Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Why the #FED doesn’t care about Black unemployment

Why the #FED doesn’t care about Black unemployment.

EllisonReport 12/22/2015 edition: New shifts in the GOP primary. Emerging differences among Democratic and GOP candidates on national security issues. How the political calculus might reshape (or not) in wake of trial, grand jury decisions. Federal education policy 50 years later. How recent interest rate hikes eviscerate already eviscerated African Americans.  

Economist William Cunningham (@CreativeInv) talks about how the Fed doesn’t care about Black unemployment – but, has many tools at its disposal to take care of it. 

Listen at: https://drive.google.com/file/d/11yR9RGTdY5ccp5PyEhbjkRqgiKQJm34-/view?usp=sharing

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Obama Turns to Crowdfunding to Aid Fleeing Syrians: NYT

As the New York Times reported,

"Syrian refugees continue to flee the violence at home, President Obama is turning to the modern tools of Silicon Valley entrepreneurship as a supplement to the more traditional means of humanitarian relief.

At the request of officials from the White House Office of Digital Strategy, the crowdfunding website Kickstarter has begun its first social service campaign aimed at raising money for the United Nations refugee agency on behalf of Syrian refugees."


Here is my talk 10/7 on NPR's Press Play with Madeleine Brand: "Host Madeleine Brand looks at news, culture and emerging trends through the lens of Los Angeles, weekdays at noon."


How effective is this? They raised $700,000 in six hours. Six hours. For more, visit the links below. 

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

What Tom Brady and Volkswagen have in common

We note that last week automaker Volkswagen admitted that “’defeat devices’ used to cheat emissions testing were installed in 11 million vehicles worldwide.” The admission resulted in the swift “resignation and prompt replacement of CEO Martin Winterkorn, and a 30-percent drop in the company’s stock..” Volkswagen will be removed from the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI) as of October 6 (showing, once again, just how unreliable these index measures are).  
Env and Stock
Some time ago (2011), we quantified the impact environmental factors have on stock prices using several statistical techniques. Our analysis showed that investors and publicly traded companies must recognize the impact environmental incidents and issues have on a given firm's ability to use company assets and therefore generate revenue and profits.
As we stated on February 5, 2015 in testimony to the Norwegian Ministry of Finance and on April 22, 2015 in testimony to the Government of the United Kingdom: 
“the market value of environmental, social and governance factors continues to grow, companies and investment managers will engage in fraudulent practices related to these factors. These practices will range from simple falsification of environmental, social and governance records to more sophisticated, but no less fraudulent methods related to environmental, social and governance ratings. We note that unethical practices have flourished in capital market institutions, propelling ethical standards of behavior downward.”
A few things about the VW scandal stand out:
1. Firstly, it worked for a good, long time (long defined relative to the hyper short term attention span of the current marketplace).
2. It establishes the model we expect others will continue to use: a very technical type of fraud. 
3. The opacity of the scandal is stunning: only highly skilled technicians were able to see what was really occurring on the inside (of both the company and the engines…)
4. It matches what we saw in the mortgage fraud crisis. At a far more trivial level, it also matched the “deflated football scandal” in the NFL. Both cheats require astonishing levels of arrogance and skill: not only do you really have to be on the inside, but you REALLY have to want to win to even attempt such a thing. 
5. It strikes at the very core of trust.
For now, any short term gains have been completely swamped by losses. That 30% decline in stock price translates into $30 billion, and that represents 30% of the company’s market value. Over the long term, this value will probably return, just as it did to companies in the financial sector, and as it did, for that matter, to the football deflating Patriots. Their starting quarterback, Tom Brady, didn’t miss a single snap (and stands in stark contrast to the suspensions and punishments meted out to Black players, BTW).
This is the core of the ethical issue facing both the marketplace AND organized sports.

