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Review Category : In The Media

The Latte Effect: How much could you be saving?

Do you regularly spend a few dollars on everyday things that you could probably live without? We’re all guilty of it but we tend to ignore the bigger picture. Think about it: if you saved the money you spent on small, day-to-day purchases, you could quickly save up a large sum of money that could be better used to benefit you down the road. Get familiar with the latte effect – the idea that unconscious spending on small things each day adds up to a vast amount over time. Change your spending habits While a dollar here and there may seem trivial in the scheme of things – as you can see, those dollars accumulate quickly. That’s not to say, however, that you should cut out all of life’s little luxuries. Pleasures such as medium lattes, manicures and lunches out can be enjoyed in moderation. It’s all about balance and discipline with your finances. Think about your everyday purchases – ...

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Do We Even Need Vacation Policies Anymore?

When I was running one of my first corporate divisions for a Fortune 50 company, I had a very wise operations person by my side.   One day he shared an important lesson with me that I will never forget.  He said, “Ted, don’t plan to put any policies in writing that you are not 100% certain that you plan to enforce.”   In the midst of this, I have learned through corporate America, and through running several of my own businesses, that policies can be both good and bad for the culture of an organization.   One that has come under some heated debate is the notion of whether or not we need vacation policies in organizations anymore. What’s more scary to you and the health of your organization . . . a) your employees have four weeks of vacation but they never take it (OR) b) you have an unlimited vacation policy and worry about people abusing it? The truth ...

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Do You Need Peyton Manning Insurance?

With the first official NFL Football game underneath our belts, the start of a new NFL season is now going to be the center of our TV rooms every Sunday.  For those of you who were lucky enough to draft Marshawn Lynch on your fantasy football team, your team had a head start going into opening weekend. What started out as something for people to just have fun following NFL Football has now turned into something far more serious than ever expected.  In fact, some people are questioning whether the new NFL rules enacted this year have something to do with the big business of fantasy football, in which the grand prize is $100,000 or more in some leagues.  The big question is ‘do you need fantasy sports insurance’? As people who deal with all types of insurance in our business, it’s pretty amazing to think that there could be such a thing as fantasy sports insurance (FSI).  However, in ...

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McDonald’s Happy, and Starbucks isn’t Lovin’ It

September 29th is National Coffee day and McDonald’s is going to be Lovin’ It.  If you drink coffee, you’re going to be Lovin’ It too.  The fast food chain will be giving away free small McCafe coffee during breakfast for the two weeks leading up to National Coffee Day.  While you and I are going to be lovin our SmartMoneyMoves, saving money for a couple of weeks; McDonalds is going to be smiling all the way to the bank.  This is the second time they have done a two week coffee give away.  At their spring event they gave away millions of cups and the huge success brought in many new customers.  The company has found that those coming for the free coffee, will also buy other breakfast items.  Their breakfast items are very profitable for them, so free coffee actually nets them millions. And if you get hooked on their flavor, soon you will see thru Kraft both McCafe ...

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Is The Best Part of Waking Up, Really Folgers In Your Cup?

Do you need a cup of coffee to get your day going, or a cup after lunch to carry you through the rest of the day?  According to Statistic Brain, 54% of Americans over the age of 18 drink coffee every day.  There’s definitely no shortage of places to purchase coffee whether it be from a grocery store, a coffee house, or a fast food joint.  Known more for their fast food, McDonald’s has recently launched a campaign to increase awareness around their coffee brand, McCafé.  It was announced that from September 16th until September 29th (National Coffee Day), consumers can get a cup of coffee during breakfast hours…all on the company’s dime!  Plus consumers are invited to share their pre-coffee moments with @McCafe #sipandtell.  If you are already a McCafé fan, you will be pleased to know that McDonald’s has announced an alliance with Kraft Foods to offer the brand in grocery stores by 2015! If you have a ...

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Smacking Gillette and Schick in the face.

