Square’s CFO Sarah Friar Added to Walmart’s Board!

Sarah Friar, CFO of Square, Inc., has been added as a new independent director to Walmart’s board which makes the board an even dozen. She will also serve as a member of the company’s Audit Committee and Strategic Planning and Finance Committee.

Sarah Friar currently serves as a member of the board of directors of computer software company Slack, and at New Relic, Inc. (NEWR) , a leading digital intelligence company, where she is on the Audit Committee. She holds an M.Eng. in Metallurgy, Economics, and Management from the University of Oxford and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

To learn more about Walmart (WMT) and to continue to track its progress please visit the Vista Partners Walmart Coverage Page.

Walmart Board of Directors Adds Square, Inc. CFO Sarah Friar

Walmart Inc. today announced that its board of directors has appointed Sarah Friar, chief financial officer of Square, Inc., as a new independent director to the company’s board, effective immediately…


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Discover a Scientific Approach to Possibly Creating & Managing a Successful Unicorn Startup

Eric Ries defines a startup as an organization dedicated to creating something new under conditions of extreme uncertainty. This is just as true for one person in a garage or a group of seasoned professionals in a Fortune 500 boardroom. What they have in common is a mission to penetrate that fog of uncertainty to discover a successful path to a sustainable business.

The Lean Startup approach fosters companies that are both more capital efficient and that leverage human creativity more effectively. Inspired by lessons from lean manufacturing, it relies on “validated learning,” rapid scientific experimentation, as well as a number of counter-intuitive practices that shorten product development cycles, measure actual progress without resorting to vanity metrics, and learn what customers really want. It enables a company to shift directions with agility, altering plans inch by inch, minute by minute.

Rather than wasting time creating elaborate business plans, The Lean Startup offers entrepreneurs – in companies of all sizes – a way to test their vision continuously, to adapt and adjust before it’s too late. Ries provides a scientific approach to creating and managing successful startups in an age when companies need to innovate more than ever.

You can own The Lean Startup and possibly be on your way to creating the next
unicorn” startup by clicking on the link below:

Travelers Institute is Working to Undertake Distracted Driving, Cybersecurity, & Small Business Challenges

Dow 30 component The Travelers Companies, Inc. (TRV) is an insurance provider of property casualty insurance for home, auto, and business.

Now, who hasn’t seen drivers next to them holding a phone, smoking a cigarette, searching for a coffee, reprimanding their children or the random Uber driver searching their GPS for the next trip when driving or all of the above at once. Yikes! It’s a little scary to drive these days.

However, it is good news to many of us to hear that The Travelers Institute, which is the public policy division of The Travelers Companies, Inc., will be launching a series of free, public educational forums. The forums will focus on reducing distracted-driving crisis, preparing organizations for data breaches and other cyber risks, and examining challenges and opportunities faced by small businesses. Along with the new forums, The Travelers Institute will host the annual Kicking Off Hurricane Preparedness Season Symposium. Visit the Travelers Institute website to see the schedule of upcoming events and learn more about these initiatives.

To learn more about The Travelers Companies, Inc. (TRV) and to continue to track its progress please visit the Vista Partners Travelers Companies, Inc. Coverage Page.

Press Release | Travelers Insurance



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So You Want To Be An “Intelligent Investor,” Huh?

The greatest investment advisor of the twentieth century, Benjamin Graham, taught and inspired people worldwide. He was British-born Jewish investor, economist, and professor as Benjamin Grossbaum May 9, 1894, and died September 21, 1976.  He is widely known as the “father of value investing,” and wrote two of the founding texts in neoclassical investing: Security Analysis (1934) with David Dodd, and The Intelligent Investor (1949). His investment philosophy stressed investor psychology, minimal debt, buy-and-hold investing, fundamental analysis, concentrated diversification, buying within the margin of safety, activist investing, and contrarian mindsets. Graham’s philosophy of “value investing” — which “shields investors from substantial error” and teaches them to develop long-term strategies — has made The Intelligent Investor the stock market bible ever since its original publication in 1949.

Over the years, market developments have proven the wisdom of Graham’s strategies. While preserving the integrity of Graham’s original text, this revised edition includes updated commentary by noted financial journalist Jason Zweig, whose perspective incorporates the realities of today’s market, draws parallels between Graham’s examples and today’s financial headlines, and gives readers a more thorough understanding of how to apply Graham’s principles.

