CNN Poll: Trump approval slides, matches lowest point of presidency

President Donald Trump’s approval rating in a new CNN poll conducted by SSRS stands at 35%, down five points over the last month to match his lowest level yet.


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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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This Guy Had a Crippling $26K in Credit Card Debt. Here’s How He’s Paying It Down


On a Saturday night this past January, Nick and his girlfriend Leigh cozied up next to her fireplace and commenced a solemn “credit-card-cutting ceremony.”

Between the duo rested a stack of plastic cards and a bottle of Champagne leftover from New Year’s.

As Nick (who asked that we omit his last name) cut each card, his girlfriend offered words of encouragement — how one day he’d be able to buy a house, invest money, give back.

For Nick, 27, these financial goals have felt far out of reach.

At 18, he was roped into opening his first credit card. Over the years, he spiraled into about $ 26,500 worth of debt.

“I felt like I was drowning,” he says. “I was able to make monthly payments, but every time I did, the majority of the payments were going to interest charges.”

Hoping to fix the problem, he attempted to consolidate his debt. But each time, he was denied a loan. Until he read about Upstart, a lending platform founded by former Google employees that offers what it calls “smarter loans” through partnership with participating banks.

Rather than solely judging borrowers on their credit scores (though it does require a 620 credit score), Upstart’s underwriting model can incorporate factors such as education, area of study and work history to better understand a borrower and their propensity to repay a loan.

Nick took a shot and applied for an Upstart loan. Within 40 minutes, he was approved. Less than two hours later, Upstart initiated a transfer of funds. His loan funds would be available to him the next business day.

Cue the ceremonial credit-card cutting — because he vows to never let credit card debt take over his life again.

How This Guy Plans to Pay off $ 26K in Credit Card Debt

The more than $ 26,000 in debt Nick managed to collect was mostly from his younger, more financially reckless years, when he’d buy the latest and greatest electronics or take vacations and spend too much money.

“I completely misused [credit cards] and was not financially responsible at all,” he says.

Within 10 years of opening his first credit card, he owed six creditors a lot of money. His total monthly minimum payments hovered around $ 800. Much of that went toward interest and fees.

For example, one card called for a $ 160 minimum payment, but only $ 65 of that went toward the principal.

“How crazy is that?” he says. “I felt as if I was going nowhere, simply spinning my wheels in the mud, truly not able to make any momentum.”

He’d attempted to refinance with several lenders, hoping a loan with a lower interest rate would help him gain some traction. But each time he applied, he was denied.

Then he read about Upstart on The Penny Hoarder. It was the story we told about Kelsey Buxton, who found herself in a similar situation, with about $ 22,000 in credit card debt. Because Nick related all too well, he felt like he had a chance.

He applied for the loan, and the process moved forward quickly. He rattles off email timestamps:

  • Upstart sends confirmation that it received his application at 11:53 a.m. Jan. 8.
  • At 12:33 p.m. that same day, an email indicating his loan approval popped into his inbox.
  • Then, at 2:10 p.m. — only a few hours later — Upstart let him know it had initiated the transfer of funds into his account.
  • When he woke up Jan. 9, sure enough, the loan was in his account, and he immediately began making payments toward his credit cards.

“It was such a relief — like a giant weight had been lifted off my shoulders,” he says.

This new loan meant Nick could go from paying a minimum of $ 800 a month to a minimum of $ 667, thanks to the difference in interest. With his credit cards, he was paying up to 24% in interest. His new loan boasted a 19% interest rate.

Rather than blowing that extra $ 133 a month, though, he  puts it toward his five-year loan, which means he’ll be able to pay the loan off in about three and a half years — at most. His job also allows for overtime, so he plans to put some extra time in and put any additional income toward the loan.

“Truly, my goal is to have this loan paid off at around two and a half years,” he says. “I think I am on my way!”

Additionally, he has vowed to never slip into credit card debt again. That’s helped by cutting up all his cards — except one he keeps locked in a safe, only for emergencies.

Upstart Loans Review: He Has Renewed Hope

Nick says he can finally see a light at the end of the tunnel.

He is able to more aggressively pay off his credit card debt through his Upstart loan, and his credit score through Experian has increased from 630 to 742. He suspects it’ll only continue to increase as he pays his debt down.

Nick feels thankful for Upstart — and that it took a chance on him.

His less than perfect credit score didn’t mean he wasn’t capable of taking strides to get his finances in order. Instead, Upstart’s technology analyzed other factors, like his job history in public service and his education, an associate degree.

“It has shown a light at the end of a dark, treacherous, financially disappointing [tunnel],” he says. “I finally feel like I’m moving forward.”

As soon as Nick pays off his credit cards, he wants to purchase a house.

“Upstart has provided me the opportunity to dream about my future without lingering credit card debt.”

How to Apply for an Upstart Loan

We send a genuine thank you to Nick, who emailed us about a week after his loan approval to share his story.

“I really want to be able to give others hope, like I was given,” he says. “I thought I was never going to be able to get out of debt.”

If you’re curious, you can get a free quote from Upstart within minutes. Checking your rate won’t affect your credit score.

Simply navigate to Upstart and select your goal. Do you want to pay off credit card debt like Nick did? Tackle student loans? Pay for personal expenses, like medical bills or rent?

You’ll enter some basic information on the rate check form: how much you wish to borrow ($ 1,000 to $ 50,000), your name, address, highest level of education and primary source of income.

There are no prepayment penalties, so you can take strides to pay your loan ahead of time, like Nick.

Learn more about Upstart and secure a free quote all online.

This story is a reflection of one individual’s experience and doesn’t necessarily reflect the experience of all applicants.

Carson Kohler (carson@thepennyhoarder.com) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. If an Upstart loan has renewed your financial hope, she’d love to hear from you.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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NFL players will try working retail at the NBA store

Shoppers at the NBA store in Manhattan might be surprised on Tuesday to find six professional football players working the cash register, making custom jerseys and tidying up the store. Chicago Bears running back Jordan Howard and the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Josh Dobbs are among the players who will be there. They are participating in…
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With $116 billion cash, Buffett says Berkshire needs ‘huge’ deals

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Warren Buffett on Saturday lamented his inability to find big companies to buy and said his goal is to make “one or more huge acquisitions” of non-insurance businesses to bolster results at his conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway Inc.


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Fed sees economy past full employment but with only ‘moderate’ wage gains

Fed policymakers see an economy that may be past full employment, market prices that are high and overall growth that continues to gather steam.
Economy

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Bank of America takes aim at gun-making clients

Feb 24 (Reuters) – Bank of America Corp on Saturday
became the latest financial heavyweight to take aim at
gunmakers, saying it would ask clients who make assault rifles
how they can help end mass shootings like last week’s massacre
at a Florida high school.


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Yes, Uber Really Is Killing the Parking Business

An email from the CEO of a national parking operator has added some detail to the impact ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft are having on demand for parking. The picture, at least for those trying to rent you a parking spot, is bleak.

In the email, unearthed from a company report by the San Diego Union-Tribune, Ace Parking CEO John Baumgardner says that demand for parking at hotels in San Diego has dropped by 5 to 10%, while restaurant valet demand is down 25%. The biggest drop, unsurprisingly, has been at nightclubs, where demand for valet parking has dropped a whopping 50%.

The numbers appear to be estimates, and Baumgardner doesn’t describe a timeframe for the declines. The assessment, written in September of last year, is also limited to San Diego, though an Ace Parking executive told the Union-Tribune that it has seen “similar” declines at its 750 parking operations around the United States. The company is focused on using technology, including better parking scheduling and booking options, to remain healthy.

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But much more is at stake than the revenues of the parking business – cities stand to benefit immensely as demand for parking drops. Parking spaces and lots generate relatively little tax revenue or economic activity relative to commercial operations, and by increasing sprawl may actually harm the economy of cities like Los Angeles.

Even back in 2015, cities were already relaxing zoning requirements that set minimum parking allotments, and there are now even more signs that city planners are thinking differently about parking. Perhaps most dramatically, a new Major League Soccer stadium being planned for David Beckham’s Miami expansion team may include no new parking at all – but will have designated pickup zones for Uber and Lyft.

The decline of parking will only be accelerated if and when autonomous vehicles become widespread. That sea-change which will make it easier to locate parking at a distance from urban destinations, and could further reduce car ownership. That will be bad news for the Ace Parkings of the world – but everyone else should welcome the decline of the urban parking lot.

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Democratic intelligence memo released with redactions

The House Intelligence Committee has released the Democratic memo.


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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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This Study Says Maintaining a Home Costs $2,000/Year. Here’s How to Save


I’ve been a renter my entire adult life, but lately I’ve been itching to buy my first home.

When I bring the topic up with fellow renting friends, I’m always hit with the same argument.

If you’re renting and something goes wrong, you can just call your landlord to fix it.

Though all renters aren’t immune to home maintenance costs, homeowners particularly feel the pain.

Bankrate recently did a survey on home service costs. It found the average homeowner spends about $ 2,000 a year on home maintenance costs.

While some home service charges are pretty essential (like paying for trash and recycling collection at an average of $ 55 a month), others are more of an added convenience. Homeowners spend an average of $ 285 a month on housekeeping services and $ 144 a month on landscaping service, according to Bankrate.

Paying someone to do services you could do on your own might make you happier, but if that’s not in your budget, don’t sweat.

Reduce Your Home-Maintenance Costs

Instead of dropping hundreds a month on maid service, tackle the tasks yourself.

Don’t splurge on tons of cleaning products. Make your own with simple ingredients, or get creative with items you may have around the house. You’ll be amazed at what you can do with denture cleanser and dryer sheets.

Make your kitchen shine with this step-by-step guide to cleaning kitchen appliances. See this post for other house-cleaning hacks.

Save on landscaping costs with these tips to maintaining your yard on a budget. Or just turn your yard into an edible garden, and you won’t have to pay someone to mow it.

Lacking handyman skills? This post shares resources that’ll help you learn DIY home-repair skills at no cost — like free workshops hosted by Home Depot.

Prepare for the Unexpected

Even if you’re cutting costs by doing home projects on your own, you may still encounter situations that require paying for a professional.

Kevin Mahoney, CEO of financial advice firm Illumint, told Bankrate he recommends homeowners put money into a savings account to use for home maintenance expenses. Mahoney said he sets aside $ 100 to $ 200 a month to fund unexpected repairs or wear-and-tear maintenance services.

That way when something comes up, the money is already available to cover it. Smart advice.

Nicole Dow is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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The one very big question about Rick Gates’ plea deal

After weeks of rumors, it became official Friday afternoon: Rick Gates pleaded guilty to two criminal charges and agreed to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing probe into Russia’s attempted meddling in the 2016 election.


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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Keeping It Well in Austin: The City Will Now Mandate Paid Sick Leave


Looks like in addition to keeping it weird, Austin is trying to keep it well.

At least that’s what the Austin City Council is attempting to do by being the first city in the southern United States to pass a law requiring private businesses to offer paid sick leave.

Beginning Oct. 1, 2018, employers with more than five employees must offer workers one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked. Employers with five or fewer employees will be subject to the same law, but it will not go into effect until Oct. 1, 2020.

To help protect employers, the law also includes caps on the amount of leave workers can earn: 64 hours for companies with more than 15 employees and 48 hours for companies with 15 or fewer employees.

Austin joins other cities like Minneapolis, New York City, Chicago and Washington D.C. and eight states — Arizona, Connecticut, California, Massachusetts, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington — that guarantee paid sick leave.

But as the only city in Texas to pass this policy so far, Austin could face the same fate as Milwaukee, which passed a city-level law in 2008 only to have a state law prohibiting mandated paid sick leave override the ordinance. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker argued the city’s paid sick leave policy was a barrier to creating jobs.

The benefits of having a sick day are not limited to the health benefits of, you know, getting well. It also decreases the spread of germs to co-workers — helpful considering the particularly awful flu season we’ve enjoyed this year — and could be essential to workers living paycheck to paycheck.

So to the rest of the South, wash your hands and try to stay well, y’all.

Tiffany Wendeln Connors is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She’s grateful every day to work at a company that offers paid sick leave.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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At CPAC, Trump’s base trusts him on guns

In the aftermath of a high school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 dead, President Donald Trump is urging the country and Congress to act.


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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Trump’s economic vision ignores immigrants, but it will need their labor

The immigration proposal favored by Trump would shrink the labor supply and the economy's long-term growth potential.
Economy

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This New Lowe’s Employee Program Pays for Workers to Learn a Trade


Less than a month after announcing plans to hand out cash bonuses, enhance benefits and hire 53,000 new workers, Lowe’s has unveiled a new workforce development initiative for its employees.

The home improvement chain is partnering with the Guild Education to launch “Track to the Trades,” a program offering employees financial assistance for trade skill certification.

Eligible part- and full-time employees can receive up to $ 2,500 to complete certifications for skills such as carpentry, electrical, plumbing, HVAC and appliance repair. This will be upfront tuition funding as opposed to a tuition reimbursement plan.

Employees will not only receive the tuition funding to learn a new trade but also get academic coaching and placement opportunities for full-time pre-apprenticeships in Lowe’s contractor network. Participants in these pre-apprenticeships will receive enrollment assistance as well as a field mentor.

This announcement comes at a time when there is not only a shortage of labor in the skilled trade industry but also an increasing demand for experienced construction and infrastructure workers.

Based off a recent report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Lowe’s predicts a skilled trades gap of more than a half million construction-related jobs by 2026.

With the “Track to the Trades” program, Lowe’s aims not only to provide its employees with new career opportunities but also to attempt to bridge that workforce gap.

“Track to the Trades” will debut on March 1 in four pilot cities: Charlotte, North Carolina; Denver, Colorado; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Richmond, Virginia. The program will be expanded nationwide by the end of 2018.

Kaitlyn Blount is a junior staff writer at The Penny Hoarder.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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Dow, S&P climb on energy and industrials; Nasdaq falls

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The Dow and S&P 500 advanced on Thursday to halt a two-session losing skid, buoyed by gains in industrial and energy shares as U.S. Treasury yields eased, while the Nasdaq lost ground for a third straight session.


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Kylie Jenner sends Snapchat stock falling with a single tweet

Oh Snap! Snapchat’s stock took a nosedive Thursday — after Kylie Jenner announced she’d quit the app. The stock fell 8.4 percent — or around $ 1.6 billion in market value — following the news that one of its most influential users just isn’t feeling the image-sharing program anymore, according to the Financial Times. “Sooo does…
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Rubio takes the heat but finds his voice during gun town hall

He didn’t look like “Little Marco.”


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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

BEST DEAL UPDATE BY AMERICAN CONSULTANTS RX:

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

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Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

Is Anyone Actually Spending Bitcoin?

The creator of Bitcoin intended the cryptocurrency to be used just like cash–to buy and sell goods and services. And for a while, it was. (The first purchase was two Papa John’s pizzas–for 10,000 Bitcoin.)

Today, though, Bitcoin is quickly turning into a commodity, and that’s starting to affect how it’s used. Consider this: Investors have been sinking money into the gold market for years, but you don’t see a lot of people plunking the rare metal down when they buy a new sofa.

Bitcoin transactions, on the whole, are certainly on the rise, and have been steadily going up for the past several years. But much of that is traders buying and selling the coins themselves. Using them for services (and we’ll bypass the questionable transactions on the dark web) has been complicated by high user fees.

Bitcoin transaction fees for peer-to-peer transactions spiked sharply beginning in October of last year, jumping from an average of $ 1.13 on Oct. 1 to a peak of $ 34.10 on Dec. 23. That discouraged people from using the cryptocurrency and led some businesses, including Steam, the popular digital distribution service for games, to stop accepting Bitcoin.

