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Santa Rosa Fires & Redwood Academy

Hello Dear Readers,  As we now begin the second week of wildfires here in Northern California, our hearts, thoughts, and prayers go out to the victims and their families, business owners and anyone else who was adversely affected by this disaster that came on so quickly in the middle of the night on October 9th.   Also, our hearts, thoughts, prayers and indescribable gratitude go out to the heroes in this disaster…the Firemen/Firefighters, the Sheriffs, the Highway Patrol, the city Police Departments, the evacuation centers and all the volunteers who were willing to sacrifice their time, their efforts and in many cases… their lives in the service of others.  Thank you…

One tragedy that was close to our hearts was a local K-12 Academy – RAA (Redwood Adventist Academy) – located in Santa Rosa off Mark West Springs Road, was completely destroyed in the Santa Rosa wildfires last Monday.  This Academy was established in 1931, and it has produced some of the most wonderful human beings, and some of the best educated children in the state with high moral characters.  Pretty impressive in this world today!  This Academy also hosted an on-site 8 acre farm and farm stand (that was open to serve the public), producing “better than organic” heirloom vegetables planted by/nurtured by/harvested by the students of RAA under the leadership of our CFO (Chief Farming Officer), Joby Oft.  They served the community, fellow churches, local restaurants and anyone else  interested in purchasing locally grown, wholesome food…right from the farm on the school campus.  Within minutes, the school and the farm/farm stand were gone.  My wife and I serve on both the Redwood Academy’s School Board and Foundation Board to support high quality Christian education that is affordable.  This news was devastating to the students, staff, parents, alumni, the local community, and to us.  What a terrible loss.

That said, the light is at the end of the tunnel, in that eventually the Redwood Adventist Academy/ farm/ and farm stand will be rebuilt, with God’s amazing grace.  Yes, insurance will cover some of the costs but not all.  So that is why we’re doing this post this evening… we’re reaching out to you and others to help rebuild Redwood Academy.  We need your help to expedite this effort, and with your support we can do it.  To make a donation to rebuild RAA, simply go to: https://www.purecharity.com/redwood-adventist-academy

Thank you in advance for your support, your prayers and for any donations you may be inspired to make…God Bless.

 

GMS BUSINESS CONSULTING – provides lawyers and business professionals with Accounting Services, Business Development Services, Business Optimization Services and Digital Marketing Services to help business professionals successfully organize, grow and operate their businesses more effectively and efficiently.  We do NOT provide investment advice.  Contact Us  if you are interested in learning more about our services, and in particular about M.A.P.(our 3-phase business development solution), designed to help you strategically focus and tactically grow your business.  We would welcome the opportunity to speak with you.

info@gmsbusinessconsulting.com

707-218-3135

John 14:15

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“BUY LOW…SELL HIGH” – LOOK FAMILIAR?

“Buy low…Sell High”  Sound familiar?  Good Morning Everyone!  It’s been a few months since our last post.  After spending several years analyzing dozens and dozens of investment charts and graphs as a stockbroker/financial consultant/and a middle-market institutional broker at two international investment firms, I saw the above graph and article this morning on Bloomberg.  I couldn’t resist…I have to share my views and make a few comments…

As the saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words.”  And this picture on the surface tells a lot.  Based on my years of experience advising and consulting the general public, (both inexperienced as well as very experienced investors) on prudent investment management, I know most everyday investors and self-proclaimed savvy or experienced investors simply don’t understand the foundational principles of investing.  The general principle is to buy low and sell high.  In most cases, the general public invests in a manner that is the exact opposite…they tend to emotionally buy high, and in a panic… sell low.  The savvy/experienced investors on the other hand do exactly what they should do…they unemotionally buy low and unemotionally sell high!  How do they do this?  The answer in general terms is simple, but it’s not easy.  They do the following, but methodically:

  1. They don’t invest with emotion, they invest with discipline using financials/trading models etc. (which are all available to the public through their investment firms and online sources)
  2. They do their own homework first, by relying on their own research, good advisors (if they need one), and their own business sense.
  3. They don’t follow the crowd…they do quite the opposite.  They buy when the public is emotionally selling or panicked, and sell when the public is emotionally optimistic and running up the markets.

