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DIGITAL WEALTH MANAGEMENT: Leading robo-advisors have held onto consumer appetite amid the pandemic — here's what incumbents can learn from them to maintain their grasp on a $43 trillion market

  • Insider Intelligence publishes thousands of research reports, charts, and forecasts on the Fintech industry. You can learn more about becoming a client here.
  • The following is a preview of one Fintech report, Digital Wealth Management. You can purchase this report here.

Although they only hold a fraction of the more than $43 trillion in investable assets under management (AUM) in North America, digital wealth management adoption is set to grow in the future — presenting an opportunity for fintechs and incumbents alike.

Digital wealth managers, also called robo-advisors, came into existence after the financial crisis in 2008, when fintechs aimed to simplify and democratize wealth management services. They use technology such as AI algorithms and machine learning to manage users' assets, while often relying on a hybrid model including human advice to enhance the customer relationship.

Insider Intelligence estimates that just around $330 billion was invested in robo-advisors in North America in 2019. However, we expect that number to increase significantly over the next few years to reach $830 billion by 2024 — presenting an opportunity to fintechs and incumbents already in the space, as well as financial institutions (FIs) that want to get involved with digital wealth management. 

Offering digital wealth management services allows players to make their operations more efficient and offer users a broader suite of services, as customers are increasingly expecting digital and automated services from their wealth managers. Additionally, it can help FIs lure in younger demographics that can't yet afford conventional wealth management, and later graduate them to more premium offerings, as they build their wealth. At the same time, digital wealth managers are facing their first economic downturn amid the coronavirus pandemic, which could impact the sustainability of their businesses moving forward if they don't adjust their services.

In The Digital Wealth Mangement Report, Insider Intelligence explains what the current digital wealth management market looks like, what makes the segment worthwhile for incumbents, and how they can find success in the space. We profile the four biggest digital wealth managers in North America in detail to provide insight into their onboarding process, portfolio management, and pricing, as well as how they've been affected by the pandemic and what they're doing to accommodate changing customer needs.

Our outreach process involved exclusive interviews across three providers in May 2020, while Personal Capital's profile is based on desk research and email conversations with the company due to interviewee unavailability. Additionally, we discuss why more incumbents should offer robo-advisory services, and define a digital maturity model for robo-advisors to showcase important features and capabilities that incumbents should take note of to find success.

The companies mentioned in the report include: Acorns, Betterment, BlackRock, Blooom, Charles Schwab, Ellevest, FutureAdvisor, Invessence, InvestCloud, M1 Finance, Personal Capital, RobustWealth, TD Ameritrade, Vanguard, Wealthfront, Wealthsimple

 

Here are some key takeaways from the report:

  • Although digital wealth managers only hold a fraction of investable AUM in North America, robo-advisor adoption is set to grow in the future — presenting an opportunity for fintechs and incumbents alike.
  • While some incumbent FIs already offer digital wealth management services, not all have gotten in on the trend, despite its many benefits — and of those that have, not all have found success.
  • The pandemic represents a potential threat to digital wealth managers, but there are ways to navigate the crisis and support their customers. For that reason, digital wealth management still represents an attractive opportunity for incumbents looking to enter the space.
  • Betterment, Wealthfront, Wealthsimple, and Personal Capital all rely heavily on technology like algorithms to build portfolios for customers and support their wealth management experience, which helps them to offer their services at a lower cost when compared with conventional offerings.

In full, the report:

  • Outlines the benefits of launching a digital wealth management offering
  • Details the Digital Wealth Management Maturity Model used to assess the progress that players are making in the space.
  • Spotlights the four biggest fintech digital wealth managers in North America and what they offer.
  • Highlights how technology is being used across the services, and how this impacts pricing.
  • Discusses how these players have been impacted by the coronavirus crisis

Interested in getting the full report? Here's how you can gain access:

  1. Join other Insider Intelligence clients who receive this report, along with thousands of other Fintech forecasts, briefings, charts, and research reports to their inboxes. >> Become a Client
  2. Purchase the individual report from our store. >> Buy The Report Here

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Apollo Board to Examine Leon Black’s Ties to Jeffrey Epstein

Apollo Global Management Inc. board members are investigating co-founder Leon Black’s ties to disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein after more information emerged this month about their longtime business dealings.

Black asked the board’s conflict committee to hire counsel and undertake a thorough review to independently confirm his past descriptions of a professional relationship with Epstein, a company spokesman said in an emailed statement late Tuesday. The panel tapped law firm Dechert LLP to conduct interviews and examine records.

Black told the board such a review “is the best way to assure all of our stakeholders that they have all of the relevant facts, and I look forward to cooperating fully,” according to the statement. He made the request during a regularly scheduled meeting.

