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Tax-conscious investing

CharlesSimsJr-160MONEY MATTERS Because of tax changes that take effect in 2013, some upper-income households are facing the prospect of higher tax rates on investment earnings.

The potential for taxes to claim a larger share of investment earnings means that many people might take advantage of opportunities to invest in tax-deferred retirement plans such as 401(k)s and IRAs. Of course, many factors other than taxes should influence investing decisions, including your investment goals, time horizon, and risk tolerance.

The following rate increases explain why you might consider the tax implications of investment decisions.

Breaking into retail: The Candle Bakery

bakerycandles-600ON OUR WAY TO WEALTHY Breaking into retail is never easy, which is why Tiffany Greenlee tapped into her creativity and obtained a kiosk in the Wolfchase Galleria to give herself a leg up.

Rather than wait for her candles to be in every retail store, Greenlee decided to create her own retail opportunity and now envisions a chain of kiosks across the region.

Carlee McCullough: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Tiffany Greenlee: I wear many hats! I am a mother of three boys, one of whom has autism. I am a wife, a published author and a nurse by profession. I am an advocate for autism and currently sit on the board of The Autism Lives Foundation. I am a very humble God-fearing woman.

CM: How and when did you begin your career in the candle making industry?

The road to retail: Oo! D…Good Sauce

CarleeMcCullough-160ON OUR WAY TO WEALTHY Recently I tasted a sauce that was so good that I wanted to put it on everything. Already I have tried it on tacos, fish, steak, barbecue, hamburgers, chicken, lamb and French fries. The true treat was getting to know James Pitchford, who has taken the family sauce and perfected it. He started the Pitchford Sauce Company, LLC and this is his story.

Carlee McCullough: Tell me about yourself.

James Pitchford: In the past, my life has been one of struggle like so many others. With God I was able to persevere and overcome. I am steadily evolving as a person and as a business person. As it relates to my professional life, I have done heating, air conditioning, ventilation (HVAC) and plumbing in many capacities and for many clients. But as of recently, I am the founder and creator of Oo! D...Good Sauce®.

Myron Mays goes App

MyronApp-400Radio personality and "What's Happening Myron" entertainment columnist Myron Mays is now an App. Well, more precisely, Mays has just released the WHM Mobile App.

"It's a pretty good tool if you want to be connected to what's happening in Memphis," said Mays.

"I just added a Black Business directory to it and starting this Friday (Aug. 16), I will also have a small business resource feature as well. You can of course keep up with the Book Club happenings, listen to all of my radio shows and access all of the latest concerts and events."

Who is Aaron Arnold?

aaron arnold-600Dynamic by any standard, an unconventional path towards success has defined and opened doors for Aaron Arnold – the under-30 CEO who will keynote this weekend's Memphis Urban League Young Professionals Empowerment Conference.

For those in need of a snapshot, consider this description: a young millennial innovator, risk taker, CEO, MC and party host, producer, trendsetter, inspirational speaker, entrepreneur and lifestyle expert.

Some might have called him crazy a few years back when he left a well-paying executive position with one of the top five PR firms in the world to work for free as an intern at Sean "Diddy" Combs' Bad Boy Records. Feeling burned out and dissatisfied with his career and having a burning passion for music, the Chicago (south side) native embraced the demanding task of working with "Mr. Combs" (as he respectfully refers to the hip hop mogul). And in the words of Robert Frost, "that has made all the difference."

How to become a Harley-Davidson ‘logo’ – without really trying!

David-bigSwole-Rose-600It took Jerry West a dynamic career and years of basketball brilliance before it happened to him.

It took Michael Jordan less time (in his rookie year) and the marketing brilliance of Nike (1985) to make him into one.

David "Big Swole" Rose? Well, he did it with mind-blowing speed, going from relative obscurity to brand logo in just a matter of months. Rose did so by revealing and embodying the unique and significant connection (as well as potential) between African-American motorcycle riders and the Harley Davidson brand.

  • Written by Bernal E Smith II

Bernard Bronner is Loving This Life


    …. And why wouldn’t he? The 52-year- old head of one of the world’s most iconic black hair care businesses has wisely parlayed his time at the company’s helm into not only expanding the Bronner Bros. Inc. empire, but now he is an award-winning publisher, movie producer and true business mogul. Bernard Bronner is, as they say in the movies, “Laughing his way to the bank.”

