THE SERIOUS AND fUN SIDE OF BIZ
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FEATURE: THE SWAN PROJECT
7 SEPTEMBER, 2016 WEDNESDAY
One devastating picture of a Wall Street trading floor says it all
THE SERIOUS SIDE
STOCK MARKET CLOSE
BOND MARKET CLOSE
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Stocks See Slight Gains as September Rate Hike Chances Shrink
Weaker chances of a rate hike when the Federal Reserve meets in two weeks left Wall Street in a bright mood on its return from the long Labor Day weekend.
Stocks held slight gains through the afternoon session after a choppy morning. TheS&P 500 finished up 0.30%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.25%, and the Nasdaq rose 0.50%, closing at a new record high of 5,275.91.
Weaker U.S. services activity in August pushed back the chances of a September interest rate hike. The ISM Non-Manufacturing Index fell to 51.4 in August, its slowest growth since 2010, but remaining above the threshold separating expansion from contraction. Analysts had expected a reading of 55, down from 55.5 in July.
WHAT DID THE EUROPEAN MARKETS DO?
European Markets Mostly Down; FTSE Records Sharpest Fall in Two Months
European markets closed mostly down on Tuesday.
In London, the FTSE 100 was down 0.78% at 6,826.05. The pound today rose 0.93% on the dollar to $1.3428 after weak U.S. service sector data.
WHAT DID OIL DO?
Crude oil closed slightly higher on Tuesday despite fading hopes of a production freeze agreement among major oil-producing nations. Prices had climbed earlier after Saudi Arabia and Russia agreed to cooperate on output discussions. However, Saudi Arabian Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih later said production levels were fine as is.
West Texas Intermediate added 1.02% to $45.50 a barrel.
STOCKS IN THE NEWS
Intel (INTC) climbed more than 1% after acquiring semiconductor startup Movidiusfor an undisclosed amount. Tech companies Alphabet and Lenovo Group are both clients of the company.
Apple (AAPL) was on watch ahead of its announcement set for Wednesday.
Wall Street Journal
New York Times
International Business Times
SMART TO KNOW
How Robo-Advisors Can Fill Mass-Market Advice Gap
Who is considered wealthy is changing.
Many investment brokerage firms are now eschewing individuals with less than $750,000 and referring these folks to call centers and robo-advisor platforms.
The entire financial advice landscape is evolving with the implementation of the fiduciary rule. In a related development, margins are shrinking for advisors and advisory services are becoming commoditized by robo-advisors.
Recognizing the need for low fee, top-notch investment advisors, many of the large investment firms are developing or buying robo-advisors outright to serve their clients. Automated investment advice, once a stand-alone offering by companies such as Betterment or Wealthfront, is growing. Many big players including Charles Schwab Corp., TD Ameritrade, Invesco and Vanguard, now offer digital investment platforms.
High Funeral Costs Up Med School Body Donations
Thinking about end-of-life planning isn’t exactly pleasant but it’s better to be prepared, especially from a financial perspective. The National Funeral Directors Association puts the median cost of a funeral in 2014 at $7,181, an increase of 29% over the previous decade. In an effort to stave off those costs, more people are turning to whole body donation as a money-saving measure. (See: Advanced Estate Planning: Funeral Arrangements.)
According to a recent Associated Press report, body donations at medical schools and private donation facilities are up significantly over previous years. The mounting expense associated with paying for a funeral and a decline in the stigma and religious objections associated with organ and body donation are believed to be behind the uptick.
THE fUN SIDE
FEATURE: THE SWAN PROJECT
Aesha has been a professional ballet dancer for 13 years. After attending the legendary School of American Ballet, she joined the New York City Ballet at the age of 18, where she remained for eight years dancing numerous soloist and principal roles. Aesha then joined the legendary Bejart Ballet, in Lausanne Switzerland, as a soloist. After enjoying success in Europe, she returned to the United States in 2005 where joined Alonzo King’s Lines Ballet. After a tremendous amount of growth and learning, Aesha went freelance. She began working with Morphoses, founded by Christopher Wheeldon. Aesha has been featured in Dance Magazine, Pointe Magazine, Bazaar, Marie Claire, the New York Times and the San Francisco Chronicle, to name a few. You will find Aesha featured in the New York City Ballet Workout II, Barbie Nutcracker, as well as the principal dance double for Zoe Saldana in the movie Center Stage.
