Social Security is in even worse financial shape than we thought, according to some Harvard researchers which looked at all forecasts the administration has made for the program over its 80-year history, and compared them with the actual outcomes. Those forecasts have become increasingly biased since 2000, they say, overstating the health of the fund. "Current forecasts are likely off by billions of dollars, and the program could be insolvent earlier than expected."
The Skybridge Alternatives Conference brings together many of the rock star hedge fund managers who reveal their top investment ideas. This year, Jim Chanos says short Royal Dutch Shell, Kyle Bass has been shorting pharmaceutical companies and challenging their patents, but likes Irish drug maker Perrigo, which he thinks will be acquired, and Passport Capital’s John Burbank likes NCB AB, a Saudi Arabia bank.
Crowdfunding for movies has taken off, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers; Consider Veronica Mars raised $5 million through a Kickstarter campaing. But historically those contributions were less than$100 each and often got the funder little more than a copy of the DVD in return, according to the 2015 PENSCO Crowdfunding Report. That’s starting to change, the report argues, as the film producers start to open their doors to individual equity investors. Equity crowdfunding allows investors to take ownership shares in film and television projects. These investments, however, can be inherently risky. Investors should seek out crowdfunding platforms that provide support for managing and evaluating risk, the report says, including project slates, verified investments opportunities, lower minimum investments and key investment metrics.
Prices at the pump have been lower in recent months, but Americans could see the cost start to rise from the current $2.65 per gallon national average. A team of TIAA-CREF analysts and economists predict that oil prices could recover to $90 per barrel by April 2016. The combination of increased demand, lower production, and inventory drawdowns will lead to prices in a range of $70 to $90 by the end of this year, they say. When oil was $90 a barrel in 2007, gas prices were over $3 per gallon. Not everyone is convinced oil will bounce back. At LinkedIn’s FinanceConnect conference Thursday, Mohamed El-Erian said he believed oil will drift to $60-$70 a barrel over the next year, but doesn’t see prices spiking to $100 per barrel anytime soon. "I think oil prices will drift higher. And 'drift' is the key word. Prices are not going to spike up," he said.
Women are more likely to start companies than men, according to a new study from Sage, a cloud-based accounting software company. Women launched 57 percent of the 524 startups surveyed by the firm. According to the report, female entrepreneurs are more likely to be in retail or healthcare. Also, half of founders were over 30. Millennials accounted for only 17 percent.