Friday, December 30, 2016

Looking Ahead at 2017 -Mastermind, Power, Guts and Glory

In 2016 I turned a little known blog about private aviation into a serious power blog. This blog. From a few pages with pictures of planes to a power tool. I started analyzing current events, "pain points" in banker's lingo. I held nothing back. Now I get the looks from the various centers of power, who are classifying me as a "wild card". If you play poker, you know that you need a wild card that can stand for any card that the player wants. It is a very important card that can win you the game.


In 2017 I will take it further. I will write on a subject closest to my heart: the mastermind. Composed of two words: mastering + mind the fused word means so much more than just the two parts alone. I believe that if I don't work on improving myself and my situation, I'm sinking, drowning. I want my word to be the bond the universe obeys. Sure, there are lots of materials out there on it but the knowledge is superfluous and borrowed. I want it fresh, first hand, actionable. There have been many influences on my personal development: stoicism, existentialism, Eastern philosophy, self help and self improvement people that right now are doing amazing work. There's a lot to write about.

I shall take a look at the business of Wall Street but in a different, novel way. I will be using the redpill. #redpillWallStreet is the new hashtag for now. I won't be using a study guide from Harvard or Wharton, because it is useless. Wall Street and Washington, behave like women so you need to watch what they're doing, not what they are saying. I call this the red pill, as opposed to the blue pill, which is what most people take and consequently see.

Some time ago, I was asked what I thought about the presidency of Donald Trump. I said: Don't know and don't care. The President should be a blip on your radar, you shouldn't have to think about that. However, Trump is an excellent study, he is a master persuader and we can draw interesting lessons. Yesterday hedge funder and philanthropist George Soros wrote about the prospects of  the Trump Presidency on an optimistic tone but did refer to Trump as a "conman". If that "conman" managed to win the Presidency, he must have done something right ! The reference conman as such is "blue pill", inaccurate. It is not a word to describe reality. Also it appears Soros doesn't know the basic thing that you don't scratch a pimple.



Your boss would love to see your guts spilled all over the floor...

However, since he's got a PnL book to manage and you are his best performer he's got his crab claws into you. Unless you are the founding partner of a business you'll have to work for somebody else who'll box you into your cubicle and squeeze every last drop of life out of you. Your boss is your best friend and your worst enemy at the same time. Look forward to "Upend the top dog", "Sleeping with the frenemy", and more.

If you wish to get better at life, continue coming back to this blog.



If you do a keyword density analysis of my posts on social media, you'll find out the most repeated word is "win". That shows the basis of my message, the fundamental reason for writing it all.



If you are serious about winning, keep reading this blog.

The best is yet to come !


Sunday, December 25, 2016

Power moves in the boardroom

What can we learn from the boardrooms ? I'm not talking about the ordinary meetings of a board of eight, but the crucial meetings that shape the direction of a business.

What goes on behind the close doors ? Boards of Directors meetings are off limits to outsiders. In fact, as recent as 1995, even courtroom procedures were not televised (The O.J. Simpson trial changed all of that with the live feed).

Executive meetings of all kinds allowed me to see the interplay of power among the participants. Of course the dynamics were unique to each meeting, but I can talk about: dysfunctional boards, well functioning boards. I've seen people unable to contain themselves throwing things at people they were in disagreement with. People resigning on the spot (or better said, after five hours of arguing). Boards firing their CEOs.

Here are some observations from the boardroom that I can share with you today:

1. Seating and proximity to the leader (CEO/Pres.) have meaning.

This is self explanatory. Seating at the head of the table is customary. Business Insider picked up on the Trump meeting with tech leaders seating significance. Aides surround the leader who in that case sat at the center of the table.

2. Have a sidekick that keeps on giving.

I've often seen the CEO or the top negotiator working in a two-person team. Why is that ? It is a power move where the second character comes in to spin the case. A less notable individual is needed, not to amplify, but to rephrase the spiel of the CEO. If they didn't buy into the CEO then this second person can try it from another angle, shifting gears. The solution is the same but the delivery is different. The sidekick is usually someone that does not overshadow the main character. Sort of the court jester in the Middle Ages. The court jester in antiquity played a major role in the Kings and Queens negotiations. The court jester wasn't just a clown, but an essential, entrusted, personal sidekick.

3. Some people make up imaginary talks to non-existent people. Distracting ? Annoying, perhaps ?

One interruption too many: At a meeting there was this individual excusing herself to "talk to her adviser". As it turned out, she was going outside the room pretending to talk, there was no one she was consulting with over the phone. Her tactic, designed to bring attention to herself, will backfire if done too often. I thought she was manic depressive.


4. Overheard short power phases CEOs repeat over and over with the highest number of repetitions:

"That's not right."
"At what cost ?"
"We are family."
"It's anything but ordinary."

5. When you speak with authority people will believe almost anything.

To quote one executive: "We've transposed a new record of liquidity after retiring 40% of outstanding debt". Whatever that means...People will often try to "hide in plain sight" and express dismal results in flowery language. It works in deceiving those that don't know how to delve in metrics and numbers.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Max Cantor Q&A

My brand is getting stronger day by day. It's no wonder I spark reader curiosity and one most daring reached out with a mini Q&A interview today. Suffice to say my interviewer's credentials are impeccable: he is a rising star at the second largest bond fund in the world (a shout out to !)

Interviewer: Max, thanks for taking the time to do this.

Max: You're welcome.

I: As a first question, which maybe just came to my mind, if we associate you with any Star Wars character, which one would you be ?

M: Master Yoda, which has been sort of forgotten lately. Yoda is the greatest Jedi, yet I've never seen anybody giving him as much as a kiss, not a medal, not anything. Good guys finish last.

I: I see what you mean. Is Yoda perhaps working in the background ? Last, but not least ?

M: I'm sure Yoda is cooking up something. He is a dealmaker. He knows how to tip the balance.

I: You mean, like a Goldmanite ? Working for Goldman Sachs ?

M: No man, I didn't mean it as an insult. (No pun intended. Goldman is a terrific bank). You need to know that I, like Donald Trump, can say anything I want, even if it's stupid. I meant seeing the market. Selling gold with the strengthening dollar and stuff. If Yoda was in bonds he'd be rowing hard and fast now but still manage to keep afloat.

I: Ok. Let's get back to cooking. I wanted to know what the Great Max eats. What is your diet ? Your daily routine like ? Exercise ? What kind of women do you date ?

