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Inside the exclusive New York gym where Hugh Jackman, Victoria's Secret models and Wall Streeters work out


Screen Shot 2017 03 24 at 10.05.57 AM

The head of the New York Stock Exchange, a famous actor, and a Victoria's Secret model walk into a gym. 

That may sound like the beginning of a bad joke, but it's not. It's The Dogpound, an exclusive Manhattan gym that caters to New York's crème de la crème.

The gym opened up in March of last year, and is a favorite with Wall Streeters and Victoria's Secret models.

Some of the original members include Tom Farley, the president of the New York Stock Exchange, and actor Hugh Jackman.

Meet Kirk Myers, the founder and CEO of The Dogpound.

Kirk Myers, CEO and founder of The Dogpound, told Business Insider he was "chunky" when he was growing up. In High School, he weighed nearly 300 pounds. 

His life changed forever when he was diagnosed with congestive heart failure at the age of 21-years old.

"I realized I had to change my life if I wanted to avoid further health complications, so I went to the gym," he said."In two years I lost 130 pounds."

That wasn't the end of his fitness journey, however. Kirk started to help his friends achieve their fitness goals and ultimately he discovered that helping people "get fit" was his passion.

When he moved to New York he started working as a personal trainer. Before he opened up The Dogpound last March, he trained his clients at other New York gyms.

"It started out with 4 people, then 8, then 16," he said."And after I paired up with my friend Brey, and his brother Dawin, it became 31, and it just kept getting bigger."

Ultimately his crew got so big, he decided he would just open up his own gym.  




You can thank Hugh Jackman for the name.

Before The Dogpound was an official gym located in Manhattan's West Village, it was basically a men's club, a group of 14 guy-friends who would get together at 5:45am every day except Sunday to workout. 

Some of the original Dogpounders included actor Hugh Jackman, Tom Farley, the president of the New York Stock Exchange, and former America’s Next Top Model judge Nigel Barker.

Hugh Jackman's french bulldog presided over all of these workouts, and that's how the group got their name.

Here's a video of Jackman working out in the early days of The Dogpound, before it was an actual gym.

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In May 2015, Hugh Jackman joined what is known in the fitness world as the "1000 club" after he successfully completed a 355 pound squat, bench pressed 235 pounds, and dead lifted 410 pounds.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Here's everything the modern gentleman needs to know about buying a flattering pair of pants


man tying shoes suit

Pants are one of the most difficult items a guy has to buy. 

The reason is simple: Men don't actually know the terminology they need to get exactly what they're looking for.

Fortunately, that can be fixed with a little bit of sartorial knowledge. From leg opening to fly style, we've covered everything you need to know to buy the perfect pair of pants.

SEE ALSO: The 8 most important watches announced at the world's largest watch show

The term "rise" refers to the distance between the top of the pants' waistband and the crotch.

Advice: Mid rise is perfect for most men at most formalities. Short men should avoid low rise, but high rise is great for taller men, or men with a larger rear.

The zip fly has largely overtaken the button fly in popularity, and it offers a quicker and easier way to close your pants. Here are the benefits of each:

Advice: Zip fly is the most common and easiest, and the one you'll find most often.

For the front of a pair of pants, there are two options: pleats and flat front.

Advice: Flat front pants are perfect for younger, slimmer men, while pleated pants are great for larger men who need some additional room. Both should avoid double pleats.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

WWE superstar Charlotte Flair reveals her WrestleMania fitness and diet plans


WWE fans are gearing up for the company's biggest annual event: WrestleMania. The top WWE superstars will face off in Orlando in an event that the company spends the entire year building towards. 

We talked to one of the biggest WWE stars on the card, Charlotte Flair, who will face current champion Bayley, Sasha Banks, and Nia Jax in a "Fatal 4-Way" match for the WWE Raw Women's Championship. 

We spoke with Charlotte on the phone and asked her about the fitness and diet regimens she undergoes ahead of such a highly-anticipated event. 

WrestleMania airs Sunday, April 2 at 7 pm ET live on WWE Network.

