Welcome to MatthewLew.com

About Us

I am originally from Tucson, AZ, came to UCLA and have stayed in Los Angeles ever since. I love ‘almost’ everything there is about Southern California. I graduated from UCLA in 2004 with a degree in business-economics. I started with Del01tte right after school and have been there ever since, going on 8 years. I am currently a Vice-President in the Corporate Restructur1ng Group at Del01tte F1nancial Advis0ry Serv1ces. While many have jumped from job-to-job, I feel lucky to have been part of the same company for my whole career.  Some would view that as utterly boring, maybe even counter-productive.  If you sit at the same desk and do the same things every day, it most certainly is.  However, I’ve had the opportunity to reinvent myself several times at the Firm and there is not a year that goes by when I don’t find myself in situations that are uncomfortable strictly  because they are new.  The people who will be most successful in life are not the smartest, but the ones who are able to adapt to change, and in a sense, be a part of change.

I love fitness, cycling, the Lakers, Hawaii (frequent 3x per year), fine timepieces, cars, red wine and coffee (to name a few things).  I am allergic to any dairy products derived from whey (not lactose intolerant, but actually allergic) and therefore, have never tasted pizza, cheese, ice cream or many of their other “treasures” that I hear so much about. I live on the most simple diet of anybody you’ll ever meet and could literally survive on oatmeal raisin granola bars, egg whites, coffee, water, and beef jerky for months-on-end. However, I do like sushi and steak. I can definitely tell the difference between good and bad sushi. Can you? If you’re ever in Oahu, Hawaii, check out Sushi Sasabune – it’s omakase style and pricey – but you will not be disappointed. The very last course is ridiculously good – and I never rave about food.

I fear wasting potential more than anything else in life. I view wasted potential more tragic than everything, including death – because death is a natural part of life. However, when you think about people like Len Bias, River Phoenix, and Lawrence Phillips – that is truly sad because they had the talent to be legendary. And while I have referenced entertainers (actors and athletes), the same can happen to any of us, no matter who we are or what we do. It’s very easy for any one of us to slip and throw potential away for something stupid or even easier, just settle for being average. That is the fear that I live with every single day.

My parents have had a profound influence on my life. All the good I have gotten from them and as for the bad, well, I probably picked that up on my own somewhere. Outside of my family, much of my own influence comes from business leaders such as Steve Jobs and Howard Schultz – self-made individuals who have created business empires that stand for something. The term visionary is often abused and applied to anybody with a new idea, but Jobs and Schultz were visionaries who dared to look into the future and what they found were incredible concepts that have very much defined the commercial landscape of our world. As a risk-averse person, I very much admire people who went “all-in” and created these amazing companies. It is very much this mentality that I hope to slowly integrate into my own life – the idea of “swinging for the fences” and following intuition rather than just always carefully making decisions based on listing out the “pros and cons” of the situation. I cherish the relationships that challenge me to be a better person. It’s a constant struggle to balance the tremendous negative temptations that engulf our lives and I am lucky to be surrounded by many people who provide great examples of “doing the right thing” and “living the right way”. And while my personal life has drastically lagged my professional one, I am confident that it will all come together when it’s the right time for me, when I’m committed and ready to make it a priority. I am trying to make faith a bigger part of my life and like most significant things that you try to live by, it is difficult – but if it wasn’t difficult, it wouldn’t be worth doing. Like anybody else, my life is a work-in-process and I am patient about becoming the person that I want to be.

I don’t believe in “life plans”.  I think life plans are incredibly restrictive to the flow that makes life worth living.  Inherently, life plans are built on the fundamentals of destinations and milestones.  But, destinations and milestones, in-and-of-themselves, are anti-climatic.  It’s the time, the process, the journey, and perhaps even the detours, it takes to reach those destinations that makes life interesting.  “But even if you can’t plan, you can prepare.”  You have to prepare yourself so that when that moment comes, when that one door you’ve been waiting for opens, you are, in fact, prepared.  You have to engage in things where the outcome and benefit isn’t known.  Some of the greatest, most productive learning experiences in my life started out as “destination-less” journeys.  However, now looking back, the destinations are obvious – the dots connect.  If you’re always looking for “destinations”, you’ll never truly understand the concept of “faith”, which is doing things without knowing the outcome.  A life with no faith is a life with no risk.

