Creating a Balanced Investment Portfolio

You have likely heard the old saying, ‘Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.’ This summarizes the entire philosophy of a diversified investment portfolio. The idea is to spread out the risk. You do not want to have 100% of your investment capital riding on a single investment. For example, you would not want to have your entire investment portfolio allocated to commodities. This might represent very slow growth and/or improper risk allocation. Likewise, you would not invest 100% of your capital into penny stocks that may go up and down in value just as quickly as the wind blows. Maintaining a diversified investment account will allow you to reap the benefits of multiple investments while at the same time protecting yourself from a single catastrophic loss if one of the investments happens to tumble.Stock Market Investing Is A Fundamental Element Of A Diversified PortfolioThe United States stock market has increased in value, on average, about 11% since the 1920′s. This includes the time of the Great Depression, the stock market dive of 1987 and the dot-com crash of more modern times. Over time, the stock market increases in value. Those who invest in the stock market are in a position to benefit from this slow increase in value. Those who invest for the long-term are most able to capitalize on the growth of the stock market. It is a fundamentally sound investment when done properly. There are number of ways to invest in the stock market including mutual funds, spider funds, and stock indexes, to name just at few of the methods. Individual stock purchases can also be profitable if done correctly. As always, talk with an investment adviser about your options and how stock investment fits into your overall game plan.Penny StockA more specific type of stock market investing revolves around penny stocks. These are stocks that have a small price tag and potentially a significant return. However, the potential also exists for significant losses if prices go against you. For this reason, penny stocks are generally considered to be a risky investment and are not suitable for all investors. The appeal of the penny stock is to ‘find the next Walmart.’ What this means is that the investor (or perhaps in this case the speculator) is looking to buy a company stock for a very small amount of money (perhaps just a few pennies) in the hopes that it may soar to be worth several dollars per share in the future. This is generally the fundamental game plan with a penny stock.Mutual Funds InvestingMutual fund investing is another one of the ways to invest in the stock market. Mutual fund exist for the purpose of spreading out risk. By their very nature they are designed to help increase overall portfolio returns while at the same time reducing overall risk to investment capital. The way this is achieved is to spread out the mutual funds overall portfolio into a number of different stocks. This diversification can help with risk reduction. People enjoy investing mutual funds because it allows them the opportunity to invest in a number of different companies all at the same time. It also allows for their money to be managed by a skilled professionals so that as individuals they do not have to do the decision making themselves. For these reasons it is easy to see why mutual funds have a very broad appeal and are one of the most popular investment opportunities available. Bear in mind that just because a mutual fund has done well in the past does not necessarily mean that they will continue to do well in the future. This is one of the challenges common to mutual funds.Value InvestingValue investing is generally a broad definition of investing done by purchasing companies that have fundamentally sound value. In other words, a company that displays consistent earnings and offers a good value for the price of the shares offered would represent a company fitting into the category of a value investment. A number of fundamental investors organize their portfolios according to a value investing approach. Buying stocks that are of good value can represent a fundamentally sound investment strategy.Bonds InvestingWhen you talk about bonds investing you generally think of safe and secure investments, and for good reason. Bonds generally represent one of the safest investments available. A bond is something like a promissory note. A company or government might issue a bond in order to raise funds for a particular project. When raising the funds, the entity will offer a bond containing a specific investment return which is to be repaid to the investor according to the term and length of the bond. It is something like lending money to a company and then giving you a specific return on your money. This can represent one of the safest forms of investments and likewise is popular for many people.Commodities InvestingCommodities can represent one of the more confusing types of options available for investors. It is best to consult with skilled professionals and financial advisers when it comes to the topics of commodities. Commodities can be viewed as both a high risk opportunity as well as a safe and secure opportunity for financial returns. It depends on the approach first and foremost. Many investors view commodities as a hedge against their other investments-designed to provide a counter-cyclical approach to investing that can help diversify overall risk and returns.Consult With An AdvisorConsulting with the skilled investment adviser is one of the best options that any investor can take before allocating their money. It is a good idea to diversify, but if the diversification is done without a systematic game plan than the results can be less than spectacular. A solid game plan, rolled out over a long period of time can be one of the best approach is to systematic, long-term investing that will yield fruitful financial returns. Long-term investing should be the goal of almost every investor looking to double and triple their capital in the years ahead. Begin first by talking with your investment adviser about a systematic game plan for your investment blueprint.

