long term – Bellow In Gark http://bellowingark.org/ Tue, 29 Mar 2022 02:11:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://bellowingark.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/default1.png long term – Bellow In Gark http://bellowingark.org/ 32 32 Schoharie County seeks to turn former jail into commercial site – The Daily Gazette https://bellowingark.org/schoharie-county-seeks-to-turn-former-jail-into-commercial-site-the-daily-gazette/ Sat, 19 Mar 2022 23:58:00 +0000 https://bellowingark.org/schoharie-county-seeks-to-turn-former-jail-into-commercial-site-the-daily-gazette/ SCHOHARIE — For sale or for rent: a prison complex damaged by flooding. The seller is motivated, but the potential buyer must present a vision, not just money. Schoharie County is seeking proposals for its former public safety complex in the village of Schoharie, 127 months after Tropical Storm Irene triggered epic flooding that rendered […]]]>

SCHOHARIE — For sale or for rent: a prison complex damaged by flooding. The seller is motivated, but the potential buyer must present a vision, not just money.

Schoharie County is seeking proposals for its former public safety complex in the village of Schoharie, 127 months after Tropical Storm Irene triggered epic flooding that rendered much of the facility unusable.

The buyer and/or occupants will need to make repairs and may also want to take precautionary measures to limit damage in the event of future flooding. But the property has potential — the buildings are only 30 years old, total 80,000 square feet, and span 6.7 acres.

“They did some cleanup after the floods,” said Julie Pacatte, executive director of Schoharie Economic Enterprise Corp., which is leading the marketing effort.

“Part of the ground floor of the two-story administrative office building is essentially gutted. The upper floor is in very good condition. It’s as if people were working there yesterday.

The prison itself is a masonry block building and has withstood flooding.

SEEC earlier this month released a request for proposals for the site. There is no specified asking price, and Pacatte itself does not know what minimum price the county would accept. There is also no required format or use for the revitalized building.

Mixed-use sounds ideal, she says, but what the county, village and SEEC fundamentally want is job creation and boosting the area’s economy.

The criteria for selecting the winning proposal(s) in random order are the price offered by the bidder; short- and long-term vision for good; ability to foster economic growth in the county; and the financial capacity to achieve all of this.


Schoharie County is officially part of the five-county Albany-Schenectady-Troy Metropolitan Statistical Area. While many of its commuters work in the four major Capital Region counties that make up the rest of MSA, Schoharie County is very different from them — sparsely populated and heavily rural.

For other purposes, Schoharie County is grouped into the Mohawk Valley or southern portion, although it is well removed from both the Mohawk River and the southern state border.

Schoharie County is even the most northeastern county covered by the Appalachian Regional Commission.

The sunny way to look at all of this is that Schoharie County can use neighboring economies as a springboard for its own economic development.

According to SEEC, business or technology tenants would be ideal for integrating into the economies of surrounding areas such as Tech Valley in the Capital Region.

“We’re just 26 minutes from the Capital Region clusters,” Pacatte said.

For these reasons, the facility at 157 Depot Lane is marketed as STEAM 157, said Pacatte – Science Technology Engineering Agriculture & Math.

It remains to be seen how this fits into a vacant former prison and office building with two acres of compartmentalized floor space.

Pacatte said anti-flood valves, pumps, mechanical systems placed on the second floor and other architectural measures could reduce the threat from the Schoharie stream, which flows just 100 meters away, usually placid but sometimes a swollen torrent.

The prison itself has extensive plumbing, with toilet and sink connections in every cell, Pacatte said. The cells themselves could be removed, or they could be kept and used as lockers for something like independent regional food processing for the heavily agricultural region, she added. There is also an amazing two story mezzanine with natural light which would be an ideal common area.

Early inquiries appear to be leaning towards renting rather than buying, Pacatte said.

There are a few constraints. By accepting federal disaster relief funds to build a new public safety facility on higher ground in Howes Cave, the county rendered itself ineligible to reuse the site, Pacatte said. But private sector investors could.

The county is prepared to provide rental or sale incentives based on quantifiable community benefits for investment and job creation at the site.


SEEC is a non-profit economic development entity created in 2019 by the private sector. The department is one of its closest partners but it is independent.

Pacatte said SEEC’s efforts have continued during the pandemic, but the economy has proven resilient.

“The small business community is amazing,” she said. “Our villages really have a grassroots effort on the main street.”

With people staying closer to home during the pandemic and e-commerce sales being taxed where they live, sales tax revenue has risen sharply. State data shows a year-over-year increase of 5% in 2020 and 17% in 2021, with some of the latter likely due to inflation.

Other state and federal data are mixed:

Schoharie County unemployment in December was 2.9%, the lowest in a third of a century. The November and January unemployment rates were the lowest in 33 years for those months.

Schoharie County lost a higher percentage of its population (9.3%) than any other New York state between the 2010 and 2020 censuses, in part likely due to the departure of Irene’s victims.

Median household income is significantly lower in Schoharie County than neighboring Albany County, but significantly higher than neighboring Montgomery County.

A lower percentage of Schoharie County’s working-age population is employed than in Albany and Montgomery counties and those who work average longer commute times.

Occupancy tax revenue was the highest on record in 2021, Pacatte said, “and our real estate transactions were off the charts, especially in the southern part of the county.”


Looking ahead, SEEC currently has three main focuses, Pacatte said: Main Street development, industrial recruitment and the expansion of high-speed internet access.

Main village streets throughout the county have their charm and have people working to promote them.

Through stimulus funding and the advice of a consultant, SEEC has identified key elements of the Mohawk Valley and Capital Region economies, unmet needs in these economies, and ways the county de Schoharie could try to fill these gaps.

MIDTEL has extended high-speed internet to large swaths of the county, Pacatte said, but “we definitely have gaps.”

SEEC has looked at how other communities across the country have overcome the so-called digital divide that limits prospects for remote work and economic development, she said, and it continues to make efforts at home. .

The county announced $250,000 in funding to help businesses adopt digital platforms and within five days, three dozen apps totaled more than the total pot available. The county is now considering additional funding for this purpose.

The most recent effort was launched last week: a request for proposals to install a $100,000 public Wi-Fi hub on Main Street in the village of Schoharie, a two-minute walk from the old county jail.

Those wishing to submit proposals for the former Schoharie County Public Safety Complex must participate in a guided tour on April 1 or April 19.

The deadline for proposals is April 29. The selection will be made on June 17.

More from The Daily Gazette:

Categories: Business, News

Many women invest and save for retirement in their early 20s, study finds https://bellowingark.org/many-women-invest-and-save-for-retirement-in-their-early-20s-study-finds/ Sat, 19 Mar 2022 10:00:26 +0000 https://bellowingark.org/many-women-invest-and-save-for-retirement-in-their-early-20s-study-finds/ Image source: Getty Images Young women prioritize investment and retirement savings goals. Key points A recent study found that women are investing and saving for retirement in their early twenties. Take a look at the financial decisions young women are making to prioritize their goals and prepare for the future. Young women prioritize investing and […]]]>

Image source: Getty Images

Young women prioritize investment and retirement savings goals.

