Archive for June, 2011

How do smart companies create opportunities others don’t?

Friday, June 17th, 2011

New markets can power business growth, but to win them you need the right toolkit.  Join me this week and find out how your business can find, enter and win in these new markets.

Join us this Saturday morning at 8am on AM 930 WFMD, or listen from your pc by logging onto WFMD’s website and click the listen live button.

About this week’s guest:

Stephen Wunker — Managing Director
As a specialist in new markets, Stephen Wunker combines world-class strategy consulting and entrepreneurial skills. He has a long track record of creating successful ventures for his own companies and on behalf of clients. His accomplishments include:

Developing dozens of new growth platforms for clients in a decade of consulting for both start-up and large firms across six continents
Establishing new growth businesses for Africa’s largest cellular network (Celtel BV, now part of India’s Bharti), including one of the world’s most successful mobile commerce firms (Celpay, sold to South Africa’s FirstRand)
Creating the first mobile Internet device marketed outside Japan (the Ericsson MC218, produced by Psion PLC)
Pioneering the use of cellphones as marketing tools, through founding Saverfone (now Brainstorm) as well as co-founding and twice Chairing the Mobile Marketing Association
Publishing frequently in journals such as Forbes, BusinessWeek, Managed Care, and US Banker. His press and television appearances include the New York Times, Bloomberg and the BBC. He has also been a guest lecturer at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business
Authoring the forthcoming book “Capturing New Markets,” to be published by McGraw-Hill in June 2011 in 20 countries
In addition to his entrepreneurial and corporate venturing experience, Steve was a long-term colleague of the leading innovation authority Harvard Business School Professor Clayton Christensen in building up his consulting practice, Innosight. Steve has co-written two articles with Professor Christensen and helped to put together his most recent book, The Innovator’s Prescription. Since 2009, he has led New Markets Advisors, which is dedicated to helping companies find, enter, and win in new markets.

Previously, he was Managing Director of Celpay, a start-up created by the pan-African mobile network Celtel, and he served as Celtel’s Business Development Director. He was also CEO of Brainstorm, a developer of mobile middleware software that acquired a start-up he founded, Saverfone. Additionally, he was responsible for bringing the leading British electronics firm Psion into the cellphone market, creating joint ventures with Ericsson and Motorola.

Before his entrepreneurial career, Steve was a strategy consultant for several years at Bain and Company, in both their Boston and London offices. He also worked to establish George Soros’ philanthropies in Czechoslovakia after the end of communism, and he assisted the Rockefeller Brothers Fund with their pioneering efforts in developing an environmental movement in Eastern Europe. Additionally, he worked at the United Nations to finance alternative energy and energy efficiency projects in emerging markets. He also created the business plan for E+Co, a groundbreaking initiative by the Rockefeller Foundation to establish collaborative public-private financing for these projects.

Steve has an MBA from Harvard Business School, a Master’s of Public Administration from Columbia University, and a BA cum laude from Princeton University. He has lived in the US, UK, Netherlands, Japan, Ecuador, and Zambia. He currently lives near Boston.

Steve has keynoted or spoken at dozens of events. Please refer to Speaking for more information on his speaking.

Steve Wunker may be reached at

Caring For Aging Parents Will Cost Boomers $3 Trillion

Friday, June 17th, 2011
You would probably do anything for your mom and dad, but the cost of caring for them in their old age can be crippling.

According to the just-released MetLife Study of Caregiving Costs to Working Caregivers: Double Jeopardy for Baby Boomers Caring for Their Parents, the nearly 10 million Americans who are providing care for their aging parents will lose an estimated $3 trillion in wages, pension and Social Security benefits to do so. The study, produced by the MetLife (MET)Mature Market Institute in conjunction with the National Alliance for Caregiving and the Center for Long Term Care Research and Policy at New York Medical College, reports that the average lifetime losses are $324,000 for women and $283,716 for men.
The implications are huge. The percentage of adults providing personal care and/or financial care to a parent has tripled since 1994, according to the report.
“Nearly 10 million adult children over the age of 50 care for their aging parents,” said Sandra Timmermann, ED.D., director of the MetLife Mature Market Institute. “Assessing the long-term financial impact of care giving for aging parents on caregivers themselves, especially those who must curtail their working careers to do so, is especially important, since it can jeopardize their future financial security.”
Though the report finds that sons and daughters mostly provide comparable care, daughters are more likely to provide help with dressing, feeding and bathing, while sons are more likely to provide financial assistance, which the report defines as providing $500 or more within the last years.
But the toll for caregivers isn’t just financial — the stress contributes to their own health troubles.

