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Research links: beta blues

Tuesdays are all about academic (and practitioner) literature at Abnormal Returns. You can check out last week’s links including a look at... ETFsOn the regulatory differences between an active ETF and index ETF. (alphaarchitect.com)Beware model portfolios from ETF providers. (evidenceinvestor.com)IndividualsThis research shows the typical glide path used by target-date funds is too conservative starting at the age of 50. (wsj.com)Investors are unable to distinguish alpha from beta. (alphaarchitect.com)Children leaving the house is not a financial boon you would think. (crr.bc.edu)ResearchWhy 52-week highs for a stock matter. (klementoninvesting.substack.com)In praise of the quality factor. (blogs.cfainstitute.org)How have zero-commissions affected overall trading costs? (evidenceinvestor.com)You can't invest in alternatives without taking into consideration liquidity needs. (alphaarchitect.com)Better-managed firms make better forecasts. (papers.ssrn.com)Do analysts discriminate against companies with black CEOs? (papers.ssrn.com).....»»

Category: blogSource: abnormalreturnsJan 13th, 2022

5 Financial Transaction Stocks to Watch Despite Industry Woes

While the rising uptake of digital payment methods will support the Financial Transaction Services industry, a tough market landscape and the mounting costs will erode margins. Stocks like V, MA, FISV, FIS and GPN will likely brave industry challenges. The Financial Transaction Services industry is likely to grow on the back of higher consumer spending and surging adoption of digital payment methods. Despite the growth potentials, inflation woes, rising costs and intensifying competition are a few headwinds currently faced by the industry players. Also, geopolitical elements like the Russia-Ukraine conflict, which is negatively impacting the global economic activities, are inducing uncertainties in the short run for the financial transaction services providers. Despite such woes, leading companies like Visa Inc. V, Mastercard Inc. MA, Fiserv Inc. FISV, Fidelity National Information Services, Inc. FIS and Global Payments Inc. GPN seem relatively stronger to fend off the downtrends.About the IndustryThe Zacks Financial Transaction Services industry is part of the Financial Technology or the FinTech space, which includes companies with varying natures of businesses. The industry comprises card and payment processing and other solutions providers, ATM services and money remittance service providers, and providers of investment solutions to financial advisors. The players in this segment operate their unique and proprietary global payments network that links issuers and acquirers around the globe to facilitate the switching of transactions, permitting account holders to use their products at millions of acceptance locations. Monetary transactions are effectuated through these networks, offering a convenient, quick and secure payment method in several currencies across the globe. The industry is benefiting from the ongoing digitization movement, triggered by the pandemic.4 Trends Pivotal for Shaping the Financial Transaction Industry's FutureHigh Costs to Weigh on Margins: As competition in the Financial Transaction Services space is getting fierce, market capture will remain a primary objective for the industry players. Heavy investments in technology, advertisements, client benefits and other heads will be the mainstay of the industry players. Investments in mobile and in-app payment technologies, new authentication technologies like biometrics, improvement of risk tools and solutions, and the ease of real-time payments services will continue. Also, global crises like the war on Ukraine and COVID lockdowns in China and other Asian countries will keep aggravating the supply-chain disruptions, pushing up costs for financial transactions providers who run large global payments networks. The high expenses will keep eating into these companies’ profits.Consolidation: Mergers and acquisitions are abounding in the Financial Transaction Services industry as companies try to expand the scale to capture a larger market share. Industry players in this space take initiatives to explore capabilities beyond their individual niches and diversify their product offerings. This is important to bolster one’s presence in the market and having a varied portfolio enables fetching higher revenues. These companies also acquire technology development firms to amplify their product baskets. Consolidation activities, in turn, are likely to aid margins in the long run.Cryptocurrency: As cryptocurrencies continue to gain more popularity, the financial transaction companies will witness a surge in demand for decentralized money. Companies with long-term vision are expected to keep investing in this digital currency in the coming days and take measures to include crypto products in their portfolios. At 2021-end, Visa unveiled Global Crypto Advisory Practice to assist clients and partners with financial decisions regarding crypto products. Mastercard also supports crypto-funded Mastercard payment cards to provide flexible payment options. Investors’ optimism on cryptocurrency, an alternative mode of payment unaffected by the pandemic, also indicates that it might become a common investment option soon.Resumption of Business Activities: As the world economy is rapidly recovering from the pandemic blues, thanks to massive vaccination programs undertaken worldwide, businesses of different sizes are witnessing an increasing footfall. Also, growth in e-commerce witnessed during the pandemic is likely to stay put. Higher pent-up demand and increased personal savings are expected to drive transaction volumes of the financial transaction services stocks. Nevertheless, the Fed rate hikes (twice since March), targeted to fight inflation, might lead to higher savings and lower transaction volumes.Zacks Industry Rank Signals Drab ProspectsThe group’s  Zacks Industry Rank, which is basically the average of the Zacks Rank of all member stocks, indicates tepid near-term prospects. The Zacks Financial Transaction Services industry is housed within the broader Zacks Business Services sector. It currently carries a Zacks Industry Rank #195, which places it at the bottom 23% of more than 250 Zacks industries.Our research shows that the top 50% of the Zacks-ranked industries outperform the bottom 50% by a factor of more than 2 to 1. The industry’s positioning in the bottom 50% of the Zacks-ranked industries is a result of a negative earnings outlook for the constituent companies in aggregate. Looking at the aggregate earnings estimate revisions, it appears that analysts are pessimistic about this group’s earnings growth potential. The industry’s earnings estimates for 2022 have declined 26.8% over the past year.Despite the murky scenario, we will present a few stocks that one can retain, given their solid growth endeavors. But before that, it’s worth taking a look at the industry’s recent stock-market performance and the valuation picture.Industry Outperforms Sector, Underperforms S&P 500The Zacks Financial Transaction Services industry has remained below the Zacks S&P 500 composite but fared better than its own sector over the past year.The stocks in this industry have collectively decreased 30.1% in the past year, while the Business Services sector has declined 49.3%. Meanwhile, the Zacks S&P 500 composite has gained 1.4%.One-Year Price PerformanceIndustry's Current ValuationOn the basis of the forward 12-month Price/Earnings ratio, which is commonly used for valuing financial transaction stocks, the industry is currently trading at 23.06X compared with the S&P 500’s 18.60X and the sector’s 25.78X.Over the last five years, the industry traded as high as 32.25X, as low as 20.87X and at the median of 25.08X.Forward 12-Month Price/Earnings (P/E) Ratio5 Stocks to Keep a Close Eye onWe are presenting five stocks from the Financial Transaction Services industry that currently carry a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Considering the current industry scenario, it might be prudent for investors to retain these stocks in their portfolio, as these are well placed to generate growth in the long haul.You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here. Visa Inc.: Based in San Francisco, CA, Visa operates as a payments technology company operating all over the world. V continues to benefit from acquisitions, expanding business volumes, investment in digital technology and a solid balance sheet. Even though the stock has declined 5.3% in the year-to-date period, V is making all the right moves to grow in the coming days. Its series of buyouts and alliances poise it well for bottom-line growth.Rising payments volume in Visa’s network is a good sign for investors. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current-year revenues is pegged at $28.6 billion, indicating a 18.7% rise from the year-ago tally. The consensus mark for current-year earnings indicates a 20.8% improvement form the year-ago actuals to $7.14 per share. V’s earnings beat estimates in each of the last four quarters, the average being 8.4%.Price and Consensus: V Mastercard Inc.: Headquartered in Purchase, NY, Mastercard is gaining from solid demand for digital and contactless solutions. Investment in technology keeps Mastercard at the forefront of the rapidly-evolving payments industry. MA is well-poised to benefit from its consistent cash-generating abilities from operations on the back of growing business volumes. Even though the stock has declined 1.7% in the year-to-date period, its product-diversification and geographic-expansion initiatives augur well for the long run.Demand for Mastercard’s services offerings, including cybersecurity and data analytics capabilities is on the rise. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2022 revenues is pegged at $22.2 billion, indicating a 17.3% increase from the year-ago reported figure. The consensus mark for current-year earnings indicates a 24.9% improvement to $10.49 per share from the year-ago finals. MA’s bottom line beat estimates in each of the last four quarters, the average being 14.2%. Price and Consensus: MAFiserv Inc.: Based in Brookfield, WI, Fiserv provides financial services technology solutions to more than 12,000 clients worldwide in the banking, insurance, healthcare and investment industries. Its diversified product portfolio will continue to yield a steady flow of clients. Even though the stock has declined 4.1% in the year-to-date period, growing Zelle transactions and Debit transactions indicate more customer additions in the coming days.Fiserv’s consistent shareholder value boosting moves like share buybacks bode well. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2022 revenues is pegged at $16.5 billion, indicating a 7.1% increase from the year-ago reported figure. The consensus mark for current-year earnings indicates a 16.1% improvement to $6.48 per share from the year-ago reported figure. FISV’searnings beat estimates in each of the last four quarters, the average being 3.3%.Price and Consensus: FISVFidelity National: Headquartered in Jacksonville, FL, Fidelity National provides banking and payments technology solutions, processing services and information-based services to the financial services industry. FIS continues to benefit from a superior product portfolio and digitization efforts. Even though the stock has declined 7.9% in the year-to-date period, it seems undervalued right now than the broader industry’s average in terms of forward 12-month price to earnings.FIS prioritizes long-term growth via its ongoing investments in technology and innovation across high-growth markets to expand its total addressable market. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current year revenues is pegged at $14.8 billion, indicating a 6.9% rise from the year-earlier reading. The consensus mark for current-year earnings indicates an 11.8% improvement to $7.32 per share from the prior-year reported number. FIS’ bottom line beat estimates in each of the last four quarters, with the average being 2.3%.Price and Consensus: FISGlobal Payments: Based in Atlanta, GA, Global Payments focuses on top-tier strategic partnerships to grow its business and future-proof its underlying technology. Its strong investment-grade balance sheet in combination with its stable free cash flow generation provides GPN with ample capital and financial flexibility to navigate through turbulent times. Even though the stock has declined 6.9% in the year-to-date period, its robust technology solutions will make it stand out in the marketplace and position it well for continued growth.The Zego acquisition exposed Global Payments to a market worth $1 trillion. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2022 revenues is pegged at $8.4 billion, indicating an 8.9% increase from the year-ago reported figure. The consensus mark for current-year earnings indicates a 16.9% improvement to $9.54 per share from the year-ago reported level. GPN’s earnings beat estimates in each of the last four quarters, the average being 3.1%.Price and Consensus: GPN Just Released: Zacks' 7 Best Stocks for Today Experts extracted 7 stocks from the list of 220 Zacks Rank #1 Strong Buys that has beaten the market more than 2X over with a stunning average gain of +25.4% per year. These 7 were selected because of their superior potential for immediate breakout. See these time-sensitive tickers 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 Visa Inc. (V): Free Stock Analysis Report Mastercard Incorporated (MA): Free Stock Analysis Report Fidelity National Information Services, Inc. (FIS): Free Stock Analysis Report Fiserv, Inc. (FISV): Free Stock Analysis Report Global Payments Inc. (GPN): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksMay 7th, 2022

Research links: writing better equations

Tuesdays are all about academic (and practitioner) literature at Abnormal Returns. You can check out last week’s links including a look at... FactorsThe low beta anomaly is well-explained by other factors. (alphaarchitect.com)Factors work, but timing them is too hard. (evidenceinvestor.com)CreditGreg Obenshain, "Low ratings, illiquidity, and opaque structures make this [leverage loans] a problematic asset class." (mailchi.mp)Do credit markets take into account carbon risk? (klementoninvesting.substack.com)C-suiteFirst impressions matter when it comes to M&A deals. (institutionalinvestor.com)Good analysts don't need to update their numbers as often. (fastcompany.com)Should CEOs tweet? (klementoninvesting.substack.com)AlternativesA review of recent research on commodities, gold and real assets. (capitalspectator.com)Does trend following work with Bitcoin? (quantpedia.com)ResearchPhil Huber, "The success of a portfolio is contingent upon the comfort of the investor holding it." (caia.org)"No single investor or institution has all pieces of the puzzle that is systemic risk." (sr-sv.com)A new one from Michael Mauboussin and Dan Callahan, "Feedback: Information as a Basis for Information." (morganstanley.com)Are future ESG ratings predictable? (alphaarchitect.com).....»»

