Howard Marks is one of the most influential entrepreneurs in the modern, digital age, a rare founder who’s actually innovated before said innovation truly mainstream.
And not just once, but twice.
As founder of Activision, Howard helped kick off a gaming bonanza that’s become a worldwide pop culture phenomenon, birthing an entire new industry known as eSports.
Largely driven by Fortnite—a gaming franchise owned by Activision—eSports is expected to top $1.1B this year in global revenues, according to Forbes. Today, Activision is worth over $54B, trading on the Nasdaq stock exchange.
(In fact, had you invested $10K in Howard’s IPO, your investment today would be worth well over $700K.)
JOBS Act IPO revolution
Later on, as founder of Startengine, Howard helped kickstart the equity crowdfunding trend, opening an avenue for early-stage startups to raise money and redefine public offerings.
Back in 2012, President Obama signed off on the JOBS Act, allowing companies to go public, taking investments from non-accredited investors (essentially anyone without a net worth of $1M), without having to go through the tedious process of listing on New York Stock Exchange.
As head of Startengine, Howard’s built one of the market leaders in the equity crowdfunding space, with $43.72M in total investments in 2019 alone.
More recently, StartEngine made a coup, joining forces with one of the most influential investors in the form of Shark Tank’s “Mr. Wonderful” Kevin O’Leary, as reported by Crowdfund Insider.
Crowdfund Insider, the online authority for all things crowdfunding, recently did an exclusive Q&A with Howard, touching on the new deal with Mr. Wonderful, his business and the future of crowdfunding.
Here’s what he had to say.
Challenges of crowdfunding…
One of the biggest challenges we face as a company is that equity crowdfunding is not well understood by the general public. If you walk down the street and ask a stranger if they know what equity crowdfunding is, odds are they say they’ve never heard of it before.
Doing a deal with Mr. Wonderful…
Over the past few years, we’ve had several Shark Tank alumni raise capital on StartEngine, and we eventually got connected to Kevin. When we learned that he had been following the equity crowdfunding space for a few years and wanted to help inform others about the opportunities for raising capital using equity crowdfunding, it was an easy decision to form a partnership with him.
Mr. Wonderful’s role…
Kevin O’Leary is StartEngine’s strategic advisor and a StartEngine shareholder. His focus will be on creating more awareness about StartEngine and equity crowdfunding in general. Kevin believes in the equity crowdfunding model and our business and is helping to spread the word. He is even encouraging the companies in his own portfolio to use StartEngine for their next funding round.
Deal flow during the COVID-19…
Our entire team is operating remotely and staying safe during the pandemic, and our business itself is thriving. We’ve seen a good increase over the last 30 days in the companies applying to raise on StartEngine.
From both the company and investor side, StartEngine’s business has proven to be resilient to the uncertainty caused by COVID-19.
On the SEC and raising the cap for what startups can raise…
We support the changes wholeheartedly. It’s clear that $1.07M is too low a ceiling for Regulation Crowdfunding [Reg CF], given the average size of seed funding rounds today, and it’s time that we increase the limit to help small businesses achieve their goals.
In fact, we encouraged all 10,000+ of our shareholders to write letters to the SEC a month ago to encourage them to increase the limit of Regulation Crowdfunding from $1.07M to $5M to help small businesses today when they desperately need access to capital.
Accredited investors vs. non-accredited investors…
Howard Marks: Our business, and the business of equity crowdfunding, is bringing investment opportunities to non-accredited investors. We do not focus on accredited investors. An expanded definition may encourage those new accredited investors to feel more confident making investments on our platform, as well as increase the amount they can invest in a given year, which would be beneficial to the investing space. However, I don’t believe this would have a large impact on equity crowdfunding.
On changes he wants to see…
Howard Marks: The change we are most excited about at StartEngine is the proposal to increase the limit of Regulation Crowdfunding from $1.07M to $5M. Of all of the proposed changes, I believe that one will have the biggest impact for small businesses and will encourage more entrepreneurs to turn to equity crowdfunding.
The Top 10 Investment Opportunities To Capitalize On During A Recession
A recession can be a challenging time, but it can also present opportunities for investors to make smart investment decisions.
During a recession, certain industries tend to perform better than others, and identifying these opportunities can be the key to success.
Here are the top 10 investment opportunities to capitalize on during a recession:
1. Defensive Stocks
Defensive stocks are those that tend to perform well EVEN during economic downturns.
These include companies that provide essential goods and services, such as healthcare, utilities, and consumer staples.
Defensive stocks may not offer the highest returns, but they can provide stability and protection during a recession.
Gold is often seen as a safe haven during times of economic uncertainty.
As a tangible asset, it can provide a hedge against inflation and currency fluctuations. During a recession, the price of gold may rise as investors seek a safe haven for their money.
READ: 3 Ways To Invest In Gold (In 3 Minutes Or Less)
3. Real Estate
Real estate can be a good investment opportunity during a recession. Especially if you are looking for a long-term investment. (Hence why NYCE exists.)
While property values may dip during a recession, they tend to recover over time. In addition, rental properties can provide a steady stream of income, even during a recession.
After all: Real estate has created more millionaires than any other asset class.
4. High-Quality Bonds
High-quality bonds, such as U.S. Treasury bonds, can be a safe investment during a recession.
These bonds are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government, which makes them less risky than other types of bonds. (Though this has become less safe today than in the past.)
They may not offer the highest returns, but they can provide stability and protection during a recession.
5. Consumer Discretionary Stocks
Consumer discretionary stocks are those that are tied to consumer spending, such as retail, travel, and entertainment companies.
During a recession, these stocks may suffer as consumers cut back on non-essential spending.
However, if you believe that the economy will recover, investing in consumer discretionary stocks can be a good bet.
6. Healthcare Stocks
Healthcare stocks tend to perform well even during economic downturns, as people still need healthcare services regardless of the state of the economy.
In addition, the aging population in many countries is driving demand for healthcare services, which can provide long-term growth opportunities for investors.
7. Technology Stocks
Technology stocks can be a good investment opportunity during a recession, as many companies in this sector have strong balance sheets and cash reserves.
In addition, the shift towards remote work and online shopping during the pandemic has increased demand for technology products and services.
8. Emerging Markets
Emerging markets can be a good investment opportunity during a recession, as these countries may be less affected by the economic downturn than developed countries.
In addition, emerging markets often have higher growth rates than developed countries, which can provide long-term growth opportunities for investors.
9. Dividend Stocks
Dividend stocks can be a good investment opportunity during a recession, as they provide a steady stream of income even during tough economic times.
Look for companies with a history of paying dividends and a strong balance sheet.
Finally, cash can be a good investment during a recession, as it provides flexibility and liquidity. Having cash on hand can allow you to take advantage of investment opportunities as they arise.
In conclusion, while a recession can be a challenging time for investors, it can also present opportunities for smart investment decisions.
By identifying the top investment opportunities during a recession, you can position yourself for long-term success.
From Zero to Millionaire: How 9-5 Marketing Guy Made A Fortune Selling Pet Rocks As A Joke (1)
No BS—this is actually a real story.
The pet rock—a seemingly ridiculous idea—became a sensation and made its creator, Gary Dahl, a millionaire in the 1970s.
Dahl, a marketing executive, came up with the idea as a joke during a conversation with friends.
He packaged rocks in a cardboard box with holes and called them “pet rocks,” complete with an instruction manual on how to care for them.
There was virtually no upfront investment, as the rocks themselves were free, and the packaging was inexpensive.
“It was a joke,” Dahl told ABC News years later. “It was a satire. It was fun. And it became an overnight success.”
The pet rocks became an instant hit, with Dahl selling over a million of them in six months.
He appeared on popular TV shows and even wrote a book about his success. The pet rock craze died down after a year, but Dahl had already made his fortune.
After the pet rock craze died down, Gary Dahl continued to work in marketing and advertising.
He also tried to launch other novelty products, such as “sand-breeding kits” and “mood rings,” but none of them achieved the same level of success as the pet rock.
“I think that’s one of the things that is wrong with business today. People are so serious, they forget to have fun,” Gary Dahl said.
The success of the pet rock shows that sometimes the most unconventional ideas can lead to great success.
Why Gary’s story matters to you…
The story of Gary Dahl and his pet rock is a testament to the power of thinking outside the box. Sometimes, it’s the seemingly ridiculous ideas that can lead to the biggest successes.
Dahl’s story is not only inspiring, but it’s also a reminder to keep a sense of humor and not take ourselves too seriously.
In business, it’s easy to get bogged down in strategy and analysis, but we should never forget the importance of creativity and fun.
The success of the pet rock is also a lesson in the power of marketing.
Dahl’s packaging and instruction manual turned a simple rock into a desirable product. It’s a reminder that sometimes it’s not the product itself that’s important, but how it’s presented to the world.
So if you’re feeling stuck in your business or just need a little inspiration, take a cue from Gary Dahl and his pet rock.
Keep an open mind, don’t be afraid to take risks, and don’t forget to have a little fun along the way.
Who knows…you might just come up with the next big thing.
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How Big Real Estate Moguls Avoid Taxes (And How You Can, Too) 👀
I was looking around Google for an old article on tax strategies and this five-year old video of myself happened to pop up.
I’m interviewing a tax expert about how real estate investors avoid paying taxes in perpetuity—AND how everyday citizens can do the same thing.
There’s the 1031 exchange, of course, which I’ve shared with you guys before.
Just to refresh your memory, the 1031 Exchange allows you to roll over gains from your last project into a new property TAX FREE—as long as said property is worth the same or more.
But there’s ANOTHER TAX LOOPHOLE that can take your portfolio to an entirely new level by splitting your capital gains into MULTIPLE properties.
So I thought I’d share it with you guys. 💎
You can check it out here.
Let me know what you think. 😎
PS: In our next update, I’m going to break down how real estate moguls get paid from their properties…tax free. 👀
PPS: If you want to learn how to implement generational wealth strategies like this one, you can join our NYCE wealth academy (TRIBE U) here.