MarketWatch rounds up 10 of its most interesting money stories published over the past week.
1.The saga of Sequoia and Valeant
Chuck Jaffe told the sad story of how the Sequoia Fund
long a darling among mutual funds, took a terrible hit from its heavy concentration in one stock, Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc.
Here’s how the fund and Valeant’s stock have performed over the past year against the benchmark the S&P 500
Jaffe took a hard look at the dysfunctional management culture at Sequoia that led to such a risky bet and the fund’s subsequent fall from grace.
2. What MarketWatch millennials would tell their 18-year-old, college-bound selves
You’ve heard countless times how college costs have been rising at what people call “unsustainable” rates for decades and why it’s more important than ever to consider total outlay when selecting a school. As high school seniors near decision time for college, Jillian Berman rounded up practical advice from MarketWatch staff members for whom that time wasn’t that long ago.
3. They make loads of money from basketball, but how loaded with debt are their other students?
The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament is down to the Final Four, and there’s no escaping the money involved in big-time sports programs like college basketball.
But how are the nonathlete students at the Final Four universities faring? Jillian Berman provided a detailed comparison of costs and benefits for students completing their degrees there.
And good luck with your bracket.
4. Why the middle class got crushed
Donald Trump loves to blame U.S. trade deals with other nations and illegal immigration for the woes of the middle class.
But J. Bradford Long argued that it was the economic policies of the Republican party that has harmed the middle class the most.
5. The sky’s the limit for lumber
Have you been thinking that the world market is dismal for all commodities? Think again. Victor Reklaitis dug deeply to explain the remarkable rise in lumber prices.
6. The amazing high-tech transportation system that’s not being built in California
The hyperloop is an innovative design for mass transportation that moves faster than bullet trains and passenger jets while running on solar power. What’s not to like?
Jurica Dujmović discussed where this futuristic system could be built by 2020. And no, it’s not California.
7. Over 100,000 people pay to wait up to two years for the new Tesla
Yes, there were naysayers when Tesla Motors Inc.
CEO Elon Musk rolled out the company’s new Model 3 on Thursday. But there’s no question the new electric car, with a starting price tag of $35,000 and a $7,500 tax credit (that’s money directly in the buyer’s pocket) from Uncle Sam, is a big hit.
Shawn Langois discussed the remarkably enthusiastic reaction to Tesla’s new car, including more than 100,000 who have paid $1,000 for the privilege of waiting up to two years for the Model 3 to be delivered.
8. Your biases may be holding you back
Why do we make bad financial decisions? Why do repeat some of our mistakes? Jennifer Nelson discussed how psychological biases can cost you a lot of money.
9. A dismal trend pointing to weak stock-market performance
Mark Hulbert called declining profit margins a “huge problem” that is likely to hold back the performance of U.S. stocks for the next five years.
Companies bucking he dismal trend
There are exceptions to most rules, and it turns out there are plenty of companies that have been improving their profit margins while also growing their sales. Here are the 10 showing the most margin improvement over the past 12 months.