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Help Me Retire: I’m 49, my wife is 34, we have 4 kids and $2.3 million saved. I earn $300K a year but ‘lose a lot of sleep worrying about tomorrow’ — when can I retire?

Have a question about your own retirement savings? Email us at HelpMeRetire@marketwatch.com.....»»

Category: topSource: marketwatchMay 26th, 2021

Congress could cost Americans $15 trillion and 6 million jobs if it doesn"t raise the debt ceiling, Moody"s says

If the government defaults on its debt, the resulting downturn would be similar to the 2008 financial crisis, Mark Zandi of Moody's said. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi/Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo ; J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo Failing to lift the debt ceiling would spark a recession similar to the financial crisis, Moody's said Tuesday. Nearly six million jobs would be erased and tanking stocks would cost Americans $15 trillion. The fallout would be "catastrophic," especially since the US is still recovering from COVID, Moody's added. See more stories on Insider's business page. Failure to raise the limit on how much the US government can borrow could spark one of the biggest stock-market crashes in history and erase trillions of dollars in household wealth, Moody's Analytics said in a Tuesday report. Congress has mere weeks to avoid that, and progress so far has been slow.Democrats are pushing forward with their own bill to suspend the debt limit, allowing the government to keep borrowing cash and paying off its bills. But GOP lawmakers have made it clear they won't support such legislation. And Democrats' slim majority in the Senate means any dissent within their ranks could kill the effort.Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has warned that the government will hit the ceiling in mid-October. If the limit isn't lifted by then, the country faces "cataclysmic" economic fallout, economists led by Mark Zandi said. The team's simulations show a default on US debt powering a downturn similar to that seen during the Great Recession. Gross domestic product would slide by nearly 4%. The country would lose almost 6 million jobs. The unemployment rate would surge to 9% from 5.2%.And stock prices would crash by one-third during the worst of the selloff. The market nosedive would swiftly wipe out $15 trillion in household wealth."If lawmakers are unable to increase or suspend the debt limit ... the resulting chaos in global financial markets will be difficult to bear," the Moody's economists said, adding the US and global economies "still have a long way to go to recover" from the COVID recession.A recession of Congress' own makingThe Tuesday report sheds more light on just how dangerous a government default would be. It also joins several warnings already made by the Biden administration and other economists.The White House told state and local governments on Friday that failure to lift the debt ceiling would force stark cuts to federal support. Programs ranging from free school lunches to Medicaid would face a funding freeze. Disaster relief from FEMA would be dramatically scaled back. And the country would likely slide into recession as governments are forced to balance their budgets and slash jobs.David Kelly, chief global strategist at JPMorgan, used more colorful terms to describe the fallout. Congress's last-minute negotiations over the debt ceiling are similar to kids playing with a "box of dynamite," he said in a September 13 note. Each generation of lawmakers has been "just a little more reckless and irresponsible than the last," and it may be time to retire the debt limit entirely before it forces a government default, he added.To be sure, Democrats and Republicans are both confident the government will avoid a debt-ceiling downturn. After all, this debate has happened 57 times in the last 50 years, and solutions were reached each of those times. Lawmakers are just split on how to solve the problem today.The easiest solution requires 10 Senate Republicans to join Democrats in voting to lift or suspend the limit. Yet Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has been adamant that GOP members won't support such action.Democrats, however, have slammed Republicans for failing to undertake the historically bipartisan action. The GOP is pursuing a "dine-and-dash of historic proportions," as they racked up trillions of dollars in debt with their 2017 tax cuts and last year's stimulus spending, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer tweeted Tuesday.Democrats will need all 50 Senate members to back the House's last-ditch fix if they're to sidestep Republicans and go it alone. With members already disagreeing over other legislation, the "political brinkmanship ... is thus painful to watch," Moody's said.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 21st, 2021

Meet a single dad with $550,000 in student loans for his 5 children: "I"m not going to take the chance of not sending my kids to school"

"I'm looking at paying $3,000 a month for the better part of the rest of my life," Reid Clark, 57, says. He's "highly concerned" about retiring. ROBYN BECK/Contributor/Getty Images Reid Clark, 57, unexpectedly became the sole provider for his five children. He took out parent PLUS loans to fund their education, and told Insider he now has $550,000 in debt. "I'm looking at paying $3,000 a month for the better part of the rest of my life," he told Insider. See more stories on Insider's business page. Reid Clark didn't expect to be providing for five children on just his income alone.Clark was preparing to pay for his five kids' education as part of a two-income family, but he and his ex-wife divorced in 2011. Just a few years later, when the children started going to college, he decided to turn to federal loans to finance their education himself. (Due to private circumstances, his ex-wife isn't contributing.)Now, his debt load stands at over $550,000."I'm looking at paying $3,000 a month for the better part of the rest of my life," Clark, who is 57, told Insider. He estimates he'll have to keep making those payments for at least three more decades.Parent PLUS loans, the type of loan Clark is paying off, is a federal loan that lets parents pay for their children's education. It can cover the full cost of attendance minus any financial aid the child already received. Reid Clark with his five children. Reid Clark For Clark, the ability to take out those loans meant he didn't have to defer his kids' educations despite the unexpected change in his financial standing. But now, he said, even though he makes a livable salary in healthcare sales, his retirement could very likely be pushed off because he chose to take on debt to prioritize his kids' futures."For those of us who want to see our kids do better, we understand that you better yourself, and you better your chances for success, with education," Clark said. "And I'm just not going to take the chance on not sending my kids to school, even though it's going to create a tremendous financial burden. It's not an option."Clark says he just wanted what was best for his kids, and parent PLUS loans allowed him to give his kids the best. But he's "highly concerned" for his own financial future, and he blames high interest rates and lending practices that don't take into account the borrower's income, or change in income.'They make it really challenging to educate your kids and pay for it'President Joe Biden campaigned on canceling $10,000 in student debt for every borrower, and some Democrats are urging him to cancel $50,000 of every borrower's federal student loans using executive action. But it's unclear whether parent PLUS loans would be included in that forgiveness, and helping parents with their debt has yet to be a part of conversations on Capitol Hill.Parent PLUS loans are the most expensive type of federal loan: they currently have an interest rate of 6.28% for the 2021-22 school year, compared with 3.73% for undergraduate loans, allowing debt to accumulate quicker for parents who need help sending their kids to school. New data released last week by the Texas Public Policy Foundation highlighted the burden student debt puts on parents, finding that there is around one parent PLUS borrower for every five student-loan borrowers. Andrew Gillen, author of the report, told Yahoo Finance that one of the problems with parent PLUS loans is that since the amount parents receive is based off cost of attendance instead of how much the parents can actually afford, it can create a "dangerous mentality" that leads to unchecked borrowing. It's not like Clark's children went to the most expensive schools in the country. Three of them went to small schools in Pennsylvania, where Clark currently lives, and the other two went to other state schools on the East Coast. But even for public universities, tuition coasts have been soaring for years.Since 2001, average in-state tuition has surged 211%. In addition to Clark's loans, each of his kids took out around $20,000 in student loans because Clark wanted them to have a "vested interest" in their educations.He said his debt comes down to flaws with the federal student-aid system, in which the government makes it very easy for people to borrow money but very hard to pay it back."At the very onset of the whole process is where the problems begin," Clark said, referring to the unchecked amount parents can borrow years in advance. "They really make it challenging to educate your kids and pay for it."Once the federal pause on student-loan payments lifts in February, Clark anticipates having the means to make monthly payments on his loans, but completely eliminating his debt could take decades and he said he's "not holding out hope" for student-loan forgiveness anytime soon."I am highly concerned about my ability to pay back the loans during my remaining working years, and it's going to scare me even more in a few years when I retire, and I go on to a very limited income," Clark said. "That's the part that gives me the most anxiety."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nyt20 hr. 45 min. ago

Zoom nabs JPM banker - Citi DEI head"s plans - BofA"s new org chart

The top finance news for Sept. 23, including the latest on Zoom poaching one of JPMorgan's tech bankers, and BofA's new org chart. Welcome to Insider Finance. If this was forwarded to you, sign up here. Plus, download Insider's app for news on the go - click here for iOS and here for Android.On the agenda today:Zoom nabbed a JPMorgan tech banker. Citi's head of diversity wants to shake up Wall Street. Bank of America revealed its new org chart after a massive leadership shakeup. Let's get started. Zoom just nabbed a JPMorgan tech banker Reuters After 16 years with JPMorgan, Sanjay Rao has joined video-conferencing company Zoom to head its M&A strategy. The tech investment banker joins following a year of record-breaking growth for Zoom. More on Rao, the latest Wall Streeter to jump to tech.Citi's new head of diversity wants to shake up Wall Street Bloomberg For Insider's first installment of The Equity Talk, we sat down with Erika Irish Brown, Citi's head of DEI. Brown discussed how she's measuring the effect of DEI at the bank - see what she told us here.Bank of America reveals its new org chart Bank of America Bank of America announced sweeping changes to its leadership team earlier this month, with more than 15 leaders seeing their roles change. We've got two charts breaking down BofA's new leadership, and who's running which business lines.BofA's CEO detailed the firm's approach to tech and ops budgeting John Lamparski/Getty Images Bank of America's Brian Moynihan explained the "constant fight" his new tech and ops leaders will face when cutting costs in their $14 billion budget. Even though the bank has cut the budget down by billions, Moynihan said it's still seeing client volumes grow. Here's what else he said.Procore just agreed to acquire Levelset Courtesy of Levelset and Procore Procore, a cloud-based construction-management software company, announced it will buy software firm Levelset for $500 million. The deal will help Procore solve one of the construction industry's biggest problems: getting paid. Here's what you need to know.A top European bank research analyst is leaving Goldman Sachs Danny Moloshok/Reuters Jernej Omahen, Goldman Sachs' head of research for its European financial institutions group, is leaving the bank. Omahen, a partner and 20-year Goldman veteran, announced his plans to retire this week, marking another partner exit from the firm. What we know so far.ExodusPoint has poached two portfolio managers Icon Sportswire ExodusPoint Capital is looking to supercharge its macro trading business - and has poached two star portfolio managers to do so. Pablo Duran Steinman, head of macro at the family office of George Soros, will join the $14 billion fund, as will Eisler Capital's Mukesh Murarka. More on that here.On our radar:When he first joined Goldman Sachs, Jernej Omahen had 42 interviews in three days, according to eFinancialCareers. More on his interview process.Page Six reports that billionaire John Paulson and wife are in the midst of what could be one of the most expensive divorces of all time.Facebook's CTO is stepping down. Here's everything we know about his departure.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 23rd, 2021

Blow up your Instagram with these 10 over-the-top hotels in the US

Here are 10 cool, photogenic US hotels to post about on Instagram, with over-the-top decor, dramatic architecture, and eccentric rooms. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more. The Saguaro When choosing a hotel, social media-minded travelers place a high value on a visual appeal. Many hotels design with Instagram in mind, with decor ranging from highly curated to eccentric. We found the most photogenic hotels across the US with options for all budgets and travelers. Table of Contents: Masthead StickyThe saying goes, "pics or it didn't happen," and when it comes to travel, that is especially true. After all, vacation visuals that get posted to social media serve as photogenic proof that you had an incredible time away, inspiring others' travel decisions, and perhaps even a bit of travel envy.Whether or not you're an influencer commanding a major social media presence, it's nice to visit somewhere that is visually appealing, both on and off the 'Gram. That's why we rounded up some of the most Instagram-worthy hotels across the United States, each catering to a variety of aesthetics.You can be sure that each and every hotel on this list has gorgeous decor that'll photograph perfectly, even if you're relatively inexperienced behind the camera.Browse all the most Instagrammable hotels in the US below, or jump directly to a specific area here.The most Instagrammable hotels in the USFAQ: Instagrammable hotelsHow we selected the most Instagrammable hotelsMore photogenic accommodationsThese are the most Instagrammable hotels in the US, sorted by price from low to high. The Roxbury This suite is inspired by the tale of "Cinderella" with a bathroom entrance fashioned out of her pumpkin carriage. Roxbury Hotel Book The RoxburyCategory: Budget Location: Roxbury, NYTypical starting/peak prices: $95/$138Best for: Couples, families, friendsOn-site amenities: Pool, spa, hiking trails (to a waterfall!)Pros: Between the property's two hotels, there are about two dozen room themes, meaning there's something to tickle everyone's fancy.Cons: There's no on-site restaurant, but daily breakfast is included. Guests are charged to use the pool (a one-time, not daily fee), which eliminates the need for a resort fee.When it comes to themed hotel rooms, no one does them quite like The Roxbury in New York's Catskills region.Made up of two hotels, the Roxbury Motel and the Roxbury at Stratton Falls, there are 28 whimsical rooms and suites. Entry-level rooms are fairly traditional, though still bold in colors, but it's the suites and cottages that really dazzle.Themes range from Maryann's Coconut Cream Pie, where the ceiling looks as if it's coated in undulating meringue; and The Wizard's Emeralds, a riff on "The Wizard of Oz" complete with a yellow brick (or, in this case, yellow tile) road and a glittering green bedspread worthy of the Emerald City. Additionally, the Tower Cottages are standalone duplex suites with themes like the Faerie Forest, where interiors resemble whimsical woods plucked out of a fairy tale, with flowers, ferns, mushrooms, and gnarled tree branches adorning every inch.The Roxbury also has a pool with a spa that appears warped to create the illusion that it's defying gravity, alongside a hot tub, dry sauna, and treatment rooms. There are also hiking trails, one of which leads to a 50-foot waterfall.COVID-19 procedures are available here. The Saguaro Palm Springs The colorful Saguaro is one of Palm Springs' most recognizable hotels. Tripadvisor Book The Saguaro Palm SpringsCategory: BudgetLocation: Palm Springs, CATypical starting/peak prices: $129/$350Best for: Couples, friends, solo travelersOn-site amenities: Pool, restaurants, bars, gym, spaPros: The pool is the place to see and be seen — and to take your Instagrams. Pool parties are particularly boisterous, and the rainbow backdrop of the hotel brightens up any photographs.Cons: There's a mandatory $38 (plus tax) resort fee, which makes seemingly affordable room rates less appealing.Palm Springs is a desert oasis primarily known for two things: amazing midcentury architecture and a raucous party scene, particularly at its hotels. The Saguaro Palm Springs is no exception to either.The hotel was built in 1971 but underwent a major renovation in 2012 by the same group behind the ultra-hip Ace Hotels. That refurbishment brought about the brightly painted exterior with a gradient rainbow effect for which the hotel is best known. These vibrant, cheerful colors carry throughout the entire property, most notably in the courtyard pool area. Paired with swaying palm trees, bright yellow umbrellas, and the cool blue of the pool, and it's positively photogenic.  That pool area, by the way, is one of the hotel's biggest draws. Lively parties are thrown regularly and often spill over into the Saguaro's restaurants and bars. Be sure to reserve a cabana in advance for the best spot for photos.Inside, guest rooms are similarly colorful with lemon yellow walls, royal purple carpets, and furniture done up in lime green, hot pink, or electric orange alongside technicolor striped bedspreads.COVID-19 procedures are available here. TWA Hotel Built into an old airline terminal, the TWA hotel offers a retro feel infused with heavy doses of '60s glam and nostalgia. TWA Hotel/David Mitchell Book TWA HotelCategory: BoutiqueLocation: New York, NYTypical starting/peak prices: $200/$280Best for: Couples, families, friends, solo travelers, aviation and design enthusiastsOn-site amenities: Restaurants, bars, gym, rooftop pool, event space, museums displays, ice/roller rinkPros: The main building is legendary among aviation geeks and architecture lovers, but anyone who appreciates funky design will enjoy the hotel. Don't miss the cocktail bar inside an old airplane. And, of course, if you're flying out of JFK, it doesn't get more convenient than staying here.Cons: The rooms are pretty small, even the suites. Mixed reviews cite cleanliness issues, too. You're far better off hanging out in the public spaces, which are more visually interesting anyway.As the only hotel within John F. Kennedy International Airport, the TWA Hotel is, of course, a place for those who need a place to rest pre- or post-flight. But it's also so much more, as a design-forward gem that feels like a slice of preserved history with front-row views of airplanes taking off and landing.Designed by midcentury architecture icon Eero Saarinen in 1962 (originally as a flight center for Trans World Airlines), the TWA hotel has jaw-dropping interiors. The main building, which houses the front desk, restaurants, and bars, features soaring, curved white ceilings that are not unlike a Jetsons-style spaceship with bright red carpets, classic midcentury furniture, and an old-school departures/arrivals board. Throughout the hotel and in some guest rooms, enjoy iconic views of the runway as planes land and depart, a boon for aviation enthusiasts. Rooms are small, but feel like you've stumbled onto the set of "Mad Men" with bright red Saarinen-designed Womb chairs, retro TWA travel posters, dark wood paneling, and brass accents on furniture, including a martini bar.Visiting this hotel is a lot like, walking into a time capsule, especially when you enter the hotel's cocktail bar housed within an actual 1958 Constellation airplane.COVID-19 procedures are available here. Madonna Inn The Floral Fantasy is one of 110 over-the-top themed rooms. Tripadvisor Book Madonna InnCategory: BoutiqueLocation: San Luis Obispo, CATypical starting/peak prices: $220/$580Best for: Families, friends, couplesOn-site amenities: Restaurants, bars, bakery, pool, spa, gym, dance floor, boutique, tennis, basketballPros: Every room is unique, meaning you can stay 110 times and have an entirely different experience for each visit. Cons: The decor is undoubtedly kitschy and even borderline gauche, which may not appeal to some guests. For others, it's the entire reason they're here.When it opened in 1958, the Madonna Inn in the midst of San Luis Obispo's wine country, had just 12 rooms. Today, it has 110, from economy kings to three-bedroom suites, and each one has its own absolutely one-of-a-kind, at times tacky, but highly memorable decor.In the Fabulous 50s room, teal walls are framed by pink trim, while gilded mirrors form a focal point in the bathroom. In the Victorian Gardens room, a four-post bed is matched with floral wallpaper, pink walls, and pink-velvet chairs and sofas. And in the Caveman room, the ceiling, walls, and floors are all made with rough-hewn rock, while furnishings are upholstered with animal print to complete the prehistoric theme.The rooms are spread across a 1,000-acre resort, which includes basketball and tennis courts, a pool, a retro gas station (a nod to the hotel's roots as a classic road trip stop, though today you'll find Tesla Superchargers there), a spa, a bakery, and several restaurants and bars.The eclectic decor doesn't stop in the rooms, either. Alex Madonna's Gold Rush Steak House is decked out in topsy-turvy pink and gold colors that recall either the Mad Hatter's tea party or the "Be Our Guest" scene in Beauty and the Beast." Hot pink circular banquettes are trimmed with gold, while a pink floral carpet provides punchy patterns. An organic, tree-like candelabra rises in the center of the room, its golden tendrils supporting dozens of electric candles. COVID-19 procedures are available by phone at 805-543-3000. The Greenbrier Bright colors mix heavily with punchy prints. The Greenbrier Book The GreenbrierCategory: ResortLocation: White Sulphur Springs, WVTypical starting/peak prices: $240/$425Best for: Families, couples, friends, solo travelersOn-site amenities: Restaurants, bars, casino, shopping, pool, tennis, golf, spa, ropes course, bowling, art studio, Cold War bunkerPros: Everything you could possibly want to do at a mountain resort, you can do here, whether falconry or jewelry making. It's almost shocking how many activities are offered.Cons: Some might find the decor a bit too traditional — there are lots of florals — but there's no denying it makes for a great Instagram post.Opened in 1778, the Greenbrier is an iconic American resort in West Virginia, having hosted 27 presidents throughout its history. Naturally, there have been many changes to the property over the centuries, but perhaps the most dramatic was a 1946 redecoration by lauded interior designer Dorothy Draper, who introduced lurid colors and punchy patterns into the historic buildings.Take the Greenbriar Avenue lobby, where black-and-white houndstooth club chairs sit atop bright red carpet, surrounded by teal-and-white striped columns, tropical-print wallpaper, and black-and-white checkered floors. Then in the Victorian Writing Room, rainbow-colored floral armchairs and drapes contrast with forest green walls and a bright red carpet.The guest rooms feature similar idiosyncratic decor, though perhaps not as in-your-face. Entry-level rooms all feature floral wallpaper with floral drapes to match, while higher room tiers have slightly more vibrant approaches to interior design. In the Windsor Club Rooms, you'll likely find brighter pink wallpaper, whole beds are covered by canopies, and furniture and carpets feature gingham or plaid patterns. The Greenbrier is also known for its many on-site activities, ranging from sports facilities, studios, and workshops for creative types to a casino, more than a dozen dining options, and plenty of shopping on the 11,000-acre grounds. But its most unusual amenity is a formerly secret Cold War-era bunker designed to house Congress. It's now declassified and open for tours.COVID-19 procedures are available here. Urban Cowboy Catskills Room designs are a feast for the eyes. Urban Cowboy Catskills Book Urban Cowboy CatskillsCategory: BoutiqueLocation: Big Indian, NYTypical starting/peak prices: $250/$500Best for: Couples, friends, solo travelersOn-site amenities: Restaurant, bar, games room, libraryPros: Despite being a wilderness lodge, there's very strong Wi-Fi for the WFH (or can't-be-disconnected) crowd.Cons: There are often minimum stay requirements, usually two to three nights on weekends.In New York's Catskills region, a popular weekend trip for city dwellers, the Urban Cowboy sits on 68 forested acres with plenty of outdoor recreation, but we wouldn't blame you if you wanted to spend your entire stay indoors.That's because the hotel's 28 accommodations feature super cool decor that focuses on quintessential rustic elements like deer antlers, live-wood furniture, rough-hewn wood beams, and outdoorsy accent pieces like snowshoes or oars. Colorful Native American pattern work covers the ceilings, beds, chairs, and rugs, creating a visual cacophony that feels high-design. And then there's the matter of the absolutely gorgeous copper soaking tubs set in front of big picture windows.This rugged-chic mountain style continues in public spaces, especially in the bar with a massive stone fireplace and columns that look like trees. The vibrant patterns make an appearance, too, from the walls to the sofas to the rugs.COVID-19 procedures are available here. Faena Hotel Miami Beach An attractive pool scene sets a sleek tone. Booking.com Book Faena Hotel Miami BeachCategory: LuxuryLocation: Miami Beach, FLTypical starting/peak prices: $445/$1,350Best for: Couples, friends, familiesOn-site amenities: Restaurants, bars, gym, spa, beach club, kids' clubPros: Despite its opulent, perhaps frenzied look, this is actually a surprisingly family-friendly hotel. Cons: It's 10 blocks north of South Beach, so you're not right in the heart of the action. However, there's plenty to do on-site.If it feels like Faena Hotel Miami Beach is some sort of phantasmagoric movie set, that's because it basically is. Filmmaker Baz Luhrmann and production and costume designer Catherine Martin, a husband-wife team, spearheaded the design of this Mid-Beach property, and they went all out.Public spaces are filled with sumptuous colors, dazzling metallics, and all manners of prints and patterns, from leopard spots to Art Deco geometry. Even the spa, a typically soothing space, is filled with bright colors, a neon-colored pom-pom chandelier, and bird-filled, floral landscape wallpaper.In fact, public areas are absolutely buzzing with visual elements, with a gold-covered woolly mammoth skeleton by the pool (a Damien Hirst artwork) that takes center stage.Guest rooms, however, are a bit more subdued, with white walls and wood floors to keep things grounded, accented by red and turquoise furnishings. Bits of animal print are thrown in for good measure and as subtle reminders of your larger surroundings. COVID-19 procedures are available here. The Inn of the Five Graces Guest rooms, spaces, and even bathrooms are bursts of colors, prints, and international influences. Tripadvisor Book The Inn of the Five GracesCategory: BoutiqueLocation: Santa Fe, NMTypical starting/peak prices: $715/$1,175Best for: Couples, friendsOn-site amenities: Bar, spa, gymPros: A made-to-order breakfast is included, as is a wine and cheese reception on Fridays. The spa's Tibetan-style treatment room is beautiful.Cons: There's no true on-site restaurant, but in-room dining is available via the restaurant next door.From the outside, the Inn of the Five Graces is just another (450-year-old) adobe dwelling in Santa Fe. But inside, it's a global journey along the Silk Road.Public spaces and all 24 rooms burst with colors and patterns, whether from mosaic tiles, Central Asian textiles, or South Asian works of art. The look is definitely maximalist, but the blend of international styles is somehow never overwhelming thanks to the smooth and soothing adobe walls that serve as a calming backdrop. Natural elements like wood-beamed ceilings and stone hearths also provide simple contrast.The boutique property is limited on amenities, though it has an exceptional spa treatment room inspired by Tibetan tradition (both in decor and in therapies), a gym, and in-room dining provided by a neighboring restaurant.The Inn of the Five Graces is a five-minute walk from downtown Santa Fe, but thanks to its global influences, it seems to transport you to the other side of the world.COVID-19 procedures are available here. The Villa Casa Casuarina Gianni Versace's former mansion is now a luxury hotel showcasing his ostentatious style. TripAdvisor Book The Villa Casa CasuarinaCategory: LuxuryLocation: Miami Beach, FLTypical starting/peak prices: $750/$1,400Best for: CouplesOn-site amenities: Pool, restaurant, barPros: The hotel's old-world-inspired grandeur truly is unmatched in Art Deco-filled South Beach.Cons: Because this is a major tourist site in Miami, there can be many people around snapping photos at all hours. Diners at the restaurant are loud, and noise can reach the rooms.Italian fashion designer Gianni Versace was tragically murdered in 1997, but his lavish Miami Beach mansion was preserved to pay homage to his life, and now, operates as a luxury hotel. Today it's called the Villa Casa Casuarina, and was inspired by the Alcázar de Cólon in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The Spanish-style mansion, built in 1930, captivated Versace, who bought it in 1992 and renovated it to suit his extravagant taste. It's still exquisitely over the top.The hotel's suites feature ostentatious decor in various themes. In the Azure Suite, blue-and-white decor abounds with Roman-inspired architectural details, like the medallion-inlaid pediments above the windows in the bedroom and the tromp l'oeil "plasterwork" in the bathroom. In the Signature Suite, however, there's a far more sultry vibe, with animal print upholstery, a sumptuous warm-tone marble bathroom, and gilded furnishings.But the visual highlight of the entire property is the Million Mosaic Pool, which is comprised of thousands of 24-karat gold tiles. COVID-19 procedures are available by phone at 305-908-1462​​. Amangiri Utah's luxury Amangiri resort is a favorite with celebrities. Amangiri Book AmangiriCategory: LuxuryLocation: Canyon Point, UtahTypical starting/peak prices: $1,931/$3,500Best for: CouplesOn-site amenities: Spa, restaurant, bar, poolPros: This is desert minimalism at its finest — the hotel blends perfectly into its landscape with earth-toned decor. The luxury service is unmatched.Cons: This is not the easiest property to get to, as the closest major airports are more than four hours away. But the remote location is one of the many reasons why people visit.Arguably one of the most exclusive resorts in the US, Amangiri is a lesson in understated elegance. Architecturally, the sleek hotel is designed to blend in with the stark, rocky landscape surrounding its 600 desert acres in Utah, with color palettes that match near perfectly.Despite the indulgent luxury price tag, everything here is understated. Furnishings are made of sinuous wood or matte concrete with white upholstery to maximize the natural surroundings, which are often framed by views so beautiful, they appear like a work of art. With so many clean lines, use the sky for color and take pictures at different times of day to create variation. Though it'd be easy to rest in your luxurious suite all day long, you'll want to spend time in the dramatic Aman Spa, which covers 25,000 square feet. With looming concrete walls, it can at times feel cavernous, akin to the deep canyons found just a few miles away. While expensive, the rate covers all meals (sans alcohol), some activities, and some spa treatments, too. Stunning nature, hiking, horseback riding, or climbing, are all activities that await. COVID-19 procedures are available here. FAQ: Instagrammable hotels What are other unique hotels in the US?For unusual hotels, consider the Dog Bark Park Inn in Cottonwood, Idaho, where the main building is shaped like a beagle; ​​The Inn at Christmas Place in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, where Christmas is celebrated year-round; and the Railroad Park Resort in Dunsmuir, California, where guests sleep in converted train cars.How do I find cool hotels to stay in?If you're looking for an Instagrammable hotel, head to Instagram to get inspired by other travelers. Search hashtags like #beautifulhotels or #coolhotels. Or trust the experts, like us!What makes a hotel Instagrammable?Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Styles that some might consider Instagram-worthy might not be quite right for the aesthetic of your feed. But in general, bold interior design is key or a stunning setting. And bold doesn't necessarily mean maximalist. A stark, minimalist interior can be visually dynamic in photographs, too.What are some of the most photogenic hotels in the world?There's no shortage of beautiful hotels in the world, whether you're looking for the classic Italian style of Villa d'Este on Lake Como, the over-the-top safari lodge Ol Jogi in Kenya's Laikipia region, or the futuristic ME by Meliá Dubai, designed by Zaha Hadid. How we selected the most Instagrammable hotels in the US As a travel writer who focuses on architecture and design, I determined that every hotel has photo-worthy design elements, whether in the guest rooms, public spaces, or exterior areas.Each property on the list is highly rated on traveler review sites like TripAdvisor, Booking.com, and Expedia.High-design hotels range greatly in budget. We've selected properties from each end of the spectrum; they cost anywhere from $95 to $$3,500 per night.Tastes vary, so we've picked a selection of decor styles. There's everything from kitschy-themed suites to magazine-worthy interior design.While COVID-19 policies vary from state to state, these hotels still have strict health and safety policies in place to protect both guests and staff. More photogenic hotels The Setai Miami Beach The best luxury hotels in the USThe best themed hotel suites for familiesThe best bucket-list Airbnbs in the US Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 21st, 2021

