2020. Environmental public works starts were 22% higher and highway and bridge starts were up 3%, while utility and gas plant starts were down 17% and miscellaneous nonbuilding starts were 22% lower on a 12-month rolling basis. The largest nonbuilding projects to break ground in August were the $677 million Oak Hill Parkway roadway in Austin, TX, the $351 million southern expansion of the Kansas City Streetcar system in Kansas City, MO, and the $300 million first phase of the Dunns Bridge Solar Project in Wheatfield Township, IN. Nonresidential building starts fell 13% in August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $244.9 billion. The declines were broad-based across building types with few bright spots. Commercial starts dropped 10%, institutional starts lost 15%, and manufacturing starts fell 37% following a sizable gain in July. Despite overall losses, there were gains in the retail, parking, and public buildings. Year-to-date through eight months, nonresidential building starts were 3% higher. Commercial starts increased 2% and manufacturing starts were 33% higher. Institutional starts, however, were 1% lower through eight months. For the 12 months ending in August 2021, nonresidential building starts were 8% lower than in the 12 months ending in August 2020. Commercial starts were down 8%, institutional starts fell 4%, and manufacturing starts dropped 29% in the 12 months ending August 2021. The largest nonresidential building projects to break ground in August were the $800 million first phase of the Facebook Eastmark Parkway data center in Mesa, AZ, the $400 million Facebook data center in Springfield, NE, and the $350 million Pratt & Whitney Project Ranger manufacturing building in Asheville, NC. Residential building starts lost 9% in August to a seasonally adjusted rate of $370.2 billion. Single family starts fell 12% in August, while multifamily starts increased 1%. Through eight months, residential starts were 24% higher than in the same period one year ago. Single family starts gained 29%, while multifamily starts grew 13%. For the 12 months ending in August 2021, total residential starts were 21% higher than the 12 months ending in August 2020. Single family starts gained 28%, while multifamily starts were up 2% on a 12-month sum basis. The largest multifamily structures to break ground in August were the $615 million Flamingo Crossing Apartments in Winter Garden, FL, the $400 million 1018 West Peachtree apartments in Atlanta, GA, and the $374 million Victoria Place Gateway Tower in Honolulu, HI. Regionally, total construction starts lost ground in August in all five regions. August 2021 Construction Starts About Dodge Data & Analytics Dodge Data & Analytics is North America's leading provider of commercial construction project data, market forecasting & analytics services, and workflow integration solutions for the construction industry. Building product manufacturers, architects, engineers, contractors, and service providers leverage Dodge to identify and pursue unseen growth opportunities that help them grow their business. On a local, regional or national level, Dodge empowers its customers to better understand their markets, uncover key relationships, seize growth opportunities, and pursue specific sales opportunities with success. The company's construction project information is the most comprehensive and verified in the industry. As of April 15th, Dodge Data & Analytics and The Blue Book -- the largest, most active network in the U.S. commercial construction industry -- combined their businesses in a merger. The Blue Book Network delivers three unparalleled databases of companies, projects, and people. Dodge and The Blue Book offer 10+ billion data elements and 14+ million project and document searches. Together, they provide a unified approach for new business generation, business planning, research, and marketing services users can leverage to find the best partners to complete projects and to engage with customers and prospects to promote projects, products, and services. To learn more, visit construction.com and thebluebook.com. Updated on Sep 20, 2021, 4:17 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkSep 21st, 2021

Tessco (TESS) Upgraded to Buy: What Does It Mean for the Stock?

