Archive for the ‘BUSINESS’ Category

The Golden Money List: Hundreds of Tips for Turning Your Financial Life Around

July 9, 2008

Ever since I got out of debt, I haven’t written much about personal finances, simply because it’s not one of the main focuses in my life. Still, I’ve written a lot about finances in the past — frugality, debt reduction, budgeting, and more — and I think there are a lot of useful articles that newer readers might have missed.

I’ve learned a lot about personal finances in recent years, and I hope my lessons will prove valuable to you, or at least stir up some thoughts that help you in your journey.

I’m not a financial expert, of course, and all of this is simply from my personal experience, with my odd personal take on finances — don’t get into debt, be frugal, eschew credit cards. Please, please don’t start the old credit card arguments again — we’ve gone over them many times on this blog.

So here it is — a list of the best money articles on Zen Habits, as a resource for anyone trying to live more frugally, get out of debt, save money, or simply create a better financial system in their lives. Bookmark it for future reference if you like. Enjoy! (more…)

Bill Gates relaunches philanthropy

July 7, 2008

Through his foundation, Microsoft founder is aiming to change charity – There’s a story about Bill Gates that his wife, Melinda, likes to tell. Shortly before the couple established their philanthropic foundation in 1997, Bill carried around in his briefcase for a month an emotional letter from an American family asking him to help a sick child who needed a kidney. “Bill agonized over it,” Melinda recalled at a digital industry conference last month in California. “Do you spend $20,000 on a single transplant or buy vaccines for many children in Africa?”

For the past 10 years, the Gateses have opted for the latter: “How can we do the most good for the greatest number with the resources we have?” Bill asked a sea of Harvard University graduates at their commencement ceremony last year.

The answer? If you’re Bill Gates — with $37.5 billion in your foundation’s coffers and as much as $100 billion to contribute over the course of your lifetime — you do it very, very carefully, say philanthropy leaders. With that kind of wealth comes unprecedented giving power: you have the world’s biggest foundation — the Wal-Mart of the global charity sector — and you’ve got the single most powerful leadership platform in philanthropy today. “One out of every 10 foundation dollars spent is going to have the Gates name on it, and that gives (Gates and his foundation) an influence that is impossible to calculate,” says Rick Cohen, the former executive director of the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy. (more…)

Toyota plans Prius with solar panels

July 7, 2008

Toyota plans to install solar panels on the roof of the next generation of Prius hybrid cars, according to a report in Monday’s edition of the Nikkei newspaper.

The panels, which are expected to begin appearing on the high-end version of the gasoline-electric hybrid car as early as next spring, will supply part of the 2 to 5 kilowatts needed to power the air conditioning, MarketWatch cited the Japanese business daily as reporting. Kyocera will reportedly supply the panels.

The move would make Toyota the first major automaker to incorporate a solar-power generation system into a mass-produced car. (more…)

The gospel according to Adam Smith – Spiritual Capitalism

July 6, 2008

Is doing good compatible with making money? It is if you practise spiritual capitalism. Art DeLorenzo and I were having a hard time connecting. He’s a 67-year-old retired financial adviser in the New York City area whose budding consulting practice keeps him from settling into an easy chair. I’m a journalist in San Francisco, perpetually on deadline. Several appointments we set were moved or missed, but we kept trying. Late one evening, as we seemed finally to settle on yet another date for our interview, DeLorenzo threw out a comment that would prove as valuable as anything he said in our hour-long phone call days later.

“Wait a moment.” DeLorenzo paused. “I could say 3 p.m., but the group I’ll be meeting with before you, they tend to run over. It’s just their habit, but I know this. So I’d rather not book you right up against them. I don’t want to compromise the integrity of my commitment to them.”

The details of one man’s business schedule might not seem meaningful at first. But in that moment I realized DeLorenzo’s deliberate emphasis on a few choice words—“the integrity of my commitment”—was a straightforward yet eloquent statement of a still-fuzzy but increasingly important trend: spiritual capitalism. (more…)

Remaining Positive About the Economy

July 2, 2008

Posted by Barry Lauterwasser

Having lived through the Jimmy Carter era, and enjoyed the boom of Reaganomics, and having studied economic history at University of Louisville, I can tell you this. Our economy has always been, and always will be…cyclical.

That means that the boon days can’t live forever, neither can the depression… Which is why I can remain positive about our economy. It has always been the dominant economy in the world, and always will be, until other countries can duplicate our capitalistic system, and deal with the fallout, and education process that it brings.
(more…)

Making money while you sleep

July 2, 2008

GRAEME Wood started hotel site Wotif.com just as the dotcom bubble burst, but that didn’t stop it becoming an internet success story.

One of the greatest pay-offs for the new-age online entrepreneurs is that as soon as they create a website eyes want to surf to on a regular basis, and the marketing campaign has some traction, it’s just a matter of making money while they sleep.

Graeme Wood, the founder of one of this country’s most successful online destinations, actually took “making money while you sleep” to a logical conclusion by creating a site that effectively sells beds at hotels to a world virtually addicted to travel.

And not only has Wotif.com been an online entrepreneurial success, it has delivered the ultimate prize of being in business – the creation of a respected, publicly listed company. (more…)

JCPenney Customers Round-up $1.3 Million for Afterschool Programs

June 30, 2008

PLANO, TX – J. C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) customers are helping provide children in their own communities with access to life-enriching afterschool programs after donating more than $840,000 during the most recent JCPenney Afterschool Fund Round-up campaign. The JCPenney Afterschool Fund contributed $500,000 in matching funds to the Round-up, providing a total of more than $1.3 million for grants to afterschool programs in JCPenney markets.

Continued support for afterschool programs reflects JCPenney’s philosophy that “Every Day Matters” and represents a key component of JCPenney’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy as outlined in “JCPenney C.A.R.E.S.,” the Company’s first CSR report that was released this month.

During the 10-day Afterschool Round-up campaign in April, JCPenney customers had the opportunity to “round up” their JCPenney purchases to the nearest whole dollar and donate the difference to the non-profit JCPenney Afterschool Fund. One hundred percent of the donations collected at each store will be used to support afterschool programs in the store’s local community, providing customers an opportunity to help children and families in their own hometowns. (more…)

Grameen Banking (microcredit) Reaches the USA

June 30, 2008

Grameen Bank, the microcredit financier that was initially set up to help the poorest in Bangladesh, has recently opened its first branch in the United States.

Nobel Prize Laureate and Grameen Bank founder, Muhammad Yunus, originally introduced microcredit financing in 1976. He made his very first loan of 27 dollars from his own pocket, to 42 craftsmen in a village in Bangladesh, saying they could pay it back when they could afford to. Usually, the poor are unable to obtain credit but when they can, they are then charged exorbitant rates of interest. Grameen charges borrowers about 15 per cent a year and requires no collateral. It does not make its recipients sign a legally enforceable contract but rather models its business on trust. (more…)