Vol.1 Issue 49 June 1st. , 2004
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of the Week:
"The federal funds rate must rise at some point to prevent
pressures on price inflation from eventually emerging... The
Federal Reserve recognizes that sustained prosperity requires
the maintenance of price stability and will act, as necessary,
to ensure that outcome."
Alan Greenspan, Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board,
speaking before the Before the Joint Economic Committee, U.S.
Senate, on 4.21.2004
Over Google: Risks, rewards and instructions for
participating in this year's star IPO. By Paul Woods,
President & CEO of Odyssey Advisors, LLC.
Meets Edison: Genius Entrepreneurs. Think it's all
about Bill Gates and Microsoft? Wonder if Google made
the Top 10 Patent's list? NataliePace.com's TOP 10 List &
Stock Report Card Combined! By Natalie Wynne Pace, CEO,
NYC Hotel Experience:Le Parker Meridien. The ultimate
NYC experience with delicious, tongue-in-check surprises
at every turn
by Natalie Wynne Pace, CEO, NataliePace.com.
Secrets of CEOs: Q&A with Steven Pipes, General
Manager, Le Parker Meridien. Nice Guys Finish First,
and have lots of fun with their staff
Pace, CEO, NataliePace.com.
of L.A.. FUN, FROLIC and FREE TIME in Sunny
Financing?You May Be Closer to Purchasing Your
First Home Than You Think. By Kassie Welch, Mortgage
Interest Rates: Read what the experts, including
Chairman Alan Greenspan, are predicting
Makeover: From Desperate & Bankrupt to Confident
and Cash-Flow Positive! By Dr. Audrey Reed,
author of Money Tool Box For Women - Simple Solutions
for Mastering Your Money.
Inflation Mild or Underestimated? Will Interest
Rates Rise Before the Election? By Byron B. Snider,
CFA, President, Live Oak Capital, LLC.
a Free Trip to Barcelona, Spain and Make the World a
Better Place at the Same Time! By Contributing writer,
Marilyn Tam, the founder of the US Foundation.
Money Make-Overs, Networking Luncheons, Conferences,
Galas, Chats, Teleclasses, Seminars and other special
opportunities! Check out whats happening online
at the Calendar section of the web site.
rewards and instructions for participating in this year's star
Woods, President & CEO of Odyssey Advisors, LLC.
While investors have been obsessing about higher interest rates,
the conflict in Iraq, and the upcoming election, the market for
Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) has been making a quiet comeback
this year. In the first quarter of 2004, there were 30 IPOs valued
at $7.8 billion versus 6 IPOs valued at a $1 billion a year ago.
This time around, the appetite for risk is limited, as investors
want to see earnings instead of hopes and dreams. As a result,
most IPOs have been solid, profitable, and relatively boring companies.
Lobby: lava lamps and beanbags
changed with the recent announcement by Google. This will be the
largest IPO in years, the Dutch auction format will give the public
an equal chance to buy shares, and Google is anything but boring.
Early in the 171 page preliminary prospectus is an income statement
for the last three years. It's nothing short of dazzling, growth
is spectacular and the company is solidly profitable. However,
like the gorgeous starlet at the awards ceremony, the founders
then proceed to ruin it by opening their mouths.
On the basis
of a few years running a search engine, the founders have decided
they belong in the same category as Warren Buffet. They have also
created an owner's manual that explains the structure of the company
and their long-term focus. They go on to mention that they don't
have employees, they have Googlers. Their mission isn't anything
as mundane as making money. They want to make the world a better
place while not being evil.
Google posts a lot of information on company culture on their
web site. Two of their "Ten Things Google has found to be
true" include: "Democracy on the web works," and
"You can make money without doing evil." To read the
complete document, go to: www.google.com/corporate/tenthings.html.
In spite of
all this altruism, it's pretty obvious that the Dutch auction
method was selected in order to allow the founders to get as high
a price as possible for their shares. We're fans of capitalism
and don't have a problem with this. At the same time, a case can
be made that a lot of the statements in the prospectus appear
designed to create a cult-like following and hype the stock among
University graduates founded Google in 1998. They added some experience
in 2001 with Dr. Eric Schmidt, the former CEO and Chairman from
Novell, who had previously served as chief technology officer
at Sun Microsystems. [Ed's note: Google's board also includes
Silicon Valley heavyweights, including Intel's COO, Paul Otellini,
Genentech's Chairman and CEO, Arthur D. Levinson, Ph.D., and Stanford
University's provost and chief academic and financial officer,
Dr. John L. Hennessy.] However, management is by triumvirate,
and the founders are in control with 2 of the 3 votes. They will
remain in control after the public offering, as they own a separate
class of shares with 10 times the voting power of the stock being
sold to the public. It appears that the founders are happy to
take all the money less sophisticated investors will throw at
them, but have sense enough not to give those investors much voting
is hot for a reason. They developed a better search engine that
finds relevant information and filters out the junk. They don't
irritate their users with pop-up ads and found a less annoying
way to deliver advertising. The name Google has become almost
synonymous with search, but the ads disguised as the result of
a search now account for about 95% of the company's revenues.
Unlike a lot
of .com companies that never had a coherent business model or
profits, Google became profitable in 2001 and grew at triple digits
during the recent bloodbath in companies tied to the Internet.
In a very tough business environment with even tougher competition,
Google's business grew at almost 270% per year from 2000 through
2003 as revenues increased from $19 million to $962 million.
created the most popular search engine, but e-commerce drives
their revenues. Although e-commerce became a four-letter word
a few years ago, the potential market is still huge. In the first
quarter of 2004, Internet advertising revenue was up 39%, to $2.3
billion, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers
(5.24.2004). Combining advertising with a search engine allows
advertisers to specifically target their market, and the overall
market for advertising is enormous. As Google's share of this
market increases, they have tremendous room to grow.
of our concerns have to do with things we found later in the preliminary
prospectus. In particular, the founders' seem to have a fixation
that their company is a cut above and the normal rules don't apply.
There are 20 pages of risk factors in the preliminary prospectus.
For us, the biggest concerns are slowing business growth, eroding
profitability, and Google's unwillingness to play the game of
It's no surprise
that growth will slow down and 2004 will be the last year of triple
digit growth. What is surprising is that Google suggests that
profitability may also begin to erode in the future. In English,
this means that Google's revenue (business) growth will probably
be less than 100% in the future and that earnings are likely to
grow at a slower rate than revenues.
for managing expectations translates into two things. First, they
will not provide forecasts of future revenues or earnings. Second,
they will not manage earnings to smooth out what's reported. While
we're delighted that analysts will actually have to analyze for
a change instead of being spoon fed by corporate public relations
departments, this is still a disturbing combination.
In Google's Letter to Prospective Shareholders, they write: "Outside
pressures too often tempt companies to sacrifice long-term opportunities
to meet quarterly market expectations… In Warren Buffett's words,
‘We won't smooth quarterly or annual results: If earnings figures
are lumpy when they reach headquarters, they will be lumpy when
they reach you.'" To read the entire Letter, go to: www.thestreet.com/markets/marketfeatures/10157519_2.html]
will have a high valuation because of Google's record and its
prospects. However, high valuations leave no room for disappointment.
Experienced managements deal with this by delivering more than
promised when earnings are reported, and choosing not to play
this game is a huge gamble.
Silicon Valley CEOs and analysts at American Technology Research
value Google's IPO at $30 billion.]
will be earnings forecasts whether Google is involved in the process
or not and investors in overpriced stocks typically don't handle
disappointment very well. If Google chooses not to keep expectations
realistic and then misses earnings estimates by even a penny per
share, hundreds of millions and potentially billions of dollars
of shareholder wealth could easily be wiped out in a nanosecond.
think the most comparable publicly traded company is eBay. They
also grew rapidly during the downturn in technology spending and
are also a key player in e-commerce. Their business is a bit more
mature, but eBay still has the best business model we've seen
on the Internet. From this point, the two may have similar rates
of profit growth, but we have more confidence in eBay's management.
As a result, we feel that Google should sell at a discount to
eBay trades at about 75X the consensus estimate for earnings in
2004 of $1.18 per share. For reference, most stocks are trading
at less than 20X earnings at present. The earnings used by Wall
Street for Google were 51 cents per share in 2003. In the first
quarter of 2004, earnings for Google more than doubled. To be
conservative, lets assume that Google earns $1.00 per share for
2004. Keeping in mind the current valuation for eBay, we think
$60 per share is the upper limit of what Google stock might be
worth, and that's pushing it.
