Chris was an exec in financial services companies and later went independent as a Financial Planner. Within his practice he decided to focus on clients with big student loan burdens to help them pay them down and get on with other aspects of their financial lives.
His migration from financial providers to independence and within that independence to focus on a specific type of advice is possible due to the internet and the way it lets him reach a much bigger audience that even transcends geography.
In this video Chris tells us about his practice, book, seminars, website, and his social media activities:
Find Chris and his Financial Evolution Group online:
Monitoring the markets and how Apple stock is trading, from Tel Aviv, Mati Greenspan tells us what’s the buzz on eToro’s social trading platform.
This is Mati Greenspan’s profile on eToro.com:
Every trader has a unique way of making money in the markets. As a Senior Analyst, my skill is assisting clients to maximize their profits by utilizing each person’s individual strengths. Feel free to post any questions about the market or about portfolio management directly on my wall. Or upgrade to a Premium eToro Account for weekly private consultations and many other benefits: http://www.etoro.com/community/trader-accounts.aspx
ALSO, Go here to see the buzz on Apple (AAPL) on eToro’s social network “OpenBook”:
Today we had the privilege of interviewing Ashraf Eassa who wrote a very timely article about Apple Inc. (AAPL) and it’s earnings report yesterday.
The stock is down 12% as a result of the company’s disappointing earning’s report and Ashraf’s article on SeekingAlpha.com “Apple’s Growth Story Is Over“ has been widely read and somewhat controversial on the Seeking Alpha research platform:
Ashraf’s profile on Seeking Alpha:
I enjoy analyzing stocks, following the technology (and in particular semiconductor) industry to make informed analyses, and writing articles that people find, at the very least, helpful if not enjoyable to read.
I manage my own money, which has been a very diligent effort of years of saving and generally making more good calls than bad calls. My educational background is a B.S. in Mathematics and a B.S. in Computer Science. Another one of my hobbies is writing programs (in particular Android apps these days).
Investing in Wall Street has always been about picking individual companies, investing in stocks by market capitalization, betting on income or growth, growth or value, and investing by theme among many other strategies.
Investing by theme has always been one of the most popular and profitable ways of putting portfolios together. Theme investing is to identify a trending market idea like “mobile” or “wind farms” and selecting stocks that will benefit from that positive trend.
From the moment you think of an investment idea to the moment you actually invest in a group of companies that represent that idea is usually a time consuming process that might even prevent you from implementing your investment. But Motif Investing solves all this.
On MotifInvesting.com they find themes, or motifs as they are called on the platform, and they research for stocks that match and will benefit from that idea. They make the whole theme investing strategy a matter of a click away.
It is better explained in steps, to start investing by ideas on MotifInvesting.com you need to:
1) Sign up on the website.
2) Browse around and learn how it works.
3) Open an investment account with them.
4) Fund your account.
5) Select a Motif.
6) Click buy and around 30 stocks will be purchased for you at only $9.95 for the whole portfolio.
But Motif has a twist: the website is organized as a social network, making it an Investing Social Network. This is of great value since the majority of us need to talk to others and in a way “validate” our investment choices.
But if what you want is privacy don’t worry because with their privacy settings you can shut down contact with investing friends.
To explore simple and intelligent idea investing go to MotifInvesting.com and start profiting from this inspiring concept:
If you feel your project is not as cool as a french independent black and white post modern film, or as significant to the world as a rainbow colored clock that doesn’t tick, but must mean something, then GoFundMe.com is the most intelligent and effective website to start your crowdfunding effort.
From personal education dreams, real medical emergencies, to soon-to-be entrepreneurial ventures this service is a down to earth, smart and simple platform.
The format is simple and straight forward: instead of a page with the project’s description you create a separate mini-site that you can customize with fonts, colors, images, and videos. You don’t need a super-production to get noticed.
It is like Blogger.com, but instead of creating a blog site you create a crowdfunding site for your specific project.
To start your personal campaign or solve the worlds problems use GoFundMe here:
Not only a story about a blog, but of a change in lifestyle, risk taking, and, yes, good financial planning!
PT is a CPA who didn’t feel comfortable with comfort. The big 4 type of accounting firm environment was too traditional for someone with his entrepreneurial spirit. In 2007 he started what became his present business PTmoney.com. The website is about helping people do what he did: be financially free.
In this interview he talks about his experience, what he offers through PTmoney.com, and the personal finance blogosphere in general including key information about FinCon 2013!
It used to be that financial advice was given to us by a banker, a stock broker, an insurance professional, or someone close to us who could help us like our accountant, a family member, or a friend.
In the last decade a new professional has emerged, the financial advisor, who came with the promise of independence and lower fees.
Independence means that they work for you and don’t have a bias to sell the products and services of a particular financial institution. This has been a great step forward for investors, but still you need substantial money to invest to justify an advisor’s work and the cost to you.
