Articles on this Page
- 12/22/18--05:09: _These are the top 1...
- 12/22/18--06:39: _A stock picker in W...
- 12/22/18--06:39: _A Canadian photogra...
- 12/22/18--06:39: _The 13 best hotels ...
- 12/22/18--06:39: _The most expensive ...
- 12/22/18--06:40: _The 40 most dominan...
- 12/22/18--06:40: _It's foolish for in...
- 12/22/18--06:41: _From Fashion Nova t...
- 12/22/18--06:55: _'Ain’t nobody gonna...
- 12/22/18--07:00: _We visited the new ...
- 12/22/18--07:01: _Reddit cofounder Al...
- 12/22/18--07:06: _The 50 best places ...
- 12/22/18--07:07: _40 gift cards you c...
- 12/22/18--07:08: _Here's how retailer...
- 12/22/18--07:15: _'Aquaman' director ...
- 12/22/18--07:28: _The 54 best sports ...
- 12/22/18--07:35: _International money...
- 12/22/18--07:42: _The best business b...
- 12/22/18--07:45: _Netflix has given a...
- 12/22/18--07:50: _Shoppers trust Amaz...
- Citi snagged first overall. The bank led the account access section, tied for first in account management, and ranked highly in all the other categories of the study. Wells Fargo took second place, leading in security and control and transfers. USAA came in third, NFCU was fourth, and Bank of America rounded out the top five.
- Demand for security features is sizzling. Following a year of huge breaches being announced at companies like Facebook and Google, consumers' security concerns jumped to become the most important category. The category included the No. 1 feature overall: the ability to turn a payment card on or off.
- Digital money management features are also highly demanded. Chase and Wells Fargo may be onto something with their millennial-focused banking apps, Finn and Greenhouse, as the generation had sky-high demand for the six features in the category. The most popular feature in the category was the ability to separate recurring payments, such as Netflix and gym memberships.
- Shows how 33 mobile features stack up according to how valuable customers say they are.
- Ranks the top 20 US banks and credit unions on whether they offer each of those features.
- Analyzes how demographics effect demand for different mobile features.
- Provides strategies for banks to best attract and retain customers with mobile features.
- Contains 63 pages and 30 figures.
- Kyle Weaver, who oversees $5 billion as lead manager of the Fidelity Advisor Growth Opportunities Fund, shares the four main themes he thinks will outperform the broader market in 2019.
- Weaver's fund returned 20.35% for the 12 months that ended in November, putting it in the 99th percentile relative to competitors.
- A "tiny house" typically ranges from 100 to 400 square feet, less than a sixth of the size of an average house.
- Canadian photographer Mackenzie Duncan lives in a tiny house on Vancouver Island.
- He lives by a zero-waste philosophy, owns four plates, and doesn't have a TV.
- 12/22/18--06:39: The 13 best hotels in America in 2019
- Condé Nast Traveller recently released its 2019 Gold List ranking of the best hotels in the world.
- The editors selected the 78 best hotels around the world, which included the top 13 hotels in the US.
- Only three American cities had more than one hotel on the list: New York City, LA, and Chicago.
- 12/22/18--06:39: The most expensive New York City neighborhoods in 2018, ranked
- PropertyShark just released its rankings of the 50 most expensive neighborhoods in New York City in 2018.
- Manhattan neighborhoods dominated the list, with eight of the top 10 spots.
- The median sale price among the 10 most expensive neighborhoods ranges from $1.31 million to $3.85 million.
- 12/22/18--06:40: The 40 most dominant athletes of 2018
- The past 12 months saw some of the usual suspects, like LeBron James, Alex Ovechkin, and Simone Biles, continue their dominance in their respective sport.
- But several new faces showed up on the world stage, with athletes like Patrick Mahomes, Kylian Mbappe, and Chloe Kim soon to become household names, if they're not already.
- We ranked the most dominant athletes of 2018 and ultimately found that nobody can touch Simone Biles for the top spot.
- 2018 is shaping up to be one of the roughest years in recent memory for investors, and 2019 could be similarly unpredictable, UBS says.
- Michael Crook, the head of Americas investment strategy at UBS, outlines a three-part strategy built to thrive in any market environment, recession or not.
- Google released its Year in Search report for 2018.
- Fashion Nova was the most searched-for fashion brand this year, beating out more established brands like Louis Vuitton, Versace, and Givenchy.
- These were the other most searched-for fashion brands, according to Google's Year in Search.
- LuLaRoe founder DeAnne Stidham has lashed out at critics, calling them "trolls" and "haters" in Instagram live videos, while urging her 98,0000 followers to block and delete them.
- "If you are negative, you guys get to leave. I don’t care about you," Stidham said during a live Instagram video on December 9. "We’re going to snip those people out and let them know that this is a place of positivity."
- Some of the people Stidham refers to as "trolls" appear to be current and former LuLaRoe consultants who have been reaching out directly to her about various problems with the business. This is according to hundreds of comments reviewed by Business Insider on Stidham's Instagram feed.
- After the company's chief supplier, Providence Industries, filed a $49 million lawsuit against the company, she told her followers not to "look at the Internet" to "see what's happening" because they might get "sidetracked."
- LuLaRoe did not respond to a request for comment.
- Atlassian, the $19 billion Australian software giant, has new offices in San Francisco.
- The new digs take up six floors, but Atlassian is currently only using four.
- Atlassian invested heavily in making this office represent the company's ideals around teamwork — the desks are on wheels, there are tons of nooks and crannies for quiet conversations, and even the artwork on the wall was created by teams of artists working together.
