On Ease Of Doing Business, PM Modi’s Advice To Bureaucrats

On Ease Of Doing Business, PM Modi's Advice To Bureaucrats

Prime Minister Narendra Modi made the remarks at a high-level meeting.

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday asked bureaucrats to improve last mile delivery and focus on streamlining procedures to improve the country’s ‘ease of doing business’ rankings, his office has said.

He also said that besides improving the ease of doing business rankings, it would also increase the ‘ease of living’ for small businesses and the common man.

PM Modi said this was extremely important for India as an emerging and vibrant economy, a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office said.

The prime minister made these remarks at a high-level meeting he chaired to review progress of ‘ease of doing business’.

It was attended by senior Union ministers related to economic matters, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Delhi Lt Governor Anil Baijal and senior officials from the Centre, and Delhi and Maharashtra governments.

He was briefed on the progress being made on various parameters related to ease of doing business.

Subjects such as construction permits, enforcement of contracts, registering property, starting a business, getting electricity, getting credit, and resolving insolvency came up for discussion.

India’s rise in the World Bank ‘Doing Business’ rankings from 142 to 77, over the last four years, was taken note of, the statement said.

[“source=ndtv”]

Cramer’s lightning round: I’m not a fan of Netflix’s stock as an end-of-year buy

https://fm.cnbc.com/applications/cnbc.com/resources/img/editorial/2018/10/12/102079128-1539342565979105501689.720x405.jpg

Netflix Inc.: “Candidly, I’m not a fan of Netflix. I’m not a fan of Netflix because I think that a lot of it depends on the content and I just don’t find the content as compelling as it once was. I think it’s a good story, but not a great story, because it’s up so much for the year and that’s been a real big determinant about how stocks are doing right now.”

Cytokinetics Inc.: “Very speculative, but I’ll endorse it as long as you understand that that thing is literally one of the most speculative stocks out there.”

Yeti Holdings Inc.: “Yeah, I think [its post-earnings dip is a buying opportunity]. I actually liked the quarter. I mean, far be it from me to disagree with the market’s view, but I liked the quarter. I think it’s OK. The market liked the PepsiCos and the Gileads this week, and the Celgenes.”

The Kraft Heinz Co.: “[What’s not to love?] Well, the fact that it has no growth whatsoever. But I’ll do this for you: I’ll say that if you want to hope that they somehow manage to get some growth, then you can buy it. But if I want no growth, I want safety and I want a bond.”

Chico’s FAS Inc.: “No. Don’t ask me about Chico’s. That was a horrible quarter, frankly. I mean, that may have been the worst of the mall-based stores. No, well, obviously there’s Sears and J.C. Penney, but it was a bad call. I don’t want you in that, OK?”

LyondellBasell Industries NV: “People feel that we’re going into a big slowdown and you don’t want to own a chemical company into a slowdown, but I agree with you. I think it represents good value with a 4 percent yield, but I do prefer DowDuPont.”

[“source=forbes]

Climate change will cost economy hundreds of billions of dollars, government says in sweeping report

Bob Richling carries Iris Darden as water from the Little River starts to seep into her home on September 17, 2018 in Spring Lake, North Carolina. 

Bob Richling carries Iris Darden as water from the Little River starts to seep into her home on September 17, 2018 in Spring Lake, North Carolina.

Climate change will cost the U.S. economy hundreds of billions of dollars by the end of the century, damaging everything from human health to infrastructure and agricultural production, according to a government report issued on Friday.

The White House dismissed the congressionally mandated reported as inaccurate.

The report, written with the help of more than a dozen U.S. government agencies and departments, outlined the projected impact of global warming in every corner of American society, in a dire warning that is at odds with the Trump administration’s pro-fossil-fuels agenda.

“With continued growth in emissions at historic rates, annual losses in some economic sectors are projected to reach hundreds of billions of dollars by the end of the century – more than the current gross domestic product (GDP) of many U.S. states,” the report, the Fourth National Climate Assessment Volume II, said.

Global warming would disproportionately hurt the poor, broadly undermine human health, damage infrastructure, limit the availability of water, alter coastlines, and boost costs in industries from farming, to fisheries and energy production, the report said.

