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These are the 10 biggest banks in the world in 2019

Thu, 07/04/2019 - 10:27am  |  Clusterstock

  • Chinese banks came out on top as the world's biggest, according to calculations by The Banker.
  • American banks are more efficient in use of their assets. 
  • British banks defied the Brexit slump by increasing their profits. 
  • Read more on Markets Insider. 

Every year, The Banker compiles a list of the biggest banks in the world, and yet again Chinese banks have dominated the top of the list. 

The Banker includes 1000 banks across the list, ranking them based upon Tier 1 capital — a yardstick used by regulators to assess a bank's financial health.  

On the list of the top 10 banks, only four of them were American, with one from the UK, one from Japan and the rest were Chinese.

While Chinese banks were the largest, American banks were more efficient in use of their assets, The Banker said.

"Free and open markets encourage banks to be more efficient," Editor Brian Caplen said on the publication's website.  "A more closed system in China with greater state involvement is less effective in driving efficiency." 

British banks increased their profits by a third, but were still chasing French banks in terms of profits and capital. 

Check out the list of the 10 biggest banks below. 

10. Mitsubishi UFJ, Japan — $146 billion

9. HSBC Holdings, UK — $147 billion

8. Citigroup, US — $158 billion

7. Wells Fargo, US — $168 billion

6. Bank of America, US — $189 billion

5. JPMorgan Chase, US — $209 billion

4. Bank of China, China — $230

3. Agricultural Bank of China, China — $243 billion

2. China Construction Bank, China — $287 billion

1. ICBC, China — $338 billion

The 25 US cities where rent is increasing the fastest, ranked

Thu, 07/04/2019 - 10:11am  |  Clusterstock

  • Rents across America continue to rise.
  • As of July 2019, the national median rent for a one-bedroom apartment is $1,220, according to a report by Zumper.
  • Business Insider teamed up with Zillow to take a look at the top 25 cities out of the 100 largest US cities where one-bedroom rents are increasing at the fastest rate.
  • Over 50% of the states listed are located in the southern or western parts of the US.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Median rents for one-bedroom apartments across the country continue to soar. 

The national median price for a one-bedroom apartment was $1,220 as of July 2019. That's a .8% year-to-date increase.

But just how much is rent going up? We teamed up with Zillow to find the top 25 cities out of the 100 largest US cities where one-bedroom rents are increasing at the fastest rate. What we found was that most of those cities aren't our usual big-city contenders — and that over 50% of the states listed are located in the southern or western parts of the country.

Read more: The salary you need to afford rent in every state, ranked

Zillow's data echoes moving and relocation trends within America. Business Insider's Andy Kiersz reported that, according to a 2019 report from the US Census Bureau, counties in the South and West had more people move in than move out in 2018.

Zillow's data represents the increase of median one-bedroom rent prices from May 2018 to May 2019. Zillow noted that multiple factors affect the cities' median prices, including the development of new apartments or the rapid listing of multiple luxury apartments in a short period of time.

Keep reading to see the 25 cities where the median rent is increasing the fastest, ranked from the lowest to the highest rate of increase. Business Insider obtained the estimated population of each city from World Population Review

SEE ALSO: Here's how much it costs to rent a one-bedroom apartment in 15 major US cities

DON'T MISS: Here's how much money you need to have saved if you want to get married and buy a home in the same year in 25 cities

Lexington: The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Lexington, Kentucky increased by 7.8%.

The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Lexington, Kentucky is $820, up $59 from last year's median of $761.

The city's estimated population is 323,780.



Orlando: The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Orlando, Florida increased by 8.4%.

The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Orlando, Florida is $1,339, up $104 from last year's median of $1,235.

The city's estimated population is 285,713.



Tucson: The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Tucson, Arizona increased by 8.8%.

The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Tucson, Arizona is $680, up $55 from last year's median of $625.

Tucson is about an hour and 40 minutes away from Phoenix. The city's estimated population is 545,975.



Mesa: The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Mesa, Arizona increased by 9.5%.

The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Mesa, Arizona is $989, up $85 from last year's median of $904.

Mesa is about 25 minutes away from Phoenix by car. The city's estimated population is 508,958.



New Orleans: The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in New Orleans, Louisiana increased by 9.9%.

The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in New Orleans, Louisiana is $1,404, up $126 from last year's median of $1,278.

The city's estimated population is 391,006.



Boise: The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Boise, Idaho increased by 9.9%.

The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Boise, Idaho is $1,065, up $96 from last year's median of $969.

The city's estimated population is 228,790.



Fort Worth: The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Fort Worth, Texas increased by 10.2%.

The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Fort Worth, Texas is $1,344, up $124 from last year's median of $1,220.

Fort Worth is about 40 minutes away from Dallas by car. The city's estimated population is 895,008.



Indianapolis: The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Indianapolis, Indiana increased by 10.8%.

The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Indianapolis, Indiana is $859, up $84 from last year's median of $775.

The city's estimated population is 867,125.



Marietta: The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Marietta, Georgia increased by 11.6%.

The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Marietta, Georgia is $1,079, up $112 from last year's median of $967.

Marietta is about 45 minutes away from Atlanta by car. The city's estimated population is 61,048.



Durham: The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Durham, North Carolina increased by 11.8%.

The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Durham, North Carolina is $1,162, up $123 from last year's median of $1,039. 

Durham is about 40 minutes away from Raleigh by car. The city's estimated population is 469,298.



Los Angeles: The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Los Angeles, California increased by 11.9%.

The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Los Angeles, California is $2,362, up $252 from last year's median of $2,110.

The city's estimated population is 3,990,456.



Austin: The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Austin, Texas increased by 12.2%.

The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Austin, Texas is $1,352, up $146 from last year's median of $1,206.

The city's estimated population is 964,254.



Oklahoma City: The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma increased by 13.6%.

The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma is $795, up $95 from last year's median of $700.

The city's estimated population is 649,021.



Chandler: The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Chandler, Arizona increased by 15%.

As of May 2019, the median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Chandler, Arizona is $1,227, up $160 from last year's median of $1,067.

Chandler is about 30 minutes away from Phoenix by car. The city's estimated population is 257,165.



Riverside: The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Riverside, California increased by 15%.

The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Riverside, California is $1,560, up $204 from last year's median of $1,356.

Riverside is about an hour and 30 minutes away from Los Angeles by car. The city's estimated population is 330,063.



El Paso: The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in El Paso, Texas increased by 15.8%.

The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in El Paso, Texas is $689, up $94 from last year's median of $595.

El Paso is located in the southwestern corner of Texas, about eight hours away from Austin by car. The city's estimated population is 682,669.



Tulsa: The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Tulsa, Oklahoma increased by 16.8%.

The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Tulsa, Oklahoma is $695, up $100 from last year's median of $595.

Tulsa is about an hour and a half away from Oklahoma City by car. The city's estimated population is 400,669.



Scottsdale: The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Scottsdale, Arizona increased by 18.4%.

The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Scottsdale, Arizona is $1,450, up $225 from last year's median of $1,225.

Scottsdale is about 25 minutes away from Phoenix by car. The city's estimated population is 255,310.



Phoenix: The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Phoenix, Arizona increased by 19.5%.

The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Phoenix, Arizona is $1,171, up $191 from last year's median of $980.

The city's estimated population is 1,660,272.



Stockton: The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Stockton, California increased by 22.2%.

The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Stockton, California is $1,097, up $199 from last year's median of $898.

Stockton is about an hour away from Sacramento by car. The city's estimated population is 311,178.



Newark: The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Newark, New Jersey increased by 28.6%.

The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Newark, New Jersey is $1,350 up $300 from last year's median of $1,050.

The city's estimated population is 282,090.



Mobile: The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Mobile, Alabama increased by 29.4%.

The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Mobile, Alabama is $760, up $172 from last year's median of $588.

Mobile is about two hours and 30 minutes away from Montgomery by car. The city's estimated population is 189,572.



Fresno: The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Fresno, California increased by 30.6%.

The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Fresno, California is $908, up $213 from last year's median of $695.

Fresno is about three hours away from Sacramento by car. The city's estimated population is 530,093.



Oakland: The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Oakland, California increased by 34.6%.

The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Oakland, California is $3,063, up $788 from last year's median of $2,275.

The city's estimated population is 429,082.



Fort Wayne: The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Fort Wayne, Indiana increased by 38.8%.

The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Fort Wayne, Indiana is $694, up $194 from last year's median of $500.

Fort Wayne is about two hours away from Indianapolis by car. The city's estimated population is 267,633.



Tesla's Model 3 has been the best-selling EV in the US this year by a huge margin (TSLA)

Thu, 07/04/2019 - 9:44am  |  Clusterstock

  • Tesla's Model 3 sedan was the best-selling electric vehicle in the US during the first half of 2019, according to estimates from the electric-vehicle website InsideEVs.
  • The website estimates that Tesla sold 67,650 Model 3s in the US through June, over seven times the sales generated by the next best-selling electric vehicle, Tesla's Model X SUV.
  • Tesla took three of the top five spots among fully electric vehicles (InsideEVs also estimates sales for plug-in hybrids), with the other two spots going to the Chevrolet Bolt EV and Nissan Leaf.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Tesla's Model 3 sedan was the best-selling electric vehicle in the US during the first half of this year, according to estimates from the electric-vehicle website InsideEVs.

The website estimated that Tesla sold 67,650 Model 3s in the US through June, over seven times the sales generated by the next best-selling electric vehicle, Tesla's Model X SUV. Tesla took three of the top five spots among fully-electric vehicles (InsideEVs also estimates sales for plug-in hybrids), with the other two going to the Chevrolet Bolt EV and Nissan Leaf.

Read more: It doesn't matter whether Tesla delivers 90,000 cars or 900,000 in the 2nd quarter — what's more important is whether Tesla goes mass-market or stays luxury

The estimates are based on factors like vehicle identification numbers and automaker sales data, though some are based more heavily on the judgement of InsideEVs' staff.

Two of the most high-profile electric vehicles that have launched in the past year, the Jaguar I-Pace and Audi e-tron SUVs, appear to be selling in relatively low numbers in the US. Around 1,073 I-Paces and 1,835 e-trons were sold in the US through June, InsideEVs estimated, though sales for the e-tron began in April.

These were the five best-selling electric vehicles in the US during the first half of this year, according to InsideEVs:

  • 1. Tesla Model 3: 67,650
  • 2. Tesla Model X: 9,000
  • 3. Chevrolet Bolt EV: 8,281
  • 4. Tesla Model S: 7,225
  • 5. Nissan Leaf: 6,008.

Tesla reported better-than-expected global sales for the second quarter on Tuesday, with 95,200 vehicles delivered. That exceeded the electric-car maker's previous quarterly delivery record of 90,700 vehicles, set during the fourth quarter of 2018, and represented a major increase over the first quarter of this year, when Tesla delivered 63,000 vehicles.

Have you worked for Tesla? Do you have a story to share? Contact this reporter at mmatousek@businessinsider.com.

