Finance – Tesoro High School Mon, 21 Jun 2021 19:45:43 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Finance – Tesoro High School 32 32 Mariners’ Kyle Lewis is unanimous AL Rookie of the Year, but stats say he shouldn’t have won Mon, 22 Mar 2021 09:38:21 +0000

I support Kyle Lewis.

He was an absolute steal in the No. 11 overall selection in the 2016 Draft. Outside of Mercer University, Lewis did not have the pedigree of most of the top varsity rookies, but his dominance both at the University of Mercer. school and in the wood bat competition made him a solid choice with a bright future.

Then he blew his knee just over a month later, tearing his ACL and lateral and medial meniscus, significantly delaying what appeared to be a meteoric rise in the big leagues. He only reached the greats in 2019 and maintained his rookie status in the 2020 campaign shortened by Covid.

Last night, the Seattle Mariners outfielder was unanimously named American League Rookie of the Year, beating White Sox finalists Luis Robert and Astros Cristian Javier. I’m here to tell you that the voters got it wrong and Lewis is clearly the third choice among this group.

What did voters see? They allegedly take the numbers into consideration these days, and they’ve certainly looked at WAR (Wins Above Replacement). Fangraphs WAR ranked Lewis (1.7 WAR) and Robert (1.5) far ahead of Javier (0.5). Baseball Reference WAR was much closer: Robert (1.6 WAR) followed by Lewis (1.4) and Javier (1.3).

If you’ve ever read my work here, you know I see it a bit differently. What do the batt-based metrics tell us that these players “should have” played this season?

First, let’s look at the pitcher who made his way into this conversation with the two young center fielders.

Very quietly, Cristian Javier has had a hell of a year for an Astros club which found itself without Gerrit Cole (via free agency) and Justin Verlander (via injury). Thanks in part to Javier and his compatriot Framber Valdez, the Astros have made their way to the playoffs.

Valdez and Javier are two polar opposites. Valdez is a plumber with the lowest average allowable throw angle (1.1) degrees among MLB ERA qualifiers. Javier fell within six innings of qualifying for the ERA title and posted a significantly higher average launch angle (24.6 degrees) than the more qualified starter (Trevor Bauer, 20.7 degrees).

Javier’s low Fangraphs WAR total is due to his FIP of 4.94, which was well above his ERA of 3.48. Using granular data on batted balls, Javier “should have” posted an even better “Tru” ERA of 3.22. Fangraphs sees a flying ball launcher and penalizes him for being one. Javier allowed fairly weak contact with the flying ball (80 adjusted score for contact with the flying ball, on a scale where 100 equals the average). Oh, and his average allowed ground exit speed of 78.4 MPH was slower than any AL ERA qualifier. His adjusted contact score of 77 would have placed him 2nd in the AL Contact Manager of the Year race, had he pitched just six more innings. He deserves credit for this aspect of his performance.

His K / BB profile was average for the league, in fact a little better. His “Tru” ERA of 73 translates to 7.2 shots above average. Only 7 AL ERA qualifiers exceeded this mark; in fact, he just crushed his teammate Valdez (6.2), who finished tied for 8th.

Next, let’s take a look at the two center fielder, Lewis and Robert. They operated in tandem offensively throughout the season, starting strong and ending in deep collapses. Robert finished with a traditional hitting line of 0.233-0.302-0.436, and Lewis finished at 0.262-0.364-0.437. What do the batted ball metrics tell us?

Robert was about who his “real” numbers told us he was with the bat. He underperformed a bit on flying balls (148 unadjusted vs. 174 adjusted contact score) and Grounders (143 vs. 97) and slightly outperformed on liners (120 vs. 107). Adding the K’s and the BB’s, Robert’s projected line of .221-.291-.445 offers almost exactly the same value as his actual line. Overall, it’s worth (1.3) above average batting strokes, or 1.3 below average.

Lewis, on the other hand, was extremely lucky on in-play balls, especially on fly balls (151 unadjusted flyball contact score vs. adjusted 116) and Grounders (179 against 80). He sort of beat .286 on the Grounders despite an extreme tendency to shoot the Grounders. His liner (92.0 mph) and Grounder (82.7 mph) average authority were both significantly below the league average. There’s a tremendous amount of luck in Lewis’s ‘real’ 2020 numbers, thanks to some bloops and dribblers who landed hits – he ‘should have’ hit .222-.332-.394, or (0.3) hits above average.

To fairly compare Robert against Lewis, we need to take both base run and defense into consideration. Per Fangraphs, they both added 1.7 points net with their baserunning, but Robert has a huge advantage in defensive skill, from 3.4 to (1.0) points net. And you only need to see the two play once to see the difference – Robert is a true center fielder with corner outfield power, and Lewis is a corner outfielder with a pop in the middle of the field.

Count it, and Robert is recording 3.8 points above average, and Lewis is essentially a league average player at +0.4.

The numbers tell us Javier is the clear pick for Rookie of the Year. Now pitchers will sometimes take a little longer to reach their true level of talent compared to batters, so I could argue that Robert’s 3.8 rating is more “real” than Javier’s 7.2, but I could live with either of the players winning the material. Unfortunately, the writers went in another direction.

That said, I am happy to see Kyle Lewis healthy and established as an MLB contributor. Best wishes to him as the Mariners continue to rebuild.

Tomorrow we’ll take a similar look at the NL ROY race, won by Brewers reliever Devin Williams.

