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What the Fifteen Dollar Minimum Wage Means for Cities

July_29,_2013_Protestor

The debate over the $15 dollar minimum wage has two sides, one that believes that the higher wages will mean less jobs and the side that wants to see better incomes for employees in low skill jobs in America. Currently 2 states and 4 cities have passed laws to increase the minimum wage to this level over the next couple of years. This higher wage will have negative impacts on businesses and the workers that currently are employed there, while limiting the number of available jobs for young workers.

Franchise locations of the popular fast food chain McDonalds are everywhere and employee millions of American workers. But the franchises only keep 6 cents of every dollar of revenue that they generate, the rest goes to staff, food, rent, etc. A typical franchise has income of $2.6 million a year or $156,000. With this new minimum wage, 15 employees will cost the franchise 75% of its profit for the year. The company will attempt to increase revenue through price increases but customers are sensitive to these increases and lower wage earnings will be most affected by the increase in their purchases.

Rents To Slow Down In 2016 Rent Forecast

RentForecast

Rents  Down in 2016 Forecast

Zillow Rent Forecast sees rents to slow, shifting to low gear in all the 12 months of 2016 that will include even well-performing markets in the previous years.

For renters though, Zillow predicts a flat line this year as well, a market movement that is expected from a meager 1.1 % rent increase.

Back in 2015, rents shoot up over the charts well enough to go beyond the average income of most tenants and renters which then made rent affordability one of the most volatile issues then. This is dominantly obvious in rising metropolitan areas such as San Francisco where rent appreciation rose more than two digits or exactly 12.5 %. This will most likely not be an issue in 2016 where rent increases are performing only half as quickly compared to 2015.

Phil Mickelson's Insider Trading Scandal: No Penalty Stroke?

Phil Mickelson

The Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) last month issued a statement alleging that famous golfer Phil Mickelson profited to the tune of at least $931,000 due to insider trading. While the two other men implicated in the case, a professional gambler and a former board member of Dean Foods, are facing potential jail time (the typical punishment in such situations), Mickelson hasn't been charged with any crime at all.

The U.S. federal government has been investigating this case for decades, but instead of being contrite and owning up to the alleged crimes Mickelson's lawyer issued a statement stating the pro golf player is an "innocent bystander" and he is not deserving of the focus and "false finger pointing."

Yes, Mickelson agreed to pay back the $931,000, as well as about $100,000 in interest, to the government. But as per the SEC's own rules, he should have never been in possession of this money in the first place.

Instead of facing jail time, however, Mickelson merely had to cut a check for $931,000. He didn't even have to promise to not engage in similar behavior in the future. Even for someone worth so much money, handing $931,000 to the government without putting up a fight seems suspicious.

How Technology Is Transforming Wealth Management

WealthManagement

These days it only take a simple touch of a screen or button to fulfill a whole bunch of everyday functions. This might be for simple leisure-related pursuits such as dinner reservations or buying tickets to a sporting event or gig. However, more complex tasks such as wealth management and investing are also becoming fully integrated into this brave new technology digital world.

Whereas once upon a time wealth management was a highly complex activity trusted to experts, the evolution of cutting-edge software has allowed it to become much more accessible, affordable and generally consumer-friendly. This can apply to investors at the introductory stages of accumulating personal wealth as well as those at a more advanced stage.

One of the best things abut automaton is that it also includes a human advice aspect. Software can be used to guide real-life human advisors in creating guidance for consumers. This is much deeper than jut using algorithms. Indeed, so-called goals-based engagement is sophisticated and allows for individually desired investment outcomes and goal values. There is a personal touch that helps a wealth advisor to take heed of infinite market outcomes and life scenarios. Basically, technology combined with human advice means that wealth management is more holistic than ever.

Oil Prices Could Move Higher to $45 or $60 a Barrel

oilprices

With the demand for oil continuing to increase every year from 1 to 2 percent, the price is destined to rebound higher within the next couple of years. Supply has fallen due to a lack of new production with the current price suppressed. We have seen trading around $30 with prices moving around a little bit, a general trend upward over the past 3 months. This price increase has been noticed at retail gasoline stations across the country.

