Ford Motor Company is investing $1 billion in the Chicago area with expansion to the production of the new Ford Explorer and Lincoln Aviator sport utility vehicles, according to Joseph R. Hinrichs, Ford’s president of global operations. This announcement was made at the Chicago Auto Show held in February 2019, along with news that Elena Ford had been named chief customer experience officer for the automaker. The Chicago expansion is expected to bring an additional 500 jobs to the Torrence Avenue assembly plant.
Hinrichs made the auto industry announcement in February in cooperation with then-Mayor of Chicago Rahn Emanuel, who is now writing for The Atlantic, according to the magazine’s website. Lori Lightfoot took the reins as Chicago mayor in May. Lightfoot has shown support for the city’s manufacturing operations and has pledged to address corruption, violence, education, and the city’s finances.
The importance of the automobile industry to Chicago is evident in the popularity of the annual auto show, now in its 111th year. Chicago Auto Show Chairman Ray Scarpelli says that the event has something to offer everyone, whether they are interested in purchasing a new vehicle, checking out the hottest concept cars, experiencing interactive displays, or just enjoying a fun day out with family and friends.
Several auto manufacturers, including Ford Motor Company, offered outdoor ride-and-drives during the 2019 Chicago Auto Show so that car fans could see what it’s like behind the wheel of the new models. Ford also showcased its new, state-of-the-art intelligent cruise control technology at the auto show.
The new technology, available on select Ford vehicles, features advanced radar and camera technology that allows drivers to set a cruising speed and distance from the vehicle ahead. When it slows down, you automatically do too; when traffic picks back up, you resume your preset speed and distance. The intelligent cruise control also enables drivers to come to a complete stop when the vehicle ahead stops and can center between lane markings and recognize speed signs.
All of these new Ford design features, and the Ford experience overall, come under the umbrella of Elena Ford’s new responsibilities as chief customer experience officer for the automaker. In her new role, Elena Ford, who is the great-great-granddaughter of Henry Ford, will lead the organization responsible for creating a world-class customer experience throughout the entire ownership cycle. Many Ford family members have held leadership positions over the years. Currently, Elena Ford’s cousin, William Clay Ford Jr., holds the role of executive chairman.
Elena Ford was previously a Ford Motor Company vice president responsible for developing global standards and sharing best practices for planning, training, vehicle delivery, and customer interaction with dealers and within the company. She was also responsible for the development and launch of FordPass and The Lincoln Way, Ford Motor Company’s ownership experience apps.
Elena Ford brings a fresh, new perspective to the customer service division. She was twice named to the Automotive News list of “100 Leading Women in the North American Auto Industry.” Among Elena Ford’s additional notable achievements is the development and launch of Ford’s 2012 global brand promise, “Go Further,” a reminder to Ford’s 166,000 employees that they had to set the bar higher after recent gains.
Ford Motor Company’s new Chicago-area expansion and assembly plant has already begun to implement the state-of-the-art body shop, all-new paint shop, and new tooling to build the newest lineup. The Chicago Stamping Plant will have all-new lines to support the new vehicles.
“We’re in the process of building the early builds of what we call our prototype vehicles at the plant,” Chicago Assembly Plant Manager Jim DeMartino said. “We needed to free up the senior people so we could put them over to build the new vehicle.”
The Chicago factory has been running three shifts around the clock for many years. The new Ford Explorer is rear-wheel-drive, not front wheel drive, according to DeMartino. The new dynamic on how the vehicle goes together requires different operations, new materials, and new equipment.
Ford will cease production of the current Explorer, the Police Interceptor Utility, the Taurus, and the Police Interceptor Sedan. The change requires that the plant conduct extensive renovations before making the new Ford Explorer, Police Interceptor Utility, and Lincoln Aviator.
Gustavo Martinez is making waves in the advertising industry. Many of the most iconic ads of the last 35 years have come to life due to Gustavo’s creativity, and he’s once again reshaping the way we think about consulting, advertising, and marketing in general. Learn more about Gustavo Martinez and the new direction in which he’s leading the international ad industry.
The fascinating world of finance lured Matt Badiali away from the study of his intended field of science. With a bachelor’s degree in the rigorous discipline from Penn State University and a Master of Science in geology from Florida’s Atlantic University, he was on his way toward earning a Ph. D. at the University of North Carolina when a friend recommended another path.
