Monthly Archives: October 2014

J.P. Morgan found hackers through breach of corporate event website -WSJ

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Oct 31 (Reuters) – J.P. Morgan Chase & Co learned about hackers who stole the bank’s contact information for 76 million households and 7 million small businesses through a corporate event that it sponsors, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

According to the report, the bank discovered that the intruders had used some of the same offshore servers to hack both the bank and the website of the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge.

It was not clear when the bank might have discovered the problem had the hackers not used the same I.P. addresses to launch cyberattacks on both the bank and the Corporate Challenge race websites, WSJ reported, citing people briefed on the matter.

The Corporate Challenge website, operated by Simmco Data Systems, was later taken offline after the hacking of the site was discovered, WSJ reported.

According to the report, the website has been restored by the bank ahead of upcoming races in Shanghai and Singapore, but has moved the payments to a Chase website. (http://on.wsj.com/1qaZc6r)

Officials at J.P. Morgan Chase were not available for comment.

The hackers had originally gained access to the bank’s network by compromising the computer an employee with special privileges used both at work and at home and then moved across the bank’s network to access contact data, the paper reported.

Earlier this month, Reuters had reported that two U.S. states were investigating the theft of customer records in a massive cyberattack uncovered over the summer.

(Reporting by Anjali Rao Koppala in Bangalore; Editing by Ken Wills)

  • the Wall Street Journal

 





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Apple Watch: What Rolex Dealers Really Think

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Year-To-Date Winners: We Have Found The Market And It's Apple

APPLE – THE BEST OPPORTUNITY EVER?

I SEE APPLE GOING BACK ABOVE $300, SOONER RATHER THAN LATER

New York City Jeweler TraxNYC knows how to market expensive watches with a lot of bling. This year, the jeweler partnered with NBC’s America’s Got Talent. The show’s host, Nick Cannon wore the jeweler’s $180 K Diamond Rolex Sky Dweller on-air and it sparkled brightly during the show’s finale at Radio City Music Hall in Manhattan.

“Nothing speaks more about a man’s style than his watch,” says TraxNYC owner, Maksud Agadjani, who carries a stunning selection of diamond-encrusted watches and wears a Rolex himself. He plans to carry Apple’s Watch when it comes out in 2015. Apple will sell the product retail, not wholesale, so Agadjani may open up the Watch and install a diamond bevel for a tidy mark up.

Industry insiders say the case of Apple’s Watch could spring open, and will not be hermetically sealed like the iPhone. The Watch holds a System on a Platform, the powerful integrated circuit that can power a multipurpose computer the size of thumbnail. The Watch’s semiconductor package may be encased in ceramics so users can remove the entire electronics package and replace it when the Apple upgrades its processors to a new generation. Wall Street Semiconductor Analyst Richard Whittington says a replaceable IC package would give the Watch a longer lifespan, critical to buyers of watches over $5,000.

The Watch Line

Apple said it plans three levels of watches: Sport is the entry level, Watch is the middle tier and Edition is the high end. Sport could retail for $350 as Apple announced earlier this month. Though Apple has not given prices for the other tiers, retailers believe the price for Watch could be around $1000 and the price for Edition could be $5,000 – $10,000.

“At $350, the Apple Sport could be a huge phenomenon. I can imagine people lining up around the block when it’s released, like they did for the iPhone. People get excited about brand new experiences. They loved the novelty of the iPhone’s magical touch screen, endlessly sliding pictures around. They’ll react the same way to novel functions of the Watch. It taps you for appointments, counts calories and checks glucose levels in your blood,” he said. Maybe someday they’ll get tired of the tapping, tapping, tapping but at first, they’ll think it’s great,” he said.

The mid-tier of Apple’s line, also called Watch, could compete with the mid- to high-end mechanical watches like Gucci. Watchmakers for the Italian fashion house buy components wholesale for about $65 then assemble them in gold or stainless steel cases with a sticker price $1200. Gucci watches leverage the luxury brand’s name. Apple’s mid-range Watch may also compete with Movado, Omega and hundreds of manufacturers sourcing components from Asia.

The top of Apple’s line, the 18 Karat-gold Edition could retail for $5,000 to $10,000 and compete with the two-tone Rolex made of stainless steel and 18 Karat gold. Other brands in the high tier include Cartier, Piaget and Tag Heurer.

No Contest With Rolex

Apple Watch can’t touch the highest tier of Rolex watches. The heavy solid-gold Rolex timepieces carry retail prices starting at $35,000. The gold Rolex watch has much more and higher caliber gold than what’s planned for the Edition, so the raw materials are orders of magnitude more costly.

Though Jony Ive, Senior VP of Design at Apple implied Apple could take on Rolex, retailers are not convinced it’s in the cards. Rolex has precision components and exacting manufacturing honed over a hundred years. The components are expensive and quality is second to none, says Agadjani. Apple is a relative newcomer with no direct experience. No contest.

As for the rumors that Apple tried to partner with Rolex and the Swiss manufacturer turned them down, Agadjani says, “Of course a joint venture with Rolex would never happen. Rolex partners with Kings, Presidents and dignitaries. Maybe they would do a one-off specialty deal with a high profile individual, someone with a sterling reputation like the late Paul Newman, but not with Apple. Rolex wants to maintain complete control and does not want to dilute the brand with high-volume production. It prefers the realm of the 0.1%, not the mass market, even if it’s the upper tier of the mass market.”

Watch Customers

Most consumers have one primary watch that’s expensive and they wear everyday. Then, they have above five fashion watches for different occasions. Apple needs to address demand in the mass market at attainable price points. The Watch will probably be a secondary watch for buyers with health apps that are cool and fun.

Apple is going to make a big splash with Watch, welcomed by watch retailers and manufacturers. Maybe Apple can accelerate industry growth, stuck in the single digits. Celebrities with flashing lights create excitement. But is Watch a fad or does it have staying power. Can Apple outlive traditional Swiss watchmakers who have been working their trade for hundreds of years? Probably not, but in the short term everyone will enjoy the novelty.






