Alibaba Made $5 Billion in First Hour

Yesterday is 11th November, or 11/11, Or Singles’ Day.It is a day everybody in the world is waiting for, because they can buy awesome products with almost 80% discount! Many people see good deals and rush to buy tons of stuff. In the morning, news that Alibaba has made $5 billion from its online sales in the first hour. $5 billion in 1 hour.

 

The $152 Trillion Debt Pile

It is reported that the world is now having a debt hangover. The gross debt had more than doubled in nominal terms. The slow growth is also making the obligations difficult to clear. The unbelievable huge debt had now complicated the things for global policy makers. Bad debts have ended up on government balance sheets totally. A surge in corporte debt in emerging markets is driven by the currently low interest rates.

 

Coca-Cola Buying Large Stake in Monster Energy

The Coca-Cola company reached agreement last week to acquire a 16.7% share of Monster Beverage Corp.  This sent shares of Monster (MNST) flying all the way up to a high of $94.93 per share on news of the deal.

This deal caught my attention, pretty much because I am a Coca-Cola  (KO) shareholder but also because of the details of this acquisition. While I am rather hopeful and excited about Coke grabbing a significant chunk of Monster Energy, the timing of it kind of pissed me off. I mean, the price for Coca-Cola shares had been declining from around $42 and change in July down to $39 and change during the first weeks of August.  I was hoping for a continued slide down to the $37-38 range, so that I could invest in some more myself, and hopefully get some more equity in the company for cheap when the next dividend rolls around in September.

Nevertheless, this “long-term strategic partnership“, as they’re calling it has piqued my interest in what this could mean for the future of the company.

One of the interesting points of this deal is the transference of holdings between the companies. Monster gets control of Coke’s energy drink sectors which include brands such as, NOS, Full Throttle, Burn, Play, Mother, etc. Meanwhile, Coca-Cola gets control of Monster’s non-energy drink holdings, Hansen’s Natural Sodas and Juices, Hubert’s Lemonade, and Peace Tea.  The Hansen’s factor is intriguing to me and I’ll have to do some more research into the company.

While I am excited about this possibilities of this deal for Coca-Cola, I am also cautious about whether or not it will be good for the company, long-term:

While this may be true, what wasn’t mentioned in Cramer’s analysis is that Coke may have given away a high profit business segment and replaced it with a low margin wholesaler agreement.  This is on top of the fact that traders generally acknowledge that Coke overpaid for a company whose really eye-popping growth numbers may be behind it. -Source

That article also suggests that most of the value will go to the Monster shareholders and not the Coca-Cola shareholders. Did they overpay? Did they swap their own higher-margin, energy drink business for a stake in one that will require greater volume to keep up?

This could turn  out bad. I don’t know but for right now I’m keeping my current position in the company but holding off on adding more. If the price falls back down to the level I wanted it at, this may change, but I’m not paying a premium two weeks later because of a deal that may or may not bring further riches.

Tuesday Update of Goings On

I’ve added $35 to the Passive Income Portfolio’s Sharebuilder account but I don’t think I’m going to invest anything until next month. There is only $60 in cash parked in that account and while I do want to build up my little experiment and have free investment credits I need to use before the end of the year, I want to wait and add a bit more cash.

I did however invest in another web property to help bolster and accelerate growth of the passive income. I should have that transferred to me by the end of the week but who knows? It seems like a winner from my research, anyways.

 

Sunday Afternoon Financial News Links

From time to time I will update the site with a post about what I am reading in order to help share the links. Despite the title, not all of the stories have to do with finance but I try to include interesting stories nonetheless.

The Post-Constitutional Era by Chris Hedges- The Supreme Course not hearing his case against the administration.

