Finance – Tesoro High School Sat, 18 Sep 2021 10:21:27 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Finance – Tesoro High School 32 32 Why Axos Financial rose 16.9% in October Mon, 22 Mar 2021 09:38:42 +0000

What happened

Actions of Axos Financial (NYSE: AX) rose 16.9% in October, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence.

The small-cap bank posted formidable results at the end of October, which far exceeded expectations, sending shares of this dilapidated banking action back to pre-pandemic levels.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

Axos was born into the digital age in 2000; in fact, it used to be called “Internet Bank”, touting its branchless model well ahead of its time. These digital prowess may have helped the company in today’s environment.

In the third quarter, revenue jumped 30.7% to $ 163.2 million, $ 20.5 million ahead of analyst expectations, and earnings per share of $ 0.88 exceeded expectations of $ 0.20. Axos has in fact been able to grow its loan portfolio, with extensive refinancing and home buying activities as competitors have pulled out.

On the liability side, the company also reduced interest charges on deposits, due to both lower rates overall and some acquisitions of lower rate deposits last year. Interestingly, the company borrowed 4.75% subordinated debt in order to repurchase its shares during the quarter, as Axos is small enough not to be subject to the repurchase restrictions imposed by the Federal Reserve earlier this year.

CEO Greg Garrabrants said during the earnings call: “Our cautious underwriting emphasizing retained asset values ​​with a low loan to values ​​on our balance sheet continues to serve us well as real estate values ​​hold on to the bottom line. most markets. “

Now what

Axos started out as a giant high net worth mortgage lender, but has since diversified its loan offerings to commercial and industrial loans, and consumer loans such as unsecured auto and personal loans; he even bought a broker last year.

These new companies appear to be doing well, complementing a currently strong core mortgage business as strong housing and refinancing markets are doing very well relative to the rest of the economy. Although the stock has practically doubled from its March lows, Axos is still trading at around 8.9x earnings, making it a stock of value to look in the small cap area.

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! Questioning 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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What is it and how to get involved Mon, 22 Mar 2021 09:38:42 +0000

In 2007, the microfinance market served more than 33 million borrowers and 48 million savers. Statistics provided by Unitus, an organization dedicated to the fight against poverty in the world, show that 80% of the potential market has not yet been reached. What impact will the global growth of this market have on you?

TUTORIAL: Financial concepts

What is microfinance?
The term “microcredit“describes the range of financial products (such as microcredits, microeconomics and microinsurance products) that microfinance institutions (MFIs) offer to their clients. Microfinance began in the 1970s when social entrepreneurs began to lend money on a large scale to the working poor. An individual who has gained worldwide recognition for his work in microfinance is the professor Muhammad Yunus with who Grameen Bank, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006. Yunas and the Grameen Bank have demonstrated that the poor have the capacity to lift themselves out of poverty. Yunus also demonstrated that loans to the working poor, if properly structured, refund rates. His work has caught the attention of social engineers and for-profit investors. (Find out more in The who, what and how of microfinance.)

Historically, the goal of microfinance has been poverty reduction. For many years, microfinance had this overarching social purpose, and so traditional MFIs were made up only of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), microfinance banks, and public sector banks. More recently, the market has changed. For example, some not-for-profit MFIs are transforming into for-profit institutions to increase their strength, sustainability, and market reach. They are joined in the microfinance market by consumer finance companies such as GE Finance and Citi Finance. Mainstream retailers, like Wal-Mart, Elektra, and Tesco, are starting to emerge as consumers lenders and a few are getting into microfinance. Although most MFIs still view poverty reduction as the primary goal, selling more products to more consumers is the primary motivation for many new entrants.

Microfinance products and services
The following products and services are currently offered by MFIs:

  • Microcredits: Microcredits (also called microcredit) are low value loans; most loans are less than $ 100. These loans are generally granted to finance entrepreneurs who run microenterprises in developing countries. Examples of microenterprises include basketry, sewing, street vendors, and poultry farming. The world average interest rate on micro-loans is around 35%. While this may seem high, it is far lower than other available alternatives (such as informal local money lenders). Additionally, MFIs should charge interest rates that cover the higher costs associated with processing labor-intensive microcredit transactions. (Read more about microfinance in Microfinance: philanthropy by industry.)
  • Microeconomics: Micro-savings accounts allow individuals to store small amounts of money for future use without the minimum balance conditions. Like traditional savings accounts in developed countries, micro-savings accounts are used by the saver for the necessities of life such as weddings, funerals and supplementary retirement income.
  • Micro-Insurance: People living in developing countries have more risks and uncertainties in their lives. For example, there is more direct exposure to natural disasters, such as mudslides, and more health risks, such as communicable diseases. Microinsurance, like its non-micro counterpart, pools risks and helps provide risk management. But unlike its traditional counterpart, microinsurance allows insurance policies that have very low premiums and policy amounts. Examples of microinsurance policies include crop insurance and policies that cover overdue micro-loan balances in the event of the death of a borrower. Due to the administrative burden expense ratios, microinsurance is more effective for MFIs when bonuses are collected with repayments of microloans. (For more on the importance of insurance, see Fifteen insurance policies you don’t need and Five Insurance Policies Everyone Should Have.)

