The Christian Investor: Sweat Equity

I recall many times when I was working very hard on my networking business and there were days when I wanted to give up. I had no results even though I was doing everything I could; I was a top performer, drove many miles on the road to meet new customers and present new business opportunities on a daily basis. Nothing seemed to work and I couldn’t get past the glass ceiling. But now I’ve realized that I was working hard for others, but I wasn’t trusting God with my business.

Only fear the Lord and serve Him in truth with all your heart, for consider what great thing he has done for you. – 1 Samuel 12:24

As entrepreneurs, we have to constantly remind ourselves to work hard and pray like it’s up to him. There will be dry seasons (if you haven’t had them already) and you will feel like giving up. But if God gave you a clear vision of something you’re passionate about, is that worth leaving behind because you’re not seeing results? Everyone has a different path and in my situation, the dry seasoned passed and things were brighter because he had a better plan for me. But sometimes God will place us in these particular situations because he wants to see our sweat equity. With God, anything is possible, but if he gave you your dream tomorrow, would you be capable fo handling it (as we all raise our hands and say, YES!)

As investors and business owners, NEVER underestimate God and his power. He simply wants you to lean on him- not on your understanding, but his! As we enter into a new week, ask Him to lead you in strength through this time in your life and remember all of the things he has already brought you through.

You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours. -Psalm 128:2 (NIV)

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Ford: Driving Back to Fourtune?

F (Ford $11.71) has made great company changes in order to sustain in the automotive industry. With a growing revenue of only 3.28% from 2017, many investors have mixed feelings about the business operation.

In this time in the automotive industry, there is a high demand for sport-utility and pickup truck vehicles. From F discontinuing their sedan models, they are projecting a lucrative return for this year and the year of 2019.

With a forgiving dividend history of $0.15 per share (since 2014), they have a very low GPR (Gross Profit Revenue) of 16% and spend almost half of their revenue in SGA costs. F‘s financial track record could be better (in my humble opinion), yet many investors are considering the stock a buy at its low price. But is it worth the investment?

Their $11 million dollar free cash flow has given the company little room to work with reinvestments. Investors hold the company accountable for their bright outlook on the next 5 years to come.

Loyalty Dosen’t Always Win

“Do What You Love” Is a phrase we may hear often. But when it comes to the markets, investing in what you “love” may pull you into losing hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Just because you like shopping at a particular retail store, doesn’t mean that the company will survive in the stock market. Let’s look a couple examples of companies who are failing miserably on their balance sheets.

GPRO (Go Pro, $5.55), a company that engages in manufacturing cameras and camera accessories (wearable sports camera) is a very well known company that people love. Advertised with several players from the NFL, GPRO used to be on the rise, however from the highest stock price climb of $86 (in 2014) has now descended to a penny stock of $5.55. As well as an operating income of a negative of -$163,000,000 and net income of negative -$183,000,000, it’s nearly impossible to continue to see this company as a long term investment if financial changes aren’t a priority.

LB (L Brands, $36.10), is a popular company that engages in ownership of famous retail companies known as Victorias Secret, Pink, Bath&Body Works, La Senza and Henri Bendel. From a stock drop price of $20 since 2015, LB is losing free cashflow and has made a decline of almost 30% in opereating cash flow from 2017. From recent sexual-bias ads that are unapealing to new investors, LB may need to make some changes in order to improve positive cash flow returns.
These are only two of of many companies who have poor managibility of their finances and business operations (Tesla, Southwest Airlines, General Motors and more), . Any company can have a great product to sell, however if they cannot manage their finances, it is doomed to total debt. But good marketing and a pretty desplay can sell anything, this is a case that shows you that loyalty dosen’t always win.

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Stock Talk: Wal-Mart’s Money Moves

WMT (Wal-Mart) has been on the radar lately and they are making money moves in order to keep up with the AMZN (Amazon) giant. So far this year, WMT has spent over $34 million in employee bonuses, expecting to go over $200 million in new store constructions and renovations, and the rebranding of their exclusive fashion lines- George, Time and Tru, Terra & Sky and Wondernation. Senior Vice President, Deanah Baker said in recent shareholder meeting,

“We listened to our customers and are proud to deliver apparel choices that meet at the intersection of everything they desire: on-trend styles, comfort, and quality, all at unbeatable prices.”

Fighing AMZN, WMT still holds the championship of operating the largest clothing retailer in the U.S., accounting for at least 8% of the country.

Though it seems that WMT is on a winning streak, investors were startled by the recent earning report of their decrease in online sales. WMT is expecting improvements for their two-day shipping and store pick-up features.

Many investors believe they still have a long way to go if they want to keep up- including their total debt takedown from $50 million to $46 million from 2016. However, long-term shareholders believe there is still hope and WMT’s money moves will reap the rewards.

5 Things Every Entrepreneur Should Master

The hustle is real and there are a lot of entrepreneurs going about it the wrong way. Let’s jump right in on the 5 things every entrepreneur should master.

1. Be Punctual

Every entrepreneur needs to be punctual. A wealthy businesswoman once told me “If you’re on time, you’re late. But If you’re early, you’re on time”. She couldn’t have said it any better. Wheather the person your meeting is running a few minutes behind, arriving 15 minutes early always shows the best impression.

If you’re on time, you’re late. But If you’re early, you’re on time.

2. Cut the Business Card Excuse

Entrepreneurs (especially new business owners) should always have some source of contact information to exchange when they are networking or meeting a new customer. Drop the, “oh, I ran out of business cards” excuse. If you can’t hand them a card, send them a formal text message with all of your information. They also have mobile business cards-picture of your business card you can text.

3. Dress for Success

No, literally. I spoke with a successful business partner of mine and no entrepreneur wants to go to a professional business meeting seeing you wearing torn jeans and messy hair. No jeans, no t-shirts, no sandals, and dude… ditch the beach hair! Look Professional, you are the face of your own empire.

You are the face of your own Empire.

4. Networking

Networking is always fun, It’s great to meet new people from different walks of life. The best networkers I know are always happy, approachable and down-to-earth. They are great when it comes to introducing new entrepreneurs to a group of other business owners and make everyone feel welcome.

5. Have A Planner

Entrepreneurs are great planners. They take control of their day and if they need to reschedule plans, they are quick to do so. Entrepreneurs don’t procrastinate, procrastination leads to failure…and failure is not an option.

No one is perfect, but in order to stick out from the sea of “business owners”, you have to push yourself and step out on faith (even when things get scary). It may take years in order to see continuous growth in your business, but only the tough entrepreneurs always make it to the finish line.

App Review: Stash

Let’s talk about one of the newest innovative investing apps, Stash.

Stash is a great micro-savings app that let’s you start investing will as little as $5. With visual categories, it gives you a vivid selection of sectors you may want or like to invest in- ETFs named with “roll with buffett” or “small and mighty”.

Stash encourages the new investor to save their money into the account by promoting an option for weekly or monthly deposits. Stash will charge 0.25% to the account for those who have balances over $5,000. For accounts under $5,000, there is a $1 charge ($2 for retirement accounts).

I would reccomend Stash for the new investor- college student, single mom or anyone who wants to start but dosen’t have the time to learn about the market. Stash is very simple and easy to use, try it for yourself.

Stash is avalible to download and Apple and Android devices.