Precise Racing Products adding two $500 awards for IMCA RaceSaver Sprint drivers

first_imgWICHITA, Kan. – The company that sells speed adds a pair of $500 cash awards to its IMCA RaceSaver Sprint Car contingency program this season.Both the national rookie of the year and the driver with the most 40-point feature wins as of Sept. 25 receive $500 in cash from Precise Racing Products.“I talked with Chris Archer at Precise about adding something exciting to our growing RaceSaver Sprint Car program and these two new cash awards certainly satisfy that desire,” IMCA Marketing Director Kevin Yoder said. “We’re gaining new members every day, and now potentially two of them will pocket a significant amount of extra cash at our national banquet. We’re very pleased with this addition and excited to make the announcement.”The Wichita, Kan., high performance parts supplier and Hoosier race tire distributor also gives $50 gift cards to state and series champions in the division and all IMCA RaceSaver Sprint Car drivers are required to display two Precise Racing Products decals on their race car to be eligible.More information about Precise products is available by calling 800 651-5164 and at the website.Precise Racing Products has been an IMCA sponsor since 2011.last_img read more

LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony at NBA free-agency standstill

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Meanwhile, Anthony may want to see if he can join forces with James either in Miami or the Lakers, or entice Pau Gasol to take a reduced salary in New York to work again with Phil Jackson and Derek Fisher.No one knows for sure since both James’ and Anthony’s management teams have stayed tight lipped, leaving everyone else wondering which directions the dominoes will fall. After fielding interest from the Lakers, Oklahoma City, San Antonio, Chicago, Dallas and New York, Gasol would like to decide his future soon. Yet, Gasol has not ruled out any options, according to a league source familiar with his thinking. There is a sense that Gasol’s future directly correlates with Anthony’s decision. If Anthony shows trust in the Lakers’ rebuilding plan despite nursing uncertainty surrounding the health of Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash and who their next head coach will become, Gasol will likely stay put with the Lakers. A tandem featuring Bryant, Anthony, Gasol and rookie forward Julius Randle should at least put the Lakers back into playoff contention, a vast improvement from finishing last season with the word record in L.A. franchise history.If Anthony chooses elsewhere, both the Lakers and Gasol will likely become less interested in staying together. Gasol’s preference has remained joining a championship-contending team. The Lakers would likely shift focus toward signing players to one-year deals and maximizing cap space for Kevin Love in 2015 and Kevin Durant in 2016. The NBA world has collectively held its breath. Now it appears everyone involved needs some oxygen. Early this week, LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony were expected to come out of their figurative cocoons and announce to the world which NBA team they will play for next season. Instead, both are still deliberating.James is reportedly scheduled to meet with Heat president Pat Riley on Wednesday in Las Vegas, where it remains to be seen whether Riley will challenge James whether he “has the guts” to stay the same way he did in a season-ending press conference. Anthony has not narrowed his choices between the New York Knicks, Lakers, Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks and Houston Rockets.This may seem as nauseating as when James hosted a televised special three years ago announcing he would leave Cleveland and “take his talents to South Beach.” Yet, plausible reasons exist for James and Anthony validating the theory that watched pots never boil. After relaxing on a family vacation, James may want to see how Miami will upgrade its roster beyond acquiring key reserves in Josh McRoberts and Danny Granger or if a reunion with Cleveland may provide something more than mending fences. Or perhaps James will entertain meetings with teams that met with his agent, Rich Paul, last week, including the Lakers. center_img Miami has more pressing concerns on keeping James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, who reportedly received a four-year max contract offer from the Houston Rockets. But the Heat have also expressed interest in acquiring Lakers forward Jordan Hill, according to a league source familiar with the discussions.Hill has sparked interest from other teams, including the Lakers, Dallas Mavericks and Houston Rockets. But Hill’s free-agency interest has not gone beyond what one source called “dialogue” and no meetings with teams are currently scheduled.Despite posting a career-high 9.7 points and 7.8 rebounds in the 2013-14 season, Hill grew frustrated last season with the Lakers under Mike D’Antoni’s system that featured him in a fluctuating role partly because of his preference for a so-called “small-ball” system. Hill became more amenable toward returning to the Lakers. But his future seems uncertain considering the Lakers drafted Randle, a bruising post player who could take away Hill’s minutes. Hill’s preference for a three- or four-year deal also contradicts the Lakers’ preferences for small-term contracts to maximize spending power for future offseasons.Yet, the Lakers will handle those issues later. Like everyone else, they eagerly await the next step James and Anthony take, each movement possibly marking a shift in the NBA landscape. last_img read more

