Economic Perspectives with Hopeton Hay on KAZI 88.7 FM in Austin, TX

Archive for December, 2010

Twelve-Steps to Financial Success in 2012

Posted by Hopeton on December 29, 2010

The following tips were provided by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling:

  1. Review your credit report – Much of your financial future depends on the contents of your credit report. Therefore, your first step should be to obtain your report, review it for accuracy and dispute any errors.  Since you can access your credit report free of charge, there is no reason to neglect this important piece of your financial life.  Consumers are allowed one free report from each of the three major bureaus once every twelve months.  You can get all three at once, which is a good idea if a major purchase is on the horizon, or stagger your requests to check for identity theft.  Access your report from www.annualcreditreport.com.
  2. Obtain your credit score – The three digits that comprise your credit score are a major dictator of whether or not the lender will extend credit, and at what interest rate.  It is likely that you’ll have to pay to purchase your score, but it will be money well-spent.  Be sure to understand the range within which your score falls, as each score has its own scale.  Further, take the necessary steps to improve your score.  Remember, a high score equals a low interest rate, saving you significant money over time.
  3. Reduce debt – If you’ve dug a deep financial hole, stop digging.  Piling new debt on top of old is a red flag that you are living beyond your means. Lock up the credit cards until they’re paid in full, and meanwhile, reach out for help from a legitimate credit counseling agency sooner rather than later.  Delaying only makes the problem worse.
  4. Commit to save – Americans are great spenders and lousy savers.  Without a well-funded savings account, you are on a very slippery slope, one that becomes treacherous with the next unplanned expense.  Put 10 percent of each take-home check into a savings account.  Find extra money to dedicate to saving by putting all raises, bonuses, birthday checks, and any other windfall monies into savings. This will create a cushion that should see you through most short-term emergencies.
  5. Get financially organized – Create your own personal financial center where you can instantly put your hands on your family’s financial records.  Your center doesn’t have to be a fancy home office.  It could be an accordion folder.  The point is that you know where everything is.  Place original documents such as a will or your mortgage in a safe deposit box, and keep a copy at home.
  6. Avoid incurring late fees – Pay your bills the day you receive them. This way you’ll never risk the creditor receiving your payment after the due date. Delaying could result in you being charged a late fee, a ding to your credit report and a lower credit score.  The risk of delay is simply too great.  If you travel for work or are a procrastinator, consider setting up online bill pay with payments large enough to cover at least the minimum amount due.
  7. Avoid paying overdraft fees – A receipt stuffed into your car visor isn’t simply being unorganized.  It can cost you. Many an account has been overdrawn due to neglecting to notate an ATM withdrawal or debit purchase.  Get into the habit of recording each transaction into your check register on the spot.  Also take the time to balance your checkbook each week, and reconcile your bank statement each month.
  8. Track your spending for 30 days – Have everyone in the household who spends money participate in this exercise.  Write down every cent that is spent, as it’s the small, miscellaneous expenses that often wreck the best of plans. At the end of the month, come together to review the spending.   This is the only way you can truly know where your hard-earned money is going.
  9. Create a spending plan you can live with – Once you’ve tracked your spending, you can then make conscious decisions as to how you want to allocate the money.  Continue tracking with the new plan in place.  Keep doing so until you find a plan that is right for your family.  Make it too strict, and no one will stay on board.  Make it too lenient and you won’t be accomplishing anything.
  10. Take advantage of free money – Contribute the maximum amount to your retirement plan at work, or at the very least, meet the matched amount or you’re throwing away free money.  Also inquire about the availability of Flexible Spending Accounts or Health Savings Accounts.  All of the above can lower your taxable income.
  11. Have an annual insurance check-up – No one wants to be over-insured.  Nor do you want to be under-insured resulting in an unpleasant surprise when making a claim.   Make an appointment with your provider and confirm that your coverage is exactly what you thought you were paying for.  Inquire about ways to lower your premiums, and ask about any discounts for loyalty, good driving and the bundling of multiple polices.
  12. Investigate refinancing your mortgage – Even though rates of late have been rising, they are still very low, potentially saving you significant money over the life of your loan.  There are multiple online calculators that can help you evaluate the options.  Do not extend the term of your loan, however, in order to get a lower monthly payment unless this is absolutely necessary to stay afloat.

