Category Archives: Speculator Sector Financial & Stocks

There’s a new way to mine for lithium and it’s right here in the U.S.

Thanks;Claudia Assis

Published: Aug 19, 2017 4:14 p.m. ET

Crater Lake in Oregon, a caldera lake formed after a volcano collapse.

Using trace elements as proxy, Stanford says it is easier to detect lithium in supervolcano lake deposits

Scientists at Stanford University say they have found a new way to detect large deposits of lithium, an essential component of rechargeable batteries powering everything from common household electronics and smartphones to electric vehicles.

Stanford researchers say that lake sediments within supervolcanoes can host lithium-rich clay deposits, which would be an important step toward diversifying the supply of the metal—most lithium found in today’s electronics come from deposits in rock formations in Australia and salt flats in Chile. Moreover, trace elements in such deposits can be used as a proxy for lithium, they say in a study.

“Supervolcanoes” produce massive eruptions and their calderas, formed after the volcano literally blows its roof off, are their most recognizable feature. The huge hole post-eruption often fills with water to form a lake, and Oregon’s Crater Lake is an example.

Over tens of thousands of years, rainfall and hot springs leach out lithium from the volcanic deposits, and the lithium accumulates, along with sediments, in the caldera lake where it becomes concentrated in clay, Stanford said.

The scientists analyzed samples from several calderas, and found a previously unknown correlation between trace elements, such as zirconium and rubidium, and lithium concentrations.

Lithium is a volatile element shifting easily from solid to liquid to vapor, and thus it is hard to measure its concentration. Detecting the trace elements as lithium stand-ins, however, geologists will be able to identify candidate supervolcanoes for lithium deposits “in a much easier way than measuring lithium directly,” Stanford said.

“The trace elements can be used as a proxy for original lithium concentration. For example, greater abundance of easily analyzed rubidium in the bulk deposits indicates more lithium, whereas high concentrations of zirconium indicate less lithium,” it said.

The Stanford study was scheduled to be published Wednesday in the journal Nature Communications and was in part supported by a Defense Department fellowship.

Last week, energy news site Oilprice.com wrote about potential lithium constraints, singling out five stock plays for betting on the alkali metal: Albermarle Corp. ALB, +0.43% Canada’s Southern Lithium Corp. SNL, +2.63% Chile’s Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile SQM, -0.16% ; the Global X Lithium & Battery Tech ETF LIT, +0.53% and Tesla Inc. TSLA, -1.27%  

The Global X ETF has gained more than 31% so far this year, compared with gains of around 10% for the S&P 500 index SPX, -0.18%

Albemarle earlier this month reported a modest second-quarter earnings beat, saying its lithium sales rose 56% year-on-year and almost all of the gain was in battery-grade lithium.

Analysts at UBS said in a recent note they expect lithium margins at Albemarle to remain above 40% despite an additional $60 million to $70 million in costs from royalty and community payments as well as other expenses.

“Pricing was up 21% in 1Q, 31% in 2Q and the debate continues on how long the industry can maintain that pace,” the UBS analysts said.

The answer, at least as far as electric vehicles are concerned, might be “for a long time.”

Tesla in late July launched its Model 3, an all-electric sedan aimed for the masses, and expects to be able to run its Fremont, Calif., plant at a rate of 500,000 vehicles a year by the end of 2018.

Tesla has talked about adding other commercial and passenger vehicles, including an electric semi truck to be unveiled next month.

Interview Series: Q&A with Dominika Minarovic and Elsie Rutterford, Founders of Clean Beauty Co

THANKS; Pia Ostermann

Published;August 17th, 2017

Euromonitor International is pleased to present an interview with Dominika Minarovic and Elsie Rutterford, Founders of Clean Beauty Co.

Clean Beauty Co started with a shared love for health and wellness. It began with a natural beauty blog, workshops, and a beauty recipe book, which quickly transformed into the launch of beauty products under the brand BYBI, which stands for ‘By Beauty Insiders’, in March 2017.

What made you decide to start Clean Beauty Co?

We saw there was a disconnect between people scrutinising labels and being picky about what they eat, but not applying the same rules to their use of cosmetics. This disconnect made us question the labels of our favourite products, and what we found propelled us to become more educated consumers. We documented this journey across our blog and social media, and Clean Beauty Co was born.

We started sharing beauty product recipes on the Clean Beauty Co platform, which quickly developed into a series of DIY workshops. These workshops started in 2016, and gave us a few hours with our audience to understand their concerns, what they’re thinking about the market, while they are walking away with knowledge and beauty products. We also published our book “Clean Beauty” in January 2017. From then we started seeing revenue coming in even without launching any products. Next came our product range, and we launched Babe Balm and Prime Time in March and May 2017, and we have plans to extend the range this year.