The point is, if you want to buy low and sell high, you have to get into the mindset of the savvy experienced investors.  Beginning with understanding where the markets are in the midst of the investment cycle…are they over-valued or under-valued?  Are they at high or low valuations.  And secondly, begin asking yourself (or your advisors) strategic questions.  As you can see in the above chart, all three markets are at or near their all-time highs.  Then depending on whether you are an existing owner or considering to be an/investor/or speculator, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are the markets (stock/bond/real estate) under-valued or over-valued?
    • Based on what information and valuation data?
    • What are your investment goals & objectives?
    • What’s your time horizon?
    • What’s your expected R.O.I.?
  • Is it a good time to be either a buyer or a seller in any these markets right now?
    • It depends…What’s your motivation?
    • Are you an existing holder considering to sell…or an investor considering to buy…or simply a speculator looking for a short-term profit?
  • Why do you want to buy/sell/ or hold in these markets now…is it due to need/long-term investment/speculation?
    • Again…What’s your motivation?
  • What’s your buy/sell discipline…your entry/exit points?
    • How did you arrive at those entry/exit points…through emotion or through a careful analysis of financial data and momentum oscillator data?
    • Again…What’s your time horizon?
    • Again…What’s your projected R.O.I. given your time horizon?

In general…not always…when the general public’s interest goes one way (in terms of investing), you may want to consider doing the opposite (however do your own due diligence and research first, and don’t rely on others!).  Generally, when it comes to “investment timing”, people tend to buy their investment assets at inappropriate times because they feel good or positive about the economy/the markets/or a particular company is popular or they’re afraid they’re missing out.  When it comes to inappropriate investment timing on selling, it’s usually because the markets are diving and they simply panic.  In either case the timing is off due to emotional investing and not methodical investing.  That’s understandable…we’re human!  That said, most experienced investors understand this costly emotional roller coaster and tend to avoid that ride by doing the fore-mentioned above.  When markets have fallen and asset valuations are near their lowest price points in their market cycle, this often times presents an optimal time to begin acquire such assets.  Likewise, when the markets are reaching new highs and the general public has taken an emotional buying position, this may be an opportune time to begin  taking some profits off the table, and setting the cash aside to invest when prices soften once again.

Is this a simple concept…yes.  Is it easy to implement…no.  When it comes to investing, most people tend to take action based on their emotional instincts…which are usually wrong.  Interestingly, the Bible also cautions us to not be ruled by emotions as ““The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; Who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9…please understand this text in its context).  So given the state of these markets, use your common sense…your business sense…do your own research…ask strategic questions, and make your investment decisions based on research and not emotion.  This will get you closer to becoming a savvy, experienced investor with the mind-set and practice of buying low and selling high.  We hope you found our perspectives and opinions to be insightful and helpful.

GMS BUSINESS CONSULTING provides lawyers and business professionals with Accounting Services, Business Development Services, Business Optimization Services and Digital Marketing Services to help business professionals successfully organize, grow and operate their businesses more effectively and efficiently.  We do NOT provide investment advice.  Contact Us  if you are interested in learning more about our services, and in particular about M.A.P. (our 3-phase business development solution), designed to help you strategically focus and tactically grow your business.  We would welcome the opportunity to speak with you.

info@gmsbusinessconsulting.com

707-218-3135

John 14:15

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Cyber Security – Part Two

Jim Rickards – THE DAILY RECKONING

Hello everyone…this is Part 2 of 3 of our series called Cyber Security.  In 2016, Accenture Consulting published a cyber security white paper (geared towards large organizations) that we thought would be of interest to business owners like you.  This study goes into a more in-depth analysis supported by industry interviews and statistics.  You can download this white paper in two formats; either the Executive Summary or the Complete Report.

Having worked for a forensic accounting firm for several years, I understand some of the challenges and vulnerabilities all organizations face, and that we as consumers face regarding cyber security.  The challenge is, there doesn’t appear to be much access to simple, step-by-step, practical standards of cyber security available to small business owners to readily implement.  This is a real problem!  The white paper focuses its attention on cyber security threats of larger organizations, but we as small business owners can learn from their challenges, approaches and solutions.  The small business owner (and individual alike) needs access to practical, actionable standards of practice against cyber security threats and the protection of their data.

