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'Toy Story 4' wins the box office for a second-straight weekend, but performs weaker than previous Pixar sequels (DIS)

Sun, 06/30/2019 - 12:17pm  |  Clusterstock

  • "Toy Story 4" won the domestic box office for a second-straight weekend with a $57.9 million take.
  • However, it's below the second weekend performances of other big Pixar sequels like "Incredibles 2," "Finding Dory," and "Toy Story 3."
  • Warner Bros.' "Annabelle Comes Home" had a strong opening, as the horror came in second place with $31.2 million (since opening on Wednesday).
  • "Annabelle Comes Home" is the latest hit for a movie in "The Conjuring" universe.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

It seems the narrative playing out for Disney/Pixar's "Toy Story 4" is: " It's a big money maker — but..."

Last week the latest movie in the treasured franchise opened number one at the domestic box office with a $120 million performance ($238 million globally). It's one of the biggest opening weekends for an animated movie ever and is the fourth-biggest opening of 2019 (all four are Disney releases). But, industry projections had the movie taking in $140 million-plus, domestically.

This weekend "Toy Story 4" repeated as domestic box office champ, bringing in an estimated $57.9 million (its global take is now over $496 million). But, that's below the second-weekend performances of previous big Pixar sequels like "Incredibles 2" ($80.3 million), "Finding Dory" ($72.9 million), and "Toy Story 3" ($59.3 million).

Read more: "Avengers: Endgame" is getting rereleased to theaters, but experts say beating "Avatar" for the box-office record isn't certain

In no way is Disney going to regret dusting off the "Toy Story" franchise — despite not living up to lofty industry expectations — but it is another indication that the 2019 theatrical slate isn't grabbing audiences as much as the record-breaking 2018 line-up. 

"Toy Story 4" also faced strong counter-programming competition from Warner Bros.

"Annabelle Comes Home," the triquel in the horror franchise which is part of "The Conjuring" universe, came in second place at the domestic box office with $31.2 million, since its opening on Wednesday ($20.3 million over the weekend). It's another win for the franchise that explores the adventures of paranormal investigators, Ed and Lorraine Warren.

Budgeted between $27 million - $32 million, the movie has already made a profit in its first weekend, along with its strong domestic take it has brought in over $20 million internationally to have a global cume of over $50 million. 

 

SEE ALSO: "Spider-Man: Far From Home" is already off to a strong start in China, and it shows why Marvel is a more valuable franchise than "Star Wars"

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Here's exactly how to get the cheapest life insurance policy online

Sun, 06/30/2019 - 11:00am  |  Clusterstock

Life insurance isn't something you should put off.

It's an ideal time to get life insurance if you're newly married, earning a high salary, or starting a family. If anyone relies on your income for their financial well-being, whether a spouse, children, aging parents, or anyone else, you probably need life insurance. Plus, usually the younger you are, the better the rate you lock in on a fixed-rate policy.

Life insurance policies come in many different varieties, though, and navigating the fine print to find the right one for you can be intimidating. You also want to make sure you're getting the best deal, money-wise. For most people, experts recommend term life insurance because it's cheap and simple. 

"You purchase a policy for a set term — usually 10 to 30 years — and during that term you pay premiums to keep your coverage active," explained Logan Sachon, an insurance editor at insurance-comparison site Policygenius. "If you die during the term, your beneficiaries receive a death benefit. If you don't die during the term — the preferred outcome — your coverage ends when your term expires and you don't get any money back."

How much you pay depends on how much coverage you want, the type of policy you get, and how much risk you pose. The average person can expect to pay between $300 to $400 a year for life insurance, according to Policygenius, but it really depends on your situation.

How to get cheap life insurance

If you're signed up for group life insurance through work, you only need to supplement that amount with an individual policy. Many companies offer life insurance coverage for employees, but it's usually a multiple of annual salary and not enough to replace income for a family. The policy is often free and the money is guaranteed, so it's typically worth taking.

Some employers offer supplemental life insurance to make up the difference, but it's smart to compare rates for additional coverage through a third-party broker.

Below, we'll take you through a rate comparison and application process on Policygenius:

1. On Policygenius.com, you can find, compare, and buy several types of insurance. For life insurance, click the "life" box.

2. There's no commitment required to get quotes for your monthly premium. You won't have to enter your name, email, and phone number until after you've browsed through the policy options.

3. You can choose either "less support" or "more support" from the Policygenius team to navigate the life insurance application.

4. Life insurance premiums are based in part on where you live, so the site immediately wants to know your ZIP code so it can find insurers in your area. You'll also need to provide your gender, date of birth, citizenship status, and relationship status.

If you do have a significant other or spouse, the site will offer to help find quotes for both of you to save some time.

5. Next you need to provide some basic information about your health: your height, weight, whether you smoke tobacco, whether you have been treated or take medication for depression, high cholesterol, drug abuse, or another serious condition. You'll also need to disclose any serious medical diagnoses of close blood relatives.

Many insurers consider your driving record in determining your risk level, too, so there's a question regarding accidents and tickets.

The more detailed you are in answering these questions, the more accurate your quotes will be.

6. If none of the serious medical conditions listed apply to you, Policygenius says "you're in demand" and will probably have some low premiums to choose from.

7. If you answered "yes" to the question about your family's health history, you'll be prompted to give more information so that your quotes will be as accurate as possible, though additional details are not required to move to the next step.

8. Next, you need to select a coverage amount and term length.

Within each box, Policygenius provides some guidance to help you choose your coverage amount ...

... and term length. You'll have the opportunity to adjust these numbers later if you change your mind.

9. The next page will bring up several policy options, organized by the premium. Policygenius highlights the same features of each policy, including financial strength and customer service of the insurer.

Policygenius is sure to remind you that any option it's offering is a good one.

10. From there, you can check the "compare" box on two or more policies to see how they stack up against one another.

There's a section breaking down and comparing the "fine print," too. As you can see, most of the policies are the same — the biggest difference is monthly cost. At the bottom of the page, Policygenius provides its own recommendation.

11. Once you choose a policy, you're ready to apply. This is where you fill in your personal information.

12. Before you can submit the application, you have to provide your address and income for a Policygenius representative to verify.

Once you click "submit," you'll see your own dashboard with the status of your application. 

13. You should get a call from Policygenius within minutes to verify your information. From there, your Policygenius representative will schedule your medical exam — this is required for everyone who wants to buy a life insurance policy — and answer any questions you have.

14. You can check the progress of your application through the online dashboard. In many cases, the medical exam is done by a nurse who will come to your office or home at the expense of the insurance provider. It's very similar to a physical you would get at your primary care doctor's office. Once the medical exam and underwriting process is complete, you can e-sign your policy via computer or phone.

Ready to compare policies? See your offers for free with Policygenius »

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Tech execs in $400 sneakers and Instagram influencers in $6,000 Louis Vuitton windbreakers: 5 ways wealthy millennials are turning to 'uniforms' to cement their identity and status

Sun, 06/30/2019 - 10:07am  |  Clusterstock

What you wear can say a lot about who you are.

Look no further than wealthy millennials — who wear specific styles, clothes, and brands to represent their identity and cement their status — to see the psychology of fashion in action.

Business Insider took a look at five different "uniforms" that various groups of wealthy millennials have adopted.

Read more: From Converse to Air Jordans, sneakers have been a status symbol for decades — but millennials are redefining what that means in 3 major ways

While each uniform is different, they do share a few commonalities: Most involve an expensive shoe, and all are rooted in millennials' love of comfort and preference for a casual appearance. And while these looks are presented here as separate uniforms, some of the staples appear across different groups. They're also not exclusive to wealthy millennials — each look is part of fashion's trickle-down effect, in which trends make their way from runway to retail and the mass consumer.

From the tech CEO to the Instagram influencer, see what rich millennials are wearing.

SEE ALSO: A $500 pair of sneakers is one of the latest status symbols at USC frat parties, and it highlights the massive wealth divide among students

DON'T MISS: 9 unlikely items that have become luxury status symbols among the elite

Tech CEOs and execs keep it casual and comfortable with Lanvin low-tops or Common Projects (both cost around $400 on average).

Mark Zuckerberg's signature look is the pinnacle of Silicon Valley's casual fashion. He pairs gray T-shirts and hoodies, which reportedly retail for hundreds and even thousands of dollars, with jeans and sneakers.

Like Zuckerberg, other tech CEOs and executives embrace a laid-back uniform, complete with low-top kicks like Lanvin or Common Projects, which have become a status symbol in the tech world.

Read more: From Converse to Air Jordans, sneakers have been a status symbol for decades — but millennials are redefining what that means in 3 major ways

"For many of the Valley's elite, the right pair of kicks is a trademark accessory carefully selected to convey a mix of power, nonchalance, creativity, and exclusivity," Business Insider's Avery Hartmans wrote.

Instagram cofounder Kevin Systrom has been spotted wearing $452 Lanvin low-tops and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has worn $1,185 Rick Owens Island Dunks, Hartmans reported.



Fashionistas wear 'ugly' clothes, like Balenciaga Triple S sneakers (nearly $900) because they're cool.

For "fashion people," status is no longer about the purse.

Balenciaga Triple S sneakers, which are worth nearly $900, have appeared on the feet of a host of editors and celebrities. The brand's speed sneakers recently made Lyst's ranking of the world's top 10 fashion products, Business Insider's Mary Hanbury reported.

In an installment of Vogue's video series, Go Ask Anna, Anna Wintour, Vogue editor-in-chief and Condé Nast creative director, commented on fashion's growing sneaker trend.

"There are sneakers everywhere," she said. "Years ago it used to be that women would wear sneakers on the subway or walking to work and then immediately would get into the office and go into their bags. That's no longer the case."

"Dropping hundreds of dollars on clumpy sneakers" is part of the "so-called 'ugly fashion' movement," wrote Hanbury. Other popular "ugly fashion" trends include Topshop's plastic knee jeans and Moschino's cape sheer overlay dress.



Brooklyn moms are all about the bohemian style, pairing Salt straps (purse straps $138 and up) with No. 6 clogs ($300 and up).

