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Investing in the Future of Food: Pandemic slows investment dealmaking, but also opens opportunities –

Posted: November 25, 2020 at 9:55 pm

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Jordan Gaspar, who is the managing partner and president of the woman-owned VC firm AF Ventures, adds that these new standards are unlikely to revert to those of pre-COVID once a vaccine is available and economies reopen fully.

But, that isnt a bad thing, as she explains in this episode of FoodNavigator-USAs Investing in the Future of Food. Rather, she says, many of the changes and opportunities spurred by the pandemic will accelerate much-needed, true advancement in the industry and open new avenues for innovation and business development.

My biggest hope is that we dont go back to who we were before all of this. I think we have learned so much. Theres been so much progress applied to our industry. Theres so many new developments that we can continue to invest in once we have a moment to take our breath. So, my hope is that we can take the positive elements from the past, but really be focusing on what is true advancement in our industry, thats accelerated by several years in the past few months, Gaspar said.

For example, Gaspar says, while travel restrictions during the pandemic hindered face-to-face meetings with fundraising companies, they ultimately fostered increased transparency and open communication which will behoove companies and investors alike going forward.

We invested in six companies this past year, including ones evaluated virtually, which has been an adjustment, she said. We realized that we had to become flexible and nimble in our own process because the world has changed a little bit. And so, we invested in companies where we did a supply chain audit over Zoom and had a couple dozen more Zooms to get to know each other.

Likewise, she notes, supply chain and marketing challenges have given investors a chance to see how entrepreneurs and businesses perform under pressure.

COVID is a real marker of the type of resilience that certain founders can have, and for us those are all markers of a different level of expectation of founders, which is a result of COVID where the bar is raised that much higher, Gaspar said, adding, the pandemic also provided a great opportunity to see what people were made of essentially just to see what their chops were.

For each challenge the pandemic has posed, it also has created new opportunities for entrepreneurs to appeal to consumers and investors, including, in AF Ventures case, new eating occasions, distribution strategies, and platforms for cross-category expansion.

Theres so many lessons from this. First and foremost, the categories of priority are going to shift or expand to include more grab-and-stay options and at home lunch and snack solutions, Gaspar said. I had no idea how important lunch options in my home were [before the pandemic] because I used to wake up, send my kids to school and my spouse would go to work, and there was this whole portion of the day where there were no snacks and meals to be responsible for. Now have two snacks and lunch that I also am purchasing and thinking about in terms of stocking. So, we do have a change in use occasion.

In addition, she said, the pandemic has revealed the importance of omnichannel distribution not just for shelf stable products but refrigerated and frozen options as well.

Other areas of interest to consumers and investors include adaptogens, immunity-based platforms, functional ingredients, and solutions that prioritize physical health and mental well-being, Gaspar said.

As important as the market potential and business savvy of a company is to investors, the pandemic also underscored the importance of entrepreneurs emotional intelligence and how they treat employees qualities that increasingly are influencing consumers purchasing decisions.

It cant just be about business anymore. People are investing so much, and weve been thinking a lot about how we can support our teams, how to be good employers and teammates, Gaspar said.

She explained that before the pandemic, AF Ventures would have considered potential partners HR policies, but now with the strain of social distancing and working from home, Gaspar says companies including hers need to be more proactive in ensuring the health and happiness of staff.

Worker welfare also has become an increasingly important priority for many consumers as the pandemic has shined a light on the value of essential workers and the risks they take to help serve others.

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November 25th, 2020 at 9:55 pm

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This Is Not Your Father’s Alternative Investment – RealMoney

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This is the first part in a two-part series examining the pros and cons, as well as a case study, of 'Reg A' offerings.

When I started in this business over two decades ago, the concept of alternative investments was limited to essentially one thing: hedge funds.

Sure, real estate and private placements existed, but they were more yield-wagging high-commission garbage products. Anybody was who was "anybody" had an investment in a hedge fund. Barriers to entry included a high net worth requirement, a long-time frame, and a big dollar investment. The closest comparison to its exclusivity was the American Express (AXP) Black Card.

Fast-forward to 2020, and hedge funds are only one-in-a-handful of easily obtained alternative investments. Owning a hedge fund is like the cheese on the burger of your portfolio.

Do you want Cheddar, American, or Swiss?

Pepper Jack, you say? Great choice.

Just as we've witnessed direct listings and special purpose acquisition corporations (SPACs) turn the initial public offering market on its head, crowdfunding and private offerings via "Regulation CF" or "Regulation A" allow even the smallest investor to participate.

A Regulation A offering is an exemption under which a private company can offer and sell their securities to the public under two different tiers. Tier 1 requires a company to follow Blue Sky laws, but there are no limitations on whether someone can invest or how much they can invest. Tier 2 allows a company to raise $50 million rather than $20 million of Tier 1. While there are no Blue Sky laws to follow, there can be investor restrictions if the offering won't be listed on a national exchange.

Let's get this out of the way up front, the risks in these types of investments are high risk, really, the highest of risk. A Regulation A offering not intending to immediately list on a national exchange carries all the risk of traditional hedge funds with less liquidity and more dependence on potentially less experienced management. With high risk comes high reward. Success can equate to enormous payoffs.

When I consider investing in Regulation A offerings that won't be listed, I go through a checklist. I also anticipate nine out of 10 of them won't be home run.