All this is yet more dreary news for Boomers, many of whom already face golden years far less shiny than they’d hope for, with retirements likely to be delayed, or in some instances, canceled entirely because they can’t afford to stop working, period.
Easing the Care-Giving Burden

Boomers need help. The report suggests employers can step up to the plate by making resources and programs available that can go a long way in mitigating stress. Doing so of course will ultimately benefit employers who have their eyes on productivity. Among the recommendations for employers: Provide retirement planning and stress management information and offer flex-time and family leave.
The question, though, is what can Boomers do to help themselves?
For starters they can ease the potential burden should they themselves fall sick. “Long-term care insurance is a smart, simple way for Baby Boomers to protect their assets and loved ones. And it isn’t necessary to spend a lot in order to have great LTCI coverage. A solid, basic plan does the job and provides many options for care. It’s better to apply while you are in relatively good health, too, in order to get the best rates,” says Brian Gordon, president of MAGA Ltd., an insurance agency that specializes in long-term care planning.
“Flexible long-term care insurance policies can help mitigate financial and emotional costs and provide options for boomers to provide the best care possible for themselves and their families,” he adds.
Three out of four people will need more than regular health care, says Marion Somers, Ph.D., author of Elder Care Made Easier: Doctor Marion’s 10 Steps to Help You Care for an Aging Loved One. “The high costs of long-term care add a financial strain to the physical and emotional toll that caring for an aging loved one already brings,” she adds. When it comes to figuring out the best insurance plan, she says to be sure to determine what is covered and the level of coverage. “Ask questions and comparison shop where appropriate. Eliminate all excess and/or overlapping insurance,” she adds.
To get going on your research about long-term care, check out the nonprofit Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education.

More Advice for Care-Givers

  • Get help. Call your loved ones’ Medicare insurance carrier to see if they offer any additional caregiver support programs or additional help for the member such as diabetes management classes, suggests Ross Blair, CEO of Ask if care management is available. Also, reach out for support from friends, family members, and other caregivers who can provide insight to similar situations. There may also be caregiver support groups or agencies in your area, he adds.
  • Take care of yourself. Preserving your own health is just as important as caring for someone else’s. Take control of your own life by balancing care-giving with your personal needs. Don’t be afraid to take some time out to nurture your interests and tend to your health — mental, emotional and physical. Know the caregiver’s bill of rights.
  •  Find out if you qualify for financial assistance.If you’re one of the more than 70 million people who provide unpaid caregiving for a family member or friend, it might be possible for you to get a small but regular payment from the government for your caregiving work, says Blair. If the person you’re caring for is eligible for Medicaid, a program called “Cash and Counseling” might be available in your state. Call or visit Medicaid to find out. The same holds true if the person you are caring for has long-term care insurance that includes home-care coverage. Call the insurer to ask about this benefit and any possible restrictions.
  • Explore all possibilities. You might want to consider deducting your parent’s medical expenses on your taxes. Talk to your accountant. “If you are providing at least 50% of your parent’s financial support, this might be an option,” explains Herb White, a certified financial planner with Life Certain Wealth Strategies. Expenses can include your unreimbursed medical expenses and in-home health care, among others.
  • Save, save, save. Peter Maris, a certified financial planner with Resource Financial Group puts it simply, “Save more now — begin earmarking more money for retirement. Save for longer — remain in the workforce for a longer period of time and spend less now. Take away from discretionary spending or ‘fun money’ to have more money to stash away in retirement funds.” Just get it done.
    See original article from DailyFinance:


See full article from DailyFinance:

The Father’s Day Index: Dad is Worth $20, 415 Around the House

Friday, June 17th, 2011

  I came across this interesting analysis while on

 You may think Dad is tops, but an analysis of federal labor statistics shows that his work around the house probably isn’t worth nearly as much as Mom’s. The tasks we associate with fatherhood simply don’t have the same cash value as jobs performed by mothers.

