How to Profit From Growth Investing

Growth investing is an investment strategy that makes capital appreciation its primary goal. However, like any form of investing growth investing requires discipline and the ability to evaluate a company’s true potential.

June
11, 2021

5 min read

This story originally appeared on MarketBeat

Growth investing is an investment strategy that makes capital appreciation its primary goal. This is the opposite of value investing which prioritizes preserving capital, even at the expense of short-term capital growth.  
Growth investing considers a company’s present financial situation as well as its likelihood for future growth. Growth stocks can be volatile so having the ability to cast an objective eye on a company’s financial picture helps you understand if a recent upturn is worth chasing or if a recent downturn is a buy the dip opportunity.  
This eye on the present and the future sets growth investing apart from pure speculative investing. True, there’s an element of speculation to all investing. After all, if every stock was totally predictable, everyone would be successful at investing. However, purely speculative investors tend to be traders who are only concerned about strong stock price movement in a particular direction regardless of the underlying fundamentals.  
Here are a couple of tips to help you become a better growth investor: 
Take Your Emotions Out Of It 
When pursuing a growth investing strategy it’s important to have a few rules you can use as anchor points. When a stock is making a strong move in either direction it’s easy for emotion to take over. But emotional decisions are rarely good decisions.  
Many successful investors follow an investing rule that states you should always sell a stock if it falls 7%-8% below the price you paid for it, period. Conversely, many investors set a growth target of 20% to 25% as a time to take profits.  
Rely on Fundamental Analysis…to a Point 
This might also be called performing your due diligence. Successful growth investors will look at fundamental analysis metrics like price-to-earnings or price-to-book ratios. But if the company appears to have the ability to deliver above-average growth they may be willing to buy the stock even if these ratios suggest the stock is overvalued.  
Understand your Risk Tolerance  
It’s fair to say that growth investors have a higher appetite for risk than value investors. However, growth investing has a place in almost every investor’s portfolio. While there’s a risk of some loss, growth investing is one of the only ways that investors can maximize their gains in a bull market and help to offset their losses in a bear market.  
Examples of Growth Stocks 
The primary criteria for defining a growth stock is that the stock is growing due to its core business operations. Some companies can show growth via cost-cutting or other accounting maneuvers. However, a true growth stock will show a company that is delivering organic revenue and earnings growth. Case studies will be written on Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and the rest of the FAANG stocks are an example of growth stocks. However, this can be true of a stock even if the company is not yet profitable. Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) is a good example of this. 
And a stock may go from being a growth stock to a value stock and vice versa. For example, for many years, Disney (NYSE:DIS) didn’t qualify as a growth stock. However, since 2010 the company has become one of the strongest growth stocks in addition to paying a dividend. This brings up another point. 
A Growth Stock Can Pay a Dividend 
When a company is in growth mode, it is deploying a portion of its capital to sustain its growth. This comes at the expense of tactics such as offering a dividend that directly rewards shareholders. However, growth investors are willing to accept this lack of a dividend if the company hits its growth targets.  
However, in some cases, a company can achieve capital growth while still having enough capital to offer a dividend. These are typically thought of as “forever stocks” because they are loved by both growth investors and value investors.  
The Final Word on Growth Investing 
Growth investors prioritize capital appreciation over the preservation of capital and/or the opportunity to collect a dividend. With that said, growth investing is a strategy that every investor can practice at one time or another. Over time, the overall trend for stocks has been positive. So to avoid growth investing completely is to deny yourself an opportunity for spectacular growth.  
However, like any form of investing growth investing requires discipline and the ability to evaluate a company’s true potential. Many companies can have one or two good quarters. The best companies layer quarter after quarter of solid results.   Amazon.com is a part of the Entrepreneur Index, which tracks some of the largest publicly traded companies founded and run by entrepreneurs.

Four Smart Ways To Reduce Cart Abandonment

By John Brackett, founder of Smash Balloon, the world’s leading social media feed plug-ins for WordPress.
Are you looking for a way to reduce shopping cart abandonment and boost sales? If so, you’re not alone. Business owners across all industries are constantly looking for ways to keep visitors engaged with their brand. 
If you don’t know, shopping cart abandonment is when consumers add items to their cart but leave before they complete their order. You may be shocked to learn that the average abandonment rate in select industries is a whopping 88.05%!

The good news is there are plenty of innovative ways you can bring these folks back to your website to complete their orders. Let’s look at several strategies you can use to not only reduce cart abandonment but also to convince customers to complete their order the first time they add an item to their cart. 

1. Keep Pricing Simple
First, if you want to keep people on your website, simple pricing is vital. Consumers often leave checkout pages due to unexpected costs. You’ll dramatically reduce abandonment by simplifying your checkout page and ordering process. 

Consider including a shopping cart icon on your website’s overlay that users can click on whenever they want. At the bottom of the cart, they should see their exact total. This one small change will lead to more people following through with their purchases.