Transparency and integrity are the fundamental pillars of the Clean Beauty Co, which is split across the content and BYBI Beauty, the product arm of the business.

When you talk about the Clean Beauty Company, what does ‘Clean’ mean?

Clean beauty is for us, about stripping away the fluff and pointless fillers found in mainstream beauty products, and formulating with purpose. Every ingredient used has holistic as well as functional benefits, and we find that this philosophy is best aligned with natural formulation, so we don’t include synthetic ingredients in our products.

How important is the online channel to communicate with the consumer?

Online for us is a huge platform to be able to communicate with customers and get them to try our products. People feel much more comfortable buying beauty products online these days. And while there is the element of wanting to touch and smell the product, it is easier, particularly when it is a repeat purchase, to sell online. And this takes us back to our community and how we started, by being content driven. Because when someone learns with us online, and sees that we are not just trying to sell the product but share recipes, content, events and a book with them, they connect with the brand emotionally. I think across the board consumers are moving away from mass production. People are thriving for that connection with the brand, whether it’s researching them or communicating with them, but even knowing that they are produced locally, they have good ethics behind the brand.

Do you think that the demonisation of “unnatural” ingredients could be of detriment to the beauty industry?

Fundamentally, the shift that we’re seeing in the beauty industry as a whole is the demand for transparency. Brands are responding to this by not necessarily re-formulating and making their products more natural, it’s about them being more open about how they produce things. And I think that this demand will mean that brands will have to shift the way that they market and produce their products. But I don’t necessarily think that would turn people off buying beauty products.

Do you think the clean beauty recipe book could encourage cannibalisation of sales of your products?

It probably seems like it doesn’t make a lot of sense commercially that we give away recipes and then try to sell products. We think what worked in our favour, which are two things: firstly, not everyone is going to make their own beauty products; they don’t have time or can’t be bothered. Secondly, what separates us are the two brands with the two offerings which is for one, the book, workshops and Clean Beauty contents that is about very simple recipes that we share and people can make themselves, such as face masks and body scrubs. While the other is the brand product side of it, where we offer products which are not as easy to make, which for us is about driving innovation, by saying natural doesn’t have to be five ingredients or less, natural can be as scientific as mainstream beauty. It can be really unique ingredients and can be about high performance skin care, and feels luxurious.

Have you come across any difficulty in, for instance, legislation?

The issue around legislation is that there isn’t any when it comes to the terms of natural, organic, clean, and green. So it leaves the door wide open for us and what we call ‘green washing’; often bigger brands take advantage of packaging something as natural or organic, when actually it is not and nobody can actually call them out on it. The issue we have is that at the moment there isn’t really in the UK a certification for ‘natural’, but that is about to change. There is an organic certificate from the Soil Association, which is very well respected and has a very rigorous progress.

What are your plans for the future?

We’re focused on skincare, but if anything we will move into colour but that would be hybrid as we would never launch a mascara, for example, rather a tinted version of Babe Balm, or something similar.

That bespoke element is a very nice part of making your own beauty products. The way that we are incorporating this into the BYBI brand is around customising through different products. For example, you may mix the Babe Balm with our Detox Dust, which is going to make a moisturising mask for dryer skin types. As far as the brand’s next few months, we will launch a booster set, little droppers that you can drop into your existing skin care, which will be based on the customer’s skin type, environment, and night and day use.

Asian markets fall on dollar’s weakness

Thanks; Kenan Machado

Published; Jul 17, 2017 11:24 pm ET

Nikkei dips below 20,000; Chinese stocks stable after Monday’s losses

The dollar was falling against the yen Tuesday.

Asian shares were broadly weaker Tuesday, with Chinese stocks stabilizing after Monday’s slump and Japanese stocks falling in reaction to the dollar’s weakness.
Tokyo investors returned from their Monday holiday and sold shares in reaction to the slide in the dollar on Friday after disappointing U.S. economic data added to skepticism about more Federal Reserve rate increases this year.

