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Graham Roberts named to Barron’s Top 1,200 Financial Advisors

Graham Roberts named to Barron’s Top 1,200 Financial Advisors

ATLANTA -- Morgan Stanley announced that Graham Roberts, Executive Director, Financial Advisor, in the Firm’s Atlanta Wealth Management office, has been named to Barron’s list of America’s Top 1,200 Advisors: 2014 State-by-State.

The “Barron’s Top 1,200 Advisors” is a select group of individuals who are screened on a number of criteria. Among factors the survey takes into consideration are assets under management, revenue produced for the Firm and quality of service provided to clients.

“I am extremely proud that Graham Roberts is representing Morgan Stanley Wealth Management on this list,” commented Michael Outlaw, Branch Manager of Morgan Stanley’s Atlanta office. “This listing recognizes an elite group of financial professionals who are dedicated to providing clients with exceptional wealth management services.”

Le Dress Boutique celebrates anniversary, moves to Sandy Springs

Le Dress Boutique celebrates anniversary, moves to Sandy Springs

SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. -- You don't have to break the bank to get the wedding dress of your dreams, according to Linda Morado, proprietress of Le Dress Boutique, a Sandy Springs business that sells and consigns luxury dresses at substantial discounts. The company recently celebrated its five-year anniversary with a move from Buckhead into a larger retail space in Sandy Springs.

Le Dress Boutique's inventory includes fine wedding and evening gowns; party, prom and Mother-of-the-Bride dresses; and vintage jewelry. Discounts range from 35-80 percent off list price.

Approximately 95 percent of the wedding gowns are new or samples consigned to the store by overstocked specialty boutiques from around the country. On the special occasion side of the business, half of the inventory is new, and half is "once-loved."

Michael Merlin named to Barron’s Top 1,200 Financial Advisors

Michael Merlin named to Barron’s Top 1,200 Financial Advisors

ATLANTA, GA March 11, 2014– Morgan Stanley announced today that Michael Merlin, Managing Director, Financial Advisor, in the Firm’s Atlanta Wealth Management office, has been named to Barron’s list of America’s Top 1,200 Advisors: 2014 State-by-State.

The “Barron’s Top 1,200 Advisors” is a select group of individuals who are screened on a number of criteria. Among factors the survey takes into consideration are assets under management, revenue produced for the Firm and quality of service provided to clients.

“I am extremely proud that  Michael Merlin is representing Morgan Stanley Wealth Management on this list,” commented Michael Outlaw, Branch Manager of Morgan Stanley’s Atlanta office. “This listing recognizes an elite group of financial professionals who are dedicated to providing clients with exceptional wealth management services.”

RadioShack to close 1,100 stores

(USA TODAY) -- After reporting dismal fourth-quarter earnings, RadioShack said Tuesday that it would close about 1,100 poorly performing stores, roughly 20% of the electronic retailer's locations.

The store closings will leave about 4,000 locations in the U.S. The company has been struggling to revamp its stores for the past year.

Total net sales and operating revenues were $935.4 million in the fourth quarter, vs. $1,171.4 million last year, a 20% decline. Comparable store sales were down 19%, which the company blames on poor performance in its mobile phone business.

RadioShack stock was down more than 20% in premarket trading.

"Even in this environment, we're continuing to make progress on the five pillars of our turnaround plan: repositioning the brand, revamping the product assortment, reinvigorating the stores, operational efficiency and financial flexibility," CEO Joseph C. Magnacca said in a statement.

Bill Gates is world's richest person, again

(USA TODAY) -- Bill Gates is back on top as the world's richest person, according to Forbes magazine's latest ranking of billionaires.

Microsoft co-founder Gates took the crown from Carlos Slim Helu, who had been the world's richest for the previous four years. Investing guru Warren Buffett is No. 4.

The magazine pegs Gates' net worth at $76 billion. That's up from $67 billion in 2013.

Slim, a Mexico telecom titan, is close behind at $72 billion. He lost $1 billion from last year.

Third richest is Amancio Ortega of Spain, founder of the Zara clothing retailer, with a net worth of $64 billion.

Next is Buffett. The "Oracle of Omaha" has $58.2 billion, Forbes says.

Eight Georgians are among the world's richest. Anne Cox Chambers, the 94-year-old daughter of Cox Enterprises founder James M. Cox, is No. 58 with a net worth of $15.5 billion.

Best Buy to cut hundreds of jobs

(BUSINESS JOURNAL) -- Best Buy Co. Inc. plans to cut hundreds of jobs throughout its U.S. store operations, according to a report in the New York Post.

The article, citing anonymous insiders, says the "layoffs could affect upwards of 2,000 managers," though the exact scope isn't known. The retailer does not plan to close any of its 1,055 U.S. stores at this time.

Best Buy, which reports its fourth-quarter earnings on Thursday, declined to comment. The chain has 19 stores in metro Atlanta.

Late last month, Best Buy announced it was laying off roughly 950 full-time employees at its Best Buy and Future Shop stores in Canada as part of a store-restructuring initiative. The company said it will consolidate sales departments and reduce management layers in an effort to "streamline its store operating model as part of the company's long-term growth strategy in Canada."

Bill would unplug Georgia's $5K electric vehicle tax credit

ATLANTA -- Georgia ranked fourth in the U.S. in electric vehicle registrations last year - an impressive showing for a state notched squarely in the middle of the country's "truck belt."

Now, a bill introduced by state representative and former Alpharetta Mayor Chuck Martin (R-Alpharetta), threatens to suck the air out of electric vehicle adoption in the Peach State.

The bill would eliminate an up to $5,000 tax credit available to buyers of new zero-emission vehicles, no later than April 1. The tax credit - among the richest in the country - coupled with a $7,500 federal tax credit, has fueled electric vehicle adoption in the state. 

Electric vehicle advocates argue eliminating the tax will slam the brakes on sales of electric vehicles, which they say reduce emissions and dependence of foreign oil.