Degree Programs – Nurse Online Education

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average income for a registered nurse as of May, 2005 was almost $57,000. Further, the 2004 National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses revealed that there is a shortage of registered nurses. Nursing is a growing career and online education degree programs make it an attainable goal even for those who are currently in the workforce.Every state has its own Board of Nursing that determines the licensing requirements for nurses to practice in that particular state. State nursing boards base their criteria on the Uniform Core Licensure Requirements, the Model Nursing Practice Act and the Model Nursing Administrative Rules developed by the National Council of State Nursing Boards (NCSNB). Nurses are required to periodically renew their licenses and certain states mandate continuing education for renewal.There are several types of nurses and degree programs nurse online education that potential students can choose:Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). An LPN is required to take eighteen months to two years of education in areas such as physiology, anatomy, patient care and medications. To become an LPN, an individual must pass state or national boards and periodically renew their license. The exam all LPNs are required to pass is called the NCLEX-PN. An LPN can handle all aspects of basic care under the supervision of a registered nurse or physician and with the assistance of nursing assistants and orderlies. Bureau of Labor Statistics show there are over 700,000 people employed as LPNs today. Online education makes it easy to work in the field while obtaining necessary educational credentials.Registered Nurse (RN). A registered nurse is a professional nurse who holds an associates degree (two years of study), specialized nursing diploma (three years of study) or bachelors degree (four years of study) and pass the state board exam. The exam all registered nurses are required to pass is called the NCLEX. Registered nurses are also required to have many hours of clinical training and experience prior to graduation. There are less RN programs offering a diploma because many employers prefer registered nurses to hold a bachelors degree. A registered nurse provides direct care to patients, makes decisions about plans of care and supervises LPNs, orderlies and nursing assistants. Registered nurses often pursue a Master of Science in Nursing or Doctor of Nursing Science to take on advanced roles in the field. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that RNs have become the most popular health care occupation in the country, with over 2.3 million people working as registered nurses. Often LPNs decide to pursue their RN for advanced career opportunities. Because there is a great need for additional registered nurses, quite a few employers offers tuition reimbursement and other educational incentives. Online education programs simplify the process of obtaining an advanced degree while gaining necessary experience in the field.Advanced Practice Nurse (APN). An advanced practice nurse is a registered nurse who has advanced skills, experience and education. An APN holds a master’s or doctorate degree in nursing, as well as possible additional certifications. An APN is required to fulfill continuing education and take re-examinations periodically to maintain their license. APNs perform as a nurse practitioner (NP), certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA), certified nurse midwife (CNM) or clinical nurse specialist (CNS). Busy registered nurses can pursue advanced degrees online while maintaining their current positions.Continuing Education. To maintain certifications, certain types of nurses in some states are required to fulfill continuing education requirements. Online education programs make is easier for nurses working various hours in the field to complete necessary educational requirements conveniently.Financial Aid. Nursing is a growing career with more jobs available than people to fill them. The US Bureau of Health Professions state that by 2020, the United States will need over 1.7 million nurses and only 635,000 are anticipated to be available. As a result, there are many opportunities to pursue financial aid such as scholarships and tuition reimbursement. Hospitals and schools have a variety of incentive programs available to students who want to work and remain in the nursing profession. Nursing students call also pursue standard state and federal financial aid such as grants, as well as student loan programs such as Stafford.Career Opportunities. Nursing offers a wide variety of settings to work in, such as hospitals, physicians’ offices, schools, military, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, the Red Cross, hospices and businesses. Nurses can become forensic specialists, business nurses, legal nurses or even teach other nurses. Nursing has become a diversified, flexible career with many specialization options available.Career Prospects. The United States Department of Labor reports that Registered Nursing is the top occupation with regard to job growth right through the year 2014. Further, surprising results of the 2006 Harris Poll reveal that nurses, doctors and firefighters are seen as the most prestigious occupations in the United States, while stockbrokers, real estate agents and business executives are perceived at the opposite end of the spectrum. A nurse with a 4 year degree has the potential to earn one of the highest starting salaries in the health care field, with the ability to earn in excess of $100,000 annually.Online education nursing degree programs offer students an opportunity to gain an advanced education while obtaining necessary experience in the field.