Category: blogSource: abnormalreturnsMar 23rd, 2022

Tuesday links: similar characteristics

MarketsQuants are off to a good start in 2022. (ft.com)Lumber prices are up 75% year-over-year. (calculatedriskblog.com)BondsCompanies are borrowing in 2022, albeit at higher rates. (ft.com)Keep in mind high yield bonds have a higher correlation with equities. (morningstar.com)StrategyWhy it's so easy for investors to be bearish. (ofdollarsanddata.com)Five lessons learned from 2021 including 'Gold is not an inflation hedge over your investment horizon.' (evidenceinvestor.com)Some reading on the career and investment philosophy of Lou Simpson. (rationalwalk.com)FinanceCitadel Securities has taken on its first outside capital. (wsj.com)Sequoia Capital is now registered with the SEC. (wsj.com)GlobalHong Kong's population is now in decline. (bloomberg.com)A record low number of Japanese turned 20. (ft.com)EconomyRetail workers are once again feeling the brunt of the pandemic. (nytimes.com)Grocery shelves are bare because there aren' enough people to stock them. (slate.com)'Missing' American workers by age group. (calculatedriskblog.com)Earlier on Abnormal ReturnsResearch links: beta blues. (abnormalreturns.com)What you missed in our Monday linkfest. (abnormalreturns.com)Adviser links: the problem with planning. (abnormalreturns.com)Are you a financial adviser looking for some out-of-the-box thinking? Then check out our weekly e-mail newsletter. (newsletter.abnormalreturns.com)Mixed mediaThe origin story of Wordle. (nytimes.com)Wordle has unleashed a desire for people to 'solve it.' (theringer.com)What's the best word to start Wordle? (wsj.com).....»»

Category: blogSource: abnormalreturnsJan 13th, 2022

Wednesday links: a range of reasonable techniques

MarketsThe rotation into value has been abrupt. (sentimentrader.com)Cliff Asness says it's 'too early to gloat' about the value rebound. (bloomberg.com)MortgagesMortgage rates have spiked higher in 20220. (mortgagenewsdaily.com)2% 10-year Treasury yields imply a 4% 30-year conventional mortgage. (calculatedrisk.substack.com)Will higher mortgage rates give homebuyers another push? (cnbc.com)StrategyDon't confused selling options with income. (humbledollar.com)Why you need to look behind the label of your international equity ETF. (etf.com)VentureFemale founders secured only 2% of venture capital in the U.S. in 2021. (bloomberg.com)European startups also saw a surge in funding in 2021. (news.crunchbase.com)'Fake it til you make it' only works under certain circumstances. (marker.medium.com)VideoWhy does Disney ($DIS) keep pushing Pixar movies straight to Disney+? (variety.com)There's no shortage of demand for children's content on streaming. (thestreamable.com)Demand for anime content keeps growing. (axios.com)Supply chainCalifornia ports are struggling with Omicron-related outages. (wsj.com)Omicron is forcing more closures of Chinese factories and ports. (wsj.com)EconomyAnnualized CPI hit 7.0% which is the highest rate since 1982. (calculatedriskblog.com)Why we may be seeking peak inflation. (thereformedbroker.com)How much longer will energy prices push up inflation? (klementoninvesting.substack.com)Real wage growth has slowed. (bonddad.blogspot.com)Earlier on Abnormal ReturnsPersonal finance links: playing the game of life. (abnormalreturns.com)What you missed in our Tuesday linkfest. (abnormalreturns.com)Research links: beta blues. (abnormalreturns.com)Are you a financial adviser looking for some out-of-the-box thinking? Then check out our weekly e-mail newsletter. (newsletter.abnormalreturns.com)Mixed mediaCoinbase ($COIN) is going have a 'recharge week' every quarter. (theblockcrypto.com)Another big company is going (mostly) remote. (protocol.com)Companies are done trying to predict a return to the office. (wsj.com).....»»

Category: blogSource: abnormalreturnsJan 13th, 2022

As gene-editing moves mainstream, a pioneer in the field is testing whether it could prevent Alzheimer"s

Scientist David Liu has developed two ways to edit human DNA. He's testing whether they can be used to prevent Alzheimer's disease. Beam Therapeutics cofounder David Liu.Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images Scientist and biotech cofounder David Liu is one of the pioneers of drugs that can edit DNA. His lab is developing therapy that could prevent Alzheimer's by installing a protective gene. Liu was named one of Insider's 100 People Transforming Business in 2021. David Liu is best known as one of the pioneers of the experimental science of editing people's genes.Liu's laboratory at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard was the birthplace of two new types of gene-editing called base and prime editing, that swap out segments of the DNA strand without cutting into it. He and other experts estimate could be more precise and have less unintended effects than other forms of gene-editing like CRISPR. What's less known is that for the last five years, his laboratory has been quietly testing a method of potentially protecting people against one of the most devastating health conditions worldwide: Alzheimer's disease. One of the lab's first tests of this science is to see if it can be used to install a gene called APOE2 that is believed to significantly reduce the risk of a person getting Alzheimer's. The work is still in the very early stages, Liu told Insider. His team has published multiple papers indicating that they can make these changes in cell samples and is currently running additional experiments on mice.  The concept of preventing Alzheimer's is gaining traction, with I-Mab Biopharma launching an early-stage trial earlier this week of a nasal vaccine for the disease. Biotechs Nuravax and Vaxxinity are also working on Alzheimer's vaccines. The benefits of gene-editing is that it could be a one-and-done drug. But it's still highly experimental, and is only being tested in humans with rare diseases right now. There's still many questions to be answered before tweaking the DNA of the 33 million people worldwide with Alzheimer's disease, let alone giving a new type of medication to people who are otherwise healthy but at risk of Alzheimer's disease in the future. Liu's Alzheimer's work is not only a significant test of new science — it could also help determine if and how gene-editing goes mainstream. Liu's work focuses on a gene that makes people up to 99.6% less likely to get Alzheimer'sNo one knows exactly what causes Alzheimer's disease. At this point, there are a myriad of theories because there's not many biological characteristics that are found in every person with the disease. Most drug companies have focused on a protein called amyloid beta that builds up in the brain of some Alzheimer's patients, but not all patients have that buildup. There is a genetic mutation that has strong links to the disease: the APOE4 gene. But that, too, isn't definitive — just because you have the mutation doesn't mean you will get Alzheimer's disease.However, there may be another way to stop the disease.Research has shown that people with a similar gene, APOE2, are between 66% and 99.6% less likely to develop Alzheimer's disease. Liu and his research team zeroed in on this gene as they were developing the first base editing technology between 2013 and 2015. It was a somewhat arbitrary idea initially, Liu said, but checked all of the boxes: There was strong science linking APOE2 to Alzheimer's disease and promising signs that base editing could tweak that gene. The idea is to develop a treatment that would flip the baseline letters of the DNA strand — G, A, T and C — to turn APOE4 or another type of gene known as APOE3 into APOE2.The lab is still running tests to answer key questions like how and where in the body to deliver the treatment, according to Liu.Experts still wonder if gene therapies are too risky for the general populationGladstone Institutes Associate Investigator Yadong Huang, who has studied APOE4 since 1985, thinks that Liu's idea of using gene-editing is the right strategy. It's clear that APOE2 protects against developing Alzheimer's disease, and Huang likes that the Liu lab's approach doesn't involve cutting the DNA strand, as scientists theorized that cutting the strand could cause problems. It does raise many questions, though. Who should get it: everyone, or only people with the high-risk APOE4 gene, asked neurologist-turned-venture-capitalist Doug Cole. And when would they need to get the gene therapy? Liu and his research team haven't answered those questions yet. But Liu pointed to another startup he co-founded, Beam Therapeutics, which is working with Verve Therapeutics on a gene therapy that could potentially cure heart disease. They're starting with patients who have a high risk of heart disease due to a genetic mutation, and stand to benefit the most from treatment."All of these therapeutics boil down to how to best balance potential benefit to the patient, to the potential risk to the patient," Liu said. "We have a whole plethora of next-generation CRISPR and non-CRISPR gene-editing technologies that offer new capabilities and could potentially be much more broadly applicable."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 22nd, 2021

Hillary Clinton"s Trump/Russia Media Strategy Revealed In Day 4 Of Sussmann Trial

Hillary Clinton's Trump/Russia Media Strategy Revealed In Day 4 Of Sussmann Trial Authored by Techno Fog via The Reactionary, Yesterday morning we saw the continued testimony of former FBI general counsel James Baker and Hillary Clinton Campaign manager Robby Mook. (As we previously observed, Mook had already admitted to being briefed on “general updates concerning” Fusion GPS findings - though he has denied knowing who Fusion GPS was.) I’m traveling this weekend and can’t do the deepest dive into yesterday’s testimony - including that of the CIA agent in the afternoon session - but here are the highlights from Baker and Mook. The Baker examination, continued. Baker testified that Sussman did not notify him that the discredited Trump-Russia Alfa Bank allegations had been shared with the New York Times. (For a refresher, here are the transcript excerpts from his Thursday testimony.) Q: Did he [Sussman] tell you anything about whether he had a client when he went to The New York Times? A: I guess the answer to that question is no. Q: And you don’t know, sir, whether they were his clients for purposes of attempting to get this story placed in The New York Times, do you? A: That’s fair. I do not know that, that’s correct.  Q: You don’t know whether he was working with the Clinton Campaign to do that, do you? A: I do not. The Robby Mook testimony. Robert Mook, Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign manager, also testified before the jury Friday. In his testimony, he stated that Hillary Clinton personally approved a plan to spread the lie that Trump was colluding with Russia via secret servers to the media. He also admitted to being briefed on the conspiracy. Q: Okay. In connection with the general focus on Mr. Trump and Russia, did there come a time when you learned of potential links between the Trump organization, Mr. Trump’s business, and a Russian bank called Alfa-bank? A: I did. Yes, I was briefed on that.  Q: Approximately when were you first briefed on that, if you remember? A: I honestly can’t recall.  Q: Who participated in the briefing, if you remember? A: Myself, Marc Elias, Jen Palmieri, Jake Sullivan, John Podesta. There might have been others, but those are the ones I definitely recall being there. Mook also admitted that the Clinton campaign was focused on Trump’s relationship with Russia before Summer of 2016.  Q: In the Summer of 2016, was Mr. Trump’s relationship with Russia something that the campaign focused on? A: Yes. I mean, it was frankly something we were focused on before that time. But absolutely. Mook however did deny that the Clinton campaign directed Sussman to go to the FBI, despite admitting that Clinton approved the Trump-Russia allegations to be shared with the media. Q: Were you aware that Mr. Sussman went to the FBI in September of 2016 to give them a heads-up about a New York Times story about Trump and Alfa-Bank? A: No.  Q: Do you have any recollection of anyone talking to you about going to the FBI on behalf of the campaign on the Trump/Alfa-Bank issue? A: No.  Q: Did you direct Mr. Sussman to go to the FBI on behalf of the campaign? A: Absolutely not. Q: Did you authorize Mr. Sussman to go to the FBI on behalf of the campaign? A: No. Q: Did anyone else from the campaign, to your knowledge, direct or authorize Mr. Sussman to go to the FBI on behalf of the campaign? A: To my knowledge, no. Mook also said the decision to push the debunked Russia conspiracy to the media was made by himself, Sussman, John Podesta, and Palmeri, and that Hillary Clinton agreed with the decision. Q: And once you learned about it [the Trump-Russia allegations], you started discussing with the campaign whether the campaign should affirmatively push it in the media, right? A: Correct.  Q: And you had that discussion with Mr. Sullivan? A: Correct.  Q: With Mr. Podesta? A: Just to be clear. This is what - I recall those people, correct.  Q: Okay. You had a discussion with Mr. Sullivan? A: Yes, I recall, yes.  Q: Whether to push it in the media right? A: Correct.  Q: With Ms. Palmieri?  A: Correct.  Q: With Mr. Podesta? A: Correct. Q: But in any event, the decision to provide this to the media was authorized by the campaign, correct? A: We authorized a staff member of the campaign to provide it to the media. Regarding Hillary Clinton, Mook said: Q: Mr. Mook, before the break you had testified that there was a conversation in which you told Ms. Clinton about the proposed plan to provide the Alfa-Bank allegations to the media; is that correct? A: Correct.  Q: And what was her response? A: All I remember is that she agreed with the decision. Some final thoughts: while this trial is about Sussmann’s false statements to the FBI, it’s also more than that. This is Special Counsel John Durham telling the public the story of the Clinton opposition research machine, and how the campaign, through their lawyers and contractors (Fusion GPS), developed and spread lies to the media to influence the election. It’s the story of Clinton Campaign lawyers to using the FBI to further that strategy of deception. With that in mind, do not forget the Igor Danchenko case. Is it the case that Charles Dolan, a Hillary Clinton friend and supporter, was coincidentally feeding false information to Christopher Steele’s primary sub source? And on that thread, what are the odds that another Clinton ally - Alexander Downer - took his “info” to the FBI? Downer’s tip was referenced in the opening of the Alfa Bank-Trump investigation, seen below. (Note that the FBI misrepresents both the Downer tip and Mifsud’s purported statement to George Papadopolous.) Are we to believe the Clinton Campaign and it’s agents had nothing to do with Dolan and Downer? When it comes to the broader Trump/Russia matter, there are too many Clinton links to ignore. Let’s hope that Durham is unraveling that thread. Subscribe now Tyler Durden Sat, 05/21/2022 - 16:30.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytMay 21st, 2022

19 great books for recent college grads that"ll guide them through their next chapter