- We visited the space, take a look around.
- Alexis Ohanian, cofounder of Initialized Capital and Reddit, is "not concerned about T-800 walking around here and enslaving us."
- Ohanian says technology like autonomous vehicles is designed to save lives.
- He also talks about the differences in facial recognition technology in China compared to those seen here in the West.
- 12/22/18--07:06: The 50 best places to retire in America for 2019, ranked
- When deciding where to retire, there are several factors to bear in mind.
- US News & World Report recently released its annual best places to retire in America list for 2019.
- We highlighted the 50 best places to retire in the US — Florida cities popped up several times.
- E-commerce is now a core shopping channel for retailers, and it's still growing. US e-commerce sales are set to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14% between 2018 and 2023, surpassing $1 trillion in sales, according to Business Insider Intelligence estimates.
- Booming e-commerce sales have driven product returns through the roof. Business Insider Intelligence estimates that US e-commerce returns will increase at a CAGR of 19% between 2018 and 2023, surpassing $300 million dollars.
- Consumers have high expectations about how returns are handled, and retailers are struggling to find cost-effective ways to meet their demands. Sixty-four percent of shoppers stated they would be hesitant to shop at a retailer ever again if they found issues with the returns process. And retailers don't have the expertise to effectively keep up with how demanding consumers are about returns — 44% of retailers said their margins were negatively impacted by handling and packaging returns, for example.
- Logistics firms are well positioned to solve — and profit from — returns. These companies can take advantage of their scale and expertise to solve pain points retailers commonly experience as goods move through the reverse supply chain.
- Reverse logistics solutions themselves present a lucrative opportunity — but they're also appealing in the potential inroads they offer to supply chain management. The global third-party logistics market is estimated to be valued at $865 billion in 2018, according to Bekryl.
- Explores the difficulties found in the reverse logistics process.
- Highlights the reasons why reverse logistics needs to be a key focus of any retailer's operations.
- Identifies the specific trends that are leading to growth in reverse logistics, including changes in shopping habits, consumer expectations, and regulatory pressures
- Pinpoints where along the reverse supply chain logistics firms have opportunities to attract retail partners by offering unique and helpful solutions.
- Outlines strategies that logistics firms can employ to capture a piece of this growing multibillion-dollar market.
- Director James Wan chose to make "Aquaman" because he thought it was the superhero "everyone makes fun of," so he'd get to make it under the radar.
- It backfired as "Justice League" bombing at the box office put more pressure on "Aquaman" to succeed.
- Wan told Business Insider why making "Furious 7" helped prepare him for the pressures of making the DC Comics movie.
- 12/22/18--07:28: The 54 best sports photos of 2018
- The past year had a lot of breathtaking sports to offer.
- Between the Winter Olympics, the World Cup, and thrilling NBA and NFL seasons, it was quite a year for sports and sports photography.
- Whether capturing an important moment or simply a moment of beauty, great sports photography gives us a new perspective on athletes we love to watch.
- The global remittance industry recovered from a two-year decline in 2017 to reach a record $613 billion in transfer volume. That growth will continue and will be fueled by digital remittances, which Business Insider Intelligence expects to grow at a 23% CAGR from $225 billion in 2018 to $387 billion in 2023.
- There’s a new segment of customers that both legacy and digital firms are competing to grab share of. Young, digital-savvy consumers are the customer segment that all firms are vying to reach, which is creating a highly competitive dynamic. The needs of those consumers will precipitate transformational change in the industry.
- We’ve identified several tangible steps firms can take to improve in four key areas — cost, convenience, speed, and security — to not only attract but also maintain this customer segment to align with their preferences and ultimately win in the space.
- Outlines the global remittance landscape and sizes the opportunity that the industry presents.
- Identifies the new audience for remittances and future drivers of the remittance space going forward.
- Discusses four key areas that providers can focus on — cost, convenience, speed, and security — to improve offerings and ultimately capture that shifting audience.
- 12/22/18--07:42: The best business books of 2018
- It was hard to keep up with all the great books published in 2018 — but a few stood out as insightful, entertaining, and helpful.
- We've defined "business books" as reporting on businesses and the economy, as well as career and finance guides.
- Highlights include "Bad Blood" by John Carreyrou, "Imagine it Forward" by Beth Comstock, and "Big Debt Crises" by Ray Dalio.
- 12/22/18--07:45: Netflix has given a huge boost to the highest-paid comedians of 2018
- Netflix has given a big boost to some of the world's highest-paid comedians.
- The majority of the comedians on Forbes' annual list have worked with Netflix this year or last, from Jerry Seinfeld to Chris Rock.
- Amazon has unleashed a slow revolution on holiday shopping, becoming one of the most important places people turn to when they shop for the season.
- Last-minute shoppers now increasingly trust only Amazon to deliver their orders in time, according to data from Rakuten Intelligence.
- Amazon is ensuring it stays that way, giving out free trials of Prime like candy, ensuring prices stay competitive, releasing a physical toy guide, and offering free shipping, for every order, later in December than ever before.
- It's clear Amazon has become part of the fabric of holiday shopping — and will be for the foreseeable future as online shopping grows.
This is a preview of a research report from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. This report is exclusively available to enterprise subscribers. To learn more about getting access to this report, email Senior Account Executive Chris Roth at email@example.com, or check to see if your company already has access.
New data shows that mobile features have become a key factor that customers weigh when choosing a bank.
In Business Insider Intelligence's second annual Mobile Banking Competitive Edge study, 64% of mobile banking users said that they would research a bank's mobile banking capabilities before opening an account with them. And 61% said that they would switch banks if their bank offered a poor mobile banking experience.