This friend respected Badiali’s interest in science, but suggested that he could use his intellect to pursue something that would still meet that interest but also add a diverse range of other opportunities he might never obtain in the field of science. Badiali was intrigued, but it was still some time until he was willing to adapt his path based on the advice of that friend. When he did, his life changed course in a way that he never could have predicted—and would never, ever want to go back.
Anyone who has received Badiali’s investing advice benefited from the influence of his friend who held a Ph.D. in finance. Many have realized returns of double-digit gains and even triple-digit in some cases. The friend’s intention of persuading Badiali to use his knowledge of science to create advice for the average investor achieved the goal of providing access to excellent financial information.
Since then, Matt Badialia has combined his dual passions for science and investing to offer one of the most sought-after and valuable knowledge bases in all of investing. By combining his passion for and experience in studying geology and global energy with his experience in investing, Badiali is able to provide one-of-a-kind insights into a world of investing that others can only dream of—and his subscribers and followers are the ones who experience the benefit. But what exactly does Badiali’s unique perspective bring to investors, and how can they learn to take advantage of his expertise?
In this article, we’ll discuss how Badiali’s unique newsletter provides high-level value for investors of all levels and backgrounds. Then we’ll examine the current U.S.—China trade war and how it’s affecting the world of investing through Badiali’s perspective. We’ll then look at the record-setting low prices of certain investments at this point in history, as well as considering how global conditions continue to influence stateside investing. Finally, we’ll look at what the data tells us about what the future holds and find out how Badiali made a very important discovery that could change your investment portfolio forever.
Providing Insights for Investors
With the launch of his Real Wealth Strategist newsletter with Banyan Hill Publishing in 2017, Matt Badiali reaches readers who know the value of his recommendations in the natural resources market. From his experience and his research, Badiali expects a change in energy consumption that shifts focus from fossil fuels to an electricity-centered world that waits only for battery technology to provide the capacity to “store enough power to supply a city.”
This kind of energy power has profound implications for the future of the world, as it could completely transform global economies as nations are able to spend significantly less on energy infrastructure moving forward. This could also have dramatic implications for global trade, as the energy industry transforms to an electricity-centered environment and fossil fuels companies must either adapt or disappear. It’s this unique turning point that will determine the future of global energy for years and even decades to come. Not only that, but it will also have profound implications for investors from around the nation as they try to boost their portfolios through wise investments and strategic moves.
His approach to research and investment prospects lead him to go anywhere to talk to scientists as well as CEOs about mines, oil wells and geologic data. He travels the world to develop the advice for his newsletter, and his research in Haiti, Hong Kong, Iraq, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, Switzerland, Turkey, the Yukon and the Mexican desert reveals the extensiveness of his preparation to advise investors with his expertise in mining, energy and agricultural industries.
Having traveled the world and spoken with some of the world’s most respected energy leaders and CEOs, Badiali has learned a great deal about what makes the energy industry tick, what it perceives as its greatest threats, and where it sees the industry moving forward in the future. Badiali has seen firsthand how these companies adapt quickly to changing tides and are able to produce more energy than ever before while spending far less than they ever have in their history.
However, there are other global effects at play that have been increasing as of late. As international policies and politics begin to intrude on free trade, we begin to see unexpected consequences that are much farther reaching than anyone could have anticipated. But what does all of this mean for investors, and how will it change their approaches to investing moving forward? To understand this, we must understand the way that the growing trade war with China is impacting our financial markets and investing opportunities. Fortunately, considering his international travels and experience with both domestic and foreign economies, Badiali is perfectly poised to offer a fresh perspective on the subject. He has recently spoken out on his thoughts relating to the global market for precious metals and how it will likely be impacted by the trade war between China and the U.S.
Examining the Dampening Effect of the Trade War
With a frank assessment of the market’s view of metals lately, Matt Badiali concludes that the current market hates metals. The news reports of the trade war with China seem to announce another hit on metals each day, and almost everyone knows that the trade war can slow China’s growth. He refers to the vast country as “the mouth of the world” that takes in raw ores, smelts them, builds products and ships them to the United States.