M: On the diet thing, mine is closest to the Paleo. Except I am the real paleo. I eat raw meat. I also eat a lot of nuts, of course vegetables, fruit. I divest from the Paleo line though because I still drink milk.

I: You eat raw meat ? Don't you get sick from it ?

M: No. I've been eating raw meat for over 15 years. For people reading this who don't eat raw, and that means 100% of you, raw meat also has a distinct taste than cooked. It's different. It's a different taste buds pleasure. I also eat meat cooked.

I: Wow. How do you ever not rise and fly out the window at night ?! Do you drink, or should I say, ever drunk human blood ?

M : No, I don't like the taste of human blood. I'm not a vampire. I'm like a shark, I spit out human blood. Too salty. I also don't drink ocean saltwater. On the other hand, bllod oozing from a fresh cut of kobe beef it's tasty.

I: What about the bones ?

M: I chew on them. When there's nothing I can chew, I give them to my dog.

I: In a bloodbath.

M: You bet.

I: Do you like your women raw, too ?

M: What do you mean by that ?

I: I don't know, Max. You're full of surprises. What kind of girlfriends do you have ?

Max Cantor's holiday shopping list 2016-Part 2

Part 2 is the fun part of my shopping list. This includes items for your loved ones. Budget: $100 (taxes not included).

1. HOTAPEI Women Turtleneck Long Sleeves/Sleeveless Printed Thai Tribal Jumpsuit



Available at Amazon
Price $19.99

2. Zippo Chrome Lighters



Available at Amazon
Price: between $10.78 and $19

3. Pleaser Women's Blossom-640 Platform Sandal



Available at Amazon
Price : $23.84 Last one avail. in few sizes only ! 5 inches platforms, really a low platform.

4. Women PASHMINA SILK Classic Solid Cashmere Wool SHAWL Scarf 



At Ebay

Price: $5.71 + 1.99 S&H

5. Women's Grey Yoga Gym Sports Shorts



At Ebay E-packet delivery from China

Price: $2.13



Friday, December 16, 2016

Holiday I wish list 2016

It is that time of the year. If you've been looking for some splashy "I had the best 2016: sold my start up" millionaire gift edition, you need only take a look at one page at our friends at @Notey:The Launch.

The New Mercedes Maybach S650

We are told that only 300 are manufactured worldwide.



Bang and Olufsen $80,000 speakers

The BeoLab90 speaker "stands more than 4 feet tall, weights more than 130kg and costs more than a BMW 3series". It bosts a total of 8.200 Watts through 18 speakers. It looks like spaceship probes to or a sculpture. The closest I got to a B&O are the speakers on my computer.



Ulisse Nardin Diver Chronograph Watch

Comes in a limited edition of only 250. Its 45.8 mm diameter case is made from stainless steel coated with rubber and finished with a medallion on the case-back illustrating the catamaran in racing while its rubber strap brings comfort and flexibility." Buying info .



Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Can you spot a bad apple [rogue employee] ?

Suppose you are working in an asset management business and there is a bad apple: someone who breaks the rules and diverts your funds for their personal gain. You have compliance folks who are monitoring moves in and out of the market yet this person manages to avoid electronic detection.

What do you do ? Do you do what Bobby Axelrod does here in a show of rage and folly ? Well, no, not unless you make a Hollywood movie.



There's this question of how much an employer can intrude upon an employee's personal life based on how much we mix work with life outside of work. If we work 10 hours a day, need to sleep 5 hours, how much is there left for anything else ? If you have employees working occasionally from home, the question of monitoring their work becomes even more complex. Work is the major part of life.

If the rogue manages to escape workforce enforcement like video, email and messenger surveillance the organization could try to get more personal:


  1. One-on-one meetings and psychological assessments. Such meetings should reveal any sudden changes in the personal life of the employee.
  2. Be on the lookout for sudden expenditures that are above the earnings of the employee. Most people that are stealing will splurge on small and large luxuries = change in behavioral spending.
  3. If there's a "turncoat" like in the Billions movie, the spending wouldn't be triggered. The turncoat would have turned against you on personal reasons, with vengeance as the motive. As the manager of the organization you need to ask yourself: who wants to dig my grave and why ? How many people know this and that ? [A secret is not a secret if it is known by two or more]. Women are natural Machiavellic, deception is harder to detect in women than it is in men. However, there will still be changes as subtle as going rufus for a blond woman (dying her hair red) or just changing the color. That is why it is a good idea to keep tabs on ladies appearances. If a person has a large unexpected, perhaps catastrophic event (illness, death) it can trigger unlawful behavior for personal gain.
  4. Generally speaking, people that are moving up (getting promoted) in their jobs have less reasons to turn rogue. On the other hand, those who are passed by and don't get the necessary recognition could go the bad apple route.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Influence: The Power of Eloquence

How eloquent are you in your speech ? In your presentations ? Interviews ? Client and customer meetings ?

What is your conversion rate ? Not that kind of conversions that we work with in tech-although that matters also- but conveying your message across. Do you capture your audience attention ? It doesn't matter if they agree or disagree with your message if they are engaged.

Speaking skills are essential and unfortunately, poorly developed on Wall Street. I think a lot of people working in finance should take an acting class. Become a world class act. Like Lady Gaga (Lady Maga ?) here. Be the center of attention. It helps if you trained with Mark Burnett.

Image: Gagadaily

To become an eloquent communicator, one should:

  1. Be an very good listener and reader. I have a vocabulary of 100,000 words which is above average, certainly in finance
  2. Utilize metaphors, eulogies.
  3. There are so many things at work: register, cadence, timber and so forth.
  4. Speaking slowly and deep generally works best.
  5. Pause before articulating the message.
  6. When words come alive, that's eloquence.
  7. Use the words that match your audience's vocabulary. Use of powerful verbs convert action. Believe me ! [Lady Gaga]
  8. Speak with authority. You have been asked there to speak, not your audience.
  9. Any speech should finish with a call to action.
  10. Up your persuasion skills.


Friday, December 9, 2016

Crowdfunding: Some considerations

Crowdfunding allows the average consumer to invest in the average [new] company, while before the JOBS Act of 2012 that early participation was open to accredited investors only.