SEE ALSO: Elon Musk is worth about $22 billion and has never taken a paycheck from Tesla — here's how the notorious workaholic and father of 5 makes and spends his fortune

Join the conversation about this story »

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I get hundreds, or thousands, of dollars in benefits from my travel credit cards every year, and there are 3 kinds of perks more valuable than the rest

Thu, 07/04/2019 - 9:30am  |  Clusterstock

  • Travel rewards credit cards allow users to earn miles and points with regular purchases, but the card's benefits can be very valuable as well.
  • In some cases, it may be worth paying a higher annual fee to get access to premium benefits like airport lounges or status matching.
  • Every card and issuer offers its own unique combination of purchase, travel, and other benefits. It's up to you to decide which you value most when picking your credit cards.
  • Try the free CardMatch tool at CreditCards.com to find the right credit card with the perks you value most »

Some people only look at the sign-up bonus or miles and points rewards when picking a credit card, but they might be missing out on some important features they should consider. In addition to miles and points, credit cards can offer a slew of benefits that can save you money, improve your travel, and unlock experiences you couldn't access with cash or a debit card.

As someone who has 14 cards and looks at credit card features seemingly every day, I look out for certain key features when choosing cards of my own. From my daily cards in my wallet to the occasional-use cards I keep locked away at home, here are some benefits I look for when choosing a credit card.

Purchase protections

When you buy an item in-store or online, you probably plan for it to work out well and meet your needs. But sometimes, a product doesn't work out as planned. I've had more than a few items prove sour from the start or go bad far sooner than I would have expected.

For example, I bought a robot vacuum last year on Amazon that stopped working just a few weeks after the warranty expired. If I had used debit for that purchase, I would be out of luck and have to pay for repair or replacement out of pocket. I'm glad I used a credit card with extended warranty protection that will pick up the cost instead.

Here are some of the most important purchase benefits I look for in a credit card:

  • Purchase protection: This benefit acts as insurance for new purchases, typically for 90 days or 120 days after buying something new and paying with the card. If you buy a new cell phone and the screen cracks four weeks later, you'll be glad you have this backup plan.
  • Extended warranty: This protection usually adds a year of warranty protection on top of what the manufacturer provides where eligible. See the vacuum situation above for why I'm glad I have it.
  • Price protection: It's so frustrating to buy something and see the price drop just a few weeks later. This benefit will refund the difference if the retailer won't.
  • Return protection: Some stores have really bad return policies. If you buy something that doesn't work out and the store won't take it back, this benefit may reimburse you for the cost.
Travel insurance

While I have had Southwest and American Airlines hold planes due to tight connections and delays, it doesn't always work out that way. For instance, United "doesn't hold the plane for anyone," according to the company's CEO. I felt the wrath of that experience five years ago and spent a night in San Francisco, at my expense. Like several others who ran to make a connection for the last flight of the night to Santa Barbara from SFO, I made it in time to watch the plane sit there for ten minutes before backing out and flying away.

The free CardMatch tool at CreditCards.com can help you find the right credit card with the perks you want »

Had I used my primary travel credit card I use today (the Chase Sapphire Reserve), my card would have paid for the San Francisco hotel nigh. Here are some favorite benefits that can save time, money, and hassle when away from home.

  • Rental car insurance: One thing I know is going to happen on trips from time to time is car rentals. With this benefit, you can sign the waiver and skip paying for the add-on price of insurance through the rental company.
  • Trip cancellation insurance: If a member of your family ends up in the hospital, you don't want to get stuck paying for that trip you had planned as well. If you pay for a trip with a card that has this benefit, you'll get your money back if you can't go on your trip for a covered reason.
  • Trip interruption insurance: See the story above about the night in San Francisco to see when this would have helped me. If a trip is interrupted due to weather or another covered reason, your card will pay for the cost of getting back on track.
  • Late and lost baggage coverage: Most frequent travelers have a late or lost luggage story. This benefit will replace lost luggage and items or pay for some new clothes and toiletries if your bags are delayed.
Premium travel benefits

If you want to take your travel experience to the next level, try out an airport lounge. These premium lounges offer clean, comfortable places away from the hustle bustle of the terminal to get complimentary drinks and food, fast wifi, and much better bathrooms.

Depending on the airline and airports you use most, one card may be better than another. I get in with my Priority Pass Select membership from my Chase Sapphire Reserve card. Here are some perks you may enjoy.

  • Lounge access: Airport lounges are pretty awesome. With the right credit card, your membership is covered.
  • Status: The Platinum Card® from American Express is an example of a card that gives you gold-level hotel status on multiple brands. That can include hotel executive lounge access, faster internet, room upgrades, and more.
  • Global Entry / TSA PreCheck credit: Global Entry and TSA PreCheck help you skip lines and get through security and customs faster at participating airports. Some credit cards will pay for your membership fee through a statement credit.
Other useful perks

Some cards give you exclusive access to presales, concierge services, and other perks. I don't use these that often, but on occasion, they come in handy.

For my anniversary, I bought presale tickets to the upcoming Rolling Stones tour using an American Express presale. Capital One cardholders have exclusive ticket access for the upcoming New York Food & Wine Festival and iHeart Radio Festival. If you are a foodie or music aficionado, getting first access to tickets could be the difference between going and not making it in the door.

While I don't consider these benefits make or break, I'm glad to know I have them when I'm looking for an exclusive experience at a restaurant or tickets to a favorite show.

Don't ignore your benefits

A huge number of people get credit cards but never bother to look through the benefits. Don't be that person! Instead, put your card to good use to maximize the value you get in return. I get hundreds if not thousands of dollars from my card's benefits every year. With the right card and knowledge of how it works, you can do the same.

Try the free CardMatch tool at CreditCards.com to find the right credit card with the perks you value most »

Join the conversation about this story »

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POWER PLAYERS: Meet the 9 executives helping Silicon Valley's biggest corporate venture capital funds pump billions into tech startups

Thu, 07/04/2019 - 9:20am  |  Clusterstock

  • Silicon Valley tech companies are some of the biggest startup investors through corporate venture funds run independently of the core business.
  • Some of the biggest names in tech have pursued corporate venture investing, including Google, Salesforce, Intel, Microsoft, and Dell.
  • According to a PitchBook report, Intel, Google, and Salesforce have the most active corporate venture funds based on 2018 data.
  • Meet the executives running the funds.
  • Click here for more BI Prime stories.

Silicon Valley’s tech giants are placing their bets on the next generation of startups.

Instead of relying solely on a traditional mergers and acquisitions strategy, some of the biggest names in tech are sinking their own money into hot startups through corporate venture capital.

Here’s how it works: a corporation, public or private, can set up a separate entity to invest the company’s own money into private companies the same way any other investor would. The entity needs to be entirely separate, from leadership teams to workflow and information access, to the parent corporation to qualify for special exemptions reserved for venture investors. 

Read More: Private venture-backed startups like Slack and Airbnb are investing in other startups. Here’s where their money is going.

Many tech companies invest in what they see as strategic partnerships with smaller companies in similar or related fields so that they have access to innovative technology, but each fund, and each executive running the fund, is different. But according to a recent PitchBook report, Intel, Google, and Salesforce have the most active corporate venture funds based across industries in 2018.

Meet the executives running the corporate funds pumping billions of dollars into the tech startup scene.

SEE ALSO: This LA investment firm backed Ring before Amazon acquired it, and it just made several new hires to change early-stage tech startups

Wendell Brooks, President at Intel Capital

Brooks joined Intel in 2014 and was tapped to lead Intel Capital in 2017. Before joining the legacy tech company, Brooks spent about 21 years in investment banking for Allen & Company and Citigroup.

Brooks has led some of Intel's biggest bets, including semiconductor design startup Movellus, medical device manufacturer EchoPixel, and electric plane maker Joby Aviation. His largest investment was in Horizon Robotics $100 million Series A in 2017.



David Krane, CEO & managing partner at GV (formerly Google Ventures)

Krane is a 20-year veteran of the search giant, where he originally joined as global head of communications and public affairs. He started working at Google Ventures, which later became GV, in 2010 as a general partner and has since worked up to running GV's global operations.

Krane is mostly overseeing strategy at GV, but has also had a hand in the fund's biggest consumer investments such as newly-public rideshare company Uber, startup investing platform CircleUp, and Nest, which was acquired by Google.



Anna Patterson, Managing Partner at Google's Gradient Ventures

Patterson joined Google as an engineer where she worked on everything from scaling the mobile operating system Android, launching the Google Play store, inventing Google's search serving system, and helping lead search ranking efforts through Google's IPO. She moved on to leading the company's AI engineering efforts before creating Gradient Ventures, Google's AI-focused fund.

Since founding Gradient Ventures within Google, Patterson has led investments in computer vision software maker Labelbox, developer management tool PullRequest, and open source platform Algorithmia. Her largest investment to date was in test.ai's $11 million Series A in 2018.



David Lawee, Partner at CapitalG (Formerly Google Capital)

Lawee started his career at McKinsey & Company as an engagement manager after graduating from the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business. He created his own venture firm in 1997 and also tried his hand at entrepreneurship before joining Google as a marketing vice president in 2005. He took over CapitalG, formerly Google Capital, in 2013. 

Lawee's biggest bets have been in consumer and fintech companies, such as survey software maker SurveyMonkey, fintech startup LendingClub, and credit tracking company Credit Karma. His biggest investment was in ridesharing company Lyft's 2017 $1 billion Series H.



Matt Garratt, Managing Partner at Salesforce Ventures

Garratt joined Salesforce from notable Silicon Valley venture firm Battery Ventures in 2013. By 2014, he had moved on from corporate development to helping run Salesforce Ventures, one of the most active corporate venture funds around. As the managing partner, Garratt oversees the fund's massive capital reserves and helps execute the enterprise investment strategy of one of tech's biggest companies.

Garratt has remained in a largely managerial role at Salesforce Ventures, but has led investments in startup data tracker Crunchbase and enterprise employee infrastructure company Simpplr, his largest investment to date.



Wendy Lung, Managing Director of IBM Ventures

Lung is something of an IBM lifer, having joined the organization 30 years ago as a sales representative. She has since worked through IBM's marketing, sales, and business development arms before moving to the firm's corporate venture fund. As head of IBM Ventures, she has helped create startup accelerator and entrepreneurship mentorship programs around the globe.

Since taking on a leadership role with IBM Ventures, Lung has led investments in semiconductor manufacturer VeriSilicon, engineering accelerator Hack/reduce, consumer health software maker Welltok, and platform integration tool IFFTT



Paul Bernard, Director for Amazon's Alexa Fund

Bernard joined Amazon in 2013 to lead corporate development for Kindle and other digital services for the e-commerce giant. He moved to Alexa Fund, the company's AI and voice software focused fund, in 2015. Before moving to Seattle, Bernard spent more than 12 years running business development for mobile phone maker Nokia in Sunnyvale, California.

