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ST Engineering bolsters cloud portfolio with CloudSphere investment – ZDNet

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ST Engineering has beefed up its cloud services portfolio via an investment in CloudSphere, a US-based cloud management and governance vendor. Made through its venture capital arm ST Engineering Ventures, the investment will see the Singapore company expand its current cloud services beyond assessment and migration. 

The investment round was made alongside growth equity tech fund, Atlantic Bridge Capital, and would provide ST Engineering “direct access” to hybrid and multi-cloud management and government software and services, the Singapore company said in a statement Tuesday. It added that the investment was part of the organisation’s efforts to drive its capabilities in professional and management services in public cloud. 

ST Engineering is a technology, defence, and engineering group focusing on the aerospace, electronics, land systems, and marine sectors. It VC arm invests in startups in high growth areas such as robotics, autonomous technology, and cybersecurity. 

ST Engineering’s president of electronics sector Ravinder Singh noted that enterprises operating in hybrid and multi-cloud environments were using many different sets of tools, including in resource provisioning and monitoring, cost reporting, and security, as well as identity dashboards with multiple, disparate control planes. 

ST Engineering’s investment in CloudSphere would afford its customers “greater visibility and control” of their multi-cloud inventory, performance, and costs, Singh said. This expansion of its managed services portfolio would enable ST Engineering to tap opportunities with cloud technology, he added.

Amongst CloudSphere’s offerings is its flagship cloud governance platform, which allows customers to manage public cloud deployments with automation tools. 

ZDNet asked ST Engineering several questions including the growth rate of its cloud services and how much it invested in CloudSphere. This article will be updated when the company responds. 

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Car Insurance for Canadian

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Car insurance is vital, like snow days and maple syrup. Part of the Canadian experience. Not all countries need insurance policies by regulation as Canada does; the concept of a pay-as-you-go fuel tax has also been used as a substitute for traditional auto insurance in some areas. But, no matter how important it is, investing in the service is never the wrong decision. Insurance will save motorists from the economic burden of the ultimate inevitability of the road: accidents. They’re going to happen to everybody, no matter their experience or ability. Driving, like every other aspect of human life, is naturally a human mistake.

Also, the most experienced driver can be distracted in our current driving climate. With a reputable insurer, financial stability is only one thing to think about. Between the radio, the billboards, and the careless children thrashing around in the back seat, a few minutes on the road will provide more means of diverting someone’s attention than a few hours in front of the TV. All it takes is a misconstrued stop on a slippery day or a neglected shoulder search to cause thousands of dollars of harm to your property or the property of others. If the accident’s cost exceeds the price of the vehicle that caused it, auto insurance will save the driver from financial ruin. The protection in an appropriate strategy protects drivers in ways that the airbag has never been able to do.

The security provided by insurance is so vital that it has been obligatory for any Canadian who hopes to get behind the wheel. However, some jurisdictions offer consumers a preference as to who is protected by their auto insurance. Coverage is always mandatory, but the strategy is malleable. The right of motorists to monitor their plans and coverage does not end with the business either. Car insurance premiums are affected by a variety of factors. While some of these items are beyond the control of motorists, such as age and gender, they can still make many choices to lower their prices. Choosing a reliable vehicle, traveling shorter distances, and having fewer tickets are items drivers can do to keep their car insurance premiums as low as possible.

Some drivers, particularly new ones, are wary of individualized rates – paying different amounts for other people. Insurance firms, though, are not swindlers or profit-seekers. They’re just trying to keep auto insurance prices as reasonable as possible. A car that leaves the garage twice a week is less likely to have an accident than a car that goes twice a day. Station wagons are more comfortable to fix than imported sports cars. Every person has different driving habits, so it only makes sense to have a foreign car insurance policy. Acquiring a car insurance policy is more than just making a deal; it is the start of a friendship that will help the driver out in the toughest of times.

Some provinces in Canada, where motorists have too many car insurance options, any additional information could save the insured motorist thousands of dollars. It pays to be updated. The right strategy will keep you safe when anything else doesn’t matter where you’re in Canada.

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When it comes to investing, don't believe everything you see on TV – TheChronicleHerald.ca

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Interest in investing is hitting new highs. Discount brokers are flooded with applications and trading volumes are surging. Despite this renewed focus, some misunderstandings persist about the realities of investing.

To illustrate, let’s deconstruct an investment conversation that you might have with a friend, colleague, or advisor. It goes like this.

“A guy on TV says the economy is strong and stocks are going up. It seems like a good time to invest. I don’t see much downside so I’m buying high-dividend stocks for my RRSP.”


A guy on TV

Many investors think there are people who know where the market is going. Experts who know something the rest of us don’t. The reality is, they don’t. Their insights may be interesting and unique, but any conclusions related to market timing aren’t worth the cup of coffee you’re drinking. It’s impossible to call the market level a week, month or even year from now with enough consistency to be useful. Stock prices are determined by a myriad of factors, many of which we’re unaware of until after they’ve emerged.


The economy looks good. I’m buying.

At the core of most market calls is an economic forecast. This is unfortunate because the connection between what the economy is doing and where the stock market is going is flimsy at best. It’s true that economic activity affects corporate profits, which ultimately drive stock prices, but the relationship is sloppy and unpredictable. Consider the last decade — we had the slowest economic recovery in history and yet profit margins were at or near record levels throughout, as were stock prices.

