Jul 24 2011

Three Of Warren Buffet’s Tips For Investing Success

Published by under Investment

Article written by Mark Harrisian of Online Investment Guide.

There’s no doubt that the last few years has seen torrential times when it comes to investing as many people have not only lost a lot of money but have also lost their confidence in being able to make the right investment choWarrenBuffet_747-e1415041194145ices as well.


So, in order to counter the doom and gloom that affects people these days, here are a few tips from the Warren Buffet, who is considered to be an investing genius:

#1: Be frugal

Frugality is a lifestyle choice, when you come to think of it, and it has been something that Buffet has been come to be famous for. He still lives in the same home and drives his own vehicle, and that says for a lot because obviously he has more to invest.

#2: The ‘fat pitch’ is what you have to wait for

Buying or selling stock has never been the right thing to do as this will only result in losses regularly. Instead, you should wait for the fat pitch patiently which more often than not comes due to market turbulence.

#3: Go against the crowd

One of the Buffet’s favorite principles is to go against the crowd when it comes to making money as their analysis is always a reflection of their understanding of the market prices. Often, when there is negative public opinion, it is the best time to buy stock. Conversely, it is better for you to desist from buying when investors are careful.


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Jul 21 2011

Why Brokers Will Not Help You In Trading Strategies

Published by under Finance & Loans

Almost everyone who has been associated with a broker from time to time has lost money. Yet ever so often, there comes a time when you realize that they don’t necessarily deserve your loyalty since their profitability is directly dependent on the understanding of trading that their clients have of the stock market.

In most cases, they convince the client of great profits but sooner or later, there is more than one loss but what remains is the commission that you might have agreed with them on, as soon as you began your association with them. To put it simply, most experts believe that they’re all very eager to drain your account clean.

Perhaps one of the reasons why this is true is because unlike CTAs or fund managers whose best interests are directly linked to that of their clients (through taking a percentage of the profits if generated), brokers always get a commission even if the trading advice given to their clients are good, bad or just plain useless.

Strangely enough, the only way by which the brokerage industry measures the success of its performers is by how much commission they made in that year, and which has nothing to do with their clients’ profitability. So it only makes sense that he gets you to trade as much as possible so that he gets his commission from time to time.

So what should this tell you?

That you, as the investor, has to learn not to depend on the broker but make your choices when it comes to trading because even if you do find a good broker, you’ll have to learn to make those trades by yourself in the long run, making the broker (good or bad) irrelevant.


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Feb 12 2016

Len Blavatnik Helps Others Achieve

Published by under Investment

1By Access Industries

When you think of the name Len Blavatnik, a number of different things may come to mind. Like many people, you probably think about how this man is one of the wealthiest in all of Great Britain. You may think of Access Industries and the tremendous impact it has had on the industrial world. You may also know that the man attended some of the best schools in the entire world and succeeded at all of them.

However, you should also know about this Blavatnik Young Scientists Award, which he uses as a tool to help uplift young minds who may need a bit of financial help following in his own footsteps. Aside from the scholarship that goes with this award, recipients also get a good deal of press for it as well. Obviously, if the head of Access Industries thinks a young mind understands a thing or two about science, it’s worth paying attention to them.

So, in the future, the next time you hear of the man, see him top a list for his wealth or use a product from Access Industries, just know that he is working hard to make the world a better place in more ways than one.


If you’ve ever heard of the New York Academy of Science, Len Blavatnik needs no introduction. Aside from being one the richest men in Britain, the man at the top of Access Industries is also a world renowned philanthropist.

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Jan 06 2016

How Banks Report Their Finances

Published by under Finance & Loans

By Phineas Upham

Just like the average taxpayer, banks have to report their finances or they may face steep penalties for failing to alert the government or investors of potentially fraudulent activity. There are actual several layers beyond the Bank Secrecy Act, although this important piece of legislation is one of the most frequently evoked in common political parlances.

Why Banks Report

Banks have to report their financial activity for a few reasons. Capital reserve requirements are one big one, so reporting finances helps assess the amount of capital a bank must keep to protect from a serious market crash. The state of a bank’s finances can also affect the institution’s credit rating, which affects every action the bank takes. The statement is also a representation of management. Management is supposed to run a bank properly, so financial statements should be able to adequately account for all of the bank’s financial transactions.

