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How not to stress about money



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Anxiety over money is so common in the U.K. that a quarter (23%) of adults say they suffer from mental health issues as a result of worrying about their finances, according to one poll published on World Mental Health day on Thursday.

Four out of five (79%) U.K. adults say they are worried about money, with a third (35%) complaining that financial anxiety weighed on their minds on a daily basis. In fact, 32% said it kept them up at night, according to the poll of 2,000 U.K. adults by mobile bank N26.

However, there are small steps that can be taken to improve financial wellbeing.

From paying off debt to saving for a house, wedding or even a holiday, keeping on top of finances can seem like an overwhelming task. CNBC spoke to the experts for tips on easing the day-to-day stress of managing money.

Start saving

It may seem obvious but starting to save even a small amount of money can create a cushion when those inevitable unexpected costs come along, says Vishal Jain, CEO of financial wellbeing platform FairQuid.

“If you need savings to be something that will happen in the perfect world, when there are no expenses or demands on your income, then that never tends to happen,” he told CNBC. “Life keeps throwing you curveballs.”

He argues that prioritizing putting some money aside for a rainy day can also prevent falling back into a debt longer-term, even if it means it takes a couple more months to pay it off.

To get started, Jain advises setting up a standing order to a separate account on payday before it starts fighting with other demands on your money. To avoid the temptation of dipping into savings, he suggests making it more difficult to access the funds, unless in an emergency, by cutting up the account’s debit card, for example.

Checking if employers offer savings clubs or payroll savings programs as part of their benefits, is another option.

Setting clear objectives, as well as tracking income and expenses, can help with this process, Jane Goodland, corporate affairs director at financial services firm Quilter.

“A driver of anxiety is this sense of a lack of control and a lack of control is driven by a lack of understanding,” she says.

Ask the stupid questions

Similarly, building up knowledge of financial products you currently use, or will use in the future, is another way to regain a sense of control, says Martha Lawton, creator and host of money podcast Squanderlust.

“Don’t be afraid to ask the dumb questions when it comes to money,” she says.

It is the responsibility of companies selling financial products to explain technical terms clearly, Lawton points out.

“If you are speaking to a financial advisor or someone in a bank or another financial provider and they do start to patronize you, or condescend, or can’t explain without using jargon, then that’s a bad sign and you should question if you want to be involved with that business,” she tells Make It.

Talk to someone

Paying off sometimes large debts can seem daunting and was the main concern for a fifth (19%) of 2,000 U.K. adults surveyed on the impact of money on their mental health by bank TSB last week.

Talking to family, friends, or an employer can alleviate this anxiety, says Anthony Morrow, CEO of online financial advice service OpenMoney.

Speaking to an employer is really important, he says, particularly if money worries are affecting your ability to do a job effectively. Even approaching the company you owe money to can help, he says.

“Anyone who owes money to a regulated entity, which most lenders are now, [these companies] have an obligation to look at these things a lot more sympathetically than they have done in recent years,” he points out.

But the trick is to have this conversation early, Morrow adds.

Dealing with debt head-on and being honest about your situation is a must, says Goodland.

“Don’t ignore it or put your head in the sand,” she says. “That debt is not going to go away on its own, it needs to be actively managed.”

Reassess unhealthy relationships

Two-fifths (41%) of those questioned by TSB said not being able to afford the lifestyle they want was their top money worry.

Lawton cautions against caving into pressure created by certain work or social groups, and reassessing relationships that could be detrimental to your money and wellbeing.

“I’ve seen people get into a lot of trouble actually trying to keep up a lifestyle their work is promoting, with work socializing and that can be really destructive because it feels like your career is tied into an unhealthy spending pattern,” she says.

Research by jobs website Totaljobs discovered that the average worker in the U.K. forks out £500 of their own money a year on work-related drinking, adding up to more than £25,000 over the course of their career.

Being selective with work socials can curb costs, she says and if this is not possible, then it might be time to consider if your workplace is really a healthy environment.

The same mantra should be applied to your social circle and friends – and if they are in the same boat they might actually be happy for you to suggest doing more reasonably priced activities, says Lawton.

“The people who care about you will not want you to damage your finances for the sake of hanging out with them,” she comments.

Be realistic about your financial goals

Lawton says thinking of money in absolute terms can be restrictive and ultimately demotivating, so it’s important to accept there is no “silver bullet” to all your financial worries and be realistic about with your goals.

“Tempering your ups so you don’t fall as far with the downs is a really good idea,” she says, while overly strict budgets are unsustainable long-term and leave “no money for any kind of fun.”

Morrow agrees setting an unachievable budget can have a “compounding effect on stress.” Quilter’s Goodland suggests building in rewards to incentivize reaching financial goals.

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Alibaba to close books early for $13.8 billion Hong Kong listing



A logo of Alibaba Group is seen during Alibaba Group’s 11.11 Singles’ Day global shopping festival at the company’s headquarters in Hangzhou, China, November 11, 2019.

