Mumbai University Distance Education Programme De-Recognised By UGC

Mumbai University Distance Education Programme De-Recognised By UGC

Mumbai University Distance Education Programme De-Recognised By UGC

New Delhi: Several students who enrolled into distance education programme offered by the Institute of Distance and Open Learning (IDOL) of the University of Mumbai have been sent in a lurch. The distance programme offered by University of Mumbai is no longer recognized by UGC. The Distance Education Bureau, UGC released the list of approved Distance Education Institutes and their corresponding courses for the academic year 2018-19 on October 3 this year.

By the time the list was released, several Open Universities and Distance Education departments had completed the admission process. Students who have taken admission into such programmes and institutes which are no longer recognized by UGC are now in a fix.

How To Ensure You Are Enrolled In A Recognised Distance Learning Course

As reported by Mumbai Mirror, the Mumbai University Distance Education Programme lost its recognition because of the University’s lack of a NAAC grade. As reported by Mumbai Mirror, the University had completed admission process to the distance education courses on October 30, which poses the question as to why the University went ahead with the admission process when UGC had de-recognized its distance programmes.

Is Your Open And Distance Programme Fake? Check UGC Recognised University List Here

It’s not just IDOL, Mumbai University that has lost its recognition. As opposed to 118 Open Schools and Universities that were recognized by UGC in the list released in 2017, there are only 75 universities in the list released in 2018.

There is no word form UGC yet about the plight of these students and what steps could be taken to rectify the mistake and not allow one academic year to go into waste for these students.


4 In-Demand Skills You Can Learn Online

4 In-Demand Skills You Can Learn Online

High costs of college tuition and the growing abundance of online resources to learn about topics from computer science to blockchains have created an unprecedented opportunity for self-taught professionals and entrepreneurs. Consistently learning new skills and adapting to the evolving work environment is crucial to maintaining a fruitful career in today’s workforce.

Many college graduates do not even work in the field that they majored in, and instead, work in an area that they initially received a job in out of college or taught themselves how to excel in. Whether you’re looking to transition into another field or just want to learn some new skills as a hobby, the ability to do so has never been as convenient or powerful as it is now.

The increasing prominence of online education resources

In parallel to the proliferation of online educational resources is the explosive growth of freelancing. A 2017 study by Upwork revealed that freelancers are predicted to become the majority of the workforce within the decade. Many freelancers and entrepreneurs are self-taught, learning new skills on the fly out of a need to develop a professional talent or by meticulously studying a topic through online classes or reading.

Related: 15 of the Best and Most Unusual Online Courses for Entrepreneurs

The progression of the internet into its modern form has opened avenues for extensive, user-friendly, and affordable educational material for users of all levels of experience. Online resources for enhancing professional skills range from free university courses to standalone educational platforms that connect students and paid professionals. Some even offer informative games, impressive video tutorials and open-source frameworks for improving  content.

Here are four areas in which you develop skills and learn more about online.

1. Coding and software development

I taught myself the basics of computer programming in a prison cell by reading textbooks and using a number two pencil, without internet access. I know computer science can be intimidating for someone not familiar with the topic since it is often viewed as having an exceptionally high barrier to entry and robust prerequisite skills in mathematics. Thankfully, numerous educational materials are available for users of all experience levels to learn about how computers work and how to program.

These resources are not just relegated to proprietary online platforms either. MIT OpenCourseWare offers undergraduate and graduate courses on computer science — among other topics — online for free.

Platforms such as KhanAcademy, Coursera, and Udemy all provide their own courses on software development, computer science and other related topics. The material may be intimidating at first, but the classes are comprehensive and tailored to students of all talents with video tutorials, walk-through problems, projects and connections to top educators.

2. Languages

Learning new languages becomes more challenging as you get older, but the sheer amount of content and material available to learn new languages today is perhaps the best representation of online education’s progression. Services such as Rosetta Stone are established and popular among many people, but numerous other services have also arisen.  

