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Hong Kong freedom of press faces test if Alibaba buys South China Morning Post
Lifestyle
<p>Yet another internet mogul is eyeing an old-media news property. The New York Times is reporting that Jack Ma is in talks to buy Hong Kong's South Morning China Post.</p> <p>Can the CEO of Alibaba maintain the editorial independence of the SCMP? Even Jack Ma answers to a higher authority: Beijing. As any mainland billionaire will tell you, the Chinese authorities are not afraid of throwing their weight around.</p> <p>Freedom of the press was enshrined when Great Britain gave up control of the former colony. But there's freedom and then there's business.</p> <p>The NYT notes that it's not clear who the owner of the SCMP will be -- Jack Ma or Alibaba.</p> <p>In any event, Ma follows a long tradition of industrial/internet businessmen eyeing media properties. In 2013, Amazon CEO scooped up The Washington Post. The NYT reports the deal makes business sense for Ma:<br /> A deal for The South China Morning Post, the person said, would fit in with Alibaba’s broader holdings. The company owns stakes in Chinese Internet sites with a media bent, like Youku Tudou, which is similar to YouTube, and Sina Weibo, akin to Twitter. The person said that The South China Morning Post had a good brand and that the takeover “might lead to some synergy.” Any such advantages would be easier to realize if Alibaba were the buyer, the person said.<br /> Photo: Melies the Bunny<br /> &nbsp;</p>
Billionaires pay well for protection from terrorists
Lifestyle
<p>It turns out the very wealthy are among those at most risk from terrorists. It’s not just a matter of ransom. Just a little over a month ago, the terrorist organization Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula issued a call for the assassination of billionaires in the U.S. such as Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, Warren E. Buffett and the Koch brothers.</p> <p>That said, you can buy a lot of protection with a billion dollars. In fact, according to security consultants, the super-rich do spend many millions of dollars a year on security, with much of it focused on preventing terrorist incidents.</p> <p>As a November 20th article by Paul Sullivan of the New York Times highlights, there’s an entire global industry built up around protecting the uber-wealthy from terrorists or other threats.<br /> Not all rich are terrorist targets, only well-known billionaires<br /> The threat from terrorists is real, notes Christopher Falkenberg, president of the security and risk management firm Insite Security and an ex-Secret Service agent. “They’re looking for the easiest target with the highest yield,” he said. “If you subscribe to the theory in the magazine, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula will succeed in the U.S. by disrupting its economic system, and one way to do that is to kill successful business people. It puts a large target on them.”<br /> Falkenberg’s clients include several hedge fund managers and other billionaires, and he says personal security can reduce the likelihood of an attack. He points out it can also make one prominent person a less desirable target than a well-known figure without strong security. “One billionaire is equal to another in the minds of the Al Qaeda guys,” he said.<br /> Falkenberg said a basic security package would begin around $180,000 a year, but that nobody except billionaires really needs that level of security.</p> <p>That point of view was confirmed by another security industry insider. “For the average wealthy person, there is a complete huckster industry to sell them protection against Islamic terrorism that they don’t need,” commented Roderick Jones, an ex-British intelligence agent and now CEO of Concentric Advisors, which offers both cyber and personal security services.<br /> “Terrorists are very selective on how they train and deploy against a rich person,” he explained. “If you’ve gone to the trouble of infiltrating America and training, you want bang for your buck.”</p> <p>Cyber crime is biggest risk for most wealthy<br /> According to experts, from the middle class to the very wealthy, the biggest risk is online crime, not terrorism<br /> “The real threat to rich people is digital crime,” Jones claims (note his firm has a partnership with Pure Insurance called CyberSafe to assist with digital crimes. “If you build a bunker to protect against an AK-47 but don’t protect your Internet browser, you’re missing the point.”<br /> Jones noted he has spoken to many wealthy clients who had been victims of some digital crime. “A lot of the news is about this sophisticated cyberwar and what the Chinese and Russians are doing,” he went on. “But in reality, people are getting robbed blind out there, and it’s an economic crime.”<br /> The CyberSafe partnership Jones firm offers includes home online security audit (which starts at $1,500 a day) and a monitoring program that costs $500 to $3,000 a month. He says one primary focus of the service is regularly updating security systems given the speed at which hackers can circumvent even the “latest” systems.<br /> This article was originally published by ValueWalk. </p> <p>Photo: David Goehring</p>