From inspiring memoirs and self-help bestsellers to important career and money how-to guides, these books will set your college grad up for success. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.From inspiring memoirs and self-help bestsellers to important career and money how-to guides, these books will set your college grad up for success.AmazonAs college graduates ready themselves for the next chapter in their lives, books can provide insightful advice and research-driven tips on how to best move forward. Whether they're starting their first job or fellowship, paying the brunt of their own expenses for the first time, or unsure of what they want to do next, there are countless people who have been in their shoes before and have some wisdom to impart. Below, we rounded up some of the best books to gift recent college grads, from relatable memoirs, straightforward financial guides, and self-help books on everything from forming healthy habits to finding one's ideal career path. And if you want to pair a book with another gift, be sure to check out our guides to the best college graduation gifts. The 19 best books to gift college graduates in 2022:"Congratulations, By the Way: Some Thoughts on Kindness" by George SaundersAmazon"Congratulations, By the Way," available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $12.99Best for: The grad who wants a short, inspirational readAdapted from author George Saunders' commencement address at Syracuse University (where he teaches writing), this book is essentially a short, incredibly well-written speech that can be finished in one sitting. As a bonus, the core theme isn't about common graduation topics like career goals or perseverance, but about something even more important: kindness and empathy for others."Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life" by Bill Burnett and Dave EvansAmazon"Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life," available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $18.92Best for: The grad who has no idea what they want to do for a careerWritten by two faculty members of Stanford University's Design Program, this book uses design thinking to help the reader break down what they love to do and forge a life path that balances work with everything else. It's particularly great for grads who feel uncertain about what they want to do in their career and can help them discover new possibilities.You can read our review of the "Designing Your Life" online course on the same topic here."Speak: How to Find Your Voice, Trust Your Gut, and Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be" by Tunde OyeneyinAmazon"Speak: How to Find Your Voice, Trust Your Gut, and Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be," available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $18.21Best for: The grad who wants to grow into themselves moreWritten by popular Peloton instructor Tunde Oyeneyin, this memoir doubles as a self-help book that teaches readers how to live a life with purpose. Oyeneyin chronicles her journey to figuring out what she wanted to do in life and how to pursue her dreams to live her most authentic life, leaving readers with a framework to do the same."The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter—and How to Make the Most of Them Now" by Meg Jay, PhDAmazon"The Defining Decade," available at Bookshop and Amazon, from $7.98Best for: The grad who feels nervous about their 20sFrom graduating college to finding that first job or relationship, one's 20s pack a lot of change in a short amount of time. Weaving stories of hundreds of 20-something clients and students, Meg Jay's book is full of advice on how to navigate all these new developments to set oneself up for success later in life."Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones" by James ClearAmazon"Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones," available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $11.98Best for: The grad who wants to self-improve by doesn't know where to startWhether your graduate wants to be better organized or stop procrastinating as much, this bestselling book offers clear, tangible tips on how to build tiny, approachable habits that snowball into larger, life-changing ones down the road."Untamed" by Glennon DoyleAmazon"Untamed," available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $14.99Best for: The grad on the precipice of some exciting-but-scary changes This bestselling memoir reads more like a self-help book, offering lots of encouragement in being true to one's authentic self and most honest desires. It can especially be helpful to a graduate with big changes looming ahead, such as a cross-country move or a career path switch.You can read our review of "Untamed" here."Get Good with Money: 10 Simple Steps to Becoming Financially Whole" By Tiffany Aliche (The Budgetnista)Amazon"Get Good with Money: Ten Simple Steps to Becoming Financially Whole," available at Bookshop and Amazon, from $14.71Best for: The grad who needs to learn how to budgetWhether your grad is dealing with student loan debt or difficulty finding work, they're sure to find meaningful advice from Tiffany Aliche, who dealt with the aftermath of the 2008 recession and a shady advisor who put her into a huge financial hole. Written in a straightforward way, this book offers simple, tangible ways for young graduates to save money, pay off debt, and plan for a financially secure life."Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As if Your Life Depended on it" by Chris VossAmazon"Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As if Your Life Depended on it," available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $17.99Best for: The grad who will have to negotiate their salary soonWritten by a former FBI hostage negotiator, this book offers fascinating tips on how to negotiate everything from a raise at work to a compromise with a family member. It can especially be useful to grads going into fields where persuasion will be a big part of their job, such as law, politics, or non-profit work. You can read our review of Chirs Voss's MasterClass on the same topic here."Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking" by Susan CainAmazon"Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking," available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $13.89Best for: The grad who's self-conscious about being an introvertAs "Quiet" explores, much of American culture rewards those who are extroverted and talkative, which can make it difficult for more introverted people to feel like they can stand out. Written as part-memoir, part-self-help, this book offers inspiring anecdotes and tips on how to channel one's quiet side, instead of feeling forced to change it.You can read our full review of "Quiet" here."Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar" by Cheryl StrayedAmazon"Tiny Beautiful Things," available at Bookshop and Amazon, from $13.38Best for: The grad who doesn't just want career adviceCheryl Strayed, author of the bestselling memoir "Wild," also worked for years as the writer of a column called "Dear Sugar," where she offered advice to strangers by being incredibly vulnerable and honest about her own life experiences. This book is a collection of some of her best columns, tackling topics from grief and cheating lovers to pursuing your wildest dreams."The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why it Matters" by Priya ParkerAmazon"The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why it Matters," available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $14.49Best for: The grad moving away from all their friendsThe nice thing about college is how easy socializing is when you all live in the same dorm or apartment, have school-organized events to attend, and generally live by similar schedules. As we get older, making new friends (or hanging with existing ones) can get more challenging. This book teaches simple but mind-blowing tips on how to make gatherings more meaningful and bonding, from sending out an event invite to deciding who to invite.You can read our review of "The Art of Gathering" here."I Will Teach You to Be Rich" by Ramit SethiAmazon"I Will Teach You to Be Rich," available at Bookshop and Amazon, from $12.87Best for: The grad already interested in building their savingsThis book gives grads some good news: they can spend all they want on lattes, so long as they still have money to invest and grow over time. It's a straightforward guide to building a robust savings account, and one of our personal favorite books to recommend (especially to those new to managing their money)."What You're Really Meant to Do: A Road Map For Reaching Your Unique Potential" by Robert Steven KaplanAmazon"What You're Really Meant to Do," available at Bookshop and Amazon, from $14.39Best for: The grad who doesn't know what to do nextIn this book, Robert Steven Kaplan, a leadership expert and bestselling author, shares specific exercises and advice on how one can know themselves more deeply, from figuring out their true passions to setting goals to reaching them. "What I Know Now: Letters to My Younger Self" edited by Ellyn SpraginsAmazon"What I Know Now," available at Amazon, $12.77Best for: The grad who wants all the advice they can getIf you don't want to commit to one book by one author, this anthology features letters from 41 famous women to their past selves, with writers ranging from Madeleine Albright to Maya Angelou. Beyond offering invaluable advice, it's also just a fascinating glimpse into these iconic women's lives."Ask a Manager: How to Navigate Clueless Colleagues, Lunch-Stealing Bosses, and the Rest of Your Life At Work" by Alison GreenAmazon"Ask a Manager," available at Bookshop and Amazon, from $14.40Best for: The grad who already has a difficult jobAlison Green, an internet-famous work advice columnist, is known for giving empathetic, straightforward, and honest career advice, whether you have an annoying coworker or have no idea how to ask for a raise. If your grad already has a job (or is struggling with the interview process), this book can serve as a guide through all stages of their work life."Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life...and Maybe the World" by Admiral William H. McRavenBookshop"Make Your Bed," available at Bookshop and Amazon, $11.94Best for: The grad who wants some simple, straightforward life adviceBased on a commencement speech that Admiral William H. McRaven gave to the University of Texas, Austin in 2014, this book covers his career as a Navy Seal and what it taught him about which habits and outlooks make the most impact. It's a book that offers honest, direct tips on how to live a more successful life, no matter what you do for a living."The Gift: 14 Lessons to Save Your Life" by Edith Eva EgerAmazon"The Gift: 14 Lessons to Save Your Life," available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $11.37Best for: The grad who's gone through a rough patch latelyRecently updated to reflect on the COVID-19 pandemic, this book shares the story of Edith Eva Eger, a world-renowned psychologist and Holocaust survivor who argues that the only thing worse than living in a concentration camp was feeling imprisoned by her own fear, guilt, and anger. The core lesson of the book teaches readers that while we can't control our experiences, we can always change our perspectives."Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy" by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam GrantAmazon"Option B," available at Bookshop and Amazon, from $13.67Best for: The grad who wants to be more resilientWhen Sheryl Sandberg's husband suddenly died, she worried she'd never feel joy again. She worked on this book with her friend Adam Grant, a Wharton psychologist — together, they share tips on how to build resilience even in the most trying times. It's a skill every graduate needs, whether they're facing big changes or even just dreading big changes in the future."The Beautiful Chaos of Growing Up" by Ari SatokAmazon"The Beautiful Chaos of Growing Up," available at Amazon, $14.99Best for: The grad who loves poetry"The Beautiful Chaos of Growing Up" is a beautiful poetry collection about young adulthood. it covers everything from college friendships and graduation to all the firsts of adulthood: first romances, first jobs, first apartments — all helping a recent grad get excited about what's to come next.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 20th, 2022

Looking for a Fast-paced Momentum Stock at a Bargain? Consider Vishay (VSH)

If you are looking for stocks that have gained strong momentum recently but are still trading at reasonable prices, Vishay (VSH) could be a great choice. It is one of the several stocks that passed through our 'Fast-Paced Momentum at a Bargain' screen. Momentum investing is essentially the opposite of the tried-and-tested Wall Street adage -- "buy low and sell high." Investors following this investing style typically avoid betting on cheap stocks and waiting long for them to recover. They believe instead that one could make far more money in lesser time by "buying high and selling higher."Everyone likes betting on fast-moving trending stocks, but it isn't easy to determine the right entry point. These stocks often lose momentum when their future growth potential fails to justify their swelled-up valuation. In that phase, investors find themselves invested in shares that have limited to no upside or even a downside. So, betting on a stock just by looking at the traditional momentum parameters could be risky at times.A safer approach could be investing in bargain stocks with recent price momentum. While the Zacks Momentum Style Score (part of the Zacks Style Scores system) helps identify great momentum stocks by paying close attention to trends in a stock's price or earnings, our 'Fast-Paced Momentum at a Bargain' screen comes handy in spotting fast-moving stocks that are still attractively priced.There are several stocks that currently pass through the screen and Vishay Intertechnology (VSH) is one of them. Here are the key reasons why this stock is a great candidate.Investors' growing interest in a stock is reflected in its recent price increase. A price change of 4.6% over the past four weeks positions the stock of this chipmaker well in this regard.While any stock can see a spike in price for a short period, it takes a real momentum player to deliver positive returns for a longer time frame. VSH meets this criterion too, as the stock gained 1.7% over the past 12 weeks.Moreover, the momentum for VSH is fast paced, as the stock currently has a beta of 1.29. This indicates that the stock moves 29% higher than the market in either direction.Given this price performance, it is no surprise that VSH has a Momentum Score of B, which indicates that this is the right time to enter the stock to take advantage of the momentum with the highest probability of success.In addition to a favorable Momentum Score, an upward trend in earnings estimate revisions has helped VSH earn a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Our research shows that the momentum-effect is quite strong among Zacks Rank #1 and #2 stocks. That's because as covering analysts raise their earnings estimates for a stock, more and more investors take an interest in it, helping its price race to keep up. You can see the complete list of today's Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stocks here >>>>Most importantly, despite possessing fast-paced momentum features, VSH is trading at a reasonable valuation. In terms of Price-to-Sales ratio, which is considered as one of the best valuation metrics, the stock looks quite cheap now. VSH is currently trading at 0.85 times its sales. In other words, investors need to pay only 85 cents for each dollar of sales.So, VSH appears to have plenty of room to run, and that too at a fast pace.In addition to VSH, there are several other stocks that currently pass through our 'Fast-Paced Momentum at a Bargain' screen. You may consider investing in them and start looking for the newest stocks that fit these criteria.This is not the only screen that could help you find your next winning stock pick. Based on your personal investing style, you may choose from over 45 Zacks Premium Screens that are strategically created to beat the market.However, keep in mind that the key to a successful stock-picking strategy is to ensure that it produced profitable results in the past. You could easily do that with the help of the Zacks Research Wizard. In addition to allowing you to backtest the effectiveness of your strategy, the program comes loaded with some of our most successful stock-picking strategies.Click here to sign up for a free trial to the Research Wizard today. Zacks Names "Single Best Pick to Double" From thousands of stocks, 5 Zacks experts each have chosen their favorite to skyrocket +100% or more in months to come. From those 5, Director of Research Sheraz Mian hand-picks one to have the most explosive upside of all. It’s a little-known chemical company that’s up 65% over last year, yet still dirt cheap. With unrelenting demand, soaring 2022 earnings estimates, and $1.5 billion for repurchasing shares, retail investors could jump in at any time. This company could rival or surpass other recent Zacks’ Stocks Set to Double like Boston Beer Company which shot up +143.0% in little more than 9 months and NVIDIA which boomed +175.9% in one year.Free: See Our Top Stock and 4 Runners Up >>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 Vishay Intertechnology, Inc. (VSH): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksMay 20th, 2022

