Tag Archives: Investment Ideas
The financial services area is so deep and so broad, there are enough good books written about it to keep investors busy for a lifetime. If you are an avid reader, here are 10 books you’ll want to add to your reading list. If it has been a while since you last picked up a good book, any one of these recommendations is well worth a trip to the bookstore or library.
“The Battle for the Soul of Capitalism” (2005) by John C. Bogle John Bogle, a mutual fund giant and long-time advocate for the little person, takes a hard-hitting look at everything that ails the financial system in the United States. From overcompensated CEOs and overpriced mutual funds to Wall Street research scandals and the focus on short-term results over long-term gains, Bogle lays bare the truth behind what went wrong with capitalism. He also highlights the impact that mutual funds and their boards of directors have on the corporate policies of the companies that they run, and he provides a prescription for how stockholders can exercise their will, reclaim the companies they own and put the financial system back on track.
“Conspiracy of Fools: A True Story” (2005) by Kurt Eichenwald Written by a senior investigative reporter at The New York Times, this entertaining look at the Enron meltdown introduces readers to the rogues’ gallery behind the biggest failure in corporate history. From influencing the nation’s energy policy to misleading investors and analysts, the audacity, arrogance and greed of these characters is presented in a novelistic style that will keep you reading from the first page to the last.
SEE: Business Owners: Avoid Enron-esque Retirement Plans
“Freakonomics” (2005) by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner Popular, thought-provoking and controversial are all good words to describe this look at how a self-proclaimed rogue economist “explores the hidden side of everything.” This is an economics text written for the average reader, not for Rhodes scholars, and it explores a host of real-world topics ranging from violent crime and the hierarchy of drug dealers’ networks to backyard swimming pools and baby-naming patterns. “Freakonomics” and its 2009 sequel, “SuperFreakonomics”are interesting departures from the financial services genre’s usual fare.
“Fooled by Randomness” (2004) Nassim Nicholas Taleb Taleb draws on his experiences as a professional trader and math professor to provide an intellectual look at the role of luck in achieving financial success. He provides food for thought to anyone curious about the role of skill in stock picking and the value of psychology in decision making. Whether you believe that great fortunes are made through hard work and persistence or merely via the fickle hand of fate, this book will bring a new perspective to your ruminations. Fortune declared it one of “the smartest books of all time.”
“Bull’s Eye Investing” (2004) by John Mauldin When John Mauldin looked at the future, he didn’t see the traditional buy-and-hold methodology as a viable stock market strategy. Mauldin highlights the virtues of absolute return investment vehicles, such as hedge funds and old standbys like gold, as ways to make money in a decade that he predicts will be marked by stagnant markets. Citing factors such as new accounting standards and rising pension costs, he paints a bleak vision of the future and uses a variety of studies to make a compelling argument for his outlook and investment approach.
“A Mathematician Plays the Stock Market” (2003) by John Allen Paulos
Most people know that numbers play a huge role in stock market analysis, and they assume that mathematical genius provides some hidden insight that mere mortals cannot hope to match. Using personal insight from his own efforts to beat the Street, Paulos provides a humorous and entertaining look at the mathematical theories and technical analysis methods that all too often fail. If you like math, you will love this book.
“Value Investing Today” (2003) by Charles H. Brandes
Benjamin Graham, Warren Buffett and Charles Brandes are all giants in the field of value investing. Their stock screening, portfolio construction and insight into the markets made them all famous – and rich. Brandes introduces the strategies behind the success of the value approach. The third edition of this book, originally published in 1989, updates supporting data and adds several new chapters, including strategies to capitalize on international markets.
“The Millionaire Mind” (2000) by Thomas J. Stanley
In his earlier book, “The Millionaire Next Door,” Thomas J. Stanley collaborated with William D. Danko to provide a profile of the “average” millionaire. In “The Millionaire Mind”, Stanley provides a detailed look at the type of thinking that helped these millionaires amass their wealth. Everyone who aspires to millionaire status shouldn’t just read this book, they should study it.
“John Neff on Investing” (1999) by John Neff The legendary manager of Vanguard’s Windsor Fund built his reputation as a bargain hunter extraordinaire. With a contrarian approach to picking stocks, Neff bought low and sold high. For investors who count themselves among Neff’s many fans, this account of how he got the job done is well worth the read. That said, anyone reading this book in hopes of finding a shortcut to making a few bucks will likely be disappointed – there are no quick fixes offered here.