You can also incentivize people to order by offering free delivery. Include a banner at the top of your product page that lets users know how much they need to spend to get free shipping. Not only will this lead to more completed purchases, but it can also boost the price of your average order value. 
2. Send Personalized Emails
If a consumer adds a product to their cart, there’s a good chance they are subscribed to your email list. Instead of letting them leave for good, you could send out a personalized marketing email. 
Use what you know about your customers to create eye-catching recovery emails. For instance, you could include the name of the product or customer in the subject line of your message. 
My team sends out three “abandonment emails” within one week of a customer leaving their shopping cart behind. If they don’t come back by the second message, we send a discount along with a reminder to encourage them to complete their order. 
Use your audience segments to create personalized campaigns for specific users. For example, a clothing company would create multiple email drips for users based on customers’ style preferences, budget and on-site behavior. 
3. Show That You’re Trustworthy
We’ve all visited an online store that didn’t look or feel trustworthy. People are unwilling to put sensitive information like their email addresses and bank information on websites that don’t appear reputable. 
Online shopping has made it so we can’t talk to visitors face-to-face, which makes it hard to show that you can be trusted. Instead, you have to rely on social proof tools and practices to show visitors that your brand is honest and puts customers first. 
Reviews and testimonials are an excellent way to show new visitors that you’re trustworthy. Encourage customers to leave reviews after they’ve spent some time with your product or service. When new visitors find your website and see that other people had positive experiences in the past, they are more likely to complete the checkout process. 
You can also build social proof by including trust seals on your checkout forms. Consumers are more likely to give you their information if they see that your brand is endorsed by a high-profile security company like McAfee or Norton. 
4. Use FOMO Marketing
Finally, you can prevent people from leaving and bring them back through fear-of-missing-out (FOMO) marketing. As the name implies, FOMO is when a consumer worries about missing out on a deal or experience and makes a purchase. 
There are several ways you can add FOMO marketing to your strategy. If you decide to host a flash sale, add a countdown timer to the top of your screen so users can see how long they have to take advantage of your deal. This small addition could nudge potential customers who are on the fence to finalize their orders. 
You can also include elements of FOMO in your social media and email marketing. When you reach out to users and ask them to come back, include a time-sensitive offer so subscribers don’t have a long time to think about whether they should return. You don’t want to rush them, but at the same time, you don’t want them to forget that they added items to their cart in the first place. 
Back To You
As you can see, there are plenty of clever ways to reduce shopping cart abandonment. You may have to experiment with some of these strategies to find what works for you, but this is one marketing effort worth pursuing.

What Are Penny Stocks? 4 to Buy [Or Sell] In 2021

June
10, 2021

8 min read

This story originally appeared on PennyStocks

4 Hot Penny Stocks to Watch in 2021

Penny stocks are some of the most popular securities among traders right now. And, there’s a good reason for that. For one, the low price of penny stocks means that they have the potential to make major intraday jumps or falls in value. 

For example, it is common to see a penny stock go from $2 to $4 in the span of a few weeks, doubling in that period. However, it is not common to see a blue-chip stock go from $50 to $100 in the same time (unless it’s GME stock). This means that the opportunity to see large moves in your portfolio in both directions is plausible. 

What Are Penny Stocks?

With penny stocks, it is extremely important to stay up to date on the news. By nature, penny stocks are all under $5. This means that the amount of shares trading hands, or volume, can often be in the millions or even hundreds of millions.

[Read More] Best Penny Stocks To Buy? 4 to Watch With High Volume Right Now

Because of this, things move very fast, and speculation can be one of the largest impacting factors to watch out for. This should not serve to incite fear, but rather it should show how important understanding current events is when it comes to investing in penny stocks. 

The next thing to consider is that liquidity is key. While some penny stocks to watch will trade hands hundreds of millions of times per day, others will only do so in the thousands or hundreds of thousands. This is not usually a large issue if you’re looking to hold. However, if you wish to buy and sell penny stocks in a short time frame, low volume means that liquidity is difficult to come by. 

The last aspect to consider is the fundamentals and analyst sentiment regarding specific penny stocks. Many websites will offer information such as the latest balance sheets, any corporate updates, and analyst recommendations. While these tend to be less impacting on a stock price than speculation, they are still incredibly important to consider. So, with all of this in mind, let’s take a look at four penny stocks to buy [or sell] in 2021. 

4 Penny Stocks to Watch in 2021

Orphazyme ADR (NASDAQ: ORPH)Support.com Inc. (NASDAQ: SPRT) vTv Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: VTVT) Amesite Inc. (NASDAQ: AMST) 

1. Orphazyme ADR (NASDAQ: ORPH) 

Up by a ludicrous 880% at midday is ORPH stock. Before we even take a step further, it’s worth noting that the volatility here is incredibly high. This means that risk is equally as high. But, looking at its gain today, this is all very obvious.

While no company-specific news came out today, we are seeing a great deal of bullish momentum with most biotech penny stocks. For some context, Orphazyme is a biopharmaceutical penny stock, working on heat shock protein response-based treatments. These can be in use for a variety of rare diseases including Gaucher Disease, Niemann-Pick disease type C, and more. 

[Read More] Reddit Penny Stocks to Watch in 2021, 4 For Your List In June 2021

Heat shock proteins or HSPs are in development for diseases that cause protein aggregation, protein misfiling, and lysosomal dysfunction. Last month, Orphazyme announced topline data from a pivotal trial of arimoclomol in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or ALS. In the trial, the compound did not meet either primary or secondary endpoints, which is not the best news for investors. 

“We are disheartened by these results, as we had hoped arimoclomol might represent a viable new approach against the formidable challenge of this devastating disease. With over 18 months of evaluation, this trial represents one of the longest-running clinical studies in this category. While unsuccessful, the data generated will contribute meaningfully to the scientific dialogue on this challenging disease.” Thomas Blaettler, MD, CMO of Orphazyme

While positive trials are ideal, not every drug will work every time. However, having this vast research bank could help ORPH to move forward on other compounds. So, considering today’s push of over 880% to north of $50 at the time of writing, is ORPH a penny stock to watch?

