Finance

Buy now, pay whenever? Lockdown lift for online shopping loans

By Nikhil Nainan

(Reuters) – Browsing online during lockdown, Jessica Friend spotted a pair of Ray-Ban sunglasses she liked, but the price tag made the 30-year-old Ohio resident think twice.

What persuaded her to click ‘buy’, Friend said, was the short-term credit offered by Afterpay, which split the $260 payment into four interest-free instalments.

Afterpay is among a handful of alternative credit firms which offer small loans, mostly to online shoppers, and make their money by charging merchants a 4%-6% commission.

These buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) firms have benefited from a shift to online shopping during the coronavirus crisis in countries including the United States, where state aid has also boosted retail sales.

“I’m more inclined to use them because they make it easier to afford to get the things I want all at once … and when I want to splurge on something,” Friend said of the loans.

Some investors are

Read More

Schools buy miles of plexiglass ahead of potential reopenings amid coronavirus pandemic

As millions of students return to school — be it K-12 or university — they’ll return to familiar settings in their classroom with one obvious addition: layers of plexiglass.

It remains unclear if schools — universities in particular — can reopen campuses amid a surge of coronavirus cases and new restrictions such as the 14-day quarantines demanded from those who travel from various to the tri-state area of Connecticut, New Jersey and New York.

Sheets of plexiglass would play a big role in a reopening, and schools across the country are investing in the plastic sheet to create a division in common spaces such as in libraries, classrooms — and even school buses — to defend against transmission of coronavirus.

“We’re hitting records… week in week out, at this point from a sales perspective,” Ryan Schroeder, CEO of Plaskolite, one of the country’s biggest plexiglass makers, told Yahoo Finance. “Orders

Read More

Coronavirus pandemic may lead to couples putting off divorce, survey finds

Getty Images/iStockphoto
Getty Images/iStockphoto

The coronavirus pandemic could lead to married couples who were previously considering divorce to delay proceedings, a survey has suggested.

In April, YouGov carried out a poll of more than 1,000 adults across the UK who had previously been divorced.

The participants were asked whether the virus outbreak would influence their decision to divorce their partner.

Of the respondents, 28 per cent said they would be less likely to pursue divorce due to the Covid-19 crisis.

A small percentage (6 per cent) said that the pandemic would make them feel more inclined to go through divorce proceedings, while the rest said it would either not be a factor in their decision or they did not know if it would be.

The survey of 1,005 adults, which was conducted for family law firm Ampla Finance, also find a marked difference between the way in which women and men felt

Read More

Dave Nadig Breaks Thematic ETFs Success On Yahoo Finance

This article was originally published on ETFTrends.com.

Total ETF flows are $202 billion year-to-date through the end of June. June alone saw $58.5 billion. The story has remained the huge numbers going into bonds. ETF Trends Director of Research and CIO Dave Nadig joins Yahoo Finance’s Sibile Marcellus on “The Ticker” to breakdown the ETFs to watch in the second half of 2020.

Keeping bonds in mind, $31 billion went into US fixed income (and $11 billion into U.S. equities). Some of that is the Fed, as it has purchased $6.8 billion worth of corporate bond ETFs year-to-date, and other investors have been piling on behind them. 

As Nadig points out, the Big Winners here have been the Vanguard Intermediate Corporate ETF (VCIT), which pulled in $5.7 billion in June, and the iShares iBoxx USD Investment Grade ETF (LQD), which had $3.5 billion in inflows.  

Read More

2020 graduates face uncertain job market with hope

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – If everything had gone according to plan, Missy Wood thought she’d have a job helping at-risk youths by now. 

Wood, a recent graduate of Middle Tennessee State University, saw her internship with Court-Appointed Special Advocates end abruptly in March as the COVID-19 pandemic took root in Tennessee. She started applying for jobs with the Department of Children’s Services and similar organizations in April.

By the time she graduated in May, new job postings for her chosen career had all but disappeared.

Wood is one of the thousands of graduates across the nation who face a turbulent job market amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. More than 47 million Americans have filed jobless benefit claims since the middle of March, according to the Labor Department.  

