Archive for the ‘In The News’ Category

3765088669_bfdfb3a956_t[1]Jim Cramer, host of CNBC’s Mad Money has a net worth of $100 million. He developed his investment strategy while homeless and living out of his car. Very interesting article. http://finance.yahoo.com/news/living-car-cramer-developed-investment-115753521.html

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220 square-foot micro apartments for rent for $1,500 per month. San Francisco has long been one of the most expensive cities to live but this is getting ridiculous. What do you think? Click to read http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/S-F-supervisors-back-micro-apartments-4055493.php

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American Express agreed to pay $112.5 million to resolve allegations that it charged unlawful late fees, discriminated against some card applicants and engaged in other illegal practices.

According to the Consumer financial Protection Bureau, American Express will pay $85 million to about 250,000 consumers – about $340 apiece. Payments will either be by check or a credit in their accounts by March 2013. In addition to paying customer refunds, American Express will pay $27.5 million in penalties plus numerous fines. The violations occurred between 2003 and 2012.

American Express plans to notify each affected customer due to receive a refund in the coming months.

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According to a recent study by the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, men with shaved heads are perceived to be more masculine, dominant and may have greater leadership potential than those with longer or thinning hair. That may explain why the shaved head look has caught on in the corporate world lately. For example, Marc Andreessen (Netscape Founder), Jeff Bezos (Amazon CEO) and Steve Ballmer (Microsoft CEO) all have shaved or closely cropped heads.

Many executives say the style makes them seem young or at least makes their age less evident and gives them more confidence. Steven Carley (Red Robin Gourmet Burgers CEO) said “shaving his head gave his confidence a boost when working with 20 plus year olds.”

Although I do believe personal grooming (neat appearance, dress, hygiene, etc) are an important part of success in the workplace, I’m not ready to pull out those clippers – at least not yet.

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Beer sales! According to the Beer Institute, beer sales are rising for the first time since 2008. After falling three straight years, beer shipments have risen each month during 2012. Much of the rebound is being driven by small-batch “craft” brewers, reflecting shifting tastes among drinkers.

Beer sales have dropped from 2008 to 2011 partly because its key customers, blue-collar men in their 20’s, were hit particularly hard by the recession. Job numbers are still way down but improving. The unemployment rate for men 20 to 24 years old was 15.2% in August. As the unemployment rate improves, beer sales should continue to improve.

Drinkers are branching out from traditional American lager to ales, porters and wheat beers from fast-growing small brewers. The number of breweries in the U.S. topped 2,000 earlier this year for the first times since the late 19th century. Will this trend continue? I think so, but only time will tell.

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Is it better to earn a million dollars or save a million dollars? For me, the answer is simple. What good is making a million dollars, if I spend two million dollars? I would still be in debt.

The same holds true for governments. The U.S. government is more than $15 trillion in debt. What good is raising taxes to increase revenue if you don’t also cut spending?  You hear a lot of talk about taxes but the key to deficit reduction lies with reduced and more efficient (less wasteful) spending.

We all know the government is wasteful (and inefficient) with our tax dollars. Below are just a few examples of how your tax dollars were spent wastefully:

  • $592,000 on a study to figure out why chimpanzees throw poop.
  • $35 million allocated for political party conventions in 2012.
  • $475 million worth of oil for the Afghan army that just disappeared and the US can’t account for where it went.

If you want more detailed information, you can read U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. report on Government Waste http://www.coburn.senate.gov/public//index.cfm?a=Files.Serve&File_id=b69a6ebd-7ebe-41b7-bb03-c25a5e194365

Instead of Democrats and Republicans arguing over taxes, shouldn’t the discussion be focused on how to cut wasteful and inefficient government spending?

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More than four out of ten American millionaires surveyed by Fidelity say they do not feel wealthy. Many said they would need to have at least $7.5 million to feel rich. Just imagine how the rest of us non millionaires feel. I would feel wealthy with less than $7.5 million. You?

Article from Reuters.com.  http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/14/us-fidelity-survey-idUSTRE72D3RK20110314

Here’s a cool Money Money Money video by Abba.

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