Things for anyone considering investing under Regulation A+ or Regulation CF that came out of CrowdInvest Summit 2016:


  1. Businesses need people who care about what they are selling. Crowdfunding is the ultimate validation of product value to their best customers.
  2. Crowdfunding seeks out the "investomers" and democratizes the investment process.
  3. What is the Pre-Money Valuation ? Where is the business heading ?  Where will the funds be spent and why? Marketing budgets can be around 5% of a crowdfunding campaign.
  4. People invest in what they love, and in what they understand.
  5. What's the exit strategy ? 
  6. Regulation A+ requires an independent GAAP audit, while Regulation CF an independent review of two years of financial statements


Key takeaways For Entrepreneurs


  • Can you be the best evangelist for your product ?
  • Do you have a proven ability to execute ?
  • Can you balance teams in a start up ? (for example don't have three engineers and zero marketing people, but have engineers, marketers, as well as salesmen on your team)
  • What does your business need ? That's where you want your focus.
Real Estate Crowdfunding Considerations

  • There is some idiosyncratic risk at the asset level
  • Lots of opportunities with an asymmetric risk profile
  • What CR funds look for are great assets, but mismanaged


Mistakes [some] entrepreneurs do

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Influence: The Power of Suspense

I write this blog for those who want to win at life, for those who are already winners and want to improve, as well as for those who are building themselves up.

Unpredictability has long been singled out of a source of power: look at both Eastern and Western traditions.

It is worthwhile to notice how Donald Trump has used suspense, surprise and dissimulation to win, I found it uncommon in recent history.

Many will recall the third Debate: ("Will you accept the results on Election Day ?" -"I'll let you know then." -he answered.) Or, more recently, on a day he was scheduled for a press conference at the NYT, he cancelled (gave no reason, to my knowledge). Then same day abruptly, rescheduled and happily showed up. Was it a bluff, the cancellation ? Yes, and it also signaled what I call one of the rules of thumb in [any] negotiation: You need me more than I need you. So, let me restate the two powerful things seen here:

I'll let you know then.

This statement carries more power than if you said, Yes! wholeheartedly. When you use it and how you use makes a big difference, too. It is a great power shifter.

You need me more than I need you.

Negotiations rarely if ever are between equals. If you hear about a merger of equals it isn't: even if the companies in question appear to be the same market-size or otherwise.  Someone is patching up a soft spot, the market dynamics have changed, there are headwinds that a business is facing. In the personal life -marriage, same thing happens. Women look for a higher utility value [than themselves] in men. Men don't know what they are looking for. [They're really looking for company. ]


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

How do you make money in the coming Trump administration ?

That's the question an acquaintance asked me yesterday.

Answer: Same way I do it every day. Avoid value traps. What those are it is up to you and your judgement. Why, Warren Buffet could care less that Trump comes to the office. Buffet stays put and knows how to play. He's steadfast, disciplined and calculated. Of course, you could think about which sectors will win and which will lose. Is there going to be a revival of the "old" industries, like oil, coal,  construction, [equipment] manufacturing ? Possibly, and related to the infrastructure investment initiative. Caterpillar (CAT) rose steeply in the last weeks and so did the private prison companies GEO and CoreCivic for example. Will renewables take a hit ? I don't know. The healthcare industry is in a nice bind, some pharma companies are poised to prosper with less regulatory oversight on drug prices. while others-hospitals, etc. stand to loose if ACA is repealed and they loose patients.

Repatriation of corporate earnings held overseas would be a welcoming relief.

Goldman Sach's 10 themes (via CNBC) are:
  1. "Expected returns: Only slightly higher."
  2. "US fiscal policy: A pro-growth agenda."
  3. "US trade policy: Concerns are likely overdone."
  4. "EM risk: 'Trump tantrum' is temporary."
  5. "Trump and trade: Hedge with RMB."
  6. "Monetary policy: Focusing the toolkit on credit creation."
  7. "Corporate revenue growth recession: Signs of inflection."
  8. "Inflation: Moving higher across DM."
  9. "The next credit cycle: Kinder and gentler."
  10. "The 'Yellen Call' 2.0: Now with contingent knock-in."
You get your pick.

Question: How good are those predictions ?

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Snap Inc. Valuation

Snapchat (recently renamed Snap Inc.) has filed for an IPO reportedly set for Q1 2017.  Snap is seeking a valuation of  $25 Bn according to reports at Bloomberg . While we do not have access to Snap's financials since it is not a public company, the question arises if such a rich valuation of 25X Forward Revenue makes sense at all.

"At $25 Bn, Snapchat would have roughly the same value as Linkedin and HP."

What is Snapchat and how exactly is making money ? Snapchat primarily sells video ads. It also sells branded "filters" and most recently, a Discovery feature for mass marketers. Snapchat selling point is its demographics where users ages 18 to 24 account for 70% of the reportedly 235 MM it now has. If that holds true, Snapchat is the first of the major social network that has built upon a targeted -in this case, youngest- demographic base. Is that worth paying more for? Facebook did not have such a demo base when it went public in 2012. 

It can be argued that any of those on Snapchat are already on the vaster platform (FB). Are they not consuming the ads on that platform ? If they're not, then Snapchat is a direct threat -competitor to FB.  

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

On Mind Training with the SEALS

I have to admit, I am a student of the mind. I think mind discipline is the foundation for critical success.

Physical endurance strength results in increased mental strength.

The BUD/S training is the 6-month training that Navy SEALS undergo before they graduate. The First Phase of BUD/S consists of 8 weeks of basic training culminating with "Hell Week." During Hell Week, recruits stay awake for five days straight (only up to 4 hrs total napping time allowed).

"Hell Week is a test of physical endurance, mental tenacity and true teamwork where 2/3 or more of your class may call it quits or “ring the bell ”. Physical discomfort and pain will cause many to decide it isn’t worth it. The miserable wet-cold approaching hypothermia will make others quit."
Source: Sealfit





Saturday, November 19, 2016

Do you have a bullshit detector?

How good are you at picking bullshit spewed by other people ? A reasonable question to ask yourself, if you're manager (and perhaps because you work for a manager).

Maria Popova picked up on Carl Sagan's Baloney Detection Kit, found in a Chapter in Carl Sagan's The Demon Haunted World book named "The Fine Art of Baloney Detection". The article has been rehashed by Barry Ritholz in his Big Picture blog. I still think it worthwhile to quote those 20 patterns. I will add some of my thoughts as well.