“The Millionaire Next Door” (1996) by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko
If you have ever had a burning desire to know “how the other half lives,” this is the book for you. When looking for the rich, “The Millionaire Next Door” advises us to forget the Lamborghinis, yachts and personal helicopters and focus instead on the people who live across the street, because the average millionaire isn’t who you might expect it to be. Many of the folks with seven-figure bankbooks live in average suburban neighborhoods, drive average cars and live just like the rest of us!
This list of books is sure to broaden your perspective and may even make you question what you already know. Regardless of which book you choose to read, when it comes to finance and investing, a little knowledge can go a long way.
Are you using your old customers to generate new sales? If not, then odds are you’re losing out on a tremendous amount of revenue. There are simple techniques to engage your customers to become an unpaid sales force. Here are 5 key ways to engage your old customers and generate additional sales in no time!
1. Offer New Discounts
It might seem simple to offer up new discounts to your old customers to reengage them, but the bottom line is that this technique works well. While you might not get every old customer buying more or buying again, you will likely old customers’ attention. This can be especially effective if the discount is truly a good deal and reminds them that you are still thinking about them.
2. Invite Them to Bring in Friends
Offering a discount is always a good way to reengage your old customers. However, giving them an even larger discount when they refer new customers to you can work like a charm. Not only does it get your old customer thinking about you again, but this process also brings new customers into your door and expands your business!
3. Offer a Referral Fee
Why not offer your old customers a straightforward referral fee? The pitch would be something like, “I will give you X dollars for every customer you bring me that buys from us.” If they already like your product and are a regular customer this tactic could be very effective. This will re-engage your customer and after all, who doesn’t like making money?
4. Launch New Products & Services
Telling your old customers about new products will get their attention. You might be thinking, “I don’t have any new products.” It doesn’t need to be a huge product launch, maybe you’ve created a new app for your company, started using a new system that has eliminate waiting at your restaurant, or launched a new website. Any updates about your products or changes in the business could be interesting to your customers.
5. Follow-up Quickly After a Sale
Sometimes the best way to get your customers to help you attract new business is to get them to give you a recommendation in writing. Your best opportunity to do this is right after you sold them something. Within 7-10 days after a sale, you should contact your customers with a handwritten note or email to thank them and ask them for a recommendation your request should include a link to your LinkedIn account, Yelp profile, Facebook fan page or Google+ local listing. You want to make it easy for your customers to tell their contacts how much they enjoyed doing business with you. They are far less likely to give you their time or recommendation if they have to hunt for a link to do so.
USDTZS – Tanzania Shilling Exchange rate
The USDTZS spot exchange rate appreciated 5.0000 or 0.32 percent during the last 30 days. Historically, from 2009 until 2012, the USDTZS averaged 1476.3800 reaching an all time high of 1813.5000 in October of 2011 and a record low of 1277.9000 in June of 2009. The USDTZS spot exchange rate specifies how much one currency, the USD, is currently worth in terms of the other, the TZS. While the USDTZS spot exchange rate is quoted and exchanged in the same day, the USDTZS forward rate is quoted today but for delivery and payment on a specific future date. This page includes a chart with historical data for USDTZS – Tanzania Shilling Exchange rate.
A business strategy in which a business offers a product or service at a price that is not profitable for the sake of offering another product/service at a greater profit or to attract new customers. This is a common practice when a business first enters a market; a loss leader introduces new customers to a service or product in the hope of building a customer base and securing future recurring revenue.
The loss leader strategy is more than just a nifty business trick – it is a successful strategy if executed properly. A classic example is that of mobile phone company giving away a free network Locked Mobile phone knowing that you will need to use their network only on that Mobile phone. Cool huh!?
This startegy can be used for retail shops as well, At the shop kwa Mpemba he offers a kilo of Sembe at half a price; and doubles prices on other products, we all run kwa mpemba cause sembe price is very low and assumes everything else is cheaper at Mpemba’s shop, more sales and more profits for mpemba.
