Long Put

The investor buys a put contract that is compatible with the expected timing and size of a downturn. Although a put usually doesn’t appreciate $1 for every $1 that the stock declines, the percentage gains can be significant. the put holder is willing to forfeit 100% of the premium paid and is convinced a decline is imminent, one choice is to wait until the last trading day. If the stock falls, the put might generate a nice profit after all. However, if a quick correction looks unlikely, it might make sense to sell the put while it still has some time value. A timely decision might recover part or even all of the investment.

Outlook

The investor is looking for a sharp decline in the stock’s price during the life of the option.

This strategy is compatible with a variety of long-term forecasts for the underlying stock, from very bearish to neutral. However, if the investor is firmly bullish on the underlying stock in the long run, other strategy alternatives might be more suitable.

Summary

This strategy consists of buying puts as a means to profit if the stock price moves lower. It is a candidate for bearish investors who want to participate in an anticipated downturn, but without the risk and inconveniences of selling the stock short.

The time horizon is limited to the life of the option.

Motivation

A put buyer has the opportunity to profit from a fall in the stock’s price, without risking an unlimited amount of capital, as a short stock seller does. What’s more, the leverage involved in a long put strategy can generate attractive percentage returns if the forecast is right.

Another common use for puts is hedging a long stock position. It is described separately under protective put.

Variations

These remarks are targeted toward the investor who buys puts as a standalone strategy. See the discussion on protective puts for a discussion on using long puts as a way to hedge or exit a long stock position.

Max Loss

The maximum loss is limited. The worst that can happen is for the stock price to be above the strike price at expiration with the put owner still holding the position. The put option expires worthless and the loss is the price paid for the put.

Max Gain

The profit potential is limited but substantial. The best that can happen is for the stock to become worthless. In that case, the investor can theoretically do one of two things: sell the put for its intrinsic value or exercise the put to sell the underlying stock at the strike price and simultaneously buy the equivalent amount of shares in the market at, theoretically, zero cost. The investor’s profit would be the difference between the strike price and zero, less the premium paid, commissions and fees.

Profit/Loss

The profit potential is significant, and the losses are limited to the premium paid.

Although a put option is unlikely to appreciate $1 for every $1 that the stock declines during most of the option’s life, the gains could be substantial if the stock falls sharply. Generally speaking, the earlier and more dramatic the drop in the stock’s value, the better for the long put strategy. Given that the premium investment can be small relative to the stock value it represents, the potential percentage gains and losses can be large, with the caveat that they must be realized by the time the option expires.

All other things being equal, an option typically loses time value premium with every passing day, and the rate of time value erosion tends to accelerate. That means the long put holder may not be able to re-sell the option at a profit unless at least one major pricing factor changes favorably. The most obvious would be an decline in the underlying stock’s price. A rise in volatility could also help significantly by boosting the put’s time value.

An option holder cannot lose more than the initial price paid for the option.

Breakeven

At expiration, the strategy breaks even if the stock price equals the strike price minus the cost of the option. Any stock price below that level produces a net profit. In other words:

Breakeven = strike – premium

Volatility

An increase in implied volatility would have a positive impact on this strategy, all other things being equal. Volatility tends to boost the value of any long option strategy, because it indicates a greater mathematical probability that the stock will move enough to give the option intrinsic value (or add to its current intrinsic value) by expiration day.

By the same logic, a decline in volatility has a tendency to lower the long put strategy’s value, regardless of the overall stock price trend.

Time Decay

As with most long option strategies, the passage of time has a negative impact, all other things being equal. As time remaining until expiration disappears, the statistical chances of achieving further gains shrink. That tends to be reflected in eroding time premiums, which put downward pressure on the put’s market value.

Once time value disappears, all that remains is intrinsic value. For in-the-money options, that is the difference between the going stock price and the strike price. For at-the-money and out-of-the-money options, intrinsic value is zero.

Assignment Risk

None. The investor is in control.

Expiration Risk

Slight. If the option is in-the-money at expiration, it may be exercised on your behalf by your brokerage firm. Since this investor did not own the underlying stock, an unexpected exercise could require urgent measures to find the stock for delivery at settlement. A short stock position might be a problematic outcome for an individual investor.

Every investor carrying a long option position into expiration is urged to verify all related procedures with their brokerage firm: automatic exercise minimums, exercise notification deadlines, etc.

Comments

All option investors have reason to monitor the underlying stock and keep track of dividends. This applies to long put investors, too.

