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Innovative financial contactless payment system ‘Just QR’ has been launched – aysor.am


“Just QR”, a contactless payment financial system, was launched as part of the cooperation between the financial subsidiary of Armenia’s leading mobile operator Viva-MTS, “MobiDram”, the company “Future Payments Systems” and “ Acba Bank ”.

Now premium “MobiDram” customers have an excellent opportunity to make payments in stores and entertainment venues directly from their smartphones through the “MobiDram” mobile app, using the innovative “Just QR” system. Just click on the “Just QR Payments” button in the “MobiDram” mobile application and make a payment after scanning the QR-code.

“Our daily life is almost entirely transformed into digital. It is no longer necessary to have money in cash, as digital money has become the most relevant and convenient payment option. By introducing the “Just QR” payment tool into the “MobiDram” mobile wallet, we have tried to make everyday life easier by making contactless payments within seconds, ”said Kim Avanesyan, Managing Director of“ MobiDram ”.

“The financial subsidiary of Viva-MTS“ MobiDram ”offers many payment tools directly from the mobile phone. Innovation and adaptation to time are the key conditions for digital transformation. Can you imagine the day when cash is no longer needed when shopping in a store, and when it will be possible to make contactless payments by scanning the QR-code from your mobile wallet? The new digital tool, created through the cooperation between “MobiDram”, “Just QR” and “Acba Bank”, is very practical and has great potential for wide application ”, said Ralph Yirikian, Managing Director of Viva-MTS .

“We are pleased to launch the ‘Just QR’ system together with Viva-MTS ‘financial subsidiary’ MobiDram ‘and’ Future Payment Systems’. “Acba Bank” has been working for a long time to reduce the use of cash in view of the epidemic situation. Thanks to this cooperation with our partners, we are taking a step forward. I hope that the “Just QR” system will fully serve the intended purpose, ”said Hakob Andreasyan, CEO of“ Acba Bank ”.

The advantages of making payments via QR-code are:

  • full contactless payment exclusively via smartphone, which is extremely important in the current epidemic situation;

  • when paying via QR-code, the customer can choose the “MobiDram” account or one of his bank cards attached to the “MobiDram” mobile application;

  • The customer can use regular cashback promotions, which are instant refunds to the “MobiDram” account with a certain percentage of the amount paid.

“The time required to make payments via QR-code is no longer than that for paying by bank card,” added Kim Avanesyan.

Payments via QR-code can be made in shops and places of entertainment where the “INGENICO POS” terminals are located, serving bank cards and where an information panel is displayed on payments via the “Just QR” system. .

During the event, the designer of the “JustQR” system Konstantin Saroyan presented the main principles and characteristics of the system. “” There are several features. The use of the common EMV standard, the use of dynamic QRs, as well as the fact that there is no change in the business processes in the points of sale, that is, the same terminals points of sale with which card transactions are carried out continue to be used. In other words, no additional costs are borne by the bank or the point of sale. Another advantage is the ease of distribution and affordability, as QR can be applied to any smartphone.

One of the important features is that the JustQR system fully complies with the highest security standards and, in this regard, is not inferior to card transactions ”.

For more information you can visit www.mobidram.am

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portfolio strategy: We have a predominantly cyclical barbell strategy and some defensive: Shibani Sircar Kurian

Gradually, we are seeing signs of recovery in capacity utilization. While in the short term the bulk of the work will be done by the public sector, in a few years private sector investment will also pick up and this is already visible in a few sectors like metals and cement, says Shibani Sircar Kurian, Senior EVP, Fund Manager & Head – Equity Research, Kotak Mahindra AMC.

Do you see a big change in leadership actions, etc.? Are you upgrading certain sectors?
Obviously the results season is over, so far the results have held up pretty well. In fact, during this whole period of Covid, Indian companies have done well in terms of profits. We have seen profit increases over the past few quarters. Economic activity has also picked up quite strongly and high-frequency indicators are now above pre-Covid levels. The catching up in economic activity was therefore quite significant.

In addition, the rate of vaccinations per day has increased, which is another positive element. The way we look at the markets, one of the main drivers of the markets over the past year has been the earnings upgrade cycle.

Overall, we believe earnings will continue to remain fairly robust for FY22. If you look at consensus earnings, the consensus is building on around 30% earnings growth for the Nifty companies for the full year and we think that’s a very healthy number. However, from a valuation perspective, they are clearly trading at levels above the long-term average multiples.

So some of the key things that will drive the markets from here on out; a) the holiday season and the recovery in demand there. b) The rate of income increases if the holiday season turns out to be good. Then c) we may start to see a resumption of earnings upgrade cycles around the second half of the year. This will be another key factor to watch out for.

From our perspective, some segments we are positive on include domestic cyclics which are clearly geared towards economic recovery. We believe that this time around, investment and manufacturing growth are likely to continue to drive overall economic activity in the country and policy initiatives are geared towards that as well.

Gradually, we are seeing signs of recovery in capacity utilization. While in the short term most of the work will be done by the public sector, in a few years private sector investment will also pick up and this is already visible in a few sectors such as metals and cement.

Thus, from a portfolio perspective, we are playing on domestic cyclics which include infrastructure, industrials, capital goods and banks. We also have defensive bets in the portfolios. So it’s kind of a dumbbell strategy. Defensively, we’re looking at IT and some selected names from pharma and consumerism in the portfolio.

