Please click on images OR BLUE Text to see writing sampleS

 

4 Ways to Become A Better Investor

U.S. News & World Report

No one becomes a savvy investor overnight. The best investors are always learning about investing. What's more, these investors recognize that every investment comes with a built-in trade-off.

No one becomes a savvy investor overnight. The best investors are always learning about investing. What's more, these investors recognize that every investment comes with a built-in trade-off.


A financial advisor who isn't earning commissions can help develop a strong investing future.

A financial advisor who isn't earning commissions can help develop a strong investing future.


Financial advisors say more investors want to make sustainable choices.

Financial advisors say more investors want to make sustainable choices.


How to Invest in Water ETFs

U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT 

Water. We drink it, we swim in it and it's vital to human life. Despite being the world's most precious resource, many people are only beginning to realize it's becoming scarce. Think back to Kevin Costner's 1995 post-apocalyptic film, "Waterworld," where the polar ice caps had melted and earth was covered by the rising seas. Drifter pirate-types searched for land and fresh water. Many laughed off the science fiction. According to a recent report by the United Nations, the world will only have 60 percent of the water it needs by 2030 without significant global policy change. Now as governments and businesses — even French wine investors — are seeking higher ground with a warming climate and rising sea levels, many still haven't considered investing in water.

Water. We drink it, we swim in it and it's vital to human life. Despite being the world's most precious resource, many people are only beginning to realize it's becoming scarce.

Think back to Kevin Costner's 1995 post-apocalyptic film, "Waterworld," where the polar ice caps had melted and earth was covered by the rising seas. Drifter pirate-types searched for land and fresh water.

Many laughed off the science fiction. According to a recent report by the United Nations, the world will only have 60 percent of the water it needs by 2030 without significant global policy change. Now as governments and businesses — even French wine investors — are seeking higher ground with a warming climate and rising sea levels, many still haven't considered investing in water.


  As the conversion of big data and analytics continues to grow, business are ramping up their involvement in the Internet of Things to hyper-personalize and customize every aspect of their companies. At the same time, the growth of this nebulous network that connects anything digital is attracting investors who are increasingly aware of growing opportunities.

 

As the conversion of big data and analytics continues to grow, business are ramping up their involvement in the Internet of Things to hyper-personalize and customize every aspect of their companies. At the same time, the growth of this nebulous network that connects anything digital is attracting investors who are increasingly aware of growing opportunities.


How to Invest in Equity Crowdfunding

U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT

Want to invest like the rich do? Now's your chance – to a point. The Securities and Exchange Commission is now allowing individuals to invest in companies via web-based crowdfunding portals, known as intermediaries, via the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, or JOBS act.

Want to invest like the rich do? Now's your chance – to a point.

The Securities and Exchange Commission is now allowing individuals to invest in companies via web-based crowdfunding portals, known as intermediaries, via the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, or JOBS act.


What Investors Should Know About Options

U.S. News & World Report

 

Options: most financial experts either love them or hate them. "Many certified financial planners would not touch options with a 15-foot pole," says Barbara Kay, who coaches financial experts around the country via her certified woman business enterprise in Wheaton, Illinois.

Options: most financial experts either love them or hate them.

"Many certified financial planners would not touch options with a 15-foot pole," says Barbara Kay, who coaches financial experts around the country via her certified woman business enterprise in Wheaton, Illinois.


How to Invest in Smart Cities

U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT

As cities become more connected, there are more avenues for investing.

As cities become more connected, there are more avenues for investing.


8 Investing Lessons From NFL Players

U.S. News & World REport 

Plenty of stories have circulated about NFL athletes who are bankrupted two years after they retire, or undergoing financial stress. There are plenty of similar tales of woe about how restaurant owners or tech startups fail in their first year. "Every athlete is essentially an entrepreneur," says former NFL linebacker Dhani Jones, who now owns a Cincinnati-based private equity company. "When you get out the league, you're making the transition into the real world, but ultimately you've just sold your last business."

Plenty of stories have circulated about NFL athletes who are bankrupted two years after they retire, or undergoing financial stress. There are plenty of similar tales of woe about how restaurant owners or tech startups fail in their first year.

"Every athlete is essentially an entrepreneur," says former NFL linebacker Dhani Jones, who now owns a Cincinnati-based private equity company. "When you get out the league, you're making the transition into the real world, but ultimately you've just sold your last business."


  From juggling upcoming events and travel plans to managing housework, your spouse, children and pets, finding work-life balance can be a struggle. It can be equally difficult to find personal time or a moment to visit with friends. Consider these tips to keep your home life—and your sanity—intact.

 

From juggling upcoming events and travel plans to managing housework, your spouse, children and pets, finding work-life balance can be a struggle. It can be equally difficult to find personal time or a moment to visit with friends. Consider these tips to keep your home life—and your sanity—intact.