Join the conversation about this story »

Ivy League admission letters just went out — here are the acceptance rates for the class of 2021


College Admissions

At 5 p.m. ET on Thursday, hundreds of thousands of anxious high schoolers found out if they were accepted or rejected into the Ivy League.

Here's what we know about who got in:

Brown University accepted 2,722 from 32,724 applicants, according to a school representative. The admissions rate for the class of 2021 was 8.3%. Last year, Brown accepted 2,919 of 32,390 applicants, a 9% acceptance rate.

Columbia University accepted 2,185 from 37,389 applicants, according to a representative. The admissions rate for the class of 2021 was 5.8%. Last year, Columbia accepted 2,193 from 36,292 applications, a 6.04% acceptance rate.

Cornell University accepted 5,889 from 47,038 applicants, according to its website. The admissions rate for the class of 2021 was 12.5%. Last year, Cornell accepted 6,277 students from 44,966 applications, a 13.96% acceptance rate.

Dartmouth College accepted 2,092 students from 20,034 applicants, according to its website. The admissions rate for the class of 2021 was 10.4%. Last year, Dartmouth accepted 2,176 students from 20,675 applications, a 10.52% acceptance rate.

Harvard University accepted 2,056 students from 39,506 applicants, according to a representative. The admissions rate for the class of 2021 is 5.2%. Last year, Harvard accepted 2,037 students from 39,041 applications, a 5.2% acceptance rate.

The University of Pennsylvania accepted 3,699 from 40,413 applicants, according to a university press release. The admissions rate for the class of 2021 was 9.2%. Last year, UPenn accepted 3,661 from 38,918 applicants, a 9.4% acceptance rate.

Princeton University accepted 1,890 from 31,056 applicants, according to a representitive. The admissions rate for the class of 2021 was 6.1%. Last year, Princeton accepted 1,894 students from 29,303 applications, a 6.46% acceptance rate.

Yale University accepted 2,272 from 32,900 applicants, according to its website. The admissions rate for the class of 2021 was 6.9%. Last year, Yale admitted 1,972 of 31,455 applicants, a 6.27% acceptance rate.

If you have something to share about your college admissions experience email ajackson@businessinsider.com

SEE ALSO: A record-breaking 39,500 people applied to Harvard this year — and they're about to find out whether they got in

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Former Ivy League admissions director reveals why expensive boarding schools may not be worth it

RANKED: Ivy League universities from most to least selective


Ivy League admissions 2017

Ivy League admissions decisions came out on Thursday, meaning hundreds of thousands of students who applied found out if they got accepted or rejected from their dream school.

The Ivies are notoriously tough to get into — most have acceptance rates less than 10%.

Here's the ranking of Ivy League schools by their Class of 2021 selectivity:

8. Cornell University — 12.5%

7. Dartmouth College — 10.4%

6. University of Pennsylvania — 9.2%

5. Brown University — 8.3%

4. Yale University — 6.9%

3. Princeton University — 6.1%

2. Columbia University — 5.8%

1. Harvard University — 5.2%

If you have something to share about your college admissions experience email ajackson@businessinsider.com

SEE ALSO: Ivy League colleges offer free tuition to certain students — here's how financial aid packages stack up

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: A Navy SEAL explains why you should 'test your will' at least once a year

There's a medical problem that marijuana might be able to help — but no one is talking about it


Man Rolling a Marijuana joint

In a sun-filled room overlooking a smattering of palm trees, power lines, and cement-and-terracotta bungalows, a 73-year-old recovering alcoholic rolls a joint.

Frank, whose name has been changed for this story, doesn't particularly like the feeling he gets from smoking cannabis, but he doesn't hate it either. And he admits it helps him sleep.

High Sobriety, the southern California rehab center where Frank is staying, incorporates cannabis into its treatment regimen for people with drug and alcohol addiction. Frank hasn't touched scotch, his former drink of choice — or any other alcoholic beverage, for that matter — in 30 days.

A month ago, he was living alone and drinking around the clock, despite repeated warnings from his physicians about negative interactions between alcohol and the medications he takes for high blood pressure and other age-related health issues. During a bender over the holidays, Frank knocked over the carriage holding his daughter's 10-month old baby. Concerned, his family took him to Alcoholics Anonymous. Nothing stuck, and Frank's health continued to decline.

