The business of BIG DATA

Every time you use your smartphone to Google something, every time you tag your location on social media, and definitely every time you buy something online, companies are collecting your data. In fact, most major retail brands, companies, and online sites that sell products or services are carefully “mining” your sensitive personal and financial data, reselling it to third-party data collection companies who then analyze, ...

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pet-industry-growth

The U.S. pet industry is barking, biting, and booming like never before.

Do you own a pet? Chances are, you either have a beloved pooch or frisky feline in your care, and if so, you probably spend a hefty sum of money keeping them fed, healthy, happy, and even entertained. In fact, the pet industry is one of the largest niche segments of household discretionary spending, and has even proven to be recession proof over the last 5+ years. Of course we can’t measure our love for the loyal family dog ...

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Can you escape Big Brother in our modern society? (Part 2 of 2)

In part 1 of this blog, we relayed the story of how a young writer named Henry David Thoreau moved to a remote path of woods by Walden Pond in 1845, where he built a humble cabin and lived a Spartan existence. When Thoreau emerged more than two years later, he had produced the manuscript to Walden, a memoir that trumpeted the virtues of simplicity, as well as the perils of conformity to modern industrial society. And while that was ...

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credit-scores-and-presidential-candidates

Kanye West, late night TV, and favorite presidential candidates are just some of the wild factors that predict our credit score.

Your credit score is based on a lot of factors, like how much debt you hold, your history of paying on time, and the length of time you’ve held positive credit accounts.

But is it possible that what kind of music you like, what you watch on late-night TV, and even what kind of phone you use is a telltale sign of if you have excellent or poor credit?

WalletHub.com did an extensive survey of 1,000 individuals, and then normalized the ...

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25-facts-about-retail returns-in-the-US

Bringing it back: 25 Facts about retail returns (including abuse and fraud!) in the U.S.

Americans returned 8% of their purchases last year – including return fraud and abuse, costing retailers and merchants $15.9 billion annually.

1. Estimates of the total U.S. retail industry sales in 2015 are right around $3.256 trillion.

2. An astounding 8% of all retail merchandise was returned, which amounts to $260.5 billion in returns!

3. Abuse and fraud (abuse has a pretty wide definition) constitutes 6.1% of all returns, costing retailers $15.9 billion.

4. U.S. retailers lose around $9.6 billion annually on return abuse, and $14.8 ...

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when-your-credit-balances-are-reported-to-bureaus

​Can you determine when your credit balances are reported to the credit bureaus?

Your credit card bill, mortgage, or auto loan statement may have a Due Date prominently displayed, but when do those lenders actually report your balance – or if your payment is late – to the credit bureaus?

Knowing when each of your credit accounts reports can serve as a valuable aid in managing your credit score and finances. For instance, if you purposely pay down a credit card balance by this date – not just the due date – your credit ...

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US-facing-auto-loan-subprime-bubble-pt-1

25 Facts why we’re facing an auto loan subprime bubble

Are we facing an auto loan subprime bubble?

In part one of this blog, we discussed why America may be facing the biggest subprime bubble since the mortgage meltdown in 2008, but this time the shaky loans in question are to finance automobiles, not houses.

Will this lead to mass defaults and greater economic problems like what happened with the mortgage market? We outlined 15 facts about our auto loans and the possibility of another subprime bubble.

Here are the next 10 ...

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