What does microfinance mean to you?
The development and growth of the microfinance market does not only affect those who engage in or consider microfinance services. Here’s how it can affect you:

  • As an investor: Focused on return institutional investors are now making microfinance-related investments. In addition, the main rating agencies rate microfinance transactions. For example, Morgan Stanley issued a microfinance-backed bond, which contained slices and was assessed “AA” by S&P. (For more on debt rating, please see: What is a business credit score?) This shows that microfinance is starting to offer investment opportunities to all investors. The Micro Banking Bulletin reports that 63 of the world’s largest MFIs have a average yield (after adjustment for inflation and after removing subsidies programs received) of approximately 2.5% of total assets. Local and regional banks are generally the first to integrate microfinance investments into their portfolios, while large international banks currently prefer to provide financing to other banks, MFIs or NGOs. As mentioned earlier, even consumer finance companies can be exposed to microfinance activities. As an investor, you may want to check whether the companies in which you invest are exposed to microfinance and, if so, whether the risk-return characteristics of these activities are of interest to you. Visit the MIX market for current information on the supply, demand and facilitation of capital in the microfinance market.
  • As a finance professional: Microfinance requires highly specialized financial knowledge as well as a unique combination of skills, such as knowledge of social sciences, local languages ​​and customs. New careers are emerging to meet these unique demands. For finance professionals, this means that new careers are opening up for those with this unique combination of skills and experience. In addition, traditional professional roles are fading because microfinance brings together professionals with varied backgrounds to work in collaborative teams. For example, development professionals (such as those who have worked for the Asian Development Bank or other development agencies) can now work side by side with venture capitalist. You will find a wide range of career opportunities in microfinance at Microfinance Gateway.
  • Personally : Some believe that we are living in a time when poverty could be eradicated. Studies support this belief. According to the Virtual Microcredit Library, over an eight-year period, among the poorest in Bangladesh without any credit service, only 4% rose above the poverty line. But among individuals and families benefiting from microcredit from an MFI, more than 48% have passed the poverty line. What eradicating poverty means to you as an individual largely depends on your personal philosophy. You might welcome it as a key achievement in human history. You might also celebrate the possibility that we can all buy and sell to each other. Individuals looking to be part of this poverty eradication phenomenon can now lend money to a micro-entrepreneur in another part of the world through the non-profit online service. Kiva.

Capital and expertise are increasingly flowing into microfinance. Increased competition can be observed among MFIs. As they continue to develop their internal operating capabilities, more of the potential 80% of the market will be served. Key players such as rating agencies and institutional investors are also entering the market, signaling that a real market is developing. Although microfinance has been around since the 1970s, it is now much more relevant to investors, finance professionals and individuals. Specifically, you may wish to examine your portfolio, career opportunities, or personal philosophy to determine the impact the microfinance phenomenon has on you. (For more on this topic, see Using social finance to create a better world.)

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Best Buy: Plug Power vs Ballard Power Systems Mon, 22 Mar 2021 09:38:42 +0000

Over the past year, Connect the power (NASDAQ: PLUG) the share rose 1330%. At the same time, the peers Ballard Power‘s (NASDAQ: BLDP) the share rose “only” by 217%. The craze for renewables in general, and hydrogen in particular, has caused both companies’ shares to skyrocket. But is there more room for these stocks to run? And is one of the two fuel cell companies a better buy than the other? Let’s find out.

Plug Power increases revenue faster

Plug Power and Ballard Power both offer Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cells, the most commonly used fuel cell technology today. These produce electricity by using a fuel, such as hydrogen, as input. Fuel cells have applications in the material handling market (in forklifts), heavy vehicles, such as buses and trucks, and passenger cars. These are also used in stationary power generation. Although a majority of hydrogen is currently derived from natural gas, hydrogen fuel cells are being promoted for their potential as a clean fuel, where hydrogen is derived from water through electrolysis.

While Plug Power and Ballard Power have both increased their revenues steadily, the growth of Plug Power has been faster. Until now, Plug Power’s key market has been forklifts. The company has acquired important customers, including Amazon and Home deposit, which has helped to increase its sales in recent years.

PLUG income (annual) given by YCharts

As the graph above shows, Plug Power has managed to grow its revenue at a faster rate than Ballard Power over the past five years or so.

