Friday, December 19, 2014
Top Entrepreneur News

Fri, 19 Dec 2014 00:00:00 -0600

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Thu, 18 Dec 2014 22:45:00 -0600

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Thu, 18 Dec 2014 22:30:00 -0600

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Thu, 18 Dec 2014 22:00:00 -0600

Paying taxes is a joyless duty but there are ways to make the process less painful.

Thu, 18 Dec 2014 21:45:00 -0600

The tech giant aims to expand the number of data centers it offers clients around the world by 25 percent to meet fast-rising demand for internet-based services.

Thu, 18 Dec 2014 21:30:00 -0600

A look into what worked and what hasn't worked in online retail, along with what's on the horizon.

Thu, 18 Dec 2014 21:21:00 -0600

The attack was an example of 'destructive activity with malicious intent that was initiated by a sophisticated actor,' a White House spokesperson said.

Thu, 18 Dec 2014 21:15:00 -0600

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Thu, 18 Dec 2014 21:00:00 -0600

While many entrepreneurs would love to be in the Targets and Walmarts of the world, it can be an extremely stressful time.

Thu, 18 Dec 2014 20:57:00 -0600

In developing Yahoo's myriad tech products, Mayer obsessively references data and metrics. In honing the company's media strategies, however, she prefers to go with her gut.

Thu, 18 Dec 2014 20:45:00 -0600

The company behind Just Mayo has closed its Series C round, which includes investments from an eclectic group from Salesforce's Marc Benioff to Renaissance man Jean Pigozzi.

Thu, 18 Dec 2014 20:30:00 -0600

It's important to effectively manage your time and schedule, at least if you don't want to burn dozens of bridges.

Thu, 18 Dec 2014 20:28:00 -0600

Paramount has pulled the plug on theaters' answer to 'The Interview' fiasco.

Thu, 18 Dec 2014 20:15:00 -0600

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Thu, 18 Dec 2014 20:15:00 -0600

Sometimes it makes sense to merge with your competition. Yael Cohen Braun and Julie Greenbaum didn't always think so, but they do now.

Thu, 18 Dec 2014 20:00:00 -0600

The One Kings Lane co-founder urges young entrepreneurs to seek the guidance of others when first starting up.

Thu, 18 Dec 2014 20:00:00 -0600

Entrepreneurs often anguish over determining the value of their companies. Here are some tips to help avoid mistakes.

Thu, 18 Dec 2014 19:59:00 -0600

That's right – he can control the bionic limbs with his thoughts.

Thu, 18 Dec 2014 19:45:00 -0600

What makes some presentations go viral, shared by millions on social media? This list offers some clues.

Thu, 18 Dec 2014 19:30:00 -0600

Updating your website can be one of the biggest challenges you face when it comes to marketing your business, but it doesn't have to be.

Thu, 18 Dec 2014 19:15:00 -0600

What do you want to feel like in 2015? Learn where to draw your line.

Thu, 18 Dec 2014 19:00:00 -0600

After nearly being killed by a distracted driver, this entrepreneur was moved to help prevent others suffering as he had.

Thu, 18 Dec 2014 18:54:00 -0600

The state's banking regulator says it will soften proposed rules for virtual currencies.

Thu, 18 Dec 2014 18:33:00 -0600

The humble smartphone could throw a wrench in the works of the car sector's post-crisis turnaround.

Thu, 18 Dec 2014 18:30:00 -0600

Monitoring and analyzing multiple social-media channels faster and better opens more time for growing your business.

Thu, 18 Dec 2014 18:26:00 -0600

Baked fresh from us to you: A festive batch of wise and witty words to cling to, all season long. Happy holidays.

Thu, 18 Dec 2014 18:20:00 -0600

After Sony's 'The Interview' is cancelled, a theater finds a creative marketing hook to fight back.

Thu, 18 Dec 2014 18:15:00 -0600

See the five ways these ne'er-do-wells imperil company success.

Fri, 19 Dec 2014 06:22:00 -0600

Comparing willfulness is dangerous, especially when Mayor Boris Johnson, Google, Facebook and Apple are being boiled in the same stew. Can't we all just get along?

Fri, 19 Dec 2014 03:14:00 -0600

Dear Liz, I respect your advice very much. I could use your help with a leadership situation in my company. I own a sales training business with eleven employees. Our newest employee, "Anne," has been on board for ten months. She is an Analyst in our office which means that she [...]

Thu, 18 Dec 2014 19:14:00 -0600

The sharp drop in oil prices in the past few weeks confirms the oil price forecast that I published back in May 2013, when West Texas crude sold for $94.50: “Oil prices are headed down, and I mean down at least $20 a barrel. The key reason is that [...]