The dollar has continued to weaken with the euro getting above $1.15 for the first time in 14 months in Asian trading.
The Nikkei JP:NIK-0.63% fell 0.9% to below the psychologically-important 20,000 level as the dollar JPYUSD+0.51% slid to ¥112.20 Tuesday morning, from ¥112.63 in late New York trading on Monday. Exporters were among the biggest decliners in Japan because their offshore earnings are eroded by the yen’s strength.
The Wall Street Journal Dollar Index fell 0.3%.
Stocks of Japanese insurers also lagged as bond yields fell, as has been the case in recent days. Dai-ichi Life JP:8750-2.79% and Mitsubishi UFJ JP:8306-2.12% slid at least 2% Tuesday.
Market participants are looking to policy statements on Thursday from both the Bank of Japan and the European Central Bank.
Investors are expecting hawkish comments from the ECB, says Hisao Matsuura, chief strategist at Nomura Japan. A hawkish ECB could hurt Tokyo stocks as it could keep the dollar weak and lift the yen, as well as widen the gap between the European and Japanese bond yields, making it more difficult for the BOJ to keep rates low. “I don’t see any upside [for stocks] for now,” he added.
Meanwhile, Chinese stocks were holding up after sharp declines on Monday which saw the Shenzhen Composite Index closing down 4.3% and Shanghai Composite Index down 1.4%. The Shanghai Composite CN:SHCOMP-0.35% was recently down 0.3% while the Shenzhen Composite CN:399106-0.48% was up 0.1%.
Australian stocks, which lagged the stock gains seen in much of Asia Pacific on Monday, were the worst performing in the region Tuesday morning. The S&P/ASX 200 index AU:XJO-1.23% was down 1%, as the country’s big banks, which are heavily weighted on the index, weakened over 2%.

ASIA PACIFIC DRIVES GLOBAL MOBILE COMMERCE, RECORDING 64 PERCENT GROWTH IN 2016 TO REACH US$ 328 BILLION

Thanks ; Press-release  / Euromonitor International
Published  ; 06 July, 2017

SINGAPORE – Euromonitor International and Retail Asia are proud to announce the launch of the
14th ‘Retail Asia Top 500 Retailers Ranking’. According to the report, mobile retailing represents the
fastest growing digital channel in Asia Pacific, with sales totalling US$328 billion in 2016, an increase
of 64 percent year on year. Mobile commerce accounts for over 50 percent of total digital commerce
in China, Indonesia and South Korea. Euromonitor expects the region to reach US$795 billion by
2021, almost tripling North America’s leading mobile commerce market size.
“The success of internet and mobile retailing is a response to the rising demand for convenience
driven by ageing populations, the rise of smaller households, urbanization and hyper connected
consumers,” says Michelle Grant, head of retailing at Euromonitor International. “As shoppers seek
more convenience-based offerings, retailers will meet this demand by developing methods to assist
frictionless shopping, including opening new convenience focused formats and enabling more
purchases via internet – connected devices. Digital commerce is a truly coming force, one that
retailers need to include in their strategy.” Grant added.
Euromonitor and Retail Asia announced that the region’s top 500 retailers recorded total sales of
US$940 billion in 2016. While China and Japan witnessed slowing growth, Southeast Asian
economies performed well in 2016 with many retailers in India, Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam
experiencing double-digit sales growth.
The Retail Asia Top 500 ranking, based on Euromonitor International’s retailing data, ranks the top
retailers from 14 key economies across Asia Pacific in terms of total sales, number of outlets, sales
area and sales per square metres.
The top 5 Asia Pacific retailers in 2016 were:
1. AEON Group (Japan)
2. 7-Eleven Japan
3. Woolworths (Australia)
4. Wesfarmers (Australia)
5. Family Mart (Japan)
To download the free report, visit:
http://go.euromonitor.com/FR-170619-Retail-Asia-Top-500_Download-top-40.html

Canada: Consumer Lifestyles in 2017

THANKS;Jennifer Elster / EURO-MONITOR INTERNATIONAL

CL2017-CACL2017-CACanada-Lifestyles-in-2017.png

In contrast to recent years, consumer confidence has strengthened based on an improving economy, supporting growth, albeit slow growth, in consumer spending. Rising levels of spending have also been reflected in greater comfort in consumer borrowing, but rising household debt has become a concern. High house prices have discouraged younger consumers from jumping on the property ladder and slowed demand for a wide range of household items. Younger consumers are driving growth in online shopping.CL2017-CA

People in this Swedish town gather in a ‘Solar Egg’ sauna instead of having town halls

Thanks;Leanna Garfield

Published ; Jun. 21, 2017, 5:41 PM

The Solar Egg by Bigert & Bergström.Jean-Baptiste Béranger

On the western border of Kiruna, Sweden, the state-owned mining company, LKAB, has been extracting iron ore from the Kirunavaara mountains for over a decade. But the long-term mining has caused fissures that are creeping closer to the city center of Kiruna.
Now, LKAB — which also founded the Arctic town in 1900 — is funding Kiruna’s relocation nearly two miles east, so that it can continue mining in the mountains.
Moving an entire town is no easy task and requires lengthy discussions with officials, the mining company, and residents. Local architects from Bigert & Bergström have designed one place where those talks can take place: a golden, egg-shaped sauna. 
Completed in late April, the sauna is a place for locals and officials to unwind and discuss questions and concerns about Kiruna’s relocation, the firm told Business Insider.