The moves follow a report in the New York Times last week describing the extent to which Black had turned to Epstein for help with financial matters, allegedly wiring him at least $50 million in the years after Epstein’s 2008 conviction for soliciting prostitution from a teenage girl. The article didn’t accuse Black of breaking the law.

“With the benefit of hindsight — and knowing everything that has come to light about Mr. Epstein’s despicable conduct more than 15 years ago — I deeply regret having had any involvement with him,” Black said in a letter to Apollo’s limited partners dated last week. Black reiterated that he had turned to Epstein for matters such as taxes, estate planning and philanthropy, and said that nothing in the Times’ report was inconsistent with his earlier description of their ties.

Still, the private-equity firm’s stock has tumbled 14% since the newspaper’s report on Oct. 12. The Wall Street Journal reported the board’s review of Black earlier Tuesday.

Black, 69, and Apollo representatives have said Epstein never invested in the firm’s funds. The two men had been acquaintances since at least the early 1990s. From time to time, Epstein met with Black at Apollo’s New York offices, and he pitched personal tax strategies to the firm’s executives, Bloomberg has reported.

Apollo conducted an internal review into its involvement with Epstein to ensure that any ties went no further than the firm’s co-founder, people with knowledge of the matter said last year. That included examining emails and records to determine there was no connection between the company and Epstein, one of the people said.

Epstein was found dead in his Manhattan jail last year, where he was awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges involving underage girls. Authorities later ruled it a suicide.

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Emotional flight attendants say farewell after being furloughed

Hong Kong (CNN Business)Cathay Pacific (CPCAY) is eliminating thousands of jobs and shuttering its regional airline Cathay Dragon as the Covid-19 pandemic roils the global travel industry.

The cuts will affect 5,300 employees in Hong Kong, where the company is based. Some 600 workers outside of the Asian financial hub will also be affected, Cathay said in a statement.
The company also plans to eliminate additional jobs that remained unfilled, either through a recruitment freeze or natural attrition. All told, Cathay is reducing about 8,500 jobs across the company, accounting for about 24% of its headcount.

    “We have taken every possible action to avoid job losses up to this point,” said Cathay Pacific Group CEO Augustus Tang in a statement. He said the airline has scaled back capacity, deferred new aircraft deliveries, frozen recruitment and cut executive pay, among other measures.
    Even so, Tang said the company continues to burn as much as 2 billion Hong Kong dollars ($258 million) per month. Wednesday’s changes will reduce the company’s cash burn by about 500 million Hong Kong dollars ($65 million) per month, he added.

    Cathay Pacific stock jumped 4% Wednesday in Hong Kong after the news.
    Like other major airlines, Cathay Pacific has taken drastic steps to shore up its business this year. Earlier this summer, the Hong Kong government agreed to lead a $5 billion bailout of the airline, taking a minority stake.
    Cathay said this week it expects to operate approximately 10% of pre-pandemic passenger flight capacity for the rest of 2020, and under 50% for 2021.
    A lack of consumer confidence, the drop in business travel, and fresh coronavirus spikes in the United States, Europe and elsewhere continue to weigh heavily on global air travel.

      The International Air Transport Association, which represents some 290 airlines, said last week that it estimates airline revenues this year will be down at least 50% ($419 billion compared to $838 billion in 2019). The trade group urged governments to use Covid-19 testing to safely re-open borders and called for more financial support “to prevent the systemic collapse of the aviation industry,” IATA said in a statement last week.
      — Sherisse Pham contributed to this report.
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      A 'blue wave' in U.S. elections could bring forward Fed rate hikes, says Morgan Stanley

      • A Democratic sweep in the coming U.S. elections will likely unleash more fiscal stimulus, said Jim Caron, a fixed income portfolio manager at Morgan Stanley Investment Management.
      • That could boost U.S. growth prospects beyond 2021, but could also cause the Federal Reserve to hike interest rates earlier than expected, said Caron.
      • Caron warned that a "blue wave" might not be all good for the U.S. economy.

      A Democratic sweep in the coming U.S. elections will likely unleash more fiscal stimulus, but it could also cause the Federal Reserve to hike interest rates earlier than expected, said a Morgan Stanley portfolio manager.

      The first rate hike by the Fed could be brought forward from around 2024-2025 to 2023-2024 — depending on how other policies, such as taxation, turn out in the event of a "blue wave," said Jim Caron, a senior member of Morgan Stanley Investment Management's global fixed income team.

      A "blue wave" refers to an election outcome where Joe Biden defeats Donald Trump in the presidential race, and Democrats win a majority in both chambers of Congress.   

      Caron told CNBC's "Squawk Box Asia" on Wednesday that the U.S. economy, under pressure from the coronavirus pandemic this year, was already expected to rebound in 2021. Additional stimulus that's likely to come with a "blue wave" would boost that growth potential further, he added.