So one day last year, his daughter called up Joe Schrank, High Sobriety's founder, and asked if he could help.

High Sobriety common areaThe idea behind High Sobriety is simple: Help addicts stop abusing the substances that are causing them the most harm, and use cannabis as a tool to do so.

"Our retention rates are so much better with being able to give them something," Schrank, a trained social worker who has spent the last 15 years working with addicts, tells Business Insider. "The truth is a lot of these people are deep deep deep into the weeds with drug and alcohol use and to think there's a light switch and they can just turn it off...I mean you're dealing with a different person when you talk about cessation of drug use."

Schrank's unconventional approach has put him at odds with many people in the recovery community. But his strategy is part of a new and growing movement that aims to treat addiction like any other mental illness — with science. The approaches coming out of this movement share a common thread: the belief that we should stop treating addiction as a moral issue and start treating it as a medical one.

Reducing harm

Schrank disapproves of the way AA and other similar programs portray drinking and using drugs as moral problems. That approach is out of touch with science, he says.

"I never think of drug use as any kind of moral thing. Actually, I like drug use, although it didn't really work out for me," Schrank says.

Maia Szalavitz, a neuroscience journalist and the author of "Unbroken Brain: A Revolutionary New Way of Understanding Addiction," agrees.

"This stuff that emphasizes this morality, we don't have anything else like that in medicine," Szalavitz, a former heroin addict and AA member, says. "And the 12-step thing talking about 'defects of character', that's not exactly helpful for someone who already has a lot of self-hatred."

High Sobriety room 8401

Like Schrank, Szalavitz believes that for many addicts, giving up their drug of choice is necessary for recovery, but giving up all drugs may not be.

"This whole idea that total abstinence is the only route to recovery has been incredibly damaging to the addiction field," she says.

Instead, a better approach might be to identify addicts' problem drug — which Szalavitz describes as "that one partner that you long for but if you get them you'll go crazy" — and remove that substance.

This idea falls in line with decades of research in a field called harm reduction, which accepts that drug use is a part of daily life. Instead of trying to get people to give drugs up altogether, it aims to improve people's safety by reducing the negative consequences that can be linked with using drugs. This, Szalavitz believes, could save the lives of the many people who have struggled with AA's hardline approach.

"Addiction is compulsive behavior despite negative consequences. If you're using a substance responsibly and not having negative consequences, why should anyone care?," she says.

Research seems to suggest that partial abstinence may help some people who've struggled with substances like alcohol. Keith Humphreys, the section director for mental health policy at Stanford's department of psychiatry, published a paper in a 2003 that reviewed an approach called "Moderation Management." He concluded that making the method an option for people with drinking problems "seems on balance a benefit to public health."

'To say there's only one option is wrong'

Six years ago, Schrank's friend Gregory Giraldo was found unconscious in a New Jersey hotel room after overdosing on cocaine and Valium. He passed away shortly after.

Schrank, who's now 48, says that if he could see Greg today and offer him cannabis instead of the drugs he died taking, there'd be no question about it. "I'd say, 'Smoke up there, Gregory, go ahead.'"

Giraldo, a comedian, had been to rehab and tried the abstinence-only route several times. But the 12 steps didn't save him. Schrank thinks his new program might have.

High Sobriety Joe Schrank"He was a brilliant dude," Schrank says. "Maybe he wouldn't have been as functional as an abstinent-only person, I don't know. But when I hear people tell others that [abstinence-only] is 100% of the pie — they're wrong."

Schrank has also gone through AA. He got sober that way 20 years ago and hasn't touched a drink or a drug — even cannabis — since. (Ironically, he doesn't like the smell of pot.) While he says AA helped him "immensely in a lot of ways," Schrank takes issue with the idea that addicts are only given two choices: complete abstinence or nothing.

"To say there's only one option and to present people with only one option is wrong," Schrank says. "It's like saying I have a moral objection to insulin so I'm just not going to take it. It's malpractice if you ask me."

Schrank and other critics of AA's methodology cite its dismal success rates as one of many reasons that new approaches are necessary.