Thought of the Day

You gotta find the things that interest you. No matter how much money you make, how many houses you buy, or how many cars you collect, nothing will ever amount to the feeling of making an impact on something that really captures your passion.

The Philanthro Phund

The Philanthro Phund is a personally-financed initiative to provide the resources needed for individuals to pursue projects and initiatives that inspire them. There is no specific cause that the fund is dedicated to as they are not politically or religiously affiliated. The core requirements of the projects that I have or will fund in the future include having a documented plan that demonstrates:

  • A documented project mission statement
  • Affiliation with a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit (either as a core initiative of the organization or official fiscal sponsoree)
  • A statement of why the project is important and worthy of funding
  • Background information on the key individuals involved
  • A timeline for executing the project including key milestones
  • A project budget
  • A statement indicating how project success will be measured

My ultimate hope is that another Philanthro Productions lies within the projects funded – something lasting, meaningful, and creative.

Disclaimer: The Philanthro Phund is associated with Philanthro Productions, Inc. in name-only. No funds donated or granted to Philanthro Productions, Inc. can or will be used to fund projects. Consequently, I retain sole discretion over the distribution and management of funding.

Projects Funded To-Date:

Project Leaders: Jamie Lu / Rashi Kacker
Funding-to-Date: $1,250
501(c)(3) Organization: The Women’s Foundation of California

RisingLeaders Summary
RisingLeaders aims to partner with Bay Area nonprofits (focused on providing training programs for the youth) that could benefit from an exclusive one-on-one mentorship program led by RisingLeaders. Rising Leaders’ 2013 pilot mentorship program will collaborate with Turning Heads, a San Francisco non- profit, and its incubated project, Sweet Dreams. Turning Heads empowers young females through vocational arts and entrepreneurship training. Sweet Dreams exposes and trains members in the key aspects of operating a small business, using cooperative principles, and facilitating real-world experiences in entrepreneurship. Members participate in all aspects of Sweet Dreams including: product design, creation and packaging, material and production inventory, bookkeeping, marketing, and sales.

The mentorship program will provide one-on-one guidance for young women ages 14 through 21 primarily in the areas of professional and career development, the college application process, life skills, and entrepreneurship. Mentor and mentee pairs will meet in person once every month at the San Francisco non-profit headquarters while participating in frequent conversations via phone calls and emails and the occasional group outing. Sweet Dreams Rising Leaders Program will include consistent mentor and mentee feedback, exclusive and structured curriculum and projects in addition to an in-house internship program to train mentees to excel in a professional setting. Graduates of the program will take their skills and experiences gained from the program to further inspire their peers and communities. The goal is to provide mentees with one-on-one guidance so that they further gain confidence and become empowered young leaders in their communities.

Turning Heads Sweet Dreams Overview
Turning Heads Sewing and Fashion Design provides vocational arts education, entrepreneurship training, and develops young women leaders in San Francisco. Turning Heads challenge race, class and gender stereotypes by believing that young women of color can work together and create a future that is personally, socially, academically and financially successful. Turning Heads gives young women the opportunity to express their creativity, develop a sense of self-reliance, and follow their dreams. Sweet Dreams is a project of Turning Heads Sewing and Fashion Design Program.

Sweet Dreams exposes and trains the young women of Turning Heads in the key aspects of operating a small business, using cooperative principles, and facilitating real-world experiences in entrepreneurship.  Meeting weekly, members participate in all aspects of Sweet Dreams including: product design, creation and packaging, material and production inventory, bookkeeping, marketing, and sales. The young women’s handmade products include 100% organic lavender and flax seed eye pillows, yoga mat bags, aromatherapy dream pillows, rice, flax seed and lavender neck pillows and zipper cases. Members create a business plans, produce commercials, blog, participate in sales events and public presentations, and conduct market research interviews.  While learning the skills needed to operate a small business, these young female entrepreneurs are successfully marketing their products to yoga studios, boutiques and retail stores in San Francisco as well as on the internet.  All Turning Heads Sweet Dreams members share the profits equally.