Through the use of imagery and my career as a ballet dancer, I want to help change the demoralized, objectified and caricatured images of African-American women by showing the world that beauty is not reserved for any particular race or socio-economic background. I wish for this message to infuse the ballet world and project to the entire world. While exposing more African-American communities to the ballet, I also hope to promote greater involvement and increase patronage to this beautiful art form.
The Swan Dreams Project’s goal is to convey the message that beauty and talent are not constrained by race or socio-economic status. I want our youth to know that they are not limited by stereotypes nor by their environment, but only by their dreams.
How To Fight FOBO: The Fear Of Being Ordinary
You’re following the rules. You check all the boxes. You have a routine. You have a budget. You’re living the dream, right? Not quite. You wonder, “is this all there is?” when you come home after work. You see other people doing compelling, fascinating things, and you say to yourself, “I wish that was me.”
You’re afraid you’re boring. Beige. Standardized. Basic. You feel older than your age. And you hate it. You’ve got a case of FOBO: fear of being ordinary.
But fear not. FOBO can be defeated. Focus on these facts to realize that you’re far less trapped in the world of the ordinary than you think.
Fact 1: Social media is advertising.
The things you see are messages selected to tell idealized stories. There are many lies told by omission, and many less-flattering truths never shared. Don’t believe everything in your feeds.
Fact 2: You can’t cut and paste your way to extraordinary.
The more people who do the interesting thing, the less interesting that thing becomes. Aiming to do what other people do, dress how they dress, go where they travel, is just another way to be ordinary. The less you attempt to copy what you see, the less beige you’ll feel.
Fact 3: Boring is in the details.
It doesn’t take much to add color to your life. Switch up one element, one small feature every day. In a month, you’ll have a full page of novel and memorable facets on the jewel of your routine.
Fact 4: Self-censorship is insidious.
You’ve been trained to ignore your impulses and keep yourself in line. You’re the one who colors inside the lines and buys the business casual costumes. It’s hard to push back against the rules you’ve internalized, but it’s worth it to reroute the course you’re driving on autopilot.
I use graphs and charts to tell stories, jokes, and truths. You can find more of my work in book form here.
12 Traits VCs Look For In An Entrepreneur
Everyone talks about how important the founding team is when VCs are looking at investing in start-ups but rarely do we VCs tell you founders exactly what we are looking for. This is because it is hard to sayexactly— ‘I know it when I see it’ often gets thrown around. But the truth is that many of us VCs do have a list of traits that we are looking for in our founders.
- Passion for what they are creating. The more creating the company is a calling vs. coming at it from a ‘what business should I start’ exercise, the better.
- Good people. I am fine with rough, direct, even some that others may call an asshole, if down deep, you have the right values and treat people with respect.
- Perseverance. Creating companies is hard sh*t — founders need to be able to get right back up after they are knocked down. Over and over again.
- Can sell – to customers, top recruits and to future VCs.
- Skills, background or insights that give you an unfair advantage – from prior experience, key connections, or unique insights. Why you?
- Clear and crisp thinker and communicator. It is too easy to get lost in the woods without this.
- Self aware and desire to constantly grow, learn and improve. No one is perfect except for the ones that accept they are not and seek help and wisdom when they need it. Play to your strengths and stay open-minded.
- Data driven.
- Works fast — VERY fast. Perfectionists need not apply.
- Works smart and hard. I like the founders that are not here for the party. Create a lot of value and then party as much as you like.
- Coachable. If confident, self aware and has a growth mind-set, you are probably in good shape here. I also like working with people who do not shy away from confrontation and hard conversations. Life’s too short.
- Strong team dynamics. The more history and complementary skills, the better.
That’s all for today.
See you back here in the a.m. with the latest biz.
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