Negotiating, credit card fraud, tax deductions, and travel

A Harvard professors’ guide to negotiating a higher salary

Asking for a raise can be tricky and nerve-racking. Some people are natural negotiators. For everyone else, it’s easy to misspeak. Here’s advice from Michael Wheeler, a Harvard Business School professor who teaches a course on “Negotiation Mastery”.  Click here for Wheeler’s top eight tips on talking your boss into paying you more.

Credit-Card Fraud Keeps Rising, Despite New Security Chips

Increase in identity fraud driven by rise in fraudulent online purchases. More consumers became victims of identity fraud last year than at any point in more than a decade despite new security protections implemented by the credit-card industry, a report released Wednesday said. Some 15.4 million U.S. consumers were victims of identity fraud in 2016, resulting in $16 billion in total losses.

Tax Deductions: Is College Tuition Tax Deductible?

Going to college seems to get more expensive every year. Tuition, fees, room and board for an in-state student attending a four-year public institution cost $20,092 for the 2016-2017 school year (on average). A decade ago, an in-state student would’ve paid an average of $15,180 (in 2016 dollars) for the same expenses. There’s not much you can do about rising college costs. But you could use tax breaks to offset the cost of college.

The Best Places to Travel in March

It might only be February 2nd, regardless of what the Groundhog suggests, winter is winding down. Time to start thinking about springtime travel options. March can seem like the light at the end of the tunnel for anyone waiting for winter to end. That’s what makes the month of March an excellent time for a getaway. You can explore places near the equator or head to the southern hemisphere for a taste of the fall season. Whether you’re looking for a family vacation or a new spring break spot, here are the 10 best places to travel in March. Check out these travel ideas.

A most unusually average year

Average is as average does. The markets may return about 9 or 10 percent on average, but that’s over a long period of time. It’s rare to see a year with that exact return; it only happens about 8 percent of the time — that’s (on average) once every twelve  years. Here’s a chart showing how the markets have done historically. The annual return is on the bottom, the percent of times it happens is on the left.

The best thing about 2016 for diversified investors is that returns didn’t all come from the same place. We saw significant divergence among market, asset class and sector performance. Sure, US large cap stocks were up a nice middle-of-the-road number, but small caps (Russell 2000) were up over 21%, while developed foreign stocks were essentially flat at 1.5%, and bond returns were all over the map depending on credit quality and duration. Broadly allocated investors should rejoice, as this means that the broad idea of diversification is working.

Chart of the Day

Infographic: iPhone 7 Propels Apple to Record-Breaking Quarter | Statista
You will find more statistics at Statista

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