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The 17 best hotels in the world, according to travelers

Tue, 10/08/2019 - 1:28pm

Hotels can really make or break a vacation.

Condé Nast Traveler just released the results of its 32nd annual Readers' Choice Awards survey, which chronicled travelers' experiences, including unforgettable hotels all over the world. 

Read more: The 5 new hotels around the world with the most incredible design, according to experts

600,000 voters provided their thoughts on nearly 10,000 hotels. The hotels that ultimately made the final cut span different price points, destinations, and styles.

Here are the top 17. Only four are in the US, but two of the top five are in Los Angeles. Other popular destinations include Switzerland and India.

SEE ALSO: The best cheap hotels under $100 a night around the world — that are surprisingly upscale, too

DON'T MISS: The biggest red flag to look out for when checking into a hotel, according to a professional traveller who has stayed in over 3,000

17. Inn of the Five Graces

Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico

Starting rate per night: $456

The Inn of Five Graces sits in the middle of Santa Fe's historic downtown. In the spirit of Santa Fe being the "oldest continually inhabited city in the US," each colorful room in the inn was designed uniquely as a testament to the city's old Southwestern vibe.



16. Hotel Astoria, A Rocco Forte Hotel

Location: Saint Petersburg, Russia

Starting rate per night: $170

Directly across from Saint Isaac's Cathedral, the Astoria Hotel has symbolized luxury in Saint Petersburg since opening in 1912. The hotel's charming High Tea is a Saint Petersburg must-do.



15. La Réserve Paris - Hotel and Spa

Location: Paris, France

Starting rate per night: $1,047

La Réserve is just steps from the Champs-Élysées. With only 40 rooms, the sophisticated boutique hotel has spacious apartments and is known for delivering on its promise of  "a different vision of luxury."



14. Aranwa Sacred Valley Hotel & Wellness

Location: Sacred Valley, Peru

Starting rate per night: $145

Aranwa Sacred Valley is a restored 17th-century hacienda that opened as a hotel in 1900. There are 115 total rooms on the property, but the hotel is part of a larger chain of hotels all across Peru. It's an hour away from Cusco and on the way to Machu Picchu.



13. Aranwa Cusco Boutique Hotel

Location: Cusco, Peru

Starting rate per night: $205

Aranwa Sacred Valley's sister hotel, Aranwa Cusco, is a 43-suite 16th-century mansion just steps from the Plaza de Armas in Cusco. This hotel has a collection of 300 pieces of fine art, all produced at the renowned Escuela Cusqueña.



12. Amerikalinjen

Location: Oslo, Norway

Starting rate per night: $269

The Amerikalinjen just opened in March. The 122-room hotel was initially built in 1919 as the offices for a cruise line that would ferry between Norway and the US, hence the name. The hotel is celebrated for balancing its history and its modern flair.



11. Alila Fort Bishangarh

Location: Jaipur, India

Starting rate per night: $298

The Alila Fort Bishangarh is a converted 230-year-old fortress. The restoration and transformation into a hotel took 10 years to complete. Local materials, like sandstone, were used to finish the hotel.



10. Rosewood Luang Prabang

Location: Luang Prabang, Laos

Starting rate per night: $960

A luxury jungle hideaway in South East Asia, the Rosewood Luang Prabang is intended to be peaceful. There are some guest rooms in hilltop tents and other villas with personal pools, but the most impressive part of the property is the waterfall and river that runs through it.



9. Beau-Rivage Palace

Location: Lausanne, Switzerland

Starting rate per night: $417

The Beau-Rivage Palace has been open since 1861. The storied hotel sits right on Lake Geneva and has been a getaway for famous guests like Coco Chanel, Nelson Mandela, and Tina Turner. The hotel has gardens, recently renovated guest rooms, a world-class spa, and a two Michelin-star fine dining restaurant on property.



8. Monastero Santa Rosa Hotel & Spa

Location: Amalfi, Italy

Starting rate per night: $604

Once a 17th-century monastery, Monastero Santa Rosa is a 20-room boutique hotel perched on a clifftop with views of the Mediterranean Sea. While the hotel is celebrated for its state-of-the-art spa, there are many experiences to keep in mind — there's also the possibility of an al fresco meal at a Michelin star restaurant on property.



7. Rambagh Palace

Location: Jaipur, India

Starting rate per night: $410

Rambagh Palace was built in Jaipur in 1835 as an opulent home for the queen's favorite handmaiden. Later, it was turned into a royal guesthouse and hunting lodge, and in 1957 it was converted into the luxury hotel it is today. Noteworthy names like Prince Charles and Jacqueline Kennedy have stayed in one of the 78 massive guest suites.



6. Royal Mansour

Location: Marrakesh, Morocco

Starting rate per night: $1,212

1,500 master craftsmen spent three years building the 53 three-story riads that make up this hotel that was commissioned by King Mohammed VI. While each has lavish amenities, the grandest one has a home cinema, personal bar and gym, a spa room, and could cost in the neighborhood of $40,000 per night.



5. Four Seasons Hotel at the Surf Club

Location: Miami Beach, Florida

Starting rate per night: $600

The Surf Club first opened on New Year's Eve in 1930. It was known for being high society once upon a time — Elizabeth Taylor and Winston Churchill both stayed there — and still is. It has a Thomas Keller restaurant and a stateside offshoot of Positano's famed Le Sirenuse.



4. 1 Hotel West Hollywood

Location: West Hollywood, California

Starting rate per night: $308

Right on the Sunset Strip, 1 Hotel West Hollywood is conveniently located in the heart of Los Angeles. The 285-room hotel just opened earlier this year. This 1 Hotel outpost is known for doing what the overall brand does best: pursuing sustainability. Everything, from the carpets the lightbulbs, has been carefully designed from recycled material.



3. Taj Lake Palace

Location: Udaipur, India

Starting rate per night: $432

This 18th-century palace with 65 rooms and 18 suites sits on a man-made island in Lake Pichola. It was originally built for a prince and the hotel prides itself on providing royal treatment. As the hotel sits in the middle of the water, guests need to be shuttled out by private boat.



2. Baur au Lac

Location: Zurich, Switzerland

Starting rate per night: $766

The Baur au Lac has been owned and operated by the same family for 175 years. The 119-room hotel enjoys privacy in its own park. It also has a Michelin-starred restaurant, Pavillion. Previous noteworthy guests include Elton John and Joan Miró.



1. SLS Hotel, Beverly Hills

Location: Beverly Hills, California

Starting rate per night: $381

While there are SLS properties in Miami and in the Bahamas, the famed hotelier's West Coast outpost opened its doors in 2008 and just underwent a $22 million renovation. The hotel was originally designed by Philippe Starck and features trendy José Andrés restaurants. The SLS aims to exude a chic, young vibe and even refers to itself as a "modern-day playground."



PITCH-DECK LIBRARY: The pitch decks that helped hot startups raise millions

Mon, 10/07/2019 - 6:51pm

  • Billions of dollars are invested in startups every year.
  • Whether a startup seeks to raise money from angel investors, venture-capital firms, or other backers, the presentation — or "pitch" — about the business is critical.
  • The most effective pitch decks deftly weave data, imagination, and storytelling in a captivating slide presentation.
  • Business Insider regularly interviews startups about fundraising strategies and collects the pitch decks that helped them raise funding. You can read them all by subscribing to BI Prime.

Following is a list of some recent startup pitch decks published by Business Insider, organized by the funding round that each deck was used for:

Seed Series A Series B Series C Series D Series E

SEE ALSO: The first-time founder's ultimate guide to pitching a VC

Join the conversation about this story »

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Apple is reportedly considering a subscription bundle for Apple Music and its streaming service Apple TV Plus, but the music industry is worried it will lose money on the deal (AAPL)

Mon, 10/07/2019 - 5:45pm

  • Apple is considering packaging Apple Music and the upcoming Apple TV Plus as a combined subscription, according to a new report from the Financial Times.
  • Apple Music is currently available for $10 a month, and Apple TV Plus will launch on November 1 for $5 per month. Apple also offers Apple News Plus for $10 per month, and Apple Arcade, a subscription video game service, for $5 per month.
  • While combining the services could provide savings for Apple customers, music industry executives are reportedly concerned that a cheaper subscription package would lead to less revenue from Apple Music streaming.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Apple TV Plus hasn't launched yet, but Apple has already considered packaging its on-demand video service with its streaming music service, Apple Music.

A new report from Anna Nicolaou and Patrick McGee of the Financial Times says that Apple has entered into talks with the music industry to make a subscription bundle a reality, but record labels are concerned that they will lose revenue from the deal.

