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Rents are falling — it could help pull mortgage rates down even lower

Thu, 12/15/2022 - 4:01pm
Rents are falling in housing markets across the country.
  • Rent prices are dropping across the country as supply begins to outpace rental demand.
  • Data from listing search site Zillow shows that US asking rents fell 0.4% month-over-month in November. 
  • Falling rents could help bring inflation down, leading to less mortgage interest rate hikes.

As the housing downturn continues into the winter months, homebuyers aren't the only Americans benefiting from cheaper prices. Rents have begun falling in markets across the country and are likely to fall even further in 2023. And if this trend continues, it could even help ease inflation and ultimately lead to lower mortgage rates.

US asking rents fell just 0.4% month-over-month in November, according to a rental report released this week by Zillow. Although rent prices remain at higher levels than the pre-pandemic market —  the current national average being $2,008 per month — the recent decline is significant in the sense that it marks the largest pullback in rents since Zillow started tracking rental data in 2015.

"Americans' demand for housing has waned this year, after booming in 2021, thanks to higher costs of rent and generally high inflation," Zillow's researchers wrote in the report. "More people are doubling up with roommates or family, pushing up the rental vacancy rate and thereby putting some pressure on landlords to keep rent hikes in check."

Indeed, fading demand has translated to cheaper rents in many markets. In a separate rental report from real estate brokerage Redfin, researchers found that rents are now growing at half the pace that they were during the summer, which was a period where demand outpaced rental supply. Data from the brokerage shows that in November, 14 of the 50 largest US metro areas it tracks posted annual price declines. Cities that saw the biggest year-over-year drops were Milwaukee, WI at 13.1%, Houston at 6.3%, Austin at 5.3% and Baltimore at 4.4%.

"Rent growth is likely to continue cooling," Chen Zhao, research lead with Redfin Economics, said in the December report, adding that Redfin expects "declines to become more common in the new year."

Another important component in the slowing rent growth is that it could lead to cheaper mortgage rates. That's because housing counts for roughly a third of the Consumer Price Index – a measure of the average change in prices paid over time by consumers for goods and services – making it the single most influential component of the inflation measure. In other words, a continued trend of lowering rents could help convince the Federal Reserve that inflation is easing and encourage them to cut back on interest rate hikes, thus reducing borrowing costs for prospective homebuyers.

"Asking rents are already down annually in 14 of the metros Redfin tracks," Chao said, adding that this should "ultimately help slow inflation further" and "lead to lower mortgage rates, which should also bring more homebuyers back to the market."

Slowing inflation has already translated to lower mortgage rates, which peaked at over 7% in October. After a lower-than-anticipated reading of November's consumer price index, the average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 6.31% this week, Freddie Mac indicated in a Thursday report. Over the last five weeks, mortgage rates have declined by more than three quarters of a point — marking the largest drop since 2008.

"Mortgage rates continued their downward trajectory this week, as softer inflation data and a modest shift in the Federal Reserve's monetary policy reverberated through the economy," Sam Khater, chief economist at Freddie Mac, said in the report. "The good news for the housing market is that recent declines in rates have led to a stabilization in purchase demand."

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Biden mocks Trump's 'major announcement' on NFT 'trading cards' by touting his administration's recent wins

Thu, 12/15/2022 - 3:51pm
President Joe Biden, left, and former President Donald Trump, right, in a composite image.
  • Former president Donald Trump used Truth Social to tease what he called a "MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT."
  • It turns out he's selling NFT "trading cards" featuring himself for $99 each.
  • President Joe Biden mocked Trump by tweeting he has had some "MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENTS," too.

President Joe Biden mocked what his predecessor billed as a "MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT!" on Thursday with one of his own, releasing a checklist of his administration's recent accomplishments. 

Shortly after Donald Trump announced that he's selling NFT "trading cards" for $99 each, Biden tweeted, "I had some MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENTS the last couple of weeks, too…"

He listed the easing of inflation, signing the Respect for Marriage Act, bringing home WNBA star Brittney Griner from Russian custody, lower gas prices and "10,000 new high-paying jobs in Arizona."

—Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) December 15, 2022

 

It's not the first time Biden has made fun of Trump on Twitter.

On the day Trump announced his 2024 presidential bid, Biden tweeted a video of Trump talking about infrastructure reform — and of Biden signing infrastructure legislation. "The difference between talking and delivering," Biden tweeted.

Writing "Donald Trump failed America," Biden also released another video that day criticizing Trump on jobs, health care, the economy, and for "coddling extremists."

Trump's big announcement came a day after he teased it on Truth Social, leaving people to speculate about whether he would announce a 2024 running mate.

Instead, the former president released a cartoon image of himself dressed as a superhero and announced on Truth Social that his "limited edition" digital trading card NFTs "feature amazing ART of my Life & Career!" He directed customers to a new website to purchase the cards and explained that they're "very much like a baseball card, but hopefully much more exciting."

 

He introduces himself in a video on the website as "hopefully your favorite president of all time, better than Lincoln, better than Washington." The "artwork" displayed in the video portrays his likeness on Mount Rushmore, holding a torch near the Statue of Liberty, riding an elephant or shooting laser beams from his eyes as he rips open his shirt to reveal a superhero body.

Each card comes with a chance to win prizes, such as dinner with Trump or golf at one of his "beautiful" courses. "This makes a great Christmas gift," he says.

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Cannabis giant Curaleaf cut about 220 jobs, then sent the workers it laid off a survey asking why they left

Thu, 12/15/2022 - 3:48pm
An employee holds marijuana while posing in a photo illustration at a dispensary in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, June 20, 2018.
  • Curaleaf cut about 220 staff members in November.
  • The company sent laid-off employees an exit survey asking why they left.
  • Curaleaf's cuts come as the cannabis industry falls on hard times. 

The cannabis giant Curaleaf laid off about 220 employees in November — and then sent those ex-workers an exit survey asking why they had left the company, Insider has learned.

One laid-off employee, who requested anonymity to speak freely in a tight-knit industry, told Insider they felt the question was insulting. A spokesperson for Curaleaf told Insider in a statement that while sending the exit survey was standard practice, it was a mistake to send it to laid-off employees.

"Our intent has always been to make our departing team members' voices heard, though we recognize that an exit survey in this scenario was an oversight," the statement reads. "We recognize and hear all feedback, both negative and positive, and will continue to work to improve communications with current, future and former team members."

Here's what the email looks like:A screenshot of Curaleaf's exit survey sent to Insider.And here's the question:Curaleaf exit survey.

Curaleaf's layoffs come during a challenging period for the cannabis industry as much-needed regulatory changes — like freeing up banks to work with cannabis companies — have failed to materialize in Congress. That's on top of the wholesale price of cannabis falling, burdensome taxes, and broader macroeconomic trends like rising inflation.

The company closed a major facility in Sacramento in August as well

Curaleaf employs around 6,000 people, according to its website.

Curaleaf is far from alone in making cuts. The cannabis tech firm Weedmaps laid off 25% of employees in December, with the now-former CEO, Chris Beals, citing a sales slowdown in California in a letter to employees, as Insider reported. The cannabis startups Eaze and Dutchie cut staff earlier this year. And the Curaleaf competitor Trulieve cut an undisclosed number of staffers in Florida and Pennsylvania, as various news outlets have reported. 

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Donald Trump's launch of $99 NFTs sparks 10% decline in Digital World SPAC linked to Truth Social

Thu, 12/15/2022 - 3:46pm
Donald Trump speaks during an election night event at Mar-a-Lago on November 08, 2022 in Palm Beach, Florida.
  • Digital World Acquisition fell 10% on Thursday after Donald Trump launched a line of $99 NFTs.
  • Trump has teased a "major announcement" on Wednesday that led to a spike in Digital World's stock price.
  • Those gains were erased on Thursday as SPAC investors digested Trump's NFT announcement.

Former President Donald Trump's launch of $99 digital NFTs failed to gin up excitement among investors in the Digital World Acquisition SPAC that is seeking to merge with Trump's Truth Social.

Shares of Digital World Acquisition initially spiked as much as 10% on Wednesday after Trump teased a "major announcement." The stock has had a knack for rallying ahead of anticipated Trump rallies and other developments related to his 2024 re-election bid. 

But Digital World stock gave up all of those gains on Thursday after the "major announcement" turned out to be the launch of the 'Donald Trump Digital Trading Card Collection' at a time when the crypto and NFT market has been decimated.

"These limited edition cards feature amazing ART of my Life & Career! Collect all of your favorite Trump Digital Trading Cards, very much like a baseball card, but hopefully much more exciting... Only $99 each! Would make a great Christmas gift. Don't Wait. They will be gone, I believe, very quickly!" Trump posted on Truth Social.

Instead, investors likely wanted to hear from Trump either something related to his run for the US Presidency in 2024, or perhaps even more importantly, developments related to Truth Social and their pending merger with Digital World Acquisition.

The SPAC has so far been unable to obtain the necessary amount of shareholder votes to approve their proposed merger with Trump's social media company and Twitter competitor. Instead, the SPAC secured enough votes to delay its merger deadline with Truth Social until September 2023.

If the SPAC fails to complete the merger by then, it will have to refund its investors $10 per share. The stock currently trades at around $20, suggesting 50% downside from current levels if the deal doesn't go through. 

Read the original article on Business Insider

'Nanny' is the latest horror movie from Blumhouse Productions — here's how to watch the award-winning thriller

Thu, 12/15/2022 - 3:38pm

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Anna Diop stars in "Nanny."
  • "Nanny," winner of the 2022 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize, hits Prime Video on December 16. 
  • The horror movie follows a Senegalese immigrant who becomes plagued by terrifying visions while working as a nanny. 
  • Prime Video costs $9/month on its own, or $15/month as part of a full Amazon Prime membership.

"Nanny" is the latest horror movie from Blumhouse Productions. The psychological thriller starts streaming exclusively on Prime Video starting December 16. 

The film follows a Senegalese immigrant named Aisha who is hired to work as a nanny for a wealthy family in New York City. While waiting for the arrival of the son she left back in Senegal, Aisha starts to become wary of her employers and experiences violent visions that disrupt her new life. 

Check out the trailer for 'Nanny'

Anna Diop, best known for starring in the HBO Max series "Titans," plays the lead. She's joined by Michelle Monaghan, Sinqua Walls, Morgan Spector, Leslie Uggams, and Rose Decker. 