Volatile Stocks

The volatility of a penny stock depends on the fluctuation of price in the given timeframe. The volatility of the stocks may go up to several fluctuations during the day. The trends of volatility are much lower and don’t exceed their levels on the silent periods. The stocks under $1 have percentage-wise fluctuations to spot for the volatility of these penny stocks.

Volatility refers to the price range variation of any stock within a definite time frame, such as a day, weekly, monthly or a year. If the price of the stock is moving quickly, they are considered to be volatile. Volatility can move out in either direction (upwards or downwards) depending on the stock price variations. High-volatility penny stocks are low-priced stocks experiencing the significant price variations within short intervals.

For example, the cannabis stocks are in the tumbling market and the investors take an opportunity to lock the recent profits for their day-trading schedules. The present time has massive run in the valuations and we can’t determine if it could be paused anytime with the change in government policies which is now rare in chances. There have been surprisingly strong numbers and the profit-taking rates have drove with the increased enthusiasm in the market. People are crazy to see the next movements in the revenue growth in the penny marijuana stocks. There have been some positive movement in the recent times and with the upward movements. The chances of pullback are rare but could be there as per the volatility rate of penny stocks.

High-Volatility Penny Stocks

In finding out the high-volatility penny stocks, it is important to find out exactly what you’ve been looking for.

  • Price movements: In penny stock movements, you’d seek out for the stocks having high spiking rate to gain profits. The stocks moving out quickly are the ones which you will look out for the potential success for your investments.
  • Biggest gains and losses: The stocks having big gains and losses is a signal of high volatility. There could be a catalyst causing fluctuation in the prices.
  • Activities: The stocks with no activity have no volatility. It clearly means that there are a fewer buyers and sellers of the stock. If you take the larger position, there would be a high disadvantage waiting for you for having unavailability to get lack of demand.

Benefits for trading volatile stocks

Volatile stocks are riskier than the slowly-moving stocks. It is not a turn-on for the day-traders or the penny stock investors. Risks come with rewards and it is true for the penny stocks. The volatility makes the stocks desirable for the people who look for day-trading rewards. The smaller accounts with high volatility rate have an opportunity to grow in their levels.

The people who are looking for profitable results within least possible time will embrace volatility in it. Trading is challenging and it doesn’t matter if the prices are going up or down, the strategies should be intelligent enough to get the most out of your investments.

Investing in Penny Stocks

Should you Invest in penny stocks?

Have you ever thought about how the penny stock market works and why it has been there?

Why people talk about these stocks and check their values on regular basis?

Is it beneficial to get these stocks in your portfolio?

The major linkage of penny stocks is because of the investments and the associated gains. The stock exchange is a public center in which there are stocks purchased and sold by millions of people on everyday basis. People basically work on penny stock investments for the reason of making quick profits on regular basis. The movement of stocks towards rising and falling position gives an aim to the investor to earn profits at the end of the day. Some investors like to make investments in the small-cap companies and they do this to increase their gain probability. They might lose in some deals and gain money in the others. Penny stock investments are quite challenging and if you are new to the business, check out the points given below to get an idea about the investment in penny stocks:

