Feature

Maybe the next winner is Ponzicoin?

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:

Maybe the next winner is Ponzicoin? Speculators are on the hunt for the next digital currency that can soar "to the moon," said Caitlin Ostroff at The Wall Street Journal. With prices soaring for Bitcoin, Ethereum, and even Dogecoin, investors are looking for cheaper alternatives that could skyrocket at any moment. "Their bets, usually fueled by rumors and speculation in online forums and chat groups," are causing alarm among market analysts. But a "fear of missing out" is feeding a buying frenzy, and even celebrities are getting in on the activity. The rapper Lil Yachty has been promoting SafeMoon, a cryptocurrency that "has rallied more than 20,000 percent since its launch in March." The price of VeChain has risen more than 900 percent, "as a wave of new buyers have piled into the crypto project from China in recent weeks."

Insurance telemarketers target elders "Every time you think you've seen every possible way the U.S. health-care system lets people down, along comes some new outrage," said David Lazarus at the Los Angeles Times. This one involves a 76-year-old Alzheimer's patient in California who was convinced to change insurance providers by a commission-driven telemarketer. It's unclear whether the third-party salesperson called her, or she called based on a promotion or ad. Regardless, when her daughter found out, she called the new insurer, Humana. Despite getting documents that "explicitly authorized her to make insurance decisions on her mother's behalf," Humana insisted the documents weren't valid and refused to cancel the policy. It was only after "I reached out to all the businesses involved" that the Humana policy was canceled and the previous coverage restored.

Homebuyers turn to unusual offers The competitiveness of the housing market is forcing buyers to take extreme measures, said Anna Bahney at CNN. "The number of available homes to buy in April dropped by 40 percent from a year ago," driving prices up 20 percent. Many prospective buyers "are offering prices well above what sellers are asking," paying all cash — or going even further to land their dream homes. "One buyer in New Jersey threw in a stay at a Caribbean villa with the offer." Waiving appraisals and contingencies has become common. It pays to try to find out what motivates a seller; the "terms of the sale can sometimes be just as appealing to a seller as a higher price." One example: giving the seller more time to move out.

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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