As the two companies expand into all segments and geographies, Plug Power recently concluded Partnership with the French car manufacturer Renault. European automakers are the key target group for Plug Power, given the hydrogen surge in Europe.

By comparison, Ballard Power has made strides in China. It has formed a joint venture with Weichai Power, one of the leading manufacturers of engines and auto parts in China. Weichai acquired an almost 20% stake in Ballard Power. The joint venture plans to build approximately 2,000 fuel cell modules by 2021.

Ambitious growth plans

Plug Power and Ballard Power have set ambitious plans to increase revenue and operating profit. Plug Power plans to grow its annual revenue from $ 327 million in 2020 to $ 1.7 billion in 2024, a compound annual growth rate of 50%. Considering its five-year average revenue growth rate of around 35%, that sounds a bit ambitious. The company also plans to generate $ 200 million in operating revenue by 2024. That sounds pretty unrealistic.

PLUG Operating Revenue (Quarterly) Graph

PLUG Operating Profit (Quarterly) given by YCharts

As the graph above shows, Plug Power has not been able to generate positive operating profit in more than 20 years of operation. In its plan for 2024, Plug Power expects significant growth in revenues from new markets, such as electric vehicles, as well as the green hydrogen market through its sales of electrolysers. However, although lower in percentage terms, material handling represents the greatest growth in absolute amount. This activity contributed approximately 94% of Plug Power’s 2020 revenue, amounting to $ 292 million. The company expects materials handling to contribute about $ 750 million to its total revenue in 2024.

Close up of a white colored hydrogen car.

Image source: Getty Images.

Notably, Plug Power has not been profitable in this segment in recent years. The company hopes to achieve positive operating profit through a combination of increased scale and reduced costs – a dynamic that has been at play throughout these years. Despite significant cost reductions – the costs of its key material handling product GenDrive have been cut to less than half in 10 years – Plug Power has not become profitable so far. It could achieve operational profitability by 2024, but I don’t see a new catalyst to help it. The markets for electric vehicles and electrolyzers could be different, but they will not contribute enough by 2024 to make a major difference in Plug Power profits.

Ballard Power’s plans seem higher than Plug Power’s. The company hopes to achieve annual revenue of $ 5.2 billion by 2030. That’s a 46% CAGR over its expected 2020 revenue of $ 115 million. Over the past five years, Ballard Power has grown its sales at an average rate of approximately 21%.

PLUG Revenue Graph (Quarterly YoY Growth)

PLUG revenue (quarterly growth year-on-year) given by YCharts

Likewise, the company’s expectations of a 20% margin for profit before interest and taxes are not supported by a concrete plan. And we haven’t even reached the bottom line yet. Factor in interest charges as well as dilution effects, and the story sounds fancy.

Overall, Plug Power and Ballard Power’s plans seem overly ambitious. In addition, the current valuations of equities are price in even higher growth than these plans suggest.

The best buy is …

Based on recent revenue growth and plans, Plug Power looks better than Ballard Power. However, both stocks face major risks, particularly related to the growth of hydrogen as a fuel. The growth of battery-powered vehicles may limit the adoption of hydrogen fuel cells in mobility applications. In addition, companies’ growth plans are based on many optimistic assumptions, which may not materialize. Not only do these stocks carry significant risk, but they also trade at huge valuations. Renewable energy investors can find better options elsewhere.

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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What Are Leverage Loans? | The Economist Mon, 22 Mar 2021 09:38:41 +0000 At first glance, leveraged loans are a tautology. These are simply loans, usually arranged by a syndicate of banks, to companies that already owe a lot. Most are issued in America and then grouped together in “secured loan bonds,” legal entities run by private equity firms, hedge funds, and the like, which slice up the loans and distribute them among their investors based on their taste for risk. According to S&P Global Market Intelligence, a data provider, more than a third of leveraged loans refinance existing debt. Much of it is used to fund mergers and takeovers. Some pay dividends to private equity firms.

The leveraged loan market has grown rapidly in recent years. S&P Global Market Intelligence estimates that more than $ 1.4 billion was in circulation at the end of last year, twice as much as in 2011 (see chart). In 2018, $ 736 billion was issued, slightly less than the record for 2017. (Some estimates say the market is even bigger.) Lenders have been enthusiastic because leveraged loans have offered returns. decent when interest rates have been ultra-low; because most are variable rate, they pay more when rates go up. They are generally guaranteed, which gives a certain comfort in the event of default of the borrowers. Borrowers like leveraged loans because they are more flexible than bonds. For example, they are easy to prepay. The abundance of credit has been accompanied by a decline in credit criteria. Most loans these days have few or no “contracts” that would require borrowers to meet specified financial terms in order to protect lenders in the event of a problem.