There has been a lot of talk about consumer stocks becoming frothy and overvalued. Are you taking a contrarian stance?
No, for us it’s more of a defensive bet. We have specific equity exposures. We’re saying some of the impact you’ve seen on the consumer discretionary side is fading. We are clearly aware of the valuations that are clearly expensive in the consumer space.

We are attentive to valuations, but we have some specific exposures to equities rather like a defensive bet on the consumer space. While our main overweightings would be more in national cyclicals, more in industries, banks, mainly private sector banks, infrastructure names, cement and capital goods.

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A simple 4 ETF portfolio strategy

Here is a simple ETF portfolio using only 4 ETFs offering ultra low fees; they offer strong diversification and flexibility that would suit many retirees, note David Dierking, editor of TheStreet’s Focus on ETFs.

With over 2,000 different ETFs to choose from right now, retirees can position their portfolios almost however they want by targeting or overweighting just about any region, sector, theme or strategy they can imagine. One thing that the ETF industry does perhaps best is the exact opposite of variety: simplicity.

If you want a broadly diversified portfolio that cuts across all major asset classes, ETFs can do it. Best of all, you can have this type of basic wallet for almost no cost. According to ETF Action, there are currently over 70 different ETFs that charge 0.05% or less per year.

More from David Dierking: 6 Safe Haven ETFs

Out of those 70+ ETFs, you want to make sure you’re getting the right diversification. If you just bet on costs and go for the cheapest of this bunch, you’ll be left with just about a bunch of large-cap US funds. It’s not exactly building a well-balanced portfolio.

You could probably cut things down to just two funds if you want to make it as simple as possible, but I think four will do.

Granted, even with a quartet of very diverse funds, you’re still going to find a few small holes and nit-picking, but that’s the beauty of the ETF market. You can always increase your basic positions to orient your portfolio however you choose.

If you were looking to create a simple and diversified portfolio that would suit most retirees, I would consider using the following four ETFs.

Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF (VTI)

This ETF would be your main US equity position. He holds positions in nearly 4,000 different stocks across the large, mid and small cap spectrum.

However, this is a market cap weighted index, so you have strong allocations to all of the big names in mega cap including Apple (AAPL), Amazon (AMZN), Microsoft (MSFT) and Alphabet (GOOGLE). As a result, you have around 89% of the assets that fall into the large cap category.

Large caps have been the best performing group in the US stock market for years, so it would be understandable if you wanted to tilt your portfolio a bit more towards smaller companies. Plus, an 89% large cap allocation isn’t much different than just holding an S&P 500 ETF instead.

If you want to stay with the Vanguard family, the Vanguard Mid-Cap ETF (Fly Vanguard Small Cap ETF (VB) or the Vanguard Russell 2000 ETF (VTWO) would be your best choice.

Vanguard Total International Equity ETF (VXUS)

International stocks haven’t really done much to inspire investor confidence in recent years. Since the start of 2008, an investment in the MSCI EAFE Index or the MSCI Emerging Markets Index would have returned 4% and 1% respectively. At the same time, the S&P 500 posted a return of around 200%. It’s no wonder that so many investors overweight US stocks in their portfolios.

Still, foreign stocks are an important asset class to have in your portfolio. History has shown that American leadership and international leadership in the stock market alternate in cycles of approximately 10 years.

So you could argue that we are due for a turnaround. Of course, with so many countries with so many different risk / reward profiles (economically, politically, etc.), it makes sense to have as much diversification as possible.

What makes VXUS attractive is that 25% of the portfolio is dedicated to emerging markets. It’s a bit more than what can be found in many international equity ETFs, but emerging markets may present the best risk / reward opportunity among the US / developed / emerging market trio.

Instability in China and the significant impacts of the delta variants make emerging markets particularly risky in the short term, but this is still an ideal position in the long term.

You could argue that exposure to emerging markets may be inappropriate for retirees who are likely focused on capital protection at this point in their lives. I think that’s a fair point, although I think emerging markets belong to some extent.

Also keep in mind that this will be part of a portfolio of 4 ETFs, and depending on your personal allocation among the four, emerging markets will be a relatively small piece of the puzzle overall. Even if you devote 20% of your portfolio to international stocks, that would translate into a 5% allocation to emerging markets. Enough to give it a presence, but probably not enough to move the needle significantly.

I will also point out that the Vanguard Total Global Equity ETF (VT) also exists, which is roughly similar to a 60/40 allocation to VTI / VXUS.

See also: These 20 ETFs are the infrastructure winners

If you are comfortable with a 60/40 US / International mix in the equities portion of your portfolio, I have no problem using it as a replacement for VTI and VXUS. I tend to prefer to use the two ETFs separately, which allows for flexibility in setting my own allocations, but this is a personal choice.

IShares Core ETF Total USD Bond Market (IUSB)

I think many investors would probably default on the IShares US Aggregate Bond ETF (AGG) here, but I prefer IUSB. The reasons are mainly related to the differences in the composition of the portfolio between the two.

AGG tends to favor government and mortgage-backed securities more. This ETF has around 64% of assets dedicated to these two groups combined against 54% for IUSB.

In addition, IUSB holds around 8% of the assets invested in junk bonds, while AGG has no exposure to this group. I think IUSB has a better degree of diversification overall and does a better job of capturing the entire US bond market.

The only thing missing from both ETFs is exposure to international bonds (the main eligibility criteria for IUSB are bonds denominated in US dollars, so although there is modest exposure to non-US issuers, there is there is a lack of pure international investment).

There is also the Vanguard Total Global Bond ETF (BNDW) optional. It has a 50/50 split between US and international bonds, but like AGG it has almost no exposure to junk bonds.

