Major Investigations Into Thomson Reuters

Milliseconds of advance notice represents big potential profits to traders. Last month, CNBC reported that Thomson Reuters disseminated ISM’s manufacturing numbers. This window of opportunity afforded high-speed information clients with tradeable information. SPY ETF responded almost immediately to the trading burst; the etf is a trading proxy for market direction. A downward trading surge occurred 15 millisecondsbefore the data were supposed to be released. That incredibly short period of time helped traders help themselves to profits. Thomson Reuters is the leader (ahead of Bloomberg) in financial information and data services used by the financial industry, tax and accounting, law firms, media outlets and science organizations. Information is primarily (rapidly) transmitted online.

Milliseconds and high-speed trading impact. Thomas Derry, CEO of ISM, told reporters about how the data were released; he believes the situation occurred as a result of an anomaly that won’t be repeated. The early release of ISM’s data occurred on June 3rd and was almost immediately noted by a Nanex analyst who reported this observation to CNBC. According to Nanex information, approximately 30,000 SPY shares traded in a single millisecond< during the fifteen millisecond period between the early release and official release time. Nanex said that 369 other shares traded down as a result of SPY. About $28 million in SPY shares traded during the millisecond window.

Information and time equal trading power. In an agreement signed between Thomson Reuters and the University of Michigan (the producer of the widely-cited statistic), data are supposed to be posted on the web for the benefit of a general public audience at 10:00 am on the release date. Thomson Reuters pays a $1 million access fee to the University of Michigan each year for its exclusive use. Thomson and the University of Michigan confirmed an existing working relationship.

Ultra low latency distribution equals unfair trading advantage. Information buyers, e.g. elite traders, had access to the critical information before the rest of the general public. Some traders may have received the a ‘heads-up’ after a conference call occurred at 9:55 a.m. about the data. However, trading clients of Thomson’s ultra low latency distribution platform received information pre-formatted for electronic algorithmic traders at 9:54:58:000. In some cases, the data might have arrived up to 500 milliseconds earlier, according to contract agreement. Elite traders using the ultra low latency platform had more than enough time to execute favorable trades against the information.

Ultra-tiered information distribution. There are multiple ethical concerns about the timing mishap (relating to the time when the general public was expected to have the statistical data) and when various trading populations received the information ahead of the curve. A difference of seconds can mean millions of dollars in trading profits to elite algorithmic trading organizations. According to “Yahoo Finance,” a blink of the human eye occurs between 300 to 400 milliseconds.

Investigators have thusfar determined that the early release of the data was a mistake, but the timing differences noted between trading information purchaser levels points to consistent early receipt of multiple levels of trading data on a consistent basis. That difference in time is crucial to electronic traders’ advantage in the markets. In comparison, non-professional traders, e.g. individuals transacting trades for their own accounts, do not receive early access and may therefore trade at a comparative disadvantage.

A Securities & Exchange Commission spokesperson commented that educational institutions, e.g. the University of Michigan, should maintain higher standards as to whom information such as the consumer confidence index data is sold. Some investors’ cries of “unfair” and “insider trading” indicate the discussion related to Thomson Reuters’ inadvertent early release of data will continue for some time.


What Your Company Needs to Know About Liability

If you are sued as a sole proprietor, you will be sued personally. Your retirement savings, your house, and other assets could be at risk. Once your business is incorporated, it exists as a separate business entity. This means that the corporation is now responsible for all of its liabilities and debts. This is called the corporate shield in the industry. It separates your personal assets from your business assets.

For instance, if you are just starting out and get sued, your personal assets may be vulnerable for up to 22 years. This could be long after you are a huge success. It is very important to think about protecting the assets you have to today as well as whatever you may have tomorrow. It is easy to form an LLC. This is great for smaller businesses who want to protect their personal assets with minimal administrative requirements and red tape.

Personal Liability

The first crucial step to minimizing personal liability is forming or incorporating an LLC. This measure does not unconditionally protect you from personal liability. Here are several circumstances where you can still be held personally reliable:

* You mix your business and personal finances and do not operate your business as a separate entity.

* You operate your business illegally or commit a crime

* Your actions result in an injury.

* You personally guarantee a loan for your business.

Business Liability Insurance

Your small business can be protected from personal injury or pretty damages in case there is a lawsuit by having business liability insurance. Liability insurance comes in different forms. It depends on your business needs. You should discuss your specific business risks with a broker or an insurance agent who is familiar with your industry. Here are three main types of business liability insurance:

* General liability insurance – This protects your business from claims of negligence, property damages, injury claims, and advertising claims. General liability insurance may be the only type of insurance you may need depending on your business.

