Which Combination of Streaming Services is Worth Cutting the Cord From Cable?

Which Combination of Streaming Services is Worth Cutting the Cord From Cable?

Every major communications company either has a streaming service or in the process of launching one. What does that mean for your wallet?

Lately it seems as if everyone is looking for options to help them“cut the cord” from cable to save money on ridiculous cable and satellite television bills. Cable and satellite coerce customers into paying exorbitant fees for bundles of channels that most do not even watch.

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Bumble is Just Not That Into You, Match Group! #swipedleft

The woman-led, woman-centric dating app, Bumble, repeatedly declined Match Group's offer to buy. Now Match Group is suing for patent infringement.

In Forbes December 2017 issue, Bumble founder Whitney Wolfe Herd made the "30 Under 30" list, with Bumble being worth $1 billion. Bumble has over 18 million registered users, with more than 1 billion matches made since its launch. And Match Group is the parent company for Match.com, Tinder,  PlentyOfFish, OkCupid and HowAboutWe. Naturally, Match Group would want to acquire the dating app that's giving them a serious run for their money.

While Match Group's attempt to buy out Bumble looks like nothing more than business as usual, the history between Match Group and Bumble is anything but.  Herd, then just Wolfe, was one of the co-founders of Tinder along with four other co-founders, including then-CMO Justin Mateen. In 2014, Wolfe sued for sexual harassment and the receipts Herd shared paint a pretty horrifying picture of what she had to endure during her tenure at Tinder. Here are the receipts straight from the lawsuit.

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The deposition shows that Herd and Mateen dated briefly. However, the texts show that their relationship was one where Herd was constantly being accused of flirting or cheating. Even Herd's description of how they, allegedly, first began dating is problematic af: Mateen summoned her over to his house because he was distraught about an ex-girlfriend. When Herd refused, he told her that he would be very upset with her at work. Even though she complained to partner and then CEO Sean Rad about Mateen, Herd's pleas for Rad to do something about Mateen went ignored, save for him calling Mateen "nuts" and instead called Herd "emotional" and "dramatic." The lawsuit was eventually settled out of court with no admission of wrongdoing on either side. The evidence, though is quite to the contrary. Rad was forced to step down as CEO, but was reinstated after five months.

In 2017 Match Group, where Rad is still chairman of Tinder and very influential, tried to acquire Bumble for $450 million, even though Bumble is worth $1 billion. Bumble turned down the offer, but Match Group came back with a $1 billion offer, even though the group does not have the cash on hand.

Now, Match Group is suing Bumble for patent infringement--the design patent for Tinder’s swipe-to-connect feature. Bumble's response to the lawsuit?

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We’ll never be yours. No matter the price tag, we’ll never compromise our values”

”We as a company will always swipe right for empowered moves, and left on attempts to disempower us. We encourage every user to do the same. As one of our mottos goes, “bee kind or leave.

We wish you the best, but consider yourselves blocked.
— Bumble

hough both Bumble and Tinder dating apps allow seekers to swipe right for yes and left for no, Bumble's app is more woman-friendly, requiring the woman to make the first move should she and her potential both swipe right for each other. Bumble has also added BumbleBFF to help people find friends in their area as well as BumbleBiz for networking relationships.

Suing for patent infringement could be a way for Match Group to intimidate Bumble into joining the groups already growing number of dating apps. But Match Group has to know that after having a partner not check a coworker--nay, fellow co-founder for sexual harassment, why would Herd want Bumble to be associated with anything that has to do with them? It just goes to show that they still don't understand that no means no and corporate bullying doesn't make anyone want to say yes.

The Science of Geneological DNA Testing

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Introduction to Investing in the Stock Market - Part 1

How to boost your bottom line, make your money work overtime, and become a financial goddess

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I know Beyonce told us that girls run the world but you know she and Jay-Z understand better than most that you need money for true power. A lot of us just have our meager savings sitting in our bank account not doing much. The most you usually get from putting your moolah in a savings account is a piddling 5 percent. You can expect an average rate of return of 12 percent from some medium risk investments in the stock market. To explain what we are doing by investing in stocks, I’d like to tell you about a friend of mine who now runs a successful restaurant selling southern cuisine.