  1. Ad hominem — Latin for “to the man,” attacking the arguer and not the argument (e.g., The Reverend Dr. Smith is a known Biblical fundamentalist, so her objections to evolution need not be taken seriously)
  2. Argument from authority (e.g., President Richard Nixon should be re-elected because he has a secret plan to end the war in Southeast Asia — but because it was secret, there was no way for the electorate to evaluate it on its merits; the argument amounted to trusting him because he was President: a mistake, as it turned out)
  3. Argument from adverse consequences (e.g., A God meting out punishment and reward must exist, because if He didn’t, society would be much more lawless and dangerous — perhaps even ungovernable. Or: The defendant in a widely publicized murder trial must be found guilty; otherwise, it will be an encouragement for other men to murder their wives)
  4. Appeal to ignorance — the claim that whatever has not been proved false must be true, and vice versa (e.g., There is no compelling evidence that UFOs are not visiting the Earth; therefore UFOs exist — and there is intelligent life elsewhere in the Universe. Or: There may be seventy kazillion other worlds, but not one is known to have the moral advancement of the Earth, so we’re still central to the Universe.) This impatience with ambiguity can be criticized in the phrase: absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
  5. Special pleading, often to rescue a proposition in deep rhetorical trouble (e.g., How can a merciful God condemn future generations to torment because, against orders, one woman induced one man to eat an apple? Special plead: you don’t understand the subtle Doctrine of Free Will. Or: How can there be an equally godlike Father, Son, and Holy Ghost in the same Person? Special plead: You don’t understand the Divine Mystery of the Trinity. Or: How could God permit the followers of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam — each in their own way enjoined to heroic measures of loving kindness and compassion — to have perpetrated so much cruelty for so long? Special plead: You don’t understand Free Will again. And anyway, God moves in mysterious ways.)

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

How To Deal with Trump type Question

A reader writes: "I have a boss that's like a twin clone of Donald. He's "larger than life", imposing, snappy and controlling and folks tremble when we are in a meeting with him. He's unhappy with my reports (I'm a Controller at a middle market company), gnashes his teeth at me and often says to me: "What's this? You call this a report ?", "I know what you're up to.", "Relax, we are the good guys", "We've got one for the ages.", "Do you catch a breath when I look at you?" "Shit storm ahead, what color is your parachute ?" "See what you made me do ?" or one morning "Did your wife wolf down your breakfast ?".

Even on the golf course where he generally is in a good mood, if he loses he likes to blame it me. "If you had your priorities straight...I lost my spine angle because you're terrible!" How do I deal with him short of handing my resignation ?

Answer: You have an easy job. Imagine you had the job of reporting Donald's holding positions to him. Reports say Donald's worth 3.74 Bn as of 2016 but he says is $10 Bn. "Snappy and controlling", if I had a dime every time I heard that...First, please note I'm not going to write you on how to be indispensable for your position or title or on how to deal with demanding bosses. Most if not all bosses are demanding. I can make some suggestions if you think you are being bullied. Also, I will not lecture office politics in this post. You should already have a handling on that. If you haven't established some sort of bonding with your boss outside of work, you should do that too. Women bosses can be just as nasty as this male boss, if not even worse.

1. Rearrange the setting or office environment if you can. Rearrange the furniture, maybe the room where you are having these interactions. Or next time you see him make it in a different office, not his, not yours. Bullying works on predictability. Familiarity breeds contempt.

2. If you are driving with him somewhere, slam on the brakes. If you're at a business lunch, lunge forward into his space. You can go into a frenzy saying stuff like "They're trying to poison me with a kilo of salt in these veggies" or "They distilled pee into this wine". At one point, your boss might try to calm you down, seeing that you're out of character. You need to thank him for saving your day.

3. Take your boss out on a hunting trip. Once there, leave him without a rifle and any help for five hours. Life is brutal and that is an unknown experience to powerful people. Power comes from having power over people. At the end of the day say you lost him. He will get mad but he may see you helpful. A hunting trip can be substituted for anything that is not a carefully scripted experience.



Saturday, November 12, 2016

Post election analysis

“A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.” – David Brinkley

The Presidential election came as a surprise to many, and the question is: How did Donald win ? Was it by taking the white majority vote of unsatisfied voters leery of the political establishment ? Here are some answers I offer:


  1. Masculinity is in. Trump won by being unapologetically Trump. Trump went into every rally and discussion knowing that he will win. Trump won by defiance. Trump won by being an alpha male. An alpha male will not stand back for a second. Trump won the vote of male millennials. There was no opposition. The youngest male voters saw a choice between the alpha Trump and a frail grandmother (Hillary). She never stood the chance. If the Democrats fail to cultivate an alpha personality they will continue to lose. Civility is out. 
  2. Trump won by having the frame of of a winner. Trump deflected every criticism that came his way. It was as if he had a a shield and everything they threw at him was going right past, not even touching. 
  3. Trump won on personality, "attack dog" type. A bully needs a bully. Hillary could not defend herself against the feral, incessant attacks of Trump.
  4. Trump was the Twitter candidate that used social media to stardom. Of course, it pays to be a celebrity. He was the star of the Celebrity Apprentice Show, taking it to the next level. Americans love their celebrities, and both critics and fans of Trump were fond of the former star. Trump loves the spotlight and it showed. 
  5. Trump's tactics unraveled the political norms. Trump sidestepped his GOP rivals with those same alpha male tactics (see 8.)  These are the same bare knuckles rules that work in the hood. Political appointees should study them to know how to fight rather then fall like feathers. How do you fight a bully, in your company, in your organization ? How do you fight a bully boss? How do you fight a Trump? I may write about it at a later date.
  6. Trump's brash salesmanship won over his supporters. His sometimes infantile remarks were the delight of the public. "Trump’s critics argue that he seems thoughtless and unreflective but that is precisely the source of his power. The impression Trump conveys of being out of control— but also uncontrollable— is better seen as a force emanating from the collective American id than as the babblings of an individual."-Eli Zaretsky . Trump's unabashed narcissism: people loved it. 
  7. Trump's bashing on P.C : the anti-P.C. vote
  8. Trump's re-framing of complaints: "You are worse than me because you ..." is precisely how the average person thinks and fights. No refinement there, no scripts.
  9. WWSJD ? What Would Steve Jobs [have] Done  I sometimes ask myself . I wish Steve Jobs were alive.  Don't you ? A New York real estate salesman vs. the tech supersalesman. But Jobs wasn't interested in the Presidency, not even remotely. He wasn't power hungry.
  10. During this election there was no mentioning of God, not even a whisper. Is this a harbinger of things to come ?
What's next:

Monday, November 7, 2016

Andrew Caspersen sentencing

Andrew Caspersen, a "scion" of Wall Street was recently sentenced to four years in prison for defrauding investors including friends, family members and a charity foundation out of $38.5 MM in a Ponzi-like scheme.

That sentence came out the lower end of the sentencing guidelines, as prosecutors have sought out a 15 2/3 years sentence.