The Importance of Social Networks for Job Search

In years and decades gone by, and as recently as 30 years ago, there was no Internet. Career Networking has always been “social,” and that hasn’t changed. It was always about “who you know.”But compared to today, networking was far more “local” than today’s incredible ability to zoom around the globe in a New York minute via the Internet AND reach out and connect with an absolutely massive social network pool of people.In days gone by, career and professional Networking was restricted by the size of your immediate circle of contacts as an individual or in groups. These groups were all or mostly based in your local community.Networking was just a tool one used when one needed a job, and it wasn’t even always necessary. After you landed a job, you put networking back on the shelf until the next search. Those with a wide circle of business contacts enjoyed a substantial competitive advantage.Traditional “candidate flow” to fill job openings depended to some extent on referrals from employees or others within your industry. But firms leaned heavily on placing classified ads in newspapers and select trade/business publications-then waited to see what flowed in. If the resume return yielded a poor quality ‘harvest’ the process was repeated, perhaps multiple times, often lengthening the time it took to fill openings.Social networks and social media have radically changed the mechanism of candidate flow and effected a huge expansion in the use and importance of online social networking as well as in conducting your ‘people search’.The more engaged you are with social networks and in using social media channels to craft and promote your “message” about what you have to offer, the more you increase your odds of a successful career search outcome.With people changing or losing jobs far more frequently now than in the past, it is absolutely essential that you get plugged into and continually grow your own social network of contacts.Social networks have truly opened up the candidate pool to HR departments, and hiring managers as well as to third-party recruiters and headhunters. The time to locate candidates and fill jobs has decreased dramatically.There has been a corresponding and increasingly startling increase in the number of hiring managers and recruiters who report using social networks such as Facebook to source job candidates.Utilizing social networks in recruiting also includes conduct reputation, background checking, and digging further into a candidate’s background, skills, and experience–not to mention their choices in networking partners.Don’t be a spectator. Get involved. Contribute. And reap the rewards. With a properly conceived, well executed and ongoing ‘people search’, you can dramatically enhance your odds of obtaining a new job quickly when you are “temporarily displaced,” “downsized,” “right-sized,” or whatever they choose to call unemployment in the future. With an active social network, you’ll be ready for anything.

There is an excessive amount of traffic coming from your Region.

#EANF#

S&P 500 Rallies As U.S. Dollar Pulls Back Towards Weekly Lows

Key Insights
The strong pullback in the U.S. dollar provided significant support to stocks.
Treasury yields have pulled back after touching new highs, which served as an additional positive catalyst for S&P 500.
A move above 3730 will push S&P 500 towards the resistance level at 3760.
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Pfizer Rallies After Announcing A Huge Price Hike For Its COVID-19 Vaccines
S&P 500 is currently trying to settle above 3730 as traders’ appetite for risk is growing. The U.S. dollar has recently gained strong downside momentum as the BoJ intervened to stop the rally in USD/JPY. Weaker U.S. dollar is bullish for stocks as it increases profits of multinational companies and makes U.S. equities cheaper for foreign investors.

The leading oil services company Schlumberger is up by 9% after beating analyst estimates on both earnings and revenue. Schlumberger’s peers Baker Hughes and Halliburton have also enjoyed strong support today.

Vaccine makers Pfizer and Moderna gained strong upside momentum after Pfizer announced that it will raise the price of its coronavirus vaccine to $110 – $130 per shot.

Biggest losers today include Verizon and Twitter. Verizon is down by 5% despite beating analyst estimates on both earnings and revenue. Subscriber numbers missed estimates, and traders pushed the stock to multi-year lows.

Twitter stock moved towards the $50 level as the U.S. may conduct a security review of Musk’s purchase of the company.

From a big picture point of view, today’s rebound is broad, and most market segments are moving higher. Treasury yields have started to move lower after testing new highs, providing additional support to S&P 500. It looks that some traders are ready to bet that Fed will be less hawkish than previously expected.

S&P 500 Tests Resistance At 3730

S&P 500 has recently managed to get above the 20 EMA and is trying to settle above the resistance at 3730. RSI is in the moderate territory, and there is plenty of room to gain additional upside momentum in case the right catalysts emerge.

If S&P 500 manages to settle above 3730, it will head towards the next resistance level at 3760. A successful test of this level will push S&P 500 towards the next resistance at October highs at 3805. The 50 EMA is located in the nearby, so S&P 500 will likely face strong resistance above the 3800 level.

