#investment ideas

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#investment ideas

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10 big investment ideas for 2016

  • Share on twitter

It’s time to fire up the interneuronal connections and carve out 10 big ideas for 2016.

Asian nation

My first offering is that Australia will likely become an Asian nation in its ethnic orientation. Apologies to the xenophobes, but it’s happening under your nose. An incredible 28 per cent of Australia’s population (or 6.6 million people) were born overseas – the highest in 120 years. During the last census a remarkable 12 per cent of Australians said they had Asian ancestry.

In Sydney and Melbourne, 19 per cent and 18 per cent, respectively, of residents are Asian. In Sydney regions like Parramatta and Ryde, the Asian share of the population is as high as 34 per cent and 33 per cent, respectively. China and India have overtaken the UK as Australia’s biggest source of new migrants, collectively accounting for 35 per cent of the intake in 2013-14.

The idea of Australia stealthily yet ineluctably becoming an Asian nation is a big deal: it will reinforce our unique antipodal trading position and powerful role as a politically stable economic conduit between east and west; it will help improve our cultural commonalities with major regional actors like China, India and Indonesia (mitigating geopolitical hazards); and it should serve as a source of innovation, productivity and growth, just as the influx of ambitious European migrants did after World War II.

Related Quotes

Bank returns on equity will fall

Idea number two is that the major banks’ returns on equity (RoEs) are inevitably going to fall from around 15 per cent towards their 11 per cent cost of equity as result of the banking system becoming a highly competitive and level playing field. While this process may take five years or more, it should mean that rather than trading at an unusually high two times book value, the majors will price at circa one times. If I’m right, there is much downside to current valuations, which is a proposition reinforced by analysts’ crazy forecasts that bad and doubtful debt charges will stay around 30-year lows.

In five years the majors will have ceded the competitive advantages that fuelled their world-beating RoEs. Rather than carrying 25 per cent more leverage than rivals, they will end up having less leverage and more equity capital in the funding mix. Combined with the fact that smaller banks tend not to source as much funding in the dearer wholesale bond markets – underwriting assets with cheaper deposits that are now a government-guaranteed (and more stable) funding source – I believe the majors will wind up having more expensive funding costs. In short, we will migrate to a system where the majors are much safer banks with reduced risks of failure, with the trade-off of lower returns on equity than competitors that have loftier leverage and lower funding costs. There should, therefore, be an economic role reversal between the big four and their rivals.

Another Macquarie Bank?

If the majors are going to become slow-moving, yet bullet-proof, utilities, a third idea is investors should look for superior returns from more fleet-footed alternatives that are not saddled with the financial baggage of being too-big-to-fail. One day we will eventually see another Nicholas Moore who creates a new Macquarie Bank with a much skinnier 50 per cent dividend payout ratio (compared to the majors’ 80 per cent pay-out policies) that retains earnings to support investments in innovative and entrepreneurial opportunities. Macquarie has done a fabulous job of continuously reinventing itself to maintain growth and studiously avoided allocating too much capital to competing in the majors’ commodity markets.

On this note, the majors will likely lose significant market share in home loans to regional banks that for the first time will be able to compete effectively with them on price without crushing their returns. Rather than being price setters, the majors will become price takers and have to give back the recent rate hikes they have foisted on borrowers to compensate for expanding equity funding costs or suffer market share losses. This will compel them back into the less contested business lending space, which will lubricate credit to companies. Indeed, I think the majors’ balance-sheet splits between residential and business loans will revert back to the 40:60 levels before the 1991 recession.

Our forecasts for double-digit house price growth in 2013 and 2014, and high single-digit growth in 2015, were spot on. My fourth idea is that there will be no imminent housing collapse, and the price of our bricks and mortar will again climb in 2016, albeit at a much slower pace of around 1 to 2 times income growth. I maintain the view that the market is very expensive (15 to 25 per cent above fair value) and recently sold my own home. The interest rate hikes that will be the catalyst for a sustained Aussie housing correction appear to have been shunted into the distant future.

A fifth idea is that as the US and UK jobless rates (5 and 5.3 per cent respectively) fall towards 3 per cent in 2016 and 2017, wage and consumer price inflation will gradually reanimate. While the Fed will hike in December, central banks will get behind the curve because of their desire to “look through” this reflation.