When I consider investing in Regulation A offerings that won't be listed, I go through a checklist. I also anticipate nine out of10 of them won't be home run. There's a good chance more than half will lose money with a few investments that result in a total loss. But you only need one grand slam from the bunch and a couple of singles or doubles to come out ahead.

Rather than talking in hypotheticals, let's take a look at a company I recently reviewed as a consideration. Again, I want to note these are high risk, but with the current trends in portfolio structuring, it is a category investors should understand.

The first place I start is with the business concept. If the elevator pitch from management doesn't intrigue me quickly, it's certainly going to be a harder sell. It's not an automatic no by any stretch, though. Boring, unsexy businesses can be profitable and make for good investments, but let's be honest, most folks want to be able to see the big upside in the first30 seconds.

After that, we move on to management, financials, competitors, barriers to entry, total addressable market, and the business plan.

Today's case studio is Audition Showdown, a company with an active, but underperforming Reg A offering (you can check it out here if you want to follow along); however, I struggled to understand after hearing the premise, because it is one of those that immediately grabs your attention.

Audition Showdownis a mobile talent show on a dedicated social media platform aimed at singers, songwriters, performing artists, and comedians. Think TikTok meets "American Idol" -- or really any television talent show like "The Voice," "America's Got Talent," "So You Think You Can Dance," "The Masked Singer," and so on. The list is long.

In short, it's the professionalism of TikTok, Triller, Snap (SNAP) , and YouTube (GOOGL) . Those three also qualify as competitors, so this is a David vs. Goliath situation. But who doesn't love an underdog?

Artists create a profile on the app. For a low, one-time fee of $19.95 to $24.95, they can compete in weekly competitions to win prizes and cash. This includes the ability to upload full performance videos that people can watch.

You don't have to pay to casually use the app or upload snippets (15-second short videos). The pay portion is only for artists investing in themselves to unlock the full potential of the platform.

On the surface, there's enough here to make me want to dig deeper.

One has to consider the risk of market saturation or market fatigue for this type of application, given all the talent shows currently on television and the popularity of TikTok and Triller. We see talent shows, however, expand and evolve, not contract.

Even with those considerations, Audition Showdown potentially fills a void. There's no direct competition. Unfortunately, nothing stops TikTok, YouTube, or Snap from doing something similar in the future, so the first-mover advantage could be a huge key to success. Earlier this week, we saw Snap announce a new entertainment platform called Spotlight with the most entertaining Snaps from the Snapchat community gathered in one place and tailored to a user's preferences and favorites.

To help kick off the new platform, Snap will award of $1 million every to Snapchatters, who create the top Snaps on Spotlight.

Conclusion: There's enough uniqueness and upside potential to continue digging, and with Snap sniffing in the space, expect its users to want to expand their reach. Let's pick up on this theme Friday. Have a great Thanksgiving in the meantime.

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This Is Not Your Father's Alternative Investment - RealMoney

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November 25th, 2020 at 9:55 pm

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Red White & Bloom Announces Participation in Upcoming Investment Conferences – GlobeNewswire

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November 25, 2020 14:07 ET | Source: Red White & Bloom Brands Inc.

TORONTO, Nov. 25, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Red White & Bloom Brands Inc. (CSE: RWB and OTC: RWBYF) (RWB or the Company) is pleased to announce they will be in attendance at two invitational investment conferences this month.

Benzinga Small Cap Conference Panel Discussion: Tuesday, December 8th, 2020 Presentation: Tuesday, December 8th, 2020 1:00PM ET

2020 Cantor Fitzgerald Virtual MSO Cannabis SummitPresentation: Wednesday, December 16th, 2020 3:00PM ET

For more information or to schedule a one-on-one meeting with RWBs management during these events, please contact Red White & Blooms Investor Relations

About Red White & Bloom Brands Inc.

The Company is positioning itself to be one of the top three multi-state cannabis operators active in the U.S. legal cannabis and hemp sector. RWB is predominantly focusing its investments on the major US markets of Michigan, Illinois, California, Arizona, Oklahoma and Massachusetts with respect to cannabis, and the US and internationally for hemp-based CBD products.

For more information about Red White & Bloom Brands Inc., please contact:

Tyler Troup, Managing Director Circadian Group IR

Visit us on the

Follow us on social media: Twitter: @rwbbrands Facebook: @redwhitebloombrands Instagram: @redwhitebloombrands

Neither the CSE nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the CSE) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.


This press release contains forward-looking statements and information that are based on the beliefs of management and reflect the Companys current expectations. When used in this press release, the words estimate, project, belief, anticipate, intend, expect, plan, predict, may or should and the negative of these words or such variations thereon or comparable terminology are intended to identify forward-looking statements and information. The forward-looking statements and information in this press release includes information relating to the new team members expertise and how the Company will benefit from their ability to assist the Company implement its business plan. Such statements and information reflect the current view of the Company with respect to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated in those forward-looking statements and information.

By their nature, forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause our actual results, performance or achievements, or other future events, to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such factors include, among others, the following risks: risks associated with the implementation of the Companys business plan and matters relating thereto, risks associated with the cannabis industry, competition, regulatory change, the need for additional financing, reliance on key personnel, the potential for conflicts of interest among certain officers or directors, and the volatility of the Companys common share price and volume. Forward-looking statements are made based on managements beliefs, estimates and opinions on the date that statements are made, and the Company undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements if these beliefs, estimates and opinions or other circumstances should change. Investors are cautioned against attributing undue certainty to forward-looking statements.

