Phone Protection?

There are a multitude of smart phone protection products on the market today.  Deciding exactly what you need can be hard.  The Wirecutter, the product recommendations site owned by The New York Times has narrowed the field with their top choices.  Reality Check: What Does, and Doesn’t, Protect Your Smartphone. Currently debating a screen cover versus a case or possibly a protection plan versus a warranty?  They have research backed answers that may help with your decision.

Calling All Creatives

Work conferences sound like a boring proposition? Then check out the latest one coming to Austin, Texas.  The Creatives Meet Business Experiences (CMBXP) will combine creatives from many fields with their business minded counterparts in an effort to foster new partnerships and offer affordable access to content.  Want to be part of this innovative, new concept?  More details in this article from Culture Map Austin, Austin’s newest conference connects creatives in a whole new way.

Repair or Improvement?

What is the difference between a home repair and a home improvement?  As defined by the IRS, an improvement lasts for more than one year and adds value to your home.  There are exceptions, such as when the upgrade is no longer part of your residence.  (Ex. You installed wall-to-wall carpet years earlier and then replaced it with wood flooring.). In cases of fire damage and natural disasters, all work applies, from the smallest repair to the largest addition.  Knowing these details is especially important when you plan to sell your home because it may help reduce the taxes you owe on profit.

Tax differences between home repairs & home improvements

Health Care Free Market?

Exactly what does it mean to have a health care free market? According to Farzon A. Nahvi for the New York Times, it would involve an adjustment in our sensibilities about life and death.  He based this assessment on the patients sent to his ER by well meaning bystanders who called EMS when they found people unconscious on the street.  As a community are we prepared to look the other way and not try to help?

Don’t Leave Health Care to a Free Market

Talk, Talk

Why The Back Story Matters

It’s no secret that companies spend millions on branding and advertising, but having an actual story of the entrepreneur’s ‘climb to success’ may boost sales even when people don’t initially like the product.  According to Charles Duhigg for the New York Times, Yoplait Learns to Manufacture Authenticity to Go With Its Yogurt. Yoplait yogurt, a subsidiary of General Mills, continues their journey in an effort to produce a sense of authenticity for their new product Oui.  Single-serve yogurt, created in the French style served in a glass jar.

Will these changes finally give the company the historical connection they’ve been seeking?

Have you tried Oui?  Leave your impressions in the comments section.

Money Managers In Your Best Interest

Are you in the market for a financial planner?  Turns out that there are numerous kinds to choose from and even with current laws stating that they must do what is in your best interest, that’s not always what happens.  Before you sign on the line, read this detailed article from the New York Times.  Before You Pay for Financial Advice, Read This GuideIt offers links to further information and even a fiduciary pledge.

Networking How-To

Want to make the most out of your next networking event?  From researching your targets ahead of time to the three point stance, Bill Rader for Forbes offers a succinct list of tips and tricks that will help you gain new connections and see them through to your benefit.   Effective Networking Requires Work. How To Make The Most Of Every Event

Short-Term Rentals

Ever thought about renting your home for holiday travelers or summer vacationers?  Or maybe during a music festival or race?  There are tax implications that come with this type of real estate.  Before you take the plunge, read this informative article by Mike D’Avolio, CPA, J.D. for the Journal of Accountancy.

Short-term rentals, the sharing economy, and tax

How To Become Rich

Here in Austin especially, there are plenty of wealthy people who don’t wear the latest fashions or drive the best cars, an indication that they may already know the ten “secrets,” Jocelyn Black Hodes offers in her article for, 10 things rich people know that you don’t.