Tag: big

BIG RED DOG named to the Fast 50 by Austin Business Journal #online #home

#austin business journal

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BIG RED DOG Named to the Fast 50 by Austin Business Journal

August 31, 2016 by Will Schnier P.E.

BIG RED DOG Engineering and Consulting was again named one of the 50 Fastest Growing Private Companies in central Texas by Austin Business Journal for the 2015 fiscal year. This award is a testament to our amazing clients and team members.

To qualify, companies must have experienced dramatic revenue growth during the past three years. Financial data is submitted by the companies, verified by a third party and then we rank the top 50 according to compounded revenue growth.

We were also honored with the same award in 2013 and 2014 .

Read more on the Austin Business Journal website .

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  • 2014 San Antonio Business Journal Best in Commercial Real Estate Awards
  • Amy Hageman Wins SMPS Member of the Year
  • BIG RED DOG Celebrates our First 5 Years
  • Award Winning BIG RED Blog Award From www.civilengineeringschools.org

Written by Will Schnier P.E.

Will Schnier is the Chief Executive Officer of BIG RED DOG Engineering | Consulting. Will received his BSCE from Purdue University and co-founded BIG RED DOG Engineering and Consulting in 2009. Since starting the firm in 2009, BIG RED DOG has grown to over 100 team members with offices in Austin, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio. BIG RED DOG has garnered awards for being one of the 50 fastest growing companies in Texas (Business Journal’s Fast 50 in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015) and an ENR top 100 Design Firm in Texas and Louisiana (2012, 2103, 2014, 2015). Mr. Schnier is very well versed in the project review and development permitting process having worked closely and very successfully with City and County review staff, neighborhood associations, environmental groups, and public boards and councils. He has been responsible for the project management, engineering design, and regulatory permitting of hundreds of single family subdivision projects, mixed use and multifamily residential developments, industrial facilities and oil and gas development projects throughout Texas. He is the author of two publications: “Land Subdivision – A Practical Guide for Central Texas” and “The Book on License Agreements in the City of Austin”. Will was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Real Estate Council of Austin (RECA) in 2014 and served as Mayor Lee Leffingwell’s appointment to the City of Austin Zoning Board of Adjustment from 2011 to 2015.





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8 FREE Ways to Send Large Files Online – Friedbeef – s Tech #send

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8 FREE Ways to Send Large Files Online

Gmail, Yahoo, Msn and other email providers do not allow users to send large files by email. The maximum limit in all of these email services is 20 MB which isn t a lot if you want to send movies, videos, or large files. The following is a list of free ways to send large files online.

1. How to Send Multiple Large Files at Once

File Factory lets you upload files of 300 MB size. The convenient thing about File Factory is that you can upload multiple files (up to 25) at once. You can upload files from your Computer or from a remote server. The premium account lets you upload files from FTP or using a torrent file.

2. How to Send Large Files Without Even Registering an Account

YouSendIt is another file sharing service that has become popular in recent times. It lets you upload and share files of sizes 100 MB each. The site contains an email form and you can send an email containing your file from the home page itself where your uploaded file is available for download for only 7 days

3. How to Send Large Files via Firefox Extension

Another file sharing service is Drop.io which lets you upload files of sizes 100 MB each. The files uploaded can be downloaded any number of times and you can also password protect your files to retain privacy. If you are a Firefox fan you can use the Drop.io Firefox add-on.

4. How to Send and Password Protect Large Files for Security

TransferBigFiles lets you send large files of size 1 GB each by email. The files can be password protected and you can add a personal note to the email you send to the recipients. When your friends download the file, you will receive email notifications which is a feature. You can send the uploaded file to multiple email recipients with a single click.

5. How to Send up to 5GB Files for Free

The service which allows the biggest file to be sent in the list is File Dropper. This site lets you send files as large as 5 GB in size. You can upload movies, videos, executables, photos and possibly any type of file with File Dropper. The only downside with File Dropper is that you cannot upload multiple files at once.

After the upload is complete, you are given a personal link of the uploaded file. Just copy that link and you can email the link to your friends so that they can download it. There are no sign ups or registrations involved with File dropper. However, signing up has its own benefits as you will be able to keep track of your files, add password protection, mark files as private and delete files later on.

6. How to Email Large Files Without Having to Upload Them Anywhere

Tonsho is an interesting twist to the service. Rather than uploading files yourself, you can use a normal email client such as Microsoft outlook and Thunderbird, and send your email normally. Your email will then pass through Tonsho servers and if the attachments are too large, it will automatically upload it to a server, and provide the recipient a link.

While this takes a lot of hassle away from the whole process, you have to be wary of email security. I m not sure I m comfortable passing my email through anyone else s server.

7. How to Send Large Files Using a Desktop Client

Dropsend is a free service which allows you to send files up to 2GB large. While most of these web-upload interfaces work well, for me, nothing beats a desktop client. It just feels more robust, and its certainly more comforting to use when you re spending a few hours sending a very large file.

8. How to Send Large Files and Tweet them from your Phone or Desktop

FileSocial is one of the easiest ways to share files on twitter. Just attach your file and a link will be posted to your file. Sharesend is another alternative for this, but I m wary about their non-usage of OAuth for twitter, so I d recommend Filesocial if you want to send and tweet securely.