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Ocwen Gains Despite Q3 Earnings Miss on Legal Charges

DHY: Credit Suisse High Yield Bond FundJPM: JP Morgan Chase & Co.EFC: Ellington FinancialBRKB: Berkshire Hathaway BV: Visa Inc.KKR: KKR & Co. L.P.OZM: Och-Ziff Capital Management Group LLCXIN: Xinyuan Real Estate Co Ltd ADRDD: DuPontSXL: Sunoco Logistics Partners L.P.SCCO: Southern Copper CorpTOT: Total S.A. ADSSDRL: SeaDrill Ltd.GRMN: Garmin Ltd.MSFT: Microsoft CorporationVZ: Verizon Communications Inc.SKM: SK Telecom Co. Ltd. ADSLMT: Lockheed Martin Corp.GE: General Electric Co.MMM: 3M Co.CAT: Caterpillar Inc.AAPL: Apple Inc.LO: Lorillard Inc.PBI: Pitney Bowes Inc.CSX: CSX Corp.MGA: Magna International Inc.ZTR: Zweig Total Return Fund Inc.EXG: Eaton Vance Tax-Managed Global Diversified Equity Income FundTMO: Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.

AAPL +0.95%, BRK.B +0.44%, CAT +1.25%, CSX +0.96%, DD +2.20%, DHY +1.30%, EFC -1.10%, EXG +0.91%, GE +0.55%, GRMN +2.48%, JPM +1.84%, KKR +0.61%, LMT +0.68%, LO +0.44%, MGA +2.48%, MMM +1.10%, MSFT +1.95%, OZM +1.10%, PBI +0.69%, SCCO +1.27%, SDRL +1.41%, SKM -2.39%, SXL +2.47%, TMO +0.84%, TOT +0.69%, V +2.02%, VZ +0.70%, XIN +2.52%, ZTR +0.65%

Invesco’s (IVZ) CEO Martin Flanagan on Q3 2014 Results – Earnings Call …
Seeking Alpha (registration) – 20 hours ago
In the Americas, U.S. net flows were $1.3 billion during the quarter, were driven by international growth, U.S. value equities, high-yield munis, diversified dividend and UITs…

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Portland General Electric Company Earns Buy Rating from Deutsche Bank (POR)
WKRB News – 2 hours ago
Portland General Electric Company logo Portland General Electric Company (NYSE:POR)’s stock had its “buy” rating reiterated by analysts at Deutsche Bank in a research report issued to clients and investors on Thursday…

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DineEquity Receives “Overweight” Rating from JPMorgan Chase & Co. (DIN)
Ticker Report – 6 hours ago
JPMorgan Chase & Co. reiterated their overweight rating on shares of DineEquity (NYSE:DIN) in a research report sent to investors on Wednesday morning.
Insider Selling: Patrick W. Rose Sells 10000 Shares of DineEquity Stock (DIN) – sleekmoney

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US and Australia drop sanctions against Fiji
Cortez Journal – 14 hours ago
U.S. Ambassador to Fiji Frankie Reed said her government was lifting restrictions on financial assistance to the Fijian government.

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Active Watch List : The Blackstone Group (NYSE:BX), BK, Pennsylvania Real …
Gaining Green – 8 hours ago
Xinyuan Real Estate Co., Ltd. (NYSE:XIN) announced that Dr. Manbo He, the Company’s CFO, has attend the Jefferies 4th Annual Asia Corporate Access Summit, held October 29-30, 2014 at the Island Shangri-La Hong Kong…

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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Verizon Communications, Comcast, Grupo …
PR Newswire (press release) – 8 hours ago
Meanwhile, Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ-Free Report) has decided to offer online video streaming services in two different forms.

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Scott Speaker will head JPMorgan Chase amp; Co.’s global commodities …
Seattle Sports Nut – 3 hours ago
JPMorgan Names Speaker to Replace Fenton in Commodities.Scott Speaker will head JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s global commodities research squad , replacing Colin Fenton, according to an internal memo seen by Bloomberg News…

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Top Stocks – MGM Resorts , Walt Disney , KKR & Co. L.P. , Masco Corp , Charles …
Markets Insider – 10 hours ago
MGM Resorts International (NYSE:MGM) and AEG announced that they have finalized a $200 million bank facility to fund the development and construction of a new 20,000 seat arena.

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Notable Upgrades: AXT Inc. (AXTI), Atmel Corporation (ATML), Visa Inc. (V …
Wall Street Pit – 6 hours ago
AXT Inc. (AXTI) shares are up sharply on Friday, after the company reported another solid quarter. Following AXT Inc’s earnings, analysts at B. Riley upgraded the name to ‘Buy’ from ‘Neutral’, setting a 12-month base case estimate to $3…

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Fitch Affirms Ratings of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.
Business Wire (press release) – 2 hours ago
CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Fitch Ratings has affirmed the ‘AA-‘ Issuer Default Rating (IDR) of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK) and the ‘AA+’ Insurer Financial Strength (IFS) ratings on BRK’s key insurance subsidiaries…

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Apple Inc. No Longer Excluding Calculator Widget From App Store
ValueWalk – 8 hours ago
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is now no longer rejecting the calculator widget PCalc, a popular iOS app, which was previously to be removed from the iOS store, says a report from Techcrunch.

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5 Things Visa Inc.’s Management Wants You to Know
Nasdaq – 8 hours ago
Visa’s No. 1 client will likely always be JPMorgan Chase , which also happens to be the No. 1 credit card issuer in the nation.
Credit Services Stocks Boost Investor Expectations- Mastercard Inc (NYSE:MA … – StreetWise Report
Visa (V) Stock Climbs After Analyst Upgrade Today – TheStreet…

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Chunghwa Telecom Q3 Earnings, Revenues Deteriorate Y/Y
Zacks.com – 54 minutes ago
Chunghwa Telecom Co. Ltd. (CHT – Analyst Report) declared weak financial results for the third quarter of 2014. Quarterly total revenue came in at approximately $1,870 million, recording a drop of 1% year-over-year.