Internet Polyglot offers courses on 21 different languages, Live Lingua is an entirely free full-immersion language course platform and mobile apps such as Duolingo and Busuu have skyrocketed to the top of the app download charts. The ability to speak multiple languages is not only helpful if you live in a foreign country or are traveling, but is a net positive for your resume that can even bolster your salary.

Related: Get Smarter About Business Cheaper With These 10 Free Online Courses

3. Healthcare and medicine

Similar to computer science, healthcare and medicine are primarily viewed through the prism of an exceedingly high barrier to entry. However, the notion that you can be successful in the medical industry solely with a doctorate is fading.

Online platforms such as Khan Academy and Coursera offer some in-depth material on life sciences, sports medicine and anatomy. Although they won’t provide the necessary material for becoming a doctor, they can help launch your career in the field or provide up-to-date content for you to refine your knowledge.

The prevalence of online education in fields including pharmaceutical medicine, healthcare project management and public health are also increasing. Once challenging areas of study to access are now widely available through platforms such as Class Central that aggregate resources from the top online universities in several fields. Subjects available in healthcare and medicine include clinical statistics and research, nutrition and epidemiology.

4. Blockchain

Blockchain and cryptocurrency exploded into the mainstream following the meteoric rise of the price of Bitcoin at the end of 2017. Despite the relative decline in prices over the past year, interest in the blossoming industry persists. Moreover, resources have transformed from obscure open-source Github repos to comprehensive courses on everything from understanding the underlying protocols to programming smart contracts. The demand for blockchain experts has officially exceeded supply, as reported by BTC Manager. That means, despite the volatility of the market, there’s still a huge market opportunity for anyone wanting to develop their skills.

Kingsland University – School of Blockchain was the winner of the 2018 Stevie Award in the Innovator of the Year category that offers a highly touted and extensive suite of blockchain programming curriculum. Programs like those provided by Kingsland University were few and far between in the early days of blockchain technology, but now are vital to onboarding new industry participants and facilitating the transition of many programmers to the blockchain space. With industry partnerships — such as their recent one with the Tezos Foundation — Kingsland will be creating the much-needed talent pool that will drive future innovation and growth. They’ve recognized the crucial role education plays and they are getting out into the community and providing scholarships for career building education, with a nearly guaranteed job at the end of the training.

Related: Why Your Business Assets Belong on the Blockchain

Other resources for learning more about blockchain and cryptocurrency are Blockchain at Berkley and Udacity’s Nanodegree program on blockchain development. With the technology still in its early stages and blockchain developer salaries among the highest out of any industry, the opportunity to earn a lucrative income has never been so widely available.

The internet has created unprecedented educational opportunities for anyone with an internet connection. Previously restricted and highly exclusive material is now available for free to virtually everyone. For entrepreneurs and freelancers, online resources are crucial to gaining professional insights and building a foundation to advance their careers. I dedicate one hour per day to learning something new and even have it as a calendar event on my schedule to make sure I hit my daily goal. It’s so much easier to learn now that all of my notes don’t have to be scribbled down in a notepad using a number two golf pencil.


How To Ensure You Are Enrolled In A Recognised Distance Learning Course


How To Ensure You Are Enrolled In A Recognised Distance Learning Course

MHRD accepts Justice Reddy Committee Recommendations on open, distance education programmes

New Delhi: 

The central government has accepted the Justice Reddy Committee recommendations regarding the Distance Education Programmes being run in the country by various universities. Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) constituted a three members Committee after the Supreme Court directed it to constitute a three members Committee to examine the issues related to distance education in the country and also to suggest a road map for strengthening and setting up of oversight and regulatory mechanism in the relevant field of higher education and allied issues.

The court has ordered to constitute the committee comprising of eminent persons who have held high positions in the field of education, investigation, administration or law at national level.

