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Tag Archives: consumer

Easy Money?


ASK THE CFP® PRACTITIONER Darcie Guerin “The influences on stock prices are so numerous and so complex that no person has ever been able to predict the trend of stock prices with consistent success.” ~ As stated by Sir John Templeton in August, 1958. Question: Once again, there is talk all over the news of the Federal Reserve raising interest rates. Please explain why they would raise rates and how it would affect the economy. I’m not clear on the relationship between these two variables. Answer: Let’s start by examining the role interest rates play in the overall economy. In the ... Read More »

Can You Really Boost Your Metabolism?


By Crystal Manjarres I’m sure you’ve read the claims splashed across fitness magazines and various canisters of green tea: “fire up your metabolism” reads Herbalife’s Ultimate Thermofit or “naturally boosts metabolism – no jitters” reads Garden of Life’s fucoThin Green supplement. Sounds legit, right? Sadly it’s not. The scary truth is that these supplement companies need no evidence whatsoever that what they claim is actually true. It’s frustrating for the consumer who wastes their hard-earned cash on flimsy statements, which further demonstrates the rule of thumb that if something sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. ... Read More »

Common Sense or Common Cents?


Ask The CFP Practitioner Darcie Guerin “The pendulum of the mind alternates between sense and nonsense, not between right and wrong.” — Carl Jung, Swiss Psychologist, 1875-1961.   Question: Can you explain what is meant by a “strong dollar?” How does this affect consumers, the economy, and the stock market?   Answer: Your question is not only well timed; it should be on an Economics College Final exam! The U.S. Dollar (USD) index is a commonly used, and often misunderstood, measure of the strength of our currency, the USD, relative to the currency of other countries. Common sense indicates ... Read More »

Remodeling Your Kitchen or Bath?


CONDO REPORT Gary & Sandy Elliott The kitchen and bath remodeling industry hit an all-time high in 2014 of three hundred billion dollars nationally. On Marco Island last year 615 permits were issued for condo remodeling work. According to the city’s web site, licensed General or Building Contractors are required to do remodeling work in condos. Most of the Condo Boards require you to follow all of their remodeling rules and guidelines as well. 2015 is a year of dramatic change! Sophisticated technology is the new shining star for renovated kitchens and baths. All of our daily tasks ... Read More »

The Employment Report and Why it Matters


By Darcie Guerin “We are drowning in information but starved for knowledge.” John Naisbitt, Author of the bestseller, Megatrends, born in 1929.   Question: Financial news channels place a great deal of emphasis on the jobs report. Please explain why this is such an important report and why it matters to individual investors. Answer: The Bureau of Labor Statistics releases the jobs report, also known as the Employment Report, on the first Friday of each month. Investors, employers and policy makers eagerly await the findings that provide insight to the relative strength or weakness in the job market. Economic ... Read More »

Color Your World…endlessly


ALL THAT GLITTERS Richard Alan Season on Marco Island is in full swing, and I survived another Valentine’s Day rush that required my son and me only a couple of nights burning the midnight oil in the work shop. It was the smoothest, hassle free and profitable Valentine week I can ever remember! While in the process of investigating and individually interrogating my sales staff I found the reason it was not the normal yearly, chaotic Valentine’s experience… One thing stood out…Endless Jewelry. I mentioned that I had seen the Endless Jewelry line while in Europe last summer. It ... Read More »

The Oil Change: Slipping on Oil


Ask The CFP® Practitioner Darcie Guerin “If we never experience the chill of a dark winter, it is very unlikely that we will ever cherish the warmth of a bright summer’s day.” — Anthon St. Maarten, author of “Divine Living”   Question: Would you explain why oil prices are falling and how this affects the economy? Answer: Oil prices have tumbled dramatically since last summer, and this will surely influence the economy and consumer behavior. Like other materials, the price of oil depends on the principles of supply and demand. An added dimension is that oil prices are closely ... Read More »

Somebody’s Watching You!


Ask The CFP® Practitioner Darcie Guerin   “I know a baseball star who wouldn’t report the theft of his wife’s credit cards because the thief spends less than she does.” — Joe Garagiola   Question: Identity theft and cybercrime attacks scare me. What can I do to reduce the risk of this happening to me? Answer: You’re right to be concerned. Although the above quote by Joe Garagiola may suggest otherwise, identity theft is no laughing matter. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), fraud and identity theft are the fastest growing crimes in the nation. Florida has the ... Read More »

Negative GDP


ASK THE CFP®  PRACTITIONER  Darcie Guerin To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often. Winston Churchill   Question: Please explain negative Gross Domestic Production (GDP) for the first quarter of 2014. What does this mean for investors? Answer: We define GDP as the total output of all goods and services resulting from economic activity in the United States. GDP consists of consumer spending, government spending, business spending, investment and total net exports (exports minus imports). According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, during the first quarter of 2014, GDP decreased at an annual rate of ... Read More »

Hodges University Hosts Workshop on Diversity, Inclusion and Cultural Competency for Business Growth

The Office of Diversity at Hodges University will host a day-long workshop on diversity, inclusion and cultural competency and how it can impact business growth.  The workshop will take place on July 26, beginning at 8:30 am, and will be held at the institution’s Naples campus. The workshop will cover topics such as diversity’s effect on consumer behavior and how businesses respond, creating a diverse and inclusive leadership team, and best practices that ensure success among a diverse team.  Guest speakers, panel discussions and break-out activities are also planned for the event. “Business leaders need to increase their ability to sense new ... Read More »

