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The 10 real estate markets that have recovered the most since the start of the pandemic

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las vegas nevada

  • The housing market has shot back since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. 
  • Realtor.com found that more than half of the country's largest metros had recovered from pandemic lows in July.
  • But in addition to recovering, some have even surpassed pre-pandemic levels as housing continues to the factor expected to help bring us out of the current recession.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Back in March, the coronavirus pandemic put a sudden halt to the US housing market.

However, as the months wore on and parts of the economy began opening back up, nationwide housing began making a comeback.

In fact, the housing market has been taking steps toward a recovery since May, when buyer demand recovered. Price growth got back to pre-pandemic levels in June, and soon after, the pace of sales caught up. A recent report by Realtor.com found that more than half of the largest US metros have recovered from pandemic lows

"Housing tends to be immune from economic downturns and slowdowns,"Realtor.com's director of economic research, Javier Vivas, was quoted saying in a the report. "Right now we're seeing markets recover faster where they're able to contain the virus better. Markets with strong technology sectors have been more resilient." 

To find the 10 markets that have improved the most, Realtor.com looked at the year-over-year growth of the of the median home asking price, the percentage of new listings coming online, the number of days on market that it took homes to sell, and online home search. To determine the level of improvement, the report compared the state of each market in January to the week ending July 18.

A market that scored 100% means it reached its level from prior to the pandemic. Any score over 100 shows market improvement that has surpassed pre-pandemic levels. 

Keep reading for a list of the 10 markets that have improved the most. 

SEE ALSO: The 5 cities where renting gets you the worst deal aren't in New York or California

DON'T MISS: 4 cities where housing prices are most likely to fall in the next year

10. Memphis, Tennessee

Recovery score: 105.9%



9. Rochester, New York

Recovery score: 106.61%



8. Las Vegas, Nevada

Recovery score: 107.710%



7. Los Angeles, California

Recovery score: 108.78%



6. San Francisco, California

Recovery score: 109.27%



5. Denver, Colorado

Recovery score: 111.66%



4. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Recovery score: 112.35%



3. New York, New York

Recovery score: 112.74%



2. Seattle, Washington

Recovery score: 113.73%



1. Boston, Massachusetts

Recovery score: 122.52%



Now more than ever, a tale of 2 Hamptons

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hamptons billionaire lane

Former mayor Mike Bloomberg, Martha Stewart, "The Tonight Show's" Jimmy Fallon — name a high-profile New Yorker with money, and chances are they have a vacation home in the Hamptons. A narrow beachfront street in the Long Island enclave has even been nicknamed "Billionaire Lane" for its bevy of ultra-wealthy residents, and one Hamptons ZIP code has been ranked the most expensive ZIP code on the East Coast for the last two years.

Every summer, the Hamptons are set abuzz as these city dwellers flock to their summer homes or vacation rentals. Parties at private estates and ritzy political fundraisers at billionaires' homes are a staple of the social scene.

But this year, as the ultrawealthy came for the Hamptons, so did new levels of social backlash.

Nelson Schwartz, author of "The Velvet Rope Economy" and an economics reporter for The New York Times, said the pandemic has made the ever-expanding divide in the Hamptons even more apparent. 

"The Hamptons, to me, are ground zero for class differences playing out in the pandemic," Schwartz told Business Insider.

The Hamptons have been getting bougier in summer 2020

While the Hamptons have long been the preferred vacation spot for wealthy New Yorkers, summer of 2020 saw it become even bougier, as Business Insider's Dominic Madori-Davis first reported.

The moneyed scene typically arrives over Memorial Day weekend in May, but this year it showed up in March as affluent New Yorkers fled the city because of the coronavirus. At least 420,000 New Yorkers left the city between March 1 and May 1, primarily from wealthy Manhattan neighborhoods. Many of them went to the Hamptons, paying limo drivers to deliver mail to their second homes.

It didn't take long for the businesses that serve this wealthy clientele to follow them out to the East End, Madori-Davis wrote.

Luxury brands Bergdorf Goodman and Saks started same-day delivery service to the Hamptons. Carbone, the exclusive Michelin-starred Manhattan restaurant known for its $32 spicy rigatoni, launched both a Hamptons pickup service and a pop-up restaurant. Major New York City art galleries opened up Hamptons outposts.

hamptons art exhibition event party

To cater to the affluent families who were considering staying in the Hamptons past the summer season, Avenues, an ultra-exclusive Manhattan private school, opened a location in East Hampton — with $48,000 a year tuition.

As the Hamptons' exclusivity factor surged, so did the backlash

While the wealthy may have fled to the Hamptons to escape a virus, they found an unexpected obstacle to their quiet isolation: social revolt.

It didn't happen right away. In April and May, as the coronavirus ravaged New York City, wealthy Hamptonites stayed sequestered in their mansions, ordering takeout from Nick & Toni's and picking up seafood at Citarella's.

But a wave of social backlash eventually made its way to the Hamptons. Black Lives Matter protests in June were followed by anti-billionaire protests in July. On July 1, more than 300 people showed up outside Mike Bloomberg's $20 million Southampton mansion to demand a wealth tax for New York's richest residents. They carried plastic pitchforks and chanted "tax the rich, not the poor."

The protesters also stopped by the homes of real-estate developer Stephen Ross and Steven Schwarzman, CEO of private equity firm Blackstone. Some Hamptons homeowners hired armed guards in fear of the protesters. 

hamptons protest mike bloomberg

Alicé Nascimento is the director of policy and research for New York Communities for Change (NYCC), one of the non-profits involved in organizing the protests. She told Business Insider that activists want to pressure New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to raise taxes on New York's richest residents, many of whom — including Ross — have donated to his campaign. Cuomo recently shot down the idea and has been warning of transit fare hikes and cutting funding to public schools and hospitals.

Nascimento says the first protest in July was mainly people coming from New York City, but then local Hamptons community groups and residents started showing up.

"It's really local folks who aren't what we traditionally think of [as] people who live in the Hamptons, Nascimento said. "The Hamptons has this stratosphere of extremely wealthy people — like the richest people in the world — and also the ones that are middle class that serve them.

At one of the recent protests, Nascimento said, demonstrators had trouble finding the home of billionaire investor and Cuomo donor Daniel Loeb because Hamptons estates are so secluded.

"Billionaires are experts in social distancing," Nascimento told The New York Post last month. She told Business Insider: "There's a reason why they choose to live out there ... It's hard to find, but that's intentional. It's not an accident."

The Hamptons have long been a tale of economic disparity

While a pandemic and recession may have brought it to the forefront, economic disparity in the Hamptons is nothing new.

"There's long been a divide between the people who come out to the Hamptons for the summer and those who are out there year round, who live there and work there as teachers, as cops, and work in the restaurants," Schwartz said.

This divide traces back to the early days of British colonization of the Hamptons. The early settlers in East Hampton, one of the two main townships on the East End, divided up the land and allotted themselves each large parcels, East Hampton's historic services director, Bob Hefner, wrote on the town's official website. They shared the resources of the undivided land and created the laws that governed the village.

New residents of the town were given small plots of land and couldn't share the resources of the undivided land, according to Hefner. 

That left, as Hefner wrote, a small group of owners with the prime land within East Hampton, while "the tradesmen, laborers, subsistence farmers, fishermen, and at a later date freed slaves and Montauk Indians, lived on small lots on less desirable land outside the [village]."

In more recent years, similar patterns have played out. The lifestyles of Hamptons billionaires are supported by an "army of local people and recent immigrants" who can't afford to live "south of the highway" like their ultra-wealthy clientele, as Rupert Neate reported for the Guardian in 2015.

"South of the highway" refers to an area south of the Montauk Highway— which runs from Queens through the Hamptons all the way out to Montauk — where you'll find the most prestigious villages and multimillion-dollar beachfront homes.

A microcosm of the tensions playing out in the US during the pandemic

Inequality has always existed in the Hamptons, but it's never been more plainly evident than during the pandemic. 

"I think it kind of lays bare the class divisions in our society," Schwartz told Business Insider. "A lot of people have withdrawn from the city and from society and gone to their house and pulled up the drawbridge and are kind of isolated in their house. They're going to wait this thing out, which is a privilege the rest of us don't have."

To be sure, the Hamptons are not the only wealthy enclave across the US seeing wealth disparities playing out. A similar story is unfolding in areas like Teton County, the scene of the greatest wealth disparity in the US, and San Francisco, where service-industry workers are losing their jobs while Silicon Valley tech workers get cash bonuses to upgrade their home offices. The pandemic led to a burgeoning backlash against the wealthy all over the world as people stuck at home during lockdown got sick of seeing billionaires self-isolating on their superyachts and singing "Imagine" instead of donating to coronavirus relief. 

In fact, in many ways, the conflict playing out in the Hamptons mirrors what's happening on a national scale. 

"I think it's a microcosm with what happens in our societies where people take private planes, they go to private schools, they have food delivered to their house instead of going to the supermarket — if you can afford to do those things," Schwartz said.

Between the start of the pandemic and early June, more than 42 million people lost their jobs, yet America's billionaires got 20% richer, growing their cumulative wealth by $565 billion, according to a recent report from the Institute for Policy Studies.

Nascimento said the campaign to raise taxes on the ultra-wealthy will continue "as long as billionaires are gouging public resources and subsidies without paying what they owe to the people."

Next week, activists are heading to Albany to protest outside Gov. Cuomo's mansion. And while a date isn't yet set for the next protest in the Hamptons, the billionaire playground likely hasn't seen the last of the protesters.

"They should be expecting to see more of us," Nascimento said.

SEE ALSO: I drove down 'Billionaire Lane' in the Hamptons, where Wall Street execs, CEOs, and celebrities live in multimillion-dollar mansions — take a look at the famous beachfront stretch

DON'T MISS: The typical price for a Hamptons house just went up by a record amount, and it's at the highest level in more than 13 years

Join the conversation about this story »

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3 investments that boost passive income, from a property manager who built an $8 million real estate portfolio

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  • Generating passive income is a common goal among real estate investors. 
  • Mike Hills has been "house hacking" for close to 20 years and has built a portfolio worth more than $8 million.
  • Property managers, the right software, and a smart team are three things that he said will be sure to add to passive income.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Generating passive rental income is the goal for any smart real estate investor, but it's not always easy. 

There are things about a property every investor should know before they close a deal, but sometimes, the unexpected happens, and landlords lose. 

That said, there are a number of strategies investors should be mindful of that can help them secure a maximum return and avoid circumstances that can lead to financial setbacks.

A property management expert, Mike Hills has been house hacking for almost 20 years, and knows what investors need to do to stay on top. He owns a portfolio worth more than $8 million, built off the strategy in which owners of multifamily rental properties live in one of their units while collecting rent from the others.

Here are the three things Hills has invested in to boost his passive income from that portfolio.  

1. Hire a property manager to maximize profitability

Some landlords steer away from property managers under the impression a management service would just reduce their own income, but Hills said that's simply not the case.

"People think they're saving money not using a property management team, but people who manage themselves don't put a premium on their time," Hills said, adding that landlords who manage themselves don't raise rents as much as they could or should. "They don't treat it like a business and get attached to their tenants."

2. Use software to track properties

Perhaps a strategy for the investor with a larger portfolio, Hills said his team at his employer, Atlas Real Estate, uses property management software AppFolio to manage and track rental properties.

At Atlas, one team alone manages around 3,300 rentals with AppFolio, which tracks maintenance and even allows communication with residents through a single platform. 

3. Surround yourself with a good team

A good lawyer, a good banker, and a good CPA are all essentials, according to Hills, and he pointed out that people usually get hurt in property management when it comes to finding a good contractor. "You need a good contractor you trust who you've done deals with before, that's one of the ways you get in trouble," Hills said, adding that where people tend to get hurt the most is usually in property management and construction.

"You can do the worst deal in the world and manage it the right way and make money," Hills said. "Or you could do the best deal in the world and manage it the wrong way and lose money." With that in mind and with all the right players involved, Hills said, strong property management is key.

SEE ALSO: 9 things to know before you buy your first rental property, according to a brokerage VP who built an $8 million real-estate portfolio

SEE ALSO: How a 41-year-old 'house hacker' built an $8 million real-estate portfolio that would let him retire now — if he wanted to

Join the conversation about this story »

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4 podcasts for beginner real estate investors

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  • Investing in real estate is a great way to build wealth and generate passive income. 
  • These 4 podcasts feature industry experts who draw on their experience to teach beginners what they need to know to start making smart investments. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Real estate can be daunting for any new investor, but there are podcasts to help. 

Led by industry professionals, these 4 podcasts break down what real estate investors need to know, from success stories to expert insights, investment strategies, and wealth-building tips. 

Keep reading for the full list. 

SEE ALSO: 5 books to read if you want to kick off your real estate career

DON'T MISS: The prospecting secrets of a 26-year-old real-estate agent who hit $12 million in sales volume last year

"CarrotCast," hosted by Trevor Mauch

The "CarrotCast" podcast, hosted by Trevor Mauch, breaks down the strategies and success stories of real estate agents and investors across the country in episodes that range from just over 10 minutes to longer than an hour.  

Mauch is the CEO of Carrot, a digital lead-generation system for real estate professionals. 



"The Epic Real Estate Investing Show," hosted by Matt Theriault

"The Epic Real Estate Investing Show" is hosted by Matt Theriault, an author, investor, and the CEO of Epic Real Estate.

His podcast includes everything from Theriault's top investment strategies, to guest appearances from top players in the industry. 



"BiggerPockets Real Estate Podcast," co-hosted by Brandon Turner and David Greene

The "BiggerPockets Real Estate Podcast" is co-hosted by industry professionals Brandon Turner and David Greene.

On the show, they discuss how to build wealth through real estate investing by running through strategies and failures to learn from as well as inspiring success stories. 



"Commercial Real Estate Investing," hosted by Tim Diesel

Tim Diesel is an investor, author, commercial real estate broke, and the host of the  "Commercial Real Estate Investing" podcast.

With nearly 20 years of experience, Diesel uses the podcast to break down what's going on in the world of commercial real estate and relays the advice and strategies he believes will help others become successful in the sector.



Young adults can't stop partying during the pandemic because they're wired that way

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young adults graduation party

It all began with the spring breakers.

The week the coronavirus was declared a pandemic, students swarmed Texas and Florida beaches and hopped on flights to Cabo. Come summer, young adults flocked to bars in large groups as states slowly reopened. And TikTok and YouTube stars have recently been gathering for massive parties despite record COVID-19 cases in California.

