Mastermind Analytics promises to deliver 360-degree, on-demand visibility into company finances with a low-code interface, and it can process unstructured data, too.

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Image: AppZen

A new software product from finance AI analytics company AppZen promises to be “a first of its kind” tool that can provide financial insights “previously unavailable” to finance teams. Called Mastermind Analytics, if it can do what AppZen says it can, it looks to be the tool of bookkeepers’ dreams. 

The goal of Mastermind Analytics is to not only allow finance teams to get on-demand analysis of company finances, but also to provide benchmarks against other companies that AppZen CEO Anant Kale said will show organizations both where they’re leading their peers, and where they’re lagging.

In order to provide thorough financial results, which AppZen calls “360-degree,” Mastermind Analytics audits travel documents, expenses, accounts payable paperwork, and other sources to provide feedback in real time. Kale said that Mastermind is also able to analyze unstructured data as well. 

SEE: Report: SMB’s unprepared to tackle data privacy (TechRepublic Premium)

“Finance teams will now have access to previously unavailable out-of-policy spend information that enables immediate visibility into patterns and activity that could indicate, and prevent, more complex risks of fraud and waste,” Kale said.

As for comparing a company’s finance to other organizations, Kale said that Mastermind Analytics pulls “billions of data points from close to 2,000 customers.” The comparison itself will benchmark companies against one another in areas like spending, risk, and operational performance. 

Mastermind Analytics was also created with finance teams in mind, AppZen said, which means it doesn’t require any additional integrations with the AppZen platform, nor does it need developers with analytics skills to extract results from. Mastermind, Kale said, is designed to be low code, giving finance professionals access to data that would

The National Security Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:NSEC) releases preliminary estimates of insured catastrophe losses from Hurricanes Sally and Delta along with updated estimates of catastrophe losses from Hurricane Laura incurred by property and casualty subsidiary National Security Fire & Casualty.

Hurricane Sally

On September 16, 2020, Hurricane Sally made landfall near Gulf Shores, Alabama as a category 2 storm. Hurricane Sally had maximum sustained winds of 105 mph at landfall and was the eighth tropical cyclone, in the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, to impact the continental U.S.

Our pre-tax loss due to Hurricane Sally is expected to be $2,000,000, net of recoveries under our catastrophe aggregate reinsurance. Net of tax, Hurricane Sally will reduce our 2020 earnings by $1,580,000 and will reduce earnings per share by $0.62. The impact of Hurricane Sally will be reflected in our third quarter financial results. To date, we have had approximately 600 claims reported from Hurricane Sally with approximately 90% of total claims from this event incurred by our Alabama policyholders.

Based on our analysis of historical reporting patterns, preliminary post event model estimates and assessment of claims to date, we estimate our ultimate gross losses from Hurricane Sally to be in the range of $3,000,000 to $3,500,000. While we expect to recover $1,000,000 to $1,500,000 under our catastrophe aggregate reinsurance, based on our estimate of gross losses, we do not expect losses from Hurricane Sally to impact our primary catastrophe reinsurance coverage which is triggered once gross losses exceed $4 million from a single catastrophe event. This first layer of catastrophe reinsurance was reinstated for a second event following losses from Hurricane Laura.

Hurricane Laura – Revision to the Range of Estimated Gross Losses

We are revising our estimate of gross losses due to Hurricane Laura. This revision to gross losses (before reinsurance) is

JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) reports its Q3 ’20 financial results on Tuesday morning, October 13th, 2020, followed up by Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) and Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) on Wednesday. Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) also reports Wednesday morning, while Charles Schwab (NYSE:SCHW) reports Thursday morning before the opening bell.

All in, I have 15-20 banks and financial names reporting this week, which should give bank investors a good look at credit losses, net interest margin compression, and (possibly) the first look at the guidance for 2021, although without stock buybacks, there may be no willingness to give guidance to investors.

For the Schwabs, BlackRocks (NYSE:BLK) and names like Goldman and Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS), we get to see how further credit market improvements over the third quarter aided bond issuance, and how the robust capital market activity aided the capital-market-sensitive returns for the big banks.

