CNBC make it 2024-03-27 02:00:52


Mega Millions jackpot is up to $1.1 billion—what billionaire Mark Cuban says to do if you win

For the sixth time in Mega Millions lottery history, the jackpot prize is worth over $1 billion ahead of Tuesday night’s 11 p.m. ET draw.

If you match all six numbers on your ticket, you’ll have the choice between $1.1 billion paid out as an annuity over 30 years or taking home a lump sum payment of $525.8 million, per usamega.com.

Most winners choose the lump sum option, even though it’s less than half of the total jackpot amount.

That way, they get the most money possible right after winning, rather than receiving annual payments. In this case, those payments would be roughly $23 million a year after federal taxes are deducted. With the lump sum payout, winners are theoretically able to invest and start growing the funds right away.

However, Mark Cuban, self-made billionaire and star of ABC’s “Shark Tank,” thinks winners should take the annuity instead. Here’s why.

Why Mark Cuban says jackpot winners should take the annuity

Cuban advises winners not to take the lump sum, largely because there are no guarantees that they will invest it properly.

“Don’t take the lump sum,” Cuban told the Dallas Morning News in 2016. “You don’t want to blow it all in one spot.”

Instead, by taking the annuity payout, you are guaranteed to receive the highest take-home winnings possible. The payments will also be doled out every year, making it impossible to misspend all of the jackpot right away.

To take home as much with the lump sum option, you’d need to make up the nearly half-billion dollar difference in through shrewd investments. But not everyone is good at investing.

“You don’t become a smart investor when you win the lottery,” says Cuban. “Don’t make investments. You can put it in the bank and live comfortably. Forever.”

If you stash your winnings in the bank, you probably won’t get the highest possible return compared with riskier investments. But in doing so, you’ll “sleep a lot better knowing you won’t lose money,” he says.

“If you were happy yesterday, you are going to be a lot happier tomorrow,” Cuban told the Dallas Morning News. “Life gets easier when you don’t have to worry about the bills.”

Cuban also offered this advice to jackpot winners: “Hire a tax attorney first,” before you claim the money. They will help you figure out a plan to ensure that you make the most of your annuity.

Disclosure: CNBC owns the exclusive off-network cable rights to “Shark Tank.”

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Don’t use these phrases in a job interview, they are ‘major red flags,’ says ex-Google recruiter

There are several tactics you can employ to impress a prospective employer during a job interview.

Tell your interviewer what excites you about the role, for example. This shows you’re a passionate person who is genuinely interested in the opportunity. Ask what problem you can solve for them on day one to start setting yourself up for success if you get hired. Nod and smile while the interviewer is speaking to show you’re confident and capable.

There are, of course, a few behaviors you’ll want to avoid, such as phrases that could turn your interviewer off. Some are “major red flags,” says Nolan Church, former recruiter at Google and CEO of salary data company FairComp.

Here’s what Church advises jobseekers to avoid saying.

‘I work too hard’ or ‘I’m a perfectionist’

To begin with, when an interviewer asks what you can improve on, don’t use phrases that make it sound like you think you have nothing to learn. These can be phrases like “I work too hard” or “I’m a perfectionist,” says Church. They’re framed as character flaws when, really, they’re compliments.

DON’T MISS: The ultimate guide to acing your interview and landing your dream job

When you do, the perception is that “you are full of s—,” he says. “You are inauthentic.” They could think you’re either not being honest about who you are as a person or you genuinely think you can’t get better as a worker.

Remember, “I’m not hiring you to be perfect,” he says. “I’m hiring you to grow with us.” Instead of these empty phrases, Church recommends giving an example of a mistake you made, what you learned from it and how you improved going forward.

‘Anything that transfers blame’ is a turn off

Don’t say anything negative about people you’ve worked with.

Whether it’s a former colleague, manager or company, “anything that transfers blame from you to someone else” sounds bad, says Church.

“The people you want to work with take full ownership and accountability” of what they’ve done in the past, he says, even if you messed up. Taking responsibility indicates you’re humble enough to admit you’re not perfect and that you’re willing to learn from your mistakes and get better.