If you want your bond allowance to include both junk bonds and international exposure, you will likely need to go for two ETFs instead of one. The Vanguard International Total Bond ETF (BNDX) might work with IUSB, but it invests strictly in quality bonds, so a match with AGG would still omit junk bonds.

It gets a little trickier, but IUSB remains my only fixed income ETF of choice.


Most types of portfolio advisers would suggest a 5-10% allocation to real estate and I would tend to agree. The VTI and VXUS each only have around 3% allocation to real estate, so the current portfolio as built is just not going to reduce it. That’s why I would add SCHH here to bring the REIT’s overall allocation back into this range.

The Vanguard Real Estate ETF (VNQ) owns about half of the assets in the real estate ETF space, but I prefer SCHH because it is the cheapest ETF in this group (by a single basis point, but still) and it has a strong degree of diversification and quality. It focuses on some of the biggest and most financially sound REITs available and adds both mortgage and hybrid REITs to improve the mix.

How to build a portfolio allocation

Here’s the tricky part – how to allocate to each of these four ETFs to find the right mix.

This will mainly depend on personal preferences and circumstances. The “rule of 100” used to guide how retirees should allocate their portfolios. This principle said that you should subtract your age from 100 and that is how much you should invest in stocks. For example, a 70-year-old should have 30% of his portfolio in stocks under this rule.

This type of change has become the “rule of 120” over the past ten or two years, with people citing longer lifespan as the reason. Let’s separate the difference and create the “Rule of 110” rule. In this example, let’s use an overall equity / bond allocation of 40/60 keeping in mind that you can increase or decrease it if you wish.

We have already talked about a 5-10% allocation to real estate as a guideline. Let’s go to the high end with 10% since retirees are probably going to want to focus on higher current income. A higher allocation to REITs allows this.

This would leave the 60% fixed income allocation to IUSB and the remaining 30% to be split between VTI and VXUS. Most people tend to favor US stocks in their portfolios, but it’s important to keep at least some international stocks. Let’s put 20% in VTI and 10% in VXUS.


For retirees looking for the simplest and cheapest portfolio to suit their golden years, this 4 ETF portfolio I have featured here could certainly do the trick. Its weighted expense ratio of around 0.07% ensures that almost all of your money stays in your pockets.

Allocations within this group should be fluid and should depend on your risk tolerance and personal goals. Risk enthusiasts are likely to have little qualms about going well above the 40% equity target I mentioned, while others might go all-in on bonds.

I encourage you to consider what is most comfortable for you and meets your individual goals before proceeding. And if you prefer to orient your portfolio towards a specific asset, sector, or theme, feel free to consider adding one or two other low-cost ETFs to top it all off.

The only downside to this, of course, in today’s market environment is performance. Or its absence. If you are looking to live solely on the income of the portfolio, the current return of around 2% on that portfolio is unlikely to reduce it.

The temptation might be to step further off the risk spectrum by looking at junk bonds, mortgage REITs, MLPs, or other high yield asset classes. I urge investors to exercise extreme caution before venturing heavily into these types of assets, which will put you at significant downside risk should conditions turn south.

Look no further than the returns of these groups during the COVID bear market to see what can happen. It may be wiser to consider withdrawing some of the balance from your portfolio to increase what you can receive in dividends instead of increasing the risk.

If you’re looking for a good, basic portfolio to build on for retirement, I think these 4 ETFs along with some of the alternatives mentioned will help most retirees achieve their goals.

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Alejandro Betancourt’s financial strategy takes Hawkers sunglasses to the next level

Alejandro Betancourt’s financial strategy takes Hawkers sunglasses to the next level

Hawkers Co. started out with four friends and a dream of owning their own business.

After a few attempts at different companies, the founders stumbled upon fashion glasses from California. The resale of a brand of sunglasses called Knockaround eventually caused them to turn to retail as their only endeavor.

We will see how the company has grown over the years and why the founders finally appealed investor Alejandro Betancourt Lopez to help. Known for his business acumen and forward-looking vision, his ideas helped put the company back on track.


Photo provided by Alejandro Betancourt

The early years

Hawkers started in 2013, and it didn’t take long for it to take the market by storm. It took two years before polarized lenses and frames made it to the lists of “best” eyewear, in large part because the accessories managed to meet the main criteria of almost all buyers. Practical, protective and elegant, sunglasses were selling at the rate of 10,000 units per day at the time of 2016.

The crux of the financial success of hawkers

Alejandro Betancourt Lopez has been hired to help the company meet its growing demand. These founding friends were nothing but ambitious, and their commitment to expansion was very real. The only problem was managing the cash flow. Opening new stores, manufacturing products, and hiring employees all come at significant costs. As quickly as the money came in, it was quickly spent.

It was then that Alejandro Betancourt Lopez was called. An entrepreneur who has been successful with the international investment group O’Hara AdministrationIt wasn’t just his money, but also his business acumen that was needed.

After reviewing the company’s metrics, he decided to make some changes. One of the first things he insisted on was improving transparency (especially with regard to the supply chain) and impeccable customer service. However, his most impressive accomplishment has undoubtedly been finding a way to improve profits per sale.

It was his decision to focus solely on the power of social media, and there is no doubt his ideas worked. In 2016, nearly 93% of the $ 70 million Hawkers earned came directly from social media.

Why did Hawkers Co. rely on social media?