Ed Yardeni (cut and pasted from his blog) starts us off with his view of what’s expected for credit:

“Financials: Reality Check Coming. Financials has been one of the S&P 500’s worst-performing sectors this year, battered by a flat yield curve, surging loan losses, and a regulator that’s prohibiting the payment of dividends and stock buybacks. Next week, as banks’ Q3 earnings start rolling in, we’ll get a better feel for how well banks are reserved for loan losses. Many set aside billions of dollars for losses in Q2 as Covid-19 descended. Given the poor performance of bank stocks, investors may already have priced in banks’ need to continue building reserves in Q3.

The S&P 500 Financials sector’s stock price index has barely rebounded from the market’s March selloff, while the S&P 500 Technology and Consumer Discretionary sectors have hit new highs. Here’s the performance derby for the S&P 500 and its sectors ytd through Tuesday’s close: Information Technology

To celebrate its 125th anniversary, the iconic whisky creator and specialty bottler Gordon & MacPhail (G & M) is planning to release four exceptional whiskies. All four whiskies are from either closed distilleries or were produced using Lomond stills that are no longer in production.

Expressions from closed distilleries, euphemistically referred to as “lost distilleries,” are among the most coveted bottlings among Scotch whisky enthusiasts. This is especially true when the distillery has been torn down and there is no possibility that it can restart production.

According to Stephen Rankin, G & M’s Director of Prestige and a fourth-generation member of the Urquhart family that owns and manages the company:

The whiskies we have chosen to commemorate our 125th anniversary are all truly unique and seldom seen in the market.

They are bottled from the last remaining casks we have from these distilleries, and marks an emotional moment for my family as they leave the Gordon & MacPhail warehouse after being left to mature by my grandfather many decades ago.

These single malts represent not only the skills and expertise in whisky maturation built and passed down through generations, but also the passion we have in advocating the discovery of rare whiskies from some of Scotland’s lesser known, but much sought after, distilleries.

Since 1895, Gordon & MacPhail has released single malts from over 100 celebrated, little-known, or closed distilleries. 

The first of the releases is a Gordon & MacPhail 1972 from Coleburn Distillery in Speyside.

The Coleburn Distillery was founded in 1897 by the Dundee blending firm of John Robertson & Son. It was sold to the Clynelish Distillery Company in 1916, and was subsequently acquired by the Distillers Company

Insuranks.com Releases Honda Civic Insurance 2020 Rates Analysis

A leader in the car insurance marketplace, Insuranks.com is helping drivers nationwide understand their insurance coverage, including the many factors that affect annual insurance premiums for popular makes and models, like the Honda Civic.

Online insurance comparison and education website, Insuranks.com has released its 2020 Honda Civic insurance cost  research. A comprehensive market research study, Insuranks.com has analyzed the average car insurance cost for the popular Honda Civic across the United States based on factors that include vehicle type, driver experience, age, and coverage. Insuranks.com findings are attracting the attention of consumers across the market.

Compiling top car insurance providers and coverage plans, Insuranks.com calculated the average Honda Civic insurance cost to be $2,350 per year, or $200 per month, for adults and nearly $700 per month for drivers aged 18 years of age in the United States. However, insurance coverage and car insurance quotes vary individually on a state-by-state basis. Insuranks.com was excited to conduct this analysis for actual and potential Honda Civic owners and took great aim to compare rates for different Civic models and years so drivers can have cheap car insurance options on the roads that balance converge considerations with the Honda Civic’s excellent crash protection, safety standards, fuel efficiency and reliability.

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Each year, millions of drivers trust the Honda Civic to get from point A to point B. For years the most popular and top-selling car on American roads, additional factors found to affect insurance premiums included data on the Honda Civics’ highway safety ratings, vehicle theft rate, average repair costs, and damage susceptibility. Focused on balancing cost and coverage considerations, Insuranks.com compared plans that keep rates low while offering the comprehensive coverage needed to protect oneself financially on the road.

For