Bernard has led investments in consumer health company Aaptiv, smart thermostat maker Ecobee, and voice software testing startup Pulse Labs. His largest investment since joining Alexa Fund was in Tact.ai's $27 million Series C in 2018.



Nagraj Kashyap, Global Head of Microsoft's M12 (Microsoft)

Kashyap has spent the last 20 years in corporate venture capital. He started his career with Qualcomm Ventures before heading to Microsoft Ventures, now called M12 (so named because there are 12 letters in the word "entrepreneur"). He is on nine different startup boards as a member or observer and focuses primarily on future of work and AI-enabled workflow automation technology.

He has led investments in workforce management tool Workboard, RNA therapeutics startup Envisagenics, and identity management tool LoginRadius for M12.



Quinn Li, Global Head of Qualcomm Ventures

Li has overseen Qualcomm's $1B global venture portfolio for the last nine months after moving up the ranks at the San Diego-based corporate venture fund. He is a board observer for newly public video conferencing startup Zoom, in which Qualcomm was a major investor. Li has been at Qualcomm for 14 years in various roles, and was a product specialist at IBM, Broadcom, and Lucent Technologies earlier in his career.

Although he oversees Qualcomm Venture's entire portfolio, Li personally led investments in mobile marketing software maker Verve, geolocation-based parking tool Streetline, and networking software creator PowerCloud Systems.



I paid off more than $10,000 of credit card debt in 3 years, and using balance transfer cards saved me another $3,000 in interest

Thu, 07/04/2019 - 8:45am  |  Clusterstock

When I got my first "big girl" job out of college, I made the quintessentially millennial mistake of thinking my fairly average salary could buy me anything I wanted, just because it wasn't minimum wage. 

As a newly certified grownup, I assumed it was only normal to sign a lease on a house with a big backyard, fill it with cute mid-range furniture and a whole wardrobe of new work clothes, and start going to bottomless brunch on a weekly basis.

A few years later, I was facing around $10,000 in credit card debt. I wanted to quit my job and move, but I knew I wouldn't be able to do that with five figures of credit card debt breathing down my neck, so I started looking for ways to pay off credit card debt quickly. Some casual internet research led me to the answer I needed: balance transfer credit cards.

How I chose a balance transfer credit card

Balance transfer credit cards generally offer an introductory 0% APR for a set period of time, and often no fee for transferring your balance on another card to this card instead. Then, you have that introductory period to pay off your balance without it earning any more interest, making the balance transfer card an option for people trying to dig out from underneath credit card debt.

I went with the Chase Slate, which offered 0% interest on balance transfers for the first 15 months (17.24% to 25.99% variable APR after). There are balance transfer credit cards out there with a longer introductory period, but I chose the Chase Slate because it came with a $0 balance transfer fee for the first 60 days, although the go-to balance transfer fee on the card is 5% of the amount transferred, with a minimum of $5.

Doing a balance transfer with the Chase Slate credit card

I was lucky enough to get approved for the card and offered a credit limit of $7,000, which would cover most of my debt. My credit score at the time was around 700, probably due to the fact that my debt-to-credit ratio was still pretty low. Also, I'd never missed a monthly payment. 

I transferred $7,000 of my debt to my new Chase Slate for free and left the remaining $3,000 on my credit union credit card, the one of my cards with the lowest interest rate.

With 15 months to pay off my balance before my interest rate shot up to nearly 20%, I calculated that I'd have to make monthly payments of at least $467 to pay off the card in time, along with paying the minimum each month on my credit union credit card.

I started with monthly payments of $250 on my Chase Slate and figured I could increase them as I cut costs — but I never did. So as my 15 months came to a close, I still had a balance of about $3,000 on my Chase Slate, plus another $2,000 on my credit union credit card. 

Doing a second balance transfer with the Citi Simplicity credit card

Luckily, I was approved for a second balance transfer credit card. This time I went with the Citi Simplicity because it came with the longest introductory period — 21 months. Unfortunately, I'd never had a credit card with Citi before, so they only approved me for a $2,700 credit limit, and I also had to pay a 3% balance transfer fee. I transferred the $2,700 from my Chase Slate and let them charge me interest on the remaining $300 before I paid it off the next month. My credit union credit card still had a $2,000 balance.

This time I committed to paying off the balance on time. I did the math and set the monthly payments on my Citi Simplicity and my credit union credit card on autopay.

Twenty-one months later, I was officially debt-free.

I made mistakes but still saved $3,000

I made a few mistakes — namely, not sticking to a plan to pay off my debt, and assuming I would be approved for a second balance transfer card with an adequate credit limit. 

That being said, I got $10,000 worth of credit card debt paid off in three years, and I only had to pay $81 in balance transfer fees and just over $400 in interest, mostly on my credit union credit card. If I hadn't done a balance transfer at all, I would have spent over $3,000 on interest fees.

I never closed my balance transfer credit cards because keeping them open with $0 balances helps my credit score, although Chase eventually closed my Slate due to inactivity. More importantly, my credit score is inching its way toward 800, and I've stayed debt-free ever since.

Try the free CardMatch tool at CreditCards.com to find the right credit card to meet your goals »

Join the conversation about this story »

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William Hill to close 700 betting shops risking 4,500 jobs across the UK

Thu, 07/04/2019 - 7:35am  |  Clusterstock

  • William Hill to close 700 stores, risking 4,500 jobs in the United Kingdom.
  • The announcement comes after the UK government slashed the maximum stake on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals to £2.
  • The terminals, known as the "crack cocaine" of gambling, had led to an explosion of betting shops on British high streets.
  • Campaigners welcomed the closures, while unions called for jobs to be protected.

LONDON — High Street bookmakers William Hill is set to close 700 of its shops, putting 4,500 jobs at risk, following the government's decision to reduce the spread of Fixed Odds Betting terminals.

Theresa May's government agreed in April to reduce the maximum stake on the terminals, known by critics as the "crack cocaine" of gambling, to £2.

The popularity of the terminals with gamblers had led to a big increase in betting shops on high streets across the United Kingdom, with many stores reportedly relying on the terminals for a majority of their revenue.

However, with an original maximum stake of £100, gamblers were able to quickly lose large amounts of money, with younger gamblers most affected.

Following the decision to reduce the stake on the machines, William Hill reported a "significant fall" in revenues, leading to today's decision.

"The group will look to apply voluntary redundancy and redeployment measures extensively and will be providing support to all colleagues throughout the process," a statement by the company said.

Betting shop workers' union Community described the decision as "devastating news" for employees at William Hill.

"The government also has a role to play and must look at what support they can offer to workers whose jobs are threatened as a consequence of changes to the law around FOBTs," Community operations director Tom Blenkinsop said.

"Betting shops provide an important source of local employment and many of our members have served the company loyally for years. Workers don't deserve to be the victims of the changes happening in the industry as a result of either government policy or the significant shift towards online gambling."

However, campaigners welcomed the decision.

"These jobs were inevitably going to go and at least represent a decline in the misery of betting on the High Street," Adam Bradford, founder of the Safer Online Gambling Group, said.

"Perhaps William Hill can deploy its staff into treating addicts and supporting those who are vulnerable across their other betting outlets."

SEE ALSO: Support for Jeremy Corbyn's Labour plummets to lowest level in polling history

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Princess Haya has hired Prince William and Harry's lawyer to fight her divorce from the emir of Dubai, and she's an expert in royal separations

Thu, 07/04/2019 - 7:17am  |  Clusterstock

  • Princess Haya has hired a lawyer to British royalty to represent her in her divorce from the emir and sheikh of Dubai, a source told Business Insider.
  • Princess Haya fled to London in June, reportedly after learning chilling details about the failed escape of Sheikha Latifa, one of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum's 23 children.
  • She is now divorcing the sheikh and has hired Baroness Shackleton of Belgravia from the law firm Payne Hicks Beach to advocate for her. 
  • Shackleton represented Prince Charles during his divorce from Princess Diana Spencer in 1996 and is now a solicitor to Prince William and Prince Harry.
  • Lady Helen Ward, from the law firm Stewart's, will represent Sheikh Mohammed, legal sources told Business Insider.
  • Visit INSIDER'S homepage for more stories.

Princess Haya of Jordan has enlisted the expertise of Baroness Shackleton, a lawyer frequently used by the British royal family, to litigate divorce proceedings against her husband, the emir of Dubai, a colleague for the lawyer told Business Insider.

Princess Haya fled to London this month. According to the BBC, she left after learning worrying details of the 2018 disappearance of  Sheikha Latifa, one of her husband's, Emir Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, 23 children.

She is now divorcing him at the High Court in London. The BBC, citing sources close to Princess Haya, said she is "afraid for her life."

David Haigh, a lawyer for Sheikha Latifa, told Business Insider that Princess Haya has enlisted Shackleton to handle the case. She is a solicitor to Prince Harry and Prince William and has substantial experience in high-stakes divorce cases.

London's The Times also reported Shackleton's involvement, citing unnamed "legal sources."

Her former clients include Prince Charles, in his 1996 divorce of Princess Diana, and Paul McCartney, in his 2008 divorce of Heather Mills.

Shackleton has yet to respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.

A source close to Sheikh Mohammed told Business Insider that the divorce lawyer Lady Helen Ward, of the firm Stewart's, would represent the sheikh during legal proceedings.

The case will be heard by Justice Moor at the High Court, which sits at London's Royal Courts of Justice. Hearings are scheduled for July 30 and 31.

According to a Wednesday report by MailOnline, which cited sources close to Princess Haya, the prompt for her departure from Dubai was finding out that Sheikha Latifa tried to run away.

The outlet said Sheikh Mohammed had told Princess Haya that Sheikha Latifa was kidnapped as part of an extortion attempt, rather than fleeing of her own free will.

A BBC documentary last year detailed how Sheikha Latifa spent seven years planning the escape.

Read more: Dubai held a 'gender balance' awards, and every single winner is a man

The documentary details how Emirati commandos caught up with Princess Haya just off the coast of Goa, India, in April, two weeks after she fled.

She was returned to Dubai and has not been heard from in public since. 

In December, the Emirati Embassy in London said in a statement that she was alive and "safe in Dubai."

Before her escape, Sheikha Latifa made a video to be released if her escape failed. In it, Sheikha Latifa said she was fleeing physical and psychological abuse at the hands of her father. 

Haigh, the lawyer for Sheikha Latifa, told Business Insider that Princess Haya's lawsuit would draw attention back onto the human-rights abuses in the United Arab Emirates.

"It's good news for Latifa, as it's thrown what happened to her into a court which isn't corrupt," he said. "That's good news for anyone who has been abused in the UAE."

Shackleton represented Prince Charles during his split from Princess Diana in 1996 and represented Prince Andrew, Duke of York, during his divorce with Sarah, Duchess of York, the same year.

She also represented the Beatles star Paul McCartney as he divorced Heather Mills in 2008. 

Sheikh Mohammed, also an amateur poet, released a mysterious verse this week that appears to allude to Princess Haya's escape to London.

