Ned Bittinger

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What Is An Investment Banker, Exactly?

Because of the popularity of startups around the world, people everywhere now seem to know about venture capitalists. Called VC’s for short, these financial individuals are sometimes known as angel investors as well. However, while VC’s get a lot of attention, it seems that another kind of individual does not: the investment banker.

Who is an investment banker? Firstly, they have been around far longer than VC’s and have also fostered important trade relationships in that time. They can be of great help to those looking to raise money, especially entrepreneurs. But again, what exactly is an investment banker?

An investment banker is someone who helps companies or governments raise funds by selling financial assets on the market. This often includes the issuing of securities. They also provide fundraising for capital markets such as debt or equity. Perhaps more importantly they also offer advising and consulting services for strategic mergers, acquisitions, and other kinds of important financial actions on behalf of a company, organization, or individual.

A great investment banker can help companies decide where and how to raise their money. They also prepare important documents and prevent misunderstandings that can be costly. They follow regulations to ensure compliance as well. But aside from the financial benefits, investment bankers help people in a larger sense of the word. They can create situations that allow people with difficult circumstances to rise above them and create success.

One such example of an investment banker who uses his intellgience and financial resources to help people is Martin Lustgarten. Lustgarten is a dual national of Austria and Venezuela.

For example, Lustgarten has used his purchase order financing company to help those in certain areas who are having difficulties gaining access to global trade. He allowed them to engage in American trade by providing U.S. dollars in a location that was difficult to come by them in Venezuela.



Getting to Know The Stars of Queens of Drama

Queens of Drama is a reality television show which debuted in the United States on the cable television network, POP. The series was produced by Leslie Greif and stars, Crystal Hunt, Lindsay Hartley, Hunter Tylo, Donna Mills, Vannessa Marcil and Chrystee Pharris.

The series rose to prominence due to it’s famous soap opera personalities, most notably Crystal Hunt who is renowned for her appearances on such well received soap operas as Guiding Light and One Life To Live. Hunt has also appeared in the Zac Efron headed vehicle, The Derby Stallion as well as the teen romance comedy, Sydney White.  Metacritic has more about what Crystal has done in her career.

On Facebook Crystal makes it apparent that the leader of the group on the show is played by Donna Mills, as herself, of Play Misty For Me fame (the 1970s Clint Eastwood cult hit). Mills has also starred in numerous other films and television series, often with high profile film makers, such as Woody Allen’s Don’t Drink The Water or the famous cult classic western, Gunsmoke as a troubled woman. Mills position as queen bee of the show was likely done due to the fact that out of all the other actresses she has easily had the most prolific and lauded career.  There’s a cool acting reel for Crystal Hunt from the show on YouTube.

Next up is Lindsay Hartley, who is known primarily for her performances in the soap operas, Passions, where she played Theresa Winthrop, as well as All My Children, where she played Cara Castillo. Hartley is also one of the earliest of the leading ladies of “Queens” to get her start in show business, with a stunning debut as pre-teen beauty pageant winner of the Young Miss America Beauty Contest.

First gaining a foothold in the world of acting from her casting in the famous soap opera, Days of Our Lives as Marina Torasco. Unfortunately her character, though a villain, was wildly unpopular. She quite acting but found herself returning to the show off and on again over the years ultimately culminating in a freak collapse during the shooting of recent episode of Queens of Drama. However, her fans need not worry as she’s currently back on her feet and doing better than ever.

Vanessa Marcil, in contrast, has not had quite as storied a career as many of the previous stars but has earned her fair share of awards and praise nonetheless.

Lastly there is Chrystee Pharris, a actress remembered primarily for her starring role in the supernatural, romance drama, Passions. She has also been featured in such popular television programs as The Steve Harvey Show, Scrubs and Castle.



Reifler Provides A Unique Perspective on Investment

Brad Reifler recently announced five important tips for investing. Now, the wealthy one percent of people have the money to use high-end investment services where the companies are able to provide them with investment tips, strategies or just invest for the individual. However, for the other 99 percent, this simply is not possible. That is exactly why Brad Reifler created these five tips, and talks about them on Twitter. This way, the average Joe is able to take his or her hard earned money and invest it with the best potential of receiving a quality return on investment.