      "That means the growth impact could go into not just 2021, but also 2022," he said.

      "The effect that this has though — that we need to be wary of — is that this could bring the first rate hike, nobody wants to talk about rate hikes right now, but this could bring the first rate hike by the Fed in from 2024 to 2025 to maybe 2023 to 2024," he explained.

      The Fed has maintained its policy rate near zero since March and indicated that rates could stay at that level through 2023. That has kept Treasury yields low, even though they rose on Tuesday on a potential stimulus package ahead of the November elections.

      But Caron warned that a Democratic win in the November elections might not be all good for the U.S. economy. He said there could be "more questions than answers" on issues such as the Democrats' tax policy and their approach toward regulation, which could create uncertainties.

      Many investors fear that a Biden win could result in higher taxes and tighter regulations — which could lead to lower corporate profits and less economic growth.

      "I think the markets are being a little bit complacent about, just thinking that: 'Well on Nov. 3, the day of the election, we're going to get all the answers and everything's going to be great going forward'," said Caron.

      "I actually think there's going to be more questions than answers after the election than there is right now."

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      LLY Pauses COVID-19 Antibody Trial, JNJ Boosts Annual Outlook, Double Whammy For GOSS

      Today’s Daily Dose brings you news about Lilly temporarily halting phase III trial of COVID-19 antibody, Gossamer Bio’s oral GB001 flunking in both asthma and chronic rhinosinusitis trials, encouraging data from Regeneron/Sanofi’s Dupixent trial, and Johnson & Johnson’s rosy outlook.

      Read on…

      1. Lilly Pauses Phase III trial of COVID-19 Antibody

      A phase III trial evaluating Eli Lilly and Co.’s (LLY) investigational monoclonal antibody LY-CoV555 in combination with standard of care Gilead SciencesInc.’s (GILD) Remdesivir in hospitalized COVID-19 patients has been paused due to a potential safety concern, according to reports.

      Launched in August, the phase III study, dubbed ACTIV-3, was initially designed to enroll about 300 volunteers who have been hospitalized with mild to moderate COVID-19 and is led by the National Institutes of Health.

      Another NIH-led phase III study of LY-CoV555, dubbed ACTIV-2, is ongoing in patients with mild to moderate symptoms of COVID-19 who have not been hospitalized.

      Last week, Lilly had submitted an initial request for emergency use authorization for LY-CoV555 monotherapy in higher-risk patients who have been recently diagnosed with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 based on data from an interim analysis of another trial, dubbed BLAZE-1, which is a phase II study.

      It is not known whether the pausing of the ACTIV-3 study will impact the other ongoing LY-CoV555 trials.

      On Monday, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) announced that it is temporarily suspending a phase III study of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, JNJ-78436735, due to an unexplained illness in a study participant.

      In September, AstraZeneca plc’s (AZN) phase III trial of COVID-19 vaccine candidate, AZD1222, which was underway in the U.S., UK, Brazil, South Africa, and other countries, was put on hold over a safety issue. While the phase III trial has resumed in other countries now, it continues to remain on hold in the U.S.

      LLY closed Tuesday’s trading at $150.08, down 2.85%.

      2. Double Whammy for Gossamer as GB001 Fails In Two Trials

      Shares of Gossamer Bio Inc. (GOSS) plunged more than 25% on Tuesday, following disappointing data from its phase II trials of oral GB001 in asthma and chronic rhinosinusitis.

      In a phase IIb trial of oral GB001 in patients with moderate-to-severe eosinophilic asthma, dubbed LEDA, the primary endpoint of asthma worsening was not met. However, statistically significant improvements in the secondary endpoint of time to first asthma worsening compared to placebo were observed.

      The company noted that it will discuss its findings related to oral GB001 in asthma with global regulatory authorities and continue discussions with potential strategic partners.

      In a phase IIa trial of oral GB001 in patients with chronic rhinosinusitis with and without nasal polyps, dubbed TITAN, the primary endpoint of change from baseline in *SNOT-22 score at Week 16, and the secondary endpoint of change from baseline to Week 16 in nasal polyp score were not met. (*SNOT-22 or Sino-Nasal Outcome Test is a validated questionnaire that assesses patients with chronic rhinosinusitis).

      The company has decided not to pursue the development of GB001 in chronic rhinosinusitis.

      GOSS closed Tuesday’s trading at $10.09, down 25.75%.

      3. JNJ Boosts Annual Outlook

      Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), which reported better-than-expected third-quarter financial results on Tuesday, has boosted its outlook for full-year 2020.

      On an adjusted basis, net earnings for the third quarter of 2020 rose to $5.87 billion or $2.20 per share from $5.67 billion or $2.12 per share in the year-ago quarter. On average, Wall Street analysts expected earnings of $1.98 per share.