[“source=cnbc”]

One Man’s Mission To Teach More People Of Color How To Code

Photo credit: Pexels.comPixabay

Antoine Patton is on a mission: He wants to teach more people of color to code. His goal is to help 2,020 people learn how to code by the year 2020. Patton wants to increase gender and racial diversity in the tech industry. “If more people of color had easier access to learn how to code, program, project manage…then there would be a lot more people of color in tech,” Patton asserts. “[There would be] a wider pool of people for employers to select from and hence a lot more diversity.” It’s no secret that diversity is lacking in the tech industry. When looking at the demographics, women, Blacks, and Hispanics are grossly underrepresented. One study found that 70.6% of computers programmers in the United States were White. The 2018 diversity report in major tech companies like Google, Microsoft, and Facebook reflect similar findings. And while it is commonly understood that the STEM field lags behind in this area, it has been difficult for companies to make strides toward increased representation.

Antoine Patton teaching his daughter, Jay Jay, how to code.Antoine Patton

In an effort to close this gap, Patton has made it his mission to teach others how to code, offering free online classes. Patton first learned to code in 2011 while incarcerated. He found a book on JavaScript and began teaching himself. He was then mentored by another inmate who was proficient in computer programming. Patton’s mentor made him promise to pass the knowledge he shared with him onto others once he was released from prison. Patton stayed true to his word and began sharing his knowledge of coding with others. Before becoming the chief technology officer at his software consulting firm, Patton worked at three different tech companies and had over 50 freelance jobs. He teaches the coding courses through an online school he is developing called Unlock Academy. The purpose of Unlock Academy is to teach others about the tech industry and to educate people about the essentials of programming. The coding classes are taught in a live and interactive environment, that allows students to ask questions. After completing the course, the participants are connected with business owners who can provide internship opportunities. Patton is adamant about teaching kids to code at an early age. He taught his 10-year old daughter how to code and she was even able to build an app for him. “When I was released from prison, I started teaching my daughter how to code…my charity had a website but I never got around to building the mobile app. In November 2017, my daughter took the initiative to start building the app and was done building it by February 2018. It was live in the app store by April 2018.”

Research supports the benefits of teaching skills, like coding, at an early age. The Center for Childhood Creativity came out with a 2018 report on the roots of STEM success. The report indicates that an early focus on STEM learning can positively impact a child’s brain architecture and thinking skills. There are also several documented advantages to teaching coding in the classroom. Students who know how to code are better equipped for the technology revolution. In addition, teaching students how to code helps them develop and harness skills that will make them more marketable on their job search. More schools should consider making coding a regular part of the curriculum.

Increasing diversity in the STEM field goes beyond simply hiring and retaining more diverse talent. It starts at an early age. Research indicates that for the majority of scientists, their interest in science began well before middle school. Being able to spark a child’s interest in the STEM field and offer opportunities for them to grow and develop that interest, may be the missing ingredient to fostering more diversity in the tech industry. “It’s important to teach our youth how to code. They will out-consume us when it comes to mobile device usage so it’s critical we start teaching them how this technology they love so dearly is created and maintained…we want them to willingly grab the torch and lead the digital era we live in,” Patton says.

[“source=marketingweek]

SBI changes IFSC Codes of 1,300 branches; here’s how you can check bank names and new codes

SBI changes IFSC Codes of 1,300 branches; here's how you can check bank names and new codes

India’s largest public sector bank SBI has changed names and IFSC Codes of nearly 1,300 of its 25,000 branches in the country’s major cities owing to its merger with five associate banks and a ‘Bharatiya Mahila Bank’ in April. The Indian Financial System Code (IFSC) is an 11-digit alpha-numeric system that uniquely identifies all bank branches participating in the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) fund transfer system. The IFSC Code is mandatory to send or receive money online from one bank account to another. The SBI authorities say the decision to change the names as well as IFSC Codes was taken due the merger. They clarified it would not cause any problem to customers in case payment comes through old IFSC Code as the system would automatically map it with the new code.

Most changes with regard to name and IFSC Code have been done in New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Lucknow after the State Bank of India merged its associate banks State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, State Bank of Patiala, State Bank of Travancore, State Bank of Hyderabad, State Bank of Mysore, and also Bhartiya Mahila Bank into itself. “Some of our old associate branches are getting merged with SBI branches. When that merger happens, the IFSC codes get changed,” SBI managing director (retail and digital banking) Praveen Gupta told PTI. He added though customers have been informed, the new codes have been mapped internally to send payment to the new or original IFSC code branch. Click on the hyperlink to know the changed bank names and their new IFSC Codes.