You can continue your path by owning a copy of The Intelligent Investor via the Amazon pictured link below:

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Warren Buffett’s Only 2 Rules For Investing

“Rule No. 1: Never lose money. Rule No. 2: Never forget rule No.1” -Warren Buffett

Warren Edward Buffett is an American business magnate, investor, and philanthropist. Buffett serves as the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway. He is considered by some to be one of the most successful investors in the world.

“The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life”? is a  book that recounts the life and times of  Warren Buffett.  Learn more about this book at Amazon by clicking below:

Vista Partners publishes a Weekly Market Update. Each issue is written by Managing Director, John Heerdink and speaks to the activities of the market, influencers and specific featured stories from Vista’s Coverage Universe that spans the Dow 30 and Select Emerging Growth Companies.

Each weekly update issue is sent out via email directly to the thousands of investors around the world that have elected to be updated each week. Please “Join us” to Stay Informed! and to Stay Competitive!

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JPMorgan Chase & Co Announces 5-year $20 billion Investment Plan

JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM) is a global financial service leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and businesses, financial transaction processing, asset management, and commercial banking.

JPMorgan Chase recently announced a five-year, $20 billion comprehensive investment that has been made possible by recent changes to the U.S. corporate tax system, a more constructive regulatory business environment, and the company’s durable and continued business performance.

The long-term investment focuses on five areas:

1. Investing in its employees by increasing wages and benefits.
2. Expanding the network of branches into new places in the U.S. in order to increase small business lending and philanthropic investments, leading to more support for local low and moderate-income communities.
3. Community-based philanthropic investments will increase to $1.75 billion over the five years.
4. Increase lending to small business by $4 billion.
5. Accelerating commercial lending to build affordable housing and increasing mortgage lending to low- and moderate-income communities in order to accelerate affordable housing lending.

Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO, JPMorgan Chase, stated, “Having a healthy, strong company allows us to make these long-term, sustainable investments. We are excited about further investing in our outstanding workforce and expanding into new U.S. markets. When we enter a community, we enter it with the full force of JPMorgan Chase behind it. We hire people. We lend to and support local businesses. We help customers with banking, lending and saving. And we align our business and philanthropic efforts to help more communities benefit from a growing economy. This company has made a significant economic impact in all of the communities we operate in, and we are excited to become an even more relevant part of many others.”

To learn more about JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) and to continue to track its progress please visit the Vista Partners JPMorgan Chase & Co. Coverage Page.

JPMorgan Chase Makes Long-Term U.S. Investment in Employees, Branch Expansion and Local Economic Growth



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Have You Read “The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life”?

Here is the book recounting the life and times of one of the most respected men in the world, Warren Buffett. The legendary Omaha investor has never written a memoir, but he allowed one writer, Alice Schroeder, unprecedented access to explore directly with him and with those closest to him his work, opinions, struggles, triumphs, follies, and wisdom.

Although the media track him constantly, Buffett himself has never told his full life story. His reality is private, especially by celebrity standards. Indeed, while the homespun persona that the public sees is true as far as it goes, it goes only so far. Warren Buffett is an array of paradoxes. He set out to prove that nice guys can finish first. Over the years he treated his investors as partners, acted as their steward, and championed honesty as an investor, CEO, board member, essayist, and speaker. At the same time he became the world’s richest man, all from the modest Omaha headquarters of his company Berkshire Hathaway. None of this fits the term “simple.”

When Alice Schroeder met Warren Buffett she was an insurance industry analyst and a gifted writer known for her keen perception and business acumen. Her writings on finance impressed him, and as she came to know him she realized that while much had been written on the subject of his investing style, no one had moved beyond that to explore his larger philosophy, which is bound up in a complex personality and the details of his life. Out of this came his decision to cooperate with her on the book about himself that he would never write.

Never before has Buffett spent countless hours responding to a writer’s questions, talking, giving complete access to his wife, children, friends, and business associates—opening his files, recalling his childhood. It was an act of courage, as The Snowball makes immensely clear. Being human, his own life, like most lives, has been a mix of strengths and frailties. Yet notable though his wealth may be, Buffett’s legacy will not be his ranking on the scorecard of wealth; it will be his principles and ideas that have enriched people’s lives. This book tells you why Warren Buffett is the most fascinating American success story of our time.