Many young adults are safely social distancing and wearing masks, but others have been ignoring warnings. Officials have been reporting nationwide that many new infections are among young adults under age 35, Business Insider's Holly Secon reported at the end of June. Officials have urged young adults to follow guidelines and take the pandemic more seriously. 

But for these millennials and Gen Zers, that's all easier said than done. Four psychologists weighed in on why young people won't stop partying, and their risky behavior has a lot to due with their developmental stage.

Science makes young adults think they're invincible

Eighteen may be considered the legal marker of adulthood in the US, but the brain doesn't stop developing until at least the mid-20s, Katie Lear, a North Carolina-based therapist who specializes in child and adolescent anxiety and trauma, told Business Insider. 

Much of the brain's restructuring during this time occurs in the frontal cortex, which controls judgement, problem solving, impulse control, and emotional regulation. During this development, she said, young people rely more on their amygdala, the fight or flight part of the brain, for decision-making.

"This might help explain why young people may have a hard time thinking about the long-term repercussions of their decisions and their possible impact on other people, even if they've been informed of the risks," she said.

spring breakers

She added that it doesn't help that early coronavirus media coverage made it seem like young people were at zero risk of experiencing severe symptoms if infected, even though it's possible for the young to asymptomatically spread the virus or experience prolonged illness from it themselves.

Part of this development involves a phase where young adults feel "invincible," Forrest Talley, a clinical psychologist who spent 20 years working at the University of California - Davis Medical Center, told Business Insider. Not only do young people tend to feel immune from the laws of physics and common sense, a Max Planck Institute study found, they have a strong tendency to selectively ignore information that would refute this view.

So when the youth hear they shouldn't gather in large groups, Talley explained, many will place little personal importance on the information. "Youth is not marked by risk aversion, but rather by risk taking," he said.

Socializing is critical to forming their identity

Socializing takes on special importance for young adults. They're in the midst of identity development, which often happens in the context of social relationships. Feeling part of a group is critical to their identity and self-esteem.

This is known as the identity versus role confusion phase in developmental psychologist Erik Erikson's psychosocial stage of development theory. Christie Kederian, a marriage and family therapist and educational psychologist who specializes in working with young adults, told Business Insider that this is when social approval begins to matter more and when adolescents and young adults experience egocentrism.

young adults party pandemic kips bay

She explained that telling them to wear a mask to protect others goes against their emotional development, which focuses inward on their own thoughts and feelings. Combined with the rise of social media apps like TikTok, this thinking can "reaffirm that belief that 'everyone is watching and caring about me,' which can increase the self-centered way of thinking and decrease the care and empathy for others," she said.

If socializing with peers helps form their identity, Talley added, then remaining homebound cuts off this source of affirmation, sometimes reinforcing a sense of being childlike in that they need follow rules about who they can associate with. Rebelling against "the establishment," where socializing restrictions are currently coming from, also enables young adults to develop a sense of independence, he said.

Socializing is also a coping mechanism

Leela Magavi, a child and adolescent psychiatrist, told Business Insider that socializing helps adolescents and young adults attain a sense of normalcy. She said many of her patients do party or socialize with their friends because it diverts their attention from pandemic-related frustration and emotional distress.

"Although many of them are well aware of the risks involved, they gather in large groups and engage in activities to distract themselves from feelings of helplessness and loneliness," she said. For some, she added, it's a case of FOMO and losing friends. Others, she said, don't have secure relationships with their parents and rely on friends for emotional support.

new york city coronavirus

Kederian points out that while everyone is grieving during the pandemic, everyone has their own unique grieving process. Young adults are also in the intimacy vs. isolation phase, she said, where they desire deeper connections with others and their ultimate fear is isolation.

This means that their stage of grief may perpetually be the first stage of grief, she said: denial. Thus, hanging out with friends and partying are all acts of denial centered around a fear of loneliness.

"Ultimately, their fear of being alone trumps the fear of illness or death, which becomes a deeper fear psychologically in late adulthood," she said.

SEE ALSO: 'It's Gen Z you want': Millennials are defending themselves from accusations that they're out partying and ignoring warnings amid the coronavirus pandemic

DON'T MISS: 20-something New Yorkers are moving NYC's coronavirus cases to wealthy neighborhoods

Join the conversation about this story »

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6 new whisky launches that will impress the most discerning whisky collectors and connoisseurs

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Macallan

  • Business Insider spoke with experts Kirsteen Campbell, Master Whisky Maker at The Macallan, and Sotheby's Spirits Specialist, Jonny Fowle, on the increasing demand for rare and collectible whisky. 
  • According to Fowle, two of the most valuable whisky brands for collectors are The Macallan and Karuizawa, both which have new releases.
  • Some of these luxurious whisky releases are more than 60 years old and come with decanters made of hand-blown crystal and adorned with sapphires.
  • Here are six luxurious whisky launches from Scotland and Japan to look forward to this summer and fall.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Whisky has the unique ability to take you back decades in time. Every so often, distilleries mine their old stocks in hope of creating a luxurious, well-aged, one-of-a-kind whisky that collectors will swoon over. 

Jonny Fowle, Spirits Specialist at Sotheby's, who manages private collections and presents authenticated bottles at auctions, told Business Insider that whisky collecting has been on an upward trajectory for the last 10 years.

"Whisky is incredibly diverse and offers collectors the opportunity to create their own personal journey into understanding its nuances," he said, adding that people also collect whisky as an investment. "As equities and property seem less and less solid, I think people are looking to diversify. Whisky has proved itself as a pretty good bet in this area."

Kirsteen Campbell is Master Whisky Maker at The Macallan.

Kirsteen Campbell, Master Whisky Maker at The Macallan, says over the last five years the brand has seen "an increased interest in rare and collectible whiskies as appreciation for single malt Scotch has grown around the world." For example, in October 2019, a bottle of The Macallan Fine & Rare 60-Year-Old 1926 set an auction record, fetching $1.9 million at Sotheby's London. 

Collectors value quality, age, rarity and provenance. "But ultimately, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and it can be difficult to prescribe exactly what will appeal to some collectors," Fowle said.

Whether you're new to whisky or a connoisseur, here are the latest luxurious and collectible launches that should be on your radar.

SEE ALSO: The 13 best rosés to try this summer, according to wine experts

SEE ALSO: Everything you should know about tequila and the 11 best tequila brands to try, according to experts

Diageo Prima & Ultima Collection

In late July, spirits producer Diageo released Prima & Ultima, a collection of eight rare and vintage single malt whiskies, each hand-selected by Diageo Master Blender, Dr. Jim Beveridge OBE. The liquid within each bottle comes from small casks, each aged for decades, at various Diageo-owned distilleries in Scotland. Prima & Ultima, meaning first and last, represents the first and last vintage whiskies of their kind. 

The collection includes Caol Ila 1984, Clynelish 1993, Cragganmore 1971, Lagavulin 1991, Mortlach 1994, Port Ellen 1979, Singleton of Dufftown 1988 and Talisker 31988. Each bottle represents a distinct or notable time in whisky-making history, whether it's the introduction of a new flavor profile or the last cask created using a retired technique. 

"The quality is undeniable with high critic scores across the board," Fowle said of the collection. "I am one of the lucky few who has been able to taste all of these whiskies and can attest to their calibre."

Purchase details: Just 238 sets will be retailed for £20,000 ($25,000).



Glenfarclas Pagoda Sapphire Reserve

Inspired by the tiered pagoda top that helps kilns vent at Scottish malt whisky distilleries, Glenfarclas Pagoda Reserve Series is a five-bottle collection consisting of whisky (ranging 43 to 63 years) created in the Glenfarclas Pagoda Kiln before it was decommissioned in 1972. The series revealed the final release in late June, the Pagoda Sapphire Reserve, aged 63 years.

The 1953 single malt has notes of espresso, dark bitter chocolate, tart blackberry, and gooseberry, as well as rich spices like clove and nutmeg. On the palate, there is citrus with cloves, sherried fruits, and a long finish with flavors of cocoa nibs, leather, leafy greens, and tobacco. The decanter is made from hand-blown Glencairn crystal and features 36 dark-blue sapphires to create the number '63,' the whisky's age designation. The blue sapphires complement the blue crystal pagoda stopper and metallic blue-colored engravings on the side of the bottle.

Purchase details: Just 180 700ml formats ($31,038) and 63 1.5L Magnum formats ($66,530) will be made, as well as 45 of the Collector's Edition 1.5L Magnum ($73,715). 



The Macallan Double Cask Range

The Macallan first launched its Double Cask Range in 2016 with the The Macallan Double Cask 12 Years Old, and in July, The Macallan finalized the range with the addition of the Double Cask 15 Years Old ($135) and Double Cask 18 Years Old ($330). Each expression is a blend of two casks: American and European oak sherry-seasoned casks. 

"Very much like the 12 Year Old, Double Cask 15 Year Old has a sweetness. The delicate and indulgent flavors of American oak including honey, citrus, and chocolate balance The Macallan's more traditional characteristics of rich fruits, sherry, and wood spice. Double Cask 18 Year Old offers slightly more complexity, with rich raisin and sultana, notes of caramel, and ginger, subtly balanced by warming oak spice," Campbell said. 

Purchase details: The bottles can be purchased individually, or the complete three-bottle range is exclusively available on Reserve Bar for $575.



Port Ellen 40-Year-Old – 9 Rogue Casks

Single malt Scotch whisky Port Ellen was distilled for just 16 of the last 90 years, making every last drop coming from its casks precious. In 1979, a small parcel of stocks were set aside due to their unusual flavor profiles. Now, decades later, Port Ellen released the 40-Year-Old single malt whisky, its oldest and rarest release, which is made up of nine rogue casks from this parcel. Port Ellen's Master Blender, Dr. Craig Wilson, blended these casks, resulting in a balanced expression featuring Port Ellen's signature flavor of soft peat smoke. 

The whisky has herbal notes, burnt tangerine and water, crème caramel, roasted coffee, and red fruit compote on the nose. The palate consists of bonfire smoke, pipe tobacco, leather, and wood spice, with a long, smoky finish.

Purchase details: Only 1,380 bottles will be made and will retail at £6,500 ($8,488).



The Balvenie Fifty: Marriage 0614

Scotch whisky The Balvenie is no stranger to releasing 50-year-old expressions, all of which were released under Malt Master David Stewart MBE in 1987, 2002, 2012, 2014, 2018, 2019 and 2020. This year's Marriage release marks the third and final installment of the series: The Balvenie Fifty: Marriage 0614. The name "Marriage" comes from the tedious and difficult task of "marrying" whisky, when casks of mature malt whiskies are blended and put into a barrel to further assimilate. These bottles are made from the oldest and most precious American and European oak casks within the distillery. In Marriage 0614, Stewart  blended seven casks, and each adds a new layer of flavor to the final product. 

Marriage 0614 has notes of deep, dark spices, fruitcake, oak, dried fruits, raisins, and sultanas. The palate is rich and lush with bitter chocolate, spices, maple syrup, honey, and oak tannins.  The finish is rich and sweet with oak and spice notes. The presentation is even stunning: Each decanter is made from hand-blown crystal in Balvenie's signature bottle shape, modeled after the copper stills at the distillery. The bottle is presented in a wooden canister made from elm trees found on the distillery's grounds (there are 48 layers of elm and two layers of brass).

Purchase details: Launching in mid-September, there will be just 148 bottles globally, and each retails for $40,500.



Karuizawa 35-Year-Old Budō Collection

Karuizawa distillery first opened in 1955 and closed in 2000 before the Japanese whisky boom in Western countries. Today, Karuizawa is regarded as one of the most sought-after Japanese distillers due to its limited remaining supply. This November, a private bottling of Karuizawa 35-Year-Old Budō Collection will be released by dekantā, an online retailer of rare Japanese spirits and wine. There are three bottles in the collection, each containing whisky distilled in 1981 and matured for 35 years in an ex-sherry cask before being bottled in 2017. It has rich sherry notes with cinnamon-baked plum, rich cocoa, burnt toffee, and sweet licorice. On the palate, there are Christmas cake flavors with fresh tobacco leaves, sticky dates, and rich oak and a long, spicy finish of blackcurrant and red leather.

While Fowle isn't specifically speaking to this release, he said: "Japanese whisky has seen enormous surges in value in recent years. Now, almost every Japanese single malt is released on tight allocation and closed distillery whiskies sell for hundreds of thousands." Each bottle is painted by three of Japan's famous street artists, Fate, Phil & TwoOne.

Purchase details: There are just 43 sets, priced at $45,000 each.



Waivers, limited class sizes, and 'indoor shoes' are just some of the ways private preschools are planning to reopen in the fall

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kid preschool teacher playing

  • Some preschools are ready to reopen with new guidelines and procedures to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
  • Montessori Children's Academy, based outside Chicago, is having parents sign a liability waiver as well as reducing their normal hours of operation and limiting class sizes.
  • Private preschool franchise The Goddard School is permitting one family at a time inside the foyer and for pick-up, a teacher brings one child at a time back into the foyer. 
  • "We removed all carpets and toys made of cloth," said Dorota Mani, founder and director of Academy of Excellence Preschool in Jersey City, New Jersey. "At the door, students are welcomed by teachers and asked to change their outdoor shoes into indoor shoes. We are lucky to have six separate entrances to our school, allowing us not to mix our students and their parents during drop-off and pick-up."
  • Despite these precautions, some parents are still opting for virtual learning for their preschoolers for the fall — Willie Greer, a father of two in Memphis, Tennessee, said his preschool is sending parents tablets to keep kids engaged with the curriculum.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Alina Adams, who works closely with many affluent parents and private preschools, has had a front-row seat to the confusion and concern surrounding schools reopening. 

"Some preschools are telling parents that they plan to be open five days a week, only at reduced capacity and with plenty of social distancing," said Adams, author of "Getting Into NYC Kindergarten" and "Getting Into NYC High School." "It will be interesting to see how that will work, as one preschool director told me the guidelines are physically impossible, with kids needing to nap six feet apart or be staggered in their nap times. 'Am I supposed to shake a sleepy three-year-old awake after lunch so they don't fall asleep too close to another child?' she asked."

In an acknowledgement that even taking an "abundance of caution" isn't a guarantee that infections won't occur in school settings, some institutions are requiring parents to sign a waiver, adding another layer of defense on top of a school's COVID-19-related safety procedures.

"Our first priority is always the safety of our students, but we further needed to consider whether we were opening ourselves to liability by resuming operations during a global pandemic," Lillian Smith, owner and executive administrator of the Montessori Children's Academy outside Chicago, told Business Insider.