On International marketing; The Lower price of Amazon kindle Fire is one of the the Loss Leader strategy; Even if Amazon pays more to build the $79 Kindle than it sells it for, the company has several other ways to bring in money from the device. This Kindle model includes ads that show up as screensavers and at the bottom of the device’s home screen. And Amazon sees all the devices in the Kindle family — and the free Kindle apps it offers for mobile devices and computers — as a way to spur more sales of its digital e-books, music, games and apps. Definately It is making its money back through media content.
Mark Zuckerberg posted this in his page 22hours ago “I’m excited to share the news that we’ve agreed to acquire Instagram and that their talented team will be joining Facebook. For years, we’ve focused on building the best experience for sharing photos with your friends and family. Now, we’ll be able to work even more closely with the Instagram team to also offer the best experiences for sharing beautiful mobile photos with people based on your interests….”Being a huge fan of Instagram this caught my attention, Why did Facebook pay such a massive price for Instagram a company with a life of less than 2 years!!
Facebook users already upload an average of more than 250 million images daily, making it the most popular photo-sharing service on the Web; Not the best though. ” But it’s not the best by far and not the most mobile, which is Facebook’s biggest weakness — that has been accomplished many others, especially Instagram, the favorite of power users who scoffed at Facebook’s weak tools. (The horror of no filters!)” ~Kara Swisher, All Things D.
Facebook and Instagram are two distinct companies with two distinct personalities. Instagram has what Facebook craves – passionate community. People like Facebook. People use Facebook. People love Instagram. It is my single most-used app. followed by Twitter and BBM I spend an hour a day on Instagram. I have made friends based on photos they share. I know how they feel, and how they see the world. Facebook lacks soul. Instagram is all soul and emotion. Facebook promises no kill, but will Instagram make it stronger? i hope they remain separate apps altogether.
On the business side point of view; Seeing the Instagram acquisition as merely quashing a potential competitor to one aspect of Facebook’s offering is far too narrow an outlook, though. Better, surely to view the deal against the increasingly familiar backdrop of Facebook’s “It’s complicated” relationship with Google and Apple. One of the things people like most about the Google+ social network is its photo-sharing features. Buying Instagram not only bolsters Facebook’s capabilities on that front – photo filters in its official app within a few months, anyone? – but also keeps the startup out of Google’s clutches, should it have been tempted to make its own acquisition bid. says Stuart Dredge, The Guardian
Goodluck to Mark Zuckerberg, I think its a smart move. if you can not bet them join them.. at a huge cost!.
IMF imeripoti kuwa Uchumi wa Tanzania Unategemewa kupanda kwa asilimia 6.5 mpaka 7 kwa mwaka 2012-13.
Soma Zaidi Hapa chini:
Tanzania’s economy is projected to expand by 6.5 to 7 percent in 2012-13, up from about 6.3 percent in 2011, with its deficit cut to 5.5 percent of gross domestic product, the International Monetary Fund said on Tuesday.
The Washington-based IMF also said real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew 6.3 percent in the first nine months of 2011 and was expected to have maintained that pace in the final quarter of the year.
The IMF estimate echoes the World Bank’s forecast in February that east Africa’s second biggest economy could rebound to 7 percent growth in 2012-13, buoyed by the recovery of the global economy.
“For 2012-13, growth is projected in the 6.5-7 percent range … It was agreed that the authorities will pursue further fiscal consolidation to achieve an overall budget deficit of 5.5 percent of GDP in 2012-13,” the IMF said in a statement.
The IMF gave no explanation for the greater growth forecast.
Economic analysts say increasing investor interest in Tanzania’s telecommunications, energy and financial services sectors should help drive economic growth if the world economy recovers.
The IMF said in February that savings in Tanzania’s non-priority programmes were expected to reduce the budget deficit to around 6.5 percent of GDP by the end of June this year, and help tackle inflation.
“Monetary policy will need to be tight over the near term to keep underlying inflation low. Based on a projected improvement in the food situation in the region, headline inflation is projected to return to single digits by end-2012,” the IMF said.
The World Bank has a more optimistic forecast on Tanzania’s inflation rate, expecting it to fall to single digits by June from 19.7 percent in January, in line with government expectations.
A chronic energy shortage coupled with high inflation driven by food and fuel prices dampened growth in Tanzania last year.
“The increase in electricity tariffs by 40 percent in January 2012 was an important step in covering the associated higher cost of power generation. It will be important to ensure that tariffs continue to reflect the cost of power generation,” the IMF said.