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As The New York Times reported, Brooklyn moms are adopting a bohemian style, and it exudes a subtle sort of wealth. The look features two staple elements: the Salt strap, which costs $138 and up, and the No. 6 clog, which retails starting at $300.

The bright, woven Salt straps are advertised as customizable additions to designer purses — think Gucci and Celine at $2,500 and $2,600 a piece — with price tags that already run well into the thousands of dollars, wrote Hayley Krischer for the Times.

The No. 6 clogs are part of the aforementioned "ugly-fashion" trend.

"Clogs, for their part, once the epitome of uncool and unfashionable, are now being touted as an 'ugly-chic shoe obsession' by the likes of Vogue and as a fashion 'staple' by StyleCaster," Business Insider's Lina Batarags wrote.

But they don't just make a newly chic statement.

"For moms, specifically, the No. 6 clog gives off a message that you're very much interested in comfort and not so interested in appearance," Krischer wrote for The Times.



The Instagram influencer poses in high-end streetwear designed by luxury brands like Gucci and Louis Vuitton (prices vary).

The streetwear subculture has been around for decades, originating in skate, surf, and hip-hop cultures, but social media and the rise of athleisure have recently brought it to the forefront of fashion. 

"Now that Instagram is the definitive medium for discovering fashion, traditional luxury brands like Gucci and Louis Vuitton have adopted the defining characteristics of streetwear, finding bold logos and exclusivity to be key to reaching younger generations," Benjamin Schneider, research analyst at Euromonitor International, previously told Business Insider

Streetwear styles and graphics resonate with image-obsessed millennial consumers, who like streetwear's casual and comfortable silhouettes like t-shirts, hoodies, and sneakers, Schneider said.

The consumers of luxury streetwear may be a niche group — but it's a group that carries a lot of influence on social media. While the style is seen on both women and men, it's more popular among the latter, according to Schneider.

Prices vary widely depending on brand and item, but a Louis Vuitton graphic windbreaker costs $6,550.



College students flaunt their status on campus with Golden Goose sneakers ($500 and up) and MZ Wallace backpacks ($285 and up).

Golden Goose sneakers, which typically cost around $500, but range from $445 to $1,700, are hot on college campuses across the country.

They're the latest trend among USC fraternities and sororities, reported Jennifer Medina for The New York Times. Graduates of the 2019 class at Cornell University and the University of Florida told Business Insider the brand is also popular on campus.

Some of the high-end Italian brand's sneakers have a grunge aesthetic — they come pre-distressed. Golden Goose's $530 Beige Scotch sneakers — calf-suede shoes with dirty-looking soles and taped trim at the toes — elicited accusations that the company was "mocking poverty," reported Andy McDonald of HuffPost.

On campuses like USC, status symbols like these accentuate the already existing wealth divide, Medina wrote.

P448 sneakers, which range from $265 to $315, and Common Projects shoes are also popular on campus, the Cornell graduate said, as are MZ Wallace backpacks, which feature quilted nylon and natural Italian leather and retail for $285 to $395.



I was living paycheck to paycheck with over $100,000 of debt until I made a mental shift that had been in front of me all along

Sun, 06/30/2019 - 10:00am  |  Clusterstock

  • My husband had always tried to implement a budget in our house, but I resisted. I work hard for my money, and I deserve to spend it, I thought.
  • But I was five years into my career, I was living paycheck to paycheck with over $100,000 of debt, a condo I couldn't afford, and two young children. Something had to change.
  • When we moved to a new house, I begrudgingly agreed to try a budget — and realized alarmingly quickly how much further our money went when we had a plan.
  • Now, we no longer live paycheck to paycheck and I've completely changed my thinking: I work hard for my money, and I deserve to keep it. 

Five years into my career, even though both my husband and I were making a decent combined salary, we were living paycheck to paycheck in a condo we couldn't afford. Even worse, we were upside down on that condo, thanks to the housing crash of 2008.

We were a young couple in our 30s with two kids under the age of six in tow, struggling to make ends meet each month and one paycheck away from not making good on our mortgage.

So, why was I still spending money like I was related to the Kardashians? Because I had a motto that was all wrong.

In my frustration, I'd yell to my husband "I work hard for my money and I deserve to spend it!" This was my answer every time he brought up the fact that we needed to be on a budget and live within our means.

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This was my answer to myself when I teetered on whether or not I should buy those $60 shoes that were on sale.

This was my answer every. Single. Time. And this was the direct reason why I refused to stick to a budget for years. And as a result, we were just shy from losing everything.

Everything we worked so hard for.

Despite all of this, my husband somehow was still able to save a small amount that we could use to move to a house in the suburbs. It took about three years to save enough money when it should have taken about six months, but we found the perfect house for our family. When it was time to make an offer, my husband sat me down. "If we're truly going to afford this house," he said, "we need to live within our means and stick to a budget".

Reluctantly, I agreed to be on the same page — but only because I was so excited about moving into my dream house.

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So, in good faith, I started researching and learning everything I could to start saving money on our everyday expenses, live more frugally, and pay off our debt. While the first few months were a bit rocky and filled with adjustments and tweaks, month number four came with a win.

A call from my husband telling me that we'd be able to pay all of our bills with one paycheck was an eye-opener. You mean to tell me that just by sticking to a budget and being mindful of my spending, we're able to stop the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle?

I seriously had no idea that a budget could impact my life in such a positive way. I was always under the notion that a budget was restrictive and for years I did everything I could keep that b-word out of my life.

But, now everything I thought I knew changed. Suddenly, I realized that my budget was the best thing that ever happened to my finances.

A budget wasn't restricting, it was freeing! I could finally plan how I wanted to spend my money. I knew where every dollar and cent went and it made me feel at peace.

I didn't give up everything I loved, either. I still shopped, but there was a set budget for it. I cancelled memberships we weren't using and started cooking at home more. Budgeting helped me realize what I valued in my life, and I started allocating money to the important things first, like paying off debt, family vacations, and investing in retirement.

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The more I referred to my budget and stayed focused on my new financial goals, the stronger my love for budgeting became.

And my motto gradually transformed.

My motto of, "I work hard for my money, I deserve to spend it," evolved into, "I work hard for my money, I deserve to keep it."

This is the motto I live by now, and it's something I tell myself quite often. The more I say it, the stronger I am in controlling my spending. That motto has given me more power than I could have imagined. 

Not having a budget for the first eight years of my marriage was my biggest pitfall. I don't know how we survived for so long without one. We were truly on the verge of a financial disaster and were so lucky to find our way to stable ground before more damage was done. I'm so thankful for having a patient husband who continued to push the budget talk until I was willing to listen.

Now, we're on the same page, have paid off more than $105,000 in debt, and are on our way to financial independence.

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I moved my savings to a Capital One money market account to earn 200 times more, and it's the perfect place for my money to grow

Sun, 06/30/2019 - 9:30am  |  Clusterstock

  • I took advantage of a $500 new account bonus to move my savings for an investment property into a new money market account at Capital One.
  • With a balance of at least $10,000, this account offers a competitive interest rate with no recurring fees.
  • Keeping your savings in a different bank from your checking can help you avoid the temptation to use the funds for something else while the account value grows from monthly interest payments.

I signed up for my first savings account with what is now Capital One Bank way back in 2007. In the more than a decade since, I've always come back to this bank to protect my money while earning a competitive interest rate.

My wife and I have been saving up to buy our first ever investment property, and we picked Capital One to house our investment fund, and I don't plan on moving our cash anytime soon.

It started with a new account bonus

Banks make money by lending out money. That means they need a lot of money from depositors so they have the cash to lend out. When a bank wants to draw in a whole lot of cash quickly, it may choose to offer a bonus to new account holders who arrive with a big opening deposit.

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We amassed a $50,000 starting fund after selling stock and contributing from other savings. I dragged my feet getting the new account set up, but when I saw a deal for a $500 bonus after moving over at least $50,000, I knew where my cash would go next. I didn't move for the bonus alone, but knowing I could earn $50,000 right away sure helped make the decision an easy one.

Top tier interest rates

Capital One is of a few banks that consistently ranks near the top of nationwide bank interest rates. While it isn't at the very top, it's close enough that I'm not too worried about earning a fraction of a percent more elsewhere.

The average national brick-and-mortar bank offers far lower rates on similar accounts. Compared to the very worst payers that offer a ridiculously low 0.01%, I earn 200 times more. Compared to the national average, around 0.10%, I earn 20 times more. That's a great rate!

!function(){function e(){var e=document.createElement("script"),n=document.getElementById("myFinance-widget-script"),a=t+"static/widget/myFinance.js";e.type="text/javascript",e.async=!0,e.src=a,n.parentNode.insertBefore(e,n);var c="myFinance-widget-css";if(!document.getElementById(c)){var d=document.getElementsByTagName("head")[0],i=document.createElement("link");i.id=c,i.rel="stylesheet",i.type="text/css",i.href=t+"static/widget/myFinance.css",i.media="all",d.appendChild(i)}}var t="https://www.myfinance.com/";document.attachEvent?document.attachEvent("onreadystatechange",function(){"complete"===document.readyState&&e()}):document.addEventListener("DOMContentLoaded",e,!1)}(); Separated from other funds

Logging into my regular checking account at Charles Schwab and seeing $50,000 in cash sitting there would make it very tempting to spend rather than save my property investment fund. Separation is a good thing in some cases, as it removes that very common temptation.

While Capital One also offers an awesome checking account, Schwab is a bit more convenient for my everyday checking, so I leave my everyday cash at Schwab, and keep my savings out of sight, out of mind at Capital One.

No fees to worry about

Some traditional banks charge fees every month if you don't meet a minimum balance or minimum activity requirement. But just because something is common doesn't mean you have to deal with it. I won't put up with a bank charging me a fee for keeping below a certain dollar amount per month in a personal bank account.

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This account has no minimum balance to avoid a fee. The only fees you may run into are for uncommon activities like sending an outgoing wire transfer or expedited shipping on a replacement debit card.

To get the best rate in the Capital One money market account, thought, you'll need a balance of $10,000 or more.

Your money should make money

Don't let your money sit idle in an account that pays little to no interest. But if you have savings you may want to tap into in five years or less, the stock market is too risky. A money market savings account or high-yield savings account is the best home for this type of savings goal.

