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Getting Your Finances in Shape Right Now

Getting your finances straight takes time. So many people look at where they are and wonder if it is possible to get out of the debt that they are in. It is similar to the person that wants to lose weight. They wonder if this is possible, but many people don’t take the time to make the initial steps to changing their course.


The big thing that people have to realize is that there are only two directions that a person can go in with their finances. A person that has been looking for a chance to improve their finances should typically start with their budgets. This is going to the thing that makes people realize what their cash flow looks like. Money is coming in and going out of household, but many people do not realize where their money is going.


When people take the time to look at their finances they will realize that the money that they are making is not always enough to cover the expenses that they have. This is often the reason that so many people find themselves in debt so quickly. They have no real idea of what they are spending their money on. Credit card debt can be handled in a very different way when people realize that they can use their money in in smarter ways. People will seldom resist the urge to overspend when they do not realize that they are overspending in the first place.


It is also important to stop the regular impulse buys when you want to improve your finances. People that do not want to blow their budgets will see the benefits of staying away from the impulse buys. This doesn’t come overnight though. People that want to get their finances in shape must train themselves. They must ask themselves if they really need the things that they are buying. So many people fall victim to clever advertising. It is going to be better to turn off the television and stay away from the magazine print ads if this tempts you to buy things that you don’t need.

These are the quick steps that people need to consider if they are going to really make a change and improve their finances.

The Evolution of Brown Modeling Agency

Located in Austin, Texas, Brown Modeling Agency is formally known as Wilhelmina Austin, connection to the world famous Wilhelmina Modeling network. Brown Modeling Agency has quickly grown to be an industry leader. Their goal is to establish huge marketing expectations and standards that have never been seen in Central Texas before. Since launching, their talent and models have been working for well known brands, such as Louis Vuitton, L’Oreal, Dell, Toyota, and thousands of other well known establishments.

The president of the agency is Justin Brown, and upon looking at his resume, one can see how his agency has become an leader in the industry. Brown, 35, had humble beginnings in that he was born in Reno, Nevada and raised across the state line in small Susanville, California. He was an adorable and shy kid playing by the rules, and then he left for Southern California when he was 18. From that age and on, he has gained a great amount of experience in the modeling industry in Los Angeles and New York. He also pursued his undergraduate studies in business management and worked at a modeling agency throughout this stage of life. Thus, he learned the inside trades and business aspects of the modeling business and how to operate businesses. In 2005, he moved to Austin in which he felt connected to and have been staying every since.

He loves how Austin is big, but not too big. He saw that there is some industry and great room to grow in Austin. And he’s done just that. First, he began a development business in 2008 called JB Models and Talent. This business was licensed in 2010 by Wilhelmina National Agency. This enabled him to obtain great resources for commercial modeling, print modeling, and fashion runway shows. Other than that, Brown knew that observers are skeptical sometimes to have to pay agencies for training, but Brown illustrated how this field is regulated through the Texas Workforce Commission; therefore, relieving many skeptics.

As a result, Brown has helped over 450 talent to spring budding careers. He has taught and groomed the local talent for the big screen and the like. Their fashion models have been seen gracing the runways for Miami Swim Week, Austin Fashion Week, New York Fashion Week, Dallas Fashion Week, and countless others. Also, Brown always states that they are only as good as their talent; therefore, they pride themselves in selecting only the best to deliver the most beautiful, talented, professional, and dependable talent possible in Central Texas.

Additionally, the Brown Agency has just recently took over Heyman Talent South along with Michael Bonnee, Heyman’s local captain. This means that Brown Agency is now bigger and stronger than ever. And now, there are only a few top local agencies they compete with.

Amazon to open convenience stores?

Amazon may be in the process of opening up new convenience stores per a recent report. There are initially three convenience stores planned two to be located in California and one in nearby Seattle. There is currently not thought to be plans to expand beyond these initial locations for now or anytime in the immediate future.


Amazon has not announced the reason for their opening of physical convenience store locations though many are betting that the reason is not to capture revenue and expand into this market. Instead, many believe that their goal is to gain market information and to conduct research on their customers so that they can further their online marketplace. This strategy is similar to the strategy that Amazon currently has for several brick and mortar bookstores that they have opened in recent years. The stores are not run to make a profit but rather to gain market intelligence on customers and how they would shop in this environment.


The convenience stores that Amazon would open would have much of the products that are in the common convenience store including milk, eggs, and bread. Shoppers would have the ability to purchase other items through laptop computers or other devices that would either be delivered directly to the store or to the user’s home. This would provide an added convenience that other stores would not have and Amazon would have quick same day delivery for many items or next day delivery for other items. Ordering will be able to be done using mobile apps or even in-store touch screen devices.


