A settlement has finally been reached between the nations largest bank and the U.S. Department of Justice. After months of investigation into the seedy dealings of toxic loans, J. P. Morgan Chase admits that their practices were unlawful and plans to fork over $13 billion. Of the settlement, $4 billion will aid in the relief of suffering homeowners.
“Without a doubt, the conduct uncovered in this investigation helped sow the seeds of the mortgage meltdown,” Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement. “J.P. Morgan was not the only financial institution during this period to knowingly bundle toxic loans and sell them to unsuspecting investors, but that is no excuse for the firm’s behavior.”
In an official statement, the Dept. of Justice says that J. P. Morgan Chase acknowledged the fact that it told investors that mortgage securities were in compliance with underwriting policies, when in fact bank employees knew that the loans did not comply. Therefore, the $4 billion in aid and its particulars were decided upon by the Dept of Justice and the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development. Their negotiations ended with the following distributed payout:
- $3.2 billion towards the write-down of principle amounts of J.P. Morgan Chase held loans.
- Up to $500 million towards mortgage “forbearance” – the restructuring of home loans in order to reduce monthly payments.
- Additional $2 billion will go toward ”new mortgage origination for low-and-moderate income borrowers and absorb the remaining principle owed on properties that have been vacated, but not yet foreclosed upon.”
It is expected that these mortgage fixes will be completed by the end of 2016.
Read full story HERE.
Yesterday was a great day for owners of the “TWTR” stock. The messaging app opened up publicly and instantly created gigantic wealth for many as the stock closed at over 70%.
When Twitter opened the doors for a selective few to purchase at $26, analyst had no idea the stock would soar to $44.90. This instantly created the flood gates for individuals to quickly sell their $26 shares and turn a complete 100% profit. A lot of millionaires (and some billionaires) were born yesterday. But, Twitter has to now figure out how it will maintain a $31 billion market value. Experts believe this is where they will suffer in the long run.
Unlike Facebook, Twitter hasn’t been able to turn a profit. It’s advertising revenues aren’t generating the money many thought it would. Several reasons could be that advertising on Twitter lacks visual appeal. On Facebook, you can see a picture of the product instantly. You do not have to, literally, “click-thru” an url link in order to see and fully understand what product or service is being sold. Also, Twitter 140-characters only policy can ruin a company’s ability to impact the consumer through words. So, advertising is clearly a troubled area for Twitter.
Another area of concern is the global impact of Twitter. Although 232 million of Twitter users are internationally-based, their global ad sales are far from stellar. The numbers don’t add up. Therefore, Twitter tells the Associated Press that it plans to hire more sales representatives in various locations across the globe (i.e. Australia, Brazil, and Ireland).
Do you believe Twitter will maintain its leverage? Let us know what you think.
Many investors have been waiting on Twitter to announce the price range of their initial public offering. The wait is over.
Twitter has announced that shares will cost $17 to $20 for their initial public offering. Deemed as the hottest IPO of the year, analysts believes it may out shine Facebook, whose own IPO was met with a few glitches. But to prevent the same things from happening, Twitter is playing it safe by keeping their price on the conservative end. The initial offering will include 70 million shares. Shares are expected to begin trading in early November. After the initial shares are offered, another 10.5 million shares will be up for purchase.
The San Francisco-based short-messaging service plans to list its stock under the ticker symbol “TWTR” on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares will likely start trading in early November. Twitter will begin its IPO “roadshow” as early as Friday, meeting with prospective investors to pitch its stock.
The company’s valuation is conservative. Some analysts had expected the figure to be as high as $20 billion. Back in August Twitter priced some of its employee stock options at $20.62, based on an appraisal by an investment firm. (AP)
Twitter’s appeal to social media users and investors is the simplicity of it. Unlike Facebook, users have the ability to block unwanted followers and also keep their profiles not easily searchable. Twitter has approximately 230 million monthly users and isn’t no where comparable to Facebook when it comes to advertising revenues. But, its unique short-messaging service still remains a favorite to the younger generation. With their growth, Twitter’s potential growth is positive.
