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Once you’ve established an Etsy business that’s popular with shoppers, use any of these dozen strategies to expand your sales opportunities.


7 min read


The following excerpt is from the Staff at Entrepreneur Media Inc. and Jason R. Rich’s book Start Your Own Etsy Business. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | IndieBound or click here to buy it directly from us and SAVE 60% on this book when you use code SIDEHUSTLE2021 through 6/20/21.

Once you believe you have the basics of running your Etsy business mastered, or you’re at least comfortable handling the day-to-day responsibilities required of you, this is when you should consider growing or expanding your business. It’s typically best to take a slow and steady approach that involves minimal financial risk.

Related: 21 Strategies for Providing Top-Notch Customer Service on Etsy

Based on the amount of profit you’re consistently earning, you have a handful of options related to how you can expand or grow your operation. These include:

  • Expanding your product line and introducing new products or new product varia­tions (such as colors, sizes or styles) that will allow you to gain more customers
  • Increasing your marketing and advertising efforts so you can attract more custom­ers and generate more sales for your existing products
  • Brainstorming new ideas for products that are unrelated to your current offerings and opening a second or even a third Etsy shop that you’ll operate simultaneously with your original one.
  • Hiring one or more part-time employees if you’re maxed out on your personal resources and don’t have the time to create new products, manage your shop and fulfil orders on your own
  • Quitting your “real-world” job to dedicate all your time and effort to the operation of your Etsy shop

To help maintain a steady flow of visitors to your shop and increase your chances of earning repeat business, you should refresh your shop every few months. This might mean updating all your text content and updating your product photography, tweaking the color scheme and overall visual appearance of the shop and/or revising your product offerings. At the very least, it could mean using the Shop Updates feature of the Sell on Etsy mobile app to add more product photography and product lifestyle shots to your shop on a regular basis.

Related: 4 Effective Ways to Market Your Etsy Business

Every three to four months (basically every season), carefully evaluate your sales from the previous quarter or season and determine which were your bestselling products and which items were the least popular. Seriously consider removing the least popular items from your shop altogether and putting more focus on items that are consistently popular or introduce new products.

You should also consider introducing seasonal items or items that are only available around specific holidays, such as Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day or Christmas. In conjunction with popular holidays, consider updating the overall appearance of your shop, including themed graphics, photos, and text that focuses on the upcoming holiday.

Holidays are also a great time to launch special sales or promotions. For example, during the Christmas holiday season, you could offer 10 to 25 percent off or free shipping. Perhaps a “buy two and get a third free” offer would appeal to your audience. You could also bundle groups of related products together and offer the bundle for a limited time at a discounted price in conjunction with a specific holiday.

Hosting sales or promotions is a quick, easy and proven strategy for quickly boosting business, provided you’re offering a good deal that your customers will appreciate. Be creative when planning sales or promotions, but don’t make them too confusing.

The key to growing your business over the long term is to understand that your shop should be continuously evolving and not remain stagnant for more than a month. Ideally, you should continuously update or tweak content, such as product listings and product photos, even if the actual products you’re selling remain constant for an entire season or longer.

Related: A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Attention-Getting Product Listings

Moving forward, don’t ever make changes to your shop haphazardly. Develop an organized approach or plan for your shop and product line updates, and then stick to it. Before making any change, determine why you’re making it, what impact you want it to have, what your goals are and what impact the changes will have on your shop’s visitors. Remember to consider your target audience and anticipate how they’ll react to the changes.

7 ways to expand your business

Here are some more proven ways you can grow your business when you’re ready:

  1. Increase the number of items you offer by adding more product listings to your shop. But be sure to keep your product offerings somewhat related. For example, if you already sell bracelets, necklaces and earrings, consider adding a line of rings. Or introduce a higher-end or premium selection of related products that are sold at a higher price point. For example, if you already sell silver jewelry, consider offering the same designs in 24k gold. Don’t offer random, unrelated products that won’t appeal to your core audience.
  2. Improve the quality of your product photography. In addition to making the photos look better, consider adjusting your use of traditional product shots and lifestyle shots to better showcase each of your items.
  3. Consider expanding your target audience. While you continue to market to your core audience, pinpoint a secondary target audience and begin separate mar­keting and advertising efforts to reach this new or broader group of people.
  4. If you haven’t already done so, open your shop to international customers and be willing to ship internationally (assuming what you’re selling will have international appeal).
  5. Increase the amount of money you’re investing in online paid advertising, and consider trying additional advertising opportunities. At the same time, boost your social media presence.
  6. Consider sales opportunities beyond Etsy. Once you’ve developed a proven and strong market, consider participating in craft fairs, for example, or expand­ing to sell your products through mainstream retail stores, boutiques, specialty shops, consignment shops and/or other online services. Keep in mind, however, that retailers will need to buy products from you at wholesale prices (which are typically half your retail price), so make sure doing this will allow your business to remain profitable. You might also consider expanding your online presence by starting a similar storefront on one or more of the services that competes with Etsy, such as Amazon Handmade, to potentially reach a broader audience. Or you could create your own, standalone ecommerce website, which gives you the ability to fully customize everything having to do with your online store.
  7. As the need arises for you to create your product(s) in larger quantities, develop faster or more efficient ways to save time in the creation or manufacturing process. This might mean making an investment in better tools, for example. At the same time, try to lower your cost for acquiring your raw materials/supplies. For example, buy your materials/supplies from a wholesaler or directly from the manufacturer in larger quantities to receive a bigger discount.