Key points

  • A recent study found that women are investing and saving for retirement in their early twenties.
  • Take a look at the financial decisions young women are making to prioritize their goals and prepare for the future.

Young women prioritize investing and saving for retirement. Despite the struggles of the pandemic and other life challenges, young women are taking steps to prepare financially for the future. A recent Fidelity survey found that young women between the ages of 18 and 35 are investing and saving for retirement in their early 20s. Keep reading to learn more about the important financial decisions women make.

Women seek financial independence

March is Women’s History Month, and it’s a great time to recognize women’s accomplishments and the accomplishments they continue to make, including celebrating financial gains. Young women are taking control of their finances and prioritizing financial independence.

Fidelity’s 2022 Money Moves study looked at the financial decisions adults make. More than 2,000 adults aged 18 and over were interviewed. This survey defines young women as between the ages of 18 and 35, while older women are over 36.

The study revealed that 57% of all women are motivated to invest their money for financial independence. The data also shows that young women start investing and saving for retirement in their early adult years.

Young women focus on their financial goals

Here are some of the more notable stats:

  • On average, young women opened a brokerage account at age 21
  • On average, young women opened a retirement account at age 20
  • Half of young women surveyed started investing in the last six months or plan to do so in the next six months
  • 37% of young women have created or updated a financial plan in the past six months

These data show that many young women have already started investing and saving for their retirement or plan to do so soon.

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It’s exciting that the next generation is taking advantage of the growing financial education resources and embracing their financial goals.

Women continue to face setbacks

As women save for the future, many women (young and old) face barriers that prevent them from investing more of their money.

Here are some notable findings from the Money Moves 2022 study:

  • 26% of all women surveyed haven’t invested more because they can’t afford it
  • 20% of all women surveyed do not invest more because of risk

Women are paid less than men

It’s no surprise that many women can’t afford to invest as much money as they want.

The pay gap between men and women is real.

The Institute for Women’s Policy Research studied the gender pay gap and found that in 2021, women only earned 83.1% of what men earned when looking at the median weekly earnings of full-time workers .

The pay gap is even worse for women of color.

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In 2021, Hispanic women earned 58.4% of what white men earned for full-time work. Black women earned 63.1% of what white men earned for full-time work.

More progress needs to be made. Hopefully these pay gap statistics change for the better and more women start getting the pay they deserve.

Equal pay would allow more women to prioritize their financial goals.

It’s not too late to start investing

If you’re a woman who wants to learn more about investing and financial planning, we have plenty of personal finance resources that you may find helpful.

If you’re hoping to start investing soon, check out our list of the best stockbrokers for inspiration. If you need advice on choosing a retirement account, this article discusses the pros and cons of Roth IRAs and traditional IRAs.

You can make a big difference and have a significant impact on your financial well-being by taking small steps now.

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Troika Media Group subsidiary Troika IO integrates with global fintech company Circle to simplify digital payments for NFTs https://bellowingark.org/troika-media-group-subsidiary-troika-io-integrates-with-global-fintech-company-circle-to-simplify-digital-payments-for-nfts/ Wed, 16 Mar 2022 14:00:00 +0000 https://bellowingark.org/troika-media-group-subsidiary-troika-io-integrates-with-global-fintech-company-circle-to-simplify-digital-payments-for-nfts/ Troika Media Group Troika IO’s Redeeem Introduces New Features for Its Digital Marketplace and Non-Fungible Token (NFT) API Services Through Integration with Circle Los Angeles, Calif., March 16, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — via NewMediaWire — Troika Media Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: TRKA) (“TMG” or “Company”), a brand consulting and marketing innovation firm that provides integrated branding […]]]>

Troika Media Group

Troika IO’s Redeeem Introduces New Features for Its Digital Marketplace and Non-Fungible Token (NFT) API Services Through Integration with Circle

Los Angeles, Calif., March 16, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — via NewMediaWire — Troika Media Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: TRKA) (“TMG” or “Company”), a brand consulting and marketing innovation firm that provides integrated branding and marketing solutions for global brands, announced that its subsidiary, Troika IO, has become part of Circle Internet Financial, LLC, a global financial technology company that provides payments and financial infrastructure over the Internet to businesses of all sizes. The integration provides a seamless and reliable payment infrastructure for TMG-branded customers and improves the customer shopping experience for NFT consumers in the metaverse.

Troika IO is committed to driving the growth of Web3 by providing powerful APIs and blockchain infrastructure that enable brands and creators to quickly, securely, and easily enter the metaverse with apps, games, places market and trade.

Redeeem by Troika IO, the digital marketplace for NFTs, offers gas-free minting services, excellent customer support, and developer-friendly APIs to power the next generation of apps, NFTs, and contracts intelligence on the Stacks blockchain, secured by Bitcoin. Redeeem also offers integrations with Ethereum, Polygon, and Flow blockchains.

Integration with Circle’s payment solutions will enable Troika IO’s client brands to create a seamless and fully automated journey for consumers to purchase NFTs with debit and credit cards, ACH bank transfers and electronic transfers . This will allow Troika IO and Redeeem to offer additional payment options, higher trading limits, near instant settlement times, reduced operational overhead, better compliance monitoring and improved user experience for consumers. NFT.

In addition to Circle, Troika IO plans to integrate with Plaid, a data network that works with thousands of fintech companies, many of the Fortune 500s, and many of the biggest banks to allow people to easily connect their financial accounts. to apps. and the services they want to use. Plaid’s network covers 12,000 financial institutions in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Europe. Tens of millions of people in North America have successfully connected their financial institutions to apps using Plaid.

Troika IO believes that buying digital goods should be as easy as buying any consumer item on the internet. With Circle and Plaid integrations, Troika IO’s Redeeem marketplace and its API services will make buying and selling NFTs safer and more accessible to a wider and more diverse audience and enable the underlying technology of NFTs to going beyond art and collectibles into many other areas such as sports, ticketing, gaming, luxury goods and real estate.

“As we move into a more regulated environment, we welcome the support of leading crypto institutions such as Circle, which will power our NFT Marketplace, Wallet APIs and other blockchain services, and open up a world of possibilities. for Troika-branded customers in the metaverse Our strategic integrations with Circle’s payments and payments infrastructure will help us reach new customers faster, scale our technology more efficiently, and create greater financial inclusion worldwide,” said Kyle Hill, President and Head of Digital Assets at Troika IO.