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Och-Ziff Capital Management Group (OZM) Scheduled to Post Quarterly …
Mideast Time – 12 hours ago
Och-Ziff Capital Management Group (NYSE:OZM) is set to announce its earnings results on Tuesday, November 4th. Investors that wish to listen to the company’s conference call can do so using this link…

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iPhone 6 Bendgate: Did Apple Inc. Quietly Fix The Issue?
ValueWalk – 7 hours ago
Apple Inc. NASDAQ:AAPL’s iPhone 6 and 6 Plus smashed all the smartphone sales records in history when they went for sale in September.

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AT&T, Verizon, Comcast: What Fast-Lane Access?
Bidness ETC – 9 hours ago
This sentiment was recently expressed in letters to Senator Patrick Leahy from AT&T Inc. (T), Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ), and Comcast Corporation (CMCSA), who all pledged they were against fast-lane access. Last week, the Senator wrote to major …

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The U.S. Oil Story You’re Not Hearing Today [Chevron Corporation, Total SA …
ETF Daily News – 5 hours ago
crudeoil Tyler Laundon: The recent decline in the price of oil has stolen the limelight from a massive shift in U.S. energy policy.

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EI Du Pont De Nemours And Receives “Buy” Rating from Deutsche Bank (DD)
Ticker Report – 6 hours ago
E I Du Pont De Nemours And Co logo Deutsche Bank reissued their buy rating on shares of E I Du Pont De Nemours And (NYSE:DD) in a research report released on Wednesday morning.

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Ocwen Gains Despite Q3 Earnings Miss on Legal Charges
Zacks.com – 8 hours ago
Shares of Ocwen Financial Corp. (OCN – Analyst Report) rose 11.3% despite reporting lower-than-expected results for third-quarter 2014.
Ocwen Gains Despite Q3 Earnings Miss on Legal Charges – Analyst Blog – Nasdaq

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United Microelectronics Corp Stock Rating Upgraded by JPMorgan Chase & Co …
Ticker Report – 8 hours ago
United Microelectronics Corp (ADR) logo JPMorgan Chase & Co. upgraded shares of United Microelectronics Corp (NYSE:UMC) from an underweight rating to a neutral rating in a research report sent to investors on Wednesday morning, …

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Apple Loop: iPad’s Killer Feature, Sapphire Screen Secrets, Apple’s Cheap iPhone

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Year-To-Date Winners: We Have Found The Market And It's Apple

APPLE – THE BEST OPPORTUNITY EVER?

I SEE APPLE GOING BACK ABOVE $300, SOONER RATHER THAN LATER

Apple's iPad Air 2 (image: Ewan Spence) Apple’s iPad Air 2 (image: Ewan Spence)

Taking a look back at another week of news from Cupertino, this week’s Apple Loop covers Forbes’ iPad Air 2 review, no plans for a cheap iPhone, Apple Pay vs CurrentC, why the iPod died, sapphire screens, widgets in the App Store, Apple’s Iranian expansion, more iAd countries, and Tim Cook’s personal statement.

Apple Loop is here to remind you of a few of the very many discussions that have happened around Apple over the last seven days (and you can read our weekly digest of Android news here on Forbes).

The iPad Air 2′s Killer Feature? Apple’s Tablet Ecosystem

Apple continues to set the standards for tablet computing, and the release of the iPad Air 2 cements its place at the top of the tree. It’s not just the hardware, but the power of iOS and the strong third-party app ecosystem that all comes together to make the iPad Air 2 not only the best tablet, but arguably a solid laptop replacement.

The iPad Air 2 continues the promise of the iPad Air, and the iPad as a whole. It delivers portable computing which is specifically designed for a tablet. It has changed how many people interact with their personal computer. And perhaps most importantly, it delivers far more dedicated third-party apps than any other tablet on the planet …It’s hard to see the iPad Air 2 as anything other than a damn fine slice of modern computing.

You can read my full review here on Forbes.

Keep On Dreaming About A Cheap iPhone From Apple

With Android smartphone and tablet volumes driven by the mid and low tier market, why does Apple ignore these areas and instead remain in the lower-volume high-end space? Apple’s Greg Joswiak spoke at the Code/Mobile conference this week (reports The Telegraph), and was crystal clear (or should that be sapphire-clear?) about Apple’s plans for cheap iPhones and Macs.  ’Cheap’ models are no longer in Apple’s portfolio:

We were talking about some of the mistakes Apple made in the ’90s, and some of it was trying to do things like making cheap products that were chasing market share instead of chasing a better experience. You make that mistake once in your life, you’re not going to make it twice.

Our goal is to make the best products with the best experience … we believe that if we make a better product and a better experience, that there will always be a healthy market for that. And a healthy market doesn’t mean we have to be market-share leader.

The Apple iPhone 5C Profile (image: Apple.com)

The Apple iPhone 5C Profile (image: Apple.com)

CurrentC, Apple, And Working For Or Against The Credit Cards

Following last week’s debut of Apple Pay in the United States (and Mark Rogowsky took his iPhone 6 out to see what he could buy with it), news broke that US retailers CVS and Rite Aid have switched off all their in-store NFC terminals, seemingly because Apple Pay was compatible with the system and ‘just worked’. The two stores are part of a consortium behind an alternative smartphone payment system canned CurrrentC.

Mac Rumours broke the story and since then the unwieldy nature of the CurrentC system (which uses QR codes and your smartphone’s camera) became clear. Dan Frommer:

You need to select a “Pay with CurrentC” option on the register, activate your phone, open the CurrentC app, enter a four-digit passcode, press the “Pay” button, “either scan the Secure Paycode that the cashier presents (default) or press the Show button at the bottom of your screen to allow the cashier to scan your Secure Paycode,” select the account you want to pay with, and then press a “Pay Now” button.