South African innovation sets pace for mining industry

first_img9 February 2015In today’s globalised world, the adoption of technology is increasingly essential for companies to be highly competitive and to prosper.The technological readiness pillar of the South Africa’s National Development Plan (NDP) measures the agility with which the economy adopts existing technologies to enhance the productivity of its industries. No industry or sector is immune from the growing need to use innovation as a competitive advantage.The mining sector is one of South Africa’s oldest industries. The country’s economic outlook and particularly the outlook for the mining sector comes under the spotlight at the annual Mining Indaba. It is currently under way at the Cape Town Convention Centre, running from 9 to 12 February.Mining accounts for 12% of total investment in the South African economy. When indirect multipliers are considered, the total fixed investment in the South African economy flowing from mining activity reaches a significant 25% of total investment.AdvantagesSouth Africa is ranked as the best Brics economy in terms of availability of the latest technologies, and it is ranked highly in terms of technological readiness. Being proactive in adapting to new technology will help South Africa achieve its economic growth and development goals, and enhances perceptions about its ability to be competitive.AziSAAs hosts of the Mining Indaba, the country must reflect on how technologically savvy we are in terms of the mining industry.The mining industry is the third largest sector in the South African economy, after the agriculture and industrial manufacturing sectors. It accounts for approximately 8% of GDP and creates approximately 1-million jobs (500 000 direct and 500 000 indirect).The development of new technologies benefits every aspect of the mineral industry – exploration, mining, mineral processing, beneficiation, health and safety, as well as environmental issues. Technology development needs to be focused on those areas that are critical to the entire value chain.To address some of the challenges associated with labour-intensive drill-and-blast mining, as conducted on the major South African gold and platinum mines, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has developed architecture called AziSA, an isiZulu word meaning “to inform”.Drill-and-blast mining is often not tightly managed because of the lack of good information about what is going on underground. As a result, mining operations tend to be dangerous and unhealthy, as well as expensive. A shortage of appropriately skilled workers also leads to human resource challenges.AziSA is intended primarily for the design of systems that will operate in underground mining environments where there is limited power and communications infrastructure.Read more about the CSIR’s AziSA architecture [PDF]Mechanised miningMechanised mining seeks to use machinery to drill and extract minerals and metals. The technology helps to increase South Africa’s competitiveness by increasing productivity and upskilling miners who are trained to operate and maintain highly specialised equipment.Mechanisation is also used to reduce the threat of physical harm to people, as well as create greater access to reserves that would otherwise be too dangerous to explore.While the South African mining industry has had its fair share of challenges recently, it is committed to using technology and innovation to ensure it keeps pace with global industry standards. In some areas, especially robotics and mechanisation, South Africa is setting global industry standards.Menell is a Brand South Africa board memberlast_img read more

Scouting for damage in emerged fields

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Usually this time of year, the planter is the most important tool on the farm. But, for the past two weeks farmers have used their pocket knives more to see if planted seeds are making progress in cold, wet Ohio soils. Some fields that were planted early on are emerged and after some frost concerns those fields need to be surveyed as well. The Ohio Ag Net’s Ty Higgins visits with Golden Harvest Agronomist Eric Anderson about what to look for in those fields.last_img read more

3 Ways Your Brand Can Team Up with Others (to Everyone’s Benefit)

first_imgBrad AndersonEditor In Chief at ReadWrite Brad is the editor overseeing contributed content at He previously worked as an editor at PayPal and Crunchbase. You can reach him at brad at The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Wheels Up, the 5,000-member private jet firm, just announced its plan to woo leading luxury brands into teaming up. The appeal: Other brands could save millions on marketing costs and still gain exposure with qualified clientele. For Wheels Up, brand partnerships are intended to reciprocally enrich the membership experience. Everyone wins.Now, you may or may not seek to impact an affluent audience like Wheels Up, so that particular partnership might not entice you. Chances are that your business wasn’t created to cater solely to the wealthy. However, marketing partnerships offer benefits to companies of any size or with any type of target audience, and strategic partnerships can enhance your brand’s reach at a fraction of the usual cost.Critical to that strategy is choosing the right marketing partner and type of engagement. Perhaps you want to reach more of the same type of audience members or grow into a new market. Maybe you have some amount of brand awareness, but you’re trying to accumulate more clout with your followers.Think about your goals and the partners who have the most potential to help you realize them. Then, consider the various advantages to each of these types of partnerships:1. Affiliate marketing boosts brand exposure.Affiliate marketing is one of the most commonly sought types of partnerships. Its benefits are easily measurable, and the costs of the partnership are closely tied to those benefits — you get out of it what you put in. An affiliate partnership is a performance-based model in which each partner benefits from driving a desired action.Platforms such as Pepperjam provide an easy way for brands to increase exposure by maintaining several different affiliate partnerships at once. For example, Puma used the platform to partner with online shopping guide Dealmoon for a 2017 holiday sales event, and Dealmoon was able to offer subscribers early access to the sale. It generated more than 40 percent of Puma’s revenue for that sale.Maura Smith, SVP of Pepperjam, describes performance channels as a “pay-for-outcome alternative” to solo digital marketing strategies. “When you rely on traditional (read: expensive) paid channels for your digital strategy,” Smith says, “you will inevitably see less than half of every marketing dollar invested becoming working media.”2. Cause marketing solidifies brand purpose.Companies of all sizes can boost their exposure with affiliate marketing, but sometimes, partnering up is more about humanizing your brand’s message than furthering its reach. Cause marketing gives companies and nonprofit organizations an avenue to spread awareness and build popularity for meaningful causes. Both nonprofits and companies benefit in this arrangement.For instance, Walgreens partners with nonprofit Comic Relief Inc. for its Red Nose Day fundraising campaign. Walgreens has helped the organization raise more than $71 million over the past four years to combat child poverty. Customers have purchased millions of red noses at Walgreens stores to take pictures and attended other Red Nose Day fundraising events.In addition to raising funds for the Red Nose Day charity campaign, the partnership substantially boosts Walgreens’ image in consumers’ eyes. Studies show that customers prefer to buy from brands that support worthy causes; a global survey showed 91 percent of respondents said it’s a determining factor. Right now, only 23 percent of brands are considered meaningful in any way, according to consumer responses to Havas’ Meaningful Brands 2019 report. Purposeful companies have been seen to grow twice as fast, so the potential payoff is high for cause marketing.3. Co-branding boosts brand equity.Co-branding involves collaborating with one or more like-minded brands to create an entirely new product or service. It’s how Taco Bell and Doritos created the Doritos Locos Taco and how Nike and Apple created the Nike+ line of smart athletic gear. It also includes smaller-scale joint offerings, like webinars and whitepapers.The co-branding alliance involves intense strategic collaboration. For smaller brands, it can help both partners break into markets they’ve been struggling to enter. For example, a co-branding partnership with Blue Apron helped celebrity cook Ayesha Curry expand her brand past the Food Network and into the meal kit market in 2017. Blue Apron, meanwhile, benefited from increased recognition from Curry’s bevy of fans.Because co-branding requires a deeper commitment and investment than most other marketing partnerships, it’s especially important to choose partners strategically. For Curry, partnering with Blue Apron was highly advantageous; one study predicts the meal kit market in the U.S. alone will grow by double digits through 2022.Marketing partnerships are one of the most effective ways to scale your brand’s reach, whether you’re marketing a private jet service or healthy meal kits. However, you shouldn’t invest in any partnership without thoroughly strategizing first. Determine your ultimate brand goal for the partnership, and engage with a partner who agrees on how best to achieve that goal.If you play your cards right, partnerships can be mutually beneficial arrangements. Tags:#Affiliate marketing#business growth#business partner#business scaling#marketing#partnership#strategic partnership Related Posts Trends Driving the Loyalty Marketing Industry AI is Not the Holy Grail of Sales, at Least Not… What Nobody Teaches You About Getting Your Star…last_img read more

