Category Archives: Business And Finance

How SpaceX’s Starship Will Become The Most Powerful Rocket In The World | Countdown To Launch

Above: How SpaceX’s Starship Will Become The Most Powerful Rocket In The World | Countdown To Launch.

“When SpaceX was founded, its goal was to establish a human colony on Mars, and Starship might be the way to get there…”

In September 2019, Elon Musk unveiled the first iteration of his next-generation vehicle, Starship.

While SpaceX continues to push the limits, this next endeavor might be its most ambitious yet. SpaceX was founded with the intention of one day creating a human colony on Mars, and Elon Musk hopes that Starship and the Super Heavy rocket will be the way to get there.

Starship was built to carry 100 passengers and will serve as the spacecraft to shuttle both people and cargo to Earth’s orbit and beyond.

Starship has its six Raptors, but the real power behind this transportation system comes from the Super Heavy rocket, which has thirty-seven Raptor engines.

In its final form, the Starship and Super Heavy combination will result in the world’s most powerful launch vehicle ever developed, and SpaceX is working fast to bring this super project to life.

Find out more about SpaceX’s latest space transportation and exploration endeavor on this episode of Countdown to Launch.

Mystery Founder Of Bitcoin: Uncovering The Identity Of Satoshi Nakamoto (The Founder Of Bitcoin)

Above: Mystery Founder Of Bitcoin: Uncovering The Identity Of Satoshi Nakamoto (The Founder Of Bitcoin).

Bitcoin is a worldwide cryptocurrency and digital payment system called the first decentralized digital currency, as the system works without a central repository or single administrator. Bitcoin was invented by an unknown person or group of people under the name Satoshi Nakamoto and released as open-source software in 2009. The system is peer-to-peer, and transactions take place between users directly, without an intermediary such as a bank. These Bitcoin transactions are verified by network nodes and recorded in a public distributed ledger called a blockchain.

Bitcoins are created as a reward for a process known as Bitcoin mining. Bitcoins can be exchanged for other currencies, products, and services. Bitcoin can also be held as an investment, and experts agree that uncovering Satoshi Nakamoto’s identity could have an immense impact on bitcoin’s economics and internal politics.

All The Reasons Why Cryptocurrencies Such As Bitcoin And Ether Will Never Replace Gold, Silver, And Other Precious Metals

Above: All The Reasons Why Cryptocurrencies Such As Bitcoin And Ether Will Never Replace Gold, Silver, And Other Precious Metals.

The cryptocurrency craze continues. Having seen the astounding rise in Bitcoin’s value, those who remained on the sidelines are now kicking themselves for not buying it when it was first released. Surely, they’d be millionaires by now. It seems that more and more people justify investing in cryptocurrencies — even at current record prices — by claiming that they’re an effective hedge against the instability of fiat currencies. But is it true?

Sure, a fiat money system where central banks can and do literally print money at will has its weaknesses. That’s why hard assets like gold are so popular among smart investors: as real stores of value, they provide a safety net against currency depreciation. However, it’s doubtful that the same applies to cryptocurrencies. Despite what the crypto-evangelists will tell you, digital tokens will never and can never replace gold as your financial hedge. Here are six reasons why:

Above: All The Reasons Why Cryptocurrencies Such As Bitcoin And Ether Will Never Replace Gold, Silver, And Other Precious Metals.

What Is Ether? What Is Ethereum? Can I Become Rich Investing In Ether? Can I Invest In Ethereum? What Are Cryptocurrencies?

As we explored in “What is Ethereum?”, Ethereum aims to function both as a kind of decentralized Internet and a decentralized app store, supporting a new type of application (a “dapp”) in the process.

But while no one owns Ethereum, the system that supports this functionality isn’t free. Rather, the network needs “Ether”, a unique piece of code that can be used to pay for the computational resources needed to run an application or program.

Like Bitcoin, Ether is a digital bearer asset (similar to a security, like a stock or a bond, issued in physical form). Just like cash, Ether doesn’t require a third party to process or approve a transaction.