"Nanny" is written and directed by Nikyatu Jusu, and the film serves as her feature-length directorial debut. It is produced by Nikkia Moulterie and Daniela Taplin Lundberg ("Harriet").

How to watch 'Nanny'

You can watch "Nanny" at home exclusively on Amazon Prime Video starting December 16. Amazon typically releases new titles at 12 a.m. GMT, which means "Nanny" could actually start streaming as early as 7 p.m. ET on December 15. 

Prime Video is available with a full Amazon Prime Membership for $15 a month or $139 a year. If you're only interested in using the streaming service, you can subscribe to Prime Video on its own for $9 a month. 

Students at US colleges and universities can save 50% and pay just $7.49 a month or $69 a year. EBT, Medicaid, and other select government assistance recipients can qualify to receive a discounted Prime membership at $7 a month. 

Prime Video is available on most mobile devices, smart TVs, media players, and gaming consoles. You can find a full list of supported devices on Amazon's website.

Can you watch 'Nanny' for free?

You can watch "Nanny" for free if you sign up for an Amazon Prime trial. Amazon Prime currently offers new subscribers one month of free streaming.

As long as you cancel before your first 30 days are up, you can sample the full Prime Video streaming library without committing to a subscription.

Is 'Nanny' a horror film?

Yes, "Nanny" is a horror film and is described as a psychological horror thriller. It is the first movie of the genre to win the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. 

What is 'Nanny' rated and how long is it?

"Nanny" is an R-rated movie and it has a runtime of 97 minutes, or one hour and 37 minutes.

Is 'Nanny' worth watching?

"Nanny" is an award-winning film. As of December 15, it holds an "88% Certified Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 111 reviews. Critics praise the film's striking visuals and its powerful lead performance.

The movie also won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival. 

Read the original article on Business Insider

Scandal-plagued Republican Rep. Madison Cawthorn failed to report another trade of 'Let's Go Brandon' coin — a violation of the federal STOCK Act

Thu, 12/15/2022 - 3:34pm
Rep. Madison Cawthorn watches results from the North Carolina primary election with staff, volunteers, family and friends at his campaign headquarters on Tuesday, May 17, 2022 in Hendersonville, North Carolina.
  • Rep. Madison Cawthorn just violated a federal conflict-of-interest law, the STOCK Act, for the third time this year.
  • Cawthorn in January sold up to $50,000 in Let's Go Brandon coin, a cryptocurrency, but waited months to disclose it.
  • The House Ethics Committee recently fined Cawthorn $15,000 for purchasing the cryptocurrency on terms more favorable than available to the public.

Scandal-plagued Republican Rep. Madison Cawthorn just violated a federal conflict-of-interest law for the third time this year, according to an Insider review of congressional financial disclosures.

Cawthorn's latest personal financial disclosure, mandated by federal law, shows he sold an amount of "Let's Go Brandon" coin valued between $15,001 and $50,000 in January. He waited until earlier this month to report the trade, in violation of the federal Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act of 2012. 

The law, in part, requires members of Congress to report financial trades made within 45 days, or risk facing a penalty — the typical fine is just $200.

Aides for Cawthorn did not respond to Insider's request for comment.

Cawthorn first violated the STOCK Act in May, as he was months late disclosing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of purchases and sales of cryptocurrency ethereum and Let's Go Brandon coin.

Then, in June, he was again late in disclosing two-dozen more cryptocurrency trades.

Regarding his investments in Let's Go Brandon coin, a name designed to insult President Joe Biden, the House Ethics Committee fined Cawthorn more than $15,000 in December after investigating his ties to the cryptocurrency. The committee found that Cawthorn purchased the Let's Go Brandon coin on terms more favorable than available to the general public, a violation of House rules by accepting a gift.

The value of all Let's Go Brandon coins in circulation was more than $570 million at the end of December 2021, but its market cap dropped to $0 — literally worthless — by the end of January 2022. 

Cawthorn is among 77 members of the 117th Congress who violated the disclosure requirements of the STOCK Act, as documented by Insider as part of its "Conflicted Congress" investigative project. "Conflicted Congress" revealed numerous conflicts of interest in Congress, including by top congressional aides — Insider found that 182 senior-level congressional staffers had also violated the STOCK Act.

Cawthorn will not be returning for the 118th Congress — earlier this year, he lost in the Republican primary to Rep.-elect Chuck Edwards amid a series of scandals and opposition from his own party.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy publicly admonished Cawthorn in March for speaking on a podcast about cocaine usage by Washington Republicans, and for noting he had been approached to join an orgy.

"I just told him he's lost my trust, he's gonna have to earn it back," McCarthy told reporters, according to Axios. "And I laid out to him everything that I find is unbecoming."

In April 2022, police cited Cawthorn for carrying a loaded handgun inside of the Charlotte Douglas International Airport — it was the second time he was caught trying to bring a firearm onto a plane during his time in office.

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Putin hits back at western sanctions on Russian oil by vowing to deepen trade ties with China and other allies

Thu, 12/15/2022 - 2:58pm
China has been a frequent buyer of discounted Russian oil since the war in Ukraine began earlier this year.
  • Russia will deepen trade ties with China and other allies, Putin said in a televised speech on Thursday.
  • That comes shortly after the EU banned seaborne energy imports and slapped a $60 price cap on Russian crude. 
  • Putin has called the price cap "stupid," and previously threatened to retaliate against any country who participate.

Russian President Vladimir Putin hit back at western sanctions by vowing to deepen Russia's trade ties with allies, including China, a big oil and natural gas customer since the invasion of Ukraine.

"Let me remind you that by introducing sanctions, Western countries were trying to push Russia to the periphery of world development. But we will never take the route of self-isolation," Putin said in a televised speech on Thursday, per Reuters' report. "On the contrary, we are broadening, and will broaden cooperation with all who have an interest in that," he added.

That includes measures like ramping up natural gas sales to China and other Asian countries, creating a natural gas trading hub in Turkey, and setting the price for natural gas sales to Europe. Putin's remarks come shortly after European Union banned seaborne imports of Russian crude and slapped a $60 price cap on oil earlier this month.

Already, the limitations have caused Russian crude exports to nosedive – spelling trouble for the nation's economy, as crude oil is one of Moscow's biggest money-makers. 90% of its supplies have been redirected to Asia, but at even steeper discounts, with oil regularly being sold below the level of the price cap, traders familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Putin has rebuffed the oil price cap as "stupid," and threatened to retaliate by refusing to sell Russia's supplies to participating countries. But cutting itself off from western markets could wither Russia's economy long-term, economists say, with Russia's central bank warning that the latest round of sanctions were already "economic shocks" to the nation. National GDP is expected to shrink 2.5% this year, Putin said, though the International Monetary Fund estimates a contraction of 3.4%. 

Still, the Russian president emphasized the country's resilience, adding that pensions and minimum wage would rise despite heavy military spending as the war in Ukraine approaches the one year mark. 

"Despite the objective difficulties of the current year, we will achieve positive results in reducing poverty, and next year we need to reinforce this positive dynamic," Putin said.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Former Adidas executive who helped make Yeezy shoes a reality is trying to make it easy for anyone to start a sneaker brand

Thu, 12/15/2022 - 2:42pm
FCTRY LAb cofounders Omar Bailey and Abhishek Som
  • Omar Bailey is co-founder of Fctry Lab, a Los Angeles-based startup that makes sneaker prototypes. 
  • Bailey previously worked at Adidas as head of the Yeezy Footwear Innovation Lab.
  • On Wednesday, Bailey and cofounder Abhishek Som announced a $6 million investment round. 

A Los Angeles startup that hopes to "democratize sneaker production" on Wednesday announced a $6 million investment round.

Fctry Lab, cofounded by Omar Bailey and Abhishek Som, will work with new and existing brands to develop sneakers, including prototypes or models. Prototypes are a critical – and expensive – phase of sneaker-making. Fctry Lab also will help smaller brands get products to market through consulting and possibly investments. Industry experts said Fctry Lab will give young sneaker companies easier access to the tools and expertise needed to get sneakers to market. 

"This is MUCH needed," said D'Wayne Edwards, founder of Pensole Lewis College of Business And Design and this year's Footwear News Person of the Year, in a text to Insider.

At Adidas, Bailey was head of the Yeezy Footwear Innovation Lab, managing a team of makers that included engineers and creators and that brought some smash hits to market, including the Foam Runner and Yeezy 450. Bailey's also developed footwear for entertainers ranging from Jay-Z to Lady Gaga. 

Bailey left Adidas in May. (Adidas and Yeezy also have since split.)

There are other companies that help sneaker companies get off the ground, including Revobit, but factory resources are typically in Asia, which drags out production timelines. It can take 12 months or longer to design a sneaker, make a prototype, then place an order with a factory in Asia and get it on store shelves. 

Fctry Lab's Los Angeles location could shorten the development timeline for sneakers from around a year to one to three months. 

"Manufacturing is a very big, very heavy lift," Bailey told Insider. "The alternative (to Fctry Lab) is get on a plane, go to China, and figure it out."

Industry giants, such as Nike, have company-owned facilities where designers can quickly turn concepts into reality. The lack of similar options for smaller companies puts them at a disadvantage. 

"This is the main area of footwear design that is the hardest part," Edwards said, via text. "Yes, having the right designers is the first step, but along with having the right designers to design something that can be manufactured, the prototyping process works out all of the engineering, sourcing, and pricing challenges before it can be manufactured."

Fctry Lab also has a venture arm that'll work more with brands, and less on specific projects. 

"There are going to be lots of interesting projects that come up where not only can we help develop the shoe, but we might be able to help bring it to market and sort of co-own part of that and invest in part of that," Chief Operating Officer Ravi Bhaskaran told Insider. 

Eventually, Fctry Lab could be turning out small batches of shoes and serving as a sort of music studio for sneaker-makers. 

"We can invite collaborators and creators and they can come and cook and play and develop new ideas," Bailey said. 

Industry experts said more places like Fctry Lab are needed. 

"Anytime someone can do concepts and try stuff, it's great," said Aaron Miller, an 18-year Nike veteran and founder of SoleWorks, which provides product-development and branding services for athletes, artists, and brands. 

Bailey hopes Fctry Lab's work leads to the development of more products that can be made in the United States. Most athletic footwear today is made in contract factories in Asia because of the cheap labor required for traditionally-made cut-and-sew athletic shoes.

Contract factories in Vietnam, Indonesia, and China accounted for 94% of Nike's footwear manufacturing in the company's most recent fiscal year, according to its last annual report.

But as shoes become more automated and less labor-intensive, more footwear could be made here.