Upgrade: My wife is 61 and earns $50,000. I’m 65 and earn $400,000 and will work until 71. Should my wife take her Social Security next year, and get mine when I retire?

Doing this right could yield this couple $150,000 extra......»»

Category: topSource: marketwatchNov 22nd, 2019

The Moneyist: I saved $1 million for retirement without an adviser and I’m only in my 40s — yet I spend my waking hours worrying

‘By the time we retire in early 2027, we should have about $2 million in investments.’.....»»

Category: topSource: marketwatchSep 13th, 2019

3 parents reveal what it"s like job-hunting during the pandemic: "We"re all on our own"

More working parents are holding out for jobs that offer remote flexibility, but the hunt is exhausting. Former art Caitlin Tolchin says she's struggled finding jobs that allow her to work from home to care for her daughter. Caitlin Tolchin Many parents trying to return to the workforce have new demands for what their future job entails. More want to find remote work, like single mom Cari Gerber who cares for her son attending virtual elementary school. Others, like dad of two Michael Kidd, are choosing to go back to school over starting another minimum-wage job. See more stories on Insider's business page. Caitlin Tolchin always imagined when she found out she was pregnant, she and her husband would find a clever way to craft a baby announcement. After all, she was an art director and creativity was her strong suit. But in April 2020, within days of her positive home pregnancy test, Tolchin found herself sobbing on the floor of her New York City apartment. She just learned she'd been laid off from her job as art director at Douglas Elliman Real Estate."The timing couldn't have been worse. It really packed a punch. Here I was pregnant and now out of a job while the world was coming crashing down," the 38-year-old told Insider.When COVID hit, Tolchin's department began working remotely. Within a few weeks, a mass email went out saying that business had taken a hit and staff reductions were imminent. "Moments later, I got an email from HR that I'd been laid off and was shut out of my corporate email. After three years, that was it. No furlough, no two weeks notice, just like that, done," said Tolchin, adding that her furloughed supervisor did call to check in on her, but the damage was already done.Tolchin says job recruiters told her no one would hire someone who'd need maternity leave that winter, so she put her job search on hold. But even after having her baby, she couldn't find a job. Now her daughter is 10 months old, and Tolchin says the job market for creatives still doesn't look promising. Caitlin Tolchin and her daughter. Caitlin Tolchin "I've heard companies are outsourcing work to third-world countries and paying a fraction of the cost," Tolchin said. "I've sent out somewhere in the neighborhood of 200 to 300 resumes and only received about 5 calls, all for in-person work which I'm no longer interested in."In the meantime, she says she plans to enroll in an online art class to build up her skill set. It hasn't been easy, though, because like 7.5 million other Americans, she also lost federal unemployment benefits in September. Tolchin isn't alone in the desire for remote work flexibility, and a willingness to hold out for a job that's the right fit. A recent Insider survey showed 41% of women saying remote flexibility would attract them most in a job offer or incentivize them to expand their job search. More professionals are considering switching careersA recent Pew Research Center report revealed 66% of the unemployed people surveyed "seriously considered changing fields or occupations since they've been unemployed. Forty-one year old divorced mom Cari Gelber says she toyed with the idea after being furloughed from her job in April 2020 at a New York-based video production company. She took the leap - twice. Cari Gelber and her son. Cari Gelber "With my son home all day attending elementary school remotely, I looked for work I could do from home," Gelber told Insider.Gelber soon found a remote, commission-based sales position through a former boss, but stayed on the hunt for something more stable. Several months later, she applied for a full-time remote position at Club Feast, a subscription-based restaurant delivery service. Thanks to her previous hospitality experience, she got the job and now works in the company's restaurant partnerships department.Despite reopenings, not all hourly workers want to return to hospitalityMichael Kidd, a 29-year-old married father of two, was fired from his hourly food service position at Elon Musk's Texas-based company SpaceX in April 2021. "When COVID hit, it was like the world was collapsing and there I was whipping up potatoes and gourmet meals in the employee cafeteria," Kidd told Insider. "I was working 55 to 70 hours a week and then coming home to help my pregnant wife put our 1-year-old son to bed." Michael Kidd with his youngest son. Michael Kidd Kidd says he was emotionally and physically drained, and it became a struggle to get out of bed each morning. "I have ADHD and my work started to suffer," he said. "When I arrived at work late a few too many times, they fired me. They were right to do it, but it still stung," Kidd said. In May, just one month after losing his job, Kidd's wife gave birth to their second son. Instead of looking for another in-person job, Kidd decided to look from work home toa help out more with the new baby. "I started doing freelance content writing and went back to school to earn my Associates degree," said Kidd, who as an army veteran was also able to take advantage of the GI Bill for education costs as well as to assist with rent. In July, Kidd contracted COVID-19 and was bedridden for a week. In August, Kidd's wife took a job as an assistant at a local dance studio to bring in extra money. Around the same time, the family's food stamps came to a stop after a caseworker requested paperwork Kidd was unable to provide. Now he says he has to refile in order to reopen his case. "We're trying to keep up, but it's been touch and go at times financially. The stimulus checks bailed us out for a while, but it hasn't been easy," he said. Like Kidd, unemployed parents across America are bracing themselves for another season of the pandemic, and hanging on by a thread. "Just making the time to search for a job while caring for your family is a job unto itself. They say it takes a village, but because of COVID there is no village," Tolchin told Insider. "We're all on our own right now just trying to do our best."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 24th, 2021

Thoughts on Leadership: A Rescue to Remember

Keynote speaker Jessica Buchanan, a former humanitarian worker turned bestselling author, shared her story during a recent BHHS conference. Of course, the networking and seeing people in person was fantastic (the Global Conference and Meeting team does an incredible job each year), but Jessica’s talk had everyone in the room glued to their seats. It […] The post Thoughts on Leadership: A Rescue to Remember appeared first on RISMedia. Keynote speaker Jessica Buchanan, a former humanitarian worker turned bestselling author, shared her story during a recent BHHS conference. Of course, the networking and seeing people in person was fantastic (the Global Conference and Meeting team does an incredible job each year), but Jessica’s talk had everyone in the room glued to their seats. It was extraordinary. The standing ovation she received at the end of her speech was undeniably deserved. Blinded by the hot Somali sun, warmed by the head scarf wrapped around her forehead, Jessica remembers every detail of being in the Land Cruiser. It was October 2011, and she was in Somali teaching, helping children learn how to avoid land mines. It was a day like any other, until it wasn’t. Suddenly, mud splashes up on the windshield of the car. Jessica hears the harsh crack of an AK47 and the gun is then put to her head, the same one warmed by her head scarf. She doesn’t know who he is or what he wants. She doesn’t know why he’s now driving the car or where he’s going. She just doesn’t know. Her head slams against the car window. Jessica knows that no matter what happens next, her life will never be the same again. She also knows this is bad, so bad there’s no frame of reference for how bad it could be. Jessica became a Somali hostage that night, forced to sleep out in the open, given one can of tuna to eat each day. She spent hours under bushes and shrubs in a remote part of the Somali desert, attempting to shield herself from the scorching sun. She is no longer Jessica Buchanan, the 32-year-old humanitarian worker, the wife, the daughter. She is a hostage of Somali bandits, kept alive just enough for the negotiations to continue that put a $45 million ransom on her life. Her job now? To survive. Miraculously, instead of crumbling like some might in such dire circumstances, Jessica took this horror as an opportunity to reflect, to discover, to change. “Change is the author of our stories,” she said. “If you think about it, no great story has ever come about without change.” Sometimes, that change is welcomed, even initiated by our actions. Sometimes, that change chooses us. Jessica also learned that change isn’t simply one chapter in the story of life. Change wants to become the entire book. It tries to rewrite your existence, but the way to fight against change is by taking command of how that story is told. There are studies that show we become more resilient when we identify choice and autonomy during times of change. This means if we can find free will, no matter how slight, we can combat the ill effects of change. In the desert, Jessica thought about how people travel around the world to “get away,” to “find themselves,” and how they might pay thousands of dollars for flights, hotels or stays in remote huts. This was her chance to find herself, and the solitude of the desert landscape presented a unique opportunity for her to focus on controlling the change around her. From this small thought, she identified a little bit of good amid the bad. She hurt a little less, she forgave a little more. She started planning and dreaming, and she dreamed about a time when her mom, who had passed away a year ago, took her to the movies. She imagined how the popcorn tasted, how sweet the soda was, how her mom’s teeth looked when she smiled. Jessica started to set goals. The goals put her in charge. It’s day 93. She’s been in the desert for more than three months, so sick with a kidney infection she can barely stand. She’s hallucinating from the pain. On this night, the moon doesn’t appear in the sky. The stars are especially bright. She had formed a habit of looking to the stars and praying to them, although she was really praying to her mom for help. On night 93, she did the same. She asked her mom to help her. Jessica’s sleep was restless. She heard a rustling sound nearby. Moments later, the night exploded into bursts of gunfire. Jessica tucked herself into her blanket, trying to be as small as possible, trying to disappear. She was terrified. She hears a voice, bright and clear, and words spoken with an American accent: her name. “Jessica, Jessica. We’re the American military. You’re safe now. We’re gonna take you home.” What Jessica didn’t know when she was planning and dreaming and contemplating the life-altering effects of change is that the American government, and even President Obama, knew where she was and had been designing an escape. The men who rescued her were from SEAL Team Six, and they risked their lives to save her own. So, what’s the message? When you aren’t changing, you aren’t living, says Jessica. Every element of nature, of our existence, of anything that ever happens shows that change is essential to life. It took Jessica 93 harrowing days in the desert to trust change would lead her to a higher purpose, and 93 days to tell change that in this story, she decides how it ends. This article is adapted from Blefari’s weekly, company-wide “Thoughts on Leadership” column from HomeServices of America. The post Thoughts on Leadership: A Rescue to Remember appeared first on RISMedia......»»

Category: realestateSource: rismediaSep 24th, 2021

The 10 books on the 2021 National Book Award"s fiction longlist includes picks praised by Oprah and Obama

The National Book Awards longlist for fiction in 2021 includes books by Pulitzer Prize-winning authors and an Oprah's Book Club pick. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more. The books on the National Book Award fiction longlist in 2021 include "Bewilderment" by Richard Powers and "The Prophets" by Robert Jones, Jr. Amazon; Rachel Mendelson/Insider The National Book Foundation announced the 10 best US fiction books this week. Judges will name their top five in mid-October, and the winner in November. Below are all 10 books on the list, including ones from Pulitzer Prize-winning authors. Every year, the National Book Foundation crowns the best US literature of the year in five categories: Non-fiction, fiction, translated literature, poetry, and young adult books. 25 judges (five experts per genre) nominated by former winners, finalists, and judges spend the summer reading hundreds of hopeful submissions (about 150 for poetry to more than 500 for nonfiction) in search of standout books.By mid-September, they name their 10 favorites on a longlist. By mid-October, they cut it down to their top five. No one knows who the winner will be until the very day it's announced, when judges meet to hash out the best book. Winners, announced in November, receive $10,000, and finalists receive $1,000. Both can expect a boost in prestige and book sales. Past fiction winners for National Book Award in fiction include now-classics "Sophie's Choice" by William Styron, "All the Pretty Horses" by Cormac McCarthy, and "The Corrections" by Jonathan Franzen, as well as recent rising stars "Sing, Unburied, Sing" by Jesmyn Ward and "Interior Chinatown" by Charles Yu.Below, you'll find the 10 nonfiction books that made the National Book Award fiction longlist this year, including new novels by Pulitzer Prize-winning authors of "All the Light We Cannot See" and "The Overstory", an Obama summer reading selection, and an Oprah's Book Club pick. The 10 books on the 2021 National Book Award longlist for fiction:Descriptions provided by Amazon and lightly edited for clarity and length. "Cloud Cuckoo Land" by Anthony Doerr Bookshop "Cloud Cuckoo Land" by Anthony Doerr, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $21.49Set in Constantinople in the 15th century, in a small town in present-day Idaho, and on an interstellar ship decades from now, Anthony Doerr's gorgeous third novel is a triumph of imagination and compassion, a soaring story about children on the cusp of adulthood in worlds in peril, who find resilience, hope — and a book. In "Cloud Cuckoo Land," Doerr has created a magnificent tapestry of times and places that reflect our vast interconnectedness — with other species, with each other, with those who lived before us, and with those who will be here after we're gone.Note: Doerr's earlier novel, "All the Light We Cannot See" won the Pulitzer Prize in 2015. "Matrix" by Lauren Groff Bookshop "Matrix" by Lauren Groff, available at Amazon and Bookshop from $15Cast out of the royal court by Eleanor of Aquitaine, deemed too coarse and rough-hewn for marriage or courtly life, 17-year-old Marie de France is sent to England to be the new prioress of an impoverished abbey, its nuns on the brink of starvation and beset by disease.At first, taken aback by the severity of her new life, Marie finds focus and love in collective life with her singular and mercurial sisters. In this crucible, Marie steadily supplants her desire for family, for her homeland, for the passions of her youth with something new to her: devotion to her sisters, and a conviction in her own divine visions. Marie, born the last in a long line of women warriors and crusaders, is determined to chart a bold new course for the women she now leads and protects. But in a world that is shifting and corroding in frightening ways, one that can never reconcile itself with her existence, will the sheer force of Marie's vision be bulwark enough? "Abundance" by Jakob Guanzon Amazon "Abundance" by Jakob Guanzon, available at Amazon and Bookshop from $14.40Evicted from their trailer on New Year's Eve, Henry and his son, Junior, have been reduced to living out of a pickup truck. Six months later, things are even more desperate. Henry, barely a year out of prison for pushing opioids, is down to his last pocketful of dollars, and little remains between him and the street. But hope is on the horizon: Today is Junior's birthday, and Henry has a job interview tomorrow.To celebrate, Henry treats Junior to dinner at McDonald's, followed by a night in a real bed at a discount motel. For a moment, as Junior watches TV and Henry practices for his interview in the bathtub, all seems well. But after Henry has a disastrous altercation in the parking lot and Junior succumbs to a fever, father and son are sent into the night, struggling to hold things together and make it through tomorrow. "Zorrie" by Laird Hunt Amazon "Zorrie" by Laird Hunt, available at Amazon and Bookshop from $16As a girl, Zorrie Underwood's modest and hardscrabble home county was the only constant in her young life. After losing both her parents to diphtheria, Zorrie moved in with her aunt, whose own death orphaned Zorrie all over again, casting her off into the perilous realities and sublime landscapes of rural, Depression-era Indiana. Drifting west, Zorrie survived on odd jobs, sleeping in barns and under the stars, before finding a position at a radium processing plant. At the end of each day, the girls at her factory glowed from the radioactive material.But when Indiana calls Zorrie home, she finally finds the love and community that have eluded her in the small town of Hillisburg. And yet, even as she tries to build a new life, Zorrie discovers that her trials have only begun. "The Love Songs of W. E. B. Du Bois" by Honorée Fanonne Jeffers Amazon "The Love Songs of W. E. B. Du Bois" by Honorée Fanonne Jeffers, available at Amazon and Bookshop from $21.38W. E. B. Du Bois, the great scholar, once wrote about the problem of race in America, and what he called "Double Consciousness," a sensitivity that every African American possesses in order to survive. Since childhood, Ailey Pearl Garfield has understood Du Bois's words all too well. Bearing the names of two formidable Black Americans — the revered choreographer Alvin Ailey and her great grandmother Pearl, the descendant of enslaved Georgians and tenant farmers — Ailey carries Du Bois's Problem on her shoulders.To come to terms with her own identity, Ailey embarks on a journey through her family's past, uncovering the shocking tales of generations of ancestors — Indigenous, Black, and white — in the deep South. In doing so Ailey must learn to embrace her full heritage, a legacy of oppression and resistance, bondage and independence, cruelty and resilience that is the story — and the song — of America itself.Note: This book has also been selected by Oprah's Book Club. "The Prophets" by Robert Jones, Jr. Bookshop "The Prophets" by Robert Jones, Jr., available at Amazon and Bookshop from $16.99Isaiah was Samuel's and Samuel was Isaiah's. That was the way it was since the beginning, and the way it was to be until the end. In the barn they tended to the animals, but also to each other, transforming the hollowed-out shed into a place of human refuge, a source of intimacy and hope in a world ruled by vicious masters. But when an older man — a fellow slave — seeks to gain favor by preaching the master's gospel on the plantation, the enslaved begin to turn on their own. Isaiah and Samuel's love, which was once so simple, is seen as sinful and a clear danger to the plantation's harmony.As tensions build and the weight of centuries — of ancestors and future generations to come — culminates in a climactic reckoning, "The Prophets" masterfully reveals the pain and suffering of inheritance, but is also shot through with hope, beauty, and truth, portraying the enormous, heroic power of love. "Intimacies" by Katie Kitamura Bookshop "Intimacies" by Katie Kitamura, available at Amazon and Bookshop from $15.95An interpreter has come to The Hague to escape New York and work at the International Court. A woman of many languages and identities, she is looking for a place to finally call home.She's drawn into simmering personal dramas: her lover, Adriaan, is separated from his wife but still entangled in his marriage. Her friend Jana witnesses a seemingly random act of violence, a crime the interpreter becomes increasingly obsessed with as she befriends the victim's sister. And she's pulled into an explosive political controversy when she's asked to interpret for a former president accused of war crimes.A woman of quiet passion, she confronts power, love, and violence, both in her personal intimacies and in her work at the Court. She is soon pushed to the precipice, where betrayal and heartbreak threaten to overwhelm her, forcing her to decide what she wants from her life. Note: This is one of Obama's 2021 summer reading list books. "The Souvenir Museum: Stories" by Elizabeth McCracken Bookshop "The Souvenir Museum: Stories" by Elizabeth McCracken, available at Amazon and Bookshop from $16.99In these stories, the mysterious bonds of family are tested, transformed, fractured, and fortified. A recent widower and his adult son ferry to a craggy Scottish island in search of puffins. An actress who plays a children's game-show villainess ushers in the New Year with her deadbeat half-brother. A mother, pining for her children, feasts on loaves of challah to fill the void. A new couple navigates a tightrope walk toward love. And on a trip to a Texas water park with their son, two fathers each confront a personal fear.  "Hell of a Book" by Jason Mott Bookshop "Hell of a Book" by Jason Mott, available at Amazon and Bookshop from $16.20In Jason Mott's "Hell of a Book," a Black author sets out on a cross-country publicity tour to promote his bestselling novel. That storyline drives "Hell of a Book" and is the scaffolding of something much larger and urgent: Since Mott's novel also tells the story of Soot, a young Black boy living in a rural town in the recent past, and The Kid, a possibly imaginary child who appears to the author on his tour.As these characters' stories build and converge, they astonish. For while this heartbreaking and magical book entertains and is at once about family, love of parents and children, art and money, it's also about the nation's reckoning with a tragic police shooting playing over and over again on the news. And with what it can mean to be Black in America.Who has been killed? Who is The Kid? Will the author finish his book tour, and what kind of world will he leave behind?  Unforgettably told, with characters who burn into your mind and an electrifying plot ideal for book club discussion, "Hell of a Book" is the novel Mott has been writing in his head for the last 10 years. "Bewilderment" by Richard Powers Bookshop "Bewilderment" by Richard Powers, available at Amazon and Bookshop from $21.64The astrobiologist Theo Byrne searches for life throughout the cosmos while single-handedly raising his unusual nine-year-old, Robin, following the death of his wife. Robin is a warm, kind boy who spends hours painting elaborate pictures of endangered animals. He's also about to be expelled from third grade for smashing his friend in the face. As his son grows more troubled, Theo hopes to keep him off psychoactive drugs. He learns of an experimental neurofeedback treatment to bolster Robin's emotional control, one that involves training the boy on the recorded patterns of his mother's brain…With its soaring descriptions of the natural world, its tantalizing vision of life beyond, and its account of a father and son's ferocious love, "Bewilderment" marks Richard Powers's most intimate and moving novel. At its heart lies the question: How can we tell our children the truth about this beautiful, imperiled planet? Note: This is also shortlisted for the Booker Prize. Powers' earlier book, "The Overstory" won the Pulitzer Prize in 2019.  Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 23rd, 2021