Andrew Caspersen worked at Paul Taubman PJT Partners Inc before his arrest in March, Reuters reported.

Apparently, Judge Rakoff was swayed by arguments from the defendant's lawyer that Caspersen's addiction to trading stock options was "akin" to a gambling addiction. "In February, he made so much money that he could have payed back everyone and still had $60 MM left over." (NYT).

Unfortunately, this case again brings attention to an isolated bad actor in the finance industry. Already the finance industry is under intense scrutiny from regulators and the general public into example of "excesses" that all to often become the leading narrative. The [more than] 99% [to borrow the headlines] of finance workers are hard working individuals who work hard, have the highest ethics and morality and contribute to their community and constituency. Wall Street is the highest job generating engine that I know, its effects reverberating into the national economy on multiple levels.

When judging the fairness of a sentence, I look at:

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Attaining great function in life

The great book "The Book of Family Traditions on the Art of War" by samurai Yagyu Munemori gives a shrewd account of what attaining great function is:
"When marvels come forth immediately and naturally at the appropriate time because the potential is always there within, this is called great function."
"Encountering someone with the great potential ia like a mouse running into a cat." In the warrior's view, the mouse is mesmerized by the cat.

Have you ever encountered someone with great charisma, with stalking power?


Not talking about physical beauty and prominent features here, but that someone with an aura of seducing strength, warmth and comfort. Someone that's still in your mind long after they're gone. Where does that come from ? That comes from "great functionality" and the samurai tells us "All the great positions, grabbing a blade, kicking someone down, are great function when you attain independence, beyond what you have learned." 

In the battlefield,  "It is the swordless art of not getting killed when you have no sword."
If you have no sword, than what do you have ? You do have your mind, presumably. What kind of mind ?

"It is the mind,
That is the mind,
Confusing the mind,
O mind,
To the mind." -P. 101

This riddle of "no mind" can also be described as the flow mind or non-attached mind. "If your mind stops and stays somewhere, you will be defeated in martial arts."-page 105 


Do you have the "quiescent" sword ? 


"When you stabilize the spirit in situations where swords are quiescent, thereby all sorts of marvels appear in the hands and feet, causing flowers to bloom in battle.
The spirit is the master of the mind. The spirit resides within, employing the mind outside. This mind, furthermore, employs psychic energy. Employing psychic energy in external activities for the sake of the spirit, if this mind lingers in one place, its function is deficient.
Therefore it is essential to make sure that the mind is not fixated on one point."

It seems the mesmerizing mind is the "no-mind", not fixed to any particular destination, outcome or spatial thing. Can this be applied in today's world ?

Monday, October 31, 2016

What are M&A Earnouts

An earn-out is a form of contingent consideration payable to the seller based on the performance of the target for a period of time after the closing of a M&A transaction. Earn-outs are typically structured as one or more payments made upon the achievement of certain specified milestones.

Earnouts generally are pegged of financial metrics such as EBITDA, Gross Profit or Revenue/Sales. At times they are pegged to operational metrics, i.e. entering a new market, managing the mix of revenue by customer or channel, regulatory approval of a new drug (biotech)

Earn-out periods typically range from 12 to 36 months, with one payment made at the end for earnouts of shorter duration and multiple payments made at the end of each year for multi-year earn-out periods.

The use of earnouts has increased in the last few years, with more than a third of M&A transactions incorporating it.

Which one(s) are a better gauge, financial or operational (metrics)? 

From the cases I came across, Ebitda, as well as revenue targets are almost always stipulated. Operational covenants are also often included.

Payment terms. The payment to be received by the seller upon achievement of the earn-out target is generally structured as (i) a flat fee, (ii) a multiple of the amount by which the business exceeds the earn-out target or (iii) a percentage of the earn-out target. For example, if the overall purchase price for the business was determined based on a specific multiple of the business’s EBITDA, then it may be appropriate to tie the earn-out to EBITDA and the payment to be a multiple of the overall amount by which the business exceeded the specified target. Parties often specify a maximum amount payable, or a cap, in the event that the business far exceeds the earn-out target. (Source: Use of earn-outs in private M&A transactions, Stuart Welburn and Corby J. Baumann)





Covenants

Post-closing covenants may require (i) that the buyer maintain separate books and records for the business

(ii) that the buyer dedicate a certain minimum level of working capital to maintaining the business (in other words not sucking dry the bank)

(iii) that the buyer not engage in any change of control or sale transaction involving the business (keeping the management) or

(iv) that the buyer maintain a certain level of effort in operating the business (such as commercially reasonable efforts) in order to reach the earnout targets.

The tax treatment of the earnout may vary, including the recognition, timing and characterization of the seller’s taxable income generated and should be carefully considered.




Saturday, October 29, 2016

10 Tips for Finding Mentors (the college edition)

Finding mentors in life and profession is incumbent upon one that seeks to better himself.

Like-minded people share a common bond. If you can find out what that is, then you have a match. It sounds easier than it actually is.

For starters, there is the disparity in time value between mentor and mentee, where the sought after mentor has a scarcity of time the would be mentee does not. Due to time constraints, your favorite mentor may be unavailable while the mentee is mostly available.

I think someone who seriously has considered building up a relationship with a mentor should:
  1. Be well acquainted with his target, beyond background and qualifications. If you don't know your mentor well enough to speak eloquently on the subject, to quote from his/her works, then drop it. The worst offense to people including myself is wasting my time. Don't make me blacklist you. You only have one chance to make the first impression.
  2. Impress your mentor. At a face to face meeting, offer to buy him lunch or coffee/tea, even if you'll end up not paying for it. I know a lot of people are saying the opposite, however, I look for assertiveness as a major treat and if you don't have it, you lose. A famous person would likely have a lot of groupies. I don't think idolatry makes a serious mentorship relationship, so mentors should stay away from idolatresses. Idolatry also can incapacitate the mentee in making real progress
  3. Preparation is the key. You should never seek out someone just because he(she) is wealthy and famous. Wealth and fame are a byproduct of a life of choice and experiences that include defeat, disappointments and retreats. If you don't wanna go through that, don't even start.
  4. Your mentorship search should have already started and be well underway. That means you should already have a collection of thoughts, writings, personal guidelines and lifestyle practices that are congruent to what you are seeking from me. You should have a list of favorite subscriptions, books, trainings, videos that form the base of who you are and want to become. Many people have a whole set of virtual mentors or are followers of Warren Buffet for example. If you have read and made sense of Buffet's investment letters which are publicly available from 1977 to 2015, that shows me you have interest and possess an analytical mind. Does that mean they will form the subject of our meeting ? Absolutely not. If you've come prepared at a meeting I can infer the time I spend with you won't go to waste. If you already have "virtual" mentors, whether alive or in the past, that is something I can build on
  5. As a mentor, I'm looking for someone who has a a good [mental] structure, who has a "backbone". A "backbone" is something you can build on, something that shows promise. I like people who have character.  