Meanwhile, the bank has also offered a refurbished ‘SBI Internet Banking’ facility for its customers to access their accounts and make transactions through RTGS, NEFT or IMPS methods. On its website (onlinesbi.com), the bank has given two options for its customers under personal and corporate banking categories. Those making singular transaction can avail personal banking, while you can click on corporate banking option to make non-personal transactions. If you are new to online banking, here are the steps to be followed to make quick and hassle-free transactions.

  • Register for the internet banking with your SBI branch, which will provide a Pre Printed Kit (PPK) comprising username and password for your first-time online login.
  • Call up your bank for username and password you can’t visit the branch; it will be sent through an SMS or email.
  • Go to onlinesbi.com. For personal banking, select either of three options – login new version, login and login lite – as per your data speed.
  • Login using your username and password
  • Next page will give options to manage your account, and carry out online transactions.

Corporate Internet Banking (CINB)

SBI facilitates companies, trusts, partnerships, proprietorship concerns to do online banking and manage non-personal accounts. In CINB, the corporate has the power to allow discretionary access to banking accounts by internal users and manage permissions to banking transactions and monitor them.

[“Source-livemint”]

SBI changes IFSC Codes of 1,300 branches; here’s how you can check bank names and new codes

SBI changes IFSC Codes of 1,300 branches; here's how you can check bank names and new codes

India’s largest public sector bank SBI has changed names and IFSC Codes of nearly 1,300 of its 25,000 branches in the country’s major cities owing to its merger with five associate banks and a ‘Bharatiya Mahila Bank’ in April. The Indian Financial System Code (IFSC) is an 11-digit alpha-numeric system that uniquely identifies all bank branches participating in the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) fund transfer system. The IFSC Code is mandatory to send or receive money online from one bank account to another. The SBI authorities say the decision to change the names as well as IFSC Codes was taken due the merger. They clarified it would not cause any problem to customers in case payment comes through old IFSC Code as the system would automatically map it with the new code.

Most changes with regard to name and IFSC Code have been done in New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Lucknow after the State Bank of India merged its associate banks State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, State Bank of Patiala, State Bank of Travancore, State Bank of Hyderabad, State Bank of Mysore, and also Bhartiya Mahila Bank into itself. “Some of our old associate branches are getting merged with SBI branches. When that merger happens, the IFSC codes get changed,” SBI managing director (retail and digital banking) Praveen Gupta told PTI. He added though customers have been informed, the new codes have been mapped internally to send payment to the new or original IFSC code branch. Click on the hyperlink to know the changed bank names and their new IFSC Codes.

Meanwhile, the bank has also offered a refurbished ‘SBI Internet Banking’ facility for its customers to access their accounts and make transactions through RTGS, NEFT or IMPS methods. On its website (onlinesbi.com), the bank has given two options for its customers under personal and corporate banking categories. Those making singular transaction can avail personal banking, while you can click on corporate banking option to make non-personal transactions. If you are new to online banking, here are the steps to be followed to make quick and hassle-free transactions.

  • Register for the internet banking with your SBI branch, which will provide a Pre Printed Kit (PPK) comprising username and password for your first-time online login.
  • Call up your bank for username and password you can’t visit the branch; it will be sent through an SMS or email.
  • Go to onlinesbi.com. For personal banking, select either of three options – login new version, login and login lite – as per your data speed.
  • Login using your username and password
  • Next page will give options to manage your account, and carry out online transactions.

Corporate Internet Banking (CINB)

SBI facilitates companies, trusts, partnerships, proprietorship concerns to do online banking and manage non-personal accounts. In CINB, the corporate has the power to allow discretionary access to banking accounts by internal users and manage permissions to banking transactions and monitor them.

[“Source-livemint”]

This credit card mistake can cost you a lot of money

I see it all the time.

People want to help a partner, adult child or friend in financial trouble. Or they want to assist someone in building a good credit history so he or she can rent an apartment or buy a home. So they lend someone their credit card.

Nearly half of current or former credit cardholders say they have let someone else use their credit card, according to a new survey by CreditCards.com.

And it doesn’t end well for a lot of these folks. In fact, 35 percent of survey participants suffered negative consequences. People overspent on their card (19 percent), they weren’t repaid (14 percent) or their card was lost, stolen or never returned (10 percent).

“You really are playing with fire when you let someone else use your credit card, so proceed with caution,” said senior industry analyst Matt Schulz for CreditCards.com. “Whether they spend more than you anticipated, don’t pay you back or you never see the card again, ultimately, you are the one who is responsible.”