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The effects of a bad credit rating; Be aware of Covid supplements Mon, 22 Mar 2021 09:38:21 +0000

Bad credit doesn’t just affect getting a loan or credit card

It’s practically a universal truth: having a low credit score is bad. But what you might not realize is that having a low credit score can affect more than just your finances. Those with a credit score between 300 and 549 indicate that their bad credit history has impacted their housing, careers, relationships, and even their ability to communicate. In fact, around 28% of those with poor credit say they can’t rent the apartment they want, while 22% have been denied a cell phone plan. [CNBC]


Beware of Covid surcharges on credit card statements

Industry reports indicate that surcharges on credit card could become standard practice during the pandemic. Retailers are allowed to charge customers to cover merchant expenses when customers use credit cards. Merchants can set a minimum of $ 10 for credit card purchases under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. [NWest Iowa]

Credit card companies sent 63% fewer offers in last quarter

Credit card companies sent only 407 million credit card offers in the third quarter of 2020. For comparison, the same companies sent 1.1 billion card offers in the third quarter of 2019, a decrease of 63% compared to last year. During the same period, there was a 53% drop in mailings for the insurance, telecommunications and financial services sectors combined. []

How 5G will transform digital banking in 2021

Covid-19 has sparked a digital banking boom, caused by social distancing measures and lockdown restrictions. This has led more and more people to open savings accounts with their mobile devices and for existing customers to put money aside for an uncertain future. Next year will bring even more growth opportunities for digital banks and a remarkable transformation for financial services. But this time around, the catalyst for growth won’t be the pandemic, but the launch of 5G. Digital banking is inextricably linked with mobile phones. [Computer Weekly]

Visa has quietly warmed up to crypto, with PayPal and Square

The price of bitcoin rose 190% in 2020 and hit a new all-time high on Wednesday. The rise was mainly attributed to two factors: institutional investment by Wall Street companies and public support for PayPal and Square, two very big names in consumer payments. But Visa, a company larger than the other two combined, has also slowly warmed to cryptocurrency. Visa’s crypto milestones may hold the greatest potential for mainstream adoption. [Yahoo Finance]

Mastercard loses $ 18.6 billion in UK class action court ruling

MasterCard faces the prospect of a UK $ 18.6 billion class action lawsuit, the largest of its kind, after losing another battle in the nation’s highest court over illegal sweeping charges. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of a group behind a British lawsuit plan, representing some 46 million consumers. Friday’s ruling also paves the way for a slew of class actions, after judges made it easier to file mass claims. [Bloomberg]

Millennials and Generation Z are the most likely to use mobile banking apps. here’s why

Mobile banking is a convenient way to manage your money on the go and continues to grow in popularity. In fact, 54% of consumers agreed they were using digital banking tools more now, due to the pandemic, than they did last year. It’s no surprise that Millennials and Gen Z are the two groups that use mobile banking apps the most. The study found that 99% of Gen Z and 98% of Millennials use a mobile banking app for a wide range of tasks, including viewing account balances, checking their credit score, and depositing money. a check. [CNBC]


Citi CEO Says Long-Term Productivity May Suffer From Remote Work

Citigroup’s Michael Corbat said he was concerned about the potential long-term negative effects after many of his employees spent the vast majority of 2020 working from home. The CEO said in May that, unlike some of his competitors, he was not considering the option of letting workers stay at home permanently after the pandemic was over. The bank, which has around 200,000 employees worldwide, wants to see how productivity evolves over long periods of time and whether creativity suffers before deciding how much homework to allow. [Bloomberg]

It’s not too late to earn extra credit card rewards on last-minute holiday shopping

It has been a difficult year for credit card. But card issuers are still hoping to end this year with a good holiday season. There are plenty of great deals currently available for vacation shoppers. It’s not too late to take advantage of your credit cards to save money on purchases, interest charges, or both. Here are several ways you can use your credit cards to save money on your holiday shopping. [Money]

DoorDash, Payfare to Provide Instant Payment Solution to Dashers

DoorDash and Payfare launched DasherDirect, a banking solution for DoorDash delivery drivers called Dashers, offering a business prepaid Visa card and mobile banking app. With the card, Dashers can be paid daily, with earnings automatically added daily to the DasherDirect Visa card at no charge. Dashers can check their balance, pay bills, transfer money, find free ATMs in the app, and earn 2% fuel back at any station. [The Paypers]


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Is zero percent financing possible with bad credit? Mon, 22 Mar 2021 09:38:21 +0000

Sometimes you see advertisements from automakers saying they can get you a brand new vehicle for over 80 months with zero percent financing. It may sound like a lot, but who really qualifies for 0% auto financing? It turns out that there aren’t many borrowers.

0% offers and bad credit

When you borrow money from a lender, you usually can’t do it for free. They charge you to borrow that money to buy the car, in most cases, in the form of interest. The amount you are charged is expressed as a percentage, and those with the best credit rating are generally eligible for the lowest interest rates.

In some cases, a borrower with an excellent credit rating may be eligible for zero percent funding, which means that they will not accumulate interest charges during the loan. However, borrowers with scores below around 660 (the typical bad credit range) are not normally eligible for these types of offers.

It is not plausible that a borrower with bad credit will count on the approval of a 0% finance contract. When you look at some of the details of these zero percent auto finance deals, they normally indicate that they are only for “well qualified” borrowers. Even borrowers in the 700 credit score range may find it difficult to meet the requirements of these agreements.

Additionally, most 0% finance deals are for new cars, and bad credit borrowers may have trouble qualifying for a new vehicle loan simply because of the high sticker prices. Zero percent finance agreements can also come with conditions that can make a borrower think twice.

Do these offers really have zero interest?

Yes, these car deals can really come with zero percent financing during the term of the loan. But, read all the fine print.

If you are responsible for your loans and have good credit then a 0% auto finance deal can be a great way to get into a new vehicle and save money on interest charges. .

However, these offers usually come with terms that could bite you in the end. They can declare that you pay no interest for 84 months if you stay up to date on the loan. Some offers may even come with a condition that late or missing payments mean you’re breaking the loan agreement, which could cause you to owe late interest on previous months – and pay interest on all of them. future car payments.

If you are not very diligent with your payments, you will probably be charged interest anyway, even if you were initially entitled to 0% interest.

What Can I Get With Bad Credit?

As a general rule, getting approval for a zero percent interest rate, or even an interest rate of less than 5%, with bad credit is implausible. These low interest rates are generally reserved for borrowers with the best credit.

However, that doesn’t mean you can’t get approved for auto financing.

There are auto loans for borrowers with less than perfect credit who have the ability to repair their credit. Subprime auto lenders work specifically with borrowers in unique credit situations, and they are registered with special finance brokers.

These lenders also report their auto loans to major credit bureaus, so your on-time payments can help improve your credit score for future credit opportunities. With a little hard work and patience, you can increase your credit and possibly benefit from lower interest rates or even those 0% finance deals in the future.