You Gotta Have it
you want to own the stock, the process will work something like
- Open an
account with one of the two underwriters, Credit Suisse First
or Morgan Stanley http://www.morganstanley.com
a prospectus detailing the investment's risks, as well as the
underwriter's account eligibility and suitability requirements.
This will be available electronically, according to the company.
- After receiving
the prospectus and sometime before the auction, bidders must
obtain a "unique bidder ID." Bidder IDs will not be available
after the bidding begins.
- Once you
qualify, you're able to bid when the auction starts. The bid
you make must include the number of shares you want and the
price you're willing to pay for them.
- The final
IPO price will be determined after the auction closes. The underwriters
will calculate it by gathering all the bids and calculating
the cut off point at or above which all the shares available
can be sold.
that Google settles on an allocation of 150 million shares, but
receives bids for one billion at a range of prices. Only the highest
bids adding up to 150 million shares will count as winning bids.
The IPO price will equal the lowest price bid on any of those
150 million shares, even for those that bid higher.
assume that there are 10 buyers for 5 items. The first bidder
bids $1, and then each bidder increases the bid by $1. The result
is a range of bids from $1 to $10. In a Dutch auction, the five
items would be sold for $6 each to the five highest bidders.
of this process is that winning bidders will have the knowledge
that most successful bidders would have paid more for the stock.
As a result, there would appear to be some built in upside for
the stock. The unknown is whether or not some people will make
unrealistically high bids in order to get the stock, which could
easily set it up for a fall.
key to success in any auction is to know what you're willing to
pay and not getting caught up in a bidding frenzy. If someone
is willing to pay more for something than you think it's worth,
let them. Valuation is subjective, and our guess is that all the
hype and the Dutch auction process will produce an overvalued
It's in the
interests of everyone for an offering this large to be successful,
as a healthy IPO market will provide the capital to help small
companies create more jobs. However, a successful offering means
that there has to be enough left on the table for investors to
make some money while also making certain investors aren't hit
with an unpleasant surprise. We hope we're wrong, but we are not
convinced that either of those two things has been done here.
In addition, there's the other small problem of being asked to
buy something without being told the price. As a result, we plan
to let Google go up without us.
purposes, it should be also noted that our firm has a large holding
Other NataliePace.com writers and editors find Google's philosophy more
palatable than Paul Woods. For a different perspective on Google:
the People's IPO, click
Entrepreneurs. Think it's all about Bill Gates and Microsoft?
Wonder if Google made the Top 10 Patent's list? NataliePace.com's TOP
10 List & Stock Report Card Combined!
Pace, CEO, NataliePace.com
World's First Running Humanoid Robot by Sony
the 11th straight year, IBM (International Business
Machines) topped the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's list of
companies, receiving the most U.S. Patents in 2003, at 3,145 patents,70%
more than 2nd place finisher, Canon Kabushiki Kaisha.
Whether it's in-house or wheel and deal, the Big Blue manages
to take the blue ribbon year after year. Meanwhile, Microsoft
wasn't in the top 10 this year or last year, and neither was upstart
Google or Google competitor, Yahoo. 2003 marked the first year
that Intel showed up on the Top 10 Patents received List, with
an outstanding 48% increase in patents in 2003 over 2002. Hewlett
Packard climbed four spots from 2002, up to the 5th
position, while Micron Technology, Inc., the only other U.S. company
on the list, slipped from 3rd to 6th position.
Nope, Dell wasn't on the list this year or last.
10 Private Sector Patent Recipients for the 2003 Calendar Year
Electric Ind. Co., Ltd.
Development Company, LP.
Philips Electronics N.V.
does R&D correlate with share price and stock performance?
of these companies that are rich in new patents would be most
attractive for your stock portfolio? Click
here to review the Stock Report Card!
research supports the "steady as she goes" theory
in most blue chips with mega market capitalizations, but not
in the technology sector. While the bigger ship is usually steadier
in a storm, technology giants, Intel, Hewlett-Packard and Sony
had catastrophic falls after the dot com bust, compared to the
steady cruiser, IBM. IBM is trading just 40% lower than it was
during the Dot Com bubble highs, while Hewlett-Packard is trading
160% lower, Micron Technology is 350% cheaper and Intel trades
165% off its high in March of 2000. If you're looking for a
stabilizing force in your portfolio, IBM, with its rock solid
share price and super value dividend, is certainly an outstanding
choice, though, always the value shopper, we recommend picking
it up on a buying opportunity. (The recent terrorist strike
in Madrid shocked the markets for a few days. September is traditionally
one of the lowest months of the year, when October isn't harvesting
a crash like Black Monday.)
the other hand, however, NataliePace.com is still hot on Sony, which
looks to be undervalued. Sony Corporation is the world's most
trusted brand, is consistently in the top 10 Patents List and
is poised to launch a plethora of new products in the next few
years. Additionally, respected economists and business leaders
attending the Milken Global Economic Conference were confident
in their opinion that Japan would be carried along in the wave
of the Asian Economic Renaissance that is being led by China
and India. If you're interested in one of the Japanese ADRs
on this top ten list, it's hard to match Sony's popularity in
the U.S., past share price performance and worldwide domination
of the electronics sector.
Intel is priced at 2.5 times annual sales, and IBM's market
capitalization is 163% above annual sales, Sony Corporation's
market capitalization is half of its annual sales, at $34.11
billion and $71.84 billion respectively. Money Central notes
that Sony's P/E to growth ratio suggests that Sony is currently
undervalued. Don't expect that to be the case as Sony starts
unleashing their digital vision of the future beginning as early
as this year.
Home of the Future
Also, as witnessed
by Sony's run-up of 350% from January 1999 to March 2000, Sony
is a big company that knows how to win public approval and sprints
in share price. There could be significant upside over the next
two years, if Sony's new digital wave becomes a tsunami.
information on Sony, click
here to go to NataliePace.com's feature article in December, 2003.
NYC Hotel Experience:.
Parker Meridien. The ultimate NYC experience with delicious, tongue-in-check
surprises at every turn…
Wynne Pace, CEO, NataliePace.com
Meridien's Gravity Pool
in a lifetime, you've got to stay at the Plaza, just to hear the
clippity clop of horse-drawn carriages outside your window, have
the best view of Central Park and don gloves for traditional afternoon
tea, ala children's book star, Eloise. Equally important, is the
Waldorf=Astoria weekend, replete with gracious, efficient staff,
Cole Porter's piano and the lively NYSE stock ticker circling
the great bar and restaurant, the Bull and Bear. So if you're
traveling to New York City for a once-in-a-lifetime occasion,
pull out your credit card, and book a reservation at one of these
landmark hotels. Plan on paying richly.
you want the ultimate NYC experience, minus all the pomp and circumstance
or fancy dress code, swimming in in-crowd, hip surprises at every
turn, Le Parker Meridien is THE place in NYC. Rooms have views
of Central Park (walking distance). A central mid-town location.
The best gym of any hotel in America, and one of the only pools
in an NYC hotel. The best breakfast on the planet. A burger joint
that feels right out of Saturday Night Live (and has been known
to have SNL players eating there). A French bistro and bar. Just
when you think that Le Parker Meridien couldn't possibly have
more to offer, you find out the high-speed Internet connection
is FREE, and better yet, easy to connect to, with an IT support
staff that can trouble-shoot connectivity problems without wasting
your entire day.
For the business
executive, and really most travelers these days, Internet connectivity
is a deal-breaker. At the New York City Hilton, Internet service
was $9.95 per day, but the connection was so unreliable that I
had to run up to the Executive Lounge, the only Hot Spot in the
place, to send important email documents in the middle of the
night. Not fun! When I called to get the service fixed, the support
team couldn't trouble-shoot it. If the Hilton's Executive Lounge
didn't have such a fantastic Continental breakfast spread each
morning (fresh fruit, fantastic pastries), I would have made a
mad dash to switch to a hotel with more reliable Internet service.
As it is, the Hilton is unlikely to get a return visit from me,
unless it pops up unexpectedly on my Priceline bid.
At the Plaza,
Internet connection was $24.95 per day, the most expensive, and
the computers were embarrassingly slow—low on memory and old.