When you think of fashion these days, you might think of brilliant photos on screens. People’s inspiration doesn’t just come from standard television and advertising anymore. Instead, they turn to influencers in their chosen circles. It could be anyone from a brother to a friend to a minor hometown celebrity.

This type of marketing is not new, but Instagram It was certainly at the time that Alejandro Betancourt Lopez decided to try his luck. This emerging platform didn’t have the cachet it has now, but this investor saw its potential nonetheless. Today, the photo-ready app is naming Hawkers as an early success story, encouraging more brands to take part in the Instagram action.

Anyone who follows Hawkers’ story can tell how the company’s market position soared thanks to Alejandro’s strategies. By teaming up with people who already loved Hawkers – the same fashionistas who were already talking about trendy styles and comfortable frames – the product reviews were true.

People reading sponsored content haven’t seen ads; instead, they saw a person who just wanted to tell everyone about their cool sunglasses. Nominal paid incentives, including free merchandise and a small percentage of each sale, were enough to keep influencers happy without putting undue strain on the marketing budget. Betancourt Lopez would use this leverage to sell sunglasses in more than 140 countries around the world.

What’s next for the Hawkers brand?

Hawkers Co. relied heavily on the younger population for its success. The Campus Ambassador program the company ran included thousands of people in Spain alone to promote sunglasses. Alejandro Betancourt Lopez and the founders of Hawkers are determined to honor those who have helped them succeed by introducing new products that meet the needs of their people.

You can see it in the company’s line of eco-friendly products, which respect the Earth without compromising on style. From sunglasses production to packaging, Hawkers continues to evolve based on market demands and the voice of buyers.

There is no such thing as a safety net for an entrepreneur. Accepting risks is a daily practice. Still, Hawkers should be an inspiring story for all startup founder who is not afraid to seek advice and take risks on emerging opportunities.

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New pilots show green future for China’s financial system

Editor’s Note: Matteo Giovannini is a finance professional at the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China in Beijing and a member of the China Task Force at the Italian Ministry of Economic Development. The article reflects the views of the author, and not necessarily those of CGTN.

The growing importance of terms such as “sustainability” and “circular economy” in today’s global financial landscape is illustrated by the frequent discussions of these major issues at government level and their extensive media coverage.

In addition to profit margins and risk management, institutional investors have also integrated aspects such as energy consumption and environmental protection into their financial models and portfolios, and the coronavirus pandemic has heightened this attention as this are elements which, if not properly taken into account and addressed, could have long term destructive effects on our planet in addition to monetary losses.

A clear new global trend seems to have emerged, shifting the long-standing paradigm of the investment world. Essentially, this is a radical shift in focus – from creating value for shareholders, which only includes economic characteristics, to creating value for stakeholders.

In this regard, China is ahead of other countries, demonstrating a high level of responsiveness and ability to follow the rhetoric. The recent announcement that two of China’s urban centers, Beijing and Chongqing, have been approved to launch pilot green finance zones is in the right direction, as this new sector plays a key role in mobilizing and channeling investments in China’s low-carbon economic transition.

Green finance reform test zones represent further confirmation of China’s comprehensive strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions over the next four decades to meet the carbon neutrality pledge made by President Xi Jinping at the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly.

The launch of the two new pilots offers the opportunity not only to test the degree of integration in small geographic areas between local authorities and financial institutions, but also to validate the level of openness of the territories to the implementation of a major national goal.

Beijing’s pilot green financial reform zone is thus well placed to make the city an international center for green finance and an example of cross-border cooperation with countries that attach great importance to the principles of respect for the environment and sustainability. in their infrastructure projects. / Getty

Beijing’s pilot green financial reform zone is thus well placed to make the city an international center for green finance and an example of cross-border cooperation with countries that attach great importance to the principles of respect for the environment and sustainability. in their infrastructure projects. / Getty

This decision can also be interpreted as part of the government’s efforts to create a stronger green financial system whose experience, gained through targeted policies and innovations at the local level, can then be extended to the national level. Beijing and Chongqing will pioneer green finance principles and their best practices would be adopted elsewhere in China.

This kind of lawsuit is going to be extremely successful in Beijing given that this is where the central bank, state banks and financial authorities have their headquarters. This allows for a higher level of coordination among participants in the green finance ecosystem.

Beijing’s pilot green financial reform zone is thus well placed to make the city an international center for green finance and an example of cross-border cooperation with countries that attach great importance to the principles of respect for the environment and sustainability. in their infrastructure projects.

The decision to choose Chongqing as the country’s first carbon-neutral provincial economy can be seen as recognition of recent efforts by the municipality, China’s most densely populated, to explore reforms and innovations through deep integration of green finance. and the surrounding industries. Chongqing’s announced plan to build a green finance avenue in its downtown area shows how it is embracing the green transition.

A study published by Tsinghua University last year estimated that China would need to invest more than $ 20 trillion by 2050 in the energy system alone to become carbon-free by 2060. To achieve a As an ambitious objective, coordinated and targeted development policies are necessary; above all, it requires the undisputed support of each stakeholder.

While the recent announcement to improve the performance of green finance is concrete evidence of strong alignment with a common goal, and while public sector contribution is a necessary starting point, the role of the private sector will continue. being essential in redefining the nature of doing business, and also, in helping to make this tectonic transition from a business environment that exploited nature to a completely different environment that preserves it.

Ultimately, the future outcome of China’s attempt to raise the bar on green finance and become a global leader in green finance will depend on its ability to create a well-thought-out incentive system for financial institutions. to invest in green finance.

(If you would like to contribute and have specific expertise, please contact us at opinions@cgtn.com.)