Thu, 18 Dec 2014 15:32:00 -0600

As part of an ongoing buying guide for confused shoppers this holiday season, I’ll be summing-up the best of the latest handsets. Knowing which handset to buy this year means selecting from a number of excellent devices, this is what this guide is for. It’s here to break down the [...]

Thu, 18 Dec 2014 14:54:00 -0600

The agencies I have selected have a clear sense of how much is changing, including the new role of the consumer, the migration away from interruptive messages, and the technologies and platforms that make listening more important than talking. They embrace what’s coming, not what has been.

Thu, 18 Dec 2014 14:53:00 -0600

Was there ever a time that was more uncertain than today? Are leaders prepared to manage change in ways that strengthen the teams around them? Leadership is about taking the initiative to do the things others would rather avoid doing – and about allowing risk to be your best friend. Leaders make those around them better by being wise enough to anticipate the unexpected and by being accountable to take action all the way through to the end. They know how to help their teams tackle change head-on and remove the fear-factor from their minds. They do this by creating environments that embrace clarity around the issues, collaboration to produce new ideas, and strategic focus. They build solid ecosystems where thinking courageously and challenging the old ways of doing things create competitive advantage. As many companies enter 2015 in full-blown transformation mode, the value of leadership lies within the outcomes of reinventing the ways teams think, act and innovate. Leaders must become change agents and must teach their teams to do the same to assure circumstances don’t force their hand and to create and sustain the required momentum to win.

Thu, 18 Dec 2014 14:00:00 -0600

Armed with new computer systems that can crunch massive amounts of data more quickly, Baidu has built a new "deep learning" speech recognition system that it says works better than current systems that power Google, Apple, Microsoft, and others.

Thu, 18 Dec 2014 13:00:00 -0600

By David Slocum Each of the top 10 books of the past year offers fresh ideas, actionable insights, and imaginative solutions to a range of pressing challenges faced by creative leaders.  The listed titles, including the notables that follow, celebrate thinking differently and acting differently in order to foster creativity, build innovative [...]

Wed, 17 Dec 2014 19:21:00 -0600

Despite all the types of investor programs it could choose from, the newly-announced Canadian Immigrant Investor Venture Capital Pilot Program imagines that Canada will attract 50 good investor immigrants to invest $ 2 million for the sake of getting Canadian permanent residence. Each investor will be required to be worth [...]

Wed, 17 Dec 2014 14:59:00 -0600

The U.S. continues its five year slide thanks to an expanded government and new regulations in finance and healthcare.

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Is Your Bank Stealing From You?
By David Najor :: Friday, August 22, 2008 :: 14530 Views :: Article Rating :: Business & Finance

California, USA - “Few would argue that the energetic entrepreneurs have transformed small business in metropolitan areas of Michigan, California, Illinois, Arizona, and Nevada,” says Rebecca Cohen of California’s Bank & Trust speaking of Chaldeans.  “They are hard-working, brilliant in business, and have a remarkable talent for negotiations.”

Although the accolades and praise rings true to many, Chaldean business owners still remind budding entrepreneurs to be mindful of banks when doing business. 

“Banks are like any other business.  Their inventory is currency.  They want to buy currency when it is inexpensive and sell or loan to you at a higher rate,” says Masood Bajou.  “Chaldeans in business or not, should always keep a close eye on their banks and the fees they charge.”

Increasingly, banks are finding ways to impose bigger and trickier fees on account holders.  Uncovering the creative ways banks assess fees and other hidden costs to their customers was no easy task.  Nonetheless, Chaldeans should be watchful over some of the sneakiest fees and quickly master ways you can avoid them...

ATM Overdraw
Many ATMs are allowing their customers to overdraw on their accounts. Request cash from your bank's ATM, and you will almost certainly receive it -- even if there is not enough money in your account to cover the withdrawal. Banks could easily program their ATMs to decline such transactions or to warn you that such a transaction will trigger a hefty overdraft fee, but that would mean a loss of extra fees for the banks.

Chaldean Self-defense: Check your balance before making the withdrawal if you are not certain there is enough money in your account.

Double ATM fees.
Last year, Bank of America increased its ATM fee for non-account holders from $2 to $3, and other banks are likely to follow suit. ATMs warn customers of this type of charge, but many ATM users do not realize that their own banks often charge an additional fee of between $1 and $2.50 for using an ATM that belongs to another bank chain. That means the total fee for an out-of-network ATM transaction can top $5.

Chaldean Self-defense: Use only your own bank's ATMs.

Check Overdraft Penalities
Clear the biggest checks first to maximize overdraft penalties. Most banks charge a fee of $30 to $40 each time an account holder bounces a check. (Any merchant who received your bad check might charge you a penalty as well.) In addition, many banks now follow a practice that often automatically increases the number of checks that their customers bounce. They do this by first deducting from your account the largest check amounts when processing a batch of your checks.

