Jessica Alba the Honest Company valued at nearly $1 billion

A lot of stars have side businesses and Jessica Alba is no exception. Her side project is doing pretty darn well too!

The company, readying for it’s first public offering, managed to raise a staggering $70 million and reached a nearly $1 billion valuation!

Good work Jessica!

Read more about it here: http://www.businessinsider.com/jessica-alba-honest-co-raises-70-million-at-a-nearly-1-billion-valuation-2014-8

Top 7 richest professional video game players in the world

You may be forgven for thinking that the top 7 richest professional video game players in the world are earning $20-$30k a year for doing what so many of us wish we could have done for a living! Sure beats filing or putting data in spreadsheets!

The realty is that for many of us the pinnacle of our videogames career may come in the form of working for near minimum wage as a games tester or maybe making a few pennies off Youtube for showcasing video games tutorials.

But there is a serious way to be a gaming pro.

As a kid I loved the movie / Nintendo advert The Wizard. You know the one right? Where the boy from the wonder years took part in the biggest product placement movie of the age and made every kid long to get a Nntendo, all the games, and seriously enter competitions for potentially big ticket prizes.

Some kids seem to have lived this fantasy as a reality and even the bottom of the top 100 earners in the world is earning well over $100k a year, and that’s before sponsorship!

So what about the top 7? Well here they are, as sourced from Business Insider

1. Johnathan “Fatal1ty” Wendel – $454,544.98 From 35 Tournaments
2. Lee “Flash” Young Ho – $437,114.53 From 40 Tournaments
3. Jung “Mvp” Jong Hyun – $377,116.37 From 42 Tournaments
4. Lee “Jaedong” Jae Dong – $374,528.83 From 35 Tournaments
5. Jang “MC” Min Chul – $367,902.12 From 64 Tournaments
6. Jang “Moon” Jae Ho – $292,019.57 From 43 Tournaments
7. Danylo “Dendi” Ishutin – $275,800.28 From 23 Tournaments

(src)

Wow, wow, wow! I’m going to buy an Xbox One right this minute and get practising!

You can also see a chart of the top 100 here.

Best defensive stocks for retirement

So what are the best defensive stocks for retirement and even what are defensive stocks? Of course, like with all investing, things change over time but when picking stocks for retirement you want long term stability and payouts. This is where the defensive stocks come in, stocks you can invest in which will hopefully be solid.

Investopedia defines as defensive stock as:

A stock that provides a constant dividend and stable earnings regardless of the state of the overall stock market.

This is not to be confused with a “defense stock”, which refers to stock in companies which manufacture things like weapons, ammunition and fighter jets. (src)

Simple concept but obviously not that easy to find as almost all stocks are somewhat affected by the market, for obvious reasons.

But there are stocks out there that seem to fare well and keep the dividends flowing no matter what the stock market weather.

Here are some recommendations.

Money Morning (src) recommends:

Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO)

Market Cap: $123 billion
Present Dividend Yield: 2.9%
Payment Ratio: 34% of estimated 2014 earnings
Dividend Augmentation: 216% in four-years, from $0.06 per quarter in 2011, to $0.19 per quarter today
CSCO stock currently sits at $22.84 per share, and has gone up nearly 5% over the last month.

Diageo plc (NYSE: DEO)

Market Cap: $77 Billion
Present Dividend Yield: 2.5% according to the total 2013 payouts
Payment Ratio: 48% of estimated 2014 revenue
Dividend Augmentation: 73% in ten-years, from $1.67 paid in 2003 to $2.90 in 2013
DEO stock currently costs $122.43 per share. It’s down 7.48% so far in 2014, which gives investors an opportunity to buy DEO shares at a discount.

Old Republic International Corp. (NYSE: ORI)

Market Cap: $4 Billion
Present Dividend Yield: 4.7%
Payment Ratio: 45% based on FY2013 revenue
Dividend Augmentation: 79% in ten-years, from $0.40 cents per share in 2003 to $0.72 in 2013
ORI stock currently sits at $16.45 per share and is up 28.69% since this time last year.

Huntsman Corp. (NYSE: HUN)

Market Cap: $5.5 Billion
Present Dividend Yield: 2.2%
Payment Ratio: 22% of secured 2014 earnings
Dividend Augmentation: 150% in seven-years, from 20 cents per-share in 2007 to 50-cents in 2013
HUN stock costs $25.19 per share at present. Its stock value has grown 42.11% since this time last year.

Of course these are just ideas and you need to do your own research. Places like Motley Fool will point you in the right direction plus gaining a bigger understanding of a solid defensive stock and working out what kind of things you feel safe investing in.

Good luck!

Canadas highest paid CEO

Canadas highest paid CEO – Canada might not pay it;s CEOs quite to the lofty heights of it’s Southern neigbour but don’t be dispelled from thinking that they don’t earn big! The top earning CEOs in Canada are likely to earn the whole yearly wage of an average Canadian within about half of one day! They get paid pretty darn well!

So here is a list of earnings for CEOs in Canada from 2011. I’m notsure if any updated figures are available but you can be sure it’s risen since then!