Now, the Ministry has notified following instructions to all the stakeholders based on the recommendations of the Justice Reddy Committee on Open and Distance Learning (ODL) Courses:

1. The list of approved courses offered under ODL mode, institution – wise every year is available on UGC website at

2. No course, other than the one that finds place in the list referred to above, would be recognized and a candidate who studies unrecognized courses cannot claim any benefit.

3. Under no circumstances, retrospective or ex-post facto recognition to any course through ODL mode shall be granted by UGC.

4. Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs) are required to comply with all the provisions of the UGC (ODL) Regulations, 2017 and its amendments. If any deviation by the HEI is noticed, the same would entail not only withdrawal of permission/ recognition for such ODL courses but also for other courses offered by the institutions, on regular and conventional mode.

5. The UGC (ODL) Regulations, 2017 are applicable to all HEIs as given at Clause (3) of sub-regulation (1) of Part – I of UGC (ODL) Regulations, 2017. It is further clarified that the private universities created under the State enactments shall be under obligation to strictly follow the requirements, stipulated by the UGC, issued from time to time including those under the UGC (ODL) Regulations, 2017.


Before you pause your student loan payments, consider the risks

Silhouette Portrait of a graduate in cap and gown


Yet when your payments resume, they’re often higher because your debt has swelled, thanks to interest.

The Associated Press, citing a 2017 Department of Education audit, reported this week that Navient, one of the country’s largest student loan servicing companies, steered tens of thousands of struggling borrowers into costly delays of their payments, known as “forbearances.”

Made conscious decision to focus on quality, not quantity of loans: SoFi CEO Anthony Noto   4:00 PM ET Tue, 23 Oct 2018 | 03:12

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau alleges that Navient added more than $4 billion in interest to borrowers’ debt through the misuse of forbearances between 2010 and 2015. Navient disputes the allegations in the audit and those by the CFPB.

Despite the fact that putting off payments increases their debt, nearly 70 percent of people who began repaying their student loans in 2013 had their debt in forbearance for some period, according to an April report by the Government Accountability Office.

What else can a borrower do?

Borrowers should first ask whether a deferment is available before they opt for a forbearance, said Bruce McClary, vice president of communications at the National Foundation for Credit Counseling.

That’s because interest does not accrue on subsidized student loans during an economic hardship deferment, for example, as it does with a forbearance. There are also deferments for cancer patients now.

If your difficulty repaying your student loans is unlikely to come to an end any time soon, you might want to enroll in an income-driven repayment plan, which caps your monthly payment at a percentage of your income. Some monthly bills wind up totaling nothing.

Is a forbearance ever a good idea?

Borrowers who find themselves in a short-term difficulty, such as a medical leave or temporary unemployment, might want to consider forbearance, said Mark Kantrowitz, an expert on financial aid and publisher of

A forbearance typically lasts a year, and borrowers can use the option up to three times.

If possible, however, people should request a partial forbearance and keep up with at least their interest payments during the break.

“This will prevent your loan from growing larger during the forbearance,” Kantrowitz said.

Can I trust my lender?

Given that student loan servicers might not always provide borrowers the best information, it helps to review your options with a nonprofit such as The Institute of Student Loan Advisors, an organization that offers free advice and dispute resolution.


Top 5 must-knows for education loan tax deduction

Gaurav Aggarwal

Education plays a crucial role in the economic development of all societies. While there is a universal acknowledgement to the need for public funding of primary and secondary education, public funding of higher education in a developing country like India is not feasible.

Thus, recognising the importance of higher education and the role of institutional funding to deal with rising cost of higher education, the policymakers came out with tax deduction on education loans under Section 80E.

The objective was to relieve interest burden from education loan borrowers through tax incentives. However, to claim the tax deduction, the borrowers have to meet certain conditions.

Here is a list of ‘must-knows’ regarding tax deduction on education loans:

Principal component does not qualify for tax deduction:

Borrowers often misunderstand tax exemption provisions available on education loan. This stems from tax exemptions available on home loan where both principal and interest components of EMIs qualify for tax deductions under Section 80C and 24b, respectively.