On the support side, the previous resistance at 3700 will likely serve as the first support level for S&P 500. In case S&P 500 declines below this level, it will move towards the next support level at 3675. A move below 3675 will push S&P 500 towards the support at 3640.

SPDN: An Inexpensive Way To Profit When The S&P 500 Falls

Summary
SPDN is not the largest or oldest way to short the S&P 500, but it’s a solid choice.
This ETF uses a variety of financial instruments to target a return opposite that of the S&P 500 Index.
SPDN’s 0.49% Expense Ratio is nearly half that of the larger, longer-tenured -1x Inverse S&P 500 ETF.
Details aside, the potential continuation of the equity bear market makes single-inverse ETFs an investment segment investor should be familiar with.
We rate SPDN a Strong Buy because we believe the risks of a continued bear market greatly outweigh the possibility of a quick return to a bull market.
Put a gear stick into R position, (Reverse).
Birdlkportfolio

By Rob Isbitts

Summary
The S&P 500 is in a bear market, and we don’t see a quick-fix. Many investors assume the only way to navigate a potentially long-term bear market is to hide in cash, day-trade or “just hang in there” while the bear takes their retirement nest egg.

The Direxion Daily S&P 500® Bear 1X ETF (NYSEARCA:SPDN) is one of a class of single-inverse ETFs that allow investors to profit from down moves in the stock market.

SPDN is an unleveraged, liquid, low-cost way to either try to hedge an equity portfolio, profit from a decline in the S&P 500, or both. We rate it a Strong Buy, given our concern about the intermediate-term outlook for the global equity market.

Strategy
SPDN keeps it simple. If the S&P 500 goes up by X%, it should go down by X%. The opposite is also expected.

Proprietary ETF Grades
Offense/Defense: Defense

Segment: Inverse Equity

Sub-Segment: Inverse S&P 500

Correlation (vs. S&P 500): Very High (inverse)

Expected Volatility (vs. S&P 500): Similar (but opposite)

Holding Analysis
SPDN does not rely on shorting individual stocks in the S&P 500. Instead, the managers typically use a combination of futures, swaps and other derivative instruments to create a portfolio that consistently aims to deliver the opposite of what the S&P 500 does.

Strengths
SPDN is a fairly “no-frills” way to do what many investors probably wished they could do during the first 9 months of 2022 and in past bear markets: find something that goes up when the “market” goes down. After all, bonds are not the answer they used to be, commodities like gold have, shall we say, lost their luster. And moving to cash creates the issue of making two correct timing decisions, when to get in and when to get out. SPDN and its single-inverse ETF brethren offer a liquid tool to use in a variety of ways, depending on what a particular investor wants to achieve.

Weaknesses
The weakness of any inverse ETF is that it does the opposite of what the market does, when the market goes up. So, even in bear markets when the broader market trend is down, sharp bear market rallies (or any rallies for that matter) in the S&P 500 will cause SPDN to drop as much as the market goes up.

Opportunities
While inverse ETFs have a reputation in some circles as nothing more than day-trading vehicles, our own experience with them is, pardon the pun, exactly the opposite! We encourage investors to try to better-understand single inverse ETFs like SPDN. While traders tend to gravitate to leveraged inverse ETFs (which actually are day-trading tools), we believe that in an extended bear market, SPDN and its ilk could be a game-saver for many portfolios.

Threats
SPDN and most other single inverse ETFs are vulnerable to a sustained rise in the price of the index it aims to deliver the inverse of. But that threat of loss in a rising market means that when an investor considers SPDN, they should also have a game plan for how and when they will deploy this unique portfolio weapon.

Proprietary Technical Ratings
Short-Term Rating (next 3 months): Strong Buy

Long-Term Rating (next 12 months): Buy

Conclusions
ETF Quality Opinion
SPDN does what it aims to do, and has done so for over 6 years now. For a while, it was largely-ignored, given the existence of a similar ETF that has been around much longer. But the more tenured SPDN has become, the more attractive it looks as an alternative.

ETF Investment Opinion

SPDN is rated Strong Buy because the S&P 500 continues to look as vulnerable to further decline. And, while the market bottomed in mid-June, rallied, then waffled since that time, our proprietary macro market indicators all point to much greater risk of a major decline from this level than a fast return to bull market glory. Thus, SPDN is at best a way to exploit and attack the bear, and at worst a hedge on an otherwise equity-laden portfolio.

