Friday, April 6, 2012

04.05.2012









Dateline: 05 April 2012

AxSA Factoid of the Week
30 March 2012
As the last decade concluded, medical costs in the United States totaled as much as $2.6 trillion, and that colossal sum is ten times more than overall medical costs in 1980. Surprisingly enough, however, the challenges posed by these rising costs are not readily impactful on the majority of Americans. In fact, many would be stunned to learn that, according to the findings of a salient study conducted by the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality, as little as five percent of the nation's population actually accounts for 50% of total health-care costs. The findings from this study further suggest that, of the top ten percent of health-care spenders, which account for 63% of total health-care cost, this small pool of chronically ill individuals is largely Caucasian (at 80%), mostly female (at 60%), and over the age of 65 (at 40%).

AxSA on Crowdfunding
Today President Obama signed into law the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act. This bi-partisan piece of legislation will give new business ventures the ability to raise up as much as $1 million per year in up to $30,000 increments from each non-accredited, individual investor. The bill also will not require the ventures to file for an initial public offering with the Securities and Exchange Commission in order to raise such funds. This financing approach is called crowdfunding. Now signed into law, there will be a period of close to 270 days for the SEC to construct and implement necessary regulations, meaning that this financing approach cannot be utilized until 2013. Nevertheless, the prospects for crowdfunding seem to generate a bit of excitement.

After thorough consideration, AxSA believes that it is appropriate to take an extremely conservative view on crowdfunding as a new means of raising capital for startup businesses. Until and unless the SEC acts to install rigorous safeguards, this consultancy predicts that crowfunding could result in a Spindletop-styled uptick in new-enterprise investment, wherein unseasoned investors hopeful for big returns, as in the time of Spindletop, start snapping up the securities of companies whose fundamentals and projections are based on nothing more than the blue sky. This is to say little of the likely number of fraudulent prospectuses that these unseasoned investors will encounter. Moreover, many of these companies, particularly the well-intended ones, could find themselves dangerously undercapitalized, if they figure that going after small investors will save them time and money, as opposed to taking the more diligent path to seeking sophisticated investors.
While the use of crowdfunding will benefit some, this consultancy believes that, given the already-high rate of business failure in the United States, it surely will not benefit most. A greater number of investors and entrepreneurs face potential losses and, worse, litigation with this approach. Therefore, whether you are a potential investor or entrepreneur, AxSA contends that you must be exceptionally cautious when crowdfunding is utilized.

To be sure, some safeguards are present in the current legislation. For example, any business seeking less than $100,000 must simply produce its tax returns and CEO-certified financial statements. Meanwhile, any business seeking from $500,000 to $1 million must produce audited financial statements to would-be investors. Even still, this consultancy insists that investors must remain vigilant. Here are seven, general tips:
  • Request and study the business materials, including the business and marketing plans, all financial documents and projections, and the resumes of the solicitors.
  • Vet the founders and managers of the new business venture.
  • Learn as much as you can about the business, its operations, its competition, and its market.
  • Have a clear understanding of the company's value, the deal structure, and the size of the equity position being offered.
  • Develop a clear understanding of any tax liabilities, litigious risks, and so on.
  • Document everything!
  • Do not invest in any venture with a business model that you do not understand or find suspect. (It is imperative that you remember one caveat to this law is, while you can invest relatively easily, you will not be able to sell your position in a crowdfunded venture nearly as easily.)

News & Commentary
Energy
How Exporting LNG Could Bring Serious Wealth to the U.S.
Oil & Gas Investment Bulletin
The natural-gas boom in the United States could produce enough excess capacity to ship to hungry foreign markets like Japan and the U.K...Read More

Where You Buy Gasoline Might Impact How Much You Pay
Fuel Fix
Why is the price for petrol in one neighborhood different from the price in another? Read More

Liquid Gold
Financial Post
The use of fracking is behind the the new oil and gas boom in North America, and now there is great demand for the water-services companies that make fracking possible...Read More

Leadership
Why Great Leaders Are in Short Supply
Harvard Business Review
Is it possible that the skill sets needed to be great are not being taught? Read More

Finance
N.C. Credit Unions Push to Ease Small-Business Lending Cap
The News & Observer
From North Carolina, a number of credit unions want the U.S. Congress to afford them a chance to compete with prime lenders...Read More

Small Business Q&A: Boosting Your Credit Score
The Houston Chronicle
In order to augment your credit score, you first need to understand how credit is measured...Read More

Louisiana
BR, NO: A Tale of 2 Economies
The Advocate
A finding from a study conducted by the Brookings Institute compare the two metropolitan regions, along with other cities from across the country...Read More

Coming This Month
AxiomSA - Conversations
Each month, the consultancy and its guests discuss business, technology, economics, and the issues that affect you bottom line. Click here for more information.

No comments:

Random Thoughts

Popular Posts

The Invisible Hand: Management, Economics and Strategy for the Thinking Person (Audio only)

There was an error in this gadget