Learning how to read a stock table or ticker is fairly easy. Check out these descriptions and use them as a guideline when reading your daily newspaper or stock purchases via the internet.
Column 52-Week High and Low – These are the highest and lowest prices at which a stock has traded over the previous 52 weeks (one year). This typically does not include the previous day’s trading.
Column Company Name & Type of Stock – This column lists the name of the company. If there are no special symbols or letters following the name, it is common stock. Different symbols imply different classes of shares. For example, “pf” means the shares are preferred stock.
Column Ticker Symbol – This is the unique alphabetic name which identifies the stock. If you watch financial TV, you have seen the ticker tape move across the screen, quoting the latest prices alongside this symbol. If you are looking for stock quotes online, you always search for a company by the ticker symbol. If you don’t know what a particular company’s ticker is you can search for it at: http://finance.yahoo.com/l.
Column Dividend Per Share – This indicates the annual dividend payment per share. If this space is blank, the company does not currently pay out dividends.
Column Dividend Yield – The percentage return on the dividend. Calculated as annual dividends per share divided by price per share.
Column Price/Earnings Ratio – This is calculated by dividing the current stock price by earnings per share from the last four quarters. For more detail on how to interpret this, see our P/E Ratio tutorial.
Column Trading Volume – This figure shows the total number of shares traded for the day, listed in hundreds. To get the actual number traded, add “00″ to the end of the number listed.
Column Day High and Low – This indicates the price range at which the stock has traded at throughout the day. In other words, these are the maximum and the minimum prices that people have paid for the stock.
Column Close – The close is the last trading price recorded when the market closed on the day. If the closing price is up or down more than 5% than the previous day’s close, the entire listing for that stock is bold-faced. Keep in mind, you are not guaranteed to get this price if you buy the stock the next day because the price is constantly changing (even after the exchange is closed for the day). The close is merely an indicator of past performance and except in extreme circumstances serves as a ballpark of what you should expect to pay.
Column Net Change – This is the dollar value change in the stock price from the previous day’s closing price. When you hear about a stock being “up for the day,” it means the net change was positive.
Quotes on the Internet…
Nowadays, it’s far more convenient for most to get stock quotes off the Internet. This method is superior because most sites update throughout the day and give you more information, news, charting, research, etc.
Disclaimer: This article was originally posted in 2009, but via a different platform. Hopefully, this is found informational to those who didn’t read the original post.
With the constant reminder that this economy is no better off now than it was several years ago, many people are reluctant to put their money in so-called “safe houses” for fear of it being taken away by government or the greedy banks. But whether a bank is owned and operated by mainstream or by African-Americans, does that lessen the fear? Not necessarily so. As an African-American, choosing to bank with a Black owned financial institution opens up the possibilities of obtaining more financial freedom.
For years, many have experienced the woes of banking at most U.S. banks. From outrageous fees to non-approval of small business loans, minorities have been forced into this bubble in which opportunities are non-existent. Why is that? Has the “stereotypical” track record of us having bad credit and pitiful money management habits caused this? In the late 1800’s, there were more than 130 U.S. banks owned by African-Americans. By 1917, African-American owned and operated businesses, in general, were calculated to be about 50,000 located in the U.S. There were hundreds of all–Black communities that rose up from the Emancipation. These communities helped create well-oiled machine type neighborhoods where Blacks owned the houses, the storefronts, the schools, the land, etc. But by the 1970’s, those “entrepreneurial” days were over.
The demise of well-off all-Black communities was probably brought on by several factors (i.e. drugs, crime, welfare, sociological and economic depression, etc). The lack of Black-owned banks was, and still is, definitely a critical factor. As of 2010, the Federal Reserve Board reports that there are approximately 30 U.S. banks owned by African Americans. That is a far cry from the hundred or so owned in the 1800’s. So, how do we make these financial institutions leaders in the banking industry? How do we help push the importance of banking at a Black bank?