For channel strategists, the challenge in attracting mobile-minded customers is knowing when to bet budgets and political capital on developing emerging features. It's complicated by most flashy features — such as voice assistants, smartwatch banking, and bank-offered mobile wallets — being deemed a "must" by analysts, media, and rival banking executives.
The Mobile Banking Competitive Edge Report uses data to inform channel investment decisions by highlighting which mobile banking features are most valuable to customers. Our study has data on consumer demand for 33 in-demand mobile capabilities across six key categories.
Using that consumer data, the study benchmarks the largest 20 banks and credit unions in the US by whether they offer the cutting-edge mobile features that customers say they care about most. What sets our benchmark apart is that it weights every feature according to customer demand data — not subjective analyst opinion.
Channel strategists within financial institutions use our report to see which innovative features they should prioritize in development pipelines and to find out how they compare with rival banks and credit unions in offering those features.
Business Insider Intelligence fielded the Mobile Banking Competitive Edge Study to members of its proprietary panel in August 2018, reaching over 1,200 US consumers — primarily handpicked digital professionals and early-adopters, making our sample a sensitive indicator of emerging features.
Here are a few key takeaways from the report:
In full, the report:
The full report is available to Business Insider Intelligence enterprise clients. To learn more about this report, email Senior Account Executive Chris Roth (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Business Insider Intelligence's Mobile Banking Competitive Edge study includes: Ally, Bank of America, BB&T, BBVA Compass, BMO Harris, Capital One, Chase, Citibank, Fifth Third, HSBC, KeyBank, Navy Federal Credit Union, PNC, Regions, SunTrust, TD, Union Bank, US Bank, USAA, and Wells Fargo.
Weaver, who oversees $5 billion as lead manager of the Fidelity Advisor Growth Opportunities Fund, instead prefers to identify and buy shares in companies that can stand on their own two feet, regardless of macro conditions.
He believes this simplifies the investment process by eliminating the types of exogenous drivers that can hurt share prices regardless of a company's underlying quality. This helps him avoid pouring money into companies that appear strong but are actually vulnerable to uncontrollable forces.
But that's just half the battle. Weaver is also on the hunt for high-growth stocks he can buy at bargain prices.
He describes this as a "deep value" approach, meaning he looks for companies trading at inexpensive valuations right now — perhaps at two to three times earnings — that also possess massive upside over a five- to 10-year period.
Ideally, the strategy results in "a portfolio that's filled with idiosyncratic, resilient business models that have good long-term growth potential and are underappreciated by the market," Weaver told Business Insider in a recent interview.
Based on Weaver's performance over the past year, it's safe to say this method is working. The Fidelity Advisor Growth Opportunities Fund returned 20.35% over the 12 months that ended in November, according to rankings compiled by Kiplinger. That puts it in the 99th percentile for the period, according to Bloomberg data.
Another facet of Weaver's methodology involves picking out broad themes, rather than loading up on specific sectors. It's an approach that helps him achieve diversification and fulfill his desire for idiosyncratic holdings.
Weaver shared with Business Insider the four main themes that are informing his stock picks for 2019. They are as follows. All quotes attributable to Weaver.
(1) Battery technology
"The cost of storing energy has been coming down for years, but it's accelerated with all the investment that's gone into battery technology for electric vehicles. The ramifications of that are not only in the electric car market, but also in the ability to store solar energy and improve the grid."
(2) The fall of 'Big Tobacco'
"Big tobacco will be disrupted by better, cleaner, cheaper alternatives. The big tobacco stocks have been good growth stories and dividend payers for many years, but there are some new entrants now, and that genie is out of the bottle."
(3) The movement of software to the cloud
"Software as a service continues to be a very strong trend. Some of the companies that are speculative growth stories are now the clear category killers, and have become mega-cap stocks with operating leverage and real cash flow."
(4) Chinese internet giants
"Chinese internet giants, and the dynamics of that market — where arguably their bigger franchises are more dominant than Google and Facebook — makes that an interest place to look for opportunities."
Click here to read our full story, featuring exclusive interviews with Wall Street's top 8 fund managers
As real estate prices continue to rise, many people are opting for smaller spaces and, ultimately, simpler lives. Tiny living isn't just an Instagram trend, but rather a way into a more budget-conscious, eco-friendly lifestyle.
Typically ranging from 100 to 400 square feet, compared to the average of 2,598 square feet for new US houses built in 2013, tiny homes not only require less resources to build, but produce only about 7% of the carbon-dioxide emissions of a full-size house, according to the American Institute of Architects.
Living in a space as small as your typical two-car garage isn't all that difficult, at least for someone like Canada-based photographer Mackenzie Duncan, who will tell you it's certainly more glamorous than living in a van, which he has also done.
Although tiny house living isn't without its challenges, Duncan told Business Insider that the little bit of extra work he's had to put in is well worth it in the end.
SEE ALSO: The tallest building in every US state
Duncan started building his rustic cabin on Vancouver Island a year and a half ago, after getting a taste of tiny living in a converted van.
"I just pretty much learned that you can house-hack your way into living for free," he said.
Because Canada doesn't require a builder's permit for any detached building that is less than 107 square feet, he capped his little abode at 104, which technically classifies it as an accessory.
The cabin is in the backyard of a bigger house Duncan co-owns and rents out to several tenants. It's about a 12-minute bike ride to downtown Victoria on a third-of-an-acre plot of land.
Duncan is still in the process of hooking up solar energy, setting up a self-contained composting toilet, and finishing up construction on his outdoor shower. For now, he borrows electricity and hot water from the big house.