Massive Momo Shuffle May Mean More Tech-Wrecks & Bank-Beatdowns To Come

Massive Momo Shuffle May Mean More Tech-Wrecks & Bank-Beatdowns To Come As if the market didn't need more sand kicked in its eye, a rebalance of a major quant strategy could put more technical selling pressure on tech and financial names as they suffer. BlackRock’s iShares MSCI USA Momentum Factor ETF (ticker MTUM) is facing its latest semi-annual rebalance, with the fund’s underlying index due to start the process next week. Momentum names have been under pressure in the last few days as Value caught a bid... Wells Fargo's Chris Harvey estimates that a whopping 75% of the smart-beta product’s holdings will be turned over in favor of sectors that gain from elevated inflation like value and energy, at the expense of technology names. At the same economically sensitive companies like banks will likely be slashed in favor of defensives like health care. “Our preliminary estimates indicate a wholesale renovation,” Harvey wrote in a note. “Momentum holdings are expected to re-align with value and take on old-school defensive traits: lower price volatility, more stable earnings, larger size, and steadier dividends.” This sector shuffle will likely lower the overall volatility of the ETF. As the following chart of sector vols shows, while an increase in Energy's allocation will raise overall vol, a reduction in Tech and Financials will cut it and adding more 'low vol' Staples and Utes will significantly lower the overall volatility in the fund. A look at the S&P's implied correlation offers some more insight. A rising implied correlation suggests the index vol is rising considerably more than the individual names in the index. But given that VIX has not been rising dramatically, this suggests a notable dispersion among the individual names (or sectors) is already occurring. Finally, we consider what happens next? Last year's rebalance followed a similar path into the shuffle, then ramped after... We could see a similar reaction as traders reach for something more 'stable'. “Post-rebalance MTUM will have a lot in common with low-volatility funds, based on our analysis, with an expected 56% of MTUM’s projected weighting falling into the lowest-volatility quintile of the Russell 1000,” Christopher Cainand Athanasios Psarofagis wrote in research last week. Is this the turning point in Energy vs Tech... just like at the DotCom Bust? But, given the relatively strong correlation with the broad market, it is likely more a relative, than absolute, bet to buy the momo dip. Tyler Durden Thu, 05/19/2022 - 14:40.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytMay 19th, 2022

Successful pitch decks have 12 things in common, from founders who"ve raised millions

If you want to land funding, use a pitch deck that sets your company apart, establishes credibility, and demonstrates growth. Pitching is an important part of scaling your startup.Seraphina Therapeutics Every entrepreneur needs a good pitch deck, whether it's to raise money or to win over customers. Insider reviewed a collection of decks to pinpoint the components that make them successful. Your pitch deck should set your company apart, establish credibility, and demonstrate growth. See more stories on Insider's business page. Pitching is an important part of every entrepreneur's journey, whether it's to get a bank loan, win over investors, or acquire customers. You need to believe in your product or service and then persuade others to buy into it.Even though funding for startups had hit record highs in 2021, this year will be very different. According to The New York Times, "the start-up world's easy money ebullience of the last decade" is disappearing, and research firm PitchBook's data shows that in the first three months of 2022, venture funding in the US is valued at $71 billion. This is an 8% decrease compared to last year, which means that entrepreneurs need to be aware of the change that's taking place. "At the risk of sounding cliche, what goes up must go down. And likewise, as individual limited partners, investors in most small to mid-sized venture capital funds watch the market shrink their net worths, it's inevitable that you'd see caution everywhere," said Nathalie Molina Niño, Managing Director at Known Holdings, which helps entrepreneurs from underrepresented backgrounds raise funds and launch their companies. "From fewer checks being written to venture capital fund managers, to venture capital firms starting to spray less and pray more, fear in venture is one of the few things in finance that actually does trickle down," she told Insider."Investors find themselves being more discerning, being a masterful storyteller suddenly becomes a critical competitive edge, and  decks, as arcane as it sounds, are still the storytelling instrument of choice."Insider regularly publishes pitch decks from startup founders who have raised capital, and while they're all different, they also share many techniques. We've sorted through our library to pinpoint what makes a successful pitch deck.Dominic-Madori Davis contributed to this article.Introduce your team to establish credibility.Fabric CEO Faisal Masud.Courtesy of FabricBusiness: Fabric, an e-commerce platformRaised: $9.5 million seed round in October 2020The cofounders of Fabric started their pitch deck by introducing themselves and listing the major companies where they've worked. This establishes credibility and shows how their experience relates to the market their product serves.Almanac, an open-source platform, also used this approach, though not on the first slide, to demonstrate how its team was positioned to solve the problem its product addresses.See Fabric's pitch deck here.Tell a story before introducing your product.Almanac CEO and cofounder Adam Nathan.AlmanacBusiness: Almanac, an open-source platformRaised: $9 million seed round in May 2020One of the biggest mistakes Almanac CEO and cofounder Adam Nathan sees entrepreneurs make in their pitch decks is introducing their product in the first slides. Instead, they should tell a story to create empathy around the trend, the customer, and their pain points, he said.Yac, a voice-messaging app, also used this method in its first slides by giving compelling stats and adding up the cost to build its case.See Almanac's pitch deck here.Set up the problem and how your product solves it.Songe LaRon and Dave Salvant created Squire to help modernize barbershops.Courtesy of SquireBusiness: Squire, a bookings-and-sales platform for barbershopsRaised: $59 million Series C in December 2020Squire's cofounders, Dave Salvant and Songe LaRon, started their deck by presenting the problem their barbershop-booking platform solves — a common method that they learned from the startup accelerator Y Combinator. The following slides explained how Squire served multiple business functions, eliminating a barbershop's need for several apps for different services.See Squire's pitch deck here.Explain how your product or service works.One of the most important aspects of a pitch deck is its story, said Andrew Parker, the founder of the senior-service startup Papa.Courtesy of PapaBusiness: Papa, an eldercare providerRaised: $18 million Series C in April 2021Papa's Series A round of $10 million was led by the Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian. Since its launch, the startup has raised a total of $91 million. One way its founder, Andrew Parker, achieved this was through an effective pitch deck that guided investors through his service. He not only visualized the experience for the customer but explained how the service recruited and vetted its caregivers.See Papa's pitch deck here.Show what your product looks like.MediaKits founders Kieran O'Brien and Casey Adams.Michael FribergBusiness: Mediakits, a digital resume company Raised: $1 million pre-seed in October 2021During fundraising, Kieran O'Brien and Casey Adams found success showing investors what their product looked like, in addition to walking them through how to navigate the website and build a digital resume. "Being able to pitch investors with a visual representation of what the product's going to look like," O'Brien told Insider. "Even if it doesn't actually exist yet, is a leg up for a founder." See Mediakit's pitch deck here.Explain how your company is different from the competition.Rachael Twumasi-Corson and Joycelyn Mate, the founders of Afrocenchix.AfrocenchixBusiness: Afrocenchix, a beauty and haircare brandRaised: $1.2 million seed round in June 2021Afrocenchix first laid out how it planned to dominate a growing market. Then its cofounders, Rachael Twumasi-Corson and Joycelyn Mate, used a chart to show how its product was distinct from others on the market, specifically as a nontoxic, sustainable, and direct-to-consumer brand.See Afrocenchix's pitch deck here.Demonstrate your company's ability to retain customers or clients.Alix Greenberg is the founder and CEO of ArtSugar, an online art gallery and store.Courtesy of Alix GreenbergBusiness: ArtSugar, an online art store and galleryRaised: $500,000 in July 2021In her pitch deck, ArtSugar's founder, Alix Greenberg, broke down the ArtSugar customer and how her company met their art-shopping habits. She took it one step further and provided survey data on how likely existing customers were to return for another purchase.A-Champs, which makes connected fitness devices, also broke down its target customers and the pain points they face. The beauty brand Afrocenchix highlighted customer retention in its deck as well, while showing it had plenty of room to grow with new customers.See ArtSugar's pitch deck here.Highlight your company's growth since its launch.A-Champs, based in Barcelona and Shanghai, was accepted into the Techstars sports-tech program last year.Courtesy of A-ChampsBusiness: A-Champs, a line of connected devices paired with training programs to gamify fitnessRaised: $124,000 seed round in spring 2020Kilian Saekel, a cofounder of A-Champs, demonstrated his company's progress by dedicating a slide to revenue, showing how he'd made $10,000 in his first month in business and $600,000 in his first year.Papa, an eldercare startup, also did this, using a timeline of its milestones since its launch to show investors that the company was scaling.Read A-Champ's pitch deck here.Liven it up with bright colors and visuals that stay true to your brand.Tomi Aiyeola, Lotanna Ezeike, and Ahmad Karkouti of the invoicing firm XPO.XPOBusiness: XPO, an invoicing firm for creatorsRaised: $1 million in August 2021XPO's cofounder Lotanna Ezeike chose to use bright colors and emojis in his team's pitch deck to keep it bright and youthful. When many startups use the same blues and neutral tones, colors like purple and pink stand out.ArtSugar and Afrocenchix also went this route by using colors and graphics consistent with their branding.See XPO's pitch deck here.Incorporate reviews from reputable clients.Justin Mitchell, Hunter McKinley, and Jordan Walker of Yac.Courtesy of YacBusiness: Yac, a voice-messing appRaised: $7.5 million Series A in January 2021Throughout its deck, Yac inserted client reviews and testimonies to demonstrate how its product was already being used. It focused on clients with name recognition to build credibility, or "social proof," that the product was successful.See Yac's pitch deck here.Make your "ask" slide very specific.Misha's Kind Foods TeamMisha's Kind FoodsBusiness: Misha's Kind Foods, a dairy-free cheese brandRaised: $3 million seed round in April 2021When it came time to ask for an investment, Misha's pitch deck was very clear: The company included the $5 million it was seeking and how it would use the fund for marketing initiatives and infrastructure expansion."Be succinct, get to the point," said company co-founder Aaron Bullock of asking for investments.See Misha's pitch deck here. Understand the investor's background and target the pitch accordingly.Pitching is an important part of scaling your startup.Seraphina TherapeuticsBusiness: Seraphina Therapeutics, a wellness company selling a dietary supplement called Fatty15.Raised: $11.2 million Series A in October 2021Stephanie Venn-Watson's research on dolphins led to a discovery of an essential fat, C15, now sold as a dietary supplement through Seraphina Therapeutics. As a scientist, Venn-Watson said the most challenging part of building her pitch deck was transforming the rigorous scientific studies into information investors would understand. Depending on who Venn-Watson was pitching to, she would gear the conversation towards their expertise."Depending upon what their background was, we either lean heavier into the science background or into the commercialization," said Venn-Watson. "We want to be able to successfully meet the needs of these different investors."See Fatty15's pitch deck here.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 18th, 2022

Here Is Why Bargain Hunters Would Love Fast-paced Mover Avnet (AVT)

Avnet (AVT) made it through our 'Fast-Paced Momentum at a Bargain' screen and could be a great choice for investors looking for stocks that have gained strong momentum recently but are still trading at reasonable prices. Momentum investing is essentially the opposite of the tried-and-tested Wall Street adage -- "buy low and sell high." Investors following this investing style typically avoid betting on cheap stocks and waiting long for them to recover. They believe instead that one could make far more money in lesser time by "buying high and selling higher."Who doesn't like betting on fast-moving trending stocks? But determining the right entry point isn't easy. Often, these stocks lose momentum once their valuation moves ahead of their future growth potential. In such a situation, investors find themselves loaded up on expensive shares with limited to no upside or even a downside. So, going all-in on momentum could be risky at times.A safer approach could be investing in bargain stocks with recent price momentum. While the Zacks Momentum Style Score (part of the Zacks Style Scores system) helps identify great momentum stocks by paying close attention to trends in a stock's price or earnings, our 'Fast-Paced Momentum at a Bargain' screen comes handy in spotting fast-moving stocks that are still attractively priced.There are several stocks that currently pass through the screen and Avnet (AVT) is one of them. Here are the key reasons why this stock is a great candidate.A dash of recent price momentum reflects growing interest of investors in a stock. With a four-week price change of 26.2%, the stock of this distributor of electronic components is certainly well-positioned in this regard.While any stock can see a spike in price for a short period, it takes a real momentum player to deliver positive returns for a longer time frame. AVT meets this criterion too, as the stock gained 18.6% over the past 12 weeks.Moreover, the momentum for AVT is fast paced, as the stock currently has a beta of 1.28. This indicates that the stock moves 28% higher than the market in either direction.Given this price performance, it is no surprise that AVT has a Momentum Score of B, which indicates that this is the right time to enter the stock to take advantage of the momentum with the highest probability of success.In addition to a favorable Momentum Score, an upward trend in earnings estimate revisions has helped AVT earn a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). Our research shows that the momentum-effect is quite strong among Zacks Rank #1 and #2 stocks. That's because as covering analysts raise their earnings estimates for a stock, more and more investors take an interest in it, helping its price race to keep up. You can see the complete list of today's Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stocks here >>>>Most importantly, despite possessing fast-paced momentum features, AVT is trading at a reasonable valuation. In terms of Price-to-Sales ratio, which is considered as one of the best valuation metrics, the stock looks quite cheap now. AVT is currently trading at 0.20 times its sales. In other words, investors need to pay only 20 cents for each dollar of sales.So, AVT appears to have plenty of room to run, and that too at a fast pace.In addition to AVT, there are several other stocks that currently pass through our 'Fast-Paced Momentum at a Bargain' screen. You may consider investing in them and start looking for the newest stocks that fit these criteria.This is not the only screen that could help you find your next winning stock pick. Based on your personal investing style, you may choose from over 45 Zacks Premium Screens that are strategically created to beat the market.However, keep in mind that the key to a successful stock-picking strategy is to ensure that it produced profitable results in the past. You could easily do that with the help of the Zacks Research Wizard. In addition to allowing you to backtest the effectiveness of your strategy, the program comes loaded with some of our most successful stock-picking strategies.Click here to sign up for a free trial to the Research Wizard today. 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 Avnet, Inc. (AVT): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksMay 18th, 2022

