Ruzbeh Bacha

How and When a House Mortgage could be the Biggest Mistake of Your Life

Lehman Brothers, AIG, Bear Stearns, Merrill Lynch, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Countrywide Financial, Royal Bank of Scotland, Wachovia, Lloyds. Are these names familiar? They all suffered major upheaval or failure during the 2008 Financial Crisis, most of them being acquired… Continue Reading →

Week 1 – First Impressions – Zurich, Kickstart Accelerator, and the Swiss way of life

Growing up in India, most of us have been fascinated with Switzerland – not only for chocolates, cheeses, and politicians hiding money but also for the song and dance sequences in the Bollywood movies.  I’ve spent a lot of time… Continue Reading →

CityFALCON raises £550K on Seedrs

CityFALCON, the London-based FinTech company, has raised more than £550K on equity crowdfunding platform Seedrs. Their campaign was oversubscribed at more than 350% and includes investors from several banks and financial institutions. The company has now raised a total of… Continue Reading →

Uncertain Volatile Times Call for Certain Investment and Hedging Strategies in the Stock Markets

The world has always been an uncertain place. That is the reason for the fundamental risk-reward balance in finance. The contemporary world offers unprecedented access to information to unprecedented numbers of people across the globe. Anyone with an Internet connection… Continue Reading →

High Frequency and Algo Trading are Taking Over Markets – What It Means For You

We talk a lot about how machines are being used more and more in finance. This is especially important in High-Frequency Trading (HFT) and Algorithmic Trading or algo-trading (AT). There is simply no way for humans to compete on these… Continue Reading →

Everything You Need to Know About ICOs – The New Way to Finance a Venture

Wherever money is involved, there is innovation. That is no different for blockchain technology. The popular transaction-tracking technology, which we have written on before here, is now being applied in a way to raise funds for a venture. Part crowdfunding,… Continue Reading →

Bank earnings upbeat but stocks drop. Is there a buying opportunity for investors?

Bank earnings topped estimates, yet prices of bank stocks JPM, C, WFC dropped. What drove their earnings? Buoyant markets helped drive investment banking revenues for these banks, but lack of volatility impacted their trading revenues that proved to be a… Continue Reading →

Crude oil prices’ fine balancing act. Will the markets rebalance?

Crude oil prices rose on reports of global demand picking up and are up about 4% through Thursday Supply woes intensify While the markets welcomed the good news, they continue to remain cautious about increasing supply. The oil market, since… Continue Reading →

UK’s slowing wage growth despite record employment levels – good news or bad news?

After last week’s dismal industry and trade data from the UK, yesterday’s news of falling unemployment levels lent some support to the sterling.However, UK’s slowing wage growth once again reminded the markets of UK’s dimming growth prospects. Why are wages… Continue Reading →

Q2 earnings underway – will energy sector deliver or disappoint?

Big banks like $JPM, $C, $WFC will set the ball rolling for the Q2 earnings season with their reports pouring in on Friday this week. As per estimates, Y/Y earnings and revenue growth in Q2 are expected to be around… Continue Reading →

Illinois credit downgrade – hanging in the budget balance

Moody’s warned yesterday of a credit rating downgrade to junk for the US state of Illinois. The background The state hasn’t had a full year budget for the last 2 years because of disagreement over spend/revenue plan between its Republican… Continue Reading →

Will Women Traders and Investors Outperform in the Online Trading World?

Back in 2015, when I was raising funds for my FinTech start-up CityFALCON, I mentioned that our most active user on the platform is a woman trader who trades from home while her family is out.  I would never have… Continue Reading →

North Korean Crisis – how does it impact the world markets?

Yesterday, North Korea’s missile launch marked an escalation of its nuclear program as part of its survival and security enhancement program. This event has heightened geopolitical tensions and is impacting global markets. The dynamics The Korean peninsula has been marked… Continue Reading →

China’s manufacturing data – is this recovery sustainable?

China’s upbeat PMI manufacturing data for June, published this week, points to an expanding economy and improving economic conditions in Q2. But how should one read this data in light of growth prospects for China? Short-term outlook improving Concerns of… Continue Reading →

Amazon’s acquisition of wholefoods a game changer? Don’t jump the gun yet..

Amazon last week announced its intent to acquire Whole Foods for ~14bn. The acquisition would initiate Amazon’s foray into brick-and-mortar space, a reversal of current e-commerce trend sweeping the retail industry. Food retailer stocks suffered a setback on the announcement… Continue Reading →

MSCI’s China A-Shares inclusion – how does it impact the markets?

MSCI announced its decision to include shares of 222 large cap China A-share companies in its benchmark Emerging Markets Index on Tuesday. What does the decision mean? It means that China’s A shares – that are shares of mainland China-based… Continue Reading →

UK and Brexit Negotiations – trapped in the exit?

