• Not so long ago, a swimming pool was not much more than a cement swimmin’ hole. It used to be that you’d make a rectangular- or kidney-shaped concrete hole in the ground, fill it with water, and dump in some chemicals. But my how they’ve changed, from contemporary zero-edge pools like those formerly seen only in resorts to pools that imitate wetland ponds. Private swimming pools have become more sculptural and architectural, as seen in  for a luxury residential high-rise. The following collectio

    The following collection shows dazzling outdoor pools, including one belonging to a famous actor/producer, pools with views of oceans and nature, and a few fabulous indoor examples.

  • Global management consulting firm A.T. Kearney takes an annual look at which emerging markets are ripe for retail expansion.  ranks the top 30 emerging countries and grades them on many factors, including an assessment of country risk, population size, wealth as well as the country’s current retail saturation. With anemic growth in the U.S. and Europe, retailers realize that global expansion is more important than ever. This has prompted retailers to search the globe for untapped consumer market

    Global management consulting firm A.T. Kearney takes an annual look at which emerging markets are ripe for retail expansion.

  • Year: 1998-2002This fiscal fiasco was long in the making, but a key ingredient years before the crisis began was the Argentine peso’s peg to the U.S. dollar. In particular, an extremely favorable exchange rate (1 to 1) led to massive imports, which weakened the Argentine economy. Meanwhile, high government debt, both past and present, piled up, but the IMF kept loaning new money to Argentina and postponing payments on the old money.Finally, with the economy shrinking, and the IMF pressuring for

    Concerns about the soundness of the E.U. and its single currency have been roiling financial markets of all kinds on and off for more than a year.

  • Europe’s debt crisis, slowing growth in the U.S. and worries about a hard landing in China. Even if you’ve kept your job this past year, you’ve probably had plenty to worry about. But how about the rising cost of living?According to a new report from human resources firm Mercer Consulting, the cost of living in North American, Asian and African cities has been rising this past year, despite the global slowdown.The study looked at 214 cities worldwide and used New York City as the benchmark. Merc

    Living costs in North American, Asian and African cities has been rising this past year, despite the global slowdown. We look at the top 10 countries with the highest cost of living for expatriates.

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    Although the volatile market environment has provided investors the opportunity to buy some stocks at discount, Cramer warns that some stocks should be avoided for the time being.

  • When most people think of car safety features, what comes to mind is likely airbags, seatbelts, or anti-lock brakes. For the extremely wealthy, government officials, or expatriates living in high-risk areas overseas, something more secure is often needed to ensure their safety. To meet the demand, companies have sprung up around the world to customize vehicles for clientele of this nature, reinforcing and bulletproofing cars and trucks in a practice known as “up-armoring.” One such company is Ho

    To meet the demand, companies have sprung up around the world to  reinforce and bulletproof cars and trucks — a practice known as “up-armoring.”

  • The go-to mental image for summer camps is a group of kids and counselors toasting marshmallows around a campfire in the woods. The rustic, woodsy tradition depicted in “Meatballs” and “Salute Your Shorts” is still a part of many summer camps.But summer camp is no longer just about lakes and lanyards.  If your kid is more about art than camp favorite Color Wars, there’s a place for them. From science, to snowboarding to magic, there’s a place for almost any kid with an itch to explore their favo

    From science to snowboarding to magic, there’s a camp for almost any kid with an itch to explore a favorite topic. This is a list of unusual programs where campers can learn about the deepest seas, the stars and everything in between.

  • The videogame industry might have lost some of its retail strength, but come holiday season, games still regularly top people's gift lists. There's no better place to get a look at what's coming down the road than E3 – but too often, the games that get the bulk of the spotlight won't be out until the following year (or two, or sometimes three). Selecting a "best of show” game is a fool's mission, given the number of titles on display and the limited time to see them all. But it is possible to ge

    We've compiled a list of the games you can expect to be in demand this coming holiday season. Click through to see the hottest games.

  • Take a finely crafted object, add exceptional provenance and the passion of collectors with means and passion—the likes of Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen and actors Richard Gere and Steven Seagal. What do you get? Some of the world’s most expensive electric guitars.Like most collectibles, vintage guitars have lost value since the financial crisis. At an auction this weekend of guitars and equipment that belonged to late legendary guitar innovator Les Paul, the top estimate for a signed 1968 Gib

    Click ahead to see the vintage guitar with the deepest cred —and some of the highest prices paid by enthusiasts.

  • On March 14, a 12-year veteran of Goldman Sachs named Greg Smith quit his job. When he did, he took the extra step of submitting  to The New York Times that detailed his reasons. Titled “Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs,” the article pulled no punches in its description of the company’s environment as “toxic and destructive.”Goldman Sachs Chief Executive Officer Lloyd C. Blankfein  and Chief Operating Officer Gary D. Cohn responded via  which said that “the assertions made by this individual… do n

    Many people have left careers in finance and found fulfillment with others, and many say their background gave them an edge in a new venture.