Those fees have since fallen back down to Earth, settling at just 20 cents Thursday, according to Bitinfocharts. That’s their lowest point in a year.

Will that revive the market? It remains to be seen. Bitcoin’s down today, but with its recent rebound in value, holders–even the enthusiasts who want to bypass banks–could find it hard to resist the potential to hold onto their Bitcoin in hopes of seeing substantial cash returns.

Fortune

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

CHARITY UPDATE:

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

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Mark Zuckerberg says he wants to fix Facebook. His employees keep getting in the way.

A divide between Zuckerberg and some key executives has been evident as company leaders scrambled to manage Facebook’s message in the wake of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s indictment that laid out how Russian trolls had used the platform to manipulate American voters.
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Uber Express POOL Is Bringing a Less Expensive Option to These 8 Cities


If you live in San Francisco, Boston, Los Angeles, San Diego, Denver, Miami, Philadelphia, or  Washington, D.C., you could save a nice chunk of change on your next Uber ride.

Uber Express POOL passengers have to walk a few blocks to get picked up for their ride, but the company says riders could save as much as 30% off their total bill.

There’s one other catch, though, so if you’re an introvert, this new ride option might not be for you.

Uber Express POOL passengers share the car with other riders to allow drivers to ferry several people to the same general location at once.

Drivers can work more efficiently and passengers save money so it’s really a win-win situation

If you’re cool with sharing your ride with other people and live in a city where this option is offered, simply fire up the app and select Express POOL.

Within a few minutes, you’ll get walking directions on where to meet your driver and details on what time to arrive for your pickup.

As you get close to the end of the ride, the app will notify you where you’ll be dropped off and give you walking directions to get you to your destination address.

Uber Express POOL seems like a terrific alternative to crowded busses and trains. It’s also a less expensive travel option than single-rider taxis in areas where public transportation is limited.

And who doesn’t like to save up to 30% off, well, anything?

My colleague here at The Penny Hoarder, Staff Writer Nicole Dow, brought up another great point about the benefits of Uber Express POOL. She mentioned some passengers might prefer having co-riders in the car rather than riding alone with a driver they’ve never met.

Don’t fret if Uber Express POOL isn’t available where you are.

“This is just the start: we’ll be bringing Express POOL to more cities soon!” Ethan Stock, Product Director, Shared Rides at Uber said in a blog post.

Lisa McGreevy is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She loves the idea of tacking on a little exercise before and after a ride-share.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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School shooting survivors join town hall to say #NeverAgain

Last week’s mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, has set off a national discussion on gun laws and how to keep communities safe.


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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Sanders says Trump wasn’t blaming Florida shooting on FBI Russia investigation

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders tried to finesse a weekend tweet from President Donald Trump blaming the FBI’s Russia investigation for missing a tip about the Florida shooting, saying the agency should not focus on a “hoax in terms of investigating the Trump campaign.”


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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Get the Health Benefits of Owning a Pet Without Straining Your Finances


Breaking news: Pets make people happy.

OK, so that’s not really breaking news.

In fact, it doesn’t even seem like news.

But a new analysis of academic research suggests that pets are, in fact, good for your mental health — and we’re taking that as a sign that we should all have a furry friend to brighten our days, (situation permitting, of course).

However, while it seems like common knowledge that pets boost happiness levels, and while animal lovers everywhere can subscribe to the idea that a feisty pup or a snuggly kitten would be a welcome addition to the family, the decision to bring a new pet into your home is anything but simple.

Pets can be expensive, and adding a new little guy to the family is no small commitment. Food, toys and general care items can add up quickly. Throw vet bills into the mix and suddenly your precious, furry bundle of energy is a big-time expense.

But here at The Penny Hoarder, we love doing things that make us happy — and pets just so happen to make us very happy (and the research checks out!).

Here’s how to know whether it’s the right time for a pet — and if it is, we’ve got info on how to keep costs manageable so you and your pet can both stay happy and healthy.

How Pets Are Good For Your Mental Health

According to Medical News Today, a systematic review of multiple studies on the benefit of pets for people with mental health issues revealed what we all knew to be true: Pets make positive contributions to our mental health.

Dr. Helen Louise Brooks of the University of Liverpool led a team of researchers as they combed through more than 8,000 articles across nine medical databases. After narrowing their search down to 17 academic papers, the team looked at the effect of owning a cat, dog, hamster, goldfish or finch on people living with a mental illness.

The findings were pretty consistent: Pets were recognized for helping to ease feelings of distress, worry or loneliness and were often viewed as a source of unconditional love and support.

Additionally, many people said having a pet forced them to stay connected to the outside world and engage in physical activity. Dogs in particular were found to encourage social interaction. (An aside: Cats might encourage the opposite, but that’s just me and my personal experience talking.)

A participant in one study said feeling needed by an animal helped curb unhealthy thoughts, while another said the ability to care for a pet was the person’s best quality.

One study found that pets enabled people to keep a sense of “identity, self-worth, and existential meaning.”

In another study, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggested that pets are good for kids and that having a dog was linked to a lower body mass index and could even “stave off anxiety” in children.

If nothing else, the article claims that keeping a pet offers a sense of “ontological security,” which Medical News Today describes as “the feeling of stability, continuity and meaning in one’s life.”

(Note: Pets are excellent and supportive companions, but if you’re struggling with a mental-health issue, you may need a different form of help. You can find a list of free and low-cost mental health services here that will help you get started if you’re seeking treatment.)

The Finances of Pet Ownership

At this point, there’s no (or at least very little) question that having a pet can be beneficial to your mental health.

But you know what isn’t? Being stressed about money.

Here are some tips for keeping pet ownership affordable so you and your new furry friend can live a happy, healthy life together:

  • Before you adopt your pet pal (no matter what kind of animal) consider the big picture and make sure you have enough wiggle room in your budget to cover everything from adoption fees to regular replacement chew toys. This calculator can help you estimate the cost of a pet over its lifetime.
  • Be prepared for vet bills. Cats and dogs (and other, smaller buddies) can get sick or injured at pretty inconvenient times. Pet insurance is a great option for many pet owners, especially if you’re not too keen on being surprised with a whopper of a vet bill. If you decided against pet insurance and you’re facing a scary number for that emergency surgery, don’t panic: This guide to dealing with a hefty vet bill will help you decide the best course of action. And if you want to keep costs low from the get-go, consider adopting one of these dog breeds — they generally require fewer trips to the vet.
  • If you wind up in a tight spot and are worried about feeding your pup, these resources can help. You can find more tips on how to keep the kibble coming in this guide that features tips for everything from stacking coupons on cat supplies to how to make your own pet furniture (if you’re feeling adventurous).
  • If you’re craving the company of a pet but don’t have the resources to commit to a lifetime of puppy love, consider fostering a furry friend. Most foster programs will provide food, toys and veterinary care at no cost to you.

However you choose to welcome a furry friend into your life, just make sure you’ve considered the commitment from all angles. You don’t want to make an impulsive decision only to realize that you can’t handle the financial burden of bringing home a new little buddy.

Grace Schweizer is a junior writer at The Penny Hoarder.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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Pentagon budget increase will lead to a ‘major economic disaster,’ says retired US Army officer

The spike in defense spending won't solve the military's readiness problems or make us safer, says Daniel Davis.
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15 questions for Sarah Sanders today

For the first time in a week, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders will take questions from the media on Tuesday afternoon. And what a week it’s been.


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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Shop Like You Normally Would and Help Pay for College With Upromise


It’s no secret that paying for college is expensive and many people, myself included, turned to student loans to get the funding necessary to graduate. But what if there was another way? What if you could get cash toward your college education just for buying the things you normally would? That’s where Upromise comes in.

Upromise is a Sallie Mae-owned program created to help people save for college, pay off student loans, fund their kids’ 529 college savings accounts or simply get cash back to use however they like. It’s a popular way for parents to add to their kids’ college savings plans without too much effort.

Wait, Upromise Pays Me to Shop?

Upromise is quite simple. You sign up, link your credit, debit and even loyalty cards, and shop as you normally would in-store or through the Upromise shopping portal.

Stores partner with Upromise to offer customers cash back on purchases. Upromise members can then use that cash back for whatever they like. Keep in mind that there used to be a Upromise app but it’s no longer available.

How Do I Sign Up for Upromise?

Signing up for Upromise is straightforward and simple. First go to the Upromise enrollment page and enter your basic information. You’ll create a password, enter your address and explain what you’re saving for, like your own education or your child’s education. You can even add another beneficiary in this section if you need to. I went through the process and easily added my daughter and son to my Upromise account.

The next section will ask you to link your credit and debit cards. You can choose to skip this if you like, but I entered the information for the payment card I use the most. Upromise will automatically credit me cash back for qualifying purchases I make.

Where to Shop to Get Upromise Rewards

The Upromise shopping portal is pretty impressive, as there are hundreds of retailers that partner with Upromise. Some stores you might be familiar with include Kohls, Barnes & Noble and Amazon.

When you want to purchase something from one of these retailers, log in to your Upromise dashboard and click the link to that store before shopping. That’s it. After you complete your order, Upromise will deposit the cash back from your order into your Upromise account.

If you look on Upromise’s homepage, it even has a deal of the day where you’ll get a higher percentage back than normal. For example, you might get 7% cash back instead of 5%.

There’s a Upromise Credit Card Too

The Upromise Rewards Mastercard not only works on your everyday expenses, you can also get an extra 5% cash back when you use it to shop through the Upromise shopping portal or at participating restaurants.

What’s more, you don’t have to shop at Upromise partners to get cash back. You get 2% cash back when using your Upromise Rewards Mastercard at department stores and movie theaters, and 1% back for every other purchase. While it might not seem like much initially, small amounts can certainly add up over time.

You can view the most common questions about the Upromise credit card here as well as get more information about the benefits of using it.

Rally Friends and Family to Save Big Money

The great thing about Upromise is that your family and friends can sign up for free, and list you or your children as the beneficiaries. So, if your dad sets up an account and links his cards, any cash back rewards he earns will go to the beneficiaries he lists.

One common complaint about the Upromise program is that members don’t earn enough cash back. However, with family and friends, you can maximize your Upromise rewards potential.

Sure, a few dollars here and there in your account won’t pay for much more than a textbook. Yet, imagine if you rallied your family and close friends, and asked them to create accounts? It takes only five minutes to sign up, and it’s an easy set-it-and-forget-it type of benefit.

Spending Those Upromise Dollars

Once you link your cards or get the Upromise credit card and start earning cash back, there are several ways to use your Upromise dollars. You can take the simple approach, which is to get a check for the cash you earned and send your dollars directly to a participating college savings account. Or you can enroll in a Upromise savings account called GoalSaver.

GoalSaver, much like other Upromise products, offers incentives and bonuses for using it. It’s a high-yield savings account, which means it earns more interest than your average savings account. There are no monthly fees and you can earn up to a 10% match on your money. Plus, you stay motivated by sharing your goals with your friends and family on social media.

Upromise offers other incentives, like cash in your account for having a GoalSaver account for a few years. Keep in mind that you need to read the terms and conditions closely, especially when it comes to the 10% match. There are some pretty specific requirements to qualify, so read carefully.

Additionally, Upromise offers rewards for meeting your goals. For example, account holders with automatic deposits can receive a $ 10 bonus each year. Also, GoalSavers who deposit $ 5,000 and retain at least that balance for three years are eligible to receive a $ 100 bonus.

What Experts Think About Upromise

Of course, many cash-back programs like this seem great on paper, but do they really work? I reached out to two financial experts who use Upromise to get an accurate review of it. Here’s what they had to say:

Kathryn Hanna, a CPA and financial blogger, uses Upromise as an alternative to other cash-back websites. She said, “I’ve been focusing recently on increasing my contributions to 529 plans for each of my three children, and this was a great solution to add that little bit of extra with nearly no additional work on my part.” Kathryn also uses Upromise cash back offers when she buys items online and links her credit cards to it to get cash back at restaurants and other retail stores.

Emily Guy Birken, an accomplished money expert and author of several personal finance books, signed up with Upromise in 2005. While she originally thought she’d use the funds for her own education, she decided to add her rewards to her children’s 529 accounts. Emily also has a Upromise credit card, which is her primary means of earning benefits.

She told me, “Having a credit card that gives me cash back toward Upromise is actually very helpful. I generally have about $ 50 quarterly to put into my boys’ 529 accounts. It’s not a huge amount of money, but I prefer this to other cash-back credit cards… I just use the card as I normally would and consider whatever I get to be a nice bonus to the money I’m already putting aside in the 529 accounts.”

What these Upromise reviews show is that many people can benefit from the perks Upromise offers — even financial experts! After all, if you’re going to get cash back from something you planned to buy anyway, why not have that money go toward your children’s future or your own education?

In sum, Upromise is a program that lets you pay back your student loans or add to your children’s college savings accounts in a number of ways. Membership is free, and you can even get cash back for things like eating at a restaurant or booking a flight.

Who doesn’t like free money, especially when it can help fund an education?

Catherine Alford is an award-winning family finance expert and financial writer who lives in Detroit, Michigan, and blogs at CatherineAlford.com. When she is not working, she enjoys yoga, spending time with her 3-year-old boy/girl twins, and doing DIY projects around the house.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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Measles Cases Are Skyrocketing in Europe as More Parents Shun Vaccines

Measles is spreading in Europe thanks to parents shunning vaccines, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned.

In 2016, there were just 5,273 cases of measles recorded in the region–a record low. But last year that number soared to 21,315, with 35 deaths.

“Every new person affected by measles in Europe reminds us that unvaccinated children and adults, regardless of where they live, remain at risk of catching the disease and spreading it to others who may not be able to get vaccinated,” said Dr Zsuzsanna Jakab, the organization’s regional director for Europe.

“Over 20,000 cases of measles, and 35 lives lost in 2017 alone, are a tragedy we simply cannot accept.”

The countries with the biggest outbreaks were Romania and Italy, each of which saw more than 5,000 cases, and Ukraine, with more than 4,700 cases. According to the WHO, this may be down to “declines in overall routine immunization coverage, consistently low coverage among some marginalized groups, interruptions in vaccine supply or underperforming disease surveillance systems.”

The numbers in Europe are substantially higher than those in the United States, where the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported just 118 cases throughout 2017. However, some have expressed fears over a potential resurgence, thanks to President Donald Trump’s repeated insistence that there is a link between childhood vaccines and autism–a thoroughly discredited theory.

“Elimination of both measles and rubella is a priority goal that all European countries have firmly committed to, and a cornerstone for achieving the health-related Sustainable Development Goals,” said Jakab. “This short-term setback cannot deter us from our commitment to be the generation that frees our children from these diseases once and for all.”

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Wall Street isn’t sold on a CBS-Viacom merger

The media world may be buzzing about a potential CBS-Viacom merger, but Wall Street isn’t sold on the idea. Despite CBS’s relatively upbeat fourth-quarter results last week, the broadcaster’s stock slipped 2.4 percent on Friday, to $ 55.39. In fact, shares are down 5.8 percent since they initially popped on Jan. 12 on the first reports…
Business | New York Post

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How to run free background check on yourself

Background checks can be one of the most nerve-racking activities related to getting a new job. In many cases, it’s not that you have anything to hide, but it’s just that the propensity for error – either by a human or machine – can have some serious ramifications.

There are companies that charge employers big money to access personal information on potential hires. But the truth is, there is already plenty of data publicly available on us all – and it’s free, meaning we can pretty much perform background checks on ourselves. Think of it as a sneak peak of what a potential employer might see when you go to apply for a job.

How to run a background check on yourself — for free 

While we’re in an era when so many online databases are basically at our fingertips, some of the info that’s available could be totally inaccurate.