Duncan is a self-proclaimed morning person and wakes up around 6 a.m. each day. He squeezes in a 15-minute meditation session and some stretching before heading downstairs for his "tiny house workout routine," which includes chin-ups on the rafters and sit-ups with feet tucked under the kitchen counter.
"There's just enough room to put a yoga mat down and do some poses, but no twists and turns," he said.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Condé Nast Traveller recently released its 2019 Gold List, in which the editors select the top hotels around the world. The list features 78 hotels, 13 of which are in the US.
The hotels cover a wide range of prices, starting in the mid-$100s for a night at The Robey in Chicago and all the way past $1,000 for a night at Amangiri in Utah.
Notably, several of these top-ranked hotels are repeatedly mentioned on lists of top hotels across the world; The Peninsula in Chicago and Four Seasons in Hualalai, for example, both also appeared on the US News & World Report's 2018 hotel ranking, as Business Insider previously reported.
If you're more interested in personalized experiences at smaller hotels, consider taking a look at the top 14 boutique hotels in the world, from a romantic retreat in South Africa to a private villa in Thailand.
Keep reading for a look at the best hotels in America. We also took a look at prices for rooms booked out one month in advance, and noted the starting rates.
READ MORE: The 50 best restaurants in the world in 2018
The Beekman, A Thompson Hotel, New York
Rates starting at: $299/night
The St. Regis New York
Rates starting at: $779/night
The Carlyle, New York
Rates starting at: $1,000/night
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
PropertyShark just released its rankings of the 50 most expensive neighborhoods in New York City, and, unsurprisingly, Manhattan dominates the list.
All but two of the 10 most expensive New York City neighborhoods are in Manhattan; the two outliers are in Brooklyn.
According to PropertyShark's analysis, the only two new entries to break into the top 10 are West Village and Greenwich Village.
TriBeCa topped the list with a median sale price that's nearly $1 million more than that of the second most expensive NYC neighborhood. Notably, this is the second consecutive year TriBeCa has taken the top spot.
Some NYC neighborhoods are also among the most expensive zip codes in America: A previous PropertyShark analysis ranked three Manhattan zip codes (10013, 10007, 10282, respectively) in the top 25 most expensive US zips.
Here are the 10 most expensive neighborhoods in New York City in ascending order, along with the median sale price in each. You can see the full ranking of the 50 most expensive neighborhoods on PropertyShark.
10. Little Italy (Manhattan)
Median sale price: $1.32 million
9. Greenwich Village (Manhattan)
Median sale price: 1.35 million
8. Flatiron (Manhattan)
Median sale price: $1.57 million
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
The last 12 months were an interesting sports year for the way the old-guard in sports kept its place, and several newcomers emerged with a peek at the future.
LeBron James, Alexander Ovechkin, Simone Biles, and Novak Djokovic, for instance, all had strong years that only added to their resumes.
But 2018 also featured breakout stars like Patrick Mahomes, Kylian Mbappe, and Chloe Kim, who all look the stars of the next generation, soon-to-be household names.
There's no easy way to define dominance, but we tried our best, taking into account personal success and accomplishments, team success, and, well, straight-up superiority.
Read our 40 most dominant athletes of 2018 below:
Cork Gaines contributed to this report.
Paris Saint-Germaine, Brazilian forward
One thing to know:While Neymar didn't earn the distinction of "best footballer on the planet" this year, his dominance presents itself in other ways — he's one of the highest-paid, most-followed athletes on the planet, and still playing at an extremely high level as one of the top scorers in Ligue 1 for PSG. With his club already sleepwalking to another league title, the coming Champions League knockout phase could prove decisive for his legacy.
39. Naomi Osaka
One thing to know: At just 21 years old, Naomi Osaka's 2018 season felt like a declaration — the age of Osaka is upon us. Between her brilliant play on the court and her delightful press conferences, she's as captivating an athlete as tennis could hope for the coming generation. Her breakthrough came at the US Open, where she defeated Serena Williams in the final to win the first major of her career. There are many more to come.
38. Zion Williamson
Duke Blue Devils forward
One thing to know: A freshman for the Duke Blue Devils, Zion Williamson has quickly taken over the world of college basketball thanks to his high-flying dunks and his efficient play. Williamson is widely expected to be the No. 1 overall pick in next year's NBA Draft, but not before he looks to wreak havoc on the ACC and bring a sixth national championship back to Durham.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
When investors look back on 2018, they'll most likely think of it as the year when there was nowhere to hide.
US equities are headed for their worst year in a decade, while international stocks and bonds are also on pace to finish negative for 2018. That widespread weakness has, in turn, dragged down the performance of balanced portfolios whose diversification is supposed to insulate them from difficult markets.
And unfortunately for investors seeking returns anywhere they can find them, it's anyone's guess how 2019 will unfold.
Michael Crook, the head of Americas investment strategy at UBS, could see stock performance going either way. On one hand, he notes that the combination of recent selling and strong expected earnings growth makes equity valuations attractive. But on the other, he recognizes that a bear market could strike "some time in the near future."
What Crook does know for sure is that it's a fool's errand to try to perfectly time an economic recession and whatever market pullback accompanies it. And, by that same logic, he says it's inadvisable to ignore mounting external pressure in favor of seemingly strong fundamentals.
So what's the solution? Crook says investors should consider UBS' so-called 3L strategy.
"Doing so ensures you have the right amount of investment risk — not too much and not too little — for your current situation," he wrote.
Here's a full breakdown of Crook's 3 Ls:
Crook says this L is designed to make sure an investor has adequate cash flow over a two- to five-year period.
