Category Archives: Finance


The incredible reason east sides of cities are poorer than west sides 

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A sign outside a second hand shop on New York’s Lower East Side in 1955.

Past pollution still having an economic impactThe east sides of New York, London and Paris are noticeably and famously poorer than their western sides. And it turns out there’s a reason for that.

Researchers have found that it’s due to the impact of air pollutants at the time of the Industrial Revolution, as prevailing winds in the U.S. and Europe typically blow from west to east. And it’s an impact that has lasted into today.

A paper from the Spatial Economics Research Centre examined 5,000 industrial chimneys in 70 English cities in 1880, and then re-created the spatial distribution of pollution. That historical pollution explained up to 15% of within-city deprivation in 1881.

“A pollution differential equivalent to the one between the 10% and 90% most polluted neighborhoods of Manchester would be associated with a gradient of 18 percentage points in the share of low-skilled workers,” the paper found.

Perhaps more incredibly, that difference has continued to this day even though the pollution that caused them has waned.


“Past pollution explains up to 20% of the observed neighborhood segregation whether captured by the shares of blue collar workers and employees, house prices or official deprivation indices,” the paper written by Stephan Heblich and Yanos Zylbergerg of the University of Bristol and Alex Trew of the University of St. Andrews found.

The researchers say the findings have practical implications both in the developing and developed world.

The success of urban policies to revitalize deprived areas depends on their position relative to the tipping point. For countries like China where pollution is a current challenge, there also are long-run consequences to consider, they added.

Via: The incredible reason east sides of cities are poorer than west sides 

Tough Morning Routines Will Make You Exceptionally Successful

Your morning projects the vibe of the rest of your day, and that is something that the ultra-successful live by day-to-day. While the rest of the world is still struggling to find a coffee filter, there are people who have already laid the groundwork to make their day as productive and fantastic as possible.

Don’t just take my word for it, though. Everybody from Bill Gates to Mark Zuckerberg swear by their rigorous morning habits as a key to their success. And academic research shows that those who adopt morning routines have a greater “ability to take action to change a situation to one’s advantage.”

Adopting morning habits certainly isn’t a cakewalk (especially if you’re not a morning person), but the right ones will pay off enormously, and make it all worth the early morning cursing.

Here are some of thosehabits that willpay offfor your entire lifetime:

Get that worm.

Is a key to success waking up fifteen minutes before work and stumbling in while out of breath? Not just no, but hell no.

The most successful people take their mornings a step further by waking up very early. But Former First Lady Michelle Obama found even greater success when she realized that she needed to see herself as someone worth making time for.

“If I had to get up to take care of my kids, I’d get up and do that,” she said. “But when it comes to yourself, then suddenly, ‘Oh, I can’t get up at 4:30.’ So I had to change that.”

Even if your work doesn’t start early, take the time and generate the willpower to stay away from the snooze button. Finding the time to take care of yourselfin the morning is well worth the investment.

Don’t take anything for granted.

A day that starts off with a negative perspective is unlikely to be a great one, or even a good one. That’s why renowned life coach Tony Robbins suggests a morning “Hour of Power” or “Fifteen Minutes to Thrive.”

A big part of this involves thinking about what you’re grateful for. The benefits of gratitude are enormous — including reduced stress, increased productivity, and a generally improved sense of well-being.

No matter how grumpy you are when you roll out of bed, make an effort to be thankful. This can include family, friends, career, anything you wouldn’t want to take for granted. Then visualize “everything you want in your life as if you had it today.”

Indulge inthe silence.

Most of us, if not all of us, have just a little too much going on in our lives these days. Between the pressure at work, the crazy schedules of our families and the endless distractions from our phones and watches, there isn’t much quiet time (besides the very early morning, of course).

Take the opportunity to enjoy this time, because within the hour, all of the madness quickly starts to seep in. This quiet part of the day is the perfect time to indulge in some meditation.

If you are new to this, try the free app Headspace — it’s an introductory and guided meditation program that takes only ten minutes. Giving yourself this time has the ability to reduce stress and anxiety, improve sleep habits, increase memory and enhance relationships (just to name a few benefits).

Eat the frog.

We all have something on our to-do list that we just plain old hate doing, and a good majority of us will keep pushing it to the end of the day (or even to tomorrow), when we are exhausted from everything else, to finally get to it.

Instead of pushing things off, and getting exhausted in the process you should“eat the frog” (and no, I’m not referring to the French delicacy). Mark Twain famously claimed “If you eat a frog first thing in the morning that will probably be the worst thing you do all day.”

As productivity expert Brian Tracy says “Your ‘frog’ is your biggest, most important task, the one you are most likely to procrastinate on if you don’t do something about it.” He recommends tackling those tasks “before you do anything else and without taking too much time to think about it.”