2. Support.com Inc. (NASDAQ: SPRT)

Up by around 21% at midday is SPRT stock. Support.com is as its name suggests, a provider of technical support solutions by home-based employees. It works with a large range of both enterprise and top-tier businesses to offer industry-leading call resolution rates across the board. Given the number of people stuck at home during the pandemic, the need for phone support has presumably increased substantially. This is seen through the solid rise that SPRT stock is seeing right now and in the past few months. 

Last week, SPRT announced the launch of its on-demand fintech and cryptocurrency customer support. This includes service offerings such as 24/7 support for cryptocurrency and NFT platforms, exchanges, and other companies involved in this market. As well know, any penny stock relating to the crypto and blockchain industry has seen dramatic growth over the past few months. And, given that we are only just breaching the surface of what crypto can do, moves are being made by new companies every day. 

Lance Rosenzweig, CEO of Support.com states that “big swings are the nature of fintech and crypto. We offer support services that can move as fast as the market.” In addition to this announcement, the company states that it will also accept bitcoin as a form of payment from its customers. This is a big deal and shows both the validity of crypto and the forward-thinking nature of SPRT. With all of this in mind, is SPRT stock worth adding to your watchlist?

3. vTv Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: VTVT) 

vTv Therapeutics is a penny stock that we’ve covered numerous times in the past few months. With a sizable 8% or so gain today, VTVT stock is once again on the radar. While no news was reported today, again, this could be a result of the large momentum with biotech stocks today. To understand VTVT, let’s take a look at its current financial situation. Last month, vTv reported its Q1 2021 financial results as well as some corporate updates. 

“The vTv team continued to build on the clinical success of our type 1 diabetes program during the quarter by obtaining Breakthrough Therapy designation from the FDA for TTP399 and by initiating a Phase 1 study to understand TTP399’s impact on ketoacidosis.” CEO of VTVT, Steve Holcombe

Financially, VTVT ended the quarter with a net loss of around $5.9 million. Additionally, it brought in revenue of around $1.0 million. Lastly, vTv ended the quarter with roughly $8.4 million in cash on hand, up by over $2 million from the previous quarter. 

[Read More] Hot Penny Stocks To Watch As AMC Stock Ignites Small Caps In June

While these numbers may seem disheartening at first, low revenue and losses are common with biotech stocks. This is true until a product is either commercialized or licensed out. Because vTv is working hard to get TTP399 close to commercialization, VTVT stock could be considered either a short or long-term play. Considering these factors, will it be on your list of penny stocks to watch?

4. Amesite Inc. (NASDAQ: AMST) 

Another major gainer of the day is Amesite Inc., pushing up by roughly 41% at midday. While shares did hit a daily high of +76%, they did correct shortly after. Again, no news was reported today, causing this large spike in price. So, let’s look at the company to see if we can deduce a reason. 

Amesite is a high-tech artificial intelligence software producer offering everything from cloud platforms to content creation services. It offers these products to businesses, universities, and other educational institutions. This allows its reach to be quite broad. Last week, the company announced the launch of remote upskilling courses on Microsoft Azure, in partnership with Wayne State University. 

“As a Microsoft Partner, we had access to the Azure FastTrack for ISV program, where we engaged with senior-level engineers to help us develop a truly cloud-native solution. Through the Partner Program, we can reach a vast network of professionals through Microsoft’s connections to universities and companies across the country, on Microsoft Azure.” CEO of Amesite, Dr. Ann Marie Sastry

According to the research group, Knowledge Sourcing Intelligence, the worldwide digital education market could be worth as much as $319 billion within the next four years. This would represent a CAGR or continuous annual growth rate of 9.23% from 2020 to 2025. While Amesite is working to get its market share up, it looks like these partnerships are helping to boost its position. With its large share price increase today, AMST stock could be worth keeping an eye on. 

Penny Stocks Continue to See Bullish Momentum 

As we move further into the Summer, penny stocks continue to see solid bullish momentum. While this isn’t necessarily the case across the board, there are quite a lot of penny stocks increasing by substantial amounts as illustrated above.

Some of the penny stocks on this list are unicorns in the amount they gained today. But, no one is complaining about a stock rising in the triple-digit percentage points. However, looking at the stocks mentioned above, we see just how volatile investing in small-caps can be.

[Read More] Trending Penny Stocks to Buy Right Now? 4 For Your Watchlist

And, if you can play your cards right, there are plenty of ways to take advantage of this high volatility. Considering this, which penny stocks are on your June 2021 watchlist?