Finding a Special Finance Dealer is the tricky part of getting a subprime auto loan, but we’ve created an easier way to find a dealer with the resources you need here at Auto Express Credit. To be matched with a special financial dealer, complete our car loan application form – it’s completely free, no obligation, and we’ll immediately get to work to find a dealer for you in your area.

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Alabama basketball finally realizes its potential Mon, 22 Mar 2021 09:38:21 +0000

Kentucky has really tried.

Alabama coach Nate Oats was keen to compliment his team’s breathtaking opponent on Tuesday night, as if the UK were some kind of bad luck that had been lining up at the DMV for six hours.

“Lots of credit in Kentucky,” Oats said. “Obviously, they’re struggling. Thanks to them for competing as hard as they did.

The UK has left its titles and reputation at home, however. Good luck finding them.

Can’t you just feel the love? It’s so pure.

And delicious.

The Alabama No.9 played very well both in offense and defense against the Wildcats, Oats continued, but the Crimson Tide still beat the UK 70-59. Big Blue is an emotion in Kentucky these days more than an alternate nickname for the SEC powerhouse which has more wins in program history than any other team in the country. Young, hand-strapped Kentucky are now 5-10 overall and 4-4 in the SEC.

Alabama’s latest home win sent sports journalists scrambling for the record books. The Tomes of Knowledge tell us that this is the first time that Alabama has taken two from Kentucky in a season since the invention of the World Wide Web (1989).

Don’t be shocked. The Crimson Tide is finally realizing its full potential. Some have tried to tell you that Alabama basketball has better days ahead. It just took a little longer than expected.

GOOD MAN: Why Nick Saban is the GOAT

At this point in the display of images from my mind, I imagine Oats walking into an empty Coleman Coliseum and muttering “What about those apples?” Like Matt Damon’s character in “Good Will Hunting”. It’s Oats’ second season at Tuscaloosa, and former Detroit County Airport High School coach Wayne is proving he can forge winners at every level.

Alabama basketball has now won 10 in a row, which is a bit unbelievable. This is the next Pistons for Oats, right?

We could waste time and inches here in this space joking about how this all looks weird and upside down, and that Alabama basketball is entering a golden era, or we could just get down to business. After all, we predicted it from Alabama months ago.

Alabama currently has the best basketball team in the SEC thanks to a combination of things but mostly for these reasons: Herb Jones and John Petty are excellent senior leaders, Alabama has length on the wings for put the defensive kibosh on teams late in the game and, coming in Tuesday, the Crimson Tide led the SEC in just about every stat that matters.

No kidding either.

Alabama raged off an 8-0 start in the SEC leading the league in all of those conference-only categories: attempts (243) and scores (528), three-point attempts (106), three-point marks (252) and three-point percentage (0.421), rebounds (329), assists (126), steals (76) and points (694).

And then Alabama won on a bad night against Kentucky and Oats attributed the victory to Alabama’s team culture. Good teams win on lousy nights. Great teams, however, know that winning the hard way is better than any record breaking blowout.

“We said we were going to win the game on defense,” Oats said. “Our attack was really in trouble. “

We already knew Alabama was tough as a tire iron because Herb Jones demands it every night, but the Crimson Tide put that fact into place with this ugly try-hards win. Oats called Jones the country’s top defenseman in the coach’s post-game Zoom session, and I won’t be the hacker to disagree with that assessment.

Jones had gauze hanging from his left nostril from a bloody nose earlier as he finished the game with free throws. Its normal appearance, in other words.

It’s impossible for me to love a player more than this guy. He puts his body in danger every time. Humble Herb, One-Hand Herb, Keith Askins reincarnated, whatever we call him, he’s writing a legacy this season that will last a long time in Tuscaloosa and in the courts around Alabama.

In many years, Jones’ commemorative Alabama bobblehead will come with all kinds of first aid and gym dirt.

GOOD MAN: What is America? Hank Aaron helped define the answer

“I can’t say enough about Jones,” Oats said.

Don’t try me, Coach.

As Oats bragged after the game, Jones was one rebound and two assists away from a triple-double (13-9-8) despite a back pain.

Alabama (14-3 overall and 9-0 in the SEC) now has Oklahoma’s No.24 (10-4, 6-3) on the road this weekend, and Oats mentioned that a non-conference victory on Saturday could help resume construction in March. The Sooners beat No.5 Texas 80-79 on Tuesday. No one is quite set to crown the No.1 seed Alabama yet, but the conversation for a high placement in the NCAA tournament is approaching with a few more wins.

In the end, this one against Kentucky probably won’t matter as much as a second dub against Auburn. The ‘Cats gave him a good effort, however.

Joseph Goodman is a columnist for the Alabama Media Group. He’s on Twitter @JoeGoodmanJr.

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Spotify may have already won podcasting Mon, 22 Mar 2021 09:38:20 +0000

Podcasts exploded in 2020. People created nearly 900,000 new podcasts last year, according to Chartable, and hungry listeners couldn’t get enough. Audience in the United States grew 90%, and it grew even faster in other countries tracked by the podcast measurement company.

One thing that stands out from Chartable’s data is the predominance Spotify (NYSE: SPOT) has become, thanks to its strategy podcast acquisitions. And despite the consolidation taking place in the industry, he may have built an insurmountable lead in most areas of podcasting on the creative, advertising and listening side of the equation.

Image source: Spotify.

Spotify is the easy choice for all podcast makers big and small

Spotify has two valuable podcast hosting companies: Anchor, acquired in early 2019, and Megaphone, acquired at the end of last year. Together, the two host around 35% of all podcasts that have entered the Apple top 200 last year. Spotify’s platforms host 3.5 times more podcasts than its next closest competitor, Scripps– Owned Triton.

Anchor provides an easy platform for creators to get started. In fact, the company said that podcasts created by Anchor accounted for 80% of new podcasts on its platform in 2020. The total number of podcasts on Spotify increased by 1.5 million last year, suggesting that 1, 2 million new podcasts started on Anchor during this time. That’s well above Chartable’s count for total new podcasts for the year.

