Latest Blogposts

  • It’s rare that a CEO retires at the end of a long career and then starts working with a company looking to disrupt the business whence he came. It would be kind of like a former top GM executive helping out Telsa. But that’s just what John Mack, former CEO of Morgan Stanley and former co-CEO of Credit Suisse, is doing on the board of Lending Club (LC), a hot Silicon Valley start up that’s connecting investors directly to borrowers and bypassing the banks. In a recent interview with Yahoo Finance Editor-in-Chief Andy Serwer, Mack, 70, says he’s seen all manner of change in his 45-year career on Wall Street, but never as much as right now.

    “I think what I would be worried about if I were still involved in the financial business—at least the investment banking business—is what is technology going to do to investment banking,” Mack says. “There are going to be changes. It will not be business as usual.”

    Mack points to a generational shift and to the young entrepreneurs who are focusing

    Read More »from From Morgan Stanley to Lending Club: John Mack's unusual career path
  • Marijuana K-cups and coffee pods are here

    Cup of coffee (Thinkstock)Cup of coffee (Thinkstock)

    Making cannabis coffee is now as simple as inserting a pod and pushing a button.

    In Seattle, Uncle Ike’s Pot Shop sells pods of Catapult “premium infused coffee” for $10 each. The pods work in standard, single-serve coffee makers and contain 10 mg of THC, a quantity of marijuana's active ingredient that's becoming something of a standard serving for marijuana edibles.

    “I liken it to a Red Bull and vodka,” Uncle Ike’s sales manager Jennifer Lanzador said. “I had more energy, but I still had the relaxation you get from cannabis.” 

    Uncle Ike’s began its foray into the pot coffee business by selling loose grounds sourced from a local manufacturer, but pods are quickly becoming big sellers, she said.

    James Hull, whose Vancouver, Wash.-based Fairwinds Manufacturing, makes the infused coffee sold at Uncle Ike's, said pods now account for about 60% of his company's coffee sales.

    Meanwhile, several startups also are trying to break into the cannabis coffee space.

    Two of them — Ed Rosenthal’s

    Read More »from Marijuana K-cups and coffee pods are here
  • $1 million is no longer enough to retire on

    You have to get rich these days just to finance a comfortable retirement.

    That’s the conclusion financial advisors are increasingly coming around to, as they gauge the direction of the economy in a strange new world of glacial growth and super-low interest rates. “Twenty years ago, someone with a million bucks would have said, ‘that’s great, I can draw down $100,000 a year, I’ll be just fine,’” Jim McCaughan, CEO of Principal Global Investors, tells me in the video above. “But now, with very low rates, the problem of funding a retirement is much more difficult.”

    Retirees don’t need to be told that low rates have cut sharply into the returns on fixed-income investments. But they may need to rethink how to prepare for what might happen in the future. Many investors are waiting for interest rates to go back up, once the Federal Reserve starts hiking short-term rates later this year or early next year. Meanwhile, the Fed is gradually winding down its vast “quantitative easing” program,

    Read More »from $1 million is no longer enough to retire on
  • Your attention span is shorter than a goldfish's

    You need to pay attention to this. The question is, can you?

    New brain research from Microsoft (MSFT) finds the human attention span is now down to a mere eight seconds-- one second less than a goldfish!

    The study, which surveyed 2000 Canadians plus looked at electroencephalograms (EEG) of 112 more, points out that 15 years ago, our attention span was 12 seconds…but by 2013 it had fallen by four seconds.

    So why the decline? Our electronic gadgets.

    Microsoft says:

    Overall, digital lifestyles deplete the ability to remain focused on a single task, particularly in non-digital environments.

    The findings come as no surprise to Yahoo Finance’s Jen Rogers.

    “I do feel smartphones and all technology has changed the way that I concentrate,” she says. “I think it’s interesting that Microsoft wants to use this information for advertisers and commercial purposes, like how to capitalize on the fact we can’t pay attention to anything.”

    Yahoo Finance Senior Columnist Michael Santoli thinks

    Read More »from Your attention span is shorter than a goldfish's
  • IBM's hacking database takes off with banks, retailers

    IBM's (IBM) new cyberthreat data sharing project has attracted more than 1,000 companies in its first month, but the private sector effort doesn't reduce the need for new laws to encourage further sharing, IBM officials said.

    IBM's X-Force Exchange lets participants anonymously share information about hacking attempts and access IBM's 20 years of accumulated data. Participants include 5 of the 10 largest global banks and six of the 10 largest retailers, IBM said. Both industries have been hard hit by hackers -- last year crooks stole data on 83 million accounts from JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and 56 million credit card accounts from Home Depot (HD).

    Security experts have long advised companies to share data about hacking attacks so countermeasures can be developed more quickly. But antitrust, liability and privacy concerns have hampered those efforts even as Congress is considering legislation to create a safe harbor for some data sharing.

