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Archive By Section - Business Columns


When to 'hire' your children to care for you

As people get older, they often hire individuals or companies to perform services for them, such as housekeeping, cooking, driving, paying bills and personal care.

May 15, 2008 | By Gina MacDonald | Business Columns


Painful financial screw-ups can be fixed

You goofed! You just found a credit card bill stuck in your car's sun visor and it's due today. You forgot to file your tax return, and you're afraid to "fess up" to Uncle Sam. You got nailed for running that tail-end yellow to red light, and you're worried that you'll get your rates raised when your insurance company learns of the ticket.

May 09, 2008 | By Dr. Maureen Stephenson | Business Columns


Supreme Court looks at punitive damage awards

Punitive damages are damages imposed to punish certain defendants for malicious conduct, fraud or other despicable conduct. Such damages have nothing to do with compensating the victim of such conduct. They are imposed, in addition to compensatory damages, to punish the defendant for egregious wrongdoing. Imposition of such damages used to be relatively rare, but the frequency and amount of punitive damage awards - especially on business defendants - has increased dramatically in recent years.

May 08, 2008 | By Signal Staff | Business Columns


Patience pays with your investments

When it comes to investing, patience can have its rewards. In fact, for the 10 years ended December 31,2006, a hypothetical $10,000 investment in Standard & Poor's 500 Index would have almost doubled to $19,147. However, if during this time frame, the investment would have missed:

May 08, 2008 | By Signal Staff | Business Columns


Residential Real Estate Prices May Not Have Hit Bottom

Residential real estate prices may still have a ways to go before reaching a bottom.

May 07, 2008 | By D. Frank Norton | Business Columns


What Are Your Civil Rights After Receiving a Bad Check?

First, it is a crime to pass a bad check. It is a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one year, or in the state prison.

May 01, 2008 | By Kevin Yeam | Business Columns


Four Steps to Building a Stronger Foundation for Your Organization

If the press is correct, and the economy is contracting, now is the time to take stock of your business.

April 28, 2008 | By Kenneth W. Keller | Business Columns


Protecting Yourself Against Identity Theft

Identity theft is a serious crime that every year claims victims from every walk of life. It has many sources and skilled identity thieves use a variety of methods to steal your information without your knowledge to commit fraud.

April 25, 2008 | By Dr. Maureen Stephenson | Business Columns


Consider In-Service Distribution to an IRA

If you are a participant in a company sponsored 401(k) plan, there may be some benefit for you to consider an in-service distribution to an IRA. While it is important to save as much as possible for your retirement, it is also important to make your retirement dollars work as hard as possible; so an in-service withdrawal might make sense for you.

April 24, 2008 | By Jim Lentini | Business Columns


Who's Minding Your Brand or Trademark?

These days, it is virtually impossible to watch a television commercial or read a print advertisement and not run across a ® or . More and more, companies are promoting the branding of their goods and services and seeking to protect their brand with these little markings. The markings refer to trademarks claimed by the advertiser.

April 24, 2008 | By Chris Steven Jacobsen | Business Columns


Is Uncle Sam a Beneficiary of Your Life Insurance?

Life insurance is an excellent way of providing financial support for a surviving spouse or children upon the death of the family breadwinner or if both parents die. In certain cases, however, the IRS may take as much as 45 percent of the insurance death benefit.

April 23, 2008 | Randall D. Amour | Business Columns


Look Out Donald Trump, We’re Gaining on You!

In 1992, according to Census Bureau statistics, women owned 6.4 million firms, or a third of all businesses in this country. They brought in 10 percent of all small business revenue and only employed 15 percent of the nation's workforce.

April 11, 2008 | Dr. Maureen Stephenson | Business Columns


Family Responsibilities Can Conflict in Workplace

There is no federal law called the "Family Responsibilities Discrimination Act" or the "Caregiver Discrimination Act." Nonetheless, there has been an increase in claims brought under a variety of federal statutes on behalf of job applicants or workers who assert discrimination by an employer on the basis of family-related decisions. Relevant federal statutes include the Americans with Disabilities Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Family and Medical Leave Act. If the employer is a government entity, the claim may be couched in terms of a violation of constitutional rights.

