A Great Year for LinkedIn | statista.com


This chart shows the stock performance of selected newly public tech companies in 2012.

So far, 2012 has been a great year for LinkedIn. While the stocks of other high profile newly public tech companies such as Facebook, Groupon and Zynga cratered, LinkedIn’s stock has been on a tear for good parts of the year. Carried by solid financials and decent user growth, LinkedIn’s stock is up around 70 percent since January.

The only flaw in LinkedIn’s otherwise great track record was the leakage of user data in June, when hackers reportedly gained access to the passwords of 6.5 million users, because the data was not sufficiently protected. LinkedIn issued an apology and ensured users that no login data had been leaked alongside the passwords. Further damage was successfully averted and the issue could be put away as a minor hickup in an good year.

Show more statistics on the topic:

Decoding Global Investment Attitudes


http://blog.nielsen.com

Nielsen today released the results of an online survey to better understand the consumer mindset on investment strategies. The study, Decoding Global Investment Attitudes, gathers information from online consumers  in 56 countries around the world who have indicated they currently use investment products such as stocks, mutual funds, bonds, certificates of deposit, derivative tools and foreign currency for investment purposes. Key findings from the study include:

global-investment-attitudes

Leer más “Decoding Global Investment Attitudes”

America’s Highest-Paid CEOs

The extraordinary pay of American CEOs may be old news, but the latest numbers show that the discrepancy between company performance, the U.S. economy, and the paychecks of corporate chieftains continues to expand.

Median CEO pay in 2010 increased 27 percent in Russell 3000 companies, while the index itself rose only 17 percent, according to the GMI 2011 CEO Pay Survey, a poll of chief-executive compensation across more than 2,600 companies. The median compensation for CEOs of S&P 500 companies was $8.9 million—a 45 percent increase from the median compensation in 2009.


 

http://www.thedailybeast.com

With income inequality on the rise and an uncertain economic forecast, CEO compensation continues to outpace the stock market. The Daily Beast lists the year’s top earners.


The extraordinary pay of American CEOs may be old news, but the latest numbers show that the discrepancy between company performance, the U.S. economy, and the paychecks of corporate chieftains continues to expand.

Median CEO pay in 2010 increased 27 percent in Russell 3000 companies, while the index itself rose only 17 percent, according to the GMI 2011 CEO Pay Survey, a poll of chief-executive compensation across more than 2,600 companies. The median compensation for CEOs of S&P 500 companies was $8.9 million—a 45 percent increase from the median compensation in 2009.

ceos-with-highest-salaries-gal-tease-2

John H. Hammergren of McKesson Corp., the highest-earning CEO in 2010, pulled in more than $145 million in total compensation. He’s one of three health-care CEOs who ranked among the 10 highest-earning executives, despite the lackluster state of the health-care industry. Leer más “America’s Highest-Paid CEOs”

Innovation is only one piece of the puzzle

So the Swiss are better than us. Well, goody for them. But the question for investors is whether the Swiss knack for innovation translates into remarkable stock market gains.

It should. After all, innovation gives companies an edge over their competitors, and that should lead to solid market share and fat profit margins. Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to be the case.

Victorinox AG is a closely held company, meaning that you can’t invest in it through the stock market or track its interest among investors. But you can track the Swiss Market Index, which represents the country’s 20 largest stocks: Its performance has been lagging Canada’s benchmark index by a substantial margin.

Over the past one-year, three-year and five-year periods, the S&P/TSX composite index has consistently outperformed the Swiss index. Over the past decade, the Canadian index has risen a total 49 per cent after factoring in dividends, while the Swiss index has risen a mere 1 per cent.

Why? This isn’t a strike against innovation, but rather an indication that there might be bigger factors at work when it comes to driving stock prices – like, uh, luck and commodities.

For example, Swiss financial firms were dealt severe setbacks during the financial crisis, which translated into massive writedowns and quarterly losses. UBS AG shares remain 76-per-cent below their pre-crisis highs, and Julius Baer Group Ltd. shares are still down 52 per cent.

By comparison, Canadian banks largely escaped the carnage. The worst hit, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, is down a relatively mild 28 per cent from its pre-crisis high, while Toronto-Dominion Bank is down all of 2 per cent.

Meanwhile, it’s hard to duck the fact that higher prices for crude oil, gold and fertilizer have helped drive triple-digit gains for Canada’s energy and materials sectors, which together represent nearly half of the composite index in terms of their weighting.