In February, Edwards and Pensole announced a $2 million investment that would be used to open Jems by Pensole, a small footwear factory in Detroit.  Edwards expects Jems and Fctry Labto to work together. 

"There are so many obvious synergies," Bailey said. 

The $6 million, which Fctry Lab considers a seed round, will be used to grow the business. Investors include co-founders of Tinder and WeWork and unnamed NBA and NFL players via Aurelien Capital. Slauson & Co. led the venture capital round.

The company formally launched this week and expects to be fully up-and-running in its roughly 3,000-square-foot space in January.

Som, Bailey's cofounder, previously worked in private equity and investment banking, according to his LinkedIn profile. Satyan Gohil, who worked on footwear prototyping and development for Adidas and Yeezy, is Fctry Lab's new head of innovation.

In a press release, the Fctry Lab called the investment one of the largest in a company with a Black founder this year. 

"It's bigger than just shoes," Bailey said. "It's about empowering others, empowering creators, athletes, entertainers, the next Virgil Abloh, or the next Jerry Lorenzo, and having a platform to give these individuals to bring them to life."

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Here's how to track the latest location of Elon Musk's private jet, after Twitter banned the @ElonJet account of a student who tracked the aircraft

Thu, 12/15/2022 - 2:42pm
Elon Musk and Jack Sweeney
  • His Gulfstream could be seen having landed Wednesday evening in Austin through ADS-B Exchange.
  • On Thursday, it took off again in the afternoon local time heading northwest.
  • Twitter recently suspended the account of a student who created a tool that posted flights taken by the billionaire's jet.

Elon Musk is trying to keep his private jet travels away from public view, despite the fact that his flight data is available online and relatively easy to track.

His Gulfstream jet, registered through an LLC he owns, could be seen having landed on Wednesday evening in Austin through an online tracker, ADS-B Exchange. On Thursday, it took off again in the afternoon local time heading northwest.

ADS-B is accessible to anyone online. The site makes use of flight information transmitted by federal law to show thousands of commercial and private aircraft flights all over the world. While Musk has recently begun to claim such tracking poses a security risk, ADS-B addresses that stance on its website.

"If aircraft do not want to be seen, (such as military aircraft on a mission) they can always turn their transponders 'off,'" the site says. "The position data shown by ADSBexchange is available to anyone who can spend $50 on Amazon and put the parts together. It's not secret. Air Traffic Control voice comms are not encrypted either, and contain similar (or more) information." 

The billionaire and new Twitter owner does seem to have opted into a program offered by the Federal Aviation Association called Limiting Aircraft Data Displayed, or LADD, in an effort to limit some information about his aircraft. Another website, FlightAware, does not show any flight information for Musk's jet, saying on its website it does so at the request of the owner.

A spokesperson for the FAA and ADS-B Exchange did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

The cities where Musk's private jet lands have for years been openly accessible for public viewing through sites that receive and track flight data that is mandated to be transmitted by the FAA. 

Earlier this week, Musk suspended a Twitter account of a 20-year old student, Jack Sweeney, who created a tool that automatically posted flights taken by the billionaire's jet. Musk also suspended Sweeney's personal Twitter account and is now threatening "legal action" against him. He said the cities where his jet lands being made available on Twitter threatened the safety of his family.

After implementing the suspensions, Twitter changed its rules to state that the posting of a person's "live location" is now prohibited, despite a history of live posting, video and events being core to Twitter's function and appeal as a platform. Twitter also suspended more than 30 other accounts that similarly used public flight data to track private jet travel of notable billionaires and political figures, like Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Other notable billionaires have taken pains to keep their flight data inaccessible by the public. Google co-founder Larry Page is also part of the LADD program and frequently uses rental jets to keep his travels more secret, as Insider reported. Bernard Arnault, the co-founder and CEO of luxury fashion group LVMH, earlier this year sold his private jet and began using rentals to avoid his flights being made public.

In addition to private jet tracking showing where the ultra-wealthy are traveling to, accounts like Sweeney's that posted on social media about the flights noted how long they were and how much air-pollution such trips created. Private planes are known to be 14 times more pollutive per passenger than a commercial flight, creating 2 metric tons of carbon per hour

Correction: December 15, 2022 — Elon Musk's private jet is still being tracked by the website ADS-B Exchange. An earlier version of this story stated otherwise.

Are you a Twitter employee or someone else with insight to share? Contact Kali Hays at khays@insider.com, on secure messaging app Signal at 949-280-0267, or through Twitter DM at @hayskali. Reach out using a non-work device.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Stocks are set to fall further in 2023, and investors haven't priced in a growth slowdown with inflation set to hammer corporate profits, Morgan Stanley CIO says

Thu, 12/15/2022 - 2:39pm
  • "The growth slowdown is not yet priced," Morgan Stanley CIO Mike Wilson told CNBC on Thursday about the potentially rough ride lower for the S&P 500 next year. 
  • Wilson has been warning of a potential drop in the S&P 500 to 3,000 in the first half of 2023.
  • Inflation has peaked and falling prices will put pressure on corporate profit margins. 

Inflation is pulling back from hotter levels, but the looming US contraction has yet to be fully reflected in equities, Morgan Stanley's top stock strategist said Thursday in highlighting the firm's projection of a steep slide in the S&P 500 next year. 

Labor Department data released this week showed consumer price inflation in November rising to 7.1%, the lowest reading since December 2021. It remains well above the Federal Reserve's 2% inflation goal

"CPI's peaked. Inflation's peak. We're pretty confident it's going to come down pretty hard next year. And the real question is, 'What does that mean about growth?,'" Mike Wilson, Morgan Stanley's chief US equity strategist, said on CNBC.

He added: "That's the second part of our bear-market story that we've been talking about for almost 12 months now. The growth slowdown is not yet priced. And that's what's going to determine the winners — it's a stock-picking game."

Wilson has projected a potential drop in the S&P 500 to 3,000 in the first half of 2023. Such a decline would represent a 25% tumble from Wednesday's closing price of 3,995.32. The index during 2022 has lost nearly 19%, with a selloff taking place Thursday on recession worries after the Federal Reserve on Wednesday raised interest rates for a seventh time in 2022. 

Investors appear to accept that easing inflation will mean corporate per-share earnings estimates are coming down, Wilson said in Thursday's broadcast. 

"But it's the magnitude of that decline and how fast that's going happen, we think that's where the surprise is — that the negative operating leverage that we see from falling inflation, by the way, is what's going to hurt margins and that's irrespective of whether we have an economic recession." 

Morgan Stanley in August said the majority of sectors were experiencing negative operating leverage, or sales growth exceeding per-share earning growth. 

The S&P 500 during Thursday's session was down by nearly 3% at around 3,887. 

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Rain could soon overtake snow in parts of the Arctic, top scientists warn

Thu, 12/15/2022 - 2:27pm
A school bus sits in a parking lot of a resort town in the Chugach State Park during heavy rain in Girdwood, Alaska.
  • Rainfall could overtake snowfall along the fringes of the Arctic in a few decades, scientists warn.
  • The fate of the Arctic affects the entire planet, with much of the world's ice stores and permafrost.
  • Some tundra areas, like southwest Alaska, don't look so Arctic anymore.

Some parts of the Arctic don't look very polar anymore.

Many regions are likely transforming from snowfall- to rainfall-dominant climates, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

"At the fringes, the transition is essentially occurring already," John Walsh, chief scientist at the International Arctic Research Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, said in a briefing at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union on Tuesday.

In the next few decades, he said, rain will become the main form of precipitation over most of the Arctic fringes.

A 2021 study in the journal Nature Communications found that rainfall could take over in parts of the Arctic as early as the 2060s.

Broken up sea ice is seen from the window of a NASA research flight above the east coast of Greenland.

That's because temperatures are rising and precipitation is increasing across the Arctic, due to the greenhouse gases emitted by humans' use of fossil fuels.

NOAA released its annual Arctic report card on Tuesday, reporting that the polar region continues to warm twice as fast as the rest of the planet. That's causing Arctic sea ice to diminish, the tundra to turn green with vegetation, and sea birds to starve to death in droves.

Winter rains atop of snow create a glaze on roads and parking lots, melting a popular ice-skating and pond-hockey site in Anchorage, Alaska.

It's not just that the Arctic is changing. In some places, we're losing it. That's a problem for the whole planet.

A rainy Arctic loses its snow cover more quickly, speeding up climate change there and exposing more permafrost — vast areas of frozen ground that are slowly thawing and releasing large amounts of the dangerous greenhouse gas methane.

Some tundra doesn't look so Arctic anymoreSvalbard reindeer graze during a summer heat wave on Svalbard archipelago near Longyearbyen, Norway.

For the first time this year, NOAA has determined that Arctic precipitation — either rain or snow — is increasing across all seasons.

"The precipitation story, I feel like it's finally emerging," Uma Bhatt, who leads atmospheric sciences at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute, told Insider.

What's causing more rain

There are a few possible explanations, Walsh said:

  1. More moisture is available as sea ice melts away, leaving more open ocean to evaporate into the atmosphere.
  2. A warmer atmosphere holds more moisture, allowing it to drop more rain or snow.
  3. More storms are passing over more open water, and warmer water. That can fuel more intense storms with heavier precipitation.
Remnants of Typhoon Merbok move over Alaska in September 2022.

Whatever the case, in the coldest regions like eastern Siberia or northern Canada, that means more snowfall.

But in places like southwest Alaska, that means rain falling on top of snow, then freezing. That's what happened in Fairbanks in December 2021, when nearly an inch and a half of rain fell and then froze.

Roads became dangerous. Schools closed. Caribou and other grazing animals couldn't eat grass because it was covered with ice.

"These freezing rain events can be devastating, because the ice layer can persist for months until the spring thaw," Walsh said.

Rain is blending seasons together

As rain blends seasons together, snow melts away earlier, more shrubs grow in its place, and places like southwest Alaska are primed for big wildfires, Bhatt said.

Smoke rises from a hot spot in the Swan Lake Fire scar at the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska.

The 2022 Alaskan wildfire season reached 1 million acres burned more quickly than any prior season on record, and ended with 3 million acres burned statewide.

Bhatt is part of a group of researchers assessing whether the Arctic tundra in southwest Alaska should be reclassified as sub-Arctic tundra.

"Lately a lot of us have been reflecting on how much things have changed in the last 20 years. It's changed a lot," she said. "And I don't know what they'll look like in 10 years."