Video: Worth Power 100 List
Lifestyle
<p>Richard Bradley, Worth Group Editor-in-Chief, discusses who made the Worth Power 100 list and why on this week's Wall Street Week. It may be surprising how Worth determines who the biggest influencers are. Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders made the list, for example, but Donald Trump did not.</p>
The 10 investment commandments
Lifestyle
<p>Moses ascended Mount Sinai to receive the powerful spiritual words of the Ten Commandments from God on two stone tablets and then went on to share the all-important, moral imperatives with his people. If Moses was alive today and was a professional investor, I’m sure he would have downloaded the “ 10 Investment Commandments ” from Charles Ellis’s Winning the Loser’s Game on his e-reader, and then share the knowledge with all investors. I’m the furthest thing from Moses, but in his absence, I will be happy to share Ellis’s valuable and useful 10 Investment Commandments for individual investors:<br /> 1)      “Save. Invest your savings in your future happiness and security and education for your kids.”</p> <p>2)      “Don’t speculate. If you must ‘play the market’ to satisfy an emotional itch, recognize that you are gambling on your ability to beat the pros so limit the amounts you play with to the same amounts you would gamble with the pros at Las Vegas.”</p> <p>3)      “Don’t do anything in investing primarily for tax reasons.”</p> <p>4)      “Don’t think of your home as an investment. Think of it as a place to live with your family-period.”</p> <p> 5)      “Never do commodities….Dealing in commodities is really only price speculation. It’s not investing because there’s no economic productivity or value added.”</p> <p>6)      “Don’t be confused about stockbrokers and mutual fund salespeople. They are usually very nice people, but their job is not to make money for you. Their job is to make money from you.”</p> <p>7)      “Don’t invest in new or ‘interesting’ investments. They are all too often designed to be sold to investors, not to be owned by investors.”</p> <p>8)      “Don’t invest in bonds just because you’ve heard that bonds are conservative or for safety of either income or capital. Bond prices can fluctuate nearly as much as stock prices do, and bonds are a poor defense against the major risk of long-term investing – inflation.”</p> <p>9)      “Write out your long-term goals, your long-term investing program, and your estate plan – and stay with them.”</p> <p>10)   “Distrust your feelings. When you feel euphoric, you’re probably in for a bruising.”</p> <p>We all commit sins, some more than others, and investors are no different. A simple periodic review of Charles Ellis’s “ 10 Investing Commandments ” will spiritually align your portfolios and prevent the number of investment sins you make.</p> <p>This story first appeared in ValueWalk.<br /> Photo: Prayitno </p>
Video: Bill Gates talks business and philanthropy with CCTV
Lifestyle
<p>As a self-proclaimed “impatient philanthropist,” what are Bill Gates’ priorities? Join us for an exclusive interview with the world’s richest man as he contemplates his second equally notable career in charity. He remembers both his successes and his missteps, and how his priorities have changed. And in China, where philanthropy has yet to truly take hold, what can be done to grow the country’s supporting institutions? He also shares some details from his several meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping.</p> <p>This story originally appeared in ValueWalk.<br /> Photo: OnInnovation</p>
What we're reading: AI, safety in the West, Hong Kong's wake-up call, Kim Young-sam
Lifestyle
<p>A selection of articles and columns from across the world.</p> <p>Don't take the good life for granted. There are lots of articles dissecting the latest terrorist atrocities, some hysterical and others thoughtful. Peter Jones reminds us that the West's comfortable and secure life is unusual, not just compared with the lives of millions  throughout the world, but also historically. The Spectator</p> <p>Artificial Intelligence is nothing to fear. Forget about the hype and predictions of the end of the human race, recent developments in AI are just the latest step in the gradual evolution of computing. David Harding, CEO of Winton Capital Management, reassures us and also the Pope and Stephen Hawking. EIU</p> <p>Different responses to IS attacks. A veteran FT columnist contrasts the reaction of the U.S. and France to the Paris attacks and, in particular, their attitudes to Syrian refugees. Financial Times (paywall)</p> <p>R.I.P. Kim Young-sam, former president of South Korea. Kim was born when Korea was a Japanese colony. He became a vocal critic of South Korea's military dictators in the 1960s and 1970s, was the first civilian president, purged the army, defused a nuclear crisis with North Korea, and introduced lasting anti-corruption measures. But he presided over the country's humiliating financial crisis in the late 1990s and his son was later arrested for corruption.  