In order to bring Black banks to the forefront, people need to invest into their own. This is where it all starts. Investing in our own is the key to revitalizing our communities on our own terms. If we do not support and patronize our own businesses, our communities will continue to be overridden with other minority groups and mainstream business owners who can quickly obtain a small business loan from the conglomerate U.S banks (i.e. Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, etc). To have a better chance at securing loans, being approved for credit, obtain low percentage rates, etc, we have to start by allowing Black-owned institutions to be our safe-houses.
One thing people may stress is the lack of awareness. Where are the Black-owned banks located? Because they are small in size, the marketing budget may not be sufficient. There may be only one or two branches available. As they say, most people follow the crowd. If the crowd isn’t there, then of course this will make it difficult for someone to want to invest in the bank. But don’t allow this to deter you.
If you understand the big picture and aren’t aware of any banks in your area, here’s a list of several located throughout the U.S.
Carver Bancorp, Inc.
Deborah Wright, President & CEO
75 West 125th Street
New York, NY 10027
(212)876-4747 | FAX (212)426-6214
Independence Federal Savings Bank
Donna Shuler, President & CEO
1229 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20036
(202)628-5500 | FAX (202)626-7106
Industrial Bank, N.A.
Doyle Mitchell, President & CEO
4812 Georgia Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20011
(202)722-2000 | FAX (202)722-2040
Highland Community Bank
George Bar, CEO
1701 W. 87th Street
Chicago, IL 60620
(773)881-6800 | FAX (773)881-7567
Seaway National Bank of Chicago
Walter E Grady, President & CEO
645 East 87th Street
Chicago, IL 60619
(773)487-4800 | FAX (773)487-0452
Citizens Trust Bank of Atlanta
James E Young, President & CEO
75 Piedmont Avenue
Atlanta, GA 30303
(404)653-2800 | FAX (404)584-7766
Family Savings Bank, FSB
Wayne-Kent A Bradshaw, President & CEO
3683 Crenshaw Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90016
(213)295-3381 | FAX (213)296-6801
Liberty Bank and Trust Company
Alden J McDonald, CEO
P.O. Box 60131
New Orleans, LA 70160
(504)286-8861 | FAX (504)286-8866
City National Bank of New Jersey
Louis E Prezeau, CEO
900 Broad Street
Newark, NJ 07102
(973)624-0865 | FAX (973)624-4369
The Harbor Bank of Maryland
Joseph Haskins, CEO
25 West Fayette Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
(410)528-1800 | FAX (410)528-1420
Mechanics and Farmers Bank
Lee Johnson, Jr, Chairman, President & CEO
116 West Parrish Street
Durham, NC 27701
(919)683-1521 | FAX (919)687-7821
Broadway Federal Bank
Paul C Hudson, President & CEO
4835 W. Venice Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90019
(213)931-1886 | FAX (213)931-2272
Consolidated Bank and Trust Company
Vernard W Henley, Chairman
320 North First Street
Richmond, VA 23219
(804)771-5200 | FAX (804)771-5269
Illinois Service Federal S&L Association
Thelma J Smith, President & CEO
4619 South King Drive
Chicago, IL 60653
(773)624-2000 | FAX (773)624-5340
United Bank of Philadelphia
Emma Chappell, Chairman, President & CEO
714 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215)829-2265 | FAX (215)829-2269