Read the original article on Business Insider

All but 16 House Republicans vote against bill to allow Puerto Rico to decide its future

Thu, 12/15/2022 - 2:21pm
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and other House Republicans at a press conference on Wednesday.
  • The House passed a bill to allow Puerto Rico voters to choose independence, statehood, or free association.
  • Only 16 Republicans joined all Democrats in supporting the bill.
  • Republicans opposed the bill in part due to long-standing opposition to Puerto Rico's statehood.

The House of Representatives voted by a 233-191 margin on Thursday to pass the Puerto Rico Status Act, with all but 16 House Republicans voting against the measure. Every House Democrat voted for the bill.

Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, who worked on the bill and is of Puerto Rican descent, presided over the vote.

—bryan metzger (@metzgov) December 15, 2022

 

The bill would give voters in Puerto Rico the opportunity to vote in a plebiscite next November, allowing them to choose between statehood, independence, or to enter into a compact of free association with the United States.

Lawmakers had long been working on the bill, and its addition to the calendar this week was unexpected. A handful of Republicans had co-sponsored the legislation, including Reps. Maria Elvira Salazar of Florida and Don Bacon of Nebraska. 

It also had the support of the territory's Republican Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González-Colón who serves as a non-voting representative for the island in Congress.

Despite House passage, the bill is unlikely to pass the Senate, where it would need at least 10 Republican supporters.

House Republicans on Thursday cited a number of reasons for opposing the bill, including a lack of debate and the possibility that it would lead to statehood, which they've long opposed.

—Tim Burchett (@timburchett) December 15, 2022

"At this point in time I'm not, you know, interested in going down that road," Republican Rep. Chip Roy of Texas told Insider. "We didn't have a debate about it, I haven't been a part of any of the debates on this. They're trying to jam this through right before Christmas."

Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia told Insider that she didn't think the bill was "the right way to go about something like that."

"I'm just not interested in Puerto Rico being a state," she said, adding that she didn't believe people living in Puerto Rico should get to vote on that.

Here are the 16 Republicans who voted for the bill:

  • Rep. Don Bacon of Nebraska
  • Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming
  • Rep. Rodney Davis of Illinois
  • Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania
  • Rep. Mayra Flores of Texas
  • Rep. Andrew Garbarino of New York
  • Rep. Tony Gonzalez of Ohio
  • Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington
  • Rep. Bill Huizenga of Michigan
  • Rep. Dave Joyce of Ohio
  • Rep. John Katko of New York
  • Rep. Dan Newhouse of Washington
  • Rep. Bill Posey of Florida
  • Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar of New York
  • Rep. Lloyd Smucker of Pennsylvania
  • Rep. Fred Upton of Michigan
Read the original article on Business Insider

Netflix's plan with ads is cheaper, but it's missing hundreds of movies, new data shows

Thu, 12/15/2022 - 1:54pm
Brad Pitt in "Bullet Train."
  • Netflix launched its cheaper ad-supported plan last month.
  • It has 245 fewer movies and 118 fewer TV shows than the streamer's ad-free plans in the US.
  • Popular movies like "Bullet Train" and TV shows like "Peaky Blinders" are missing.

Last month, Netflix did something that it had resisted for years: It launched an ad-supported plan.

The cheaper option, called "Basic with Ads," is $6.99 per month, compared to its more expensive ad-free memberships that range from $9.99 to $19.99 a month.

But it does come with limits, including notably fewer movies and TV shows than ad-free plans.

Netflix noted as much when it announced the ad plan, saying that "a limited number of movies and TV shows won't be available due to licensing restrictions."

Reelgood, a streaming search engine and guide, analyzed the catalog sizes of the ad-free tiers and the new ad-supported tier in the US.

It found that as of December 13, Netflix's ad plan has 245 fewer movies than the other plans in the US and 118 fewer TV shows. 

Netflix's ad-free plans compared to its ad-supported membership.

In a statement to Insider, Netflix reiterated that a limited number of titles are unavailable due to licensing restrictions. It added that it is "working on" making them available.

"Members on the Basic with Ads plan have access to almost all our TV and movies," a Netflix spokesperson said.

Reelgood also looked at which movies and shows are missing from the ad-supported tier. 

The top three movies missing from the ad-supported tier, based on Reelgood's popularity scores, were "Bullet Train," "Where the Crawdads Sing," and "Uncharted." The scores take into account critic and audience scores from IMDb and other "quality markers."

Notably, all three of these were released by Sony this year and moved to Netflix after their theatrical runs as part of a deal between the two companies. It appears Netflix and Sony have yet to reach an agreement on including ads in the movies.

"Bullet Train" was Netflix's most popular movie for several days after it debuted on the service earlier this month. On Thursday, it was still No. 2, according to Netflix's own daily rankings.

The top three TV shows missing from the ad plan, based on Reelgood scores, were "The Walking Dead," "Peaky Blinders," and "The Last Kingdom." While "Peaky Blinders" and "The Last Kingdom" are distributed exclusively by Netflix in the US, they're produced by other companies.

US subscribers to the ad-supported plan still get over 3,700 movies and more than 2,200 TV shows. But those looking for the full Netflix experience will have to pay more per month.

Update: December 15, 2022 — This story has been updated with a statement from Netflix.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Russia flaunts intercontinental ballistic missile in new video

Thu, 12/15/2022 - 1:48pm
  • Russia released video of an intercontinental ballistic missile being loaded into a launcher.
  • The country also flaunted a long-range nuclear-capable bomber.
  • The US is finalizing plans to provide Ukraine with the Patriot missile defense system.

Russia released video of an intercontinental ballistic missile being loaded into a launcher and its long-range nuclear-capable bomber.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Some Olaplex customers say the company paid them refunds after they reported hair loss and breakage

Thu, 12/15/2022 - 1:30pm
An Olaplex shampoo bottle.
  • Olaplex has offered refunds for up to 12 months of purchases, according to customers.
  • Some users seeking refunds said their hair was damaged or fell out after using the product.
  • Olaplex gained popularity on TikTok and other social media as a treatment for dyed hair.

Hair care brand Olaplex quickly won a wide following during the pandemic with products it says build chemical bonds that strengthen hair. 

Hundreds of glowing reviews posted online by influencers, hair stylists, and other customers seem to support this claim, with some calling the products "life-changing" and "magic." The #olaplex hashtag, one of dozens of social media hashtags devoted to the brand, is linked to TikTok videos with more than 1.5 billion views, and used on more than 14.3 million Instagram posts.

But some customers who spoke to Insider said the products did the opposite of what they promised. In some cases, they received refunds after reporting problems with hair breakage and loss to Olaplex.

Insider spoke to two people who have received refunds and another who has requested a refund from Olaplex. In a Facebook group with 3,100 members devoted to discussing Olaplex and hair loss or damage, several others have said they received or requested refunds from the company.

In response to questions about the refunds and the safety of its products, Olaplex said: "We are proud to help our millions of customers achieve their best hair possible and every customer inquiry is important to us." 

"If a customer happens to not be satisfied with their purchase, we are always willing to explore a possible refund," the statement continued. "Our products are thoroughly tested both in-house and in independent third-party laboratories and we remain confident in the evidence showing that Olaplex products are safe and effective."

It's difficult to know just how many refunds Olaplex has issued. But the reports of hair damage and requests for refunds come as the company faces two lawsuits and a steep drop in its stock price since going public last year.

An Olaplex shampoo bottle.Olaplex customers report hair breakage and loss 

New Jersey-based makeup artist Rosie Genute said Olaplex refunded her $80 in October, five months after she posted a video to TikTok describing problems with hair breakage.

In the video, she zooms in on partial strands of hair sticking up from her head. "A lot of this is breakage that came up after using Olaplex," she tells viewers.

@rosies.journeyy The story of how Olaplex ruined my hair

The criminal charges against Sam Bankman-Fried carry big penalties and jail time if proven, legal experts say

Thu, 12/15/2022 - 1:28pm
Sam Bankman-Fried was arrested Monday in the Bahamas.
  • A federal indictment against Sam Bankman-Fried leveled multiple charges of fraud and conspiracy.
  • Prosecutors' next task is extraditing him from the Bahamas to appear at a federal court in New York.
  • If he pleads guilty or ends up being convicted, a federal judge will ultimately decide the length of any prison sentence. 

US prosecutors closed in on Sam Bankman-Fried with astonishing speed, bringing criminal charges against the former FTX chief executive just about a month after the exchange shocked the crypto world by filing for bankruptcy. 

And those charges come with potentially big penalties, if he's found guilty: In a sparse indictment unsealed on Tuesday morning, federal prosecutors in Manhattan listed eight criminal counts. Among the charges he's faced with are four counts relating to wire fraud: One count alone carries a statutory maximum of up to 20 years in prison, according to federal guidelines. 

In a separate civil complaint on Tuesday, the US Securities and Exchange commission detailed what it called a "brazen, multi-year scheme" at FTX. The agency alleged that Bankman-Fried bilked investors of at least $1.8 billion and risked "billions of dollars" in customer funds.  

Mark S. Cohen, an attorney for Bankman-Fried and a partner at the law firm Cohen & Gresser LLP, told Insider in an emailed statement that his client "is reviewing the charges with his legal team and considering all of his legal options."

Prosecutors leveled multiple conspiracy and wire fraud charges, some of which can be fairly straightforward as they don't require elaborate exposition to support, according to legal experts. 

"Charges like wire fraud are prosecutors' best friends because they're clean and easy to use, and easy to explain to a jury," said Paul Coggins, a former US Attorney in Dallas who now co-leads the white collar group at the law firm Locke Lord LLP.

The next steps for prosecutors are already likely in motion since Bankman-Fried's arrest in the Bahamas on Monday. US prosecutors will have to extradite him so that he can appear before a federal court in New York for an initial appearance, where he would formally be read his charges and enter a plea. If the extradition goes without delay, that initial hearing could happen soon after he arrives in the US. 

At that time, a judge would also determine whether Bankman-Fried could be considered a flight-risk and need to be held in custody until a trial or sentence, or whether to release him temporarily after imposing a bond. 

And if Bankman-Fried pleads guilty or ends up being convicted in a trial, a federal judge in New York will ultimately decide on the length of any prison sentence. 

That sentence is often a product of guidelines that a pre-sentence investigation department, which works for the court, will assess. Defendants and prosecutors can both raise any objections to that assessment, with the judge ruling on any disagreements. 