Located in Kiruna, Sweden, the Solar Egg is a sauna that’s free for anyone to use.

Visitors can book time in the saun ~> https://instagram.com/p/BTI25TCB8px/

By Jean-Baptiste Béranger

Its exterior is made of reflective sheets of plexiglass that were painted gold.


By Jean-Baptiste Béranger

The interior walls are made of pine ….

… and the benches from aspen wood. In the center, there’s a wood-powered stove made from iron and stone. The temperature inside can range from 167 to 185 degrees Fahrenheit (75 to 85 degrees Celsius).


Jean-Baptiste Béranger

The space, which fits up to eight people, is meant to serve as a local meeting place to discuss Kiruna’s relocation plan. “The egg shape seeks to symbolize rebirth and new opportunities at the start of Kiruna’s urban transformation,” the architects said.

Jean-Baptiste Béranger

To avoid being swallowed by the mine, Kiruna will need to move nearly two miles east. The Stockholm-based firm White Architects will be in charge of moving the town, where approximately 23,000 people live. Below is a rendering of what the new city center may look like:


Producing 90% of all iron in Europe, Kiruna’s mine has become the world’s largest iron ore extraction site. LKAB is also the biggest energy consumer in Sweden.
 
“It’s a dystopian choice,” Krister Lindstedt, a partner at White Architects, told The Guardian. “Either the mine must stop digging, creating mass unemployment, or the city has to move – or else face certain destruction. It’s an existential predicament.”Jean-Baptiste Béranger/Source: The Guardian

Later this summer, the Solar Egg will move to Nikkaluokta, a Swedish town about 45 miles west of Kiruna.

Evolving Trends and Hottest Ingredients in Sun Protection

THANKS:Maria Coronado Robles/EURO MONITOR INTERNATIONAL

Published; JUNE 18TH, 2017

As consumers are shifting to healthier lifestyles what is inside the products is becoming more important. More than ever before, consumers are questioning the ingredients and their sources and this is having an impact on the ingredients market.

Protection at the heart of consumer preferences

In a little over 50 years, the sun protection industry has evolved tremendously in both the level and type of protection and the aesthetic properties of the products, driven by consumer needs and technological advances, such as new encapsulating technologies and delivery systems. This has allowed companies to feed consumers with more attractive products that protect from a wide range of new environmental and technological stressors, from sun radiation to air and light pollution.

Change with your customers

The world is constantly changing and sun protection is no longer limited to traditional sun care products. Consumers are increasingly aware of the effects of UV radiation on skin health and appearance all year around and this is driving demand for sunscreen ingredients worldwide. Sunscreens are becoming essential ingredients in a wide range of products, from traditional sun protection and daily skin care to hair care, colour cosmetics and bath and shower products. As a result, there are an increasing number of new products and claims reaching the market. Perhaps one of the most interesting launches is Dr Russo Facial Cleanser SPF 30, with three encapsulated chemical UV filters (octocrylene, ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate and avobenzone) that remain on the skin once the cleanser is washed off, providing a protective layer.

Aware of the heterogeneous landscape of consumer lifestyles, preferences and needs across the globe, sun protection manufacturers are now targeting specific market segments. Multicultural products designed for different skin tones and environmental conditions or sports products designed for active lifestyles are gaining attention among consumers. In response, companies are launching specific sunprotection lines to cover this gap in the market. For instance, the natural brand UNSUN has launched its Sun Protection For All Skin Tones that do not leave whitening residue; Happy Skin is selling in Filipinas its Catch the Sun line with moringa seed oil that protects against UV rays and pollution and Lancaster is using its new Full Light Technology that can now be found in Lancaster’s Sun Beauty line.

More from less is driving consumer purchases in sun protection

Growing consumer and industry interest in multi-functional products is driving demand for ingredients that can serve multiple functions in their formulations. In fact, according to Euromonitor Beauty Survey, the use of multifunctional ingredients is among the top ten reasons to purchase sunscreens or dedicated sun protection products worldwide.

REASONS FOR PURCHASING SUNSCREEN OR DEDICATED SUN PROTECTION PRODUCTS

reasons-for-purchasing-sun-protection

As consumers increasingly want sun protection products that go beyond simple UV protection, there is a growing need for multifunctional ingredients and simpler formulations. Ingredients suppliers are developing ingredients able to play different roles in the formulation, from UV, light and pollution protection to anti-ageing, skin conditioning and benefiting agents.