Boise Cascade (BCC) Shows Fast-paced Momentum But Is Still a Bargain Stock

Boise Cascade (BCC) made it through our 'Fast-Paced Momentum at a Bargain' screen and could be a great choice for investors looking for stocks that have gained strong momentum recently but are still trading at reasonable prices. Momentum investing is essentially an exception to the idea of "buying low and selling high." Investors following this style of investing are usually not interested in betting on cheap stocks and waiting long for them to recover. Instead, they believe that "buying high and selling higher" is the way to make far more money in lesser time.Who doesn't like betting on fast-moving trending stocks? But determining the right entry point isn't easy. Often, these stocks lose momentum once their valuation moves ahead of their future growth potential. In such a situation, investors find themselves loaded up on expensive shares with limited to no upside or even a downside. So, going all-in on momentum could be risky at times.A safer approach could be investing in bargain stocks with recent price momentum. While the Zacks Momentum Style Score (part of the Zacks Style Scores system) helps identify great momentum stocks by paying close attention to trends in a stock's price or earnings, our 'Fast-Paced Momentum at a Bargain' screen comes handy in spotting fast-moving stocks that are still attractively priced.Boise Cascade (BCC) is one of the several great candidates that made it through the screen. While there are numerous reasons why this stock is a great choice, here are the most vital ones:A dash of recent price momentum reflects growing interest of investors in a stock. With a four-week price change of 9%, the stock of this engineered wood products and plywood company is certainly well-positioned in this regard.While any stock can see a spike in price for a short period, it takes a real momentum player to deliver positive returns for a longer time frame. BCC meets this criterion too, as the stock gained 1.1% over the past 12 weeks.Moreover, the momentum for BCC is fast paced, as the stock currently has a beta of 1.5. This indicates that the stock moves 50% higher than the market in either direction.Given this price performance, it is no surprise that BCC has a Momentum Score of A, which indicates that this is the right time to enter the stock to take advantage of the momentum with the highest probability of success.In addition to a favorable Momentum Score, an upward trend in earnings estimate revisions has helped BCC earn a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Our research shows that the momentum-effect is quite strong among Zacks Rank #1 and #2 stocks. That's because as covering analysts raise their earnings estimates for a stock, more and more investors take an interest in it, helping its price race to keep up. You can see the complete list of today's Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stocks here >>>>Most importantly, despite possessing fast-paced momentum features, BCC is trading at a reasonable valuation. In terms of Price-to-Sales ratio, which is considered as one of the best valuation metrics, the stock looks quite cheap now. BCC is currently trading at 0.39 times its sales. In other words, investors need to pay only 39 cents for each dollar of sales.So, BCC appears to have plenty of room to run, and that too at a fast pace.In addition to BCC, there are several other stocks that currently pass through our 'Fast-Paced Momentum at a Bargain' screen. You may consider investing in them and start looking for the newest stocks that fit these criteria.This is not the only screen that could help you find your next winning stock pick. Based on your personal investing style, you may choose from over 45 Zacks Premium Screens that are strategically created to beat the market.However, keep in mind that the key to a successful stock-picking strategy is to ensure that it produced profitable results in the past. You could easily do that with the help of the Zacks Research Wizard. In addition to allowing you to backtest the effectiveness of your strategy, the program comes loaded with some of our most successful stock-picking strategies.Click here to sign up for a free trial to the Research Wizard today. 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 Boise Cascade, L.L.C. (BCC): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksMay 18th, 2022

Why Fast-paced Mover Interface (TILE) Is a Great Choice for Value Investors

Interface (TILE) could be a great choice for investors looking to buy stocks that have gained strong momentum recently but are still trading at reasonable prices. It is one of the several stocks that made it through our 'Fast-Paced Momentum at a Bargain' screen. Momentum investing is essentially an exception to the idea of "buying low and selling high." Investors following this style of investing are usually not interested in betting on cheap stocks and waiting long for them to recover. Instead, they believe that "buying high and selling higher" is the way to make far more money in lesser time.Everyone likes betting on fast-moving trending stocks, but it isn't easy to determine the right entry point. These stocks often lose momentum when their future growth potential fails to justify their swelled-up valuation. In that phase, investors find themselves invested in shares that have limited to no upside or even a downside. So, betting on a stock just by looking at the traditional momentum parameters could be risky at times.A safer approach could be investing in bargain stocks with recent price momentum. While the Zacks Momentum Style Score (part of the Zacks Style Scores system) helps identify great momentum stocks by paying close attention to trends in a stock's price or earnings, our 'Fast-Paced Momentum at a Bargain' screen comes handy in spotting fast-moving stocks that are still attractively priced.There are several stocks that currently pass through the screen and Interface (TILE) is one of them. Here are the key reasons why this stock is a great candidate.Investors' growing interest in a stock is reflected in its recent price increase. A price change of 4.7% over the past four weeks positions the stock of this carpet tile company well in this regard.While any stock can see a spike in price for a short period, it takes a real momentum player to deliver positive returns for a longer time frame. TILE meets this criterion too, as the stock gained 4.6% over the past 12 weeks.Moreover, the momentum for TILE is fast paced, as the stock currently has a beta of 1.79. This indicates that the stock moves 79% higher than the market in either direction.Given this price performance, it is no surprise that TILE has a Momentum Score of A, which indicates that this is the right time to enter the stock to take advantage of the momentum with the highest probability of success.In addition to a favorable Momentum Score, an upward trend in earnings estimate revisions has helped TILE earn a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Our research shows that the momentum-effect is quite strong among Zacks Rank #1 and #2 stocks. That's because as covering analysts raise their earnings estimates for a stock, more and more investors take an interest in it, helping its price race to keep up. You can see the complete list of today's Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stocks here >>>>Most importantly, despite possessing fast-paced momentum features, TILE is trading at a reasonable valuation. In terms of Price-to-Sales ratio, which is considered as one of the best valuation metrics, the stock looks quite cheap now. TILE is currently trading at 0.66 times its sales. In other words, investors need to pay only 66 cents for each dollar of sales.So, TILE appears to have plenty of room to run, and that too at a fast pace.In addition to TILE, there are several other stocks that currently pass through our 'Fast-Paced Momentum at a Bargain' screen. You may consider investing in them and start looking for the newest stocks that fit these criteria.This is not the only screen that could help you find your next winning stock pick. Based on your personal investing style, you may choose from over 45 Zacks Premium Screens that are strategically created to beat the market.However, keep in mind that the key to a successful stock-picking strategy is to ensure that it produced profitable results in the past. You could easily do that with the help of the Zacks Research Wizard. In addition to allowing you to backtest the effectiveness of your strategy, the program comes loaded with some of our most successful stock-picking strategies.Click here to sign up for a free trial to the Research Wizard today. 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 Interface, Inc. (TILE): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksMay 18th, 2022

Is Janus Henderson Enterprise Institutional (JAAGX) a Strong Mutual Fund Pick Right Now?

Mutual Fund Report for JAAGX Mutual Fund Equity Report fund seekers should consider taking a look at Janus Henderson Enterprise Institutional (JAAGX). JAAGX holds a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 1 (Strong Buy), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.History of Fund/ManagerJanus Fund is based in Boston, MA, and is the manager of JAAGX. Janus Henderson Enterprise Institutional made its debut in September of 1993, and since then, JAAGX has accumulated about $666.19 million in assets, per the most up-to-date date available. The fund is currently managed by Brian Demain who has been in charge of the fund since November of 2007.PerformanceOf course, investors look for strong performance in funds. JAAGX has a 5-year annualized total return of 13.52% and is in the top third among its category peers. But if you are looking for a shorter time frame, it is also worth looking at its 3-year annualized total return of 9.68%, which places it in the middle third during this time-frame.When looking at a fund's performance, it is also important to note the standard deviation of the returns. The lower the standard deviation, the less volatility the fund experiences. Compared to the category average of 22.27%, the standard deviation of JAAGX over the past three years is 20.49%. The standard deviation of the fund over the past 5 years is 18.14% compared to the category average of 19.86%. This makes the fund less volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.Risk FactorsWith a 5-year beta of 1.03, the fund is likely to be as volatile as the market average. Because alpha represents a portfolio's performance on a risk-adjusted basis relative to a benchmark, which is the S&P 500 in this case, one should pay attention to this metric as well. The fund has produced a negative alpha over the past 5 years of -0.13, which shows that managers in this portfolio find it difficult to pick securities that generate better-than-benchmark returns.HoldingsExamining the equity holdings of a mutual fund is also a valuable exercise. This can show us how the manager is applying their stated methodology, as well as if there are any inherent biases in their approach. For this particular fund, the focus is mostly on equities that are traded in the United States.Currently, this mutual fund is holding 90.19% stock in stocks, with an average market capitalization of $26.29 billion. The fund has the heaviest exposure to the following market sectors: Technology Other Finance With turnover at about 17%, this fund makes fewer trades than the average comparable fund.ExpensesAs competition heats up in the mutual fund market, costs become increasingly important. Compared to its otherwise identical counterpart, a low-cost product will be an outperformer, all other things being equal. Thus, taking a closer look at cost-related metrics is vital for investors. In terms of fees, JAAGX is a no load fund. It has an expense ratio of 0.71% compared to the category average of 1.15%. JAAGX is actually cheaper than its peers when you consider factors like cost.This fund requires a minimum initial investment of $0, while there is no minimum for each subsequent investment.Bottom LineOverall, Janus Henderson Enterprise Institutional ( JAAGX ) has a high Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively strong performance, average downside risk, and lower fees, Janus Henderson Enterprise Institutional ( JAAGX ) looks like a good potential choice for investors right now.Your research on the Mutual Fund Equity Report segment doesn't have to stop here. You can check out all the great mutual fund tools we have to offer by going to www.zacks.com/funds/mutual-funds to see the additional features we offer as well for additional information. For analysis of the rest of your portfolio, make sure to visit Zacks.com for our full suite of tools which will help you investigate all of your stocks and funds in one place. 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 Get Your Free (JAAGX): Fund Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksMay 18th, 2022

More than 23% of Elon Musk"s Twitter followers are spam or fake accounts, research groups say