As this trade war grows and continues, China is likely to see some bumps in the road as they struggle to keep up sales amidst increased tariffs from the U.S. It’s unlikely that they’ll be able to enjoy the astronomical growth they’ve been enjoying for so long in the near term, despite promising metrics to show that there is little chance of them slowing down in the long term. That said, precious metals will likely take a minor hit as it pertains to tariffs in China, and that will reflect in prices and demand around the world.
However, Matt Badiali believes that the fundamentals remain strong for platinum even though the price continues to fall. The petroleum industry needs it, but the metal remains very cheap on the current market. He anticipates a bounce, perhaps as soon as the fears of a trade war fade and let the fundamentals produce a viable market again. Demand continues to exceed supply, and the situation may worsen before he expects improvement. The price for platinum may “rocket” when it eventually starts to rise.
This means that there may not be a better time than now to invest in precious metals, particularly in platinum. As the market is at a low point but poised to skyrocket as tariffs are sorted out, there might have never been a better opportunity to invest in platinum and see massive returns in only a short period of time. Smart investors who might not otherwise consider energy investments should be advised that if there were ever a time to jump into the fray, it may be now. Your portfolio will thank you once the prices jump back up again and you find yourself sitting on a substantial nest egg.
Setting Records for Low Prices
The United States Gold Bureau gives investors some reasons for optimism in the potential for the price of platinum to stage a significant comeback. While none of these figures are considered a 100% sure bet, nothing in investing ever is. That said, The United States Gold Bureau is the authority on these matters and is the best source of information for discovering exactly how prices will fluctuate in the future. Here are the biggest reasons for optimism according to the United States Gold Bureau.
- In the span of only 10 years, gold’s price exceeded $2,300 per ounce, a stellar achievement that more than doubled the price of gold. Even more astonishingly, it was four times more expensive than its silvery white lookalike palladium. In the current market, gold and palladium have a higher price than platinum. Gold has outpaced the price of platinum only two times in the past 30 years. This means that platinum’s low price is a massive anomaly when compared to gold, making it extremely likely that the price will rise back up—and soon. There’s no better time to invest in platinum than at this point in its history.
- The cost of producing platinum exceeds its value, and experts predict that miners cannot sustain the loss of $200 per ounce. A selling price of $900 and the mining cost of $1,100 creates an imbalance that experts expect to produce a supply deficit. This will essentially result in less platinum available than there is a demand for, and if basic economics teach us anything it’s that reduced supply leads to increased demand and significantly higher prices. This will turbocharge the platinum market more than we can possibly anticipate.
- Surging demand in China and India for platinum in the automotive, petroleum, glass, electronics and medical industries has created a deficit in the supply line. Meanwhile, dependency on and demand for platinum in these applications is only going to go up as more and more companies become dependent on it to create increasingly higher volumes of consumer products, particularly electronics. Platinum has become an integral part of the technologies of the future, and as they become the technologies of the present platinum will be one of the world’s hottest commodities. And with supply dipping lower, prices will only surge higher.
- One anomaly that confounds investors regards the price of platinum at a lower price than gold. While 2,800 tons of gold reach the market every year, platinum provides only 250 tons annually. The rarity of platinum that makes it 10 times scarcer than gold presents a vexing imbalance that concerns investors.
- The higher boiling point for platinum and a higher melting point that exceed that of palladium make it a more appealing metal for industrial purposes. Denser as well, the metal’s versatility provides the basis for driving demand. As more and more companies and corporations begin to recognize these advantages, more and more will seek to exploit them. This will lead to a dramatic increase in demand for platinum, a demand that will lead to (you guessed it) higher prices around the globe.
- After a crash that lowered the price of platinum to $793 per ounce, investors may choose to “rebalance their bets” and create an “upward momentum” that may reverse a trend. The price made it the lowest ever in comparison with gold, which means its poised for a major comeback. Now is the time to put yourself in a position to ride that comeback before you’ve missed the opportunity.