Tessco (TESS) might move higher on growing optimism about its earnings prospects, which is reflected by its upgrade to a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Investors might want to bet on Tessco Technologies (TESS), as it has been recently upgraded to a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). An upward trend in earnings estimates -- one of the most powerful forces impacting stock prices -- has triggered this rating change.The sole determinant of the Zacks rating is a company's changing earnings picture. The Zacks Consensus Estimate -- the consensus of EPS estimates from the sell-side analysts covering the stock -- for the current and following years is tracked by the system.Individual investors often find it hard to make decisions based on rating upgrades by Wall Street analysts, since these are mostly driven by subjective factors that are hard to see and measure in real time. In these situations, the Zacks rating system comes in handy because of the power of a changing earnings picture in determining near-term stock price movements.As such, the Zacks rating upgrade for Tessco is essentially a positive comment on its earnings outlook that could have a favorable impact on its stock price.Most Powerful Force Impacting Stock PricesThe change in a company's future earnings potential, as reflected in earnings estimate revisions, has proven to be strongly correlated with the near-term price movement of its stock. The influence of institutional investors has a partial contribution to this relationship, as these big professionals use earnings and earnings estimates to calculate the fair value of a company's shares. An increase or decrease in earnings estimates in their valuation models simply results in higher or lower fair value for a stock, and institutional investors typically buy or sell it. Their transaction of large amounts of shares then leads to price movement for the stock.Fundamentally speaking, rising earnings estimates and the consequent rating upgrade for Tessco imply an improvement in the company's underlying business. Investors should show their appreciation for this improving business trend by pushing the stock higher.Harnessing the Power of Earnings Estimate RevisionsAs empirical research shows a strong correlation between trends in earnings estimate revisions and near-term stock movements, tracking such revisions for making an investment decision could be truly rewarding. Here is where the tried-and-tested Zacks Rank stock-rating system plays an important role, as it effectively harnesses the power of earnings estimate revisions.The Zacks Rank stock-rating system, which uses four factors related to earnings estimates to classify stocks into five groups, ranging from Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) to Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell), has an impressive externally-audited track record, with Zacks Rank #1 stocks generating an average annual return of +25% since 1988. You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here >>>>.Earnings Estimate Revisions for TesscoThis wireless communications company is expected to earn -$0.73 per share for the fiscal year ending March 2022, which represents a year-over-year change of 58.3%.Analysts have been steadily raising their estimates for Tessco. Over the past three months, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company has increased 39.2%.Bottom LineUnlike the overly optimistic Wall Street analysts whose rating systems tend to be weighted toward favorable recommendations, the Zacks rating system maintains an equal proportion of 'buy' and 'sell' ratings for its entire universe of more than 4000 stocks at any point in time. Irrespective of market conditions, only the top 5% of the Zacks-covered stocks get a 'Strong Buy' rating and the next 15% get a 'Buy' rating. So, the placement of a stock in the top 20% of the Zacks-covered stocks indicates its superior earnings estimate revision feature, making it a solid candidate for producing market-beating returns in the near term.You can learn more about the Zacks Rank here >>>The upgrade of Tessco to a Zacks Rank #2 positions it in the top 20% of the Zacks-covered stocks in terms of estimate revisions, implying that the stock might move higher in the near term. Breakout Biotech Stocks with Triple-Digit Profit Potential The biotech sector is projected to surge beyond $2.4 trillion by 2028 as scientists develop treatments for thousands of diseases. They’re also finding ways to edit the human genome to literally erase our vulnerability to these diseases. Zacks has just released Century of Biology: 7 Biotech Stocks to Buy Right Now to help investors profit from 7 stocks poised for outperformance. Recommendations from previous editions of this report have produced gains of +205%, +258% and +477%. The stocks in this report could perform even better.See these 7 breakthrough stocks now>>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report TESSCO Technologies Incorporated (TESS): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 21st, 2021

Manhattan Associates (MANH) Upgraded to Strong Buy: What Does It Mean for the Stock?

