Monthly Archives: February 2016

Elementary School Boy Raises Money for Hearing-Impaired Kids in Flint, Michigan

Isiah Britt is a 7-year-old boy in Virginia who is raising money to help other kids with hearing disabilities in Flint, Michigan. The second grader heard about the water situation in Flint, and how elementary school students with hearing issues like himself are afraid to wash their hands. He knew that he had to do something to help them, so he reached out to Hearing Aids RX for help.

With the help of Hearing Aids RX, Isiah then started a GoFundMe campaign to help raise money so that students at Eisenhower Elementary School in Flint, Michigan would all be able to have enough hand sanitizer in each classroom so that no one would have to use the water that they were all afraid to use. Isiah’s campaign not only raised enough money to help out the students at Eisenhower Elementary School, it raised $10,000 which is enough to purchase hand sanitizer for all 12 elementary schools across the city.

His next goal is to raise enough money to donate more hand sanitzer to donate to daycares and women’s shelters across the area as well. Isiah has said that he is happy that his campaign will have an impact on the community. He said that no matter how small you are, you can still make a big difference.

For the full story, or to donate to Isiah’s GoFundMe campaign, click the link to check it out on WTVR.com.

Brad Reifler Has Five Important Tips

New investors might have a hard time figuring out where to put their money. The sheer variety of investment vehicles available to people with savings in the bank ensures no one ever has be feel options are limited. Stocks, bonds, precious metals, currency, ETFs, and more are available to those who want to see their net worth grow.

Being a bit too over-anxious about investing, however, is not the best attitude to have. Rushing in to invest money could lead to major losses, and this is clearly not a good thing. Brad Reifler is a smart man when it comes to the subject of investing.

As the executive in charge of Forefront Capital, Reifler has to make good decisions. To help others make equally good decisions, Reifler came up with a list of five solid tips for investing. These tips (originally published in a Reuters press release) could save both new and long-time investors a lot of trouble.

From his Twitter the first tip Reifler mentions is definitely wise. He warns people about being very careful about how they invest their money. Not everyone looks at the overall market conditions, risks, and other factors. Doing so is strongly advised prior to putting any money into the mix.

The second tip casually reminds people who are investing that the goal of investing is to gain a return on one’s investment. Invested money is supposed to grow. Those who are not concerned about the safety of their money are going to lose it. Putting funds into high-risk endeavors or volatile vehicles is not a safe strategy. Prudence is a better path to follow.

The third tip may be surprising to newbies, but those who have been involved in investing for some time realize the advice is sage. Reifler says to avoid putting all investment money into the stock market. There are scores of other places in which money can be invested. To put 100% of one’s money in the stock market really is risky. If the market falls like it did in 2008, nothing is left to hedge the assets.

The fourth bit of advice is something a lot of people learned the hard way. Always be completely positive that the person handling the money – a broker, financial manager, hedge fund manager, and the like – is trustworthy. As the news sadly reports, trusting the wrong person with your money leads to disaster.

The fifth and final tip is the suggestion to really define why you are investing. If you do not know why you are investing your money, a successful outcome is going to be elusive.

Reifler’s advice is hard to argue with. The tips all make sense.  About.me has further tips from Brad’s career and personal life.

Koch Brothers Uncertain About Facing Off Against Trump

Billionaires Charles and David Koch have tried for decades to change the political system in the United States into a system that more closely represents their Libertarian views. They believe that the two-party system fails to support the freedoms guaranteed by the country’s founders. Although they have succeeded in making many changes, Donald Trump’s foray into the presidential race appears to be causing them some concern.

As Daniel Schulman for “Vanity Fair” explained in his February 4, 2016, article “Can the Koch Brothers Stop Trump?,” Donald Trump’s influence in the recent presidential race is drawing a lot of financial support and media attention away from other Republican candidates. The Koch Brothers are now faced with trying to decide how best to deal with this problem. Schulman used a recent interview between 80-year-old Charles Koch and Stephen Foley of “The Financial Times” outlined in the January 8 article “Lunch with the FT: Charles Koch” as research for his piece.

In that article, Foley revealed how Charles Koch believes that Donald Trump is a threat to free society. Koch mentioned that the Muslim registry proposed by Trump would take freedoms away from everyone. He also stated that Trump needs to remember that a leader must “defend the liberty of people you like the least.” As Foley pointed out, some might be surprised by the Koch Brothers not supporting Trump, but they have actually done a great deal over the years to help Americans retain their freedoms. Additionally, Charles has proven to have the intelligence to understand the larger issues: He has two Master of Science degrees from MIT and continues to work as CEO of Koch Industries with a net worth of approximately $43.3 billion.