Lillian Smith

The school worked with attorney Brian Weinthal to create a liability waiver that protects the institution in the event that a student, parent, family member, or visitor was to bring a lawsuit against the business.

Weinthal said the waiver "identifies the potential symptoms and complications associated with COVID-19 and further asks parents to acknowledge that even in light of every conceivable safeguard, children or parents can still become ill as the result of the uncontrolled spread of the disease."

"Although we are taking every possible step to keep our students healthy and socially distant, the liability waiver gives us additional comfort and peace of mind in the wake of personal injury actions that have been filed against other local businesses," Smith said.

A litany of safeguards and new procedures

Even with the school's mandatory waiver, Smith said they're also implementing a heavy battery of safeguards in hopes of preventing the spread of coronavirus on school grounds. In addition to all current safety protocols mandated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Child and Family Services, and the Illinois Department of Public Health, Smith said that the academy is doing "everything in its power" to keep students healthy and socially distant.  

The school has reduced their normal hours of operation by two hours each day — from their previous schedule of 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday to a new 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. schedule.

"Depending on age, classroom size is limited to between eight and 15 students (depending on DCFS regulations for particular age groups), and different classrooms are prohibited from interacting or co-mingling during the school day," Smith said. "All staff members and students over the age of two are required to wear masks, and handwashing/hygiene breaks are conducted as often as possible during the day."  

Upon arriving at school in the morning, temperatures are recorded for both students and the parents who drop them off, and screening questions are asked to ensure that parents and children are not experiencing symptoms and haven't been in proximity to individuals with COVID-19. The school has a daily cleaning and disinfection routine, and Smith said that a state-mandated safety protocol is in place to "quickly and safely isolate students who appear to manifest symptoms consistent with the disease."

Other preschools planning to hold in-person classes have similar laundry lists of health and safety protocols. Craig Bach, vice president of education at private preschool franchise The Goddard School, with more than 525 schools in 38 states, told Business Insider that it's incorporated new drop-off and pick-up procedures where only one family at a time will be permitted inside the foyer. Once there, school administrators will conduct a "quick health screening" to ensure each child doesn't have a fever above 100.4 degrees or other flu-like symptoms. A designated teacher will then take each child to and from the classroom, and for pick-up, a teacher brings each child to the foyer. 

Craig Bach

The school advises parents to "Please be mindful of keeping a six-foot distance from others during drop-off and pick-up." 

The Goddard School is also implementing new food prep procedures, where teachers will continue to wear gloves while helping children with snack time and lunch. They will also discontinue family-style servings and serve children individually. Special events and visitors are postponed until further notice, the school reported to parents.

"Along with our guidance, Schools must follow local health and state guidelines to ensure they're compliant with health and safety orders," the school's new guidance added. "For example, it's mandatory for businesses in Pennsylvania to provide face coverings to their employees, which must be worn at all times while on site." 

While Goddard Schools are currently open Monday through Friday, Bach explained that there's flexibility in scheduling. 

"Locations across the country offer half-day or full-day programs, and parents have flexibility in terms of the number of days per week their children attend school," he said. 

Dorota Mani, founder and director of Academy of Excellence Preschool in Jersey City, New Jersey, said that her school is not only following CDC guidelines and her state's requirements, but has rebranded its classrooms.

"We removed all carpets and toys made of cloth," Mani said. "Each child has his/her own personal desk and chair, set of supplies, books, and manipulatives. At the door, students are welcomed by teachers and asked to change their outdoor shoes into indoor shoes. We are lucky to have six separate entrances to our school, allowing us not to mix our students and their parents during drop-off and pick-up." 

Academy of Excellence also includes many of the more standard procedures designed to cut down on the chance that students, staff, or parents will contract COVID-19 in and around the school setting.

"Their temperature is measured, hands are sanitized, and daily COVID-19 questionnaires [are] conducted," Mani said. "The physical space of each classroom is sterilized and steamed every single day."

The preschool has also gotten creative to try to overcome kids' natural tendencies.

"The children wear masks throughout the day and if one of our students refuses to do so, we provide him/her with a fun and protective shield," the school director said. "To ensure social distancing, we are using hula-hoops to mark each student's personal space."

Academy of Excellence Preschool currently provides three program options: a morning academic program from 8.30 a.m. to 12.45 p.m., a full-day program from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and an extended-day program from 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Monthly tuition fees vary by program and age group, ranging between $1,375 for the academic program and $2,400 for the extended-day program.

Despite safety protocols, not all are convinced school reopenings are safe

Many schools, public as well as private, are currently not able to reopen due to state mandates — for example, in California— and have shifted to virtual learning. 

Yet preschools are considered "childcare" and are exempt from California's most recent order, according to Katie Provinziano, founder and CEO of Westside Nannies, a boutique staffing agency based in Beverly Hills. She confirmed that many elite preschools are planning to reopen in August, but added that many of her clients aren't comfortable sending their children back.

Katie Provinziano

"Most agree it's just not safe yet to be in any large group environment," Provinziano said. "As a result, we've seen a dramatic increase in the number of parents who have decided to pull their children out of elite private schools — including preschools — and [instead] homeschool for the upcoming school year."

In some cases, she said, parents are hiring private educators to act as a homeschool teacher. 

"They want to spare their children from any emotional stress that may come along with the new rules schools have to abide by," she said. "They are concerned about the effect that masked teachers, teachers focused more on cleaning, not being able to share toys, lunches alone, etc., will have on their children." 

Many parents also feel that their children will receive a better academic experience overall, she said, with one teacher solely focused on their children and able to customize a curriculum to their personal interests and learning styles.

Amol Parab, a dad in San Bruno, California, and the lead data modeler at Blue Shield of California, is among the parents with concerns about kids returning to preschool in the fall.

"With new data coming in almost every day and changing guidelines we have seen from CDC and WHO [the World Health Organization], we don't feel comfortable sending our kid to school," Parab said.

The private school his child is enrolled in offered two options for learning this fall: virtual, and if local authorities allow, in person. His family chose the virtual option, and plans to stick with that route until more data about the coronavirus in schools becomes available.

Willie Greer, a father of two and founder of tech review site The Product Analyst, has a child enrolled in an elite preschool in Memphis, Tennessee. Greer told Business Insider that he and his wife have already coordinated with the school's management and they won't be holding regular in-person classes in the fall.

In lieu of reopening, the preschool has prepared alternatives to keep kids engaged in learning, including manuals, online classes, and activities students can do at home, according to Greer. They've also prepared students and parents so that they'll be up to speed on the new setup and have tablets ready with learning manuals and modules uploaded. 

"Shifting to digital learning is the best thing they can offer to prevent students from getting left behind in terms of education," Greer said.

SEE ALSO: Parents in places like Florida and California are asking for their money back from private preschool programs and forming their own learning pods in preparation for this fall

READ MORE: Summer is typically slow for private tutoring companies. This year, they're seeing demand for their services soar as parents fear their kids will get left behind with online learning.

Join the conversation about this story »

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28 books by billionaires that will teach you how to build a fortune and run the world

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Bill Gates Summer Books

Whether you want to launch an empire or become the best in your field, there's no better consult than with leaders who have achieved the peak of professional and financial success. 

Business Insider has rounded up 28 books by billionaires. From the business insights of Bill Gates to the leadership lessons of Richard Branson, the wisdom collected in these pages extends far beyond the classroom.

Learn how these masters of industry achieved the impossible, in their own words.

SEE ALSO: 25 books C-suite leaders and billionaire investors say all entrepreneurs should read to become better leaders

"What It Takes: Lessons in the Pursuit of Excellence" by Stephen A. Schwarzman

Schwarzman is, on the surface, a man who took $400,000 and built Blackstone, an investment firm that has more than $500 billion assets under management as of January 2019.

The real story goes deeper, into Schwarzman's drive to achieve that carried him from attending Yale to managing Blackstone. This book narrates his story, and the lessons he's learned along the path of success.

Schwarzman gives readers insights on deal-making, investing, leadership, entrepreneurship, and philanthropy.

Find it here »



"The Virgin Way" by Richard Branson

Although Branson confesses he's never read a book on leadership, his nearly 50-year entrepreneurial career has taught him a thing or two about building a business.

In "The Virgin Way," the billionaire founder of Virgin Group offers lessons on management and entrepreneurialism, including the importance of listening to others and hiring the right people. Branson is honest about his successes as well as his failures, such as underestimating Coke's influence when he tried to launch Virgin Cola in the 1990s.

Overall, the book is a compelling glimpse into the life of someone who's never shied away from a challenge.

Find it here »



"The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers" by Ben Horowitz

Ben Horowitz fills in the gaps business school can't teach you by offering practical advice on launching, scaling and running a startup. 

He has plenty of experience with this as co-founder of Andreessen Horowitz, a VC firm with an investment portfolio that includes Airbnb, Facebook, GitHub, and Twitter. Horowitz is a rap fan, which plays out through the lyrics he includes in this book to reinforce business lessons.  Of course, there's an honest discussion of Horowitz's own journey.

Overall, this is an inside look on leading and growing a business, from someone who's been through it. 

Find it here »



"Start Small Finish Big: Fifteen Key Lessons to Start – and Run – Your Own Successful Business" by Fred DeLuca with John P. Hayes

At 17, Fred DeLuca borrowed $1,000 from a family friend and went on to build one of the most prominent fast food chains in America: Subway. At the time of his death in 2015, DeLuca was worth an estimated $3.5 billion, with a global business and franchises across over 100 countries. The young entrepreneur had never even made a submarine sandwich before the opening day of his first shop. 

"Start Small Finish Big" is a compilation of DeLuca's best advice for running a successful business from start to finish. Some of his key advice? Believe in your people – and never run out of money. The book also draws on the advice of other successful entrepreneurs, such as the founder of Little Caesar's. This book is a must read for young people looking to start their own business. 

Find it here »



"Onward" by Howard Schultz

After resigning as Starbucks CEO in 2000, Schultz returned to the post in 2008, just as the company was struggling through a financial crisis. "Onward" details how the billionaire brought the global coffee chain back to life.

Readers will learn how Schultz made tough decisions — like temporarily shutting down more than 7,000 US stores — in order to help Starbucks grow without neglecting its core values.

They'll learn, too, about Schultz as a person, as he weaves together his unique business strategy with anecdotes about growing up in Brooklyn, New York. It's an honest and passionate recounting that will inspire entrepreneurs and everyone else to be brave in the face of adversity.

Find it here »



"How to Win at the Sport of Business" by Mark Cuban

In "How to Win at the Sport of Business," Dallas Mavericks owner and "Shark Tank" investor Cuban fleshes out his best insights on entrepreneurialism from his personal blog.

He writes candidly about how he progressed from sleeping on his friends' couches in his 20s to owning his own company and becoming a multibillionaire. It's a story of commitment and perseverance — Cuban writes that even though he didn't know much about computers, he beat his competition because he spent so much time learning about the software his company sold. 

Find it here »



"The Essays of Warren Buffett" by Warren Buffett

The 86-year-old chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway is considered one of the greatest investors in history.

This book is a collection of Buffett's letters to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders. Each one explains a different facet of his business and investment philosophies. While the topics might seem complex, the billionaire's writing is easy to read, and he often explains concepts through personal anecdotes.

Find it here »



"Business @ the Speed of Thought" by Bill Gates

With a net worth of $75 billion, Forbes estimates the Microsoft founder is the richest person in the world. In "Business @ the Speed of Thought," Gates explains how business and technology are inextricably linked.

Using examples from companies like Microsoft and GM, Gates suggests that businesses see technology as a way to enhance their operations. While the book was initially published in 1999, many of Gates' insights remain accurate and relevant today.

Find it here »



"Zero to One" by Peter Thiel

"Zero to One" starts from the controversial premise that "competition is for losers" and that entrepreneurs should instead aim to create monopolies.

Thiel, a founder of PayPal and the data-analytics firm Palantir, highlights the importance of building something new and taking over the market, as opposed to simply adding to what's already out there. Regardless of whether you agree with Thiel's philosophy, the book is a clear read with tons of ideas worth discussing.

Find it here »



"Call Me Ted" by Ted Turner

While Turner has led multiple entrepreneurial ventures, he's perhaps best known as the founder of the first 24-hour cable-news channel, CNN, and as the former owner of the Atlanta Braves.

In his autobiography, he outlines his unconventional path to success, from getting expelled from Brown University to running his father's billboard company to turning a small news station into a media empire.

The book also features personal stories about Turner's relationship with his father and the actress Jane Fonda, all of which paint a full picture of the dynamic billionaire.

Find it here »



"Think Like a Champion" by Donald Trump with Meredith McLiver

"Think Like a Champion" is a collection of the president's essays on personal and professional success.

Each one combines anecdotes from his own experience with inspirational advice on everything from learning from your mistakes to confronting your fears. Acknowledging his own tendency toward self-promotion, he tells readers to "toot your own horn" when you deserve it.

Find it here »



"The First Billion Is the Hardest" by T. Boone Pickens

"The First Billion Is the Hardest" tells the story of how the now 87-year-old chairman of BP Capital Management overcame personal and professional challenges to achieve tremendous success.

The narrative takes readers all the way from Pickens' experience as a "corporate raider" in the 1980s to his late-life rebranding as an advocate for America's energy independence. Each chapter starts with a "Booneism," or a few words of wisdom on winning in life and business. Example: "I learned early on that you play by the rules. It's no fun if you cheat to win."

Find it here »



"Soros on Soros" by George Soros

That Soros survived the Holocaust to become one of the world's most brilliant investors is no small miracle. Readers learn about his career path in "Soros on Soros," which is technically two extended interviews that combine personal anecdotes with theories on finance and politics. 

Soros is honest about his successes and failures as founder and chairman of Soros Fund Management, and is hardly shy about submitting controversial opinions. It's a compelling read, whether you're interested in learning more about Soros himself or global finance and policy.

Find it here »



"Direct from Dell" by Michael Dell

Dell dropped out of college at 19 to found PC Limited, the business that is now Dell Computer Corp. At 27, he became the youngest CEO of a Fortune 500 company.

In "Direct from Dell," the billionaire entrepreneur explains how he grew his business and the theory behind his unique management style. It's an inspiring rags-to-riches story that also offers valuable leadership lessons.