Manhattan Associates (MANH) has been upgraded to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), reflecting growing optimism about the company's earnings prospects. This might drive the stock higher in the near term. Manhattan Associates (MANH) could be a solid addition to your portfolio given its recent upgrade to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). This rating change essentially reflects an upward trend in earnings estimates -- one of the most powerful forces impacting stock prices.A company's changing earnings picture is at the core of the Zacks rating. The system tracks the Zacks Consensus Estimate -- the consensus measure of EPS estimates from the sell-side analysts covering the stock -- for the current and following years.Individual investors often find it hard to make decisions based on rating upgrades by Wall Street analysts, since these are mostly driven by subjective factors that are hard to see and measure in real time. In these situations, the Zacks rating system comes in handy because of the power of a changing earnings picture in determining near-term stock price movements.Therefore, the Zacks rating upgrade for Manhattan Associates basically reflects positivity about its earnings outlook that could translate into buying pressure and an increase in its stock price.Most Powerful Force Impacting Stock PricesThe change in a company's future earnings potential, as reflected in earnings estimate revisions, has proven to be strongly correlated with the near-term price movement of its stock. The influence of institutional investors has a partial contribution to this relationship, as these big professionals use earnings and earnings estimates to calculate the fair value of a company's shares. An increase or decrease in earnings estimates in their valuation models simply results in higher or lower fair value for a stock, and institutional investors typically buy or sell it. Their bulk investment action then leads to price movement for the stock.Fundamentally speaking, rising earnings estimates and the consequent rating upgrade for Manhattan Associates imply an improvement in the company's underlying business. Investors should show their appreciation for this improving business trend by pushing the stock higher.Harnessing the Power of Earnings Estimate RevisionsEmpirical research shows a strong correlation between trends in earnings estimate revisions and near-term stock movements, so it could be truly rewarding if such revisions are tracked for making an investment decision. Here is where the tried-and-tested Zacks Rank stock-rating system plays an important role, as it effectively harnesses the power of earnings estimate revisions.The Zacks Rank stock-rating system, which uses four factors related to earnings estimates to classify stocks into five groups, ranging from Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) to Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell), has an impressive externally-audited track record, with Zacks Rank #1 stocks generating an average annual return of +25% since 1988. You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here >>>>.Earnings Estimate Revisions for Manhattan AssociatesThis business software company is expected to earn $2.03 per share for the fiscal year ending December 2021, which represents a year-over-year change of 15.3%.Analysts have been steadily raising their estimates for Manhattan Associates. Over the past three months, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company has increased 33.7%.Bottom LineUnlike the overly optimistic Wall Street analysts whose rating systems tend to be weighted toward favorable recommendations, the Zacks rating system maintains an equal proportion of 'buy' and 'sell' ratings for its entire universe of more than 4000 stocks at any point in time. Irrespective of market conditions, only the top 5% of the Zacks-covered stocks get a 'Strong Buy' rating and the next 15% get a 'Buy' rating. So, the placement of a stock in the top 20% of the Zacks-covered stocks indicates its superior earnings estimate revision feature, making it a solid candidate for producing market-beating returns in the near term.You can learn more about the Zacks Rank here >>>The upgrade of Manhattan Associates to a Zacks Rank #1 positions it in the top 5% of the Zacks-covered stocks in terms of estimate revisions, implying that the stock might move higher in the near term. Breakout Biotech Stocks with Triple-Digit Profit Potential The biotech sector is projected to surge beyond $2.4 trillion by 2028 as scientists develop treatments for thousands of diseases. They’re also finding ways to edit the human genome to literally erase our vulnerability to these diseases. Zacks has just released Century of Biology: 7 Biotech Stocks to Buy Right Now to help investors profit from 7 stocks poised for outperformance. Recommendations from previous editions of this report have produced gains of +205%, +258% and +477%. The stocks in this report could perform even better.See these 7 breakthrough stocks now>>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Manhattan Associates, Inc. (MANH): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 21st, 2021