The analysis was based on a system of 17 warning signals that point to an account being suspicious, two audit research groups said. Elon Musk himself acknowledged that his most-liked tweet only received 4.8 million tweets, dwarfed by the number of followers he has and the total number of active Twitter users.Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images Elon Musk's Twitter followers are likely 23% fake or spam accounts, two research groups says. Their analysis flagged users based on 17 warning signals that point to suspicious accounts. This comes as Musk disputes Twitter's estimates that fewer than 5% of its accounts are fake. More than 23.42% of billionaire Elon Musk's 93 million followers on Twitter are likely fake or spam accounts, according to a joint audit by two research groups published Sunday.The two groups, SparkToro and Followerwonk, said their definitions of "fake" and "spam" accounts might not be the same as Twitter's. They said they used a system of 17 warning signals, based on an algorithm that ran through 35,000 fake Twitter accounts bought by SparkToro and 50,000 accounts the teams marked as non-spam.If one of Musk's followers was flagged for multiple spam signals, they graded it as low quality or fake, they said.In total, they said that 70.23% of Musk's users were unlikely to be "authentic" or "active users who see his tweets."Fake accounts by the numbersAnalyzing all of Musk's nearly 100 million followers, they found that 73% have spam-correlated keywords on their profiles and that 71% use locations that don't match any known place name. And 41% of these accounts use display names that match spam patterns, they said. Notably, 69% have also been inactive for more than 120 days, the groups added.The research groups also pointed out how 83% of Musk's followers had a "suspiciously small number of followers," and 78% follow an "unusually small number of accounts."SparkToro's Rand Fishkin told Insider that what defines "small number" depends on the algorithm."For example, an account that's older or that tweets more may have a higher threshold, versus a newer account that tweets less and has a lower one," he wrote in an email.Other metrics the teams used include the age of the Twitter account, how many tweets it's made over an extended period of time, and whether it uses Twitter's default profile picture. As such, SparkToro said it defines fake accounts as "those that do not regularly have a human being personally composing the content of their tweets, consuming the activity on their timeline, or engaging in the Twitter ecosystem."On the other hand, Twitter defines monetizable daily active users as "people, organizations, or other accounts who logged in or were otherwise authenticated and accessed Twitter on any given day" through its paid products or platforms that show ads, according to the company's SEC filing for Q1 2022.The company hasn't publicly revealed its full method for classifying fake or spam accounts.SparkToro wrote in its analysis that some of the "fake accounts" according to its definition aren't necessarily problematic, such as bots that aggregate front page news stories or ones that tweet photos and links from restaurants around the world.But it said most of the spam accounts it flagged are guilty of peddling propaganda and disinformation, pushing phishing attempts or malware, manipulating stocks and cryptocurrencies, and trying to harass other users.It also noted that its analysis could be undercounting active users who don't tweet anything but browse their timelines, and that it also may not be flagging some sophisticated spam accounts.Still, the research groups said their analysis leans on a "conservative" estimate of what a fake or spam account is.Musk's Twitter bot debateThe assessment comes as Musk said on Friday that he's pausing his $44 billion purchase of Twitter until it proves the accuracy of its claim that less than 5% of its users are fake.His announcement prompted a heated online exchange between him and Parag Agrawal, Twitter's CEO, in which the latter defended Twitter's numbers and tweeted that it suspends half a million spam accounts a day.Musk responded with a poop emoji and questioned how advertisers with Twitter would know what their money gets them. One analyst firm said Musk's apparent hesitancy to buy the platform might be a ploy for him to negotiate a lower price or back out of the deal.But Twitter said on Tuesday that it's remaining firm on the price originally agreed with Musk, at $54.20 a share.The Tesla CEO and founder recently acknowledged that his own Twitter account's numbers may be inflated.Speaking on Monday at a tech conference in Miami, he pointed out that one of the most-liked tweets on the platform (his own tweet about buying Coca-Cola) has 4.8 million likes compared to Twitter's estimate of 217 million total active users.—Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 28, 2022 Musk said his worry lies with whether Twitter's count is incorrect by "an order of magnitude.""Something doesn't add up here, and my concern here is not is it 5, or 7 or 8%, but is it potentially 80% or 90% bots?" he said.SparkToro and Followerwonk's estimates say around 19.42% of all active Twitter accounts are likely spam or fake accounts, based on a sample of 44,058 random accounts.The two groups said it's not unusual for prominent or large Twitter accounts like Musk's to have a high number of fake followers. For example, SparkToro's follower audit tool says that nearly half of the followers on President Joe Biden's Twitter account are fake.In October 2018, SparkToro also ran an analysis on former President Donald Trump similar to the one conducted on Musk's account and found that 61% of Trump's followers were bots, spam, propaganda, or inactive accounts.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 18th, 2022

Social Media Companies Vowed To Stop Videos of Terror Attacks. Buffalo Showed They Have More Work To Do

Three years after social media platforms committed to put an end to viral videos of terrorist attacks on their platforms, the attack in Buffalo, New York, has revealed that their efforts are still a work in progress. A self-professed white supremacist targeted Black shoppers at a Buffalo supermarket on Saturday, killing 10 people and injuring… Three years after social media platforms committed to put an end to viral videos of terrorist attacks on their platforms, the attack in Buffalo, New York, has revealed that their efforts are still a work in progress. A self-professed white supremacist targeted Black shoppers at a Buffalo supermarket on Saturday, killing 10 people and injuring three others, in what authorities said was a racist attack. He livestreamed his rampage via Twitch, a streaming platform owned by Amazon. Twitch said it took down the broadcast within two minutes of the violence starting—but that was enough time for copies of the video to be downloaded and shared widely on social media platforms over the weekend. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] Many versions of these videos had been edited—with added text or blurring or cropping—in apparent successful attempts to evade the platforms’ automated removal systems, according to Jacob Berntsson, the head of policy and research at Tech Against Terrorism, a U.N.-backed project for countering online extremism. Copies of the video were circulating on Twitter and Facebook on Saturday and Sunday, according to multiple media reports. “He knew that as long as there was time for people to watch and download, then this would spread [online] regardless of how quickly Twitch took it down,” said Berntsson in an interview on Monday, referring to the attacker. “Clearly an audience was ready and prepared to download this kind of stuff.” The Buffalo shooter had openly shared his plans to target people of color in a livestreamed mass shooting for months on the chat app Discord, according to Bloomberg. He used the app to point people toward his livestream on Twitch, the report said. Discord did not respond to a request for comment. Inspired by previous attacks Live-streamed attacks by white supremacists are a potent radicalization tool for future extremists, and platforms have struggled to remove edited copies of the videos of past attacks. In March 2019, a white supremacist gunman in New Zealand massacred 51 people at two mosques in the city of Christchurch, livestreamed on Facebook. Months later, a man with a camera on his helmet attacked a synagogue in Halle, Germany, killing two and injuring two others, livestreamed on Twitch. Videos of both attacks were shared widely on social media platforms, prompting a game of whack-a-mole between tech companies and users. Read More: ‘A Game of Whack-a-Mole.’ Why Facebook and Others Are Struggling to Delete Footage of the New Zealand Shooting The Buffalo shooter was directly radicalized by those videos. In a manifesto posted online shortly before the attack, seen by TIME, the Buffalo shooter said that he was inspired by the Christchurch attacker’s politics, and that he decided to live stream his own attack in order to inspire others. He also said he chose to stream on Twitch because it had taken the platform 35 minutes to remove the livestream of the Halle attack. Compared to the Halle attack, the two minutes that it took Twitch to remove the video of the Buffalo attack speaks to the progress tech companies have made since 2019. “That’s a very strong response time considering the challenges of live content moderation, and shows good progress,” Twitch said in a statement to TIME on Monday, adding that it was working hard to stop copies of the video being uploaded. Facebook’s parent company, Meta, and Twitter said that they had designated the videos under their violence and extremism policies shortly after the shooting, and were removing copies of it from their platforms, as well as blocking links to external sites where it was hosted. Read More: ‘There’s No Such Thing As a Lone Wolf.’ The Online Movement That Spawned the Buffalo Shooting Still, despite their progress, tech companies’ work so far has not been enough to stop the spread of these videos—either before they occur, during the livestream, or in the places where copies of the video are being reuploaded. “I’ll blame the platforms when we see other shooters inspired by this shooter,” says Dia Kayyali, the associate director for advocacy at digital rights group Mnemonic. “Once something is out there, it’s out there. That’s why the immediate response has to be very strong.” How platforms are cooperating to stop terrorist content The biggest platforms are now collaborating far more closely than they were at the time of other livestreamed terror attacks. In the immediate wake of the New Zealand attack, many of the world’s biggest social media platforms signed onto the “Christchurch Call,” a commitment to stamp out the spread of terrorist content online. Through an industry group, the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT), the platforms are sharing identifying data about the Buffalo shooter’s video and manifesto between them in order to make it easier to remove from their sites. Through GIFCT, platforms share encoded versions of of terrorist content, known as hashes, that they have removed from their sites, allowing, for example, Facebook to quickly and easily remove a copy of a terrorist video that had only appeared on Twitter up to that point. Hashing is an efficient way of representing a video, photograph or other document as a string of numbers, instead of sharing the file itself. It is impossible to recreate a piece of content from its hash code, but identical content will always return the same hash code if run through the same hashing algorithm. If the hash code of a new piece of content is matched to an entry in a hash database of known illegal content, the tech companies can remove the content even if their own staff have never come across it before. This makes hashing a good way for different platforms to share information about illegal content, such as terrorist propaganda or child abuse imagery, without having to distribute these files among themselves. Members include Facebook, YouTube, Amazon, Twitter and Discord. The problem with hashing, however, is that a bad actor only needs to alter the file a small amount—for example by changing its color profile, or cropping the picture—to return a totally different hash code, and thus evade the platforms’ automated removal mechanisms. So, three years after the Christchurch attack, the only tool required to fool the platforms’ automated systems for removing terrorist content is basic video editing software, plus some persistence. This is known as “adversarial” behavior and makes the problem of scrubbing terrorist content from the internet far more difficult, according to Kayyali and Berntsson. Read More: These Tech Companies Managed to Eradicate ISIS Content. But They’re Also Erasing Crucial Evidence of War Crimes While hashing’s shortcomings are not the root cause of the problem, some counterterrorism experts say they are one of the core weaknesses in the platforms’ current joint approach to terrorist content. “The patchy response from various platforms that are [members] of the hash-sharing database arguably suggests that improvements can be made,” Berntsson says. “Platforms should be able to handle this, but it still speaks to the fact that there are groups of people who are quite committed to circumventing the moderation tools that are in place.” In a statement, a Meta spokesperson said that hash-sharing is only a small part of the company’s approach to dealing with the Buffalo video. The company has teams of human moderators looking for copies that have slipped through, and has also uploaded copies of the video and manifesto to its own internal databases. The company says it uses machine learning tools to catch lookalike copies of videos in the database even if they have been altered—although it’s clear from the video’s proliferation that these tools are not 100% accurate. But beyond hash sharing, the gains made by Meta’s computational resources and workforce will only help remove copies of the video from Meta’s own platforms, not other social media sites like Twitter, Twitch or TikTok. This means many companies are duplicating the work needed to identify and take down altered copies of the videos, at a time when human bandwidth is often the bottleneck in terms of enforcement against terrorist content. A GIFCT spokesperson told TIME on Monday that the group was exploring ways other than hashing of sharing information about terrorist content between platforms, but said that those explorations had not progressed past their earliest stages. Some in the sector have lost patience with the platforms. “I’m sure there’s issues with people remixing content and only posting a clip of it, and all of the tricks that we know to try to evade automatic detection,” says Kayyali, who sits on civil-society advisory boards for both the Christchurch Call and GIFCT. “But still, I want to hear exactly the technical explanation from GIFCT about how it was possible that hours after [they shared hashes of the video among the platforms] the video was still out there.” A wider problem Even if big tech platforms could scrub terrorist content entirely, it still flourishes on smaller platforms. As the shooter’s open planning on Discord showed, many of the people circulating the video are likely collaborating through private messaging channels and smaller social networks. Only 22 people watched the Buffalo attacker’s Twitch stream in real time, according to the Washington Post. But this was all it took for some of them—presumably directed to the stream by the attacker himself on Discord—to download and spread the video far and wide. Most experts say that in addition to the big platforms, governments and the media also have a role to play. Under current U.S. law, domestic terrorists are not designated as terrorists in the same way that, for example, Islamist extremists are. This means platforms don’t have the legal certainty that they do when dealing with content from Al Qaeda and ISIS, which they have largely succeeded in scrubbing from their platforms. “Designation can help provide some more legal certainty and clarity for companies,” says Berntsson. His organization Tech Against Terrorism has its own tool similar to GIFCT for alerting platforms to terrorist content. And while the shooter said in his manifesto that he had been radicalized by the video circulating online of the Christchurch attack, racist conspiracy theories have entered into the political mainstream via other channels, including cable television. The Buffalo shooter spoke in his manifesto about his belief that white people were being intentionally replaced in the U.S. by people of other races—a conspiracy theory that has recently been picked up, and amplified, by the Fox TV show host Tucker Carlson and Republican politicians. “It doesn’t start when this individual presses ‘stream’ on Twitch,” says Berntsson. “It starts long before.” – WITH REPORTING BY VERA BERGENGRUEN/WASHINGTON, D.C......»»