On an ex-dividend date, the amount of the dividend is deducted from the value of the underlying stock. Assuming nothing else has changed, a lower stock value typically boosts the put option’s value. The effect is foreseeable and usually gets factored more gradually, but dividend dates could nevertheless be one consideration in deciding when it might be optimal to close out the put position.

Exercising a put would result in the sale of the underlying stock. These comments focus on long puts as a standalone strategy, so exercising the option would result in a short stock position, something not all individuals would choose as a goal. The plan here is to resell the put at a profit before expiration. The investor is hoping for a dramatic downturn; the sooner, the better.

Timing is of the essence. Some put holders set price targets or re-evaluation dates; others ‘play it by ear.’ Either way, all value must be realized before the put expires. If the expected results have not materialized as expiration draws near, a careful investor is ready to re-evaluate.

Long Put

Net Position (at expiration)

EXAMPLE

Long 1 XYZ 60 put

MAXIMUM GAIN

Strike price – premium paid

MAXIMUM LOSS

Premium paid

Source:  www.optionseducation.org Read more

Want to Go From MBA to CEO? Executives Will Need These Skills in 2039 By Paul Leinwand and Gary L. Neilson August 29, 2014

Good news for today’s MBA grads: The share of large company chief executives with graduate business degrees has grown nearly 50 percent in the past 10 years. But don’t start decorating your corner office yet. There’s a lot to learn before you’re ready to take the CEO chair.

Digitization and globalization will change industries in ways we can just begin to imagine today. Everything will move faster—people, teams, trends, portfolios, and competitors. Companies will find it harder to meaningfully differentiate themselves, and they will need to make complex trade-offs when deciding where to invest for growth.

Future CEOs will have be comfortable working in a reconfigured C-suite. A new role, that of chief resources officer, will probably evolve from today’s chief human resources officer. This person will help the company respond to shortages of natural resources, shifting demographics in the workforce, and all other non-financial resources. And tomorrow’s CEO is likelier than ever to be female: We anticipate that about a third of 2040’s incoming CEOs at large public companies will be women, up from just 3 percent today.

The average CEO starts the job at 52. If you’re 27—the average age of a Harvard MBA—that gives you 25 years to prepare. Here’s what we think CEOs will encounter in 2039, as well as five areas in which you can start building skills to help you succeed as one of the CEOs of tomorrow:

Develop a strategy and execute it.
Possible strategies will come and go quickly. Many will be unfamiliar, so it will be harder than ever for CEOs to find the right balance between attractive opportunities and those their companies can win.

Most companies don’t align strategy and execution well at all. It will be your job to fix this. The most successful strategies are built on what your company is able to do better than any other—its handful of differentiating capabilities. Learn how to define your company by what it does, not what it sells. Identify the capabilities core to that identity, use them as a filter for choosing opportunities, and ensure that the entire organization delivers on that promise.

Manage resources as strategic investments.
A company can’t thrive without putting resources toward what matters most—and that’s not happening today. As CEO, you will need to realize that allocating resources equally across the board is not a winning formula. Treat costs as investments and budgeting as an opportunity to align your company more closely to your strategy. Outsource or team up to accomplish the many tasks your company doesn’t need to do better than others. Learn to focus more money and time than your competitors do on the few differentiating capabilities that matter most to your success, and cut back drastically everywhere else.

Build strong, flexible, teams from across the enterprise.
Every distinctive capability relies on contributions from many different functions, such as sales, marketing, IT, distribution, legal, and so on. Think of Apple’s (AAPL)intuitive interface and design capabilities or Amazon’s (AMZN)distribution and data analytics. Integrating all these functions is a huge task and one most companies struggle with today.

As CEO, you and your executive team will need to ensure that your people work together in a coherent system and continuously deliver on and improve your company’s few distinctive capabilities as the marketplace changes. All this will require you to master the architecture of collaboration, calling on empathy, emotional intelligence, and long experience on different kinds of teams.

Be a great connector.
The vast majority of executives say their company’s overall business strategy isn’t well understood across the company and that it only moderately guides decision-making.

To get your company out of that hole, you’ll need to be a master communicator. In a more transparent, always-on world, with more stakeholders interested and invested in what your company is up to, you’ll need to communicate extensively. You’ll need to build wide-ranging partnerships and other links across enterprises. These might be formal links with other companies that contribute to your products or services, longstanding partnerships with non-governmental organizations to provide social goods, or building relationships with your industry’s regulators around the globe. Doing all this will require extraordinary listening, speaking, writing, and engagement abilities. Hone those skills in every activity you undertake.

