Future Finance Solutions

Sir Len Blavatnik Supports London’s Illuminated River Project

December 18, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

The Blavatnik Family Foundation has been confirmed to have pledged a multi-million-pound donation to The Illuminated River Foundation, a registered charity looking to transform London through a unified art installation using lights. The Blavatnik Family Foundation is led by Sir Leonard “Len” Blavatnik, popularly known as one of Britain’s top billionaires, and head of Access Industries.

Through this generous donation, Sir Len Blavatnik joins The Rothschild Foundation as well as Peter Baldwin and Lisbet Rausing of the Arcadia Fund as the top benefactors of the project. The Arcadia Fund and The Rothschild Foundation were confirmed to have donated £5 million each.

A total of 15 bridges will be illuminated through this project. It will effectively light up the entire span of the Thames river. These bridges include: (1) the Albert Bridge, (2) the Chelsea Bridge, (3) the Grosvenor Railway Bridge, (4) the Vauxhall Bridge, (5) the Lambeth Bridge, (6) the Westminster Bridge, (7) the Golden Jubilee Footbridges and the Hungerford Bridge, (8) the Waterloo Bridge, (9) the Blackfriars Bridge, (10) the Blackfriars Railway Bridge, (11) the Millennium Bridge, (12) the Southwark Bridge, (13) the Cannon Street Railway Bridge, (14) the London Bridge, and (15) the Tower Bridge.

The Illuminated River project is expected to cost approximately £45 million, or around £3 million per bridge. That includes not only the design and implementation of the project but also the cost of maintaining it over the next decade. While the exact figure of the Blavatnik Foundation donation was not disclosed, it is through private and philanthropic sources like them that the rest of the required funds will be secured.

A basic profile of Len Blavatnik

September 3, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

Many people know Len Blavatnik as the wealthiest man in Britain. Born on July 14, 1957, he has a known net worth of at least $20 billion with holdings in companies like Warner Music Group, through his private industrial group Access Industries.

Blavatnik started his first business in 1986. It was a private industrial company known as Access Industries. At the time, the company focused exclusively on Russian investments. Since then, he has expanded his portfolio. The company mostly operates in three sectors, namely real estate, natural resources, media, and telecommunications. His company was also at the center of the transformation of Puerto Madero in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

He is the head of the Blavatnik Family Foundation that for more than 25 years has generously supported educational and cultural organizations. The National Gallery of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Royal Academy of Arts and Chabad College are examples of such institutions.

Blavatnik makes a significant contribution to the education sector with the award for young scientists. It provides financial support and, moreover, recognition to enthusiastic young scientists to motivate them to pursue their interests. The annual awards recognize the achievements of young researchers and postdoctoral fellows throughout Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York.

Not much is known about the private life of the billionaire, but his life is rich with amazing investments and generous contributions to society.

The Financial Differences of Renting a Car in Jordan Versus the U.S.

December 16, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Summary: The costs of renting cars in Jordan are similar to those in the U.S. But you should buy more insurance when you are in an unfamiliar place, to protect yourself in case of a collision.

Renting cars during travel is always a good choice. You can get around from place to place fairly easily and do not have to wait on public transportation or arrange taxis every time you want to see the different sites. It does add to the budget, though. So make sure to take these factors into consideration before you decide to rent a car.

Previous Driving Experience

The more comfortable you are behind the wheel, the quicker you will be to adapt to the Jordanian roads and ways of driving. Roads can be crowded and narrow close to the tourist attractions, so you have to know how to maneuver the car around the streets to avoid accidents. Luckily, Jordan drives on the right side of the road, just like in the U.S.

Day Rates and Insurance Costs

This is a huge factor for you to consider. The day rates in Jordan range from 18 to 70 U.S. dollars for a standard sized vehicle, depending on the rental company. While in the U.S. the rates range from $9 to $58 for the same size and across the same companies. Keep in mind that one U.S. dollar converts to 0.71 Jordanian dollars.

Even though Jordanians also drive on the right side of the road, you want to make sure you are fully insured, in case of any collisions. You should purchase the extra insurance the rental company offers, because that would help keep your mind at ease when driving in the unfamiliar place.

Blog submitted by Monte Carlo Rent A Car, LLC: When you’re looking to rent a car in the Amman airport, go to Monte Carlo Rent A Car, LLC. They will provide you with the best service and price. Visit them online for more information.

Common Mistakes Homeowners Continue to Make to Jeopardize their Future

August 31, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

These costly mistakes tend to add up and harm your financial future.

homeowner-mistakesA home is a great investment that provides you with a significant asset once the property value starts to increase. In addition to this, it can also pay huge dividends in the long run. Unfortunately, there are numerous mistakes that homeowners continue to make that ultimately jeopardize their overall property value. Fortunately for you, this guide will help set you on the right track so you can keep your financial future safe and sound.