Persimmon Plc (PSMMY) Upgraded to Buy: Here"s Why

Persimmon Plc (PSMMY) might move higher on growing optimism about its earnings prospects, which is reflected by its upgrade to a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Persimmon Plc (PSMMY) could be a solid choice for investors given its recent upgrade to a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). This upgrade primarily reflects an upward trend in earnings estimates, which is one of the most powerful forces impacting stock prices.The sole determinant of the Zacks rating is a company's changing earnings picture. The Zacks Consensus Estimate -- the consensus of EPS estimates from the sell-side analysts covering the stock -- for the current and following years is tracked by the system.Since a changing earnings picture is a powerful factor influencing near-term stock price movements, the Zacks rating system is very useful for individual investors. They may find it difficult to make decisions based on rating upgrades by Wall Street analysts, as these are mostly driven by subjective factors that are hard to see and measure in real time.Therefore, the Zacks rating upgrade for Persimmon Plc basically reflects positivity about its earnings outlook that could translate into buying pressure and an increase in its stock price.Most Powerful Force Impacting Stock PricesThe change in a company's future earnings potential, as reflected in earnings estimate revisions, and the near-term price movement of its stock are proven to be strongly correlated. The influence of institutional investors has a partial contribution to this relationship, as these big professionals use earnings and earnings estimates to calculate the fair value of a company's shares. An increase or decrease in earnings estimates in their valuation models simply results in higher or lower fair value for a stock, and institutional investors typically buy or sell it. Their bulk investment action then leads to price movement for the stock.Fundamentally speaking, rising earnings estimates and the consequent rating upgrade for Persimmon Plc imply an improvement in the company's underlying business. Investors should show their appreciation for this improving business trend by pushing the stock higher.Harnessing the Power of Earnings Estimate RevisionsAs empirical research shows a strong correlation between trends in earnings estimate revisions and near-term stock movements, tracking such revisions for making an investment decision could be truly rewarding. Here is where the tried-and-tested Zacks Rank stock-rating system plays an important role, as it effectively harnesses the power of earnings estimate revisions.The Zacks Rank stock-rating system, which uses four factors related to earnings estimates to classify stocks into five groups, ranging from Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) to Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell), has an impressive externally-audited track record, with Zacks Rank #1 stocks generating an average annual return of +25% since 1988. You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here >>>>.Earnings Estimate Revisions for Persimmon PlcThis company is expected to earn $7.06 per share for the fiscal year ending December 2021, which represents a year-over-year change of 25%.Analysts have been steadily raising their estimates for Persimmon Plc. Over the past three months, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company has increased 3.9%.Bottom LineUnlike the overly optimistic Wall Street analysts whose rating systems tend to be weighted toward favorable recommendations, the Zacks rating system maintains an equal proportion of 'buy' and 'sell' ratings for its entire universe of more than 4000 stocks at any point in time. Irrespective of market conditions, only the top 5% of the Zacks-covered stocks get a 'Strong Buy' rating and the next 15% get a 'Buy' rating. So, the placement of a stock in the top 20% of the Zacks-covered stocks indicates its superior earnings estimate revision feature, making it a solid candidate for producing market-beating returns in the near term.You can learn more about the Zacks Rank here >>>The upgrade of Persimmon Plc to a Zacks Rank #2 positions it in the top 20% of the Zacks-covered stocks in terms of estimate revisions, implying that the stock might move higher in the near term. Breakout Biotech Stocks with Triple-Digit Profit Potential The biotech sector is projected to surge beyond $2.4 trillion by 2028 as scientists develop treatments for thousands of diseases. They’re also finding ways to edit the human genome to literally erase our vulnerability to these diseases. Zacks has just released Century of Biology: 7 Biotech Stocks to Buy Right Now to help investors profit from 7 stocks poised for outperformance. Recommendations from previous editions of this report have produced gains of +205%, +258% and +477%. The stocks in this report could perform even better.See these 7 breakthrough stocks now>>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Persimmon Plc (PSMMY): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 21st, 2021

