The Daily Brief
The Daily Brief: Put the Bitcoin Where Your Mouth Is

The Daily Brief: Put the Bitcoin Where Your Mouth Is

There could be a big difference between who you vote for and who you would actually put money on. The prediction markets, such as Predictious and Betfair, allow gamblers to do just that. On Predictious.com, for example, users can bet bitcoins based on who they think will win the mid-term elections. On Tuesday prior to polls closing, you could bet on the Democrats to control the Senate for 0.97 bitcoins, while you could bet on the Republicans to control the Senate for 9.38 bitcoins.

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Why the Stock Market is So Strong

The S&P 500 reached within a few basis points of its all-time high on Monday, and Martin Pelletier, a Canadian portfolio manager writing for the Financial Post, said there are three main factors supporting the strong market. The first is positive momentum in equity markets following $6 billion of investments into U.S. stocks in the week that ended October 22. Pelletier also said that Eurodollar futures give a good indication that the Fed will keep interest rates low (despite letting QE3 expire), and that the weak commodity prices will also provide stimulus despite a strengthening U.S. dollar. 

A Digital Legacy

The 3,500-year-old ethical will is getting a high-tech makeover, The New York Times reports. In this technological age, those looking to leave a legacy that's more than just monetary assets are turning to videos, DVDs, digital scrapbooks, iPhones and even Facebook pages. Estate planners say ethical wills help avoid family conflicts, and are they adding them to their advice given to those planning for the afterlife.

Photo by Jim Tweedie

Bill Gross vs Deflation

Bill Gross' most recent newsletter conjures up the voice of noted economist John Maynard Keynes, in that fiscal policy, i.e., goverment spending and tax cuts, will help the economy more than lower interest rates. Gross agrees, adding, “The real economy needs money printing, yes, but money spending more so, and that must come from the fiscal side—from the dreaded government side—where deficits are anathema and balanced budgets are increasingly in vogue. Until then, Grant’s deflation remains a growing possibility—not the kind that creates prosperity but the kind that’s the trouble for prosperity.” Bloomberg Businessweek breaks it all down.

Copyright Scott Cunningham, Getty Images

In Jerry We Trust

Former wide receiver Jerry Rice worked magic on the gridiron during his 20-year NFL career, and now he wants to teach the average Joe a thing or two about working magic with their retirement strategy. According to Yahoo Finance, Rice has joined MetLife as a spokesman to share his successful retirement story. Using a football analogy, the Hall of Famer says that a solid retirement approach depends on offense for investments and defense for insurance.

buchachon/iStock/Thinkstock

Want to be More Productive? Quit Email

How much time to do spend sifting through emails? According to McKinsey Global Institute, we spend an average of 650 hours on email a year, but many experts say constant checking makes people more stressed out and less productive. So a few FastCompany staff members challenged themselves to only checking email twice a day. The results? Twice a day may not be enough, but you don’t need to be plugged in to email all the time. Closing your inbox for a bit provides quality distraction-free stretches of work that can really increase overall productivity.

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