This post was written by Abhishek Palit who also writes other useful tips at his blogSofttricks, and James Yeang. Do you want to write for Friedbeef s Tech ?

Which services do you prefer to send large files? Do let us know your views and suggestions through a comment.

This entry was posted on Friday, January 1st, 2010 at 3:41 pm and is filed under Productivity. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response. or trackback from your own site.

53 Responses to 8 FREE Ways to Send Large Files Online





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10 big investment ideas for 2016 #business #plan #model

#investment ideas

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10 big investment ideas for 2016

  • Share on twitter

It’s time to fire up the interneuronal connections and carve out 10 big ideas for 2016.

Asian nation

My first offering is that Australia will likely become an Asian nation in its ethnic orientation. Apologies to the xenophobes, but it’s happening under your nose. An incredible 28 per cent of Australia’s population (or 6.6 million people) were born overseas – the highest in 120 years. During the last census a remarkable 12 per cent of Australians said they had Asian ancestry.

In Sydney and Melbourne, 19 per cent and 18 per cent, respectively, of residents are Asian. In Sydney regions like Parramatta and Ryde, the Asian share of the population is as high as 34 per cent and 33 per cent, respectively. China and India have overtaken the UK as Australia’s biggest source of new migrants, collectively accounting for 35 per cent of the intake in 2013-14.

The idea of Australia stealthily yet ineluctably becoming an Asian nation is a big deal: it will reinforce our unique antipodal trading position and powerful role as a politically stable economic conduit between east and west; it will help improve our cultural commonalities with major regional actors like China, India and Indonesia (mitigating geopolitical hazards); and it should serve as a source of innovation, productivity and growth, just as the influx of ambitious European migrants did after World War II.

Related Quotes

Bank returns on equity will fall

Idea number two is that the major banks’ returns on equity (RoEs) are inevitably going to fall from around 15 per cent towards their 11 per cent cost of equity as result of the banking system becoming a highly competitive and level playing field. While this process may take five years or more, it should mean that rather than trading at an unusually high two times book value, the majors will price at circa one times. If I’m right, there is much downside to current valuations, which is a proposition reinforced by analysts’ crazy forecasts that bad and doubtful debt charges will stay around 30-year lows.

In five years the majors will have ceded the competitive advantages that fuelled their world-beating RoEs. Rather than carrying 25 per cent more leverage than rivals, they will end up having less leverage and more equity capital in the funding mix. Combined with the fact that smaller banks tend not to source as much funding in the dearer wholesale bond markets – underwriting assets with cheaper deposits that are now a government-guaranteed (and more stable) funding source – I believe the majors will wind up having more expensive funding costs. In short, we will migrate to a system where the majors are much safer banks with reduced risks of failure, with the trade-off of lower returns on equity than competitors that have loftier leverage and lower funding costs. There should, therefore, be an economic role reversal between the big four and their rivals.

Another Macquarie Bank?

If the majors are going to become slow-moving, yet bullet-proof, utilities, a third idea is investors should look for superior returns from more fleet-footed alternatives that are not saddled with the financial baggage of being too-big-to-fail. One day we will eventually see another Nicholas Moore who creates a new Macquarie Bank with a much skinnier 50 per cent dividend payout ratio (compared to the majors’ 80 per cent pay-out policies) that retains earnings to support investments in innovative and entrepreneurial opportunities. Macquarie has done a fabulous job of continuously reinventing itself to maintain growth and studiously avoided allocating too much capital to competing in the majors’ commodity markets.

On this note, the majors will likely lose significant market share in home loans to regional banks that for the first time will be able to compete effectively with them on price without crushing their returns. Rather than being price setters, the majors will become price takers and have to give back the recent rate hikes they have foisted on borrowers to compensate for expanding equity funding costs or suffer market share losses. This will compel them back into the less contested business lending space, which will lubricate credit to companies. Indeed, I think the majors’ balance-sheet splits between residential and business loans will revert back to the 40:60 levels before the 1991 recession.

Our forecasts for double-digit house price growth in 2013 and 2014, and high single-digit growth in 2015, were spot on. My fourth idea is that there will be no imminent housing collapse, and the price of our bricks and mortar will again climb in 2016, albeit at a much slower pace of around 1 to 2 times income growth. I maintain the view that the market is very expensive (15 to 25 per cent above fair value) and recently sold my own home. The interest rate hikes that will be the catalyst for a sustained Aussie housing correction appear to have been shunted into the distant future.

A fifth idea is that as the US and UK jobless rates (5 and 5.3 per cent respectively) fall towards 3 per cent in 2016 and 2017, wage and consumer price inflation will gradually reanimate. While the Fed will hike in December, central banks will get behind the curve because of their desire to “look through” this reflation.

Fixed-rate bond prices to plummet

This prompts another idea, which is that fixed-rate bond prices will melt as long-term yields rise on the back of financial markets resisting the Fed’s dovish view of the world and acknowledging stubbornly strong inflation data. The existential moment for global central banks will arrive when the break-even inflation rates priced by the bond market begin breaching official inflation targets in a sign that investors no longer think that monetary policy (and so-called nominal growth targeting) is compatible with price stability. Asset allocators need to be short interest rate duration or, if you have to be exposed to this risk, hire a smart duration manager – they can be hard to find. Few people can consistently call rate changes right.