Synthetic polymers with multiple functions and benefits such as film formers for better UV and pollution protection, as well as water and sand resistance, are expected to grow by 1,000 tonnes in the global sun protection market over 2015-2020. In this context, Covestro has launched a new waterproof polymer for transparent sun protection that shows an SPF-boosting effect. Demand for emollient esters with excellent spreadability on the skin – able to solubilise organic sun filters and disperse inorganic sunfilters, which also offer a barrier to the natural moisture loss from the skin and improve the sensorial sensation – are expected to grow globally by 2,000 tonnes in the sun protection market between 2015 and 2020. Vitamins and botanicals and especially plant extracts with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory andanti-pollution properties that boost SPF, provide UVA protection and have added skin benefits, are getting a lot of attention from both consumers and manufacturers.

Blending multifunctional actives with multiple claims is an increasingly appealing option which also fits the clean label trend. It enables manufacturers to use less ingredients which ultimately have a positive impact on the manufacturing process and the price of the product. In addition, this makes it easier for consumers to understand what is in their products.

Products that offer multiple properties are especially appealing to the youngest generations of consumers for whom pricing plays an extremely important role. Consumers that belong to Generation Z and especially those who live in developing countries are more likely to purchase sun protection products with multifunctional ingredients than those living in developed countries. These consumers with lower incomes own fewer products and thus want effective and cost-effective formulations with multifunctional ingredients that provide all-in-one integrated solution.

PERCENTAGE OF CONSUMERS WHO BUY SUNSCREEN OR DEDICATED SUN PROTECTION PRODUCTS WITH MULTIFUNCTIONAL INGREDIENTS

percentage-of-consumers-who-buy-sunscreen-with-multifunctional-ingredients

In developing countries such as India, Indonesia and Brazil, where the highest growth in sun protection is expected, between 30% and 40% of consumers opt to buy sunscreen products with multifunctional ingredients, while only 10% of the consumers in Australia, Japan and South Korea consider ingredients’ multifunctionality a key product feature

Opportunities in Western European sun protection

There is an increasing demand for healthier, safer and more effective sun protection products with improved spreadability and lighter textures which offer non-whitening, broad and long lasting sun, light and water protection. This has brought some challenges that the industry has turned into opportunities for a wide range of ingredients to meet consumer needs for convenience, protection and enhanced aesthetic appeal.

In Western Europe, the emphasis on protection is driving demand for a number of sunscreen ingredients, synthetic polymers, botanicals and vitamins, while the desire for easier application and better skin feeling is fuelling demand for emollient esters and hydroalcoholic formulas which tend to be lighter and dry faster.

opportunities-for-growth-in-western-europe-sun-protection.png

Sunscreen ingredients present huge opportunities for volume gains. Although there is a strong growth for ZnO in Western Europe due to the new regulation in place which approves the use of ZnO as UV filter (in its nano and non-nano form), the absolute growth in volume projected for mineral filters is still far lower than that expected for chemical filters. Homosalate is the UV filter which benefits the most from the high SPF trend due to its affordability, its high legal limits in sun protection formulations, its compatibility with other filters and its ability to dissolve and stabilise solid filters such as avobenzone.

Emollient esters with enhanced UV filter solubility and attractive skin feeling are ingredients that present big opportunities for growth. Although synthetic polymers and botanicals which also offer pollution and UVA protection offer smaller opportunities for growth in absolute volume, they are projected to grow at the fastest rate driven by the trend towards natural ingredients and the growing number of anti-pollution sunscreen product launches. Besides this, high-value ingredients such as peptides present further opportunities for growth in the forecast period (2015-2020).

What’s next for sun protection?

Global demand for multifunctional, full protection and long lasting products with increased sunscreen sensoriality, lighter touch and greater spreadability is projected to continue. The major challenges in the years to come are related to the need for safer and more effective sunscreens with fewer and more natural ingredients. Companies are now performing research to optimise the UV delivery systems and to improve the photostability, efficacy and wash-off resistance of the active ingredients with no detriment to aesthetic properties.

The new wave of products that goes beyond UV protection is expected to continue and this provides opportunities for novel ingredients with pollution and full light protection claims to enter the market. For instance, Indena has launched Vitachelox and antipollution active with botanical compounds andGreentech is marketing Soliberine with Buddleja Officinalis flowers that stimulate cellular detoxification systems and protect against blue light and IR rays.

Further studies are being conducted to look for natural alternatives to synthetic UV filters. In this context, the growing desire for natural and skin microbiome-friendly ingredients among consumers, with the recent penetration of probiotics in the skin care market, opens up opportunities for bio-derived sunscreens to reach the market in the long term. Although promising, however, the development of bio-UV filters that emulate bacterial natural sun protection mechanisms is a long and expensive road with many technical and regulatory barriers, especially in the US where SPF products are regulated as drugs and the process of getting approval for new ingredients is an overcomplicated path.

