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Stocks surge on US-China trade progress and healthy jobs data

Thu, 09/05/2019 - 4:19pm  |  Clusterstock

  • Stocks soared on Thursday after the US and China agreed to meet for another round of trade negotiations in October, granting investors some hope that the countries will strike a deal. 
  • Chinese Vice Premier Liu He told US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin during a phone call on Thursday morning that he come would to Washington in early October to continue trade talks.
  • Major US indexes rose higher after data from the ADP Research Institute showed US companies added the most jobs in four months in August. 
  • Visit the Markets Insider homepage for more stories.

Stocks surged on Thursday after the US and China announced a new round of talks will take place in Washington in October, sparking hope that the world's two largest economies might hammer out a resolution to the trade war. 

Lie He, China's Vice Premier agreed to visit Washington in early October to resume trade negotiations during a phone call on Thursday morning with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. 

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The announcement is welcoming news for traders that have been growing increasingly concerned about a prolonged trade war between the two countries. The US and China imposed new rounds of tariffs on billions of dollars worth of products starting September 1.  

Stocks extended gains after the ADP Research Institute said US companies added the most jobs in fourth months in August. The data stands in contrast to recent readings on manufacturing activity and consumer sentiment that sparked worries of slowdown in the US economy. 

The Bureau of Labor statistics in scheduled to release the official jobs report for August on Friday, which investors will be watching closely for signs of slowing job growth. 

Here's a look at the major indexes as of the 4 p.m. close on Wednesday:

Shares of Slack plunged as much as 16% after the company's first earnings report showed a larger net loss for the quarter than analysts expected. Slack attributed a portion of the loss to an two-hour service outrage that led the company to miss out on $8.2 million in revenue. The company also cut its financial outlook for the second half of fiscal 2020. 

Goldman Sachs is shrinking its top ranks, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal. David Solomon, the firm's chief executive officer, reportedly thinks there's too many partners at the firm and that it needs to reduce headcount at the top in order to retain the exclusivity of the position. 

Within the S&P 500, these were the largest gainers:

And the largest decliners:

Technology stocks led the S&P 500 gaining more than 2%. Industrials, consumer discretionary, and communications jumped more than 1.7%. Utilities fell 1.2%,  while real estate slipped 0.9%.

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The Amex Business Platinum is one of the best credit cards for business owners, and it's offering a welcome bonus up to 100,000 points right now

Thu, 09/05/2019 - 4:15pm  |  Clusterstock

  • If you're a small business owner who travels frequently, the Business Platinum® Card from American Express is worth a look.
  • It does have a high annual fee of $595, but it offers a long list of perks including up to $200 in airline fee credits each year, up to $200 in annual Dell statement credits, and airport lounge access.
  • Currently, the card is offering a welcome bonus of up to 100,000 Amex points: 50,000 points after you spend $10,000 and an extra 50,000 after you spend an additional $15,000 on qualifying purchases in the first three months.
  • That's a lot of spending for the average consumer, but it could be an easy threshold to meet depending on your business.  
  • 100,000 Amex points are worth as much as $2,000 when you redeem them for travel with Amex or with Amex airline or hotel partners.
  • This welcome offer is available until December 4.

If you own a small business and value luxury travel benefits, the Business Platinum Amex could be a great fit. While it does have a high annual fee of $595, you get a lot in return, from annual statement credits for airline incidental fees and Dell purchases to airport lounge access to complimentary elite status with Hilton and Marriott.

Business Platinum offer details

The card is now offering an elevated welcome bonus of up to 100,000 Amex Membership Rewards points. It's divided into two tiers:

  • 50,000 points after you spend $10,000 in the first three months
  • Another 50,000 points after you spend an additional $15,000 in the first three months 

This is a limited-time welcome offer, only available until December 4, so make sure to apply by that date if you're interested.

To earn the full bonus, though, we're looking at $25,000 in spending in three months. If your business is on the small side or you're just starting out, that sum may not be reasonable — and we strongly advise against spending more than you can comfortably afford just to earn points. But if your business can easily rack up at least $25,000 in expenses in three months, the Business Platinum's current offer is a great way to maximize your spending.

Read more: The best small busines credit cards

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

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

How much is this offer worth?

Travel website The Points Guy values Amex Membership Rewards points at 2 cents apiece, so 100,000 points would be worth $2,000. That valuation factors in the various ways you can use these points. The most valuable redemption options are available by transferring points to Amex travel partners, which include airlines like Delta and Virgin Atlantic and hotels such as Hilton and Marriott.

You can also redeem your Amex points for travel directly through the Amex Travel website, and as a Business Platinum cardholder, you're eligible for a 35% points rebate when you pay with points to book first-class or business-class flights, or any class of service with your selected qualifying airline (you get to select one each year).

Business Platinum Amex card benefits

The Business Platinum card earns 5 points per dollar on flights and prepaid hotels booked at Amex Travel, and 1.5x points on purchases of $5,000 or more (up to one million additional points per year). It earns 1 point per dollar on everything else. Other business credit cards are generally a better option for your company's smaller daily expenses, but the Business Platinum can be a lucrative choice if you're booking travel through Amex.

Other card benefits include:

  • Up to $200 in airline incidental fee credits each year
  • One year of Platinum Global access from WeWork if you enroll by December 31
  • Up to $200 in Dell statement credits each year
  • Airport lounge access via the American Express Global Lounge Collection — Centurion Lounges, International American Express lounges, Priority Pass Select lounge membership, Delta Sky Club access when you're flying Delta
  • Up to $100 credit to cover the application fee for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
  • Complimentary Hilton Gold status
  • Complimentary Marriott Gold status

Read more: Amex Business Platinum review

Click here to learn more about the Business Platinum Card from our partner The Points Guy.

SEE ALSO: All our credit card reviews — from cash-back to travel rewards to business cards — in one place

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Here's a peek at how reporter Becky Peterson got inside the notorious and secretive NSO Group

Thu, 09/05/2019 - 3:59pm  |  Clusterstock

  • Business Insider is taking you behind the scenes of our best stories with our new series "The Inside Story." 
  • We'll provide readers with an in-depth look of how these stories came together and a peek inside the reporter's notebook.
  • This week, BI deputy editor Olivia Oran spoke to technology deals reporter Becky Peterson who took readers inside the secretive Israeli spyware startup scene, where the notorious NSO Group has spawned a web of companies that hack into devices.
  • Peterson shares the challenges of reporting on spyware companies and how it made her re-think her own digital privacy. 
  • Read her story on NSO Group here.

Olivia Oran: NSO Group is known for being super secretive and closed off to journalists. What first piqued your interest about reporting on the company? 

Becky Peterson: My editors first asked me to look into NSO Group around the time of the Jeff Bezos sexting scandal, when his personal security consultant accused Saudi Arabia of hacking Bezos's phone. NSO Group had been linked to Saudi Arabia through earlier reporting on the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, and there were a lot of questions about whether the two situations were linked.

I had just gotten back from a work trip to Tel Aviv, and had been thinking a lot about the startup environment in Israel. I actually spent a day in Herzliya, a town north of Tel Aviv where a lot of the tech companies, including NSO Group, are based. It had a lot in common with Palo Alto. There was even a Columbia store, where you could buy a puffy vest, on the bottom level of one of the more bustling high rises. 

So I started asking people in the space what they knew about NSO Group and its competitors, and pretty soon it was clear that the story was much bigger than just one rogue company selling spyware.

Oran: How did you get interested in reporting on cybersecurity?

Peterson: My first role at Business Insider was covering enterprise technology out of our San Francisco bureau. It was 2017, and a lot of startups in cybersecurity were raising funding. So a lot of my early reporting was just about following the money.

But I started thinking about cybersecurity and digital privacy before that. In both my undergrad and master's programs, I spent a lot of time thinking about how our online lives could be used against us by the government, corporations or just other people online. When you're a journalist, you learn pretty quickly how easy it is to find out details of people's lives from their public social media trails. Just imagine what someone with technical expertise could find out.

Oran: Tell me about your reporting process. How long did this story take to come together? Without getting too specific, who are the types of people that you relied on as sources?

Peterson: I've been working on this story for around four months. I was still living in the Bay Area at the time, and my editor called me to talk about the story while I was in the waiting room at the eye doctor. I thought I had a contact lens stuck in my eye.