But instead of operating as a digital currency or payment, Ether seeks to provide “fuel” for the decentralized apps on the network.

Above: What is Ether?

Macy’s Versus L Brands – Is Macy’s A Buy With An 8.2% Dividend?

Macy’s Versus L Brands – Is Macy’s A Buy With An 8.2% Dividend?

*Macy’s is still profitable and has an 8.2% dividend.

*Macy’s has lost over 50% of its value over the last 12 months.

*L Brands is very profitable and has a 5.1% dividend.

*L Brands has lost approximately 28% of its value over the last 12 months.

The last 12 months have been extremely painful for fashion retailers with many fashion stocks losing over 50% of their value. Fashion retailers like L Brands (LB) and Macy’s (M) have seen their share prices hit lows not seen in years, with Macy’s losing over 50% of its value in the last 12 months and L Brands (parent company of Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works) also losing at one point this year approximately half of its value (even though L Brands shares have now recovered somewhat since they hit their 52 week low of around $35 per share earlier this summer).

Macy’s Versus L Brands Stock.
Macy’s Versus L Brands Stock.

One of the problems that many investors have had with investing in Macy’s during the past few months is that just when they thought Macy’s shares could not go any lower, the shares would take another hit and decline even further in value whenever similar mall retailers released negative news about their specific companies (think J.C. Penney (JCP) or Nordstrom (JWN) to name just two examples). In fact, Macy’s share have taken such a beating that its dividend yield is now at an astonishing 8.2% even though the company is still profitable (unlike other mall retailers such as J. C. Penney that are bleeding money with huge quarterly losses).

L Brands is a similar story, but as many experienced investors have learned over the years, not all retailers are created equal. L Brands (which also owns Bath & Body Works along with other smaller retailers such as La Senza and Henri Bendel) is the #1 lingerie company in the world, and its products are well protected against the Amazon effect (meaning that a large percentage of women will generally not accept a lower quality lingerie brand even if it is selling at lower prices compared to lingerie being sold by Victoria’s Secret).

Thus, for many women fit and comfort along with quality will be more important than being able to purchase lower quality lingerie items at lower prices. In addition, if a woman wants to purchase Victoria’s Secret lingerie, she will generally only be able to find Victoria’s Secret products at a local Victoria’s Secret store or by visiting the company’s website simply because Victoria’s Secret products are generally not available at other retail stores (this helps to protect the value of the Victoria’s Secret brand by giving L Brands and Victoria’s Secret better control over the pricing of their lingerie and beauty products).

Macy's Versus L Brands Stock (Long Term).
Macy’s Versus L Brands Stock (Long Term).

The problem with Macy’s is that it lacks that exclusivity of products that Victoria’s Secret enjoys. While it is true that some products can be unique to Macy’s, the vast majority of their products are probably available at other mall retailers such as Nordstrom, J.C. Penney, Dillard’s (DDS), or Sears (SHLD). However, unlike many other mall retailers, Macy’s has managed to stay profitable even as mall traffic continues to decline in many malls throughout the United States. In addition, Macy’s owns extremely valuable real estate which basically means that Macy’s investors would be getting the Macy’s fashion business for pennies on the dollar if we were to include Macy’s real estate holdings which are extremely valuable.

Many investors are legitimately concerned and worried that Macy’s could decide at some point in the future to either cut or reduce the dividend significantly. However, what many investors fail to realize is that if Macy’s were to cut the dividend, the extra cash that would become available to the company could be used to reduce Macy’s debt significantly (which is a little over $6 billion dollars).