Market Cycles and Bicycles


Ask The CFP® Practitioner Darcie Guerin “The only investors who shouldn’t diversify are those who are right 100 percent of the time. For those properly prepared in advance, a bear market in stocks is not a calamity but an opportunity.” — Sir John Templeton, 1912-2008   Question: Would you explain market cycles and why they matter? Answer: Understanding market cycles and keeping the ups and downs in perspective can be a challenge especially when discussing market or economic activity. There’s no doubt that markets are cyclical, and that often makes it difficult to adhere to a long-term investment strategy. ... Read More »

Creating a Buzz Through Advertising


BUSINESS BASICS Camden Smith DREAMFly Marketing This column focuses on creating a buzz using the marketing tactic, advertising. While press releases and article writing create some media buzz, organic promotion is easy if publicity is connected to advertising. Ways to Create Advertising Buzz Marketing research has shown that to create positive marketing buzz advertisers must connect with consumers and stir positive emotions. Buzz comes as a result of hitting a consumer’s sweet spot, meaning a topic they love to talk about and share with others by turning an ad campaign into a viral buzz online. Use humor or controversy to ... Read More »

Ricky (The Rino) transforms tough hides


By Carol Glassman Beneath his quiet exterior there lies a tough, determined artisan with very specific ideas about his work. Ricky (Rino) Novak, a self-confessed leather addict got hooked 46 years ago as a ten year old kid in New Jersey, when he fashioned a leather case for his comb: he still has the original. In the ensuing years he experimented with, expanded, and improved on both his techniques and his designs until his hobby began to produce some of the unique pieces of leatherwork on his website: Now a resident of Marco Island, Novak divides his time between ... Read More »


“I’m not confused, I’m just well mixed.” Robert Frost Question: With current market activity, should I review my portfolio? Answer: Yes, let me use an example to illustrate why periodic monitoring is important. Until recently, our home decor was a mix of “contemporary cocker spaniels” and “early grandkids.” The kids are no longer toddlers and the dogs are well past puppy stage. External circumstances changed and it was time to respond. We enlisted the help of a professional, choosing to work with a woman who understands our lifestyle and priorities. Establishing this sort of relationship was a little scary and ... Read More »

‘Bargain’ Fashion Show at United Church

UCMI Members Gary Grant and Beverly Kilpatric

Thursday, March 7th, 200 happy ladies gathered at the United Church of Marco Island to enjoy a luncheon and a delightful fashion show featuring the merchandise at the church’s resale shop, the Bargain Basket; proving that one woman’s “closet shrink” is another woman’s treasure. Ensembles bearing labels such as J Crew, Chico’s, Hagar, Tommy Bahama, Jos. A. Banks and Bill Blass were modeled by church members and “Basket” volunteers. Janet Watson, UCMI’s Mission Chair, stated that the total costs of the outfits shown ranged from a jaw dropping $3 to $45. Not bad considering the retail prices of the donated ... Read More »

New Economy Questions


As season creeps into its final weeks, our marketing firm has received dozens of calls from businesses asking what advertising adjustments should be made for what appears to be a more stable economy. Since the 2007 economic slide, consumers have found more confidence in coupon clipping by reducing their spending. However, so far in 2013, consumer confidence is at an all time high with the anticipation of good things to come. As business owners and managers begin to review their advertising plans, it is important to remember that without showing confidence in consumers, they may – in turn – not ... Read More »

Power Outage Affects MI Utility

At 6AM on Sunday 6/24/12 power to the Island failed. The Marco Island Water & Sewer Department has systems and procedures in place to ensure the potable water distribution system pressure is maintained and wastewater is contained in the collection system. The treatment plants have emergency backup generators.  These generators allow the plants to function under full capacity.  The morning of 6/24/12 emergency backup power generators at the North Water Plant (NWP), Reclaimed Water Production Facility, South Water Plant (SWP), and Marco Shores Wastewater Treatment Plant automatically maintained power at the treatment facilities when the normal power source failed.  Utility ... Read More »

QR code business to the top

BUSINESS BASICS Camden Smith DREAMFly Marketing   A Quick Response Code could help businesses grow in popularity with younger consumers. It may sound like a foreign language, but most of us have seen business cards and promotional products with odd looking sci-fi codes on them, usually in the shape of a square. These are QR codes, also known as Quick Response Codes, and although they have not become overwhelmingly popular with local businesses, national companies are using them successfully. Disney, Macy’s, Sears, Estee Lauder and movie production houses, to name a few, are the businesses lining their stores with QR ... Read More »


With Father’s Day approaching (June 17), gadget guys all over Florida will be hoping to receive a high-tech toy. Verizon Wireless has a wide array of the latest, greatest wireless devices dad will love. The new global-ready Verizon Jetpack 890L, developed by ZTE, creates a personal Wi-Fi cloud that can connect up to 10 Wi-Fi-enabled devices. From Motorola, the MOTOACTV is sure to get dad off the couch. The gadget is a lightweight, wearable fitness performance tracker and smart music player. New for the golfer, the device is a GPS distance tracker for more than 20,000 courses. Motorola also has a ... Read More »