When I first started reporting, it wasn't clear what I was looking for. I had a sense that Silicon Valley VC firms might be investing in these companies, and that they weren't being upfront about their participation. That turned out to be partially true. I spoke to a number of venture capitalists who said in no uncertain terms that they would never invest in an offensive cybersecurity company.

But they also knew that the VC firm Andreessen Horowitz had. I also reached out to a number of people who were offensive cyber experts themselves, or who had worked with NSO Group at one time or another. For a story like this, most people don't email you back. But the ones that do always have something compelling to share.

Oran: What was the hardest part of reporting out this story?

Peterson: Confirming the details about the startups in the space was a bit of a challenge. Everyone knows about one another's work but no one wanted to throw their tech friends under the bus by sharing information that wasn't public. In a few cases, after sharing a short list of companies I was trying to track down, sources would tell me that there were more I hadn't uncovered, but wouldn't tell me what they were! It's possible there are a few more startups that didn't make it into the story.

Another challenge was just that I had to think about my own digital privacy in a new way. A few months ago, I scheduled an early Sunday coffee with someone who was in town from Israel. Flights got changed, and the meeting got cancelled. But for the first time in my life, I had to think seriously about what it meant to carry my phone with me to a public space. Offensive capabilities are no joke. I was sure my phone would be hacked just because I was asking questions.

A security researcher I spoke to told me that a lot of people in the space are also worried about being followed in person. Anytime a stranger started talking to me about cybersecurity or NSO Group unprompted, I started to wonder if they were sent there to find out what I was working on.

Oran: Any crazy stories you can share?

Peterson: For a while I was looking into this American company called Endgame, which started out in the offensive security space but pivoted into the more commercially viable defensive cyber world. When the company raised its first VC funding nearly a decade ago, it demoed an insane product to investors, where it could zoom in on a map of the globe and identify hackable devices inside of a specific building. In the example I heard, it identified a bunch of exploitable devices in Pakistan's parliament building.

When it comes to a lot of these Israeli startups, the craziest part may be that most of the people are pretty normal startup people, just trying to make their millions using a rather unique skillset they picked up in the Israeli Defense Forces. 

Oran: Why do you think it's so important for our readers to understand what's going on at NSO Group and the broader Israeli cyber scene?

Peterson: One of the biggest concerns of opponents to the offensive cyber industry is that all of the secrecy around its products makes it easier for the technology to be abused. And while I am not here to make a claim about whether or not these companies are good or bad, or whether the technology is ethical, I am partial to the journalistic proverb that sunlight is the best disinfectant. This is especially true when it comes to funding these startups. Investors and companies in the tech world talk a lot of talk about "environmental, social and corporate governance," which is a popular way of measuring the ethics of a business. It's up to these backers to make the case for why investments in offensive cyber fit in ESG.

I also think we're on the cusp of a lot of international legislation being set around this issue of cross-border hacking, where corporations and governments are working together.

One reason I thought it was important to discuss how NSO Group's technology actually works is that where the servers and data lives could have a big impact on how laws are written and who is held accountable for abuse of this technology.

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The CEO of coworking startup Convene is worried bad press around WeWork's model could taint the entire flex-office industry

Thu, 09/05/2019 - 3:54pm  |  Clusterstock

  • Convene CEO Ryan Simonetti told Business Insider he was concerned that the "negative press cycle" around WeWork could throw the thesis behind the broader coworking and flex-space industry into question. 
  • WeWork is considering slashing its $47 billion valuation in half when it offers shares to the public, a move that could derail timing on the IPO, according to media reports on Thursday. The money-losing coworking firm unveiled detailed financials last month. 
  • "This industry doesn't start and end with WeWork (or coworking) nor does it change the trend line," Simonetti said on Thursday. 
  • Click here for more BI Prime stories.

Convene's CEO Ryan Simonetti worries that the "negative press cycle" triggered by WeWork unveiling its financials could throw the idea of outsourcing office and meeting space into question. 

He talked to Business Insider about the reaction to money-losing WeWork laying the groundwork to go public, and laid out why he thinks the underlying argument for the broader industry is still strong. 

"One of the things that's been concerning to me a little bit in the negative cycle that's come out of WeWork is that people are questioning the actual validity of the thesis," he said in a conversation with Business Insider on Wednesday.

"To me, that would be like going back and questioning the thesis that led to the existing hotel industry, the thesis that led to Airbnb or ride-sharing or to cloud or data centers."

That conversation came a day before media reports said WeWork was considering the dramatic move of slicing its $47 billion valuation in half when it offers shares to the public, and that its IPO timeline may be derailed. 

"It's not entirely surprising to see a recalibration like this after sophisticated investors had a chance to kick the tires the past few weeks," Simonetti told Business Insider in a follow-up conversation over email on Thursday. "Especially given current market volatility and growing economic uncertainty globally at a more macro level."

Read more: WeWork lays out its path to profitability – and most of its options involve slowing its breakneck growth

WeWork unveiled its pre-IPO S-1 document in mid-August, bringing the coworking and office-space-outsourcing model into the spotlight. WeWork's wide losses and other details in the filing prompted NYU professor Scott Galloway to nickname the company "WeWTF." The real-estate billionaire Sam Zell told CNBC on Wednesday that "every single company in this space has gone broke."

Simonetti is concerned that the focus on WeWork's model will taint the public's perception of the space as a whole. 

"Bill Clinton has a great quote that says, 'Don't focus on the headline, focus on the trend line,'" he added. 

The headline is WeWork and its S-1, he said, but the trend line should be that how companies use real estate is fundamentally changing to an outsourcing model. 

"I think all of us are now strategically seeing that and then saying, for us and our core customers, what's the best way for us to build a business," he said, referring to how companies could be reassessing long-term commitments to real estate. 

Convene paints itself as "commercial real estate's first workplace-as-a-service platform." ("Platform" is a word WeWork likes too — it mentioned it 170 times in the S-1.) It was founded in 2009 by Simonetti and Chris Kelly, who wanted to bring their experiences investing in hospitality and real estate to office space. 

"The thesis was really: What if you ran an office building like a hotel?" Simonetti said. 

Convene started with event space and conference offerings, and has now grown to flexible workspace, culinary, and health and wellness offerings. Convene recently announced that it would be partnering with the primary-healthcare startup Eden Health, with one clinic already open in a Convene space in midtown Manhattan.

Simonetti sees Convene as a plug-and-play option for landlords who are looking to provide more amenities in their space. 

Read more: Industrious' CEO tells us why the coworking startup is ditching leases and managing property instead. Bigger rival WeWork is eyeing a similar pivot to help erase losses

Convene's 2018 fundraise brought the company's valuation to more than $500 million, according to Bloomberg. Convene is still dwarfed by WeWork, but Simonetti hopes that the focus on the bigger company won't distract away from the larger story of a change in the workplace. 

"This industry doesn't start and end with WeWork (or coworking) nor does it change the trendline," Simonetti wrote over email on Thursday after the media reports of WeWork possibly taking a massive valuation hit. 

Roughly a quarter of Convene's locations are management partnerships with landlords, where the company is paid a fee to operate space but doesn't actually pay a lease to a landlord. This is similar to how established hotel brands operate.

Simonetti says that three quarters of Convene locations are leased but that the leases are partnership leases where the landlord puts up capital for renovations. While this model reduces risk by taking the lease off of Convene's balance sheet, it can be less profitable.

"At scale, I think the multiple is higher for a more asset-light, capital-light business, but it doesn't necessarily mean that your valuation is going to be higher," he said. 

While Convene may be touting a partnership strategy, it is not alone. Industrious, which recently raised $80 million, is attempting to make management partnerships a majority of their business by 2020. WeWork is also looking to increase the proportion of their spaces under management partnerships.

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Chase's Freedom Unlimited review: One of the best cash-back credit cards of 2019 — with perks that many competing cards don't offer

Thu, 09/05/2019 - 3:40pm  |  Clusterstock

  • The Chase Freedom Unlimited is a compelling cash-back credit card for anyone looking to earn with a simple, easy-to-understand rewards program and no annual fee.
  • While it is not the very best awards rate out there, it does come with some valuable benefits that competing cash-back cards don't offer.
  • If you have a Chase Ultimate Rewards-earning card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, the Freedom Unlimited's earnings can be redeemed as points. This makes it one of the best cards for everyday, non-bonus category spending.
  • As long as you pay it off in full every month, you have a lot to gain and almost nothing to lose with the Freedom Unlimited card.