This reduction in Macy’s debt would make their balance sheet stronger (making the company stronger) which in turn could help the share price in the future. Thus, a better way of looking at Macy’s as an investment is to realize that at current market prices an investor could purchase for half the price a very profitable company with significant real estate assets and a very valuable brand (it would be very hard to find someone that has been living in the United States for several years who is not familiar with the Macy’s brand). In addition, Macy’s continues to invest in its e-commerce website which as of November 2017 was ranked as the 164th most visited website in the United States (source:

In terms of brand power, L Brands is hard to beat. This is because Victoria’s Secret is known around the world (they have over 57 million Instagram followers and over 28 million likes on Facebook compared to Macy’s which has a little over 1 million followers on Instagram and over 14 million Facebook likes). In addition, Victoria’s Secret has the Victoria’s Secret Angels which are constantly promoting the Victoria’s Secret brand on social media to their tens of millions of followers around the world.

The interesting thing about L Brands is that it doesn’t really have a problem with its business model compared to other fashion retailers (besides being in an industry that is not very much liked by investors these days). Many investors will tell you that Aerie and Amazon are formidable competitors, but the truth is that L Brands is a global brand which is expanding and opening new stores around the world. A large number of fashion retailers have been filing for bankruptcy over the past 2 years, and making things worse for L Brands was its decision to stop selling swimwear and apparel, which only added to its problems by reducing store sales compared to the previous year. Add the fact that it decided to discontinue its famous lingerie catalog (which in our opinion created huge brand awareness), and you can clearly see why many investors decided to sell the shares of L Brands first and ask questions later.

In our opinion, L Brands is the better company between these two very prestigious fashion retailers, and is the company that we would select between the two if we had to purchase the shares with a very long term view (10 to 20 years). However, the shares of L Brands have already increased significantly since they hit their 52 week low of $35 per share during the summer, and thus present some downside risk at current prices. Thus, we would consider adding to our Macy’s position at current prices (less than $19 dollars per share), while also patiently waiting to add to our L Brands position if the share price dips once again below $40 per share as it did during the summer.

Experienced investors that can handle the downside risk in L Brands shares could also sell L Brands cash secured puts that expire in 2018 in order to acquire L Brands shares below $40 per share even if the share price stays above $40 per share over the next few months.

ZARZAR MODELS is one of the top modeling agencies for women in the United States representing models in print fashion editorials, high fashion runway, film, television commercials, and promotions. The agency represents top models in all of the major fashion cities and recruits and represents models throughout the world through its global fashion and modeling network.

Why Invest In Qualcomm Stock? The Internet Of Everything

Why Invest In Qualcomm Stock?

Join futurist Jason Silva as he outlines just how much a seamless, secure, and connected Internet of Everything changes the way we use technology. See what can happen when connectivity transcends our devices and amplifies our lives. With the Internet of Everything, Qualcomm technologies becomes an extension of us. This is just one more way Qualcomm is bringing the future forward faster than anyone could have ever imagined. Continue reading

The 10 Richest Families In The World | The Top 10 Richest Families In The World | The 10 Wealthiest Families In The World

Above: The 10 Richest Families In The World | Top 10 Richest Families In The World.

There is a difference between having money and making sure nobody in your family tree has to ever worry about money. These are the top ten richest families in the world:

Number 10: Bettencourt Family

Estimated family net worth: thirty six billion dollars. The name might sound familiar because Liliane Bettencourt is also the wealthiest and richest woman in the world. Even if you have never heard the name before you certainly have heard of L’Oreal. Back in 1907 Eugene Schueller started the legendary business. After he passed away his daughter Liliane Bettencourt took over the company. However, she is not running L’Oreal anymore because she is suffering from dementia. Her only daughter is taking care both of her and her family empire. Liliane Bettencourt is not just the head of the richest family in France, she is also the richest widow and the richest woman in the world. Liliane Bettencourt holds her family’s total net worth which is estimated at around $36 billion United States dollars.

Why Invest In Gilead Sciences Stock?

Above: Why Invest In Gilead Sciences Stock?