There are a number of important factors that could cause the Companys actual results to differ materially from those indicated or implied by forward-looking statements and information. Such factors include, among others, risks related to the Companys proposed business, such as failure of the business strategy and government regulation; risks related to the Companys operations, such as additional financing requirements and access to capital, reliance on key and qualified personnel, insurance, competition, intellectual property and reliable supply chains; risks related to the Company and its business generally. The Company cautions that the foregoing list of material factors is not exhaustive. When relying on the Companys forward-looking statements and information to make decisions, investors and others should carefully consider the foregoing factors and other uncertainties and potential events. The Company has assumed a certain progression, which may not be realized. It has also assumed that the material factors referred to in the previous paragraph will not cause such forward-looking statements and information to differ materially from actual results or events. However, the list of these factors is not exhaustive and is subject to change and there can be no assurance that such assumptions will reflect the actual outcome of such items or factors. While the Company may elect to, it does not undertake to update this information at any particular time.


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Red White & Bloom Announces Participation in Upcoming Investment Conferences - GlobeNewswire

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November 25th, 2020 at 9:55 pm

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How to refinance a rental or investment property – Fox Business

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Have an investment or rental property and thinking about refinancing? Here are some factors to consider before diving in. (iStock)

If there's one silver lining about the coronavirus pandemics effect on American finances, its that mortgage rates have reached historic lows,incentivizinghome buying and refinancing.

If you're considering loan options and think it may be time to refinance, you should firstvisit Credible to compare rates and mortgagelenders. Credible can help you find lower rates and find refinance loans that fit your situation.

However, if you are thinking of refinancing an investment property, you may face some unique considerations. With that in mind, we've created a guide on how and why to refinance loans. Read on to learn more.

If you think that refinancing might be the right move for you, the next piece of the puzzle is to learn how the refinancing process works. With that in mind, we've laid out the five refinancing steps you need to know:

Refinancing a mortgage on a rental property comes with stricter qualifying requirements than if you were refinancing the loan on your primary residence. While every lender's qualifying standards may be a bit different, here are a few general guidelines to help you determine if you might be a good candidate.

If you're confident that you meet all the specified requirements, including having a good or excellent credit score, then you should insert your informationinto Credible's free online tool and see what rates you qualify for today.


Documents needed

In addition, youll need to provide the lender with similar financial documentation you submitted for your current loan. You should prepare the following:

Once you've carefully evaluated your loan options and compared mortgage lenders and rates, then it's time to refinance. Head to Credible to get pre-approved for a mortgage refinance.


In truth, the interest rate you receive can vary from lender to lender as can some of their qualifying requirements. Getting quotes from multiple mortgage lenders is the best way to ensure that you receive competitive rates. That said, the way refinance rates are trending, now is likely going to be a good time to refinance regardless of whom you choose.

With Credible, you can be confident you'll find a rate that fits you best. Credible can show you daily mortgage and refinance rates for both 30-year fixed-term loans and 15-year fixed-termloans.Click here to view today's mortgage rates and compare loan options without any impact on your credit score.


Next, you will apply to refinance with a loan officer. They will help you fill out the application, lock in your mortgage rate for your new home loan, and compile your financial documentation for the underwriter.

Afterward, your loan will go through underwriting, which is where an underwriter will verify all of your financial information and decide whether to approve you for your new loan. As part of the process, you will likely have to have an appraisal done, which will estimate your home's value to ensure that it is worth at least as much as the loan amount.

As long as your home value is sufficient and your financial information can be verified, you should be approved to refinance. From there, all that's left to do is to sign the paperwork on your mortgage refinance and to pay your closing costs.

To see how much you could save with a mortgage refinance today,plug in some simple information into Credible's free online tools.


Competitive rates aside, if you're thinking of refinancing your existing mortgage, its absolutely crucial to get clear on your reasoning behind making this move.

Usually, there are three main reasons to refinance a mortgage on an investment property:

With mortgage rates as low as they are currently, the main reason why so many investors are choosing to refinance is to secure lower monthly payments. At the end of the day, if you can make smaller loan payments and collect the same amount of rent, any savings goes into your pocket each month.

However, in addition to securing lower monthly payments, refinancing also presents an opportunity to change your loan term. For example, you could move from a 30-year loan to a 15-year option or switch from a loan product with adjustable rates into a more traditional fixed-rate loan. Additionally, depending on your home's equity, you may be able to get rid of a private mortgage insurance requirement

Lastly, if you have some equity built up in the property, you may be able to do a cash-out refinance. Many investors will pull cash out of one investment property in order to secure the down payment on another or to finance repairs.

Use an online mortgage refinance calculator to see how low your monthly payment could be.


Similar to all forms of wealth management, refinancing is one area where it makes sense to speak to an expert.

If you've been thinking of refinancing to take advantage of today's lower rates, the best thing you can do is reach out to a few mortgage brokers. In particular, you can visit Credible to be connected with an experienced loan officer and to get your questions answered.


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How to refinance a rental or investment property - Fox Business

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November 25th, 2020 at 9:55 pm

Posted in Investment

Climate Action: Why We Must ALL Invest In Solutions To Save Our Planet – Forbes

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Guest Post by Kristen Kammerer

The good newswe already have the solutions to address the climate crisis.

Weve reached a tipping point on climate change. In the United States, 72% of adults think global warming is happening, and 80% of 18- to 29-year-olds think its a major threat to life on Earth. Theres no question that the future will be climate-friendly once Millennials and Gen-Zs fully take the reins.

