Posts by Mandi Woodruff

  • BUFFETT: Don't play the 'stupid' IPO game

    Mandi Woodruff at Yahoo Finance 19 hrs ago

    For the first time in the company’s history, Berkshire Hathaway is live streaming its annual shareholder meeting on Yahoo Finance.

    Warren Buffett couldn't care less about those who have struck it rich in the frenzy of IPO activity in recent years.

    “You don’t have to really worry about what’s really going on in IPOs. People win lotteries every day but there's no reason to let that affect [your investing strategy] at all,” Buffett said at Berkshire Hathaway’s annual shareholder meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, on Saturday. “You have to find what makes sense and follow your own course.”

    Staying true to hisoft-cited advice for the average investor seeking long-term growth, Buffett gave the verbal equivalent of an eye roll to anyone who tries to game the market.

    “If they want to do mathematically unsound things and one person gets lucky … it’s nothing to worry about,” he said. “You don't want to get into a stupid game just because it's available.”

    Buffett also had a singular piece of advice for investors deciding where to invest.

  • BUFFETT: It doesn't get better than this

    Mandi Woodruff at Yahoo Finance 20 hrs ago

    For the first time in the company’s history, Berkshire Hathaway is live streaming its annual shareholder meeting on Yahoo Finance.

    Warren Buffett doesn’t have any regrets.

    “I’m 85, and I can’t imagine anybody any happier than I am,” the Berkshire Hathaway (BRK) CEO told the crowd of more than 40,000 shareholders gathered in Omaha to pepper Buffett and his longtime partner Charlie Munger with questions about business, success, and life. “I’m sitting here eating exactly what I like to eat, doing in life exactly what I love to do with people I love. It really doesn't get any better than that.”

    He noted two of his early decisions in growing his business that have contributed to that satisfaction. First, he decided he’d rather not work for anyone else.  

    “I did decide fairly early in life that my favorite employer was myself,” he said. “And I’ve managed to avoid really aggravation of almost any sort.”

    Still, the “Oracle of Omaha” said he can’t entirely give himself credit for his longevity and success. Luck has played a role as well.

    More wisdom from Buffett:

  • Gym rats are outraged ClassPass raised its prices

    Mandi Woodruff at Yahoo Finance 3 days ago

    ClassPass, the increasingly popular fitness class subscription service , has slowly but surely been jacking up prices in cities. And the company’s loyal members are less than thrilled.

    Members in half a dozen cities — Atlanta, Toronto, Austin, Dallas, Boston, and, as of today, New York — received emails alerting them to the changes over the last few weeks. The price hikes vary by city and by type of membership. For the most part, the changes will sting new users looking to sign up for an unlimited monthly subscription. Existing unlimited subscribers will get burned as well but to a slightly lesser degree.  

    For example, in New York City, an unlimited membership will now set new users back $200 a month, up from $125. Existing unlimited will now be charged $190, a 52% spike.  

    The story was similar in Boston, Dallas, Toronto and Austin, where prices jumped at least 50% for unlimited memberships. Ashley Hennings, a company spokesperson, said she could not confirm whether members in any of the other 30-plus cities where they operate can expect to see similar price hikes.


  • Why Warren Buffett doesn’t want you to trade stocks like Warren Buffett

    Mandi Woodruff at Yahoo Finance 4 days ago

    For the first time in the company’s history, Berkshire Hathaway will live stream its annual shareholder meeting on Yahoo Finance on April 30.

    Warren Buffett didn’t become a multi-billionaire and grow his company, Berkshire Hathaway (BRK) , into a $360 billion behemoth without some serious investing chops.

    But if you ask the 85-year-old "Oracle of Omaha" how you might emulate his success in your own portfolio, don’t expect him to show you his play book. Buffett has made one thing clear over the years: the average individual investor would be far better off if they didn’t try to play copy cat.

    That’s not to say the rest of us can’t make strategic investments that can set us up for future gains. Buffett has been more than happy to offer his guidance on this matter.

    More wisdom from Buffett:

  • The best cities to flip homes in the US

    Mandi Woodruff at Yahoo Finance 4 days ago

    It’s a good time to be in the house flipping business.

    Over 110,000 investors flipped at least one home — selling a property within 12 months of purchasing it — in 2015, the highest rate we’ve seen since 2007. And they’re making a killing. The average gross flipping profit was $55,000 in 2015, making the average gross return on investment 45.8%, according to housing data firm RealtyTrac. That’s up from 44.2% in 2014 and up from a 35.3% in 2005, which is when flipping activity last peaked .

    Flipping is still a long way off from 2005 levels, when throngs of flippers were 260,000-strong and the housing bubble was close to bursting. Today, the average flipper is only running through one or two homes per year, which is the lowest rate per investor since 2008. That’s a good thing. Too much flipping activity is usually a bad sign for everyday homebuyers.