If you want to earn cash back on every single purchase, the Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card may be a great choice. This card offers unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase with no limits, annual fees, or bonus categories to worry about.

This card came about after a long reign by the Chase Freedom card, which offers 5% cash back on rotating bonus categories and 1% everywhere else, as an alternative that allows users a simpler, but still lucrative, cash-back experience. Depending on your spending habits, the Chase Freedom Unlimited card may be the right fit.

Chase Freedom Unlimited card details

Annual fee: $0

Sign-up bonus: 3% back on all purchases in your first year, up to $20,000 spent. Then, earn an unlimited 1.5% back on all purchases.

Cash-back/points earning: 1.5% back after the sign-up offer — but you can redeem 1.5x cash-back points as Chase Ultimate Rewards points (meaning you can transfer them to travel partners and potentially get more value) if you also have a card that earns UR points, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

Foreign transaction fee: 3%

Sign-up bonus and everyday earning

This card starts users with a valuable bonus of 3% back on all spending in their first year, up to $20,000. If you maxed this sign-up offer out, you'd earn $600 back. 

After the first year and after hitting $20,000 in spending, you'll earn 1.5% cash back on all purchases. There is no limit to what you can earn.

Compared to the original Chase Freedom card, this card offers an interesting value.With the old Freedom card, which is still available, you can earn more with the 5% bonus categories. But with only 1% everywhere else, you may still earn more cash back in total with the 1.5% flat rate cash back. It really depends on where you shop most.

Using cash-back rewards

If you also have a Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, you can turn cash back into Ultimate Rewards points at a rate of 1 cent per 1 point. If you value free award travel, this is another way to earn rewards points that can be worth a lot more than 1 cent each depending on how you redeem — there are a variety of travel partners from British Airways to United, and you can also redeem them for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel-booking portal.

The 1.5% cash back rate is pretty good, but it isn't the best out there. Even among cards with no annual fee, you may do better with Citi Double Cash, which offers 1% cash back when you shop and 1% when you pay your bill. That is an equivalent 2% cash back on every purchase. For big spenders with great credit, the Alliant Cashback Visa Signature credit card may offer even more with a 2.5% rate and 3% for the first year.

Again, though, if you pair the Freedom Unlimited with a card that earns Chase Ultimate Rewards points, you can earn more than 1.5%-3% back with this card. Travel website The Points Guy subjectively values Chase points at 2 cents apiece, so if you're able to redeem your Freedom Unlimited earnings as points, you're looking at 3%-6% back. That's one of the best returns on spending for purchases that don't fall under a bonus category like dining or groceries.

Read more: 4 reasons anyone who cares about credit card points and miles should be using Chase Ultimate Rewards

Chase Freedom Unlimited features

Unlike some other banks, Chase offers a lot in additional benefits on its cards. In addition to zero fraud liability, which is standard for pretty much every credit card, Freedom Unlimited includes an automatic extended manufacturer's warranty and purchase protection.

The extended warranty gives you an additional year on top of the manufacturer's warranty for eligible purchases with a warranty of three years or less. Purchase protection will repair or replace new purchases for 120 days due to loss or theft. If you just got a brand-new phone and dropped it, that screen repair is covered up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account lifetime.

This card does not offer any benefits specific to travel.

Read more: Chase offers bonus points or miles when you add authorized users to certain credit cards — adding your kid will help them build a credit history

Freedom Unlimited costs and fees

This card has no annual fee and most other fees are easily avoidable. As long as you pay your card off in full every month and skip balance transfers, cash advances, and pay on time, you won't ever pay to keep or use this card.

Starting out, this card offers 0% APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers. That is a great deal and may allow you to consolidate other debt to this card and pay it off completely during the no-interest period. After the intro period, the card charges variable-rate interest. Current rates are 17.24% to 25.99% APR based on your credit history. Rates can change at any time with market rates. In the current rising interest rate environment, they are likely to follow suit. Cash-advance transactions charge a higher 27.24% variable rate APR.

Balance transfers cost 5% of the transferred balance with a $5 minimum. Cash-advance transactions charge 5% with a $10 minimum. Late and returned payments cost up to $39 per occurrence.

This card charges a 3% foreign transaction fee. If you travel outside the United States regularly, you can find a card, like the Chase Sapphire cards mentioned above, that charge no foreign transaction fee.

The bottom line: Is this the best card for you?

Overall, the Freedom Unlimited is a compelling cash-back credit card for anyone looking to earn with a simple, easy-to-understand rewards program and no annual fee. While it is not the very best cash-back rate out there, it does come with some valuable benefits that competing cash-back cards don't offer. And if you pair it with a card that earns Chase Ultimate Rewards points and redeem your cash back as points used for travel, this card becomes even more valuable.

If you're a fan of Chase cards or just want a simple way to earn every time you swipe (or dip, tap, or pay online), the Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card has you covered. The sign-up bonus of 3% back on the first $20,000 spent in the first year may be enough to tip the odds in favor of this card as well. As long as you pay it off in full every month, you have a lot to gain and almost nothing to lose with the Freedom Unlimited card.

Click here to learn more about the Chase Freedom Unlimited from our partner The Points Guy.

SEE ALSO: I've carried the Chase Freedom in my wallet for over a decade — here's why the credit card is a great value

DON'T MISS: Most people think paying $450 a year for a hotel credit card is insane — here's why I signed up for the Hilton Aspire anyway

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Greylock partner Reid Hoffman goes all in on cryptocurrency in a new 'Hamilton'-inspired rap battle

Thu, 09/05/2019 - 3:34pm  |  Clusterstock


SEE ALSO: Before it was a smash hit, clothing resale app Poshmark struggled to convince investors that mobile was the future. Here’s the original, 2011 pitch deck that inspired one VC to bet on it.

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CVS is just the latest retailer to come out against open carry, as the business world doubles down on store gun policies (CVS)

Thu, 09/05/2019 - 3:25pm  |  Clusterstock

  • CVS is banning its shoppers from openly carrying firearms in its stores.
  • On Twitter, the company said it supported "the efforts of individuals and groups working to prevent gun violence."
  • CVS follows Walgreens, Kroger, and Walmart in changing its open carry policy.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

CVS will  ban customers from openly carrying firearms in its stores, the pharmacy chain announced in a statement Thursday. The drug store chain's announcement comes on the heels of that of its rival, Walgreens. And both decisions are just the latest examples of the ripple effect that Walmart's own open carry policy change appears to have set off in the retail business.

CVS Health Updates Firearms in Stores Policy

— CVS Health (@CVSHealth) September 5, 2019


According to a statement posted on the drug store chain's official Twitter, CVS is joining a "... growing chorus of businesses in requesting that our customers, other than authorized law enforcement personnel, do not bring firearms into our stores."

The pharmacy chain is the latest major retailer to shift its gun policy in the wake of Walmart's decision to ban open carry and cut back on its ammunition offerings. Kroger and Walgreens also followed suit, regarding the open carry policy.

Read moreIn retail's battle over firearms, Walgreens is following Walmart's lead and barring customers from openly carrying guns


Stores that have stood up for gun safety:
✅Panera Bread
✅Trader Joes

Who's next?

— Everytown (@Everytown) September 5, 2019


The trend of retailers asking customers to forego open carry has attracted heat from right wing commentators.

However, a recent poll from consumer research firm CivicScience indicates that shifting gun policies aren't negatively affecting shoppers' desire to visit Walmart. And, if companies across retail continue to follow suit, it's unclear if a boycott will even be possible.

SEE ALSO: Walmart just overhauled its rules around gun sales in response to a series of deadly mass shootings — here's how supporters and critics reacted on Twitter

READ MORE: Kroger tells shoppers to stop openly carrying guns in its stores, just hours after Walmart makes the same request

SEE ALSO: The NRA called Walmart's new stance on guns 'shameful' and predicted it would cause shoppers to flee, but a new poll shows the retail giant could benefit from the changes

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NOW WATCH: Henry Blodget: Will arming teachers with guns help stop school shootings?