Ok…  Everybody who shaves dreads reaching for new razors at the grocery store.  The prices are absolutely ridiculous.  And as someone who also shaves their head, it makes it doubly worse because of the added “real estate” I have to cover every time I shave.  I end up going through blades faster and using more of the damn things.  And the final straw?  For me it was the eternal search for the most comfortable blades with supposedly no discomfort, razor burn, or razor bumps.  I remember seeing new 3 blade razors, then 4 blade razors, then 5 blade.  All with names like Fusion®, Proglide®, Hydro®, Quattro® that promised smooth, close, comfortable shaves.   But, by the end of the week I would still find myself rejoicing in being able to give my face a break by not shaving on Saturday or Sunday… or both.  Do you want the answer?  Buy an old school Double Edged Safety Razor.  That’s right.  Shave just ...

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How Many Mailers for Mountain Property do You Get

You know what I’m talking about.  Those flyers you get in the mail for that fabulous property in the North Georgia mountains for some rock bottom price.  They usually have some picturesque view of a stream and a beautiful cabin in the corner.  How tempting is that?   4.3 acres with mountain views and river access for only $7,500.  And let’s not forget in big letters across the top “Land Liquidation” or “One Day Only” to get you to act quickly. So is this a good deal, or just clever marketing. Just like the hay day of the Timeshare sales strategy, if you go to check out one of these deals, you are going to get the hard seminar sales pitch.  You remember; you just had to sit thru a 90 minute presentation that ended up with you being cornered until you relented or forced your way out.  And the ‘From Only $7,500’ is not what you saw in the picture; ...

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The Top Five Things People Like To Steal

Tell me lies. Tell me sweet little lies. I do enjoy Fleetwood Mac’s music and for years people have been convincing themselves that there IS a difference between a lie and a ‘white lie’. Y ’know, the lies that don’t really count. If you asked most people on the street, they will vehemently deny ever having been a thief in their lifetime. However, most of us at one time or another have magically ‘borrowed’ something that wasn’t ours and conveniently it never got returned. Here is my top five list of things people like to steal. PENS- Does it really matter when you realize five minutes after leaving the Chinese takeout place that you lifted the one pen they had to sign off on the credit card slips. Nah! You ‘earned’ that pen from paying more than you should anyway . . . that is at least according to you. Whether it is a hotel room, the cube next door ...

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Listen To What The Baby Has To Say

I am a complete marketing junkie, so I have to give props to financial companies that take risks to launch edgy marketing campaigns.  Historically, investment companies are boring advertisers showing couples taking a bicycle ride, smelling the roses on their front porch, or some actor looking all serious on camera about the ‘serious’ investment company.   I was a bit melancholy this year to see the last installments of the E*Trade baby commercials which completed a tremendous six year run of ad spots. For a marketing campaign to be successful, it has to leave a mark etched in our mind that will last for many years to come.  Think about slogans like Nike’s Just Do It or Wendy’s Where’s The Beef that you can remember just like it was yesterday.   When the E*Trade baby aired during the Super Bowl in 2008, the commercial made us all laugh while at the same time beginning the drip the ideas of what we could ...

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How Does LeBron Become A Billionaire?

There was no way to avoid the news this past week that LeBron James decided he was coming home to Northeast Ohio to return to playing basketball for the Cleveland Cavaliers.    It has been widely shared in the news that LeBron James wants to become the first billionaire athlete.   Is this gutsy move actually designed with the thought in mind to win championships or created in the next set of career moves to forge the path to becoming a billionaire? “It’s my biggest milestone,” he says in a story with GQ. “Obviously. I want to maximize my business. And if I happen to get it, if I happen to be a billion-dollar athlete, ho. Hip hip hooray! Oh, my God, I’m gonna be excited.” (source: GQ) With a reported $250 million dollar net worth, (source: celebritynetworth.com) just what smart money moves does LeBron need to do to get himself to a billion dollar net worth. Win Just One Championship In ...

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