To get the extended warranty or not, that is the question.

Many retailers now offer extended service plans or warranties for an additional cost, covering you in the event that your laptop or phone or major appliances goes kaput sooner or later. But is it worth the extra cost? Statistically, the answer is probably “no” for most items.

“From a purely economic standpoint,” says Rajiv Sinha, marketing professor at Arizona State University, “It usually doesn’t make sense to buy an extended warranty.”

But there are times and circumstances where you may feel better protecting ...

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The new Thoreaus? Why more Americans are choosing to simplify and reprioritize their lives like the author of ‘Walden’ 150 years ago. (1 of 2)

On July 5, 1845, a young writer named Henry David Thoreau moved from his comfortable existence in Concord, Massachusetts to a simple patch of forest on Walden Pond. In exchange for his work clearing the land and other chores, Thoreau was allowed to occupy the plot and build his own house.

He did just that, constructing a simple 10’ by 15’ English-style cottage, decorated with only a bed, a table, a small desk and lamp for writing at night, and three ...

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The strange, mythical, and dark side of the Walt Disney Company. (2 of 2)

In part one of this blog, we explored fun, interesting, and downright bizarre facts about the fabled Walt Disney Company – the most magical business on earth. Now, we’ll document the strange, mythical, and dark side of the Walt Disney Company.

Walt Disney: the man, the myth.

As a young man, Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper editor because he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas.”

Walt Disney passed away after succumbing to lung cancer on December 15, 1966.

An urban rumor ...

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How Netflix is taking over the entertainment world.

Netflix is taking over the entertainment world, upsetting the apple cart of network and then cable TV that’s been as entrenched and slow moving as a glacier over the last 60 years. In case you’ve been living under a rock for the last decade, Netflix is a media content service that allows customers to watch what they want, when they want, by streaming online. Customers can watch movies, documentaries, TV shows, and original content, as many times as they want ...

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Negative option billing is the shady marketing practice you’re probably already falling for.

Do you remember Colombia House’s offer of eight compact discs (or 12 records or tapes) for a penny? If you’re 30 years or older, you probably do, since their perforated sign-up cards seemed to adorn the middle of every magazine for a couple of decades. And most of us probably signed up for their offers at least once.

At their high point around 1991, bolstered by the release of music CD’s, they had reached 10 million members, or just shy ...

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35 Fun facts about the Star Wars franchise.

The highly anticipated release of the movie Star Wars: Episode VII is right around the corner, ready to hit theaters on December 18, 2015. Set 30 years after the epic Battle of Endor portrayed in Return of the Jedi, the film will include our favorite characters and actors from the original film: Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Han Solo, only 30 years older, as in real life.

The title “The Force Awakens” is actually quite fitting, as the Star Wars ...

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Orange is NOT the new black for guilty Wall Street CEOs.

The U.S. Justice Department announced last week that five of the largest banks in the world will plead guilty to felony charges that they joined forces to manipulate global financial markets. Following a multi-year investigation into their activities that led up to and during the financial crisis and crash of 2008, these banks will be fined nearly $5.8 billion in total as part of the federal plea agreement.

But what these disgraced CEOs – and soon to be convicted felons – ...

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The story of the Walt Disney Company – the most magical business on earth.

When animator and fledgling business man Walt Disney first sketched out a character he called Mickey Mouse in 1929, no one would have guessed it was the start of the largest creative enterprise the world had every seen. But nearly a century later, the Disney legacy has grown to be a multi billion-dollar corporation with theme parks movies, merchandise, and a brand that’s entertained billions of people all around the world.

In this blog, we’ll explore the Disney financial empire, ...

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Creative ways to save for a down payment to buy a house.

Have you thought longingly about buying your first home, only to cancel out that dream once you look at the down payment requirements? It’s true that a mortgage payment often costs less than renting these days, and there are fantastic benefits to home ownership like equity appreciation and tax breaks, but there’s no getting around the fact that they need a whole lot of money, all at once and up front, in order to buy, right?

Maybe not. The good ...

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