Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, May 4, 2013

MVNews this week:  Page 14



 Mountain Views News Saturday, May 4, 2013 




Book Reviews by Jasmine Kelsey Williams 



LOSS By Jackie Morse Kessler

 With the month of April coming to a close, we now head into 
the month of May with the Riders of the Apocalypse series by 
Jackie Morse Kessler, and the starter for this series is “Loss”. 
No need to fret on the confusion, dear readers: “Loss” is the 
third in this series (coming after “Rage” and “Hunger”) but 
does not overlap into its predecessors, making “Loss” its own 
unique story. “Loss” focuses on our protagonist fifteen year 
old Billy Ballard, who tries to live a quiet life: help take care of 
his grandfather, get through school, and trying to survive the 
everyday brunt of the school bullies that plague him. 

 The opening chapters that chronicle Billy’s life help readers, 
especially in their teenage years, to connect with him on his 
plight and struggles and to understand why he takes a passive 
approach to his own life, but also delve into his memories 
when he realizes that he was tricked as a child to take on the 
role of Pestilence, the White Rider of the Apocalypse. 

 The pacing does start to pick up as the chapters go deeper, first from Billy’s encounter with 
Death, to his encounter with the White Rider himself, and then also becomes deeper in 
tone, as Billy learns of what the White Rider does, along with his newfound responsibilities 
of having to bring sickness and disease. Readers will feel the strong emotions start to come 
through as Billy gains strength and then confidence when he carries out his task of bringing 
back Pestilence to be the original White Rider, and then sense optimism when he carries his 
newfound confidence back into his own original life. Kessler paints a vivid picture of Brian 
and his world, along with the characters of Death and Pestilence, as well vivid imagery of the 
mythology that surrounds the universe of the Riders of the Apocalypse. Copyrighted and 
published in 2012, along with praise from Kirkus Reviews and New York Journal of Books, 
“Loss” is a wonderful read for teens and even young adults, as well as an excellent pick to start 
off your spring or summer reading. 


 In this dark comedy from Michael Bay, Mark Wahlberg - alongside Dwayne 
“The Rock” Johnson and Anthony Mackie - all star in this true story of three 
body builders in Miami who get caught up in an extortion ring and a kidnapping scheme that goes 
horribly wrong. “Pain & Gain” is loud, fast-paced and wildly humorous and for that, I absolutely loved 
it. It may be over stylized and outrageously over-the-top, but it’s incredibly entertaining from beginning 
to end. Wahlberg’s character, Daniel Lugo, just wants to live the American dream and will go to great 
lengths to achieve it. With the help of fellow bodybuilders, his vision quickly becomes a reality when 
they rip off a shady businessman (and one of his clients), Victor Kershaw, portrayed by Tony Shalhoub. 
Wahlberg, Johnson, and Mackie are all terrific playing naïve, dumb-founded buffoons. Each actor 
brings a different element and personality to his characters and despite any overlapping similarities 
they’re all distinctively unlike the other. However, one thing is certain, wanting more than just the bare 
minimum drives them all into acting the way they do. Watching these three guys weave in and out of 
trouble was the most fun I’ve had at the theaters so far this year. “Pain & Gain” is worth every bit of its 
two hours and nine minute running time. It’s a great pre-summer flick to seek out before all the heavy-
hitters make their way to the plate. Grade: 4 out of 5


 Writer/director Jeff Nichols third feature film, “Mud,” is the tale of two teenage boys who 
cross paths with a fugitive on the run. Together they form a pact to help him escape the bounty 
hunters on his trail in order to reunite him with his true love. Ellis, portrayed beautifully by Tye 
Sheridan, is one of the boys who happen to stumble upon the title character, Mud (played in yet 
another strong performance by Matthew McConaughey) on an island out in the Mississippi River. 
The film has a deep depiction of life in the south. As it unfolds, “Mud” ultimately tells a story of 
love and heartbreak. Ellis believes in love at all costs even if it’s breaking down around all those it 
consumes. Realistically, he’s too young to know what heartbreak truly is. Nevertheless, he continues 
to help Mud come together with his girlfriend, Juniper (Reese Witherspoon) and witnesses the demise 
of his own parent’s relationship. Ellis’ own personal view of love has wandered aloof. Unfortunately, 
not everything truly works to perfection in this movie, particularly the hollow character Reece 
Witherspoon must portray, particularly when the pacing of the movie slows down in the second act. 
However, “Mud” is still a breathtaking movie to view with strong performances by most of its cast 
and benefits from a wholly original screenplay that would have appeared to be adapted from a great 
American novel. At any rate, this was a breakthrough performance by young actor Tye Sheridan who 
displays both sweet and toughness with anger and vulnerability to absolute impeccability. While I 
didn’t love “Mud” perhaps the way I intended, I did like it enough to give it a strong recommendation. 