If this base case plays out, my seventh thought is that global equities will face tremendous headwinds as long-term risk-free rates (that is, government bond yields) mean-revert back to some semblance of normality, which means yields 50 per cent to 100 per cent higher than current marks. Recall that the 10-year government bond yield is an essential input as the underpinning for the discount rates in the valuation models for all listed and unlisted equity and real estate markets.

Sell ‘beta’ buy ‘alpha’

This insight furnishes an eighth idea, which is sell equity “beta” and buy “alpha”, as I advocated last year. Aussie shares (beta) have declined over the year to date while market-neutral and long-short hedge funds (alpha) have delivered terrific returns (at least the guys that I invest with have). This dynamic is unlikely to change.

In the more immediate term (over the next, say, one to two years), I like “spread” assets as the search for yield will remain a critical influence over investor behaviour as long as deposits do not offer any material “real” returns above inflation and equities continues to get hammered. One example is major bank subordinated bonds, which currently trade very cheaply on a global basis despite the majors being among the best capitalised banks globally, care of $33 billion of equity origination over the last 12 months. The credit ratings on major banks’ subordinated debt are on par with the senior bonds issued by Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley or Citigroup, and I think there is a decent chance they will get upgraded to the “A” band next year if Standard & Poor’s lifts the majors’ stand-alone credit profiles from “a” to “a+”, as it has signalled it may do.

A final thought is that if the world is once again forced to choose between elevated interest rates and high and volatile inflation, there is a possibility that the value of paper money will atrophy as a credible medium of exchange. This could precipitate a flight to safety in the form of a resurgence in the demand for gold as a hedge against the debasement of money by governments using the printing press to finance their own deficits.





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30 Can – t miss Harvard Business Review articles on Data Science, Big Data

#harvard business journal

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KDnuggets

30 Can t miss Harvard Business Review articles on Data Science, Big Data and Analytics

Here are 30 Harvard Business Review (HBR) articles on big data, data science and analytics that provide insights about the latest technology and happenings in the world of data.

There are dozens of HBR articles that are worth recommending, but here are our picks on big data, data science and analytics collected using most popular and next recommended article filters based on search term.


Full Disclosure. You can view 5 articles per month without the need to sign up and upto 15 articles can be accessed after sign up. KDnuggets derives no form of benefit if you subscribe to HBR.

On Data Science

  1. Data Scientist: the sexiest job of the 21st centuryby Thomas H. Davenport and D.J. Patil (Oct 2012)
    How the idea of LinkedIn’s People You May Know feature really clicked! The key player involved was a “Data Scientist”, a title coined by the two authors.
  2. The Sexiest Job of the 21st Century is Tedious, and that Needs to Changeby Sean Kandel (Apr 2014)
    Which phase does a data scientist spend more time on? Data Discovery, data structuring and creating context. Should they shift their focus?
  3. What Every Manager Should Know About Machine Learningby Mike Yeomans (July 2015)
    With the right mix of technical skill human judgment, machine learning could be a new tool for decision makers. Learn what mistakes to avoid.
  4. Data Scientists Don’t Scaleby Stuart Frankel (May 2015)
    We are at a new phase of big data. Is Data capture and storage now less relevant than making it more useful impactful?
  5. Get the Right Data Scientists Asking the “Wrong” Questionsby Josh Sullivan (Mar 2014)
    What makes an exceptional data scientist? Data by itself is meaningless. The skill curiosity is what makes the difference.
  6. A Data Scientist’s Real Job: Storytellingby Jeff Bladt and Bob Filbin (Mar 2013)
    How to derive insights intuitions from data? We “humanize” the data by turning raw numbers into a story about our performance.
  7. What Separates a Good Data Scientist from a Great Oneby Thomas C. Redman (Jan 2013)
    Better than the Best! Great data scientists bring four mutually reinforcing traits to bear that even the good ones can’t.
  8. Still the Sexiest Profession Aliveby DJ Patil (Nov 2013)
    Data scientist jobs are very much in demand as companies grapple with the challenge of making valuable discoveries from Big Data. Is a huge crowd just joining the bandwagon?
  9. 10 Kinds of Stories to Tell with Databy Tom Davenport (Nov 2013)
    Narrative is—along with visual analytics—an important way to communicate analytical results to non-analytical people. Explore the 10 types.
  10. How to Start Thinking Like a Data Scientistby Thomas C. Redman (Nov 2013)
    You don’t have to be a data scientist or a Bayesian statistician to tease useful insights from data. The author demonstrates how to think with a small exercise.
  11. Stop Searching for That Elusive Data Scientistby Michael Schrage(Sep 2014)
    Stop hunting for that data science unicorn and/or silver bullet. What to do instead?
  12. How to Explore Cause and Effect Like a Data Scientistby Thomas C. Redman (Feb 2014)
    While we can use data to understand correlation, the more fundamental understanding of cause and effect requires more.