When it comes to background checks, accurate information on a person’s identity is especially crucial: Incorrectly run checks that confuse people with the same or similar names could be costing job applicants that all-important job offer.

Aside from social networking sites such as Facebook, here are some free databases that have troves of information on people:

PeekYou.com: This free people search site crawls the web for links likely associated with you or the person you’re searching for. The site will also pull information from social media.

BeenVerified.com: This site pulls a composite taken from across the web. It is pretty accurate in pinning the city a person is from or has lived in. It also features a comprehensive social search, pulling from sites such as LinkedIn, Pinterest and Facebook to identify possible relatives as well.

NSOPW: The National Sexual Offender Public Website is a safety resource that provides the public with access to sex offender data nationwide.

Credit reports: Get free credit reports from Credit Karma and Credit Sesame to what employers (who are increasingly running credit check on potential employees) might see.

RELATED: Here’s how your friends could help you recover your Facebook account

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Mueller’s interest in Kushner grows to include foreign financing efforts

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s interest in Jared Kushner has expanded beyond his contacts with Russia and now includes his efforts to secure financing for his company from foreign investors during the presidential transition, according to people familiar with the inquiry.


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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Vegetarian Made Easy: 3 Instant Pot Recipes Under $2 Per Serving


At first, my Instant Pot sat in its box, staring menacingly at me from across the room.

I have to admit I was pretty intimidated at the thought of using a pressure cooker to make meals, so for a while, I simply pretended it didn’t exist.

Of all the pressure cookers out there, the name Instant Pot seems to come up regularly in my circles. My friends raved about the ease of use and bragged about how little time they now spent cooking nutritious and delicious meals for their families. And so, when the Instant Pot was on sale on Amazon at the end of 2016, I took the plunge.

But soon enough, I realized I needed to stop being a wuss and just try it. And once I did, I understood why my friends were such huge fans of this appliance.

Now, many people rave about how easy it is to cook meat in the pressure cooker, and I’m sure that is true. But as a vegetarian, I was looking for meatless meals I could make in my Instant Pot.

When I first started searching, I realized most veggie-based Instant Pot recipes were for side dishes and quickly got discouraged. But once I’d tried out a few recipes and felt more confident, I decided to start converting some of my favorite recipes to Instant Pot recipes.

After some trial and error, I have a list of my favorite vegetarian Instant Pot recipes — some designed for pressure-cooking and some that I have converted. Here are three of my favorites.

Chillie in a bowl next to vegetables

Quinoa chili is vegetarian friendly without sacrificing flavor or texture. Carmen Mandato/The Penny Hoarder

Leek and Potato Soup

I’ve always been a fan of leek and potato soup, so I was thrilled to see this recipe from Instant Pot Eats. The soup requires some sauteeing before pressure-cooking, which is easy using the Instant Pot’s sauté setting. Before eating, I puree the soup using my hand blender, which I find easier than pouring the soup into a traditional blender in batches.

The original recipe calls for you to peel the potatoes, but I skipped this step because I wanted the extra nutrients from the potato skin.

Ingredients:

1.2-1.4 ounces of butter (about 3 tablespoons): 30 cents

2 large leeks, sliced: $ 1

1.3 pounds white potatoes, diced into large cubes: $ 1

3 large handfuls of kale leaves: 49 cents

3 cloves garlic, diced: 18 cents

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard: 3 cents

1.5 liter vegetable broth (about 4 cups): $ 1.99

Salt and pepper, to taste

Total: $ 4.99 for 4 servings

Red Lentil Masala with Spinach

This red lentil masala from Naturally Ella has been one of my favorite recipes for a while. It’s tasty, filling and comforting, and it pairs well with rice or naan bread — or both, if you can’t choose!

This isn’t a pressure-cooker recipe, but I was able to convert it using the recipe guide that came with my Instant Pot. I followed the original recipe up until I added the lentils, coconut milk and tomatoes, and then cooked for 15 minutes using the manual setting.

Once the 15 minutes were up, I left the pressure to release naturally for about 10 minutes and then released the remaining pressure using the quick-release function. I then added the spinach and put the lid back on, letting it remain on the warm setting for about 5 minutes before serving.

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive or coconut oil: 10 cents

1 small red onion, diced: 49 cents

2 cloves garlic, minced: 16 cents

1/3 cup masala paste (see original recipe for details): $ 2.44

1 cup stewed tomatoes: 99 cents

1 cup coconut milk: $ 1.25

1/2 cup red lentils: 47 cents

2 cups spinach, packed: 31 cents

Total: $ 6.21 for 4 servings

Quinoa Chili

quinoa being poured into insta pot

 One benefit of the Instant Pot is that you no longer have to pre-cook the quinoa; it can be added right along with the other ingredients. Carmen Mandato/The Penny Hoarder

Cooking Classy’s quinoa chili is another recipe I adapted for the Instant Pot. I’ve tried many recipes for vegetarian chili, but they all seemed to be missing something.

The addition of quinoa in this recipe adds texture and flavor to the chili, which has become one of my favorites. I like to serve it on top of a baked sweet potato, but it’s equally good with a toasted peanut butter sandwich (go ahead and call me weird).

Rather than pre-cooking the quinoa like the original recipe suggests, I add mine into the Instant Pot raw at the same time as the remaining ingredients. Per my Instant Pot recipe guide, I use a 1:2 ratio of quinoa to liquid, which means I add 1 ⅓ cups of water to the chili before cooking.

Once the quinoa is cooked, I let the pressure come down naturally for 10 minutes before releasing any remaining pressure manually. I then add the corn and beans and let it sit for a few minutes to warm through before serving.

Broth being poured into an insta pot

The time required for meal prep and clean-up is cut in half when using the Instant Pot. Carmen Mandato/The Penny Hoarder

Ingredients:

⅔ cup quinoa: 56 cents

1 ⅓ cups water

1 tablespoon olive oil: 10 cents

1 large yellow onion, diced: 49 cents

4 cloves garlic, minced: 24 cents

Two 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes: $ 1.98

One 15-ounce can tomato sauce: 99 cents

One 14.5-ounce can vegetable broth: 99 cents

One 7-ounce can diced green chiles: 49 cents

Seasonings: 68 cents

Two 15-ounce cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed: $ 1.98

One 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed: 99 cents

1 ½ cups frozen corn: 33 cents

¼ cup chopped cilantro: 35 cents

1 tablespoon lime juice: 7 cents

Total: $ 10.24 for 6 to 8 servings

If you’re intrigued by pressure cooking but feel intimidated by the sheer number of recipes out there, give these vegetarian options a try — you’re sure to become an Instant Pot convert in no time!

Pressure cookers seem to be all the rage lately. Gone are the pressure cookers of yore that were intimidating to use and potentially dangerous. Today’s models are electric, easy to use and affordable.

Catherine Hiles loves trying new recipes out on her family, especially now that she has discovered pressure cooking. She also enjoys running, working out, reading and watching “Sesame Street” with her toddler.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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Trump blames everyone but Russia

President Donald Trump, ensconced in his opulent private club of Mar-a-Lago this weekend, had a screed of combative thoughts.


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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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5 of the most important skills data analysts can learn using Microsoft programs

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Heads up: All products featured here are selected by Mashable’s commerce team and meet our rigorous standards for awesomeness. If you buy something, Mashable may earn an affiliate commission.

Are you the type of person who flaunts their Excel and Powerpoint skills at every opportunity? Microsoft’s Office Suite is pretty much essential to any kind of job, and knowing how to use it efficiently can make a big difference in how you do your work. But there are a few Microsoft apps that aren’t as well known and can make your life much easier if you work with data regularly. 

Being a data-driven worker makes you a more desirable candidate, so even if you think you might not need these skills, think again. Read more…

More about Microsoft, Data, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Office, and Online Course


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So You’re Leaving a Job With a 401(k)? Here’s What to Do With That Cash


When Carrie Nowlin moved from Tampa, Florida to Little Rock, Arkansas, she left a job that provided her with a 401(k).

She couldn’t keep her money there; not because she didn’t want to, but because the provider, Ubiquity, has a policy of any balances under $ 5,000 being distributed back to the account holder upon termination, regardless of their consent or not.

After doing some research, she discovered that moving her retirement account to a new provider was one of her best options after she changed jobs –– not just because she had to.

Nowlin decided to open an IRA at her local credit union. The fees were lower than other options she researched, and she liked the idea of her money continuing to grow.

The process was super simple and very straightforward,” says Nowlin. “I filled out the requested information (the new IRA account number is required for this step) and had the check sent to my credit union.”

In total, the process took about three weeks to complete and cost her $ 105: a $ 95 processing fee from her original provider and a $ 10 setup fee with her new one. On top of the fees, she also had to make a $ 100 initial deposit in her new account.

Not many people know they can take their 401(k) money with them when they leave an employer. Since the money is already invested and doing its thing, they should just leave it where it is and let the stock market work its magic, right?

Wrong. In fact, it could end up costing you more to keep that old account.

What Is a 401(k) Rollover?

Commonly referred to as a 401(k) rollover, moving your money after you leave a job can save you –– and potentially make you more –– money in the long run.

A 401(k) rollover is simple: It’s taking your money out of an employer-sponsored retirement account and moving it into a new retirement account.

Todd Burkhalter is the founder and CEO of Drive Planning, a financial planning and wellness company. He’s been helping people manage their money for the past 21 years.

Burkhalter says having the opportunity to rollover a 401(k) is one of the best money moves an individual can make. As he describes it, it gives individuals the chance to “take control” of their money.

The downside of having a 401(k) plan, according to Burkhalter, is the plan is administered and run by a company that the employer has chosen. From the participant’s standpoint, Burkhalter says you’re not in control of your own money. Your employer can make strict allocation requirements, and the provider can charge costly administrative fees.

For you, that means paying money just to have your money invested –– and risking a horror story happening, like one that happened to one of Burkhalter’s clients.

“I had a client who was let go from his company during a merger, and he didn’t rollover his 401(k),” says Burkhalter. “The new company required that 50% of anyone’s 401(k) balance had to be in their own company stock.”

Instead of rolling over the 401(k), Burkhalter’s client adjusted his allocations and kept his funds where they were. Unfortunately, the new company failed, and Burkhalter’s client lost 50% of his retirement savings.

There’s only a handful of times when individuals can withdraw from their retirement accounts early without being penalized, such as financial hardship or disability. To avoid getting stuck with your old employer — and a horror story unfolding — Burkhalter says it’s best to decide what to do with that money from the get-go.

Where Can You Put Your Money Instead?  

So, you left your job and are looking for a new one. You understand the benefits of rolling over your 401(k), but what now? Where do you put that money?

According to NerdWallet, there are three main types of 401(k) rollovers.

401(k) to Traditional IRA

Anyone can open a traditional IRA, regardless of their income or employment status. As of 2018, these accounts have annual contribution limits of $ 5,500 a year or $ 6,500 if you’re 50 or older — your rollover amount has no impact on this contribution limit. Depending on your situation, you may not pay taxes on IRA contributions, but you do pay them on any pre-tax contributions and all gains when you withdraw money.

401(k) to Roth IRA

A Roth IRA is for people who make less than $ 132,000 a year, or $ 194,000 if they’re married. Like the traditional IRA, a Roth IRA has yearly contribution limits of $ 5,500 or $ 6,500 if you’re 50 or older, and your rollover amount doesn’t impact the contribution limit. Since contributions are made after income tax is taken from your pay, you pay no taxes when you make qualified withdrawals.

401(k) to 401(k)

This one is pretty self-explanatory. A rollover into a new 401(k) does not count as a contribution, so there is no maximum amount you can rollover. Contributions are, however, limited to $ 18,500 a year in 2018. It is important to note that fees vary by provider. To initiate a rollover into a new 401(k), contact your current 401k) provider for instructions.

If you’re still unsure where to put your retirement funds, Burkhalter advises his clients to put it wherever the fees are lowest. Every dollar paid toward your provider is one less dollar invested for retirement, so choose wisely.

Kelly Anne Smith is an email content specialist for The Penny Hoarder. Catch her on Twitter at @keywordkelly.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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India’s Reliance, global tech firms to invest $9.3 bln in industrial area

MUMBAI, Feb 18 (Reuters) – India’s Reliance Industries Ltd
and global technology companies will invest 600
billion rupees ($ 9.34 billion) over 10 years to set up an
integrated industrial area in the western state of Maharashtra,
the company’s chairman Mukesh Ambani said.


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Consumer sentiment jumps in February, exceeding record-high 2017 average

U.S. consumer sentiment rose by much more than expected in February.

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Trump slams FBI’s handling of tip on Florida school shooter

President Donald Trump lashed out at the FBI late Saturday, describing its failure to follow up on a tip about Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz as “very sad.”


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Proxy advisory firm ISS says Qualcomm should negotiate sale to Broadcom

(Reuters) – U.S. semiconductor company Qualcomm Inc should try to negotiate a sale to Broadcom Ltd following the latter’s sweetened $ 121 billion offer, proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services Inc (ISS) said.


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Uber Is Reportedly Planning to Sell Its Southeast Asia Branch to Competitor Grab

Uber is preparing to hand over its Southeast Asia business to the Singaporean ridesharing company Grab, according to a report by CNBC. Uber would get Grab equity in the deal, if and when it goes through.

CNBC’s sources further said the deal was part of a strategy to help Uber reduce costs ahead of a planned IPO. The company lost a mind-boggling $ 4.5 billion in 2017 on $ 7.5 billion in sales – which means there’s plenty of demand for its services, but it needs to do some serious streamlining and focus on its strongest regions.

But a closer look shows there may be more going on than one company’s decision to exit a challenging market.

Asia as a whole has certainly been tough on Uber, with regional services consistently beating the American giant. Uber already threw in the towel in China, where it swapped its operations for an ownership stake in competitor Didi Chuxing in 2016. In India, the taxi platform Ola stole 3% of the market from Uber just in the second half of 2017, despite Uber’s major push to win there. Ola now leads in market share by more than 15%.

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But here’s the thing: Didi, Ola, and Grab have all taken large investments from Japan’s SoftBank. Last month, SoftBank also made a $ 1.25 billion investment in Uber and became the company’s largest shareholder. Based on those relationships, Quartz recently dubbed SoftBank “the real king of ride-hailing.”

An Uber deal with Grab could serve SoftBank’s push to streamline the competitive environment for ride-hailing services – or, put another way, to divide up its global kingdom into small, relatively sheltered fiefdoms. Rajeev Misra, who joined Uber’s board as part of the SoftBank deal, has argued that Uber should focus primarily on the U.S. and Europe. It has also remained strong in Latin America and the Middle East.

So while the Southeast Asia deal might help nudge Uber’s balance sheet in the right direction, it also represents a non-trivial retrenchment of its ambitions. As Fortune’s Adam Lashinsky chronicled in his 2017 book on the company, Uber once sought global domination. Now, facing regulatory and competitive roadblocks in dozens of markets, and with investors guiding it along a more modest path, it may have to settle for a lot less.

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More Than a Best Friend: Include These Items in Your Dog Adoption Budget


Adopting a new dog is not a financial endeavor to be taken lightly. For one of my dogs, I’ve spent roughly $ 10,000 over the course of its life and was admittedly not prepared for some of the expenses when I first rescued him when I was 21 years old.

If you are sure you can afford to adopt a new dog (beyond just the adoption fees) and you’ve found the perfect pooch for your family, you should purchase and stock a number of items in your house before picking up your new four-legged friend from the shelter.

But what all should you purchase? What things can you skip out on? And how much will it cost? I spoke with Phyllis Stewart, longtime volunteer at Franklin County Dog Shelter (FCDS) in Columbus, Ohio, to learn more.