Amazon is also believed to be adding some innovation to the program such as by having your license plate scanned when you enter the parking lot and having your delivery brought out automatically to your car when you pull in by a staff member. However, Amazon is currently thought to be still working out the details and is not ready to announce the program publicly which has been named Project Como in their internal parlance.


Still, the program shows that Amazon continues to innovate and introduce new product lines in an attempt to gain market share and provide interesting new programs for their customers. An formal announcement of the program is expected to occur sometime during 2017.

UK Vintners Help People Learn To Pair Wine With Food

Residents of the United Kingdom are very fortunate. They have a lush land in front of them that has many places where it is easy to grow delicious foods of all kinds. The fresh raspberries that dot the landscape of the United Kingdom are famous along with many other foods including Stilton cheese, beef made from local cows and the region’s freshest eggs. Those who love food will find that food is enhanced with the use of the right beverage. As UK vintners will tell their clients, the entire nation is also home to many kinds of wines that are just right for any homegrown meal here in this island kingdom. Picking out wines to serve with a light lunch or special dinner party is much easier with the help of vintners from the UK. Many UK vintners can show a client how they can pair the right wine with a plate of poached salmon or a lovely dessert tart made from locally grown dansom plums.

The Right Wine

The right wine will depend on multiple factor as those at Capital Vintners, specialists in fine and vintage wine merchants in the UK, tell their clients. They know that it matters which wine is served with which particular food. A port wine may be just right for a late night snack of chocolate dipped biscuits while a less plummy wine is more appropriate for a full meal of appetizer, main course and final sweet. Companies like Highbury Vintners can also provide help for clients who are looking to figure out which kind of wine may work for them when they are going to give a formal dinner party with many people. Online UK Wine merchants such as Yorkshire Vintners ( can also help a client discover that wines from around the world can be theirs right in the United Kingdom from places such as Switzerland. Working with them directly can offer people specific help in learning which particular wines work with specific dishes that are popular in the United Kingdom such as roasted meats and various kinds of tarts as well as local specialties like haggis or classic strawberries dipped into clotted cream.

Creating A Menu

When residents get in touch with UK vintners, they are opening themselves up to a whole new world that is all about creating balanced dinners and delicious meals. Each wine they showcase is one that can fit into a larger dinner where everyone eating has something to drink that they like to consume. A resident can pick from wines that are right all year round. With their help, any client can figure out why it might make sense to pair a certain wine with the trout from a local river while another wine is best reserved for later in the meal when they are serving something a bit heavier to their guests. With their help, any given client can also help discover why it makes sense to offer certain wines rather than others during the entire meal. Learning about wine can open many new doors for people, find the perfect wine for your home here.

The truth behind Laidlaw and Company

Laidlaw, formerly Sands Brothers International Ltd., Is incorporated in England with its primary business established in New York. James Ahern is the Managing Partner as well as Head of Capital Markets for Laidlaw. However Assumption College, where he has supposedly attended, has no record of him ever graduating and there is no public record of James ever receiving an undergraduate degree. The US District Court for the District of Nevada has granted a temporary restraining order and injunction to Laidlaw & Company as well as James Ahern and Matthew Eitner, preventing them from providing misleading and false proxy. This court order came about because of the lawsuit filed by Relmada due to the less than satisfactory business intereactions between the two companies. The order expires December 2015.

Relmada Therapeutics is a pharmaceutical company that develops drug products in conjunction with new chemical advancements that focus on the treatment of pain. According to the Court Relmada is likely to be successful in their lawsuit because of Laidlaw’s false solicitation that contained falsified information and many omissions. Relmada and its stockholders need to become unassociated with the company in order to preserve its professional and trustworthiness as a company.

The investment and brokerage firm has received more than 60 customer claims and complaints because of damages incurred from 2007 to 2009. the FINRA found Laidlaw to be lacking when it came to implement policies in compliance with rules and regulations related to anti-money laundering. They also found email retention to be suspicious as well as misleading and incomplete interactions with the public.

Laidlaw has caused substantial losses to Relmada because of their actions. Relmada’s NASDAQ listing had a steep decline, reducing their stock to trade from $1.65 to $4.03. Laidlaw has had a history of violating federal and state laws and regulations.

Brian Bonar Brings A French Feel His Bellamy Restaurant

The restaurant business is very competitive. Therefore, successful restaurants have to be able to stay at least one step ahead of the competition. One of the ways that successful restaurants are able to stay ahead of the competition is by providing something to customers that is different or unique. In San Diego, the Bellamy restaurant is different than most restaurants in the area. Bellamy offers customers a French flavor in California.

The Bellamy restaurant is known for providing customers with a real French exposure to French food, sounds, and smells. The food is the same that many people would order in a true French restaurant. The menu is primarily a French menu. The reason the Bellamy restaurant is able to provide a French style to the San Diego area is because of its chef Patrick Ponsaty.

