By on March 2nd, 2015 | Comment on this post

This post is sponsored by OppenheimerFunds

Global financial markets are becoming more interconnected. Investors have to contend with a rising interest rate environment, volatility and other factors. In this post, Peter Strzalkowski, vice president and co-team leader of the Investment Grade Fixed Income team at OppenheimerFunds, talks about how investors can best position their bond portfolios in 2015.

Question: What trend in bond investing do you expect to continue into 2015?

Peter Strzalkowski: Perhaps the most prevalent trend from an individual investor perspective is the expectation that U.S. interest rates will rise in the not-too-distant future. While it is a fact that the Federal Funds rate remains at its lower bound and that long-term U.S. Treasury rates reside just above their historical lows and that intuition says both should move higher at some point, we believe that time might be further out than one would think. In fact we believe interest rates may remain low relative to historical norms for a long time.…

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By Sheldon Yellen on March 2nd, 2015 | Comment on this post

In a world where 1 billion people use smartphones, many can’t believe that I run a company without one. They can’t imagine life without e-mail, Google, and Facebook in their pocket.

We expect instant gratification and accessibility; a smartphone is considered a necessity, not a convenience. However, keeping my flip phone and saying “no” to constant interruptions was one of my most profitable business decisions.

Why I decided to forgo a smartphone

One of the main factors in my decision was the distraction that smartphones introduce. I’ve seen people stare under the table in meetings, glued to an app rather than contributing. People spend weeks scheduling a meeting, only to find themselves combating iPhones.

This epidemic spreads far beyond the boardroom. Americans reportedly spend more than three hours per day on their smartphones. In an industry that requires 24/7 customer care, I choose to use that time to give people the attention they deserve.…

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By Robert Ahdoot on March 2nd, 2015 | Comment on this post

Welcome to SmartBrief Education’s original content series about the unique stories of teacherpreneurs. These are the innovative individuals confronting challenges, creating solutions and bringing them to market. Robert Ahdoot, a high-school math teacher and founder of, helps us kick off the series with a conversation with his mentor — and teacherpreneur — Bruce Powell. Powell is the founding Head of School of New Community Jewish High School in West Hills, Calif., where Ahdoot teaches.

Entrepreneurship and teaching traditionally have been mutually exclusive endeavors. Entrepreneurism stirs images of the self-starting creator of products or services. This business-savvy person grimaces at the thought of being bound by systems or conventions, while also understanding that to be successful, he must strategically navigate those very systems.

On the other end of the spectrum, the concept of “teacher” conjures iconic images of chalkboards, desks, walls, rambunctious students, grading papers, and apples on wooden desks.…

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By on March 2nd, 2015 | Comment on this post

Since the Obama administration entered the White House, first lady Michelle Obama has made it her personal mission to improve the health of America’s children by teaching them the importance of a balanced diet and an active lifestyle. Her Let’s Move campaign and non-profit group Partnership for a Healthier America have been working towards this goal for five years, and have started to turn the tide on America’s childhood obesity problem and the way food and beverage companies market to the country’s youngest consumers.

“Over the past five years we have truly changed the culture around health and living in this country,” Obama said in a keynote speech last week at the Partnership for a Healthy America Summit. “Food companies are racing like never before to create healthier versions of their products. Even convenience stores are selling fruits and vegetables. Head to the local drive-thru and kids’ meals might include apples and skim milk.…

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By on February 27th, 2015 | Comment on this post

Feedback, as Marshall Goldsmith taught me, is a gift. And as such we need to thank people when they deliver it to us.

It is not enough to say thank you. You also need to learn to accept it — and act up on it.

When the feedback is coming from a trusted source — even if we don’t like that individual — it should be considered, and changes made.

John Baldoni is chair of leadership development at N2Growth, is an internationally recognized leadership educator and executive coach. In 2014, Trust Across America named him to its list of top 100 most trustworthy business experts. Also in 2014, named Baldoni to its list of top 100 leadership experts, and Global Gurus ranked him No. 11 on its list of global leadership experts. Baldoni is the author of more than a dozen books, including his newest, “MOXIE: The Secret to Bold and Gutsy Leadership.”

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