May, 2024

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Diversification is About Decades

A Wealth of Common Sense

A lot of investors have abandoned international diversification (or at least strongly considered it) in recent years. I understand why this is happening. The U.S. stock market has destroyed all comers ever since the Great Financial Crisis ended. Since 2009, a total U.S. stock market index fund is up more than 660% while a total international index fund is up more like 180%.

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The Social Security COLA Forecast for 2025 Was Just Updated. Here's the Good News and Bad News for Retirees

The Motley Fool

In 2022, the U.S. was hammered by the fiercest inflation it had faced in four decades amid the lingering macroeconomic disruptions and supply chain issues that followed the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, in January 2023, Social Security beneficiaries got an 8.7% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) -- the largest increase since the early 1980s. But many retirees are still struggling.

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CoreWeave Secures $7.5 Billion Debt Financing Facility led by Blackstone and Magnetar

Blackstone News

Reinforces CoreWeave’s market position as the AI hyperscaler Builds on CoreWeave’s significant momentum, evidenced by over $12 billion raised from equity and debt investors over the last 12 months Historic financing builds on the Company’s recently announced $1.1 billion Series C and $2.3 billion debt raise in 2023 Investment represents one of the largest private financings in history New funding will be used to support the market’s unprecedented demand for CoreWeave’s specialized AI cloud infra

Debt 135
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What Stagflation?

The Big Picture

The Misery Index — the combination of Inflation and unemployment — failed as a bearish criticism of the economy. Unemployment remains at 60-year lows, and Inflation has plummeted from 9% down to the 3s. If you have a bearish mindset , and seek confirmation of that perspective, then the next economic critique after the Misery Index you try on for size is “Stagflation.” We have heard the S-word from Jamie Dimon , Stanley Druckenmiller , Bank of America , Barclays , Fox , Ma

Banks 127
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Exactly.ai Raises $4.3M in Seed Funding

FinSMEs

Exactly.ai, a London, UK-based provider of a platform platform for artists and illustrators to create AI models based on their own work, raised $4.3m in seed funding. The round was led by Speedinvest, with participation from InReach Ventures, Cornerstone VC, and GuruDev Capital. The company intends to use the funds to expand operations and its business reach. exactly.ai […] The post Exactly.ai Raises $4.3M in Seed Funding appeared first on FinSMEs.

Funds 117
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New Report: Businesses Increasingly Choose Private Credit for Financing

American Investment Council

Washington, D.C. – The American Investment Council (AIC) released a report today, authored by PitchBook , highlighting the growing role of private credit in serving small and middle-market businesses. “Private credit is playing a crucial role in supporting businesses and delivering impressive returns for investors, especially in uncertain times,” said Drew Maloney, President & CEO of the American Investment Council. “The industry’s resilience and flexibility are filli

Financing 125

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The Zero Down Mortgage Is Back -- But Is It a Financial Mistake?

The Motley Fool

Image source: The Motley Fool/Upsplash This morning I heard on the news that United Wholesale Mortgage, the largest mortgage lender in America, is offering what is essentially a zero down mortgage. It works like this: The lender writes a 97% mortgage with a 3% second mortgage, but it's the same thing as a zero down mortgage. I couldn't be happier to see this.

Banks 246
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Help your downsizing clients create their legacy

Investment Writing

Many investment and financial advisors have older clients who struggle with decluttering as they prepare to downsize. I picked up some useful ideas from a session presented by Matt Paxton, the host of the PBS program Legacy List and the author of a book that had the same title as his presentation, Keep the Memories, Lose the Stuff: Declutter, Downsize, and Move Forward with Your Life.

Investing 111
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Andrew Coyne Is Dead Wrong on CPP Investments' Active Management

Pension Pulse

Andrew Coyne laments in his latest opinion piece that eighteen years and $46-billion later, the CPP admits it could have earned more just by buying index funds: The Canada Pension Plan Fund had a bad year last year. You’d never know it to read the latest annual report from the fund’s managers, the CPP Investment Board, which spends much of its nearly 80,000 words boasting how, thanks to the herculean efforts of its employees and the sophisticated investment stratagems of its managers, it eked ou

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Authentic Raises $11M in Series A Funding

FinSMEs

Authentic, a NYC-based insurtech startup making it easier for SaaS platforms and franchisors to offer affordable captive insurance policies to their SMB customers, raised $11M in Series A funding. The round was led by FirstMark Capital with participation from Slow Ventures, Altai Ventures, MGV, Upper90, and Commerce Ventures. The company intends to use the funds […] The post Authentic Raises $11M in Series A Funding appeared first on FinSMEs.

Funds 118
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US Equities: 9% Forever?

The Big Picture

It’s taken me months to organize all of my research for my next book project; it’s a lot of stuff, some dating back to 2000. Much of it reflects the bad ideas and numbers, and worse advice, that float around Wall Street. A lot of it has not aged well. But every now and then, something I saved turned out to be prescient — not because it was lucky, but because it contained a well-considered insight that has stood the test of time.