Global Warmth Trend Hides Local Varients

Global Investor Poll: European Deflation Risk Seen by 74%

Gambling and Self-deception

India’s New Government Set to Inherit Wobbly Economy

TPP is Another Upward Transfer of Wealth

The $13 Billion Mystery Angels

401K’s are Retirement Robbery

Richard D Wolff: Global Capitalism Update

 

Thought’d I’d post this video from Professor Richard D. Wolff as part of his monthly Global Capitalism Update series. I’ve been watching these videos for a while and they are definitely informative, outside of the mainstream, albeit a bit repetitive at times. Professor Wolff is not a subscriber to MMT by any means but does provide an interesting alternative perspective on how things operate.

Also, I’ve re-read this article from economist  Michael Hudson: “The Financial Ware Against the Economy at Large” It’s from 2012, as a part of a series of articles based around the so-called Fiscal Cliff crises brought to you by the US Congress. Some good food for thought on a late Saturday afternoon.

April 2014 Passive Income and Investment Report

Last month, I acquired this website and decided that I would turn it into sort of a repository of my passive income ventures. Each month, I plan on updating this site with reports of my passive income and how it changed from the previous one. Also, I want to take some of the extra proceeds and invest it through Sharebuilder, to build sort of a passive income portfolio.

The month of April was pretty good overall. There were however, some disappointments, which I will address. Still, there were plenty of bright spots to focus on to help kick this process into a higher gear.

Advertising

The month of March was way better than February and April has continued the trend in the positive direction. Here’s a look at those numbers:

February 2014: $44.06

March 2014: $108.29 +64.23

April 2014: $130.37  +22.08

The April totals aren’t finalized as of yet, I still need to include the YouTube numbers (probably only $5) but still a significant increase month over month.

Affiliate Revenue

Clickbank Sales: $0

Clickbank has been hugely disappointing the past few months after it started the year out so well. I revamped my promotional texts on my sites and did see an increase in both clicks and order form impressions over the past few weeks. So, hopefully that will get me a few sales at least in May.

Other Affiliate Sales: $47

This one fell from its March numbers as well. I got the exact same number of clicks as March, I guess people weren’t in the same buying mood. The past few days have been better and I hope that trend continues.

Royalties from Past Work

These are royalties I receive from Web 2.0 sites which I used to produce a bunch of content for. There was a slight increase from March.

March 2014: $52.05

April 2014 Total: $54.21 (+2.16)

April 2014 Passive Income Totals:

$231.58 (excluding YouTube) (-29.07)

Investment Report

While the passive income dropped overall this month I did see a nice rise in the holdings in the passive income portfolio.

New Shares: .0673 (Dividend Reinvestment)

Dividend: $2.60

The portfolio is obviously still very small but it is growing and I will probably add to my position here in May, using some of the revenue from April.

March 2014 Total Value: $329.48

April 2014 Total Value: $350.38 (+20.90)

Acquired Properties

I acquired three websites in April and spent roughly $100 for the domains, new hosting, etc. The previous owners of these sites did a pretty good job of building up the link profiles and avoiding spammy content and links.

I am still waiting for search engines to begin to index them for specific keyword searches but I knew coming in that it would take a month or two before I start seeing real results.

One of the sites, should be able to rank for my target keywords fairly easily and turn into a money earner. I only spent $8 buying that one at auction and could make that each day at least once it gets re-established in the search engines. Either way, $8 is definitely worth it to take a flier on, for something that could bring in $3-5 K a year with decent traffic flow.

The other two sites will be re-purposed for traffic purposes and I will not make money with them directly. However, I have already noticed a boost in certain rankings towards my target sites already.

March 2014 Passive Income Report

March 2014 Passive Income and Investment Report

I’ve launched this site not because I am any sort of a financial expert or anything like that….I’m definitely not. However, I did want it to serve as a repository for my learning more and more about investments and entrepreneurship to perhaps help other novices such as myself through the process also.  Each month I want to share my passive income numbers and how I invested that money either in the market or furthering my business pursuits.

What is passive income you may ask?  Essentially, it is creating a system in which the work you put in today pays dividends in the future without having to work. It is sort of a misnomer in some respects as there is always maintenance and further work to be done BUT getting paid while you sleep is pretty fun. My own passive income stems from building websites from scratch or acquiring web properties and monetizing them.