Liz Weston: How to ‘Death Clean’ Your Finances

FILE – This April 2017 file photo provided by NerdWallet shows Liz Weston, a columnist for personal finance website (NerdWallet via AP, File) The Associated Press

The phrase “death cleaning” may sound jarring to unaccustomed ears, but the concept makes sense. It’s about getting rid of excess rather than leaving a mess for your heirs to sort out.

“Death cleaning” is the literal translation of the Swedish word dostadning, which means an uncluttering process that begins as people age. It’s popularized in the new book “The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning” by Margareta Magnusson.

Magnusson focuses on jettisoning stuff, but most older people’s finances could use a good death cleaning as well. Simplifying and organizing our financial lives can make things easier for us while we’re alive and for our survivors when we’re not.

This task becomes more urgent when we’re in our 50s. Our financial decision-making abilities generally peak around age 53, researchers have found, while rates of cognitive decline and dementia start to climb at age 60. As we age, we tend to become more vulnerable to fraud, scams, unethical advisers and bad judgment, says financial literacy expert Lewis Mandell, author of “What to Do When I Get Stupid.” Cleaning up our finances can help protect us.

Some steps to take:


Fewer accounts are easier to monitor for suspicious transactions and overlapping investments, plus you may save money on account fees. Your employer may allow you to transfer old 401(k) and IRA accounts into its plan, or you can consolidate them into one IRA. For simplicity, consider swapping individual stocks and bonds for professionally managed mutual funds or exchange-traded funds (but check with a tax pro before you sell any investments held outside retirement funds). Move scattered bank accounts under one roof, but keep in mind that FDIC insurance is generally limited to $250,000 per depositor per institution.


Memory lapses can lead to missed payments, late fees and credit score damage, which can in turn drive up the cost of borrowing and insurance. You can set up regular recurring payments in your bank’s bill payment system, have other bills charged to a credit card and set up an automatic payment so the card balance is paid in full each month. Head off bounced-transaction fees with true overdraft protection, which taps a line of credit or a savings account to pay over-limit transactions.


Certified financial planner Carolyn McClanahan in Jacksonville, Florida, recommends her older clients keep just two credit cards: one for everyday purchases and another for automatic bill payments. Closing accounts can hurt credit scores, though, so wait until you’re reasonably sure you won’t need to apply for a loan before you start dramatically pruning.


Identify whom you want making decisions for you if you’re incapacitated. Use software or a lawyer to create two durable powers of attorney — one for finances, one for health care. You don’t have to name the same person in both, but do name backups in case your original choice can’t serve.

Consider naming someone younger, because someone your age or older could become impaired at the same time you do, says Carolyn Rosenblatt, an elder-law attorney in San Rafael, California, who runs Grant online access to your accounts, or at least talk about where your trusted person can find the information she’ll need, Rosenblatt recommends.

Also create “in case of emergency” files that your trusted person or heirs will need. These might include:

?Your will or living trust

?Medical directives, powers of attorney, living wills

?Birth, death and marriage certificates

?Military records

?Social Security cards

?Car titles, property deeds and other ownership documents

?Insurance policies

?A list of your financial accounts

?Contact information for your attorney, tax pro, financial adviser and insurance agent

?Photocopies of passports, driver’s licenses and credit cards

A safe deposit box is not the best repository, because your trusted person may need access outside bank hours. A fireproof safe bolted to a floor in your home, or at minimum a locked file cabinet, may be better, as long as you share the combination or key (or its location) with your trusted person. Scanning paperwork and keeping an encrypted copy in the cloud could help you or someone else recreate your financial life if the originals are lost or destroyed.