Founders National Bank of Los Angeles
John Kelly, President & CEO
3910 W. MLK, Jr. Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90008
(213)290-4848 | FAX (213)290-3313
First Independence National Bank
Donald Davis, Chairman
44 Michigan Avenue
Detroit, MI 48226
(313)256-8400 | FAX (313)256-8811
Tri State Bank of Memphis
Jesse H Turner, Chairman & President
180 South Main at Beale
Memphis, TN 38103
(901)525-0384 | FAX (901)526-8608
Citizens Federal Savings Bank
Bunny Stokes, CEO
1700 3rd Avenue North
Birmingham, AL 35203
(205)328-2041 | FAX (205)214-3070
Dryades Savings Bank, FSB
Virgil Robinson, President & CEO
231 Carondelet Street Suite 200
New Orleans, LA 70130
(504)581-5891 | FAX (504)598-7233
Boston Bank of Commerce
Kevin Cohee, Chairman & CEO
133 Federal Street
Boston, MA 02110
(617)457-4418 | FAX (617)457-4430
Douglass National Bank
Ronald Wiley, President & CEO
1670 E. 63rd Street
Kansas City, MO 64110
(913)321-7200 | FAX (913)321-7519
Mutual Community Savings Bank Inc., SSB
William G. Smith, President & CEO
315 E. Chapel Hill Street
Durham, NC 27701
(919)688-1308 | FAX (919)682-1380
First Tuskegee Bank
James W Wright, Chairman & CEO
301 North Elm Street
Tuskegee, AL 36083
(334)262-0800 | FAX (334)265-4333
Capitol City Bancshares Inc
George Andrews, President
562 Lee Street S.W.
Atlanta, GA 30310
(404) 752-6067 | FAX (404)752-5862
Consolidated Bank & Trust Company
V. W. Henley, Chairman & CEO
320 North First Street P.O. Box 26823
Richmond, VA 23261-6823
(804)771-5200 | FAX (804)771-5244
When purchasing stock, many individuals cringe at the thought of paying high prices. But nowadays, there is a wonderful alternative to purchasing stock. Instead of spending all that money, try buying only a portion or a partial peice of stock(s). What this means is that, you can invest in mutual funds, stocks, etc for only 1/2 or 1/4 of the price. According to the Wallstreet Journal…
At consumer investing website ShareBuilder.com, you can buy a partial stake in about 7,700 securities—including Apple, Google, McDonald’s, the iShares Russell 2000 Index Fund and the Vanguard Bond Index Fund. There’s no minimum investment requirement and you can set up automatic investment increases as often as weekly. But there are pertrade and selling fees.
These partial shares are “not meant to trade and flip out the next day,” says Dan Greenshields, ShareBuilder’s president and chief investment officer. “It’s really to accumulate over a three-to-five-year period.”
For instance, you can buy $100 of Google stock, which is about 1/5 of a share. (The stock is trading at around $524.) Over time, you can add money, say $25 each month, to accrue more partial shares.
Also, there’s another way to buy into the partial stock plan. DRIP, the dividend reinvestment plan, allows you to use your stock dividends to purchase additional shares. To learn more about this option, go to www.DRIPinvestor.com.
Ready to purchase some stock? Well we’ve got the scoop on a recent drop in Nike‘s stock. Per the WallStreet Journal, the shoe company fell on hard times during this past quarter’s earnings. In order to stay afloat, Nike has devised a plan that includes dropping their share price from $.92 cents to $.82 cent. This strategy will allow investors do get in while it’s hot and assist the athletic shoewear and garment company in maintaining the number one spot. With $19 billion dollars in revenue, Nike states that the frieght costs were the cause of the drop in their profits by 1.1 percent. Freight costs are high because of the astounding demand of their products. Bottomline, Nike is the head honcho when it comes to sneakers. Top athletes across the world hold endorsement deals (i.e. Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, Micheal Jordan, etc) which inturn causes a buying frenzy for fans who would die to have a pair of their customized sneakers. So this level of demand means that more products must be manufactured and shipped to countries around the world.
We haven’t seen shares this low in a while, especially from a reputable company that we know will turn a profit. So our suggestion for all of you who want to invest is…BUY, BUY, BUY!
Last week I sent out a message asking my Facebook friends for financial topics for the STACKS Mag blog. I figure this will be a good way to find out exactly what people want to read about. So a close friend of mine from high school sent in a question. He wanted to know what was the difference between an IRA versus a Roth IRA. Hopefully the information I’m about to let my friend in on helps everyone decide what’s the best investing strategy for them.