“You want to work with people who have the self-awareness to know when they were wrong and to update their own mental models to fix it,” he says.

‘I don’t know’

Finally, avoid answering questions with “I don’t know.”

When he hears that, Church thinks, “okay, so, like, conversation’s over? You’re not going to solve these problems?” he says.

Especially as it pertains to young people just starting their careers, it’s possible you don’t have a lot experience or anecdotes to draw from and give concrete examples of what you’ve been able to accomplish. In those scenarios, “it’s okay to say, ‘I don’t know, but here’s how I’d figure it out,’” he says. Give some examples of how you’d tackle the problem hypothetically to show you’d be proactive in moving forward.

Ultimately, if you get the job, “we’re paying you to go solve this problem” they’re presenting, he says. Even in the interview, you’ll have to prove that you can do that.

Want to land your dream job in 2024? Take CNBC’s new online course How to Ace Your Job Interview to learn what hiring managers are really looking for, body language techniques, what to say and not to say, and the best way to talk about pay. CNBC Make It readers can save 25% with discount code 25OFF.

34-year-old making $49,000/mo in passive income: What I tell people who want successful side hustles

In 2016, I was working two jobs as a senior web developer and an adjunct professor. On the side, to help me get by, I was a freelance web developer. I knew almost nothing about business.

Today, I’ve built more than 10 passive income streams, including multiple e-commerce brands, a YouTube channel and an online school. Combined, these businesses bring in about $49,000 a month in passive income. I’ve learned a lot about how to create a profitable company.

I always tell people that if they want to build successful side hustles and passive income streams, they need to stop believing these three myths:

Myth #1: You need to spend money to make money

This is a common piece of business advice. If you want to open a retail store, for example, your expenses would include monthly rent, purchasing goods — to stock shelves and then re-sell to customers — and employee wages. That’s a traditional way of doing things, and an expensive one.

My favorite online business model is print-on-demand. I started my print-on-demand side hustle on Amazon in 2017 for $0 and I’ve since expanded it to offer my products through Etsy, Walmart, and eBay.

DON’T MISS: The ultimate guide to earning passive income online

Print-on-demand lets me sell items like t-shirts and coffee mugs with custom designs on them. I don’t pay a dime for any of the inventory until after a customer places an order, which helps me keep costs low. 

After I get an order, I pay a company like Printful, which specializes in printing and shipping products to fulfill the orders for me. After paying the printer, and marketplace referral fees for Amazon and Etsy, then I have a profit left over. 

Myth #2: You can make passive income without putting in the work

Outside of dividend investing, building passive income streams will always require time and dedication. There is no shortcut to success. I worked many early mornings and late nights on my side hustles, especially early on.

While I am still very involved in the day-to-day management of my businesses, I know many people who have been able to step away from day-to-day operations — after they hit an income threshold they were happy with — while continuing to benefit from their previous work. 

Building my profitable passive income streams required a lot of discipline. I had to learn to be okay with the idea of delayed gratification. But in the end I’m so glad I put in the effort. 

Myth #3: You need a team to help run your business

I’m not against having a team, but in my experience, it’s not necessary to have one to be successful. Seven years in, I’m still able to do this on my own, thanks in part to how many different tools are available for entrepreneurs right now. 

For example, for the first two years I ran it, I spent three to four hours every day on my Amazon Merch business in order to help it grow. Today, thanks to advances in automation, I only work one hour per week on it.

I’m a big fan of tools like MyDesigns. It uses AI to automate design creation, generate SEO-friendly product listings and publish my products in bulk online. All of this makes it possible for me to come up with and offer more new custom items, and it’s cut the most tedious work out of the equation. 

Being strategic with these tools have helped me stay on top of everything, while also letting me leave work behind whenever I want or need to. That way I can truly live the life I want.

Ryan Hogue is a former web developer and adjunct professor who quit both jobs to run his e-commerce business. His YouTube channel teaches people how to earn passive income using “Ryan’s Method.”

Hogue is also an instructor in CNBC’s new online course, How to Earn Passive Income Online. The course provides an overview of common passive income streams, tips to get started and real-life success stories. Register today and save 50% with discount code EARLYBIRD.