I've earned $70 to $80 per month every full month I've had the account open. Earning interest is like getting paid while you sleep. I keep that money in the account to grow my account so we can buy that investment property as soon as possible.

If you have money in a checking or savings account that isn't earning much interest, it may be time to change things up. For me, that meant moving my money to a new money market account at Capital One.

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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 (TSLA)

Sun, 06/30/2019 - 8:22am  |  Clusterstock

  • Tesla should report second-quarter vehicle deliveries the week of July 1.
  • Tesla missed expectations for the first quarter, but the company has guided for a rebound in Q2.
  • A fixation on Tesla deliveries is pointless. More deliveries should take a back seat to Tesla's decision about focusing on premium versus mass-market sales.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Tesla should report second-quarter vehicle deliveries next week, and a significant amount of chatter has broken out over what the number could be.

In the first quarter, Tesla delivered 63,000 cars, a drop of over 30% from the final quarter of 2018. The company wants to get back on track in Q2 and has been targeting something like 90,000.

It might not get there. The ultimate total could be between 80-90,000. At that level, Tesla would need a huge second-half finish to deliver over 400,000 vehicles in 2019 (it moved about 250,000 in 2018).

Tesla watchers are preoccupied with the Q2 numbers because Tesla stock has rebounded about 20% over the past month and it is poised for a breakout if deliveries come in at the top of the range or, perhaps, beat that 90,000 figure.

Read more: The big question about Tesla demand makes no sense. The company has created demand where there was none before.

That's a stock story, of course. Whether Tesla's business needs a 90,000-vehicle quarter or could manage just fine on 80,000 is a more useful question, and that's getting lost in the noise. A quick auto-industry lesson: most car makers, being very good at building cars, worry more about producing too many, not too few. If they overdo it, they encourage inefficient excess capacity and end up filling dealer lots with vehicles that they have to discount.

Another quick lesson: Tesla would be better-served to sell 80,000 cars if the mix of sales is high-priced; 90,000 in sales, if a chunk is cheaper vehicles, could hurt the bottom line.

Why ignore Tesla deliveries?

In any case, my argument that you should ignore Tesla's Q2 deliveries leads into a more critical question: What is Tesla's current, logical level of production and sales? (By the way, no matter where Tesla lands in Q2, numbers-wise, the total should be a big increase over Q2 2018 — Tesla is the only automaker seeing such a massive demand surge in a US market that's been running at peak levels for going on five years).

In 2018, BMW sold about 311,000 vehicles in the US. They did this with a lineup of around 18 cars and trucks (I'm excluding anything special). Tesla sold something like 200,000 vehicles in the US — but with a lineup of just three models. That comparison actually isn't one; Tesla is serving pent-up electric vehicle demand, more so than additional organic premium-demand, demand.

But the takeaway is notable: Tesla is approaching BMW-level US sales with six times fewer vehicles available.

Before you conclude that I'm about to insist that BMW is in trouble, don't. BMW isn't in trouble. But BMW serves as a useful guide to what kind of car maker Tesla should be. And in my view, that's a premium company, not a mass-market manufacturer.

Don't push for more deliveries

And in that context, Tesla shouldn't be pushing, pushing, pushing to sell more vehicles each quarter. It should align its US manufacturing capacity — perhaps 400,000 to 500,000 vehicles annually — with demand for cars that it can make a serious profit on.

If Tesla sells another 100,000 vehicles per year that it barely posts a margin on, then what's the point? I'd prefer to see 300,000 every year, with a 10%-ish margin (maybe higher).

The stock market doesn't want this right now. The stock market wants more deliveries. But I think the market could live with lower deliveries, so long as those deliveries are consistent, quarter-to-quarter and year-to-year, and so long as Tesla swings to serial quarterly profits — just like every other carmaker doing business these days.

So there you have it — all eyes are on Tesla deliveries for the second quarter, but all eyes should be on something else.

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

Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian Cruise Line are in a fierce battle for domination in the cruise industry — here's how they stack up (CCL, RCL, NCLH)

Sun, 06/30/2019 - 8:15am  |  Clusterstock

Carnival Corp, Royal Caribbean Cruises, and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings are the three dominant players in the cruise industry. Together, they accounted for nearly $6 billion in profits and over 70% of the cruise market in 2018. 

With demand for cruises expected to grow this year, the three companies will continue to battle for new customers.

Read more: The 10 nastiest cruise ships of all time

But Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian are not identical. Each operates at a different scale that is reflected in their financial performances and market capitalizations.

This is how the cruise industry's three biggest companies stack up.

SEE ALSO: Here's how you can use your Costco membership to book a cruise

Profits

The companies reported the following full-year profits in 2018:

  1. Carnival: $3.2 billion
  2. Royal Caribbean: $1.8 billion
  3. Norwegian: $954.8 million



Number of passengers

The companies had the following number of passengers in 2018:

  1. Carnival: 12.4 million
  2. Royal Caribbean: 6.1 million
  3. Norwegian: 2.8 million



Market share

The three companies were responsible for the following percentages of global cruise-industry revenue in 2018:

  1. Carnival: 39.4%
  2. Royal Caribbean: 20.2%
  3. Norwegian: 12.6%

Source: Cruise Market Watch



Market capitalization (as of June 2019)

  1. Carnival: $33.36 billion
  2. Royal Caribbean: $25.36 billion
  3. Norwegian: $11.46 billion



Median annual pay for employees

Each company's median employee earned the following in 2018:

  1. Norwegian: $20,101
  2. Royal Caribbean: $19,396
  3. Carnival: $16,622



Number of employees

  1. Carnival: Around 154,161 (as of October 31, 2018)
  2. Royal Caribbean: Around 77,000 (as of December 31, 2018)
  3. Norwegian: Around 33,200 (as of December 31, 2018)



Number of ships

  1. Carnival: 104 (as of November 30, 2018)
  2. Royal Caribbean: 60 (as of December 31, 2018)
  3. Norwegian: 26 (as of December 31, 2018)



Number of cruise lines

  1. Carnival: 9
  2. Royal Caribbean: 6
  3. Norwegian: 3



How much their CEOs make

The three companies reported the following annual compensation for their CEOs in 2018:

  1. Norwegian: Frank Del Rio — $22,593,061*
  2. Carnival: Arnold Donald — $13,515,884
  3. Royal Caribbean: Richard Fain — $12,422,715

*For accounting reasons, Del Rio's 2018 compensation includes a 2017 stock award. Without the 2017 stock award, Del Rio would have earned $14,873,324 in 2018.



How old the companies are

  1. Norwegian: 53 years
  2. Royal Caribbean: 51 years
  3. Carnival: 47 years



Trump's tariffs may be the excuse, but Apple and other companies have plenty of additional reasons to move out of China, experts say (AAPL)

Sun, 06/30/2019 - 8:00am  |  Clusterstock

  • President Trump's tariffs have reportedly spurred Apple to explore moving production of some of its products out of China.
  • While the trade war might be the proximate cause for such a shift, there are plenty of other reasons the company might be considering such a move, supply chain experts told Business Insider.
  • Producing goods in the country has long entailed a whole host of other drawbacks, including complicated supply lines and long lead times to make sure products got to market on time.
  • In the past, such disadvantages were outweighed by the low cost of manufacturing in China, but wages have risen dramatically in recent years and new regulations have increased, making it more costly. 
  • Click here for more BI Prime stories.

Apple's reported desire to shift production outside of China has been linked to the trade war, but the iPhone maker has plenty of additional reasons to explore a move to other countries, as do many other companies.

Manufacturing in China has long had a number of drawbacks, said Bruce Arntzen, the executive director of the supply chain management program in MIT's engineering school. For years, the benefits of producing products there — most notably a large supply of low-cost labor — outweighed those shortcomings. But those advantages have now largely gone away, he said.

"Most of the reasons everyone went to China in the first place aren't there any more," Arntzen told Business Insider.

Companies in industries including apparel, footwear, aerospace, and automobile parts have already been shifting production out of China in recent years, even before President Trump started slapping tariffs on goods made in the country, he said. It's no surprise that Apple and other electronics makers would be interested in moving production too, he said.

Indeed, some have already started. Some of the Taiwanese electronics manufacturing companies have shifted a portion of their production of server computers out of China to Taiwan over the last year.

Read this: Here's why Apple's plan to escape Trump's tariffs by building iPhones outside of China won't actually be possible anytime soon

Manufacturing in China has never been easy

From day one, there have been significant downsides to manufacturing goods in China, Arntzen said.

For US companies, there were language and time zone differences, he said. The huge geographic distance between the two countries often meant long supply lines between companies' manufacturing facilities and their component makers. That in turn also often meant that they needed long lead times to start manufacturing products to make sure the goods could get to market by particular dates, he said. And those long delays meant that manufacturers couldn't respond quickly to market changes and often had to have larger inventory stashes than they would otherwise, he said.

Companies also faced rampant intellectual property theft, Arntzen said. And if they needed to speed goods to market, they'd have to ship products by air — a much costlier proposition from Shenzhen than Chicago.

"Those challenges were always there," Arntzen said.

Companies put up with such headaches because of the distinct advantages of producing in China, he said. The country had a huge pool of low-cost labor. It had little in the way of pollution controls, worker protections, or other regulations. As more factories were built there, they gave rise to an entire manufacturing ecosystem that often wasn't present and couldn't easily be duplicated anywhere else.

But China no longer offers many of those advantages, Arntzen and other supply-chain experts said. Although the country still has large pools of untapped labor in its interior, the labor market is relatively tight in the coastal areas that are home to much of its manufacturing base, he said. Worker pay has been rising and is now on par with Taiwan and other countries. And as it has become more affluent, China has started to put in place more stringent rules governing pollution and workplace safety.

"The shift to other locations is addressing the low-cost labor part" of the equation, said Abe Eshkenazi, CEO of the Association for supply chain management. "China is not low cost-labor anymore."

In that context, the Trump tariffs are like the straw that broke the camel's back. Companies already had reasons to move from China. The tariffs just made the situation more urgent.

"There has been a process underway long before these tariffs," Arntzen said.