      Sales for the recent third quarter were $21.08 billion compared to $20.73 billion in the same quarter last year and well above analysts’ consensus estimate of $20.20 billion.

      Looking ahead, the company now expects operational sales to range between $82.0 billion and $82.8 billion, up from its prior forecast range of $81.0 billion and $82.5 billion. The consensus estimate for sales predicted by Wall Street analysts for the year is $81.03 billion.

      JNJ closed Tuesday’s trading at $148.36, down 2.29%.

      4. Regeneron/Sanofi’s Cash Cow Dupixent Does It Again!

      Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. (REGN) and Sanofi’s (SNY) pivotal phase III trial of Dupixent in children aged 6 to 11 years with uncontrolled moderate-to-severe asthma has met its primary and all key secondary endpoints.

      Despite standard-of-care therapy such as inhaled corticosteroids, children with uncontrolled moderate-to-severe asthma are said to be at risk of severe asthma attacks and this often leads to frequent hospitalizations and emergency room visits.

      In the phase III trial, dubbed LIBERTY ASTHMA VOYAGE, Dupixent significantly reduced severe asthma attacks by up to 65% over one year compared to placebo. In addition, the drug was associated with a significant and rapid improvement in lung function within two weeks and it was sustained for up to 52 weeks.

      Commenting on the trial results, John Reed, Global Head of Research and Development at Sanofi, said, “Dupixent is the only biologic shown in a controlled Phase 3 trial to improve lung function in children, which is generally consistent with results seen in the adolescent and adult trials”.

      The companies are planning to make U.S. and EU regulatory submissions, seeking approval for Dupixent for children aged 6-11 years with uncontrolled moderate-to-severe asthma, by the first quarter of 2021.

      Dupixent is already approved for the treatment of patients aged 6 years and older with moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis, as an add-on maintenance treatment in patients with moderate-to-severe asthma aged 12 years and older and as an add-on maintenance treatment in adult patients with chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyposis.

      The drug recorded annual sales of $2.32 billion in 2019. SVB Leerink analyst Geoffrey Porges expects Dupixent to bring in sales of $3.86 billion in 2020.

      REGN closed Tuesday’s trading at $607.98, up 1.07%.

      5. Stocks That Moved On No News

      Aethlon Medical Inc. (AEMD) closed Tuesday’s trading at $1.97, up 33.11%.

      SOS Limited (SOS) closed Tuesday’s trading at $2.69, up 27.49%.

      BiondVax Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (BVXV) closed Tuesday’s trading at $40.79, up 19.90%.

      Liquidia Technologies, Inc. (LQDA) closed Tuesday’s trading at $4.08, down 29.53%.

      Avenue Therapeutics Inc. (ATXI) closed Tuesday’s trading at $3.87, down 14.57%.

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      The best hair masks

      • Hair masks are an affordable and easy way to strengthen, deep condition, and nourish without going to a salon — especially in the winter when all the cold air is drying out your hair.
      • You can use one in the shower to treat your hair weekly, or if you have really damaged hair, every few days. 
      • Our top pick is the It's a 10 Haircare Miracle Hair Mask, but we also like ones from Brigeo, Function of Beauty, Living Proof, and Olaplex.

      Between blow-drying, heat-styling, color processing, skipping hair cuts, and more, your hair can incur some serious damage. Thankfully, at-home hair masks are one of the easiest ways to give your strands a little TLC without leaving your house or breaking the bank.

      Whether you want to repair, strengthen, add shine, or protect your hair from future damage, the right hair mask can help transform your hair and even improve its overall health. But with so many on the market, working out which one is right for you can be overwhelming.

      So we did the research and put our own hair to the test to find the best hair masks. 

      Here are the best hair masks:

      • Best hair mask overall: It's a 10 Haircare Miracle Hair Mask
      • Best deep conditioning hair mask: Briogeo Don't Despair, Repair Mask
      • Best personalized hair mask: Function of Beauty Customized Hair Mask
      • Best overnight hair mask: Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Night Cap Overnight Perfector
      • Best hair mask for strengthening: Olaplex Hair Perfector No. 3

      Updated 10/20/20 by Maria Del Russo: Updated links and prices. Replaced "best overnight hair mask" because our previous mask was no longer available. We are currently re-testing products for this guide, including hair masks for natural hair. 

      The best hair mask overall

      It's a 10 Haircare Miracle Hair Mask transforms dry, damaged hair into super-soft and smooth strands while also restoring elasticity.

      It's a 10 Haircare Miracle Hair Mask is a sulfate-free conditioning treatment that was made to treat many types of hair. The mask contains linseed and apricot extracts, which help soothe and repair your scalp while leaving you tangle-free.  

