Tag Archive | "Investment"

My Ukrainian Investment Apartment Renovation Project (With Before And After Photos)

If you follow me on Instagram you’ve probably seen some photos during 2017 and 2018 of my apartment renovation project in Ukraine. As the months sped by the progress of the renovation continued, turning what was a very old and run down Austrian Empire era apartment, to a modern western style renovation. To say the […]

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My Ukrainian Investment Apartment Renovation Project (With Before And After Photos)

If you follow me on Instagram you’ve probably seen some photos during 2017 and 2018 of my apartment renovation project in Ukraine. As the months sped by the progress of the renovation continued, turning what was a very old and run down Austrian Empire era apartment, to a modern western…

The post My Ukrainian Investment Apartment Renovation Project (With Before And After Photos) appeared first on Yaro.blog.

Entrepreneurs-Journey.com by Yaro Starak

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Alibaba CEO Jack Ma Makes Multi-Million Dollar Investment in ‘Rent the Runway’ Fashion Business

It seems that Chinese billionaire investor Jack Ma is planning to expand his business interests to include women’s fashion. Mr. Ma and his Alibaba co-founder Joseph Tsai, are now eyeing a stake in Rent the Runway, a New York-based designer clothing rental for women.

Jack Ma and Joe Tsai, through Blue Pool Capital, will inject $ 20 million in fresh capital into Rent the Runway based on details on a filing uncovered by research firm Lagniappe Labs. Blue Pool Capital is a multi-billion dollar fund tasked with investing the wealth of Ma, Tsai and other Alibaba executives.

With the additional capital, Rent the Runway is now valued at a little under $ 800 million. During the company’s previous fundraising activity, it was valued at $ 750 million after it was able to secure $ 60 million in Series E investment led by Fidelity back in 2016. The latest deal with Blue Pool will carry the same terms as the Series E deal.

Rent the Runway was established in 2019 by Harvard Business School students Jennifer Fleiss and Jennifer Hyman. It was previously a purely online-based service business that allowed women to rent designer dresses for special occasions rather than spending a substantial amount to buy them.

The business idea became a hit and, veering from its pure eCommerce model, Rent the Runway soon opened up retail locations in major US cities like Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco and Washington DC. Now, the company rents other high-end accessories such as handbags and jewelry.

Aside from rental earnings and such, Rent the Runway’s revenue is now boosted by sales in lingerie, cosmetics, shapewear, and tights. In addition, the company introduced a subscription model where clients can rent a rotating closet assuring a wider variety of clothing options even for everyday wear.

It is still unclear if Ma and Tsai plan to eventually acquire Rent the Runway. According to Jennifer Hyman, Rent the Runway co-founder and CEO, the deal is “good for us whether we IPO, or we sell the business, or we stay private.”

[Featured image via YouTube]

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Solar Panels A Safe Investment Option

Green energy sources are more sustainable energy production resources. These renewable energy sources can be used several times and do not cause environmental pollution. These are not very expensive. On the other hand, non-renewable energy sources can not be renewed. At the current rate of consumption, the future generation will be under the threat of energy. While green energy sources such as solar energy should be used to meet energy demands.

One of the main dangers of using fossil fuels such as coal oil and natural gas is dramatically affects nature. Carbon emissions through the use of fossil fuels causes global warming and many other health risks. Vehicles and households contribute to global warming. Over the years, people have realized the harmful effects of using them and they are slowly changing to other energy sources that are friendly to the environment. Other sources, solar energy is becoming increasingly popular because it has many positive factors. The sun’s energy is used to generate power here. Solar panels are used to exploit the sunlight, which is converted into other forms. This is also the best method to get rid of electricity bills as the power to homes and commercial organizations can be recovered by the solar panels. People slowly recognize the many benefits of using this technology and make investments in solar panels to produce energy.

Usually, a lot of energy for heating and cooling in the summer and winter use. The use of solar panels for heating, a lot of power and money can be saved. The use of this alternative energy, you help the environment welfares. Green energy sources can also be used for lighting and running appliances. The only drawback is that solar panels can not be used when sufficient sunlight is not available. However, if the sunlight received during the day can be stored in solar cells and can be used at night to power generation. Most people have a misconception that these panels are very expensive and difficult to install. Installing solar panels is not a difficult task if the right help is requested. In addition, the installation cost is not very high in relation to future prospects. Considering all these factors, the investment in solar panels is a good investment to make.