Got a tip about Apple or the tech industry? Contact this reporter via email at twolverton@businessinsider.com, message him on Twitter @troywolv, or send him a secure message through Signal at 415.515.5594. You can also contact Business Insider securely via SecureDrop.

SEE ALSO: Apple will be just fine without Jony Ive — sorry, Jony

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Wall Street was ready for the latest twist in the trade war. Here's how experts think Trump and Xi's trade truce will play out.

Sat, 06/29/2019 - 1:26pm  |  Clusterstock

  • The year-old trade war between the US and China reached a temporary truce as Presidents Donald Trump of the US and Xi Jinping of China said they're delaying new tariffs to let negotiations continue.  
  • That outcome of the G20 summit in Japan isn't the resolution some investors hoped for or the escalation others feared, but the "truce" is the outcome most experts anticipated.
  • Strategists on Wall Street have been projecting what they think will happen next on the trade front and for global markets.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The trade war between the US and China has been full of surprises and reversals, but late Friday the two sides reached a "truce" that was widely expected.

US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are giving their teams more time to negotiate. The tariffs they've announced over the year remain in place, but the additional duties that they have threatened are being postponed.

Here's how some strategists said they were thinking about this scenario and what it will mean.

'Prolonged truce'

Mark Haefele, global chief investment officer for UBS's global wealth management business, said he would keep a positive outlook on stocks for now. He said US stocks could rise as much as 5% in the next six months and shouldn't go much lower, while over the same time frame, Chinese stocks will trade in a range of down 5% to 10% up.

"We think the most likely outcome of the meeting will be a prolonged truce," he said. "We remain overweight equities, with a regionally selective approach. But given the risks, we also recommend counter-cyclical positions."

The battle isn't over

Ed Campbell, portfolio manager at PGIM's QMA quantitative stock business, said the combination of a truce, more economic stimulus from China, and potential rate cuts from the Federal Reserve and European Central bank, would be good for risk assets.

But he thinks there is a much broader dispute brewing.

"US-China relations have permanently diverged and should be viewed in the context of a geopolitical competition that is unlikely to be resolved by a trade deal," he said. "The current tensions are likely to persist for some time."

Going up

"(This) outcome could lend additional support to the current rebound in stock prices, and likely push bond yields somewhat higher," said David Joy, chief market strategist for Ameriprise.

Obstacles ahead

John Vail, the chief global strategist at Nikko Asset Management, said he still thinks the US will put new tariffs on Chinese exports in the fourth quarter of this year as the current talks run aground.

"The two sides' red lines are quite stark and may prevent any progress made at future talks," he said. "Furthermore, both sides may feel that they have the upper hand."

Mostly downside risk

Paul Eitelman, senior investment strategist for Russell Investments, said he's mostly preparing for negative reactions on the trade front. That's because the risks to stocks are great, and the possibility of a deal won't give the market that much of a lift by comparison.

"This is the dilemma we're faced with at mid-year. A positive central scenario but with asymmetric risks to the downside.

Deal difficulties

The BlackRock Investment Institute's position is that tensions will outlast the current trade war.

"A deal later this year is possible but would face significant challenges in implementation and enforcement — and we see structural tensions persisting," according to its latest research.

SEE ALSO: Trump says US firms can sell to Huawei

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American Express has a high-yield account to earn 20 times more on savings, and anyone can open it for as little as $1

Sat, 06/29/2019 - 12:04pm  |  Clusterstock

It may earn its salt from credit cards, but American Express offers a high-yield savings account that is nothing to sneeze at.

American Express' Personal Savings Account requires $0 to open, levies no monthly fees, and earns a 2.10% annual percentage yield (APY) on all balance tiers at the time of this writing.

If you're still keeping your money for a rainy day in a regular savings account that earns 0.1% interest, you might consider moving it into a high-yield savings account. Most financial planners recommend storing money for emergencies and short-term goals in high-yield savings accounts because there's zero risk of losing money, it's easily accessible, and it grows while it's sitting there.

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While American Express' APY isn't the highest you'll see (right now that title goes to Wealthfront), any savings account with an interest rate above 2% is worth your consideration. You may be drawn to the account with the highest rate today, but it's important to note that interest rates are subject to change depending on inflation and the government's interest-rate benchmark. Ensure the high-yield savings account you choose to open is otherwise desirable before parking your savings there.

Like most high-yield savings accounts, American Express' personal savings account limits transfers to six times per statement cycle and does not come with checks or a debit card for ATM access. The account is also insured up to at least $250,000 per the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

American Express does not offer a checking account, but allows up to three bank accounts to be linked to your high-yield savings account for one-time or regular, automatic deposits. Depending on what you're saving for, you may prefer to keep your high-yield savings at a separate institution from your everyday spending account to reduce any temptation to dip into it.

!function(){function e(){var e=document.createElement("script"),n=document.getElementById("myFinance-widget-script"),a=t+"static/widget/myFinance.js";e.type="text/javascript",e.async=!0,e.src=a,n.parentNode.insertBefore(e,n);var c="myFinance-widget-css";if(!document.getElementById(c)){var d=document.getElementsByTagName("head")[0],i=document.createElement("link");i.id=c,i.rel="stylesheet",i.type="text/css",i.href=t+"static/widget/myFinance.css",i.media="all",d.appendChild(i)}}var t="https://www.myfinance.com/";document.attachEvent?document.attachEvent("onreadystatechange",function(){"complete"===document.readyState&&e()}):document.addEventListener("DOMContentLoaded",e,!1)}();

To open a high-yield savings account at American Express, you'll need the following: Social Security number, email address, home address, phone number, date of birth, and your account and routing numbers for at least one bank account you want to link up. You should receive email confirmation shortly after applying if your application is approved.

While American Express does have a mobile app for its credit card products, there's no high-yield savings account access on the app at this time. The bank's customer service phone line is open 24/7 to answer questions related to personal savings accounts.

!function(){function e(){var e=document.createElement("script"),n=document.getElementById("myFinance-widget-script"),a=t+"static/widget/myFinance.js";e.type="text/javascript",e.async=!0,e.src=a,n.parentNode.insertBefore(e,n);var c="myFinance-widget-css";if(!document.getElementById(c)){var d=document.getElementsByTagName("head")[0],i=document.createElement("link");i.id=c,i.rel="stylesheet",i.type="text/css",i.href=t+"static/widget/myFinance.css",i.media="all",d.appendChild(i)}}var t="https://www.myfinance.com/";document.attachEvent?document.attachEvent("onreadystatechange",function(){"complete"===document.readyState&&e()}):document.addEventListener("DOMContentLoaded",e,!1)}();

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I used to travel for cheap by cutting corners, but I've since found 5 better strategies to save money on trips

Sat, 06/29/2019 - 11:00am  |  Clusterstock

  • When I traveled by myself in my 20s, I used to stay in hostels and cheap out on flights to save money.
  • Now that I'm older, I've found better strategies to save on travel without cutting corners at every opportunity, like using a high-yield savings account for my travel fund and taking advantage of my credit card's travel insurance.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

As someone who has traveled by herself in her early 20s, I know a thing or two about saving money while overseas. There were many times where I've eaten at street stalls, stayed in dodgy hostels, and taken alternative forms of transportation instead of flying to and from destinations.

However, as I've gotten older, there are so many more products and apps out there that make it so much easier for travelers to save. There are ways I've been able to create a budget-friendly vacation itinerary without travel hacking.

Here's how.

Open a high interest savings account to save for travel

Back when I started traveling over 14 years ago, savings account aren't what they are now. Back then, I was lucky if I earned any interest, but now there are so many online savings accounts that offer really competitive rates. 

I decided to open a high-yield savings account a few years ago to take advantage of its high interest rate. I wanted an account specifically earmarked for travel — that way I knew the exact amount I am able to spend on a trip. Considering I was just going to let the money sit there, I figured I might as well earn some interest on it. 

Interested in a high-yield savings account? Consider these offers from our partners:

Use a credit card with no foreign transaction fees

Traveling within the US isn't a big deal, but fees can really add up when you're traveling overseas. I used to pay upwards of 3% in foreign transaction fees plus any currency exchange rate markup. As someone who tried to use as many credit cards as possible when traveling, those fees really added up.

Now, I make sure to take a card that doesn't charge any foreign transaction fees — my favorite is the Chase Sapphire Preferred. That way I'm only charged for the actual purchase and hope that the exchange rate works in my favor.

Check which cards have travel insurance

I remember when one of my friends passed away right around the time I was about to go on a trip to Southeast Asia. Not only was I devastated over the loss, but I lost hundreds of dollars because I couldn't get the money back for my flights and hotels. I regret not purchasing travel insurance, but hindsight is 20/20.

Now, whenever I book travel, I make sure to use a card that offers some sort of travel insurance so I don't have to purchase additional policies. Again, I use my Chase Sapphire Preferred card because I get things like trip cancellation and baggage delay insurance as long as I book the travel on the card. Luckily, I haven't had to use any of these so far, but I feel good knowing it's there if I need it.

Use someone else's hotel reservation

I've often used the usual discount booking websites like Booking.com and Hotels.com to save money when booking accommodation. I've also tried out other apps and had extensive conversations with other travelers to find the best deals for hotels and hostels.

One traveler I met told me about a website called Roomer Travel, which allows people to post their non-refundable reservation on the website and transfer it to someone else at a steep discount, hoping to get some money back for their otherwise nonrefundable booking. 

When I know I'm headed to a destination, I'll set a budget and then search for a room based on my travel dates and area I want to be in. I've saved hundreds of dollars this way, and Roomer helps you double check to make sure the reservation is transferred to your name so you're not paying for something you can't use. 

Research how to get to and from a destination cheaply

If you can be flexible in your travel plans, you can save some money by traveling to and from different destinations on public transportation.

Of course it depends on your comfort level and how long you want to be in transit, but traveling by bus or train can be a really great learning experience. A few years ago I decided to travel by boat in Malaysia, and ended up getting an invite to stay with a local family for a few days — it was the highlight of my trip.

To figure out approximate costs, I like to use Rome2Rio or Google Maps to get a few options and an idea of what I might expect to pay. 