Fortunately, I had my own computer, which worked beautifully with
the high-speed connection. However, you'd think the most expensive
IT service would perform the best, not the worst. The Waldorf
Astoria's high-speed connection and IT support team is impressive,
but the service runs $9.95 per day, and is certainly no more impressive
than the FREE Parker Meridien perk.
uptight, is the Parker Meridien motto, which means your experience
is designed to be delightful and memorable from the moment you
hit the elevator with Rocky and Bullwinkle on the tele, to the
moment you place your Fuhgetaboutit sign on your hotel room door,
to the delectable breakfast fare at Norma's (best breakfast in
NYC)… Not that they are known for good taste, but Jessica Simpson
and her hubby, Nick Lachey, are just a few of the celebrities
who make Le Parker Meridien their NYC hotel of choice.
To book a reservation, call 212.708.7460 or visit the hotel online
Secrets of CEOs:
with Steven Pipes, General Manager, Le Parker Meridien. Nice Guys
Finish First, and have lots of fun with their staff...
Pace, CEO, NataliePace.com
how can a hotel provide so many amenities at such high quality
FOR FREE, while others add on ten bucks every time you eat, work
out or plug in? How can you have the best breakfast in NYC, a
burger joint with a lunch line out the door every day AND the
best gym of any hotel in America, all for less money out of the
traveler's pocket than the more traditional high-end NYC hotel?
We asked Le Parker Meridien General Manager, Steven Pipes, to
shed light on just how he manages to pile up so many hard-to-achieve
milestones, while keeping his hotel so cool chic.
me addicted to tabloid, but I expected to see a snappy, sharp-talking,
weasel when I walked into Mr. Pipe's office. Instead I was met
by a man with a grin wider than Texas, who wears a wedding ring
and boasts of his 27-year marriage. Steven Pipes doesn't look
old enough to be married 27 years, and when he chuckles over the
brainstorming sessions he has with staff, coming up with wacky
names for the Norma's breakfast creations, you wonder if he isn't
merely a kid trapped in a grown-up's body suit. His hotel is decidedly
more urbane than he is, with it's soaring lobby space, cherry
paneling, hand-painted columns, modern artwork and sophisticated,
international clientele. However, it is the tongue-in-cheek humor
of Le Parker Meridien's elevator entertainment (Charlie Chaplin
& Rocky and Bullwinkle), menu selections, Burger Joint and
Privacy signs (Fuhgettaboudit) that make the guest a part of something
exclusive, ultra-fun. You leave your stay feeling protective about
sharing such a find with only your closest friends. Who would
have thought that such a chic world could be dreamed up by one
of the nicest guys in the business? Or is that, in fact, Steven
Pipes secret to success—nice guys finish first, surrounded by
And if you
think the Parker Meridien is just for the sophisticated professional,
Fuhgettaboudit! Rooms have free gaming devices and DVD players,
guaranteed to spark entertaining remote control wars for the family.
motto is "Uptown, not uptight." When I'm standing in
the lobby of the Parker Meridien, it feels regal and timeless,
and when I'm standing in line at the Burger Joint (one of Parker
Meridien's eateries), I could be stuck in a Saturday Night Live
skit. How did you ever imagine that these two worlds might collide
to create one of the most sought after hotel destinations in New
Basically in 1998, we--the owners and the team here--really started
thinking about who are we, how we fit in the market and what we
could do to differentiate ourselves. The conclusion was obvious.
We really are the only major New York City hotel that is family-owned,
locally-owned and not bought and sold every three minutes, like
all of the other hotels in town. We really have the ability and
the agility to create things that are different and to do things
that are offbeat--that excite us. We don't have to fit into a
framework imposed by others.
did you get so many things right (Norma's, the Charlie Chaplin/Bullwinkle
entertainment in the elevators, the greatest gym, the secret "Burger
Joint…")? You're affable and energetic, but I wouldn't describe
you as the epitome of cool…
success of hotels going back 20-40 years ago was sameness. With
the Holiday Inn and Hilton, no matter where you went, from Bangalore
to the Cleveland Hilton, you knew what you were going to get.
Today, travelers who are going to major urban areas are looking
for a different local experience. They're sophisticated travelers
who are not looking forward to waking up and going, "Where
am I?" They want to feel something unique about where they
are. We have the ability to do that in a way that others don't.
We said, "Let's blow up everything we've done, and recreate
ourselves starting from one end to the other."
like a blast… The Parker Meridien has been at the forefront of
hotel innovation since it opened, hasn't it? It was credited with
starting the trend of bringing celebrity chefs into hotel restaurants…
opened in 1981 and had a restaurant called the Maurice. It was
the first hotel to bring in a Michelin three-star chef--Alain
Senderens. It put the hotel on the map.
restaurants today are just as memorable. Norma's was voted as
"Simply The Best Breakfast In New York" By The Zagat Survey 2003.
You have Seppi's, a French bistro…
we really wanted a restaurant that is a neighborhood place, where
you could eat three times in the same week. You can go in a suit,
elegantly dressed or jeans. You can eat late. The food is great.
our goal was very simply to attempt to create the best breakfast
in New York City. We took every normal dish that you associate
with breakfast and said, "How can we make this a memorable
meal?" Local New Yorkers, as well as our guests, just flock
to the place. On weekends, we'll have 50-70 people waiting to
get in. We will do over 600 people on the weekend, per day. Norma's
allows you to treat yourself to something special, and yet at
the same time you're not spending $100 per person. It isn't really
expensive when you see the whole package you're getting.
tip: Hotel guests are advised to call ahead and be put on Norma's
waiting list BEFORE they come down, especially on the weekend.]
get location and luxury, a view of Central Park, walking distance
to Rockefeller Center, free DSL, DVD, Play Station, a pool and
the best gym in New York hotel, but the other side of the Parker
Meridien difference is the ambience, staff and "feel."
We try very
hard to allow you to do your business, but in a comfortable way.
The chair is comfortable. The check in is efficient. Great restaurants.
Fun. Attitude. Staff that is not familiar, but not stuffy and
pompous. Our health club, Gravity, is far and away superior to
you think the Parker Meridien has it all, you realize that, where
most restaurants have a bar with singles spilling out of the seams,
you've installed a Burger Joint (where celebrities are spotted
with relative frequency)… Has that cost you the hip crowd?
is a bar and entertainment in Seppi's. [The Burger Joint] has
exceeded our expectations. We are doing, on average, 500 people
a day. A lot of locals, more than hotel guests. Prices are reasonable.
$5 for a great burger in midtown Manhattan! It's touched a nerve.
It is what people are looking for. The hotel is very designed.
The other thing people want is relief from that design, something
simple, homespun and good.
Try getting your burger before noon or after 1:45 p.m., to avoid
standing in a long line.]
get a bad rap in the suburbs for being rude, but your unique approach
to the elevator experience creates one of the friendliest environments
I've ever experienced in the claustrophobic, "where do you
put your eyes" lift… Strangers giggle together over vintage
Charlie Chaplin, Tom and Jerry and Bullwinkle shorts. What a welcome
relief from the nonstop news (always bad) and all of the advertisements
found in so many elevators these days. Whose idea?
there in this moving box. Everyone is always so uptight. This
is a way to break the ice. People start talking to each other
and laughing. The big challenge was getting something short. Originally,
we wanted them to be silent. People wanted the sound. We turn
the sound off early in the morning, and then we turn it on after
11:00 a.m. I feel very strongly about not trying to sell people
things when they are in the hotel. A lot of hotels put posters
to sell their sirloin steak. You're here! It's time to take care
of you, not to sell you.
your no ad policy creates a feel of in-crowd exclusivity. If you
don't know about the Burger Joint, you'll probably never find
it! There are virtually no ads for it, and the only sign is a
neon burger behind the concierge's desk… Speaking of which, we
might want to clue guests into what Fuhgettaboudit means…
privacy notice was "Go Away." We all thought it was
very funny, but the housekeeping staff felt offended by it. One
of my colleagues here, we were brainstorming, and he came up with
fuhgettaboudit. People take those signs. I was in a high-level
government office in Washington D.C., and I saw one sitting on
you encourage such creativity in your staff? How do you foster
an attitude of uptown, but not uptight, friendly but not chatty?
menu is an incredibly collaborative effort. Line cooks, sous chefs,
chefs are all involved. One of the new dishes comes from one of
the cooks. He made a big plate of Nachos, which will be on the
next room service menu. It's a team effort. About 4-5 of us sit
in a room, and we come up with outrageous names. We have the Zillion
Dollar Frittata. Dr. Schmatkin's Mandarin French Toast. It's not
one person sitting in a room. We're liberal with praise and critique.