But we cant wait for the future to solve our problems, because we have just over 7 years left before we deplete our carbon budget and crash into the best worst-case scenario of a global temperature that is 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels. For even a chance to meet that target, we must start drastically cutting emissions now and taper down to zero by 2050.

The costs to get there are estimated to be $1-2 trillion per year, which is about 1 to 1.5% of global GDP. The cost of doing nothing will be much higher, particularly when factoring in the social costs associated with loss of lives, species, health, and habitats. Yet there is much to gain by taking climate action now, despite fear of high costs. In fact, an analysis from Project Drawdown comparing investment in climate solutions versus business as usual showed that by taking action well see a net savings of $74 trillion over the next 30 years.

We Must Act On Climate Change Now And Fast

Climate action must start now. The good news we already have the solutions to address the climate crisis. Most pressing are to focus on the transition to 100% renewable energy, electrify transportation, and reform our food systems. Simultaneously, we must sequester much of the carbon lingering in our atmosphere by restoring and protecting natural carbon sinks through nature restoration and conservation.

Simply put, innovative climate solutions need significant, long-term investment from governments, corporations, and individuals. Consider some ways leaders are taking action:

Government Must Lead On Climate

Regulations and incentives are critical to catalyzing private-sector investment in climate solutions. Fortunately, some U.S. states and local governments are taking action into their own hands by passing climate-friendly legislation to curb greenhouse gases and set net-zero emissions targets. So far, 23 states have set emissions targets, with New York leading the way in its ambitious plan to reach net-zero economy-wide GHG emissions by 2050. Massive investment in wind and solar energy will be needed to hit these targets, with the mandate that 35% of clean energy and climate investment go to frontline, disadvantaged communities that bear the largest burden of pollution and environmental injustice.

California recently became the first U.S. state to ban all new sales of gas-powered vehicles in an effort to reduce emissions from its largest source, the transportation sector. The move will help accelerate the state towards an emissions-free future by driving further investment into electric vehicle startups like Rivian, Tesla, and Lucid; the latter two also address the need for innovation in energy storage, a global market estimated to grow 122-fold by 2040, requiring $662 billion.

California recently became the first US state to ban all new sales of gas-powered vehicles.

Additional benefits to virtually all governmental climate legislation will be seen through job creation to build both the infrastructure and capacity for an entirely new energy system. The proof is already in the data two of the three fastest growing jobs in America are wind turbine technician and solar photovoltaic installer.

Business Is Finally Putting Their Money Where Their Carbon Is

Business plays a major role in global warming. Its responsible for the majority of the problem, where at least 71% of global GHG emissions were caused by 100 companies. But business can also show real leadership by committing to and investing in solutions. On that note, theres some healthy competition happening among large corporations in the race to see who can transition to 100% renewables first. And were not talking net-zero, which allows for controversial offsetting, but zero-zero, the kind that matters most.

Googles pledge to run on 100% renewable energy by 2030 puts it in the lead, followed closely by Walmart looking to do the same by 2035 plus decarbonize its commercial vehicle fleet by 2040. In the financial sector, Morgan Stanley set a new bar to be net-zero across all its clients and projects by 2050. While not absolute zero, this is significant due to the part the firm plays in financing oil and gas projects, the driving force behind global warming. Make no mistake about it, carbon accounting is the new sustainability. And thanks to innovators like Climate TRACE, whos using AI and satellites to pinpoint both quantity and sources of human-caused emissions, greenwashing will be a thing of the past.

Were also seeing new climate funds emerge from corporations, committing real money to invest in fledging climate innovation. Amazon ($2B), Microsoft ($1B), and Stripe ($1M) are a few notables investing in startups, from EVs to hotly debated carbon capture technologies.

And there are plenty of opportunities to invest in exciting innovations happening across every sector. Food systems, for example, account for at least 20% of global emissions (though its likely much more when deforestation is factored in). Regenerative ocean farming creates new jobs where many have been lost because of overfishing, and growing kelp sequesters carbon and provides a sustainable source of plant-based food while requiring minimal resources. In addition, startups like Impossible and Beyond Meat have become mainstream, highlighting consumer demand for more climate-friendly food options. Finally, working to reduce food waste through technology built to optimize and coordinate logistics from farm to plate would significantly reduce emissions and more efficiently leverage the enormous share of resources allocated toward food systems.

Hows Saving The Planet For An ROI?

The planet needs philanthropic support more than ever, too. In the United States, only 3% of philanthropy goes to the environment, a mind-boggling figure considering that climate crisis is the greatest threat of our lifetime. The scale of solutions is so large that government funding and business investment alone cant address it.

We have just over 7 years left before ... a global temperature that is 1.5 degrees Celsius above ... [+] pre-industrial levels.

This is why individuals must also prioritize climate action. Financially supporting environmental and climate nonprofits, second to voting, is arguably the most impactful way to be part of the solution. A few examples:

These causes dont get the attention of Wall Street or venture capitalists, but without the nonprofits tackling these issues, there is no future to discuss.

New innovation is being developed every day to solve the climate crisis, whether from lean nonprofits or inventors of industrial-scale technology. All we need now is the sheer will of humans across every level of society to reallocate capital toward a clean, green, regenerative, and just economy.

Photo credit: K. Kammerer

Kristen Kammerer is the founder and CEO of Gen E, an environmental micro-philanthropy app that empowers people to take climate action in their daily lives by supporting nonprofits seamlessly.

