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The Necessity of Finance Book Press Release

Maverick new book details complexities of finance

Professor Anthony M. Criniti IV offers a fresh look at the science of wealth management in “The Necessity of Finance”

PHILADELPHIA – In “The Necessity of Finance” (ISBN 0988459507), Dr. Anthony M. Criniti IV breaks down the complex details of the financial world into easy-to-digest terms any layman can understand and even master. Finance is a completely separate field from economics and as such, Dr. Criniti sets out to explain real-world topics that investors and “financialists” need to inculcate into their ideological portfolio.

Global wealth accumulation is at its highest levels ever. There are more billionaires and oligarchs living today than at any other time in human history. Yet as the American and global financial system has come under critical scrutiny in recent years, consumers and ordinary citizens are seeking answers about the world of finance. Why is money important? Is it merely ink and paper or digits on a computer screen. Why does finance matter? How might we come to understand its many intricacies which act as a multi-dimensional jigsaw puzzle? The answers will both interest and surprise readers.

“Most of the major theories developed in finance were created by economists, physicists, mathematicians, etc. Finance, although highly interrelated with many other subjects, is a separate field of study that is often confused with others,” says Dr. Criniti. “With world wealth accumulating to its highest point in history, the necessity to understand this subject is more crucial than ever.”

Readers will learn what the difference between money and wealth is and will find answers to many of life’s financial questions. What is risk and return? What kinds of investments exist? What are the different techniques for selecting investments? And what role does ethics play in finance? The author has created a true page-turner able to clarify the definition, purpose and goals of both finance and economics while exploring financial concepts in a straightforward manner.

The Necessity of Finance” is available for sale online at Amazon.com.

About the Author:

Dr. Anthony M. Criniti IV is a former financial consultant and a current professor of finance at several universities.  He earned a PhD in applied management and decision sciences, with a concentration in finance. A native of Philadelphia, he has also received many financially related designations, including CHFC, CLU, REBC, and RHU. Dr. Criniti is an active investor and has traveled the world studying various aspects of finance. He is also the author of the acclaimed finance book, The Necessity of Finance and the newly released The Most Important Lessons in Economics and Finance.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Dr. Anthony M. Criniti IV

E-mail:                                 info@learn-about-finance.com

Web:                                    http://learn-about-finance.com/

REVIEW COPIES AND INTERVIEWS ARE AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST

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Experts Predict Annual Home Value Growth To Exceed Pre-Bubble Rates Over Next Five Years

118 Experts Predict Annual Home Value Growth To Exceed Pre-Bubble Rates Over Next Five Years

Survey Benchmark Changes; Path of U.S. Zillow Home Value Index Predicted to Show Cumulative 22 Percent Increase Through 2017

SEATTLE, March 18, 2013, A nationwide panel of more than 100 professional forecasters expects home values to end 2013 up an average of 4.6 percent and rise cumulatively by 22 percent, on average, over the next five years, according to the first quarter Zillow® Home Price Expectations Survey. Additionally, a majority of panelists indicated support for policies that would allow certain underwater homeowners to refinance at today’s low rates.

The survey of 118 economists, real estate experts and investment and market strategists was sponsored by leading real estate information marketplace Zillow, Inc. (NASDAQ: Z) and conducted by Pulsenomics LLC. This is the first survey edition that utilized the U.S. Zillow Home Value Index (ZHVI)[i] as the reference benchmark for the panel’s home price expectations[ii].

Survey respondents predicted home values will rise another 4.2 percent on average in 2014, before moderating somewhat to annual appreciation rates between 3.6 percent and 3.8 percent for 2015, 2016 and 2017. On average, panelists predicted home values to rise 4.1 percent annually from 2013 through 2017, exceeding the pre-housing bubble (1987-1999) average annual appreciation rate of 3.6 percent. This is the first time the predicted average annual growth rate for the next five years has surpassed pre-bubble levels since the survey’s inception three years ago.

“The panel is quite bullish on home prices near-term, considering a pre-bubble average appreciation rate of 3.6 percent per year,” said Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Stan Humphries. “That said, their expectations are a bit shy of the home value gains of 5.5 percent that we saw in 2012, implying some moderation in the pace of gains. The panel expectations are consistent with continued strong home value growth this year fueled by tighter-than-normal inventory of for-sale homes and robust demand attributable to high affordability and a stronger general economy.”