Deploy technology as a competitive advantage.
Technology is already a disruptive force changing the structure of most industries. It will only become more powerful. You, as a CEO, will need to have a deep understanding of IT across the enterprise—far greater than any present-day CEO. You’ll also need to be expert in flexible digital business models that allow you to constantly test, improve, and change your offerings, consumer technologies that shape customer engagement, and data analytics that surpass today’s Big Data.

Luckily, many of you are already steeped in technology. The key here is to stay that way and to ensure you are expert in the technologies most crucial to your company’s differentiating capabilities and most likely to disrupt your industry.

Being a CEO is a big job, and by 2040 it will only get bigger. Focusing on developing skills in these five areas should prepare you well for the corner office.

SOURCE : http://www.bloomberg.com

The Power of Positive Disruption – By Andra Brooks

The Power of Positive Disruption

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At the beginning of the year we looked at ‘leading intentionally’ – adopting a leadership mindset in which one’s ‘purpose’ and ‘role’ are fundamentally connected and understood. Leading intentionally enables us to lead authentically and with a sense of mandate and purpose, equipping us to tackle challenges head-on because we remain grounded by the ‘intention’ of what we’re doing.

When leading intentionally, the power of positive disruption is an important concept to understand and to adopt. At its simplest – the concept is about making hard changes in the environment around us. As a leader and depending on the amount of clout you may have – this can mean anything from changing your leadership team through to changing the prevailing culture within the organization. It is vital to understand that real change only comes about when the current status quo is disrupted and a ‘new course’ is set.

Change is good

positive-disruptionPeople are frightened of change. Well, most people. In an organizational context, we are all familiar with the stereotype of the co-worker who just abhors change, stating instead that “this is how we’ve always done things around here”. The trouble is, and especially in the context of the business world, if you are not an agent for change, you risk falling behind your competitors who are more innovative, adaptable and forward thinking than you are. Being a change agent (aka a positive disrupter) doesn’t mean ‘throwing the baby out with the bath water’ or simply instigating ‘change for change’s sake’ – but it does mean pro-actively, assertively and with 100% commitment – creating an environment in which things that don’t work very well, can and will be done differently. This will ruffle feathers and scare some – but it must be done. The more confident you are in your own actions – the easier it is to take people with you. People gravitate towards leaders who have a strong sense of purpose and direction and a deep belief in their own convictions.

Remember that change for change’s sake is not the goal. However, the reality is that in all organizations, some parts operate much more successfully than others. Oftentimes, some parts are simply not fit for purpose. This may be your customer feedback mechanism; the way your accounts department runs; your hiring process; your reward criteria, etc. There is most definitely something within your organization that can and should be overhauled to better meet the needs of your customers and stakeholders.

Baby steps or root and branch change?

This is a key question. Do you make small changes that create positive disruption – or huge, sweeping changes that are experienced as drastic by those around you? The answer, ultimately, depends on what needs changing. If we stick with our leadership mindset which is to lead intentionally – we know that by linking our purpose with our remit, we have given ourselves permission to do what is needed. Our stakeholders are relying on us to do the ‘right thing’ for the organization and if doing so means radical change, then this is what must be done.

At the core of positive disruption is the understanding that you have to actually make change happen. We frequently use phrases like ‘talking the talk, walking the walk’ and in the context of positive disruption, this phrase is never more relevant. We all have good ideas, can talk about what we might do differently and perhaps even get buy-in from above. But until and unless these ideas take physical form – their chance of success is low.

Physical form means positively disrupting the status quo – invariably telling people to stop doing what they’ve always been doing, and to adopt a new approach. To be really effective and to increase the chance of success – this does not mean simply applying a Band-Aid – it means going into the operating theatre.

Positive disruption in practice

Identify an area that really needs overhauling. If you are new in post, consider starting with something small before taking on the bigger challenges. Look and listen to catch the waves of change that others are sponsoring.

Do a gap analysis on a piece of paper. On the left hand side, jot down the attributes of where you are now. What does the issue look and feel like? On the far right hand side, write down what great looks and feels like.