Wesco International (WCC) Upgraded to Strong Buy: Here"s Why

Wesco International (WCC) has been upgraded to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), reflecting growing optimism about the company's earnings prospects. This might drive the stock higher in the near term. Wesco International (WCC) could be a solid choice for investors given its recent upgrade to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). This upgrade is essentially a reflection of an upward trend in earnings estimates -- one of the most powerful forces impacting stock prices.The Zacks rating relies solely on a company's changing earnings picture. It tracks EPS estimates for the current and following years from the sell-side analysts covering the stock through a consensus measure -- the Zacks Consensus Estimate.Individual investors often find it hard to make decisions based on rating upgrades by Wall Street analysts, since these are mostly driven by subjective factors that are hard to see and measure in real time. In these situations, the Zacks rating system comes in handy because of the power of a changing earnings picture in determining near-term stock price movements.As such, the Zacks rating upgrade for Wesco International is essentially a positive comment on its earnings outlook that could have a favorable impact on its stock price.Most Powerful Force Impacting Stock PricesThe change in a company's future earnings potential, as reflected in earnings estimate revisions, has proven to be strongly correlated with the near-term price movement of its stock. The influence of institutional investors has a partial contribution to this relationship, as these big professionals use earnings and earnings estimates to calculate the fair value of a company's shares. An increase or decrease in earnings estimates in their valuation models simply results in higher or lower fair value for a stock, and institutional investors typically buy or sell it. Their transaction of large amounts of shares then leads to price movement for the stock.For Wesco International, rising earnings estimates and the consequent rating upgrade fundamentally mean an improvement in the company's underlying business. And investors' appreciation of this improving business trend should push the stock higher.Harnessing the Power of Earnings Estimate RevisionsAs empirical research shows a strong correlation between trends in earnings estimate revisions and near-term stock movements, tracking such revisions for making an investment decision could be truly rewarding. Here is where the tried-and-tested Zacks Rank stock-rating system plays an important role, as it effectively harnesses the power of earnings estimate revisions.The Zacks Rank stock-rating system, which uses four factors related to earnings estimates to classify stocks into five groups, ranging from Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) to Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell), has an impressive externally-audited track record, with Zacks Rank #1 stocks generating an average annual return of +25% since 1988. You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here >>>>.Earnings Estimate Revisions for Wesco InternationalFor the fiscal year ending December 2021, this maker of electrical and industrial maintenance supplies and construction materials is expected to earn $8.46 per share, which is a change of 93.6% from the year-ago reported number.Analysts have been steadily raising their estimates for Wesco International. Over the past three months, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company has increased 17.1%.Bottom LineUnlike the overly optimistic Wall Street analysts whose rating systems tend to be weighted toward favorable recommendations, the Zacks rating system maintains an equal proportion of 'buy' and 'sell' ratings for its entire universe of more than 4000 stocks at any point in time. Irrespective of market conditions, only the top 5% of the Zacks-covered stocks get a 'Strong Buy' rating and the next 15% get a 'Buy' rating. So, the placement of a stock in the top 20% of the Zacks-covered stocks indicates its superior earnings estimate revision feature, making it a solid candidate for producing market-beating returns in the near term.You can learn more about the Zacks Rank here >>>The upgrade of Wesco International to a Zacks Rank #1 positions it in the top 5% of the Zacks-covered stocks in terms of estimate revisions, implying that the stock might move higher in the near term. Breakout Biotech Stocks with Triple-Digit Profit Potential The biotech sector is projected to surge beyond $2.4 trillion by 2028 as scientists develop treatments for thousands of diseases. They’re also finding ways to edit the human genome to literally erase our vulnerability to these diseases. Zacks has just released Century of Biology: 7 Biotech Stocks to Buy Right Now to help investors profit from 7 stocks poised for outperformance. Recommendations from previous editions of this report have produced gains of +205%, +258% and +477%. The stocks in this report could perform even better.See these 7 breakthrough stocks now>>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report WESCO International, Inc. (WCC): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 21st, 2021