    “By its very nature, flipping is pushing up home prices faster than you would see if you were just a normal buyer coming in a purchasing a property,” says Daren Blomquist, spokesperson for housing data firm RealtyTrac.

    You’ll find highest average flipping profits on the coasts:

  • The Payoff: There are 5 things you should always negotiate

    Mandi Woodruff at Yahoo Finance 8 days ago

    There are some things in life you would be crazy not to negotiate. I’ll tell you when it’s worth it right now on The Payoff.

    Your job benefits. Your salary is just the starting point when you are negotiating a job offer. If you don’t settle on a number you like, see if they can make up for it with other benefits like a signing bonus, extra time off or the flexibility to work from home. Some jobs might be willing to pay for your cell phone, internet bill and even buy you a computer just for work. Those little bonuses add up.

    Your credit card fees. The key to getting credit card companies to drop fees is having an account in good standing. They should be fine waiving a late fee or interest charges if you’re making payments on time most of the time. You can even try getting them to waive your annual fee or lower your interest rate if you’ve been a good customer all year.

    Your rent.  If you’re renting at an unpopular time of year – like winter – your landlord might be willing to knock a few bucks off your monthly rent. If that doesn’t work, see if they’ll lower the rent if you agree to a two- or three-year lease. It never hurts to ask.


  • 2 big reasons our bosses should care that we’re not saving for retirement

    Mandi Woodruff at Yahoo Finance 11 days ago

    We all know it’s tough to save for retirement today. Somehow, workers will have to save more for retirement than previous generations, all while dealing with the pressures of student loan debt, stagnating wages and rising fixed costs.

    Some workers are cracking under that pressure, new research by PwC shows. Nearly half of 1,600 workers surveyed said they’ve saved less than $50,000 for retirement. Almost the same number of workers said they will probably have to tap their nest egg to cover unexpected expenses before they retire, driving them to prolong their working years.

    Stats like these shouldn’t just trouble individual workers. Here are two reasons employers should be worried, too:

    It’s killing their productivity.

    It makes it a lot tougher to attract new talent.

    What can be done?

  • What happens if you lie on your credit card application

    Mandi Woodruff at Yahoo Finance 12 days ago

    Recently, a friend told me a troubling story about a guy she knows. He wanted a credit line increase from his bank, so he decided to inflate his income when he put in his request, giving himself a high six-figure salary.

    Why would anyone be tempted to lie on a credit application? Easy: the higher your income, the more likely you are to get approved for more credit. By law , banks have to determine whether customers can afford to take on a certain amount of debt. To do this, they ask basic questions to find out how much you earn, where you work and how much your housing expenses cost per month. And, of course, they take your credit score into account as well.

    “For credit cards, most of the time the bank will take the applicant's word for their income or they'll use some other method such as income prediction modeling,” says credit expert John Ulzheimer. “The only time a bank will want ironclad proof of income is if the applicant wants some extremely large credit line or they're buying a house.”

  • Chase's mysterious '5/24' rule has infuriated airline mile churners

    Mandi Woodruff at Yahoo Finance 17 days ago

    This could be the end for Chase (JPM) credit card mile churners.

    The bank has reportedly adopted a new rule that makes it much harder for credit card churners to cash in on multiple sign-up bonuses.

    In case you need a refresher — card (or mile) “churning” is the art of rapidly signing up for rewards credit cards, spending just enough to earn the signup bonus, and then canceling the card before you get hit with the annual fee. Card churners take their bonus points and miles and use them to score free hotel stays and airfare and other perks. There are dozens of blogs, message boards and Reddit threads dedicated to mile churning, where devoted churners swap tips and best practices.

    The carrot and the stick

    It's a delicate balancing act. Banks need to find ways to make it more difficult for churners to ditch them while still dangling a sweet enough carrot — in the form of signup bonuses — to lure in new customers.

  • Hillary Clinton: Salesforce and Gap are getting equal pay right

    Mandi Woodruff at Yahoo Finance 18 days ago

    At a candid discussion on the state of equal pay for women in America, Hillary Clinton gave kudos to Silicon Valley CEOs for carrying their share of the load.

    “If CEOs and board members will actually ask themselves ‘How sure are we we that we are paying people the same?’ the data shows even in the best-intentioned companies that is often not happening,” she said. Clinton spoke at a round table discussion hosted by salary data site  She gave a nod to Salesforce (CRM) CEO Marc Benioff, who spent $3 million last year to close the gender wage gap at his company, and Gap (GPS) , the first Fortune 500 company to announce that it pays female and male employees equally in 2014.

    “I’m very focused on making sure we don’t lose the impetus behind this conversation and that we get more companies ... to be public [about their gender wage gap],” Clinton said.

    “I feel like [equal pay] is something that’s long overdue but I know we’ve got to keep moving forward,” Clinton said.

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