Praise for The Snowball

“Even people who don’t care a whit about business will be intrigued by this portrait. . . . Schroeder, a former insurance-industry analyst, spent years interviewing Buffett, and the result is a side of the Oracle of Omaha that has rarely been seen.”—Time

“Will mesmerize anyone interested in who Mr. Buffett is or how he got that way. The Snowball tells a fascinating story.”—New York Times

“If the replication of any great achievement first requires knowledge of how it was done, then The Snowball, the most detailed glimpse inside Warren Buffett and his world that we likely will ever get, should become a Bible for capitalists.”—Washington Post

“Riveting and encyclopedic.”—Wall Street Journal

“A monumental biography . . . Schroeder got the best access yet of any Buffett biographer. . . . She deals out marvelously funny and poignant stories about Buffett and the conglomerate he runs, Berkshire Hathaway.”—Forbes

“The most authoritative portrait of one of the most important American investors of our time.”—Los Angeles Times

If you have not read you may consider ordering it via the Amazon link below:

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Vista Partners Quote of the Day Regarding Investing in “Spinoffs”

“The facts are overwhelming. Stocks of spinoff companies, and even shares of the parent companies that do the spinning off, significantly and consistently outperform the market averages.” – Joel Greenblatt

Joel Greenblatt, born December 13, 1957,  is an American academic, hedge fund manager, investor, and writer. He is a value investor and adjunct professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Business.

He is also the author of “You Can Be a Stock Market Genius”. A comprehensive and practical guide to the stock market from a successful fund manager—filled with case studies, important background information, and all the tools you may find helpful to become a stock market genius.

NSA’s Internet Surveillance Program Bill Renewed

U.S. President Donald Trump signed the 702 Bill that renews the National Security Agency’s warrant-less internet surveillance program. The renewal of the law is in effect for six years and provides for few changes to the NSA program. The program collects information from foreigners overseas but with the side effect of collecting an unnoted amount of communication from Americans.

With the renewal of the law, the NSA is still able to eavesdrop on broad amounts of digital communications from foreigners who live outside the U.S. through U.S. Companies like Verizon Communications (VZ) and Facebook, Inc. Incidentally, the program also collects Americans’ communications when they communicate with foreign targets overseas. Note that this information can be searched without a warrant.

The bill passed the House easily, and barely missed a filibuster in the Senate. The measure drew opposition from a coalition of libertarian Republicans and privacy-minded Democrats.

Trump signs bill renewing NSA’s internet surveillance program

U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday said he signed into law a bill renewing the National Security Agency’s warrantless internet surveillance program, sealing a defeat for digital privacy advocates. “Just signed 702 Bill to reauthorize foreign intelligence collection,” Trump wrote.


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American Express Adding The Centurion Lounge at JFK

American Express Company (AXP), and its subsidiaries provide customers and businesses globally with charge and credit payment card products and travel-related services while seeking to enrich the lives of their customers and build business success.

If you fly to NYC via JFK regularly like so many of us, you will be happy you to know that American Express recently announced the opening of The Centurion Lounge at John F. Kennedy International Airport’s Terminal 4 in early 2019. The new lounge will the largest one spanning over 15,000 square-feet over two levels.

The Centurion Lounge at Terminal 4 will include the complimentary custom bar and food menu, premium restrooms and shower suites, high-speed Wi-Fi, noise-buffering workspaces, and new special features to be announced closer to opening. The Centurion Lounge is also a signature Lounge program with the broader American Express Global Lounge Collection that give Platinum Card Member and Centurion Members access to over 1,100 lounges around the world

Gert-Jan de Graaff, President and CEO of JFKIAT, the company which operates Terminal 4, stated “We are thrilled to be working with American Express to bring The Centurion Lounge to Terminal 4. Terminal 4 strives to provide passengers with a superior travel experience, and this lounge is a welcome addition to our existing mix of premium terminal amenities. We are excited to soon be able to offer passengers yet another service to take advantage of before departure or during a layover.”

To learn more about American Express Company (AXP) and to continue to track its progress please visit the Vista Partners American Express Coverage Page.