For smaller investments and fast, intelligent risk management companies like Betterment provide advice, asset allocation, and the account to implement your strategy.
Betterment is not a bank, a traditional broker, a financial advisor, nor a mutual fund company, it is an online financial advisor that gives you the asset allocation advice you need based on your profile and objectives. After they help you structure your portfolio you send them the money to invest and they implement and keep track of your investments giving you a continuous service for monitoring and re-balancing your portfolio.
Betterment does all this at a fraction of the cost of any type of traditional mutual fund company, financial advisor, or brokerage firm.
For us who need simple, intelligent advice on how to start or continue saving and investing at a reasonable cost compared to traditional providers Betterment is a smart option.
Go to Betterment and see how you can increase your wealth without unnecessary bells and whistles:
Founded by Twitter’s Jack Dorsey Square is a mobile payment system. It consists of two apps: Square Wallet for buyers and Square Register for sellers.
Incredibly easy to setup both apps co-exist as buyers can use the wallet app to purchse at merchants where they have the register app, but this is not an impediment as huge sellers like Starbucks have already adopted the mobile payment platform.
Square Wallet: it is as easy as downloading the app into your smartphone, linking your credit or debit card, and start paying.
The wallet’s cool features include: 1. pay using your phone not your plastic credit cards, 2. pay using your name not your phone!, 3. find cool stores and merchants where you are, 4. get and send gift cards by email or sms!
Square Register: with a few clicks you can download the register app into your smartphone or tablet. Setting it up is fast and free and in no time you can start getting payed with credit cards. You will receive a free “card reader” delivered to your address, but in the meantime you can just enter credit card data manually and charge any amounts immediately.
The register’s cool features include: 1. the free card reader which is small and connects to your mobile device through the earphone plug, 2. there are no expenses and the fee is only 2.75% on every sale, if you don’t sell you don’t pay anything!, 3. a “cash register” section where you can preset products and services so you can charge your customers with a touch, 4. you can list your business in their merchant listings that clients use to find you when they are close to your area.
Insider Monkey’s valuable insider and hedge fund filings information also include the team’s insight on how these buy and sell flows affect the markets. This is especially valuable for small cap stocks since they have low research analyst coverage and little exposure in the press.
Insider Monkey’s subscription service puts small cap investing on the same playing field as big cap’s in terms of valuable information access that otherwise regular investors wouldn’t have.
Jake Mann of Insider Monkey talks about this service and how to get it:
Please check out Insider Monkey’s subscription service below:
There are people who borrow money and people who save money and they all used to go to the bank, but now that is changing, you can lend directly to the borrower and for this there is LendingClub.com, a peer to peer loans marketplace.
The mechanism is that instead of going to a bank to deposit your money or to apply for a loan you go to a place where depositors meet borrowers directly. On Lending Club you can browse and select who you want to lend to. You can lend to a few borrowers or to many so you can diversify your risk.
If you need to borrow, you go to Lending Club, enter your information and they do a risk analysis and rate you as a borrower. No matter what is your credit risk level the cost of your loan, the rate, will be lower than a bank.
As an investor the return you get is much higher than a bank also: Lending Club investing has yielded between 5% and 12% depending on the borrower ratings since it started while banks have been paying no more than 1%.
In today’s digital economy it doesn’t make sense to stash your money only at a bank any more, there are many new options to bypass the middleman and peer to peer lending is one of them.
Deconstruction in business is when a company starts to outsource parts of its activities to other companies in an effort to increase efficiency and retain only the key processes that maximize its value.
In the case of a brokerage firm for example it may offer you a full service account, but in reality parts of it may be outsourced. The money market may be managed by another mutual fund company, the checking and debit card service by another bank, the securities may be held at a central custody service for the industry, and when you enter trades they might be executed by a third party wholesale broker.
In the same way Prospser.com is involved in the deposit and lending business just like a bank, the difference is it is not a bank. Propser.com gives investors direct access to the borrowers and vice versa.
The way it works is that the company does some of the activities that banks do like analyzing the credit rating of borrowers, providing an account where the money is deposited and withdrawn, and being a place where investors and borrowers go.
The things that Prosper.com doesn’t do are delegated to borrowers and lenders and that is mainly finding each other and deciding to lend and borrow. Investors can browse many borrower profiles and lend to the ones they select and borrowers can post their profile with the amounts and objectives for their loans.
Since Prosper is a thin layer that provides a space and only the key services to enable investors and borrowers to meet and transact their costs are much lower than a traditional bank and thus the rates for lenders and borrowers are much better.
Prosper.com’s business model is called peer to peer lending and to become one by lending or borrowing money in an intelligent and cost effective way visit them below:
Jake Mann is author and team member of InsiderMonkey.com and today he joins us to explain Insider Monkey’s concept and service, and explains Apple’s secret hedge fund.