When we think of cyber security from the perspective of a small business owner or as an individual, think about it in terms of our smartphones/ tablets/ and computers.  We either grant permission for auto updates or regularly receive promptings to update and “accept” software company’s “terms and conditions” to either download or update the software on our devices.  This “acceptance” grants those software companies access to our data through our phone cameras, microphones, phone records, pictures and access to other data files.  It’s quite obvious that we have been conditioned to accept whatever terms and conditions are asked by these software companies in order to comply with their downloading/updating standards.   Why should you grant access to all these requests for your smartphones solitaire game?  What this means is that our data and our privacy are at risk.  Our privacy and security are practically non-existent because we have blindly “accepted” software providers terms and conditions.  We therefore have either knowingly or unknowingly relinquished our privacy, our data and control of our information, how it’s managed, secured and shared with others.  This can and does have serious repercussions!  How could we be then surprised that our information could be stolen and disseminated all over the globe?  We have only ourselves to blame.

We would recommend reading the white paper referenced above by Accenture Consulting, and think about how large organizations are approaching this eminent risk.  What can we as small business owners learn and implement from these organizations to better protect our privacy and data (and client data), and to help mitigate cyber security threats and breaches?  We’ll post a follow-up in Part 3 of this series in a few weeks to address how we as business owners (and individuals) can take some practical and actionable measures to better control the security and privacy of our data.  Well I should say, as best we can given that we live in a state of technological acquiescence…whether we choose to believe it or not.  Until then, we hope you enjoy reading the white papers by Accenture Consulting.  Back to you in a few weeks…

Contact Us if you would like to discuss business strategies for your business.

GMS BUSINESS CONSULTING provides lawyers and business professionals with Accounting Services, Business Development Services, Business Optimization Services and Digital Marketing Services to help business professionals successfully organize, grow and operate their businesses more effectively and efficiently.  We do NOT provide investment advice.  Contact us if you are interested in learning more about our services, and in particular, about our M.A.P. (our 3-phase business development solution) to help you strategically focus and tactically grow your business.  We would welcome the opportunity to speak with you.

info@gmsbusinessconsulting.com

707-218-3135

John 14:15

 

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The Coming Economic Crisis: A Follow-Up

We wanted to provide you with a brief follow-up to our earlier post on the coming economic crisis back on November 3rd, 2016.  Those of you who “believe” you understand finance, investments, Wall Street, and how the economy really works…think again and humble yourselves, and listen to this insightful 2-Part interview on London Real with Jim Rickards.  This recent interview will bring you perspectives that cannot be obtained through mainstream media or an MBA program.  Rather, it is through decades of training, knowledge and experience shared by one of the brightest minds in the financial world.  Watch, listen and learn…get informed.  This is perhaps the most informative, insightful and important financial interview we have ever listened to.  See the links below:

Part 1https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h8GGm0WOGms&spfreload=1  (this covers the first 48 minutes of a 1-hour-25 minute interview.  Just make sure to advance to 5 minutes into the interview to avoid all the annoying marketing intro.)

Part 2: https://londonreal.tv/james-rickards-the-road-to-ruin/  (this link is to view the interview in its entirety, which is approximately 1-hour-25 minutes.  You’ll need to register (it’s free) w/an email and password to access the entire interview on London Real …sorry!  Their rules, not ours…but it’s well worth it.  Just make sure to advance to 5 minutes into the interview to avoid all the annoying marketing intro.)

Do yourselves a favor and prepare for the coming economic crisis, and take the information provided in the interview, and take action.  Contact your financial advisor and discuss your strategy/ options/ and plan (however, my guess is that your typical investment / financial advisor will have no idea what Jim Rickards is talking about, and will most likely feed you with mainstream Wall Street investment advice…which borders on worthlessness).  Although we don’t provide investment advice, we’re more than happy to discuss business strategies to help you/your business navigate through the upcoming economic crisis.  Remember…it’s better to have a plan and have nothing happen, rather than not having a plan and something does happen…the results are vastly different.  Remember…do your research, get informed, and then you’ll be in a better position to make better informed decisions to survive the coming economic crisis.