Nobody takes it personally. The Go Away thing is a good example.
The housekeepers said, "It's rude." We didn't see it
that way, but we don't want to offend anybody, so we changed it.
about style and function. Guests are going to LOVE the Free amenities
that your hotel offers. But I want to point out that free doesn't
mean that you skimp on quality. Of four of the top hotels in town
that I've tried this year, your DSL service was the most reliable,
even over a 5-star national monument (hotel) that charges $24.95
per day for high-speed Internet connection. You've got the best
gym with dance and yoga classes, top-notch trainers, wonderful
massage therapists, and Parker Meridien is one of the few hotels
in NYC that has a pool.
differentiates us. The hotel was developed, built and owned by
Jack Parker, and has been since 1978 when he started developing.
It's not for sell, and it's not going to be for sale. We're not
trying to squeeze every penny out of the hotel. We foster relationships
with guests and the companies we work with. We could make a few
extra bucks here and there. When the market goes down, people
remember what you did on the up. Our motto is, "Let's treat
people fairly, and they'll repay us." These last few years,
when we were on the down, we did significantly better than our
competitors. That has to do with the long-term vantage that we
cater to conventions? Are there video-conferencing facilities?
We have video-conferencing
capabilities. We have a boardroom set up with video conferencing
and 16 seats, with capability for more. We have 9000 feet for
corporations and for, social events, like weddings, birthdays,
made some very bold, creative decisions that have launched the
Parker Meridien and the Parker Meridien restaurants (like Norma's)
to the top of the industry. What are your personal success secrets?
Just how did you get so capricious? You've stressed time and again
that your expectations have been exceeded, and that some of the
ideas just didn't work…
I think that
in this business, probably in most businesses, to be successful
you need to be passionate about it. You need to love it. It needs
to be quite consuming. For me, there are two elements, which are
my family and my work. In our business, it's hard to have a balance.
I'd be curious how many General Managers are on their first marriage.
I'm married 27 years. It's very unusual. To have that balance
between personal and work and to have energy and passion are the
keys to being happy and successful. You can't do this job and
shut it off when you go home at night. I'm always thinking when
I go out, "That was a great idea, how can I incorporate it?"
You're always trying to be innovative. People oftentimes tell
me that I'm lucky because I like what I do. If you're passionate
about what you do, if you're into what you do, you can't shut
it off. In the end, you have to be yourself. The minute you're
forcing it, you're not going to be successful. You have to like
the people you work with, or it's not worth doing.
of L.A., FUN, FROLIC and FREE TIME in Sunny So Cal..
while investors think about more important things than the rise
and fall of the NYSE and NASDAQ (like their tan lines), our editors
have put together the best things for FUN, FROLIC and FREE TIME
in Los Angeles. We encourage all over-worked Americans, who have
posted extraordinary productivity gains in the last few hard years,
to enjoy a grand, well-earned vacation! And if your travels bring
you to sunny southern California, treat yourself to only the best,
courtesy of our editors and friends, an eclectic, elite, down-home
Restaurant: Josie's Restaurant, Santa Monica, CA. Fresh,
organic, inspired, unusual and simply an orgasm for your taste
buds. Star chef, Josie Le Balch, known for Remi and the Beach
House, and her Chef de Cuisine, Jill Davie, create seasonal menus,
using local produce and the finest ingredients available. Co-owner
Frank Delzio employs his Napa Valley connections to stock the
cellar. Don't skip Pastry Chef Jonna J. Jensen's dessert. Every
calorie is worth it! www.JosieRestaurant.com
2424 Pico Boulevard, Santa Monica, Ca. 90405 (310) 581.9888
Cheap Restaurant: Sunnin, Westwood, CA. Owner and matriarch,
Toni, serves up home-style Mid-Eastern food with daily specials
that include wonderful staples like baba ganoush, hummus, eggplant,
lamb and okra. Fresh-made daily. First come, first serve. Cheap
and delicious. 310.477.2358. 1779 Westwood Blvd., just north of
Santa Monica Blvd., in Westwood.
Breakfast: Il Dolce Café, Santa Monica, CA. With
a quaint garden rear patio on one of the most chic streets in
So Cal, Il Dolce is rife with entertainment industry heavyweights
and sometimes, a few stars. Why? Sure it's local, low-key and
reasonably priced, but where else can you get your latte hand-pressed
in a vintage 1967 Gaggia cappuccino maker? If breakfast is all
about espresso and scones, then Il Dolce Café is paradise.
Starbucks, Coffee Bean, none of these come close to Il Dolce's
strong, savory coffee drinks. If you see Marg Helgenberger there
in her workout clothes, hiding behind shades, be a local and pretend
not to notice. 310.458.4880. 1023B Montana Avenue. Santa Monica,
CA. Email: IlDolceCafe@hotmail.com
Cheap Breakfast: Gilbert's El Indio, Santa Monica, CA.
Cheap and cheesy with a friendly family staff. Share newspapers
with your neighbor. Get the latest sports updates and movie reviews
from Luna and Mario. The most food you'll ever get for under $6.00.
Great salsa and guacamole. Don't bother if you're not into juevos,
frijoles and hash browns. Bring your own Starbucks if you require
good coffee. 2526 Pico Blvd, Santa
Monica, CA 90405-1829. Phone: (310) 450-8057
Tourist Restaurant: It's rare when anyone or anything
can boast of having it all. Few of us can hope to have one evening
that remotely shadows a Jennifer Aniston/Brad Pitt date. Beauty
is fleeting. Stardom elusive. Who knows how the Lobster manages
to get everything right: a fantastic view right on the ocean,
great food, reasonably priced parking, friendly wait staff and
all at standard gourmet prices? Book ahead. The Lobster,
1602 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90401. Phone: (310) 458-9294
Dim Sum: Empress Pavilion, Chinatown, Los Angeles, CA.
An endless selection of traditional Chinese favorites (like chicken's
feet and congee) alongside more American friendly pork buns, shrimp
dumplings and shiu mai. Try the Chinese tamales, which are filled
with sticky rice, chestnuts, fried meat morsels and savory flavors.
For dessert, don't pass up the sesame rolls with red bean filling,
the mango pudding and/or the custard tarts. Your kids (or the
kid in you) will thank you. 988 N. Hill, Los Angeles, CA. 213.617.9898
Sushi: Asanebo, Studio City, CA. Nobu, step aside! Specializing
in sashimi, small portions and delectable seasonings that hang
on your taste buds long after the bite, Asanebo is the only choice
for the most memorable Japanese experience you'll have on this
side of the Pacific Rim. Redefines the word expensive. A once
in a lifetime experience for those who count pennies. A ‘seal
the deal' sure shot for businesspersons looking to court their
clients or mates looking to impress their dates. 818.760.3348.
11941 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, CA.
Experience: Sunrise biking and rollerblading at Venice Beach.
If you wait too late (after 10:00 a.m.), the Venice Beach boardwalk
blade and bike path is worse than the Los Angeles freeways, nearly
a parking lot, frustrating and dangerous if you're unsteady on
your wheels. Go early (5:30 or earlier will catch the sunrise,
8:00 is when the locals are just waking up) and the colorful,
eccentric sights and sounds of the boardwalk are all yours. It's
worth the wait to hit Fig Tree's Café for their cornmeal
or oatmeal pancakes, which allows you a front seat view of the
vendors setting up their cheap artwork and sage smudge sticks,
while the blue skies and waves glisten on the horizon. Renting
blades and bikes starts at $10-$12 per person per hour, with lots
of options, from roller blades to fun cycles to Beach cruisers.
Rent the night before if you're going for the 5:30 a.m. sunset
ride. Where Rose Avenue meets the beach in Venice, California.
here for a map.
Palace: The Getty Center:
You don't need a reservation and admission is free. Just drive
your car up to Brentwood, pay $5.00 and treat yourself like a
royal tooling around the exquisite gardens, viewing one of the
most impressive photography collections in the world and gaping
at original Van Gogh, Monet and Holbein. Everything from the architecture,
to the view, to the food (yes! Even the food) is memorable. www.getty.edu.
On Sepulveda Blvd., off the 405 freeway, north of the 10 freeway,
in Brentwood, California.
