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August 14, 2012 | By Chris Barton
This just in: The Tony Award-winning musical "Once" is a hit. Following in the footsteps of the low-budget Irish film that inspired the musical, "Once" has delivered a return on its initial $5.5-million investment in just six months. The film version, which starred musicians Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglová, was made for $150,000 and went on to earn roughly $20 million as the left-field indie hit of 2006. In an announcement Monday, the Broadway show's producers crowed that "Once" recouped its investment "faster than any Tony Award-winning best musical in more than a decade.
April 6, 2014 | By Tom Petruno
Why bother with a "go-anywhere" mutual fund? For many investors the answer may be that there's no need. If you have a well-diversified portfolio and a truly long-term focus, your asset mix may suit you just fine. Older investors who are more fearful of severe losses, however, may have a different view. Ditto for investors who are looking to put money to work now but are wary with many stocks near record highs and with bond yields depressed. Chris Hauswirth, a principal at investment advisory firm Wetherby Asset Management in San Francisco, said he uses go-anywhere funds for 5% to 10% of some clients' portfolios, as a way to add diversification.
January 13, 2013 | By Tiffany Hsu
Tongal, the Marina del Rey start-up website that links crowd-sourced videos with major brands, has scored $15 million in funding from a private equity firm. Insight Venture Partners, based in New York, has also invested in other online players such as Twitter and Tumblr. Tongal said it plans to use the infusion to “support plans for rapid expansion.” Already, Tongal has linked writers, directors, actors, social media gurus and other creative types with brands such as Lego, Pringles, McDonald's and Axe. Companies work with Tongal to develop a set of objectives for a video or other “creative need,” which Tongal then opens up to its community of members.
April 6, 2014 | By Tom Petruno
Over the last six years, roaring bears and raging bulls both have had their turns to be right about financial markets. But investing success in the next market phase could be far more about pinpointing individual opportunities than riding a wave. This is when it should pay for a money manager to have maximum flexibility: the option to go almost anywhere with investors' dollars in search of decent returns. That could include stocks, bonds, real estate or commodities, for example.
February 11, 2013 | By Susan Brenneman
At 10:02 a.m. Monday, if all goes as planned at Vandenberg Air Force Base, the latest generation Earth-observation satellite, Landsat Data Continuity Mission, a.k.a. Landsat 8, will get a boost into space atop an Atlas 5 rocket. Since 1972, seven satellites have documented Earth's continents and coastlines in images of telling and often astonishing detail. Forty years of Landsat data,  what the government calls a "visible, long-term record of natural and human-induced changes on the global landscape," is archived and available online, free for anyone to use.  And it does get used.
April 12, 2010 | By Alana Semuels
California has bled manufacturing jobs for decades as low-cost foreign labor has enticed U.S. companies to fatten their profits by making their products overseas. But the state is on sale amid a slow recovery from the deep economic downturn. Industrial space is available at bargain prices. The dollar's sharp decline since 2001 has made manufacturing here more attractive. Tens of thousands of blue-collar workers are idle and itching to get back to work. That's why cities in the Inland Empire are courting foreign companies to set up factories in their communities to help battle the region's unemployment rate of 14.7%.
January 5, 2013 | By Shan Li
India has long had a love affair with gold. But one businessman there is so infatuated with the precious metal, he dropped about $230,000 on solid gold shirt. More than two dozen goldsmiths toiled for 15 days for lender Datta Phuge, who custom ordered the seven-pound top to wear for New Year's festivities, according to the Pune Mirror . The shirt is crafted from 14,000 22-karat gold rings linked together and comes with six Swarovski crystal buttons and a belt also made of gold.
June 7, 2013 | By Lew Sichelman
Are you ready to bet that the great housing recession is finally over and that values are rising again? If so, some of the nation's largest institutional investors are ready to roll the dice with you. Pension funds, endowment portfolios and the like don't typically invest in residential real estate, which is the world's largest asset class. But given their long-term horizons, housing is considered a natural fit. And now there's a new investment vehicle that aligns their stash of cash with creditworthy home buyers.
December 22, 2011 | By Nathan Olivarez-Giles, Los Angeles Times
Google Inc. is investing $94 million in solar panel farms in the Sacramento area. The money will go toward four photovoltaic, or PV, panel farms built by Recurrent Energy, a San Francisco company owned by tech-giant Sharp Corp., along with funding from investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., said Axel Martinez, Google's assistant treasurer, in a company blog post. The investment pushes Google's portfolio of clean-energy investments to more than $915 million, $880 million of which has been invested since January, Martinez said.
August 14, 2012 | By E. Scott Reckard
Wells Fargo & Co. and a former vice president have agreed to pay more than $6.5 million to settle federal  accusations that they peddled tricky mortgage-related investments without understanding the complexities of the financial products or disclosing the risks to investors. The Securities and Exchange Commission said the improper sales were made in 2007 by Wells Fargo Brokerage Services in Minneapolis, now known as Wells Fargo Securities, and specifically by Shawn McMurtry, the vice president who recommended and sold some of the products.