It is too soon to tell what, if any, charges Bankman-Fried would be convicted on. But federal criminal statutes prescribe these maximum prison penalties for the following counts:

  • Four counts relating to wire fraud: Maximum sentence for each count is 20 years in prison. 
  • One count relating to money laundering: Maximum sentence is 20 years in prison.
  • Three remaining conspiracy counts: Maximum sentence for each count is 5 years in prison.

Those maximums don't necessarily indicate the final outcome. Judges considering sentences look at a range of factors including the scope of losses to customers and investors, and what the defendant has admitted to, attorneys said. 

"If the defendant were to work out a plea agreement, they could get points off for acceptance of responsibility," Coggins said, referring to a potential reduction in sentence.

The DOJ's unsealed indictment followed parallel civil complaints Tuesday morning by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the SEC.

US prosecutors could also follow up with a more detailed superseding indictment and potentially charge other defendants connected with the alleged conspiracy at FTX.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Head of Ukraine's military says he has 'no doubt' the Russians 'will have another go at Kyiv' as Putin adds more troops to his army

Thu, 12/15/2022 - 1:27pm
Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Valerii Zaluzhnyi attends a meeting with Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in Kyiv, Ukraine, on April 24, 2022.
  • Russia is attacking civilian infrastructure to force a ceasefire, according to Ukraine's top general.
  • Valerii Zaluzhnyi, head of Ukraine's armed forces, said Russia wants to regroup for a new offensive.
  • "I have no doubt they will have another go at Kyiv," he told The Economist.

Russia is waging a kind of total war on Ukraine's infrastructure — terrorizing civilians and committing potential war crimes — in an effort to force a ceasefire that it will only use to replenish its forces ahead of a new offensive early next year, Ukraine's top military commander said in an interview published Thursday, warning that the Russian invaders will at some point again try to seize the nation's capital.

"The Russians are preparing some 200,000 fresh troops," General Valerii Zaluzhnyi, head of Ukraine's armed forces, told The Economist, referencing recent Russian mobilization efforts. "I have no doubt they will have another go at Kyiv."

Zaluzhnyi, who took command of the military less than a year before Russia's February 2022 invasion, suggested that Russia, despite humiliating setbacks in recent months, is on the verge of crippling Ukraine's energy infrastructure, which could have a devastating effect on the army's morale.

"I am not an energy expert but it seems to me we are on the edge. We are balancing on a fine line," he told the magazine.

If Russia succeeds in destroying Ukraine's power grid, he continued, "that is when soldiers' wives and children start freezing. And such a scenario is possible. What kind of mood the fighters will be in, can you imagine? Without water, light and heat, can we talk about preparing reserves to keep fighting?"

Earlier this month, holding a glass of champagne at a Kremlin awards ceremony, Russian President Vladimir Putin acknowledged that his armed forces are indeed targeting Ukraine's energy infrastructure — attacks that have left millions without electricity in the winter cold, a potential war crime. "Yes, we do that," he said. "But who started it?"

The Russian leader suggested that Ukraine was responsible for Russia's actions, pointing to an attack on a bridge to Crimea that has since been repaired.

Russian attacks on Ukraine's infrastructure, in many ways, come from a position of weakness. The Kremlin had prepared for no more than three months of war, Zaluzhnyi said. What the country's armed forces need now is a chance to regroup, possibly under the guise of peace. Putin himself has said the war may well be a "long process," but it's clear the conflict was not meant to be.

"So most likely they are looking for ways to stop [fighting] and get a pause by any means: shelling civilians, leaving our wives and children to freeze to death," he said. "They need it for one simple purpose: they need time to gather resources and create new potential so they can continue to fulfill their goals."

The conventional wisdom has been that Russia's most recent mobilization will result, at best, in thousands of demoralized conscripts being thrown into the meat grinder that is eastern Ukraine. But Zaluzhnyi said he does not believe those troops will be as lacking in patriotism and motivation as some might think.

"Russian mobilization has worked," he maintained. "It is not true that their problems are so dire that these people will not fight. They will. A tsar tells them to go to war, and they go to war. I've studied the history of the two Chechen wars — it was the same. They may not be that well equipped, but they still present a problem for us."

Ceasefire or not, Zaluzhnyi expects Russia will throw all its got at a new offensive "which may take place in February, at best in March, and at worst at the end of January," he said. "It may start not in Donbas, but in the direction of Kyiv, in the direction of Belarus, I do not rule out the southern direction as well."

Earlier this month, Ukraine's defense minister, Oleksii Reznikov, told CNN that he's worried that a fresh Russian invasion could come from Belarus, whose authoritarian leader, Alexander Lukashenko, is a close ally of Putin — although, in a recent assessment, experts at the Institute for the Study of War argued that Belarus itself is unlikely to join the war.

Come what may, Zaluzhnyi said he was confident his forces can defeat their much larger adversary, provided that Ukraine's allies continue to aid its defense. "I know that I can beat this enemy," he insisted. "But I need resources."

Have a news tip? Email this reporter: cdavis@insider.com

Read the original article on Business Insider

How to define and land your dream job

Thu, 12/15/2022 - 1:06pm
Jess Galica, the executive coach and founder of Reclaim Your Career.
  • Employees redefine the "dream job" by weighing factors like work-life balance over name recognition.
  • They're also exploring what their "dream" job or title means in practice, a career coach said.
  • Here how's to find and land your dream job in today's environment. 

Jess Galica said she collected a variety of "gold stars" in her career. Prominent companies like Bain and Apple were on her résumé, along with an MBA from MIT. Despite this, she wasn't confident she was on the right career track.

"It was one of these wake-up moments where I thought, 'Why does this still not feel right when I've made it to the top of the mountain in so many people's eyes?'" she said.

Employees like Galica are redefining what a dream job is, weighing factors like work-life balance and finding meaning in their roles over brand-name recognition. That's because many employees are speaking up about being burnt out or fearful of layoffs after cuts at prominent companies like Twitter, Meta, and Amazon — likely "dream" destinations for many people. In order to find a role that propels their careers forward in today's environment, Galica said they're exploring what their "dream" job or title means in practice. 

"Get curious about why your dream job was to work at, insert the company," she said. She added to decide if you're attracted to the innovative environment, the potential to open doors, or the competitive pay and benefits. Defining those underlying factors will open up countless more doors, she added.

To help herself and others define the dream job and find meaning in a career, Galica launched an executive-coaching business, Reclaim Your Career, in January 2020. 

Here are her tips for finding and landing your dream job in today's environment. 

First, imagine your dream life

The hunt for a dream job must start with a change in mindset, Galica said. 

"The biggest mindset shift for people is moving away from focusing on finding a dream job and moving toward getting clarity on a dream life," she said. 

She suggested looking at three main themes while reflecting on an idyllic future: lifestyle aspirations, financial goals, and day-to-day responsibilities. These factors will help narrow down career options in your search.

For instance, Galica said working parents might need to prioritize a flexible or hybrid work model. Others might focus on paid-time-off policies so they can travel. Once you determine your nonnegotiables for life, only apply to jobs that will align with those requirements, Galica said.

Then, seek out peer references

Once you've started searching for roles and companies that could facilitate future life goals, talk with peers who work for or have worked for the companies you're applying to, Galica said. That way, you can better understand the company culture, understand the potential workload, and get any other questions you may have answered.

Start with your own network and people who know you, that way you're able to ask the questions that may be difficult to bring to a hiring manager, Galica said. 

For example, Caitlyn Kumi, a product-marketing manager at Google, asks people for 15-minute coffee chats, she previously told Insider. She finds people via LinkedIn and focuses on building relationships as opposed to gaining referrals from those she speaks with.

Tell your story to land the job

When it's time to interview for dream jobs, storytelling will help you stand out, the two said. 

There are subtle storytelling choices you can make to better position yourself as a candidate, she said. For instance, there's a difference between saying you want flexibility versus you work well when you have autonomy in your role. 

"There's always a way to take what you're looking for and make it a competitive advantage," and that's a key to getting the dream job, Galica said.

Read the original article on Business Insider

These Airbnb owners run short-term stays out of a school bus, tree house, yurt, and a fire station. They break down 5 tips for managing out-of-the-box properties.

Thu, 12/15/2022 - 1:05pm
One of the geodesic domes that the Kernohans host short-term guests in.
  • Georgia couple John and Fin Kernohan welcome guests to unique properties that brought in $6,000 last month in revenue, they say.
  • Managing unusual properties creates unique challenges like fighting the elements and managing guest expectations.
  • The tiny home enthusiasts break down everything a new host of an atypical property needs to know.

In 2020, John and Fin Kernohan turned their love of tiny homes into a full-fledged portfolio of seven unique rental properties spread over 16.2 acres near Georgia's Lake Oconee. 

The couple still live full-time on-site in their 300-square-foot home, which they built in 2011, and welcome visitors year-round to a variety of unusual short-stays, including two cabin-esque tiny homes, two geodesic domes, a yurt, a tiny home "firehouse," and a converted school bus. 

According to the Kernohans, between 40 to 60 guests visit the campgrounds each month, where only adults are allowed. In November, the couple generated $6,000 in revenue through travelers from Airbnb and the vacation site Glamping Hub, which Insider verified through records they provided.

Competition among Airbnb hosts has increased as short-term rental supply reaches record highs. Offering a distinct travel experience with a unique abode is one way to stand out and is even boosted by Airbnb's recent changes to their homepage. 

John breaks down tips for hosts interested in managing out-of-the box properties, from keeping structures stable to informing guests they don't have a traditional toilet.

1. Don't ignore moisture when you're braving the elementsInside the Kernohan's glamping yurt in the Georgia wilderness.

While these unique structures may be furnished to look like real homes, it's important to remember they are interacting with the elements differently, says John. 

To prevent a "damp" smell in the structure, the Kernohans run dehumidifiers between guest stays to keep the yurts and domes dry. 

"You don't want someone stepping in a yurt and it smelling like an old tent. You want it smelling nice and fresh," John said. 

Perishable items are also more likely to go stale, even if they're sealed in metal or ceramic containers. John says those hospitality touches that go a long way with guests, like providing fully-stocked coffee service with sugar and artificial sweeteners, require more supplies in non-traditional structures.

2. Constantly check unique structures to make sure they're levelThe tiny home "firehouse" that the Kernohans rent out to travelers.

For these unusual properties, it's important to keep things in balance. 

"If these houses aren't level, a guest will tell you," John told Insider. 

John says some early guests in the converted school bus said they felt like they were "leaning downward" in the bed and woke up feeling "blood rushing." John went in to check with a leveler and discovered the bus was sitting on a small incline that was making a big difference. 