The Brexit negotiations that started yesterday mark the beginning of 2 years of the extraction process of the UK out of the EU. The beginning of the negotiation process doesn’t change much at the get-go – other than being symbolic… Continue Reading →

Section 232 investigations: will tariffs on steel imports help restore American jobs?

Trump proposed a probe on the impact of steel imports on the nation’s national security via section 232 of the 1962 Trade Expansion Act, in April. The results of the investigation are expected to be released this week. Why the… Continue Reading →

Are FANG and Tech Stocks Really Expensive at the Current Levels? One Ratio Tells the Story

Summary: FANG Stocks (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Google/Alphabet) have rallied a few times over the last 4-5 years. This seems to be the case with other tech stocks as well. The rise in the tech stocks has not only been because… Continue Reading →

Tech slump eases – did the global markets overreact?

Stocks of tech giants Apple, Facebook, Google fell more than 3% on Friday with the sell-off continuing on Monday as well and spreading to Europe and Asia. But the slump has abated since then. Why the drop? While there was… Continue Reading →

Qatar conflict – impact on oil prices, trade, and investments

Last week, Arab nations that include Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain, severed diplomatic relations with Qatar citing its support for terrorism. Oil prices rose 1% as the markets reacted to the possibility of supply disruption, but pared gains… Continue Reading →

Why We Are Valuing CityFALCON’s Crowdfunding Round in June 2017 at £4.7m?

You must be wondering what a baseball hit has to do with a company’s valuation but this is the first thing I let most of our investors know – we are going for a home run even if it means… Continue Reading →

Trump’s adieu to the Paris Accord

President Trump announced the withdrawal of the US from the Paris climate agreement last week, arguing it was destroying American jobs. Though the US markets broadly reacted positively to the news, there were winners and losers. Coal stocks trended higher,… Continue Reading →

Dodd Frank Repeal – will the Congress pass the reform bill?

US House votes for the Dodd-Frank repeal this week. What it means? The Dodd-Frank, a law for the regulation of the financial industry, was introduced in 2010 to promote financial stability. Trump is proposing a repeal of the law to… Continue Reading →

UK Elections this week

UK elections happen this week. The conflicting polls about the Conservatives lead over the Labour Party have added an element of uncertainty to the almost certain expectations of a landslide win by the Tories (Conservative Party) a month ago. It… Continue Reading →

Greece Crisis – harbinger of doom or a toothless threat?

European shares, this week, were hit by growing investor worries about the Greece crisis. What does this mean? Greece’s debt repayments are due in July and its lenders meet in June to work out a solution. Greece recently deepened austerity… Continue Reading →

Gold prices: catalysts that could support its rise this year

Gold is holding on to its monthly high at the start of the week. The metal is up ~9% YTD. A few catalysts could support gold prices going forward: 1) A no hike / reduced pace decision from Fed could… Continue Reading →

Bottom-Up vs Top-Down Investing – Stock Screening Strategies

The financial world is vast, and the number of investing strategies reflects that. Two broad categories for classifying investment styles is the top-down and the bottom-up approach. As the people who coin these terms are more concerned with clarity than… Continue Reading →

Will OPEC’s deal extension help lift oil prices in long term?

On Thursday, OPEC and other non-members extended the November production cut agreement by 9 months. If the deal cut announcement was in keeping with the market consensus, why did oil drop ~5% after the news? The drop could be a… Continue Reading →

Moody’s China downgrade is a warning, not a verdict

Moody’s downgraded China’s credit rating on Wednesday citing rising debt levels. The country’s benchmark equity index fell 1% but recouped losses. The reaction of the global stock markets was also muted. Given the fact that the global markets have been… Continue Reading →

FCC’s vote against net neutrality: impact on stakeholders

Last week, the FCC voted to start the repeal of Obama’s key internet policy of net neutrality. What does it mean? In 2015, broadband internet was reclassified as a vital utility, subjecting it to heavier regulations. The idea was to… Continue Reading →

Ex-Skype Architect Koen Vos joins CityFALCON as an Advisor and Investor

For many in the communications industry, Koen Vos doesn’t need much introduction.  He has co-written a codec that most over-the-top voice communications services and apps use.  Koen worked as a senior architect at Skype since the early days for almost… Continue Reading →

Cryptocurrency – Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin – Everything You Need to Know in 2017

We have come a long way since the days of a barter system. It hasn’t been necessary to have a specific good and trade it for some other specific good for a long time. For most of written history, there… Continue Reading →

Brazil’s political scandal: treading markets amidst turmoil

Brazil’s President Temer was accused this week of bribery.The stock market fell 10% on Thursday and the Real sank 7% vs the dollar after the news. After two years of recession, it appeared that Brazil’s economy was finally turning the… Continue Reading →

Will Walmart’s Earnings buck the retail downtrend?