  1. Investment in penny stocks: Commonly, penny stocks are traded for the per stock value of less than $1. These shares are not traded on the prominent stock exchanges and are mainly present on Over-the-counter platforms due to less information given by the companies in this arena. Penny stocks are more exposed to media press releases and are hyped due to their volatile nature.
  2. Fraud hints: Penny stocks are prone to getting fraud. This is majorly caused by the information lack and imprecise pricing. There are some ways to determine if the stockbroker is reliable or not. You should mark a stoppage if the media is over-exaggerating the stocks.
  3. Advisers and brokers: These are your business platforms in penny stocks world. When you are investing in any penny stock trade, consider getting a fair broker having a good reputation in the market. There are many penny stocks available on the major stock exchanges, like NYSE, NASDAQ, AMEX and you can look for the safer options which can fetch positive responses over your investments.
  4. Penny stock investment learning: The major philosophy for a penny stock investor is to focus on the learning, whether in parts or on the whole. The trends can be researched or analyzed as per the market trends. Penny stock market is very fast paced and the business environment requires high-alertness to decide the upcoming trends. Your decision at the end will matter the most and it will be based on your understanding and knowledge for the stocks.
  5. Research is the ‘key factor’:  It is essential to research for the company at your basis to make the appropriate move. You can fetch the information of the company in which you’re going to make investment. It is important to do your ‘personal research’ on the company list which you’ve prepared for doing investment. Once you are done with the research, try to invest in diversified amounts to get profits in detail.

Apple CFO Transition

During its October-2013 (FQ4-2013) and January-2014 (FQ1-2014) earnings calls, Apple included its Vice President and Corporate Controller, Luca Maestri. During the October-2013 call, Maestri’s inclusion was not seen as particularly odd as Apple was making some changes to its revenue deferral policies on iOS devices – a technical accounting move, which made sense to have the Controller around in case questions came up that required a more in-depth explanation for analysts. Maestri did not speak on that call, although the deferral was discussed as much as any other topic because of its impact on gross margins.

Maestri’s inclusion in the January-2014 call to discuss FQ1 2014′s results is different. It implies to me that Apple is laying the foundation for his transition into the CFO role. Maestri was previously CFO of Xerox and left in February 2013 to join Apple as Vice President and Corporate Controller, a role that had been vacant following the retirement of Betsy Rafael. In an article by Bloomberg near the time of Maestri’s hiring, prominent Apple Analyst Ben Reitzes of Barclay’s Capital noted that he fit-the-bill as Apple’s CFO-in-waiting, particularly given his advocacy for shareholder return (dividends, share repurchases, etc.) and experience in the top finance role at a global technology company.

During the FQ1 call on Monday, Maestri was handed questions by both Cook and Oppenheimer that were not necessarily very accounting in-nature, but rather broader questions about the overall business and forward-looking guidance. Here’s what his discussion points were:

1) In response to question from Morgan Stanley’s Katy Huberty regarding guidance:

“…our guidance we are expecting a minor decrease of $50 million. This is largely due to the lower variable expenses that we are going to have in line with the seasonal sequential decline in revenue. But one thing that Peter already mentioned in his remarks is that we continue to invest very heavily in R&D. We are making investments in areas that are visible to our view today, but also in areas that are not visible, which we are very excited about.”

2) In response to question from UBS Securties’ Steve Mulonovich again regarding guidance:

“Steve let me answer that one. Let me start with the quarter. So we were above the guidance range. It was primarily for two factors. We had favorable product mix and we had favorable commodity pricing. So those were the two things that actually helped us come in above the guidance range. For the quarter, for Q2, we’re guiding 37% to 38% compared to 37.9% in the December quarter. We’re going to have some loss of leverage as you can imagine because of the usual seasonal decline in revenue, but we expect that loss of leverage to be largely offset by cost improvements and also be less deferred revenue that we’re going to have in Q2.”

Apple’s signal to investors and analysts alike that a transition is near by allowing Maestri to gain exposure in critical interactions with the analyst community is anything but uncommon. For a company that is poised to do close to $200B in revenue this year and sits on $158B in cash, it is going to take some time for the public to build confidence in Maestri. Oppenheimer has been Apple’s CFO since 2004 and is no doubt, very rich. He has done a solid job guiding Apple from an “also-ran” in the computer space to the most valuable company in the world, not to mention the stability he provided throughout Steve Jobs’ numerous medical leaves and eventual CEO transition to Tim Cook.