"A liquidity strategy helps separate spending needs from portfolio volatility, and provides ballast to make it through bear markets," he said.
This L is intended to make sure an investor has enough assets and resources to use for the rest of his or her life. Crook described this as "a well-diversified portfolio but with an eye to inflation while managing downside risk."
He continued: "Over time, these assets can be transitioned to replenish the Liquidity strategy."
This strategy is designed to include assets that exceed what you need for your lifetime.
"It clarifies how much a family can do to improve the lives of others — either now or in the future," Crook said.
2018 was all about luxury fashion.
On Wednesday, Google released its 2018 Year in Search report, and Louis Vuitton, Versace, and Gucci all ranked highly on the list.
Well-established luxury brands have been successful at staying relevant and reaching younger shoppers by partnering with more accessible streetwear brands and taking advantage of the "star factor" that they have. Young people often see celebrities like Lil Pump and Harry Styles wearing designer brands like Gucci and want to emulate them.
But the top spot on Google's list went to Fashion Nova, a brand that has quickly shot to fame thanks to endorsements on Instagram from influencers and celebrities like Kylie Jenner and Cardi B.
In 2017, Fashion Nova was ranked in fourth place on Google's list, beating out Chanel and Dior. In October, the brand ranked as the No. 6 preferred website for young people in Piper Jaffray's semi-annual survey of teen spending habits.
These were the most searched-for fashion brands in 2018, according to Google's Year in Search:
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
LuLaRoe founder DeAnne Stidham has repeatedly lashed out at critics, calling them "trolls" and "haters" in Instagram live videos, while urging her followers to "snip" them out, as the company faces mounting pressure from a $49 million supplier lawsuit and growing frustration among its own consultants.
"If you're negative, you guys get to leave. I don’t care about you," Stidham said during a live Instagram video on December 9. "We’re going to snip those people out and let them know that this is a place of positivity. …We have to zap those people."
Several days later, she ordered her followers to "delete" the "trolls" while critical comments trickled into a live video she was filming at a LuLaRoe Christmas party.
"We don't care, sorry. Go be snarky with someone else," Stidham said on December 13, as she responded in real time to viewers' comments. "Ain’t nobody gonna take your crap. Sorry! Don’t want ya! ... Ain't nobody like you, nobody wants to be your friends."
"If you see anybody that’s a troll, you guys: delete 'em, delete 'em, delete ‘em!"
Stidham's "trolls" appear to primarily consist of current and former LuLaRoe consultants who have been reaching out directly to her about problems, such as overdue refunds and the company's inability to fulfill clothing orders. This is according to hundreds of comments reviewed by Business Insider on Stidham's Instagram feed.
As she makes a public spectacle of blocking these critics, Stidham — or someone else with access to her account — has been systematically deleting dozens of unflattering comments from her Instagram page.
More than 40 comments were deleted from a single post in November, for example, after consultants flooded Stidham's page with concerns over a line of holiday-themed leggings that LuLaRoe had just launched.
Some sellers said they were unable to order the leggings because they sold out within minutes. Others complained about significant problems with the sizing of the leggings.
"I love this company and love all of the changes taking place but this launch and the last month has been so disorganized and just a disaster," said one remark that was later deleted. "I think what is most necessary at this point is telling us what exactly is going on. ...We are all individual businesses and our wholesale supplier is not able to fill our orders."
Another deleted comment said: "As a small business owner I feel like our voices are not being heard and we are being ignored."
A third comment came from a woman who said she is in treatment for breast cancer and was counting on income from the holiday leggings to support her family through the holidays.
"It has been quite the roller coaster with your company," she said. "I've endured so many failed launches, crappy prints, poor quality clothing, and broken promises," this woman said. "Here I am trying with all my might to continue to provide for my family, relying on my supplier to come through. ...Now, I have nothing."
The author, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of retribution, said the comment was deleted and she was blocked from accessing Stidham's Instagram account.
Former LuLaRoe consultant Emily Morrison Belanger, who manages a chiropractic office in North Carolina, said she was also blocked by Stidham's account in November after she posted a comment accusing Stidham of "ruining families" with "lies."
The comment was deleted and she received a private message from Stidham's Instagram account saying, "Wow should I post about chiropractic quacks too! Is this nice and what's your motive? Try KINDNESS it's always better!" Immediately following the message, she was blocked from accessing Stidham's account.
In addition to slamming her critics, Stidham has ordered her followers to "protect" her on several occasions.
"Protect me. If there’s any negativity here I need you to protect me and you guys, pull them off and report them, OK?" she said on December 8. "You guys I don’t need negativity and I’m not going to stand for it."
Stidham has also urged her followers not to believe any news about the company. Following a Business Insider investigation into LuLaRoe in November that found the company was facing mounting debt and an exodus of top sellers, Stidham claimed to have not read the investigation, then referred to it as "silly,""ridiculous" and "stupid."
"Don’t listen to the article," she said in an Instagram video on November 21. "Just ignore it."
A couple weeks later, the company's chief supplier, Providence Industries, filed a $49 million lawsuit against LuLaRoe that claimed the company hasn't paid its bills in seven months. LuLaRoe has denied the claims in the suit.
Meanwhile, DeAnne told her followers in a live video on Dec. 8 not to "look at the Internet" to "see what's happening" because they might get "sidetracked."
Instead, consultants should focus on placing more frequent orders with LuLaRoe, she said.
"Stick with what you know best, and that is that you can sell items," she said. "I talk to some retailers that say sometimes they place two or three orders a day... and I think that’s really kind of a good idea."