Transcript: Campbell Harvey

     ~~~~ Transcript: The transcript from this week’s, MiB: Campbell Harvey on DeFi, is below. You can stream and download our full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google, Bloomberg, and Acast. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here. ~~~ VOICE-OVER: This is Masters… Read More The post Transcript: Campbell Harvey appeared first on The Big Picture.      ~~~~ Transcript: The transcript from this week’s, MiB: Campbell Harvey on DeFi, is below. You can stream and download our full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google, Bloomberg, and Acast. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here. ~~~ VOICE-OVER: This is Masters in Business with Barry Ritholtz on Bloomberg Radio. RITHOLTZ: This week on the podcast I have a special guest. His name is Campbell Harvey, and he is a professor at Duke University School of Business. He’s also the author of a fascinating book — co-author really of a fascinating book called, “DeFi and the Future of Finance.” And if you are at all crypto curious, if you’re wondering why bitcoin is near $60,000, why NFTs have gone crazy, and while lots and lots of banks and financial institutions have been embracing crypto, well, then you’re going to find this conversation absolutely fascinating. Campbell Harvey is a traditional finance professor, at least that’s how he presents to the outside world studying behavioral finance, the yield curve and recessions, and separating luck and skill and investment decisions. All this stuff sounds pretty run of the mill, middle of the road sort of stuff. But then back in 2014, he was crypto curious and started doing some research, and ended up doing a presentation to one of his classes. And really, it had a massive impact on him because, you know, at the end of the period he expects the whole class to get up and leave. And, you know, spoiler alert, nobody leaves, and half the class rushes the podium to ask him a bunch of questions about this. And he, you know, really comes to recognize, “Oh, so this is striking a chord with students. There’s something here I need to spend some more time and effort going into it.” That part of — that part of the interview was really fascinating. He tells about what he does with crypto, where he was giving bitcoin away to each of his students so that they had to set-up a Coinbase account and, you know, make a promise to return the coin at the end of the term. And — and what ends up happening is pretty, pretty hilarious and fascinating. Anyway, if — if you’re remotely interested in anything from the world of DeFi from crypto, NFT, stable coins, God, I could’ve spoken to him for another three hours. I kept this fairly accessible. I had lots and lots of deeper, wonkier questions. But as we were going on through this, it really became clear to me, oh, this is a great primer for people who really want to put a toe in the water of crypto. I found it fascinating, and I think you will also. So, with no further ado, my conversation with Duke Uiversity’s Fuqua School of Business Professor Campbell Harvey. VOICE-OVER: This is Masters in Business with Barry Ritholtz on Bloomberg Radio. RITHOLTZ: My extra special guest this week is Camp Harvey. He is a Professor at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. He’s best known for his work on yield curve inversion and recessions, as well as the thorny problem of separating luck from skill in investing. He is a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, as well as a Partner and Senior Adviser at Research Affiliates. He is the author of a brand-new book titled, “DeFi and the Future of Finance.” Campbell Harvey, welcome to Bloomberg. HARVEY: It’s great to be on the show. RITHOLTZ: It’s great having you. So, you’re a pretty traditional finance guy, Duke, NBER. How did you get interested in DeFi? When did this start? And — and what prompted it? HARVEY: I’m not too sure I’m a traditional finance guy. Indeed, five years ago, I announced that half of the empirical research in finance was likely faults. So, I don’t think I’m traditional in any way. But I totally agree that decentralized finance seems far away from inverted yield curves, and luck versus skill, and back testing, and things like that. So, let me — let me tell you the story about how I got involved in this space. And I’ve been involved in this space quite a while. I was on a — a seven-year teaching hiatus because I was editing the Journal of Finance, and it was a full-time job. When I came back to my asset management course after seven years, I decided to scrap the syllabus and — and basically start over, but certain topics I had to