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The 2013 Dealbreaker Holiday Gift Guide

The holiday season is nigh and you still haven’t shopped. While you’re dreaming only of sugar plum fairies bearing fat bonuses, you don’t the time to mingle with the riff raff at some big box nightmare. Dealbreaker is here to help.  Behold the 2013 Dealbreaker Holiday Gift Guide, chockfull of descriptors like “custom,” “gourmet,” “housecleaning,” and “DB swag.”

Click through to check out all of our gift choices for the hardcore capitalist in your life. Read more »

5 Red Flags When Choosing a Financial Planner

You know what they say: You can’t choose your family, but you can choose your financial planner. Or something like that. One of the great things of being in charge of your money is choosing who (if anyone) will help you manage it. The choice isn’t always an easy one. How will you know that your planner is reputable and trustworthy?

These five red flags may be good indications of whether the financial planner sitting across from you is someone you should trust with your money. LearnVest Planning also provides an innovative 7-step program for your money where you work one-on-one with a financial planner. To see if this program is right for you, start with a free financial consultation.

1. She Isn’t Certified
“There are a lot of good planners out there who aren’t Certified Financial Panners™,” says Samantha Vient, CFP®, of LearnVest Planning Services. “However, CFPs® are required to adhere to the CFP® Board’s standards of professional conduct.

We believe it’s always a good idea to work with someone who has the CFP® designation, which is issued after completing a CFP® Board-approved personal financial planning curriculum, passing a rigorous exam issued by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, meeting experience requirements and passing an ethics and background check.

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This is a guest post written by SoFi’s CEO, Mike Cagney.


Recently, there’s been a lot of talk amongst leaders in Washington about how to improve the painful process of repaying student loans. At SoFi, we feel your pain and work hard to offer more flexible, more affordable options for our borrowers. One idea that’s getting a lot of attention is increasing the options for refinancing debt after graduation. The only lender currently focused on refinancing private and federal student loans is SoFi.

We recognized early on that borrowers who have made timely payments on their loans, graduated from school, and have a job should be able to refinance their student loans at a lower interest rate. This may be why, after resuming lending by invitation, the media became increasingly interested in what we are doing.

In a recent article posted on SoFi General Counsel Rob Lavet had this to say about SoFi’s ReFi products: Read more »

Don’t Let Bottle Service Bust Your Budget

You’re making good money, and it’s easy to want to blow that whole paycheck. But we’ll show you a simple rule that will allow you to live large and get your financial house in order too.

If you went into finance for the love of pulling 15-hour days, more power to you. But if working in anticipation of that fateful day in February when your bonus hits your bank account, let’s just say that you aren’t alone.

When your monthly paycheck arrives, you might get stars in your eyes. You forget about that massive student loan and nagging credit card bills. Suddenly bottle service every weekend seems like a great idea. Who doesn’t love those sparklers? If you’re not careful, those morning hangovers could have a lasting effect on your bank balance. Here’s a quick crash course in how to divide up your earnings like a boss—ahem, managing director so that you can still afford the life you want without busting your budget.

Let’s discuss some general guidelines, which make up what we like to call the 50/20/30 Rule:

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Discussions about Logistics are often focused on the features that benefit large companies and corporations—exporting and importing, managing a complex supply chain, and global marketing strategies. But Logistics can also bring tremendous benefits to small businesses as well.

Logistics provides small businesses with advantages and resources that they might not be able to access otherwise, and helps to eliminate waste, reduce errors, and increase efficiency. For example, Logistics can automate many administrative tasks, freeing up time and resources so that staff can focus on more important things. Logistics also provides billing technology solutions that coordinate with software like QuickBooks and Peachtree, making accounting and invoicing easier and simpler. Read more »

In today’s uncertain economic climate, customer loyalty is the key to building steady revenue and a strong client base. When clients and customers are satisfied with their experiences with your company and with your product—whether it consists of goods, information, services, or funds—they’re more likely to repeat their purchase and improve the reputation of your brand.

UPS Logistics offers many ways to increase the satisfaction of your clients and customers, including the easy return process created by Reverse Logistics, more visibility and control over the delivery process through UPS MyChoice, more efficient order processing through UPS technology, and a wider range of options for delivery speed. Read more »

With the economic recovery stalling and continuing crises in Europe, U.S. equity investors are understandably nervous about the prospect for stocks. Halfway through 2012, the S&P 500 index is up 7.5%, but volatility remains high, with the market moving up or down by more than 1% twenty-eight times so far this year as the market seems to be driven more by news out of Europe than by companies’ fundamental earnings prospects.

All this noise may obscure a surprising fact: U.S. corporate profits, as a percentage of the economy, are at an all-time high. The market, though, may not be giving companies much credit for those robust margins: despite positive returns on stocks this year, and continuing fund flows into equities, the S&P 500 trades at just under 14x trailing-12-month earnings, well below the 10-year average of almost 17x. This suggests an expectation that current robust profit margins cannot continue; indeed, analysts at Goldman Sachs calculated an implied EPS growth rate for the S&P of negative 12.6% over the next five years.

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