The IMF said Tanzania had requested support from the fund’s precautionary stand-by credit facility (SCF) as a safety net for a possible global financial slowdown over the coming years, likely to be triggered by the ongoing euro zone crisis.
“The IMF’s Executive Board is expected to consider the fourth PSI (policy support instrument) review and the request for the precautionary SCF in June 2012.”
Reuters – March 13,2012
BENKI Kuu ya Tanzania imeongeza muda wa mwaka mmoja kwa wateja wa benki zote nchini kuboresha taarifa zao kuanzia kesho Machi 15, 2012 hadi Machi 14, 2013. Benki na taasisi zote za fedha zimejulishwa kuzingatia kikamilifu agizo hili.
Mwaka jana (2011) Waziri wa Fedha na Uchumi, Bw. Mustafa Mkulo, alitoa kipindi cha muda wa mwaka mmoja kuanzia Machi 15, 2011 hadi Machi 14, 2012 kwa ajili ya zoezi hilo. Hii ilikuwa ni kuziwezesha benki zote kuzingatia kanuni zilizomo katika Sheria ya Kudhibiti Fedha Haramu.
Wakati huo huo, Benki Kuu ya Tanzania inawataka wananchi na wateja wa benki nchini kutimiza wajibu wao kwa kujaza fomu za taarifa zao ili kuepuka usumbufu unaoweza kujitokeza kwa kushindwa kutimiza sharti hilo la kisheria.
Imetolewa na Idara ya Uhusiano na Itifaki
BENKI KUU YA TANZANIA
Melinda Emerson, known as “SmallBizLady,” is one of America’s leading small business experts. She is a seasoned entrepreneur, professional speaker, social media strategist and small business coach and the Start-Up columnist for Small Business Trends. Melinda is Forbes #1 Influential Woman for Entrepreneurs and ofcourse an Author of the Bestselling book ‘Become your own Boss in 12 Months’ I love this woman, i am following her on almost ALL social ,edia platforms, twitter,facebook,wordpress,Blogger you name it! I keep asking myself.. I need to meet this woman and a learn a thing or two from her. Seriously.
About the Book
This book will inspire and guide you stage by stage if you are planning to start your business. You need to read this book before you go out and make any major moves. You’ll find it easy to read, well organized, and chock-full of useful information to get your started. What I really liked was that it’s not your typical business planning book as Melinda cares for your total entrepreneurial success – not just your business plan. She also gives advice on maximizing social media for your business and even touches on e-commerce as well. I highly recommend it for any aspiring entrepreneurs out there.
I short this book is;
- Great book for starting entrepreneurs
- Very well written
- Breaks down the process of becoming an entrepreneur in a reasonable time-line
- Not your typical “business planning” book (includes a life planning section amongst other unique sections)
- Includes great advice on getting ready to start the business, leaving a job, marketing, even social media
- Loved the way Melinda weaved her personal insights, advice, and tips into each chapter
For more articles from Melinda, visit her blog http://www.succeedasyourownboss.com
Have a Blessed Weekend. Catch me up on #MonFinanceBlog facebook page.
Most people think Stocks investments is just eating a piece of cake. You do not have to be there physically to control your investments, you just browse daily or weekly on Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange site and manage your portfolio and your money multiplies.
Sounds so much Easier. In the days of dotcom mania, investors could throw money into an IPO and be almost guaranteed killer returns. Numerous companies, experienced huge first-day gains, but ended up disappointing investors in the long-term. People who had the foresight to get in, and out, on some of these companies, made investing look way too easy.
However, no investment is a sure thing. Investors could no longer expect the double and triple-digit gains they got in the early tech IPO days simply by flipping stocks. There is still money to be made in IPOs, but the focus has shifted from the quick buck to the long-term outlook. Rather than trying to capitalize on a stock’s initial bounce, investors are more inclined to carefully scrutinize long-term prospects.
IPOs can be a risky investment. For the individual investor, it is tough to predict what the stock will do on its initial day of trading and in the near future because there is often little historical data with which to analyze the company. Also, most IPOs are of companies going through a transitory growth period, which are subject to additional uncertainty regarding their future values.
WHAT IS AN IPO?