26 of the best beach houses on Airbnb in the US where the sand is just steps away

These are the best Airbnb beach house rentals in the US, from an oceanfront Malibu home in California to a condo on the water with a pool in Florida. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more. Airbnb Beach vacations are always top of mind for a relaxing, warm-weather getaway. Many Airbnbs are found along the best beaches in the US, with direct beachfront or private access. From Malibu to Cape Cod, these are the best beach homes on Airbnb, from $100 to $650 per night. Table of Contents: Masthead StickyAirbnbs with beachfront access continue to rank among the most searched for filters on the vacation rental platform.After all, who doesn't want to wake up to the sound of waves crashing right outside their back porch, or take a moonlit stroll along the sand after the sun goes down? Though, if you'd prefer to cool off in an Airbnb with a private pool instead, we have plenty of options for that, too. And if hotels are more your thing, here are the best beach hotels in the US.If a beach vacation is on your mind, from sea to shining blue sea there's no shortage of beautiful Airbnb beach houses across the US.Browse all Airbnb beach houses below, or jump to a specific area here:The best Airbnb beach houses in the NortheastThe best Airbnb beach houses in the SouthThe best Airbnb beach houses in the WestFAQ: Airbnb beach housesHow we selected the best beach houses on AirbnbFind more great beach house rentalsThese are the best Airbnb beach houses, sorted by region and price from low to high. BI Charming beachfront cottage on the Jersey Shore This cottage's private back deck leads straight to the beach. Airbnb Book this New Jersey beach home on AirbnbTypical starting price: $270Town: Cape MaySleeps: 2 guests/1 bedroomRating: 4.93Set along one of the Jersey Shore's most charming seaside towns, Cape May, this cozy bayfront cottage with one bedroom is best suited for couples and solo travelers, though it is also pet-friendly.It's important to note, this is a two-family home and while this space is completely private and uses a separate entrance, the other side of the house is occupied, which might not work for some guests. You are also required to bring your own linens to fit the Queen-sized bed.The location, however, is unparalleled and you'll love spending time on the private back deck, which includes a hammock and leads directly out to the beach. The front porch with chairs and an umbrella adds additional space for enjoying the sea breeze.Inside, the decor is simple but includes a red leather couch, an all-white kitchen with a dining table for two, and ocean photos in the bedroom.  Beach suite in Massachusetts This lovely beachfront suite includes beach passes and options for in-house massages and whale watching excursions. Airbnb Book this Massachusetts beach home on AirbnbTypical starting price: $299Town: GloucesterSleeps: 2 guests/1 bedroomRating: 4.98The charming seaside town of Gloucester, pronounced Glah-Sta, in coastal New England comes alive in the summertime. From long walks on a private beach to romantic dinners on the deck, this one-bedroom beachside retreat will make a great getaway for couples. Not only does the property come with a beachfront location, but beach passes are included, which would otherwise run between $25 to $30 per day. You may also book add-ons like in-house massages and whale watching expeditions directly with the host.While this is a separate guest suite with its own private entrance, the entire cottage consists of three units that are each rented separately. Though, you can combine listings to book the entire property.  Home by the sea in Maine Take in over 175 feet of mesmerizing oceanfront views from the roof deck. Airbnb Book this Maine beach house on AirbnbTypical starting price: $350Town: YorkSleeps: 4 guests/2 bedroomsRating: 4.94Just one hour north of Boston and one hour south of Portland, Maine, the Little Sea Star Castle is tucked away along Nubble Point in York Beach, Maine. One of 12 oceanside cottages within the LightHouse Village Colony, the house is set on nearly two acres with over 175 feet of oceanfront splendor with sunny, southern exposure and rugged rocky coastlines.The cottage offers plenty of space to lounge. A roof deck has panoramic views over the ocean, and the lawn has Adirondack chairs and a picnic table for outdoor dining. The kitchen has everything needed to make yourself at home, and beachy accents like starfish pillows and mini sailboats on the dressers keep the home on theme.The location is stellar, among scenic walking trails along the water. Bayfront oasis in Maryland Bayfront views are a captivating sight, and available throughout the home. Airbnb Book this Ocean City beach house on AirbnbTypical starting price: $395Town: Ocean CitySleeps: 5 guests/2 bedroomsRating: 4.92Offering uninterrupted bayfront views, this cozy townhome in Ocean City, Maryland is the ideal locale for your beach vacation. Sip morning coffee on the private balcony, enjoy steamed crabs on the large bayfront deck, or kick back with a cocktail and watch the sunset from the living room. The layout is an open-living concept with a master bedroom upstairs with a private balcony and a King-size bed. The second bedroom has a Queen bed and there's also a beige striped sectional couch that converts to a bed in the living room. Wicker furniture and deep blue quilts give this home a subtle beach vibe.Located on a corner lot of the bay, the owner is explicit that this is not meant for partiers or large group gatherings. If you're looking for a chill and relaxing beach getaway, this is the place for you. Beachfront home with bay views in Delaware Each room in this coastal home features scenic water views. Airbnb Book this Delaware beach home on AirbnbTypical starting price: $425Town: MiltonSleeps: 6 guests/4 bedroomsRating: 5.0Featuring both beachfront and bay views, this spacious four-bedroom, three-bathroom home in the quiet community of Broadkill Beach in Milton, Delaware offers unobstructed water views from almost every room. The home features a coastal design with plenty of natural light and soft tones. The well-equipped kitchen has unique tiling, a large island, and turquoise bar stools for grabbing a quick bite or enjoying a cup of coffee.One room includes bunk beds decked out in comforters with a cute whale pattern for kids. The location is peacefully quiet and primed to enjoy beautiful sunrises over the bay. Large oceanfront house with great views in Maine Luxury finishes couple with panoramic ocean views at this delightful property. Airbnb Book this Maine beach house on AirbnbTypical starting price: $613Town: SacoSleeps: 8 guests/2 bedroomsRating: 4.71If luxury finishes and panoramic views of the ocean sounds like your kind of vibe, then consider this oceanfront haunt in Saco, Maine. Enjoy coffee or wine from the upstairs balcony before taking a walk along Ferry Beach or Camp Ellis Pier.Ideal for bigger groups, the listing has two bedrooms and common spaces that sleep up to eight people. Though, the standout draw is no doubt the beachfront location and gorgeous water views, along with the surrounding quiet community. The home offers the chance to catch particularly stunning sunrises and sunsets.Other perks include a Smart TV with Netflix, beach chairs, and free parking included in the stay, as well as a digital guidebook handy for helping guests explore the area. Chic beachfront cottage in New York's North Fork of Long Island A minimalist interior style creates a tranquil ambiance. Airbnb Book this North Fork beach home on AirbnbTypical starting price: $650Town: RiverheadSleeps: 5 guests/2 bedroomsRating: 4.96Set on a secluded stretch of Long Island's illustrious North Fork, this two-bedroom beachfront cottage is a great place to hang by the beach or go wine tasting at one of the area's many charming vineyards.Wander along the private beach path or open up the floor-to-ceiling glass sliders that lead to a picturesque deck to dine at the picnic-style outdoor table, or relax on the plush lounger. An Airbnb Plus listing, the cottage's chic palette features crisp, minimalist whites and neutrals, creating a sense of serene seaside solitude for a quiet getaway. After a walk on the sand, rinse off in the outdoor shower while savoring water views. BI Cozy home on the North Carolina shore The nautical-themed living room has a picturesque balcony overlooking the ocean. Airbnb Book this North Carolina beach home on AirbnbTypical starting price: $100Town: North Topsail BeachSleeps: 6 guests/1 bedroomsRating: 4.91A cute condo directly on North Topsail Beach in North Carolina, this is a great option for couples or small families looking for a low-key beach getaway. The bedroom has a Queen bed and there are also Twin bunk beds built directly into the hallway.Completely renovated in 2020, the apartment has a nautical-beach theme with soft blue and yellow hues, and big living room windows frame beach views. You can also head out to the balcony for a closer look. Bright colors and floral decor give this home a warm, welcoming vibe, and a seashell bed quilt and striped bar stools at the eating nook add additional beach flair. Oceanfront condo with a pool in Florida Beachy accents like a mermaid statue and marine-inspired colors set a scene that creates a real sense of place. Airbnb Book this Florida beach home with a pool on AirbnbTypical starting price: $132Town: Cape CanaveralSleeps: 4 guests/1 bedroomRating: 4.95Serenity awaits at this casual oceanfront condo in Florida's Cape Canaveral. Set on a beautiful private beach, this Airbnb Plus stands out for its whimsical decor and thoughtful amenities, which include blues of every hue from the turquoise velvet armchair to the robin's egg backsplash in the kitchen. A mirror made out of oars, a mermaid statue, and an octopus painting over the couch are all fun touches for a beach home.This is also a great place to spend your time kayaking, paddle boarding, or enjoying some much-needed downtime just lounging on the beach or pool, which are both just a few steps away. Within minutes of downtown Port Canaveral and the iconic Cocoa Beach Pier, there's plenty to do right nearby. Ocean and bay view beach house in Texas The Bolivar Flats, Anahuac national wildlife refuge, and the Smith Oak sanctuary are all nearby and great for birdwatching. Airbnb Book this Texas beach home on AirbnbTypical starting price: $130Town: Bolivar PeninsulaSleeps: 6 guests/2 bedroomsRating: 4.97Located on the bayside of the Bolivar Peninsula on Texas' Gulf Coast, this home offers one bedroom and a lofted room, plus plenty of views of both the Gulf of Mexico and East Bay. It's also just a few miles away from popular bird-watching areas including Bolivar Flats, Anahuac national wildlife refuge, and the Smith Oak sanctuary.Bright and airy, this house is perched on stilts, and underneath, you'll have a grill and a private sitting area. However, the wraparound porch is likely where you'll spend the bulk of your time, soaking in the view from the wooden Adirondack chairs.Inside isn't bad either, with soaring pitched ceilings, a big blue sectional sofa, and marble countertops and bar stools in the kitchen. Waterfront beach bungalow in North Carolina This homey bungalow has its own private beach. Airbnb Book this North Carolina beach home on AirbnbTypical starting price: $145Town: JarvisburgSleeps: 4 guests/1 bedroomRating: 4.94Relax on your own private beach or hop in a kayak and explore miles of pristine, undeveloped beaches and cypress tree-filled coves from this bungalow in Jarvisburg, North Carolina set at the confluence of the North River and the Albemarle Sound.The home is pet-friendly, and the bedroom offers a Queen sized bed as well as a futon for extra guests if you don't mind the squeeze.While not exactly modern, the bungalow has a homey vibe with string lights along the ceiling, a bright desk and bookcase, and purple cushions on the futon. The location is tranquil and fun amenities include a charcoal grill and outdoor fire pit. The house is only 15-minutes away from unspoiled shorelines and the beaches of the Outer Banks. Home overlooking the sound in North Carolina The spacious home's dock makes it easy to get out on the water. Airbnb Book this North Carolina beach home on AirbnbTypical starting price: $157Town: HertfordSleeps: 10 guests/4 bedroomsRating: 4.69Step into the backyard of this spacious home on the Albemarle Sound and you'll find nothing but peace and tranquility. Located in a quiet neighborhood in Hertford, North Carolina, the house is nice for bigger families or groups of friends.Start and end your day on the dock, which comes with a bench to sit and watch the sunrise. Apart from the views directly overlooking the sound, highlights include the coffee bar in the kitchen, a gas log fireplace in the living room, and a fully covered and screened-in porch for enjoying home-cooked barbecue from the grill.The house also comes with a washer/dryer and high-speed Wi-Fi. Chesapeake Bay beach cabin in Virginia The decor is simple with a subtle ocean theme. Airbnb Book this Virginia beach home on AirbnbTypical starting price: $199Town: NorfolkSleeps: 6 guests/3 bedroomsRating: 4.95A brand new beach cabin on the Chesapeake Bay, this spacious home is steps from the beach.During the warm months, watch the sailing regattas from the balcony on Wednesday and Sunday evenings, or walk to nearby Ocean View Beach Park to listen to live music.The decor is simple but useful, with wicker furniture accents, ocean-themed artwork, wood floors, and a big kitchen. A plaid couch and floral armchair are comfy spots to relax, though they may feel a bit dated. A patio out back adds additional hangout space. A rustic cottage in Florida This cottage has a large outdoor deck with a fire pit and access to a secluded beach. Airbnb Book this Florida cottage on AirbnbTypical starting price: $275Town: St.Augustine Sleeps: 2 guests/1 bedroom Rating: 4.90The pinewood interior and absence of electronic appliances bring an old-fashioned feel to this cottage. The cottage was originally built in 1946, but each room has been remodeled since except for the corner kitchen. The master bedroom has a plush Queen-size bed where you can fall asleep to the sounds of nearby waves crashing. Although you won't find a TV or phone, there are various ways to indulge in this home's rustic charm. A large outdoor deck overlooks an uncrowded beach and has a fire pit for chilly nights. Visit in summer and you may catch a glimpse of the sea turtles that dwell by the deck. Waterfront nest cottage in Mississippi Lounge on the spacious front porch for stunning views of the Gulf of Mexico. Airbnb Book this Mississippi beach house on AirbnbTypical starting price: $279Town: Long BeachSleeps: 4 guests/2 bedroomsRating: 4.97Set on the Mississippi Gulf Coast on ever-popular Long Beach, this waterfront cottage features breathtaking views over the Gulf of Mexico from its spacious front porch and has direct beach access.The two bedrooms can easily accommodate up to six people and inviting outdoor wicker furniture is framed by idyllic views.Inside, modern interiors include a spacious kitchen with marble countertops, soaking tubs in the bathrooms, and living room couches that face the water.  Pet-friendly oceanfront condo with pool access in South Carolina Staying here comes with access to a community pool, beaches, and bike rentals. Airbnb Book this South Carolina beach home on AirbnbTypical starting price: $261Town: Saint Helena IslandSleeps: 6 guests/2 bedroomsRating: 4.97Watch dolphins from the private balcony, walk to the beach, or laze the day away by the pool —  this oceanfront condo in South Carolina offers it all.Located in a private community just a stone's throw from one of the state's most beguiling beaches at Hunting Island State Park, the area offers miles of unspoiled beaches and is frequented by birders and nature lovers for some of the best animal sightings in the area.This second-floor condo offers one Queen bedroom and a second bedroom with a Twin bed. Guests have access to the community pool, beach, and two bikes. The unit also comes with a washer and dryer and is great for families with pets looking for a low-country getaway. Oceanfront condo in South Carolina Enjoy access to a private fishing pier, a community pool, and a pretty South Carolina beach. Airbnb Book this South Carolina beach house on AirbnbTypical starting price: $291Town: Isle of PalmsSleeps: 4 guests/1 bedroomsRating: 4.98Watch the waves roll in as you enjoy your morning coffee on the private terrace from this modern Isle of Palms condo in South Carolina. Newly renovated, this third-floor condo is especially nice for families with young children since it offers a King-size bed in the master and a bunk bed in the hallway. The decor is tasteful but beachy with coral pillows, a gray sofa, velvet armchairs, and a modern kitchen has a funky blue stone backsplash.The building has easy access to the beach and a private fishing pier, as well as a community pool and coin laundry facility.  Spacious beach house in South Carolina This expansive home is perched on half an acre on Port Royal Sound with private beach access. Airbnb Book this Hilton Head beach house on AirbnbTypical starting price: $332Town: Hilton HeadSleeps: 10 guests/3 bedroomsRating: 4.85Located on half an acre along Port Royal Sound, this three-bed, four-bath manse is capable of sleeping up to 10 people. Adjacent to a 40-acre nature preserve, staying here comes with direct views over the sound, plus private access to the beach. With an expansive, well-groomed yard for playing or relaxing under large oak trees covered in Spanish Moss, the house is also open to those looking to host a small, picture-perfect wedding or retreat with the beach and ocean as the backdrop.If this home is booked up, consider our other picks for the best vacation homes on Hilton Head Island. Beach house on a private island in South Carolina Escape to your very own private island off of Hilton Head with a beach all to yourself. Airbnb Book this private island beach house on AirbnbTypical starting price: $589Town: Hilton HeadSleeps: 6 guests/3 bedroomsRating: 4.94Instead of renting a regular old cottage on the beach, opt to claim your own private island here on Old House Cay. Accessible only by boat, this is as secluded and off-the-grid as it gets.Just a 10-minute ride away from neighboring Hilton Head Island in South Carolina, the home is part of a series of private islands that you'll have all to yourself over your stay. Experience everything from boating, fishing, and kayaking to simply lounging around the island and going for long beach walks. As far as getting around, the owners will take you and your guests back and forth from Hilton Head on their private boat as needed.Accommodations include a large, multi-story home with gorgeous wood floors, high ceilings, a modern kitchen, and a big blue dining table with room for the whole crew. All wood walls give it a hint of a cabin feel, while bright pillows and quilts add pops of color. A wooden deck with a fire pit out front is a lovely place to relax or make s'mores into the evening.  BI Beachfront condo in Southern California The beach is only a few steps away from this quaint second-floor condo. Airbnb Book this California beach house on AirbnbTypical starting price: $283Town: CarlsbadSleeps: 3 guests/1 bedroomRating: 4.90Open your door and step directly onto the sand at this charming beachfront condo in Carlsbad, California, near San Diego. Within walking distance to Carlsbad Village, this home is close to restaurants and boutiques, with a cozy set-up that is best suited to solo travelers and couples. The two-story condo unit is on the ground floor and features a brick fireplace, a small dining table and kitchen, a blue sofa with colorful pillows, and a private balcony with a table and chairs that overlook the ocean, which is just a few feet away. Beach house on a cove in Oregon A backyard trail leads to Shelter Cove where orcas often reside. Airbnb Book this Oregon beach house on AirbnbTypical starting price: $275Town: Port OrfordSleeps: 6 guests/3 bedroomsRating: 4.91Set on a cul-de-sac in the quiet neighborhood of Port Orford along the Oregon coast, this three-bedroom beach house is protected by old-growth forest and faces a cove where orcas are known to stay and take shelter.With gorgeous bay windows and total privacy within the neighborhood, along with private beach access and unobstructed views of the Lighthouse at Cape Blanco, it's tough to beat the spectacular setting. A private trail off the backyard takes you directly to Shelter Cove.The house itself offers big windows for a light and airy feel, with neutral colors of grays and creams, huge bedrooms, and a porch with a dining table, as well as a small fire pit in the yard. Cozy ocean view cabin in Northern California Breathe in the ocean air and spend time whale watching from this cliffside cabin. Airbnb Book this California beach house on AirbnbTypical starting price: $300Town: TrinidadSleeps: 5 guests/2 bedroomsRating: 4.97Tucked away in verdant Patrick Point State Park in northern California, this rustic two-bedroom cabin has incredible ocean views amid a lush forest. Top-rated features include the oversized hot tub, a picnic area overlooking the ocean, and a fire pit for roasting marshmallows after a long day. The yard offers ample space and lucky guests might even spot whales from the Adirondack chairs perched atop the lawn.The house is set on steep cliffs, which means you'll have phenomenal views, but won't be able to walk right out onto the beach. Instead, you will have to wind your way down to the shores below. Oceanview apartment in Northern California This cliffside home offers romantic views of the Pacific Ocean and Black Sands Beach. Airbnb Book this Northern California beach house on AirbnbTypical starting price: $348Town: WhitethornSleeps: 3 guests/1 bedroomRating: 4.92Overlooking the Pacific and Black Sands Beach, this one-bedroom cliffside home is lovely for a romantic trip.Inside, you'll find a private entrance and a wrap-around deck. The bedroom has a California King bed, plus a modern kitchen, bathroom, and a living room with a fireplace. There is even a private hot tub that directly faces the ocean.Take the trail from the home leading to the beach or walk or bike to any of the nearby beaches, restaurants, cafes, bars, and golf courses. The owner notes that you will need a car to get around and this home has a strict no pets policy and isn't suitable for young children. Posh beachfront apartment in Malibu This charming home has a sun-drenched interior, airy open-plan layout. Airbnb Book this Malibu beach home on AirbnbTypical starting price: $514Town: MalibuSleeps: 2 guests/1 bedroomRating: 4.99This sweet one-bedroom Airbnb Plus listing is well-placed on the iconic shores of Malibu for sweeping, dramatic views that feel plucked from a Nicholas Sparks novel.Light and airy, this seaside haven is impeccably decorated with pristine white fixtures that stand out against natural wood floors and beams. Unique details like a small, wire Eiffel Tower perched on an antique desk and old framed letters and clippings add whimsical charm.Fall asleep to the sound of ocean waves after enjoying drinks on the deck as you catch a sunset. Just know that this home is incredibly popular and tends to book almost a year in advance. Pacific Ocean beachfront home in Encinitas, California Pacific Ocean views abound from every room. Airbnb Book this Californian beach home on AirbnbTypical starting price: $516Town: EncinitasSleeps: 4 guests/2 bedroomsRating: 4.90This beach home wows right away with its stunning panoramic ocean views, available throughout the house. However, they're especially impressive from the open plan living room thanks to its arched beam ceilings that make the space feel airy and breezy.The unobstructed views are also sure to dazzle from the multiple patios, which come with a grill, lounge chairs, an outdoor shower, and a private stairway leading to the sand.The amenities are also nicely appointed, with a  fireplace, full kitchen with a wine fridge, and multiple bedrooms, some of which lead directly to the terrace.  Pet-friendly beach cottage with amazing views in Oregon This contemporary home has an outdoor shower, a gas fireplace, and a great balcony. Airbnb Book this Oregon beach cottage on AirbnbTypical starting price: $599Town: Cannon BeachSleeps: 5 guests/2 bedroomsRating: 4.98This modern beachfront home in beautiful, iconic Cannon Beach, Oregon has easy beach access just 100 feet from the front door. Inside, large picture windows offer unobstructed ocean views and a gas fireplace makes for a cozy spot. The outdoor shower is a nice way to rinse away sand after a beach day and the outdoor balcony is a great place to savor the sweeping views. At night, have a bonfire with s'mores in the yard.The pet-friendly home is located on a quiet residential street with free street parking and is within easy access of plenty of shops, grocery stores, and restaurants. FAQ: Airbnb beach houses Where is the best place to rent a beach house?The best place to rent a beach house depends on the type of beach and vacation you prefer. For year-round warm weather, look to places like Florida or Southern California.For the classic New England look of windswept beach grass, large dunes, and shingled cottages, you'll find great homes in places like Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and the Jersey Shore. For something posh, try the Hamptons.Bluer waters and warmer temps of course will be found within the South or West Coast, and the West Coast offers stunning scenery from California up to Oregon and Washington.How do I search for a beach house on Airbnb?You can specifically search for a beach house on Airbnb. First, input your preferred location and dates, then select More Filters, and refine results to only show beachfront homes by selecting the box that says Beachfront under Amenities.What should I look for in an Airbnb?Sorting through the vast array of homes available on Airbnb can be tough. Consider using criteria similar to what we use, which includes looking at the average rating, as well as reading up on recent reviews to ensure the home is still in top shape. Look for Superhosts and consider sorting by Airbnb Plus or Airbnb Luxe if you want a higher-end stay that's been vetted for exceptional amenities, decor, and hosting. Of course, for a beach getaway, location will be key. Be sure to look on the map and ensure before booking that the home is actually close to the beach. You don't want to arrive only to find out you actually need to take a 30-minute car ride before your toes can hit the sand. Is Airbnb safe?We strongly encourage following guidelines and advice from leading health organizations including the CDC and following local and state laws before planning a vacation of any kind. You should also be proactive when it comes to wearing a mask, washing your hands frequently, and maintaining social distancing no matter where you go.However, the CDC now recommends domestic travel as safe for fully vaccinated individuals.Experts also say that booking an entire home rental is one of the safest options for travelers right now because they eliminate encounters with others outside your traveling party, and because Airbnb mandates Enhanced Clean protocols that all hosts must now follow. What is Airbnb's cancellation policy?Cancellation policies on Airbnb differ from home to home and are set by each individual host. You can find a full breakdown of Airbnb's cancellation policies here. How we selected the best beach houses on Airbnb Every Airbnb listing is for the entire home, per current expert recommendation.All Airbnb homes are highly-rated listings with a rating of 4.7 or higher.All beach houses are located right on, or next to the beach.All take part in Airbnb's Enhanced Clean protocol program for added peace of mind.The homes offer strong value in terms of price, offerings, amenities, and location and are priced between $100 and $650 per night to start.Homes are available to book in the coming weeks and months, as of publishing. However, some homes are quite popular and book fast. Consider booking for a future vacation in a few months or next year. Find more great beach house rentals Airbnb The best Airbnbs on the Jersey ShoreThe best Airbnbs in the HamptonsThe best Airbnbs in Cape CodThe best Airbnbs in Hilton HeadThe best Airbnbs in FloridaThe best Airbnbs in Myrtle Beach The best Airbnbs in Virginia BeachThe best vacation rentals in the Outer BanksThe best vacation rentals in Ocean City  Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytSep 23rd, 2021