Business Suit: Frankie B: West Coast designer, Daniella
Clark, best known for making trashy cool with her ultra low hip
huggers and sheer cotton t-shirts, has taken tasteful sexy to
its breaking point with her new skin-tight, hip hugger pant and
skirt suits. Pamela Anderson nearly fell out of her Laker skybox
when she saw first saw it! Strictly for models, anorexics, Lara
Flynn Boyle, and those, like plumbers, who are daring enough to
ride their pants below the crack. For showroom locations and phone
numbers please call: 213.624.5411 or check out the collection
on line at www.frankieb.com.
(For our male readers, Victoria's Secret has nothing on the Frankie
B models and clothing.)
Makeover: Lori Hart, Marina del Rey, CA: Specializing
in non-surgical face-lifts (that don't hurt or cut!), skin care
and makeup, Lori Hart can make you look years younger after just
one electro-stimulating treatment. The series is designed to shave
up to 15 years off your jowls, wrinkles and frown lines without
making your face look tight or unnatural, at a fraction of the
cost. Lori's studio is a throwback to old Hollywood, with Sinatra
piped in, feathers, boas and pampering galore. Anti-aging never
felt so luxurious! 310.574.3990. www.lorihart.com
Yoga Class: Golden Bridge Yoga, Los Angeles, CA: Yoga
is still all the rage in Los Angeles, with literally thousands
of new instructors (i.e. Burned out career people) claiming to
understand inner peace. Golden Bridge Yoga is a spiritual-based
yoga center that is run by practicing Sikhs who attend Sadna at
4:10 a.m. every morning, when many yoga instructors are still
sleeping off their martinis. After yoga, you may be served a vegetarian
meal just because "sharing food is sacred." Gurmukh
Kaur Khalsa, 60, the co-founder and director, is famous for being
the yogi to the stars, specializing in pre and post-natal care.
The real deal in yoga and spirituality, from the music, to the
setting, to the wrapped heads, to the practice itself. 5901 3rd
Street, 1st Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90036 323.936.4172.
100% Financing? You May Be Closer to Purchasing Your First Home
Than You Think.
Welch, Mortgage Loan Consultant, 310-666-4020 or KassieWelch@aol.com
people, buying their first home is a daunting task, especially
saving for the down payment. Well, that's no longer the case.
Gone are the days of saving 10, 15 or even 20% before enjoying
the benefits of home ownership. With the advent of 100% loan programs,
many more people are able to leverage their credit and income
to buy a home now.
programs are available for purchase, refinance and debt consolidation
on Single Family Residences (SFRs), Planned Urban Development
(PUDs), Duplexes and Condos. Below is a list showing the flexibility
of 100% financing.
Financing Program Highlights*:
down payment required
for first-time homebuyers
amounts up to $875,000
scores as low as 600
only mortgage payments available
verification of rent or mortgage payment required
cash reserves required
mortgage insurance required
to 55% debt-to-income ratios allowed
may pay up to 6% of non-recurring closing costs
income and no income verification loans available
day out of bankruptcy is okay; no seasoning required
lines of traditional credit required, with two-year credit
closing costs may be required
Can you say liberal monetary policy three times fast before interest
rates start a-rising and your adjustable interest rate mortgage
payment balloons bigger than you've budgeted for?]
One of my
favorite 100% financing success stories is Patricia Rodriguez
(name changed to protect her privacy). Patricia, a young nurse
one year out of school making about $60,000 a year, was able to
purchase/finance a $270,000 home. When she made her offer she
wrote a check for $3,000, all the money she had at the time, as
a Good Faith Deposit on the house. Her Real Estate Agent then
negotiated with the sellers to credit Patricia $6,000 to cover
her closing costs, which many 100% lenders allow. At the time
of closing, Patricia actually received a check for almost $1200,
buying her first home with just over $1800 out of pocket cash.
As you can
see by the above example, there are many advantages of 100% financing.
The first and most obvious is becoming a homeowner much sooner,
instead of waiting to save for a down payment. This means that
you begin to immediately build equity and earn appreciation, or
rise in property value, increasing your net financial worth versus
lining the pockets of your landlord.
Real estate, like all investments, waxes and wanes in value. Buying
today doesn't ensure that your property will increase in value
tomorrow. In fact, in the event of a major disaster, natural or
man-made, your property value will decline significantly overnight.
Having said that, real estate has certainly had a great run-up,
in general, for the past few years, as a result of record low
interest rates and the fall of the stock markets. You may, in
fact, be buying high, if you purchase real estate right now. Unfortunately,
no one has a crystal ball about whether property values will continue
to rise, but most economists agree that interest rates and inflation
are sure to be headlines in 2005 and 2006. Any homebuyer who hasn't
budgeted for higher mortgage payments and property taxes may be
in trouble in the very near future.]
Below is an
example showing the upfront savings with 100% financing compared
to a low, 5% down payment, which is significant. The 95% loan-to-value
program requires a total of $20,925 to close whereas some 100%
lenders require no additional cash to close and "A Paper"
(two years employment, full documentation, and excellent credit)
100% financing programs only require two months reserves.
Down Versus 5% Down
on a minimum two months reserves. Please note: impounded taxes
may be higher depending on when taxes are due and what month the
of a 100% financing success story is the Donaldsons (name changed
to protect their privacy), a couple who approached me after one
of my monthly First Time Home Buyer Seminars. Although they had
excellent credit and made over $100,000 combined income a year,
they didn't have any savings except for retirement accounts. Instead
of paying a penalty to access their retirement funds, they raised
the number of dependents on their W-4s to net out more money from
their paychecks*. Six months later, the Donaldson's had enough
money to make a Good Faith Deposit on the purchase of their $500,000
home. Because of their good credit and employment history, I was
able to get them "A Paper" 100% financing with the Donaldson's
paying just over $6,000 out of pocket expenses.
with your professional tax preparer before making changes to your
obvious benefit of 100% financing is taking advantage of the maximum
interest payment deduction on your income tax returns. Even when
buyers have a down payment, some choose to finance 100% of their
purchase because they want the maximum tax write-off and to have
access to their money for other investments and uses, instead
of having their funds tied up in their home. Also, many 100% lenders
do not require Mortgage Insurance (MI), which compensates lenders
for making higher risk (greater than 80% loan-to-value) loans,
but is not tax deductible. With 80/20 "Piggy Back" loans,
the risk is built into the interest rate, which is a tax write-off.
Below is a payment comparison showing the net tax savings of 100%
financing versus 95% financing with Mortgage Insurance.
@ 5.0% $1288
@ 5.5% $1363
@ 6.5% $1801
@ 8.0% $440
@ 6% $300
is an example of a 2/28, which is a two year fixed rate mortgage,
which then becomes adjustable for the remaining 28 years. A 30
due in 15 loan is amortized over 30 years with the remaining balance
due in 15 as a balloon payment. These loan programs have liberal
underwriting guidelines, including alternative income documentation,
making it available to just about anyone with credit scores over
600. Both loans have two-year pre-payment penalty, which also
happens to be the required time to hold a piece of property without
capital gain implications. After two years, many borrowers either
refinance or sell their starter home rolling their equity into
their next home.
second example of "A Paper"100% financing. It is an
80/20 loan with a five-year fixed first and a HELOC (Home Equity
Line of Credit) second. The first loan has fixed interest rate/payments
for five years and then becomes adjustable. This is perfect since
most first time homebuyers usually sell 5.5 years after purchase.
The HELOC loan is an adjustable rate mortgage that's generally
tied to prime plus a "margin" depending on your credit
score. It is a popular choice because often times the interest
rate is lower and the loan acts like a credit card that you can
pay down and borrow against for a set period of time.
Based on 25% Tax Bracket (2004 Tax Rate Schedule - Single Person
earning between $29,050 - $70,350). Please check with your professional
tax preparer to determine your specific tax benefits of home ownership.
lenders also offer Interest Only loans, which can further reduce
payments. This allows for the second loan, which generally has
a higher interest rate, to be paid off faster and before you pay
down your first loan, just like you'd pay off a higher interest
rate credit card first. In addition, lower payments help buyers
qualify for higher loan amounts so they can purchase more home
now. Below is an example of lower monthly payments and savings
available with Interest Only (I/O) loans.
@ 5.0% $1288
@ 5.5% $1363
@ 8.0% $440
@ 6% $300
to zero down, many buyers are taking advantage of the 103% and
107% programs. These programs are designed to finance closing
costs and the 107% program pays up to 4% of consumer debt as well.