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Climate Action: Why We Must ALL Invest In Solutions To Save Our Planet - Forbes

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November 25th, 2020 at 9:54 pm

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Growth investing: Strategy overview and tips to get started – Business Insider – Business Insider

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Growth investing is an investment approach that targets stocks that provide a significantly higher average rate of return than the market in general.

Now, your gut reaction to the above might be, "Hm, isn't that the point of investing in general?"

Yes, in a way. But growth investing is distinct in that it focuses almost exclusively on companies and sectors that are on the rise and in the fast lane.

"Growth investing refers to investing in those parts of the market which can offer above average rates of return and therefore provide an opportunity for investors to grow (sometimes significantly) their capital," says Niladri Mukherjee, the head of CIO portfolio strategy for Bank of America Merrill Lynch. "Broadly, it can refer to investing in asset classes like equities or in early-stage companies in the private markets."

The focus on early-stage or high-growth companies does admittedly carry its own risks, but when combined with diversification, growth investing can become a key part of an investor's overall strategy.

While some investors mainly seek income from their financial holdings, most invest for appreciation an increase in their money. Growth investing is one of the key ways to accomplish this goal.

"Growth investing is the search for companies that are growing quickly and more than the market in general. As an example, a company that earned $0.50 per share last year but will earn $1 this year is growing rapidly and would therefore tend to sell at a premium to the market," says Steve Massocca, the managing director at Wedbush Securities.

Growth stocks tend to represent exciting, new companies in emerging markets and industries, and are therefore valued very highly. There lies the inherent risk: Growth stocks are expensive to buy and hold. Even so, dogged growth investors simply see the higher premium as the cost of entry for growth for years to come.

Another risk to keep in mind: Because growth companies are apt to reinvest earnings to grow the business and spur even more expansion, growth stocks typically do not pay dividends that is, until growth slows.

In that way, growth investing may not be ideal for the risk-averse investor looking for quick returns. Instead, growth investing may be more suited for those with a higher tolerance for risk and a longer investment horizon.

To transform growth investing into a sustainable strategy, investors must learn how to identify equities that have the most potential to become growth stocks. While the following list isn't exhaustive, here are the three important principles for spotting good growth stocks:

"Growth investing tends to live in newer industries where customer acceptance is growing from a very low level, say smartphones as a historical example. Growth stocks are identified by how fast their revenues and earnings are growing relative to the market," says Massocca.

It's obviously not enough for investors to identify growth sectors and then invest in any early-stage company they can find. It's also vital to do your homework on what any given company is doing, and on how they fit into their industry.

"When selecting growth stocks, it is important to understand the business model of the company, [as well as] their earnings power into the future," says Niladri Mukherjee.

This means looking at its board and executives, checking their experience and track record. If there's really no one in senior management who has any substantial degree of experience, it may be risky to assume that the company will perform strongly and sustainably.

Aside from scouring for start-ups and emerging markets, one temptation may be to identify potential growth stocks by looking for initial public offerings. Such IPOs tend to be held by companies in high-growth sectors and may promise higher-than-average returns.

However, research suggests that IPOs aren't as profitable as many might assume, with historical data collected by the University of Florida's Jay Ritter showing that around 60% of IPOs have negative returns for five years following their openings.

In the face of such dangers, one safer option may be to invest in a mutual fund or ETF which tracks growth stocks and sectors, holding a variety of companies in its portfolio.

"An ETF provides a cost-effective way to get exposure to an index of growth stocks," says Niladri Mukherjee.

Some of the most popular growth ETFs include:

For example, the iShares Russell 1000 Growth ETF tracks around 500 of the best-performing large U.S. stocks. It recorded a return of 37.2% for the 12 months to September 2020, compared to a return of 13% and 6.6%, respectively, for the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones. That said, the NASDAQ rose by 45.8% over the same period, so not all high-growth funds may be more profitable than merely investing in a fund that tracks an index.

Likewise, here's a small selection of the most high-profile and best-performing growth mutual funds:

Both growth and value investing are approaches taken by appreciation-oriented investors. However, strategy-wise, growth investing is the opposite of value investing.

Both seek a high return on the invested capital. But while value investing seeks out companies that are underpriced relative to their intrinsic worth, growth investing is all about buying into promising companies with a stronger potential to rise even further.

Often, stocks are viewed as either "growth" or "value" stocks. Telling the difference between growth stocks and value stocks is fairly simple, and is usually based on not only rates of return, but also prices.

"Value investors are looking for companies that are trading cheaper than the market in general. Typical barometers are price to earnings and price to book. Stocks selling for less than book value attract value investors under the assumption that eventually, the market will recognize this discount and correct for it," says Massocca.

Compared to growth stocks, value stocks tend to have lower price-to-earnings ratios, which measure the ratio of a company's stock price to its earnings per share. Anything under 13 to 15 is considered relatively low, given that the average P/E ratio for the S&P 500 has historically hovered in that range.

With a value stock, an investor faces less of a risk of a sharp price collapse, in the event that a company underperforms or is confronted by bad news. There's also potentially more space for its price to rise.

"Long time tenants of investing hold that growth investing is riskier than value investing. As investors get older they tend to move from growth to value," says Massocca.

On the other hand, the efficient market hypothesis states that cheap-but-good stocks should be few and far between, or should exist only for a short time before the market inevitably corrects itself.

This is why it's important to balance value investing with growth investing since no approach on its own provides an easy way of reaping outsized returns.