"About one of every 15 people who enter these programs is able to become and stay sober," Dr. Lance Dodes, a retired professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School wrote in his well-known 2014 book, "The Sober Truth: Debunking the Bad Science Behind 12-Step Programs and the Rehab Industry." A large 2006 review of 8 trials involving more than 3,400 people also concluded that "no experimental studies unequivocally demonstrated the effectiveness of AA ... for reducing alcohol dependence or problems."

Abstinence-only approaches are simply untenable for people like Frank, Schrank says. "The truth is he's 73 years old, he's alone, and the idea that we're gonna make him go to AA and stop drinking, it's fantasy — that's not compassion."

Still, there is some evidence that AA can help some people. A study of more than 400 people found that "some of the association between treatment and long-term alcohol-related outcomes appears to be due to participation in AA." A 29-year old recovering alcoholic who's been sober for eight years put it to me this way, "If it wasn't for the rooms [of AA] I'd be lying in a gutter somewhere. That's my reality."

Does cannabis help curb addiction?

There simply aren't many studies on whether cannabis works for those struggling with addictions.

The research that exists suggests that cannabis may be a helpful tool in reducing opioid use in people who use them for longterm pain relief. It also could help reduce the physical and psychological symptoms of withdrawal. And it might help some addicts stop using other substances like nicotine, although as a large report published in January by the National Academy of Sciences noted that "only one randomized trial assessing the role of cannabis in reducing the use of addictive substances" exists.

marijuana weed pot 2In addition to being few and far between, each of these studies suffered from at least one research error. In some cases, the sample was too small to extrapolate; in other cases the data was based only on surveys, which can't provide scientific answers. In other cases, people in the study knew which drug they were taking, which might have contaminated the findings.

Clearly, more research is needed.

"I think ideally you'd study it before you just go and do it," Szalavitz says, adding, "I think it's an intriguing idea that we need more research on."

And of course, many researchers simply say the idea of using cannabis to treat addiction is absurd.

"Marijuana has exactly no role in the treatment of any mental illness, especially substance-use disorders," Thomas McLellan, who founded the nonprofit Treatment Research Institute and served briefly as deputy drug czar under the Obama administration, told The Guardian.

All of these issues put Schrank in a tough spot.

"It's not the easiest place. AA people hate me, rehab people hate me," he says. "I'm ok with that."

SEE ALSO: The answer to treating drug and alcohol addiction may be far simpler than you think

DON'T MISS: Why psychedelics like magic mushrooms kill the ego and fundamentally transform the brain

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: This is how long drugs actually stay in your system

Here's the first thing you see when you are accepted into any Ivy League school



At around 5 p.m. ET on Thursday, thousands of students learned if they were accepted into an Ivy League university for the class of 2021.

The Ivies are notoriously tough to get into — most have acceptance rates less than 10%.

For the lucky ones who make it in, it's a life-changing moment.

Here's the first thing these students see when they've been accepted into the Ivy League:










If you have something to share about your college admissions experience email ajackson@businessinsider.com

SEE ALSO: RANKED: Ivy League universities from most to least selective

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Former Ivy League admissions director reveals why expensive boarding schools may not be worth it

How Palmer Luckey, the tech CEO who sold his startup to Facebook for $2 billion, became the company's black sheep (FB)


Palmer Luckey

Palmer Luckey isn't your average 24-year-old. 

He founded Oculus VR, the headset company that's been described countless times as the future of virtual reality.

Facebook, which acquired Oculus for $2 billion in 2014, sees its software as the big computing platform of the next 10 years.

Luckey was on a path to greatness as the face of the social media company's VR business.

But after less than three years, Facebook has announced Luckey is leaving the company

Here's how he went from tech darling to Facebook outcast:

SEE ALSO: The fabulous life of Snap CEO Evan Spiegel, who just took his company public at a $33 billion valuation

Luckey was born in Long Beach, California on September, 19, 1992. His father Donald was a car salesman and his mother, Julie, a stay-at-home mom who homeschooled Luckey and his three younger sisters.

Throughout his childhood Luckey loved to tinker with electronics, building his own computers or gaming devices.

