Feature

What the experts say

Wrapping up good advice; Paying for bad habits; and Restaurateurs need taste and vision

Wrapping up good advice
There’s a good reason that so-called wrap accounts are more popular than ever, said Thomas Kostigen in Marketwatch.com. “With wrap accounts, investors pay a flat fee for money management, broker advice, trading, and brokerage-firm support.” And, thanks to an October decision by a federal court, brokerage firms that offer wrap accounts must pledge to act in their customers’ best interests, rather than their own. “There isn’t much evidence that brokers were acting otherwise,” but the ruling gives investors an added layer of legal protection. Wrap accounts offer a “unique combination of professional advice, customization, and transparency,” says Christopher Davis, president of the Money Management Institute, a trade group. Expect to pay annual fees of 1 percent to 1.25 percent of assets under management. As a rule, the larger the account, the lower the fee.

Paying for bad habits
Here’s one more reason to stick to those New Year’s resolutions, said Patricia B. Gray in CNNmoney.com. “To curb the runaway cost of providing health benefits, a small but growing number of companies are charging workers for habits like smoking, overeating, and failing to exercise.” At publisher Tribune Co., for instance, workers who smoke pay $100 more a month in premiums than their nonsmoking colleagues. “Critics say these programs violate workers’ privacy and make group health plans too much like individual insurance.” But benefits experts think the trend will gather momentum despite legal challenges. That’s okay with 46-year-old Teri Sank of Berne, Ind. Her deductible went up $500 after she failed her company’s cholesterol test, so she went on a diet and reduced her bad cholesterol. “I have no hard feelings,” she said, “because it forced me to pay attention to my health.”

Restaurateurs need taste and vision
There’s a lot more to running a successful restaurant than having a passion for food, said Kerry Miller in BusinessWeek. Recent academic studies show that successful restaurant operators can “describe, in detail, an entire operating philosophy encompassing everything—the ambience, the service, the décor—not just the food.” Jordan Busch and Sara Sawicki, co-owners of Fire on the Mountain Buffalo Wings in Portland, Ore., are a case in point. Before they opened their restaurant, they decided “it would be someplace with the ambience of a local sandwich shop rather than a sports bar—someplace where everybody could feel comfortable.” No one would mistake it for an impersonal chain, thanks to “a big chalkboard menu, live music, and a rotating gallery of local artists on the walls.” It doesn’t hurt that the restaurant serves excellent wings. But wings alone aren’t what made Busch and Sawicki’s venture fly.

Recommended

Should the U.S. send troops to Somalia?
President Biden.
Picture of Catherine GarciaCatherine Garcia

Should the U.S. send troops to Somalia?

Finland and Sweden formally apply to join NATO
Sauli Niinisto, Magdalena Andersson
Nordic Track

Finland and Sweden formally apply to join NATO

Vatican slams Israel for attacking funeral of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh
Ahmad Gharabli/AFP/Getty Images
Freedom of religion

Vatican slams Israel for attacking funeral of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh

Ukraine says 264 'heroes' evacuated from Mariupol's Azovstal steel works
Ukrainian troops in Azovstal steel plant
'Ukraine needs Ukrainian heroes alive'

Ukraine says 264 'heroes' evacuated from Mariupol's Azovstal steel works

Most Popular

Russia's failed Ukraine river crossing has pro-Russia war bloggers griping
Failed Russian river crossing
Losing faith

Russia's failed Ukraine river crossing has pro-Russia war bloggers griping

Why 'the Russian army just isn't very good'
Vladimir Putin.
Briefing

Why 'the Russian army just isn't very good'

Watch Wynonna Judd and Brandi Carlile sing 'The Rose' at Naomi Judd memorial
Wynonna Judd, Brandi Carlile
Some Say Love...

Watch Wynonna Judd and Brandi Carlile sing 'The Rose' at Naomi Judd memorial