When Goldman Sachs invested $450 million into Facebook, it was big news on Wall Street. They made the news again when people sued Facebook and Goldman Sachs for misleading investors. Where does this leave people today? The Goldman Sachs Facebook deal, plus an additional $50 million investment from a Russian firm, gave Facebook an implied market value of $50 billion, but the question of Facebook’s true value led to the lawsuits.
The Goldman Sachs Facebook deal
The Goldman Sachs investment gave the social networking phenom more implied market value than eBay, Yahoo and Time Warner. Digital Sky Technologies, a Russian investment firm, [...]
Oil giant BP has agreed in a BP Settlement to pay the federal government $4.5 billion in penalties for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. It is the largest such settlement in history. BP still faces civil suits, but don’t worry. It is still making enormous profits. I am curious who has actually seen payouts yet from BP?
BP Settlement and still is doing fine
But don’t cry for BP. While it lost $17.2 billion in the quarter that the spill occurred two years ago, today it is more than profitable. In the ensuing 9 quarters it [...]
Statistics show that 2011 saw a record number of people enrolling in credit unions. Consumers continued to leave traditional banks in reaction to unending fees, and out of a continued mistrust of those institutions following the economic downturn.
A record 91.8 million members
The ranks of the nation’s credit unions swelled as another 1.3 members joined their ranks in the last year, according to figures presented by the National Credit Union Administration. The NCUA collected the data from 7,094 federally insured
credit unions across the nation. A record 91.8 million people now bank with the member-owned institutions.
Bank transfer day
Bank Transfer Day was on [...]
According to one website, there may be a correlation between your email and credit worthiness and your ability to repay credit. One credit score website took a look at its clients by email server and found some surprising results. There does seem to be a correlation between Internet server and credit score.
Statistic based on one free credit score website
The advertising-subsidized website Credit Karma provides free credit scores for its clients. The site has a database of about 100,000 users. The site recently ran the numbers to determine the average credit scores based on user’s e-mail servers.
Results similar three years ago
Last year, about 75 percent of Americans who filed tax returns received a refund. The average amount of those refunds was around $2,800. While many say they will use that money responsibly, recent data shows much of it is used for splurges. How do you plan to spend your 2012 tax refund? Remember, even though it is 2013, your tax refund is for the year 2012.
How you say you will spend your tax refund
According to a survey released in February by TD Ameritrade, 47 percent of those expecting a tax refund planned to use it to beef up savings. Meanwhile, [...]
Sorry, you don’t get a full article, but since I am doing a segment on the NCAA with its connection to finances, I thought I would share the great info graphic I ran across on Pinterest about money and championships. There just may be a relationship between money and championships as well as one with the NCAA and education. What are your thoughts? Is there a link because better teams can afford to buy off better players, or are people more motivated with more pay? What’s your input?
Money and Championships – Thank you to the people at Concordia University for [...]
If apartment living is your style, you’re going to want to invest in renters insurance. Much like homeowners insurance, this insurance for renters covers all of your possessions in the event of catastrophes like fire, theft or other loss. But you’ll have to take inventory before buying coverage. Here are some tips for taking stock of your possessions and getting the most from renters insurance.
Renters insurance tip No. 1 – Get your camera
The easiest way to prove what you own to an insurer is to provide photographic proof. Go through each room of your apartment and take digital shots. Video [...]
As of this writing, tax filing day is one month away. Many of you still haven’t filed your taxes yet though, have you? You know who you are. If you were married last year and are still debating whether to file jointly or to check the “married filing separately” status, here is the lowdown.
When not to check “married filing separately”
In most cases, it makes sense for a married couple to file jointly. There are many reasons for this beyond that there is only one tax return to worry about preparing.
The figure at which the tax brackets begin for joint filing [...]
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) proposed a new rule on March 14 that will allow it greater oversight of non-bank firms that collect and keep records of student loans, both federal and private.
CFPB ‘oversight to the student loan market’
The new rule would give the federal watchdog the authority to audit the activities and procedures of non-bank student loan debt servicers that have more than a million clients. These companies handle billing and collection chores for student loan leaders. The CFPB already has oversight of large banks that act as student loan servicers.