Apple Music is a $10 monthly subscription, though Apple customers who buy an iPhone, iPad or Mac get one year of the service for free. Apple TV Plus will launch on November 1 for $5 per month, and will feature original TV shows, movies, and documentaries. Earlier this year, Apple launched Apple News Plus for $10 per month, and the $5 per month Apple Arcade, a subscription video game service.

Read more: Yes, Apple just killed iTunes — here's what that means for your library of music, movies, and TV shows

While Apple has not formally announced any plans to combine its growing list of subscription services, a discounted bundle would provide additional value to dedicated customers. However, the Financial Times report suggests that music industry executives are wary of accepting a deal that would lead to lower revenue shares from Apple Music streaming.

According to the Financial Times, the music industry's skepticism goes back to the early days of Apple's iTunes store, when former Apple CEO Steve Jobs leveraged access to the growing digital marketplace to get record labels to agree to a price of $0.99 per song.

The music industry has benefitted from the advent of streaming music service, but licensing negotiations remain a point of tension between streaming platforms and record labels. Industry executives told the Financial Times that Apple Music currently offers a more favorable rate of revenue sharing than Spotify, the world's most popular music streaming service.

Read the full story from the Financial times here.

SEE ALSO: Yes, Apple just killed iTunes — here's what that means for your library of music, movies, and TV shows

Join the conversation about this story »

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The top 10 cities around the world with the most ultra-wealthy people, ranked

Mon, 10/07/2019 - 4:55pm

Where are the world's richest people living?

You can find 18.9% of the global ultra-wealthy population across 10 cities, according to Wealth-X's 2019 World Ultra Wealth Report. The report analyzed data from Wealth-X's global database of more than one million records of the world's richest people. 

It defines the world's ultra-wealthy population as those with $30 million or more in net worth. 

Read more: The top 10 countries with the most ultra-wealthy people, ranked

The number of ultra-wealthy among the top ultra-high-net-worth cities dropped by nearly 90 individuals thanks to a steep decline in Hong Kong — but the remaining nine cities averaged a 2.6% growth rate.

Six of the top cities on the list are in the US, two are in Europe, and two are in Asia.

Here are the cities worldwide which have the biggest ultra-wealthy populations, ranked in ascending order. Note that Hong Kong was included on both Wealth-X's top cities and top countries lists, as it's a semi-autonomous, special administrative region of China.

SEE ALSO: The top 15 countries with the most billionaires, ranked

DON'T MISS: The top 15 cities with the most billionaires, ranked

10. Dallas, Texas, is the sixth wealthiest US city.

Number of ultra-high-net-worth individuals: 2,705 (up 2.9%)

According to U.S. News & World Report, Texas' billionaire population is third only to superrich hubs New York and California, reported Marissa Perino for Business Insider. Dallas is home to several known billionaires, including Gerald Ford, Jerry Jones, and Andrew Beal.



9. Wealth in Washington, DC, has reached new heights.

Number of ultra-high-net-worth individuals: 2,785 (up 1.8%)

In recent years, wealth in Washington, DC, has spawned a "new class of superrich," reported Robert Frank for The New York Times.

"The combination of the richest White House in history and a boom in government-related businesses and technology companies is transforming Washington's affluence into opulence," he wrote.



8. San Francisco, California, could be home to thousands of new millionaires by the end of 2019.

Number of ultra-high-net-worth individuals: 2,925 (up 3.7%)

A number of tech start-ups hoping to go public by the end of the year could create an influx of newly-minted millionaires in the Bay Area, reported Nellie Bowles for The New York Times.

San Francisco is one of the wealthiest and most expensive cities in America — so much so that residents think it takes an average of $4 million to be wealthy, Suzanne Woolley of Bloomberg reported, citing Charles Schwab's 2019 Modern Wealth Survey.



7. Chicago, Illinois, saw a nearly 3% increase in its ultra-wealthy population.

Number of ultra-high-net-worth individuals: 3,350 (up 2.9%)

Chicago is home to some of the US's wealthiest suburbs, including the wealthiest suburb in the Midwest, according to Crain's Chicago Business.

Chicago is also home to a big wealth divide — the top 1% of residents earn an annual salary exceeding $600,000, while 21% of residents in the metro area live below the poverty line, according to the same Crain's Chicago Busines report.



6. Paris, France, has fortunes rooted in food, fashion, and luxury good industries.

Number of ultra-high-net-worth individuals: 3,955 (up 0.1%)

Many of France's billionaires, like LVMH founder and CEO Bernard Arnault, are wealthy from success in the global luxury and fashion business, Hugh Carnegy reported for Financial Times.



5. London, England, is the leading ultra-wealthy city in Europe.

Number of ultra-high-net-worth individuals: 4,035 (up 5.4%)

London witnessed the biggest growth in its ultra-wealthy population out of all the cities thanks to "dollar-denominated wealth gains" in the city's internationalized financial sector, according to Wealth-X.



4. Los Angeles, California, has the second-most number of ultra-wealthy people in the US.

Number of ultra-high-net-worth individuals: 5,295 (up 0.9%)

Los Angeles' growth of ultra-wealthy people was one of the third weakest on this list. Most of the rich live in LA's ritzy beach communities of Malibu and Santa Monica, reported Business Insider's Tanza Loudenback.



3. Tokyo, Japan, is home to 40% of the country's wealthy class.

Number of ultra-high-net-worth individuals: 7,090 (up 4.5%)

Tokyo serves as Japan's main hub for the telecommunications, electronics, and publishing industries, according to Wealth-X.



2. Hong Kong fell from its No. 1 ranking in 2017 thanks to a downward trend in Asian equity markets and a softening Chinese economy.

Number of ultra-high-net-worth individuals: 8,950 (down 10.6%)

Hong Kong's billionaires live in mansions in secluded neighborhoods like The Peak, bet big money on horse races, and dine at some of the city's 82 Michelin-starred restaurants, Katie Warren previously reported.



1. New York City, New York, accounts for 11% of the US's ultra-rich cohort.

Number of ultra-high-net-worth individuals: 8,980 (up 1.3%)

As a global financial center and the US' largest regional economy, New York City attracts those "seeking a blend of high-end finance, vibrant culture, luxury commerce, and prime real estate," Wealth-X stated.

The metro area consists of more billionaires than any other country, except for China and Germany.



Trump signs trade deal with Japan as tensions escalate with China and the EU

Mon, 10/07/2019 - 4:44pm

  • President Donald Trump signed a final trade agreement with Japan on Monday.
  • The deal would reopen some of the markets farmers had lost access to after the US withdrew from a multilateral Asia-Pacific pact in early 2017. 
  • But critics have said it only recovered a portion of the benefits from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a now 11-country trade agreement Trump withdrew the US from within his first week in office. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump signed a final trade agreement with Japan on Monday that would reopen some of the markets farmers had lost access to after the US withdrew from a multilateral Asia-Pacific pact in early 2017. 

"I think we're at a stage with Japan where our relationship has never been better than it is right now," Trump said at a press conference in the Roosevelt Room, portraying the deal as a major win for farmers and ranchers. 

US officials estimated the deal would reduce tariffs for roughly $7 billion worth of American agricultural products including cheese, wine, beef, pork, wheat, and almonds. The US would in turn lower tariffs on Japanese industrial goods under the agreement, which would also set stricter terms for digital trade between the two sides. 

But critics have said it only recovered a portion of the benefits from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a now 11-country trade agreement Trump withdrew the US from within his first week in office. 

"Why we'd walk away from that in order to take this is beyond me," Senator Tom Carper, a Democrat from Delaware and a ranking member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, said on Bloomberg TV last month. "Is it better than nothing? It is. But it's not even close to the Trans-Pacific Partnership."

The agreement did not touch on current auto tariffs or additional ones that Trump threatened Japan with last year on the basis of national security concerns. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said he was assured the country would be spared from such measures, but that was not explicitly laid out in the text. 

"It certainly is the Japanese ambition to have car tariffs be discussed," US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in a call with reporters after the deal was reached. "But at this point, it's not part of this agreement."

The Trump administration has increasingly sought to placate farmers, who have suffered financial losses from broader tariff disputes with China and other trading partners. After a separate World Trade Organization decision last week, the US said it would hit the European Union with tariffs on agricultural items and hundreds of other imports.

While Trump has found support in calls to address Chinese trade practices seen as unfair, critics warned American allies should be involved in that process. The president has separated himself from that approach in office as he withdrew from deals like the TPP and slapped metal tariffs on the EU and elsewhere.

