MONEY Food & Drink

Pasta-Loving Entrepreneur Shares His Secret Sauce for Success

Sauces 'N Love is a maker and marketer of premium pasta sauces and gluten free pasta.

Sauces ‘N Love cooks in 1,500-lb. batches, but Paolo Volpati-Kedra, founder and CEO, says the company cooks its pasta sauces the same way he would in his kitchen at home. Volpati-Kedra moved to America from Italy in 1993 on a student budget and couldn’t afford anything more than pasta. His friends loved his sauce experiments and suggested he sell them, so he did. Sauces ‘N Love, which now employs more than 30 people, just won an award for Best Pasta Sauce of the Year for its Pumpkin & Kale Alfredo sauce.

Read next: This Business That Does Nothing But Give Away Free Stuff

MONEY Food & Drink

Are You Ready for the McWhopper?

Burger King has asked McDonald's to participate in a one-day collaboration.

The burger wars just got interesting, folks.

Burger King wants McDonald’s to lay down its arms and come together in a peaceful truce on Sept. 21 to create the McWhopper, a joint burger between the two fast food giants. This ceasefire, should McDonald’s agree to it, would last for just the one day – Peace Day – to benefit the United Nations-created nonprofit Peace One Day. Calling it a “big burger with big ambitions,” Burger King wants to bring attention to the U.N.’s International Day of Peace. McDonald’s has not said yes, but CEO Steve Easterbrook says, “We’ll be in touch.”

Read next: Blame Millennials for Spicy Fast Food

MONEY Food & Drink

Amazon Starts Delivering Booze On Demand

The company might be experimenting with take-out food, too.

On-demand booze. It’s hard to imagine a more important delivery, and now you can order it online from Amazon. If you’re a Prime Now subscriber (read: if you pay $99 a year), you can get your favorite red wine delivered to your door in one or two hours. If you live in Amazon’s home base of Seattle, that is. Amazon is also considering jumping into the food delivery business, joining the likes of GrubHub. Food delivery requires a lot of logistics, but let’s face it: if there’s any company that can handle logistics, it’s Amazon.

MONEY financial advice

The 2 Biggest Money Mistakes

70% of Americans are prone to one or the other. Here's how to correct them.

Imagine coming to America as a young adult with a few hundred dollars in your pocket and, by the time you’re 34, selling your company to a Fortune 500 company for over $100 million.

How do you think you would feel? Ecstatic, jubilant, ready to reward yourself?

The answer for me was none of the above. My wife and I discussed celebrating by taking a multi-month vacation in Greece with our young daughters. Sadly, I was too afraid about the future to spoil myself and our family. The next few years I tracked our net worth regularly and watched our spending like a hawk. I was not behaving the way I would tell any of my friends to act in a similar situation.

I’ve spent my entire career helping people understand their financial lives, and helping them to make smarter choices. I have learned over time that people’s relationship with money is deeply personal. In our internal financial lives we each have a “protector” and a “pleasure seeker” battling it out and one usually wins out. Because of this, we find ourselves repeatedly making the same financial mistakes. Rather than simply learning a lesson and moving on, we keep repeating the same mistakes until we learn to regulate both perspectives.

According to our own research, 70% of people in the U.S. approach money from a place of abundance (pleasure seeker) or one of scarcity (protector). That has some big implications when it comes to making financial choices, and ultimately how we end up living our entire lives. So let’s discuss the two biggest mistakes, their consequences, and what you can do about it:

1. Spending money too casually: The pleasure seeker

It’s easy to spend money and it’s hard to save it, because spending provides instant gratification and saving is a deferred reward. Many people would rather have the certainty of feeling good now than the possibility of feeling good later. The early warning signs of this pattern are high credit balances on your credit cards, low savings for retirement, and inadequate saving for your kid’s education or your rainy-day fund. More subtle but important markers are whether you avoid looking at your credit card bills, or if you don’t have a net worth summary that you update at least twice a year. We all have pleasure seekers inside us, but perhaps you are allowing this trait to overwhelm your need to save and protect.

2. Spending money too carefully: The protector

This might seem like a very strange bad habit. But despite what you might pick up from the media, a large portion of society uses money for security and doesn’t enjoy success enough. These protectors feel so good seeing their net worth increase that they would rather defer any spending for as long as possible. This might maximize their net worth but lead to an under-optimized life. The following are early warning signs: updating and reviewing your net worth summary all the time, feeling guilty after shopping, and seldom feeling like you can spoil yourself. While we all need money to keep us safe from bad outcomes, some folks let their protector take too dominant a role.