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4 Economic Charts That Might Surprise You

A Wealth of Common Sense

Four charts about the economy you might find surprising: 1. Wages are cumulative too. The Congressional Budget Office released new research comparing inflation on a basket of goods and services households at different income levels consume between now and 2019 along with changes in wages. Here’s the chart: And the explanation: For households in every quintile (or fifth) of the income distribution, the share of inc.

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Here's How Much the Average Retiree Has in Their Retirement Accounts

The Motley Fool

Saving and investing for retirement is essential if you want to enjoy your golden years. The average Social Security benefit for retired workers is currently $1,915 per month. That's not a ton of money to cover necessary expenses as well as retirement hobbies, activities, travel, etc. But consistently saving and investing in a tax-advantaged retirement account like a 401(k) or IRA can set you up to be able to spend much more later in life.

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May newsletter: Better quarterly commentary

Investment Writing

Want to do a better job on your next quarterly commentary? You’ve finished your first-quarter commentary, but you have a nagging feeling you could have done a better job editing it. Check out the five-step process in my blog post on “ 5 steps for rewriting your investment commentary ”! Also, if you’re writing for an audience of individual investors, pay attention to my list of “ Words to avoid in your investment communications with regular folks. ” You might also enjoy “ Investment commentary nu

Assets 109
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Impact investing vs ESG: which produces the better results?

Financial Times: Moral Money

Some investors believe direct backing for enterprises is more positive than using a risk-focused fund manager

Investing 129
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Valar Labs Raises $22M in Series A Funding

FinSMEs

Valar Labs, a Palo Alto, CA-based developer of computational histology AI (CHAI) tests for predicting response to cancer therapies, raised $22M in Series A funding. The round was led by DCVC and Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) Bio + Health with participation from Pear VC. Vineeta Agarwala, MD, PhD, General Partner at a16z Bio + Health, and […] The post Valar Labs Raises $22M in Series A Funding appeared first on FinSMEs.

Funds 116
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RIA Breakaways: What’s Driving Movement of Advisors at Independent Firms?

Diamond Consultants

This new wave of transitioning advisors is feeling the pushes and pulls of an evolving industry. Over 9,000 advisors changed firms in 2023, marking a 7% increase from the year before.* While this movement is prevalent across all industry channels, it is particularly pronounced within the RIA world and represents a growing trend that’s a dichotomy of sorts.

Startups 105
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Translating Wall Street Jargon

A Wealth of Common Sense

I saw the following headline earlier this week: I didn’t even need to read the actual article to know what the message would be. The tell here was the term ‘veteran forecaster’ In finance-speak, veteran forecaster can be translated to mean someone who is supremely confident in their predictions but almost always wrong. It has to be this way because forecasters are so unreliable.

Financing 131
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Generative AI Software Sales Could Soar 6,260% by 2032. 1 Unstoppable Artificial Intelligence (AI) Stock to Buy Before It Does (Hint: Not Nvidia)

The Motley Fool

Artificial intelligence (AI) has spread like wildfire since early last year, and the benefits are clear. These generative AI algorithms take AI to the next level, creating original text, images, and video from a few simple prompts. As a result, users can simplify mundane and time-consuming tasks and increase productivity. As the old adage states, "Time is money," so businesses are eager to adopt these next-generation systems.

Stakes 246
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Astorg overcomes industry fundraising headwinds to raise €4.4bn for biggest fund yet

AltAssets

Pan-European private equity firm Astorg has raised €4.4bn for its biggest-ever flagship fund, four months after bringing in two new senior IR execs as part of a European LP push. The post Astorg overcomes industry fundraising headwinds to raise €4.4bn for biggest fund yet first appeared on AltAssets Private Equity News.

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Blackstone Real Estate Sells Turtle Bay Resort

Blackstone News

Inclusive of recent land sale, sale proceeds total $768 million New York – Blackstone Real Estate today announced that it has reached an agreement to sell Turtle Bay Resort for $725 million. Blackstone purchased the hotel in 2018 for $332 million and subsequently invested significant capital in renovations. Rob Harper, Head of Blackstone Real Estate Asset Management Americas, said, “This transaction is an excellent outcome for our investors and a testament to Blackstone’s ability, including th

Legal 98
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Product Fruits Raises Additional $1.6M in Equity Funding

FinSMEs

Product Fruits, a Prague, Czech Republic-based provider of a AI-driven digital adoption platform (DAP), raised additional $1.6M in equity funding. The round, which brought the funding total amount to $3.5M, included participation from Reflex Capital Lighthouse Ventures, LVRG, and Venture to Future Fund. The company intends to use the funds to expand AI development and […] The post Product Fruits Raises Additional $1.6M in Equity Funding appeared first on FinSMEs.

