Business Factoids Guaranteed to Impress Your Co-Workers

Investing on margin, a nudge to jump-start retirement savings, how ad agencies lost their 15% commission

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As a group, 10,822 investors at a Chinese brokerage, making 39.4 million futures trades over a 3-year period, showed that trading on margin, or with borrowed money:
Nearly doubled profits for the group
Led to poorer results, as some traders suffered costly margin calls
Resulted in returns no better than trading without leverage

2 of 5
In fresh-start research, which aims to encourage self-improving behavior like saving for retirement, which days are considered likelier to help us turn over a new leaf?
New Year’s Day, the first day of spring, our birthday
Thanksgiving, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Valentine’s Day

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Interest rates on loans at Peruvian banks vary widely, prompting even small firms to borrow from distant banks. This practice:
Improves financial stability as a firm’s number of lenders increases
Has no impact on stability but increases paperwork
Reduces stability by fraying loyalty between borrower and its local, longtime bank

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Following the most recent of the 11 recessions since World War II:
Employment levels have snapped back ever-faster, owing to technology and more efficient capital markets
Employment has taken longer to return to pre-recession levels
The pattern across all 11 recessions is remarkably unchanged — one year of recession, one year to regain lost jobs

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Advertising agencies hung onto a lucrative 15% commission structure 100 years longer than they might have because of:
The good looks and persuasive chatter from ad pros like Don Draper
Clients loved the 15% fee and felt they were underpaying
Ad firms, through collusion and barriers to entry erected with the help of newspapers, fought off antitrust litigation for decades

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