As in all things, balance is the key to a stable and healthy relationship with money. That often comes with time and experience, but first you need to be aware that the choices you make are harming you. Here’s a three-step plan to taking control of your bad money habits, whichever camp you fall into:

  • Step 1: Identify if you have a bad habit that has to change. How often do you regret your financial choices? If you feel trapped by money rather than in control of it, it might be time to acknowledge you have to change something.
  • Step 2: Identify whether you are primarily a pleasure seeker or a protector. No doubt you have largely justified why you act the way you do. But if you have not learned how to control your inner pleasure seeker or protector then you will keep repeating a pattern that is hurting you financially.
  • Step 3: Take action. The easiest way to get rid of a bad habit is to replace it with a good one.

After determining if you are a pleasure seeker or a protector, here’s what to do next.

If you spend too casually:

  • Review your net worth. Take all your assets and then subtract all your debt. Create a simple way to update this regularly. Set realistic goals of how much you would like to have in savings five, 10 and 15 years from now. Create a specific list of what those savings would provide you. Take pictures, link articles or write down specifics in order to make what you’re saving for tangible and rewarding.
  • Establish a realistic monthly budget that takes into account your habits but establishes a monthly amount to deferred responsibilities like building an emergency fund or amassing a down payment on a house. Match the savings to your targets for those longer-term goals.
  • Do something that forces you to think about what you are giving up every time you are about to spend money. Some folks wrap a rubber band or a piece of bright tape around their credit cards. Some wear a reminder wristband. Do something that will remind you every time you are about to spend that you are taking away from your long-term savings and what your savings will get you. This habit of thinking about the consequence of what you are spending will train your protector to become more dominant.

If you are too careful with spending:

  • Establish your priorities. You no doubt have a very good understanding of your net worth, but have you clearly articulated what you are saving the money for? If you had free rein to spend all your money over the coming 12 months, guilt free, what would you choose to do? Create a list of things you buy that bring you the most joy: vacations, dinners out, a nice car, new shoes—whatever makes you feel good.
  • Establish a reasonable budget for guilt-free spending that doesn’t compromise your longer-term goals. Have an annual number to spend for some of the things that bring you joy. Rewarding yourself in the here and now matters a lot and relieves some of the pressure you place on building your net worth.
  • Limit yourself to reviewing your net worth on a pre-set schedule. For most people, four times a year is more than enough. Also, create a simple reminder on your phone every week to see what you did with your “spoiling budget.” And once you’ve spent the money, take time to think about, and appreciate, what you got. Do not focus on what you spent!

Life is short. I have seen people struggle financially in their later years and have to be supported by their children. I have also seen parents sacrifice their entire lives to build a comfortable nest egg, only to watch their kids spend the money buying the things the parents never bought themselves. The good news is that learning from past experiences can start right now. Thanks to my mistake a decade ago, I take every opportunity to spend time with my family, max out my vacation time, and relish our time together. I’m not sure I would have gotten there without the lessons of the past.

————-

Joe Duran, CFA, is CEO and founder of United Capital. He believes that the only way to improve people’s lives is to design a disciplined process that offers investors a true understanding about how the choices they make affect their financial lives. Duran is a three-time author; his latest book is The Money Code: Improve Your Entire Financial Life Right Now.

MONEY Wealth

How Do You Get Wealthy in America?

We hit the streets of New York City to find out what people think is the key.

Folks in Times Square seem to think hard work is the key to getting wealthy in America. Some said starting a small business or working for yourself was the way to go, while some seem to think working your way up in one company from the bottom to the top is the key to wealth. But perhaps the most enlightened answer was compound interest. Starting to save in your 20s—whether in a 401(k), an IRA or another investment account—gives your money the opportunity to grow exponentially by the time you retire.

MONEY Sports

Fantasy Sports Spending Has Real Growth Spurt

Fantasy sports players' average outlay on daily games is up more than 50 times from three years ago.

FanDuel and DraftKings have replaced the man-cave IOUs in fantasy sports, and some fantasy players are raking in big bucks. FanDuel claims at least one player won $762,388 playing on their site. The biggest reason fantasy sports looks so different than just a few years ago is our impatience. We just don’t want to wait to crown a winner.