Futures Rise On Taper, Evergrande Optimism

Futures Rise On Taper, Evergrande Optimism US index futures jumped overnight even as the Fed confirmed that a November tapering was now guaranteed and would be completed by mid-2022 with one rate hike now on deck, while maintaining the possibility to extend stimulus if necessitated by the economy. Sentiment got an additional boost from a strong showing of Evergrande stock - which closed up 17% - during the Chinese session, which peaked just after Bloomberg reported that China told Evergrande to avoid a near-term dollar bond default and which suggested that the "government wants to avoid an imminent collapse of the developer" however that quickly reversed when the WSJ reported, just one hour later, that China was making preparations for Evergrande's demise, and although that hammered stocks, the report explicitly noted that a worst-case scenario for Evergrande would mean a partial or full nationalization as "local-level government agencies and state-owned enterprises have been instructed to step in only at the last minute should Evergrande fail to manage its affairs in an orderly fashion." In other words, both reports are bullish: either foreign creditors are made whole (no default) as per BBG or the situation deteriorates and Evergrande is nationalized ("SOEs step in") as per WSJ. According to Bloomberg, confidence is building that markets can ride out a pullback in Fed stimulus, unlike 2013 when the taper tantrum triggered large losses in bonds and equities. "Investors are betting that the economic and profit recovery will be strong enough to outweigh a reduction in asset purchases, while ultra-low rates will continue to support riskier assets even as concerns linger about contagion from China’s real-estate woes." That's one view: the other is that the Fed has so broken the market's discounting ability we won't know just how bad tapering will get until it actually begins. “The Fed has got to be pleased that their communication on the longer way to tapering has avoided the dreaded fear of the tantrum,” Jeffrey Rosenberg, senior portfolio manager for systematic fixed income at BlackRock Inc., said on Bloomberg Television. “This is a very good outcome for the Fed in terms of signaling their intent to give the market information well ahead of the tapering decision.” Then there is the question of Evergrande: “With regards to Evergrande, all those people who are waiting for a Lehman moment in China will probably have to wait another turn,” said Ken Peng, an investment strategist at Citi Private Bank Asia Pacific. “So I wouldn’t treat this as completely bad, but there are definitely a lot of risks on the horizon.” In any case, today's action is a continuation of the best day in two months for both the Dow and the S&P which staged a strong recovery from two-month lows hit earlier in the week, and as of 745am ET, S&P 500 E-minis were up 25.25 points, or 0.6%, Dow E-minis were up 202 points, or 0.59%, while Nasdaq 100 E-minis were up 92.0 points, or 0.60%. In the premarket, electric vehicle startup Lucid Group rose 3.1% in U.S. premarket trading. PAVmed (PVM US) jumps 11% after its Lucid Diagnostics unit announced plans to list on the Global Market of the Nasdaq Stock Market.  Here are some of the biggest movers today: U.S.-listed Chinese stocks rise in premarket trading as fears of contagion from China Evergrande Group’s debt crisis ease. Blackberry (BB US) shares rise 8.7% in premarket after co.’s 2Q adjusted revenue beat the average of analysts’ estimates Eargo (EAR US) falls 57% in Thursday premarket after the hearing aid company revealed it was the target of a Justice Department criminal probe and withdrew its forecasts for the year Amplitude Healthcare Acquisition (AMHC US) doubled in U.S. premarket trading after the SPAC’s shareholders approved the previously announced business combination with Jasper Therapeutics Steelcase (SCS US) fell 4.8% Wednesday postmarket after the office products company reported revenue for the second quarter that missed the average analyst estimate Vertex Energy Inc. (VTNR US) gained 2.1% premarket after saying the planned acquisition of a refinery in Mobile, Alabama from Royal DutVTNR US Equitych Shell Plc is on schedule Synlogic (SYBX US) shares declined 9.7% premarket after it launched a stock offering launched without disclosing a size HB Fuller (FUL US) climbed 2.7% in postmarket trading after third quarter sales beat even the highest analyst estimate Europe's Stoxx 600 index rose 0.9%, lifted by carmakers, tech stocks and utilities, which helped it recover losses sparked earlier in the week by concerns about Evergrande and China’s crackdown on its property sector. The gauge held its gain after surveys of purchasing managers showed business activity in the euro area lost momentum and slowed broadly in September after demand peaked over the summer and supply-chain bottlenecks hurt services and manufacturers. Euro Area Composite PMI (September, Flash): 56.1, consensus 58.5, last 59.0. Euro Area Manufacturing PMI (September, Flash): 58.7, consensus 60.3, last 61.4. Euro Area Services PMI (September, Flash): 56.3, consensus 58.5, last 59.0. Germany Composite PMI (September, Flash): 55.3, consensus 59.2, last 60.0. France Composite PMI (September, Flash): 55.1, consensus 55.7, last 55.9. UK Composite PMI (September, Flash): 54.1, consensus 54.6, last 54.8. Commenting on Europe's PMIs, Goldman said that the Euro area composite PMI declined by 2.9pt to 56.1 in September, well below consensus expectations. The softening was broad-based across countries but primarily led by Germany. The peripheral composite flash PMI also weakened significantly in September but remain very high by historical standards (-2.4pt to 57.5). Across sectors, the September composite decline was also broad-based, with manufacturing output softening (-3.3pt to 55.6) to a similar extent as services (-2.7pt to 56.3). Supply-side issues and upward cost and price pressures continued to be widely reported. Expectations of future output growth declined by less than spot output on the back of delta variant worries and supply issues, remaining far above historically average levels. Earlier in the session, Asian stocks rose for the first time in four sessions, as Hong Kong helped lead a rally on hopes that troubled property firm China Evergrande Group will make progress on debt repayment. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed as much as 0.5%, with Tencent and Meituan providing the biggest boosts. The Hang Seng jumped as much as 2.5%, led by real estate stocks as Evergrande surged more than 30%. Hong Kong shares later pared their gains. Asian markets were also cheered by gains in U.S. stocks overnight even as the Federal Reserve said it may begin scaling back stimulus this year. A $17 billion net liquidity injection from the People’s Bank of China also provided a lift, while the Fed and Bank of Japan downplayed Evergrande risks in comments accompanying policy decisions Wednesday. Evergrande’s stock closed 18% higher in Hong Kong, in a delayed reaction to news a unit of the developer had negotiated interest payments on yuan notes. A coupon payment on its 2022 dollar bond is due on Thursday “Investors are perhaps reassessing the tail risk of a disorderly fallout from Evergrande’s credit issues,” said Chetan Seth, a strategist at Nomura. “However, I am not sure if the fundamental issue around its sustainable deleveraging has been addressed. I suspect markets will likely remain quite volatile until we have some definite direction from authorities on the eventual resolution of Evergrande’s debt problems.” Stocks rose in most markets, with Australia, Taiwan, Singapore and India also among the day’s big winners. South Korea’s benchmark was the lone decliner, while Japan was closed for a holiday In rates, Treasuries were off session lows, with the 10Y trading a 1.34%, but remained under pressure in early U.S. session led by intermediate sectors, where 5Y yield touched highest since July 2. Wednesday’s dramatic yield-curve flattening move unleashed by Fed communications continued, compressing 5s30s spread to 93.8bp, lowest since May 2020. UK 10-year yield climbed 3.4bp to session high 0.833% following BOE rate decision (7-2 vote to keep bond-buying target unchanged); bunds outperformed slightly. Peripheral spreads tighten with long-end Italy outperforming. In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index reversed an earlier gain and dropped 0.3% as the dollar weakened against all of its Group-of-10 peers apart from the yen amid a more positive sentiment. CAD, NOK and SEK are the strongest performers in G-10, JPY the laggard.  The euro and the pound briefly pared gains after weaker-than-forecast German and British PMIs. The pound rebounded from an eight-month low amid a return of global risk appetite as investors assessed whether the Bank of England will follow the Federal Reserve’s hawkish tone later Thursday. The yield differential between 10-year German and Italian debt narrowed to its tightest since April. Norway’s krone advanced after Norges Bank raised its policy rate in line with expectations and signaled a faster pace of tightening over the coming years. The franc whipsawed as the Swiss National Bank kept its policy rate and deposit rate at record lows, as expected, and reiterated its pledge to wage currency market interventions. The yen fell as a unit of China Evergrande said it had reached an agreement with bond holders over an interest payment, reducing demand for haven assets. Turkey’s lira slumped toa record low against the dollar after the central bank unexpectedly cut interest rates. In commodities, crude futures drifted lower after a rangebound Asia session. WTI was 0.25% lower, trading near $72; Brent dips into the red, so far holding above $76. Spot gold adds $3.5, gentle reversing Asia’s losses to trade near $1,771/oz. Base metals are well bid with LME aluminum leading gains. Bitcoin steadied just below $44,000. Looking at the day ahead, we get the weekly initial jobless claims, the Chicago Fed’s national activity index for August, and the Kansas City fed’s manufacturing activity index for September. From central banks, there’ll be a monetary policy decision from the Bank of England, while the ECB will be publishing their Economic Bulletin and the ECB’s Elderson will also speak. From emerging markets, there’ll also be monetary policy decisions from the Central Bank of Turkey and the South African Reserve Bank. Finally in Germany, there’s an election debate with the lead candidates from the Bundestag parties. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures up 0.7% to 4,413.75 STOXX Europe 600 up 1.1% to 468.32 MXAP up 0.5% to 200.57 MXAPJ up 0.9% to 645.76 Nikkei down 0.7% to 29,639.40 Topix down 1.0% to 2,043.55 Hang Seng Index up 1.2% to 24,510.98 Shanghai Composite up 0.4% to 3,642.22 Sensex up 1.4% to 59,728.37 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 1.0% to 7,370.22 Kospi down 0.4% to 3,127.58 German 10Y yield fell 5.6 bps to -0.306% Euro up 0.4% to $1.1728 Brent Futures up 0.3% to $76.39/bbl Gold spot up 0.0% to $1,768.25 U.S. Dollar Index down 0.33% to 93.16 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg Financial regulators in Beijing issued a broad set of instructions to China Evergrande Group, telling the embattled developer to focus on completing unfinished properties and repaying individual investors while avoiding a near-term default on dollar bonds China’s central bank net-injected the most short- term liquidity in eight months into the financial system, with markets roiled by concerns over China Evergrande Group’s debt crisis Europe’s worst energy crisis in decades could drag deep into the cold months as Russia is unlikely to boost shipments until at least November Business activity in the euro area “markedly” lost momentum in September after demand peaked over the summer and supply chain bottlenecks hurt both services and manufacturers. Surveys of purchasing managers by IHS Markit showed growth in both sectors slowing more than expected, bringing overall activity to a five-month low. Input costs, meanwhile, surged to the highest in 21 years, according to the report The U.K. private sector had its weakest month since the height of the winter lockdown and inflation pressures escalated in September, adding to evidence that the recovery is running into significant headwinds, IHS Markit said The U.K.’s record- breaking debut green bond sale has given debt chief Robert Stheeman conviction on the benefits of an environmental borrowing program. The 10 billion-pound ($13.7 billion) deal this week was the biggest-ever ethical bond sale and the country is already planning another offering next month A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquaw Asian equity markets traded mostly positive as the region took its cue from the gains in US with the improved global sentiment spurred by some easing of Evergrande concerns and with stocks also unfazed by the marginally more hawkish than anticipated FOMC announcement (detailed above). ASX 200 (+1.0%) was underpinned by outperformance in the commodity-related sectors and strength in defensives, which have more than atoned for the losses in tech and financials, as well as helped markets overlook the record daily COVID-19 infections in Victoria state. Hang Seng (+0.7%) and Shanghai Comp. (+0.6%) were also positive after another respectable liquidity operation by the PBoC and with some relief in Evergrande shares which saw early gains of more than 30% after recent reports suggested a potential restructuring by China’s government and with the Co. Chairman noting that the top priority is to help wealth investors redeem their products, although the majority of the Evergrande gains were then pared and unit China Evergrande New Energy Vehicle fully retraced the initial double-digit advances. KOSPI (-0.5%) was the laggard as it played catch up to the recent losses on its first trading day of the week and amid concerns that COVID cases could surge following the holiday period, while Japanese markets were closed in observance of the Autumnal Equinox Day. China Pumps $17 Billion Into System Amid Evergrande Concerns China Stocks From Property to Tech Jump on Evergrande Respite Philippines Holds Key Rate to Spur Growth Amid Higher Prices Taiwan’s Trade Deal Application Sets Up Showdown With China Top Asian News European equities (Stoxx 600 +0.9%) trade on the front-foot and have extended gains since the cash open with the Stoxx 600 now higher on the week after Monday’s heavy losses. From a macro perspective, price action in Europe has been undeterred by a slowdown in Eurozone PMIs which saw the composite metric slip to 56.1 from 59.0 (exp. 58.5) with IHS Markit noting “an unwelcome combination of sharply slower economic growth and steeply rising prices.” Instead, stocks in the region have taken the cue from a firmer US and Asia-Pac handover with performance in Chinese markets aided by further liquidity injections by the PBoC. Some positivity has also been observed on the Evergrande front amid mounting expectations of a potential restructuring at the company. That said, at the time of writing, it remains unclear what the company’s intentions are for repaying its USD 83.5mln onshore coupon payment. Note, ING highlights that “missing that payment today would still leave a 30-day grace period before this is registered as a default”. The most recent reports via WSJ indicate that Chinese authorities are asking local governments to begin preparations for the potential downfall of Evergrande; however, the article highlights that this is a last resort and Beijing is reluctant to step in. Nonetheless, this article has taken the shine off the mornings risk appetite, though we do remain firmer on the session. Stateside, as the dust settles on yesterday’s FOMC announcement, futures are firmer with outperformance in the RTY (+0.8% vs. ES +0.7%). Sectors in Europe are higher across the board with outperformance in Tech and Autos with the latter aided by gains in Faurecia (+4.6%) who sit at the top of the Stoxx 600 after making an unsurprising cut to its guidance, which will at least provide some clarity on the Co.’s near-term future; in sympathy, Valeo (+6.6) is also a notable gainer in the region. To the downside, Entain (+2.6%) sit at the foot of the Stoxx 600 after recent strong gains with the latest newsflow surrounding the Co. noting that MGM Resorts is considering different methods to acquire control of the BetMGM online gambling business JV, following the DraftKings offer for Entain, according to sources. The agreement between Entain and MGM gives MGM the ability to block any deal with competing businesses; MGM officials believe this grants the leverage to take full control of BetMGM without spending much. Top European News BOE Confronts Rising Prices, Slower Growth: Decision Guide La Banque Postale Eyes Retail, Asset Management M&A in Europe Activist Bluebell Raises Pressure on Glaxo CEO Walmsley Norway Delivers Rate Lift-Off With Next Hike Set for December In FX, not much bang for the Buck even though the FOMC matched the most hawkish market expectations and Fed chair Powell arguably went further by concluding in the post-meeting press conference that substantial progress on the lagging labour front is all but done. Hence, assuming the economy remains on course, tapering could start as soon as November and be completed my the middle of 2022, though he continued to play down tightening prospects irrespective of the more hawkish trajectory implied by the latest SEP dot plots that are now skewed towards at least one hike next year and a cumulative seven over the forecast horizon. However, the Greenback only managed to grind out marginally higher highs overnight, with the index reaching 93.526 vs 93.517 at best yesterday before retreating quite sharply and quickly to 93.138 in advance of jobless claims and Markit’s flash PMIs. CAD/NZD/AUD - The Loonie is leading the comeback charge in major circles and only partially assisted by WTI keeping a firm bid mostly beyond Usd 72/brl, and Usd/Cad may remain contained within 1.2796-50 ahead of Canadian retail sales given decent option expiry interest nearby and protecting the downside (1 bn between 1.2650-65 and 2.7 bn from 1.2620-00). Meanwhile, the Kiwi has secured a firmer grip on the 0.7000 handle to test 0.7050 pre-NZ trade and the Aussie is looking much more comfortable beyond 0.7250 amidst signs of improvement in the flash PMIs, albeit with the services and composite headline indices still some way short of the 50.0 mark. NOK/GBP/EUR/CHF - All firmer, and the Norwegian Crown outperforming following confirmation of the start of rate normalisation by the Norges Bank that also underscored another 25 bp hike in December and further tightening via a loftier rate path. Eur/Nok encountered some support around 10.1000 for a while, but is now below, while the Pound has rebounded against the Dollar and Euro in the run up to the BoE at midday. Cable is back up around 1.3770 and Eur/Gbp circa 0.8580 as Eur/Usd hovers in the low 1.1700 area eyeing multiple and a couple of huge option expiries (at the 1.1700 strike in 4.1 bn, 1.1730 in 1 bn, 1.1745-55 totalling 2.7 bn and 1.8 bn from 1.1790-1.1800). Note, Eurozone and UK flash PMIs did not live up to their name, but hardly impacted. Elsewhere, the Franc is lagging either side of 0.9250 vs the Buck and 1.0835 against the Euro on the back of a dovish SNB Quarterly Review that retained a high Chf valuation and necessity to maintain NIRP, with only minor change in the ordering of the language surrounding intervention. JPY - The Yen is struggling to keep its head afloat of 110.00 vs the Greenback as Treasury yields rebound and risk sentiment remains bullish pre-Japanese CPI and in thinner trading conditions due to the Autumn Equinox holiday. In commodities, WTI and Brent have been choppy throughout the morning in-spite of the broadly constructive risk appetite. Benchmarks spent much of the morning in proximity to the unchanged mark but the most recent Evergrande developments, via WSJ, have dampened sentiment and sent WTI and Brent back into negative territory for the session and printing incremental fresh lows at the time of publication. Back to crude, newsflow has once again centred around energy ministry commentary with Iraq making clear that oil exports will continue to increase. Elsewhere, gas remains at the forefront of focus particularly in the UK/Europe but developments today have been somewhat incremental. On the subject, Citi writes that Asia and Europe Nat. Gas prices could reach USD 100/MMBtu of USD 580/BOE in the winter, under their tail-risk scenario. For metals, its very much a case of more of the same with base-metals supportive, albeit off-best given Evergrande, after a robust APAC session post-FOMC. Given the gas issues, desks highlight that some companies are being forced to suspend/reduce production of items such as steel in Asian/European markets, a narrative that could become pertinent for broader prices if the situation continues. Elsewhere, spot gold and silver are both modestly firmer but remain well within the range of yesterday’s session and are yet to recovery from the pressure seen in wake of the FOMC. US Event Calendar 8:30am: Sept. Initial Jobless Claims, est. 320,000, prior 332,000; Continuing Claims, est. 2.6m, prior 2.67m 8:30am: Aug. Chicago Fed Nat Activity Index, est. 0.50, prior 0.53 9:45am: Sept. Markit US Composite PMI, prior 55.4 9:45am: Sept. Markit US Services PMI, est. 54.9, prior 55.1 9:45am: Sept. Markit US Manufacturing PMI, est. 61.0, prior 61.1 11am: Sept. Kansas City Fed Manf. Activity, est. 25, prior 29 12pm: 2Q US Household Change in Net Wor, prior $5t DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap My wife was at a parents event at school last night so I had to read three lots of bedtime stories just as the Fed were announcing their policy decision. Peppa Pig, Biff and Kipper, and somebody called Wonder Kid were interspersed with Powell’s press conference live on my phone. It’s fair to say the kids weren’t that impressed by the dot plot and just wanted to join them up. The twins (just turned 4) got their first reading book homework this week and it was a bit sad that one of them was deemed ready to have one with words whereas the other one only pictures. The latter was very upset and cried that his brother had words and he didn’t. That should create even more competitive tension! Back to the dots and yesterday’s Fed meeting was on the hawkish side in terms of the dots and also in terms of Powell’s confidence that the taper could be complete by mid-2022. Powell said that the Fed could begin tapering bond purchases as soon as the November FOMC meeting, in line with our US economists’ forecasts. He left some room for uncertainty, saying they would taper only “If the economy continues to progress broadly in line with expectations, and also the overall situation is appropriate for this.” However he made clear that “the timing and pace of the coming reduction in asset purchases will not be intended to carry a direct signal regarding the timing of interest rate liftoff.” The quarterly “dot plot” showed that the 18 FOMC officials were split on whether to start raising rates next year or not. In June, the median dot indicated no rate increases until 2023, but now 6 members see a 25bps raise next year and 3 members see two such hikes. Their inflation forecasts were also revised up and DB’s Matt Luzzetti writes in his FOMC review (link here) that “If inflation is at or below the Fed's current forecast next year of 2.3% core PCE, liftoff is likely to come in 2023, consistent with our view. However, if inflation proves to be higher with inflation expectations continuing to rise, the first rate increase could well migrate into 2022.” Markets took the overall meeting very much in its stride with the biggest impact probably being a yield curve flattening even if US 10yr Treasury yields traded in just over a 4bp range yesterday and finishing -2.2bps lower at 1.301%. The 5y30y curve flattened -6.7bps to 95.6bps, its flattest level since August 2020, while the 2y10y curve was -4.2bps flatter. So the market seems to believe the more hawkish the Fed gets the more likely they’ll control inflation and/or choke the recovery. The puzzle is that even if the dots are correct, real Fed funds should still be negative and very accommodative historically for all of the forecasting period. As such the market has a very dim view of the ability of the economy to withstand rate hikes or alternatively that the QE technicals are overpowering everything at the moment. In equities, the S&P 500 was up nearly +1.0% 15 minutes prior to the Fed, and then rallied a further 0.5% in the immediate aftermath before a late dip look it back to +0.95%. The late dip meant that the S&P still has not seen a 1% up day since July 23. The index’s rise was driven by cyclicals in particular with energy (+3.17%), semiconductors (-2.20%), and banks (+2.13%) leading the way. Asian markets are mostly trading higher this morning with the Hang Seng (+0.69%), Shanghai Comp (+0.58%), ASX (+1.03%) and India’s Nifty (+0.81%) all up. The Kospi (-0.36%) is trading lower though and is still catching up from the early week holidays. Japan’s markets are closed for a holiday today. Futures on the S&P 500 are up +0.25% while those on the Stoxx 50 are up +0.49%. There is no new news on the Evergrande debt crisis however markets participants are likely to pay attention to whether the group is able to make interest rate payment on its 5 year dollar note today after the group had said yesterday that it resolved a domestic bond coupon by negotiations which was also due today. As we highlighted in our CoTD flash poll conducted earlier this week, market participants are not too worried about a wider fallout from the Evergrande crisis and even the Hang Seng Properties index is up +3.93% this morning and is largely back at the levels before the big Monday sell-off of -6.69%. Overnight we have received flash PMIs for Australia which improved as parts of the country have eased the coronavirus restrictions. The services reading came in at 44.9 (vs. 42.9 last month) and the manufacturing print was even stronger at 57.3 (vs. 52.0 last month). Japan’s flash PMIs will be out tomorrow due to today’s holiday. Ahead of the Fed, markets had continued to rebound from their declines earlier in the week, with Europe’s STOXX 600 gaining +0.99% to narrowly put the index in positive territory for the week. This continues the theme of a relative outperformance among European equities compared to the US, with the STOXX 600 having outpaced the S&P 500 for 5 consecutive sessions now, though obviously by a slim margin yesterday. Sovereign bonds in Europe also posted gains, with yields on 10yr bunds (-0.7bps), OATs (-1.0bps) and BTPs (-3.2bps) all moving lower. Furthermore, there was another tightening in peripheral spreads, with the gap in Italian 10yr yields over bunds falling to 98.8bps yesterday, less than half a basis point away from its tightest level since early April. Moving to fiscal and with Democrats seemingly unable to pass the $3.5 trillion Biden budget plan by Monday, when the House is set to vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill, Republican leadership is calling on their members to vote against the bipartisan bill in hopes of delaying the process further. While the there is still a high likelihood the measure will eventually get passed, time is becoming a factor. Congress now has just over a week to get a government funding bill through both chambers of congress as well as raise the debt ceiling by next month. Republicans have told Democrats to do the latter in a partisan manner and include it in the reconciliation process which could mean that a significant portion of the Biden economic agenda – mostly encapsulated in the $3.5 trillion over 10 year budget – may have to be cut down to get the entire Democratic caucus on board. Looking ahead, an event to watch out for today will be the Bank of England’s policy decision at 12:00 London time, where our economists write (link here) that they expect no change in the policy settings. However, they do expect a reaffirmation of the BoE’s updated forward guidance that some tightening will be needed over the next few years to keep inflation in check, even if it’s too early to expect a further hawkish pivot at this stage. Staying on the UK, two further energy suppliers (Avro Energy and Green Supplier) ceased trading yesterday amidst the surge in gas prices, with the two supplying 2.9% of domestic customers between them. We have actually seen a modest fall in European natural gas prices over the last couple of days, with the benchmark future down -4.81% since its close on Monday, although it’s worth noting that still leaves them up +75.90% since the start of August alone. There wasn’t much data to speak of yesterday, though US existing home sales fell to an annualised rate of 5.88 in August (vs. 5.89m expected). Separately, the European Commission’s advance consumer confidence reading for the Euro Area unexpectedly rose to -4.0 in September (vs. -5.9 expected). To the day ahead now, the data highlights include the September flash PMIs from around the world, while in the US there’s the weekly initial jobless claims, the Chicago Fed’s national activity index for August, and the Kansas City fed’s manufacturing activity index for September. From central banks, there’ll be a monetary policy decision from the Bank of England, while the ECB will be publishing their Economic Bulletin and the ECB’s Elderson will also speak. From emerging markets, there’ll also be monetary policy decisions from the Central Bank of Turkey and the South African Reserve Bank. Finally in Germany, there’s an election debate with the lead candidates from the Bundestag parties. Tyler Durden Thu, 09/23/2021 - 08:13.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeSep 23rd, 2021