Underground Tips for Starting a Mushroom Farm

Mushroom farming, which started many years ago, today is one of the most rapidly growing farming businesses. As a business, the predicted growth rate is 10% over the next 5 years. And the US is the world’s second-largest producer.What is a Mushroom Farm?Mushrooms are fungi, that grow and live in organic material. Growing mushrooms is also called fungi culture. The business of growing them is a mushroom farm.Why You Should Start a Large-Scale Mushroom Farming BusinessDo you want to start a large-scale mushroom farm because you’re a fun-gi?There’s are other good reasons:Mushrooms can be grown year-round.Mushrooms are grown indoors, so not directly impacted by weather as is a typical problem in farming.Waste can be recycled.High-protein foods are in demand and mushrooms are high protein.With a good business plan for expansion, you can start small and grow.Empty industrial buildings have the potential for growing mushrooms in urban farming settings.The Mushroom Farm Industry in the United StatesIn 2020, the mushroom farm industry was valued at about $46 billion. The compound annual growth rate is projected at 9.5% from 2021-2028.Harvested mushrooms have a short shelf life, from 1-3 days. That may be why the highest growth rate is predicted to be in mushroom processed forms, such as dried, frozen, canned, pickled and powdered.The US is the world’s second-largest producer and Europe is the world’s biggest consumer. Europe relies almost entirely on imports to supply that food.How Much Does it Cost to Start a Mushroom Farm?The cost to start mushroom growing of course can vary widely, depending on how big the operation is at the outset. The cost can range from $3,000 to $100,000. In the farm industry, that’s low amongst starter crops.The main cost is acquiring the right space – You need a building with a concrete floor where you can supply adequate ventilation and temperature control. You’ll also need plenty of outdoor space, preferably with a concrete floor.Here’s an example: With a 500-square-foot growing space, you should produce 12,000 pounds of mushrooms a year. A pound of mushrooms is currently sold at $6-8 per pound.How long before you’re flush? Business income in the first year of mushroom growing can be $120,000. By the third year, the profits should double your business income.Products that Can be Sold by a Mushroom Farming BusinessPost-crop mushroom compost – Can’t be reused by the mushroom grower, but is valuable as a soil amendment or potting dirt.Ready-to-fruit blocks – These blocks are kits usually containing sawdust and grain, compressed into a block. The grain is inoculated with mushroom spawn. The blocks are each put in a plastic bag and put in a box. The blocks are sold to consumers as kits, for $20 and more depending on the variety on the block.Mushrooms – Shiitake is the most profitable type, currently at $12 per pound. Oyster mushrooms are gourmet, and also widely popular. Up and coming is Maitake, also known as Hen of the Woods. It’s so named because it has a slight chicken taste, and is popular with cooks and chefs.How to Start a Mushroom Business: 11 Important StepsYou’ve already learned that you need space, air/light and temperature control. The size and proper maintenance of the compost pile are of utmost importance for success.This can involve work that is extremely labor-intensive. For example, the pile can be turned by a piece of equipment, such as a tractor with a bucket. The compost pile needs aeration. Large-scale growers use forced air – delivered by nozzles or spigots – or specialized compost turning machines.In other words, step 1 in the business is very careful planning.Step 1: Start Planning Your BusinessStart with a list of basic needs for the business of growing mushrooms:You need plenty of space, indoors and outdoors.You need an indoor facility where it’s not overly costly to provide ventilation and temperature control and light. As a rule, you’ll need a room where temperature, light and ventilation can be controlled.You need access to nearby markets.You need an odor reduction plan for compost that is on deck outside.Proximity to agricultural areas is a plus, as you’ll need access to supplies such as horse manure.Step 2 – Acquire the LandA typical compost pile is six feet wide, six feet high, and as long as necessary. If moisture is added to the pile – such as with rain or snow – that can compact the content, and that’s bad.Compaction can cause all sorts of problems. Growth becomes anaerobic and provides perfect conditions for viral, bacterial and fungal diseases.In short, Step 2 is the most important step. Here’s the perfect property:Concrete floors outdoors that are covered by roofing.An indoor room that already has ventilation to control humidity and temperature. The best is hot air blown through ventilation ducts.Outdoor areas large enough for compost piles. Consider proximity to residential areas, as due to content the compost piles can emanate odors. Outdoor compost piles must be covered to prevent rain/snow from affecting them.Step 3: Learn Everything You Can about Mushroom FarmingThere are some basic terms to know about growing mushrooms:Spores – Who knew? Mushrooms produce millions of microscopic spores. The spores are on the gills which line the underside of the cap. The spores are like seeds.Spawn making – Getting spores to germinate is called spawn making. The prepared spores are called Mycelium.Spawn – The Mycelium plus water are added to sterilized grain, such as millet, rye or wheat. Rye grain is most commonly used. It is then called spawn. Spawn can be refrigerated for a few months.Many colleges and universities provide a guide for starting a mushroom business.Step 4: Decide How Your Mushroom Farm will be DesignedStep 4 is design. There are three main growing systems for mushrooms, and each has two phases.In phase one, the compost is prepped. this takes place in the open air but under a roof. In phase two, the compost is kept in the right condition for growing.Here are the main production designs:Zoned – The compost is packed about 6 feet high onto trays. The trays are moved to an environmentally controlled room.Bed or shelf – One room is used for all stages.Bulk system – Compost is placed in an insulated tunnel. The tunnel has a perforated floor and computer-controlled aeration. When it’s prepped it’s moved to an environmentally controlled room.Step 5:Acquire the Materials and EquipmentStep 5 is material and equipment. The basic materials for compost content are horse manure and wheat straw.And P.S. the horse farm probably isn’t going to deliver. You’ll need a dump truck.Due to the seasonal nature of straw availability, you need to buy when available and store on your property.Gypsum is added to the compost mix. Gypsum helps air permeate the compost. Usually, you’ll need 40 pounds of gypsum per ton of manure mix.Mycelium – The starter spores for the mushrooms.Peat Moss – This is added as a top layer to the compost once it’s set in place in the incubation room.Supplements – Years ago, mushroom growers added nitrogen supplements such as peanuts, cotton and corn distillers grain to the compost. That’s still done as it was years ago. But today there are commercially-made supplements that are time-released.Step 6: Decide Which Mushrooms You will GrowThe are three main varieties: smooth white, off-white, and brown. There are eight strains in each variety.How do you choose? What’s your market?Shiitake has many benefits for growers. The biggest benefit is that it’s the species most commonly used in its dry form.Oyster mushrooms are considered a delicacy and much-sought by restaurants.Crimini and Portobello are prized for their unique flavors. Also in demand by restaurants.Step 7: Choose Your Cultivation MethodPrepping the compost is hugely important and more technical than you’d think.The mix – Typically the compost mix is about 85% manure and straw, plus the other ingredients such as gypsum.The equipment – As a basic, you’ll need a loader (with a