Posts by Nicole Goodkind

  • Now I Get It: Unicorns

    Nicole Goodkind at Yahoo Finance 1 day ago

    You’ve probably heard the phrase “tech unicorn” before … It’s a buzzword that’s used to describe high-value companies like Uber and Snapchat. But what exactly does it mean and how does a company become a unicorn?

    A unicorn is any private startup that’s valued at over $1 billion. Now that doesn’t mean that the company actually has $1 billion in cash, in fact, most have a whole lot less. What it does mean is that the company is exchanging equity for cash as if it were worth at least one billion, so a $10 million investment would buy you 1% of the company.

    There are currently 142 start-ups that fit the bill, and together they’re worth about $506 billion. Of those 142 companies, there are 13 deca-unicorns, or companies valued at more than $10 billion. The term unicorn usually signifies a rarity, but we’re encountering a herd of these mythical creatures. When the term was coined in 2013, there were only 36 companies that qualified as unicorns. The number of tech unicorns has increased by nearly 400% in just two years. To some, this rapid increase signals that we’re in bubble territory.

    Correction: a previous version of this article miscalculated 1% of $1 billion.

    More from Yahoo Finance

  • Now I Get It: Black Friday

    Nicole Goodkind at Yahoo Finance 8 days ago

    Last year, 87 million Americans woke up the Friday after Thanksgiving, shook off their turkey-comas, and headed to the mall. Why? To get their hands on the door-buster deals retailers like Wal-Mart (WMT), Target (TGT) ,and Best Buy (BBY) offer on Black Friday, of course.

    Black Friday has become a holiday of its own in the U.S., and we’re all familiar with the images of stampeding shoppers fighting to grab $125 big-screen TVs.

    The day after Thanksgiving has long been the official start of the holiday shopping season for retailers. During the Great Depression, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt moved Thanksgiving a week earlier in order to allow for a longer shopping season—and a bigger boost to the economy.

    Most people think that Black Friday got its name because it’s the day when retailers make a profit for the year and go from being in the red to in the black.

    But of course, there’s also been a backlash. Since 2006, there have been seven deaths and 98 injuries caused by the chaos that Black Friday sales bring.

  • Can booty-lifting jeans save America's retailers?

    Nicole Goodkind at Yahoo Finance 20 days ago

    Macy’s (M) reported disappointing third-quarter earnings this morning and warned on full-year earnings. As a result, shares of the stock tumbled more than 12%. The retail sector (XRT) also dropped into the red on the news.

    Macy’s CEO and chairman Terry Lundgren told investors that the giant retailer missed on earnings because of unseasonably warm weather in the Northeast and a slow-down in international tourists in his shops.

    Other major department stores, including Kohl's (KSS) and J.C. Penney (JCP), also experienced a slump in share price. “The retail industry is going through a tough period,” Lundgren said during his earnings call. “We seem to experience something like this every five to seven years.”

    A new report from BGC Financial showed that retail salaries and wages are growing at a faster pace than the private sector in total. Growing salaries present yet another headwind that brick-and-mortar stores face against the growing strength of e-commerce.

  • It's Back to the Future day! Here's how Pepsi, Ford, Amazon and Verizon are celebrating

    Nicole Goodkind at Yahoo Finance 1 mth ago

    After 26 years of waiting, it’s finally Back to the Future day.

    In “Back to the Future II” Marty McFly (played by Michael J Fox) travels 30 years into the future, from 1985 to October 21 st , 2015. There he discovers a world of hover boards, news drones and interesting fashion choices. While some of the film’s visions have come true (hands free video games, video glasses, mobile pay), other things have yet to happen (dehydrated foods, flying cars and banned lawyers). The outcomes of some predictions are still unclear—like the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series ( ed-let’s go Mets!) .

    Nearly three decades after the release of "Back to the Future II," companies are still harnessing the power of the film. Many have released special-edition products to celebrate today—here are a few.

    Ride in a DeLorean: If you’re in New York City today you’re in luck. Verizon (VZ) is teaming up with Lyft to offer free 15-minute DeLorean rides around the city. Lyft won’t disclose how many DeLoreans they have but we predict that you’ll need a lot of luck to nab one.

    Enjoy and remember, where we’re going we don’t need roads!

  • Tony Robbins: Pizza is key to retirement for millennials

    Nicole Goodkind at Yahoo Finance 1 mth ago

    It’s hard out there for a young person in the workplace. It’s estimated that 80% of large corporations are planning to substantially increase their use of a flexible workforce by 2020. That means that full-time jobs will no longer be the norm, instead freelance and contractor work will abound. According to Oxford University researchers, 47% of jobs could be automated in the next 20 years. Couple that with the more than $1.2 trillion in outstanding student debt and we’ve got a real problem on our hands.

    Robbins thinks those entering the workforce should ask themselves what their passion is, what their competence is and where the market is. After that they should focus on the client, not the product or service. “The service is going to change. That’s why your skills have to keep expanding. But if you find what you love, you find that you’re competent in and you find a great market to serve there is no limit to where you can put yourself.”

    “If you’re a consumer you’re going to be broke,” says Robbins. “You have to become an owner. You don’t have to own a lot but you’ve got to get something in that area and put it in a 401(k) where it’s tax deferred.”