About Troika Media Group
Troika Media Group is an end-to-end brand solutions company that creates short- and long-term value for global brands in entertainment, sports and consumer products. By applying emerging technologies, data science, and world-class creativity, TMG helps brands deepen engagement with audiences and fans throughout the consumer journey and build brand value. Clients include Apple, Hulu, Riot Games, Belvedere Vodka, Unilever, UFC, Peloton, CNN, HBO, ESPN, Wynn Resorts and Casinos, Tiffany & Co., IMAX, Netflix, Sony, Yahoo, and Coca-Cola. For more information, visit www.thetmgrp.com

About Troika OI
Troika IO is a crypto consultancy that demystifies the often complicated world of NFTs and the metaverse of global brands. An end-to-end crypto solution, Troika IO designs and builds NFTs, owns and operates the NFT Redeeem Marketplace, and builds passionate NFT communities for consumer brands and entertainment properties. Troika Labs is part of the Troika Group (Nasdaq: TRKA). For more information, please visit https://troika.io/

Forward-looking statements
Certain statements in this press release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements that reflect management’s current expectations, assumptions and estimates regarding future performance and economic conditions, and involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated by the statements made herein. Forward-looking statements are generally identifiable by the use of forward-looking terms such as “believes”, “expects”, “may”, “hopes”, “will”, “should”, “plans”, “has intent to”, “provided”, “target”, “see”, “potential”, “estimates”, “preliminary” or “anticipate” or the negative thereof or comparable terminology, or through a discussion of the strategy or objectives or other future events or circumstances, or effects. Additionally, forward-looking statements contained in this release include, but are not limited to, the impact of the current COVID-19 pandemic, which may limit access to facilities, customers, management, personnel of support and professional advisors to the Company, and to develop and provide advanced voice and data communications systems, the demand for the Company’s products and services, economic conditions in the United States and around the world, and the ability to the Company to recruit and retain management, technical and sales personnel. Further information regarding factors that could affect the Company’s results and forward-looking statements is disclosed in the Company’s filings with the SEC. The forward-looking statements contained in this press release are made as of the date of this press release, and the Company disclaims any intention or obligation, other than required by law, to update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether either as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.


Troika Media Group
Kevin Aratari

Investor Relations
TraDigital IR
Kevin McGrath

The challenge of taming technology to work our way https://bellowingark.org/the-challenge-of-taming-technology-to-work-our-way/ Sat, 12 Mar 2022 08:12:04 +0000 https://bellowingark.org/the-challenge-of-taming-technology-to-work-our-way/ The innovative power of technology could ostensibly galvanize the dynamism of the economy. The advent of the fourth industrial revolution in the 21st century marked the beginning of the digital world with the universalization of digital intensity and the diffusion of the Internet of Things (IOT). Big data, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and […]]]>

The innovative power of technology could ostensibly galvanize the dynamism of the economy. The advent of the fourth industrial revolution in the 21st century marked the beginning of the digital world with the universalization of digital intensity and the diffusion of the Internet of Things (IOT). Big data, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and robotics tools have led to digital data size galloping from exabytes to zettabytes, making the technology both a catalyst and an operational risk if it is not properly channeled.

The biggest threat in the use of technology is cybersecurity and gullible innocent customers are easily influenced and tricked into sharing their credentials. Recently, RBI released a booklet – “Be(A)ware” illustrating the modus operandi of how digital fraud is perpetrated and how to protect against it.

Additionally, Industry 4.0 potentially enables the use of real-time data, greater interconnectivity that has radically changed the way businesses operate by integrating physical production and operations with advanced digital technology to create an exceptionally connected ecosystem and holistic with smart efficiency.

In short, the transition of the global phases of the business environment is interesting. The release of Industrial Revolution 1.0 (1780s) marking the use of steam power, 2.0 (1870s) ushering in automation and assembly line principles in manufacturing, 3.0 (1960s) with the entry of the he electronics and 4.0 (2000s) with the appearance of digital technology and the communication network mark the milestones in the evolution of our way of living, working and functioning.

More importantly, India is clearly banking on the demographic dividend. It has one of the youngest populations (62.5% of its population is in the 15-59 age group) in an aging world and when seen with the spread and rapid adoption of the English language , embracing the digital industrial revolution 4.0 has been elevated to gain global leadership in the innovative nuances of large-scale information technology application and exploitation. The growing number of unicorns, start-ups and service sector dominance echoes the technology collaborations and synergy of sharing testifying to India’s strength in unlocking technological potential.

1. Technology in the financial sector:

While Industry 4.0 has driven a universal capability upgrade, it is clearly visible in the financial sector where interoperability, speed, access and diversity of products and services have revolutionized the digital world.

Technology in action could be seen in banks, non-banks including fintech, neo-banks enchanting new era customers to adopt them to enhance their lifestyle. Apart from virtual banks, open banking – open banking data is entering India, where consumer banking and transaction data could be shared with the third party with the consent of the customers for greater collaborative use. The success of SBI’s YONO is further evidence that customers are going digital in exchange for fast access to services. Another strong digital manifestation is Kotak Mahindra Banks – 811.

The popularity of digital wallets such as Google Pay, Paytm, PhonePe and MobiKwik etc. in carrying out digital micro-transactions is a sign of technology penetration with the help of UPI innovated by NPCI. The recent launch of RBI’s UPI123Pay facility for feature phones to work without an internet connection is another milestone in building supply-side financial services. With every innovation in the digital banking space, the density of reliance on technology and the financial system are exposed to increasing associated operational risks.

In this technological environment, public sector banks struggling with economies of scale are unable to unleash technology at scale to pass low costs on to consumers so far, while new generation are looking for improved efficiency and not necessarily costs. Young new age customers are the segment sensitive to speed and access services. Improving advanced technology as it could replace the human component in traditional banks can improve operational efficiency by adapting to the new range of service providers. Optimization of technology by financial intermediaries to work in their own way can potentially reduce consumer costs provided it is able to add the desired synergy.

2. Bain & Co study:

It’s no surprise, then, that Bain & Co’s survey using its proprietary tool – Net Promoter Score Prism revealed that 56% of bank customers are willing to switch savings accounts, 59% for credit cards , 63% for car loans and 69% percent for personal loans from their existing banks to better service providers – fintech, neo-banks, among others. In contrast, 20-30% of respondents from the UK and 10-20% from the US expressed interest in migrating.

When we interpret this data from the demographic model, more bank consumers belong to a lower age group in India compared to these countries. By nature, Gen-y and Gen-z – the predominant consumer segment of banks are seduced by fast and mobile access to financial services via digital mode and their numbers are large and growing. The new generation segment of young customers is tech-savvy and tends to switch entities, but in the long run, the sustainability and ability of financial entities’ risk management strategies to protect consumer interests will play a role. differentiated. The long-term sustainable players in the financial sector will be those entities able to tame technology to their advantage by managing its upside risks.