  • For the average American, a home alarm system may be the extent of his or her security detail. But for many of the super-rich, it’s another story. They’re taking security to a new high in technology and price.With billionaires worried about protestors, pirates and kidnappers, they’re fortifying their homes, yachts and even private jets with high-tech security. The price tag to equip homes of the super-rich can be as cutting edge as the technology. Entry-level protection for such homes routinely

    For the average American, a home alarm system may be the extent of his or her security detail. But the super-rich are taking security to a new high in technology and price.

  • Lots of professional athletes go on to become team owners, such as Michael Jordan with the Charlotte Bobcats basketball team, and not all of them buy stakes in teams in the sport in which they made their name, like Magic Johnson, who is part owner in the  of the L.A. Dodgers baseball team,  and LeBron James, part owner of Liverpool football club. However, it’s more unexpected when a celebrity who is best known for dazzling on stage or screen rather than for possessing any athletic inclinations b

    Actors, comics and musicians own stakes in athletic teams ranging from football to soccer to soccer that’s called football, and in numerous other sports!

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    Sales in the videogame industry have been declining for more than three years, but it's still a field that's creating high-net-worth individuals at a rapid clip.

  • Queen Elizabeth II marked her Diamond Jubilee, celebrating 60 years on the throne, with a four-day weekend of events, between Saturday 2 and Tuesday 5 June 2012. On Sunday the 3rd of June the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant, saw more than 1,000 boats traditional and modern escort the Queen and Royal Family aboard a specially decorated royal barge down the River Thames.On Monday evening a host of stars performed at The Queen's Diamond Jubilee concert outside Buckingham Palace in London. The event

    Queen Elizabeth II marked her Diamond Jubilee, celebrating 60 years on the throne, with a four-day weekend of events, between Saturday 2 and Tuesday 5 June 2012.

  • Drive-in movie theaters are so often associated with times gone by, a fading industry where the real estate is more valuable than the business, that it might surprise you to learn that not only are many theaters hanging tough, there are some new theaters that have been built in the past decade.Make no mistake, though. The industry, like many small businesses, faces challenges. It has seen the number of screens decline from more than 4,000 in the 1960s to 366 today. Skyrocketing real estate value

    While it's true that the real estate drive-ins occupy are often more valuable than the business, many theaters are hanging tough.

  • If you’re serious about investing, chances are you’ve followed a Wall Street whale or two. That’s Street slang for monitoring the buys and sells made by billionaire investors (aka Wall Street Whales) as they disclose quarterly 13F filings.But in addition to tracking stocks or sectors, pro trader Stephen Weiss believes that there’s also something worthwhile to learn from tracking themes and big picture ideas that made these pros, the whales that they are today.For his new book, “The Big Win” Weis

    As a student of the very best investors, pro-trader Stephen Weiss identified nearly 50 takeaways behind their supersized successes. Check out a handful of those lessons.

  • For the past several years, Activision's Call of Duty franchise has been the videogame industry powerhouse – dominating the sales charts not only during the critical holiday sales period, but also carrying that momentum well into the following year. In 2012, though, the franchise is showing signs of weakness. While it's still a powerhouse that any publisher would love to have on its books, the latest installment in the series – "Modern Warfare 3" – isn't leading the sales charts in the days lead

    There are several surprises in this year's list of the top-selling games at retail outlets, as ranked by The NPD Group.

  • Most economists now agree that the worst part of the recession is over, and we’re officially in sluggish recovery mode. No one can say for sure when things will finally return to normal, but enough time has passed that an analysis of the data from the downturn’s lowest point is possible.For many industries, that point took place in 2009 and 2010. It was a brutal period for most businesses, and many struggled simply to tread water. But others were hit hard, and they offer a unique view into what

    Using data provided by the financial information firm Sageworks, CNBC.com shows which industries took the worst beating in 2009 and 2010.

  • When Mark Zuckerberg  for a meal or two in Rome on his honeymoon, it set the media abuzz. Although tipping is not required or expected in Italy, Americans are known to tip. Furthermore, Zuckerberg is known to be worth quite a bit of money, although not as much as he was a few weeks ago.  Did Zuckerberg goof by not tipping? That’s hard to say, according to Daniel Post Senning, the great-great grandson of Emily Post and co-author of “The 18th Edition of Emily Post’s Etiquette.”“It’s literally a cl

    Here are some of the major ways American travelers can avoid unintentionally offending the locals.

  • A recent proposal by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg looks to ban the sale of sodas and other sugary drinks over 16 ounces at city food establishments. The proposal has many questioning whether New York has gone too far with so-called ‘Nanny State’ laws that are thought by some to be overprotective or interfere too much with individual choice. “Obesity is a nationwide problem, and all over the United States, public health officials are wringing their hands saying, "Oh, this is terrible"' Mayor

    The following are a collection of laws that have had residents wondering whether the government is going too far. Click ahead for the list.

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