Anchor may still have room to grow in countries outside of the United States where podcast creation is growing much faster. It currently only offers its monetization tools in the United States.

Meanwhile, Megaphone offers more robust hosting and monetization capabilities for professional creators and media companies. It is by far the most popular hosting service for podcasts reaching Apple’s top 200. Megaphone could gain market share as Spotify integrates its streaming ad insertion technology into the platform, making it even more appealing to podcasts looking to monetize a large and diverse audience with more precision. advertising targeting.

For a company to catch up with Spotify in hosting, it would have to make multiple acquisitions and grow those platforms faster than Spotify can develop Anchor and Megaphone.

Spotify takes part in listening to podcasts

When it comes to listening to podcasts, there are two apps that stand out above the rest: Spotify and Apple podcasts. But the first is gaining market share, while the second is losing some.

Last year, 25.5% of podcast listeners used Spotify and 37.8% used Apple. But Apple’s share fell by 42.7% in 2019, while Spotify increased its market share by 19.9%. In fact, Spotify was one of only two podcast apps to increase its market share, according to Chartable. the iHeartRadio the application went from 2% to almost 4%.

Two factors are expected to help propel Spotify’s position even higher in 2021. The first is the faster growth in podcast creation and listening outside of the United States. Apple’s podcast app is only available on Apple devices, which have a much larger market share in the United States than outside the country.

Second, Spotify has a growing list of exclusive podcasts, which may make more listeners at least try Spotify as a podcast player. The streaming company still has a long way to go for more of its music listeners to listen to podcasts in the app as well. Only 25% of its listeners tried podcasts on Spotify in the fourth quarter, up from 16% at the end of 2019.

The future of podcasting on Spotify

Spotify no longer plans any major acquisitions in this space. “The bulk of our strategy going forward, although we are not ruling out any further acquisitions, is to increase the capacity of our own production capabilities that we now have across all of the studios we have acquired,” said CEO Daniel Ek on Spotify’s fourth quarter earnings call. He also said that there are many more exclusive productions in the works, which the company hopes to continue to develop on its audiences.

The opportunity for Spotify is huge. Podcast advertising in the United States is expected to climb well above $ 1.1 billion this year. Spotify has the ability to participate in these ad spending through its own productions and through monetization tools in Anchor and Megaphone. The biggest opportunity is a change from radio advertising, which still accounts for around $ 12 billion in the United States. Spotify’s ad-supported business generated less than $ 1 billion in 2020.

While Spotify will invest money in developing new content for its platform, it has the opportunity to grow its advertising business and take advantage of fixed content costs. In addition, it will continue to gain market share in a growing industry.

This article represents the opinion of the author, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a premium Motley Fool consulting service. We are heterogeneous! Challenging an investment thesis – even one of our own – helps us all to think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.

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Tencent’s battle with ByteDance could lure antitrust regulators Mon, 22 Mar 2021 09:38:20 +0000

ByteDance, Chinese tech giant that owns TikTok, recently sued its biggest rival Tencent (OTC: TCEHY) on alleged violations of antitrust laws. ByteDance says Tencent has blocked users of its WeChat and QQ apps – which host 1.21 billion and 617 million monthly active mobile users, respectively – from accessing content on Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok.

ByteDance claims Tencent is blocking Douyin to promote WeChat’s own short video channels and is seeking 90 million yuan ($ 14 million) in damages. Let’s see how the ByteDance lawsuit could cause headaches for Tencent, which is already under review by antitrust regulators in China.

Image source: Getty Images.

Trying to trigger an antitrust investigation

In recent months, China’s State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) has tightened its grip on the country’s biggest tech companies. He fined Tencent and Ali Baba (NYSE: BABA) on acquisitions not approved last December, and recently introduced new rules to curb China’s two largest payment platforms, Tencent’s WeChat Pay and Alibaba-backed AliPay.

SAMR has launched a antitrust investigation in Alibaba’s e-commerce business in late December, and demanded its markets end their exclusive deals with merchants and aggressive pricing strategies. Complaints from Alibaba’s competitors, including and Pinduo, would have triggered this probe.

ByteDance probably wants to trigger a similar antitrust investigation against Tencent. Douyin currently reaches over 400 million daily active users in China, but it’s still much smaller than WeChat and QQ.

Understanding Tencent’s strategies

QQ, Tencent’s old messaging platform, is gradually declining. But WeChat – a monolithic app that hosts millions of built-in “mini-programs” for online shopping, payments, food deliveries, ridesharing services, online news, games, music, and more. – continues to grow.

A woman listens to music on her phone.

Image source: Getty Images.

Tencent sees popular apps that keep users away from this walled garden, including ByteDance’s Douyin and its news app Jinri Toutiao, as long-term threats, especially if it offers its own app or competing feature in WeChat.

Tencent previously banned WeChat users from posting links to Jinri Toutiao news. Tencent has also not approved ByteDance’s WeChat mini-programs for its cloud-based desktop platform, Feishu. This is why it was not surprising that Tencent finally cut its users from the Douyin videos.

Tencent likely cut these apps to protect Tencent News, Tencent Cloud Office, and WeChat’s short video channels from ByteDance apps. These measures certainly appear anti-competitive and could cause SAMR to take a close look at the relationship between WeChat, its built-in features, and Tencent’s other mobile apps.

It’s not about money, it’s about sending a message

ByteDance generated $ 37 billion in revenue last year, according to Information, so a $ 14 million settlement would be a drop in the ocean. It also won’t matter much to Tencent, which generated nearly $ 54 billion in revenue in the first. nine months 2020. Therefore, ByteDance’s latest lawsuit against Tencent isn’t really about the money – it’s about luring regulators to Tencent.

ByteDance has sued Tencent before, but none of these legal challenges have yet been definitively resolved. However, his latest trial marks the first time he has openly accused Tencent of violating “antitrust laws” – which could certainly attract the attention of SAMR.

What is at stake for Tencent?

Analysts expect Tencent’s revenue and earnings per share to grow 38% and 49%, respectively, this year. Next year, they expect its revenue and EPS to grow another 24% and 18%, respectively, while his game, advertising, social media, fintech and business services all continue to generate double-digit percentage sales growth.