Considering the Influence of Global Conditions
The value of platinum that has applications in jewelry and in the production of diesel fuel ironically has fallen to a 14-year low. Matt Badiali points to the oddity of a price that is lower than it was during the financial crisis while the current supply is down. For the first quarter of 2018, the demand for platinum exceeded the availability by 125,000 ounces, and South Africa’s mines struggled to keep up. Production levels reached their lowest point in two years. Just as the World Platinum Investment Council predicted the rise in demand to come from global economic growth in China, the trade war put a damper on expectations. While the trade war has been a significant sticking point for the nationwide economy and has caused fear in investors around the country, it may just lead to unexpected opportunities that no one could have anticipated.
Reviewing Some Analyses
Investing News expects platinum production to increase by 1 percent while global demand continues to fall by 7 percent year after year. The surplus of 250,000 ounces challenges the market to return to equilibrium even though analysts expect a reduction to only 25,000 ounces. However, in the face of changing conditions and expectations, analysts look for the market to balance in 2018 as the supply and demand pick up the pace. They attribute the reduced need for platinum in 2017 to the automotive industry that required 3 percent less than expected due to falling demand in Western Europe. The market experienced growth in commercial vehicles for China and the rest of the world as well. As a compounding factor, the jewelry sector did not offer the same appeal for platinum as it has previously demonstrated. That means that it may not be the best indicator of the metal’s future relative to its industrial and commercial production applications in nations and factories around the globe.
In 2017, the demand globally slipped by 2 percent as the decline in China challenged other regions to offset the difference. A decrease in Japanese bar buying affected the statistics as well. Even with reductions in many sectors, the exchange-traded fund investments came back strongly after two down years. Investors in the United States increased their holdings by 90,000 ounces, a figure that’s not insignificant considering the global supply of platinum in perspective.
Earning an Unwanted Appellation
Seeking Alpha wonders if platinum may have a good year in 2018 after falling from its once lofty position. In 2008, investors regarded it as the “king of the precious metals sector.” However, its fortunes fell precipitously over the past decade. Silver has accompanied platinum in the lower priced metals sector while gold and palladium have reached “appreciably higher” prices than they had at their peak in 2008.
The severity of the decline in the price of platinum has produced a downward spiral since 2014. The industrial world has turned its back on it and favored palladium instead. Investors tended to reject it after their disappointment in its performance during the financial crisis.
A steep drop of 67 percent in the five months between March and October 2008 created a “carnage in the platinum market” that investors remember distinctly. Analysts at Seeking Alpha note that platinum has experienced a consistent downtrend since 2011 and that it has earned recognition as “the worst performing precious metal since 2014.”
The Motley Fool points out that the largest use of the platinum group of metals rests with the automotive industry and its production of catalytic converters. Several automakers have plans to produce hydrogen-cell vehicles, but a problem may occur with the requirement for “significantly more catalytic material” than diesel or gasoline vehicles use. This means that it’s likely going to be some time before the demand for platinum is gone entirely within the automobile industry as a whole.
Want to learn more about Matt Badiali and his newsletter “Real Wealth Strategist Newsletter”? Click here.
Financial expert Ted Bauman recommends keeping part of your wealth in secure safe deposit boxes at banks and foreign vaults to protect your money from disaster scenarios. Bauman has spent his entire career helping people to protect their resources, so his recommendations influence many investors. He attended the University of Cape Town in South Africa where he earned postgraduate degrees in economics and history. An economist by trade, Bauman worked for many years in South Africa in executive roles for low-cost housing projects, hedge funds, nonprofit companies and even urban planning. He returned to Atlanta, Georgia, in 2008 and later joined Banyan Hill Publishing where he edits “Alpha Stock Alert,” “Plan B Club” and “The Bauman Letter,” which has more subscribers than any other newsletter published by Banyan Hill Publishing.
In The Bauman Letter, Ted Bauman provides real-world guidance and counsel on investing. He prides himself on staying away from sensational promises and the assuredness of massive payouts. What he does guarantee is the ability to make wise, informed investments under the guidance of one of the industry’s most trusted financial experts. Using what Bauman calls the Infinite Nest Egg system, a personally developed system for setting oneself up for financial security now and in the future, Bauman’s newsletter features a holistic approach to investing that involves looking at the past and present in order to predict the future.
Bauman recognizes that investors of all backgrounds and experience levels are extremely cautious about where they place their trust. He emphasizes that he is not in the business of making extravagant promises of instant wealth, but rather in sharing tried-and-true principles that have been proven to work for investors in the past.