A line in "Affection in Your Eyes" reads: "We have an ailment that no medicine can cure / No experts in herbs can remedy this."

Princess Haya is also suing for custody of the children she shares with Sheikh Mohammed: Zayed, 7, and daughter Al Jalila, 11, Time magazine reported.

Another of his daughters, Sheikha Shamsa, fled the family's English country estate in a Range Rover in 2000 when she was 18, her friends told The Guardian. She was caught and sent to Dubai. 

Radha Stirling, the CEO of Detained in Dubai, an advocacy group campaigning for Sheikha Latifa, said in a statement on Monday: "Princess Haya has every reason to fear the consequences if she were to be sent back to Dubai. She surely knows, as Latifa knew, that asylum provides her the only safe route out of the royal palace."

Stirling added: "If she was abused, she could not go to the police; if she wanted a divorce, she could not go to the courts."

The Emirati embassy in London told Business Insider: "This is a private family matter and not one which the UAE government would involve itself in or comment on."

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NOW WATCH: YouTube is in dangerous territory after not removing a video that ridiculed a Vox producer for being gay

Markets Live: Thursday, 4th July 2019

Thu, 07/04/2019 - 6:03am  |  FT Alphaville

Live markets commentary from FT.com

Continue reading: Markets Live: Thursday, 4th July 2019

We drove a stylish $273,244 Aston Martin DB11 Volante convertible to see if it's worth the massive price — here's the verdict

Wed, 07/03/2019 - 8:23pm  |  Clusterstock

A few years ago, we got a look at the power, beauty, and soul of the stunning new Aston Martin DB11, in coupé form. Price tag: $254,084.

Last year, we checked out the drop-top version — the Aston Martin DB11 Volante. Price tag: $273,244.

OK, so this much power, and soul doesn't come cheap. But then again, if you have James Bond aspirations, you're talking about Tom Ford suits, good scotch, and the best Champagne. The lifestyle has some costs — but living well, as it's been said, is the best revenge.

I'm a massive Aston Martin fan. The DB9 is one of my all-time favorite cars, and while the DB11 we sampled last year is burlier than its forebears, it continues the tradition of Astons being the stylish, thinking-person's muscle car. That isn't all show, either. Aston Martin competes in high-level endurance racing worldwide, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France (the race car is derived from the DB11's stablemate, the Vantage).

But here's the cool thing about Aston's grand tourers: They're fast, but they don't need to be driven to the edge. You can thrum along at 40 mph and feel like the slickest, smoothest cat in town. Sure, you'll want to dress the part. Astons are so suave that you can't get away with jeans and a t-shirt. Believe me, I've tried. And failed.

Aston was kind enough to let us borrow the 2019 DB11 Volante for a few days. Our coupé came with a stately Magnetic Silver paint job. The Volante's was a slightly flashier "Pearl Blonde," and the exquisite leather interior was two-tone "Blue Haze" and "Coral Sand." So the Volante wasn't exactly holding back.

Here's how it all went down.

Photos by Hollis Johnson.

SEE ALSO: We drove a $150,000 Porsche Panamera Turbo and an $86,000 Cadillac CTS-V to see which mega-sedan was our favorite — here's the verdict

Behold: the glorious beauty of the DB11. We weren't sure about the Pearl Blonde paint job, especially with the blue top, but in about 15 minutes I was loving it. The weather in New York City was ideal for a convertible.

I never get tired of looking at an Aston.

Even from a distance, the DB11 Volante just pops.

The shape is classic GT, and although it's broken slightly by the convertible top, the sinuous, athletic lines and flowing curves of the Aston are unmistakable. The entire design fits together like a muscular animal drawn from nature.

Pure sculpture: long, low, and wide. There's just enough exterior detail — vents and scoops and cuts-ins — to keep matters lively.

With that much hood up front, the risk for the DB11 Volante is that it would fall out of proportion. But it doesn't. The bold read haunches keep the design in balance.

The rear is stunning — an achievement, given that the back end has to accommodate the top when retracted. Note how the tail lights and headlamps are proportional in terms of graphic mass without resembling each other too much.

There's also some tech back there.

"One of the major triumphs of the DB11's design is the new AeroBlade system, which creates a virtual spoiler using jets of air directed through discrete ducts located on the decklid of the car," Business Insider's Ben Zhang noted in his review of the DB11 coupé last year.

"This allows Aston to deliver great downforce without the need for a large and unsightly spoiler. There is a small retractable spoiler, but that's only deployed at high speed."

The Volante alters the design a bit, due to the lack of C-pillars and the convertible roof, but it retains the spoiler.



The top retracts in about 15 seconds.

And I'm ready for some open-air motoring!

Do you agree that the DB11 Volante makes just as stunning an impression with the top dropped? To be honest, I think it looks sharper — and better than the coupé!

The forged alloy wheels will run you $5,400 extra. And the brake calipers? $1,600. In total, our tester came with just under $60,000 in options.

In an era of brash, oversize badges, Aston still whispers. Because it can.

Let's slip inside.

The door sill plaques reminds you that the DB11 is England-made. Well, 66% anyway. The engine and transmission are German, from Mercedes-AMG.

Mercedes owns 5% of Aston, which is small, private carmaker in a world of big conglomerates. The company brings in only about $1 billion a year and can't push nearly as hard as larger concerns, so it has to join up with others to make a go of it. In 2017, Aston sold 5,100 vehicles.



Oh my. I mean, c'mon. You're encased in luxury. Having a bad day? Then just go sit in your Aston Martin DB11 Volante for a few minutes to decompress, cheer up, be pampered.

The view from the modest rear seats. Yes, the blue gives the DB11 Volante a bit of a Frank Sinatra edition vibe, but I dug it.

The Tamo Ash seat backs are gorgeous — and $2,000 extra.

It's extremely pleasant to be the driver of this thing.

Again, that subtle winged badge.

And a tachometer front and center on the instrument panel. As it should be.

Adult in the back seats? Maybe. More likely, pre-teens. Or just a $2,000 linen sportcoat and an Hermès handbag.

So discreet.

The seats and leather trim are "brogued," just as with fine benchmade shoes.

The DB11's interior is ultra-mega-premium and relatively uncluttered. The gearshifts are handled by buttons in the center stack, and 8-speed transmission can be manually operated using paddles behind the steering wheel.

The infotainment system is borrowed from Mercedes, operated via a touchpad between the seats. It generates no problems: audio, navigation, Bluetooth pairing, USB/AUX inputs — all check. If you need contemporary infotainment tech in your throwback GT car, you won't be disappointed.



These speakers rise from the dash. The Bang & Olufsen BeoSound audio system is an $8,300 options. It sounds pretty good, but to be honest I've never been blown away by the audio setups in any Aston. I think it has something to do with the snug design of the cockpits. Doesn't provide a great acoustic environment.

The truck is large enough to handle a few pieces of luggage — enough for a weekend getaway.

The key fob. My biggest complaint about the car. It's a lightweight piece of cheap plastic. Not a great place to cut corners, Aston!

In days of yore, a lovely crystal key had to be inserted in the dashboard to start the car. No more. Now we have a plastic fob and a push-button. Sigh ...



As much as the DB11 is about aesthetics, this is a sports car, so let's examine the Mercedes-AMG-sourced engine tucked beneath the hood.

That's a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8, making 503 horsepower.

What, no V12? 

Right. As Ben Zhang noted when reviewing the DB11 coupé, pop the hood on that sucker and "you'll find a sublime 5.2 liter, twin-turbocharged V12."

That engine serves up 600-horsepower and a 3.9-second 0-60 mph sprint, with a 200 mph top speed.

The V8 can manage just 187 mph. But the 0-60 mph run happens just a whisker slower, in about 4 seconds.



It was inspected by one Joseph Rush. Nice work, Mr. Rush!

So what's the verdict?

Ben and I agreed that we like the Volante better than the coupé. Nothing wrong with the hardtop — a trained killer in a Savile Row suit, according to Ben— but it's sort of the same thing I feel about the V6 Jaguar F-Type versus the F-Type R. The bigger engine and more stonking power doesn't necessarily provide a superior driving experience. 

The V8 is a German motor, of course, and the V12 is Aston-made. But while a massive V12 looks good on paper, a V8 offers ample power and relieves Aston of the burden of dealing with regulatory hurdles associated with dinosaur propulsion. To a degree. We're still talking about just 20 mpg combined here.

The DB11 Volante doesn't feel lighter or friskier than the Coupé — it has that same extremely purposeful vibe, supremely confident going fast in a straight line accompanied by a throaty roar of combustion through the dual exhaust pipes, supremely confident diving into corners, supremely confident racing away from semis on the highway, supremely confident just cruising through the New Jersey suburbs (well, as supremely confident as a car can be in that environment). 

The Aston, then, is pretty much in its element no matter what the circumstances. This makes for an endlessly blissful experience, and it should, given the price tag. You very much get what you pay for. The old knockabout convertible being less thrilling to drive than hardtops doesn't apply. The Volante serves up a rush that's equal to the coupé, even with almost 100 less horsepower on tap.

So as much as I love the old DB9, I might have a new favorite Aston.

 



Gas and diesel prices rose at the worst possible time for drivers in the US and these states are being affected most

Wed, 07/03/2019 - 7:53pm  |  Clusterstock

  • Gas and diesel taxes went up in a handful of US states on July 1.
  • Those increases are happening in California, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Vermont.
  • There are various reasons for the hikes, depending on the state, but they are primarily meant to help fund maintenance and improvements for roads, bridges and other infrastructure around the country.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Gas and diesel taxes have risen in 12 states, most prominently in Illinois, Ohio, and California.

Connecticut, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Vermont have also implemented hikes. There are various reasons for the increases, depending on the state, but they are primarily meant to help fund maintenance and improvements for roads, bridges and other transportation infrastructure around the country.

For some states, the gas tax increase has been long delayed. Some states have postponed this increase for several years due to the political challenges, Carl Davis, a research director at the Institute of Taxation and Economic Policy, told Business Insider. Davis is an expert in transportation infrastructure funding.

"Lawmakers don't want to take a vote to raise the price of gas, but at the same time, drivers don't want to drive over an unsafe bridge or hit a pothole or be stuck in a traffic congestion," Davis said. "There are inevitable tradeoffs here, and navigating these tradeoffs can be tricky."

These are the states that have increased their gas tax rates:

California

California's gas tax increased by 5.6 cents per gallon to a total of 47.3 cents per gallon. This was the final increase from a 2017 bill that was created to help pay for infrastructure improvements. The gas tax rate will now be adjusted for inflation on an annual basis.



Connecticut

The tax rate on diesel fuel jumped 2.6 cents, bringing it to a total of 46.5 cents per gallon. This is still lower than the state's 2013 peak of 54.9 cents.



Illinois

The gas tax in Connecticut is up 19 cents, doubling the previous tax for a total of 38 cents per gallon. The diesel tax increased by 24 cents to nearly 46 cents per gallon.