Monday, September 7, 2015

#BlackLivesDoNotMatterToTheDCGovernment

As noted in Testimony to the Council of the District of Columbia on Thursday, March 12, 2015: “Our 2016 Fully Adjusted Return® forecast for the City suggests a crisis may be coming soon in the August/October (2015) timeframe." 

(The testimony can be found at:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bx3S91AlzNJ4RGF0WTZQd05Ha3M/view?usp=sharing and https://youtu.be/rlr_DomOais below:)


One newspaper recently reported a "growing fear that the District is less safe. This fear resides with the City’s gentrifiers, not its natives, since Black male DC natives have been subject to elevated
murder risk for decades. The truth is that as long as Blacks are the victims, Washington, DC's murder rate has never been a concern for the DC City Council or their masters, the Congress of the United States, our Constitutionally anointed overseers.

Failing to recognize that synthetic drugs, domestic violence, and illegal guns are all factors in the increase in homicides anchors this lack of actual concern to a desire on the part of the Congress and the City Council to score political points on the backs of the DC victims, again, as long as those victims are Black. The lack of concern also shows up in other ways:

·         “The D.C. Council gave..$33 million in tax breaks for LivingSocial to keep the growing company in the District ..yet, LivingSocial has no male African-American DC natives in the management ranks.

·         The City recently 'sold' the former site of the R.L. Christian Library at 1300 H Street NE to FundRise, another DC firm that operates in a discriminatory manner with respect to employment
and with respect to offering development or investment opportunities to African Americans."

·         And, then, there's this: "District officials,,(spent) more than $475,000 during their visit to South by Southwest in March..to convert a restaurant near Austin’s convention center into a
'We DC' lounge and work space during the day, and a party venue for attendees to socialize at night. The rental and food costs alone would be $251,500 over five days." Really? We spent $300 creating a "South by Southeast" conference focused on Black tech talent in Anacostia. (See: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/martin-marion-tech-william-michael-cunningham-am-mba?trk=pulse_spock-articles)

To deal with the crisis the City has proposed sending in the Police, having unveiled a crisis management plan that calls for “deploying more police, expanding police powers of search and seizure, targeting parolees, spending more money on crime-fighting tools such as surveillance cameras, GPS tracking and forensic technology.”

Our most recent DC forecast suggests these “solutions” are not likely to work, since they lack a collaborative nature and confirm that the City will not seek assistance from the whole community. This, in turn, takes us back to where we started: #BlackLivesDontMatterToDC

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Black People and Venture Capital

I recently gave a talk at the 2015 National Black MBA Association Washington DC Chapter (NBMBAA-DC) Entrepreneurship Expo. My talk, titled “Black People and Venture Capital” available below.
I started with a discussion of the key financial institution in the country, the Federal Reserve, which controls the allocation of capital via monetary policy, the tools used to control the supply of money. The Fed is located at 20th Street and Constitution Avenue N.W. and I encouraged DC entrepreneurs to visit the institution, since the Fed directly impacts the ability of small businesses to get capital.
I also encouraged Black businesses in DC to use the recently established Offices of Minority and Women Inclusion as a powerful potential source of capital and contracts. Section 342 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act contains a provision creating an Office of Minority and Women Inclusion (OMWI) responsible for monitoring diversity efforts at the agencies, regulated entities and agency contractors. (For those unfamiliar with these Offices, we offer a seminar describing in detail the duties and performance of the 29 OMWI Offices. http://www.eventbrite.com/e/office-of-minority-and-women-inclusion-omwi-performance-opportunities-for-minority-and-women-firms-tickets-4633212062 )
In my talk, I cite my belief that crowdfunding, or raising money online for people, projects and products, is one of the only viable ways Black companies can get funded, as detailed in my books on the subject: Top 50 Crowdfunding Campaigns: Fifty Most Successful Crowdfunding Campaigns at:http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00RKK4NL0 and The JOBS Act: Crowdfunding for Small Businesses and Startups at: http://www.amazon.com/JOBS-Act-Crowdfunding-Businesses-Startups/dp/143024755X/
Key trends in crowdfunding include the following:
• Kickstarter and Indiegogo continue to dominate crowdfunding.
• Corporate America is into crowdfunding..major brands, including Kia and Kimberly-Clark, have launched campaigns to test the market for new products.
• Startups raised $204 million through equity models in 2013; that number was expected to top $700 million—7 percent of the overall crowdfunding market—in 2014.

