Cheat Sheet Q & A:
Topic: Expanded Florida liquor sales:
The statement / question: Some Florida lawmakers are trying to get a bill passed to allow grocery stores and supermarkets to sell hard liquor. I heard that Wal-Mart was backing this bill.
I am very concerned for two reasons: First, to have hard liquor in supermarkets where minors will have easy access to alcohol. Minors can blend in with adults in these big mega stores. In the liquor store they stand out like a sore thumb. Having hard liquor next to bread and soda will create an on going problem.
Second this bill will destroy small liquor stores across the state. We don't need to look for ways to hurt small business we need to help them, small business is a very important part of our economy, and they are having a tough time as it is under the present economic conditions.
Please let me know what you think and if you fell the bill has a chance to be passed.
Bottom Line: There are a few different bills that pertain to alcohol related matters (including another that you may have heard of that would enable super markets to have wine and beer tastings). For that reason I think there may be a little confusion over the particular bill in question.
To your first concern. The bill in question (HB 877, SB 804), doesn’t allow for the expanded hard liquor sales in the traditional retail/supermarket store. Instead the traditional retailers/grocers would have to create separate standalone stores. It’s likely that these would be directly next to the traditional store but they would be separate. That should answer your concern with regard to kids being exposed to the liquor in the traditional store and they would certainly stand out in the separate liquor store.
It’s worth noting that with your membership retailers this already takes place. Most Costco and Sam’s Clubs locations have stand alone liquor stores connected to their traditional stores. The membership status enables this to occur under Florida law. Traditional retailers/grocers could argue that they’re at a competitive disadvantage to the membership based stores; given that the convenience and prices offered by these liquor stores do drive traffic to those stores for groceries and alcohol, thus away from the grocers.
For the second part of your concern… I’m truly sympathetic to the small business cause. As a former small business retailer I certainly can certainly sympathize. For that matter I’m one who’ll go out of my way and pay more potentially to patronize local businesses provided that it’s a good experience. So I’ll provide two observations. 1. There are four local liquor stores near me. I’ve shopped in all of them. None of the experiences have been better than what I experience in the Costco liquor store. 2. Then there is the matter of price. I’m willing to pay a bit more to patronize a local company but I’ve commonly seen prices that are 200-300% higher for the same product. That’s just not a good trade off for a lesser experience in my view.
So you likely can tell where I come down on this proposal… I’m completely for supporting small business where it makes sense to do so. I’m just not inclined to think that it should necessarily be with laws preventing them from having to compete. I don’t believe that’s necessarily in the consumer’s best interest.
Do I think that it could pass? Yes. If it will is anyone’s guess at this point.
If you have a topic or question you’d like me to address email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Trick to keep your Amazon Prime membership at $79 for another year:
Bottom Line: If you’re an existing Amazon Prime member you’re well aware that upon your renewal you’ll have to $99 vs. the $79 per year you’ve be accustomed to. If you do want to get the $79 price for another year there is a little trick to get it done.
Any new customer who signs up before April 17th can still get the $79 price. Here’s how existing customers can too:
- First disable the auto-renew feature in your account
- Second purchase a gift subscription for yourself to start on the date that your current membership ends
Provided that you do that by April 17th you’ll save yourself the extra $20 later this year.
What to know before you fill out your 2014 NCAA Bracket:
Bottom Line: As exciting as the $1 billion challenge sounds as part of the Yahoo Sports / Quicken loans perfect bracket challenge may sound you won’t have a perfect bracket. No one ever has. The best ever was a bracket which incorrectly picked 5 games in 2005 on ESPN’s service. Just because you won’t have a perfect bracket doesn’t mean you can’t win with your friend and group though. So let’s talk about playing the odds. Here are some stats for you to consider before completing your bracket:
- Historically favorites win 70% of the time in the NCAA tournament
- The average favorite to win it all usually has a 22-25% chance of winning historically
- This year’s overall favorite (Arizona) only has a 14.5% chance of winning it all
So here are quick takeaways…
- Most people pick too many upsets. Again 70% of favorites win. That means that most people would typically be better off by picking every favorite than the typical methodology of picking about half of their brackets as upsets
- So the key to a great bracket is typically picking about 30% of your bracket as upsets – not more in the average year
- This year’s bracket is about 34% more difficult to predict than even the average year
So… Good luck!
It’s time to rethink the way we create our emails:
Bottom Line: A career expert for The Ladders (an elite job placement firm) made a really good point with regard to emails recently. We need to start writing them for smart phones.
In recent years I’ve been aggressive with regard to mobile awareness. Frequently I’ve pointed out how too many websites are being created and updated for easy mobile navigation even though more people are now using the internet on a mobile device than on a traditional computer. There is a subject I haven’t discussed with regard to mobile: Email
Not surprisingly we’re now accessing email most often via a mobile device. So often though we’re constructing business related email via a computer to be best viewed on a computer. Among the key takeaways:
- Your email headline should be 30 characters or less to be easily viewed on a mobile device – that’s half of what can be easily read on a computer
- Make sure your abbreviated headline is a complete thought. If your headline isn’t clear many professionals won’t open it when they are on the go and may never get around to opening your email
- The body of your email needs to be easy to read on a smart phone. That will likely mean short concise sentences rather than long paragraphs.
Here’s the good thing. You can test on yourself. Write emails and send them to yourself. Read them on your smart phone and make adjustments as needed to ensure your emails are effective.
Accepting Bitcoin in business is a booming trend but…
Bottom Line: Two years ago in the early days of bitcoin only 1000 businesses around the world accepted the crypto currency. Despite a myriad of recent problems businesses accepting bitcoin are still rapidly adapting as they try to create a competitive advantage for bitcoin loyalists.
- Today more than 26,000 businesses accept bitcoin around the world
- The largest online retailer to accept them is Overstock.com
It’s the Overstock model you will likely want to emulate if you accept bitcoin. While Overstock accepts bitcoin it doesn’t actually hold any. Overstock.com instantly converts all bitcoin into US dollars. That not only protects them from volatility in the value of bitcoin. It also protects them from the seizure of the bitcoin.
As I’ve outlined previously the largest holder of bitcoin in the world is the FBI. The second largest is the state of New York. The reason is that any bitcoin used by criminals can and is being seized by Government officials. That means that even if you didn’t do anything wrong your business could have your bitcoin taken away if you’re holding it.
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I'm in my 19th year with iHeartMedia and 11th in South Florida. With my father as inspiration, I started investing in the stock market when I was 11 and co-founded a smoothie company at 18. The highlights of my radio career have been serving as a fill-in for Sean Hannity.
I've made my share of mistakes along the way as well. I shape my perspective from success and failure to provide you with a truly objective picture of business and money in your world. Business and investing are passions of mine. Some read Dean Koontz... I read financial reports.