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portfolio strategy: Manish Kumar’s advice on asset allocation for long-term investors

For most investors who invest in stocks directly or through institutions like ours, probably two-thirds of stocks and one-third of debt is a good asset allocation, according to Manish kumar, CIO, ICICI prudential life insurance.

How do you analyze the investment landscape – both debt and equity? You’ve managed close to $ 30 billion on both sides of the market. Let’s start with equity.
Let me give you an overview of how we look at the stock markets as well as the investment landscape when it comes to the stock markets. I don’t think I’m going to add value for you by saying they’re at an all time high and there valuations are higher because we all know this cash-driven rally is something we’ve been seeing since Last 15 months, thanks to widespread easing carried out by central bankers around the world. This is how valuations are higher.

However, there are some finer points that I want to highlight here. First, inflation, as we all know, has gone up. While most of us follow the CPI which rises above 6%, the WPI is actually more of an indicator of the inflation that companies are seeing or experiencing which is 12% and we all know that inflation usually leads to higher profits in a high inflation environment. environment. There will be companies that report better numbers and a high WPI is actually a sign of better purchasing power in the hands of companies. In a way, this is how we got the wind in our earnings estimates for the entire corporate sector, led by commodities.

Second, if we look at other avenues of investment, especially term deposits in India, the rates are below 5% compared to the inflation we are seeing. So in a way more and more fixed deposit or fixed income savers are entering the stock markets and this is what we are seeing not only in this country but around the world. This is why we are seeing a constant flow of money entering the stock markets and that is also responsible for keeping these markets at higher valuations.

As a house, we’ve always been a believer in managing your asset allocation with great discipline. This regardless of the view on the markets. This regardless of market levels. We always look at the risk and income profile as well as the age. One should carry a mixture of debt and equity. In this type of environment, stocks look attractive, but what we can’t take away is that stock markets will always remain volatile and it is important to manage and balance this volatility by carrying a small exposure. to debt.

Given the tax paradigm, where equity-focused or pure-equity products are taxed less, I would suggest to most investors who invest in stocks directly or through institutions like us that probably two-thirds of stocks and a third of debt is a good asset allocation.

What’s your take on the macro environment purely in terms of inflation data versus the path of rates? Do you see a case for a bit of tightening in home yields because the pricing power is coming back? Do you think it will be taken positively and in the medium to long term, is the major break in rates over?
Let me throw in a perspective here. Inflation data points not only in India but around the world, including the United States, have been surprisingly negatively, meaning that actual inflation data points are higher than originally expected. or evaluated. However, most central bankers call it a transitory phenomenon. Our belief is that this may be partly transient due to supply bottlenecks, but there is also a structural component and the only reason central bankers have delayed this tightening or reduction is because they wanted an appropriate normalization of their respective economies.

Our belief is that in September we will begin to hear discussions on reduction. In fact, at the Fed’s September meeting, it is likely that they will come up with a phase-out plan that could start from the start of the 2022 calendar. Likewise in India, while the CPI has been surprisingly negatively, we saw a fairly easy position by our central bank and that’s understandable. However, as the signals start to come in from the United States, other countries including India will start to respond in the same way. So is there a case for gradual shrinkage and tightening? The answer is yes. Are we expecting a gradual rise in medium-term interest rates? This answer is still yes.

Much of finance has done nothing in the past six to eight months. Some large oil and technology conglomerates have been restricted. This is a rally on metals and midcaps. Where do you see a margin of safety in this kind of market?
When we look at, say, mid-cap or small-cap versus certain large-cap names or themes, we need to have a time horizon in mind. Over the past six months, mid and small caps have outperformed some of the large caps. But if you go back to last year, some of the names you were probably referring to were extraordinarily successful. They had therefore increased by more than 100% in just a few months.

Typically, a market rally starts with the leaders and some of the larger companies initially, then it is usually followed by mid and small caps and this is how the market width expands. On top of that, for the past month or so, the FIIs have been selling for the past three days. Typically, when FIIs sell, they are selling the holdings where they have maximum weight and these are usually large cap holdings.

On the other hand, national institutions have been buyers and many of them have received money in so-called flexi cap or multi cap funds. So naturally, because of that, there was more strength in mid and small caps. On top of that, a phenomenon that we know and are all aware of is the fact that retail investors have been extremely active in the financial markets and generally tend to trade more in this space as well. This is why we are seeing this kind of behavior where initially large caps have done well and over the last six months mid and small caps have done better.

Coming to where we see a margin of safety, we think there are some large caps where there will be a greater margin of safety, but it won’t just be a function of market capitalization. The overall build of the business, resilience and the ability to generate predictable returns quarter after quarter and year after year will be more important. Some areas like tech and even FMCGs that haven’t been in the rally so much can act as good defenses right now.

What type of asset allocation would you recommend to first-time investors in the 25-35 age bracket with a horizon of more than 10 years and with reasonable investable cash flows?
If the profile of investors is young, then their ability to take risks is high. At the same time, if the person has a 10-year horizon, which is a typical profile for investors who come to institutions like us, then their ability to resist volatility is also high. It is good to carry an equity-focused portfolio, so this is point number one.

Second, we also need to understand that right now valuations are not on our side. It’s on the higher end of the range that we’ve seen historically, so it’s good to balance that exposure with some sort of exposure to debt and that’s why two-thirds of stocks and one-third of debt are a good starting point given that there is a 10-year horizon.

