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Michael Lewis
Michael R. Lewis is a retired corporate executive and entrepreneur. During his 40+ year career, Lewis created and sold ten different companies ranging from oil exploration to healthcare software. He has also been a Registered Investment Adviser with the SEC, a Principal of one of the larger management consulting firms in the country, and a Senior Vice President of the largest not-for-profit health insurer in the United States. Mike's articles on personal investments, business management, and the economy are available on several online publications. He's a father and grandfather, who also writes non-fiction and biographical pieces about growing up in the plains of West Texas - including The Storm.

Income Inequality in America – Definition, Causes & Statistics

By Michael Lewis

income disparityWarren Buffett, number two on the Forbes 400 list of the richest people in America, said, “There’s class warfare, all right – but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.” Certainly, the disparity between the wealthy minority and the rest of Americans has widened considerably over the past 40 years. In 1973, the top 1% of earners collected 7.7% of all U.S. income; by 2013, their share had grown by two and a half times to 19.3%. Even more astounding, the top 10% of earners collected almost half of the nation’s total income (48.2%), the greatest disparity between the rich and the rest of the American population since the Roaring Twenties.

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Raising the US National Debt Ceiling – Crisis Definition & History

By Michael Lewis

fiscal cliffThe circus is coming back to town, seemingly an annual occurrence following the 2010 Congressional elections. Republicans gained control of the House of Representatives with the most House seats since 1938 (242 Republicans, 193 Democrats), while Democrats retained control of the Senate with 53 seats. And even though Democratic President Barack Obama won reelection in 2012, Congress remains divided between the Republican-controlled House and the Democratic-controlled Senate.

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How to Use Social Media Marketing Strategy to Increase Sales

By Michael Lewis

engaging on social mediaThe business marketplace now is more fecund than at any point in history. Yet it is harshly discriminating, rewarding only those who are able to master its complexity and rise above the cacophony of simultaneous competitive messages. Traditional marketing avenues – print, radio, and television – have lost their dominance in the last decade as the use of the Internet and new social media has exploded. The time spent by Americans on the Internet has risen more than 25% year-over-year (320,689 million minutes, 2011; 401,699 million minutes, 2012) according to the Nielsen 2012 Social Media Report – and if you want to sell anything in today’s market, you must be visible online.

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What Are E-Cigarettes – Risks, Regulations & How They Work

By Michael Lewis

e-cigaretteElectronic cigarettes – colloquially known as “e-cigarettes,” and initially introduced into the United States in 2007 – target smokers who are increasingly forbidden to indulge their habit in public places. Sales reached $500 million in 2012 and are expected to double to $1 billion in 2013, and double again in 2014.

Despite the growth year-to-year, total sales for e-cigarettes are just a fraction of the total tobacco product sales in the U.S., projected to reach more than $106 billion in 2015 with a total global market of almost $890 billion.

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Should I Take Online College Classes? – Pros & Cons, Various Programs

By Michael Lewis

online learningAccording to College Board, the average cost of tuition and fees for the 2012-2013 school year was $8,655 for state residents attending public colleges, $21,706 for out-of-state residents attending public universities, and $29,056 for students attending private colleges. These expenses don’t include the cost of housing, meals, books, school supplies, clothing and personal needs, or transportation expenses, which can equal or exceed the cost of tuition.

Accordingly, many students and parents are considering the use of online long distance learning (LDL) courses as a method to reduce the expense of college education. The question is, can LDL courses realistically replace the benefits of an on-campus degree?

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7 Ways to Reduce the Cost of a College Education

By Michael Lewis

reducing college expensesAccording to a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately two-thirds of high school graduates enroll in college the fall following graduation. While most experts agree that a college education affects annual earnings by at least $20,000 (an estimated $1 million over the course of a working career), a 2011 Pew Research poll reported that more than 75% of Americans think a college education has become too expensive to afford.

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How to Praise and Encourage Kids Appropriately for Success

By Michael Lewis

parentsAs Dr. Madeline Levine, author of “Teach Your Children Well,” stated in a 2012 New York Times article, “The central task of growing up is to develop a sense of self that is autonomous, confident, and generally in accord with reality.” Unfortunately, many parents in their attempts to give their children self-esteem and psychological security overly praise their children and celebrate the completion of tasks that are ordinary and easy, effectively rewarding them for mediocre efforts. As a consequence, children develop a false sense of self-confidence and achievement, a facade of self-esteem that crumbles when they are challenged as teenagers and college students with potentially devastating consequences.