Advice Squad  

FoodService Director Magazine

  Crafted monthly business-based advice columns from on phone interviews with three industry experts.

 

Crafted monthly business-based advice columns from on phone interviews with three industry experts.


So You've Got a Great Business Idea

TIME OUT CHICAGO MAGAZINE

  …but you have no clue how to get it off the ground. Local entrepreneurs offer a plan of attack to make your vision a reality.

 

…but you have no clue how to get it off the ground. Local entrepreneurs offer a plan of attack to make your vision a reality.


  Advice from the annual National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago. Here are some of the inexpensive ways they suggested to improve a chain’s consumer research, real estate prowess, financial performance and other functions.

 

Advice from the annual National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago. Here are some of the inexpensive ways they suggested to improve a chain’s consumer research, real estate prowess, financial performance and other functions.


  Columbus Commons in Columbus, Ohio, is a 7-acre park with a carousel, bocce courts, gardens, a stage, life-size chess and Columbus Bicentennial Pavilion. It’s one of the abundant spaces in the the Great Lakes area attracting meetings.

 

Columbus Commons in Columbus, Ohio, is a 7-acre park with a carousel, bocce courts, gardens, a stage,
life-size chess and Columbus Bicentennial Pavilion. It’s one of the abundant spaces in the the Great Lakes area attracting meetings.



  When he co-founded 37signals, a Chicago-based software firm in 1999, Jason Fried had no idea he’d become The New York Times bestselling co-author of “Rework,” a book about starting and running a “right-sized” business.”  

 

When he co-founded 37signals, a Chicago-based software firm in 1999, Jason Fried had no idea he’d become The New York Times bestselling co-author of “Rework,” a book about starting and running a “right-sized” business.”

 


Make Mine Mobile

Orange Magazine

  The right planning couple with a robust database of content can turn a wine app into the perfect pour.

 

The right planning couple with a robust database of content can turn a wine app into the perfect pour.



Walking on Art

Michigan Avenue Magazine

  BucketFeet founders Raaja NemaNi and Aaron Firestein share artists’ stories with the world via their collaboratively made, custom-designed shoes.  

 

BucketFeet founders Raaja NemaNi and Aaron Firestein share artists’ stories with the world via their collaboratively made, custom-designed shoes.

 


Design is communication, visual communication. The more you have going on, the harder it is to be understood. So how can businesses create a cohesive brand experience?

Design is communication, visual communication. The more you have going on, the harder it is to be understood. So how can businesses create a cohesive brand experience?


171 Best Web Sites

CHICAGO MAGAZINE

  Pitched cover story idea that morphed into a massive co-authored project.    

 

Pitched cover story idea that morphed into a massive co-authored project.

 

 


   The holidays bring plenty of parties, family gatherings and work functions. That makes the final weeks of the year the perfect time to network, especially if you are looking for a job.  

 

 The holidays bring plenty of parties, family gatherings and work functions. That makes the final weeks of the year the perfect time to network, especially if you are looking for a job.

 


E-Tail Wagging

CHICAGO MAGAZINE

More Americans than ever are clicking “Add to Cart.” Check this out:  how much Chicago spends online and what all that cash buys.

More Americans than ever are clicking “Add to Cart.” Check this out:  how much Chicago spends online and what all that cash buys.


  Traditionally, book and magazine publishers are the last to convert to a new technology. Despite initial hesitations, Jason Patendaude, president and CEO of Chicago-based Carus Publishing, a children's magazine and book business, got creative and took a calculated risk.

 

Traditionally, book and magazine publishers are the last to convert to a new technology. Despite initial hesitations, Jason Patendaude, president and CEO of Chicago-based Carus Publishing, a children's magazine and book business, got creative and took a calculated risk.


  Do you think it's too hard to get a job in this economy? Are you holding our for your dream job? Think again. The economy isn't great but there are plenty of ways to get a good job if you are willing to change your perspective.

 

Do you think it's too hard to get a job in this economy? Are you holding our for your dream job? Think again. The economy isn't great but there are plenty of ways to get a good job if you are willing to change your perspective.


Getting your invention patented is important but navigating the process can be tricky.

Getting your invention patented is important but navigating the process can be tricky.


How to Find the Roth IRA Sweet Spot

U.S. News & World Report

Timing is everything, especially when it comes to making the proper tax conversions for a retirement savings account. Knowing how and when to convert a 401(k) to a Roth 401(k) investments or transition a traditional individual retirement account – better known as an IRA – to a Roth IRA can have big tax implications.

Timing is everything, especially when it comes to making the proper tax conversions for a retirement savings account.

