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How Much Should I Pay for a Custom Suit?

$399 for a custom suit? You may be surprised to hear that the price tag can be well beneath 4 digits. Many tailors in this space start their pricing around $1,000, but most of us in the X&Y generation don’t want to foot that kind of a bill to look sharp.  I’ve been fortunate to watch two Atlanta entrepreneurs start a custom suit business more “tailored” to our needs. Trio Tailoring https://www.triocustoms.com/ realized there was a big need for moderate to low priced custom suits in the market, and the concept has been well received locally and is gaining traction nationally.   Check out the tips below from the owners at Trio – Benjamin McMillan and Mike Hu: Fit matters more than brand. The cardinal rule of the Office Style Guide is that the fit of the suit trumps everything else. A three-piece from the Ferragamo Fall Collection isn’t doing you any favors when the jacket is falling off your shoulders. ...

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Entrepreneur Series Lesson 10 – Passion, Persistence, and Perseverance

Lessons one through nine of my entrepreneur series were lessons extracted from my own business and other business owners across the country over the past twenty years.   Undoubtedly in your first year of business, you will make your fair share of mistakes like anyone starting a new venture.   There are so many valuable pieces of wisdom to learn as an entrepreneur, but here are my big three traits you must have to truly succeed in your business. Passion – Many business ventures people conjure up in their heads often revolve around the dreams of making a lot of money.  While building your wealth can be an outcome of a successful entrepreneurial pursuit, passion around your dreams is what will get you through the good times and the bad times.   When you get out of bed every day with emotions that are so compelling around what you are doing, it becomes easy to motivate others to get excited around that dream.    ...

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All I Want For Back To School Is My Trapper Keeper

It’s officially back-to-school time in the state of Georgia which means polishing up the old routine of making lunches, doing homework, and the frantic mornings of getting everyone on the bus or into the carpool on time.    It is also that time of the year where you are going to begin stocking up on school supplies if you haven’t it done so already.  All I can remember from my childhood and teen years was my mom taking me to the local K-Mart to pick up a few Bic pens, some No. 2 Ticonderoga pencils, and my color coded Trapper Keeper to organize my classes.   Nowadays we’ve got an entirely different routine with school systems providing lists instructing us to practically buy an entire shopping cart of school supplies. This year, my two middle school children have lists both in excess of thirty items that were ‘necessary’ for them to get.   It seems every year the list gets larger and larger.  ...

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Entrepreneur Series – Lesson 8 – The Marketing Plan

Marketing your products and services is the lifeblood of a new business.   While you can ultimately have all kinds of long term business strategies, without having a steady stream of new revenue your new business venture can close up in a short period of time.   In my opinion, if you look at the three big areas of business: marketing, the actual product or service you are offering, and client service, marketing is the one driver that can help sustain a business even if the other two areas are slightly subpar.    There are really two parts to the marketing plan.   One section involves dealing with implementing strategies that will specifically drive new client acquisition.   The other arena is building the brand of your new company. Many new entrepreneurs substantially underestimate the time and money it will take do marketing in the first year of their business.    From a time perspective, your networking functions, community involvement, and meeting face to face with ...

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Why The 401(k) Needs To Be Replaced

You would think because I’ve been doing financial planning for 21 years that I would be a flat out 100% advocate for 401(k) plans.    With the ability today to put away money on a pre-tax basis in your 401(k) or now the use of a Roth 401(k) there are many different ways to save for your future.    Many employers even offer a ‘match’ of some of the funds that you put away into your plan as an incentive and some companies even give a year end profit sharing contribution if the company has done well.    The 401(k) has now become the Gibraltar Rock for most people in the 30’s and 40’s as the main driving force for their future retirement.    In most 401(k) plans there are even more options including a multitude of mutual funds and in some cases a self directed brokerage account if you are savvy enough to manage the 401(k) on your own.     With all of this ...

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Life Insurance: Why Do You Think 1 Million Dollars Is A Lot Of Money?

I’m excited to take part in the life insurance movement with Good Financial Cents.  Having been a practitioner involved with life insurance over the past 21 years, I have unfortunately had to deliver my fair share of insurance checks.   When I met people who have lost a loved one and now have to build them a financial plan, never once did I hear them say, “Boy, I’m so angry my life insurance agent sold me too much insurance!”    Rather, I hear horror stories from widows who cannot understand why their husband didn’t take out more life insurance.   Or, they assured their spouse that they would be ‘well taken care of’ if anything happened to them.   This is the story for many families across America. In the last six months, I’ve seen both friends and family who are in the 40 to 45 year old range dealing with major medical issues.   I’m 42 and when people told me about 10 years ...

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Is It Time To Negotiate Your Next Purchase?

Over the past ten years, we’ve seen the proliferation of shopping websites all competing for our business.    There are websites where we can quickly compare the different prices from different vendors whether it is buying a television or a washer and dryer.    They say in life that everything is negotiable and I recently had a chance to see a new website called Netotiate. Netotiate allows you to not only price shop a given purchase, but it actually allows you to go one on one with the vendor negotiating with them on that particular item.   The first thing you do on the website it to pick a product.  Netoitate not only shops for that specific item, but then gives you an opportunity to work with specific store owners who are willing to haggle on the price.     You give the price that you would like to pay for that item to the store owner and Netoitate will tell you the odds that ...

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5 ‘Back To School’ Ways To Save Money

It’s hard to believe that we are almost back to school.    I know some of you don’t have to start the end of summer ritual until Labor Day comes, but in Atlanta school starts in the middle of August and is just a few weeks today.   This means it is time to be a smart shopper and take inventory of everything you have in your house from last season.  Did the kids outgrow their clothes?   Is it time for a new backpack? What supplies are lurking in the back of drawer that got deposited there at the end of school last year?  While we are all trying to save a few bucks, here are some smart ideas to stretch your dollar during the back to school season. Run it through the business – If you have kids that meet the requirements to be able to work in your business, you might want to consider buying all and any of the ...

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Potluck Dinner: What Should Your Dish Cost You?

My wife and I were recently invited to a potluck dinner/appetizers at our neighbors house.    Some people love the idea of going to a friend’s house and trying dishes made by all of the different guests.   Others are horrified to go to these events wondering what exactly the green stuff is in the white casserole dish.    The dessert table always seems safe with cookies, tarts, and assortments of different pies.    I’m always worried when I get invited to these shindigs what exactly I should bring to the party.   Should I be bringing food and a bottle of wine?  Does it have to be a homemade dish or is it appropriate to go to the local bakery?     So, how much should you spend when you get invited to a potluck dinner?  So, here are a few Ted rules after giving this a bunch of thought (and sleeping off whatever lemonade cocktail was in that pitcher at the bar). Make sure whatever ...

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