Based on these expectations, Tencent’s stock still appears reasonably priced at around 40 times forward earnings, even after rising nearly 90% in the past 12 months. However, analysts could quickly lower those estimates if SAMR drops the hammer on Tencent as it did on Alibaba.

Therefore, Tencent investors should keep a close eye on these developments, which could trigger a full-blown crisis if other companies follow ByteDance’s lead.

This article represents the opinion of the author, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a premium Motley Fool consulting service. We are heterogeneous! Challenging an investment thesis – even one of our own – helps us all to think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.

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Game-changing sports cars, SUVs and sedans Mon, 22 Mar 2021 09:38:19 +0000

Until self-driving cars put an end to the many joys of driving, automakers are offering avid motorists a plethora of performance-driven models with remarkable technology for 2018 and beyond. Engines that generate 500, 600 and even nearly 800 horsepower power the latest sports cars, while some of the more racy sport utility vehicles can hit 60 mph in 4 seconds defying carpooling. Sophisticated new chassis control systems allow drivers to adjust the ride and handling of a vehicle, from aggressive to relaxed, in a snap. And the range of safety and convenience features offered also breaks new ground.

Here’s a look at some of the hottest premium cars and crossover SUVs that will debut for 2018 that will guarantee you both bragging rights and top-notch parking spots in the months to come.


Muscle and beauty

Mercedes-Benz AMG GT R

Mercedes’ dynamically designed sports car gets a performance infusion with a new premium version of the AMG GT R coupe that makes more use of lightweight construction and comes with aerodynamic exterior upgrades, as well as a 577 twin cylinder. hand made ch. turbocharged V8 engine under its long hood. Essentially a legal racing car, the GT R can hit 60 mph in just 3.5 seconds and hit a criminal speed of 198 mph.

Vital Specifications: 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 engine with 577 hp; seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

Price: $ 157,000.


Ahead of the curves


Audi presents the fastest production version to date of its curvy TT sports coupe for 2018. A supercharged five-cylinder engine propels the top TT to 100 km / h in 3.6 seconds, while a traction system Rear-facing integral and magnetic suspension help it manage curves with a well-balanced dropout. Inside, the driver is in control with Audi’s innovative Virtual Cockpit, a configurable large-screen electronic instrument cluster.

Vital Specifications: 2.5-liter, 400-hp five-cylinder turbocharged engine; seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Price: $ 64,900.


Bull in power


Because too much is never enough, the new Performante enhances the already astonishing capabilities of the Lamborghini Huracán with a recalibrated V10 engine that puts 640 horsepower on the pavement. Built with heavy use of aluminum and carbon fiber to keep its curb weight to a minimum, the Angular All-Wheel Drive Huracán Performante can hit 60 mph in just under three seconds. A new “Ala” active aerodynamics system adjusts the air valves in the front and rear spoilers to increase downforce when cornering or simply increase the car’s top speed.

Vital Specifications: V10 engine of 5.2 liters and 640 hp; seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Price: $ 274,390.


Il Magnifico


Named after Italy’s highest cobbled mountain pass, Adventurer Stelvio is Alfa Romeo’s first crossover SUV. Bigger and more spacious, but otherwise resembling a close family to the sports sedan Giulia on which it is based, the Stelvio is motivated by the choice of a lively 280bhp turbo-four engine or a twin-turbo. pazzo (crazy) based on Ferrari. V6 in the top-of-the-range Quadrifoglio model.

Vital Specifications: 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 280 hp or 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 with 505 hp; eight-speed automatic transmission.

Price: $ 41,995.

Range Rover

The chic performer


Bigger than its automotive cousin, the evocative Evoque, the new five-passenger Velar is just as stylish. It offers a choice of three available engines: a vigorous four-cylinder and a downright aggressive V6, as well as a fuel-efficient turbodiesel. All-wheel drive is standard and can be enhanced with a range of available traction enhancement technologies. Proving the Velar isn’t just about its beauty, it can tow up to 5,500 pounds with the V6 and makes it easy to hitch a trailer via Advanced Tow Assist controlled by a rotary dial.

Vital Specifications: 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 247 hp, 3.0-liter V6 engine with 380 hp or 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine with 180 hp; eight-speed automatic transmission. Price: $ 49,900.

The cool cat


Jaguar adds a smaller, but no less lively, alternative to the F-Pace SUV for 2018: the curvy and compact E-Pace. A choice of four-cylinder turbo engines generate 246 and 296 hp respectively, with all-wheel drive as standard; the latter can be fitted with Jaguar’s Active Driveline technology, which can send 100% of the torque from the rear axle to either wheel for faster handling. Options include an Adaptive Dynamics active suspension system and Configurable Dynamics system, which allow the operator to choose more passive or assertive operation.

Vital Specifications: 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine developing 246 hp or 296 hp; nine-speed automatic transmission. Price: $ 38,600.


Alexis Georgeson for Tesla

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The smaller, cheaper alternative to the all-electric Tesla Model S arrives for 2018 and promises 220-310 miles of range on one charge, depending on the battery. It has a clean interior for five passengers with a large tablet-like screen up front and offers Tesla’s autopilot system, with semi-autonomous driving capabilities. A twin-engine, all-wheel-drive version is expected later in 2018. But unless you already have a bond, you’ll have to wait 12-18 months for delivery.

Vital Specifications: Electric motor, single speed transmission, 220 miles per charge. Price: $ 35,000.

Raise the flagship


A redesigned version of Lexus’ large LS sedan is longer, lower, wider, lighter and now designed for a more engaging driving experience. A twin-turbo V6 produces 415 horsepower similar to that of a V8, with a powerful 442 pound-feet of torque. A sleeker F-Sport version and a hybrid version with an electrified V6 powertrain are also part of the range. A new, intuitive pedestrian detection system can apply the brakes and steer automatically to avoid a person in its path.

Vital Specifications: 415 hp 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 engine; ten-speed automatic transmission. Price: $ 78,000 (estimated).


A welcome wagon


In what would once have been considered heresy, Porsche presents a new station wagon version – making it a “shooting brake”, in European automotive parlance – of the Panamera for 2018. Equipped with all-wheel drive, the Panamera Sport Turismo offers a choice of four powertrains, including a plug-in gasoline / electric hybrid with a combined output of 462 hp. Oh, and there’s a generous 45.7 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seatbacks folded flat.

