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The biggest player you've never heard of in the auto industry is moving into China in a big way (MGA)

Mon, 06/18/2018 - 12:31am  |  Clusterstock

  • The world's largest contract carmaker is leveraging its expertise to move into the huge Chinese EV market.
  • Magna will form two joint ventures with China's BAIC.
  • The companies already have a deal in place to develop an electric vehicle; Magna will now take over an existing BAIC factory.

Magna International is the world's largest contract manufacturer of automobiles, with clients ranging from BMW to Jaguar. 

Now it's moving into China, the world's biggest car market, and forming partnerships to build electric vehicles.

"Magna [has] announced its intention to form two new joint ventures with Beijing Electric Vehicle Co. Ltd (BJEV) for complete vehicle manufacturing as well as engineering of electric vehicles," the company said in statement on Monday. BJEV is a subsidiary of the BAIC Group, which is focused on electric vehicles.

Joint ventures are currently required by China for foreign companies to build vehicles in the country. They're being phased out for electric-car companies amid a government push for widespread electrification. But for now, the economies of a JV appear to be appealing to Magna.

It helps that a factory will be part of the bargain.

"The engineering and manufacturing joint ventures are expected to take over an existing BAIC manufacturing facility in Zhenjiang, Jiangsu Province, where the first production vehicles are planned for 2020," Magna said in a statement.

This facility has a production capacity of 180,000 vehicles annually, Magna added. The plant will also be set up to provide Magna's expertise and capabilities to other companies in China. 

Magna and BAIC already have a deal in place to develop an all-electric vehicle for the Chinese market. 

"From a strategic point of view, the establishment of the JVs will benefit both Magna and BAIC to further strengthen our business growth in China," BAIC Chairman Xu Heyi said.

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Automated investment products are disrupting and enhancing the wealth management industry — here's how

Mon, 06/18/2018 - 12:01am  |  Clusterstock

This is a preview of a research report from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. To learn more about Business Insider Intelligence, click here.

Startups with robo-advisor products are failing to live up to their initial promise.

As solutions proliferate and consumer adoption remains slower than expected, many firms are re-examining and updating their strategies to survive. 

In a new report, Business Insider Intelligence scopes the current market for robo-advisors, providing an updated forecast through 2022. In addition, we explain the different types of robo-advisors emerging, detail how startups and incumbents are working to ensure the success of their products, and outline what will happen to the market over the next 12 months.

Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:

  • Business Insider Intelligence forecasts that robo-advisors — investment products that include any element of automation — will manage around $1 trillion by 2020, and around $4.6 trillion by 2022. 
  • Startups offering robo-advisors are struggling to acquire AUM due to overcrowding in the global robo-advisory market and lower than expected customer uptake. 
  • Incumbents are rolling out their own robo-advisor products, a trend we expect to pick up in the period to 2022. 
  • North America remains the leading robo-advisory market, but we expect Asia to catch up and outpace the region in terms of AUM managed by robo-advisors in the period to 2022. 
  • There will be a winnowing of the startup robo-advisory market as only a few firms remain stand-alone, while incumbents looking to launch their own products will profit from purchasing the technology of startups that have fallen by the wayside, at low cost. 

 In full, the report:

  • Provides a forecast for the volume of assets robo-advisors will manage by 2022.
  • Outlines the current robo-advisory landscape.
  • Explains how startups with robo-advisor products are evolving their business strategies. 
  • Provides an outlook for the future of the robo-advising industry. 
Subscribe to an All-Access pass to Business Insider Intelligence and gain immediate access to: This report and more than 250 other expertly researched reports Access to all future reports and daily newsletters Forecasts of new and emerging technologies in your industry And more! Learn More

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Fintech could be bigger than ATMs, PayPal, and Bitcoin combined

Sun, 06/17/2018 - 11:02pm  |  Clusterstock

This is a preview of a research report from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. To learn more about Business Insider Intelligence, click here.

Fintech broke onto the scene as a disruptive force following the 2008 crisis, but the industry's influence on the broader financial services system is changing. 

The fintech industry no longer stands clearly apart from financial services proper, and is increasingly growing embedded in mainstream finance. We’re now seeing the initial stages of this transformation.

For instance, funding is growing more internationally distributed, and startups are making necessary adjustments to prove sustainability and secure a seat at the table. Most fintech segments in the ascendant a year ago have continued to rise and grow more valuable to the broader financial system. Meanwhile, several fintech categories have had to make adjustments to stay on top. New subsegments are also appearing on the scene — such as digital identity verification fintechs — as new opportunities for innovation are discovered. 

Significantly, incumbents are responding more proactively to the rising influence of fintech by making updates to their consumer-facing channels, back-end systems, and overall business operations. Most are realizing that the best way to adapt is to work alongside the fintechs that are transforming the financial services environment, either by partnering with them or acquiring the startups entirely. As fintech's power grows, incumbents will have no choice but to change in order to stay relevant and competitive. All around, fintech is becoming embedded in mainstream finance.

Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, has written the definitive Fintech Ecosystem report that looks at the shifts in the broader environment that fintechs operate in, including funding patterns and regulatory trends; examines the adaptations that some of fintech's biggest subsegments have had to make to secure a foothold in the financial services system; and discusses how the continued rise of the fintech industry is pressuring incumbents to make fundamental changes to their business models and roles. It ends by assessing what a global economy increasingly influenced by innovative fintechs will look like.

Here are some key takeaways from the report:

  • The fintech industry is far more than a group of digitally native, consumer-centric startups, although they are, in many ways, becoming the new face of financial services. It's increasingly clear that fintech no longer stands apart from financial services proper, and is morphing into an integral part of the financial system. 
  • To secure their position in the mainstream economy, some of the main fintech subsegments have had to adjust their business models. These include neobanks, robo-advisors, and alt lenders. Other fintech categories, meanwhile, have instead found that current conditions are well suited to their original models, and are seeing largely smooth sailing, like regtechs, insurtechs, and payments fintechs. Innovation and dynamism is still alive in fintech too, with new categories still emerging.
  • The rising influence of fintechs is having a dramatic effect on incumbents, from banks to insurers to wealth managers, pushing them to respond proactively to stay relevant. Incumbents are reacting to changes wrought by fintechs on three key fronts: the front end, the back end, and in their core business operations. As such, incumbents and fintechs are converging on a digital middle ground.
  • As this happens, the fintech industry is on the cusp of becoming an integral component of the broader financial services ecosystem. But it will likely first have to go through a complete credit cycle, and survive an economic downturn like the one that set the stage for its arrival in 2008, for this to happen.