* Product liability insurance – This insurance protects you against financial loss as of a defective product that could cause harm. Companies that wholesale, manufacture, distribute, and retail a products may need this kind of insurance.

* Professional liability insurance – This kind of insurance protects business owners who supply services against negligence, errors, malpractice, and omissions. You may be legally required to have coverage in some professions. This includes a practicing doctor in specific states. Independent consultants are required to have their own coverage in some businesses.

Business Classification Can Affect Your Premium

Insurers have classifications for each kind of business. The classification in part determines how much your insurance coverage will cost. Each business will incur its own degree of risk. Insurance companies factor in these risks when the premium is calculated. Make sure your company is accurately classified to stop unnecessary expense. The amount of sales you make and the size of your payroll can affect your premiums as well.

The first essential step is incorporating or forming an LLC. This liability coverage if it is necessary. It is important to take your business and liability concerns seriously no matter how small your business or what industry you are in. You can save yourself from financial hardship and headaches down the line if you take a few steps and stay ahead.


Five Up And Coming Companies In The Video Game Industry Attracting Investors

Video games are no longer something that you just do with your buddies after school in your parent’s basement. Instead, the industry has turned into a full-blown sector that includes online gaming, tournaments, professional leagues and more. And as interest continues to grow, so do the companies that look to break into the video game industry to make their own impact. Here are five up and coming companies in the video game industry that are attracting investors.

Take Two
One of the most popular game franchises of all time is the Grand Theft Auto series. And while Rockstar Games is the label that creates GTA, they are under the brand that is known as Take Two. While GTA may be the most popular of Take Two’s portfolio, it certainly isn’t the only game they have seen success with. Other Take Two games include Red Dead Redemption, Bioshock, Mafia, LA Noire and the NBA and WWE 2K series’. Investors looking to get involved with Take Two can find them with their stock abbreviation TTWO.

Naughty Dog
In 2013, Naughty Dog released one of the most popular games of the year with The Last Of Us. The post-apocalyptic game earned a multitude of awards and accolades around the world, but it’s not the only game that Naughty Dog offers. Another big series for them is Uncharted, which features Nathan Drake on his worldwide adventures. Naughty Dog looks to have more releases in the future that will be continuations of both The Last of Us and the Uncharted series’.

The video game industry isn’t just about the games themselves, but also accessories that gamers rush out to purchase. One of the top companies that you can keep an eye on for accessories is They make a complete line of controllers and console-inspired accessories for a variety of gamers. You haven’t truly experienced gaming until you’ve done so with MadCatz equipment, and this drives gamers to buy their products.

Microsoft may not be what one would consider as an up and coming company, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t continually come out with new gaming products that revolutionize the industry. And with that in mind, that makes them always a good idea to consider investing in. Microsoft, whose stock symbol is MSFT, is one of the highest valued companies on the market in the gaming industry. Not only does Microsoft create Xbox, but they also have a variety of games and other products that cover a variety of different entities.
Don’t count out the importance of gaming around the world. If you haven’t heard about, then you likely haven’t been to Asia anytime lately. This site is one of the busiest in all of China in terms of traffic on a daily basis. From, gamers can play games and interact with one another. As for their stock, which is listed at NTES, it consists of making revenue on advertising and traffic. Online gaming is already a huge industry in Asia and it only appears to have the potential to keep growing. Netease is a viable option for an international investment opportunity.

There are plenty of companies to consider for getting into investing in the gaming industry. But the five here are certainly worth keeping an eye on and putting your money towards.


Money Saving Ideals for B2B CFOs

A B2B CFO who wants to save money and reduce expenses faces an uphill battle. Budgets are difficult to cut; people from all over the company will object to the ideas of an established CFO. While true, if a CFO wants to keep his or her job and ensure the firm stays in order, he or she must take action. Here are four money-saving ideas for a B2B CFO.

Employee pay: Let’s face it; a company spends plenty of money on payroll. While a CFO doesn’t need to drop employees, it is wise for him or her to look at this further. Often, when trying to save money, a business will bring in contractors to complete certain tasks. Think about it, a CFO can save his or her company thousands of dollars a year just by bringing in a part-time contractor. Whether looking for someone to program a website or balance the books, a corporation can cut its expenses when hiring an independent contractor. While often an unpopular way to cut expenses, it is a quick way for a business to save money and still enjoy quality work from its staff.