Grade: 4 out of 5 



By Carl Davis, CIMA


 As the global climate 
change discussions heat up in 
Washington, many investors 
are paying attention to the 
impact of their investments on 
the environment and the well 
being of people around the world. As this trend has 
increased, so has the demand for investment choices 
that demonstrate not only financial soundness, but 
also a concern for quality of life. This investment 
philosophy, known as socially responsible investing 
(SRI), has a special appeal to many individuals 
concerned with the future of our planet. 

 What constitutes socially responsible investing?

Investors who adopt an SRI strategy believe their 
decisions should be governed not only by economics, 
but also by social issues. This often means refraining 
from investing in companies or industries that 
produce products or offer services the investor 
disapproves of, regardless of the company’s or 
industry’s potential for profit or value. Investors 
who maintain an SRI strategy may choose to avoid 
investing in companies related to alcohol, tobacco, 
gambling and weapons. It can also mean investing in 
companies that promote workplace diversity, actively 
participate in community volunteer programs or 
work to improve the environment. 

 Benefits, drawbacks and strategies of SRI

 As with all types of investing, there are tradeoffs that 
come with socially responsible investing. Those who 
practice SRI can feel good that their investment choices 
reflect their values. However, socially responsible 
investors must balance this benefit with more limited 
choices with regard to portfolio diversification.

 Some strategies that those interested in SRI may 
employ include divesting from companies that don’t 
align with their personal morals or beliefs, and 
participating in shareholder activism or engagement. 
They may also include:

. Investing in SRI mutual funds. These funds 
include companies that many socially responsible 
investors support. They use SRI strategies as part of 
their fund objectives and portfolio choices.
. Micro-financing. Money invested in micro-
financing service companies is used to support small 
businesses that otherwise would not be eligible for 
traditional financing.
. Community-investing. Community-
investing directs capital from investors and lenders 
to communities that are underserved by traditional 
financial services institutions. It makes it possible 
for local organizations to provide financial services 
to low-income individuals and to supply capital for 
small businesses and vital community services, such as 
affordable housing, child care, and healthcare.

 Building a socially responsible portfolio

 To invest according to your ethical standards, research 
your investment decisions carefully. 
is a website of SRI World Group, Inc.; a news, research, 
and consulting firm that advises clients regarding 
sustainability investment issues and corporate 
responsibility practices. The Forum for Sustainable 
and Responsible Investment ( is a 
nonprofit organization that promotes socially and 
environmentally responsible investing. Their website 
also provides extensive information that may help you 
get started. 

 If you think a SRI strategy fits your financial 
objectives, consider working with a financial advisor 
to get professional advice about possible investment 
opportunities. A financial advisor can help you find 
appropriate SRIs and brainstorm options for future 
investments that satisfy both your financial goals and 
your desire to invest ethically and responsibly. 

Carl H Davis, CIMA®, CRPC® is a Financial Advisor and 
Vice President with Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. in Los 
Angeles , CA He specializes in fee-based financial planning 
and asset management strategies and has been in practice 
for 36 years. To contact him at 310-954-2566 or via email @, or at 10880 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles 
CA 90024

 Ameriprise Financial and its representatives do not provide tax 
or legal advice. Consult your tax advisor or attorney regarding 
specific tax issues

SRI World Group Inc. and The Forum for Sustainable and 
Responsible Investment are not affiliated with Ameriprise 
Financial, Inc. 

 The included websites are provided for informational 
purposes only and are not an indication of endorsement of 
the content therein or affiliation with respect to the referenced 

 Brokerage, investment and financial advisory services are 
made available through Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. 
Member FINRA and SIPC.

