Wealth Management: How to Prosper in the New Economy

by Glenn Swain

After four years of government polices like the zero-down-payment initiative, the Single-Family Affordable Housing Tax Credit, the American Dream Downpayment Initiative and other questionable mortgage and financial innovations, the housing bubble burst. While debate continues on the causes of the Great Recession, the popping of the $8 trillion housing bubble was instrumental in … [More]

Top 10: Wealth Planning Mistakes to Avoid

by Glenn Swain

Trish Stark, senior vice president and director of client relations at First Western Trust in Scottsdale, notes that with the complicated nature of wealth planning, certain factors often get overlooked. She shares ten tips to help individuals avoid making common mistakes. 1. Not understanding the rules To avoid accidentally adding the wrong assets to a trust and … [More]

Deborah Bateman, National Bank of Arizona

from Deborah Bateman

Now, perhaps more than ever, business owners must manage their wealth in ways that help ensure security while positioning them to take advantage of opportunities in both the near or long term. Whether they are growing their businesses or simply preparing themselves and their employees for the future, the current environment requires that wealth management be as much a part of … [More]

Customers Can Be a Company’s Best Marketers

by Bill Lee

The old paradigm works like this: A company produces goods and services that help customers get a job done. In return, the customers pay the company money. The company takes that money and invests a good portion of it in traditional sales and marketing efforts — including product developers, creative people and salespeople, all of whom are paid to figure out what buyers want … [More]

The ‘Grow or Die’ Lie

by Edward D. Hess

All growth is good. Bigger is better. All businesses must either “grow or die.” These popular business axioms are routinely lauded on Wall Street, at business schools and by some of the most well-respected business consultants of the day. Few question their validity. But actually, these “truths” are anything but. At best, those beliefs are half-truths; at worst, they’re pure … [More]

Entertainment Districts: The Business Behind the Fun

by Don Rodriguez

It’s far from fun and games when it comes to developing entertainment districts in the Valley. Filled with movie theaters and arcades — part of a category called “amusements” by tax collectors — as well as restaurants and bars, the districts contributed a growing share of the nearly $551.7 million that the Arizona Department of Revenue collected from these categories in the … [More]

The New Luxury Home Market

by RaeAnne Marsh

With “luxury home” generally defined as a home valued at $500,000 or more, a high percentage of Valley homes would have fallen into that category only a few years ago. Today, however, with the average Valley single-family residence valued at $160,000, “luxury home” encompasses a more select market. Luxury properties span the Valley in gated and non-gated communities, and … [More]

Standardized People Won’t Win America’s Future

by Peter Weddle

Ever since the No Child Left Behind Act amped up standardized testing throughout the nation in 2002, critics say results have been negative. The bottom line is, there is no clear correlation between standardized testing and the knowledge and skills kids will need to prosper in the 21st-century world of work. It seems we’re more interested in creating a homogenized work force … [More]

Financial Statements: The Crucial Monthly Close

by Dennis Niven

How is your business doing lately? As an owner, you probably have a sense of how things are going, but is it right? While I have developed a great respect for an owner’s “gut feel” over my 40 years of consulting, there are many illusions and counter-intuitive aspects to business that can mislead owners. A common counter-intuitive illusion is that if sales are increasing, things … [More]

Joel E. Barthelemy: Turning Issues into Opportunities

by Gremlyn Bradley-Waddell

Even as a kid growing up in St. Cloud, Minn., Joel E. Barthelemy had an interest in solving problems. He was one of those types who takes apart a radio or a car and reassembles it — usually correctly — just to see how the pieces fit and work together. His can-do attitude, curiosity and talent for hearing others out has served the self-described “serial entrepreneur” and founder … [More]