Contact Us if you would like to discuss business strategies for your business.

 

GMS BUSINESS CONSULTING provides lawyers and business professionals with Accounting Services, Business Development Services, Business Optimization Services and Digital Marketing Services to help business professionals successfully organize, grow and operate their businesses more effectively and efficiently.  We do NOT provide investment advice.  Contact us if you are interested in learning more about our services, and in particular, about our M.A.P. (our 3-phase business development solution) to help you strategically focus and tactically grow your business.  We would welcome the opportunity to speak with you.

info@gmsbusinessconsulting.com

707-218-3135

John 14:15

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Election Fraud In The U.S. – FACT OR FICTION?

Hello Everyone!  Well, we’re almost two weeks past the general elections, and we thought we’d let the dust settle a little bit before addressing the issue of election fraud, and whether or not it is fact or fiction would make for an interesting and timely post.  We are NOT claiming election fraud in this past election of President-elect Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton, we’re simply addressing the issue, and attempting to shed some light on the possibility that election fraud may exist here in America, and if so…to what extent.  While mainstream media apparently dismisses the notion and possibility that election fraud exists here in the United States, and labels those who do believe this or discuss this as out-of-touch, non-sense and conspiracy theory, we want to show some alternative views from credible sources that you may want to consider.

Many people we have spoken with regarding the issue of election fraud and stolen election possibilities here in the U.S., both recently and in the past, also tend to dismiss this issue as either non-sense or a conspiracy theory as well.  The few people that we have spoken to about this issue that more readily accept this as a real possibility and threat are high-tech professionals who understand software & network engineering and mathematical algorithms.  That said, those business professionals generally do not fit our typical client profile for whom we are writing this post.  Business professionals like you (lawyers/CPA’s etc), while well-informed, generally dismiss this issue as well, due to disbelief that this could happen in America, lack of evidence or credible sources that would support this position and take this matter more seriously.  We’re not going to try convincing you one way or another as to “if” this happens or is even a possibility.  We simply want to present to you several sources of information for you to review, consider and to weigh the evidence so that you may come to your own conclusions.  As we ALWAYS stress to our readers, do your homework so that you are better informed so that you can make better decisions.

The better people are informed, the more likely corrective legislation can be discussed, drafted and implemented to change or fix the problem our society faces.  We don’t know if this past election was fixed/stolen/modified because there is no credible “provable” public audit of voting results prior to/during/after the polls close that verify that ALL voting terminals/servers/data centers have clean software, and accurate mathematical algorithms encoded into the software are verified.  If we do have this authenticated process in place, please let us and the sources listed below know…because we haven’t seen them yet.  Listed below are just a few of the many sources available that competently address the issue of election fraud in the U.S.:

  1. Dr. Paul Craig Roberts (Former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury – Biography) discusses and provides links to support his position on election fraud ARTICLE #1, ARTICLE #2.
  2. World News Daily – Information Clearing House interview with Professor Mark Crispin Miller – (of New York University),  “Can U.S. Elections Be Stolen”
  3. BlackBoxVoting.org – Black Box Voting, founded in 2003, is a nonpartisan investigative reporting and public education organization for elections.
  4. Investigative Reporter – Jon Rapporport’s blog post on October 31, 2016 Election Fraud

Interesting information, right?  The question is, how will we as voters, citizens of the United States respond to this issue?  Do we the American public really care or care enough to want to make a difference?  There is a solution…we the people must get informed, organize and discuss, then act judicially to hold our representatives accountable in making the changes necessary to resolve this issue.  We’ve presented some credible sources that expose that election fraud here in the U.S. exists.  So the question is, what are you and I going to do?…What are “we” going to do about it?