There's never a 100% guarantee you'll consistently make a profit with growth investing, but there are a number of steps you can take to increase your chances.

"Growth stocks typically trade at a valuation premium to the market for reasons such as they possess higher earnings growth, have a unique product or business model, or are dominant in their industry," says Mukherjee.

It's important to note, however, that once you settle on a good fund you will need to be patient. Most of the top-performing growth funds do boast positive returns over the medium and long term, but you may need to wait at least a year or two before you see significant upside. This is particularly the case with growth investing, given that some prominent growth companies (e.g., Amazon) needed years before they could turn a profit.

This latter point is important. Growth stocks may be more likely to rise higher or sink when certain economic conditions are met, with low interest rates being an important indicator of a wider appetite for equities, for example.

Growth investing offers investors the opportunity to outperform the market, given its focus on companies that are showing signs of above-average expansion and profitability. This focus also comes with risks, with many IPOs actually losing money for investors.

It's because growth investing involves numerous risks that it may be a good idea for investors to turn to an investment manager either a personal one (assuming they can afford it) or the professionals managing a growth-oriented mutual fund or ETF.

However, even without a portfolio manager, investors can make growth investing work for them so long as they do their homework and maintain a consistent strategy of diversification. By balancing their portfolio with other types of stocks, along with other assets, most investors should be able to turn growth investing into a sustainable strategy.

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November 25th, 2020 at 9:54 pm

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Rishi Sunak sets out 100bn investment in infrastructure – The Guardian

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Britains first national infrastructure strategy will deliver a once in a generation investment worth 100bn to spur the countrys recovery from the coronavirus crisis, the chancellor said on Wednesday.

Rishi Sunak set out plans for the highest sustained levels of public investment in more than 40 years as the government attempted to offset a grim economic prognosis in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The 100bn spending plans for next year are 27bn higher than for last year in real terms, and over the next four years government spending on infrastructure will rise to 600bn, Sunak said.

The infrastructure plans are designed to rebuild the economy by creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs while upgrading the countrys roads, railways and full-fibre broadband cables, and investing in green infrastructure to help create a net zero economy by 2050.

The plans promise to spread investment across the UKs regions with the help of a new national infrastructure bank, based in the north of England, to invest in infrastructure projects alongside private investors.

The bank has been created despite calls for an institution that more closely resembles the UKs Green Investment Bank, which was controversially sold off in 2017. The new bank will be aligned with the governments climate aims but will also have a broader focus on levelling up regions of the UK which have been neglected in the past.

Sunak told the House of Commons: For many people, the most powerful barometer of economic success is the change they see and the pride they feel in the places they call home.

His infrastructure strategy includes plans to help deliver 860,000 new homes by ploughing 7.1bn into the biggest ever investment in new roads, cycle lanes, community facilities and better 4G broadband across 95% of the UK by 2025 in order to support new housing developments across the country.

Alongside the infrastructure spending Sunak announced a new levelling up fund worth 4bn and changes to the guidelines used by officials to make key investment decisions, known as the Green Book, to favour projects which help support the governments levelling up agenda.

The chancellors infrastructure strategy, which was based on recommendations by Britains National Infrastructure Committee, offered little new spending for green measures after the prime minister set out his 10-point plan for a climate revolution last week which will be backed by 12bn of funding, including about 4bn of new spending commitments.

The exception was a windfall for green transport, including 120m for an extra 500 zero-emissions buses next year, and 950m to future-proof the electricity grid along motorways so that private investors can install high-powered charging hubs at every motorway service area by 2023.

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Rishi Sunak sets out 100bn investment in infrastructure - The Guardian

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November 25th, 2020 at 9:54 pm

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Africa is the biggest investment opportunity the US is missing out on – TRT World

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Investing in Africa is lower risk than most perceive it to be and promises high returns in more ways than one.

In 2018 Trump called Africa a continent of s***hole countries. I hope Biden will see Africa as the biggest investment opportunity America has been missing.

China has been quietly cashing in on Africa over the last 20 years seeing it as the greatest opportunity for economic advancement. Its time America did too because capital, not aid, is what is really needed to build a self-sufficient, stable, thriving continent.

Strategic investment could also help to broaden Bidens base as aid through investment could unite both Republicans (who tend to view aid negatively, but business opportunities positively) and Democrats (who tend to see things the opposite way).

After 5 years of working as an aid worker in the early 2000s, I became disillusioned by the lack of any significant needle-moving impact NGOs were able to make.

My conclusion: Africa needs investment. Enterprise, not charity. Ambition, not pity. Innovation, not bandaid solutions. By investing in Africas most promising businesses and fueling the startup culture that is energised across the continent, the US can create a significant Return on Investment, achieve more change with less funding, and compete with China at its own game.

Africa matters, which is why Beijing has keenly turned its attention towards the continent, particularly over the last decade. But unlike the US and its Western allies (who still see Africa as an aid recipient) Chinese attention has been built on funding infrastructure projects and taking shares in Africas corporates - oftenthroughoffshore companies and intermediaries which conceal the true extent of Chinas investments.

This has fuelled Chinas sales pitch to the continent: Westerners think of you as destitute, war-torn, famine-ridden peoples, and dont want to change that but rather just marginally improve it. We see you as business partners. As equals.

To compete and capture the high-growth startup opportunities that China is currently overlooking, America should follow others example and create a Sovereign Wealth Fund; a government-owned portfolio of investments that can deliver a Return on Investment as well as project the countrys power and influence.