So the Kernohans created a makeshift lift out of 2-by-10 boards and the front tires now sit 18 inches higher than the back tires for guest comfort. 

John regularly checks the levels on all his properties, making the rounds monthly. He'll check the windowsill and the center of the floor for each structure and make the necessary adjustments accordingly.

3. Remember to set guest expectations for unorthodox amenitiesThe Kernohan's converted bus, which they decorated with a "French farmhouse" theme.

Guests might be excited for the adventure of staying in an atypical property, but they might also need a reality check.

John says out of hundreds of five-star reviews, their most negative feedback came from a guest who was expecting a modern air conditioner in her yurt made of canvas. 

Clearly and repeatedly communicating what the structures provide early on will prevent any bitter guests, John says. 

The correct framing for the experience can also go a long way. The Kernohan's geodesic domes, which look like half-sphere tents, come with "dry toilets," which means human materials are collected rather than flushed. 

John says he's learned to rebrand them not as a difficulty, but rather a "toilet of convenience." There is a community house on site with running water, but John now emphasizes that the dry toilets are for the guest's comfort, in case they don't want to travel to the community house in the middle of the night. 

"Guests realize, 'Oh, you're doing something for me to make my stay more convenient,' instead of 'Oh, what a pain in the butt,'" John explained to Insider.

4. Don't ignore the indoorsInside one of the geodesic domes decorated to be an "art studio."

Guests will certainly be drawn to unique properties for their exteriors, but be careful not to skimp-out on the interiors, John cautions.

Fin chose to outfit their rental tiny homes with themes to give guests a fully immersive experience. One is inspired by J.R.R. Tolkein's "The Hobbit" and filled with vines, branches, and antique pottery to create an earthy environment. The other is inspired by Moroccan decor, complete with a 200-pound chandelier from 1937. 

Even the converted school bus has a "French farmhouse" theme with white-lace decorations. 

Guests are already seeking out a unique experience, so the Kernohans believe in investing all-the-way to guarantee positive reviews and return stays.

5. Don't be afraid of co-hosting firstOne of the geodesic domes on the Kernohan's property.

For new hosts still wary of taking the leap into the business, the Kernohans recommend partnering up to share responsibility and learn the quirks of unique properties.

Currently, their converted school bus is actually a co-hosting partnership with a University of Georgia student whose mother originally owned the bus for her daycare. The student used to park the vehicle in front of his fraternity, but was eventually banned from doing so. In searching for a place to store it, he connected with Finn over Airbnb.

She eventually converted the bus into a rental and now the couple split revenue for the rental 70/30 with the student.

John believes a similar partnership could help get an aspiring host's feet wet, as they start to understand the logistics of maintenance and guest management.

Read the original article on Business Insider

86 creative gift ideas under $100 — including last-minute options if you're pressed for time

Thu, 12/15/2022 - 1:02pm

When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

Gift-giving should be fun, but more often than not, it becomes stressful — doubly so if you're working with a budget. The good news is, a gift doesn't have to be super expensive to be meaningful to someone or last a long time.

To take the guesswork out of holiday shopping, we've curated the best gifts under $100 that you can buy on your own (or split to cost with someone else). From luxury skincare products to affordable kitchen appliances, there are plenty of thoughtful, special gifts you can give within a reasonable price range.

*This list includes a Sponsored Product that has been suggested by AncestryDNA. It also meets our editorial criteria in terms of quality and value.

A fun board game spin on an internet sensationWordle: The Party Game

Wordle: The Pary Game, available at Amazon and Target from $19.82

Best for: The committed gamer

If they love Wordle, this new board game version is sure to please. 2-4 players can play against each other or in teams as they try to guess the five-letter mystery word.

A DNA kit to learn more about your family history

AncestryDNA kit, available at Ancestry, $59 (originally $99)

Best for: Anyone interested in family heritage

Curious about family history? This AncestryDNA test tells you more about genetic ethnicity — and opens up rich conversations about family heritage and personal stories. We like Ancestry because it surveys an extensive population and links you with relatives.

*Sponsored by Ancestry.

A travel photo album

Hardcover Travel Photo Book, available at Artifact Uprising, from $61.20

Best for: The vacation photographer

This customizable photo book takes them back to every travel adventure so they'll never forget it. Whether it's a week trip or an extended stay, the travel photo album captures every excursion with charming designs on up to 210 pages.

A memorable date night option

Gift card, available at Eatwith, from $30

Best for: The adventurous diner

Eatwith offers cool dining experiences that bring together delicious menus, professional chefs, and interesting guests. Typically held in person, in major cities like New York, Paris, and London, Eatwith is now offering online classes you can take from anywhere that bring unique cooking experiences right into your kitchen. In addition to experiences led by professional chefs from around the world, Eatwith has recently added classes taught by MasterChef contestants.

A bag made for hosting mini picnics

Picnic at Ascot Insulated Wine and Cheese Cooler Bag, available at Amazon, $49.95

Best for: The picnicker 

Our pick for the best picnic basket for carrying bottles, this insulated bag is a great gift for those who want to have a small picnic complete with their favorite drinks and small snacks.

An art-inspired chess set

Keith Haring Colorful Chess Set, available at MoMA Design Store, $55

Best for: The artsy gamer

The Keith Haring Colorful Chess Set doubles as a fun leisure activity and stunning display piece. The chess pieces are inspired by Haring's favorite artworks, from the barking dog to his trademark figures.

A fun and educational online cooking class

Gift card, available at Cozymeal, from $50

Best for: The aspirational chef

Gifting experiences is on the rise. With a Cozymeal class, they'll learn how to make anything from fresh pasta to beautiful charcuterie boards. In addition to cooking classes, Cozymeal offers online mixology classes and virtual wine tastings.

A game that tests their penchant for puns

Pun Intended Game, available at Amazon, $19.99

Best for: The game night host

It's a battle of who can devise the most clever puns in this family-friendly card game that requires a quick mind and even quicker writing skills. Game on. 

The outdoor game you see everyone playing at the park

Spikeball Game Set, available at Dick's Sporting Goods, $69.99

Best for: The bored beach-goer

It's a gorgeous day out and you can't help but notice a few groups having fun while playing some kind of new ball game. Chances are it's Spikeball, the volleyball-esque game that your recipient can set up in any large outdoor space. It takes just 10 minutes to learn the rules. 

A sunrise alarm clock

Philips SmartSleep Sunrise Alarm Clock, available at Amazon, $79.95

Best for: The aspirational early bird

Sunrise alarm clocks can help turn typically groggy wake-ups into a softer, more calm way to get out of bed, and the SmartSleep from Philips is one of our favorites. Aside from its calming alarms and beautiful sunrise effect, it also doesn't require the use of an app. 

An e-book reader that stores thousands of books

Amazon Kindle, available at Amazon, $99.99

Best for: The traveling bookworm

A Kindle brings them an easier reading experience, especially when traveling. The Kindle has 8 GB of storage, weeks of battery life, and a vast selection of books to enjoy leisurely wherever, whenever. 

A TV streaming stick

Roku Streaming Stick +, available at Amazon, $48.88

Best for: The TV fanatic

Roku's Streaming Stick+ is exceptional for its 4K, HDR, and HD streaming, and long-range wireless receiver. Installing it is an easy process and starts by plugging the stick into the TV. 

A convenient wireless charging pad

Anker PowerWave Wireless Charging Pad, available on Amazon, $15.99

Best for: The one who's always low on phone battery

A wireless charger is a great gift for anyone with a glass-backed smartphone that supports the feature. Our reviewer called this one "the perfect wireless charging pad." It charges quickly, looks nice, and can even accommodate thick phone cases.

A waterproof outdoor speaker

Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 Portable Bluetooth Speaker, available at Amazon, Best Buy, and Walmart, from $79.99

Best for: The outdoor entertainer

The surprisingly powerful speaker fits in the palm of their hand and can go swimming with them in the pool or ocean. It's also dustproof and therefore suitable for hikes and other outdoor adventures. 

A stylish accessory with a hidden charger

Power Up Lightning to USB Tassel Keychain, available at Mark & Graham, from $34.99

Best for: The sleek utilitarian 

The leather keychain is as functional as it is attractive: it has an iPhone lightning input and USB stick so they can charge their phone in their bag. Some colors include free monogramming while others have a $10 monogram fee. 

A set of trackers for lost items

Tile Pro, available at Amazon, Target, and Walmart, $24.99

Best for: The person always losing their keys

When they can't find their phone, all they have to do is click their Tile button to make their phone ring, even if it's on silent. 

A case that sanitizes dirty phones

PhoneSoap 3 Smartphone Sanitizer, available at PhoneSoap, $49.95

Best for: The neat freak

Most of us carry our phones with us everywhere — and we mean, everywherePhoneSoap kills 99.9% of common household germs, including bacteria that lead to E.Coli, Salmonella, Staph, the flu, and the common cold. Especially with the pandemic, your recipient will love knowing that their phone is squeaky clean. 

Their favorite specialty meals from across the country

Meal Kits, available at Goldbelly, from $39.95

Best for: The foodie

Goldbelly makes it possible to satisfy their most specific and nostalgic cravings no matter where they live in the US — a cheesecake from Junior's, deep dish pizza from Lou Malnati, and more. Browse the iconic gifts section for inspiration.

A savory seasoning starter pack

Pantry Starter Pack, available at Momofuku, $60

Best for: The spice rack re-stocker

Spice up their pantry with this flavorful seasoning set. The starter pack includes spicy seasoned salts, restaurant-grade soy and tamari sauces, and chili crunch. Momofuku's site also includes several recipes to make using the ingredients from the set.

A set of cocktail mixers

Casamigos Cocktail Gift Set, available at Williams Sonoma, $56.95

Best for: The cocktail connoisseur

Co-founded by actor George Clooney, Casamigos is a favorite brand of many tequila lovers. The company's newest addition is a cocktail gift set of uniquely flavored mixers and rimmers. The mixers are exclusively available at Williams Sonoma and include blackberry basil and citrus flavors.

The internet's favorite olive oil

Awake Olive Oil, available at Brightland, $37

Best for: The quality EVOO enthusiast

Brightland's olive oils make great gifts for cooks and anyone who loves to entertain. The white bottles protect the EVOO from light damage and look nice displayed on a countertop. 