Dog Crates

The most important item for a new dog is a crate,” Stewart says. “It can be purchased new, used or borrowed, as it may not be needed for a long time. A crate will aid in house-training, sleeping overnight, possible separation anxiety and keeping the dog and your house safe when you are not home.”

If borrowed, the crate would cost nothing. On the flip side, I spent $ 150 on a cage for my 150-pound Great Dane.

However, you don’t need to purchase a bed for the crate right away..

“I usually suggest that new adopters wait to purchase a dog bed until they know if the dog is a chewer or shredder,” says Stewart. “Use old towels and blankets in the crate until settled in.”

Total Cost: $ 0 – $ 150

Food

dog licking her lips

Carmen Mandato/ The Penny Hoarder

You should also have food ready before bringing your new dog home. But there’s no sense in paying top dollar for the super fancy stuff.

Don’t buy cheap food, but expensive specialty food is not needed either, unless your veterinarian recommends for medical reasons,” says Stewart. “Buy a good mid-range food in a puppy variety if the dog is under eight months old.”

Food costs will depend on the size of the bag (the larger the bag, the more expensive, but also the more value per pound) and the brand. Daily Treat’s research on the best deals for mid-range grain-free dog food found that Purina Beneful Grain Free is the best deal. You’ll spend $ 14 for a 12.5-pound bag on Amazon.

You’ll also need bowls for eating and drinking.

“Heavy ceramic bowls are good for water because they don’t tip easily,” says Stewart.

A suitable set is available on Amazon for $ 22.

Stewart also says treats are great for training. Have a bag ready at your home for the first lesson. You can find this at your local pet store for around $ 5 (or just make your own at home).

Total Cost: $ 41

Pet Care

Stewart recommends having a grooming brush ready at home, as you’ll want to give your dog a bath soon after adoption.

She says oft bristles are good for short coats to massage the dog’s skin and distribute oils for a shiny coat, and brushes with long metal bristles are good for dogs with long coats, to prevent matting.You can find dog brushes on Amazon for under $ 10.

Other care items to have ready include nail clippers ($ 10 pair) and shampoo ($ 6 bottle). For clippers, Stewart recommends the scissor kind instead of the guillotine style, but if you’re uncomfortable doing the trimming yourself, anticipate a monthly or bimonthly cost of around $ 10 to $ 15 for a groomer to take care of it.

Total Cost: $ 26

Toys and Miscellaneous

hand giving a dog a ball

Carmen Mandato/ The Penny Hoarder

Toys are important to welcome your dog into your home upon its arrival. Stewart recommends paying for quality here, as well-made toys last much longer and will save you in the long run. Suggested toys include Kongs for treat dispensing ($ 10), Nylabones ($ 9) and knotted rope toys ($ 9).

Use two balls to train during fetch: The dog only gets ball number two if it successfully retrieves and returns ball number one. No need to buy anything special: Just use tennis balls you likely have lying around the house.

As for the collar and leash, that might be one set of expenses you can avoid. Many shelters, such as the one at which Stewart volunteers, offer these with the adoption.

“I would recommend that an adopter ask their shelter if they need to provide one and what size is needed,” says Stewart.

If you do need to provide your own, you’ll spend roughly $ 20 on the set.

Total Cost: $ 28 – $ 48

Total Expenses — And Some Discounts

After the cost of the initial adoption, you will likely need to spend $ 95 to $ 265 to have your house ready for your new furry friend. Keep in mind, however, that the size of your dog (and whether it is a puppy or an adult) can either help cut costs — or raise them.

There are, however, other options to reduce your initial costs.

For example, Stewart also acts as a trustee at Friends of the Shelter, a nonprofit that raises funds for medical care of dogs at the shelter she volunteers at. This nonprofit organizes a Shelter Shop that sells donated items to new adopters at discounted prices — and donors can deduct those donations on their taxes. Ask your local shelters if they have similar programs.

You can also turn to friends and family (and other social media acquaintances) for hand-me-downs. Pet guardians are generally happy to pass along crates their dogs have outgrown or fresh bags of food their dog suddenly grew tired of.

Other Adoption Advice

a dog walking outside

Carmen Mandato/ The Penny Hoarder

Beyond a shopping list, Stewart offered some additional advice to first-time adopters welcoming a dog home.

Consider adopting at a time when someone will be home for the first day or two,” she says. “It will help them relax and get used to the home before being left alone.”

She adds, “Keep the first few weeks quiet, establish a routine and keep strangers to a minimum. Never allow unsupervised interactions with young children.”

This is especially true as you are getting to know the behaviors of your new dog.

If you have other pets, Stewart offers this advice: “Bring your pets to meet the new dog before adoption. Have someone help you take the dogs on a long walk together before entering the home. Allow a decompression period before allowing direct interactions in the home.”

Finally, she says, “Newly adopted dogs are often lost when they dash past you at the front door. Put the dog on a leash or in the crate when leaving or entering the house, and begin teaching the dog to ‘wait’ whenever the door is being opened.”

If you are not confident as a trainer, add classes to your expenses. Training is crucial to the safety of your dog and to ensuring good behavior throughout its lifetime.

Finally, schedule a vet appointment shortly after adoption. Call around to get price quotes, but more importantly, read reviews of local veterinarians. You’ll want an affordable one, but also one who will make you and your dog feel comfortable.

Timothy Moore is a proud doggy daddy to two rescues — Greyson and Clyde. When he is not cleaning out Greyson’s ears or playing tug-of-war with Clyde, Timothy is usually reading, writing, editing or drinking a beer.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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Accuser in Point72 sex discrimination suit says firm fears bad publicity

Lawyers for a female executive who claims billionaire investor Steve Cohen’s Point72 Asset Management is a “boys’ club” that discriminates against women are pushing back against the firm’s attempt to keep the accusation away from the public. “Point72’s position appears motivated by a desire to avoid bad publicity about its failure to treat female employees…
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Week of chaos, again, engulfs Trump’s Washington

Another bitter week that took Washington to the brink of exhaustion landed Donald Trump at the epicenter of more tragedy, scandal and rancor than a conventional president would hope to face in a full year.


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Why Playing Hard to Get Online Can Save You Some Heartache (And Money)


Just when you thought dating couldn’t be any more annoying.

Online dating scammers have taken nearly $ 1 billion from unsuspecting lonely hearts in the last three years, and they’re coming for more, according to the Better Business Bureau.

Reports to the FBI about online-dating scams have tripled in the last five years.

You can probably delete that half-true comment about guacamole now.

I know what you’re thinking; online dating is expensive enough, and now we have to worry about being scammed?

Don’t move to a convent just yet. There are ways to spot a romance scam and even get your money back if it happens to you.

How to Spot Online-Dating Scams

You’re first red flag is if they can’t meet you in person.

If someone says they’re abroad and can’t meet, you should tread carefully. If they continually make excuses about why they can’t meet, it’s best to move on.

Scammers will use excuses like memberships that are about to end to get your phone number or email address so they can communicate free from scam monitors. While even the best dating sites can miss scammers, they still have systems in place to block suspicious behavior, so don’t be fooled.

That’s how one woman lost over $ 50,000 in an online-dating scam. The 2.5-month relationship included over 10,000 text messages, 400 phone calls and zero first dates.

Do a Google image search for their profile pictures to see if they’ve been used anywhere else. Scammers will post well-groomed pictures with nice things in nice places. It makes you think they’re wealthy, so when they ask you for money, you trust they’ll pay you back.

If their speech reads like a bad Google translate, then it probably is a bad Google translate. And a sudden emergency is always a telltale sign of a scammer. Even if they don’t ask for money, scammers have guilted victims into giving to not-so-worthy causes.

What to Do If You’ve Been Scammed

First, don’t be embarrassed.

In 2017, there were 28,000 complaints filed to the Federal Trade Commission regarding online-dating scams.

If you’ve given your banking information to anyone you believe may be a scammer, call your credit card company or bank and file a fraud victim statement with the three credit bureaus.

If you received any attachments from the scammer, update your computer’s anti-malware software and do a virus scan.

Money-transferring services are making every effort to protect victims of fraud. The BBB recommends reporting scams from as far back as 2004 to the FTC.

If you sent money through Western Union, you don’t even need the receipt. Just the date, amount and where it was sent will suffice. You may not get all your money back, but it’s definitely worth the effort.

Jen Smith is a junior writer at The Penny Hoarder and gives money saving and debt-payoff tips on Instagram at @savingwithspunk.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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Grand jury indicts 13 Russian nationals over 2016 election interference

A federal grand jury in the District of Columbia returned an indictment Friday against 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities accused of violating US laws to interfere with US elections and political processes.


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These millennial entrepreneurs think email is too slow for the startup world

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There are two types of people in this world. Those who live at inbox zero, who frantically read, remove, and reply to emails the very instant they arrive. 

And, then there’s the rest of us: Those who live with thousands of unopened emails without a care in the world. I am one such individual—a millennial who checks my personal email once or twice a week, and my work email as few times as I can get away with. 

To me, sending an email is the 2018 equivalent to sending snail mail. It’s insufferably slow, you can’t see if the recipient is online, and it’s hard to scroll back through previous messages.  Read more…

More about Tech, Business, Startups, Email, and Trends


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Homebuilders shrug off higher mortgage rates, stay optimistic on economic boost from tax cuts

Tax cuts are still making homebuilders feel better, even as rates rise.
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Exclusive: A top Trump campaign adviser close to plea deal with Mueller

Former Trump campaign adviser Rick Gates is finalizing a plea deal with special counsel Robert Mueller’s office, indicating he’s poised to cooperate in the investigation, according to sources familiar with the case.


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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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This Twisted IRS Scam Puts Cash in Your Bank… but Costs You Big Later

Just imagine logging in to your bank account and discovering Uncle Sam has generously deposited a few thousand dollars. It’s a tax refund you weren’t even expecting!

In the words of the great Admiral Ackbar, “It’s a trap!”

According to an article at CBS Money Watch, the IRS is warning people that tax refund scams are on the rise this year. Just the good news we needed, right?

How These Tax Scams Work

Thanks to a few tax preparation locations that were hacked, the bad guys have thousands of people’s personal information. They use this information to file fraudulent tax forms that bring back nice tax refunds.

That refund, however, goes to the person whose name and address is on the form. That means if a fraudulent claim is made in your name, the money will come to you via direct deposit or check.

Yay! No, not really.

Once you get your monetary surprise, the bad guys will give you a call claiming to be the IRS or a debt collection agency retrieving the money for the IRS. Or you may get a recorded message accusing you of tax fraud and threatening arrest if you don’t call a phone number to clear it all up.

The IRS is not calling anyone, but guess what: It does want that money back. If you get a surprise check or direct deposit from the IRS, you need to return that money. If it’s a direct deposit, talk to your bank, and it can send it directly back to the IRS. You may also want to close that account since it’s obviously been compromised.

If you receive a check, write “VOID” across it and send it back as soon as you can with a completed Form 14039, which is the identity theft affidavit. If you already cashed or deposited that check, send a personal or cashier’s check for the amount to the IRS.

If you have more questions on what to do if your identity is compromised, the IRS has a Guide to Identity Theft available.

As painful as it may be to get surprise funds and then immediately return them, it would be far worse to try to keep the money. Ill-gotten gains will only do bad things.

One easy step to avoid getting scammed is to file your taxes early. If your legit taxes are filed, it makes successful false filing far less likely. Once you have the W-2s, 1099s and other forms you need to file, get organized and get those taxes done. It could save you a lot of headaches.

Tyler Omoth is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder who loves soaking up the sun and finding creative ways to help others. Catch him on Twitter at @Tyomoth.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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Wall St. rallies for fifth straight session on tech lift

(Reuters) – Wall Street surged on Thursday to notch its fifth straight session of gains, led by Apple and other technology stocks as investors shrugged off recent inflation worries that sent the market into a sell-off at the start of the month.


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Molson Coors Names Marijuana a ‘Risk Factor’ in Recent Financial Report

 

Big beer is concerned about the growing legal cannabis industry.

Molson Coors Brewing cited the spread of legal marijuana as a risk to its business in its annual financial report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday. Instead of drinking beer, people may increasingly smoke and eat pot.

“Although the ultimate impact is currently unknown, the emergence of legal cannabis in certain U.S. states and Canada may result in a shift of discretionary income away from our products or a change in consumer preferences away from beer,” the filing says.

Several other larger beer companies have made similar statements, including Boston Beer, the parent brand of Sam Adams, and Craft Brew Alliance, the makers of Kona and Omission beer. Constellation Brands, the owners of Corona and other alcohol brands recently made a large investment in the marijuana industry.

For a bit of perspective, marijuana was just one of 40 “risk factors” that Molson Coors, maker of Blue Moon, Crispin Cider, and Miller Light listed in its regulatory filing. Other concerns included climate change, potential loss of key personnel, and the cost of being forced to move to returnable bottles in Canada.

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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In shooting’s wake, Trump urges children to seek help if they feel ‘lost, alone, confused or even scared’

President Donald Trump on Thursday highlighted the apparent mental instability of the gunman who allegedly killed 17 people at a Florida high school.


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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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If You Need a New Car, WalletHub Says Now Is the Time to Hit the Gas

Itching for a new set of wheels? You might be wondering: When is the best time to buy a new car

Well, turns out now might be a good time to buy, according to WalletHub’s recently released auto financing report for first quarter 2018.

WalletHub reports that the car buying market seems to be currently tilting in favor of the buyer rather the seller.

“Interest rates for new cars are at one of their lowest point in the past three years,” WalletHub claims.

Still, rates will vary based on where you finance your vehicle.

WalletHub found the best interest rates for financing a new car tend to come directly from car manufacturers — with the average rate of 1.87%. Credit unions offer the next best deal — with interest rates averaging 2.61% for new cars.

National banks tend to offer better deals than regional banks, and regional banks tend to offer better deals than community banks or small banks.

Those who choose to purchase a used car will find similar trends. A credit union will likely offer the lowest interest rate, and national banks will beat out regional and community banks for the best interest rates.

However, interest rates for used cars will be higher than those for new models.

For example, the average interest rate for financing a used car at a credit union is 2.87% while the rate for a new car is about 2.61%. Financing a used car from a regional bank comes with an interest rate of about 4.73%, but a new car owner could get a 4.01% interest rate at a regional bank.

Finding the Best Deal

Choosing which car you want to buy is a personal choice, but WalletHub found some manufacturers seem to offer better deals and more transparency over others.

Of the 22 manufacturers WalletHub analyzed, Nissan, Hyundai, Mazda, Ford, Subaru, Toyota and Dodge currently offer 0% financing.

Car shoppers looking to lease instead of buy will find Toyota, Hyundai, Lexus, Jaguar, Mazda, BMW and Subaru provide the best leasing offers with interest rates under 4%.

WalletHub also looked at how transparent car manufacturers were during the auto leasing process and scored each using a 10-point scale. Infiniti, Mini, BMW, Mercedes, Honda, Volkswagen, Toyota, Nissan, Audi and Hyundai all earned a score of 6, the highest any manufacturer received.

Credit Matters

Speaking of scores, one factor that will impact how much you’ll spend on a car purchase is your credit score.

Buyers with a fair credit score will end up paying about five times more in interest than those with excellent credit, according to WalletHub.

For example, someone with fair credit might pay $ 7,723 in interest over the life of a $ 20,000, five-year loan, while someone with excellent credit might pay $ 1,456 in interest for the same loan — a difference of $ 6,267.

Check your credit score before you start the car-buying process (Credit Sesame and Credit Karma are two great apps). If it’s less than stellar, here are some tips to improve your credit score.