Capital One miles are incredibly easy to redeem. Here are 5 ways to use them to book a spontaneous end-of-summer vacation.

Thu, 09/05/2019 - 3:25pm  |  Clusterstock

  • Summer may be ending soon, but that doesn't mean there isn't time for a final summer trip to enjoy the warm weather.
  • Capital One miles can be redeemed for virtually any flight, hotel, cruise, train, and other eligible travel at a rate of 1 cent per mile. You can also transfer them to a list of airline partners, including Singapore Airlines.
  • You can earn these miles with the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card and the Capital One Spark Miles for Business, among other cards.
  • With flexible dates, times, and destinations, you may be able to put together a perfect vacation without paying for any travel costs out of pocket.

Summer vacations are wrapping up, but you may be able to squeeze in one last trip before schools kick back into full gear. If you have the Capital One Venture Rewards card, you might be sitting on a pool of miles that could get you out of town for a little weekend away or even a major last-minute getaway. (You can also earn miles with the Capital One Spark Miles for Business, and with the no-annual fee Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card and Capital One Spark Miles Select for Business).

Here are some of the best ways to put those miles to good use.

Getaway in your own city

I have a friend who loves to take his family to a hotel about a 20 minutes away so they can enjoy the pool, room service, and other hotel luxuries you don't get at home.

You can book a hotel through the Capital One portal using miles or pay with the credit card and reimburse yourself with the Purchase Eraser at a rate of 1 cent per point. When you "travel" like this, you save a bundle on airfare. Take the opportunity to be a tourist in your own town and check out a new restaurant, museum, or show you've been meaning to try.

Book a local experience in an Airbnb

A few months ago, I took my family for a weekend getaway in San Luis Obispo, about two hours from home. We wanted to relax, go at our own pace, and still enjoy some of the comforts of home like a kitchen. We found a great Airbnb a few blocks from the lively downtown and it covered every one of our needs.

Just like a hotel, you can book an Airbnb using your Capital One miles-earning card and reimburse yourself using miles. A great perk of reimbursing yourself using the Venture card is that you earn the 2 miles per dollar on the purchase and then get to wipe the cost off of your balance. Make sure to use the Purchase Eraser with 90 days of making the reservation.

Hunt down a last-minute airfare on Skyscanner

The Purchase Eraser should work for any airline, hotel, or travel agency purchase. If you want to hop on a plane to somewhere fun, new, or far from home, you should point your browser to Skyscanner. Specifically, go to the last-minute flight search tool here.

With flexible dates and destinations, you can often find bargain-priced flights. Plugging in LAX, I found flights to most of the entire western half of the United States under $150, with Las Vegas as the cheapest option at $39 round-trip. That's just 3,900 Venture miles per person.

While traveling within the US is always fun, I was more excited by deals to Mexico, Canada, and Europe. Many of those deals are out of reach with airline-specific miles. A general travel rewards card like the Venture card, however, gives you more flexibility in how you redeem.

Take the luxury flight of a lifetime

Capital One miles are transferrable to a list of partner airlines based around the world. That list includes three airlines that are known for their luxurious premium cabins. If you can book an international business-class fare or better with miles, you'll probably get among the best redemption values possible per mile, well over the standard 1 cent per mile.

Singapore, Emirates, and Etihad consistently rank among the best airlines in the world for customer service and in-flight experience. If you've never heard of Singapore Airlines suites, you have to check this out:


This kind of ticket can cost over $20,000 per person round-trip. If you have enough miles, this kind of award ticket starts around 76,000 each way for New York to Frankfurt.

Find a last-minute cruise

Points are good for cruises, trains, taxis, and rideshares too. If you've never taken a cruise, this could be your big chance. Many cruise companies will heavily discount rooms at the last minute just to fill up the ship.

This is most feasible if you live near a busy cruise port in Florida, Texas, Louisiana, New York, or Southern California. If you can skip flights and hotels on both ends of the trip, you may be able to snag a week-long cruise for just a few hundred dollars per person. Reimburse yourself after paying with miles, of course.

Unlimited options

When you have a big pile of miles or points, the world is a lot more accessible. Visits to places in Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America go from thousands of dollars to zero dollars.

The Venture card offers a flat 2 miles per dollar on every purchase (plus 10x miles on paid hotels booked via If you save up, you'll be able to book a trip to nearly any destination in the world without paying anything out of pocket.

Click here to learn more about the Capital One Venture Rewards card from our partner The Points Guy.

SEE ALSO: All our credit card reviews — from cash-back to travel rewards to business cards — in one place

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NOW WATCH: What El Chapo is really like, according to the wife of one his closest henchman

See inside the $37 million NYC penthouse Uber founder Travis Kalanick just purchased, complete with a private rooftop pool and automated parking garage (UBER)

Thu, 09/05/2019 - 3:21pm  |  Clusterstock

  • Uber founder and board member Travis Kalanick has purchased a $36.5 million penthouse in New York City, according to property records seen by the New York Times.
  • The condo, which features a private pool and rooftop terrace, is in a Renzo Piano-designed building in SoHo, in Manhattan.
  • Take a look at the 6,700-square-foot, four-bed, four-and-a-half-bath residence, which was the most expensive sale in New York City in August. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Some of Travis Kalanick's darkest moments are being laid out in public view for the first time this month, but the new book isn't keeping Uber's ousted founder down.

The 43-year-old purchased a posh duplex penthouse atop a new luxury building in New York City last month for a cool $36.5 million, the New York Times first reported. It was the most expensive real estate purchase in the month of August in the city, the paper said.

Located on Broome Street in Manhattan's fashionable SoHo neighborhood, the building was designed by Pritzker Prize-winning Italian "starchitect" Renzo Piano, and the glass facade bears resemblance to his last New York project, the Whitney Museum of American Art.

According to sale documents, the condo was purchased through an LLC called "377 Holdings," of which the Times reports a former Uber employee Tara Dhingra is also a director. 

Kalanick's neighbors at the still half-empty building will include Novak Djokovic who in 2017 purchased two units in the building for an undisclosed amount, the Wall Street Journal reported at the time.

Here's a look inside the billionaire's latest home:

SEE ALSO: A former Uber executive hired to clean up ousted founder Travis Kalanick's mess has joined WeWork's board of directors as it gears up for a massive IPO

On the ground floor, what appears to be future retail space was very much still under construction on a recent September afternoon.

On the Broome Street side, however, where residents will enter and exit their condos, the building is open for business. A few people streamed in and out during the few minutes Business Insider gawked from across the street.

Next to the entrance will eventually be the driveway for a 42-spot robotic parking garage. According to the building's management, the glass garage has an elevator that's open to the street so that "passerbys can watch as cars are moved by automated lift from the driveway on ground level up through the glass to a higher, private climate and humidity controlled garage where the cars are stored."

Retrieving your car via the app takes 210 seconds, the company said.

Kalanick's pad is the smaller of the building's two penthouses, with four bedrooms and four-and-a-half bathrooms as well as three outdoor terraces totaling another 2,500 square-feet.

From the street-level, you can see some trees or shrubbery peeking slightly over the terrace's railing.

The unit features an eat-in kitchen, with modern fixtures, in addition to the main dining room that seats at least 10 people.

The upper floors are partially open, allowing for a double-height ceiling above the main living room where the private elevator opens into the residence.

Here's the main living room, with the stairs that lead up to the second level.

Above the unit, on a third floor, is the massive private outdoor patio complete with swimming pool, dining area, and sun deck.

From the pool, Kalanick and his guests will have sweeping views of Manhattan and the Hudson River from their perch just above the entrance to the Holland Tunnel.

And the views don't end there. Even the master bathroom has massive windows next to a large bathtub and a shower that could rival the size of many Manhattan bedrooms.

Kalanick's not the only Uber director shelling out big bucks for an expensive home now that the company has gone public.

CEO Dara Khosrowshahi's family is said to be renting the pricey Venice, California pad,  Variety reported this week. 