The Bauman letter uses advisory research to identify investment opportunities around the globe, all designed to help investors set up their own personal nest eggs. It comes with standard financial advice features, including monthly briefings, portfolio examples and modelling systems, alerts on major trades, updates on a weekly basis, a members-only community, daily tips, and a robust customer service network.
But the Bauman letter has also become notable for offering unique value, including the Infinite Nest Egg system that Bauman created himself.
The Bauman letter is designed for those who want to safeguard their wealth and insulate it from potential nationwide or worldwide events, from recessions and crashes to general financial instability concerns. It’s also designed for those who are unsatisfied with the amount of returns they’ve been getting from their current investment and want to take those returns to the next level, and the level after that.
The Bauman Letter is an exclusive newsletter that is only available for 1,000 spots each year.
But fortunately, Bauman occasionally makes his expert guidance available entirely for free to the public at large. Recently, he’s been speaking on the subject of protecting your investments and insulating them against potential risks.
Safeguarding Wealth from Political Turmoil, Economic Chaos and Other Disasters
Protecting your wealth is critical in today’s uncertain times, and Banyan has long been an advocate for diversifying and protecting assets. Economic and political mayhem can result in losing a great part of your wealth or having your funds frozen for an uncertain period of time. Shifting some assets into precious metals and jewelry is a sound way to diversify your portfolio without the risks of converting assets to cash. At a minimum, Bauman recommends installing a large safe to store liquid assets and weapons for self-protection. He warns that “it’s worth contacting a safe contractor to see about your options in this respect.”
The importance of diversification comes from its ability to protect you from a single event suddenly wiping out the entirety of your portfolio. By moving your investments into a wider range and spectrum of opportunities, you’ll be insulated from major losses in other areas if one of your investments suddenly tanks in an unexpected way as the result of unpredictable events. And in a world filled with political turmoil, economic uncertainty and disasters occurring on the regular, diversification has never been more important for individual investors than it is now. But how can you diversify your portfolio that’s effective and will still continue to provide impressive returns today and in the future?
Bauman believes in diversifying your assets in multiple ways, and strongly recommends putting some of your assets into secure outside storage options. He has advocated this approach frequently over the years in “The Bauman Report.” The storage options that Bauman recommends include safe-deposit boxes at U.S. banks, safe-deposit boxes at foreign banks, vaults at nonfinancial institutions and foreign vaults. There are sound reasons for each of these recommendations.
While the idea of placing assets into safe deposit boxes may sound like the advice in a post-apocalyptic movie, research has shown that these are effective ways to protect assets even in the case of minor tribulations within the market. By keeping assets safe in places that are insulated from market crashes and other major events, you can rest assured that your nest egg will be protected no matter what the future holds. This is a powerful way to feel confidence in your assets and know that no matter what happens, you’ll be able to depend on them to get you through down the road.
With that in mind, let’s look at some of the options that Ted Bauman recommends for keeping your assets safe. We’ll discuss bank safe-deposit boxes in the U.S., safe-deposit boxes located in foreign banks around the world, vaults located at nonfinancial institutions (those that aren’t banks), foreign-based vaults, and other options available to you.
Then, we’ll look at what Ted Bauman has to say about making investment adjustments at the mid-point in life in order to keep your financial goals in line with your reality. Finally, we’ll touch on some of the ways Bauman has contributed to his community and why he directs others to do the same with some of their assets.
So without further ado, let’s dive in.
Bank Safe-Deposit Boxes in the United States
Ted Bauman grew up in the United States but emigrated to South Africa where he spent 25 years. He has consulted with African and European governments, delegates to the united Nations and American economists on a wide range of economic issues. In 2008, he returned to the United States to work for a nonprofit organization as the director of international programs.
Bauman’s time spent traveling and living overseas have become a distinct advantage for him as an investor, as they’ve allowed him to develop a global perspective on financial trends, markets, economies, and how they all affect the investment picture. He often remarks that investors who only have eyes for the current state of the U.S. market fail to understand how global economies interact, affect one another, and point to future trends that can benefit smart investors. Bauman believes that his time spent living overseas and consulting with foreign governments has given him a unique perspective that’s informed everything he does as an investor, as well as the guidance and counsel he gives to subscribers to his investing newsletter.