International New York Times (paywall)</p> <p>A wake-up call for Hong Kong leaders. A recent study shows why Hong Kong is no longer "Asia's World City." Pollution, rising wealth inequality, poor diversity, inadequate schools, insufficient doctors, and crippling property prices are a few of the reasons why Hong Kong lags behind Singapore, Tokyo, Seoul, and Osaka. South China Morning Post (paywall)<br /> Photo: Steve Webel<br /> &nbsp;</p>
Christopher Pavese: Managing a creative culture
Lifestyle
<p>Managing A Creative Culture by Christopher Pavese, Broyhill Asset Management<br /> Edwin Catmull left Lucasfilm in 1986 when the firm’s digital division was purchased by Steve Jobs, marking the birth of Pixar.  After Disney acquired Pixar in 2006, Catmull and Lasseter were tasked with reinvigorating Disney animation studios. Creativity, Inc. is Ed’s story. He discusses many of the blocks to creativity along with the active steps we can take to protect the creative process, deal with uncertainty, instability, lack of candor and the things we cannot see.</p> <p>Here are some of the principles Ed and Pixar have developed to enable a healthy creative culture:</p> <p>Give a good idea to a mediocre team, and they will screw it up. Give a mediocre idea to a great team, and they will either fix it or come up with something better. If you get the team right, chances are that they’ll get the ideas right.</p> <p>Always try to hire people who are smarter than you. Always take a chance on better, even if it seems like a potential threat.When looking to hire people, give their potential to grow more weight than their current skill level. What they will be capable of tomorrow is more important than what they can do today.</p> <p>If there are people in your organization who feel they are not free to suggest ideas, you lose. Do not discount ideas from unexpected sources. Inspiration can, and does, come from anywhere. It isn’t enough merely to be open to ideas from others. Engaging the collective brainpower of the people you work with is an active, ongoing process. As a manager, you must coax ideas out of your staff and constantly push them to contribute. There are many valid reasons why people aren’t candid with one another in a work environment. Your job is to search for those reasons and then address them.</p> <p>There is nothing quite as effective, when it comes to shutting down alternative viewpoints, as being convinced you are right. Likewise, if someone disagrees with you, there is a reason. Our first job is to understand the reasoning behind their conclusions. Further, if there is fear in an organization, there is a reason for it. Our job is (a) to find what’s causing it, (b) to understand it, and (c) to try to root it out.</p> <p>In general, people are hesitant to say things that might rock the boat. Braintrust meetings, dailies, postmortems, and Notes Day are all efforts to reinforce the idea that it is okay to express yourself. All are mechanisms of self-assessment that seek to uncover what’s real.</p> <p>If there is more truth in the hallways than in meetings, you have a problem. Many managers feel that if they are not notified about problems before others are or if they are surprised in a meeting, then that is a sign of disrespect. Get over it.</p> <p>Careful “messaging” to downplay problems makes you appear to be lying, deluded, ignorant, or uncaring. Sharing problems is an act of inclusion that makes employees feel invested in the larger enterprise.</p> <p>The first conclusions we draw from our successes and failures are typically wrong. Measuring the outcome without evaluating the process is deceiving. Do not fall for the illusion that by preventing errors, you won’t have errors to fix. The truth is, the cost of preventing errors is often far greater than the cost of fixing them.</p> <p>Change and uncertainty are part of life. Our job is not to resist them but to build the capability to recover when unexpected events occur. If you don’t always try to uncover what is unseen and understand its nature, you will be ill prepared to lead.</p> <p>Similarly, it is not the manager’s job to prevent risks. It is the manager’s job to make it safe to take them. Failure isn’t a necessary evil. In fact, it isn’t evil at all. It is a necessary consequence of doing something new.</p> <p>Trust doesn’t mean that you trust that someone won’t screw up. It means you trust them even when they do screw up. The people ultimately responsible for implementing a plan must be empowered to make decisions when things go wrong, even before getting ap
What does authenticity really mean?