Walmart earnings for Q1’18 are set to release tomorrow. The retail sector is observing a growing trend of the shift to online commerce. Retail players are facing increasing competition from Amazon, that, according to estimates, accounts for more than half… Continue Reading →

Belt and Road Initiative: resultant investment opportunities

China President Xi Jinping announced renewed focus on the “Belt and Road Initiative” (BRI) during the two-day infrastructure summit for international cooperation held on May 14-15. The initiative BRI involves the development of trade routes connecting China with Asia, Africa,… Continue Reading →

Brexit and UK’s growing pains: its not doomsday yet

UK’s recent economic data has revived fears of Brexit slowdown.Q1 GDP fell to 0.3% vs 0.7% in previous quarter. March industrial production data, released this week, was weaker than estimates. Trade deficit has widened and is at six-month high The… Continue Reading →

South Korea Elections: impact on corporates and the stock market

Moon Jae-in won the South Korea elections yesterday. What does this mean for S.Korea’s businesses? 1) Per Moon’s campaign promise of restricting the power of Chaebols (family owned conglomerates), markets are expecting reforms in their governance (Chaebols put the interest… Continue Reading →

Glass-Steagall – should bank investors worry about it?

Trump last week talked about working on “breaking up the big banks”. This refers to reinstating the 21st-century version of the Glass-Steagall Act (1933-1999) – that separated commercial banking from investment banking. So how does Glass-Steagall V2 impact the Systemically… Continue Reading →

The Detailed Guide to Value and Deep Value Investing – How to Build a Long Term Portfolio

There are plenty of approaches to investing. Some are more akin to gambling than investing, and some are more of an art than a science. In this article, we are going to discuss value investing, who uses it, and how… Continue Reading →

Ethereum is breaking barriers, but is it a good investment?

Ether climbed to an all-time high of above $80 this week. The currency has gained more than 700% this year vs Bitcoin’s growth of 50%. What is Ether/eum? And how is it different from Bitcoin? Ethereum is a platform that… Continue Reading →

Founder-led Companies Will Continue to Outperform in the Stock Markets

Founder-CEOs are the people who start a company, grow it, and then continue to run it once it has become a large corporation. Some of the most famous names are Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg. Are founder-CEOs better… Continue Reading →

Bitcoin – will the momentum sustain?

Bitcoin touched an all-time high of above 1400 today. News of the SEC reconsidering Winklevoss ETF proposal mainly fueled this rise. Japan’s legalization of Bitcoin as a payment method since April has also boosted investor sentiment.Growing regulatory acceptance by Japan… Continue Reading →

SENSEX breaches 30K – how should investors ride the rally?

The Indian stock market index, BSE Sensex, crossed the high of 30K this week. While the rally was mostly supported by positive global events that included strong corporate quarter and tax reforms in the US, abating French election worries and… Continue Reading →

Under Armour earnings: here is what investors should focus on

Under Armour (UA) is expected to report its first-ever operating loss tomorrow. The stock dropped 20% in January following dismal Q4’16 results. UA has projected a mere 10-12% revenue growth for 2017 vs it’s 20%+ growth in the last 26… Continue Reading →

Trump Tax Reform Plan – It’s not all glitter

Trump tax reform announcement is expected this week. There are two proposals – led by Trump and House speaker Ryan. Ryan’s plans include a border adjustment tax (BAT) to be imposed on imports to fund the cuts as opposed to… Continue Reading →

Twitter earnings for Q1 next week – things to consider

Twitter reports Q1 next week. Its shares are down 80% from its all-time high of $69 due to multiple issues that include slowing user, revenue growth, anaemic profits, account security issues and top management exodus. The company has taken multiple… Continue Reading →

May’s UK Elections announcement: is sterling’s rise sustainable?

On Tuesday, UK PM Theresa May announced surprise general elections, to be held on June 8. Sterling rose more than 2% to a six-month high of $1.2904 following the news, snapping its prolonged downturn since the referendum last year What… Continue Reading →

Aramco IPO – How will it impact global oil prices?

Aramco IPO is generating a lot of interest in global markets. And it certainly deserves this attention, for, at an estimated valuation of $2tn(debated), and 5% on offer, it would be the world’s biggest IPO ever. Why is Saudia Arabia(SA)… Continue Reading →

Tesla is NOT Valued at More Than General Motors and Ford. Hint: Enterprise Value

For the last few days, you would have probably seen headlines such as “Tesla is worth more than Ford – and GM is in sight” and people arguing about whether Tesla is worth being valued at the same level as… Continue Reading →

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