How Playing Poker Can Improve Your Financial Decisions

How Playing Poker Can Improve Your Financial Decisions

Financial decisions require a different approach than most other decisions we make. SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Oct 16, 2020– The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is proud to announce the award of almost $900 million to American small businesses (SBs) in Fiscal Year (FY) 2020, the Agency’s best performance ever in supporting U.S. entrepreneurs. Expanding investments in U.S. small businesses is a core part of the Agency’s continuing efforts to expand and diversify this ASHTABULA TOWNSHIP — Kohan Retail Investment Group, a New York company that owns Ashtabula Towne Square, is selling parcels around the mall. Hertz (HTZ) news for Friday includes agreements for debtor-in-possession financing of $1.65 billion rocketing HTZ stock higher. President Trump fought to energize his sagging reelection bid in the nation’s Sun Belt on Friday.


Playing poker can provide valuable lessons in how to make better financial decisions. In fact, you can learn how to make better decisions in general from poker and many other card games.

Financial decisions are different from many other types of decisions, because financial decisions involve a lot of uncertainty. Many people don’t learn how to make decisions under uncertainty. That is a major obstacle to making good financial decisions for many people.

Suppose you are thinking of buying a car, a television, or any other consumer good. The way to make that decision is to gather a lot of information, make a list of pros and cons of each choice, and decide which is best for you. There’s little, if any, uncertainty in these decisions. You mostly gather facts and compare them.

Often, people think the same approach is how to make financial decisions. They believe that by looking at history, consulting with advisors, and taking other actions they can gather all the necessary information and make the right decision.

Though you should take all those steps, you won’t reach anywhere near the same level of certainty you do when purchasing a consumer item. There are a lot of variables in the financial world, and there also are variables in your life that affect financial decisions. Whether a financial decision is a good one or a bad one often depends on what happens in the future. The future is uncertain.

As in poker, when analyzing financial decisions you need to learn how to make decisions under uncertainty.

As former professional poker player Annie Duke says in her book, Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don’t Have All the Facts, there always will be uncertainty in poker. While you can pay attention to the cards played, you can’t know which cards other players are holding, how they will bet and play with those cards and which cards will be in play next.

To decide under uncertainty, whether in finance, poker or another area, you first have to estimate the probabilities of different events and scenarios. That means first having an open mind and considering the different scenarios that are likely to occur. Next, you need to make an estimate of which outcomes are more likely than others.

Then, balance potential losses against potential gains and take the actions that are likely to deliver the highest potential gain without taking too much risk of loss. You usually don’t want to make the choice that has the highest potential gain if it also has a reasonable probability of incurring a significant loss. Realize that no matter how carefully you analyze the situation, losses and mistakes always are possibilities. We can’t learn everything or predict the future.

That’s why it’s almost always a good idea to have some balance and diversification in your portfolio. While stocks have delivered the highest returns in the long term, most of us aren’t living in the long term, especially the closer we are to retirement. We must consider what could happen in the next five to 10 years and the potential consequences on our finances.

Most other financial decisions have similar uncertainty. Rarely is one outcome highly likely. Instead, there is a range of potential outcomes, with some more likely than others. That’s why financial decisions often require some balancing or hedging.

After you decide, it’s usually not a good idea to lock it away and forget about it. Instead, be ready to adapt and adjust when the potential risks and rewards, or your circumstances, change.


Author: Bob Carlson

Repeat Chief Financial Officer Derrick Lee Joins Ridge Ventures

Repeat Chief Financial Officer Derrick Lee Joins Ridge Ventures


Today, Ridge Ventures, an early-stage, enterprise-focused venture capital firm whose investments include Fastly, Braze and Discord, announced the addition of CFO Derrick Lee to the team. Lee is succeeding longtime Ridge CFO Lorra Stone, who is semi-retiring. She will assist with Lee’s transition and provide ongoing advice to the firm as needed.

Lee possesses more than twenty years of senior venture capital finance and fund accounting experience, ensuring that Ridge’s day-to-day financial affairs continue to operate seamlessly.

“CFOs are the unsung heroes and backbone of every great firm, so adding a tried-and-true finance guru like Derrick to our team is a huge win. His CFO experience in venture spans more than a decade and proves he can run a fiscally sound firm that is always three steps ahead,” said Alex Rosen, Managing Partner at Ridge Ventures. “Thanks to Lorra’s foundational contributions to Ridge, Derrick has a solid blueprint to follow. On behalf of the entire Ridge family, we wish her a smooth transition and fruitful retirement.”

Lee will spearhead all facets of Ridge’s financial operations. This comprises assisting Ridge’s GPs with financing portfolio companies, and overseeing partnership accounting, financial reporting, tax and treasury, regulatory compliance and financial information systems.