Lifestyle
<p>Nobody likes phonies, but if you want to succeed in business, "just be yourself" won't get you there.</p> <p>Authenticity is a hot word in leadership discussions. The modern workplace is more informal and less hierarchical than in the past. Command-and-control management doesn’t fly with people hired for their creative brainpower. They want leaders who inspire them, and give them reasons for working beyond a paycheck.</p> <p>But all this requires a nuanced understanding of what "authenticity" should mean. In a business context, it doesn’t mean the "be yourself" phrase that probably pops into your mind first. For evidence of this, consider that many of Donald Trump’s supporters praise him for what they view as authenticity. He says what he thinks. He doesn’t seem to care what other people think of that. Yet business leaders emulating this approach might quickly find themselves in trouble. "Being authentic is much more than ‘being yourself,’" says Gareth Jones, coauthor of Why Should Anyone Work Here?: What It Takes to Create an Authentic Organization. "If you want to be a leader, you have to be yourself—skillfully."<br /> Style Is Not Authenticity<br /> To be themselves—skillfully—smart leaders first recognize that authenticity is not about behaving in the exact same way, regardless of context. You may be a casual person, but dressing in shorts when other people expect suits sends a message of disrespect. "It’s not about style. It’s the person inside of you," says Bill George, author of Discover Your True North: Becoming an Authentic Leader.</p> <p>And even with this, you need to think about how the person inside of you comes across. In your personal life, you may love to share your religious faith because it’s what motivates you and inspires you. That doesn’t mean you should proselytize in staff meetings.</p> <p>Second, smart leaders recognize that "effective leadership is a skillful, authentic role performance," says Jones. You might be the kind of person who, deep down, likes to sit in the hotel and watch movies when you’re jet-lagged. But if you’ve jetted in somewhere to boost morale and excite people about your mission, leadership means you need to suit up and do what they are expecting you do.<br /> Knowing Where You're From<br /> Here’s a more workable definition of authenticity in a business context. It’s about being consistent in word and deed, having the same fundamental character in different roles, and being comfortable with your past. Indeed, the first definition of "authentic" that pops up when I type it in Google is "of undisputed origins." "You can change your future, but you can’t change your past," says Jones. "Your past made you who you are."</p> <p>That doesn’t mean authentic leaders need perfect stories explaining all their life choices. "I think storytelling has become a bit of a kind of fad," says Jones. There is nothing authentic about hunting through past events with a coach to determine a story that ties neatly to your current product line.</p> <p>Understanding what shaped you can help you interact with other people without the barriers that lead to disengagement. "Authentic leadership is inherently a developmental process," says George. It’s about becoming "the person you are created to be."</p> <p>This story first appeared in Fast Company.<br /> Photo: Chuck Coker</p>
Newbie trader who lost $106,445.56 on a short gone wrong raises $5,310 on gofundme.com
Lifestyle
<p>In my 35k acct @Etrade did not cover me until I was down 144k when it was at $18.50 WTF. Sick to my stomach. Was going strong for last mo<br /> — JoeC (@jwctrek) November 19, 2015</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>A newbie trader who lost more than $100,000 shorting a penny stock has created quite a stir on social media when he took a digital hat in hand and asked for help to pay the debt. Within 24 hours, he raised $5,310 on gofundme.com.</p> <p>The sad sack thought he had a $37,000 loss limit on a short on KaloBios Pharmaceuticals, which was trading at $2.07 Wednesday night before the market close. He kept the position open thinking he'd rake in a few more bucks -- the company had announced it was shutting down. There was little hope for saving it.</p> <p>Enter the favorite villain of the pharmaceutical world: Raise-those-drug-prices Martin Shkreli. Late that evening Shkreli announced he had scooped up 1.2 million shares of KalosBios -- about half the company. The stock surged 600% in a blink of the eye.</p> <p>The Real Fly blog immediately knew what would happen next: Margin call hell.</p> <p>Which brings us back to Joe Campbell, a 32-year-old trader with an 8,000-share short position in KalosBios. He thought he had a sure thing in a penny stock that said it was going out of business. He also thought his losses were capped. E*trade, his broker, said they weren't able to cover the short quickly enough to protect him. In the end, they covered at $18.50 a share. Ouch, ouch, and ouch. Double-ouch when you see the stock closed around $10 on Thursday.</p> <p>Social media lit up with pity and sharp criticisms. Stocktwits launched a stream asking for advice.</p> <p>Would you donate to Campbell? What would you say to him?</p> <p>Read his tale of woe on gofundme.com here and let us know how you would have handled a terrible situation like this.<br /> Featured photo: Thomas Hawk<br /> &nbsp;</p>
Asian and Russian homebuyers halt London invasion
Lifestyle
Good news for Londoners priced out of their own housing market. The turmoil in China's equity markets and weak emerging market currencies has put off Asian and Russian buyers who last year snapped up a third of the most desirable homes in the capital's richest boroughs. "Asian homebuyers made up 26% of those buying homes in areas such as Kensington, Chelsea and&hellip;