After joining Banyan Hill Publishing, Bauman quickly established a reputation for providing practical advice to protect wealth and assets. Bauman recommends storing some assets in U.S. safe-deposit boxes because your assets are generally secure and easily accessible. They’re located in a physical location, which means that banks can’t use them to cover losses and they can’t simply vanish overnight if a bank takes a nosedive. This makes them a great bet for protecting a portion of your nest egg in the event that you should eventually come to need it. Safe deposit boxes have also been shown to be one of the safest places to keep assets, as banks feature advanced security and safety features designed to protect their investments and the assets of their customers. Imagine if a bank were to have a major security breach among their safe deposit boxes—their business would dry up overnight. That’s why you can count on them to make significant investments in the safety, security, and protection of their onsite safety deposit boxes.
However, there are some disadvantages to safe-deposit boxes as wellas well:
- Safe-deposit box contents aren’t insured by the FDIC, so you need separate insurance. This results in extra costs on your part, as well as the minor inconvenience of setting up the insurance yourself. Why this isn’t a major drawback, it is an associated cost that should be considered when deciding whether to opt for a safe-deposit box.
- U.S. safe-deposit boxes can be targeted for civil and criminal investigations. This means that even if you are not directly accused of a crime, something within your safety deposit box might be considered evidence, in which case you would be required to give it up for either a civil or criminal trial. While this is unlikely, it is worth considering when it comes to the future of your assets.
- There is the possibility of court-ordered confiscation of your assets. This is an understandable risk—when your assets are kept in physical form, they can be physically seized. Again, this is unlikely—but it can happen.
- The government could order banks to hand over the contents of safe-deposit boxes in a financial crisis. If things become extremely dire, this is a possibility. The government has the right to seize the contents of safe-deposit boxes in the case of a massive financial recession or depression.
Safe-Deposit Boxes in Foreign Banks
Safe storage at foreign banks has the benefit of an extra security layer against court-ordered confiscation of your assets. Swiss banks provide safe-deposit boxes when you open an account, and these banks are known for their strong security protections. Your assets are safe from U.S. government confiscation, and most jurisdictions won’t enforce orders from foreign courts. Any potential claimants would need to start a new proceeding in the jurisdiction where your foreign bank is located.
This is one of the risks associated with storing assets overseas—if any issues do arise, it’s always more complicated to deal with multiple jurisdictions, governments, and law sets when clearing things up. While it can hopefully protect you from court-ordered seizure, you do need to make sure that you’re informed and aware of the rules and regulations of the country where your assets are being kept. Ignorance is never bliss when it comes to storing your assets overseas.
Vaults at Non-financial Institutions
There are private vault companies that can give your assets an increased level of security in the United States. These vaults aren’t subject to the leverage that governments and courts have over the banking industry. In the United States, banks routinely surrender privileged information to the government. Private companies require a formal order from a U.S. or state court before they’ll supply this kind of information.
This can be a great protection if you’re worried about the possibility of having your assets seized. These private companies have much stronger positions when it comes to protecting the assets of their clients, and nothing short of a court order will get them to supply information about the assets stored in their vaults.
That said, some individuals and businesses are uncomfortable leaving their assets in the hands of privately-owned companies. But many of them are dependable and 100% trustworthy for keeping your assets safe in the short-term and over long periods of time.
Foreign vaults at private companies rank among the most secure storage spaces for liquid assets. You can store precious metals, cash and other high-value assets without being reported under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act.
This frees you from certain tax liabilities and also insulates you from having your assets seized in almost any case. This arrangement can be a bit more of a hassle to setup, but once you do you’ll enjoy one of the most secure possible storage spaces for your assets to stay safe until you need them.