"Bigger picture, as we sign these deals with our largest trading partners — Japan, USMCA, EU — it puts increasing pressure on China to ink a deal with us," said Dave Walton, a soybean farmer in Iowa. "They do so by making China see them as competitors for our trade."

The agreement was announced on a preliminary basis in August. On the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York last month, the US and Japan signed an agreement-in-principle. The move on Monday afternoon concluded the final text of the deal.

Now read: Ray Dalio warns the White House's latest plan to clamp down on Chinese investment could soon become a reality. Here's why he thinks 'all market participants need to worry.'

SEE ALSO: Business economists warn Trump’s trade policies could drag growth below 2% next year

Join the conversation about this story »

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VC Camber Creek, which has steered clear of co-working, explains how it invests in the midst of a proptech gold rush

Mon, 10/07/2019 - 4:17pm

Proptech has had a banner fundraising year so far. The first half of 2019 saw more dollars invested in proptech than all of 2018, and real estate tech venture fund Fifth Wall alone raised a half a billion dollars for its newest fund.

But 2019 will also likely be remembered as the year that WeWork, which had tried to paint itself as a tech-enabled real estate disruptor, went from a $47 billion valuation to a failed IPO. The co-working giant is now looking to sell off businesses and cut thousands of jobs. The question of valuations, profitability, and exit strategies has (perhaps belatedly) taken on a new focus when it comes to some of the biggest "tech-enabled" unicorns. 

We asked Camber Creek, a Washington-based venture fund, to explain the approach behind some of its earliest investments — including what exactly defines a proptech company to begin with. 

The VC firm was founded eight years ago, back before fintech had really become a household term and proptech was barely a whisper in the real estate business. The firm has made 37 investments since 2011, including investments in smart-lock startup Latch, commercial real estate leasing unicorn VTS, and short-term rental company WhyHotel. The firm has not made any co-working investments. 

Like other VCs in the real estate world, the firm partners with real estate companies who eventually plan to use the products and services that they invest in. Camber Creek is targeting a $120 million fund this year, more than double the $50 million it has raised so far previously between Funds I and II.

Jeffrey Berman, general partner at Camber Creek, walked Business Insider through Camber Creek's investment thesis. Berman is a board member at portfolio companies Nestio, a leasing and marketing platform, and Bowery Valuations, an appraisal firm. 

Read more: Meet the 7 early-stage startups blending tech and real estate that just got accepted to a high-profile accelerator. One is a TaskRabbit-like app for construction workers.

Berman said that Camber Creek starts any potential investment with two questions. 

The first is — "Can we use this product, software, service, within our portfolio matrix?" 

According to Berman, the VC's general and limited partners own "close to a billion square feet" of real estate to deploy any potential product.

The second question is maybe the most basic in venture capital —  "Is there a viable venture return path for this particular business?"

If the answer to both questions is yes, the next step is for Camber Creek's team to evaluate the business in the context of the rest of its portfolio. Berman described three follow-on questions, each with two variables, that the team uses to evaluate whether a company fits their current portfolio construction strategy. 

Is this a 'nice to have' or a 'need to have'?

The first question evaluates how important a company's products or services are, and how likely they would be to perform well even in a downturn. 

"Is this a company that is going to be able to weather economic storms? Is it going to be agnostic to economic cycles?" Berman said.

The main consideration is whether a company's product will be where people or businesses cut first when they need to lower costs. A "need to have" company that can perform well in any condition is obviously preferable, though a "nice to have" company may have a large upside when conditions are right. 

Berman held up Camber Creek's Nestio as an example of a "need to have" company. The company provides leasing and marketing software for multifamily operators. 

"It arguably becomes more important during times of economic dislocation," Berman said. 

With a glut of new supply built on the back of low interest rates and slowing renter demand, efficiently marketing and leasing a property will become essential for a landlord in a downturn. 

Is this a platform or a niche?

"Platform" is a word that lost actual meaning and become more of an empty buzzword. But Camber Creek's definition is a simple accounting of how dominant a company could potentially become. 

"A platform-level company we would expect to be a winner in its given silo," Berman said. "A niche company will support companies that are winners in its particular silo." 

VTS, the leasing management software unicorn, is Camber Creek's most-successful platform-level company. It is now used in a third of all US commercial buildings, and the company plans to launch a commercial leasing marketplace later this year. VTS has already merged with Hightower, a competitor with investments from Bessemer Venture Partners, and Josh Kushner's Thrive Capital, and is on its way to being the main source of commercial leasing data. 

Niche companies, like Camber Creek's Bowery Valuation, are smaller bets with less chance for monumental upsides, but they're still an important part of a balanced portfolio. Bowery Valuation's automated-valuation software might not become the origin point of every commercial real estate transaction, but its software could become a part of the process for a company like VTS which may be able to become commercial real estate's largest platform. 

Read more: Investing in real estate tech companies like Zillow and Compass is a nearly $15 billion opportunity. 3 top VCs break down the areas and startups they think will boom.

Pure-play tech company, or business innovation?

This question is related to a larger debate about the definition of proptech: does the term only include innovations in software or hardware, or is it a more nebulous term that encompasses real estate startups who call themselves "tech-enabled"?

Camber Creek invests in either type of company, though for the more nebulous companies, they are looking for a business innovation that sets it apart. 

Pure-play tech companies, like VTS or Latch, make up a large portion of Camber Creek's portfolio. The notion of business innovation is both as simple and as evasive as it sounds: is a company doing something that is new and is profitable? 

Berman gave WhyHotel, the short-term rental company, as an example of one of the business innovations in Camber Creek's portfolio. WhyHotel partners with developers and landlords to provide short-term rentals from new residential buildings while they are being leased up. WhyHotel does not enter longer lease obligations that can be common among short-term rental companies, while also making revenue from new apartments that are usually empty for six months or longer. 

"It's a pop-up hotel, and it allows developers to make more money too," said Berman.

Compared to other short-term rental companies like Sonder and Lyric, WhyHotel is changing how short-term rental supply enters and then leaves the housing market.

Join the conversation about this story »

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I pay over $4,000 in credit card annual fees, but I'm happy to. Here's why it makes sense for me.

Mon, 10/07/2019 - 4:11pm

  • I pay over $4,000 in credit card annual fees. The costs add up quickly with cards like the Platinum Card® from American Express, the Chase Sapphire Reserve, and the Citi Prestige® Card.
  • I travel about eight months out of the year, so I need credit cards that offer strong travel coverage to protect me if something goes wrong, and valuable benefits and rewards to improve my experience on the road.
  • You may not need every single one of these cards, especially if you don't travel very often, but make sure the ones you do have provide the best set of perks and coverages. For example, if you're a frequent Hilton guest, the Hilton Honors Aspire American Express Card could make your life easier with benefits like free elite status.
  • Read more personal finance coverage.

I pay a lot in credit card annual fees — more than $4,000 per year in total. That may seem like an absurd amount, but I get a ton of benefits and value out of my credit cards. Plus, I spend about eight months out of the year traveling internationally, so it's not hard for me to take advantage of the travel perks my cards offer. 

Here are the details of my cards, their annual fees, and why I'm happy to pay them — in approximate order of how important the cards are to me and which benefits justify me keeping the card. While I do have some cards without annual fees that I love, those will not be included here.

Read more: The best no-annual-fee credit cards of 2019

Keep in mind that we're focusing on the rewards and perks that make these credit cards great options, not things like interest rates and late fees, which can far outweigh the value of any rewards.

When you're working to earn credit card rewards, it's important to practice financial discipline, like paying your balances off in full each month, making payments on time, and not spending more than you can afford to pay back. Basically, treat your credit card like a debit card.

While some cards may have overlapping benefits, once I've mentioned a benefit offered by one card (e.g., Priority Pass lounge access), that benefit will not weigh into whether or not I keep a card that is lower down on my list. I have a few cards that charge annual fees that are no longer available for new applications, so those have not been included in this analysis.

I'm splitting my cards into two categories: my "spending cards" and my "holding cards." Some of my cards have benefits like an annual free night reward that make it worth it for me to keep them, but not generally spend money on, while other cards offer great spending benefits as well, such as strong bonus rewards. 

Here's why it makes sense for me to spend over $4,000 per year on credit card annual fees.

My spending cards Chase Sapphire Reserve

Annual fee: $450

This is my most important credit card. It offers a $300 annual travel credit each year, which effectively brings the annual fee down to $150. And it offers up to a $100 Global Entry fee credit every four years. 

Since Global Entry is valid for five years, this benefit is effectively worth $20 per year, further reducing the annual fee to $130. For that $130, I earn 3x points on travel (and dining purchases, but I use a different card for dining), Priority Pass lounge access, trip delay and cancellation insurance coverage, lost and delayed baggage insurance coverage, and primary car rental insurance.

