Money Minute: T-Mobile Takes on Streaming With 'unRadio'

T-Mobile is doing everything it can to get into the growing streaming music arena.

Mobile carrier T-Mobile US (TMUS) announced it will be launching a streaming music service free of ads that will be free to its top tier customers. Called unRadio, it will be available for $4 a month for other T-Mobile customers. It is also giving those premium-paying customers a break on data fees by not charging them extra for data gobbled up when using other music services like Pandora (P) and Spotify.

The hope is that T-Mobile will lure in more customers as streaming music increasingly becomes a must-have for many. Customers can sign up for a trial on Monday.

The lack of women and racial diversity in Silicon Valley is getting a closer look ever since Google (GOOG), LinkedIn (LNKD) and Yahoo (YHOO) revealed their staffing data. The data shows that women are under-represented as well as minorities other than Asians. At a conference in Cannes, Facebook's Chief Operating Officer, Sheryl Sandberg, said the situation is "pretty depressing." She said Facebook (FB) would be releasing its own staffing report soon.

%VIRTUAL-article-sponsoredlinks%On Wall Street on Thursday, the major indexes continued their march higher with the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) hitting a new all-time high of 1,956. The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) gained 98 points, the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) rose 25 and the S&P 500 added 15 points.

The Highway Trust Fund, which pays for roughly half of our transportation projects, is weeks away from running on empty. One solution getting bi-partisan support is to raise the federal gas tax, which finances the fund. It hasn't been raised in more than 20 years. Two senators, one Republican and one Democrat, suggest a hike of 12 cents a gallon. Other lawmakers are proposing giving corporations a temporary tax break on bringing foreign profits back home. But that idea faces strong opposition from President Obama. They need to come up with a solution soon otherwise we'll see a lot of abandoned construction sites this summer.

And finally, if you're looking for a beer that will likely impress your hipster pals over the summer barbeque season, it's probably best to go for No. 1. And topping the list among craft beers for the sixth year in a row is Russian River's Pliny the Elder from California, according to an annual poll at Zimurgy Magazine. The poll shows a distinct preference for beers with a strong hop flavor as eight of the top 10 are India Pale Ales and Double IPAs. The state with the most craft breweries is California followed by Washington then Colorado.

-Produced by Karina Huber.

How the 7 Deadly Sins Can Send Your Finances 'South'
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Money Minute: T-Mobile Takes on Streaming With 'unRadio'

In investing, it's dangerous to lust after the hottest and most exciting stocks, as they're often overvalued. If a company is always in the news because of how rapidly it's growing, you're not the only one thinking of investing in it, and many others have already done so, bidding up the price. It's often better to go for boring, tried-and-true companies, such as the ones selling things we're likely to keep needing, like shampoo and electricity. Consider dividend payers, too. They may not grow as rapidly as younger, smaller, outfits, but they'll generally pay you in good times and bad. Meanwhile, it's also dangerous to lust after fancy cars and huge houses and the latest electronics, if you can't afford them.

Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing, even when it comes to money. Sure, lots of cash is good. But lots of credit cards can be bad, if they're giving you more buying power than you can afford to indulge in, and you don't have enough discipline to resist them.

Too many stocks in a portfolio can be bad, too, as you won't be able to keep up with the progress of each company, and thus might not notice when one or more of your holdings starts to become less promising. Too many cars or houses are expensive to maintain and insure. Too many pieces of clothing in a closet? You don't wear many of them, and they fall out of fashion before you can get your money's worth out of them. With many things in life, it's best to be focused.

Greed can lead us to make dumb decisions, such as jumping into an overheated stock market because we're tired of seeing other people making a lot of money on stocks. Greed can induce us to rationalize poor decisions, too. ("The market is bound to keep rising." "Let's just spend this money we inherited on travel -- we can start saving for retirement next year.")

Greed can also lead us to take high risks for unlikely high rewards -- such as when we buy lottery tickets or invest in penny stocks that are more likely to go down than up.

This sin often seems innocuous; after all, it's only making us not do things. But many times, we don't just put off an important task for a day or two -- we never get around to doing it. That kind of procrastination can be downright dangerous when it comes to personal finances.

Here are just some of the many things that we shouldn't be slothful about:

  • having a retirement plan;
  • opening and regularly funding retirement accounts,
  • researching stocks before buying them,
  • paying bills on time,
  • saving for that down payment on a home,
  • saving for Junior's college expenses, tending to our estate planning (drafting a will, durable power of attorney, living will, etc.),
  • regularly re-evaluating our portfolio to see if we need to make any changes.
Wrath can come into our financial lives when we're in relationships where both parties are not on the same page. You might be good at saving, while your spouse is "good" at spending. This can lead to one or both of you being resentful and angry. Avoid wrath: Open up the lines of communication about money early and often.

Being scammed financially can also lead to anger, and that, sadly can happen to any of us. So it's smart to get savvy about common scams and to be wary of any financial come-ons and too-good-to-be-true "opportunities. Otherwise, you're liable to end up angriest of all at yourself.
It's only natural to look at what others have and to wish for some of it. But before you start trying to keep up with the Joneses, it's worth remembering that while you might admire your neighbor's fancy new car, he may not be able to afford it either. Lots of people who seem to be doing well are actually neck-deep in credit card debt, or headed in that direction. Envy can lead you to live beyond your means, which sets you up for financial disaster.
Finally, there's pride. It's at work when we're overconfident about our investing abilities. Thinking we're investing geniuses, we might not sufficiently research a stock or investment -- or to fail to keep an eye on it after an initial bounce. Excessive pride can also lead us to buy status symbols, such as an expensive car, coat, or gigantic flat-screen TV, in order to make ourselves look good to others.
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