Top Stories Past 30 Days

  1. The 10 Algorithms Machine Learning Engineers Need to Know
  2. 7 Steps to Mastering Machine Learning With Python
  3. 21 Must-Know Data Science Interview Questions and Answers
  4. Bayesian Machine Learning, Explained
  5. How to Become a Data Scientist – Part 1
  6. Why Big Data is in Trouble: They Forgot About Applied Statistics
  7. Data Science for Beginners: Fantastic Introductory Video Series from Microsoft
  1. The 10 Algorithms Machine Learning Engineers Need to Know
  2. Data Science for Beginners: Fantastic Introductory Video Series from Microsoft
  3. How to Become a (Type A) Data Scientist
  4. 5 EBooks to Read Before Getting into A Data Science or Big Data Career
  5. A Beginner s Guide to Neural Networks with R!
  6. How to Become a Data Scientist Part 1
  7. Reinforcement Learning and the Internet of Things




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Bond Market’s Big Illusion Revealed as U #business #consulting #firms

#bond market news

#

Bond Market’s Big Illusion Revealed as U.S. Yields Turn Negative

For Kaoru Sekiai, getting steady returns for his pension clients in Japan used to be simple: buy U.S. Treasuries.

Compared with his low-risk options at home, like Japanese government bonds, Treasuries have long offered the highest yields around. And that’s been the case even after accounting for the cost to hedge against the dollar’s ups and downs — a common practice for institutions that invest internationally.

It’s been a “no-brainer since forever,” said Sekiai, a money manager at Tokyo-based DIAM Co. which oversees about $166 billion.

That truism is now a thing of the past. Last month, yields on U.S. 10-year notes turned negative for Japanese buyers who pay to eliminate currency fluctuations from their returns, something that hasn’t happened since the financial crisis. It’s even worse for euro-based investors, who are locking in sub-zero returns on Treasuries for the first time in history.

For a detailed description of how this index was created, click here.

For an analysis of hedging costs for Japanese investors, click here.

That quirk means the longstanding notion of the U.S. as a respite from negative yields in Japan and Europe is little more than an illusion. With everyone from Jeffrey Gundlach to Bill Gross warning of a bubble in bonds, it could ultimately upend the record foreign demand for Treasuries, which has underpinned their seemingly unstoppable gains in recent years.

“People like a simple narrative,” said Jeffrey Rosenberg, the chief investment strategist for fixed income at BlackRock Inc. which oversees $4.6 trillion. “But there isn’t a free lunch. You can’t simply talk about yield differentials without talking about currency differentials.”

DIAM’s Sekiai has been shunning Treasuries since April, a month after foreign holdings of U.S. debt hit a record. Instead, he favors bonds of France and Italy because they “offer some degree of yield and the currency-hedging costs are cheap.” That shift lines up with the latest available Treasury Department data, which showed that demand from non-U.S. investors in April and May was the weakest in a two-month stretch since 2013.

The fact that yields on 10-year Treasuries are still way higher than those in Japan or Germany is part of the reason foreigners are having such a hard time actually profiting from the difference. Negative interest rates outside the U.S. have caused a surge in demand for dollars and dollar assets, pushing up the cost to get into and out of the greenback at the same exchange rate to levels rarely seen in the past.

Ten-year yields in the U.S. are currently about 0.23 percentage point below a basket of bonds from Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain and Switzerland on a hedged basis, versus 1.4 percentage points above on an unhedged basis, according to data compiled by BlackRock. At the start of the year, hedged Treasuries yielded over a half-percentage point more.

In Japan, where 10-year government bonds yield less than zero, the advantage for Treasuries has dwindled from a percentage point at the start of the year to less than 0.1 percentage point now. Without much added value for overseas investors, it’s harder to see foreign demand driving Treasuries to new records, especially as the Federal Reserve moves toward gradually raising rates.

Since falling to a record 1.318 percent on July 6, yields on 10-year notes have backed up as a string of economic reports such as last week’s jobs data bolstered the case for higher rates. They were at 1.58 percent today.

For a large swathe of institutional investors, especially those with conservative mandates, hedging is the norm when they go abroad. It eliminates the need to worry about the daily ebbs and flows in exchange rates and how that might affect their returns. When it comes to Treasuries, overseas buyers usually lock in a fixed exchange rate on the interest payments they get in dollars.

Conversion Costs

In that trade, the cost to convert payments from one currency to another is determined by the cross-currency basis swap. Take Japanese insurers as an example. Under normal circumstances, they would swap their yen for dollars and get interest on the yen they loaned out over the course of the contract.

But now, because the rate has turned negative, they’re effectively paying interest to lend the yen, which eats into their bond returns. That’s on top of the Libor rate they’ll need to pay for borrowing the dollars, which currently stands at 0.79 percent over three months.

The basis, as it’s known, was at minus 0.6425 percentage point for yen-based investors, which is close to the most expensive in five years. For those with euros, the basis is minus 0.43 percentage point. That’s more than twice as costly as the average over the past three years.

In a perfectly efficient market, none of this would matter. Differences in interest rates would be perfectly offset by the cost of exchanging two different currencies over time. But in the real world, things are far messier.

As unconventional monetary policies in Japan and Europe pushed yields lower and lower in recent years, demand for dollars has soared in tandem with the currency’s appreciation. Banks responded by demanding stiffer terms to swap into dollars as supply diminished, cutting into profits on the “carry trade” in Treasuries.