April 10, 2008 | By John H. Shaffrey | Business Columns


To Rollover or Not to Rollover

When you leave a company where you have money invested in a tax-deferred retirement plan, such as a 401(k), you will be faced with a decision: What to do with the money accumulated in your account. While you may have the option to leave the money in your former employer's plan or withdraw it as cash, it often is more advantageous for you to "roll over" those funds into a Rollover IRA (Individual Retirement Account).

While this may sound like a simple decision, it could have far-reaching implications for your financial future. It is advised that you discuss ...

April 10, 2008 | By Jim Lentini | Business Columns


Thoughts about Success for the New Year Ahead

Smart business people know it's important to look for that extra "edge" that will develop new business, ensure you remain ahead of the competition, keep existing customers satisfied and basically make you and your business a success. Now that we've all had several weeks to attempt to keep our New Year's resolutions, let's take a look at what we can honestly do for a more successful year.

April 04, 2008 | By Dr. Maureen Stephenson | Business Columns


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Articles by Section - Business Columns


Paula Hodge: Google transformation

Do you remember when Google was just a cool and reliable Internet search engine? PC Magazine recognized the company as the search engine of choice in the top 100 Web Sites for 1998.

March 05, 2014 | By Paula Hodge Business Corner | Business Columns


Ken Keller: Unmasking the mediocre company

Books like "Built to Last," "The Breakthrough Company," and "Good to Great" were written to help business people improve the companies they own, lead and run.

March 02, 2014 | By Ken Keller Brain Food For Business Owners | Business Columns


Nancy Starczyk: Upbeat outlook for housing

The housing market in the Santa Clarita Valley started the New Year tentatively, yet encouraging news abounds as the traditional Spring home buying season approaches.

February 26, 2014 | By Nancy Starczyk Real Estate Talk | Business Columns


Ken Keller: Improving effectiveness

If you wonder why your sales people aren't more productive, aren't making enough presentations and are slow to close deals, it might not be the industry you are in, your location or the economy not cooperating.

February 23, 2014 | By Ken Keller Brain Food For Business Owners | Business Columns


John Milburn: Keeping SCV strong

According to the recent news release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics the US economy added 113,000 jobs in January 2014 and, "…job gains occurred in construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, and mining…Employment in manufacturing increased in January (+21,000)…Manufacturing added an average of 7,000 jobs per month in 2013."

February 19, 2014 | By John Milburn Entrepreneur's Corner | Business Columns


Ken Keller: Hubris is a disease that kills

Years ago a major manufacturer hired a research firm to conduct a survey of the cultural climate of the company.

February 16, 2014 | By Ken Keller Brain Food For Business Owners | Business Columns


Nancy Starczyk: Information for buyers

Under the federal Ability-to-Repay rules that went into effect Jan. 10, lenders received guidelines on the type of financial information homebuyers must provide lenders when seeking a loan.

February 12, 2014 | By Nancy Starczyk Real Estate Talk | Business Columns


Ken Keller: Leaders set tone

Research suggests that employees do not leave because of the company they work for, but they quit because of their manager.

February 09, 2014 | By Ken Keller Brain Food For Business Owners | Business Columns


Pete Bellas: What’s the forecast?

What is our fascination with forecasts? Are they really helpful and how can we use them for planning purposes?

February 05, 2014 | By Pete Bellas Entrepreneur's Corner | Business Columns


Ken Keller: Meet your objective in 2014

At the end of the first month of the year, are your objectives for 2014 being met? Have the results versus your goals left a gap? Are you worried that what happened or what didn't happen in January can spread to February? Or March?

February 01, 2014 | By Ken Keller | Business Columns


Ken Keller: Move always forward, never backwards

In May, 1976 I had just finished what I first thought was my junior year of college. When I put a pencil to things, I discovered I was not 12 months away from graduation, but closer to two years.

January 26, 2014 | By Ken Keller Brain Food for Business Owners | Business Columns


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