April 5, 2014 | Liz Weston, Money Talk
Dear Liz: I am in a new relationship with a great woman. I've talked a little bit about money and retirement with her (she's 30). I am trying to let her know that it would be wise to contribute at least enough to her company's retirement program to get the full match. What are some books or articles that would show her the importance of saving for retirement? I like her, but this can be a deal breaker for me. What is the best way to introduce her to personal finances without scaring her?
April 2, 2014 | By Chris Foster
A former sports agent says he provided payments to a basketball star while the player competed in high school and for UCLA. Noah Lookofsky said Tyler Honeycutt and Honeycutt's mother, Lisa Stazel, were given money to cover rent, travel and the down payment on a car as the agent tried to coax them toward a representation agreement. Lookofsky said during a phone interview Wednesday afternoon that he had documentation proving he invested more than $55,000 in Honeycutt, but that "the true number is actually north of $100,000.
March 30, 2014 | By Stuart Pfeifer
Most people may take natural gas for granted. It fuels the flame on your stove, fires your furnace. It's there when you need it. For Sempra Energy, natural gas is big business. The San Diego company owns Southern California Gas Co., the nation's largest natural gas distribution company, and San Diego Gas & Electric, one of the largest publicly owned power companies in the country. Sempra reported net income of $1 billion last year on revenue of $10.6 billion. It has 17,000 employees worldwide and provides energy to more than 30 million people.
March 29, 2014 | By Tim Logan
This time last year, investment firms raced to buy dozens of single-family homes in neighborhoods from Fontana to South Los Angeles to lease them out, transforming the mom-and-pop rental business into a Wall Street juggernaut. The flood of cash helped spark a steep rise in prices, drawing criticism for pushing families out of the market. But now the firms themselves have all but stopped buying in Southern California, the latest evidence that home prices have hit a ceiling. The professional investors no longer see bargains here.
March 24, 2014 | By James Rainey
With city budget managers intent on limiting new spending and reining in employee benefits, a coalition of union and political groups is fighting back with a report that suggests Los Angeles City Hall is spending too much on Wall Street and not enough on Main Street. The Fix L.A. Coalition, which is made up of union and liberal political groups, plans to release a report Tuesday that suggests the city could substantially reduce the $204 million in bank and money management fees that it paid last year to Wall Street firms.
March 14, 2014 | By James Rainey
At just 21, a kid from the San Fernando Valley named Jim Berk began work as a music teacher at Carson High School. Within a couple of years, the teacher, not much older than some of his students, had turned a woebegone marching band into one of the best in Southern California. Then Berk moved to struggling Hamilton High School to launch a music magnet program. It gained national acclaim and so many new students that officials reversed their threat to close the Westside campus. "The Wunderkind of education" the Times dubbed him in 1992.
February 14, 2013 | By David Ng and Mike Boehm, Los Angeles Times
There was no divine intervention for the musical "Scandalous: The Life and Trials of Aimee Semple McPherson. " The Broadway show about evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson - written by TV personality Kathie Lee Gifford - opened and closed within a month. The Foursquare Church, a global Christian denomination based in Echo Park, watched the failure with more than a historical interest. The church, founded by McPherson 90 years ago, was a major investor in the show through its Foursquare Foundation charitable arm. Foursquare representatives declined to say how much the church foundation lost when the show closed Dec. 9, but two Foursquare clergy members with knowledge of the situation placed it at $2 million.
January 28, 2013 | By Jerry Hirsch
General Motors will invest $600 million in its Fairfax Assembly and Stamping Plant in Kansas City, Kan., to build a new paint facility and install a huge machine that will take raw metal and stamp structural reinforcements for vehicle body frames. The automaker said it is one of largest single investments in a factory that it has made. GM produces mid- and full-size sedans at the factory including the Chevrolet Malibu and Buick LaCrosse. The investment represents the largest single project for the $1.5 billion GM said it plans to spend on factories in North America this year.
March 13, 2014 | By Mike Boehm
With investment markets booming, the J. Paul Getty Trust, the world's richest visual art institution, saw its endowment rise to $6.2 billion during 2013, approaching its peak of $6.4 billion in mid-2007 before the Great Recession hit. An audited financial statement posted on the Getty's website reflects investment gains totaling $766.74 million from mid-2012 to mid-2013, enough to cover expenses while socking away about $534 million for the endowment....
March 9, 2014 | By Andrea Chang
Ask anyone about L.A. tech these days and they'll almost certainly point to Santa Monica and Venice, where hundreds of start-ups have emerged in the last few years. So-called Silicon Beach is home to Snapchat, sizable Google and Microsoft offices, and a growing number of venture capital firms and co-working spaces. Almost every night, tech entrepreneurs flock to networking happy hours and parties. Potential investors flock to demo days that showcase the latest start-ups. When BlackBerry Chief Executive John Chen and Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt came to town last week, it was for a glitzy tech confab in Santa Monica.
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