We took a look at the duties a typical father might have and what it would cost to hire outside help to accomplish them. (See tasks and compensation below, based on Bureau of Labor Statistics data.)

The value of Dad’s domestic duties over the course of a year is $20,415, compared to the $61,436 you would have to pay to have someone pick up the jobs commonly handled by moms. From barbecuing to tinkering with the car to acting as a handyman, the domestic labor we think of as belonging to Pop could be done for just 33% of the cost of hiring someone to perform all the cooking, driving, child care and housekeeping attributed to mothers. (See’s Mother’s Day Index.)

Is Dad a loafer?

If this makes the modern dad seem like a loafer, note that his worth at home really hasn’t changed much over the past decade. In 2000, in same duties were worth $16,279. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the increase from then until now has been only slightly above the rate of inflation.

Yet those figures ignore the intangibles. Statisticians don’t track the value of a well-caught pop fly, or the slaying of edge-of-the-bed monsters.

Giving fathers the benefit of the doubt, we came up with a variety of extra jobs that he might handle. They include changing flat tires, coaching sports teams, telling stories about “the good old days” and laying down the law to misbehaving youngsters. Throw in pay as an audio and video technician — to cover his penchant for hogging the TV remote control — and it brings his total contribution to $51,208.

That’s a big improvement, but still only 83% the value of tasks commonly performed by mothers.

Protecting Dad with life insurance

Despite their lower value in the domestic labor market, outside the home men remain dominant. Women make just 78 cents for every dollar a man earns, according to the Census Bureau. Over his lifetime, an average man earns $434,000 more than an average woman.

That may be the reason fathers have a slight edge when it comes to having group or individual life insurance. LIMRA, a global life insurance research and consulting firm, says 61% of men owned life insurance policies in 2010, compared to 57% of women. The average amount of insurance coverage purchased for women is about 69% of that purchased for men.

People who skip life insurance coverage often cite “other financial priorities, especially in these bad financial times,” says Cheryl Retzloff, senior research director for LIMRA.

Married couples are less likely to seek life insurance quotes for wives than for husbands, says Retzloff. In reality, it’s important for both parents to have life insurance, especially when you consider how a typical family could be impacted by lost wages if either spouse died.

“When we ask households why they buy life insurance, the top two reasons are income replacement and to pay final bills and expenses,” she says.

Dad trapped by an outdated image

Donald N.S. Unger, author of Men Can: The Changing Image and Reality of Fatherhood in America, says there is a good reason why Dad is not more active on the domestic scene. Often both parents are trapped in an outdated concept of men as breadwinners and women as homemakers.

“At this point what women really need is for men to be doing more at home,” Unger says. “It also means giving territory up, which is psychologically hard. Even if you are overworked, you don’t want to give up ground.”

Although dads are cheaper to replace in terms of household duties, they remain highly important as protectors, providers and creators of stability, says Margaret J. King, director of the Center for Cultural Studies & Analysis in Philadelphia. “Dad is wired to deal with the outside world. The ideal dad deals with threats to our well-being.”

The right direction

Amy McCready, founder of, a parenting education website, says she sees dads gradually “moving in the right direction” by taking on more duties at home. In the mid-20th century, fathers were expected to provide financially for their families and leave the rest to Mom.

“That is not the measure of a successful dad anymore,” McCready says. “Now it is, ‘What kind of a relationship do you have with your kids? Are you someone your kids want to confide in and hang out with?'”

OK, so dads don’t always pull their weight around the house. But many dads are exceedingly good at play, the fun part of parenting, stresses Michele Borba, an educational psychologist and contributor to NBC’s “Today” show. Dads have a higher tolerance for the disorder children often crave.

A big part of a father’s job is helping us build good childhood memories while occasionally looking the other way. “What they do in some ways is priceless,” Borba says. “It is the tickling and throwing kids up in the air. And they are not so worried about you getting dirty.”