David Berman
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/markets/markets-blog/innovation-is-only-one-piece-of-the-puzzle/article1750632/

From Saturday’s Globe and Mail
So the Swiss are better than us. Well, goody for them. But the question for investors is whether the Swiss knack for innovation translates into remarkable stock market gains.

It should. After all, innovation gives companies an edge over their competitors, and that should lead to solid market share and fat profit margins. Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to be the case.

Victorinox AG is a closely held company, meaning that you can’t invest in it through the stock market or track its interest among investors. But you can track the Swiss Market Index, which represents the country’s 20 largest stocks: Its performance has been lagging Canada’s benchmark index by a substantial margin.

Over the past one-year, three-year and five-year periods, the S&P/TSX composite index has consistently outperformed the Swiss index. Over the past decade, the Canadian index has risen a total 49 per cent after factoring in dividends, while the Swiss index has risen a mere 1 per cent.

Why? This isn’t a strike against innovation, but rather an indication that there might be bigger factors at work when it comes to driving stock prices – like, uh, luck and commodities.

For example, Swiss financial firms were dealt severe setbacks during the financial crisis, which translated into massive writedowns and quarterly losses. UBS AG shares remain 76-per-cent below their pre-crisis highs, and Julius Baer Group Ltd. shares are still down 52 per cent.

By comparison, Canadian banks largely escaped the carnage. The worst hit, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, is down a relatively mild 28 per cent from its pre-crisis high, while Toronto-Dominion Bank is down all of 2 per cent.

Meanwhile, it’s hard to duck the fact that higher prices for crude oil, gold and fertilizer have helped drive triple-digit gains for Canada’s energy and materials sectors, which together represent nearly half of the composite index in terms of their weighting. Leer más “Innovation is only one piece of the puzzle”

Why Analysts Don’t Want to Say ‘Buy’

The caution extends beyond the U.S. More than 54 percent of ratings for companies in the U.S., U.K., Japan, and Brazil are “holds,” the highest level since Bloomberg began tracking the data in 1997. While the proportion of “sell” ratings in the U.S. has fallen to 5.1 percent, half the level of 2003, the total combined with “holds” reached a record 71 percent last month, the data show.

While pessimism is increasing, analysts say profits for companies in the MSCI World Index of 24 developed nations will gain 28 percent in the next year. The MSCI index trades at 11.4 times forecast profit, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Except for the six months starting October 2008, the index has never traded below 12.5 times annual earnings.

Shields says his biggest concern is that joblessness will weaken consumer spending, which accounts for 70 percent of the U.S. economy. “Employment is much worse than what people have anticipated,” he says. “If I had to pick one single factor that underlies our negativity, that’s what it is.”


They’re turning more pessimistic even as they push up profit growth estimates. How joblessness will affect consumer spending is a big worry

By Rita Nazareth and Lynn Thomasson

Meyer Shields says earnings at Warren Buffett‘s Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) will increase the most since 2006 this year. He’s also telling investors to sell the shares because the economic recovery is weakening.

When it comes to sending mixed messages, the Stifel Nicolaus analyst has plenty of company. For the first time since at least 1997, fewer than 29 percent of ratings on stocks covered by brokerages worldwide are “buys,” according to 159,919 recommendations compiled and tracked by Bloomberg. Analysts are turning more pessimistic even as they push up profit-growth estimates among Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index companies to 36 percent, the highest since 1988.

“People are sitting on a fence,” says Paul Zemsky, the New York-based head of asset allocation for ING Investment Management, which oversees $550 billion.

“When I go and talk to our equity analysts, they look at the companies and say, ‘Boy, these companies look pretty good, earnings are O.K., they have plenty of cash. What if there’s a double dip?'” Leer más “Why Analysts Don’t Want to Say ‘Buy’”

Launch your dream career in ‘retirement’

So while it might not be possible to completely stop work at 55 (an age when many women would like to retire, Fitzhardinge says), at least she might be able to reduce her hours at work and transition into a role that excites her. Fitzhardinge says often these roles aren’t as lucrative as the salaries women have enjoyed earlier in their career, but they provide a top-up to income into retirement, and can be merged with lifestyle as much as possible.

As part of this strategy, Fitzhardinge works with women to add skills development into their financial plan so they can begin to build the skills they will need in their new ‘passion’ career.


An assortment of United States coins, includin...

For many of us dreams of retirement include visions of finally having the time to do all those things we’ve never had the time to do. But did you ever imagine your ‘retirement’ planning might include a way to finally embark on a business idea you are passionate about?

Linda Fitzhardinge is an empowerment coach at the organisation Women Building Wealth. She gives women financial advice and encourages them to take an holistic approach to their health, wealth and spirit – and says all three elements are closely inter-related.