‘An IPO is The first sale of stock by a private company to the public. IPOs are often issued by smaller, younger companies seeking the capital to expand, but can also be done by large privately owned companies looking to become publicly traded.’
Even if you have a longer-term focus, finding a good IPO is difficult. IPOs have many unique risks that make them different from the average stock which has been trading for a while. If you do decide to take a chance on an IPO, here are five points to keep in mind:
1. Objective research is a scarce commodity
Getting information on companies set to go public is tough. Unlike most publicly traded companies, private companies do not have swarms of analysts covering them, attempting to uncover possible cracks in their corporate armor. Remember that although most companies try to fully disclose all information in their prospectus it is still written by them and not by an unbiased third-party.
Search the Internet for information on the company and its competitors, financing, past press releases, as well as overall industry health. Even though info may be scarce, learning as much as you can about the company is a crucial step in making a wise investment. On the other hand, your research may lead to the discovery that a company’s prospects are being overblown and that not acting on the investment opportunity is the best idea.
2. Pick a company with strong brokers
Try to select a company that has a strong underwriter. I am not saying that the big investment banks never bring duds public, but in general, quality brokerages bring quality companies public. Exercise more caution when selecting smaller brokerages, because they may be willing to underwrite any company. However, one positive of smaller brokers is that, because of their smaller client base, they make it easier for the individual investor to purchase pre-IPO shares. Be aware that most large brokerage firms will not allow your first investment to be an IPO. The only individual investors who get in on IPOs are long-standing, established (and often high-net-worth) customers. Of course in our country most of the brokerage firms aims at SELLING instead of ADVISING an investor.
3. Always read the prospectus
I have told you not to put all your faith in it, but you should never skip reading the prospectus. It may be a dry read, but the prospectus lays out the company’s risks and opportunities, along with the proposed uses for the money raised by the IPO.
For example, if the money is going to repay loans, or buy the equity from founders or private investors, then look out! It is a bad sign if the company cannot afford to repay its loans without issuing stock. Money that is going towards research, marketing or expanding into new markets paints a better picture. Most companies have learned that over-promising and under-delivering are mistakes often made by those vying for marketplace success. Therefore, one of the biggest things to be on the lookout for while reading a prospectus is an overly optimistic future earnings outlook; this means reading the projected accounting figures carefully.
You can always request the prospectus from the broker bringing the company public. Get a professional to help you understand the prospectus because not anyone can read and understand the accounting information and statements disclosed in a prospectus.
4. Be cautious
Skepticism is a positive attribute to cultivate in the IPO market. As i mentioned earlier, there is always a lot of uncertainty surrounding IPOs, mainly because of the lack of available information. Therefore, you should always approach an IPO with caution.
If your broker recommends an IPO, you should exercise increased caution. This is a clear indication that most institutions and money managers have graciously passed on the underwriter’s attempts to sell them stock. In this situation, individual investors are likely getting the bottom feed, the leftovers that the “big money” didn’t want. If your broker is strongly pitching shares, there is probably a reason behind the high number of these available stocks. This brings up an important point: even if you find a company going public that you deem to be a worthwhile investment, it’s possible you won’t be able to get shares. Brokers have a habit of saving their IPO allocations for favored clients, so unless you are a high roller, chances are good that you won’t be able to get in.
5. Consider waiting for the lock-up period to end
The lock-up period is a legally binding contract (Mostly 3 to 24 months) between the underwriters and insiders of the company prohibiting them from selling any shares of stock for a specified period.
The point here is that waiting until insiders are free to sell their shares is not a bad strategy, because if they continue to hold stock once the lock-up period has expired, it may be an indication that the company has a bright and sustainable future. During the lock-up period, there is no way to tell whether insiders would in fact be happy to take the spot price of the stock or not.
Let the market take its course before you take the plunge. A good company is still going to be a good company, and a worthy investment, even after the lock-up period expires.
The Bottom Line
By no means I am suggesting that all IPOs should be avoided: some investors who have bought stock at the IPO price have been rewarded handsomely by the companies in question. Every month successful companies go public, but it is difficult to sift through the riffraff and find the investments with the most potential. Just keep in mind that when it comes to dealing with the IPO market, a skeptical and informed investor is likely to perform much better than one who is not.
Happy reading and Go beat the Market!