Schulman noted that Trump’s statement represents one of many areas where Trump and the Koch Brothers do not agree in politics. He also noted that Charles and David have the influence to gain support from their many allies to stop Trump’s campaign in its tracks, but that they would risk a public relations war by doing so. Trump had already criticized other Republican candidates last August for seeking out financial donations from the Koch Brothers. Currently, the brothers and their allies are doing what they can to prevent Hillary Clinton from winning the Democratic nomination, but the question of how best to handle Trump remains. Charles did not provide Foley with a clear indication of their plans.

This article recapped http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2016/02/koch-brothers-take-on-trump

Avi Weisfogel and Operation Smile

Avi Weisfogel is known in Old Bridge for his work in dentistry, particularly for his work at Old Bridge Dental Care in his hometown. Having graduated from Rutgers University with Bachelor’s degrees in Biology and Psychology, he went on to New York University’s College of Dentistry to earn his DDS. This led to Avi Weisfogel’s time at Dental Sleep Masters Seminars, where he took on the role of instructor to educate patients and healthcare providers how to content with complications of sleep patterns brought on from a host of disorders, particularly sleep apnea. For more than sixteen years his work has been in the arena of sleep disorders and management.

Healthy Heart Sleep was an initiative Avi Weisfogel began five years ago directed specifically at doctors, which worked much like Owner Unlimited Sleep Patients, a lecture circuit for dentist on the connection their field has to sleep apnea. This included instruction on oral devices that provide ease and comfort to their patients.

Though Avi Weisfogel has spent his time developing a demanding yet fulfilling career, another part of his life commands a great deal of attention and effort–philanthropy. Recently, Weisfogel has started a GoFundMe page in support of Operation Smile. Operating since 1982, Operation Smile began as a joint effort between plastic surgeon William Magee and his wife, Kathleen, a nurse. The Philippines was the site of the first mission, working with local doctors and other healthcare providers to provide care to children with facial deformities, mainly those with cleft lips and palates. At first, those who donated their time to the cause were overwhelmed by the display of need from the children who could not access regular care for their conditions, and it was that need that made Operation Smile an active organization. Subsisting mostly on donations from generous individuals and organizations alike, Operation Smile acquires the supplies and facilities necessary to address the medical needs of patients, but their staff of technicians, doctors and nurses all volunteer their time to the cause.

With decades of operations, Operation Smile has extended their reach beyond the Philippines to more than eighty countries, providing care to thousands of children. At present, the care providers have performed hundreds of thousands of surgeries to patients of all ages while training a medical staff that would then take those skills and apply them both at home and abroad. Efforts by people like Weisfogel, who understand the importance of oral care and correction, make their operations possible.

Read the original article here.

Brian Torchin Offers Up Medical Employment Advice

Brian Torchin has been working in the medical field for several decades. He also has helped others land jobs within the community for nearly as long. With this kind of experience, he knows the ups and downs of what goes in in the hiring field. It is a cutthroat world out there when it comes to landing a medical job, which is why Brian Torchin offers up the advice. For anyone looking at a new job or is considering applying for one, Brian offers up these tips.

One of the most common questions is if someone should sign up and use a staffing agency. People want to know if it is worth it and if it is worth their time to use the service. Typically, this kind of a staffing agency helps provide counseling and helpful information to those looking for jobs and to help them prepare for potential interviews. The service also points the individuals to possible openings. These services help do some of the leg work and do help connect with hospitals. There are some hospitals that only work with a staffing agency, especially if the hospital has a strong connection and solid results with such an agency.

When hospitals have a strong connection, it means an individual should automatically sign up for one, right? Brian Torchin says on Twitter that he wants individuals to hold off, just a bit, and first consider what they are looking for. If you want to work in a particular location or hospital, it is best to avoid the staffing agency. With an agency, you are never really sure where you might be placed. So, you may want to hold off just a bit before signing up with the agency. Additionally, many staffing agency positions do not pay as much as if you receive it yourself. This is because the staffing agency does receive some kickback in landing you the job (although it does depend on the agency).