Middle-aged Americans are lonelier than ever—this is the No. 1 way to combat loneliness

Americans between ages 45 and 65 are lonelier than their European counterparts, according to a new paper published in American Psychologist

Researchers analyzed long-term datasets from 14 countries including England, Italy, France, and Sweden. In all places, baby boomers reported the highest levels of loneliness of any generation, but those in the United States outpaced their peers. 

In Italy, Spain, and Greece, loneliness steeply increased for both baby boomers and Gen X residents. Middle-aged adults in Denmark, Sweden, and the Netherlands reported the lowest levels of loneliness of all 14 countries. 

U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy sounded the alarm on America’s growing loneliness problem last year. He also proposed a potential solution: building stronger relationships. 

“Our epidemic of loneliness and isolation has been an underappreciated public health crisis that has harmed individual and societal health,” Murthy said in a 2023 statement. “Our relationships are a source of healing and well-being hiding in plain sight – one that can help us live healthier, more fulfilled, and more productive lives.” 

The No. 1 way to combat loneliness 

If calling up a friend and asking to catch up feels uncomfortable to you, there is some encouraging news: most people like out-of-the-blue phone calls.

People consistently underestimate how much their friends want to hear from them, according to a 2022 study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

An unexpected phone call or text is actually very appreciated by the receiver, and the more surprising the better.

Impromptu plans, specifically, can help you forge stronger bonds, Esther Perel, a Belgium American psychotherapist, told Ten Percent Happier host Dan Harris on recent podcast episode. 

“People may often be busy three weeks before but they’re not busy the day of,” she said to Harris. “It’s an amazing thing how many people are going to spend the night at home.”

If you don’t know who to call, Perel suggested to Harris asking yourself a few questions:

  • Who do you owe a phone call to?
  • Who do you owe an apology to?
  • Who do you want to go on a walk with?

The answer to any of these will lead you to a person you probably want to know better.

Want to make extra money outside of your day job? Sign up for CNBC’s new online course How to Earn Passive Income Online to learn about common passive income streams, tips to get started and real-life success stories. Register today and save 50% with discount code EARLYBIRD.

Trader Joe’s has raised the price of its famous 19-cent bananas for the first time in over 20 years

One of Trader Joe’s most popular products has just gotten its first-ever price increase.

The popular grocery store chain recently raised the price of its individually-sold bananas by roughly 20%, to 23 cents from 19 cents.

Trader Joe’s bananas have cost 19 cents apiece since the chain first started selling them individually back in 2001. The never-changing price tag became a selling point for the fruit, with signage at some Trader Joe’s locations boasting about the store’s refusal to increase the cost of potassium-rich produce.

The 19-cent bananas have proved so popular over the years that they recently made the Trader Joe’s Product Hall of Fame.

In a statement to CNBC Make It, a representative for the brand said that the new price “still represents a tremendous everyday value for bananas.”

“We only change our prices when our costs change, and after holding our price for bananas at 19¢ each for more than two decades, we’ve now reached a point where this change is necessary,” they said.

The spokesperson noted that although banana prices were going up, the price of other produce items such as romaine hearts, bell peppers and green onions have all gone down.

Trader Joe’s didn’t always sell its bananas individually. The grocer used to sell them by the pound like other retailers, but because its stores don’t have scales, the bananas were weighed and packaged in its warehouse.

In the first-ever episode of the “Inside Trader Joe’s” podcast, then-CEO Dan Bane said that changed when he noticed an elderly woman browsing the bananas but not buying any. Bane approached her and asked why she didn’t take a bag of them.

“She said to me ‘Sonny, I may not live to that fourth banana,’” he said on the 2018 episode. “And so we decided the next day we were going to sell individual bananas. And they’ve been 19 cents ever since.”

Want to make extra money outside of your day job? Sign up for CNBC’s new online course How to Earn Passive Income Online to learn about common passive income streams, tips to get started and real-life success stories. Register today and save 50% with discount code EARLYBIRD.

Plus, sign up for CNBC Make It’s newsletter to get tips and tricks for success at work, with money and in life.