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As the Senate passes Juneteenth National Independence Day Act, corporations including Best Buy and National Grid join a growing list of businesses who’ve recognized the occasion in the wake of George Floyd’s death.


3 min read


This story was last updated on June 17 at 9:15 a.m. EST.

This Saturday is Juneteenth, the annual holiday long recognized by Black communities nationwide every June 19. It was on that date in 1865 when a Union general arrived in Galveston, Texas and informed slaves there that the Civil War had concluded and they were free — more than two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln officially decreed the freedom of all enslaved Americans via the Emancipation Proclamation. 

But ever since social-justice protests proliferated in the wake of George Floyd’s murder last May, Americans of all backgrounds have been compelled to commemorate Juneteenth. That includes Congress. Just yesterday, the Senate unanimously passed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act, which would acknowledge Juneteenth as a federal holiday and is expected to be passed in kind by the House of Representatives and signed into law by President Joe Biden. 

Parallel recognition continues in corporate America as well. Earlier this week, Best Buy announced it will be observing Juneteenth as a paid company holiday beginning this year. (With the caveat that while corporate offices will close, in-store workers will be paid time and a half for their shifts that day, similar to the precedent already set by other larger retailers like Target.)

Related: U.S. Black Chambers Celebrates Juneteenth’s 150th With Launch of byblack

Utility giant National Grid also released a statement earlier this month declaring Juneteenth as a company holiday for all its U.S. employees. Even the insurance industry is meeting the moment, with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, among others, penning op-eds and issuing press releases and affirming that they will close their offices to celebrate Juneteenth beginning this year.

Those are just a handful of the high-profile companies joining a coalition that swelled to dozens of notable brands in June 2000, including Nike, Adobe and Spotify, and is sure to grow from here. 

Update: In reporting this piece, Entrepreneur reached out to a handful of companies who had not yet declared Juneteenth a paid holiday for their employees. Among them was General Motors, who honored the day in 2020 with a company-wide moment of silence. The GM brand responded to our request for an update on their policy with the following statement: 

“General Motors is committed to empowering the Black community and providing a platform for all employees to listen, learn and reflect about the significance of Juneteenth and the active role we all play in dismantling systemic racism. While Juneteenth is not a paid day off for GM employees, we are commemorating Juneteenth through a “day on” of service. As we continue our journey to becoming the most inclusive company in the world, our Juneteenth programming will focus on allyship and storytelling through volunteering and community engagement, hosting internal conversations about the history of Juneteenth, sharing thoughtful employee reflections on what this day means to them and sponsoring the national Juneteenth Freedom Festival.”

Update: The House of Representatives likewise passed the proposed bill on June 16, paving the way for President Biden to sign it into law, most likely ahead of this Saturday’s holiday.

Please revisit Entrepreneur.com tomorrow for an in-depth conversation with newly appointed Paradigm for Parity CEO Sandra Quince about Juneteenth and the path to corporate equity.

 

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He pointed to a short-term employment model and performance trackers to keep workers on their toes.


3 min read


This story originally appeared on Business Insider

Many of Amazon’s policies were designed to prevent workers from becoming lazy, a former vice president told The New York Times.

David Niekerk, who helped design the company’s warehouse-management system, told the publication that founder Jeff Bezos’ belief that people are inherently lazy helped shape the company’s policies.

Bezos believed that workers’ desire to perform well decreased over time and that an entrenched workforce was a “march to mediocrity,” Niekerk told The Times.

Related: Jeff Bezos Says He’s Flying Into Space With His Brother on July 20

“What he would say is that our nature as humans is to expend as little energy as possible to get what we want or need,” Niekerk told The Times.