bucket). The compost should be turned over, 3 or 4 turns for a section, every 2 or 3 days. The main thing to avoid is compaction. A large-scale business uses a compost turner, that mixes and aerates. That doesn’t replace the loader. You’ll need a loader to move the material to the compost turner.Aeration technique – A compost turner can do the aerating. Or the compost can be aerated by a forced-air system that is piped into the compost area.Temperature control: Prepping the compost takes 2 or 3 weeks. Then it is ready to be pasteurized in a temperature-controlled room. The temperature of the compost is lowered in stages in the room to kill bacteria and weed seeds, and remove ammonia. This process takes about a week.Step 8: Hire a TeamEven when many of the steps are automated, such as temperature and moisture control, your farm manager is important. Temperature and moisture control must be constantly monitored, and quick adjustments made as needed.At harvest time, you’ll need access to hard-working temporary workers.Step 9: Get Your Mushroom Production RightLet’s review. Here’s a checklist of steps in the mushroom business:Produce or Buy the SpawnThe spores come from gills that are under the mushroom cap. Getting the spores to germinate is called spawn making. The prepared spores are called mycelium. Spawn is a grain or seed that holds mushroom mycelium.The majority of large-scale farmers buy mushroom spawn. They choose that method because the mushroom spores germination can be unreliable.Create and Prepare the SubstrateYou’ll need to plan a way to have a steady acquisition of the main ingredients. Each ingredient is crucial to the proper preparation of the substrate, or compost base.Incubate the MushroomsThere are two steps, casing, and pinning, that take place in the fruiting room:Casing – The compost is moved to the fruiting room. In that room, a layer of mixed peat moss and limestone is spread over it.Pinning – The spawn is spread in the casing. When the first mushrooms appear, they look like very slender white pins. That’s why it’s called pinning.Complete the Fruiting ProcessThe pins grow into buttons and then larger mushrooms in the fruiting room. They will be ready for harvest in 18-21 days.Harvest at Full Mushroom GrowthHarvesting mushrooms is labor-intensive. The harvest time can stretch over 16 to 35 days. As workers pick and choose mature mushrooms, more are maturing.Once the harvest has ended, the rooms must be emptied and sterilized by steam.Step 10: Market Your FarmNow you need to shed the light on your “underground” business. Mushrooms are in high demand as food products. What’s the best way to connect with that food demand for mushrooms?Network – Use social media to announce your first and successive mushroom crop. Use your website and also place a site on FB.Reach out to businesses likely to buy your mushrooms: restaurants, grocery stores, farmers markets and food co-ops.Find sources to sell less-than-perfect mushrooms. These can be dried or used as animal feed, especially chickens.Consider marketing “starter” blocks in bags as part of your mushroom farm business. Block bags are increasingly popular. That’s because the blocks not only provide fresh, tasty mushrooms. The blocks can also be educational for families.Step 11: Have a Profitable Large-Scale Mushroom BusinessYour first crop is in the books. Now what?Keep close tabs on conditions in the grow room, using preventative maintenance to make sure proper humidity and temperature levels continue.Constantly monitor your supply of raw materials. Lose one, and you’ll need a new way to make compost.Things to Consider Before Starting a Mushroom Farm BusinessOne sure way to create negative publicity for your fledgling mushroom business is to have odor/nuisance complaints. Every guide for growing mushrooms lists odor control as highly important. You can be proactive about odor control by finding the right space.For your site, choose a lot that is not close to residential areas. Choose a lot that has a concrete base, or a lob where you can add a concrete base. Make sure there are roofs over the compost.Here are more considerations that are recommended as a guide:Is There a Market for Mushrooms in Your Area?Mushrooms have a limited shelf life of 3 to 5 days. You’ll need a ready market once harvest starts.How Much Capital Do You Need for a Mushroom Farm?You’ll need up to $100,000.Do You Have the Right Type of Substrate for Your Mushroom Farm?You’ll know by how it responds as it is developed during Phase 1 outside. If you’re seeing a lot of compaction during turning, for example, you need more dry material.What kind of Competition do you Face?There are 3 main types of mushrooms and 8 varieties within those types. If there’s a competitor already flooding the market with a certain type, you’ll want to find your niche with something different, such as marketing a mushroom block.How will you Handle Contamination Control?Contamination can happen at every stage, and it’s one of the biggest concerns. For example, one common way contamination happens is by infiltration of spores from nearby wild mushrooms.Here are steps to take for prevention:Both phase one (outdoor) and phase 2 (indoor rooms) are important steps in prepping the compost. Keep both of the phases completely separate.Control worker practices. Workers should practice good personal hygiene and wear hair restraints. No food, beverages, gum or tobacco can be used in the workplace. Workers who are ill should not come to work.Water sanitation – the water should be monitored and tested.How will you Manage Waste Control?The used compost can be added to dirt to make a good growing medium. It can be recycled back into fields as part of bioremediation.The Best Areas to Grow Mushrooms in the United StatesSince the business involves lots of outdoor work, certain year-round climates are best.Due to the constant need for raw materials, the proximity of rural farming communities is advised.But! Take a look at Mycopolitan. In 2014 a group of friends began to grow mushrooms as a business in an empty auto parts factory in north Philadelphia. Their mushrooms are grown on blocks, blocks, and blocks of them, placed on shelving. It’s a mushroom farm in an untraditional space, that provides fresh mushrooms to a slew of area restaurants. This is just one agribusiness example with an innovative solution.Is mushroom farming easy?No. There are elements of it that seem simple, such as the shortlist of ingredients for the compost.But at every step, the development and maintenance of the compost must be monitored and adjusted. You need the right setup to make that happen.How much land is required for farming mushrooms?If you plan to go large scale, you need to start with a property big enough for expansion.Remember the example: 500 square feet of growing space can produce 12,000 pounds of mushrooms annually. But, that “growing space” is indoors, a room that’s 25 x 25 feet. And the outdoor space needed to produce the compost base will be larger.How big do you want to go, how much indoor growing space will you need, and how much outdoor space to support that?Experts advise a site with a minimum of three acres. You can start with vacant land or find a vacant industrial building that lends itself to the process.How does a mushroom farm make money?Mushroom farms make money by selling mushrooms. They also make money by selling used growing material.Increasingly, selling a mushroom “starter kit” in block form is providing an additional profit. Cooks and families enjoy growing mushrooms using a block.How much profit can a mushroom farm make?A 500-square foot growing space should produce 12,000 pounds of mushrooms annually. The cost per pound of mushrooms can vary by type.A mushroom starter kit as a block can be sold for $20 and more. The cost of a block depends on the type of mushroom.Can I grow oyster or shiitake mushrooms in compost?You need compost as a base, but you also need a top layer over that. Then you mix the spawn into that top layer.Image: Depositphotos