How To Make Your Expensive Gear Investment Last Forever

first_imgSo, you saved up and bought the camera package of your dreams. Here’s how to make sure that money doesn’t go to waste once the next camera comes along.Top Image via Shutterstock.A notion that I’ve often heard in the filmmaking community is that buying and owning an expensive camera is a bad idea. The overall idea is that if you want to have a good camera for a project, you should just rent one. Well, I’ve always thought that this concept was a nice thought, if you’re in a market wherein every project you take on has a budget for a nice, big camera package rental — which a lot of us are not. In some markets, you’ll seldom get a budget to rent even a few lights, much less a nice camera package or some cinema lenses.There are a ton of different ways to go about breaking into the industry, and it’s different story in every single market. Sometimes, owning a top-of-the-line camera rig is a great way to get your foot in the door; other times, you just meet the right people on set and do a good enough job that people call you back, and you get started that way. Sometimes you have to do a bunch of both.The Sony PMW-EX1 – Image via Sony.I chose to save up for a couple of years and drop a good chunk of money on the camera of my dreams — and start marketing myself as an owner/operator. At that time, my favorite camera was the fantastic Sony EX-1. I had watched a video by Philip Bloom (which he shot on the camera) and immediately knew that it was what I wanted. It was the perfect camera; it even shot in 720 at 60p (oh, how far things have come).At the time, the Sony EX-1 was about $8,000.I’ve since sold that camera, and I have owned about four other cameras since then. Each time I bought a new camera, I would sell the previous one. So technically speaking, I’ve purchased each of those cameras with some of that same money that I saved up when I was just getting started.There is an art to maintaining your gear investment over time. We don’t all have the money to buy every new piece of gear that comes along. By using a few tricks and staying on top of the gear scene, here’s how you can make a large gear investment and ensure that it stands the test of time.Knowing Which Types of Gear Retain ValueImage via Shutterstock.When you’re trying not to waste money on gear, constantly assessing your gear’s value is crucial. There are certain types of gear that are almost like brand-new cars: once you leave the lot with them, they lose half their value. At the same time, you’ll find that certain items retain (or gain) value regardless of what has recently come out in the film-gear scene.CamerasImage via Shutterstock.When it comes to cameras, my best advice is don’t get too attached. If you want to buy an expensive camera, you need to be willing and ready to sell it at any moment to the highest bidder, and say “Thanks for everything — goodbye, little buddy!” without blinking an eye.The camera market changes extremely quickly, usually in relation to large camera releases.Cameras in the sub-$2,000 range (lower end DSLRs, mirrorless, etc.) don’t hold value as well as the more expensive professional cameras on the market. New DSLR models drop almost monthly, and when something is already relatively affordable and a newer version comes out, you’ll find yourself in a buyer’s market. The person who might buy it would rather just go ahead and spend a few bucks more on a brand new camera than a used one. For example, a quick eBay search will show you that, right now, the original a7s is selling for around $1,200 less (nearly half) than its original sale price. That wasn’t the case just year or so ago.More expensive professional cameras and higher-end DSLRs (GH5, Ursa Mini Pro, Fs7, C300, etc.) tend to be a lot easier to sell at a price point nearer their initial release value (provided that you act quickly). The key here is to make sure that you sell yours before they become outdated. These cameras tend to come out less often, but luckily, there are plenty of resources that let you know when new cameras are going to come out (like the PremiumBeat blog for instance), so you can stay on top of the camera scene, and as soon as a new version of your camera is about to come out, go ahead and sell yours so you can get the next one.Every time you sell your camera, you’ll lose a bit of your initial investment (you’ll almost always sell for a little less than what you paid for it), but you’re still stretching the investment this way. The faster you sell, the less you’ll lose (you can buy a decade-old RED One MX for around $3,000-4,000 now, compared to its release price of around $20,000).LensesImage via Shutterstock.One could certainly make the argument that lenses are the best filmmaking gear investment. Lenses hold their value insanely well. In most cases, you can sell a lens for only moderately less than you paid for it, simply because of wear and tear.The only real variable with the lens market is just the general quality of the lens. If the lens that you own is high-quality, from a known and well-respected brand, it will retain value. Canon L-Series glass is a great example. Most L-Series lenses (16-35, 24-70, 70-200, etc.) all still selling for a very respectable price (even the older versions). This is because everyone knows those things are built like tanks, and just about everyone in the industry uses them on a regular basis — making them an easy sell. So, if you’re investing in lenses, buy something that is well-respected and well-known.Support Gear and MiscellaneousImage via Shutterstock.This one is probably the hardest to pin down, so I’m always very wary about purchasing this kind of gear. Your tripods, gimbals, stabilizers, etc. are probably going to be the most randomly valued pieces of equipment that you own. Even at the highest end, you have to be very careful if you think you’ll ever want to sell them later on.For instance, if you bought a Movi M10 at release, you spent about $10,000-15,000. The DJI Ronin and other gimbals came out shortly after and altered the pricing significantly. Now, only a few short years later, you can be the proud owner of an M10 for the low low price of around $2,000. That’s a pretty significant loss for early adopters still hanging onto that gimbal.If you’re planning to spend a lot on support gear, the best way to go, in my opinion, is to essentially buy things that you’re okay with keeping forever. For instance, a dana dolly would be a good investment, since no matter what camera system you’re using, you can get good use out of it. I like to try to buy support gear that won’t become outdated unless I know I’m okay with keeping it forever.Other things like drones, wireless transmitters, follow focus gear, etc. all fluctuate quite a bit in value because there are regularly rapid advancements in all of those areas.So, if you buy gear like this, you’ll need to take it on a case-by-case basis. Just make sure that it’s gear that you don’t mind losing some money on.Knowing When To SellImage via Shutterstock.Although camera and gear releases are starting to become a bit less predictable (in the past, they occurred around big gear shows like NAB, but now they’re a little more spread out), it’s still relatively easy to keep tabs on the value of your gear — and make sure that you don’t wait until it drops too much.There is also a certain level of dedication required to stay on top of industry news. There are plenty of sources for information on new and upcoming gear. The PremiumBeat blog stays on top of the gear scene as much as possible; other places to check out are NoFilmSchool, Cinema5d, Newsshooter, and many others. Around NAB and other big shows, all of these resources are invaluable for up-to-the-minute updates.You can also easily find Twitter profiles or social profiles for all of the major camera manufacturers (Canon, Sony, RED, Blackmagic, Panasonic, ARRI, etc.). I’ve always kept these camera manufacturers on a twitter list, and I peruse it once a day or so just to see if there are any major announcements.The most important part of all of this, however, is that once anything gets announced, you have to decide if you’re going to act or not. Keep checking eBay and other places where you can buy and sell used gear, and check the going rate for what you own. If it starts to fall even slightly, in most cases, I will go ahead and sell and update that piece of gear — and that method has worked for me.If The Time Is Right, Go for ItImage via Shutterstock.I’ll speak for myself here, but there always comes a point with every camera that I’ve owned when I feel like I’ve done about as much with it as I care to. Every camera or piece of gear offers something different, and eventually everything you do will start to have a similar look or feel — or you’ll end up as “the person who owns such-and-such camera.” That’s definitely not always a bad thing, and it tends to matter less with higher-end gear. If you’re lucky enough to be an ARRI or RED owner, chances are it’s a good thing.Sometimes, by selling one camera, you can afford two cameras. Other times, you can sell a camera and buy that lens you always wanted. Either way, to me, what that represents is access to a new look or approach that you don’t have to rent every time.Whether you’re selling on eBay, user groups, or KEH, I feel like it’s important not to look at your gear purchases as permanent decisions. Consider selling even your favorite piece of gear because you never know what new camera might come along.Looking for more gear-related advice? Check out these articles.Buyer’s Guide: Shoulder Rigs From Cheapest to Most ExpensiveMeet ALBA—The New Shortcut Keyboard for MacThe Practical Guide to Non-Standardized LED SpecsGear Review: the Leica Summicron-C Series of LensesLitepanel’s Incredible Astra 6X LED Fixture and Youlast_img read more

Australia wins the 2015 World Cup!

first_imgIt was a near perfect day for the Australian teams on 2015 World Cup finals day at C.ex Coffs International Stadium. Australia won eight of the nine divisions on offer, including retaining the Open’s and Masters World Cup trophies. Men’s Open Australia 11 defeated New Zealand 2Highlights – Women’s Open Australia 8 defeated New Zealand 4Highlights – Mixed Open Australia 8 defeated New Zealand 5Highlights – Men’s 50’s Australia 7 defeated Italy 2 Highlights – Men’s 40’sAustralia 7 defeated New Zealand 6 (drop-off) Highlights – Men’s 35’sAustralia 5 defeated by New Zealand 6Highlights – Men’s 30’s Australia 9 defeated Cook Islands 1 Highlights – Women’s 27’sAustralia 6 defeated New Zealand 1Highlights – Senior Mixed Australia 11 defeated New Zealand 7 Highlights – Stay tuned to for plenty more match reports, highlights and photos from the 2015 World Cup. Website – – – – YouTube – Related LinksWorld Cup Championslast_img read more