Vital Specifications: 330 hp 3.0-liter turbocharged V6, 440 hp 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6, 2.9-liter 462 hp twin-turbo hybrid V6 or 4.0-liter 550 hp twin-turbo V8 ; eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

Price: $ 96,200.


For 2018, BMW vehicles are integrating the Parkmobile app, which helps drivers reserve and pay for parking in 250 cities across the United States and Canada. The service can locate on-street and off-street parking, and reserve space at airports and events. Users are given a range of choices based on GPS coordinates and can both preselect parking times and extend sessions remotely via the ParkNow smartphone app.


Legendary sports car maker Ferrari is celebrating its anniversary with a pair of rolling works of art: the Portofino and the 812 Superfast.


The founder and namesake of the company, Enzo Ferrari, started his automotive career in 1929 as a sponsor for amateur racing car drivers and within a decade he led the racing department of Alfa Romeo. In 1939, Ferrari set out to produce its first racing car, the Tipo 815, and built the first road car to bear the Prancing Horse logo in 1947, the V12-powered 125 S. Today, Ferrari remains one of the most famous names in Formula One and is launching two new models for its 70th anniversary.

Named after a fishing village on the Italian Riviera, the picturesque Portofino replaces the California in the Ferrari lineup for 2018. Featuring a retractable hardtop for all-season fun, the curvy Portofino begins to around $ 225,000 and packs a 592 hp turbocharged V8 engine that allows a jump to 60 mph in just 3.5 seconds. Not fast enough for you? At around $ 335,000, the low-slung Ferrari 812 Superfast Coupe lives up to its shameless moniker with a rowdy 789-horsepower V12 that can go 0-60 mph in 2.9 seconds to get the adrenaline pumping. And that’s without turbo or supercharging.

2018 Cadillac CT6


Cadillac brings semi-autonomous driving to the CT6 sedan for 2018 with its new Super Cruise system. It allows hands and feet free driving on well-marked multi-lane highways by incorporating automatic lane centering and automatic braking / acceleration functions with advanced mapping digitized by LiDAR. But there’s no sleep behind the wheel: the system keeps an electrical eye on the driver to make sure they’re watching the road if the need arises to take over, emitting a series of audible warnings and visuals if necessary.

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Avoid these assumptions that hurt your credit score Mon, 22 Mar 2021 09:38:19 +0000

If you’ve ever applied for a loan or looked for some form of credit, you know that not all credit seekers are created equal. What sets you apart is your credit score. This score captures your creditworthiness as a single number, up to a maximum of 900. The higher the number, the better your creditworthiness and the easier it would be to access credit. While everyone is aware of the importance of keeping the amount of debt low and being regular in servicing unpaid dues, there can be some oversights and unintentional mistakes in the way you handle your situation. indebtedness; which can hurt your credit profile. To keep your credit score healthy, don’t make these assumptions.

Everything is fine with your credit report: Your credit score is calculated based on the information in your credit report. It is therefore important to periodically validate the accuracy of the information available in this report. Credit institutions provide details of your credit accounts, as well as personal information such as name, address, contact details, PAN and income; which are used by the credit bureau to build your profile. If this information is incorrect or not updated, then the generated profile will be incorrect. It is therefore important to update changes in personal information with all credit institutions with which you deal. There may be oversights and inaccuracies on refunds and reported account balances. Or, there may be inquiries, transactions, and loan accounts added to your report that do not belong to you. All of these have the potential to lower your credit score. You can prevent this by getting your credit report from the credit bureaus and reporting any disputed information to the credit institution for correction. The credit bureau will make the changes after the credit institution confirms the error and provides the correct information.

You can reach the credit limit: Completing the sanctioned credit limit on credit cards and other credit facilities increases the credit utilization ratio. This is the proportion of credit you are using over what is available and a higher ratio is considered an indicator of risky financial behavior. This raises concerns about your ability to service debt and financial discipline. Likewise, closing (or lowering) your lines of credit will increase the rate of use of credit, unless the reduction in available credit is accompanied by a reduction in used credit. Take a moment to consider the impact of any credit-related decisions, such as applying for more credit, closing lines of credit, and increasing credit utilization, on your credit utilization rate. Any decision that increases your obligation to pay will have a negative impact on your credit score.

Some debts are good and some are bad for building a credit history: Having a diverse mix of credit types is important to improving your credit score. Finding a balance between long term secured loans such as mortgages and auto loans; and unsecured revolving loans such as credit cards and personal loans for better thinking about your credit score. Credit institutions like to see how you handle different types of financing. For example, paying off a credit card balance in full instead of using the revolving credit facility is seen as a positive.

A delay is acceptable as long as you pay it back: Delays in meeting your obligation and an uneven credit service history will always reflect badly on your credit score. The more recent the delay, the more frequent these delays are and the more severe the delay, the greater the impact on your score will be. A delay or default in payment indicates financial indiscipline and an inability to meet obligations. Set up systems, such as automatic payments, to make sure you don’t inadvertently miss a payment.

Avoiding debt is the way to get a good credit score: Staying completely clear of all types of debt is not always in the best interest of your financial situation. When you need to get into debt for an emergency or for an important purpose, you may find that you cannot access loans on favorable terms. Lenders look for evidence of responsible repayment behavior before lending, and not having a credit history works against the borrower in such cases.

Closing old accounts will improve your credit rating: Don’t close old accounts, like credit cards, for which you have a good repayment record. Longer-term accounts increase the average age of your credit history, which is good for your credit score.

You can quickly establish a credit history: Asking for multiple credit and loan facilities over a short period of time to build a credit history is more likely to backfire and negatively affect your credit score. Whenever you make a request, the lending institution looks for your credit information and that request can have a negative impact on your credit score. Too many claims in a short period of time can be seen as a possible strain on disposable income from repayment obligations, or that you are in financial difficulty and looking to go into debt to bail yourself out.