He pointed to a short-term employment model that doesn’t provide employees many opportunities for advancement and to the way Amazon used technology to keep workers on task. Amazon doesn’t guarantee wage increases after a worker’s first three years, the report said, as a way to oust employees who might become too comfortable at Amazon or turn “disgruntled.”

The practices that Niekerk described are some of the company’s most contentious — like firing employees for a single day of low productivity and continually keeping workers on task with limited break time and high productivity goals.

The practices have left many workers feeling as if Amazon treats them more like machines than people, The Times reported.

Related: Amazon Tests Robots to Improve Worker Safety

“We are human beings,” an employee wrote on a warehouse’s internal feedback board last year, according to The Times. “We are not tools used to reach their daily / weekly goals and rates. “

Amazon’s culture and high expectations for employees have also made the company a leader in workplace injuries. Earlier this month, The Washington Post published an analysis of data from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration suggesting that Amazon warehouse workers were nearly twice as likely to be seriously injured as workers at companies like Walmart.

In April, Bezos said that the company was working “to do a better job for our employees” and that it would invest over $300 million in 2021 to make warehouses safer. He added that the company needed “a better vision for how we create value for employees — a vision for their success. “

Amazon representatives didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Read the full story at The New York Times »

Related: Amazon Prime Day: dates and offers

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4 min read

Disclosure: Our goal is to feature products and services that we think you’ll find interesting and useful. If you purchase them, Entrepreneur may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners.


Today, nearly half of Americans have a side hustle. With more people working remotely, it makes sense that people are turning the time they got back from not having a commute into earning extra money. If you’ll have some extra time this summer, why not earn a few extra bucks yourself? There are a myriad of side hustles you can start from home, provided you know what you’re doing. We’ve rounded up some great online courses that can help, and in honor of Father’s Day, they’re each an additional 20 percent off when you use code WELOVEDAD at checkout.

1. Amazon FBA

One of the best ways to earn passive income? Sell things through Amazon. With Amazon FBA, you can white-label and sell products from factories overseas without ever actually holding any inventory. Just manage the account and see the money come in.

Get The Ultimate Amazon FBA & Dropship Master Class Bundle for $16 (Reg. $1,292) with code WELOVEDAD.

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Copywriters are in constant demand for a huge array of purposes, from email-writing to product descriptions and more. Learn the techniques of great copywriters and understand how to write compelling copy in this bundle. Before you know it, you’ll be ready to earn a few extra bucks after work typing away.

Get The Premium Digital Copywriting Training Bundle for $20 (Reg. $1,000) with code WELOVEDAD.

3. Google SEO

SEO is one of the more cost-effective ways for businesses to acquire leads and drive traffic to their pages. But it can also be exceedingly difficult, which is why many businesses look for SEO consultants. In this course bundle, you’ll learn the practical and technical sides of SEO to become an expert.

Get The 2021 Complete Google SEO & SERP Certification Bundle for $24 (Reg. $1,994) with code WELOVEDAD.

4. Photography

Turn your love of photography into a side hustle! In this 11-course bundle, you’ll get a budget-friendly photography education you can’t get anywhere else. From setting up and shooting portraits to post-processing and editing, you’ll learn the skills you need to go from amateur to pro.

Get The Complete 2021 Superstar Photographer Bundle for $24 (Reg. $2,189) with code WELOVEDAD.

5. Social Media Management

Social media is more than just a place for people to connect these days, it’s a lucrative place of business. Earn some extra money helping businesses monetize on social media. This bundle will teach you the best marketing strategies for Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and more.

Get The 2021 Social Media Marketing Bootcamp Certification Bundle for $24 (reg. $2,093) with code WELOVEDAD.

6. Video Editing

People want more video from their favorite brands. That means businesses need more video producers. Learn how to become one yourself by mastering Adobe Premiere Pro CC.

Get The Adobe Premiere Pro CC Video & Audio Production Course Bundle for $24 (Reg. $1,194) with code WELOVEDAD.

7. Bookkeeping

QuickBooks is the world’s leading accounting software. Want to earn a little extra money as a bookkeeper? Become a QuickBooks master with help from this course and you’ll have small businesses begging for your help.

Get The QuickBooks 2021 Essentials Bundle for $24 (Reg. $300) with code WELOVEDAD.

8. Influencer Marketing

Did you know that 81% of people use Instagram to find products or services? That’s why it’s such a valuable marketing channel and in this bundle, you’ll learn how to leverage it effectively. That will keep you in high demand.