Nicole Dow is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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Blankfein: Trump’s economy is better than Hillary’s would’ve been

The economy is doing better under President Trump than it would have under a Hillary Clinton administration, Goldman Sachs Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein, a staunch Hillary supporter, said on Wednesday. “I bet you the economy is higher today than it otherwise would be [if Clinton won],” Blankfein said in an interview with CNN. “I haven’t…
Business | New York Post

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PocketSmith is an app that can teach you how to understand your finances and save money

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Everyone’s money saving habits are different. (We’re looking at you, millennials.

Whether you rely on the help of an app, use an Excel spreadsheet, or balance your books the classic pencil and paper way, managing your cash flow is one of the most important ways to keep track of your spending habits. 

If you’re looking for some help that feels customized, without the pressure of working with a real-life financial advisor, a subscription to PocketSmith could be a good option.  Read more…

More about Finance, Finance And Economy, Budgets, Mint, and Mashable Shopping


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At least 100 White House officials served with ‘interim’ security clearances until November

Nearly a year into President Donald Trump’s administration, senior-level staffers — including Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner and Rob Porter — remained on interim clearances even as other senior advisers were granted full security access, according to information obtained by CNN from a US government official.


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How to Talk Finances When You Want Your Love (and Money) to Last Forever

Our first money talk started with pad thai.

I was on a first dining date — our actual first date was playing shuffleboard — with a new guy named Ian. When the check came, I instinctively pulled out my wallet and offered to split it. He chased away my offer with his Visa.

I felt slightly embarrassed for my reverse chivalry. It’d just been my modus operandi for years with friends and past boyfriends. Had I overstepped a money boundary on one of our first dates?

Back in the car, Ian admitted he thought the opposite. In fact, he liked my lack of expectations.

Turns out, his ex was all about money — his money — and my simple gesture became a catalyst for future conversations about our finances.

That was 2015, and it was only the beginning. Ian proposed to me last Christmas, and I said “yes.”

Now we’re having even bigger talks about our finances and future while also planning a wedding and honeymoon. We even signed up for our first joint credit card and are warming up to the idea of shared bank accounts.

5 Money Talks That Made Us Financially In Sync

Female and male walking holding hands

Stephanie and Ian find that simple gestures go a long way in communicating with each other, especially when it comes to their finances. Carmen Mandato/The Penny Hoarder

In the beginning, I wasn’t used to talking so squarely about money. To me, money talks always wore kid gloves and bore a “no trespassing” sign. My instinct was to tread lightly. Funny how that instinct got turned on its complicated head with one card flip.

Here are a few of the money talks we’ve had since the pad thai incident.

Are You a Spender or a Saver?

We didn’t talk money much during our first six months of dating, but one thing was obvious: He was a saver, and I was a spender.

I learned his mom used to be an accountant, which made him predisposed to saving. Meanwhile, I haven’t always been the best with money. It’s taken a lot of sacrifice, commitment and wading through debt to teach myself good financial habits. Even still, I struggle.

Our spending habits came up gradually when I gleefully exclaimed that I’d paid off a credit card, or by way of a package on my doorstep from a splurge at Shein or Amazon. Surprisingly, Ian didn’t scold or guilt me for spending. In fact, he agreed you have to treat yourself sometimes, or that splurge could turn into a spree.

His uncritical attitude made me feel more relaxed and less guarded about my spending habits.

The Dreaded Salary Talk

Eventually, my splurging and his saving gave way to conversations about how we manage our finances… and how much we make.

We’d dated for over six months and built enough rapport to divulge in these sorts of money talks. Sure discussing salaries can be awkward, but the timing felt right.

Sidenote: If your partner makes six figures, try not to let your jaw drop or use the info to make them always pick up the tab. And if your partner makes a low wage, be understanding and create a safe, loving space for them.

How Do You Manage Your Money?

I’d always paid my credit card when the due date came. Ian, on the other hand, made weekly $ 20-$ 40 payments that often added up to more than the minimum due.

“Duh, why hadn’t I thought of that?” I thought. I quickly changed the way I paid off my debt and felt grateful we were talking seriously and constructively.

Within a year of dating, I took out a personal loan to pay off some debt. I told Ian about it, but I didn’t ask for his input. These were my finances. He was encouraging about it and admired my financial initiative.

Are We Really Ready to Move in Together?

Knowing each other’s salaries really helped when we made travel plans — and when we toyed with the idea of moving in together.

Many of our friends had moved in with their significant others within a year of dating out of convenience and financial circumstances.

We embraced our independence but enjoyed entertaining the idea from a safe distance. When the topic of our friends’ follies came up, we used it as fodder to hypothesize about what we would do in that situation, including how we might split bills.

That speculation spurred more talks about the big “d” word: debt. Let’s just say it’s definitely easier to talk about how much you make than how much you owe.

He’d known about my loan, but not everything. I knew he had student loan debt, but not everything. It was clear that before moving in together, we needed to talk about everything.

And we did just that. Being better informed about each other’s finances helped us better determine what we could afford.

How Will We Split the Bills?

By the time we finally moved in together after two years of dating, we’d already established a divide-and-conquer strategy toward bills. The internet, HBO and the Ashley Furniture credit card are now in my name, while electric, water and the Lowe’s store card are in his name.

We even entertained the idea of a cleaning service, which forced us to sit down and discuss the pros and cons from money to time management. We decided that $ 20 each a week was worth it for both of us.

When it comes to going out, I still offer to pay sometimes — and guess what, he lets me. He finds it attractive, but he does pay for me way more than I do for him. Generally, I handle the cheapies, and he gets the fancies. Partnership.

Money Talks to Come: Lessons From a 31-Year Marriage

Male and female sitting in a booth

Ron and Leslie Christon have been married for 31 years, and talking about finances is a big part of their partnership. Carmen Mandato/The Penny Hoarder

I feel pretty confident about our progress so far, although, realistically, we still have a lifetime of complex money talks ahead of us. We have yet to buy a house, say “I do” to the other’s debt, or bring kids into the equation.

I reached out to Leslie Christon, my first boss out of college, for some help navigating our uncharted financial territory.

She and her husband, Ron, probably have more financial coolness than any couple I’ve known. In 31 years of marriage, they’ve lived in four states, owned four homes, had a son and worked 10 jobs between them. They recently opened a restaurant, Chica’s Taco Bar, in Clearwater, Florida. And they’re still married. Can I get a “cheers” for that?

When they met, Leslie already had a house and two cars: her sports car and a work vehicle.

“I think Ron appreciated my independence,” she said. “He didn’t have to carry the burden alone.”  

They didn’t need each other financially. Instead, they chose to be with each other. That created a solid foundation, allowing them to build trust and pool their resources.

So that was some validation that Ian and I might just have this whole money thing right… Might. Here are some other pointers Leslie gave me about financial communication.

Tell Your Partner What You Want Your Future to Look Like

Leslie said she and Ron couldn’t have made things work without some core values that make every endeavor easier.

“When you realize there is a permanence in your relationship and you’re going to move forward together — whether it’s living together, getting married or having kids — you commit not just emotionally, but you commit financially, honesty and truthfulness,” she said.

She and Ron both wanted kids, so they discussed everything from medical expenses to a college fund. They even started a general savings plan for their son after he was born and used it to teach him the value of saving money by matching every dollar he put into it.

Divulging their hopes and dreams helped them avoid many conflicts and roadblocks because each knew the other’s intentions and expectations every step of the way.

Money talks

Leslie and Ron take a moment together in a booth at their restaurant before the lunch rush begins. Carmen Mandato/The Penny Hoarder

Don’t Forget to cc Your Spouse

One of Leslie and Ron’s greatest successes came by accident.

Due to conflicts with work schedules, they swapped who was responsible for paying bills. The switch gave each one perspective on how much money was coming in and going out. They now alternate the role of bill payer every couple years as a best practice.

Knowing each other’s passwords and security questions facilitates this practice. Not to mention, there’s never any worry about a secret credit card or savings account.

This is good because, according to Go Banking Rates, being secretive about finances is the No.1 financial deal breaker for couples in the U.S.

But it’s not always peaches and cream.

“We have our spats like any couple,” Leslie said.

She admits those usually happen when she goes shopping or makes a big purchase without telling Ron — even if it’s for a vacation or a present for him.

(Note to Ian: I would never be mad if you bought me a vacation.)

Show Your Support With Talk… and Action

When Leslie began to consider opening a restaurant, she and Ron did heaps of discussing, projecting and planning before making any big moves. They hashed out a budget and factored in every possible expense — all a year before opening Chica’s Taco Bar in late 2017.

And did I mention Ron maintained his career while helping Leslie with the endeavor? Oh, and he also had to agree to rein in spending on non-necessities. Each had the other’s back through the thick stacks and the income trickle.

So far, it’s a success, thanks not only to their well-crafted business plan, but because of their financial forwardness over the years.

“We trust each other implicitly. I trust him financially and he trusts me financially,” Leslie said.

What Our First Money Talk Taught Us

I think back to the pad thai incident and how it shaped our healthy financial discourse.

Ian said that, in retrospect, my attempt to pay told him, “I’m in this with you not just because you’re providing, but because this is a partnership.”

With that, we agreed that the road to our financial future would be a two-way street, and we’d each have to pull our own weight and make it fair.

And we’ve been partners ever since.

man and woman holding hands

Stephanie and Ian found full disclosure brought them closer together more than it pushed them apart.  Carmen Mandato/The Penny Hoarder

Stephanie Bolling is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She plans on solving all her financial fretting by asking Ron and Leslie to adopt her and Ian by proxy. Just kidding. She just wants to fast-forward to the honeymoon.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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UPDATE 2-Bunge reports quarterly loss on tax charges, lower grains margins

CHICAGO/BANGALORE, Feb 14 (Reuters) – Bunge Ltd
reported a fourth-quarter loss on Wednesday compared with a
profit a year earlier, and blamed tax law changes and lower
margins in its grains business for its results falling far short
of analyst expectations.


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The White House has repeatedly lied about Rob Porter. Here’s a timeline

The White House timeline for how the Rob Porter scandal unfolded — including what they knew and when they knew — has been thoroughly debunked by testimony from FBI Director Christopher Wray and extensive CNN reporting.


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Steve Bannon: ‘Yellen’s my girl’ and should have been reappointed

If Steve Bannon had his way in the White House, Janet Yellen would still be chair of the Federal Reserve.
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This New Uber Policy Aims to Pump the Brakes on Drowsy Driving

When you’re trying to turn a side gig into a full-time career, it means you’re always hustling.

But working long hours can be pretty dangerous if you drive with Uber. And now, the company is taking action to make sure you’re staying safe.

On Monday, Uber announced a new policy mandating drivers take at least a six-hour break between 12-hour shifts. Even though 60% of drivers operate less than 10 hours a week, the company says it wants to stamp out drowsy driving.

“This new feature has tremendous potential to protect not only Uber driver-partners, but also their passengers and, ultimately, all road users,” said Governors Highway Safety Association Executive Director Jonathan Adkins in a statement with the announcement.

OK, fine. So how will this all work?

Here’s How These New Uber Regulations Will Affect You

As an Uber driver, you want to maximize your time out there on the road, so any policy regulating it might make you nervous.

The app will now include a counter to determine when you hit 12 hours (this amount may vary based on local regulations in your city), then force you to go offline for six hours straight.

But the counter doesn’t include the time you spend waiting for a scheduled pickup — say at an airport.

Still, if you’re stopped at a traffic light, for example, the time it takes to turn green will count against that 12-hour limit. And according to a Washington Post article, if you don’t take a six-hour break between consecutive six-hour driving sessions, the app will count the combined working hours and force you to stop driving.

Uber had already rolled out the feature in New York City, but now it is implementing the safety policy nationwide.

Rival rideshare firm Lyft limits drivers to 14-hour shifts.

These forced breaks might be frustrating if you’ve made major bank driving for more than 12 hours during holidays like New Year’s Eve. But when it comes to roadway safety, it’s just not worth sacrificing Zzzs for $ $ $ .

Alex Mahadevan is a data journalist at The Penny Hoarder.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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10 dollar store ‘deals’ that are actually duds

If you like to save money, you probably love the dollar store!

But some things at the dollar store aren’t a deal because you can easily find better prices at your local big-box store or supermarket.

RELATED: Clark Howard’s top 5 retailers to watch in 2018

Consider skipping these 10 dollar store products

Despite their generic name, what we call “dollar stores” aren’t a monolith.

The true dollar stores like Dollar Tree and the 99 Cents Only chain sell everything for $ 1 or less. But others like Dollar General and Family Dollar sell merchandise at a variety of price points.

Navigating those unexpected differences in price point isn’t all that hard. The real threat and challenge comes because you have to watch the product size of whatever it is you’re buying for the price you’re paying.

If you don’t, it’s easy to fall in the trap of loading up your cart at the dollar store when you could be getting a better deal down the street. This is especially true when you look at the unit price on food items and household necessities at Dollar Tree!

Tribune News Service is out with a new list of dollar store items that are routinely cheaper elsewhere. All prices are sourced by Tribune and compared with prices from other retailers’ websites.

1. Toothpaste

Dollar Tree sells a 2.9-ounce tube of Crest regular paste for $ 1. But Walmart sells a pack of three 6.4-ounce tubes for $ 5.

Which one is cheaper relative to how much product you’re getting for the amount your paying?

The truth is Walmart’s offer beats Dollar Tree because its triple pack has a unit price of 26 cents per ounce — that’s eight cents per ounce cheaper than at Dollar Tree.

2. Soap

The sudsy stuff sells for 15.6 cents per ounce at Dollar Tree when you’re talking about a pack of two 3.2-ounce Dial antibacterial soap bars.

But Walmart has a six-pack of four-ounce bars for $ 2.97. That’s just 12 cents per ounce!

3. Pain relievers

Dollar Tree sells 40 caplets of 500 mg acetaminophen for 2.5 cents per caplet. But Target’s price is only 1.4 cents per caplet when you buy the $ 6.99 bottle of 500 caplets.

The best deal of all, however, is at Costco. Their $ 8.49 bottle of 1,000 caplets prices out at less than 1 cent per caplet.

Consider this: You’d have to pay $ 25 to get the same amount of 500 mg acetaminophen caplets at Dollar Tree that you get at Costco for $ 8.49.

Now that’s a really headache-inducing thought!

4. Breakfast cereal

Love Cap’n Crunch cereal? Skip the 5.5-ounce box for $ 1 at Dollar Tree and get the 40-ounce bag for $ 4 at Walmart in its place.

You’ll save eight cents per ounce in the process!

5. Salt

Remember the old Morton Salt ad that said, “When it rains, it pours”?

Well, you can make money rain down in your life if you buy your iodized salt at the grocery store, not the dollar store.

Kroger charges 49 cents for a 26-ounce canister of salt, while Dollar Tree charges one buck.

6. Canned vegetables

Dollar Tree charges more than both Kroger and Walmart for a smaller can in this category.

The dollar store prices its 15-ounce can of corn at $ 1. Compare that to Kroger (59 cents) and Walmart (50 cents), which both sell a slightly larger 15.25-ounce can of corn.

7. Tunafish

A five-ounce can of Van Camp’s Chicken of the Sea tuna will run you a buck at Dollar Tree. Walmart, on the other hand, has a cheaper unit price of 90.5 cents per five-ounce can, but you have to buy a four-pack for $ 3.62 to get that lower price.

8. Rice

Need to stock up on this pantry staple? Skip the dollar store and head to your grocery store.

Dollar Tree has a unit price of 50 cents per pound for a 32-ounce package of long-grain white rice. Meanwhile, Kroger’s 5-pound bag sells for $ 2.19 — that’s just 44 cents per pound.