Fitzhardinge says there are times when she has met with a client to discuss her retirement plans and the session has ended in tears because dreams do not align with financial reality.

But instead of focussing on the negatives of such a realisation, Fitzhardinge has been working with older women to draw out their ideas for earning income from ideas they are passionate about. Leer más “Launch your dream career in ‘retirement’”

SEC Investigates Massive Computer Driven Orders As Possible Market Manipulation

On May 6th at the peak of the “flash crash”– when market averages plunged suddenly over 700 points– some 3.1 million buy and sell messages were entered into the market by high frequency traders. These messages— many of which were pulled almost immediately– overwhelmed confused market makers, and triggered some computer driven systems to shut down– reducing liquidity in the marketplace.

Today, the Wall Street Journal reported that the SEC was investigating whether the practice of entering a multiple of orders the actual trades needing to be executed amounts to a form of price manipulation in the marketplace. In other words, if the high frequency traders, who handle 56% of all transactions in the stock market, are influencing price levels so as to make short term profits at the expense of others, some new regulations may be required. These HFTS, are not regulated by any agency unless hey are registered as broker-dealers.


Robert Lenzner

Robert Lenzner

On May 6th at the peak of the “flash crash”– when market averages plunged suddenly over 700 points– some 3.1 million buy and sell messages  were entered into the market by high frequency traders. These messages— many of which were pulled almost immediately– overwhelmed  confused market makers,  and triggered some computer driven systems to shut down– reducing liquidity in the marketplace.

Today, the Wall Street Journal reported that the SEC was investigating whether the practice of entering a multiple of orders the actual trades needing to be executed amounts to a form of price manipulation in the marketplace. In other words,  if the high frequency traders, who handle 56% of all transactions in the stock market, are influencing price levels so as to make short term profits at the expense of others, some new regulations may be required. These HFTS,  are not regulated by any agency unless hey are registered as broker-dealers. Leer más “SEC Investigates Massive Computer Driven Orders As Possible Market Manipulation”

The efficient use of ideas

Every significant “leap forward” in the span of human consciousness has coincided with a significant change in the efficient use of a significant resource. For example – the transition from nomadic life to farming. This transition came about because people learned to till the ground and grow food that was dependable and sustaining. The fact that people could stay in one place and have a consistent food source meant that they could take on other tasks. The more efficiently they used the soil, the more crops they could grow, and the more time available for other activities.


Frederick Winslow Taylor lived from 1856 to 1915
Image via Wikipedia

Every significant “leap forward” in the span of human consciousness has coincided with a significant change in the efficient use of a significant resource.  For example – the transition from nomadic life to farming.  This transition came about because people learned to till the ground and grow food that was dependable and sustaining.  The fact that people could stay in one place and have a consistent food source meant that they could take on other tasks.  The more efficiently they used the soil, the more crops they could grow, and the more time available for other activities.

Other “leaps” forward include the efficient use of labor (thanks Frederick Taylor) and the efficient use of capital, which has eventually brought us to the problems with financial engineering that we’ve encountered recently.  All Taylor cared about was understanding how to get the most, best, productivity out of the labor of individuals, while bankers, financiers and CFOs have their own metrics about the efficient use of capital – return on invested capital as an example.
Leer más “The efficient use of ideas”

Planning For Retirement at Any Age

The market crashed — then recovered. Feeling safer? To battle the uncertainty, check out our five-part series on how to plan for retirement now.

It’s All About Good Habits and Long Term Plans

If you’re in your 20s, the path to retirement is as clear as ever. Sure, there are some bumps to maneuver: the job market is tough right now, and your near-term career advancement and earnings power may have been curbed by the recession and a whole bunch of under-saved 60-somethings staying at work longer to make ends meet. But these are short-term issues that will disappear in time. Meanwhile, your young age gives you plenty of time to prepare.


The market crashed — then recovered. Feeling safer? To battle the uncertainty, check out our five-part series on how to plan for retirement now.

It’s All About Good Habits and Long Term Plans

If you’re in your 20s, the path to retirement is as clear as ever. Sure, there are some bumps to maneuver: the job market is tough right now, and your near-term career advancement and earnings power may have been curbed by the recession and a whole bunch of under-saved 60-somethings staying at work longer to make ends meet. But these are short-term issues that will disappear in time. Meanwhile, your young age gives you plenty of time to prepare. Leer más “Planning For Retirement at Any Age”

Cash is king?