In full, the report:

  • Looks at how the environment in which the fintech industry operates is changing, and what that means for the digitization of financial services.
  • Gives an overview of the main subsegments within the global fintech industry, and discusses which categories have had to adapt to survive, which have reaped benefits from their original game plans, and which new segments have come to the fore in the past twelve months.
  • Outlines the adaptations that incumbent financial institutions have begun making to adjust to an economy that's inevitably shifting to digital, and in which tech-savvy fintechs are increasingly setting the standards.
  • Discusses what the future of financial services will look like as fintech embeds itself into the financial mainstream.
Subscribe to an All-Access membership to Business Insider Intelligence and gain immediate access to: This report and more than 250 other expertly researched reports Access to all future reports and daily newsletters Forecasts of new and emerging technologies in your industry And more! Learn More

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This is how banks can use digital tools to stay ahead of a trillion-dollar opportunity in the bill pay market

Sun, 06/17/2018 - 9:05pm  |  Clusterstock

This is a preview of a research report from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. To learn more about Business Insider Intelligence, click here.

Between housing costs, utilities, taxes, insurance, loans, and more, US adults paid an estimated $3.9 trillion in bills last year.

That market is growing slowly, but it’s changing fast — more than ever before, customers are moving away from paying bills via check or cash and toward paying online, either through their banks, the billers themselves, or using a third-party app.

Thanks to rising customer familiarity with digital payments, an increase in purchasing power among younger consumers more interested in digital bill pay, and a rise in digital payment options, nearly three-quarters of bills will be paid digitally by 2022, representing a big opportunity for players across the space.

In theory, banks should be in a great position to capitalize on this shift. Nearly all banks offer bill payment functionality, and it’s a popular feature. Issuers also boast an existing engaged digital user base, and make these payments secure. But that isn’t what’s happening — even as digital bill pay becomes more commonplace, banks are losing ground to billers and third-party players. And that’s not poised to change unless banks do, since issuer bill pay is least popular among the youngest customers, who will be the most important in the coming year.

For banks, then, that makes innovation important. Taking steps to grow bill pay’s share can be a tough sell for digital strategists and executives leading money movement at banks, and done wrong, it can be costly, since it often requires robust technological investments. But, if banks do it right, bill pay marks a strong opportunity to add and engage customers, and in turn, grow overall lifetime value while shrinking attrition.

Business Insider Intelligence has put together a detailed report that explains the US bill pay market, identifies the major inflection points for change and what’s driving it, and provides concrete strategies and recommendations for banks looking to improve their digital bill pay offerings.

Here are some key takeaways from the report:

  • The bill pay market in the US, worth $3.9 trillion, is growing slowly. But digital bill payment volume is rising at a rapid clip — half of all bills are now digital, and that share will likely expand to over 75% by 2022. 
  • Customers find it easiest to pay their bills at their billers directly, either through one-off or recurring payments. Bank-based offerings are commonplace, but barebones, which means they fail to appeal to key demographics.
  • Issuers should work to reclaim bill payment share, since bill pay is an effective engagement tool that can increase customer stickiness, grow lifetime status, and boost primary bank status.  
  • Banks need to make their offerings as secure and convenient as biller direct, market bill pay across channels, and build bill pay into digital money management functionality.

In full, the report:

  • Sizes the US bill pay market, and estimates where it’s poised to go next.
  • Evaluates the impact that digital will have on bill pay in the US and who is poised to capitalize on that shift.
  • Identifies three key areas in which issuers can improve their bill pay offerings to gain share and explains why issuers are losing ground in these categories.
  • Issues recommendations and defines concrete steps that banks can take as a means of gaining share back and reaping the benefits of digital bill pay engagement.
Subscribe to an All-Access pass to Business Insider Intelligence and gain immediate access to: This report and more than 250 other expertly researched reports Access to all future reports and daily newsletters Forecasts of new and emerging technologies in your industry And more! Learn More

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The future of blockchain solutions and technologies

Sun, 06/17/2018 - 8:03pm  |  Clusterstock

This is a preview of a research report from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. To learn more about Business Insider Intelligence, click here.

Nearly every global bank is experimenting with blockchain technology as they try to unleash the cost savings and operational efficiencies it promises to deliver. 

Banks are exploring the technology in a number of ways, including through partnerships with fintechs, membership in global consortia, and via the building of their own in-house solutions. 

In this report, Business Insider Intelligence outlines why and in what ways banks are exploring blockchain technology, provides details on three major banks' blockchain efforts based on in-depth interviews, and highlights other notable blockchain-based experiments underway by global banks. It also discusses the likely trends that will emerge in the technology over the next several years, and the factors that will be critical to the success of banks implementing blockchain-based solutions.

Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:

  • Most banks are exploring the use of blockchain technology in order to streamline processes and cut costs. However, they are also looking to leverage additional advantages, including increased competitiveness with fintechs, and the ability to use the technology to create new business models. 
  • Banks are starting to narrow their focus, and are increasingly honing in on tangible use cases for blockchain technology that solve real problems faced by their businesses. 
  • Regulators are taking an increased interest in blockchain technology, and they're working alongside major banks to develop regulatory frameworks. 
  • Blockchain-based solutions will start to emerge in different areas of financial services. The most successful solutions will solve specific problems for banks and attract a large enough network to create widespread benefits. 