3. The way forward:

The increased use of technology by financial entities while providing diverse, fast and efficient services to customers has recently begun to show early warning signs of growing operational risks. Regulators impose restrictions and sanction laxity in operational risk management. If they are not controlled in time, the risks can take on greater proportions, threatening the stability and soundness of financial entities. The recent example is RBI’s regulatory embargo on Paytm Payments Bank which requires that no new customers can be onboarded. Already in the throes of the Paytm IPO crisis, Paytm Payments Bank is facing restrictions for the third time reflecting recurring weaknesses in risk management. The bank has also been instructed to appoint an IT audit firm to carry out a comprehensive audit of its IT system. Similarly, in December 2020, the regulator banned HDFC Bank from launching new digital products or services and issuing new credit cards until the lender resolved the recurring technical issues.

Restrictions on the issuance of credit cards were lifted in August 2021. With the increased use of technology in the provision of financial services, entities are exposed to operational risks. Little knowledge is disseminated so far in the management of the operating room. Line management personnel are not sufficiently equipped with the skill sets to manage IT risks. Financial entities and regulators must work together to harness technology to their advantage and not allow it to spoil growth prospects. Technology is an enabler and can also be a risk in itself, if not managed well.



The opinions expressed above are those of the author.


Key payment lessons for APAC https://bellowingark.org/key-payment-lessons-for-apac/ Mon, 07 Mar 2022 09:25:00 +0000 https://bellowingark.org/key-payment-lessons-for-apac/ Payment trends in Asia Pacific are changing at an exponential rate. Terry Palaiologosdirector of operations at PCBs APACdescribes how consumer expectations drive banks and financial institutions to deliver new opportunities and address challenges with the help of fintechs This is a very exciting time for payments in Asia Pacific as the region is at the […]]]>
Payment trends in Asia Pacific are changing at an exponential rate. Terry Palaiologosdirector of operations at PCBs APACdescribes how consumer expectations drive banks and financial institutions to deliver new opportunities and address challenges with the help of fintechs

This is a very exciting time for payments in Asia Pacific as the region is at the forefront of the race towards a cashless world. Every country in the region has consumers who have adapted to a certain way of buying and making payments. Organizations that successfully identify and implement these preferences are destined for long-term growth. The deep penetration of mobile devices has driven consumers away from traditional modes of commerce, creating trends such as digital wallets and QR payments to keep moving forward.

Source: BPC Guide to Digital Banking in Asia

While banks and other financial institutions work simultaneously to deliver the best to their customers, what is certain is that the digital transformation of payments is an open-ended process. Among the many trends that will arise, here is what we can definitely expect:

  1. Super darling apps: The rise of tech giants has changed the way consumers like to receive their financial services. The region is seeing a massive migration to “super apps” lifestyle platforms, which provides them with the opportunity to have access to multiple products under one roof. Apart from shopping, it also allows them to chat with friends on social media, order food and take out loans. A leading super app such as WeBank, for example, currently serves over 200 million users, just five years after its launch. Alibaba’s MYBank is also in the running, with 20 million SME customers.

  2. The cryptocurrency boom: As mobile adoption and cryptocurrencies become more widespread in the region, many Asian countries are creating their own central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). China’s digital yuan is already exchanged for cash at more than 3,000 ATMs across the country, while Vietnamese citizens use cryptocurrencies for payments and rank second in the world in the use of crypto. The Bank of Thailand is also ready to start testing its digital baht after listing the services of Giesecke & Devrient. Additionally, while Singapore may not have disclosed an official go-live time for its digital currencies, the Central Bank has been gathering suggestions from financial institutions, fintech companies, and other industry players. the ecosystem.

  3. Payments by QR code and electronic wallets: In Asia-Pacific, consumers are very excited about the idea of ​​e-wallets because they are attracted to the concept of being able to make quick payments to merchants. Tech giants such as WeChat Pay, Alipay, PhonePe, Paytm, Go-pay and RuPay are active members who are constantly increasing the trend of e-wallets by introducing new offers. With seamless experiences, QR codes are also handy for making payments, placing orders, and tipping employees. Looking at the opportunity pool, Mastercard has also created QR codes that provide global interoperability.

  4. Credit cards will change forever: As payment trends continue to evolve, older models must progress in order to keep up with the opportunities. Financial institutions continue to shape the future of credit cards by adding rewards and loyalty programs as part of the everyday user experience, adding cash back to something as simple as their grocery store. Various card offerings by issuers will continue as they tap into the most basic needs of a consumer’s life.

  5. Integrated financing: when we talk about speed, convenience and customization – which sums up everything mentioned above – integrated finance cannot be left behind. The rise of integrated finance by non-financial third parties is proof that several players are involved in creating a unique experience for users. A great example of a growing APAC platform is Grab – a company that started as a ride-sharing service and then moved on to food delivery services. Currently, the application provides integrated services such as loans, insurance and investment options.

The road ahead

As customer preferences continue to evolve, financial institutions are constantly looking for the right partner who understands pain points and helps them accelerate this digital transformation journey. Many banks and other financial institutions in APAC are moving to a payment-as-a-service (PaaS) model using API-based platforms. Many experts consider PaaS to be the “end game” for payment services, as its cloud-based capability provides state-of-the-art technology on a pay-as-you-go basis.

Those who have understood the path ahead have jumped on the bandwagon and are now delivering personalized experiences to customers. For a rather notable reason, there are currently no dead ends in digital transformation in the Asia-Pacific region.

About Terry Paleologos

Terry Paleologos is BPC’s Chief Operating Officer in APAC and is an experienced technology executive and start-up entrepreneur specializing in mobile commerce and fintech. He is an accomplished payment expert in launching and managing successful multinational divisions and service lines in various stages of development, from start to finish.

About BPC

Created 25 years ago, CPC has transformed over the years to provide innovative and proven, best-in-class solutions that fit today’s consumer lifestyles when banking, shopping or moving in urban areas and rural, connecting real life to digital. With 350 customers in 100 countries around the world, BPC collaborates with all players in the ecosystem, from top-tier banks to neo-banks, payment service providers (PSPs) to large processors, from e-commerce giants to startups. , from government agencies to local hail transport companies.

How Rajeev Jain transforms Bajaj Finance https://bellowingark.org/how-rajeev-jain-transforms-bajaj-finance/ Sat, 05 Mar 2022 17:33:02 +0000 https://bellowingark.org/how-rajeev-jain-transforms-bajaj-finance/ Five months before the emergence of Covid-19, board members of Pune-headquartered Bajaj Finance sat down to give final shape to its five-year strategic plan. It was a routine affair; the atmosphere was sanguine. The consumer finance company had created something of a record by raising $1.2 billion in capital, to fuel its massive growth opportunity. […]]]>

Five months before the emergence of Covid-19, board members of Pune-headquartered Bajaj Finance sat down to give final shape to its five-year strategic plan. It was a routine affair; the atmosphere was sanguine. The consumer finance company had created something of a record by raising $1.2 billion in capital, to fuel its massive growth opportunity. Over the past decade and a half, the company’s revenues, assets under management and earnings have grown at a staggering compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 30%. “Given the rapidly changing landscape, natural evolution has fundamentally forced us to go digital end-to-end,” says Rajeev Jain, Managing Director of the firm Rs 1.81-lakh crore (asset size ).

