Well, here's a stunning revelation. An annual survey by SELF magazine reveals that people living in Honolulu, Hawaii, are among the happiest in America. Why? Do we really need to ask?
Using over 30 criteria, including days of sunshine, dining habits, sexual health, and fitness, SELF says Honolulu is one of the nation's healthiest cities. And people living in the healthiest cities are apparently also the happiest. Where are the unhappiest Americans? Memphis, Tenn. We're guessing Elvis skewed almost all of the data.
The Motley Fool 50 lives in Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Lompoc, Calif., which explains why it was up over 4% today. The other indexes clearly got a dose of sunshine as well: The Dow was up almost 4.5%, the Naz 3.15%, and and the S&P 500 almost 3.8%, as investors put on their rally caps to shake off a dreadful September.
In today's Motley Fool Take:
- Suit Demands CEOs Return Money
- Quote of Note
- Baby's First Bill
- Shameless Plug: The Motley Fool Visa Card
- Consumers Still Spending Online
- Discussion Board of the Day: Yahoo!
- Quick Takes: Forest Labs , XM Satellite Radio , Pericom Semiconductor , more
- And Finally...
Suit Demands CEOs Return Money
We've both praised and criticized New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer. Public perception of him is split, with about half thinking he's full of baloney. But like a suit-and-tie-wearing Dennis Rodman, he knows how to keep his name in the news. Today, he's at it again, filing an amazing lawsuit against some of the telecom industry's top executives.
Spitzer is charging that the brokerage firm Salomon Smith Barney, which is owned by Citigroup
Spitzer is going after big names such as former CEOs Bernie Ebbers of WorldCom and Joseph Nacchio of Qwest Communications
"The executives received huge perks from a vendor who sought their business," says Spitzer. "This clearly was unjust enrichment, and it violated the disclosure requirements of state law. Uninformed shareholders, meanwhile, lost millions of dollars when the stocks in the defendants' companies crashed."
Spitzer's definitely not full of baloney on this issue. Two thumbs up for his bulldog prosecution of Wall Street corruption.
"Power (n): The only narcotic regulated by the SEC instead of the FDA." -- Anonymous
Feral hormones. Psychotic dread. Contemplative depression. Fiscal uncertainty. Such are the trappings of pregnancy. With body, mind, soul, and waistline completely out of whack, there are few black-and-white certainties in the pregnant woman's world.
Except for money.
Author, actor, and playwright Betsy Howie latched onto the world of accounting to keep her sanity (sort of) during her pregnancy and first 365 days of motherhood. In her therapeutic tome Callie's Tally (or: What My Daughter Owes Me), she presents an obsessive accounting of all debts that have anything to do with her baby. Every nipple, iron tablet, Pamper, and peppermint patty (for postpartum blues) is meticulously documented and categorized (e.g., breast feeding expenses are filed under "groceries").
No small sum this child racks up. At the end of year one, Howie presents Callie with the grand total: $26,099.59 for all billed and non-billed expenses (child care not included, thanks to Howie's on-call mom).
Callie does get a few freebies along the way. For example, in celebrating Callie's first fiscal quarter, mom throws her a party, for which her daughter is not billed for even one plastic fork. Callie collects credits, as well, such as the "internment rebate" -- a credit for keeping mom at home and out of the checkout lines.
And mom is certainly sensitive to the plight of long-term debt. "I'm not suggesting she has to pay me back right away, but eventually...," she writes. Hey, what more generosity could the costly child ask for? She's getting the loaner interest-free.
For new parents, we suggest a few more instructive tomes (think Spock, Seuss, Ferber, and even Freud, if you must). For little Callie, we suggest she start investing in her therapy fund, like, yesterday.
[Hear an interview with author Betsy Howie this weekend on Fool Radio.]
It's unconventional, irreverent, and Foolish. It's a credit card with no annual fee, a 0% 6-month introductory APR on all cash advances, and the Fool jester right on the front! What is this amazing, magical card, you say? The Motley Fool Visa Card, of course. Make responsible financial decisions with a company that has your best interests at heart.
Guess what? The Internet isn't irrelevant after all. According to a study by ACNielsen and Yahoo!
OK, so portal-heavy Yahoo! sponsored the study. You're flush with that jaded glow. It's like a diva hiring someone to tell her she looks pretty. Still, the findings make sense. Despite the soft economy, the trend of folks shifting their purchasing power online has continued. The transformation of dial-up users into faster cable and DSL connection subscribers has also helped speed up and enhance the online experience.
The growing broadband community is vital to the Web's prominence, and the Yahoo!/ACNielsen Internet Confidence Index study released yesterday confirms that those wired for speed have the biggest online spending plans. On average, the research findings point to the typical broadband user spending $287.10 over the holidays. That's considerably more than the $210.90 average it sees in the narrowband dial-up group.
It makes sense. The broadband public can log more online time, being exposed to more marketing opportunities. It's probably one of the many reasons AOL Time Warner
The study also shows more educated users tend to spend more online. What? More beer-goggle flattery?
Yahoo! has a lot to gain from a strong holiday season. Since the ad market took a breather, the company has been building out its e-commerce revenue streams. It launched a new Tech Center just last week. So here's to a smart holiday shopping season. Yahoo!'s virtual doors will be open and ready for your business.
Are you spending more online these days? The Yahoo!/ACNielsen study credits a lot of the confidence gains to a wider acceptance of the Web as a secure format for personal information. Is that an issue with you? Is Yahoo! a part of your daily online routine? All this and more -- in the Yahoo! discussion board. Only on Fool.com.
Proving that sometimes Wall Street can't make out the Forest Labs
Does XM mark the spot? XM Satellite Radio
The chips are falling as they may with Pericom Semiconductor's
Talk about your self-inflicted stun-gun wounds. Stun gun maker Taser International
Today on Fool.com: Despite increased earnings, your share of a company may decrease through diluted options.... Robert Brokamp discusses where you should keep your retirement money.... In Fool's School, a will is more than just a list of belongings.... Is it too late to switch careers? Our Community weighs in.... And today's Post of the Day: Qualcomm and the future of telecom.
Bob Bobala, Robert Brokamp, Tom Jacobs, LouAnn Lofton, Bill Mann, Selena Maranjian, Rex Moore, Rick Munarriz, Jackie Ross, Reggie Santiago, Dayana Yochim