This started out as a side hobby of mine and over time has developed into more and more of a serious threat of replacing my real life job :). I’m still a long way off in terms of income but a few changes here and there in my Google rankings and I could double what I make working a job overnight.

Investing in the stock market has been something which I have been interested in for a long time and it’s only been recently that I’ve had any type of money to put into it.  It really clicked a month or two ago, that I should set aside a portion of what I make online and create a passive income portfolio. This report represents that online income and what I’ve done with it for the month in terms of investing in stocks or my businesses.

Advertising

March was a pretty great month for advertising money, as one of my sites began to recover from a loss in traffic fully and my revenue shot up as a result. As you can see:

February 2014: $44.06

March 2014: $108.29 +64.23

That’s some pretty impressive growth and as of today April is outpacing March by close to 55%, which is just fantastic.

Affiliate Revenue

This represents commissions that come from linking to affiliate products from my websites.

Clickbank Sales: $26.31

That is a disappointing number for me. Despite getting more traffic from February, I only had one sale the whole month. In February, I had 4 sales. Something isn’t working here and I need to experiment, in order to improve this number.

Other Affiliate Sales:  $74

A pretty solid number and about what I expect to make from this source.

Total: $100.31

Royalties from Past Work

This is work I did for Web 2.0 sites years ago that still pays me money each month. Not quite as robust as it once was, it still brings in a bit of money which is always nice.

March 2014: $52.05

March 2014 Totals:

$260.65

March wasn’t a bad month. It represented a continued turn around and growth in a few of my sites. Also, some experimental sites began to be indexed better by Google and could turn more profitable over the next few months, which should bump up these numbers further.

Investment Report

I didn’t buy any new positions with the revenues this month. However, I did add $25 to my Sharebuilder account to be used in the future. A good portion of the March revenues went into acquiring new properties, which will be used to grow traffic, sales, and overall income. I’ll get more into that in the next income report.

Here’s how the passive income portfolio looked for March:

New Shares: 0

Dividends: 0

Total/ Gain: $329.48 (+$3.92)

Not much change but overall a net positive for the still small but growing portfolio.

March has been a decent month but overall pretty quiet. April has made a bit more noise on all fronts and the overall growth prospects continue to improve with each passing week. I need to improve upon my planning and taking actionable steps but things are definitely looking up.

Financing the Cost of Breast Augmentation Surgery

Women seeking information on breast implants have many questions, one of the foremost among these is how much does breast augmentation surgery cost?

That question is dependent on a multitude of factors such as:

  • The type of surgery
  • Location
  • Fees of the hospital or medical center
  • Any of procedures that might be done
  • Pre or post-op visits
  • Pain control devices
  • Medical tests

Prices are often advertised as low as $3,500 and some as costly as $7,000. Again, this is dependent on the surgeon and the type of surgery. Remember, that this advertised price may not include any extra costs or fees.

Also, the type of implant can vary the cost of breast augmentation surgery to some degree. Saline or silicone and all the other types available will have a different feel and firmness to them.  Some implants work better for providing a natural feel while others will give up some of that for a more firm touch. Try to have an idea of which type you would like to consider and figure out which surgeons in your area can provide this service.

How much the total surgery costs should be just one of the factors you consider before going under the knife. Make sure to do your due diligence and research heavily any plastic surgeon and surgery you are considering. Take a look at a plastic surgeon’s qualifications, before and after photographs, read patient reviews, talk to other patients, and even ask your own physician about a certain plastic surgeon.

Many plastic surgeons offer financing deals for their patients who cannot afford to pay for the surgery all up front. Make sure you ask the surgeon during consultation about the possible financing options available to you. These financing options will come with interest rate charges which can add to the total cost of the surgery. Don’t get into something that you cannot afford to take on.

For more information on implant costs:

Implant cost and financing

Breast Augmentation Surgery in Greensboro