Treasuries will remain a better alternative for many overseas investors as long as an advantage exists, no matter how small the hedged yield pickup has become, according to Ralph Axel, a bond analyst at Bank of America Corp.

“They’ll just keep buying,” Axel said. Because of forces like negative rates and quantitative easing outside the U.S. “you clearly have a long-lasting bid.”

Of course, there’s the flip side. The overwhelming demand for U.S. currency is proving to be a boon for American investors and foreign central banks sitting on billions of dollars. Pacific Investment Management Co. also says there’s profit to be made by getting paid to swap dollars into yen.

Interest-Rate Swaps

Overseas money managers, though, have had to turn to more novel solutions to avoid the onerous hedging costs. Jack Loudoun, who helps oversee about $88 billion for Vontobel Asset Management in Zurich, says he prefers interest-rate swaps and futures on Treasuries to get exposure to the U.S. market because lower upfront costs help reduce foreign-exchange risk.

“We’re using derivatives to get access,” he said. “If you’re worried about hedging cost, swaps and futures are the avenues to go down.”

Whatever the strategy, there’s little debate over how important foreign demand is for the $13.4 trillion market for Treasuries.

“We’re at a point now where investors have to start thinking about this,” said Sachin Gupta, a foreign-bond fund manager at Pimco, which oversees $1.51 trillion. “As the cost of hedging rises to such an extent, there’s no extra carry to be had. That itself will slow down the demand — and, at some point, even reverse the demand — for Treasuries.”

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10 big investment ideas for 2016 #business #loans #rates

#investment ideas

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10 big investment ideas for 2016

  • Share on twitter

It’s time to fire up the interneuronal connections and carve out 10 big ideas for 2016.

Asian nation

My first offering is that Australia will likely become an Asian nation in its ethnic orientation. Apologies to the xenophobes, but it’s happening under your nose. An incredible 28 per cent of Australia’s population (or 6.6 million people) were born overseas – the highest in 120 years. During the last census a remarkable 12 per cent of Australians said they had Asian ancestry.

In Sydney and Melbourne, 19 per cent and 18 per cent, respectively, of residents are Asian. In Sydney regions like Parramatta and Ryde, the Asian share of the population is as high as 34 per cent and 33 per cent, respectively. China and India have overtaken the UK as Australia’s biggest source of new migrants, collectively accounting for 35 per cent of the intake in 2013-14.

The idea of Australia stealthily yet ineluctably becoming an Asian nation is a big deal: it will reinforce our unique antipodal trading position and powerful role as a politically stable economic conduit between east and west; it will help improve our cultural commonalities with major regional actors like China, India and Indonesia (mitigating geopolitical hazards); and it should serve as a source of innovation, productivity and growth, just as the influx of ambitious European migrants did after World War II.

Related Quotes

Bank returns on equity will fall

Idea number two is that the major banks’ returns on equity (RoEs) are inevitably going to fall from around 15 per cent towards their 11 per cent cost of equity as result of the banking system becoming a highly competitive and level playing field. While this process may take five years or more, it should mean that rather than trading at an unusually high two times book value, the majors will price at circa one times. If I’m right, there is much downside to current valuations, which is a proposition reinforced by analysts’ crazy forecasts that bad and doubtful debt charges will stay around 30-year lows.

In five years the majors will have ceded the competitive advantages that fuelled their world-beating RoEs. Rather than carrying 25 per cent more leverage than rivals, they will end up having less leverage and more equity capital in the funding mix. Combined with the fact that smaller banks tend not to source as much funding in the dearer wholesale bond markets – underwriting assets with cheaper deposits that are now a government-guaranteed (and more stable) funding source – I believe the majors will wind up having more expensive funding costs. In short, we will migrate to a system where the majors are much safer banks with reduced risks of failure, with the trade-off of lower returns on equity than competitors that have loftier leverage and lower funding costs. There should, therefore, be an economic role reversal between the big four and their rivals.

Another Macquarie Bank?

If the majors are going to become slow-moving, yet bullet-proof, utilities, a third idea is investors should look for superior returns from more fleet-footed alternatives that are not saddled with the financial baggage of being too-big-to-fail. One day we will eventually see another Nicholas Moore who creates a new Macquarie Bank with a much skinnier 50 per cent dividend payout ratio (compared to the majors’ 80 per cent pay-out policies) that retains earnings to support investments in innovative and entrepreneurial opportunities. Macquarie has done a fabulous job of continuously reinventing itself to maintain growth and studiously avoided allocating too much capital to competing in the majors’ commodity markets.

On this note, the majors will likely lose significant market share in home loans to regional banks that for the first time will be able to compete effectively with them on price without crushing their returns. Rather than being price setters, the majors will become price takers and have to give back the recent rate hikes they have foisted on borrowers to compensate for expanding equity funding costs or suffer market share losses. This will compel them back into the less contested business lending space, which will lubricate credit to companies. Indeed, I think the majors’ balance-sheet splits between residential and business loans will revert back to the 40:60 levels before the 1991 recession.

Our forecasts for double-digit house price growth in 2013 and 2014, and high single-digit growth in 2015, were spot on. My fourth idea is that there will be no imminent housing collapse, and the price of our bricks and mortar will again climb in 2016, albeit at a much slower pace of around 1 to 2 times income growth. I maintain the view that the market is very expensive (15 to 25 per cent above fair value) and recently sold my own home. The interest rate hikes that will be the catalyst for a sustained Aussie housing correction appear to have been shunted into the distant future.