It didn’t take long for the board to give its approval to create a super one-stop-shop financial services app with an ecosystem of shopping and e-commerce. “The thought process was to be available 24/7 to our over 42.6 million customers, to have two-way engagement, and to give them everything they need when they want it. “, explains Jain, who stimulates a culture of start-ups. Most observers believe that this omnichannel network transformation exercise, which is currently underway, was the result of the pandemic, but it actually started earlier. However, the pandemic sent the plan back to the drawing board for an overhaul. “Nothing can make you think harder than a crisis. This is the learning for us to exploit the new opportunities that emerge in a [Covid-19] crisis situation,” says Jain, 51, who played a key role in transforming a small Bajaj Finance into one of the fastest growing NBFCs in India. The Covid-19 crisis has prompted Jain – and other professional CEOs – to think more deeply and broadly about new digital initiatives in light of changing consumer behavior. But more on that later.

Jain, who typically starts his day at 7 a.m., was instrumental in building the company’s zero-rate consumer durables finance product, now known as Buy Now, Pay More. later”, a great success, so great that it was instantly replicated by competitors, including major banks. In part, the experience and wisdom of two stalwarts – the late Rahul Bajaj and former banker Nanoo Pamnani – helped the business, but it was Jain’s execution skills, which he honed in corporate multinationals like GE, American Express and AIG, which drove the product. strategy. “Once a larger strategy is in place, he rolls up his sleeves to get the job done,” says a professional who worked with Jain earlier.

Jain’s biggest challenge as CEO probably came when Covid-19-induced lockdowns forced people and employees to stay home. “If you create a crisis, you cannot solve this crisis; but if you didn’t create this crisis, it gives you a much greater moral right to resolve this crisis,” he told his leadership teams. “It was a crisis that all of us as COOs looked at from this philosophical lens and worked to resolve and even profit from it.”

The company’s growth journey has in some ways been cut short by the raging pandemic waves, but it has also shown remarkable resilience. In BT-PwC’s Top India CEO Ranking data, the three-year CAGR of Bajaj Finance’s total revenue was calculated at 22.99% and after-tax profit at 16.73%. Asset quality was also in check, with net NPAs at 0.91% of loans as of March 31, 2021. This exceptional performance, which includes the first pandemic year, led the four-member jury to award Jain the highest Champion Award. Champions’.

When Jain joined the business in 2007, it was a small captive auto finance company. Today it is a giant by comparison: FY21 self-generated revenue was Rs 23,563 crore, and market cap is now Rs 4 crore, higher than Axis Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank. What is the recipe behind this success? At a fundamental level, four key elements have remained consistent and common from the start: people, a great attitude, patient capital, and planning. “People start businesses in the service sector. You must have a positive attitude. You need patient capital to build a long-term business, as well as ongoing strategic planning,” says Jain.

One-click financial supermarket

The company, which was at the forefront of digitization for the past decade, is transitioning from a digitized business to a digital business. “Digitized means some [part] of the process was digital, but the whole process was not,” says Jain. In fact, he started using point-of-sale cloud computing in 2007. Today, 60% of his workload runs on the cloud. The company also claims to be one of the biggest customers of major Salesforce software as a service (SaaS) in India. Initially, Bajaj Finance’s plan was to create a super app for existing clients, but after Covid-19, the plan was extended to create a global app. As part of this new ecosystem, it is developing five proprietary marketplaces – EMI Store, Insurance Marketplace, Mutual Funds (MF), Brokerage and Healthcare – which will allow customers to review, compare and purchase a multitude of financial products and services in electronics, insurance, investments and healthcare categories. The omnichannel strategy would make it easier for customers to switch between online and offline channels, which would make the new model more profitable.

The company is taking its EMI store to the next level. Of the 120,000 merchants it works with in the physical world (such as Croma, Vijay Sales, etc.), 12,000 are already on board its digital app. It has nearly 78,000 SKUs and 35,000 merchants on its existing web marketplace platforms. “Merchants will be able to bring in a logistics partner to collect products and deliver them to customers,” says Jain. It also introduced an aggregator model with 900 insurance products across a dozen insurance companies. Customers have the option of using a Bajaj EMI card or UPI wallet to pay the premium. The MF Market or Investment Market offers a host of MF products for you to review, compare and buy. The company’s brokerage app offers loans for stocks. And the fifth vertical, BFL Health, has built a doctor portal that allows visitors to browse hospitals and scan some 100,000 doctors. “Execution is the key to this digital transformation journey. If the company is unable to make meaningful progress in reshaping its business towards the digital economy, this could (negatively) impact its outlook,” says Siji Philip, Principal Research Analyst at Axis Securities.

Payments ecosystem

The biggest inclusion in the super app is the payments ecosystem. He has developed a wallet application called “Bajaj Pay”, which offers payment options via UPI, EMI card or credit card. This checkout element will serve as a front-line engagement tool for customers on a daily basis. Jain says the payment offer is linked to a unique reward system, offering something called “Triple Reward”, which means a customer can choose between cashback, Bajaj coins or vouchers. It also creates a Bajaj Pay payment solution for its 120,000 partner merchants. There are plans to launch point-of-sale (POS) card reading machines, QR codes and a payment gateway business. Jain is betting big on payments, where companies like Paytm and BharatPe have built a huge network. “Payments will be the primary hook or engagement tool for both customers on the one hand and merchants on the other,” predicts Jain.

While fintech companies are building a lending model on top of payments, Jain is doing the opposite. He explains that the company is a licensed consumer finance company with a full line of products. “To reduce friction in the financial services industry, you have to manufacture. If I don’t manufacture, I can’t understand the nuances of the business, and in doing so, I can’t reduce friction,” says Jain. The whole transformation plan is already underway. It has now been 18 months since Bajaj launched Phase 1 where it plans to move all existing consumers to the new digital platform in a phased manner. As part of Phase II, which will launch in the next eight to nine months, the new-to-Bajaj customer journey will emerge. The app’s features will also increase from 55 to 117. “So far, the company’s consumer durables financing [business] was the precursor to its customer acquisition engine. However, with the recently launched payment portal, the efficiency of customer acquisition increases, along with reduced costs and minimal risk,” says Philip of Axis Securities.

