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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


Men, Women Differ in 401(k) Habits

Even in 401(k)s, research has shown there is a difference between the genders when it comes to expectations and use of 401(k) plans. Women, according to a major financial company's research, are more likely to have a smaller account balance and to be more concerned about their ability to save enough for retirement than are men. And, women are more likely than men to highly value a 401(k) plan.

April 03, 2008 | By Jim Lentini | Business Columns


Consumer Class Actions Aren't Working

You get them in the mail, see them in the newspapers (in small print) and, sometimes, they are on (late-night) television: NOTICE OF SETTLEMENT OF CLASS ACTION.

April 03, 2008 | By Don Ricketts | Business Columns


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Articles by Section - Business Columns


Ken Keller: Are you having fun?

I've always liked watching team sports. Sometimes you don't even have to be watching a game to know how things are going. You simply have to listen. You can hear the winners.

June 01, 2014 | By Ken Keller Brain Food For Business Owners | Business Columns


Kari Aaver: Employment resources

Not yet using LinkedIn to help you find qualified professionals? You should be.

May 28, 2014 | By Kari Aaver Business Column | Business Columns


Ken Keller: My trees, your people and lessons learned

When we moved into our home, a row of six tall and bushy pine trees provided ample shade and privacy for our back yard.

May 25, 2014 | By Ken Keller Brain Food For Business Owners | Business Columns


Ken Keller: Why employees leave for greener pastures

Forbes reported that millions of employed Americans are switching employers each month.

May 18, 2014 | By Ken Keller Brain Food For Business Owners | Business Columns


Janice France-Pettit: Financial spring cleaning

Spring is here and many of us are busy cleaning out closets and dusting the cobwebs that may have accumulated during the winter. While you are taking on spring cleaning projects, consider taking a fresh look at your finances.

May 14, 2014 | By Janice France-Pettit Union Bank | Business Columns


Time to revisit your pricing

If there is one thing that makes me angry, it is the statement stuffed into my cable television bill telling me that the price I have to pay has gone up.

May 12, 2014 | By Ken Keller Brain Food for Business Owners | Business Columns


Ken Keller: We should all be so lucky

This past week I watched Brian Tracy's video "Success is a Journey" a total of five times as I facilitated client orientations.

May 03, 2014 | By Ken Keller Brain Food For Business Owners | Business Columns


Janice France-Pettit:Use your tax refund wisely

If you are one of the millions of Americans receiving a refund this year, following are several ways to put your refund to work.

April 30, 2014 | By Janice France-Pettit Union Bank | Business Columns


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