The center-section of the paper is the ‘gap’. It is the ‘no man’s land’ made up of quicksand in which ideas often sink or get shot down all too easily. Think radically of how this gap can be ‘bridged’, not by gingerly walking from left to right, but either through ‘heavy engineering’ or better still, an innovative ‘aerial assault’ that will traverse the gap – something that cannot be easily sabotaged at ground level.

Challenge yourself, and those you trust, to come up with radical ideas that will facilitate the change… then put these into practice.

Once you’ve plotted the new course – get your hands on the tiller and turn the wheel – hard. There will be choppy water ahead, but once you’ve navigated through this – you’re into new territory.

Today, not tomorrow

It all comes down to the status quo. Do not put off today what you believe can wait. Just do it. Be clear about what needs changing and stick to your guns. Don’t feel the weight of ‘what’s been done before and hasn’t worked’. If you’re a leader and you understand your business and what needs changing – forging ahead with brave new initiatives is what you’re paid to do. Don’t be afraid to make radical decisions. If they’re grounded in business rationale (i.e. you’re overhauling a department, product line or business issue that is failing) then things must change and positive disruption is the start point.

Inequality hurts economic growth, finds OECD research

Inequality hurts economic growth, finds OECD research

09/12/2014 – Reducing income inequality would boost economic growth, according to new OECD analysis. This work finds that countries where income inequality is decreasing grow faster than those with rising inequality.

The single biggest impact on growth is the widening gap between the lower middle class and poor households compared to the rest of society. Education is the key: a lack of investment in education by the poor is the main factor behind inequality hurting growth.

“This compelling evidence proves that addressing high and growing inequality is critical to promote strong and sustained growth and needs to be at the centre of the policy debate,” said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría. “Countries that promote equal opportunity for all from an early age are those that will grow and prosper.”

Rising inequality is estimated to have knocked more than 10 percentage points off growth in Mexico and New Zealand over the past two decades up to the Great Recession. In Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States, the cumulative growth rate would have been six to nine percentage points higher had income disparities not widened, but also in Sweden, Finland and Norway, although from low levels. On the other hand, greater equality helped increase GDP per capita in Spain, France and Ireland prior to the crisis.

The paper finds new evidence that the main mechanism through which inequality affects growth is by undermining education opportunities for children from poor socio-economic backgrounds, lowering social mobility and hampering skills development.

People whose parents have low levels of education see their educational outcomes deteriorate as income inequality rises. By contrast, there is little or no effect on people with middle or high levels of parental educational background.

The impact of inequality on growth stems from the gap between the bottom 40 percent with the rest of society, not just the poorest 10 percent. Anti-poverty programmes will not be enough, says the OECD. Cash transfers and increasing access to public services, such as high-quality education, training and healthcare, are an essential social investment to create greater equality of opportunities in the long run.

The paper also finds no evidence that redistributive policies, such as taxes and social benefits, harm economic growth, provided these policies are well designed, targeted and implemented.

The working paper, Trends in income inequality and its impact on economic growth, is part of the OECD’s New Approaches to Economic Challenges Initiative, an Organisation-wide reflection on the roots and lessons to be learned from the global economic crisis, as well as an exercise to review and update its analytical frameworks.

Comparative advantage

Comparative advantage

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It can be argued that world output would increase when the principle of comparative advantage is applied by countries to determine what goods and services they should specialise in producing. Comparative advantage is a term associated with 19th Century English economist David Ricardo.

Ricardo considered what goods and services countries should produce, and suggested that they should specialise by allocating their scarce resources to produce goods and services for which they have a comparative cost advantage. There are two types of cost advantage – absolute, and comparative.

Absolute advantage means being more productive or cost-efficient than another country whereas comparative advantage relates to how much productive or cost efficient one country is than another.

Example

In order to understand how the concept of comparative advantage might be applied to the real world, we can consider the simple example of two countries producing only two goods – motor cars and commercial trucks.

Comparative advantage

Comparative advantage

Using all its resources, country A can produce 30m cars or 6m trucks, and country B can produce 35m cars or 21m trucks. This can be summarised in a table.

In this case, country B has the absolute advantage in producing both products, but it has a comparative advantage in trucks because it is relatively better at producing them. Country B is 3.5 times better at trucks, and only 1.17 times better at cars.

Opportunity cost ratios

However, the greatest advantage – and the widest gap – lies with truck production, hence Country B should specialise in producing trucks, leaving Country A to produce cars.