Aly Song | Reuters

Alibaba will close its order books to institutional investors early for its upcoming secondary listing in Hong Kong, a sign that demand for shares is strong, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter told CNBC.

The e-commerce giant will close its book at 12 p.m. ET on Tuesday, earlier than initially planned, the sources, who wished to remain anonymous because they are not authorized to speak publicly, said. One of the sources who spoke to CNBC said the book will close half a day earlier than originally scheduled.

An Alibaba spokesperson declined to comment when contacted by CNBC.

“The book is well-covered,” one source said. “The international offering received strong feedback.”

Alibaba got the greenlight from Hong Kong regulators for the secondary listing last week, CNBC previously reported.

News of Alibaba’s plans to close the books early was first reported by Reuters.

The Chinese e-commerce giant will issue 500 million new ordinary shares plus 75 million “greenshoe” options. These give the underwriting banks the ability to sell more shares than the original amount set.

Of those 500 million shares, 12.5 million will be reserved for retail investors. Alibaba has the option to increase the portion available for retail investors to 50 million shares or 10% of the total offering.

The company previously said those retail shares will be priced at no more than 188 Hong Kong dollars (about $24.01). However, the remaining shares for institution investors, could be priced higher than that.

At 188 Hong Kong dollars a share, the total amount raised will be around $13.8 billion if the greenshoe option is exercised.

Alibaba will set the final offer price by Nov. 20 Hong Kong time. Shares of Alibaba will begin trading on Nov. 26.

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Hacked Disney Plus accounts said to be on sale, according to reports



In this photo illustration, the Disney + logo is displayed on the screen of an Apple MacBook Pro computer on November 08, 2019 in Paris, France.

Chesnot | Getty Images

Thousands of Disney+ user accounts have been stolen by hackers and put up for sale on the dark web, according to multiple reports.

Disney+ is the new subscription-based streaming service from Disney that was officially launched last Tuesday.

Just hours after the service was rolled out, hackers hijacked user accounts and were either offering them for free on hacking forums or selling them for prices between $3 to $11, according to investigations by news site ZDNet.

Users said hackers were accessing their Disney+ accounts, logging them out of their devices and then changing the email and password associated with that account, according to ZDNet.

The BBC also reported that it found hacked customer accounts for sale on the dark web.

A spokesperson for Disney told CNBC the company “takes the privacy and security of our users’ data very seriously and there is no indication of a security breach on Disney+.”

It is likely that some users may have used the same email and password for multiple sites, including Disney+, and their credentials could’ve been stolen during previous security breaches at other companies.

But, ZDNet reported users who have used unique passwords also had their accounts compromised.

Disney+ is currently available in a few selected countries including the United States and Canada. It touts an expansive library of content from Disney shows and movies, Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm as well as new original shows being produced for the service, such as the “Star Wars” spin-off series “The Mandalorian.”

It is the latest addition in an increasingly crowded streaming landscape, with the likes of Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and others.

Read ZDNet’s full investigation about stolen Disney+ accounts here.

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A.I. helps in early detection of ovarian cancer, says CEO of health tech firm



Artificial Intelligence (AI) is helping oncologists in the U.K. detect ovarian cancer in patients much earlier than was previously possible, according to the CEO of TPP, a company that provides health-care related software to doctors and nurses.

“So, our AI can now spot (ovarian cancer) in more than 50% of cases up to two years before the doctor,” Frank Hester told CNBC’s Christine Tan at the East Tech West conference in the Nansha district of Guangzhou, China. “The average doctor in a 40-year career sees four or five cases of ovarian cancer.”

By the time a woman finds out she has ovarian cancer, it is usually too late, but late detection can now be eliminated thanks to advancement in health care technology, according to Hester, whose company works with the U.K.’s National Health Service (NHS) which provides majority of health care in England.

TPP has access to more than 50 million medical records of NHS patients. Using that data, the company has built AI programs and the first of it focuses on early detection of ovarian cancer, Hester said.

The Horsforth-based company shares patients’ medical records electronically with doctors and nurses, Hester said, highlighting that they have checks and balances in place to cover for cyber security breaches.

“We pay companies to attack us every year. We actually pay… in every country that we’re working in,” Hester said, referring to ethical hackers — sometimes called “white hats” — who are hired by companies to help boost their defenses against hackers and keep their networks secure.

Countries around the world are relying on digital medical records of patients and using AI in health care for early detection and accuracy of diagnosis, or for administrative tasks such as scheduling patients appointments and staffing tasks, according to a global study done in Singapore by Royal Philips’ annual Future Health Index.

According to the study, health care professionals in China are significantly more likely to recommend patients use digital health technology or mobile health apps to track key health indicators.

“China is absolutely leading the world in AI,” said Hester. “I’ve seen a change over the past 5 years… it’s almost the policy now to do business with foreigners, which is great,” Hester said.

TPP’s health care technology has been used in China since 2013, he added.

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