 In full, the report:

  • Outlines banks' experiments with blockchain technology. 
  • Details blockchain projects at three major banks — UBS, Credit Suisse, and Banco Santander — based on in-depth interviews. 
  • Discusses the likely trends that will emerge in the technology over the next several years.
  • Highlights the factors that will be critical to the success of banks implementing blockchain-based solutions.
Subscribe to an All-Access membership to Business Insider Intelligence and gain immediate access to: This report and more than 250 other expertly researched reports Access to all future reports and daily newsletters Forecasts of new and emerging technologies in your industry And more! Learn More

Purchase & download the full report from our research store


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The glorious history of the best plane Boeing has ever built (BA)

Sun, 06/17/2018 - 7:22pm  |  Clusterstock

  • The Boeing 777 is one of the most successful and revolutionary airplanes in aviation history.
  • The 777  helped usher in the era of the modern twin-engine, wide-body airliner that effectively rendered four-engined jumbos like the 747 obsolete.
  • It's also the first computer-designed airliner.
  • Boeing has taken more nearly 2,000 orders for the 777, making it the best selling wide-body airliner in aviation history.

This week in 1994, the Boeing 777 airliner made its first flight — kicking off a career that would revolutionize the airline industry. 

Once every few decades, an airplane comes along and simply redefines what a modern airliner is capable of delivering for airlines and its passengers. In 1957, Boeing changed the game with its first jet-powered airliner, the 707. In 1969, Boeing turned the airline industry upside down with the introduction of the 747 jumbo jet. In 1994, Boeing did it again with the 777.

In the two decades since its first flight, the 777 has become the trusty long-haul workhorse for the world's international airlines.

In the early days of jet-powered commercial flight, traditional thinking dictated that there is safety in numbers. As result, long-haul flying was dominated by three and four-engine jetliners.

With modern airframes and turbofan engines becoming exponentially more reliable, US and international regulators have relaxed rules that limited the routes twin-engine airliners could fly. These rules changes have helped smaller, twin-engine jetliners such as the Boeing 777,  767, 787 as well as the Airbus A330 and A350 become the airplanes of choice for airlines around the world. In the process, the Boeing 777 helped render the jumbos like the iconic 747 obsolete. 

Through May of 2018, Boeing has sold a whopping 1,971 777s — making it the best-selling wide-body jetliner in aviation history. It's also the second best selling airliner in Boeing history behind only the 737. 

Here's a closer look at the history of the Boeing 777.

SEE ALSO: How the Airbus A380 superjumbo went from an airline status symbol to being sold for spare parts in just 10 years

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The Boeing 777's journey began in October of 1990 with an order from United Airlines for a twin-engine wide-body airliner larger than Boeing's 767...

... But smaller than the iconic 747 jumbo jet.

Leading the 777 program was its general manager Alan Mulally. In 2006, Mulally left Boeing to become CEO of the Ford Motor Company.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

9 scientific ways being a father affects your success

Sun, 06/17/2018 - 5:56pm  |  Clusterstock

  • Being an active father impacts your success in a number of important ways.
  • Fatherhood can factor into how much you earn, your health and eating habits, and your happiness, among other things.
  • Based on scientific research, we compiled 9 significant ways being a dad impacts success.

Fatherhood isn't a one-size-fits-all cap you simply slip on once you have a child.

Working dads wear many hats when they become a parent, and for each father, how and when you wear these hats differs.

Some fathers split the child-rearing responsibilities with their partner down the middle, while others focus more on breadwinning and others still become primary caregivers at home.

At the end of the day, active fatherhood will inevitably affect your success, though how is a slightly more complicated issue.

Hopefully, these studies will begin to unpack the question of how being a dad impacts your success a little and help us better understand the many factors at play:

SEE ALSO: The science behind why paid parental leave is good for everyone

DON'T MISS: Science says parents of successful kids have these 13 things in common

Being a dad could make you more hirable

A study out of Cornell found that, while employers tend to discriminate against mothers, fatherhood actually provides a boost in opinion from employers.

As part of the study, researchers sent employers fake, almost identical résumés with one major difference: some résumés indicated that the job applicant was part of a parent-teacher association.

Male job candidates whose résumés mentioned the parent-teacher association were called back more often than men whose résumés didn't, while women who alluded to parenthood in this way were half as likely to get called back than women who didn't.

The study participants also rated fathers as more desirable job candidates than mothers and non-fathers and deemed them more competent and committed than mothers or men without kids. At the same time, applicants who were fathers were allowed to be late to work significantly more times than mothers or non-fathers.

Having a child can help you earn more money if you're a father

"For most men the fact of fatherhood results in a wage bonus," research group Third Way's president Jonathan Cowan and resident scholar Dr. Elaine C. Kamarck write about "The Fatherhood Bonus and The Motherhood Penalty: Parenthood and the Gender Gap in Pay." 

In the academic paper, author Michelle J. Budig, a professor at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, writes that, "While the gender pay gap has been decreasing, the pay gap related to parenthood is increasing."

In her 15 years of research on the topic, Budig found that, on average, men earn 6% more when they have and live with a child, while women earn 4% less for every child they have.

This jives with the Cornell study finding that employers are willing to offer fathers the greatest salary compared to non-fathers, mothers, and non-mothers. 

Dads are no less productive than their childless counterparts

Contrary to the popular belief that parents, who often have more responsibilities than childless workers, are more likely to be distracted at work, research suggests that fathers are not significantly less productive than their childless counterparts. In fact, some fathers' productivity may benefit from parenthood.

After analyzing the amount of research published by more than 10,000 academic economists, researchers commissioned by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis found that, over the course of a 30-year career, fathers of at least two children are slightly more productive than fathers of one child and childless men. Fathers become 52% more productive after the birth of twins.


See the rest of the story at Business Insider

One of investing's most influential pioneers just made a bold prediction about where tech stocks will be in 10 years — and it's not pretty for the likes of Apple and Facebook

Sun, 06/17/2018 - 3:54pm  |  Clusterstock

  • Rob Arnott, the chairman and chief executive of the Pimco subadviser Research Affiliates LLC, is one of the most influential minds in investing, having pioneered a technique that has grown into a $730 billion industry.
  • Arnott issues some tough words for the biggest companies in tech, whose market-dominating valuations are viewed as invincible by many investors.