    "We’re very optimistic that hopefully we’ll start to

    Read More »from IBM's hacking database takes off with banks, retailers
  • College enrollment is dropping as Millennials head back to work, which is squeezing revenues in the educational sector.

    A new report finds that spring college enrollment dropped nearly 2% from last year. According to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, community colleges and for-profit institutions were among the hardest hit, with rates falling 3.9% and 4.9% respectively.

    Much of the declines in enrollment stemmed from adults 25 and older choosing to enter the workforce rather than pursue a degree. Meanwhile, the number of students attending college straight out of high school was unchanged.

    “The stronger job market is pulling in the more marginal college students,” says Yahoo Finance Senior Columnist Michael Santoli. “A degree [would] be something they thought could get them to a job. They don't necessarily need to take that step.”

    Get the Latest Market Data and News with the Yahoo Finance App

    For-profit institutions have come under intense government scrutiny over

    Read More »from College enrollment drops as Millennials re-enter workforce
  • Big banks pay up, Dish Network exclusive and short attention spans

    We have green arrows across the board (^DJI, ^GSPC, ^IXIC) today but a real breakout of the range-bound trade that has been the theme of 2015 will have to wait.

    Get the Latest Market Data and News with the Yahoo Finance App

    Here are some of the other stories that Yahoo Finance is keeping an eye on today.

    Big banks set to pay up
    Several big banks - JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Citigroup (C), Barclays (BCS) and the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), are ready to plead guilty to felony fraud and anti-trust charges but it seems no one is headed to jail.

    Frequent flier expansion
    Good news for frequent flyers...maybe. A new survey finds airlines worldwide are making a greater percentage of seats available for travelers to buy with frequent flyer miles. Among the U.S. carriers, Southwest (LUV) is number 1...followed by JetBlue (JBLU), Alaska Air (ALK), United (UAL) and American (AAL).

    Dish Network to expand into wireless
    Dish Network (DISH) is planning a big challenge to communications giants such as

    Read More »from Big banks pay up, Dish Network exclusive and short attention spans
  • Apple grows, Kohl's stalls and Puma Biotech tumbles

    Time for your daily dose of trending tickers, the stocks you're following based on your Yahoo Finance ticker searches.

    Apple

    The worlds largest company by market cap just got a little bigger. Shares of Apple (AAPL) popped 1% on Thursday after UBS said iPhone sales should continue to smash records. In a new research note, analysts said in the second quarter Apple will sell about 51 million units, that's much more than the consensus Street estimates of 45 million. UBS cited strong demand in China as one of the catalysts behind the gains.

    Kohl’s

    'No sale' for Kohl's (KSS). Investors sent shares 11% lower after Kohl's missed same-store sales for the first quarter. The department store giant blamed the cold winter for sales rising just 1.4%, which was much less than analysts' expectations of 2.6%.

    Get the Latest Market Data and News with the Yahoo Finance App

    Puma Biotech

    Shares of Puma Biotech (PBYI) are running but in the wrong direction. The stock tumbled nearly 20% today after

    Read More »from Apple grows, Kohl's stalls and Puma Biotech tumbles
  • Here’s a look at some of the stocks the Yahoo Finance team will be tracking for you today.

    Shake Shack (SHAK) shares are soaring in early trading. The boutique burger joint raised it revenue outlook for the year after serving up a surprise first quarter adjusted profit of $0.04 a share, that was much better than the $0.03 per share loss analysts' were expecting. Revenue also topped estimates with sales jumping 56% from a year earlier thanks to strong same-store sales growth.

    Kohl's (KSS) shares are falling this morning. The department store chain posting weaker-than-expected same-store sales growth due to the cold February in the first quarter. That weighed on revenue which slightly missed forecasts, but earnings per share came in way above analysts' estimates. 

    Get the Latest Market Data and News with the Yahoo Finance App

    J.C. Penney (JCP) shares are on the move in early trading. The department store chain's turnaround efforts may be showing some encouraging signs. Penney's raised

    Read More »from Shake Shack soars; Kohl's gets clobbered; Penney raises sales outlook
  • 'Money dates' could save your marriage

    “Budgeting leads to fights, leads to stress, leads to confusion,” according to David Bach, New York Times best selling author of “Smart Couples Finish Rich." He recommends ‘throwing the budget out!"

    Research repeatedly shows financial disagreements between couples are a key predictor of divorce. So - it's no surprise, financial advisors typically talk about developing detailed budgets. But David Bach disagrees.

    Drawing from his 23 years of experience as a financial advisor and now as the vice chairman at financial planning firm, Edelman Financial Services, Bach assures “our clients who have built real wealth, about half a million dollars or more, they did not get there from budgeting.”

