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BUSINESS
March 10, 2014 | By Reid Kanaley, Inquirer Columnist
Starting a business is complicated, but there is support for entrepreneurs. And advice can come even from unusual sources. Example: the ex-Navy SEAL with lessons in business leadership. Hard-core leadership lessons are taught at Entrepreneur.com by the likes of well-named Jeff Boss, a former Navy SEAL, now a business consultant. In this recent post, Boss describes the ways "a leader should show up. " That includes dressing the part, listening, and being candid. And, he says, there are no excuses: "Tired after a rough night sleep?
BUSINESS
March 3, 2014 | By Reid Kanaley, Inquirer Columnist
The hard winter may have slowed car sales. So, if you're in the market, there might be more good deals out there than usual in the coming weeks. Before hitting the lots, check out these sites. "Confessions of a Car Salesman," at the Popular Mechanics site, is labeled "anonymous" but has the ring of truth in it. The question-and-answer post explains, for example, that the salesman really must go talk to the manager on every deal, because - in addition to the odd psychology of car dealing - the manager holds all the cards and typically keeps information from the salesman on the bottom-line price for any given car on the lot. Usually, he says, "it's the hardcore hagglers that get the best prices.
BUSINESS
February 24, 2014 | By Reid Kanaley, Inquirer Columnist
In the run-up to tax day, April 15, when returns are due to the IRS, you may have to unwind some of the complicated new tax rules - and fend off a few tax scams. Here is some help. The IRS last week issued its annual list of "dirty dozen tax scams" and said identity theft and phone scams lead the list. Many of the scams are perpetrated by tax filers, for example, claiming false expenses or exemptions. In the case of fraud-by-phone, the IRS says, "scams include many variations, ranging from instances where callers say the victims owe money or are entitled to a huge refund.
BUSINESS
February 17, 2014 | By Reid Kanaley, Inquirer Columnist
Romances, always tricky, can turn difficult when couples face financial issues. After Valentine's Day, we look at the hard facts of life and love and mingled wallets. Advice that couples "may not want to hear," outlined at About.com, includes a way for married couples to avoid some financial disagreements by maintaining separate accounts - along with a joint acccount. Writers Sheri and Bob Stritof say: "Having your own money that you can spend however you want can lessen arguments about money.
BUSINESS
February 10, 2014 | By Reid Kanaley, Inquirer Columnist
In a power outage, utilities can't charge you for electricity they didn't deliver. But what responsibilities do they have in providing service, and what are your rights - and responsibilities - as a consumer? The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission displays the "PA Energy Consumer Bill of Rights" in this document. There's nothing specific about how your utility should respond to an outage, but it notes that utilities "are required to make necessary repairs and improvements to service and facilities.
BUSINESS
February 3, 2014 | By Reid Kanaley, Inquirer Columnist
Janet Yellen is to be sworn in Monday, the first woman to chair the Federal Reserve. Will she oversee an ongoing economic recovery? And what of the legacy of her predecessor, Ben Bernanke? Bernanke's legacy is the subject of this Breakout video at Yahoo Finance. Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at Bankrate.com, says of the exiting Fed chair, "He gets credit, and quite rightly so, for steering us clear of a depression back in 2008. " However, McBride says, it will be some time before Bernanke's real impact is known.
BUSINESS
January 20, 2014 | By Reid Kanaley, Inquirer Columnist
Credit-card debt can sneak up on you. If you think $20,000 in such debt is no biggie, you're wrong. If you think you'll never have to deal with that kind of number, better think again. For all but a few of those facing it, living with a credit-card debt of $20,000 or more is a major life problem. A Credit.com online survey this month found 5 percent of respondents had such debt - and a significant portion of that group thought most people were like them. The most common reason for running up such debt, the post says, is that people "don't have sufficient income to cover their expenses.
BUSINESS
January 13, 2014 | By Reid Kanaley, Inquirer Columnist
Many people settle for a job, but there are online tools that can help you choose a career that suits your personality, education, stress tolerance, and, of course, your need for money. Stressed out? At BusinessInsider.com, there's a list of "high-paying jobs for people who don't like stress" - illustrated, strangely, with a photo of a couple nursing tall glasses of beer. The list includes jobs with annual pay averaging from about $65,000 to $186,000, the latter number belonging to orthodontists, who apparently find it relaxing to realign people's teeth and jaws.
BUSINESS
January 6, 2014 | By Reid Kanaley, Inquirer Columnist
If you think your retirement will take care of itself, think again. A secure retirement requires planning, no matter how modest your expectations. If you're getting a late start, here are some helpful ideas: "Tax Guy" Bill Bischoff says in this Marketwatch.com post that making "catch-up" contributions to a 401(k), IRA, or similar tax-advantaged retirement account can significantly increase your savings. In many cases, catch-up payments for the 2013 tax year are allowed through April 15 for people who were at least 50 years old by the end of 2013.
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