Editors note Doug Casey is known around the worl

first_imgEditor’s note: Doug Casey is known around the world for many very good reasons. Among investors, he’s well known for being a very successful speculator and author. More broadly, his unwavering support of human liberty and his criticism of institutions based on coercion as well as those who support them have made Doug a hero to many… and perhaps public enemy number one to some of those whom he criticizes. Whether one agrees with him or not, Doug almost always has a singular take on issues and ideas, making his essays and talks highly stimulating. As we approach the end of the year – a time when people often reflect on their progress or lack thereof over the past year across all areas of life – this February 2011 interview of Doug Casey by Louis James on the morality of money seems especially trenchant. We hope it helps you reflect on your relationship with money and investing, and brings a renewed sense of clarity and purpose to your financial activities in 2013. Doug Casey on the Morality of Money Interviewed by Casey Research Chief Metals & Mining Investment Strategist Louis James Louis: Doug, every time we have a conversation, I ask you about the investment implications of your ideas, and we consider ways to turn the trends you see into profits. The assumption is that’s what people want to hear from you, since you’re the guru of financial speculation. But this, your known status as a wealthy man, the fact that you have no children, and other things may lead some people to form an incorrect conclusion about you – that “all you care about is money.” So let’s talk about money. Is it all you care about? Doug: I think anyone who has read our conversation giving advice to people just starting out in life (or re-starting) knows that the answer is no. Or the conversation we had in which we discussed Scrooge McDuck, one of the great heroes of literature. However, I have to stop before we start and push back: If money were all I cared about, so what? Would that really make me a bad person? L: I’ve grokked Ayn Rand’s “money speech,” so you know I won’t say yes, but maybe you should expand on that for readers who haven’t absorbed Rand’s ideas… Doug: I’m a huge fan of Rand. She was an original and a genius. But just because someone like her, or me, sees the high moral value of money, that doesn’t mean it’s all-important to us. In fact, I find money less and less important as time goes by, the older I get. Perhaps that’s a function of Maslow’s hierarchy: If you’re hungry, food is all you really care about; if you’re freezing, then it’s warmth; and so forth. If you have enough money, these basics aren’t likely to be problems. My most enjoyable times have had absolutely nothing to do with money. Like a couple times in the past when I hopped freight trains with a friend, once to Portland and once to Sacramento. Each trip took three days and nights, each was full of adventure and weird experiences, and each cost about zero. It was liberating to be out of the money world for a few days. But it was an illusion. Somebody had to get the money to buy the food we ate at missions. Still, it’s nice to live in a dream world for a while. Sure, I’d like more money, if only for the same genetic reason a squirrel wants more nuts to store for the winter. The one common denominator of all living creatures is one word: Survive! And, as a medium of exchange and store of value, money represents survival… it’s much more practical than nuts. L: Some people might say that if money were your highest value, you might become a thief or murderer to get it. Doug: Not likely. I have personal ethics, and there are things I won’t do. Besides, crime – real crime, taking from or harming others, not law-breaking, which is an entirely different thing – is for the lazy, short-sighted, and incompetent. In point of fact, I believe crime doesn’t pay, notwithstanding the fact that Jon Corzine of MF Global is still at large. Criminals are self-destructive. Anyway, what’s the most someone could take, robbing their local bank? Perhaps $10,000? That’s only enough to make a wager with Mitt Romney. But that leads me to think about the subject. In the old days, when Jesse James or other thieves robbed a bank, all the citizens would turn out to engage them in a gun battle in the streets. Why? Because it was actually their money being stored in the bank, not the bankers’ money. A robbed bank had immense personal consequences for everyone in town. Today, nobody gives a damn if a bank is robbed. They’ll get their money back from a US government agency. The bank has become impersonal; most aren’t locally owned. And your deposit has been packaged up into some unfathomable security nobody is responsible for. The whole system has become corrupt. It degrades the very concept of money. This relates to why kids don’t save coins in piggy banks anymore – it’s because they’re no longer coins with value; they’re just tokens that are constantly depreciating and essentially worthless. All of US society is about as sound as the dollar now. Actually, it can be argued that robbing a bank isn’t nearly as serious a crime today as robbing a candy store of $5. Why? Nobody in particular loses in the robbery of today’s socialized banks. But the candy merchant has to absorb the $5 loss personally. Anyway, if you want to rob a bank today, you don’t use a gun. You become part of management and loot the shareholders through outrageous salaries, stock options, and bonuses, among other things. I truly dislike the empty suits that fill most boardrooms today. But most people are mostly honest – it’s the 80/20 rule again. So, no, I think this argument is a straw man. The best way to make money is to create value. If I personally owned Apple as a private company, I’d be making more money – completely honestly – than many governments… and they are the biggest thieves in the world. L: No argument. Doug: Notice one more thing: making money honestly means creating something other people value, not necessarily what you value. The more money I want, the more I have to think about what other people want, and find better, faster, cheaper ways of delivering it to them. The reason someone is poor – and, yes, I know all the excuses for poverty – is that the poor do not produce more than they consume. Or if they do, they don’t save the surplus. L: The productive make things other people want: Adam Smith’s invisible hand. Doug: Exactly. Selfishness, in the form of the profit motive, guides people to serve the needs of others far more reliably, effectively, and efficiently than any amount of haranguing from priests, poets, or politicians. Those people tend to be profoundly anti-human, actually. L: People say money makes the world go around, and they are right. Or as I tell my students, there are two basic ways to motivate and coordinate human behavior on a large scale: coercion and persuasion. Government is the human institution based on coercion. The market is the one based on persuasion. Individuals can sometimes persuade others to do things for love, charity, or other reasons, but to coordinate voluntary cooperation society-wide, you need the price system of a profit-driven market economy. Doug: And that’s why it doesn’t matter how smart or well-intended politicians may be. Political solutions are always detrimental to society over the long run, because they are based on coercion. If governments lacked the power to compel obedience, they would cease to be governments. No matter how liberal, there’s always a point at which it comes down to force – especially if anyone tries to opt out and live by their own rules. Even if people try that in the most peaceful and harmonious way with regard to their neighbors, the state cannot allow separatists to secede. The moment the state grants that right, every different religious, political, social, or