As for the data being captured… Nick Arnott for iMore:

On launch, the app immediately does a few things. First, it starts sending pings every two seconds or so. No interesting data is sent in the requests and blocking them seems to have no impact on the app. Next, a deviceState request goes out. In the request are your device type (iPhone or iPad) and a unique device identifier. This identifier is stored in the device keychain so even if you delete the app and re-install, it persists, allowing CurrentC to track users across app installs. The third and last request seen on launch is a call to Localytics. Localytics is a mobile analytics company and is used in countless other apps. As with the many other apps using Localytics, this call seems to include a variety of analytics information: not surprising for many apps, and not surprising for CurrentC (though it probably should be for an app seeking to handle payments and personal data).

If you want to boil the dispute down, CurrentC tries to cut out and work against the current credit card payments system in the US (and the associated fees), while Apple Pay works with and alongside (that’s why NFC terminals not specifically set up for Apple Pay could still be used by Cupertino’s system).

iPod Touch, 5th Generation (image: Apple.com)

iPod Touch, 5th Generation (image: Apple.com)

The iPod Is Not Dead! It’s Not Dead! I Want My MP3 Champ!

Following on from the removal of the iPod Classic in the September product reshuffle,  Tim Cook explained the thinking at the Wall Street Journal’s D conference. Apple couldn’t get the parts.

The hard-drive based iPod received its last update in 2007, taking it up to 160 GB of storage through the 1.8 inch drive. While Toshiba did introduce a 220 GB variant in 2011, Apple did not update the music player. With a dwindling user-base, the engineering effort and diminished power of bulk buying doomed the ‘Classic’. Music lovers looking for significant levels of storage have the 128 GB iPhone models as the largest capacity devices in Apple’s portfolio.

If only Apple had bumped the iPod Touch up to 128 GB

Are GTAT’s Contracts As Clear As Sapphire?

Apple’s contract with GTAT in regards to sapphire for screens and components remains in the news as the court documents and paperwork have now been made public. Forbes’ Chuck Jones has read through the filings to find out why Apple wanted them to remain sealed:

When reading through the document you alternate between trying to figure out why GTAT management struck the deal that it did and that Apple is not just a tough negotiator but one that only looks out for its interests. The filing from Daniel Squiller, GTAT’s Chief Operating Officer, is only 22 pages long but it contains a great deal of information about what lead to GTAT’s demise.

You can read all the major clauses here.

Will Your Widget Be Removed From The App Store?

Apple continues to make life difficult for App Developers targeting the new iOS 8 widgets system. The tale of PCalc’s today view is one that every developer should pay attention to. One month after the developers of PCalc added widget support to the app to give users a small calculator on the notifications screen, Apple demanded changes.  Tidbits reports:

Thomson took to Twitter on 29 October 2014 to announce that Apple has informed him that Today view widgets cannot perform calculations, and that the feature must be removed in 2 to 3 weeks.

While it has a happy ending (Apple has reversed its decision and allowed PCalc to remain in the store), the simple fact is that Apple demanded the today screen calculator widget be removed for reasons that still remain unclear.  While the rules are ill-defined, relying on Apple’s good judgement on a widget”s suitability  is not a stable business plan.

MacBook range running OSX Yosemite (image: Apple.com)

MacBook range running OSX Yosemite (image: Apple.com)

Apple Ready To Move Into Iran

Following the lifting of trade restrictions this summer, Apple is investigating Iran as new territory (reports the Wall Street Journal). Apple met up with a handful of Iranian distributors in London recently to discuss the practicalities of Persian operations. It’s likely that Apple would use a reseller model, rather than opening an Apple Store in Tehran .

It’s likely that Apple will take advice from the US Treasury Department on how to proceed, although the Treasury’s action to ease sanctions was taken to “empower the Iranian people as their government intensifies its efforts to stifle their access to information” so Apple’s products should fit in with that sentiment.

Forbes’ Gary Allen takes a closer look:

Cook may have already explained his decision to pursue sales in Iran when he introduced Apple Pay. “Most people that have worked on this have started by focusing on creating a business model that was centered around their self interest,” he said at the product introduction, “instead of focusing on the user experience. We love this kind of problem. This is exactly what Apple does best.”

…The personal beliefs of a CEO are certain to affect the operation of a company. If Tim Cook firmly believes there is a “sunlit path toward justice,” then he also believes that Apple can navigate that path into Iran for a higher purpose than business.

More iAd Countries Means More Inventory And More Eyes

Speaking of international expansion, Apple’s iAd platforms has added 70 countries to those currently available, lifting the number of addressable countries to 95. This builds on the early October expansion into nine European territories, and the release of the iAd Producer tool.

And Finally…

Tim Cook came out publicly this week. While it is a personal matter, his eloquent essay on the subject will likely be a turning point for many individuals, giving them strength and a role model.

If hearing that the CEO of Apple is gay can help someone struggling to come to terms with who he or she is, or bring comfort to anyone who feels alone, or inspire people to insist on their equality, then it’s worth the trade-off with my own privacy.

Apple Loop brings you seven days worth of highlights every weekend here on Forbes. Don’t forget to follow me so you don’t miss any coverage in the future. Last week’s Apple Loop can be read here, and don’t forget this week’s edition of Loop’s sister column, Android Circuit, is also available on Forbes.






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This Man’s Betting On The Technology Behind Apple Pay – And Even He Says It’s Years Away From Wide Adoption

This post was originally published on this site



Year-To-Date Winners: We Have Found The Market And It's Apple

APPLE – THE BEST OPPORTUNITY EVER?

I SEE APPLE GOING BACK ABOVE $300, SOONER RATHER THAN LATER

When Apple CEO Tim Cook unveiled Apple Pay in September, he predicted that it would “forever change the way all of us buy things.” As I wrote in a recent post, while he ultimately might be proven right, Apple’s mobile wallet is likely to take years to catch on widely.

Although that assessment is nearly universally accepted among people who actually know how payments work, I got a lot of pushback on that from Apple fanatics as well as at least one Forbes contributor.

So I decided to ask someone who has bet at least partly on Apple Pay’s eventual success: Osama Bedier, a former vice president at both PayPal and Google, where he headed the search giant’s mobile wallet effort. Bedier is now founder and CEO of Poynt, which just announced plans to build a slick-looking smart point-of-sale terminal that can take most existing forms of payment–including those facilitated by Near Field Communication, the method used in both Apple Pay and Google Wallet to send data from a smartphone to the register. Suffice to say, when it comes to payments, Bedier not only knows what he’s talking about, he’s pretty agnostic about the many competing mobile payment methods.