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“We are building a financial system for the next generation of people who have been overlooked by the traditional banking system:” CapWay CEO

CapWay Founder and CEO Sheena Allen joins Yahoo Finance to discuss how CapWay has adapted during the pandemic to help clients become financially healthy to build generational wealth and how the company continues to influence the banking sector.

Video transcript


SIBILE MARCELLUS: Welcome to “A Time for Change”. August is National Black Business Month, and there has been a big push lately to support black-owned businesses. Black Americans make up 14% of the American population, but own only 2.2% of businesses.

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: And CapWay is one of those companies. It’s a fintech company founded by our next guest. And its mission is to educate and serve those long neglected by traditional banks. CapWay founder Sheena Allen is joining us now. And Sheena, it’s great to have you here on the show. I know CapWay was launched about five years ago. It started out as a debit card option for the unbanked. Tell us how the company and its mission have evolved since then.

SHEENA ALLEN: Yeah, so the company I thought about the idea in 2016. The idea came from just going to bigger cities and seeing how they only accepted debit cards and cash. credit card. Then when I got home to Mississippi, where I’m from, people only carry cash. So we did two years of research, which took us to the end of 2019, the end of 2018, the beginning of 2019, where of course we started to build. And sort of go into the neo-banking space. But the pandemic has struck, of course, and we’ve seen all the need, of course, to expand outside of just I need access to a bank account.

And so as a business we’ve seen, hey, this is where we start to not just offer debit cards, how do we deliver education? How do we go into payments? How can we provide things so that people, if they are practically pushed into a cashless economy, what they need to be financially healthy? How to put them on a, not on a sprint, on a marathon to create generational wealth? And so I say that we come from, how can we be a neo-bank or offer debit cards to how can we build a financial system for the next generation for the people who have historically been overlooked by the traditional banking system. .

SIBILE MARCELLUS: Sheena, CapWay operates like a neo-bank. So without traditional physical agencies, without a banking license, without a charter, how can you attract new customers? And how do you get them to trust you with their money?

SHEENA ALLEN: Now the most important thing for us at CapWay, which is, I would say, not only our biggest competitive advantage, but also honestly, I think what people love about us is that we are probably totally opposed. to what you’ll even see from a neo banking or digital banking space, which is still very new. I, as the founder, am usually not what you see when you walk in as a fintech conference or when you see as a no-quote quote, a bank owner or a new bank owner.

Our education, the way we present ourselves, the information we give out, we use things that are much more relevant, more modern things. As we say at CapWay, we don’t market ourselves as your grandmother’s bank account, the way that money was used a long time ago. The times are changing. Their Appearance Changes Gen Z is a whole different breed.

Millennials, where we are now even financially, we are just a whole different space. So I think what makes people trust, what makes people love us, why people even want to try us, even though there are many options, is that we offer something different not only from the platform point of view, but from the building point of view, from the point of view of culture. We are just very different.

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: Sheena, I want to talk about your personal journey for a minute. How did it go for you as a black female entrepreneur? We talk a lot on the show about how only a fraction of the venture capital funding goes to businesses run by women, let alone women of color. So how did you find the seed money for this business? What if you could share with us who some of your investors are.

SHEENA ALLEN: Yes. Very early on this is my second business so a lot of my first fundraising which people call family and friends but for me I call it my angel and my friends came from people I met in my previous company who invested early. So like Arlan Hamilton, Backstage Capital, for example. But then as we evolve, as we grow, of course, we end up finding people who, in part, believed in what we were doing.

Second, it wasn’t just about saying it for PR, they really want to invest and help women of color, people of color. And so some of these investors that we have now, they’re going from Initialized Capital, SoftBank. SoftBank Opportunity Fund is one of our investors who has helped us tremendously. I mean, they’re one of those investors who, they don’t like micromanaging, but they call, what do you need, how can we help you. So we were fortunate to have investors like SoftBank who, again, it’s not just lip service, it’s not for public relations. They really invested not only their money, but also their time and resources.

SIBILE MARCELLUS: Sheena, you said you saw friends and family become victims of predatory practices. Can you give us an idea of ​​what happened?

SHEENA ALLEN: So I grew up in a small town, Terry, Mississippi. And Terry is a place that only had one bank, and it was a local bank that not many people used. Mississippi actually has the largest per capita population of unbanked and underbanked residents. And it was no different for the people in my community. It was no different for my family and friends. I had the great-grandmother who kept her money at home. I had the sisters, the uncles, who were not banked. I drove my grandmother to a check-cashing place, to a securities lending place.

So it wasn’t something for me that when I talk about this area, it’s not that I started CapWay because I saw an opportunity like, oh that’s a way to make money. ‘money. It was also personal. It was again, I was the one taking my grandmother to a check-cashing place. It was about seeing family members, friends who weren’t banked and had to rely on predatory services to keep their lights on.

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: Sheena Allen, we’re going to have to leave it there, but thank you for joining us today and telling us about your business, CapWay.

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Majority of Black Americans See Systemic Bias in Financial System: RPT

Lisa Osborne Ross, CEO of Edelman in the United States, joins Yahoo Finance to analyze the findings of the 2021 special report of the Edelman Trust Barometer revealing a systemic bias in the financial system and the impacts of financial inequalities caused by racism .

Video transcript

KRISTIN MYERS: A new report from Edelman, which has yet to be released, shows the lack of trust between financial service providers and communities of color. We have Lisa Osborne Ross, CEO of Edelman USA, here to give us an advanced look at the results. So Lisa, I hope you can do some directing here for us. How is the relationship, or how would you define the current relationship between communities of color and that of financial service providers?