Read more: 


Headcount at the world's largest investment banks shrank by 1,500 in the first half of 2019, and equities trading took the brunt of it

Wed, 09/04/2019 - 8:27pm  |  Clusterstock

  • Headcount across investment banking, equities trading, and FICC has continued to shrink, new data shows. Banks shed 1,500 jobs from those businesses from the mid-point of 2018. 
  • The new data paints a dim picture for the biggest investment banks in terms of client appetite for their services, and suggests technology is continuing to crush margins for old-school trading roles. 
  • Visit BI Prime for more stories.

Headcount across investment banking, equities trading, and FICC continued to fall in the first half of 2019 while revenue for the three businesses slumped to a 13-year low, according to data tracking the world's biggest banks.  

The midyear report-card from data firm Coalition, which showed there were 1,500 fewer jobs across those businesses, paints a dim picture for big banks. Economic uncertainty and trade tensions have clients sitting on the sidelines instead of trading or issuing equity and debt, and technological change is also playing a part (the report called out a continued decline in client demand for so-called high-touch cash equities trading.)

There were 50,400 front-office banking jobs midyear, according to the report. That's down from 56,700 at the same point in 2014, with headcount shrinking each year along the way. 

Equities fared the worst, the figures showed, with total revenue plunging 17 percent and the number of full-time workers falling 5%.  Equities was plagued by shrinking margins in prime services and cash trading, and headcount took a hit as some banks shuttered desks, Coalition said. 

Read more: Goldman Sachs is cutting about 5% of sales and trading staff after senior equities leaders delivered a tough town-hall talk

Coalition tracks the 12 largest global investment banks: Bank of America, Barclays, BNP Paribas, Citibank, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley, Societe Generale and UBS. It defines headcount as revenue-generating, front-office roles; it excludes front-office admin and support roles.

Deutsche Bank this year announced it was exiting global equities and cutting 18,000 jobs as part of a sweeping overhaul. Credit Suisse has an informal hiring freeze in place across some parts of its sales, trading, and research unit, Business Insider reported in early August. 

And Citigroup is laying off hundreds across equity and fixed-income trading, Bloomberg reported this summer.

Revenue from fixed income, currencies, and commodities (FICC) fell across all products — and headcount was down 3%, with banks scaling back commods and rates trading. 

Read more: Deutsche Bank cut equities trading, but kept underwriting. The decision has rivals and Wall Street insiders scratching their heads.

Weaker activity in equity capital markets and debt capital markets, along with slower IPO and M&A activity, dented investment banking revenue overall, the Coalition data showed. Headcount there slipped 1%, dragged lower mostly by cuts in DCM. 

By many measures, big business ought to be booming, but you wouldn't know it by looking at how investment banks fared in the first half.

Stock markets are trading within striking distance of all-time highs, the US unemployment rate is plumbing nearly five-decade lows, and a crop of companies boasting entirely new breeds of businesses have launched — or are primed to debut — on the public markets.

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NOW WATCH: This is the shortest route for a road trip across the US to see 50 national landmarks

Here's the pitch deck this Silicon Valley startup used to raise $30 million to take on Cisco and Arista Networks (CSCO, JNPR, ANET)

Wed, 09/04/2019 - 7:55pm  |  Clusterstock

  • San Jose startup Arrcus has developed an operating system for networking equipment called ArcOS.
  • The company is hoping to take advantage of a potential shakeup in the industry, with customers moving away from proprietary products made by big firms such as Cisco.
  • Arrcus already counts Fortune 100 companies among its customers.
  • It used the pitch deck below to raise $30 million in funding this summer.
  • Click here for more BI Prime stories.

Devesh Garg thinks the networking market is sorely in need of its own version of Windows or Android.

To date, the industry has been dominated by a handful of companies that offer their own proprietary products. Companies such as Cisco and Juniper Networks make not only their routers and switches, but the software that runs on them, and, in many cases, the chips that power them.

But that all-in-one model is about ready for a shakeup, Garg, the CEO of San Jose startup Arrcus, told Business Insider in a recent interview.

Already third-party electronics manufacturing companies are making unbranded networking equipment. Broadcom and other chipmakers are making their own networking chips that power some of those boxes and even some of the networking equipment made by the big networking firms. The only thing that's been missing is software that's not controlled by the networking giants.

That's where Garg thinks Arrcus will fit in. The company has developed a Linux-based operating system dubbed ArcOS that's designed to run on a wide variety of networking equipment.

"There's all this innovation at the chip level and all this innovation at the system level, but the missing link to take advantage of that had been software," Garg said. "And that's what we set out to solve and what we've done."

The networking industry may be due for its own PC revolution

The networking industry is similar to where the computing industry was in the mid-1970s, he said. At that time, the business was dominated by a handful of companies that offered all-in-one proprietary products. When you bought an IBM mainframe computer, it came with an IBM chip and IBM software.

When the PC came along, that model got blown apart. If you bought a computer from Dell in the mid-1980s, it typically came with an Intel processor and a Microsoft operating system. The advantage was that instead of being stuck with the computer makers' proprietary software and processors, shoppers got a more competitive market and access to the best chips and software the market could offer, Garg said.

A shakeup in the networking industry promises something similar, and Arrcus is going to help make it happen, he said.

"We enable you to select the right software with the right hardware at the right cost," Garg said.

Other startups, including DriveNets, which raised $117 million earlier this year, are also banking on the networking industry being ripe for disruption.

Read this: This Israeli founder sold his first company to Cisco for $475 million when he was 26. Now he's raised $117 million from a who's who of US angel investors to take Cisco on.

Arrcus came out of stealth mode in July of last year. Since then, it's been able to attract a collection of Fortune 100 customers, Garg said, although he declined to name any, citing non-disclosure agreements. Customers, who purchase per-device licenses to use ArcOS from Arrcus, typically start out with pilot evaluation projects. But in some cases, equipment running Arrcus' software is already replacing devices made by the big networking companies, he said. 

The company has a big opportunity in front of it, Garg said. The networking equipment market is huge — some enterprise and telecommunications companies purchased nearly $44 billion worth of routers and switches last year, according to market research firm IDC. Even if ArcOS-powered devices capture only a small part of that, that still translates into hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars in sales.

What's more, there's an appetite for non-proprietary products, Garg said. Survey data indicates that a large majority of customers are looking for and plan to purchase non-traditional networking equipment, in which the device, chip, and software aren't all bundled together, he said.

"The market is very, very large," Garg said.

Garg isn't the only one who is convinced of Arrcus' opportunity. In July, the company raised $30 million in a Series B funding round led by Lightspeed Venture Partners. Garg plans to use the new funds to double the size of the company's 55-person team by the end of the year. Most of the new hires will be on Arrcus' development and customer engineering teams, he said.

"We're aggressively hiring," he said.

Here's an edited version of the pitch deck Garg and Arrcus used to raise the company's latest funding round:

SEE ALSO: Here's the pitch deck a German software startup used to raise $10 million to move to San Francisco and take on Oracle

Got a tip about venture capital or startups? Contact this reporter via email at, 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.

Goldman Sachs has poached a top credit trader from a $30 billion hedge fund to jumpstart its high-yield trading business

Wed, 09/04/2019 - 7:46pm  |  Clusterstock

  • Goldman Sachs has poached a senior trader from $30 billion hedge fund Anchorage Capital.
  • Drew Goldman, 37, is departing Anchorage and joining the investment bank as a managing director in its high-yield trading group. 
  • The moves brings the trader's career full-circle: He started as an analyst at Goldman Sachs in 2004 before joining Morgan Stanley and then Anchorage in 2016. 
  • The bank historically doesn't bring in many outsiders at senior levels.
  • Visit BI Prime for more stories.

Goldman Sachs has poached a senior trader from $30 billion hedge fund Anchorage Capital to help spark growth in the investment bank's high-yield trading business.

Drew Goldman, formerly a managing director at Anchorage, is joining the bank as a managing director in high-yield trading, according to people familiar with the matter.

Anchorage, Goldman Sachs, and Drew Goldman each declined to comment.

For Goldman, 37, the move brings his career full-circle: He started out at as an analyst in investment-grade trading Goldman Sachs in 2004 after graduating from Princeton University. He joined Morgan Stanley's investment-grade trading operation in 2006, rising up to lead its US high-yield desk in 2013 and its global flow trading business until his departure in 2016 for Anchorage. 

Read more: Goldman Sachs for a long time struggled to win business with quant hedge funds. CEO David Solomon told us 'the picture is very different today.'