Monday, October 24, 2016

Cybersecurity tips for the finance worker

When I heard about the hacked Podesta and Powell personal emails, I became concerned and reevaluated what I already have in place or need to do to in order to better safeguard my communications.

If you are not familiar with the method used to hack into Podesta's personal Gmail account, you can read about it at the Motherboard.
Using an e-mail message though a tactic known as spear phishing the hacker sends you an email that appear to come from a legitimate party, possibly a security alert from your email provider account which was the case with Powell and Podesta.
"The spear phisher thrives on familiarity. He knows your name, your email address, and at least a little about you." -Norton
. What can you do ?
  1. Never reveal too much personal information. That's one of the reasons I write under a pseudonym.
  2. Use different e-mail  accounts for different purposes (for example one for friends communication, another for bills, another for shopping, another for medical records, etc.)
  3. Change passwords frequently.
  4. Familiarize yourself with encryption methods @Justin Fox @Bloomberg View mentions Barton Gellman . Gellman uses Secure Drop, Ricochet and Pump to keep him anonymous and conceal his IP address. Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) is considered the gold standard in encrypting email (you need to create open PGP keys though, encrypt, and then decrypt the files).  Read Gellman's Why I Guess Your Ipad Password to stop using easy to guess passwords.
  5. Surf the internet anonymously using a VPN so traffic though your computer goes through alternating proxies, not revealing your physical (IP) address.
  6. You may wish to use Tor for anonymous browsing.  Tor Version 0.2.8.9 was released Oct. 17th. Tor requires a subscription. The problem with Tor is that is may attract unsavory characters operating on the fringes of the law. 
  7. "Individuals use Tor to keep websites from tracking them and their family members, or to connect to news sites, instant messaging services, or the like when these are blocked by their local Internet providers."-Tor
    As an investment professional, you need to expect your communications to be listened in, If it's not your competitor, it could be your wife (or husband). OK, the latter is not a 'hack', more of an indiscretion.

Friday, October 21, 2016

What is the Optimal Capital Structure ?

That's a perennial question in finance, and I defer to one of the services I use, FactSet "...bankruptcy in and of itself is not costly if the value of the firm is efficiently transferred to the bondholders."

Of course, optimal capital structure is a 'moving' target.

Latest FactSet release,Sept. 26, 2016.

Milken Institute Conference talk on the macro level (moderated by Michael Milken) with Emanuel Friedman, Mark Attanasio, Jonathan Sokoloff and Mitchell Julius (who does aircraft securitizations) at the 2015 Conference.









Who has the cheaper capital (in Europe in particular) ?


Monday, October 17, 2016

Make Wall Street Great Again: I❤WallStreet

With a heated Presidential race on the way this year, the choice is between a populist (Donald Trump) and a career politician (Hillary Clinton). Regardless of who is going to win the race, the winning candidate must address the issues of over-regulation facing Wall Street firms and tax reform in general:

Over-regulation is a burden on American financial firms

The diminishing role American firms play on the world financial stage is due to regulatory constrains a burden placed by the Dodd Frank Act of 2010, specifically the 'Volker Rule' § 619 (12 U.S.C. § 1851) which grew too complex and restrictive, possibly effecting market liquidity and efficiency. As a consequence, market players are decamping to overseas financial hubs which translates into a loss of revenue and jobs in America. 


 New York City has lost 25,000 financial Services jobs from 2010-2015 (and during the recession, nearly 200,000 finance professionals lost their jobs, 500,000 nationwide)


Reforming the Tax Code: Implications

Friday, October 14, 2016

Jetcraft 10-year Business Aviation Market Forecast

Jetcraft released its 10-year business aviation forecast Oct. 12th, 2016

                                                                  Key points:


  • 7,879 unit deliveries, representing $248 billion in revenues (based on 2015 pricing) through 2026
  • Gulfstream OEMs to secure the largest market share (30.6%)
  • Largest 30% revenue market share for engines for PW&C, Rolls Royce into 2nd place with 25%
  • Honeywell will be the dominant player among avionics OEMs, with a 45% revenue market share over the forecast period. Rockwell Collins 2nd with a 37% revenue market share.
  • Little increase in residual values for pre-owned aircraft (5+ years).
  • Cautionary tale: increasing geopolitical stressants could alter the projections. 

Follow



Saturday, October 8, 2016

Caesars Entertainment bankruptcy outcome

In September 2016 Caesar's Entertainment entered a final agreement for its bankruptcy exit. Creditors of the bankrupt operating unit would own almost 70 percent of the new company. In exchange for the much better offer, the junior bondholders would be required to drop any legal claims against Apollo and TPG, which they had previously sued for $13 Bn.



 "After more than a year of standing firm, Apollo and TPG caved to creditors demands and forked over more cash as part of Caesars’ Chapter 11 reorganization plan — and gave [junior] bondholders an equity stake in the casino’s non-bankrupt unit.  
 The move means investors in the PE giants’ funds will see their return on investment slashed — to about 27 cents on the dollar for some." (NY Post, Oct. 3rd, 2016)

Thursday, September 29, 2016

The Case for Twitter: Private Equity et. al or Apple can do

Recent reports on a Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) sale skim through the facts and misinterpret suitors . Why No one should buy Twitter (@Slate).

Twitter is a unique media property with loyal users. The user base of Twitter is organic, limited. (very different than the Facebook platform). As far as demographics go, Twitter users have more buying power than FB users have by and large.

I've done a back of the envelope LBO model where a private sponsor "PE" buyout of Twitter at a $28 Bn price today (a 21.7% premium) where Twitter though COGS and SG&A synergies. Twitter turns profitable in my Year 3 with a $32.56 MM EBITDA (Assumptions: equity contibution: 30%, blended interest cost: 30%, enterprise multiple, 7.8). More on that later1.

As a strategic tech buyer for Twitter, a see Apple doing wonderfully owning a unique news platform. Twitter’s board hired Goldman Sachs(NYSE:GS) and Allen & Co. LLP to explore strategic options. Are major suitors getting into a bidding war for TWTR ?