LISA OSBORNE ROSS: Because I am an optimist, I will say it could be better. There are systemic issues that communities of color have historically addressed with the financial industry. Our research indicates that a lot of the things we’ve seen historically – skewed processing, unwanted environments, excessive surveillance, et cetera – continue. However, there are a few bright spots, and the ability to fix things is much better.

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: I want to dig into this report before I talk about how to fix things, just to highlight some of the findings here. You say communities of color have reported systemic bias regardless of their personal financial situation, which means that even if someone had a high income, their experience was sometimes even more negative. Can you tell us about it?

LISA OSBORNE ROSS: Yeah, you know, that was, for me, one of the most intriguing discoveries. And the main conclusions, again, were, on the one hand, the existence of a bias. Black Americans, API, Latinx as a whole said they had experienced biases in all sectors. The bias was with mortgages, with bank insurance, auto insurance, credit cards, et cetera. The second key finding is the one you just spoke about, regardless of income, that the level of prejudice and the level of discrimination persist and in some cases are even higher.

I think this one is particularly interesting because the last time I was on your show, we published our data that talked about the racism of people or institutions? And respondents said it’s really more people. And I think this research indicates that’s not actually true.

We always talk about the difference – people say, Lisa, is it class or is it race? This is the race. Because we have people in the higher income brackets, people making over $ 100,000 and people making a million dollars a year, and they face the same systemic biases as low income people. . So it doesn’t matter whether you make any money or not, you’re still considered a person of color and then a series of assumptions are made about you no matter what.

KRISTIN MYERS: So what is the impact of this racism? As you mentioned, it’s not class, it’s race. What is ultimately the ultimate result of this racism?

LISA OSBORNE ROSS: It’s disgusting, in fact, and it’s disheartening. But again I’m optimistic so I think it can be better. The impact is that, first of all, we are not using all the resources that we might have. Communities of color make money. We are entrepreneurs. There is a story of that – we are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa race riots.

The first female millionaire was a black woman, Madame CJ Walker. And so what you do is eliminate and discourage people from putting their money into the system, because in the absence of fair treatment – people use payday loans, they use payday lenders. pledges, they put money in their own homes. And the other impact – and it was acute within the Latinx community – is the impact on mental health.

People from all walks of life in all of these categories – Latin, API, African American – said the impact is palpable. It doesn’t make them feel good. This makes them insecure. And the Latinx community, 59% said, I’m uncomfortable even talking about money. It’s never good. Another 52% said, not only am I uncomfortable talking about money, but it affects my mental health. It makes me sick.

When I think about it, I think about the way I am treated, the way I am discriminated against, and the lack of opportunities I have because of this prejudice. So it harms our systems, it harms our institutions and it harms people.

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: So, in the time that we have left, just tell us about some key things that companies in the financial services industry can start doing today to start making things happen here.

LISA OSBORNE ROSS: I won’t say they are easy, but I will definitely say they are doable. First, create representation in your workforce. Second, consider bias mitigation training. Some prejudices are real, but some prejudices I will accept that people really don’t know they are doing it. So look at how you can train people to spot bias, prevent bias, and make sure there is repercussion when there is bias.

Third, reassess risk assessments. One of the first questions you asked was, is it worse among communities of color that have higher incomes? Absoutely. So look at the types of questions you ask. How do you rate the risk and how do you rate the commitment? And look and see if there’s a bias there.

And then the last: create inclusive and welcoming environments. The volume of communities of color saying when they interact with financial institutions, they’re talking about banks in particular – things like not being greeted when you walk in the door, being treated differently. When you have a welcoming environment, people feel better about giving their money to you and working with you to make their money grow, which is good for them and good for us as a nation.

KRISTIN MYERS: All right, we’re going to have to leave it there. Lisa Osborne Ross, CEO of Edelman USA, thank you very much for joining us today.

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Make net zero essential by greening the financial system

The strategic interplay of economy, technology and finance has the potential to address many of the world’s most pressing challenges, including the greatest existential threat of all: climate change. With levels of carbon dioxide in the environment at their highest level in four million years, an urgent global campaign has begun in recent years to get countries to pledge to become net zero by 2050.

It is perhaps not surprising that opinions on this issue are divided, and some believe that global carbon neutrality is the only way to keep the global temperature under control in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement. Meanwhile, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has warned that failing to invest in renewables, batteries and modernization of power grids could have a huge negative impact, amounting to tens of billions of dollars in global economies in the decades to come. In this bleak context, the growing trend of investments related to climate change mitigation is a positive and most welcome sign.

Switching from fossil fuels

Some of the world’s biggest companies and investors are setting aside huge sums of money to enable a radical shift away from fossil fuels.

According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, global investments in electric vehicles (EVs) and renewable energy technologies as well as other green projects topped $ 520 billion in 2020. Governments in many countries are increasing spending to solve the problems. environmental issues and institute new carbon regulations. emissions.

Meanwhile, many central banks include climate change policies in their mandates. This is quite understandable as the economic impact of the devastation caused by climate change-related calamities such as sea level rise, forest fires and storms can easily spur inflation. Banks are therefore trying to help mitigate climate change by avoiding fossil fuels as much as possible.

Some members of the Network of Central Banks and Supervisors for Greening the Financial System (NGFS) are adjusting their policies based on climate considerations. Some of the measures they have adopted include the introduction of higher capital requirements for lending to fossil fuel companies and stress tests of banks that assess the risk of rising temperatures of loan portfolios.

