Oct 09

Highland Capital Management’s CEO James Dondero Thinks Brazil May Be Ripe For Investors

James Dondero is known for being cautious when it comes to investing in emerging markets, especially this year. Mr. Dondero spent 17 years with American Express and several years with Protective Life in key management positions, so he knows when to pull the trigger on risky assets in foreign markets. It has been a tough year for the investors that have been enjoying great gains in Brazil for the last four years. But the second half of 2015 has been a horror show for those investors, especially investors that had oil and raw material assets.

But according to Mr. Dondero the Brazilian stock market is having its longest advance in more than 18 months. Dondero said iron-miner Vale SA is part of that advance. That’s good news for emerging market investors, and Dondero of jimdondero.com thinks there could be some new bright investing spots in Brazil especially since the Feds are not going to raise interest rates. Investors are hoping the Feds wait until next year to raise rates. If they do, the appeal of emerging-market assets will gain momentum.

Mr. Dondero still thinks there are hurdles to overcome. The government issues that surround President Dilma Rousseff must be resolved, and oil prices have to go up, so Brazil can increase their export business. The mood in Brazil is positive, but there are concerns that China will not be as strong a trading partner as they have been in the past. If China continues to reduce their import needs that will hurt Brazil’s recovery, according to Dondero.

Emerging market stocks are getting stronger in the third quarter, the dollar has weakened a little, and the real is making a comeback, and Dondero thinks they are all good signs for investors. If the government’s austerity plan helps curb inflation, and if te government is able to pull the country out of the current recession, investors like Dondero are ready to jump back in Brazil with both feet. But as Dondero pointed out, those “ifs” are tough obstacles to over when the government and the president has a single-digit approval rating.

Brazilian assets may look like the last things on earth to invest money in, but Dondero claims there are winners hiding in all the negative publicity. Even though Petrobras has had several issues this year, it is a solid state-owned company. It is risky to invest in Petrobras stock, but Dondero says it’s on the move and can only go higher.

Dondero also thinks Lenders Banco Bradesco SA and Itau Unibanco Holding SA are a good bet, and Vale SA looks good as well. Nothing is a sure thing when it comes to Brazilian stocks, but there are several stocks that are worth a look if investors have the patience to withstand the risks. The other interesting fact that Dondero likes to talk about is what is happening in India and Mexico in terms of investments. Both countries are offering investors some real gains in 2016 as long as their GDP output continues to outshine the rest of the world.

Oct 07

Crystal Hunt: A Versatile Actress

By appearing into of the most popular soap operas and making the leap to the big screen, actress Crystal Hunt has been turning heads in Hollywood for over a decade. Her first soap opera appearance was in the role of Lizzie Spaulding on “Guiding Light” and Hunt continued to play this role for two years to great acclaim. She even scored an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Younger Actress.

After working on a few other film projects—most notably Sydney White—Hunt then went back to the soap opera world. She joined the cast of “One Life to Live” in the role of Stacy Marasco. Although she left the show after three years, she did make some surprise ghostly appearances as Stacy after her departure—in keeping with the tradition of soap opera characters who return to show storylines after dramatic deaths.

Hunt’s work as an actress was even profiled in the documentary series “Queens of Drama”, which followed the lives of multi-skilled daytime and primetime actors who were putting together a pilot. In recent years, Hunt has continued to expand her talents, appearing in the role of Lauren in the summer hit Magic Mike XXL, in a hilarious scene that also featured Channing Tatum, Joe Manganiello, and Andie MacDowell.

One of Hunt’s 2015 projects has been executive producing the horror film Talbot County. A horror film with a 1980s college twist, Talbot County has been described as a werewolf film with a Hitchcock flair. Crystal Hunt’s stint as an executive producer is yet another feather in the cap of this talented Hollywood hyphenate.

Oct 01

Citadel’s Lavish Tenancy

A new king was crowned at the summit of the high-end office market in September 2015. The developer of the iconic 425 Park Avenue, which is a 900-foot-tall posh office tower located has signed a record deal with the global hedge fund, Citadel LLC. The high-yield firm took over 200,000 square feet of the property for a colossal $300 per square foot. The lease is inclusive of the skyscraper penthouse. The offer is about 50 percent more than existing peak rents in Manhattan, which had rose to around $200 per square foot. Rent in a Class-A midtown office block averages to around $80 per square foot.

An increasing pack of landlords is pursuing the mind-boggling $200 barrier. That is a threshold that had been crossed by only three other properties that are the General Motors Building, 9W 57th St. and the 667 Madison Ave. To reach this mark, the wealthy landlords promise an integration of state-of-the-art office, country-club-like exceptionality inside lavish amenities. Citadel is a multinational financial firm that was founded in 1990 by billionaire Ken Griffin.The firm is one of the world’s largest asset managers who manage over $26 billion of assets. It is also a global leader marketing dominating in trading products like equities and high-profile interest rate swaps.

It is among the very few hedge funds that have operated for more than 20 years. Acclaimed for its top investment performance, the Citadel manages assets for numerous the worlds’ leading institutional investors from pensions, sovereign wealth funds as well as university endowments.The firm has over 1400 staff members and is headquartered in Chicago, USA, but has offices throughout Europe, North America, and Asia.

Kenneth Griffin of wallstreetjournal, the mega-firm is super rich, extravagant and extraordinarily philanthropic. In 2013, the business mogul bought four posh properties in Palm Beach for at around $130 million. The properties are located in Blossom Estate section, next to Palm Beach’s Bath and Tennis Club. The four bungalows vary in size ranging from 2.21 acres to 1.64 acres. Three of the posh homes are along the ocean. The entire parcels of land total to about 8 acres.

When it comes to giving back to the society, Griffin is unrivaled. In October 2009, he and his wife launched the Kenneth and Anne Griffin Foundation. The foundation’s donations include $10 million for the CHE childhood center as well as $16 million to the Children’s Memorial Hospital among other beneficiaries. Through the Citadel Group Foundation, the hedge fund guru has donated to public education, the famous Art Institute of Chicago, the Children’s Memorial Hospital, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Chicago Public Library. He has made colossal contributions to the renowned Robin Hood Foundation, the historic Museum of Contemporary Art, the “Evolving Planet” based in the Field Museum of Natural History and Professorships of the University of Chicago.

In 2014, Griffin made the record donation of $150 million to his former university, Harvard. The donation was mostly for the need-based undergraduate aid. As per that time, it was the Griffin donation was the largest one-time gift in the university’s history. In the year 2015, Griffin donated $10 million to his favorite museum, Museum of Contemporary Art, which is based in Chicago

Sep 30

Facts About Status Lab’s Austin Chamber Of Commerce Membership

Status Labs is the latest company to join the Austin Chamber of Commerce. Being among the leading online reputation management companies in the world, the partnership was aimed at providing the company with an opportunity to connect with other companies based in Austin hence improving its overall involvement with the local community. The company was founded in Austin and expanded to New York which, therefore, means that it will always be the home base, according to its President Darius Fisher.

By becoming a member, Status Labs plans to provide other local Austin businesses with solutions from an expert point of view that can play a big role in helping them have the best images online. The company’s goal is to add value to other members of the Chamber using its team of experts in online reputation management matters. In the team, there are Search Engine Optimization specialists, digital strategists with a wealth of experience as well as members of the in-house public relations department.

The Chamber membership has propelled Status Labs to be the only Austin-based company to provide the unique online reputation management services that have been growing in demand day in day out. The company looks forward to at the same time explore the numerous benefits that come as a result of being a Chamber member while at the same time supporting the Chamber’s mission to improve areas in education, technology and overall economic development in the city.

Status Labs belongs to the premier online reputation management league. It is also widely acclaimed in all matters related to public management and digital marketing. The company’s main agenda is to provide its clients with a good image online that does not in any way produce negative search results on the search engines. With offices in Austin, Sao Paulo, and New York, the company has so far managed to serve not less than 1500 clients from thirty-five different countries. It has had very prominent individuals and brands as clients including Fortune 100. Being a company offering unique services, it continues being on the front line in coming up with solutions to solve its clients different problems.

Sep 22

Innovative Electrical Engineers

Electricity has been of scientific interest since the early 17th century. William Gilbert, born and educated in England, was father to the science of electricity and magnetism and likely the first electrical engineer. He designed the versorium, a device that detected the presence of statically charged objects and he establish the term electricity, from the Greek word for amber. He was also the first to use terms such as electric force, magnetic pole, and electric attraction. According to Dr. David P. Stern of NASA, William Gilbert was fascinated by magnets. He was a pioneer of scientific experiments and the first to explain the magnetic compass.