Get The 2021 Ultimate Instagram Influencer & Marketing Bundle for $27.98 (reg. $1,194) with code WELOVEDAD.

9. Leadership Coaching

Turn your wealth of experience into an additional income source. This 8-hour bundle will teach you how to freelance as a leadership and business coach, helping you get clients, hone your style, and more. It’ll even teach you how to write a book to establish thought leadership.

Get The Complete Leadership & Business Coaching Bundle for $32 (Reg. $1,200) with code WELOVEDAD.

10. Project Management

Efficiency is everything for business owners and they’re willing to pay a pretty penny for people who can help them save money. With 120 hours of training covering project management methodologies like Agile, PMP, Scrum, Six Sigma, and more, this bundle will give you the training you need to be a coveted consultant.

Get The Premium 2021 Project & Quality Management Certification Bundle for $36.79 (Reg. $2,699) with code WELOVEDAD.

Prices subject to change.

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5 min read


This story originally appeared on Calendar

Next Sunday, June 20, 2021, is Father’s Day — What activities will you choose to make this Father’s Day memorable?  For many families, Covid-19 prevented any celebrations from happening last year. Thanks to the progress made, distance will no longer separate loved ones from sharing their love and appreciation for each other.

Sometimes it can be difficult to develop an idea of what to do for Father’s Day. Never fear; this list will provide plenty of activities for you to consider adding to your online calendar for you and your dad:

1. Attend a Sporting Event

Now that Covid vaccinations are being made available, sports teams are beginning to allow fans back into their arenas. Being one of the first fans to return will be exciting, especially if you want to avoid the crowds you would normally see from a full-capacity audience.

If you don’t live near your dad’s favorite professional team and can’t swing a trip there, look at some local options. You might have just as much fun watching the local high school play or checking out the minor league team that plays close by. College sports are also big hits in their respective cities, with awesome tailgate parties and hometown spirit.

2. Host a Backyard Barbeque

What dad doesn’t like a barbeque? Even if your dad isn’t the cooking type, he won’t be able to turn down a delightful family meal prepared and enjoyed outdoors. Enjoy the day in the backyard or take the party to the park or the lake for some extra family activities.

If you’re a social family, invite another family over for dinner. You can easily share an online calendar event inviting some close family friends over for some festivities. Kids will play games together while the parents bask in the joy that is raising a family. A neighbor or an uncle that’s like a second dad also deserves celebration and recognition.

3. Plan a Family Campout

Few things will bring a family as close together as a camping trip. With cell phone signals lost, even your most tech-dependent teenager will be looking for something to do. This provides an excellent opportunity to make a wonderful family memory on Dad’s special day.

Whether Dad loves fishing, hiking, or just sitting by the campfire, a good campout has something for every father. Take kayaks to the lake, play catch in the wilderness, or listen to your dad’s best ghost stories while counting the stars together. Since Father’s Day is always on a Sunday, you can almost always make this weekend one for the mountains and woods.

4. Take a Trip Down Memory Lane

Even if you’ve heard the same stories over and over again, it’s nice to take a trip down memory lane with Dad every once in a while. Break out some old photo albums or home videos to look back on your family throughout the years.

When looking at old photos and videos, talk about the memories you associate with each one. Find every opportunity you can to talk about how impactful your dad has been in your life. Encourage him to share stories as well, especially the ones you haven’t heard yet. There could be a lot you don’t know about his childhood simply because you’ve never stopped to ask.

5. Organize a Spa Day

Not every Father’s Day activity has to be pumped with testosterone. A spa day for Dad will be a huge surprise and one he might want to repeat after a glorious day of pampering and relaxation.

Take Dad to get a pedicure or a deep tissue massage. He won’t believe how good he’ll feel after the trip. If all relevant businesses are closed, coordinate online calendars to take him as soon as he’s available.

For a personal touch, organize a spa day at home. Getting a foot rub while watching TV at home can be just as relaxing while on a budget.

6. Go to a Favorite Place

Is there a location that your dad loves to frequent? This could be a favorite restaurant, movie theater, or even a rollerblading rink he remembers fondly from his youth. Put together a Father’s Day bonanza at his favorite place together as a family.

Visiting this place on Father’s Day can soon become a family tradition. Years down the road, that burger joint down the road will be more than a place with good food. It will be an establishment full of memories of your family laughing and smiling together with the best dad in the world. There’s no better recurring event to have in your online calendar than that.

7. Host a Competition

Who in the family can really bake the most delicious cookies? Dad will be the judge of that. A friendly competition between Mom and the siblings will end in a delicious taste-testing for Dad as he decides the winner. Make sure you’re whipping up his favorite dish if you really want to come out on top!