Please see the interview below:
Insider Monkey is a regular contributor on Seeking Alpha and has 4728 followers and 1683 published articles.
This is Insider Monkey’s profile on Seeking Alpha:
Insider Monkey is a finance website that provides free insider trading and hedge fund stock holdings data. We believe ordinary investors can beat the market by imitating insiders and best hedge fund managers. Here is our team:
Ms. Krishnamsetty is the Editor of Insider Monkey. Prior to creating Insider Monkey with Dr. Dogan, Ms. Krishnamsetty was Associate Producer at Bloomberg Television. Prior to that, Ms. Krishnamsetty was on the afternoon news team at CNBC. Additionally, Ms. Krishnamsetty reported for NPR and worked as a risk management consultant at Marsh & McLennan. Ms. Krishnamsetty has a M.S. in Journalism from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.
Insider Monkey’s hybrid evaluation system …More was created in 2003 by Dr. Ian Dogan. Dr. Dogan has a Ph.D. in financial economics with a specialization in insider trading. Dr. Dogan has provided consulting services to institutional investors and hedge funds, and managed a $200+ million fund using a strategy he developed utilizing insider transactions. Dr. Dogan recently authored the insider trading chapter of soon to be published “The Handbook of Investment Anomalies” by Zacks Investment Research. Insider Monkey will serve the outcome of the methodologies developed by Dr. Dogan to ordinary investors who don’t have access to academic quality research and tools to shape their investments.
Watch Stephen Ryan, contributor of Seeking Alpha, talk to Donald McIntyre of Newfination.com about his experience with Seeking Alpha, his background, and his views about the Fiscal Cliff and how it affects income investors:
Sortasoft LLC is a independent developer of digital, real-world, and board games based in Brooklyn, NY. Joshua DeBonis founded the studio in 2004 for the purpose of creating unique games featuring original gameplay.
Josh DeBonis is an award-winning game designer with extensive experience as a game design and development consultant. He teaches game design and development at Parsons the New School for Design. Joshua is co-founder and organizer of the New York board game designers playtest group. He also recently co-founded the experimental collective Brooklyn Game Ensemble.
Joshua is particularly interested in exploring ways to integrate history and music with games, procedural generation of game content, and in creating games that provide a deep and meaningful experience in a short play time.
Crowdfunding may be for profit or “for reward”. Funding for profit, that is for equity in a new project or start-up, is still not regulated, but it will be soon as the JOBS ACT has been passed. We are only waiting for the SEC to implement the details which will be early in 2013.
In the meantime Kickstarter.com offers a platform for backers to fund creative projects in the areas of Art, Comics, Dance, Design, Fashion, Film, Food, Games, Music, Photography, Publishing, Technology, and Theater.
Kickstarter.com is a company that is participating, for now, in an $8 billion traditional creative funding market, but it will be very easy for the company to expand to the for profit funding sector when it becomes law.
All funds pledged are not tax deductible and the company has raised more than $350 million since its launch in 2009. Kickstarter.com makes money as it charges a 5% fee to project owners when they meet their funding goals.
As backers don’t get a participation in a business or any potential return from the projects they fund the website encourages creative project owners to offer rewards to their donors. These rewards may be special access to their work or copies of their productions.
Kickstarter.com is a very well designed business model and it stands to benefit even more when crowdfunding is open to the business world of start-ups.
For investors it is a good opportunity to take a look at the business format, maybe fund some creative projects, and learn and be ready for when this segment of the new financial services is ready for business.
eToro.com is a platform that brings together investors, traders, and brokers to create a social space to make more money on the global financial markets.
Like on Google+ or Twitter you can follow and be followed and like on YouTube you can become a celebrity trader.
By using eToro you open a brokerage account and have access to global markets. Everybody like you has an account and everybody can see what everybody is investing or trading in.
Over 1.5 million users adopted this Social Trading Platform and you can invest or trade in stocks, bonds, foreign exchange, and commodities.
The key features are:
1. You invest or trade in an environment full of other people like you that share what they are doing which gives you a unique sense of what’s going on in the markets.
2. You can establish a conversation with other participants to talk about rumors, news, and market trends.
3. You find all kinds of strategies, styles, and levels of expertise.
4. You can set-up your account to copy the trades of the players you like.
5. If people copy you you get paid for each follower you have.
eToro.com is a fascinating and complex concept that will change market mechanics.
To explore eToro and become a celebrity trader go and see them below:
Money managers work for banks, brokers, or mutual fund companies. This puts a distance between the investor and the person managing the investments, but it doesn’t have to be like this anymore.
For your money to be managed by a pro you need to go to one of these institutions and use one of their services, you don’t have any access to the managers. This means there are people who manage money and people whose money is managed, but they are separated by many degrees and layers because to be able to meat they all need to go through the financial industry.