Category: topSource: timeMay 17th, 2022

How Technology Is Transforming Retirement Preparation

People often say it’s never too early to start when it comes to retirement planning. However, many individuals feel a bit taken aback by the overall process and find it overwhelming. Fortunately, just as technology has caused a revolution in many parts of society, it has similarly affected how people get ready for retirement. Here […] People often say it’s never too early to start when it comes to retirement planning. However, many individuals feel a bit taken aback by the overall process and find it overwhelming. Fortunately, just as technology has caused a revolution in many parts of society, it has similarly affected how people get ready for retirement. Here are some specific ways technology assists them and those specializing in financial planning. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Walter Schloss Series in PDF Get the entire 10-part series on Walter Schloss in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues. (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q1 2022 hedge fund letters, conferences and more It Expands the Possibilities for Making Money The internet has significantly broadened and altered how people can make their incomes. Someone only needs a good connection to find work they can do from home. That might mean going onto an online job board and finding people willing to pay top dollar for your skills. It could also entail setting up an Etsy store, selling collectible items on eBay, or making small amounts of money by completing short, simple tasks for businesses. Many people pursue such possibilities because they want flexibility beyond what more conventional sources of income offer. However, others use side hustles to help them put aside more money for retirement. Some freelancers charge $100 per hour or more, depending on their specialties and the market demand. If you take a freelance role, you’re most likely self-employed and will need to periodically submit tax payments rather than having them taken out of your earnings. Earning money through a side project also gives you the freedom to capitalize on trends. Drone technology is one example of an area with numerous business opportunities. One market report expected this industry’s worth to climb from $8.5 billion to $12 billion between 2016 and 2021. You could take advantage of that progressively increasing interest by starting a business related to drones, such as one offering aerial photography or security. Online technology could help by enabling you to promote the company to a wider audience. Goal-Setting Helps Side Hustles Succeed The most appropriate way to use the internet to make money to put toward retirement depends on numerous factors, including your interests and abilities and the amount of time you can spend on the endeavor. However, in any case, it’s best to set some parameters for how you’ll use what you earn. You might decide that anything you earn on the side will go toward your retirement or that just a certain percentage will. Setting out those specifics from the start should help you stay committed. Another thing to be aware of is that it often takes longer than a person expects to make a business profitable. That’s why you may want to look for side hustles with few or no expenses at first. Launching a product-based business will likely mean you need to budget for supplies, shipping costs, and other essentials. However, your costs will probably be substantially lower if doing something like copywriting or transcription tasks. It Opens Opportunities for Automation Automation is like the internet in that it has been a game-changer for many industries and consumers. People using automated email platforms enjoy features that sort incoming messages by priority, sender, and message type. The tools used by many businesses allow workers to move away from tedious manual tasks and spend more time on highly rewarding activities. Automation is also starting to positively impact people interested in retirement planning and the professionals that assist them with it. However, it’s important not to view automated tools as replacements for humans but as additional options that might suit your retirement preparation needs. Additionally, people should not think of automation as a “set it and forget it” option. Most algorithms running these solutions are incredibly advanced, but they’re not guaranteed to be error-free. That’s why it’s smart to periodically monitor all settings and activities associated with financial automation. Then, you’ll have a better chance of catching anything amiss if it crops up. It’s also necessary to revisit any automated tools if your financial situation or goals change. Doing these simple things limits the possibility of surprises. Auto-Portability Could Reduce Cashouts Changing jobs could cut into your retirement savings, even if you don’t realize it at the time. U.S. federal law lets companies initiate mandatory distributions for people with retirement account balances of less than $5,000. Individuals have a set period to coordinate rollovers into a new employer’s plan in such cases. However, that process can be prohibitively complicated. Research indicated that more than 54% of workers with account balances under $5,000 chose to cash out those amounts rather than roll them over. However, doing that incurs penalties and taxes. People are increasingly advocating for auto-portability features built into employers’ retirement plans. In short, they would automatically transfer savings to new, active savings accounts in cases where the funds are subject to mandatory distributions. Some financial experts also believe the blockchain could be instrumental in helping people track their retirement accounts. Blockchain-based solutions may not be automated themselves, but they could complement others that are. For example, a person could use a blockchain tool to verify that an auto-portability tool worked as expected and that their funds are in the correct account. Robo-Advisers Provide Potential Investment Solutions So-called robo-advisers offer another possibility. Research from 2021 indicated that 3.5 million adults in the United States would try them that year. First, the customers that use them fill out a survey. Then, automated tools make investment decisions based on that data. Brian Walsh, a senior manager of financial planning at SoFi Technologies, said, “I think there’s value humans provide. But on the investment side, I think robos have a huge advantage in being cost-efficient.” Elsewhere, Vanguard polled 1,500 people to find out more about their loyalties regarding human-based and robo-advising methods. One of the survey questions asked participants to estimate their annual portfolio returns when using either a human adviser or an automated one. The people only using digital tools estimated returns of 24%. They also believed their returns would drop by 3% without using an automated advising platform. The customers who’d hired human advisers estimated their returns at 15% and perceived a 5% value-add to annual performance if they had not received that input. The results also showed that only 7% of people with human advisers would consider switching to an automated-only solution. It Provides Improved Visibility and Empowerment Even as people remain aware of their retirement years gradually nearing, many don’t take the necessary steps to get themselves as prepared as possible. As a case in point, a U.S Department of Labor study found that only 40% of Americans had calculated how much they’d need to retire. However, technology has made it extremely straightforward to figure out that all-important information with tools like free retirement calculators. These options vary slightly in how they work, but most give users an idea of how much they need to save per year to reach their goals by the time they retire. Calculators and similar tools can help people become more decisive about the specific things they do to plan for retirement. That’s useful since not all methods are equally lucrative. For example, high-yield savings accounts average just 3% in returns, while the stock market’s returns are often higher over time. Technology can help you make smarter financial decisions, even if you don’t plan to retire for decades. Some tools can track unusual changes in spending, such as if your cellphone bill is double the usual average amount. In such cases, you become alerted to possible issues so they don’t cause unforeseen problems. Other providers also sell specialized solutions that monitor for identity theft or other matters that could derail your retirement plans if left unchecked. Chatbots Make Investing More Accessible People often want to explore how investing could help them get closer to their retirement goals. However, they may fall short of those aspirations because investment opportunities seem out of reach. Some professionals in the retirement planning and investment world believe artificial intelligence (AI) and chatbots could break down some existing barriers. However, they wouldn’t necessarily make the automatic investment decisions like the previously described robo-advisers. Some chatbots might take questions on behalf of professionals who provide retirement planning services and are looking for new clients. They are already well-established options for supporting an organization’s customer service needs. Alternatively, they could provide answers to questions people might prefer posing to a chatbot. Employees at one retirement plan provider analyzed three years’ worth of questions customers asked the company’s chatbot. They categorized the queries to determine the most common reasons individuals utilized the service. The results showed that matters related to 401(k) plans were the most frequent, which was somewhat of a surprise. Grant Easterbrook is a co-founder of Dream Forward Solutions, which offered the chatbot. He said, “We assumed a lot of the questions the AI would get would be around investing, financial concerns, and priorities. Actually, the complexities and headaches of managing your own 401(k) is a much bigger burden than people give credit for.” Chatbots for Personal Banking and Budget Management It’s increasingly common for banks to have chatbots for customers, too. Maybe you have a goal to set a certain percentage of your monthly earnings aside for retirement. You might also want to curb a certain type of spending, such as dining out or getting beverages in coffee shops. Cleo is a chatbot that links with numerous popular banks. The tool lets you ask questions to keep your monthly spending on track. You could say something like, “Can I afford a meal delivery tonight?” The chatbot would respond based on your monthly budget and what’s left of it. Sticking to a budget can help you form better financial habits that help with retirement preparedness and overall stability. Plus, chatbots make it easier to weigh the pros and cons of potential purchases, getting valuable visibility before those transactions happen. You might say, “I wish I would have realized beforehand that the outfit I splurged on would wreck my budget for the rest of the month.” Chatbots can prevent such scenarios. These easy-to-use tools help people get budgetary recommendations and bank account visibility in ways that were not available before. They can feel more prepared for what will happen in their retirement years, even if that period of their life is still decades away. Specialty Websites Help People Get Need-To-Know Information It’s also important to recognize the impact technology has had on information accessibility overall. Before the internet was so widespread, people got retirement advice in person or by reading books. Those methods are still valid, but the online realm opens additional opportunities to learn and plan. The internet gives people instant access to a gigantic assortment of information on any topic imaginable, including retirement preparation. Although users must learn to differentiate between reputable and faulty information, there’s no denying that the internet has had a tremendous impact on how and when people access content. Someone could go on a site like Reddit and find firsthand perspectives from other individuals in similar situations trying various strategies to prepare for retirement. They might also decide to follow blogs from financial planning thought leaders or regularly visit websites that recommend hot stocks to add to their portfolio. Technology can also help you narrow down retirement options on a more personal level. For example, maybe you’re interested in learning more about living in a continuing care retirement community (CCRC) as you age. Statistics indicate approximately 80% of these facilities are nonprofits. They usually provide three levels of care, ranging from independent living to total assistance with daily tasks. You might start researching which facilities have the amenities you want and offer desirable locations. Online reviews from residents and loved ones can be beneficial for learning more about the experiences of living at one in your area or wherever you plan to retire. Similarly, maybe you’ve had your heart set on spending your golden years in another country. The internet provides a wealth of information about the cost of living, quality of health care, ease of immigration for retirees, and other specifics to help you learn about a future potential home. It Helps Financial Professionals Market Their Services More Effectively Technology has also greatly improved how people specializing in financial services and retirement planning promote their services to potential customers. Before the internet, people found out about options through word-of-mouth or maybe by opening the phone book. The internet substantially changed that through websites and search engine listings. It only takes interested persons a few minutes to find advisers in their area and read about their experience and qualifications. Advisers who use technology effectively are better able to market to different demographics. That’s crucial, especially since people start retirement planning at numerous stages of life. One poll found that two-thirds of people from the millennial and Gen X generations have started planning for their retirements. That’s also true for 42% of the Gen Z population. The research also showed that people feel uncertain about the process regardless of age and need guidance. That sentiment opens possibilities for retirement planners to help. They’ll be best able to do that when they understand the needs of people from various age groups. Study Shows the Pandemic Changed Tech Utilization for Advisers Financial specialists have recently started viewing technology as essential for helping them meet clients’ expectations, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. A study from Vestwell revealed that 85% of advisers were putting a bigger emphasis on technology to run their businesses. While commenting about the study, Adam Schumm, Vestwell’s CEO, said, “In a lot of ways, the pandemic served as a tipping point for the industry. Advisers realized that they needed to adapt to the changing times by using tech, while personal finance and retirement became a hot topic amidst the pandemic, making it a perfect storm for the industry.” Another finding from the study was that 45% of advisers found social media more effective now than in previous years. Plus, 25% said it was their most effective way of reaching out to customers. Brian Guerra, Vestwell’s vice president and head of marketing, explained that social media offers mutual benefits. “When it comes to an adviser and their practice, it’s a two-way street: Advisers use tools like LinkedIn to find leads, and leads use these tools to vet and learn about advisers. And I don’t think we’re at a plateau yet ⁠— advisers know social media is important, but not all have fully leveraged it yet. Those who are able to incorporate it into their practices effectively will definitely have a leg up,” he said. How Will Technology Help You Plan to Retire? The examples here show you have no shortage of options when thinking about how you’ll apply technology to your retirement-planning efforts. If you’re already familiar with using technology in everyday life, seeing how it aligns with your retirement goals could help you feel more in control of your future. Alternatively, if you don’t consider yourself tech-savvy currently, that’s no problem. Consider starting small, such as by using a retirement calculator or a budget tracker. Once you become accustomed to how those work, you’ll likely feel more confident about expanding your adoption of technology. It’s important to remember that technology will undoubtedly keep transforming how people plan for retirement. Staying abreast of that continual progress can help you gauge which new solutions might be most valuable for you and your financial goals now and into the future. Article by April Miller, Due About the Author April Miller is a writer, editor, and avid ongoing learner. Particularly, April is passionate about helping people learn how to use technology to save money, find financial opportunities, work smarter, plan for retirement, and live their best lives. Updated on May 17, 2022, 4:02 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: valuewalkMay 17th, 2022

Trump-era special counsel John Durham appeared in person in court as the first trial from his 3-year investigation kicked off