Funds 117
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Nikhil Rathi warns private equity firms to be more cooperative

Private Equity Wire

Nikhil Rathi, chief executive of the Financial Conduct Authority, has urged private equity firms to provide more information or face stricter regulatory measures, according to a report by City AM. At the Association of Corporate Treasurers, Rathi said that the valuations of private firms have been “under pressure” over the past year, emphasising the need for buyout houses to cooperate with the regulator to avoid stricter action.

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Who’s to Blame For the Broken Housing Market?

A Wealth of Common Sense

A reader asks: Do you guys really think foreign investsments and private equity really aren’t driving up housing prices? It really seems like it is. I understand the sentiment here. The housing market is broken right now for a lot of people. The blame is simply misplaced here. It’s not Blackrock or Blackstone or any other institutional investor who is causing the lack of supply in the housing market.

Investors 126
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A Once-in-a-Generation Investment Opportunity: 1 Artificial Intelligence (AI) Growth Stock to Buy Now and Hold

The Motley Fool

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is causing a paradigm shift in today's modern technological world. AI technologies are making their presence felt in all walks of life -- be it education, business, investing, or home management. Not surprisingly, artificial intelligence has also become a major investment trend on the stock market, and has captivated the interest of both amateur and seasoned investors.

Investing 246
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Northern Europe PE major FSN Capital launches small-cap strategy with €400m Compass Fund

AltAssets

European private equity house FSN Capital Partners has raised more than €400m for Compass Fund, a small-cap vehicle looking to address “society’s key challenges” Compass will invest in areas including the green transition and knowledge economy, and uses the same advisor team as the €1.8bn flagship Fund VI the firm closed in 2021. More than half […] The post Northern Europe PE major FSN Capital launches small-cap strategy with €400m Compass Fund first appeared on AltAssets Priva

Capital 105
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BBVA’s Carlos Torres, banker with a fixed idea

Financial Times M&A

The chair of Spain’s third-biggest lender has turned hostile in his €12bn second attempt to buy TSB owner Sabadell

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Maven AGI Raises $20M in Series A Funding

FinSMEs

Maven AGI, a Boston, MA-based AI customer support startup, raised $20M in Series A funding. The round was led by M13 and participation from Lux Capital, E14 Fund (part of MIT), and executives from OpenAI, Google, HubSpot, and Stripe. The company, which has raised $28M in total funding to date, intends to use the funds […] The post Maven AGI Raises $20M in Series A Funding appeared first on FinSMEs.

Funds 116
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Impact Investing

Financial Times: Moral Money

Investors are increasingly focused on environmental and social issues, but how does impact investing compare with buying ESG funds?

Investing 102
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Seinfeld on When Money Became Everything

A Wealth of Common Sense

One of my favorite pop culture developments in recent years is the famous person press tour. If you write a new book or have a new movie or TV show coming out, you have to talk to every outlet imaginable to sell your project. There is so much content and so much competition for our attention these days that even uber-successful people are forced to make the hard sell.

Financing 130
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U.S. Chip Manufacturing Could Triple in Less Than a Decade: 3 Artificial Intelligence (AI) Stocks Set to Benefit

The Motley Fool

For the first time in a long while, the United States is serious about increasing domestic semiconductor ("chip") manufacturing. For years, the U.S. has been hyper-reliant on Taiwan for chip production; however, the threat that China will seek to reunify with the island, potentially by force, makes this a massive economic risk. Because of this, the U.S. introduced the CHIPS and Science Act, which provides monetary incentives to companies that increase manufacturing capacity domestically.

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Brookfield enters deal to purchase stake in French renewables firm Neoen

AltAssets

Canadian asset manager Brookfield has entered into discussions to purchase a majority stake in Neoen, a French renewables power producer. According to Reuters, Brookfield alongside its Renewable Partners arm and Temasek Holdings are seeking to purchase a majority stake in Neoen – valuing it at $6.6bn. Brookfield has highlighted its plan to snap up a […] The post Brookfield enters deal to purchase stake in French renewables firm Neoen first appeared on AltAssets Private Equity News.

Stakes 98
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Guyana’s president welcomes Chevron’s bid to buy into $150bn oil project

Financial Times M&A

US company faces tight shareholder vote on whether its takeover offer for consortium partner Hess will be approved

Bidding 106
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GaiaNet Secures $10M in Seed Funding

FinSMEs

GaiaNet, a San Francisco, CA-based company advancing an AI infrastructure project that aims to decentralize current AI agent software, raised $10M in Seed funding. Backers included Generative Ventures’s Lex Sokolin, Republic Capital’s Brian Johnson, 7RIDGE’s Shawn Ng, Kishore Bhatia, EVM Capital, Mirana Ventures, Mantle EcoFund and ByteTrade Lab. The company intends to use the funds […] The post GaiaNet Secures $10M in Seed Funding appeared first on FinSMEs.

Funds 116