December, 2023

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Lessons of “Number Go Up”

The Big Picture

Tyler Cowen and his colleague Alex Tabarrok write some interesting posts over at Marginal Revolution. Sometimes I agree with them, sometimes I disagree with them. Recently, a post utterly perplexed me: “One doesn’t get a favorable impression of crypto from Number Go Up but in fact one doesn’t learn much about crypto at all. Indeed, Faux’s book isn’t really about crypto it’s about the rise and collapse of a bubble and the consequent madness of crowds.

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Staying the Course is Harder Than it Sounds

A Wealth of Common Sense

After suffering drawdowns of 21%, 25% and 35% in the bear market of 2022, the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 all broke even on a total return basis this week: Sure that means these markets went nowhere for nearly two years but just look at the returns since the start of 2020: Considering everything we’ve lived through those returns are not bad at all.

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Trending Sources

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European ESG funds face fossil fuel showdown after French ruling

Financial Times: Moral Money

France’s stipulation for its sustainable ISR label could lead to billions of euros of divestments by pan-European vehicles

Funds 145
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EQT tops Bundesliga media rights bidding at $14bn, trailed by CVC, Blackstone, and Advent

Private Equity Insights

EQT AB is leading the bidding as private equity firms compete for a stake in the media rights business of the Bundesliga, Germany’s main football competition, people with knowledge of the matter said. The Nordic investment firm has so far presented the highest offer with an initial proposal valuing the unit at about €12.7bn ($14bn), according to the people.

Bidding 276
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3 Ways to Achieve Your Financial Goals This New Year

The Motley Fool

Image source: Getty Images For many people, a new year is a time for growth. It's also a popular time to make resolutions. Research from The Ascent shows that 67% of Americans hope to tackle financial resolutions next year. Now is the perfect time to sit down and plan what goals you want to reach. You can do it no matter how big or small your goals are.

Debt 271
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Digital Realty and Blackstone Announce $7 Billion Hyperscale Data Center Development Joint Venture

Blackstone News

JV will deliver approximately 500 megawatts of IT capacity across three Tier 1 metros in Europe and North America Austin, TX and New York – December 7, 2023 – Digital Realty ( NYSE: DLR ), the largest global provider of cloud- and carrier-neutral data center, colocation and interconnection solutions, and Blackstone Inc. (NYSE: BX) announced today that Blackstone-affiliated funds led by Infrastructure, Real Estate and Tactical Opportunities have agreed to establish a joint venture with Digital Re

Legal 132

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Rich Author, Poor Readers

A Wealth of Common Sense

Robert Kiyosaki wrote one of the most-read personal finance books of all time — Rich Dad, Poor Dad. I read it early on in my career. It never really did it for me but I can see why people latch onto the allegory he shares about learning the right financial habits. It’s a good thing to get people interested in personal finance because no one teaches you this stuff.

Financing 143
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Digital Nomad Essentials: Tech and Tools for Working Anywhere in the World

FinSMEs

The rise of the digital nomad lifestyle has revolutionized the way we work and travel. Combining the freedom of travel with the ability to work remotely, digital nomads need to be equipped with the right technology and tools to ensure productivity and connectivity. From high-speed internet solutions to portable workstations, the right gear can make […] The post Digital Nomad Essentials: Tech and Tools for Working Anywhere in the World appeared first on FinSMEs.

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Health Insurance Options to Consider When Retiring Pre-Medicare Age, ep #205

Financial Symmetry

When having conversations with individuals approaching retirement, but who have yet to reach age 65, one primary concern is often in the forefront of their mind: What am I going to do about health insurance before I reach Medicare age? … Continued The post Health Insurance Options to Consider When Retiring Pre-Medicare Age, ep #205 appeared first on Financial Symmetry, Inc.

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3 of the Smartest Ways Baby Boomers Can Increase Their Social Security Benefit in 2024

The Motley Fool

For most retired Americans, their Social Security benefit represents an indispensable source of income. Over 20 years of annual surveys from national pollster Gallup have consistently shown that between 80% and 90% of then-current retirees lean on their monthly payout in some capacity to cover their expenses. Considering how vital Social Security is to the financial well-being of our nation's aging workforce, it's ideal to get as much out of America's top retirement program as possible.

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Blackstone Signs Definitive Agreement to Acquire Sony Payment Services, Broadening its Japan Private Equity Portfolio

Blackstone News

TOKYO – December 22, 2023 – Blackstone (NYSE: BX) today announced that Private Equity funds managed by Blackstone have entered into a definitive agreement to acquire a majority stake in Sony Payment Services Inc. (SPSV), one of Japan’s leading payment service providers, from Sony Bank, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony Group. Sony Bank will roll over a certain portion of its equity and will continue to support the growth of SPSV as a minority investor.