Indiana

Gas taxes in the Hoosier State increased 0.5 cents per gallon, and diesel will increase by a penny per gallon.

According to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, in Indiana, both of these taxes "are updated annually to keep pace with inflation and the rate of personal income growth in Indiana."



Maryland

Gas and diesel taxes increased 1.4 cents to a total of 36.7 cents per gallon. The change is due to a 2013 formula which increases the tax rate in accordance with inflation and fuel prices.



Michigan

The taxes increased by 0.1 cents for gas and 0.2 cents for diesel. The tax rates differ each month, depending on the price of fuel.



Montana

Gas taxes rose by 0.5 cents, while diesel rose by 0.2 cents. Both increases are the result of 2017 legislation that will spur incremental gas tax hikes through July 2022.



Nebraska

Tax rates for both gas and diesel rose by 0.1 cents.



Ohio

Gas taxes rose by 10.5 cents per gallon in Ohio, while diesel rose by 19 cents to a total of 47 cents per gallon.



Rhode Island

Drivers in Rhode Island got a one-cent tax increase on gas and diesel in the state, for a total tax of 34 cents per gallon. It's the first gas-tax hike since July 2015, the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy said.



South Carolina

Taxes on gas and diesel rose by two cents per gallon on July 1. The increase is the third installment of a six-part series of tax hikes implemented in 2017.



Tennessee

The gas tax rose by one cent on July 1, while diesel rose by three cents.



Vermont

The gas tax in Vermont increased by 0.55 cents. The tax rate on diesel is unchanged.



Not even Walmart has enough cash available to compete with Amazon's e-commerce fulfillment empire, report says (AMZN, WMT)

Wed, 07/03/2019 - 6:09pm  |  Clusterstock

  • Walmart and Amazon are duking it out for domination in the American e-commerce industry.
  • A big new report from Recode today shows that Walmart's e-commerce losses are pushing past $1 billion.
  • One area in which Walmart is losing out to Amazon is its ability to build fulfillment centers to efficiently deliver your online orders, Recode said.
  • Both companies' financial statements confirm that Walmart doesn't have the cash flow of Amazon, a Business Insider analysis found.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Walmart became the largest retailer in part thanks to its logistics ingenuity — it's arguably one of the largest trucking companies in America, with drivers paid at least $87,500 from day one, and has a vast network of warehouses with ultra-high standards.

But Walmart's e-commerce push has been hamstrung in part because of its lack of e-commerce fulfillment centers, a comprehensive report from Recode's Jason Del Rey found on Wednesday.

Amazon has 110 fulfillment centers in the US to Walmart's 20, Recode reported. Building more of those fulfillment centers requires serious investment. Amazon's newest fulfillment center, which will open this month on the outskirts of New Haven, Connecticut, cost some $250 million to build.

Amazon did not respond to Business Insider's inquiry. Walmart said it was not commenting on the Recode report.

Read more: A key metric in FedEx's financial statements underscores why the shipping giant dropped Amazon as a customer

Logistics in general is pricey — Amazon said its push for one-day delivery would cost the company $800 million in investments this year. But Amazon can bankroll these pushes through Amazon Web Services and its ad business, according to Del Rey.

Walmart, on the other hand, doesn't have that abundant flow of cash, Recode reported. Sources told Recode that Walmart execs have agreed to expand its e-commerce warehouse footprint.

A Business Insider analysis of both companies' Securities and Exchange Commission filings bolsters that claim. Walmart's current ratio, which is a measure investors often use to see if a firm has enough cash to meet its short-term debts, has hovered around 0.75 this year and last year. Amazon's current ratio was 1.1 in 2019 and 2018.

Investors want to see a current ratio above 1.0. That shows that the company has more cash on hand than debts that need to be paid off from the past year. Below 1.0 shows that short-term liabilities outweigh assets.

Do you work in logistics and have a story to share with Business Insider? Email the reporter at rpremack@businessinsider.com.

Read the entire Recode article here »

SEE ALSO: Amazon Air is quietly expanding toward Asia's doorstep in its latest warning shot to FedEx and UPS

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NOW WATCH: Inside Roborace: the Formula One for self-driving cars

Tesla's record quarter calms fears about Model 3 demand, but there's a big question about whether the company hurt profits to boost sales (TSLA)

Wed, 07/03/2019 - 5:51pm  |  Clusterstock

Tesla delivered 95,200 vehicles between April and June, beating Wall Street estimates and setting a record for vehicle deliveries in one quarter.

The electric-car maker's second-quarter delivery numbers were subject to intense scrutiny, since deliveries fell 31% between the fourth quarter of 2018 and the first quarter of this year. Tesla blamed issues with delivery logistics and seasonal demand, but some argued that demand for the company's vehicles was lower than it had projected.

Read more: Tesla's stock is soaring after it reported record-setting vehicle deliveries last quarter

The delivery record suggests that there is still strong demand for the Model 3, which made up 81% of Tesla's second-quarter deliveries.

"Investors feared everyone that wanted an EV had already bought one and deliveries would continue to fall," Gene Munster, a managing partner at Loup Ventures, wrote in a note on Thursday. "Today's record-high Model 3 production and deliveries should largely put an end to those fears. It's clear that demand is strong and growing as they continue to enter new markets."

But the strong delivery numbers come with a question that will be answered when Tesla releases its second-quarter earnings: Did the company sacrifice profits to boost sales?

Since the end of the first quarter, Tesla has cut the price of its Model S sedan and Model X SUV while making Autopilot, a driver-assistance system whose basic features used to cost $3,000, standard on all of its vehicles.

"I think what everyone's now concerned about is, well, did you sacrifice profit for volume?" David Whiston, an automotive analyst at Morningstar, said.

Tesla raised $2.7 billion in May, but the company's ability to move toward consistent profits will become more important as it works on expensive projects with significant potential benefits, like building a factory in Shanghai — which will reduce import costs to China, the biggest auto market — and introducing the Model Y SUV and a pickup truck in the coming years, which will give Tesla access to segments of the auto market that have produced big profits.

"I don't think we should just assume everything's awesome and perfect now just because they had a record delivery quarter," Whiston said. "It's certainly good news, but again, it's one quarter."

Have you worked for Tesla? Do you have a story to share? Contact this reporter at mmatousek@businessinsider.com.

SEE ALSO: 18 controversies that have plagued Tesla

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Ford invested $500M into an electric vehicle startup. Here's how Rivian is doing exactly what Tesla isn't.

WHERE ARE THEY NOW: First kids of the United States

Wed, 07/03/2019 - 5:15pm  |  Clusterstock

  • Barron Trump, 13, has lived in the White House for almost two years. It's the first time since John F. Kennedy Jr. that a boy is living at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
  • The first kids of US presidents are in the public eye almost as much as their parents. They dictate fashion trends, appear on their parents' behalf at embassies around the world, and sometimes host senior prom in the White House East Room.
  • But when the first family departs, the spotlight typically turns away from them. We're taking a look at what they've been doing ever since.
  • Visit BusinessInsider.com for more stories.

Some first kids follow their parents into politics, some write about it, or tour the country talking about it, and others do their very best to steer clear of the limelight.

Regardless of what these well known kids end up doing after they move out of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., they're still an important part of United States history.

Here's a look at what the first children are up to these days.

Melissa Stanger and Melia Robinson contributed to previous versions of this article.

SEE ALSO: Trump once reportedly complained the White House is a 'dump.' Photos show how surprisingly small it is.

Caroline Kennedy served as the US ambassador to Japan.

Daughter of John and Jackie Kennedy

Caroline Kennedy served as the US ambassador to Japan for three years. She was the first woman ambassador, and during her tenure former President Barack Obama strengthened his relationship with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. She resigned from the job shortly after President Donald Trump was sworn in in 2017.

The former attorney, 61, also serves as president of the JFK Presidential Library and has written 10 best-selling books on constitutional law, American history, and poetry.

In 2019, she presented House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award.

Caroline is married to American designer Edwin Schlossberg and they have three children. 



Lynda Bird Johnson Robb advocates for equal rights for women and minorities.

Daughter of Lyndon and Lady Bird Johnson

At 75, former Virginia first lady Lynda Bird Johnson Robb is the oldest living child of a US president. In the '70s, she chaired the President's Advisory Committee for Women to help carry out former President Jimmy Carter's mandate to promote gender equality.

Lynda Bird, whose father signed the 1964 Civil Rights Act and 1965 Voting Rights Act, spoke at the 50th anniversary ceremony of the March on Washington and attended the remembrance banquet for the 50th anniversary of the "Bloody Sunday" assault in Selma, Alabama.

She has openly supported same-sex marriage, and she and her sister Luci Baines told Katie Couric in an interview in 2014 that she believes her father would have been, too.

In 2019, the Johnson sisters christened a warship bearing their father's name by smashing champagne bottles against the ship.

Lynda Bird has three children with husband Chuck Robb, who was the governor of Virginia from 1982 to 1986 and the state's senator from 1989 to 2001.



Luci Baines (née Johnson) chairs the private holding company her mother founded 70 years ago.

Daughter of Lyndon and Lady Bird Johnson

Like mother, like daughter: Luci Baines Johnson and her husband Ian Turpin took the helm of LBJ Asset Management Partners in the late '80s and completely turned the business around during the economic crisis.

In February 2017, Luci Baines attended a gathering in Austin, Texas, to show support for the Muslim community. A marcher who met Luci shared a post about their encounter that went viral.

Now 71, Luci Baines had four children with her first husband, Patrick John Nugent.



Tricia Nixon Cox lives a quiet life with her family in Manhattan.

Daughter of Richard and Pat Nixon

Trisha Nixon Cox, 73, accompanied her father on many campaign stops and state trips during his presidency but has steered clear of the spotlight since starting a family more than 40 years ago.

Trisha serves on the board of the Richard Nixon Foundation and is married to Edward Cox, whom she wed in the first wedding in the White House Rose Garden in 1971. The couple had one child.



Julie Nixon Eisenhower married into another presidential lineage.

Daughter of Richard and Pat Nixon

A staunch supporter of her father after the Watergate scandal, Julie Nixon Eisenhower, 70, lives on a Pennsylvania farm away from the public eye. She married David Eisenhower, President Eisenhower's grandson, uniting two of the country's most powerful political families.

She wrote a biography about her mother, "Pat Nixon: The Untold Story," and also serves on the board of her father's presidential library. She and her husband authored a memoir about her grandfather-in-law, "Going Home to Glory: A Memoir of Life with Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1961-1969." The couple had three children.



Michael Ford spent 36 years overseeing campus life at Wake Forest University.

Son of Gerald and Betty Ford

Michael Ford, who went by Mike, returned to his alma mater, Wake Forest University, in 1981 as associate dean of campus life, and retired in 2017 after 36 years.

He married Gayle Ann Brumbaugh in 1974. The couple had three children.



Jack Ford was a founding staff member of the magazine Outside.