Not only does this method avoid procrastination, but it’s also a way to tackle things that take the most mental resources when you have the most energy in your fuel tank.

Eat up.

As much as we sometimes hate to admit it, mom was right. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and successful CEOs from Branson to Zuckerberg have all sung its praises and said that a big breakfast benefits them throughout the day.

There’s a glut of science backing them up. Breakfast does everything from boost your mental power to getting you in better shape.

The naysayers all say, “I’m too tired!” Well, breakfast wakes you up, while not eating anything does the exact opposite. And for those who cry in protest that there isn’t enough time to make a big breakfast in the morning. You can always do it the night before. I do.

Get your sweat on.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey jogs six miles every morning. Apple CEO Tim Cook wakes up at five o’clock in the morning to get sweaty. You don’t have to do exactly what they do, but you should really consider some sort of morning workout.

You probably know that exercise is great for you, but what you might not know is that exerting yourself in the a.m. will actually leave you feeling more energized and awake. And working out in the morning is the key to staying consistent with your exercise goals. “If you work out before your day distracts you, your chances of exercising regularly go way up,” says Cedric Bryant of the American Council on Exercise.

We all have good intentions of how productive we will be when we get home from work, that is, until our end of the week deadline gets bumped to tomorrow or our child gets sent home from school with a fever — and just like that, poof, another day goes by without a workout.

Find inspiration.

No matter how grumpy you are in the A.M., forcing yourself to find inspiration will do more to get you out of bed than the most heavily caffeinated Starbucks product ever will. Even when I’m sleep deprived, thinking about the change I’ll make that daythrough LexION Capital gets me all amped up.

Look no further than the late Steve Jobs. He famously said that he looked in the mirror every morning and asked himself, “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?”

You don’t have to reinvent the computer. Just take five minutes or so every day to think about the things you can accomplish that day.

Via: Adopting These Tough Morning Routines 

10 Things Smart People Won’t Say 

Certain phrases carry special power—they make you look bad even when the words are true. Dr. Travis Bradberry shows you which 10 phrases to avoid.

There are some things you simply never want to say at work.

These phrases carry special power: they have an uncanny ability to make you look bad even when the words are true.

Worst of all, there’s no taking them back once they slip out.

I’m not talking about shocking slips of the tongue, off-color jokes, or politically incorrect faux pas. These aren’t the only ways to make yourself look bad.

Often it’s the subtle remarks—the ones that paint us as incompetent and unconfident—that do the most damage.

No matter how talented you are or what you’ve accomplished, there are certain phrases that instantly change the way people see you and can forever cast you in a negative light. These phrases are so loaded with negative implications that they undermine careers in short order.

1. “This is the way it’s always been done.” Technology-fueled change is happening so fast that even a six-month-old process could be outdated. Saying this is the way it’s always been donenot only makes you sound lazy and resistant to change, but it could make your boss wonder why you haven’t tried to improve things on your own. If you really are doing things the way they’ve always been done, there’s almost certainly a better way.

2. “It’s not my fault.” It’s never a good idea to cast blame. Be accountable. If you had any role—no matter how small—in whatever went wrong, own it. If not, offer an objective, dispassionate explanation of what happened. Stick to the facts, and let your boss and colleagues draw their own conclusions about who’s to blame. The moment you start pointing fingers is the moment people start seeing you as someone who lacks accountability for their actions. This makes people nervous. Some will avoid working with you altogether, and others will strike first and blame you when something goes wrong.

3. “I can’t.” I can’t is it’s not my fault’s twisted sister. People don’t like to hear I can’t because they think it means I won’t. Saying I can’t suggests that you’re not willing to do what it takes to get the job done. If you really can’t do something because you truly lack the necessary skills, you need to offer an alternative solution. Instead of saying what you can’t do, say what you can do. For example, instead of saying “I can’t stay late tonight,” say “I can come in early tomorrow morning. Will that work?” Instead of “I can’t run those numbers,” say “I don’t yet know how to run that type of analysis. Is there someone who can show me so that I can do it on my own next time?”

4. “It’s not fair.” Everyone knows that life isn’t fair. Saying it’s not fair suggests that you think life is supposed to be fair, which makes you look immature and naïve. If you don’t want to make yourself look bad, you need to stick to the facts, stay constructive, and leave your interpretation out of it. For instance, you could say, “I noticed that you assigned Ann that big project I was hoping for. Would you mind telling me what went into that decision? I’d like to know why you thought I wasn’t a good fit, so that I can work on improving those skills.”