An estimated 37 million people around the world have HIV. Around 17 million of them are taking prescription drugs to treat their condition, with the majority of those HIV drugs having been developed by Gilead Sciences. In fact, the total global HIV drug market totals more than $20 billion annually, with Gilead Sciences claiming the highest market share of any HIV drug maker in the entire world. This big biotech company had eight HIV drugs combine for sales of more than $12.8 billion in 2016, with Gilead’s Truvada being the top selling HIV drug in the world.

While the growth of Gilead Sciences was due primarily to its HIV franchise for much of the company’s history, in recent years its hepatitis C virus (HCV) drugs have made even more money. In 2016, Gilead’s hepatitis C virus (HCV) drugs combined to generate revenue of $14.8 billion. However, hepatitis C virus (HCV) sales are falling significantly, partially because of increased competition but resulting even more from lower patient starts, as the sickest hepatitis C virus (HCV) patients have already been cured by Gilead Sciences.

Finding The Cure For Hepatitis C

Throughout the course of human history, there have been plenty of drugs developed to treat diseases. However, there haven’t been nearly as many drugs that actually cured a disease. That is especially the case for a chronic disease like hepatitis C, which affects millions of people across the world. But Gilead Sciences changed history by introducing a cure for hepatitis C.

In December 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Sovaldi, and Gilead quickly launched the drug. To say that Sovaldi was successful would be a huge understatement. The drug enjoyed the fastest launch ever, and in its first quarter, Sovaldi became a mega blockbuster, generating sales of $2.27 billion.

Gilead Sciences followed up on that success with Harvoni, which launched in the fourth quarter of 2014. Harvoni is a combination of Sovaldi and another Gilead drug, Ledipasvir. In 2015, sales for Harvoni reached a whopping $13.9 billion, with Sovaldi adding another $5.3 billion. However, there is a big problem for a biotech or pharmaceutical company that sells products that cure a disease. After a period of time, there aren’t as many patients to use the products, and that is exactly what happened with Gilead Sciences. The company became a victim of its own success. Sales for its hepatitis C drugs are falling, weighing down Gilead’s overall revenue and earnings.

Gilead’s best hope now for returning to growth is to make one or more biotech acquisitions. The company has indicated that’s exactly what it plans to do in the near future. The good news is that Gilead Sciences has a pretty good track record of making deals. In 2011, Gilead Sciences spent $11 billion to buy Pharmasset, which owned the drug that would eventually be called Sovaldi, a drug that would eventually cure hepatitis C for millions of people suffering from the disease around the world, and making the shareholders of Gilead Sciences very wealthy in the process.

Qualcomm Versus Intel | Which Is The Better Stock?

Above: Qualcomm Versus Intel | Why Wait for the Internet of Everything?

Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM) and Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) have been locked into processor and modem battles for years, but both companies have their own unique business segments despite some overlapping pursuits. Because of that, investors often consider one stock while looking at the other, so let us take a closer look at the strengths and weaknesses of both Qualcomm and Intel based on their long term potential.

The Case For Qualcomm

Sales of mobile processors and modems have been a driving force for Qualcomm’s revenues. Qualcomm has managed to add additional Chinese smartphone makers onto its list of customers and expand those sales. That’s come at a time when Qualcomm is just getting over some of its litigation nightmares in China concerning antitrust laws. With Qualcomm adding more China based mobile device makers, the company can continue to tap that growing market, particularly as more companies expand their list of mid-range and high-end devices. Most importantly, we can’t talk about Qualcomm’s mobile ambitions without talking about Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL). Apple released its new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus this month, and Qualcomm’s modem has a spot in some (but not all) of the iPhone devices. The rest of the modems are supplied by none other than Intel. Qualcomm was previously the exclusive modem supplier for the iPhone, so this isn’t exactly good news for Qualcomm.