Find it here »



"Built from Scratch" by Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank

In "Built from Scratch," Marcus and Blank chronicle how they changed their fate and turned their dreams into reality. After the two were fired from a home-improvement chain called Handy Dan in 1978, they decided to pursue their idea of creating a discount store. It was called The Home Depot.

The book details the company's founding and growth, and the authors draw on their own experience to provide meaningful lessons for any business leader, including the importance of knowing your customer and giving back to the community.

Find it here »



"What I Know for Sure" by Oprah Winfrey

Few people have a better understanding of passion and dedication than Winfrey. Born into poverty, she launched a career as a talk-show host, actress, and media mogul.

"What I Know for Sure" is a collection of her columns in O, the Oprah Magazine. Each one offers a different life lesson on topics including joy, gratitude, and power, often based on her personal experience.

Find it here »



"Ralph Lauren" by Ralph Lauren

Fashion designer Ralph Lauren grew up as Ralph Lipschitz, the son of Jewish immigrant parents living in the Bronx. The idea for Polo Ralph Lauren was born when he attended a polo match as a young man and was captivated by "high society" style.

In his autobiography, he shares his personal history, the inspiration behind his work, and beautiful photographs.

Find it here »



"Steering Clear" by Peter G. Peterson

At 89, Peterson has had a long and storied career, which includes stints as US secretary of commerce, chairman and CEO of Lehman Brothers, and cofounder of private-equity firm Blackstone Group.

He's also the founder and chairman of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, which focuses on raising awareness about fiscal challenges that the US faces.

In "Steering Clear," published in 2015, Peterson makes the case that we need to take immediate action to reduce long-term debt in the US, projected to hit record highs in the near future. He juxtaposes prose with charts and graphs that illustrate the issue, and offers potential solutions to the problem, including closing loopholes in the tax code.

In the book's introduction, Peterson explains why addressing this issue isn't just economic good sense: "This country has given my family and me — and millions of others — unequaled opportunities to dream and to prosper. And together we have a profound obligation to try to pass on the same opportunity to future generations."

Find it here »



"Simply Rich" by Richard DeVos

DeVos' rags-to-riches autobiography details his transition from Depression-era Michigan schoolboy to multibillionaire cofounder of direct-selling company Amway.

The book weaves together stories about DeVos' personal and professional lives, focusing in particular on the way his Christian upbringing and values paved the way for his success.

Impressions of Amway as a company are mixed — it's been the subject of investigation for having a pyramid-like structure, although the Federal Trade Commission has ruled that the company's activities are legal. But as one fan of the book says, "Whether you like the company or not, you can't argue DeVos' inspiring story."

Find it here »



"How Did You Do It, Truett?" by S. Truett Cathy

To many Americans, Cathy's invention of the chicken sandwich and founding of fast-food chain Chick-fil-A make him a modern hero.

In "How Did You Do It, Truett?" Cathy, who died in 2014, describes his rise to success, starting from the days when he worked behind the counter at the Dwarf Grill in Georgia.

At 95 pages, it's a relatively short read, and the book includes a number of inspirational business and leadership lessons for aspiring entrepreneurs.

Find it here »



"Charles Schwab's New Guide to Financial Independence" by Charles Schwab

According to Schwab, founder of Charles Schwab Corp., anyone can be a wise investor. All you need to do is learn the basics and apply them in an investing strategy.

In "New Guide to Financial Independence," a revised edition of a book published in 2007, Schwab teaches readers how to set investment goals, monitor their performance, and plan for retirement. His main argument is that, when it comes to investing, doing nothing is the worst thing you can do.

While the lessons in it are applicable to anyone, the book is a helpful road map for beginning investors, breaking down complicated concepts into simpler pieces.

Find it here »



"Fooling Some of the People All of the Time" by David Einhorn

In this book, Einhorn tells his side of a six-year financial saga.

Here's the short version:. In 2002, Einhorn, founder of Greenlight Capital, thought he'd uncovered flawed accounting practices at Allied Capital and started short selling Allied's stock. That didn't work, as the stock climbed. Einhorn tried to expose Allied's unethical behavior, even approaching the US Securities and Exchange Commission, but the SEC ended up investigating him as well. Ultimately, Allied settled with the SEC in 2008 and the accusations were never substantiated.

The book is heavy on detail, and one critic says that some parts read like Einhorn's angry rant. But it nonetheless offers some compelling insights into the general drama that often unfolds on Wall Street.

Find it here »



"Margin of Safety" by Seth Klarman

 

Instead of succumbing to the latest trends, Klarman, CEO and president of the Baupost Group, encourages readers to understand the rules and logic behind investing.

Specifically, he advocates and explains the rationale behind value investing, a method developed by Benjamin Graham that involves investing in securities trading at a price lower than their intrinsic value. The book takes its title from Benjamin Graham's advice to always invest with a margin of safety.

"Margin of Safety," no longer in print, now sells for as much as $1,000 on Amazon.

Find it here »



"Made in America" by Sam Walton

"Made in America," by the founder of Walmart, is one of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' favorite books.

Readers get a glimpse into both Walton's personality and the effort it took for him to build what is now the largest retailer in the world.

One reader calls the book "wonderfully folksy" — others say it's solid inspiration for those looking to start their own business.

Find it here »



"Shoe Dog" by Phil Knight

Nike cofounder Knight retired as the chairman of Nike in June 2016. In "Shoe Dog," published April 2016, he tells the fascinating story of how he built the world's biggest athletic company.

Knight takes readers along on his personal journey to success, starting from his pivotal decision at age 24 to go the entrepreneurial route instead of joining the corporate world.

Longtime venture capitalist Brad Feld calls the book the "best memoir I've ever read by a business person" and a "must read" for any founder.

Find it here »



"Behind the Cloud" by Marc Benioff

This 2009 book details how Salesforce's founder, chairman, and CEO launched the cloud software company, now worth roughly $50 billion, in 1999.

Woven throughout the story are some 111 of Benioff's management tips, from "integrate philanthropy from the beginning" to "have the courage to pursue your innovation — before it is obvious to the market."

In January 2016, Benioff suggested in a Tweet that he might be working on a sequel: "Beyond the Cloud."

Find it here »



"How Google Works" by Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg

In 2014, Eric Schmidt, Google's executive chairman and former CEO, and Jonathan Rosenberg, former senior vice president of products, published this compilation of insights from their experience building the company.

Readers learn the meaning and importance of "smart creatives," and some anecdotes from Google's previously untold history.

Business Insider published a slide presentation that Schmidt and Rosenberg put together highlighting the book's key takeaways. Those include: "We quickly learned that almost everything we know about managing businesses was dead wrong," and "Never forget that hiring is the most important thing you do."

Find it here »



"Principles" by Ray Dalio

Billionaire investor Ray Dalio is known for his "principles" on everything from power dynamics to calling for "reform capitalism" in America.

His best-selling book, "Principles: Life and Work," elaborates on the core philosophies and the lessons throughout a more than 40-year career — from building the world's largest hedge fund to now passing on what he's learned.

Find it here >> 

Sherin Shibu contributed to an earlier version of this post. 



How to get a second passport in the Caribbean

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Kittian Village, St. Kitts

  • Before the pandemic, travelers with a US passport enjoyed visa-free access to a whopping 185 countries. 
  • Now, the status of the American passport is slightly diminished as more and more countries turn away people from the US due to the country's high infection rates.
  • Five Caribbean countries — St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, Dominica, Grenada, and Antigua & Barbuda — offer citizenship through investment programs for $150,000 or less, plus filing and processing fees.
  • Here's how you can get a second passport for those five Caribbean countries.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

At the beginning of 2020, the US passport enjoyed a relatively high ranking on the Henley Passport Index, an annual report that ranks the strength of passports based on how many countries it grants holders visa-free access to. A person with US citizenship could gain visa-free access to 185 countries.

The coronavirus pandemic has changed that. Now, the US passport is rapidly losing some of its status. In July, CNN reported that the US passport is about as powerful as the Mexican one, which is currently ranked 25th in the world and allows visa-free entry to 159 countries.

For US citizens looking to explore secondary passport options, Caribbean countries present an appealing opportunity. Of the 13 Caribbean countries, it's possible to obtain citizenship for the cost of $150,000 or less in five of them: St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, Dominica, Grenada, and Antigua & Barbuda.

The Dominican Republic offers the next-most-affordable option for people seeking second passports; permanent resident status there can be obtained through an investment of $200,000 in a local business.

For comparison, as of November 2019, obtaining an EB-5 immigration visa to the US could set you back by about $1.8 million. 

Jennifer Malin, an attorney and citizenship-by-investment expert based in St. Kitts and Nevis, told Business Insider that since the beginning of the pandemic, she has seen has an increase in interest from US citizens exploring second citizenship options.

"There's recently been an increase in applicants that are applying, particularly because they lowered the price for a family of four, and many of the citizenship programs have made changes to their programs that are more beneficial to applicants," Malin told Business Insider. The amount was reduced to $150,000 from almost $200,000 in July 2020.

How to get a second passport

Paddy Blewer, Public Relations Director with Henley & Partners, told Business Insider that one of the first steps in obtaining a passport via a citizenship-by-investment program in the Caribbean is proving that you have the capital to make that investment. Applicants will also have to go through a rigorous background check.

The result, Blewer said, is that applicants tend to be wealthy.

"Almost certainly the people that acquire alternative citizenship are quite wealthy because you're talking about having at least just over a hundred thousand us dollars to make this investment, at the very least," Brewer said. "The reality is, is it may well be more because it won't necessarily just be for you. So it very quickly racks up into early six figures."

The whole process takes two to three months. 

Citizenship by investment is not the only way to get a second passport, however. You can also become a citizen through descent, marriage, and naturalization. 

Here's everything you need to know if you're thinking of getting second citizenship in St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, Dominica, Grenada, and Antigua & Barbuda. Note that the US and each of these five Caribbean countries allows dual citizenship, which means you do not have to give up the passport of one country in order to become a citizen of the other.

SEE ALSO: 9 countries where you can buy a second passport — and what it'll cost you to secure it

DON'T MISS: Caribbean countries are selling citizenship for as low as $100,000 — here's how the ultra-wealthy are cashing in to avoid pandemic travel restrictions

How to become a citizen of Dominica

Passport Rank:38 (per Henley Passport Index)

Visa-Free Access: 140 countries

Citizenship by investment: Dominica's citizenship-by-investment program includes a $100,000 contribution to the National Transformation Fund or a $200,000 real estate investment. 

Dominica offers citizenship by four other possible avenues— birth, descent, marriage, and based on the number of years someone has lived in the country.

  • Anyone born in Dominica — whether their parents are citizens of Dominica or not — are granted citizenship.
  • You're also eligible to apply for citizenship if you were born abroad to parents who're citizens.
  • Anyone who has been married to a Dominica citizen and has lived with them in the country for at least three years with work and residence permit is eligible to apply for citizenship. 
  • People who have lived in the country for at least five years can apply for a passport and citizenship.


How to become a citizen of Grenada

Passport Rank:35 (per Henley Passport Index)

Visa-Free Access: 143 countries countries

Citizenship by investment: You can gain citizenship-by-investment in Grenada by either making a contribution of at least $150,000 to the National Development Fund or investing in real estate for at least $350,000. For a family of four, the required contribution to the National Development Fund increases to $200,000.

There are a few different options available if you're interested in becoming a citizen of Grenada 

  • People born in the country after February 5, 1974, are automatically citizens of Grenada. This doesn't apply to children born to diplomats. 
  • You might be eligible to claim citizenship if you were born to parents who are citizens of Grenada. 
  • The spouse of a citizen of Grenada is also eligible to apply for citizenship, as long as they were married after February 5, 1974.
  • For people interested in naturalization, you are required to have lived in Grenada without a break for at least a year before applying and for an additional four years before that for citizens of Caribbean countries and seven years for citizens of non-Caribbean countries.


How to become a citizen of St. Lucia

Passport Rank:33 (per Henley Passport Index)

Visa-Free Access: 146 countries

Citizenship by investment: You can participate in the country's citizenship-by-investment plan by contributing $100,000 to the National Economic Fund. Gaining citizenship through investment is also open to those who choose one of the three following investment options — $300,000 in real estate, $3.5 million in an enterprise project that creates jobs, or half a million dollars in no-interest bearing government bonds.

Nestor Alfred, the CEO of St. Lucia CIP, told Business Insider that they get around 200 applications each year and they haven't seen any increase in applications from Americans during the pandemic. 

St. Lucia also grants citizenship through birth, descent, marriage, naturalization, and investment. 

  • People born in St. Lucia are automatically granted citizenship.
  • You are eligible to apply for citizenship if one or both of your parents are citizens of the country.
  • Spouses of citizens of St. Lucia can apply to become citizens themselves.


How to become a citizen of Antigua & Barbuda

Passport Rank: 29 (per Henley Passport Index)

Visa-Free Access: 151 countries

Citizenship by Investment: You can gain citizenship by making a contribution to the National Development fund at the cost of $100,000 for one person or a family of four under the citizenship-by-investment program. The citizenship-by-investment program also includes buying approved real estate for at least $400,000 or buying a business for at least $1.5 million.

The department that oversees immigration to Antigua & Barbuda says that anyone who has lived in the country legally for at least four years or has been married to a citizen for over a year can apply to become a resident. 

There are a couple of different ways to gain citizenship to Antigua & Barbuda: 

  • Anyone who was born in the country before November 1, 1981, is automatically granted citizenship by birth. People born after that cutoff date might also be eligible but this does not apply to children of diplomatic personnel. 
  • You are also eligible to apply for citizenship if you were born outside the country before November 1981 but had a parent or grandparent who was an Antiguan citizen. For those born after that date, you need at least one parent who was a citizen in order to qualify.
  • Spouses of citizens who've been married for three or more years and commonwealth citizens and other people living in the country for at least seven years.


How to become a citizen of St. Kitts and Nevis

Passport Rank:26 (per Henley Passport Index)

Visa-Free Access: 156 countries

Citizenship by investment: A citizenship-by-investment to the country requires at least $150,000 in contribution to the Sustainable Growth Fund and a $200,000 investment in real estate.

A person might also be eligible to apply for citizenship for St. Kitts and Nevis through birth, descent, and marriage, with the cut-off date of September 19, 1983, determining eligibility in a lot of these cases. 

  • A person born in the country after the cut-off date is automatically granted citizenship.
  • You're eligible to apply for citizenship if one or both of your parents are citizens.
  • Those married to a citizen of St. Kitts and Nevis are eligible to apply — there is no waiting period.