5. “That’s not in my job description.” This often sarcastic phrase makes you sound as though you’re only willing to do the bare minimum required to keep getting a paycheck, which is a bad thing if you like job security. If your boss asks you to do something that you feel is inappropriate for your position (as opposed to morally or ethically inappropriate), the best move is to complete the task eagerly. Later, schedule a conversation with your boss to discuss your role in the company and whether your job description needs an update. This ensures that you avoid looking petty. It also enables you and your boss to develop a long-term understanding of what you should and shouldn’t be doing.

6. “This may be a silly idea …/I’m going to ask a stupid question.” These overly passive phrases instantly erode your credibility. Even if you follow these phrases with a great idea, they suggest that you lack confidence, which makes the people you’re speaking to lose confidence in you. Don’t be your own worst critic. If you’re not confident in what you’re saying, no one else will be either. And, if you really don’t know something, say, “I don’t have that information right now, but I’ll find out and get right back to you.”

7. “I’ll try.” Just like the word think, try sounds tentative and suggests that you lack confidence in your ability to execute the task. Take full ownership of your capabilities. If you’re asked to do something, either commit to doing it or offer an alternative, but don’t say that you’ll try because it sounds like you won’t try all that hard.

8. “This will only take a minute.” Saying that something only takes a minute undermines your skills and gives the impression that you rush through tasks. Unless you’re literally going to complete the task in 60 seconds, feel free to say that it won’t take long, but don’t make it sound as though the task can be completed any sooner than it can actually be finished.

9. “I hate this job.” The last thing anyone wants to hear at work is someone complaining about how much they hate their job. Doing so labels you as a negative person and brings down the morale of the group. Bosses are quick to catch on to naysayers who drag down morale, and they know that there are always enthusiastic replacements waiting just around the corner.

10. “He’s lazy/incompetent/a jerk.” There is no upside to making a disparaging remark about a colleague. If your remark is accurate, everybody already knows it, so there’s no need to point it out. If your remark is inaccurate, you’re the one who ends up looking like a jerk. There will always be rude or incompetent people in any workplace, and chances are that everyone knows who they are. If you don’t have the power to help them improve or to fire them, then you have nothing to gain by broadcasting their ineptitude. Announcing your colleague’s incompetence comes across as an insecure attempt to make you look better. Your callousness will inevitably come back to haunt you in the form of your coworkers’ negative opinions of you.


Via: 10 Things Smart People Won’t Say

The most valuable brands in the world, in one chart 


Where the most valuable brands come from.

Six years after it lost the crown to Apple Inc., Google Inc. has reclaimed the title of the most valuable brand in the world. For Android fans, the reversal of fortune is especially gratifying given that much of Apple’s luster was largely due to the success of its iPhone.

“Google won out mainly because Apple’s fall was even more dramatic. The iPhone company saw its value drop by 26%,” said HowMuch.Net.

As of 2017, Alphabet’s GOOGL, +0.08%GOOG, +0.20%  Google brand is worth $109.47 billion, and Apple AAPL, +0.60%  is valued at $107.14 billion.

“The market is volatile and their survival is precarious. Huge, wealthy brands can stumble and shrink to a ghost of their former selves,” HowMuch said.

Brand value is more than just how much money companies are worth, according to the cost-estimating website. It also captures the abstract quality of how much confidence consumers have in the brand, as well as name recognition.

Following closely on Apple’s heels is Inc. AMZN, +0.26%  at $106.37 billion. AT&T Inc. T, +0.32%  comes in at fourth with $87.2 billion and Microsoft Corp. MSFT, +1.09%   rounds out the top five at $76.27 billion, underscoring the dominance and the prestige of U.S. brands across the globe.

Samsung 005930, +0.00% the Korean conglomerate that makes everything from Galaxy smartphones to apparel, was sixth with a brand value of $66.2 billion. The only other non-American brand to crack the top 10 list was Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, at $47.8 billion, Brand Finance data show.

Brand Finance

Aside from the predominance of tech names in the U.S., banks were the most valuable in eight countries, although with the exception of Santander in Spain, most did not have much global recognition, according to HowMuch. Energy companies and telecommunication brands also popped up fairly often on the map.

Via: valuable brands 

classic cars that could fund your early retirement


Slide 1 of 11

January’s collector car auctions in Scottsdale, Arizona recently attracted well-heeled bidders from 30 countries, and 35 cars sold for more than $1 million. The car that fetched the most was this 1963 Jaguar, sold by Bonhams, for $7.37 million.

That’s enough to fund a pretty nice retirement — using the 4% rule — of about $295,000 a year.

There were 3,486 vehicles that sold for a total of $259.8 million, according to Hagerty, an insurer of collector cars.Here’s the other nine cars that sold for the most money:

RM Sotheby’s

Slide 2 of 11

A 1939 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster sold for $6.6 million at RM Sotheby’s.