Family Immigration Led To John Tu’s Billion Dollar Company

Immigrant entrepreneur and CEO John Tu co-founded Kingston Technology after his sister sponsored him for immigration. Tu and fellow immigrant David Sun rewarded their U.S. employees with large bonuses after the sale of 80% of the company. They later bought back the 80% share of Kingston. (INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP/Getty Images)

John Tu created wealth, shared that wealth with his employees and demonstrated people can achieve the American Dream while also fulfilling the dreams of others.

Immigrant entrepreneurs possess relatively few options for starting a business and remaining in the United States. There is no startup visa that allows individuals to receive permanent residence specifically for starting a business. Once someone acquires permanent residence (a green card) he or she has the freedom to start a business in America. That is why the stories we hear about successful foreign-born entrepreneurs come almost exclusively from individuals sponsored by an employer or family member. John Tu is a great example of this.

John Tu was born in China in 1941, where he lived with his parents and sisters. He describes himself as a mediocre student unable to attend the best Chinese colleges. He was denied a visa to the United States and instead applied to a college in Germany, where in 1978 he earned a degree in electrical engineering.

“My dream of coming to the United States persisted,” said John in testimony before the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration. He recalled visiting his sister, who was living in Boston. She had come to America as a student and married a U.S. citizen born in Taiwan. That trip reignited his dreams. “My experience brought me to the conclusion that in the U.S. one can be anything he wants. I decided right then that I would find a way to make my home in America.”

His sister, who became a U.S. citizen, sponsored John for immigration through the immigrant preference category for the siblings of U.S. citizens.

As someone willing to take a chance on a new country, it’s not surprising John Tu quickly became an entrepreneur. He started a one-man gift shop in Arizona, where his sister had moved to, and sold collectables imported from China. A few years later, John ventured into commercial real estate, eventually buying a condominium in Los Angeles.

In California, he met David Sun, his future business partner, who also was born in China. In 1982, John Tu and David Sun started a computer hardware company called Camintonn Corporation. They later sold the company to AST Research, with each man earning about $1 million.

But a year later, John and David lost almost everything. Their broker, a trusted friend, invested poorly, which caused their savings to be nearly wiped out in the October 1987 stock market crash.

John Tu and David Sun picked themselves up and did what entrepreneurs do best – they started another business. Their new company, Kingston Technology, sought to fill a niche in the marketplace for computer memory products. “Kingston soon began developing memory products for a variety of PCs and thriving beyond either of our expectations. It is ironic that from the biggest financial failure came my most successful venture,” said John.

The company grew to over 500 U.S. employees and by 1996 was valued at $1.5 billion. Not surprisingly, this attracted the interest of buyers. That year, John and David sold 80% of Kingston to Japan-based Softbank Corp.

While the sale initially made news, it is what John Tu and David Sun did with the proceeds that generated worldwide attention: The two men set aside $100 million in profits from the sale and awarded bonuses to their American employees, something virtually unheard. In many cases, the bonuses ranged from $100,000 to $300,000.

This decision changed the lives of those working at Kingston, allowing many to fund dreams for themselves and their children. “The bonus meant a great deal to the employees, for some it meant ridding themselves of debt, for others a down payment on a house, and for one person the opportunity to return to college and finish his education,” said Kingston employee Gary McDonald. He decided to use the bonus money to fund schooling and assistance for his four children, two of whom had special needs, including one with autism. “Without the bonus it would have been much more of a financial struggle,” he said.

Fate intervened and in July 1999, for business reasons, Softbank decided to sell its 80 percent share in Kingston back to John Tu and David Sun for less than half of the original sale price.

Today, Kingston is “the world’s largest independent manufacturer of memory products,” according to the company. Kingston employs more than 3,000 people around the world and maintains its headquarters in Fountain Valley, California. It has garnered a number of awards, including Fortune magazine’s list of the “Best Companies to Work for in America.” John and his company Kingston contribute to many charitable causes.

John Tu remains CEO of Kingston Technology. I met John back in 1997 when he came to Washington, D.C. to testify at a Senate hearing on immigrant entrepreneurs. He was accompanied by a number of people from Kingston and I was struck by the mutual affection and respect between John and his employees.