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An investment reading list

If you’ve read Scott Adams’ financial advice and my financial tips in case you win a startup lottery, then you might be interested in a few more pointers to good resources. Some web pages and books:

Don’t Play the Losers’ Game, by Henry Blodget. This is a short, accessible piece that explains why picking individual stocks on Wall Street is a bad idea for almost anyone.

– Website: the Bogleheads forum. An incredibly smart group of people who like to discuss investing, finance, and money. Their investment philosophy page is pure financial wisdom distilled.

A Random Walk Down Wall Street, by Burton Malkiel. This book is remarkably readable, though it can be dense at times. If you believe you can pick individual stocks with enough success to beat a diversified portfolio of low-cost index funds, this is the book you should read to throw a wet blanket on that belief.

The Lazy Person’s Guide to Investing, by Paul B. Farrell. This book will show you how to outperform the majority of active money managers in just 15 minutes a year. This book is seriously good. If I had to recommend only a single book, this book might win: it’s a breeze to read, but it imparts nearly as much wisdom as much denser tomes.

– This is a great description of how Google tried to educate and protect its employees before Google’s IPO. You’ll get most of the idea from the first page. How can you not love an article where a financial advisor admits “We work in the most overcompensated industry in the country”?

The Wall Street Self-Defense Manual, by Henry Blodget. In many ways, this book is a deeper version of Blodget’s article that I linked to above. This book is short, readable, and packed with most of the advice that you need to know.

– If you’re ready to go deeper, consider The Four Pillars of Investing, by William Bernstein. You might also check out Bernstein’s The Intelligent Asset Allocator.

Rich Dad, Poor Dad, by Robert Kiyosaki. This book has its flaws, but it’s very readable and could be good for teenagers or college students. The book uses stories to discuss the goal of financial independence via assets that produce money. I grew up in a family focused on academia, so this book was a good wake-up call that a lot of people care about money, not just getting a Ph.D.

Money and Wall Street stories, color, and culture

– Realistically, I’d recommend almost anything that Michael Lewis has ever written. His most recent book is Flash Boys and I enjoyed that story. But I also enjoyed Liar’s Poker, The Big Short, and Boomerang.

A few more to consider:
– Perfectly Legal (rich people get away with lots of tax loopholes)
– Confessions of a Tax Collector (a tale from inside the IRS when the IRS had more teeth)

There’s also a whole sub-genre of books about rich people:
– Richistan (pretty entertaining)
– The Millionaire Next Door (most millionaires are cheap!)
– Rich Like Them (mostly a bunch of anecdotes from interviews)

Stock Options

Consider Your Options, by Kaye A. Thomas. If you’re joining a startup that offers stock options, I strongly recommend that you study this book from cover to cover. It can help you avoid a lot of treacherous mistakes. If you don’t put in the time to understand your stock options, you might regret it later. Thomas also has a good book called Capital Gains, Minimal Taxes that covers the mechanics of a lot of tax issues and logistics for investors.

– I really recommend Consider Your Options as the definitive work, but An Engineer’s Guide to Silicon Valley Startups, by Piaw Na is very accessible. This book also covers a wide range of skills that you might need if you want to join a startup. Disclosure: I know Piaw from his time at Google.

– I have used Stock Options: An Authoritative Guide to Incentive and Nonqualified Stock Options as a reference for at least one complicated situation.

– Want to understand stock options at a basic level? Stock Options for Dummies isn’t too bad.

Anti-recommendations

– This won’t be popular, but I just don’t find John C. Bogle’s books very readable. I agree with him about lots of things, but his books like Don’t Count on it! just didn’t grab me.

– Hedgehogging, by Barton Biggs. I’m not even going to link to this book–that’s how angry this book made me. Biggs actually writes stuff like this: “My real theory is that the investment superstars have some special magic with markets that enables them almost intuitively to do the right things most of the time.” What hogwash.

Elsewhere in the book (which lists a copyright date of 2006), Biggs quotes someone who accurately identifies the housing bubble: “another bubble is about to burst. Existing home prices have been rising 7% to 8% a year, financed by Fannie and Freddie.” Then Biggs goes on scoff at the guy, like “Look at this dork, predicting a major depression due to a housing bubble in the next three years.” The Wikipedia page on Biggs reports that Biggs’ hedge fund was blindsided by the subsequent global financial crisis. If you want a snapshot of how Wall Street can suck, then you might want to read this book.