Why Automation Must Be The Foundation Of Your Company’s Tech Library

Our understanding of work has changed significantly in the last year as we have reevaluated what it means to be efficient and effective. Companies are working to develop remote, hybrid, and in-office models that maximize employee satisfaction and keep the business on track. When it comes to tools, however, employees are overloaded with systems, platforms, and notifications.

This is where automation can provide solutions, especially if you are a small business. 
If the pandemic revealed anything, it’s that we need technology in order to progress. However, it also revealed that employees are often overworked and exhausted—perhaps even more so than many of us were aware. Automated technologies are a vital component of alleviating some of that overwork and keeping employees healthy and motivated. 
Here are a few ways that automation can help your company – big or small.
Embrace Digital Transformation

Financial teams are now increasingly turning to innovative solutions within AI and automation to eliminate the communications and productivity bottlenecks that have historically created tension within organizations. 

One of the leading financial automation platforms, Stampli, has noted the tidal shift occurring in how entrepreneurs think about their tech stack. 

“Digital transformation is now a top priority for modern entrepreneurs, CFOs, and controllers alike. They see it as a competitive advantage, particularly with the ability to repurpose team members for more strategic and value-added projects,” says Stampli’s CEO Eyal Feldman.

The importance of having robust digital processes in place was highlighted for many financial departments during the shift to remote work in 2020, and it left many controllers and CFOs rethinking their approach to agility and how to more accurately manage funds and prevent waste.
Automate Recurring Tasks
The world of business finance has a million moving pieces. Even within a single company, every member has a shared responsibility and investment in company money. The accounts payable team often interacts with every other department, gathering paperwork, making sure payments are correct, and checking to see what has been paid.
This is a recurring task no matter what type of company you run. Manually managing every invoice not only takes extensive time and effort, but it can also result in plenty of human errors. If your accounting team is still manually processing every invoice, it’s time to automate this system. 
Stampli uses machine learning to streamline the entire approval process. The AI reviews the data of previous invoices, purchase orders, and more. Once the data is confirmed, employees can handle approval requests within the platform itself so that everything is documented in one place.
The accounts payable department is just one example of a place where companies can benefit from automation. But whatever your industry or niche, the same principles apply. Automated tech stacks driven by AI provide both greater efficiency and efficacy for businesses. Not only do they reduce the frequency of human error, but they free up the invaluable brain space of employees to address more challenging, complex, and significant issues within the company.

Meme Penny Stocks Are Here to Stay; 3 For Your Summer Watchlist

June
8, 2021

8 min read

This story originally appeared on PennyStocks

3 Meme Penny Stocks For Your June Watchlist

Meme penny stocks are here to stay. While it began as more or less of a joke, these small-caps have become extremely popular among all types of investors. But before we get into what they are, let’s talk about penny stocks. When investing in any stocks under $5, the first thing to know is that volatility is high. This is due to the combination of low prices and high volume. Penny stocks are not for everyone and trading them takes careful consideration and experience. 

Next, it’s important to remember that having a trading education is extremely important. Because these stocks move so quickly, investors can win big or lose just as big in a matter of a few minutes or hours. This should not serve to scare you, but rather it illustrates how fast things can move when it comes to small caps.

Meme Penny Stocks; To Buy or Not to Buy?

In a market like today, we find stocks driven in many unconventional ways. In case you have been living under a rock, Reddit’s ‘wallstreetbets’ has been the root cause for major gains in many popular securities.

Blue chips like GameStop Corp. (NYSE: GME) and AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. (NYSE: AMC) have seen tremendous growth for no reason other than being meme stocks. These companies both have an incredible bullish sentiment from retail traders, despite rather poor performance and with AMC, a high chance of bankruptcy several months ago. 