include, like forex. And I wanted to do the — the leading-edge stuff, and I thought, well, there’s this new thing I’ve heard of called “bitcoin.” And this is in 2014. So, it was below the radar screen definitely, but I’d heard about it. And I just — well, if I’m doing the euro, the pound, the dollar, the yen, why not add a crypto currency? So that’s where I actually started and I began to research this idea. And the more I researched it, the more I realized that this was something really big. And I spent a lot of time. You know, it was a single — like two-hour lecture in my course, and I spent more time preparing that lecture than the sum of all of the other lectures in my course. And I was nervous because in asset management, I’ve researched this stuff for a long time. I’ve been very fortunate to have relationships with some of the leading-edge firms, so I (inaudible) what goes on in the practice also. I’m very comfortable fielding questions from my students. And, of course, I can’t answer every single question, but I — I’m confident I could find somebody very quickly that could help me with the answer. But with this crypto stuff, I’m in a position where I’m giving a lecture and it’s possible some of the students know far more than I do. So, I sought some help, and I practiced the lecture, all the stuff, and then I gave this lecture. And again, it was probably the most stressful lecture I’d ever given. And — and, you know, the way it is at — at college where wait at the end of the lecture, everybody gets up and leaves. Wait on the — the minute that it’s supposed to end. Nobody stays late. They just get out of there. And, you know, I’ve taught for many years, that’s exactly what happens. But after giving this talk on crypto, people were just sitting there. And I thought, “Oh, well, maybe I ended the lecture like way before I should’ve,” but I looked at the clock and we were exactly at time. And people just sitting there, and I said, “Uh-oh, I must’ve really bombed this lecture.” It was a disaster, I guess. And — and I’m — I’m standing there shell shocked because they worked so hard, and — and for it to fail, ah, it was very disappointing. But then students start to come to the front to talk to me. And — and they said, “We are shell shocked,” like this is a transformational topic. That — and — and a number of them said, “This was the most important lecture of their education.” RITHOLTZ: Wow. HARVEY: And that this cannot be just one lecture, it needs to be a broader learning experience, and — and — and so it deserves at least a full course. And that’s where I started. So, I developed the next year into a full course, which was the first blockchain-based course taught a leading school. And then I’ve just continued it. And — and one thing with the space is changing all the time. So, when I was teaching seven years ago, it’s much different than what I teach today. RITHOLTZ: So, let — let’s go back to that first lecture where — where the students were pretty enthusiastic and — and maybe even dumbfounded. First, did anybody come to the podium and say, “Hey, I own a bunch of bitcoin corn, and I don’t know what to do with it.” And B, were you buying bitcoin all the way back in 2014? HARVEY: So, no student had a bitcoin, but I actually bought some and bought them to get $300 a coin. RITHOLTZ: Oh, my goodness, yeah. HARVEY: And — and this is one of the greatest investment mistakes of my life. I decided — I was on the phone with a reporter from a leading media outlet who was covering crypto also, and I asked him whether he owned any bitcoin. And it’s about just a small amount because I’m worried about conflict of interest. And I was thinking maybe the same thing. If I’m teaching it, I’ll have a small amount. And indeed, I was giving it out. So, my student … RITHOLTZ: What — what do you mean giving it out? HARVEY: (Inaudible) … RITHOLTZ: Giving it to students? HARVEY: Yeah, OK, yeah. So, let me tell the story (inaudible). RITHOLTZ: Wait, so you’re paying them to go to school? HARVEY: So, what I did was to give $10 worth of bitcoin to everybody. And the deal was the following, they had to set-up an account and, at that time, it was with Coinbase. I would give $10. And then at the end of the course, they would send it back to me and then I would donate it to the university, so that will be my … RITHOLTZ: OK. HARVEY: … donation, my annual donation to the university. So, it was basically just to get them set-up with something in their wallet. RITHOLTZ: Right. HARVEY: So, I discovered this one complication, and — and that is that once you give a crypto to somebody, there’s no way to enforce giving it back. So many of the students .....»»