Americas own entrepreneurial success should be emulated by reinvesting in entrepreneurship across the world. Just imagine the influence the US could have by empowering and funding entrepreneurship - arguably the very factor that has indeed made America great.

Ten US States already have Sovereign Wealth Funds performing this function, which makes it more perplexing as to why this has never been attempted at the federal level.

Scaling up the existing successes could be transformational: the Alaska Permanent Fund bankrolls the states Universal Basic Income scheme, and the Texas Permanent School Fund supports public schooling. Both receive revenues from those states energy sectors, but the same could be achieved through a US government-backed Venture Capital fund investing in African startups.

This would have more cross-party support than simply asking for more funding for USAID - a request that a Republican Senate would likely block in any case.

There is an over-supply of young, educated, ambitious entrepreneurs in Africa. If their businesses were fortunate enough to be based in San Francisco or they were fortunate enough to have gone to Harvard, they would be fighting off offers for investment.

But for unconnected entrepreneurs based in Africa few such avenues currently exist which creates an enormous opportunity for investors, particularly given that 25 percent of the worlds workforce will be found in Africa by 2050.

The expected growth of African markets over the course of the next 20 years is likely to be exponential. The continent is ripe for technological development and for digital advancements.

Investing in Africa is also lower risk than many perceive it to be. There are many midsize, growing economies in the continent, run by competent governments who have reigned in corruption and increased transparency. Currency volatility is also potentially counter-acted by the possibility of out-paced returns.

The USs Marshall Fund bankrolled development and growth in Europe after decades of conflict and war. It created the conditions for a continent-wide free-trade bloc - the EU - which was indebted, financially and politically, to its financier. This obligation was formalised in NATO, which has been the vanguard of Western power ever since.

Similarly, China is currently funding Africas growth beyond its recent history of hardship. Beijing has invested in everything from banks to bridges, roads and mines and is not slowing down.

Investment in the region has led to the creation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) - the worlds largest free trade area, which will come into effect over the next few years.

Now, is therefore the time to invest in Africas companies when the continent is on the cusp of seeing extraordinary economic growth. Africas ability to handle Covid-19 similarly positions it incredibly well to capitalise on economic growth.

Its been 35 years since the Live Aid concert in response to the Ethiopian famine; an event that defined Africa for a generation of Westerners. This year, Ethiopias GDP was forecast to grow by 7 percent.

The only thing Ethiopians - and many of their fellow Africans - are hungry for now is an equal footing in the global startup scene and the investment that will allow them to show the world what they can do.

Disclaimer: The viewpoints expressed by the authors do not necessarily reflect the opinions, viewpoints and editorial policies of TRT World.

We welcome all pitches and submissions to TRT World Opinion please send them via email, to

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November 25th, 2020 at 9:54 pm

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Investors say they lost thousands with Oceanside investment company – 10News

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SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Investors say an Oceanside company that promised a green and environmentally friendly way for people to invest their money, instead left them with nothing.

Team 10 has spoken to multiple people who said they invested with the Pacific Teak Reforestation Project, managed and developed by Pacific Management Group.

On the companys website, Ron Fleming is listed as PMGs founder and chairman of the board. The website states the reforestation project provides individuals, businesses, and institutions around the world with the opportunity to build their financial future, while saving one of the earths most precious and scarce natural habitats: the tropical rainforest.

The company said as the trees matured and grew larger, so did profits. The website stated that "in the time it takes teak trees to grow from seedlings to maturity--after only 15 full years of growth--[the] asset's value will likely increase as many as ten times based on historical price trends." Investors would then benefit from that profit.

Mark Baker, who lives in Tucson, said he and Fleming grew up together and their mothers were best friends. In 2010, he invested $64,000 of his retirement money into Pacific Teak.

That money to me was going to be part of my legacy to help my grandkids go to school, Baker said.

In 2014, he said he invested another $150,000. To this day, he said he has not received any return on that investment. Ive had to make a plan B for my retirement, Baker said.

Team 10 spoke to at least six people who invested with Pacific Teak. Their teak tree purchase agreements show the investors paid anywhere from nearly $17,000 to nearly $300,000 for a teak tree project in Costa Rica.

It was a green investment... they were planting and they were redeveloping land that had been the victim of slash and burn techniques by the locals, said Greg Robertson, another investor who currently lives in Rome, Italy.

Robertson met Fleming on a flight in the late 1990s. That developed into a friendship, he said.

He invested nearly $90,000 in the project. This was a very green project. It was long term, he said. It was all positives.

It was positive at first, but Robertson said it changed as time went on.

No monthly letters or annual business account letters... nothing. Zero, Robertson said. It was unusual.

Michael Tillman said he put in more than $17,000 with Pacific Teak in early 2009. He has not received any money on his investment.

Its just the stress of trying to figure out where Im going to recoup this money to send my daughter to school, Tillman said.

Tillman said investors were given teak forecasters, which showed how much trees gained in value over the years. So, Im looking at the low end which is $54,000... and Im thinking, thatll cover maybe a semester or two, he said.

Tilllman said he started to sense something was wrong a couple years ago when they stopped hearing from Fleming. Tillman got in contact with other investors, like Baker and Robertson, and discovered many people had not received any return on investment. Im already stressed out because for so long, I thought that it was taken care of, Tillman said.