The most optimistic quartile[iii] of panelists predicted a 6.1 percent increase in home values in 2013, on average, while the most pessimistic[iv] predicted an average increase of 3 percent. Through 2017, panelists predicted cumulative home value changes of 22 percent, on average. Expectations for cumulative home value change projections ranged from 34.2 percent among the most optimistic quartile to 11.7 percent among the most pessimistic, on average.

GSE Wind-Down Period and Refinance Options For Underwater Borrowers

The first quarter 2013 Zillow Home Price Expectations Survey asked the panel to indicate their view of a reasonable timeframe for “winding-down” government sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac; and to weigh in on the debate over the merits of providing new refinancing options to underwater homeowners who are current on their mortgage payments.

The majority of panelists (59 percent) indicated that a reasonable and appropriate timeframe for winding-down the GSEs is within the next five years. On the opposite ends of the spectrum, 13 percent suggested a timeframe within the next two years, and 10 percent said they believe a period of more than 10 years is sensible.

Existing proposals that would facilitate refinancing of certain underwater borrowers include the Responsible Homeowner Refinancing Act of 2012, sponsored by Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), and the Rebuilding Equity Act sponsored by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.). The majority of respondents said they supported these types of policy initiatives.

“More than four of every five supporters of these refinancing proposals said they believe that borrowers who have demonstrated an ability to make their payments in recent years would pose little or no incremental risk to taxpayers if they refinanced. Two-thirds of supporters said they believe that the lower monthly payments would create a significant stimulus for the economy,” said Terry Loebs , founder of Pulsenomics LLC. “But the 41 percent of panel respondents who do not support these plans also hold strong views. More than two-thirds of them said they believe that rewriting loan contracts is bad policy in general, and that lowered monthly payments for borrowers ultimately translate into taxpayer and investor losses.”

Additional details regarding this portion of the survey are available at www.pulsenomics.com.

This is the 17th edition of the Home Price Expectations Survey. It was conducted from Feb. 22, 2013 through March 7, 2013 by Pulsenomics LLC on behalf of Zillow, Inc.

For full survey results and graphics, please visit Zillow Real Estate Research or www.pulsenomics.com.

About Zillow:
Zillow, Inc. (NASDAQ: Z) operates the largest home-related marketplaces on mobile and the Web, with a complementary portfolio of brands and products that help people find vital information about homes, and connect with the best local professionals. In addition, Zillow operates an industry-leading economics and analytics bureau led by Zillow’s Chief Economist Dr. Stan Humphries. Dr. Humphries and his team of economists and data analysts produce extensive housing data and research covering more than 350 markets at Zillow Real Estate Research. Zillow also sponsors the quarterly Zillow Home Price Expectations Survey, which asks more than 100 leading economists, real estate experts and investment and market strategists to predict the path of the Zillow Home Value Index over the next five years. The Zillow, Inc. portfolio includes Zillow.com®, Zillow Mobile, Zillow Mortgage Marketplace, Zillow Rentals, Zillow Digs™, Postlets®, Diverse Solutions®, Buyfolio™, Mortech™ and HotPads™. The company is headquartered in Seattle.

Zillow.com, Zillow, Zestimate, Postlets and Diverse Solutions are registered trademarks of Zillow, Inc. Buyfolio, Mortech, HotPads and Digs are trademarks of Zillow, Inc.

About Pulsenomics:
Pulsenomics LLC is an independent research and consulting firm that specializes in data analytics, new product and index development for institutional clients in the financial and real estate arenas. Pulsenomics also designs and manages expert surveys and consumer polls to identify trends and expectations that are relevant to effective business management and monitoring economic health.

[i] The Zillow Home Value Index is the median Zestimate® valuation for a given geographic area on a given day and includes the value of all single-family residences, condominiums and cooperatives, regardless of whether they sold within a given period. It is expressed in dollars, and seasonally adjusted.
[ii] Previously, the survey benchmark was the S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index (single-family properties, not seasonally-adjusted). For a summary comparison of the survey benchmarks prepared by Pulsenomics, please click here.
[iii] Based on the 25 percent most optimistic panelists in terms of cumulative home price change through 2017.
[iv] Based on the 25 percent most pessimistic panelists in terms of cumulative home price change through 2017.

SOURCE:

Zillow, Inc.

 

 

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Strong New-Vehicle Sales in February Drives Robust Selling Rate

J.D. Power and LMC Automotive Report: Strong New-Vehicle Sales in February Drives Robust Selling Rate

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif., Feb. 22, 2013, The new-vehicle retail selling rate in February remains above 12 million units—stronger than it was a year ago—as the auto industry recovery continues, according to a monthly sales forecast developed by J.D. Power and Associates’ Power Information Network® (PIN) and LMC Automotive.