A fifth idea is that as the US and UK jobless rates (5 and 5.3 per cent respectively) fall towards 3 per cent in 2016 and 2017, wage and consumer price inflation will gradually reanimate. While the Fed will hike in December, central banks will get behind the curve because of their desire to “look through” this reflation.

Fixed-rate bond prices to plummet

This prompts another idea, which is that fixed-rate bond prices will melt as long-term yields rise on the back of financial markets resisting the Fed’s dovish view of the world and acknowledging stubbornly strong inflation data. The existential moment for global central banks will arrive when the break-even inflation rates priced by the bond market begin breaching official inflation targets in a sign that investors no longer think that monetary policy (and so-called nominal growth targeting) is compatible with price stability. Asset allocators need to be short interest rate duration or, if you have to be exposed to this risk, hire a smart duration manager – they can be hard to find. Few people can consistently call rate changes right.

If this base case plays out, my seventh thought is that global equities will face tremendous headwinds as long-term risk-free rates (that is, government bond yields) mean-revert back to some semblance of normality, which means yields 50 per cent to 100 per cent higher than current marks. Recall that the 10-year government bond yield is an essential input as the underpinning for the discount rates in the valuation models for all listed and unlisted equity and real estate markets.

Sell ‘beta’ buy ‘alpha’

This insight furnishes an eighth idea, which is sell equity “beta” and buy “alpha”, as I advocated last year. Aussie shares (beta) have declined over the year to date while market-neutral and long-short hedge funds (alpha) have delivered terrific returns (at least the guys that I invest with have). This dynamic is unlikely to change.

In the more immediate term (over the next, say, one to two years), I like “spread” assets as the search for yield will remain a critical influence over investor behaviour as long as deposits do not offer any material “real” returns above inflation and equities continues to get hammered. One example is major bank subordinated bonds, which currently trade very cheaply on a global basis despite the majors being among the best capitalised banks globally, care of $33 billion of equity origination over the last 12 months. The credit ratings on major banks’ subordinated debt are on par with the senior bonds issued by Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley or Citigroup, and I think there is a decent chance they will get upgraded to the “A” band next year if Standard & Poor’s lifts the majors’ stand-alone credit profiles from “a” to “a+”, as it has signalled it may do.

A final thought is that if the world is once again forced to choose between elevated interest rates and high and volatile inflation, there is a possibility that the value of paper money will atrophy as a credible medium of exchange. This could precipitate a flight to safety in the form of a resurgence in the demand for gold as a hedge against the debasement of money by governments using the printing press to finance their own deficits.





Tags : , , , , ,

Bond Market’s Big Illusion Revealed as U #free #business #advertising

#bond market news

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Bond Market’s Big Illusion Revealed as U.S. Yields Turn Negative

For Kaoru Sekiai, getting steady returns for his pension clients in Japan used to be simple: buy U.S. Treasuries.

Compared with his low-risk options at home, like Japanese government bonds, Treasuries have long offered the highest yields around. And that’s been the case even after accounting for the cost to hedge against the dollar’s ups and downs — a common practice for institutions that invest internationally.

It’s been a “no-brainer since forever,” said Sekiai, a money manager at Tokyo-based DIAM Co. which oversees about $166 billion.

That truism is now a thing of the past. Last month, yields on U.S. 10-year notes turned negative for Japanese buyers who pay to eliminate currency fluctuations from their returns, something that hasn’t happened since the financial crisis. It’s even worse for euro-based investors, who are locking in sub-zero returns on Treasuries for the first time in history.

For a detailed description of how this index was created, click here.

For an analysis of hedging costs for Japanese investors, click here.

That quirk means the longstanding notion of the U.S. as a respite from negative yields in Japan and Europe is little more than an illusion. With everyone from Jeffrey Gundlach to Bill Gross warning of a bubble in bonds, it could ultimately upend the record foreign demand for Treasuries, which has underpinned their seemingly unstoppable gains in recent years.

“People like a simple narrative,” said Jeffrey Rosenberg, the chief investment strategist for fixed income at BlackRock Inc. which oversees $4.6 trillion. “But there isn’t a free lunch. You can’t simply talk about yield differentials without talking about currency differentials.”

DIAM’s Sekiai has been shunning Treasuries since April, a month after foreign holdings of U.S. debt hit a record. Instead, he favors bonds of France and Italy because they “offer some degree of yield and the currency-hedging costs are cheap.” That shift lines up with the latest available Treasury Department data, which showed that demand from non-U.S. investors in April and May was the weakest in a two-month stretch since 2013.

The fact that yields on 10-year Treasuries are still way higher than those in Japan or Germany is part of the reason foreigners are having such a hard time actually profiting from the difference. Negative interest rates outside the U.S. have caused a surge in demand for dollars and dollar assets, pushing up the cost to get into and out of the greenback at the same exchange rate to levels rarely seen in the past.

