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Business

Cybercrime update: Tips to protect your money, privacy and identity

CharlesSimsJr-160MONEY MATTERS: Federal prosecutors recently indicted members of an alleged gang of cyber thieves for stealing $45 million from banks in coordinated global attacks, each of which lasted only several hours. Sophisticated hacking techniques were used to remove spending limits on prepaid debit-card accounts at two banks in the Middle East. Organized crime cells then programmed corresponding debit cards to withdraw money from bank ATMs around the world, including $2.8 million from nearly 3,000 ATMs in New York City in two separate attacks that took place in December 2012 and February 2013.

The heist is believed to be the second-largest global bank robbery on record. In New York City, the bank theft was second only to the 1978 Lufthansa robbery depicted in the movie "Goodfellas."

News of such brazen and costly attacks demonstrates how difficult it can be for individuals, businesses and governments to detect the latest cyber threats and protect their interests. Unfortunately, millions of American consumers could become victims of cybercrimes such as debit- or credit-card fraud and identity theft each year.

Entrepreneurship: Summer Owens makes her case

Summer Owens-400tON OUR WAY TO WEALTHY: Summer Owens, a former FedEx marketing specialist advisor, is living proof that there is entrepreneurial life after layoffs, downsizing and retirement.

Carlee McCullough: Tell us a little about yourself.

Summer Owens: I am originally from Jackson, Tenn., but have lived in Memphis since 1997. I moved here to attend the University of Memphis, where I graduated with a BBA in Marketing in 2001 and was also named Miss University of Memphis. Last year I was named the Fogelman College of Business and Economics Young Alumna of the Year. I also earned an MBA from Belhaven College. I am the 34-year-old mother of an 18-year-old son and the author of "Life After Birth: A Memoir of Survival and Success as a Teenage Mother." I am also the founder and president of S.O. What! LLC and founder and executive director of The S.O. What! Foundation.

Expanding a student’s college options

CharlesSimsJr-160Would you be disappointed if your child or grandchild was not able to attend his or her "dream" college solely for financial reasons? If you aspire to help a student cover rising higher-education costs, it may be wise to start saving as early as possible.

Parents and other family members can contribute to state- and college-sponsored 529 plans that feature tax-deferred accumulation. Withdrawals are tax-free if used to pay qualified higher-education expenses. There are no income restrictions for participation, although each state sets a maximum annual contribution limit.

Life after layoffs, down-sizing and retirement

CarleeMcCullough-160ON OUR WAY TO WEALTHY Across the country, whether in the private sector or government, companies are laying people off, downsizing and/or forcing early retirement. In some circumstances it can be devastating to a household.

Immediately after the initial shock of learning your fate, it is easy to become paralyzed by fear. Next comes the scrambling around for a new job to replace the income that will soon be lost.

Some may wait to look for another job until savings or severance packages have been depleted. Still others will pursue unemployment pay as an alternative. However, this is usually only a portion of the lost wages and will not fill the gap.

MULYP Empowerment Conference upcoming

4MULYP-300The Memphis Urban League Young Professionals (MULYP) is offering young professionals in Memphis and the Mid-South an opportunity to build their legacy during the Empowerment Conference August 16-18, at the East Memphis Hilton Hotel.

This inaugural conference will offer insights and panel discussions from locally and nationally known business leaders and entrepreneurs, as well as job opportunities and social engagement.

The conference will begin with an event to commemorate MULYP's 10-year anniversary, paying homage to founders and trailblazers. The "Hiring Lounge" will offer real-time opportunities for job seekers to meet business owners, decision makers, and hiring managers. Mixology is the social event of the conference.

Carter Malone Group hits 10-year mark in stride

CMG-1-600Roby S. Williams has seen businesses come and go. Ninety percent of them are start-ups that fail to sustain themselves the first couple of years in the marketplace, said Williams, president of the Black Business Association of Memphis, a non-profit network of African-American entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Not all businesses fall by the wayside. One of them – The Carter Malone Group, LLC, a public relations, marketing and advertising firm – beat the odds and celebrated its 10th anniversary on June 21.

More than 150 celebrants crowded the Calliope Room in Downtown Memphis and paid tribute to the firm's president and CEO, Deidre Malone. The venue was in close proximity to where Malone had opened her first office.

  • Written by Wiley Henry

Need flexibility? Universal life insurance may be the answer

CharlesSimsJr-160Universal life insurance was developed in the late 1970s to overcome some of the disadvantages associated with term and whole life insurance. As with other types of life insurance, you pay regular premiums to your insurance company, in exchange for which the insurance company will pay a specific benefit to your beneficiaries upon your death.

As with whole life insurance, a portion of each payment goes to the insurance company to pay for the pure cost of insurance. The remainder is invested in the company's general investment portfolio, with the potential to build cash value.

Most universal life policies pay a minimum guaranteed rate of return. Any returns above the guaranteed minimum vary with the performance of the insurance company's portfolio. The policyholder has no control over how these funds are invested; funds are managed by the insurance company's professional portfolio managers.

Independent Style Market opens in the Broad Ave. Arts District

ISM-600"A Creative Entrepreneurial Community Center". . . that's how Tonya Tate, Director of Indie Style Market styles the new venture designed to promote the economic opportunities of creative entrepreneurism and promote the indie product design community of the Mid-South.

Consumer product design is a broad field that covers everything from apparel and accessories to home goods and furniture. The mid-south is known for our food, music, and art but we also have a lot to offer in terms of unique products that you use every day and Indie Style Market (ISM) exists to tell the story of these products and their makers to the world.

In addition to retail storefront from which to sell their products, ISM offers indie designers workshops to help them with various aspects of running a creative product business such as taking Quality Product Photos, Launching an Etsy shop, and Marketing your brand using Social Media.