Fixed-rate bond prices to plummet

This prompts another idea, which is that fixed-rate bond prices will melt as long-term yields rise on the back of financial markets resisting the Fed’s dovish view of the world and acknowledging stubbornly strong inflation data. The existential moment for global central banks will arrive when the break-even inflation rates priced by the bond market begin breaching official inflation targets in a sign that investors no longer think that monetary policy (and so-called nominal growth targeting) is compatible with price stability. Asset allocators need to be short interest rate duration or, if you have to be exposed to this risk, hire a smart duration manager – they can be hard to find. Few people can consistently call rate changes right.

If this base case plays out, my seventh thought is that global equities will face tremendous headwinds as long-term risk-free rates (that is, government bond yields) mean-revert back to some semblance of normality, which means yields 50 per cent to 100 per cent higher than current marks. Recall that the 10-year government bond yield is an essential input as the underpinning for the discount rates in the valuation models for all listed and unlisted equity and real estate markets.

Sell ‘beta’ buy ‘alpha’

This insight furnishes an eighth idea, which is sell equity “beta” and buy “alpha”, as I advocated last year. Aussie shares (beta) have declined over the year to date while market-neutral and long-short hedge funds (alpha) have delivered terrific returns (at least the guys that I invest with have). This dynamic is unlikely to change.

In the more immediate term (over the next, say, one to two years), I like “spread” assets as the search for yield will remain a critical influence over investor behaviour as long as deposits do not offer any material “real” returns above inflation and equities continues to get hammered. One example is major bank subordinated bonds, which currently trade very cheaply on a global basis despite the majors being among the best capitalised banks globally, care of $33 billion of equity origination over the last 12 months. The credit ratings on major banks’ subordinated debt are on par with the senior bonds issued by Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley or Citigroup, and I think there is a decent chance they will get upgraded to the “A” band next year if Standard & Poor’s lifts the majors’ stand-alone credit profiles from “a” to “a+”, as it has signalled it may do.

A final thought is that if the world is once again forced to choose between elevated interest rates and high and volatile inflation, there is a possibility that the value of paper money will atrophy as a credible medium of exchange. This could precipitate a flight to safety in the form of a resurgence in the demand for gold as a hedge against the debasement of money by governments using the printing press to finance their own deficits.



#business gifts

#

Many business owners send greeting cards and corporate gifts to show gratitude to clients and business partners. These gifts are often useless and end up being thrown away or regifted. The purpose of the gift is to standout and remind the individual about you or your brand long after the holidays.

Here are eight tips, from Entrepreneur. to help you select a gift that will leave an impression:

1. Make it useful. Give people something they can use throughout the year. Desk calendars, pens, small flashlights and letter openers are great examples of items every business person could use.

2. Give your product. Skip the shopping and extra spending, and give your product as a gift. It allows you to show gratitude while promoting your business.

3. Make a donation. Create goodwill by making charitable donations in the names of your business partners. An added bonus is the tax writeoff.

4. Look for exchanges. Ask other businesses about exchanging products and services. This will reduce costs, result in better gifts and serve as a marketing tool. Some companies you may want to talk to include movie theaters, restaurants, coffee shops and entertainment venues.

5. Personalize it. Include your business name on the corporate gifts you give. There is nothing wrong with branding the items you give to your business partners.

6. Spread it around. Give a gift that employees can benefit from. They are often left out while the owners and managers get all the corporate gifts.

7. Keep it simple. While it can be tempting, it is best not to go overboard. Remember that gift giving is a marketing strategy and does not need to cost you a lot of money. Be sincere and tactful in your gift choices.

8. Keep it healthy. Everyone loves treats, but too many sweet snacks go around during the holidays. There is no need to add to the cookies and chocolates your business partners are already receiving. The fall from a sugar rush can negatively impact businesses. If you want to send something edible, make sure it’s healthy.

Gift giving during the holiday season is a great gesture for business partners. Be sure to be reasonable, choosing items that are useful, cost-effective and serve to market your business.



#investment ideas

#

10 big investment ideas for 2016

  • Share on twitter

It’s time to fire up the interneuronal connections and carve out 10 big ideas for 2016.

Asian nation

My first offering is that Australia will likely become an Asian nation in its ethnic orientation. Apologies to the xenophobes, but it’s happening under your nose. An incredible 28 per cent of Australia’s population (or 6.6 million people) were born overseas – the highest in 120 years. During the last census a remarkable 12 per cent of Australians said they had Asian ancestry.

In Sydney and Melbourne, 19 per cent and 18 per cent, respectively, of residents are Asian. In Sydney regions like Parramatta and Ryde, the Asian share of the population is as high as 34 per cent and 33 per cent, respectively. China and India have overtaken the UK as Australia’s biggest source of new migrants, collectively accounting for 35 per cent of the intake in 2013-14.