Monday, September 19, 2016

Venture Capital valuation methods: the basics

There's been some talk about Andreessen Horowitz returns lagging other prominent venture capitalists such as Sequoia, Benchmark and Founders Club.

In response, Scott Kupor of A16Z published a rebuttal outlining valuation methods used in the industry. Kupor differentiates between the "marks" (quarterly snapshot of realized and unrealized gains ) from the actual cash and stock distibutions (which constitute the returns). Generally speaking, VCs require companies to get an independent 409A FMV valuation. A 409(A) Primer is available at Axiom Valuation. Accordingly the methods used to value investments are:

  1. Last Round Valuation Waterfall.
  2. Comparable Company Analysis. For example, if a portfolio company is generating $100 million of revenue and its “comparable” set of companies are valued in the public markets at 5x revenue, a venture firm would then value the company at $500 million ($100 million*5x) ". A  firm will then also apply what’s known as a DLOM (a discount for lack of marketability) to reduce the carrying value of the company described as often 20-30%.
  3. Option Pricing Model. OPM uses Black-Scholes to value a portfolio company as a set of “call options  whose strike prices are the different valuation points at which employee options and preferred shares all convert into common stock." Kupor points out Black-Scholes is the method his firm widely uses. If a firm has raised Series C at $5.00/share, OPM using Black-Scholes will assign a value to the Series A and B that is a substantial discount to the $5 per share price assigned to the Series C. Adding those up gives the company value. " (Kupor).  The strike price of an option here corresponds to the other(s) equity values reached (but it could have been the liquidation preferences on each preferred series). Calculate the incremental value of each option based on the option's strike prices. Of course the common class participation percentage would be multiplied by the incremental value of the call options, them sum them all up.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Private Equity Funds Returns: The Basics

PE use borrowed funds to buy companies, so typically these investments are riskier than the public markets and are mostly illiquid.

Private equity cash flows are typically described by the “J-Curve ”, with investments generally being made in years 1-5 (negative returns) and realizations generally occurring in years 4-11 (positive). The years when a partnership is closing to new investors are called vintage years.

But what about returns from PE investments? The returns are the excess IRRs or alphas.

Alpha is the increment to market rate that equates the out-of-pocket cost of the investment to the Present Value of its gross return. Studies have shown that PE excess IRRs are between 5-8%, even (and more particularly so) in a down economy.

Excess returns are calculated after correction for the leverage effect.

0=Sum CFi (1+r)^-i,

The IRR is the return (discount rate) that will equalize the present value of all invested capital with the present value of all returns, or where the net present value of all cash flows (positive and negative) is zero; CFi is the cash flow for period i (negative for takedowns, positive for distributions).

The targeted IRRs may hover around 25%, which can be a decent investment.

Benchmarks:
• Cumulative IRR
• Cumulative Realization Multiples (DPI and RVPI, and their Sum)
• Time Weighted Return
• Investment Horizon Return
• Public Market Comparables – Index method
• DPI = Distributions / Paid-In Ratio, a.k.a. realized multiple
• RVPI = Residual Value / Paid-In Ratio, a.k.a. unrealized multiple

More on Alphas at Morgan Stanley, PE K@Wharton

What makes for an attractive investment (in general)?

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Tech Unicorns: More like Rhinos [The ugly truth about Billion Dollar Private Companies]

For the first time this summer in Silicon Valley and beyond I've seen people looking hard at what I call "the ugly rhino truth" of tech industry's superstars, the $1 Bn+ "unicorn" companies and even the "decacorns"($10 Bn+).

The academic world took the lead at it


Those hyper valuations appear more hype than science, in fact as Professor Ilya Strebulaev of Stanford Graduate School remarked at SVOD, fair market values may be 33 to 70% lower than the advertised (purported) post money valuation unicorns love to taut.



The San Francisco Chronicle already in May 2015 first wrote about those +1Bn valued companies, citing a Fenwick & West study:

  • in May 2015, 35% of the companies Fenwick &West analyzed had valuations in the $1-1.1 billion dollar range,
  • in the 4th quarter of 2015, 50% of the unicorns were in $1-1.1 Bn range
  • , indicating that the companies may have negotiated specifically to attain the unicorn level.


It's Barbarians at the Gates with these rhinos.


That study also found investors were given 100% protection for subsequent down rounds if acquired, while only 30%  were protected for post-IPO down rounds. Thus it can be reasonably inferred the unicorns were lowering investors protections for going public scenarios, knowing they could easily go public at lower valuations, given their unrealistic valuations.


The Magic of the Unicorn

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

How do Angel investors value a business with no revenues ?

There are 5 methods for establishing the pre-money valuation of pre-revenue companies, specifically:



  1. The Scorecard Method (Bill Payne) -most widely used: takes into account  6 to 7 factors  and assigns them a weighted factor based on the strength/weakness (+/-) percentage of norm: 

  • Strength of the Management Team                              0-30%
  • Size of the Opportunity                                                 0-25%
  • Product/Technology                                                      0-15%
  • Competitive Environment                                              0-10%
  • Marketing/Sales Channels/Partnerships                       0-10%
  • Need for Additional Investment                                     0 –5%
  • Other                                                                             0 –5%


    2.The Venture Capital Method -based on an exit price and exit timeline (let's assume 3 to 7 years), the current value is an NPV calculation.


    3. The Dave Berkus Method developed by Dr Dave Berkus of Tech Coast Angels.


    4. The Cayenne Valuation Calculator uses 25 questions answered convervatively to determine the progress of the venture


    5. The Risk Factor Summation Method


     For Biopharma industry visit   Dr. Aitana Peire and Dr. Patrik Frei have published an article “What is the value of a deal? in the biopharmadealmakers supplement June 2016 edition of nature biotechnology and Nature Reviews Drug Discovery.





Why Do Celebrities Invest in Start-ups and Venture Capital

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Vator Splash L.A. Conference October 2016

"Mingle and learn from blue-ribbon VCs, angels, legendary founders and the hottest SoCal-based startups." -See more







Books I am reading


1. Forbes Book of Quotations: 10,000 Thoughts on the Business of Life, by T. Goodman



2. Masters of Corporate Venture Capital, by A. Romans 





Vator Splash LA 2015

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Opinion on Private Equity monitoring or accelerating fees enforcement

The talk of the town this week is the $52.7 MM settlement paid by Apollo Global Management.