1: Frank Stronach, Magna (ex-CEO) – $40.98 Million

2: Michael Pearson, Valeant Pharmaceuticals – $36.3 Million

3: Robert Quartermain, Pretium Resources – $16.9 Million

4: Brad Shaw, Shaw Communications – $15.9 Million

5: Ned Goodman, Dundee Corp. – $15 Million

6: Rick George, Suncor – $14.9 Million

7: Donald Walker, Magna – $14.8 Million

8: Gerald Schwartz, Onex Corp. – $14.1 Million

9: Robert Friedland, Ivanhoe Mines – $12.6 Million

10: Peter Marrone, Yamana Gold – $12.4 Million

Yikes!

Details src here.

Mouthy executives how they fell Dailyfinance

When you reach an executive level you have a responsibility to be the face for your organisation. Part of your job it to behave and tow the line and make the right decisions. However people often forget that when they become an executive that they are no long an individual person they are now a collective part of the corporation person, a person made up of everyone in the company!

So like a kind of awkward lump sometimes executives find themselves cut out of the body they are a part of! If only they had behaved!

Daily Finance published an interesting article looking at a bunch of execs who misbehaved and saw some consequences for their actions from a stern telling off to having to fold the company!

Here is an excerpt from the article:

1. Robert Benmosche, CEO of American International Group (AIG)

The blunder: In September, Benmosche addressed public and governmental outrage over $165 million in bonuses paid to employees in the AIG Financial Products unit (the same unit that almost brought down the country’s financial system) just a few months after the company took a $182 billion government bailout. “[The uproar over bonuses] was intended to stir public anger, to get everybody out there with their pitchforks and their hangman nooses, and all that — sort of like what we did in the Deep South [decades ago],” he told the Wall Street Journal. “And I think it was just as bad and just as wrong. … It is a shame we put [the employees] through that.”

The aftermath: Not everyone agreed with Benmosche’s comparison of the torture and murder of African-Americans during the civil rights era to his bonus-receiving employees. Even though Benmosche issued an email apology a few days after his comments were publicized, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) called for Benmosche’s resignation, stating: “As the leading critic of AIG’s lavish spending before and after its taxpayer-funded bailout — and as the son of sharecroppers who actually experienced lynchings in their communities — I find it unbelievably appalling that Mr. Benmosche equates the violent repression of the African-American people with Congressional efforts to prevent the waste of taxpayer dollars.”

Benmosche and Cummings met privately in October, and Cummings accepted the CEO’s apology. Benmosche issued a statement after the meeting that said, “When I referred to the South, I unintentionally trivialized a horrible legacy of our country. That was the opposite of my intent.”

2. Guido Barilla, Chairman of Barilla Group

The blunder: Barilla, head of one of the world’s most well-known pasta brands, told an Italian radio station in September that his company would never use a gay family in its ads. “Ours is a classic family where the woman plays a fundamental role,” he said, adding that he also opposed gay adoptions and that “[if gays] like our pasta and our advertising, they’ll eat our pasta; if they don’t like it, then they will not eat it and they will eat another brand.”

The aftermath: Fair enough. Shortly after the interview aired, gay and lesbian groups took Barilla up on his invite and called for a consumer boycott of his company’s wares.

Blatant disrespect to an entire demographic aside, Barilla’s choice of words was also ill-advised from a business standpoint: A Nielsen study cited in Forbes found that same-sex-partnered households make 16 percent more shopping trips than heterosexual households, and average annual spending on consumer packaged goods is 25 percent higher than the average U.S. household. The company wouldn’t say if the boycott hurt sales, but it’s worth noting that Barilla’s net profit in 2012 fell more than 21 percent during Italy’s worst economic downturn in 60 years. So, yeah, it wasn’t exactly smart business to alienate an entire community of consumers (Julia Roberts says it best).

Barilla responded with a written apology and a video mea culpa. The company has also since claimed that its new ad campaign will be more inclusive, created an advisory board to promote diversity, and it announced a “diversity challenge,” which asks entrants to submit videos that celebrate diversity.

3. Marijn Dekkers, CEO of Bayer (BAYRY)

The blunder: Dekkers was miffed after Natco Pharma was awarded a license from the India patents office to make a generic form of Bayer’s Nexavar cancer drug — a drug that was out of reach for India’s poorest citizens. Dekkers, who called the license “theft,” elaborated on his feelings at a December conference in London. “We did not develop this medicine for Indians,” he said, according to Bloomberg News. “We developed it for Western patients who can afford it.”

The aftermath: That was an incendiary statement, but there was a problem: Columbia Journalism Review discovered that Bloomberg News had messed up the quote. Dekkers’ actual complete quote was: “Is this going to have a big effect on our business model? No, because we did not develop this product for the Indian market, let’s be honest. We developed this product for Western patients who can afford this product, quite honestly. It is an expensive product, being an oncology product.”

As CJR points out, this may be splitting hairs, but while the difference in content isn’t terribly significant, the difference in tone and context is. The tone of the original Bloomberg quote comes off more insensitive, and Dekkers was simply answering a question about how the ruling would affect Bayer’s business in India. This doesn’t let Dekkers off the hook. As CJR notes, the Bloomberg mistake still doesn’t “excuse the CEO’s Kinsley gaffe or, for that matter, Big Pharma’s business practices.”

Now head on over to Daily Finance here to read about all nine they listed!