Thursday, April 30, 2009

Take Investing Back to Basics

Got this nice email from INGDirect about 'simple' investing.

Tough times and volatile markets come and go, but solid investing principles are timeless. Good advice right now and in any market: go with S.I.M.P.L.E. investing:

Step back – Take a deep breath. Everyone knows that mattresses might seem like the safest spot for your money. But historically, the stock market has provided an opportunity for long-term returns.*

Investigate, then diversify – Take advantage of free research and investing tools instead of jumping on a hot tip or trying to act fast. Remember to balance your portfolio across investments.

Max out retirement vehicles – Take full advantage of any employer match for your 401(k). Otherwise, you leave money on the table. No 401(k) available? Grab the tax-deferred benefits of an IRA.

Pay yourself first – A cliché for sure, but not as easy as it sounds. Unless you have savings automatically deducted from your paycheck or bank account. It's like pre-paying bills in retirement. Talk to your employer's HR department.

Live like an investor – Adopt an investing way of life by committing to the long-term view. Your saving and investing habits can even set an example for the kids in your life.

Earn rewards – Set milestones and small rewards for yourself when you "earn" it on your smart financial plan.

Even if you only follow one or two of these tips, you'll be better off than you are today. So trust yourself. Then grit your teeth and get to it.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

10 ways to find joy

Read this article on the 10 Secrets to Finding Happiness During the Recession by Deborah Kotz.

1. Spend $20 on an experience rather than an item.
2. Pursue meaningful life goals
3. Be open and receptive to what's happening right now, in the moment.
4. Nurture meaningful relationships.
5. Recognize your strengths.
6. Count your blessings.
7. Keep an optimism journal.
8. Seek advice from your neighbor.
9. Get out and sweat.
10. Do unto others.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Basics of Marketing your Startup

Mahesh Murthy, of SeedFund and the CEO of Pinstorm, talks on the Basics of Marketing your Startup. This talk was at the Delhi Edition of in July '08.

Are you an entrepreneur, you absolutely need to watch this one.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Strategic Planning

Despite the challenging times, this year’s strategic-planning process need not be an exercise in anxiety or futility. Developing scenarios in greater depth, monitoring strategies more rigorously, and remaining focused on the long term will all help strategists boost the odds of creating plans that can lead their companies through the turbulence.

Three tips for 2009

Be realistic about scenario planning
It’s necessary to develop plans on the assumption that several different futures are possible and to focus attention on the underlying drivers of uncertainty.

Intensify monitoring
Since the effectiveness of such a strategy depends on an organization’s ability to adjust rapidly as the fog starts to lift, managers must identify and intensively monitor key indicators suggesting which scenario might unfold.

Look beyond the crisis

Strategic planning: Three tips for 2009
Even in these tumultuous times, strategic planning doesn’t have to be an exercise in anxiety—or futility.

Read the entire article on Strategic planning: Three tips for 2009 by Renée Dye, Olivier Sibony, and S. Patrick Viguerie in the The McKinsey Quarterly, the business journal of McKinsey & Company.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Got a great idea?

There's never been a better time to turn it into a great company. Here's a 16-step guide to help you do it right and build a bulletproof startup.

Phase One Establish a Company
Step 1. Stress-Test Your Big Idea
Step 2. Build Your Founding Team
Step 3. Draft a Business Plan
Step 4. Play the Name Game
Step 5. Incorporate Thyself

Phase Two Prototype the Product
Step 1. Stake Out Intellectual Property
Step 2. Create an Advisory Board
Step 3. Build Your Prototype

Phase Three Develop the Beta Product
Step 1. Start Staffing Up
Step 2. Assemble Your Back Office
Step 3. Launch Your Beta Test
Step 4. Revisit the Business Plan

Phase Four Launch the Product
Step 1. Build a New Board of Directors
Step 2. Develop the Sales and Marketing Plan
Step 3. Open an Office
Step 4. Hit the Market

Read the entire article by Michael V. Copeland and Om Malik on Cnn Money.