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Forty-four percent of small firms report spending 40 hours or more each year dealing with new and existing federal regulations, while nearly a third of them reported spending more than 80 hours each year, according to research from the 2017 NSBA Small Business Regulations Survey conducted by the National Small Business Association.

An AARP study of victims of investment fraud found significant differences between victims and the general investor population in a number of key areas. For example, more victims (60%) than general investors (41%) agreed with the statement: “Some of the most important achievements in life include acquiring money.” Forty-eight percent of victims and only 30% of general investors agreed with the statement: “I don’t mind taking chances with my money, as long as I think there’s a chance it might pay off.” In addition, 58% of fraud victims reported receiving at least one investment sales telephone call each month compared to only 32% of general investors.

The cost of doing business. U.S. employers spent an average of $34.90 an hour per employee in wages and benefits in December 2016, according to data released by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. Wages and salaries accounted for 68.4% of these costs, while benefits accounted for 31.6% of the total. Benefits include paid leave, supplemental pay, insurance, retirement and savings, and certain legally required benefits.

Thirty-four percent of Americans believe that real estate is the best long-term investment, according to a recently released Gallup survey. Stocks/mutual funds were identified by 26% of Americans as the best long-term investment.

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