The way things stand, it's nearly impossible to imagine a world in which tech stocks aren't the most dominant force.

Just take a quick glance at the eight biggest companies in the world — seven can be classified as tech. It's a degree of dominance that exceeds even the height of the dot-com bubble, when just five firms cracked the top eight.

And while that heavy concentration might signal another bubble to some, tech bulls will be quick to point out that the industry's market leaders are far more profitable now than they were at the turn of the millennium.

So everything is fine, right? These mega-cap tech firms will grow their valuations in perpetuity, and their perch atop the global rankings will remain unassailable?

Wrong, says Rob Arnott, the chairman and chief executive of the Pimco subadviser Research Affiliates LLC, where he advises on more than $200 billion. Widely known as the godfather of smart beta — one of the world's hottest investment strategies — he has made a career out of challenging the status quo.

His quantitative innovations have not just tackled traditional notions of stock indexing head-on — they've also given rise to a whole new investing business, with more than $730 billion now wrapped up in smart-beta products worldwide.

And now the perceived invincibility of tech has drawn his ire.

"When you get these bubbles, you find that a meme or a narrative takes shape that things are changing in a way where this sector or segment is permanently is going to be dominant," Arnott told Business Insider during a recent meeting. "That narrative has momentum, and it captures the imagination because there are grains of truth in it. But it's ultimately a flawed way of thinking."

A lot can change in 10 years

At the root of Arnott's tech argument is the manner in which competition tends to unfold. Being an industry-leading juggernaut can work against a company in the long term because valuations get overextended and copycats spring up.

It eventually becomes exponentially more difficult for even the most successful companies to continue growing at the pace that allowed them to achieve their valuation in the first place.

"To assume that just because a company is changing the world, that the company itself will continue to be massively profitable, overlooks the fact that by changing the world, their customers benefit more than they do, almost by definition," Arnott said. "If you're changing the world, your customers have to benefit in order for you to have any success at all. Pretty soon you attract competitors with even better ideas."

Arnott's next point piggybacks off the misinformed idea that introducing world-changing innovation ensures prolonged competitive dominance.

He highlights the dot-com-era success stories Palm and BlackBerry, both of which seemed unstoppable and commanded lofty valuations but were eventually rendered largely obsolete by competing technologies.

"Did the tech-bubble companies change the world, the way we think, the way we communicate, and the way we do business? Yes," Arnott said. "But then, very quickly, the disruptors got disrupted. Palm doesn't exist. BlackBerry limps along. The list goes on and on."

If you still don't believe Arnott as you stubbornly cling to the idea that today's tech titans are bulletproof, consider the chart below. It's a snapshot of the 10 biggest companies in the world just one decade ago. And as you can see, Microsoft is the only holdover. A lot can happen in 10 years.

There's only one thing to do for the long term

If Arnott's sobering prognostication has you alarmed, don't worry. He has a simple solution: Underweight tech stocks to the furthest possible extent.

He realizes this is easier said than done. After all, if the bubble he sees in tech continues to inflate for years to come, an underweight could be a huge drag on portfolio performance. He advises traders to shun tech stocks only to the degree they're willing to absorb market-trailing returns — at least for a while.

"Do I think any of them have a better than 50-50 chance of beating aggregate stock market performance over the next 10 years? No. None of them do," Arnott said. "Underweight the whole batch. But don't make too big of a bet, because bubbles will continue until they don't, and you're going to be wrong until you're right."

If any of today's biggest companies in tech do wind up in the top 10 after another decade, which are the most likely candidates? Arnott says Apple and the stalwart Microsoft.

But that's only when pressed. Even Apple, which has more cash on its balance sheet than it knows what to do with, is far from a perfect story to Arnott.

"Suppose Apple invents something as pathbreaking as the iPhone was," he said. "Pardon me, but they have to do that about every two years just to keep the same growth that they've had. That's the challenge that most people overlook. It's hard to add to world-beating prosperity."

SEE ALSO: Wall Street's top fund manager reveals the last 2 stocks he fell in love with — and breaks down why he expects them to soar

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NOW WATCH: This $530 Android phone is half the price of an iPhone X and just as good

How to use Zelle, the lightning-fast payments app that's more popular than Venmo in the US

Sun, 06/17/2018 - 3:28pm  |  Clusterstock

Watch out, Venmo — there's another payments app on the rise. 

Zelle is a year-old service that lets you digitally transfer money to someone else, no cash, checks, or wire transfers required. It sounds a lot like Venmo, but there's one key difference: Zelle was created by the seven largest banks in the US. 

Last summer, JPMorgan, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, US Bancorp, Capital One, BB&T, and PNC joined together to launch Zelle. Both Venmo and Zelle let you send money to friends instantly. The difference with Zelle is that you don’t have to wait to receive the money in your bank account.

This feature may have contributed to why Zelle is becoming so popular. According to eMarketer data, Zelle is now the most-used peer-to-peer payment app in the US, and is expected to grow more than 73% in 2018. By the end of the year, eMarketer predicts Zelle will have 27.4 million users, compared to Venmo's 22.9 million users. 

So what makes Zelle different from Venmo, and how can you start using it? Here's everything you need to know. 

SEE ALSO: What it's like to use Wyze Cam, the $20 home security camera trying to take on Amazon and Nest

The easiest way to get started with Zelle is to download the mobile app. Zelle will ask to use your location, but you're allowed to skip that step.

Next, the app will ask you to enter your phone number.

From there, you'll be able to see a list of the top banks that use Zelle. You can select your bank from the list, or view the full list available banks.

You can also search for your bank on Zelle's website

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

14 successful people share the best advice they ever got from their dads

Sun, 06/17/2018 - 3:19pm  |  Clusterstock

  • Father's Day has arrived in the United States.
  • Dads love to give advice. And, sometimes, it turns out to be pretty great advice.
  • Check out these insights from the fathers of people who went on to succeed in business.