Bauman Discusses Changing Gears in Mid-Life
Bauman admits that he enjoys helping people protect what they’ve earned regardless of their incomes and assets. That’s why he became a financial writer. Bauman’s father, Bob Bauman wrote on financial topics, but Ted Bauman was too busy in South Africa to follow his dad’s path to success during the first part of his life. During this time, Bauman had time-management challenges. Being employed in the public sector creates an extraordinary demand of anyone’s time and emotions. Bauman learned that boundaries must be set if you want to be more productive. It’s important to remember that everyone has different priorities, areas of focus, and investment goals in life. Those goals also change and evolve as we get older and enter a different stage of life. Don’t try to follow a path that’s not right for you—do what is right for you and your future and you’re sure to be rewarded down the road.
Bauman offered this explanation of the demands of working in the public sector, “ I worked in the public sector for many years as the executive director of a housing finance company that worked with very low-income households to construct housing. One of the things that we did was to try an intervention to help those communities develop financial management systems that would allow them to get the most out of the money they had available.” And isn’t this what investing is all about—getting the most out of our money? That’s the power of smart investing as well as the power of keeping your liquid assets somewhere safe and dependable where you don’t have to worry about them or your future.
After returning to Atlanta, Bauman eventually joined Banyan Hill Publishing in 2013 and finally found the time to try his hand at financial writing on a full-time basis. Bauman commented, “I travelled extensively in Africa and Asia during this period, developing a keen understanding of the relationship between political and economic dynamics in various societies. I’ve also published research and commentary in a number of prestigious international journals, including The Journal of Microfinance, Small Enterprise Development and Environment and Urbanization.” His time writing for these publications allowed him to dive deep on a wide range of issues that are important to him, and also allowed him to develop an even deeper layer of expertise when it comes to investing topics.
Bauman’s writing includes work for the “Smart Money” service, which is an ETF-trading platform, and “Alpha Stock Alert,” which is a stock-trading service. He developed a trading system with help from Wall street experts. The system provides real-time insights into the markets to help investors make wiser decisions.
Although Bauman espouses protecting your assets and living a sovereign life, he has worked tirelessly to give back to the community in a variety of nonprofit organizations. He helped to establish Slum Dwellers International, a group that helps low-income families find housing. The group has helped more than 14 million people in 35 countries.
Bauman has devoted years to helping people from all socioeconomic classes lead better lives. He advocates working hard to find ways to protect your assets from corporate greed, excessive taxes and governmental oversight. Vaults and safe-deposit boxes can provide security, flexibility and diversification for people trying to protect their financial resources.
About Luke Lazarus
Luke Lazarus has become one of Australia’s top business consultants. In his more than a decade of startup and small-business consulting, he has helped dozens of companies to streamline operations and develop the vision, human resources and attractive qualities to venture capital that they need to take things to the next level.
In this interview, Lazarus reveals some of the proven techniques that he uses to help startups make themselves attractive to investors, planning marketing strategies, as well as how to make dreams a reality.
Stephen Callahan: Hi there Luke. I’d first like to know, what do the words “business essentials” mean to you?
Luke Lazarus: The first thing is education. That’s why I went to Melbourne Business School to get my Master of Business Administration. I didn’t waste any time, so I graduated at age 24. I was inspired by my education and I wanted to start purchasing companies right away. I bought four and sold them all in less than 10 years. My experience starting my own businesses gave me what I need to help other businesses succeed whether they are doing well or not.
I could make the choice to focus on helping others because I didn’t need to make another $20 million. After I sold my four companies, I was financially independent, and I didn’t need to make any more money. After I started to help other entrepreneurs realize their goals, I realized that I found what I needed. I discovered solutions to some of the problems that many people are having with their companies, and I wanted to give those people my proven and tested strategies.
SC: What do you do to build a business plan that will be successful?
LL: I believe that anything that I do needs a business plan because a business plan clearly states my vision for my businesses and shines a light on the limitations. It’s also necessary to have a financial model to support the idea. I know that the business plan is a success when it can let investors, partners, employees and customers know what they need to know about the company. I have found that your product or your brand will succeed when you create a story around it, and the story will grow with the product if it is kept within the business plan.
Also, if clients are shying away from social media, this isn’t the best plan. Social media is necessary in the business world these days, and those who avoid it will be left behind. The fact is that consumers are very selective about where they will spend their dollars. It is becoming more difficult for businesses to communicate with their customers, but companies seem to have found a way to break through this impasse.
Some companies are actually starting to employ influencers to help them engage in social media, but it is too early to tell whether or not this strategy is going to be worthwhile or not. For now, it looks as if it will be very profitable for the companies that employ it.