“Our rule would bring new oversight to the [...]
Last month, Yahoo’s CEO Marissa Mayer made the unpopular decision to end telecommuting programs for the ISP’s employees. Best Buy was quick to follow suit. However, not one but three recent surveys say she may have been too short-sighted.
Staples Advantage telecommuting poll
On March 8, Boston.com reported on a survey commissioned by Staples Advantage, the business-to-business division of the office supplies giant. It polled 150 business decision makers and 150 telecommuting employees about the practice of employees logging in and working at home from their own computers.
Of the employees surveyed, 93 percent endorsed the idea. And 53 percent of the business [...]
Nearly everyone these days has a laptop or hand held device they can use to connect to the internet while they are out and about. And free WiFi hotspots are available at more and more businesses and public venues. The temptation is great, but there can be serious security risks to using these generally-unsecured connections.
WiFi hotspots proliferating
In 2011, according the Wireless Broadband Alliance, the global number of WiFi hotspots grew to 1.3 million. By 2015, it projects, there will be 5.8 million. Public WiFi hotspots are a way to lure in customers, and they are not about to go away.
More than 600,000 taxpayers using H&R Block could see lengthy delays in the procession of their tax returns, due to a filing error. Most of those affected are college students. The delay could affect the applications for federal financial aid for many.
H&R Block blunder involves education credits
The delay has to do with those using Form 8863, used to claim education credits, filed before February 22, because of new methods the IRS is using to process the forms. Students wishing to claim the credit encountered earlier delays because of the changes, with the IRS not accepting filings using the form before [...]
According to a Commerce Department report on Wednesday, March 13, retail sales grew from January to February by the largest margin seen in five months, and nearly double what some economists had predicted. That gain is likely driven by improved labor and housing markets, as well as rising stock prices.
Retail sales increase a ‘positive indicator’
Consumer spending drives 70 percent of the economy, so it is encouraging that retail sales rose 1.1 percent last month. That may not sound significant, but it is the largest single month of such growth since last fall, and another indicator that the economy is getting [...]
It is getting very difficult to know who consumers can trust anymore. The Better Business Bureau has, for the last century, been held up as the one bastion of integrity consumers can turn to for the real scoop on businesses. Now, however, the Southern California chapter has been stripped of its BBB status for its alleged “pay to play” scheme, offering higher ratings for paid members.
Largest Better Business Bureau chapter ousted
BBB of the Southland, the nation’s largest Better Business Bureau chapter, served the greater Los Angeles area. However, in the wake of an ABC investigation, it has been expelled from [...]
One alternative to costly student loans — that can hound a young professional years into his or her career — are 529 college savings plans. Last year, the average balance of 529 accounts grew to a record total. Still, few are using them.
Record year for 529 accounts
A new report from the College Savings Plans Network — a non-profit affiliate of the National Association of State Treasurers — says that the average 529 plan grew to a record $17,174 last year. That is a 12 percent gain from 2011. The nation’s total 529 investments grew to $190.7 billion, another record. A [...]
In spite of natural disasters and budgetary cutbacks, public transportation in the U.S. had a record year in 2012. Much of that was driven by higher gas prices, increasingly heavy traffic and a recovering job market.
The rise of public transportation
According to a new report from the American Public Transportation Association, Americans took 10.52 billion trips last year on buses, subways and trains. That is an increase of 1.49 percent from the previous year, and the second-highest ridership total since 1957. The only recent year to surpass it was 2008, at the start of the Great Recession.
An increase was seen across [...]
Colored eggs and chocolate bunnies be damned, for many, no treats say Easter quite like the chick-shaped marshmallow confections knows as Peeps. This Easter, the pop-culture holiday sensation will be 60 years old, with no intention of retiring.
Power to the Peeps!
Just Born Inc. has been making Peeps since 1953. And while growth has been slow compared to other companies, it has never lost money and closed with record profits in 2012. Sweet things, it appears, are resistant to recession.
In that time, the humble, unassuming marshmallow chick has gained pop icon cult status. A new holiday TV ad for the confections [...]