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Forecasting Recessions

The Big Picture

The chart above shows that 84% of CEOs are forecasting a recession over the next 12 months, 69% of Consumers saying the same thing, with the yield curve predicting a 61% chance of a contraction. The problem is those sets of forecasts is already 2 months old, dated October 3, 2023. It was before the very encouraging CPI, Unemployment, and GDP data releases.

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2023: It Was a Good Year

A Wealth of Common Sense

2022 was one of the worst years ever for financial markets. Over the past 100 years: It was the third worst year for a 60/40 portfolio. It was the seventh worst year for the S&P 500. It was the worst year ever for the Barclays Aggregate Bond Market Index. It was the worst year ever for the 10 year Treasury bond. Here’s what I wrote last year at this time: Expected returns are now higher.

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Labrys Technologies Raises $5.5M in Seed Funding

FinSMEs

Labrys Technologies, a London UK-based defence technology startup, raised $5.5M in Seed funding. The round was led by Project A Ventures, with participation from international DefenceTech focused investors including MD-One, Offset Ventures, Marque Ventures and Expedition Fund. The company intends to use the funds to scale its engineering team, grow its commercial team, and focus […] The post Labrys Technologies Raises $5.5M in Seed Funding appeared first on FinSMEs.

Funds 120
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Helmsley meets new managers as it hunts for different strategies

Top 1000 Funds

Helmsley Charitable Trust is meeting new investment managers on the hunt for new exposures and allocations in the new economic regime. On the eve of her departure Rosalind Hewsenian explains how she approaches new manager relationships.

Investing 105
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Here's the Average Social Security Benefit at Ages 62, 66, and 70

The Motley Fool

Whether you realize it or not, Social Security is an essential source of income for most retirees. It's responsible for pulling roughly 21.7 million people out of poverty each year, including almost 15.4 million adults aged 65 and above. If America's top retirement program didn't exist, the senior poverty rate would be an estimated 38%, as compared to 10% with Social Security (as of March 2022), according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

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Remember this the next time the Stock Market is down

Dear Mr. Market

Dear Mr. Market: Can you imagine how you would be feeling if you had acted upon the advice from all the doom and gloomers the past year? How some of these financial “gurus” and economic pundits still have an audience is fascinating!?! Want to know why they still have a platform and hold many people’s attention? Fear sells. That’s it.

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Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

The Big Picture

Billie Eilish may be only 22, but she sings like a chanteuse with decades of hard living behind her — a world-weary angel. Her version of this little tune gives it an entirely different read than the original Judy Garland take from Meet Me in St Louis. I imagine this version has some studio exec suggesting she do an album of Christmas songs; but not only is it way too early in her career) for that, it’s a bit lightweight and ephemeral for her wonderful voice and phrasing; instead, sh

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The Biggest Risk in 2024

A Wealth of Common Sense

In late-2019, The Economist put out a 150 page report called The World in 2020 that offered some predictions for the coming year in geopolitics and the economy. The issue was full of thoughts and ideas from CEOs, economists, scientists, politicians and business leaders about what was coming in the year ahead. These thought leaders were worried about the lasting impacts of Brexit, the upcoming U.S.

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CurbWaste Raises $10M in Series A Funding

FinSMEs

CurbWaste, a New York-based provider of a waste management payments software platform, raised $10m in Series A funding. The round was led by Flourish Ventures, with participation from TTV Capital, Mucker Capital, and B Capital. The company, which has raised a total of $20m, intends to use the funds to continue to expand operations and its business reach. […] The post CurbWaste Raises $10M in Series A Funding appeared first on FinSMEs.

Funds 117
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Tangible change at Fordham endowment in manager re-vamp

Top 1000 Funds

Geeta Kapadia, CIO of Fordham University’s $1 billion endowment is rolling out a suite of changes that include paring back the fund's 50 or so manager relationships, introducing new passive allocations, testing the water on internal management in fixed income and preparing the ground for an inaugural sustainability strategy.

Funds 105
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The Ultimate Growth Stock to Buy With $1,000 Right Now

The Motley Fool

After a dismal performance last year, growth stocks came roaring back in 2023 thanks to several tailwinds such as cooling inflation, the Federal Reserve's pause on interest rate hikes, a strong economy, and the reduced probability of a recession. That rally is expected to continue in 2024 as well. Personal finance news provider Kiplinger estimates that S&P 500 companies could witness an 11% increase in earnings in 2024, up significantly from this year's growth of 2.3%.

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Why Africa requires its own private equity playbook

AltAssets

Vital Capital managing partner Nimrod Gerber looks at why many private equity heavyweights have failed to make serious inroads in Africa, despite the huge opportunities on offer on the continent – and explains what firms need to change in their strategies for dealmaking, exits and understanding the hugely varied regional and country-specific markets.