$600 million in sales before 30: A top-ranked real-estate agent who's just 28 years old breaks down his 5 key success secrets

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  • Jonathan Spears is one of the top real-estate agents in the country and just 28 years old, with over $600 million in career sales.
  • He manages a team of seven and works primarily in the high-end market in northwest Florida. His team has more than $121 million in sales this year. 
  • In an interview with Business Insider, he broke down five things that are critical to success.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Jonathan Spears is no ordinary real-estate agent. 

At just 28 years old, he has over $600 million in career sales and was named one of 2020's top 100 brokers in the country by Real Trends. The agents were ranked by volume.

Even when he was younger, Spears was a go-getter. At 14 years old, he enrolled in college at Florida State University. He then began his real-estate career in 2010 at 18 and has spent the past decade building his expertise in northwest Florida.

Spears, an agent for Sotheby's International in Destin, Florida, leads a team of seven and has had a promising 2020 — despite the coronavirus pandemic — with more than $121 million in sales year to date.

In an interview with Business Insider, he laid out five things that can help you in your day-to-day successes. 

1. Exercise

Now more than ever, it is important to take care of our bodies and our mental health. For Spears, exercising has been an "incredible outlet."

"When the pandemic hit, we couldn't go to the gym," he told Business Insider. "So I'm outside running, trying to take advantage of the fresh air." 

2. Make sure to schedule and time block

This is such a simple thing when it comes to business, Spears said, but it's also important to schedule and time block on a personal level. 

Spears practices this by setting time aside to spend with his family, he said, whether it's dinner with his wife or quality time with his daughter. 

"We give our time away to our clients all day. But on a personal level, how do we manage those relationships to the best of our ability? And that's by scheduling time," he said. 

3. Stay in touch

During these uncertain times, Spears said it was more important than ever to maintain personal relationships with clients and friends. Before the pandemic, we could hop on a plane and see people face-to-face, but that's just not in the cards these days. So calling, videoconferencing, and emailing are all key ways to keep those long-distance relationships strong. 

"Leveraging technology in a way to stay in touch with people personally has been huge," Spears said. 

4. Hire to your weaknesses

"I'm very outgoing. I want to be in front of people. I do not want to sit in front of a computer all day and work on systems and processes," Spears said. "But it's systems and processes that help me properly manage not only all of the relationships that I have, but my team's."

So Spears hired an assistant, who has been with him for five years, to handle the data side of things so he can be out networking. He also hired a team manager who focuses on team production.

"He is paramount to being able to help our team members while I'm out there producing," Spears said.

5. Identify and work with the right leadership

Developing market expertise is the key to getting hired, Spears said. One way to gain that key knowledge is to join a team.

"Try to nestle yourself under the market leader or a market leader. That knowledge and understanding is why somebody will hire you," he added. "I was working as an assistant for $10 an hour for the first two years of my career. That time frame was paid education. I couldn't replace it today." 

SEE ALSO: 3 markets in Florida real estate investors should target in 2020, according to a 28-year-old agent with over $600 million in career sales

DON'T MISS: 4 cities where housing prices are most likely to fall in the next year

Join the conversation about this story »

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How to get your start in real estate, from the woman who took top spot at her brokerage with over $75 million in sales less than 4 years after entering the business

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  • Allison Chiaramonte is a real estate agent for Warburg Realty in New York City.
  • She began working in residential real estate back in 2016, and in less than four years was named the number-one producer at her brokerage.
  • In an interview with Business Insider she lays out five pieces of advice for real estate agents who are just getting started.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Real estate agent Allison Chiaramonte began working in residential real estate in New York City back in 2016.

By 2019, she was named Warburg Realty's top producer of the year, with more than $75 million in total sales volume.

Chiaramonte's path to resi real estate was far from traditional. Right out of college, she began marketing for-sale commercial buildings for CBRE. After just under two years there, she pivoted to business school, then to women's fashion, where she worked for roughly five to seven years until she had her first son at the end of 2014.

It wasn't until she was selling her own apartment that the thought of a career in resi real estate came to her. At the time she was debating whether or not to accept a six-month consultant project when her broker told her she had a real knack for representing resi properties. 

Chiaramonte would go on to intern for the team that represented her at Brown Harris Stevens. She stayed with Stevens for about a year-and-a-half before moving to Warburg, as she learned the ropes of buying and selling in New York City and building out her own strategies. 

Eight months later, Chiaramonte scored her first big listing — right after she had her second child. The listing turned into a rental and would mark the first and only deal in her first year as an agent. 

So how did Chiaramonte go from one deal that first year to Warburg's top producer of 2019? She attributed her quick success to, among other things, networking, building a client base, developing patience, having confidence, and having an eagerness to learn.

In an interview with Business Insider, she broke down five pieces of advice for beginner agents looking do to the same. 

1. Be persistent and patient 

This is key, according to Chiaramonte.  

"It takes a long time to get started and I think that people think it will be a quick money-making endeavor, and it's not," she explained. "It's really a full-time job and you have to make yourself available to your clients 24/7."

"It's like a normal job that you'd be working full-time hours, except it's spread out over seven days." 

2. Find a mentor

Learning from someone is very helpful at the beginning, Chiaramonte explained. 

"I learned so much just by watching deals get done," she said. "I always tell people who are starting out, even if they're not financially benefiting from a deal, that you get so much out of watching deals unfold because they always play out a little differently and there is always something to learn."

If you don't know someone right off the bat, Chiaramonte suggests finding industry professionals who model the type of work you plan on doing and offer to do some work for free. 

3. Don't be afraid to talk about real estate during your day-to-day life

"Everyone is interested in real estate," Chiaramonte said. 

Talking about real estate within your friend group or at clubs and organizations you are a part of is a great way to let people know that you are a go-to source to find out information about the market. 

"Just start bringing it up, and don't expect anything at first," she explained. 

4. Develop a thick skin

"In real estate, you're not going to get hired every time," she said.

Things like failing at a pitch, not getting a listing you want, or having people back out of deals is an inevitable part of the profession. 

"Learning to bounce back from that in the beginning was one of the hardest things for me," she continued. 

5. Play to your strengths 

Chiaramonte has a natural knack for designing and had several years of experience in the fashion industry. She told Business Insider that using some of your personal skills is a great way to market yourself. 

For example, Chiaramonte will oftentimes work with clients looking to do a gut renovation because she is able to help them envision what their future home will look like. In addition, she said that she has been a great source for staging and redecorating apartments for open houses. 

SEE ALSO: A top-20 Manhattan broker who sold 4 apartments in the middle of the pandemic takes us inside his daily routine, from 5 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

DON'T MISS: If you want to buy your first house this summer, you may have a fight on your hands. Here's why.

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A 26-year-old real-estate powerhouse with over $12 million in sales last year reveals the strategies he used to get his first clients

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  • Lior Rozhansky is 26 years old and has been working as a real-estate agent for about three years.
  • After he bought his first multifamily property as an investment in 2016, Rozhansky realized his buyer agent had made a good amount of money off the deal — that agent is now Rozhansky's partner at Compass.
  • On a recent episode of the "Real Estate Rockstars" podcast with Aaron Amuchastegui, and in an interview with Business Insider, he shared the strategies that helped him pull in $12 million in sales volume last year — and his team hit $21 million.
  • He said he would scour real-estate forums and make note of people to cold call: "I was doing probably anywhere from two to four hours of calling every single day."
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

At just 26 years old, Lior Rozhansky is a top broker at Compass in the greater Boston area.

On a recent episode of the "Real Estate Rockstars" podcast with Aaron Amuchastegui, Rozhansky dived into how he's been able to climb his way to the top at such a young age. He also discussed his prospecting secrets in greater detail with Business Insider.

Rozhansky has been in the business for three years and comanages a team of four agents in the greater Boston area. Last year, he pulled in $12 million in sales volume, and his team brought in a cumulative $21 million, according to the podcast. He also has a $9 million rental portfolio.

He didn't start out wanting to work in real estate

On the podcast, Rozhansky said it wasn't until he had graduated college and was gearing up for medical school that he started paying attention to the housing market and thought it might be a good investment opportunity.

In 2016, when he acquired his first multifamily property, he realized his buyer agent had made a good amount of money off the deal. Rozhansky decided he would not only invest but also get his agent license.

He told Business Insider he started partnering with the broker who sold him his first investment property. They now comanage the Compass team and invest together. 

Last year, Rozhansky brokered 32 deals, which is equivalent to $12 million in sales, he said. In his first year, he brokered 10 deals. 

Getting those first deals

"Being an investor, I really leveraged that," Rozhansky said on the podcast. He said there were a few ways he sourced deals, which included prospecting and working with investors since it was a trade he was perfecting on the side. 

He said he browsed real-estate investing forums on BiggerPockets and would answer questions posted there by people who lived in the greater Boston area and were looking for investments. These people would then reach out to him.

"I was pretty focused," he said. He set up keyword alerts so that he could be notified every time a new forum was posted and even had a daily alert on his calendar to remind him to check them.

It's all about attitude, he said on the podcast. 

"I was very prospecting-heavy," he said. "I was doing probably anywhere from two to four hours of calling every single day."

He said on the podcast that he'd gather a list of people to call when he had free time throughout the day and track it on Excel. These calls would include expired lists, which consisted of contacting expired listings, properties that haven't been sold by the end of their listing contracts, and circle prospecting, or calling property owners in markets of interest.

In the beginning, he said, it's unlikely that you will have a client database, so cold calls are a great way to get the ball rolling.

"The big thing is just consistency," he said on the podcast. "If you do it every single day, and if you're diligent about follow-up, right, it's going to happen."

He added that sometimes he'd call months after sellers had told him no, and then they'd be ready to work with him.

From 10 deals that first year to a team of 4

Rozhansky ran Business Insider through how his business has grown since that first purchase in 2016.

He now comanages a team of two other agents, which is set to grow. "We've got two agents currently on the team and two more incoming, hopefully within the next month or so," he said. 

He said success comes down to putting in as much effort as possible.

"It's a game of just how much you want it," he said. His advice to agents starting out: "Be prepared to work insanely hard."

You won't always see a reward, and deals are bound to fall through, but if you're consistent, he said the hard work would eventually make the difference.

SEE ALSO: Here are the top 5 cities to look for a cheaper deal on rent

DON'T MISS: 5 books to read if you want to kick off your real estate career

Join the conversation about this story »

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A visit to Amangani last summer — one of the top luxury resorts in Jackson Hole, Wyoming — quickly showed me why it's such a hotspot for wealthy travelers

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Tucked away in the mountains with sweeping views of the Tetons, luxury resort Amangani includes 40 suites that start at $975 per night and go up to $2,100 per night.

The resort hosts corporate retreats for hedge funds, oil and gas companies, and auto companies. According to general manager Stuart Lang, Rolls Royce bought out the entire hotel for three weeks in October 2018 for the launch of its first SUV. Getting married at Amangani costs well over $100,000.

The Jackson Hole, Wyoming, resort is part of global luxury chain Aman Resorts, which is beloved by celebrities and ultra-wealthy. Amangani is just one of just two Aman hotels in the US.

Last summer, I visited Jackson Hole, which has become a ritzy resort town, and got an exclusive tour of Amangani. Here's what it looks like.

SEE ALSO: One of the best hotels in the US is a 147-year-old inn on a secluded island 3 hours from NYC. I visited and found a glaring difference from most other luxury hotels — and that's exactly its appeal.

DON'T MISS: 24 American hotels every luxury traveler should visit in 2019

Amangani is a five-star luxury hotel and resort in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

It's one of two US locations of Aman Resorts, a chain of global luxury resorts beloved by celebrities and the ultra-wealthy.

On a trip to Jackson Hole in July 2019, I drove up to Amangani for an exclusive tour with the hotel's general manager, Stuart Lang.



On a trip to Jackson Hole in July 2019, I drove up to Amangani for an exclusive tour with the hotel's general manager, Stuart Lang.

The hotel is tucked away in the mountains on a private road, about a 15-minute drive from the center of town. Parking is valet only.

Amangani offers a private driver and car service to guests at an additional charge, but many guests opt for taking Ubers and Lyfts, according to Lang.



The hotel's hilltop location offers panoramic views of Jackson Hole and the Teton mountain range.

The name Amangani means "peaceful home" in a mashup of Sanskrit and Shoshone, Lang told me, and the scenic, secluded location certainly seemed to fit that bill.



Almost 90% of Amangani's guests come from around the US.

They come from both coasts, mostly New York and California, as well as Chicago, Dallas, and Atlanta. Amangani has deals with certain airlines to keep direct flights from major hubs to Jackson. 

International guests usually come from the United Kingdom or China, Lang said.



Amangani doesn't have a traditional check-in desk like most hotels.

Instead, guests are led immediately to their suites and the check-in process happens there.

Lang told me this is because they don't want Amangani to feel like a regular hotel. 



The main lounge's high ceilings and expansive windows let in sunlight and views of the surrounding mountains.

The hotel's design is rustic and relatively minimal in order to keep the focus on the natural beauty of its setting, Lang told me.

The lounge features live music on the weekends and roaring fires in the winter. Unlike some other Aman hotels, Amangani's lounge is open to outside guests, which results in many locals coming in for a drink and for the music, Lang said. 



Sustainable meats, fresh fish, and seasonal farm-to-table produce are served are served in the 68-seat dining room.

In the wintertime, Amangani can be bought out for weddings at a price of "well over $100,000" for a couple of days, Lang said. 

The hotel also hosts corporate retreats for hedge funds, oil and gas companies, and auto companies. In October 2018, Lang said, Rolls Royce bought out the entire hotel for three weeks for the launch of its first SUV.



Outside the main lounge is a spacious terrace, but Amangani's standout feature is its heated, 377-square-foot outdoor infinity pool.



Aman Resorts are known for their wellness programs, and Amangani is no exception.

The spa area includes four treatment rooms, two exercise studios, and his-and-her steam rooms.



The hotel's redwood-lined exercise studio is open 24 hours a day.

It comes with weightlifting and cardio equipment, including a Peloton bike. 



In the bathrooms, guests can find a steam room, showers, and lockers.

Spa treatments range from deep tissue massages to Himalayan salt scrubs.



Amangani has its own gift shop selling vegan leather bags, apparel, jewelry, and artwork.

Products for sale in the shop include a $95 faux ostrich bag and a $3,700 bison painting.



Amangani's accommodations comprise 40 suites, 29 of which are superior suites. The other 11 suites include end units and units with more spacious rooms, better views, or additional half-bathrooms.