Father's Day is here in the US. Time to contemplate everything your dad has done for you — and maybe even reflect on his advice and insight.

You never know. Your dad's classic mantra might turn out to be words to live by. Plenty of famous success stories have had great results with taking such paternal gems to heart.

In honor of Father's Day, we've collected the best advice super-successful business leaders ever got from their dads.

Here's the fatherly wisdom:

SEE ALSO: A tech CEO's experience as a single dad convinced him to overhaul his $3 billion company’s benefits

Meg Whitman: Be nice

While "be nice" may sound like a platitude, the former Hewlett-Packard CEO said it's some of the most important advice she ever got. 

"I'll never forget my father telling me that," Whitman recalled in Fortune in 2005. "I had been mean to someone. He said, 'There is no point in being mean to anyone at any time. You never know who you're going to meet later in life. And by the way, you don't change anything by being mean. Usually you don't get anywhere.'"

T. Boone Pickens: Have a plan

The chairman of BP Capital Management was a student at Oklahoma State when his dad arrived on campus for his fraternity initiation — and delivered a life-changing message.

"A fool with a plan can outsmart a genius with no plan any day," he told Pickens. "And your mother and I think we have a fool with no plan. We think you're wasting your time here in Stillwater. You're not getting anywhere."

His dad was right, Pickens wrote on LinkedIn in 2014. "I had to admit I wasn't burning up the place." But within a month of that visit, everything changed. He picked a track and switched his major. "I got a plan," he says, "and I've had one ever since."

Bill Gates: Do what you're not good at

These days, the former Microsoft CEO and his lawyer father give each other advice as cochairs of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, but back in the day, the elder Gates was the one doling out counsel to his son. 

The most important lesson Gates ever learned from his dad? Invest in things — even if you're not good at them.

In a 2009 conversation with Fortune, he recalled that both his parents encouraged him to "to go out for a lot of different sports like swimming, football, soccer," he says. "At the time I thought it was kind of pointless, but it ended up really exposing me to leadership opportunities and showing me that I wasn't good at a lot of things, instead of sticking to things that I was comfortable with."

His father agrees that those early forced softball team memberships seem to have worked out okay. "Apparently it turned out to be good advice."

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

'Incredibles 2' earns the biggest opening weekend ever for an animated movie with $180 million (DIS)

Sun, 06/17/2018 - 11:15am  |  Clusterstock

  • Disney/Pixar's "Incredible 2" took in an estimated $180 million.
  • That's the best opening ever for an animated release.
  • It passed 2016's "Finding Dory" ($135 million).

Pixar — and the superhero Parr family — has put Disney back on top.

Following a little speed bump with the lackluster release of "Solo: A Star Wars Story," the house that Mickey Mouse built has rebounded quite nicely with the record-breaking opening for "Incredibles 2."

The movie took in an estimated $180 million over the weekend, according to That destroys the $135 million opening by the previous record holder, 2016's "Finding Dory."

And like "Dory," which was released 13 years after its original, "Finding Nemo," the long wait for a sequel to "Incredibles" didn't hurt mass audience interest. Fourteen years after the original "Incredibles," the movie sucked up all the box office this weekend, attracting not just kids (many who weren't around for the opening of the original movie), but their parents as well.

"Incredibles 2" also beat "Finding Dory" to become the second-biggest opening of all time in the month of June (behind the $208.8 million by 2015's "Jurassic World").

The movie's $71.5 million opening day tally on Friday (including a record-breaking $18.5 million in Thursday preview screenings) also shattered the best single day at the box office for an animated movie, again passing "Finding Dory" ($54.7 million).

The summer movie season will potentially continue to bring in more major coin next weekend with Universal's "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom" hits theaters domestically. The movie has already had an impressive overseas run, having made $300 million so far, topped by an impressive opening this weekend in China.

SEE ALSO: The 29 most rewatchable movies of all time

SEE ALSO: 15 adults who are way too excited to see 'Incredibles 2' this weekend

Join the conversation about this story »

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There’s a sea change coming for the $1 billion marijuana-based industry you’ve never heard of

Sun, 06/17/2018 - 11:00am  |  Clusterstock

  • Change is coming for a small but blooming corner of the marijuana industry.
  • Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a marijuana compound that has been linked to a range of potential health benefits but does not get you high.
  • The roughly $1 billion CBD industry is slated to shift into high gear if the federal government approves the first CBD-based drug, an epilepsy medication called Epidiolex.

Change is coming for a small but blooming corner of the marijuana industry.

A compound in marijuana that's been linked to a range of potential health benefits — but doesn't cause a high — is increasingly being eyed for use in salves, oils, balms, and beverages. It's also the active ingredient in a new drug that's on the cusp of federal approval.

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is estimated to make up a roughly $1 billion industry. If and when the Food and Drug Administration approves the new CBD-based drug — a decision currently slated for the end of June — it will turn the compound into one that can be legally prescribed by a doctor.

That approval will also jump-start demand for products that have not been federally reviewed, opening up a huge opportunity for retailers and manufacturers to either work alongside the new regulations or take advantage of the legal grey area in which they’re currently operating.

The move could unleash what Drug Enforcement Administration public affairs officer Barbara Carreno called a "sea change" for the existing market of less expensive but untested and potentially risky CBD products, such as those sold in convenience stores and marijuana dispensaries.

The drug that could revolutionize the CBD market

Since at least 2017, drug company GW Pharmaceuticals has been presenting strong research data to suggest that its CBD-based medicine, a syrup called Epidiolex, can treat the symptoms of two rare forms of childhood epilepsy that are characterized by violent seizures (known as drop seizures).

Although the Food and Drug Administration is not slated to make a final decision on the drug's potential approval until June 27, experts say an official green light is likely

"This is clearly a breakthrough drug for an awful disease," John Mendelson, a panel member and senior scientist at the Friends Research Institute, said during a public pre-approval meeting to discuss the drug's scientific benefits in April.

Orrin Devinsky, a neurologist at New York University Langone Health and a lead author on some of the GW Pharmaceuticals studies, told Business Insider, "I'd personally be very surprised if this drug was not approved."