In recent months, warnings that the market may be heading for trouble have multiplied. In April 2018, the IMF detected features “reminiscent of past episodes of investor excess”. Janet Yellen, former head of the Federal Reserve, and Daniel Tarullo, former governor of the Fed, also sounded the alarm. This week, Henry McVey, head of asset allocation at KKR, a large private equity firm, recommended investors reduce their exposure.

Two concerns stand out. One is the risk of default. Slower growth and rising US interest rates could hurt borrowers’ ability to repay and the value of collateral. The absence of covenants makes investors even more vulnerable. Moody’s, a rating agency, estimates that investors could recover 61 cents on the dollar if borrowers default, compared to a long-term average of 77 cents. The second concern is a cycle of falling prices as anxious investors seek their money back. In September, the Bank for International Settlements expressed concern that downgrades of distressed borrowers could trigger a “fire sale.” It’s not happening yet, but some investors seem to be considering the exit: Bloomberg reports that loan prices fell last month.

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iQiyi takes over the lead in Chinese streaming Mon, 22 Mar 2021 09:38:41 +0000

There are three major subscription video providers in China: iQiyi (NASDAQ: IQ), Tencent (OTC: TCEHY) Video, and Youku Tudou, which belongs to Ali Baba (NYSE: BABA). iQiyi had been the first streaming leader, but in recent years, social media and gaming powerhouse Tencent has overtaken iQiyi. Alibaba’a Youku is also a serious competitor, but it does not disclose its paid subscribers – although Alibaba revealed around 30 million subscribers at the end of 2016.

But as recent earnings reports have shown, iQiyi has once again assumed the throne. Here is a recent history of the Chinese streaming fight, and how investors should play it.

Image source: Getty Images.

Shoulder to shoulder

The video streaming war is fierce in China. Although the Chinese people have traditionally been averse to paying for entertainment, these three tech giants have likely seen the success of Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) across the Pacific and followed suit.

Investment in streaming video is also very capital intensive, and the industry has rapidly consolidated around the three richest players. Alibaba bought Youku Tudou at the end of 2015, iQiyi was incubated by the search engine giant Baidu (NASDAQ: BIDU), and Tencent Video came out of the gaming giant and WeChat creator Tencent.

The battle became so intense that Baidu sold part of iQiyi in a partial IPO in the US market in early 2018 to fund content spending. That money probably went to investing in 2018, which may be why iQiyi has just taken the lead:

Two lines showing iQiyi and Tencent video sub-accounts over time since 2015.

Data sources: company files, press releases, conference calls. Chart by author.

Content generates subscriptions

It’s entirely possible that iQiyi’s recent push is tied to a bigger investment in content. However, Tencent does not separate the financial data of its video business from the rest of its content on ad-supported video and music subscriptions, so it is difficult to compare with “pure play” in iQiyi. Still, the fact that iQiyi gained 10 million subscribers quarter over quarter while Tencent’s paid subscribers were mostly flat indicates something is up.

iQiyi reported a number of content drops in the last quarter that could have allowed it to move forward. CEO Yu Gong said the conference call with analysts:

In terms of premium content, we have released several high quality originals [dramas] during the quarter, as The legend of Haolan, Golden eyes, [and] The legend who quickly saw [subscriber] growth. Licensed dramas such as Minglan’s story, All is well and I will never let you go also contributed to [subscriber] conversion as we granted [subscribers] early access to watch. … [W]e have been privileged [with] our value-added services to members, which have helped further drive subscriber growth.

Meanwhile, it looks like Tencent Video has rescheduled some of its best drama series from Q1 to later this year, with CEO Pony Ma saying: “[W]We haven’t added some top drama series that we intended to air in Q1[,] reducing our advertising inventory of video products and negatively impacting our overall media advertising revenue. ”

Subscribers are nice, but what about the profits?

Even though iQiyi appeared to invest more in content than Tencent in the past quarter, iQiyi’s content costs only increased about 38% year-over-year, which is well below its 64% growth in membership revenue. Management also revealed that content costs have been declining sequentially.

For their part, Tencent management said that “the biggest players in the online video and streaming video industry have generally become more cost conscious over the past six to nine months.” Tencent, of course, doesn’t stream individually, so it’s hard to say whether its video platforms are profitable overall.

However, we do know that iQiyi is definitely not profitable, as it lost 1.8 billion yuan ($ 270.3 million) in the first quarter alone. iQiyi has apparently spent more than its rivals on a relative basis to regain the lead in streaming in China.

While streaming stocks in general have performed quite well, it remains to be seen how profitable they will ultimately be. Although iQiyi has done an admirable job of competing, the company continues to post heavy losses. Meanwhile, Tencent on the whole is much more profitable, thanks to its gaming and social media network, which iQiyi does not have.