I also discuss my belief that the key to getting angel or venture capital funding lies in being referred to investors by another investor or entrepreneur. A good way to do this is via Keiretsu Forum, a global angel investor network, but I noted they have not funded a single African American firm.

I referenced “Dunbar’s Number”, named for psychologist Robin Dunbar, who found that “humans are able to maintain relationships with no more than roughly 150 people at a time.” Dunbar’s research shows that “when it comes to meeting people who can help you professionally, three degrees of separation..is the magic number because when you’re introduced to a second- or third-degree connection, at least one person in an introduction chain personally knows the origin or target person.” 

As I said on Mashable, http://mashable.com/2014/07/21/startup-racism/ 1% of VC funding goes to Black people. This is no accident. Other studieshttp://elitedaily.com/money/venture-capitalists-still-overwhelmingly-fund-white-male-entrepreneurs-minorities-women/ have confirmed that “venture capital funding overwhelmingly goes to white men.” Given this, it makes no sense to solicit funding from people you know are not going to fund you. Viable alternatives include crowdfunding, angels, bootstrapping and possibly, bank financing (but not really).

At one point, I outlined a strategy of buying real estate in Black communities to use as an asset for a startup franchise location. Further, I referenced my Blank Crowdfunding Business Slideshttps://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bx3S91AlzNJ4Uk1qc3czckpKRWRIcC1RX0dVcWlkUjJsZ2M0/view?usp=sharing as one way to begin to outline your startup capital needs.

I discussed using credit cards, personal loans and other resources to accumulate enough capital to start a business and about how “an increasing number of VCs want startups to engage in crowdfunding before requesting backing” but how VCs are still too racist and greedy to allow Black companies the room they need to serendipitously discover and uncover market value. I pointed out how this was exactly how Google uncovered the strategy that eventually led to a $200 billion market value.

Finally, for those determined or foolish enough to pursue VC funding, I discuss the main reasons why people don’t get funded:
  • Your character, integrity or leadership is questionable
  • You failed to spot issues with your team because you’re too trusting, too polite, or too focused on yourself
  • Not referred to investors by another investor or entrepreneur
  • Hard-headed to the point of being unable to listen to input from an experienced, reasonable and knowledgeable investor
  • Not deeply embedded in your niche or area of expertise
  • An inability to stop, and think,
and finally, 
  • 99% of VCs are racist and/or sexist.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Financial Conflicts of Interest

We define a financial conflict of interest as a situation in which a person, institution or organization has more than one financial  interest in a particular investment vehicle or asset. The problem occurs when parties whose interests are singular, and thus not compromised, depend upon a conflicted individual or institution for primary advice concerning the purchase, sale or retention of the conflicted financial asset. The conflict "corrupts the motivation of the individual or organization" providing advice. 
According to the White House's Council of Economic Advisers, "conflicted retirement investment advice costs investors $17 billion each year,"
The US Department of Labor recently held a hearing on conflicts of interest in the provision of retirement investment advice. The goal of the hearing was to gather testimony on the Employee Benefits Security Administration's (EBSA) proposal to reduce conflicts of interest in the retirement advice marketplace.
As I noted in my testimony, and paraphrasing Martin Luther King, “All investors are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one investor directly, affects all investors indirectly.”
We agree with others who “see the need for better balance between short- and long-term investing.“  Unfortunately, little in the Department’s Conflict of Interest proposal serves to enhance that balance.
This is particularly important. As the market value of environmental, social and governance factors continues to grow, companies and investment managers will engage in fraudulent practices related to these factors. These practices will range from simple falsification of environmental, social and governance records to more sophisticated, but no less fraudulent methods related to environmental, social and governance ratings. We have provided evidence that unethical practices have flourished in capital market institutions, propelling ethical standards of behavior downward. Thus, unethical behavior has become standard in the financial services marketplace.
While the Department's proposal is flawed, it is the very least that can be done to begin to address the problem.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Declining Black/White unemployment differential


