When I applied for an internship at Quicken Loans, I first and foremost wanted to become a part of a company that was playing a major role in the redevelopment of Detroit. My number one goal was to get my hands on some of the real estate developments the company was involved in, since in the past, I worked in the real estate field. With no internships available in real estate-related teams, I was thrown into the wild world of mortgage banking at one of the largest lenders in the country.
Without any past experience in finance, I was nervous to see how my skills would translate to the fast pace work environment of mortgage banking. Over the last two months I have learned so much about the mortgage industry, and I have realized that to be a successful banker, you have to be motivated, focused, and confident in what you do. The reputation and credibility of Quicken Loans goes a long way, and just talking to bankers, it is evident that they are proud to represent Quicken Loans to their clients and that they enjoy coming to work here every day. Even as an intern, I feel that working in mortgage banking is extremely rewarding due to the feeling of accountability for the company’s growth and success. Obviously, the company wouldn’t run effectively without the combined efforts from every team, but being a part of the core business of the company is especially gratifying.
I’ve also learned that there are no ceilings in mortgage banking— you will get out whatever you put in— a hard worker’s dream. There are tons of opportunities for creativity and outside-of-the-box thinking with regard to spurring a banker’s motivation and focus. Working directly for a regional vice president, I am really starting to get a feel for how the incredible leadership at Quicken Loans translates to successful individual team members and thus a successful organization.
Back to Detroit: Driving downtown to work every morning makes me feel great. I feel like I am part of something much bigger than myself— a movement to revitalize one of the most cultured cities in the country with an extremely rich history. Even though I am not wandering the streets looking for ways to improve Detroit, or working to redevelop the city from the real estate perspective, I feel that I am tangibly contributing to its growth simply by coming downtown five days a week. I truly feel that in 30, 40, or 50 years, people will credit companies like Quicken Loans with turning around the city of Detroit. In my eyes, Dan Gilbert was the man to run for the defibrillator when the D appeared to be unconscious, and bring the city back to life with a quick jolt of energy, innovation, and passion.
The disappointing employment data for June 2011 has served as a clear warning about the state of the labor market. The official unemployment rate increased to 9.2%, and only 18,000 net jobs were created (57,000 private sector jobs balanced against the loss of 39,000 government jobs). For medium to small businesses, hiring may not be attractive right now; indeed, there is a good chance that many businesses are still laying people off.
My dad, and everyone where he works, has been put on notice that lay offs are coming. This is a rather obvious sign that an organization is getting ready to get rid of people. The fact that they are announcing lay offs provides a chance for everyone to update their resumes and refresh their network contacts. But not all lay offs come as a big announcement. Here are five more subtle signs that you might soon join the ranks of the unemployed:
One of the signs that a lay off could be coming is that your boss seems to disappear behind closed doors frequently.
The MidCap400 set an all time high today, closing at 931.07, surpassing the previous high close of 926.23, set on July 13, 2007.
The S&P SmallCap600 is 3.16% off its all time high (426.04 now, 439.92 on 4/1/2007)
The S&P 500 is up 91.16% from its 3/9/2009 low, but still off 17.37% from its 10/9/2007 high
I would expect MidCap investors to buy tonight, with SmallCap investors leaving the tip
MidCap400 sets an all time high.doc
PS – 2011 S&P 500 sales growth estimate at 9.1% (7.6% ex-Financials) appears low, especially when compared to the 13.5% Operating projection
The next two weeks will bring over half the index reporting Q4, along with their 2011 projections – we’ll see where it goes
My financial adviser has recommended moving my certificates of deposit (CDs) into an ultra short-term money market account. The rate is higher. Should I? Are these things safe?
A money market account, or MMA, is a high-yield savings account. It also is a bank product and as such is insured up to the $250,000 limit set by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. for those deposits. You can shop rates on Bankrate.com using its “compare rates” tool.
Moving money out of a CD is problematic if you have to pay early withdrawal penalties. To pay a penalty to invest in a bank’s money market account isn’t likely to make financial sense. If you have CDs that are maturing, that’s a different matter.
I’m thinking it’s possible your financial adviser is actually recommending ultra short-term bond mutual funds instead of a money market account. These mutual funds wouldn’t have an FDIC guarantee. Yield-starved, conservative investors have moved money into these funds from money market mutual funds, but they’re not without risk because they lack FDIC protection. Read more…
Delightful news in a tough market.
EcoSynthetix, a Canadian clean tech / nano play, has successfully raised $100 million for its initial public offering. As I think back, I cant recall too many triple digit Innovation Economy Canadian IPOs of late. Let alone any domestic VC IPOs with a $450 million pre-money value! The $100MM deal was led by UBS , Canaccord Genuity and RBC Capital Markets .
For VC fund VentureLink, this will likely wind up to be a deal of the year type of outcome. 8 to 10x returns are hard to come by these days, on both sides of the border, and they are to be celebrated when they come to pass. VentureLink led multiple investment rounds on this one, dispelling the notion that Canadian VCs always exit their best names too early. EcoSynthetix also raised capital from Cargills corporate VC arm. Beyond VentureLink, other very early investors included: H.B. Fuller Ventures, 401 Capital Partners Inc., Northern Rivers Innovation Fund, Nadal Investments, Ltd., Tera Capital, L.P., Delta Northern Rivers Fund and H.J.G.
When it comes to international stock funds, many investors literally don’t know where they are.
That’s the verdict of Sarah Ketterer, portfolio manager and chief executive officer at Causeway Capital Management, based on an analysis of popular international stock indexes. “We don’t think any fund is what it purports to be geographically,” she says.
An index or mutual fund might advertise itself as focused on a particular part of the world — emerging markets, Asia ex-Japan, developed markets, and so on. Yet the geographic breakdown of holdings a mutual fund provides to investors are based on where a company is headquartered, not the countries where a company actually gets its revenue.
“Where companies are listed has very little to do with where the economic risks [to their businesses] are,” says Ketterer, whose firm manages $12.2 billion in assets. An extreme example: British American Tobacco. Despite its nam