If Epidiolex is approved, the DEA has 90 days to shift the classification of marijuana-derived CBD from the current categorization as something with "no recognized medical use" to either a Schedule 2 or 3 drug, much like the popular ADHD medication Adderall.

Once that happens, "all the [CBD] manufacturers have to be registered with us," Carreno said. "That's going to make a huge difference to the industry."

A legal grey area with unregulated products that range from teas to dog treats

But for now, thousands of CBD products exist in legal limbo.

That's because there are two main sources of CBD: marijuana (which includes the leaves of the plant), and hemp (just the stalks and sterile seeds).

While marijuana-derived CBD is only legal in the 28 states plus Washington, DC where marijuana has been legalized (as well as the 15 states where CBD alone has been legalized), hemp-derived CBD falls under a sizeable legal loophole: it is exempted from DEA regulation according to a 2006 law.

But there's a lot of confusion in the space about which CBD products are legal or not. That's made some CBD manufactuers skittish about selling products outside of states where marijuana is legal.

Even so, plenty of other CBD companies are looking to expand across the country, reasoning that because their products are hemp-derived, they're legally in the clear.

Denver-based company Phoenix Tears recently signed an agreement with MarketHub Retail Services, a distributor that works with 7-Eleven franchisees, to get its hemp-derived CBD products in up to 4,500 stores by the end of this year.

"This agreement confirms our belief that CBD’s status as a mainstream wellness option has arrived," Phoenix Tears founder Janet Rosendahl-Sweeney said in a recent statement.

Regardless of where the product comes from, there's another pressing issue facing the CBD industry. The products are poorly regulated, and so there is wide variation in content, safety, and price.

For a 2017 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers tested 84 CBD products purchased from 31 different online retailers. Roughly seven out of 10 items had different levels of CBD than what was written on the label. Of all of the items tested, roughly half had more CBD than was indicated; a quarter had less. And 18 of the samples tested positive for THC, despite it not being listed on the label.

"I've seen a lot of dirty CBD manufacturing facilities," said Kevin Harlyall, the CEO of a company called the CBD Palace that audits CBD companies and creates a list of vendors it deems safe for customers. "It's tough to know what you're getting."

According to the DEA, the approval of Epidiolex could change all of that.

"This is going to be a sea change if they approve it," said Carreno.

SEE ALSO: Pharmaceutical giants are sidestepping US marijuana restrictions to research cannabis-based drugs

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NOW WATCH: You've been pouring your Guinness all wrong

A 28-year-old entrepreneur reveals how she snagged $66 million and 10 term sheets in 5 days

Sun, 06/17/2018 - 10:36am  |  Clusterstock

  • Raising venture capital for a startup is no cakewalk. There are high stakes, probing questions from investors, and pressure from employees to return to the office with a term sheet.
  • So it's noteworthy that Mathilde Collin, the 28-year-old cofounder and CEO of the shared-inbox app Front, snagged $66 million and 10 investment offers in five days.
  • Collin shared with us her best advice for raising venture capital. 

When Mathilde Collin, a 28-year-old entrepreneur, was ready to start raising venture capital for her company's series B round, she made a ground rule for herself.

Collin scheduled all meetings with investors for one week.

Having a short window creates a little competition among the venture capitalists, who might offer more attractive deals if the company is hot and time is wasting. For Collin, setting a deadline for herself was simply about speeding up the process.

"I don't necessarily like raising funding," Collin told Business Insider.

She might not like it, but she's arguably very good at it. In January, her company, the shared-inbox platform Front, raised $66 million in a series B round led by Sequoia Capital. During her five-day fundraising binge, Collin snagged 10 term sheets, or investment offers, from 11 of the investors she pitched — an impressive achievement for a first-time founder.

Front has raised a total of $79 million to change the way teams get work done. The startup makes an app that lets teams handle messages from email, texts, Slack, and social media, all in one place. More than 3,000 businesses around the world use Front.

Here's how she did it

Raising venture capital for a startup is no cakewalk. There are high stakes, probing questions from investors, and pressure from employees to return to the office with a term sheet.

Collin said that before an entrepreneur takes the plunge, they should think critically about whether they're ready to raise funding.

Front wasn't strapped for cash. The company managed to burn only $3 million from a $10 million series A round in 2016, and Front is already making money as a paid service for enterprises.

Still, Collin said she wanted to grow Front more quickly and hire a significant number of engineers. She decided she was ready to raise when Front ended three consecutive quarters during which revenue, app usage, and employee headcount all increased and sustained their growth — though Collin admits that part of the decision came down to a feeling.

She worked with employees on the data and business operations team to put together a pitch deck, a presentation that entrepreneurs give to investors when seeking a round of funding. In about 24 slides, the pitch deck told the complete story of Front. It addressed the pain points that Front aims to solve, the achievements of the company so far, and the long-term vision of how Front wants to reinvent email.

The pitch deck was also chock-full of data and insights, such as annual recurring revenue, the number of employees who have left Front so far (zero), and its marketing spend.

According to Collin, the investors she pitched seemed to be most impressed with three key metrics: efficiency, consistency, and net retention rate.

  • Front is building a successful business without blowing through all its cash. Collin's pitch deck demonstrated a track record of capital efficiency by sharing how much money the company had raised to date (about $13 million between seed financing and series A), how much cash it had left ($7 million before the series B), and how long it could survive with 0% growth, also known as runway (18 months).
  • The company is growing and sustaining that growth. Front is seeing explosive growth across revenue, app usage (messages sent and comments written), and the number of large teams using the app. Collin pointed out that there were no major dips across these metrics from one quarter to the next.
  • People like using Front. The pitch deck showed that while revenue is increasing, churn keeps trending down, meaning the rate at which existing customers cancel their Front subscriptions is falling. They also use the app more over time.

With these facts and figures in mind, Collin wowed several Silicon Valley investors. Participating in the company's series B round was actually so competitive that partners of Sequoia Capital built a custom Lego set to persuade Collin, a known Lego enthusiast, to accept their offer. The top-tier venture firm wound up leading the $66 million round.