Ten-year yields in the U.S. are currently about 0.23 percentage point below a basket of bonds from Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain and Switzerland on a hedged basis, versus 1.4 percentage points above on an unhedged basis, according to data compiled by BlackRock. At the start of the year, hedged Treasuries yielded over a half-percentage point more.

In Japan, where 10-year government bonds yield less than zero, the advantage for Treasuries has dwindled from a percentage point at the start of the year to less than 0.1 percentage point now. Without much added value for overseas investors, it’s harder to see foreign demand driving Treasuries to new records, especially as the Federal Reserve moves toward gradually raising rates.

Since falling to a record 1.318 percent on July 6, yields on 10-year notes have backed up as a string of economic reports such as last week’s jobs data bolstered the case for higher rates. They were at 1.58 percent today.

For a large swathe of institutional investors, especially those with conservative mandates, hedging is the norm when they go abroad. It eliminates the need to worry about the daily ebbs and flows in exchange rates and how that might affect their returns. When it comes to Treasuries, overseas buyers usually lock in a fixed exchange rate on the interest payments they get in dollars.

Conversion Costs

In that trade, the cost to convert payments from one currency to another is determined by the cross-currency basis swap. Take Japanese insurers as an example. Under normal circumstances, they would swap their yen for dollars and get interest on the yen they loaned out over the course of the contract.

But now, because the rate has turned negative, they’re effectively paying interest to lend the yen, which eats into their bond returns. That’s on top of the Libor rate they’ll need to pay for borrowing the dollars, which currently stands at 0.79 percent over three months.

The basis, as it’s known, was at minus 0.6425 percentage point for yen-based investors, which is close to the most expensive in five years. For those with euros, the basis is minus 0.43 percentage point. That’s more than twice as costly as the average over the past three years.

In a perfectly efficient market, none of this would matter. Differences in interest rates would be perfectly offset by the cost of exchanging two different currencies over time. But in the real world, things are far messier.

As unconventional monetary policies in Japan and Europe pushed yields lower and lower in recent years, demand for dollars has soared in tandem with the currency’s appreciation. Banks responded by demanding stiffer terms to swap into dollars as supply diminished, cutting into profits on the “carry trade” in Treasuries.

Treasuries will remain a better alternative for many overseas investors as long as an advantage exists, no matter how small the hedged yield pickup has become, according to Ralph Axel, a bond analyst at Bank of America Corp.

“They’ll just keep buying,” Axel said. Because of forces like negative rates and quantitative easing outside the U.S. “you clearly have a long-lasting bid.”

Of course, there’s the flip side. The overwhelming demand for U.S. currency is proving to be a boon for American investors and foreign central banks sitting on billions of dollars. Pacific Investment Management Co. also says there’s profit to be made by getting paid to swap dollars into yen.

Interest-Rate Swaps

Overseas money managers, though, have had to turn to more novel solutions to avoid the onerous hedging costs. Jack Loudoun, who helps oversee about $88 billion for Vontobel Asset Management in Zurich, says he prefers interest-rate swaps and futures on Treasuries to get exposure to the U.S. market because lower upfront costs help reduce foreign-exchange risk.

“We’re using derivatives to get access,” he said. “If you’re worried about hedging cost, swaps and futures are the avenues to go down.”

Whatever the strategy, there’s little debate over how important foreign demand is for the $13.4 trillion market for Treasuries.

“We’re at a point now where investors have to start thinking about this,” said Sachin Gupta, a foreign-bond fund manager at Pimco, which oversees $1.51 trillion. “As the cost of hedging rises to such an extent, there’s no extra carry to be had. That itself will slow down the demand — and, at some point, even reverse the demand — for Treasuries.”

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BIG RED DOG named to the Fast 50 by Austin Business Journal #stock #market

#austin business journal

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BIG RED DOG Named to the Fast 50 by Austin Business Journal

August 31, 2016 by Will Schnier P.E.

BIG RED DOG Engineering and Consulting was again named one of the 50 Fastest Growing Private Companies in central Texas by Austin Business Journal for the 2015 fiscal year. This award is a testament to our amazing clients and team members.

To qualify, companies must have experienced dramatic revenue growth during the past three years. Financial data is submitted by the companies, verified by a third party and then we rank the top 50 according to compounded revenue growth.

We were also honored with the same award in 2013 and 2014 .

Read more on the Austin Business Journal website .

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Written by Will Schnier P.E.

Will Schnier is the Chief Executive Officer of BIG RED DOG Engineering | Consulting. Will received his BSCE from Purdue University and co-founded BIG RED DOG Engineering and Consulting in 2009. Since starting the firm in 2009, BIG RED DOG has grown to over 100 team members with offices in Austin, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio. BIG RED DOG has garnered awards for being one of the 50 fastest growing companies in Texas (Business Journal’s Fast 50 in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015) and an ENR top 100 Design Firm in Texas and Louisiana (2012, 2103, 2014, 2015). Mr. Schnier is very well versed in the project review and development permitting process having worked closely and very successfully with City and County review staff, neighborhood associations, environmental groups, and public boards and councils. He has been responsible for the project management, engineering design, and regulatory permitting of hundreds of single family subdivision projects, mixed use and multifamily residential developments, industrial facilities and oil and gas development projects throughout Texas. He is the author of two publications: “Land Subdivision – A Practical Guide for Central Texas” and “The Book on License Agreements in the City of Austin”. Will was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Real Estate Council of Austin (RECA) in 2014 and served as Mayor Lee Leffingwell’s appointment to the City of Austin Zoning Board of Adjustment from 2011 to 2015.