Osama Bedier, founder and CEO of Poynt

Osama Bedier, founder and CEO of Poynt

His take? To start with the positive, he says Apple’s timing looks good–not a surprising take, since Bedier’s making the same bet that the timing is right. “Apple is good at jumping on bandwagons they think could take off,” he says. That’s in contrast, he notes, to Google, which “gets infatuated with technology”–though he also says that Google Wallet helped kickstart a move by tens of thousands of retail outlets to install NFC-capable readers.

Still, Bedier says, Apple Pay “isn’t going to happen next year. It’s going to take four years before it happens everywhere.” What’s more, Apple Pay works only on iPhones (and eventually Apple Watches), and that’s unlikely to change soon, so Apple Pay won’t be a standard except for iPhones.

That’s OK, he adds, because Apple has gone with standard technologies such as NFC and secure chips on phones for payment data–indeed, helping to make them a widespread standard before long–so it could benefit even from competing efforts such as Google’s that use the same or similar standards. As for those such as the trouble-plagued and still nonexistent Merchant Customer Exchange wallet that don’t use these technologies, they will have trouble getting traction–most of all with consumers who may see no advantage to using them.

There’s another less obvious but still important reason Apple’s timing may be good, Bedier points out: If Apple Pay and NFC payments in general aren’t really much more convenient or quick than swiping a card, EMV cards will actually be much worse, because you won’t be able to simply swipe them quickly. You will have to insert the card into the reader, wait for approval, type in a PIN number or sign a receipt, and only then remove the card.

Compared with that more cumbersome process, tapping a smartphone to the terminal is going to seem like magic. “Smart phone payment will become much more attractive,” says Bedier, and that will speed adoption of Apple Pay and other schemes like it.

Yet none of that changes the likely reality that we’re still years away from anything like universal acceptance of smartphone payments–including Apple Pay. So keep that wallet handy.

Follow me on Twitter and Google+, and read the rest of my Forbes posts here.






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Tim Cook, Microsoft Band, Facebook’s ‘slow’ growth

This post was originally published on this site



Year-To-Date Winners: We Have Found The Market And It's Apple

APPLE – THE BEST OPPORTUNITY EVER?

I SEE APPLE GOING BACK ABOVE $300, SOONER RATHER THAN LATER

SAN FRANCISCO — Apple CEO Tim Cook tells the world he’s “proud to be gay,”Microsoft introduces a fitness band into a small but crowded market, and Facebook’s stock dives after the company warns growth will cool from laser-hot to merely scorching.

USA TODAY’s San Francisco tech team discusses these and other hot topics, including the issue with Apple Pay competitor CurrentC and the latest in our tech diversity seriesin this weekly tech podcast. Link to SoundCloud on your mobile device or press play below.

Read or Share this story: http://usat.ly/1tJvvOs






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[$$] J.P. Morgan Found Hackers Through Breach of Road-Race Website

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Hackers initially broke into the website of the J.P. Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge before finding their way into the bank’s website, people briefed on the investigation into the cyberattack say.
ENLARGE

Hackers initially broke into the website of the J.P. Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge before finding their way into the bank’s website, people briefed on the investigation into the cyberattack say.

European Pressphoto Agency

By


J.P. Morgan

Chase & Co. may not have discovered the breach in its computer systems as quickly this past summer if it hadn’t gone looking for trouble elsewhere, people briefed on the investigation said.

The bank learned hackers stole contact data for 76 million households and 7 million small businesses because the intruders had used some of the same offshore servers to hack both the bank and a corporate charity race website, whose breach was discovered first.

The previously unreported account of the incident shows J.P. Morgan was both ahead of the curve and behind it while investigating its massive data breach. On the one hand, the bank’s investigators discovered the incident on their own by looking outside their sprawling network. On the other, the hackers were in the bank’s network for months undetected and only revealed themselves because of an apparent slip-up.

In early August, a security vendor announced he had located a massive trove of email addresses and passwords that hackers had amassed from thousands of websites over the years. Buried in the cache: an indication the hackers hit the website for the J.P. Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge, a series of charity running races sponsored by the bank, people briefed on the investigation said.

The vendor, Hold Security Inc., is run by

Alex Holden,

an expert in Russian cybercrime. Mr. Holden declined to comment on whether he had indications the Corporate Challenge website was hacked.

J.P. Morgan and its security vendors discovered the cache included information from the Corporate Challenge website, which is managed by an outside company and isn’t connected the bank’s network. The bank says it doesn’t believe that the corporate challenge website was an entry point for hackers into the bank’s servers.

Investigators at the bank linked that breach back to several overseas I.P. addresses. Then they queried J.P. Morgan’s own network logs to see if there had been any communication with those addresses.

There were. The bank discovered that hackers had been in its system since at least June. The investigators ultimately linked the attack to 11 I.P. addresses that were distributed anonymously to other banks in mid-August.

Several of those I.P. addresses, viewed by The Wall Street Journal, link back to Eastern Europe, including Russia. Other addresses could be linked to Egypt and Brazil, according to a search of public Internet records.

A J.P. Morgan spokeswoman said all known hacker entry points to J.P. Morgan’s systems were shut down in August. The Federal Bureau of Investigation, which is leading the probe, didn’t immediately comment.

In recent weeks, the investigation has been hampered, the people said, because hackers deleted many of the log files that tracked their movements through the bank’s network.

But federal and private investigators have reached some initial conclusions. For one, numerous indications suggest the J.P. Morgan hackers spoke Russian. This view is buttressed, investigators say, by the links to Mr. Holden’s database, which he has said traced to the Russian criminal underground.

One complicating matter: Russian spies and criminals are believed to use some of the same hacking tools, which can blur the lines of responsibility. One U.S. official briefed on the probe said the J.P. Morgan case has been hard to pin down and described a “gray area” between the work of Russian spies and criminals.