So while iQiyi has taken the lead on streaming subscribers, history shows that can change, so I would always go with Tencent’s more conservative game.

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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How I keep my credit score high when opening and closing new cards Mon, 22 Mar 2021 09:38:40 +0000

Personal Finance Insider writes about products, strategies, and tips to help you make informed decisions with your money. Business Insider may receive a commission from The Points Guy Affiliate Network, but our reports and recommendations are always independent and objective.

cherry blossom spring reading park

KANAZAWA, JAPAN – April 8, 2014: A man reads a book under beautiful cherry blossoms around Kenrokuen Garden and Kanazawa Castle.

Lifebrary /

  • In 2011, author Eric Rosenberg discovered the world of travel hacking and started opening credit cards to get signup or welcome bonuses in the form of points.
  • At first he was a little hesitant to open new cards, thinking they might hurt his credit – but they did the exact opposite.
  • The trick to keeping your credit rating high when opening and closing credit cards, carefully monitored his cards and made sure he never had an outstanding balance.

I discovered the concept of travel hacking thanks to Chris Guillebeau, author of “The Art of Non-Compliance” and many other great resources. This led me to one of his many projects, the Travel hacking cartel. I joined him in June 2011 and stayed there for a few months.

But what I learned there got me started on the path to the Dozen Credit Card Club.

I would later learn that Chris is part of a larger community of “travel hackers” who look to credit card rewards and skillful bookings to get maximum travel on minimum budget. It seemed like an amazing opportunity and something that I really wanted to try.

Read more: The best credit card rewards, bonuses & perks of 2019

I was a little baffled, however, when I first learned that the best way to get lots of points fast was with a new credit card. sign up bonus. Wouldn’t getting new credit cards affect my valuable credit score? I learned along the way, yes and no. But in the long run, opening all those credit cards made my score soar!

And along the way, I’ve accumulated countless reward miles and points that have taken me and my family to places like England, France, Holland, Israel, Spain. , Portugal, Canada and throughout the United States. While traveling with miles and points isn’t free, it allows you to go almost anywhere for pennies on a dollar with proper planning.

One system helps me manage all my cards responsibly

With a little hesitation, I took out my first card just for the purpose of earning miles. My 100,000 points British Airways Visa Signature Card A sign up bonus after meeting minimum spending requirements was all I needed to get hooked on the travel hacking hobby. This bonus covered a trip to London, Paris and Amsterdam with lots of miles, now called British Airways Avios, remaining.

Finally, I added the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, then another card, then another. All of a sudden I was on my way to half a dozen cards. At this point, I realized I needed a system.

While there are many ways to do this, I keep all of my non-daily cards together in a safe place and monitor all of my balances, fees, and payments using a combination of tools. Free apps mint and Silver Clarity both work well for this purpose.

Read more: 7 reasons to open the Chase Sapphire Preferred, even if the card doesn’t offer as many flashy perks as the Sapphire Reserve

As long as you pay off your cards in full each month before the due date, you will never pay interest. I put a small subscription charge every month on a few old accounts with automatic payments so I don’t have to think about it. For the cards that I just use with specific airlines Where hotels and daily use cards, I pay them manually but check balances at least once a week within seconds using the apps above.

If a card has an annual fee and I don’t see myself getting more value from the card than the cost, I try to downgrade it to a no-cost version. If that’s not possible, I go ahead and close it. For cards with no annual fee or with good recurring value, I want to keep them open as long as possible.

I have to be careful how many cards I open and when

When you apply for a new credit card, a request appears on your credit report and reduces your score by a few points for up to two years. Opening a new credit account reduces the average age of your accounts, which further lowers your score. New, short-term credit is bad for your credit score. there is no doubt.

Additionally, if you are considering getting a new mortgage or other large loan, lenders may view a series of new credit accounts as risky behavior. Why would someone open a bunch of credit cards at once if they’re not about to go into debt? While you Be aware that you plan to pay off the cards in full each month, lenders cannot be sure of the risk.

Read more: The best way to build your credit is the same strategy people use to build wealth

But over time, adding new credit accounts improves your credit mix. More accounts with a perfect on-time payment history further increase your score. As accounts age, your average credit age also increases, and if you keep your spending stable, your credit utilization rate decreases. In my experience, the temporary effects of opening new credit cards wear off after about six months and turn positive. But that only works if you keep balances close to zero and always pay on time.

The biggest risk in opening and closing many credit cards is to make a mistake. If you aren’t keeping a close eye on your accounts, it’s easy to make a late payment or spend too much money. It can hurt your credit score for years, so always be careful.