Retail Light-Vehicle Sales
February new-vehicle retail sales are expected to come in at 931,100 vehicles, which represents a seasonally adjusted annualized rate (SAAR) of 12.1 million units, a decline from the robust 13.1 million SAAR in January, but stronger than the 11.7 million SAAR in February 2012. Retail transactions are the most accurate measurement of true underlying consumer demand for new vehicles.

“All signs of the industry’s health are positive right now,” said John Humphrey , senior vice president of the global automotive practice at J.D. Power and Associates. “Average transaction prices are up, incentives are stable, leasing is at a healthy level and newly redesigned models continue to make an impact on the marketplace.”

“Demand is increasing, but the automakers deserve credit for doing a much better job of keeping alignment of production and demand.” said Humphrey. “This has led to new-vehicle transaction prices that are averaging nearly $1,000 more in February than the same period in 2012 while incentives have remained relatively flat year over year.”

Total Light-Vehicle Sales
Total light-vehicle sales in February 2013 are projected to reach 1,176,200 units, a seven percent increase from February 2012 and the fourth consecutive month with the selling rate at or above 15.2 million units. Fleet share is expected to remain at the January level of 21 percent.

J.D. Power and LMC Automotive U.S. Sales and SAAR Comparisons

February 20131

January 2013

February 2012

New-Vehicle Retail Sales

931,100 units2

(9% higher than February 2012)

822,018 units

887,924 units

Total Vehicle Sales

1,176,200 units

(7% higher than February 2012)

1,041,982 units

1,147,761 units

Retail SAAR

12.1 million units

13.1 million units

11.7 million units

Total SAAR

15.2 million units

15.2 million units

14.4 million units

1Figures cited for February 2013 are forecasted based on the first 14 selling days of the month.
2The percentage change is adjusted based on the number of selling days in the month (24 days in February 2013 vs. 25 days in February 2012).

Sales Outlook
The outlook for 2013 continues to improve, as the selling pace remains robust. In fact, LMC Automotive is increasing its 2013 U.S. forecast for total light-vehicle sales to 15.3 million units from 15.1 million units. The increase is split between fleet and retail light-vehicle sales, with the outlook for retail increasing to 12.5 million units from 12.4 million units.

“The current fundamentals that are driving strong vehicle sales—pent-up vehicle demand and a stable, recovering economy—are expected to get a boost by additional positive factors this year,” said Jeff Schuster , senior vice president of forecasting at LMC Automotive. “An expected recovery in the housing market, and 50 percent more new-model launches combined with an increase in lease maturities should keep light-vehicle sales climbing throughout the year.”

North American Production
North American light-vehicle production in January 2013 finished at more than 1.3 million units, seven percent higher than in January 2012. Production in Mexico has increased by nearly 21 percent from January 2012 on higher General Motors, Ford, and Volkswagen volumes related to newer launches. U.S. vehicle production has grown by nine percent from January 2012, while Canadian production has declined by 13 percent during the same period.

Vehicle inventory levels in early February increase to a 74-day supply, compared with 59 days in January. A higher level is typical in February. However, at the current selling rate, inventory levels are expected to rebalance within the next month or two. Overall, there are nearly 3.1 million units currently available on dealer lots or in transit—an increase of approximately 600,000 units from February 2012.

LMC Automotive’s forecast for North American production remains at 15.9 million units for this year, a three percent increase from 2012.

“The current inventory situation and production plan for 2013 suggests that there is enough volume to support the expected increased level of demand, and there remains little risk for an overbuild environment,” said Schuster.

About J.D. Power and Associates
Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is a global marketing information services company providing forecasting, performance improvement, social media and customer satisfaction insights and solutions. The company’s quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually. For more information on car reviews and ratings, car insurance, health insurance, cell phone ratings, and more, please visit JDPower.com. J.D. Power and Associates is a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies.

About The McGraw-Hill Companies
The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE: MHP), a financial intelligence and education company, signed an agreement to sell its McGraw-Hill Education business to investment funds affiliated with Apollo Global Management, LLC in November 2012. Following the sale closing, expected in early 2013, the Company will be renamed McGraw Hill Financial (subject to shareholder approval) and will be a powerhouse in benchmarks, content and analytics for the global capital and commodity markets. The Company’s leading brands will include: Standard & Poor’s, S&P Capital IQ, S&P Dow Jones Indices, Platts, Crisil, J.D. Power and Associates, McGraw-Hill Construction and Aviation Week. The Company will have approximately 17,000 employees in more than 30 countries. Additional information is available at www.mcgraw-hill.com.