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My friend (we’ll call her, Debra) had always really wanted to start a restaurant, but she was a struggling single mother and there was no way that she was going to be able to put together enough green to start a business like that. She didn’t have a ton of money but she did have lots of good friends and close family who supported her dreams. Okay, we all love Debra, but, even more important to this story, we love her double-baked mac and cheese, southern greens, candied yams, peach cobbler, cornbread, and barbecue. We’d all enjoyed her food many times and knew that anyone else who tried her food would also want to have it again and again. So, we were all willing to pitch in to contribute to her business. This wasn’t charity. It was an investment. By contributing to its startup, we all became part owners in her business. Which is really nice now that she’s starting to make a profit because it means that we each get some fraction of those profits, depending on how much we contributed. (Some of us just get free barbecue when we visit the restaurant).

Investing in a company works in a very similar way. Companies, like Debra, raise money by trading ownership in their company for funds. When you purchase a share of stock in that company, you become part owner. For example, take a look at the Walt Disney Company.  You could buy one share of stock in Disney, at the time I am writing this, for $110.55 (U.S. dollars). Don’t get too excited though. There are 1.51 billion shares of Disney floating around. So, your one share of stock would be a 1/1.51 billionth stake in the company.  

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Just in case you wanted to get them to produce the animated version of that fanfiction you just wrote, note that a fraction of ownership in Disney that small won’t really give you any say in what happens at Disney. In fact, brokers (that’s who you buy shares of stock from) won’t usually let you purchase shares of stock in less than 100 share “lots.” It’s kind of like how the ATM won’t let you take less than $20 out, except you are spending money with the brokers and it’s just not worth it to them to put the transaction through unless it’s a full lot of 100 shares. Let’s see then. Hmmmmm, 100 shares of Disney at $110.55/share… that’s $11,055 for one lot. Yikes! Don’t worry, there are other ways to get into investing though, that don’t involve spending the down payment for a house.  

One way is to buy shares of companies that are not quite so expensive. There are lots of companies whose stocks are trading for less than $100. For example, let’s look at a few companies in the video game industry. Are you a fan of Call of Duty or Overwatch?  

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Activision shares are currently selling for $70.98 each. What about mobile gaming? Does it seem like there is always someone playing Farmville on their phone? Mobile game maker, Zynga, is currently a very affordable 3.75/share. And, Gamestop, the video game retailer, is not too expensive at $16.69/share.

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Why would you want to have a stake, or part ownership, in a company anyway though, especially if it was going to be such a small fraction? Well, the price of a stock goes up or down depending on how well people believe the company is going to perform in the future. So, if everyone was excited about the next Thor movie coming out and expected this to boost Disney’s profits because it was expected to do very well at the box office, then the price of Disney stock might go up before the movie comes out.  If you bought it today at $110.55/share and then shortly before the latest Thor movie comes out it goes up to $125.00/share and you sell at that price (buy low, sell high), then you would have made $15/share. Not that exciting if you only have one share of Disney maybe but let’s say you bought three lots of Zynga (that’s 300 shares) March of last year at $2.75/share?

Zynga Stock Chart.

Zynga Stock Chart.

If you sold your lots at $3.75/share, then you would have made $1/share or $300 total. That’s in just 10 months! That’s an amazing rate of return given that you made $300 from investing only $825 initially.

The down side is at least as big as the upside though as you can also lose money in the same fashion. In November, Zynga was selling for $4.17/share. If you had purchased your three lots of stock at that time then you would be down $126 on your initial investment, about 10 percent. It’s important therefore to know something about the company you are investing in. If you like video games, invest in game companies that make the titles that you’re excited about or who run the stores where you are currently buying your games. Do some research to find out information about what is coming out in the future and invest in the companies that make the titles you are looking forward to purchasing later. If you are buying from them, after all, you are already investing in them financially, without the benefit of being part owner. Make a switch from consumer to intentional investor and watch your financial potential bloom.

 

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Stay tuned until next time when I’ll talk about mutual funds, a relatively low-risk way to start investing and a method of purchasing expensive stocks in companies like Disney or Apple without selling everything you own.