Our Fully Adjusted Return (tm) model predicted Black Unemployment would fall from 9.5% in June to 9.1% in July. 

The forecast was confirmed this morning by the US Department of Labor - Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

The difference between Black and White unemployment now stands at 4.5%. We note this is the second lowest differential of the Obama Presidency, surpassed only by a 4.0% differential in February, 2008. Our Fully Adjusted Return model shows that the difference is poised, assuming the Fed does not raise rates, to fall further. See: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t02.htm 

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Your Freedom will not be brought to you by Comcast, Sprite or Google...

We are delighted that an idea and initiative we suggested has begun to get traction, as evidenced by an effort launched in July called “Venture DC 2015”. Sponsored by Comcast and supported by DC’s Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD), the well funded Venture DC initiative claims to seek to “empower emerging entrepreneurs who are addressing and solving some of DC's most pressing challenges related to health care, education, housing, economic security and access to financial services, specifically in Wards 7 and 8.”

Perhaps a little background is in order. On January 19, 2015, Martin Luther King's Birthday, we convened several DC-based Black Tech firms, policy analysts and others at a meeting in Washington, DC to discuss social innovation and technology. For more, see: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/martin-marion-tech-william-michael-cunningham-am-mba

“We focused on the role technology might play in addressing Black Male safety and security issues. The meeting resulted in a discussion about developing an app/apps to address Black Male Health Issues, specifically including the problem of elevated homicide.”As we noted at the time, this is extraordinarily difficult. But we also asked “what is the point of having tech skills if you cannot use them to improve lives, ALL lives, including the Black ones?”

(Besides, there's already an app that is being used to complain to police about Black and homeless people and to report non-crimes. We doubt this came up at the Comcast event.)

Venture DC 2015 probably did not address these issues. This is one reason having a truly diverse (race, gender, income) group discussing these issues, as we did on 1/19/15, matters. The picture below shows attendees at our meeting in contrast to one photo from the Venture DC 2015 meeting.

Left, Jan 2015. Right, Aug 2015


The Comcast event also follows my March 12, 2015 testimony to the DC City Council Government Oversight Committee on the lack of performance with respect to health care for DC residents, Black contracting. The video can be viewed at https://youtu.be/rlr_DomOais and the details of the testimony can be found at "DC's revealed Black Economic Development "Plan"" https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/dcs-real-development-plan-william-michael-cunningham-am-mba

Unfortunately, if you are an African American male actually from Wards 7 or 8, the City’s revealed economic “development plan” for you is to offer limited low wage employment (I know..I know...better than nothing) while devoting millions of dollars in funding to non-minority companies. 

For example, the D.C. Council gave nearly $33 million in tax breaks to Living Social and "gave" several valuable public properties to a firm called Fundrise. See: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dc-wire/post/dc-council-approves-livingsocial-tax-breaks/2012/06/26/gJQAQAvv4V_blog.html  and http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/fundrises_plans_for_the_r.l._christian_library_on_h_street/9772

As we have noted before, our economic research reveals the following: there is not a single city in the United States of America where the majority of Black people resident before gentrification have been better off post-gentrification. Not one. See:  http://twisri.blogspot.com/2015/04/gentrification-and-black-people-in-dc.html

Clearly, the issues we raised in January and March remain unresolved, even after we outlined (for the Chair of the DC City Council and the head of DC's Economic Development Department) two entirely new socially responsible financial instruments to help with these problems, 

Unfortunately, issues of honest inclusion limit the ability of the Comcast-funded effort to legitimately serve the needs of the African American portions of the Ward 7 and 8 community. This is, of course, not surprising. Your freedom will not be brought to you by Comcast, Sprite, or Google.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Obama's Climate Plan

The Obama Administration released an ambitious, forward looking climate plan today. This is a big deal: the Administration's Clean Power Plan seeks to "reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030."