Son of Gerald and Betty Ford

John Gardner "Jack" Ford, 67, — once President Ford's "free-spirited, shaggy-haired son" — grew into a successful entrepreneur. He founded a startup, California Infotech, which supplied electronic information kiosks to malls. He also helped launch Outside magazine.

After appearing at half a dozen Republican National Conventions, Jack served as executive director of the San Diego host committee for the RNC in 1996. 

In 1989, he married Juliann Ford. They have two sons.



Steven Ford appeared on seven seasons of "The Young and the Restless."

Son of Gerald and Betty Ford

Wild-child Steven Ford, 63, joined the cast of television soap opera "The Young and The Restless" in 1981, playing P.I. Andy Richards. After six seasons and a role reprisal in 2002, he has since appeared in a number of films, including "Armageddon," "Black Hawk Down," "When Harry Met Sally," and "Transformers."

Ford ended his tenure as chairman of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation in 2014 (though he remains on the board of trustees), but continues to honor the legacy of his father's administration, speaking at town-hall events and lectures around the country. His most requested talks are: "Inside the White House and Hollywood," and "Getting to the top with character."

He never married. 



Susan Ford Bales worked as a photojournalist for high-profile publications.

Daughter of Gerald and Betty Ford

President Ford's only daughter, Susan Ford, took up photography under the mentorship of White House photographer David Kennerly. She went on to become a photojournalist for news outlets, including the Associated Press and Newsweek.

Ford, 61, also launched National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in conjunction with her mother, and succeeded her mother as chairwoman of the Betty Ford Center. She has also been calling for better efforts to identify causes and cures to heart disease, after suffering a sudden cardiac arrest herself in 2013.

She married Charles Vance, one of her father's former secret service agents, and they had two children before divorcing in 1988. She's now married to attorney Vaden Bales.



Jack Carter ran for a Nevada seat in the US Senate.

Son of Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter

John William "Jack" Carter ran for the first major office the Carter family has sought since 1980. He sealed the Democratic nomination for a US Senate seat in Nevada, but was unsuccessful against an incumbent Republican senator in the 2006 election.

Jack, 71, spent most of his career in the investment and finance industry. He has been married twice and has two children.



Chip Carter lays low while his son carries on the political torch.

Son of Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter

Not much is known about what James Earl "Chip" Carter III, 69, is up to these days. He participated in the Democratic National Committee, served as a member of Plains City Council, and between 1995 and 2004 worked as vice president, then president and CEO, at a not-for-profit that organized international exchanges for adult home stays.

He married three times and has a son and a daughter.

His son — the grandson of President Carter — James Carter IV made headlines during the 2012 presidential election, after he helped unearth the infamous "47%" video that ostracized nominee Mitt Romney. James Carter IV later received a thank-you note from former President Barack Obama.



Jeff Carter launched a computer-electronics company.

Son of Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter

Donnel Jeffrey "Jeff" Carter, 67, co-founded Computer Mapping Consultants, a firm that became a consultancy for the World Bank in 1978 and held foreign government contracts.

Jeff married Annette Carter, and they had three children together. In 2018, his 28-year-old son Jeremy died from a suspected heart attack.



Amy Lynn Carter illustrated a children's book that her father wrote.

Daughter of Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter

Amy Lynn Carter Wentzel, 51, became a political activist in the '80s and '90s — and was even arrested at a CIA recruitment protest. She later received a master's degree from Tulane in art history and started a family in the Atlanta area with computer consultant James Wentzel. At her wedding ceremony she was not given away, saying she did not belong to anyone. She had one child with Wentzel, before later remarrying and having a second son.

Amy worked with her dad on "The Little Baby Snoogle-Fleejer," which President Carter wrote and she illustrated. The children's book is about a boy who befriends a monster.



Michael Reagan became a highly successful radio talk-show host.

Son of Ronald Reagan and Jane Wyman

Michael Reagan was adopted by the actor-turned-president and his first wife, Jane Wyman, just three years before the couple divorced. He is the last living child of this marriage.

After a stint working in aerospace, the powerboat-racing enthusiast found his niche as a political radio talk-show host. He hosted the show for over 26 years. In his retirement, Michael writes op-ed articles, contributes to Newsmax Media, and serves as president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation.

Michael, 74, has been married twice, and has two children.

 



Patti Davis is the author of multiple fiction and nonfiction novels.

Daughter of Ronald and Nancy Reagan

The first child of Ronald Reagan's marriage to Nancy, Patti Davis, 66, overcame a number of personal obstacles, including drug addiction, self-harm, and an eating disorder, and discovered her voice through her writing. She has published more than half a dozen works.

She blogs regularly on her website and in 2017, her editorial on her father's shooter went viral. In 2019, she said her father would be "horrified" about democracy during the era of President Donald Trump.

Patti married Paul Grilley in 1984. They divorced in 1990 and had no children.



Ron Reagan provides political analysis as an MSNBC contributor.

Son of Ronald and Nancy Reagan

Ron Reagan, 61, tried his hand at a number of careers, including ballet dancing, before arriving in journalism and joining MSNBC as a political analysis contributor. He has expressed strong opposition to Trump.

Ron only ever knew his father as a politician, but unlike his father has very liberal political views. The "unabashed atheist" recorded a comical PSA for the Freedom From Religion Foundation, which ran during Comedy Central's "The Daily Show" and "The Colbert Report" in 2014.

He married Doria Palmieri, a clinical psychologist, in 1980. She died in 2014.



George W. Bush served as president from 2001 to 2009.

Son of George H.W. and Barbara Bush

George W. Bush served as the 43rd president at the start of the war in Iraq.

The eldest son of President George H.W. Bush, he was criticized for his handling of the "War on Terror," Hurricane Katrina, and other challenges. Since his presidency, he has avoided the political limelight and grown more liked.

In 2019, he called for the end of the partial government shutdown on Instagram, with a photo featuring him and his wife Laura Bush handing pizza over to their Secret Service detail, who were working without pay.

Today the 72-year-old is enjoying retirement as a grandpa and an artist. He has two daughters and will welcome in a third grandchild in 2019.



John E. "Jeb" Bush is a non-resident professor at the University of Pennsylvania.

Son of George H.W. and Barbara Bush

Jeb Bush carved himself a place in politics as the former governor of Florida, along with an unsuccessful run for the White House in 2015.

The Florida resident transitioned from corporate life to public office in the '80s — first as the chairman of the Dade County Republican Party and then as the governor of the Sunshine State. During his presidential campaign, he released 33 years of tax returns — the most ever made public by a presidential candidate — as a sign to voters that he values transparency.

Since his presidential run, the 66-year-old has been spending time teaching, first as a visiting fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School, then teaching a class at at Texas A&M before being named presidential professor of practice at the University of Pennsylvania.

In 1974, he married Columba Garnica Gallo and they have three children.



Neil Bush is a director of the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M.

Son of George H. W. and Barbara Bush

Neil Bush works as a director of Texas A&M's Bush School of Government and Public Service and as chair of the board of directors at Points of Light, the philanthropic group his father founded.

A businessman and active philanthropist, Bush, 64, also founded educational software company Ignite! Learning in 1999 after struggling with dyslexia as a child.

Neil married Sharon Bush and they had three children. In 2003, they divorced and he married Maria Andrews in 2004.



Marvin Bush is a managing partner at an investment firm in Washington, D.C.

Son of George H. W. and Barbara Bush

At 62, Marvin Bush is 41's youngest son. He's the cofounder and managing partner at Washington, D.C.-based investment firm Winston Partners.

Marvin made headlines during the 2016 presidential election when he endorsed Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson over Trump, following his brother Jeb's exit from the race.

He married Margaret Conway in 1981 and they adopted two children.



Dorothy Bush Koch authored a book about her experience as a first kid.

Daughter of George H.W. and Barbara Bush

Dorothy Bush Koch, who goes by "Doro," is the former president's youngest child and only living daughter. She is involved in a number of charities and philanthropies, and serves as the honorary co-chair of The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy.

Doro, 59, is the author of "My Father, My President: A Personal Account of the Life of George H. W. Bush," a memoir of her life as the 41st president's daughter. She also helped found a wellness company that educates people about mindfulness and holistic living.

She and her husband Robert P. Koch live in Maryland, and have four children. Two of the kids are from her first marriage with William Heekin LeBlond.



Chelsea Clinton serves as vice chair of the Clinton Foundation.

Daughter of Bill and Hillary Clinton

While her mother Hillary lost the presidency to Trump, Chelsea, 39, said a future for her in politics was a "definite maybe". She's currently vice chair of the Clinton Foundation, where she champions the group's advocacy work in global health and childhood obesity. The Stanford grad previously worked as a special correspondent for NBC News.

Chelsea has written five children's books, and she's active on Twitter discussing issues facing families, public health, and dealing with bullies. In 2019, her and husband Marc Mezvinsky announced they were expecting their third baby, a sibling to daughter Charlotte and son Aiden.



Barbara Pierce Bush is the CEO of an international healthcare equality nonprofit.

Daughter of George W. and Laura Bush

Within five years of graduating from Yale, Barbara Pierce Bush cofounded Global Health Corps, a nonprofit that recruits young professionals to fight for better access to healthcare around the world. Before that she worked at a children's hospital in South Africa and interned for UNICEF in Botswana.

She was a noted Hillary Clinton supporter during the 2016 election. In 2017, she and her sister Jenna Hager Bush released a book they wrote called "Sisters First" about growing up in a political dynasty.

In 2018, Barbara married screenwriter Craig Coyne at the Bush family's Walker Point compound in Maine.



Jenna Bush Hager is a host for NBC's "Today" show.

Daughter of George W. and Laura Bush

The younger of the Bushes' twin daughters, Jenna Bush Hager was announced as the new host for the 10 o'clock hour of the "Today" show in 2019. At the same time, she and her husband Henry announced they were expecting their third child.

Since taking over "Today" she has begun a monthly book club that's been so successful it prompted Entertainment Weekly to dub her the new "book club queen". She also serves as a board member on the Greenwich International Film Festival.

 



Malia Obama is studying at Harvard, just like her dad.

Daughter of Barack and Michelle Obama

Malia Obama is studying at Harvard University. She departed the White House in 2016 as a fashion icon and still makes headlines for her chic style.

In 2014, she interned on canceled CBS series "Extant," and in 2015, she spent the summer interning on Lena Dunham's HBO series "Girls." After finishing high school at Sidwell Friends School she took a gap year, where she interned at major film studio The Weinstein Company.

Malia turns 21 on the Fourth of July.



Sasha Obama just turned 18.

Daughter of Barack and Michelle Obama

Sasha has graduated from high school, and is reportedly heading to the University of Michigan. Before that though, she and the rest of the family flew to the South of France for a family vacation.

In 2016 she learned all about earning money, working in the takeout window at Nancy's, a seafood restaurant on Martha's Vineyard, with six secret service agents in tow. Her and her sister's reaction to meeting "Deadpool" star Ryan Reynolds also went viral in 2016.



Donald Trump Jr. likes to hunt, fish, and run the Trump Organization.