What does IRA stand for? An IRA is a Individual Retirement Arrangement. It provides a tax-free or tax -deferred way of saving for your retirement. Although there are various kinds of IRA’s , depending on your financial goals or situation, the most commonly used are Roth’s and Traditional.
To break it down, here’s how each one differ:
- depending on your income level, the contributions you make through your job paycheck are tax deductible
- by the age of 59 1/2, withdraws from your account can be made; and are mandatory by 70 1/2.
- taxes are paid on earnings when withdrawn from the IRA
- funds can be used to purchase a variety of investments (stocks, bonds, certificates of deposits, etc.)
- available to everyone; no income restrictions
- all funds withdrawn (including principal contributions) before 59 1/2 are subject to a 10% penalty (subject to exception).
Roth IRA Profile
- paycheck or deposit contributions are not tax deductible
- no mandatory distribution age
- all earnings and principal are 100% tax free if rules and regulations are followed
- funds can be used to purchase a variety of investments (stocks, bonds, certificates of deposits, etc.)
- available only to single-filers making up to $95,000 or married couples making a combined maximum of $166,000 annually.
- principal contributions can be withdrawn any time without penalty (subject to some minimal conditions)
To sum it up, the major difference is how the IRS treats the taxes. For instance, if you earn $50,000 a year and put $2000 of that in a Traditional IRA, you will be able to deduct that $2000 from your income taxes (only having to pay tax on $48,000). When you turn 59 1/2 years old, you can begin withdrawing funds. But note, that you will have to pay taxes on all interest, capital gains, dividends, etc that you earned on your contributions over the years.
On the flipside, if you put the same $2,000 in a Roth IRA, you would not receive the income tax deduction. If you needed the money in the account, you could withdraw the principal at any time (although you will pay penalties if you withdraw any of the earnings your money has made). When you reached retirement age, you would be able to withdraw all of the money 100% tax free. The Roth IRA makes more sense in most situations. but unfortunately, not everyone qualifies for a Roth. A person filing their taxes as single can not make over $95,000. Married couples are better off, with a maximum income of $150,000 yearly.
To open an IRA account, you can visit your local bank or use an investment broker. If you’re already set up with a retirement savings plan with your job, you may want to contact an advisor at the investment company your job uses.
Also as with most things, there are limitations as to how much you can contribute to your IRA in a years time. Since 2008, the maximum amount has been:
|YEAR||AGE 49 & BELOW||AGE 50 & ABOVE|
|2010||Indexed to Inflation||Indexed to Inflation|
How much do you need to open an IRA? Well, it differs from bank to bank. So check with several institutions to find out how much you’ll need in order to open up an IRA.
Thanks Aki for the questions. Hope this helps!
Update: In 2009, the annual income needed to qualify for a Roth IRA is $166,000 for married couples.
Thanks to our reader, Mr. JB, for catching that!
“Enyce is a brand that I have always admired, and they have been a very important player in the young men’s sportswear arena for over a decade. I am really excited to bring it into our portfolio of brands that already includes Sean John and Zac Posen.….. The current economic climate may be challenging, but we believe it is also an opportunity, and we are really excited to add Enyce to our lineup.”
Yeah, the economy is challenging right now, and the Puffy’s and the Buffett’s of the world have millions and billions to ride out the financial storm if it gets worse.
Warren Buffett, the billionaire investor who has made his fortune buying stocks when he thinks they’re on sale, says he’s buying U.S. stocks, currently marked down 40%, for his personal account.
He told the world Friday in an op-ed piece in The New York Times under the headline, “Buy American. I Am.” He acknowledged that the financial world “is a mess,” and headlines are “scary” and will stay that way for a while. He said he has no idea if stocks will be higher or lower a month or a year from now.
“Bad news is an investor’s best friend,” he wrote. “It lets you buy a slice of America’s future at a marked-down price.”
Read Buffet’s article in it entirety here.
So, is this the market for investing? Apparently so, if you have the STACKS!