If Dad wants to join in the fun, let him! Let him compete for gold in whatever competition you plan, like a backyard Bocci ball tournament or a game of Charades. Just be sure to let him win. It is his day, after all.

Experiences will almost always be more memorable than any gift you can wrap. Start planning your next Father’s Day and use your online calendar to make each one better than the last.

Image Credit: hannah nelson; pexels; thank you!

The post 7 Activities Dad Will Love This Father’s Day appeared first on Calendar.

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We discuss 2 specialty retail stocks that stand out at this time.


4 min read


This story originally appeared on MarketBeat

Let’s face it – retail is one of the most competitive industries out there. Consumer preferences are constantly changing and it takes a lot for these types of businesses to earn shoppers’ hard-earned cash. That’s one of the reasons why investing in specialty retail stocks can be a great long-term strategy if you choose wisely. Since specialty retailers focus on specific product categories, like office supplies, furniture, or men’s or women’s clothing, they are oftentimes able to carve out a unique niche and stand out among their competitors.

Thanks to all of the stimulus that has been added to the economy over the last year and the fact that a newly vaccinated population is getting back to shopping in person, we could see some strong sales coming out of the specialty retail space in the coming months. There are 2 specialty retail stocks that stand out as potential buys at this time given their unique brands and impressive earnings reports. Let’s take a further look at these intriguing stocks below.

RH (NYSE:RH)

RH, formerly known as Restoration Hardware, is a great specialty retail stock because it is doing something that is completely unique. While there are plenty of home furnishings stores out there, RH is distinctive in that it specializes in ultra-high-end luxury home goods and creating a unique shopping experience at every single store. Homeowners can find upscale products including furniture, lighting, bathware, outdoor & garden, tableware textiles, and décor at RH, and each one of the company’s showrooms offers an original and aesthetically pleasing experience.

The company counts Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway among its investors and is undoubtedly benefitting from a hot residential real estate market. With that said, RH has upside potential regardless of what’s going on in the economy, as the company doesn’t have exposure to seasonal inventory and caters to wealthy consumers that spend big year-round. The stock has been pulling back in recent months after a rally from $70 to $700 a share, but after the company’s latest earnings report it could be gearing up for more gains.

RH saw its Q1 revenues up 78% year-over-year to $860.8 million and delivered Q1 adjusted diluted earnings per share increase by 285% year-over-year to $4.89 per share. Other positives from the stellar report included an increased fiscal 2021 outlook and the fact that the company expects to be net debt-free by the end of the fiscal year. The bottom line here is that RH is a specialty retail company that is executing at a very high level, which is evident in both the earnings results and stock price.

Lovesac (NASDAQ:LOVE)

There’s a lot to love about this specialty retailer, which designs and manufactures modular couches and beanbags. What really stands out about Lovesac is how it has created a brand and product lines that have quickly become the favorite furniture of an entire generation. Millennials are among Lovesac’s most frequent customers, as they love the idea of the company’s flagship product, a unique modular furniture piece known as a “sactional”. These are couches that are easily assembled and disassembled in order to meet the needs of the consumer. There are literally dozens of different ways that sactionals can be rearranged to fit in someone’s home, and the fact that customers can continue adding on pieces and accessories over time is perfect for creating repeat buyers.

While the company has 91 retail showrooms across the United States, investors should be impressed with the progress that it has made over the last year developing its digital sales channels. E-commerce sales were up over 250% in 2020 and although the company might not be able to keep up that torrid pace, Lovesac has proved it is more than capable of finding buyers online. Also, keep in mind that those showrooms are going to see foot traffic pick up as the pandemic winds down.

Lovesac just reported very strong Q1 2022 earnings results including net sales growth of 52.5% and diluted EPS of $0.13, up 122.1% year-over-year. Analysts also love the stock, as Lovesac recently got a price target increase from Craig Hallum on Thursday. Pandemic tailwinds are continuing to help this specialty retailer grow, and that narrative should remain in place for the foreseeable future. These are all great reasons why Lovesac is a great stock to consider adding to your shopping list.

Featured Article: What is the Producer Price Index (PPI)?

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2 min read

Disclosure: Our goal is to feature products and services that we think you’ll find interesting and useful. If you purchase them, Entrepreneur may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners.


The world may be opening back up but not all Americans are eager to return to the office. For small-business owners, re-opening an office space may be a costly, unnecessary endeavor. However, with the kids soon home from school for the summer, working from home presents its own challenges. You can’t go to coffee shops because the vast majority aren’t open for dine-in. So, what do you do?

