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The Welcome Relief of Green Screens

As I looked at my trading screen today I saw a lot of green. Green screens, of course, that indicate a market that's finally starting to trade higher.

To this I say -- it's about time.

After so many down days during the past few weeks, the welcome relief of green screens indicates that not all is lost on Wall Street. The sector showing one of the biggest spikes higher today is financials, which is particularly encouraging after a few weeks of difficult headlines about bank failures and the pending demise of lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.


Is The Crisis Over?

There's no denying that April 2008 was a really good month for the equity markets. To that I say -- it's about time!

After the worst first quarter in recent memory, stocks finally showed everyone that the bears hadn't taken up permanent residence on Wall Street. Now in the wake of the admittedly very good performance we witnessed in April, many pundits have taken to asking if the credit and equity market crisis is now over.

In my opinion, the answer to this question is a definite no.



The movement of small business owners throughout their day is a constant transition from darkness to light. When something good happens, our world seems newly illuminated. Every struggle, every setback, seems to cause darkness to return.

But we know every dark moment is an opportunity for light. The only question is, will our efforts produce a flicker or a beam? And isn’t not knowing what makes the anticipation sweeter?

Should we long for a life without struggle? Wouldn’t constant light become boring? Remember, the enemy of light is not darkness - it’s glare.


Bearish On Banks

This morning (April 23, 2008), the newspaper Investor's Business Daily interviewed me for an upcoming article about how a lot of companies are likely to start cutting their dividends.

In my opinion, we are at the beginning of a new wave of dividend cuts, especially from traditional dividend-paying sectors such as banks and other financial institutions. I really am bearish on banks right now, and for that matter any company that makes a living by loaning money.


Some Thoughts on Hope

There comes a time in the life of every small business when we’ve done everything we’re supposed to: developed a plan, worked the plan, stuck to our budget, focused on the fundamentals, and we’re still not absolutely sure we’re on the right track toward success. So what keeps us going? Hope.


Reinventing Yourself and Your Business

If you've spent at least a few years in the marketplace, there is an excellent chance that you've reinvented yourself at least once.

There was probably a moment, an inspiration, an event, a conversation, or a pink slip that caused you to start that new journey. And if you're a small business owner, it's also a safe bet that you've discovered you must keep reinventing your business, too.


Avoid gas pain with planning and communication

"Where's the pain?"

As we discussed recently, this is the newest question to get to the point of what's preventing a business from accomplishing its goals. It's an important question. Because when pain occurs, like when expenses get out of control, it's essential to quickly identify and reduce that pain.

There are two kinds of out-of-control expense pain:

1) The kind that happens because you aren't managing your business properly;


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