The idea of Australia stealthily yet ineluctably becoming an Asian nation is a big deal: it will reinforce our unique antipodal trading position and powerful role as a politically stable economic conduit between east and west; it will help improve our cultural commonalities with major regional actors like China, India and Indonesia (mitigating geopolitical hazards); and it should serve as a source of innovation, productivity and growth, just as the influx of ambitious European migrants did after World War II.

Related Quotes

Bank returns on equity will fall

Idea number two is that the major banks’ returns on equity (RoEs) are inevitably going to fall from around 15 per cent towards their 11 per cent cost of equity as result of the banking system becoming a highly competitive and level playing field. While this process may take five years or more, it should mean that rather than trading at an unusually high two times book value, the majors will price at circa one times. If I’m right, there is much downside to current valuations, which is a proposition reinforced by analysts’ crazy forecasts that bad and doubtful debt charges will stay around 30-year lows.

In five years the majors will have ceded the competitive advantages that fuelled their world-beating RoEs. Rather than carrying 25 per cent more leverage than rivals, they will end up having less leverage and more equity capital in the funding mix. Combined with the fact that smaller banks tend not to source as much funding in the dearer wholesale bond markets – underwriting assets with cheaper deposits that are now a government-guaranteed (and more stable) funding source – I believe the majors will wind up having more expensive funding costs. In short, we will migrate to a system where the majors are much safer banks with reduced risks of failure, with the trade-off of lower returns on equity than competitors that have loftier leverage and lower funding costs. There should, therefore, be an economic role reversal between the big four and their rivals.

Another Macquarie Bank?

If the majors are going to become slow-moving, yet bullet-proof, utilities, a third idea is investors should look for superior returns from more fleet-footed alternatives that are not saddled with the financial baggage of being too-big-to-fail. One day we will eventually see another Nicholas Moore who creates a new Macquarie Bank with a much skinnier 50 per cent dividend payout ratio (compared to the majors’ 80 per cent pay-out policies) that retains earnings to support investments in innovative and entrepreneurial opportunities. Macquarie has done a fabulous job of continuously reinventing itself to maintain growth and studiously avoided allocating too much capital to competing in the majors’ commodity markets.

On this note, the majors will likely lose significant market share in home loans to regional banks that for the first time will be able to compete effectively with them on price without crushing their returns. Rather than being price setters, the majors will become price takers and have to give back the recent rate hikes they have foisted on borrowers to compensate for expanding equity funding costs or suffer market share losses. This will compel them back into the less contested business lending space, which will lubricate credit to companies. Indeed, I think the majors’ balance-sheet splits between residential and business loans will revert back to the 40:60 levels before the 1991 recession.

Our forecasts for double-digit house price growth in 2013 and 2014, and high single-digit growth in 2015, were spot on. My fourth idea is that there will be no imminent housing collapse, and the price of our bricks and mortar will again climb in 2016, albeit at a much slower pace of around 1 to 2 times income growth. I maintain the view that the market is very expensive (15 to 25 per cent above fair value) and recently sold my own home. The interest rate hikes that will be the catalyst for a sustained Aussie housing correction appear to have been shunted into the distant future.

A fifth idea is that as the US and UK jobless rates (5 and 5.3 per cent respectively) fall towards 3 per cent in 2016 and 2017, wage and consumer price inflation will gradually reanimate. While the Fed will hike in December, central banks will get behind the curve because of their desire to “look through” this reflation.

Fixed-rate bond prices to plummet

This prompts another idea, which is that fixed-rate bond prices will melt as long-term yields rise on the back of financial markets resisting the Fed’s dovish view of the world and acknowledging stubbornly strong inflation data. The existential moment for global central banks will arrive when the break-even inflation rates priced by the bond market begin breaching official inflation targets in a sign that investors no longer think that monetary policy (and so-called nominal growth targeting) is compatible with price stability. Asset allocators need to be short interest rate duration or, if you have to be exposed to this risk, hire a smart duration manager – they can be hard to find. Few people can consistently call rate changes right.

If this base case plays out, my seventh thought is that global equities will face tremendous headwinds as long-term risk-free rates (that is, government bond yields) mean-revert back to some semblance of normality, which means yields 50 per cent to 100 per cent higher than current marks. Recall that the 10-year government bond yield is an essential input as the underpinning for the discount rates in the valuation models for all listed and unlisted equity and real estate markets.