Pfizer CEO On Providing 500 Million Vaccines To Low Income Countries

Following is the unofficial transcript of a CNBC interview with Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) Chairman and CEO Albert Bourla on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” (M-F, 6AM-9AM ET) today, Wednesday, September 22. Following is a link to video on CNBC.com: Q2 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Pfizer CEO On Providing 500 Million Vaccines To Low Income […] Following is the unofficial transcript of a CNBC interview with Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) Chairman and CEO Albert Bourla on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” (M-F, 6AM-9AM ET) today, Wednesday, September 22. Following is a link to video on CNBC.com: if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Henry Singleton Series in PDF Get the entire 4-part series on Henry Singleton in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q2 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Pfizer CEO On Providing 500 Million Vaccines To Low Income Countries MEG TIRRELL: That special guest is Albert Bourla, the CEO of Pfizer. Albert, thanks for being with us this morning. Let's start with the news of the day, at least 500 million doses add to a previous agreement for the same number. They started shipping last month and will continue over the next year we understand. Tell us about your expectation for what these agreements will do for the course of the pandemic. ALBERT BOURLA: I think they will enable way more equitable access to our vaccines. When we started, Meg, more than a year, we're going to begin with the pandemic. It was always in our minds that we need to have a vaccine that will be available to all and the first thing that we had to do was to develop the vaccine because now it's considered given but the months ago, nobody thought that this could be done. The second was to manufacture enough so that everybody will have and we are gearing up our manufacturing capacity. Right now, at the end of the month, we will have manufactured 2 billion doses, 500 of which will be gone to the low- and middle-income countries. By the end of the quarter 3 billion doses, 1 billion of which will go to the low- and middle-income countries. And the third was to set the price that will enable everybody to access. As you know the price from the high-income countries is the cost of takeaway meal and this price for the government because their citizens are paying nothing. But for the middle-income countries, we are charging half of this price and the low-income countries we are charging basically at non-for-profit. The US government stepping once more 1 billion doses will be donated to the poorest of the countries, not to the middle and low but to the poorest countries, and that will not be given to them at the non-for-profit price, it will be given free because US is covering the cost. So, I think it is a great news for humanity and frankly it is great news for us because we are very proud that our vaccine will save the lives of people around the world. TIRRELL: How do you respond then to criticisms like from former CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden, who has been pointing out on Twitter over the last week that he thinks this inequity is quote, “shameful.” He says, “While focusing on selling expensive vaccines to rich countries, Moderna and Pfizer are doing next to nothing to close the global gap in vaccine supply.” How do you respond to criticisms like that? BOURLA: Well I respond that already we have seen 500 million doses to low- and middle-income countries, that we will see a billion doses by the end of this year, not in the near future, by the end of this year. And we will do at least 1 billion doses next year and I think the facts are speaking for themselves. TIRRELL: Is there more that Pfizer could do? There's also some focus on the infrastructure in developing countries and there's been criticisms of the Biden administration for delivering perhaps vaccines but then not delivering the sort of cold chain functionality to be able to store and move those vaccines around or helping get vaccinators to be able to help roll out these vaccines. What more do you think can be done to expedite all of this? BOURLA: Clearly there's more that can be done in terms of infrastructure in the poorest countries so that they can absorb vaccines so this kind of technology that they need special conditions like ultra-cold chain, etc. I think this is something that WHO is doing and this is something that was ourselves, we are working very intensively to help, although it is not let’s say our direct responsibility is to provide the vaccine but we are working also on the last mile, how we can assist, so that they can move eventually this vaccine to the citizens. TIRRELL: There's also been a big focus on ramping up production of mRNA vaccines in these developing countries so that they're not dependent on manufacturers elsewhere providing them. You do say or Uğur Şahin, your partner at BioNTech, says in your release today that you are exploring how to build the sustainable mRNA production infrastructure in low-income countries over the mid- and long-term. It seems like that is not a near term goal necessarily just because does it take that long to build this up, could scaling up happen in these countries any faster than it's happening already? BOURLA: Well yes, it will take a very long time to be able to build infrastructure that it is able to handle this higher level of technology. This is not easy. This is not making, you know, any type of goods so this is really, really high-end, regard not only sophisticated investments but thousands of people that they are highly skilled to do that. I don't say that it is impossible to be done but it will take time. TIRRELL: And of course, here in the United States, we're all focused on boosters, who's going to get their third shot and when. We're expecting an FDA decision on that today or tomorrow and CDC will, will vote. How do you in this position of deciding, where to take orders from and where to deliver things, respond to the pressures you get from the World Health Organization which is saying people shouldn't get boosters until the end of the year until more people have gotten their first doses. How do you weigh all those pressures coming in? BOURLA: Look, I think there's, as a whole that the decision to provide a booster should be made on the merits of the science. This is not correct to say that I will not give boosters to one because I prefer to give primary dose to someone else. The second is as I said that we should not be in, we should not resolve it with a “or,” we should resolve it with an “and.” Boosters should be given and other doses should be given to the other countries and this is the meaning of this agreement that we're doing today with the United States. And the third I would say that they, doses for this year have been allocated long ago. Everybody has placed their orders and with the first orders placed, first deliveries are coming out and so that will not change even if the boosters are approved which I expect will be. We will not give more to the countries that are approving boosters so that they can do the boosters. We will give the quantities to everyone that we have committed to give this year, and then as I said, this year, we're going to do a billion doses to the lower, middle-income countries. BECKY QUICK: Hey, Albert, on that point, it just, we know that the FDA panel that met last week voted no on the original question was that booster shots would be available for anyone ages 16 and up. They did vote yes on a more qualified picture, people ages 65 and up, people who have comorbidities and, and people who were maybe exposed at work because of the jobs that they do, but that still leaves a big gap if the FDA eventually goes through and approves the ladder question, not the opening. On that first question, they said they didn't have enough science to prove it. The science that was put in front of them didn't prove that those ages 16 and up needed boosters. When will we see more science, what's the next step or are people just kind of left to fend for themselves at this point? BOURLA: I think time will bring data because everybody's collecting data and I’m sure pretty soon they will have more data so that they can reevaluate their recommendations. It is clear from the data that we have seen that we support it to the need to give broad recommendations. The majority of the committee clearly thought that this is not the right time for people to receive in earlier phases. So, they, I guess they will expect to see when is the right time. What I want to say is in pandemic typically, it's very difficult to come to the right time. You're coming either too early or too late. ANDREW ROSS SORKIN: Albert, when you think about efficacy, there seems to be different definitions of efficacy in the United States versus Israel and people are measuring it differently. In some cases, it's hospitalization and death. In others, it's simply infection upfront. Do we have to redefine what efficacy really is and what it should be and what we're trying to avoid? BOURLA: I think science is to measure everything so and we should be very clear when you speak about efficacy, if you refer to efficacy against severe disease, or if we speak about efficacy in general in disease or infection, and the data for example for me is coming from all three categories is not that they're coming only for mild infections. They had seen drop in the protection against severe disease as well. SORKIN: Do you have a view on why it appears that the efficacy of the Pfizer vaccine seems to be lesser, at least at the moment, based on some of the numbers than the, than the Moderna vaccine. It appears that in the case of Moderna, it has a higher efficacy or at least more durable efficacy, is that a function of the fact that, it's that there's more of it, more vaccine, actually that's put in the arm? Is it a function of the fact that between the first and second dose, there's a longer wait period, four weeks rather than three weeks, what do you, or is it simply the timing of what we've seen in the studies? A lot of people got Pfizer earlier. BOURLA: I think that it is the wrong thing to start comparing vaccines, particularly in public and I don't think I would like to do it. But nevertheless, given your, your question, I'm not convinced that one is better than the other or it lasted longer than the other because of the reasons that we just said that when those studies compare, they don't exhaust from the time of the second dose and also they don't adjust from the fact that Pfizer was given way earlier to elder, high risk people. And so, we are comparing more months of since the first dose from Pfizer and very different population. But again, I said that the both of them are wonderful vaccines, I don't want to make comparisons and those that make comparisons, they are wrong. QUICK: Albert, can you give us an update on where things stand for the vaccine approval at least emergency use authorization for kids ages five to 11. We've heard a lot and the latest that we've gotten is maybe available by Halloween. But what does that actually mean? Does it really mean that our kids might actually get to the shots by then, will it be fully distributed? Is it going to be hard to find this because I know you have to give different vial sizes so as a result it's kind of gearing up the entire process again like we did at the beginning of the year. BOURLA: We are going to be ready once FDA approves the vaccine, provided that they will approve it, to be able to distribute it. And I know that we will submit our data pretty soon. The data are very positive, but I cannot comment when FDA will approve it. This is absolutely up to them to take their time to do their review and do the approval, the time that they're comfortable if they approve it. TIRRELL: And Albert, you actually got data I think a little earlier than people expected in that age group five to 11. What are you expecting in terms of younger kids asking completely unbiased as a parent of a two-and-a-half-year-old? BOURLA: Meg, as you know, we are always coming ahead of people's expectations so I hope that we will not disappoint them. TIRRELL: So, your CFO Frank D’Amelio had suggested perhaps you're about a month behind for younger children. Is that the timeline you're looking at for down to age two, or down to age six months? BOURLA: Well yeah, that's one to two months I would say, somewhere there. TIRRELL: Okay, and just to go back to that booster discussion that that Becky was talking about. Were you surprised that the panel voted to narrow the recommendation for, for whom, who should get boosters here in the US as we're seeing them given so broadly in Israel and even to everybody over the age of 50 in the UK? BOURLA: Yes, I was surprised but you know this is not about me being surprised. This is about the committee which is composed by renowned scientists. They have very high integrity. They have high expertise and they came to this conclusion. Our scientists also have very high integrity and they have very high expertise and they came to different conclusion. Israel scientists, UK scientists is different from German scientists also they have high expertise, but this is the role of committees. They have responsibility to recommend and then the administration has the responsibility to implement health care policies that they are important. And, you know, I think we should let the system work. QUICK: With all of the countries that you just mentioned, is there one Albert that has been the easiest to work with or the most difficult to work with and maybe the administration maybe the bureaucracy that you deal with. What, what would you say? BOURLA: I would say that all the candidates have stepped up and they are wonderful and frankly, I had the opportunity because of that, to, to connect personally with state leaders and with administration of many countries and I understand there are going to do the best for their people and they have to deal with very tough decisions and sometimes they get it right. Sometimes they get it wrong. But they are all having the best of intentions so I wouldn’t separate anyone on this. TIRRELL: Alright, Albert. I think that's all the time we've got. We really appreciate you being with us this morning and we look forward to all of these updates coming up. Thanks so much. BOURLA: Thank you very much. Thank you very much, Meg. Thank you. Updated on Sep 22, 2021, 9:35 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkSep 22nd, 2021

We tested Le Creuset"s classic Dutch oven and 6 other pieces - the cast iron cookware is pricey, but here"s why it"s worth the investment