    Instead of budgeting, Bach advises couples to go on a ‘money date,’ which he admits may not sound very romantic but can help make the couple happier. Bach suggests going on a ‘money date’ at least once a month to get a good grasp of the family’s financial picture and making sure your goals are aligned -

    Read More »from 'Money dates' could save your marriage
  • Stocks rally at open; Shake Shack sizzles; Walmart vs Amazon

    Wall Street in an upbeat mood after struggling a bit the past few days.  Stocks (^GSPC) heading higher as investors weigh better-than-expected news on jobs and some surprising headlines on inflation.

    Yahoo Finance Senior Columnist Michael Santoli feels the Labor Department's report showing weekly jobless claims fell to 264,000 is further indication the job market is strong.

    "It really is plumbing the low end of the range and as an overall percentage of the size of the working-age population, really low," he says. "I think a lot of people are looking at -- not too long in the future -- a sub-5% unemployment rate if this continues."

    However, the government's gauge of wholesale inflation--the Producer Price Index-- showed a decline of 0.4% last month.

    "It seems as if we're getting some more deflationary noises," Santoli adds. "We have to see how the bond market reacts, bond yields have been lifting.  And if we get a little reprieve from that, you're going to start to hear people say the

    Read More »from Stocks rally at open; Shake Shack sizzles; Walmart vs Amazon
  • Parents can spy on teens' smartphones, but should they?

    Kids today face a host of dangers that didn't exist as prior generations came of age. Whether it's sexting, cyberbullying or overly accessible and highly inappropriate content (aka porn), kids are faced with a whole new array of potentially risky behaviors, many just a click or text away on the ubiquitous smartphone.

    What's a modern parent to do? Ameeta Jain, the LA mom of teenagers and co-founder of Teensafe, thinks the answer lies in technology. Competing against a host of similar apps and services, the $15-per-month Teensafe program lets parents keep tabs on their kids' smartphone activities in detail.

    Subscribing parents can see texts sent, received or deleted by their kids, as well as online web surfing and activity in many apps popular with teens like Whatsapp and Instagram. The app also shows the location of the child's phone at all times.

    Parents, of course, still have to log in to Teensafe's web dashboard regularly to check up on their children's activities. And if there's

    Read More »from Parents can spy on teens' smartphones, but should they?
  • 'Now-or-never' fear drives corporate deal boom

    In real estate they call it the fence-sitter phenomenon. People who have long considered buying a house finally pull the trigger as mortgage rates climb a bit from low levels. The psychology seems to be: “I better lock in this deal while I can.” We might be seeing a similar pattern play out among corporate CEOs, who could soon choose to jump into the busy M&A game as they see borrowing rates turning higher.

    Corporate mergers and acquisitions are already running near a record pace globally. But relative to the total value of the stock market, deal-making volumes still have plenty of room to rise to match the pairing-up frenzy of prior bull market cycles.

    The necessary conditions for lots more M&A have been in place for a while: Cash-rich big companies, generous debt markets, sturdy equity valuations and a mature economic cycle that has many corporate lever-pullers seeking to buy growth after years spent buying back their own stock.

    Yet with Treasury yields lifting and threatening to

    Read More »from 'Now-or-never' fear drives corporate deal boom
  • Banks helping rich unlock value in artwork

    You know what the rich are doing with their money? They’re putting it on the wall and then taking it off again. Art sales are through the roof with a recent, top tier contemporary art auction at Christie’s generating more than $1 billion alone.

    Evan Beard, of the Deloitte Art & Finance Group says financial institutions are well aware of the trend and the profit potential it presents. “It’s a big trend in the industry,” he said to Mike Santoli of Yahoo Finance.

    And it’s developing in many ways. “First there are private bank loans,” Beard said. They typically make these kinds of loans for relationship enhancement purposes.

    “Also auction houses are extending credit to buyers,” Beard added, “on the hopes that when the artwork is put up for sale, it will come through them.”

    And then there are true art loans. “In these cases the value of the loan is based on the underlying value of the actual collateral.” In all cases, the loans allow ultra-high net worth individuals who collect art to free

    Read More »from Banks helping rich unlock value in artwork
  • Dish Network (DISH) is planning to become the only provider to offer wireless voice, video and data services, Yahoo Finance has learned. 

    The No. 2 U.S. satellite television provider shocked the wireless industry earlier this year when it scored almost half of the spectrum licenses offered in a U.S. government auction. Other players were more traditional telecommunications providers, such as AT&T (T), Verizon Communications (VZ) and T-Mobile (TMUS).  Dish is estimated to own about $50 billion in wireless spectrum, according to Bloomberg.

    Now, the Englewood, Colorado-based company’s ambitions are coming into clearer focus. A document obtained by Yahoo indicates Dish is seeking a chief marketing officer to help guide its move into the fiercely competitive wireless space.

    [Get the Latest Market Data and News with the Yahoo Finance App]

    “We are preparing for something big,” the document said, later proclaiming, “This is an incredibly exciting time in our history. We have reinvented

    Read More »from Exclusive: Dish plans ‘big’ foray into wireless business, document says

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