Rates can fluctuate depending on season and availability, but a night in a superior suite (pictured above) costs an average of $975. The other suites range from $1,100 to $2,100 a night on average.



The guest rooms are designed with natural materials like wood and stone, as well as sumptuous textures like faux fur.



The bathroom comes with a deep soaking tub, a separate shower, and a dressing room.



Each suite at Amangani comes with a private patio or balcony.

The room also has its own fireplace.



In addition to its 40 suites, Amangani owns 19 nearby homes, some of which can be rented out for between $6,500 and $9,500 a night.

Some of the homes are inhabited for most or all of the year, Lang told me. Others are second homes that aren't in the rental program, but Amangani maintains them. 

Rapper Kanye West reportedly stayed in one of these homes in 2018, according to The New York Times.



Amangani partners with local businesses to give guests access to a range of outdoor activities.

Winter activities include skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and riding in horse-drawn carriages.

In the summertime, Amangani can organize excursions for guests to go hiking and mountain biking, ride horses, take scenic helicopter and plane rides, and float over the Tetons in hot air balloons.

Amangani also has in-house naturalists who lead private tours of the nearby Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks.



Amangani is closed in April and November, but the winter holidays are among the busiest times for the resort, according to Lang.

In the winter months, guests can take free Amangani shuttles to the world-class skiing at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, about a 20-minute drive away.

Amangani offers a private ski lounge at the ski resort with a ski concierge, equipment storage, and snacks and beverages.



After my tour of Amangani, it was clear that the luxury resort delivers on two major preferences of affluent travelers today: experience and privacy.

As Business Insider's Lina Batarags previously reported, wealthy travelers are increasingly interested in unique, tailored experiences, as well as wellness amenities, which dovetails perfectly with Amangani's numerous adventure offerings and spa treatments.

And Amangani's secluded location on a private mountain road in the least populated state in America certainly gives well-off travelers the privacy they crave. 



A sprawling estate in San Diego with a life-size chess board, waterfall, and Egyptian-themed movie theater is selling for $2.5 million — take a look inside Rancho Magdalena

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  • A 30-acre California estate deemed an "entertainer's paradise" by Sotheby's is selling for $2.5 million.
  • Known as Rancho Magdalena, the estate is located an hour north of San Diego in Valley Center.
  • It consists of an eight-bedroom main house as well as two greenhouses, a solar-paneled garage, and multiple athletic courts and recreation areas.
  • Take a look inside the private entertainment complex, which comes with an Egyptian-themed movie theater, waterslide, and life-size chess board.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

SEE ALSO: A husband and wife in the Hudson Valley convert vintage Airstreams into modern tiny homes and name them after famous women like Dolly Parton. Take a look inside 'Roberta,' their latest renovation.

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A 30-acre California estate known as Rancho Magdalena is selling for $2.5 million.

Ray Stendall of Pacific Sotheby's International Realty represents the listing.

Source: Pacific Sotheby's International Realty



Dubbed an "entertainer's paradise" by Sotheby's, the resort-style estate is located two hours south of Los Angeles in northern San Diego.

Source: Pacific Sotheby's International Realty



In addition to the eight-bedroom main house, the property includes two green houses, a garage covered in solar panels, and a dizzying number of recreational facilities.

Source: Pacific Sotheby's International Realty



The main residence sits at the heart of the property and is built in the Spanish architectural style with a clay-tile roof.

Source: Pacific Sotheby's International Realty



Archways, 10-foot ceilings, and wide hallways make the inside feel spacious.

Source: Pacific Sotheby's International Realty



The main floor includes four guest bedrooms, each with its own private bathroom and doors that open up to the outside.

Source: Pacific Sotheby's International Realty



Every room in the house has a view of the surrounding estate.

Source: Pacific Sotheby's International Realty



The kitchen comes with "double" everything: There are two ovens, two islands, two fridges, and two dishwashers.

Source: Pacific Sotheby's International Realty



The formal living room is the central gathering space and features a carved marble-granite fireplace as its centerpiece.

Source: Pacific Sotheby's International Realty



Outside, there are three courtyards for entertaining ...

Source: Pacific Sotheby's International Realty



... and balconies wrap around the entire home.

Source: Pacific Sotheby's International Realty



The two upstairs bedrooms enjoy private balconies with fireplaces.

Source: Pacific Sotheby's International Realty



Residents and guests are not lacking for entertainment. After dinner, they can enjoy cocktails in the copper-ceilinged ballroom ...

Source: Pacific Sotheby's International Realty



... then settle into plush leather couches to watch a film in the multi-level, Egyptian-themed theater.

Source: Pacific Sotheby's International Realty



Guests could spend an afternoon playing racquetball in a professional, air-conditioned court ...

Source: Pacific Sotheby's International Realty



... then head to the downstairs game room to play billiards or shuffleboard followed by a drink at the bar.

Source: Pacific Sotheby's International Realty



Outside facilities include a dedicated basketball court ...

Source: Pacific Sotheby's International Realty



... and bocce courts bookended by rose-covered archways.

Source: Pacific Sotheby's International Realty



For cooling off from the southern California heat, there is a large pool with a slide, waterfall, hidden grotto, and hot tub.

Source: Pacific Sotheby's International Realty



Nearby gardens and pagodas make for a peaceful walk.

Source: Pacific Sotheby's International Realty



To top it all off, residents can play a game of chess on a life-size board.

Source: Pacific Sotheby's International Realty



If buyers wish to expand their hosting capacity, an adjacent 20 acres with two guest houses is also available for purchase.

Source: Pacific Sotheby's International Realty



How old 14 of the world's richest people were when they first became billionaires

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  • Not all billionaires join the three comma club at the same age.
  • Bill Gates may be richer than Mark Zuckerberg, but the Facebook CEO became a billionaire when he was nearly a decade younger.
  • Oprah Winfrey became a billionaire at age 49.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

When Bill Gates became a billionaire in 1987 at 31, he was the youngest person to ever join the three comma club. In 2008, Mark Zuckerberg took that title when he reached billionaire status at 23. 

But not all of today's wealthiest entrepreneurs saw such success at a young age: Larry Ellison was 42 when he made his first million and 49 when his net worth reached the billions.

Using an analysis of the Forbes' 2020 Billionaires List by British sports betting firm OLBG, we've broken out the ages at which Gates, Zuckerberg, Ellison, and 11 more of the world's richest people became billionaires. Here they are, listed in order from oldest to youngest at the time they reached billionaire status.

SEE ALSO: How old 17 self-made billionaires were when they made their first million

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Warren Buffett: 56

Today's estimated net worth: $79.7 billion

The investing legend and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway became a self-made billionaire in 1986 at age 56, Business Insider previously reported. His net worth passed $1 billion after Berkshire Hathaway sold class-A shares for the first time. 



George Lucas: 52

Today's estimated net worth: $5.7 billion

Lucas may be the brains behind two of the most well-known film franchises of our time, but he made most of his money by selling his production studio Lucasfilm to Disney for $4.05 billion in cash and stock in 2012, according to Bloomberg. He first became a self-made billionaire in 1996 at 52.



Carlos Slim: 51

Today's estimated net worth: $51.2 billion

The Telecom magnate became a self-made billionaire in 1991 at 51. Real-estate investments contributed to Slim's fortune. In 2015, he was the second-richest person in the world.



Larry Ellison: 49

Today's estimated net worth: $71.4 billion

The founder of Oracle became a self-made billionaire in 1993 at 49, Business Insider previously reported. Since stepping down as Oracle's CEO in 2014, Ellison has earned a reputation as a jet-setting, yacht-racing playboy. 



Oprah Winfrey: 49

Today's estimated net worth: $2.5 billion

The media mogul and queen of daytime television became a self-made billionaire in 2003 at 49, per Forbes. Winfrey's media empire led her to become the first Black female billionaire in history, Business Insider previously reported.



Meg Whitman: 42

Today's estimated net worth: $5.1 billion

The former eBay and Hewlett-Packard CEO and current Quibi CEO became a self-made billionaire in 1998 at 42. Whitman's net worth exceeded $1 billion after she took eBay public, per Forbes.



Sir Richard Branson: 41

Today's estimated net worth: $4.6 billion

Britain's high-profile billionaire earned his first billion in 1991 at 41, per Forbes. The Virgin Group founder became a self-made billionaire thanks to the success of his many companies — he has overseen approximately 500.



Elon Musk: 41

Today's estimated net worth: $68 billion

The cofounder of PayPal and Tesla Motors and founder of SpaceX reached self-made billionaire status in 2012 at 41 as the value of Tesla's stock soared, per Forbes.



Mark Cuban: 40

Today's estimated net worth: $4.2 billion

The "Shark Tank" investor and Dallas Mavericks owner became a self-made billionaire in 1998 at 40, per Forbes. Selling his first company, Micro Solutions, made Cuban a millionaire — selling his second company, Broadcast.com, made him a billionaire.



Jeff Bezos: 35

Today's estimated net worth: $188.1 billion

Amazon's founder and CEO became a self-made billionaire in 1999 at 35, when the value in Bezos' Amazon shares catapulted him from millionaire to billionaire status. Bezos, now 56, later became the world's first centibillionaire, Business Insider previously reported.



Bill Gates: 31

Today's estimated net worth: $113.5 billion

The Microsoft cofounder and noted philanthropist, now 64, became a self-made billionaire in 1987 at 31. When the value in Gates' shares surpassed $1 billion, he became the youngest billionaire ever at the time, Business Insider previously reported. 



Larry Page: 30

Today's estimated net worth: $66.8 billion

Google's cofounder, now 47, joined the three comma club in 2004 at age 30, when the company's IPO sent Page's net worth over $1 billion for the first time.



Evan Spiegel: 25

Today's estimated net worth: $4.5 billion

The Snapchat cofounder and CEO became a billionaire in 2015 at 25, when the value in Spiegel's Snapchat shares reached $1 billion, making him one of the youngest self-made billionaires. Spiegel is now 30, per Forbes.



Mark Zuckerberg: 23

Today's estimated net worth: $99.6 billion

The Facebook cofounder and CEO became a billionaire at age 23 after the social network's IPO in 2008, making Zuckerberg the youngest self-made billionaire in history at the time.



Plastic partitions, temperature checks, and socially distanced classrooms: How countries are reopening schools following coronavirus closures

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Norway school reopening - April 2020

  • Coronavirus lockdown measures have partially or fully closed schools for over 60% of the world's student population across 186 countries and territories, according to UNESCO
  • After closing schools to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, a handful of countries like Denmark and Japan have started reopening them.
  • Reopening strategies range from keeping windows open for ventilation to spacing desks six feet apart and resuming classes for students of a certain age.
  • Here's a look at the countries and provinces that have reopened schools so far.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

As a new academic year begins, schools in parts of the US are reopening, with some leading to new coronavirus outbreaks, Business Insider's Susie Neilson previously reported. Neilson wrote that as of August 6, the US was seeing a weekly average of more than 50,000 cases per day.

Across the globe, countries have reopened schools with coronavirus-era safety measures in place, like wearing masks and social distancing.

SEE ALSO: Photos of Danish children returning to school while staying six feet apart highlight the country's cautious approach to lifting its lockdown measures

NOW READ: Photos of crowded cafés and parks show what life is like in Sweden, one of the only European countries not under strict lockdown during the coronavirus outbreak

Schools are reopening in parts of Europe and Asia, with some dropping social distancing measures that limit full-time schooling like scattered attendance, The Washington Post reported.

While reopened schools have been mostly successful in avoiding any further coronavirus outbreaks among younger students so far, as The Washington Post story stated, doctors and public health officials warn that there is still a lot we don't know about how the virus spreads in schools, and asymptotic children aren't likely to be tested.



While some schools in China began reopening in March, some closed again in June and July amid new outbreaks.

In late January, China instituted a lockdown for the 11 million residents of Wuhan, where the novel coronavirus outbreak originated. Fifteen other cities soon followed, and at its peak, China's quarantine extended to 20 provinces and regions, according to the Wall Street Journal. Due to lockdown measures, some 200 million students transitioned to online learning in February, the Washington Post reported.

On March 18, China reported no new local coronavirus cases for the first time since the outbreak and has gradually lifted restrictions in the weeks since.

While schools in nine mainland provinces reopened for graduating students in early April, according to the South China Morning Post, UNESCO's data shows that most schools remained closed in larger regions. High school seniors in Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou returned to school on April 27 to prepare for their college entrance exams.

BBC reported that China's Ministry of Education is requiring that students have their temperatures checked at school entrances and that they display a "green" code of health via China's smartphone health code program.

Schools in Beijing closed again in response to another outbreak, The New York Times reported on June 16, after almost two months without any new cases, per U.S. News. Less than a month later, Beijing Municipal Health Commission reported only one new case. The June outbreak consisted of more than 328 new cases and no deaths, TIME reported

A month later, Beijing announced when students will return to school, per Xinhua News Agency. High school seniors will begin on August 29, while elementary and middle school students will return on three different dates — August 29, September 1, and September 7. Kindergarteners will go back to school on September 8 and September 11.  



Taiwan reopened schools on February 25 after extending winter break by ten days.

After learning of the coronavirus outbreak, Taiwan took swift action to contain its spread.

Taiwan never officially closed schools but did extend winter break by 10 days in February in order to disinfect education facilities, distribute medical supplies, and implement new procedures for schools with confirmed coronavirus cases.

Schools now conduct temperature checks, and some have employed plastic tabletop desk partitions as an added security measure. 



Schools in Japan reopened in early April for the new school year.

On February 27, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe urged elementary, middle, and high schools across Japan to close beginning March 2 until the start of the new school year in early April to prevent the spread of the virus.

Abe did not issue specific guidance for universities, most of which were on spring break as they follow a separate semester system.

On March 24, Japan announced that it would not extend its school closure recommendation, leaving the decision of when and whether or not to reopen to local municipalities based on the number of coronavirus cases in the area. The Ministry of Health also released guidelines for school reopening which include opening windows to ventilate classrooms, maintaining physical distance, checking temperatures daily, and wearing face masks.

"The circumstances of each area is different, and it will be much more effective to judge based on the actual ground situation rather than dictating a policy measure nationwide," Education Minister Koichi Hagiuda told the Straits Times.

This could be due in part to the national state of emergency that Abe announced on April 16 following a rise in new infections. The state of emergency gives leaders of Japan's 47 prefectures, or administrative regions, the authority to request school closures and ask residents to stay home. 

Many schools in Japan reopened on May 18 after Abe lifted the state of emergency in 39 prefectures, per Japan Times. New coronavirus-era safety measures included things like staggering attendance and shortening the school day.

