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Business

Mommy entrepreneurs

mommyentre 600Entrepreneurship requires dedication, commitment, organization, creativity and resourcefulness. Most mothers just happen to possess all of these qualities, which are transferable to business.

Mothers may not run the majority of Fortune 500 companies, however, they do run many small businesses, with excellent startups a part of the mix. And with mothers having to make difficult decisions all day every day, it comes as no surprise that they can easily call the shots in business when presented with the opportunity.

While balancing home life with the professional load of entrepreneurship can be extremely hard, many mommies make it look effortless. Let's look a few moms that have risen to the occasion.

MONEY MATTERS: Fixed-indexed annuities

CharlesSimsJr-160If you want to participate in the potentially attractive returns of a market-driven investment but would also like a guaranteed return, an indexed annuity might be worth checking out.

The performance of indexed annuities, also referred to as equity-indexed or fixed-indexed annuities, are tied to an index (for example, the Standard & Poor's 500*). They provide investors with an opportunity to earn interest based on the performance of the index. If the index rises during a specified period in the accumulation phase, the investor participates in the gain. In the event that the market falls and the index posts a loss, the contract value is not affected. The annuity also has a guaranteed minimum rate of return, which is contingent on holding the indexed annuity until the end of the term.

This guaranteed minimum return comes at a price. The percentage of an index's gain that investors receive is called the participation rate. The participation rate of an indexed annuity can be anywhere from 50 percent to 100 percent. A participation rate of 80 percent, for example, and a 10 percent gain by the index would result in an 8 percent gain by the investor. Some indexed annuities have a cap rate, the maximum rate of interest the annuity will earn, which could potentially lower an investor's gain.

Entrepreneurial burnout

burnout 600New business owners tend to hit the ground rolling – eager and exited to prove to the world that it can be done. A byproduct, however, is that the owner often works so hard that life is not balanced.

Time flies, the years – 2, 3, 4, 10 – pass and these well-intentioned entrepreneurs are still grinding. The kids are growing rapidly, recitals are missed and sports activities have to be watched on cell phone video. Going to work becomes something to dread and when they get there they have little to contribute other than being present.

Such owners may be experiencing entrepreneurial burnout, a state of emotional and physical exhaustion. With the weight of the livelihood of others in their hands, small business owners cannot afford burnout. Still, it is a troubling occurrence that happens all too frequently.

When your child should file a tax return

MoneyMatter 600If your child only has earned income reported on a W-2 and the total isn't more than $5,350, then a return does not need to be filed. However, you'll want to file a return for a refund if there was any federal withholding, see Form W-2, box 2. If the total of earned income is over $5,350 a return must be filed.

Earned income includes wages and salaries on Forms W-2. If the child is self-employed, the Schedule C net income is included as earnings.

If the child received any 1099-INT, 1099-DIV, or 1099-B tax documents in addition to those W-2s, then unearned income was received and the rules does not apply.

The grip of ‘liquid asset poverty’

assetpoor 600Today, middle class households feel the same financial stress that low-and- moderate income families have borne for years, says new research by the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED), a national nonprofit organization working to alleviate poverty and create economic opportunity.

In its report, Treading Water in the Deep End, CFED analyzes the financial security of American households and public policy responses to the financial crisis.

"As millions of Americans struggle to save for emergencies, investing in their futures is increasingly out of reach," states the report.

Husband-wife team is a ‘couple’ of architects

robinsons 600The number of licensed African-American architects working in Tennessee – and across the United States for that matter – is a mere pittance compared to the overall percentage of architects working for themselves or for architectural firms.

Count the husband and wife team of Michael and Carolyn Robinson among those who are fortunate to work in a field that may indeed be considered by some as an exclusive membership club. This wasn't a factor for the Robinsons when they launched Robi4 Design and Planning, Inc. in 1999.

Consider the numbers: There were 105,596 registered (licensed) architects in the U.S., according a 2012 survey of U.S. architectural registration boards by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). Of that number, 1,558 (or 1.5 percent) were African American, according to Dennis Alan Mann's Center for the Study of Practice at the University of Cincinnati.

  • Written by Wiley Henry

I’m self-employed: What are my saving options?

CharlesSimsJr-160Good news: There are a lot of them. The challenge is figuring out which of the major lone-eagle plans best suits you.

The most common retirement accounts for the self-employed are SEP IRAs, Simple IRAs and individual 401(k)s. These plans have two factors in common: up-front tax breaks and tax-deferred saving, meaning you don't pay taxes until you withdraw the money in retirement.

The Roth version of the individual 401(k) is slightly different: you don't get an up-front tax break, but your money not only grows tax free, withdrawals in retirement are also tax-free.

So you want to be billionaire? Think about it!

onwealthynigeria 600Many entrepreneurs struggle to make ends meet and make payroll on a regular basis. Others make it so big that they reach billionaire status. That's a level beyond the dreams of most and that is why most will not ever make it.
According to Forbes magazine, it is the thought processes and patterns of billionaires that separate them from other business owners. So let's look closely at a few of the characteristics of those that have achieved the ultimate.

Dream and mindset

Mark Zuckerberg of FaceBook, Richard Branson of Virgin, Steve Jobs of Apple, Bill Gates of Apple, and Oprah Winfrey of Harpo all dream large. This country is full of "mom and pop" stores and restaurants whose owners have fulfilled their dreams of business ownership. While many are happy and satisfied at their current levels of success, there are billionaires who have taken a store concept to a whole new level.

Consider Wal-Mart, which has multiple stores in cities across the country. Sam Walton had the mindset and vision to take the concept of one store to many stores. The goal was achieved as vision was coupled with the execution of plans to get there. Today, the Forbes Richest People in America List features several members of the Walton family.