S&P 500 Biotech Giant Vertex Leads 5 Stocks Showing Strength

Your stocks to watch for the week ahead are Cheniere Energy (LNG), S&P 500 biotech giant Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX), Cardinal Health (CAH), Steel Dynamics (STLD) and Genuine Parts (GPC).

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While the market remains in correction, with analysts and investors wary of an economic downturn, these five stocks are worth adding to watchlists. S&P 500 medical giants Vertex and Cardinal Health have been holding up, as health-care related plays tend to do well in down markets.

Steel Dynamics and Genuine Parts are both coming off strong earnings as both the steel and auto parts industries report optimistic outlooks. Meanwhile, Cheniere Energy saw sales boom in the second quarter as demand in Europe for natural gas continues to grow.

Major indexes have been making rally attempts with the Dow Jones and S&P 500 testing weekly support on Friday. With market uncertainty, investors should be ready for follow-through day breakouts and keep an eye on these stocks.

Cheniere Energy, Cardinal Health and VRTX stock are all on IBD Leaderboard.

Cheniere Energy Stock
LNG shares rose 1.1% to 175.79 during Friday’s market trading. On the week, the stock advanced 3.1%, not from highs, bouncing from its 21-day and 10-week lines earlier in the week.

Cheniere Energy has been consolidating since mid-September, but needs another week to forge a proper base, with a potential 182.72 buy point formed on Aug. 10.

Houston-based Cheniere Energy was IBD Stock Of The Day on Thursday, as the largest U.S. producer of liquefied natural gas eyes strong demand in Europe.

Even though natural gas prices are plunging in the U.S. and Europe, investors still see strong LNG demand for Cheniere and others.

The U.K. government confirmed last week that it is in talks for an LNG purchase agreement with a number of companies, including Cheniere.

In the first half of 2021, less than 40% of Cheniere’s cargoes of LNG landed in Europe. That jumped to more than 70% through this year’s second quarter, even as the company ramped up new export capacity. The urgency of Europe’s natural gas shortage only intensified last month. That is when an explosion disabled the Nord Stream 1 pipeline from Russia that had once supplied 40% of the European Union’s natural gas.

In Q2, sales increased 165% to $8 billion and LNG earned $2.90 per share, up from a net loss of $1.30 per share in Q2 2021. The company will report Q3 earnings Nov. 3, with investors seeing booming profits for the next few quarters.

Cheniere Energy has a Composite Rating of 84. It has a 98 Relative Strength Rating, an exclusive IBD Stock Checkup gauge for share price movement with a 1 to 99 score. The rating shows how a stock’s performance over the last 52 weeks holds up against all the other stocks in IBD’s database. The EPS rating is 41.

Vertex Stock
VRTX stock jumped 3.4% to 300 on Friday, rebounding from a test of its 50-day moving average. Shares climbed 2.2% for the week. Vertex stock has formed a tight flat base with an official buy point of 306.05, according to MarketSmith analysis.

The stock has remained consistent over recent weeks, while the relative strength line has trended higher. The RS line tracks a stock’s performance vs. the S&P 500 index.

Vertex Q3 earnings are on due Oct. 27. Analysts see EPS edging up 1% to $3.61 per share with sales increasing 16% to $2.2 billion, according to FactSet.

The Boston-based global biotech company dominates the cystic fibrosis treatment market. Vertex also has other products in late-stage clinical development that target sickle cell disease, Type 1 diabetes and certain genetically caused kidney diseases. That includes a gene-editing partnership with Crispr Therapeutics (CRSP).

In early August, Vertex reported better-than-expected second-quarter results and raised full-year sales targets.

S&P 500 stock Vertex ranks second in the Medical-Biomed/Biotech industry group. VRTX has a 99 Composite Rating. Its Relative Strength Rating is 94 and its EPS Rating is 99.

CRISPR Stocks: Will Concerns Over Risk Inhibit Gene-Editing Cures?

Cardinal Health Stock
CAH stock advanced 3.2% to 73.03 Friday, clearing a 71.22 buy point from a shallow cup-with-handle base and hitting a record high. But volume was light on the breakout. CAH stock leapt 7.3% for the week.