The internet, and more specifically social media, has drastically changed how news is relayed. With access to international and domestic news at the touch of a button, current events have never been more accessible. This rapid stream of constant information has caused a great deal of volatility in the market. And this intense speculation is only fueled more via apps such as Robinhood. But, with the proper know-how, investing in meme penny stocks can be lucrative for some.

[Read More] Former Penny Stocks That Exploded in Value, One Up Over 3,500%

When considering penny stocks to buy, making a watchlist is also very important, especially in the case of meme penny stocks. Making a watchlist can help to both keep your list organized, and gauge social sentiment on a company. This can be done through reading online platforms such as Reddit and Twitter, or even reviewing what reputable news sources have to say about the recent market trends. 

With large price movements, there are usually reasons that investors can find for an explanation. For instance, both GME and AMC both highly discussed on Reddit, and any trader viewing social media could see this. Rather than buying these stocks because of intrinsic value, investors wanted to bet against massive institutional short positions. The goal was intended to force large hedge funds to sell their short positions on both of these companies and caused massive losses. 

Considering all of this, meme stocks are popular now and look like they could be for quite some time. While it may have begun as a trend, it remains a popular paradigm shift that could continue to affect the stock market in the future. With this in mind, let’s take a look at three meme penny stocks for your June watchlist.

3 Meme Penny Stocks To Add To Your June Watchlist

Cyclerion Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: CYCN)MoSys Inc. (NASDAQ: MOSY)Agenus Inc. (NASDAQ: AGEN)

1. Cyclerion Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: CYCN)

Up by around 24% at midday is Cyclerion Therapeutics Inc. While no specific news came out today, CYCN has released several updates in the past few weeks. More recently, it announced a global license agreement with Akebia Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: AKBA) for the development and commercialization of praliciguat. Additionally, it is also raising around $18 million in capital through a separate private placement. 

In the agreement, Cyclerion could receive as much as $225 million in milestone payments including around $15 million in the first year and a half. In total, CYCN could receive up to $585 million in payments if all long-term milestones are hit.

Peter Hecht, CEO of Cyclerion stated that “This capital, coupled with the praliciguat out-license announced today reinforces our strategic focus in CNS and will accelerate the advancement of clinical studies for CY6463 and the further development of our next generation molecule, CY3018.” 

Only a week before this, CYCN announced the publication of preclinical data for its CY6463 compound for neurological disorders. Because Cyclerion as a company and as a penny stock is moving so quickly, many investors are taking note. With its rapid bullish interest and large gain today, CYCN could be an interesting addition to your watchlist.

2. MoSys Inc. (NASDAQ: MOSY)

In the past year, tech stocks have become extremely popular. This is especially true when it comes to social media-driven stocks. One example of this is MoSys, a company that operates in cybersecurity, semiconductor manufacturing, cloud networking, and more. Given the massive supply shortage for semiconductors right now, MoSys is well-positioned to see increased demand for its products.

These products can permit companies to improve operational efficiency through rapid, smart data access and efficient decision-making. It uses cutting-edge modern technologies such as new forms of cloud networking, better cybersecurity, and testing/measurement systems. With tech, we often see large and swift movements in value as new products come out and new uses are discovered for those products. Additionally, when speculative events occur, we can see equally large rises or drops in value.

[Read More] Robinhood Penny Stocks Riding the AMC & Reddit Wave, Time to Hodl?

On June 7th, MOSY announced a registered direct offering priced at the market. This will result in approximately $13 million in net proceeds, which will go towards working capital and general corporate purposes. One of the reasons for this offering could be the need to secure more production of its products due to the shortage mentioned above. 

While it’s difficult to say for certain, investors do like to see a well-funded company. The issue of share dilution is always present with registered offerings, however, given that this is relatively small, it may not have too large of an effect. With the pricing set at $7.15 per share, MOSY stock only just breached penny stock territory last week.

While it isn’t technically a penny stock right now, the almost 140% gain in the past month alone means that this is all very recent. And, it’s worth noting that we covered MOSY stock only a few weeks ago when it was under the $5 mark. Considering this, will it be on your watchlist this month?

3. Agenus Inc. (NASDAQ: AGEN)

The next meme penny stock on this list is Agenus Inc. AGEN is a biopharmaceutical company focused on clinical-stage immuno-oncology. Current therapies in development by AGEN intend to utilize the body’s immune system to fight cancer progression.

By leveraging both innate and adaptive immunology our bodies can regulate cancer proliferation and the possibility for metastasis. This could be the difference between life and death for patients battling cancer, yet it’s worth noting that it is still a relatively new treatment in the immuno-oncology sector.

More specifically, AGEN specializes in antibody and adoptive cell therapies to further hone in on a cancerous site. These are encouraging methods of therapy due to the reduced harm they cause in the treatment of patients. By targeting areas of a specific mutation or characteristic, aggressive and more broad methods of cancer treatment like chemo and radiation can be avoided or reduced. Recently AGEN released optimistic Phase 1 and Phase 2 trials for AGEN2373 in different cancers.

“We are encouraged by the initial performance of our VISION platform both for drug discovery and potential therapeutic predictive modeling. It has the potential to bring effective treatments to patients more rapidly. AGEN2373 continues to show no liver toxicity in the clinic, and we expect the anticipated combination trials to provide potential benefit to patients.”Steven O’Day, Chief Medical Officer of Agenus Inc.

While cancer treatment is a very large industry, the need for better and more effective treatments is always welcome. Because of this, Agenus Inc. is in a very advantageous position in the market right now. And, its positionality could remain prosperous as AGEN moves into the coming months and years. Considering all of this exciting news, will AGEN be on your penny stocks watchlist?

