Category Archives: Finance

Let’s Play Credit Card Roulette!

There’s always an awkward moment when you’re out for dinner with other people and the check arrives. Do you split it? How? Are the circumstances such that someone should pick up the whole thing? Frankly, I find nothing more irritating than this post-dining kabuki, especially when there’s some would-be accountant who wants to carve the whole thing up in bizarre and annoying ways. You can avoid this problem with a simple game: credit card roulette.

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Media World Dumber in 2010

Seriously, someone’s been munching on a shitload of paste. In Q2 2010, 44 more magazines launched than in 2010. This means two things (1) people have more money than they did last year and (2) they have no clue what the fuck to do with it. The former makes sense, given that in Q2 2009, we were still reeling from the September 2008 financial crisis. So, it would make sense that, as we turn the corner, there’s more money floating around … and it’s looking for a home.

And the latter? Yeah, fools and their money and such.

I don’t know what would possess someone to launch a dead-tree edition in this (or any) market. Look for the giant flushing sound in a few quarters. It will be those new magazines getting pushed through the plumbing.

via FishbowlNY

Facebook Worth $25 Billion? Really?

Chart via TechCrunch

Private company valuations on SecondMarket (and other similar “exchanges”) make for great blog fodder, but I’m not sure I buy into the hype. The latest result for Facebook is a $25 billion valuation … for a company that celebrated being cash flow positive a year ago and has yet to turn a profit.

Queue the sock puppets and launch a black rocket. It’s 1999 all over again.

Let’s compare it to the actual values of public companies like AOL ($2.3 billion) and Yahoo! ($21 billion), as reported by TechCrunch today. Facebook at $25 billion without any real liquidity? I’m having trouble stomaching that one. Of course, I’m something of a skeptic, so take my opinions with a grain of salt.

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Twitter’s New Ad Move: And What Comes Next

Twitter just announced that it’s no longer letting its users push their own sponsored tweets. It’s about time. I’m not opposed to sponsored tweets (quite the contrary, actually), but I see Twitter’s decision as a business necessity, and I’m glad the company is in the right frame of mind.

For a long time, Twitter was a great place to generate revenue … as long as you weren’t Twitter. I wrote about this several times for DailyFinance and BloggingStocks. Plenty of companies, especially those in the media sector, were including Twitter in their advertising deals, which opened up a new revenue stream for them.

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Why Twitter Will Be Profitable by the End of the Year

Did you really think you’d read that headline six months ago? Well, a lot has changed since then! Claims of Twitter’s profitability arose the week before Christmas last year, when BusinessWeek used the two real-time search deals closed by the company (with Google and Microsoft) to do some basic math. It didn’t hold up, but the new year has brought new revenue. I strongly suspect that 2010 will be Twitter’s first in the black.

What happened at the end of 2009? Well, in October, Twitter locked in $25 million in revenue through the Microsoft and Google data licensing deals. The company also revealed that its annual expenses were around $20 million. So, $25 million minus $20 million equals a $5 million profit, right?

Not really.

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Drake, AICPA and tax software … Dad wins

My father and I have a running thing about Drake Software. I used to be the software review writer for CPA Magazine, which I did for more than three years (until I needed a break). When it came to vanilla tax prep, most of them were generally the same. But, my father’s a big Drake fan, and I always felt it differentiated itself by its poor user interface design.

So, a recent e-mail from my father was good for a laugh. The 2009 American Institute for Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) just published its annual survey on tax software, and Drake came out on top.

You win, Dad.

Read the AICPA survey >>

Obama tells banks to lend, clearly doesn’t understand risk management

Bankers need to put their money to work, President Obama says. On Sunday, he said that the “fat cat bankers,” a safe expression to use when appealing to Middle America, “still don’t get it.” So, he’s pushing them to make more loans and accept the fact that regulation is coming.

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