The debt repayment will immediately be reflected in your credit report and credit rating: You need to allow enough time for repayments and reduced debt balances to be reflected in the credit score. Typically, lending institutions take 30 to 60 days to report refunds to the credit bureaus. If you’re looking for better loan terms through an improvement in your credit score, give yourself some time before applying for credit.

If you have settled an unpaid debt, it is no longer on your records: Settling a delinquent or disputed loan account might seem like a good idea to put an end to collection calls and soaring interest charges. In a settlement, you pay less than what is due: usually the principal amount or an amount that is decided between the borrower and the lender, and the remaining amount is amortized by the lender. While this can eliminate an outstanding loan from your records, it will still show up as an account settled against a repaid account, where you pay the full amount owed. This information is available to potential lenders and has a negative impact on your creditworthiness. If there is a dispute over the amount owed then it is a good idea to settle the dispute and refund the agreed amount in full so that the account does not appear as settled, but as paid.

Guaranteeing does not concern you directly: Permanent loan guarantees can be a double-edged sword for you. First, if the primary borrower defaults, the repayment obligation passes to you as a guarantor. And second, your borrowing capacity may be restricted by the outstanding loans for which you have been guaranteed. Stand collateral only for loans for which you are sure of the borrower’s ability and intention to meet his obligations. And keep your own goals and fundraising needs in view.

You pay dearly for a bad score and it takes a long time to correct it. Since most people cannot avoid using some form of credit or loans, knowing the pitfalls and protecting the credit rating should be a priority in a debt management plan.

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Sleep Divorce: Could Sleeping In Separate Bedrooms Save Your Relationship? | London Evening Standard Mon, 22 Mar 2021 09:38:19 +0000


I love my husband more than anyone in the world, he is a wonderful man, the love of my life etc etc… but about six months after sharing an apartment we decided to have separate bedrooms.

It started out like a Sunday night. You know when the fear of ‘all I can think of is my endless-to-do-and-all-the-bad-that-could-ever-happen-list sets in and that it is impossible to sleep. The segregation then extended through Tuesday and then Wednesday until it was a weekday evening routine. Now we even sleep separately most weekends. And life is so much better for it.

We are not the only ones. According to research by the National Federation of Beds, one in six couples living together now sleep separately. The results show that, among those who sleep separately, 85% have done so for more than a year, and more than a third sleep separately for more than five years.

This confirms the Sleep Council’s 2017 Great British Bedtime Report, which showed that “sleep divorces” were skyrocketing. The report showed that nearly a quarter of couples sleep separately from time to time, with one in ten turning their backs on shared hugs all the time.

More recently, for National Sleep Week, mattress company Dreams surveyed more than 2,000 Britons and found that almost half of them slept in rooms different from their partner for four or more nights a week.

“Fifty percent of sleep disturbances are caused by sharing a bed,” says Lisa Artis, director of the Sleep Council. “And with many of us struggling to get the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep per night, having a bedmate makes it even more difficult to get that quality sleep.

“If you share your bed with a snorer, duvet catcher, vacationer, or someone who has a different bedtime, then it makes perfect sense to sleep in separate bedrooms before resentment and frustration sets in. accumulate. “


The main problem for me is that my husband snores like a restless sea lion. I sleep with heavy-duty earplugs and he could write the book on anti-snoring aids, but it’s still unbearable. It’s a common joke among his friends and old roommates (they’ve had movie nights ruined by his snores vibrating through the walls), but it’s not that funny when you look at an average of three hours of sleep a night. because of that . And that’s not all. His body temperature is about 15 degrees higher than mine, so it’s like sleeping a few feet from the surface of the sun and, on top of all that, he’s a quilt rodent. In short, awful stuff.

So it’s no surprise that all of these annoyances add up, just like the hours of sleep deprivation, to an unhappy couple. New research from Benson for Beds has found that one in seven Britons say their relationship suffers due to disturbed sleep. These boring nighttime habits turn into nighttime tortures that leave you resentful of your partner.

When my husband and I first moved in together, I would wake up exhausted and angry. Blame him and dread the next bedtime already. I struggled to concentrate at work and started looking as bad as I felt with eye bags you could fit your weekly Ocado store into. From his point of view, his sleep was constantly disturbed by my sighs, tuts and, if I’m honest, pretty hard kicks. Since we started dozing separately, we are infinitely happier and healthier.

When I tell people that my husband and I sleep separately most of the time people seem shocked and judge a little. But rather than the tired (sorry) old cliché that sleeping in separate bedrooms is the death knell of a relationship, it can be the opposite.

“For some, sleeping separately means there are issues in Heaven, but the reality is if your sleep patterns don’t sync up, it’s much better for your relationship to sleep separately,” says Artis of the Sleep Council.

“Tired people are less tolerant and patient than those who are completely rested, the result can easily be arguments and arguments. Disputes that undermine relationships can separate couples.

Sleeping alone could save your relationship, but it could also save your life.

“Chronic sleep debt can have a seriously detrimental effect on our mental and physical health,” says Artis. “A good night’s sleep is vital as a restorative moment and plays an important role in healing and repairing the heart and blood vessels, recharging the brain but also giving us the ability to manage and cope. Good sleep also strengthens the immune system and the cardiovascular system.

“Regular poor sleep also exposes you to serious health problems, including depression, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, stroke and Alzheimer’s disease – and it shortens your life expectancy.”

And all of this is worse for women. A Australian study found that women are more likely to suffer from sleep problems and struggle more due to a lack of sleep, with many people having problems with memory, concentration and even feelings of depression. Snoring has been cited as the most common reason for trouble sleeping. Scientists also say that women need more sleep than men because of their “complex brain”.

The upper classes have always benefited from separate dorms – as we saw in Netflix’s Shine The crown, Her Majesty and Prince Philip each have their own bedroom. The rich today are also turning to this style of his and her. “Where royalty and aristocracy have led, the rich and famous have followed, so celebrities, movie stars and business moguls all love having separate private suites for themselves and their partners,” he said. said Peter Wetherell, Managing Director of London Estate Agents. Wetherell. “Now in Mayfair about 10% of houses and apartments have multiple master / VIP suites. “


But what if separate bedrooms is not an option? Sleep expert and nutritionist Rob hobson has these tips for a good night’s sleep …

1. Skipping evening meals, not eating enough, or eating sugary foods before bed can cause dramatic changes in blood sugar levels at night, which in turn can stimulate the brain, signaling it to wake up and go to bed. eat. Try to eat something before bed and keep it light to avoid any digestive problems that may also contribute to your ability to fall asleep. Evening snacks with protein and good fats, like a handful of almonds, are a good way to have a slow release of energy overnight.