LuLaRoe did not respond to a request for comment on this story.
Atlassian, the $19 billion Aussie software giant behind the popular Jira bug-tracking tool, takes the concept of teamwork seriously— so much so that it literally trades on the stock market under the ticker symbol "TEAM."
So when Atlassian moved into new San Francisco offices this year, the company took the opportunity to rethink how its own employees work together. In the same way that the new Apple Park campus reflects designer Jony Ive's attention to detail, Atlassian wanted its headquarters to be at the cutting edge of design that encourages people to work together.
"Companies are realizing that physical spaces are a reflection of the culture," said Helen Russell, Atlassian's chief people officer, in a recent interview.
We swung by Atlassian's new digs to see how it put that concept into action.
This is Atlassian's old San Francisco office, circa 2012. A converted warehouse, it was plenty spacious — but also, located deep in San Francisco's SoMa neighborhood, a far walk from public transit hubs. That wasn't a fun trek after dark, says Russell.
So for the new space, Atlassian opted to go right into the heart of San Francisco's financial district, not terribly far from a Microsoft office, and a short walk away from the San Francisco Bay Area's BART train system.
Atlassian technically controls six floors of the building, but currently occupies four.
Stepping inside the office, you can see that it was designed with lots of open spaces, with tons of seating for people to meet — a reflection of the fact that Atlassian makes some of the most popular tools for software developers to work together.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Alyson Shontell: So, lots to ask you about. Starting with, I wanna talk about a recent interview Elon Musk gave, where he is completely terrified of this thing called artificial intelligence. He basically thinks we are super unprepared for what's coming, artificial intelligence is going to be so much smarter than humans to the point where humans could actually be locked in cages and in zoos by these artificial intelligence creatures like we've done with gorillas. What are your thoughts on this artificial intelligence future? Are we screwed?
Alexis Ohanian: I think Elon is writing a great screenplay for like a "Black Mirror" episode. But I am not at all concerned about T-800 walking down, that's the terminator from "Terminator." Arnold Schwarzenegger's. I'm not concerned about a T-800 walking around here and enslaving us.
I do think AI machine learning, these technologies are having, right now, a profound impact on a lot of the things we're doing, and we've been investing in everything from autonomous vehicle companies, to culminate standard cognition, which is letting, basically replacing checkout at stores by using cameras to do real-time recognition so that you can just walk in, grab a Coke, and walk out, and get charged for it. But, this is still so, so far away from robot overlords. I'm just, I'm not particularly worried, because we still have, we have very real implications of the AI technology that right now is getting traction that we aren't even having conversations about, that we should be talking about right now because they are happening right now. As opposed to the T-800 scenario, which I just don't see on the horizon.
Shontell: And what are some of the things we should be talking about?
Ohanian: Well, right now, autonomous vehicles are something that's top of mind for everyone. Thinking about how we balance this technology, which in the long term is going to save lots of lives, with the short term of building the data set in a safe way that involves keeping people as safe as possible. Similarly, with the self-checkout technology I was telling you about, I mean this is existing right now. You can come back from a trip to China and have an amazing experience doing self-checkout, but also knowing that there is a database collecting all those images and a social credit score, and things that we here in the West, I think, would find pretty distasteful, you know, these conversations aren't really happening yet here.
We're proud that standard cognition that I come down and talk to you about, is deliberately not storing facial data, because they don't want to be responsible for it. They don't believe, they know it's not necessary to do the service, but we're not even equipped as a society to have that conversation yet and the technology is actually here and that's what we should be talking about.
Visions of retirement often come with sandy beaches and palm trees, but that doesn't mean that's what the best places to retire always look like.
US News & World Report recently released its annual best places to retire in America list for 2019. To determine the list, it looked at the 100 largest metropolitan areas in the US. Each area was given a retirement score scored on a 10-point scale and based on a weighted average of housing affordability, happiness, desirability, retiree taxes, job market, and healthcare quality.
This included data from a public survey of pre-retirees (age 45 to 59) and retirement-age (age 60 and up) folks across the country as well as data from the US Census Bureau, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and other US News ranking lists.
You can read the full methodology here.
Below, see the top 50 places to retire in America, featuring several cities in Florida. We included the overall score, housing affordability index, and healthcare index.
50. Des Moines, Iowa
Overall score: 6.6
Housing affordability: 7.1
49. Los Angeles, California
Overall score: 6.6
Housing affordability: 4.6
48. Knoxville, Tennessee
Overall score: 6.6
Housing affordability: 7.7
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.
Gift cards are an ideal gift in a lot of ways. For instance, you get to give them exactly what they want — in the color, style, and exact model that they want it — without polling their closest friends, family, and private online wish lists. They also typically don't expire.
Below, you'll find 40 of the best ones to give. If you want more options, there are also lots of restaurant gift cards on Amazon and plenty of other brands here. Otherwise, you might opt for stores like Best Buy with free in-store pickup.
Below, you'll find 40 of the best gift cards to give this year:
Looking for more gift ideas? Check out all of Insider Picks' holiday gift guides for 2018 here.
Brooklinen makes the best high-end sheets at the best price on the internet. Have a gift card delivered digitally, or in a gift card box. You can find a full review of Brooklinen's sheets here.
An Amazon gift card is a more polite version of giving them cash — with it, they can buy pretty much anything they've had on their wish list — whether it's new and exciting tech or completely utilitarian home basics. You can also buy it in a gift card box.