Read more: Here’s exactly what it takes to have a great credit score

Also, keep in mind that credit card companies don’t really want you to open and close accounts quickly, so space things out and take it step by step.

For example, Chase is known among credit card travel hackers for his 5/24 rule. This rule states that, in most cases, you cannot open a new Chase credit card if you have opened five or more in the past 24 months with a card issuer. If you close an account too quickly, AmEx is known to collect bonuses. But if you play by the rules, you should be in good shape.

I always look at the long term costs

The real reason I have so many credit cards is to travel as much as possible for the lowest possible cost. But if the cost of having these credit cards becomes more than my travel savings, it’s not worth it. That’s why I always look at my balances and plan my next moves.

Read more: It’s the only rewards credit card most people will ever need to open

In the worst-case scenario, a serious misstep could hurt your credit rating and prevent you from buying a home with a mortgage. It could also result in higher interest rates, which could cost tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars over the life of a home loan. Your credit is serious business, so you should never forget about its long-term consequences.

The best thing you can do for your credit in most cases is to keep your balances low and avoid tinkering. But if the fear of damage to your credit is all that is holding you back from a great new card, you could be needlessly falling victim to a credit score myth.

When working to earn credit card rewards, it’s important to exercise financial discipline, such as paying off your balances in full each month, making your payments on time, and spending no more than you can afford. allow to repay. Essentially, treat your credit card like a debit card.

Find out more about the British Airways Visa Signature card from Business Insider partner The Points Guy »

Learn more about the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card from Business Insider Partner The Points Guy »

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‘Wolf Warrior Diplomacy’ Another Term for ‘Chinese Threat’, Says China Mon, 22 Mar 2021 09:38:40 +0000

China has sought to reject the use of the term wolf warrior diplomacy, which is used to describe the confrontational rhetoric of its diplomats to avoid criticism on a host of issues, calling it yet another version of the theory of the Chinese threat launched by critics from Beijing.

Obviously, “wolf warrior diplomacy” is in fact another version of the “Chinese threat” theory and another “speech trap”, the purpose of which is to prevent China from retaliating, the Minister said. Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng in the first official reaction to the phrase used by diplomats and international media to emphasize Beijing’s aggressive posture.

Chinese diplomats were once known for their low-key approach to complex national and global issues. But their style has changed in recent years as Beijing battles growing global adversity over issues like the coronavirus, which has become a pandemic after emerging from Wuhan, allegations of mass internment camps in Xinjiang, and imposition. of a national security law in Hong Kong.

Critics also say the style change is fueled by the pursuit of aggressive nationalism by the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) under President Xi Jinping.

Le said that as a great responsible country, China has always been a defender of international order, a contributor to global governance and a provider of international public goods.

It was a time when there seemed to be less over-the-top criticism from the West. But the world and Chinese diplomats have changed, according to an aggressive CCP Global Times tabloid article.

In the eyes of some in the West, Chinese diplomats are now engaged in Wolf Warrior-style diplomacy, named after a 2015 Chinese patriotic action film and its sequel in 2017. The change has apparently challenged the West “, did he declare.

The term was coined from the 2017 Chinese Hollywood-style Rambo action film Wolf Warrior 2.

Le, a former ambassador to India, dismissed such labels as a misunderstanding of Chinese diplomacy, pointing out that China has always been a country of etiquette, valuing harmony, and never taking the initiative to provoke others, nor to run to the door of another’s house to choose a quarrel.

“China has no choice but to stand up to defend our national interests and our dignity, because others have come to our door and meddle in our internal affairs and mistreat us,” Le said. the official media here by addressing a reflection. -forum on tanks on Saturday.

Le said that some people’s claim that China has made enemies around the world with aggressive diplomacy is not true.

“We have always made friends and forged good relationships. It is precisely certain large countries that have pressured other countries to take sides with the choice ‘my way or not.’ But even in such circumstances, China’s “circle of friends” does not become smaller but larger, he said.

Many developing countries and friendly peoples resisted the pressure and continued to cooperate with China and expressed their support for China on international occasions, ”he said.

This week, outgoing U.S. National Intelligence Director John Ratcliffe said China poses the greatest threat to America and the rest of the free world since World War II.

The intelligence is clear: Beijing intends to dominate the United States and the rest of the planet economically, militarily and technologically, Ratcliffe wrote in an op-ed published Thursday in the Wall Street Journal.

Many major public initiatives and prominent companies in China are only offering a layer of camouflage for the activities of the Chinese Communist Party. I call his approach to economic espionage “steal, replicate and replace”, “Ratcliffe said.

In Beijing, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hua Chunying dismissed the allegations as yet another attempt to spread false information, political viruses and lies “in the hope of damaging China’s reputation and to Sino-US relations.