Eli Kellum, 7, climbs on the back of babysitter Missy Wood in the Kellum family's backyard in Murfreesboro on June 18, 2020, as the two play on the trampoline. Wood has been looking for work since April but has not been able to find any child-focused social work positions since graduating from MTSU in May. After the pandemic hit, job postings for her planned career seemed to disappear.
Eli Kellum, 7, climbs on the back of babysitter Missy Wood in the Kellum family’s backyard in Murfreesboro on June 18, 2020, as the
Read More

Olympic Casino’s asset grab unnerves European junk bond investors

By Yoruk Bahceli

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – A sleight of hand by the owner of an Estonian gaming company is alarming investors worried that tactics used by private equity firms in the United States to shift assets away from creditors are coming to Europe.

Olympic Entertainment, owned by private equity firm Novalpina Capital, told bondholders on June 18 it had moved some assets – all its online operations and a Lithuanian business – into an entity not bound by its credit agreements, according to an email seen by Reuters.

The company, which operates the Olympic Casino brand, distributed shares in the separate entity to a parent company controlled by Novalpina, the email said, effectively paying the London-based firm a dividend.

Olympic Entertainment, which had 114 casinos at the end of 2018 in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Italy and Malta, did not respond to requests for comment.

Olympic’s asset shift means holders

Read More

Car Brands That Are Making Buying a Car Worth Your While During the Pandemic

The coronavirus crisis has forced automakers to get crafty with car sales, and incentives like low financing rates and deferred payment options are luring customers into car lots — even if they’re not actually entering the dealership. In fact, many car companies are making it easy for buyers to shop online, make a purchase and receive their new vehicle without ever leaving their homes.

Here’s a look at what every major automaker is doing to tempt new buyers. However, it’s important to note that you have to read the small print. Restrictions often apply, many offers are available only through participating dealers and most deals are only good for well-qualified buyers who get loans through the automaker’s financing arm. But one thing is for sure with all these new offers, the auto industry is changing.

Last updated: July 3, 2020

Acura

Acura is extending a 90-day payment deferral program for

Read More

Domestic workers dumped on the street amid unprecedented economic collapse

Over a dozen Ethiopian domestic workers camp outside the Ethiopian embassy in Beirut after being dumped by their employers: Bel Trew
Over a dozen Ethiopian domestic workers camp outside the Ethiopian embassy in Beirut after being dumped by their employers: Bel Trew

Bewildered and scared, Ife, an Ethiopian domestic worker, explains how just a few hours ago she thought she was on her way to Beirut airport. “So you can fly home,” her cash-strapped employer had said while pushing her out of the car in front of the Ethiopian embassy.

“It was a lie,” whispers the 24-year-old, clutching her belongings like a lifebuoy.

“I cried and cried because I haven’t been paid since January. I have no money. I have a son.”

Ife only has one option: sleep rough alongside dozens of other Ethiopian women also dumped by their employers in front of the consulate in Beirut and beg to be repatriated home. They are among a growing number of migrant workers in Lebanon that have been abandoned by their bosses

Read More

Online games are harming children through gambling and other features, say Lords

Electronic Arts
Electronic Arts

Online games are harming children through the inclusion of gambling and other features, according to a major new report.

Regulators should score new games on the amount of harm they could cause to children and any that score too highly must be not be approved for sale, the report from the House of Lords’ Select Committee on the Social and Economic Impact of the Gambling Industry warns.

It recommends that the Gambling Commission establish the system for testing games, amid fears over the problems that “loot boxes” represent in encouraging children to gamble.

Experts have repeatedly warned that there is not enough protection for children from the feature, and that it could lead to gambling addiction and other societal problems if it is not tackled.

Current testing criteria of new games “astonishingly” do not consider the addictiveness or potential harm that could be caused, the Committee’s report said.

Read More

An Online Bank With a Full Range of Products

Ally Bank has been around for over a century — but you probably didn’t hear about it until the last decade.

The bank started out in 1919 as GMAC, General Motors’ finance division. But in 2009, the company rebranded as Ally Bank, an online-only banking institution that offers everything from checking and savings accounts to home and auto loans to investment accounts.

Our in-depth Ally Bank review paints a full picture of the institution but specifically focuses on its checking and savings accounts. This review also includes information about Ally’s money market accounts, CDs, loans and investment options, as well as a review of Ally’s mobile app, level of convenience and customer service.

In this review:

What Is Ally Bank?

Ally Bank is an FDIC-insured online-only banking institution offering an array of accounts, including its Online Savings and Interest Checking. You can also open a Money Market account or invest

Read More