Cardinal Health stock’s relative strength line has also been trending up for months.

The cup-with-handle base is part of a base-on-base pattern, forming just above a cup base cleared on Aug. 11.

Cardinal Health, based in Dublin, Ohio, offers a wide assortment of health care services and medical supplies to hospitals, labs, pharmacies and long-term care facilities. The company reports that it serves around 90% of hospitals and 60,000 pharmacies in the U.S.

S&P 500 stock Cardinal Health will report Q1 2023 earnings on Nov. 4. Analysts forecast earnings falling 26% to 96 cents per share. Sales are expected to increase 10% to $48.3 billion, according to FactSet.

Cardinal Health stock ranks first in the Medical-Wholesale Drug/Supplies industry group, ahead of McKesson (MCK), which is also showing positive action. CAH stock has a 94 Composite Rating out of 99. It has a 97 Relative Strength Rating and an EPS rating of 73.

Steel Dynamics Stock
STLD shares shot up 8.5% to 92.92 on Friday and soared 19% on the week, coming off a Steel Dynamics earnings beat Wednesday night.

Shares blasted above an 88.72 consolidation buy point Friday after clearing a trendline Thursday. STLD stock is 17% above its 50-day line, definitely extended from that key average.

Steel Dynamics’ latest consolidation could be seen as part of a larger base going back six months.

Steel Dynamics topped Q3 earnings views with EPS rising 10% to $5.46 while revenue grew 11% to $5.65 billion. The steel producer’s outlook is optimistic despite weaker flat rolled steel pricing. STLD reports its order activity and backlogs remain solid.

The Fort Wayne, Indiana-based company is among the largest producers of carbon steel products in the U.S. It engages in metal recycling operations along with steel fabrication and produces myriad steel products.

How Millett Grew Steel Dynamics From A Three Employee Business

STLD stock ranks first in the Steel-Producers industry group. STLD stock has a 96 Composite Rating out of 99. It has a 90 Relative Strength Rating, an exclusive IBD Stock Checkup gauge for share-price movement that tops at 99. The rating shows how a stock’s performance over the last 52 weeks holds up against all the other stocks in IBD’s database. The EPS rating is 98.

Genuine Parts Stock
GPC stock gained 2.8% to 162.35 Friday after the company topped earnings views with its Q3 results on Thursday. For the week GPC advanced 5.1% as the stock held its 50-day line and is in a flat base.

GPC has an official 165.09 flat-base buy point after a three-week rally, according to MarketSmith analysis.

The relative strength line for Genuine Parts stock has rallied sharply to highs over the past several months.

On Thursday, the Atlanta-based auto parts company raised its full-year guidance on growth across its automotive and industrial sales.

Genuine Parts earnings per share advanced 19% to $2.23 and revenue grew 18% to $5.675 billion in Q3. GPC’s full-year guidance is now calling for EPS of $8.05-$8.15, up from $7.80-$7.95. The company now forecasts revenue growth of 15%-16%, up from the earlier 12%-14%.

During the Covid pandemic, supply chain constraints caused a major upheaval in the auto industry, sending prices for new and used cars to record levels. This has made consumers more likely to hang on to their existing vehicles for longer, driving mileage higher and boosting demand for auto replacement parts.

Fellow auto stocks O’Reilly Auto Parts (ORLY) and AutoZone (AZO) have also rallied near buy points amid the struggling market. O’Reilly reports on Oct. 26.

IBD ranks Genuine Parts first in the Retail/Wholesale-Auto Parts industry group. GPC stock has a 96 Composite Rating. Its Relative Strength Rating is 94 and it has an EPS Rating of 89.

Shoe Repairs And Several Other Things When I Was 7

Shoe Repairs And Several Other Things When I Was 7
My Dad repaired most of our shoes believe it or not, I can hardly believe it myself now. With 7 pairs of shoes always needing repairs I think he was quite clever to learn how to “Keep us in shoe Leather” to coin a phrase!

He bought several different sizes of cast iron cobbler’s “lasts”. Last, the old English “Laest” meaning footprint. Lasts were holding devices shaped like a human foot. I have no idea where he would have bought the shoe leather. Only that it was a beautiful creamy, shiny colour and the smell was lovely.

But I do remember our shoes turned upside down on and fitted into these lasts, my Dad cutting the leather around the shape of the shoe, and then hammering nails, into the leather shape. Sometimes we’d feel one or 2 of those nails poking through the insides of our shoes, but our dad always fixed it.

