According to a report issued Wednesday by the Human Rights Campaign, the banking and financial services industry is leading the way when it comes to workplace equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees, second only to the legal sector. Of the 407 businesses that scored 100 points on HRC’s Corporate Equality Index, 50 were in the banking and finance sector. TD Ameritrade, TD Securities and Vanguard Group made the list for the first time year. The top performer was JPMorgan Chase, which was the only financial institution to score 100 when the CEI began in 2002. HRC said JPMorgan “continues to set sector standard” for workplace inclusion.
What’s the best performing stock of the past 34 years? Home Depot. Surprised? On Tuesday, Home Depot closed at its all-time high of $126 a share. As Ivaylo Ivanov writes, $5,000 invested at its IPO in 1981 is worth $25 million today – a 28 percent annualized return. But how many had the foresight and fortitude to hold that position for over three decades? "Close to zero," Ivanov writes. The stock lost 71 percent of its value in the dot-com bust, and another 50 percent during the 2007-08 financial crisis.
Nearly 40 percent of Americans have trouble just trying to stay current on their bills, according to a Bankrate survey. And while nearly 60 percent are focusing on paying debt or keeping up with bills, it's the Millennials who are more forward-thinkers. Twenty-nine percent of people between 18 and 29 named saving was a financial priority, the highest of any age group, while only 17 percent of those between 30 and 49 made saving a priority. Part of that is because once people have kids and a house, it is harder to save up. Another issue is the lack of wage increases. "The mix of total compensation has changed, particularly over the past 5 years. While wages may not be increasing the way people would expect, there is an increase in other types of compensation and benefits," Wealth Engineers President Jonathan Doung said. "For instance, a company may offer a more lucrative vacation policy." But, Bankrate points out, it's impossible to pay bills with vacation days or health benefits.
Lucian Freud’s estate is taking advantage of an obscure and little-used law to defray its nearly £2.9m inheritance tax bill. The Guardian reports that an archive of the late artist’s sketchbooks drawings (some of which reportedly form the basis for several of his later works) and letters will be donated to The National Portrait Gallery in London under Britain’s in lieu statute. This law, codified in the early 20th century, allows an estate to reduce its death taxes through donation of “important works of art and other heritage objects.” A similar law in France allowed for the creation of The Musee Picasso after the famous author left behind a massive inheritance tax bill.