Before Joining Ridge, Lee handled all aspects of deal financings at Mohr Davidow Ventures and Wildcat Venture Partners, and also served as a consulting CFO at Learn Capital. As Mohr Davidow and Wildcat’s CFO, he led finance teams through portfolio company valuations, quarterly closes, LP reporting and annual meetings, while assisting the deals teams with financings, including term sheets, exits and more. Prior to starting his finance career at State Street Corporation, he received his Bachelor of Science in Economics from University of California, Berkeley. He holds a Master of Business Administration from Arizona State University.

“It’s not every day you get a chance to join a firm like Ridge,” added Lee. “The storied history, long track record of successful investments, and a team of warm and thoughtful colleagues to boot. I’ve made a career out of crunching numbers, but the best part is watching founders take the next step in fulfilling their dreams. I’m thrilled to help Ridge expand its portfolio of world-changing companies.”

In 2020, Ridge has made a number of key hires. In addition to Lee joining as CFO, the firm added seasoned CIO Yousuf Khan (Automation Anywhere, Pure Storage) as Partner. In April of this year, Head of Investor Relations Susan Stella and Principal Kamil Saeid joined the Ridge team. The Ridge CXO Network, the largest of any non-billion-dollar fund, continues to grow as well and provides a source of customers for Ridge founders.

About Ridge Ventures

Founded in 2007, Ridge Ventures is an early-stage venture capital firm investing in founders who are redefining how the world interacts with data and code. Ridge takes a fast, flexible and founder-focused approach, and backs companies delivering advanced technologies, new distribution models and incredible user experiences. To learn more, visit and follow us @ridgevc.

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CONTACT: Mark Gavigan for Ridge Ventures

(209) 298-7044



SOURCE: Ridge Ventures

Copyright Business Wire 2020.

PUB: 10/16/2020 12:00 PM/DISC: 10/16/2020 12:01 PM

Copyright Business Wire 2020.


Fiscal Year 2020 Was USAID's Best Year for Investing in U.S. Small Businesses | Press Release | U.S. Agency for International Development

Fiscal Year 2020 Was USAID’s Best Year for Investing in U.S. Small Businesses | Press Release | U.S. Agency for International Development

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is proud to announce the award of almost $900 million to American small businesses (SBs) in Fiscal Year (FY) 2020, the Agency’s best performance ever in supporting U.S. entrepreneurs. Expanding investments in U.S. small businesses is a core part of the Agency’s continuing efforts to expand and diversify this important partner base.

The $896 million USAID obligated to U.S. small businesses in FY 2020, out of a total contract portfolio of $6.04 billion, equals 14.83 percent of the Agency’s prime acquisition awards. This achievement significantly exceeded the Agency’s official small-business goal for the Fiscal Year of 12.00 percent. Preliminary data indicate this is the highest percentage of contracts overall, and largest total obligation, destined for U.S. small businesses USAID has ever achieved in one Fiscal Year. The Agency increased the overall dollar amount invested in U.S. small businesses in FY 2020 by more than $88 million over FY 2019.

In addition, USAID exceeded the goal for obligations to women-owned small businesses in FY 2020 by awarding approximately $331.6 million in this category, or 5.55 percent of worldwide obligations into prime contracts. The Agency also exceeded the goal for small disadvantaged businesses for the tenth consecutive Fiscal Year by awarding $416.9 million to these companies, or 6.90 percent of worldwide obligations into prime contracts. Furthermore, USAID made notable increases in awards to small businesses located in Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) Zones ($39.5 million, $8 million above FY 2019), and to small businesses owned by service-disabled veterans ($30 million, $9.1 million above FY 2019).

The dedication and superb collaborative spirit of USAID staff in Washington, D.C., and overseas Missions were essential in identifying prime contract opportunities worldwide for U.S. small businesses during FY 2020. USAID staff recognize U.S. small businesses are playing an increasingly important role in helping communities in partner countries on their Journeys to Self-Reliance.

As the Agency continues the Transformation to align framework and foundation to remain dynamic, results-oriented, and capable of ending the need for foreign assistance, U.S. small businesses will continue to be a crucial part of the answer to complex development challenges.


Author: For Immediate ReleaseFriday, October 16, 2020Office of Press RelationsEmail:

Mall owner selling off nearby parcels

Mall owner selling off nearby parcels

ASHTABULA TOWNSHIP — Kohan Retail Investment Group, a New York company that owns Ashtabula Towne Square, is selling parcels around the mall. 

Ashtabula County Auditor David Thomas said the mall owners have replotted and surveyed the mall property.

“When they purchased the property, it came with many of the buildings such as Tractor Supply, Bob Evans and the outlying commercial property,” he said. “It appears the owners are selling those structures to the companies who are currently renting them.”

Mike Kohan, president of Kohan Retail, bought the mall last February for $10.2 million.