French cookware company Le Creuset represents the height of craftsmanship and style. We reviewed seven of its pieces to see if they're worth it. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more. Le Creuset/Instagram Le Creuset is known for its beautiful, well-crafted, and versatile enamel Dutch ovens. Its cookware is expensive, but Le Creuset's products last for years (if not generations). We tested seven pieces, including its Dutch oven, oven-ready stoneware, and non-stick cookware. Table of Contents: Masthead StickyRound Dutch Oven (small) Though startups like Made In are making headway against traditional kitchen brands, there are some decades-old names that home cooks may never let go of.Topping registry and gift lists everywhere, these legacy brands have been wished for, raved about, and passed down from generation to generation. For good reason - their products help to make your grandmother's famous chocolate chip cookies as well as your newfangled (her words, not yours) quinoa cacao bites.French cookware company Le Creuset is one such name, representing the height of craftsmanship and style, and accordingly, price. Its enamel cast iron Dutch ovens are widely considered the best in the industry, which is why many people are willing to commit to the $200+ investment and few ever regret it.You can't miss them in a kitchen. They're the smooth and glossy, weighty and substantial, brightly colored centerpiece of a shelf, stove, or countertop, and after cooking with them, you're unlikely to ever forget them.Basically, Le Creuset is the rare brand that's really as good as everyone says it is. The experience is kind of like going to your first SoulCycle class - you enter a cynic, but you emerge (hopefully less sweaty) a zealous convert. A brief history of Le Creuset - then and now Williams-Sonoma Le Creuset was created in 1925 by two Belgian industrialists, one who specialized in casting and the other in enameling. After meeting at the Brussels Fair, they created a foundry in Fresnoy-le-Grand, an area in northern France located along a major trade route. The cast iron cocotte, also known as a French oven or an enameled Dutch oven, was their first product. Its Flame color, a Le Creuset signature, is said to have been modeled after the vibrant orange hue of molten cast iron inside a crucible ("le creuset" in French). The cocotte was a groundbreaking product at the time because it made the kitchen staple of cast iron cookware both more functional and beautiful. It was something that home cooks could rely on every time to perform at high levels, but also an aesthetically pleasing piece that looked good on stovetops and dining tables alike. Based on Le Creuset's enduring success, it looks like our tastes haven't changed much. After World War II, as competitors flocked to steel and aluminum to make their cookware, Le Creuset doubled down on its enameled cast iron efforts, expanding into a range of other pieces and experimenting with exciting new colors. Today, you can shop its iconic Dutch oven alongside specialty cookware like woks and Moroccan tagines, bakeware like casserole dishes, and dinnerware. How to shop Le Creuset cookware and what to buy Sur la Table Enameled cast iron was and will remain Le Creuset's specialty. Its slow heat distribution and strong heat retention make it great for medium and low-heat cooking, from slow-cooking meats to roasting vegetables to baking rich desserts. The smooth interior encourages beautiful, delicious caramelization, plus it prevents sticking and is easy to clean. This material is safe to use on all heat sources, including electric, gas, induction, outdoor grill, and oven. Whether you're a first-time Le Creuset buyer or expanding a decades-old collection, this versatile, high-performing cookware is the main one to shop. All cast iron pieces are made in the original French foundry and each is hand-inspected by 15 people. They come with a limited lifetime warranty. Stoneware is best for baking tasks. It heats uniformly to create that coveted golden-brown crust while making sure that everything inside is cooked evenly, and it releases food easily. All stoneware pieces come with a limited 10-year warranty. Nonstick is a newer venture for Le Creuset and a nicer-quality upgrade from the nonstick stuff you've used before. Compared to cast iron, these aluminum-core products heat up quickly. All nonstick pieces come with a limited lifetime warranty. Williams-Sonoma Where to shop Le CreusetLe Creuset's full lineup of products is available on its website, where you can get free shipping on all orders, find recipes and events, and start a gift registry (through MyRegistry.com). It's easiest to shop all of Le Creuset's gorgeous colors and special limited-stock or limited-edition collections on the company's website. However, you can also find sales and exclusive colors at specialty retailers like Williams-Sonoma, Sur La Table (the "Artichoke" shade looks as delicious as the real thing), and Crate & Barrel, and department stores like Nordstrom and Macy's. It's available at Amazon as well, but it might be more convenient to buy Le Creuset at those places if you shop there frequently. Review of Le Creuset cookware Three of us tested the cookware types I mentioned above - enameled cast iron, stoneware, and nonstick - and put the nearly 100-year-old company to the work. While this was my first experience cooking with Le Creuset, some of my colleagues have been using their pieces for years and can attest to the durability and wear of their cookware. Below, learn more about what it's like to cook with Le Creuset, from the classic Dutch Oven to the lesser-known Grill Pan. Shop Le Creuset cookware here:Amazon, Sur La Table, Crate & Barrel, Nordstrom, Macy's, Le Creuset, Williams-Sonoma Round Dutch Oven Ellen's beef stroganoff Ellen Hoffman/Business Insider Round Dutch Oven (5.5-Quart), around $370, available at: Le Creuset | Williams-Sonoma We used it to cook: beef stroganoff, broccoli and sausage orzo skillet, chicken pot hotdish, and so much more. Why we love it: The 5.5-quart version of the popular Le Creuset Dutch oven isn't cheap at $350, but it's the cornerstone of my kitchen; it offers a lot of versatility, a durable design, and crucially, even heat distribution. I use it to cook easy, one-pot meals on most weeknights — everything from beef stroganoff to spring peas and asparagus risotto to a broccoli and sausage orzo skillet. —Ellen Hoffman, Executive EditorI use a 4.5-quart version of this Dutch Oven, the same one that had previously belonged to my former boss' wife. She and I would swap recipes through her husband, delivering muffins and breakfast bars and favorite recipes to each other via his briefcase. At a holiday party at their home a few years ago, she gifted me one of her Le Creuset pots along with her matching frying pan. She gave it to me because she was growing partial to her Staub Dutch oven and didn't need so many in the house, but it was still one of the kindest gifts I've ever received. I love cooking in it and especially using it to serve stews, sauces, and orzo during dinner parties. —Sally Kaplan, Senior Editor Signature Lite Grill Pan Sally's grilled zucchini Sally Kaplan/Business Insider Signature Lite Grill Pan, $180: currently unavailableWe used it to cook: grilled summer squash phyllo pie, Beyond Meat sausagesWhy we love it: When I'm too lazy to fire up the grill on our rooftop (so, most of the time), I opt for this stovetop grill pan. It gives my veggies and meat substitutes the perfect grill marks, and it's easy to move around on the burner if there's a hot or cool spot (which happens with square-shaped pans). When I grill things like summer squash on it, and there's something so satisfying about turning it over to see those little charred and caramelized bits. The surface is relatively non-stick, so food comes up cleanly as you're flipping it, and the pan wipes down easily.  —Sally Kaplan  Mini Cocottes Connie's mini mac and cheese and veggies Connie Chen/Business Insider Mini Cocottes, $100, available at: Le Creuset We used it to cook: single-serving/app-sized mac and cheese, veggies, baked eggs, apple pieWhy we love it: These are hands down the most adorable pieces of cookware I own. The mini versions of the brand's classic cocotte are perfect for serving personal desserts, side dishes, and snacks like nuts or candy. They're made from stoneware, so they're best used in the oven on a baking tray and uncovered. The set I got came with a cookbook filled with recipes optimized for tiny portions, but if you're comfortable with experimentation, I can see the potential to get really creative (and cute) with these mini cocottes. —Connie Chen, Senior Reporter Square Dish Sally's fudgy vegan brownies Sally Kaplan/Business Insider Square Dish, $50, available at: Le Creuset |Bed Bath & Beyond (currently sold out)We used it to cook: fudgy vegan brownies, roasted apricots with coconut sugar, cornbread, and a million other thingsWhy we love it: I've had this square dish for about three years now, and it's one of the most-used dishes in my kitchen. I bake quick-breads and brownies in it, use it to roast veggies at high temperatures, and even make pot pies with fluffy, crispy drop biscuit crust. The coating on the stoneware is so glossy and smooth that it's always easy to clean — mine has been through hell and back, and still looks as new as it did the very first day I got it. —Sally Kaplan Nonstick Saute Pan Sally's vegetarian "meat" sauce Sally Kaplan/Business Insider Nonstick Saute Pan, $145, available at: Crate & Barrel | Le CreusetWe used it to cook: vegetarian "meat" sauce, garlicky zucchini noodlesWhy we love it: I have a lot of nonstick pans, but I threw two of them out after I cooked with this one for the first time. The nonstick coating is above and beyond what I've experienced before. It took about three seconds to wash the pot I cooked this sauce in because there was absolutely nothing sticking to it. Not only that, but it provided fast, even heat throughout, and the walls of the pan are just high enough that you can use it as a saucepan and saute pan interchangeably. It's an excellent value for $145 — I use it all the time. —Sally Kaplan Braiser Ellen's "sophisticated hamburger helper" Ellen Hoffman/Business Insider Braiser, $200, available at: Le Creuset We used it to cook: lemon thyme chicken thighs, rigatoni and chicken with vodka sauce (family recipe), and lots of other bigger, saucy pasta dishesWhy we love it: This pan is the perfect size for the kinds of one-pot, saucy pasta dishes I make all the time. It's super wide and deep enough that I don't have to worry about adding too much liquid and having the contents spill over the sides. It's also great for cooking meats and veggies since, like I said, there's plenty of surface area so everything has room to get nice and crispy.—Ellen Hoffman Rectangular Casserole Le Creuset Rectangular Casserole, $115, available at: Amazon | Le CreusetWe used it to cook: Enchiladas, lasagna, pasta casserolesWhy we love it: The depth of this 3.5-quart casserole dish is ideal for recipes that call for layering, and the stoneware construction ensures every layer, whether sweet or savory, heats evenly and comes out of the oven piping hot. Though you might think the enamel would be too delicate to touch with a knife, rest assured you can slice into your casserole worry-free. I do wish the handles were slotted so I'd feel safer carrying it out of the oven, so just be extra careful about not dropping your hard work on the ground. —Connie Chen Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytSep 22nd, 2021

5-step beginner"s guide to investing in index funds

Index funds can help investors diversify their portfolio and lower their risk and is recommended by Warren Buffett. Learn how to invest in index funds. The key is to have a strategy that works for you, while also minimizing costs. Alyssa Powell/Insider Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky Index funds are a type of investment vehicle that strive to match the returns of a particular market index. Investing in index funds can help investors diversify their portfolio and be a low-cost way to build wealth. There are many different indexes to choose from that reach a wide variety of sectors and markets. Visit Insider's Investing Reference library for more stories. Index funds are recommended by billionaire Warren Buffett and are often touted as one of the most popular ways to reach FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early). Index funds are a type of investment vehicle such as a mutual fund or exchange-traded fund (ETF) that works to achieve similar results as those on specific indexes (hence, the name) such as the S&P 500.If you want to follow suit, here's how to invest in index funds. Step 1: Review your finances and goals Before investing, it's important to get clear on your personal situation and life goals. When do you want to retire and how far away are you from that milestone? And what does your risk tolerance and budget look like? Understanding all of this will help you understand the role index funds will play in your life and how to invest in them. Knowing how much to invest requires you to take inventory of just how much money you can afford to invest. Review your finances and answer these questions to help you assess how much you can afford to invest: What is your current after-tax income - in other words, your take-home pay? What are your current expenses? How much debt do you have and what are your monthly payments?What is your net worth? (This is your assets minus liabilities.)Answering these questions will give you a big picture view of your finances and give you insight into how much you can invest. Knowing your goals will help give your money a job and keep you motivated. It's important to note that risk is part of investing and can't be completely avoided. But there are ways to invest within your comfort levels, by first identifying your risk tolerance. Risk tolerance refers to your comfort level and how much you're willing to lose with your investments. You can take this risk tolerance quiz from Rutgers to see where you're at. Step 2: Choose an index Index funds are a class of ETFs or mutual funds that are designed to emulate the performance of a particular market index. "Index funds generally benefit an investor by providing diversification and relatively low fees compared to actively managed funds. Index funds are designed to track and follow a broad sector such as large caps, emerging markets, broad indexes like the S&P 500, or it can even be as specific as tracking large technology companies, for instance," explains Julian Schubach, an independent investment advisor and vice president of wealth management at ODI Financial. There are many different types of indexes, all of which serve different purposes. Because of the nature of index funds, they are inherently diversified. For example, the S&P 500 (which refers to Standard and Poor's 500) is just one of many major indexes which tracks the top 500 publicly traded companies. Some other major indexes include:Nasdaq-100 Index, which tracks the top 100 securities traded on The Nasdaq Stock MarketDow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), which is an index that contains 30 blue chip stocks from various US companiesNYSE Composite Exchange, which tracks price fluctuations among stocks listed on the New York Stock ExchangeWilshire 5000 Total Market Index, which tracks the performance of the entire stock market with U.S.-based securitiesRussell 2000 Index, which tracks the performance of the 2,000 smallest publicly-traded companies in the USWhen thinking about what index to invest in, consider the following:Type of industry. Every dollar you spend or invest can be used as a vote to support something based on your values. For example, if you want to support the environment, you might focus on clean-energy index funds. If you're interested in tech or even supporting women-led companies, there are index funds for that. Risk tolerance. You can review past performance and assess your risk tolerance before choosing a specific index - although, as noted above, index funds can be considered less risky as they're diversified. For example, large cap indexes may have higher levels of risk, and if you want lower levels of risk, you can look at specific bond indexes. Opportunities for growth. Are there up-and-coming investment sectors where you might want to put your money? Funds that trade based on a specific location. For example, index funds that trade on the foreign exchange. The company size and market capitalization. For example, small cap, mid cap, and large cap all refer to the size of a company as well as the company's market capitalization. Types of assets the index funds track. The index fund can track certain commodities, stocks, or bonds. Taking all of this into consideration can help you identify which index can best match your goals. Quick tip: You can review other indexes and get additional information from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.Step 3: Decide which index funds to invest in Now it's time to decide which index funds you want to invest in. "Each fund and fund company may have different fees and portfolio construction, though, so it is important to research the differences between each offering within a broad index," explains Schubach. "A good way to start is to research the assets under management (AUM) of a given index fund, the fee structure, the ease of trading and access to the fund, and the background of the managers in charge of the given fund."Index funds at different companies can have similar goals but have different short- and long-term costs to consider. Review any opening account minimums or investment minimums in a certain index fund. For example, the popular Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund Admiral Shares (VTSAX) has an investment minimum of $3,000. Two other major costs to consider when investing in index funds are the tax-cost ratio, which refers to the amount of taxes you pay based on distributions compared to your returns, as well as the expense ratio, which includes all fees related to managing the fund. These costs and related fees can take a chunk of your wealth without you realizing it. You want to look for low expense ratios, typically below 1% as a benchmark. Step 4: Open a brokerage account and buy index fund shares If you want to learn how to invest in index funds, you'll want to choose an investing strategy and go from there. For example, do you want to DIY it or have professional help? Your answer will determine what type of investment account you'll need to purchase index fund shares. "Investors first must decide if they want to pick the index funds themselves and manage the allocations directly. If the investor feels this is the best route for them, they can establish an investment account at any of the numerous brokerage platforms such as Fidelity, TD Ameritrade, Charles Schwab, or even app-based platforms such as Robinhood," notes Schubach. "In this scenario, the investor would research the universe of index funds available and purchase the funds they'd like to own."You can do this by: Opening an online brokerage account. You could open an account with brokerages such as Fidelity or Vanguard to manually invest in funds yourself. Using a robo-advisor. You could also use a robo-advisor such as Betterment and Wealthfront which do much of the heavy lifting for you, by investing and rebalancing automatically."For those who wish to invest in index funds, but prefer some help, they can work with a financial advisor who can help guide them to the funds which best match their risk tolerance, and they would subsequently manage those funds for the investor," says Schubach.In this scenario, you can work with an investment professional who can help guide you through the process. This option may be more costly. Regardless of your investment options, here are some things you want to keep in mind when choosing a brokerage.What type of fund selection do they offer?How convenient is it to use the platform? Do they have a mobile app and is the user experience good? How much does it cost to trade? You can review the expense ratios in the prospectus and see if there are commission-free trading options. The key is to have a strategy that works for you, while also minimizing costs.Quick tip: If you have an employer-sponsored retirement plan like a 401(k), you may also be able to invest in index funds through there as well.Step 5: Continue to manage your investments Once you've started investing in index funds you want to do two things:1. Continue to invest regularly. This may mean setting up automatic monthly contributions or setting a schedule when you add more money to your portfolio. 2. Check in regularly with your investments. Consider checking in on your investments at least once a year. You can also consider checking in quarterly. Many index funds rebalance on their own, but it's a good idea to check that your funds are still in alignment with your portfolio's goals. The financial takeawayInvesting in index funds can be a great way to diversify your portfolio without taking on so much risk. It's also a way to tap various markets across different sectors and support certain industries with your investments. To get started, follow these steps to invest in index funds and be aware of your short- and long-term goals while keeping an eye on total costs.What's the difference between ETFs and index funds?Index funds vs. mutual funds: What's the difference?Understanding what financial advisors do and how they help clients better manage their moneyWhat is a broker? What to know about the intermediary that helps investors buy stocksRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 22nd, 2021

Fossil Fuel Companies Say Hydrogen Made From Natural Gas Is a Climate Solution. But the Tech May Not Be Very Green

But the tech may not actually be very green As a committee of climate scientists and environmental officials deliberated over how to drastically cut New York State’s carbon footprint last summer, natural gas industry representatives were putting forward a counterintuitive pitch: hydrogen, made from fossil fuels. The concept was simple, explained natural-gas proponents serving on the state’s climate-action council. Industrial hydrogen suppliers had long used a process called steam methane reforming (SMR) to produce what the industry calls “gray” hydrogen from natural gas—a system that accounts for 95% of all current hydrogen production, but releases large amounts of carbon emissions. Emissions-free “green” hydrogen can be produced using water and renewable electricity, but that tends to be more expensive than making gray hydrogen. The solution, gas-industry representatives said, was to pursue a kind of carbon compromise. Instead of making expensive green hydrogen, industrial gray hydrogen facilities could be outfitted with carbon capture systems that buried their emissions underground. Voila: A new color in the hydrogen rainbow—safe, clean, abundant “blue” hydrogen to power the economy of the future. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] Bob Howarth, a Cornell University climate scientist serving on the N.Y. State carbon-drawdown committee, decided to look into the gas industry’s arguments. “I’m not surprised that people in the natural gas industry are trying to suggest ways that they keep their industry alive,” he says. “But I was skeptical.” Together with Mark Jacobson, an atmospheric scientist at Stanford University, Howarth set out to document the full emissions picture arising from blue hydrogen production. The results, published Aug. 12 in Energy Science and Engineering, were striking. According to Howarth and Jacobson’s calculations, capturing SMR carbon emissions uses so much energy and results in so much extra leakage of methane—another greenhouse gas that has many times more warming potential than carbon dioxide—that any possible CO2 emissions benefit is nearly canceled out, leaving in place a process that produces about 90% of the emissions of making grey hydrogen. Blue hydrogen is so dirty, in fact, that it’s worse for the climate than burning natural gas for heat in the first place, the researchers found. But in the meantime, blue hydrogen’s proponents were hard at work. Backed up by industry-funded reports, lobbyists had been pushing blue hydrogen to governments around the world, and the governments were listening. The E.U. released a strategy last summer that proposed expanding blue hydrogen production over the next decade. In the U.K., bureaucrats were crafting a national “hydrogen strategy,” released last month, that gives ample support to blue hydrogen development. In the U.S., legislators are currently negotiating a trillion-dollar infrastructure package that, in its current form, would allocate $8 billion to develop so-called “clean” hydrogen, much of it using fossil fuels. To some extent, Howarth’s work had come too late. “Industry marketing is way out ahead of scientific research and policy sometimes,” he says. That’s nothing new. From claims that natural gas could be a “bridge” to lower emissions, to promises of decarbonization through “clean coal,” pie-in-the-sky propositions from the fossil-fuel industry have been a feature of climate policy discussions for years. Now, with worldwide political will finally coalescing around an urgent imperative to draw down carbon emissions, natural-gas producers like Shell and BP and distributors like Engie have allied themselves with companies like Air Liquide that have long produced SMR hydrogen to promote blue hydrogen—which looks clean from certain angles, but from others, appears as CO2-intensive as other fossil fuels—as the future of the energy industry. Industry groups say blue hydrogen will be critical to meeting the world’s climate goals, and can be part of a broad strategy to reduce the world’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. But some scientists and experts say the hydrogen industry’s real purpose is to preserve the value of its natural-gas resources and distribution systems under the cover of climate stewardship, locking the world into a technology that will release yet more methane and CO2 emissions for decades to come. For those of us who have gotten used to seeing hydrogen in the context of sleek concept cars, it can be surprising to learn that large-scale hydrogen production has been around for more than a century. Hydrogen became particularly useful after the early 20th century invention of the Haber process, which combines the gas with nitrogen in the atmosphere to produce ammonia, a compound valuable for its use in fertilizer and explosives. U.S. fossil-fuel companies began operating SMR plants to make hydrogen from natural gas in the 1930s, and the industry grew over the following decades. Oil refineries also use hydrogen to remove sulfur from crude oil, with many refineries currently producing their own hydrogen on-site from natural gas. About 6% of the world’s natural gas (and 2% of coal, through another carbon-intensive process) is currently used to produce hydrogen, emitting 830 million metric tons of carbon dioxide per year, according to the International Energy Agency. In all, hydrogen production accounts for about 2% of all the world’s carbon emissions. But when used as a fuel, hydrogen has an environmental advantage over fossil fuels: burning hydrogen releases nothing but water vapor. Amid rising public concern over climate change in the early 2000s, hydrogen underwent a PR renaissance. No longer was it just a dirty industrial feedstock—now it was the fuel of the future. Though most hydrogen at the time was produced using SMR, experts knew large amounts of it could, in theory, be extracted from water using solar or wind power. And though the sun doesn’t always shine and the wind doesn’t always blow, the hydrogen fuel made using those resources could be transported anywhere and used any time, essentially acting like a portable battery to store renewable energy. “Hydrogen fuel cells represent one of the most encouraging, innovative technologies of our era,” said U.S. President George W. Bush in 2003 while announcing a $1.2 billion federal initiative to launch a fledgling hydrogen sector. Promises of a “hydrogen economy” that would see fossil fuels phased out in favor of the lightest element to power everything from stove-top burners to trucks abounded. But hydrogen’s golden hour, particularly in the automotive sector, was to be short lived. In 2009, the new Obama Administration energy secretary and Nobel Prize-winning physicist Steven Chu publicly lambasted the idea of a fleet of hydrogen-powered cars, saying the technology wasn’t progressing fast enough, and tried to cut government research funding. Congress restored those funds, though the Energy Department succeeded in making deep hydrogen cuts two years later. The next decade saw hydrogen’s prospects further decline. While hydrogen-powered vehicles from the likes of Toyota were beset by cost problems and difficulties building out fueling infrastructure, the battery-electric sector took off, with industry newcomers like Tesla selling half a million cars a year by the end of the next decade. Seeing which way the wind was blowing, other automakers like GM and Nissan quietly backed off hydrogen passenger car projects (though GM has continued to invest heavily in fuel cells for larger commercial vehicles). But hydrogen stalwarts weren’t going down without a fight. In the late 2010s, fossil-fuel companies, automakers, natural-gas grid operators and legacy SMR hydrogen companies, among others, began promoting a new narrative: Hydrogen, they said, was essential to a green-energy transition. “Green” hydrogen made from renewable energy would supply some of the power demand. The “blue” variety, made from natural gas, would make up the rest, with carbon-capture-and-storage technologies mitigating its emissions. That blue hydrogen narrative is largely descended from previous industry hype cycles around so-called “clean coal,” says Jan Rosenow, European Programme Director for the Regulatory Assistance Project, a nonprofit that helps governments implement green-energy goals. Those projects, launched in the 2010s, were largely based on the notion that coal-fired power plants would use carbon-capture equipment to bury their emissions underground—but they ultimately foundered, resulting in costly, federally-funded failures within a few years. After that, Rosenow says, industry switched tack to promoting natural gas as a low-carbon transition fuel, a push that drew environmental outcry over methane leaks along the gas-supply chain. Fossil-fuel companies, Rosenow says, needed a new option. “That’s where the whole discussion around hydrogen comes from,” he says. As China began to cash in on a green-tech manufacturing boom in the late-2010s, European governments eager to dominate a nascent hydrogen sector proved a receptive audience for industry pitches. In 2020, the non-profit watchdog group Corporate Europe Observatory released a report pointing out what it said were worrying signs of industry influence in the E.U. hydrogen strategy. “The bodies being created by the E.U. like the European Clean Hydrogen Alliance are completely industry dominated and industry driven,” says Pascoe Sabido, a researcher at Corporate Europe Observatory. “I don’t know if I’d even call it lobbying—this is the E.U. putting industry in the driving seat.” He frames the hydrogen push as an attempt by fossil fuel companies to shift a coming green energy transition to suit their own interests, pointing to their involvement in hydrogen industry groups like the Hydrogen Council and Hydrogen Europe. The secretariats of both organizations were previously managed by FTI Consulting, a consulting firm that garnered controversy last year over its role in setting up groups like Texans for Natural Gas and the Main Street Investors Coalition as part of a fossil fuel industry influence campaign. Then Bob Howarth and Mark Jacobson came out with their report last month, further sandbagging the blue hydrogen airship. Industry groups representing SMR producers, fossil-fuel companies and other hydrogen players contest their findings, pointing to their own reports, which argue that the technology can produce energy at an emissions cost 80% to 90% lower than pure fossil fuels. Daryl Wilson, executive director of the Hydrogen Council, an industry consortium, argues that Howarth’s blue hydrogen report would have come up with lower methane leakage rates if it had looked only at wells that were following industry best practices. But Howarth says there is little evidence that many in the industry actually operate that way. (Satellite imaging in recent years has found alarming gas leakage from wells and pipelines around the world.) In their calculations, he and Jacobson used the average methane leakage rate across the U.S. natural gas industry, a number they say better reflects real-world conditions. Right now, there are only a handful of blue-hydrogen facilities around the world, but governments are preparing subsidies and investments that, if enacted, will lead to the construction of many more. Chris Jackson, a green-hydrogen entrepreneur who resigned as chair of the U.K. Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association earlier this month over the group’s inclusion of blue-hydrogen proponents, worries that fossil-fuel companies have once again hijacked the green-energy conversation. “Is it really appropriate and right that limited government resources from the public, which are meant to be supporting genuine net-zero technologies, should instead be spent on essentially allowing oil and gas companies to continue to operate the way they do today?,” Jackson says. Plans for new blue-hydrogen facilities, he says, don’t make sense from either an environmental or economic perspective. “You’re putting in infrastructure that’s going to take you five years to build and going to be there for 20 years. Everyone should be asking themselves: ‘if this is an asset…in the middle of 2040, [is it] still going to make sense to be running?’ And if not, you have to ask the question right now: ‘why are you building it?'” Even some with optimistic views of blue hydrogen don’t see why the public should support new facilities. Dolf Gielen, director of the International Renewable Energy Agency’s Innovation and Technology Centre in Bonn, Germany, generally supports blue hydrogen, but disagrees on the question of government assistance. “If blue hydrogen means you add some [carbon-capture equipment] to an existing [methane] reformer facility, why not?” says Gielen. “It’s a different question whether governments should subsidize new blue hydrogen.” Others say it makes little sense to invest limited government funds in a technology that only promises to reduce carbon emissions, rather than eliminate them completely. “We’re talking about 100% reductions in emissions to get to net zero,” says Rosenow, of the Regulatory Assistance Project. “In that context, there isn’t any space for just an 80% reduction. And that’s what blue hydrogen would probably deliver.” In the massive, unthinkably complex task of replacing every boiler, automobile, locomotive, cargo ship, and airplane with a carbon-free alternative—indeed, of tearing out just about every piece of machinery installed over the past hundred years—planners, corporations, governments and citizens generally have two options for what sort of system should take their place: hydrogen or electric. Hydrogen has a high-energy density, which means it would theoretically be lighter, making it good for airplanes, long-haul trucks, and for creating especially high temperatures, like those needed to produce essential materials like steel. But because you lose a lot of energy converting electricity into green hydrogen, and because it requires new infrastructure, electricity is better for smaller scale uses like heating buildings and powering cars. But some industry players are still trying to make hydrogen happen for all sorts of energy uses. Toyota, for instance, has continued what some green energy analysts consider to be a quixotic quest to popularize hydrogen cars, even going so far as to lobby against fuel efficiency rules and gasoline car phase-out requirements around the world that would benefit its battery-electric rivals. European gas companies have sought to show the world that homes can be heated with hydrogen, while industry consortiums push a vision of continent-wide hydrogen distribution networks both to supply gas for industry, and to replace natural-gas home-heating systems. Wilson says such initiatives have a place in an overall decarbonization strategy, and that they could be supplied by both blue and green hydrogen. “The optimized answer for transport and heating will vary region to region,” he says. “There is no ‘one size fits all’ answer here.” Of course, it’s hard to know for sure; a clear idea about the benefits of blue hydrogen would require spending a few decades and many billions of dollars building the infrastructure necessary to test it. But if blue hydrogen doesn’t pan out, we might be wishing we could go back in time and think a bit harder about investing in that technology now. As for the vast new hydrogen economy it’s intended to supply, many experts say hydrogen-fuel-cell cars are a dead end, with insurmountable cost barriers compared to battery cars, and opponents have characterized hydrogen-based home-heating plans as a gambit intended to extend the life of the gas industry through a vast expenditure of public resources. “The science demands that we keep fossil fuels in the ground,” says Sabido, of the Corporate Europe Observatory. “If we started from that point, [fossil-fuel companies] wouldn’t have a business model. So they’re doing whatever they can to ensure…that the assets they currently have on their books still have value.”.....»»