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AZ Business Magazine, Author at AZ Big Media #world #business #news

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Author Archives: AZ Business Magazine

About AZ Business Magazine

Over the past 30 years, AZ Big Media has grown to encompass not just Az Business magazine, but also a whole host of other publications and signature events. Az Business magazine is the state’s leading business publication. Published by AZ Big Media, the magazine covers a wide-range of topics focusing on the Arizona business scene, and is aimed at high-level corporate executives and business owners.

Northern Arizona University recently received the prestigious 2016 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. The HEED Award is the only national recognition honoring colleges and universities that exhibit outstanding efforts and success in the area of diversity and inclusion throughout their campuses. “This award is truly an honor and reflects the investment and… Read More →

A new study by the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) details the design and validation of a low-cost, rapid and highly accurate screening tool — known as KlebSeq — for potentially deadly healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs), such as Klebsiella pneumoniae. HAIs affect hundreds of thousands of patients annually and add nearly $10 billion in associated healthcare costs. The findings,… Read More →

On Saturday, September 3, 2016, Shea Homes Arizona will open its newest development, 24 North, a gated community in North Phoenix consisting of 111 two-story single family detached courtyard villas. There will be four progressive exterior architectural designs available Contemporary, Sonoran, Santa Barbara, and Monterey. Modern interior features include large great rooms, versatile lofts… Read More →

Foreign Trade Zones are useful tools for companies to save money. It s an area that, for U.S. Customs purposes, is considered to be international commerce. Any foreign or domestic material can be moved into an FTZ without being subject to U.S. Customs duties. An FTZ is operated as a public venture sponsored by a municipality… Read More →

Three Nussbaum Gillis Dinner, P.C. lawyers, Randy Nussbaum, Greg Gillis and Dean Dinner, were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2017, one of the most respected referral lists of attorneys in practice. Nussbaum was selected in the fields of Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law,… Read More →

The Thunderbirds, hosts of the Waste Management Phoenix Open Presented by The Ak-Chin Indian Community, raised a record $9,369,873 for local charities through proceeds raised from the 2016 tournament, Thunderbirds Big Chief Dan Mahoney announced Thursday. This is the highest single-year charitable donation in tournament history, breaking last year’s total of $9,060,731, and marks the… Read More →

Small businesses and emerging entrepreneurs in Tempe have a new business resource center and coworking space in the community. Located in the Tempe Public Library, which is at 3500 S. Rural Road, Tempe, the Business Resource and Innovation Center (BRIC) will host workshops to help small business owners as well as those considering starting new ones, provide… Read More →

Updated guidelines for treating people infected with Valley Fever, a disease caused by a fungus that is common in the U.S. Southwest, have been produced by a panel of experts led by John N. Galgiani, MD, director of the Valley Fever Center for Excellence at the University of Arizona Health Sciences. The recommendations include suggested treatment options for… Read More →

Wells Fargo Company (NYSE: WFC) dulled out a total of $500,000 in donations for seven local nonprofits that will help revitalize Maricopa County neighborhoods through the Wells Fargo NeighborhoodLIFT program. The local grant recipients were identified in collaboration with the City of Phoenix and Mayor Greg Stanton. The Wells Fargo Foundation is providing grants to the following… Read More →

Arizona s Most Admired Companies awards program is gearing up for its seventh year of honoring excelling firms that have made a huge impact on the state. The awards program is designed to recognize the contributions and impact all Arizona employers bring in five categories: customer opinion, innovation, leadership excellence, social responsibility and workplace culture. As… Read More →

Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) at Western Regional Medical Center (Western) has dosed its first three patients as part of the launch of a Phase I clinical trial using a novel antibody to treat patients with advanced solid tumors. CTCA® at Western — located in Goodyear, west of Phoenix — is the first site… Read More →

Sonora Quest Laboratories and Safeway are opening six new Sonora Quest Laboratories Patient Service Centers (PSCs) located at Safeway stores statewide throughout Arizona. The new locations in Arizona are in addition to the two PSCs opened in November 2015. Customers will enjoy convenient lab testing services, the most accurate diagnostic capabilities and direct access testing at the new… Read More →

Barring any sudden changes, a significant change to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is scheduled to go into effect on December 1, making an estimated 4.2 million additional salaried white collar American workers eligible for overtime pay. In approximately three months, the federal minimum salary level for overtime pay for FLSA-covered workers will increase… Read More →

Last night s Primary races in Arizona ran much smoother than the state s Presidential Primary (unless you were tracking the election on the Arizona Secretary of State website, which crashed much through the night) and the results are in. Some precincts are still reporting, according to the Dorn Policy Group, but the group stated many of the… Read More →

The median in-network deductible on an employer-sponsored PPO health plan increased 50 percent, from $1,000 to $1,500 in 2016, yet employer costs remain steady, according to the newly released 2016 Health Plan Survey from United Benefit Advisors (UBA), the nation’s largest independent survey of employer-sponsored benefits. Despite these significant deductible increases, nearly half of all… Read More →





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