It is often said that you can learn a lot about somebody by looking at what they read. You can also learn a lot about an individual by hearing what they listen to. It is no secret that in the ever-evolving world we live in, with technology at the forefront, reading continues to become less popular while other outlets for information grow exponentially. One such outlet that has grown vastly over the past few years is podcasting. For readers who may not be familiar with podcasts: it can be most simply described as a pre-recorded radio show that is posted online, covering a variety of topics, and is generally free of charge through subscription. In fact, the number of active podcasts on iTunes grew tremendously from 10,000 to over 60,000 between the years of 2008 and 2015!
Fifth Avenue in New York is considered to be among the best – and most expensive – streets for shopping in the world. As such, it seems that any brand with a “big name” in retail has a location on Fifth Avenue. However, in an age where renting bags and shopping online have become overwhelmingly popular, brick and mortar locations just don’t seem to be cutting it. In the past few years online shopping has boomed into the spotlight resulting in the demise of luxury retail brands – even those with the best locations.
As Snap Inc., parent company to the extremely popular messaging app Snapchat, gears up for its initial public offering (IPO) there is no shortage of coverage in the media. The mass amount of coverage should not come as a surprise to anybody; however, as Snapchat is being compared to social media tech powerhouses such as Facebook, Apple, and Google. Interestingly, it might be companies in the television market that should feel the pressure of Snapchat going public, rather than those focused solely on social media or search engines.
This week, Wal-Mart’s e-commerce chief, Marc Lore, announced, “it no longer makes sense for Wal-Mart to charge for two-day shipping” and that America’s largest retailer will soon be ending its “ShippingPass” delivery subscription plan in favor of a new plan. Okay, sure. No big deal, right? Until we realize that Wal-Mart’s ShippingPass plan was just announced last June. In essence, whatever “made sense” 7 months ago (when ShippingPass was announced) doesn’t make sense now. Seems like a pretty quick change now, doesn’t it? Can you guess why Wal-Mart would go back on its initiative so quickly?
If you haven’t heard of Tidal, the music streaming service that Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter purchased in 2015, you might begin to hear more about it pretty soon. The subscription-based mobile music service aims to provide only the highest quality audio tracks and the newest music videos to its millions of monthly users. Sound familiar at all? The platform may remind you of some other extremely popular streaming services such as Spotify or Pandora.
…And Facebook knows it.
By now, we’re sure you’ve heard the rumors of fake news stories crowding the newsfeeds of Facebook’s over one billion monthly users. You may have even seen some of these stories – everything from false celebrity gossip to misguided political reports – which have appeared on the “trending news” bar of your Facebook home screen over the past year. The obvious problem here? Users have a very difficult time distinguishing between falsely reported news and legitimate news – especially when it’s all reported in the same place. For that reason, fake news stories were shared millions of times last year – performing among the top news content on Facebook in 2016 – and even began to incite real political debates, fights, and acts of violence. In other words, the mass sharing of fake news – on a scale unparalleled by anything the world has really ever seen before – has some serious negative side effects.
As you walk out of your downtown apartment and dig your hands into your pockets to make sure you didn’t forget your car keys, your mind races to all of the things you need to get done during the day. But, first things first, you need to walk down the road to your public parking spot – hoping you remembered to park on the correct side of the street the night before (so as to avoid parking tickets) – and wait for your car’s heating system to kick in, so that your hands can defrost before you get driving. Admittedly, the average daily commute to work or school seems a little bleak. What if we told you that very soon the entire act of commuting could completely change? And along with it: the way you might think about investing in the automotive industry.
Happy New Year, millennials! As the first week of 2017 has come and gone, we know you probably got a perfect head start and stuck exactly to your New Year’s resolutions. Did you hit the gym every day and make sure to get to bed early every night this week? Or, have you already completed your goal of becoming more organized? We’re sure you have. That is, if you’re in the only 8% of millennials that actually make their resolutions stick. But, if you’re reading this and thinking you might need a little extra motivation – or realizing you forgot to set a New Year’s resolution altogether – we’ve got your back.
As we quickly approach the New Year, we wanted to reach out and wish you the happiest of holidays! We owe our success over the past year to investors such as yourself. Your support has helped us provide access to tens of thousands of investors in over 135 countries around the globe through the DriveWealth app and through our partnerships with international financial institutions.