Read more: Chase Sapphire Reserve card review

The Platinum Card from American Express

Annual fee: $550

Even though the Amex Platinum has a whopper of an annual fee, it's still on my keep list, at least for now. This card offers up to $200 in airline fee credits and up to $200 in Uber credits each year. While I would rather have that money in the form of actual cash, I do not have a problem using both of those credits, effectively bringing the annual fee for this card down to $150 for me. For that $150, I gain access to American Express Centurion Lounges, which I use at least a few times per year. When the new Denver location opens next year, it's a benefit I will use very regularly.

Additionally, I have the ability to earn 5x points for airline bookings made with the airline or at Amex Travel. I don't use this card to book airfare for myself because I prefer to sacrifice the extra 2 points per dollar and book with my Sapphire Reserve in exchange for travel insurance, but I do book flights for other people quite often, and the ability to earn these extra 2 points per dollar works out great then! I estimate that I earn 12,000 to 15,000 points per year from these 2 extra points per dollar by booking flights for other people.

Read more: Amex Platinum review — $2,000 of value in my first year, despite the $550 annual fee

Citi Prestige® Card

Annual fee: $495

Even though Citi recently cut many travel coverage benefits and added limitations to the 4th Night Free benefit for hotel stays benefit, the Citi Prestige is still in my wallet for three main reasons.

First, this card offers a $250 annual travel credit, which effectively brings the annual fee down to $245. It also earns 5x points on dining purchases, and I eat out a lot. This is two points more than the Chase Sapphire Reserve offers per dollar and I estimate that this earns me an extra 12,000 to 15,000 points per year, which I value around $200-$250.

Finally, while the 4th Night Free at hotels benefit is not as valuable as it once was (it's now limited to two uses per year), I still will have no problem using it once or twice per year. Conservatively, this will save me $200 per year. And as a bonus feature that I hope I'll never have to use, the Citi Prestige offers cell phone insurance when you pay your cell phone bill with the card.

Read more: 4 credit cards that insure your cell phone to pay for repairs or replacement

United Club Card

Annual fee: $450

I don't spend on this card too often, but every once in a while its 1.5 miles per dollar comes in handy. But the main reason I keep this card is that it gets me access to United Club airport lounges.

Since Denver is my home airport and a United hub, United Club access comes in handy. Next year when the Centurion Lounge opens, keeping this card may no longer make sense, but for now, it's the cheapest way into United lounges.

My "holding" cards The Business Platinum® Card from American Express

Annual fee: $595

These annual fees just keep going up, and to be completely honest I'm not sure that I'll keep my Business Platinum  when the annual fee comes due again. But for right now it's worth it for me for one main reason: the year of Platinum Global Access WeWork membership. 

Since I work remotely, the ability to access coworking spaces around the world is incredibly valuable to me, and getting a year-long WeWork membership for only $595 is a steal. (It's available for a year for cardholders who enroll by December 31, 2019.) Additionally, the Business Platinum Card offers up to $200 in airline fee credits and up to $200 in Dell credits each year.

Read more: The best small-business credit cards

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

Annual fee: $450

This card offers four standout benefits: a free weekend night at a Hilton hotel, complimentary top-tier Hilton Diamond status (which includes free breakfast at Hilton hotels), up to a $250 Hilton resort credit each year, and up to a $250 airline fee credit.

After considering the resort credit, the annual fee for this card is brought down to effectively $200, and if we conservatively value the free night certificate at $100, the annual fee comes down to only $100. And there's still the $250 airline fee credit, so the Aspire card is a complete no-brainer for me! Complimentary Hilton Diamond status is just the icing on the cake.

Read more: Hilton Honors Aspire review — why I willingly pay the $450 annual fee

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card

Annual fee: $450

You read that right: yet another card with a $450 annual fee. But this one makes sense for me too: Each year, I get a $300 Marriott statement credit and a free night at a Marriott hotel that costs up to 50,000 points. I stay at Marriott hotels pretty regularly, enough to qualify for Platinum status, so the $300 credit is easy to use. I can easily get $100 to $150 in value from the free night certificate, and often much more (this year, it was almost $400!).

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card

Annual fee: $95

Another Marriott card, and for one reason only: the free night certificate. The free night certificate from this card is worth up to 35,000 points, and it's not a problem at all for me to find a use for it where I'm getting more than $95 in value.

Read more: The best hotel credit cards

IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

Annual fee: $89

Each year, I earn a certificate valid for a hotel night costing up to 40,000 points. It's not uncommon for me to need a hotel stay, and it's a pretty good deal to effectively stay for a night for $89.

Read more: IHG Rewards Club Premier card review — one of the most underrated hotel credit cards

World of Hyatt Credit Card

Annual fee: $95

The World of Hyatt Credit Card offers a free night certificate each year for a Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel. Just like with the other hotel cards, it's easy to cover the cost of the annual fee with this card.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card

Annual fee: $149

I just upgraded my Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card to the Southwest Priority Credit Card. This card offers 7,500 bonus points each year on the account anniversary (worth around $90) and a $75 Southwest travel credit each year. These two benefits alone make this card break even for me (I always fly Southwest at least once per year), and it also offers four upgraded boarding passes per year.

Radisson Rewards Premier Visa Signature Card

Annual fee: $75

Similar, but not the same as the other hotel cards listed here, I earn 40,000 points each year when I renew my card. I can use those points for multiple hotel nights or I can save them up from year to year and redeem for a hotel costing more than 40,000 points. I like the flexibility this gives me, and I will gladly pay $75 to essentially buy 40,000 points.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Animated map shows how cats spread across the world

The SEC is hiring a chief data officer as the regulator aims to keep pace with Wall Street's obsession over information

Mon, 10/07/2019 - 4:10pm

  • The Securities and Exchange Commission is hiring its first chief data officer, according to a job posting for the role. 
  • The CDO's focus will include developing and managing the regulators' strategy around how it stores, protects, and uses data. 
  • Data has become increasingly valuable to firms across Wall Street.
  • Click here for more BI Prime stories.

Wall Street's top rule maker wants some help with its data.

The Securities and Exchange Commission is in the process of hiring a chief data officer focused on overseeing the regulator's data needs. 

The responsibilities of the role, which was posted to USAJobs.gov and on LinkedIn from late August to early September, include "providing overall direction and oversight to a broad set of functions that support the SEC's data and information needs," according to the posting. 

Read more: The SEC's markets guru just praised brokers for slashing commissions — but warned they still need to do what's best for investors, despite increased pressure to defend margins

Data has become increasingly valuable to firms across Wall Street. From developing trade ideas to streamlining how things are done internally, financial firms have fully recognized the importance of harnessing massive amounts of information

The rise of artificial intelligence- and machine learning-based tools, which require large amounts of data to operate, has also put a premium on gathering as much information as possible. 

Whether it's a matter of protecting the data, figuring out the best way to use it, or developing ways to distribute it to the public, the SEC's CDO has a wide berth of responsibilities. 

The SEC is also in line to receive a mountain of data upon the completion of the consolidated audit trail, which will collect trading data across the various US stock and options exchanges. While the SEC's CDO won't be entirely responsible for the CAT, which has continued to face delays, he or she will help to develop a strategy around managing the data. 

See more: BlackRock's global head of active equities data has left the $6.9 trillion asset manager

Under the Open, Public, Electronic and Necessary (OPEN) Government Data Act that was passed into law in January, all federal agencies are required to hire a CDO. The law also requires government data sets, with some exceptions, to be made widely available in machine-readable format, with the CDO leading those efforts. 

The CDO position, which has an expected salary between $189,931 and $251,765 and is for a four-year term, would sit within the SEC's office of the chief operating officer, the post said.

In testimony from the SEC before the US House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services in September, the regulator alluded to the role the position will play within the organization. 

"We will continue efforts to assess our data footprint, with the help of a soon-to-be-hired Chief Data Officer," the testimony read. "This new position, among other duties, will help us improve our review process over data collection to provide greater assurance that we collect only the data we need to fulfill our mission and can effectively manage and secure."

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NOW WATCH: Here's what airlines legally owe you if you're bumped off a flight

Bank of America projects a slowdown in holiday spending this year — and singles out 3 retailers that could outperform the trend (AAN, BURL, TGT)

Mon, 10/07/2019 - 3:50pm

  • Holiday season spending is set to slow this year due to warmer weather, a shorter holiday, increased inventory, and trade-war tariffs, Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts wrote Monday.
  • The US consumer "remains strong" despite economic warning signs, they added.
  • Aaron's, Burlington, and Target should outperform the retail industry should spending slow through the fourth quarter, the analysts projected.
  • Visit the Markets Insider homepage for more stories.

