Ann Logue

22 posts
Ann Logue is a lecturer in finance at the University of Illinois at Chicago and a writer specializing in business and finance. She is the author of four books on investing in Wiley’s for Dummies series and has written for Barron’s, Entrepreneur and Newsweek Japan, among other publications. She lives in Chicago and holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.
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Blockchain Applications for Startups and Entrepreneurs

There are so many stock phrases thrown out by bitcoin fans that it’s hard to know where to begin. One of the more interesting ones is “It’s the blockchain that’s really valuable, you know.” And that is probably true. It’s also much easier to explain than bitcoin. Essentially, blockchain is a sort of record of...
tax records
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The Benefits of Keeping Tax Records All Year Round

Although we think of tax season as that period between January 1 and mid-April, it’s an ongoing event. If you shift your perspective when it comes to tax records, you may find that not only is Tax Day less stressful, but so too are estimated tax deadlines throughout the year. Furthermore, you’ll have a better sense...
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How Business Consulting Can Prepare You for Entrepreneurship

While not all consultants are entrepreneurs, you can become an expert in your field by learning to hone your niche expertise the way, say, Neil Patel does, in order to create a powerhouse brand. A consultant, even a solo consultant, is running a business, and a business must be marketed. This year, long-time consultant, Elaine...
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No Pressure Networking: Steps for Making Connections That Matter

We all know that networking is a key component of business success, but it doesn’t come easily for everyone. Karen Wickre, a former communications executive at Twitter and Google, has learned a lot about making connections over the years. She describes herself as an introvert and is sharing her expertise in her new book, “Taking...
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Communicating During a Crisis: Your Startup and Cybersecurity

No matter what precautions your startup takes, the painful reality is that no cybersecurity system is perfect. Despite your best intentions, someone on your team is bound to make a mistake or a hacker is eventually going to figure out a new trick. That’s when you have a problem. Even companies like Facebook, Yahoo! and...
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How Voice-Activated Assistants Can Help Entrepreneurs Work Smarter

By now, many of us are owners of an Amazon Echo, a Google Home, or other voice-activated assistant. These gadgets are equipped with lots of tricks to smooth the running of a household, but the companies that produce them know that the big market is in applications for businesses. That’s what will move these from...
net neutrality
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What the FCC Repeal of Net Neutrality Could Mean for Your Startup

What is net neutrality? Net neutrality is one of those complex corners of regulation with lots of tiny details, and those details end up affecting ordinary people. Under current regulation, when you buy internet service, you can hook up to any site you want at the agreed-upon speed. You pay for bandwidth, not access to...
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How Cyber Hackers Attack: Defense Against the Dark Arts

While working for Hillary Clinton in 2016, campaign chairman, John Podesta, received a strange email asking for his Gmail credentials. It looked suspicious, so he sent it to the campaign’s IT staff. The staffer knew that it was a bad link, so he responded that it was illegitimate. And, thanks to a spelling error, told...
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Managing Estimated Taxes: Gig Workers and Form 1099

Freelancers and others in the gig economy are treated as small businesses by the IRS. Income is reported on Form 1099-MISC, which is submitted to the IRS by January 31 of the year after the money was paid. The 1099 tells the IRS that money was paid, making it important for recording both income and...
Estimated taxes
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Managing the Challenges of Estimated Taxes as an Entrepreneur

The hardest part of self-employment may well be dealing with estimated taxes. Nothing about the system is straightforward, starting with the fact that payments are not due quarterly. They are due on the 15th of April, June, September and January, which are three, two, three, and four months apart, respectively. It keeps things interesting! How...
Business plan
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How to Know if Your Strategic Business Plan is Out of Date

When you started your business, you probably put some work into a business plan. If you then looked for financing, you probably updated it at that point. Since then, your business plan has likely been ignored in favor of shorter, more agile strategic plans. The reality is that any plans you make become outdated as...
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Selfie Culture: Branding Your Startup and Engaging with Customers

These days, everyone is a photographer, and it can be truly annoying to find yourself in the way of someone else’s selfie. Entrepreneurs are faced with camera-wielding customers (and employees) every day. Managing that can help. Much of this is part of a broader social media plan, so if yours is out of date, it may...
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To Incorporate or Not? The Many Small Business Structures

To incorporate, or not? It’s a perennial topic that has plenty of surrounding myths. As with so many things, there isn’t one right answer. Entrepreneurs, especially those who work solo, have choices. There are three main types of corporate organization in the United States: sole proprietorship, partnership and corporation. There are nuances based on federal...
Social intelligence
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How Social Intelligence is Working for Small Businesses

Interpersonal relationships are hard. We’re all trying to figure out how to get along, and we’re going to screw up. Nevertheless, some people are much, much better at it than others. What’s their secret? The answer, if there is one, is the quest in the burgeoning field of social intelligence. Researchers are looking at the...
Visual thinking
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How Creativity and Visual Thinking Can Boost Your Business

Business school seems like an unlikely place for a dancer, but the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business brought John Michael Schert as a visiting artist in 2013. Schert began his career as a dancer with the American Ballet Theatre and ended up working in arts administration. During his two-year residency at Chicago Booth, he...
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Coworking the American Dream

The path from coffee shop to office tower has many intermediate stops, which are often coworking spaces. These are places where people share offices until they become large enough to go out on their own. They come in many different forms, and knowing the difference can help you save time when you research alternative spaces. Shared...
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Fintech, Venture Capital and Your Company

Venture capitalists have moved on from social media apps and photo filters. The new interest is financial services, especially lending. This may create new options for small businesses looking for new sources of funding. The PwC/NVCA MoneyTree Report of Venture Capital shows that financial services investments are a strong part of the overall venture capital...
Improve Your Marketing
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Improve Your Marketing with Culture Clues

The Peter Mayer advertising agency in New Orleans specializes in work for brands that have a strong cultural resonance, often Louisiana-based companies that are closely associated with the local community but that are national in scope. Brands like Luzianne, Zatarian’s, Sazerac and Community Coffee have to connect to the culture at large in order to...
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Bitcoin: Should Your Business Accept Alternative Currency?

Bitcoin gets a lot of headlines. It’s an alternative currency and payment system, structured in a way that is both intriguing and practical. Many of those who hold Bitcoin want to use it, which could be good for your small business. Still, it has risks. The currency was invented by a software developer who goes...
Business Plan
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Financial Projections and Your Business Plan

There’s so much to running a business that the numbers can get lost in the fun of the planning. What will the business cards look like? How will we recognize top customers? What products will we offer that our competitors don’t? Compared to drawing up a menu, designing window displays and hiring great employees, creating...