Resolve to become a better investor in 2017

Andrew Adams, an investment strategist with Raymond James, recently penned some New Year’s resolutions for investors. This column borrows heavily from his piece. Invest. Most people remain woefully underinvested, Adams noted. “No one looks back and says ‘I should have saved less money.’” Invest first in yourself, building skills and possibly in your own business. […]

With the election over, economics trumps politics

The market response to the surprising results of the presidential election has been interesting. From the Monday prior to election to the last day of November, the broad market as measured by the Standard & Poor’s 500 moved up about 6 percent. While it seems like the market has been soaring higher, it’s mostly recovering […]

Plan to prosper: Success seldom a random event

What does the term “financial success” mean to you? As a professional financial planner, I know the first and most important interaction I have with people is the initial meeting, where my job is to listen well as I complete a success inventory that tries to capture clients’ values, situations, goals and challenges in a […]

Good business planning process: ready, set, revise

Most of my columns this year have focused on developing business plans to help entrepreneurs achieve their visions of success. As with the individuals with whom we help to prepare personal financial plans, a printed “plan” sitting on a shelf is worthless. It’s the process of planning that’s most helpful. The final step is to […]

Use this checklist to get started on your estate planning

People tend to put off estate planning, but in doing so run the risk they could die without leaving their financial affairs in good order and in turn leave their heirs with potentially significant problems. No matter your age, this estate planning checklist will help you get started on the process. Create a will if […]

Risky business: Plan to avoid pitfalls

The business model that leads to sustainable profits should be simple and easy. But business also can be risky.  Here are nine things to consider that could result in failure. The market’s too small. Especially if there are geographic constraints on delivering products or services, successful niche businesses in a major metropolitan area might not […]

Model effort makes running a business easy

At lunch with a client I always wished had become a mentor I learned business is easy. Or at least it ought to be. If completing your daily tasks is too hard, you’ll make mistakes and disappoint customers. A business should be a systematic enterprise designed to please customers who need what you have and […]

Common strategies apply to marketing and job hunts

Business is personal. The same strategies businesses apply to marketing also work for new graduates looking for jobs. That’s why passion and curiosity, uniquely individual traits, constitute key components of a business plan as well as a job hunt. At an organizational level, a marketing plan should identify the key benefits to buying your service or […]

Good leaders bring right mix of talents to management

Assembling the right team to lead your fledgling enterprise is tough because it demands a degree of self-awareness few of us enjoy. If you aren’t the right person, then either learn how to recruit well or fold at the outset, before you have a lot of money tied up in the effort. I’ve learned a […]

Business canvas a start for picture of success

Entrepreneurs use business plans to help others see a vision for their companies. The greatest value of writing a plan, though, is the process of thinking through the decisions made during the chaotic launch experience. In the very early planning stages, entrepreneurs develop a business “canvas” to help them identify how their business model works. […]

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