International coffee delivered every month

3-Month Gift Subscription, available at Atlas Coffee Club, $50

Best for: The coffee lover

It's a worldwide coffee tour without the expense of airplane tickets. Atlas Coffee Club delivers single-origin coffee and always includes a postcard from the country, brewing tips, and flavor notes with each month's shipment. 

A delicious and unique hot sauce

Truff White Truffle Hot Sauce, available at Amazon, $25.59

Best for: The hot sauce collector

This hot sauce is infused with white truffle, packing a sweet heat you'll want to add to burritos, pizza, wings, or any other dish you want to make a little more interesting. 

A gift card from Hello Fresh

Gift card, available at Hello Fresh, from $75

Best for: The exhausted home cook

The best gifts are for items or services your recipient wouldn't think to purchase for themselves. A gift card from Hello Fresh checks all of these boxes, as it offers a welcome reprieve from grocery shopping and meal planning. Choose from four amounts based on your recipient's household size and needs. We also wrote a full guide to Hello Fresh that includes a breakdown of its special features, how to get started with an account, and more.

Sweet treats they won't be able to stop eating

The Chocolatey Classic, available at Milk Bar, $89

Best for: The chocolate lover

Instead of the usual box of chocolates, gift some of the best-known and most delicious treats from Milk Bar. The set contains 12 soft and chewy cake truffles and an adorable mini birthday cake. 

Premium distilled whiskey

Uncle Nearest Whiskey, available at ReserveBar, from $60.99

Best for: The old-fashioned fan

Founded in Tennessee, Uncle Nearest is an award-winning, Black-owned whiskey brand that was inspired by the first known African-American master distiller, Nathan "Nearest" Green. If you're shopping for someone who enjoys a quality glass of whiskey or a whiskey-based cocktail every now and then, a bottle of Uncle Nearest won't disappoint.

A flavorful seasoning collection

The Grill & Roast Collection, available at Spicewalla, $19.99

Best for: The backyard griller

A set of tasty seasonings is key to making delicious foods, especially during BBQ season. They can use the spices in this collection to add flavor to meats, seafood, vegetables, and even rice.

A device that turns plain water into a sparkling beverage

SodaStream Sparkling Water Maker, available at Amazon, $89.99

Best for: The fizzy water fan

A SodaStream is an amazing gift for anyone who's a fan of fizzy beverages. With this gadget, they can make sparkling water in seconds and add flavors if they want to spice things up.

Ready-to-prepare meals that save them time

Custom Gift Box, available at Daily Harvest, $85

Best for: The healthy eater

Your recipient will be able to fill a box with smoothies (including protein smoothies for gym rats), harvest bowls, soup, and more meals that are ready to take on the go. Daily Harvest's healthy offerings are perfect for the busy, wellness-minded people in your life. 

A chai sampler

Vadham Chai Tea Reserve Set, available at Amazon, $23.99

Best for: The tea drinker

This set of loose-leaf teas made it into Oprah's Favorite Things back in 2018. It's filled with three variations of chai that any tea lover will appreciate

A box that lets them explore the exciting world of sake

Sake Gift Box, available at Tippsy, $59

Best for: The sake drinker

While online wine clubs abound, Tippsy is quietly cultivating a community of sake lovers. It offers an abundance of knowledge and premium sake options to anyone who's interested in exploring this underrated alcohol further.  

A chic lamp that warms candles without lighting them

Candle Warming Lamp, available at Amazon, $54.99

Best for: The candle preserver 

Aside from looking cute, this TikTok-famous lamp warms candles up without lighting them. It helps your giftee enjoy their candles' scents whenever she wants without worrying about smoke or accidentally forgetting to put them out.

A custom pet portrait

Custom Pet Portrait, available at West & Willow, from $67

Best for: The pet parent 

If their fur baby is their best friend, they'll go crazy for this custom pet portrait from West & Willow. Upload a photo of their pet, then choose the portrait style, size, frame, add their pet's name, and get ready to make their day with this A+ gift.

A mini fireplace

Personal Concrete Fireplace, available at Food52 and Amazon, from $78.40

Best for: The fireplace fan

Keep them warm and entertained this summer with this small personal fireplace, which is safe for use indoors and for cooking fun treats like s'mores. 

A whimsical candle from a new brand

3-Candle Set, available at Otherland, $89

Best for: The fancy candle fan

As our candle-loving editor points out, "Does the world really need another fancy candle brand?" Otherland's candles are so creative and interesting that you won't be able to resist gifting at least a few

A set of monogrammed hand towels

Piped Edge Washcloths (Set of 2), available at Weezie, $36

Best for: The monogram lover

The extra time and thought put into a personalized gift are worth it. You can add custom embroidery (+$10 per towel) to Weezie's fluffy and absorbent towels

A succulent to spruce up their space

Bliss Garden, available at Lula's Garden, $30

Best for: The plant parent

A small succulent is a perfect way to brighten up their desk, bookshelf, or windowsill. We love this one from Lula's Garden because it's wrapped in a ready-to-gift box. Plus, when you buy one, you support water.org, an organization that helps people all over the world get access to safe, clean water. 

A wine gift set

Ivation Wine Lovers Set with Opener and Preserver, available at Amazon, $49.98

Best for: The wine appreciator 

Help elevate your recipient's wine experience by gifting this wine lover's set. The included wine preserver is a great gift for those that live alone or like to take their time with their wines. The sleek charging base and modern design make this a gift your recipient will be proud to display on their kitchen counter.

A sleek knife block

The Stand, available at Material Kitchen, $90

Best for: The practical chef

We're big fans of Material Kitchen's minimalist approach to kitchen essentials — like this magnetic, angled knife block made from heavy-duty wood. 

A fresh flower bouquet

Flower bouquets, available at UrbanStems, from $35

Best for: Any fan of flowers

If you don't know what to gift, flowers are always appreciated. A beautiful bouquet delivered right to them is the kindest way to say congrats and show you're thinking of them.

A set of sustainable coasters

Ruffle Edge Straw Coasters, available at Joanna Buchanan, $48

Best for: The meticulous table setter

Add a pop of color to their indoor and outdoor eating spaces with these colorful straw coasters. The coasters come in a set of four, are handwoven in the Philippines, and are made of sustainable materials.

A compact and lightweight hand mixer

Kitchenaid 5-Speed Ultra Power Hand Mixer, available at Target, $44.99

Best for: The baker

Not all baking tasks require a full stand mixer. KitchenAid's hand mixer doesn't take up a lot of space but gets a variety of jobs done by offering five-speed options. You'll also have fun picking out a unique color for your recipient. 

The perfect pillow for side sleepers

Original Casper Pillow, available at Casper, Amazon, and Target, $65

Best for: The restless side sleeper

The Original Casper Pillow will help your favorite side sleeper align their neck with their spine while sleeping. We named this pillow the best for side sleepers in our guide to the best pillows. You can customize the pillow even more by choosing its size and height.

A cool drink accessory worth celebrating

12oz Insulated Champagne Flute, available at BrüMate, $24.99

Best for: The beachside celebrator

Brumate's insulated flute prevents the disappointment of bubbly that has gone warm and flat. It holds almost half a bottle of champagne and comes in 30 pretty colors.  

A digital photo frame

NIX 8-Inch USB Digital Photo Frame, available at Amazon, $69.99

Best for: The modern nostalgist

Pro-tip: Include a USB stick of your favorite photo memories together with this gift. The high-tech photo frame will shuffle through and display crisp photos and videos, and it can also be mounted on a wall. If you can stretch your budget, the more popular WiFi version is the same idea but more convenient to use because it works right from your phone's gallery. 

A custom map of a special location

Custom Map Poster, available at Grafomap, from $19

Best for: The one who always mentions their favorite city 

Grafomap is the site where you can commemorate important places, be it their hometown, college town, or the city where you two met. The custom design function is easy to use and you can choose to get the final map poster framed or printed on canvas. 

An everyday stainless steel frying pan

Stainless Clad Frying Pan, available at Made In, $76

Best for: The one who is constantly cooking

Pros like Tom Colicchio trust Made In's cookware to perform in some of the country's top kitchens, so rest assured it's good enough for your recipient. The quickly growing startup is behind a couple of our favorite pieces of cookware

A beautiful piece of handmade drinkware

Antique Silver Glass, available at JFR Glass, $45

Best for: The fan of truly unique gifts

Each hand-blown glass from JFR Glass is unique. The glasses aren't just pretty — they're also functional and sturdy. They're also dishwasher-safe and UV-resistant, so your recipient can enjoy the pieces forever. 

A cold brew coffee maker

Takeya Cold Brew Coffee Maker, available at Amazon and Target, $27.99

Best for: The daily cold brew consumer

Help your favorite coffee-lover stay caffeinated with this easy-to-use cold brew coffee maker. 

All they need to do is fill the filter with coffee, add water to the carafe, give it all a shake, and pop it in the fridge. In 12 hours, they will have a delicious cold brew that will have them reconsidering their daily trips to their favorite coffee shop.

An affordable cashmere sweater

Men's and Women's The Essential Cashmere Sweater, available at Naadam, $75

Best for: The one with impeccable style 

No wardrobe is complete without a great cashmere sweater. This one from Naadam is made of heavenly-soft 100% Mongolian cashmere and comes in over 25 colors, so there's truly a shade for everyone.

A box of the best socks

Women's Holiday Snowflake Ankle Sock 4-Pack Gift Box, available at Bombas, $66

Best for: The appreciator of practical gifts

Bombas socks are some of our favorites for their arch support and durability. This box set (also available in men's and kid's sizes) features a set of subtly holiday-themed socks they'll wear all year round.

A funky pair of shades

The Lucid Blur, available at Crap Eyewear, $89

Best for: The trendsetter

A great pair of sunglasses is a seasonless gift. Even on cold winter days, a pair of sunglasses is needed to block out the sun's glare and keep them looking stylish. If you're looking to snag them a unique pair of sunglasses, check out Crap Eyewear. The styles are fun, affordable, and totally on trend. 

An artistic watch

Swatch x MoMa watch, available at Moma Design Store, from $80

Best for: The art enthusiast

What better way to show off their love of art than a watch inspired by famous paintings? Swatch collaborated with New York's Museum of Modern Art to create these unique watches that resemble artworks from MoMa's collection.

A pair of cozy slippers

UGG Scuffette II Slippers, available at Zappos, Amazon, and Nordstrom, from $94.95

Best for: The comfort appreciator 

Help them keep their feet warm while working from home with these fuzzy slippers. These high-quality slippers are made of suede and have a sheepskin collar, making them a very useful gift that your recipient may not think to purchase for themselves.