Financial-service industry executives point out that the bank, which is planning to spend $250 million this year on cybersecurity, was able to block the hackers from going after the most sensitive data—market strategy or customer account information.

But they also acknowledge they are concerned hackers could gain a foothold in J.P. Morgan’s network for about two months without tipping off the bank. People briefed on the investigation said the bank had no indication there was a problem before investigating the Corporate Challenge breach.

If the hackers hadn’t used the same I.P. addresses to launch cyberattacks on both the bank and race websites, it isn’t clear when the bank would have discovered the problem, the people said.

The hackers originally got into J.P. Morgan’s network by compromising the computer an employee with special privileges used at both work and at home, two people briefed on the investigation said.

From there, the hackers were able to move across the bank’s network to access contact data.

After finding the breach, J.P. Morgan security staff distributed the 11 I.P. addresses anonymously to a bank cybersecurity association, called the Financial Services Information Sharing Analysis Center, or FS-ISAC. The move triggered a notification to other banks, which began to check if they too had been hacked.

All told, the hackers targeted at least 13 financial firms and stole data from several of them, including Fidelity Investments Inc. The names of the other firms that lost data couldn’t be learned. Fidelity has said “there is no indication Fidelity customer accounts, information, services or systems were affected.”

J.P. Morgan’s chief executive,


James Dimon
,

recently has said the bank will double its spending on cybersecurity. In the past month, its executives have reached out to other cybersecurity experts to discuss which technologies to spend that money on, people familiar with the meetings said.

—Devlin Barrett contributed to this article.

Write to Danny Yadron at danny.yadron@wsj.com and Emily Glazer at emily.glazer@wsj.com

 





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Android Circuit: Motorola’s Superior Droid, Xiaomi Fights For Third, Note 4 Defeats iPhone 6 Plus

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My 2014 Best Performers, Looking Ahead To 2015

Samsung Note 4 and iPhone 6 Plus (image: Gordon Kelly / Forbes)

Taking a look back at the week in news across the Android world, this week’s Android Circuit highlights a number of stories including the Note 4 vs the iPhone 6 Plus, the Droid Turbo’s confirmed specs, Lenovo completes its Motorola purchase, Samsung confirms drastic drop in profits, Android Lollipop is on show, Xiaomi’s rising market share, Microsoft’s Health Band, and a preview of the Nexus 9.

Android Circuit is here to remind you of a few of the many things that have happened around Android over the last seven days.

Android vs iOS, The Phablets Fight It Out

Let’s start with the (ahem) biggest review on Forbes this week. Gordon Kelly puts two phablets into the digital ring to see which one ends up on top, and which one is Dolph Lundgren in Rocky 3. Or, with his promoters hat on…

Two mega-corporates, two opposing ideologies and two massive handsets competing for our affections, both going about it in completely different ways. Phone clashes have never been bigger. Literally. So strap in, this is going to be good.

Of course the screens dominate (“The pair are stunning and owners of either device will find themselves smiling every time they fire up the lock screen. But this is a comparison and side-by-side the Note 4 comes out on top”) but there are a lot of factors to consider. While I’m going to spoil the ending (Samsung shades it) the journey to get there is worth the read. Grab a coffee and settle in.

The Droid Turbo Really Is The Top Trumps Specs Winner Of 2014

Smartphone hardware never stands still, and it’s a given that the numbers will always rise (even if it’s simply down to older parts becoming too expensive to source in bulk). That said, the Droid Turbo (currently marked as exclusive to Verizon) is an absolute monster, and any Spec-queens are going to be lusting after this one.

What does it sport? How about a 5.2-inch 2560 x 1440 (Quad HD) display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 chipset (quad-core 2.7GHz Krait CPU, quad-core Adreno 420 GPU), 3GB RAM, 21 megapixel camera, and a 3900 mAh battery.

The Forbes Tech Team has taken a closer look at the now-confirmed specs and hardware announced by Motorola.

Motorola's Fall 2014 launches (image: Gordon Kelly / Forbes)

Motorola’s Fall 2014 launches (image: Gordon Kelly / Forbes)

All Your Motorola Are Belong To Lenovo

The transition of Motorola from Google to Lenovo has been completed. The Chinese Multinational company notes in its press release:

Lenovo will operate Motorola as a wholly-owned subsidiary. Motorola’s headquarters will remain in Chicago. With the completion of the acquisition, Lenovo welcomes the addition of a new portfolio company with nearly 3,500 employees around the world – including about 2,800 in the U.S. – who design, engineer, sell and support Motorola’s outstanding devices.

Lenovo paid roughly $2.91 billion, consisting of $660 million in cash, newly issued stock valued at $750 million, and a $1.5 billion three-year promissory note.

A Tour Of Android Lollipop

Thanks to ROM images, Developer Builds, and the availability of some pre-release preview units, the tech world is becoming more au fait with Android 5.0 Lollipop (seriously though, Android L is far more business-like, why did Google not stick with that?). Over on The Guardian, Samuel Gibbs has put together a tour of the latest version of the mobile OS, focusing on the new user interface elements, multiple user accounts, notification filters, and the all-important battery saving software,

Samsung Dropping Like A Nokia

Samsung has posted its Q3 revenue numbers, and they are in line with guidance issued earlier this month (PDF Link). Operating profit in Q3 dropped to 4.1 trillion won ($3.9 billion), a 60.1 percent fall year on year.

The biggest culprit is the mobile division, with high-end handsets not selling as well as previous years, and a declining profit margin on mid- and low-range handsets. Reuters writes:

Profit for Samsung’s mobile division fell to 1.75 trillion won in the third quarter from 6.70 trillion won a year earlier, its worst performance since the second quarter of 2011. Samsung spent most of the quarter without introducing a new flagship device and continued to struggle in the mid- to low-tier markets.

Nexus 6 (image: Google.com)

Nexus 6 (image: Google.com)

You Have Always Wanted A Phablet From Eurasia

Speaking to CNet, Google’s VP of Engineering David Burke pulled out an interesting statistic about phablet use. According to Burke, the challenge to phablet manufacturers is that consumers don’t know that they want a phablet. ”If you gave them a phablet for a week, 50 percent of those would say they like it and not go back.”