Don’t Keep a Short-Term Investment Mindset

Numerous individuals cherish being a mortgage holder so much that they quickly want to buy and sell a home, regardless of the fact that they know they are going to move in a short period of time. While it feels wrong to persistently compose checks to a landowner and pick up no value when living in a condo, it’s additionally essential that you assemble every one of the accounts that you have to plan for living in a home. Try not to bounce ahead without setting yourself up.

Try not to Blow Through a Budget

Numerous homebuyers promptly lose sight of their financial limitations once they see a house that is essentially ideal for them. Ideally, it might appear like a chance for you to get the property you had always wanted, be that as it may, in case you’re inadequate with regards to the best possible long haul financing, you’re going to watch your fantasy gradually slip out of your hands and into the paws of another proprietor. Feelings ought to never be included with regards to lodging. Rationale and monetary limitations need to be deliberately viewed before signing the deal on a home. This is for both the fate of the mortgage holder and the estimation of the property that he or she is buying.

Kuba Jewgieniew is the head of Realty ONE Group, a real estate brokerage firm that has been rated as one of the fastest growing companies by INC. 500.

Tax Consequences When It Comes to Real Estate Heirs

June 29, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

inheritance-taxThere are numerous financial considerations when it comes to taxes.

If you would rather not sell your home prior to retirement, there is always the option of considering whether you prefer to leave it in the hands of an heir. You can also leave other assets – such as bonds, stock, mutual funds, and annuities. However, there are many tax consequences that you need to think about carefully when weighing your options. Look into the tax rates and decide whether or not you have the financial funding to take such a large hit before making the decision.

Federal Tax Exemption

If your estate is essentially below the federal estate gift and estate tax exemption – which is typically $5.45 million for 2016 – you can avoid capital gains tax on the appreciation. So, for example, if you bought a house for $100,000, and the value has made it go up to $500,000, your heirs’ tax basis on the house will typically be the difference between the value on the that you die as well as the sales price.

Depreciated Security

An example of something that you shouldn’t do when it comes to assets it pass on depreciated security to your heirs. If you purchased a stock for $40,000 and it depreciates to $28,000, there’s essentially a $12,000 capital loss deduction. Once you die holding onto that loss, it is no longer an option. But, remember that tax consequences do vary, so it’s important that you consult with a financial planner in order to proceed in a financially smart manner.


Kuba Jewgieniew is the head of Realty ONE Group, a real estate brokerage firm with offices in California, Nevada, and Arizona.

The Durbin Amendment and What Business Owners Need to Know

September 17, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

The-Durbin-Amendment-and-What-Business-Owners-Need-to-KnowWhen Dodd Frank was passed in 2010, one of the provisions put into place by the Federal Reserve was aimed at limiting fees that could be charged to retailers for processing debit card transactions. These fees are fairly common, but they’d been a fairly contentious issue for both banks and merchants up until this legislation.

Prior to the legislation, card swipe fees were unregulated but averaging roughly $.44 per card swipe. For merchants, this uncertainty created an unhealthy business climate. What if merchant services decided to raise fees during Christmas time? That uncertainty caught the attention of Senator Richard Durbin. Durbin added an amendment to Dodd Frank designed at putting limits on these fees.

The new rules that went into affect favored merchants and were widely seen as a loss for banks. Banks were profiting off of those transactions, but the Dodd Frank act limited the fees that certain banks could impose. Those with $10 billion or more in assets had to conform to the new laws beginning in October of 2011.

What You Need to Know

Under Dodd Frank, fees are capped at 0.05% + $.21 cents per transaction. The cost can be raised to $.22 cents if the card has a security chip installed, which many debit cards do.

The issue was disputed several times, but finally brought to a head in January of 2015.On January 20th, the Supreme Court upheld the Federal Reserve’s rule, and the rate has since remain unchanged.

Bio: Firoz Patel is the founder of AlertPay Inc., which was acquired by the UK based company MH Pillars. Firoz Patel is also overseeing operations and development of the Payza platform.

How Municipal Bonds are Used

September 2, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

By Phin Upham

When a city needs to expand, it typically requires a loan of sorts to do so. This loan comes in the form of a municipal bond, which is meant to try and make it easier for cities to expand. Bonds fund all the infrastructure a city needs, such as sewer systems or roadways.

Bonds are issued by both state and federal governments, with cities and counties able to do so as well. The laws that govern when a government can or cannot issue a bond are extremely complicated, and they vary by region. Bonds bear an interest rate that is either fixed or variable, but can also be subject to a cap.

Similar to a loan, the issuer receives a cash payment in exchange for an agreement to repay investors for the money they gave. These periods of repayment can vary significantly, from just a few months to more than 40 years. The proceeds are used as capital to fund various projects around the city, and regulations govern how fast that money has to be spent.

These bonds tend to pay lower interest than other forms of investment, but investors will take whatever they can get because that money is usually tax free. So governments win because they get a lower rate to pay back, and investors win because they don’t pay taxes on their returns.

Of course, investors must still stay apprised of risk. As we have seen with Greece and Puerto Rico, governments are not infallible and frequently overspend.

About the Author: Phin Upham is an investor at a family office/ hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Phin Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media and Telecom group. You may contact Phin on his Phin Upham website or Twitter page.

What to Know About Homeowners Insurance

August 24, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Homeowners InsurancePurchasing homeowners insurance is a necessity. Without proof of coverage, many mortgage companies will not finance you. Here are some tips on making sure your homeowners insurance fits your needs and ways to lower your annual premium.

High-Risk Areas Pay More

Homeowners insurance can have a very high price tag. For houses located close to high-risk areas, expect to pay annual premiums that can cost you thousands of dollars. For other properties that are in suburban neighborhoods, the average cost is roughly $1000.

Raising Your Deductible

When you raise your deductible on your insurance, your premium goes down. While this may seem great, you have to consider the fact that smaller damages like a broken water pipe will come out of your own pocket.

Purchase a Security System and Smoke Alarms

By purchasing a security system and smoke alarm, you can save up to 15% of your annual premium. All you need to do is install your system, provide proof that you did and it will be deducted.

Paying Off Your Mortgage

When you completely pay off your mortgage, insurance companies trust you more. They figure that you are financially responsible and therefore offer lower premium rates.

Policy Comparisons

You should always compare insurance rates with different companies. Some will offer a better rate in comparison to your current one. By consulting with your current company they may offer you a slightly lower premium to keep you on their policy.

Take note of the area that you live in. Some policies will charge you extra based off the land’s risk. By doing research on different insurance companies, you will be able to make a list of which ones that best suits your needs. Remember, homeowners insurance is a must-have. Always be prepared, get the right coverage.

Bio: Kuba Jewgieniew heads Realty ONE Group, a residential real-estate brokerage that uses cutting-edge technology and a business model that provides an unprecedented level of quality.

Phin Upham speaks about The Future of FinTech

June 4, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

By Phin Upham

Phin Upham sees a glaring problem in America’s current financial system: big banks aren’t servicing a sizable portion of the population. Poor people are not getting the proper help they need managing their money, which may require daily or even hourly monitoring, and they are paying for the privilege of stowing money away.

What the financial community is recognizing is that big banks aren’t doing a great job servicing millenials who expect better value for their money. Losses like overdraft fees represent cuts to tight budgets people can’t afford to make.

How FinTech Will Help

Look past the digital wallets and payment processors, which are highly overrated, and you’ll see that consumers are looking for ways to better manage their money. Services that measure credit scores and suggest ways to improve, or short-term loans from peers that help users create a system of savings or start a small business venture can do a lot to grow the middle class.

Right now we have a problem of access, which is ironic considering most people now have a supercomputer in their pocket. The alarming reality is that if that sizable chunk of the population does not start saving and investing, the costs can stagger well into the future.

Final Thoughts

The middle class is eroding because fewer people have the means to elevate themselves. If the poor could have access to loans for services they need, they would pay interest but the rate might pale in comparison to the penalties. The hope is that these methods will give people authority over their money, and help conceive a plan they can use to help it grow.

Phin Upham is an investor from NYC and SF. You may contact Phin on his Phin Upham website or LinkedIn page.

The Psychology Behind Money

February 5, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

By Phin Upham

There is a mistaken belief that money management is not a practical skill that requires any sort of effort on the part of the wealthy. The media contributes heavily to this idea, with shows about upper class life depicting exaggerated social situations in favor of real life situations. This idea steams from thinking that goes as far back as Aristotle.

Aristotle compared the act of usury to owning a farm. Usury was not like an orchard, argued Aristotle, because the farmer produced something that people could touch and taste. His efforts, which were plainly witnessed in the sun, literally bore fruit. Money seemed to grow from nothing. That idea further evolved to reflect that usury was some form of trickery. To the point where Catholics stepped away from usury entirely, letting the Jews handle the world’s financial worries throughout much of the Dark and Middle ages.

The truth is that managing one’s money takes real commitment to one’s ideals. Accumulation of wealth is not typically something that happens to someone. Everyone with a job earns money. If wealth was an occurrence devoid of effort then everyone would be wealthy.

Money management is like an orchard, because the money you make can go to help other people. The philosophy behind philanthropy is to change the world. Without this kind of thinking, much of the infrastructure we have today would not exist. Managing one’s money is therefore a responsibility all of share if we hope to make this world a better place.

About the Author: Phin Upham is an investor at a family office/ hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Phin Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media & Technology group. You may contact Phin on his Phin Upham website or Twitter page.

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