In 2002, in response to the Enron and Worldcom scandals, Congress passed the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. It created a list of responsibilities a corporation’s board had to be accountable for. It also outlines criminal penalties for anyone caught breaking those regulations.

The Bank Secrecy Act

During the 1970s, money laundering became a serious problem that needed to be formally addressed. Congress decided to help “safeguard the financial system” by establishing some requirements for record keeping. Banks had to keep track of certain transactions that would lead to analyzing the movement of money, as well as the volume and type of currency. This would prove instrumental in finding and catching money launderers, although the challenge of routinely catching illegally circulated money still persists.

About the Author: Phineas Upham is an investor at a family office/ hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Phin Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media and Telecom group. You may contact Phin on his Phineas Upham website or LinkedIn page.

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Dec 02 2015

The Evolution of Mortgage Lending

Published by under Finance & Loans

By Phineas Upham

Today, when the average person wants to purchase a home he or she has to find a lender willing to loan them money. That money comes at a particular interest rate, which the lender uses to make a profit on the loan. This was not always the case. Throughout American history, home ownership has been an important component to our rights and society.


There was a time when it was quite difficult to get a loan. Prior to the Federal Home Loan Bank Act of 1932, loans, if they were done at all, were given by insurance companies.

These mortgage payments were more like short term loans, and nearly all of them had some kind of balloon payment attached. This put people in debt perpetually, so the Bank Act of 1932 was a response to that. Home ownership means stability, and the opportunity to retire in relative safety.

If banks got involved, and loans were amortized, the repayment of debt would be a much more realistic prospect. This evolution in banking gave birth to the Federal Savings and Loan boom that occurred shortly after the Great Depression. Capital was cheap so long as lenders lent their money to individuals seeking home loans.

Once the loans were coming from banks and not insurance companies, repayment terms became manageable and more people would retain ownership of their homes. This was a major stepping stone on the path to wealth accumulation for many Americans, especially veterans.

About the Author: Phineas Upham is an investor at a family office/ hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Phin Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media and Telecom group. You may contact Phin on his Phineas Upham website or LinkedIn page.

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Oct 26 2015

Breaking Down a Construction Delay Claim

Published by under Business Services

Breaking-Down-a-Construction-Delay-ClaimOne of the most common problems and disputes that occur during a construction project is a delay. While it may seem insignificant from afar, the real trouble comes when a legal claim arises from one.

Construction delay claims are one of the most common cases but also one of the least understood. These claims focus on a construction project that has either been extended or held off due to unforeseen circumstances. Delays often force contractors to extend the schedule past the due date as well as accumulate extra costs that will cover things like an idle workforce and lost efficiencies.

Many times these delay are caused by circumstances that are out of control of the contractor. Unanticipated weather changes and design errors are only a couple of reasons why a delay may occur. It could even be the fault of the owner if they initiated any changes during the project’s construction. While these are all excusable reasons, the contractor still has to maintain responsibility to prepare for any foreseeable and unforeseeable conditions.

When a delay claim is filed, there is the option for both parties to enter a construction mediation phase. The mediator, which is the neutral negotiator between both parties, decides on a reasonable outcome that will benefit both parties after hearing the facts of each side. One of the reasons why mediation is important is because the claim will be settled before the court becomes involved. Not only does an owner lose time but also money during a lawsuit. Mediation must involve both parties voluntarily agreeing to reason with each other.

Bio: Lyle Charles is the president of Lyle Charles Consulting, a management firm that specializes in the construction and fabricating industries.

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Sep 17 2015

Why Hiring an Accountant is Good for Business

Why-Hiring-an-Accountant-is-Good-for-BusinessTaking on the roles of CEO and business advisor isn’t too much of a big deal when your startup business is in the beginning stages of its life. The problems occur when you begin to grow. Your focus gradually shifts to what generates your leads and impacts your revenue rather than sitting down and having a financial discussion. To put it simply, it’s rather taxing.