Yes, booking a vacation can cost a lot of money, but it doesn't have to.  

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NOW WATCH: New York City is getting even more infested with rats. Here's why cities can't get rid of them.

6 times it's smarter to use a personal loan instead of a credit card

Sat, 06/29/2019 - 10:30am  |  Clusterstock

Let's be honest: Credit cards are kind of fun. They're incredibly convenient, putting everything you want just a swipe or chip-insert away. Each purchase accrues more points or miles that can eventually be redeemed for perks like cash back or a free international flight.

But if you aren't using them responsibly and paying your full balances on time, misusing credit cards is an easy way to take on expensive debt and ding your credit score. 

Credit cards aren't the only way to get access to money. Personal loans are a less immediate, but often less risky, line of credit. There's absolutely a time and place for using credit cards, but sometimes, personal loans are the better option of the two.

When personal loans are better than credit cards 1. When you need cash upfront

"The ideal reason to use a personal loan over a credit card is when you need to make a major purchase that could use up half or more of your available card credit and you don't plan to pay off the balance right away," says Michael Cetera, a Senior Credit Analyst at FitSmallBusiness.com. "Putting this level of expense on your credit card could have a negative impact on your credit score."

Splurges like new computers, furniture, or upgrading your mattress can cost more money than you might have on hand. However, many retailers will offer financing through a store credit card with a sweet 0% intro APR — an opportunity you should definitely take seize if you know you'll pay the full balance within the introductory period.

However, for large purchases that don't have such convenient financing options, like a medical procedure, car repairs or a home renovation, a personal loan will give you liquid cash so you can move forward with the needed expenditure.

 

2. You want a lower interest rate

Personal loans are specifically designed for paying over the long term, so their interest rates are tailored to be fair and conducive to paying off a debt. Though the APR on your personal loan depends heavily on your credit score but can easily be under 10%, whereas the average credit card APR is 17.72%. Credit cards makes very little sense as a long-term revolving debt, unless you have a 0% intro APR offer.

3. You can't pay off the balance quickly

The higher interest rates on revolving credit card balances are a huge downside to financing major purchases on a credit card. If you know that you won't be able to pay off a balance for a long time, financing a purchase on a credit card will cost much more money in the long run than it would to pay for it using a personal loan.

4. You're worried about impact on your credit score

"A heavily weighted factor when it comes to your credit score is your utilization ratio, which is the percentage of credit you have outstanding relative to the total amount of credit available to you," says Lauren Anastasio, a financial planner at SoFi. "Carrying a large balance on a credit card, regardless of interest rate, will likely jack up your utilization ratio, which can dramatically lower your credit score."

Taking out a personal loan will make a ding on your credit score when your lender conducts a hard inquiry, but it will quickly come back up to its previous number if you make regular payments. However, revolving debt on your credit card, especially approaching 30% or more of your total available credit, can drag your score down and keep it there until you start to pay it off.

"Generally speaking, installment loans (personal loans, mortgages, car, or student loans, etc.) are more favorable for your credit than revolving debt (lines of credit and credit cards)," says Anastasio. "Installment debt is deemed less risky than revolving debt. Having installment debt on your credit history can actually be helpful in boosting your score."

5. You want to have a structured payment schedule

One of the greatest differences between credit cards and personal loans is the way they are disbursed, and thus, the way they are paid back. Credit card repayment is based on the current balance held, which can grow based on your spending and on interest for an unpaid balance. They only require a minimum payment each month to cover interest charges. You can take as long as you want to pay off a credit card balance, but the longer you take, the more interest you pay.

Personal loans, however, just disburse liquid cash to you in one lump sum, and come with a built-in repayment game plan. You know exactly how much you will have to pay back each month, you know how much will go to interest and how much will go to the principal, and you know the exact date you will be done paying.

Cetera describes personal loans as a "way to discipline yourself to pay off the loan. Credit cards are open-ended loans, meaning you don't have to pay them off at any particular time. A personal loan has a term — it could be six months; it could be three years — and you'll make fixed payments. Having this schedule may be beneficial for people who otherwise have trouble paying down credit card debt."

6. You want to consolidate other debt

Credit cards offer balance transfers for borrowers who want to move debt from one card to another. However, this only makes sense when the card you're transferring to has a 0% APR period. Otherwise, you would be paying a much higher interest rate on the revolving balance than you would with a personal loan.

Personal loans are the best option for debt consolidation, because they offer lower interest rates, fixed payment plans, and alleviate any strain on your debt-to-credit ratio.

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

Sat, 06/29/2019 - 9:47am  |  Clusterstock

Rents across major US cities continue to soar. 

The national median price for a one-bedroom apartment was $1,216 as of June 2019 — a 1.5% increase year to date.

Business Insider's Hillary Hoffower previously reported that rents are so high in major cities that some residents are resorting to living in the exurbs — the area beyond the suburbs — and living in vehicles to work around the cost of housing.

Read more: Here's the salary you'll need if you want to afford a mortgage in 17 major US cities

To get a sense of just how much it costs to be a renter in America, Business Insider compiled information from Zillow and StreetEasy on the median asking prices for one-bedroom rentals in 15 major US cities as of May 2019. Of the provided cities, Phoenix, Arizona, had the most affordable median rent: $1,171. On the other end of the pricing spectrum, two of the top three most expensive cities for rentals are in California. 

Data on each city's median household income was obtained from the home-ownership-investment company Unison's 2019 Home Affordability Report.

Keep reading to see just how much you'd have to pay to live in these cities, ranked from most affordable to least affordable:

SEE ALSO: The salary you need to afford rent in every state, ranked

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

Phoenix: The median asking price for a one-bedroom rental in Phoenix, Arizona is $1,171.

The median household income in Phoenix is $52,849.



Houston: The median asking price for a one-bedroom rental in Houston, Texas is $1,269.

The median household income in Houston is $51,914.



Charlotte: The median asking price for a one-bedroom rental in Charlotte, North Carolina is $1,330.

The median household income in Charlotte is $58,833.



Dallas: The median asking price for a one-bedroom rental in Dallas, Texas is $1,375.

The median household income in Dallas is $50,386.



Philadelphia: The median asking price for a one-bedroom rental in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is $1,500.

The median household income in Philadelphia is $45,267.



Atlanta: The median asking price for a one-bedroom rental in Atlanta, Georgia is $1,590.

The median household income in Atlanta is $55,881.



Chicago: The median asking price for a one-bedroom rental in Chicago, Illinois is $1,650.

The median household income in Chicago is $55,528.



Denver: The median asking price for a one-bedroom rental in Denver, Colorado is $1,682.

The median household income in Denver is $64,784.



Miami: The median asking price for a one-bedroom rental in Miami, Florida is $1,995.

The median household income in Miami is $35,221. 



Seattle: The median asking price for a one-bedroom rental in Seattle, Washington is $2,049.

The median household income in Seattle is $85,936.



Boston: The median asking price for a one-bedroom rental in Boston, Massachusetts is $2,150.

The median household income in Boston is $64,553. 



Washington, D.C.: The median asking price for a one-bedroom rental in Washington, D.C. is $2,347.

The median household income in Washington, D.C. is $82,192.



Los Angeles: The median asking price for a one-bedroom rental in Los Angeles, California is $2,362.

The median household income in Los Angeles is $58,043.



New York City: The median asking price for a one-bedroom rental in New York City is $2,650.

The median household income in New York City is $61,816. 



San Francisco: The median asking price for a one-bedroom rental in San Francisco, California is $3,600.

The median household income in San Francisco is $102,300.



The cofounder of a Y Combinator-backed trucking startup says there's one thing about self-driving trucking that everyone gets wrong

Sat, 06/29/2019 - 9:38am  |  Clusterstock

  • Starsky Robotics is operating unmanned semi-trucks on public highways in Florida as of June 16.
  • It's a first for the trucking industry, which usually has at least two folks inside an autonomous truck.
  • Stefan Seltz-Axmacher, CEO and cofounder of Starksy Robotics, said the company's tack on government regulations helped Starsky get its unmanned trucks on the highways quickly.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Plenty of trucking companies have driverless trucks on the highways, and some are even carrying loads for major companies.

But only Starsky is operating driverless trucks without a single person in the car on public highways. As of June 16, the company, which has raised $20.3 million in funding from investors like Y Combinator and Shasta Ventures, is running driverless trucks in Florida.

"We drove the same route a whole bunch of times in a row, without the safety driver ever needing to do anything, and that's why we're able to be statistically confident that we wouldn't need the safety driver to do anything,"Stefan Seltz-Axmacher, CEO and cofounder of Starksy Robotics, told Business Insider.

Read more: A company you've probably never heard of is quietly building a fleet of self-driving semis that could revolutionize the trucking industry. And the founder says it has one big advantage over Tesla, Uber, and Waymo

In a Medium post announcing the tests on June 25, Seltz-Axmacher highlighted Starsky's approach to autonomous trucks that highlighted drivers operating the trucks from an office.

He also emphasized that the company sees government regulators as partners, not impediments, to their goal of getting more unmanned trucks on the road.

"Anyone who says autonomy is not here because of regulations is either stupid or lying," Seltz-Axmacher told Business Insider.

It's a different tack on regulations than most experts on the field have. Regulations on self-driving cars have been recently described as "a complicated challenge" and a source of "backlash" to new technologies. Others say the legal component is part of the reason why self-driving trucks are still a decade or more away.

But Seltz-Axmacher said recognizing that the laws are indeed flexible on autonomous testing is crucial. It's legal to test self-driving cars on public roads in 36 states. In seven of those states, companies are not required to put a safety driver in the vehicle.

"The key thing is that technology's really hard, proving safety is really hard, those are things that are really no joke at all," Seltz-Axmacher said. "But regulators have busted their butts trying to be supportive of this industry. Whether it's economic efficiency or increased road safety, the regulators know just how much there is to be gained by there being autonomous vehicles."

Other self-driving truck companies have run into issues with legalities. California's Department of Motor Vehicles began investigating Otto, Uber's now-defunct self-driving truck unit, in 2017 on suspicions it was testing self-driving trucks on public highways without permission.