Collin said that ultimately she was successful in fundraising because Front is a good idea.

"Investors are driven by the fear of missing out — and if Front is successful, then Front will be very successful, because everyone uses email," Collin said. "Everyone needs a tool like this."

SEE ALSO: 10 new tech trends that VC investors say will completely change life and business in the next 4 years

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NOW WATCH: There's a simple way to see if your business idea is any good

The 20 best places for new dads to work in 2018

Sun, 06/17/2018 - 10:00am  |  Clusterstock

  • More fathers in the US are taking on a greater share in the raising of their children than ever before.
  • So it follows that some companies are using this to their competitive advantage.
  • The following US companies offer some of the best paternity leave policies and flexible work arrangements out there.

The US is one of the worst countries for parental leave — and it's especially bad for new dads. 

According to the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM), less than a quarter of American companies provided paid paternity leave in 2017.

The good news is that American companies are increasing their flexible work arrangements — SHRM reports 14% of organizations increased flexible working benefits in 2017.

Overall, 62% of organizations allowed some type of telecommuting, and 57% offered flextime.

And these kind of benefits can be invaluable for new dads.

For a fourth time, Fatherly, an online parenting resource for men, set out to find the Best Places To Work For New Dads

But unlike previous years' rankings, which weighted paid leave time heftily, this year's list focuses more on childcare, ramp-back time, and flex time, perks Fatherly Editor-in-Chief Andrew Burmon said employees tend to use.

"For this year's list, we wanted to look both at benefit packages and at new fathers' experiences within companies — given that many men don't take full advantage of their perks due to pressures or perceived pressures, these are different things," Burmon told Business Insider.

Only 36% of dads used their full parental leave benefits in 2017, according to SHRM.

"This shook the rankings up a bit," Burmon said.

New to this year's list: Lenovo, Unilever, Lyft, and NBA.

"We were heartened to see some organizations climbing the list or making it for the first time due to substantive changes to their policies, many of which will help thousands of families," Burmon said.

Keep reading for the top 20 companies on Fatherly's list of the best companies for new dads, and head over to Fatherly to see the complete list of all 50 employers.

SEE ALSO: The science behind why paid parental leave is good for everyone

20. Genentech

Paid paternity leave: Eight weeks

Perks for new dads: 

Onsite childcare

Childcare subsidies


Onsite dental, gym, medical care, dry cleaning and a concierge service

19. NBA

Paid paternity leave: 12 weeks

Perks for new dads: 

Backup emergency childcare

A dependent care flexible spending account

Access to Cigna’s Healthy Babies Program


Paid paternity leave: 12 weeks

Perks for new dads: 

Eight weeks of flex-time to ease back into working

Flex time

Seven days of sick leave that can be used for children

Support groups

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

A tech CEO's experience as a single dad convinced him to overhaul his $3 billion company’s benefits

Sun, 06/17/2018 - 8:49am  |  Clusterstock

  • DocuSign, an e-signature company, expanded its parental leave policy in February of 2017.
  • Employees who are primary caregivers, now receive six months of paid leave within the first year of the child's arrival.
  • DocuSign CEO Dan Springer reflected on his own experience as a single father and the son of a single mother when discussing the policy change.

DocuSign CEO Dan Springer knows what it's like to balance two challenging roles.

Long before he took the helm of the e-signature company in January of 2017, Springer was busy juggling being a single father and working as the CEO of Responsys, a public SaaS marketing firm.

"It was really hard to try to do both well, run a public company and have two teen-aged boys," he told Business Insider.

Everything changed when Oracle swooped in and bought Responsys for $1.6 billion in 2014. Springer decided to take time off from the business world. He did some work with a private equity firm and sat on a few boards. For the most part, though, he spent time with his sons.

"I basically could make breakfast every morning and dinner every night and be at every practice and game," he said. "Just a much more deep connection."

Now, with one son in college and the other a senior in high school, Springer has jumped back into the role of CEO at DocuSign.

Not long after joining DocuSign, he said the company's human resources department approached him about the idea of expanding its parental leave benefits. Fresh off spending three and a half years focusing on his role as a father, Springer supported the new plan.

"It was life-changing for me in such a positive way," he said. "Wouldn't it be great if people could have more time to bond?"

Now, DocuSign employees who are the primary caregivers to a new child can receive six months of paid time off. Non-primary caregivers can receive eight weeks of paid time. The policy went into effect February 1, 2018.

Springer said that language of the policy is flexible and inclusive to accommodate employees welcoming a new child through birth, surrogacy, or adoption. The six months also don't have to be taken immediately after the child's arrival — employees can take off anytime within the first year.

"We're trying to figure out as many ways as we can to be as flexible as possible to maximize the benefits for employees and their families," Springer said.

Springer said he hoped the policy would also make life easier for other single parents.

"It is so much harder as a single parent," he said. "Even though I conceptually knew it, even though I had lived that as the child of a single mother, until I found myself trying to balance the two, you just can't understand it. You kind of have to live it to feel the pressure you feel trying to do both jobs well."

He said so far he has received an outpouring of positive feedback from DocuSign employees. What's more, it isn't just the new or soon-to-be parents who are happy.

"A lot of people have come up and said, 'I've already had my kids, you know they're four and six, but I'm so happy that my colleagues are going to have this opportunity that I didn't have,'" he said.

Springer said he hopes more companies across the tech startup ecosystem implement similar policies. Already, organizations including Etsy, Netflix, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Adobe, EY, and Facebook have established generous parental leave policies.

The CEO added that his own mother, who raised him by herself, is a fan of the new policy, too.

"As I got older I really started to understand how much my mom gave to me while she was working and taking care of the family," Springer said."I won't share all the details of my emotional message I gave to her about appreciating and loving her, but I think I got a tear or two out of her. That was a nice moment."

This article was first published on September 19, 2017.