Many small business owners don’t take advantage of the financial managing skills an accountant can bring to the table. They’ll take that lead weight off of your shoulder and take care of the operations going on behind the scenes.

Before you hire your accountant, you want to make sure that they are qualified. Perform the usual background check and their credentials but also find out what their specialties and communication skills are like. You want a good fit within your company.

Once you have the right candidate, be sure that communication between the two of you maintains continuity. Quarterly reports should be discussed, which do not even have to take a lot of time at all. Save time schedule these meetings so you don’t fall behind and have to schedule a last-minute discussion that goes over the last 4 quarters.

A good accountant will help you stay afloat and will save you the time and energy of having to deal with all of the finances yourself. You don’t have to invest an arm and a leg for one either. The “right” candidate is different for everyone’s business.

Bio: Ferhan Patel is the Director of Global Risk and Compliance for the global online payment platform Payza. For more information, visit them on their website.


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Sep 02 2015

Currency Devaluation in Modern Markets

Published by under Finance & Loans

By Samuel Phineas Upham

Countries have reasons to let their currencies become devalued, and sometimes those reasons are out of the hands of government policymakers entirely. In modern economics, most currencies are what are called “fiat currencies” and they derive value based on the policies that the governments who create them make.

This means the market value is a variable dependent on the policies of the moment. One example of such policies is when a country holds its currency value relative to that of a larger, more established country like the United States.

Currency devaluation in modern markets really hurts investor confidence. For one, access to information occurs in real time so investors are well aware when the signs of devaluation occur. Speculators will sell first, which puts pressure on the country in question to move forward on a devaluation officially.

One way to look at when a crisis is occurring is to look at real exchange value relative to the nominal exchange rate. If the real rate depreciates and falls below the nominal rate, a crisis has occurred. However, countries might try to hide their real value in order to stave off a crisis. This occurred most recently in Greece.

Speculators with imperfect information can actually accelerate inflation and devaluation. This happened in 1994, just after NAFTA was signed. Mexico benefitted greatly from access to foreign capital, but political uncertainty in the region hurt the value of the peso. As a result, speculators pulled out and the economy tanked.

Samuel Phineas Uphamis an investor from NYC and SF. You may contact Phin on his Samual Phineas Upham website or Linkedin page.

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Jun 04 2015

Why the Middle Class Needs FinTech

Published by under Finance & Loans

By Samuel Phineas Upham

The path of upward mobility begins with financial management. If the average person could better manage his or her money, savings would thrive and we would all collectively handle risk better because we’d have a stronger financial cushion. Banks aren’t doing a very good job of providing those services right now, not for lack of trying, but they are bogged down by regulation preventing them from innovating and growing. The solution involves smaller companies that are better equipped to handle consumer demands.

Woman checking email in office.

Shrinking Classes

The shrinking of the classes has as much to do with savings accounts as it does with jobs. The average person can’t see his finances every minute of every day, so poor people living paycheck to paycheck have an especially hard time balancing their budgets. We collectively need technology that better services the populace, delivers financial statistics relevant to our lives and encourages us all to save more.

The Question of Risk

Banks can’t afford risk right now because regulation has forced them to keep cash in reserve, rather than for lending purposes. What was intended to safeguard against the collapse of the financial system is instead fueling a frugal approach to lending and risk. Fortunately, smaller startups represent less risk and are considered safer investments. Big banks are finally beginning to experiment with smaller personal loans, access to credit and other concepts that were too expensive or risky before. They are just doing that experimentation through a sandbox of sorts, where small startups are raised to try new strategies in consumer finance and fail.

All of these change are driven by access: in the edge of the smartphone, the cost of money ought to be sensible.

About the Author: Samuel Phineas Upham is an investor at a family office/ hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Phin Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media and Telecom group. You may contact Phin on his Samuel Phineas Upham website or Facebook.

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May 18 2015

Get to Know Len Blavatnik

Written by Access Industries

Whether you’ve heard of the Blavatnik Foundation or seen Len Blavatnik in the news, you can probably guess that this USSR-born entrepreneur has an interesting story behind him.