9. Name brand cleaning supplies

Walmart charges just 88 cents for a 28-ounce container of Ajax. Yet Dollar Tree sells the same product in the same size for $ 1.

When it comes to cleaning products at the dollar store, you’re probably better off going with no-name products rather than brand-name ones. For example, some members of Team Clark have raved about a variety of $ 1 cleaning products from the L.A.’s Totally Awesome brand at Dollar Tree.

10. Name brand laundry detergent

Few shoppers can resist the lure of a major brand like Tide at the dollar store. But paying $ 1 for 10 ounces of Tide Clean and Fresh at Dollar Tree equates to paying a unit price of 10 cents per ounce.

Yet Walmart’s 138-ounce bottle of Tide Clean and Fresh costs $ 8.94. That’s just 6 cents per ounce!

RELATED: Amazon warning — Beware of deliveries you didn’t order

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‘Whistleblower’ alleges manipulation of Cboe volatility index

NEW YORK/BENGALURU (Reuters) – Wall Street’s most widely followed gauge of future stock market volatility is being manipulated, causing billions of dollars in losses a year to unwary investors, a law firm representing an “anonymous whistleblower” alleged in a letter to U.S. financial regulators and released on Monday.


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Trump promised the ‘best’ staffers. But where are they?

Donald Trump boasted on the campaign trail that his White House team would feature the “best people in the world.”


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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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What’s Better Than the Card Game ‘Uno’? According to Mattel, a New One Called ‘Dos’

What do you do when your toy manufacturing business is struggling?

Make a new game that’s nearly identical to an existing one, of course.

Mattel


mat



is launching a new card game called Dos next month, which, you guessed it, is a take on their 50-year-old classic, Uno.

Read: Mattel CEO: Strong Values and Smart Risks Are Key to Company Turnaround

According to the Associated Press, the rules of Dos are similar to those of Uno, “except players make two piles of cards and can throw down two cards at a time instead of one.” The game apparently fittingly took them two years to develop, to “make sure playing the game was different enough from Uno.”

But why try to update the beloved classic?

Read: Here Are the 10 Best-Selling Video Games on Amazon in 2017

While the rest of Mattel’s business has struggled in recent years, exacerbated by Toys “R” Us filing for bankruptcy, Uno reportedly continues to sell well. Uno sales were up 12% last year from 2016, reports the Associated Press. Mattel is apparently latching onto this bright light, selling Uno in more places, launching a version that’s playable on Facebook Messenger, and even reportedly working on an Uno app.

Dos will be released at Target


tgt



stores in March.

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Apparently, Hackers Got More From the Equifax Data Breach Than We Thought

The hits just keep coming from Equifax.

Back in September 2017, the credit bureau announced a data breach that exposed 145 million Americans’ personal data, including names, Social Security numbers, birthdates, addresses, and some driver’s license and credit card numbers.

Turns out, that wasn’t all, according to a document submitted to the Senate Banking Committee that The Wall Street Journal reviewed.

The document disclosed that cyber criminals may have also accessed tax identification numbers, email addresses, phone numbers, credit card expiration dates, and issuing dates and states of some driver’s licenses.

Equifax spokesperson Meredith Griffanti told CNNMoney that the original release of potentially compromised personal information wasn’t intended to include all the information that was possibly exposed in the attack.

The scary factor is that most consumers never gave Equifax this information. It gathered its data from social media, retailers and employers, leaving consumers even more vulnerable than they thought they were.

How to Tell if Your Information Was Exposed in Equifax Breach

Details weren’t clear as to how many of the original 145 million people this affected, but Equifax told The Wall Street Journal that it mailed notices to affected consumers, and the hack on additional driver’s license information “was extremely minimal.”

Equifax said that anyone can find out if their data was potentially exposed by looking up their status on its website.

The precise amount of personal information the hackers accessed remains unclear, but those details make come soon. Sen. Elizabeth Warren continues to pursue Equifax for the full truth, claiming the attackers accessed tables that also included passport numbers. Equifax denies these claims.

Warren has asked for detailed information that includes what data hackers accessed and its processes for informing the public about by Feb. 16.

How You Can Protect Your Personal Information

As of October 2017, 59% of people still hadn’t checked to see if the breach affected them. Don’t let that be you. If the breach affected you, you can place a temporary freeze on your credit. Equifax recently extended to the deadline to freeze your credit until June 30.

Tax season is upon us, and with so much personal information swimming out in the cyberverse, there is a threat of your info falling into the wrong hands. Getting your taxes completed as soon as possible can help protect you against fraudulent filings.

Be diligent about your personal information, and consider signing up for free alerts when your credit report changes.  

Stephanie Bolling is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. Her information was compromised in the breach. She has safeguarded her information by setting up credit alerts and already completed her taxes.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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In the age of startups, having a good idea will only get you so far. You need to raise money, market your business, and attract customers, which is probably why 75% of venture-backed companies fail.

Though odds are stacked against entrepreneurs, there are some things you can do to help tip things in your favor. Here are the three things you should always keep in mind when launching a startup: Read more…

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White House says Trump takes ‘domestic violence very seriously,’ despite public comments

The White House maintained on Monday it did not know the “extent” of the allegations against Rob Porter until last Tuesday evening, when they were first reported in the Daily Mail.


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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Ford recall expands to include 33K older pickup trucks

Ford Motor on Monday warned an additional 33,000 owners of older pickup trucks in North America to stop driving them until potentially defective Takata air bag inflators can be repaired. In January, Ford told 2,900 owners of model year 2006 Ford Ranger trucks to stop driving immediately after a second death was linked to inflators…
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GOP senators introduce version of White House immigration framework

A group of Republican senators on Sunday night released a version of President Donald Trump’s immigration proposal ahead of a floor debate on immigration this week.


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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Marathoners Can Save Big With These Running Gel and Energy Ball Recipes

Training for and running long-distance races isn’t just exhausting — it can also be expensive.

Aside from race fees and running gear, you have to consider the cost of fuel. Splurging on gels, chews and electrolyte powder from a running or fitness store can put a real strain on your wallet.

To give you an idea of how much I spent on fuel while training for my last marathon, I did some math — something I try to do as infrequently as possible — and I was shocked by the numbers.

My fuel of choice was Huma Chia Energy Gel. If you buy it directly from the website, you’d pay $ 56 for a box of 24 gels, which works out to about $ 2.33 per gel.

In addition to the Huma, I also added Tailwind Caffeinated Endurance Fuel to my water. A bag of Tailwind costs $ 38.99 on the manufacturer’s site. That bag is good for 50 servings, which comes out to 78 cents per serving.

On a 20-mile run, I typically had about three servings of Tailwind and three of the Huma Chia Energy Gels. That meant I was spending around $ 9.33 to fuel a 20-mile run.

Once I realized how much I was spending on pre-made fuel, I decided to look into making my own versions to take on the run. The following recipes helped fuel me on runs longer than 10 miles and cost a fraction of the price.

Date Energy Balls

Date Energy Balls, approximately 15 medjool dates and ¾ cup of sunflower seeds into a food processor and pulse until everything looks gooey and delicious

Carmen Mandato/The Penny Hoarder

There are literally hundreds of recipes online for date energy balls. Whether you like coconut, chocolate chips or peanut butter, chances are you’ll find a recipe you love. I’ve tried a few of them, but for running, I’ve found keeping it simple is best.

For my date energy balls, I throw approximately 15 medjool dates and ¾ cup of sunflower seeds into a food processor and pulse until everything looks gooey and delicious.

I roll the mixture into small balls and place them on a tray or baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and then freeze them. Once frozen, I pop them in a zip-top bag and throw them back in the freezer.

I’ll often eat these as a snack before an early morning weekday run or take a few with me on a longer run to keep my energy levels up. You can eat them frozen, but if you prefer them slightly thawed, take them out of the freezer about 10 minutes before you plan to eat them.

Date Energy Balls, approximately 15 medjool dates and ¾ cup of sunflower seeds into a food processor and pulse until everything looks gooey and delicious going into freezer

Carmen Mandato/The Penny Hoarder

Chia Energy Gel

Chia Energy Gel, fruit and chia seeds

Carmen Mandato/The Penny Hoarder

Making your own chia energy gel is much easier than you’d imagine. Simply soak some chia seeds in water to plump them up, and then drain and mix them with pureed fruit.

I like to use strawberry and banana, but you could also add sweet potato or canned pumpkin if you’re looking to sneak in some veggies. I find the fruit to be sweet enough on its own, but you could always add honey or maple syrup to enhance the flavor.

If you need extra electrolytes, No Meat Athlete recommends adding ¼ teaspoon of salt substitute and ⅛ teaspoon of baking soda to your gel to help replenish the minerals you sweat out on a tough run. He also has a full recipe for energy gel if you want a thicker version that’s more like the store-bought stuff, though I personally like the simplicity of pureed fruit and chia seeds.

Make your gel the night before your long run and store it in the fridge. In the morning, pour it into a sturdy zip-top bag or a baby-food pouch and head out on your run. Aim to ingest about 1 ½ ounces for every 30 to 45 minutes of exercise — I use these 5-ounce pouches and one typically lasts me through a 12- to 15-mile run.

Ready-Made Options

If you don’t have the time or desire to make your own energy balls or gel, there are plenty of fueling options available at your local grocery store.

Raisins or other dried fruit can be an excellent mid-run fuel, according to Greatist. If you have a sweet tooth and need something with less fiber, try eating some gummy bears or marshmallows during your run to replenish your energy.

And if you’re training for an ultramarathon, take a peanut butter and jelly sandwich along with you on your run to keep your tummy from rumbling.

Proper Fueling

Chia Energy Gel, fruit and chia seeds

Carmen Mandato/The Penny Hoarder

No matter what you choose as your long-run fuel, make sure you’re fueling early and often. Runner’s World recommends you start fueling 30 minutes into a long run and repeat it every 30 to 60 minutes.

Depending on your body, you might prefer taking in small bits of fuel every 15 to 20 minutes or larger amounts every 60 to 75 minutes.

The amount of fuel you need on a run largely depends on your body. This is something you need to practice time and time again while training to make sure you get it right on race day.

The last thing you want to deal with on race day is an upset stomach (picture the port-a-potties along a race course), so it’s vital you stick to the nutrition plan you used during training since that’s what your body is used to.

Training for and running a long-distance race can be exhausting and expensive — but if you train and fuel your body the right way, it’ll be worth all the hard work.

Catherine Hiles is a half-marathon junkie whose proudest moment is running 13.1 miles with her daughter in a stroller. She plans on running a 50K one day when she’s not so tired all the time.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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Why cool the economy down now, Fed’s Kashkari asks

Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank President Neel Kashkari said he does not think the Fed should raise rates unless wages and inflation start to take off.
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What Trump’s memo block means for the Russia investigation

The immediate result of President Donald Trump’s decision to block the release of a Democratic memo on the Russia investigation is to expose him to charges of hypocrisy.


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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Why a Stock Market Correction Isn’t That Scary (and Can Even Be Good News!)

The stock market has been a fickle beast lately with a lot of ups and downs. The downs, however, have more than a few people freaking out. Monday’s 1,175-point drop in the Dow Jones industrial average was the largest point drop in history.

Now the talking heads are telling us we’re in a stock market correction.

Great. But what does that mean?

What’s a Stock Market Correction?

A stock market correction is basically a dip of 10% or more in the stock market from recent highs.

On Jan. 26, 2018, the Dow hit an all-time high of 26,616. On Feb. 8, it closed at 23,860, officially making it a correction period. The Dow Jones industrial average, Nasdaq composite and S&P 500 have all fallen 10% this week.

If the market reaches a 20% decline for at least two months, then we have a bear market. While a correction can be a short-term blip on the market radar, a bear market has a longer-term impact. We’d like to avoid that.

What Causes a Correction?

Oddly enough, a stock market correction can be a sign of a healthy economy. As the economy surges, it is expected that inflation will follow. The federal government combats inflation by raising interest rates.

When interest rates go up, it’s harder to borrow money. It’s also harder for businesses to make money. That means people lose faith and begin selling stocks. When people sell stocks, the market drops.

Is This a Recession?

Nope. While a market correction can be a sign of an upcoming recession, it’s by no means a sure thing. In fact, the S&P 500 has hit correction levels 36 times since 1950 — that’s nearly one every two years.

While the market is always unpredictable, our healthy economy suggests this could be a short-lived event. Cross your fingers, just in case.

What Should You Do During This Market Correction?

Make a pitcher of margaritas, sit back and relax. If you’re worried about your long-term investments, you shouldn’t be. Try to keep it all in perspective. When President Barack Obama took office in 2009, the Dow Jones was at 7,949. Today, it’s approximately 200% higher.

Warren Buffett, who’s rumored to know a thing or two about investing, says tough times are great for investors. “During such scary periods, you should never forget two things: First, widespread fear is your friend as an investor, because it serves up bargain purchases. Second, personal fear is your enemy,” he wrote last year in a letter to Birkshire Hathaway investors.

Why is widespread fear your friend? Because when the nervous Nellies begin to sell, stock prices fall. It’s basically putting the stock market on sale. What do savvy shoppers do? They buy things when they go on sale. A dip in the stock market is an opportunity for those who want to get in or build on their portfolios.

If you’re not looking to buy like Warren Buffett, just chill out with that pitcher of margaritas like his faux cousin, Jimmy Buffett.

This article contains general information and explains options you may have, but it is not intended to be investment advice or a personal recommendation. We can’t personalize articles for our readers, so your situation may vary from the one discussed here. Please seek a licensed professional for tax advice, legal advice, financial planning advice or investment advice.

Tyler Omoth is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder who loves soaking up the sun and finding creative ways to help others. He lives by the mantra “WWJBD” or “What Would Jimmy Buffett Do?” Catch him on Twitter at @Tyomoth.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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VIX Surge Hands 8,600% Profit to Little-Known Hedge Fund

Not everyone got crushed when the market collapsed.

For traders at a little-known Denver hedge fund who saw it coming, it was the score of a lifetime — a $ 17.5 million payday on a $ 200,000 bet.

“People were laughing at us, saying this could never happen, this should never happen,” Justin Borus, the 41-year-old founder and manager at Denver-based Ibex Investors, said in an interview. “We saw people pricing this as a 1-in-5,000 event, but it was more like a one-in-five-year event.”

Borus’s team bet that an exchange-traded fund linked to a calm stock market would go to zero in the event of suddenly volatile trading. The ETF almost did — it lost 96 percent of its value.

Borus said they always believed in the wager, even when just about no one else did. But the jackpot still caught them by surprise. Two of the group — Ari Rubin and Cooper Stainbrook — were taking a long walk around the Colorado capital when the market started to go haywire on Feb. 5.

As they walked, the two of them — Ibex’s director and chief data scientist — were on the phone with a client and in passing mentioned rare, so-called black-swan events. The client told them to check out the VIX Index. One was happening as they spoke.

Extreme Velocity

“We came back to our screen and we’re watching the VIX and it’s moving with extreme velocity,” said Rubin, a former Israeli Defense Force soldier and ski bum turned money manager. “We’re laughing at every tick up until we realized what was going on. Cooper just looks at me and goes, ‘Oh man. The Vol-pocolypse just happened.'”

What was happening was the biggest plunge for U.S. equities in more than six years. Concern inflation was seeping into the economy triggered a decline in the Dow Jones Industrial Average that reached 6.3 percent at its lowest level. The benchmark index for equity volatility rose to more than twice its level the day before, crushing bettors who’d gotten used to years of very low volatility.