I’d love to see the survey numbers that backed this up… and to see the acceptance rate after a month of usage.

Burke also noted that the smaller screened Nexus 5 is still available for those who want a smaller screen (much like the iPhone 5S); the slow integration of Chrome and Android; and that the ‘Android Kill Switch’ will be available on the newest version of Android. Given the new Californian Laws that mandate a kill-switch in all new phones by July 2015, presumably this means Android 5.0 Lollipop will have the tool, which Google will label Factory Reset Protection.

Xiaomi Just Two Steps Away From World’s Biggest Smartphone Manufacturer

While Samsung and Apple hold on to the #1 and #2 spots in the smartphone market (according to Strategy Analytics), LG and Huawei have been overtaken as Xiaomi captures the bronze medal. The Chinese manufacture (which prominently hired Hugo Barra from Google last year) is now the third largest smartphone manufacture in the world, and has grown its market share from 1.2% in Q3 2013 to 5.6% in Q3 2014.

It’s worth noting that Xiaomi has captured much of its market share at the low-end, squeezing Samsung’s profit base in Eastern markets. There are high-end models available, but Xiaomi build in scarcity and rarity to maximise the marketing impact when they release a batch of handsets into retail channels with a flurry of publicity.

With designs on the top spot, Xiaomi is exploring a funding round that could value the manufacturer at $40 billion. Forbes’ Ryan Mac looks at the options available to the five-year old company.

Multiple sources confirmed to Forbes that the Beijing company is considering raising more money and possibly quadrupling its previous valuation of $10 billion, which it attained after an undisclosed amount of funding in August of last year. Prior to that Xiaomi, founded in 2010, had raised $216 million in June 2014 at $4 billion.

Nexus 9 (image: Google PR)

Nexus 9 (image: Google PR)

First Look At The Nexus 9

Forbes’ Ian Morris has written up his first impressions of another new Nexus device, the Nexus 9 tablet. Manufactured by HTC, Morris found the tablet to be a great combination of Google’s OS and HTC’s ‘A-game’ manufacturing.

The unaltered Android 5.0 (Lollipop) OS looks great. This wasn’t the final version of the operating system, so there will be no judgement here, but it looks great. Some of Android’s biggest problems have been solved here, with a new, flatter look and a much improved menu system. On the large tablet screen, the Android layout looked as good as it ever has on any device I’ve seen.

Strap Some Redmond To Your Wrist

Microsoft continues to expand out from Windows Phone into the twin worlds of Android and iOS. This week’s announcement is the Microsoft Band, a $199 wristband for tracking health and movement data, as well as sporting a number of smartwatch features such as call alerts and notification message displays.

Forbes’ Aaron Tilly has taken a closer look at the new product and the new Microsoft Health platform, which covers much of the same ground as Google Fit and Apple Health:

Microsoft Health [is] a cloud-based service to store and analyze health data coming from multiple sources–that includes data coming from competing health wearables. As with the watch, the cloud service is compatible with the three main mobile operation systems–iOS, Android and Windows Phone. The app will analyze information such as how many calories you’ve burned or how much sleep you’re getting and then give you feedback on fitness goals you’ve set.

The Health platform has a number of partners starting out that it will work with, including UP by Jawbone, MapMyFitness, MyFitnessPal and RunKeeper.

The fitness tracker and smartwatch market may feel like a crowded space, but no one platform has managed to build up a defensible strategy just yet (and of course Apple Watch is waiting in the wings). Time will tell how well Microsoft’s approach works in the medium- to long-term, and when we know, we’ll let you know here on Forbes.

The Microsoft Band (image: Microsoft PR)

The Microsoft Band (image: Microsoft PR)

And Finally…

While it’s not strictly Android, ChromeOS is a close cousin of Google’s mobile operating system (and getting closer every month), so Chromebook World’s Chromebook Selector is a nice guide through the options, specifications, and manufactures of the instant-on laptops. Just tick your options and you’ll get all the details on the models that fit your requirements.

‘Android Circuit’ will round-up the news from the Android world every weekend here on Forbes. Don’t forget to follow me so you don’t miss any coverage in the future, and of course the sister column in Apple Loop! Last week’s Android Circuit can be found here, and if you have any news and links you’d like to see featured in Android Circuit, get in touch!






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IBD 50 Caps Impressive 2-Week Rally

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Year-To-Date Winners: We Have Found The Market And It's Apple

APPLE – THE BEST OPPORTUNITY EVER?

I SEE APPLE GOING BACK ABOVE $300, SOONER RATHER THAN LATER

The IBD 50 just capped its best two-week performance in more than three years — a run that’s produced a batch of breakouts.

The index rallied 9.4% over the past two weeks. That’s the best two-week period since July 2011, when the IBD 50 roared 11.4%.

Last week, the IBD 50 added 3%. It was comparable to the Nasdaq’s 3.3% burst and the S&P 500’s 2.7% jump.

With the market heating up, the latter half of October saw several breakouts among leading stocks.

Those have provided growth investors with more opportunities than in many months.

Health care leaders Akorn (NASDAQ:AKRX), Illumina (NASDAQ:ILMN), Celgene (NASDAQ:CELG) and Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD) were some of the appealing breakouts. In other sectors, Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU), Old Dominion Freight Lines (NASDAQ:ODFL), FleetCor (NYSE:FLT), Advance Auto Parts (NYSE:AAP) and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) have bolted into buy areas, though some are already extended.

Despite that the market has rallied sharply, some top-rated stocks are still forming bases. If they break out, those stocks could become the next chances to take advantage of the new uptrend.

Avago (NASDAQ:AVGO) is forming a cup-shaped base with a buy point at 98.98. The chipmaker’s earnings growth accelerated 16%, 29%, 39% and 70% the past few quarters. Analysts expect a 90% surge in the next quarterly report.

NXP Semiconductors (NASDAQ:NXPI), another chipmaker, is climbing the right side of a six-week-old base. The potential buy point is at 73.92.

