Is your company's 401(k) working for employees?
Along with salaries, company benefits play a key role in attracting, retaining and motivating employees. But all too often, business owners fail to recognize what might be the weakest part of their benefit packages — their 401(k) plans. Among the most desirable prospective employees are those who, looking to the future, pay close attention to the strengths and weaknesses of these plans. And existing employees may become restless if they don’t see enough growth in their retirement nest eggs, especially if they contribute the maximum amount each year.
Many factors of 401(k) plans can be subjective. But there are some objective criteria that define whether these plans are a desirable employee benefit, compared with those available from your business’s competitors.
In a World of Financial Noise, Be Wary of Predictions
Investors are constantly bombarded by what can only be described as noise about investment markets. Today, more than ever there's a continuous crush of headlines and Twitter feeds, as well as television and radio programs, that collectively provide ceaseless hype, misinformation and biased views.
The market gyrates constantly on headlines and sound bites, but you should pay them little heed. Trading on day-to-day news can be dangerous to your financial health, especially if your long-term goal is wealth accumulation. Failing to filter out this media noise can make you a slave to it.
Instead, determine in advance what you're going to listen to-and from whom. Those you definitely should ignore include self-appointed financial gurus who commonly appear on television and radio programs and in articles. You've doubtless heard the saying, "Beware of strangers bearing gifts." Well, you should also beware of gurus with crystal balls bearing predictions.
The Wine Lovers' Guide to Investing
Savoring a vintage wine is one of life's great pleasures. But often overlooked in the joy of consumption is the carefully calibrated journey from grape to glass. Similar levels of care are critical to good investment outcomes.
A host of variables can determine whether a wine is great, good, mediocre, or undrinkable. These include the quality of the grapes, soil, position of the vineyard, weather, irrigation, and timing of the harvest.
And picking the grapes isn't the end of it. The harvest must be sorted, the grapes crushed and pressed, then fermented, clarified, aged, and bottled. At any stage of the process, a lack of attention to detail can spoil the final outcome.