Upcoming challenges

Shweta Daptardar, Vice President of Elara Securities India, said developing new markets and applications will result in increased cross-selling initiatives, greater customer retention and improved customer acquisition rate. . “All of this should result in better business traction,” says Daptardar. Jain envisions higher engagement rates with customers, which are likely to increase significantly. “A significantly superior customer experience should naturally lead to much higher revenue per customer. This can lead to higher growth and lower operating costs,” he says. The company will eventually have three ecosystems integrations of apps, web and physical products to deliver anything and everything.” It’s really what we call the ubiquitous financial services model,” says Jain.

But there will also be challenges along the way. After the debacles of IL&FS and Dewan Housing Finance, the Reserve Bank of India suggested strict bank-like regulation for large NBFCs. Based on the draft RBI guidelines, Bajaj Finance is likely to be placed in the upper layer of regulation, which means a higher minimum capital requirement and a more cautious eye.

What if you became a bank? Well, this has its own pros and cons. “The company would benefit from stable liability management supported by current and savings accounts (CASA), but spreads and returns on assets (RoA) will suffer because becoming a bank would mean meeting the reserve ratio of liquidity and legal liquidity ratio requirements,” says Daptardar. of Elara Securities. There are also priority sector regulations for the deployment of capital. Philip of Axis Securities believes that “at the appropriate time, the company may apply for a universal banking license or seek inorganic acquisitions in the space if regulations allow.” Jain certainly has a game plan in mind. He believes that all of Bajaj Finance’s current business initiatives and moves are already moving in the direction of a bank. “If the new ubiquitous financial services model is to become a bank eventually,” says Jain, “it will create a distinctly differentiated bank.

Best Treasury and Cash Management Providers 2022: Systems and Services https://bellowingark.org/best-treasury-and-cash-management-providers-2022-systems-and-services/ Sat, 05 Mar 2022 02:13:50 +0000 https://bellowingark.org/best-treasury-and-cash-management-providers-2022-systems-and-services/ Global Finance Names the Best Treasury and Cash Management Providers of the Year in Systems and Services. The “cash is king” mantra is more relevant than ever in cash and cash management (TCM) and TCM systems hold the key to mastering cash. Technology has never been more useful; but he has not […]]]>

Global Finance Names the Best Treasury and Cash Management Providers of the Year in Systems and Services.

The “cash is king” mantra is more relevant than ever in cash and cash management (TCM) and TCM systems hold the key to mastering cash. Technology has never been more useful; but he has not always been the treasurer’s best friend. Many features of large enterprise systems go unused and many TCM software products do not ship as promised.

Yet today, using application programming interfaces (APIs) and more user-friendly technologies, new digitally savvy non-banks are finally shaking up parts of this business. Banks and leading software stacks in treasury operations – from FIS, ION, Kyriba and others – are also innovating. Open banking and APIs could be truly transformational for treasury. These awards recognize leaders in achieving and driving change.


Serrala Invoice to Pay

Most Accounts Payable (AP) solutions automate manual paper invoices. Serrala’s Invoice to Pay (I2P) can do this; but it also does a lot of other things useful to a company that handles large volumes of invoices and complex AP processes. I2P includes a cloud-based digital service that automatically captures invoice information. Serrala says there needs to be more of an “end-to-end” approach, taking into account the entire transaction lifecycle, from invoice to payment, when monitoring suspicious activity, for example, in the context of fraud. AP Teams have a range of features at their fingertips, including the ability to set rules so invoices can be automatically routed through the most cost effective payment method. Its solution also includes a fraud monitoring feature that checks for suspicious activity at every step of the bill-to-pay process. Its solutions are accessible via the cloud, integrated with existing ERP systems or accessible as a hybrid solution.



FIS was one of the first vendors to support predictive modeling and analytics for Accounts Receivable (AR) management. Its GETPAID solution, which received significant new investment, now incorporates a useful AI, called Carla, which quickly learns user behavior in, for example, exception handling. According to FIS, Carla uses a form of AI called accelerated learning, ensuring payments can be processed directly. GETPAID also uses AI and open APIs to automatically retrieve information from credit bureaus for use in risk assessment of buyers.



As a cash SaaS pioneer, Kyriba has challenged naysayers who portray SaaS as a watered-down version of a full-fledged TMS. In addition to the traditional features you’d expect, Kyriba’s SaaS cash management software also includes working capital solutions that allow buyers to extend prepayment in exchange for a discount, another way for treasurers to use excess cash and liquidity to strengthen supply chains. Last April, Kyriba received the 2020 SaaS TM Customer Satisfaction Award from market intelligence firm IDC, placing it in the group of top-rated vendors in the SaaS cash management market.


Bank of America CashPro App

Before the pandemic, mobile cash management was just another channel offered by banks to businesses to authorize check payments and deposits. For many treasurers, it was a convenience but not a must – until the pandemic. Mobile payment volumes have exploded. and home orders have forced many treasurers to use mobile banking apps more regularly or, in fact, for the first time. CashPro volumes grew more than 200% year-over-year in September 2021. Bank of America accelerated product development as treasurers seek to do more through apps.


ION Cash

Accurate long-term cash forecasting is a major cash flow challenge, and to date most improvements in cash forecasting have been incremental. ION Treasury is betting on machine learning and AI will change that. According to ION, benchmark tests with real customer data show that its machine learning-based cash forecasting solution can produce forecasts as accurate as 95%.



Neo, freed from legacy systems, offers an alternative to the old challenge of opening multi-currency accounts. Neo’s core banking system makes it easy for businesses to create their own international bank account numbers (IBANs) and virtual wallets to send and receive payments more efficiently. Since launching its multi-currency account in 2020, Neo claims to have created IBANs for more than 200 companies in Europe. Last August, it cleared over $1 billion in transactions, facilitating payments in over 30 currencies. Its platform also provides treasurers with analytics for currency trading and hedging.



Institutional Cash Distributors (ICD) is the largest independent portal for money market funds and other short-term cash investments. As the go-to investment portal for hundreds of treasury organizations, it has evolved with the changing investment needs of treasury managers. In 2021, the ICD added 30 new investment products, half of which were ESG-related, as well as a screening tool to help treasurers better assess the ESG credentials of investment funds.


Citi Virtual Accounts

Leveraging its global network, Citi offers virtual accounts in a multitude of countries and currencies. These accounts speed reconciliation and support a wide range of transaction types beyond ACH transfers and checks. Accounts can be integrated into various treasury workflows, such as cash pooling structures or intercompany reporting. To make reconciliation easier, the bank has even added what it calls “personalized stories” that make it easier to move money between physical and virtual accounts. With virtual accounts, treasurers can minimize the number of traditional bank accounts they need.


FIS Treasury and Risk Manager – Integrity Edition

Cash management solution Integrity SaaS, which celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2019, got a facelift last year with the addition of major new features. FIS Treasury and Risk Manager – Integrity Edition includes Adaptiv risk analysis to perform simulations. Using APIs, FIS is also able to leverage treasury and risk offerings from other key providers. While company allocations to volatile asset classes such as cryptocurrencies are still relatively small, FIS says it is working to support cryptocurrency tracking for positioning and liquidity forecasting. It also plans to integrate ESG analysis so that its treasurers can more easily assess the ESG credibility of funds and counterparties.