2. Other nutrients, like magnesium, also have a role to play in the quality of sleep and relaxation.. Magnesium is difficult to absorb from food, so to make sure you get enough of it in your diet (especially if you are stressed) you can increase your intake by including foods such as dark green leafy vegetables, nuts. , seeds, beans, legumes and cocoa powder. .

3. Any light can be very annoying for the person lying next to you, but if you want to read before bed and your other half is trying to doze off, then invest in a little light that clips onto your book – simple and obvious but really effective.

4. Try to use separate duvet covers at night to save you the evening showdown as the two of you struggle with your bedspread. It also helps you more easily regulate your own body temperature, which is conducive to a good night’s sleep.

5. A simple but effective snoring tip is to place a pillow behind your other half to keep him asleep on his side to help relieve snoring. Getting them to give up alcohol also helps, but if all else fails, invest in good earplugs.

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If you invested $ 10,000 in the Nike IPO, here’s how much money you would have now Mon, 22 Mar 2021 09:38:19 +0000

Finding a large, rapidly growing brand and buying stocks while the business is still small can lead to life-changing returns.

Nike (NYSE: NKE) began selling athletic shoes under its trademark in 1972. The Nike Cortez is considered a classic – a style the company still sells today.

This first year marked the start of a decade of explosive growth, which occurred amid a brutal bear market for investors. But even a booming economy in the late 1970s couldn’t slow down the rapid revenue growth Nike was enjoying.

From 1972 to Nike initial public offering (IPO) in 1980, revenues increased from less than $ 2 million to $ 269.8 million. Income and profits have roughly doubled every year.

Image source: Nike.

Nike went public on December 2, 1980. The stock was first sold to the public at $ 22 per share and traded on the over-the-counter (OTC) market on the NASDAQ. There were seven Distribution of stocks – all 2 for 1. This means that the shareholders received two shares for each share they owned. But unfortunately, a stock split is not free money because the stock price is cut in half so that the total value of the investment stays the same.

If you had only bought one share at the IPO price, you would own 128 shares worth $ 11,520 based on the current price of $ 90 per share.

But if you had invested $ 10,000, you would own 58,181 shares. This investment would have a value today of $ 5,236,290.

Many investors (myself included) might see this as a pipe dream. Who would have the chance to buy great growth stock when it IPO and make millions? The point is, Nike had already become a household name in 1980. It was a relatively small company by today’s standards, but Nike shoes were worn by famous athletes at major sporting events back then. .

In the early 1980s, Nike had already established itself as one of the main suppliers of sports shoes. In the 1981 annual report, the company stated: “Today, Nike shoes have the reputation of being among the most technically innovative shoes on the market”. Nike were the first company to make shoes with full-length cushioned midsoles, lightweight nylon uppers, the unique Waffle sole, and the patented Air-Sole.

Investors who took the Peter Lynch’s approach (“invest in what you know”) could have bought shares of Nike. The stock actually traded below its IPO price during the first half of 1981. You could have bought the stock for as little as $ 17.50 at the start of the year.

However, I don’t think finding Nike and buying around the IPO price would have been the hardest thing to do. The real challenge for early investors would have been to remain patient during a brutal period for the company in the mid-1980s.

A lesson in patience

By 1985, growth had slowed considerably at Nike. Revenues for the year ending May 31, 1985 increased only 2.9%, a far cry from the explosive growth of a few years earlier. In addition, profits fell that year to $ 10.3 million, from $ 40.7 million the year before.

Nike stock fell 66% between 1982 and 1984. Looking back, it would have been a huge mistake to follow the herd. But from how Nike founder and CEO Phil Knight described the state of the business at the time, it would have seemed like the right choice to sell and move on.

Here’s what Knight said in his 1984 letter to shareholders:

Several factors have affected us. More importantly, our national footwear market is evolving from athletic looks to a renewed demand for traditional fashion and styles. These changes resulted in inventory losses more than three times that of 1983.

It is fascinating that trends towards “fashion and traditional styles” hurt Nike in the mid-1980s, when today the sneaker giant sees Booming business from trend to sportswear. the athleisure trend essentially bridged the gap between mainstream fashion and sportswear, fueling Nike’s current momentum.

There is something to the idea of ​​never selling a single share of the stocks you buy. The rewards of sticking with this large stock can more than pay off for the losers. Businesses do not operate in a static environment; large companies will find a way to keep growing. Nike certainly did.

A young National Basketball Association (NBA) rookie named Michael Jordan arrived on the scene the same year Knight wrote the words in the 1984 annual report. Nike was set to give a business school lesson for ages on how to effectively market a brand.

But there was an element of luck involved.

Jordan almost signed a shoe deal with Adidas (OTC: ADDYY) (OTC: ADDD.F), but Nike was offering to pay him more than his annual salary as a player with the Chicago Bulls in the NBA. It was a gamble for the swoosh brand, as no one knew Jordan would become an iconic star.

The rest is history. That 2.9% growth rate that Nike experienced in 1985? The Air Jordan line of footwear enjoyed “unprecedented success in the market” when it was launched, and Nike’s revenue soared to $ 2.235 billion in 1990, more than double in just five years.

The Jordan brand now accounts for less than 10% of Nike’s revenue, but the introduction of the Air Jordan in the 1980s breathed new life into a struggling company. It’s hard to imagine where Nike would be today without His Airness.

Over the past decades, Nike has innovated and established itself as one of the major consumer discretionary brands. A truly patient investor would currently earn $ 51,199 per year in dividends on their $ 10,000 investment in Nike stock during the IPO – and that is before factoring in any potential reinvestment from dividends along the way.

This article represents the opinion of the author, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a premium Motley Fool consulting service. We are motley! Challenging an investment thesis – even one of our own – helps us all to think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.

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