Get on the WiFi outside. With the DuoTurbo 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot with Complimentary 9GB Data you can access Wi-Fi whenever you want, wherever you want.

DuoTurbo is a sim-free portable Wi-Fi hotspot that is designed and equipped with two modems for increased stability no matter where you are. DuoTurbo offers immediate and reliable 4G LTE mobile internet access on a pocket-sized gadget. Data plans are always no contract and pay-as-you-go, so even if your family uses up all the data too quickly, you can always get more, starting at $1.59 per day in the U.S. You can connect up to ten devices simultaneously (in more than 140 countries) so that data may go faster than you expect.

GlocalMe, the makers of DuoTurbo, uses pioneer CloudSIM technology to choose the best local network intelligently from all major mobile carriers and prevents network congestion or spottiness issues no matter where you are. Through this offer, you’ll also get 1GB of global and 8GB of North American data.

Setting up DuoTurbo is simple. Using the GlocalMe app, you can turn on the device for immediate connection, manage data, view the battery life, and more.

Find out why the DuoTurbo 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot has earned 4.2 stars on Amazon. Normally $169, you can get the hotspot and 9GB of data for 26 percent off at just $122.40 today with limited time promo code: WELOVEDAD. 

Prices subject to change.

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4 min read


This story originally appeared on MarketBeat

Look, I get it: Stock trading and stock picking is a lot more fun, interesting, and exciting than discussing “retirement investing.” 

Even the term “retirement” sounds sleepy and dull, like something for your grandparents. 

Nobody is saying to quit stock picking. But it is important to keep that part of your investing and trading separately from money earmarked for long-term goals. 

For years, traders and active investors have used the phrase “buy and hold” as a pejorative way of describing long-term investing. You hear that term occasionally, though not as often as in the past, as tactical asset allocation has become more popular, along with a greater understanding of rebalancing. 

“Buy and hold” is not an investment philosophy at all; it’s a lazy approach that really means “set and forget.” You put your money into some funds and leave them there, untouched, for years.

Set-And-Forget Has Risks

The traders are correct to mock this concept. That’s not because long-term investing is a hopeless joke, but because setting and forgetting can result in steep losses, portfolio duplication, and sky-high risk. 

Fortunately for retirement savers, it’s not necessary to be at the extreme of day trading on one side, or set-and-forget on the other. In fact, any individual can easily be both a long-term investor, as well as a trader. The two categories are different. 

It’s essentially the same as saying you can have a healthy dinner, followed by some dessert. (To continue the metaphor as it applies to investing and trading: Both should be delicious, and both should be served in portions tailored to your caloric and nutritional needs!) 

For example, that healthy and nutritious long-term portfolio may consist of:

  • Domestic equity funds that include large caps, midcaps, and small caps.
  • Non-U.S. developed market funds also comprised of all market capitalizations.
  • A small allocation to emerging-market stocks, which return more than developed-market equities, but also carry more risk.
  • Liquid alternative investments, such as a commodity or precious metals fund. In some cases, a real estate fund or another specialized fund can serve this purpose.
  • An equity hedge. Traditionally, this has been in the form of a bond fund, and that may still work in many cases, but it’s no longer the only alternative. Master limited partnerships, real estate investment trusts or business development companies, all tradeable assets, may fill this void. 

That’s not a prescription or formula for your portfolio allocation, but it gives you a general idea of the principles behind asset allocation. 

That’s where the idea of rebalancing is so important. Rebalancing means keeping your portfolio in alignment with pre-determined allocations, designed to match your goals, time horizon, and risk tolerance. 

Rebalancing simply means monitoring your portfolio returns. That doesn’t mean staring at the market for hours every day. In fact, that’s counterproductive if you’re not a day trader. 

Rebalancing Seems Counterintuitive 

Instead, simply check in every quarter or so, see which funds comprise a greater percentage of your portfolio than you intended, and see which have dwindled to constitute a smaller portion. Then – and this seems counterintuitive – pare back those that have grown too much, and put the money into the weaker performers.

As an easy illustration, imagine that your financial plan shows a recommended allocation of 20% large-cap domestic stocks. As these stocks rally, they now comprise 25% of your portfolio. To remedy that, you sell enough shares of the large-cap U.S. fund to get that allocation back down to 20%. 

At the same time, a bond fund designated as 10% of your total holdings fell to 5%. You would take proceeds from the sale of the large-cap fund and put those into the bond fund, getting the bond fund allocation back to 10%. 