Fides Treasury

The Fides SaaS Multibanking Suite portal simplifies, costs and speeds up the processing of cross-border corporate payments. From aggregating these payments to reduce costs, to supporting many different payment message formats, Fides covers virtually every aspect of cross-border payment processing.


Kyriba Open API

Kyriba has developed an open, API-enabled platform that can exchange real-time information with other data-driven applications for the benefit of Kyriba customers and technology partners. Félix Grévy, vice president of Open API and Connectivity at Kyriba, says its Open API platform accelerates product innovation and provides highly modular applications to reduce risk and fraud, and to optimize liquidity. One such application is a solution developed with BlackLine to help treasury teams access real-time data analytics so they can automate over 90% of bank reconciliations and accounts receivable processes.

$1 million from Whiteland in ARPA funds to improve police and fire departments https://bellowingark.org/1-million-from-whiteland-in-arpa-funds-to-improve-police-and-fire-departments/ Fri, 18 Feb 2022 10:00:00 +0000 https://bellowingark.org/1-million-from-whiteland-in-arpa-funds-to-improve-police-and-fire-departments/ Whiteland Engineer Matt Oakley supports Engine 71 in a Whiteland Fire Department bay in February 2020. Whiteland’s firefighters and police will get a boost with the city’s $1.02 million allocation from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). ARPA is a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 stimulus package that, among other things, has provided direct relief to Americans […]]]>

Whiteland’s firefighters and police will get a boost with the city’s $1.02 million allocation from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

ARPA is a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 stimulus package that, among other things, has provided direct relief to Americans and distributed billions to states to respond to the pandemic, and to share with cities and towns. counties to respond to the pandemic.

Indiana officials distributed $1.28 billion to local governments, including $1.02 million to the city of Whiteland. The city received half the money and the state is expected to disburse the other half later this spring.

ARPA was signed into law on March 11. Since then, Whiteland officials have figured out the best ways to spend the money as required by law.

The money can be used for five main purposes, including: responding to the COVID-19 public health emergency; respond to the negative economic impacts of the emergency; offer a bonus to employees; compensate for the loss of public revenue; and upgrading water, sewer or broadband infrastructure.

Whiteland City Council approved a plan to split the money between police and firefighters, as the two were integral to helping the city respond to the pandemic.

Wage increase, staffing

The Whiteland Fire Department will use $613,800 to staff three firefighters at the city’s fire station 24/7 at a rate of pay of $12 per hour plus expenses salaries for the next three years.

The fire station has had a team of two employees working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for several years. This was enough to send an ambulance, but not enough to send a fire truck. So if a third person wasn’t on site when called, the crew would have to wait for another person to show up for work before deploying a truck, said Whiteland Fire Chief Eric Funkhouser.

Now the city will always have the ability to deploy a truck at any time, which should improve response times and make the city less dependent on other neighboring departments, Funkhouser said.

The $12 salary also represents a salary increase for the employees. Currently, firefighters receive a stipend based on the state minimum wage of $7.25, which is much lower than what is offered at other fire departments in the area, he said.

The new hourly wage is still a bit low, but represents a marked improvement over before, he said.

Neighboring departments offer part-time wages ranging from $10 to $18 per hour.

“We are at war with everyone, whether it is EMS or firefighters. (The) $12 (salary increase) is a huge step in the right direction from where we were,” Funkhouser said. “Our ultimate goal is to increase this in the future and work our way to a full-time station.”

ARPA funds will cover the changes for three years. It buys time for Funkhouser and the city council to figure out a way to make the changes sustainable in the long-term budget and to consider building on the changes as the city grows, he said. declared.

Until ARPA funds provided a shortcut, it was a waiting game for tax revenues to grow enough from new businesses and housing to raise wages and increase staffing levels, Funkhouser said.

The salary increase will allow him to reward long-serving staff members and increase the pool of people willing to work for the department. With salary increases in other departments and in the private sector, it has become more difficult to retain staff, he said.

The payroll changes will take effect on Monday and the new rotation is filling up quickly, Funkhouser said this week.

Equip the police

The Whiteland Police Department will use $409,200 to purchase six police cars, 14 laptops or tablets to install in the cars, 15 body-worn cameras, one body-worn camera for the department’s K9 officer, 14 ballistic vests and helmets, 15 tasers and cartridges, up to two drones, four desktop computers and $15,500 in miscellaneous supplies.

Much of the funding is being used to upgrade existing equipment that would have taken years to replace without the additional funds, said Whiteland Police Chief Rick Shipp.

“With a small town and a small budget, it’s hard to replace all of that at once,” Shipp said. “The US bailout is really helping us replace that equipment much faster.”

Several items, such as the K9 Officer Body Camera, Drones, and Ballistic Equipment will be new to Officers.

While Whiteland Police have had body-worn cameras since 2012, their K9 has never been fitted. Other officers’ body-worn cameras are 10 years old, Shipp said.

The drones will be useful for accident investigation and search operations outside and inside the large warehouses that are popping up near the Interstate 65 interchange, he said.

Ballistic vests and helmets won’t be for everyday wear, but will be kept in police cruisers if officers are called to respond to a critical incident, Shipp said.

“It will make our officers safer and it will make the city safer. This will give us the opportunity to do more and be more competent in our response. It also helps us be more transparent,” he said.

The Center plans a new recovery plan https://bellowingark.org/the-center-plans-a-new-recovery-plan/ Sun, 06 Feb 2022 18:46:17 +0000 https://bellowingark.org/the-center-plans-a-new-recovery-plan/ Just days after the finance minister presented a budget that tilted towards increased spending, two government officials familiar with the development said new measures being discussed could include extending the duration of social protection schemes which should be completed in the coming months. Show full picture Induce growth A more robust stimulus could also be […]]]>

Just days after the finance minister presented a budget that tilted towards increased spending, two government officials familiar with the development said new measures being discussed could include extending the duration of social protection schemes which should be completed in the coming months.

Show full picture

Induce growth

A more robust stimulus could also be considered later if the pandemic worsens, affecting the economy and livelihoods.

“The budget is an annual exercise, and that does not mean that additional support measures will not be taken. The government will take all necessary measures to strengthen growth throughout the year. When the budget for FY22 was presented, the general belief was that India would not see the second wave, but it happened, so a package was announced in June,” one of the officials said. cited above.

Questions sent to the Ministry of Finance remained unanswered until press time.

Over the past two years, the government has announced a series of measures to stimulate demand.

These range from increasing funds for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), introducing the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Rojgar Yojana (ABRY), Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana, and providing incentives for affordable housing.