Imagine the cost saving and how easy it would be to understand each manager if you could meet directly with no intermediaries.
This is what Covestor.com does.
Covestor.com is a marketplace where people who manage money and people who want their money to be managed meet. There are no industries or middlemen, you just see how managers do and select the most appropriate one for you account.
For now Covestor charges somewhat reduced fees compared to the traditional money management industry: normal fees are between 0.70% to 3.00% annually and Covestor charges from 0.50% to 2.00%. This is low, but as more managers join and assets under management in the system grow their fees will decrease even further. It would not be surprising if they stabilize around 0.25% and 0.70%.
To see how Covestor.com work and meet with your future money manager visit them below:
He is an active pro on eToro’s social trading platform appearing in daily videos and writing on their market blogs. Here is his profile summary:
Every trader has a unique way of making money in the markets. As a Premium Account Manager, my skill is assisting clients to maximize their profits by utilizing each person’s individual strengths. Feel free to post any questions about the market or about portfolio management directly on my wall. Or upgrade to a Premium eToro Account for weekly private consultations and many other benefits: http://www.etoro.com/community/trader-accounts.aspx
Today Mati shared his thoughts to his fellow eToro.com members and the world about his expectations for market volatility. Please read his article below:
Mint.com is not a financial software, it’s your integrated dashboard to all of your finances. With some more integration and user adoption Mint will be the real portal to the whole retail financial sector. Mint is the mother of all financial apps.
For now it has “only” 10 million users and it “only” provides account data aggregation, but in the future it will not be difficult for the company to include transactional capabilities, this will turn your Mint into the “operating system” of your finances and the whole retail financial sector.
During the 90’s Mint.com’s parent company, Intuit, the makers of Quicken, slowly managed to aggregate the account information of an ever increasing number of banks, brokers, credit card companies, and other relevant financial sector companies. It was not easy as players feared being “aggregated” would turn their businesses into commodities.
Quicken, Mint.com’s predecessor, said “we are not a financial institution, we are only an information system”. By the end of the decade it was the other way around: banks couldn’t be out of the Quicken aggregation system as customers would migrate to providers who would support the software’s service.
Quicken had everything ready for the next step, to include transaction capabilities so clients wouldn’t have to leave to go to the bank’s websites to do things with their money or get new services like a loan or open an account. Also, Quicken launched its cloud services Quicken.com so users could organize their money on the web instead of on a desktop app.
But it didn’t happen, Intuit seemed to be stuck with industry resistance and customer experience “block” as it didn’t know how to integrate design to move to the next step.
Then came Mint.com, a 2005 start-up that promised to integrate your finances even easier than Quicken or Quicken.com. Mint is organized around you and not around your accounts. It is easy to move from account balances, to budgeting, to goal setting, and the best part is that as you deal with your money issues it very appropriately bring tips, advice, and, of course, financial products offers.
Mint.com was acquired by Intuit and integrated into Quicken.com in 2009.
Today you can manage all your personal finances on Mint.com as it aggregates your information from all financial institutions, and you get advice and ideas on how to better manage your money. It also brings offers of financial services just when you are thinking about them, it will not be too long when you will be able to actually move your money from your Mint.com even if it is at another entity. You will be able to get new services from the Mint website or app, you will transfer money and do payments to other Mint users, all of this while you diversify your risk with several providers, but aggregated on one front end: Mint.
On July 31st of this year Engadget.com announced that Twitter quietly added the “cash tag” functionality so that any stock or company tweets could be searched on the platform. The “cash tag” is basically using the $ symbol in front of a stock ticker so it turns searchable, for example Facebook is $FB instead of #FB.
But StockTwits had been doing that for a long time and many were looking to see if the micro-blogging giant would affect this smaller specialized community.
It hasn’t, today StockTwits.com is the primary platform for intraday market tweeting. Professionals and day-traders use Stocktwits.com to meassure the “color” of the market, share rumors, and anticipate market moves.
Self description: “StockTwits® is a financial communications platform for the financial and investing community.”
Discover Stocktwits.com and enhance your stock trading here:
Seeking Alpha is the premier contributor network for investment opinions ranging from domestic and global stocks, currencies, commodities, bonds, economics, and politics.
As part of the new digitally enabled financial ecosystem Seeking Alpha has decentralized and redistributed the classic research departments of the major investment and capital markets banks.
Self description: “Seeking Alpha is the premier website for actionable stock market opinion and analysis, and vibrant, intelligent finance discussion.”
Name explanation: ‘Alpha’ is a finance term referring to a stock’s performance relative to the market; it’s used more loosely by fund managers to describe beating their index – so every stock picker is essentially “seeking alpha.”
Read it, be a contributor, or both: check it out and adopt it here: