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REIT Investments Explained

December 2, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

By Phin Upham

If you’re new to investing, a term you might hear thrown around a lot is “REIT”, which stands for Real Estate Investment Trust. These companies hold income-producing real estate, and are a source for regular income. That’s because REITS typically pay most or all of their taxable income out to shareholders, who pay the taxes instead.

REITs give individual investors an important method to invest in real estate that would otherwise not exist. Investors purchase stock in a company, which then re-invests that money through various business dealings. REITs essentially make it possible to own and in earn income from real estate without buying property.

REITs are also publicly traded on most major stock exchanges, which puts them within reach of the average person. However, there are two types of REITs to be aware of. Before you invest, consider which one fits your aims.

An equity REIT owns property long term, and hopes to get its income from tenants who rent from the REIT. A good example is an apartment complex or mobile housing unit. Mortgage REITs, on the other hand, invest in securities for both commercial and residential properties.

REITs are also a major driving force in the US economy. There are more than one million jobs in the US supported by REITs, and this method of investing has allowed for much of the infrastructure that makes the United States great. Industry, hospitals, apartments and affordable housing, shopping malls, offices and more are all possible thanks to individual investments in REITs.

Phin Upham is an investor from NYC and SF. You may contact Phin on his Phin Upham website or Facebook page.

Practical Tips on Reducing Financial Risks to Your Business

September 17, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Practical-Tips-on-Reducing-Financial-Risks-to-Your-BusinessWhen you are running a business of your own, there are always risks involved. The first thing that probably comes to mind is your cash flow. When you run out of money or credit, your business ceases to operate until you begin funding it again. Risk management is one of the most important elements of a startup business. This separates the great from the successful.

When you are dealing with a limited amount of funds, you’re going to need to cut out non-essentials from your business. Things like fancy desks or expensive computers will only leave you struggling in the first few months of your startup. Your goal is to obtain positive monthly returns and by setting yourself up with all these “necessities”, you’re taking steps backwards.

Whatever helps the company services or products are what you should be focused on. Amenities will come later once you’ve reached the point where your investment has been covered and solid revenue is being produced.

Maintain a proactive approach by calculating your burn rate, which is how much money you are losing per month. By keeping a constant tab on this, you can determine how many months or years you have left with money still in your reserve.

Financial risks are always going to be associated when you create a startup business. The approach to this is appropriately preparing for what’s to come. The glory days will come in due time. The sacrifice leading to success is what makes this journey so worthwhile.

Bio: Ferhan Patel, formerly with AlertPay has implemented his certifications and skill sets to become the Chief Compliant Officer and Director of Global Risk and Compliance for Payza.



The Greek Depression: What Happened

September 2, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

By Phin Upham

The Greek debt crisis is the most memorable of the crises to the hit the Eurozone beginning in 2009, but it was actually one of five crises at the time. Greece was struggling with fallout from the Great Recession in America, and weaknesses in the structure of the Greek economy contributed heavily to the decline of the country.

Greece was introduced to the Eurozone in 1999, when a common currency was looked at as a major benefit. Trade costs would be reduced, which would contribute to the volume of trade for Greece and hopefully raise its GDP. Initial reports suggest this largely worked as intended, with Grek GDP rising a full 10% between 1999 and 2008. Investment in the EU also came with lower rates on government bonds.

Alone, Greece represented a significant financial risk. As part of the EU, investors thought Greece would find discipline.

In 2009, the potential for Greece to miss its debt payments became clear. The country had been misrepresenting its debt, and its value, for years. Obviously, this revelation shook investor confidence in the country which led to a spread in bond yields. Greece also saw the costs for credit swaps rise.

Coupled with the effects the Great Recession had on Europe, namely the drying up of funds to the core European countries, Greece’s significant mismanagement become something more like an epidemic.

By 2012, the country had accumulated the largest sovereign debt in recorded history.

Under normal circumstances a country would allow inflation to take over, causing a brief period of economic stagnation to pay its debts back on devalued currency. Greece couldn’t do that because it was part of the Eurozone, thus sharing a common currency. This is why exiting the EU represented a viable strategy for Greece, which saw no measures other than austerity to save itself.

About the Author: Phin Uphamis an investor at a family office/ hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Phin Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media and Telecom group. You may contact Phin on his Phin Upham website or Twitter page.

What is FinTech?

June 4, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

By Phin Upham

FinTech, or financial technology, is the backbone of the financial system today and into the future. It’s a system of businesses, and in some cases literal networks, that provide a series of financial services to businesses and individuals. FinTech isn’t big banks, but big banks are very interested in this growing phenomenon. The world of FinTech is extremely fast-paced, with many startups springing up and fading away every year. Still FinTech remains a compelling investment globally, and it’s easy to see why once you’ve examined its principles.

The Middle Class Problem

FinTech seeks to solve the problem of the fading middle class, and the answer entrepreneurs are going with is “money management.” If people have better access to their money, including moving it around, the actual costs of money go down. A good example is affiliate marketing, which has caught on in recent years. Paying people is a logistical nightmare at scale, so third parties that can offer a reliable system to transmit payments represent a cheaper investment than struggling to implement your own.

As the costs of those common transactions go down, consumers and business owners pay less to move money and have more to shore up for a crisis or make new hires.

Big Banks

If you listen too closely, it starts to sound like big banks are irrelevant. Nothing could be further from the truth, but FinTech startups do represent a more agile force that big banks may struggle to compete with. The solution is investing. Banks are buying up these companies and adapting their technology for customer service.

About the Author: Phin Uphamis an investor at a family office/ hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Phin Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media and Telecom group. You may contact Phin on his Phin Upham website or Twitter page.

Living a Rich Life

February 5, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

By Phin Upham

When people think of the rich lifestyle, they may perceive large homes or fancy cars. They may see vacations to places they’d like to visit, or large feasts full of their favorite foods. That’s a lavish lifestyle. Living rich, or wealthy, isn’t like that. Although there are perks like the nice house and car, living wealthy requires extreme discipline.

What Does it Mean to Live Rich?

Has it occurred to you that living a rich life means striving for a richer experience of life? Do the wealthy experience life any differently than you do? Can they somehow enjoy a sunny Saturday more than you do? In some ways, they can create exciting situations and take vacations that bring them to interesting places, but both of you have the capacity to explore your world and find beauty within it. Living richly means holding onto that beauty. Having money just offers different circumstances with which to experience that same beauty.

In the Jewish faith, success is not measured by wealth. Wealth is not viewed as evil, but it does not define you. What defines you, and makes you successful, is the character you develop. Life is a summation of our trials and tribulations. Money can’t buy you the experience of life.

Final Thoughts

Examine your own relationship to wealth. It’s easy to look at the greedy at the top and criticize their misdeeds, but complex when you examine your own relationship with wealth. Most people want to provide for themselves, and would love to raise a family. Consider how the accumulation of wealth may touch you.

About the Author: Phin Uphamis an investor at a family office/ hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Phin Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media & Technology group. You may contact Phin on his Phin Upham website or Twitter page.

History of Dropbox

May 15, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Written by Phineas Upham

Drew Houston first showed up on the Silicon Valley radar for reverse-engineering Apple’s file management system and replacing their logo with his own, an unfolding box. Steve Jobs was naturally intrigued and asked the young Houston to a meeting at Apple’s headquarters.

Houston still recalls the moment before he unveiled his laptop to show Jobs what he had done. Jobs waved him off, “I know what you do,” he said.

What Jobs was interested in was the beginning of Houston’s company, Dropbox. Houston was gaining one new user every second. Jobs wanted this opportunity, but Houston cut him off. He wanted to develop a big company, and no matter who the buyer was, he wasn’t selling. Rumor has it Jobs offered him nine figures to settle the sale.

Houston’s rebuke of Jobs is well noted. Jobs retaliated with iCloud, even bashing Dropbox on stage. How could one get all files and storage into a single device, he sarcastically asked. Apple’s solution was iCloud.

In response, Houston immediately sent an email to his employees. It mentioned Yahoo, MySpace and Netscape among a list of fast rising companies that fell like a meteor. The company never had a problem acquiring users, but did struggle to monetize them for a period. That changed in 2011, when the company was on track to hit over $200 million in revenue.

Thousands each day blow through their free storage space and the upgrade is cheap and convenient. Dropbox has so many users that it doesn’t actually need to acquire new ones anymore; it simply needs its original clients to use up their space. Though that hasn’t stopped the Silicon Valley powerhouse from expanding and aggressively pursuing signups.

Phineas Upham is an investor from NYC and SF. You may contact Phineas on his Phineas Upham website

The Key Points of the International Banking Act of 1978

March 27, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Written by Phineas Upham

Prior to 1978, foreign banks were not allowed within the Federal Reserve regulatory framework. This put those banks at a competitive disadvantage if they hoped to expand into America. It was difficult for these foreign entities to establish banks on the ground, and even more difficult to accept deposits with any kind of trust between the guarantee and guarantor. The International Banking Act of 1978 changed many of those rules, and allowed foreign banks to work their way into the system.

Key Points

Provided that state law did not prohibit the opening of bank branches, foreign banks were allowed to open branches subject to approval from the Board of Governors and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. If that same board approved, the bank could further branch out into the state.

The act also made it possible for foreign banks to operate under the same laws, with equal rights and privileges, to national banks in the Federal Reserve System. For consumer protections, the act limited the amount of single deposits to these foreign institutions to $100,000. This total could change if the bank was insured for deposits.

Lastly, the act named the governing bodies for these foreign banks and provided some scope of power.

Lasting Effects

The biggest lasting effect is the ability to bring in foreign banks and let them establish a US presence. Banks like HSBC and TD Bank would not exist in America today without this act. The International Banking Act also provided some oversight for these institutions, and held them accountable for the money they held from American customers.

Phineas Upham is an investor from NYC and SF. You may contact Phineas on his Phineas Upham website

New Developments In Alternative Global Money Transfer Methods

February 11, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

There have been quite a few advancements in terms of global money transfers in recent years.  Back in the old days, if you wanted to transfer money globally, from one country to another, this could only be accomplished with the help of a bank.  If you wanted this type of money transfer accomplished, you would have had to go to a bank, and get the routing number and bank number of the bank you want to send the money to in order to have a wire transfer completed.  This came along with a pretty hefty wire transfer fee, as well as a time lapse as it was typically not an instantaneous process.

The Internet has changed things quite a bit though as new services have emerged that allow making transfers of money globally extremely easy.  Transferring money over the Internet from one country to another has gotten easier and easier over the years.  With the introduction of new services, all you need is the username of someone on a payment services site in order to transfer money from your account in one country to a different account in a completely different country.  This makes global transfers instant, easy, and far cheaper than they used to be not too long ago.

New alternative methods of transferring money over the Internet have flourished thanks to companies such as Solid trust pay.  By checking out what is available at you will see how easy it is to send money all over the world.  Solidtrustpay and other companies are coming up with new and secure methods of transferring money where and when it is needed most.

How to Fight Chargebacks

January 7, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Chargebacks — a business owner’s nightmare. A chargeback occurs when a customer disputes a sales transaction on their credit card bill and the amount is then “charged back” to the merchant. There are many reasons why a chargeback might occur, such as a returned item or an incorrect order.

However, there are other causes of chargebacks you should be aware of: you might have forgotten to secure an authorization for the payment; the receipt might have been unsigned; you might have failed to get a card imprint; or you might have accepted an expired card. Whatever the reason for the chargeback, it could end in your loss.

But there is a way to fight chargebacks and avoid loss. One of the best ways to protect yourself against chargebacks and other types of loss is to purchase chargeback protection through SolidTrustPay. This type of protection will identify red-flag transactions and avoid certain credit card numbers.  SolidTrustPay offers this service through its Corporate Upgrade account for merchants. This affordable upgrade also comes with many other benefits, including a free virtual terminal for manual card online payment processing.

Another way to fight a chargeback is to send the transaction back to SolidTrustPay and charge the amount of the disputed sale one more time. SolidTrustPay will then research the transaction to see if the chargeback is valid. If it is approved, the money will be given to the merchant, or business owner.

Accepting Money Online To Grow Your Business Quickly

December 11, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

You are an entrepreneur who has started up a business.  Once this business is up and running, now you are trying to grow your customer base so that you can bring in additional revenue and sales.

The first step towards being able to accept money online for your business is to first and foremost set up a business bank account.  If you are operating your business under your name, you need to change that so you have a business account.

You will also need to obtain a tax ID number and also apply for a business name so that everything can be official and you can be reliable and confident in your business structure.

Once that is completed you need to get a hold of an online payment system where you can have a merchant account established, or simply link your business account to it so that you can have payments sent directly to your business.

There are many worldwide online payment service systems that can help you get set up to receive payments online.  One of the more well-known and reliable payment systems include Solidtrustpay. This can increase your cash flow, reduce your accounts receivable balances, and improve the overall standing of your business in the market. Solid trust pay will allow you to be able to get set up to receive payments from customers right over the internet, freeing you from the stress of having to wait for checks in the mail from your customers.

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