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How to Retire Early – 6 Important Life Decisions

By Michael Lewis

early retirementWhat does retirement mean to you? Is it a point in time where you can stop working and do what you want to do? Is it a sum of savings and investments where a salary or wages are no longer necessary to maintain your desired lifestyle? Is it the age when you become eligible for Social Security payments, Medicare, and AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) membership?

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How Parents Can Help Their Children Deal With Disappointment

By Michael Lewis

disappointed childDisappointment is the result of unmet expectations, and is often accompanied by frustration, anger, sadness, and/or withdrawal. According to Dr. Ilona Roth, noted author on autism spectrum disorders and senior lecturer in psychology at the Open University UK, children begin to show elements of imagination at as early as one year of age, and, by two or three year of age, are conjuring thoughts about what might happen (or even what could really never happen). As a consequence, they develop expectations early about disappointment and begin to develop coping mechanisms upon which they will rely for the rest of their lives.

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What Is Privatization of Public Services – Definition, Pros & Cons

By Michael Lewis

bridgeSince the beginning of civilization, there has been tension over the role of government and the provision of services paid for with public funds (tax dollars). Before the advent of democracies, ambitious, enterprising men sought the favor of royalty in order to gain political power and riches at the expense of the population.

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How to Balance Work and a Happy Family Life

By Michael Lewis

working momAchieving a successful career while maintaining a solid marriage is difficult; practically impossible, for some. When asked how she could reconcile family life with a career, Marie Curie – the first woman to win a Nobel Prize for her groundbreaking work on radioactivity – dryly replied, “Well, it has not been easy.” An understatement if there ever was one.

In recent generations, the difficulty of maintaining a happy home life while climbing the corporate ladder has become even more stressful than in the past due to several factors.

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How to Prepare for a Job Interview – Practice Tips to Get Ready

By Michael Lewis

job interviewThe need to effectively communicate one’s personality, abilities, and experiences to others is important from the day you begin playing with other kids and throughout your childhood and adult life. Your skill in the critical process of interviewing determines your friends, your spouse, your job, and career. Fortunately, interviewing is a skill that can be learned and improves with practice, whether your objective is to get that first job or a promotion in management ranks.

As a former senior executive as well as a small business owner, I have interviewed hundreds of candidates seeking entry-level positions to vice president promotions. I’ve also been on the other side of the table and understand the stress, even desperation, that accompanies an uncertain result.

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7 Legitimate Reasons to Delay Saving for Retirement

By Michael Lewis

savingWhile saving for retirement is important, there are times when it makes sense to delay making investments. Most people invest for retirement in a tax-advantaged plan such as an IRA or 401k with early withdrawal penalties and adverse income tax consequences. While these vehicles provide tax-advantaged growth that help your money grow, they can wreak havoc on your finances if you need to make withdrawals from them before you retire.

If money is tight and any of these situations apply to you, you may want to consider deferring retirement contributions or contributing to a Roth IRA instead – in which contributions can be withdrawn at any time without penalty.

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How to Prepare When Making a Career Change – 4 Money Moves

By Michael Lewis

career changeMany people dream of a new career earning more money doing the things they love. In fact, labor surveys suggest that four out of five people are unhappy in their careers and want to make a change. We Americans are optimistic with a tendency to accept that the “grass is always greener” on the other side of the fence. Yet few people actually pursue a career change voluntarily. Why? Because age, high income, and debt lock many into their current jobs or fields, making it that much harder to change.

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Different Types of Life Insurance Policies – How Much Do You Need?

By Michael Lewis

life insuranceMany people’s first experience with life insurance is when a friend or acquaintance gets an insurance license. In my case, a college friend, recently hired by a major insurance company, contacted me to buy a $10,000 policy. He reached out to several other friends as well, and many of us signed on the dotted line.

Though this isn’t the ideal way to buy life insurance, it is, nonetheless, the way by which most people acquire it: They don’t buy life insurance – it is sold to them.

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