SEE ALSO: The science behind why paid parental leave is good for everyone

DON'T MISS: The 15 best US states for working mothers

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A hot startup raised $66 million in 5 days using these 24 slides

Sun, 06/17/2018 - 8:00am  |  Clusterstock

Tech investors are throwing money at Front, a five-year-old startup that aims to change the way teams get work done. The startup makes a shared inbox app that lets teams handle messages from email, texts, Slack, and social media, all in one place.

This year, the 28-year-old cofounder and CEO of Front, Mathilde Collin, went on a five-day fundraising sprint to raise a Series B round. She pitched 11 investors, received 10 term sheets, or investment offers, and walked away with $66 million from Sequoia Capital and several others.

Collin later wrote a blog post to share the pitch deck she used to raise venture (and it's not the first time she's opened up Front's books a little bit to help other entrepreneurs).

With her permission, we're republishing the pitch deck to show how Silicon Valley startups win over investors. Some of the data has been censored for public viewing, but the pitch deck is still worth a look for any startup seeking investment of their own.

SEE ALSO: A 28-year-old entrepreneur reveals how she snagged $66 million and 10 term sheets in 5 days

The deck starts simple and sweet.

The next slide shows the problem Front is trying to solve.

And then explains how it could be fixed.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The 30 best-selling cocktails in the world in 2018

Sun, 06/17/2018 - 6:45am  |  Clusterstock

From floral touches to smoke and fog, there seems to always be a new trend in the world of booze — but some cocktails simply stand the test of time.

Drinks International has released its list of the best-selling cocktails around the world in 2018, and it proves that most of today's popular drinks are new takes on the classics.

The website compiled the list by asking 106 of the best bars in the world — using the results of the World's 50 Best Bars list — to rank their 10 best-selling cocktails.

From Sidecars to Sazeracs, scroll down to see the 30 best-selling cocktails in the world, ranked in ascending order.

SEE ALSO: The 25 best-selling cocktails in the world in 2017

SEE ALSO: The biggest mistake people make when drinking wine is choosing the wrong glass — here's exactly how to drink Bordeaux, sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, and pinot noir

30. Gimlet. Down 14 places since last year, this drink is essentially gin and juice — a 75/25 gin-to-lime-cordial ratio is what's most common.

29. Champagne Cocktail. There are variations of this drink, but they all aim to make fizz even more fancy. To make it, cover a sugar cube with bitters then pour Champagne over that.

28. French 75. Up two places since last year, this cocktail — made popular in Paris in the 20s — is made with London dry gin, lemon juice, sugar, and Champagne.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

These are the trends creating new winners and losers in the card-processing ecosystem

Sun, 06/17/2018 - 6:06am  |  Clusterstock

This is a preview of a research report from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. To learn more about Business Insider Intelligence, click here.

Digital disruption is rocking the payments industry. But merchants, consumers, and the companies that help move money between them are all feeling its effects differently.

For banks, card networks, and processors, the digital revolution is bringing new opportunities — and new challenges. With new ways to pay emerging, incumbent firms can take advantage of solid brand recognition and large customer bases to woo new customers and keep those they already have.

And for consumers, the digital revolution is providing more choice and making their lives easier. Digital wallets are simplifying purchases, allowing users to pay online with only a username and password and in-store with just a swipe of their thumb. 

In a new report, Business Insider Intelligence explores the digital payments ecosystem today, its growth drivers, and where the industry is headed. It begins by tracing the path of an in-store card payment from processing to settlement across the key stakeholders. That process is central to understanding payments, and has changed slowly in the face of disruption. The report also forecasts growth and defines drivers for key digital payment types through 2021. Finally, it highlights five trends that are changing payments, looking at how disparate factors, such as surprise elections and fraud surges, are sparking change across the ecosystem.

Here are some key takeaways from the report:

  • Digital growth is accelerating the pace at which payments are becoming faster, cheaper, and more convenient. That benefits both nimble startups and legacy providers that invest in innovation.
  • Mobile payments are continuing to take off. On mobile devices, e-commerce, P2P payments, remittances, and in-store payments are each expected to rise as customer engagement shifts from more established channels.
  • Power is shifting to companies that control the customer experience. As the selling power of physical storefronts shifts to digital devices, the companies that control the apps and platforms that occupy users’ attentions are increasingly encroaching on payment providers’ territory. 
  • Alternative technologies are moving from the idea stage to reality. Widespread investments in blockchain technology last year are beginning to result in services hitting the market, promising to further squeeze margins for payments providers. 

In full, the report:

  • Traces the path of an in-store card payment from processing to settlement across the key stakeholders.  
  • Forecasts growth and defines drivers for key digital payment types through 2021.
  • Highlights five trends that are changing payments, looking at how disparate factors, such as surprise elections and fraud surges, are sparking change across the ecosystem.
Subscribe to an All-Access membership to Business Insider Intelligence and gain immediate access to: This report and more than 250 other expertly researched reports Access to all future reports and daily newsletters Forecasts of new and emerging technologies in your industry And more! Learn More

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Burkindy - A Jewelry Line

Sun, 06/17/2018 - 6:00am  |  Timbuktu Chronicles
Burkindy from Burkindy
A post shared by Burkindy (@burkindy) on Feb 3, 2018 at 8:47am PSTvia A 2018 Iké Udé portrait of Burkindy

A post shared by iké udé (@ikeude) on May 31, 2018 at 4:02am PDT

Here's how fintech is taking over the world — and what's coming next

Sun, 06/17/2018 - 12:02am  |  Clusterstock

Digital disruption is affecting every aspect of the fintech industry.

Over the past five years, fintech has established itself as a fundamental part of the global financial services ecosystem.

Fintech startups have raised, and continue to raise, billions of dollars annually, pushing incumbent financial institutions to get in on the action. Legacy players have begun using fintech to remain competitive in a rapidly evolving financial services landscape.

So what's next?

Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, explores recent innovations in the fintech space as well as what might be coming in the future in our brand new exclusive slide deck, The Future of Fintech: How Fintech Is Taking Over The World and What Comes Next.

To get your copy of this free slide deck, click here.

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