Category: topSource: timeSep 22nd, 2021

The Houston doctor who was fired for administering leftover vaccine doses is suing Harris County, Texas, after being acquitted by a grand jury

"I don't think I was treated fairly, so I'm hoping to get a sense of fairness out of this, that's number one," Dr. Hasan Gokal told Insider. Dr. Hasan Gokal Courtesy of David Oates/PR Security Dr. Hasan Gokal was fired in January for giving away 10 COVID-19 vaccine doses that were due to expire. The Harris County District Attorney charged Gokal with theft but a grand jury acquitted him in June. Gokal is now suing Harris County for more than $1 million for discrimination. See more stories on Insider's business page. A Houston doctor who was accused of stealing COVID-19 vaccine doses and later acquitted by a grand jury is now suing Harris County in Texas for discrimination for more than $1 million. Last December, Dr. Hasan Gokal was working with Harris County Public Health at their first vaccination site. At the end of a shift, Gokal tried to find eligible people for leftover doses of the Moderna vaccine that would have expired and went door-to-door to administer shots.Gokal was accused of violating protocols and fired. District Attorney Kim Ogg also filed theft charges against him.Harris County Public Health also reached out to the Texas Medical Board to initiate an investigation for unethical behavior which was dismissed in March. Gokal was unable to work until that investigation was complete. In June, a grand jury acquitted Gokal of the charges. Gokal told Insider it was soon after the charges were dropped that he began thinking about suing the county, but it wasn't until about a month ago that he seriously discussed it with a lawyer. He said while he was relieved the case against him has been dropped, the past nine months weighed heavily on him and his family and hopes the suit will bring him justice."The first few months of this was rough, not being able to do a job. Not sure if my career is over. What's going to happen with the criminal charges and so on and so forth. Anybody in that level of stress and degree of uncertainty in life is going to be impacted by that uncertainty," Gokal said. "It was felt throughout my family. The kids are young and you can see the stress on them. My wife, certainly her condition got worse through all the stress."Gokal added that he's also hoping to ensure this doesn't happen again: "You're talking about a physician who does what a physician does, and you suddenly turn it into a criminal issue. That shouldn't happen to anybody else. Any way you cut it, it's just wrong," he told Insider. Additionally, Gokal said he wants to bring attention to the issue that Harris County Public Health, like other public health agencies across the country, is "not using physicians anymore and they're making decisions on their own without it." He said these agencies are making decisions about public health without necessary experts like doctors. "This has changed in the last year, and it's a very worrisome and dangerous trend," Gokal said. In a press release emailed to Insider, Gokal and his attorney said the public health department told him "he picked the wrong people to help - too many of them had 'Indian' names, too many of them were Asian.""It's very clear that if he had vaccinated people named Anderson, Smith, and Jones he would have been called a hero and not have been fired, charged, vilified, and brought before a grand jury that thankfully refused to indict him," Gokal's attorney, Joe Ahmad, said. The Harris County District Attorney did not respond to Insider's request for comment at the time of publication but previously told CBS News "The District Attorney's Office prosecutes state crimes that occur in Harris County. In pursuing prosecution against all accused, our intent is to seek and obtain justice in every case. We follow a strict protocol of evidence-based prosecution. The criminal charges of Theft by a Public Servant against this Defendant were based upon evidence obtained from witnesses and statements of the accused, both before and after his employment was terminated by the Harris County Health Dept. While grand jury witnesses are also prohibited in Texas from revealing what occurred in the grand jury, they are free to tell you about what they witnessed in an incident."Ahmad told Insider it's not clear how much of a financial loss the charges and case against Gokal will cost him, but they assume the impact will extend for years. "The full nature of the damages isn't known yet because frankly, the economic damages are still being suffered. Dr. Gokal is working, he's taking some shifts in the ER room. It's not the ideal job, but he's doing it," Ahmad told Insider.Gokal told Insider the case caused him a lot of stress and he wasn't able to dedicate his attention to patients full time. Additionally, Ahmad told Insider the publicity from the case has negatively impacted Gokal's reputation. "We believe he's going to be suffering a year from now, two years from now, if for no other reason than the nature of the publicity against him - how he was vilified, nationwide, worldwide," Ahmad said. "And so, do we believe that the damages could exceed $1 million? Absolutely. We'll know more as time goes by."Gokal said he's frustrated because he did what he was supposed to do."I don't think I was treated fairly, so I'm hoping to get a sense of fairness out of this, that's number one," he said. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 22nd, 2021

Some of the best hotels in Las Vegas aren"t on the Strip - here"s where to find a great stay starting at $30

Here's where to stay off the Strip in Las Vegas, including cheap and luxury hotels near Downtown, Fremont Street, Summerlin, Henderson, and Red Rocks. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more. Tripadvisor The Las Vegas Strip draws millions, but locals know that's not the real heart of the city. Downtown Las Vegas, Fremont Street, and suburbs are more authentic with cheaper casinos and hotels. Some of the best Las Vegas hotels are off-Strip, from retro motels to luxury amid the Red Rocks. Table of Contents: Masthead StickyThe Las Vegas Strip is the city's glitzy, showy draw, luring millions of tourists each year. But it's hardly the sole attraction.As a Las Vegas local, I want you to know there's much more to this wonderful city than just what you'll find along Las Vegas Boulevard. And while you can (and should) enjoy time on the Strip, going off-Strip will show you a part of the city you've never experienced, one that's neighborhood-centric, artsy, outdoorsy, and filled with character.As such, the next time you're looking for a Las Vegas hotel, consider an off-Strip hotel. From historic Fremont Street hotels that lean into a vintage Vegas aesthetic to luxurious desert escapes with spas and pools, these off-Strip hotels also boast lower prices and gaming minimums than their Las Vegas Boulevard counterparts. Browse all the best off-Strip Las Vegas hotels below, or jump directly to a specific area:The best off-Strip hotels in Las VegasFAQ: Las Vegas hotelsHow we selected the best off-Strip hotels in Las VegasMore of the best places to stay in Las VegasThese are the best off-Strip hotels in Las Vegas, sorted by price from low to high. El Cortez Hotel & Casino This property dating back to 1941 is the longest continuously-running casino in Las Vegas. Tripadvisor Book El Cortez Hotel & CasinoCategory: BudgetNeighborhood: Downtown Typical starting/peak price: $30/$125Best for: Groups of friends, solo travelers, couplesOn-site amenities: 24-restaurant known for its shrimp cocktail and prime rib, bars with live entertainment, spa, beauty salon, old-school barbershop, casino, sportsbookPros: This is a very budget-friendly option in the heart of the trendy Fremont East District that will be enticing to history buffs. The 1941 era property is the longest continuously-running casino in Las Vegas.Cons: This is an older property that is showing its age. You will either find it charming or hopelessly dated. There's also no pool.Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the El Cortez and its pink neon cursive sign harken back to the early days of Las Vegas. The Spanish Colonial Revival style architecture stands out in a city increasingly defined by steel and glass.Step inside and find a dimly lit casino, a lobby bar with a live piano, and no-frills rooms. Amenities are limited. There's no pool and the retail space is just a small general store.Most people who appreciate the El Cortez do so because they either like the history or the low prices. For something more modern, book a room at the El Cortez Cabana Suites, the 64-room sister property across the street with tufted white headboards, green walls, marble bathrooms, and a fitness center.COVID-19 procedures are available here. Downtown Grand Hotel & Casino Vibrant, bright colors create a tropical look on the aptly named Citrus Pool Deck. Tripadvisor Book Downtown Grand Hotel & CasinoCategory: BudgetNeighborhood: DowntownTypical starting/peak price: $33/$217Best for: Couples, groups of friends, locals On-site amenities: Lively rooftop pool, bars, restaurants, live entertainment, meeting and event spacePros: The 3rd Street location gives easy access to stellar restaurants and the Mob Museum is just across the street. Also, the hotel's rooftop pool has dreamy views come sunset.Cons: The on-site Art Bar, which has paintings hanging from the ceiling, used to be an under-the-radar cocktail lounge, but in recent years, the resort has served continental breakfast there, which feels like a downgrade.Can't decide between the raucous Fremont Street Experience and the slightly more chill East Fremont District? Then try the Downtown Grand, which expertly straddles that line.The recently expanded property (the hotel's 495-room Gallery Tower opened in September 2020) still feels boutique despite the budget price tag. Rooms are simple but comfortable, with white walls, geometric accents, and floor-to-ceiling windows.The real highlight is the Citrus Grand Pool Deck, which was voted the best of Las Vegas' best Downtown hotel pool in 2020. When I first moved to Vegas, I whiled away many a desert afternoon at this rooftop oasis; I love the cocktail program and the city views. COVID-19 procedures are available here. Oasis at Gold Spike Known for its party scene, the pool at Gold Spike is a lively one. Booking.com Book Oasis at Gold SpikeCategory: BoutiqueNeighborhood: DowntownTypical starting/peak price: $35/$149Best for: Groups of friends, solo travelers, young professionalsOn-site amenities: Pool, bike rentals, restaurant, bar, coworking space, fitness center, backyard area with gamesPros: This hotel is vibrant and social. It's not just close to the party; this is the party. Plus, unique rooms include a solar-powered trailer and the penthouse where the 31st season of The Real World was filmed.Cons: This hotel can be very loud (especially on weekends) and rooms are small.Like a lot of things in Downtown Las Vegas, the Oasis at Gold Spike (formerly the Gold Spike Hotel & Casino) used to be a little bit seedy. Now, it's a millennial/Gen Z hangout with a vinyl soundtrack, a coworking space that turns into a house party at night, and 130 hotel rooms. Notably absent: a casino.Staying here is like staying at a deliberately cool hostel, minus the bunk beds. You'll have your own room, but it'll be small and basic, simply a place to crash after staying out all night. Then you'll wake up, grab a cocktail from the 24-hour bar, and hit the pool.The Oasis at Gold Spike is also steps from all of the bars and restaurants on Fremont Street, so there's much to explore within walking distance, although to be honest, on most nights, the best party is right here.COVID-19 procedures are available here. The Plaza Hotel & Casino An iconic mural keeps watch over the pool at this equally iconic hotel. Tripadvisor Book The Plaza Hotel & CasinoCategory: BudgetNeighborhood: DowntownTypical starting/peak price: $39/$145Best for: Groups of friends, couplesOn-site amenities: Rooftop pool with pickleball court, an outdoor equestrian center that hosts rodeos, bingo, bars, restaurants including a steakhouse that was seen in the movie "Casino"Pros: This budget-friendly hotel has a prime Fremont Street location with unique amenities (name another Downtown hotel that hosts the National Finals Rodeo; you can't) and great views.Cons: The Plaza opened in 1971 and despite a $35 million renovation in 2010, the property still shows signs of wear, particularly in guest hallways and rooms. Nearly every Las Vegas local (and many a visitor) has taken a photo beneath the twinkling gold lights at the entrance to The Plaza. This backdrop, like the hotel itself, is classic Las Vegas.The 995-room property excels by leaning into the 70's vintage vibe hard. From the banana-leaf wallpaper at the coffee shop to the retro Palm Springs-inspired rooftop pool lounge, The Plaza will feel like a Killers music video if you're a young traveler (Spoiler: It was actually in a Killers music video) and you will unironically enjoy the bingo, smoky casino, and showgirl-bespeckled carpet.In some places, The Plaza feels retro in all the right ways — the steakhouse overlooking Fremont Street, the colorful pool area — in other places, such as the 325-square-foot Deluxe rooms, it feels dated and spartan. Spring for a renovated room (especially one of the Pool Patio rooms which includes a private covered patio) or request one of the newer Luxe rooms, which come with voice-activated Amazon Echoes.COVID-19 procedures are available here. M Resort Spa & Casino The 100,000 square-foot pool complex has two infinity pools including a family-friendly pool and a separate day club pool that hosts parties. Tripadvisor Book M Resort Spa & CasinoCategory: Luxury Neighborhood: HendersonTypical starting/peak price: $78/$345Best for: Families, localsOn-site amenities: Pool with summer parties, spa, fitness center, restaurants including a steakhouse and artisan bakery, lounge with UFC viewing partiesPros: M Resort has a locally-loved pool and a location that is convenient for activities in the Henderson area. Rooms are quiet and have unique views.Cons: The surrounding area isn't much of a destination — think suburban sprawl.A staycation favorite among locals, M Resort has a 100,000 square-foot pool complex with two infinity pools. There's a family-friendly pool and a separate day club pool that hosts parties that allow guests to have the option of both a party environment and a more mellow one.Because the property is located south of the Strip in the Henderson area, rooms feature unique views. They're modern and luxe, outfitted with floor-to-ceiling windows, power blinds, and raw wooden decor. On-site restaurants are also a bright spot; find everything from a deli to a steakhouse, and a Raiders-themed bar and grill, which is a popular recent addition.The M Resort is not a place to stay if you want to be close to the action of the Strip and Downtown Las Vegas, but odds are if you're choosing this hotel, a respite from the mayhem is what you're seeking.COVID-19 procedures are available here. Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino The pool complex here is expansive, with restaurants, bars, and even a 200,000-gallon shark tank. Tripadvisor Book Golden Nugget Hotel & CasinoCategory: LuxuryNeighborhood: DowntownTypical starting/peak price: $79/$179Best for: Couples, familiesOn-site amenities: Expansive pool complex with a 200,000-gallon shark tank, wide selection of restaurants and bars, nightclub with patio overlooking Fremont Street, spa, salon, fitness center, retail shopsPros: Multiple fine dining options and comfortable rooms make this a great base, and it's also dog-friendly (not as common Downtown as it is on the Strip). Plus, the shark tank with a slide going through it in the pool area is a fun perk.Cons: Golden Nugget is not as budget-friendly as other Fremont Street hotels and the nightclub may not dazzle guests who are used to the Strip's more opulent ones.Before Circa, the Golden Nugget was the correct answer to, "where can I stay Downtown if I like the vibe of the Strip?" The property, which is in the center of the Fremont Street Experience, has marble floors, upscale restaurants, and a large casino.A large number of the rooms were recently renovated (the Carson Tower and Gold Tower rooms were renovated in 2018 and 2015 respectively) and feature neutral decor, comfortable mattresses, and lots of space. The Rush Tower rooms with California King beds and 439-square feet of space are an excellent value (expect to pay $109-$229 approximately). The pool complex is huge, and even has a shark tank with an adjacent water slide.COVID-19 procedures are available here. The Signature at MGM Grand Every room here is a suite with apartment-like features. Tripadvisor Book The Signature at MGM GrandCategory: Luxury Neighborhood: Near StripTypical starting/peak price: $99/$599Best for: Business travelers, couplesOn-site amenities: Pool, spa, fitness center, lounge, cafePros: All rooms are suites with balconies, which is a real rarity in Las Vegas. It's also slightly removed from the Strip while offering easy access to it.Cons: There are very limited on-site food and drink options unless you walk to the adjacent MGM Grand.If you want to be near the Strip without being directly on the Strip, the Signature at MGM Grand is one of the best options you'll find. This non-gaming property, which is less than a mile from the Strip, is connected to the massive playground that is the MGM Grand (you won't even have to go outside to walk to it) but still feels completely separate.The lobby is tranquil and elegant, and rooms come with kitchenettes, separate living room areas, and in some cases, balconies. Upgrade to a Deluxe Balcony Suite to secure one. They also have spacious spa bathrooms with a rainfall shower, a deep soaking tub, and a TV.While sunning on your balcony, don't be surprised if the view is of a rowdy pool party at the nearby Wet Republic Ultra Pool.COVID-19 procedures are available here. Green Valley Ranch Resort Spa and Casino This family-friendly resort is located in one of Las Vegas' most desirable suburbs. Tripadvisor Book Green Valley Ranch Resort Spa and CasinoCategory: LuxuryNeighborhood: HendersonTypical starting/peak price: $99/$500Best for: Families, locals, foodiesOn-site amenities: Pool, spa, salon, arcade, restaurants, bars, fitness center, concert, event spacePros: Family-friendly and Vegas don't always go hand-in-hand, so the kid-friendly amenities such as the Cyber Quest arcade are a nice touch. Also, locally-acclaimed restaurant Pizza Rock has a location here, which is not to be missed.Cons: Guests complain about long check-in times and long distances between parking areas and rooms. The Las Vegas neighborhood of Green Valley is attractive with locals due to its safety, proximity to the Strip (about a 15-20 minute drive), and The District at Green Valley Ranch, an open-air shopping and dining area. Travelers staying at Green Valley Ranch Resort Spa and Casino, which is just a five-minute walk from The District at Green Valley Ranch, will appreciate these same things.The well-manicured property feels as big as some Strip resorts and has a similar scope of amenities too, including high-end restaurants. Italian restaurant Bottiglia offers a lively brunch with bottomless mimosas, Borracha Mexican Cantina has fresh fish tacos, and Tides Oyster Bar has an outstanding fresh seafood selection.The rooms at Green Valley Ranch Resort Spa and Casino are nothing out of the ordinary, with beige and chocolate brown accents and flat-screen televisions, but they're a good value. Just expect to pay more on weekends.COVID-19 procedures are available here. Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, Curio Collection by Hilton Bright, bold rooms are stylish and new and suites are especially spacious. Virgin Hotels Book Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, Curio Collection by HiltonCategory: LuxuryNeighborhood: Near StripTypical starting/peak price: $111/$500Best for: Groups of friends, couples, Hilton loyalistsOn-site amenities: Live music venue, beach club, pool, spa, fitness center, meeting and event space, sportsbook with interactive games, bars, restaurantsPros: The aesthetic throughout the property aims to please, and rooms are bright and modern with just a bit of quirkiness.Cons: Near Strip is definitely not on-Strip. Expect a 25-minute walk to Las Vegas Boulevard if you dare to go on foot. The brand new Virgin Hotels Las Vegas emerged on former the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino site in 2021 and has made a strong case for a pilgrimage away from the Strip. Though, it is a solid mile away from Las Vegas Boulevard.The hotel is colorful and inviting with jewel-toned furniture and bold accent walls. Rooms are white with pops of color and interesting, modern light fixtures. The property also scores major points for embracing its desert location. You'll be greeted with cacti at the entrance, and once inside, you're met with an infusion of color.Dining and drinking feature venues from Todd English and Nobu Matsuhisa, and as long as you aren't counting on an easy stroll to the Strip, this property will impress. COVID-19 procedures are available here. Circa Resort & Casino The epic pool complex dubbed Stadium Swim is a sight to behold. Tripadvisor Book Circa Resort & CasinoCategory: Luxury Neighborhood: Downtown Las VegasTypical starting/peak price: $139/$639Best for: Groups of friends, couples, locals on staycationOn-site amenities: Year-round pool deck with a massive outdoor screen that broadcasts live sports games, swanky 60th-floor rooftop lounge, three-story sportsbook, the longest outdoor bar on Fremont Street, restaurantsPros: Circa opened in 2020 as the first newly-built hotel-casino in Downtown Las Vegas in 40 years, and it shows. Everything feels fresh, from the art installations in the parking garage (which the resort calls Garage Mahal) to sapphire and gold accents in guest rooms. This is a hotel for people who want a luxury Strip resort but in Downtown Las Vegas.Cons: This hotel still comes with a Strip resort price tag; Circa can be pricier than nearby Fremont Street properties.Located on the former site of the Las Vegas Club, Circa dominates the Downtown Las Vegas skyline with an angular design that looks distinctly modern compared to neighboring hotels.The property, owned by locally famous Derek Stevens who also runs the nearby The D Casino and Hotel, is flashy and upscale. For example, there's a display case containing 1,000 ounces of gold on the rooftop lounge and suites come with Balmain products in the bathroom.Instead of one rooftop pool, there are six spread across three levels. Dubbed Stadium Swim, it features six temperature-controlled pools, two swim-up bars, and a 143-foot diagonal, 14-million-megapixel LED screen, always playing the day's biggest sports games and events. Like most Vegas locals, I am partial to Vegas Vickie's, the casino bar that features Vegas Vickie herself, a beloved neon cowgirl who stood watch over Fremont Street for more than three decades. In a hotel that's so intensely modern, it's nice to see this nod to the neighborhood's past. COVID-19 procedures are available here. Red Rock Casino Resort Spa Red Rock's pool complex is serene and lush, lined with palms for ample shade. Hotels.com Book Red Rock Casino Resort SpaCategory: LuxuryNeighborhood: SummerlinTypical starting/peak price: $139/$600Best for: Couples, familiesOn-site amenities: lush pool, upscale restaurants, movie theater, bowling alley, spaPros: This hotel is a convenient jumping-off point for outdoor adventures in Red Rock Canyon, and is within walking distance from shops and restaurants in Downtown Summerlin. Plus, the pool is beautiful.Cons: Red Rock Resort is far from the Strip and Downtown Las Vegas. It can also be expensive.Red Rock Resort and Hotel is a true desert escape, located on the western edge of the city near the soaring cliffs of Red Rock Canyon. One could easily spend a day hiking, rock climbing, or mountain biking in the desert and then return to Red Rock for a spa treatment, a margarita by the palm-shaded pool, or fresh pasta from Osteria Fiorella.Conversely, this is also the kind of upscale hotel that makes it easy to spend an entire weekend without leaving the property. It has everything: great room service, cloud-like beds, views of the desert and the Strip, a nice selection of restaurants, and even a bowling alley and movie theater.The pool, in particular, is one of the best in the city and if you're looking for the opposite of a wild Strip pool party, this tranquil oasis is it. Should you feel inclined to wander, shops, restaurants, and even a weekly farmers market are steps away in Downtown Summerlin. COVID-19 procedures are available here. JW Marriott Las Vegas Resort & Spa The JW Marriott Las Vegas Resort & Spa offers a respite from the desert landscape with abundant greenery. Marriott Book JW Marriott Las Vegas Resort & SpaCategory: LuxuryNeighborhood: SummerlinTypical starting/peak price: $163/$311Best for: Couples, business travelers, golfersOn-site amenities: Pool, spa, fitness center, golf course, restaurants, business services, meeting spacePros: The Mediterranean-inspired landscaping with trees and waterfalls is beautiful and there is a shuttle to a nearby award-winning golf course.Cons: The on-site Rampart Casino feels notably shabby compared to the high-end feel of the resort.Every time I set foot in the JW Marriott Las Vegas Resort & Spa, it's an immediate escape from the harsh desert landscape. The greenery and water features are abundant, making the resort feel like a haven.I also love the restaurants, especially Jade Asian Kitchen which is great for sushi and cocktails, and Hawthorn Grill, which has an amazing waterside patio shrouded with trees.The rooms are simple and elegant with jetted tubs and large workspace areas, making this a good hotel for business travelers. The concierge can help arrange golf reservations and the surrounding Summerlin area is similarly upscale. The nearby Italian-inspired Tivoli Village offers open-air shopping and dining. Red Rock Canyon is also close. COVID-19 procedures are available here. FAQ: Las Vegas hotels What is the best time of year to visit Las Vegas?The shoulder seasons — fall and spring — bring perfect desert weather and are the best time to visit Las Vegas. Expect pleasant, sunny days with highs in the 80s and lows in the 60s. Of these two seasons, fall tends to be quieter, with spring bringing spring break crowds.Despite the very hot weather, summer is very busy and you may see higher room rates during this time. Winter is the least busy season in Las Vegas (except for New Year's Eve) and it can also be surprisingly chilly, so you might not get that pool day.Which off-Strip neighborhood should I choose?Stay Downtown or near the Strip if you want to still experience the casinos, restaurants, bars, and delightful mayhem that makes the city so special. Or choose Downtown if you want to experience historic Las Vegas, Fremont Street, and go where the locals go. Choose near-Strip if you want access to Las Vegas Boulevard without the noise and traffic.If you are traveling for business or with young children (or are sensitive to loud noise) consider the suburbs of Henderson or Summerlin. Henderson has outdoor shopping malls, big box stores, quiet neighborhoods, and nice city parks where families picnic. Summerlin will speak to you if you're the outdoorsy type, as Red Rock Canyon is just a stone's throw away. What is there to do off-Strip in Las Vegas?There's a whole world outside of the Las Vegas Strip (not to mention a couple of million people who call Clark County home). You can browse the shops at the Downtown Container Park, catch an intimate live concert at an East Fremont Street bar, or check out First Friday in the Arts District.Dine at a neighborhood restaurant that rivals the ones on the Strip and hit the trails at Red Rock Canyon, Mt. Charleston, Lake Mead, or Valley of Fire. From art galleries, museums, boutiques and craft cocktail bars to hiking, rock climbing, and kayaking, there's much to explore in Southern Nevada.Why should I stay off-Strip?If you've visited Las Vegas a million times and only ever experience one street, you owe it yourself to see another part of the city at least once. You might also find lower rates, though not at every property. Don't expect to pay less for a room at Red Rock Casino than you would for a room at a budget Strip property like Excalibur.You may also find fewer crowds, less vehicle traffic, less noise, and less price-gouging when you shop, eat, and drink. Whether it's your first or tenth time to Vegas, if any of that appeals to you, consider going off the beaten path.Staying off Strip also balances the experience of Las Vegas Boulevard.  Hike through the stark, wild beauty of the desert complemented by a fancy dinner at a sleek steakhouse. An intimate cocktail bar in the Arts District can serve as a prelude to a crowded evening at a nightclub. Is it worth staying off-Strip in Las Vegas?You can still find all of the classic Las Vegas amenities you love such as pools and poolside bars, spas, casinos, buffets, and sportsbooks, plus other surprising extras, like movie theaters, bowling alleys, kid-focused amenities, and community events.And if you miss the Strip, it's not hard to get there. You can be as close as a half-mile away if you stay near Strip, or as far as 12-15 miles away if you stay in Henderson or Summerlin.Do off-Strip hotels have resort fees?Sadly, you would be hard-pressed to find a hotel in Las Vegas without a resort fee. Every hotel on this list with the exception of Virgin Hotels Las Vegas charges one. Some properties may waive these fees for special promotions (M Resorts is currently offering a no resort fee stay to locals on staycation), but for the most part, you can expect to shell out an extra $20 to $40 on average per night. What are current Las Vegas COVID-19 travel restrictions and protocols? Las Vegas is open, without restrictions involving capacity limits and large gatherings.However, the State of Nevada has mandated that everyone, including fully vaccinated individuals, wear a mask in public indoor settings, including resorts and casinos, restaurants, bars, showrooms, and meeting spaces. Masks are also required on public transportation.Large indoor events also have masks, testing, and vaccination requirements so check before arriving both with local Las Vegas mandates, the Nevada Health Response updates, as well as your individual hotel and destination. How we selected the best off-Strip hotels in Las Vegas As a Las Vegas local travel writer, I'm personally familiar with every hotel on this list and stand behind all of these hotels. I have either stayed at the hotel or have spent significant time exploring the property and the surrounding neighborhood. Hotels are located in desirable Las Vegas neighborhoods, including near-Strip, Downtown, Summerlin, and Henderson. Each hotel holds a TripAdvisor rating of between 3 to 4.5 (the average rating on this list is 4 out of 5) with a high volume of recent honest, unbiased reviews.Rates range between $30 and $163 to start and do not include resort fees. Las Vegas room rates fluctuate based on the season and major events usually drive up prices. Las Vegas room rates tend to fluctuate wildly. On one night a room might be below a hundred dollars, on another night it might be approaching a thousand. This is why value is so key.Standard hotel rooms at each property are known to be comfortable with classic or unique Vegas views.    The hotel features must-have Vegas amenities, such as a pool, great on-site restaurants and bars, a casino, spa, fitness center, plus entertainment offerings, and events.You don't want to stay in a quiet, spa-like environment if you've come to Vegas to party, and you don't want to stay in the middle of a party if you're traveling with small kids. We've noted who we think would enjoy each hotel, such as solo travelers, groups of friends, couples, families, business travelers, and locals on staycations.The hotel keeps guests safe by instituting COVID-19 policies in accordance with the most recent CDC guidelines. More of the best places to stay in Las Vegas Prayitno/Flickr The best Las Vegas luxury hotels on or near the StripThe best cheap hotels in Las VegasThe most incredible hotel suites in Las Vegas for every budgetThe best Las Vegas Airbnbs Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 21st, 2021