Posted in Credit, Finance, financial literacy, Insurance, Mortgages | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Collateral – Financial Fitness for Small Business Tips

Posted by Hopeton on December 21, 2010

The purpose of the  Financial Fitness for Small Business Tips is to provide information that will help aspiring and existing small business owners be better prepared to finance the start-up and growth of their businesses in today’s economic environment.  The following tip was provided by Emerson Hall, Community Affairs Specialist for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Dallas Regional Office.  For more information on the financial literacy resources provided by FDIC go to http://www.fdic.gov/consumers/education/.

Collateral are assets that have value and can be liquidated in the event of loan default;  and in most cases provides tangible security for the lender and investor upon extending funds to a business. Collateral provides the business owner the ability to pledge it’s assets as a secondary source of repayment in the event cash flow is unable to satisfy debt payments. Lenders and investors take some comfort in having collateral securing their funds in the event of non-payment. The collateral can be liquidated to cover some or all of the outstanding debt.

Collateral is normally a requirement to obtain financing for a business. If collateral is not available it does not automatically indicate lenders or investors will decline a request for funds, but having collateral does provide an enhancement for funding to be extended.

Posted in Financial Fitness for Small Business Tips, small business, Small Business Loans | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Young Money Today Podcast – Jeffrey Richard on Developing Your Career

Posted by Hopeton on December 20, 2010

Jeffrey Richard

Listen to Young Money Today’s Nikki Green interview of Jeffrey Richard, president of the Austin Area Urban League (AAUL), by clicking here: Young Money Today -Jeffrey Richard Interview – 12/20/10.

Richard provides career management advice for young adults and discusses AAUL’s revitalized Young Professionals guild.  Nikki also provides the tip of the week and the ap of the week.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Listen to my interview today with Dan Ch

Posted by Hopeton on December 19, 2010

Listen to my interview today with Dan Charnas, author of The Big Payback: The History of the Business of Hip-Hop, on KAZI Book Review on KAZI 88.7 FM, 12:30 p.m. – 1 p.m.Listen live online at http://www.live365.com/stations/kazifm?site=pro&play

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Listen to my interview with Dan Charnas,

Posted by Hopeton on December 18, 2010

Listen to my interview with Dan Charnas, author of The Big Payback: The History of the Business of Hip-Hop, tomorrow on KAZI Book Review, 12:30 p.m. – 1 p.m…Read more at http://kazibookreview.wordpress.com/2010/12/16/the-history-of-the-business-of-hip-hop-dan-charnas/.

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The History of the Business of Hip-Hop

Posted by Hopeton on December 18, 2010

Dan Charnas, author of The Big Payback: The History of the Business of Hip-Hop, is the December 19 guest on KAZI Book Review, 12:30 p.m. – 1 p.m.  Listen live online at kazifm.org.

In The Big Payback, Dan Charnas chronicles the volatile history of the hip-hop industry through its key players—hungry hustlers, innovative entrepreneurs, visionary handlers, and shrewd executives who had the business acumen to take the music of a marginal urban subculture and transform it into a mainstream pop culture phenomenon.

Spanning an epic forty years—1968 to 2008—from the early long-shot successes of Sugar Hill Records and Grand Master Flash & the Furious Five to Run DMC’s crossover breakthrough on MTV to the marketing of gangsta rap and the rise of stars like Jay-Z and Sean Combs, who head multimillion-dollar businesses, The Big Payback is a raw, real blow-by-blow tale of inspiration and treachery—of how hip-hop records got made and marketed, how the deals were done, and who won and lost in this epic struggle.

Focusing on successful marketing strategies—from the branding of hip-hop artists by labels like Profile and Def Jam to the key management choices that broke through the color barrier on radio and MTV—Charnas provides an insider’s analysis of what has allowed hip-hop to not only endure but dominate. Culled from more than three hundred revealing interviews with key industry players like Russell Simmons, Rick Rubin, Warner Records executive Lyor Cohen, and other more, The Big Payback is both a fascinating narrative and a provocative primer on hip-hop’s compelling paradigm for business success in a new, multicultural America.