The staffing agency is a good way to land your first job or two, so if you are in need of work and want to move into the workforce as quickly as possible, using a staffing agency is a nice way to go. As you build your portfolio and job experience, you can start to branch off and look for jobs on your own. That can work well for many people, and it helps make you more employable with the additional experience.  About.me has an even better breakdown of Brian’s career.  Otherwise you can check him out on Mashable where he comments on health articles, and engages with the community.

Keith Mann Helping the Local School System

Keith Mann has been giving back to his local community for several years now. As the head of Dynamics Search Partners, he understands the importance of not only receiving a top education, but identifying talent at an early age as well. That is why he and Dynamics Search Partners has recently announced they would provide a scholarship that recognizes innovative business leaders within the Uncommon School’s Brooklyn based high schools. This way, some children who might not be able to afford college or a secondary education is able to receive help paying for it. It is just one other way Keith Mann wants to give back to the community.

The scholarship is open to anyone within the high schools. It in order to see who might qualify, Keith Mann asks students to write out a 1,000 words essay on how receiving a college degree can help with achieving their eventual, professional goals. The desire of this is to help the children dream big. That is often one of the problems with children, especially those who do not have parents who have gone to college or who have left the area before. The children don’t have an example of going to school or having higher goals. So, this is the very beginning for this.

Uncommon Schools works with talented children from around Brooklyn. The school doesn’t have a requirement for income levels, as it is more about finding the right students who excel in this kind of an environment. It is why the school does everything in its power to help children from all income levels. It is also why Keith Mann and Dynamics Search Partners wants to help children who are considered low-income, as these children are the ones who often remain close to home and don’t go to college due to monetary issues within the house.

Keith Mann has gone on record to state he wants to continually offer new services and new assistance to the Uncommon Schools. As the schools help find those who excel in the classroom, Keith not only wants to help these students succeed, but often help keep them in the community with potential jobs and connecting the students after college graduation.

Read the original article here.

Above The Competition

The advent of the online market for home repair services as well as mobile cleaning has reached a fever pitch, and Handy, a tool for booking such agencies and services, has managed to rise above the competition. Only two years after the company emerged, Handy managed to land over one-million dollars in bookings on a weekly basis. The company’s leaders, Oisin Hanrahan and Umang Dua have become successful innovators with new reason to celebrate.

Cleaning professionals utilizing the service are pleased themselves, as Handy provides a solid hourly wage and a means to decide ones own hours. The pay ranges from fifteen to twenty-two dollars an hour, which averages out to about eighteen dollars every hour.

The new numbers have arrived at the very moment Handy has worked tirelessly towards re-inventing their business by changes in branding and the additional development of new apps designed for mobile device usage. It is important to note that Handy throughly vets their cleaning service professionals, and their clientele has become clearly comfortable with utilizing their various services by using their cell phones.

While Handy offers more than strictly services for housecleaning, the mass amount of their rapidly growing revenue remains a result of the consistency of quality in their work relating to providing the customer a means to receiving a quality housecleaning. Eighty-five percent of Handy’s money is earned via their excellent cleaning service. The remaining fifteen percent is likely split amongst a variety of plumbing services.

Much of their recent success to due to the company’s consistent worth ethic, and inner emphasis on growth and evolution. Oisin Hanrahan and Umang Dua, the founders of Handy have spent considerable time over the past year placing an emphasis on providing proper support for consistent clientele, as opposed to excessive expansion. Their focus on quality over quantity has helped earn them their recognition and success, and is a large part of why they have emerged above the competition.

Follow Handy on Facebook and Twitter.

Highland Capital Management: Making Waves In Investments

James Dondero founded Highland Capital Management in 1993. Over the course of two decades he led the firm to significant success. A big year for the fund was in 2000. The first thing that occurred was Highland Capital developing the fund’s very first total return strategy, which focused on distressed assets. Previously the firm had only concentrated on collateralized loan obligations and separate accounts. The second big move that Highland Capital and James Dondero made was establishing their first 2 bank loan separate accounts. These accounts were largely for big public pension plans in Canada and the United States. Highland provides a number of services to its clients including, emerging markets credit funds, ETFs, private equity funds, credit hedge funds, long or short equity funds and oil and gas funds.

The the firm has now grown to an enormous size, Jim Dondero started out his career in a small way, by just getting a degree. Jim graduated from the University of Virginia after receiving a degree in finance and accounting. Jim Dondero then went on to work for American Express as a corporate bond analyst and a portfolio manager. Over the course of his career, Jim got certified as a Certified Public Accountant, a Certified Management Accountant and a Chartered Financial Analyst.