Some view a yearly target of $45/barrel as being reasonable with a two to three year target of $60.

There are a couple of caveats to the price discussion. Derivatives are largely responsible for the price of the commodity. So supply and demand are often obscured from the current prices by these trading instruments. And their price is more volatile than a straight commodity traded on an exchange would be. A world event could cause the price to fall or jump quickly.

Twitter Disappoints With Quarterly Earnings Report

Jack_Dorsey_2014

CEO Jack Dorsey is attempting to turn around Twitter but the latest quarter result, released Tuesday night, is no indication that will happen anytime soon. First quarter 2016 advertising revenue came in softer than anticipated. Analyst were hoping for $608 million in revenue but the company only produced $595 million. Shares tumbled after hours last night and opened up down 16% were they stayed all day (closing at $14.86), even as the overall market climbed in the afternoon.

Twitter added 5 million new users during the quarter, although Twitter is famous for having more fake accounts created than real accounts. The company also stated that 310 million users are active each month. The is an improvement over user sign-ups and activity from prior quarters. The popular social media site ranks second in media attention behind only Facebook.

Profitable Businesses to Start In 2016

Startup2016

Many consider self-employment the American dream and strive towards leaving their jobs behind. Lets take a look at some business that will be profitable in 2016 if you are one of these individuals looking for a business idea. You might consider what you know about and what you are good at doing. But looking at profitable industries can also be of great help.

The metals industry has a good profit margin, around 10% net, and there is plenty of demand at this time for coating and engravers. The repair of electronic equipment is something that everyone is looking for to save some money in comparison to purchasing the latest version. Net profit in the industry is a little bit better than 10.3%. Another place to look is technological consulting. Help companies get up to speed on new products and services in the marketplace.

Sell-Off Of Troubled H & R Block Stocks Opens Opportunity To Savvy Investors

H_R_Block,_Cairo

H and R Block shares have come down 21% in the last month after a disappointing third quarter caused a mass exodus by investors from the stock. However, we believe that fourth quarter earnings could turn H and R Block stock around and potentially offer up a significant opportunity for the savvy investor.

Though the third quarter is traditionally low performing for H and R Block, this year's loss was greater than expected. Revenue declined to $475 million, far lower than the expected $502 million. The third quarter loss amounted to $79 million, a significant increase from the $37 million third quarter loss experienced in 2015. In its third quarter results, the company also noted that they have experienced their fourth consecutive year of declining volume.

Day Trader Tax Strategies Can Save Money

Day Trader Taxes

If you are a day trader, the following day trader tax strategies are for you.

Are you in the habit of trading stocks frequently on a daily basis? If so, there are some things you need to understand about the way the US government views this habit. If not, you could find yourself consumed with paperwork come April 15, and your profits will shrink once the IRS takes its share.

Here are some things you need to know if you are an active investor seeking to reduce your tax bills.

Trader versus Investor

These words each have special meaning in the tax world and carry with them some positives and negatives. By IRS definition, most individuals are considered investors. However, if your days are spent buying and selling, you are more likely a trader. Having this title could save you some serious cash at tax time. What is more, your investing expenses, like computer and other home office equipment are fully deductible.

H&R Block Earnings And Performance

H&RBlockTaxPrep

H & R Block is experiencing some bad moments as a result of the delay in the commencement of tax filing for the current year. The company made it known last year that their earnings have taken a bad shape and the situation is worsened by the fact that the company also had a loss in the last quarter. The unstable value of the currency also worsens the condition.

The situation looks horrible to them. Things do not seem favorable as there have been series of loses in recent times. For example, the last auditing showed that the value of shares dropped by more than 5%, making the stock to be valued at about $31. The effect of that downward trend still has an effect in the value of stocks in the current year.

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