He offered nothing new, but repeated the lies and rumors aimed at sullying China and playing on the Chinese threat by all means, ”Hua said at a daily briefing on Friday. This is another mishmash of lies produced by the relevant departments of the US government for some time, ”she said.

Last month, another Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian, while refuting the joint statement of the Five Eyes countries criticizing China’s highest legislature for disqualifying four pro-democracy lawmakers in Hong Kong, said said, “No matter how many ‘eyes’ you have, be careful not to get stung and go blind while harming China’s sovereignty, security and development interests.”

The Five Eyes is an intelligence alliance comprising Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Commenting on the aggressive style of Chinese diplomacy, Wang Xiangwei, a Beijing-based columnist for the South China Morning Post, published from Hong Kong, said Beijing should be careful not to fall into the US trap.

Indeed, while the Chinese Foreign Ministry and state media systematically describe Washington’s actions and rhetoric as irrational, reckless, and bordering on uprooting, it gives Beijing a reason to refrain from doing the same with the United States, he recently wrote in one of his columns.

There is also growing suspicion that Washington is setting a trap and deliberately provoking Beijing to react irrationally for the sake of its domestic policy, he said.

(Only the title and image of this report may have been reworked by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)

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Trump falsely calls his own officials into debate as Biden says truth is treated as a ‘bad idea’ in White House Mon, 22 Mar 2021 09:38:40 +0000

Top line

The first presidential debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden showed a failure to agree on basic facts and the president’s penchant for rejecting expert advice, with Trump frequently contradicting his own officials and Biden suggesting that truth meets hostility in the Trump White House.


Confronted with moderator Chris Wallace about statements from CDC director Dr Robert Redfield and Moncef Slaoui, the pharmaceutical director appealed to the administration to lead the coronavirus vaccination effort, according to which a vaccine is unlikely to be not widely available until the summer of 2021, Trump replied, “It’s a very political thing.

“I don’t agree with the two,” Trump added, saying a vaccine would be “sooner” and once again espousing his belief that it would be ready to be shipped to a wide range of Americans. before the end of the year.

After Trump made numerous references to Antifa, an amorphous left-wing movement that Trump frequently presents, with little evidence, as the root cause of many civil unrest, Biden cited FBI Director Christopher Wray’s disagreement that Trump has appointed in 2017.

“His own FBI director said … Antifa is an idea, not an organization,” Biden noted, to which Trump replied, “Well, you know what, he’s wrong.”

Biden countered that administration officials who give Trump truthful but politically awkward advice are often treated as if they have “a bad idea,” a common criticism of Trump that has become particularly heated during the pandemic.

Crucial quote

“He, I think, may have misunderstood a question,” Trump noted de Redfield after the latter testified in the Senate that a vaccine would likely not be available until 2021, adding “I think he may have gotten the message in a confused fashion.” Maybe it was incorrectly stated.

Chief critic

“I’m not going to put him in the crosshairs,” Biden said of Wray earlier this month, calling Trump a “very vindictive president” for suing Wray for telling “the exact truth” about Antifa. Biden, however, did not say whether he would keep Wray if elected, saying, “I’m not going to commit to putting or keeping anyone or getting rid of anyone.”

What to watch out for

One person Biden said he would continue is Dr Anthony Fauci, the country’s top infectious disease official. Trump has often had public disagreements with Fauci, who found himself ice from the White House sometimes because of his clashes with Trump. Biden has slammed the administration’s criticism of Fauci as a “disgusting attempt to pass the buck” and noted, if elected, he “would immediately contact Dr Fauci and ask him to continue his incredible service to our country”.

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Improving a credit score from “fair” to “very good” can save over $ 56,000 Mon, 22 Mar 2021 09:38:39 +0000

Americans with simply “fair” credit scores pay thousands of dollars more in interest on credit cards, student loans and other long-term debt compared to borrowers with more favorable credit scores, news shows research.

A person with a credit score range of 580 to 669, for example, will pay an additional $ 3,000 in credit card interest over several years compared to someone with a rating of 740 to 799, which is considered as a “very good” credit rating.

The person with a fair fair credit rating will also pay an additional $ 41,000 in interest over the term of a 30-year mortgage.

These estimates – published in a recent LendingTree analysis – emphasize how important it is to have a high credit score, said a researcher from LendingTree.

“Having a higher credit score is ideal,” said Kali McFadden, who conducted the study, “and increasing a credit score is actually not as intimidating as a lot of people think.”

McFadden examined LendingTree users’ loan balances and credit card balances reported to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the TransUnion credit bureau. She compared the interest rates and other fees that a borrower would pay if the person’s credit rating was considered fair or very good.