Category: blogSource: TheBigPictureSep 21st, 2021

5 Ways to Rebrand Your Real Estate Business

With so many professionals involved in the business of helping consumers buy and sell homes, the competition is fierce. Having a strong brand identity will help you stand out from the crowd and connect with prospects. Here are five ways you can keep your brand top-of-mind, no matter how steep the competition gets. The post 5 Ways to Rebrand Your Real Estate Business appeared first on RISMedia. For agents and brokers who have been in the real estate business for some time now, you’ve likely noticed several changes in the space. From adopting new technology to targeting a whole new generation of homebuyers, it’s important to adapt and make necessary changes with the times. Rebranding is a great way to put your real estate business back into the spotlight and showcase who you are, what you stand for, what services you provide and your ability to adjust to the ever-changing landscape of this industry. But to ensure a successful rebrand, you need to have a clear understanding of the importance of real estate branding and how to properly craft your brand identity. Why Is Real Estate Branding So Important? No matter what town, city or market you’re in, real estate agents and brokers are everywhere. With so many professionals involved in the business of helping consumers buy and sell homes, the competition for gaining and maintaining leads and clients is fierce. Having a strong brand identity will help you stand out from the crowd and connect with prospects looking for a trusted, experienced and authentic agent and brand. Here are five ways you can keep your brand top-of-mind and ensure future business success, no matter how steep the competition gets. 1. Define Who You Are and What You Stand For Every brand should have a mission statement, especially in real estate. A mission statement allows you to put your brand and beliefs into words, giving leads and prospects a chance to see how you can help them in their buying or selling journey. Write down what you stand for, why you chose to get into real estate and what sets you apart from other agents and brands. Remember, every agent, broker and real estate brand around you is your competitor. A strong mission statement and a clear understanding of your strengths, services and niche will help you not only determine your value, but highlight it to the people that matter most to your business. 2. Refresh Your Brand Colors and Logo Redesigning your logo and updating your brand color scheme is an especially important step for agents and brokers who have been in business for more than a decade. There is a new generation of buyers and sellers in the market; and it’s important to stand out on social media, so it may be time to refresh your graphics and overall design. This can include renaming your business, updating to a more modern logo, transforming your business’ aesthetic and changing up your company’s color scheme. Websites like Pinterest can help spark some trendy and modern ideas. Other platforms, like Canva, can help take your new branding to the next level with marketing materials, both print and digital. 3. Modernize Your Website and Blog Though many agents and brands have websites where prospects can read a bio and see current listings, a dated website may not reflect your modern business. Since having a strong online presence is more important than ever, having a website that is not only accessible, but also readable and visually appealing, is vital. If you have already updated your website, a blog may be a great addition. Real estate blogs are a great way to show your expertise while offering additional resources and information to your audience. Just be sure to keep it updated with fresh information and follow SEO best practices to ensure readability and returning eyes. 4. Embrace Your Niche or Specialties Like all real estate professionals, your goal is to help your clients buy or sell. But it takes more than just the basics to stand out in your market. It’s important to highlight your unique selling proposition, or your market niche, to separate you from the competition. Ask yourself what you do better or differently from the other agents and brokers in your area. Maybe you specialize in first-time homebuyers or relocation services. Or, maybe you are in the niche of vacation homes and luxury properties. No matter where your focus lies, it is important to embrace and promote these aspects of your brand so that you will be identified for your specialty and become the go-to source for specific real estate needs. 5. Hype Up Your Rebrand on Social Media From the planning stages through to completion, you want to make sure that social media is at the forefront of your rebranding strategy. This is especially important for agents who have a larger following. As you start the process of your rebrand, you can post teasers on your social media platforms letting your audience know that you will be making some changes, both big and small. You don’t want to come out of left field with a brand-new logo, color scheme or website, as this can create confusion with your existing audience. Create a bank of new social graphics that you can utilize on all platforms, and even consider filming a video of yourself explaining the rebrand for an added visual element. Be sure that your branding, message, links and handles are consistent across all of your platforms so that people can easily search and find you. If you decide to move forward with a real estate blog, be sure to share that content across your social accounts to ensure maximum exposure. In order to set yourself apart from the competition to improve and grow your real estate business, a rebrand may be the answer. If you haven’t updated your branding in a long time (or ever), if your logo and brand colors are outdated, or if you are simply looking for a way to stand out, refreshing your design, message and overall branding is a great start. Be sure to stay true to yourself and what you stand for while adapting to this ever-changing industry—and in no time, you will be on top! Paige Brown is RISMedia’s content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas to pbrown@rismedia.com. The post 5 Ways to Rebrand Your Real Estate Business appeared first on RISMedia......»»

Category: realestateSource: rismediaSep 21st, 2021

Xometry uses AI and algorithms to match manufacturers with hard-to-find parts

The Maryland-based company is closing in on $150 million in sales and planning to go public in 2021......»»

Category: topSource: washpostDec 24th, 2020

Xometry uses AI and algorithms to match manufacturers with hard-to-find parts

The Maryland-based company is closing in on $150 million in sales and planning to go public in 2021......»»

Category: topSource: washpostDec 24th, 2020

Blum brings international influence to region"s approach to recruiting manufacturers

It’s hard to find a company and a CEO who have been more important to the Charlotte region’s manufacturing community than Blum Inc. in and Karl Rudisser......»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsSep 27th, 2019

Connecting: Ideas for efficient community engagement

As a person who prides myself in being involved in the community, I often find myself with the important, but sometimes arduous, task of planning public events, recruiting volunteers and encouraging general participation. Despite the work being ver.....»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsSep 18th, 2019