"This case is an injustice," a lawyer for Michael Sussmann argued Tuesday, as the first trial from John Durham's special counsel inquiry kicked off. Michael Sussmann arrived at court Monday for jury selection in the first trial from John Durham's special counsel inquiry.Evan Vucci/AP Photo The first trial from John Durham's special counsel inquiry kicked off with opening arguments. A prosecutor said lawyer Michael Sussmann lied to the FBI to "inject" it into the 2016 election. Sussmann's defense team said he never lied to the FBI and never would. Donald Trump spent his final months in the White House seeking vindication, predicting that a special counsel would prove ahead of the 2020 election that the Russia investigation was rooted in a "deep state" conspiracy.But no such word ever came from John Durham, the special counsel examining the origins of the Trump-Russia inquiry. In March 2021, two months after leaving office, Trump was apparently still smarting over the silence when he released a statement asking, "Where's Durham? Is he a living, breathing human being? Will there ever be a Durham report?"More than a year after Trump's sarcastic statement, Durham has provided proof of life, emerging this week to sit in on the first trial stemming from his special counsel office's three-year investigation.A jury in Washington, DC, heard opening arguments Tuesday in the trial of Michael Sussmann, a onetime lawyer for the Hillary Clinton campaign, who stands charged with lying to the FBI during a 2016 meeting about possible links between Trump and Russia. The opening arguments painted dueling portraits of Sussmann, a former federal prosecutor and onetime partner at the law firm Perkins Coie with contacts at the highest levels of the law enforcement and intelligence communities.In a 20-minute opening argument, a prosecutor from Durham's office said Sussmann falsely told the FBI's general counsel at the time, James Baker, that he was not acting on behalf of any client when he presented odd internet data showing communications between servers connected to the Trump Organization and Alfa Bank, a Kremlin-linked financial institution. The prosecutor, Brittain Shaw, said Sussmann was actually working on behalf of the Clinton campaign but concealed that client relationship to give his tip more credibility, in hopes of kicking off an investigation that would "inject the FBI into a presidential election."Sussmann lied, she said, to "direct the power and resources of the FBI to his own ends, to serve the agendas of his clients."A defense lawyer for Sussman, Michael Bosworth, told jurors flatly that Durham's theory for the case "doesn't make sense." At the time of the 2016 meeting, he said, the Clinton campaign wanted media coverage of the internet research showing a possible communications backchannel between the Trump Organization and the Russian bank. But the FBI looked into the supposed link and determined it was unsubstantiated.Sussmann, he said, met with Baker so the FBI would not be caught flat-footed by a story the New York Times was preparing to publish. "He went to the FBI to help the FBI," Bosworth said."This meeting was the opposite of what they wanted," he added, referring to the Clinton campaign. The trial is expected to feature testimony from FBI agents, Baker and prominent Democratic figures, including former Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook and the campaign's general counsel, Marc Elias, a former Perkins Coie partner and leading voting rights advocate.For Durham's office, the trial comes with high stakes. An acquittal would fuel questions about the cost and purpose of the inquiry, which commenced in the spring of 2019. (In October 2020, then-Attorney General William Barr conferred special counsel status on Durham, a move that has preserved the investigation into the Biden administration.)A guilty verdict would almost surely galvanize Trump and his supporters, who have long looked to Durham to uncover evidence of bias and a "deep-state" plot against the former president. But, in the Sussmann case, Durham's office has presented the FBI as the victim — "used and manipulated," as Shaw put it Tuesday, to deliver an "October surprise" that would harm Trump."We are here because the FBI is our institution. It should not be used as a political tool for anyone — not Republicans, not Democrats, not anyone," she said.An earlier prosecution resulted in Kevin Clinesmith, a former FBI lawyer, pleading guilty in 2020 to altering an email that federal authorities relied on to renew court-authorized surveillance of former Trump advisor Carter Paige. Clinesmith was sentenced in January 2021 to 12 months of probation.In another case, Durham's office charged Russia analyst Igor Danchenko with lying to the FBI. Danchenko was a source for the so-called Steele dossier — a since-discredited compilation of opposition research about purported links between Trump and Russia — and he is set to stand trial later this year.In Sussmann's case, Durham is expected to call Baker, the former FBI general counsel, as a star witness. But in the opening argument, Bosworth highlighted past testimony from Baker in which he could not recall portions of the 2016 meeting with Sussmann."You will see Mr. Baker's memory is [as] clear as mud," Bosworth said.Sussmann has not just denied lying to the FBI. His defense team has raised a legal argument that, even if he did lie, the false statement made no difference because the FBI was well aware that he represented the Clinton campaign, the Democratic National Committee, and Rodney Joffe, a tech executive involved in the internet research.Ahead of the trial, Sussmann's defense team and legal experts noted the extensive detail of court filings from the Durham team. Conservative news outlets have picked up on the filings as evidence of nefarious conduct by the Clinton campaign, but the narratives have often been inaccurate.In the detail of the charging papers against Sussmann, some legal experts saw a so-called "speaking indictment" intended to tell a broader story rather than lay out a single false statement offense.Bosworth, in his final words to jurors Tuesday, described the prosecution as an "injustice.""As jurors, you have the extra responsibility to do justice in this case. And as jurors, you have the extra responsibility to prevent injustice. This case is an injustice," he said. "And I expect when all of the evidence is in, you will agree."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 17th, 2022

Trump once asked, "Where"s Durham?" The special counsel is sitting in on the trial of a Clinton campaign lawyer.

"This case is an injustice," a lawyer for Michael Sussmann argued Tuesday, as the first trial from John Durham's special counsel inquiry kicked off. Michael Sussmann arrived at court Monday for jury selection in the first trial from John Durham's special counsel inquiry.Evan Vucci/AP Photo The first trial from John Durham's special counsel inquiry kicked off with opening arguments. A prosecutor said lawyer Michael Sussmann lied to the FBI to "inject" it into the 2016 election. Sussmann's defense team said he never lied to the FBI and never would. Donald Trump spent his final months in the White House seeking vindication, predicting that a special counsel would prove ahead of the 2020 election that the Russia investigation was rooted in a "deep state" conspiracy.But no such word ever came from John Durham, the special counsel examining the origins of the Trump-Russia inquiry. In March 2021, over a month after leaving office, Trump was apparently still smarting over the silence when he released a statement asking, "Where's Durham? Is he a living, breathing human being? Will there ever be a Durham report?"Durham has given proof of life. More than a year after Trump's sarcastic statement, Durham emerged this week to sit in on the first trial stemming from his special counsel office's three-year investigation.A jury in Washington, DC, heard opening arguments Tuesday in the trial of Michael Sussmann, a onetime lawyer for the Hillary Clinton campaign, who stands charged with lying to the FBI during a 2016 meeting about possible links between Trump and Russia. The opening arguments painted dueling portraits of Sussmann, a former federal prosecutor and onetime partner at the law firm Perkins Coie with contacts at the highest levels of the law enforcement and intelligence communities.In a 20-minute opening argument, a prosecutor from Durham's office said Sussmann falsely told the FBI's general counsel at the time, James Baker, that he was not acting on behalf of any client when he presented odd internet data showing communications between servers connected to the Trump Organization and Alfa Bank, a Kremlin-linked financial institution. The prosecutor, Brittain Shaw, said Sussmann was actually working on behalf of the Clinton campaign but concealed that client relationship to give his tip more credibility, in hopes of kicking off an investigation that would "inject the FBI into a presidential election."Sussmann lied, she said, to "direct the power and resources of the FBI to his own ends, to serve the agendas of his clients."A defense lawyer for Sussman, Michael Bosworth, told jurors flatly that Durham's theory for the case "doesn't make sense." At the time of the 2016 meeting, he said, the Clinton campaign wanted media coverage of the internet research showing a possible communications backchannel between the Trump Organization and the Russian bank. But the FBI looked into the supposed link and determined it was unsubstantiated.Sussmann, he said, met with Baker so the FBI would not be caught flat-footed by a story the New York Times was preparing to publish. "He went to the FBI to help the FBI," Bosworth said."This meeting was the opposite of what they wanted," he added, referring to the Clinton campaign. The trial is expected to feature testimony from FBI agents, Baker and prominent Democratic figures, including former Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook and the campaign's general counsel, Marc Elias, a former Perkins Coie partner and leading voting rights advocate.For Durham's office, the trial comes with high stakes. An acquittal would fuel questions about the cost and purpose of the inquiry, which commenced in the spring of 2019. (In October 2020, then-Attorney General William Barr conferred special counsel status on Durham, a move that has preserved the investigation into the Biden administration.)A guilty verdict would almost surely galvanize Trump and his supporters, who have long looked to Durham to uncover evidence of bias and a "deep-state" plot against the former president. But, in the Sussmann case, Durham's office has presented the FBI as the victim — "used and manipulated," as Shaw put it Tuesday, to deliver an "October surprise" that would harm Trump."We are here because the FBI is our institution. It should not be used as a political tool for anyone — not Republicans, not Democrats, not anyone," she said.An earlier prosecution resulted in Kevin Clinesmith, a former FBI lawyer, pleading guilty in 2020 to altering an email that federal authorities relied on to renew court-authorized surveillance of former Trump advisor Carter Paige. Clinesmith was sentenced in January 2021 to 12 months of probation.In another case, Durham's office charged Russia analyst Igor Danchenko with lying to the FBI. Danchenko was a source for the so-called Steele dossier — a since-discredited compilation of opposition research about purported links between Trump and Russia — and he is set to stand trial later this year.In Sussmann's case, Durham is expected to call Baker, the former FBI general counsel, as a star witness. But in the opening argument, Bosworth highlighted past testimony from Baker in which he could not recall portions of the 2016 meeting with Sussmann."You will see Mr. Baker's memory is [as] clear as mud," Bosworth said.Sussmann has not just denied lying to the FBI. His defense team has raised a legal argument that, even if he did lie, the false statement made no difference because the FBI was well aware that he represented the Clinton campaign, the Democratic National Committee, and Rodney Joffe, a tech executive involved in the internet research.Ahead of the trial, Sussmann's defense team and legal experts noted the extensive detail of court filings from the Durham team. Conservative news outlets have picked up on the filings as evidence of nefarious conduct by the Clinton campaign, but the narratives have often been inaccurate.In the detail of the charging papers against Sussmann, some legal experts saw a so-called "speaking indictment" intended to tell a broader story rather than lay out a single false statement offense.Bosworth, in his final words to jurors Tuesday, described the prosecution as an "injustice.""As jurors, you have the extra responsibility to do justice in this case. And as jurors, you have the extra responsibility to prevent injustice. This case is an injustice," he said. "And I expect when all of the evidence is in, you will agree."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 17th, 2022

Aspen (AZPN) Integrates Emerson"s OSI and GSS Businesses

Aspen's (AZPN) integration with Emerson's OSI and GSS businesses is likely to boost its presence in the industrial software sector. Aspen Technology, Inc. AZPN concluded the merger with Emerson Electric Co. The merger involves the integration of Emerson's OSI Inc. and Geological Simulation Software (“GSS”) businesses with Aspen.Emerson has given Aspen $6 billion in cash in exchange for a 55% ownership in the company, which will be distributed to Aspen stockholders. In addition, Emerson and Aspen strengthened their business relationship by enhancing a commercial partnership. The enhanced partnership will enable Aspen to expand its footprint in new and existing markets.Aspen Technology, Inc. Price and Consensus  Aspen Technology, Inc. price-consensus-chart | Aspen Technology, Inc. QuoteOSI specializes in optimizing transmission and distribution networks for utility companies in the power industry. The integration of Emerson’s OSI business will aid Aspen to develop its transmission and distribution offering to support power grid modernization and ensure grid reliability. Aspen will now have the opportunity to cross-sell its current products to industrial customers due to increased exposure to the utilities and power market.Emerson’s GSS business, which will be known as Subsurface Science and Engineering (“SSE”), provides a comprehensive solution for oil and gas supply-chain links. The solution is also extended to chemical supply-chain links, thereby providing total interlock from the reservoir to the gas station and into chemical production, per Aspen.By moving OSI and the GSS business to a subscription-based business model, Aspen is expected to derive considerable revenue and synergy opportunities. Scale efficiencies — including shared research and development and selling, general and administrative groups, overhead, and spend optimization — are projected to result in cost savings.Customers of OSI and GSS will benefit greatly from working with Aspen, particularly those in the early stages of digitalization. Aspen can assist them to navigate their journey by utilizing its experience in the oil and gas and chemical verticals.Emerson’s grid modernization technology will enable Aspen to provide differentiated offerings in Industrial AI and asset optimization, along with advanced distribution management systems and geological simulation software. Aspen will be better positioned to help customers improve their safety, reliability and production while reducing emissions.Other Key PicksAspen currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).Some other top-ranked stocks from the broader technology space are InterDigital IDCC, Vishay Intertechnology VSH and Pure Storage PSTG. InterDigital and Pure Storage currently sport a Zacks Ranks #1 (Strong Buy), whereas Vishay Intertechnology carries a Zacks Rank #2. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for InterDigital’s 2022 earnings is pegged at $3.28 per share, increasing 5.2% in the past 60 days. The long-term earnings growth rate is anticipated to be 15%.InterDigital’s earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in the last four quarters, the average being 141.13%. Shares of IDCC have declined 14% in the past year.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Vishay Intertechnology’s 2022 earnings is pegged at $2.68 per share, rising 10.3% in the past 60 days. The long-term earnings growth rate is anticipated to be 22.7%.Vishay Intertechnology’s earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in the last four quarters, the average being 4.96%. Shares of VSH have declined 16.7% in the past year.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Pure Storage’s fiscal 2023 earnings is pegged at 86 cents per share, unchanged in the past 60 days. The long-term earnings growth rate is anticipated to be 30.9%.Pure Storage’s earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in the last four quarters, the average being 99.2%. Shares of PSTG have gained 44.3% in the past year. Just Released: Zacks Top 10 Stocks for 2022 In addition to the investment ideas discussed above, would you like to know about our 10 top picks for the entirety of 2022? From inception in 2012 through 2021, the Zacks Top 10 Stocks portfolios gained an impressive +1,001.2% versus the S&P 500’s +348.7%. Now our Director of Research has combed through 4,000 companies covered by the Zacks Rank and has handpicked the best 10 tickers to buy and hold. Don’t miss your chance to get in…because the sooner you do, the more upside you stand to grab.See 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 InterDigital, Inc. (IDCC): Free Stock Analysis Report Vishay Intertechnology, Inc. (VSH): Free Stock Analysis Report Aspen Technology, Inc. (AZPN): Free Stock Analysis Report Pure Storage, Inc. (PSTG): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksMay 17th, 2022