About LMC Automotive
LMC Automotive, formerly J.D. Power Automotive Forecasting, is the premier supplier of automotive forecasts and intelligence to an extensive client base of automotive manufacturer, component supplier, logistics and distribution companies, as well as financial and government institutions around the world. LMC’s global forecasting services encompass automotive sales, production and powertrain expertise, as well as advisory capability. LMC Automotive has offices in the United States, the UK, Germany, China and Thailand and is part of the Oxford, UK-based LMC group, the global leader in economic and business consultancy for the agribusiness sector. For more information please visit www.lmc-auto.com.

Media Relations Contacts
John Tews ; Troy, Mich.; (248) 680-6218; media.relations@jdpa.com
Emmie Littlejohn ; LMC Automotive; Troy, Mich.; (248) 817-2100; elittlejohn@lmc-auto.com

No advertising or other promotional use can be made of the information in this release without the express prior written consent of J.D. Power and Associates or LMC Automotive. www.jdpower.com/corporate www.lmc-auto.com

SOURCE: J.D. Power and Associates

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Survey Demonstrates That Health Plans Are Optimistic

Moving Forward: Payers Weigh in on Priorities for 2013 and Beyond

The Managed Care Executive Group and HTMS survey demonstrates that health plans are optimistic and believe opportunities exist in post-reform era

NASHVILLE, Tenn., Feb. 15, 2013, The Managed Care Executive Group (MCEG) and HTMS, an Emdeon company, today jointly issued their fourth annual report examining critical issues, priorities and challenges for regional health plans in the post-reform era. The report, titled “Moving Forward: Payers Weigh in on Priorities for 2013 and Beyond,” is based on a survey of 75 health plans.

A highlight of this year’s findings was the health plans’ general optimism despite recent industry challenges. According to the survey, 82 percent of payers saw opportunities for their companies related to the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

“A common public perception is that health plans oppose reform,” said Ferris Taylor, strategy and planning director for MCEG and president of Armored Online. “Our findings show that sentiment is not the case. Only 13 percent of the health plans surveyed believe the ACA to be wholly negative for their business. Rather, organizations see opportunity for growth as the market changes.”

Full survey results will be shared during a webinar to be held at 3 pm ET on February 19, 2013. MCEG and HTMS executives will present results regarding how payers are handling operational issues, such as the Medical Loss Ratio (MLR), and challenges presented by the ACA, including participation in state health insurance exchanges (HIX). To register for the online event, visit http://www.htms.com/industrypulse.php.

Overwhelmingly, health plan respondents listed cost containment as their number one priority for 2013. Other continuing trends, such as participation in HIXs, accountable care and health information exchanges, appear to be stronger industry forces. In contrast to the 2012 report, administrative mandates were not a key focus for health plan respondents in the 2013 survey, likely due to the recent ICD-10 implementation deadline extension to October 1, 2014, and the transition to HIPAA 5010 that occurred last year.

Not surprisingly, growth also remained a key payer focus. “Health plans responding to the 2013 survey unanimously listed member retention and growth as their top operational objectives,” said Nancy Wise , vice president of strategic consulting for HTMS. “We believe that current industry drivers, including accountable care and the state HIXs, present opportunities for payers to expand their member base.”

To download a copy of “Moving Forward: Payers Weigh in on Priorities for 2013 and Beyond,” or to view previous research reports, visit http://www.htms.com/industrypulse.php.

About The Managed Care Executive Group

The Managed Care Executive Group (MCEG) is a national organization that provides a forum for the open exchange of information, innovative ideas and experience among senior health plan leaders. MCEG was formed in 1988 to create a comfortable forum for the exchange of ideas, the development of valuable peer relationships and the opportunity to explore the innovation that will transform organizations and the industry. Its 24th Annual Forum begins March 10, 2013. Register at www.mceg.net.

About Emdeon

Emdeon is a leading provider of revenue and payment cycle management and clinical information exchange solutions, connecting payers, providers and patients in the U.S. healthcare system. Emdeon’s product and service offerings integrate and automate key business and administrative functions of its payer and provider customers throughout the patient encounter. Through the use of Emdeon’s comprehensive suite of products and services, which are designed to easily integrate with existing technology infrastructures, customers are able to improve efficiency, reduce costs, increase cash flow and more efficiently manage the complex revenue and payment cycle and clinical information exchange processes. For more information, visit www.emdeon.com.