This came on the heels of a biased study designed to malign the industry from CEPR (Center for Economic and Policy Research) published in May 2016 (Link to pdf)

The "accelerated services and evergreen" fees are stipulated in the Management Services Agreement (MSA) which the authors of the study Eileen Appelbaum and Rosemary Batt call "egregious" and "money for nothing". To begin with, the authors blatantly disregard that MSAs are different from company to company and unit to unit. The authors blames private equity for cashing in the evergreen fees if they sell the company before the 10-year end of an MSA. The authors are likely to have a poor grasp of the concept of unrealized gains and losses. If indeed the MSA allowed for a retroactive payment of monitoring fees as non-refundable, then they were a "better than expected" provision signaling a faster, unexpected outcome for the portfolio company. You pay extra for an early success.
"Whatever they're paying you, I'll double it" -we heard it  thousand of times: the extra is for working ahead of schedule.


Those same authors take up the false logic that GP "may be motivated to carry out transactions that generate substantial fee income" in disregard to the PE Fund and LP interests. That is a prima facie ridiculous conclusion, since how can LPs make more that GPs when they share profits ? "Ex ante financing can alleviate some of these problems. By tying the compensation of the GP to the collective performance of a fund, the GP has less of an incentive to invest in bad deals, since bad deals will contaminate his stake in the good deals." [Why are Buyouts Leveraged? - The financial structure of private equity funds, by Ulf Axelson, Per Stromberg, and Michael S. Weisbach, December 14, 2007. ]


Saturday, August 20, 2016

CIT Aerospace expected to be sold to Chinese Buyers

The headline these days are that the Chinese HNA Group are bidding for CIT Aerospace for an estimated $4 Bn. WSJ Link
Does that include the Business Aircraft unit ? No, apparently.

Sample of CIT Business Aircraft financings, 2015




Saturday, August 13, 2016

How much money can you make selling private aircraft ?

I asked myself that question, and started asking successful aircraft brokers.

Aircraft brokers, on average take a 1 % commission (realistically), depending on the size and marketability of the aircraft.



So suppose that you're selling this aircraft for example,

a Dassault Falcon 50, Year 1994, TTAF(Total Time Airframe) 6,855 hrs. -it was listed last year at $2.5 MM. Full details here. Comission: $25,000.

Note: Video below may be a different aircraft.



For most important considerations to aircraft purchases,  I recommend reading NetJets Buyers Guide

Arguably the most qualified and reputable brokers  are NARA (National Aircraft Resale Association) certified and adhere to NARA's Code of Ethics.






Sunday, August 7, 2016

Crowdfunding: Raising Funds for a Personal Cause or Creative Project (blog, film, adventure theme)

Crowdfunding campaigns are closer to the reach of practically anyone with the ease of a legible screenshot and consistent storytelling. Folks are raising funds for things like medical treatment for loved ones, taking volunteer trips abroad to pursuing creative passions they could not afford otherwise.


Amongst the crowdfunding platforms GoGetFunding stands out compared with other rewards based platforms (i.e. Kickstarter) :

GoGetFunding has a 4% site fee while Kickstarter's 5%, and gives you:
                                                            

Paypal support, ✔                                                          ✘
Personal Fundraising Coach✔                                     ✘
Customized Page Theme ✔                                          ✘
Instant Page Approval ✔                                              ✘
Timed/Ongoing Campaign ✔                                       ✘


Also, all campaigns are allowed while Kickstarter allows creative only (no personal causes). On GoGet Funding you can raise funds in 21 currencies, You get to keep what you've raised even if you haven't met your target.

  Fundraising ideas

To START a campaign : Click here




Discover Fundraisers


Saturday, August 6, 2016

Aircraft Bluebook Market Values Roundtable, Los Angeles, Ca

Aircraft Bluebook Market Values Roundtable

"Aircraft Bluebook, the premier resource for aircraft values, is convening its first Aircraft Bluebook Market Values Roundtable in Los Angeles on October 5, 2016, in conjunction with SpeedNews' 21st Annual Business & General Aviation Industry Suppliers Conference.

At this year's event, intended to benefit aircraft OEMs, suppliers, financial institutions, dealers, brokers and consultants, Aircraft Bluebook editors and industry experts will weigh the elements that factor into business aircraft market values -- especially the pressure points that affect residual values of business aircraft.


The roundtable should increase understanding of how the market values different factors and improve asset planning and portfolio management."

Register here

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Personality Tests

Personality tests, whether for employment (pilots) or other purposes have become more and more widespread.

Check out This IQTest or Mensa.

IPIP Big-Five Factor Markers. "This test uses the Big-Five Factor Markers from the International Personality Item Pool, developed by Goldberg (1992)."



Disclaimer: Your use of this tool should be for educational or entertainment purposes only. The results of this test are not psychological or psychiatric advice of any kind and come with no guarantee of accuracy or fitness for a particular purpose. Responses to this test will be recorded anonymously, without any personality identifying information, and may be used for research or otherwise distributed in accordance with this privacy policy.





Monday, July 18, 2016

Jason Lemkin: 3 Indicators Of Hyper-Growth SaaS Companies




PreMoney SF 2016





Thursday, January 21, 2016

G550 in action

"The Gulfstream G550 can fly up to 51,000 ft/15,545 m and at speeds up to Mach 0.885. Powered by two Rolls-Royce BR710 engines, the G550 can fly eight passengers and four crew 6,750 nm/12,501 km at Mach 0.80. The G550 also features the PlaneView cockpit with Gulfstream’s Signature Cursor Control Devices (CCDs). The G550’s advanced vision equipment includes the standard Gulfstream EVS and the optional SV-PFD.

The G550 flight deck launched Gulfstream PlaneConnect, an advanced system that automatically transmits reports on the aircraft’s condition to maintenance experts on the ground, facilitating a quick resolution of any possible issues. The fully equipped G550 offers a choice of cabin layouts and options and can accommodate up to 18 passengers.

A technological leader from the start, the G550 was designed to incorporate future technology upgrades. Gulfstream has continuously invested in the G550, ensuring it meets the latest operational mandates with standard Future Air Navigation System (FANS-1) Controller-Pilot Datalink Communication (CPDLC) and Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B).

The aircraft was announced on Oct. 9, 2000, and rolled out on Aug. 8, 2001. It received FAA certification in August 2003 and entered service in September 2003. The aircraft received validation from EASA in March 2004. Also in 2004, the G550 team was awarded the 2003 Collier Trophy for “designing, testing and building an innovative aircraft while incorporating measurable safety enhancements and far-reaching advances in aerospace technology.” Source: Gulfsteam Aerospace




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