The Netherlands-based company on Oct. 23 posted a 59% rise in Q3 earnings with sales growing 21%.

Jazz Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:JAZZ) is shaping another cup-type base. The potential buy point is at 176.46. The company is reporting earnings Tuesday. Analysts expect a 25% increase in profit, to $2.23 a share. The previous four quarter’s EPS gains ranged from 12% to 43%.

Foot Locker (NYSE:FL) is forming a flat base with a buy point at 58.50.

Although the stock technically is working on an early-stage base, Foot Locker has more than quadrupled in price from its 2009 lows.

Some of the bases in the IBD 50 have a V-shape. Normally, that’s considered weak form. But the indexes themselves have shaped V-like charts, so bases today that look jagged are merely reflecting the broad market’s rapid decline and recovery.

CDW (NASDAQ:CDW) has more work to do on its base. Most of the pattern has formed below the 50-day moving average, making it a weak base.






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Trust Works for Berkshire Hathaway’s Charlie Munger

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My 2014 Best Performers, Looking Ahead To 2015

5 Value Growth Stocks I Am Buying Now

“A lot of people think if you just had more process and more compliance – checks and double-checks and so forth – you could create a better result in the world. Well, Berkshire has had practically no process. We had hardly any internal auditing until they forced it on us. We just try to operate in a seamless web of deserved trust and be careful whom we trust.” – Charlie Munger (Trades, Portfolio)

It is often said that opposites attract. That piece of conventional wisdom usually applies to romantic relationships, but it can apply to professional relationships, too. Take Warren Buffett (Trades, Portfolio) and Charlie Munger (Trades, Portfolio), for example. Buffett calls Munger his “partner,” and, while they aren’t exactly opposites, there are ways in which they differ.

They don’t see eye to eye on politics, for one thing. Buffett is known to favor Democrats, Munger Republicans. Buffett immerses himself in his business while Munger has a variety of interests and prefers not to be overly involved in the day-to-day operations of Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) (BRK.B).

Otherwise, they do seem to be of the same mind on many things, and they do have several things in common. They both hail from Omaha, Nebraska. They like, respect and trust each other. The two have been best friends for decades. However, even though Munger is Buffett’s right-hand man, it would be a mistake to dismiss him as Buffett’s “Mini-Me.”

Unlike the Mini-Me of Austin Powers fame, Munger has his own thoughts on things and doesn’t hesitate to express them. He isn’t a Buffett clone, but “we both think the other one is worth listening to,” he has said.

That doesn’t mean that he is injudicious in his use of the spoken word. “I’m not entitled to have an opinion unless I can state the arguments against my position better than the people who are in opposition,” he has said. “I think that I am qualified to speak only when I’ve reached that state.”

Munger has operated independently of Buffett. There was a time, in the 1960s and 1970s, when Munger ran an investment partnership. The vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, Munger (who also has served as chairman of Wesco Financial – now a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway – and has been the chairman of Daily Journal Corporation since 1977) embraces the role of Buffett’s (sometimes silent) partner.

“A partner ideally is capable of working alone,” he said. “You can be a dominant partner, subordinate partner or an always collaborative equal partner. I’ve done all three. People couldn’t believe that I suddenly made myself a subordinate partner to Warren. But there are people that it’s OK to be subordinate partner to. I didn’t have the kind of ego that prevented it. There always are people who will be better at something than you are. You have to learn to be a follower before you become a leader. People should learn to play all roles. You can divide up in different ways with different people.”

Trust – a word that may seem foreign in an often-cutthroat field like investing – is the approach that seems to work for Munger and Buffett.

“By the standards of the rest of the world, we overtrust,” Munger told Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meeting. “So far it has worked very well for us. Some would see it as weakness.”

It isn’t an approach that would necessarily work for everyone, but it clearly works for Buffett and Munger (who is worth $1.3 billion).

“As Pollyannaish as Mr. Munger may sound,” wrote Andrew Ross Sorkin in the New York Times last spring, “his view has a profound counterintuitive truth to it: Behavioral scientists and psychologists have long contended that ‘trust’ is, to some degree, one of the most powerful forces within organizations.”

It goes a long way toward explaining how, as the Wall Street Journal‘s Jason Zweig wrote, “two men could take a jumble of dying textile mills, stagnant department stores and a trading-stamp company and turn it into the fifth-biggest firm in America, with a stock-market value of $337 billion.”

That exceeds General Electric (GE), prompting Munger to ask, “How the hell does this thing end up blowing past GE?” which is valued at $260 billion.

Munger’s portfolio of holdings through the Daily Journal Corporation consists of four stocks – three U.S. banks, Bank of America Corp. (BAC), Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC) and U.S. Bancorp (USB) and a South Korea-based steelmaking company, POSCO (PKX).

Berkshire Hathaway has significant holdings in American Express (AXP), Coca-Cola (KO), Wells Fargo, and IBM (IBM).

If trust is the reason for Munger’s business success, it may also explain his reputation for contributing to higher education. Perhaps it is his way of showing his trust in the future.

Munger has supported the University of Michigan, where he studied mathematics, and Stanford University, from which one of his daughters and his second wife graduated.

Both schools have been recipients of shares of Berkshire Hathaway’s Class A stock. Shares were priced at nearly $116,000 when Munger gave 10 shares to Michigan in 2011. Seven years earlier, he gave 500 shares (worth $43.5 million at the time) to Stanford.

Since August, a single share of Berkshire Hathaway’s Class A stock has been selling for more than $200,000.

View photo

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Earlier this month, Munger donated $65 million to the University of California-Santa Barbara’s Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics. It is the largest individual donation in UCSB’s history.

“Physicists gain enormously from knowing one another and talking to one another and trusting one another,” Munger said in announcing the gift. “That’s been recognized for a great many decades, but for a long time it just wasn’t feasible. Now we can get people together from all over the world, and these people can cross-fertilize each other.”

This article first appeared on GuruFocus.

  • Finance
  • Berkshire Hathaway
  • Charlie Munger
  • Berkshire






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