March 15, 2013

CU gets high marks from bond-research group

The University of Colorado system is ranked 18th among colleges nationwide as a good place to invest in bonds, according to a new report by MunicipalBonds.com, an industry research group owned by Mitra Media in New York.

Municipal bonds generally are used by government entities to build new buildings and make other capital improvements.

The CU system contributed $5.3 billion to the Colorado economy from 2011 to 2012 and employed more than 43,000 people, the report noted.

“The school’s municipal bonds hold significant appeal, especially for those looking for shorter maturities,” the report says.

That’s music to the ears of Donald Eldhart, treasurer and associate vice president and chief investment officer for CU.

“The institutions on this list provide value to the buyers of tax-exempt securities,” Eldhart said.

On the CU-Boulder campus, such bonds have been used to fund the new Visual Arts Building, the Center for Community and Andrews Hall in the Kittredge housing complex. They also could come in handy in the future if and when the university goes looking for funding to pay for a planned three-story building atop the Euclid AutoPark parking garage, according to Eldhart’s office.

Steer clear of scams

How many times have you heard, “When an investment sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”
Unfortunately, the reason you keep hearing it is that consumers continue to fall for financial scams, according to Fred Joseph, the state’s commissioner on banking and securities. One of Joseph’s jobs is to investigate and license stockbrokers and others in the financial community.

The commissioner recently filed a complaint in Denver District Court against Gary Snisky of Longmont and the independent private equity funds Colony Capital LLC, Colony Capital LP and Colony Capital Group for allegedly defrauding at least 20 investors out of more than $3.2 million.

Joseph has issued a common-sense list of investment tips that bears repeating:

1. Do not invest immediately. No investment is so “hot” that it can’t be bought tomorrow, Joseph said.

2. If you’re working with a stockbroker, check to see if he or she is registered with the state as required by law. Call the Colorado Division of Securities at 303-894-2320.

3. Get information in writing about the investments you plan to make. Never make an oral commitment before reading the fine print, Joseph said.

4. Do independent research on the potential investment you’re interested in, and check the background and reputation of the person pitching it to you, Joseph said.

Area a VC leader

Boulder County ranked only behind Silicon Valley in 2012 when it came to the amount of venture capital invested in local startup companies per capita.

Pretty heady stuff for our local entrepreneurial scene.

Brian Lewandowski, at the business research division of the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado-Boulder, compiled the per-capita ranking, using information from PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and National Venture Capital Association data from Thomson Reuters as well as U.S. Census Bureau statistics.

The Boulder-Longmont region saw $854.94 per person in venture capital invested in 2012, according to the data. San Jose, California, was No. 1 in venture capital invested per capita, at $2,181.55 per person, according to Lewandowski. San Francisco was No. 2, with $1,532.69 per person, according to Lewandowski’s data. Denver was No. 15, with $93.31 invested per person.

In total dollar terms, San Francisco had the bulk of the 2012 venture capital investment, with $5.64 billion. San Jose had $4.07 billion, and Boulder-Longmont had $256 million.

See Dick and Jane invest

At least one financial group is looking to promote financial literacy for children, taking a page from the playbook of the national “Read Across America” day (held March 1 this year).

Even if you’re a grownup, you still may be able to learn a thing or two from the book “Growing Money, A Complete Investing Guide for Kids,” according to the industry group GoBankingRates.com.

It’s written for the stock broker in training in all of us. The book has simple explanations of compound interest, bonds, mutual funds and how to read and understand the financial section of the newspaper.

Beth Potter can be reached at 303-630-1944 or bpotter@bcbr.com.

The University of Colorado system is ranked 18th among colleges nationwide as a good place to invest in bonds, according to a new report by MunicipalBonds.com, an industry research group owned by Mitra Media in New York.

Municipal bonds generally are used by government entities to build new buildings and make other capital improvements.

The CU system contributed $5.3 billion to the Colorado economy from 2011 to 2012 and employed more than 43,000 people, the report noted.

“The school’s municipal bonds hold significant appeal, especially for those looking for shorter maturities,” the report says.

That’s music to the ears of Donald…

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