For about a year, Ibex had been buying options on the ProShares Short VIX Short-Term Futures ETF, ticker SVXY. The executives wouldn’t comment publicly on the exact mechanics of the trade or its profit, but they were detailed in a research note published by an adviser to the firm, Pravit Chintawongvanich of Macro Risk Advisers. Owning the contracts fit into the 15-year-old fund’s niche-product strategies. As of January, the 20-person firm managed about $ 350 million.

Volatility Spasm

Ibex’s plan was to profit when five years of a record-calm stock market burst into a spasm of volatility. Exchange-traded volatility notes that rose when volatility fell looked like a particularly ripe target, given the potential for a feedback loop that might send the Cboe Volatility Index surging in the event of market stress.

Other investors may have been lulled by the years of relative serenity in the stock markets. The average volatility rate for 2017 was lower than every single trading day from Dec. 22, 1995, to June 20, 2005. The VIX finished below a level of 10 — super quiet! — on only nine days before May 2017 and 68 days since.

That’s why so few have dared bet against short-vol, which had been minting money with breathtaking consistency. Even retail traders bought inverse VIX ETPs, hoping to make a quick and easy buck. That’s what intrigued Ibex.

Laughed in Their Faces

They went shopping for the right derivatives to place their bet. Brokers responded with ridicule — options speculating the inverse VIX would go to zero would never pay off.

“Cooper and I go to New York a lot,” Rubin said. “In one instance, someone actually laughed in our faces at the type of options we were looking at.”

On Jan. 2, the managers put down $ 200,000 on what looked like a lottery ticket, with each SVXY put costing 34 cents. On Feb. 6, they sold the 6,300 contracts at about $ 28 each, leaving them with $ 17.5 million.

The firm had been in frequent contact with MRA’s Chintawongvanich, who’d been warning that the VIX notes could blow up for a while. Ibex was one of the few clients who actually heeded his warning, he said.

“Before this happened, I looked like the boy who cried wolf,” Chintawongvanich said. “There’s a risk that was underpriced by the market which we’ve been pointing out for a long time, and one of our clients capitalized on it, and I’m really happy for them.”

Ibex gives partial credit to a view of the Rocky Mountains outside the firm’s window. They’re 2,000 miles from New York and the conventional wisdom that said VIX ETPs could never blow up.

“The traditional mutual fund and hedge fund business is toast,” Borus said. “Most people investing in equities are going to index funds and ETFs. We believe in different strategies with higher risks and higher returns.”

After a sleepless Monday night, Rubin and Stainbrook celebrated by going skiing.

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Will stock plunge hurt US economy? Depends how long it lasts

WASHINGTON (AP) — The tumble in U.S. stock prices has inflicted psychological pain and financial losses — at least on paper — for people with a meaningful stake in the market. Their anxiety conjures another fear, too: That consumers and businesses might slash their spending in response.
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Twitter is *finally* profitable for the first time ever

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It turns out cutting back, focusing, and maybe a little Donald Trump can help make money. 

Twitter reported its first-ever profitable quarter Thursday after more than four years of trading on the public market. The company announced $ 91 million in profit for the fourth quarter of 2017. Profitability was the #goal, CEO Jack Dorsey told investors in February 2017, and Twitter nailed it. The stock was up by more than 14 percent in after-hours trading.

Monthly user growth remained flat. Twitter announced 300 million monthly active users, the same as last quarter. But it did achieve a 12 percent year over year growth in daily active users. Read more…

More about Business, Twitter, Jack Dorsey, Earnings, and Tech


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Trump tweets on lives ‘being shattered … by a mere allegation’

President Donald Trump took to Twitter Saturday to lament “lives are being shattered” by a mere allegation in the wake of the resignations of former White House staff secretary Rob Porter and speechwriter David Sorensen following allegations of domestic abuse.


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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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How to roll over a 529 plan, and why it may be a good idea

When my 10-year-old son was born, his grandmother generously put $ 1,000 into a Franklin Temple 529 plan for him. A 529 is a tax-advantaged savings plan for educational expenses. This IRA-like vehicle is a great way to help fund a child’s schooling.

For the better part of a decade, I, too, have been funding a 529 for my son. But my account is with Georgia’s Path2College program.

You can set up a 529 account and use it for qualified educational expenses in any state, no matter where you reside. If you live in Georgia, for instance, and you find a 529 plan offered, say, in Florida, with better investment options or lower fees, you could put your money there. But, there is usually a modest tax benefit to having your children’s 529 plans in your state of residence. For Georgia, that deduction is $ 4,000 per beneficiary.

My son’s original 529 plan had been set up by his grandmother’s long-time broker. Because it was an out-of-state account, we hadn’t been getting a Georgia tax deduction for it. And in reviewing the account details, I noticed it held higher cost investments. With these points in mind, I decided to transfer the Franklin Temple account into my Path2College 529.

Making such a transfer was new to me. Let’s talk about what I learned.

What happens when you roll over a 529 from one plan to another

The IRS allows for one tax-free rollover, per 529 beneficiary in a 12-month period. If you violate this rule, you get hit with federal income taxes and a 10% penalty on the accumulated earnings. Ouch!

The basic method for rolling over one account into another is to fill out a rollover contribution form with the 529 plan servicer you are transferring the money into. From there, the administrator of your preferred 529 plan will coordinate moving the money from the old fund into their fund.

Another method is to request a distribution of funds from the old servicer, and then, within 60 days, deposit the full amount into your preferred 529 plan. If you choose this approach, be sure to let your servicer know that the money is a rollover and give them a breakdown of how much is principal and how much is earnings.

There are a few circumstances where it may make sense to move your 529 plan funds into a different account. One scenario is the one I outlined with my son’s accounts – to make the most of the state tax deduction and to get lower cost investments. You might also want to move if your plan has performed poorly compared to other 529s and you expect the trend continue. Of course, we all know that past performance is no guarantee of future returns, but if most other plans are outpacing yours, you may consider a transfer.

You may also find that a plan is too restrictive. While federal regulations govern all plans, some plans choose to have other specific rules for their plans. One example is the provision that you cannot change the owner of the plan unless the original owner dies or becomes incapacitated. For a grandparent who sets up a 529 account with this provision and later chooses to let a parent manage the account, this can lead to frustration. But, a way to circumvent this provision would be to roll the account over to a new 529 plan that accepts owner changes.

While the 529 program was created specifically to help families save for college, the plans can now be used to pay for private school. The recently enacted GOP tax reform allows beneficiaries to use up to $ 10,000 in annual distributions from a 529 plan during grades K-12 for things like school tuition and books, in addition to later college expenses.

Before tax reform, 529 plans were a great tool. Now they’re even better. If you’re not taking advantage of this financial planning tool, it’s worth considering.

Disclosure: This information is provided to you as a resource for informational purposes only. It is being presented without consideration of the investment objectives, risk tolerance or financial circumstances of any specific investor and might not be suitable for all investors. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Investing involves risk including the possible loss of principal. This information is not intended to, and should not, form a primary basis for any investment decision that you may make. Always consult your own legal, tax or investment advisor before making any investment/tax/estate/financial planning considerations or decisions.

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This Stunning Diamond Alternative Can Save You 90% on an Engagement Ring

Love and marriage, love and marriage. They can come with a price you can’t quite manage.

We’re in the month of love, when couples start thinking about, you know, marriage. As cliche as it sounds, Valentine’s Day is still one of the most popular days for proposals –– it’s second only to Christmas Day, according to WeddingWire.

So, if getting engaged is in your plans this Valentine’s Day — but you and your sweetheart don’t have thousands of dollars sitting in your savings accounts with nothing to do — here’s a brilliant alternative to a diamond ring: a moissanite engagement ring.

Wait, moissa-what? Yeah, that’s what I said, too.

What Is a Moissanite Engagement Ring?

Moissanite engagement ring

Carmen Mandato/ The Penny Hoarder

It was a beautiful morning here at The Penny Hoarder headquarters. The sunlight was filtering in through the kitchen windows, casting rays that beautifully reflected off that seriously sparkly thing on senior product manager Brooke Harris’ finger!

As a few of us gathered around Harris to get a closer look, she shared a secret:

“This isn’t a diamond,” she told us. She went on to explain the history behind the gem, the cost compared with a diamond ring and just how happy she is that her husband-to-be picked it out for her.

Her smile sparkled as brightly as her ring, and we knew we had to tell our fellow Penny Hoarders.

The History of Moissanite

About 50,000 years ago, a meteorite crashed into Earth near present-day Winslow, Arizona, leaving a crater more than 2 miles wide and 550 feet deep. That’s where French chemist Dr. Henri Moissan discovered crystals resembling diamonds in 1893. He later determined the crystals were made of silicon carbide. The naturally occurring form of silicon carbide was later named moissanite, in his honor.

Because natural moissanite is extremely rare, there were several attempts to re-create it –– none of which were successful until about a century after its discovery.

By 1995, the gem finally made its way into the jewelry world when Charles & Colvard saw potential for a new diamond alternative. Charles & Colvard remained the exclusive manufacturer of the gem until its patent expired in 2016, opening the door for other manufacturers to enter the market.  

Now, moissanite engagement rings continue to gain popularity and are sold in jewelry stores around the globe.

Moissanite vs. Diamond: How Do They Compare?

Moissanite engagement ring

Carmen Mandato/ The Penny Hoarder

Diamonds are among the hardest natural substances on the planet, measuring a 10 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness. Moissanite measures a 9.25, not too far from diamonds.

Moissanite engagement ring prices can be as little as 10% of what a diamond engagement ring costs. I compared diamond vs. moissanite engagement ring prices on Overstock.com. This diamond engagement ring is normally priced at $ 3,344, while this similar moissanite engagement ring is normally priced at $ 879.99. That’s $ 2,464.01 (don’t forget the penny) you could save and put toward your wedding or another goal.

When it comes to brilliance, the refractive index of moissanite, which measures how light bends when it passes through the gem, is much greater than a diamond. This is because it contains more fire, which is how light breaks into different colors when refracted from the gem. (Brilliance and fire also depend on how a gem is cut.)

So just how obvious is the difference between the two to the human eye? While some people can spot the difference, others got it completely wrong when The Today Show compared of the two.

Why Choose Moissanite Over Diamond?

Moissanite engagement ring

Carmen Mandato/ The Penny Hoarder

The biggest advantage of moissanite engagement rings over diamond engagement rings is obviously the price. Couples can put those hundreds or thousands of dollars they save toward something else, like planning the wedding. We all know weddings can be expensive enough.

The average cost of a wedding is more than $ 30,000 –– a Disney wedding costs more than $ 75,000 –– and that doesn’t even include the engagement ring or the honeymoon. Some couples even opt for wedding loans to tackle these costs. Even wedding guests can end up spending a pretty penny just to be there for the special day.

So if you’re already thinking about how to stick to your wedding budget, why not start with the engagement ring? Sure, some may scoff at the idea of buying a lab-produced gem for an engagement ring or feel the need to buy a diamond because of social pressures.

But others may find moissanite appealing not just because of the price. Moissanite is created in a lab, so you don’t have to worry about buying a gem that was mined in a conflict zone. That also means moissanite is environmentally friendly.

Harris isn’t the only Penny Hoarder in love with her moissanite engagement ring:

Tina Russell, a photographer at The Penny Hoarder, is also happy with her and her fiance’s choice of a moissanite engagement ring. She said, “We didn’t want to start off our engagement in debt,” she said, “and I didn’t want to own anything that wasn’t ethically sourced.”

Alexa Vincent, photo coordinator, also loves her moissanite ring. “Five years later and it’s still holding up beautifully,” she said.

And don’t forget about the romantic appeal of moissanite. Known as the gem from the stars, moissanite has earned nicknames like “Space Diamond” and “Stardust.” Harris’ future husband has a background in astronomy, so he wanted to give the gem of the stars to the woman he loves. If that isn’t romantic, I don’t know what is!

Jessica Gray is an editorial assistant at The Penny Hoarder. She’s in love with the idea of wearing a gem from the stars.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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The market hasn’t been this crazy since the Great Recession

The bears haven’t come out of hibernation — but they may be stirring just a bit. Investors white-knuckled themselves through stocks’ worst week — capped by a 1,000-point swing in the Dow Jones industrial average on Friday. For the week, the Dow and the S&P 500 fell more than 5 percent — their worst weekly…
Business | New York Post

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Bannon: ‘Anti-patriarchy movement’ will ‘undo ten thousand years of recorded history’

Steve Bannon, the former White House chief strategist, is quoted in a new edition of the book “Devil’s Bargain” as sharply criticizing what he terms the “anti-patriarchy movement” — that is, the movement against sexual harassment and assault — saying he believes it will “undo ten thousand years of recorded history.”
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Olympics-Alibaba kicks off sponsor deal in Pyeongchang

PYEONGCHANG, Feb 10 (Reuters) – Alibaba Group Holding Ltd is launching a project that will create a “smarter” and more connected athletes’ village and stadia and make all Olympics stakeholders “more money”, its executives said on Saturday.


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Trump won’t declassify Democratic memo, sends back to committee

President Donald Trump won’t release the Democratic rebuttal to the Republican intelligence memo alleging FBI abuses of its surveillance authority at this time, and has sent it back to the House Intelligence Committee for changes.


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Fed’s Dudley: Market drop is ‘small potatoes,’ economy still strong, rates going up

The tumult in stocks has not changed New York Fed President Bill Dudley's views on the economy.
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From Garage to HGTV: How This Woman Grew a Successful Home-Staging Business

Kristy Anderson spent most of her childhood on the move.

She and her mother, Bridget, would often change apartments. And Anderson, in an attempt to make each place feel more like home, would spruce it up with some amateur decorating.

She would rearrange some pillows. Or maybe she’d take some bedsheets and turn them into curtains.

“My mom always welcomed it,” Anderson said. “She was very encouraging.”

Nobody knew it at the time, but what she was doing was making her way toward building her own business.

A New Path

A resident of South Tampa, Anderson, 41, is the founder and executive director of Dwell Home Staging, which specializes in getting homes ready to hit the open market. She employs a staff of eight, including her husband, Marc, the company’s operations manager. Four months ago, she sold the business to appliance chain Happy’s Home Centers.

Dwell has been featured on HGTV and is repeatedly ranked among the top home-staging businesses in the country.

“Never in a million years did I ever imagine this,” Anderson said.

Anderson took a stab at acting before landing a teaching position 12 years ago at Academy Prep of Tampa, a non-profit school for middle school students. Eventually, she was named the assistant head of school. Anderson had an apartment on scenic Davis Island, located right near downtown Tampa, and was pulling a solid salary.

“I thought I was going to be in education forever,” she said.

On the side, however, Anderson was still dabbling in decorating. She worked 10 hours a day at Academy Prep of Tampa and then spent the night staging homes for her friends. It was fun. But she figured it was just a side gig.

“It was a real small-time,” Anderson said. “I would just go into people’s homes, re-design or revamp it, and maybe bring a few new pieces in.”

Starting Her Own Business

Kristy Anderson, of Dwell Home Staging

Kristy Anderson adds foliage elements to style her staged home kitchen. Carmen Mandato/The Penny Hoarder

One day, Anderson decided she no longer wanted to work in education. She took $ 3,000 out of her savings account and created an office out of her garage — from there, Dwell Staging was born.

Anderson’s aspirations were modest — she never thought staging homes would match the $ 65,000 a year she was making as an assistant head of school. So she planned on making a living as a real estate agent.

But Dwell continued to grow.

Anderson built her client base through word of mouth and friendly referrals, as well as through Google Adwords, an online advertising site. She created a Facebook page, which she routinely updates with videos of homes she has recently staged, and a Twitter account. She joined local associations for homebuilders, investors and realtors and visited realtors to give in-person presentations.

Anderson also hosted broker’s opens, which are strictly for real estate agents and not for the public, in homes she had staged.