In a qualified account, such as an IRA or 401(k), there are no tax consequences for rebalancing. In a non-qualified brokerage account, you’ll have to net out gains with tax losses as you rebalance.

Buy-and-hold, without rebalancing, can be a recipe for disaster, adding needless risk and resulting in opportunity cost. Over the years, I’ve seen many cases where taxable accounts, in particular, were ignored. This led to huge capital gains due to the strong performance of the U.S. equity markets. A disciplined investment philosophy is a far better way to increase the likelihood of a better outcome.

Featured Article: How is a price target determined?

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Key lessons learned during the Covid-19 pandemic that transformed effective leadership, including emphasizing the importance of providing your team with new modes of support.


5 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


Being an effective leader means supporting both employees and customers. During the upheaval of 2020, this was especially essential, and certainly challenging, as we navigated the changes from how we work to politics and the very structure of society. Interestingly, McKinsey & Company found that executives reported that their companies responded to a range of changes much more quickly than they thought possible before the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In July of 2020, I became general manager of the application performance management and IT operations analytics company, AppDynamics, taking over that leadership position in the heart of this period of uncertainty. Since then, I have learned a great deal. Below are three key lessons that helped me get through nearly a full year at the helm — ones that any leader can leverage. 

People First

The most important foundational investment you can ever make is in people. How you bring an organization together, especially during times like the recent pandemic, demonstrates such commitment. To that end, perhaps start by innovating on how to accommodate the challenges your teams face while working from home (an increasingly likely prospect of continuing indefinitely), such as managing a child’s learning while a parent works full-time. Our Employee Experience team, for example, revamped its offerings to include programs that focus on how to stay mentally and physically healthy during COVID, including a virtual Silly Circus to entertain kids at home. Looking to reduce meetings (to help battle “meeting fatigue”) as well as get employees in the flow, we also launched a no-meeting day, which was so well received that we expanded it to twice a month.

How we demonstrate our values needs to show up not just in our personal lives, but at work. So, we hosted guest speakers on issues that were both tethered to our company values and on the minds of employees, such as the fight for racial justice in the U.S. Additionally, our entire executive team jumped to participate in a reverse-mentorship program with African American/Black colleagues to boost both those intuitions and awareness generally. We also sponsored donation-matching blitzes so employees could amplify their impact on causes they care about, and the response has been overwhelming.

Resulting company check-ins, town halls and ongoing conversations played a key role in providing a safe space as well as in educating one another. To be sure leadership was listening as much as talking; we set aside more time for Q&As at our town halls and used the real-time polling platform, Slido, to prioritize questions that mattered most to employees.

Related: The 5 Crucial Phases of Building a Team

Drive Focus, and Be Decisive

The pandemic forced entire industries to embrace the need to adapt, and quickly. Some processes were smooth transitions, while others were more difficult. As you move higher up in an organization, problems become more complex and your decisions become more impactful. It gets scary, and it can be tempting to lean on additional discovery and analysis in response. Many times, however, this results in “analysis paralysis”, which can lead to torpor — exactly what’s not needed. The key is to understand the big picture and focus a team on your top priorities. As you face decisions, weigh the largest trade-offs based on those priorities and agree (or disagree) and commit. Almost always, the inability to pick a path is more damaging and tumultuous for an organization than making the wrong decision and having to go back to iterate. As you build this muscle, you’ll find teams gaining velocity in execution and that will allow you to fail faster and iterate quickly. 

Related: Why Failure is Necessary in Order to Succeed as an Entrepreneur

Embrace Curiosity

Once people find themselves in a leadership position, it’s easy to forget a growth mindset. I strongly believe that every person I meet has something to teach me; whether I choose to learn from them or not is up to me. Leaders are exposed to so many individuals, and finding the energy to stay curious is tough, but critical. So, ask questions, double-click into their perspectives, and let them teach you. From learning about the nuances of each part of the business to the art of making the best matcha, people around me teach me something new every day. I’ve also learned the value in knowing where to find answers; instead of trying to be the expert, I’ve focused on knowing who the experts are. Connecting them with interesting problems is one of the best ways I see companies move fast and innovate. 

We don’t know exactly what the future will look like, and there will inevitably be more challenges ahead, but we can apply what we learned this last year and be more prepared for uncertainty in the future. There are always ways we can grow as individuals and help our teams and companies develop with us. 

Related: How Your Business Can Be Ahead of the Curve by Looking Backward and Thinking Forward

 

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5 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


I’m standing in a savanna in South Africa, surrounded by roughly 25 tranquilized elephants. It is 2018, and just minutes earlier the massive creatures had been darted by a veterinarian from a helicopter overhead.