SOURCE: Emdeon Inc.

 

 

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McDonald’s Global Comparable Sales Decrease 1.9% In January

McDonald’s Global Comparable Sales Decrease 1.9% In January

OAK BROOK, Ill., Feb. 8, 2013, McDonald’s Corporation today announced that global comparable sales decreased 1.9% in January. Performance by segment was as follows:

  • U.S. up 0.9%
  • Europe down 2.1%
  • Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa (APMEA) down 9.5%

“McDonald’s is focused on satisfying the needs of each and every customer visiting our restaurants in search of great-tasting food and beverages, outstanding service and everyday value,” said McDonald’s President and Chief Executive Officer Don Thompson. “While January’s results reflect today’s challenging environment and difficult prior year comparisons, I am confident that our unwavering commitment to delivering an exceptional restaurant experience will enhance our brand’s relevance and drive long-term results.”

January comparable sales increased 0.9% in the U.S. driven by a balanced offering of premium, core and compelling value options, including the addition of the new Grilled Onion Cheddar burger to the Dollar Menu. Results for the month also benefited from convenience and restaurant modernization strategies designed to provide customers with a better overall experience.

In Europe, comparable sales decreased 2.1% as positive results in the U.K. and Russia were offset by performance in Germany, France and other markets. Throughout Europe, McDonald’s remains focused on appealing to a broad range of customer preferences with seasonal food events and enhanced value and breakfast offerings along with extended operating hours.

In APMEA, January’s comparable sales decreased 9.5% due to ongoing weakness in Japan and negative results in China due primarily to the shift in timing of Chinese New Year and, to a lesser extent, the residual effects of consumer sensitivity around the recent supply chain issue in the chicken industry, which more than offset positive results in Australia.

Systemwide sales for the month increased 0.3%, or 0.7% in constant currencies. For the month of February, comparable sales will be negatively impacted by approximately 3 percentage points as prior year results included one extra day due to leap year.

Percent   Increase/(Decrease)

Comparable

Systemwide   Sales

Sales

As

Constant

Month ended January   31,

2013

2012

Reported

Currency

McDonald’s Corporation

(1.9)

6.7

0.3

0.7

Major Segments:

U.S.

0.9

7.8

1.9

1.9

Europe

(2.1)

4.0

3.8

0.6

APMEA

(9.5)

7.3

(8.6)

(5.1)

Definitions

  • Comparable sales represent sales at all restaurants, whether operated by the Company or by franchisees, in operation at least thirteen months including those temporarily closed. Some of the reasons restaurants may be temporarily closed include reimaging or remodeling, rebuilding, road construction and natural disasters. Comparable sales exclude the impact of currency translation. Comparable sales are driven by changes in guest counts and average check, which is affected by changes in pricing and product mix. Management reviews the increase or decrease in comparable sales compared with the same period in the prior year to assess business trends.
  • The number of weekdays and weekend days can impact our reported comparable sales. In January 2013, this calendar shift/trading day adjustment consisted of one less Sunday and Monday, and one more Wednesday and Thursday compared with January 2012. The resulting adjustment varied by area of the world, ranging from approximately -0.9% to 0.8%. In addition, the timing of holidays can impact comparable sales.
  • Information in constant currency is calculated by translating current year results at prior year average exchange rates. Management reviews and analyzes business results excluding the effect of foreign currency translation and bases incentive compensation plans on these results because they believe this better represents the Company’s underlying business trends.
  • Systemwide sales include sales at all restaurants, whether operated by the Company or by franchisees. While franchised sales are not recorded as revenues by the Company, management believes the information is important in understanding the Company’s financial performance because these sales are the basis on which the Company calculates and records franchised revenues and are indicative of the financial health of the franchisee base.

Upcoming Communications

The Company plans to release February 2013 sales on March 8, 2013.

McDonald’s is the world’s leading global foodservice retailer with more than 34,000 locations serving more than 69 million customers in 119 countries each day. More than 80% of McDonald’s restaurants worldwide are owned and operated by independent local men and women.

Forward-Looking Statements

This release contains certain forward-looking statements, which reflect management’s expectations regarding future events and operating performance and speak only as of the date hereof. These forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties. The factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from our expectations are detailed in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, such as its annual and quarterly reports and current reports on Form 8-K.

SOURCE:

McDonald’s Corporation

http://www.mcdonalds.com