The Case For Intel

Many in the tech world like to to say that Intel missed the cell phone and mobile revolution, and it’s mostly true. While Intel dominated the desktop and PC chip market, it failed to get on board with mobile devices fast enough, and Qualcomm happily took the dominant position. But some of that is changing, and the recent modem win in some of Apple’s iPhones is evidence of these changes. It is still unclear concerning exactly what percentage of new iPhones have Intel modems inside, but it is believed that Apple added Intel’s modems into the new phones despite the fact that they don’t support Sprint or Verizon Communications networks (which both work on CDMA technology). This gives Apple the leverage of having two companies competing for a spot in their mobile devices.

However, the real growth story for Intel will come from using its chips to power the Internet of Things devices and servers. Intel is pivoting away from PC processors to focus on the Internet of Things devices, servers, and data centers. Intel already has a dominant position in server chips (just over 99% in 2015), but it still remains to be seen if device makers will look to Intel for the Internet of Things devices. Thus, Intel investors will need a strong stomach to weather the company’s changes over the next few years as Intel continues its restructuring and figures out how to best use its chip expertise to build new revenue sources.

The Verdict: Qualcomm Versus Intel

Intel appears to be handling its transition away from PC computers relatively well and certainly has enough leverage with device manufacturers to gain more mobile, Internet of Things, and server business. But at the end of the day, Qualcomm’s businesses appear to have much more stability.

It is true that Qualcomm isn’t without its own problems, such as losing the iPhone exclusivity, but the company is still benefiting from its mobile processors, modem sales, and lucrative 3G and 4G patent licenses. These can’t be the only revenue drivers for Qualcomm going forward, but they should provide Qualcomm and its investors with more stability than Intel.

Medtronic – The Medical Device King And A Healthy, Painless Stock Investment For Retirement Portfolios

Above: Medtronic | History Of The World’s Largest Medical Technology Company.

If you are searching for a medical device company that offers regular dividend increases and stable cash flow, consider medical device king Medtronic (NYSE: MDT). Medtronic has increased its dividend for 39 years in a row, averaging annual increases of 12 percent over the past five years. Medtronic is a medical device company headquartered in Dublin, Ireland. Their operational headquarters is in Fridley, Minnesota in the United States.

Medtronic is the world’s largest medical technology company, operates in more than 140 countries, employs over 85,000 people, and has more than 53,000 patents worldwide. Medtronic has a giant global footprint in the medical device industry, with its product portfolio ranging from pacemakers to insulin pumps and pretty much everything in between. Its stake in nearly every medical device market gives it economies of scale and pricing power. Although Medtronic’s top line hasn’t quite performed as expected in recent quarters, new product launches should help boost revenue over the long term. Continue reading

The Fascinating Story Of Yahoo | How Verizon Bought Yahoo For $4.8 Billion Instead Of $45 Billion United States Dollars

“POETIC” is how Marissa Mayer, the Chief Executive Officer of Yahoo, described the sale of Yahoo to Verizon. Others, remembering better times at Yahoo, see little that is artful about the decline and fall of the 22 year old Internet company. On July 25th 2016, Verizon, a telecommunications giant that is also America’s biggest mobile operator, announced it would buy Yahoo’s main Internet business for $4.8 billion United States Dollars (a price that does not include Yahoo’s properties in Asia or its portfolio of patents). The sum is paltry compared with Microsoft’s offer of $45 billion in 2008, which Yahoo’s management turned down, arguing that the firm was worth a lot more money.

In all fairness, Microsoft’s bid of $45 billion reflected the valuation of the entirety of Yahoo including Yahoo’s ownership in Alibaba (a Chinese e-commerce giant) as well as Yahoo Japan, but it is important to remember that Alibaba was not worth as much in 2008 and did not have the huge valuation that it has today. In addition, Yahoo also made huge mistakes during the 2000’s, including passing the opportunity to purchase Google for pocket change when they were just starting out (many would argue that was the opportunity of a lifetime). Yahoo also missed huge opportunities and came close to buying YouTube and Facebook back when they were just starting out their businesses, only to pass on those opportunities because of a lack of vision by management.