The ad campaign worked — Anderson became so busy running Dwell that she no longer had time to pursue her real estate license.

“That’s when I said, ‘I guess this is what I’m doing,’” she said.

Purchasing her inventory wholesale from furniture and accessory vendors from across the United States, Anderson needed just six months to take Dwell from her garage to a storage facility. A year later, it moved into a 2,000-square-foot office and warehouse; the company now operates out of a 9,000-square-foot facility.

Staging a Home

Woman steaming curtains and placing pillows

Malaika Hollist and Brittney Davis work simultaneously to complete the living area and patio .Carmen Mandato/ The Penny Hoarder

When she’s staging a home, Anderson considers her true clients to be the home’s potential buyers, not the current owners.

“We always design for the target demographic of the expected buyer,” Anderson said. “This is the first indicator for our design.  Then we look at the home’s architecture and design, and select pieces that highlight that.  If it’s occupied, we try to use as much of what the seller has as possible, while using our inventory to supplement in order to pull together a cohesive look.”

Dwell will keep a home staged for 30 days (at a cost of between $ 1,500 and $ 2,880) or 60 days ($ 2,010 and $ 3,968) and offers additional monthly packages after the initial contract has expired. Dwell also offers free real estate photos for vacant homes with four rooms or more.

It’s a process that seems to be working. Dwell has had an increase in revenue each year, bringing in $ 180,000 during its first year and close to $ 500,000 last year.

Though Happy’s Home Centers now owns Dwell, Anderson still runs the daily operations and hopes to branch out into other markets such as Orlando and Sarasota.

“That’s the ultimate vision,” she said. “But we still want to be the top staging business in the Tampa Bay area and do things more efficient [sic] and better than anyone else.”

Anderson always dreamed on landing on HGTV — that dream came to fruition when Dwell designed a space for the show “Container Homes” with the help of artists from the Tampa Bay community.

“I’d watch all those shows on HGTV and would dream —‘Wouldn’t that be great?’” she said.

And Anderson knows who to thank for success — her mother Bridget, who passed away last May.

“She was always saying, ‘Just say yes,’ and, ‘Why not you?’” Anderson said. “She kind of ingrained it in me to take big risks. Why couldn’t it be me?”

woman holding pillow

Kristy Anderson makes an adjustment to the bedding in an upstairs bedroom of the stage house Carmen Mandato/ The Penny Hoarder

John Lembo lives in St. Petersburg and often “dwells” on his lack of decorative skills.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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Senate votes to reopen the government, sending budget deal to the House

House Speaker Paul Ryan said Thursday morning he believes he has enough votes in the House to pass the bipartisan spending deal reached in the Senate that would significantly raise domestic and defense spending and avert a government shutdown.


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Asia stocks pummeled by fresh Wall Street slide, safe havens in demand

TOKYO (Reuters) – Asian stocks tumbled on Friday after Wall Street shares suffered yet another big slide amid worries over rising bond yields, while perceived havens such as the yen and Swiss franc drew demand amid the turmoil.


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No, The Stock Market Isn’t Crashing. But The Dow Is in Correction Territory

Amid continued volatility and worries about rising interest rates, the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average both entered correction territory on Thursday–closing down 10% from the all-time highs that each hit roughly two weeks earlier.

For the day, the 30 stocks in the Dow shed 4% or 1,032 points during trading, closing at 23,860, while the S&P 500 fell about 100 points to 2,581. The biotech- and tech-heavy Nasdaq has been slightly more resilient–it’s down about 9% since its late-January high.

The selloff comes as investors grow worried that the stock market may have run up too much too fast in anticipation of the impact of President Trump’s tax reforms. One of the most likely triggers of their concerns: Bureau of Labor Statistics data from Friday, pointing to higher-than-expected wage growth in December. The information fanned fears that inflation would soon tick upward, leading regulators to raise interest rates. Since Friday, markets have been choppy. The VIX, an index that measures traders’ expectations of market volatility, was coming back with a vengeance. After falling as low as 9 in 2017, it rose as high as 36 on Thursday.

The Bank of England likely also fueled some concerns that central banks worldwide would boost interest rates. On Thursday, the bank’s leader said British regulators may have to ease off of the economic stimulus faster than expected. “It will likely be necessary to raise interest rates somewhat earlier and to a somewhat great extent than we had thought,” Gov. Mark Carney said during a news conference.

Ten-year Treasury yields now stand at 2.8%, nearly their highest point since 2014. Bond yields rise as prices fall, another sign that traders expect inflation to rise.

As scary as those developments may sound, a correction–technically, a drop of about 10%–can be considered healthy, or even a buying opportunity for investors who think the market may still have further to run. Higher interest rates, meanwhile, give central banks more leeway to stimulate the economy; should it fall into a recession, banks can trim rates again. The current bull market has run on for nearly nine years now, making it the second longest in history.

Despite the fears the correction may fan, economists and analysts generally point to recent strong corporate earnings figures among other indicators as a sign that the current slide won’t deepen.

Seen over a longer period the correction in the stock market is relatively small and is likely to have no impact on the macro economy,” said Torsten Sl?k, chief international economist at Deutsche Bank, in a statement.

That said, don’t think Thursday will be the last day of volatility.

“You’ve had a change in the environment; people were positioned for low volatility, low interest rates and low inflation,” said Brent Schutte, chief investment strategist at Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management. “Now you have people moving portfolios around. I don’t think one or two days of selling is going to clean house. I think we have a few more days to go.”

Fortune

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Learn how to invest in Bitcoin responsibly

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Although the cryptocurrency market is on a downward trend this month, Bitcoin and the blockchain are not going away anytime soon. In fact, the SEC just released testimony to support the technology, which is super legit for something that used to be associated with black market drug sales. 

Though market’s volatility may put off some investors, there are ways to find good coins worth your time so you can try to secure a future with Bitcoin in a way that’s responsible and low-risk. Read more…

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Pearson Is Hiring People to Work From Home and Type the Things Kids Say

Kids say the darndest things.

And if you love listening to those things, this job might be for you.

In this part-time job with educational service provider Pearson, you’ll get paid to transcribe responses from students in grades 2 through 12.

If you’ve ever tried to follow the train of thought and malapropisms of a second-grader, you know this job requires not only a meticulous attention to detail but also some patience.

Linguistics and/or language education is one of the prerequisites for this temporary gig, because like any good education system, there is a test (for transcription and writing).

You also must be available to work a minimum of 20 hours per week with the option to work up to 40.

Not the job for you? No worries, there are plenty of other gigs on our Facebook Jobs page. We post new opportunities there all the time.

Work-From-Home Transcriber at Pearson

Pay: $ 15/hour

Responsibilities include:

  • Transcribing students’ audio responses verbatim, using specific transcription notation

Applicants for this position must have:

  • A bachelor’s degree
  • Ability to type 55 words per minute
  • Previous transcription experience
  • Knowledge of Spanish
  • English or ESL teaching experience
  • Earphones/headset
  • A computer (PC or Mac) with one of the following internet browsers: Safari, Internet Explorer or Firefox ESR (the non-64 bit version)

Benefits include:

  • Paid training

Apply here for the work-from-home transcription job at Pearson.

Tiffany Wendeln Connors is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. As a toddler, her daughter once announced Princess Tiana was cooking Dumbo. (She meant gumbo.)

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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Republicans railed against spending until they were in charge

Once the party of fiscal discipline, Republicans are learning under President Donald Trump that spending money is much easier in Washington than cutting back.


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UPDATE 1-China revives QDLP outbound investment scheme in boost for foreign funds-sources

SHANGHAI, Feb 8 (Reuters) – China has resumed an outbound
investment scheme after a two-year hiatus, granting licenses to
about a dozen global money managers, sources said, signaling
that Beijing is less worried about capital outflows amid a surge
in the Chinese currency.


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These Are the Best Days to Buy Your Sweetie Wine and Chocolates for V-Day

When is Valentine’s Day?

That’s a question I find myself asking every year. I’m not a bad husband. It’s just my wife’s birthday falls on Feb. 12 (Our favorite president’s B-day!), so we tend to lump the two holidays together.

The answer is actually Feb. 14.

But here’s an even better question: When’s the best time to stock up on chocolate and wine for your significant other?

To answer that question, we tapped into data from Ibotta, a cash-back app.

But we went one step further and came up with answers for deeper inquiries, too. Like, which state buys the most chocolate before Valentine’s Day? And what are the most popular treats this time of year?

Maybe the most pressing question: How can I save the most money around this time of year?

For that, simply downloading Ibotta and using it when you shop for your sweetie is the answer. For example, right now you can snag $ 2 back if you buy Ben & Jerry’s Pint Slices and a pint of B&J’s ice cream. Sweet!

For all the other answers, here’s a visual guide to questions you’ve probably asked about buying stuff around Valentine’s Day.

Valentines Day By The Numbers

Kristy Gaunt / The Penny Hoarder

Alex Mahadevan is a data journalist at The Penny Hoarder.

Kristy Gaunt is an illustrative designer at The Penny Hoarder.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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White House officials knew about Porter’s abuse allegations and scrambled to protect him

Allegations of domestic abuse levied against top White House staffer Rob Porter by his ex-wives were known among senior aides to President Donald Trump for months, even as his stock in the West Wing continued to rise, multiple sources told CNN on Wednesday.


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Uber founder’s competitive streak takes center stage in trade-theft trial

SAN FRANCISCO — Uber Chief Executive Travis Kalanick’s famously competitive nature was the focus of questioning on Wednesday in a trade-secrets trial in which Uber is accused of stealing self-driving car designs from rival Waymo. In Kalanick’s second day of testimony, Waymo sought to portray the ex-CEO as so eager to improve Uber’s lagging autonomous…
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Fed’s Kaplan: Higher wages may not push up prices

The recent sell-off in the stock markets is a "healthy" correction from high valuations, Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan said in Frankfurt on Wednesday.
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Trump wants to talk to Mueller despite lawyers’ concerns

President Donald Trump’s lawyers have aimed to hit the brakes on a potential sit-down with Robert Mueller, but Trump remains eager to speak with the special counsel, according to his allies.


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What Should You Accomplish Before Having Kids? Here’s What Millennials Say

There’s never a perfect time to have a baby.

You may want to have kids someday, but I bet there’s a thing or two you want to do before your life gets consumed by raising a tiny human.

Do you want to travel more?

Buy a house?

Stack money in a savings account?

Discover surveyed 1,000 millennials to find out their priorities before having a baby.

Making and saving more money were major concerns. The respondents said they wanted to have a salary of at least $ 84,000 and have at least $ 78,000 in savings.

However, less than 10% of respondents had salaries that high, and no more than 5% had that ideal amount of money in their savings.

Over 80% wanted to get married and buy a house before adding a little one to their families.

Even pets weighed on the decision to have kids, as 67% of men and 71% of women wanted to get a dog first.

Traveling and earning advanced degrees were also among the top priorities before having children. More than half of those surveyed said they wanted to travel across the country and around the world. They wanted to visit at least five states and at least two countries they hadn’t been to before.

Thirty-six percent of men and 46% of women said they wanted to get a master’s degree or higher before having a baby.

Needless to say, many of those surveyed didn’t think they were ready for parenthood. But instead of forgoing having kids altogether, they just thought it would take a little time.

Respondents said the ideal time to have a kid was between 2.6 and 7 years from that time.

Though no time may be perfect, some additional preparation and the opportunity to reach a few goals may put some would-be parents in better standing to start expanding their families.

Nicole Dow is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She enjoys writing about parenthood and money.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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Here are the best deals on tax software: Save on TurboTax, H&R Block, and more

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It’s officially tax return season, folks, and you have until April 17 to get your shit together. However, while W2s should be harbingers for all the extra money you’re about to receive, it always kinda sucks to cash for doing your taxes in the first place.

SEE ALSO: If you’re frustrated with Bitcoin, it’s time to learn how to invest in some other cryptocurrencies

Software options like TurboTax and H&R Block not only offer multiple levels of personalized tax assistance, but they also currently have some sweet discounts so that you don’t have to fork over a majority of the money you’re about to get back. Read more…

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A Craigslist Ad Claims to Be Selling a SpaceX Rocket for $9.9 Million or ‘Best Offer’

If you’ve thought about buying your own orbital space rocket in the past, only to balk at the massive price tag, today might be your lucky day.

A recently posted Craigslist ad, first spotted this week by USA Today, claims to be selling a “gently used” SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that the seller describes as being in “good condition.” The cost? Just $ 9.9 million, or your “best offer,” which really opens up the possibilities for a motivated buyer keen on private space flight. Keep in mind that a new Falcon 9 rocket reportedly costs around $ 60 million to manufacture, not to mention roughly $ 200,000 to fuel. But the seller also adds that cryptocurrency is accepted.

“Fully loaded with onboard flight computer, launch and landing hardware. Take off and land anywhere!,” reads the Craigslist ad in a nod to SpaceX’s ability to launch and land its Falcon 9 rockets in order to reuse them. The seller also notes that the rocket “says Falcon 9 on the body,” but that “slight burnt paint can be buffed out.”

The ad does not identify the seller (Elon Musk? A rogue SpaceX employee? Or, more likely, an internet prankster?). Fortune sent an email to whomever posted the ad, but we have not yet heard back.

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Listed for sale under Craigslist’s “heavy equipment” section, the ad for the rocket includes a map that seems to show the rocket’s location is in the Atlantic Ocean just off the eastern coast of Florida. “Must bring own tug boat, no shipping,” the seller writes. The post also includes the location “Port Canaveral,” which is near the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station where SpaceX regularly holds rocket launches.

“Do not lowball, this is an orbital capable autonomous rocket. You will not find another one like it,” the seller writes at the end of the post. “Serious buyers only.”

If the Craigslist ad is a joke, it could be a cheeky nod to the fact that SpaceX is holding the first test launch today for its new rocket, the Falcon Heavy, which has triple the thrust of a Falcon 9 rocket and can therefore carry heavier payloads into orbit.

Fortune

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Trump fires starting gun on 2018 elections

It was easy to miss amid a 1,000-point stock market plunge, but President Donald Trump just launched his 2018 midterm election campaign.


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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

Sweetheart of a Deal: CVS Offers Free Heart-Health Screenings in February

Here’s a fun fact. Our hearts beat about 2.5 billion times over the course of our lives, according to Harvard Medical School.

That’s a lot of work from such a small organ, so how about giving it a little love?

Just drop in to any CVS Pharmacy MinuteClinic on February 7, 14, 21 or 28 for a free heart-health preventative screening to see how your ticker is doing.

You don’t need an appointment to get screened, and you can view wait times on the MinuteClinic website or app.

You will need to fast before your visit to get accurate results.

During the visit, you’ll find out your:

  • Total cholesterol
  • HDL cholesterol (the good kind)
  • Blood pressure
  • Blood sugar
  • Body mass index (BMI)

The results provide insight on your overall heart health and your risk of cardiovascular disease, the American Heart Association says.

“These screenings are especially important this year following the recent launch of new blood-pressure guidelines from the American Heart Association to improve blood-pressure control and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease,” said Angela Patterson, chief nurse practitioner officer at MinuteClinic.

CVS Health is offering these free screenings to support the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women movement.

The Go Red campaign aims to raise awareness of heart disease in women, but a CVS representative assured me that free screenings at MinuteClinics are available to people of any gender.

There are over 1,100 MinuteClinics across the country and they’re open seven days a week, including evenings.

If there’s a location near you, there’s really no reason not to stop in on any Wednesday this month for a free screening that can help keep little issues from turning into big ones.

Lisa McGreevy is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She loves telling readers about affordable ways to stay healthy, so look her up on Twitter (@lisah) if you’ve got a tip to share.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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