Bottom Line: People with fair credit pay $ 56,400 more on their personal loans, car loans, student loans, mortgages and credit cards. The $ 56,400 is based on paying off a personal loan over three years, a car loan over five years, student loans over a decade, and credit card payments over 12 years.

Debt can be a necessary evil because auto loans help people get a car to get to work and student loans give Americans access to college degrees, McFadden said. Still, raising your credit score and then refinancing the debt can help a borrower pay less interest, she said.

McFadden noted another LendingTree study that found that there are two basic ways people can increase their credit score by 100 points in a year.

“Basically they paid their bills on time – that’s the biggest one,” McFadden said. “The other is to reduce those credit card balances.”

Credit cards are the biggest anchor on Americans’ credit scores, McFadden noted.

But be careful closing a refunded credit card account, which may be seen as a bad decision by rating agencies, warned Jill Schlesinger, CBS News business analyst.

Don’t go into debt to improve your credit score


“Oddly, in some cases if you close a credit card account it can sometimes lower your score,” Schlesinger said. said last year on CBS This Morning “So if you wanna get rid of that [paid off] overdue credit card, just put it in the back of your drawer. ”

Schlesinger agreed that the best way to improve a credit score is an on-time payment history: “This score basically tells the world, ‘You are creditworthy, or not so creditworthy,’” said Schlesinger.

In recent years, the largest credit bureaus have changed regulations and added new services aimed at increasing the credit rating of Americans. In 2018, most Americans saw their credit score jump an average of 11 points because of changes to the types of debt credit bureaus that Equifax, Experian and TransUnion could use to calculate a person’s credit score. Things like unpaid tickets and recent medical bills have been taken off the list.

Last year, Experian and the credit scoring company FICO piloted Experian Boost and UltraFICO, which add a person’s bank account information, payment history on their cell phone, and utility bills to one. credit score calculation. This decision would help Americans with little or no credit history.

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Student debt could skyrocket soon, but don’t panic. At least not yet Mon, 22 Mar 2021 09:38:39 +0000

Conversations about student debt often focus on the cumulative debt held by borrowers, what many call the “student debt crisis”. At $ 1.6 trillion, it’s not hard to imagine why that number seems overwhelming to many. We could see student debt increase at a higher than normal rate over the next few months. But don’t panic, it might not be as bad as it looks.

Cumulative student debt is expected to grow at an above-average rate in the coming months due to legislation recently passed by Congress. If and when it increases, we should not be alarmed.

The CARES law was enacted to deal with the fallout from the coronavirus and suspended student debt payments for about 6 months for most federal loan borrowers. Other actions have helped student private borrowers, as well as some other federal student loans this were not addressed in the CARES law.

So while some borrowers are still likely to make payments, far fewer do and therefore fail to repay their loans. In addition, the fact that students will borrow to pursue higher education this summer and this fall, there is no doubt that the cumulative balance of student debt will increase. (Some predict that higher education enrollments will be drop this fall because of the virus, so it may not increase as much.)

While balances may not go down, Congressional actions will have prevented thousands, if not millions, of student loan borrowers from missing payments, being hit by late fees, and accumulating more interest. on their loans. So while borrowers may not necessarily make progress on their loans, they don’t go deeper into debt or negatively impact credit.

Borrowers have been shielded from further financial stress during this pandemic because of the actions of Congress. They could have accrued interest and gotten little relief.

However, there are a few reasons for concern. While borrowers will not pay interest for their non-payment during this time, costs could increase for student borrowers over the fall and year to come. The economy is in a shaky state and many predict it will get worse. If the economy falls into a recession – or worse, a depression – higher education could become much more expensive.

Recessions weigh on state budgets, forcing them to make cuts. And often higher education is the first casualty because, unlike expenses like Medicaid and prisons, colleges and universities can shift those costs to students and families in tuition and fees. And the federal government is ensuring families have access to loans to attend. During the Great Recession we saw this unfold and students and families literally paid the price.

Many states still have not reinvested in higher education, which already makes it too expensive for many borrowers. Now, the economic fallout from the coronavirus has already strained state budgets and it is likely to get worse. If states are forced to cut further, it will mean higher costs, and therefore debt, for American students.

Worse yet, rising costs could mean low- and middle-income students could be denied access to college in the first place. The value proposition of a college degree pays off for most low-income students when they graduate. But if they are billed up front, it can deprive them of the opportunity to find a well-paying job and often leave them in poverty.

With many people in fragile economic circumstances, it is essential that needs-based aid programs like the Pell Grant are adequately funded to ensure access to higher education and affordability, especially for the most affluent. vulnerable. Those worried about student debt would do well to focus on the affordability of college education this fall and next year. Otherwise, too many students will never reap the many benefits of a college degree.

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