Why would people hand over their credit cards?

Brad Klontz, founder of the Financial Psychology Institute told CreditCards.com: “My guess is that a large segment of those individuals are financial enablers. “In an attempt to help somebody, they either loan them money or support them in some way that ends up hurting themselves. And it’s probably feeding some financial dependence or money disorder on the other side.”

Ever hear about credit card “piggybacking?”

This is a credit building strategy that involves letting someone become an authorized user on your credit card. People with no credit or bad credit are sometimes advised that one way to rebuild their credit is to get somebody — their mama, daddy, grandparent or friend — to add them on a credit card as an authorized user.

Piggybacking can be a good deal for the person trying to establish credit or get a boost to a badly bruised credit history. The authorized user benefits from the positive credit history of the primary cardholder.

But here’s the problem: The person piggybacking on your good name isn’t liable for paying any of the charges he or she makes on the card. You may have an agreement, but that’s just between you and the person who has the card. If he doesn’t pay, the creditor comes after you. I’ve seen plenty of parents and grandparents, who allowed an adult child to become an authorized user, get stuck with the debt. It’s ruin relationships.

In one case, a reader emailed that she added a friend to her credit card as an authorized user. The friend transferred $3,500 in debt from a credit card she owned to take advantage of a zero percent interest offer for a year. The year went by and the woman only managed to pay down $700. And then the piggybacking friend filed for bankruptcy.

The primary cardholder ended up having to pay off the balance of $2,800.

There is a negative side to this strategy. The primary cardholder could fall into financial trouble and start making late payments and that negative information can end up on the credit record of the person piggybacking.

I’m not a fan of piggybacking. People mean well but things happen. Don’t lend your credit card to someone because it may end up ruining your good name.

From CreditCards.com read: The good and the bad of credit account ‘piggybacking’

Color of Money question of the week
Have you been burned after lending your credit card to someone? Send your comments to colorofmoney@washpost.com. Considering that I’m asking you to out yourself, this week you can respond by using just your first name and I still would like to know your city and state. In the subject line put “Credit Card”

Live chat today
What’s on your mind about your money? Please join me today at noon (ET). I’ll be available to answer your personal finance questions.

Here’s the link to join the conversation.

When is it okay to lie to save money?

Last week for the Color of Money Question I asked: Have you lied to save money?

Lois from Boston wrote, “I share my Amazon video and music accounts with my son and his family. They share their Netflix account with me. Though we’re close relatives, we don’t live in the same household. Frankly, I don’t consider this lying. Providers of streaming services price their products, and limit the number of devices that can use them simultaneously, with this type of “unauthorized” sharing in mind. Given that practice, I feel justified in declining to subsidize a very disingenuous business model.”

“I did I used my cousin’s military discount to buy an oven,” Na in Clinton, Md., wrote.

“When I was 20, I listened to a graduation keynote speaker whose main message was to convey to the graduates the benefits of living a life of honesty and playing by the rules,” wrote Tom Wingfield of Las Cruces, N.M. “Life is so much simpler and more fulfilling if you don’t have to worry about getting caught or have to try to remember what you said to whom, wrote on an application, etc. You can always fall back on the truth. Before you realize it, you’ve lived a life where you’ve inadvertently become a good example for your children and grandchildren. Don’t worry about what some other people may think they are getting away with because, over a lifetime, honesty is the best policy economically.”

Color of Money columns this week
Knowledge isn’t power. The right knowledge is power.

Stay informed about your money.

In addition to this newsletter, read and share my weekly personal finance columns.

— When a $4,000 dress is a symbol of frugality

— It’s not fun to do a ‘paycheck checkup’ – but do it anyway

Newsletter comments policy
Please note it is my personal policy to identify readers who respond to questions I ask in my newsletters. I find it encourages thoughtful and civil conversation. I want my newsletters to be a safe place to express your opinion. On sensitive matters or upon request, I’m happy to include just your first name and/or last initial. But I prefer not to post anonymous comments (I do make exceptions when I’m asking questions that might reveal sensitive information or cause conflict.)

Have a question about your finances? Michelle Singletary has a weekly live chat every Thursday at noon where she discusses financial dilemmas with readers. You can also write to Michelle directly by sending an email to michelle.singletary@washpost.com. Personal responses may not be possible, and comments or questions may be used in a future column, with the writer’s name, unless otherwise requested. To read more Color of Money columns, go here.