Financial Advice To A Recent College Graduate

Whitney Tilson’s email in which he provides financial advice to a recent college graduate. Q2 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more When I was in Yosemite National Park in early August, my friend slipped and mashed his knee, so I took him to the clinic for an X-ray (nothing was broken, fortunately) and a […] Whitney Tilson’s email in which he provides financial advice to a recent college graduate. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Series in PDF Get the entire 10-part series on Charlie Munger in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues. (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q2 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more When I was in Yosemite National Park in early August, my friend slipped and mashed his knee, so I took him to the clinic for an X-ray (nothing was broken, fortunately) and a few stitches. While I was sitting in the waiting room for an hour, I struck up a conversation with a young man whose friend was also getting stitches. I learned that he had just graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno, with a degree in engineering and was looking for a job. When he learned that I was in the investing business, he asked me for advice. Here's what I told him... First, get a job – a real job at a real company where you can put your engineering training to work. Don't even think of trying to start your own business, doing gig work like driving for Uber (NYSE:UBER), or working as a barista at Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX). Then, I summarized the main points from this section of my book, The Art of Playing Defense, and e-mailed him a PDF of the entire book... Loss of Wealth I'll acknowledge that the calamity of losing your wealth is a high-class problem (it can only happen to people who have money!). If you're fortunate enough to have a comfortable income and healthy savings, it might be nice to think about making even more, but it's far more important to make sure you don't lose what you already have. Ironically, the surest, fastest way to get poor quickly is to try to get rich quickly. I've known people who spent their whole lives building up their savings only to lose it all in some crazy, half-baked scheme. Common examples include investing everything in their own new business – or someone else's – and it fails; speculating in penny stocks; day trading stocks or, worse yet, options; or getting duped by some online or phone fraudster. Millions of people are ensnared in these traps every year. Another way to become poor, albeit somewhat more slowly, is to lose a good job and not be able to replace it. Or get divorced – boom, there goes half your wealth, plus expenses usually rise (two homes, less favorable tax treatment, etc.). But the most common way to get into financial trouble is to spend more than you earn (after taxes). What this means is that every year, you need to borrow money to fill the gap – and there are lenders galore who will sell you – at a steep price – all the rope you need to hang yourself: credit-card companies, installment lenders, auto dealers, and so forth. To be clear, certain types of debt are fine. It often makes sense to take out a subsidized student loan for a high-quality education or to buy a reasonably valued house with a fixed-rate, low-interest, tax-deductible mortgage. But otherwise, it's usually best to avoid debt. Our economy and, in particular, our financial system is, in many ways, incredibly predatory. It makes it so easy to spend, luring people into living above their means. It is imperative that you resist this siren song. No matter what your income, figure out a way to live within it. Develop Good Financial Habits If you want to build wealth and live comfortably someday, you need to develop good financial habits. A 1996 book called The Millionaire Next Door shaped my thinking on this topic. The authors refuted many misconceptions about financial success, chiefly the idea that to become wealthy, you have to inherit money or have a high-paying job like a Wall Street banker, celebrity, or professional athlete. Instead, the authors discovered that the most common job among millionaires was running a small private business. The second most common was a professional like a doctor or teacher. But, in a fascinating finding, it turned out that income level was only moderately predictive of whether someone would become a millionaire. More important was whether someone lived beneath their means, year in and year out. In their survey of millionaires, the factor that most closely correlated to whether someone was a millionaire was whether they answered "yes" to the question: "Is your spouse more frugal than you are?" Doctors, on average, earn quite a bit more than teachers. Yet, relative to their income, they are less likely to become millionaires because they tend to spend all – or more than all – of their high incomes on big houses in upscale neighborhoods, new cars, country club memberships, fancy vacations, private schools, and so forth. Meanwhile, teachers are far more likely to become millionaires than their incomes would predict because they tend to live frugally. My parents, both teachers, are perfect examples. They can squeeze a dollar until it screams. Growing up, we almost never went out to eat – going to Friendly's once a month was such a treat! My mom clipped dozens of coupons from the circular in the Sunday paper, and when she came home from the supermarket, would crow about how much she'd saved. And she bought most of our clothes at second-hand stores. She still tells my sister and me that our costly educations were funded by her thriftiness. We never had a new car. My dad is a good mechanic, so we always bought 10-year-old cars that he would nurse along for years. I remember in the 1980s when we lived in western Massachusetts, we had a beaten-up 1960s vintage Mercedes. Its heater had stopped working long ago, which was a big problem during the bitterly cold winters. But no matter – we all bundled up in our down jackets and used de-icer spray on the inside of the windows. Similarly, Warren Buffett, despite being one of the wealthiest men in the world, is still very frugal. He could afford to live in a massive estate, but instead has lived in the same house for 61 years! When he first started flying in a private jet, he felt so embarrassed that he nicknamed it "The Indefensible." Save and Invest Once you've developed good financial habits and are saving money every year, you need to invest your savings wisely. The good news is that it's not hard. First, max out your retirement plan(s) like an IRA or 401(k) – especially if your employer will match at least some portion of it (this is free money – take it!). Tax-deferred savings are much more valuable than taxable ones because you won't have to pay taxes on your realized gains each year. The difference over time is enormous. Also, because there's a penalty for taking the money out before you're 65 years old, you're less likely to do something stupid with it. Ideally, set up automatic withholding from your paycheck into your IRA (or another retirement fund) – this makes it easier to save because you never see the money. Then, set up a plan such that the moment the money hits your account, it's automatically invested in an S&P 500 Index fund. (If you want to set aside some money to invest on your own, that's fine – sign up for my newsletters at Empire Financial Research to help you do so – but index most of it.) Finally – this is key – don't look at it! Just let it build, year after year, decade after decade. Whatever you do, don't panic during times of market turmoil and sell – just about everybody who does this has terrible timing, selling at exactly the wrong time (for example, in March 2009 or 2020). Consider the extreme case of my sister, who had a retirement account at her old employer, then switched jobs – and forgot about it! Years later, she remembered it – and discovered hundreds of thousands of dollars (!) because she'd done everything right up front: her employer automatically withdrew the maximum retirement contribution from her paycheck and then invested all of it in an S&P 500 Index fund. When my parents moved to Africa 24 years ago, first to Ethiopia and then, nine years later, to Kenya, where they've since retired, I took charge of their financial affairs. Though neither of them had ever had a big salary, they had both worked for their entire careers, earned decent incomes, and lived super frugally. As a result, they had built up a nest egg of around $800,000. But they were much too conservative in how they'd invested it. Though they were still in their mid-fifties and would likely work another 15 years and live into their nineties, their savings were mostly in cash and bonds – an allocation more appropriate for eighty-year-olds. So I put a third of their savings into my hedge fund and another third into an index fund, such that two-thirds of their savings were in stocks. It was the right call. Two decades later, they're in their late-seventies, and their net worth is multiples of what it once was. They're comfortably retired – though you wouldn't know it from how frugal they still are. When they came back to the U.S. for a couple of months last summer, as they do every year, my mom refused to get a SIM card for her Kenya cell phone that would allow her to make and receive calls, get her e-mail, etc., because it cost too much: one dollar per day! Best regards, Whitney P.S. I welcome your feedback at WTDfeedback@empirefinancialresearch.com. Updated on Sep 21, 2021, 10:30 am (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkSep 21st, 2021

Schools often use AI to find students in crisis - one software-monitoring company reported 5,000 self-harm situations in a single week

Schools often use controversial AI software to detect kids at risk of self-harm, but some say these programs violate students' privacy. Thousands of schools use AI to monitor students' communications and web searches. gremlin/Getty Images Schools often use AI to detect students at risk of self-harm, violence against others, and bullying. Some worry these programs violate students' privacy and freedom to use the internet, WSJ reports. One AI company said it detected 5,000 self-harm or suicide situations among students in a single week. See more stories on Insider's business page. As students head back to school, school districts across the country are using artificial-intelligence programs to monitor their communications and web searches to detect those at risk of self-harm, bullying, violence, and other mental health issues, a report from the Center for Democracy and Technology said.While surveillance programs in schools are widespread - 71% of teachers in the CDT survey said their schools used monitoring software - critics say the use of these programs can infringe on students' privacy and can lead to a slippery slope if schools begin to use the AI for reasons like discipline, instead of harm prevention.The software typically scans for certain key words and phrases on school-issued devices and alerts an administrator when it finds a targeted key phrase, The Wall Street Journal reported. The administrator can determine if the alert is credible and choose to notify parents or intervene with the student, according to the Journal.Bark, a monitoring company used by 2,900 school districts, told the Journal it detected 5,000 self-harm or suicide situations in a single week. The San Marcos Unified School District, which uses the monitoring software Lightspeed, told the Journal that it recieved five credible alerts about self-harm during the first week of school alone.In one case, the software notified the school about a student who wrote that they wanted to die in a diary kept on a Google Doc. Campbell said the school notified the child's parents, who then got help for their child. According to a survey by The Harris Poll, children's mental health has declined throughout the pandemic, with parents of school-age children reporting increased rates of constant worrying, frequent sadness, and nervous habits among their children.Though monitoring programs attract criticism from privacy and security experts, 66% of teachers agreed that the benefits of online monitoring outweighed the risks, and 50% of students reported they were comfortable with the use of monitoring software, according to the CDT survey.However, Chad Marlow, a privacy expert at the American Civil Liberties Union, told The Guardian in 2019 that there isn't any evidence to suggest that surveilling students will make them safer. While many student surveillance companies in the $3 billion-a-year school security industry promote their programs through anecdotal evidence and self-collected data, there hasn't been an independent analysis of whether surveillance actually reduces rates of violence or self-harm among students. The widespread awareness of monitoring software has already changed student behavior and made it more difficult to spot the harmful behavior the monitoring programs try to detect. Six in ten students said they don't share their true thoughts online since they know they're being monitored, and 80% said they were more careful about their online searches because they know their activity is monitored, the CDT report said. Around 60% of teachers and parents in the CDT survey said that monitoring software could cause long-term harm if information collected was used for discipline or shared out of context, and around 50% said monitoring could have unintended negative consequences for LGBTQ students.According to a study by the Brennan Center for Justice, schools spent $1 million in 2018 on monitoring students' social media. Social-media monitoring can be particularly dangerous for students of color, who are often more likely to be disproportionately punished by schools, the study noted. "Overall, research shows that as school security measures proliferate, students often feel less safe," the Brennan Center report said. "And overbroad and unnecessary surveillance is likely to have a detrimental impact on students' privacy and chill their ability to express themselves."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 21st, 2021

Home-Based Business: Why Working for Yourself is a Great Idea?

The year 2020 left us numbed with a whole new share of problems. If there is one thing to learn from living through lockdowns and pandemics, it’s that a lot can change in a year. We came to know ourselves, to better understand what we’re truly capable of and why acquiring new skills even in […] The year 2020 left us numbed with a whole new share of problems. If there is one thing to learn from living through lockdowns and pandemics, it’s that a lot can change in a year. We came to know ourselves, to better understand what we’re truly capable of and why acquiring new skills even in our 30s is still a viable and normal way of coping with the “new normalcy.” The year 2021 taught us something different. Namely, that we’re capable of making challenging decisions no matter the outcome. Starting a home-based business account is one of those bold choices, and we’ve got all the reasons to do so. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get Our Activist Investing Case Study! Get the entire 10-part series on our in-depth study on activist investing in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or print it out to read anywhere! Sign up below! (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q2 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Many of us dream of becoming our “own boss,” taking the plunge and starting a business. While it may be a daunting thought to battle, if you consider the success of nearly 28.8 million small businesses throughout the US alone, you will reach the conclusion that starting a business is a lot easier than it used to be. The truth is you don’t necessarily have to find a “real job” to move on with your life. Believe it or not, there are plenty of ways to earn by working on your own terms than people think. Here are a few reasons why you should start your home-based business today. Your Business, Your Schedule If you’re sick and tired of being told what to do and when to do it, then starting your own business might give you the time flexibility you’ve always dreamed of. Stay up late, sleep in, work half days, or take off every Friday – it’s up to you. The bad news? Not that bad, unless you’re committed to working harder and better, as the early days of your business will be the busiest. However, you will eventually gain more free time as you progress and learn to delegate tasks more efficiently. Need more time for your family? Having your own business means you don’t need to request time off for emergencies and other personal matters. It’s way more convenient when it comes to time, but you may still need to put in long hours, especially when getting your business up and running, Turn Your Passion into Profit Fond of baking or cooking? Why not take the leap and build yourself a home-based bakery? There’s no wrong passion. If you want to fulfil your dream of being a professional baker, there’s no better time to start than now. Of course, like with anything in life, starting from scratch is a long road ahead, not to mention the many responsibilities that come with managing a business. As a food-industry business, you’re exposed to risks. In the insurance world, that means your business operation has the potential to cause something bad to happen to someone - or something. There’s also a chance that someone or something else could cause your business harm. There are loads of examples of risks for bakeries, including property damage, trip and fall accidents, food poisoning, and more. In fact, many risks involved with running a bakery result in something getting broken, someone getting hurt and something getting stolen- usually your bakery equipment. Suppose your business were to be sued for an accident, in that case, you could face thousands of dollars for damages, injuries and more. But that’s where bakers insurance can help. If you’re ready to start your home-based bakery, you should, by all means, consider purchasing bakery insurance. That’s yours to take, which means you have to be fully committed to these responsibilities without compromising your passion. We tend to be passionate about things we’re good at; we relish activities that come naturally to us. However, being good at something you’re passionate about isn’t always enough to create a successful business. The most successful entrepreneurs take their passion and build on it by learning, developing, and cultivating their skills. To feed your passion and make a business out of it, you need to commit to continually improving your experience and skills so you are always moving forward and growing your passion. Become an Expert in Your Field Why wait for someone to give you a chance to be the best at something you’re passionate about when you can create your own opportunity? As the old saying goes, “Do one thing and do it well” rather than wasting your time and money on big ideas that carry little weight. However, becoming an expert takes time. Considerable amounts of time. But many professionals already pour lots of sweat and dedication into becoming an expert in their field. Therefore, in order to build and maintain your expert position and help your business grow, you should dedicate some time for: Studying – Successful entrepreneurs are also students for life. Keep reading books, attend online and offline education webinars or lessons, attend conferences, seminars events, consider networking events. Practicing – Practices make perfect, and you know it. Extending your network of connections in your field and practicing things you learned in your study time. Presenting – An important part of being an expert is learning to share your expertise and finding relevant people. Today, there are many ways to share your knowledge through blogs, articles, eBooks, podcasts, and videos. Enjoy Less Competition Many businesses that started 2020 on the right foot have closed their doors due to the pandemic. Others that managed to stay on top are just now strategizing. The good news? These businesses' gaps left in the market should be seen as opportunities for startups and small businesses to thrive. More often than not, entrepreneurs start businesses when they are up and flourishing, and few will consider 2021 the year to start a business as the world resuscitates itself after a pandemic that wreaked havoc through our economies. For business owners, having fewer competitors means one less thing to stress about. Give Back to the Community Our world is riffed with problems. And more often than not, a lack of funding causes problems. A small business would put you in place to do something about the issues you see and care about in your community. You could even become a social entrepreneur and focus your effort on social value. The world needs valuable people, and you could easily become one who could help young people through challenging times or start a business to assist single parents. Usually, when you focus on doing good instead of making a profit, everyone wins. Last but certainly not least, you will be able to achieve the goals and dreams you had about financial freedom and being able to be your own boss. Updated on Sep 20, 2021, 12:41 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkSep 21st, 2021