Born in France, Patrick Ponsaty is a famous chef who has spent time at numerous restaurants. He has a reputation for developing very popular restaurants based on the food and food menus that he prepares for the restaurants. With a true understanding of the French culture and French food, Patrick Ponsaty offers customers at Bellamy what makes French restaurants popular.

Known for making restaurants must see attractions, Patrick Ponsaty has accomplished almost everything he has ever wanted as a chef except one thing, which is to actual run a restaurant. Mr. Ponsaty desire is to be the person in charge of the daily operations at a restaurant. At Bellamy, Patrick Ponsaty has this responsibility. He is responsible for the Bellamy restaurant’s daily operations.

According to  Spokeo, he decision to give Patrick Ponsaty control of daily operations was made by the owner Brian Bonar. As a well respected businessman in the San Diego area, Brian has made a name for himself as an elite business owner. With multiple successful restaurants under his business umbrella, Brian Bonar is considered one of the best restaurant owners in California.

There are many reasons for Brian Bonar’s business success. One of the main reasons is his ability to hire people that are able to get the job done. Patrick Ponsaty is a prime example of this ability to hire the best talent. In the restaurant business, the competition is tough. Restaurant owners understand that they must make sound business decisions that produce great results to become and remain a popular restaurant. Brian Bonar has proven over the years that he is a business owner who can make the right decisions for his restaurants.

Americans Are Not Saving Enough

Down through the years there has been talk about how Americans need to save 10 to 15 percent of their income each month for retirement. Somewhere Americans have lost their way. In the United States the average household is only saving 5 percent of their income. It doesn’t take much to realize that this is not enough to take care of emergencies that may occur. What is more alarming is that this is far from what people need when it comes to retirement.


It is a sign that most Americans are not really saving for retirement. They are simply getting by on the money that they make. Many are not even doing that because they are also throwing credit cards in the mix to pay for gas and food. Americans are not spending on lavish items with credit cards. Many are just racking up interest on dining out and everyday living.


Americans aren’t are saving properly, but there is still time. The thing that people have to realize is that there are corrective actions that must be taken. The best thing that people can do is save for the retirement as soon as they start working. That is usually where everything goes wrong. When kids do not grow up and learn how to save they become a lot less responsible with their money. As time progresses these kids will become adults that still do not realize the value of saving. That is why it starts early. Adults need to teach their children how to save money. They need to learn about banking and the importance of having money for emergencies.


Adults that are working right now will not be able to depend on social security. It may be available. It may not be available. People that have been working for decades do not need to waste all of their money. If they do not take the time to save the money upfront they are just going to find themselves retiring from one job to go right to another job.


It is important to know how to save and get involved with investors that can help sort out a portfolio. This is the only way to maximize your savings and build a retirement plan for yourself.

The American Shopping Mall Crisis

The growth of ecommerce has recently caused a rapid pushback and even shutdown of hundreds of shopping malls across the United States. With the ease of shopping online, and the ability to quickly price compare and find mega deals with just the click of a mouse, spending your weekend in a crowded shopping mall is not the American pastime it used to be. Even with hundreds of malls shutting down, the US is still oversaturated with these retail pits, and those malls are currently sitting at roughly $48 billion in loans that are backed by their mall properties and they are all at risk.

Currently, the United States has roughly 23.5 square feet of retail space for every person in the country, compare that to 16.4 feet in Canada and just 11.1 feet in Australia, countries that have the next two highest retail space per capita. With online shopping drawing in customers at a rapid rate, this is an overabundance of retail space that isn’t going to be able to continue to sustain itself. Major department stores like Sears, Macy’s and JCPenney’s have been closing their less profitable stores quietly, but that is having a big impact on malls. Those major brand names are what draws in the crowds, without them it is more difficult for smaller names to get customers and it creates a downward spiral for all the stores located in the mall. Those downfalls have led to some very notable losses on loans. Not only does it create less foot traffic and spending, but it triggers what is called “co-tenancy clauses”, this clause allows remaining tenants the right to end their lease with the mall or to renegotiate their lease.

Currently, more than one third of all securitized mall loans share the space with one of the three major retailers, another third shares it with two. With these stores beginning to shut down the concern that malls are financially failing is real. Currently, these loans sit at nearly $50 billion, and that’s a big financial hit not only to the retail and loan sector, but to the US economy in general. A recent report stated that Sears has been closing many locations, and another 200 malls are at risk of closure if the trend continues. For more information on this topic, check out this article at Business Insider.