The hire is notable for Goldman Sachs, as the bank historically doesn't bring in many outsiders at senior levels. 

The bank's once dominant fixed-income, currencies, and commodities trading operation has lost ground in recent years but is tied for third globally on the league tables with Bank of America, according to industry data consultant Coalition. 

The group produced $3.3 billion in revenues in the first half of 2019 amid a tough trading environment, according to Bloomberg data, a 12% decline from the same period last year. 

Join the conversation about this story »

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Slack stock is down 12% after its first-ever earnings as a public company, in which it posted a big loss — including $8 million in credits to customers after outages (WORK)

Wed, 09/04/2019 - 7:22pm  |  Clusterstock

  • Slack announced its first-ever earnings on Wednesday, and its stock slid 12% in after-hours trading.
  • The good news: Slack's revenue grew 58% from this time last year, up to $145 million.
  • The less-good news: It posted a net loss of $359.6 million, and projects wider-than-expected losses for the next quarter, too. 
  • Slack also revealed that it spent $8.2 million of credits related to service-level disruption this past quarter — in other words, credits given to customers who were affected by outages of its chat service.
  • Slack CEO and co-founder Stewart Butterfield says the company is investing in monitoring for these types of outages.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The collaboration and messaging app Slack saw its stock slide 12% after it announced its first-ever earnings as a public company on Wednesday.

It share price plunged to $26 after the bell – the same as the price at which Slack originally priced its shares when it went public in June. That may be partially due to the fact that Slack is now projecting losses per share for the next quarter of $0.09 to $0.08, a little bit higher than the $0.07 loss per share projected by Wall Street.

Its revenue this quarter grew 58% from this time last year, up to $145 million. However, it posted a net loss of $359.6 million, including $8.2 million of credits it spent related to service-level disruption this quarter — in other words, credits given to customers to make up for outages and other interruptions to its service.

In July, Slack was down for about an hour, impacting its business customers around the world.

Slack CEO and cofounder Stewart Butterfield said on the earnings call that the company has been investing in monitoring for these types of outages. He said that while Slack's technology may seem simple from the outside, there's a lot of complexity under the hood that makes the task trickier.

"The bottom line is, there are investments on an ongoing basis," Stewart said. "With our biggest customers, it's not just hundreds of millions of messages going on and everyday, it's the other little changes, like people going online, offline, creating a new channel, or changing their status."

Here's what Slack reported:

  • Revenue: $145 million. Analysts were expecting $140.72 million.
  • Net loss per share: $0.14. Wall Street was looking for $0.18.
  • Revenue (next quarter): $154 million to $156 million. Analysts had predicted $153.19 million.
  • Net loss per share (next quarter): $0.09 to $0.08. Wall Street was forecasting $0.07.

Slack ended the quarter with over 100,000 paid customers, rising 37% year-over-year.

SEE ALSO: Meet the influential programmer who's helping $3.8 billion Gusto make sure that its software always stays ahead of the times

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The spectacular story of Ferrari's 7-decade journey from an upstart racing team to a $30 billion-dollar luxury brand (RACE)

Wed, 09/04/2019 - 6:29pm  |  Clusterstock

  • Ferrari is one of the most valuable brands in the world.
  • Ferrari — the Italian supercar maker and Formula One racing operation — is worth $30 billion.
  • Unlike many of its rivals, Ferrari is a racing operation first and car company second. 
  • Ferrari was founded as a racing team with the sale of road cars as a means to fund the racing operation. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Over the past seven decades, Ferrari has come a long way since its start as a fledgling racecar builder

In 2015, Ferrari's IPO on the New York Stock Exchange valued the company at nearly $10 billion. Now, the company's market cap has risen to $30 billion. This makes the car maker one of the most valuable and recognizable brands in the world; its "prancing horse" logo is synonymous with sex, money and the high life. 

Ferrari wasn't always the global luxury brand that's now being traded in New York. The company's early days as a maker of racing cars were rather humble, and it took an Italian-American racing star named Luigi Chinetti to begin the transformation into a purveyor of glamorous supercars for the world's well-heeled. The company's success drew takeover interest, and later rivalry, from Ford – before Ferrari eventually became part of FIAT.

Read more: I drove a $474,000 Ferrari 812 Superfast to see if the sports car delivers a thrill worth the price — here's the verdict.

For many years, Ferrari artificially limited its annual production figures to preserve the exclusivity of its cars. However, since the IPO in the fall of 2015, the company has steadily increased the number of cars it delivers to customers.

But even if Ferrari sells 10,000 cars, those cars are still exceedingly rare. In fact, most of the company's models are supply limited in that the number it sells is limited not by how many people want to buy a car but by how many they can make. 

Here is the story of Ferrari's incredible seven-decade-plus journey: 

An earlier version of this story was written by Benjamin Zhang.

FOLLOW US: on Facebook for more car and transportation content!

In 1908, A 10-year-old Enzo Ferrari saw his first car race and immediately became hooked. As a young adult, Enzo was drafted by the Italian army to fight in World War I.

After the war, Enzo had a hard time finding work in the auto business. He applied to work at Fiat, but was rejected to due an abundance of unemployed war veterans. Eventually, he found work at smaller automakers.

By the early 1920s, Enzo landed a job at Alfa Romeo as a race car driver. Fellow drivers at the company included legendary aces like Tazio Nuvolari, seen here in an Alfa.

In 1929, Enzo launched Scuderia Ferrari or "Team Ferrari." There was no car company yet — Scuderia consisted of a group of drivers who raced the cars they owned.

The team raced mostly Alfa Romeo cars. By 1933, Scuderia Ferrari had essentially become Alfa's racing division.

In 1937, Enzo shut down Scuderia Ferrari and became the head of Alfa Romeo's factory racing operation — Alfa Corse. But that wouldn't last. He wasn't happy.

A week after leaving Alfa Corse in 1939, Enzo started up Auto Avio Costruzioni. The AAC 815 is the first car Ferrari's startup built on its own.

AAC built two 815 cars in 1940. Both were prohibited from carrying the Ferrari name due to a noncompete agreement between Enzo and his previous employers. The agreement prohibited Ferrari from using his name in relation to races or race cars for at least four years.

Although WWII forced Ferrari to curtail his racing activities, his company got back to work immediately following the war. In 1945, the company introduced a new V12 engine that would become one of Ferrari's signature offerings.

In 1947, Ferrari launched the 125. And since the noncompete agreement with Alfa had lapsed, this was the first car to carry the Ferrari name.

In the late 40s, Luigi Chinetti — a successful Italian-born racing driver and newly naturalized American citizen — approached Ferrari about the prospect of building sports cars for the public.

New York Times


Ferrari was hesitant because his company's main purpose was to win races. At that point, the only cars Ferrari sold were for privateers. Chinetti started racing and winning in Ferrari's cars around the world.

By the early 1950s, Luigi Chinetti got the sports cars he wanted and opened the very first Ferrari dealership in the US. Chinetti's showroom was located in Manhattan, but was later relocated to Connecticut.

The US became a huge market for Ferrari's cars. Even today, it remains Ferrari's most lucrative market. This opened the floodgates for Ferrari's business. Legendary cars such as the California Spider ....

... the GTO and ...

... the Testarossa soon appeared.

By the 1960s, Ferrari's cars demonstrated their prowess on and off the track.

In 1963, Ford CEO Henry Ford II jumped at the opportunity to buy Ferrari's road car business. The deal failed after Enzo found out that Ferrari would have to ask Ford for money from Detroit to go racing.


Incensed by his failure to close the deal, Ford decided to beat Enzo's team at the 24 Hours of LeMans.

Ferrari ruled Le Mans at the time. Enzo and his team had dominated the grueling 24 hour-long endurance sports-car race — winning six times in a row from 1960-1965.

By 1966, Ford's challenger for Ferrari's cars was ready. The legendary GT40 was set to race at Le Mans.

Henry Ford II got his revenge. The GT40 won Le Mans with a stunning 1-2-3 finish, ending Ferrari's dominance.

Ford would go on to win four years in a row — from 1966 until 1969.

By 1969, Enzo realized his company needed additional resources not only to be successful, but also to survive. That year, Ferrari sold 50% of the business to the company that once refused to give him a job — Fiat!

