The Huge Decline in U.S. Publicly Traded Companies

The Huge Decline in U.S. Publicly Traded Companies: Why investors should be worried Financial advisors spend a lot of time reassuring clients. Yes, interest rates are rising, but they are still at historical lows – the markets will be fine long-term. Yes, the technology sector is on a tear, but there are significant differences from the technology bubble from the late 90s – the markets will be fine long-term. Yes, the U.S. dollar declined last year for the first time in 5 years – the markets will be fine long-term. But there is one 20-year trend that has financial advisors worried about the markets long-term: the sharp decline in the number of publicly traded companies here in the U.S. The Worry In 1996, the US stock markets boasted over 8,000 publicly traded companies. Today, that number has dropped to less than 3,500. Let’s go back further and add the US …

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Why Lego Could Be the Key to Productive Business Meetings

It’s 60 years since Lego patented their little plastic blocks and since then over 600 billion bricks have been produced. These bricks have been used to build cars, death stars and a multitude of creations born in the imagination of “legoists” all over the world. While some people think Lego is just for children – or that being grown up means leaving playfulness behind – my job often entails convincing fully grown adults, in sensible jobs, to play with Lego and build whatever comes to mind. As an accredited Lego serious play facilitator, I ask people to build their thoughts, ideas and feelings. I was introduced to the concept through an EU-funded project, where I came to see the power of Lego in creating an environment for open dialogue within diverse groups. The “serious play” aspect encourages participants to get creative through play. This allows people to put aside their …

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Annual Rebalancing Steps

Annual Rebalancing Steps: Perspectives from a Seasoned Financial Advisor As you begin to receive your year-end statements, it will be tempting to focus on how well the markets performed – because it really was a year for the record books. The year 2017 saw the DJIA set 71 all-time highs, surpassing the previous record of 69 set in 1995. We saw NASDAQ up 28%, the DJIA up 25% and the S&P 500 up 19%. And at almost nine years old, this bull market is now the second-oldest and second-strongest in history. Given last year’s market performance, it would be a safe bet that many investors need to consider rebalancing, because they might now be overweight or underweight certain asset classes – and therefore positioned in a way that is inconsistent with their risk tolerance and goals. Now is the Time to Think About Rebalancing The reality is that the market …

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Women Entrepreneurs: A Growing Trend

The business landscape is continually changing—technological advances, corporate downsizing, restructuring, and telecommuting have reshaped the marketplace.­ Although these improvements and modifications have a great impact on our working environment, perhaps the most notable trend has been the rapid growth in the number of women-owned businesses. According to the Center for Women’s Business Research (2012), three quarters of women-owned businesses are those wherein women own a majority share, and each year, women-owned businesses generate almost $1.9 trillion in sales. Statistics from the Center for Women’s Business Research reveal impressive gains for women in the marketplace: An estimated 10.4 million companies are owned by women. Women-owned businesses account for 41% of all firms in the U.S., and employ 12.8 million workers. In the past 20 years, women-owned companies grew by 42%. This figure is two times the growth rate of all privately-held firms for that time period. The “Push” Behind the Numbers …

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