Adrian Velasquez Jose Figueroa Spills the Secret to Succeeding as a Real Estate Investor in Panama

In Adrián José Velasquez Figueroa’s view, the notion that buying property to rent is a passive investment should be disregarded. This applies not only to those that buy property to rent in Panama, but also property investors in the rest of the world. In his opinion, the process of managing property is time-consuming and challenging particularly for those that do not seek the services of property managers. In spite of this, he believes that owning property for rental income can be rewarding especially if you can find a property that will maximize your income. Below are tips that, according to Figueroa, will help you make great decisions as a real estate investor.

1. Buy below market values
Buying property at low market values ensures that costs are low especially for those that take mortgages on Facebook. Low costs ensure profits. It is best to involve brokers who will point you in the right direction to get the best deal.

2. Choose the right neighborhood
There are two types of tenants in Panama, short-term tenants and long-term tenants. The kind of tenants that an investor gets depends on the location of their property. Areas like Punta Patilla and Punta Pacifica attract short-term tenants, whereas areas like Bella Vista and El Dorado attract long-term tenants. As an investor, you should buy property in areas that will attract the kind of tenants that will help you make profits.

3. Be aware of the laws of Panama rental
This information can be found online or from books says Adrián José Velasquez Figueroa. Some laws, especially tax laws, will affect the income you get from your property. Familiarity with these laws will help you know if you will be making any profits if you opt to invest.

4. Make sure services are available
Services like pools, gyms and private parking attract good pay. They also ensure that your property is always in high demand. A higher demand plus great pay is the recipe for profits.

5. Inspect the quality of construction
Poor quality of construction calls for frequent repairs. Numerous repairs increase the cost of the property and consequently lower income. It is recommended to employ a licensed house inspector to help you find a property that has been built well.

6. Managing rental property
You can opt to have the property managed on your behalf or manage it yourself. Seeking the services of professionals is costly. It is your prerogative to investigate and see which option suits your best and still leaves you making money.

7. Something big is not always better
In some cases, you may not rent property proportionate to its size. This means that you would have bought it at a huge cost, but gets little in income. The results will be lower profits.

8. Public service can increase
The costs of public services are dependent on a tenant. This means that they are not controllable, thus you best avoid these costs by insisting that tenants place these services under their names. This will help you make more money.

About Adrián José Velasquez Figueroa
Jose is a native of Venezuela. Adrián José Velasquez Figueroa holds the positions of director, treasurer and president in 5 companies in Panama. The longest he has served in one position is four years eight months. Adrián José Velasquez Figueroa is an avid supporter of businesses and he does this by mentoring young leaders and seeing to it that economic conditions improve.

Stephen Murray, a legend in the private equity sector

Up until his death, Stephen Murray was the chief executive officer of CCMP Capital. A month before his death, he left the company he had been working for over 20 years due to his unstable health condition. CCMP Capital is a privately held equity investment firm headquartered in New York City.

CCMP Capital spinoff

CCMP Capital has been known by various names over the past two decades. It was previously known as Chase Capital Partners. When J.P Morgan bought Chase, a subsidiary of Chase Capital Partners, its name changed to JPMorgan Partners. JPMorgan Partners later announced the spinout and completed a separation from JPMorgan Chase. The new firm adopted the CCMP Capital acronym referring to its previous entities.

Stephen Murray’s Career at CCMP Capital

At one point, CCMP Capital was listed globally as the world largest private equity firms. Murray took over as the chief executive officer from James Walker a post that he had been serving until his untimely death. Murray sat on various boards in New York City, which include Strongwood Insurance Holding, Octagon Credit Investors, Ollie’s Bargain Outlet, Jethro JMDH Holdings, and LHP Hospital Group. He also sat on boards for companies like Warner Chilcott and Aramark.

Murray leadership was great and fruitful; this is because five months before his death, CCMP Capital raised billions of dollars for its latest fund. Because of participating in raising this fund, Murray together with Greg Brenneman was listed in the SEC filings. Murray was an eloquent speaker, and one of the major conferences he ever spoke at was Dow Jones Conference.

Murray’s Philanthropic Acts

Children were close to Murray’s heart, and this is evident because, he supported the Make-A- Wish Foundation based in Metro New York that arranges ‘wishes’ for children with life- threatening medical conditions on Fortune. He was also the vice-chairman of the board of trustees at Boston College. Murray also supported Stamford Museum as well as the Columbia Business School where he earned his master’s degree.

Brenneman succeeds the late Murray

When Murray became ill, the former chairperson Greg Brenneman, who now carries CCMP Capital mantle, succeeded him. Murray passed on at the age of 52; his wife and four sons survive him. He will be remembered for dedicating 16 years of his life to transforming CCMP Capital to an authority in growth equity and complex buyout transactions. He will also be remembered as a private equity investor, talented dealmaker, and committed philanthropist.