(Source 1, Source 2, Pic Source)
News sites light up the internet with the announcement that stocks fell drastically on Wallstreet this week. The drastic decrease was due to a recent trading “makeover” which x’d out two major companies: Merrill Lynch & Co. and Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.
The makeover, which depleted about $700 billion in shareholder wealth, affected the global community as Lehman’s filed for bankruptcy. The Lehman’s bankruptcy forced Merrill Lynch to sale their company to Bank of America for $50 billion in stock. This bankruptcy is the world’s largest to ever occur in terms of assets. Merrill Lynch, in turn, houses billions in 401K retirement income for many major private sector firms.
What does this sale mean for 401K of working class people? Absolutely nothing! Most 401K plans are secured through trusts and can not be depleted by any sale or merger of investment corporations. The assets are federally regulated and can not be changed. Strict regulations were implemented by the U.S. government after the Enron fiasco. But even though your assets are secure, the fluctuation of the stock market will decrease the value of your stocks. So this may be a good time to research better stock options and make new selections.
Catalyst Magazine, a magazine dedicated to Atlanta’s entrepreneurs, will host a seminar on ways to raise capital on Thursday, Sept. 11, 2008.
From 5:30pm to 7:30pm, a panel of “multi-million dollar” experts will guide you on understanding how to gain funding during economic hardships. This seminar will also show you ways to locate investors and help you understand what is a bankable business venture.
Other topics that will be discussed, include:
- What makes a business fundable to a local investor?
- How do I get to that first investor meeting?
- How do I make my business attractive to key investors?
- What do I need to know about selecting the right equity partner?
The cost is $25 per person. To register for this event, click here!
Article written by Karyn Allen
Today’s real estate market is reshaping the face of America. There are factors like the current war in Iraq, job cuts and gas prices that are affecting the American way of life. According to RealtyTrac.com, the number of foreclosures in this country was up 14 percent in the second Quarter of 2008. In addition, the foreclosure filings were 8 percent higher in the month of July, from the previous month of June. In contrast, The National Association of Realtors (www.realtor.org), forecasts that “existing-home sales is likely to rise 7.0 percent to 5.51 million in 2009 from an expected total of 5.15 million this year”. That’s good news for those wanting to purchase or sell a home.
In the 80’s, there was only one man on my mind and that was Michael Jackson. I was then and still is a big fan. From the glitter gloves and socks, the red Beat It jackets and the penny loafer shoes, I had it all. Every album and every tape. I will never forget the day when my mom took me to see the Jackson 5 at the Fulton County Stadium (now known as Turner Field). To me it was like Barnum & Bailey Circus, the greatest show on earth!
Even with millions of records sold and millions of fans across world purchasing concert tickets, M.J. paraphonalia, etc, it has been a long standing rumor that Michael’s finances are in trouble. Earlier this year, it was reported that he had an estimated $250 million in outstanding loans. M.J. also had a balloon payment owed up to as much as $70 million. But a close confidant and investment adviser, Charles Koppelman, says that Michael “is in good shape.” “He’s in no financial straits as far as I’m concerned.”
Koppelman and Jackson recently took advantage of the falling interest rates and consolidated his debt which lowered his loan payments. “We’re basically finished with the refinancing that needed to get done. That’s the bottom line,” says Koppelman, who declined to discuss specifics of Jackson’s finances with USA Today. (Source)
Throughout Jackson’s career, he’s made quite a few great investment choices. Michael is reportedly worth $350 million. The bulk of his wealth is comes from his 50% stake in Sony/ATV Publishing. Sony/ATV holds the publishing rights to over 4000 popular songs and generates an estimated $80 million in revenue annually. Among the catalogue’s artists:
50 Cent recently sat down with Forbes TV and discussed ways in which he’s diversified his portfolio.
As a seasoned artist, 50 is a prime example of how you can invest your label advances and build an empire. There’s a lot of you haters that can learn a few things from Mr. Jackson.