even artistic group might move to form its own enclave, and the state disintegrates. That’s wonderful – for everybody but the parasites who rely on the state (which is why secession movements always become violent). I’m actually mystified at why most people not only just tolerate the state but seem to love it. They’re enthusiastic about it. Sometimes that makes me pessimistic about the future… L: Reminds me of the conversation we had on Europe disintegrating. But let’s stay on topic. So you’re saying that money is a positive moral good in society because the pursuit of it motivates the creation of value. It’s the bridge between selfishness and social good, and it’s the basis for voluntary cooperation, rather than coerced interaction. Anything else? Doug: Yes, but first, let me say one more thing about the issue of selfishness – the virtue of selfishness – and the vice of altruism. Ayn Rand might never forgive me for saying this, but if you take the two concepts – ethical self-interest and concern for others – to their logical conclusions, they are actually the same. It’s in your selfish best interest to provide the maximum amount of value to the maximum number of people – that’s how Apple became the giant company it is. Conversely, it is not altruistic to help other people. I want all the people around me to be strong and successful. It makes life better and easier for me if they’re all doing well. So it’s selfish, not altruistic, when I help them. To weaken others, to degrade them by making them dependent upon generosity, as we discussed in our conversation on charity, is not doing those people any good. If you really care about others, the best thing you can do for them is to push for totally freeing all markets. That makes it both necessary and rewarding for them to learn valuable skills and to become creators of value and not burdens on society. It’s a win-win all around. L: That’ll bend some people’s minds… So, what was the other thing? Doug: Well, referring again to our conversation on charity, the accumulation of wealth is in and of itself an important social as well as a personal good. L: Remind us. Doug: The good to individuals of accumulating wealth is obvious, but the social good often goes unrecognized. Put simply, progress requires capital. Major new undertakings, from hydropower dams to spaceships, to new medical devices and treatments, require huge amounts of capital. If you’re not willing to extract that capital from the population via the coercion of taxes, i.e., steal it, you need wealth to accumulate in private hands to pay for these things. In other words, if the world is going to improve, we need huge pools of capital, intelligently invested. We need as many “obscenely” rich people as possible. L: Right then… so, money is all good – nothing bad about it at all? Doug: Unfortunately, many of the rich people in the world today didn’t get their money by real production. They got it by using political connections and slopping at the trough of the state. That’s bad. When I look at how some people have gotten their money – Clinton, Pelosi, and all the politically connected bankers and brokers, just for a start – I can understand why the poor want to eat the rich. But money itself isn’t the problem. Money is just a store of value and a means of exchange. What is bad about that? Gold, as we’ve discussed many times, happens to be the best form of money the market has ever produced: It’s convenient, consistent, durable, divisible, has intrinsic value (it’s the second-most reflective and conductive metal, the most nonreactive, the most ductile, and the most malleable of all metals), and can’t be created out of thin air. Those are gold’s attributes. People attribute all sorts of other silly things to gold, and poetic critics talk about the evils of the lust for gold. But it’s not the gold itself that’s evil – it’s the psychological aberrations and weaknesses of unethical people that are the problem. The critics are fixating on what is merely a tool, rather than the ethical merits or failures of the people who use the tool and are responsible for the consequences of their actions. L: Sort of like the people who repeat foolish slogans like “guns kill” – as though guns sprout little feet when no one is looking and run around shooting people all by themselves. Doug: Exactly. They’re the same personality type – busybodies who want to enforce their opinions on everyone else. They’re dangerous and despicable. Yet they somehow posture as if they had the high moral ground. L: OK, so even if you cared only for money, that could be seen as a good thing. But you do care for more – like what? Doug: Well, money is a tool – the means to achieve various goals. For me, those goals include fine art, wine, cars, homes, horses, cigars, and many other physical things. But it also gives me the ability to do things I enjoy or value – like spend time with friends, go to the gym, lie in the sun, read books, and do pretty much what I want when I want. Let’s just call it as philosophers do: “the good life.” It’s why my partners and I built La Estancia de Cafayate [in Argentina]. We have regular events down there I welcome readers to attend. But I don’t take money too seriously. It’s just something you have. It’s much less important than what you do, and trivial in comparison to what you are. I could be happy being a hobo. As I said in the conversation on fresh starts, there have been times when I felt my life was just as good and I was just as happy without much money at all. That said, you can’t be too rich or too thin. L: Very good. Investment implications? Doug: This may all seem rather philosophical, but it’s actually extremely important to investors. What is the purpose of investing or speculating? To make money. How can anyone hope to do that well if they feel that there is something immoral or distasteful about making money? Someone who pinches his or her nose and tries anyway because making money is a necessary evil will never do as well as those who throw themselves into the fray with gusto and delight in doing something valuable – and doing it well. L: The law of attraction. Doug: Yes, but I don’t view the law of attraction as a metaphysical force – rather as a psychological reality. If you have a negative attitude about something, you’re unlikely to attract it… even if you try to talk yourself into thinking the opposite. L: OK, but that’s not a stock pick… Doug: Sure. We’re talking basics here. No stock picks today, just a Public Service Announcement: If you think money is evil, don’t bother trying to accumulate wealth. On the other hand, if you want to become wealthy, you’d better think long and hard about your attitudes about money, work through the thoughts above and those you can find in the rest of our conversations… Cultivate a positive attitude about money, which is right up there with language as one of the most valuable tools man has ever invented. Think about it, and give yourself permission to become rich. It’s a good thing. L: Very well. Thanks for what I hope will prove to be a very thought-provoking conversation! Doug: My pleasure. Talk to you next week. A successful investing strategy requires much more than choosing the right stocks: it requires an understanding of cultural, political, and economic trends as well as being able to analyze a sector and the companies in it. Doug Casey’s decades of successful speculation show that he’s “the real deal” – and now you can have deeper access into his mind, in one convenient location. Doug has recently written a book, Totally Incorrect, which offers his thoughts and investment implications on topics as wide-ranging as NASA, paying taxes, ethics, why college education is a waste of resources, the immorality of voting, and much more. It’s available as an e-book as well as in physical format – get all the details here.last_img read more