     The enigmatic entrepreneur explained to Atlanta Daily World staff in a recent interview, why he doesn’t stop to rest on his laurels in light of all that he has accomplished and all that is left for him to accomplish.

     Bronner’s business sense

     I think it was my father and the previous generation of Bronners who trained me on how to be an entrepreneur. My father and the publisher of the Atlanta Daily World were like family. My father threw the Atlanta Daily World newspaper, and as soon as I was able to walk good, I had the Atlanta Daily World in my hand. When I was six and seven I was delivering the paper and by the time I was 12, I had a couple of my brothers working for me throwing the Atlanta Daily World.

     I use the same principles I learned from my father regarding how to start and cultivate a business and grow it into a major enterprise. … And not only have I built the hair show and the product line, I have added new things like Upscale magazine, a silverware line and now the movie, Laughing to the Bank.

     The second generation has been running the businesses for about 30 years and the first generation ran things for about 35 years. We are in year 66 now. The first generation sold products in the six southern states. The second generation, my generation, took the show nationwide and now global. We just did a hair show in Dubai …, We’ve done London shows now, and we have done all of the Caribbean. We do Baltimore, Dallas, Oakland and Chicago along with Atlanta here in the states.

Bronner on the basics …

     One of the basic business principles that I have learned is to start small and make that small thing a success. That has been the hardest thing for me to get into my head. When I got into the record business, industry experts told me that I needed to make it popular in small cities like Macon and Augusta, before bringing it to Atlanta. I wanted Dallas and Chicago and L.A. but those markets are so expensive and if it doesn’t sell in a small town…. So now I test everything through the small towns; that is something I learned from Walmart. They started in small towns and then when there was nowhere else to go, they moved into the big cities.

His newest venture …

     I started a new movie company, Make It Rain Films, and we are releasing our first major movie. We showed it to the public for the first time in Miami at the American Black Film Festival. We screened it there to an audience of about 300 movie industry people and they loved it and it was the talk of the ABFF.

     What makes Laughing to the Bank so significant is the fact that it is 100 percent black owned, black produced and black distributed. So the movie and our philosophy are about economic empowerment. The movie is a comedy about someone who has to raise the money to shoot a movie. It’ a comedy about the process of making a movie and the rejection of going to the studios it deals with all of the trials and tribulations of going to major studios and telling them that you have a film for black audiences and you want them to finance it. That’s why the movie is so funny … because the process is near impossible.

The movie industry …

     It was a terrible year for black actors and black actresses. I have seen us go form 15 black oriented films last year to just a few this year and Rainforest Films’ Think Like a Man, and Tyler Perry’s and another that didn’t do so well.

     The studios have not been willing to green light African-American themed projects. They know we spend a lot of money and they know we are good consumers. They still don’t respect our people. They have done all of these studies that say this, yet they refuse to do anything black. They refuse to advertise or attend black events. They refuse even though they have the statistics that say these are the people who are buying your product. In Hollywood only a few studios address our audience.

The great thing is that I have great friends like Steve Harvey, and Michael Baisden and Tom Joyner who have committed to promoting the movie.

What he is proudest of …

     My claim to fame will not be that I inherited my father’s company and bled it. My claim to fame will be that I inherited my father’s entrepreneurship abilities and I built many companies. Not only did I build them, but I trained and continue to train others to do the same thing. I work with partners to ensure that they experience the kind of success that I am having. I don’t know how a human being can enjoy himself any more than I am.

The hilarious comedy Laughing to the Bank will be in theaters on Aug. 23!

  • Written by Roz Edward, National Content Director

Entrepreneurship: Stepping out on faith

Monique Clark-300ON OUR WAY TO WEALTHY Stepping out on true faith, Monique Clark voluntarily left Corporate America to start her own company. In partnership with her husband, Kenneth, Mrs. Clark created Infinite Clean, a full service maintenance company with a concentration on public and private sector. Having been moved by the wisdom of their 11-year-old son, The Clarks have not looked back. Join us for a two part article as Monique shares her journey with us.

Carlee McCullough: Tell us about yourself.

Monique Clark: I am originally from Sacramento, Calif. I have been married to Mr. Kenneth B. Clark for 23 years. We have six children and six grandchildren. I moved to Memphis fifteen years ago to assist my husband in caring for his grandmother who was 88 years old at the time.