Feature

Is Netflix really a 'space' company?

And more of the week's best financial insight

Here are three of the week's top pieces of financial insight, gathered from around the web:

The high cost of insuring your teen We all know accidents and other incidents can push your car insurance premiums higher, said Sarah O'Brien at CNBC. However, according to a recent report from Bankrate, "the most expensive event is adding a teen driver to your policy." That alone raises costs by an average of $1,883, more than the entire annual premium typically paid by drivers nationwide. By comparison, being convicted of a DUI adds $1,662. Getting a speeding ticket adds an average of $355, while being involved in a car accident adds $731. Premiums are also highly dependent on your credit score. "The average annual premium for someone with excellent credit (800 or above) is $1,487." Those with poor credit (below 580) will pay more than twice that amount.

Banks tighten mortgage loan criteria "More home loans are being made than almost ever before," but getting approved for one is proving difficult, said Orla McCaffrey at The Wall Street Journal. Mortgages today "are going almost exclusively to borrowers with pristine credit histories and sizable down payments." More than two-thirds of the mortgages issued last year went to borrowers with credit scores of over 760, and the "median credit score of borrowers approved for mortgages reached 786 in the fourth quarter." The tight lending environment reflected "lenders' concerns about the financial stability of borrowers," especially considering the economic uncertainty amid the pandemic. Home prices have also increased "at the fastest pace in 15 years," making some lenders more "reluctant to take on first-time buyers or others viewed as slightly risky."

Is Netflix really a 'space' company? ARK Invest's new space-themed ETF looks a bit unmoored, said Jamie Powell at the Financial Times. The ARK Space Exploration and Innovation exchange-traded fund, which started trading last week, is purportedly "designed to invest in companies that will benefit from the ongoing attempts to commercialize the void." That sounds mostly like aerospace and satellite businesses, but that's hardly it. Looking at the fund's holdings, we see names like Boeing and Airbus, but also Netflix, John Deere, and, "as its second-largest position, ARK's very own 3D-printing ETF." The criterion for inclusion appears to be "any business that benefits from GPS, the internet, or artificial intelligence." Today, that could be "nearly every business on Earth."

This article was first published in the latest issue of The Week magazine. If you want to read more like it, you can try six risk-free issues of the magazine here.

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