      The mask also features almond extract to promote healthy and shiny hair, and oat extract, which strengthens and restructures hair to make it smooth and soft. The lightweight mask is versatile enough to be used as an everyday conditioner for hair, or as a periodic treatment.

      Plenty of members of the Insider Reviews team have tried this mask and love it. Editor Maria Del Russo calls this mask her go-to winter hair mask because it effectively nixes the static that tends to plague her mane when the temperature dips.

      "I use it twice a week instead of my conditioner, and it cures any dry hair fuzz that pops up," she says. The only drawback? "It's very easy to use too much, and when you do, it can really weigh your hair down," she says. So make sure to start with less than you think and add little by little if you feel you need more. 

      Pros: Leaves hair tangle-free and super soft, soothes and repairs scalp, treats damaged hair, can be used daily

      Cons: Can weigh your hair down if you use too much

      Best deep conditioning hair mask

      Briogeo Don't Despair, Repair Mask deep conditions for an extra boost of hydration and moisture.

      The Briogeo Don't Despair, Repair Deep Conditioning Mask is formulated with a host of ingredients to help restore hydration and transform lackluster hair into shiny, healthy locks. Rosehip oil delivers fatty acids, which work to add hydration while removing frizz, while algae extract delivers a rush of amino acids and antioxidants to strengthen.

      Vitamin B, on the other hand, actually works to improve the texture of the hair, leaving you with softer, more elastic strands over time. Vitamin B is especially great for folks who have suffered damage because of chemical or heat treatments. It helps to repair the brittle texture you get from over-styling. 

      The mask works on all types of hair including chemically-treated, relaxed, and keratin-treated hair. It is also cruelty-free and made without any silicones, parabens, sulfates, and artificial dyes. In a blind clinical trial run by the brand, 80% of women said they saw a "noticeable improvement in hydration".

      Pros: Makes hair super soft and silky, deeply hydrating, cruelty-free, makes hair shiny

      Cons: Customers have claimed the formula used to be thicker, and that the thinner formula isn't as effective

      Best personalized hair mask

      If you're looking for a customized formula that addresses one or many concerns, try Function of Beauty.

      Function of Beauty develops personalized hair-care products, including a hair mask. At $19 for a 7.5 oz jar, it's not cheap. But it's also a weekly deep-conditioning treatment that's catered specifically to your needs, so I think the price is justified. There's also an option to subscribe to regular deliveries of each product, so you'd never run out.

      To create your custom formula, you'd have to take a short online quiz and indicate your concerns and needs. I said that I wanted to hydrate and repair my dry, heat-damaged hair, but wanted to make sure the formula wouldn't be too heavy and weigh my fine hair down. 

      A few weeks later, the mask arrived at my door. Since I've been using it, I've noticed that my hair definitely feels stronger and healthier, and it has a lot more shine than before. While each formula is made specifically for your particular hair needs, it generally contains hydrating Japanese sake extract, as well as argan and jojoba oils.

      The Insider Reviews team has tested and reviewed other Function of Beauty hair-care products, here's the full review.

      Pros: Personalized formula for your specific hair needs, has one-time or subscription option for flexibility 

      Cons: Is only available online 

      The best overnight hair mask

      Living Proof's Perfect Hair Day Night Cap helps add shine and tame frizz overnight, and the results last for multiple shampoos. 

      If the idea of applying a hair mask in the shower sounds a little too time-intensive for you, then look for a mask that does the work while you snooze. Living Proof's Perfect Hair Day Night Cap Overnight Mask helps to soften and add shine to your strands overnight, so you wake up with more hydrated hair than you fell asleep with. 

      Living Proof's hair mask is made with the brand's patented healthy hair molecule OFPMA. This molecule seals the hair cuticle, which is what makes the hair look frizzy. Your hair cuticle lays like shingles on a roof, and when they're dry or damaged, they fray. This is what makes your hair look frizzy. But by sealing the cuticle, your strands look smoother — and it also helps protect pigment fading if you color-treat your hair. 

      I like to use this mask when my hair is going through a particularly rough patch, like in the dead of winter, or after I've been using my dryer for a while. I'll shower at night, towel-dry my hair until it's damp, and then rake two pumps through my hair from ear-length down. I try to avoid the crown of my hair, so it doesn't look oily in the morning. 

