For Some Businesses, Success is All in the Family

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Twenty-five years ago, business analysts thought the traditional family business model would eventually become extinct. But here it is in 2016, and some of the largest brand names in America are still owned and operated by their original families: Walmart, BMW, Tyson, Samsung, Kohler, Christian Dior, Mars, Ford and Comcast. In fact, public and private…

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Americans Entertain Entrepreneurial Ideas

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When it comes to TV shows and movies, Americans have shown a recent obsession with the rise of entrepreneurs. “Shark Tank” is an annual Emmy nominee, and the feature film “Steve Jobs” took home a couple Golden Globes earlier this year.  Perhaps it’s because many people lost their jobs during the recession, or maybe it’s…

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Retailers Innovate to Meet Shifting Needs

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You can tell a lot about people by reviewing their purchase receipts. Where they shop, what restaurants they favor, where they prefer to buy gas. So, what can you tell by evaluating a huge database of receipts submitted over time by a large population of people? Retail trends.  When researchers from Wharton School of Economics…

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Banks Dialing Up Mobile Services

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New technology continues to be rolled out to make banking more convenient than ever.  According to Federal Reserve research data, 53 percent of smartphone owners with a bank account have used mobile banking. Over 17 million customers at Wells Fargo alone use mobile banking, making it the fastest-growing channel in the company’s history.1  Wells Fargo…

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Minimum Wage Still Raising Concerns

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During this politically charged election year, one of the driving issues involves wages: Gender inequality, overall income inequality and the controversial movement to increase the national minimum wage.  The fast food industry would likely feel the most effects from a minimum wage increase, and recently some of the largest companies have announced varying plans of…

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Who is the Middle Class Now?

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The definition of middle class can vary depending on who you ask.  A young college graduate with a $22,000 entry-level job may consider herself middle class because her parents were, she graduated from college and she’s just starting her white-collar career.  A married blue-collar worker with two children making $41,000 a year may consider himself…

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There’s no Ceiling on the Number of Housing Possibilities

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America has long been dubbed the land of diversity, and our wide range of tastes is certainly reflected in our housing choices. There’s something for every preference, whether it be the architectural style (colonial, post-modern, Tudor, Victorian), the siding (wood, brick, stucco, vinyl) or the locale (urban, rural, coastal, plains).  However, popular trends do tend…

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Longer Life Means Longer List of Considerations

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“As a man grows older, his medicine cabinet grows bigger.” That quote, from the 1948 film “Heaven Can Wait,” certainly seems to hold true 60+ years later as lifespans stretch longer than ever. One in seven Americans are 65 or older, and there are now approximately 70,000 Americans living past the age of 100 —…

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Taking Stock of Changing Financial Landscape

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A recent report says 30-year returns won’t be as high as they were in the 20th century.  According to the McKinsey Global Institute’s stock and bond market research, a 30-year-old today will have to work seven years longer, or nearly double how much money he or she needs to save for retirement, to compensate for…

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Taking Your Best Shot at House Hunting

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It’s that time of year again. Homeowners have been painting, repairing, trimming and planting in an effort to get their properties ready for the spring real estate selling season.  It’s an annual ritual that, according to those in the industry, hasn’t created enough volume in recent years. Perhaps this year we’re poised for a change. …

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