Capital 100
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ATM: Investing Skill vs. Luck 

The Big Picture

 Investing Skill vs. Luck with Michael J. Mauboussin, Counterpoint Global (Dec 6, 2023) Is it better to be lucky or good? How much of a role does luck pay in investing? And how can you tell the difference between chance and skill? In this episode of At the Money, I speak with Michael Mauboussin. ~~~ About Michael J. Mauboussin: Michael Mauboussin is head of Consilient Research at Counterpoint Global, Morgan Stanley Investment Management.

Investing 107
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Could You Afford to Buy Your Own House Right Now?

A Wealth of Common Sense

Let’s walk through a quick thought exercise: How many homeowners could afford the monthly payment on their house at current levels of mortgage rates and home prices? Take the current value of your home, subtract 20% for a down payment and slap a 7% mortgage rate on it. Could you afford it? I did this for my house. The monthly payment would be nearly three times what we’re currently paying!

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Totus Medicines Closes $66M Series B Funding

FinSMEs

Totus Medicines, an Emeryville, CA-based small molecule drug discovery and development company using covalent libraries and AI tools, closed a $66M Series B financing. The round was led by DCVC Bio with participation from North Pond Ventures, Camford Capital, and the Regents of the University of Minnesota. Proceeds from the Series B financing will be used to advance Totus’ […] The post Totus Medicines Closes $66M Series B Funding appeared first on FinSMEs.

Funds 117
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Providing long-term value is key for SCIO

Private Equity Wire

SCIO, a lender specialising in European asset-based credit, focuses on providing long-term value to investors and borrowers alike. Partner & CIO Greg Branch chats to Private Equity about some of the current challenges and opportunities in the space and the outlook for special situations and asset-based finance. How are current economic conditions affecting the private credit market?

Debt 101
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The Biggest Santa Claus Rally in History -- What It Could Mean for Today

The Motley Fool

According to the official definition of the "Santa Claus rally," the time of year when it occurs hasn't even happened yet. The Santa Claus rally refers to gains in the market that frequently occur during the last five days of a calendar year and the first two days of the following year. However, investors may have gotten an early present from Santa Claus this year.

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Blackstone brings home $2.6bn for biggest real estate secondaries fund yet

AltAssets

Blackstone has raised $2.6bn for its latest real estate secondaries fund - about a third more than for its predecessor vehicle in the strategy. The post Blackstone brings home $2.6bn for biggest real estate secondaries fund yet first appeared on AltAssets Private Equity News.

Funds 100
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Monthly NFPs Are Rounding Errors

The Big Picture

You may have missed the most important data point in today’s Employment report. It wasn’t that Nonfarm payrolls increased by 199,000 in November, somewhat higher than expected; nor was it the unemployment rate, which fell to 3.7% in November, from 3.9% in October; nor was it that Wages continued to rise at a modest pace, with average hourly earnings up 0.6%.

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How Many Millionaires Are There?

A Wealth of Common Sense

A reader asks: Ben in your recent blog post you said $1M investable wealth makes you rich. I would like to provide a counterargument to that. When you retire, $1M basically gives you $40,000 per year to live off of, assuming the 4% rule of thumb is a reasonable starting point to think about retirement income. So is $40k spend a year really rich? I would argue that it is middle class at best; probably lower middle class.

Investing 121
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Essential AI Raises $56.5M in Series A Funding

FinSMEs

Essential AI, a San Francisco, CA-based company which specializes in building partnerships between humans and computers, raised $56.5M in Series A funding. The round was led by March Capital with participation from AMD, Franklin Venture Partners, Google, KB Investment, NVIDIA, and Thrive Capital. The company previously raised an $8.3M seed funding round led by Thrive […] The post Essential AI Raises $56.5M in Series A Funding appeared first on FinSMEs.

Funds 117
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Harvest acquires Road Safety Service

Private Equity Wire

Harvest Partners, LP (Harvest) has completed the acquisition of Road Safety Services, Inc. (Road Safety Services) from Parallel49 Equity. Road Safety Services, headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, is an infrastructure services platform dedicated to enhancing road safety across the United States. The company’s management team, led by CEO Mike Johnson, will continue to lead RSS, and remain significant owners of the business.

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1 Surefire Index Fund Could Turn $300 Per Month Into $164,100. That Could Pay College Tuition for Your Kid.

The Motley Fool

Warren Buffett has achieved financial success on a colossal scale, both personally and professionally. His net worth currently exceeds $120 billion, making Buffett the sixth-richest person on the planet. Additionally, Berkshire Hathaway has grown about 38,000 times in value under his leadership. Those accomplishments suggest Buffett is a good source of financial insight, and he once said the surest path to success is "to be exceptionally good at something.

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