When I listened to stories about the bonuses and the impact they had on the lives of the employees it made me suspect that economists underestimate many of the benefits of immigration. Further confirmation of that came a few minutes later when John had to excuse himself. Upon returning, he told me that the next day was April 15th and his accountant needed authorization to pay the capital gains tax on the sale of the company. Think for a moment about the size of the capital gains tax paid by immigrants John Tu and David Sun on the sale of a company they started from scratch and that had become valued at over $1 billion.

In December 2017, the Associated Press reported, “The White House is embarking on a major campaign to turn public opinion against the nation’s largely family-based immigration system ahead of an all-out push next year.” However, inciting the public against foreign-born individuals is not a rational economic policy, nor does it conform to America’s tradition as a nation of immigrants.

Reducing legal immigration by prohibiting U.S. citizens from sponsoring for immigration close family members, such as siblings and adult children, would reduce both U.S. economic growth and labor force growth, according to a recent study from the National Foundation for American Policy. If such policies had been in effect years ago, John Tu would not have made it to the United States and the many Americans who have worked at his company, as well as their families, would have been much worse off.

“The reason I’ve been able to do what I’ve done is because of my sister,” John told me in a recent interview. “She became a citizen and sponsored me . . . If my sister was not allowed to sponsor me for immigration none of this success at Kingston and the many jobs we’ve created would have happened.”

John Tu does not consider himself unique. “I’m just one example of a family immigrant success story. Look at Silicon Valley and one can find many similar examples.”

At the end of his Senate testimony, John reflected on his and America’s immigrant journey: “I would have never had the opportunity to become so successful had I not come to America. I can tell you that I feel the founding fathers of America had the right idea: immigration has made this rich culture, this great environment of what is often called the melting pot.”

John Tu credits his success to America’s system and its society. “America gives you the opportunity to be who you are, to maximize your talent and achieve your dreams. I appreciate so much what this country has given to immigrants like me.”


Is Uber a Taxi Company or Not? The EU’s Top Court Will Decide

Photographer: Akos Stiller/Bloomberg

Uber Technologies Inc. is set to reach the end of the road in a legal battle over a question that’s reached the European Union’s top court — is the world’s most valuable startup a taxi company or not?

Uber has argued that it’s a technology platform connecting passengers with independent drivers, not a transportation company subject to the same rules as taxi services. The decision is being closely watched by the technology industry because it could set a precedent for how firms in the burgeoning gig economy are regulated across the 28-nation bloc.

“The judgment will either promote the digital single market or lead to more market fragmentation for online innovators,” said Jakob Kucharczyk, of the Computer & Communications Industry Association, which speaks for companies like Uber, Inc., Google and Facebook Inc. “The court should make a clear distinction between the online intermediation and the underlying service it facilitates.”

The case centers around UberPop, an inexpensive ride-hailing service in several European cities that allowed drivers without a taxi license to use their own cars to pick up passengers. Legal challenges have forced Uber to shutter its UberPop services in most major European countries in favor of UberX, which requires drivers to get a license.

A loss for Uber would mean countries in the EU will have to classify Uber as a transportation service. While Uber adheres to many taxi laws in countries where it operates, the case could lead to new regulations and fees.

“Any ruling will not change things in most EU countries where we already operate under transportation law,” Uber said in a statement. “However, millions of Europeans are still prevented from using apps like ours. As our new CEO has said, it is appropriate to regulate services such as Uber. We want to partner with cities to ensure everyone can get a reliable ride at the tap of a button.”

Gig Economy

The question of whether Uber is a transport service has long vexed regulators and lawmakers across Europe. Uber has faced roadblocks, real and regulatory, in the region, amid complaints brought by taxi drivers who say the company tries to unfairly avoid regulations that bind established competitors.

Start ups argue that their apps offer flexible hours to workers. Regulators, governments and unions allege that companies are profiting on the backs of people without benefits such as overtime pay or vacation time.

