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Office Getaway Challenge

Marnin Michaels

Take the Company for a Special Holiday

Want to do something different with your company and turn a “fun-day” into a “fun-week”?  Check out the luxurious four-bedroom Chalet-Alpenhof in the Alpine village of Saas-Fee, owned by Marnin Michaels, a tax and international private banking expert.  Centrally located in the Swiss Alps, in summer or winter your company can benefit from a visit to Saas-Fee, sure to enjoy the challenge of many activities in the villages and mountains in the surrounding areas.

Take one of the climbing routes via the ladders, hooks, cable walkways and more at Saas-Fee.  Choose between the Mittaghorn (“fairly difficult”) route, Jägihorn (“moderately difficult”) route plus many others of all kinds of levels.  Treat your staff to the Saas Valley 7-day hiking pass that gives you access to all the Saas Valley cableways, Gspon mountain path, Postbus and a whole selection of other great hikes.  The Saas Valley Excursion Pass (available from June to October) also offers access to “all cableways in Saas Valley and the Metro Alpin, the Postbus from Stalden-Saas to Saas-Fee and Mattmark, the Gspon mountain path (transport by postbus and cableway), admission to the Saas Museum and Bakery Museum, to the covered swimming pool at the Bielen Leisure Centre and the mini-golf courses in Saas-Fee and Saas-Almagell, guided tours through the Mattmark power station (Tuesdays), and one ride at the Feeblitz toboggan/bob-sleigh run.”

Then there is Maine.  That’s a great place to visit vis-à-vis fun hiking and getting your staff to move.  Maine offers a wide variety of opportunities for foot travel, scenic day hiking destinations including Baxter State Park, Acadia National Park, White Mountain National Forest and more.

The 2,184 mile-long Appalachian Trail public footpath, the Colville National Forest, Gifford Pinchot National Forest are also other great options. There are plenty of office getaway challenges that enable one to see the beauty of the country and walk its trails. So consider a special way to say thank you to your staff: a great vacation to the great outdoors.

Global Economy Projected to Grow 3.6% in 2014

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development recently explained the current economic outlook for different regions across the globe, stating that growth prospects are most promising in emerging economies such as those in Eastern Europe, South America, some parts of South Africa and Asia, and weakest in Europe.

OECD Deputy Secretary-General and Chief Economist Pier Carlo Padoan explained that many areas of the global economy remain vulnerable in the aftermath of deep recessions.

“The global economy continues to expand at a moderate pace, with some acceleration of growth anticipated in 2014 and 2015. But global growth forecasts have been revised down significantly for this year and 2014, in large part due to weaker prospects in many emerging market economies. Downside risks dominate and policy must address them,” he said.

 Learn more about the global economic outlook here:

Investing in Gold

APMEX Reviews

Gold is like portfolio insurance

Investors who want to put their money into precious metals turn to cold more than any other metal. Gold is considered and excellent hedge against inflation and the vagaries of economic or political turmoil. Like other markets gold is subject to speculation, and it is common to purchase futures contracts and derivatives based on gold.

The American Precious Metal Exchange, also known as APMEX reviews with their clients the best ways to deliver quality service, outstanding products and to generally simplify and streamline the process of investing in gold.

In September 2010 Joe Foster, a portfolio manager at the Van Eck International Gold Fund, explained why gold can be an excellent hedge against inflation:

“The currencies of all the major countries, including ours, are under severe pressure because of massive government deficits. The more money that is pumped into these economies – the printing of money basically – then the less valuable the currencies become.”

At a time when money made on bonds, equities and real estate does not properly compensate for risk and inflation, then investors turn to gold and other alternative types of investments in greater numbers. Some portfolio managers think of gold as a kind of “portfolio insurance.”

Doral Bank lanza campaña de publicidad

Doral Bank, un banco con sede en Nueva York y Puerto Rico, recientemente lanzó una nueva campaña publicitaria dirigida a promocionar sus cuentas de depósito y cuentas de cheques. Con el lema “Estira tu dólar con Doral”, la campaña espera ayudar a los clientes al proporcionarle características cómodas y herramientas sencillas para una mejor financiamiento.

“Como institución bancaria, queremos informar a nuestros clientes y las comunidades a las que servimos sobre las opciones de la cuenta de cheques que ofrecemos y sus beneficios. Con las cuentas que ayudan a estirar el dólar, queremos ser los proveedores de soluciones de banca que puedan ayudar a nuestros clientes a centrarse en disfrutar de su día a día”, dijo Katiria Resto, Gerente de Producto de Doral Bank.

Doral Bank reconoce que es imprescindible contar con una cuenta de cheques que incluya beneficios. De igual forma, apuesta a la gestión del presupuesto personal, especialmente en tiempos de dificultades financieras. Sus dos opciones incluyen cero cargos por servicio durante seis meses, o una cuenta de cheques con altas tasas de interés, banca en línea, la tarjeta Doral Visa, depósito directo y un saldo mínimo de apertura.