For starters, he pointed out that it is important in regards to how the money is invested. Far too many people don’t think about the risks or the charges associated with the investment. All of this can lead to some rather big problems later on. So, by being careful and considering everything, investors can safeguard their money and avoid potentially devastating problems.

The next step he pointed out is to be concerned about the safety of the money. Knowing where the money is and how it is used or maintained is important. That is why someone should never just hand over their money to a random investor and assume they are going to take care of the money.

The third tip according to Brad Reifler’s about.me page in regards to investing is to not put all of a person’s money into the stock market. While the stock market is one of the most common investment platforms, it is not always the best. If the stock market crashes, a person runs the risk of having all of their investments drop off. By diversifying a portfolio, an individual is able to safeguard their money, so if one does drop out, they are not in big trouble.

Onto the fourth step, which is knowing who is going to be using the money for investments. Having a level of trust developed is a must. If someone does not trust the investment manager with their money, they should not move ahead working with them.

Lastly, the final step in the five tips Brad Reifler gives to the other 99 percent of people who are not necessarily able to afford the top of the line investment services, is to recognize why someone is investing. An investor needs to have a purpose. This might be to afford a new home or for retirement. Everyone needs a reason for the investment, as without one someone might lose track of why they are going after more money.

All of these tips should be taken to heart by investors.  Check out Brad’s Crunchbase site to see further information about what he’s done and where he’s going.



Highland Capital Management Reports Latest Holdings

Highland Capital Management is a hedge fund run by James Dondero. The fund has an asset base of $3.42 billion as the latest 13F form indicates. It’s a decrease of nearly $1.5 billion from the last filing. The Top 10 holdings comprise nearly 30% of its capital with American Airlines, Salesforce.com, and American Express among the biggest.

When it comes to sector allocation, the largest share belongs to Health Care (20%), followed by Information Technology and Finance (each 18%), and Energy (12%). The fund also holds various Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) as well as options (both calls and puts). Among the biggest recent buys are calls on SPDR (Spider) S&P500 ETF and a purchase of Amazon shares.

The fund has also increased its stakes in American Airlines (calls), showing its bullish bet on this company. Another bigger bet was made on Salesforce.com.

When it comes to liquidating positions, Jim Dondero sold puts on XBI (a SPDR series), Nextpoint CR Strategies, Mckesson Corp, Envision Healthcare Holdings, and Laboratory Corp. Watch Jim and the Highland Team ring the NYSE Closing Bell below.

Overall, during the reporting period, there were 69 new purchases, 62 additional purchases, 119 stocks were sold out, and 80 positions were reduced. More details can be found on Octafinance website.

James Dondero is one of the founders and the current President of Highland Capital Management. Jim has over 30 years of experience in credit markets. He currently resides in Dallas, Texas, from where he oversees fund’s investment policy and operations.

The funds ran by Jim have have been distinguished in the past. Morningstar has given a 5-star designation for global allocation in 2014, and ranked Healthcare Long/Short Equity Fund as #1 the same year.

This article recapped http://www.octafinance.com/highland-capital-management-top-10-holdings-in-q3-2015/352793/



Discover Your Inner Unicorn with Doe Deere

Doe Deere, the face behind the ultra-successful Lime Crime cosmetic brand, wants us all to find our inner unicorn. Using the terms she reserves for people that are just a little bit different, brave, creative and daring, Deere believes a bit of the unicorn spirit lives in all of us. In a recent interview with Bustle, Doe Deere sat down to discuss the fashion rules that are meant to be broken.

Be Bold

General make-up rules dictate that you should pick either a bold eye or a bold lip. Deere claims this isn’t so and often feels most comfortable in a makeup look that is universally bold. Choose the colors and pairings that speak to you, that make you feel beautiful. If that means a smoky eye paired with a deep, red lip, more power to you.

Be Careful Mixing Colors

Another fashion “rule” worth breaking concerns mixing colors. Deere encourages everyone to take a risk and play with color. Do not be afraid to experiment with blending brights and pastels, neutrals and neons or any other combination that makes you jump for joy.

Avoid Too Many Patterns

Next to mixing colors, Doe Deere loves to play with patterns. While she agrees that creating a beautiful look featuring multiple patterns can be intimidating, it can also be breathtaking.