Donald Trump Jr., 41, has done his father proud rising to be executive vice president for the Trump organization, focusing on expanding the commercial and real estate side of the business, as well as previously appearing on "The Apprentice".

He played a key role in his father's election campaign, making $50,000 speeches on his behalf. He's also been criticized for the way he uses social media. And DJTJ famously met with a Russian lawyer at Trump Tower in June 2016 to get "dirt" on Clinton.

Donald Jr. likes to spend his weekends hunting and fishing or in the Catskills with his five children. He and his ex-wife Vanessa finalized their divorce in February, and he's been dating former Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle since spring 2018. He and Guilfoyle are on the campaign rounds for Trump's reelection.



Ivanka Trump is an official advisor for the President.

Ivanka Trump, 37, considered the president's favorite child, has been an adviser to her father since early 2017. In 2018 she was criticized for using a personal account to send hundreds of government related emails.

Before that she worked at the Trump Organization with her brothers, but resigned to avoid any conflicts of interest. She also had her own Ivanka Trump fashion brand, which she shut down in July 2018.

In her early life she modeled for brands like Tommy Hilfiger and Versace. She later appeared on "The Apprentice" as well as appearing on an episode of "Gossip Girl".

She is married to real estate developer Jared Kushner, who also works with her at the White House. They have three young children.



Eric Trump started a charitable foundation.

Eric Trump, 35, like his older brother Donald Jr., is an executive vice president at the family business, has appeared on "The Apprentice", and also enjoys hunting. He has been criticized for hunting animals in Zimbabwe.

In 2007, Eric created a charitable foundation to raise money for St Jude Children's Research hospital in Tennessee, but later stopped fundraising to avoid confusion around donations in the wake of his father's run to be president. In 2017, the foundation came under fire when a Forbes report alleged that thousands in donations were funneled to the Trump Organization.

In 2014, he married Lara Lea Yunaska. They're expecting their second child.



Tiffany Trump is studying law in Washington.

Tiffany Trump, 25, is the only daughter from the president's second marriage to television personality Marla Maples. She studies law at Georgetown University after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania in 2016.

When she was 14 she released a single called "Like A Bird" , and said she was considering becoming a professional singer on "The Oprah Winfrey Show." She was later profiled as one of the "Rich Kids of Instagram" and has 1 million followers on the social network.



Barron Trump brought his class to meet his dad at the White House on a field trip.

Son of Melania and Donald Trump

Barron Trump, 13, relocated to the White House after living at Trump Tower in Manhattan when his dad took office to finish out the school year. He is the first boy to live in the White House since John F. Kennedy Jr.

Barron is attending St. Andrew's Episcopal School in Maryland, where tuition costs about $40,000 a year.

In May 2017, he took his classmates to meet his dad at the White House.



How I've managed to keep my rent (relatively) affordable for 14 years in Los Angeles, one of the most expensive housing markets in the US

Wed, 07/03/2019 - 3:00pm  |  Clusterstock

  • I've lived in Los Angeles for 14 years and managed to keep my rent affordable by paying no more than one-third of my take-home pay.
  • One way I did that was by choosing areas that are rent-controlled and relatively more affordable.
  • I've also downsized to save on housing costs, and written a letter to my landlord after I proved myself to be a good tenant, asking for a freeze on my rent.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

It's no surprise that living in Los Angeles isn't cheap. In fact, a recent report reveals that Los Angeles is the third most rent-burdened city in the U.S. However, there are ways to keep your rent relatively affordable.

Of the three places I lived on my own in Los Angeles — a studio in West LA (2005 to 2010), a one-bedroom bungalow in West LA (2010 to 2018), and a one-bedroom cabin near Pasadena (2018 to the present) — my rent was never more than one-third of my take-home pay.

Here's how I was able to keep my housing costs relatively affordable:

Live in less-expensive parts of town

In December 2005, after six months of landing my first "real," full-time job for a small publishing company, I moved into a tiny studio apartment. It resembled a long closet and cost $675 a month. And my one-bedroom bungalow, a couple blocks over, was $895 a month when I moved in the summer of 2010.

I chose Palms partly because it was near my work and close to my boyfriend's apartment at the time, which was in Santa Monica. But the real kicker was that the housing was far less expensive than in adjacent areas. Palms, while has become more gentrified in recent years, is known to be populated by college students and young families that are just starting out.

Look for rent-stabilized buildings

Both my studio and one-bedroom apartment were under rent stabilization ordinances. In the City of Los Angeles, rent stabilization applies to rental properties that were built on of before October 1, 1978. If that's the case, the maximum your rent can increase is 3% every 12 months.

Check if your city has rent stabilization ordinances, and if it applies to a particular rental property. That could prevent your landlord from increasing your rent substantially in a given year.

Write a letter to the landlord

When I was in my studio apartment, I wrote a letter to my landlord stating that I received a small raise that barely covered the rising cost of living due to inflation. I pointed out in the four years I lived there, I was a non-rowdy tenant who was never once late on paying her rent. My landlord agreed to a temporary hold on increasing my rent. In the five years I lived there, my rent increased from $675 to $790 a month.

Downsize to a smaller apartment

In the summer of 2018, I received notice that the one-bedroom apartment I had been living in for eight years was sold and I was given four months to relocate.

At the time, I was paying a little under $1,100 for my 500-square-foot apartment. It had been eight years since I entered the housing market in Los Angeles. I found that it would cost me roughly double to rent a similar apartment in the same area. And for the same price of what I was currently paying, I would need to get a roommate.

After frantically searching for a few months, I decided to move a little east. I landed on a tiny cabin in the canyon area just east of Pasadena. While technically in Los Angeles county, I would be moving to the San Gabriel Valley.

The kicker? I would be spending a few hundred dollars more, but would be downsizing from 500 square-feet to a hair over 300-square-feet. However, it came with a small yard. Not only would I be saving on rent, but I wouldn't need to purchase more furniture, and my utility bills would be less expensive.

To own a home or not

Is homeownership in my cards? That's a big maybe. I partly chose to move to a smaller place outside of Los Angeles proper so I could save in general, and possibly for a house down the line. The median cost of a home in Los Angeles is $600,000, which is on the higher end of what I can afford.

What's more, being single and living on variable income as a freelance writer makes it feel more scary to commit to a 30-year mortgage. Talking to fellow self-employed freelancers who bought homes, I know that the process to applying for a mortgage typically requires more paperwork, as lenders want to make sure you have enough income to make your payments.

While I'm not living in the lap of luxury, keeping my housing costs low has afforded me freedom from stress and the ability to put money toward savings. While rent in Los Angeles is more than most places in the US, I've found there are ways to keep your housing costs lower than the average. It can take a bit of planning, research, and willingness to make a few trade-offs.

Join the conversation about this story »

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WeWork isn't even close to being profitable — it loses $219,000 every hour of every day

Wed, 07/03/2019 - 2:52pm  |  Clusterstock

  • WeWork, the coworking-space company, is valued at $47 billion, but it's hemorrhaging money.
  • WeWork is losing $219,000 hourly. In 2018, the company's losses and revenues both doubled, to $1.9 billion and $1.8 billion, respectively.
  • As WeWork moves toward an initial public offering, it will need to convince investors that it's a worthwhile long-term investment and can survive an economic downturn despite its losses.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

WeWork, the 9-year-old coworking startup now operating under the We Company umbrella of companies, may have a whopping $47 billion valuation, but it's hemorrhaging money: $219,000 every hour of every day during the 12 months leading up to March, according to the Financial Times.

In 2018, WeWork's losses and revenue both doubled, to $1.9 billion and $1.8 billion, respectively, according to FT. Though the company in March projected $3 billion in revenue in the next year, it lost $700 million in the first quarter of 2019.

In April, CEO Adam Neumann announced WeWork confidentially filed initial-public-offering paperwork in December as the We Company, which also includes Neumann's coliving venture, WeLive, and the "conscious entrepreneurial school" WeGrow. As the company moves toward an IPO, it will need to convince investors that its significant growth makes it a worthwhile long-term investment despite equally large losses. 

SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son is the major investor in WeWork and a mentor to Neumann (his wife, Rebekah, refers to Son as "Yoda"). Son has invested more than $10 billion in WeWork. In December, Softbank was expected to invest $16 billion in WeWork but ended up investing only $6 billion, with $1 billion of that going toward existing shares, prompting renewed scrutiny of its business model.

Uncertainty about WeWork can be boiled down to three concerns: the stability of its model (pairing long-term office leases with short-term occupants and what that might look like during a recession), its categorization (Should WeWork be compared against tech companies or real-estate companies?), and the wild card that is Neumann.

New York magazine's Intelligencer published a profile of Neumann in June, depicting the CEO as zany and idealistic. Neumann forbid employees from expensing meals containing meat last summer. His commencement speech at Baruch College in 2017 recounted his early years in New York City, which he spent clubbing and "hitting on every girl in the city."

When asked about his personal superpower, Neumann brought up a character from the TV show Heroes ("Neumann neglected to mention that this was the show's villain: a serial killer who murdered people to get their powers," Reeves Wiedeman wrote for New York magazine.)

A surfing fan, he has seemingly blurred the lines between his personal interests and WeWork's, investing on behalf of the company in a wave-pool startup called WaveGarden and the big-wave surfer Laird Hamilton's so-called superfood startup, which sells things like "performance mushrooms," powdered coconut water infused with beets and turmeric, and highly caffeinated coffee.

And yet, Neumann's ambition and salesmanship are the forces that have skyrocketed his company to a nearly $50 billion valuation in under a decade. 

"There are hundreds of co-working companies around the world, but what has long distinguished WeWork is Neumann's insistence that his is something bigger," Wiedeman wrote.

According to WeWork's website, the company has 743 coworking sites open and coming soon in 124 cities in more than 36 countries. FT reported that WeWork has 485 offices and was in 105 cities as of the first quarter of 2019; New York magazine reported that the company has 12,000 employees. WeWork is the largest private office tenant in Manhattan.

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An NYC broker who represents multimillion-dollar clients says people have a common misconception about why their homes aren't selling — and correcting them is one of the most difficult parts of her job

Wed, 07/03/2019 - 2:48pm  |  Clusterstock

Working in the real-estate industry can have its ups and downs. 

Business Insider spoke with top Manhattan real-estate broker Lisa K. Lippman to get her take on the biggest challenges of the job. 

Lippman is a broker at the luxury real-estate firm Brown Harris Stevens, where she was the No. 1 broker in 2016, 2017, and 2018. In the past four years, she has sold over $1 billion worth of real estate and was named the No.4 broker in Manhattan by The Wall Street Journal in 2016. 

Read more: 17 real-estate agents reveal the worst parts of their jobs

And while Lippman represents multimillion-dollar clients across Manhattan, her days are far from smooth. Here's what she considers to be the biggest challenges of the job: 

Explaining to sellers that they may lose money

Lippman told Business Insider that since the luxury market is no longer a seller's market, a lot of sellers have to come to terms with the fact that their properties are no longer valued at the same prices they were a few years ago. 