  • Tony Robbins: Fees could cost you 76% of your retirement savings

    Nicole Goodkind at Yahoo Finance 1 mth ago

    Tony Robbins has inspired many to take control of their finances, advance their careers, manage their time and even to eat less and work out more. Now the best-selling author wants to help his fans manage their 401(k)s.

    “Most Americans have their money in their home and their 401(k),” Robbins tells Yahoo Finance. “And the biggest challenge is the amount of fees in their 401(k).” Until 2013, 401(k) programs were not required to disclose hidden or non-hidden fees and didn’t have to explain the nature of services those fees were covering.

    Even today, three years after the Department of Labor began requiring 401(k) programs to be upfront about fees, things are obfuscated. Around 67% of 401(k) participants still believe that they don’t pay fees and expenses even after receiving disclosure notices.

    To put that into perspective if you’re 35-years-old and have $100,000 with an annual return of 8% and a fee of 1% you’ll have $761,000 by the time you turn 65. If your fee is 3% you’ll have $432,000. That’s a 76% cut.

  • San Francisco 2.0: Are tech millionaires changing the city for good?

    Nicole Goodkind at Yahoo Finance 2 mths ago

    From the California Gold Rush in the 1840s to the summer of love in 1969, San Francisco has long been the incubator for social and economic change that revolutionizes America. For better or worse.

    Silicon Valley is now synonymous with the invigoration of tech startups that are transforming the shape of the U.S. economy. That boom is also transforming the ways San Francisco operates.

    Award-winning documentary filmmaker Alexandra Pelosi explores what the tech boom means for her hometown in "San Francisco 2.0," which premieres on HBO tonight.

    “There is an affordability problem,” in San Francisco, Pelosi tells Yahoo Finance. “We have this gold rush of all these young techies moving to the west coast. San Francisco is a small peninsula, we don’t have that much space there, so there is a problem where you have people who have lived there for generations getting pushed out.” Pelosi points to middle class families in the Mission area of the city who can no longer afford to live there. 

    The bottom line for Pelosi is to make room for everybody in San Francisco and make it a town that everybody can enjoy, “not just the rich newly minted tech millionaires.”

  • How much is the Pope's visit costing the U.S.?

    Nicole Goodkind at Yahoo Finance 2 mths ago

    Pope Francis’ trip to the U.S. continued today in Washington, DC with a visit to the White House, lots of baby kissing and a late-afternoon mass. Tomorrow he’ll continue on to New York and then Philadelphia.

    Along with a chartered plane and a super-secure Pope mobile, the Pontiff also requires a detailed security force, local police and street closures in each city he visits. That costs a lot of money. It’s been estimated that his visit to Philadelphia could cost $48 million alone.

    So who’s footing the bill?

    That’s a complicated question. The simple answer is everybody but the Vatican. “The Vatican never pays out of pocket for this,” says Gerald Posner, author of God’s Bankers. “It’s really either the local Catholic dioceses that he’s visiting or sometimes the government.”

    “If they can’t raise that money the state and city will pick up the tab so the taxpayer may subsidize the Pope a little bit,” says Posner.

  • Stockman: Markets in store for huge correction if Fed doesn't raise rates

    Nicole Goodkind at Yahoo Finance 2 mths ago

    David Stockman is not a fan of the Fed. In fact he claims that the Fed is on a “jihad” against retirees and savers.

    The former Reagan budget director and author of “The Great Deformation: The Corruption of Capitalism in America” visited Yahoo Finance ahead of the Fed announcement to discuss his predictions and the potential impact of today’s interest rate decision. “80 months of zero interest rates is downright crazy and it hasn’t helped the Main Street economy because we’re at peak debt,” he says.

    Businesses in the U.S. are $12 trillion in debt. That’s $2 trillion more than before the crisis, but “all of it has gone into financial engineering—stock buybacks, mergers and acquisitions and so forth,” according to Stockman. “The jig is up; [the Fed] needs to get on with the business of allowing interest rates to find some normalized level.”

    While Stockman believes that the Fed should absolutely raise rates today, he isn’t so sure that they will. But even if they do, he says they’ll muddle the effect by saying “‘one and done’ or ‘we’re going to sit back and watch this thing unfold for the next two or three months.’”

  • Buffalo Wild Wings CEO discusses Steve Rannazzisi 9/11 lie: Yahoo Finance Exclusive

    Nicole Goodkind at Yahoo Finance 2 mths ago

    Buffalo Wild Wings CEO Sally Smith tells Yahoo Finance today that she is launching her own investigation into the controversy surrounding company spokesperson Steve Rannazzisi and his lying about surviving the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center.

    “We were very disappointed to learn about the misrepresentation of his involvement in 9/11," Smith says. "We’re taking a look at how and if we continue that relationship.”

    Rannazzisi, a comedian and star of the FXX show "The League," had described his ordeal at the World Trade Center in great detail to multiple interviewers. He claimed that he was working for Merrill Lynch on the 54th floor of the South Tower when the first plane struck. Rannazzisi has cited his experience on September 11th as the reason he decided to give up his career in New York and move to Los Angeles to pursue show business.

    Today, Rannazzisi admitted that he lied about the event on Twitter and released this statement through his publicist, Matthew Labov: “I was not at the Trade Center on that day. I don’t know why I said this. This was inexcusable. I am truly, truly sorry.”