Source: Popular Mechanics 

For a while, he became fascinated by lasers and burned a small blind-spot into one of his retinas while experimenting with them.

Source: Vanity Fair 

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

How 5 of the most powerful travel rewards credit cards stack up


private jet setter

The premium travel rewards credit card market has become a battleground, as America's most powerful credit issuers compete for the business — and loyalty — of young and wealthy clients.

The five largest credit issuers in the US by market share— American Express, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citibank, and Capital One — are continually one-upping each other with increasingly lucrative offers on their most powerful travel rewards cards.

Benefits often include hundreds of dollars in travel credit annually, massive sign-up bonuses, and hefty discounts on travel booking, occasionally at the company's own expense.

Though three of the most elite travel cards come with a steep annual membership fee, the cost could pay for itself, provided you take full advantage of the rewards offered. For some, the new member deals are attractive enough to warrant the high fee: Put your everyday purchases on your new card and if you meet the spending threshold within the first 90 days, receive hundreds of dollars to book airfare and hotels.

And if you're not ready to fork over upwards of $450 annually for a bevy of benefits, there's low cost, or no cost, cards that still offer pretty sweet rewards.

But be warned: While travel hackers have made redeeming rewards from multiple cards a modern-day art form, signing up for any credit card makes you responsible for paying off the balance, ideally in full every month. Not doing so will subject you to incredibly high interest rates and could likely damage your credit.

Below, see how the most premium current travel offerings from the credit behemoths stack up:

Travel Rewards Cards Comparison_BI Graphics

SEE ALSO: American Express Platinum cardholders will now be 'Uber VIPs' — but there's a catch

DON'T MISS: JPMorgan just revealed the logic behind the crazy popular Sapphire Reserve card

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Here's how much you need to make to be in the top 1% of every state

A diver in Florida filmed this extreme close-up of sharks feeding


This incredible compilation of sharks biting and grabbing the bait was filmed off the coast of Jupiter, Florida, by diver Bartolomeo Bove. 

He is part of the Florida Shark Diving crew which lets you "as close to the sharks as you can handle."

In the video there are lemon and bull sharks.

Produced by Claudia Romeo

Join the conversation about this story »

The world's billionaires are flocking to Miami's luxurious Porsche Design Tower, where they can use an elevator for their cars


porsche design tower

For the billionaire who doesn't want to sleep too far from his sports car, the perfect home is now ready for move-in: Miami's Porsche Design Tower.

The 60-story building on Sunny Isles Beach is the first one in the US by the famed Porsche brand, which chose this Florida real-estate playground to make its mark, in partnership with Dezer Development.

More importantly, it's also the first building to contain a patented "Dezervator," essentially a drive-in car elevator.

Only six of the 132 units are still on the market — but that includes the four-level, 17,000-square-foot penthouse that's up for grabs for $32.5 million. That penthouse comes with two private pools and a four-car "sky garage."

The buyer will be in good company, as at least 22 billionaires have already bought in. Meanwhile, regular units can display up to nine cars, with extra space available for an added purchase price. Other building amenities include a spa, a ballroom, a movie theater, and a game room with race-car simulators.

The tower celebrated its grand opening March 18 with a performance by Alicia Keys.

Raisa Bruner contributed reporting to an earlier version of this article.

SEE ALSO: Miami is a billionaire homebuyer's paradise, and these are some of its most important luxury condos and mansions

The tower is 60 stories tall, rising 650 feet on the shorefront of Sunny Isles Beach.

126 of the tower's 132 units have already sold, with an estimated sellout of $840 million.

There's a large pool on the ground floor, just steps away from the beach.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

An artist uses water as his canvas to paint characters from the most successful Netflix series

Most of the salt in your diet comes from these 25 foods



Pass the salt? Not so fast.

A whopping 70% of the sodium in our diets comes from 25 food categories, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Using data from a national survey done in 2013 and 2014, the report ranks those food groups based on how much of our salt intake they account for.

While the science is mixed on whether salt is a net positive or negative for our health, too much of anything is usually a recipe for problems.