© 2013 Ameriprise Financial, Inc. All rights reserved. 
File # 154364


Many homeowners are still facing mortgage default, and while the best bet is to contact your lender 
directly, there are tempting advertisements out there for companies that claim they can solve your 
financial crisis. Fraud is rampant, so look out for the following warning signs.

First, don’t believe the hype when you hear, “We’ll stop the auction!” or, “Debt eliminated, guaranteed!” 
If it sounds too good to be true, it is!

You should be suspicious of any company that tries to gain your trust by imitating a government 
agency. They may (illegally) publish government logos and names, or even copy the look of an official 
website, so pay attention to the details.

Back out of any deal that requires you to pay any fees upfront. There is no need to pay anyone to 
modify your mortgage terms, because your lender, and only your lender, can do that.

Most importantly, do not make mortgage payments to anyone but your lender. If a person or company 
presents you with an official looking statement that indicates payments should now be made to 
them, don’t walk – run for the door, and call the Better Business Bureau.

By working directly with your lender, you may be able to modify your loan terms, or agree to a pay-
off through a “short sale” listing. Please heed this advice from an experienced professional.


We often hear success stories from B2C (business to consumer) businesses using social 
media and email marketing to promote their products and services but can a B2B 
(business to business) leverage the potential of social media?

A good social media strategy promotes credibility, elevates customer retention, builds relationships and makes 
it easy for potential customers to find your business when they are searching on-line. 

There is a hunger to connect with the people behind a brand, the business owner or the person in charge. 
According to Real Business Rescue, one-third of global B2B buyers use social media to engage with their vendors 
and 77% say they are more likely to buy from a company whose CEO uses social media. If you are in the B2B 
world, you know how important relationships are with your customers. Good relationships generate valuable 
word of mouth and retain loyal customers.

Here are five ideas to help B2B businesses leverage social media and build stronger relationships with their 
prospects and customers:

1. Listen to your customers and prospects. As business owners, it’s our job to listen to our customers 
and understand who they are, what they like, what they don’t like and what interests they have. Listening shows 
you care about their business and their needs. Social media makes it easy to get to know your customers and 
prospects. Most businesses have some type of social media presence now. “Like” their Facebook pages; follow 
them on Twitter; connect with them on LinkedIn. Listen to what they are saying and comment on posts that 
make sense. Do the same with prospects. All the social media tools have a “search” feature that allows you to 
search by industry or business name.
2. Provide great content. Figure out what type of information would be helpful for your target audience 
and be generous with it. Don’t worry about giving away the farm, when you share something valuable you 
position your business as a leading authority in your industry. This helps promote your credibility and 
professionalism. Keep in mind, it doesn’t always have to be original content. Sharing an interesting article or 
statistic about business trends in your industry is helpful too.
3. Give your audience ideas that will help them be successful in their business. For example, if you sell 
wholesale to other businesses, give them ideas or images that will help them promote the product (a tool kit). If 
you are more of a service provider to another business, share ideas that will inspire their growth.
4. Use email marketing. Send an email 1-2 times a month to your current customers and prospects. 
Share industry trends, tips and advice. Talk about the problems you are solving for your customers and 
share case studies to provide some real world examples (of course, maintaining the confidentiality of actual 
businesses or individuals by being creative with changing names, geographic locations, etc.). People love to 
see before and after images. Keep it simple and quick to read. Share your email campaigns on your social sites 
to extend the reach. 
5. Humanize your brand. Show the human side of your business. Share pictures of your team, the boss 
and others involved with your business. Give them a flavor of your business. We like to do business with 
people we like, especially when it comes to B2B transactions. Create the likeability factor for your business. 

If you are just starting out, do some research and find out where your customers and target audience hangs out 
on-line. Most B2Bs find that Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube get the most action.

About MJ: MJ and her brother David own HUTdogs, a creative services business that specializes in Internet 
Marketing strategies. They are known for providing valuable information at their Social Media and Email 
Marketing classes. “Like” them on Facebook for trending news in social media, internet marketing and other 
helpful tips, Sign up for their upcoming classes and presentations at: www.