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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 27, 2014 | Liz Weston, Money Talk
Dear Liz: I got a big tax refund this year and am trying to figure out what to do with the money. Right now I have school loans with a 4% interest rate that I do not need to make a payment on until 2024 with my current payment plan, but the amount I owe is pretty hefty and I know it's going to compound more over time. I also have a very low-interest car loan (1.9%) that will be paid off in 31/2 years. I also could put that money in the market in hopes that it will grow. I should add I am 27 years old. Any advice?
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.
April 23, 2014 | By Shan Li
Google Inc. is partnering with solar panel maker SunPower Corp. to invest up to $250 million in leasing solar systems to homeowners. The Mountain View technology giant is contributing up to $100 million, and San Jose-based SunPower will invest $150 million, Google said in a blog post . The goal is to make "it easier for thousands of households across the U.S. to go solar. " "Using the fund ... we buy the solar panel systems," Google said. "Then we lease them to homeowners at a cost that's typically lower than their normal electricity bill.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
April 22, 2014 | By Meg James
The Chernin Group and AT&T have formed a venture to invest more than $500 million in online video services, increasing their reach in a rapidly expanding market that competes with traditional television channels. Chernin Group, run by the former Fox president Peter Chernin, is contributing to the new venture its majority stake in Crunchyroll , a subscription video-on-demand service that specializes in Japanese animation known as anime. In announcing the venture Tuesday, the two companies did not identify what properties they might want to buy. The goal, they said, was to invest in advertising and subscription video-on-demand channels and streaming services.
April 15, 2014 | By Lauren Beale
James Van Der Beek of “Dawson's Creek” fame has sold a house in Valley Village for $1,155,250. The 3,017-square-foot house, built in 1936, features a great room with vaulted ceilings, exposed beams, a bonus room and an open kitchen with bar seating. There are four bedrooms and three bathrooms. French doors off the master suite overlook a swimming pool at the rear of the one-story home. Van Der Beek, 37, was on "Don't Trust the B-- in Apartment 23" (2012-13) and stars in new series “Friends With Better Lives.” Striking contemporary in Beverly Crest He paid $1.26 million for the house in 2005 and had been leasing it out for nearly $5,000 a month, according to the MLS. The property was listed at $1.155 million.
April 14, 2014 | By Daniel Miller
China Film Co. Ltd., the largest film distributor in China, has invested in two forthcoming movies from Legendary Entertainment, the Burbank-based film finance and production company. Legendary East, an affiliated company of Legendary Entertainment, said on Monday afternoon that China Film Co. made "an over eight figure equity investment" in the films "Seventh Son" and "Warcraft. " If the pictures are approved for release in China, China Film Co. will distribute them there.
April 10, 2014 | By Shan Li
Swedish home goods giant Ikea Group is investing in its first wind farm in the U.S., joining a parade of other companies that are venturing into the renewable energy sector. The company purchased Hoopeston Wind, an energy project under construction in Illinois. The wind farm is expected to be up and running by the first half of 2015. Apex Clean Energy, a green power company in Charlottesville, Va., is building and running the project. PHOTOS: World's most expensive cities Steve Howard, chief sustainability offer at Ikea, said the investment will be good for the company's business and the nation's energy independence.
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.
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.
April 16, 2008 | Christian Berthelsen
The Orange County treasurer's office has taken an $11-million write-down on the value of an $80-million investment in a complex fund, a decrease of nearly 14%, according to a county treasury report issued Tuesday. The fund, a structured investment vehicle called Whistlejacket LLC, went into default in February and has been forced into receivership. County treasury officials said the lower pricing on the investment is a conservative estimate of what the securities would currently fetch on the market in a distress sale, but that they expect eventually to recover the full value of their investment, which is scheduled to mature in January.
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.
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.
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