Brian Banmiller's blog

Tax Myths Busted

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Spring has sprung, meaning its tax time but this season is painful enough without paying more than you owe. So beware the tax myths that could cause you to empty out the piggy bank.

Jeff Schnepper, a former Professor of Taxation, Accounting and Finance and author of “How to Pay Zero Taxes” has compiled a list of five tax myths that can cost you money. Schnepper says from Santa Claus to the Tooth Fairy our culture is full of myths, and in the world of taxes these myths can cost you big bucks if you don’t know the rules.  read more »

Print Getting Smeared

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According to MarketWatch, the Sun-Times Media Group Inc. has become the second newspaper publisher in the Chicago area, and the latest among several around the U.S., to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection at a time of unprecedented advertising revenue declines in the newspaper industry.

The company said that while it has already taken a number of steps to cut costs, they just weren't enough to offset massive print ad losses. Earlier this month, Hearst Corp. opted to shut down print operations of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, turning it into a Web-only publication with a small editorial staff. In February, it warned that it might shut down the San Francisco Chronicle unless it could find a way to drastically cut operating costs.  read more »

Making and Saving Money Now

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Ask once-poor people how they found riches, and many will tell you saving money instead of spending it did the trick. So here are some ideas I’ve gleaned from experts that can help you weather the economic storm.

Eat out for less:
Many restaurants are offering less expensive entrees. For example, Chili's, Texas Roadhouse, TGI Fridays, and Outback Steakhouse are offering entrees ranging between $7 and $10. Even upscale Morton’s steakhouse has a value deal.

Entertainment deals:  read more »

Bashing Capitalism for Votes

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I know Americans are as furious as I am that AIG would pay bonuses out of one hand, while the other hand is taking billions from the government. And those who made stupid mistakes should not be rewarded. Any who committed crimes should be prosecuted.

But this Wall Street bashing has gone too far. A lot of pandering politicians find it easier to blame Wall Street for bringing down capitalism, when it is capitalism that will save Wall Street.

First, it was the Obama Administration, its Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, and democrat Senator Chris Dodd who first approved those bonuses, citing contractual obligations. But after the media showed its bright spotlight on the bonuses, the politicians ran for cover under the shade of a Washington tradition, the blame game.  read more »

Hire Your Own Economic Coach

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Every team has a coach to offer structure and stability through exciting wins and tragic losses. And with this economy now going through the agony of defeat, maybe what we all need is our very own coach.

Kim Fulcher is a professional life coach for her San Francisco bay area based company, My Life Compass. Fulcher says a life coach helps you focus on what’s important in today’s weak economy. Even if you’re out of work and your stock portfolio has plummeted Fulcher says instead of falling victim to fear or uncertainty, use the opportunity to go after what you really want in life.  read more »

Best New Cars for Your Cash

There's nothing better than the sweet smell of a new car. Especially if your new car was the best buy for your buck and will give you peace of mind from any future threat of skyrocketing gas prices.

In April Consumer Reports will release its picks for the best in the car world. Through tests and research they list everything from the best truck to the best mini-van. And in this weak economy they are providing you with the five most fuel efficient new cars for their value. Consumer Reports Auto Content Specialist Mike Quincy says its about recouping your money over time of ownership.  read more »

Twitter de...de. Twitter de dumb?

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I had the opportunity to participate at a Web 2.0 seminar for some local business owners and workers at a Chamber of Commerce event in northern California yesterday. It was set up by Dagaz Solutions, the folks who designed my own web site.

Some three hundred business folks showed up, eager to learn how to jump into this brave new world of social networking as a way to get and keep more clients. All the usual suspects were in the spotlight. Facebook, YouTube, MySpace, LinkedIn, and the latest craze, Twitter.  read more »

Beware the Dead Cat Bounce

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Perhaps you’ve been hearing this very graphic Wall Street trader term bandied about during these tumultuous times. It’s actually been used for decades as a warning to investors that buying into temporary rallies during bear markets can be wealth-threatening.

The other well-worn phrase is “Don’t catch a falling knife”. That refers to watching your favorite stock taking a plunge, and buying more in the often mistaken belief that the fall is temporary.

Actually I think these terms are perfect warning signs right now. After a brief four day rally some Wall Street pundits are predicting the bottom has been reached, and the markets will soon come roaring back. I am an insufferable optimist, and wish I could share their enthusiasm. It’s just that facts get in the way.  read more »

The Great Fed Opening

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Quite honestly, I was shocked to see Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke show up as the lead story on “Sixty Minutes” Sunday night. And the interview was promoted by CBS as an “exclusive”.

Over the years all media outlets have so abused the term “exclusive” that the label no longer impresses viewers. In fact, it’s used so often that what one station bills as an “exclusive” pops up on the competition 5 minutes later.
But this time CBS has every reason to push their “exclusive”. And I have my own story to prove it.

When I was first doing interviews for my CBS News Radio reports back in the late 1980’s, I happen to be at a speech then Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan was giving to a business group at a Washington, DC hotel.  read more »

The Value of Body Language

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In this economy a good job interview is hard to come by and even if you're lucky enough to land one you had better be prepared. There's more to a job interview than references or experience. Your body language can tell a potential employer all they need to know without you ever saying a word.

Janine Driver is a body language and deception detection expert who analyzes our everyday movements to determine what they say about our character. Here is her list of six crucial body movements that can make or break that critical first impression.

1. Handshake: The wet fish versus the bone crusher  read more »