Dan Charnas scouted talent and promoted records for the seminal rap label, Profile, and was Vice President of A&R for Rick Rubin’s Def American Recordings. His writing has appeared in the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, and the Village Voice. Charnas holds a master’s degree from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, and was awarded a Pulitzer Prize Fellowship.

Posted in Books, Business | Leave a Comment »

Invisible Capital: How Unseen Forces Shape Entrepreneurial Opportunity

Posted by Hopeton on December 16, 2010

Chris Rabb , author of Invisible Capital: How Unseen Forces Shape Entrepreneurial Opportunity, is the guest on the Economic Perspectives, Monday, December 20, 5:30 p.m. – 6 p.m. on KAZI 88.7 FM.  Listen live online at kazifm.org.

Invisible capital is not any one thing. It’s a complex set of factors: our skills, knowledge, networks, resources, and experiences. These can create significant advantages, even if they are not consciously exploited. Rabb details how people can evaluate the components of their own invisible capital and develop a plan to build on strengths and mitigate weaknesses. He draws on his extensive experience as an entrepreneur, his tenure on Capitol Hill and the White House Conference on Small Business, his experience managing an urban business incubator, and his involvement with numerous family-owned businesses.

Chris Rabb is a consultant, writer, and public speaker focusing on the intersection of social identity, media, civic engagement and entrepreneurship. He is a fellow at Demos, a non-partisan public policy research and advocacy organization based in New York City. He is also a visiting researcher at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. In 2001, Chris was awarded an American Marshall Memorial Fellowship by the German Marshall Fund of the U.S.

Posted in Entrepreneurship, minority business | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Cash Flow – Financial Fitness for Small Business Tips

Posted by Hopeton on December 14, 2010

The purpose of the  Financial Fitness for Small Business Tips is to provide information that will help aspiring and existing small business owners be better prepared to finance the start-up and growth of their businesses in today’s economic environment.  The following tip was provided by Emerson Hall, Community Affairs Specialist for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Dallas Regional Office.  For more information on the financial literacy resources provided by FDIC go to http://www.fdic.gov/consumers/education/.

Cash flow is defined as the movement of cash into and out of a business enterprise and is described by many as the life blood of any business. Positive cash flow is an essential element of a successful business. In order to establish and maintain a viable business, a business owner must understand and properly manage the business cash flow.

Proper management of cash flow reflects the owner’s ability to operate the business, whereby, all expenses are paid timely and having sufficient funds remaining to make debt payments. Lenders and Investors consider cash flow as a critical aspect of the business operations when evaluating a business for potential funding. Cash flow management requires attention to all the details of the business enterprise.

Most inflows from a small business are derived from operations: cash sales and collections of receivables. Other possible sources of cash inflow would include investment income from interest of dividend income, and financing income form sales of assets (not in the ordinary course of doing business) borrowed funds, lawsuit and insurance payments.

Posted in Financial Fitness for Small Business Tips, small business, Small Business Loans | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »

The December 13 edition of Young Monday

Posted by Hopeton on December 13, 2010

The December 13 edition of Young Monday Today featured an interview with Imani Gooden, a recent University of Texas at Austin graduate, about managing personal finance. To listen to the interview go to https://econpers.wordpress.com/2010/12/12/young-money-today-personal-finance-lessons-learned-from-a-college-grad/.

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Building a Great Business Focus of December 13 Economic Perspectives

Posted by Hopeton on December 12, 2010

Brian Tracy, co-author of Now…Build a Great Business! 7 Ways to Maximize Your Profits in Any Market, is the guest on the December 13 edition of Economic Perspectives on KAZI 88.7 FM, 5:30 p.m. – 6 p.m.  Listen live online at kazifm.org.

In this book, Tracy and his co-author Mark Thompson, write that the seven most crucial components of business growth are:

1.       Become a Great Leader

2.       Develop a Great Business Plan

3.       Surround Yourself with Great People

4.       Offer a Great Product or Service

5.       Design a Great Marketing Plan

6.       Perfect a Great Sales Process

7.       Create a Great Customer Experience

Brian Tracy is a top business speaker, author, and consultant, addressing more than 250,000 people worldwide each year. He has written 45 books and produced more than 400 audio and video learning programs.

Posted in Books, Business | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »