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APPLYING PRACTICAL INSIGHT TO
COMPLEX FINANCIAL CONCEPTS

Karen Firestone has spent over thirty years honing skills applied to
the investment world, while at the same time navigating a path through the work/familyscape. She considers many issues from an unusual angle, including stock market movement, factors facing professional women today, and how to think in simple terms about some complex financial structures. Karen shares her observations in posts that also appear in the Harvard Business Review and Huffington Post. As the CEO of Aureus Asset Management, a former fund manager at Fidelity Investments, and the mother of four grown children, Karen has a rare perspective into which she injects humor and some irreverence.

Digital darling stocks are not necessarily riskier than blue chip names despite their reputation

One of the favorite pastimes of market watchers is predicting the next seismic shift in investor preference. The latest trendy forecast goes something like this: We’ve had a major pivot from the digital darling FAANG stocks to the rejuvenated “Blue Chips” of 2018. However, finding evidence of this type of leadership swap in history is far from…

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WSJ: Companies Lure New Workers With College Coaching, Student Debt Repayment

This WSJ article discusses how a tight labor market is forcing employers to offer new forms of benefits to lure prospective workers and retain current ones. While the seeming lack of wage growth has perplexed the market, the growth of traditional and non-traditional employee benefits often understate the extent of wage growth in today’s market….

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HBR: How One CEO Prepared Her Organization for Her Retirement

“Last year I decided it was time to shake things up at our investment management company.  After 12 years as president and then CEO, I thought it was time to shift some of my responsibilities to my partners.” In my most recent HBR post, I discuss the difficult process of preparing Aureus for an eventual CEO transition. Read…

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WSJ: The New Business Banker: A Private-Equity Firm

One of the reasons that “official” interest rates are staying low is that the shadow lending economy has so much available cash to finance deals that traditional banks won’t.  PE firms are big players in the game now too. Read the full article in The Wall Street Journal

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WSJ: Business-Loan Drought Ends for Banks

This WSJ article highlights the acceleration in U.S. bank lending, which had curiously slowed the last couple of years despite solid economic fundamentals. Reasons for the deceleration included political uncertainty leading up to and after the Presidential election, as well as uncertainty regarding healthcare and tax reform. Now with some more clarity around these issues…

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