The top 20 richest private universities have 70% of the total wealth in the sector

Thanks;Jillian Berman

Published: June 17, 2017 8:01 a.m. ET

The money in the private college sector is highly concentrated among the nation’s wealthiest schools

Small private colleges are increasingly in financial danger, while larger name brand private schools are doing just fine.
Roughly one-third of the small private schools rated by Moody’s Investor Service generated operating deficits in 2016, an increase from 20% three years ago. On the other hand, the share of large private universities that had an operating deficit last year dropped to 13% from 20% three years ago.

And the money in the private college sector is highly concentrated among the nation’s wealthiest schools. The top 20 richest private universities have 70% of the total wealth in the sector, according to Moody’s.
One big reason for the diverging fortunes: Slow growth in tuition revenue. Over the past few years, private colleges have been offering discounts on their tuition at record levels, a practice that’s financially riskier for small colleges that have fewer sources of revenue to rely on.
Ever since the financial crisis, students and families have become more discerning about the price and value of a college education. That’s made it more difficult for lesser-known private colleges to lure students and, in particular, students who will pay full price. Students and families are “much more sensitive to the return on the investment” of a college, said Pranav Sharma, a Moody’s analyst. “The market has become more competitive.”
That competitive and financial pressure has put a strain on some small schools. St. Joseph’s college, a 900-student school in Indiana, announced in April that it would close this year, amid “dwindling financial resources.” That announcement follows a spate of closures in 2016, including the high profile shut down of Burlington College, which was once headed by Jane Sanders, the wife of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.

“We continue to see a rise in small college closures,” said Susan Fitzgerald, an associate managing director at Moody’s. Still, she added, “we’re not expecting wholesale closures across the sector.”

Larger private schools aren’t immune to challenges raising tuition revenue, particularly as the number of students graduating high school continues to shrink. But these schools are able to more easily compensate for any challenges bringing in tuition dollars because they have other sources of income.
And to a certain extent, good fortune begets good fortune. Schools with more resources are able to lure more students who are willing to pay full price, with new buildings and other impressive investments, helping to boost tuition revenue.
Name-brand private colleges are also more likely to have access to resources like investment income and patient care — the money colleges bring in from the hospital systems they operate — both categories that have grown by 33% over the past five years, according to Moody’s.
Larger private colleges are also more likely to receive philanthropic support, Moody’s notes. The top fundraising universities, which raise more than $100 million annually in gifts, typically account for about two-thirds of the money raised by all of the private colleges that Moody’s rates. The result: “The more people give gifts, the more people are inclined to give gifts,” Sharma said.

Retirement: 8 financial choices you’ll regret in 5 years

Thanks; Jeff Rose, Credit.com

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If your goal is getting ahead financially, the formula for success is simple: Maximize tax-advantaged retirement accounts early, boost your savings with a Roth or traditional individual retirement account, choose investments you feel comfortable with and avoid debt like the plague. If you do those four things, you’re bound to enjoy less stress and more wealth over time.

But is it always that easy? Absolutely not. As you move through the various stages of life, you’ll encounter myriad pitfalls and temptations that can knock you off track – some of which can seem like a smart idea at the time.

Speeding toward financial independence is easier when you know which financial choices can slow you down. I spoke to a handful of top financial advisers to get their takes on the most common financial choices their clients live to regret. Here’s what they said.

1. ‘Investing’ in a new car

“At first blush, buying the latest and greatest version of the ultimate driving machine may seem like a value worthy of your hard-earned money,” says California financial advisor Anthony M. Montenegro of Blackmont Advisors.

Unfortunately, new cars depreciate the moment they leave the lot, and continue dropping in value until they’re worth almost nothing. If you finance the average new car priced at more than $30,000 for five years, you’ll pay out the nose for a hunk of metal worth a small percentage of what you paid. (Remember, a good credit score can qualify you for lower interest rates on your auto loan. You can see two of your scores for free on Credit.com)

Pro tip: Buy a used car and let someone else take the upfront depreciation, then drive it until the wheels fall off. Once five years has passed, you won’t regret all the money you never spent.

2. Not watching your everyday purchases

While big purchases like a new car can eat away at your wealth, the little purchases we make every day can also do damage, says Maryland fee-only financial adviser Martin A. Smith. If you’re spending $10 per day on anything — your favorite coffee or lunch out with friends — your seemingly small purchases can add up in a big way.

Keep in mind that $10 per day is $300 per month, $3,600 in a year and $18,000 after five years. While you may not regret your daily indulgences, you may regret the savings you could have had.

3. Not refinancing your mortgage while rates are low

While refinancing your mortgage is anything but fun, now may be the perfect time to dive in. That’s because interest rates are still teetering near lows, says Colorado financial adviser Matthew Jackson of Solid Wealth Advisors LLC.