In March 2021, the group suggested that central banks consider charging higher interest rates to lenders who pledge carbon-intensive assets as collateral.

The interaction of regulations and markets helps stimulate technological innovation, particularly in the areas of clean energy and sustainable mobility. A combination of battery technologies and renewable energy solutions is disrupting the natural gas industry today, just as natural gas has disrupted the fossil fuel industry in the past. Batteries are associated with solar and wind farms, and as technology costs drop and batteries become more affordable, the market for these combinations is expected to experience strong growth.

The cost competitiveness of renewable energies is prompting more and more companies to voluntarily reduce their carbon emissions by investing in wind and solar energy, a trend fostered by regulations aimed at combating climate change.

Focus on green finance

Amid these developments, green finance is finally receiving the attention, if not the momentum, it badly needs and rightly deserves. The surge in valuations of companies manufacturing electric vehicles and batteries encourages investment in the automotive and renewable energy sectors.

Today, mutual fund managers expect companies to take concrete action to mitigate climate change, to care not only about profits, but also people and the planet. Large investment firms and advisers are now more favorably inclined to support ESG (environment, social and governance) shareholder proposals than at any time in the past.

In the years to come, climate-related corporate strategies will increasingly come under scrutiny not only by regulators and law enforcement officials, but also by shareholders, business partners and customers. If businesses and nations are to successfully overcome the challenges of the looming climate crisis, they must equally focus on several aspects at the same time: sustainability, health and well-being, resilience and equity.

Green finance will strengthen all of these pillars and accelerate the necessary transition to net zero – and one day, net positive. Integrating green finance and the de facto standard for finance is one of the immediate steps we need to take not only to mitigate the damage already caused by the climate crisis, but also to lay a foundation that leads to a regenerative future. and resilient for all.

For this to become a reality, we know that the pace of green investments must accelerate and that a significant percentage of investments must be aimed at solving long-standing or anticipated issues that could hamper project execution and end goals. .

The International Energy Agency (IEA) recently said that global investments in energy projects – especially renewables and green projects – must more than double from their current level by 2030 for the world meets its goal of net zero emissions by the middle of this century. Wood Mackenzie, a Verisk Analytics company that provides business intelligence for the global natural resources industry, has estimated that investments in the order of $ 50 trillion will be needed to meet the Paris Agreement goals of by 2050.

India can lead the way

India is currently the world’s third largest emitter of greenhouse gases. And although it has not made a commitment to meet net zero targets, India is on track to meet – or perhaps exceed – its Paris Agreement targets. Studies indicate that India is the only G-20 country whose climate actions are aligned with the goal of preventing global temperatures from rising above 2 ° C. It is definitely something to celebrate and be proud of. However, where we need to accelerate quickly is in the adoption of green finance where India has considerable leeway to grow and show leadership.

India has always seized the opportunity when it presents itself and now is the time to act. India’s energy and real estate sector is one of the fastest growing in the world and attracts significant investment. Achieving the country’s long-term climate goals will require a commensurate increase in green investments. It is encouraging to see that ESG investments have outperformed others over the past year and that India can take advantage of this positive trend and establish a mechanism for greater openness and transparency.

As India works hard to emerge from Covid-19 and begins to recover from the pandemic, it should focus on both a Covid and green recovery to achieve sustained growth for its economy and the resilience of its environment and of its population. As it has done in many other ways, India has the opportunity to emerge as a leader in the current crisis we are facing. Let’s grab it.

The author is President and CEO, USGBC and GBCI

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Susan Osweiler to join Sammons Financial Group’s financial strategy team

WEST OF THE MONKS, Iowa, July 29, 2021 / PRNewswire / – Susan osweiler joined Sammons Financial Group as Vice President, Financial Strategy. In this new role, Osweiler will support the company’s overall financial strategy in several key areas.

Osweiler will work specifically with the finance and investment teams to develop and implement a reinsurance strategy focused on the competitive positioning of Sammons Financial Group and to maximize capital efficiency, assist in the assessment of merger opportunities and acquisition, and support special projects and initiatives of the corporate services team. .

“I am very happy that Susan is joining our team and I have no doubts that she is a perfect fit for our organization,” said Don Lyon, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Sammons Financial Group. “Susan’s extensive actuarial and financial experience in business and academia positions her well to help us lead our financial strategy efforts. ”

Over the past 20 years, Osweiler has owned and actively managed all operations of a multi-tenant office and retail building in the monks Metropolitan area. Prior to assuming these responsibilities as co-founder of BP Real Estate Group, she held various management positions in finance and corporate actuarial services at Equitable of Iowa Companies and ING.

In addition, Osweiler was a faculty member of Drake University in monks where she was Associate Professor of Actuarial Science Practice and Director of the School of Actuarial Science and Risk Management.

About Sammons® Financial Group, Inc.
Companies Sammons® Financial Group, Inc. helping families and businesses protect their future to enjoy life’s moments today. A subsidiary of Sammons Enterprises, Inc., Sammons Financial Group is privately owned and has some of the most sustainable and stable member companies in the financial services industry. Our companies include Midland National® Life insurance company (including Sammons® Corporate Markets); North American Life and Health Insurance Company®; Sammons® Institutional Group (including Midland® pension distributors and Sammons Retirement Solutions®) and Beacon capital management, Inc. Together, we offer today’s most sought-after life insurance, annuity and retirement planning products. Sammons Financial Group: With you every moment®.

SOURCE Sammons Financial Group, Inc.

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