The CDC's report says most of the foods ranked highly on the list were premade foods from grocery stores and meals from restaurants. (The report does not factor in additional salt we add at the dinner table but accounts for salt added in food processing and cooking.)

Here's the list.

SEE ALSO: 11 things people think are terrible for your diet that actually aren't

DON'T MISS: The reason your friend's 'gluten-free' diet is making them feel better probably has nothing to do with gluten

25. Rice — Although rice on its own is naturally low in salt, most of us add more than a pinch when we cook it, and the CDC says this is largely to blame for its place on the list.

24. Cakes and pies — Typically eaten to satisfy a sweet craving, pre-made cakes and pies can contain a pretty surprising amount of sodium. A slice of cherry pie packs more than 300 mg of sodium or about 14% of the USDA's daily recommended allowance.

Source: CalorieKing

23. Other vegetables and combinations — Like rice, veggies are naturally low in salt, but a lot of us like to add seasonings (which often list salt as their first ingredient) or soy sauce when we grill or stir-fry them.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

A major Japanese retailer threatened to leave the US if Trump enforced 'made in America' policies



If President Donald Trump follows through on his promise to "buy American," he may end up driving some foreign-owned retailers out of the US altogether, if recent remarks by the president of the Japanese clothing giant Fast Retailing are any indication.

When asked by members of the Japanese media on Wednesday for his thoughts on Trump's ideas for trade and manufacturing, Tadashi Yanai was steadfast in his opposition.

One sticking point for Yanai was the possibility of a mandate for "made in the USA" clothing, which could prove difficult for a retailer like the Fast Retailing-owned Uniqlo, which operates about 50 stores in the US and primarily makes its clothing in Asia.

Yanai told the Japanese newspaper The Asahi Shimbun in a group interview that if he were told directly to manufacture in the US, "I will withdraw from the United States." He said the company would not be able to make good, affordable products in the US.

Because of the additional costs that would be passed on to consumers and the lack of specialized labor in the country, Yanai said it would be "meaningless to do business in the United States."

Yanai also cautioned against Trump's trade policies in general, which he said would raise prices across the board. He said what Trump was doing was "not beneficial for US consumers."

Trump has emphasized that US manufacturing and trade are central issues for his administration. He has proposed a border tax on US imports as an incentive to manufacture in the country, but specific policy proposals are nonexistent, and it's unclear how the tax would apply to foreign companies.

Fast Retailing has said it wants to open 20 to 30 more Uniqlo stores in the US this year as part of a strategy to penetrate the American market.

SEE ALSO: Trump's pledge to 'buy American' is nothing new — here's where that idea comes from

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: How Japanese clothing chain Uniqlo is taking over the US

Take a look inside the $85M Long Island mansion that once belonged to a Soviet billionaire


Whether you want to experience the glamor of the Roaring '20s or see what life was like for a Soviet billionaire, this $85 million property on New York's Long Island has you covered.

Built in 1928, this 8-acre Long Island estate has all the modern luxuries you would hope to get in a home of that price.

The estate was owned by Tamir Sapir, who emigrated from the former Soviet republic of Georgia and made his fortune in New York real estate. He died in 2014.

The current owner, whose identity is shrouded in mystery by a limited-liability corporation, bought the estate in 2013 for $15.9 million but reportedly never moved in.

The mansion listed for $100 million in 2015 with no takers. Paul Tyree of Laffey Real Estate has the new listing.

Join the conversation about this story »

Ivy League acceptances and rejections are out — here's how students are taking the news


Thousands of high-school seniors learned if they were accepted into their dream schools around 5 p.m. ET on Thursday.

Their reactions reflected a range of emotions as they posted their fate on Twitter.

First, the ecstatic ones:





And those who took their rejections with a little humor:





There are also the lucky ones who have a tough choice to make:






 Some took to Twitter to support their friends or family members:




 And the new admits were welcomed by their communities:




SEE ALSO: Ivy League admission letters just went out — here are the acceptance rates for the class of 2021

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Former Princeton admissions director reveals the biggest mistakes applicants make

Here's what Harvard's class of 2021 will look like


harvardAt roughly 5 p.m. ET on Thursday, hundreds of thousands of anxious high schoolers found out if they were accepted into the Ivy League.