Both programs allow buyers to not only purchase sooner, but with
the 107% loan a buyer may be virtually consumer debt free at the
close of escrow. This program transforms consumer debt into tax-deductible
interest and sometimes leads to qualifying for higher loan amounts.
The 107% program
made all the difference for one young couple, the Espinozas (again,
the name is changed to protect their privacy). With 103% financing,
the couple only qualified for a $500,000 loan because they were
still paying off student loans. The problem began when they found
the home of their dreams, which happened to cost $517,000. With
some quick calculations, I discovered that by paying off their
student loans and wrapping them into their mortgage, they qualified
for the higher loan amount. The Espinozas were ecstatic. They
were thrilled to buy the home they really wanted, and to pay off
their student loans and have the interest be a tax write-off.
are concerned that 100% financing may mean higher interest rates.
Many people believe the benefits of the tax write-off and [chance
for] appreciation of home ownership far outweigh the cost. You
could wait and save for a down payment, or you could be benefiting
from a significant tax write-off and [potentially] earning appreciation
instead of making your landlord rich.
a First Time Home Buyer Seminar in the Los Angeles area or for
more information, please contact Kassie Welch at 310-666-4020
or at KassieWelch@aol.com.
Kassie is a seventeen-year veteran of the real estate finance
industry, with extensive experience in all areas of financial
services, from processing to underwriting. In addition to a degree
in Business Administration, she holds certifications in appraisal,
underwriting and fraud detection/prevention from the Mortgage
Please note that while real estate has been a top-performing asset
the last few years, real estate is as risky as any other investment,
and there is no guarantee that your purchase will be worth more
next year than it is this year. In fact, especially if you are
paying interest only, if property values fall, you may be locked
into your loan until property values return, which could take
years. In that scenario, you will be locked into a variable rate
loan that could be linked to rising interest rates, meaning your
monthly payment could increase significantly, and you'll have
no way to get out without making more money or foreclosing. Additionally,
rising interest rates are on the horizon. Factor that into your
what the experts, including Chairman Alan Greenspan, are predicting…
federal funds rate must rise at some point to prevent pressures
on price inflation from eventually emerging. As yet, the protracted
period of monetary accommodation has not fostered an environment
in which broad-based inflation pressures appear to be building.
But the Federal Reserve recognizes that sustained prosperity requires
the maintenance of price stability and will act, as necessary,
to ensure that outcome." Alan Greenspan, Chairman of the
Federal Reserve Board, speaking before the Before the Joint Economic
Committee, U.S. Senate, on 4.21.2004
that Fed funds can't be 2% in three months… It should be at least
that. Whether or not it can be 3 or 4, if the stock market can
handle higher rates, the Feds will bring it up." Keith Anderson,
Managing Director, Black Rock Financial, one of the biggest bond
managers in the country. 5.13.2004, speaking on Kudlow & Cramer.
economy is off to a strong start in 2004, and prospects for sustaining
the expansion in the period ahead are good. … However, the unified
deficit swelled to $375 billion in fiscal 2003 and appears to
be continuing to widen." Alan Greenspan, Chairman of the
Federal Reserve Board, speaking to the Committee on the Budget,
U.S. House of Representatives on 2.25.2004
we're going to have a serious problem with inflation and rising
interest rates. I'm not worried about it in 2004, but I'm critically
worried about it in 2005 and 2006." David Littman, chief
economist, Comerica Bank, speaking on Kudlow and Cramer, 12.30.03
Desperate & Bankrupt to Confident and Cash-Flow Positive!
Audrey Reed, author of Money Tool Box For Women Simple
Solutions for Mastering Your Money
and William were advised to Declare Bankruptcy, but with a few
key pointers from NataliePace.com contributing writer, Dr. Audrey Reed,
they skipped off the path of debt, and into financial freedom.
is the time to clean up messes. Last year, I was invited to Dallas
to do a Money Makeover for a couple and their three children.
Their hard work and diligence changed the alchemical makeup of
the entire family's relationship to money, and abundance is now
of 2003, Fox 4 Television called and requested that I come to
Dallas for their two part series, Money Makeovers. The
producers had been having a difficult time finding their qualifying
couple. Jessica Nixon was serendipitously walking down the hall
from an interview for her graphic arts business, when she overheard
the producer talking about needing a participant for the program
in just two days.
William are typical of the thinking that happens when families
get into financial trouble, either through naïve business
practices or spending unwisely. This mindset has created an epidemic
in our nation. The cure takes time. Bankruptcy puts others in
jeopardy of being victim to your overspending. Be honorable in
your behavior and in your actions. The damage you cause may not
be just to your own credit rating. It severely impacts the businesses
and lives of others.
had found the perfect challenge just twelve hours before I boarded
the plane for Dallas. The circumstances seemed insurmountable.
in credit card debt
- three children
in private school
monthly debt factor each month
had been recommended for the family, but for Jessica, and her
husband William, that was not an acceptable answer. Nor was taking
their children out of private school, which could have been a
$2000.00 a month easy solution. Their expenditures were minimal
except for private school and the travel to and from private religious
school, but they would rather give up the farm than put the children
in public school. Jessica and William Nixon see education as the
children's future. There wasn't much else to give up in their
lifestyle--maybe $75 a month cable television!
to do whatever it took, Jessica met me at the studio the next
morning. She was beautiful and shy. She did not want to expose
her family's financial situation, seeing it as secret and personal.
Jessica and William wanted effective guidance that would lead
them out of debt. Their loyal family CPA recommended that they
declare bankruptcy and family members, who could not listen to
the entire story, merely offered their assurances that everything
would work out, not to worry.
How did they
get to this point? Neither Jessica nor William is the typical
credit card abuser. Most of their debt came from two clients who
did not pay Jessica for graphic artwork and printing work. She
had fallen prey to their cash flow issues and was receiving only
$400.00 per month, which had her paying the interest on a major
portion of the debt load. William is a Hunter Guide and Farmer.
They had entrepreneurially supported their family for the past
Below is an
excerpt from our interview…
When did you begin to believe you were in financial difficulties?
couple of months after the clients should have been paying the
money back to us. These clients kept telling us they were going
to pay. They didn't know we were in trouble. We felt victimized.
It stopped us in our tracks.
know what was going on all the time in Jessica's business?
when I realized we were in trouble. Before that, I didn't want
to worry William.
started to be more money out than in a month - then what?
were in serious trouble, and didn't know what to do about it.
We didn't seek other advice. We were embarrassed. We lost our
ability to see all that we had and could use to get ourselves
out of this mess. It was like we had gained lots of weight and
couldn't get our faces out of the refrigerator.
and William were not into their wealthy thinking. Jessica was
carrying client debt factor as her burden. They had become consumed
with, "How are we going to play the bills?" rather than
"What are the assets we have that can assist us with our
- Farm and
Farm House--250 acres (Free and Clear)
- Farm Equipment
- Lease Land
for Hunter Guide Business (William)
- The first
change we made was to set Jessica's business up so that she
accepted credit cards. All client billing and costs where put
on the client credit card.
assignment - How could the assets that they had and were not
using be used?
from bank for acreage not including house property.
more hunter guide using the leaseable land to cover entire
out part of their farm land for grazing
out how to use billboard on their hunting property.
about how I changed her attitude toward rich thinking! "The
lesson was to use credit cards in the business, so that the bill
goes directly to the client, so we couldn't be put in this position
again. Thinking we should have known, stopped us, then you showed
up in our life. We were not necessarily good business people,
[although] we do have good businesses."
the bank would loan the money on the land, but they wouldn't.
A small set back! We went back again. They would loan the money
on the tractor. That was fabulous! A bank with a conscious. The
loan manager didn't want them to loose any land, if they could
pay back the loan.
- The bank
(they still had good credit and a good banking relationship)
loaned them $30,000 on a three-year loan (at a good rate) to
pay off all credit card debt. This reduced their monthly payments
enrolled one more hunter guide to lease time on the hunting
reserve. That covered the tax bill for the year.
found a local cattle rancher who needed alternative grazing
land and leased a portion for the next year.
- They are
still working on the billboard aspect. Since it had not been
used in so many years, there is red tape with the TXDOT.
would have never thought of these small but fruitful alternatives
to bringing in more streams of income. We were thinking acting
and thinking poor. Your assistance has changed our thinking. It
expanded the way I was talking to people about money.
This entire ordeal has made me focused and aware. Now I am speaking
to a group of hunting clients about funding for another project.