Sell ‘beta’ buy ‘alpha’

This insight furnishes an eighth idea, which is sell equity “beta” and buy “alpha”, as I advocated last year. Aussie shares (beta) have declined over the year to date while market-neutral and long-short hedge funds (alpha) have delivered terrific returns (at least the guys that I invest with have). This dynamic is unlikely to change.

In the more immediate term (over the next, say, one to two years), I like “spread” assets as the search for yield will remain a critical influence over investor behaviour as long as deposits do not offer any material “real” returns above inflation and equities continues to get hammered. One example is major bank subordinated bonds, which currently trade very cheaply on a global basis despite the majors being among the best capitalised banks globally, care of $33 billion of equity origination over the last 12 months. The credit ratings on major banks’ subordinated debt are on par with the senior bonds issued by Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley or Citigroup, and I think there is a decent chance they will get upgraded to the “A” band next year if Standard & Poor’s lifts the majors’ stand-alone credit profiles from “a” to “a+”, as it has signalled it may do.

A final thought is that if the world is once again forced to choose between elevated interest rates and high and volatile inflation, there is a possibility that the value of paper money will atrophy as a credible medium of exchange. This could precipitate a flight to safety in the form of a resurgence in the demand for gold as a hedge against the debasement of money by governments using the printing press to finance their own deficits.



#busy

#

A Rant About Asking People if They Are “Busy”

A Rant About Asking People if They Are “Busy”

I have a request that will help you and your fellow business owners….

Stop asking people if they are busy to see how they are.

We ask people this as if them responding with a “yes” is a good thing?

I don t know anyone who truly wants to feel busy. “Busy” normally goes along with feeling over-worked, tired and stressed out, it usually means not being relaxed and surviving on adrenaline. I don’t know anyone that really enjoys those feelings on an ongoing basis (and I certainly don’t like it either).

I do like to feel challenged though. I do like to feel that I m in demand. I do like to feel that I have a good flow of business to keep me profitable. I like to feel that I’ve got things under control and be relaxed about it (even when I’m working hard).

To me, Busy is a dirty four letter word. We are trained from an early age that busy is a great definition of success Because if we re busy then we must be successful, right? It s not true though. Busy is NOT a sign of success. Busy might mean that we have a lot of clients or work on, but it’s very easy to be busy yet not be profitable. And it s easy to be busy and profitable and still not be happy!

In my observation from coaching hundreds of business owners most are too busy. Their business runs them. So a better question might be How s business? or How s everything working out?” Let’s break the curse of ‘busy being a good thing in business.



#busy

#

Things You Understand If You’re The Busy Friend

We hear ya.

Are you chronically busy? Do you go to school and hold a job (or several)? Are you overly involved on campus? Do you have a semblance of a social life? Are you constantly having to prioritize and re-prioritize your to-do list? Do you have a tendency to overextend yourself? Do you sometimes feel like your friends just don’t understand? Are you The Busy Friend?

We hear ya. The following is a list of some of the things that your fellow Busy Friends can identify with. If you’re not The Busy Friend, hopefully this list gives you some insights into the mind of The Busy Friend in your life.

1. Scheduling everything. I mean, everything. You forget to schedule cushion time for a bathroom break? Bummer. Your whole day is thrown off.

2. You have been so deprived of purely social interactions that when you finally do make it to that hang-out you scheduled two weeks ago and your friends are busy playing “Candy Crush” instead of being super present in this awesome, once-in-a-month quality friendship moment, you get unreasonably angry.

3. Or the opposite. You finally have a moment to chill with friends, but it is only going to last so long and you’re the one too busy for the present. Remember how you haven’t called your grandma in three years? The to-do list you made seven minutes ago needs updating. You have not casually scrolled your Instagram/Facebook etc. allllll day. If you’ve been there, you know what I mean.

4. When you explain how busy you are, and people tell you to “just do less”, and you’re like “I CANNOT JUST DO LESS. THIS IS MY LIFE. I DO THIS MUCH. THIS IS HOW MUCH I DO” and they still don’t get it. I mean, sure, you could maybe cut out your one hobby that allows you to be a sane and functioning human. And yeah, you could probably eat more top ramen and less actual food, saving on the amount of hours spent working and the amount of prep time. Sure, you could spend less time sleeping – who needs a solid 4 hours anyways?

5. When you have a sudden opening in your schedule and become the most spontaneous person. You’ve got 27 free minutes and you’re up for anything. Where da crew?

6 .You calculate the exact amount of minutes you will be able to sleep if you fall asleep now. How many REM cycles is that? 1.5? Awesome. If anyone interrupts your precious sleep, they might as well have woken a hibernating bear.