      When I wake up, my hair is air-dried, soft, and much more manageable than before, making this a clutch option to use before a party or another event where your hair needs to look its best. Just be forewarned, it can take some trial and error to get the correct amount for your hair type just right. The first few times I tried it, I used too much, and had to wash my hair again in the morning because all of the product didn't absorb, which made my strands greasy. — Maria Del Russo, style & beauty guides editor

      Pros: Works while you sleep, seals the hair cuticle, leaves hair feeling soft and frizz-free

      Cons: Might be a little too heavy for finer hair types

      Best hair mask for strengthening

      If color-treating and heat-styling have weakened your hair, then you need Olaplex Hair Perfector No. 3, which is a favorite of professional hairstylists

      Hair-care brand Olaplex is used in top salons, but the Hair Perfector No. 3 was created for general retail when the brand realized how many of its clients wanted to use it at home.

      The mask is made with Olaplex's patented bond-building technology, which relinks the broken parts of hair caused by chemical, thermal, and mechanical damage. It's not a conditioning mask for that reason — it actually works to rebuild the bonds in your hair. Olaplex works on many hair types and is formulated without parabens, sulfates, or phthalates.

      If you have color-treated hair or regularly heat-style, Hair Perfector No. 3 is a great restorative treatment that will bring softness and shine back to your hair. Some users with particularly damaged hair recommend leaving it in for a bit longer than the instructed ten minutes.

      You can have too much of a good thing, though. "You should only use it once a week," says Lucille Javier, a color specialist at Mark Ryan Salon in NYC. "It's a bonding treatment, so it can only do so much. The hair can only absorb so much. Using it more than once a week is wasteful." Instead, she recommends alternating between Olaplex and a conditioning mask if you want to use a hair mask more than once a week. 

      Pros: Repairs and strengthens hair, leaves it feeling soft and bouncy, professional-grade treatment at home

      Cons: Not as strong as the in-salon treatment, you should only use it once a week

      Check out our other hair-care buying guides

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      The best anti-frizz hair products

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      Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Insider Reviews team. We highlight products and services you might find interesting. If you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners. We frequently receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. We operate independently from our advertising sales team. We welcome your feedback. Email us at [email protected]

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      Netflix Will Offer Free Trial Of Its Full Service For A Weekend, Starting In India

      Netflix will offer a free trial of its full service to everyone in a country for one weekend, starting in India and going to other global territories.

      The streaming giant revealed the plan during its third-quarter earnings interview, which followed the release of results that undershot subscriber and earnings estimates.

      Chief Product Officer Greg Peters said the giveaway “could be a great way to expose a lot of people” to the service. He called it “an idea that we’re excited about and we’ll see how it goes.” No details were announced about the timing or details of the offer.

      Netflix recently ended a 30-day free trial promotion. The company runs hundreds of “A/B” tests of a wide range of product features as well as promotional efforts. In terms of promotions, it has a wide range of different initiatives in different parts of the world. As COVID-19 kicked in, the company made a selection of documentary films and shows available free via YouTube as a way of helping schoolteachers.

      Co-CEO Ted Sarandos said the company is “always looking at new, different ways for people to get a sample of the content that everyone’s talking about, including trying our service out in different ways.”

      On a similar note, when asked by interview moderator Kannan Venkateshwar, a media analyst at Barclays, Sarandos said the company is not actively considering “reverse licensing” of its own originals to other platforms. Free streaming platforms like Pluto have set a number of deals recently with cable properties like The Walking Dead and recently Netflix drama Narcos. Sarandos said Gaumont owns Narcos and was able to make that deal.

      “Mostly I think it’s important for us to keep our content on Netflix, so that people understand the value of Netflix,” Sarandos said.

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      If you're over 50 and don't qualify for life insurance due to health concerns, look into guaranteed issue life insurance

      Personal Finance Insider writes about products, strategies, and tips to help you make smart decisions with your money. We may receive a small commission from our partners, like American Express, but our reporting and recommendations are always independent and objective.

      • Guaranteed issue is a type of life insurance that doesn't require a medical exam.
      • It is typically limited to individuals ages 50 and over.
      • It is more expensive than other life insurance policies that don't require a medical exam.
      • If you have health conditions that would typically disqualify you from coverage, then guaranteed issue is an option.
      • Policygenius can help you compare life insurance policies to find the right coverage for you, at the right price »

      Most people get life insurance to cover the mortgage, education, and other expenses so their family can continue paying the bills after they die. The goal of having life insurance is to ease the burden on your loved ones after your loss.

      Traditional insurance policies require a medical exam as part of the approval process known as underwriting. However, some people will not qualify for traditional life insurance due to health conditions. If you are concerned about not qualifying due to health and are age 50 or over, a guaranteed issue life insurance policy may be your best bet.

      What is life insurance?

      Life insurance is a contract between you and the life insurance company, where you pay premiums (monthly or annually) for a payout that your living relatives will receive upon your death, known as the death benefit. Should you die, the insurance company pays the death benefit to your chosen beneficiary.