From a pool of 39,506 applicants, Harvard accepted 2,056 students for an acceptance rate of 5.2%.

Here's what the incoming class of 2021 will look like, according to an announcement from the school.

SEE ALSO: RANKED: Ivy League universities from most to least selective


• Men — 50.8%
• Women — 49.2% 

Race and Ethnicity

• Asian-American — 22.2%
• African-American — 14.6%
• Latino — 11.6%
• Native American — 1.9%
• Native Hawaiian — .5% 

1st Generation Students — 15.1%


• Mid-Atlantic States — 21.4%
• South — 18.7%
• New England — 16.5%
• Pacific — 15.7%
• Midwest/Central/Mountain — 15%
• US Territories and Abroad — 11.7%

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

7 pieces of homebuying advice you can't afford to ignore



Purchasing a home is a huge accomplishment for many people, and the financial commitment is not to be taken lightly.

To help you avoid making the process any costlier than it already is, Business Insider has gathered some of the best homebuying advice from real estate experts, bestselling authors, and financial planners that could save you money and time.

Below, check out seven pieces of homebuying advice you simply can't afford to ignore:

SEE ALSO: 13 pieces of money advice you can't afford to ignore

DON'T MISS: A realtor explains how to set yourself up as a homebuyer long before you ever start shopping

1. Make sure your credit is in order well before you start shopping

When you apply for a mortgage, your interest rate for paying back the loan will depend partially on your credit history.

"A big thing when it comes to your mortgage is being able to qualify for the best interest rate you can," Sophia Bera, CFP and founder of Gen Y Planning, told Business Insider.

"Think about it: If you're going to have this loan for the next 15 to 30 years, you're going to be paying a ton of interest, tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of dollars on that loan," she said. "So a difference in interest of a quarter of a percent or half a percent or one percent makes a huge difference over the life of the mortgage."

While you can monitor a close approximation of your credit score throughout the year on sites like Credit Karma and Credit Sesame, Bera says it's worth paying a small fee to get your exact FICO score when you're preparing to buy a house. FICO scores are credit measures widely used by lenders to determine interest rates, and a high FICO score can help you secure the most reasonable ones.

"Really pay attention to credit, especially in the six months leading up to getting ready to buy a home," Bera says. "This is not just a month before, scrambling and then realizing, 'Oh my gosh, I have something old in collections!' Once you take care of that it usually takes a couple of months to be reflected on your credit score."

2. Don't use your emergency savings for a down payment

When it comes to buying a home, the more you have in savings, the better. But the money you're putting away for a down payment — typically 20% of the price of the home — should remain completely separate from your emergency fund, which is three to nine months of expenses earmarked for when something goes wrong.

Instead, it's best to keep your home savings somewhere else safe and liquid, self-made millionaire and bestselling author David Bach told Business Insider, particularly if you're looking to purchase in about three years.

"I'd tell you, put it in a money market account, and the reason is this: There's nothing more painful than saving for a down payment for a home and having the market go down," said Bach, who has spent 25 years in the wealth management industry.

"When it's a short-term time horizon, which is what three years is — three years is almost like tomorrow — you're better off to have safety and liquidity and see yourself making progress every month and not be losing sleep over it," he said.

In addition to security, a money market account could earn an interest rate of 1%, compared with the much lower 0.01% on a traditional savings account. These accounts can offer a higher interest rate because they usually require a minimum balance, which can vary widely depending on the bank (and if you dip under the minimum, you may incur a monthly fee). 

A high-interest, online savings account yields a similar return.

3. Plan to spend no more than 30% of your income on housing

Personal finance experts say a good rule of thumb is to make sure your total monthly housing payment doesn't consume more than 30% of your take-home pay.

"Any more than that, and your finances are going to be tight, leaving you financially vulnerable when something inevitably goes wrong," write Harold Pollack and Helaine Olen in their book, "The Index Card." "To be fair, this isn't always possible. In some places such as New York and San Francisco, it can be all but impossible."

Scott McGillivray, a real estate expert and the host of HGTV's "Income Property," suggests calculating what a realistic mortgage would cost and putting the equivalent of that into savings each month before you plan to buy.