English translation

Doral Bank Launches Advertising Campaign

Doral Bank, a Puerto Rico and NY-based bank, recently launched a new advertising campaign aimed at promoting its deposit and checking accounts. With “Stretch Your Dollar with Doral” as its slogan, the campaign hopes to help customers by providing comfortable feature and simple tools for better financing.

“As a banking institution we want to inform our customers, and the communities we serve, the checking account options we offer along with the benefits that work for them. With accounts that help stretch the dollar, we want to be providers of banking solutions that can help our clients focus on enjoying their day to day,” said Katiria Resto, Doral Bank Product Manager.

Doral Bank recognizes that it is imperative to have a checking account that includes benefits as well as personal budget management support, especially during times of financial struggles. Its two options include zero service charges for six months, or a checking account with high interest rates as well as online banking, Doral Visa Banking Card, direct deposit and a minimum opening balance.

traducción Español


6 Tips for Business Management: Jim Donovan Goldman Sachs

For any lawyer who is heading into the law or business world, it’s important to have role models and examples to follow. Recently, Jim Donovan, Goldman managing director and UVA Law adjunct professor, offered six key pieces of advice about being effective at management and client relations. Delivered on October 4th, 2013 at UVA Law, the speech was sponsored by the Career Services Office.

  1. Become a strategic adviser to clients. As James Donovan, with Goldman Sachs experience for decades, explained, this means that you want your clients to view you as their go-to person for advice about anything and everything in the business world.
  2. Bring in new clients. Mr. Donovan explained that this idea greatly worried him when he started with Goldman Sachs, as he thought that this was an innate skill. He learned along the way that it wasn’t innate and that every student should find an someone in their firm or company who does it well and from whom they can learn.
  3. Take classes in the business section of the law school. James Donovan explained that not every law school has a business school, and that students at UVA should take advantage of these opportunities.  These classes, he explained, will help students to learn the substance and jargon of business.
  4. Listen and ask open ended questions. Talk less and listen more in your business interactions, Mr. Donovan advised. People love talking about themselves and will open up and feel more comfortable if you interact in this way.
  5. Be creative in your job as a lawyer. Rather than simply saying “no” when you think something can’t be done – try to find a way around the problem and be creative in your problem solving.
  6. Be upbeat. Jim Donovan of Goldman explained that people may not realize how important this is in their business interactions – but others are attracted to those who are upbeat and positive.

U.S. Takes Hit with Federal Shutdown

According to IHS, the partial shutdown of the federal government will cost the U.S. Economy over $300 million a day. Bloomberg‘s The Real Deal with Mike McKee explains how Washington’s news will impact the country:


Investment Tips

Charles-Brandes-2Today, one looking for tips on investments can feel somewhat overwhelmed as there is an array of advisors available.  In this article, three experienced investors give their tried and tested tips.

In a recent article in ‘The Globe and Mail,’ Charles Brandes of Brandes Investment Partners LP believes that it is important to return to “really basic, fundamental long-term investing.” He advises investors to see themselves as business owners, not “temporary holders of the stock.” The mistake investors are making these days is to place too much concern on “market volatility, sudden downturns or negative reactions to economic or geopolitical developments.” In addition he pointed out that “emerging markets are nicely down this year. So for long-term basic bottom-up thinkers, they are very attractive vis-à-vis longer-term growth potential.”

Jeff Reeves, Editor of has a different focus.  He believes that it is “more important to learn what NOT to do when deciding how to make money in stocks.” It is not always the smartest move to “buy low, sell high.”  Investors should “be aware that momentum frequently moves both ways, and don’t make investing decisions just based on what’s popular.”

In an article in Nerd Wallet, Michael Philips of financial planning firm Financial Mastery Wealth Management has a few tips for investors to consider before investing.  He says one should erase their high interest debt as carrying a 24% interest rate on debt and using extra money to invest just doesn’t make sense. One should also ensure they have an emergency fund as well as around 6-9 months of living expenses parked safely somewhere, such as in CDs.  Investors also need to figure out why they are investing and ensure they can spare this extra money temporarily. Philips believes that in general, “shorter timelines go with less volatile, ‘safer’ investments such as bonds or other fixed income instruments.” Finally he says that investors should do as much research as possible and “find your comfort zone.”

For investment novices and veterans alike, thinking carefully before putting money into funds should be taken on with as much preparation and know-how as possible.

Experts Advise Caution as Housing Market Grows

With low mortgage rates and growing prices, the housing market is on the rise. Still, the U.S. economy has yet to truly stabilize, making it hard to guarantee the continuing growth of the real estate sector. Some experts are warning potential buyers to be aware of and prepare for potential shifts in the market.

Reuters discusses several key points made by Stan Humphries of


New York’s New Medicaid Care System

New York is now working to alter the care system for nearly 1 million people on Medicaid through the federal health care reform called Health Homes.

According to the reform, patient care focuses on the case itself, and organized through a network which will include hospitals, mental health organizations, health plans, community-based institutions, addiction disorder providers and heatlh centers. A care manager will be elected to manage these numerous services.

According to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, it was no small feat for his staff to organize such a program in such little time. Agencies throughout the state have pooled resources to provide information and eduction to the public, as well as to health home applicants.

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