Several have characterized the Plan as "the strongest action ever on climate change by a US president." We agree and note that "hundreds of businesses including eBay, Nestle and General Mills have issued their support for..(the) plan.."

The picture above shows Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy speaking in early July at Georgetown University in Washington, DC with a Community Environmental Activist. (The Administration is reaching out...broadly.)

According to the White House, the Plan will:
  • "..reduce premature deaths from power plant emissions by nearly 90 percent in 2030 compared to 2005 and decrease the pollutants that contribute to the soot and smog and can lead to more asthma attacks in kids by more than 70 percent. The Clean Power Plan will also avoid up to 3,600 premature deaths, lead to 90,000 fewer asthma attacks in children, and prevent 300,000 missed work and school days.
  • Create tens of thousands of jobs while ensuring (Electric energy) grid reliability;
  • Drive more aggressive investment in clean energy technologies than the proposed rule, resulting in 30 percent more renewable energy generation in 2030 and continuing to lower the costs of renewable energy.
  • Save the average American family nearly $85 on their annual energy bill in 2030, reducing enough energy to power 30 million homes, and save consumers a total of $155 billion from 2020-2030;
  • Give a head start to wind and solar deployment and prioritize the deployment of energy efficiency improvements in low-income communities that need it most early in the program through a Clean Energy Incentive Program; and
  • Continue American leadership on climate change by keeping us on track to meet the economy-wide emissions targets we have set, including the goal of reducing emissions to 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 and to 26-28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025."
Coming on the heels of the Pope's well researched and tightly reasoned statement, Obama's climate initiative suggests the Administration agrees that climate change is a moral (and, as a result, a political) issue.

The Plan should give a boost to renewable energy entrepreneurs and supports global efforts to divest from coal. (See our statements to the governments of Hong Kong and Norway.) The investment implications are clear: institutional and retail investors should increase their investments in renewable energy (solar, wind, biomass, etc.) and decrease their exposure to coal.

Perhaps most importantly, this action suggests it is no longer rational to question what so many have stated.. that  “Climate change poses risks to people and ecosystems by exacerbating existing economic, environmental, geopolitical, health and societal threats, and generating new ones. These risks increase disproportionately as the temperature increases.”

The Administration is taking strong, forward looking action. Well done.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Fully Adjusted Return Forecast Early Yet Again...

On April 2, 2015, we issued an unemployment rate forecast that stated, in part:

"Our Fully Adjusted Return® Model, combining social and financial data, predicts a 5.4% rate for March. Unemployment has been trending down since the beginning of 2009. The long term trend is declining, as the chart below shows. We see no reason for this to change. The only risk is that we may be a little early."

As one outlet noted, "US employers added jobs at a solid pace in June, and the unemployment rate fell to 5.3 percent, a seven-year low." Today's rate release confirms our 4/2/15 forecast.

The chart above shows the overall Unemployment Rate (Blue), the rate for African Americans (Brown) and the difference between the two. (Gray line, scale at right.) We think the level and the volatility of this difference is a key indicator of the overall social and economic health of the country.



GDP

On May 28th, we issued a Fully Adjusted Return® forecast for GDP that, similarly, was a little early. At the time, we stated that: "Our 2015 Fully Adjusted Return® forecast for GDP suggests there will be no change, in other words, we will have a first quarter 2015 GDP estimate that reflects virtually no change, or negative 0.5%." The decline was reported at -0.7% at the time, and most economists expected a rise of +0.2%.