      The difference between term and whole life insurance

      There are two types of life insurance: whole life and term life. Either can require a medical exam. Whole life premiums can be more expensive than term life premiums because they have a cash value component in addition to the death benefit. You pay a whole life policy throughout your lifetime, so the coverage is for your lifetime.

      Term life, on the other hand, is considerably cheaper because it doesn't have a cash value component and coverage (as well as payment) is limited to a given term. Term life insurance covers a 10, 20, or 30-year period. If you die during that period, your beneficiaries get your death benefit. Term life insurance is generally recommended for any adult with a dependent, and its biggest draw is the low monthly payments. 

      Guaranteed issue is a no medical exam life insurance policy

      Traditional insurance policies require a medical exam as part of the approval process known as underwriting. No medical exam life insurance, including guaranteed issue, offers quick approval for coverage and can be good if you are in poor health. 

      Whether you are concerned about a medical exam disqualifying you or simply just don't want to go to a doctor, there are three types of no medical exam life insurance policies: 

      1. Accelerated underwriting: requires a medical questionnaire
      2. Simplified issue: requires a medical questionnaire
      3. Guaranteed issue: no exam, no health questions
      Guaranteed issue life insurance
      • Quick approval process, can't be denied
      • No health questions
      • Limited to $25,000 or less and a waiting period for full benefits payout
      • Good if you have poor health 
      • Limited to policyholders 50-85 years old

      Guaranteed issue can be whole life or term life insurance and does not require a medical exam or questionnaire which means it falls under no medical exam life insurance. Because there are no medical exams or health questions, life insurance providers consider guaranteed issue applicants a higher risk and premiums are usually more expensive compared to other no medical exam life insurance policies for less coverage.

      Guaranteed life insurance is also referred to as "final expense/funeral insurance" because the coverage amounts are so low that they basically only cover funeral and burial expenses. 

      Les Masterson, managing editor of Insure, told Business Insider that funeral insurance is different from traditional life insurance in three ways:

      1. It has a lower death benefit, making it less expensive and a good option if you're on a fixed income
      2. It's easier to get this policy — no exam required
      3. It is often purchased by people who are middle-aged or older

      Masterson noted that the median price for a funeral is $8,500, and death benefits for funeral insurance can fall anywhere from $5,000 to $25,000. 

      According to ColonialPenn, there is usually a two-year waiting period, meaning that if the policyholder dies within the first two years of having coverage, the policy won't pay out.

      Guaranteed issue vs simplified issue life insurance

      Guaranteed issue life insurance has no medical exam and no medical questions, but coverage is limited to up to $25,000. Simplified issue has no medical exam, but you still have to complete a health questionnaire and provide access to medical records. Simplified issue also offers higher coverage amounts up to $100,000 and cheaper premiums than guaranteed issue policies.

      According to Fidelity Life, if you fail to disclose a condition and die on a simplified issue policy, the insurance company can deny paying death benefits to your beneficiaries.

      Make sure any funeral insurance kicks in after your death

      Funeral and burial insurance refers to insurance that covers final expenses, like funeral or cremation costs. However, this should not be confused with pre-need insurance.

      When a person works with a funeral home to decide exactly what they want and they pay for everything in advance, before they die, that coverage is called pre-need insurance, Masterson told Business Insider. 

      Pre-need insurance is not recommended because the beneficiary is the funeral home and coverage is specific to the chosen funeral home. If you die before paying the full amount, your family has to pay the difference. Should the funeral home go out of business or you move out of state, you may not have coverage and that defeats the purpose of pre-planning.

      According to the AARP, the Funeral Consumers Alliance (FCA) advises against buying pre-need.

      How much does guaranteed life insurance cost?

      Life insurance providers consider guaranteed life applicants to be a higher risk because there's no medical information. Premiums are usually more expensive compared to other no medical life insurance policies for less coverage.

      For guaranteed life insurance, premium calculation depends on your age, gender, where you live, and coverage amount. Understand that there are limits on coverage amounts and it varies by insurance provider.

      We found sample quotes for a 51-year-woman for $25,000 in coverage living in Illinois:

      Insurance type Coverage amount Monthly insurance premium
      AARP Easy Life Insurance (Guaranteed issue) $25,000 $108
      Mutual of Omaha Guaranteed Plus Whole Life (Guaranteed Issue) $25,000 $73.50
      AARP Level Term (Simplified issue)* $25,000 $18
      AARP Level Term (Simplified issue)* $100,000 $52

      *Simplified issue policies included for price comparison

      In the sample quotes above, we included quotes for AARP's simplified issue coverage for comparison. Although simplified issue life insurance does not require a medical exam, it does require a health questionnaire. If you don't want a medical exam, but can qualify for a simplified issue policy, it is generally a better deal because you can get more coverage for a cheaper premium.

      Who should get guaranteed issue insurance?