Knowing how and when to convert a 401(k) to a Roth 401(k) investments or transition a traditional individual retirement account – better known as an IRA – to a Roth IRA can have big tax implications.


Time is an investor's most valuable asset, and that's one thing millennials have. By starting early, millennials can put their savings to work earning compounding interest. Of course, that same principle of compounding interest works against you with debt, especially as interest rates climb and make revolving credit card balances, for example, even more costly.

Time is an investor's most valuable asset, and that's one thing millennials have. By starting early, millennials can put their savings to work earning compounding interest.

Of course, that same principle of compounding interest works against you with debt, especially as interest rates climb and make revolving credit card balances, for example, even more costly.


Connect magazine educational programming

5 Questions to Ask a Fiduciary

U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT 

Understand how your advisor is being compensated to become a more informed investor.... There's a lot of confusion about who is and who isn't a fiduciary, and what the term really means for investors. "I come across many advisors that use this term quite loosely," Stephen Rischall, a fiduciary financial adviser and co-founder at 1080 Financial Group in Sherman Oaks, California. "The only way you are going to know is by directly asking how an advisor is being compensated." Almost half – 46 percent – of all Americans mistakenly believe that all financial advisors are already required to put their clients' interests first when it comes to retirement, according to a recent report by Financial Engines.

Understand how your advisor is being compensated to become a more informed investor....

There's a lot of confusion about who is and who isn't a fiduciary, and what the term really means for investors.

"I come across many advisors that use this term quite loosely," Stephen Rischall, a fiduciary financial adviser and co-founder at 1080 Financial Group in Sherman Oaks, California. "The only way you are going to know is by directly asking how an advisor is being compensated."

Almost half – 46 percent – of all Americans mistakenly believe that all financial advisors are already required to put their clients' interests first when it comes to retirement, according to a recent report by Financial Engines.


Working smarter, not harder, isn’t a dream, it’s a reality—especially for planners who have to budget time wisely. To maximize minutes, here are six clever ideas to consider adopting.

Working smarter, not harder, isn’t a dream, it’s a reality—especially for planners who have to budget time wisely. To maximize minutes, here are six clever ideas to consider adopting.


As cybersecurity evolves, here's what investors should consider. From parking lot security cameras to a coffee pot in the breakroom or a printer that was recently upgraded with Wi-Fi capabilities, there are plenty of ways for hackers to infiltrate a digital network or remotely monitor activities within a business. 

As cybersecurity evolves, here's what investors should consider.

From parking lot security cameras to a coffee pot in the breakroom or a printer that was recently upgraded with Wi-Fi capabilities, there are plenty of ways for hackers to infiltrate a digital network or remotely monitor activities within a business. 


6 Tips to Invest Like a Venture Capitalist 

U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT 

For nearly two decades, John Dougery, managing director of Inventus Capital Partners, has been investing in the startup community in Silicon Valley and India. "Last year I reviewed 2,200 business plans," he says. "And I invested in six of them." That was after Dougery says he personally met with representatives of more than 600 startups.

For nearly two decades, John Dougery, managing director of Inventus Capital Partners, has been investing in the startup community in Silicon Valley and India.

"Last year I reviewed 2,200 business plans," he says. "And I invested in six of them." That was after Dougery says he personally met with representatives of more than 600 startups.


Concerns about Silicon Valley unicorns have investors scrambling over the valuation of tech companies.

Concerns about Silicon Valley unicorns have investors scrambling over the valuation of tech companies.


6 Facts to Know Before Investing in a Restaurant

How to Invest in Co-Working Spaces

U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT

As the shared economy continues to evolve companies – both big and small – are managing their expense lines and testing new urban markets with co-working spaces. In the past, many co-working companies were targeted toward freelancers and startups. According to the CBRE Group's 2015/2016 Americas Occupier Survey of 226 Americas-based corporate real estate organizations, more than 40 percent of respondents are using or considering shared workplaces.

As the shared economy continues to evolve companies – both big and small – are managing their expense lines and testing new urban markets with co-working spaces.

In the past, many co-working companies were targeted toward freelancers and startups. According to the CBRE Group's 2015/2016 Americas Occupier Survey of 226 Americas-based corporate real estate organizations, more than 40 percent of respondents are using or considering shared workplaces.


When it comes to saving and investing in his small business, Bill Hammer Jr. likes to joke he did what any good investor does – he sold at the top. That meant cashing in on his conducting career after earning two Grammy awards and re-engineering his father's business in 2008 into a boutique wealth management firm in New York.

When it comes to saving and investing in his small business, Bill Hammer Jr. likes to joke he did what any good investor does – he sold at the top.

That meant cashing in on his conducting career after earning two Grammy awards and re-engineering his father's business in 2008 into a boutique wealth management firm in New York.