Alessandro Volta also known as Count Volta was born in Como, Italy. Count Volta was a physicist and another pioneer in the study of electricity. Volt, named after Count Volta, is a measurement of electricity. and by 1800 Volta developed the voltaic pile, a precursor to the first electric battery.

There are many subdivisions of engineering and one of the newer branches of engineering, is electrical engineering, it dates back to the late 19th century. It is the branch of engineering that covers the technology of electricity. Electrical engineers like Shaygan Kheradpir work on a broad range of devices, components and systems, from tiny microchips to huge power station generators.

Today’s electrical engineering relies on computer skills to handle complex design and manufacturing software. Becoming an electrical engineer demands knowledge of mathematics, computer science, and task management. Other than the technical facets of the job, electrical engineers create and address proposals for clients, prepare budgets and schedules, and manage teams of technicians or other engineers to accomplish a project.

Among today’s most innovative electrical engineers is Shaygan Kheradpir. He is a business and technology executive who was born in London on December 19, 1960. He grew up in Iran, then attended Cornell University in the United States, earning a bachelors, masters and doctorate degree in electrical engineering. Kheradpir’s career started at GTE Corporation, who merged with Bell Atlantic to form Verizon in 2000 and served as the CIO/CTO for Verizon for eleven years. His team of around 7,000 technicians, contributed to the development of Verizon’s FiOS fiber optic video initiative and related DVR. Negotiating with vendors, outsourcing and improving the utilization of IT assets, he was able to reduced the company’s technology expenses by about 30 percent. In 2011 to 2013, Kheradpir was the Chief Operating Officer at Barclays, the Global Retail and Business Bank. Contributions to Barclays include the development of consumer products like Pingit a mobile payments software.

Employment as an electrical engineer rose in the past five years and future employment for electrical engineers from now to November 2019 is expected to grow moderately. The future holds a lot of exciting things to happen worldwide in electrical engineering technology. What might be most exciting is how power sources will be in 2064. The future could foretell, individuals and businesses being able to have more control over their own individual power sources.

Sep 21

Real Estate Agents Can Now Attract More Listings through the 990 Company

The 990 company is a platform that connects home sellers with agents by offering them an attractive commission of just $990. The $990 commission is used by agents as a way to attract more listings. Each agent working with the 990 company has their own exclusive ZIP code. To reserve the ZIP code, the agent has to pay a $200 monthly fee. Only one agent can reserve one ZIP code at a time. All home sellers looking to sell their home in a particular ZIP code will be referred to the agent.

Since the platform offers home sellers an attractive commission of $990, it is very easy to dismiss agents working with the company as discount agents. However, this is far from the truth. For a home seller to enjoy a commission of $990, they have to connect the agent with potential home buyers who are not working with any real estate agents.

To kick start the 990 sells homes process, the agent puts out a message “Sell your home with an experienced full service agent and a commission as low as $990,” and includes their name and contacts. When the home sellers get interested in the $990 commission offer, they get in touch with the agent. If interested, the home seller will be advised to host their own open house. If they are able to get interested buyers who are not working with an agent, they are able to sell their homes at $990 commission.

Agents using this program are advantaged whichever way the sale goes. Very few buyers buy homes without agents, so most of the sales will be made under the full commission. For homes that are sold under the $990 commission, the agent is able to get more listings arising from the connections provided by the home sellers. These sales will earn the agents a full commission.

Furthermore, sellers will appreciate the offer so much that they may end up buying their next home through the agent. They may also refer any future businesses to the agent. Though the offer allows agents to earn a $990 commission as opposed to their normal commission, they get to have new listings that they never would have acquired. The home sellers also get to choose whether to take the offer or not.

Other advantages the agents get include promotional materials, video training and other necessary resources. The $200 monthly fee gives the agent a license to use the trademarked 990 program. They are the only agents visible to home sellers in their reserved ZIP code. The agreement between the agent and the company is monthly and not permanent. Whenever the agent feels they want to leave, they can cancel and not make the next payment.