      Guaranteed issue life insurance is for those who might be in poor health and can't qualify for traditional life insurance. It is usually marketed for those over 50 because there is a limit on the coverage amount. It is more expensive than other no medical exam life insurance policies. 

      If you qualify for a simplified issue no medical exam life insurance policy, it is generally better to apply for that instead, as you should be able to get more coverage and a cheaper premium.

      However, if you can't qualify for other no medical exam life insurance, then guaranteed issue life insurance is your best option.

      Shop around online, or even check out those guaranteed issue life mailers that might arrive in your mailbox. Most of these offers are for low coverage amounts, but some coverage is better than none at all. If you have auto, homeowners, or renters insurance, reach out to your agent and ask if they provide no medical exam life insurance — they might be able to accommodate current customers. 

      Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Personal Finance Insider team. We occasionally highlight financial products and services that can help you make smarter decisions with your money. We do not give investment advice or encourage you to adopt a certain investment strategy. What you decide to do with your money is up to you. If you take action based on one of our recommendations, we get a small share of the revenue from our commerce partners. This does not influence whether we feature a financial product or service. We operate independently from our advertising sales team.

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      The heavy-duty Army howitzer you've probably never heard of

      • The M107 self-propelled howitzer, a 175 mm artillery piece, entered service in 1962 and could hurl shells up to 25 miles.
      • But the M107 didn't have a long service life, and the powerful weapon has mostly faded from memory.
      • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

      Some artillery pieces become very famous. Some of the most notable are the French 75 of World War I, or the Napoleons used during the Civil War, or the German 88. But some are less well-known, but packed a big punch – or long range – of their own.

      One such artillery piece is the M107 self-propelled howitzer. This 175 mm artillery piece entered service in 1962, alongside the M110, an 8-inch self-propelled howitzer. It could fire shells as far as 25 miles away – and this long range proved very handy during the Vietnam War.

      The M107 is not like the M109 self-propelled howitzer in that it is open and lacks both a turret and on-board ammunition storage. As such, it needed its ammo vehicles nearby to provide shells. The M107 was fast for an armored vehicle, with a top speed of 50 mph, and could go almost 450 miles on a single tank of fuel.

      The M107s used the same chassis as the M110s. In fact, Olive-Drab.com reported that the two self-propelled howitzers could exchange guns, thus a M107 could become a M110, and vice versa. This was used to good effect in Vietnam, where the barrels could be swapped as needed at firebases.

      Israel also used the M017 for decisive effect in the 1973 Yom Kippur War, destroying a number of Syrian and Egyptian surface-to-air missile batteries and even shelling Damascus.

      According to GlobalSecurity.org, the M107 fired only one type of conventional round, the M347 high-explosive round. The gun didn't see service long past the Vietnam War.

      The M107 had a long reach, but it was not accurate — rounds like the laser-guided Copperhead or the GPS-guided Excalibur had not been developed yet.

      An extended barrel for the M110 was developed, and in the late 1970s many M107s were converted to the M110A2 standard. The M110s eventually were replaced by the M207 MLRS.

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      Judge In Weinstein Bankruptcy Denies Motion By Some Victims To Convert From Chapter 11 To Chapter 7

      A Delaware judge Tuesday denied a motion by some victims of jailed former mogul Harvey Weinstein to convert Weinstein Co.’s bankruptcy proceeding from Chapter 11 to Chapter 7, allowing the long process to move forward. Chapter 7 can dispense with classes of creditors – of which abuse victims are one in this case — and allow individuals to pursue claims separately.

      The attorney representing nine victims argued at a hearing this morning that the Chapter 11 plan so far encompasses much too large a group of claimants — possibly in the thousands — with too wide a range of claims, from rape to workplace intimidation. That would dilute recovery of the $17 million in funds allocated for sexual misconduct for those who had suffered the most. It would also deprive them of an ability to bring their case to a jury.

      The lawyer for creditors, flanked by a representative of the New York U.S. District Attorney’s office, said Chapter 11 was appropriate — and Judge Mary Walrath of U.S. Bankruptcy Court agreed. Both noted that the Chapter 11 proposal allows women to opt out of the settlement and pursue their claims against Weinstein in court.

      The judge also noted that victims who objected could raise the issue at confirmation and vote against the plan.

      The Weinstein Company Holdings and 54 affiliated companies — the debtors — filed petitions in March of 2018 with the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware seeking relief under Chapter 11. The case is complicated and highly charged as it involves sexual abuse victims as well as traditional creditors like businesses that are owned money.

      Weinstein is currently jailed at maximum security Wende Correctional Facility near Buffalo serving a 23-year sentence his conviction earlier this year in New York on various sex crimes. He also faces seven criminal a counts involving five victims in Los Angeles.

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