The nature reserve in which these elephants reside has too many elephants for its habitat to handle. A national park in Mozambique, to which these elephants are soon headed, has too few elephants. Moving the animals from one to the other is part of an innovative conservation technique (translocation) that can help save both ecosystems.

Related: How to Start a Side Hustle: Manage Your Fear

As the sedated elephants are loaded into transport vehicles for the 1,000-mile journey to Mozambique, I wonder — and not for the first time — how did I get here?

I’d like to say it was because I made a brave decision to start my own company. But the decision was less “brave” than it was practical. It was simply too damn hard to find a job.

I had been employed over the previous few decades in newsroom-leadership positions at various media companies, ranging from big (New York Daily News, AOL, Huffington Post) to boutique (Boston Phoenix, Spy magazine), with tons of freelance work in between.

But in 2016, after a seven-year run at AOL/HuffPost, I was let go in a 500-person layoff, following the company’s merger with Yahoo!

I was 51 years old then — hardly ready to retire. But the market for journalists of my age demographic was not exactly pulsing with opportunities.

After regrouping for a couple of weeks, I ginned up the job-search machine. At first, several possibilities did arise; two even progressed to a fifth round of interviews. Alas, I didn’t get either gig, and I was wondering how I could afford to stay in New York with my family.

At that point, I happened to get back in touch with a dear friend, Giovanni Rodriguez, someone with whom I had previously worked in New York in the nonprofit space.

Related: How Resilience Led Me to Success

He had had his own marketing and consulting business for a number of years, and he painted an exciting picture, one in which we joined forces and launched our own media company.

While the idea was certainly enticing, I was terrified. I knew what I was good at, and that didn’t include running my own business.

Spinning a good story

But Giovanni knew how to spin a good story. Several years earlier, he had moved to the Bay Area with his family and had established deep connections in Silicon Valley, from tech startups to Stanford and Singular universities.

So in 2017, with two other partners, we launched Silicon Valley Story Lab (SVSL), a media company for a new age. To that point, organizations relied on earned media — coverage from established media companies — to report on their work or achievements. But increasingly, brands, nonprofits, and individuals started serving that content directly to an audience themselves. The problem for many of them was that they lacked the skill or capacity to effectively tell or promote those stories.

With SVSL, we used our journalistic experience to help clients and partners better tell their own stories.

Internally, we created a big tent, under which we could each pursue our own projects. I identified a space in the market for social-good-oriented storytelling, using the principles of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The SDGs were adopted by the UN in 2015 and are, essentially, a blueprint for saving the planet by 2030. There are 17 Goals, the first 16 of which are assigned to readily identifiable social-good causes: hunger, poverty, education, gender equality, climate, etc. The last one, though — SDG 17 — is called “Partnerships,” and in my estimation, it is recognition by the UN that the public sector will never be able to raise the trillions of dollars necessary every year to achieve the first 16 Goals without partnering with the private sector.

So if a brand is doing virtually anything under the social good umbrella — from working hand in hand with nonprofits to CSR efforts — this strategy of tying their work to an international framework like the SDGs could help get 1) more visibility and 2) more impact for their efforts.

(We decided early on that this strategy would definitively not apply to greenwashing efforts, such as, say, British Petroleum efforts to clean up the Gulf of Mexico, which needed clean up only thanks to BP’s irresponsibility.)

The elephant project, for example, was a partnership between a private-sector entity, two national governments, and an NGO that established transnational corridors for wildlife. We suggested calling the effort Moving Giants, and our work “captured the capture,” as it were, in a documentary video series that can be found on the website we created. That website also featured daily blogs and weekly reported articles on elephants and conservation efforts around the world. In other words, we launched an elephant-focused journalism destination.

Now the story evolves further. This week (June 2021), I am launching Brooklyn Story Lab. While Giovanni will keep doing great things with SVSL and his new passion — a virtual theater company for the Zoom age (Remote Theater) — Brooklyn Story Lab will be laser-focused on social-good initiatives, from a new elephant effort to thought-leadership consulting with myriad Nobel Peace Prize winners to working with young, entrepreneurial changemakers from more than 150 countries.

The tectonic changes to the media landscape have been understandably scary for journalism veterans (like myself) to navigate. But good storytelling will always be an in-demand commodity — and it isn’t quite as difficult as moving 200 elephants 1,000 miles across national borders.

Lance Gould is the founder and CEO of Brooklyn Story Lab. He can be reached at lance@brooklynstorylab.net.

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