According the auditor’s website, Kohan recently sold the Verizon/Chipolte building for $2.1 million to NADG NNN CP-VRIZN of Dallas, Texas for $2.1 million, according to auditor’s website.

He also sold the following:

• The Tractor Supply parcel for $3.5 million;

• Bob Evans parcel for $625,000;

• Burger King parcel for $624,000, and

• Applebee’s property for $610,000.

Thomas said technically the parcels were not purchased by the franchisee because they set up local holding companies or LLC companies. 

“But if you trace the ownership back far enough for the holding companies it would go back to the franchisee,” he said.

When Kohan bought the mall and nearby properties, he said he believes malls are places for more than just shopping and that he planned to add events. 

He could not be reached for comment Tuesday via email or telephone.

Kohan bought the property from Sure Fire Group, LLC, an Ohio Domestic Limited Liability Co. The managing member on file for the company is Kenneth A. Kister of Ashtabula. He has said four different local groups share ownership.

Sure Fire Group bought the mall for $6.1 million in October 2014 from Morgan Stanley Capital I Inc.

In the six years of ownership, Kister brought in Planet Fitness, University Hospitals Health Center and Urgent Care, La Casa de Frida Mexican Restaurant, Radio Shack and locally owned stores to the mall. He also built a road connecting the mall to Walmart, allowing motorists to avoid busy traffic on Route 20.

Ashtabula Towne Square opened 29 years ago as the Ashtabula Mall. It was a popular shopping destination for local residents. It has the capacity for 70 stores, plus a food court, and a six-screen movie theater.

Kohan’s property portfolio lists malls across the country, including malls in Texas, Florida, Oklahoma, Maine, Michigan, Alabama, Pennsylvania and more. Much of the company’s portfolio is made up of distressed commercial properties.



Hertz News: Why HTZ Stock Is Shooting 69% Higher Today

Hertz News: Why HTZ Stock Is Shooting 69% Higher Today

Hertz (NYSE:HTZ) news for Friday includes debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing of $1.65 billion rocketing HTZ stock higher.

Hertz stock sign in Montevrain, France on May 8, 2016.

According to a Hertz news release, the company has secured commitments for the DIP financing and is seeking approval from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. The financing is coming from certain pre-petition first-lien lenders of the company.

The Hertz DIP is being set up as a delayed draw term loan debtor facility. The company also has set purposes for the financing. That includes using as much as $800 million of it for working capital and general corporate purposes. The DIP financing also allows the company to use up to $1 billion for purchasing vehicles in the U.S. and Canada.

Paul Stone, president and CEO of Hertz, said the following of the news.

“This new financing will provide additional financial flexibility as we continue to navigate the pandemic’s effects on the travel industry and take steps to best position our business for the future. We are pleased with the strong interest from our pre-petition first-lien lenders and appreciate their support of Hertz and our future opportunities as a rental car leader.”

Hertz notes that approval for the DIP financing has to complete customary closing conditions first. It has a hearing on Oct. 29 that should help move the process forward.

Hertz has been a wild ride all year long. After filing for bankruptcy, the company continued to see major stock movement thanks to Robinhood investors. Investors that picked up the stock at its lows are likely happy with today’s news.

HTZ stock was up 68.9% as of Friday morning.

On the date of publication, William White did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article.


Author: By

William White, InvestorPlace Writer

On the defense and facing financial strains, Trump fights to energize his sagging reelection bid in two must-win Sun Belt states

On the defense and facing financial strains, Trump fights to energize his sagging reelection bid in two must-win Sun Belt states

WASHINGTON — Backed into a corner and facing financial strains, President Donald Trump went after his opponent’s family and defended his own struggle to contain the pandemic on Friday as he fought to energize his sagging reelection bid in the nation’s Sun Belt. With Election Day looming, Democrat Joe Biden pushed to keep voters focused on health care in the Midwest.

Trump campaigned in Florida and Georgia, neighboring states he carried four years ago and must win again to extend his presidency. His decision to devote Friday evening’s prime-time slot to Georgia in particular highlighted the serious nature of his challenge: Far from his original plan to expand into Democratic-leaning states, he is laboring to stave off a defeat of major proportions.

No Republican presidential candidate has lost Georgia since George H.W. Bush in 1992. And earlier this week, Trump had to court voters in Iowa, a state he carried by almost 10 points four years ago.

In Macon, he cited support from former University of Georgia football star Herschel Walker to win favor from his rally crowd. “How good was Herschel Walker?” Trump said as the Georgia crowd roared. “He’s on our side, and he’s an incredible guy.”

Trump had tried the same strategy Wednesday in Iowa, bringing wrestling legend Dan Gable onstage.

In Florida on Friday, the president derided the Bidens as “an organized crime family,” renewing his daily claims about the candidate’s son, Hunter, and his business dealings in Ukraine and China.