This would not have even crossed my mind before--to partner with
investors. Rich thinking - we aren't thinking in a rabbit hole
was the most difficult new behavior to master?
Save money whenever you don't feel like there is any money to
down where I spend money. I thought it took the control out of
my hands. Jessica would know how much money I was spending and
on what. I don't know why that made me uncomfortable. Now I appreciate
the practice. It made me aware of how much money I am spending,
and how much money it takes to operate the family and our businesses.
you feeling about it now?
still get nervous when things get a little slow, but I see how
it can work out.
William gets nervous. When you are self-employed, it is difficult
and causes concern. All the bills are paid and we are putting
money back. William and I are talking about everything now. The
children and involved, as well, in our financial discussions.
On your recommendation,
we were strengthening our relationship with the Bank.
assignment was to obtain a land loan from the bank to eliminate
the high credit card interest rates. The bank would only give
us a loan on the tractor, so we jumped on it. We saved $300.00
a month on interest alone, and the loan will be paid off in three
years, instead of paying interest on our interest with the credit
card payments. We have realized that being concerned is okay,
it heightens our awareness. It keeps us focused, as long as we
are looking for solutions. Bankruptcy is no longer in our thoughts.
I am actually opening bills and writing checks on time. I had
gotten to the point that I was letting the bills pile up.
the children? How have they changed?
William -That's the best….They have taken to this new thinking
and our discussions in such a magical way. They are totally into
being a part of this.
talk about money and this year's Christmas list was very sensitive,
about what they really wanted and if there was enough left over,
oldest daughter Natalie is managing her new checking account,
and doing very well with your simple solutions. She is budgeting
her gasoline allowance and making decisions about activities to
stay within her budget. She's making relations with the bank.
Joe, our two other children have their own savings accounts and
have a goal of depositing money each month. We do not let them
do automatic deposits. Each month they go into the bank and deposit
the money into their savings accounts. Making relationships! They
are both thinking of ways to earn money. Joe, the youngest at
nine years old, asked for 101 Ways for a Kid to Make Money…He
has a plan that mirrors our whole theme.
Joe is working
on the percentages I recommended:
- 10% to
pay himself with out of his allowance
- % savings
- % church
- % to spend
- % educational
The kids are
more aware of spending habits and don't push for drive-through
dining and meaningless purchases. They have begun to think things
through, to make decisions on how they really want to spend family
money, and they want to participate.
and the experience changed Jessica and William's lives. They had
read a lot of books before these money issues crashed down on
them. When they were actually in it, they couldn't see the forest
for the trees. Now, they have a clarity and intention that guides
their behaviors, and they are grateful.
Reed is the Founder of Works in Progress, Inc. She uses her 30
years of business experience, her spiritual guidance (Doctor of
Spiritual Science) and educational savvy, along with an uncanny
intuition, to guide her clients to thinking outside of the box,
while staying focused on the ultimate goal. Unblocking the pathways
to wealth and riches, brings clarity to businesses and individuals
searching for new abundant territory.
Box For Women - Simple Solutions for Mastering Your Money
is now available as an e-book. Go to www.draudreyreed.com
to order for only $6.95 per copy.
out Verbal Magik - Ten Simple Practices to Increase Sales www.verbalmagik.com
MONEY MAKER-OVER? Dr. Audrey Reed will be in the NataliePace.com chat
room on Wednesday, June 16, 2004 at 8:45 a.m. PST. MARK YOUR CALENDARS!
Inflation Mild or Underestimated?
Interest Rates Rise Before the Election?
B. Snider, CFA, President, Live Oak Capital, LLC
low interest rate environment is based on the view that inflation
is mild. It was just a few months ago that there was a "deflation"
debate. However, economists ought to get out more often. They
should go shopping sometime. The reported Consumer Price Index
(CPI) increase of 1.9 percent for 2003 seems at odds with the
price appreciation we are witnessing in many areas.
float on top of the expected inflation rate, so any change in
Wall Street's perception of inflation would have direct bearing
on bond prices. Investors are counting on their bonds to represent
the safe portion of their portfolios. If economists are underestimating
inflation, even by a relatively small amount, investors may be
at risk of suffering a future price decline of their bond holdings.
The CPI is
a widely followed measure of inflation reported by the U.S. Department
of Labor as part of its Bureau of Labor Statistics. Prices are
collected in 87 urban areas across the country from roughly 50,000
households and 23,000 retail businesses. The index compares current
prices for a basket of goods and services to prices during the
base period of 1982-'84. Prices are weighted according to a typical
household's spending behavior, as follows:
Change for 2003
goods and services
Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. Updated through
December 2003, with weights rounded to first decimal position.
changes appear mild, but it is difficult to reconcile these government
figures with other reports of price increases. For example, the
following price changes were reflected in a recent Wall Street
Journal table of consumer purchases:
Change for 2003
Home (median resale price)
Gasoline (average national price per gallon, including taxes)
Big Mac (average recommended price)
Stay (one day in a semiprivate room, excluding physician
Ticket (adult ticket, first-run theater, in the evening)
(one week for an adult at Club Med's Punta Cana resort,
in College (in-state for an undergraduate student at Penn
Preparation (average cost of tax return preparation by H&R
in the Wall Street Journal column, January 2, 2004, page R11:
National Association of Realtors, The Economist Big Mac Index,
Lundberg Survey, Medical Mutual of Ohio, AMC Entertainment.
It is dangerous
for bond investors to underestimate inflation. Rising interest
rates cause bond prices to decline, with longer maturities taking
the worst hit. This interest rate risk is separate from the credit
quality of the bond. For example, here are the current rates and
potential price declines for U.S. Treasury obligations of varying
price decline on bond if interest rates rise by one-percent
has been the economic boogeyman since 1980, when the figure spiked
to nearly fifteen percent and the Federal Reserve declared inflation
monetary enemy number one. Over the years, policies directed toward
containing inflation have generally been successful. However,
inflation is a tough opponent. We are currently seeing high oil
prices, a falling U.S. dollar on foreign exchange, large federal
and state budget deficits, and the early stages of rising labor
costs that are usually associated with accelerating economic activity.
These are just some of the factors piquing my skepticism. It is
often too late to protect against interest rate risk once the
Federal Reserve identifies the threat and takes action. Investors
looking for safety in their portfolios may want to shorten the
average maturity of their bond holdings.
Byron B. Snider, CFA
Live Oak Capital, LLC
2535 Townsgate Road, Suite 310
Westlake Village, CA 91361
discuss rising interest rates with a pro? Wonder how it will affect
bonds? What should you do if you have a variable rate real estate
loan? Join Bryon Snider in the NataliePace.com Chat Room on Wednesday,
June 23rd for a Closing Bell Chat at 1:00 p.m. PST.
a Free Trip to Barcelona, Spain and Make the World a Better Place
at the Same Time!
Tam, the founder of the US Foundation, will be giving the keynote
address for the forum on business at
the Barcelona Forum 2004, featuring business leaders like Bill
Gates and Carly Fiorina and rock stars like Sting. What is The
Role of Corporations in the 21st Century?
writer, Marilyn Tam, the founder of the US Foundation
Barcelona Forum 2004 is an unprecedented gathering of people from
all societies to spontaneously and freely participate in creating
a better planet based on the principles of cultural diversity,
economic sustainability, and world peace. Recognizing this important
juncture in history, the United Nations, the Spanish government,
the Catalan government, and the city of Barcelona, Spain dedicated
themselves to the building of an international village to host
a celebration of ideas, dialogue, and diversity.
first world event will be held in Barcelona May 9th
through September 26th, 2004 with an expected attendance
of five million people. The Forum features forty-five Dialogues
and hundreds of entertainment and cultural events. Through worldwide
television broadcasts, web casts, and ongoing interactive web
sites, at least 500 million people will participate in this
progressive exchange, as it offers a powerful ongoing means of
global cross-cultural communication and action. For more information,
go to www.barcelona2004us.org.
We, the North
American marketing and promotions arm, are sponsoring an essay
contest on the themes of the Universal Forum of Cultures Barcelona
2004: cultural diversity, sustainable development and conditions
for peace. High school, college and graduate students are invited
to participate. The top 3 winners get a trip to the Forum for
a week and the top 100 essays will be published in a book and
on the websites. The essay deadline is June 15, 2004. ACT NOW!!