The Father’s Day Index: Dad’s worth this year

Dad Job – 2010 Earnings & Data BLS occupation used Hours per week/weeks per year BLS Mean hourly wage Annual Dad value
Barbecuing Cooks, All Other 3 hrs./52 weeks $11.82 $1,844
Driving Taxi drivers and chauffeurs 9 hrs./52 weeks $11.82 $5,532
Helping with homework Teachers and Instructors, All Other 10 hrs./40 weeks $18.72 $7,488
Family finances Accountants and auditors 0.5 hrs./52 weeks $33.15 $862
Mowing the lawn, landscaping, snow removal Grounds Maintenance Workers, All Other 2 hr./52 weeks $13.92 $1,448
Moving furniture Laborers and freight, stock, and material movers, hand 30 mins/month $12.36 $74
Car maintenance Automotive service technicians and mechanics 20 hours a year $18.36 $367
Coaching a team Coaches and scouts 40 hours/year $17.28 $691
Scout leader Recreation Workers 50 hours/year $12.15 $608
Assembly of toys, bookshelves, etc. Assemblers and Fabricators, All Other 30 hours/year $14.92 $448
Pest removal (spiders, gross bugs) Pest control workers 4 hours/year $15.62 $62
Handyman Maintenance and repair workers, general 4 hrs/month $17.61 $845
Plumber Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters 30 mins/month $24.21 $145

Total: $20,415

Dad add-ons

Dad Job – 2010 Earnings & Data BLS occupation used Hours per week/weeks per year BLS Mean hourly wage Annual Dad value
“Back when I was your age” Historians 15 mins/week $27.81 $362
Child allowance distribution Compensation and Benefits Managers 10 mins/week $46.61 $405
Hogging the remote control  Audio and Video Equipment Technicians 10 hours/week $21.38 $11,118
Inspecting Vehicle Damage Claims Adjusters, Examiners, and Investigators 10 mins/week $28.94 $251
Little League & Pop Warner Dads Agents and Business Managers of Artists, Performers, and Athletes 3 hours/week $43.19 $6,738
Loitering at Home Depot on Saturdays Business Operations Specialists, All Other 2 hours/week $32.55 $3,385
Golfing Athletes and Sports Competitors 1 hour/week $41.99 $2,184
Fishing Fishers and Related Fishing Workers 30 mins/week $13.41 $349
Laying down the rules Legislators 30 mins/week $18.50 $481
Threatening punishment Judges, Magistrate Judges, and Magistrates 1 hour/week $50.67 $2,635
Sending kids to their rooms Correctional Officers and Jailers 15 mins/week $20.57 $267
Finding out what the kids are up to Private Detectives and Investigators 1 hour/week $22.99 $1,195
“Go see who’s at the door” Security Guards 15 mins/week $12.92 $168
“Hold my purse” Baggage Porters and Bellhops 30 mins/week $11.40 $296
Taking out the trash Refuse and recyclable material collectors 5 mins/day $16.50 $502
Fixing the lawn mower Outdoor Power Equipment and Other Small Engine Mechanics 15 mins/week $14.80 $192
Repairing bikes Bicycle Repairers 10 mins/week $11.77 $102
Changing tire on the side of the road Tire Repairers and Changers 2.31 mins/week $11.98 $24
Washing the car Cleaners of Vehicles and Equipment 15 mins/week $10.74 $140

Total: $30,793

Grand total: $51,208


You may think Dad is tops, but an analysis of federal labor statistics shows that his work around the house probably isn’t worth nearly as much as Mom’s.  Happy Father’s Day anyway!

                                                                                                                                                                                      – Chris

The original article can be found at
The Father’s Day Index: Dad is worth $20,415 around the house

Learn to Relax!

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

While healthy living has much to do with the way that we treat our body, the fuel that we provide it and the physical exercise that we give it, it also involves our state of mind.  Of course, we all go through spells when things begin to get on top of us and we start to feel anxious, but some people seem to find it easier to relax and put their anxieties aside than others.  Whether it is simply due to their natural make-up or to events from their past, some find themselves constantly plagued with fearful and worrying thoughts that eat away at their overall well-being.