Hiking and Swimming Galas
Dad was a very outdoorsy type, unlike my mother, who was probably too busy indoors. She also enjoyed the peace and quiet when he took us off for the day!

Anyway, he often took us hiking in the mountains where we’d have a picnic of sandwiches and flasks of tea. And more often than not we went by steam train.

We loved poking our heads out of the window until our eyes hurt like mad from a blast of soot blowing back from the engine. But sore, bloodshot eyes never dampened our enthusiasm.

Dad was an avid swimmer and water polo player, and he used to take us to swimming galas, as they were called back then. He often took part in these galas. And again we always travelled by steam train.

Rowing Over To Ireland’s Eye
That’s what we did back then, we had to go by rowboat, the only way to get to Ireland’s eye, which is 15 minutes from mainland Howth. From there we could see Malahide, Lambay Island and Howth Head of course. These days you can take a Round Trip Cruise on a small cruise ship!

But we thoroughly enjoyed rowing and once there we couldn’t wait to climb the rocks, and have a swim. We picnicked and watched the friendly seals doing their thing and showing off.

Not to mention all kinds of birdlife including the Puffin.The Martello Tower was also interesting but a bit dangerous to attempt entering. I’m getting lost in the past as I write, and have to drag myself back to the present.

Fun Outings with The camera Club
Dad was also a very keen amateur photographer, and was a member of a camera Club. There were many Sunday photography outings and along with us came other kids of the members of the club.

And we always had great fun while the adults busied themselves taking photos of everything and anything, it seemed to us. Dad was so serious about his photography that he set up a dark room where he developed and printed his photographs.

All black and white at the time. He and his camera club entered many of their favourites in exhibitions throughout Europe. I’m quite proud to say that many cups and medals were won by Dad. They have been shared amongst all his grandchildren which I find quite special.

He liked taking portraits of us kids too, mostly when we were in a state of untidiness, usually during play. Dad always preferred the natural look of messy hair and clothes in the photos of his children.

US Markets in green on Friday; Dow 30 up over 345 points, Nasdaq Composite, S&P 500 up nearly 1%

US Markets were trading in the green on Friday with Dow 30 trading at 30,678.80, up by 1.14%. While S&P 500 was trading at 3,701.66, up by 0.98% and Nasdaq Composite 10,690.60 was also up by 0.71 per cent

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US Markets in green on Friday; Dow 30 up over 345 points, Nasdaq Composite, S&P 500 up nearly 1%
Earlier today, Indian stock markets ended the week on a winning note. It was the sixth straight gains for equity markets. Source: Reuters
US Markets were trading in the green on Friday with Dow 30 trading at 30,678.80, up by 345.25 points or1.14 per cent. While S&P 500 was trading at 3,701.66, up by 35.88 points or 0.98 per cent and Nasdaq Composite 10,690.60 was also up 75.75 points or 0.71 per cent. A Reuters report said that today’s strength was on the back of a report which said the Federal Reserve will likely debate on signaling plans for a smaller interest rate hike in December, reversing declines set off by social media firms after Snap Inc’s ad warning.

Source: Comex

Nasdaq Top Gainers and Losers

Source: Nasdaq

Earlier today, Indian stock markets ended the week on a winning note. It was the sixth straight gains for equity markets. The BSE Sensex ended at 59,307.15, up by 104.25 points or 0.18 per cent from the Thursday closing level. Meanwhile, the Nifty50 index closed at 17,590.00, higher by 26.05 points or 0.15 per cent. In the 30-share Sensex, 13 stocks gained while the remaining 17 ended on the losing side. In the 50-stock Nifty50, 21 stocks advanced while 29 declined.

Alternative Financing Vs. Venture Capital: Which Option Is Best for Boosting Working Capital?

There are several potential financing options available to cash-strapped businesses that need a healthy dose of working capital. A bank loan or line of credit is often the first option that owners think of – and for businesses that qualify, this may be the best option.

In today’s uncertain business, economic and regulatory environment, qualifying for a bank loan can be difficult – especially for start-up companies and those that have experienced any type of financial difficulty. Sometimes, owners of businesses that don’t qualify for a bank loan decide that seeking venture capital or bringing on equity investors are other viable options.

