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Featured Advisor



Ed Meek
CEO/Investment Advisor

Edge Portfolio Management

City:Winfield

State: IL



BIOGRAPHY:
At Edge, a low client to advisor ratio allows for personal and customized service for each individual.  Our goal is to work as a team for each client to provide not only portfolio management but wealth coordination and financial planning.  We make every effort to have frequent communication with our clients and to provide timely response to calls and emails.  I also enjoy spending time with my wife and three kids, playing and following basketball, playing golf, and participating as an advisory board member for Breakthrough Urban Ministries.

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News Analysis for May 9, 2011

 Opportunities for small businesses

According to USA Today, small businesses that are having trouble getting credit and loans from traditional sources are looking to new credit options including micro loans, peer to peer lending and crowd funding.  One of these options is Lending Club which posts the request online and take a 2-5% fee.  Many loan requests are not accepted, however.  In 2010 26,740 loans were accepted and 267,194 were declined.  Another option is crowd funding offered by kickstarter.com.  In this case, 43% of opportunities are funded and Kickstarter takes a 5% cut.  kiva.com is a larger opportunity and has raised $211 million for projects worldwide.

 

Greece is also looking for funding...

 

European officials have acknowledged, according to the Financial Times,  that Greece's bailout will need to be revised.  The original bailout was $158 billion but Athens will be unable to make payments as currently structured.  It has not yet been determined whether payment delays will be accepted or if Greece will receive additional cash from the EU bailout fund.

 

Another type of funding.

 

SecondMarket Holdings, Inc. is seeking guidance from the SEC in the form of a "no-action" letter regarding how to trade closely held shares in the rapidly growing "shadow market".  The Wall Street Journal reports that in 2010 $4.6 billion was traded compared to $2.8 billion in 2009, and increase of 92%.  The SEC is open to the idea because the belief is that these types of transactions generate jobs.

 

Speaking of jobs..

 

CEO pay jumped 11% in the past year, according to the Wall Street Journal with the highest paid CEO, Phillippe Dauman of Viacom, receiving $84.3 million up 150% from 2009.  Average increases were $9.3 million with bonuses up 19.7%.

 

 

Commodities fall troubles hedge funds.

 

The largest hedge fund, Clive Capital, is reported to have lost $400 million last week due to the fall of oil.  Clive manages $5 billion, according to the Financial Times, and was down 8.9% last week.  Generally the firm returns 27% annually.

 

Junk bonds climb.

 

Junk bonds have gained 55% in the last 2 years.  Over $158 billion of junk bonds have already been sold this year, more than double the amount sold in the same time period in 2007 when the economy was booming, according to the Associated Press.  The poor rates paid by the Fed on regular bonds have benefitted junk bonds.

 

Used car sales also climb.

 

The Wall Street Journal reports that prices for used cars hit a record high in April due to product cutbacks and the Japanese earthquake.  The price of used cars has increased $1500 to $3000 in the last 6 months.  Prices at wholesale are 5% higher than a year ago and the trend is expected to continue.

 

Poorest countries hold conference

 

Turkey is hosting a U.N. backed conference with the 48 poorest countries, including Afghanistan and Yemen.  The goal of the conference is to promote ways to reduce poverty and hunger.  Turkey donates $1 billion annually to poorer countries and is paying for 11 delegates from each country to attend the conference.  Thirty three of the countries are from Africa and 14 from Asia.  To qualify the per capita income per person must be less the $905 annually.  The last time the conference was held was 2001.