Economic theory suggests that, if countries apply the principle of comparative advantage, combined output will be increased in comparison with the output that would be produced if the two countries tried to become self-sufficient and allocate resources towards production of both goods. Taking this example, if countries A and B allocate resources evenly to both goods combined output is: Cars = 15 + 15 = 30; Trucks = 12 + 3 = 15, therefore world output is 45 m units.

PPF for international trade

Opportunity cost ratios

It is being able to produce goods by using fewer resources, at a lower opportunity cost, that gives countries a comparative advantage.

The gradient of a PPF reflects the opportunity cost of production. Increasing the production of one good means that less of another can be produced. The gradient reflects the lost output of Y as a result of increasing the output of X.

Opportunity cost ratios

Having a comparative advantage in X, Country A sacrifices less of Y than Country B. In terms of two countries producing two goods, different PPF gradients mean different opportunity costs ratios, and hence specialisation and trade will increase world output.

Only when the gradients are different will a country have a comparative advantage, and only then will trade be beneficial.

Identical PPFs

If PPF gradients are identical, then no country has a comparative advantage, and opportunity cost ratios are identical. In this case, international trade does not confer any advantage.

Identical PPF gradients

Criticisms

However, the principle of comparative advantage can be criticised in a several ways:

  1. It may overstate the benefits of specialisation by ignoring a number of costs. These costs include transport costs and any external costs associated with trade, such as air and sea pollution.
  2. The theory also assumes that markets are perfectly competitive – in particular, there is perfect mobility of factors without any diminishing returns and with no transport costs. The reality is likely to be very different, with output from factor inputs subject to diminishing returns, and with transport costs. This will make the PPF for each country non-linear and bowed outwards.  If this is the case, complete specialisation might not generate the level of benefits that would be derived from linear PPFs. In other words, there is an increasing opportunity cost associated with increasing specialisation. For example, it may be that the maximum output of cars produced by country A is only 20 million (compared with 30), and the maximum output of trucks produced by country B might only be 16 million instead of 21 million. Hence, the combined output from trade might only be 46 million units (instead of the 51 million units initially predicted).

Diminishing returns

  1. Complete specialisation might create structural unemployment as some workers cannot transfer from one sector to another.
  2. Relative prices and exchange rates are not taken into account in the simple theory of comparative advantage. For example if the price of X rises relative to Y, the benefit of increasing output of X increases.
  3. Comparative advantage is not a static concept – it may change over time. For example, nonrenewable resources can slowly run out, increasing the costs of production, and reducing the gains from trade. Countries can develop new advantages, such as Vietnam and coffee production. Despite having a long history of coffee production it is only in the last 30 years that it has become a global player. seeing its global market share increase from just 1% in 1985 to 20% in 2014, making it the world’s second largest producer.
  4. Many countries strive for food security, meaning that even if they should specialise in non-food products, they still prefer to keep a minimum level of food production.
  5. The principle of comparative advantage is derived from a highly simplistic two good/two country model. The real world is far more complex, with countries exporting and importing many different goods and services.
  6. According to influential US economist Paul Krugman, the continual application of economies of scale by global producers using new technology means that many countries, including China, can produce very cheaply, and export surpluses. This, along with an insatiable demand for choice and variety, means that countries typically produce a variety of products for the global market, rather than specialise in a narrow range of products, rendering the traditional theory of comparative advantage almost obsolete.
  7. However, the underlying principle of comparative advantage can still be said to give some ‘shape’ to the pattern of world trade, even if it is becoming less relevant in a globalised world.

Social Business Summit Hoping to End Poverty with Innovative Ideas by Amber E. Box

Be A Social Entrepreneur Social Business Summit Hoping to End Poverty with Innovative Ideas » Be A Social Entrepreneur

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On October 2nd of this year, the second annual Social Business Summit will convene in the Philippines. This year’s meeting will focus on rebuilding provinces of the country affected by Typhoon Yolanda, also known across the rest of the world as Typhoon Haiyan. The struggle that many parts of the country are facing on a daily basis is poverty and the inability to combat it, especially in the face of such disasters as Yolanda/Haiyan. The summit is sponsored by Gawad Kalinga, a social entrepreneurship project already working on rebuilding communities in the Philippines. Gawad Kalinga’s founder, Tony Meloto, recently talked to Rappler about the Social Business Summit, describing the issues they hope to address.

Be A Social Entrepreneur Social Business Summit Hoping to End Poverty with Innovative Ideas » Be A Social Entrepreneur

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According to Meloto, the “goal is to really address the two major reasons why we cannot achieve prosperity: loss of our human capital due to poverty…and the abandonment of land.”

With the meeting this week, Meloto and his team members are hoping to attract social entrepreneurs and innovators from around the world. The idea is to capitalize on the assets available within the groups attending in order to capitalize on the assets of those living in poverty conditions by way of ideas that will help rebuild stronger and more sustainable communities. The communities are already being built by Gawad Kalinga, but the summit will provide a platform to discuss the ability to develop and hone ideas to can make these new communities be as strong as they can in order to maintain and sustain their viability, hopefully allowing areas across the Philippines to rise out of poverty.

In addition, the summit is teaming up with the School for Experiential and Entrepreneurial Development (SEED Philippines) which are local high school students who will not have the opportunity to go to college. By doing so, the event hopes to foster the entrepreneur ideas into these younger generations, who are the future of the Philippines.

Be A Social Entrepreneur Social Business Summit Hoping to End Poverty with Innovative Ideas » Be A Social Entrepreneur

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Taking place over three days, the event will put great minds from across the world together to achieve the same goals, “building a kinder, fairer, better and safer world that we can build together,” according to Meloto

The Pig Idea By Diane Walters

Be A Social Entrepreneur The Pig Idea » Be A Social Entrepreneur

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A slide appeared, on the screen on TED.com, of a dumpster full 13,000 bread crusts as social entrepreneur Tristram Stuart mused about never being able to get a sandwich from a retail shop that was made from bread crusts. Where do all the bread crusts go? From this single bread factory (shown on the slide), 13,000 bread crusts are dumped into the trash every day.

This food waste expert explained that in America, and other well-developed nations, grocery stores usually carried double the inventory it expected to sell. And, if you add in the food that is fed to livestock, there is up to quadruple the amount that is needed to feed the masses. In his further investigation of food waste, Stuart visited a farmer who was letting 16,000 pounds of spinach die because there were some blades of grass growing here and there. It was not suitable for market. It is quite common for farmers to throw out 1/3 to 1/2 half of their crops due to imperfect sizes, shapes or color that would be turned away at market.

In Europe, in 2001, feeding regular unprocessed food to livestock became illegal because of the foot and mouth disease epidemic. Because of the ban, soy has since become a major crop in South America. Due to the expansion of this commodity, forests are being cut down in places like Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay to grow soy. From 1965 to 2004 soy production rose from 29 to 200 million tons, most of which is used for livestock feed after the oil is extracted. For 9,000 years, pigs had been fed with the surplus food products and refuse that people did not eat. Presently, people throw away this human grade food by the ton every single day — and pay to have it hauled away to rot in landfills. Then, they buy pig food.

The Pig Idea was born from what Stuart had learned from the overwhelming food waste problem. He joined forces with other Londoners to create public awareness of food waste around the world with the hope that the animal food ban will be lifted. The idea is ecologically sound. Eliminating so much processed feed would save the planet about 20 times more carbon dioxide emissions. More of the rainforest in the Amazon would be saved, as not as much farmland would be needed. More farmers in Europe would be able to stay in business by saving the cost of the expensive grain they are forced to buy. The problem of the foot and mouth disease can be eliminated by cooking the food given to the pigs and chickens.

To bring awareness to this issue, Stuart and his colleagues — the hambassadors, seven of London’s best restaurants, and thousands of Londoners gathered in Trafalgar Square to enjoy over 5,000 portions of free food, including pork that had been raised on food that would have otherwise been wasted at The Pig Ideas’ Feast of 2013.

Stuart started studying food waste at the age of 15 when he raised pigs to supplement his income. He is a renowned author for his book “Waste: Uncovering the Global Food Scandal,” and has won numerous and prestigious awards for his dedication to preserving the planet as well as the pigs.

GOOD EGGS: A Grocer on a Mission : By Amber E. Box

Be A Social Entrepreneur GOOD EGGS: A Grocer on a Mission » Be A Social Entrepreneur

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Be A Social Entrepreneur GOOD EGGS: A Grocer on a Mission » Be A Social Entrepreneur

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Want fresh, local-grown, organic food delivered straight to your door? It’s no longer a pipe-dream, and Good Eggs is the one to make it happen. The company, based in California, works to implement a socially conscious business model while providing farmer’s market quality food in the form of an online grocery store. How do they achieve all of this? With one really good mission: to grow and sustain local food systems worldwide. Good Eggs believes that their mission is so important, in fact, that they value it over their profits; the profits are considered a “byproduct” and an “enabler” of their mission. This mission, while quite simplistic, is actually pretty complex.