Holiday season spending is poised to slow this year, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Tariffs, warmer weather, a shorter holiday season, and increased inventory would all be to blame for weaker sales, the bank's analysts wrote in a Monday note. The bank projected same-store sales to grow by 2.7% in the fourth quarter, down from 3.8% last holiday season.

Online sales growth and weakening consumer demand also threaten retailers this holiday season, UBS analysts wrote in a September 23 note. E-commerce sales growth hit a six-year high in 2019 after surging 25%, according to the bank.

The US consumer "remains healthy" despite growing fears of economic recession, the team of BAML analysts said. Should the retail industry face a holiday headwind, certain value stores could benefit from discount-seeking customers, they added.

Here are the three companies BAML expects to outperform the retail industry this holiday season.

Read more: More than 250 retailers are expected to offer competing discounts on Amazon Prime Day — and some are using not-so-subtle phrases like 'prime time' to promote their sales

Aaron's

The analysts named Aaron's their "Retail Hardlines top pick" for its acceleration in invoice volume growth and strong appeal among low-income consumers. Aaron's Progressive Leasing business offers a lease-to-own financing option for customers, and has led to partnerships with large retailers like Best Buy.

Only a "low-mid single digit percentage" of Aaron's products is imported from China, insulating the business from tariff-related profit squeezes, the team led by Lorraine Hutchinson wrote. Its lease contracts also help spread revenue over a longer period of time, making the shorter holiday season less of an issue.

Warmer weather should have a smaller impact as well, "since seasonal products represent a very small percentage of sales," the BAML analysts said.

The bank rates Aaron's stock "buy" with a $75 per share price objective.



Burlington

Burlington Stores is the bank's "Specialty Retail top pick," with its positive potential for improved margins and strong inventory situation setting the company up for a strong fourth quarter.

The team of analysts also pointed to tariff-sourced retail disruption as a boon for Burlington sales. Only 6% of the company's products are directly imported, and not all of them are from China, according to the note. Burlington management is positioning the company to attract shoppers should competitors transfer tariff costs directly to consumers.

"The off price industry historically has benefited from retail disruption," the analysts wrote.

The team also praised Burlington's leaders for improving its inventory situation. Last year's holiday season saw the company face a product shortage during critical sales weeks. The company is likely to adjust its inventory count for upcoming holiday sales and improve its logistics accordingly, the note said.

"We think leaner overall inventory combined with products focused on strong holiday and winter categories will help improve 4Q sell-through," the analysts wrote.

The bank rates Burlington stock "buy" with a $225 per share price objective.



Target

The team of analysts named Target their "Discount Store top pick" for the holidays, noting its "impressive traffic" and sales growth has set the chain up for a strong fourth-quarter performance. The company's appeal to its key low- and middle-income consumers "remains healthy," and Target's smaller urban locations continue to bring strong results, BAML said.

The retail company's "stores as hubs" strategy — which allows Target to quickly ship items to online customers from its retail locations — allows it to offer more fulfillment options than other discount stores, the note added.

The bank rates Target stock "buy" with a $125 per share price objective.

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Showtime's 'Billions' has beaten a lawsuit from a Wall Street performance coach who claimed the show ripped off her book

Mon, 10/07/2019 - 3:30pm

The Showtime hit series "Billions," which portrays the collision of the worlds of law and hedge funds, has concluded a chapter of its own real-life legal drama ⁠— for now.

Performance coach Denise Shull filed suit against Showtime in January on the grounds that Maggie Siff's character Wendy Rhoades was inspired by Shull's book, "Market Mind Games," as reported by The Hollywood Reporter's Ashley Cullins. In the show, Siff plays a performance coach working at a hedge fund who is caught between her boss and her husband, a US attorney.

On Friday, US District Judge George Daniels ruled in Showtime's favor, canceling Shull's lawsuit because the court found the show and the book "do not seem to resemble each other in the least," Daniels wrote in his decision, which was published by THR.

But Shull plans to appeal the decision, the author's lawyers told Deadline reporter Dominic Patten.

"We have reviewed the Court's decision and respectfully disagree with the court's ruling," attorney Michael James Malory said to Deadline.

Daniels wrote that the court found no similarities between Shull and "Billions" character Wendy Rhoades, other than the fact that both women work as in-house performance coaches at hedge funds. But that alone is not enough to justify claims of copyright, according to the decision.

"An in-house psychiatrist may not be a 'stock character,'" Daniels wrote, "but the idea of an in-house psychiatrist, even in the context of a hedge fund, is certainly not one that was borne of Shull's own thinking."

Siff spoke to Business Insider last year about various inspirations for her character, citing life coach Tony Robbins as well as Ari Kiev, who was the in-house psychiatrist at SAC Capital before he died in 2009.

While the court dismissed the suit against Showtime, it denied the network's request to be compensated for attorney fees and costs, according to the decision.

Read the decision and the full report from The Hollywood Reporter

SEE ALSO: 'Billions' star Maggie Siff on how Tony Robbins helped her prep, and why her character feels like a 'big cosmic joke'

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Octopuses are officially the weirdest animals on Earth

The transportation sector was a breakout star in the latest jobs report thanks to historic shortages and the upcoming holiday season

Mon, 10/07/2019 - 3:19pm

The United States' economy may be near full employment, but that isn't stopping some industries from hiring like crazy.

Transportation, in particular, was one of the sectors that got the biggest boost in September, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said in its monthly release Friday. Not only was it a breakout star, the industry rose from an August shrinkage to add 16,000 jobs.

It might have been the end of summer but retailers' holiday preparations are underway, and the season's onslaught, coupled with e-commerce's continued growth, is behind the growth, economist said.

"Transportation and warehousing also added 15,700 jobs," Daniel Zhao, a senior economist at Glassdoor, said. "as the holiday hiring season kicks off, and employers prepare for the anticipated growth in demand for transportation from the explosion of e-commerce. By contrast, retail shed 11,400 jobs as retailers follow the shift in consumer demand online."

Transit and ground-passenger transportation also contributed to transportation's September boon. Like many skilled labor jobs, cities and school districts simply can't find enough bus drivers, especially in the face of rising costs of living.

"Transit agencies across the country are fighting a losing battle to keep bus operations at current capacity as it gets harder to fill operator positions," the Eno Center for Transportation wrote last month. The nonprofit think tank estimates another 200,000 empty driver positions will emerge by 2022.

"The perfect storm of low unemployment, high turnover rates, and negative perceptions of the job work together to make hiring and keeping qualified workers an uphill battle," it said.

Filling those positions will be especially important as public transit ridership begins to turn positive in some US cities for the first time in years. Data from the American Public Transportation Association shows that 2.5 billion Americans used public transportation in the second quarter of 2019, an 11 million jump over the same period of 2018, The Washington Post reported. 

But not all transportation is created equal.

Trucking also saw a yet another "bloodbath" in the latest tally, sinking by 4,200 jobs, according to the BLS report. That slump continues the industry's recession, into which it slipped during the first half of 2019, according to ACT Research.

Read more: Another 4,200 truck drivers lost their jobs in September as a recession slams America's $800 billion trucking industry 

That's likely been fueled by some weakness in manufacturing, Josh Wright, chief economist of the software company iCIMS, said.

"This economy is not just still on its feet, but still moving forward," he wrote, but "with manufacturing weak and the labor market only modestly in positive territory, much depends on consumer spending and the Fed's reaction function."

SEE ALSO: Uber and Lyft are having a terrible effect on public transportation, new research shows

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: We visited the Vespa headquarters in Italy to see how the world-famous scooters are made

50% of millennials have left a job for mental health reasons, a new study shows — and it speaks to some of the biggest problems plaguing the entire generation

Mon, 10/07/2019 - 2:35pm

Millennials are bringing mental health to the forefront in the workplace.

Half of millennials and 75% of Gen Z have left a job due to mental health reasons, according to a study conducted by Mind Share Partners, SAP, and Qualtrics published in Harvard Business Review. The study, which looked at mental health challenges and stigmas in the US workplace, polled 1,500 respondents ages 16 and older working full-time.

That's significantly higher than the overall percentage of respondents who have left a job for mental health reasons — 20%, according to the study. This indicates a "generational shift in awareness," wrote the authors of the report, Kelly Greenwood, Vivek Bapat, and Mike Maughan. 

That shift is no surprise, considering that millennials have also become known as "the therapy generation." They're cognizant about their mental health and helping to destigmatize therapy, Peggy Drexler wrote in an essay for The Wall Street Journal.