All Men are Liars

cashisking.jpg

Some of you may remember the ’80s cop show Hill Street Blues in which the role call Sergeant Phil Esterhaus used to tell his officers at the end of their morning briefing “Let’s be careful out there.”

I know next to nothing about the financial world, but I imagine that the trading bosses at most of the big brokerage firms, hedge funds and investment banks are saying the same thing to their pot-bellied orcs employees as the Global Financial Cackfight deepens.

What I do know is when a website as conservative and venal as Forbes is publishing front page specials about the economic sky falling, some very rich people are getting worried about the way the dice are rolling …

What seems to be a common theme in many learned financial types’ judgments is “we know not what we do” because there are so many serious, intertwined global problems having unintended consequences on each other.


All Men are Liars

cashisking.jpg

Some of you may remember the ’80s cop show Hill Street Blues in which the role call Sergeant Phil Esterhaus used to tell his officers at the end of their morning briefing “Let’s be careful out there.”

I know next to nothing about the financial world, but I imagine that the trading bosses at most of the big brokerage firms, hedge funds and investment banks are saying the same thing to their pot-bellied orcs employees as the Global Financial Cackfight deepens.

What I do know is when a website as conservative and venal as Forbes is publishing front page specials about the economic sky falling, some very rich people are getting worried about the way the dice are rolling …

What seems to be a common theme in many learned financial types’ judgments is “we know not what we do” because there are so many serious, intertwined global problems having unintended consequences on each other. Leer más “Cash is king?”

10 Things You Need To Know This Morning


tiger woods elinHere’s what you need to know this morning:

  • President Obama is in New York today making his case to Wall Street for financial reform. He is seeking cooperation on Sen. Dodd’s bill, and several changes he wants to see implemented. There continues to be significant political and industry opposition to these moves.
  • Russia is taking advantage of current market confidence and offering the second largest emerging market debt offering on record, valued at $5.5 billion. It will be the first time the Russian government has tapped markets since the ruble crisis and default of 1998.
  • The story of China’s housing market tightening continues to grow more robust as Hong Kong today launched a further duty to quell speculation on high priced residential properties. The stamp duty increase targets properties worth more than $20 million.
  • U.S. telecom giants CenturyLink and Qwest have agreed to a merger, where CenturyLink will buy Qwest for $10.6 billion. The resulting company will be worth $19.8 billion in revenues based on 2009 results.
  • The UK’s annual deficit tops anything the country has seen since World War II, as its parliamentary leaders head for their second televised debate. Tonight’s topic will be foreign affairs, but the subject of debt will surely arise and polling results after are likely to impact pound futures.
  • European flights have returned to normal today, as a backlog of stranded passengers finally begin to make their way home. Airline Ryanair, which originally refused to pay stranded passengers compensation, is now agreeing to do so.
  • Bernie Madoff’s right hand man, Frank DiPascali, is being charged responsible for $170.25 billion in debts the firm incurred to victims. The government plans to strip him of his assets, and sell them in a effort to pay back those who lost money in their investments.
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5 Of The Most Socially Responsible Companies


CSR LightbulbMediumCorporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is essentially about doing good and doing well. Generally, it refers to the process of integrating social values and mission within business decision-making process, so as to achieve positive and sustainable outcomes towards the business, environment and the community at large.

Many companies nowadays believe that they have this responsibility to give back to society. Such socially responsible companies see to it that this act permeates everything they do.

Here are 5 companies that stood out, in my opinion, as great examples of how social responsibility can be productively coupled with sound strategies to advance goodwill, while building sustainable and impressive businesses.

1. Vodafone

vodafone-logo

In April, Vodafone promised to cut down their carbon dioxide emissions in half by 2020 through improving the energy efficiency of its global mobile-phone networks. Additional points for Vodafone on CSR because they are constantly updating us with the results of the campaign; no matter whether it’s going well or not.

Future promises includes pledging to recycle 95% of network equipment waste and plans to reduce work-related accidents that cause lost time by 10%. On top of that, Vodafone is a leading business in socially responsible products such as the text-to-speech software for blind people and easy-to-use handsets for the elderly.

2. The Body Shop

The-BodyShop-logo

The Body Shop can be considered one of the pioneers of modern corporate social responsibility. Founder Anita Roddick led her company to stand up for its beliefs and champion causes such as self-esteem, environmental protection, animal rights, community trade and human rights.

One of their major achievements was back in 1985, where they managed to work with Greenpeace and garner more than 4,000,000 signatures against animal testing in the European Union. They have also contributed significantly to the causes they stand for, and exemplifies how others can do the same thing. Leer más “5 Of The Most Socially Responsible Companies”