GMS BUSINESS CONSULTING provides lawyers and business professionals with Accounting Services, Business Development Services, Business Optimization Services and Digital Marketing Services to help business professionals successfully organize, grow and operate their businesses more effectively and efficiently.  We do NOT provide investment advice.  Contact us if you are interested in learning more about our services, and in particular, about our M.A.P. (our 3-phase business development solution) to help you strategically focus and tactically grow your business.  We would welcome the opportunity to speak with you.

info@gmsbusinessconsulting.com

707-218-3135

John 14:15

 

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Planning Ahead For 2017 – Best Practices

Strategically PlanBest PracticesMeasuring Results

Hello Everyone!  It’s been a few months since our last post.  We’ve been busy with new business opportunities in new markets that have taken much time from our posting.  We wanted to touch base with our readers on a topic that comes up regularly.  It has to do with something very basic, is relatable by most of us, and is very common among most business professionals we meet; regardless of geographic location or level of experience within their firm or business.  That topic is effective, strategic business planning.  So we want to share with you our views on how to do effective Business Planning For 2017 – by applying some basic “Best Practices”.

While we recommend our existing clients to begin their planning for the next year well in advance, beginning in August – September (to allow enough time to plan, design and implement various campaigns come the beginning of the year).  That said… DON’T WAIT until August to begin your initial planning!  If you’re not a client of ours yet, the best time to begin planning is NOW.  Whatever day you come to the realization that you need to plan more strategically and effectively, begin the process.  You’ll NEVER make-up for lost time.  Listed below are a few best practices related to strategic and effective planning:

  • BREAK THE BONDAGE OF PROCRASTINATION – This is the most critical initial step to strategic business planning.  Putting this off for another day only negatively affects you, your progress and results.  Set a date, calendar it, and do it.  Sounds simple, and it is, however it’s not always easy to do for a variety of reasons.  The bottom-line, is the further you put this off, the greater the negative impact.  The sooner you break the bondage of procrastination, the sooner you begin the path to accomplishing your business goals and reaping the success and results.
  • CONSULT WITH AN ADVISOR – I know this may sound self-serving, but it isn’t.  While we do this for a living (helping clients to strategically focus and tactically grow their practices and businesses), the point is, whether you consult with us or any other organization, don’t go it alone…work with an independent advisor.  Seek someone with relevant experience and expertise in your industry, YET has the ability to critically and constructively guide you away from current ineffective practices, and guide you to more effective and practical practices.  This consultant/advisor should help you strategically align your personal and business goals and objectives with a tactical plan of action, and help you to effectively implement new practices and procedures that will enable you to successfully reach your business goals.
  • EXECUTE YOUR PLAN –  The most strategic plan, the best plan ever designed is utterly useless if the plan is not well executed.  This takes a little time, planning, implementation and patience.  One of the keys to effectively implementing your business and action plan is setting clear and tactical action steps.  Once these action steps are established, they must be embedded into your daily/ weekly/ monthly calendar or CRM solution and put into action.  Without the above stated steps, the execution of your plan is meaningless, and will most likely result in missed goals and opportunities, frustration and perhaps failure.  However, by implementing the fore-mentioned steps, the process will become purposeful, measurable, gratifying and successful.
  • MONITOR & MEASURE YOUR PLAN – Lastly, make sure to evaluate and measure your progress.  Many business professionals begin with a fast start…keeping track of their progress, then begin to slack on documenting their progress, then eventually slack on measuring their progress on a weekly and monthly basis.  This may result in prolonging what could be a simple fix or adjustment to the plan, and may result in wasted time, money, efforts and disappointment.  However, disciplined and systematic monitoring and measuring your progress will enable you to be informed on a timely basis, allowing you to make adjustments when/if needed, and will give you assurance that you’re on the right path to meet your goals and objectives.

We hope this gives you some food for thought on effective business planning for 2017.  These are simple guides and best practices that can dramatically impact the effectiveness of your strategic planning for this next year.  Keep in mind, it doesn’t matter when you begin your planning, just as long as you begin planning and don’t procrastinate.  Have a good 4th quarter of this year, and do yourself a favor and begin strategically and effectively planning for a strong 2017.