Sep 14

Internet Marketing for Beginners

For those that are looking for an alternate way to earn money, then cost per action marketing, CPA for short is one method to look at when it comes to earning money. As a matter of fact, the Internet is quickly becoming one of the most lucrative ways to earn money. There are many companies that are allowing people to sign up as an affiliate marketer. There are a few different methods under CPA marketing. There are is cost per sale, cost per click, cost per impression, cost per lead, and certain other models for making money online as an online marketer.

In most cases, all a user needs is a website or a blog. He also needs to know how to gain traffic of his own. In many cases, one has to pay for his own website in order to get accepted. He also has to provide content that is relevant to the products or services that he is promoting so that he’ll have a higher conversion rate. Providing content is a large part of this. A bigger part of this is in marketing the site so that other users can know that it exists and visit to see if there is something of interest on the site.

Marketing the site is one of the hardest parts. It takes a lot of work and sharing on social networks as well as other sites that have a lot of traffic so that a large amount of users will visit the site and make purchases in products that they are interested in. On top of that, it seems that some of the most effective methods are condemned as unethical by search engines. This is where it is important to find people to learn from that are successful in marketing online. People that went before others and succeeded are those that are worth paying attention to in that they have a pattern that could be followed to success.

Among the people that are worth learning from for Internet marketing is Ivan Ong. He is a very successful online marketer that has found his inspiration from reading “Rich Dad Poor Dad.” He made all of the mistakes and has tried many methods that promised quick results. He learned the hard way that anything that is worth while is going to take a lot of work. He eventually tried Internet Marketing and barely earned a penny within the first year of doing it. Instead of giving up, he took the time to learn about the business of CPA marketing in which he would eventually have his breakthrough making 5 figures by the end of 2008. He is an example of someone who has been persistent and seen results for his work.

Sep 06

Investment Banking

There are three main areas of investment banking. The first one is investment banking division (IBD). The second is sales and trading (S&T), and asset management being the third one. A large scale global bank would typically offer all three types of service, while a smaller bank usually focuses more on the investment banking division area and would cover consulting and mergers and acquisitions (M&A).

IBD is an investment bank sector that takes care of corporate finance and advisory. It is broadly comprised of two sectors which are products and industries. These IBD sectors have a consulting purpose on transactions, mergers and acquisitions. They also have a role of arranging financing for these transactions and they sometimes even provide the finances to conclude these deals.

Sales and Trading – Banks do the job of matching up buyers and sellers along with buying and selling securities out of their own accounts to make the trading of securities easier and smoother. The banks have a sales division, which tends to build relationships with buyers in order to convince them to buy securities or bonds (Sales), and then they carry out the trades (Trading). A firm’s sales division is responsible for communicating with institutional investors about information regarding particular securities. The sales division is also in constant communication with the traders and research analysts of a firm, so they can provide them with timely and relevant market information. Trading, which is one of the key features, provides the financial markets with liquidity. It is one of the main sources of profit for investment banks and many institutions provide these services (investment banks, hedge funds, commodity companies, etc.). Traders most often use technical and fundamental analysis to give a price to an asset and attempt to predict its future movements. If a trader trades in quantities which are large enough, it can actually cause the market to move, which gives them an advantage over smaller traders.

Asset management – This represents a team within a firm that is in charge of clients’ assets (cash, investments, etc.). The asset management firm has portfolio managers and they use access to internal, detailed research reports which should give the firm an edge over investors who control their own money. Such service is usually offered to individuals who have high net-worth, large and unrestricted wealth funds, pensions and corporations. When an asset management team takes % from a profit that they made to their clients, which they most often do, that blurs the line between them and hedge funds.

Kenneth C. Griffin
Born on October 15, 1968, Mr. Ken Griffin is a successful American hedge fund manager. Griffin is the founder and CEO of a global investment firm called Citadel. With an estimated $25 billion in investment capital as of March 2015, Citadel is one of the world’s largest alternative investment management firms. The Citadel’s group of hedge funds ranked among the largest and most successful hedge funds in the world while Forbes ranked Griffin as the 4th highest earning manager and trader in hedge funds. He has an estimated net worth of $6.9 billion, which makes him the richest person in the state of Illinois. At the start of 2014, Griffin made a $150 million donation to Harvard University, the university at which he graduated and began his career in finance. It was the largest single donation ever made to the institution and their financial aid student program. Griffin’s donations to various organizations and causes have accumulated to about $500 million.