On the same day, The Washington Post reported that schools also implemented measures like spreading out desks, checking temperatures, and disinfecting students' hands.

Abe lifted the state of emergency in the last areas that it was still implemented, including Tokyo, on May 25, per NPR. A couple of weeks later, The Post reported that more schools in Japan had reopened with measures like having parents record their kids' temperatures for a health report before class.

On July 11, The Post reported that many schools that reopened in May were no longer implementing staggered attendance.

Across the country, schools are shortening summer break to make up for lost learning time, The Japan Times reported on August 7.

 



On April 15, Denmark became the first European country on lockdown to reopen its schools, beginning with children in daycare and grades 1 through 5.

Denmark's youngest students returned to school in April as part of Denmark's plan to gradually reopen the country following a decline in the rate of new infections.

While classes have resumed, schools have placed desks six feet apart and staggered student arrivals, among other measures, in order to adhere to social distancing guidelines still in place.

Denmark announced its first lockdown measures on March 11 before the country reported any coronavirus deaths and closed schools on March 16. 

Five weeks after students returned to school, Peter Andersen, an infectious disease epidemiology and prevention doctor, told Reuters that reopening didn't exacerbate the virus.

Some students between 12 and 16 years of age returned to school on May 18 with guidelines like washing hands every two hours and surfaces twice a day, per The Local.



Norway began reopening its kindergartens on April 20, followed by primary schools for children in grades 1 through 4 on April 27.

Norway closed schools on March 12 and, like Denmark, has sent its youngest students back to class ahead of older pupils due to a decline in the rate of coronavirus transmission.

"Together we have taken control of the virus, therefore we can open up society little by little," Prime Minister Erna Solberg said during a news conference in early April.

To encourage social distancing, the government has urged schools to divide classes into groups of no more than 15 and have children wash their desks daily, among other precautions. 

Middle and high schools reopened on May 11, per Reuters.

 



Germany reopened high schools on April 20 to high school seniors. In August, much of Berlin went back to class with fack masks.

Select high schools across Germany reopened in April so that seniors could take their final exams.

Most schools and daycares across Germany's 16 states have been closed since mid-March during which time the country has achieved "fragile intermediate success" in reducing the spread of the virus, Chancellor Angela Merkel said earlier this month.

As part of Germany's plan to gradually lift its lockdown following, Merkel recommended that schools begin the process of reopening on May 4, giving priority to graduating students.

Following a spike in coronavirus cases, some schools and daycares in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia were ordered to close on June 17, per The New York Times.

Nearly 500,000 students in Berlin and millions more across the country returned to school less than two months later, the AP reported on August 9. In Berlin, students are masking up in the halls, but not during class or recess. 

North Rhine-Westphalia schools will reopen for middle and high school students on August 12, per The Local Germany. Students are required to wear face masks in class until the end of August.

At the same time, two schools in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania closed the week of its reopening because of a spike in new coronavirus cases in the region, Daily Mail reported on August 8.



New Zealand schools partially reopened on April 28, and all students were allowed to return to school on May 14.

New Zealand Prime minister Jacinda Ardern eased coronavirus restrictions allowing students to return to school on May 11, per The Guardian.

The country was on coronavirus lockdown from March 25 to April 28, meaning people were ordered to stay at home aside from essential work, grocery shopping, and outdoor exercise, Business Insider previously reported. On April 28, schools partially reopened to children of essential workers, per The Washington Post.

Schools reopened to all students on May 14, per Vox. Schools offered to make accommodations for parents who were concerned with bringing students back at that time.

"We can help you work through a transition arrangement," New Zealand's Ministry of Education stated on May 11.

Three months later, the nation's Ministry of Health reported that New Zealand hasn't seen a new local case of coronavirus in 100 days.

 



After two months of closure, schools in Singapore reopened on June 2.

Singapore closed schools along with most workplaces to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Reuters reported on April 3.

Students in Singapore went back to school on June 2 with new measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, like wearing face masks and having their temperatures checked, per Reuters. At one school Reuters went to, students had staggered recesses and sat far apart in the school cafeteria.

About six weeks later, Bloomberg reported that the schools will quarantine students and teachers if cases arise rather than closing schools entirely. Staggering student's recess and lunchtimes have made this possible. 

"If one student is found to have the virus, their peers will be moved to home-based learning while the rest of the school can continue," Bloomberg's Philip Heijmans wrote.

 

 



Preschools, elementary, and middle schools in France partially reopened in May followed by a wider reopening in June.

France began to reopen preschools and elementary and middle schools in May, per France24.

The schools opened with social distancing measures in place, like assigning only 10 students per preschool class and up to 15 students in all other classes. Attendance was voluntary, according to The Washington Post.

France closed schools on March 17 to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Business Insider's Rosie Perper previously reported.

About a week after 1.4 million students went back to class in May, the country confirmed 70 new cases of coronavirus in schools.

Two weeks into June, France's primary and middle voluntary school attendance policy became mandatory, The Guardian reported, but upper highschools remain closed.

The country hopes to reopen all schools for the upcoming semester around the beginning of September, the AP reported on July 14.



Belgium began partially reopening schools for younger students in May. Elementary schools were fully reopened in June, but in September, schools may be back to a partial reopening.

Primary and secondary schools opened in May to final-year students with social distancing measures in place, Reuters reported on May 13. Everyone over 12 years old was required to wear a face mask, and only 10 students could be in each classroom, per Politico.

Belgium closed schools to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Reuters reported on March 12.

In June, nursery schools were reopened and all elementary school children returned to school without social distancing measures, Politico's Barbara Moens reported.

Since the start of August, the country has seen between 300 and 900 new cases each day. Niel Hens, a biostatistician from Belgium's Group of Experts for the Exit Strategy, recently told Radio 1 that schools may go back to a partial reopening in September based on the country's current coronavirus cases.  Middle and high school students would have staggered attendance while elementary students would all return to school but be limited to lunch and socialization inside their classroom bubble.

 

 



Greece reopened schools for older students in May and younger students in June.

Greece reopened highschools for graduating students in May The National Herald reported. A week later, other highschool and middle school students could return with only 15 students in each class to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Greece reopened elementary schools and kindergartens the following month, per Global Times.

Schools closed in March to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, per Reuters. The closure was initially supposed to last two weeks, but it was extended multiple times, per Greek Reporter and Reuters.

On August 9, Greece reported more than 200 cases in one day, per U.S. News. That's the highest number of new cases the country has reported in a day since the pandemic began. Vassilis Kikilias, the country's Minister of Health, said there will be new measures in place to prevent the spread of the virus soon. 



Albania reopened schools for high school graduates on May 18, and cases are up since schools were set to reopen in September back in June.

Albania reopened its high schools for graduating students in May, per Xinhua News Agency. Students returned to in-person coursework on May 18 until June 5 to prepare for exams. Social distancing measures included having up to 15 students in each class.

Schools have been closed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus since March 9, according to the same source.

While it was initially decided in June that schools would reopen in September, coronavirus cases have spiked since then, Balkan Insight reported on August 7. Five days earlier, the same publication reported that Albania had an average of 100 new cases a day over the last three weeks.



In Belarus, schools reopened on April 20, but students weren't required to attend.

Schools in Belarus only closed for three weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Associated Press reported on April 20. The students' scheduled break was extended by two additional weeks. Students weren't required to return to school, Education Minister Igor Karpenko told the AP.



Israel began reopening schools in May. An order enacted in June requires schools to close if they report coronavirus cases. Schools will reopen in September with coronavirus restrictions.

Schools in Israel began to reopen in early May, NPR reported on June 3. Schools initially opened with smaller class sizes, but by May 17, these measures were dropped. Just two weeks later, Israel saw a spike in cases in schools and ordered all schools with cases to close.

Schools closed on March 13 to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, per The Times of Israel.

Schools will reopen in September for the fall semester, The Jerusalem Post reported on August 10. Older students have to wear masks, but younger ones don't. Some students will attend school full-time and others will attend remote classes, depending on their ages. 



Thailand reopened schools in July, and they're reopening without restrictions next week.

Thailand reopened schools on July 1, per Reuters, with safety measures like temperature checks and makeshift partitions between desks.

Thai schools closed over coronavirus concerns on March 18. 

Next week, schools will reopen without social distancing requirements after the nation went two months without a single local transmission of the coronavirus, Bloomberg reported on August 7.



Austria reopened schools in phases in May.

Austria opened schools to graduating students on May 4 with social distancing measures, per Reuters. Some schools held classes in a gymnasium to allow for social distancing.

Other students between 6 and 14 years old returned to school on May 18. Classes were split in half with scattered attendance to allow for social distancing.

Austrian schools closed in March to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Reuters reported on March 11.



Croatia reopened schools in May, but most coursework remains online.

Schools in Croatia reopened on May 11, but the majority of coursework remains online, per Croatia Week. Younger students have both in-person and online coursework, and older students have online coursework aside from art, lab, and clinical classes.

Croatian schools closed for two weeks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Reuters reported in March. The following month, Lockdown was extended until May, Reuters reported in April.



Vietnam reopened schools in May for younger students.

Kindergarten and elementary schools in Vietnam reopened on May 11, per Reuters, with coronavirus safety measures like temperature checks and shorter school days.

Vietnamese schools remain closed after a holiday break in late January because of the coronavirus pandemic, BBC reported.

The nation recently reported a surge in coronavirus cases after about 100 days of no confirmed cases of local transmission, The New York Times reported on July 29.



Students in Turkmenistan returned to school on April 6.

Turkmenistan didn't close schools entirely amid the pandemic. According to the Washington Post, the country extended its break. Students went back to school on April 6 after an additional week of break, per Chronicles of Turkmenistan.

The country has not reported any coronavirus cases and banned the use of the word "coronavirus," NPR reported on March 31



In Finland, schools reopened in May.

Schools in Finland began to reopen in mid-May with social distancing measures like staggered recess, per France24. Schools closed for children over 10 in March over coronavirus concerns, and students under 10 were advised to stay home too.



Lithuania reopened kindergartens in May. Schools will reopen for the new academic year in September.

Kindergartens in Lithuania began to reopen on May 18, Lithuanian Radio and Television reported. The country closed schools to prevent the spread of the coronavirus on March 12, per Reuters.

The new school year will begin in classrooms on September 1, according to Baltic News Network. In areas where there are at least 16 coronavirus cases per 100,000 people, face masks will be mandatory. In areas where there are at least 25 cases per 100,000 people, schools may shift to remote coursework. 



Some younger students returned to school in Poland at the end of May.

Schools in Poland began to reopen for 7 to 10 year-olds at the end of May with social distancing measures like having only 12 students per class and about five feet between desks, Notes from Poland reported on May 25.

Poland closed schools in March to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Reuters reported on March 11.

In early August, the country saw record-high numbers for new coronavirus cases, according to Reuters.



The Netherlands began reopening elementary schools in May and high schools in June.

Elementary schools in the Netherlands began to reopen on May 11, per Reuters. Schools opened with coronavirus safety measures like staggered attendance and teachers wearing face masks. Schools closed for most in mid-March because of the coronavirus, but some students of essential workers were able to attend.

The following month, highschools began to reopen and elementary schools fully opened, Reuters reported.

While many middle and high school students are expected to return to school in mid-August, 25% of Dutch schools don't have adequate ventilation, NL Times recently reported, making some, like Daniel Bonn, a professor of physics at the University of Amsterdam, concerned about the possibility of the poor ventilation leading to further spread of the coronavirus. Research from the Eindhoven University of Technology backs this. While schools could easily open classroom windows in the summer, the concern is that in the winter, having open windows is not feasible. 



Hungary began to reopen schools in early June.

Schools in Hungary began to reopen on June 2, Xinhua News Agency reported. Schools closed in mid-March because of the coronavirus pandemic. Schools were reopened for small groups, and students weren't required to attend.

About a month earlier, graduating students took exams in-person with social distancing measures like having only 10 students in each room, per Reuters.

Schools are set to reopen on September 1 for the new school year, according to a July Reuters report.

 

 



In the Czech Republic, schools began to reopen in May.

The Czech Republic allowed graduating students to return to school to prepare for exams on May 11, per Brno Daily. The country reopened elementary schools for children in small groups on May 25, but attendance was not mandatory.

Schools will not fully reopen until September, Reuters reported in April. They'll have sanitation regulations in place, per Expats.cz.

Schools were ordered to close indefinitely because of the coronavirus pandemic, per a Reuters report from March 10.



In Portugal, older students returned to high schools in May.

Daycares and high schools reopened in Portugal on May 18. High schools reopened for students in their last two years of coursework. Elementary and middle school students remained remote for the rest of the school year, per France24.

Portugal closed schools in March to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, per Reuters.



South Korea began a phased reopening of schools in May, but many schools were ordered to close again.

In South Korea, the school year begins in March, per Bloomberg. Students didn't return to school because of the pandemic until mid-May. Schools began to open in phases with coronavirus safety measures like temperature checks and staggered attendance, and they were ordered to close again if any students caught the virus.

By the end of May, South Korea put reopening schools on hold because of a spike in coronavirus cases, and hundreds of schools that had already reopened closed again, Business Insider previously reported.

A week later, the country completed its phased reopening of schools, The Tribune reported.



A private island off the coast of Australia was once won in a poker game and sold for $78. Now, it's back on the market asking $17 million — take a look inside

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Pumpkin Island

A 14-acre island off the coast of Queensland, Australia has just hit the market for $17 million, Maggie Hiufu Wong of CNN Travel reports.

Pumpkin Island is just a 30-minute boat ride from Queensland, and is currently owned by Wayne and Laureth Rumble. The couple had been quarantining on the island as the pandemic began sweeping through Australia.

"It was the ideal place to spend lockdown during the pandemic," the couple told CNN Travel. "It is secluded, private and yet you have total freedom to move around, be outside ... our kids were playing in the playground, on the beach and life just felt very normal until we switched on the news."

The luxe island is also known for being a sustainable retreat. It has a resort that runs on renewable energy sources, making use of both wind and solar power systems, and also has a system that can convert rainwater into drinking water.

Whoever buys the island will also get plenty of bonuses: It comes with two ocean-facing bungalows, two registered moors, a helicopter pad, a 36-passenger boat, an oyster bar, a game room, and a library, among others.

Here's a closer look at the eco-retreat and its colorful history.

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Pumpkin Island, a private island just off the coast of Queensland, Australia, has hit the market for $17 million.