Even one percentage point can cost you – or save you – tens of thousands of dollars in interest over the years. Since rates will eventually go up, you “don’t want to miss the opportunity now,” says Jackson.

4. Buying too much house

Buying the ideal home may seem like a smart idea, but does your dream home jive with your financial goals?

Unfortunately, buying more house than you need can lead to regret and financial stress, says Vancouver, Wash., financial planner Alex Whitehouse.

“Too much income going to housing payments makes it difficult to fully furnish rooms, keep up with rising taxes, and often leads to struggles with maintenance and utility costs,” notes Whitehouse.

Banks may be willing to lend you more than you can reasonably afford. If you want to avoid becoming house-poor, ignore the bank’s numbers and come up with your own.

5. Borrowing against your retirement account

While you can borrow against your 401K plan with reasonable terms, that doesn’t mean you should. If you do, you may regret it for decades.

“Millennials often ask if it’s okay to access their 401(k) or IRA early (before age 59 ½) to buy a home, travel or pay off debt,” says Minnesota financial adviser Jamie Pomeroy of FinancialGusto.com.

However, there are numerous reasons to avoid doing so.

Not only do you normally have to pay a penalty to access retirement funds early, but you’ll pay taxes too. Most important, however, is the fact you’re robbing your future self. You will regret the lost savings (and lost compound interest) when you check your retirement account in five years.

6. Not using a budget

While many people buy the notion that budgets are restrictive, the reality is different. If used properly, budgets are financial tools you can use to afford what you really want in life.

“I would suggest that you create a budget that you stick to,” says financial planner David G. Niggel of Key Wealth Partners in Lancaster, Pa. “At the end of the year, you have the chance to evaluate your spending habits and make some serious changes if necessary.”

If you don’t, your finances could suffer from death by a thousand cuts.

7. Not saving as much as you can

While it’s easy to think of your disposable income as “fun money,” this is a decision you could live to regret in five years.

The more money you have saved later in life, the more flexibility you’ll have, notes fee-only San Diego financial adviser Taylor Schulte. And if you don’t get serious about saving now, you could easily regret it in the future.

According to Schulte, you should strive to “play it safe” when it comes to your savings.

“I’ve never heard anyone regret having too much money,” says Schulte. “But, I’d be willing to bet we have all heard far too many people complain about not saving enough or not starting earlier.”

8. Not buying life insurance when you’re young

If you are married, own a home, or have children, you need life insurance coverage. Unfortunately, this is one purchase that becomes more difficult – and more expensive – as you age.

If you don’t buy life insurance when you’re 25, you can expect to pay a lot more for coverage when you’re 30, 35, 40 and so on. And if you wait long enough, you may not even be able to buy it at all, says New York financial planner Joseph Carbone of Focus Planning Group.

As Carbone notes, if you develop a chronic health condition before you apply for life insurance coverage, you could easily become uninsurable. To avoid regretting inaction in five or 10 years, most people would benefit from applying for an inexpensive, term life insurance policy as soon as they can.

‘It’s time to propose this’: Trump and Brexit give momentum to EU defense push

Thanks; Gabriela Baczynska &               Robin Emmott, Reuters


European Commissioner Bienkowska arrives to a meeting of EU defence ministers in BrusselsThomson Reuters

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union’s executive is ready to increase support for the bloc’s first ever defense research program, offering more funds to develop new military hardware in its earliest stages after years of government cuts, a top EU official said.

Following a 90-million-euro pilot investment from the EU’s common budget in 2017-2019, the European Commission is proposing 500 million euros ($563 million) for the 2019-2020 period that could rise to 1 billion euros a year from 2021, Industry Commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska told Reuters.
“European citizens see security as the number one thing that Europe should provide to them, so it’s time to propose this,” Bienkowska said in an interview.
With Britain, one of EU’s leading military powers, leaving the bloc, ideas for common EU defense are gathering pace in the wake of Islamic attacks in Western Europe. Europeans are also worried about US commitment to NATO under President Donald Trump.
Under the proposal unveiled on Wednesday, at least three firms and two member states would have to submit a joint project to be eligible for financing from the EU budget.
If agreed by governments and the European Parliament, the EU budget would put up 20 percent of the costs of developing prototypes, Bienkowska said.
“The prototype phase is the riskiest one and it is very important to have incentives from the European budget to prepare common projects,” she added.
A European drone is often cited as an example of how EU funding can help get projects underway. Bienkowska said she also hoped to see cyber projects from smaller firms and innovative startups.

She said she wants negotiations and legislative work between the Commission, member states and the European Parliament to finalize by the end of 2018.