The banks claim they do this because large checks tend to be the most important, but consumer advocates contend that it is just a way to maximize fees. Bank of America, Citibank, HSBC, Wells Fargo and many other banks engage in the practice.

Example: Five checks you wrote reach your bank on a given day -- four checks for small items followed by a $1,400 mortgage payment. If there is only $1,300 in your account, only the final check -- the big mortgage payment -- should bounce. Instead, your bank processes the large mortgage payment first, which means that all five checks will bounce. Rather than a $30 or $40 overdraft fee and one upset check recipient, you now face $150 to $200 in overdraft fees and five perturbed check recipients.

Chaldean Self-defense: Avoid writing many checks or making several debit card purchases in a short period if you are not 100% certain that there will be enough money in your account to cover all of them.   Also, check with your bank to see if they have overdraft protection should you have both a savings and checking account. This is often a free service so be careful of banks that charge for this basic service.

Another hidden fee is getting a penalty for someone else's bounced check. A penalty when you bounce a check is one thing -- but many banks now charge a fee of $5 to $10 to the recipient of a bad check as well.

Chaldean Self-defense: Do not accept checks as payment unless you are confident that you can trust the payer.

Account Dormancy Fees
Some banks charge a fee of several dollars per month to keep an "inactive" or "dormant" account open. In Michigan, Charter One is notorious for this practice.  Banks have different criteria for what they consider a dormant account, so be sure to ask your bank about its rules.

Chaldean Self-defense: Close any unnecessary accounts.

Banks might charge you a fee of $5 or more if you close an account within six to 12 months of opening it. These fees are particularly common at bank branches located in college towns, because banks know that students often close accounts at the end of each semester or school year. Example: Here in California, KeyBank charges an early closure fee of $25 when "Express Checking" accounts are closed within 180 days of being opened.

Chaldean Self-defense: Ask about account closing fees before you open the account. Don't open an account at a bank that charges such a fee if you expect to leave the region or close the account for another reason anytime soon.

Gift Card Fees.
Banks sell gift cards like those offered by retailers. They can be used just as you would use a bank-issued debit or credit card. Unlike retailer gift cards, however, bank gift cards often carry account fees of as much as $2 or $3 per month. If the recipient does not spend the money quickly, a significant portion of it might gradually disappear.

Chaldean Self-defense: Give cash or a check -- or a retailer gift card -- rather than a bank gift card.

Teller and Phone Fees.
Some banks now charge $1 to $5 or more every time an account holder interacts with a teller or customer service representative in person or on the phone (or every time the account holder exceeds a preset monthly teller transaction limit). At some banks, this charge applies even when customers call the bank but interact only with the automated system. Customers are not told that they are being charged a fee at the time of the transaction, and they often are unaware of the rules.

Some banks even charge a fee for certain ATM services, such as requesting a "mini-statement" that summarizes recent transactions.

Chaldean Self-defense: Ask your bank if your account has a limit on the number of free teller visits or calls. If it does, do as much banking as possible through ATMs or on-line.

Also, ask to have any teller or phone fee waived when your call or visit is about a bank error, involves opening an account or is because the bank's ATM is out of service. You also may avoid these fees if you maintain a certain balance in some accounts.

PIN fees.
Some banks now charge a fee of 25 cents to $1.50 each time a customer uses a personal identification number (PIN) for a debit card transaction at a retailer. Debit card users typically can choose to either sign for purchases or type in their PINs.

Banks impose PIN fees to encourage customers to sign for purchases, because banks can charge retailers higher fees when they do. Trouble is, many Chaldean cardholders don't even know that PIN fees exist.

Chaldean Self-defense: Try to use credit cards rather than a debit card. If you do use a debit card, check whether your bank imposes a fee when you enter a PIN. Consider switching banks if it does.

HOW TO AVOID FEES

Many Chaldean bank customers learn that fees only after when charges appear on their account statements -- if they bother to read their statements at all.   By law banks are required to give new customers a "Truth in Savings Disclosure" statement detailing all of their fees and to notify customers in writing when policies change, but few read the fine print of bank literature. Chaldeans should routinely ask their bank for a copy of the fee-disclosure statement for their accounts.

Chaldeans will often say that their banks waive the fees because they are good customers, but this is less common now. At many banks, low-level employees no longer even have the right to waive fees, and the managers who do are increasingly unwilling to be lenient -- though it is still worth asking to have questionable fees waived when they appear on your statement.

Always keep a good record of what you have tied to a bank.  Banks know that if you have your mortgage being automatically withdrawn, direct deposit for professionals, or a business account with business dealings electronically tied, they know you are less likely to leave over the fee charges.  Some banks will take advantage of this situation and nickel and dime Chaldeans to death. 

Having all your information accessible makes it easy to call their bluff and transfer your accounts to another bank.  Competition is the only way to keep the banks offering great service at reasonable costs. 

Now that is advice you can take to the bank!