According to their website, a “local food system” is a one that supports and sustains local food growers and producers- everything involved with the process of providing fresh food from the gardeners to the butchers to the bakers. The product is a natural and healthier food source for 

consumers. But their mission extends far beyond this. By growing and sustaining these systems, they are helping to financially support these food producers as well as create new jobs in the agricultural industry. In addition, they promote sustainability and environmental awareness, which means they don’t use chemicals or unnecessary waste; by cutting down on the byproducts of the food industry, they are promoting a healthier planet as well as healthier consumers. Good Eggs also requires that the businesses they work with employ fair labor practices. And finally, the food that you buy is traceable back to the original source, which also helps to promote awareness and pride in the products being sold and being purchased.

An online grocery store isn’t exactly what you might think of when you think of a social entrepreneur. But when you add up everything about Good Eggs, it’s clear that they do everything that defines what a social entrepreneur is. Isn’t it about time you put some Good Eggs into your basket?

 

Have You Ever Taken a Chance in Life? by freefincal

I am a fan of actor Kevin Costner. I think he has taken pretty big career risks,pulled off some and failed in some, but has always stuck to his guns, which is admirable. He has even declared that if his stardom vanishes overnight, he can make a decent living with a blue collar job, because he is skilled.

I saw an YouTube interview yesterday in which he mentioned that, his father regretted never having taken a chance in life and having been in the same job all his life. Costner had to reassure him that he had been a good father who provided all he could for his family.

That set me thinking about my own life. Regular readers would be well aware that as an investor, I am pessimistic, cautious, and always keen to contain downside risk. It might surprise them, (as it did me!), that when it came to my career, I had repeatedly taken chances. Some driven by my heart- a refusal to do something that I don’t like, some was driven by my stupid self-belief.

I once gave up a lucrative contract in Germany because I felt home-sick. One part of me said I was committing career suicide (as did my mentors and many of my friends) and one part of me said, I can work in peace only when I happy.

After coming back home, I worked without pay for 4 months, when my employer took pity and created a makeshift position for me.

For the next 6-8 months, I did not look for any other job but put all my cards on a single job which I was desperate to get as it was the only one that appealed to me.

I got the job and completely changed my area of research. This is again considered professional suicide as it will take at least a couple of years to get published.

Though I was doing quite well, nearly two years later, positions for my dream job -one that involved teaching – was open.

There was fierce pressure from my current employer to prevent me from taking the interview. My father was fighting cancer and I was confined to the hospital taking care of him. I prepared for the interview from there.

Things got to such a point that there was the serious danger of losing both jobs – my current one and my dream job. My father urged me to take the chance. He said he believed in me and asked me to go for it.

The gamble paid off. I got the position but I went ahead and committed career suicide once again(!) by choosing to work in another entirely different research area.

While I did quite well on the teaching front, research was riddled with stumbling blocks. Thanks to some hard-working and spirited students, I was able to set up a decent laboratory.

After nearly a decade of doing this, I think I am all set to commit professional suicide once again! (Sorry can’t say more).

As mentioned above, some of the chances that I took was driven by my heart, and some by ridiculous self-belief that I could pull it off. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it did not. In hindsight, considering my current circumstances, I am glad that I took those chances. Well, at least some of them!

Point of this rant

If you had a chance to take up a job that you truly love, will you take a chance and make an all-out effort to grab it? Even if it meant risking a cushy salary and perhaps your career in a particular area? Will you quit your well-paying job to become an entrepreneur?

I would probably vote, yes, but we will have to accept the consequences without too much regret.

Wealth creation or financial security has two components to it: Income and investing.

Investing is independent of how we earn an income. There are those who have taken some big chances with investing. I dont have the stomach for that. Perhaps because I am always doing stupid things to my “career”.

Income is a different ball game. We could earn from a job we truly love (in which case we wont worry about how much we make) or we could earn from a job we truly hate (in which case, all we care about is how much we make).

Sometimes the time window in which we could shift from a job we hate, to a job we love could be quite tight and narrow

Sometimes we will have to take a chance in life to achieve lasting change and happiness. Sometimes we will have to roll the dice and see how it pans out.

The regret of never having taken a chance could be greater than the consequences of having taken one.