Relaxation comes naturally to some people, but for others it can leave them feeling guilty and as if they are wasting time.  Learning to relax is essential, however, if you are going to be able to face each day and give it all you’ve got.  It isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity.

If, like many, you are not one of the world’s most laid-back individuals, you may find that it takes attention and effort to achieve a sense of relaxation, but with perseverance, it can be done.  Learn to walk away, take five and do some breathing exercises or whatever else that helps you unwind and let go.  Force yourself to do it, whether it comes naturally or not, and eventually relaxation will become a more instinctive part of your life.  You are not a machine.  Don’t treat yourself like one..

Warren Buffett’s Financial Wisdom

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

Billionaires aren’t hatched overnight.  But there will be another generation of such men and women in the next few decades — and chances are, they will tread the same path as those who have come before.  So let’s look at Warren Buffett’s path as an example, shall we?

1) Start with a meat and potatoes small business — and be your own boss.

Buffett made his fortune by doing things his way, not by following the crowd. In high school, Buffett and a pal bought a pinball machine to put inside a barbershop. With the money they earned, they bought more machines until they had eight different shops running their machines. When they sold the venture, Buffett used the proceeds to buy stock and start another small business. By age 26, he’d become his own boss and amassed $174,000 — or $1.4 million in today’s money.

LESSON: Don’t fall for the temptations of a huge, immediate windfall business. Cut your teeth on the side, with something basic, reliable and small.

2) Mind the foxes who steal from the vineyard: small expenses.

In the famous book, The Millionaire Next Door, authors Stanley and Danko report that millionaires live well below their means. They budget, plan investments, and allocate their time, energy, and money into building wealth instead of displaying high social status.

Warren Buffett’s companies are known for watching out for small expenses. Exercising vigilance over every expense can make your profits and your paycheck go much further.

LESSON: The next time you spot a sale or online deal, check in with yourself to see if that $50 is better saved or invested than spent. It might seem like you’re spending a relatively small amount of money, but it all adds up.

3) Debt kills.

Warren Buffett advises his people to limit what they borrow. Living on credit cards and loans won’t make you rich. Buffett never borrowed a significant amount of money, not even for investments or mortgages.

The Millionaire Next Door reports that millionaires’ parents did not provide “economic outpatient care”, and their own adult children are economically self-sufficient as well.

LESSON: If you do give your teenager a credit card, make sure to set firm limits and specify use ahead of time. If they abuse the privilege, they lose the card. Do the same for yourself.

4) Leap forward.

Very often those who supply the affluent become wealthy themselves. In fact, one of the best ways to make money is to sell products or services to those who already have money. Many people don’t see these opportunities because they’re far too busy seeking money and security in the short term only.

Well, when Buffett began managing money in 1956 with $100,000 cobbled together from a handful of investors, he was dubbed an oddball. But he didn’t allow others’ opinions to keep him from leaping into a profitable venture. Over and above, I might add, others with greater private means.

Lastly, I will suggest this: Get professional advice on new ventures and ideas.  It is always a good idea to get a second opinion when making important decisions regarding your health, wealth or family!

What can the Mafia teach the legitimate businessman? This week on Your Financial Editor.

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

 This week on Your Financial Editor, a real-life former mobster joins me to reveal business lessons from the longest-running and one of the most successful corporations in history – the Mafia!  Don’t miss this fascinating insight into everyday business practices that can help your business thrive! 

Join us this Saturday morning at 8am on AM 930 WFMD, or listen from your pc by logging onto WFMD’s website and click the listen live button.

About this week’s guest:

Louis Ferrante, author of the book, Mob Rules: What the Mafia Can Teach the Legitimate Businessman, is a former associate of the Gambino family.  During his Mafia days, Mr. Ferrante relied on his instincts to pull off some of the biggest heists in U.S. history.  By the age of tweny-one, he had netted millions of dollars for his employers.  His natural talent for management led Mafia bosses to rely on him.

After being arrested and serving an eight and a half year prison sentence, Mr. Ferrante went straight, and is now sharing fascinating accounts of his time in one of the best-run and oldest businesses.