Without the pressure from regulators, companies in the gig economy will force rivals to employ similarly aggressive tactics, said Andrew Taylor, who earlier this year was commissioned by U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May to come up with recommendations to regulate the new business types.

“There’s a danger of a race to the bottom,” Taylor said. “Major American companies are treating national norms, culture, regulators and tax systems in a cavalier way.”

Status Quo

Mark Graham, professor at the Oxford Internet Institute, said the scrutiny represents a shift against companies that have avoided regulations facing more traditional businesses in the markets they are trying to disrupt by classifying themselves as technology platforms.

Uber isn’t the only business model being questioned by policymakers. In Paris, regulators are clamping down on Airbnb, whose home-rental service has drawn complaints from hotels that are subject to a different batch of rules. Deliveroo, the food-delivery service, is also facing scrutiny over its treatment of workers in the U.K. and elsewhere.

The EU court’s decisions in this and a pending case may bring clarity for Uber’s continuing battles in national courts. London has become a lighting rod for all of the company’s problems. The car-service provider is fighting regulators and drivers in court as it tries to protect its hold on its busiest market outside of the US.

London’s transport regulator banned Uber in September, citing safety concerns, and an appeal will be heard as soon as April. Two drivers successfully sued the company over vacation and overtime in a suit that would force Uber to radically change the way it treats its drivers.

The case is: C-434/15, Asociacion Profesional Elite Taxi.

— With assistance by Jeremy Hodges


Cable companies are looking for ways to limit password sharing

Cable companies are over people sharing logins with all their friends and family. As first spotted by Bloomberg, Charter CEO Tom Rutledge said at the annual UBS conference this month: “There’s lots of extra streams, there’s lots of extra passwords, there’s lots of people who could get free service.”

Charter has made cracking down on password sharing a priority during negotiations with channel providers. Bloomberg reports that the company requested Viacom help limit password sharing by reducing the number of simultaneous streams allowed on its apps. Rutledge tells Bloomberg that channel owners bear most of the blame for the current cable situation. They don’t secure their apps and, he says, “they devalued their own product in a dramatic way.”

Meanwhile, ESPN tells Bloomberg it wants to work with channel distributors to verify subscribers whenever there are a large number of people streaming through the channel’s app.


Cryptocurrency: The Dark Side Of Investing

Disclosure: The author and American Dream Investing own shares of Disney, but have not invested in cryptocurrencies at the time of this writing.

Like the characters in the latest Star Wars film, I’m grappling with an inner struggle.

Do I stick to my core investing values and principles and ignore the cryptocurrency craze? Or, do I succumb to the “dark side” and buy some Litecoin or Bitcoin, hoping that demand keeps rising and prices continue to soar?

I know the reasons why I bought Walt Disney DIS -1.12%shares three years ago and why I’ve held onto them: they have an unparalleled collection of entertainment properties like Star Wars and Marvel, strong management, growing free cash flow and a history of raising their (admittedly paltry) dividend. It’s been a mostly solid, albeit unspectacular stock in my portfolio, despite the fact that its year to date performance is significantly trailing its broader index.

On a fundamental level, Disney passes my litmus test for an investment. Cryptocurrencies, on the other hand, do not. Despite that, I’m still tempted to make a calculated play on cryptos and their potential long-term future after careful consideration and due diligence.

I understand that there’s a basic concept of supply and demand at work here that’s driving prices so high. There will only be 21 million Bitcoins mined and afterwards, no more will be added to the circulation.

But I can’t pay my rent using Bitcoin or buy health insurance with Ethereum (not yet, at least). There’s a high risk of fraud, market manipulation and account hacking. The volatility of the crypto market is enough to make a professional rollercoaster tester queasy.

Still, the money keeps pouring in and prices continue to rise. CNBC spends half the trading day discussing the markets and the rest of the time talking about Bitcoin.