In a recent analysis of the fund’s 13F, Octa Finance published an article that covered some of the changes that Highland Capital Management had undergone during the third quarter of 2015. One of the aspects touched on in the article was the top 5 new buys that the fund had made over the course of the quarter. The fifth biggest buy was in Intra Cellular Therapies Inc, which nows represents .46 percent of the fund’s portfolio. Danaher Corp Del was the fourth biggest buy, sitting at .50 percent of the firm’s portfolio. Representing .52 percent of the fund’s portfolio is now Eagle Pharmaceuticals Inc, which was the fund’s third biggest new buy. The second biggest new buy is Amazon Com Inc and it now shows .69 percent of the fund’s portfolio. The biggest new buy that Highland Capital made during the third quarter was Spdr S&P 500 Etf Tr. This stock represents 1.96 percent of the company’s portfolio. The fund also had significant sector movement out of healthcare and finance.

For those who want to read further, please go here: http://www.octafinance.com/highland-capital-management-top-10-holdings-in-q3-2015/352793/

New York Real Estate Predictions for 2016

Trying to predict the housing market is a very risky thing to do. While analyst can figure out some trends based off of current and past performance; this does not mean that things will play out as expected for the future. The following information was taken from an article in the New York Daily News about the coming trends in the real market in 2016.

 

Prices are Going to Fall in 2016

 

The decline in property prices will be an ongoing theme in 2016. This will be due to an increase in interest rates and fewer buyers in the market. Sellers are going to have to really put out some good incentives to get buyers to purchase their properties. Buyers are going to be more selective and take their time with making purchases.

 

Only the Best Land in NYC will be Selling Quickly

 

Since the overall prices in the housing market is going to be lower than in the past; buyers are going to purchase more high end properties. This makes sense because New York City apartments for sale  is the secondary and lower end properties will not hold their value the same as properties located in higher end areas of the city. Sellers who own property in secondary and low end markets should brace themselves for a long selling process because their properties will probably be stuck in this phase for a long time.

 

Baby Boomers are going to be Buying a Lot of Real Estate

 

Baby boomers are going to be buying a lot of real estate in 2016 because they are going to want to live next to their children and grandchildren. More importantly they will have the cash to put down for property because they are more settled. Many baby boomers will also look for secondary places within the city.

 

High Demand for Luxury Condos

 

NYC property owners will definitely like the following prediction because it will be good news for them. Luxury properties are going to be more in demand even though the overall market is going to be tight. Entry level condos ranging between $1 and $3 million dollars are going to be among the hottest selling properties in NYC. One reason for this trend will be the increase in luxury properties (especially condos) since more buildings are going to be sitting in the market waiting to be sold.

 

These predictions may come true in 2016 or they might not. People who are interested about finding out more about the coming real estate market trends in 2016 should check out the article 8 Predictions for the New York Real Estate Market in 2016.

 

Fans Count Down the Release Dates of Fast and Furious 8, 9, & 10

The Fast and Furious franchise is going to be part of the cinema landscape for years to come. When the first film debuted, the feature was a solid hit. Sequels were expected. What no one expected was the films becoming multi-billion dollar global smashes.

Fast and Furious 8 starts shooting very soon. The film is slated for an April 2017 release date. Universal Pictures is not exactly slowing the production of the franchise down. The studio has provided release dates for parts 9 and 10. Both will also receive April release dates in 2019 and 2021 respectively.

Bloomberg has reported that Jon Urbana has now raised over $1,000 for Earth Force, a cause that the entire cast of Fast and Furious 8 supports.

Choosing April as the repeated release month makes good business sense. If audiences have responded well to spring debuts, then there is no reason to make any changes. April might seem like an odd month because the big franchises usually get summer releases. The massive money Fast and Furious earns at the box office shows April is hardly a bad month to open the film.

The Fast and Furious films have a massive worldwide audience. Young persons pack theaters to watch the new exploits of their favorite street racers/crime fighters. These movies are perfect escapist entertainment, and the various entries in the serious are a nice alternative to popular superhero films. Ironically, the characters in the Fast and Furious movies are a lot like superheroes. Instead of mysterious superpowers, however, the cast members revel in their amazing fighting and driving skills. As fantastic as the franchise is, audiences are still able identify with the more human characters.

For fans, those Aprils can’t come soon enough.

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