They probably already have a Spotify account, but that doesn't mean they won't appreciate not having to pay for it for a while. A Spotify gift card lets you fund the next few months of something they love and use multiple times per day.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
With e-commerce becoming a lucrative shopping channel, retailers and their logistics partners have been primarily focused on how to quickly move goods through the supply chain and into the hands of consumers — a process commonly referred to as forward logistics. However, the opportunities presented by the growing popularity of e-commerce also come with a challenging, multibillion-dollar downside: returns.
Return rates for e-commerce purchases are between 25% and 30%, compared with just 9% for in-store purchases. Turning reverse logistics — the process of returning goods from end users back to their origins to either recapture value or properly dispose of material — into a costly and high-stakes matter for retailers.
Not only are retailers experiencing more returns as a result of e-commerce growth, but consumer expectations also demand that retailers provide a seamless process. In fact, 92% of consumers agree that they are more likely to shop at a store again if it offers a hassle-free return policy (e.g. free return shipping labels). Some consumers even place large orders with the intention of returning certain items.
And e-commerce sales are only going up from here, exacerbating the issue and making retailers' need for help more dire. However, for logistics firms that can offer cost-effective reverse logistics solutions, this has opened up a significant opportunity to capture a share of rapidly growing e-commerce logistics costs in the US, which hit $117 billion last year, according to Armstrong & Associates, Inc. estimates.
InThe Reverse Logistics Report, Business Insider Intelligence examines what makes reverse logistics so much more challenging than forward logistics, explores the trends that have driven retailers to finally improve the way in which returns move through their supply chains, and highlights how logistics firms can act to win over retailers' return dollars.
Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:
In full, the report:
Director James Wan thought he had made the perfect choice when he was offered to do a superhero movie three years ago.
“They asked me which superhero I would be interested in, and I picked Aquaman because it’s the one everyone makes fun of, so there wouldn’t be a lot of pressure,” Wan told Business Insider. “I’ll go and make this movie under the radar — no one is going to care. Fast-forward, and there’s just this massive spotlight on it.”
What Wan didn’t foresee was that the DC Comics Extended Universe would suffer a major blow when last year’s release of “Justice League” became a major box-office and critical bomb. Suddenly, “Aquaman” was a pretty big deal for Warner Bros.
If Wan — the horror maestro behind “Saw” and “The Conjuring,” as well as title holder of the biggest box-office earner of the “Fast and Furious” franchise with “Furious 7” (over $1.5 billion worldwide) — and his lead Jason Momoa couldn’t make “Aquaman” a global hit, then what kind of future would the DCEU have outside of successful “Wonder Woman” movies?
Thankfully, “Aquaman” has become a box-office sensation, having already earned over $300 million overseas and becoming the highest-grossing Warner Bros. movie ever in China. It finally hits theaters in North America on Friday.
Wan admits there’s always pressure one a big movie, but he said having made a big movie for a studio, “Furious 7,” prepared him for all the anxiety of making “Aquaman” under a magnifying glass.
“It trained me to understand what it means to do a movie like this, but also how to have a movie like this fun in a way that people will endear it as opposed to scoffing at it,” Wan said of making “Furious 7.”
And US audiences are starting to see that for themselves, as the movie took in $13.7 million in preview screenings before its Friday opening, which is slightly better than “Venom” and “Wonder Woman.”
The past year was a great one for sports.
Things started with a bang, with an epic Super Bowl and an enthralling Winter Olympics. From there, we journeyed through the NBA playoffs, and the summer brought us World Cup we'll never forget.
After spending the dog days of summer watching baseball, football season was back before we could blink. With it came historically high-powered offenses and a brand new slate of rookies ready to change the league.
Through it all, some of the best photographers alive were there to cover it and produce some astounding images.
Take a look below at some of the best sports photographs of 2018.
Rory McIlroy finds himself in a predicament amongst Augusta National's iconic foliage during the third round of the Masters.
Read more:The 55 best photos from the 2018 Masters
Boxer Paddy Barnes makes his way to the ring.
The Philadelphia Eagles walk out on to the field prior to their NFC Championship game against the Minnesota Vikings.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
This is a preview of a research report from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. To learn more about Business Insider Intelligence, click here. Current subscribers can read the report here.
Remittances, or cross-border peer-to-peer (P2P) money transfers, hit a record high of $613 billion globally in 2017, following a two-year decline. And the remittance industry will continue to grow, driven largely by digital services.
Several factors will fuel digital growth globally, such as increased smartphone penetration, greater demand for digital transactions, and an overall need for faster cross-border transfers. And with the shift to digital comes an audience of younger, digital-savvy customers using remittances — a segment that companies are looking to target.
As a result, the global remittance industry is becoming increasingly competitive for firms to navigate, with incumbents like Western Union and MoneyGram competing for the same pool of customers as digital upstarts like WorldRemit and Remitly. And in order to win, companies across the board will need to prioritize the four areas consumers value most in remittances: cost, convenience, speed, and safety.
In The Digital Remittances Report, Business Insider Intelligence will identify what young, digitally savvy users value in remittances. We will also detail the concrete steps that legacy and digital providers can take to effectively capture this opportunity and monetize digital offerings — the primary growth driver — to emerge at or maintain their presence at the forefront of the space.
The companies mentioned in the report are: MoneyGram, Remitly, Ria, Western Union, WorldRemit, TransferWise, and Xoom, among others.
Here are some key takeaways from the report:
In full, the report:
If you've got some time off to finally catch up on your reading, or you're still looking for a last minute holiday present, now's a great time to look through the best business books of 2018.