– I’m not a big fan of Jim Cramer. If you want to watch Cramer for entertainment that’s great, but exercise caution on his advice.

– Beating the Street, by Peter Lynch. I just don’t think this book has aged very well. You can pick up most of what you need from other books. The advice to “invest in what you know” can be good. However, it also risks becoming “invest in what’s familiar” instead of doing your homework.

So those are some books and websites that I’ve liked or disliked. How about you–what books about investing, money, or finance would you add to the list?

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How to Calculate Whether That Trade Show Was Worth the Investment

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We’ve always been pretty hesitant to jump in head first with event sponsorship and attendance. Sure, there are some industry events we think rock: Dreamforce, SMX, Dublin Web Summit, LeWeb, and of course Inbound. But what usually happens with events? They end up over-hyped and under-delivering, chalk full of poor networking opportunities, generic content, and few opportunities to make meaningful connections with new leads and customers. That means a whole lot of time and money gets wasted. What a bummer.

Wouldn’t it be nice, then, to be able to determine whether an event yields enough new business to justify the cost to participate in it? Absolutely. That’s why we wanted to outline exactly how to track event ROI accurately so you can determine whether you should keep sending in that sponsorship and/or attendance check year after year. Let’s get started.

How to Calculate the ROI of an Event or Trade Show

If you’re going to sponsor an event, the two core components your boss will ask about will be (or at least should be) ROI and tracking. Of course there are additional benefits of events such as thought leadership, networking, learning, branding … but when there’s a hefty sponsorship check involved, there needs to be a measurable, positive ROI that can be tracked.

How to Track Event ROI

The best way to track ROI is using this formula:

(Gross Profit – Marketing Expenses) / Marketing Expenses

For instance, let’s say we went to an event and our expenses were as follows:

roi of events resized 600

So, did we have a positive ROI? At the moment, we wouldn’t know, because our sales cycle isn’t instantaneous — it’s a few weeks long. As such, it would take a few weeks before we could look back to determine whether the investment was worth it. But when that time comes, this is how we’ll calculate it:

ROI = (Gross Profit – $ 100,000) / $ 100,000

Note that the gross profit number would consist only of deals that happened due to our attendance at the event, so they would not have happened if HubSpot had chosen not to show up. As long as your gross profit — which for HubSpot specifically will be measured based on our LTV:CAC performance model — is higher than your total investment, then you’ll post a positive ROI. It will then be up to you to determine if the ROI is enough to justify continued involvement in the future.

How to Track Trade Show Lead Generation and Sales

Now that we know how much we spent on the event, we then need to determine what leads and sales were generated as a result of our participation. The best way for us to track this is to set up a naming convention for all leads generated due to that event. Using a CRM — we use Salesforce because it integrates with HubSpot for a nice, closed-loop view of our sales and marketing activities — we would enter every single lead generated at the event (via badge scanning, business cards, or email addresses collected) with an event tag. Because we’ve tagged them properly — the tag can just be the name of the event you attended — we can then set up weekly reports to monitor performance. As the leads begin to turn into new HubSpot customers, we’ll then be able to perform our ROI calculations.

Now, if the event just ended but you have a long sales cycle, it would take a little bit of time to calculate the exact ROI. But you could still run some predictive ROI calculations each month, and wait to perform the final analysis a few months down the road. After that, though, the team that attended the event should meet, review the numbers, and ultimately make a call on whether or not the participation was worth it based on the ROI calculations. Having this post-attendance meeting is essential for your company — just be sure that the meeting happens after all leads and sales can be accounted for, and have adequately matured.

How do you determine whether your presence at a trade show or event was worth the cost?

Image credit: Images_of_Money




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How To Value Your Startup Company When Looking For Investment

Last week I began the process of looking for funding for CrankyAds.

This has been a completely new experience for me, which is fantastic, I’m enjoying the challenge and the process of learning how another aspect of entrepreneurship works.

I’ve been attending networking events and putting my feelers out in Brisbane where I live for a while, which thankfully … Read the rest of this entry »

Entrepreneurs-Journey.com by Yaro Starak

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