Team 10 reached Fleming via email. He said he resigned himself from executive position in Pacific Management Group the later part of 2013 due to health issues. He also said that he left prior to Hurricane Otto in 2016, which he alleged caused catastrophic damage to the project.

The investors said they were not aware of Flemings retirement in 2013, as he never communicated that to them. The investors also said they were not informed of any hurricane damage until after they questioned Fleming for updates.

I was devastated. I never thought it was part of his character, Baker said.

A spokesperson with the Department of Business Oversightwhich is now the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovationsaid Fleming was not supposed to operate in California. The DBO issued a desist and refrain order in 2016. It said Pacific Teak and Pacific Management Group did not have the proper permit to be in business. In addition, the state found the company misrepresented that investors would receive substantial profits.

It also found the company was in violation of the Corporate Securities Law. The state said Fleming and the company misrepresented to investors this investment opportunity was low- risk.

Fleming never responded to Team 10s follow up questions, only writing that he was super busy with his youngest daughter getting married.

Flemings attorney contacted Team 10, telling me the matter is complex and there are many unfounded rumors, along with misstatements, that have been circulating.

The fact is that Mr. Fleming has done nothing unethical in connection with his association with Pacific Management from which he resigned in 2013. I would request that you and your employer be very careful in what you publish in this matter, wrote attorney Dominic Amorosa.

He added in a separate email: "I am not sure whether you can find any investor in the United States who believes that an investment must necessarily be successful notwithstanding any foreseeable or unforeseeable events."

The investors are still in disbelief about the turn of events and hope they will able to recoup some of their money.

He didnt care about us at all, just about himself, Robertson said.

He messed up so many lives. So many lives, Baker added.

Investors said they reported Fleming to the FBI. A spokesperson said they could not confirm or deny any investigation, but will take appropriate action if it is warranted.

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Investors say they lost thousands with Oceanside investment company - 10News

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November 25th, 2020 at 9:54 pm

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5 Home Improvement Projects With the Highest Return on Investment – Motley Fool

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Image source: Getty Images.

While it doesn't influence our opinions of products, we do receive compensation from partners whose offers appear here. We're on your side, always. See our full advertiser disclosure here.

If you're selling a home, you might worry whether you've over-improved your property. In other words, have you upgraded too much to recoup the cost?

If listing your home is in the foreseeable future, it's essential to know which improvements are most likely to pay off when you sell. Here are five home improvement projects known for holding their value.

Let's face it; the first thing we notice when we drive up to a house is its exterior. If the house looks like it was last painted during the Korean War, the lawn is overgrown, and the mailbox appears to have been run over by a moose, it's nearly impossible to see it as a potentially beautiful home.

According to HGTV, exterior improvements recover 90% to 100% of what you pay for them. That makes fresh paint, vinyl siding, an updated front entry, new deck, patio, porch addition, and landscaping safe home upgrades.

If you don't plan to sell for a few years, consider a charming addition like a fountain, lily pond, or stone-paved walkway. That way, you'll have time to enjoy it before putting the house on the market.

Seller tip: Safe and attractive stairs and railings make buyers feel secure and show you're a homeowner who focuses on upkeep.

Living space retains a fair share of value. For example, a family room addition offers an average return at resale of 83%. A basement remodel will recapture a little over 90%, and an attic bedroom conversion provides an average return of nearly 94%.

Seller tip: If you plan to convert an attic, consider adding a bath. Buyers will feel as though they're walking into a suite.

You know all those shows you've seen on television where they've totally gutted and rebuilt a kitchen and bath? If you want a healthy return on investment, you need to forget about those shows. The best return -- and we're talking 98.5% to 102% -- is on minor kitchen and bath remodels. A minor remodel is primarily cosmetic and doesn't rearrange your floor plan. In other words, you're not tearing out a tub so you can install a shower across the room or removing a wall in your kitchen and relocating cabinets. It's about reimagining how each space can look through cosmetic enhancements. For example:

Seller tip: Avoid upgrades that make your home the most expensive in the area. Most homebuyers would rather buy the least expensive home in a fantastic neighborhood than the most expensive property in a so-so neighborhood.

There's nothing particularly exciting about having replacement windows installed, but boy, can they pay for themselves. In some cities, the average homeowner recoups more than they spent on the windows. In others, you'll get close. Here's why: Living in a home with energy-efficient windows can cut down on your utility costs year-round. Even if you recover the average return at resale of 89.6%, you've practically paid for the windows.

Seller tip: Think of windows as an investment. They'll help you keep money in your bank account whether you sell or not.

If you have space and can add a new bathroom, you'll likely recapture around 86.4% of the cost when you sell. If you live in the home long enough to enjoy the extra bath yourself, that's a win/win.

Seller tip: The value is in having another bathroom. Only pay for upgrades like a rainforest shower, heated floors, or a towel-warming rack if you're buying them for your pleasure. Unless you live in a luxury home, you're unlikely to recoup the cost of luxury upgrades.

Ideally, the upgrades you make to your home will both give you enjoyment and make your home stand out from the crowd when it's time to sell. If you're not sure how to finance your home improvements, you have several options. Consider a cash-out refinance, where you refinance your existing mortgage, borrow more than your remaining balance, and get the difference in cash. A cash-out refinance is a good option if you have solid equity in your home plus a strong credit score. Borrowing against your home via a home equity loan or HELOC could also work, and that way, you don't need to apply for a brand-new mortgage.

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5 Home Improvement Projects With the Highest Return on Investment - Motley Fool

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