Why Finance And Innovation Are Perfect Business Partners

The importance of innovation is oft-discussed – in media, books and, perhaps most importantly, in the boardroom. What’s little discussed, however, is how to execute on that innovation and who to partner with to get it done. At Blue Shield of California (BSC), a symbiotic relationship has formed between the finance and innovation teams, highlighting the benefits of working closely together for business efficiency. This month I spoke with BSC CFO, Sandra Clarke, to learn more about her perspective on innovation, how she works with the chief innovation officer and why finance and innovation ultimately go hand in hand.

Jeffrey Thomson: You recently assumed the role of CFO at Blue Shield of California (BSC), previously serving as CFO at Daiichi Sankyo’s U.S. subsidiary, a global pharmaceutical company. What do you like about working in the healthcare industry? What unique challenges does the finance and accounting function face in this competitive, highly regulated industry?

Sandra Clarke: I really like being able to contribute to the health and well-being of our society and the opportunity to innovate in an industry that touches every person in our country. Our mission at Blue Shield is to provide access to high quality healthcare that is worthy of our family and friends, and that is sustainably affordable. We have a lot of work to do to achieve that goal. But I like a challenge, and I’m energized by what lies ahead.

Being part of a nonprofit healthcare organization also really resonated with me. We are driven by the needs of our members, not the returns for shareholders. We voluntarily cap our net income at two percent of revenue, returning anything above that to our customers and the community. From a finance perspective, this somewhat limits our access to capital for the investments we need to make to change the way care is delivered, but there are also benefits. Because we are focused on the satisfaction of our members and not on the satisfaction of investors, we can make long-term investments that will improve the member experience, healthcare quality and affordability without having to worry as much about their initial impact on quarterly earnings.

[“source=gsmarena”]

SIP investment: Why you need to accept losses

are indeed low

To create wealth from stock markets, one should stay invested.

By Dhruv Desai

It is a good practice to remain invested in a falling market or better still, invest more to ensure great returns when market recovers. Majority of the investors would know this but unfortunately, majority of them fail to stick to this advice.

To create wealth from stock markets, one should stay invested. Likes of Warren Buffet, Rakesh Jhunjhunwala didn’t become rich overnight. They have seen all ups and down in the market and had managed to stay invested. In fact, they managed to invest when the market was at the lowest or at least the stock was trading cheap.

Stay invested
When we buy the stock for long term, we feel we will remain invested or invest more when the market falls. But do we actually do it? Let us take an example : Suppose we start systematic investment plan (SIP) of Rs 1,000 every month in HDFC Equity Fund from January 2007. I am taking this year since the market before that was roaring and that would convince many investors to start their investing in the stock market. From January 2007 to January 2008, the returns would be 29.68% where we would have invested Rs 13,000 and we would be getting a return of Rs 16,859. Then in October 2008, the investment would be worth Rs 13,370 from an investment of Rs 22,000. So we would be looking at a loss of 39.22%.

I doubt if any investors would still continue their SIP. I have seen many investors taking a loss and withdrawing from market stating stock market is not meant for them. In fact, if they had continued for another year, i.e., till December 24, 2009, the return would be Rs 53,533 and amount invested would be Rs 36,000 which would give us the return of 48.70%. In fact, if the investor would have continued the same SIP of Rs 1,000 every month, the return currently would be Rs 3,35,060 from an invested amount of Rs 1,43,000. That would give a return of 134% in a span of 10 years.

Investor’s confidence
Falling market tends to shake off investors’ confidence in the market. This is psychology, where fear prevails common sense. When the market is touching new highs, in spite of a warning from the back of our mind that the market is overbought, greed prevails and we find ourselves over committing in the market.

Investors should remove the notion from their mind that equity market will give high returns no matter what. We have seen where in a span of one year, the return was negative 39.22%. It is a volatile asset class and will remain so. Investors need to accept this. Investors who have seen high returns in past are less likely to be swayed by fear compare to investors who have seen low returns in past.

In rising markets, it is easy to say we will remain invested when the market falls but when it really falls, investors tend to crash out and take a loss rather than seeing it as an opportunity to invest more. They feel that the market will fall further and then they will invest. But it is impossible to time the market or catch low. In fact, even if they are getting cheaper stocks, they will wait more in fear that it will fall more.
My aim in this article is to highlight that one needs to accept losses too when doing their SIP. If your tolerance is low in the falling market, teach yourself to overcome your fears when things get bad. Otherwise, you will miss the opportunity of investing when prices indeed are cheap.

[“source=forbes]

Why fashion is the world’s most polluting industry

The fashion week tents have been packed up and the models sent home until the next collection debuts, but one deeply entrenched industry trend shows no sign of stopping: Fast fashion, which has become one of the biggest sources of pollution in the world.

According to a recent report, the textile industry emits more greenhouse gas emissions than international shipping and aviation combined. And the amount of waste the industry generates, as well as how much water and resources it uses, is increasing.

Since 2000, global clothes production has more than doubled, and the average person now buys 60 percent more items of clothing every year and keeps them for about half as long as they did 15 years ago. In the USA, over 85 percent of those clothes end up in a landfill.

China, which produces 50 percent of the world’s textiles, and imports the largest amount of recycled clothing, has been dealing with pollution from the industry for decades: Most recycled clothing from around the world is up routed there and turned into yarn. But starting this year, China will begin implementing a ban on the import of 24 solid materials, including textiles.

Nate Herman, the Senior Vice President of Supply Chain for the American Apparel & Footwear Association told VICE News things are going to get much worse.

“They have cut the source materials for recycled fabrics. It will have a very negative effect on our efforts to make the industry more sustainable,” he said.

But recycling clothes currently is extremely difficult — much of our clothing is from blended fabrics or synthetic materials, meaning that it is often more time and resource intensive to recycle them than to just produce new clothes.

Some experts, such as Ellen MacArthur whose foundation is leading the charge on creating a circular economy for textiles and who estimates that waste generated from textiles is worth $500 billion a year, believes that the fashion industry needs to go beyond just better recycling.

VICE News examines efforts to transform the textile economy and how some big name companies like H&M and Nike have signed up.

[“Source-vice”]a