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5 Challenges for American Businesses Today – How to Succeed in a Global Economy

By Michael Lewis

businessmanFor almost 200 years, America has enjoyed global leadership in science, commerce, and government. As a consequence, the United States has become one of history’s greatest economic powers, dominating the 19th and 20th centuries. The ability of Americans to “think outside the box,” their courage to challenge conventional thinking, and their confidence to persevere despite numerous setbacks has inspired generations and continues to change lives around the globe.

Leaders understand that greatness is more than building personal wealth or power, but creating products and services that improve the lives of individuals and the overall human condition. But as trade barriers between countries have fallen, leaders are faced with new challenges, and America’s preeminent status as the world’s dominant economy has been and will continue to be challenged as never before.

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What Is Medical Tourism – Reasons, Risks & Potential Savings

By Michael Lewis

medical tourismImagine having major surgery at an internationally accredited hospital, performed by a board-certified surgeon, and then recovering with your spouse in a four-star hotel on the beach in Costa Rica. Add daily nurse and physical therapist visits to the mix, and all for less than the cost of the surgery, hospital stay, and rehabilitation in your home city. This is medical tourism – and many Americans have recently discovered it.

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8 Best Flash Sale Sites to Buy Gifts

By Laura Williams

online shoppingGift giving on a holiday budget is never easy, but it’s far from impossible. The advent of online shopping brought with it many new and exciting ways to save money on gifts, including daily deal websites (such as Groupon), auction sites (such as eBay), and flash sale sites (such as Gilt and The Clymb).

If you’re not familiar with flash sale sites, the concept is derived from in-person flash sales common in fashion meccas, such as New York and Los Angeles. The idea is that for a limited time – usually just a few hours or days – shoppers score deep discounts on brand-name items.

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16 Tips for Better Online Video Chatting – Improve Quality & Appearance

By Laura Williams

video chatAs a freshman in college in the year 2000, I remember struggling mightily to pay my 400-minute monthly cell phone bill. I was trying to maintain a long-distance relationship with my boyfriend, but our time to talk was limited due to his packed baseball schedule, my two jobs, and, most of all, the fact that we’d only dated for a month before heading to separate schools. He’s my husband now – so it all worked out – but back then we needed to be able to get to know one another in a world that seemed stacked against us.

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7 Ways to Shop for a Cause This Holiday Season

By Jacqueline Curtis

shopping for a cause‘Tis the season for cooking, baking, laughing, singing, and of course, shopping. After all, what is the holiday season for if not the joy of giving?

Whether you’re picking up a present for your mom or for your significant other, much of November and December is dedicated to finding, purchasing, and giving the perfect present. In fact, the annual Consumer Reports Holiday Poll found that the average person spends $437 over the holidays.

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What Is Pet Health Insurance – Cost, Policies & Coverage

By Brian Martucci

pet insurancePets are family members, which means they need to be cared for in every way. They need food, shelter, love, and, yes, their long-term health needs to be looked after. For many pet owners, though, medical care can be a big expense. So, how can you do right by your pets’ health in a fiscally responsible way?

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4 Cheap & Healthy Specialty Foods You Can Make at Home (Recipes)

By Laura Williams

hummusI spend a ridiculous amount of money at the grocery store. This is partly because my husband and I almost never eat out (but we do eat a lot), and it’s partly because we buy an abundance of organic, high-quality food.

Over the last few years I’ve started trying new things in the kitchen, looking for ways to control our food costs. What I’ve discovered is that it’s actually very easy to make some of those high-dollar “specialty” foods at home – even the ones that people generally assume can only be bought at a store.

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10 Tips to Choose the Right Sneakers or Athletic Shoes

By Laura Williams

athletic shoesJohn Wooden, the acclaimed UCLA basketball coach who won 10 NCAA championships in a 12-year span, used to start each season by teaching his players the right way to put on their socks and shoes. Now, you’d think that young men would know how to do this by the time they got to college, but the point was actually to drive home a very important fact: Executing the fundamentals makes finding success in all things a lot easier.

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LOYAL3 Review – Buy & Sell Stocks Online for Free

By Brian Martucci

loyal3 logoThere are dozens of options for trading stocks online, but none quite like LOYAL3. This online trading platform caters to less experienced traders who want to demystify the stock market and own shares in recognizable companies.

It lacks many of the features of full-service brokerages, including stock screeners, retirement accounts, and securities other than stocks. However, LOYAL3 boasts several rare features: It makes it easy for relative novices to get in on corporate IPOs, it makes fractional shares of stock available for purchase, and it never charges commissions to buy or sell stocks.

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How to Dye Concrete Floors in Your Home

By Laura Williams

staining concreteMy husband and I recently undertook a barn renovation, or a “barnovation,” as we’ve taken to calling it. What was, quite literally, a horse barn – manure and all – was renovated into a 900-square foot live-work studio. While we paid contractors to run the electrical and plumbing, frame and drywall the interior, and lay the first coat of paint, all the finishing work was up to us. And, if you’ve ever walked around on unfinished concrete – oh, the dust – you know that finishing the floors was one of our first items of business.

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Are Online Degrees Worth It? – Cost, Perception & Downsides

By Michael Lewis

online degreeAccording to a 2014 Pew Research report, Millennials – those born after 1980 – are the best-educated generation in the history of the United States. More than one-third have bachelor’s degrees, compared to one in four of their parents and grandparents.

This statistic may surprise many readers, considering the exponential increase in the cost of education during that period. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, a graduate in 1979 incurred less than $10,000 in education costs (in 2012 dollars), including room and board. By contrast, according to COLLEGEdata, a 2013 graduate spent almost $120,000 for the same degree and owed more than $33,000 in school debt as of graduation.

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5 Creative Storage Ideas for Small Spaces

By Laura Williams

organizedThe last three years have resulted in significant downsizing for my husband and me. We started in a 1,260-square-foot house with significant storage space, a storage shed, an attic, a utility room, and an additional 750-square-foot garage. We then downsized to 1,100 square feet with lots of closet space, and access to a garage and shed for additional storage. We are now moving into a 900-square-foot barn renovation with no closet space, no garage, and no cabinets (yet).

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6 Easy Recipes for Healthy Holiday Desserts – How to Moderate Your Eating Habits

By Laura Williams

holiday treatsThe holidays are always filled with fun, family, and food. However, just because every event comes paired with a decadent seasonal treat, you don’t need to fill your plate with pie, cake, and cookies.

It also doesn’t mean you need to teetotal sweets entirely. Believe it or not, there is a happy medium, and if you show up with some healthy and delicious treats in-hand, you won’t be labeled the “weird holiday dieter.”

Check out a few easy ways to enjoy the holiday season and still avoid holiday weight gain.

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How to Make Hard Cider at Home – Brewing Process, Supplies & Cost

By Brian Martucci

ciderFor the past several years, I’ve been riding the homebrewing and craft beer bandwagons, sampling too many styles to count. My interest in cider, however, is a more recent development. Before I visited England a couple of years ago, I didn’t even realize alcoholic cider was a thing. To me, “cider” was that dark, cinnamon-tasting stuff that appeared in my supermarket’s produce section every fall.

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5 Health & Fitness Benefits of Boxing Workouts – How to Get Started

By Laura Williams

boxingBoxing is one of those fitness trends that’s almost always in the periphery – never completely fading out of sight, but never taking the world by storm (à la Zumba). And while Billy Blanks helped introduce the world to a more aerobics-friendly version of kickboxing when he developed Tae Bo in the ’90s, cardio kickboxing’s harder, tougher cousin – boxing – remained mostly out of sight.

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