To avoid lawsuits and investigations, autonomous vehicle companies have become focused on hiring more lobbyists and advisers to sway policy.

"This is not a regulatory problem, this is a productization problem," Seltz-Axmacher said. "At Starsky we are the product-focused autonomous company, which is why we've been able to solve this where other people haven't."

SEE ALSO: A little-known trucking startup just beat Tesla and Waymo to run driverless semi-trucks on the open road

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.

This Twitter bot trolls people who've lost a ton of money on cryptocurrencies and gotten 'rekt'

Sat, 06/29/2019 - 9:30am  |  Clusterstock

  • The Twitter bot REKT shares liquidation events from the cryptocurrency exchange Bitmex.
  • The account is part of a larger trend, where people leverage the open nature of the blockchain to troll each other, watch trends, and see where the money is moving. 
  • Bot accounts have become an important part of this space, since they automatically publish important events.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

If you're not a cryptocurrency expert, it's hard to tell what the tweets mean.

"Liquidated long on XBTUSD," a recent one reads. "Sell 13,480 @ 11861

Meet the average American millennial, who has an $8,000 net worth, is delaying life milestones because of student loan debt, and still relies on their parents for money

Sat, 06/29/2019 - 8:31am  |  Clusterstock

There's no way around it: The average American millennial is financially behind. 

Faced with a high cost of living, staggering student-loan debt, and the fallout of the Great Recession, American millennials are trying to make ends meet in the midst of The Great American Affordability Crisis.

The financial crisis split the generation into two distinct groups. Older millennials, who bore the brunt of the financial crisis, dealt with a tough job market and wage stagnation, making it more difficult for them to save. Younger millennials, who experienced the recovery period, entered a better job market and became risk-averse by watching the recession unfold.

However, the generation overall is plagued by financial problems that baby boomers didn't have to face at their age. From saving to spending and financial behaviors in between, here's what life is like as the average American millennial.

SEE ALSO: 2019 is the final class of millennial college graduates. Next stop: The Great American Affordability Crisis.

NOW READ: Millennials have been called the 'brokest' and the 'richest' generation, and experts say both of those are true

The average American millennial makes $35,592 a year.

Adjusted for inflation, the annual salary of a millennial today is an estimated 20% lower than the average salary for a baby boomer at the same age, according to a SmartAsset study that analyzed data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for millennials who were ages 16 to 34 in 2015.

But in today's high cost of living, salaries are no longer what they once were. While millennials have benefited from a 67% rise in wages since 1970, according to research by Student Loan Hero, this increase hasn't kept up with inflating living costs: Renthome prices, and college tuition have all increased faster than incomes in the US.



American millennials have an average net worth of less than $8,000, meaning they're financially worse off than any other generation before them.

The net worth of Americans ages 18 to 35 has decreased by 34% since 1996, according to a Deloitte study reported by Abha Bhattarai of The Washington Post. This makes them "dramatically financially worse off" than older generations, Business Insider's Kate Taylor reported.

These findings underscore previous research indicating that millennials are financially behind.

And millennials are less wealthy than previous generations were at their age at any point between 1989 and 2007, according to The Economist, which cited a recent paper by the Brookings Institution. Median household wealth was roughly 25% lower for those ages 20 to 35 in 2016 than it was for the same age group in 2007.



And the typical millennial has less than $5,000 in their savings account.

While 70% of millennials have a savings account, 58% have a balance under $5,000, according to the INSIDER and Morning Consult survey.

Despite their best financial efforts, a large debt load is preventing the average millennial from saving as much as they'd like. While many don't carry credit-card debt or owe less than $5,000, nearly 45% of millennials have student-loan debt, reported Business Insider's Tanza Loudenback.

When asked what they would do with an extra $1,000 cash, millennials were more likely to prioritize paying off debt over saving (a difference of five percentage points), the survey found.



Despite being financially behind, the typical millennial has a practical approach to money, saving for emergencies and contributing to a retirement account.

While economic conditions have left millennials financially behind, they're working hard to catch up

Millennials are more aware of the risk of a bad economy and are being more practical when it comes to money, from saving for emergencies to contributing to a retirement account, Jason Dorsey, a consultant, researcher of millennials, and president of the Center for Generational Kinetics, previously told Business Insider.

And nearly 75% of millennials stick to their budget, Business Insider's Hayley Peterson previously reported, citing Bank of America's Better Money Habits Millennial report.

Millennials even report being more dedicated to saving than older generations. Northwestern Mutual's Planning & Progress Study 2018 found that they were more likely than other generations to say they're "highly disciplined" or "disciplined" financial planners.



But the typical American millennial is also carrying a crippling amount of student loan debt.

Student-loan debt has reached record levels because of the cost of college, which has more than doubled since the 1980s. As of 2019, student-loan debt reached a national total of $1.5 trillion, according to Student Loan Hero. Millennials in the graduating class of 2018 have an average student-loan debt of $29,800.

The weight of this debt is hindering millennials' ability to save. More than half of indebted millennial respondents in an INSIDER and Morning Consult survey said attending college wasn't worth the student loans.

The survey polled 4,400 Americans, 1,207 of whom identified as millennials, defined in the survey as those aged 22 to 37.

Read more: An astounding number of bankruptcies are being driven by student loan debt



It may come as little surprise, then, that the typical millennial defines financial success as being debt-free.

According to a recent Merrill Lynch Wealth Management report, only 19% of millennials and Gen Zers define financial success as being rich — 60% define it as being debt-free.

"Freedom from debt seems a low bar of accomplishment, yet it's an elusive goal for many early adults," the report said.

According to the report, 81% of early-adult households carry a collective debt of nearly $2 trillion. The debt includes car loans and mortgages but is mainly made up of student-loan debt and credit-card debt. Those who carry the latter have an average balance of $3,700, and more than half said they're struggling to pay it off.



The typical millennial still receives financial assistance from a parent.

More than half of Americans (53%) aged 21 to 37 have received financial assistance from a parent, guardian, or family member since turning 21, according to the 2018 Country Financial Security Index.

About 37% of millennials receive money on a monthly basis, and more than half (59%) receive money several times a year. Many are putting this money towards basic needs, both small and significant, like cell phone bills, groceries and gas, health insurance, and rent.



When it comes to life milestones, millennials are doing things differently than previous generations. For one thing, millennials are renting longer and buying later, delaying homeownership.

Millennial homeownership was at a record low in 2017, Business Insider's Akin Oyedele reported.

Homes are 39% more expensive than they were nearly 40 years ago, according to Student Loan Hero. It would take the median earner in the 25 largest US cities between four and 10 years to save enough cash for a 20% down payment on a median-priced home, a recent SmartAsset study found. And that's assuming they're saving 20% of their annual income for the down payment.

Consequently, millennials are renting longer and buying later, Spencer Rascoff, CEO of Zillow CEO, previously told Business Insider.

 



The typical millennial is getting married later.

Taking more time to find the right partner and prioritize financial success is causing many millennials to marry later in life than previous generations did.

The median age of first marriage in the US is 27 for women and 29 for men, Business Insider's Mark Abadi reported, citing the US Census Bureau. In 1980, for comparison, the median age was 22 for women and 25 for men.

And those who have found the right partner are waiting longer in their relationships to get married — 4.9 years on average, INSIDER's Kristin Salaky reported, citing a 2017 study from Bridebook, a UK wedding company.



And the typical millennial is also having kids later in life.

A delay in marriage leads to a delay in having kids. The US birthrate is at its lowest in 32 years, Bill Chappell for NPR reported, citing a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More 30-something women are having babies than women in their 20s for the first time ever — a difference that grew in 2018, according to the CDC report. 

Parents responded to the report, citing the expense of kids as a key reason for the delay.

It costs more than ever to raise a child in the US. Finances are one of the top reasons why American millennials aren't having kids or are having fewer kids than they considered ideal, Business Insider's Shana Lebowitz reported, citing a survey by The New York Times.

The survey polled 1,858 men and women ages 20 to 45 — 64% said childcare is too expensive, 44% said they can't afford to have more children, and 43% said they waited to have kids because of financial instability. (Multiple answers were allowed).



Despite all this talk about money, the typical millennial doesn't associate being wealthy with a dollar amount.

Millennials define wealth as an average personal net worth of $1.9 million, according to Charles Schwab's 2019 Modern Wealth Survey, which polled 1,000 Americans about money.

This nearly $2 million target number is roughly 20 times the median net worth of US households — $97,300, according to the Federal Reserve. However, it's also lower than what most Americans (ages 21 to 75) believe it takes to be truly wealthy, according to the survey — $2.3 million.

But most millennials say they don't define wealth primarily as a number: More than three-quarters of millennial respondents said feeling wealthy isn't about the dollar amount but about how they live their lives.



And when it comes to spending, millennials prefer to spend on experiences over things.

Since millennials care more about a rich life than a rich bank account, it's no surprise they love the experience economy.

A survey from Eventbrite, a "marketplace for live event experiences," found that 78% of millennials respondents would rather spend money on an experience than a thing, and 77% said their best memories come from experiences, Business Insider's Libby Kane reported

Many millennials have a "treat yourself" mentality, according to Fidelity Investments' 2018 Millennial Money Study. In the survey, millennials were asked how often they "treat" themselves (defined as a purchase made to bring joy); 86% said they treat themselves at least once a month, setting them back $110 a month on average.



The inside story of how JPMorgan's Finn fell apart; How to buy hedge funds' secret sauce

Sat, 06/29/2019 - 8:11am  |  Clusterstock

 

Dear readers,

Our hedge-fund reporter Bradley Saacks' profile of the hedge-fund data buyer, a little known but increasingly important job in the investing world, is a can't-miss story this week. Bradley trailed a guy named Roberto Jedreicich, the "chief data buyer" for Credit Suisse's internal hedge fund, for two days and sat in all his meetings.

Basically, Jedreicich has a budget in the millions that he uses to buy "alternative data" like satellite images and credit-card information from various vendors that will hopefully give his fund some sort of trading edge. And with the number of data vendors doubling in the past five years, his role is to separate the gold from the snake oil.

