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April 2013

04/29/13

As an investment, gold doesn’t always glitter

A promise you can trust is as good as gold. The highest level of performance is known as the gold standard. If you’re married for 50 years, you celebrate your golden anniversary. Clearly, gold carries connotations of wealth, value, and beauty. But as an investment, is gold always a dazzling success story?

Posted at 01:02 PM | Permalink | Comments: 1

04/29/13

Are you at risk for identity theft?

Would you leave your house unlocked when you go out of town or leave a valuable item on the seat of your car in plain sight? Probably not … because doing that would put you at risk for theft. However, what you may not realize is that you may be leaving your most valuable item exposed: your credit identity.

Posted at 12:03 PM | Permalink | Comments

04/29/13

Foiling the workforce paradox in Wisconsin

A small group of insightful individuals in Rock County is about to implement a radical and innovative program to recruit and train chronically unemployed people who have often been ignored or written off as hopeless cases. The program, called Work Today, will also seek to overcome the phenomenon that has come to be known as the “workforce paradox.”

Posted at 11:45 AM | Permalink | Comments

Three quick ways to add stress and unpleasantness to your life

04/15/13

Three quick ways to add stress and unpleasantness to your life

Did you know that April is Stress Awareness Month? I didn’t. Personally I think it’s hilarious that they would even bother to have a “Stress Awareness” month. Is there anyone alive who isn’t aware of stress? Is it possible that some perpetually happy and carefree people are floating merrily through life without even the knowledge of what stress is, and indeed if you were to say to them “I’m stressed” they would reply with, “What is this stress of which you speak?”

Posted at 11:41 AM | Permalink | Comments

Take advantage of regional resources to create an entrepreneurial ecosystem

04/15/13

Take advantage of regional resources to create an entrepreneurial ecosystem

In the world of start ups, casting a wide net to develop business contacts is never a bad thing for any entrepreneur. Many times that net will cover different cities, states, and in some cases, different parts of the world. That spirit prevailed recently when Accelerate Madison hosted an event at Monona Terrace that showcased TechStars Chicago, a business accelerator that recently opened a Windy City office and is interested in backing and helping tech start ups throughout the Midwest.

Posted at 09:55 AM | Permalink | Comments

Health of state banks, credit unions is good news for Wisconsin’s economy

04/15/13

Health of state banks, credit unions is good news for Wisconsin’s economy

One of the many bright spots of the Wisconsin economy is the financial health of the 199 state-chartered banks and 187 credit unions regulated by the Department of Financial Institutions (DFI), which I serve as secretary. Over the past two years, the performance of banks and credit unions has continued to improve.

Posted at 09:39 AM | Permalink | Comments: 1

Smart buildings: Who is fiddling with your roof?

04/08/13

Smart buildings: Who is fiddling with your roof?

Attention commercial building owners: Do you have a smart building? You’ve heard of smart phones and smart cars, but are you aware that advances in technology are turning inanimate objects, including buildings, into highly intelligent creators of revenue? Smart buildings use advances in technology to create both cost savings and new revenue streams for the building owner. One need look no further than mobile telecommunications for a good example.

Posted at 11:44 AM | Permalink | Comments

Early economic indicators position 2013 as year of rebuilding

04/08/13

Early economic indicators position 2013 as year of rebuilding

Financial markets around the world may have their work cut out for them this year, but it is already clear as we start the second quarter that 2013 is a year of rebuilding and refocusing. With fiscal cliff talks off the table for the moment, the United States is in a rebuilding mode, thanks to spending cuts and tax increases geared at balancing the budget.

Posted at 09:36 AM | Permalink | Comments

The small business health care credit

04/08/13

The small business health care credit

We all know that the federal health care reform law of 2010 contains myriad confusing rules and regulations. One of the provisions that definitely warrants a clear understanding involves an income tax credit for small businesses that provide health insurance to their employees. The credit is also available to nonprofit organizations that are exempt from paying income taxes.

Posted at 09:11 AM | Permalink | Comments

How to achieve work-life imbalance

04/04/13

How to achieve work-life imbalance

By now everyone on the planet has officially shared their opinion about the issue of work-life balance. It is almost the only thing it has been possible to read about in the last month – thanks, Marissa Mayer! – especially if the article in any way mentions women. Everybody seems to be trying to find a work-life solution that will afford them happiness.

Posted at 07:58 AM | Permalink | Comments: 1

Employment Law Update: IRS proposes rules on health care coverage; two-second phone call leads to firing

04/01/13

Employment Law Update: IRS proposes rules on health care coverage; two-second phone call leads to firing

Employers of 50 “full time equivalents” must cover “full-time” employees under the Affordable Care Act. The IRS has proposed guidelines on how to calculate “equivalents,” when someone is “full time,” and how to determine if those with fluctuating work schedules are “full” or “part” time. The rules have different definitions than DOL uses for Title VII, FMLA, ADA, etc. An employer might have 50 employees for DOJ-FMLA coverage yet not have 50 employees under the IRS-AHCA rules.

Posted at 09:36 AM | Permalink | Comments

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