On June 24th, The Wall Street Journal reported "Gross domestic product, the broadest sum of goods and services produced across the economy, contracted at a 0.2% seasonally adjusted annual rate in the first quarter, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. The latest figure matched economists’ forecasts." Contrary to the Journal's implication, most economists missed the turn on May 28th. By June 24th, they caught up.

We were, again, early.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Talking to 7th Graders in DC at Career Day...

I recently spoke at a Career Day event held at a local junior high school. I talked about what it takes to write (a lot of reading.....a lot).

I also encouraged the students to write. Unfortunately, the school does not have a newspaper or other outlet, so opportunities for learning through doing are limited.

(Online at: https://youtu.be/8piUOjuH98w)

Thursday, May 28, 2015

US GDP Forecast

The Bureau of Economic Analysis at the U.S. Department of Commerce will release the second estimate of First Quarter 2015 US GDP on Friday at 8:30 am. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is the the broadest measure of economic activity. Most forecasters are predicting GDP will decline by 1.0% from the earlier quarter (4th Quarter, 2014.)

Our 2015 Fully Adjusted Return® forecast for GDP suggests there will be no change, in other words, we will have a first quarter 2015 GDP estimate that reflects virtually no change, or negative 0.5%." 

The US economy is strong and getting stronger. The only thing that can damage it are policy mistakes (like raising interest rates too soon) by officials at the Federal Reserve, and this is reason to be concerned. 

Fed economic policymakers, especially the group at left: MODERATOR: BETTY LIU ANCHOR, “IN THE LOOP WITH BETTY LIU,” BLOOMBERG TELEVISION, ALAN GREENSPAN PRESIDENT, GREENSPAN ASSOCIATES; FORMER CHAIRMAN, FEDERAL RESERVE BOARD, RICHARD W. FISHER FORMER PRESIDENT AND CEO, FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF DALLAS, LAWRENCE B. LINDSEY PRESIDENT AND CEO, THE LINDSEY GROUP; FORMER DIRECTOR, NATIONAL ECONOMIC COUNCIL UNDER PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH; FORMER GOVERNOR, FEDERAL RESERVE BOARD. (At the 2015 Fiscal Summit sponsored by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation.)

These guys collectively have, as one analyst noted, made some of the worst economic forecasts EVER.  

For example, in a speech titled The Great Moderation given on February 20, 2004, Ben Bernanke, not shown above, but another former Chairman of the Federal Reserve, failed to note the risk of the then soon to be felt Great Recession that started in 2006.

We note that Bernanke now says "China's economic slowdown should not worry markets as there was no risk of a hard landing, and emphasized that a move to raise U.S. rates should be viewed as a positive sign for the world's largest economy."

As I said, reason to be concerned.

Monday, April 20, 2015

What Poor People Want

Fiscal Forum: “The Political Economy of High Debt” IMF, April
19, 2015. L to R: David Wessel, Maria Luís Albuquerque,
Christine Lagarde, Helen Clark, Joaquim Levy.
I was at the IMF yesterday with a bunch of rich white people (@Lagarde @HelenClarkUNDP  ) when the subject of poor people came up.

Of course, as they do with Black people, rich white people claim to know everything there is to know about the poor. I think their main fear is that poor people will want the same deal that Goldman Sachs got, or the deal JP Morgan got, or the deal the "London Whale" or the LIBOR manipulators got. This fear is borne of a certain selfishness and greed.

It is, also, completely wrong, so I took the time to tell them what I think.

Here is what we want:

1. Water. Not privatized water systems. Access to clean water.
2. Food. Not GMO degraded, just clean food.
3. Shelter. Not subprime loans, but shelter.
4. Peace. Not the opportunity to be shot in the back by a racist cop, or a racist Israeli soldier or a Muslim extremist.

