Friday, October 3, 2014

What a balance sheet can teach you about a company's health

The links below are snippets of what I have been reading this week.

Online reputations matters in the job search process

Employers search online profiles of potential employees for employability. Online indiscretions can cost you a job, so you better be informed. Some indiscretions the blog pointed out are: posting during work hours, regular negative posts, poor spelling in posts and employees who do not seek to build relationships in their social media activities.

Source:How to get a job by spring cleaning your social media accounts

When transferring money abroad, keep a record

. A charity group for humanitarian aid in Syria, Australians for Syria, will be having several of its bank accounts in the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) closed down for connections for Biostel Rieh, a money transfer business with relationships to Khaled Sharrouf, a Sydney terrorist. Australians for Syria is not yet being accused of any money laundering activity, but what can be learned from the incident is that keeping records of money transfer operations is important for trust building, especially when sending money to pariah nations.

Source: CBA shuts down bank accounts connected to Syrian humanitarian charity

What a balance sheet could teach you about financial health

Buying stocks is heavily predicated by a company’s balance sheet. This blog on investing was a commentary on Transocean (NYSE: RIG), a rig company. You might wonder why the balance sheet of a company like Transocean might matter? Because the sector is a peculiar one that is heavily dependent on equipment and assets, and the balance sheet can help you determine the financial health of a company as well as understand how much that assets a company owns are worth. The piece focuses on three themes: financial health, efficiency and value. The conclusion reached was that Transocean might be an opportunity to buy at bargain basement prices.

Source: What Does a Balance Sheet Analysis of Transocean Tell Us?

Playing the bond market in India the non-traditional way: through the credit curve

In the traditional way of playing in the bond market, when yields are expected to decrease, due to increasing income and decreased inflation, existing bonds are cheaper and favorable to newer bonds and bonds of longer duration favored over shorter duration bonds. This strategy is based on the yield curve for bonds. Now, fund managers in India are playing it the non-traditional way – using the credit curve. They concentrate on the spread, or the difference between yields on government bonds and corporate bonds, in order to make decisions on buy or sell. Spreads for lower rated bonds are now higher than that for higher rated corporate bonds. So, what do fund managers do? Buy low rated bonds, or what you’d call junk bonds, or bonds close to those. There are fixed in this decision because credit risk and liquidity are improving in the market.

Source: Forget rate cut, here’s how you can play bonds.

While New York’s Junk bond market seems to be facing corporate shivers

Although spreads seem to be rising in the high yield junk bond markets, some big corporations have been pulling off sells this year. General Cable Corp, a maker of wire and cable products, is the tenth corporate body to have announced pulling off its sales of debts on the junk bond market. Citing weak and overall uncertain conditions in the market for its decision.

Source: Rough waters for junk bonds sink deal.

What are cryptocurrencies? Are they valueless or have enduring value?

Louis XV of France coin. Wikimedia Commons
Bitcoin as a brand should readily ring a bell, or even litecoin and zerocash, or maybe not. These are cryptocurrencies: the use of digital tokens as a means of exchange and not a unit of account. Cryptocurrencies solve the problem of double spending (ensuring that even without trust, a currency is transferred absolutely to the exchanging party without the transferer having a second copy and without a third party) and the Byzantine Generals problem. Yet, do they have enduring value? This article explains cryptocurrencies, the problems solved and future directions.

Source: Cryptocurrency

You can now link your Bitcoin account to your bank account – US only.

Anyone in the US can now use Circle to link their bank accounts to Bitcoin accounts and start using the crypto-currency. Amazingly, there is no fee to transfer funds between accounts. Additionally, like most money held by banks, Bitcoin funds held through Circle are insured.

Source: Circle opens up, inviting anyone to link their bank account to Bitcoin

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