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first_imgRecommended Link   Year 53.7   Year 20190.0 Justin’s note: Today’s essay comes from our good friend and colleague Chris Mayer.If you’ve never heard of Chris, he’s one of the best value investors on the planet. His proprietary investment strategy outperformed not only the S&P 500, but also legendary investors like Warren Buffett, Carl Icahn, John Paulson, and David Einhorn for 10 years straight.In short, when he offers advice, we listen. Below, Chris reveals the three signs he looks for when searching for 100-baggers (stocks that return 100-to-1), even when the broad market is overvalued like it is today… By Chris Mayer, editor, Chris Mayer’s FocusThere’s one question I get from readers over and over again…Why invest in stocks if the world is going to pot?I’m going to cite one piece of remarkable evidence I uncovered in my own massive study of the stock market’s biggest winners.I call these winners “100-baggers” (stocks that returned 100-to-1). And after spending three years and $138,000 to investigate them, I discovered they all have certain aspects in common.I’ll tell you about those attributes in a moment. For now, let’s agree that there is plenty to worry about. And the stock market is not cheap.The S&P 500’s CAPE ratio (a stock valuation measure designed to smooth out earnings volatility) has only been this high one other time in the last century—right before the dot-com crash of 2000. That means many stocks are expensive.But just because a stock market index like the S&P is pricey doesn’t mean there aren’t good values out there. Unless you are a buyer of the index itself, it is not relevant to the business of finding great stocks today.Let me give you a historical example: 1966 to 1982.This 17-year stretch was dead money for stocks—or what so many people would have you believe. The Dow Jones Industrial Average basically went nowhere. And if you factor in the period’s high inflation, the performance was even worse. Thus, you might conclude you didn’t want to be in stocks. — Revealed for the first time ever on Camera: Chris Mayer’s “Secret Weapon”?You may not recognize this man… But he’s a former analyst at Peter Schiff’s New York brokerage firm… a former CPA at Deloitte… and a former analyst of special micro-cap investment firm, Sidoti & Company… Now, he works for Chris Mayer… Just three of his most recent ideas could have made you gains of 108.9%, 120.3% and 116%… all in less than 16 weeks! And now, for the first time, he is going to publicly share three ideas on camera that could make you a considerable amount of money in the next 12 months. Details here.   Year 1013.8 — It’s really just a matter of scale.McDonald’s did about $25 billion in sales last year. So if it wants to double that number, it would need to sell an extra 5 billion Big Macs next year. Granted, this is an oversimplified example, but you get the idea.But it’s not as hard for a small company to increase its sales by double, triple, or more.Not all small companies become big companies, of course. But after studying over 360 100-baggers, I have a basic few clues to look for.The ability to expand into national and/or international markets. Think about the three big winners above. You had a small tax preparer, airline, and retailer. All three started as local, or regional, businesses. And all three grew into national brands. To get those big returns, even in lousy economic environments, you need to have room to grow.Strong returns on the capital invested in the business. If you invest $100 in a business and it generates a cash profit of $20, that’s a 20% return on equity, or ROE. You don’t need to know a lot about finance to know that is a very good return.Well, nearly all of the stocks in my 100-bagger study were good businesses by this measure. They earned returns of 20% and above.H&R Block, for example, earned astronomical returns on its equity—in the early days, especially. ROEs were well over 30% in most years. For L Brands, ROE was over 25% for years and years. And low-cost Southwest had—and still has—among the best economics of any airline.Which brings me to the final—and perhaps most important—clue I’ll share with you today…The ability to reinvest profits and earn high returns again and again and again. This one is just math. If you can earn 30% on your equity and reinvest your profits and earn 30% again… well, the dollars start to pile up real fast.Take a look:   Year 11.3 Recommended Link But here’s what my research on 100-baggers found: There were 187 stocks you could’ve bought between 1966 and 1982 that would have multiplied your money 100 times.In fact, during that 17-year stretch, you’d have had at least a dozen opportunities each month to multiply your money 100x if you just held on.In some cases, you didn’t even have to wait very long. Southwest Airlines returned more than 100 times in about 10 years beginning in 1971. Leslie Wexner’s L Brands (owner of Victoria’s Secret, among other retail properties) did it in about eight years starting in 1978. In 1966, you could’ve bought H&R Block and turned a $10,000 investment into $1 million in under two decades.So, the indexes can tell you what kind of environment you are in. But they don’t predict what will happen to individual stocks.It’s certainly harder to find great opportunities in highly priced markets. And it’s easier to find big winners at market bottoms (but perhaps not so easy as to make yourself buy them, as fear is rife at such times). These facts should surprise no