What We’re Reading: March 17 – March 23

New Construction upturn, rent-to-own housing, and your brackets

Plenty of economists and executives have fallen on their faces predicting a resurgence in housing in the past five years. But while the jury is still very much out for the overall market, there is reason to feel hopeful about new construction.

Bank of America says it has begun a pilot program offering some of its mortgage customers who are facing foreclosure a chance to stay in their homes by becoming renters instead of owners.

In today’s technological age, do business cards still serve a purpose?  The Los Angeles Times thinks not. Younger people are shunning paper business cards as lame and wasteful and social media is the new replacement.

About 85 million people manage their professional networks with LinkedIn. Some 77 million smartphone users have downloaded the Bump app, which allows them to bump their phones together and instantly exchange contact information. Others carry a personalized quick-response code that smartphones can scan like a hyperlink. And, of course, there’s always Facebook, email and digital business cards. If they do take a paper card, some said they use a smartphone app to snap a picture of it and instantly digitize the card’s information. Then they toss it into the nearest trash can.

It’s something to consider when prospecting Generation Y clients.

Prepare yourself: on July 1, as many as 8 million college students will see their interest rates on federally subsidized student loans double, from 3.4% to 6.8%.

Are you more worried about your basketball brackets than your bottom line this month?  March Madness can take over your life (and work) if you let it.  Lifehack lists 5 tips to enjoy the madness while getting your work done.

So you undoubtedly heard the fairy tale about the turnip princess as a child. Or the one where the maiden escapes the witch by transformering herself into a pond. No? Well, probably that’s because researchers in Germany have discovered a trove of over 500 new fairy tales locked away in a vault in Bavaria. They were gathered in the mid-19th century by a contemporary of the brothers Grimm from the folktales of Bavarian peasants.  Widely admired in his day, the collector Von Schönwerth’s work has mostly faded into obscurity. With this new find maybe we’ll be sharing the tale of the miserly farmer and a money-mill.

Dave

Senior Information Specialist

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