Millennials, she said, see therapy as a form of self-improvement — and they also suffer from a desire to be perfect, leading them to seek help when they feel they haven't met their expectations. 

But their inclination towards therapy also highlights some of the biggest problems plaguing the generation.

Read more: Depression is on the rise among millennials, but 20% of them aren't seeking treatment — and it's likely because they can't afford it

Depression and "deaths of despair" are becoming more common among millennials

Depression is on the rise among millennials — there's been a 47% increase in major depression diagnoses since 2013, according to a Blue Cross Blue Shield report. And a follow-up Blue Cross Blue Shield study found that millennials are less healthy than Gen Xers were at their age, and more likely to be less healthy as they age.

More millennials are also dying "deaths of despair" —  deaths related to drugs, alcohol, and suicide, reported Jamie Ducharme for TIME, citing a report by public-health groups Trust for America's Health and Well Being Trust. While these deaths have increased across all ages in the past 10 years, they've increased the most among younger Americans, reported Ducharme.

They claimed the lives of 36,000 American millennials in 2017 alone, according to the report. Drug overdoses are the most common cause of death.

There are a few reasons behind the uptick, one of which is that young adults are more inclined to engage in risk-taking behaviors. However, the report also identified other structural factors at play — namely the many financial problems millennials are facing: student loan debt, healthcare, childcare, and an expensive housing market.

These four costs are part of The Great American Affordability Crisis plaguing millennials that's putting them financially behind.

Read more: 'Deaths of despair' are taking more lives of millennial Americans than any other generation

Burnout is also a problem

Cases of burnout have also been increasing at an alarming rate over recent years, reported Business Insider's Ivan De Luce. The World Health Organization recently classified burnout as a syndrome, medically legitimizing the condition for the first time.

It's a growing problem in today's workplace because of trends like rising workloads, limited staff and resources, and long hours — particularly for millennials, who consider themselves the "burnout generation." 

In fact, 86% percent of overall respondents in the Mind Share Partners, SAP, and Qualtrics study said a company's culture should support mental health. "Mental health is becoming the next frontier of diversity and inclusion, and employees want their companies to address it," wrote the authors.

They added: "It is not surprising then that providing employees with the support they need improves not only engagement but also recruitment and retention, whereas doing nothing reinforces an outdated and damaging stigma."

SEE ALSO: Brokest, loneliest, and richest: Here's how the world sees American millennials in 2019

DON'T MISS: 2019 is the final class of millennial college graduates. Next stop: The Great American Affordability Crisis.

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NOW WATCH: Meet the photographer behind the 'I Spy' books that captured millions of readers' imaginations

Climate-change protesters pour fake blood on Wall Street bull statue as part of 'die-in' demonstration

Mon, 10/07/2019 - 2:18pm

  • A group of protesters mounted Wall Street's famous "Charging Bull" statue and poured fake blood on it as part of a Monday "die-in" demonstration.
  • The protest was organized by climate activism organization Extinction Rebellion, according to CNBC. Protesters lay around the bull with red paint on their bodies while one member waved a green flag from atop the statue.
  • The group was blocking tourists before NYPD officers moved in and began arresting protesters.
  • Visit the Business Insider homepage for more stories.

A group of protesters poured fake blood on Wall Street's famous "Charging Bull" statue as part of a "die-in" demonstration on Monday.

The protesters belonged to a climate activism organization named Extinction Rebellion, according to CNBC. The group's website states "we will peacefully occupy the centers of power and shut them down until governments act on the Climate and Ecological Emergency." Protests organized by the group are scheduled to last two weeks.

The person atop the statue waved a green flag while other protesters lay prone with red paint on their clothes, CNBC reported.

New York City police officers surrounded the group and began making arrests after the protesters blocked tourists. At least 25 people were arrested, ABC's Eyewitness News reported

Read more: Photos show huge climate-change protests around the world, which have spread across continents as millions strike to demand action

The bull, a symbol for capitalism and healthy financial markets, was installed by artist Arturo Di Modica in 1989 and has since been the site of several protests and acts of vandalism. A man was charged with criminal mischief after damaging the statue with a banjo in early September.

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We talked to a top Uber exec about how the ride-hailing giant is betting on healthcare to reach a new set of customers

Mon, 10/07/2019 - 2:18pm

  • Uber is betting big on its health business as a way to get it into markets it normally wouldn't reach. 
  • By working with health plans to provide rides to and from doctor's appointments — particularly for the elderly and people in rural areas — Uber can grow demand in areas that might not be a good fit for its ride-hailing service. 
  • "This is a good opportunity to grow our network in areas where Uber isn't as strong today," Uber Health head Dan Trigub told Business Insider.
  • Click here for more BI Prime stories.

Uber is betting that it can turn its healthcare ambitions into a key business, using its Uber Health unit as a new way to get into smaller, rural markets across the country.

Uber Health works with health plans to provide rides to doctor offices for patients who might otherwise have a hard time going in. In 2018, the company hired Dan Trigub from its competitor Lyft to head the team, and it's a growing business for the company, CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said in the company's second-quarter earnings call.

"Our Uber Health platform that helps improve assets to healthcare organizations grew at over 400% year on year this quarter," Khosrowshahi said.

Uber Health works with health plans to manage the transportation needs of their members, particularly elderly Americans in Medicare plans — the federal health-insurance program for seniors — and those on Medicaid plans serving low-income Americans. Drivers are assigned rides that are treated the same as commercial trips. 

Read more: A health system hidden in the heart of Pennsylvania thinks it's cracked the code on caring for seniors. And it could be the future of healthcare.

The health-transportation market is massive — LogistiCare, a transportation broker that Uber is working with, facilitates more than 60 million trips a year — and Uber is one of a number of players in the space that includes Lyft as well.

Uber doesn't break out its trips related to Uber Health, but the jump in growth Khosrowshahi highlighted in the earnings call points to the potential Uber has to grow in a key market after its public debut earlier this year. The stock is down 27% since it started trading in May as investors worry about the company's high valuation.

Using Uber Health to create demand for rides in rural areas

Because of the arrangements with health plans that want to coordinate travel for their members, Uber is able to move into more rural markets. Uber can't expand into rural areas using its commercial ride-hailing service alone because there isn't enough demand to attract drivers to stay in the area. But by adding in medical trips, the company can ensure there'll be work for drivers.  

"When we think about our aging population, they tend to live away from big cities and in those rural markets," Trigub told Business Insider in an interview on the sidelines of the CB Insights Future of Health conference in New York.

Never miss out on healthcare news. Subscribe to Dispensed, our weekly newsletter on pharma, biotech, and healthcare.

"This is a good opportunity to grow our network in areas where Uber isn't as strong today," he said. 

It's common for Uber drivers to commute into bigger cities from where they live to pick up enough rides when they're working. Ideally, by working with health plans to take care of transportation, Uber can tell its drivers that there'll be a demand waiting for them, Trigub said onstage at the conference.

For instance, while Uber does millions of trips in the state of New York every year, it's been in Binghamton, New York, for only about a year. 

'We want to be in every rural market'

"We want to be in every rural market, we want to be in frontier states, but there's not a lot of demand," Trigub said. Through Uber Health, Uber can reach an older population of users who wouldn't necessarily use Uber otherwise, he said.

Beyond transportation, Trigub and his team are thinking through how else Uber can help in managing the care of aging Americans. For instance, the company has been exploring what meal-delivery services and facilitating trips to food pantries might look like, most recently through a partnership with the nonprofit Feeding America.

Going forward, trips to pharmacies, deliveries of prescriptions or durable medical equipment, and connecting patients to caregivers could all be on the table.

Getting to that point might take some time, though.

"We know it's not going to happen overnight," Trigub said. "It's a very nuanced industry."

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Octopuses are officially the weirdest animals on Earth

Wall Street is overwhelmingly bullish on SmileDirectClub even after it had the worst US IPO in 12 years. Here’s what analysts are saying. (SDC)

Mon, 10/07/2019 - 1:55pm

  • On Monday, a slew of Wall Street analysts initiated coverage of SmileDirectClub with bullish "buy" ratings and high price targets. 
  • Shares gained on the news in early trading Monday, then lost as much as 5.71%. 
  • The coverage comes after a rough start to the company's public trading in September and a report that came out Friday from short-seller Hindenburg Research. 
  • Here's what Wall Street analysts are saying about the company. 
  • Watch SmileDirectClub trade live on Markets Insider.

Wall Street analysts are bullish on SmileDirectClub, even after the company's IPO in September was the worst debut in 12 years for a US firm.