Re-negotiation contracts with local service providers: If you run a mid-sized business, your CFO probably has plenty of contracts with local companies. For example, if you pay a cleaning company, shredding firm, or even a storage facility you may be overpaying. To figure this out, a CFO must contact other providers in the area and ask for a quote. With a short 20-minute phone call, a CFO can find a lower price for vital services. Often, after talking to another service provider, a CFO can coax the current provider to lower their fees slightly. If price negations are unmet to the CFO’s budget needs, then re-evaluating the need for the service at hand in general may be the next step. If the service is still generally a necessity for the vitality of the company, then often times there are situations where the service can be done in-house. For example, instead of outsourcing storage space or services, a business can find resources in bulk to purchase such as metal bins, pods, crates, etc. and keep in-house to manage at their own discretion. Since it only takes a few minutes to follow these steps, a smart CFO should do this every year or so and in the end it will come down to the company’s demands and resources available.

Outsource: A CFO should consider outsourcing. With some tasks, it is not pertinent to use employees from the United States. Whether you want to outsource your call center or tech support, you can do so with ease. Then, the company will save thousands of dollars a month as employees working in areas with lower costs of living will not demand higher pay. If not practical, a CFO should consider a moving some operations to a lower cost-of-living state. For example, credit card companies often host their tech support office in places like Iowa where expenses are lower. Either way, a CFO in a high cost-of-living city should consider outsourcing some non-essential operations to another area with lower expenses.

Online marketing: With SEO, social media and other tricks, a company can attract plenty of followers. In the past, a CFO would need to dole out plenty of cash to the marketing department. However, with a well-managed online presence, an organization will save thousands of dollars. At the same time, if a business runs a formidable campaign, it will bring in plenty of excited customers from all over the place. In the end, if practical, a CFO should divert funds and resources to an online marketing campaign.

With these four simple ideas, a CFO can help his or her company saves plenty of cash. While not always easy, when done in a tactful manner, the business will save cash and increase its profits without creating havoc or causing problems for current employees.


Why You Should Read Every Word of a Contract Before Signing

Before signing your name to a contract, it is important to read every word. Even a single sentence could have implications that could ruin your financial future. Once you choose to sign a contract, there is no way to reverse your decision. As a result, you could face unforeseen consequences that you could carry with you for the remainder of your lifetime. You should also read the contract to ensure that you understand all of your contractual obligations.

Understanding this information can help you to avoid penalties that could hurt you later down the road. This article will take a look at why it is important to read every word of a contractual agreement before signing.

1. Unfavorable Terms are Usually Hidden

A contract created by the other party is usually designed to convince you to sign it. As a result, unfavorable terms are usually hidden within the agreement. Research has shown that readers are most likely to read the first sentence of each paragraph. Readers are also more likely to ignore terms that are written in smaller fonts. In most cases, the other party is aware of these human tendencies. Therefore, you can use this information to your advantage. Make sure that you read the entire contract to discover terms that are likely to be unfavorable. Most of these bad terms will be hidden in the middle of paragraphs, in small fonts, or near the end of the document.

2. Unintended Consequences

Many individuals who sign a bad contract are in a hurry to get what they want. As a result, they are unlikely to carefully evaluate each contractual term. Since the consequences of a bad contract can extend for the remainder of your lifetime, it is important to consider how individual terms could have unintended consequences. In many cases, individuals are unaware of what these consequences could be. As a result, it may be advantageous for individuals to ask a professional attorney for advice. It may also be possible to talk to another individual who previously entered into the same agreement. By doing this, you can reduce your chances of entering into an agreement that you will later regret.

3. Understanding Your Obligations

It is also important to read the full terms of an agreement to understand your obligations. In many cases, disputes arise due to ignorance by the other party. Courts in the United States have long upheld that individuals who are ignorant about certain terms cannot receive any extra leniency. The only exception to this rule is if the other party acted in bad faith. In the vast majority of cases, victims of bad contracts usually end up having to pay for their mistakes. Therefore, it is important to fully understand your obligations under the contractual terms. The easiest way to do this is to simply read the entire agreement. Make sure that you ask questions if there is something that you are unsure about.

4. Contracts Can Be Changed

The terms of a contract can always be changed. If you study the terms and find something that you are uncomfortable about, the other party might be willing to remove the unfavorable terms. Even unethical individuals are often willing to make these concessions. Make sure that you read the entire contract to find terms that might need to be changed. If the other party is not willing to change these terms, do not be afraid to walk away from the deal.

Simplifying the process can also help greatly. A variety of new options are now available, including electronic signature tools, that make the process of signing documents faster and easier on both individuals and businesses. This is just part of being organized, which will also help you to make sure you’re not agreeing to contractual obligations that you don’t understand.