But are they really? While there are some potential benefits to bringing venture capital and so-called “angel” investors into your business, there are drawbacks as well. Unfortunately, owners sometimes don’t think about these drawbacks until the ink has dried on a contract with a venture capitalist or angel investor – and it’s too late to back out of the deal.

Different Types of Financing

One problem with bringing in equity investors to help provide a working capital boost is that working capital and equity are really two different types of financing.

Working capital – or the money that is used to pay business expenses incurred during the time lag until cash from sales (or accounts receivable) is collected – is short-term in nature, so it should be financed via a short-term financing tool. Equity, however, should generally be used to finance rapid growth, business expansion, acquisitions or the purchase of long-term assets, which are defined as assets that are repaid over more than one 12-month business cycle.

But the biggest drawback to bringing equity investors into your business is a potential loss of control. When you sell equity (or shares) in your business to venture capitalists or angels, you are giving up a percentage of ownership in your business, and you may be doing so at an inopportune time. With this dilution of ownership most often comes a loss of control over some or all of the most important business decisions that must be made.

Sometimes, owners are enticed to sell equity by the fact that there is little (if any) out-of-pocket expense. Unlike debt financing, you don’t usually pay interest with equity financing. The equity investor gains its return via the ownership stake gained in your business. But the long-term “cost” of selling equity is always much higher than the short-term cost of debt, in terms of both actual cash cost as well as soft costs like the loss of control and stewardship of your company and the potential future value of the ownership shares that are sold.

Alternative Financing Solutions

But what if your business needs working capital and you don’t qualify for a bank loan or line of credit? Alternative financing solutions are often appropriate for injecting working capital into businesses in this situation. Three of the most common types of alternative financing used by such businesses are:

1. Full-Service Factoring – Businesses sell outstanding accounts receivable on an ongoing basis to a commercial finance (or factoring) company at a discount. The factoring company then manages the receivable until it is paid. Factoring is a well-established and accepted method of temporary alternative finance that is especially well-suited for rapidly growing companies and those with customer concentrations.

2. Accounts Receivable (A/R) Financing – A/R financing is an ideal solution for companies that are not yet bankable but have a stable financial condition and a more diverse customer base. Here, the business provides details on all accounts receivable and pledges those assets as collateral. The proceeds of those receivables are sent to a lockbox while the finance company calculates a borrowing base to determine the amount the company can borrow. When the borrower needs money, it makes an advance request and the finance company advances money using a percentage of the accounts receivable.

3. Asset-Based Lending (ABL) – This is a credit facility secured by all of a company’s assets, which may include A/R, equipment and inventory. Unlike with factoring, the business continues to manage and collect its own receivables and submits collateral reports on an ongoing basis to the finance company, which will review and periodically audit the reports.

In addition to providing working capital and enabling owners to maintain business control, alternative financing may provide other benefits as well:

It’s easy to determine the exact cost of financing and obtain an increase.
Professional collateral management can be included depending on the facility type and the lender.
Real-time, online interactive reporting is often available.
It may provide the business with access to more capital.
It’s flexible – financing ebbs and flows with the business’ needs.
It’s important to note that there are some circumstances in which equity is a viable and attractive financing solution. This is especially true in cases of business expansion and acquisition and new product launches – these are capital needs that are not generally well suited to debt financing. However, equity is not usually the appropriate financing solution to solve a working capital problem or help plug a cash-flow gap.

A Precious Commodity

Remember that business equity is a precious commodity that should only be considered under the right circumstances and at the right time. When equity financing is sought, ideally this should be done at a time when the company has good growth prospects and a significant cash need for this growth. Ideally, majority ownership (and thus, absolute control) should remain with the company founder(s).

Alternative financing solutions like factoring, A/R financing and ABL can provide the working capital boost many cash-strapped businesses that don’t qualify for bank financing need – without diluting ownership and possibly giving up business control at an inopportune time for the owner. If and when these companies become bankable later, it’s often an easy transition to a traditional bank line of credit. Your banker may be able to refer you to a commercial finance company that can offer the right type of alternative financing solution for your particular situation.

Taking the time to understand all the different financing options available to your business, and the pros and cons of each, is the best way to make sure you choose the best option for your business. The use of alternative financing can help your company grow without diluting your ownership. After all, it’s your business – shouldn’t you keep as much of it as possible?