[“Source-washingtonpost”]

Systematic Investing And The Rise Of Emotional Intelligence

A trend that I’ve been particularly interested in over the past few years is the market for liquid alternatives. To delve into this topic further, as well as systematic investing in asset management, I sat down with Jon Robinson and Tommy Mayes of Blueprint Investment Partners, a Greensboro, NC-based RIA.

Peter Hans: How did you guys meet and what’s the story behind Blueprint?

Jon Robinson: The history of the strategy really goes back to the early 2000’s when my college buddy, now partner Brandon (Langley), and I, began developing systematic trading strategies as a bit of hobby. After college, I was then in New York working in equity research while Brandon was finishing up his grad degree in Economics and starting a career in risk management. The passion for what we started in undergrad continued to grow, so after researching our techniques and refining our processes over a few years, we launched a Commodity Trading Advisor (CTA) and Commodity Pool Operator (CPO) at the end of 2006.

Tommy Mayes: I have been in the private wealth industry for almost 30 years, and have been advising family offices for over 10 years. In 2013 I met Jon and Brandon and became convinced that their strategies were at the cross-section of several industry trends. Most importantly, the indexation of everything allowing the deployment of efficient risk-managed strategies at a very low total cost. I also saw the power of the strategies from my family office perspective and realized we could democratize what have historically been techniques only available to high net worth investors.

JR: After performing well during the financial crisis, in 2009 one of our early RIA clients asked us to launch a single manager fund. Shortly thereafter, we began researching how to apply our trading techniques to ETFs and Mutual Funds. In 2011, we launched our first ETF strategy on a white label basis for that same RIA. In 2013, we met Tommy and made the decision to launch Blueprint to serve financial advisors and institutions. We now have over $200 million in AUM and a compelling six-year GIPS compliant track record upon which to build future success. In many respects, we owe our success to the financial crisis; our ability to do well during that period was a major catalyst in uncovering the value of downside protection and systematic asset management.

PH: So going from launch to over $200 million in less than five years is pretty impressive. Who is your core client and how do you explain your value proposition?

TM: Today our core client is the independent financial advisor and/or financial planner. Our strategies provide two unique benefits to our clients. First, we offer a dependable, cost-effective, and tax-friendly core allocation to which they can add satellite investments according to their expertise. In addition, our strategies serve as a liquid alternative replacement with favorable characteristics like low drag in bull markets and non-correlation when it truly matters.

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PH: So at a high level, how do you go about executing a strategy like that?

JR: We believe the three greatest risks to investors are behavior biases, the loss of compounding from large losses, and the opportunity cost of being too conservative. As numerous studies show, the average investor underperforms the market by aggressively buying at the highs and selling at the lows. Our process slowly reduces exposure in the early stages of bear markets and steadily increases before bull markets pick up steam. These actions solve for all three of those risks by having a calming effect on clients, reducing drawdowns, and capturing favorable return environments.

PH: Interesting, and for what it’s worth I completely agree. That said, human behavior is a tough problem to solve. How do you look at a successful client relationship?

TM: First and foremost, the success of our clients is our success, and nothing can substitute for an advisor who is pleased with our work. We believe that our strategies are well suited for goals-based advisors and financial planners. As alluded to before, we designed our processes to be advisor and client friendly. In the context of achieving goals, our strategies are also behaviorally sound and assist the advisor in managing client expectations during periods of market volatility.

PH: Well we’ve definitely had some market volatility of late. Do you think that this is the start of a larger trend, and is it accurate to assume that would be favorable for your systematic approach?

TM: Given that both of my partners are self-described ‘data nerds’, we have studied everything, including what the data says about market crashes. Market volatility is good for financial media, so the image is difficult to escape. The ironic thing is that just a few weeks ago volatility was near historic lows, we’re simply coming off of a very low base.

JR: Fortunately, the data shows that price shocks are not necessarily something to fear–they are not the catalysts for bear markets. They either represent routine bull market behavior or happen so deeply into bear markets that a robust systematic investment strategy would have avoided them almost entirely. It is a sustained decline in value, which occurs slowly and lasts for many months, or even years, that advisors should be focusing on as it pertains to a client’s terms downside protection. These are precisely the types of markets that we target with our process.

PH: So in some ways, the volatility is good for your strategy?