Avoid Socks with Heels

Socks allow you to accessorize every outfit with personality, according to Deere. A self-proclaimed owner of more than 100 pairs of socks, Deere believes they are an easy way to add color and fun to any outfits. Mix and match your heels and your favorite socks.

Bold Hair, Neutral Outfit

While neutral clothing provides a blank slate for brightly hued hair, you do not have to avoid colorful outfits. Deere encourages mermaid haired beauties to pay attention to color saturation. Pair pastel locks with light, soft colors.

Dress Your Age

Deere believes there is no such thing as dressing your age, or dressing for a certain occasion. Instead, she believes in dictating your own wardrobe. Put together outfits that make you feel happy, beautiful and daring. Do not be afraid to wear that tulle skirt at any age, or a glittery jacket while shopping for groceries.

Watch Doe Deere at PHAMExpo:



Marcio Alaor: Apple Acquires Technology Start-up Emotient

 

Apple, one of the biggest global technology companies, is always looking to improve its products by releasing new innovate features into the marketplace. One example of this technology is called “Touch” which is newly available with the iPhone 6S. This technology enables the phones user’s fingerprint to access smartphone functions. In the year of 2016, says Marcio Alaor director of Bank BMG, it is clearly obvious that Apple is committed to innovation as the companies most recent acquisitions indicate.

Apple recently acquired Emotient, a technology startup company that raised $8 million dollars from private investors. It was reported that Apple was interested in the company because of its artificial intelligence technology that is capable of analyzing both emotions and facial expression. Apple’s interest in facial recognition technology is not a new thing. In 2014, notes Marcio Alaor, the company purchased a patent for the identification of mood and facial expression. As of now, one can not be certain why Apple chose to purchase Emotient and the possible impact this might have on newly launched products by Apple this year. However, it is evident that the technology giant wants to include the latest technologies in its devices.

In addition to Apple’s interest in facial recognition technology, the company has purchased patent rights that would enable them to develop smartphones and tablet devices that feature “self-repair” technology. According to recent reports, notes director of Bank BMG, Marcio Alaor, the primary aim of this technology would allow the company to develop devices that can identify and fix operating glitches automatically. This feature could help protect the phone from water damage, notes some technology experts, according to Marcio Alaor. The device for example, could remove water from its interior before lager problems could develop.

In other envisioned scenarios, an Apple device with a “self-repair” feature would be enabled automatically during the times when the smartphone or tablet was on standby.

Marcio Alaor, says that facial recognition technology and self-repair technology at Apple are in early stage development and there is no set date for this technology to be released to the public. Notwithstanding, both of these investments by Apple seem to reinforce the company’s desire to remain at the forefront of the technology market, and could hint to new product features that may be released in the very near future.

Marcio Alaor is considered one of the top managers at BMG Bank. The mining bank is one of the largest banks in Brazil. BMG sponsors more that 39 professional soccer teams and is a household name in Brazil.



QNET Gives Support To Flood Victims in Chennai

A lot of people do not care about what happens to others in their country once they make it big. I am sick of hearing about celebrities and businessmen who complain about things but do little to help. However, there are companies out there that are putting their money where it counts. One of these companies is QNET, a leader in e-commerce and direct selling in Asia.

QNET is leading by example by donating Rs. 75 Lakhs to the Tami Nadu Chief Minster’s Relief Fund. I love the work that QNET has done in e-commerce which you can read about on their website and on their Wikipedia. However, I am very glad to see that they are following through with their intent.

This is not the first time that the organization has donated to causes, in fact, they have CSR initiative called QNET- WE CARE and it was this arm of the organization that the donation was made through. The donation was with Mr. T Srinivas Yadav the Minister for Commercial Taxes and Cinematography for the State of Telangana present.

QNET – WE CARE is highly credible and is known for its support of the underprivileged people in India. It helps destitute adults and also supports victims of disasters and more. Just two weeks ago the association gave 200 relief kits to 200 families that live in Chennai. All of these families had their homes washed away so to them this gift was irreplaceable. I love that they gave something that would really help improve the quality of survivors. Each kit had items such as cooking pots, mats, sheets, and other basic household items.

QNET is a leader in the direct selling business partly because of its wide variety of products, but also because of its dedicated staff who is dispersed in multiple countries throughout the world.

We feel the fire in you, #Ghana! #QNET

A photo posted by QNET Official (@qnetofficial) on

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