Slide 3 of 11

A 1952 Ferrari 340 America Competizione Spider sold for $6.38 million (Bonhams)


Slide 4 of 11

This 1928 Mercedes-Benz Typ S Sports Tourer was sold for $4.81 million, also by Bonhams.

RM Sotheby’s
Slide 5 of 11

This 1969 Ferrari 365 GTS Spider sold for $3.6 million by RM Sotheby’s.

Gooding & Company

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A 1925 Bugatti Type 35 Grand Prix Roadster sold for $3.3 million by Gooding & Company.

RM Sotheby’s

Slide 7 of 11

This 1995 Ferrari F50 Coupe sold for $3.1 million (RM Sotheby’s)

RM Sotheby’s

Slide 8 of 11

A 1961 Ferrari 400 Superamerica Coupe sold for $3.08 million (RM Sotheby’s)


Slide 9 of 11

A 1965 Ferrari 500 Superfast Series I Coupe, similar to the one shown here, sold for $2.92 million at Gooding & Company.


Slide 10 of 11

A 1931 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Gran Sport Spider sold for $2.8 million at Bonhams.

Via: 10 classic cars that could fund your early retirement

First CEO at R. Lauren not named Ralph Lauren is unsaddled

Via: First CEO 

Johnny Depp’s financial woes are part of a much larger national problem

Everett Collection

Johnny Depp in “Dark Shadows” (2012).

The more money you make, the more likely you will overspend on luxuries

If Johnny Depp’s lavish lifestyle contributed to his financial woes, he’s not alone.

The “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “Alice in Wonderland” star is in a legal dispute with his former financial managers. Earlier this month, Depp sued The Management Firm, run by brothers Joel and Rob Mandel, alleging that they cost him $40 million and caused his Los Angeles residence to go into foreclosure; he also alleged they were to blame for a nearly $6 million tax bill. In turn, the brothers alleged breach of contract and fraud in a countersuit filed this week in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleging a “selfish, reckless and irresponsible lifestyle” that cost Depp $2 million per month. (Depp’s lawyer denied the charges; his spokeswoman did not respond to request for comment.)

Depp lived a luxurious Mad Hatter lifestyle, the suit alleges, including $75 million to buy and furnish 14 residences, a 45-acre French village, and a collection of islands in the Bahamas, plus $18 million to buy and renovate a 150-foot yacht, but Americans who have progressed in their careers face the same pitfalls. “Whether you’re an entertainer, athlete, or a salesman that had a great year, you cannot spend money at the pace of your very best income years,” says Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at personal finance site “Everyone wants to think their best year is the new norm, but you can’t spend like it is.”

Americans who earn more are actually more likely to overspend on unnecessary purchases with their credit cards, according to a study of 2,000 adults by personal finance site Nerdwallet released Tuesday. Some 65% of Americans with a household income of $100,000 per year reported overspending with their plastic, compared with just 52% of those with a household income of less than $50,000 per year and 60% for all income groups. What’s more, only 10% of those surveyed said they go into the red because their income doesn’t keep up with necessities. “Most of us overspend on stuff we don’t need,” says Sean McQuay, the company’s credit and banking expert.

Americans may have something else in common with Depp, who recently went through a very bitter and public divorce: They could be prone to emotional spending. Almost half of Americans (49%) say emotions have caused them to spend more than they can reasonably afford, the Nerdwallet survey found. Younger adults are more likely to say they overspend due to emotions — including stress, excitement and feelings of sadness — than older adults. Some 67% of millennials say they’re guilty of this, which might create another reason to escape real life and break out their wallet, versus 29% of baby boomers who are 65 and older.

And it’s never been easier to indulge yourself. Advertising, increasingly sophisticated retail psychology and our desire to express our identity through our clothes, gadgets and home play a part, but it’s also easier than it’s ever been, says New York-based behavioral scientist Matt Wallaert. The increase in credit card offers and the ease of one-click shopping “means that even trivial pressures can trigger a spend,” he says. Financial experts advise Americans to automate their savings, but instead they are increasingly automating their spending on everything from subscription boxes to digital subscriptions risk surpassing most cable bills.

Wealthier Americans face other economic headwinds too, including rising healthcare premiums. Real disposable income grew at a slower pace in 2016 than 2015, while consumer spending rose at the fastest pace in December since the last month of 2009. “The wealthy are not immune to poor budgeting habits and emotional spending trips,” McQuay says. “I imagine we can all think of a time when we had a large check coming in the mail from extra hours worked, a year-end bonus, or a tax refund.” But as the Depp saga shows, that’s the time when one should think about saving, rather than treating ourselves to something we couldn’t usually afford.




Via: Johnny Depp’s