Blavatnik was 21 when his family was able to get visas allowing them to leave the USSR and come to America. Once here, it was clear that his ambition would take him places. He would graduate from Columbia with a masters in computer science. He then went on to earn an MBA from Harvard Business School.

However, before he had his MBA, Blavatnik was the head of his own company, Access Industries. The company is currently located in New York, but has a presence all over the world. Amongst other things, the company is focused on real estate, media and chemicals.


This is far from the man’s only passion though. He also has a philanthropic side to his personality, which he expresses through the Blavatnik Family Foundation. For over 15 years now, the foundation has focused on providing entitlements to those looking to receive a better education or providing to the world of art and culture. The British Museum is one of the foundation’s favorite recipients, though there are a number of others on that list too.


Len Blavatnikis an entrepreneur unlike any other out there. From his humble beginnings to his role in Access Industries, he’s a great example of the results of hard work

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May 05 2015

Charles Anderson Dana: Head of the New York Tribune

Published by under Business Services

By Phineas Upham

The New York Tribune, one of the most powerful Republican Papers in circulation during the Civil War, was headed by Charles Anderson Dana. Dana held the position and played the role of a go-between for General Grant and the War Department during those days. He was highly involved in politics, all manors of war, and kept front line reporting at the forefront of his mind.


When he became the managing editor of the New York Sun, a job he took quite seriously, he announced a credo. his goal was to present a daily photo of the world’s doings, something that would encapsulate the time. That gave him great appeal among the working class, who enjoyed his snapshots of the every man. He soon found himself championing the Democratic movement for workers. That title would only last until the 1890s, when his ambitions would change to becoming a champion of business-oriented conservatism.

Dana had a history of journalism, having written for several well-known publications for the time. He had bylines with Harbinger and the Brook Farm publication, and his work was based largely around social reform and improving general literacy. His travels took him to Cologne, where he met and spoke with Karl Marx. And that was when his prestige brought him to the New York Tribune. Dana became the publication’s managing editor, and he began rallying against slavery and the economy it created. This seemed to shape the paper’s identity, but Dana was a fickle man and took on many issues. Dana was a journalism genius, successfully building his paper on interesting ideas and a motivated staff. He mastered marketing and storytelling during a time when Americans needed a voice.

About the Author: Phineas Upham is an investor at a family office/ hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Phin Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media and Telecom group. You may contact Phin on his Phineas Upham website or LinkedIn page.

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Mar 27 2015

Tom Landry, Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboy Glory Days

Published by under Business Services

By Phin Upham

The Dallas Cowboys had always been coached by one man: Tom Landry. Landry is a legend in football, thanks to pioneering the “4-3” defense, which is still used today. He ascended to coach the Cowboys in 1960, a job he would hold for 29 seasons. Though he got off to a rough start, he needed time to refine his defense.

Dallas Cowboys' head coach Tom Landry is given a victory ride on the shoulders of his players after the Cowboys defeated the Denver Broncos 27-10 in Super Bowl XII at the New Orleans, Louisiana Super Dome, January 15, 1978.  (AP Photo)

The NFL’s most formidable squad at the time was the Green Bay Packers, coached by another legend named Vince Lombardi. Lombardi’s offense was fluid; his players found pockets and went to them. They were not married to pre-defined routes.

Eventually, Landry’s fluid defense paid off and the coach himself was 2-3 for Super Bowls.

When Jerry Jones took over ownership of the Cowboys in 1989, Landry’s glory days had faded. He was tossed out and replaced with Jimmy Johnson. He drafted amazing talent for the team, leading them to two back to back wins in 92 and 93.

Johnson is a controversial figure. He was rumored to have said that any coach in 500 could have won the Super Bowl with the talent the Cowboys staffed, a remark disparaging Jimmy Johnson. It was also rumored that Jones wanted Johnson gone, and that he was talking about replacing him with Barry Switzer from the University of Oklahoma. Jones is quoted as saying the next morning that the statement was “just the whiskey talking.”

In their prime, Jones had the Cowboys utilizing one of the largest payrolls in NFL history.

About the Author: Phin Upham is an investor at a family office/ hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Phin Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media and Telecom group. You may contact Phin on his Phin Upham website or Facebook page.

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