Which Meme Penny Stocks Are You Watching This Month?

The penny stocks on this list, while all different, show a commonality. They all share high investor sentiment and large price moves in the past few weeks. When generating a penny stock watchlist it’s important to maintain a diverse view of the market as a whole. Sectors such as technology, digital manufacturing, software, and biotechnology are all promising fields. 

[Read More] 5 Penny Stocks Analysts Say To Buy With Targets Up To 219% Right Now

Because innovation occurs so quickly in these sectors, investors need to pay attention to avoid unwanted price moves. By using research as a backbone for creating a watchlist, traders can have the best chance at seeing profitability in their portfolios. With this in mind, will you be watching these meme stocks this month?

You may still get one secret coronavirus stimulus check, but you need to ask for it

The fate of the fourth round of stimulus checks is still uncertain, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get another stimulus payment. In fact, some can still get a little known or secret coronavirus stimulus check from the same relief package that gave $1,400 stimulus payment. However, this secret stimulus check is only for those […]

Free Book Preview
Money-Smart Solopreneur

This book gives you the essential guide for easy-to-follow tips and strategies to create more financial success.

June
8, 2021

3 min read

This story originally appeared on ValueWalk

The fate of the fourth round of stimulus checks is still uncertain, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get another stimulus payment. In fact, some can still get a little known or secret coronavirus stimulus check from the same relief package that gave $1,400 stimulus payment. However, this secret stimulus check is only for those who own a home.

Q1 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more
Secret coronavirus stimulus check for homeowners
Biden’s American Rescue Plan included $10 billion for a Homeowners Assistance Fund (HAF). This fund aims to offer assistance to homeowners with mortgage payments, property taxes, as well as utilities, insurance and homeowners association dues.
Unlike the stimulus checks, this fund doesn’t directly give assistance to homeowners. Rather, it provides the money to states, territories and tribes, which in turn can support those struggling to pay home-related expenses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
So, it is up to the states and other similar government bodies to distribute the relief money to those at risk of mortgage delinquency and default, loss of power or water, foreclosure, and displacement.
“These necessary actions will minimize foreclosures in the coming months, alleviate emergency shelter capacity, and mitigate potential COVID-19 infections,” the Treasury Department says about the HAF.
The Homeowners Assistance Fund provides at least $50 million for each state, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. Tribes or Tribally-designated housing entities, as well as the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands are together eligible for $498 million. American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the territories of Guam are eligible for about $30 million each.
Who is eligible and how to apply?
To qualify for this stimulus payment, your income should be less than or equal to 100% of the median income of the area, or 100% of the national median income (whichever is more). Those who are “socially disadvantaged” will get priority.
Other requirements to qualify for the assistance are: you must own your home; your mortgage balance should be below $548,250 as of 2021; and you experienced financial hardships, such as a loss of job or income because of the pandemic.
Unlike the stimulus checks, you will have to apply for this stimulus payment. To apply, you need to visit your state’s housing agency website. Since each state would likely have its own procedures, the applicant will have to submit the required proof and documents asked by their state.
So, the first thing you need to do is find and contact your state or territory’s HFA. You must then inquire if you qualify or not, and how to apply for the assistance.
Those who live in American Samoa need to contact the territory’s Housing Trust Fund. If you are a member of a federally recognized tribe or are a native Hawaiian, you need to get in touch with the tribal government or the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Native American Programs.

Entrepreneur Franchise of the Day: Pet Supplies Plus

Jack Berry and Harry Shallop opened their first supermarket-style pet food and supply store in Redford, Michigan, in the late 1980’s, and by 1990, they were franchising Pet Supplies Plus. In addition to food and supply sales, the stores offer services such as grooming, self-serve pet washes and adoptions events.

Who We Are

For over 30 years, Pet Supplies Plus has been a leader in the pet supplies retail industry and our mission to be America’s Favorite Neighborhood Pet Store has never wavered. We believe that while many brands come and go, one thing that will never go out of style is the love we have for our pets, the extent we will go to get them what they need and the importance of being the go-to store for expert advice and best-in-class customer experience. This belief has enabled us to grow to over 560 stores in 36 states. What makes a Pet Supplies Plus franchise opportunity even more remarkable is that a Pet Supplies Plus franchise store averages $2.2M* dollars annually.

 

Pet Supplies Plus is proud to be ranked #21 in Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise 500 and #1 for the pet industry for the seventh year in a row.

 

*According to Pet Supplies Plus 2020 FDD.

Who are we looking for?

Ideal Candidates

Pet Supplies Plus welcomes driven, business savvy entrepreneurs who love pets to join their front running team. Franchise Owners come from all different professional backgrounds including working for Fortune 500 companies, for the military, as multi-concept franchise owners looking to expand their business profile and as people looking for an active retirement plan.

 

We look for individuals that are values oriented and have some of these following traits:

 Unwavering desire to succeed
 Aggressive pursuit of growing the business
 Great management skills
 Understanding of the benefits and obligations of a franchise relationship
 Successful record of accomplishments in business
 Appreciation for the overriding importance of customer engagement and great customer service

Franchise Information

 Business Established: 1987
 Franchising Since: 1990
 Total Units: 450+
 Franchised Units: 500+
 Initial Franchise Fee: $49,900
 Veteran Discount: 20% off initial fee
 Royalty Fee First 12 Months: 2%
 Royalty Fee After 12 Months: 3%
 Liquid Net Worth: $200,000
 Net Worth: $600,000
 Incentives: $6,000 discount on franchise fee for qualified veterans