Chase bank has launched an interactive TV commercial that allows watchers to use their remotes to extend the commercial’s air time. For those of you that just can’t get enough of banking and credit card pitches, this might sound like a good thing, but beware, the commercials weren’t created for your viewing enjoyment alone — they’ll be used to gather socioeconomic information about your household.
Growing companies eventually need a chief financial officer. Titles seem cut and dry — chief operating officer, chief executive officer, CFO — but the function of each position can vary widely from one company to the next, especially in a smaller business.
Take a few deep breaths — everything’s going to be fine. “This crisis is not uncommon,” said James Paulsen, chief investment strategist with Wells Capital Management. “It’s important to realize we have crises regularly. With capitalism, if you’re not in a crisis, you soon will be.” Here are some examples: The dot-com disaster — “corporate balance sheets were terrible in 1999.”
The dreaded R-word is being bandied about these days by pundits, consumers and business owners, but is it really all that bad? Yes, and no. “People are terrified of recessions, but recessions aren’t what they used to be,” said Michael J. Swanson, senior economist at Wells Fargo Private Bank’s Focus 2008 panel discussion last week at the Fine Arts Center.
Back in the good, old days — say, last year — when prices were reduced on just about anything, people would buy. Gee, I’ve always wanted a wireless doorbell. But now that fear is pervasive, consumers and investors turn and run when they see a sale — odd, isn’t it? But stocks and bonds are currently on sale, and shrewd investors will defy their fear — and buy.
Money has more than face value — it has time value. Keep this in mind when paying taxes. Mark Patterson, tax partner at Stockman Kast Ryan, said one of the main areas he considers for clients needing to accelerate deductions is the alternative minimum tax.
The Vectra Bank Colorado Small Business Index registered 95 during October, up from a revised 93 in September, thanks to unanticipated national economic strength, according to Vectra Bank’s corporate economist, Jeff Thredgold. “The single biggest contributor to the two-point jump in the Colorado SBI was the unexpected strength in U.S. gross domestic product growth last quarter,” Thredgold said. “Lower borrowing costs and increased labor availability in Colorado were also factors.”
Entrepreneurs have marketable ideas, perhaps a few prototypes and plenty of chutzpah — but, invariably, they need capital. Chris Blees, chief executive officer of BiggsKofford P.C. and a founding member of High Altitude Investors, gave a presentation about private company access to capital markets to entrepreneurs and investors during this month’s Peak Venture Group meeting.
The Compass Bank Colorado Business Leaders Confidence Index dipped from 55.6 to 47.9 for the fourth quarter of 2007. National economic performance, along with pessimism about hiring and capital expenditures, drove the index to a record low.
What are the benefits of having nontraditional assets in your portfolio? Ted Schwartz, president of Capstone Investment Financial Group Inc., discussed these benefits and other investment topics during the Financial Planning Association’s financial forum at the DoubleTree Hotel. Schwartz uses some of the concepts of university endowment models to lower volatility or increase returns, especially for retirement income portfolios.
Although he expected a “sluggish and mild environment” during the beginning of the year, Keith Hembre, chief economist and chief investment strategist for FAF Advisors, said that the economy was instead moderate, with stable unemployment and robust corporate earnings. But that’s not all that happened in the economy, he told the audience at U.S. Bank’s economic update breakfast at The Antlers Hilton.
“Rarely do ‘experts’ make the biggest contributions. People who are innovative and not limited by industry norms and preconceived notions are often those who break barriers and forge advances,” said Laura Benjamin, president of Pinehurst Press Ltd.