Power 100

Chicago Magazine


Chefs' Council

FoodService Director Magazine

  Created a 50-person Chefs' Council of industry subject matter experts. Interviewed foodservice professionals each month on one timely business trend.

 

Created a 50-person Chefs' Council of industry subject matter experts. Interviewed foodservice professionals each month on one timely business trend.


Steal This Idea

FoodService Director magazine

  How foodservice directors can steal business ideas from other industry experts.  Led project redesign of FSD in 2015 that included the complete revamp of this final page in the monthly book.

 

How foodservice directors can steal business ideas from other industry experts.  Led project redesign of FSD in 2015 that included the complete revamp of this final page in the monthly book.


Uncorking Success

Michigan Avenue magazine

  How Nancy Bigley Brought Wine/Art Parties to Chicago.

 

How Nancy Bigley Brought Wine/Art Parties to Chicago.


The Hotel Master

Michigan Avenue Magazine

  There are foolish gambles, and there are calculated risks. For hotel real estate and private equity investor John Rutledge, the founder and CEO of Chicago's Oxford Capital Group, avoid the former has made all the difference.

 

There are foolish gambles, and there are calculated risks. For hotel real estate and private equity investor John Rutledge, the founder and CEO of Chicago's Oxford Capital Group, avoid the former has made all the difference.


Planning a conference or a convention takes a lot of work. But making sure there is the appropriate amount of Wi-Fi while trying to minimize costs can be particularly challenging.

Planning a conference or a convention takes a lot of work. But making sure there is the appropriate amount of Wi-Fi while trying to minimize costs can be particularly challenging.


How to Break Up With A Business Partner

AMERICAN EXPRESS OPEN FORUM

Break-ups are always difficult. Some are more amicable than others. When it comes to the legalities of a divorce, be it personal or a business relationship, most people run to an attorney and prepare for battle.

Break-ups are always difficult. Some are more amicable than others. When it comes to the legalities of a divorce, be it personal or a business relationship, most people run to an attorney and prepare for battle.


  Silicon Valley is known as the biggest technology haven in the U.S., but Chicago has rapidly grown in the past few years as a tech startup hot spot in the Midwest. Companies like Groupon, GrubHub and 37signals started in the Second City. 

 

Silicon Valley is known as the biggest technology haven in the U.S., but Chicago has rapidly grown in the past few years as a tech startup hot spot in the Midwest. Companies like Groupon, GrubHub and 37signals started in the Second City. 


  Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Columbus, Ohio, makes a lush setting for meetings during spring and summer months. The John F. Wolfe Palm House, shown here, has a double grand staircase descending into a tropical garden. Learn about more stand-out spaces in the Great Lakes region in the following pages.

 

Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Columbus, Ohio, makes a lush setting for meetings during spring and summer months. The John F. Wolfe Palm House, shown here, has a double grand staircase descending into a tropical garden. Learn about more stand-out spaces in the Great Lakes region in the following pages.


  Cover story about convention, meeting and event planners who are using innovative technology.   

 

Cover story about convention, meeting and event planners who are using innovative technology. 

 


  Iron Butterflies. Although some may think of the 1960’s psychedelic rock band, this concept is about women taking charge. At its core, its about making women great leaders and highlighting the many female negotiators who often get overlooked by upper management.

 

Iron Butterflies. Although some may think of the 1960’s psychedelic rock band, this concept is about women taking charge. At its core, its about making women great leaders and highlighting the many female negotiators who often get overlooked by upper management.


  Jenny Gerst knew this was her moment. But three minutes to sell hopes and dreams isn’t a lot of time. Hands sweating, cue cards ready, she clenched the stopwatch as she prepared for her sales pitch in a Navy Pier conference room.

 

Jenny Gerst knew this was her moment. But three minutes to sell hopes and dreams isn’t a lot of time. Hands sweating, cue cards ready, she clenched the stopwatch as she prepared for her sales pitch in a Navy Pier conference room.


  A writer is thrown into the rental shark tank.

 

A writer is thrown into the rental shark tank.


Culture Club

RESTAURANTS & INSTITUTIONS

Frozen yogurt is back with new chains, new flavors, new style and ambitious plans.  

Frozen yogurt is back with new chains, new flavors, new style and ambitious plans.

 


40-under-40

Consulting-Specifying Engineer Magazine

  40 interviews in less than four weeks...

 

40 interviews in less than four weeks...


  Many companies want to create an app. But where do you begin? There's so much to consider. It's important to do it on the front end, because adding details after a contract has been signed with a developer can cost significantly more money.

 

Many companies want to create an app. But where do you begin? There's so much to consider. It's important to do it on the front end, because adding details after a contract has been signed with a developer can cost significantly more money.