one.However, my point is simply this: Don’t fret so much with guesses as to where the stock market might go. Keep looking for those 100-baggers.If history is any guide, they are always out there…All 100-Baggers Have This in CommonAs I mentioned above, companies such as Southwest Airlines, L Brands, and H&R Block have returned more than 100 times to investors during a period when the broader market went absolutely nowhere.And there is something these three companies had in common:Southwest recorded $6 million in sales in 1972. By 1975, it did $23 million in sales. And by the end of the decade, it hit $200 million in sales.L Brands had sales of $210 million in 1978. It hit $1 billion in sales in 1980. By the end of the 1980s, it hit $5 billion in sales.H&R Block did just $14 million in sales in 1967. In 1975, it passed the $100 million mark in sales.See a pattern here?All three were small companies with lots of room to grow.For larger companies, the condition of the economy can be a constraint. They depend on broad-based economic growth. It is hard for Coca-Cola or McDonald’s to grow faster than the overall economy. They’re just so big already. ATTENTION Seniors: Mark October 19th on Your Calendar!If you put your name on this list of recipients before October 19th… You could be entitled to a deposit up to $1,720 or more! It’s all thanks to a little-known contract between the Social Security Administration and the private sector. Click here for the details. After 10 years, you’ll have 14 times what you started with. After about 18 years, you’ll have a 100-bagger. This is how you power through bad economic times.Finally, there is a great Charlie Munger quote I want to share because it shows you the importance of this concept of ROE:Over the long term, it’s hard for a stock to earn a much better return than the business which underlies it earns. If the business earns 6% on capital over 40 years and you hold it for that 40 years, you’re not going to make much different than a 6% return—even if you originally buy it at a huge discount. Conversely, if a business earns 18% on capital over 20 or 30 years, even if you pay an expensive looking price, you’ll end up with a fine result.So there you have it. Even though the overall market looks expensive, remember that you are not buying the market. You’re buying individual stocks.That’s why you should look for great small-cap stocks with the traits I’ve shared above.If you find a business that can earn 25% or so on its capital over many years, what happens to the overall market won’t matter.Regards,Chris MayerEditor, Chris Mayer’s FocusP.S. Some of the world’s best investors email me ideas… But until now, I haven’t been able to share them with you.Now, for the first time, I’m preparing to share three of these ideas from my private network… And I’m so convinced they’ll pay off for you, I’m putting $5 million on the line to prove it. Click here to learn more…Reader MailbagToday, a reader writes in with a question regarding our recent essay on the marijuana boom. It’s something you might even be wondering yourself…If marijuana really becomes a big business, it will be taken over by the cigarette companies who are in the best position to market it on a large scale. It would be hard for a small company to compete with them.Justin’s note: This reader is absolutely correct. When marijuana’s legalized at the federal level, big tobacco will go after marijuana profits. Big alcohol and big pharma will also fight for slices of the pie.But that shouldn’t stop you from investing in marijuana. If anything, this is a reason to buy marijuana stocks now. Casey Research founder Doug Casey explained why in the October issue of The Casey Report:My guess is that as cannabis becomes fully legal in all its forms in the years to come, that big food and drug companies will take over the leading players—at a big premium. When you’re a big company, it’s much cheaper and easier to buy expertise and production than to make all the usual—and numerous and inevitable—mistakes trying to get in at the ground floor. Someday—not far in the future—you’ll see a takeover mania in the area.You’ll obviously want to own marijuana stocks before this “takeover mania” begins.You can learn about the top marijuana stocks by watching this new presentation. As you’ll see, the best marijuana money-making opportunity isn’t in the United States. It’s north of the border, in Canada. To learn why, check out this free video. You Don’t Want to Miss This…From November 6–10, Doug Casey, Crisis Investing editor Nick Giambruno, and Casey Report editor E.B. Tucker will gather together with a group of close friends at one of the most unique places in the world: Doug’s world-class residential community in Argentina—La Estancia de Cafayate.As a reader of the Dispatch, we’d like to invite you to join.This is not an investment conference—far from it. It’s friends gathering at a place built for like-minded people.There’ll be great steaks, locally produced wine, and probably a few too many Cuban cigars. We’ll discuss what’s going on in the world, and what’s around the bend.This is a unique chance to spend a few days with great people in one of the world’s most beautiful settings. If you haven’t seen the high desert of Argentina, please consider joining us.Keep in mind, space is limited and spots are filling up quickly. So if you’re interested, don’t wait to sign up.To get more details, just send us an email using this link. We hope to see you at La Estancia de Cafayate November 6–10.last_img read more