October 26, 2014 |
Starting a business of your own sounds like a do-it-yourself proposition. But entrepreneurs will tell you this secret to success: It takes a village. When Francine Griesing left "Big Law" to start her own firm, she needed some key things: a few clients, a business plan, and some savings in the bank. She had worked at Greenberg Traurig and networked extensively during her time there, serving on professional organizations such as the Philadelphia Bar Association. Today, her firm, Griesing Law, represents Fortune 500 corporations in high-stakes litigation, intellectual property, and employment matters.
October 20, 2014 |
Philadelphia is as cool as Silicon Valley or Manhattan for start-ups and aspiring entrepreneurs. Yes, really. Got an idea? Go for it. "Philly is a great sandbox. You can try, fail, try again, tweak, and you're not under a huge microscope," says venture capitalist Patrick FitzGerald. Just ask Allison Berliner, who earned an M.B.A. from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. She spent a semester in San Francisco, but came back east to work at Wanderfly, then co-founded a fashion brands-matchmaking website, PopInShop, in Philly.
October 16, 2014 |
Are investors rushing in where banks fear to tread? Amid the stock market surge of the last couple of years, buyers of smaller, private U.S. companies worth $10 million to $250 million have borrowed more money to finance deals, while investing less of their own, says Philadelphia investment banker Andy Greenberg . He tracks these deals as a partner in GF Data , a West Conshohocken firm that collects company sales prices and terms from...
October 12, 2014 |
Stock flippers and ratholes: That was the dirty business of true-life Wolf of Wall Street Jordan Belfort, says Gregory Coleman, the FBI special agent who ensnared the notorious criminal. The real story is even better than the movie. And, like every good story, it has lessons for us. Coleman was invited to tell the tale at the recent Economic Crimes Conference at the Philadelphia FBI offices by Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge John Brosnan, formerly of Coleman's old New York squad.
October 7, 2014 |
Women save a higher percentage of their paychecks, according to new data from Vanguard, the Malvern mutual fund giant. Number-crunchers such as Jean Young, senior research analyst at the Vanguard Center for Retirement Research, have taken note of this trend. "For as long as we've followed the data, women contribute more to savings, but have lower savings levels," said Young, in part because their paychecks are lower. (You can read more about the gender divide research at Vanguard's web site: http://vanguardinstitutionalblog.com )
October 6, 2014 |
Would you buy your college-aged or adult child a house? It's a growing trend, particularly as the real estate market rebounds. Broker Eric Rehling with Re/Max in Conshohocken says real estate may feel more stable as an investment than the capital markets. "The parents that have the means to do this are nervous the stock market is a bit overvalued, or they have a decent amount of cash in their accounts because of the run-up," Rehling says. Depending on their age and tax bracket, some parents approaching 70½ are required to start withdrawing money from retirement funds.
September 28, 2014 |
Fresh off a trip to South Korea, City Councilman David Oh has introduced legislation that would create an agency to oversee international trade missions and attract foreign investment to Philadelphia. "Our city doesn't do international very well," Oh said. "There's no money. You need money to do things. " Oh's plan is to establish a quasi-government agency, outside the direct control of the mayor and with its own funding stream. The International Trade and Investment Authority, as he wants to call it, would be primarily funded through the EB-5 federal program, which links foreign investors with local projects in return for temporary U.S. visas.
September 28, 2014 |
Is your college student living at home this year? You can charge your kid rent, and be paid out of the 529 college-savings plan you set up years ago. Most important: The student must be enrolled at least half-time in school. According to accounting and tax experts, withdrawals from a 529 education fund can be used to cover housing expenses even if students continue living with their parents while attending college. Some experts, such as Rosalind Sutch of Drucker & Scaccetti Certified Public Accountants/Business Advisors in Center City, say it's crucial to be careful about how you account for those expenses out of a 529 plan.
September 19, 2014 |
An investigation into an unsuccessful investment by the Pennsylvania State Employees' Retirement System (SERS) has "found no evidence of illegality" by Anthony Clark, the system's former chief investment officer, who persuaded the system to pump $250 million into Tiger Management Advisors as the first step in a planned hedge fund strategy. "Whether Clark intentionally misled the board by seeking to conceal Tiger's poor performance is open to question," the investigator, former acting state attorney general Walter Cohen, added in his two-page note to the board summarizing his findings.
September 15, 2014 |
A memorial service will be held Saturday, Oct. 11, for Alan Crawford Jr., 88, an investment adviser, conservationist, and civic leader, who died Saturday, Aug. 23, at his home, Little Brook Farm in Devon. The cause of death was respiratory failure. Before retiring in 1986, Mr. Crawford was the managing partner of the Philadelphia office of Brown Brothers Harriman & Co., a private bank headquartered in New York City. He joined the firm in 1957 and was made partner in 1974. Prior to that, he worked at Stroud & Co., an investment company in Philadelphia.