5 Expenses You Didn’t Know You Could Write Off With Your LLC

So you run an LLC and you know that before long it will be time to file taxes. Everyone knows that paying taxes are not fun at all, but with deductions it can reduce the amount you owe and thus make it a little more bearable. The following list should help you by showing you some not so well know deductions that you can write off. I am not a tax professional, so all information should be gone over with your tax preparation company.

First-Business Insurance: So most businesses carry some form of insurance to protect themselves as well as the customers they work for. And we all know that business insurance is not cheap at all. So the IRS will let you write off the cost of having business insurance, and that is great news for many small business owners.

Second-Health Insurance: Since everyone has to have health insurance now, you might as well take the write off for it. If you own a small business and pay out of pocket for your health insurance you can write that expense off of your taxes. That includes insurance for you and your spouse as well as children up to 27 years old.

Third-Employee Pay: Paying employees is often the largest expenses that a business has. Writing off this expense will be huge for many owners. According to the IRS, as long as the expenses are reasonable you are allowed to write it off! So as long as you claim that your employees made a reasonable wage, there should be no problem.

Fourth-Home Office: Now everyone knows that an office can be a write off, but what happens if you run a service business that works at the client’s home or office? The IRS says that you can write off a home office as long as you use that portion of your home ONLY for business. You also need to use it on a regular basis. That can be only once a week if you use that space to do paperwork like invoicing and payroll. When you use the home office write off you also get the chance to write off a good amount of other things. Some of them are water and electric, repairs and even landscaping. Don’t forget the housekeeper as well!

Fifth-Training: If you bought some training DVDs for the office staff, or paid for the sales team to go to a training seminar then you are in luck. All training and education expenses used to further your current area of business can equal a large write off for you. So don’t be afraid to throw out the old VHS tapes sitting on the shelf collecting dust. Don’t forget that when you replace them, you need to watch the new ones!

Hopefully this list will help reduce the pain associated with filing taxes. These are just a few of the many write offs that the IRS offers to business. Don’t forget that a tax prep company should be aware of all the different write offs and what you do and don’t qualify for. But remember above all else, don’t take a write off if you didn’t earn it!


Marketing Services Breaks Down Payoff Quotes and Express Titles

In today’s topsy-turvy economy, more and more people have credit problems due to job losses, medical issues or other situations resulting in financial difficulties. As a result, people everywhere sometimes have problems when trying to gain the financing necessary to purchase a vehicle.

However, for those with bad credit, limited credit histories or low incomes there are options available. Specialty finance companies such as Marketing Services provides the tools necessary for those with financial problems to obtain the transportation they need and pay for it in a reasonable manner. Working with both customers and dealers, CPS makes auto loans easier than ever before.

Customer Services

CPS provides a number of services to individual customers. Once customers log in to their account, they are then able to manage their auto loans completely online. Some of the tasks they can take care of include:

making payments

viewing their payment history

viewing statements

getting a payoff quote

As with any loan, the goal is to pay it off as quickly as possible. One of the most-requested services of CPS customers is requesting a payoff quote. This can be done either by completing an online request or speaking with a customer service representative over the phone, if that’s what they prefer. While most customers prefer to conduct all of their business online, there are those who prefer to request information or send in payments using traditional mail services. If needed, customers can get mailing instructions for sending in payments once they log in to the site.

Dealer Services

While individual customers make up a large percentage of the Marketing Services customer base, many dealers also do business with CPS. Like individual consumers, dealers have a variety of services at their fingertips including:

Reviewing status of pending contracts

Submitting credit applications

Direct mail and other leads

As with individual customers, dealers can also request payoff quotes as well as express titles from CPS. These services help expedite the financing process and allow dealers to ultimately sell more vehicles, which creates a win-win situation for everyone involved. One of the most popular services for dealers is the Leads and Direct Mail program of CPS. With this program, dealers can receive internet leads and direct mail leads from customers eager to purchase vehicles. This program is popular because it maximizes sales while decreasing wasted time and results in working with customers who are very eager to conduct business and buy a vehicle.

Popular and Profitable

Since 1991, CPS has continued to gain a reputation as one of the best automotive finance companies in the United States. Currently managing a portfolio worth almost $1.3 billion and serving more than 110,000 customers, CPS demonstrates each day the commitment needed for success.

With dealer relations in 48 states across the U.S., Marketing Services demonstrates a commitment to making sure the auto financing process is as easy as possible for individuals and dealers. Having adequate transportation is almost a necessity in today’s world, and people everywhere are always looking for not only the best vehicle, but also the best financing for that vehicle. When customers work with CPS, they know they will get the results they want and deserve.