This book is an important and timely research study that explores a little known area of investing, which is that of private mortgage lending. The reason for undertaking the study was twofold; reason one is because for the past 15 years, retirement portfolios have been devastated by stock market fluctuations, resulting from a greater prevalence of boom and bust economic cycles. It is quite possible that currently another bust cycle might be unfolding, in spite of the apparent bull market. The second reason is because of the adopted Federal Reserve policy of creating an artificially low interest rate environment in an attempt to sustain the continued growth of the stock market and support of the currently real estate recovery efforts.These two economic conditions primarily affect income investors because of the low yields that are being offered by the typically available fixed-income investments, such as bonds, CD's and money-market accounts. The combination of a reduced interest rate environment and the increase stock market volatility has dramatically impacted the livelihood of the fixed income investor. Moreover, it has forced these investors to take greater levels of investment risk by incentivizing them to seek higher yields by investing in the stock market; in essence, the place that has created most of their financial problems.
Almost no one had heard of social media a decade ago, but today websites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn have more than 1 billion users and account for almost 25 percent of Internet use. Practically overnight, social media seems indispensable to our lives--from friendship and dating to news and business.
What makes social media so different from traditional media? Answering that question is the key to making social media work for any business, argues Miko?aj Piskorski, one of the world's leading experts on the business of social media. In A Social Strategy, he provides the most convincing answer yet, one backed by original research, data, and case studies from companies such as Nike and American Express.
Drawing on his analysis of proprietary data from social media sites, Piskorski argues that the secret of successful ones is that they allow people to fulfill social needs that either can't be met offline or can be met only at much greater cost. This insight provides the key to how companies can leverage social platforms to create a sustainable competitive advantage. Companies need to help people interact with each other before they will promote products to their friends or help companies in other ways. Done right, a company's social media should benefit customers and the firm. Piskorski calls this "a social strategy," and he describes how companies such as Yelp and Zynga have done it.
Groundbreaking and important, A Social Strategy provides not only a story- and data-driven explanation for the explosion of social media but also an invaluable, concrete road map for any company that wants to tap the marketing potential of this remarkable phenomenon.