Enzo Ferrari died in 1988 at the age of 90. But before his passing, he signed off on one final car to commemorate the 40th anniversary of his company.

The mighty F40!

After the passing of Enzo Ferrari, longtime executive Luca di Montezemolo assumed the position of President and later Chairman. Under his guidance, Ferrari was transformed into a global luxury brand.

Today, the company sells its supercars for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

And its hypercars for millions.

Ferrari also licenses everything from clothes to jewelry.

There's even a Ferrari-themed amusement park!

Click here to read more about Ferrari World

On the racing front, Ferrari is still at the top of its game. The company's Formula One team — still called Scuderia Ferrari — has won eight world championships since Enzo's death.

With its IPO, Ferrari completed its transformation from a startup racing operation to a multibillion-dollar global brand. But true to its roots, Ferrari trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol RACE.

Since the IPO, the company's market cap has risen to $30 billion, thanks to big-ticket cars such as the 812 Superfast.

Ultra-exclusive models like the Monza SP1 and SP2 — $2 million cars — have also helped.

On the auction market, Ferraris have set records. In 2018, a Ferrari went for $48 million, breaking a previous record of just over $38 million in 2014.

All eyes are on the next major new vehicle from Maranello — the Purosangue, Ferrari's first SUV. Or "FUV," as the company likes to say.

And it's rumored that Ferrari could launch an all-electric supercar. In the meantime, there's the SF90 Stradale. It's the most powerful production Ferrari ever, making almost 1,000 horsepower from its turbocharged V8 engine and three-motor hybrid drive system.

2 steps to take to protect your money from a recession, according to a financial expert and bestselling author

Wed, 09/04/2019 - 6:25pm  |  Clusterstock

  • Ramit Sethi is the author of the New York Times bestseller, "I Will Teach You To Be Rich."
  • If you're worried about a recession, there are only two things you need to do, according to Sethi: secure an emergency fund and ensure your investments are diversified across, and within, stocks and bonds.
  • Sethi recommends target date funds, which automatically choose a blend of diverse investments based on your age — the younger you are, the more aggressive the investments.
  • The "biggest danger" to a young person isn't a risky portfolio or potential market drop, he said, but avoiding investing all together.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

It's near impossible to recession-proof your money, says financial expert Ramit Sethi.

"The market will go up, the market will go to down. Nobody knows. Nobody can tell you. It doesn't matter if they're on some TV show or anything. It's all bullsh--," Sethi, who recently released the second edition of his bestselling book "I Will Teach You To Be Rich," told Business Insider.

"A better question is, 'Can I have a diversified portfolio?' ... And do you have enough cash just in an emergency fund in case there was something bad that happened to you on a day-to-day living basis?" Sethi said.

Regardless of the state of the markets, diversifying your investments across, and within, stocks and bonds and securing an emergency fund are two of the most important steps to take with your money, he said.

"That's the best thing you can do," he said. "What you shouldn't do is try to predict what's going to happen because you will almost always lose."

Sethi recommends keeping cash reserves equal to at least three months and, ideally, up to a year's worth of expenses to fall back on whenever it's needed. The best place to keep that emergency fund, rainy day fund, "oh f---" fund, or whatever you call it, is usually in a high-interest bearing account, like a high-yield savings or money-market account, where it remains within arm's reach but continues to grow while you're not using it.

As for investing, two things are crucial to ensure your money remains as safe as possible during market chaos: diversification and asset allocation.

"Investing in only one category is dangerous over the long term. This is where the all-important concept of asset allocation comes into play," Sethi wrote in his book. "Remember it like this: Diversification is D for going deep into a category (for example, buying different types of stocks: large-cap, small-cap, international, and so on), and asset allocation is A for going across all categories (for example, stocks and bonds)."

Asset allocation could make a difference of hundreds of thousands of dollars over your lifetime, he continued. 

"In other words, by diversifying your investments across different asset classes (like stocks and bonds, or better yet, stock funds and bond funds), you can control the risk in your portfolio — and therefore, control how much money, on average, you'll lose due to volatility," Sethi wrote.

The easiest way for the average investor (read: someone who wants solid returns with minimal work) to achieve proper asset allocation is through a target date fund, according to Sethi. These "funds of funds" automatically choose a blend of investments based on your age — the younger you are, the riskier the investments (more stocks). As you approach retirement age, they become more conservative (less stocks).

Target date funds are generally low-cost and tax efficient, too, Sethi said, but you'll typically need at least $100 to $1,000 to get started. At the end of the day, the "biggest danger" to a young person isn't a risky portfolio or potential market drop, he said, but avoiding investing all together.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: 7 lesser-known benefits of Amazon Prime

How to open a high-yield savings account online to earn up to 200 times more interest on your money

Wed, 09/04/2019 - 6:18pm  |  Clusterstock

Why should you carve out a quarter of an hour to apply for a new account and move over your money? To make more and save more. Online-only accounts often come with more favorable interest rates and fees.

In a recent look at my own savings, I shared the three high-yield savings accounts I use to hold my own cash. Between my emergency savings and other savings for future real estate investments, I've signed up for my fair share of online accounts.

Compared to some nationwide banks, which can pay as little as .01% interest, some of the best online banks (like Ally) pay more than 200 times more interest, offering 2% or more. And at the same time, they usually charge no recurring monthly fees with no minimum balance requirements. That's a big win for your money.

I recently signed up for a new account at Capital One to take advantage of a big $500 bonus for new accounts. It took me less than 10 minutes of work and I was off and running with my new account. If you follow the simple steps at your favorite bank's online form, you'll be set up in no time.

Unless you have a job where you get paid in cash, there is no reason you can't go entirely online-only for your banking. But if you just want to start with a high-yield savings account like those offered by Ally, Marcus, or Wealthfront, you can follow these basics steps to get started.

How to open a high-yield savings account 1. Gather your personal information

The first step with any new bank account is getting your personal information together. Banks are required by law to collect customer information. Expect to provide your name, address, phone number, and Social Security number when applying for any new financial account.

Many of the laws regarding providing your information to banks come from the PATRIOT Act introduced after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. In the banking industry, this is known as KYC or Know Your Customer requirements. For us law-abiding customers, that just means we have to provide a little extra information compared to a couple of decades ago.

2. Fill out the application

Most online banking applications take less than 10 minutes to complete. If you are working with a bank that offers a strong customer experience, it may take even less than five minutes.

Most of the application details should be things you already know off of the top of your head. Outside of some employer details, everything in the application is personal.

Online banking may be intimidating if it is new to you, but rest assured that it is safe and simple to use. If you have enough computer skills to make a purchase online or send an email, you can handle the online banking application process and anything you need to do to maintain your account.

3. Fund your account

In many cases, your identity confirmation is instant and you can fund your account right away. If you've ever filled out a direct deposit form for payroll or linked a checking account to pay a mortgage or credit card bill, this will feel very familiar.

My favorite online banks have no minimum balance requirements to avoid monthly fees, though some banks do require a minimum to open a new account. Whether you plan to deposit $1, $100, or $1,000 in your new account, the process is almost always the same.

You may also have the option to mail in a check, deposit a check using your new bank's mobile app, or make a transfer with a bank wire. Outside of wire transfers, there are typically no fees or costs with transferring funds to or from an online savings account.

4. Bonus: Set up your online banking and bill pay

If you add a new checking account at the same time, which is easy to do at most banks and credit unions, you shouldn't stop when you fund your account. Taking a few extra minutes up front can help you get moving on an automatic financial plan.

One of the biggest benefits of online banking is the ability to manage your finances from one central hub. If you connect all of your account including other banks, investments, credit cards, and bills, you'll be able to save a lot of time in the future.

If your account is linked, it makes it really easy to transfer funds. Whether you need to pay for an emergency, want to add to your savings balance, or pay a utility bill, you can do it in a few clicks from your online banking dashboard.

Considering a high-yield savings account? Take a look at these offers from our partners:

Related coverage from How to Do Everything: Money

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Here's exactly how to tell if you need a financial advisor, a robot, or nobody at all

Wed, 09/04/2019 - 6:10pm  |  Clusterstock

Money can be complex and intimidating, no matter how much or how little you have.