Sep 03

What to Know When Advertising In Brazil

Claudio Loureiro is one of the greatest and reputed managers in Brazil and he has been in the field for years now gaining great experience in the business. His experience and skills in capital management has helped him to rise to the highest level in the business community. His prowess in capital management has propelled his career and given him great opportunities to serve in some of the most prestigious positions in luxurious companies. His managerial skills brought him the fortune of leading the Canadian Solar company that was setting up new shop in Brazil giving him the opportunity to serve and head a multinational.

With this new company in place, Claudio had to come up with strategies to make it grow and to influence the market to like and appreciate its products. This calls as series of advertising and creating awareness. For one to successfully do this in Brazil, there are several steps that they need to be conversant with. First and foremost is to understand the cultural setting of the Brazilian people. One of the greatest advantage of advertising in Brazil is actually the population. The country is largest country in the Latin American region and it has the largest population.

A research done by the e-marketer company reveals that the country accounts for 55% of the entire Latin America advertising market, which is significant market size. Globally, the country is ranked number six in global advertising market. The country has been making progress by increasing its options in advertising. Majorly, the advertising market in Brazil is dominated by the traditional advertising methods. However, of late the trend has been changing and online and more contemporary adverts are being introduced in the Brazilian advertising market. The most dominant medium of advertising is the television. Most of the adverts are done through television commercial segments due to the large viewership in the country.

Nonetheless, other mediums are still gaining popularity in the market including newspapers, pay TV and the internet. Although the digital advertising platform has been improving quite slowly, the growth is steady and it is expected to increase its growth rate in the near future. Advertising in Brazil therefore requires one to understand the different methods that will capture the maximum population and audience. This is very important if one wishes to make their advertising count and gain returns as result of consumer awareness and product popularity.

Sep 03

Eucatex: The Market Leader In Producing MDP, MDF panels and Paints

Eucatex, a Brazilian company, CamaraBarbacena reports is a pioneer in the construction and furniture industry with its three convoluted factories comprising of Varnishes, Paints and Plates that undertakes its activities in Salto. The other facility it operates is the Panels and flooring located in Botucatu. Eucatex is a company that manufactures products marketed under various brand names. The company is astute in producing high-quality furniture, laminate floors, doors and paints through the company’s line Premium and Peg & Paint. Recently, Eucatex commemorated its 60th anniversary as a market leader and a principal producer of paints and varnishes, MDP and MDF panels, wall partitions, doors, laminate floors as well as hardboards. Currently, the company has over 2,201 employees who are responsible for the endeavors of exporting to 37 countries around the world.

Over the years, Eucatex has grown manifold incorporating modern technology facilities as well as having a stable leadership structure that has seen the company through its success. The company now owns four modern factories in Salto and Botucatu. Thanks to Flavio Maluf, Eucatex has experienced a vast transformation in its operations that have yielded positive outcomes. Since Flavio Maluf became president of the company in 1997, the production of quality products has intensified with Eucatex’s paint accounting for 15 percent of the total market sales in 2007 unlike in the previous year that was 12 percent. Maluf started working at Eucatex back in 1987 when he learned much about the company to gain extensive knowledge of its operations that earned him the presidency. Since then the mechanical engineer cum businessman has been credited for his outstanding efforts for the company.

Since the commencement of activities in 1954 in Salto, Eucatex only manufactured paints and coatings for its use in the production of fiberboards until 1995, when the company began manufacturing. The company has now established a stable position in the architectural sector with the incomparable Eucatex brand plus its economy brand Peg-Pint. Within its production portfolio of doors are four distinct lines: Base Painting, formidur, Eucadur and BP, Eucaplac. Fiberboards product includes an estimated 30 diverse color coatings. Its furniture industry has one of the most prominent suppliers in Tamburato, wood fiber plates, and MDP. Eucatex is the producer of laminating floor, Eucafloor that comprises of the lines Classic, Prime, Rustic, Evidence, and elegance. The company’s construction sector manufactures architectural coatings, modular partitions, laminate flooring, and doors.

Eucatex has been acknowledged internationally for its quality products as well as its excellent practices of sustaining the environment as it was the first Brazilian company to use eucalyptus as a raw material. For sustainability, the company owns 44 hectares of forest in São Paulo state. The company is currently leasing its plantation areas via the Forestry Partnership and Leasing Project to obtain new partners.

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