JR: We are not hoping for a market crash, but we do believe that we can recognize the characteristics when they appear. Most importantly, we think we know how to step aside of a correction in the most effective and efficient manner.

PH: That makes sense. Given all of this, can you break down your core investment philosophy for me?

JR: Our philosophy is summed up in four key tenets. First, is a focus on asset prices rather than making predictions. We believe there is tremendous latent value in that single data point. We like to say that price represents the transformation of “could” into “did”. What better indication is there of what a market is going to do, both good and bad, besides what it’s doing? And what other factor matters more to our clients and their account values? Second, we believe in the importance of preserving compounding by avoiding large losses. We like to make more by first losing less. Third, we think emotions generally have detrimental effects on an investment strategy and, therefore, seek to mitigate this.

One of the major benefits of a systematic process is the ability to counter the results that emotional investing and behavioral biases can have. Fourth, we believe successful advisors (our clients) focus on the needs of their clients rather than market research. With declining investment costs and the rise of indexing and robos, advisors cannot compete on investment performance alone. However, they maintain their edge in the human element and thus should focus their time accordingly.

PH: Earlier you mentioned the fact that you are self-proclaimed ‘data nerds.’ I wouldn’t be representing Harvest very well if I didn’t ask you to elaborate on that. What are some trends in data and the related technologies that you feel are underappreciated?

TM: I heard an MIT data scientist speak at a conference recently, and he reported that much of the low hanging fruit available from machine learning and AI has been captured and is now being deployed. We are closely watching implementation in platforms such as Blackrock’s Aladdin. For investment managers, we believe the most important use of big data is to improve the efficacy of marketing for both the buyer and the seller. The delivery of relevant insights and thought leadership to the right prospective client at the right time is critical. The use of marketing automation to curate prospects and cultivate relationships is a big part of our process. I also see a huge application to the behavioral data that you guys focus on at Harvest. That’s going to be a huge focus for both asset managers and financial planners as the emotional quotient surpasses the IQ in the value chain.

PH: I like that a lot, and agree that the EQ focus represents a really differentiated opportunity.

More broadly, what secular trends do you see as having the most profound impact on investors in the next 10 years? How do you think investors can position themselves accordingly?

TM: A recent CFA Institute study entitled Investment Firm of the Future: Distribution Model Shifts, identified a number of trends in the investment management business. Of course, we took note of the narrative that systematic investing would become mainstream. For us, this entails utilizing the vast array of passive, inexpensive investment instruments as a means for creating sustainable yet competitively priced alpha in a way that is transparent and easy for advisors to convey to their clients. We think systematic strategies can serve as a core component of investment portfolios to combat what we call the “60/40 Problem” or can be an Alternative to Liquid Alts. As we talked about earlier, investors need access to high efficacy alternatives but are becoming much more sensitive to cost and transparency. Technology, low trading costs, and risk management have provided by a disciplined approach to our models will meet this trend towards systematic investment management head-on.

PH: Let’s shift gears slightly. I read a recent Bloomberg article where Cliff Asness attributed a significant portion of AQR’s success to the thought leadership that put out. What is your reaction to that given that there is also a fair amount of market education that your strategy requires?

JR: Well it’s certainly hard to argue with AQR’s success. However, given Blueprint’s objective and somewhat unique place in our space, we see the landscape and thus our success factors through a slightly different lens. We are completely focused, almost fanatical, about the advisor-client experience. This is both in terms of our relationship with the advisor and the advisor’s relationship with their client. As a result, our focus takes shape around three core concepts – transparency, costs, and the delivery of behaviorally-sound investment strategies. So, in that sense, to draw from the great Yogi Berra, our success is ninety-percent relationships and the other half is education.

PH: Building upon investor education, how do you respond to questions or pushback surrounding the underperformance of alternatives and liquid alts – at least when benchmarked against the S&P?

JR: To be fair, anything that was underweight the FAANGs over the last few years suffered on a relative basis. So that story is not unique to liquid alts. What is unique, however, is that the use of alternatives has historically meant a black box investment process and enormous fees. We believe those days are over because it creates friction for investors; they—justifiably—don’t understand the underpinnings of the investments, the investments themselves are expensive and, yet, they’re underperforming Google—really, what could go wrong?!