On Monday, ten firms initiated coverage with a "buy" or equivalent rating, according to Bloomberg data. Price targets range from $18 to $31, and the average of $21.78 is 43% higher than where shares are currently trading.

Shares of the remote-dental-services provider initially gained as much as 2.92% in early trading, then lost as much as 5.71% on the news. 

The multiple positive ratings also came after a scathing report was released Friday from Hindenburg Research. The firm said it sees an 85% downside for the company's stock and slapped it with a price target of $2.

Wall Street analysts have a rosier view. They cited the company's large addressable market for people with malocclusion, or crooked teeth.

But an ever-growing competitive landscape, regulatory concerns, and customer complaints pose downside risks, they added. 

Here's a roundup of what some analysts who initiated coverage of SmileDirectClub are saying about the company.

1. JPMorgan: "We see a clear path to sustained top-line growth."

Rating: Overweight

Price target: $31

"As brand awareness continues to build and the company achieves scale, we see a clear path to sustained top-line growth at an almost 50% 2018-23 CAGR, which we view as conservative," wrote JPMorgan analysts led by Robbie Marcus. 

"SmileDirectClub retains control over the entirety of the care process, from marketing to manufacturing, order fulfillment, financing, and patient monitoring over the course of treatment. Bringing these functions in- house allows the company to maintain control of the member journey, contributing to sustained profitability, which we see the company reaching in 2021 with its first full year of positive earnings and FCF (free cash flow.)"



2. Guggenheim Securities: "We believe there is still a long runway."

Rating: Buy

Price target: $24

"SmileDirectClub is in the early innings of growth, disrupting the traditional orthodontics market by providing a cheaper, more aesthetically pleasing alternative to brackets and wires," wrote Guggenheim analysts led by Glen Santangelo.

"The company has generated substantial growth since it was founded in 2014, and we believe there is still a long runway." 

"Around 85% of people worldwide have some degree of malocclusion, but less than 1% of those people receive treatment. Brackets and wires have traditionally been the treatment of choice for orthodontists, but SmileDirect is aiming to change that by providing effective and affordable clear tray aligner treatment. Given the growth that SDC has already experienced, it believes that there is a long runway for growth that includes a total addressable market of ~$945B (or 500M people globally), with just ~25% of that coming from the United States."



3. Bank of America: "We are bullish on the story."

Rating: Buy

Price target: $19

"We are bullish on the story and see a long runway of continued strong sales growth (44% sales CAGR through 2023) as the company is poised to benefit from a leadership position in a vastly underpenetrated TAM (total addressable market)," wrote a team of analysts led by Michael Ryskin at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

"In our view, there are two primary areas of pushback or concern on the stock: competition and legal/regulatory overhang. On competition, the question is how SDC can stay ahead of other clear aligner direct-to-consumer companies given the large number of 'me-too' start-ups and the lack of an I.P. moat. On the legal and regulatory debate, there are a number of on-going legal disputes (and the potential for more), with several state dentistry boards and dental associations attempting to squeeze SDC out of the market by alleging that SDC's tele-dentistry approach is fundamentally unsafe, while there are patients that are raising red flags on unsatisfactory treatment results."



4. Credit Suisse: Innovation and international expansion are "areas of upside."

Rating: Outperform

Price target: $18

"Continuing marketing efforts should drive heightened awareness, as well as other competitive advantages in relative convenience, expanded access to care, and lower cost relative to traditional peers (~60% avg. discount)," wrote a group of analysts at Credit Suisse led by Erin Wilson Wright. 

"Moreover, its partnerships with CBS, Walgreens, and other international retailers allow SCD to expand and further optimize its SmileShop footprint in a capital efficient manner (CS est. +100 stores/ yr), while SDC's in-house financing service will address cost as a key barrier for penetration (used by 65% of customers.) 

"We also highlight drivers in innovation and further international expansion, which represent areas of upside to our current expectations." 



5. Jefferies: "Penetration is still in the very early innings."

Rating: Buy

Price target: $22 

"SDC pioneered the multi-billion dollar DTC (direct-to-consumer) clear aligner market and has maintained 90%+ market share despite many copycat competitive entrants," wrote a team of analysts at Jefferies led by Brandon Couillard. "We struggle to find many/any other healthcare companies (non-therapeutics) that have scaled as fast as SDC (from $0 to ~$1B of revenue in 4-5 years), though penetration is still in the very early innings (<1%)." 

"Unlike many competitors, SDC is vertically integrated, managing every step of the user experience, from marketing to aligner manufacturing, customer financing, fulfillment, treatment monitoring, and completion of treatments. This is enabled by SDC's proprietary teledentistry platform ('SmileCheck'), allowing it to improve customer service, drive better margins, and higher conversion rate."



6. UBS: "SDC has demonstrated prowess in marketing and manufacturing"

Rating: Buy

Price target: $24 

"The stock has fallen 36% since it debuted September 11, with investor concerns about 3Q operational issues that impacted revenue growth and new regulatory risks in CA weighing on sentiment," wrote Kevin Caliendo of UBS.

"When the company reports 3Q earnings on November 12th, we believe we will get visibility on growth when management can explain the magnitude and duration of the issues. We think it could take a couple months to see if and/or how the new legislation will impact SDC's operations."

"We believe SDC has demonstrated prowess in marketing and manufacturing that has created a meaningful first-mover advantage in the DTC clear aligner market. We think the US alone could be a $70B market opportunity for SDC based on what we believe is visible TAM of 40M adults. Our estimates suggest SDC could penetrate up to 15% of the US market combined over the next four years, leading to ~$3B in revenues in 2023."

 



A CFP and self-made millionaire has a lesson for kids: You won't get rich working for someone else

Mon, 10/07/2019 - 1:49pm

Jeff Rose is on a mission to teach his kids how to be good with money.

Rose is a certified financial planner, the founder of the personal-finance blog Good Financial Cents, and a self-made millionaire.

"It's common for every parent to teach their children what they've learned in life. And since being a millionaire has been such a wonderful advantage for me and my family, it's absolutely something I want to pass on to my children," Rose wrote in an article published on The Good Men Project.

Among the lessons Rose says he's teaching his kids — don't be afraid to fail, take risks, and accept rejection, to name a few — is one invaluable directive about making money: "You won't get rich working for someone else."

Rose writes: "Self-employment is both faster and a more efficient way to become a millionaire. First, you don't split the profits with anyone. Whatever revenue your work produces is yours. Second, and perhaps even more important, your ability to satisfy your customer isn't restrained by an employer's rules."

In more than a decade as a financial planner, Rose has worked thousands of families and discovered a clear trend among his highest-earning clients, he wrote in an article for Business Insider. People who earn six figures don't settle for a low salary — they find a job with unlimited earning potential. 

While it is possible to get rich when you're not the boss, "it's infinitely more difficult," he writes for The Good Men Project. "My kids need to know there's a better way."

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The Future of Payments 2018

Sun, 10/06/2019 - 9:02pm

The payments industry is transforming.

Noncash payments methods are quickly becoming the norm.

Business Insider Intelligence projects digital payments to continue to grow through 2023 and beyond.

This shift has created a battle between incumbents and startups vying to become the leaders of the future of payments.

While incumbents have massive scale to lean on, startups typically offer a much friendlier user experience. Whoever can master both first will win the battle.

That will require navigating four key digital transformations: diversification, consolidation and collaboration, data protection and automation.

In this FREE section of The Future of Payments 2018 slide deck from Business Insider Intelligence, we look at the first key digital transformation: diversification.

Subscribe to Business Insider Intelligence today for full access to the complete deck.

As an added bonus to this FREE section, you will gain immediate access to our exclusive BI Intelligence Daily newsletter.

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

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A Delta flight was delayed 3 hours after a passenger managed to board without a ticket (DAL)

Sun, 10/06/2019 - 12:25pm

  • A Delta Air Lines flight was delayed about three hours on Saturday because a passenger managed to board without a ticket. 
  • The flight eventually departed from Orlando to Atlanta after police were called, the Miami Herald reported. 
  • A TSA representative told Business Insider that the passenger did go through security, but passengers were re-screened out of caution, Delta said. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

A passenger was able to board a flight at Orlando International Airport on Saturday apparently without a ticket.

Delta Air Lines confirmed that the person was removed from flight 1516 to Atlanta, which was originally scheduled to leave at 10:20 a.m., because she did not have a ticket. All passengers aboard the flight as well as their luggage had to be re-screened by security personnel. 

"Delta apologizes to customers of flight 1516 for the delay after a person not ticketed for that flight was removed from the aircraft," a representative said in a statement, according to the Miami Herald.