The essay contest website is http://www.barcelona2004us.org/essay.html
that most attracted me was the one entitled the Role of the Corporation
in the 21st Century. This is where I can add the most
value. I have experience in global business, having worked with
120 countries and having first hand knowledge of the impact businesses
have on the lives and environment of so many places.
I was thrilled
when the Forum asked me to be the opening keynote to this conference.
I was flattered since the list of speakers are outstanding, including
Carly Fiorina, Chairman and CEO of Hewitt Packard, Tim Love, co-chair
of Saatchi & Saatchi, the largest advertising and marketing
agency in the world, the former US Secretary of State, Madeline
Albright and yes, even Bill Gates!
that they may have wanted me to speak because of my background
and my path to becoming a corporate leader. Maybe my perspective
coming from unlikely circumstances gave me a different view and
insight into the corporation's role and impact in the world--the
good, the bad and the ugly.
When I was
a young girl of 8 or 9 growing up in Hong Kong, I would spend
the summers with my aunt and uncle in the fishing village of Tai
Po. There I would play with the village children, and the fisher
kids learning and doing what they did. We would walk and play
alongside the river, which had water the color of the fabrics
that were being dyed that day by the factories that lined the
banks. The river would be yellow or blue or red, depending on
the color of the fabrics being dyed, because the excess dye and
used dying bath was just emptied into the gutters, which ran into
along to the back alleys where the hand embroidered needlepoint
handbags were made. We would take pieces of beautiful fabrics
home to embroider the needlepoint background; the simple handwork
was just US 75cents per piece. Or we would go to the further back
alleys where the plastic flowers factories were and get bags of
plastic leaves, stems and petals to assemble at home and then
bring back, charging just one US dollar for one hundred stems.
I would go down to the banks of the ocean bay and play with the
fishermen children. I would wade in the mud with them, digging
for clams, which they sold in the open air market on the other
side of the river. We would split newspapers and the long reeds
that grew by the banks of the bay to use as wrapping and string.
We ate off the street stalls, earned money doing this various
piecework and played on the street. The air was warm, the days
long and sunny and I thought life was wonderful.
about child labor, unfair wages or environmental degradation,
and looking back at it now, all that was definitely going on.
I didn't realize
the meaning of poverty and injustice until I returned to school
in the city when I was 11. There I found out that one of my school
mate's whole family lived in a room of 200 square feet and shared
a bathroom and kitchen with two other families in a government
subsidized apartment building. Now that to me was sad and unfair.
Here was a girl just like me, doing her best to learn in school
and having to struggle with having a place to do her homework
or to get enough food to eat. It didn't seem fair that by the
accident of birth she was given this difficult lot to deal with.
to make a difference for people with so much less than what I
had. Sure I had my challenges, growing up in a traditional Chinese
family as the second girl to be followed quickly by the birth
of three brothers. I was neglected and abused, but I had enough
to eat and space to study. I resolved that I would grow up to
make a positive difference in the world.
as my mission, I left home in my mid-teens and went to America
by myself to go to University. I made my way through graduate
school and to achieve leadership in several Fortune 500 companies.
As I rose to become a VP of Apparel and Accessories at Nike, as
President of Reebok Apparel Products and Retail Group and CEO
of Aveda, I never forgot my schoolmate and my mission to make
a difference in lives like hers.
So, as I worked
in the corporate world, doing business with 120 countries around
the world, I always remembered my youthful experiences. Working
with the factories first in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, Greece,
Turkey and gradually as the economy of those countries grew stronger
and more expensive to produce goods, we moved production further
into less developed nations, first India, then Pakistan, Bangladesh,
Indonesia, Vietnam, Mauritius, Eastern Europe, Africa, Mexico
and South America. In each case, we established labor standards
for the factories we worked with. We demanded proper working conditions,
enough ventilation, lighting, breaks, living wage, and a minimum
age requirement for the workers. We also set standards for the
materials and dyestuffs used in the manufacturing and packaging
We also worked
with our competitors to try to establish industry wide standards
for garment manufacturing. It was a slow and often difficult process;
cooperation between competitors in the same field is regarded
with suspicion. By the mid 80's and early 90's, the US and European
consumers were growing in awareness of the deplorable conditions
that many of the goods they consumed were made under. Child labor,
prison labor, slave labor, appalling working conditions, low wages,
and with the goods often produced under circumstances that had
a devastating effect on the environment. It was a time that was
ripe for global cooperation on raising the working conditions
and environmental protection.
At the same
time, the cultures of the production countries were being westernized
and rapidly impacted by the radical changes brought about by the
influx of capital and build- up of factories and development of
former rural areas into urban landscapes. These changes were rapid
and oftentimes done without a long-term plan and consideration
of the effects on the local cultures. Cultural norms were oftentimes
ignored by the western buyers who brought in, with their financial
capital, their taste and attitudes in food, entertainment, attire
and social attitudes. It was like the US Wild West days, in many
ways, repeated in many countries. Enough of the local populations
were enjoying the fruits of the globalization of supply and demand,
that, oftentimes, the long-term consequences of putting up another
factory or clearing the forest for a cattle ranch were not considered.
were making change in the livelihood of the people, and at the
same time environmental degradation and the western push towards
hyper-consumerism was being pushed forward. There is no simple
answer to these challenges. The intent of the Universal Forum
of Cultures is to create more fruitful dialogue and collaboration
between people and nations that are each doing their own initiatives
towards a more holistic view of business and development. How
do we maintain and advance ethical standards in or treatment of
each other, businesses and the environment?
What can you
do to help? It is up to each individual to act. We can't wait
for the government or businesses to act. Ultimately it is our
action, whether we are voting in elections or voting with our
dollars, that makes the difference.
is an influential corporate leader, speaker, consultant, author,
respected philanthropist and social activist. www.HowToUseWhatYouveGot.com
book, How to Use What You've Got to Get What You Want,
receives an average 5-star rating from Amazon.com customers. In
her book, Ms. Tam talks about how to discover your own inner North
Star, and how to use it to navigate your efforts to achieve maximum
personal success. The hardcover is just $14.00 on Amazon.com.
like to read more on how the companies Marilyn Tam worked for
helped to eliminate child labor in the garment industry, click
Make-overs, Networking Luncheons, Conferences, galas, chats, teleclasses,
seminars and other special opportunities! Check out whats
happening online at the Calendar section of the web site, at www.NataliePace.com.
6.15.2004 -- MONEY MAKE-OVER
& NETWORKING LUNCHEON. Financial Wisdom: Warren Buffett and
Peter Lynch, two of the most successful investors ever, have investing
secrets. You should know them. Network and get financially fit
over buffet luncheon. Investing can be as much fun as shopping
for shoes! $35-$45. Call (818) 428-3283 or CLICK
HERE to register online.
-- NEED AN INDIVIDUAL MONEY MAKER-OVER? Dr. Audrey Reed will be
in the NataliePace.com CHAT room on Wednesday, June 16, 2004 at 8:45
a.m. PST. MARK YOUR CALENDARS!
6.22.2004 - Women's
Technology Leadership Panel, in Costa Mesa. Business
Leaders share their success secrets & encourage others, especially
women, to succeed in the world of business on a local, national
and global stage. $15-$30. Email Joanne Smith at email@example.com
or register online at the calendar section of the NataliePace.com web-site.
6.23.2004 -- Want to
discuss rising interest rates with a pro? Wonder how rates affect
bonds? What should you do if you have a variable rate real estate
loan? Join Bryon Snider in the NataliePace.com CHAT Room on Wednesday,
June 23rd for a Closing Bell Chat at 1:00 p.m. PST.
6.23.2004 - Step Up
Los Angeles Enterpreneur's Panel. 210,000
businesses in LA are owned by women. Would you like to become
the next successful female entrepreneur? Listen and learn from
6 highly successful leaders. $20. Limited space. Register early!
For more info email: firstname.lastname@example.org
or register online at the calendar section of the NataliePace.com web-site.
VISION: To build
a global community of investors through seminars, a world-wide
web-site and, ultimately, television.
GOAL: Working change: To promote successful investing and ethics
MISSION: To build a global investment community by providing easy
access to important financial news, by promoting a dialogue between
members and industry professionals and by promoting ethical business
practices, products and services.
PHILOSOPHY: The W.I.N. philosophy centers around five principles:
Ongoing Education, Monthly Commitment, Diversified Portfolio,
Ethical Business Practices, Pooled Resources.
For more information on W.I.N. contact us at info@NataliePace.com
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and does not operate or act as one.