The Holidays are a time when all good habits are broken. You break your diet, your budget, and often your investing plan. We know we must sound like a broken record, but investing even a small amount on a regular basis can help put your finances on the right track! The Holidays are just days away, so it’s understandable that your budget is stretched to the breaking point with gifts, holiday parties, and holiday meals. We feel your pain, but we’re here to tell you that investing is a habit you shouldn’t break during the Holidays.
If you thought Nintendo couldn’t top Pokémon Go, think again. In fact, an announcement this week officially made 2016 one of the most exciting years in recent history for Nintendo fans and Universal Studios fans alike. On Monday, Nintendo announced that it would be joining forces with the team at Universal Studios to unveil the world’s first ever Nintendo-based theme park, linked with the existing Universal Studios parks in Japan, by 2020. But, better yet, if you weren’t thinking of flying to Japan any time soon, you can hold off on buying your plane tickets. The Universal Studios parks in Orlando and Hollywood will also be creating Nintendo themed parks, set to open just after the one in Japan.
With the end of the calendar year steadily approaching, we all know that things can get a little chaotic in terms of our personal finances. Many people – even those who have really stuck to their budgets all year long – find it difficult to manage their finances in the most efficient ways as the year comes to a close. And, when we think about the circumstances, we find that it’s pretty normal to feel financial pressure at the year’s end. Consider, for example, things such as the holiday season, end of year bonuses, and winter travel. These are all things that come to a head in December and can make us feel like our bank accounts are fluctuating like crazy – just a little nerve wracking. Next, add next year’s plans and budgeting into the mix and we realize that there can definitely be a lot to think about at this time.
Whether you prepped your business or scoured for sales last weekend, it probably feels good to know that we have now made it through the largest retail weekend of the year. Surrounded by Black Friday, the largest in-store shopping day of the year, and Cyber Monday, which has become the year’s largest online shopping day over the past few years, last weekend was nothing short of hectic for both retailers and consumers. Now that everything has been said and done with the Black Friday and Cyber Monday madness, many of us are left wondering: how did this year’s sales stack up?
It’s not very surprising that the holidays can be the most important time of the year for retailers. However, the actual magnitude of holiday sales isn’t something we typically think about. Each year, it’s just normal for many of us to start looking for the “perfect gifts” for many of our loved ones. But, by the numbers, it’s actually shown that holiday sales can account for an average of upwards of 25% - 30% of a retailer’s yearly income. That means, from the beginning of November to the end of December – 61 total days, or 16.7% of the calendar year – a retailer can do nearly 30% of its business. That’s a lot of business.
Are you stressed about your job, the upcoming holidays, or the effects of recent political decisions? Maybe you’re more worried about your finances, saving money for your investments, or planning for the future. At some points, you might feel like your “to do” list never stops growing and you just can’t get your “done” list to grow faster. Occasionally you might even think that no matter how much you prepare for work or the holidays, and no matter how much money you save for later, it just won’t ever be enough.
To state that I am a novice at investing is NOT an exaggeration! The most experience I have is attempting to read a very large and overwhelming book I picked up my junior year of college; combined with any general knowledge I gained from the news on trending stocks and what would affect the price (whether it be positive or negative).
The past week has been nothing short of hectic, with America’s presidential election results affecting markets worldwide. If you’re like many people, you have probably seen many politically driven articles and social media posts in the past few days. For you, investors, that’s actually great! It’s definitely important to stay updated on this news and understand how different perspectives are affecting global markets. However, regardless of your political views, it seems everyone might also be able to benefit from a topic that’s a little “sunnier.” With that, it only seems fair to discuss the recent advances in solar technology! Did you know you could actually make a profit these days by installing solar panels? Stay tuned.
The following sentence will likely be the most obvious thing you’ll read all day. Saving money is HARD. Yes, we know – obvious. However, one thing that’s much less obvious is finding a steady routine that actually helps you save money. If you ask around, people will tell you that there are options everywhere – and they’re really not wrong. “Check the sale racks first” and “bring a friend with you who can help you decide what you really need,” they say. And while both suggestions are good pieces of advice, many of us are in need of some spending advice that isn’t also based on spending. So, if you’re not quite ready to “save 15% by switching your car insurance to GEICO” or you just don’t see the value in “saving money and living better” by shopping solely at Wal-Mart, you might want a money-saving plan that revolves around the most important piece of this saving equation: not the spending, but you.