A Donation Line On Your Dining Out Bill?

As I finished up a business breakfast the other day at J. Christopher’s in Atlanta, I handed over my credit card and waited for the bill to come over to the table. As I filled out the credit card receipt, I began to write down the tip I quickly calculated in my head and add up the numbers for the final bill. Then, something struck me. It looked like there was an extra line and I wasn’t sure that I had filled out the credit card receipt correctly. It dawned on me as I re-read the line items that there was a new line on this receipt titled “donation”. Donation? Since when did donation become a line item on a breakfast, lunch, or dinner bill? I wrote an article several years ago http://bit.ly/1PaR5rB called Santa Clause at Five Below about the growing trend in department stores and supermarkets who ask you if you want to make a donation every single time you shop at the store. While I applaud the... ...

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Does Your Business Need A Buy-Sell Agreement?

One of the questions I will ask a business owner in my interview process is “Do you have a business will?”  By this line of questioning, I am simply asking what happens to the business if you die.   Some businesses have one or multiple partners and others businesses are owned by a single individual.   Far too often, most owners after they have built a successful business don’t take the time to flesh through the details of what will happen with the business in the event of death, disability, retirement, etc. One of the most important discussions for any owner is how to install a buy-sell agreement.    The buy-sell agreement is typically between partners or co-owners, although it could work with an outside third party if there aren’t other owners in the business. Think about this almost as a premarital agreement between two parties about the value of the business and what will get paid out to the other owners family at the time of death, incapacitation, etc. so the business... ...

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Why 9 to 5 Will Never Exist Again

Who could ever forget Dabney Coleman as the boss who gets paid back in spades by Dolly Parton, Lily Tomlin, and Jane Fonda in the 1980 movie 9 to 5.  I’m sure those of you who can remember seeing the movie are probably humming the song in your head, so here goes: “Tumble outta bed And I stumble to the kitchen Pour myself a cup of ambition And yawn and stretch And try to come to life Jump in the shower And the blood starts pumpin’ Out on the street The traffic starts jumpin’ The folks like me on the job from 9 to 5…” It’s 35 years later and 9 to 5 might have existed in that world, but let’s look at the important changes: Before you even tumble out of bed, you pick your phone up to see what e-mails, text messages, and important Facebook notices have come in from 11 p.m. to 6:30 a.m.— and then you stumble into the kitchen. Upon arriving in the kitchen, you... ...

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Road Trip Savings For The Summer Family Vacation

At some point during the summer, you’ll likely embark on some type of vacation whether it be a week at the beach or a cross country trip in the motor home.   Since the summertime may afford you just a little bit more time off of work and gas prices are still on the lower side, you might decide that going by automobile is the travel mode of choice.  If you decide to load up the SUV or the station wagon and start out on a road trip, here are five smart money moves you might want to consider to stretch your dollars this summer. Avoid the holiday weekends– If you are going to a popular destination, make sure to avoid Memorial Day, 4th of July, and Labor Day Weekend.   These weekends will likely cost you more for hotel rooms and getting into certain attractions.  You might want to get out on the road extra early to make sure that you aren’t stuck in traffic all day as that may be... ...

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What’s My Business Worth?

People start a business for all kinds of different reasons.  Some people start a business because they are fulfilling a lifelong passion to create a new product or service.   Others see a new business as a getaway from the grit and grind of corporate America to become their own boss.   There is also a group of people that look at a business as an engine to create cash flow, create a family legacy, and build substantial wealth.   Whatever reason tickles your fancy to start a business, at some juncture if the business has some success most owners ponder the question about what is the value of their business if they were to sell it to another individual.  Here are some smart money moves guidelines in thinking about how to value your business. Like any piece of real estate including your home, the valuation of a business in my opinion is part objective and part subjective.  At the end of the day whatever financial and emotional analysis you run through, it... ...

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What Does Steph Curry’s Mouthguard Teach Us About Investing?

It’s playoff basketball time and this past week we saw all kinds of buzzer beaters from Derrick Rose and Paul Pierce in some really exciting games. The NBA loves statistics, and I love looking at those statistics and thinking about what it may mean when it comes to your money. So, how the heck does the mouthguard that newly crowned MVP Stephen Curry wears and investing wind up in the same category? This is where the ‘your smart money moves’ column takes everyday life and turns it into valuable money making lessons. The Wall Street Journal (source wsj.com) did a recent study looking at all of Steph Curry’s 337 free throws taking during the course of the NBA Season. With the Mouthguard out, Curry shot 198 for 214 from the free throw line which is a 92.5% shooting percentage. With the Mouthguard in, Curry shot 110 for 123 which is an 89.4% shooting percentage. The real difference between these two is 3.1% (or 3.35% real growth) which is a substantial... ...

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