Data buying wasn't always the sexiest of role, but as hedge funds seek new ways to beat the market, they're increasingly looking to data sources that offer insight into companies not found in filings and earnings calls. It's the perfect example of a job that probably didn't even exist a few years ago but is becoming lucrative and important as it looks to be another tough year for hedge funds.

The number of global fund liquidations outpaced launches for the third quarter in a row as investors pulled money. Still, there are bright spots, as we reported this week. Gabe Plotkin, who was once one of Steve Cohen's top money-makers at SAC Capital, has seen a 35% return through May for his fund Melvin Capital. And Greg Coffey's new fund is up at least 7% through the end of May.

Separately, here's another call for nominations for our annual Rising Stars of Wall Street list that will run in the fall. We're looking for US-based people under age 35 killing it in their industry and making notable contributions or accomplishments ahead of their class within investment banking/dealmaking, investing, and sales and trading. The deadline for submissions is July 15.

To nominate someone, fill out our form here or email me at ooran@businessinsider.com.

I'll be off next week for the Fourth.

Have a safe and wonderful holiday!

Olivia

JPMorgan's finance app for millennials was plagued with issues from the start. Here's the inside story of how Finn fell apart.

A house divided against itself cannot stand, and neither, it appears, can two competing banking apps within a firm.

And while the rise and fall of JPMorgan's digital-only bank, Finn, didn't quite lead to a civil war, it did illuminate the issues that can crop up when Wall Street firms with entrenched lines of business attempt to disrupt themselves.

Finn was meant to be JPMorgan's introduction to digital-only banking and a way for Wall Street's biggest bank to attract millennials, a demographic it felt was at risk of losing to upstarts. Less than two years later, the banking app is on its way out thanks to a lack of coordination regarding how it was set up, skepticism around how it would operate, and uncertainty over its effect on the bank's traditional Main Street offering, three people briefed on its operations told Business Insider.

READ MORE >>

BlackRock's head of trading lays out how the $6.5 trillion firm is navigating the electronic transformation of fixed-income trading

Supurna VedBrat, BlackRock's head of trading, said the $6.5 trillion firm is navigating how to "operate at scale" in the rapidly changing fixed-income markets.

As more trades are completed electronically, BlackRock is looking to work with five or six firms directly, and then use aggregated platforms like TradeWeb and MarketAxess.

READ MORE >>

Citi's AI-powered tool for catching suspicious payments and thwarting cybercrime is opening up to customers around the world

Citigroup is going global with an artificial-intelligence-backed tool that helps giant corporations and governments flag aberrant or suspicious payments.

The bank started piloting its Citi Payment Outlier Detection tool in late 2017 to better protect the $4 trillion in payments the bank's thousands of corporate and public-sector customers send and receive every day.

That fast-paced business is increasingly under threat from cybercrime.

After a successful trial with 20 large clients, including Xerox and Swiss industrial conglomerate Tetra Laval International, Citi is launching the feature in 90 countries.

READ MORE >>

Leaked memo details the new power structure in Barclays' sales and trading division, capping a dizzying few months of an executive shakeup Barclays' new head of global markets, Stephen Dainton, is building out his team after a shakeup at the bank jolted employees earlier this year.

In a memo to staff, global equities head Dainton outlined the new organization, signaling the bank is drawing a line under a shakeup triggered by the surprise departure of investment-banking boss Tim Throsby earlier this year.

In the memo, seen by Business Insider, Dainton said the markets division would be divided into four asset classes: credit, equities, macro, and securitized products. He also named a 12-member executive committee, or "ExCo," comprising leaders including new head of equities Fater Belbachir.

READ MORE >> Frugal investor Vanguard is reportedly eyeing a push into private equity. It could cause a 'cultural backlash' between haves and have-nots

Vanguard is reportedly eyeing private equity, a major change for an investment manager known for its low-fee offerings.

The firm tried a similar approach, a fund of funds, where an external manager oversees investments, in 2001 that ultimately failed because of fundraising issues.

Potential problems with this new push include creating a divide between individual and institutional investors, since most people can't invest in private equity, and a "cultural backlash" from proponents of low fees, a finance professor said.

READ MORE >>

In markets:

In tech news:

Other good stories from around the newsroom:

Join the conversation about this story »

The Justice Department is looking deeper into Boeing while the company scrambles to get its troubled 737 Max plane up and running again (BA)

Fri, 06/28/2019 - 7:02pm  |  Clusterstock

  • Federal prosecutors have issued subpoenas related to Boeing's 787 Dreamliner.
  • According to a Seattle Times report published on Friday, the subpoenas came from the same group of prosecutors investigating the 737 MAX program, which has been under scrutiny following two fatal crashes.
  • While the 737 MAX and 787 Dreamliner programs are two separate entities, Boeing's overall approach toward safety has been in the spotlight since the March 2019 crash of an Ethiopian Airways 737 MAX 8.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The US Department of Justice has issued new subpoenas for records from Boeing related to production of the 787 Dreamliner plane, according to a report from the Seattle Times published Friday.

News of the subpoenas comes as Boeing struggles to get its troubled 737 MAX aircraft, which are grounded worldwide, back into service

The DOJ is already conducting a criminal investigation into Boeing's design and the certification of the 737 MAX aircraft, which has been under intense scrutiny since the crash of an Indonesian Lion Air 737 MAX 8 plane in October 2018. The model has been grounded worldwide since shortly after a second crash, involving an Ethiopian Airlines jet, in March.

According to the Seattle Times, which cites three sources, "a handful" of subpoenas were issued to individuals at Boeing's North Charleston, South Carolina, 787 production plant earlier this month.

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

Boeing declined to comment on the legal matter. The Justice Department did not immediately respond to Business Insider's requests for comment.

It was not immediately clear whether any federal investigation of the 787 program is related to the 737 MAX investigation, or whether the subpoenas were related to any part of the design or certification of the Dreamliner. However, one of the sources cited in the Seattle Times' report said the subpoenas came from the "same group" of prosecutors conducting the criminal probe into the 737 MAX.

A New York Times investigation in April raised claims of shoddy manufacturing practices at the South Carolina plant, such as debris left in planes and pressure to cover up violations.

SEE ALSO: More than 400 737 Max pilots are suing Boeing over an 'unprecedented cover-up' of flaws in the plane's design

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: This company turned the Model S into the first official Tesla race car

Grubhub registered as many as 23,000 web domains and used them to set up restaurant websites, sometimes without their owners' knowledge or express permission (GRUB)

Fri, 06/28/2019 - 6:58pm  |  Clusterstock

  • Grubhub registered 23,000 internet domains, many of them resembling the names of restaurants, The New Food Economy reported.
  • In at least some cases, Grubhub has set up websites on those domains that incorporate the related restaurants' names and logos without their express permission, according to the report.
  • Grubhub registered the domains as a service to its customers, and that it's ceased the practice, a company representative told Business Insider.
  • The representative denied that the company was cybersquatting, or registering the names of trademarked businesses with the intent to profit off them.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Food delivery company Grubhub owns some 23,000 internet domains, many of them incorporating the names of restaurants around the country, according to a report in The New Food Economy on Friday.

In at least some cases, Grubhub has set up websites on those domains that feature the names and logos of the restaurants incorporated in their addresses, according to The New Food Economy and a related article by The Verge. Those websites include links that point to Grubhub, rather than to the restaurants own sites, and tout phone numbers that delivery company controls, rather than to the restaurants' own phone numbers, according to the reports.

"I never gave them permission to do that," a New York City restaurant owner referred to as Shivane M. told The New Food Economy.

In a statement, Grubhub spokesman Brendan Lewis confirmed to Business Insider that the company had registered domains, though he declined to confirm the number. He declined to say whether Grubhub got owners' express permission for launching the sites, saying only that the site registrations were consistent with the company's contracts with its partners.

Read this: GrubHub pops as Amazon exits restaurant delivery in the US

Grubhub acquired the domains as a service to its customers, but has ceased the practice, he said. He did not say when it stopped it.

"As a service to our restaurants, we have created microsites for them as another source of orders and to increase their online brand presence," Lewis said in the statement. "It has always been our practice," he continued, "to transfer the domain to the restaurant as soon as they request it."

Grubhub typically charges commissions to restaurants for orders it sends their way. Its fees are higher when orders go through the phone numbers and websites it controls than through those controlled by its restaurant partners, according to the reports.

At least some of the sites Grubhub operated featured restaurants that were not its partners, according to The New Food Economy. Lewis did not address how Grubhub got permission to launch or operate those sites. But he denied that the company was engaged in cybersquatting.

Cybersquatting is the practice of registering domains that resemble or include the names of trademarked businesses with the intent of profiting off them.

"Grubhub has never cybersquatted," Lewis said in the statement.

Got a tip about Apple or the tech industry? Contact this reporter via email at twolverton@businessinsider.com, message him on Twitter @troywolv, or send him a secure message through Signal at 415.515.5594. You can also contact Business Insider securely via SecureDrop.

SEE ALSO: Here’s why Apple's plan to escape Trump's tariffs by building iPhones outside of China won't actually be possible anytime soon

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Here's why it's so hard to switch from Apple to Android

The rise and fall of Elizabeth Holmes, who started Theranos when she was 19 and became the world's youngest female billionaire but will now face a trial over 'massive fraud' in July 2020

Fri, 06/28/2019 - 6:03pm  |  Clusterstock

In 2014, blood-testing startup Theranos and its founder, Elizabeth Holmes, were on top of the world.

Back then, Theranos was a revolutionary idea thought up by a woman hailed as a genius who styled herself as a female Steve Jobs. Holmes was the world's youngest female self-made billionaire, and Theranos was one of Silicon Valley's unicorn startups, valued at an estimated $9 billion. 

But then it all came crashing down.

The shortcomings and inaccuracies of Theranos's technology were exposed, along with the role Holmes played in covering it all up. Holmes was ousted as CEO and charged with "massive fraud," and the company was forced to close its labs and testing centers, ultimately shuttering operations altogether. 

Read more: Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes faces jail time for fraud charges. Her trial is set to begin in summer 2020.

Now, Holmes faces up to 20 years in prison. In the meantime, as she awaits trial, she's reportedly found the time to get engaged, and now married.