A bonus just for you: Click here to claim 30 days of access to Business Insider PRIME
This year's highlights include a corporate tale of deception that seems too good to be true, an executive's memoir that's also a comprehensive career guide, and investing insights from two of the greatest to ever do it.
Here are our favorites.
'Bad Blood' by John Carreyrou
The medical device startup Theranos was once the world's hottest startup, its founder Elizabeth Holmes— deemed the "youngest self-made female billionaire"— a revolutionary. But after some digging into the company, it all unraveled.
Wall Street Journal reporter John Carreyrou has the definitive account of what happened at Theranos, and how it was revealed to have been built on lies, secrecy, and an oppressive culture.
It's a story that sometimes sounds too wild to even be true, but Carreyou's narrative is an excellent piece of journalism.
'Imagine It Forward' by Beth Comstock with Tahl Raz
"Imagine It Forward" is Beth Comstock's memoir of her near 30-year career as an executive at General Electric and NBC.
It's full of juicy tidbits, like the time Comstock interviewed with Steve Jobs for a position at Apple and her meetings with Jack Welch. But the book also features practical advice for people at any level of an organization, like the idea that you can't expect a promotion to fall in your lap if you never expressed that you wanted it.
The book inspires readers to be creative and innovative, constantly pushing boundaries, regardless of their level in the corporate hierarchy. Comstock writes that she used to hand out "permission slips" to managers, so they would feel free to take risks that could potentially benefit the organization. The idea is to stop making excuses about why you can't take on big challenges and start holding yourself accountable.
'Principles for Navigating Big Debt Crises' by Ray Dalio
Ray Dalio is the founder and co-CIO of the world's largest hedge fund, Bridgewater Associates. Last year, he offered his account of the firm's highly unusual culture and how it's an extension of his life philosophy with "Principles: Life and Work," but this year he released a book on the economy.
"Principles for Navigating Big Debt Crises" arrived on the tenth anniversary of the financial crisis, and shows how Dalio and his team learned from and navigated it.
It's a dense book, not unlike an economics text book, but you've got Dalio as your guide throughout, keeping the material as clear as possible. It's essential reading if you want to truly understand what happened in the last crisis and what to expect from the inevitable next one.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Netflix has focused on stand-up comedy the last few years, and will even debut 47 new stand-up specials on New Year's Day.
The majority of the comedians on the list have starred in Netflix specials this year or last, such as Chris Rock, Jerry Seinfeld, Dave Chappelle.
Gabriel Iglesias released a Netflix special in 2016 called "I'm Sorry For What I Said When I Was Hungry," and will star in another sometime in 2019 called "One Show Fits All." Sebastian Maniscalco will also star in a special on Netflix that premieres January 15, called "Stay Hungry."
Forbes made the list based on estimated, pre-tax earnings from June 1, 2017 to June 1, 2018. Below are the top 10, with those who starred in Netflix specials this year or last in bold:
10. Sebastian Maniscalco
9. Jeff Dunham
8. Jim Gaffigan
7. Terry Fator
6. Gabriel Iglesias
5. Ricky Gervais
4. Chris Rock
3. Dave Chappelle
2. Kevin Hart
1. Jerry Seinfeld
And below are the comedians on the list who worked on original content with Netflix this year or in 2017, including their earnings according to Forbes:
Jeff Dunham — $16.5 million
Dunham starred in Netflix special called "Relative Disaster" last year.
Jim Gaffigan — $17.5 million
Netflix released Gaffigan's fifth special last year, called "Cinco." This year, he passed on Netflix to release a new special, "Noble Ape," to a variety of on-demand services because it would be "available to everyone at the same time,"he told Business Insider in August. "You didn't just have to have Netflix."
Ricky Gervais — $25 million
This year, Netflix released Gervais' first special in seven years, called "Humanity." Forbes estimates that he made $15 million for "Humanity."
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Amazon is home for the holidays.
The e-commerce company has become essential to the fabric of holiday shopping. Though much of America's holiday shopping is done the weekend of Thanksgiving, it's rivaled by the weekend right before Christmas, which includes a day that analysts have dubbed "Panic Saturday."
Basically, last-minute shopping is how America prepares for the holiday. And no other retailer is in a better position to capture that market than Amazon.
As Christmas gets closer, shoppers increasingly say they trust only either Amazon or going to physical stores, according to a survey of 500 shoppers by retail platform Teikametrics. While 56% percent said they'd go to a store, 40% said they would most likely turn to Amazon for holiday shopping. Only 5% said they would trust a retailer not named Amazon to ship them their gifts in time.
According to Rakuten Intelligence data reported by The New York Times, Amazon's share of e-commerce sales fluctuates hugely during the holiday season.
This year, it dipped lower than 20% on Thanksgiving. But that share tends to rebound, shooting up near 50% as Christmas draws closer. The busiest day for Amazon last year was December 18, while for other retailers it was December 10, according to Gartner L2 data.
Amazon is now so ingrained in holiday shopping, it's effectively become the default online. For many shoppers who enjoy the convenience of online shopping, the choices are to either brave the crowds in stores or see when Amazon guarantees delivery by.
Amazon has gone out of its way this year to make itself a holiday destination.
It's also ensuring it stays that way, giving out free 30-day trials of Prime like candy and offering a week of Prime for $2, offering deals, releasing a paper toy guide, and offering a free-shipping promotion, for every order, later in December than ever before.
Amazon gave free shipping to all orders this season, regardless of size. Then, Amazon extended its non-Prime free shipping deadline twice this year, first to December 18 from what was originally December 15, then another day to December 19.
It's clear Amazon has become part of the fabric of holiday shopping — and will be for the forseeable future as online shopping grows.