U.S. President Donald Trump (R) speaks to Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May during in a working dinner meeting at the NATO headquarters during a NATO summit of heads of state and government in Brussels, Belgium, May 25, 2017.

Brexit factor

The EU’s political capital Brussels hopes it can turn the tables on Brexit – an unprecedented setback in 60 years of European integration – by moving ahead with closer defense and security cooperation, which London had long blocked.
The EU, where most governments are also NATO allies, have also come under increased pressure from Trump, who last month scolded the Europeans for failing to spend enough on their own defense.

Though Bienkowska said work on promoting more security and defense cooperation in the EU has started two years ago, she admitted Europe’s unease about Trump gives it additional momentum: “All developments in the United States will make our cooperation (in Europe) stronger.”

“We will work more closely in the European Union, what we want to achieve is to have a stronger European defense and a stronger NATO.”

Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine and its subsequent backing for militias fighting Kiev troops in the industrial east of the former Soviet republic also add to the bloc’s security concerns.
The EU estimates it loses up to a 100 billion euros a year on duplication, leaving it with far fewer capabilities than the United States. Years of defense cuts have worsened the issue as national governments jealously protect their own firms.
Europe has 37 types of armored personal carriers and 12 types of tanker aircraft compared to nine and four respectively in the United States, according to EU analysis.
European Commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska arrives to a meeting of European Union defence ministers at the EU Council in Brussels, Belgium May 18, 2017. REUTERS/Eric Vidal

European Commissioner Bienkowska arrives to a meeting of EU defence ministers in BrusselsThomson Reuters

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union’s executive is ready to increase support for the bloc’s first ever defense research program, offering more funds to develop new military hardware in its earliest stages after years of government cuts, a top EU official said.

Following a 90-million-euro pilot investment from the EU’s common budget in 2017-2019, the European Commission is proposing 500 million euros ($563 million) for the 2019-2020 period that could rise to 1 billion euros a year from 2021, Industry Commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska told Reuters.
“European citizens see security as the number one thing that Europe should provide to them, so it’s time to propose this,” Bienkowska said in an interview.
With Britain, one of EU’s leading military powers, leaving the bloc, ideas for common EU defense are gathering pace in the wake of Islamic attacks in Western Europe. Europeans are also worried about US commitment to NATO under President Donald Trump.
Under the proposal unveiled on Wednesday, at least three firms and two member states would have to submit a joint project to be eligible for financing from the EU budget.
If agreed by governments and the European Parliament, the EU budget would put up 20 percent of the costs of developing prototypes, Bienkowska said.
“The prototype phase is the riskiest one and it is very important to have incentives from the European budget to prepare common projects,” she added.
A European drone is often cited as an example of how EU funding can help get projects underway. Bienkowska said she also hoped to see cyber projects from smaller firms and innovative startups.
She said she wants negotiations and legislative work between the Commission, member states and the European Parliament to finalize by the end of 2018.
theresa may donald trump
U.S. President Donald Trump (R) speaks to Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May during in a working dinner meeting at the NATO headquarters during a NATO summit of heads of state and government in Brussels, Belgium, May 25, 2017.Reuters/Thierry Charlier

Brexit factor

The EU’s political capital Brussels hopes it can turn the tables on Brexit – an unprecedented setback in 60 years of European integration – by moving ahead with closer defense and security cooperation, which London had long blocked.
The EU, where most governments are also NATO allies, have also come under increased pressure from Trump, who last month scolded the Europeans for failing to spend enough on their own defense.
Though Bienkowska said work on promoting more security and defense cooperation in the EU has started two years ago, she admitted Europe’s unease about Trump gives it additional momentum: “All developments in the United States will make our cooperation (in Europe) stronger.”

“We will work more closely in the European Union, what we want to achieve is to have a stronger European defense and a stronger NATO.”
Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine and its subsequent backing for militias fighting Kiev troops in the industrial east of the former Soviet republic also add to the bloc’s security concerns.
The EU estimates it loses up to a 100 billion euros a year on duplication, leaving it with far fewer capabilities than the United States. Years of defense cuts have worsened the issue as national governments jealously protect their own firms.
Europe has 37 types of armored personal carriers and 12 types of tanker aircraft compared to nine and four respectively in the United States, according to EU analysis.

“Up until now, member states were doing things completely separately, without any cooperation. I want to appeal to the member states to think about common projects, because the money will be there,” Bienkowska said.
For the future, Bienkowska is mulling a common European defense bond for joint purchases from 2021, though she said no decisions had yet been taken.
Italy is a proponent of issuing joint EU debt, as well as exempting various types of spending from budget deficit limits. Germany, on the other hand, which is the bloc’s largest economy and key power, is opposed to both these approaches. ($1 = 0.8887 euros)
(Editing by Pritha Sarkar)