So, yes, this recipe can distort how people view alternatives during a top-heavy bull market. Still, it’s important to recognize that alternatives are designed to deliver uncorrelated returns. It is our view that when investors begin seeking more portfolio diversification via non-traditional asset classes, their preference and selection criteria will be very different than in the past. To date, only a very small percentage of investors have had the benefit of alternatives due to limited access and excessive complexity. We offer strategies that are liquid, cost-effective and tax sensitive. In essence, we believe this delivers the benefits of alternatives without the costs and complexities.

PH: Thanks guys, this has been really interesting and I’ve really enjoyed getting to know you both a little more. Your overall philosophy really speaks to one of constant growth and improvement. Finally, what would you tell a 20-year-old version of yourself?

TM: I am by far the oldest partner and in fact, I have a 20-year-old name-sake that gets this advice regularly. First, if you keep God, family, and company in that order, life will go well for you. Second, do not be in a big hurry. I was in a mad sprint from high school to career to kids and candidly should have paced myself better. Today’s 20-year-olds are going to live to over 100! What’s the rush? Third, treat everyone with respect and gratitude. Everyone–no exceptions! Living by the Golden Rule will take you far in life. Thanks for asking!

JR: This is an interesting question. Two pieces of advice come to mind. First, I would encourage my younger self to follow the courage of his convictions. To realize that once the work has been done to develop those convictions to start running in that direction–that without fear there is no courage. Secondly, I would tell him to find a mentor–both spiritually and professionally. I am blessed to now have both. It’s been a tremendous impact on my growth as a leader in all aspects of my life.

[“source=cnbc”]

ADNOC CEO says oil and gas industry a critical enabler of economic growth in 4th industrial age in ADIPEC keynote address

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Abu Dhabi — The global oil and gas will be a critical enabler of economic growth in the 4th Industrial Age, according to His Excellency Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE minister of state and group CEO of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC).

Delivering the opening keynote address, today, at the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (ADIPEC), one of the world’s leading oil and gas conferences and exhibitions, H.E. Dr. Al Jaber said the world is on the verge of an era of unprecedented prosperity. This will be driven, he said, by rapid advances in technology and a global middle class, which will grow to five billion people by 2030, creating greater demand for energy and products derived from oil and gas.

“We are at the cusp of a new age of opportunity for our industry, an era in which digital innovation is delivering unprecedented levels of progress,” H.E. Dr. Al Jaber told the audience of government ministers, industry CEOs, policymakers and decision makers. “This era, known as the 4th Industrial Age, is creating a paradigm shift in global growth and driving demand for our products. Our industry must step up to enable this massive step-change in global development.

“In short,” H.E. Dr. Al Jaber added, “this mission can be given a simple name: Oil and Gas 4.0.”

H.E. Dr. Al Jaber said ADNOC recognizes that to fulfill the mission of Oil and Gas 4.0, it must leverage all its resources, its partnerships and, in particular, the latest technologies, if it is to continue to thrive and deliver on the ambitious strategic objectives of its 2030 smart growth strategy.

“All this is only the start of a new era at ADNOC,” he said, adding that ADNOC is continuing to put in place the building blocks that would allow it to seize the opportunities created by Oil and Gas 4.0, emphasizing the strategic oil and gas announcements, made recently by Abu Dhabi’s Supreme Petroleum Council (SPC), which will see ADNOC increase its oil production capacity to 4 MMbpd by 2020 – and to 5 MMbpd by 2030 – to meet growing global demand. In addition, ADNOC will develop its vast untapped gas resources.

“As we set out to meet these ambitious goals, we will access our undeveloped reservoirs, tap into our gas caps and further capitalize on our sour gas. Today, we are able to make this happen by thinking outside the box, leveraging technology and reframing our business model. This has finally unlocked the commercial formula that will enable the UAE to attain self-sufficiency and transition to becoming a potential net exporter of natural gas.” H.E. Dr. Al Jaber said. “We are also taking steps, never taken before, to realize our comprehensive gas strategy.

“For the first time, we will jointly develop our unconventional fields in a concession partnership with Total. In addition, our strategy will ensure we remain a reliable supplier of LNG well into the future.”

H.E. Dr. Sultan added, “While advances in technology are impacting every industry, it is time for us to focus our attention on how it can advance our industry,” H.E. Dr. Al Jaber said.  “At ADNOC, we believe technology can enhance our operational efficiency, drive performance, maximize profitability and empower our people.”

ADNOC, he said, is applying artificial intelligence and the science of predictive analytics to significantly reduce maintenance costs and building out its state-of-the-art Panorama Digital Command Center to mine for, monitor and measure terabytes of information across its operations. And yet, ADNOC is only scratching the surface of how technology can transform its potential, he declared.