If you think about it, these are the same things that rich white people want.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Effective Investing: How to minimize fees and maximize potential return

We coined the term "Effective Investing" to reflect a style of investing that does several things. First, it minimizes fees and costs. Your money should go toward your future, not to a broker or mutual fund company. There are only two ways to accomplish this, one in stock investing and the other in bond investing. Your money should be safe and effective investing means being able to sleep at night.











This means managing and minimizing risk. There are a limited number of ways to accomplish this, too. Risk is a feature of investing. It is how you get to return. Still, you can rationally minimize risk by taking a few constructive steps. 
In the bond or fixed income world, investing in US Government securities is the only way to accomplish this. 
In the stock market, the strategy is the polar opposite and can be summarized as "don't put all of your eggs in one basket," in fact, put them in the biggest basket you can find. This means investing in an Index Fund comprised of shares of stock in 500 or more companies. The S&P 500 Index is the tool we suggest (although we have had issues with S&P, their Index is solid.)
Finally, effective investing means being at peace with your conscience. This means not investing in companies that are, or may do bad things with your money. (Now, we understand that this may be difficult for some investing in US Government securities or investing in an Index, but we show you a way around this, in fact the ONLY way around this...) This means looking for and investing in responsible companies. In summary, Effective Investing:
  1. Minimizes fees.
  2. Minimizes risk.
  3. Maximizes potential financial AND social return.


We tell you how to do this online in: Stock, Bond and Mutual Fund Investing We cover the following topics:
  • What is Investing?
  • Why Invest?
  • How to minimize fees and maximize potential returns.
  • Risk and Reward
  • What Is a Stock?
  • What Is a Bond?
  • What Is a Mutual Fund?
  • What is a return?
  • What is Ethical/Socially Responsible/Environmental Social and Governance and Corporate Social Responsibility Investing?
  • What is screening? exclusion? shareholder activism? positive investing?
  • How can you invest effectively, meaning with minimum fees and maximum potential for return?
  • For a preview, see: https://youtu.be/ImgORmdCCkg

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Stock, Bond and Mutual Fund Investing Class on Udemy

We quickly and completely cover the basics of investing in only about 40 minutes. If you want honest, objective information about investing, this is your course. It's also geared to people who want to start investing now! We define what stocks, bonds and mutual funds are. In addition, we cover risk and return, two key investing concepts. We cover ethical/social/environmental investing, providing expert-level instruction on these topics. We show returns generated by various types of investments from 1801 to 2011. We show you how to use various techniques to invest in stocks and bonds at low or no cost. Finally, we describe some of the best mutual funds in the marketplace. Our lecture provides the rationale for both investing and for social investing. https://www.udemy.com/stock-bond-mutualfund-investing
 

Monday, April 6, 2015

Norwegian Government investments in coal and petroleum companies

Recently, "the Norwegian Ministry of Finance circulated (a) report from the Expert Group on the Government Pension Fund Global investments in coal and petroleum companies for a public hearing amongst Norwegian stakeholders. The Expert Group has evaluated whether the exclusion of coal and petroleum companies is a more effective strategy for addressing climate issues than the exercise of ownership and exertion of influence."  While not a citizen of Norway, in my comments, I respectfully reminded the Ministry that "All men are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly." 

Our research strongly suggests that investors and publicly traded companies must recognize the impact environmental incidents and issues have on a given firm's ability to use company assets and therefore generate revenue and profits.

See: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bx3S91AlzNJ4TlJ1VHIwRkZaODVrM0FBTjI5S212NWtlQlJR/view?usp=sharing





 
 

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Gentrification and Black People in DC

Our economic research reveals the following:  there is not a single city in the United States of America where the majority of Black people resident before gentrification have been better off post-gentrification. Not one.
In every single case, Black income and wealth are lower, significantly so.

I mention this because of a comment I made to DC Mayor Bowser at a Forum on Development in Anacostia, Washington, DC.

Here is my original comment before the DC City Council:  youtu.be/rlr_DomOais

The Mayor appears to believe that this is simply not an issue.

