Tag Archives: business

Money Management during dual crisis

How to Manage a Dual Crisis: Coronavirus and Market Meltdown

The CEO of Source Financial Advisors, Michelle Smith, has issued several suggestions for how the financial community can endure two conflating situations: the economic fallout of the coronavirus and market declines.

Be in Touch

Use technology to maintain contact with clients. Video platforms should be utilized as much as possible to offer a face-to-face personal interaction. While working remotely may mean that things are a bit more casual, it is important to keep things professional.

Be Authentic

The need to maintain decorum and professionalism notwithstanding, it is also important to be genuine with clients. They want to know that their money is in good hands, but they also want to have a sincere conversation about life. Start and end every conversation with a client by discussing their wellbeing. Ask how they are managing and feeling. Give them the assurance they need. Show them that you care about their physical, mental, and financial health.

Michelle Smith advises maintaining professionalism alongside authenticity during these trying times.

Be Pro-Active

When things are uncertain it is tempting to switch to preservation mode. We have a fiduciary responsibility to do our best for those who are already clients; we may not have the bandwidth to grow our business. But as we focus on the clients we have, we should also maintain business contacts and relationships that can help our business in the future. Look for opportunities in various sectors and actively pursue leads.

Be Thoughtful

Clients are worried about a lot of things right now. It is the job of financial planners and economic advisors to ensure that money is not an additional concern. The current health concerns coupled with economic uncertainties present people with two extremely basic fears: being alone and broke. Now is not the time to overwhelm clients with statistics and trends. Listen closely to what the clients are saying and what they feel most comfortable with at this time. This is unchartered territory for everyone. Every individual, business owner, team leader, and industry specialist is figuring out how to navigate these uncertain times. In the money management field, being attentive, genuine, forthcoming, and caring is the best business practice right now.

Saudi Prince in US to Discuss Politics and Business

Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud at the Royal Court Palace in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman has arrived in the United States to conduct a tour to strengthen not only business ties but also political ties with the US.

This is the Crown Prince’s second visit to the US. It begins with a stop at the White House for a meeting with US President Donald Trump. Trump has been working since his inauguration to strengthen the relationship between the two countries.“

Saudi Arabia was the first foreign country Trump visited after taking office, traveling to the kingdom in May and signing memorandums and agreements for defense spending that totaled about $110 billion,” according to Bloomberg.

The US and Saudi Arabia have been allies for 75 years, according to the Brookings Institute. During that time, they have worked “closely together” and have also at times been “estranged,” said Brookings.

Forbes said that the two leaders will most likely be discussing a reinstatement of sanctions against Iran; Saudi’s protracted war in Yemen; and the kingdom’s wish to buy at least one additional nuclear power plant and what role the US government will play in allowing a company like GE to construct it.“

Other issues that may come up would include the disagreement between Qatar on one hand and Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt on the other as well as the U.S. decision to move the embassy to Jerusalem,” said Forbes.

Bloomberg also said that the Crown Prince will be meeting top executives to discuss business deals. He is on schedule to meet the heads of Apple Inc., Google, and:

• Uber
• Executives from the film industry
• Oil Services Companies
• Amazon
• GE

Employment Opportunities: Moving from Government to Private Sector

When looking for employment opportunities, one question often posed is whether to seek a position in the government or private sector.  The decision ultimately depends on many variants as well as demographics and priorities.

It is a long, thought-out decision for many.  So much so that an entire discussion took place on Quora – vis-à-vis the Indian community – on this subject.  This indicated that some people find it very difficult to make the switch.

Despite these difficulties, many make this switch quite successfully.  For example, consider Sheryl Corrigan, who in 2006 worked for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency as Commissioner, advising the governor and assisting the strategic direction for the state on environmental matters.  Today, Sheryl is Senior Vice President of Environmental, Health and Safety at Koch Industries.

How do Ms. Corrigan and others accomplish this difficult feat?  In 2012, Elizabeth Bacchus wrote an article in The Guardian entitled ‘How to successfully move from the public to the private sector.’  Given that at that time in the UK, it was predicted that a staggering 500,000 jobs in the public sector would be cut within 3 years of the article’s writing, people were looking for tips on how to make the switch.

The article outlined seven main areas on which people should focus for making the switch.  These were:

  1. Taking a focused and targeted approach
  2. Removing public sector terminology
  3. When speaking to recruiters, seeing if they are adept at helping with this particular transition
  4. Using social media
  5. Tailoring a resume to focus on private sector positions
  6. Understanding that customers are different from service users
  7. Looking for a job that isn’t formally advertised

In an article written last year on Renovo.uk.com, it was determined that “the gulf between public and private sector mindsets appears to be narrowing.”  Still though, what remains is “a significant difference between the short term mind-set of the majority of profit seeking companies and the longer-term approach taken in the public sector.”

Further, as Dan Ovsey noted in an article in The Financial Post a couple of years ago, “While no hard data exists in Canada to show the success or failure rate of government workers transitioning to private-sector roles, international research shows there can be some harsh perceptions of public sector workers among private sector hiring managers.”

Thankfully for those in this position, things might be changing for the better overall, and people’s experiences differ when moving from government/public to the private sector for work.  But it will take time to completely remove the stigma of how private sector employers view those who have been working in the public sector for most of their careers.

Madoff: How You Could Have Known

Before the Madoff story broke, a research and portfolio advisory firm called Aksia issued a statement warning clients to avoid doing business with his investment fund, citing several red flags which it uncovered during an investigation. A review of these indicators offers insight into due diligence as well as warning signs to look out for prior to doing business with a firm. Aksia picked up on the following patterns and inconsistencies, and the fund’s concerns were quickly validated:

  1. The firm utilized an especially volatile investment strategy, but was still able to garner stable returns of 8-10% over an entire decade.
  2. A financial advisor who claimed to have studied the firm’s operations issued a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2005 stating that Madoff was running a Ponzi scheme.
  3. The firm was run by family members, and the strategy was erratic and undocumented.
  4. The firm’s comptroller wasn’t based in the United States, but in Bermuda. The “feeder funds” were audited by reliable auditors, while the primary investments were not.
  5. Accounting statements were sent via mail, as opposed to email, as is commonly practiced in the industry.
  6. The firm had been looked into previously.

Fast Company Releases List of Most Creative People of 2014

When it comes to business, there are a lot of factors that have the potential to contribute to success. One such trait is creativity. Fast Company is constantly seeking out notable creative individuals in their fields, and compiles several lists each year in recognition of significant creative achievements and innovation in business.

The 100 Most Creative People in Business 2014 named industry leaders and entrepreneurs from a wide range of backgrounds and fields, including hi-tech, marketing, healthcare, diversity and show business.

Princess Reema Bint Bandar al-Saud, CEO of Alfa International and Sallie Krawcheck, former Wall Street executive, were both named for their contributions to diversity and opportunities for women in business in Saudi Arabia and the U.S.

Emil Michael, Naveen Tewari and Camille Gibson were recognized for their creative achievements in marketing and their wildly successful advertisement campaigns, while Chase Adam, Linda Avey, Anmol Madan and Joel Dudley were named for a ground-breaking crowdfunding platform aimed at supporting health care for people in need.

Other famous individuals listed among the Most Creative People in 2014 were Jerry Seinfeld, Anna Kendrick and HBO’s Game of Thrones costume designer Michele Clapton.