 

GMS BUSINESS CONSULTING provides lawyers and business professionals with Accounting Services, Business Development Services, Business Optimization Services and Digital Marketing Services to help business professionals successfully organize, grow and operate their businesses more effectively and efficiently.  We do NOT provide investment advice.  Contact us if you are interested in learning more about our services, and in particular, about our M.A.P. (our 3-phase business development solution) to help you strategically focus and tactically grow your business.  We would welcome the opportunity to speak with you.

info@gmsbusinessconsulting.com

707-218-3135

John 14:15

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THE FUTURE OF FOOD…INCLUDING THE BELOVED HAMBURGER!

Impossible Foods Video

Hello Everyone!  Have you thought of where technology will take food of the future…including the beloved hamburger?

Sounds different from our regular postings, right?  Well, it’s been several months since our last post (sorry about that!).  We’ve been so busy with client work, designing our new website, and adding a new service-line called Digital Marketing Optimization (more about that in a few weeks).  So, back to today’s post…While doing some online research this morning, we stumbled across a very interesting story on Bloomberg, presented by Sam Grobart titled “Making a Steak Without Cows“.  This is really a brief narrative on the future of food…including the hamburger.

  • One company focuses on growing/producing insect-based protein is called Entomo Farms, based here in the U.S.
  • The other company highlighted in this story is also based here in the U.S., and is located in Silicon Valley (the one producing this revolutionary plant-based hamburger) is called Impossible Foods …check them both out!
  • Here is a link to an interesting follow-up documentary on the founder of Impossible Foods,  Dr. Pat Brown, and the processes he uses to produce this plant-based hamburger.

We thought this was fascinating and eye-opening, so we wanted to share it with not only our family and friends, but also with our readers as well.  My only question is how does our body assimilate this processed plant-based burger?  If all is well regarding digestion, then I am looking forward to trying it.  We hope you find this story to be informative and of interest even though it is not on-point with our traditional posts.  Enjoy!

GMS BUSINESS CONSULTING provides Accounting Services, Business Development Services, Business Optimization Services, and Digital Marketing Services to lawyers and business professionals to help them successfully organize, grow and operate their businesses more effectively and efficiently.  We do NOT provide investment advice.  Contact us if you are interested in learning more about our services, and in particular, about our 3-Step-Solution to help you strategically focus and tactically grow your business.  We would welcome the opportunity to speak with you.

info@gmsbusinessconsulting.com

707-218-3135

John 14:15

 

GMS Business Consulting 288 Comments

Part 1: Out-Strategize & Out-Maneuver Your Competition

Business Development Services

Business Development Services

Hello everyone, and Happy New Year!  Today’s post is part-one of a three-part series on how to “Out-Strategize & Out-Maneuver Your Competition“.  After 30+ combined years of business and consulting experience, we have seen common threads related to business success and failure.  These common threads may appear to be quite simple at the surface level, however beneath the surface they may vary significantly in complexity depending on the nature of the practice, targeted clients (and their particular needs), and one’s ability to effectively reach & communicate your value proposition to them.  That said, the successes and failures all have a few things in common…right from the start.  That’s what we’re going to address today… Read more

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Business Succession

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Hello Everyone!  Recently, we met with a few attorneys with small practices, in their late 60’s with no plans of retirement, nor thoughts of business succession.  That’s a concern we have for many business professionals today who know better to plan for events like this, yet they don’t.  Over the years, we’ve seen many business professionals own and operate very successful practices/businesses, however we’re still surprised to see how many have not planned for their business succession.

If there is a younger family member coming into the practice or business, then that is a natural business succession, and the business owner has a whole lot less to concern themselves with.  Conversely, if there is no family member or young associate interested in taking over the practice some day, then that leaves a potentially valuable asset foregone and left behind, and clients that will still need to be served. Read more

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Something Strange In The Numbers?

Zero Hedge

Zero Hedge

 

Hello Everyone!  Every once in a while we want to let newer viewers know why our business blog exists, and why we provide the content that we do.  As our longer-term readers know, the content of our blog is to serve two purposes:

  1. First, to provide meaningful/helpful business management content to help lawyers/law firms/CPA’s and other business professionals to better manage their short-term and long-term business goals and objectives.
  2. Second, is to provide our readers with powerful, insightful news, comments, and commentaries related to financial/economic/and political information that may not be reported by mainstream news media, and not as well-known or understood by the general public. Read more