The island is currently owned by the Rumble Family, Maggie Hiufu Wong of CNN Travel reported.

The Rumble family bought the island in 2003 for just $909,000. They'd been quarantining on it during the pandemic, but now want to sell the island so they can move closer to their family in New Zealand. 

"We would love to hand the island over to someone who would care for it as much as we do," the couple told CNN Travel. "It is a very special place and ideally, the new owners would find as much joy in the beauty and breathtaking nature as we have."

Source: CNN Travel



The current owners leased the island to a well known Queensland Beer company, which renamed Pumpkin Island to promote its beer, in the early 2010s.

From 2012 to 2013, the island was leased to a beer company that used it to promote the beer Castlemaine XXXX and was subsequently renamed XXXX during those years.

There was a competition tied to the island during this time, and customers who found a golden beer can could win a vacation to the island. 

Source: CNN Travel



The island is known for being carbon neutral and is said to annually offset at least 150% of its greenhouse emissions.

Source:CNN Travel



The relatively small island only spans about 14 acres.

Source: CNN Travel



As part of its sustainability initiative, Pumpkin Island makes use of wind and solar power, in addition to having a system that transforms rainwater into drinking water.

Source: CNN Travel



There are five cottages on the island, which can accommodate as many as 34 guests.

Source: CNN Travel



Each of the cottages has a private deck that overlooks the water.

Source: Pumpkin Island



There are also two bungalows …

Source: CNN Travel



... which both face the ocean.

Source: CNN Travel



There is also a private beach and an oyster bay.

According to the listing, the buyer can purchase an oyster lease, which would allow "guests to shuck oysters off the rocks," separately. The island also has a 36-passenger boat along with two registered moors. 

Source: CNN Travel



True to its nature as an eco-retreat, there's plenty of sea life on the island, including turtles, whales, and dolphins.

Source: Pumpkin Island



And there's no shortage of amenities, like water sports. Pumpkin Island is perfect for paddle boarding and snorkeling.

Source: Pumpkin Island



Pumpkin Island is part of the Keppel Islands and quite close to other islands, meaning you can easily island-hop from one to the next.

Nearby islands include the Conical & Corroboree Islands, the North Keppel Island, the Miall & Middle Islands, Great Keppel Island, and the Humpy & Halfway Islands. 

Source: Pumpkin Island



There's also a helicopter pad, if you feel like flying in rather than arriving by boat.

Source: CNN Travel



Pumpkin Island has a colorful history. Previously, it was owned by the Mason family, who had won it in the 1960s in a poker game.

According to island lore that the Rumbles passed along to CNN's Wong, the island was initially owned by a man named Snigger Findlay and operated as an oyster farm. After Findlay lost Pumpkin Island in a poker game, the Mason family bought the island from him for just $78.

Source: CNN Travel



A Four Seasons in Mexico is setting up 'study cabanas' and hiring a poolside 'screen doctor' in a bid to pull in families during the school year

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beach at Four Seasons Punta Mita Mexico

  • The Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita near Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, is offering a remote learning program for students called "Knowledge for All Seasons."
  • The program offers complimentary Spanish classes, "study cabanas" for rent, and after-school sports like golf or yoga.
  • It also has a "Screen Doctor" to clean students' tech gadgets and study buddies for homework help.
  • Room rates start at around $625 if booked one week out, though they are liable to change depending on the season, length of stay, and type of room.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Schoolwork isn't always fun, but a luxury hotel in Mexico wants to help students make the most of it by setting them up to learn overlooking the pool and beach.

The Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita, just north of Puerto Vallarta on Mexico's west coast, wants to help families take a vacation while kids participate in remote learning with its "Knowledge for All Seasons" program, the resort shared with Travel + Leisure.

As part of the program, the hotel provides everything from complimentary Spanish classes to "study cabanas" for rent — complete with Wi-Fi, a TV monitor, headphones, a portable charger, snacks like popsicles and, of course, ocean views.

"Learning can truly happen anywhere. At Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita, we are here to support kids and parents in this new learning paradigm with educational classes inspired by our destination and caring team members to help kids with their school work," the hotel's general manager, John O'Sullivan, said in a statement. "We have tech amenities and creative work spaces to make learning fun too."

In addition to offering classes, the resort has a poolside "Screen Doctor" who will clean guest's laptops and iPads as well as study buddies to help kids with their homework. And for those who forgot a piece of equipment? The hotel is there for students with printers, larger monitors, portable chargers, headphones, and more upon request.

But learning isn't just about schoolwork: Kids can take advantage of the resort's array of after-school sports, signing up for tennis lessons, golf clinics, or yoga.

And while the kids are off learning, their parents can sit back and relax in a lounge chair under a grass umbrella watching turquoise waves lap against buttery sand.

While Mexico has recorded more than 462,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to Johns Hopkins University, it is one of the countries allowing Americans to travel there this summer. The land border between the U.S. and Mexico will remain closed until at least Aug. 21, but the U.S. State Department lifted its Level 4 Global Health Advisory against international travel on Thursday.

SEE ALSO: 2 Princeton grads just bought out hotels in Hawaii and Arkansas and are betting on college students paying them $15,000 to study in a 'bubble'

DON'T MISS: The coronavirus pandemic is creating 2 major problems in education, but there aren't as many downsides as upsides

Join the conversation about this story »

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Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt's former Beverly Hills estate just sold for 34% of its original asking price. Look inside the home they spent 3 years renovating.

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jen brad beverly hills house

The former Los Angeles home of Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt just sold for $32.5 million in an off-market deal — a 34% discount from its original asking price of $49 million, the Los Angeles Times reported.  

The 12,000-square-foot Beverly Hills home was on the market for over a year. It was first listed for in May 2019 for $49 million and got a $4.5 million price cut in October 2019.

Aniston and Pitt bought the 12,000-square-foot California house for $13.1 million in 2001 from entertainment attorney Ken Ziffren and spent three years renovating it, per Architectural Digest. The home's current owner, hedge-fund executive Jonathan Brooks, bought the home from the actors in 2006 after their divorce, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The home, described by the Journal as a "French Normandy Revival property," has four bedrooms and comes with a swimming pool, ample outdoor space, and a championship tennis court. It was listed by Susan Smith of Hilton & Hyland.

Here's a look inside the $32.5 million home.

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The 12,000-square-foot Los Angeles estate that was once the home of actors Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt sat on the market for over a year.

Originally listed in May 2019 for $49 million, the home got a $4.5 million price cut in October 2019. It just sold in an off-market deal to an unidentified buyer for $32.5 million, per the Los Angeles Times.

The seller was a hedge fund executive who bought the home from the actor couple in 2006.



The house is in Beverly Hills, one of Los Angeles' ritziest neighborhoods.

The area, beloved by celebrities, is about 11 miles from downtown and 13 miles from Los Angeles International Airport.



Aniston and Pitt bought the California house for $13.1 million in 2001 from entertainment attorney Ken Ziffren.

They sold it to Jonathan Brooks, a founder of Smithwood Partners, in 2006 after their divorce.



The four-bedroom house was built in the 1930s, designed by the architect Wallace Neff for Fredric March and his wife, Florence Eldridge, both actors.

Source: Curbed LA



Aniston and Pitt, who owned the home from 2001 to 2006, spent three years remodeling it and lived there for less than two years.

Source: Wall Street Journal



They added a screening room, as well as heated marble floors in the kitchen.

Source: Wall Street Journal



They also created a pub room with wood floors brought in from a 200-year-old château in France.

Source: Wall Street Journal



A marble fireplace anchors the dining room, which can seat 20 people.

Source: Wall Street Journal



The great room features floor-to-ceiling windows ...

Source: Hilton & Hyland



... and opens directly to the backyard pool area.

Source: Hilton & Hyland



Like many Southern California homes, this one was clearly designed to merge indoor and outdoor living.

Source: Hilton & Hyland



The French Normandy Revival-style home, which sits on 1.2 acres, includes a spacious outdoor area for dining and entertaining.

Source: Wall Street Journal



The pool area includes shaded lounge chairs and privacy hedges.

Source: Hilton & Hyland



Brooks added a championship tennis court to the property after buying it from Aniston and Pitt.

Source: Wall Street Journal



While the original $49 million price tag may seem extravagant, it was in line with other home sales in the neighborhood.

Other homes currently for sale in Beverly Hills include a 27,500-square-foot estate with a 98-foot pool that's listed at $69.5 million and a five-bedroom Mediterranean-style mansion for $98 million.

According to The Journal, a neighboring home that once belonged to Danny DeVito sold in 2019 for about $66 million.



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Kylie Jenner just turned 23 years old — and she's already worth $900 million. Take a look at how the mogul built her empire.

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kylie jenner cosmetics ulta

Kylie Jenner, the ever controversial reality star, just turned 23 years old. She's most likely spending it in style — last year she rented a $200 million superyacht to celebrate.

Forbes declared Jenner the world's youngest "self-made" billionaire at age 21, thanks to her makeup company, Kylie Cosmetics. But in a May investigation, Forbes went on to report that Jenner is not, in fact, a billionaire. The magazine said that Jenner has exaggerated the size and profitability of her business and misled Forbes and other publications since 2016.

Jenner founded Kylie Cosmetics in 2015 and claimed to have brought in $400 million in revenue in its first 18 months, per Forbes. In November 2019, Jenner signed a deal to sell a majority stake in her cosmetics company to beauty conglomerate Coty Inc. for $600 million, which valued the company at $1.2 billion. 

But Forbes alleges that the company has never made as much money as the Jenners claimed, and also that her business has suffered during the coronavirus pandemic. A representative for Jenner did not respond to Business Insider's request for comment.

Despite her disputed billionaire status, Jenner has amassed a cosmetics empire, starred alongside her family in "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" as well as in her own spin-off show "Life of Kylie," started a clothing line with her sister, and made millions promoting products on Instagram.

Here are all the ways Jenner has made her millions.

SEE ALSO: Every member of the Kardashian-Jenner family, ranked by net worth

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In March 2019, Forbes dubbed Kylie Jenner, then 21, the world's youngest "self-made" billionaire.

At the time, Forbes estimated that Jenner's company, Kylie Cosmetics, was worth $900 million.

That plus her personal earnings from the company brought her net worth to more than $1 billion, Forbes said.

Many criticized Forbes' decision to call Jenner "self-made," saying she was born into wealth and privilege. Jenner responded to the backlash in an interview with Paper magazine, saying, "The self-made thing is true" and adding that her parents "cut her off at the age of 15." 



A recent Forbes investigation called Jenner's billionaire status into question.

While Forbes reported that Jenner was still the youngest "self-made" billionaire in the world on April 7, a more recent Forbes report released in May contended that the 22-year-old is not, in fact, a billionaire. Per Forbes' new investigation, Jenner and her mother and marketing manager, Kris Jenner, have exaggerated the size and profitability of her business and misled Forbes and other publications since 2016.

But Forbes concedes that Jenner is still a multimillionaire, now pegging her true net worth at $900 million.

At the time, Jenner took to Twitter to slam Forbes' report. "I thought this was a reputable site... all I see are a number of inaccurate statements and unproven assumptions lol. I've never asked for any title or tried to lie my way there EVER. period," she tweeted, also questioning Forbes' "proof" of the claim that tax returns "were likely forged."

"I can name a list of 100 things more important right now than fixating on how much money I have," Jenner tweeted.



Jenner's first job was on reality TV show "Keeping Up With The Kardashians." She was nine years old when the first episode aired and the show is now airing its 18th season.

Source: Business Insider



People reported in 2017 that the family collectively earns about $30 million per season of the show, according to their most recent contract, but it's unclear exactly how much each family member makes.

Source: Business Insider, People



Jenner also briefly starred in her own spin-off show, "Life of Kylie," in 2017.

Source: Insider



In 2013, when Jenner was 15, she and her sister, Kendall, launched a clothing line called Kendall + Kylie for PacSun.

The brand has since expanded to be sold wholesale to 390 locations in the US, including Nordstrom, Topshop, Amazon, and Bloomingdale's, and 975 worldwide.



Jenner has made the bulk of her fortune through her makeup company, Kylie Cosmetics.

The company originally launched as Kylie Lip Kits, not long after Jenner admitted to getting "temporary lip fillers," in 2015.



The company claimed to have sold more than $630 million worth of makeup in its first two years, including an estimated $330 million in 2017.

Source:Forbes



The manufacturing, packaging, and sales of Kylie Cosmetics products are all outsourced to private companies, including Seed Beauty and Shopify.

Source: Forbes

 



And the financial and public relations aspects of the brand are handled by Kardashian-Jenner matriarch and Kylie's mother, Kris Jenner, in exchange for a 10% management fee.

Source: Forbes



In 2018, Jenner claimed that Kylie Cosmetics was on track to bring in more than $300 million in revenue, partially thanks to an exclusive distribution detail with beauty retailer Ulta.

Forbes now says that in reality, financial documents show that the company sold closer to $125 million.



In November 2019, Jenner sold a majority stake in Kylie Cosmetics to Coty Inc. for $600 million, giving the company a $1.2 billion valuation.

Jenner announced at the time that Christoph Honnefelder would assume the role of CEO of Kylie Cosmetics and Kylie Skin. Jenner was previously CEO.

Per Coty's press release announcing the deal, Jenner and her team would continue to lead "all creative efforts in terms of product and communications initiatives," while Coty would lead the portfolio's "overall" development.



Much of Jenner's work on Kylie Cosmetics takes place on social media. She frequently promotes the brand on her personal Instagram account.

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"Social media is an amazing platform," Jenner, who has more than 189 million followers on Instagram, told Forbes last year. "I have such easy access to my fans and my customers."

 

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Source: Forbes



Jenner also has lucrative endorsement deals with Puma and other brands.

Source: Forbes

 



She often endorses products on Instagram from brands including Fashion Nova ...

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... SugarBearHair vitamins ...

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... and Adidas.

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A 2018 report from social media insights firm D'Marie Analytics found that a single Instagram post by Jenner was worth $1 million in advertising.

Source: Insider



Although she has since shut it down, Jenner previously made money from her personal app, which launched in 2015 and made $105,170 on its first day.

The app offered "an exclusive mix of free and premium paid content from Kylie's world, bringing you closer to her than ever before," according to its description.

But at the end of 2018, Jenner announced she would stop posting to the app in 2019.



Despite agreeing to sell the majority of the company last year, Jenner told Forbes back in 2018 that she envisioned herself working there "forever."

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She told the magazine she would perhaps pass the business on to her daughter, Stormi, one day.