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Archive By Section - Business Columns


When should your children start thinking about estate planning?

Many people consider estate planning as something that is only necessary for the elderly or for the rich. I would argue that estate planning is necessary for anyone over the age of 18. Before you stop reading, let me describe some actual incidents that have occurred in the past couple of months that illustrate the need for estate planning by younger adults.

June 04, 2008 | By Randall D. Armour | Business Columns


Endure or even prosper during job squeeze

With all the bad news going around about recession or economy in slow-growth, the one thing that's not debatable is that the employment market is weaker than it was a year ago. Let the economists figure out what's going on these days but you can do something about your income situation.

There are two ways for you to go. You can sit at your desk or in your shop with a "the sky is falling" attitude, or you can take the bull by the horns and become the master of your own fate. The time for depending on ...

May 30, 2008 | By Dr. Maureen Stephenson | Business Columns


Selecting a litigation attorney for your business dispute

This is the second part in a series of columns by David Poole, a partner in the law firm of Poole & Shaffery, LLP.

In Part 1 of this article, we discussed the need for the prudent purchaser of legal services to represent them in a business dispute to have a thoughtful and thorough approach to the attorney hiring process.

May 29, 2008 | By David Poole | Business Columns


Your economic stimulus check could be in the mail

In an effort to boost the U.S. economy, Congress passed the Economic Stimulus Package Act of 2008 on Feb. 7.

May 28, 2008 | By Julie Sturgeon | Business Columns


Lessons to be learned from businesses that fail

It seems that nearly every day the media is touting that some brand name business or an industry is on the verge of collapse. The reality is that every day businesses fail and industries consolidate, meaning companies are purchased by competitors or go by the wayside.

Those businesses that cannot adapt or change will ultimately fail.

May 27, 2008 | By Kenneth W. Keller | Business Columns


Avoid communication breakdowns when growth occurs

As a company grows, one area that often becomes a bottleneck is communication. There are certain dynamics that take place in communications, as the number of involved people increases.

For example, in a small two-person company, there is the greatest opportunity for direct conversation and discussion throughout the day.

May 23, 2008 | Commentary by Dr. Maureen Stephenson | 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


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Articles by Section - Business Columns


Joe Klocko: Finding the ideal employee

Now that I have your interest, I'll try to let you down gently.

July 09, 2014 | By Joe Klocko Business Matters | Business Columns


Ken Keller: Advice for a better second half

Last week marked the end of the first half of the calendar year. It seems like January was just last week.

July 06, 2014 | By Ken Keller Brain Food For Business Owners | Business Columns


Janice France-Pettit: Tips for growing a family

Starting or growing a family can be an exciting milestone in one's life. But as most experienced parents will tell you, your priorities are likely to change, and along with these changes come new expenses and responsibilities,

June 25, 2014 | By Janice France-Pettit Union Bank | Business Columns


Ken Keller: Advice given, heard and ignored

Being a trusted advisor is a place of honor. When you reach a certain stage in life, you are compensated not for what you do but for what you know.

June 22, 2014 | By Ken Keller | Business Columns


Nancy Starczyk: Student debt hurts housing

With student loan debt nationwide at an estimated $1.2 trillion, homeownership for many recent and past graduates is a distant dream.

June 18, 2014 | By Nancy Starczyk Real Estate Talk | Business Columns


The conversation you really need to have

Throughout the years at the Advisory Board meetings I facilitate, I've heard a fair amount of laughter and grumbling from the business people who participate.

June 14, 2014 | By Ken Keller Brain Food For Business Owners | Business Columns


Carl Kanowsky: Employees moving could cost you

Jim, president of the top local IT company, came by the other day. He was not happy. He'd just been served with a complaint, alleging that he'd breached a new employee's contract, had wrongfully terminated her, and was guilty of breach of promissory estoppel (whatever that is?).

June 11, 2014 | By Carl Kanowsky It's the law | Business Columns


Profitability Matters, but Not To Everyone

The bottom line, the profitability of a company, should matter to every employee but many owners tend to keep this information private. Owners then complain when profits are thin.

June 09, 2014 | By Ken Keller | Business Columns


Hilltop Homes Preferred by Luxury Buyers

Even in a state with hundreds of miles of beautiful, sandy beaches, luxury home buyers in California preferred hilltop homes over ocean-front properties by a margin of four to one.

June 03, 2014 | By Nancy Starczyk | Business Columns


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