My comment and the Mayor's response can be heard at minute 42:00 here: http://thekojonnamdishow.org/audio/#/shows/2015-04-02/d-c-mayor-muriel-bowser-a-forum-in-anacostia/87938/@0:00

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Our Fully Adjusted Return (TM) Model Predicts Unemployment will be 5.4%

The U.S.Employment Situation report will be released on Friday at 8:30 am. According to the Department of Labor, "Based on the Household Survey, the unemployment rate measures the number of unemployed as a percentage of the labor force." Our Fully Adjusted Return (TM) Model, combining social and financial data, predicts a 5.4% rate for March.

Unemployment has been trending down since the beginning of 2009. The long term trend is declining, as the chart below shows. We see no reason for this to change. The only risk is that we may be a little early.

On November 2, 2012, we noted that "As is often the case, the Fully Adjusted Return (TM) methodology is early. (On December 22, 2003 and February 6, 2006, we warned the S.E.C. and other regulators that statistical models created by the firm using the Fully Adjusted Return (TM) Methodology signaled the probability of system-wide economic and market failure)."

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

DC's Revealed Black Economic Development "Plan"

DC's Revealed Black Economic Development "Plan" https://youtu.be/rlr_DomOais
DC's Revealed Black Economic Development "Plan"

DC has the highest rate of HIV infection, the highest Black/White income disparity and the most rapid gentrification in the United States. These facts are not unrelated. Together, they point to the true economic development policy, at least for Black people, in the city. My analysis and experience, described in detail below, supports this contention.
Since 2005, we have been managing an effort to bring crowdfunding to small businesses in DC. My firm was selected to develop a crowdfunding program for the District's Great Streets Program. The effort we undertook was initially funded at $85,000, was reduced to $25,000 and further reduced to $20,000. DC has actually paid a fraction of this amount. Despite this, we moved ahead.
At DC's Historic Metropolitan AME Church, we worked with four innovators to launchcrowdfunding projects in support of their DC-based businesses.
We helped increase positive perception of economic development officials in DC. A senior official at the US Small Business Administration complemented these efforts, stating that:
“It's good that the DC team (DMPED) continues to explore innovative paths to support entrepreneurs and civic-centered projects.”
Our efforts resulted in an innovative partnership between the US SBA and DC.
On March 6th, I testified before the DC City Council and provided detailed comments on economic development in DC.
The bottom line is this: male African-American DC native owned firms receive far less consideration from the DC Government, relative to the favors accorded and afforded non-minority (white-owned) firms in the city:
“The D.C. Council gave..$33 million in tax breaks for LivingSocial to keep the growing company in the District after members deemed it essential to city efforts to brand itself as a hub for start-up and technology companies…the deal will save the five-year-old company about $32.5 million in taxes over a five-year period beginning in 2015. Yet, LivingSocial has no male African-American DC natives in the management ranks.
The City recently "sold" the former site of the R.L. Christian Library at 1300 H Street NE to FundRise, another DC firm that operates in a discriminatory manner with respect to employment and with respect to offering development or investment opportunities to African Americans.
And, then, there's this: "District officials are slated to spend more than $475,000during their visit to South by Southwest in March.. half the budget would be used to convert a restaurant near Austin’s convention center into a “We DC” lounge and work space during the day, and a party venue for attendees to socialize at night. The rental and food costs would be $251,500 over five days."
Really? We spent $300 creating a "South by Southeast" conference focused on Anacostia. It was very successful in highlighting talent in DC. The reason the City did not support this is that we were focused on Black talent. This lack of support is consistent with the "development policy" noted above.
These different standards reflect the true, or revealed economic development plan for the City. It is one that ignores firms owned and operated by male African-American DC natives, women and minority firms, preferring to focus on firms owned by white 20 something entrepreneurs.
It is this policy and behavior that gives rise to the income and wealth gap pictured above.