SC: How would you advise people to present their ideas and business plans to investors?
LL: I communicate with potential investors with my storytelling, and I used it in meetings with several businesses. The stories explain why we need financial support, and I present them with illustrations that allow members of the board to identify with them.
I help startups present their messages, their books and their operations in a manner that will appeal to venture capitalists and angel investors. It seems that new entrepreneurs are not thinking correctly about the way that venture capital works, and it is the main reason that investors are not ready to buy.
You see, entrepreneurs are under the wrong impression that all they need to do to impress investors is set up a couple of meetings and show a few PowerPoint presentations. Entrepreneurs who do this about 20 times without receiving a hearing decide that venture capital isn’t for them. The truth is that entrepreneurs need capital in order to create multinational companies or even midsized companies. If they do not have enough money, they are not going to be in business for very long. Startups have to grow or else they will not survive.
One example comes from Shift Technologies. This company obtained $180 million in funding and then it created a new technology platform that revolutionized the way people are buying and selling used cars. People need to purchase used cars because of the necessity, so Shift Technology made the process as easy and accessible as possible.
SC: How do you perform marketing research?
LL: I study market segments and the factors that influence them on a daily basis, and this makes it possible for me to give my clients advice on any critically important variables that present themselves before we take a venture or a product to the market. I am fully aware of how e-commerce influences scalable business models, and this knowledge helps me let my clients know how they can expect their customers and their competitors to act.
SC: What preparations do you make before you present a plan to the marketplace?
LL: My clients receive my coordinated and cost-effective strategies, and they are outlines that introduce marketing plans that lead to organized sales. I stand by my clients as they set and abide by their timelines and budgets from the beginning of the concept until we develop a marketing strategy.
Entrepreneurs know their companies better than anyone else, so startups can actually market themselves. It’s important for them to take control of their marketing campaigns, and one thing that they can do is digital marketing. One strategy that I teach startup companies that have more than one partner is for each partner to learn one element of marketing. Then, they can bring their ideas together to communicate their brand’s identity.
I tell founders to determine what their marketing identity will be before they market the company. Whenever they release the company’s communications, they need to make sure that the communications are reflecting their brand identity and why it is different from everyone else. Another thing that startups need to have is a thought leader, and this job should be reserved for one of the founders.
A thought leader is the person the media will consult for quotes or opinions. The thought leader also writes articles about the industry and will be the one to give the interviews. If a company is unfamiliar with this type of thing, the thought leader can submit a written interview to various publications. He or she can also record podcasts, and these will help people find them on the internet.
SC: How do you manage to be as productive as you can possibly be?
LL: I begin each day with a 15-minute session of meditation. Then, I need to ensure that not one minute of the day is wasted by multitasking and keeping an eye on the clock. I find out if a client needs eight hours in a day or shorter segments, and I make sure that we are productive in that time. I do everything that I planned to do in a day by writing notes, and these notes give me something different to do each day.
SC: How do you make your ideas real?
LL: I use how I handled my personal problems as a model for how I help my clients with their problems. First, I consider the story behind the product or venture, and I use it to create solutions for the issues that are causing a business not to succeed in the marketplace. As I said before, a product has to have a story to be a success, so I go out of my way to make the story and the product interchangeable. This concept is so new that it allows my clients to find a niche so that they can create a need and then fill that need.
SC: What would you have advised yourself to do when you were younger?
LL: I always thought that I was going to do big things, but I worried a lot about that. The one thing that I regret about my younger days is my tendency to be overly anxious, so I pushed myself to finish my education as quickly as possible. I would tell my younger self to relax because I had the will to succeed. I think I wouldn’t have had as many headaches if I had been able to do that because I would have been confident in my abilities.
SC: How do you move past failure?
LL: Early in my entrepreneurial career, I failed when I went into business with a partner. The failure was from a lack of planning, but I learned a lot from the experience. The most important thing you can do is believe that you can succeed. You will feel apprehensive about every project, and you will be concerned about whether or not you will fail. Accept that and then know that having confidence in yourself means more than anything you are worried about. I make a bet with myself that I will win each time, and it makes all the difference in the world.