It bears repeating. Mr. Market is not paying attention to today’s economic headlines. He’s focusing on what the news might be in 12 to 18 months. The corporations you’re investing in aren’t reading the headlines either. They’re too busy trying to move their businesses ahead.


A good time to invest

For an investor with a multi-decade time frame, anytime is a good time. Some points in time, however, will be more prospective than others. These are periods when returns are projected to be higher based on fundamentals like rising profitability, low valuations and/or extremely negative investor sentiment. To be clear, these factors won’t tell you what’s about to happen, but will provide a tailwind over the next three to five years.


Not much downside

When you own a stock, the range of possible outcomes is always wider than you expect. It’s hard to conceive of a holding going down 20, 30 or 40 per cent, especially when things are going well. Unfortunately, recent price moves have no predictive value, they just provide false comfort.

The future for a stock that has recently done well is just as uncertain as one that hasn’t. Indeed, it may be riskier because its price-to-earnings multiple is higher (if profits haven’t kept up with the stock price), its dividend yield is lower and shareholders’ risk aversion, a necessary ingredient for good returns, has melted into complacency.


The higher the better

We all love dividends, but too many investors choose stocks based solely on yield. This is a problem because yield is not a measure of value for a stock like it is for a bond. A company’s worth is derived from it’s potential to earn profits into the future. Dividends are simply the portion of those earnings that get distributed to shareholders.

Yield-obsessed investors often downplay the importance of the stocks’ second source of return — price appreciation. Ask yourself the question: What would you rather have, a $10 stock yielding five per cent that’s worth $8, or a $10 stock with a three per cent yield that’s worth $12?

If you want to focus on dividend income, start with a list of stocks that have an acceptable yield. From there build a diversified portfolio of holdings that are trading at or below what they’re worth.


In your RRSP?

When asked, “What should I do in my RRSP (or TFSA),” I have only one answer. The most important thing driving your RRSP strategy is the strategy you’re pursuing for your overall portfolio (including other registered accounts, taxable accounts, pensions and income properties). Anything you do in your RRSP has to roll up into your household asset mix. In that vein, RRSP contributions are a wonderful tool for adjusting your overall portfolio because transactions have no tax consequences.

Investing is hard enough without basing decisions on false premises. If you find yourself listening to someone pontificate about where the market is going, try to change the subject or look for an escape.


Tom Bradley is


chair and chief investment officer


at Steadyhand Investment Funds, a company that offers individual investors low-fee investment funds and clear-cut advice. He can be reached at

tbradley@steadyhand.com

.

Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2020

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Apollo Hit Again as Aksia Tells Clients to Delay Investment – BNN

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(Bloomberg) — Apollo Global Management Inc. is coming under increasing pressure as more institutional investors hold off committing fresh capital to the Wall Street giant.

Aksia, which advises on more than $160 billion of investor commitments, urged clients not to give money to Apollo amid lingering questions over co-founder Leon Black’s relationship with disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, according to people familiar with the matter. On Friday, Connecticut Treasurer Shawn Wooden said the state won’t commit new capital to the firm.

An adviser to pensions, endowments and other large institutions, Aksia has begun communicating the move to its clients, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private. Apollo said this week it was hiring law firm Dechert LLP to investigate the relationship.

“Aksia believes it is prudent to delay any new commitments or investments with Apollo funds until the results of Dechert’s study are disclosed,” Aksia said in a client communication, noting that its recommendation was effective as of Thursday. “Should Dechert’s review uncover that Mr. Black had knowledge of or participated in any illegal activity, investors that recently committed new capital to an Apollo fund could be subject to intense scrutiny.”

A spokeswoman for Aksia didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

“We are firmly committed to transparency,” Apollo said Friday in a statement, noting that Black has been communicating regularly with investors. “Although Apollo never did business with Jeffrey Epstein, Leon has requested an independent, outside review regarding his previous professional relationship with Mr. Epstein.”

Aksia’s decision comes after the Pennsylvania Public School Employees’ Retirement System said it would hold off giving any new money to Apollo for the time being. Another investment adviser, Cambridge Associates, is considering not recommending Apollo funds, Bloomberg reported earlier this week.

Investors are stepping back from one of Wall Street’s most successful firms after fresh reports about Black and Epstein brought the issue back into focus. The New York Times said earlier this month that the Apollo chief wired more than $50 million to Epstein in the years following his 2008 conviction for soliciting prostitution from a teenage girl. The article didn’t accuse Black of breaking the law.

Existing Commitments

Gabrielle Farrell, a spokeswoman for Connecticut’s treasurer, said in an email that the state’s existing commitments to Apollo were “made under the previous administration and we have no plans to commit further capital to their funds at this time.”

Apollo said earlier this week that Dechert will conduct a review to independently evaluate Black’s past descriptions of a professional relationship with Epstein. Black, 69, has said he turned to Epstein for financial matters, such as taxes, estate planning and philanthropy.

The two men had been acquaintances since at least the early 1990s. From time to time, Epstein met with Black at Apollo’s New York offices, and he pitched personal tax strategies to the firm’s executives, Bloomberg has reported.

Apollo conducted an internal review into its involvement with Epstein to ensure that any ties went no further than the firm’s co-founder, people with knowledge of the matter said last year. That included examining emails and records to determine there was no connection between the company and Epstein, one of the people said.

(Updates with Apollo comment in sixth paragraph.)

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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