"Security officials then directed precautionary re-screen of everyone onboard. Delta is working with local law enforcement and the Transportation Security Administration on their investigation and we are conducting our own review of this as well."

Despite contrary media reports, the person in question did go through security, a TSA representative told Business Insider.

"We are working with law enforcement to investigate the incident at the plane and will not be providing any additional information at this time," the agency said.

The Orlando Police Department told the Miami Herald that they responded to a "suspicious person" call, and asked the person to leave the airport. The FBI was notified, the police said.

The flight eventually departed at 1:16 p.m., flight records show, about three hours after scheduled.

Now read:

SEE ALSO: Delta is buying a $1.9 billion stake in Latin America's largest airline — snatching a major partner away from American Airlines

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Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Amex review: A premium hotel credit card for Marriott loyalists

Sun, 10/06/2019 - 11:44am

  • If you frequently stay at Marriott hotels, the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card is a great opportunity to make your stays more luxurious and accelerate your rewards.
  • It earns 6 points per dollar spent at Marriott hotels, 3 points per dollar spent on airline tickets and at US restaurants, and 2 point per dollar spent everywhere else.
  • You'll also earn a free night certificate every year after your account anniversary and an annual $300 credit toward hotel purchases.
  • The Bonvoy Brilliant card also provides some helpful protections, including baggage insurance, rental car protection, and a host of purchase protections.
  • Read more personal finance coverage.

If Marriott is your hotel brand of choice and you know you'll be spending at least $300 on Marriott stays each year, the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Amex could improve your stays. Not only do you get a $300 annual credit toward hotel purchases including room rates, but you also get complimentary Marriott Gold status, 6x points on Marriott stays, and a slew of travel and purchase protections. 

Keep reading to see if this card is right for you.

Keep in mind that we're focusing on the rewards and perks that make these credit cards great options, not things like interest rates and late fees, which can far outweigh the value of any rewards.

When you're working to earn credit card rewards, it's important to practice financial discipline, like paying your balances off in full each month, making payments on time, and not spending more than you can afford to pay back. Basically, treat your credit card like a debit card.

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card details

Annual fee: $450

Welcome bonus: 75,000 points when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months

Points earning: 6 points per dollar spent at participating Marriott properties; 3 points per dollar spent at US restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines; 2 points everywhere else

Foreign transaction fee: None

Welcome bonus and points earning

You'll earn 75,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy points when you use the card to make $3,000 in purchases during the first three months of cardmembership.

Read more: The best credit card welcome bonuses available now

In addition, you'll earn 6 points per dollar spent on purchases at participating Marriott hotels; 3 points per dollar spent at US restaurants and on airline tickets purchased directly from the airline; and 2 points per dollar spent everywhere else.

Annual fee and other charges

The Bonvoy Brilliant card has a $450 annual fee. While that may seem high, it's easy to get a ton of value out of the card for even occasional Marriott guests. It also has no foreign transaction fees, so using this card is a great way to avoid extra charges when traveling abroad.

Read more: If you only want to $450+ for one premium credit card, which should you choose?

Free nights and credits at Marriott hotels

Every year after your account anniversary, you'll receive a free night award valid at properties charging up to 50,000 points per night. Depending on when you travel, that could get you a night at up to a Category 7 property (Marriott's second-highest tier of hotels).

You'll also receive a $300 credit every year valid for eligible purchases made directly at Marriott hotels, including room rates and incidentals. This benefit starts as soon as you open the card, so as long as you spend at least $300 per year at Marriott hotels, this alone offsets most of the card's annual fee.

Holding the Bonvoy Brilliant card also gives you access to an exclusive rate for stays of two nights or more at The Ritz-Carlton and St. Regis hotels and resorts, which includes a $100 credit toward room service, spa treatments, and other qualifying purchases.

Redeeming your Marriott Bonvoy points

You can redeem your Marriott Bonvoy points and free night rewards at over 7,000 participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels in cities around the world. Award nights start as low as 4,000 points per night, and if you use your points to book a night of 5 nights or more, you'll get the least expensive night for free. This discount is automatically calculated when you search for a stay of 5 or more nights on marriott.com.

Additionally, Marriott Bonvoy allows you to transform your points into frequent flyer miles with over 40 partner airlines — more than any other loyalty program. You'll receive 1,000 airline miles for every 3,000 miles transferred, with a 5,000 mile bonus for every 60,000 points (so 60,000 points becomes 25,000 airline miles). Transfers to United Airlines MileagePlus get an extra 10% bonus.

Marriott Bonvoy elite status

As long as you are a Bonvoy Brilliant cardholder, you'll receive automatic Gold elite status in the Marriott Bonvoy program, which includes the following benefits:

  • 25% bonus points on stays at Marriott properties
  • Enhanced room upgrades
  • A welcome gift of 250 or 500 bonus points at check-in
  • Late checkout, subject to availability
  • Complimentary enhanced in-room internet access

The card also helps you climb toward higher levels of elite status, providing 15 qualifying nights every year just for having the card. You can also obtain complimentary Platinum elite status by spending $75,000 on the card in a calendar year.

Other travel benefits Priority Pass Select

Sign up for complimentary access to Priority Pass' network of over 1,200 airport lounges in more than 120 countries.

Global Entry/TSA PreCheck enrollment credit

The primary cardmember and each authorized user receives a credit toward enrollment in Global Entry ($100) or TSA PreCheck ($85), making your travel experience easier. This credit can be used once every five years (exact dates vary by program) so as long as you have the card you'll never have to pay to maintain your membership in these trusted traveler programs.

Read more: Credit cards that will reimburse your Global Entry fee credit

Car rental loss and damage insurance

When you use your Bonvoy Brilliant card to reserve and pay for a car rental, you may be covered against loss or damage of the vehicle. This coverage is secondary, and does not provide liability insurance.

Baggage Insurance Plan

When you purchase a ticket on an airline or other common carrier with your Bonvoy Brilliant card, you'll be covered for eligible lost, damaged, or stolen baggage up to $3,000 per trip.

Travel accident insurance

If the unthinkable happens to you or a loved one on a trip you booked with your Bonvoy Brilliant card, you'll be eligible for up to $500,000 in death and dismemberment insurance for you and each of your additional cardmembers, the spouse or domestic partner of each cardholder, and any of their children under age 23.

Purchase protection

The Bonvoy Brilliant card offers a host of valuable benefits for purchases made with your card. If you try to return an item purchased with the card within 90 days of purchase and the merchant won't accept it, American Express provides coverage of up to $300 per purchase and $1000 per year.

Your purchases are also covered against accidental damage or theft for 120 days, up to $10,000 per claim and up to $50,000 per account. And if you buy something with a manufacturer's warranty of less than 5 years, American Express will double it (up to 2 additional years), with the same dollar limits.

Bottom line

The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card can be a great deal for frequent Marriott guests. The $450 annual fee may seem steep at first, but it's easily offset by the $300 annual credit and the annual free night award, before even considering the value of the elite status and other benefits received from the card.

Click here to learn more about the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card.

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'Joker' had the biggest October opening weekend ever, taking in $93.5 million

Sun, 10/06/2019 - 10:58am

  • "Joker" wins the box office with a $93.5 million take.
  • That's the biggest opening weekend ever for an October release.
  • It beat out previous record-holder "Venom," which earned $80 million its opening weekend last year.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Warner Bros. is king of the mountaintop this weekend in Hollywood, and it's thanks to combining the Clown Prince of Crime with the director of "The Hangover."

"Joker," Todd Phillips' extremely dark and twisted origin story of DC Comics villain The Joker, brought in an estimated $93.5 million over the weekend, which is the biggest opening ever for the month of October. 

The film, starring Joaquin Phoenix as the legendary comic book character, played on 4,374 screens, the most ever for an October release. The result is a record-breaking weekend cume that has already made back the movie's north of $60 million production budget for Warner Bros. The record came despite heightened police activity at movie theaters due to fears surrounding potential violence at the screenings and a Rotten Tomatoes score that plummeted following buzz from the Venice and Toronto film festivals. 

Here are a few notable benchmarks for the movie:

It's a huge win for Warner Bros., which has been on a roller coaster ride this year in regards to how its movies have performed. There have been highs like "It: Chapter Two," "Shazam!," and "The Curse of La Llorona," but also lows like "The Kitchen," "Isn't It Romantic," and "The Goldfinch."

An interesting test for "Joker" will come next weekend when Paramount opens the Will Smith movie "Gemini Man." Not being received well by critics (43% on Rotten Tomatoes), the movie will have a fight with "Joker" for the top spot.

 

SEE ALSO: Disney is reportedly banning ads from Netflix on its entertainment TV networks

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