“Our ambition is to extend technology’s power across our entire value chain from drilling platforms to trading platforms,” H.E. Dr. Al Jaber said. “By embedding innovation into every aspect of our business, we are determined to make ADNOC the destination of choice for a highly skilled, digitally native workforce and a home for the best and the brightest of our young people.”

H.E. Dr. Al Jaber also emphasized the importance of ADNOC’s downstream expansion. “This expansion capitalizes on our high-grade feedstock, proximity to growth markets and best-in-class logistics to create an integrated plug and play ecosystem, an ecosystem where I invite partners to invest and grow alongside ADNOC as we continue on our journey to diversify the UAE’s economy, enable in-country value and support GDP growth,” he said.

Following H.E Dr. Sultan Al Jaber’s speech, a special ministerial panel discussion took place – entitled, ‘Reshaping Markets: Continuing the Global Energy Discussion, with the participation of H.E. Suhail Al Mazrouie, minister of energy, United Arab Emirates; H.E. Khalid Al Falih, minister of energy, industry and mineral resources, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; and H.E. Mohammad Barkindo, secretary general of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

Hosting more than 80 ministers, CEOs, and global oil and gas business leaders as speakers, ADIPEC has convened the companies, decision- and policy-makers who shape the future of oil and gas supply, for four days of focused business, dialogue and knowledge-transfer that addresses today’s energy challenges and defines tomorrow’s hydrocarbon landscape.

ADIPEC’s international technical and strategic conference spans 200 sessions, with 980 expert speakers and over 10,400 delegates. The technical conference program, organized in collaboration with the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), sets the international standard for the exchange of best-practice and operational excellence in the world of energy, with all technical abstract submissions put through a rigorous evaluation process by the technical program committee. Sessions cover upstream, midstream and downstream sectors, including specialized program such as offshore and marine.

Alongside the conference are the landmark ADIPEC exhibition areas, underpinning the event’s status as a premier showcase for suppliers and customers across the oil and gas industry. For 2018, ADIPEC has attracted more than 2,200 exhibiting companies, including 38 National Oil Companies and International Oil Companies, and 30 international country pavilions.

[“source=cnbc”]

Germany’s economy is getting hammered by the rest of the world’s problems

thumbs down germany

A US trade war, Brexit, Italy — you name it, Germany’s economy is suffering from it.

Europe’s economic powerhouse is in one of the longest boom phases of the postwar period, but it’s being pounded by a cocktail of international events that ING Economics says is casting doubts on future growth.

Germany’s Council of Economic Experts also paints a not-so-rosy picture: It expects 1.6% growth for the country this year and only 1.5% in 2019, well below expectations and down from a bumper 2.2% in 2017. Geopolitical issues were at the forefront of the council’s findings.

“The uncertain future of the global economic order and demographic change present the German economy with major challenges,” the council’s chairman, Christoph M. Schmidt, said in a report published Wednesday. “That is why we are faced with important economic policy decisions.”

Trade-war fears, ongoing Brexit negotiations, and the continued crisis surrounding Italy’s budget are all dragging on the German economy. That’s not all: “Temporary production-related problems and capacity bottlenecks are dampening the pace of expansion,” the report said.

Europe’s largest exporter has also seen trade out of the country fall dramatically, with exports dropping 0.8% month-on-month in September. Exports could continue to suffer in the event of a no-deal Brexit or new tariffs on autos out of the US as part of US President Donald Trump’s trade war. Export numbers dropped in four of the past six months and business confidence has been waning as investment opportunities weaken on geopolitical uncertainty, ING said.

Automakers are suffering, too

Germany’s malaise dampened the results of auto giants such as BMW. Third-quarter operating profit plunged 27% amid greater competition in global markets. The Financial Times reported Wednesday that new European Union greenhouse-gas emissions targets for automakers — the EU seeks to reduce emissions by 30% — are behind a 0.1% contraction in Germany’s gross domestic product in the third quarter as car companies struggle to adapt.

In addition, potential Trump tariffs on China are a major issue for Daimler and BMW, which both build SUVs in the US for the Chinese market.

Researchers from UBS say economic risks are predominantly external but warn that deteriorating labor-market conditions could have an impact. The country’s aging population could also prove to be problematic going forward unless more immigration and improved working flexibility are encouraged across the German economy, according to the economic council.

[“source=cnbc”]