At the time, these acquisitions probably looked like risky, uneconomical moves that Yahoo investors would hate. But now it’s all ancient Internet history, to be analyzed for years by future business school students from around the world. It is time for us to mourn Yahoo. Sorry, we mean Yahoo!

The Fascinating Story Of Yahoo | David Filo And Jerry Yang – Jerry And David’s Guide To The World Wide Web And The Origin Of Yahoo

Once upon a time, Yahoo was considered one of Silicon Valley’s most successful stories. Now it stands as a warning to other technology companies. Yahoo began in the year 1994 as a project in Stanford’s dormitories, when two students, David Filo and Jerry Yang, assembled their favorite web links on a page called “Jerry and David’s Guide to the World Wide Web”. The website, which they renamed Yahoo in preparation for a public stock offering, quickly became the “portal” through which millions of people first encountered the Internet. At its peak in 2000, Yahoo had a market value of approximately $128 billion, a fortune compared to the $4.8 billion that Verizon recently offered to pay for Yahoo.

The Story Of Yahoo – Missed Opportunities

Yahoo’s history is filled with opportunities and acquisitions that should not have been passed up. For example, Yahoo did not buy Google for pocket change when it had the chance (this was the opportunity of a lifetime since Google is now worth over $500 billion). Later on, Yahoo agreed to buy Facebook for $1 billion (now worth over $300 billion), but the deal fell through when Yahoo tried to negotiate down the price. It missed the chance to buy YouTube (subsequently bought by Google), and Yahoo’s purchase of eBay fell through for several different reasons which could have been avoided.

In 2012, when Marissa Mayer, an early Google executive and an engineer, arrived to try to reverse the fortunes of Yahoo, the firm’s Silicon Valley headquarters was filled with optimism. For more than two decades, Yahoo had been torn between its identity as a media company that made content and a technology company that provided tools for people to use online. It seemed that Marissa Mayer could be the leader to settle on a single identity and direction.

Instead, Marissa Mayer spent on everything and hoped something would work. Early on came the purchase of Tumblr in 2013, a social network and blogging platform, for $1.1 billion United States Dollars (Yahoo has since written down most of the purchase price). To beat out Google Marissa Mayer did a pricey, five year deal with Mozilla, the owner of the famous browser known around the world as Firefox (Yahoo became Firefox’s default search engine at an annual cost of more than $375 million United States Dollars). As for Yahoo’s own core business, revenues are falling each year as consumers and advertisers migrate from desktop computers and away from Yahoo’s products.

Verizon makes no claim to be able to restore Yahoo to its former glory. Rather, it believes that Yahoo could help its main business of selling mobile phone subscriptions since this has slowed now that most people have smartphones, which are falling in price. Yahoo would bring viewers, viewers would bring advertising dollars, and advertising dollars would bring top line growth (this is one of the reasons why Verizon decided to purchase Yahoo).

Last year Verizon spent $4.4 billion United States Dollars on AOL (America Online), another former darling from the 1990’s dotcom bubble era. Thus, with both Yahoo and AOL Verizon will achieve much needed scale: in the United States of America it will command the second most visited set of web properties after Google (Facebook would be in third place). Thus, Verizon is now betting that it will be able to use data from all of its approximately 113 million retail phone and Internet subscribers and bombard them with targeted ads as they browse apps or websites owned by Yahoo and AOL (America Online), making a fortune from new advertising revenue.

Verizon’s purchase of Yahoo does have one thing on its side: low expectations. Any success Verizon has with its purchase of Yahoo is all upside. By contrast, during her reign at Yahoo, Marissa Mayer was given unreasonably high expectations, along with constant scrutiny. Verizon has the freedom to say next to nothing about how Yahoo and its advertising business does in the near term since Yahoo will no longer be a publicly traded company. However, you will still be able to invest in Yahoo indirectly by buying shares in Verizon (ticker symbol: VZ) through a regular stock broker. Such relative invisibility may allow Verizon to press on with the radical surgery, such as reducing headcount, that Yahoo has needed for years but never actually received.