There are 56.8 million players in 2015, compared to just 33.5 million in 2012. They’re spending $162 per year for traditional fantasy, while 2012 players only spent $60 over the year. But the daily fantasy spending is where the numbers jump: $257 per year in 2015, while players only spent $5 in 2012. The surge has plenty trying to earn their share.

MONEY stocks

Forget Tuesday’s 400-Point Jump in the Dow. It’s Wednesday That Really Matters

Wednesday will determine if this is a "dead-cat bounce."

After dropping 1,700 points over the past five trading days, the Dow Jones Industrial Average finally gave investors a breather Tuesday morning, rallying more than 400 points in early trading.

But as good as it feels to see stocks headed higher again, it’s unclear if this is the end of the worst or merely a “dead cat” bounce, Wall Street’s inartful term for a false rally.

There are plenty of reasons why stocks might rebound in the midst of a sell-off.

Some investors may feel like the market overreacted. Others may see real value for equities at these prices. And still others may be reacting to new developments.

This morning, for instance, Wall Street seemed to cheer the fact that Chinese policy makers slashed interest rates and eased banking regulations to stimulate the economy and restore confidence in Chinese equities, which have lost nearly half their value in two months.

Short-term speculators who were betting against equities probably contributed to Tuesday morning’s rise, because they had to rush back in to buy stocks to cover their bad positions—adding to the strength of the rally.

Read next: 3 Key Numbers That Will Show Where the Stock Market Is Headed

Regardless of the reason, what’s important going forward is how regular investors react at the end of today and tomorrow morning.

A rally in the midst of a sell-off offers investors an out. For instance, some investors may be regretting that they didn’t sell stocks at the end of last week, when the downturn really began to accelerate. Then when Monday came around and stocks fell even more, they lost their opportunity to sell, because now they’d have to lock in even bigger losses.

But Tuesday’s rebound means stocks that investors wanted to sell on Monday are trading at better prices, so they can now recoup more of their losses if they choose to bail.

Does that give you motivation to sell to take advantage of this new window that’s opened up? Or do you feel confident enough that stocks will keep rebounding—and that the bull market will get back on track—to hang on for the long haul?

In a nutshell, that will determine if the six-year old bull market still lives on, or if the selling that began in recent days is the start of a real bear market.

And you will instantly know which option investors have chosen by the start of Wednesday’s trading day.

Poll: If You Could Make Enough Money to Live, Would You Go Freelance?

MONEY stocks

Here’s Donald Trump’s Advice for Dealing With Monday’s Stock Market Drop

Free advice from the Republican presidential candidate.

Donald Trump offered his advice Monday for investors taking a pounding in this week’s market tumble: Don’t sell.

“You’re better off holding,” the former reality show host, real estate scion, and Republican presidential candidate told the New York Times, citing the historical behavior of a crashing market to surge back, allowing those who wait out the storm to avoid losses in the long run.

“I’d hate to see it come back and they end up with the short end of both deals,” he said.

Poll: If You Could Make Enough Money to Live, Would You Go Freelance?

Though the personal financial disclosure he made as a presidential candidate showed the portfolio of a real estate magnate—relatively light on stocks because “you are so much in the hands of other people”—he told the Times he would have advised selling last month had someone asked him, because he didn’t like the market’s reliance on Asia.

“I had a feeling things were bad,” he said.

If you don’t have Trump’s skills as a prognosticator, here are 5 things you can do to survive a market meltdown without stressing out.


Read next: Donald Trump Would Be Billions Richer If He’d Invested in Index Funds

MONEY

You Can Buy ‘Silence of the Lambs’ House….Not That You’ll Want to Sleep There

It's one of several famous movie homes that have come to market in real life—though not the nicest one.

The home where Clarice Starling (played by Jodie Foster) tracked down serial killer Jame “Buffalo Bill” Gumb in the 1991 movie The Silence of the Lambs is up for sale. Other than being part of your nightmares, it’s a pretty nice place: Four bedrooms, one bath, a four-car garage on 1.76 acres in western Pennsylvania, not too far from Pittsburgh. As the real estate listing notes, the 1910 home has the original glass door knobs, “even the original skeleton keys.” An open pit for terrorizing people, however, does not appear to be included.

This is only the latest house made famous by a film to come on the market in real life, though it’s probably not the most glamorous. Other noteworthy homes include houses from Home Alone, The Godfather, and Sleeper.

MONEY ID Theft

Ashley Madison Leak Is No Payday for Wronged Spouses

Customers of the hookup website suffer privacy violations, but not a loss of divorce-court leverage.

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com