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The Daily Brief: Charitable Giving Guidelines

Copyright Tim Boyle, Getty Images

A report on charitable giving found that 17.5 percent of donations are made in December, more than twice what is given in other months. If you are planning to donate this holiday season, Vox has seven guidelines to help you do it more effectively. They recommend GiveWell as a good place to research charities, and recommend smaller charities rather than large organizations. They also suggest a new platform that allows you to donate cash directly people in impoverished nations. 

Putting Oil Prices into Perspective

Copyright Dan Kitwood, Getty Images

With oil prices continuing to drop, many investors are nervous that the U.S. economy is vulnerable. That's why two Goldman Sachs researchers tried to ease their clients’ fears by showing that the U.S. energy industry is relatively small compared to other industries that make the U.S. economy. According to the data, energy only accounts for 3 percent of GDP, 1.7 percent of employment, 7 percent of S&P 500 market capitalization, 10 percent of investment grade credit and 16 percent of high-yield credit. They concluded that the consumer benefits of lower energy prices outweigh the hit to energy producers, and that lower oil prices could actually boost GDP growth in 2015.

A Slippery Slope

Copyright Peter Macdiarmid, Getty Images

Speaking of falling oil, a lot of ripples go through the economy when the price of energy falls. But here, CFA Institute’s Content Director Ron Rimkus makes the case that the oil dip means London’s overheated real estate market could be ready to pop. Why? Many of the affluent buyers pushing up prices are foreigners from China and Russia; as energy falls, those country’s economies worsen, drying up the pool of investors parking money in Chelsea or Kensington. 

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