"In this market, the biggest challenge is explaining to sellers that they may lose money on their property or at the very least make a lot less than they imagined a few years ago," Lippman told Business Insider in an email.

Convincing clients that marketing isn't the problem

Lippman says that when dealing with a property that isn't selling, clients often blame the agent's marketing efforts. However, Lippman explained it has nothing to do with marketing and everything to do with the property being overpriced. 

"The truth is, that if a property is marketed with great photographs, a clear floorplan, is on all the major websites, and the listing broker does broker open houses and e-blasts, and still no one calls to see it, or not enough people do, then the listing is overpriced," Lippman told Business Insider. "No amount of marketing will coax buyers in to see a property they deem overpriced. Sellers can get very frustrated by this."

There is just too much inventory

Lippman explained that if and when a property gets an offer, sellers have to act fast or the buyer will move on to another option. In order to prevent losing a potential buyer, sellers have to engage — as long as the offer is reasonable. 

"It's often hard to explain to a seller that their property does not have the same cache as before, or at least that people have so many second and third choices!" Lippman told Business Insider. 

Read more: An NYC broker who has sold over $1 billion of luxury real estate in the past 4 years and works 16-hour days says she uses 3 simple tricks to stay organized

The challenges Lippman lists are just a few of the many real-estate agents face on a daily basis. Business Insider's Katie Warren previously reported that many real-estate agents say that managing clients' unrealistic expectations can be the hardest part of the job.

Other challenges real estate agents struggle with are having to be available 24/7, dealing with endless emails, having mistrustful clients, and inconsistent income.

SEE ALSO: An NYC broker who has sold over $1 billion of luxury real-estate says her wealthy clients are used to first-class travel service — and it's impacting which amenities they look for in their homes

DON'T MISS: 11 things that make a home unsellable, according to real-estate agents

Join the conversation about this story »

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Your credit card can probably help you get cash, a replacement card, or a place to stay during an emergency abroad. Here's how it works.

Wed, 07/03/2019 - 2:14pm  |  Clusterstock

When you're traveling abroad, there are two cardinal rules: Never run out of cash, and whatever you do, don't lose your passport.

But things happen. Whether you lost your wallet in a piranha-infested river while getting into a dugout canoe or had your purse stolen from a hotel room, suddenly being in a foreign country without cash is a scary situation that could happen to anyone.

Fortunately, Visa, Mastercard, and American Express have you covered. They all offer a surprisingly rich set of benefits to assist stranded travelers. It's better to avoid needing these services, though, so this guide will also help you prepare for the unexpected.

Confirm information on file before you go

Before you travel, call your banks to notify them that you're doing so, and in which countries you plan to use the cards. This allows them to update their records so that your purchases aren't incorrectly flagged as fraudulent. It also allows you to verify the information they have on file for emergency cash purposes.

If you need to obtain emergency cash or a replacement card, the information you provide needs to match the bank's records exactly. You don't want to wait until you're stranded in the Seychelles to discover that your details aren't up to date with the bank.

Keep a copy of your cards

Without pulling out your wallet, can you name every card in it, along with the card numbers? If not, it's a good idea to take a picture or photocopy of all of your cards before you lose them, so if necessary, it's easier to cancel them later. While you're doing that, it's also a good idea to make a copy of your passport, consular visas, and other important travel documents.

Travel with multiple cards (with no foreign transaction fees)

The first rule of international travel is to avoid foreign transaction fees. The second rule is to expect the unexpected.

This includes your small, local credit union suddenly freaking out and shutting off your cards because there's no possible way that you could really be in Japan. Right before a long holiday weekend. Even though you've been to Japan at least once a year for the previous three years. And because it's a holiday weekend, there isn't anyone around to turn your card back on. NOT THAT THIS HAS NEVER HAPPENED TO ME (and I definitely didn't spend four days in Tokyo visiting only free places to which I could walk, and eating only vending machine food).

Even if you carry a really great debit card, like my favorite ATM-fee reimbursing Charles Schwab debit card, it's still a good idea to have more than one bank account (with different banks) and different ATM cards. And, of course, more than one credit card, of more than one type. Don't just bring two Visa cards; bring a Visa, a Mastercard and/or an American Express card. That way, in an emergency, you have multiple ways to get help.

Reduce your attack surface

In some cases, it's unavoidable: You're in transit, and at your most vulnerable. However, once you are established, it's a good idea to leave most of your cards in a secure location (such as in the hotel safe at the front desk) and take only "walking around money" with you when you leave. This can make all the difference between a minor hassle and a major problem.

When you're carrying everything, and at your most vulnerable, it's best to distribute your money and cards in multiple locations. That way if some of your valuables are lost or stolen, you won't lose all of them.

Emergency cash vs emergency assistance vs replacement cards

Getting help from your credit card companies should be viewed as an emergency service, not a cheap service. It's there if you need it, and generally very good, but it's better to avoid needing it in the first place.

Visa, Mastercard, and American Express all offer a concierge for Emergency Assistance. The specific services available will depend upon your card (the more premium your card, the more services are offered). However, the basics needed by most stranded travelers are covered by every card product: food, shelter, emergency transportation and emergency medical care. All three card companies can assist you in arranging these, which will be charged as purchases to your account.

The good news is, Emergency Assistance services can really come through in a pinch. Service providers who work with credit card companies are used to dealing with stranded travelers.

Better yet, the credit card companies don't charge to provide emergency assistance to stranded travelers; these services are just part of the benefit of carrying the card. The bad news is that credit card providers are most focused on convenience, acceptance of their card product as payment, and the ability to do business in the English language. This means that the pricing isn't always as cheap as you could otherwise find online and you'll be limited in your selection. And, since these services are subject to your credit limit, it's best to carry multiple cards to ensure sufficient funds.

Emergency cash is a service you can request through the concierge. If you ask for emergency cash, your credit card company can send you a wire via Western Union, MoneyGram, or similar. While you can pick up cash in local currency, and in as little as two hours, this service is not cheap! You'll be charged for a cash advance plus wire transfer fees plus foreign transaction fees billed by the wire service (these are significant in the case of Western Union and MoneyGram).

Additionally, it's harder to get banks to approve this service than other emergency services because cash is a higher risk to them. This service is subject to your credit card's cash advance limit, and may be subject to additional limitations.

Emergency card replacement is exactly what it sounds like: Usually within 48 hours, a new card will be delivered via express courier to your hotel or guest house. While you generally won't be charged for the card replacement service, you'll often be billed about $50 for shipping.

For example, suppose you were expertly pickpocketed on the train, and you're now stranded in a strange city with no wallet or money. One call to the concierge, and your credit card company comes to the rescue! You're put up in a 4-star hotel with a restaurant and gift shop, both of which allow you to charge purchases to your room. They'll send a car to pick you up, billed to your room of course. You'll have everything you need, but it won't be cheap — it's all conveniently billed to your credit card account. Your bank wouldn't approve emergency cash (only emergency purchases), but 48 hours later, a replacement card shows up, along with a $50 shipping charge for each. It was a lot more expensive than you planned, but your vacation wasn't ruined, and the experience will be something to laugh about later.

How to get help

The following are phone numbers that you can call to get help:

  • Visa: 1-800-VISA-911 (1-800-847-2911)
  • Mastercard: 1-800-MCASSIST (1-800-622-7747)
  • American Express: For replacement cards, call 1-800-964-8542. For Global Assist, which can help with emergency cash, you can call 1-800-554-2639

You might notice that these numbers are all US toll-free numbers. These are not reachable when calling from outside the US, but there's a workaround: Skype! You can use Skype to call US toll-free numbers at no charge, even when calling from overseas. Note that the phone robots can be very frustrating to use with Skype, so it's best to just dial 0 until you get a human.

Visa, Mastercard, and American Express also offer local numbers in many countries around the world. It isn't a bad idea to call in advance to ask for the local phone number in the country (or countries) where you'll be traveling. That way, you can call from a local phone for help.

Despite the advertising, don't expect your bank to show up in a helicopter ready to save the day. Instead, expect them to provide a limited set of services designed for stranded travelers or those with medical needs. They'll be executed relatively well, but they won't be cheap!

Find the right credit card for your needs, travel or otherwise, with CreditCards.com's free CardMatch tool »

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Boeing just announced $100 million for families of 737 Max crash victims. It likely won't be enough. (BA)

Wed, 07/03/2019 - 1:39pm  |  Clusterstock

  • Boeing announced a $100 million fund for families of 737 Max crash victims.
  • According to Boeing, the funds will "address family and community needs of those affected by the tragic accidents of Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302."
  • However, a lawyer for 23 victims' families says that the announcement is going over poorly.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Boeing on Wednesday announced that it had set aside $100 million in funds for the families of victims of the two 737 Max crashes.

According to Boeing's press release, the funds will "address family and community needs of those affected by the tragic accidents of Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302."

Boeing said "These funds will support education, hardship and living expenses for impacted families, community programs, and economic development in impacted communities. Boeing will partner with local governments and non-profit organizations to address these needs. This initial investment will be made over multiple years."

However, Robert Clifford, a lawyer who is representing the families of 23 victims on the Ethiopian Airlines crash, told Business Insider that the announcement is not going over well with the families he's spoken with.

"At best it's a gesture, at worst it's a token effort to address problems that aren't foremost on the minds of these families," he said. "What's foremost on their minds is getting back remains from the crash site, so they can hold memorials and get some closure — why isn't Boeing putting that money towards speeding up the process?"

Read more: American Airlines is suspending its first route because of the 737 Max grounding

Boeing faces numerous lawsuits and investigations in the aftermath of the two crashes of the new model aircraft — one in Indonesia in October, 2018, and one in Ethiopia in March of this year.

The planemaker sent this statement to Business Insider:

"The pledge is independent of the lawsuits filed by the families and loved ones of those onboard Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 and Lion Air Flight 610. We've been assessing a variety of ways to assist the families and communities impacted and determined that this is a constructive step that we can take now. As the investigations continue, Boeing is cooperating fully with the investigating authorities. We won't comment on individual lawsuits directly."

Following the second crash, aviation authorities worldwide grounded all various of the 737 Max due to safety concerns with the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) Boeing designed for the aircraft to compensate for larger engines than previous iterations of the 737.

Lawsuits have been filed by families in several countries, including the US, Indonesia, Kenya, France, and Ethiopia. One widow from France is suing Boeing for $276 million — one day of earnings for the company in 2018.

More than 400 pilots are also suing Boeing over missed wages as the plane remains grounded, while airlines with the grounded aircraft in their fleets are also seeking compensation.

Another criticism: the lack of any details in the announcement.

"What does Boeing mean when they say they're going to 'give money to communities,'" Clifford said. "Are these funds advancements? Who's an eligible claimant? What's the process? What counts as 'education?' The announcement creates more questions than it provides answers."

SEE ALSO: Here are all the investigations and lawsuits that Boeing and the FAA are facing after the 737 Max crashes killed almost 350 people

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