This is how Holmes went from precocious child, to ambitious Stanford dropout, to an embattled startup founder charged with fraud: 

SEE ALSO: Take a look inside the $5,000-a-month San Francisco apartment that Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes reportedly once called home with her now-husband, Billy Evans

Elizabeth Holmes was born on February 3, 1984 in Washington, D.C. Her mom, Noel, was a Congressional committee staffer, and her dad, Christian Holmes, worked for Enron before moving to government agencies like USAID.

Source: Elizabeth Holmes/TwitterCNN, Vanity Fair



Holmes' family moved when she was young, from Washington, D.C. to Houston.

Source: Fortune



When she was 7, Holmes tried to invent her own time machine, filling up an entire notebook with detailed engineering drawings. At the age of 9, Holmes told relatives she wanted to be a billionaire when she grew up. Her relatives described her as saying it with the "utmost seriousness and determination."

Source: CBS News, Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup



Holmes had an "intense competitive streak" from a young age. She often played Monopoly with her younger brother and cousin, and she would insist on playing until the end, collecting the houses and hotels until she won. If Holmes was losing, she would often storm off. More than once, she ran directly through a screen on the door.

Source: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup



It was during high school that Holmes developed her work ethic, often staying up late to study. She quickly became a straight-A student, and even started her own business: she sold C++ compilers, a type of software that translates computer code, to Chinese schools.

Source: Fortune, Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup



Holmes started taking Mandarin lessons, and part-way through high school, talked her way into being accepted by Stanford University’s summer program, which culminated in a trip to Beijing.

Source: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup



Inspired by her great-great-grandfather Christian Holmes, a surgeon, Holmes decided she wanted to go into medicine. But she discovered early on that she was terrified of needles. Later, she said this influenced her to start Theranos.

Source: San Francisco Business Times



Holmes went to Stanford to study chemical engineering. When she was a freshman, she became a "president's scholar," an honor which came with a $3,000 stipend to go toward a research project.

Source: Fortune



Holmes spent the summer after her freshman year interning at the Genome Institute in Singapore. She got the job partly because she spoke Mandarin.

Source: Fortune



As a sophomore, Holmes went to one of her professors, Channing Robertson, and said: "Let's start a company." With his blessing, she founded Real-Time Cures, later changing the company's name to Theranos. Thanks to a typo, early employees’ paychecks actually said "Real-Time Curses."

Source: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup



Holmes soon filed a patent application for "Medical device for analyte monitoring and drug delivery," a wearable device that would administer medication, monitor patients' blood, and adjust the dosage as needed.

Source: Fortune, US Patent Office



By the next semester, Holmes had dropped out of Stanford altogether, and was working on Theranos in the basement of a college house.

Source: Wall Street Journal



Theranos's business model was based around the idea that it could run blood tests, using proprietary technology that required only a finger pinprick and a small amount of blood. Holmes said the tests would be able to detect medical conditions like cancer and high cholesterol.

Source: Wall Street Journal



Holmes started raising money for Theranos from prominent investors like Oracle founder Larry Ellison and Tim Draper, the father of a childhood friend and the founder of prominent VC firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson. Theranos raised more than $700 million, and Draper has continued to defend Holmes.

Source: SEC, Crunchbase



Holmes took investors' money on the condition that she wouldn't have to reveal how Theranos' technology worked. Plus, she would have final say over everything having to do with the company.

Source: Vanity Fair



That obsession with secrecy extended to every aspect of Theranos. For the first decade Holmes spent building her company, Theranos operated in stealth mode. She even took three former Theranos employees to court, claiming they had misused Theranos trade secrets.

Source: San Francisco Business Times



Holmes' attitude toward secrecy and running a company was borrowed from a Silicon Valley hero of hers: former Apple CEO Steve Jobs. Holmes started dressing in black turtlenecks like Jobs, decorated her office with his favorite furniture, and like Jobs, never took vacations.

Source: Vanity Fair



Even Holmes's uncharacteristically deep voice may have been part of a carefully crafted image intended to help her fit in in the male-dominated business world. In ABC's podcast on Holmes called "The Dropout," former Theranos employees said the CEO sometimes "fell out of character," particularly after drinking, and would speak in a higher voice.

Source: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup, The Cut



Holmes was a demanding boss, and wanted her employees to work as hard as she did. She had her assistants track when employees arrived and left each day. To encourage people to work longer hours, she started having dinner catered to the office around 8 p.m. each night.

Source: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup



More behind-the-scenes footage of what life was like at Theranos was revealed in leaked videos obtained by the team behind the HBO documentary "The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley." The more than 100 hours of footage showed Holmes walking around the office, scenes from company parties, speeches from Holmes and Balwani, and Holmes dancing to "U Can't Touch This" by MC Hammer.

Source: Business Insider



Shortly after Holmes dropped out of Stanford at age 19, she began dating Theranos president and COO Sunny Balwani, who was 20 years her senior. The two met during Holmes' third year in Stanford’s summer Mandarin program, the summer before she went to college. She was bullied by some of the other students, and Balwani had come to her aid.

Source: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup



Balwani became Holmes' No. 2 at Theranos despite having little experience. He was said to be a bully, and often tracked his employees' whereabouts. Holmes and Balwani eventually broke up in spring 2016 when Holmes pushed him out of the company.

Source: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup



In 2008, the Theranos board decided to remove Holmes as CEO in favor of someone more experienced. But over the course of a two-hour meeting, Holmes convinced them to let her stay in charge of her company.

Source: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup



As Theranos started to rake in millions of funding, Holmes became the subject of media attention and acclaim in the tech world. She graced the covers of Fortune and Forbes, gave a TED Talk, and spoke on panels with Bill Clinton and Alibaba's Jack Ma.

Source: Vanity Fair



Theranos quickly began securing outside partnerships. Capital Blue Cross and Cleveland Clinic signed on to offer Theranos tests to their patients, and Walgreens made a deal to open Theranos testing centers in their stores. Theranos also formed a secret partnership with Safeway worth $350 million.

Source: Wired, Business Insider



In 2011, Holmes hired her younger brother, Christian, to work at Theranos, although he didn’t have a medical or science background. Christian Holmes spent his early days at Theranos reading about sports online and recruiting his Duke University fraternity brothers to join the company. People dubbed Holmes and his crew the "Frat Pack" and "Therabros."

Source: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup



At one point, Holmes was the world's youngest self-made female billionaire with a net worth of around $4.5 billion.

Source: Forbes



Holmes was obsessed with security at Theranos. She asked anyone who visited the company’s headquarters to sign non-disclosure agreements before being allowed in the building, and had security guards escort visitors everywhere — even to the bathroom.

 

Holmes hired bodyguards to drive her around in a black Audi sedan. Her nickname was "Eagle One." The windows in her office had bulletproof glass.

Source: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup



Around the same time, questions were being raised about Theranos' technology. Ian Gibbons — chief scientist at Theranos and one of the company's first hires — warned Holmes that the tests weren't ready for the public to take, and that there were inaccuracies in the technology. Outside scientists began voicing their concerns about Theranos, too.

Source: Vanity Fair, Business Insider



By August 2015, the FDA began investigating Theranos, and regulators from the government body that oversees laboratories found "major inaccuracies" in the testing Theranos was doing on patients.

Source: Vanity Fair



By October 2015, Wall Street Journal reporter John Carreyrou published his investigation into Theranos's struggles with its technology. Carreyrou's reporting sparked the beginning of the company's downward spiral.

Source: Wall Street Journal



Carreyrou found that Theranos' blood-testing machine, named Edison, couldn't give accurate results, so Theranos was running its samples through the same machines used by traditional blood-testing companies.

Source: Wall Street Journal



Holmes appeared on CNBC's "Mad Money" shortly after the WSJ published its story to defend herself and Theranos. "This is what happens when you work to change things, and first they think you're crazy, then they fight you, and then all of a sudden you change the world," Holmes said.

Source: CNBC



By 2016, the FDA, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and SEC were all looking into Theranos.

Source: Wall Street Journal, Wired



In July 2016, Holmes was banned from the lab-testing industry for two years. By October, Theranos had shut down its lab operations and wellness centers.

Source: Business Insider



In March 2018, Theranos, Holmes, and Balwani were charged with "massive fraud" by the SEC. Holmes agreed to give up financial and voting control of the company, pay a $500,000 fine, and return 18.9 million shares of Theranos stock. She also isn't allowed to be the director or officer of a publicly traded company for 10 years.

Source: Business Insider



Despite the charges, Holmes was allowed to stay on as CEO of Theranos, since it's a private company. The company had been hanging on by a thread, and Holmes wrote to investors asking for more money to save Theranos. "In light of where we are, this is no easy ask," Holmes wrote.

Source: Business Insider



In Theranos' final days, Holmes reportedly got a Siberian husky puppy named Balto that she brought into the office. However, the dog wasn't potty trained, and would go to the bathroom inside the company's office and during meetings.

Source: Vanity Fair



In June 2018, Theranos announced that Holmes was stepping down as CEO. On the same day, the Department of Justice announced that a federal grand jury had charged Holmes, along with Balwani, with nine counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Source: Business InsiderCNBC




In September 2018, Theranos sent an email to shareholders announcing that the company was shutting down. Theranos reportedly said it planned to spend the next few months repaying creditors with its remaining resources.

Source: Wall Street Journal



Holmes is now reportedly married to Billy Evans, the heir to hospitality company Evans Hotel Group. She reportedly wears his MIT "signet ring" on a chain around her neck, and the couple posts photos on Instagram together.

Tweet Embed:
//twitter.com/mims/statuses/1098642159085834240?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
For everyone asking about Holmes's social media. It's private. But here are a few screenshots of her and her fiancé we found online. (I personally find it crazy that she's being charged with 11 felony counts, thousands of people's lives were harmed, and she's as happy as can be.) pic.twitter.com/6nYfjltLt4

Source: Vanity Fair, Daily Mail



On Friday, a California judge ruled that the trial for Holmes and Balwani will start in July 2020. Each of them could face up to 20 years in prison, and a $250,000 fine plus restitution for each charge, the government has said.

Source: Business Insider

Maya Kosoff contributed to an earlier version of this story. 





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