More to the point for Trump’s Florida audience, he spoke directly to seniors who have increasingly soured on his handling of the pandemic.

“I am moving heaven and earth to safeguard our seniors from the China virus,” Trump said, using his usual blame-shifting term to describe the coronavirus. He also offered an optimistic assessment of the pandemic, even as a surge of new infections spread across America.

“We are prevailing,” the president said, promising to deliver the first doses of a vaccine to seniors when it’s ready.

President Donald Trump arrives to speak to a campaign rally at Middle Georgia Regional Airport, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020, in Macon, Ga.

President Donald Trump arrives to speak to a campaign rally at Middle Georgia Regional Airport, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020, in Macon, Ga. (Evan Vucci/AP)

Despite the tough talk, Trump’s actions on the ground in Florida underscored the conflicting messages his administration has sent throughout the pandemic. All the president’s security personnel and support staff were wearing face masks when Air Force One touched down, but Trump and Florida’s Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis were barefaced.

Crowds gathered at the president’s subsequent events, many without masks as well.

It was just the opposite as Biden opened his Michigan swing at a suburban Detroit community center. In keeping with his usual protocols, Biden and all the participants wore masks throughout the event, except when they were speaking, and a small crowd of dozens of reporters and supporters watched from folding chairs separated by circles to ensure social distancing.

“He’s living in a dream world,” Biden said of Trump’s rosy predictions of the pandemic. The former vice president then turned to the Trump administration’s court fight to overturn the “Obamacare” health coverage law — including its protection for people with preexisting conditions — without having a replacement plan.

“Mishandling the pandemic isn’t enough for Trump,” Biden charged. “On top of that he’s still trying to take away your health care.”

Meanwhile, the president’s campaign released new numbers suggesting he’s likely the first incumbent president to face a fundraising disadvantage in the modern era.

Trump’s campaign, along with the Republican National Committee and associated groups, raised $247.8 million in September, well short of the $383 million raised by Biden and the Democratic National Committee. To open October, the Trump effort officially had $251.4 million in the bank, according to a campaign spokesman, compared with $432 million for Biden.

Trump claimed he could have raised more. He said he could call the heads of Wall Street firms and ask for millions, but added: “I can’t do that though, because you know what, if I do that, I got to do things for them. I could be the world’s greatest fundraiser, but I just don’t want to do it.”

The president was seeking momentum on the campaign trail a day after he and Biden squared off in dueling televised town halls that showcased striking differences in temperament, views on racial justice and approaches to the pandemic.

On NBC, Trump was defensive about his administration’s handling of the coronavirus, which has claimed more than 217,000 lives in the United States, and evasive when pressed about whether he took a required COVID-19 test before his first debate with Biden. Angry and combative, Trump refused to denounce the QAnon conspiracy group — and only testily did so regarding white supremacists.

The Republican president also appeared to acknowledge revelations from a recent New York Times report that he was in debt and left open the possibility that some of it was owed to a foreign bank. But he insisted that he didn’t owe any money to Russia or any “sinister people” and suggested that $400 million in debt was a “very, very small percentage” compared to his overall assets.

Speaking in Florida on Friday, Trump sarcastically called the NBC event “a nice pleasurable evening” and jabbed moderator Savannah Guthrie for “going totally crazy.”

On ABC, Biden suggested he would offer clarity on his position on expanding the Supreme Court if Trump’s nominee to the bench is seated before Election Day. And as he did Friday in Michigan, he denounced the White House’s handling of the virus, declaring that Trump’s administration was at fault for closing a pandemic response office established by the Obama administration in which he served.

“It’s getting worse, as predicted,” Biden said in Michigan of the rising coronavirus numbers. “The president knew and lied about knowing.”

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Biden also sought to win support from the state’s auto workers during an appearance at the Michigan State Fairgrounds. “I’ve always believed in Michigan. We have the finest auto workers in the world here,” Biden said.

Ahead of Biden’s Michigan appearance, his campaign confirmed that both Biden and his running mate, California Sen. Kamala Harris, had tested negative for the coronavirus.

While decidedly on the defensive on the ground in key states, Trump released a scathing new ad on Friday attacking Biden’s record on race. Specifically, the ad seizes on Biden’s support for a criminal justice law that disproportionately punished people of color.

“He insulted us, jailed us, we must not elect him president,” the narrator declares.

It’s unclear whether the attack ad will break through the saturated airwaves. Biden and his allies are outspending Trump and his allies on paid advertising more than 2 to 1 through Election Day, according to the advertising tracking firm Kantar/CMAG.

Peoples reported from New York. Barrow reported from Detroit. AP writer Kevin Freking in Washington contributed.



How Playing Poker Can Improve Your Financial Decisions

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