Best Selling Products

MacDailyNews reported on a story today that analyzed the best-selling products of all time originated by 24/7 Wall Street. “Some products sell well when first introduced. Many more fail miserably. Very few of them sell so well that they fundamentally impact American culture,” 24/7 Wall St. writes. “This is 24/7 Wall St.’s list of 10 products that did just that.”

 “Besides selling in droves, many of the products on this list changed American culture,” 24/7 Wall St. writes.  “While each product is in a different industry — from smartphones, to video game consoles and music albums — there are clear similarities among the leaders. All the products that made the list were innovative in their respective categories when released.”

24/7 Wall St. writes, “24/7 Wall St. reviewed product categories that generate attention from many groups and command significant and frequently long-lasting loyalty. We then identified individual products that had the highest sales in their category. Toys, consumer electronics, books and movies can be passing interests. However, the most successful of these are the best-selling products of all time.”

1) Rubik’s Cube – 350 million units (Category: Toys)

2) Apple iPhone – 250 million units (Category: Smartphone)

3) Harry Potter – 450 million copies (Category: Book Series)

4) Michael Jackson’s Thriller – 110 million copies (Category: Albums)

5) Mario Franchise – 262 million units (Category: Video Game Franchise)

6) Apple iPad – 67 million units (Category: Tablet)

7) Star Wars – $4.54 billion in ticket sales (Category: Movies)

8) Toyota Corolla – 39 million units (Category: Cars)

9) Lipitor – $125 billion in revenue (Category: Pharmaceuticals)

10) Playstation – 300 million units + (Category: Video Game Console)

One in a Billion

For the past few years now, I think we’ve all seen this “explosion” of start-ups, and the corresponding ‘hip-ness’ associated with either founding a start-up, or working for one.  I would be the first to say that innovation, building something of value, and all the rest that comes along with creating a successful company from nothing is amazing.  However, I think our generation has gone way overboard with this concept to the point where people give up great opportunities just because they don’t have the term “start-up” associated with them.  But let’s face it guys, it takes more than great food to build a sustainable restaurant – meaning, it takes more than a great idea to build a sustainable company, especially in today’s global economy where you have people around the world who can hire programmers at $5/hour working round-the-clock to leverage the web.  In other words, it takes a great idea, the right management team, significant capital, and last but not least, a lot of luck to build a sustainable start-up. If playing in the NBA is a one-in-a-million shot, creating the next Facebook is a one-in-a-billion shot.  That’s not to say I’m a pessimist, but I am a realist.  I see ‘kids’ left-and-right, leaving perfectly good “foundational” jobs to go work for these companies that might have gotten Series A VC financing and that is their justification for sustainability.  Do you know how many companies Sequoia Capital, Kleiner Perkins, or Benchmark have funded with Series A that have never amounted to anything?  Too many.  But, I think that is where the disconnect is.  These VC firms have so much money and such a wide breadth of all things tech these days, that it’s not a big deal to throw around money with the hopes that the company they are funding becomes the next Google or LinkedIn or Paypal.

But, I do believe that a lot of this has to do with the generational landscape.  People want to be their own bosses and they want to come to work in jeans and play XBox during lunch.  I think that’s great, but not at the sacrifice of learning “foundational” job skill-sets.  When the music stops, and it will for many start-ups, these people are going to face the harsh reality of the real workforce – one that pays salaries and not stock options.  I believe that the amount of efficiencies that our economy is currently losing by our youngest talent competing against one another in this “start-up” war is very unfortunate.  Think about how much value could be added to established companies with all of that creativity and brainpower.   The biggest misconception of our time is that innovation can only happen on Sandhill road.  That couldn’t be further from the truth.  Just last week, I read about a girl who has brought Web 2.0 to American Express leveraging FourSquare and the like with amazing financial results.  A company like AMEX is not exactly xyz startup, but this girl is changing the landscape of that organization by leveraging the “one-in-a-billions”.  I truly hope more young bright-eyed MBA students see opportunities to innovate within companies like Nike, AMEX, P&G, Gap, etc., rather than choose the path of trying to be the next ’one-in-a-billion.’  It’s better for them and it’s better for us.