If you've considered seeking professional financial help but don't know where to start, first identify exactly what it is you want to accomplish. Do you want to start investing or invest more money? Do you want to know how much you need to save to retire at 65? Do you need advice for paying off debt? Are you wondering how much life insurance you need?

The truth is that some financial decisions call for reinforcement; others, you can probably handle on your own — at least for now.

Do I need a financial advisor?

Financial advisor is a catch-all term that usually includes financial planners and investment advisors. It's imperative to look for financial advisors who follow the fiduciary rule, meaning they operate in their clients' best interest, and are fee-only. This means client fees are their only compensation and they don't earn commission when you invest in certain funds or buy financial products.

A good certified financial planner can help organize your overall financial picture, including setting up a retirement saving and investing strategy; planning for big expenses, like buying a house or having kids; everyday budgeting and spending; plus tax and estate planning.

Considering a financial advisor? SmartAsset's free tool can help you find a licensed professional near you »

You may also consider hiring a financial planner if you're too overwhelmed or confused by your money to make big financial decisions, including how to balance multiple financial goals, manage a business, get out of crushing debt, or establish a retirement savings plan. If the alternative to meeting with a financial planner is decision paralysis, you're better off seeking outside advice.

Investment advisors typically focus on the nuances of your investment strategy, such as what stocks or funds to buy in and out of your retirement accounts and how to minimize taxes. They can also manage your investments, but usually charge a fee of 0.5% to 2% of the portfolio.

You don't have to be a sophisticated investor with millions in the market to have an investment advisor, but you probably don't need one if you just want to know how to invest a few thousand dollars or which funds to choose in your retirement accounts.

A robo-advisor is often a cheaper alternative, and some even provide access to human investment advisors or financial planners for an extra fee.

Robo-advisors like Wealthfront, Betterment, and Ellevest set up and automatically rebalance an investment portfolio for you based on your goals and risk tolerance, and the annual management fee is just 0.25% of your account balance. Robo-advisors can be a valuable tool for the average person with a long-term outlook who truly wants to "set and forget" their investments.

SmartAsset's free tool can help you find a licensed financial advisor near you » Related coverage from How to Do Everything: Money

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A financial planner says there's a 'huge opportunity' to build wealth during a recession, but there's still one reason to consider moving your money out of the market

Wed, 09/04/2019 - 4:37pm  |  Clusterstock

Despite most metrics indicating the United States economy is doing well right now, there's widespread speculation that a recession is on the horizon.

As long as you have a cash safety net to fall back on should you lose your job or face an unexpected expense, there's little reason to panic, says Lauren Anastasio, a certified financial planner at SoFi, a personal-finance company.

In fact, a recession can be a huge opportunity to make money if you're invested for the long term, she says. Investing in stocks while prices are low means you can take advantage of an inevitable market upswing down the road. 

But while it may be a good time to funnel savings into retirement accounts, which have years to rebound before you'll need the money, it's not a good time to keep money for short-term goals in the stock market, Anastasio says.

"If that goal or when you plan to use that money is any time in the next two to four years, that's a scenario where it may make sense to move out of the market and be in a high-yield savings account or stay in cash, simply because you've been saving and investing for a purpose and at this point your time horizon isn't long enough that if we do experience a downturn, there isn't enough time to rebound from that," Anastasio says.

Common short-term goals include making a down payment on a house, having a baby, paying for a big vacation, starting a renovation project, planning for a lapse in regular income, or going back to school. By keeping the money you need for those goals in the stock market, there's a high chance you'll wind up with less than you invested when there's a market downturn. A high-yield savings account can keep that money completely safe, accessible, and even help it steadily grow.

As Anastasio says, the best position to be in during a recession is one where you can virtually ignore the balance in your investment accounts. 

"Knowing that their investment accounts could basically go untouched and it doesn't matter if it drops 50% and then at some point it eventually rebounds, if they have the wherewithal — not the willpower, because most of us have a hard time resisting looking at the accounts — but if they have the ability to ignore the noise and ignore the fluctuations because they're not in a position where they have to sell out of the market because they need the cash, that's the situation someone wants to be in," she says.

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5 great alternatives to the Apple Card, from the metal Amex Gold to the Petal Card with no fees

Wed, 09/04/2019 - 4:31pm  |  Clusterstock

  • The Apple Card stands out for its titanium design, and features like iPhone integration and no fees.
  • If you don't have an iPhone or you want to earn more rewards, though, there are several alternatives you should consider.
  • For example, if it's a unique design you're after, the American Express® Gold Card fits the bill and earns valuable points on dining, US supermarkets, and more.
  • If you want to earn maximum cash back on Apple purchases, the Amazon Prime Visa Signature Card is worth a look thanks to its 5% back rate for Amazon purchases.

The Apple Card has been getting a lot of publicity for its high-tech features and its lack of fees, not to mention its good looks. However, there are several competing cards with rewards and benefits that equal, or surpass, those of the Apple Card.

Furthermore, you'll be unable to use many of the Apple Card's features if you don't have an iPhone. With that in mind, here are five great alternatives, depending on which aspect of the Apple Card appeals to you the most.

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

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

If you want a card with no fees: PenFed Promise

PenFed is the Pentagon Federal Credit Union, and it was the first to offer a card with no fees for anything, including annual fees, late fees, foreign transaction fees, and even cash advance fees. And while it's not a rewards card, it does offer a $100 statement credit to those who spend $1,500 within the first 90 days of account opening, and it features 4.99% APR promotional financing for 12 months (then a variable rate of 11.99% to 17.99%). You must be a member of the PenFed credit union to apply, but no military service is required.

If you want to use an app to track your account and budget: The Petal Card

While nearly all credit card issuers now offer a mobile app, the Apple Card has received attention for its unprecedented level of integration with the iPhone. Another card issuer that's been recognized for its innovative mobile app is Petal. The Petal card is very closely integrated with its app, which shows you how much interest you'll owe based on what you pay. 

The app also allows you to set a monthly budget and track how your spending compares to that budget. Other features include the ability to freeze your card, view your credit score, and monitor your payment account to assure there's enough money before your payment is due. And like with the Apple Card, you receive your rewards when you make a purchase, and the card has no fees of any kind.

If you want a beautiful card: Amex Gold card

The Apple Card is made of titanium and has no visible number. The American Express Gold card is also eye-catching, and is constructed of metal. When this card was reintroduced in 2018, it was available in a limited-edition rose gold color — it's not currently available in this color, but the gold option looks pretty fancy, too.

Its beauty is more than skin deep, as the Amex Gold features 4 points per dollar spent at restaurants worldwide and on up to $25,000 spent each year at US supermarkets (then 1x). You also get a $100 annual airline fee credit and up to $120 of credits each year toward purchases from select restaurants and food delivery services. Those credits go really far toward covering the $250 annual fee.

Click here to learn more about the Amex Gold card from our partner The Points Guy. If you want to save money on Apple purchases: Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

The Apple Card offers you 3% back on Apple purchases, which is pretty good. But if you're an Amazon Prime member and you open the Amazon Prime Visa Signature, you'll get a whopping 5% off of all your Amazon purchases, including Apple products and accessories, and at Whole Foods.

In contrast, you only earn 3% back from the Apple Card for Apple purchases and for Uber and Uber Eats when you use Apple Pay, 2% when using Apple Pay, and 1% elsewhere. In contrast, the Amazon Prime Rewards card offers 2% back at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores and 1% back on all other purchases. There's no annual fee for this card — you just need to be a Prime member.

If you want to earn bonus rewards on mobile wallet purchases: U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card

The Apple Card offers you 2% cash back on all purchases you make with Apple Pay, but the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve goes even further. It features 3 points per dollar spent on all mobile wallet purchases, including Apple Pay and Android Pay. These points are worth as much as 1.5 cents each toward travel, which allows you to get up to a 4.5% return on your mobile wallet spending.

You also earn a 50,000-point bonus, worth $750 in travel, after spending $4,500 within the first 90 days of your account. Other benefits include 12 Gogo in-flight internet passes per year and Priority Pass Select airport lounge access. While the card does have a $400 annual fee, you also get a $325 in annual travel statement credits and up to a $100 credit toward the application fee for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.

Read more: The best rewards credit cards available now

SEE ALSO: All our credit card reviews — from cash-back to travel rewards to business cards — in one place

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