"The truth is, if you can't do that — if you can't put that money aside and you can't actually keep those savings every month — you may not be prepared to make your consistent mortgage payment," he says.

It's not a perfect model for what it would be like to pay a mortgage each month, since you're likely still forking over money for rent, but it proves that you're dedicated to the process and willing to make financial sacrifices in order to afford homeownership.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

This management consultant's weekend hobby involves fighting with real swords and axes


We spent the afternoon with members of the New York City chapter of the Armored Combat League.  The group suits up in medieval armor and engages in brutal hand-to-hand combat with weapons made of real metal.

The group practices at a martial arts studio in Harlem called Sword Class NYC, where they train twice a week in preparation for sanctioned tournaments where they face other chapters from around the world.

Our host was ACL instructor Damion DiGrazia, who works as a management consultant for an investment bank in New York. 

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The way people buy legal marijuana will change in 2019 — here's what to expect


marijuana dispensary

Legal weed in North America is expected to reach $22.6 billion in revenue in 2021. But many won't be spending their money on marijuana the way they do today.

Recreational cannabis spending is expected to outpace medical marijuana sales for the first time in 2019, according to a comprehensive new report from Arcview Market Research.

It means new users will likely flood the recreational market in the next few years, with some switching over from medical marijuana programs in their states. California and Canada, which could legalize marijuana outright as early as July 1, 2018, are projected to drive major growth because of their population sizes.

A majority of Americans live in states that have access to the drug for medical use. But as the recreational market ramps up, some users could see a change in the way they buy bud.

Tom Adams, editor in chief of Arcview Market Research, says for medical marijuana patients in states that have since legalized marijuana outright, "their lives have not changed much."

"They go into the same stores — or even nicer or bigger stores, now that there are a lot more of them — and they just shop at the medical cash register," Adams says.

(Dispensaries often times have a counter for recreational sales and a counter for medical sales, or the retail shops specialize in one market. Washington folded its medical market in 2015.)

The biggest difference in how medical and non-medical users pay for pot might be taxation.

According to Adams, people who buy marijuana for recreational use in Colorado can expect to pay between 15% and 20% more than medical patients do. The state places a 2.9% sales tax (plus local taxes) on both varieties of marijuana, but it waives the 10% state marijuana tax for patients. Many dispensaries there also offer steep discounts for medical buyers.

When California rolls outs its recreational market in 2018, the state will impose a 15% tax on sales of the drug, but only non-medical users will have to pay it.

marijuana dispensary

It's potentially more expensive, but recreational weed has fewer logistical challenges for users.

In states where medical marijuana is legal, patients get a letter of recommendation from their doctor to use and carry small amounts of the drug. Eligibility varies dramatically by state. In New Jersey, patients may qualify if they suffer from a debilitating or life-threatening disease, such as cancer, epilepsy, or multiple sclerosis. Meanwhile, Californians can get a recommendation via an app. Their medicine is sold in retailers registered with the state.

There are limitations on the quantity and form of drugs purchased in some states. New York and Minnesota have two of the strictest medical marijuana programs in the nation, and allow patients to buy a 30-day supply of "non-smokable" marijuana, such as gel capsules or oils.

By comparison, the recreational marijuana market seems much more lax.

In Colorado, where there are more dispensaries than Starbucks and McDonald's locations combined, residents and tourists alike can buy up to one ounce of weed. They need only present a valid ID that shows they're over 21. The same is true in Washington, which also legalized marijuana outright in 2012. Both states topped $1 billion in legal cannabis sales last year.

According to Arcview, the recreational market will overtake medical in revenue in 2019. The gap will continue to widen as (presumably) more recreational markets come online.

Adams said the data was not all that surprising.

"There's huge growth in the user base when you stop requiring people to get medical recommendations ... when you have stores selling edibles and concentrates, and not just the dealer around the corner selling bags of weed," Adams says.

SEE ALSO: Legal marijuana could overtake manufacturing in job creation by 2020

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NOW WATCH: This is how the legal marijuana industry is affecting Mexican drug cartels

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