A gold bracelet that displays their zodiac sign

Zodiac Bracelet, available at Aurate, $90

Best for: The chic astrology enthusiast

The delicate gold vermeil bracelet is a piece they'll want to wear every day. Aurate's beautiful gold jewelry is not only more affordable than traditional fine jewelry, but it's also ethically sourced, representing a new wave of jewelry brands to know about. 

A sturdy wallet

Bellroy Slim Sleeve Leather Wallet, available at Bellroy, Amazon, and Nordstrom, $79

Best for: The fan of practical gifts

Replace their tired and tattered wallet with this slim leather billfold from Insider Reviews' favorite wallet brand Bellroy. It's made with ethically sourced leather that will age wonderfully and last many years.

A pair of comfortable wool shoes

Wool Runners, available at Allbirds, $110

Best for: The constant walker

While Allbirds has hinted that it's on track to become more than just a shoe brand, we'll always be partial to its original sneakers made from merino wool. We've been wearing and loving the comfortable style for more than two years, and you can't go wrong gifting a pair of these shoes. 

A reusable bag featuring a fun print

Standard Baggu, available at Baggu, $14

Best for: The sustainable shopper

There are plenty of reusable nylon shopping bag options out there, but where Baggu really stands out from the crowd is its variety of quirky and colorful prints. These useful bags are the perfect gift for everyone in your life.

A pretty leather travel wrap for chargers

Leather Charger Roll Up, available on Mark & Graham, $49

Best for: The efficient packer

Mark & Graham's Leather Charger Roll Up is made from soft, supple leather and has three separate pockets to stash cables and chargers on the go. Get it monogrammed for free.

A pair of sparkly hoops

Sapphire Hoops, available at Mejuri, $58

Best for: The lover of subtle jewelry

Traditional hoops get an embellishment of white sapphire in this affordable piece from Mejuri

Extremely comfortable, flattering lounge pants

Lounge Pants, available at MeUndies, $68

Best for: The serious lounger

These are some of the best lounge pants we've ever tried. If they're spending more time in casual wear, they'll spend an inordinate amount of time in these. We also appreciate that the silky MicroModal and sleek cut make them perfectly acceptable for wearing in public to grab the mail.

A high-quality leather band for an Apple Watch

Bullstrap Full-Grain Italian Leather Watch Band, available at Amazon, $95

Best for: The stylish watch wearer

Bullstrap's Italian Leather Watch Bands are the perfect way to add some elegance to an Apple Watch. They come in several colors of leather and are compatible with all generations of the Apple Watch.

A mini duffel crossbody with a distinctive look

Extra Small Landon Carryall, available at Dagne Dover, $93.75

Best for: The one who's always on the go

Dagne Dover excels at making functional and versatile bags like work totes and this extra small version of its popular neoprene duffel. Inside, they'll find a compartment just large enough for the day's essentials, pockets to keep them organized, and a detachable key leash. 

Premium underwear that's worth every penny

Men's Second Skin Boxer Brief (3-Pack), available at Tommy John, $86

Best for: The person who'd appreciate good underwear

It's not an exaggeration to say Tommy John could be the most comfortable boxers your recipient has ever worn. The Second Skin, in particular, is a standout — smooth, soft, stretchy, and breathable. 

The coziest moccasins we've ever worn

Women's Wicked Good Moccasins, available at L.L.Bean, $89

Best for: The winter cabin weekender

Can you practically feel the soft fluffiness of these slippers through your screen? L.L.Bean supposedly sells a pair of these cushioned sheepskin shoes every seven seconds during December, proving that they are worth the purchase.

A pair of blue light-blocking glasses that look good enough to wear outside of the house

Ingram Crystal Everscroll Glasses, available at MVMT, $78

Best for: The one who works in front of a screen all day

Help them protect their eyes from harsh screens with a pair of blue-light-blocking glasses. Their eyes won't feel as strained, and they might be able to drift off to sleep more quickly. 

A simple but luxurious body wash

Necessaire The Body Wash, available at Sephora, $25

Best for: The person who appreciates a good shower

New startup Necessaire formulates its body care products with vitamins A, B3, C, E, and omega-6 and omega-9. The subtly scented Body Wash will leave their skin feeling clean, soft, and nourished. 

A glamorous nail kit

The Mani System Box, available at Olive and June, $85

Best for: The DIY nail artist

From shimmery to matte polish options, gift them this game-changing nail kit. It includes six different shades you can pick yourself, a topcoat, nail polish remover, nail tools, and even a latte mug.

A hair towel that cuts drying time in half

Aquis Rapid Dry Lisse Hair Towel, available at Anthropologie and Bergdorf Goodman, $30

Best for: The one who takes hair care seriously

Aquis' cult-favorite hair towels have inspired a slew of rave reviews online, including one from our own team of product reviewers. The towels are made from a proprietary fabric called Aquitex that's composed of ultra-fine fibers (finer than silk) that work to reduce the amount of friction the hair experiences while in its weakest state. 

A silky hand cream

La Mer Hand Treatment, available at Nordstrom, $90

Best for: The fan of smooth hands

Of all La Mer's premium skincare products, the Hand Treatment is a brand favorite. This creamy formula is the perfect texture to help heal dry hands.

A small skincare tool that removes 99.5% of dirt, oil, and makeup residue

Foreo Luna Facial Cleansing Brush, available at Amazon and Ulta, from $83.40

Best for: The skincare enthusiast

Our team swears by these gentle yet effective cleaning brushes. They have hygienic silicone bristles and come in five different models for different skin types. The Luna is small enough to bring on the go, so your recipient can maintain their skincare routine no matter where they are.

An easy-to-use trimmer

Philips Norelco OneBlade Face + Body Trimmer, available at Amazon, Target, and Walmart, from $39.96

Best for: The person who prefers a close shave

What separates the Philips Norelco OneBlade from other trimmers and shavers is the unique blade. It uses a fast-moving OneBlade cutter with a protection system on both sides of the blade to prevent knicks. The base of the blade will contour to his face, allowing for a comfortable shave or trim without irritation — and it works for wet or dry shaving.

A solution to their back pain

Upright Go 2 Posture Trainer, available at Best Buy, $79.99

Best for: The person working on their posture

This gift is for anyone who is always complaining about their back pain or poor posture. Upright Go is an innovative and discreet device that sticks to the top of their back and helps them improve their posture, day by day. 

A sleep mask made with high-quality mulberry silk

Slip Pure Silk Sleep Mask, available at Nordstrom, $50

Best for: The person who takes sleep seriously

Few things are more luxurious than sleeping with a silk mask. Thanks to its all silk construction, your recipient's face will feel cool all night long. 

An electric toothbrush they won't want to hide away

Moonstone Electric Toothbrush, available at Goby, $95

Best for: The dental-care obsessed

In addition to its sleek design, the Goby Toothbrush stands out for its soft brush head, normal and sensitive brushing speeds, and convenient USB charging shell. 

A cult-favorite fragrance

Le Labo AnOther 13 Eau de Parfum, available at Nordstrom, from $90

Best for: The daily perfume user

Le Labo is famous for its distinctive packaging and subtle yet inviting scents. The AnOther is musky and woodsy, but it's balanced out with ingredients like jasmine petals. 

A planner designed for setting goals

BestSelf Co. Self Journal, available at AmazonBarnes & Noble, and BestSelf, from $31.99 

Best for: The goal-setter

The Self Journal is an undated, 13-week planner that's designed for daily use and quarterly planning. We love it because it helps break projects and goals into manageable chunks. 

If your giftee is working towards a big goal, this could be a really thoughtful resource — especially if it involves forming new habits in a short period of time.

A high-quality yoga mat

Manduka PROlite Yoga Mat, available at Amazon, Manduka, and REI, $99

Best for: The yogi 

Make their sweat sessions better with the addition of a great yoga mat. The Manduka PROlite boasts supportive, dense cushioning and a no-slip grip, but it's still super lightweight for easy carrying.

An instant camera

Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 Instant Camera, available at Amazon, Walmart, and Urban Outfitters, from $73.25

Best for: The memory maker

Sure, they can snap photos on their iPhone all night long, but these days there's something particularly special about having tangible photographs. An instant camera is the perfect gift for the one who loves documenting life in photos.

A gift card from Bookshop

Gift Card, available at Bookshop, from $10

Best for: The bookstore browser

Bookshop allows readers to support small bookstores online. The retailer sells gift cards that your recipient will be able to use to shop online from their favorite indie bookstore. The gift cards never expire and can be bought in increments from $10 to $1000.

An at-home pottery kit

Pottery Kit, available at Sculpd, $65

Best for: The crafter

This pottery kit offers a unique activity to do with your loved ones. Each kit comes with enough supplies for two people, with add-on supplies also available for purchase so that more can participate. It also includes a step-by-step instructional booklet.

A sleek fitness tracker

Fitbit Inspire 2, available at Best Buy, Target, and Fitbit, $79.95

Best for: The avid athlete

Fitbit's affordable Inspire 2 tracker has no shortage of useful features to keep them informed about their physical activity. The heart rate monitor lets them be more strategic about their workouts by tracking calorie burn, resting heart rate, and heart rate zones.

Membership to a popular nationwide book club

6-Month Subscription, available at Book of the Month, $99.99

Best for: The avid reader

If they prefer the incomparable feel of a hardcover book, set them up with a Book of the Month membership. It offers five curated titles, mainly from up-and-coming authors, to choose from every month. 

A bike horn that can honk as loud as a car

Priority High Power Horn, available at Priority Bicycles, $29.99

Best for: The bike commuter

Born out of a research project between Priority Bicycles and Toyota, this bike horn can get as loud as the one in a car. This is an excellent safety accessory for bikers.

A gorgeous coffee table book that helps cure their travel bug

"1,000 Places to See Before You Die (Deluxe Edition): The World as You've Never Seen It Before" by Patricia Schultz, available at Barnes & Noble, $50.99

Best for: The aspirational traveler

Patricia Schultz's original "1,000 Places" captured imaginations with its compelling curation of experiences all over the world. The newly released deluxe edition features a beautiful gold-embellished cover and more than 1,000 new photographs. 

An interactive state park map

State Parks Explorer Map, available at UncommonGoods, $28

Best for: The hiker

This state park map is sure to come in handy whenever they venture into the outdoors. Choose from 10 maps that each list over 30 parks in states such as New York, California, and Connecticut. The map includes a sheet of gold stickers so they can mark their progress after each park visit.

Read the original article on Business Insider


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