7 .When Friday rolls around you can do nothing but fall into bed in exhaustion. Cue comments from friends about how you’re totes antisocial and why don’t you ever go out anymore.

If you can identify with more than a few of these, you may just be The Busy Friend. Maybe it’s time to cut back on a few of your extracurriculars; maybe it’s time to start slimming down your friend group to the people who really matter to you. Trust me, I know the struggle of having to limit your activities and prioritize your passions. But even just making a small change can have a big impact on your schedule, energy level and social life.

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#business cards design

#

Avery WePrint Business Cards

Ordered business cards. Love Avery design tool. The cards turned out wonderful. I had them print and they look amazing. Price was competitive too. Google Trusted Store Review (June 4, 2016)

Easy to create business cards that included my own image and text. Quality is nice. Google Trusted Store Review (April 30, 2016)

I received an email from them with a layout problem. They corrected it, printed it and shipped before I had a chance to respond! The cards were perfect, just how I had hoped they would turn out. Google Trusted Store Review (April 24, 2016)

The quality of the finished product from Avery WePrint was awesome, the design tool was easy to use and the customer service rep was very helpful with my questions about production/shipping deadlines. Will definitely use again. Google Trusted Store Review (December 14, 2015)

Business cards looked professional – good quality material and crisp color printing! Google Trusted Store Review (November 8, 2015)

* Flat rate shipping offer applies to economy shipping only. If another shipping method is selected, charges may apply. Offer applies only to orders shipped to
the United States and Puerto Rico. Offer subject to change.



#business cards design

#

Only one promotion code can be used per order. Savings will be reflected in your shopping cart. Discounts cannot be applied to shipping and processing, taxes, subscription services or previous purchases, unless otherwise specified. Additional charges may apply for shipping and processing and upgrades unless otherwise specified. Free Offers only valid on the lowest quantity of each product and not valid on more than 10 items per order.

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Home Business Cards

Choose how to design.

Browse our designs

Add your own text and images.

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Combine it with our layouts and fonts.

Choose your Standard Business Card layout and click Continue.



#best business laptop

#

Business Laptop Reviews, Ratings, and Pricing

Looking for a notebook computer for your small office or home office? Computer Shopper’s expert reviews of business laptops will help you find the best model for your needs. Our reviews and laptop ratings walk you through the exact components and features to look for. Computer Shopper’s business laptop buying guides offer side-by-side comparisons of today’s best small-business laptops. Also, check below for lab-tested reviews of our current 10 top business laptops.

HP’s MacBook for Business?

The new EliteBook Folio G1 is as slim and attractive as Apple’s MacBook, but with more ports, a better keyboard, and battery life that’s almost as long.

  • T Is for Tops

    In the T460s, Lenovo has redesigned its venerable ThinkPad T-series and added the latest hardware bits. It’s still one of the best 14-inch business ultrabooks on the market, with the best keyboard in the biz.

    The Face Is Familiar

    What if the XPS 13 had a Core M? Dell’s Latitude 13 7000 (a.k.a. Latitude 7370) is a new spin on a successful, nearly-no-bezel ultralight.

  • Playing the Workstation Card

    A mobile workstation with a family resemblance to the GS72 Stealth gamer, the 17.3-inch MSI WS72 provides ample power for $2,699.

  • New Reviews



    #busy

    #

    A Rant About Asking People if They Are “Busy”

    A Rant About Asking People if They Are “Busy”

    I have a request that will help you and your fellow business owners….

    Stop asking people if they are busy to see how they are.

    We ask people this as if them responding with a “yes” is a good thing?

    I don t know anyone who truly wants to feel busy. “Busy” normally goes along with feeling over-worked, tired and stressed out, it usually means not being relaxed and surviving on adrenaline. I don’t know anyone that really enjoys those feelings on an ongoing basis (and I certainly don’t like it either).

    I do like to feel challenged though. I do like to feel that I m in demand. I do like to feel that I have a good flow of business to keep me profitable. I like to feel that I’ve got things under control and be relaxed about it (even when I’m working hard).

    To me, Busy is a dirty four letter word. We are trained from an early age that busy is a great definition of success Because if we re busy then we must be successful, right? It s not true though. Busy is NOT a sign of success. Busy might mean that we have a lot of clients or work on, but it’s very easy to be busy yet not be profitable. And it s easy to be busy and profitable and still not be happy!

    In my observation from coaching hundreds of business owners most are too busy. Their business runs them. So a better question might be How s business? or How s everything working out?” Let’s break the curse of ‘busy being a good thing in business.