Review Category : In The Media

The Five Best Infomercials Of All Time

Who doesn’t love the infomercial? When it comes to marketing, this is still one of the greatest methods to pull your heart strings and then throw you a scarcity mentality offer that will make you jump off your couch and order something today. Some historians say that Vitamix was the first infomercial ever made, and today infomercials are a lot longer than 30 seconds or two minutes. Some infomercials last as long as thirty minutes. I don’t know what your favorite infomercial was growing up, but odds are you purchased something at least once from an infomercial. Here are my five favorites. The Ginsu Knife– (circa 1980)- The original Ginsu Knife. It could cut a slice of bread so thin you could almost see through it. Remember that? This is one of those infomercials that is indelibly etched in my head from my early childhood days. It almost seemed impossible that a knife could do what the Ginsu Knife could ...

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Will Big Insurance Companies Need A Financial Bailout?

With the deadline looming right around the corner on January 31st to sign up for health care coverage through open enrollment, many people are being hit with sticker shock on what it will cost to carry individual insurance. While it was bandied about that costs would go down when the Obamacare system rolled out, individuals and families across small businesses and large corporation are continuing to see their premiums spike. United Healthcare recently announced http://cnnmon.ie/1lHDU41 that they could lose 1 billion dollars through Obamacare from actual results in 2015 and projected losses in 2016. So, will big insurance companies ultimately need a bailout? The first question revolves around the pressure being put on the system. Why are premiums continuing to go up? There are more people in the system- There are so many different reports on exactly how many of the uninsured actually got insurance, but what we do know is that nobody can be denied coverage. Many of those who were uninsured had serious ...

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Six Things That Will Cost You More Money In 2016

Inflation appears to be one of those financial statistics that on paper is defying gravity.   According to www.inflationdata.com, the inflation rate last year was less than one percent and in some months of the year it was actually negative.   For many of us, the inflation numbers may say that prices are staying flat or even going down, but when we hit the check out register our wallets tell us another story.  While some prices may stay flat in 2016, here is your smart money moves guide to six things that will cost you more money in 2016. COLLEGE- While inflation has been hovering around an all-time low, many of the major colleges and universities have increased costs in the five years in the 6% to 7% range.  Just check out this historical cost of college from the University of Tennessee showing just how steep the increases have been over the past thirty years. http://onestop.utk.edu/files/2015/10/tuition_fees_history.pdf.  Since this is about supply and ...

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Wouldn’t Bernie Sanders Like Participation Trophies?

I don’t often comment on politics since this is a money column, but after watching the Democratic debate on Saturday (really, on a Saturday?) I thought I would comment on a few of the remarks from Bernie Sanders and why I’m 100% certain that participation trophies will be in any bill he would pass down the road. About five years ago, I wrote an article about why I detest participation trophies that are handed out today in sports.   You may have even seen a comment a year ago from pro football player James Harrison who said himself that he didn’t like the fact that his six year and eight year old got participation trophies.  While you might think it’s cruel that only the first (and/or) second place team or individuals earn (and I say earn) trophies for playing sports, it should motivate all of our children to work harder the next season so they can be winners the following year.  ...

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How I Grew To Hate The Pumpkin

It used to be that the month of October was the month of the pumpkin.  Families galore excited about picking a weekend to head to the local pumpkin patch, sip down some apple cider, and get all of the carving materials ready to go for Halloween.   For many people, fall time is one of the best times of the year.   The leaves are changing, the weather cools off, and all kinds of sporting events are going on from college football to the World Series.   Now, the fall is no longer about these images, but instead we are barraged by pumpkins, pumpkins, and more pumpkins to such an extent that even Michael Myers would be coming back to life. Remember the movie Forrest Gump when Bubba said, “Anyways, like I was sayin’ shrimp is the fruit of the sea.  You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, sauté it. Dey’s uh, shrimp kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo.  Pan fried, deep fried, ...

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How Much Will Ashley Madison Really Cost People?

When hackers recently exposed a reported 32 million Ashley Madison customers’ names, credit card numbers, emails, home addresses and sexual preferences, the world went into a virtually tizzy.   Does this mean that the notorious dating website for cheaters failed at the very thing its business was supposed to be built around which was letting its customers have secret affairs?   So, what’s the price of these undercover rendezvous going to really cost America?  Here’s a breakdown from your smart money moves on what it might cost people when it is all said and done. Despite the fact that probably all e-mails weren’t into having a secret affair, there’s no doubt that the widespread exposure of hacked e-mails is going to cause a ton of divorce or a ton of marital counseling.  One woman said, “I looked up my husband’s email and he was on there. I confronted him and he denied it. We both went to the Ashley Madison site together ...

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Would You Wear A 3,000 Square Foot Home On Your Wrist?

The U.S. Open for tennis has been in full swing over the past couple of weeks, and the drama of this event in New York City never fails to deliver incredible outcomes to watch at home. With the likes of Serena Williams chasing the true Grand Slam and Roger Federer playing like a young teenager again, it is one of the best tennis events ever year. Beyond the lights, camera, action, I found an interesting money story about Rafael Nadal and the famous watch that he wears on his wrist. Many players have deals with watch companies, but this roughly $850,000 watch is something that only 50 people will experience around the world (that is how many the maker Richard Mille will make this year). At $850,000 that is easily the cost in many cities of a mini McMansion and in some parts of America could be a 5,000+ square foot house. What makes this watch so unbelievable? It uses ...

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Five Business Lessons From Donald Trump

Which person in the White House will Donald Trump fire first if he is elected President of The United States?    A few weeks ago, I was able to watch a piece of Donald Trump’s coming out party announcing his candidacy for President.  Whether you like Donald Trump or you don’t like Donald Trump, you have to admire his uncanny ability to be savvy about using all outlets possible to build the riches of his empire.  Trump golf course.  Trump hotels. Trump water.   It never ends.   Here are five business lessons that all business owners can learn from Donald Trump. Use The Media To Expand Your Reach I read this excerpt from www.commondreams.org about Trump’s initial speech. Already the commentators have derided his massive egotitis – he said “I” 195 times in his announcement speech, not counting the 28 times he said “my” or “mine” or the 22 mentions of “me.” But Trump revels in self-promotion and, as one commentator wrote, ...

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47% Of Americans Pay No Income Taxes

It’s pretty interesting to look at who pays income tax in America and who does not.  That is until you realize you might just be in the top 1% of all wage earners in America and the differential in the percentage of taxes you pay relative to overall adjusted gross income does not match at all when you add up the numbers.  What’s truly amazing about the data below is that the top 1% of wage earners is about $380,354 and the top 5% of wage earners is about $159,619, but the top 5% account for 58.72% of the taxes. When compared to their share of adjusted gross income, the top 1% are almost double the income taxes against their actual AGI contributed into the mix. WHO ARE THE 47% WHO PAY NO FEDERAL INCOME TAXES? (this excerpt was taking from www.financialsamurai.com) The Tax Policy Center’s Donald Marron said they fall into three main groups: The working poor. The earned income ...

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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 ...

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