The other official quoted above said that the period of several of these programs could be extended and that the MGNREGA funds would have increased further, depending on the covid curve.

ABRY was announced by the government during the first wave of the pandemic in 2020. Under this program, the government is helping companies to pool together in the employee provident fund to help reduce the burden on employers and the encourage the retention and hiring of workers.

In June 2021, the government extended the date of registration under ABRY from June 30 to March 31, 2022. The budget presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman proposed to increase spending for ABRY by 3,130 crore (budget estimate) in 2021-2022 for 6,400 crores in FY23.

Another program to support the poor amid the pandemic is the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan, under which the government provides 5 kg of wheat or rice and 1 kg of pulses per person per month.

The program ends in March this year.

In addition, the credit-linked subsidy program for middle-income groups for affordable housing is also set to end on March 31.

Other incentives to stimulate demand for affordable housing include the additional tax deduction of 1.5 lakh on interest paid on loans for the purchase of affordable houses.

The government is expected to consider extending the timing of these programs to stimulate consumer demand, the officials quoted above said.

Speaking at an industry event on Saturday on the MGNREGA scheme, Sitharaman said it was a demand-driven scheme and that the government would allocate more funds to it in the future. if necessary.

This follows the criticism of the attribution of 73,000 crores for the program in the latest budget, against a revised estimate of 98,000 crore for FY22.

Professor NR Bhanumurthy from the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy agreed that there would be more funds for MGNREGA whenever the need arises as the program is demand driven.

He said that with increased capital spending there would be long-term benefits for jobs and growth, adding that it was now up to states to support people through direct transfers of money. advantages.

The discussions mentioned above have arisen as the country faces the third wave of the covid pandemic.

However, no immediate announcement is expected, with the daily tally of infections starting to recede from recent highs.

In 2020, the stimulus measures came after the budget as the pandemic spread a few months after the budget was presented.

Similarly, in 2021, the government offered another round of stimulus in June, as the second wave faded after the budget was presented.

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Cathie Wood’s ARK faces loyalty test after Tech-Stock rout https://bellowingark.org/cathie-woods-ark-faces-loyalty-test-after-tech-stock-rout/ Sun, 30 Jan 2022 21:03:00 +0000 https://bellowingark.org/cathie-woods-ark-faces-loyalty-test-after-tech-stock-rout/ Cathie Wood says the high-risk shares of exchange-traded funds sold by ARK Investment Management LLC are so cheap that they will inevitably rise. A surprising number of investors are willing to give it a shot. Over the past week, as ARK Innovation ETF prices have returned to mid-2020 levels, investors have poured around $168 million […]]]>

Cathie Wood says the high-risk shares of exchange-traded funds sold by ARK Investment Management LLC are so cheap that they will inevitably rise. A surprising number of investors are willing to give it a shot.

Over the past week, as ARK Innovation ETF prices have returned to mid-2020 levels, investors have poured around $168 million into the fund, bringing its net assets to $11.8 billion. dollars, according to FactSet. It’s a remarkable vote of confidence for a fund that has fallen 27% this month and lost half its value over the past year as its brand of investing in companies largely not profitable and untested has fallen out of favor.

What happens next to the ARK Innovation fund, which bears the symbol ARKK, and other risky investments like this will help tell the story of financial markets in 2022. The most speculative assets, ranging from ARK and many of its participations in so-called meme actions such as GameStop Corp.

and AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc.

to cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, have soared during the pandemic thanks to the huge sums that governments and central banks have poured into the economy to counter the impact of lockdowns. Now those gains are eroding as the Federal Reserve prepares to start raising US interest rates as early as March.

This is driving a change in investor behavior, causing an overhaul of the sky-high valuations that markets had attached to growth stocks. The result is a decline in the riskiest assets and a revaluation of even the largest technology stocks.

Ms Wood’s ETFs are at the epicenter of the sell-off that sent the S&P 500 down 7% and the Nasdaq Composite down 12% just four weeks into 2022. The hardest hit were shares of tech companies and biotechnology that generate little or no profit. , but which have high valuations – the kind of companies Ms. Wood’s ARK favors.

Some of the ARK Innovation ETF’s holdings are down more than 50% from their recent highs, including Spotify Technology HER,

To block Inc.,

Focus on video communications Inc.

and Roku Inc.

Ms Wood insists the fund’s holdings should rebound. “After correcting for nearly 11 months, innovation stocks appear to have entered deep value territory, their valuations a fraction of peak levels,” she wrote in a blog post last month.


Can the ARK Innovation fund rebound? Join the conversation below.

Larry Carroll, financial adviser at Wealth Enhancement Group advisory firm in Rock Hill, SC, still has some $18 million of client money in ARK Innovation after first buying stock in 2018. The company manages about $55 billion in stock and bond portfolios, with Mr. Carroll using ARK Innovation as a way to give select clients exposure to cutting-edge companies.

Thanks to ARK’s strong surge at the start of the pandemic, he says he’s already taken more money out of the fund than he originally put in, leaving him comfortable holding a position. important as we wait for depressed stocks to rebound.

“The real question was whether we were buying more,” Mr. Carroll said. “I resisted the urge mainly because I don’t think you’ll see ARK and Disruption Stocks doing well in this environment.”

Funds that beat the market often go through periods when they lag, although the magnitude of ARK’s ups and downs makes this clear. Investors withdrew $1.4 billion net from ARK funds in the past month, the most redemptions of any U.S. ETF issuer, according to FactSet data. This pushed net outflows over the past six months to more than $8 billion, more than all net outflows recorded by other ETF managers over the same period.

Some $16 billion was paid into ARK Innovation from the second quarter of 2020, when the Covid-19 pandemic took hold, until the first quarter of 2021, when the fund’s assets peaked at $28 billion. Investors who have since bought have lost money, said Vincent Deluard, director of global macro strategy at StoneX Group. Inc.

Renato Leggi, client portfolio manager at ARK, said some investors have started to agree with Ms Wood’s assessment over the past week and are buying shares. She said the company’s strategy requires investors to take a long-term view.

But Klaus Derendorf, a 50-year-old business development manager from Los Angeles, said he sold his shares in the ARK Innovation fund in November and increased his cash after losing about 20% in the fund in less than a year. “I have to go back to the real fundamentals,” he said.

Ms Wood’s early returns have earned her a large following on YouTube, Twitter and other social media platforms. Joe Seid, a 58-year-old Chicago sales manager, bought shares of ARK Innovation in late 2020, in part because he saw it on TV and his financial advisor flagged the fund as the one of the hottest on the market. He sold last year after losing 10% of his investment and now thinks he may have gotten carried away.

“For me, it was way too speculative,” Mr Seid said. “It didn’t really align with more fundamental financial beliefs.”

Write to Michael Wursthorn at Michael.Wursthorn@wsj.com

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